From 9/11 to Covid : The Refusal of the Debate
We all have the word “Democracy” in our mouths and our media warn us against the authoritarian drifts of illiberal countries. However, some of us refuse to organize contradictory debates on the attacks of September 11 as well as on the reaction to the Covid-19 epidemic.
The celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001 give rise to two absolutely contradictory narratives, depending on whether one refers to the written and audio-visual press or to the digital press. For some, Al Qaeda declared war on the West by plotting a high-profile crime, while for others the same crime masked a domestic coup d’état in the US.
Any debate is impossible between the supporters of these two versions. Not because both sides refuse it, but because the supporters of the official version -and only they- refuse it. They consider their opponents as “conspiracy theorists”, that is to say, in their mind, at best fools, at worst evil people, accomplices -willing or not- of terrorists.
From now on, this disagreement applies to any major political event. And the worldview of the two camps keeps distancing itself from each other.
How could such a fracture between fellow citizens occur in societies that aspire to democracy? Especially since, not this fracture, but the reaction to this fracture makes any democracy impossible.
A CERTAIN CONCEPTION OF JOURNALISM
We are assured today that the role of journalists is to report faithfully what they have seen. Yet when we are interviewed by a local media outlet about a story we know about and see how they have handled it, we are often disappointed. We feel that we have not been understood. Some of us lament that we have come across the wrong journalist and retain our trust in the mainstream media. Others feel that while a little distortion is possible on small issues, a lot more must be done on more complex ones.
In 1989, a crowd attending one of his speeches heard the Romanian dictator, Nicolae Ceaușescu, accuse the fascists of having invented the Timișoara massacre attributed to his regime’s torturers. Revulsed by this denial, the crowd revolted, chanting “Ti-mi-șoa-ra! Ti-mi-șoa-ra!” and overthrew him. The local television station in Atlanta (USA), CNN, broadcast live the few days of this revolution. It thus became the first live news channel and turned into an international channel. However, we know today that this massacre never existed. It was only a staged event using corpses taken from a morgue. It was later learned that a propaganda unit of the US Army had an office adjacent to the CNN newsroom.
The Timișoara manipulation only worked because it was live. Viewers had no time to check or even think. Professionally, no journalist ever drew any conclusions from the event. On the contrary, CNN became the model for the live news channels that have sprung up everywhere.
During the Kosovo war, in 1999, I was producing a daily bulletin summarizing the information from NATO and the regional news agencies (Austria, Hungary, Romania, Greece, Albania, etc.) to which I had subscribed . From the beginning, what Nato was telling us in Brussels was not confirmed by the regional agencies. On the contrary, they described a completely different conflict. It was strange to see that the regional journalists, from all countries except Albania, formed a block, writing texts that were compatible with each other, but
Article from LewRockwell