Tuesday, February 15, 2005


/ media / submissive /
The exile points out a rather glaring discrepancy in journalistic standards across the Atlantic, once again indicating the rapid stalinization of the major corporate US TV channels - and their subservience to the State Department.

Let's not leave the "free press" out of this however. As Edward Herman points out in his recent article on Iraqi election coverage. The New York Times' commentary these elections: "Would Pravda have had the nerve to write something this brazen about Czechoslovakia in 1968 or Afghanistan under Soviet proxy rule?"


Vre said...

come on my friend! "The Exile" is hardly serious.

Are you kidding? Does Sky, BBC ITN, UK's Channel four carry full Bin Laden manifestos over the air? NO!

Channel four in their resposne noted that telvision stations have carried bin laden. But has Channel Four itself carried any full Bin Laden pronouncements? no.

You make a great and really incredible leap in speakingof this as an example of US media "staliniazation."

The fact is the euopean press is has many problems with government control. Criminal slander and libel against the state and against public individulas, including political persons are still on the books and prosecuted in Russia.

You are in Greece? I lived in Greece for many years, you had criminal libel laws as well. I know there were prosecutions and as far as I know these laws are still on the books.

"Criminal libel" and libel agains tthe state are both extroidinarly chillign to the press.Politicians, corporate entities etc all sue for libel in EUROPE, because they could not get away with it in the US.

Now directyly onto the case in point from the exile, eg terrorist manifestos etc. This is controlled by the LAW in Greece, is it not? there isn't and could never be such a law in the US. There is CERTAINLY a law againstit in Russia.

Your interpretation fo the comparision on the exile is flawed. and deeply so. The Kremlin is protesting a British station airing an interview.

Hmm why wasn't this interview aired by any station based in Russia? Because it illegal. That is very different from the October 2001 concensus which was really market driven.

I lived in Europe for 12 years. Including five in Greece and two in Russia. I am not talking the 1940's but the mid 80's to mid 90's. Even in many EU coutnrieys newspapers had to beg newsprint subsidies, whch were given out preferentially, control of television and broadcast media and laws that were not just vestigial but used. I am not talking about just Greece and Italy, but France and the UK.

Vre file, the elements affecting media are a) laws, b) commerical aspects such as consolidation and monopoly, c) and cultural bias.

Look, Condi Rice and five executives sitting around and considering it might be hurting the country to air full lenth manifestos by a patholigical murderer (who considers the Balkans to be part of the Caliphite) is awkward and was rightly derided in form. but it doen't make the actual conclusion any less valid.

Let's face, pcecisely because and only because of globalization -- which is why your words reacehd me -- media monopolies, on ownership and bias, are less and less meaningfull. thankfully government control is less meaningful as well.

talos said...

Are you suggesting that the BBC hasn't broadcast Bin Laden manifestos? Because you're wrong about that. Were they the *full* manifestos? I don't know, probably not, because they get a wee bit boring after a while. Yet Channel 4 broadcast Basayev's statements. So much for refusing to air terrorist statements. I'd bet that should the Russian government bother, say, CBS with a request not to air a similar interview, there would be an outrage... Thus, the double standards of the post's title.

When the major broadcasters come to "patriotic" agreements with the government over the content of their broadcasts, that is indeed "Stalinisation" / government control, regardless of the merit or the validity of the censored opinions.Your points about the European press, are (more-or-less, depending on the country) valid, yet in most EU nations, the editorial falling-in-line at the behest of governments on matters of foreign policy, is nowhere near as bad as the current situation in the US. There is more dissent and its being more broadly aired.

Greece, if anything, is among the worst in the EU on matters of freedom of speech. The libel laws are disgraceful. Yet when the government attempted to implement a law about forbidding the publishing of "terrorist's statements", it failed because a few of the editors refused to stand what amounted to state censorship. They went to jail, they braved it and the government gave up. This was a principled defence of the basic idea behind the "freedom of the press" thing. Similar stands for journalistic integrity used to be the case in the US (i.e. the Pentagon Papers), yet they are increasingly rare, aren't they, with the corporatization of the Media - and Condi Rice sitting with TV executives deciding what can and what can't be seen, doesn’t help.

And how does Russia figure into this? Is Putin's Russia a standard of freedom of speech? Should freedom of the press in the US be measured against the KGB-nouveau in charge of things in Moscow?

You realise, don't you, that by comparing the US with Russia on censorship and government control, you are sort of conceding the point... I mean that was what the exile was trying to say in the first place.

BTW, I share your scepticism as to the sanity of Mr. Bin Laden, yet, like it or not, what he says, exactly what he says, is news. And any news organization deciding not to air it reneges on their duties as journalists.

But anyway I'm will to agree that I misspoke: the trend towards Stalinisation is not confined to the US but is, through the increasing corporate domination of most western media, a world-wide phenomenon.

Finally as to your last paragraph: I *really* hope you're proven right. However the vast majority of the world's people get their news outside of the web - a situation that I fear is not likely to be reversed soon.