F.U.Q.s – Frequently Unanswered Questions

“If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.”

Thomas pynchon

We like questions, we encourage questions…but sometimes they annoy us…

Isn’t this website a conspiracy? Aren’t you conspiracy theorists? I smell conspiracy… Right-wing, left-wing…bla…conspiracy conspiracy conspiracy!

If you’re a journalist…how about engaging with explained, evidenced critiques of your work rather than trying to deflect them away? Given that your (self-described) role is to hold people in positions of power to account, why do you so often become angry and dismissive when anyone endeavours to do the same to you?

Wouldn’t a truly free press be filled with journalists eager to engage with constructive criticism and to self-reflect on their practice? Surely there is an awareness, in our post–postmodern age, that to be “objective” and “balanced” is challenging. Could any individual hope to even come close to these standards without engaging with external feedback?

If you’re not a journalist…we suggest that you take a look at the weight of evidence on this site (and other resources we link to) then watch the film The Matrix and pay close attention to the scene about taking the red pill or the blue pill…

You criticise the media from the left and peoples from the right also criticises the media so surely that means that the media is balanced ha ha ha?

If we may be kind…this is a very simplistic argument, but you are in good company: no less than the Director General of the BBC Tony Hall made this argument to defend his news staff against claims that they had favoured the Conservatives in the 2019 general election.

It must be comforting for Mr Hall to believe that because his organisation gets criticised by both sides that they are exactly in the middle and therefore “balanced”!

In fact…things are a bit more complex than that. For one thing, it’s perfectly legitimate for an organisation to be criticised from both the left and the right.

Much right-wing criticism of the BBC focuses on things like “political correctness gone mad” and the organisation’s focus on diversity and liberal treatment of issues such as immigration, gender/sexual politics, etc. The BBC probably is “left wing” in these respects – no bad thing, we would argue, leading the way on respecting the rights of individuals to be themselves and for tolerance and respect to be shown to others regardless of their race or background…

This does not, in any sense, mean that the BBC is equally “left-wing” in its treatment of issues like UK foreign policy and the economy. Anyone who has viewed analysis of the BBC’s coverage in the lead up to the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and other proposed interventions in the Middle East would die laughing at the notion that the BBC was leading an anti-war charge. Similarly, we encourage you to forward links to any BBC articles you can find that criticise the prevailing “free market” capitalist ideology (including at times of systemic collapse such as 2008 when government bailouts demonstrate, not only that capitalism is unstable, but that free market capitalism is a myth!).  Our inbox will not be overwhelmed.

The same model can be applied to most news outlets. Wealthy and powerful people are perfectly happy to be perceived as liberal when it does them no harm and doesn’t conflict with their key values. But when their wealth, power and status are threatened…not so left wing.

All you do is criticise, criticise, criticise… Where are the solutions? It’s easy to criticise, no? Come on then Mr Criticals… Tell us some solutions?

Usually the solution is embedded in the criticism. For example, we have highlighted that democracy was essentially subverted via the sustained four-year campaign which made Jeremy Corbyn, a committed anti-racist, synonymous with anti-Semitism to the media consuming public.

What would be the solution to this problem? For the media not to muster all their might to delegitimise a democratic threat to the prevailing business-first, arms-and-fossil-fuel-industry subsidising political consensus?

What about systematic media under-reporting of climate science for decades (while using for “balance” organisations funded by oil companies). What would be the solution to this problem? We could say for the media to do their job but, of course, their job is to defend corporate interests…in this case at the potential cost of all human and animal life.

Noam Chomsky provides a more concise statement on the issue: “often the solution is stop committing crimes.