Saturday, August 20, 2016

Seymour Hersh

Seymour Hersh is a journalist who has more than earned his place among the greatest in his field. However, the recent mainstream reaction to the likes of Hersh has been revealing. The main point of contention was his story about the killing of Osama bin Laden. The reaction against him was loud and impressive. [1] Few people in the media bothered to look at themselves and ask why they hadn't even asked questions about the official story (left or right wingers). Didn't it seem odd that the story was changing? Didn't it seem odd that the body was "buried at sea"? 

Yet none of these questions were even raised, and if the right wingers raised any point of contention it was that Osama was buried with muslim rites and the fact that Obama used the word "I" a little too much for their liking. [2] Again, another example of the docility and seemingly faked outrage of the "oppositional" media. For the rest, many were trying their hardest to be the Greek chorus rather than do their job of questioning and getting to the truth. [3]

Even where I was, in NYC, there were crowds of people who went to celebrate with all the bloodlust of a mob. Fine, perhaps some had a real reason, but I imagine they wouldn't feel the same about others reacting for different deaths. [4]

Nevertheless, this brings me to another point. I wonder: is the media right to accept this official statement about a violent action done by the state? I would actually like to read more about a comparison over the years between the official story and what comes to light afterwards. I'm guessing it won't be a simple tale of pure mendacity, but rather a tendency to skew towards lying whenever one can (for the officials). Also it would be important to see how many times the media actually challenged that story. [5] Any known studies out there?

[1] There was the Vox opinion piece, then the nytimes. All aimed at undermining Hersh and not at the task at hand. The funny thing is if you view journalists as part of a courtier class, then it isn't surprising, though it is sad. 

[2] I now wonder if Obama thought of this and simply added a few "I's" to make the rabid right wingers yell. 

[3]  Silence critical thought and get to playing to the narrative.

[4] Ah, yes, can we hear more about the clash of the civilized vs the barbarians? 

[5] There is the story of how the FBI worked to kill off the Black Panthers for merely being a social group trying to improve the lot of African Americans. Just read this wiki. Pretty sad stuff. 

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