Why the Mainstream Media is Failing


11 July 2017

The latest broadcast of ABC’s Media Watch (10.7.17) lamented the imminent demise of mainstream journalism. It pointed to the hundreds of job losses suffered by journalists, declining readership and plummeting income from advertising. Blame was attributed to social media outlets such as Google and Facebook poaching their revenue. A handful of young people were shown, stating that they never watched the news presumably tv) and that they got their “news” from their iPhones.

But a description is not a diagnosis. Media Watch, in common with all mainstream media outlets, are either unable or unwilling to ask the central question: why are people deserting the msm in droves? One suspects that the question is not asked because they are unlikely to like the response. In this writer’s opinion, people have deserted the msm because, thanks to alterative media sites offering news and opinion, they understand that the msm is part of an establishment that filters not only opinion, but also basic facts.

They know from reading an ever-growing number of excellent sites that there is a wealth of information on important issues about which they have been systematically deprived. They further appreciate that an informed opinion based on uncensored facts offers a different appreciation of the world and how its really works. The “official” version offered up on a daily basis by the msm serves more often than not to benefit and support the power and privileges of select groups.

The interlocking ownership and cross-directorships of major media organisations with prominent members of the military industrial complex offers a clue as to the stance taken by the media on reporting, or often more importantly, failing to report, relevant information. One illustration of that is Rupert Murdoch’s association with Genie Energy, a company given oil and gas exploration rights in Israel’s illegally occupied Golan Heights. (The Economist 7 November 2015)  Knowing that connection is important to understanding News Corp’s support for the Tel Aviv regime. The connection is not disclosed in Murdoch media outlets.

We are now reaching an important threshold stage in that more and more people are becoming aware of how they have been misled, misinformed, or kept in the dark about relevant information. It is unlikely that the Senate committee inquiring into the msm’s troubles will address this issue.

Some brief not so random examples from this writer’s experience will illustrate a wider point.

The 1963 JFK Assassination. The msm persists, more than 50 years after the event, in the myth that JFK was shot by “lone nut” gunman Lee Harvey Oswald. This is despite a vast volume of information, including from official reports such as the scarcely reported Assassination Records Review Board’s reports (based on release of over a million official documents) that demonstrated that there were multiple shooters in Dealey Plaza on 22 November 1963; Oswald was not one of them; that the actual assassins had connections at the highest levels of the military-industrial-intelligence complex; that the fatal shot came from in front of Kennedy; and that the official autopsy was both incompetently done and the results covered up. (Horne Inside the ARRB 5 Vols (2009); de Eugenio Reclaiming Parkland (2013); Douglass JFK and the Unspeakable (2008).

The 1968 Assassination of RFK. The Los Angeles Coroner reported that the fatal shot to Senator Kennedy’s head was from 2-3cm behind him; that the man still languishing in prison for the assassination, Sirhan Sirhan was several feet in front of Kennedy; that more shots were fired than Sirhan’s gun contained; and that the LAPD actively destroyed evidence. (www.jfklancer.com) There is separate evidence of connections between the plotters of both Kennedy assassinations. (www.maryferrell.org) None of this is reported.

The 9/11 Attacks. Two facts from this seminal event alone blow the official story out the window. Bear in mind that the official story has been used to justify the endless “War on Terror” that has resulted in multiple invasions of Muslim nations and the deaths of millions of people, as well as the destruction of what few protections we have against State power, all in the name of fighting terrorism and justified by the events of 9/11.

The first fact is that the “collapse” of World Trade Centre towers 1, 2 and 7 on the official version is literally impossible because it defies some very basic laws of physics. Even alleged Muslim terrorists are not that clever. The only explanation consistent with the known facts and the laws of physics is that all three buildings were brought down by controlled demolitions. (www.europhysicsnews.org)

The second fact derives from the Report of the 9/11 Commission. The Commission’s description of the alleged hijackers (Arab looking, wearing red bandanas, carrying box knives etc) relies upon the alleged phone conversations of Barbara Olsen, a passenger on Flight 93 that allegedly flew into the Pentagon (a separate fantasy) with her husband Ted Olsen the Solicitor General. (Griffin The 9/11 Commission Report, 2005)

The FBI gave sworn evidence at the trial of Zachariah Moussaoui, the so-called “20th hijacker”) in which they presented an analysis of all the alleged phone calls made from the four planes featured that day. Of Mrs Olsen’s calls to her husband, the FBI said: “Mrs Olsen made two attempted phone calls. Each lasted zero seconds.” (US versus Moussaoui Exhibit Number P200054).

Perhaps needless to say, none of this FBI evidence has been reported by the msm.

Flight MH17. This flight was shot down over eastern Ukraine in 2014 with the loss of more than 50 Australian residents or citizens among its fatalities. The flight was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. Shortly after the tragedy, the four countries then investigating, signed a memorandum agreeing that none of the results of the investigation would be released without the consent of all four parties. This gave Ukraine, one of the prime suspects, an effective veto over publication of the results. (www.counterpunch.org 19 December 2014; www.independentaustralia.net 6 October 2016) The fact of this memorandum’s existence has never been published in the Australian msm. There is a great deal else that has also been suppressed because it does not fit the msm narrative that the shoot down was done either by Russians or by Russian backed Ukrainian “rebels.”

These are but a very limited sample of literally hundreds of major geo-political stories over the past decades. What all of them have in common is the suppression, or distortion, of major relevant facts, the possession of which is essential to an understanding of what really happened and why.

This did not happen by chance or inadvertence. The official version of events is repeated ad nauseum although it is impossible that the msm is not as aware of the facts as anybody who makes even a small effort to discover more.

Current illustrations of this phenomenon include the reporting of the wars in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen; the continuing outrage of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians; the barrage of misinformation about the South China Sea, North Korea, Iran and Russia (usually accompanied by demonization or casual slander of their leaders); and ill-informed comment on China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

In a separate but related category, we are subjected to an entirely fanciful set of scenarios about the F35 fighter jet, the submarine purchase, and the utility of acquiring a missile defence system.   Everyone will have their own list of comparable examples.

Thanks to the internet and the courage and integrity of writers and editors on a growing number of sites presenting news and comment, people who choose to make even a modest effort can be better informed that they have been by past reliance upon the msm.

The msm seems unable to grasp this reality. Hence the calls for Amazon or Facebook to subsidize their failed business model, and a dangerous desire by politicians and others to “control” the Internet. If we are to have a real democracy where access to real information can be used to hold the politicians and others to account, then an unfettered flow of information and analysis offers the best hope.

*Barrister at Law and geopolitical analyst. He can be contacted at joneill[at]qldbar.asn.au

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