Mike Caics on media defamation of disabled people, disability hate crime and the Leveson Inquiry

This piece by Mike Caics was posted in response to: Leveson Inquiry accepts our open letter

It shows how Politicians use the Press as their disseminator of hateful and disgraceful rhetoric – and how the Press all too eagerly take up that rhetoric and turn it into filthy and dehumanizing propaganda.

The link between Parliament and the Press has seldom been stronger than in the hands of this Coalition – and the link between propaganda and social unrest, attacks upon disabled individuals and the general view of contempt and anger held by the Public of those in receipt of any Benefits – has never been clearer.

Given that the only rhetoric repeatedly printed has been about “Disabled Fakers” and “Benefit Cheats”; the Press has merely sought to ratify Government claims, provoke further Public outrage and demonize further those individuals and/or groups identified.

In this day and age ‘Perception is everything’ – and if the Public are given a view, especially if that view is skewed, biased or simply wrong in every outrageous sense – then the Public tend to immediately believe what they read in headlines and ignore or doubt what lies within.

Borne out of the ancient condescension “No smoke without fire,” the Public are generally not able (and even more often they are not willing) to accept that Innocent People are sometimes ‘made’ to look guilty. Innumerable wrongly convicted people and their harrowing imprisonment stand testimony to that TRUTH.

It is, I believe, a ‘hidden truth’ – that the Public ‘prefer’ to find people guilty of some crime: that there is a judgmental and prescriptive attitude towards social groups and individuals.

Through the actions of the Press and Media: with twenty-four hour News Bulletins, additional News Updates and all manner of speculations and expert-opinions: the Public can be forgiven for being themselves, ‘victim’ to incorrect, misleading or just hurriedly mis-reported ‘headlines.’ Yet those who fall foul of disgraceful, vilifying or persecutory Press and Media Reporting practices, are not always able or permitted to “put their side of the story.”

The Press and Media become Judge and Jury: handing down their sentences in an ‘advisory’ way – giving the impression that the public should ‘do’ something.

Recently: some of them have.

They have been attacking Disabled and Sick people in the mindset that, because the Press and Media have given them thorough and undeniable ‘facts’ – they have been given (although unspoken) permission and even ‘sanction’ to act in the way they think best suits the situation: though, always denying responsibility for any violent or criminal act that might be carried out under th aegis of their ‘reports.’

How strange that, if an Individual shouts “fire!” in a crowded cinema auditorium, that individual can be prosecuted and jailed for causing panic. Yet, if a newspaper prints allegations that it has every “reasonable suspicion” of being wrong or merely inflammatory – then, unless one is very, very, very rich: there is NO remedy.

The Newspaper can wrongly inform one-hundred-thousand people a certain individual IS “a paedophile” – immediately causing that individual to become a ‘target’ – yet ALL the Newspaper has to do is to print a retraction and apologize, and that is legally enough?

The problem is, of course, the man who has been wrongly identified is still going to be believed by some that He IS a paedophile. “No smoke without fire..”

Hopefully, Levenson will begin to form some rules and codiciles to prevent the same kinds of inflammatory and demonizing editorials we have witnessed printed regularly in the Telegraph, Mail and Express. Failing to do so would be playing back into the hands of sloppy and lazy Journalists!

Comments
  • jeffery davies June 17, 2012 at 11:27 am

    if it wasnt for this lot allowing the abuse and some of them doing it by way of our papers is anational disgrace that the rest of mps allowed it to happen ,and should be kicked out of the house for it jeff3

  • DAVID A SHAW June 17, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    The Leveson inquiry must come down HARD on those responsible for the manipulation of the media , those who through deliberate action have sought to use the general public,s ignorance to further their disgraceful and inhumane policies against the disabled and vulnerable. Just action by Justice Leveson as regarding regulation is not enough, if it can be shown, and it most certainly can, that politicians have deliberately lied and been deliberately discriminatory against one section of society, which they most certainly have, then those individuals should stand before a court of law to justify their actions. And when they are found to have done exactly what is stated, along with the number of deaths and attacks recorded against the disabled and vulnerable, then nothing but a Jail sentence is acceptable. After all if it was another societal group who were experiencing this time of treatment, those concerned would already be serving time, and although this sounds harsh in itself, its needs to be said to show the depths which this government and certain individuals within it have sunk to.

    • Anita Bellows June 18, 2012 at 1:59 pm

      I agree. In some cases the press just reported what Chris Grayling said or the content of DWP press releases. Ministers should also be held accountable if they tell lies or manipulate the truth or the media, which in this case have tragic consequences. I expect it might be a defense which will be used by some newspapers during the inquiry, which will put squarely the responsibility where it belongs, at the heart of the government.
      But a least, it might as a start address the hate campaigns in the press against disabled people.

  • PennyL June 17, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    Targeting a disabled person because they are not “really disabled” is a hate crime and should be reported and investigated as such. This should also apply to collective targeting by the media.

  • Humanity2012 June 18, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    Only Idiots and Knuckleheads could Believe the Vicious Propaganda of the Regime
    Media

    Why is a Fuss Not Made about the Huge Salaries of the Life of Privilege Politicians
    and Not Least Cabinet Ministers ?

    It Astonishes Myself how Thick and Ignorant that some So Called People can
    Not See that Welfare Benefits are there to Help People in Hardship unlike Warfare
    in Afghanistan which only Harms People

    There are None so Blind as those who will Not See

  • You must be logged in to comment. Log in
%d bloggers like this: