Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for May 29th, 2012

But Hindrocket Said Conservatives Are Good At Twitter!

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 29, 2012

Remember this?

We are in the early stages of the 2012 campaign season, with a lot of battlespace preparation going on. In the skirmishing so far, one perhaps surprising media advantage has become clear: the right is clobbering the left on Twitter.

Here’s more proof that it’s not exactly so:

For several weeks on Twitter, the wingnut army has been staging a massive freak-out about a strange persecution fantasy; they imagine that they’re being sent to a “Twitter Gulag” by a conspiracy of left wing activists, who somehow control Twitter with their diabolical liberal super-powers.

What’s really happening is that sites like Michelle Malkin’s Twitchy.com are organizing and openly calling for right wingers to spam liberals on Twitter, with abusive tweets and lame-brained insults. They even call it “hijacking,” in a rare outbreak of honesty. For example: Hijack Alert: Describe Obama in Three Words Takes Off | Twitchy.

Obviously, their stupid and/or nasty comments are offending people, who then presumably use Twitter’s “Block and Report” feature to complain to Twitter support — and as a result, abusive right wingers’ accounts get suspended. This is what they’re whining about with their absurd self-pitying “Twitter Gulag” nonsense. The same people ordering wingnuts to harass and spam liberals on Twitter then turn around and scream like colicky babies when accounts are suspended because of harassment and spam.

It’s a self-perpetuating fake outrage of huge proportions.

Hmmmm. Wonder if it was Twitchy.com that egged on George Tierney, Jr. of Greenville, South Carolina to go after Sandra Fluke the way he did?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Truthleak: Japanese ex-PM says nuclear industry is corrupt, dictatorial. A case history on the functioning of propaganda

Posted by Charles II on May 29, 2012

The former Prime Minister of Japan, Naoto Kan, has given striking testimony to Parliament, in which he accepted blame for his own poor response during the Fukushima meltdown, but also attempted to obtain some degree of absolution because of the degree of corruption of the nuclear industry. He also urged Parliament to abandon nuclear power. To my surprise, Voice of America had some of the best coverage, reporting that Kan said:

“TEPCO and the Electric Power Companies of Japan have dominated the nuclear power industry for the last 40 years. Through this nuclear clique and the rules they created, they expelled and isolated industry experts, politicians and bureaucrats who were critical, while the rest just looked on because of self-protection and an attitude of peace-at-any-cost. I’m saying this because I feel partly responsible.”

“This nuclear clique, which has been created by the vested interest, is similar to the former Imperial Japanese military. We have to totally destroy and eradicate the organizational structure of the vested interests and (the) influence it has on the public. I think this should be the first step in reforming the nuclear industry.”

Comparing the nuclear industry to the Imperial Japanese military is to call that industry a fascist state.

Contrast this with Martin Fackler of The New York Times. This version excludes any reference to the Japanese Empire, substituting a milder reference to “the sickness of the system” with a comparison to Chernobyl and Soviet Communism. There are jabs and digs at Kan in the article that look like an attempt to discredit him. Mainichi Shimbun goes further and excises any reference to the corruption of the industry. The Washington Post (i.e., AP) is possibly even less useful. The Straits Times has a short but pointed piece that makes the connection between the nuclear industry and the fascists. The Guardian’s coverage is strangely muted. The Independent is missing in action. Ditto, FT. Reuters, useless. The Age, ditto. Yomiuri, ditto. Cordula Meyer of Der Spiegel has excellent background, but hasn’t commented on Kan’s testimony:

In Japan, the term “The Atomic Village” refers to an isolated elite that has formed around the country’s nuclear complex. …It’s as if Austrian writer Robert Jungk’s horrific vision of the “nuclear state” had become reality….Even many media organizations, as recipients of generous payments for the electricity industry, are part of the cartel….”Our country was literally brainwashed,” says Taro Kono, a member of the lower house of the Japanese Diet for the conservative LDP. “Atomic energy is a cult in Japan.” …Many scientists, especially at the University of Tokyo, are partial to TEPCO. The company contributes millions to the university and supports many associations, think tanks and commissions….Meanwhile, the Japanese government has begun asking Internet providers to remove “false reports” about Fukushima from the web…In Japan, the insiders who talked about the abuses at TEPCO were intimidated, as were journalists who reported on these abuses….

Of course, Germany is on a path to become nuclear free, so the nuclear industry doesn’t have much sway there. Think that the “Atomic Village” might actually be an international metropolis?

This is a major story. Japanese, at least Japanese in positions of leadership, simply do not use such direct language except in extremis. It would be as big as if George W. Bush got up in front of Congress and said that the petroleum industry, from academia to the engineering firms that build the plants to their boosters in Congress were secret Stalinists, destroying America from within.

And the biggest story is who is not covering it.

This is an excellent case history in propaganda. A propaganda system does not completely squelch stories. It is careful to tell only lies that are too big or unverifiable to be detected. Propaganda systems tell a portion of the truth, in such a way as to distort the meaning. And if one can find a portion of the information system where what they are covering up differs from what the rest of the system is covering up–like Der Spiegel’s reporting on an industry that has no political power in Germany–then occasionally the truth leaks out.

(Crossposted at Daily Kos)

Posted in Japan, Media machine, nukes, propaganda | 2 Comments »