Wednesday, March 3, 2010

It's OK, Apparently Journalists Are Supposed to Lie

In an article about the Polish journalist and writer, Ryszard Kapuscinski, Neal Ascherson claims that "there is no floodlit wire frontier between literature and reporting". This is interesting because he feels that being a "great story teller" does not make someone a liar. Which is true, except when they are supposed to be writing an article that people assume is 'reportage'.

I don't know about Kapuscinski but if there is no frontier between literature and reporting then why would anyone bother to read the daily tripe? Journalists churn out a lot of rubbish concerning things they know precious little about, but people read papers and listen to radios and TVs every day to find out what is happening in the world. When they read some jumped up hack going on about how there couldn't be global warming because it's very cold today, they think that the whole issue about climate change has been trumped up.

So when it comes to genetically modified organisms (GMO), consumers of journalistic bullshit (the majority of mainstream reporting) think of Frankenstein foods, or whatever crap the 'profession' has dreamed up to ensure that the last thing people do is think or become informed in any way. Neal Ascherson may write for The Guardian, a 'moderate' paper, but lying and reporting are not the same thing and if a journalist lies, he or she is a liar.

What I'm saying about GMOs will probably be of no interest to journalists because I am not opposed to them just because they may be dangerous to humans, animals, plants, water supplies, in general, the whole global ecosystem. Although, I admit it, the fact that no one knows exactly what effect long term consumption of GMOs has on those who consume them (because no credible research has been done), does seem like a glaring omission. I am opposed to the fact that a few multinationals want to control the whole of humanity's ability to provide enough food for itself. Not only do they want this but they already control a massive proportion of global food production. To cap it all, many of the most powerful idiots in the world are in favour of this, with the support of...big media owners.

Ok, I've skipped past the journalists because they are just doing a job and they are paid for by some revolting Murdoch-like character who is trying to do for global media what Monsanto is trying to do for food production. But Ascherson makes a good point, don't bother reading what journalists have to say, unless you like a good read. As for science reporting in the mainstream media, forget it.

Domination of global food production by a few multinationals should be bad enough but approval of GM potatoes or any other GMO in Europe (or anywhere else) will also be a disaster because such crops will contaminate other crops around them. We know that they will because the evidence is clear from every field trial of GMOs. We know that there are other dangerous drawbacks to GM crops and also that none of the promised advantages of these crops have materialised. So what they hell are we growing them for?

I wouldn't wish to blame lying journalists for doing any more than following orders, or whatever it is they do, but if they want to brown-nose the bosses of companies like Monsanto, the least they could do is declare their interest. Because every time they throw in a straw man argument like 'Frankenstein foods', they are scoring a goal for the GMO industry. Monsanto can just claim to be using the crops for animal feed or biofuels. But then the problem doesn't go away. Once GMOs are used, the damage is done.

There are enough arguments against the use of GMOs, aside from the dangers to human health. But these arguments are much more difficult to answer. So rather than get the biotech industry to answer them, they are presented with arguments that they have a ready prepared response to. A response that has been well sold by journalists. And have you noticed the way articles often point out how widespread GMO contamination already is, as if to say it's only a matter of time before there is no longer any point in protesting? That's how they got GM cotton into India. Thanks journalists.


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