Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Olympics And The Media

     The typical Western man can be dazzled, lulled out of any and all suspicions, by a pretty face, especially if that face is mated to a degree of personal charm. If the man is hoping to be dazzled, the pretty face needn’t be all that pretty, and the charm needn’t be all that charming.

     Kim Yo Jong is the younger sister of North Korean autocrat Kim Jong-un, at this time the bloodiest dictator still in a position to kill. She’s his Minister of Propaganda and Agitation, the sort of office found only in Communist dictatorships. In other words, she runs the office that pumps out deceit for foreign consumption about North Korea’s internal conditions, and deceit for domestic consumption about how great things are going to be. You could justly say that her department’s function is to minimize the prospects for domestic insurrection and invasion by a foreign power.

     And the media are absolutely in love with her:

     (Links courtesy of Kurt Schlichter.)

     The Writer In Black deposeth and sayeth:

     What is wrong with you people? I look around and I don’t see any concentration camps. All the people criticizing and vilifying the President and Vice President? None of them are being rounded up. None of you are afraid to speak up, and you’re entirely justified in that lack of fear because there are no violent purges happening. There is no Reichstagg Fire. There is no Night of Long Knives. You speak in full confidence that you do so in safety.

     And you gush over the North Korean Minister of Propaganda? A regime that does have concentration camps, that does purge political opponents (not even enemies, just opponents), that arrests and imprisons people for wrongspeech, for wrongthought, That tortures a young man to death for stealing a poster?

     What. is. wrong. with. you?

     That’s one hell of a good question.

     It’s impossible to watch the media slobber over a murderous, dictatorial regime that has brandished its nuclear weapons directly at the United States without asking why. Who are these lunatics that have somehow gained control of the press? Have they gone “off their meds?” Did they catch their minders taking a fortuitously concurrent nap? And what have they done with the supposedly sane persons who once held those positions?

     But then, it’s not the first time, is it? There have been a number of cases in which our mass media has put itself in the service of murder, slavery, and deliberate impoverishment. Consider Walter Cronkite’s contribution-in-kind to the Viet Cong war effort, and Thomas Friedman’s paean to Red China’s dictators. There are others...unfortunately, too many to enumerate here.

     You could easily get the idea that such...persons are hostile to human freedom and well-being. You could easily begin to wonder where they got the idea that for some to have unlimited and absolute power over others is a good thing. Hell, you could start to wonder whether they were toilet-trained. But if we start from the assumption that they’re rationally pursuing a clearly defined objective, we must ask about their motives.

     Pace Arthur Herzog, we might speculate that the motive is countertrending: the deliberate contradiction of a generally perceived pattern simply for the sake of attracting attention:

     Countertrending is based on the journalistic tradition about a man biting a dog. The general idea is that if the public has a perception about what is happening, one sure way to make news is to work against the perception. Say the country is gradually moving left. There might be a story in saying it’s going right. As soon as everyone believes there’s a strong drift to the right, countertrending calls for saying it’s moving left again. News can make news by contradicting itself.

     But countertrending only works if the organ practicing it is the only one doing so. When all the media organs are singing from the same hymnal, the countertrending explanation fails to convince.

     That leaves us with less savory motives to consider.

     No one can say, from first principles, why journalists and editorialists would naturally prefer unfreedom to freedom, or a dictatorship to a republic. Yet the tendency of media types to exhibit those preferences, since World War II at least, is pronounced and well documented. Given a choice between siding with the United States and siding with some totalitarian hellhole, the media plump for the latter with disturbing regularity.

     Even in times of relative tranquility, such that there’s no overt conflict in which to choose sides, the media have exhibited a preference for Communism. It’s often been said that Fidel Castro got his job through the New York Times, and there is some justice to the charge. Recall also how that organ and others fawned over Leonid Brezhnev, Yuri Andropov, and Mikhail Gorbachev. The only Communist satrap I can’t remember receiving plaudits from the Western press, even indirectly, was Pol Pot.

     Here in The Land of the Formerly Free, the media’s contributions to our gradual enslavement and impoverishment have been many and are well known to all. Given a choice between a policy that promotes individual freedom and one that diminishes it, there’s no question which one a paper like the Times will prefer. They love taxes, regardless of their nature. They wax lyrical over regulations, regardless of their necessity or effects. They reflexively support government control and rationing of any commodity. They’re death on private property, untrammeled political speech, and the right to keep and bear arms. And don’t get me started about their hatred of the explicit terms of the Constitution.

     There can be only base motives propelling these stances. But why should journalism and commentary attract persons with predominantly low motives?

     There are several possible explanations, though some of them appear to conflict. However, this piece is already at the brink of “too long,” so as I’ve said on many previous occasions, usually sincerely:

     More anon.


Linda Fox said...

Not so much low motives, but an unusually strong desire to belong to the "cool crowd".

Think of it - journalists are not - generally - good enough writers to produce highly regarded literature. They haven't skills that will allow them to succeed in business or industry. Not good enough at STEM to make a career at it (or, for most, to be able to understand - let alone discuss - the science or math involved. They aren't generally, of the class that is truly Top Drawer - the Seriously Elite, with both money and connections, and the confidence to do whatever the hell they want, without regard for opinion.

No, they are Wanna-Be Elites. But, since they aren't part of the "In Crowd", they have to find some other group to make them feel special.

Voila! The revolutionaries!

Who contain a FEW of the Elite, yet sneer at them. Who hold themselves above the class that the journalists have come from.

Who make them feel oh-so-special, and allow them to be a part of this inner circle, with the price being their integrity.

For many, it's a price they willingly pay.

Dorothy Margraf said...

I just came across this article which was shared elsewhere. This is not for posting. Just my take after years of research. Journalists are conditioned by what is around them and the years in which their maturity took place. The younger they are the less likely they are to be bothered by surveillance and control, thinking these are normal. The older one is the more the contrast between freedom and a dictatorship.