columnBy Udo W. Froese
THE dark side of the media is that it is the public platform for the age-old attempt to influence the general public, its client base. Its hidden agenda is to propagandise corporatisation, the only acceptable way forward as part of global capitalism.
Terms such as "embedded journalists", "academic analysts", committed to some cause of democracy or another, re-defining popular concepts like 'democracy', 'freedom', 'choice', 'reform', 'regime and regime change', 'impartiality', 'objectivity' and 'balance' is standard practice, reinforced by the access to the facility of technology and the illusion of a "free flow of information".
This means in reality, more media owned by ever fewer conglomerates. This has led to the severe limitation of open public debate and its general participation. Professor John Pilger, author of the book, "Hidden Agendas" documents that "there is strong evidence that the public has intuitive concerns about the secret laws of media power and its influence over and intrusions in their lives."
Well-known British journalist, Robert Fisk, commented in one of his columns in The Independent, writing about the so-called "Arab Spring" in North Africa and the Middle East, referring to Syria and quoting Western media saying "Syria's rebels were always "closing in on Homs, Damascus, Aleppo, then Damascus again. The West supported the rebels. Money and guns aplenty came from Qatar and Saudi Arabia (also from Turkey, Israel, Afghanistan and Iraq - this writer), moral support from Obama, Clinton, the pathetic Hague (in the Netherlands), France's new president Hollande, the whole factory of goodness - until, inevitably, it turned out that the rebels were made up of rather a lot of Salafists, executioners, sectarian killers and also mercenaries (this writer) and in one case (possibly more than one - this writer), a teenage head-chopper who behaved rather like the ruthless regime they were fighting."
In 2001 already, John Pilger wrote in an article referring to the war in Afghanistan that caused a stir in the self-proclaimed international West, under the title, "This war is a farce", "The war against terrorism is a fraud. After three weeks' bombing not a single terrorist implicated in the attacks on the US has been caught or killed in Afghanistan. Instead, one of the poorest, most stricken nations has been terrorised by the most powerful - to the point where US pilots have run out of dubious 'military targets' and are now destroying mud huts, a hospital and Red Cross warehouses and lorries, carrying refugees."
Pilger asked in that article, "Why are cluster bombs being used? They spray hundreds of bomblets that have only one purpose: to kill and maim people. Those that do not explode lie on the ground like landmines, waiting for people to step on them." In the south hemisphere and Southern Africa the corporate media and its fallacy of "academic analysts" continue to propagate a so-called "North African style Arab Spring." In fact, 2013 will see a continuation of attacks on the person of the re-elected ANC president, Jacob Zuma, and his leadership. The dubious motive seems to be an attempt to discredit and destroy South Africa's ruling party and its government.
A word of advice from Fisk, for "Middle East potentates, dictators, Western poseurs, television presenters and journos (including 'academic analysts', this writer), do not use the following words, or expressions in 2013: moderate, democracy, step down, step aside, tipping point, falling into the wrong hands, closing in, spilling over, options on the table or - terror, terror, terror, terror, terror."
Fisk then asks, "Too much to hope for? You bet. We'll even get another load of clichés from the goodness factory to replace those that have already served their purpose." And finally, for South Africa and the rest of the region - remember there is indeed a working law in the law books against any destabiliser, local and foreign, committing High Treason through promoting a so-called "North African style Arab Spring". The corporate media barons should not assist with unsavoury destabilisation attempts, using the electronic and print media.