Really should have posted about this when I thought about it yesterday. But I was being lazy, and now the point seems a little mute after today’s happenings. But I do feel I need to speak my mind about Charles Clarke getting all puffy and red-faced about media-representation of the government.
“I believe that a pernicious and even dangerous poison is now slipping into at least some parts of this media view of the world.”
Woh there dude….poison, dangerous, are these words that should be used when speaking about what is in essence free speach. I don’t agree with a lot of what the right-wing press prints daily in this country, but I do accept that it is the right of a free country to allow people to speak their minds. It is also the right of any citizen of this country to disagree with those statements. But to declare it poison, especially from a government official, is somewhat dishartening. Especially when the matter in hand is about how the government is apparently getting more totalitarian.
So lets some up, state officials declare that free media are becoming poisonous as well as lazy and deceitful, in what one assumes to be a bid to stop said free media on continuing with this angle. Isn’t this in effect attempting to control the media? Now I don’t think the government are really that totalitarian (but as Simon Jenkins states today – there does appear to be a creeping authoritarianism) but when they attack the press about printing points of view (however inaccurate), a dangerous line is being walked.
Overall, however, I do feel Clarkey boy had a point. Sometimes the press do go too far and print widely exagerated claims based on flimsy evidence and can tend towards absolutism.
“So some commentators routinely use language like ‘police state’, ‘fascist’, ‘hijacking our democracy’, ‘creeping authoritarianism’, ‘destruction of the rule of law’, whilst words like ‘holocaust’, ‘gulag’ and ‘apartheid’ are regularly used descriptively of our society in ways which must be truly offensive to those who experienced those realities.”
But then that’s always been the way the press deals with stuff. Why say something is kinda bad when you can scream “THIS THING THAT HAPPENED HERE IS ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLY TERRIBLE AND THE WORST THING TO HAPPEN, EVER….EVAARRRRR…ARGHHHHH…WE’RE ALL DOOMED….ARGHHHHH!!!!!” in 20pt red lettering.
For me the entire argument gets a bit paradoxical. Consider the situation, goverment is accused by press that they are being totalitarian, goverment gets angry and declares that press are essentially being totalitarian by suggesting that government is being totalitarian.
Now look, I have confused myself and am all ism’d out.