The Impenetrable Walls of a Shameful Silence - Our media ad usum delphini?
During Norman Finkelstein’s visit to Prague I expected all kinds of things: hysterical campaigns against him and the event, accusations of supposed connections with the Neo-Nazis, the juggling with the mandatory deference towards the victims of concentration camps, which won’t allow the delivery of critical words about the subject even in a thousand years. But that other than an awkward interview for mainstream television I would see literally nothing - really nothing -, well, that I was not ready for. I’m actually in a way glad for the outcome of it all, though: it shows everyone who wants to see, clearly and above all doubt, that the Czech mainstream media is not at all here to inform the public about the important and relevant affairs, but to manipulate and entertain with celebrity scandals, while in fact extracting us out of the real world.
Let’s repeat ourselves some trivial facts: the mainstream media has for many years systematically ignored news that the United States were negotiating the placement of an missile defense system in the Czech territory; then from March 2008, for a change, our mainstream media didn’t want to even hear that Barack Obama, in case of victory in the American presidential elections, would cancel the European part of the missile defense “umbrella”; and now once again our media pretends that Norman Finkelstein – a person whose parents went through concentration camps – has never been in the Czech lands or never talked here among us about the situation in the Palestinian territory and the rapidly worsening international isolation of Israel. The day’s headline: nothing happened today.
After a long time I need to once again make it clear: I am ashamed that I am a citizen of an obedient stooge State, which from quite some time systematically does what the powerful of this world wish, while hypocritically hiding their eyes from the suffering of their victims. That this is done by those who, from public money, bid it to their political parties’ coffers and personal wallets, we have to probably momentarily accept, as that the majority of government departments lack whatever long-term concept. But when even the media around us build a world where many important pieces of information are not allowed, while the top news of the day is about pop singer Iveta Bartošová’s breasts, then our locking into the pseudo-cosmos of gossip and scandals have already gone really dangerously too far.
The current state of Czech society is in reality actually worse than during the previous regime. At the days before the Velvet Revolution in 1989 the official media was not believed by practically anyone and people were used to having to look for the truth with attention between the lines. We have gradually lost that ability and on top of that it appears that the public is not really turned off by how it has been literally erased the last leftovers from good sense from the news media. It is not possible to even read between the lines when there are no lines at at all about certain key issues.
What else but to keep the chin down, Karel Kryl… Nowadays we are submersed under something worse – and so that we don’t have to face up to unpleasant facts, we allow ourselves to be gladly convinced that that is actually caviar…
translated by FG