Saturday, April 28, 2012

'Journalistic Jealousy' Or Politics, Or Both?

“A media conspiracy at both sides of the Atlantic” 
The Third Part of the Series* on The Swedish State and Corporate MSM-Campaigns Against WikiLeaks

De Noli, Il Prigioniero. Rome 1974

Analysis. By Marcello Ferrada de Noli
In Firenze, Italy, and Stockholm

Do Swedish journalists finds "inspiration" only in their ideological American and British counterparts or is it instead the case of an infuriated, compact opposition of their State or corporative employers against the irruption of WikiLeaks in the world of journalism? Or is it the coordinated action of a geopolitical design by the three countries involved in the "legal" case? Or both? Is this campaign serving of Sweden objectives of psychological warfare or just decoy manoeuvres to distract the Swedish people from issues such as the illegitimate arms deal with the Saudi Arabia dictatorship? And to which extent the Swedish Military-Intelligence affiliation by a stream of Swedish Journalists explain the compact implementation of such design?  

RT: "The media that once praised Julian Assange, hailing him a hero for his work as a whistleblower, has now drastically changed its tune, after the debut of his talk show on RT. While some say it's due to journalistic jealousy, others believe the U-turn is political. Laura Smith reports from London." (In Assange's mainstream friends U-turn after show boom". Published by  Russia Today, 24 April 2012. [1]
Laura Smith mentioned two main media in her reporting, the New York Times and the Guardian, and she finds marked similarities in their ad-hominem expressions in referring to the person Assange, rather than to the talk show The World Tomorrow, which gave reason to their commenting. Further, I found that those meanings also coincide with what the Swedish mainstream media published, at times in nearly exact terms (such as the New York Times' reference to "Grandiosity and paranoia" and the Swedish SvD's "Messiah complex and paranoia"; see the table here below:

Table 1

New York Times
The Guardian
Svenska Dagbladet
Swedish National Radio, SR
Ad-hominem description / slander
Grandiose and paranoid”
“A useful idiot”
“Messiah complex” and “Notorious paranoid”
Charged in Sweden for rape and sexual molestation of two girls
Article or program title
The Prisoner as Talk Show Host [2]

The World Tomorrow: Julian Assange proves a useful idiot [3]
Julian Assange and The World Tomorrow [4]

How good is Assange’s TV-show? [5]
Alessandra Stanley
Luke Harding
Daniel Persson
Emmy Rasper

As an assertive comment in the Swedish Internet forum Flashback summed it up: “It looks like they are conspiring at both sides of the Atlantic". [6]

In fact, after my brief review in the Swedish, American, and British media I found "business as usual". For instance, the predictable escalation in the Guardian's slamming reports on Assange, as in any other day at the office. It is always a amusing to see how much towards the absurd the Guardian would escalate their attacks on Assange. Now the Guardian has taken to the surrealist argument of criticizing the Assange talk show because “The White House won't have liked what it saw”! (See article by Jeremy Ruden).
Apart of demonstrating the obvious - why the journalism of WikiLeaks is so enormously needed – the Guardian article also gives us a clear notion on what vassal journalism is and what journalists have become in the year 2012. It also helps to explain why - as the Jerusalem Post mentioned on 20 April with dissimulated concern – the USA-based “CareerCast” (a site that specializes in career ranking), “For the first time in the site’s history, two key media positions could be found in the bottom 10: newspaper reporters and radio/TV broadcasters." 

For its part, in the National Swedish Radio program "Hur bra är Assanges TV-show?" ("How good is Assange's TV show"), SR, Channel 3, the Swedish Radio journalist opens the program by saying “Let us talk about Julian Assange. . . Here in Sweden he is actually charged for rape and sexual molestation of two girls” [“Han är nämligen här i Sverige åtalad för våldtäckt och sexuellt ofredande på två tjejer"]. A guest in the program later corrects the SR-journalist’s statement: ”I believe it has not come yet that far”, the guest says; but the SR-journalist replies, ”it is intended to charge him” ["man vill åtala honom"], and after a new correction from the guest in the program she says, “eventually” (charge him), etc. At the end she admits that Sweden “wants 'simply' to talk with him” ["man vill tala med honom, helt enkelt"]! [5]
Laura Smith mentions accurately that reasons given in general for these journalists’ “betrayal” have been “journalistic jealousy”, or “politics”. In fact, I believe it is both.” As I stated in my article, "Wikileaks buried Swedish official myth on Neutrality":
 A constellation of offended abusing powers – largely greedy economic powers abusing the world's miserable, or tiny scared vassal powers abusing the passivity of its citizens, or media powers abusing people's common sense – have managed to deprive WikiLeaks of important logistics; although not of human support. And the political hunting down of its founder goes on unabated. And as they cannot kill him in person, they still try to kill his character. The smearing campaign continues.
We should recall the particular psycho-social phenomenon arisen around the beginning of the 1800’s Industrial Revolution in England and the rest of Europe: The angry – in fact deeply scared – workers and heirs of the bygone artisanal era furiously hit and slammed the newly arrived innovative machines. They sensed the machines would replace them and deprive them of bread. In today’s Wikileaks News Revolution we witness instead journalists’ daily slam of Julian Assange, David Leigh style. 
I believe that in the Future - in the World Tomorrow - the above will be referred in the history of journalism as one pathetic social-psychiatric phenomenon of our century. And while the names of the David Leighs or of their employers and newspapers have long been forgotten, the fighters for democracy still will be whispering the name Julian Assange - and evoking the example of WikiLeaks.”

Mainstream media serves governments

Lawyer Glenn Greenwald (named by the British political journal New Statesman , in January 2012, as one of America's Top 20 Progressives) [7] recently gave in an interview at RT an unbeatable illustration on this exacerbating phenomenon of establishment's media unabashedly serving establishment's power. “Most notoriously, The New York Times did more than everybody to convince Americans of the need to attack Iraq. But even since then the model of the US media is very much to show faith and loyalty to the US government”, said Greenwald.
Greenwald's description is also a confirmation of the role of the media in Sweden with regards to similar developments. In "A Terrorist Paradise", that originally I wrote as debate article for Expressen, [8] I stated,
"The air bombardment and the military occupation of Iraq that followed suit was motivated in the public by the Swedish media through a typical psychological-warfare trick: the manipulation of the already social learned fear-variable rooted in man's natural self preservation drive. The authorities simply put forward an extremely frightening threat purporting being Iraq's 'weapons of mass destruction': A denomination to be unconsciously associated with the memories of cold war and Sweden’s fear of the destructive force of threatening nuclear weapons. The "Secure claim" in the Swedish media about Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction proved to be completely untrue and fabricated. Equally ungrounded proved the alleged collusion between international terrorists and the former Iraqi leadership to be. But new laws were created based in such manipulated collective fear, and those legislation remains!" [9]
Would the above-mentioned war have taken place in the same fashion if WikiLeaks had existed at that time? WikiLeaks cables disclosed some years after that Sweden promulgated the anti-privacy, so called surveillance laws (FRA lagen) under USA's request. It was also a Transatlantic order, a law of the rulers against the interest of the people. Would that legislation have been possible, at least in the draconian version they were promulgated, if those cables had been exposed then?

What is in the interest of those in power is not in the interest of the people. And what is in the interest of the people – such as their sovereign right to know why those in power send their children to die in war or indulge in horrible “collateral damage” – is negated by the interest of the rulers.
WikiLeaks role for the cause of peace in the World Tomorrow -- is it not obvious?
In this analysis I describe a possible rationale explaining these factors, the media-related and the political, that appear both concomitant and interdependent within the (internationally driven) Swedish case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. For this,  a) I review what are in my opinion the most principal factors that constellate Sweden in the political background of the case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, b) I comment on some features and different journalistic value of WikiLeaks with regard to traditional media.

For an extended background regarding the political factors in the reaction of Sweden against the WikiLeaks exposures and other aspects on the Swedish case against Julian Assange, I refer to my article This is Why. For a more in-depth background of the situation at the Swedish media I refer to the investigation Does Sweden Inflict Trial by Media against Assange? In the Fourth and Last Part of this series i) I review the issue of the participation by prominent Swedish journalists in the Military Intelligence apparatus, and the possible impact in the State and corporative MSM campaigns against Assange and WikiLeaks; ii) I give a summary of the findings including  synopses of the main 2012 media campaign. 

*Other articles in this series:

Within the political factor we find the following constellation: 

  1. Geopolitical factors -- the threat represented by WikiLeaks to political/military interventions elsewhere in the Third World that secure corporative interest; This “menacing” role of WikiLeaks is symbolized by the exposure of war atrocities in Collateral Damage. And Sweden is directly intervening with troops in such imperialistic occupation wars. The role of the Swedish vassal government has not only been supporting such operations militarily, but plays a pivotal political role in Europe in advocating for the increase of such support on behalf of the European nations. Sweden has in fact launched a “NATO by Proxy” doctrine (See "The NATO factor. Extradition processinitiated in Sweden against the WikiLeaks founder is to the uppermost extentPOLITICAL", [10] aimed to motivate an increasing sharing of the NATO burden by the rest of European countries. 
  2. The decimation of WikiLeaks - and the deterrent action with regard of possible initiatives of the like in the local level – in the sight of the Swedish government, has also to do with exposures done by WikiLeaks on both the social democratic and conservative governments in their secret agreement with U.S. officials or conservative politicians and corporations.
  3. The facing of a visible deterioration in the international prestige abroad –basically attributed to the abandonment of the Neutrality doctrine in open favour not only for NATO military doctrine but also in directly participating in NATO-led military operations [11] – have also had an impact in domestic Swedish politics. For the first time, to the best of my knowledge, demonstrations have been held in main cities of Sweden by groups of people asking for the resignation of the Minister of Foreign affairs, who together with the Minister of Defence are viewed as main pro NATO “warmongers”. The Minister of Defence Sten Tolgfors was recently obligated to resign as a government measure to counteract the exposures on the arms-deal scandal with Saudi Arabia, a NATO principal ally in the region. 
  4. It is after those events that the public support for the government parties started for the first time (in some time) to decrease in the opinion polls. This circumstantial “de-stabilization” process is added to a context of marked deterioration in social welfare and employment, particularly amongst the immigrant population now estimated at over 27 per cent of the total population. [12] In a typical “political” manoeuvre assisted by basic social-psychological notions, the government has launched at least three identified media campaigns aimed to portray Julian Assange and WikiLeaks as “responsible” for the deterioration of the Swedish loss in international prestige (How could the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange get the world to question Sweden's credibility”?) [13] 
  5.  The expected effect of the above among the Swedish constituencies is double fold: a) on the one hand finding an explanation to replace the real causes that are behind such international deterioration of Swedish prestige. As this is undoubtedly related to issues of Sweden’s foreign policy, this measure represents also an attempt to stop the analyses on such relationships with foreign powers; b) on the other hand, by obtaining a national cohesion behind the government that “defends” Sweden [14] and shows being ready to “process and punish” Sweden’s Number One enemy, the rulers use the “chauvinist trick” of having people to switch attention from economic or domestic political issues to issues of “national interest”.
  6. One remarkable feature regarding the above is that in Sweden very seldom are legal aspects of the case against Assange ventilated in the press  – actually it has occurred only in very few occasions. Instead, what has been a constant action presented particularly by the State owned media (National Television channels, Radio, etc.) is the blaming of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, accused of having an anti-Sweden political agenda. This has reached extremes as to publicly accuse Assange and WikiLeaks of blackmailing Sweden or implied WikiLeaks would be protecting Russian’s interests (Sweden’s “arch enemy”).  See this analysis under "Sweden’s Plan “Z”, Phase 6: Swedish State Television explaining "why" WikiLeaks should be viewed as detrimental for the "interests of our nation", in Part II of this series: "Plan Z: the latest national chauvinist campaign anti-WIkiLeaks in the Swedish media". [15]
  7. Domestic political factors regarding the opportunity being used by local political organizations, such as fundamentalist groups, that, voided of a large mass-support, are bound parasitically from highly publicized media-events in order to move forward their political agenda through some journalists in their ranks employed by the MSM. These organizations have not made secret that the Julian Assange case is a symbol for their struggle [16], a campaign seeking the further radicalizing of the legislation in Sweden towards, among other things “only sexual contact after written consent”, a national tax imposed to all men (mansskatt) in Sweden [17] ("to compensate Swedish women of centuries of men patriarchal dominance”), and the increasing in the penalty for sexual-related offences attributed to the “nature” of men ("men are animals", as expressed by the President of the State-supported nation-wide organization ROKS). [18] In the ranks of this multifaceted fundamentalist cohort are found people of different professions, not only journalists. Example of notable Swedish politicians which have advocated for such further radicalization of the law are Thomas Bodström (the former minister of Justice) and the former Ombudsman for gender issues Claes Borgström. They also established the Law firm Bodström & Bogström, which is the law firm that defended the plaintiffs in their “accusations” against Julian Assange. Marianne Ny, the prosecutor in the case has been also participating in the preparation of the present “radical” legislation – under which the Swedish State has asked to “investigate” Julian Assange.


Why this journalistic jealousy about WikiLeaks? The differences between WikiLeaks journalism and traditional journalism"

There are several aspects regarding the mainstream media that converge in the role of "traditional" journalists in the anti-WikiLeaks, anti-Assange campaigns: 

Ideology aspects: The ideology that rules in society is actually the rulers ideology

One primary factor has to do with the role of superstructure in society. I have developed on this in my Newsmill article "Professor: Assangefallet visar att Karl Marxhade rätt".
The German philosopher Karl Marx (1818-1883), originally an erudite on Epicurean Greek philosophy, left also to posterity a prolific amount of political-philosophical writings and theses. Some among of those have history neglected as unfeasible and were sentenced to collect dust in the Utopia-shelve of our libraries. Yet, some of those analyses have remained amazingly prevalent regardless epochs or latitudes. One among these is the description of social superstructure, i.e. juridical institutions, laws, moral, religion, and all what form the cultural sphere of societies, that, according to the philosopher, will always follow the direction given by the economic and thus political interests governing the infrastructure of those societies. [19]
No one has ever been able to refute the Supersestructure Theory. Instead, we daily receive a confirmation of its postulates. With regard to the juridical sphere, a conclusion derived from such theory is that there is no such a thing as "objective" law, in the sense of objective, non-biased distribution of justice. The same can be applied to the one basic intellectual implementation of culture, the transmission of the Ideology message. 
Under the principle that the ideology that rules in society is actually the ideology representing the interests of those in power, one empirical conclusion is that the ruling Mainstream Media is the ideological vehicle of sustaining political power.
A second aspect to consider according to this model is that the political power is the continuation of the economic power, predominantly the multinational corporative world. In this regard, the Mainstream media apparatus is a part of such a corporative world, it is owned by that power and the identification with the political/ideological interests of that power appears logically compatible.
In Sweden, the consolidation of ownership in Sweden’s main newspapers reduces the number of owners basically to two: Bonnier (with the biggest share) and Schibsted. In its turn, this provides only one prevalent ideological perspective. These are the details:
Dagens Nyheter is owned by Bonnier; Svenska Dagbladet is owned 99,4% by Schibsted; Aftonbladet owned 49,9% by Schibsted; Expressen is owned by Bonnier; Kvällsposten by Bonnier; GT by Bonnier and Stockholm City by Bonnier;  The Swedish News Agency TT is owned by "the big newspapers and media companies". So, I at the end, this is and again by Bonnier and Schibsted.
The result is that a significant number of Swedish journalists, together with other important segments of the “cultural-elite” manpower, transfer from one point to the other within a reduced perimeter in job availability. Also, the consolidation of ownership in the media results in a quite monolithic ideological perspective under which employed journalists would produce news-articles and columns.
The problem with regard to the public is of another kind, and has to do with the assumption still spread among the people that the MSM has an independent voice or an "non-partisan", unbiased selection and presentation of the news.  This is an ethical issue.
Competition factor

One ostensible aspect is related to the “labour menace”, or "market competitiveness" ascribed to this new, evolutionary journalism that the founder of WikiLeaks Julian Assange has introduced in the international media sphere. I have put forward this item in the above cited "Wikileaks buried Swedish official myth on Neutrality". [20]

Secondly. Several authors have developed in this theme, that WikiLeaks have provided more vital information flow than all the mainstream media together in a vast time-segment. Another item is the quality of the information, in the sense that the information WikiLeaks exposes originates in "facts-sources" (direct sources) rather than in sources telling what they know or interpret -- which is characteristic in the old media.

A third characteristic is that the disclosures made by WikiLeaks have to do with so called "classified information", often an euphemism used by those in power to hide vital information to the citizens regarding the rulers true motivation for their acts of war and in certain cases - as revealed - for direct militarily or police oppression of the people they govern. The Leaks published by WikiLeaks are in any case about secret documents and NOT about rumours. Several important aspects are associated with the disclosure of classified information done by WikiLeaks; here mentioned some:
Describing the nature of these leaked documents, WikiLeaks has also pointed out that  "Secrecy is not always legitimate", meaning with this the absolutely democratic right of the people to the "secrets" held by governments particularly in cases the matters at stake might compromise people’s direct life events such as the prospective of being engaged in a war. [21]

A fourth main characteristic is the public availability of the information leaked. 

Attending to the succinct summary above it becomes clear that the Mainstream media has clear disadvantages in competing with issues of "quality" of journalist information in the terms of what is the good for the people - even if it is disadvantageous for the interests of the rulers.

This is why the characterization as liberationist is one of the most accurate in referring to Julian Assange and the journalism-model he founded, WikiLeaks

References and Notes
[1] Youtube, "Assange's mainstream friends U-turn after show boom", Published by  Russia Today, 24 April 2012
[2] Alessandra Stanley, “The Prisoner as Talk Show Host”, The New york Times, 17 April 2012
[3] Luke Harding, “The World Tomorrow: Julian Assange proves a useful idiot”, Guardian 17 April 2012
[4] Daniel Persson, “Julian Assange och Världen i morgon”, SvD, 17 April 2012
[5] Emmy Rasper, Swedish Radio, P3 Nyhetsguide, "Hur bra är Assanges TV-show?", National Swedish Radio, SR, Channel 3. The journalist opens: “Let us talk about Julian Assange. . . Here in Sweden he is actually charged for rape and sexual molestation of two girls” [“Han är nämligen här I Sverige åtalat för våldtäck och sexuellt ofredande på två tjejer]. Listen to the program here:

[6] Nabo, "Nog verkar de gadda ihop sig på båda sidor om Atlanten", Flashback Forum, Sweden
[7] Also ranked by Forbes as one of the "25 Most Influential Liberals in the U.S. Media"
[8] Expressen's debate redaction considered the article for publication but they could not give a certain publication date for nearest days. I could not wait, for which I decided to publish it instead in Professors blogg ("Ett Terroristparadis?"). It was a hectic time, during the Surveillance-legislation debate (FRA, see below), and I assessed that a meeting of Dr David Erberhard's theses had to be published promptly
[9] M Ferrada.Noli, Debating Sweden’s surveillance legislation. FRA-lagen against civil liberties, Professors blogg, 22 September 2008
[11] M Ferrada.Noli, "Swedish government affirms is not militarily aligned. Facts severely contradict", Professors blogg, 1 November 2011
[12] M Ferrada.Noli, "Assange, The Professors, and the taxi Driver", Professors blogg, 23 April 2012. In  Denial mechanisms in Demographic issues about Muslim immigrants:
"A conservative sentiment of “us” and “they” is reputed to be rather strong among many Swedes. Add that to the discrimination exercised against immigrants with respect to work issues or in a variety of societal spheres, a result of which is that the presence of immigrants in Sweden tends to be “hidden” from the eye of the public as well the media, etc. I am sure that many would be very surprised to know that immigrants in Sweden - or individuals with foreign background as they are called statistically speaking - are in fact over the 26 per cent of the total Swedish population (2,450,537 individuals comprising 1,384,929 foreign-born immigrants and 1,065,608 born in Sweden of one or both foreign-born parents)"
[14] M Ferrada-Noli, "Swedish government using media to interferein the legal process against Julian Assange", Professors blogg, 27 January 2012
[15] M FerradaNoli, " "Plan Z: the latest national chauvinist campaign anti-WIkiLeaks in the Swedish media".", Professors blogg, 2 March 2012
[16] M Ferrada-Noli, 'Swedish radical "feminists" declare Julian Assange a symbolic issue', Professors blogg, 30 September 2011
[17] In Gudrun Schyman and Claes Borgström bio. articles in Wikipedia
[19] Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, The German Ideology. Critique of Modern German Philosophy According to Its Representatives Feuerbach, B. Bauer and Stirner, and of German Socialism According to Its Various Prophets., Parts I & III, Lawrence and Wishart Ltd., London, 1938               
[20] M Ferrada-Noli, "Wikileaks buried Swedish official myth on Neutrality", Professors blogg, 1 December 2010
[21] WikiLeaks, WikiLeaks: Writer's Kit


Proofread of this article was done by @Liz_rex9

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