Greg Palast on "dependent" media


The distinction we make between "media horseshit" (error, ineptitude, etc) and "toxic slime" (propaganda, disinformation) is best illustrated by examples. Greg Palast's investigative work (eg in his book, The Best Democracy Money can Buy) uncovers many examples of both.

Here's an extract of an interview with Palast:

Interviewer: Some would argue that commercial journalism has so completely abdicated objectivity that it is no longer news, but rather public relations. Is the independent media the last bastion of the free press?

GP: "Independent" media in America is better called "starvation" media: journalists that want to do real reporting don't survive long – Bob Parry, who uncovered the Iran-Contra scandal, lost his job at the AP, Seymour Hersh was pushed off the New York Times – and I'm in exile. Investigative reporting is a quick career path to disemployment. The 'dependent' media is killing us with poisoned lies.

Interviewer: You have labored long and hard to document the perils of unregulated multi-national corporate activity. To the average American who voted for George W. Bush what would you say about the dangers of "Globalization?"

GP: Look at the documents I've seen and you'll get ill. Example: Pfizer Corporation, which makes Viagra, used to make a heart valve designed by a doctor named Viking Bjork – who found out the company's save-a-buck method of manufacturing them caused the valves to snap apart inside patients. Literally hundreds of hearts exploded, one ugly way to die. Dr. Bjork thought he should issue a public warning, but kept his mouth shut when a Pfizer exec telexed, "ATTN PROF BJORK: WE WOULD PREFER THAT YOU DID NOT PUBLISH THE DATA RELATIVE TO STRUT FRACTURE." The reason to withhold the warning your heart valve could fail? "WE EXPECT A FEW MORE." Nice guys.