Monday, November 25, 2013

Cowardice of objective reporting, legal protests

Excerpted from an amazing website that I've just come across,
And, of course, I fully endorsed the opinions expressed below.
I also liked the idea of giving a lot of interesting links all together in a "links of the month" article. Want to try it sometime.

Greenwald and Hersh Take Aim at the Once-Respectable NYT: Glenn Greenwald, perhaps the best hope for the revival of true journalism in Western society, responds brilliantly to NYT Bill Keller's pathetic defence of that newspaper's disgraceful and subservient reporting of the Iraq war, Wikileaks, NSA surveillance, and more. Excerpt:

But [the NYT and other mainstream newspapers have] produced lots of atrocious journalism and some toxic habits that are weakening the profession. A journalist who is petrified of appearing to express any opinions will often steer clear of declarative sentences about what is true, opting instead for a cowardly and unhelpful "here's-what-both-sides-say-and-I-won't-resolve-the-conflicts" formulation. That rewards dishonesty on the part of political and corporate officials who know they can rely on "objective" reporters to amplify their falsehoods without challenge (i.e., reporting is reduced to "X says Y" rather than "X says Y and that's false").

Worse still, this suffocating constraint on how reporters are permitted to express themselves produces a self-neutering form of journalism that becomes as ineffectual as it is boring. A failure to call torture "torture" because government officials demand that a more pleasant euphemism be used, or lazily equating a demonstrably true assertion with a demonstrably false one, drains journalism of its passion, vibrancy, vitality and soul.

Sy Hersh, investigative reporter extraordinaire and frequent New Yorker contributor, goes even further than Greenwald, describing the NYT and other mainstream media as "obsequious" cowards who dutifully report outrageous government lies as facts, and asserts that Obama is "even worse than Bush". And meanwhile, Tom Englehardt urges other whistleblowers to come forward despite the risks, echoing what I wrote prophetically in one of this blog's earliest articles way back in 2003.


An Open Letter to Peaceful Protesters: Bineshii explains that modern, banal, "legal" protest demonstrations accomplish nothing, and what is needed is a return to true non-violent direct action, which is inherently and increasingly not "legal". Thanks to Khelsilem Rivers for the link.

Could Community Meshes Survive Collapse, and Defeat the NSA?: Community mesh networks, communication co-ops that cut out the giant price-gouging (and surveillance-complicit) ISPs, work on the same principle as the Internet itself — decentralized and co-owned by users responsible only to their communities. Thanks to Generation Alpha for the link.

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