We live on a planet where reality only exists beyond the old, mainstream media. If you want any more evidence that they have been taken over – and are now controlled by malign scriptwriters – I can’t tell you where to find it.
What sets contemporary media apart from the set that existed in my youth is mainly in two areas: first, the surreal construction of ‘news priority’ hierarchies; and second, the blithe lack of any objectively gathered evidence beyond ‘we have learned that’. For the political and show business class to be pushing their maltreatment by the tabloids to the front of the queue only goes to illustrate what engorged egos they have.
We don’t need Leveson2, we need Swampdrain1.
The Talking Point of the Day on Sky News this morning is ‘do celibate but cohabiting parents make better parents?’
Way, way down the list (relegated to the politics feature at 10 am) is the appalling statistic that 400 million people on Earth are now displaced – the vast majority of them as a result of human conflict, and by far the largest proportion in one country alone….Syria.
Not a second of analysis about where the blame lies for this occurred either during or after the item.
The channel accepted that the top story developing overnight is the apparent collapse of the outlook for Trump’s North Korea summit. All the main Western channels did the same.
Again, analysis of why was not forthcoming beyond puerile observations about Kim Jong Un playing games – a reasonable assumption given his track-record, but not exactly new information – some South Korean leaders saying they don’t think it’s looking good, and North Korea issuing the usual formal statements about “aggression”.
None of these self-perpetuating “global” news channels have any real talent on the ground taking risks and digging around in 2018: the accountants and the shareholders (and the Alt State) have said “None of that, thank you” – so that’s the end of independent news gathering. The old newshounds of 1940s film noir have turned into press-pack poodles.
So in the absence of anything being uncovered (let alone covered) as such, here are six educated speculations from little ol’ Slog in the middle of nowhere:
- John Bolton and his Alt State chums were caught off guard by the sudden thaw from North Korea, but now they’re back on the case of f**king up any chance of peace. The Pentagon decision to hold new naval/military exercises (close to the North) jointly with South Korea seems crass at best and deliberately bellicose at worst.
- The North Korean military class that really runs the régime gave Kim a gentle warning that any more prancing about on the world stage as a Man of Peace would be rewarded with a tragically mysterious death in a shooting accident.
- The entire politico-military class of North Korea was swayed by President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal. It seemed to them clear that the US wants revenge for Iran’s history of cocking a snook at America the Beautiful, and so they decided to reverse course and not be the next victim of enforced disarmament.
- The “let’s be nice for once” game played by Kim and his minders is simply part of a longer-term strategy by North Korea to be the world’s leading scare-the-crap out of everyone rogue nation that demands blackmail money in order to repair the large holes in its woeful economy.
- China became – in the light of US/Israeli bullying of its ally Iran – nervous about the speed of reconciliation in Korea. Beijing has thus instructed the North to engage reverse gear.
- Mike Pompeo didn’t offer enough capital injection and trade promises to keep Kim’s entourage in business, so now they’re playing brinkmanship to up the ante.
These scenarios are not, of course, mutually exclusive. But they do help to, at worst, potentially cushion the shock of what comes next, and at best, stand a chance of outing the odd dissenter here and there who might tell us more.
George Orwell once wrote that ‘the job of journalism is to publish information that important people would rather remained secret. Everything else is just PR’.
Updating that a little, quite a lot of ‘everything else’ these days is misinformation, distraction and pure invention. But considering he made the observation almost exactly 70 years ago, he remains one of the most prescient communications geniuses in modern history.