The modern media is a most bizarre playground; not unlike the cut and thrust of Second World War espionage and counter-espionage. We’re often treated to massive, blanket coverage of certain events which in the greater scheme are far less significant or important than other key events which get virtually no column inches at all.
What am I waffling on about you ask? Take the G8 summit in Edinburgh back in 2005 where around 225,000 protesters marched through the city’s streets to call on G8 leaders to end third world poverty as part of the “Make Poverty History” campaign.
The same day as the protest Bob Geldof and his cronies, including U2, Madonna and Pink Floyd were crooning away in London’s Hyde Park.
Of course the media focused on the pop concert, Live 8, and the Make Poverty History campaigners were swept under the news carpet; there to lie with the dust mites, toe nail clippings and dried bogies.
As a result bands like U2 saw a 300% increase in record sales while the Make Poverty History campaign was ignored and the poor people of the affected countries landed only a fraction of the cash raised by Geldof’s publicity venture.
So the point is that the media controls what we see, read, hear and to a large extent, purchase.
Fast forward six years and a similar thing is happening again. #OccupyWallStreet is a campaign to highlight the corruption going on in Wall Street and the effects that corruption is having on the national and global economy, as well as minority groups.
Fresh from their non-event at Bohemian Grove on July 13th this year, hacker group Anonymous have lent their support to the protests after a public outcry over the lack of media coverage the occupation, now into its second week, was receiving. Like the G20 protests in Toronto, 2010, the media is focusing on the trouble elements after 700 people were arrested yesterday for blocking traffic lanes on the Brooklyn Bridge. It is only after these arrests that newspapers and websites are gathering interest in the movement, but for all the wrong reasons.
During the G20 campaign police officers arrested peaceful demonstrators, locking them up for 48 hours in a makeshift jail, while ignoring the dangerous ‘Black Bloc’ group – a gang of masked thugs who burned cars and smashed shops windows before disappearing behind police lines. Yes, they were cointelpro.
The arrival of Anonymous and their V for Vendetta masks should set alarm bells ringing because the media will pick up on their presence and turn the whole thing into a circus, diluting the real message.
There won’t be the same tear gas, pincer moves and flaming cars as witnessed in Toronto, but there will be enough misinformation and misdirection of facts that will be sufficient to make the public think that the whole event is just a bunch of crazies with nothing better to do than stage a big fat love-in.
Wall Street moguls control the media by the way, not hard to see why they’d want to keep this whole thing quietly in perspective.
I sincerely hope the protesters win and make a massive social statement – People = Power – but I have that canny feeling that the media will win the day out and before long it’ll be back to Lady Gaga wearing animal skin and some vacuous reality TV star losing their septum after a cocaine binge of epic proportions.
If I’m wrong you can tell me so by leaving a comment below, or you can do so now and let us know your thoughts on the financial crisis looming over America and the world, the Occupy Wall Street movement or Anonymous.
images: uaff.us, courant.com, autonomousresistance.wordpress.com, 12160.info, adbusters.org, insidehpc.com