Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Various Matters

The Murdoch Thing -- I watched a bit of the to and fro between the Murdochs, père et fils, and the Parliamentary Committee today (as well as a bit of the tomfoolery with Herself, Rebeccah Brooks [neé Wade -- for some reason, a number of reports include that little detail about her] and the #2 at Scotland Yard) and I have to say that it was quite a performance of bluster, lies, and deception. Haven't seen anything quite like it since Tony Blair was hauled before the Committee of Parliament that exonerated his lies and deceptions over the Iraq Thing.

And I got to thinking... this is such a true picture of Our High and Our Mighty. Their whole world, indeed, their reason for being, is to put one over on the Rubes to be sure, but to put one over on one another perhaps more importantly. Basically, they are "creating reality" for one and all as they go; they are the ones who manufacture and market beliefs through their propaganda agencies (in the case of the Murdochs, their media empire; in the case of governments, their complicit media). It gets to the point where there is no truth any more, which is the whole point of the Post-Modern news media, largely based on the Murdoch model. Those who own and control it create the Reality Soup in which we swim. It's a neat trick.

The Ivins Anthrax Matter -- This morning brought news in my local paper that the Department of Justice and the FBI are at some odds regarding the story of the culpability of Dr. Bruce Ivins as The Anthrax Mailer. In fact, the DoJ is arguing in court that Ivins did not have access to the material and equipment he needed in order to create the anthrax material found in the letters sent to politicians and the media shortly after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001. This is, of course, a very interesting revelation, though no conclusions can be drawn from it. The story grows out of an investigation being conducted by Frontline, McClatchy News, and ProPublica for a Frontline documentary to be aired sometime later this year.

Frontline, as we know, has been denounced in no uncertain terms by the Civil Liberties Community for "smearing" Bradley Manning in its profile of him several weeks ago. Apparently, any mention of Manning's behavior, his private life, his family or his emotional turmoil in connection with his (apparent) leak of hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks is by definition a "smear" according to Manning's supporters. And once a "smear" has been perpetrated, the "smearing" entity must then forever be anathema. The same sort of denunciations happened when New York Magazine published a profile of Manning that brought up his complicated sexual issues and kind of horrifying family life. These denunciations are permanent until the denounced media outlets produce something its denunciators agree with, in which case all is forgiven as if it had never happened.

It's bizarre, but that's the way it goes. At any rate, the Ivins story has never scanned properly in any case. The whole Anthrax Episode is one of the more compelling and disturbing in our history. The anthrax had to come from a domestic, military lab. And thus, the suspicion is that the mailings and deaths that resulted were designed and perpetrated from within the Government, perhaps by the military, for the specific purpose of terrorizing media and public figures to accept the restrictions on their liberties by passing the PATRIOT Act. The Congress promptly did so. The media has, ever since, pretty much celebrated it.

But the "investigation" has been going on for nearly ten years without a proper resolution, and could easily go on for another ten or twenty or more and still not come up with the Truth. What we are bound to find, as is the case with the Murdoch Thing, is that the Truth will be created, invented as we go.

Frustrating, but there you are.

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