I spent my Friday night posting about Burma on various Websites, and at one point I got the idea that Al Gore – who had won the Nobel prize that day – might say something about Burma. So I Googled it and stumbled across this Mike Baker blog at FOX that confirms my worst fears about media coverage of Burma – even though I think he is a dick for pointing out the truth in such a callously offhand fashion. He also turns his insight and the second half of his essay into a boring rant about Washington politics. I quote:
Lookee there Hoss… the protesters have disappeared, long live the junta and nobody gives a rat’s backside. (...)
I dare you to find any stories about Burma at this point… only a week or two after media in the West appeared fascinated with the story and repeatedly declared events there to be an outrage.
Okay, maybe you’ll find a couple of paragraphs, but it’ll be somewhere back in section C between the horoscopes and reruns of Funky Winkerbean.
This is what’s got my goat. For some reason, the supposedly sensationalist media is hiding an atrocity-as-it-happens from the people. This isn’t just an American thing. It’s a Western thing, confirmable on Google News.
In just the past few days, a lot of developments have occurred in Burma that could make juicy news, even if the video parts had to be filled in using stock footage. Like Fox viewers would even notice.
But what do we hear over and over about Burma? It’s “back to normal.” This isn’t true at all. It is a bullshit line for the spoon-fed Western public — a pacifier.
Nearly every story I have read about the situation in Burma over the past couple weeks gives very high play to the junta’s ridiculous body count, usually within the first few paragraphs. They made sure that everyone noticed when the generals’ number jumped from nine to thirteen, and then down to ten. Stuff to talk about while fixing the car, I’ll say.
And, over and over the public was told that “dissident groups” put the death toll closer to 200. And for all the truthful insight expressed in Mike Baker’s blog above, he is part of the problem, telling people just how little they care, and then taking care of that, with soma.
But then, there are the “cover-our-asses” stories. Several prestigious newspapers have run stories that give an entirely more sinister viewpoint. The Sunday Times ran a story just a few days ago (two days before Mike Baker’s blog ) informing that crematoriums in Rangoon seem to be very busy late at night. That’s right.
The secret cremations have been reported by local people who have seen olive green trucks covered with tarpaulins rumbling through the area at night and watched smoke rising continuously from the furnace chimneys.
Their accounts have been volunteered to international officials and aid workers in Rangoon, Burma’s main city. The consensus in the foreign community is that the consistency of the stories makes them credible.
Now, did this story get fair play overall in the media? Was it trumped by some “Myanmar is peaceful again” story? Even white people say it’s true. When we are told it's entirely possible for one man to take America into another war with another Arab country on suspicion of attempting to begin the process of enriching uranium to the point of being able to make a primitive nuke, how come the opinions of our best sources on Burma need to be so rock-solid before making CNN's nightly news loop? The international media machine is choosing to kiss the junta generals' shrivelled asses. I want to know why.
Is it money controlling the networks? Advertisers don't like sad stories? Or, are professional newspeople really so freaked out by the possibility of a holocaust underway that they unconsciously do the ostrich maneuver? Or is it
I could go on with examples. I will. Major General Hla Htay Win, who got downgraded to a Major in many MSM reports, has dropped out of the news since Oct. 2.