John Pilger

GLW author John Pilger

John Pilger: The new propaganda is 'liberal'

What is modern propaganda? For many, it is the lies of a totalitarian state.

In the 1970s, I met Leni Riefenstahl and asked her about her epic films that glorified the Nazis. Using revolutionary camera and lighting techniques, she produced a documentary form that mesmerised Germans; her Triumph of the Will cast Hitler's spell.

She told me that the “messages” of her films were dependent not on “orders from above”, but on the “submissive void” of the German public.

Did that include the liberal, educated bourgeoisie? “Everyone,” she said.

John Pilger: Khan is wrong, WikiLeaks a rare truth-teller

Last December, I stood with supporters of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange in the bitter cold outside the Ecuadorean embassy in London. Candles were lit; the faces were young and old and from all over the world.

They were there to demonstrate their human solidarity with someone whose guts they admired. They were in no doubt about the importance of what Assange had revealed and achieved, and the grave dangers he now faced. Absent entirely were the lies, spite, jealousy, opportunism and pathetic animus of a few who claim the right to guard the limits of informed public debate.

John Pilger: The untold US invasion of Africa

A full-scale invasion of Africa is under way. The United States is deploying troops in 35 African countries, beginning with Libya, Sudan, Algeria and Niger. Reported by Associated Press on Christmas Day, this was missing from most Anglo-American media.

The invasion has almost nothing to do with “Islamism”, and almost everything to do with the acquisition of resources, notably minerals, and an accelerating rivalry with China. Unlike China, the US and its allies are prepared to use a degree of violence demonstrated in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Palestine.

John Pilger: The Shammies awards for shonky journos

There are awards for everyone. There are the Logies, the Commies, the Tonys, the Theas, the Millies ("They cried with pride") and now the Shammies.

The Shammies celebrate the finest sham media. "Competition for the 2013 Gold Shammy," said the panel of judges, "has been cutthroat." The Shammies are not for the tabloid lower orders. Rupert Murdoch has been honoured enough. Shammies distinguish respectable journalism that guards the limits of what the best and brightest like to call the "national conversation".

John Pilger: Corporate media responsible for mass hacking

In the week Lord Leveson published almost a million words about his inquiry into the “culture, practice and ethics” of Britain's corporate press, two illuminating books about media and freedom were also published. Their contrast with the Punch and Judy show staged by Leveson is striking.

For 36 years, Project Censored, based in California, has documented critically important stories unreported or suppressed by the media most US people watch or read.

John Pilger: BBC exposed by Israel's fresh Gaza assault

In Peter Watkins' remarkable BBC film, The War Game, which foresaw the aftermath of an attack on London with a one-megaton nuclear bomb, the narrator says: “On almost the entire subject of thermo-clear weapons, there is now practically total silence in the press, official publications and on TV. Is there hope to be found in this silence?”

The truth of this statement was equal to its irony. On November 24, 1965, the BBC banned The War Game as “too horrifying for the medium of broadcasting”.

John Pilger: The US's political trial of a caring man

In 1999, I travelled to Iraq with Denis Halliday, who had resigned as assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations rather than enforce a punitive United Nations embargo on Iraq.

Devised and policed by the United States and Britain, the extreme suffering caused by these “sanctions” included, according to Unicef, the deaths of half-a-million Iraqi infants under the age of five.

Ten years later, in New York, I met the senior British official responsible for the imposition of sanctions. He is Carne Ross, once known in the UN as “Mr Iraq”.

Julia Gillard is no feminist hero

The Guardian’s description of Australia’s opposition leader Tony Abbott as “neanderthal” is not unreasonable. Misogyny is an Australian blight and a craven reality in political life. But for so many commentators around the world to describe Julia Gillard’s attack on Abbott as a “turning point for Australian women” is absurd.

John Pilger: A hero whose skin was wrong colour

Arthur Murray died the other day. I turned to Google Australia for tributes, and there was a 1991 obituary of an American ballroom instructor of the same name. There was nothing in the Australian media.

The Australian newspaper published a large, rictal image of its proprietor, Rupert Murdoch, handing out awards to his employees. Arthur would have understood the silence.

The life and death of an Australian hero, whose skin was the wrong colour

Arthur Murray died the other day. I turned to Google Australia for tributes, and there was a 1991 obituary of an American ballroom instructor of the same name. There was nothing in the Australian media. The Australian newspaper published a large, rictal image of its proprietor, Rupert Murdoch, handing out awards to his employees. Arthur would have understood the silence.

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