War on Propganda
Watching the news on TV, or reading it in the paper, you may be forgiven for believing the entire news media is out to parody itself. It all sounds like some sort of badly written thriller that you might find carelessly strewn across the pages of a very thin half-price paper-back novel. Possibly some sort of aborted Stephen King effort.
I’m not going to go into detailed reasons for my disgust with the media just now, because I’m too tired to properly articulate them. Instead I’ll just overview a few things that really rankle, and give brief half explanations as to why.
- The repeated use of the phrase “War on Terror” - a sensationalist phrase with no meaning. It’s not a war. It’s not even terror. I suppose you could call it terror, but it’s the media that are whipping up any ‘terror’ that might be being felt, not the supposed terrorists. What’s the most effective weapon ‘terrorists’ have in this ‘War on Terror’? It’s not the planes, the bombs, or the killings. It’s the media, who act like a sort of self-lighting accelerant, able to turn the smallest dullest ember into a raging forest fire using nothing but sensationalist substance-less waffle. Hell, ‘terrorists’ don’t even need to actually put a plan into action to cause global chaos any more. How about this for a plan Mr News Reporter: shut up working yourself into a tizzy and emoting, just report the news. No I don’t need to go live to the bloody scene, where your correspondent can’t tell me anything new, but can instead fill another five minutes repeating what you just told me, but using more adjectives, more arm waves, and the same ‘catchy’ little phrase repeated throughout.
- The phrase “Very real threat” - as opposed to a not real threat? What, were all the other threats you keep telling us about un-real? In what way was the latest ‘foiled terror plot’ very real? How do you propose there to be degrees of reality?
- The phrase “Climate of Fear” - have you been out and asked the public? I think you’ll find very few people are actually afraid they are going to get blown up in an act of terrorism. Sensationalist propaganda.
The whole ‘terror’ thing smells like a whopping great excuse for a crack down on civil liberties, getting the public used to spontaneous heavy handed restrictions, and not very much else. The way the media and my government appear to be using tragic events as an excuse for doing their own thing disgusts and appals me. I can’t help but feel we’re being acclimatised to a higher level of state control. It’s like we’re being weaned off our civil liberties, ready for tomorrows Robocop-esque society. I can see us already on the path to giving up all our forebears hard won rights and freedoms.
I’ll let you in on a secret of how to be less depressed and worried - stop watching the news on TV, stop reading about it in the paper. Neither of those media outlets are interested in the accurate reporting of news - they are both after market share and money. They report accordingly. If you want to stay abrest of ‘big’ news, just carry on with life. If it’s ‘big’ news then you’ll see it all over the web or hear it on the street without needing to go out of your way to discover it - almost anything else isn’t worth getting worked up over.