Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Greg Palast telling it like it is

A little while ago I was having a beer with a couple of people and we got to talking about the effectiveness, or rather lack of effectiveness, of Left Wing activism.

Being true to my Conspiraloon
roots, I suggested that a lot of that failure was due to the fact that ordinary politically active people are being deliberately jerked-off and misdirected by journalists and writers from the established, state-sanctioned Left

and then I played one of my favourite cards and asked ‘
Name an established Left Wing writer with access to the mainstream press who you trust?’

It’s not as easy a question to answer as some might think

At some point Greg Palast’s name came up

Now, I’d be the first to admit that he’s written some decent stuff.

On the other hand that whole Sam Spade investigative journalist in a trench coat and fedora thing is just a tad too cheesy for my tastes. He also repeatedly attempts to validate what he has to say by constant references to his association with the BBC and its flagship news program Newsnight

Hmmm, hardly the hallmark of quality in my book

But that’s all by the by

The reason why I don’t trust the self-publicising fucker is not because of his silly hat or what he says and writes. It’s what he doesn’t say that bothers me.

That's what misdirection is all about

Take his work on voting fraud in the US as probably the simplest example.

Yup, there is definitely something dodgy about the roll-out of paperless, unverifiable voting machines in the US. And yup there is plenty of evidence that thousands of eligible voters have been denied a vote through underhand practices

But so fucking what?

Would it really make any difference to US domestic and international policies if the Democrats won more elections?

The Democrats did pretty well on an anti-war ticket in the midterm elections last year and subsequently they endorsed an increase in US forces in Iraq.

Nothing changed. Nothing changed because the Democrats and the Republicans are in the pockets of the same lobbies

And I suspect a growing number of people in the UK are realising that the same situation applies here with Labour and the Conservatives

Meanwhile, Palast and Co are wanking off as many people who are worried about the state of politics as possible with distractive bullshit.

If all the political parties on a ballot are bent why should anyone give a toss about how the votes are counted?

In fact, personally, I quite like the idea of everyone suspecting that vote counting is bent as it strips away what little veneer of democracy is left over the whole crooked process.

Anyway, all of the above is just an intro to this clip of Palast ‘doing a Chomsky’ whilst being interviewed on the subject of 9/11 scepticism…

It’s not the fact that Palast’s views on 9/11 differ to my own that I think leaves him looking like an idiot-shill-gatekeeper-twat in this clip. It’s the fact that he contradicts himself quite severely in the space of a few seconds - first maintaining that, as a serious investigative journalist, he has no definitive opinion on the subject because he has done no research and then going on to talk about all the research he’s done.

The unedited video of the full interview is available here and does an even better job of showcasing the change in Palast’s demeanour into mumbling bumbling bullshit mode once he starts talking about 9/11



Shahid said...

John Pilger.

You and the Antagonist killed Monbiot off for me already.

Shahid said...

Though I liked this... http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,2138293,00.html

and you possibly might like bits of it too....

Stef said...

Yes, that is a good piece. Thanks for the link

That's the problem though isn't it - if the likes of Monbiot, or Chomsky, or Fisk, or Moore, etc etc were off the mark too often a critical mass of people would get wise and start pelting them shit.

And like I've said a couple of times it's usually what they don't talk and write about that is the issue, not the stuff they do write about.

Do you think someone like Monbiot or Chomsky would acknowledge that 9/11 and 7/7 scepticism even exist if they could get away with it? Their behaviour would suggest not

Stef said...

On the things he does talk and write about Pilger is OK and, whether you agree with his politics or not, appears to be genuine

He is however a little selective about the issues he does get stuck into. Maybe because his hands are tied. Who knows...

Stef said...

Alternatively, let me put it another way...

Either you accept that the mainstream media is institutionally corrupt or you don't.

If you do accept that wholesale corruption then anyone who gets regular access to that media, even someone who still has a soul, has to be compromised in some way.

Anonymous said...

Last I heard Prof. Steven Jones was suing Palast for defamation of character unless he offered a public retraction or apology.

He also offered Palast the chance for a full on public debate. Last I heard, Palast hasnt taken it up.

Shahid said...

Or maybe because his hands are full? He has done an awful lot of very good work. Few Western journalists can match him. Anyone who can take the Zionist lobby on and stick to his guns is worth something in my book.

Shahid said...

I accept that the media is corrupt, but I don't accept that all journalists have sold their souls. Some of them are doing the best they can and come up against ridiculous barriers. Look at what Pilger went through trying to get "Palestine is Still the Issue" on air.

Stef said...

but I don't accept that all journalists have sold their souls.

nor do I

just most of them

paul said...

That's what I thought about monbiots piece today, credit where its due, misery guts john gray wrote the best article there though.
It's like learning to read, once you know where they are, you can pick the good stuff.
Monbiot,Palast may be annoying twats sometimes, but I don't think they are evil twats

Wolfie said...

I don't think they've sold their soul.

I think they're scared.

Stef said...


No I don't think pussy lefty journalists/ intellectuals are evil either but they do lack a certain degree of bite in their efforts and steer well clear of particular topics

And for those of us with issues about 9/11 and 7/7, Chomsky, Monbiot, Palast, Moore, Fisk, Churchill and plenty of others have perpetuated certain myths by pushing the 'blowback' explanation for those events. On top of that they have all, to one degree or another, accused everyone with doubts about 9/11 and 7/7 of suffering from mental illness. Personally speaking, I don't buy the Al Qaeda myth and, as far I can tell, I am neither ignorant nor insane, ergo I personally have to conclude that they're talking shit

The reasons why they talk shit are potentially interesting subject for debate

Anonymous said...

"but I don't accept that all journalists have sold their souls.

nor do I

just most of them

I thought this had been covered earlier ... The difference between an amateur and a professional is that the professional does it for money. Hence, it is axiomatic that a professional journalist is untrustworthy.

Let me spell it out ... when you're reading something written by a professional journalist he's written it for money. No, no ... let me say it again, etc etc ...

Stef said...

Of course, theoretically, whoever is paying the journo-whore could be paying them to be objective, balanced and truthful

but that is only a theory

Stef said...

I have others

paul said...

Possibly its largely sub conscious. As peter dale scott says, the higher you are, the less you're inclined to question the legitimacy of the structure that elevates them.

There's also the 'dilemma', if I pipe up about conspiracies, I won't get taken seriously and therefore will not deliver the revolution/save the planet/feed the world (delete as appropriate), so best keep schtum

lwtc247 said...

@Anon 5:59 PM
Its not just the money. If your deemed as professional, then your poinion is automatically worth something. If your classed as an amatuer then your a stupid civvie, even though looking at the standards of some professionals (not just journalists), compared to amatrurs, would see the professionals put to shame.

@ Paul. Keeping "schtum" only adds to 'their' power and ability to amplify their oppression.

Imagine if Chomsky, Monbiot, Palast, Moore, Fisk, Churchill, Pilger, Fisk, Finklestein,Galloway,Martin Bell,Zinn,Roy,Dr David Kellly (now assassinated), etc.. etc..

ALL spoke out against it? The cat would definately be out of the bag. I suspect many people know there are questions about 9-11 but havent actually looked into it properly. Good minds like the above would help.

lwtc247 said...

I scruitinized the Pallast video you did well to let us know about. When you listen carefully, there are HUGE errors in what Pallast says. The insult becomes irrelecant.

If one listens casually, one is not likely to pick up on them.
Anyway, I'm writing a blog post about it.

lwtc247 said...

I saw this...
and i thought of you(r webpage)

Stef said...

So, the rumours about Christopher Bollyn being abducted and executed by the Zionist cabal that allegedly rules the world may have been slightly exaggerated...

Pallast rarely exposes his prejudices by what he explicitly says (as with the 9/11 interview in this post). It's the things he doesn't say or talk about...