Thursday, January 6, 2011

The MSM Calls For The Head Of Julian Assange

I wanted to round off NMP's coverage of Julian Assange and the WikiLeaks story with a list (courtesy of Alternet.org) of eight misconceptions and smears about WikiLeaks by the media. As Glenn Greenwald notes in his column over at Salon, the MSM is going at Mr. Assange and his reputation as if he were Saddam Hussein, and of course as we all know Saddam was Hitler. Of this approach to Mr. Assange, Greenwald says,

...there's something quite surreal about sitting there listening to a CNN anchor and her fellow CNN employee angrily proclaim that Julian Assange is a "terrorist" and a "criminal" when the CNN employee doing that is . . . . George W. Bush's Homeland Security and Terrorism adviser. Fran Townsend was a high-level national security official for a President who destroyed another nation with an illegal, lie-fueled military attack that killed well over 100,000 innocent people, created a worldwide torture regime, illegally spied on his own citizens without warrants, disappeared people to CIA "black sites," and erected a due-process-free gulag where scores of knowingly innocent people were put in cages for years. Julian Assange never did any of those things, or anything like them. But it's Assange who is the "terrorist" and the "criminal."
To Greenwald this episode is most notable because it marks the union of political figures and journalists, of whom he writes, There's just no difference in how they think, what their values and priorities are, how completely they've ingested and how eagerly they recite the same anti-WikiLeaks, "Assange = Saddam" script.

The collective behaviour of those in the media and their lack of scrutiny of what's actually in the cables themselves is an indictment of the press. Glennzilla writes with some awe,
What an astounding feat to train a nation's journalist class to despise above all else those who shine a light on what the most powerful factions do in the dark and who expose their corruption and deceit, and to have journalists -- of all people -- lead the way in calling for the head of anyone who exposes the secrets of the powerful.
What's really astonishing is how unsurprising this all is and how accepting we are of this as SOP for the press in the 21st century. Frankly, I'd like to go back to the 1960's when the 21st century still had promise.
 

Down The Memory Hole - 2010 Sucked! Part Two

I was trying to say in the previous post that I'm not a big fan of year end lists and  it doesn't always make sense with the news as there are the stories that will continue to play out and those that have played out. At the top of my mind for the year's most important story has to be the pace at which global warming is affecting the world's weather systems and how the climate this year mimicked the most alarming of the climate models predictions for the course climate change would take. It was an eye-opening year in climate science with seemingly innumerable scientific studies and predictions that point credibly to the fact that human civilization might be on the precipice. At the link posted above you will find reports from the most prestigious scientific organizations and what is being written there about the speed at which all of this is taking place.

 An important part of this is that the general public continues to ignore this story, with the help of the press of course. The voters are ill-served by a corporate friendly media, hoodwinked by special interest groups and their political allies who have a stake in things not changing, and so the public at large has been convinced into not doing anything at all. The science of what is coming is unequivocal -- unrestricted greenhouse gas emission's threaten catastrophe by the end of this century with MIT doubling their original estimate of global temperatures to increase by then by 5.1 degrees Celsius.

There is so little leadership from politicians on this issue that it is hard to fathom what it is they are reading. Here in Canada the Tories just appointed someone to the environmental portfolio who is guaranteed to do nothing. It's as if no one wants to have grand-kids and great grand-kids.





"Two pencils and a pair of underpants," is more than what North American politicians are bringing to table to help deal with the climate crisis!