I was wondering how long it was going to take for the talking heads on MSNBC to portray Muslims as the true victims of the Charlie Hebdo massacre.
In a complete inversion of reality, this story is morphing into a parable about how difficult it is to be a Muslim in Europe.
Newsweek’s bureau chief in Paris, who appeared on MSNBC’s The Cycle.
“This is an issue that’s going to be used very effectively and cynically by the far-right politicians,” said Dickey, “not only of France but especially in the rest of Europe, places like Dresden, places like the Netherlands…”
Translation: Europe’s insufferable right-wingers aren’t actually concerned with the seemingly endless acts of terrorism or even about their own culture being displaced by one that’s stuck in the seventh century. They merely “use” those issues, “very effectively and cynically.” It’s brown skin they hate.
The dirty little secret of journalism is that reporters are very conscious of their substantial influence. They are not just hired eyes and ears conveying all they see and hear. Journalists know that news coverage can impact policy and world events. Consequently, they think of their constant massaging of the news as just plain old responsibility. Yet most journalists still pay lip service to the ideal of covering the news without fear or favor, something that simply can’t be achieved while constantly placing their collective thumb on the scale to ensure that one side of the debate can never win.
That’s not “responsibility;” it’s rigging the game. The role of journalists isn’t to wonder whom their stories will benefit. Their job is to report the news and let the chips fall where they may.
France has its own censors, ever eager to filter the news out of some warped sense of responsibility. Jean-Claude Dassier, director general of the news outfit LCI—France’s version of CNN—admitted in 2005 that his network shielded viewers from seeing the true destruction wrought by angry Muslim rioters who were then besieging France.
“Politics in France is heading to the right and I don’t want rightwing politicians back in second, or even first place because we showed burning cars on television,” he confided.
The only rational conclusion is that Dassier wants to keep the French public uninformed because they’d likely vote for Front National, France’s unapologetically nationalist party, if they knew what the heck was happening to their country. Better not to cover the news lest people figure out that the “bigots” have a point.
Dassier continued: “Having satellites trained on towns across France twenty-four hours a day would have been wrong and totally disproportionate.”
Oh, I get it. Actually covering the news would have been inappropriate because it would have imparted the false impression that cities across France were burning. Which they were, incidentally. So, in order to provide a clearer picture, Monsieur Dassier’s news service was instructed not to cover the news.
“Journalism is not simply a matter of switching on the cameras and letting them roll. You have to think about what you’re broadcasting.”
Well there’s some refreshing honesty. I have no doubt that most journalists think very hard about what they broadcast and that’s the problem. They don’t give it to us straight. The constant impulse to shape the news to fit an agenda strips their reporting of any value. That omnipresent question “What would the Right do with this?” hangs over their coverage, influencing editorial decisions to the point that their end product can only be called propaganda.
Læs det hele af Benny Huang: Journalistic “Responsibility” And Other Sorry Excuses For Censoring the News