That’s the title of a very enlightening essay at Lew Rockwell. It describes the life and experiences of German journalist Udo Ulfkotte, who explains just how journalists are “bought” and paid off by the powers that be. It’s long, but very interesting. Here’s an excerpt.
Now to the subject of lying media. When I was sent to the Iran-Iraq war for the first time, the first time was from 1980 to July 1986, I was sent to this war to report for FAZ. The Iraqis were then ‘the good guys’.
I was bit afraid. I didn’t have any experience as a war reporter. Then I arrived in Baghdad. I was fairly quickly sent along in a bus by the Iraqi army, the bus was full of loud, experienced war reporters, from such prestigious media as the BBC, several foreign TV-stations and newspapers, and me, poor newbie, who was sent to the front for the first time without any kind of preparation. The first thing I saw was that they all carried along cans of petrol. And I at once got bad consciousness, because I thought: «oops, if the bus gets stuck far from a petrol station, then everyone chips in with a bit of diesel’. I decided to in the future also carry a can before I went anywhere, because it obviously was part of it.
We drove for hours through the desert, towards the Iraqi border. Approx. 20-30 kilometers from the border, there really was nothing. First of all no war. There were armored vehicles and tanks, burned-out long ago. The journalist left the bus, splashed the contents of the cans on the vehicles. We had Iraqi soldiers with us as an escort, with machine guns, in uniform. You have to imagine: tanks in a desert, burned out long ago, now put on fire. Clouds of smoke. And there the journalists assemble their cameras.
It was my first experience with media, truth in reporting.
While I was wondering what the hell I was going to report for my newspaper, they all lined up and started: Behind them were flames and plumes of smoke, and all the time the Iraqis were running in front of camera with their machine guns, casually, but with war in their gaze. And the reporters were ducking all the time while talking.
So I gathered courage and asked one of the reporters: ‘I understand one thing, they are great pictures, but why are they ducking all the time? ‘
‘Quite simply because there are machine guns on the audio track, and it looks very good at home.’
. . .
I just want to say that this was my first experience with truth in journalism and war reporting.
That is, I was very shocked by the first contact, it was entirely different from what I had experienced. But it wasn’t an exceptional case.
. . .
I was greedy. I accepted many advantages that a regular citizen at my age in my occupation doesn’t have, and shouldn’t have. But I perceived it – and that is no excuse – as entirely normal, because my colleagues around me all did the same. But this isn’t normal. When journalists are invited to think-tanks in the US, like German Marshall Fund, Atlantic Bridge, it is to ‘bring them in line’, for in a friendly way to make them complicit, naturally to buy them, to grease them with money.
. . .
A lot of subjects and news, that are not being reported at all, or they are – I claim reported very one-sided. One can only explain this if one knows the structures in the background, how media is surrounded, bought and ‘brought onboard’ by politics and the intelligence services; Where politics and intelligence services form a single unity.
There’s much more at the link. Highly recommended reading.
The same sort of habitual lying on the part of journalists is widely known, as in “Journalists Have Become Hoaxers“. We addressed the subject earlier this week, looking at “Propaganda Versus Fact“. We see it around us every day . . . yet we tolerate it without objecting to the news media or the powers that be. I wonder why? Have we been so brainwashed that we simply accept it as inevitable?