Discover more from Now and Next
Who will guard the Guardian?
… plus Private Eye and The Spectator? I look to publications like those to give me an idea of what’s really going on that’s of any importance; at least, I used to.
But when it comes to the official narrative, objectivity flies out of the window. For example, where Ukraine is concerned, ‘it was the Russians.’
The Russians invaded Ukraine without provocation. Even Peter Hitchens, who proves otherwise, feels obliged to say repeatedly that the action was foolish and inexcusable; I suppose that is the price for his being allowed to say anything at all.
It was the Russians who bombed the Nordstream pipeline, against all logic and in the face of new evidence further suggestive of the involvement of the US Navy. As Matt Taibbi relates, that story has undergone a number of mutations, the latest being that the sabotage was carried out by Ukrainians with US foreknowledge - I have visions of Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog.)
Now it seems the Russians have bombed their own dam in Kherson, which supplies water to Crimea - water blocked by the Ukrainian government in 2014 when the Crimeans sought independence, thereby reducing the peninsula’s agricultural irrigation by 90 per cent.
Putin is mad, is one story; perhaps we’re madder to believe it, but maddest of all must be the Washington war party, playing their children’s game of ‘What’s the time, Mister Russian Wolf?’ Russia has the most nuclear weapons in the world and the Dead Hand system, designed to burn up the world if they lose.
Like King Lear, President Biden could say
I am a very foolish fond old man, Fourscore and upward, not an hour more nor less; And, to deal plainly, I fear I am not in my perfect mind.
and as in Shakespeare’s play, those on whom he depends threaten the destruction of the State. Could we at least name them, question them? Where is the Fourth Estate when we most need it?
Muzzled. If the little boy who cried out that the Emperor was naked did that today, he would be held incommunicado in a supermax jail.
Better still, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of vicious persecution. The US swiftly abandoned its ‘Disinformation Governance Board’ - possibly fearing it might prove a double-edged sword in the event of a swing to the Right in last November’s midterm elections - but the BBC has pressed on with its Verify program, despite its own history of spreading fake news.
How about the Guardian newspaper (a favourite read in Broadcasting House)? It has formed an unhealthily close working relationship with the intelligence services following the embarrassing revelations of Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, as Jimmy Dore explores in his recent YouTube video ‘How The Guardian Newspaper Became A Pro-War Garbage Rag.’
Turning to Private Eye, when the Ukraine business flared up I expected their usual informative and skeptical take on it. Not so, this time: Issue 1570 (April 2022) featured a series of cartoons implying that Putin’s ‘Special Military Operation’ deliberately targeted theatres, schools, women and children; one had ‘Putin Family Butcher’ stropping a carving knife in the front window of his shop.
Concurrently, Russian news sources (e.g. RT) were blocked from us and Google’s Adsense Team even forbade the expression of contrarian opinions (round-robin email received by this writer, 13 April 2022):
‘This pause includes, but is not limited to, claims that imply victims are responsible for their own tragedy or similar instances of victim blaming, such as claims that Ukraine is committing genocide or deliberately attacking its own citizens.’
The Spectator magazine, generally considered educated and liberal-minded, has nevertheless been consistently parti pris on Zelenskyy’s behalf, again not only in its columns but in its imagery - the cover of its 27 May edition had a slanty-eyed Putin goose-stepping on a red carpet while a crafty Zel clad in his trademark squaddy top prepares to pull the rug out from under him. Putin as a despicable, malevolent Asiatic quasi-Nazi… some Russians have taken to describing themselves resentfully as ‘steppen*gg*rs.’
Then there is the subject of Covid and the associated program of prophylactic injections. Claims for vaccine injuries have multiplied to the point where the government compensation scheme has had to detail 80 workers to administer them, yet as The Conservative Woman website has shown a few days ago there was a concerted campaign orchestrated by the Government to censor TCW, which in response has added DF - ‘Defending Freedom’ - to its title (disclosure: I have written for them myself.)
We depend on the news media to see the truth for us; instead, they are guiding us on a dangerous road with the distorted vision of a bleary, cross-eyed drunk. ‘Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?’ - who will guard those guardians?