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MarkGB 

"Who controls the food supply controls the people; who controls the energy can control whole continents; who controls money can control the world" - Henry Kissinger

and yet...

"Sooner or later everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences" – Robert Louis Stevenson

When the 'news' is not the news

In the Financial Times yesterday, 13th June 2016, we had an article from Gideon Rachman entitled: “Orlando massacre will aid Donald Trump’s campaign of fear”

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/6b14db5a-314f-11e6-ad39-3fee5ffe5b5b.html#ixzz4BUFfyy3G

The article started like this:

“Donald Trump’s first reaction to the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando was revealing. “Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamist terrorism”, tweeted the Republican party candidate for the US presidency. 

Unlike conventional politicians, Mr. Trump did not even bother to pretend that his first thought was for the victims. In a later statement, he elaborated on his initial reaction: “I said this was going to happen — and it is only going to get worse . . . We can’t afford to be politically correct any more”

If Mr. Rachman had done his research prior to writing this he would have discovered the following (information from Twitter Inc.):

1. Trump’s first tweet on the Orlando massacre was this, timed at 5.07am, 12th June:

“Really bad shooting in Orlando. Police investigating possible terrorism. Many people dead and wounded”

2. His second tweet was this, timed at 8.45am, 12th June:

"Horrific incident in FL. Praying for all the victims & their families. When will this stop? When will we get tough, smart & vigilant?"

3. His third tweet was the one that Mr. Rachman described as his ‘first reaction’. You will notice also that he quoted only the first part of it. This is timed at 9.43am:

"Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don't want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!"

So what do we have here? I think we have an FT ‘journalist’ presenting Trump’s third comment as his ‘first reaction’ to support an agenda to paint Trump as someone who jumps at the opportunity to use the news for his own ends…you see where I’m going with this don’t you dear reader?

To recap – the first part of Mr. Rachman’s comment was this:

“Donald Trump’s first reaction to the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando was revealing. “Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamist terrorism”, tweeted the Republican party candidate for the US presidency. 

Unlike conventional politicians, Mr. Trump did not even bother to pretend that his first thought was for the victims.

Get that last bit: Unlike conventional politicians, Mr. Trump did not even bother to pretend that his first thought was for the victims. 

Clearly he did bother, though whether his comments contained as much BS as ‘conventional politicians’, I can’t say for sure. In Mr. Rachman’s case I can say for sure, since this article is the most glaring piece of propaganda I’ve read this week…on the other hand its only Tuesday morning...

...Anyway, so much for ‘facts’. Opinions are in some ways more honest - if we are honest about the opinions we hold. Here are mine, which I wrote in the comments section:

'On YouTube there are a number of videos of religious zealots preaching about killing gays. There is a so-called 'Baptist' amongst them - he's a white guy. There are other so-called 'Christians' calling for the execution of gay people too. They think gay people offend the 'God' they worship. 

There's also an Imam filmed in Florida as recently as this April calling for the death of gay people. In a very soft voice he is looking down into his audience reassuring someone that it is the ‘compassionate thing to do’. It's the 'correct' punishment for being gay.

I have some questions to put to you Mr. Rachman:

Where is your moral outrage for this Imam? Where is your moral outrage for this Baptist? Let's be clear - these are ideologies not races, creeds not flesh and blood, religions not human rights. Where is your outrage for these ideologies Mr. Rachman?

Before I ask my last question, let me very clear of where I'm coming from in an attempt to avoid the stereotyping that seems to be having a field day amongst FT journalists right now:

1.  I wouldn't let Donald Trump, or Hillary Clinton babysit my grandson or even walk my dog - I think they are both thoroughly dishonest people

2. I don't care if you are black, red, green or the Pillsbury doughboy - it's what's in your heart that matters to me. You can worship the tooth fairy for all I care, but if she tells you to kill someone you're going to have a problem with me

3. Not all Baptists are murderers, not all Muslims are murderers...BUT...when are we going to demand that the Baptist communities and the Muslim communities condemn the murderers in their midst, condemn the so called holy men who preach murder? We don't live in a religion, we live in a society - you want to come live here - you follow the rules - we don't approve of people being killed because they love someone of the same sex - non-negotiable

4. It takes 5000 years to build a civilization and very little time to trash it. We'd better start calling things what they are. There are some Nazis in this story, Mr. Rachman - bonehead though he may be, none of them are called Donald Trump.

So finally, I have another question for you Mr. Rachman:

What would you be writing if this was a black guy shot by a white guy wearing a red 'make America great again' hat?'

***

So I suggest we pay attention to what we are being told, particularly right now. Question the pre-suppositions being used, and stay awake to the agenda of the source. The 'news' is not always the news. And don't accept everything that I write either. I also have an agenda. My agenda is to keep politicians, bankers, economists and the media honest. My analysis will be flawed at times...and there are times when I'm probably too hard on the little dears. 

It's a shitty job, but someone's got to do it :-)

Lunch with the FT: Martin Wolf flatters Adair Turner

Ed Luce finally gets the idea but still misses the point