by Eric Sommer
November 5, 2008
The Western media has recently outdone itself in censoring important stories – stories which contradict the policies and interests the media seeks to uphold.. Western publics have been systematically misled in recent weeks on vital issues related to war-and-peace, human rights, the financial crisis, and more. Only a few examples can be set out here. But it should be enough to indicate the extent to which world reality is being filtered by the media.
East Germans want to return to Socialism
Outright suppression has hidden the news that half the people living in East Germany now want to return to socialism, partly due to the world financial crisis.
When the Berlin wall fell in 1989 – an early harbinger of the unraveling of the Soviet Block socialism in Eastern Europe – it was trumpeted in thousands of capitalist media stories across the U.S. and the western world.
But now that half the people in Eastern Germany want to go back, the story is blacked out. The story reached the wire service level – Reuters News Service made it available to thousands of media. But not one western world newspaper or magazine published the article.
Key quote from the article: “A recent survey found 52 percent of eastern Germans believe the free market economy is “unsuitable” and 43 percent said they wanted socialism rather than capitalism,”
You can read “Global crisis sends east Germans flocking to Marx | Reuters” here:
U.S. Dollar has Plundered the World
Another financial crisis article that western media blacked out is a tough-worded critique of U.S. financial policy from the front-page of the Chinese version of People’s Daily, the official newspaper of Chinas’ Communist party. ‘
‘U.S. has plundered world wealth with dollar…’ made it onto the Reuters wire service. The article proposed that, as a starting point, all trade transactions between Asia and Europe should be settled in Euros, Pounds, RMB, and Yen. But no western world writer or media published or alluded to the artilce, with one exception: Cuba’s Fidel Castro paid tribute to it in one of his weekly news columns in Cuba. Given that this article appeared on the front page of the official newspaper of the governing party of China, failure to relay it to western publics is a serious ommission.
You can read the story here:
Venezuela will Nationalize Its Banks in Event of Crisis.
Still another suppressed financial crisis story is a public promise by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to nationalize Venezuela’s’ banks if the world financial crisis should become acute in his country.
Chavez also promised not to give away even ‘one penny’ of tax money to the banks. He also questioned why the U.S. government could find billions for the U.S. banks and financial institutions but money was not available to help poor and working people
The story made the wire service. But again no western newspaper or magazine published it.
Promises not to give ‘one penny to the banks’ might sound appealing in the U.S., where both McCain and Obama have backed the giveaway of one trillion U.S. dollars to U.S. banks and financial companies, despite furious resistance from half or more of Americans.
Obamas’ campaign spokesman recently characterized Chavez as ‘governing undemocratically’ and without ‘the rule of law’. But as Obama backed the undemocratic one trillion giveaway of U.S. tax money, it is Chavez who might seem democratic to the American people if his promise to give ‘not one penny to the banks’ were made known.
You can read the full story here.
Hu Jia: Chinese human Rights Hero or CIA frontman?
On another front, serious filtering of reality can be seen in the coverage of the European Parliament’s bestowing of the annual Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought on Hu Jia, a Chinese human rights activist.
Google news portal searches show four thousand -plus articles on Hu Jia and the award in western media in the past month.
But not one story mentions a key fact: His legal troubles began after the organization he was associated with received one million RMB ($170,000 U.S.) from the notorious CIA front organization The National Endowment for democracy.
The story was played in western media as that of an innocent activist imprisoned for his work on behalf of Chinese AIDS patients and of other ‘unjustly treated’ human rights workers.
Omission of the National Endowment connection is a serious matter. Self-described by its first leader as carrying on the work of the CIA, the National Endowment receives thirty million U.S. Per year from the U.S. Congress; and its primary work is attempting to destabilize governments, from Venezuela to Russia, which the U.S. state wishes to modify or eliminate. Interested readers can easily verify this by clicking here: http://www.google.com/search
To be clear, receiving money from the National Endowment for Democracy is equivalent to receiving money from the espionage service or intelligence service of a foreign power. From this perspective, Hu Jia appears not just as an activist but as a witting or unwitting tool of U.S. intelligence.
“As if on Command…”
Finally, going only slightly further back in time, the western media was stunningly silent when the U.S.-backed government of Georgia invaded South Ossettia. Only after Russia responded by using military force to push the invading Georgians out of South Ossetia did the western media spring to attention, running articles emphasizing the ‘Russian attack’, with scant attention to the reality that Georgia had instituted the conflict with a military invasion clearly violating internationally recognized agreements regarding South Ossettias status as an independent entity.
Russian Premier Vladimir Putin, in an interview after the events, said: “It was amazing” and ‘As if on command – and I think it was on command” in reference to the initial silence on the Georgian aggression, followed by the thousands of articles which made Russia appear to be responsible for the war.
Whether on command, or in deference to economic and political interests, the western media is a reality screen which hides important truths from western publics, and over time induces undue prejudices against other countries and peoples. Readers who doubt this are invited to reflect that it was the same media which enabled the war in Iraq by helping to persuade the U.S. public that there ‘weapons of mass destruction aimed at the U.S.’ in Iraq.
Eric Sommers is a university teacher, journalist, and social theorist based in China.
© Copyright Eric Sommer, Global Research, 2008
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=10821
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