When political propaganda poses as journalism

Since deregulation the various media of mass communication are 90% neoliberal: owned by the oligarchs and policed by their 'chiens de garde'. The propaganda directed at voters is almost totalitarian in its effect. Debate is limited to the concepts and language used by political propagandists who pose as presenters and journalists. An example for English readers illustrates this.

The International Monetary Fund has at last mentioned the existence of neoliberalism. They took their time. This indicates that the one-sided class war - famously summed up by Warren Buffet - has clearly been won, after a hundred years of propaganda.

The terms of discussion therefore shift, and "Don't Mention the War" gives way to some hypocritical hand-wringing. In the same way, but over five-year timespans, Mediapart helps to assure the French presidency for 'le monde de la finance' before resuming criticism of its failings.

British liberal newspaper the Guardian, which publishes the writings of the extreme centre, sometimes includes less predictable material.  Their current 'long read' - a commendable piece by Stephen Metcalf - is entitled 'Neoliberalism: the idea that swallowed the world'. 

I don't propose to cover the same ground as Mr Metcalf. On the contrary, I wish to give an example of what the Guardian more often publishes. Here, the Guardian's writer is French, and purports to give information about an aspect of this year's presidential elections: the emergence of 'La France Insoumise' leading the resistance to neoliberalism.

With the collapse of the scam that was once the French Socialist Party, the non-revolutionary Left formed a movement intended to end the country's submission to the oligarchs. La France Insoumise was born a year or so ago and presented a reformist programme and a candidate for the presidential elections. The media avoided all discussion of the movement's programme, except its costs; instead,  a savage campaign of defamation was mounted against its candidate, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, a former Socialist minister who had resigned in opposition to neoliberal policies.

The Guardian's chosen French correspondent  of course joined in, and almost attained self-parody. Here are the key words from her "reporting" on Mr Mélenchon and the detailed programme he presented:

" ... far-left wild card ... acid tongue ... left wing political showman ... radical tax-and-spend platform ... caustic rhetoric ... slick political stand-up  ... not far from the National Front ... rattled investors ...  warmer ties with Russia ... a crazy French Chavez ... Communist-backed ... catastrophe ... disaster ... chaos ... firebrand orator ... furthest left ... ".

With reporting like that, who needs propaganda? 

 

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