by John Ward
It seems to me that the development of the term “fake(d) news” was probably at best a curate’s egg. Already cynically overused by both ends of our neolithic political spectrum, it also suffers from being far too narrow as a term. It doesn’t take into account media bias, and it doesn’t cover the increasingly obvious problems of fake data, faked stock market trends, words taken out of context, and assertions made on flimsy criteria. Yesteryear’s WOMD has become today’s nerve-gassing of host populations. Ironically (and predictably) the term itself has turned into another accusation to be weaponised as evidence.
At one level, it is reassuring to note that the awareness in the West among free-thinkers of what “is happening” to the average citizen is growing: the experience of being cheated, ripped-off and lied to at all levels – military, retail, manufacturing, services, banking, government administration, politics – is one shared by more and more people….and our liberty to stop it/ and or know what’s really going on is being restricted by the secret services and agendered media proprietors.
But the growth of awareness is still terribly slow…..and is being neutered among the very young by the sense that “this is the way things are – don’t tilt at windmills”. I’ve spent the last few days, on and off, talking to friends, internet contacts, asking them in turn how their social milieu – friends, parents, kids and so forth – feel about the media, our rights and the socio-economic ethics in play in the 2018 West.
Sadly, the impression I’ve gained, as a peripatetic sample of one since last Spring, seems very largely borne out by this albeit essentially qualitative dipping of the toe into majority waters. That is to say
- There are older traditionalists who still think of people in public life as worthy of respect, and “probably doing what’s in the country’s interests”
- There are the very young just coming into the workforce who have no questioning side to their natures, and tend to obey orders without thinking about it
- There are young family rearers who lack the time or energy to address the question and no longer care anyway
- There are the middle-aged, middle-income comfortably off who dismiss everything out of the ordinary as conspiracy theory….plus, of late, fake news
- There are the low income unemployed low-energy, low IQ apathetics who never read beyond a tabloid headline and don’t understand anything beyond the characters in mini-series or games.
- There is the élite itself plus the hangers-on, busy making the most of the situation
- There is the New Left that thinks to answer to everything is Socialism and Corbyn
- There are active, free-thinking and objective citizens who grasp precisely the mess we’re in, but feel both outnumbered and unsure about how to obtain a larger share of voice.
As always, the best way to bring the chaotic, confusing nature of information to life is to take some hot “stories” from now, while thinking about the above consumers of it.
“DONALD Trump is to sack his national security advisor H.R. McMaster just days after ousting his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, as his purge of White House staff continues, it has been reported.” (Fox News)
Having just taken on a CIA lifer as Secretary of State, President Trump is now f”about to fire” the most hawkish neoconservative in his administration. Or he isn’t. God knows what’s going on, but God doesn’t exist….so nobody outside the inner circle knows.
“The US has imposed sanctions on 19 Russians, accusing them of interference in the 2016 US election and alleged cyber-attacks. They include 13 individuals charged last month by Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin accused the Russians of destructive cyber-attacks.” (The BBC)
The US now imposes sanctions on the accused – not on the basis of shared and rigorously questioned data. No bureau of officialdom anywhere in the Washington circle has yet come up publicly with a shred of solid evidence.
“When Stepan Mikhailov, a 19-year-old linguistics student, talks about his lifetime spent under Russian President Vladimir Putin, a troubled look passes over his face. “I don’t think I have a single friend who thinks that Putin is good,” he says. (Washington Post)
Sorry Stepan Lone Wolf, but you’re wildly atypical: many Russians have an equivocal view of Putin, but an equal number admire his skills in foreign policy and dedication to his country. Why did the Washpost – an allegedly liberal paper – publish the negative views of one bohemian student now?
“Russia is sending a hostile message of war to the world. Putin and his cronies have reacted to evidence Russia ordered the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury by raising tensions with barely veiled warnings of military action. And the latest is the testing of the terrifying ‘Satan 2.” (Daily Express)
Never known for its subtlety, the Express is for those traditionalists who go “America good, Russia bad”. All the US mideast, Ukrainian and Syrian provocations are ignored: for them, it’s still the USSR really, nothing has changed.
“Although nerve-rackingly escalatory in the invective directed at the United States, Putin didn’t just start ordering his military to come up with these sophisticated missiles because the Trump administration focused on great power competition in its National Security Strategy, National Defense Strategy and Nuclear Posture Review. Rather, those reports are a response to the behaviors of Russia and China, who are both contesting the United States in various regions of the world. Part of that contest involves building missiles meant to hold at risk U.S. assets that, if targeted, would have strategic effects.” (US defence industry spokesman)
What else was he going to say? But the ‘are both contesting the United States in various regions of the world’ go at Beijing and Moscow is a peach: I mean, how very dare they contest CIA Texas Pentagon’s God-given right to run Eastern Europe and Asia….which just happens to be where “the enemy” lives?
“A ‘suspicious person’ alert prompted lockdowns for several schools in Florida’s Broward County – the same district where 17 people died during a school shooting in Parkland last month.” (API)
Several schools are locked down because any American kook can walk into a gun shop, and walk out armed to the teeth. This is more bad news for the NRA.
” A new pedestrian bridge collapsed onto a road at a Florida college, crushing at least five vehicles under massive slabs and killing several people, authorities said. Several people were seen being loaded into ambulances and authorities launched search and rescue missions”. (breakingnews.ie)
A bridge has collapsed in a college in the same State. It’s a tragedy, people are dead, and the bridge was brand new. The local media are on it round the clock. The lockdown disappears off the radar.
Now, from my point of view, I would still argue that to believe a special interest group created several deaths as a distraction from the fact that they trade in death requires the sort of conspiracist brain that spends much of its time talking to purple worms from the Andromeda galaxy. I think the two events are probably entirely coincidental.
But I don’t know any more that such is the case….and neither do you. All I do know is that tobacco, oil, the CIA, Reagan, Bush Sr, John McCain, America’s carmakers, the State department, Bush Jr, Barack Obama, NATO, Libor, Wolfgang Schäuble, Goldman Sachs and Hillary Clinton variously lied, faked, hid, orchestrated, exaggerated and blocked everything from the release of Iranian hostages, the pharmacology of smoking, fracking returns, terrorist dangers, deadly ‘safety’ features, Al Q’aida, a US Ambassador’s death, a chief accountant’s suicide, an entire war in Iraq, all Western interest rates, the size of the Greek debt and gas attacks on innocent civilians in Syria.
It is a far from level playing field free thinkers and commentators face now. Comfort, ignorance, laziness, time starvation and narrow education have created populaces ready to believe any old tosh. Equally, the concentration of media ownership, politicisation of the police, increased powers of secret services, transfer of wealth from citizen and State to corporations, and dedication of the LibLeft tendency to denialist nonsense have doubled the danger by actively promoting the idea that today is not Friday at all, it is in fact Finchley Central on the Northern Line – and tomorrow it may well be Mrs Ingot’s washing on the line in Pennsylvania.
Those who see the idiocies of Now are ill-informed, misinformed, divided, distracted and deliberately marginalised.
I think that, right now, the core of Western human beings with the time, resources, energy and skills required to tackle the Leviathan of lies is no more than one in fifteen of us. But with the right portal online, that could become one in eight very quickly.
In the old media, cost cuts and self-censorship have decreed that investigative journalism is now dead. The portal I suggest and foresee would look to sponsorship and crowd-funding of such journalism online….of investigation without fear or favour, and devoid of any ideological belief beyond that of decency, fairness, honesty and ethics in the pursuit of the greatest fulfilment of the greatest number in society.
I’ve been making this appeal now for over five years. Somebody crammed with morality and money somewhere surely wants to do it.