Friday, March 25, 2011

Clandestine Journalism

Since the end of the cold war, the world, it seems, has believed that all those spies, lies and video tapes have come to an end, paving the way for a new information order. But for the US, the Rasputins of the unipolar world, the imbalance in news flow has to be maintained or created to enjoy the fiat to rule the world. And thus the propaganda prevailed assuming the dimension of a new form of journalism. This has been the dilemma of the media too, that it was so confused to distinguish news from views. Till then propa­ganda came of its own, and was tethered to political and strategic moves and at times of hostilities. Never was it combined with jour­nalism to mislead the public. As a media person one could discriminate propaganda, but this new form was so deceptive even for the scribes adept at camouflage, for some times they came as events to be reported.
Every 'media event' in the world history, since the CNN' s infamous coverage of the Gulf war in 1991 bears testimony to this, the latest being the Jenin episode and the siege of Palestine. Never before have the media been so brutal, and the profession so debased as it resorted to suppress the facts besides manipulating it. The mas­sacre at Jenin gives a good picture, as it has become a propaganda bat­tle where the press had to show 'the basic instincts of the profession' but never done. The question why the newscasters of the CNN or the BBC made no attempt to go in search of the facts remains to be answered. They say that IDF (Israeli army) prevented the media from entering the point, but the CNN could have 'sneaked in', as they usually do but they were 'not interested' .
The attitude of the CNN remains that of endorsing the Israeli propa­ganda that 'it was possible to erase the whole camp, with its residents, with a few precise hits of F-16 bomber jets, thereby eliminating all the terrorists with no casualties to the Israeli army. But the army took an enormous risk of actual fighting, in order to save Palestinian life. 'If this is the range of options, the Israeli army proved in Jenin that it is a truly humane army', says a report of the Indy Media Centre from Israel, and so they need not harass the IDF any more! This soft corner is not particular to the CNN but also applicable to the major newspapers like The Washington Post and The New York Times. The editorial ‘Terrorism and Nationalism' written by The Washington Post on 24 April is alarming as it goes on to justify the Israeli atrocities and the US support on grounds of 'terrorism' and also a vindication of their stand. And more there are racial equations that are linked to the major US media business of news production and entertainment since they are owned by the Jews, or in other words the Jewish lobby manipulates the public opinion in the US. They include the AOL-Time Warner, CNN news group, Walt Disney, ESPN, Fox News, the major newspapers such as The Washington Post, New York Times and the Wall Street Journal and the news magazines Time and Newsweek. Why should they go against the Jews? 'The Jewish media also determine the foreign policy of the US and permit Jewish interests in the issues of war and peace, writes the conservative National Vanguard Magazine. The abstention of the British and EU media seems to be linked with their national interest, which involves crucial trade agreements with Israel. It is to be noted that the 'UK government supports the export of British-made arms and components to Israel, including those used to' perpetrate war crimes against Palestinian civilians' (Guardian, 15 Mar 2002).
The US media had always been in the limelight of criticism, for its alleged manipulation of news with the help of the intelligence agen­cies. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), an online newswatch group, reports on its 'double stan­dard on the use of the word terror­ism which is not used in a consis­tent way, a problem that is wide­spread throughout U.S. media.' In last February, The New York Times (NYT) reported about Pentagon's Office of Strategic Influence's (OSI) plan 'to provide news items, possibly even false ones, to foreign media organisa­tions in an effort to influence pub­lic sentiment and policy makers in both friendly and unfriendly coun­tries.' OSI was formed soon after the Sept 11 attack, for US propa­ganda in Islamic nations. According to NYT the agency was assigned to carry out the mission of the US army's Psychological Operations Command (PSYOPS).

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