Saturday, June 21, 2008

Teenage delinquent media dirtbags

Watching the wildly different coverage of different types of disasters around the world gives you an insight into the collective mindset of the media. Some disasters simply get little or no exposure because they are not photogenic. They do not provide a worthwhile 'story' to get the media excited.

The media reaction is rather like that of a teenage delinquent who cannot concentrate on anything for long and wants excitement all the time. The less picturesque and dramatic events are simply of no interest to them although millions may die or suffer. However, if there is something like a large earthquake with lots of pictures of suffering, death and destruction, that will capture their attention for a couple of days. Alternatively, if they can find a convenient political axe to grind such as with Zimbabwe or Myanmar, they will harp on about the dreadful reshime that is stopping western aid whilst using pictures of suffering to illustrate their argument.

If 1.5 million people in Gaza can be starved and besieged without the western public realising that this means more than a few road blocks and missiles hitting 'militants', that surely tells us something about the media agenda. The trivial events of reality TV shows and celebrity gossip take precedence over death and destruction (particularly if our governments are responsible).

The appeals for money and charity shows are only to massage away our collective guilt; to show that we are the 'good guys'. Never mind that most of the money never reaches the declared cause, if it fills up a few minutes of air time, then it's good cheap filler 'entertainment'.

If as a nation, we were truly concerned about the plight of the poor people in other nations, our trade terms and economic policies would be radically different. Instead as Mark Steele pointed out recently, we seem to have no problem flooding these countries with western made arms. There is no shortage of bullets, mines or bombs! We seem to have no problem funding political coups at enormous cost. We are extremely big-hearted when it comes to helping 'friendly' nuclear arms nations such as Israel terrorise the indigenous people. We are very generous when helping the oil giant corporations gain valuable contracts in oil rich countries. We are extremely munificent when bribing foreign officials to buy our weapons. Our capacity to fund our nuclear missile program and fund foreign invasions also seems to have no limit.


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