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Sunday, December 18, 2011

@GeorgeMonbiot takes down the corporate media

George Monbiot – Unmasking the Press:

'via Blog this'

Too bad about Hitchens, but the best thing I've found about the corporate media this week comes from Monbiot. Everything you need to know, including the essential 99 percent versus 1 per cent dynamic, is in here.

The class-warfare element is fairly obvious, and set out fairly high in the piece. Monbiot takes no more than a couple of spare and elegant paragraphs to touch on how the conversation is manipulated in a way that mobilizes people against their own interests or redirects their attention in harmless or ineffectual ways.

What's especially useful, though, is the description of the technique of distraction:
... the corporate papers ask us to celebrate the lives of the economic elite. Saturday’s Telegraph devoted most of a page to a puff piece flogging the charming jumpers being sold by a Santa Sebag-Montefiore (nee Palmer-Tomkinson) from her “white stucco Kensington House”(9). She works – if that’s the right word for it – with someone she met at Klosters, where she and her family “ski with the Prince of Wales and Princes William and Harry.” So far they have managed to sell 40 of these jumpers, which somehow justifies an enormous photo and 1400 breathless words.I mention this sycophantic drivel not because it is exceptional but because it is typical. A friend who used to work as a freelance photographer for the Telegraph stopped when he discovered that most of those he was being sent to photograph were the well-heeled friends and relatives of people on the paper. Journalism is embedded in the world it should be challenging and confronting.
Of course, this is from a British context. There's absolutely nothing like that happening here, of course. (*cough Globe Life cough*)

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1 comment:

  1. Good to see you back.

    That excerpt is interesting. Fawning over the elite is certainly a mainstay of the UK import, "Hello" magazine. The genius behind it was some Spanish couple who started ¡Hola! in 1944.

    This kind of editorial copy is what is called aspirational content in the magazine business. It targets the middle class and leads them to believe they have more in common with the elite than is ever remotely true.