Note to Monbiot about his open Letter to Media Lens
By Joe Emersberger at Oct 28, 2012
Monbiot's lengthy open letter to Media Lens provides a few gems.
One is that "there is something about the Media Lens approach that drives me bananas"
Of course there is also something about Julian Assange, Noam Chomsky, Ed Herman, Hugo Chavez and George Galloway that drives the "left of center" Guardian bananas. All of them have been relentlessly attacked in the pages of the Guardian for years.
In this piece
Monbiot managed to attack Chomsky, Herman, PIlger, Znet, Medialens and others. In the version of the piece that Monbiot put on his own website he asked
"How did genocide denial become a doctrine of the internationalist left?"
And yet Monbiot accuses Media Lens of alienating leftists. Is that what years of writing for the corporate press does to your self awareness?
Of course neither Monbiot nor any other Guardian pundit raised any visible objection when a piece by a perpetrator of genocide was posted on the Guardian's comment is free website.
The usually opinionated "Guardian Team" also went dead quiet when Joshua Treviño - a guy who openly called for the murder of Alice Walker and other Gaza Flotila activists - was hired by the Guardian.
Those who choose to work for the corporate media obviously choose to accept constraints on themselves. It appears that those who are honest with themselves about that will refrain from smearing people who reject those constraints.
BELOW ARE SOME additional comments I sent to someone who, though also disgusted by Monbiot's hypocrisy, thought Monbiot had some valid points:
Aside from his rank hypocrisy, I don’t think Monbiot’s points are well taken. I’ve read both books by the Editors of Media Lens, every alert they’ve put out since they started, and countless email exchanges with journalists and ML participants.
I think what Medialens punctures, in many cases, in the self image many journos and pundits have of themselves as daring radicals. A key point in my note to Monbiot is that the Guardian treats many people like “sworn enemies” – including Hugo Chavez for example– who could never have possibly provoked them. Their coverage since 2006 has been about 85% negative.
Guys like Monbiot simply don’t like to accept how pro-establisment they are. Monbiot not only dumped on Assange (like countless other corporate media liberals and leftsits) , he also said he thinks Iran is trying to get nuclear weapons. It’s not about being “bought off” in a vulgar way, but he clearly thinks of himself as a brave anti-establishment warrior. He doesn’t like to be told – however politely – that it isn’t true. That’s what “drives him bananas”. It is actually very easy to shrug off criticism that amounts to irrational abuse. There is plenty of that in the comments after Guardian articles.
Note the elitist remark that “bombardment of busy people” is counterproductive. Apparently it doesn’t occur to Monbiot that the people who email him are also busy – have jobs and families. In fact, fewer emails (less bombardment) would reinforce the perception that Medialens is “irrelevant” and therefore fair game for more dishonest attacks like the ones Monbiot has made. If not for the huge “bombardment”, for example, the Guardian’s infamous Emma Brockes hatchet job on Noam Chomsky would never have been retracted. Readers are not – unfortunately – a very important source of revenue for the Guardian. “Bombarding “ corporate outlets is one of the few options they have.
Monbiot actually derives the charge in his letter about ML assuming “worst possible motives” from a something some unnamed person posted on the Media Lens message board. That makes as much sense as the Media Lens editors citing a comment by an unnamed reader in the Guardian’s comment section and saying that reflects the Guardian’s position. Many different people post things on that board – often things with which the Editors strongly disagree. Incredible how often such a piss poor approach is taken to criticizing ML.
Striking that Monbiot doesn’t offer a single quote from the Medial Lens editors to justify saying they accuse guys like him of being “corporate stooges defending their pay packets”. Look over that “Bad Pharma, Bad Journalism” article I forwarded you. That is what “provoked” Monbiot’s letter. The ML editors say Goldlace was “naïve” and ideologically blinkered - a far cry from Monbiot’s self pitying caricature of their position.
By the way, I can see why you would be put off by this remark in the ML alert
“a return to enduring growth is neither desirable nor possible”
I don’t agree at all and have told them so in the past. A discussion we had about it is on their website.