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Media "alert" on Flat Earth News  
Posted by Russ Bridger on February 13 2008, 10:10 » Uploaded 13/02/08 10:50  

I've been given a sneak preview of the latest "alert" from Medialens (not to be confused with Media Hell). It's about Nick Davies's new book, Flat Earth News. As with most Medialens alerts, it's gaseous, so I've condensed it into the main, er, points....

Media Alert - 14 February 2008

A remarkable shoal of liberal herrings
by David Cromwell (Medialens "Eds")

Nick Davies is to be congratulated for raising important issues about media corruption which are rarely discussed, publicly, by the media. However...

We think it's incredible that Davies doesn't mention the Propaganda Model, or its authors Herman and Chomsky. And not a little suspicious when you consider, also, that Davies makes snide remarks about "left-wing radicals".

It's astonishing, also, that Davies doesn't mention the important work conducted by Medialens. Literally, actually, astonishing. Such an important omission says much about Davies's credibility.

Davies raises some useful points, and we do not wish to sound overly dismissive. Indeed, more important commentators, such as ourselves, should be able to utilise some of Davies's examples for a more cogent, rigorous analysis of the structural malaise of the media.

It should be noted of course that Davies's book received much fanfare in the very media it purports to criticise. Our own book, Guardians of Power, by comparison, was completely ignored. What does this tell us about systemic suppression of serious dissent?

Davies completely fails in important respects. To that extent he is surely complicit in the war crimes against Iraq (as we've documented at great length - over 5,000,000,000 pages of Medialens alerts since we launched in 2001). But he's a human being, so please don't use uncouth or aggressive language in the emails that you will flood him with.

Preview of Medialens alert

COMMENTS Post comment


Comment 01 – Peter February 13 2008, 11:49

"Our own book, Guardians of Power, by comparison, was completely ignored."

That's what it's about much of the time for Medialens. Despite all their talk about human suffering, they are very focused on self-promotion. And it doesn't hurt to have their followers email people like Nick Davies. It's going to raise their profile. What it's not going to do is help the people of Iraq.

They target the "liberal" media not because of the potential benefits to the world, but because of the benefits to themselves (they are much more likely to raise their profile with the liberal media than with the Daily Mail, Times or Sun, which would just ignore them).

If it was about benefits to the world, they'd be targeting the Mail, Sun, etc. The stuff about the liberal media being important as "delimiting the boundaries of what's acceptable" is nonsense in the UK (although it may be truer in the states) - merely a weak justification for their attempts to become "known". In a word, they're attention seekers.

Comment 02 – BBJE February 13 2008, 12:31

Medialens have just changed the wording of a BBC report to fit their own beliefs:

BBC report:
"At least 200,000 people have been killed and two million forced from their homes in the five-year conflict."

Medialens version:
"Around one million people have been killed in Iraq and four million have fled from their homes.."[...][..]

If that's meant as satire, I think someone should tell them that satire doesn't involve merely substituting what you want to hear for what you don't want to hear.

Comment 03 – Russ Bridger February 13 2008, 20:12

I'm surprised that Sketchley - David Sketchley (one of Medialens's little helpers) hasn't been sent to snoop around Davies's house, go through his bins, smell his underwear and collect evidence of thought-crime for submission to the police.

He's one nasty little piece of work, this David Sketchley character. Funny that the Medialens editors would be so closely associated with him - I thought all their supporters were supposed to be nice, polite, rational, etc.

Not Sketchley. He gives the impression (no doubt inadvertently) of aspiring to a vocation which is a cross between snooper, nosy-parker, spy, grass, peeping tom, private dick, smear merchant and police interrogator. I'm sure some intelligence agency somewhere could use him. Perhaps they already are? Then again, probably not - he's too incompetent (even for the spooks).

What the fuck happened to the radical, tolerant, libertarian left that I know and love? Where did all these finks and stooges come from? And why does Medialens act as a magnet for them?

Comment 04 – Ged February 13 2008, 22:01

I'm three-quarters through Flat Earth News. It's good stuff. I recommend it, and don't be put off by the "why can't it be more like Chomsky" approach.

Comment 05 – Peter February 14 2008, 12:46

Russ Bridger: "Where did all these finks and stooges come from? And why does Medialens act as a magnet for them?"

And now Gabriele Zamparini is at it. He writes to Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, of the Independent: "Don’t you think that being affiliated to such an ideological organization could jeopardize the independence of thought and judgment".

Don't ask if there's anything "ideological" about Zamparini that would "jeopardize" his own "independence of thought and judgment".

Comment 06 – Russ Bridger February 14 2008, 15:44

'If that's meant as satire, I think someone should tell them that satire doesn't involve merely substituting what you want to hear for what you don't want to hear.' - BBJE

LOL. Medialens attempting satire? Bad idea. I think having a sense of humour is a prerequisite.




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