‘Our Indifference To Ourselves’ – Beyond The ‘Virtue’ Of Self-Sacrifice – Part 2

11 February 2021 — Media Lens

Cogitation By David Edwards

As we saw in Part 1, in 1914 and again in 1939, millions of men and women welcomed war. Arnold Ridley and his pals did make this choice, but in reality the choice had been made for them by decades and centuries of the relentless ‘patriotic’ propaganda described by Tolstoy, which most people were powerless to resist.

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‘Our Indifference To Ourselves’ – Beyond The ‘Virtue’ Of Self-Sacrifice – Part 1

9 February2021 — Media Lens

A Cogitation by David Edwards

The name Arnold Ridley will be familiar to many viewers of ‘Dad’s Army’, one of Britain’s best-loved TV comedies, which ran a long time ago (1968-1977) but is still shown on prime time BBC TV.

Ridley played Private Godfrey, the loveable, most doddery member of a Second World War platoon of elderly Home Guard troops tasked with defending a stretch of the British coast ‘from the Novelty Rock Emporium to Stone’s Amusement Arcade’.

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Stuck In A Lift With John Pilger – ‘News And How To Use It’ by Alan Rusbridger

4 December 2020 — Media Lens

Noticing the way journalists seemed unable to resist commenting on our work, even if it was just to slag us off, Glenn Greenwald tweeted us in 2012:

‘You are really deeper in the heads of the British establishment-serving commentariat than anyone else – congrats.’ (Greenwald, Twitter, 12 September 2012)

If that was true then, our relationship with the commentariat now feels more like a case of out of sight, out of mind. We have been blocked en masse on Twitter, even by loveable liberals like Jeremy Bowen, Jon Snow, Mark Steel (yes, ‘radical’ Mark Steel!), Steve Bell, Frankie Boyle (the less said about that the better) and, of course, Owen Jones and George Monbiot.

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The Dead And Those About To Die – Climate Protests And The Corporate Media

17 November 2020 — Media Lens

The Roman poet Horace famously declared:

‘Dulce et decorum est pro patrie mori.’

It is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country. Wilfred Owen, the great English poet of the First World War, described this phrase as ‘the old Lie’ in his famous war poem, ‘Dulce et decorum est’. Patriotism so often means ‘honouring’ those who ‘fell in service to this country’, grand ceremonies at war memorials, feasts of royal pageantry. And then sending yet more generations of men and women to fight in yet more wars.

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‘None Of It Reported’: How Corporate Media Buried The Assange Trial

7 October 2020 — Media Lens

One of the most imposing features of state-corporate propaganda is its incessant, repetitive nature. Over and over again, the ‘mainstream’ media have to convince the public that ‘our’ government prioritises the health, welfare and livelihoods of the general population, rather than the private interests of an elite stratum of society that owns and runs all the major institutions, banks, corporations and media. Continue reading

‘Absolute And Arbitrary Power’: Killing Extinction Rebellion And Julian Assange

9 September 2020 — Media Lens

The use and misuse of George Orwell’s truth-telling is so widespread that we can easily miss his intended meaning. For example, with perfect (Orwellian) irony, the BBC has a statue of Orwell outside Broadcasting House, bearing the inscription:

‘If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.’

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UK: ‘A Perpetual Motion Machine Of Killing’

6 August 2020 — Media Lens

Alleged Cover-Up Of Civilians Murdered By UK Special Forces In Iraq And Afghanistan

On August 1, a rare in-depth investigative piece appeared on the BBC News website based on credible and serious allegations that UK Special Forces had executed unarmed civilians in Afghanistan. The BBC article was produced in tandem with a report, ‘”Rogue SAS Afghanistan execution squad” exposed by email trail’, published by the Sunday Times.

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‘Six Months To Avert Climate Crisis’: Climate Breakdown And The Corporate Media

22 June 2020 — Media Lens

In his classic science fiction novel, ‘Foundation’, Isaac Asimov posited a future in which ‘psychohistorians’ could predict outcomes based on past history and the large-scale behaviour of human populations by combining psychology and the mathematics of probability. Using ‘psychohistory’, the protagonist Hari Seldon discovers that the 12,000-year-old Galactic Empire will collapse in 500 years. He warns the galactic rulers of this likely fate, while explaining that an alternative future in which human knowledge is preserved can be attained. For his trouble, he is exiled to the remote planet of Terminus.

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An Illusion Of Protection: The Pandemic, The ‘Criminal’ Government And Public Distrust of The Media

18 May 2020 — Media Lens

‘Right from the start we’ve tried to throw a protective ring around the our care homes. We set out our first advice in February – we’ve made sure care homes have the resources they need’ says Health Secretary Matt Hancock.’Sky News May 15, 2020

Any notion that the UK government actually considers that its primary responsibility is to protect the health and security of the country’s population ought to have been demolished in 2020. The appalling death toll that continues to mount during the coronavirus pandemic is largely rooted, not merely in government ‘incompetence’, but in criminal dereliction of its core duties in a supposedly democratic society.

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‘Can I Keep You Safe? Your Future Is Uncertain’: Climate And The Fate Of Humanity

1 March 2020 — Media Lens

In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, the most immediate objective is to slow its spread, minimise the death toll and help people through the crisis.  But, despite government promises to support citizens who are now losing their jobs and income, the underlying establishment concern will be as it always has been: to preserve the global inequitable system of wealth and power.

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‘For Unknown Reasons They Waited. And Watched’ – Lancet Editor Exposes Devastating Government Failure On Coronavirus

20 March 2020 — Media Lens

Over the last 20 years, we have documented some shocking examples of journalistic irresponsibility, but the tweet from ITV’s political editor Robert Peston on March 14 was something special. With China, South Korea, Italy, Spain and other countries in shutdown, lockdown and general medical meltdown, with the UK reeling from rising cases and deaths – with the elderly, in particular, facing a terrifying threat that had already claimed thousands of lives around the world – Peston tweeted:

‘Revealed: elderly to be quarantined at home or in care homes for four months, in “wartime-style” mobilisation to combat Coronavirus. Full details here.’

That was that! No comfort, no reassurance, no careful qualification from government spokespeople and medical experts; just a link to an article, which also offered cold comfort for worried readers.

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With Head Lowered And Eyes Averted – Israeli Racism And The ‘Honourable’ Robert Peston

26 February 2020 — Media Lens

Robert Peston is one of the UK’s most high-profile broadcast journalists, renowned for his theatricality and… curious… halting… delivery. As political editor of ITV News he has enormous influence, including 1 million followers on Twitter, just behind the BBC’s political editor, Laura Kuenssberg, with 1.1 million. He also hosts a weekly ITV political discussion show, ‘Peston’. From 2006-2014, Peston was the business editor for BBC News and from 2014-2015 economics editor. Before that, he worked at the Financial Times 1991-2000, becoming the financial editor in charge of business and financial coverage. He then became a contributing editor of the hard-right magazine The Spectator and a weekly columnist for The Daily Telegraph. In 2001, he switched to the Sunday Times, where he wrote a weekly business profile, ‘Peston’s People’. The son of a Lord, Baron Peston of Mile End, he is entitled to use the ‘courtesy’ title, ‘The Honourable’.

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