2012 11 11 Here’s a scrapbook on News, now there’s also a News Monthly, a kind of news scrapbook redated the first of each month, tracking current news.
2004 06 17
First Law of News
The most fundamental law of news is unwritten, more than half-unconscious: don’t report anything however true that would embarrass the advertisers or offend the publishers.
2008 05 04
We see what the media show us: how well are we aware of what the media omits to show us?
The car salesman tells you that the bumper is some blah blah alloy, that there are N coats of wax on the outer surface … Does he tell you that the car was in a head-on collision and that now the frame is crooked? due for failure?
The paper tells you that Mrs. So&So gave a gala party, that Ex-Congressman Greene will run again; but does it tell you how Morgan and Flagler and the US pried the Miccosukee off their beach in order to sell that land as “Palm Beach”?
Sometimes stories aren’t told because no one knows the necessary information. And oftentimes what isn’t known is deliberate on the part of someone who does know: or at least knows part, enough to want to repress the rest.
2006 01 18
More leisurely route to same:
What’s the first law of news? Inform the public? Sell newspapers (TV time, etc)? Make a profit? Provide employment for news men (printers, messengers, secretaries, printers …)?
My answer would normally be to “make a profit.” I would also emphasize that there’s more than one kind of profit: that the advertisers have to be happy, not necessarily individually but as a group, the publishers have to make a profit. … Some core part of the public has to feel like it’s “making a profit”: coming out ahead, getting something basic. …
But today I see not offending those who count as far more fundamental. No news organ will report truths too basic about the society. “We live on stolen land, utter stolen ideas …” is a story that will not run. For one thing, it’s not “news”: we already know it. Ah, but we don’t know that Flagler and Morgan, eyeing Florida’s east coast beaches and finding the nicest part, finding that the Mikosukee had been camped on that beach throughout tribal memory, connived with government to drive them off: so Flagler and Morgan could sell other people’s territory as their real estate. Since we don’t know it, that would be news; but you’ll never see that story in the popular press. We all know about Emminent Domain: how the state can take our front yard for a road way. There though there’s some sort of public-interest excuse. Flagler and Morgan teamed with US and Florida coercive powers for Flagler and Morgan. Imagine Emminent Domain now taking your back yard for Donald Trump to build a Donald Trump casino on.
Similarly, it’s news if an American soldier sprains his knee in Iraq; it’s not news how many Iraqis were dining under where the bomb fell. The German people knew something was up, something they’d best not look into too closely, but no Nazi papers ran daily totals of dissidents, gypsies, fags, Jews gassed or shot. The American people have no idea how many Vietnamese got killed when we were minding their business for them.
posting now, but I’ll expand the above.
2004 06 17
Let me propose a solution to a puzzle that has vexed all of us for nearly three years — since 9-11, actually. The puzzle concerns the sheer ubiquity of dissembling in the Age of Bush.
The crazy claims hit us every day: lies brazen, bold, and breathtaking in their degree of misrepresentation; assertions that are perfect inversions of what is true; claims so implausible that believing them would require a level of ignorance that no one who reads the daily newspaper could possess; analysis so twisted, it is a wonder that anyone could spout it without laughing.
Citing further: “What is startling is how the claims keep coming back, as if the people who promote them have no regard for the truth at all, and have no shame whatsoever about mouthing falsehoods again and again.” Gee. You mean like religion? Like education? Like civilization?
Read the whole article. Rockwell’s “explanation” is good: though I find him inexplicably optimistic. Be sure to see my parallel version of the same phenomena.
2006 07 26
Under Our Skirts, Under the Rug
Journalists who wish to be employed, not just submit material for infinite rejection, like pk, must understand their obligation not to look in certain places, and not to notice anything if they happen to look by accident. It isn’t just twat that the media never display. And the kleptocracy, any kleptocracy, any human government I can imagine, controls which areas the journalists are permitted into in the first place. There’s no such thing as inquiry without borders. The French kings could sort prisoners between those publicly imprisoned and those hidden in the dungeon: so could Stalin: so can the US. When could reporters look where they liked in Guantanamo? in the White House toilet? The woman’s dress, social codes, the woman herself … “say” you may look at my face, you may glance at my boobs; you may not look in my underwear.” Countries have closets, basements … secret archives: and also hidden evidence that no one knows about: not the Pentagon, not the president. But most things can be kept hidden in plain sight. Our own minds do the censoring. No all is transmitted between retina and brain.