you know this is supposed to be a lifestyle blog but every now and then I cannot resist the idea of getting something thought provoking off my chest.
I say this because like children in a kindergarten, we are told a lot of fairy tales and we absorb the stories into our consciousness without question. We go on to build our philosophy and our political beliefs and our future plans on the basis of these myths.
A free press is such a myth. A free press should be free to lie, right? So that’s what it does on most days when it serves the interests of the owner. We have forgotten that not so many years ago Saddam Hussein had these aluminum tubes with which he was going to attack Great Britain within 45 minutes. The tubes proved to have nothing in them but the press got into a frenzy like sharks around a blood clot. We went to war and totally annihilated a country of 36 million people on the say so of a press which repeated stories told by some “bad apples” in government. We cannot blame politicians for that one. If the press was really free it should have thoroughly checked the story which it knew would lead to catastrophic results, before publishing it. The facility of having such a national and international coverage should carry with it huge responsibility. After all, even misinformed politicians make world shaking decisions on what they read in the press, or are egged on beyond their natural inclination by a press with its own agenda.
Recently the press went into a hunting fever, hounding this poor couple who wanted a better treatment for their ill son, a treatment that the NHS was unwilling to give. The full power of the global media was brought down on these people who wanted only the best for their child. In fact they seem to have taken all the precautions when they took the child away from the hospital in search of better medication abroad. But ‘you will not disobey us’ was the dictum and the press sounded this dictum like a clarion call and suppressed the facts not to spoil the fury of the hunt. The true facts are allowed to emerge only after the hunting party is over and everyone is free to celebrate with a glass of champagne wile the parents of the family languish in jail.
Have you noticed that after the exposure of every sorry tale as a lie, the press conveniently find a scapegoat and pretend to be truth telling saints? They blamed the Iraq war on a poor miserable, starstruck and unrepentant Tony Blair. After the facts were exposed about the Great European Hunting party the press blame the doctors, the hospital, the police, everyone but themselves. They have forgotten the eagerness and the frenzy with which they bayed along with the hunting party.
If this is a free press I would rather a press that is properly supervised by a committee of responsible citizens, or as in wikipedia people should have the ability to edit stories as they are published. After all we are not all that ignorant that we have to be told stories like kids in a kindergarten! This is the Internet Age when We are supposed to have had an information revolution. Decaying old men out of touch with reality should not be in charge of disseminating information to the public.