Newspaper’s “Viral Witch Hunt” Rhetoric Shows Corporate Media Pro-Banker Fascism
Above: Keith Olbermann covers the Occupy Wall Street media blackout in the U.S.
I’m the law-and-order candidate among my liberal, anti-corporate friends. I believe in policing and I support police in many incidences where others of my political leanings are quick to judge them. I believe passionately that a world without police would be a world where guys like me, and probably like you, are subject to the brutal law of the jungle from asshats far less forgiving than Anthony Bologna.
I am pro-law, pro-order, pro-cop.
But I can’t brook the media response, or lack of response, or garbled response, to the Occupy Wall Street protests. This shit is out of control.
Picking on the Daily Mail is like shooting fish in a barrel, but that’s where the clearest malfeasance has occurred. The Daily Mail should be ashamed for many things. But this takes the cake.
I’m referring to its use of the term the term “Viral Witch Hunt” in a headline for an article that is ALMOST ENTIRELY about protesters being abused. There is, as far as I can tell NO CREDIBLE THREAT AGAINST THE OFFICER IN QUESTION — not from the left, at least…though I can point The Daily Mail toward a hundred right-wing gun blogs where crazed white guys claim when the Obama minions come to take their guns, they’re going to kill as many cops as they can take with them. But hey…those guys are on the right, and they’re white, and they’re gun owners. It’s so much easier to pick on protesters on the left, demanding justice for those — among whom I count myself — who’ve had their lives just about ruined by Wall Street.
Remember, a headline is not an expression of opinion independent from the article it tops. It’s supposedly a title. Remember “titles”? They describe the work that follows, not some other body of knowledge. We must therefore judge what the Daily Mail put in their headline not on whether there is a viral witch hunt, but on whether they have established in their article. And not only haven’t they — they don’t even really address it. Bologna’s story is a tiny part of the article.
Here’s what these useless dung-eating right-wing tools of Satan said:
An on-line witch hunt has begun to identify police officers after dozens of videos showing the NYPD acting aggressively during last week’s Wall Street protests appeared on Youtube.
The videos show officers punching, pepper spraying and tackling protesters from last week’s ‘Occupy Wall Street’ demonstrations in downtown Manhattan.
The news comes as a second video emerged of senior officer Anthony Bologna – identified along with his family by hacker group Anonymous – using pepper spray on a protester during last Sunday’s demonstration march.
Please note, in the above, that “Viral Witch Hunt” is NOT placed in single quotes, as would be typical in headlines, were it pulled from a quote given by an authority, a witness, or a commentator. The term “Viral Witch Hunt” MUST, therefore, be attributed to The Daily Mail. That term is the newspaper’s assertion, not a witness’s or commentators. But the article is almost entirely about protesters being fucked with. Bologna’s case figures only briefly at the beginning.
The URL for this article? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2043118/Im-Press-arrest-Journalist-tells-harrowing-treatment-police-documenting-Wall-Street-protest.html — which translates as “I’m Press: Arrested Journalist Tells of Harrowing Treatment by Police While Documenting Wall Street Protest.” But then the headline becomes some imagined “Witch Hunt” against a police officer? What the fuck, people? The entire article is about the abuse of protesters by the cops; there is barely any coverage of Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna.
Gee, is it possible the right-of-center Daily Mail is trying to divert attention from how protesters are being mishandled and create the illusion that crazed left wingers have a plot to track down Deputy Inspector Bologna and hurt his family? This possibility is imagined; until it is established as a credible possibility it is bullshit — a red herring. It exists for the sole purposes of painting the protesters in a bad light.
The moment any protester does that shit, they should be held responsible for what they do. But don’t make it up and then tell me it’s real as a way of distracting me from what already happened — that protesters were maced and beaten. That’s the news, people.
Needless to say, I believe any vigilante action against an officer accused of anything is as bad as, if not far worse than, the initial accused malfeasance on the officer’s part. I have absolutely no objection to Bologna and his family receiving protection, if they feel there is a credible threat. Better safe than sorry. But pretending the threat is more credible than it is — well, that’s quite simply all too familiar. It’s a page from Milton Friedman.
Anyone who tries to take vigilante action against cops in the United States is and always will be my sworn enemy. This includes, incidentally, the enormous number of right-wingers who post on gun forums about how they want to be armed for when “Obama’s minions” come to confiscate their guns. Those people are scum, and they are endemic among online gun enthusiasts. They thrive on believing themselves to be persecuted by the “liberal” majority, and they act like they fucking can’t wait for “The Government” to come and get their guns so they can fight back on behalf of liberty, forgetting that the very people they think they’re going to be fighting back against are the other posters on gun boards — many of whom work or worked for law enforcement or the military. This is classic Tea Party rhetoric, essentially White Nationalist doctrine adapted for milktoast namby-pamby nutless wonders. But these threats to police are not coming from the left, and the people occupying Wall Street are not — AS PRESENTED BY THE DAILY MAIL!!!! — threatening Anthony Bologna.
Let’s take a page from history here. In right-wing junta takeovers that involve mass slaughter, arrest, or just political disenfranchisement, throughout history, all over the world, as a matter of theory and a matter of practice, you know what the right-wing, corporatist elements do to silence opposition and shut protest down?
They accuse the party protesting the status quo of having been planning to take violent action.
In Indonesia in 1948, the right-wing Muslim military and other right-wing elements claimed that Communists were planning a mass slaughter. Their solution? Slaughter the Communists. It worked, too — at least until 17 years later, in 1965, when the Communists threatened to take power again. The right-wing’s response? Slaughter the Communists….again. The toll, in 1965? At least 200,000 to 300,000 Communists slaughtered by right-wing forces, the military, cops, and militias. All because the Communists were “planning” to take violent action. Where else has that happened? Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Chile, Argentina, the list goes on and on — all places where the American right wing helped the local right wing shove its Milton Friedman pro-privatization, pro-corporate tentacles far enough up the ass of the middle class, working class and poor to steal their gold fillings. And, to be fair, authoritarian states like the Soviet Union, Liberia, Sierra Leone, for which you can’t blame the American right.
The right-wing tool of preemptive accusation of planned violence reached its most chilling recent peak in Rwanda, where the Hutu-dominated government responded to the assassination of the President by a rebel group by claiming the Tutsis overall were planning a violent nationwide slaughter. The result? At least 800,000 dead Tutsis, Hutu “Tutsi sympathizers,” and Hutus who were insufficiently enthusiastic about killing Tutsis with machetes.
But if you’re willing to go a bit further back, you can rack the death toll well into the millions — many millions — when you look at the burning of the Reichstag in Germany. The culprit? Left-wingers, Communists, Jews. Their accuser? A gent named Adolf Hitler.
Did the Reds really burn the Reichstag? What the fuck do you think, Sherlock?
And do left-wingers really plan to attack Officer Anthony Bologna’s family? I sure as fuck hope not. Anyone who even thinks about that shit is my sworn enemy, no matter what Bologna did or didn’t do.
But, while were at it, did Anthony Bologna inappropriately mace a protester? Well…he’s “accused” of it. That seems a hell of a lot more credible than some phantom anti-Bologna plot that’s confined to the first few paragraphs of a story about protesters being abused!
Is the accusation against Bologna a credible accusation? That’s for a civilian review board and a court (actually two or more of them, potentially — civil and criminal, plus appeals), NOT The Daily Mail or the claimed operatives of Anonymous, – or me or you, just because we watched it on YouTube — to decide.
But the Daily Mail don’t have any problem deciding that sympathizers to the protesters “might” commit violence against Bologna…and putting that in the headline.
Is that a double-standard in your grotesque, rotting-from-the-head collapsed empire of lies and brutal repression, or are you just glad to see me?
But what does this have to do with the States?
Because the corporate media continues to ignore Day 11 of the Occupy Wall Street, and the British press is where it’s being covered. Claiming a “Viral Witch Hunt” in the headline and having a different title on the URL implies an extreme form of rhetoric that is being pushed by one or several loose cannons in the newsroom.
I’m speculating here, but: Maybe the person who wrote the story wanted a headline that represented WHAT IS ACTUALLY ON THE PAGE IF YOU READ THE STORY — the tale of on-the-scene journalists silenced, protesters attacked, dissent forcibly squelched on behalf of corporate sponsors. Then some other douchebag waltzes in and, knowing most people won’t read a word of the story, or won’t remember it — but will remember the headline — decides this story would be better if it had a little more PUNCH.
“Hey, there’s no actual lies in it…we just need to put the emphasis where it belongs…on this poor, poor upstanding cop who has not been credibly threatened but MIGHT be threatened — rather than on those scruffy protesters who have already been maced, beaten and improperly detained. Hey, what’s important is that those protesters might be pissed off enough to ‘go after’ the family of a cop!”
The result is that in a story about the harrowing experiences of protesters, the headline tells you that the protesters are behaving badly and might pursue a violent vendetta. But the Daily Mail has not supported this assertion. It’s hot air…but it ends up in the headline, just as it would have in Chile, Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, the Soviet Union…
Why? Because most people don’t read the text. They just see the headline. The corporate enforcers of the status quo count on your ignorance, and your unwillingness to be pulled away from that dopamine squirt you’re getting from watching torrented copies of Two and a Half Men, to give a fuck whether the newspaper is telling you what it’s telling you, or if it’s telling you something else entirely.
You know better, don’t you?
Of course. You read Techyum. Welcome to Culture 2.0, where the Reichstag’s still burning. And the protesters didn’t set the fire.