People living in the Soviet Union had a wonderful phrase to describe the two biggest circulation state-controlled newspapers, Pravda (meaning “truth”) and Izvestia (meaning “news”) - there’s no truth in Pravda and no news in Izvestia, was the oft-repeated expression. It is unfortunate that the mainstream media in the Western nations these days don’t have similar sorts of names, since it deprives us of an endless source of amusement in coming up with similarly apposite phrases about them.
It is, however, increasingly clear that on the great issues of the day, you are about as likely to find the truth in them as you would have done in Pravda, although I expect their sports and gardening sections are still relatively reliable. As for the important political and geopolitical issues of the day, I tend to imagine that on the walls next to the desks in the offices of many of these papers and broadcasters are the following instructions:
Rules for Reporting on Global Affairs
Repeat Government line unquestioningly.
If Government line is questioned, accuse those doing the questioning of being Bots, Kremlin-trolls and useful idiots.
If the persistent questioning won’t go away and the Government line is seen to be contradictory and full of holes, bury the issue completely and start posing deep questions, such as “What will Meghan wear?” or “Is there a gender pay gap in midwifery?” or “How much sugar is really bad for you?”
The Skripal and Douma episodes have demonstrated this perhaps more than any others.
First the Government line has been dutifully parroted by the media in a relentless propaganda campaign — no questions asked.
Then there have been attempts to silence or ridicule those who didn’t bow to the parrots and who were asking legitimate questions — including the appalling treatment meted out to distinguished military men.
And finally, both issues now appear to have been “disappeared” down the Memory Hole, apparently to be forgotten forever and ever.
This last point is so obvious in the Skripal case that it has caused some to speculate that the British Government has slapped a D-Notice on the case (this is a formal notice to the media to limit their coverage of the story on grounds of “national security”). I can hardly help thinking of that without giving a horse laugh. A D-Notice to stop the media reporting on the case on the grounds of national security? What’s funny about it is that all the media has done since day one of the case is to endlessly repeat the Government line on absolutely everything, even when that line became so utterly ludicrous that believing it required one to hold a number of contradictory and irreconcilable thoughts in one’s head at the same time.
In other words, if there is indeed a D-Notice on the issue, which seems very likely given the fact that there is now almost zero coverage of the case in the British media, it can have nothing to do with national security, per se, since from the get-go it was clear that the media had no interest in investigating any of the claims made by Government. The Government line was perfectly safe from being questioned by those who are apparently not able to report on it now, and so one can only conclude that it is because the Government line is so obviously full of holes that reporting on it needed to be stopped, lest increasing numbers of rational people recognised it to be somewhat barking.
It’s a shame really. I began to look forward to seeing what each day’s new dose of cock and bull would bring forth. They were poisoned at the restaurant. No the car. No the cemetery. The flowers. No, it was in the luggage. No, the bench. No, it was porridge. No, no, no! It was on the door handle, and it was liquid, which although tending to be runny, remained there for three weeks, even in all that rain and snow, in highly pure form, and you know the amazing thing is that people without protection stood just feet away from it, and they are fine. Whoda thunk it? But it is military-grade nerve agent “of a type developed by Russia” nonetheless. Seriously guv.
Oh and they’re in a coma. Sergei and Yulia, that is. Likely to die they are. A judge will probably have to take the decision to switch off their life support. Oh hang on, Yulia’s on the phone. Yes of course she is. She’s fine. Sorry we forgot to mention that before when we were talking about the life support machine. And Sergei’s okay too. Yes we can confirm that. Sorry we didn’t mention that before either. But he’s unable to talk. So you won’t hear from him. Or her. He’s in the hospital, though. Probably. Don’t know where she is. Not to be disturbed though.
Oh and there’s the policeman at the bench. Sorry, we meant the house. The house and the bench. Which one? How on earth should we know? Both probably. At the same time. But he can’t talk either.
What is particularly funny is that according to Mark Sedwell, the UK’s National Security Advisor, certain classified information – such as the apparent door handle delivery method – was released in order to “counter Russian disinformation”. Ah so it was Russian disinformation that took us from the restaurant to the car to the cemetery to the flowers to the luggage to the bench via the porridge and finally (finally???) to the door handle (I say “finally???” only because nobody has yet suggested the cat as the conduit for the poison)? So it was Russian disinformation that tried to sell us the idea of a slow-working, lethal yet non-lethal, military-grade nerve agent that enables its victims to go to restaurants, make them hallucinate and then be as right as rain a few weeks later? So it was Russian disinformation that told us that after studying hours of CCTV footage, British intelligence had a suspect in the case – the dashingly handsome, astonishingly intelligent, and diabolically ruthless former KGB agent, codenamed “Gordon” or was it “Cecil” or “Squiffy” or something, with a penchant for martial arts and (who can doubt) fast cars and loose women – only for Mark Sedwell to tell MPs a week later that there is no suspect, there never has been a suspect, and the investigation has been hampered by lack of CCTV footage?
Russian disinformation? Alas no. It was the UK media wot did it. They managed to put about more disinformation, stuff and nonsense, and cock and bull in a month or so than 10,000 “trolls” working 16 hour shifts in a basement in St. Petersburg could have done in a decade. And so you can see why the Government might want to slap a D-Notice on it, can’t you? Except that it should obviously be a C-Notice, the C standing for Comedy.
As for Douma, the media excelled itself there as well. There we have three Governments, apparently dropping bombs on chemical weapons depots in response to an unproven chemical weapons attack, and not one journalist in the mainstream media thought to say, “Hang on a minute! You dropped bombs on what you thought was a chemical weapons depot? Isn’t that … em … a tad on the dangerous side? Toxic fumes and people in the surrounding area becoming contaminated and all that?”
And when nobody became contaminated, not one mainstream media journalist thought to ask, “Hang on a minute! Isn’t the fact that there was no release of toxic substances into the atmosphere when you bombed it sort of like evidence that … em … how can we put it … there weren’t any toxic substances there?”
And when one of the little boys and the doctors in the “chemical attack” video that the Western Governments used as a pretext to bomb a sovereign country and spook us into wondering whether WWIII was about to start — when they turned up alive and well in The Hague to testify that there was no chemical attack, did even one mainstream media journalist think to themselves, “Maybe it would be good to hear what they have to say, since they were there?” Alas no. Some moved onto number 2 in the Rules for Reporting on Global Affairs, denouncing with barely concealed fury the testimony of the very people who had appeared in the original video that had once seemed so persuasive to them, whilst others moved onto number 3, and started talking about what Kim Kardashian has been up to lately.
It is clear that there is a deep sickness at the heart of the media. The whole point of its existence is to investigate incidents, to go where the facts lead it, and to serve ordinary people by attempting to report and reveal what is true. And above all that, it is to act as a check on the overweening state, so that it does not feel that it has carte blanche to do whatsoever it wishes.
But the handling of these two major cases has shown perhaps more than ever before that it has no intention of doing these things. It will not investigate, it has no intention of revealing inconvenient facts, and it cares little for the truth. And above all, instead of acting as a break on the state and on Government recklessness, its chief concern now appears to be doing the bidding of a very powerful group of Globalists, defending and advancing their diabolical agenda, regardless of what is and what isn’t true.
What should we call such a media that seems to have little or no regard for the truth, and which collectively serves the interests of the Global elite? Mainstream? Globalist Pravda Network seems to me to be a more accurate description.