Comment, Comics and the Contrary.
Many news stories slip from the headlines. BNP members are apparently caught with the material requirements for explosive terrorism
, but it is the utterly impossible plans of a fantasist that seizes the headlines
. Who can say why this is?
One story that seems to have more or less fallen completely from the journalistic field of vision is the upheavals taking place in Oaxaca. Mexican politics does not seem to figure highly in the British media consciousness; witness the difference in the tone and intensity of the reporting of post-disputed election Mexico with that enjoyed by the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine. And now there is barely a noise made on a labour dispute that has escalated into a popular and largely peaceful act of mass dissent, even rebellion. Who can say why this is?Socialist Worker carried an article on Oaxaca
, while Through The Scary Door
] has been watching the coverage of Britain’s more ‘reputable’ news providers with some care.
Who can say why this is? Why are the ‘decents’ reluctant to tackle the free press, apart from the racist slur of prefixing news providers with the appellation ‘al’? Perhaps the ‘free press’ is a similar entity to ‘terrorism’, the operation of which must be subject to analysis or explanation, except in terms of the foibles of ‘great men’.
Billy Bragg sang:
If this does not reflect your view you should understand
That those who own the papers also own this land
When you wake up to the fact
That your paper is Tory
Just remember, there are two sides to every story
But there is more than that, Billy, in the operation of the capitalist press. It does not work merely by providing a one-sided view of stories, but by making some stories prominent and by concealing others. Not as part of a conspiracy, but simply as the product of a world-view, the ideology of the capitalist press. And note that while the ‘decents’ will wail and scream over ‘Muslim censorship’ of British and European newspapers – something that simply does not happen given the simple fact that Muslims neither own major newspapers nor hold political power in Britain and Europe – they remain utterly silent over the everyday controls and constraints the shape the content and tone of the ‘free’ – read capitalist – press.
But I will close with a claim made in the spirit of Dhiren Barot. I plan to build a super-powerful laser by hoarding second-hand DVD players. I will then use Google Earth and my ‘Children’s Guide to the Planets’ to aim the laser, with devastating effect, at any point on the surface of the Earth. Of course, as we have seen from the ‘red mercury’ case, the fact that a terrorist plot is utterly implausible is no defence for the plotters once in court. So, while I might be interned due to my laser-based plans for world domination, you should all to remember that, at least on the evidence of these ‘plans’ I am not a danger to the future of civilisation.