The Discerning Texan

All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.
-- Edmund Burke
Monday, July 23, 2007

The Many faces and Shades of Left Media Bias

Australia's John Jay comments on today's Media: and he really has the Leftist elites pegged; great stuff here:
It is not even that the BBC and its like are deliberately trying to present a distorted perspective on current affairs or anything else. It is worse than that; the distortion is so embedded in media culture that it collectively fails to comprehend that there are other perspectives. The BBC and its hinterland of favoured contributors teems with champagne lefties, celebrity poseurs and assorted other have-your-cake-and-eat-it fellow travellers of the liberal establishment elite.

And it is a veritable honey pot for the not so big wide world of the arts and academia. The joke is that they all think of themselves as radicals and guardians of freedom. Funny business radicalism; the word suggests boldness, independent mindedness, freethinking. The reality is the opposite. It is a me- too mentality of fitting in with the prevailing ethos, often first absorbed during student days. I remember when I was at university in the 1970's, one or two lonely guys in tweeds and sports jackets flitting furtively across the psychedelic bead strewn quadrangle clutching their briefcases. I remember thinking those guys are the real radicals here. The thoroughly predictable `radical' offerings from the BBC in-crowd are invariably dripping with media establishment mythology and the depressing fact that the BBC is often hailed as a great bastion of intellectual independence merely demonstrates the overwhelming brainwashing power that the little box in the corner now has on our intellectual horizons.

The last half-century was so dominated by the spectre of the totalitarian state that no one foresaw what was really coming down the line. George Orwell partly saw the future that we now inhabit - but with one crucial difference. In his nightmare 1984, a political elite controlled the television in the corner of the room and used it to brainwash the citizenry. Whereas in the real post 1984 nightmare, a pervasive mass media - a cancerous organism out of the control of anyone, even its own media elite - brainwashes everyone, politicians included. It is not that anyone is actively trying to brainwash you; it is more that a powerful tendency to group-think is the very nature of mass broadcasting.

But the most insidious brainwashing happens at a more subtle level than this. The most insidious brainwashing lies in the power of storytelling. It is at this subliminal level that the great soft-left crusades - moral relativism and the cult of victimhood have been won. More than anywhere it is in radio and television film, drama and soap opera.

Try these tests next time you are watching your favourite BBC drama or Hollywood movie: If the characters happen to include - say - a white middle class guy and a non-white working class guy, who is going to turn out to have surprising hidden qualities and who is going to turn out to have a surprising hidden dark side? Or compare the proportion homosexual characters on your tv screen with that in your own real life. Try and find the drama where the `right wing' character turns out to be full of compassion and the `left wing' character full of bile or where the successful business executive turns out to be rather a nice chap. This sort of myth making has underpinned so much of Western story telling for at least fifty years now and has been more corrosive of freedom than any political regime.
I perform this trick all the time when watching "Law and Order" episodes with my wife; inevitably the wealthy capitalist or religious person (Christian, not Muslim...) is the villian. It really has become so predictible it is comical.

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DiscerningTexan, 7/23/2007 05:46:00 PM |