…Or. How the Mainstream Media Manipulates the Masses.
There’s a lot going on in the news at the moment. Much noise on many stories. We rely on journalism to provide the public with a window into what events of importance are happening in the world. Journalists aren’t doing this for the UK public. They are loud on many issues and quiet on others. I’m sure you know by now that Kevin Spacey the Hollywood actor is gay, evidently, though like me you probably have no interest in Mr Spacey’s sexuality.
Something is rotten in the State of Denmark. In the UK there is much rot too. In its political state and journalistic state, carrion litters Westminster, Whitehall, the printed press, the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky news channels – and this week the aroma has been overwhelming.
The hell of losing a loved one to senseless murder-by-vehicle was unleashed on the families of 8 more dead people, this time in New York, and also on the lives of countless others scarred physically and emotionally by the injuries to themselves or their loved ones. On the 31st of October, Sayfullo Saipov murdered 8 people and injured many others when he deliberately drove his rented truck into cyclists and pedestrians on a New York City path. It is a story that has been repeated many times across the world with the consequential accruing aggregate of suffering and hurt.
The reaction of the TV and radio broadcasters and the national newspapers has become formulaic in the face of clear motive, none is attributed and the story deflects from the issue – the murderous actions of Mr Saipov and the motivation behind them – to the secondary issues, any secondary issues – regulations on vehicle hiring; radicalisation; or how people may respond and the fear of a ‘backlash’ that didn’t materialise after similar events in Stockholm, London, Nice and Berlin. The human impact of these attacks and the stifling nature of the public discourse relating toward how this problem can be defined and addressed have been aired by many, but by few with a public forum in which to relate it. Political representatives in the UK as a body are silent, impotent and cowering. The media now look to drop stories of Islamic terrorism like a stone.
This awful event has very quickly fallen from the attention of the major news providers. The events in New York had temporarily taken attention away from the Harvey Weinstein fallout and from the main interest story from Washington DC where on Monday 30th of October, one Paul Manafort had been indicted on charges as a result of the “Russia Investigation” of Special Counsel Robert Mueller on numerous charges including “Conspiracy Against the United States”.
The Trump Russia collusion story was evidently, after twelve months of producing not one iota of evidence against Donald Trump, coming to a head. Or so many thought. The MP for Tottenham David Lammy, amongst others, was making it his business to comment on the Manafort indictment news by tweeting to the President of the USA “Not the best day to start talking about who at the top was OK’ing what, pal.”, a somewhat unfitting comment of a Member of Parliament, and somewhat embarrassing when the content of the Manafort indictment was digested. The Monday news providers have their anti-Trump narrative tactics and they are well worn – Guilt by association is one such tactic. On Monday, Paul Manafort was set in the minds of the UK media consumer as “Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort”. The charges Paul Manafort faces in his court hearing set for 7th May 2018 relate to his activities as a political lobbyist in Ukraine and Washington during the time of Presidents George W Bush Jr and Barrack Obama. The investigations of Mueller do appear to reveal other Russian connections to political actors in the USA and perhaps not uncoincidentally, Tony Podesta, brother of Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta, resigned from his lobbyist firm on the same day as Paul Manafort was indicted.
More news was required. Silence is golden and the Manafort Indictment doesn’t appear to connect Trump to Russia and talking about the phenomenon of Islamic terrorism is too difficult a subject. A much more significant matter of political import snatched the attention of the UK media – ‘Kneegate’.
In the wake of the recent suspension of Jared O’Mara the Labour MP for Sheffield Hallam, ‘Kneegate’ has seen the back of Sir Michael Fallon as Secretary of State for Defence. The reason for his resignation amounts to placing his hand on a reporter’s knee some years ago in a failed attempt to ‘pull’, and a similar report of a rebuff following a clumsy and clearly unsuccessful approach when asking a lady to warm her hands down the front of his trousers. So Mr Fallon has fallen on his sword for being rubbish at chatting up women it appears. Hardly Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky is it? But silence is Golden when it comes to Bill Clinton, Monica Lewinsky and Juanita Rodderick. Shhh…. It was thirty years ago, and Kevin Spacey was too drunk to remember, but he’s ‘come out’ as gay.
But Kneegate has not just afflicted Fallon. Others are embroiled thanks to a leak of information from the Conservative Party whips’ office. A plethora of news stories have been spawned from the release of a list relating 36 Conservative MPs to a variety of acts and for six days and counting the news media have been paralysed by their intense interest in the moral and physical conduct of men in positions of power, towards women. By extension of course, the problem is with men and it is the behaviour of all men that needs to be brought to account. Damian Green the Conservative MP and Deputy Prime Minister not only attracted a kneegate accusation, he got a front page article in the Sunday Times on the back of a report of a rumour too.
Shhh… Kevin Spacey is gay. Kevin Spacey is a powerful Hollywood actor and has been accused of attempting to engage in sexual intercourse with a 14 year old boy. Shhh… Harvey Weinstein a powerful Hollywood producer is accused of rewarding women who engaged with him in sexual acts with fame and fortune. Many women who have been photographed frequently with Mr Weinstein have ‘spoken up’ about their experiences for which many have been remunerated beyond the wildest dreams of a Soho ‘masseuse’. By all accounts, Mr Weinstein is a particularly odious man and some of his actions may well turn out to be criminal. But apparently, a couple of weeks after a light is shone on Harvey and a week after Kevin Spacey is pronounced as gay, the whole country at the behest of our moral guardians – journalists – needs to be discussing the interpersonal etiquette that all men must conform to when interacting with women.
While the media focus on sexual misconduct and/or consensual sexual conduct in Hollywood, in Westminster, in the Labour and Conservative Parties, real news exposing hypocrisy and criminality in the highest office is being denied to the UK public, never mind the missing Lebanese Prime Minister or the dead and arrested Saudi Princes. Fakenews by distraction, by deflection and by non-coverage.
“…Lock Her Up !…” This phrase was chanted during rallies for Donald Trump during his 2016 Presidential Election campaign. Like sports fans engaging with their team, attendees of Trump’s rallies engaged with the now President of the United States.
In Part 2 I’ll discuss the huge current news stories that, for some reason, the UK mainstream media, the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky don’t wish to pay much attention to. In doing so I will hopefully shine some light on why “…Lock Her Up!…” was not the cry of a modern day Lynch mob, but an instruction from people to see those who have broken the US Law, face the consequences of so doing.
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. When it comes to bad news relating to the EU or both Hillary Clinton and President Barrack Obama or good news relating to Brexit or President Donald Trump, there doesn’t ever seem to be any in the UK press. In order to keep fixed in the minds of the UK public a hatred and fear of Trump and Brexit and a reverence towards the EU, Clinton and Obama, on so many issues ‘Silence is Golden’.
© James Dalton 2017