Sometime a long time ago, if I had to guess when I would say in my childhood in the mid 1970s, journalism ceased to be impartial. In fact, what would be called journalism in the pre war era had been effectively killed off by the end of the Vietnam War.
In it place a sort of “information broadcast” has been put. This broadcast tells you what you want to hear about, not what is happening. Various “channels” exist that represent the tastes and inclinations of the populous and each one merely panders to the indulgences of its viewers/listeners/readers. Though all remarkably talk about death, violence and sex from one viewpoint or another because these things attract the dumbfounded masses that seek out knowing others are worse off than they are.
In trawling the web on a Sunday morning for news I am struck by the total lack of impartiality and the absolute dependence on reporting entertainment and consumer products as news. We do not talk about Africa; we talk about famous people and things you can buy. We only talk about negative things (famine, disaster, etc) when famous people are involved. Unless its a car accident, because everyone likes to hear about car accidents.
Some channels go to the left, others to the right. The remaining is marginalized as “fringe” or “conspiracy theory”. Everyone has an opinion; no one is free from pointing a finger. There is just no such thing as journalism anymore.
As a society we have become addicted to hearing what we want to hear. By telling us things we think we already know those with real power (bankers, corporations and politicians) are able to divert us around the tragedies being caused by their greed. And what tragedies they do point out to us are simply to push the blame elsewhere. An ‘act of god’, or at the least an act of their financial competitor.
Mankind is slipping down a slope we may never be able to climb out of. It is telling that the state of society is not pointed out to us most accurately by politicians or journalists but by comedians like George Carlin, Stephan Colbert and Bill Hicks. They point out how fucked up the world is and everyone laughs. “Ha, ha, ha, its so funny that we are totally fucked by corporate greed, damn I love these HBO specials!”
The even harsher fact is that no revolution is coming to save us. The only ‘revolution’ is the one they are selling you out of the back door. That Che t-shirt, RATM for Xmas, Haiti Charities, and basically everything you own, do, eat or in any way consume is feeding a machine that creates an illusion of freedom called ‘democracy’. It tells you that you need to have things, you need to think things, and you need to do things. It doesn’t tell you to think for yourself, it tells you to think what you are told by the screen in front of you.
We are fucked. We are more slaves now than we ever have been as an entire species. And most people can not even look away from the “glass teat” long enough to say, “What was that?”