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!