Against Sanitized (Mainstream) Media

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In Peru, at least when I was growing up, the news were not unlike watching R-rated movies. During the turbulent 80s and 90s, evil gangs, who obtained their finances partly through the global war on drugs, would capture, torture, terrorize and execute thousands over many years. On nationwide broadcast television there were no major qualms about showing dead bodies or airing the occasional piece of raw video. And the same would generally be true for international news, particularly images of wars. Sometimes my parents would change the channel because it was often gruesome to see smoldering bodies on a battlefield.

Things are slightly different in the US, where the squeaky clean news seem to avoid showing the results of war. I am not saying that every night we should be shown a bloodbath. They would want us to believe that war is an abstraction. But war is not only a 25-second collage of tanks rolling in and closeup of rifles. It’s maimed bodies, burned homes, weeping parents, widespread destruction and poverty and misery. Let’s start seeing a little more of that, if only for those on the margin to realize just how bad state wars can be.

But then again, now that we have some better, it’s not a big deal if the MSM withers away.

9:40 am on August 22, 2008
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