Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Mute the Press

It's a little difficult to tell through a search of the New York Times whether it has actually covered certain stories or not. Ok, more than a little difficult, it's totally impossible. Insert your search term and retrieve however many links to "free previews" of stories going back a ways. Since the previews are snips containing the search term, there's often no way to say for sure that the story is actually centered on someone, or just mentions them in passing.

It might be worthwhile to ask how it can be that the News Organ that pretends for all the world to be the authoritative newspaper of record on all newsworthy things can simultaneously withhold from public view whether it even is or is not a source for stories that one might wish to research.

I happened to be trying to see whether the Times has ever done a story about Amy Goodman of Democracy Now. You can do the search yourself, and let me know if you have any better luck. She's mentioned in passing, dissed in a film review, sort of a tangent quote here and there. But her feat of becoming a serious and respected conveyor of news by quilting together hundreds of small, local media to build what's essentially a grassroots national alternative radio and television network -- a story that would seem, in the information age, at least as relevant as the release of a new DVD of Mario Bava films, this story seems to remain to be reported by the Mother of all NewsFitToPrint.

I was checking on whether the Times had gotten around to Goodman after looking at and participating in this thread regarding, in part, the quality of information, the level of public discourse, in the US these days, in light of a pointer there to Umberto Eco's remarks on the nature of Fascism, "Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt."

The question being, how a fifth rate anything like Mr. Geo. W. Bush could talk his way not just into the most powerful position on Earth, but then further wartalk his way right up into his own arse with the most reductive view of reality, the most puerile ideas about life, politics, and co-existence, the most dumbed-down, porcine representations of others and evil and freedumb etc. ever offered to the USian political arena -- clusters of idiotic speech and venal nonthought that would not pass muster in a 5th grade classroom in Boston in 1828. I mean, it makes one wonder.

Wonder, e.g., what illumination was not offered by mainstream media. Yes, it's a blogger's duty to wonder that. But what specifically seemed wonderful is that so many instances of lucidity present themselves, a spectrum of informed visions of life and reality that just don't seem to make it into public consciousness.

When was the last time Naomi Klein, eg, was invited on the nightly news to ask,
When you can create such a booming economy around war and disaster, around destruction and reconstruction, over and over and over again, what is your peace incentive? Democracy Now
(via here)

Klein, Goodman, and a great many others are spectral nonentities, Amurhikan Non-idols. Unsurvivables. They never got to the island in the first place. Gesturing vainly under the giant Mute Button we call Secure Corporate USian Media, or SCUM.

The Times cannot countenance Goodman. Or, it can, but it would then have to make up stuff about why its representation of the world seems so vacuous by comparison. Instead of taking an honest journalistic position that might say, "this journalist's critique is one we should emulate," it's so much easier to just hit mute, and kill any search utility while you're at it.

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Blogger pcubeta said...

"All the news thats fit to print."

4/11/2007 11:02 PM  
Blogger John said...

That was beautifully written, as well as excellent criticism. I will go take a look at the Times to see if I have any better luck. Again: beautiful writing.

4/12/2007 8:30 AM  
Anonymous tom said...

Thanks John - do let me know if you fare better - tom

4/12/2007 10:43 AM  

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