Again, Kind Readers, I must beg your indulgence. The regular broadcast of "You Can't Get There From Here" will be preempted this week so that we may bring to you the following special presentation...
I've railed before about the sad state of modern investigative journalism but the reaction to this recent spate of WikiLeaks by the media (or lack of reaction as the case may be) has really put a hornet in my toque.
Dontcha think it's kinda funny that all of the major media outlets are talking about how awful WikiLeaks is and how much of a demon Julian Assange is instead of actually talking about what WikiLeaks is supposedly revealing?
Honestly, how many people out there have actually seen this little bombshell...
No? Hmmmm, what a shocker...
I remember how jarring it was the first time I witnessed this scene in Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket:
Like the passenger in the helicopter, I almost threw up when I watched this.
So here we are, confronted by a real-life version and for some reason we aren't hearing about it or talking about it. The sad thing is, if you hunt hard enough, there are other leaks that are just as despicable or galling, such as what's discussed in this report on Fox News of all things:
And here's another:
So I just want to put this question to you, Bright Readers. If the information being released by WikiLeaks is such a subversive powder keg then why are the major media outlets more keen to talk about debating the ethics of releasing the information or examining the scruples of Julian Assange versus actually reporting the leaks themselves!
Now I'm not saying that Assange is some sort of paragon, but since we seem to have no investigative journalism or government transparency anymore I believe that what WikiLeaks is doing is critically important. Essentially it's rubbing our collective noses in just how ignorant and resigned we've all become to what our elected officials and captains of industry are doing unmonitored behind closed doors.
Here's another recent news break that's barely getting coverage. Remember the G20 event in Toronto back in June? Do you remember how the mainstream media seized on that small group of anarchic yahoos and showed images incessantly every night of these clowns smashing the windows of a Starbucks ("GASP!") or burning police cars ("M'eh.")? It was almost designed for the casual viewer to glance at this, tut-tut and declare: "Look at that pack of savages, they're a friggin' embarrassment!"
What they didn't see was that the vast majority of the 10,000 or so peaceful protesters showed up because:
- G20 countries are responsible for more than 85 per cent of global military spending and 95 per cent of global arms production.
- The G20 directs the efforts of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. These organizations give loans to poorer nations of the world with all sorts of interesting clauses attached, clauses that create exploitative inroads for mega-corporations, curtail funding on education and health care, soften up environmental guidelines and labor laws, export dirt cheap goods to the the richer nations of the world and subsequently undermine our own domestic industry. Why do this? Simply to have the globe's poorest nations subsidize the richest in a vicious circle of economic extortion.
- There's nothing even vaguely democratic about the G20 process. At all. The meetings are secret, our elected officials arbitrarily decide on everything behind closed doors and then they decide what to tell us about it.
Even though there were tons of illegal arrests happening during the protests, we only heard any real dissenting voice last week when Ontario's ombudsmen released the following report:
I'm sorry, but doesn't this terrify anyone else?
And this recent revelation just blows me away:
I can't believe the friggin' Liberal party rolled over and died on this issue. Actually, that's not entirely true. Anyone who thinks that there's actually some sort of distinction between the major Canadian political parties nowadays is sadly misinformed.
I think it's hilarious that this time last year Steven "Malamute Eyes" Harper was playing hardball about the departure date of our troops, and then, all of a sudden, last month it suddenly becomes imperative for us to stay until 2014. WTF!?
Hmmmmm, I wonder if it might have something to do with this...
Are there really still people out there who truly believe that we're in Afghanistan solely to bring democracy to an oppressed people, capture a kidney-deprived dude in a cave and/or protect our own borders from Islamic extremists who apparently want us all dead just because we have a Cinnabon in every mall? Is that really what we have to believe in order to turn a blind, uninformed eye and let us sleep comfortably at night? Well, frankly, I don't want our troops to be the fall guys for shady, Machiavellian economic and political chicanery anymore. Enough is enough.
Look, you don't have to be a correspondent for "60 Minutes" to see that there's a pretty obvious story here. So, why the f^%$^ aren't we getting this perspective on the news every night and reading about it in the papers every morning?
Well, mainstream media might not be willing to acknowledge the 800-pound gorilla in the room, but by golly, the independent, old-fashioned, shit-disturbing internet journalist of WikiLeaks and other sources sure do.
Which brings me to my final scary video:
Never forget, folks: "dissent is the highest form of patriotism". Don't accept what you're told at face value. Question, protest, investigate and stay vigilant...while we still can.
FAIL: Will WikiLeaks prove to be the Reichstag fire of internet censorship?