An interesting current example of mass media deception

I think many Roman Catholics must be tired of the stories that appear on the national TV News.  Catholics are against paedophilia, so when they hear of a priest who has violated his vows, they are angry.  So many stories like this one have appeared:

An “unimaginably wicked” former priest has been given a prison sentence of 21 years for sexually abusing boys in the West Midlands. …

Judge Thomas said it was not for him to judge the Catholic Church’s role in proceedings.

All the stories I see on the TV news make the point that this is a Catholic priest.  Nearly always they associate the church with the crime.  That the criminal is a priest is always mentioned in the first line, and often the Catholic angle as well.

But of course one cannot complain, because it is true.  The man was a priest, and a Catholic priest.  It is unreasonable to suppose that this could be omitted from a report without some very strange editing policies.

But over Christmas, I watched the same TV news channels report another story.  This link is from the BBC, but unfortunately the online sources tend to give information not broadcast into all our living rooms.

Nine men have appeared in court charged in connection with an alleged plot to bomb high-profile targets in London in the run-up to Christmas.

The court was told that one of the potential targets was the London Stock Exchange.

The men who spoke only to confirm their names, ages, and addresses were arrested during a series of raids by counter-terrorism officers last week.

Three other men were detained at the same time but were later released without charge.

This BBC link tells us — what all the TV news stations have said:

Twelve men have been arrested during a major anti-terrorist operation, West Midlands Police said.

The men – five from Cardiff, four from Stoke-on-Trent and three from London – were detained on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism in the UK.

And that is the story.  Who are these men?  Well, we’re not told.  Why are they up to no good?  No idea.  They’re “from Cardiff… Stoke-on-Trent … London.”

I imagine we all know who they really are.  They’re all Moslems, I imagine.  They’re all immigrants, or from immigrant families.  A websearch reveals — what no TV news channel has said — that some are actually Bangladeshi, straight off the boat.

But notice how this is not said.  The mass media go out of their way to conceal this.  Instead we hear policemen reading appeals for “vigilance”.  In a way the latter is amusing — for we may ask, just whom should we be watching for?

If it is right — and I think it is — to identify the paedophile as a Catholic priest, it is right, on the same grounds, in the same way, to name the terrorists as Moslem immigrants.  But these details are suppressed.  This story is still going around.  Watch how the mass media report it.

We often dismiss as conspiracy theorists those who complain of collusion in the media.  But it does sometimes happen.  After all, the owners and editors are a small group of people who all know each other, and have far more in common with each other than with us.  The way it happens is by suppressing information — or else by describing something in a set phrase.  Rowan Williams, when appointed archbishop, was always described as “holy” — by journalists!  When the National Lottery was proposed, the TV news always referred to it, dalek-like, as “a national-lottery-to-raise-money-for-good-causes” (which it wasn’t — no money at all was distributed for months).  In this case we have a relevant piece of information suppressed, because the establishment do not want people thinking negatively of Moslems and immigrants.

Tough luck on the Catholics, then.  Evidently giving a bad smell to Catholics and priests is just fine!

This is why we need freedom of information, and an end to the monopoly on “news” by a small circle of people.

4 thoughts on “An interesting current example of mass media deception

  1. Hear, hear! I couldn’t have said it better myself. The selective presentation of the accused individuals’ religious backgrounds says a lot about the reporters and the organizations that set reporting-policies.

    In other news, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and I’ve updated/improved the text-critical resources (fixing broken links and adding a few new ones) at the Curtisville Christian Church website; you’re welcome to visit.

    Yours in Christ,

    James Snapp, Jr.

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