Media Lens Alert: Some Matter More – When 47 Victims Are Worth 43 Words

MEDIA LENS: Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media

July 22, 2008

Bad Form

In his classic work, Obedience to Authority, psychologist Stanley Milgram observed:

“There is always some element of bad form in objecting to the destructive course of events, or indeed, in making it a topic of conversation. Thus, in Nazi Germany, even among those most closely identified with the ‘final solution’, it was considered an act of discourtesy to talk about the killings.” (Milgram, Obedience to Authority, Pinter & Martin, 1974, p.204)

The same “bad form” is very much discouraged in our own society. One would hardly guess from media reporting that Britain and America are responsible for killing anyone in Iraq and Afghanistan, where violence is typically blamed on “insurgents” and “sectarian conflict”. International “coalition” forces are depicted as peacekeepers using minimum violence as a last resort.

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