Sunday, August 7, 2011

Is that, perchance, an Elephant in this room?

Media self-censorship is now painfully vulnerable, both to the blogosphere and to the Comments sections on the publications' own Web-sites.   The latter can easily be censored  -- one of today's articles about the events in Tottenham blandly stated that "Comments for this article are now closed.  We allow commenting for a certain period of time..." as though a year had elapsed or the statute of limitations had run out;  but the disclaimer was there the instant the article was posted.   The blogosphere is harder to shut down.  And even censorship now leaves traces:  You click on links to videos about the day's events, and are told they are not available.  They have been sent down the memory-hole -- but lo!  an impression left in the grass...

So, this page will just be a lumber-room for cases of readers catching the toffs out at their usual game.  Rest assured that, at time of posting, the following links led to something interesting, though they may since have been hastily dismantled by the speech-police.
The focus, thus, is not so much on what happened out in the world, in this or that case, but rather how the media sift and rework the materials, air-brushing as they go, yet find the facts "outed" by their own readership.


 (1) Tottenham

As I settled back with the Sunday papers and a cuppa java, I found no mention of the events.  Some turned up online at the LATimes, from the Associated Press as I recall;  but that account made no mention of, mm, the sociology of the thing, merely speaking of unrest among "Londoners"  -- you picture a scene at the Drones Club, scones and crumpets  flying through the air.  There was carefully no mention made of which London clubs the revelers might belong to; though a reference to shopping carts full of looted goods did give a hint, for whoever can read between the lines.

Here, then, the response from the media, and the counter-response from vox populi.


Comment relevant to the media:

Why is there not even one word about this in Sunday's print edition of the Post?? It started yesterday when it was late afternoon in D.C.

Today 8/7/2011 8:56:56 AM PDT
Speaking of riots, note the following that occurred in Wisconsin!

Understand that the same thing has happened in Philadelphia, Peoria and Chicago, once in Atlanta, and other cities throughout the US!! (Not newsworthy for the MSM we suppose!) 

Interesting how the Post has NOTHING on the Milwaukee attacks.
Nor the NYTimes.
Nor ABC, NBC, CBS nor CNN.
WI fair story is NO WHERE TO BE FOUND on the wapo site....

requires ultra specific search on CNN.
Notice how the article leaves out why Duggan was killed. Nice to make it seem like the police just shot someone out of the blue. 


Despite being labeled "article", this consisted of nothing but a caption, bland enough:
Des actes de violence ont eu lieu dans la nuit de samedi à dimanche à Tottenham après une marche pacifique dénonçant la mort dun homme de 29 ans, tué jeudi lors d’un échange de coups de feu avec la police.
One reader, unsure of which side of the Wonderland mirror she was on, commented:
Il y a vraiment un problème: tout simplement il n'y a pas d'article sur l'évènement mais une succession de photos légendées. Est ce un test?

Other media-specific responses (which I cite here in case they are later suppressed):

Emeutes à caractère ethnique extrêmement violentes à Londres après qu'un ganster qui avait ouvert le feu sur la police ait été abattu.
N'est-ce pas plus vrai que ce chapeau édulcoré en trois lignes ?
La encore de l'ultra politiquement correct pour cet article qui n'ose meme plus dire la verite en donnant simplement des informations sur l'origine de la population de cette banlieue de Londres, ni les criconstances de cette mort
ce brave homme traffiqué de la drogue, a ouvert le feu sur la police et un policier a eu la chance que sa radio de poitrine arrete la balle que ce brave monsieur avait tiré (sinon c'était la mort assurée). Trève d'angélisme et de désinformation.
ça rappelle les émeutes en France en 2005 et celle de Grenoble plus récemment ...
et le point commun a toutes ces émeutes ?
je vous laisse chercher mais c'est pas bien difficile à trouver si on sort de l'information déformée et censurée des médias français ...
dans certains journaux, le trafiquant de drogue est "nommé" comme un jeune père de 4 enfants qui n'a jamais rien fait de mal !!!

[Comments relevant to the coverage rather than to the events themselves:]
Way to bury the story NYT!! It wasn't until the third night of violence that you finally posted an article that wasn't hidden. When the same thing happened in Greece a couple of years ago, it was splashed all over the front page of this and every other paper.
I noticed that the photo accompanying this article shows a lone white kid. What percent of the rioters are white? About 5-10% max. If the rioters were predominantely white we would not be hearing the povery card played. It's amazing so many people have the nerve to even play that considering how many rioters and wearing $600 Nike's and tons of bling. It is dispictable that people even compared this to the Arab Spring. The Arab Spring was not about looting from H&M and T-Mobile stores. I don't remember anyone comparing the riots in Vancouver a few months back to the Arab Spring.
I struggled to read between the lines to understand who these young people were. I got a bit of a hint when they were described as "wearing masks". Ok, so here we have it - young people wearing masks - of course it must be an early Halloween! Homeowners were no doubt caught off guard and did not have any candy to give out. So, naturally, the youngsters rioted! How can you blame them? Thank you for the fine reporting - I'll make sure I always have candy on hand...just in case.

Je viens de regarder soir 3 .. silence radio sur les émeutes de Londres ... malheureusement il y a internet ..

NDLR: " Die Kommentarfunktion für diese Seite wurde deaktiviert."

[Update 10 Aug 2011]

This story is still being underreported  this side of the pond.   Where I work -- a spearhead unit in an outfit you would imagine should be politically very plugged-in -- I’ve run into several people who hadn’t heard what was going on, and were shocked to learn of it.  
Just checked out the Website of (just for an example) the Chicago Tribune:  on the homepage, not a mention.  Top news (understandably):  the Stock Market.  In second place:  “Unqualified Chicago St. students got state aid.”  Good gracious ! -- On the Web site of the San Francisco Chronicle, the top-featured story is:  “Celebs and their tattoos”  (O tempora…), followed by “13 spots that say ‘Geek!’”, and such hard-hitting stories as “Dog missing for year after car crash heading home” and “Porn shop to display nude Bieber, Gomez statue”.  And no, these are not cordoned-off in some “Local” or “Trivia” section:  this is the news.)
An honorable exception, by a black American columnist, relegated to the Local section of the Washington Post, and utterly buried on the Post website:

But read the furious Comments.

These are scary times.

No comments:

Post a Comment