Friday, May 21, 2010

A flashback to bash hacks

SINCE IT'S ABOUT TIME for another Bilderberg meeting, I thought I'd include this oldie that I wrote back in late 2008, but was too busy to actually post on a blog.

YEAH -- citizen journalism unnerves the establishment.

I'm watching a New York University panel discussion about the future of the media. Sitting on the panel are luminaries such as New York Times managing editor Jill Abramson and former "CBS Evening News" anchor Dan Rather, as well as journalism professor Jay Rosen.

In the Q&A session, a young college-age guy comes up and asks Rather about an on-air remark he made on September 11, 2001, that the collapsing World Trade Center 7 looked like it had been deliberately destroyed by well-placed dynamite."

"Do you still hold the belief ... that there were bombs in the building ... [that they were]  in your words, taken down by 'well-placed dynamite'?" the guy asked.

Rather responded tersely that his words that day were only a "metaphor."

Next, another young guy got up and aimed a question at the panel in general: Have any of them ever heard of the Bilderberg Group, and if so, why hasn't the New York Times ever covered it? "I've covered it," he said -- over shouts of objections, apparently from the moderator -- "and I've gotten death threats."


After the kid tried to repeat his question -- above attempts by the heavy-handed moderator to shut him down -- Abramson finally said something. "I do know what he's talking about," Abramson drawled in her brain-dead fashion, "But I don't really have an extended comment on your question." Then it was time to move on to the next question, a typical bland, safe question from another student.  

In response to this question, Abramson, pretend journalist, was happy to pontificate for several minutes:

We’ve seen in recent years an appetite for … likeminded journalism. That’s what some of the audience want. … But all I can tell you that the appetite for fair, deep, authoritative journalism is huge and healthy. And when, as in the past month, we’ve had this financial crisis develop, our audience, the demand for the Times Online, in print, for that kind of news you can trust -- news that informs, news that investigates, news that tells you the story behind the story – that appetite is robust and it is an honor to have this job in times like this when you know people really are turning the news and turning to the Times for information. There’s a sea of rumors, people with all kinds of opinions and conspiracy theories about what is going on now. But large audiences want a trusted news source who will give them information that is … central to their lives. ...

In the minutes following this viewers were treated to similar high-minded rhetoric. Without irony, Rather blathered about the "core ethic" of journalism as "being an honest broker of information." Its job is to "expose wrongdoing in high places." Yet American journalism, Rather opined, "has lost that grit in the gut." "The government needs an interlocutor. It needs a ... questioner."

None of this meant a thing because its utterers were frauds. They can't even cover, let alone comment on, the biggest story of the year about the biggest people anywhere. Bilderberg participants represent the biggest agglomeration of political, financial, corporate, military, and social power in the world, all gathering in the same place, every year. What story could be more central to our lives?  

By now, everybody who cares to know about Bilderberg, the groups allied with them, and their agenda, knows about it, thanks to the alternative media. Yet those at the pinnacle of media power -- who wrap themselves in the mantle of fearless pursuit of the truth -- are still, at this late date, claiming complete ignorance. Either they're too stupid to hold the jobs they do or they're too dishonest. Either way, they're frauds. Their profession, ultimately, is a fraud. They cover lots of smaller stories. They cover fragments and pieces. But they cannot cover -- can't even see, or admit that they see -- the biggest story on earth. There's a reason why they're being put out of business. 

 * This panel discussion was televised and archived at C-SPAN, here. See time 46:44 for the questions. The politically incorrect questions came thanks to members We Are Change, who display the spirit of real journalism, enterprise, and investigation lacking in Abramson's and Rather's sold-out corporate media.

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