Media Lens: Launchpad For A Revolution? Russell Brand, The BBC And Elite Power By David Cromwell

30 October 2013 — Media Lens

When someone with interesting things to say is granted a high-profile media platform, it is wise to listen to what is being said and ask why they have been given such a platform. Comedian and actor Russell Brand’s 10-minute interview by Jeremy Paxman on BBC’s Newsnight last week was given considerable advance publicity and generated enormous reaction on social media and in the press, just as those media gatekeepers who selected Brand to appear would have wished.

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Why bad movies keep coming out and what to do about it By John Pilger

17 October 2013 — John Pilger

As an inveterate film fan, I turn to the listings every week and try not to lose hope. I search the guff that often passes for previews, and I queue for a ticket with that flicker of excitement reminiscent of matinees in art deco splendour. Once inside, lights down, beer in hand, hope recedes as the minutes pass. How many times have I done a runner? There is a cinema I go to that refunds your money if you’re out the door within 20 minutes of the opening titles. The people there have knowing looks. My personal best is less than five minutes of the awful Moulin Rouge. 

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WikiLeaks is a rare truth-teller. Smearing Julian Assange is shameful By John Pilger

14 February 2013 — John Pilger

Last December, I stood with supporters of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange in the bitter cold outside the Ecuadorean embassy in London. Candles were lit; the faces were young and old and from all over the world. They were there to demonstrate their human solidarity with someone whose guts they admired. They were in no doubt about the importance of what Assange had revealed and achieved, and the grave dangers he now faced. Absent entirely were the lies, spite, jealousy, opportunism and pathetic animus of a few who claim the right to guard the limits of informed public debate. 
 
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Imperialism, despotism, and democracy in Syria By Joseph Massad

6 February 2012 — MCW

democracy in SyriaIn the context of the US invasion of the Gulf in 1991, British academic Fred Halliday announced his new right-wing affiliations in the British newspaper the New Statesman by declaring: “If I have to choose between imperialism and fascism, I choose imperialism.” It never occurred to Halliday that he could have opposed both and supported home-grown democratic struggles instead.

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The imperialist rape of Libya By John Pilger

13 September 2011 — Morning Star

Today one of the world’s biggest arms fairs opened in London, backed by the British government.

On September 8 the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry held a preview entitled Middle East: A Vast Market For UK Defence And Security Companies. The host was the Royal Bank of Scotland, a major investor in cluster bombs.

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‘Public Opinion’: The Phantom Menace By John Brissenden

19 April 2011 — New Left Project

“It remains…an axiom of conventional wisdom that the use of propaganda as a means of social and ideological control is distinctive of totalitarian regimes. Yet the most minimal exercise of common sense would suggest a different view: that propaganda is likely to play at least as important a part in democratic societies (where the existing distribution of power and privilege is vulnerable to quite limited changes in popular opinion) as in authoritarian societies (where it is not). It is arguable that the success of business propaganda in persuading us, for so long, that we are free from propaganda is one of the most significant propaganda achievements of the twentieth century.” – Alex Carey (1997): 21[1]

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