Life through Medialens – but not as we know it

by Martin Rowson

This week I thought I’d describe my adventures with a website called Medialens over a cartoon I recently drew for The Guardian. It featured Bashar al-Assad, in the immediate aftermath of the Houla massacre, smeared in blood and pointing an equally blood-stained finger at his own chest. Also depicted were Vladimir Putin, Wen Jiabao, Ban Ki Moon, Kofi Annan, several cowled figures of Death, Angela Merkel and Christine Lagarde lashing a pile of human bones with euro-laden cats-o’-nine-tails and the sleeping form of David Cameron, snuggled up to an enormous cat dressed in a blue pin-striped suit. The thing was captioned “Who? Me?!?”, although it’s by no means clear who’s saying these words, just as it’s not clear whose blood besmirches Assad, whether it’s his latest alleged victims’, from his earlier ones or, for that matter, whether the blood might be his own.

Anyway, I was asked by Medialens via Twitter (in 140 characters or less, even if a picture is, they say, worth a thousand words) what clear evidence I had for President Assad’s personal involvement in the Houla massacre. So far as I can tell, Medialens turn out to be a couple of blokes called David whose mission is to expose the lies, misrepresentation and manipulation in the “mainstream media”. Continue reading “Life through Medialens – but not as we know it”

The womb-like psychological warmth that is submission to power

Medialens is an absolutely indispensable resource for intellectual self-defense and unmasking the ‘necessary illusions’https://i0.wp.com/homepage.mac.com/leperous/.Pictures/reporter.jpg within which power envelops itself. Here is their latest media alert, focusing on UK media coverage of Iran, Gaza and the MPs’ expenses scandal. (You can pre-order their new book Newspeak in the 21st Century here.)

In a recent alert, we described how the modern corporation is an inherently predatory, even psychopathic, entity. We noted that business managers are legally obliged to subordinate human and environmental welfare to profit.
(See: http://www.medialens.org/alerts/09/090615_the_guardian_climate.php)

Inevitably, then, corporations do not restrict themselves merely to the arena of economics. Rather, as John Dewey observed, “politics is the shadow cast on society by big business”. Over decades, corporations have worked together to ensure that the choices offered by ‘representative democracy’ all represent their greed for maximised profits.

This is a sensitive task. We do not live in a totalitarian society – the public potentially has enormous power to interfere. The goal, then, is to persuade the public that corporate-sponsored political choice is meaningful, that it makes a difference. The task of politicians at all points of the supposed ’spectrum’ is to appear passionately principled while participating in what is essentially a charade.

Continue reading “The womb-like psychological warmth that is submission to power”