Thursday, 3 March 2016

"Concede A Little, Conceal A Lot"

Natalie Solent has been reading a rather odd article at Der Spiegel by an anonymous journalist. 

It seems to have been written with the aim of explaining to readers that, despite occasional mistakes or lapses in judgement, Germany's journalists are misunderstood, mistreated and misrepresented by... those very readers themselves. 

However, Natalie quotes one of the pseudonymous commenters to the Der Spiegel article itself, one "wildberry", who begins by quoting the author of the article itself:
"...“How can a woman who has been reading SPIEGEL, Süddeutsche Zeitung and Badische Neueste Nachrichten for years hit upon the idea that the journalists writing for these publications are trying to manipulate her, their reader?”  
This sentence encapsulates the problem. This air of injured innocence betrays the utter refusal of the journalists and their employers to understand why they are mistrusted and seen no longer as telling the truth to the world and holding the establishment to account. Instead they are more and more regarded as no more trustworthy than this same establishment..."
 That's just like something I would have said.

In the specific cases at hand, it is surely obvious to anyone with half a functioning brain cell that the women who were raped in Cologne on New Year's Eve were raped by Muslim immigrants from Syria and Iraq. This does not mean that all immigrants are savages. It only means that the ones who committed these crimes were savages. As was that unspeakable monstrosity who raped a ten year old boy in the shower rooms of an Austrian swimming pool, and then went back out for a swim like he'd done nothing worse than go for a piss. That the media in Germany (and elsewhere) would deliberately lie about such things in order to protect their own political shibboleths is also a rather easy proposition to believe.

That does not require a presupposition that the media are controlled by governments. All that is really necessary is the belief that most people who work in most established media outlets are all working from the same ideological premises to the same objective of trying to wage influence for similar ends, rather than their ostensible job of reporting reality.

And as Niall Kilmartin puts it in his comment to Natalie Solent's post, the tactic of journalists when confronted with such accusations about their integrity appears to be this: "concede a little, conceal a lot". I am reminded of Peter Enav's "Thinking Taiwan" article from December in which he argued that a president Hillary Clinton would better serve Taiwan's interests than any other candidate, despite him "conceding" that she could be a "little slippery on matters of personal propriety" .

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