September 22, 2003

Movie Critic AND Big Media Critic

Gold's getting hot when Hollywood makes movies about it. I saw the Italian Job this weekend. The movie stars Mark Wahlberg, Donald Sutherland, and Charlize Theron. It's about a bunch of thieves who One of the characters in the movie makes a point pulled straight from the brains of a gold bug: the government can take everything else from you…but when it all goes to hellâ, you'll still have your physical gold. Good timing, at the very least. And I've also noticed how many new movies coming out are about con artists. You're seeing fewer movies with action heroes or end-of-the-world disasters. A lot more about run-of-the-mill people screwing each other for fun and profit. I inject a movie criticism only to egg on a reader who recently wrote for me to shut up about media bias. Well, to be fair, here was the full quote: Where have you been? The media has always printed things in a slanted way but with an element of truth, picking out the truth is a task at times. I read Jack Wheeler's extreme right wing stuff and what you could call lefty stuff from Noam Chomsky and the guy you make fun of, Robert Fisk. I watched a few supposedly very intelligent people try to put Chomsky down but couldn't, he has the facts drawn from government documents many times. Fisk is a very fluid writer and has lived many many years in the mid east, so he has a very good feel for the area. Some Judge brought from the US is highly unlikely to get the true picture of Iraq and it is easy for the military to drag a few locals around after making sure they will say the right thing. You cannot go into a country, blow the s--t out of, kill all "rag tops" you think look suspicious, bust down the doors of any and every "suspect" shooting all that move like a meth freek and expect the people to welcome you with open arms. The US like all bullies has a very hard time admitting it was wrong. The US takes the might is right attitude to an extreme but only with little guys it can easily beat up. You have bombed 23 different countries since ww2. What other country has such a record? You are typical rah rah amerika. Stick to investment - something you seem to know a lot about, that I like. That's me. Rah Rah Amerika, short the dollar, buy gold and end the Warfare State! So Chomsky's a genius because he's drawing facts from government documents...presumably the same government which is buying of judges to spread false rumors? Government IS awfully inefficient...but that one doesn't quite make sense to me. As for Fisk, he's never met a story he couldn't turn into a tale of American imperialism and a "what have we done wrong to cause this kind of hate?" piece of navel gazing. Fisk had a "good feel" for Iraq when his America-bashing reporting pleased the regime that allowed him to freely move about the country and report what it wanted him to. Now that the country is opened up, Fisk has lost the monopoly he gained by currying the regime's favor with slanted stories. Of course the American government and military wants the good news reported more than the bad. But the point I was making in my previous post is that the news media has long since lost the right to be called "objective." We should call it for what is: the for-profit propaganda machine of the liberal left. There's nothing wrong with being that, any more than there's anything wrong with Fox News or the Wall Street Journal or Rush Limbaugh being the for-profit propaganda arms of the conservative right. But let's forget the charade that the establishment media is actually "objective." I'm baffled that it's hard for people to see that with a few exceptions, most of big media in America is desperately clinging to an ideological agenda they describe as "informed." That's just a pretentious way of saying they think they know better than the American public. American intellectuals admire Europe's "enlightened capitalism" and take a weird pleasure in bashing their fellow Americans in front of Europeans. I've seen it often enough here in Paris, where I knew some Americans who took to calling themselves Canadian (not that there's anything wrong with Canada.) I'm just doing my bit to weaken the credibility of the fourth estate, or at least introduce some transparency into its motives. Let viewers decide with their dollars whose propaganda they want to hear. The sooner big media moves to this position and stops trying to preserve some moral high ground of journalistic objectivity, the better. Of course that would mean they'd have to compete for customers based on the quality of their reporting. But then again, I know a lot of people who like to be seen reading the New York Times. There will always be a market for snobbery and pretentiousness. But maybe the time has passed when the credibility of your views comes from whose op-ed page you read them on. We leave in a time where its hard to get away with a lie for long. There's simply too much information out there, and too many people with the means to report it, for an institution to lay claim to the sole right to report what's true. Just ask the BBC.


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