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Posted in Books, Journalism, Propaganda by homeyra on July 2, 2007

Highlights – or lowlights – of journalism by John Pilger. Commentary at PPGG or 99
The Fanonite: John Pilger on Harold Pinter


Thanks Fanonite for the following:
Art, Truth & Politics: Harold Pinter Nobel Lecture, video and script
Pinter on Semantics of Terror and the US-Israel relationship
Harold Pinter on Charlie Roose


5 Responses

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  1. Servant said, on July 3, 2007 at 3:44 am

    He makes some very good points about the rise of professional journalism to supply the demands of advertisers for journalists as pilars of respectibility. He over simplifies it a great deal, or dashes over detailed history in order to make his talk flow more smoothly, and makes it sound like a vast conspiracy by journalists to poison their own customers. Maybe it is a conspiracy and that ought to be reported, but Pilger doesn’t provide much other than circumstantial evidence and speculation as data. Society has many complex moving parts and it’s hard to provide motives for just one segment without accounting the behavior of the rest of it.

    I’m conditioned as an American to believe there’s nothing wrong with any kind of supply meeting any kind of demand – except where drugs and prostitution are concerned. The market place is the final arbiter of good and evil, and if people want to buy then people should be allowed to sell.

    They only draw the line at morality because we have to think of the children after all and we don’t want merchants of sin to rise to power like respectable people. I disagree with this form of moral economics, but I’m just noting the reality of the prevailing culture. But any other kind of legitimate need may be answered by the market place and there ought to be no boundaries to commerce anywhere except to protect the stockholders. If people demand to fill their heads with Nascar and Soap Opera I do not believe it is the responsibility of the government or the corporations to embarrassed about it. If people do not know any better, then the market ought to provide for better education.

    In turn, if there is no demand for better education, then there is no market for it and there is no role for the government or corporations to provide it.

    In my humble opinion, the vendors are not to be blamed for the great wasteland that is American culture. They are merely selling what people are buying. If they people were interested other things, the vendors could make those things and sell them.

  2. homeyra said, on July 3, 2007 at 11:00 am

    I wasn’t able to see the whole 44 minutes. I saw the first 15 with my great connexion 🙂 but in that segment, I found the presented facts interesting.
    “The market place is the final arbiter of good and evil, and if people want to buy then people should be allowed to sell.” Whether one likes or not the moto, that’s how it works, and internationally. Btw as much for legal or “illegal” stuff: The “market fundamentalism” doesn’t seem to shy away over such minor details.
    But I would place “selling a war” on the same register – if not higher – than the “bothering” things you mentioned.
    Maybe there is a market for harming other people. Live torture! 24 hours series played along these lines, normalizing the abnormal: put aside judgment, ethics or whatever no marketable goods, if one death is tragedy, few thousands, just statistics.
    What is journalism in all that? Just a market component?

  3. Servant said, on July 3, 2007 at 3:02 pm

    I hope my sarcasm is showing plain enough.

    “Maybe there is a market for harming other people.”

    Of course there is. Especially people in the next school district over. Education is more important than the arms race in the U.S. The quality of our schools is directly tied to the quality of our local property taxes expressly for the purpose of denying access to the poor.

    Therefore the objective is to help your friends and harm your enemies.

    Build more prisons, to hell with schools.

  4. 99 said, on July 4, 2007 at 5:20 am

    Oh, Homie! Goddammit! The talk doesn’t even start to get good till half way through! And then he really starts rockin’ out. It gets so good that one forgets to quibble over the beginning stuff.

    Is there no broadband in Tehran? Are you guys struggling behind the curve of the technology there? Things are moving so fast that anything over two years old is likely to be inoperable… though the internet has incentivized many to update really old operating systems and other software… but… but… but…. I want you to be able to keep up with this stuff!

    I guess the real kicker for Pilger’s lecture was that it began to give a feel for the extent of the mass hypnosis of Americans. On one level all humans suffer from a sort of mass hypnosis of self and other, but on about the very next our cultures condition us. I’m so hot for this lecture, flawed as it is, because it really begins to illustrate the crux of the problem. Right now, seeing how it pertains to America is admittedly the most productive, but it extends to everyone, everywhere, and it’s something we ought so vitally to bear in mind.

    It is so thick that even the clearest heads are still mined with deadly-pernicious cultural conditioning. Add in the basic human ego, and… well… awful.

    But… have you got Real Player? I think the Nobel Committee has the Harold Pinter lecture from which Pilger borrows here in a low bandwidth format. I will get you the link if you have not seen/heard that. It’s a masterpiece.

  5. homeyra said, on July 4, 2007 at 6:06 am

    I have seen Pinter’s lecture at the Fanonite. He has both the video and the script. I thought at the time to post it or link to it. I was also fascinated by him.
    I’ll add the link to the blogroll.
    There are better connexion than the one I have over here! I’ll be using a friend’s PC this week-end, he has ADSL. I’ll watch it to the end.
    This might interest you at The Fanonite: John Pilger on Harold Pinter
    And dear Serv: no, I am not always that smart 😦

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