By Peter Hehir
The NSW election result poses one hell of a conundrum.
Just how could such a people hostile government be given another term? Is it because there really isn’t an alternative? Or is it because the mass of humanity is so very poorly informed, so ignorant and uneducated that they are simply led in the direction that the press barons dictate?
With the media almost totally in the hands of the top end of town – including print, radio and television, just how do you provide real information, the sort of hard facts that need to be presented, without editorial bias, that are absolutely necessary for ordinary people to form an informed opinion?
The local rag will only publish letters and articles that don’t challenge the status quo. They actively seek out those ravings that are highly critical of any alternative view. The Greens and their progressive agenda cop a real and unwarranted bashing here.
Frankly I’ve had a gutful of the Inner West Courier and its overtly neoliberal agenda. The same is true of all of the Murdoch publications. The biased views expressed in the Daily and Sunday Telegraph for example pass as “news” for a great many in NSW and clearly distort the lay perspective and thinking.
This is not unintentional.
The commercial TV news is packaged just like any other scripted TV programme. We lead off with a disaster of some sort, follow it up with a parliamentary coup or booboo or two, juxtapose a series of newsworthy thematically linked events that the editor deems unlikely to challenge the status quo, toss in a good measure of violence to reinforce the notion that society is approaching the verge of collapse in order to justify the need to come down hard on those who dare to challenge the system.
Then top the whole thing off with a good dose of fear – just to ensure that everyone toes the line. And a feel good story is added as a sweetener.
This approach specifically targets the “ists” among us. The activists, the environmentalists and conservationists and non-conformists are lumped in with the terrorists. All enemies of the system with little distinction drawn.
The Marxists, socialists and communists have long been effectively pilloried and are figures of scorn, while the capitalists, industrialists, materialists and the fascists are extolled as beacons of virtue.
Anything that is likely to raise a serious question is anathema and is avoided like the plague. If it has to be reported then the accompanying text is so biased as to be nonsensical. When they’re not worried about their appearance, the presenters are more preoccupied with sensationalism than substance.
And so the hoi polloi continue to be treated like mushrooms, kept in the dark and fed on shit.
The establishment controls the agenda, not just on the airwaves and in the printing presses but in the classrooms and the places of worship. These bastions of conservatism are sacrosanct. Challenge them at your peril.
Real information is so very hard to come by. Misinformation is the currency of the neoconservative. They revel in it.
Climate change is a furphy, rapid fauna and flora extinctions aren’t happening, the air is fit to breathe, the water is fine to drink, plastic doesn’t exist in food or in the ocean, monoculture is a good thing, the Murry Darling is doing fine, tollroads are our salvation, people really like living in little boxes made out of ticky tacky, amphibians are OK and the insects are just having a break…
Just where and how are people expected to get the facts that they need in order to formulate and express an informed opinion? Is the vote of an ignorant person the equal of that of the enlightened?
When considered perspectives struggle to find an outlet, real informational gems are drowned out in a cacophony of mediocrity.
So is it really any wonder that Berejiklian was re-elected?
The relentless march of Berejiklian’s crew, as they devour public assets with the voracious appetite of a horde of army ants, goes unchecked. Seemingly unquestioned even. Accepted as good business.
This is news, but the Murdoch media doesn’t see it as such. It’s just business as usual. A rite of passage from public ownership – paid for by previous generations and held in trust for the benefit of those yet to come – into their private hands.
Is this really the Australian way?
In four years’ time what will there be left to sell? Is it the fault of the ordinary person that they’ve been dumbed down, duped and led down the garden path? Is the media accountable? Is it the education system? The teachers? The church leaders?
Just who the hell is responsible?
It’s got me fucked…