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Samizdata quote of the day – cataloging a tsunami of Covid scandals

The mainstream press is 99.9 percent captured.

The “gatekeepers of the news” have become stenographers of virtually every dubious or false public health narrative. Nobody (who really matters in the Big Picture) is challenging the never-ending lies, manipulated data and false narratives.

If this lack of skepticism persists, it seems almost a certainty that all the important organizations in the world will continue to be led by people who either aren’t intelligent enough to challenge false narratives or know the narratives are false and simply don’t care.

Bill Rice

9 comments to Samizdata quote of the day – cataloging a tsunami of Covid scandals

  • DiscoveredJoys

    I rather fancy that the current set of elite and establishment people are like the Borg from Star Trek.

    Wikipedia: “The Borg are an alien group that appear as recurring antagonists in the Star Trek fictional universe. The Borg are cybernetic organisms (cyborgs) linked in a hive mind called “the Collective”. The Borg co-opt the technology and knowledge of other alien species to the Collective through the process of “assimilation”: forcibly transforming individual beings into “drones” by injecting nanoprobes into their bodies and surgically augmenting them with cybernetic components. The Borg’s ultimate goal is “achieving perfection”.”

    Without necessarily any great coordination the individual people and organisations feel obliged to incorporate others into the ‘collective’ – and they cannot understand anyone that doesn’t share their goal of achieving perfection. The “gatekeepers of the news” have been assimilated and have surrendered the truth for their goal.

    “We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.” Except we might hope that the old Elite is on its last legs and the march toward perfection might be interrupted by factional interests. It’ll be a lumpy ride though.

  • Paul Marks.

    According to the Leader of the House of Commons and Lord President of the Council, Penny Mordaunt, the BBC operates the “highest standards of journalism” and never lies about Covid or anything else, and the foundation of all wisdom is the “House of Commons Library” of official government reports. Any dissent is “conspiracy theory”, which the public must be “protected against”. Indeed protection against such heresy is the very definition of “Freedom of Speech”.

    So there we are – we live in the best-of-all-possible-worlds with the mainstream media and the government and corporate bureaucracy working to help us in every way, and never ever being dishonest.

  • Paul Marks.

    The Leader of the House performed very well – in terms of House of Commons theatre. The lady had a measured voice, excellent posture, and so on (the lady really did – in this comment I am not being sarcastic).

    There is a real skill to such performances – as was shown at the Coronation, where the lady played her part very well indeed.

    The answer to Andrew Brigen (MP) in the House of Commons was not good policy and was not truthful (the BBC does not practice the “highest standards of journalism”, and government edicts on Covid were a harmful mess) – but it was an excellent performance. Whereas Mr Bridgen, sadly, has no acting ability at all.

    Anyone without knowledge of the basic facts (and that is MOST people) would say that Mr Bridgen lost and the Leader of the House won.

    According to the Ancient Greek sophists (and, unofficially, according to some Roman teachers as well) a measure of the art of rhetoric (oratory) is to make the weaker case appear to be the stronger case – to make falsehood appear to be the truth.

    Sadly there is great demand for such skills – in politics, the media, and even in parts of the legal profession.

  • John

    I agree completely with Paul.

    Guido Fawkes totally misjudged the room in his recent piece praising Penny Mordant for her “snappy” put down of Andrew Bridgen in which she ignored each and every point he raised. 95% of the comments shared this view, some quite forcibly. Sadly Guido, for all the good he does, is and will always be a sucker for a shapely bum.

    In recent decades Hague, Cameron and Johnson have all been excellent if superficial performers at PMQs in stark contrast to their abject failings where it really mattered (May and Sunak weren’t/aren’t even good at speaking).

    One can only hope that after the next election the conservatives in opposition don’t take the easy option and appoint this WEF approved empty vessel as their new leader. I wouldn’t bet against it though.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    I had direct experience of how certain messages are everywhere in the culture. I recently went to a forum hosted by a large London law firm. (The event followed Chatham House rules, so I am being deliberately vague about names.) The forum was about the role of philanthropy advisors, and the kind of issues in philanthropy today. The panel included a Black guy, who is at an Oxford business school, who talked a lot about how conventional models of philanthropy are full of problems, such as how they are more about people trying to impose a view on communities and how from his point of view, philanthropy is more about supporting local people who should be in charge of their own destinies. I actually agree with quite a lot of that. But then he came out with the term “my truth”. This is post-modernism and a red flag. Another panelist said much philanthropy is questionable because the people who make lots of money and want to give it away do so in “extractive” ways or by exploiting people. He is some sort of Green and also reiterated fairly standard lines about neoliberalism, inequality and the evils of capitalism.

    Another panelist was an advisor who is also a paid-up member of the Labour Party, and she said it was necessary to have philanthropy, however much one may prefer the State to do what philanthropy does, because we cannot wait for progress. (There is a kernel of truth to that.) Two other panelists were talking the conventinal lines about the need to “understand” clients and so on.

    No-one, apart from your correspondent, challenged any of this. When I said that much of the modern philanthropy sector appears very political, and that some of these conversations are better had in Westminster, I was told by the Black guy that I had “come to the wrong place”. Further, this gentleman talked about the need to have “uncomfortable” conversations with rich donors. Others agreed. I bet it must be fantastic for a rich donor who writes a check to endow a hospital to be told he is legitimising an unjust capitalist order, or whatever. (Of course, there is nothing wrong if an advisor says, “Sorry sir, but we don’t approve of the sources of your wealth, and don’t want you as a client.”)

    Where am I going with this? Well, the room was full of largely middle-aged, middle class lawyers, charity advisors and the like. I was left feeling pretty much on my own in asking the question that I asked. And this goes for lots of other issues in the public square right now. For instance, I bet that 99% of those present fully buy the catastropic, Man-made global warming scenario, and the decarbonisation agenda. Their views are, to them, so normal and right that dissent of any kind is regarded more than just unusual, it is seen as unseemly.

    Interestingly enough, one or two people at the event came up to me and rather sheepishly said they agreed with some of what I said. I have no idea what effect my questions would have had.

  • William H. Stoddard

    I’m currently reading Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged aloud to my wife. I was struck by a passage in Chapter 8 of Part I, “The John Galt Line,” which seems disturbingly relevant here:

    The reporters who came to the press conference in the office of the John Galt Line were young men who had been trained to think that their job consisted of concealing from the world the nature of its events. It was their daily duty to serve as audience for some public figure who made utterances about the public good, in phrases carefully chosen to convey no meaning. It was their daily job to sling words together in any combination they pleased, so long as the words did not fall into a sequence saying something specific. They could not understand the interview now being given to them.

    I’m not sure which is more chilling: To think how accurately Rand foresaw what journalism would be like more than sixty years later, or to wonder if reporters in her time were already just as fraudulent, but only a few people had caught on to them.

  • jgh

    Heinlein got there earlier, in 1940. I remember reading his stories in the 1980s and smirking at the unlikely fictional future he had created.

  • Steven R

    William H. Stoddard wrote:

    I’m not sure which is more chilling: To think how accurately Rand foresaw what journalism would be like more than sixty years later, or to wonder if reporters in her time were already just as fraudulent, but only a few people had caught on to them.

    Considering that William Randolph Hearst effectively started the Spanish-American war to sell newspapers and none of the reporters writing the articles resigned in protest and that Walter Duranty won a Pulitzer Prize for being a Soviet mouthpiece and covering up the Holodomor, I’d say the problem predates Rand.

  • Paul Marks.

    Quite so John.

    The triumph of presentation (performance) over facts – over the truth.

    That is politics – and much of the commentary upon it.