Apparently in “free” Australia, this is what happens to dissident journalists:
Any society in which it’s a firing offense for journalists to criticize the military is a sickly and undemocratic one.
They get fired. Then they lie about why they were fired, which the West always does about most anything. We need to acknowledge the incredible amount of lying that goes on in the West all the time, particularly in government and media. It’s not a free country when everybody’s lying all the time. There’s nothing free about that except freedom to lie.
The excuses offered by SBS for McIntyre’s firing are so insulting as to be laughable. Minister Turnball denies that he made the decision even as he admits that, beyond his public denunciation, he “drew [McIntyre’s comments] to the attention of SBS’ managing director Michael Ebeid.”
The Minister also issued a statement endorsing McIntyre’s firing, saying that “in his capacity as a reporter employed by SBS he has to comply with and face the consequences of ignoring the SBS social media protocol.” For its part, SBS laughably claims McIntyre wasn’t fired for his views, but, rather, because his “actions have breached the SBS Code of Conduct and social media policy”
The lying, the lying. Obviously Turnbull is the one who got this reporter fired, but as always in the West, he denies doing what he obviously did.
Then they lied about why he was fired, which also happens all the time in the West.
Notably, McIntyre’s firing had nothing to do with any claimed factual inaccuracies of anything he said. As The Washington Post’s Adam Taylor noted, historians and even a former prime minister have long questioned the appropriateness of this holiday given the realities of Anzac’s conduct and the war itself.
As Australian history professor Philip Dwyer documented, McIntyre’s factual assertions are simply true. Whatever else one might say, the issues raised by McIntyre are the subject of entirely legitimate political debate, and they should be. Making it a firing offense for a journalist to weigh in on one side of that debate but not the other is tyrannical.
Exactly. In the West, it’s illegal to tell the truth. Journalists who tell the truth will be fired and they all know it, so they all figure out what lies they are supposed to tell and then they stick to their phony scripts. Government or corporate workers who tell the truth are often fired. As I said, in the West, telling the truth is a fireable offense.
Part of this is driven by the dangers of state-funded media, which typically neuters itself at the altar of orthodoxy. In the U.S. the “liberal” NPR is, not coincidentally, the most extreme media outlet for prohibiting any expressions of views that deviate from convention, even firing two journalists for the crime of appearing at an Occupy Wall Street event.
Identically, NPR refused (and still refuses) to use the word “torture” for Bush interrogation programs because the U.S. government denied that it was; its ombudsman justified this choice by arguing that “the problem is that the word torture is loaded with political and social implications for several reasons, including the fact that torture is illegal under U.S. law and international treaties the United States has signed.” We can’t have a media outlet doing anything that might have “political and social implications” for high government officials!
In other words, they lied. The government lied and said they were not torturing anyone even when they were, the corrupt American Psychological Association, the organization of all American psychologists, went along with the torture and wrote up lengthy lying reports on why the torture wasn’t torture, in other words, why something was not what it was.
And the corrupt media, especially NPR, went along with it, all because they get government funding. A public radio station that is so rightwing that it won’t call torture torture is not liberal in any true meaning of the word. NPR is just another conservative media outlet, albeit one of the least conservative in the country. That the NPR is regarded as only prominent Left dissident or opposition media in the US is stunning.
But his reasoning shows how neutered state-funded media inevitably becomes. Here’s one of the biggest stories in journalism of the last decade, one that sparked a worldwide debate about a huge range of issues, spawned movements for legislative reform, ruptured diplomatic relationships, changed global Internet behavior, and won almost every major journalism award in the West.
And the director of news and current affairs of BBC says they likely would not have reported the story, one that — in addition to all those other achievements — happened to have enraged the British government to which the BBC must maintain fealty.
Exactly. All state media must suck to the state or lose its funding and get its staff fired. So state media is generally made up of state propaganda outlets in most countries, a major dilemma.
A different aspect of what the Australia firing shows is the scam of establishment journalists in defining “objectivity” to mean: “affirming societal orthodoxies.” Journalists are guilty of “opinionating” and “activism” only when they challenge and deviate from popular opinion, not when they embrace and echo it (that’s called “objectivity”).
Yep, in the West, journalists are fired for defying popular opinion. The reason given is that when you become a dissident journalist in the West, you are no longer objective! Incredible. And in the West, the term “objectivity” is defined as being an echo chamber for public opinion and rich and the powerful. As long as you are sucking up to these entities, you are “objective.” Unbelievable.
That’s because, as practiced, “journalistic objectivity” is compelled obeisance to the pieties of the powerful dressed up as something noble.
Then Greenwald gets down the real meat of his argument: the West’s omnipresent exceptionalism and high horse riding.
But what is at the heart of McIntyre’s firing is the real religion of the supposedly “secular West”: mandated worship not just of its military but of its wars. The central dogma of this religion is tribal superiority: Our Side is more civilized, more peaceful, superior to Their Side.
I am so glad he said this because I have been thinking this for so long now but I have never been able to put it into words. Finally, after 57 years, someone does it for me. This is so true. To be an American means you must worship all of America’s wars. Most importantly, you must support an entity called “the troops.” There is nothing special about American soldiers. They are trained and hired killers, just like all military men. An army is only as good as the government commanding it. Lousy governments have lousy armies because the governments are always compelling the military to engage in lousy, sleazy conflicts. A good government has a good army. It will only enter into conflicts when it feels it is on the side of justice.
The American notion is that there is something inherently noble about American servicemen. This is nonsense. A US soldier is only as decent as his commander in chief. Soldiers are bad soldiers when they are fighting on the wrong side of a conflict or for evil objectives. Soldiers are good soldiers when they are ordered to relatively obey the rules of war and to engage in conflicts on the side of justice. So the US serviceman is simply an automaton who follows whatever orders he is given. When he is fighting for evil, which is a lot of the time, he’s a bad guy. When he’s fighting for good, he’s a good guy. He has no inherent positive, decent or moral essence.
When US soldiers fight for the bad guys, one should certainly not “support the troops.” Probably the best thing to do in that case would be to campaign to bring the troops home. Yet in America you always have to “support the troops.” That means that whatever conflict the military is involved in any on Earth, all Americans have to support it! Why? In order to “support the troops,” that’s why. So you see that America has elements of a totalitarian country.
This is the religion — of militarism and tribalism — that is the one thriving and pervasive in the West. The vast, vast majority of political discourse about foreign policy — especially from U.S. and British media commentators — consists of little more than various declarations of tribal superiority: we are better and our violence is thus justified.
Exactly. Nail, meet hammer. Once again, I have been thinking this most of my life, but no one has ever articulated it in quite those words.