Friday, January 21, 2005


Medialens is a must-read each month.

In the recent BBC series, 'The Power of Nightmares' Adam Curtis claimed:

(1) The neocon politicians have a new way of trying to hold onto power. They promise to protect us from terror.

(2) The neocon politicians are trying to spread democracy around the world.

According to Medialens:

(1) The politicians have been using fake terror as a weapon to control people for many hundreds of years.

(2) The politicians may not be trying to spread democracy; they may be promoting the interests of big business.

According to Medialens, Curtis had nothing to say about the key issue of business control of American society; the words 'corporate', 'corporation' and 'business' were not mentioned in the series. Instead, the neocons were depicted as fanatical ideologues, with no mention of their roots in the business community or their furtherance of corporate interests.


On 31 December 2004, Simon Jenkins wrote in The Times:

"To me the greatest disaster of 2004 was not the Indonesian tsunami but the continuing conflict in Iraq, the bloody endgame of the 9/11 disaster. The upper estimate of deaths in Iraq, 100,000, is eerily similar to that for the tsunami.

According to Medialens, Jenkins is wrong - the upper estimate for Iraq deaths, made in the only serious scientific study to date, is 194,000.

Professor Richard Garfield - one of the authors of a report conducted by the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health on Iraqi casualties published in the Lancet science journal - has said: "The true death toll is far more likely to be on the high-side of our point estimate..."

Medialens points out that the words 'The Lancet' and 'John Hopkins Bloomberg School' had been mentioned a total of just 23 times in all UK newspapers since the report was published on October 29, 2004. The words 'The Lancet' and 'Iraq' had been mentioned 127 times. By contrast the words 'tsunami' and 'Asia' were mentioned in 700 newspaper articles in just three days in early January. The total since December 26 runs into many thousands.

Medialens considers that this is a classic example of media servility to power.

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