“When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.” — Edmund Burke, 1770
For those remembering the halcyon days of the likes of Murrow, Woodward, Bernstein, Pilger, Hersh, Fisk and Orwell on mainstream, the memory of the news and current affairs media that challenged, faced off and outed injustices, secret plots and downright illegality seems to be something of a wish list fairy tale today.
As one of those throwing themselves into Fleet Street in the early ’70s I played the well oiled game of making it up as you went along. The pay check depended on that some of the time. As a rookie in a filthy doorstepping world with a very vague notion of all aspects of morality and ethics I used wit to manoeuvre stories onto the news desk that had obviously weak tenets. At times I made scoops that won, yet very swiftly my moral compass regained its true north and after only a few short years I found the profane smell of deception, buying agendas from the top floor and over creative pens were worthless against the thrill of chasing truth in the story. I was no McCullin or Pilger, I had none of the courage of the likes of Tim Page and McCullin at the front line yet lessons I learned in that brief window served me all through my career. I would not have missed it for anything.
Today I find myself, like so many others choosing the world outside of mainstream, as we live in the most specious, mendacious and untruthful times for reportage and the survival of truth over lies. The whole mainstream media bar a few percentage points is wholly owned by a coterie of a half dozen oligarchs. Their political allegiances well known. Their heritage coming from the same stock my great uncle confronted in the 1920s. Then the plutocrats, bankers and global manipulators whose Khazarian roots and now the poison in every corridor of power, every seat of government, business and corporate interest.
Coming from a lineage where life long friends for my great uncle included the owner of the London Telegraph newspaper, Viscount Burnham, he was well placed to work as a war correspondent for the title and his sojourn in New York City working alongside Adolph Ochs, the powerhouse owner of the New York Times allowed tremendous access to many very influential people. In those times most especially the cancer of corruption and propagandised manipulated news was blossoming into the ugly hydra we deal with today. The MSM Directive is no new babe on the block.
For all his uncovering, my great uncle placed himself in the cross hairs of the powerful – the rest is the subject of my book Dreams and Realities.
Today the mainstream has few individuals worthy of mention who can claim the title of journalist. The likes of John Pilger, Glen Greenwald, Chris Hedges, Caitlin Johnstone, Vanessa Bealey and other brave souls come to mind yet themselves are mostly non mainstream.
With the mainstream so tightly ‘owned‘ by those who control the agenda, it makes an informed population almost impossible. The internet has given a glimmer of breaking this controlled ‘monopoly‘, yet even as we write the harnessing in by the tech giants now controlling, monitoring and censoring access while choking feeds makes our freedom of expression and speech endangered and threatened like never before.
It is a truism knowledge is power. Information is key in any war, knowledge is power. That is precisely why it is set up to deny any and all truly alternative information, contrary narratives and dissent from being freely available. At the same time they double down through blatant BS and lies spewed from the mainstream.
Examples are so many and varied yet the rate at which the current Skripal nonsense is enlarged, played and bullhorned out countering the “two suspects’ story merely illustrates the depths and the desperation print and TV media will plunge in keeping the ever changing rubbish alive. It pains me to quote it but The Daily Mail writes:
The Kremlin assassins who attempted to poison Sergei and Yulia Skripal with the Novichok nerve agent allegedly enjoyed a drug-fuelled night with a prostitute just hours before the Salisbury attack.
Russian agents Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov – who gave an astonishing interview last week claiming to be sightseers – reportedly kept guests awake at their £75-a-night hotel.
Witnesses say cannabis wafted from their twin room in the two-star City Stay Hotel in Bow, East London, as they partied through the night.
Furious guests complained to staff after the pair smuggled a prostitute into their room for ‘noisy sex’.
The Sun on Sunday does its usual gutter garbage:
“…the hitmen argued with staff the morning after their stay at the City Stay Hotel before setting off to Salisbury on the train to carry out the Novichok attack on Skripal, 67, and his daughter, Yulia, 34.
A guest who recognised the pair from CCTV images released by police told the newspaper: ‘I could smell weed from their room. It was by the door and in the corridor, it was unmistakable. It must have been around 7pm.
‘Later there was a woman in there. I think she was a prostitute. They were having sex. Definitely. I heard them having really loud sex for a long time.
‘It was definitely a woman. I don’t think the men were having sex with each other.’”
Alongside the putrid trash daily dredged from the swamp that is DC, enlarged and blasted by the sewer of mainstream America, it leaves little hope there will be change here any time soon.
Even that epitome of trash thriller writing, Jeffrey Archer would be laughed out of court with such storylines. Yet the true problem lies with all the brainless people not only buying this rubbish but believing and suckered in by it. Those that do not yet still confirm their belief it was Russia’s fault in everything are equally branded with brains of rocking horses.
Gutter press is nothing new yet all the main titles across the Western world are hell bent on keeping facts and truth as far away from the public as possible.
That all this propaganda, lies and redirection can easily lead us all into a global conflict of disastrous consequence has little effect on the growing intensity and depth we are fed and watered. Run by psychopaths, this is par for the course.
It is easy for self righteous people to say – “Oh, I don’t engage in the news” or “I don’t watch TV” or worse “I am not into politics” but truth be told everything is politics today, everything needs challenging and not doing so is merely a cop out and a pretence that it makes one innocent with clean hands.
Today ignorance is a crime, turning away an act of treason. Denial of common sense, non maintenance of a critical mind, wilful ignorance and denial makes each one part of the problem and mere good little authoritarian followers.
It was a poem written by a German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller, about cowardice that is as true today as it was the day it was written:
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
The only moment we can truly start to win this War of Minds is when we stop all those that throttle our voices, our actions and our massive numbers against them. Each day not doing so is one day closer to their winning. We cannot let it happen.
In a local meeting here in Glastonbury the other night, brought about by an inordinate crime and drugs epidemic in this so called ‘spiritually centred‘ English town there was one attendee who declared a truth that must reverberate across the world.
“If we truly wish to see things change, get the problems we complain about resolved then we the community, we the people of this place, individuals must stand together as one, take action, support each other, be proactive, not merely take photos to upload and be mere onlookers. Law enforcement and those that help are only as effective as our efforts to step up to the challenge, offer our numbers and energy, meet the problem without fear and make the power of the many bring to account the fetid nuisance of the few”
Never has this been more true nor more imperative for us all to stand, confront and make sure each and every one of us offers their heads and hands above the parapets of cowardice, shame and fear. Our defence is embedded in courage, in doing things differently. speaking truth, speaking truth and then again speaking truth. In facing the tyrant, the bully, the thief – calling him out, bringing him to account ultimately brings him down.
Jonathan L. Trapman
Author and photographer writing since aged 9 and photographer since aged 16. Beginning his professional career as a photojournalist, working for some of the top titles in Fleet Street among them the London Times, Daily Express and a very short and boring stint with the Sun newspaper., he became exposed to the amount of propaganda and half truths demanded from photo/journalists in the ‘70s and 80s. Deciding his soul was worth more than shekels earned from the news rooms of corporate cronyism, he went on to become one of the industry’s foremost photographers. He enjoyed getting to know the world, its peoples and a far wider vision of life on earth on others’ behalf and at others’ expense. He has appeared on TV and radio including the BBC, France Inter and online radio. Invited to speak at creative and literary conferences across the globe, in early 2012, in partnership with his wife, having accomplished several translations of foreign writers they made the first ever English translation, in over 900 years, of 11th century Sufi founder and mystic saint Hoja Ahmed Yassawi’s Diwani Hikmet (Divine Wisdom) poetry and sacred verse. Currently he is working on a 7 volume opus The Freedom Cycle, Dreams and Realities being the first.