short stories, comment, articles, humour and photography
Talking about the corporate media – like I so often do – does anybody in England actually read the papers, or even watch the news on the telly, anymore? If they do, they don’t talk about it much.
Those who bothered to read my last post will know I was in England earlier this year. Sitting down to dinner was like being in one of those old black and white war films set during the German occupation of France. You know, the ones where everybody keeps shtum in case somebody grasses them up to the Gestapo. One thing I learned, while stuffing my face with roast and two veg, was not to mention war of any sort. There, I just mentioned it again. Actually, there were a lot of things not to mention, particularly at meal times. Things like Brexit, Syria and Donald Trump. If anyone slipped one out by accident it had to be quickly submerged in a flurry of long sucking, tut-tutting and scoffing noises. Syria, suck, tut-tut, phooey! That way you didn’t give away where your sympathies lay. And if you let the name Jeremy Corbyn slip out – even by accident – you had to follow it up by shaking your head while affecting an exaggerated air of dismay so people couldn’t tell whether you thought him absolutely hopeless, or sympathised deeply with his plight.
And that reminds of a riddle-me-ree I thought up in bed last night. Which is the odd one out: a cod fillet, a collection of unbound Harry Potter first editions, the editor in chief of a corporate newspaper, or a dead viper? Beats me.
Talking of reptiles; is it just me, or does anyone else think Rupert Murdoch has started to resemble a homeless tortoise? He looks as though he’s been evicted from his shell. There you are; I’ve distracted myself before I’ve even started. So what was this supposed to be about again?
Ah yes, the news, the corporate media. Like a bunch of teenage ninnies, our mainstream media waste pipes seem to be going through a very heavy Trumpcrush at the moment. And there we all were thinking journalists have no heart. We were wrong. Drooling TV announcers and newspaper editors everywhere have been vying for the new president’s attentions by seeing who can lavish the most vomit-inducing praise. That’s enough to send a shiver down the backbone of anybody who has one.
Though you wouldn’t have got it from reading the newspaper headlines, after only ten weeks into his term the media’s most reviled president generously gifted the hack ratpack with, not one, but fifty-nine reasons to get rid of him, all in one go.
But, as Brian Williams amply demonstrated on MSNBC, the Western media circus loves a firework display. Swooning hacks all over the networks did a completely unexpected about turn. Waxing lyrical, Williams described the launch of fifty-nine deadly Tomahawk missiles on the al-Shayrat airbase in Syria as “beautiful” no less than three times. But that’s not how the judges at the Nuremburg trials following WW2 would’ve described them. Launching weapons into the territory of a sovereign nation is an act of war. I mean, if your neighbour lobs fifty-nine bricks over the garden fence you know he’s not inviting you to dinner. The Nuremburg Trials concluded that initiating a war of aggression constitutes “the supreme international crime”. Not only was the raining of missiles on Syria a direct violation of international law it was also a violation of US law and the UN charter. Yet, instead of dragging him out of the Oval Office and impeaching him a sicko media has been overflowing with grovelling praise. Personally, I’ve always thought the term ‘impeach’ doesn’t do the act justice; it sounds so, “let’s impeach Trump, I’ll bring the peaches”.
Well, if we can’t rely on our hacks to pull the reins in, there’s always the Democrats. In a democracy that’s what the opposition is for, isn’t it? To oppose stuff like attacking sovereign nations. Apparently, not. Far from baying for Trump’s blood, Democrats have been trampling each other in the rush to prostrate themselves before him.
Voters on both sides of the divide must be reeling from the confusion. More than a few must be wondering why their representatives aren’t up in arms demanding Trump’s head on a stake. After all, in the Alice in Wonderland world U.S. presidential elections have become, a good proportion of them voted for Trump because he was against foreign wars. Evidently, Trump isn’t nearly so against them as he led the nation to believe.
Why would the Democratic Party miss this golden opportunity of demanding his impeachment? And where’s all the feigned shock-horror from Hillary Clinton we might’ve expected? To find the possible reason behind its absence we have to go back in history, but not very far.
Ignoring the fact that Barack Obama wasn’t too shy about approving the launch of a couple drones to kill wedding parties in Waziristan most mornings, before tucking into breakfast, might Mrs Clinton’s long and cosy relationship with husband and wife team from hell, Victoria Nuland and Robert Kagan, have something to do with The Democratic Party passing over the heaven sent opportunity to get rid of Trump?
The unelected duo of right-wing warmongers and their army of devoted fans have had the ear of both Democratic and Republican administrations on foreign policy since the Reagan era. An acolyte of Henry Kissinger, Nuland was assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs under Obama. In that role she encouraged the right-wing coup that has wrecked the economy of Ukraine and led to its break up. It is doubtful as Clinton’s protege she would’ve acted without her boss’s full approval.
Last year’s May edition of The American Conservative featured an article by Philip Giraldi revealing that Victoria Nuland was being touted as “Clinton’s war hawk in waiting”. Famed in Europe for telling Europeans to “fuck off” from Ukraine, which happens to be in Europe, Nuland believes war is the answer to every question. Then Hillary Clinton was never a peacenik. Her murderous adventures in Libya and obscene gloating over the buggering of Gaddafi with a bayonet bear witness to that.
Even more reason for Democrats not to tweet a dicky bird about Trump’s excursion to the precipice of sanity in Syria is that not so long ago a State department headed by Hillary Clinton was actually touting for Syria to be invaded by the US.
In an article published by Consortiumnews last June, Robert Parry wrote that if Hillary Clinton gained office she was fully expected to launch an illegal invasion of Syria. Parry wasn’t alone in pointing towards Madame Clinton’s insane plans. Another article in The American Conservative has Kelley Beaucar Vlahos clearly showing Clinton and her advisors were planning for war with Syria as soon as she parked her bum in the Oval Office. In point of fact, there is strong evidence administration Hillary Clinton was lobbying for war with Syria as long ago as November 2015, as this Guardian article reveals. Before that an article posted in Commondreams shows she was pressing Obama to create a ‘no-fly’ zone in the country as far back as 2013. Along with a ‘safe zone’ at ground level it would’ve allowed ISIS to wage war under the protective umbrella of US air power with some millitary support. The upshot of all this is that, believing the result of the election to be a slam-dunk, Hillary Clinton and the rest of her favoured Democratic Party apparatchiks had unwittingly boxed themselves into a corner, from which there is no way out. Their arrogance has handed Trump carte blanche to do whatever he likes with foreign policy. The fact that he has started to do more or less exactly what Hillary Cinton and her neocon pals had been threatening to do for years has left the bulk of the Democratic Party exposed and dumbfounded.
But there is one Democratic member of Congress who has been speaking out against war in the Middle East and Syria. A lone voice in the party she spoke strongly against Trump’s missiles within days.
February last year, after reading an article in Intercept, where he slammed Hillary Clinton’s hawkish foreign policies, I sent an email to Dan Froomkin. A former on-line correspondent on goings-on at the White House for the Washington Post, Froomkin had appealed for names to form a ‘dream foreign policy team’ for the Democrats. Despite thinking the appeal might be tongue in cheek, I dashed off an email expressing grave doubts as to whether there were anywhere near enough politicians in the entire US political establishment with sufficient knowledge of foreign affairs to form a whole team. But I did recommend he try starting with Tulsi Gabbard. Little over a week later Gabbard resigned from the DNC to join Bernie Sanders’ campaign. Okay, it probably had nothing to do with my email.
The Democratic Congresswoman for Hawaii had been appointed vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee in January 2013. But what had seemed like an accolade turned out to be a poisoned chalice as the primaries drew close. Considering, Hillary’s obsession with killing brown people in far-off lands, and Tulsi’s determination to strive for peace, maybe the point had always been to keep Gabbard away from the spotlight.
Known for her strong anti-war sentiments Tulsi soon found party rules forbade her from displaying support for any particular candidate in the run-up to the primaries. She was effectively banned her from supporting Bernie Sanders, her preferred option. That suited Clinton worshipper, Diane Wasserman Schultz, just dandy. But the Chairwoman of the DNC wasn’t going to allow few pesky rules get in the way of her eulogising her idol, after all she was in charge. Both in your face and behind the scenes she gave Hillary Clinton her unwavering support. With Tulsi prevented from speaking her mind things couldn’t have worked out better for Clinton and her neocon cabal. By the time Gabbard realised what was going on, resigning her vice-chairmanship of the DNC to get behind Bernie Sanders, it was too late. Despite her telegenic looks, a corporate media mesmerised by Clinton’s insatiable appetite for blood and guts, completely ignored Tulsi Gabbard’s measured calls for sanity.
But that hasn’t prevented the plucky veteran, who served two tours of duty in war-torn Iraq, from continuing to speak out against Trump’s criminal and lunatic moves. Unfortunately, the rest of the Democratic Party, and the bulk of servile corporate media, are turning a deaf ear, as usual.
So, after all that, which is the odd one out of a cod fillet, a collection of unbound Harry Potter first editions, a mainstream newspaper editor and a dead viper? The dead viper. Even though deceased it can still show some spine, which is a lot more that most mainstream newspaper editors can.
Daily Writings About The End Of Illusions
To write about my memories, past and present
An exploration into understanding the complexities of the Chemical Age, the Synthetic Chemical Revolution, and the toxins that impact us all
Singer, songwriter, poet & writer of The Singer's Tale
Une fois. Encore.
Public interest issues, policy, equality, human rights, social science, analysis
Hold your verve
More Coyotes than Wolves
Pingback: Corporate Media in Heavy Trumpcrush! | Micheline's Blog
Would it be OK if I cross-posted this article to WriterBeat.com? I’ll be sure to give you complete credit as the author. There is no fee; I’m simply trying to add more content diversity for our communi6ty and I enjoyed reading your work. If “OK” please let me know via email.
I note in your request that you use the term ‘cross-post’ which I had to look up, and appears rather confusing. That is made even more confusing by reading your own site’s rules, which seem to suggest you are in direct breach of one of those rules where it states categorically that is not allowed for anyone to reproduce copyright material from other sources.
“Reproduced copyrighted articles from other sources: provide a link only”
As you copied and pasted an article directly from my site you broke that rule. That work is under copyright.
The sidebar on my own site clearly states:
“Unauthorised use and/or duplication of any material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Bryan Hemming and bryanhemming.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction.”
In this particular case, I did give my permission in an email, as I stupidly thought it would do no harm to help someone, who showed an interest in my work. However, I was not aware of the fact you would break my article in two by inviting comments after a few paragraphs. I didn’t sign up some trashy talent show to be judged halfway through my act. That readers were itching to get their fingers on the keys early became glaringly apparent by comment number two from some clown, who clearly didn’t understand the point of the article, as he hadn’t read it.
Rather than encourage readers to read more, the comment was more likely to persuade some not to continue. Like many other writers, I don’t submit articles to sites that allow commenters to interrupt. That is not what I had in mind when you solicited the article from out of the blue.
Added to that, nowhere does your email state that I am automatically made some sort of member of your community just because you publish my article. The idea that I am denied the right of reply if I don’t sign up is astounding. That you don’t even pay writers, but still bristle with attitude, is unbelievable to someone who has worked as a freelance writer for over twenty years. Had you informed me of your policies and rules I would not have allowed you to publish.
Bad only went to worse with even more attitude. After I made my disquiet known to you by email, you informed me rather brusquely: “To reply you need to login. The login is located in the upper right hand corner. Use your email adddress and the password: writerbeat”. I informed you I had not intention of logging in to a community that I hadn’t joined, and hadn’t even entertained the idea of joining.
What was worse was your reaction once I told you to remove my post after informing you of my dissatisfaction. You then took the decision to publish a couple of our private email exchanges completely out of context, and not in full, albeit under an assummed name. That amounted to little more than an invitation to your community to troll me, which some duly did. And even though those exchanges were posted an assumed name, any readers that had already seen the post and noted my name, could’ve looked me up on the net, where it is very easy to find me. That was highly unprofessional for someone trying to build up trust within a community of writers. Writing is hard enough without having to put up with a barrage of insults from people on your site, who haven’t even read my work. You said:
“Forcing commenters to read the entire article before providing their two cents is a ridiculous demand because it’s impossible to enforce. Choosing not to communicate with disrespectful commenters is certainly one way to deal with them, I would have said something like the following:
By your comment, it’s clear you didn’t read my article. If you had read my article, I would have replied to your comment.
Truth be told, I almost always find the comment section more entertaining than the articles and I imagine most of our users agree. In addition, to the extent one reads an article and is involved in a multi-comment dialogue with the author, the “read more” icon is a quick way to get right to the comment section. So I’m sorry, but the icon is staying.
As to the importance of authors and making them feel comfortable, I couldn’t disagree more. It’s amazingly easy to find authors willing to contribute work to this site. However, it’s a royal pain in the ass to find authors that comment on the work of others. So the most important users I have are commenters, because without them, no authors would want to publish here. Based on the amount of writing you did to announce your decision to leave, I think Writer Beat is the site you’ve been looking for.”
I never ‘looked’ for your site as your original comment to this site clearly shows. And nowhere do I suggest that Bill or anyone else should be forced to read my article to the end, and neither would I expect any reader to. Had he left his comment at the end of the article I wouldn’t have replied, or even mentioned it. I’m used to the system, and the system is that you don't facilitate trolls by allowing them to comment in the middle of articles.
It beats nme why you solicit articles if that is your attitude. Perhaps that's the significance behind the name Writer Beat you think writers need ot be beaten.
I suggest that you make your conditions much clearer by informing writers that they are joining a community when you ask for permission to publish their work, so they can make an informed decision about whether they want to. From taking the time to look up and read your rules I see you expect active participation. Quite frankly, I have neither the time nor the inclination to join a site that has fewer followers than my own paltry number. The idea that an “OK” means you agree to rules that you haven’t even been informed exist is not “OK”.
It may surprise you to learn my reponses to you are lengthy because I really feel you ought to understand the many different needs of writers, if you want more writers to join your community. Putting the needs of commenters before writers is putting the cart before the horse.
Reblogged this on Micheline's Blog and commented:
When one does not know who used sarin, one does not drop a bomb.