Friday, December 31, 2004

Iraq Vs. Tsunami: The Duplicity Of The Media

Not going to express any surprise about this article below. I know most of us have spent the last week being horrified and saddened about the disaster in South Asia. [Interesting sidenote: more than one person--three, actually--mentioned to me that they were sure that somehow, somehow even this could be traced back to D*ck Ch*ney. Who am I to argue?] We contributed to Oxfam, but there are many others. Take your pick.

Neither am I surprised that the American People have given/pledged more in aid than dumbyass originally pledged. I don't have the strength to go into my rant about lost opportunities for global cooperation and perceived American generosity due to B*shCo's craven nickel-biting, but suffice to say, another shining moment of sickening arrogance from these bastards. So the Dim Son's coronation is going to cost more than the amount he originally, begrudgingly, belatedly pledged to disaster victims? Well done, Commander Codpiece. You're so f*cking macho it hurts. And I could spit in math genius Colin Powell's eye with his faux indignance and arrogant statisticalizing of the amount the US gives to global relief efforts. Of course, we give the most money, but as a percentage of GDP we are dead last. That's the point, errand boy. My God, he has no dignity. Ech, it's everywhere. I don't have the heart to link to it. Instead, let's read how the pandering media whores spin tragedy with voyeuristic hubris:
The American media has descended on the Asian tsunami with all the fervor of feral animals in a meat locker. The newspapers and TV’s are plastered with bodies drifting out to sea, battered carcasses strewn along the beach and bloated babies lying in rows. Every aspect of the suffering is being scrutinized with microscopic intensity by the predatory lens of the media.

This is where the western press really excels: in the celebratory atmosphere of human catastrophe. Their penchant for misery is only surpassed by their appetite for profits.

Where was this “free press” in Iraq when the death toll was skyrocketing towards 100,000? So far, we’ve seen nothing of the devastation in Falluja where more than 6,000 were killed and where corpses were lined along the city’s streets for weeks on end. Is death less photogenic in Iraq? Or, are there political motives behind the coverage?

Wasn’t Ted Koppel commenting just days ago, that the media was restricting its coverage of Iraq to show sensitivity for the squeamishness of its audience? He reiterated the mantra that filming dead Iraqis was “in bad taste” and that his American audience would be repelled by such images? How many times have we heard the same rubbish from Brokaw, Jennings and the rest of their ilk?

Well, it looks like Koppel and the others have quickly switched directions. The tsunami has turned into a 24 hour-a-day media frenzy of carnage and ruin, exploring every facet of human misery in agonizing detail.

The festival of bloodshed is chugging ahead at full-throttle and it’s bumping up ratings in the process.

Corporate media never fails to astound even the most jaded viewer. Just when it appears that they’ve hit rock-bottom, they manage to slip even deeper into the morass of sensationalism. The manipulation of calamity is particularly disturbing, especially when disaster is translated into a revenue windfall. Koppel may disparage “bad taste”, but his boardroom bosses are more focused on the bottom line. Simply put, tragedy is good for business.

When it comes to Iraq, however, the whole paradigm shifts to the right. The dead and maimed are faithfully hidden from view. No station would dare show a dead Marine or even an Iraqi national mutilated by an errant American bomb. That might undermine the patriotic objectives of our mission: to democratize the natives and enter them into the global economic system. Besides, if Iraq was covered like the tsunami, public support would erode extremely quickly, and Americans would have to buy their oil rather than extracting it at gunpoint. What good would that do?
Read more.... Sigh.
Dissents and Laments

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