Category: Journalism

Listen to a Real Journalist on the American Political Scene Today. Chillingly Insightful

john_pilgerLong-time Australian journalist and documentary filmmaker John Pilger released a piece a few days ago that qualifies, in my mind at least, is one of the clearest and most insightful takes on the American political scene.

Frequent readers of this blog know that I am extremely cynical about journalism in the Western world today. Clouded as it is by sensationalism, confused as to what constitutes “news”, and wandering around a rapidly changing landscape brought about by the Digital Revolution, the state of affairs in my chosen profession is sad to say the least.

Still there are shining lights. One of those is Pilger. The producer of almost 60 documentary films and the author of a large handful of books, he has over the years maintained a steady, jaundiced eye in his role as a well-informed arbiter of what’s important in the world. His view is summed up in the heading of his blog: “It is not enough for journalists to see themselves as mere messengers without understanding the hidden agendas of true message and myths that surround it.” Amen.

His latest piece is headlined, “Silencing America As It Prepares for War.” The thrust of the article is to point out that all of the current political leadership in the United States is cut from the same neoliberal cloth. They all agree on and support the necessity of one degree or another of constant war. He is particularly harsh with president Obama. “One of the more violent presidents, Obama gave a full rein to the Pentagon war-making apparatus of his discredited predecessor.” He continues, “No American president has built more nuclear warheads than Obama.”

But his interest is less on blaming Obama then on fretting about the future of the United States in the hands of any of the three current major political party candidates for President. None of them, he points out, has mentioned any of Obama’s war-like record. Indeed, even Bernie Sanders supports Obama’s drone war. Nobody, he points out, is talking about the provocative ways in which the Administration pokes and provokes Russia and China over issues that are of little or no strategic importance to our country.

I urge you, in the strongest possible terms, to read this analysis. It is chilling, but it is more important than anything I’ve read in the last few years that wasn’t about global climate change.