Take a look around the Western world. Look at the bourgeois democracies like the UK and the USA. Look at their mass media. Who owns it? How free is it? Is it as fair and impartial as it maintains?
Look at the way the Western mass media conspicuously failed to do their job when the USK illegally invaded Iraq. Imagine if an official “evil” country, say Libya or North Korea, had invaded a country thousands of miles from it because it believed that country had “weapons of mass destruction.”
How would that have been reported? Say if North Korea had bombed and killed over 5000 Iraqis before occupying the country and installing a hand-picked puppet regime. What level of support for the plucky NK troops would our beloved “free” press have displayed then?
Day after day, I see reports that US soldiers are being killed, always by “Saddam loyalists.” Note, those quotation marks are mine. As MediaLens pointed out, they’re never used by the BBC when it’s repeating, verbatim, US military propaganda reports.
If an occupying North Korean army said that it was being attacked by “Saddam loyalists”, how long would it be before these were re-labelled by our media as “freedom fighters?”
If you want a precedent, look at the way the resistance to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was portrayed as being comprised of noble freedom fighers, plucky mujaheddin battling the Soviet bear with minimal resources. When those exact same fighters end up in Al Quaida then, overnight, they become ‘evil terrorists.’ Same people, same tactics (bombing civilians, murder, terror) but a different label.
Look at how the real issue of the Iraq war, that the US and UK illegally invaded and have now occupied Iraq, is being lost in the current haze of petty squabbling between the government and the BBC over accuracy of reporting. Accuracy of reporting? Is that really the most important issue?
Where is the immediate independent judicial inquiry into the (non-existent) basis for the Iraq invasion? Where is the press concern that we are now occupying Iraq? Where is the media fury that Blair obviously lied to Parliament, the country and the whole world in his snivelling obedience to the expanding American Imperium?
In bourgeois democracies, this is how the ruling class rules. Certain questions never get asked. Troublesome reporters have their careers suddenly fizzle. Troublesome scientists are found dead in a field. Troublesome puppet regimes get replaced by new puppet regimes.
And the people? They’re mis-directed. It’s rule by sleight-of-hand. Confuse, obfuscate, manipulate and, if you’re Tony Blair, just outright lie. After all, you’re made of Teflon, nothing can stick to you: you can kill thousands and still be respectable. Even if the justification for the slaughter of the innocents (the presence of WMDs) is found to be false, the tame media will never dare attack you or ask the pertinent questions.
We sit and tut-tut at mere beginners like Dr. Shipman while the true masters of mass murder in the US and UK quietly gather their plaudits and plunder, all the time smiling and waving for the cameras.