Contributed from Victoria
Two cases provide clear evidence of deliberate misreporting in mainstream media, geared towards achieving the political objectives of its owners, and not towards reporting the truth. None is more guilty of this than Rupert Murdoch’s outlets. Unfortunately, Murdoch is leading the charge and most mainstream media is falling into line.
One of these cases is incident at the Chinese Consulate in Manchester England. The reporting claims that staff assaulted a protester and the police intervened to protect him. As the truth unfolded, it showed there is more to this story. Evidence provided by CCTV footage shows a group aggressively breaking into the consulate grounds and allegedly assaulting staff.
Image from CCTV: Masked protesters assault consulate security and break into consulate grounds
But the story put out was too good to correct, and falsehood kept on being peddled, even when the media knew better.
The other case is about climate activists gluing themselves to valuable paintings in England and Australia. They have been depicted as art wrecking vandals outraging the public. People gluing themselves onto a Van Gogh and Picasso has been sensationalised and distorted.
The truth is that the paintings were never under threat of being damaged. They were merely used as a prop the get public attention and the glue merely applied to Perspex covers. The misreporting has been to turn attention away from the issue.
Mainstream media has been fashioned into a weapon, a propaganda tool to pursue political objectives through a combination of censorship and distortion of news. With the case at the Chinese consulate in Manchester, it’s to further the new cold war against China. The reporting on the gluing to the artworks is designed to discredit climate activism. Extinction Rebellion and Just Stop Oil are prime targets in this campaign.
The rub is that mainstream media claims to speak for public opinion. There is purpose in this method too. It is to portray a manufactured vision of public opinion, fuelled by the belief that is you repeat it often enough, some people will fall for it.
Meanwhile, attention is removed from the deadly seriousness that lies behind of both cases.
The cold war being waged on China is not about an existential threat but an effort to contain that nation’s economic growth and maintain western economic and political domination across the planet. Waging the cold war is escalating tension and bringing us ever closer toa disastrous shooting war. Mainstream media is completely on board with this and works overtime to champion militarisation, and even talks up the prospect of going to war.
Mainstream media doesn’t want us to look too deeply into this. An alerted public might interfere with the ambitions of those who expect to benefit from this conflict.
Extinction Rebellion members glue themselves onto Picasso’s anti-war panting Massacre in Korea. He would have approved.
When it comes to climate activism, the real issue is whether much more should be done to counter climate change. The evidence shows that unless there is a change in direction, the world faces economic and social catastrophe, including a severe shortage of food and water. There is even a potential for our extinction.
Which is more important? some people using paintings as a backdrop or climate change?
Media outlets like those owned by Murdoch no longer dispute that global change is real. But they don’t want us to talk about it. After all, the owners benefit from the continuation of a carbon dependent economy. Oil, coal, and media companies are pretty much owned by the same people.
This raises another question. How should society deal with the reality of media monopoly and the harm this brings about? Perhaps there should be enforced law that imposes a higher standard on investigation and reporting the truth? Society should build means through which there is access to a much wider range of views and many voices. This is not media censorship. It is about making it far more democratic and accountable by removing the power of media moguls to censor.