The archive is catalogued by 'Economics', 'Politics', 'Mockingbird', 'And in other news' and 'Thoughts on other things' 

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

An Alien’s Guide to Human Folly: Part 3 - Journalists

Third in a series of short reports for Orson, an emissary from the planet Orkan – here to find out if we’re safe to be around

Dear Orson

The reputation of our mainstream media is in decline, and there is no mystery as to why this is the case: 

Humans know that politicians of all stripes are full of false promises, lame excuses and hot air in abundance…we also know that they lie through their teeth...so we take the pee out of them...relentlessly.  Many of us enjoy this a great deal; it’s the least they deserve and it’s some compensation for having to put up with their ridiculous self-importance. 

But when journalists - the guys who are supposed to be telling the truth - are making up stuff about one side, and covering up stuff about the other...then that just isn't funny. When the guy from CNN is less trustworthy than the guy selling replacement PVC windows…that isn’t comedy...it’s tragedy.  

Journalists are paid to compile a record of events for the benefit of their readers; reporters, who may or may not, but usually do, add their personal observations and opinion.

I am not a 'journalist'. The deal I have with my readers is this: I share my ‘truth’ about what’s happening in the world, people read it or they don’t, they agree with it or they don’t, they respond to it or they don’t – but there is no obligation on either side, and no commercial transaction with readers or 'sponsors' - I'm free.

My obligation is to my conscience: I represent no vested interests, I express my views without pulling punches, I provide links to my sources, and endeavour not to present ‘opinions’ as ‘facts’.  I openly declare my bias: small government, free markets, individual property rights, a non-interventionist foreign policy, and a rule of law equally applied to all…but…and most of all…I am interested in holding power to account…whichever party, country, or special interest it represents. 

In short: I am interested in the ‘truth’, and I don’t give a flying shazbot about whether or not power approves…which is just as well because history suggests that it seldom does.

You may ask: what kind of person would describe himself thus? Clearly someone who thinks he’d be perfect if only he had a tad more humility…maybe, maybe not…but there’s something far more important here: the above description is not dissimilar to what many professional journalists would claim to be their modus operandi. The trouble is, speaking as someone who knows the difference…that is clearly not the case.

If you’d arrived in our solar system in time for last November’s US Presidential Election you’d already have all the information you need on this topic. Since you can come and go from Earth whenever you please, you’d have laughed yourselves silly and then left – we are clearly not ready to interact as equals with intelligent & mature beings. But since you missed the quadrennial clown show, here is a current example of how dreadful our ‘journalism’ has become:

Every time Donald Trump tries to do something that he promised the electorate that he would do, like talking to Russia – the media attack him relentlessly. The only things he’s done so far that have met with their approval are things that he promised he wouldn’t do – like attacking Syria and cozying up with Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, journalists are fully aware of who provided the funding and the manpower for 9/11 and who provides the wherewithal for ISIS  – I’ll give you a clue – it’s not Syria, it’s not Russia, and it’s not their mutual ally Iran.  And yet the press goes obediently along with the ‘demonization’ of each of those three nations - as choreographed by the neocons in Washington, whose reasons are entirely to do with the acquisition of strategic resources and the maintenance of hegemonic power.

In short, the mainstream media is married to the narrative of powerful vested interests; the ‘truth’ is not even a distant cousin. 

Sadly, I have come to the conclusion that the mainstream media is a lost cause. I believe the truth will have to come from 'the citizen'. As long as we wait to be fed, we will be fed crap. Or, to put it another way:

"The voice of protest, of warning, of appeal is never more needed than when the clamour of fife and drum, echoed by the press and too often by the pulpit, is bidding all men fall in and keep step and obey in silence the tyrannous word of command. Then, more than ever, it is the duty of the good citizen not to be silent"

- Charles Eliot Norton, 19th Century American Scholar

On a lighter note I used the back door into the CIA database that you showed me and did a spot of rummaging about. I found an AI programme that analyses the output of a target journalist in order to identify his or her core beliefs, or as the CIA prefer to call it: 'the subconscious motives or fears that the subject is suppressing' – it’s called ‘Truth Serum’ and it’s fascinating stuff. I ran scenarios on some of our most prestigious scribblers to predict what they would write if they were being completely honest.  Here are a few that seem uncannily accurate:

“Great criminals I have known and failed to report – my life at Bilderberg and Davos” by Martin Wolf

“Creepy lunches with powerful men: the life and times of my address book” by Philip Stephens

“How to convince people you’re a liberal with virtue signalling and a fragile ego” by Gideon Rachman

“How Donald Trump stole my chance to go back to work for Larry Summers” by Edward Luce

“I’ve got a Nobel Prize and a column, when do I get a seat at the table?” by Paul Krugman

“As I mentioned to God last night” by Larry Summers

Finally, and to see if it would work on an author who hasn't spent years fawning to the establishment, I gave it a few pieces written by Bill Bonner:

“If cash really IS the devil, who is Hillary Clinton?” 

Seems to work...

Nanu Nanu

MarkGB

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right

An Alien’s Guide to Human Folly: Part 2 - Neo-Conservatives