Broken Windows and Dominant Media's "Coverage" of London Protests
By Paul Street at Apr 02, 2009
Okay, so Janet (my wife) and I were sitting on the couch watching the nightly news on ABC/Disney (Charles Gibson the anchor) yesterday at 5:30 pm. Naturally enough, the TV Network lapdogs are giving the news from London, following the president overseas, where the nominal heads of the global ruling class are meeting to figure out what they might do to mitigate the deepening crisis of their global profits system. I had just looked at some Internet links on the anti-neoliberal and anti-capitalist demos underway in England and France. So I said to Janet, "okay lets see if these assholes will even cover the demonstrations. If they do cover them, I can straight up-guarantee you they'll laser in on some broken windows and say absolutely nothing about the legitimate and specific demands of the protestors."
Well, Disney News goes about 12 minutes in mainly on Obama this and Obama that. They do a nice long segment on Barack and Michelle meeting with the Queen of England. Cool. We also see Obama shaking hands with the Russian head of state and with some Saudi Arabian princes. Wow. We see France's ridiculous head-of-state N. Sarkozy. Whatever.
At maybe minute 13 or thereabouts we were granted maybe a minute on the "disorder" in the streets of London. The coverage zeros in on tussles with cops and mentions, guess what, broken windows in the financial district.
Ever notice how obsessed corporate media "coverage" of popular demonstrations for peace and justice is with ...broken windows in financial and shopping districts? ...and how completely that "coverage" refuses to cover the very specific and real and legitimate policy demands of marchers and demonstrators?
Naturally enough, Disney's Charlie G. related not one single thing about what London's many economic justice demonstrators want and why.
On the half hour BBC news I got (via Iowa Public Television) at 11pm last night, the demonstrations were mentioned four minutes into the broadcast. BBC is in England after all and it can hardly push major London demonstrations back any further without being too obviously Orwellian in its determination to omit popular resistance from popular consciousness and memory. Still, the BBC coverage said nothing about specific and legitimate grievances and repeatedly called the demonstrators "violent protesters." Interestingly enough however, the only real violence evident from BBC's film clips was that of police officers stepping out of line to club citizens.