Sunday, December 5, 2010

Chinese ordered attack on Google?

An avocation, a diversion, or simply passing the time; reading newspapers, convenient on the S-Bahn, in Starbucks, or sitting on the toilet. However, make no mistake, it is generally speaking, a "much of a muchness" press and the conversation with my nephew yesterday was most appropriate; the TZ is almost as good as the Süddeutsche Zeitung and that newspaper is probably right up there with the 'Guardian', which Jonathan Cook says "has earned an international reputation—including in Israel—as the Western newspaper most critical of Israel’s actions. That may be true, but I quickly found that there were still very clear, and highly unusual, limitations on what could be written about Israel." Jonathan's criticism could, of course, could be extended. When it comes to real news, the 'Guardian', like the rest of the daily drivel is at best limited.  

In yesterday's edition of the 'Guardian', we were confronted with the headline. "WikiLeaks cables blame Chinese government for Google hacking" and under that headline, the subheadline, "Leading politician ordered attacks after googling his own name and finding critical articles, US dispatches say," Now, what is being conveyed to the reader here is that the "bad" Chinese hacked Google, when in fact what we have is the Americans blaming the Chinese for the attack and saying that the reason they did so was that a Chinese politcian found band things written about him after he googled his name. Of course, it might just be that the US diplomats who conveyed this information to Hillary Clinton might just have been telling Hillary what she wanted to hear and what they wanted her to hear. Or, indeed, they might just have been blatantly lying. Certainly, while academic caution is advisable, the evidence would seem to suggest that not only do they lie to the general public but that they also lie their to each. However, that "suspicion" is hardly novel. No, there is another, and in the wake of the Wikileak revelations that are pouring out at the moment, more relevant point to be made.

Quite simply we have all of this data being handed to the mainstream press with Julian Assange saying, "the analytical work was “done by professional journalists we work with and by professional human rights activists. It is not done by the broader community.” Now, while I would agree that human rights activists may indeed want to analyse this information, my tendency would be to disagree that it is better in the hands of "professional journalists" rather than a blogosphere, which might limit the exposure and the coverage that the documents would otherwise get. Julian might believe that he is working with those "professional journalists", however, the reality is that those journalists are working for a mainstream press which is, as Jonathan Cook, implies, at least "limited". We might expect the continued manipulating this information in a manner that is hardly detrimental to Washington and we would do well to use all of our bottom up skills when reading the material.

1 comment:

Sibylle Schulz said...

gerade diskutieren wir im Bezirk München/Obb von Amnesty International wie sich Amnesty zu Wikileaks und J- Assange positionieren soll. tatsächlich hat J-Assange einen Preis von Ai in 2009 erhalten. Aber es wird auch kritisiert, dass afghanische Zvilisten durch die Publikationen gefährdet werden.