Usman Bawang: Hitting it where it really hurts
Hitting it where it really hurts
Whenever SYNOVATE or AC NIELSEN phone you up or knock on your door and ask you about your media habits, you know what to tell them.
Hurt their readership numbers (which is a different thing from sales) really badly and they can kiss their advertising revenue goodbye. Jalan Riong may argue about sampling bias and dispute this. Well, we can argue that they have had a reporting bias for so long.
As long as we allow the AGENDA to be set arbitrarily by people with special interests (who want to exercise POWER and accumulate WEALTH), we are never going to free ourselves from this perpetual mess.
The reason why we have the AP/Moorthy/Broga/Squatgate/Isa/ISA/Paul’sPlace (and the countless other problems everywhere ‚Äì homelessness, poverty, corruption, death under police custody) happening over and over again is because of people’s forgetfulness (and manipulabality).
No doubt a lot of issue were not created by the media. Moorthy had to die. Someone was forced to do squats naked. But we let the debate and discussion to be bounded and led by the politicos and through their agents in the press. In the end, people ask the wrong questions, learn the wrong lessons, and react in the most perverted ways. (e.g. the squatgate issue has become let’s shoot the messenger)
I bet you 2006 will be another field day for the media. And we all will go back to our kopitiam/warung to gossip and cry.
If you can explain this to your friends, family, maid, neighbours we the People can teach a lesson to these arrogant and toothless outlets a lesson.
One more thing, get the word out! Blogs/sites like Kit’s, Jeff Ooi’s, Raja Petra’s and Malaysiakini are only read by the CONVERTED. It is your friends and family who have been reading the purile material churned out every morning that need to be saved. It’s like we’re preaching to the choir.
To end, let me quote Chomsky :
In the democratic system, the necessary illusions cannot be imposed by force. Rather, they must be instilled in the public mind by more subtle means. A totalitarian state can be satisfied with lesser degrees of allegiance to required truths. It is sufficient that people obey; what they think is a secondary concern. But in a democratic political order, there is always the danger that independent thought might be translated into political action, so it is important to eliminate the threat at its root.
Debate cannot be stilled, and indeed, in a properly functioning system of propaganda, it should not be, because it has a system-reinforcing character if constrained within proper bounds. What is essential is to set the bounds firmly. Controversy may rage as long as it adheres to the presuppositions that define the consensus of elites, and it should furthermore be encouraged within these bounds, thus helping to establish these doctrines as the very condition of thinkable thought while reinforcing the belief that freedom reigns.
In short, what is essential is the power to set the agenda.
from: The Bounds of the Expressible