Media Naiveté

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Watching Robert Newman’s History of Oil (for the n-th time) the other day, I found myself chuckling to a part of his stand-up performance where he scorns the corporate media for their acquired naivete. He cannot get over the fact that media happily report on a “British and American plan to bring democracy to the Middle East” as if the plan were a fact and not just another attempt to control the oil fields in the region, which (by the way) the West has been doing for the last ninety years.

But he also notes that from time to time the corporate newsmedia basically fuck up and report the truth. He quotes the Times which apparently (I was unable to confirm that) ran an article in 2003 titled “West Sees Glittering Prizes Ahead in Giant Iraqi Oil Fileds“. Which basically sums up the reasons for US occupation of Iraq.

Now all this would be just an episode, it it weren’t for yesterday’s web edition of Delo newspaper, which ran this article. The title reads “Nato lani v Afganistanu ubil preveč civilistov” (NATO killed too many Afgan civilians last year).

Eeeerrrrr….. Exquiz me? Baking powder? What the fuck?

Are NATO and Delo trying to tell me that there is an allowed number of civilians that you can kill?! And if you kill too many, you just call a press conference and say: “Look, we’re sorry, we screwed up. We had a mandate to kill 145 civilians, but the Yanks felt trigger-happy and we went above two hundred. I mean we tried to compensate by cutting down the numbers of allowed civilian kills for the Brits, Canadians and the Aussies, but it just didn’t add up…”

Furthermore: How stupid can you be to actually report something like that? This is almost as bad as “embedded reporting“. No wonder Delo is a shitty newspaper if its editors let slip-ups like this happen. Maybe the guys in NATO HQ are going “great, at least this Delo-thing published it the way we wanted it to be published“. Jamie Shea must be really proud…

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Agent provocateur and an occasional scribe.

11 thoughts on “Media Naiveté”

  1. Only in the mornings, from 8 till 12, and we don’t do a lot of talking either.. Just news, weather, traffic and the occasional show (thurdsays, for example, but not today)

    It’s a bit – well – chaotic 😉

  2. So, are you the only speaker there? Is it you I’m hearing right now or someone else? He sounds hungover…
    Difficult to find out, but good music.

  3. I’m the moderator for the time being, yes. Working on getting me some new voices… Hung over? Jeez, I had no idea… Thanks for the compliments on music…

  4. Maybe sleepy, not hung over… Maybe I’m also projecting my own inability to start the new year full of energy and creativity, who knows.

  5. Pengovksy, you just don’t get it. The proper response to the news that NATO has killed a lot of civilians in Afghanistan is “But the Taliban has killed even more, and they’re not even sorry about it!” as Delo dutifully reported (plagiarising the WaPo/AP article). Boy would you make a lousy embedded reporter.

    I read about this on one of my all-time favorite blogs earlier today:
    (see fourth paragraph)

  6. Actually, I think that Delo plagiarised Slovene Press Agency which plagiarised WaPo which plagiarised AP which plagiarised NATO Press Office… And they say that media plurality is a good thing 😉

    But come to think of it… Can one really call this plagiarising, as it was (no doubt) reported exactly as NATO released it? I’d call… let’see… stateworthy 😉

    And yes, indeed I would have made a lousy embedded reporter. I can hardly picture myself reporting stuff like “As we drive in Slovene Army Humvee, you can see, dear viewers, the left elbow of Major Janez Novak, stationed in Iraq. He is eagerly awaited at home by his wife and two daugthers, age 5 and 7. Previously he told me that he misses them and hopes that the mission of establishing a democratic and friendly regime in Iraq will be soon completed. And indeed it will be, as confirmed by Lt. Col. Jože Horvat, who said that Slovene forces stationed in Middle and Far east…..” et cetera ad nauseam

    BTW: great link! Thanks!

  7. Be happy Delo reported anything at all! It is amazing how good this strategy of “two screw ups for the price of one” is working. Nobody at all is held responsible for the mess they made in Afghanistan and everybody is concentrated only on Iraq.

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