“THE NEWS IS WHAT WE SAY IS NEWS” II
The media reports what someone says as news. This does not mean that what the person says is true.
Recently the media reported that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said, “The international jihadist movement has declared war . . .” Really? When? I did not know that there was an international jihadist movement. Did they call Mr. Harper personally with this declaration of war?
The dictionary defines terrorism as the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce especially for political purposes. (Do governments fall under this definition with their acts of war or ways to collect taxes?)
In June, 2014, in Moncton, New Brunswick, Justin Bourque dressed in military camouflage killed three Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers. He was known for his “anti-government” views. The media did not call him a terrorist nor classify his act as terrorism. Was this because Justin Bourque was not a Muslim with “anti-government” views?
Martin Couture-Rouleau and Michael Zehaf-Bibeau did not know each other. Both were Muslim. The media reported their killings of soldiers in Montreal and Ottawa as acts of terrorism, and reported them as being connected. Regarding these killings, the media quoted Prime Minister Harper using the words “terrorist act.” There was no connection to The Islamic State (ISIS). The media reported their acts as “inspired by ISIS.”
Many people I talk to believe that there is a connection with the killings in Montreal, Ottawa and Paris (at the offices of Charlie Hebdo); that these killings are part of an international jihadist movement whose goal is to take over the world and bring in Sharia law. The fear-mongering by the media and some of our political leaders is effective. It’s easy for governments to justify their military actions and pass laws taking away our freedoms when we cower in fear. We don’t think when we cower in fear. Referring to terrorists our leaders say things such as, “They’re attacking our democracy and freedoms!” The only attacks on our democracy and freedoms are government secrecy, and laws that take away our civil liberties.
Imagine if the media focused on bank robberies the way it focuses on unconnected violent acts committed by people who happen to be Muslim. Imagine if every bank robbery in every city in the world received front-page headlines, and the media reported these robberies as being connected. Soon we may think that there is an international group of bank robbers trying to rob every bank in the world. How fearful we would be each time we walked into a bank — if we dared walk in a bank at all.
By the way, I remember a time when bank robberies in Toronto received front-page coverage. Now many bank robberies don’t even make the news. Why? Because the news is what we say is news.
Posted on January 16, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged canadian prime minister stephen harper, charlie hebdo, civil liberties, democracy, justin bourque, martin couture-rouleau, michael zehaf-bibeau, terrorism. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.