Democracy and the Media Bias - by Fjordman
In democratic societies the press, the Fourth Estate, should supposedly make sure that the government does its job properly as well as raise issues of public interest. In practice, we now seem to have a situation where the political elites cooperate with the media on making sure that some topics receive insufficient or unbalanced attention while others are simply kept off the agenda altogether. This isn't the case with all issues but with some more than others, especially those related to Multiculturalism, mass immigration and anti-discrimination where there seems to be a near-consensus among the elites. Together they form a new political class. This trend is recognizable all over the Western world, but it has become more deeply entrenched in Western Europe than in the USA, partly because more media outlets in Europe are either controlled by or at least sponsored by the state, but mainly because the political class has become formalized through the European Union.
In Europe, politics is more and more becoming an empty ritual. The real decisions are taken before the public even get a chance to vote on them , and the media won't talk honestly about important matters. Our daily lives are run by a bloated bureaucracy which is becoming increasingly transnational. Ever so slowly, everyone is reduced from being an individual to being a cogwheel in a giant machine, run by supposedly well-meaning administrators and technocrats. They don't really care about you; they just don't want anybody to rock the boat, so they constantly grease the bureaucratic machinery with lies.
In 2007, former German president Roman Herzog warned that parliamentary democracy was under threat from the European Union. Between 1999 and 2004, 84 percent of the legal acts in Germany – and the majority in all EU member states - stemmed from Brussels. According to Herzog, "EU policies suffer to an alarming degree from a lack of democracy and a de facto suspension of the separation of powers." Despite this, the EU was largely a non-issue during the 2005 German elections. One gets the feeling that the real issues of substance are kept off the table and are not subject to public debate. National elections are becoming an increasingly empty ritual. The important issues have already been settled beforehand behind closed doors.
As British politician Daniel Hannan says: "When all the politicians agree, the rest of us should suspect a plot against the ordinary citizen. Without all-party consensus – and this is true of all the Member States, not just Germany – the EU would never have got to where it is." He believes the EU was intentionally designed this way: "Its founding fathers understood from the first that their audacious plan to merge the ancient nations of Europe into a single polity would never succeed if each successive transfer of power had to be referred back to the voters for approval. So they cunningly devised a structure where supreme power was in the hands of appointed functionaries, immune to public opinion. Indeed , the EU's structure is not so much undemocratic as anti-democratic."
In the eyes of American theorist Noam Chomsky, "The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion , but allow very lively debate within that spectrum." This is undoubtedly true , which is why it's strange that Chomsky thinks that the Internet, currently the freest medium of all, is "a hideous time-waster."
In June 2004, a survey showed that 50% of all Swedes wanted a more restrictive immigration policy. Mass immigration reached the highest levels in history in 2006, yet before the general elections that year, all the major parties and the media cooperated successfully on keeping a lid on the issue. During the past few elections in Sweden , there has been virtually no public debate about mass immigration, but a passionate debate about "gender equality" in which almost all contestants call themselves feminists, and only argue over which ways to implement absolute equality between the sexes. The more suffocating the censorship becomes regarding the problems created by Muslims, the more discussion there is of ways to get rid of the straitjackets of heterosexuality. This is clearly done in order to give the citizens the sense of living in an open, free and tolerant society. Diversity of sex is used as a substitute for diversity of political opinions.
Author Bruce Bawer describes how before the rise of maverick politician Pim Fortuyn, the Dutch political scene had to a great extent been a closed club whose members, regardless of party affiliation, shared similar views in the widest possible sense. Most of the journalists belonged to the same club. If the majority of the populace didn't quite agree with this cozy elite regarding the most sensitive issues - and the most sensitive of them all was Muslim immigration - this hardly mattered much. Since all those who were in positions of power and influence were in basic agreement, the will of the people could safely be ignored.
According to Bawer, "Fortuyn had been an active politician for only a few months but had already shaken things up dramatically. Before him, Dutch politics had been essentially a closed club whose members shared broadly similar views on major issues and abhorred open conflict." Journalists and rival politicians alike - notice how they worked in lockstep - responded by smearing him "as a right-wing extremist, a racist, a new Mussolini or Hitler." Indirectly, this led to his murder by a left-wing activist who stated that he killed Fortuyn on behalf of Muslims because he was "dangerous" to minorities.
Later, the Islam-critic Theo van Gogh was murdered in broad daylight. As Bawer states, "In 2006, in a crisis that brought down the government, Ms. [Ayaan] Hirsi Ali was hounded out of Parliament by colleagues desperate to unload this troublemaker. When she moved to Washington, D.C., last year, polls showed that many Dutchmen wouldn't miss her. The elite, it seemed, had reasserted its power, and the Dutch people, tired of conflict, had embraced the status quo ante. (…) Five years ago, Fortuyn inspired widespread hope and determination. Today, all too many Dutch citizens seem confused, fearful, and resigned to gradual Islamization. No wonder many of them — especially the young and educated — are emigrating to places like Canada, Australia, and New Zealand."
Pim Fortuyn was indirectly murdered by the political , cultural and media elites whereas Theo van Gogh was murdered by Muslims. Ayaan Hirsi Ali has been driven from the country. Islam-critic Geert Wilders is still there , but he is subject to similar smears as Fortuyn was about being a racist, receives daily threats from Muslims and not-so-subtle hints from the establishment that he should tone down his criticism of Muslim immigration. The Dutch spirit appears to have been broken, at least for now, and things are slowly returning to normal. The extended political elites are once again firmly in control of public debate, and the embarrassing peasant rebellion has been successfully struck down.
I've suggested before that native Europeans face three enemies simultaneously when fighting against the Islamization of their lands: Enemy 1 is the anti-Western bias of our media and academia, which is a common theme throughout the Western world. Enemy 2 are Eurabians and EU-federalists, who deliberately break down established nation states in favor of a pan-European superstate. Enemy 3 are Muslims. The Netherlands from 2001 to 2007 is a clear case in point where enemies 1, 2 and 3 have successfully cooperated on breaking down the spirit of the native population through intimidation and censorship and by squashing any opposition to continued mass immigration.
The fact that members of the media and the academia tend to be more, sometimes a lot more , left-leaning politically than the average populace is well-attested and documented in the Scandinavian countries. Senior members of the BBC in Britain frankly admit that they are biased and champion Multiculturalism in their coverage. During the 2005 Muslim riots, it was openly stated by several French journalists that they downplayed the coverage of the riots because they didn't want it to benefit "right-wing parties." Judging from anecdotal information it seems fair to assume that this trend is universal throughout the Western world.
Bill Dedman, investigative reporter at the MSNBC, made a list of American journalists' political campaign contributions from 2004 through the first quarter of 2007. Of the 143 journalists surveyed, 125 had donated money to the Democratic Party. Only 16 of them had donated money to the Republican Party or conservative causes, and two to both parties.
Dr. Chanan Naveh, who used to edit the Israel Broadcasting Authority radio's news desk, mentioned, with no regrets, examples in which he and his colleagues made a concerted effort to change public opinion: "Three broadcasters - Carmela Menashe, Shelly Yechimovich [later a Labor party Knesset Member], and I - pushed in every way possible the withdrawal from Lebanon towards 2000... I have no doubt that we promoted an agenda of withdrawal that was a matter of public dispute." As Charles Johnson of American anti-Jihad blog Little Green Footballs commented: "Journalists are no longer in the business of simply reporting facts and events; increasingly, they see their job as 'activism,' and the points of view they promote are invariably leftist and transnationalist. Honest journalists will admit this outright , and we see the pernicious effects of this information manipulation and filtering everywhere."
But why is the situation like this? One could claim that this is the effect of the Western Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, or alternatively a product of the Cold War. But if you believe the esteemed Friedrich Hayek, the trend was discernable already in the late 1940s, before the Cold War had left a major impact. How do we explain that ? One plausible hypothesis could be to assume that those with conservative viewpoints will generally direct their energies towards business and commerce , while those with left-leaning sympathies desire to get into positions where they can influence people's minds. Over time, this could mean that in an open society, the media , the academia and the intelligentsia will tend to gravitate towards the political Left and become dominated by people sympathetic towards Utopian ideas. Because of the positions they have gained, their political bias will significantly influence what information is presented to the general masses, and how.
In his essay The Intellectuals and Socialism, Hayek noted already around 1950 that "Socialism has never and nowhere been at first a working-class movement. It is a construction of theorists" and intellectuals , "the secondhand dealers in ideas. The typical intellectual need not possess special knowledge of anything in particular, nor need he even be particularly intelligent, to perform his role as intermediary in the spreading of ideas. The class does not consist of only journalists , teachers, ministers, lecturers , publicists, radio commentators , writers of fiction , cartoonists, and artists." It also "includes many professional men and technicians, such as scientists and doctors."
"The most brilliant and successful teachers are today more likely than not to be socialists." According to Hayek, this is not because Socialists are more intelligent, but because "a much higher proportion of socialists among the best minds devote themselves to those intellectual pursuits which in modern society give them a decisive influence on public opinion. Socialist thought owes its appeal to the young largely to its visionary character. The intellectual, by his whole disposition, is uninterested in technical details or practical difficulties. What appeal to him are the broad visions."
He warns that "It may be that as a free society as we have known it carries in itself the forces of its own destruction, that once freedom has been achieved it is taken for granted and ceases to be valued, and that the free growth of ideas which is the essence of a free society will bring about the destruction of the foundations on which it depends. Does this mean that freedom is valued only when it is lost, that the world must everywhere go through a dark phase of socialist totalitarianism before the forces of freedom can gather strength anew ? If we are to avoid such a development, we must be able to offer a new liberal program which appeals to the imagination. We must make the building of a free society once more an intellectual adventure, a deed of courage."
During a conversation I had with a Swedish friend and a lady who grew up in the Communist dictatorship of Romania , we concluded that Westerners are at least as brainwashed by Political Correctness and Multiculturalism as they ever were with Communism. There never was a universally shared belief in Multiculturalism in Western Europe, and the percentage of True Believers is declining by the day. Still, it is probably accurate to say that more people believed in Multiculturalism in Western Europe in 1998 than who believed in Communism in Eastern Europe in 1978. But how is that possible?
Ideological indoctrination is most effective if the people maintain the illusion that they are free and that they are being served balanced information. Citizens in Communist states knew that they participated in a large-scale social experiment, and since ideological hegemony was upheld at gunpoint, this left little room for doubt that they were being served propaganda to shore up support for this project. Yet in the supposedly free West, we are taking part in a gigantic social experiment of Multiculturalism, seeking to transform our entire society, and still we refuse to acknowledge that we are being served ideological nonsense by the media.
The differences, particularly on issues related to Jihad and immigration, between the information reported in blogs and independent websites and the information presented to us by the established media are so great that it shocks many ordinary citizens once it dawns upon them just how much censored propaganda we are spoon-fed every day. This experience has shattered the myth of free, critical and independent Western media, at least for some.
In the view of blogger Richard Landes, the media play a critical role in the global Jihad's success. The major media outlets "are the eyes and ears of modern civil societies. Without them we cannot know what is going on outside of our personal sphere , with them we can make our democratic choices in elections, assess foreign policy, intervene humanely in the suffering around the globe. But as any paleontologist will tell you , any creature whose eyes and ears misinform it about the environment, will not long survive."
This can be compared to being attacked by an angry and hungry polar bear, while your eyes and ears, the media , tell you that it's a cute koala bear who just wants to be cuddled. Meanwhile , your brain has been indoctrinated to think happy thoughts about diversity and smile to all creatures, regardless of their nature or intentions. This is pretty much how the entire West is today. The heavy bias of our media and our education system constitutes a very real threat to our survival.