Managed News

Stupid debate in UK parliament:

Stopping Donald Trump from coming to the UK risks turning him into a martyr, a Labour MP has claimed during a three-hour House of Commons debate.

Paul Flynn said Mr Trump’s call to ban Muslims from the US was “extremely dangerous” but barring him from the UK risked being seen as anti-American.

However, SNP MP Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh said a ban would be justified on the grounds of “religious harmony”.

A petition advocating a ban has attracted 574,000 signatures.

Monday’s debate, which took place in a packed Westminster Hall committee room, ended without a vote.

I’ve read that a UK petition to ban immigration received just as many signatures, but that didn’t win it a parliamentary debate. I seem to remember that a petition to relax the smoking ban got similar numbers, but that just got ignored.

But this petition made headlines, and got a debate in parliament. I think it’s an example of how the ‘news’ is manufactured: it gave a few British politicians the chance to climb on their moral high horses and castigate the leading Republican presidential candidate.

In another example of manufactured news, which reminded me of Donald Trump’s oh-so-shocking claim that Mexican “rapists” were flooding into the USA, there’s been an outcry about the lack of media coverage of the mass sexual assaults in Cologne on New Year’s Eve. Nigel Farage:

“But it’s what happened in Cologne, where we saw the mob, up to a thousand young males in the street sexually assaulting and harassing women. It is in I think many ways one of the most disgraceful public order events that we’ve seen in modern day Europe and yet there was an attempt by the police and the press to cover it all up and even the suggestion from some German politicians that German young women should change their dress and their mode of behaviour in the street which I thought was a total insult.” 

In fact, what Trump said about Mexicans could equally have been said about the flood of immigrants/refugees entering Europe. But when the (entirely predictable) rapes started happening, there was media silence. Why? Because it was an embarrassing failure of politically-correct ‘multi-culturalism’, and they didn’t want to publicise it.

It reminded me today that I’m always been rather puzzled at the lack of public outrage at smoking bans. But in our highly-managed news environment, I suspect that the outrage is there (I still feel the outrage!), but isn’t being reported. I remember back in 2007, when the UK ban was introduced, expecting to see a lot of media coverage of it. But there was hardly any media coverage of it at all. On 1 July 2007 BBC news had a couple of interviews with cheerful pub-goers, one of whom said that it was nice that the pubs weren’t so smoky, and another from a smoker saying the ban might help him cut down a bit on cigarettes. And that was it. The UK smoking ban was a media non-event.  What for me was a watershed moment, that continues to profoundly affect me to this day, was a complete media non-event.

It’s not as if there’s been complete silence, though. In January 2014, the chief political commentator of the Daily Telegraph, Peter Oborne, wrote:

The smoking ban killed the British pub. This vandalism is Labour’s defining legacy

Some people believe Labour’s defining legacy is Iraq. Others think it is the hunting ban. But the issue which has affected most people and which has damaged the fabric and appearance of British community more than anything else is the loss of the local pub.

I entirely agreed with him, of course. However, writing in the Telegraph a couple of months later, Oborne again called for the smoking ban to be relaxed, but this time adding numerous concessions about smoking killing people, etc, which had been entirely absent from the earlier piece.

And then, less than a year later, Oborne resigned from the Telegraph, accusing it of a “form of fraud on its readers” (over HSBC), and:

Peter Oborne has gone further, saying that “shadowy” executives are interfering on an “industrial scale” with basic news coverage.

This is exactly what I suspect is happening: Every news story has to be vetted, and if necessary altered, by “shadowy” executives in order to “send the right message”. Donald Trump is fair game for hyped media outrage, but mass rapes and smoking bans mustn’t be mentioned.

But the attempt to create and maintain a fake reality is getting harder and harder in an internet era in which what is and isn’t newsworthy can no longer be entirely defined by the mass media, now that news has new ways of reaching its audience.

Eventually, it will become impossible. And on that day, I expect the news programmes will feature newsreaders all smoking cigarettes, while telling viewers about all the big news stories that weren’t reported over the past 10 or more years.

About Frank Davis

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21 Responses to Managed News

  1. harleyrider1978 says:

    Sara Palin just endorsed Trump along with the IOWA governor.

  2. harleyrider1978 says:

    Why campaigns that stigmatize smokers can make them want to quit even less

    In multiple studies, smokers used words such as “leper,” “outcast,” “bad person,” “low-life,” and “pathetic” to describe their own behaviour. One study found that 30-40 per cent of smokers felt high levels of family disapproval and social unacceptability and 27 per cent felt they were treated differently due to their smoking status. Another study found that 39 per cent of smokers believed that people thought less of them.

  3. Clicky says:

  4. George says:

    The outrage is still here ok.

  5. waltc says:

    The problem is that only smokers were enraged but then, who cares, they’re “only smokers” and as the rest of the trained seals have been trained to think, they’re murderous rubbish and good riddance. Then, too, when the Ruling Class gets a righteous, evangelical gleam in its eye, it doesn’t care if all the peasants are enraged; it just plows on. Perpetuating the EU for example. Encouraging rampant unvetted immigration. Shoving its political correctness down our throats. Will the barricades be manned? Or is the question WHEN will the barricades be manned?

    • Rose says:

      But now the trained seals have been told that tobacco is no longer a unique case and their own pleasures are under attack. I have to admit a certain amusement at the turmoil in the holier than though,drinkers ranks now that they have been told that where cancer is concerned there is no safe level of alcohol and on top of that, sixty other horrible diseases with their names on.
      My how they crowed on the newspaper threads that alcohol was different and that there was too many of them to be touched.

      Remember this oft repeated line?

      BBC Breakfast

      Should smoking be banned in parks and other public spaces?
      14th October – comment now removed..

      “I too have a pleasure, I like a beer now and then, the product of my pleasure is urine, how would you feel if I stood on a chair and p****ed on your head
      and your clothes.”

      To which we can now add – all the while blowing carcinogenic alcohol fumes in other peoples faces.

      However, heart felt irritation and burning resentment apart.

      The most glaring thing that never seems to be remarked on is that it’s never the products of the petrochemical companies the prohibitionists go for but the simpler pleasures originally discovered by ordinary people in their own homes over hundreds or years and in various countries across the world, using natural ingredients.

      Strange that.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Next up Should Non smoker breathing be outlawed in outdoor areas as well as indoors due to 3500 chemical releases into the atmosphere others have to breathe in.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Chemical analysis of exhaled human breath using a terahertz spectroscopic approach

          “As many as 3500 chemicals are reported in exhaled human breath. Many of these chemicals are linked to certain health conditions and environmental exposures. This experiment demonstrated a method of breath analysis utilizing a high resolution spectroscopic technique for the detection of ethanol, methanol, and acetone in the exhaled breath of a person who consumed alcohol. This technique is applicable to a wide range of polar molecules. For select species, unambiguous detection in a part per trillion dilution range with a total sample size in a femtomol range is feasible.”

          “Cynthia Lyons, East Sussex County Council acting director of public health, said, “Second hand smoke can harm our health and contains over 4,000 chemicals, some of which are known to cause cancer.” Which is a bald face lie.

          Well compared to the 3500 chemicals reported in human breath, some of them known to cause contagion and contain carcinogens like Isoprene, Cynthia Lyons’ concern over only 4,000 seems quite pathetic,

          I don’t particularly want to breath the contents of some stranger’s lungs either, but up until now had considered it unavoidable.
          Of course banning other people from smoking or breathing in all enclosed public spaces would be impracticable – compulsory masks, perhaps?

  6. waltc says:

    Unfortunately, I don’t know much about Andrew Jackson or the bent of this publication, nor do,I think that all of his categorizations are correct (it was the great Progressive Woodrow Wilson who introduced Jim Crow to the federal govt, and his peers were eugenicists). Still I found this an interesting, and mostly, if not entirely, head-nodding analysis of the current state of US –and considering Farage–UK politics. And it’s on topic.

    • prog says:

      And, as in the UK, many university students are unwittingly studying idiocy

      The ‘Safe Space’ shite’s all the rage with the Loony Left, particularly the Feminists.

      • prog says:

        Sorry Frank…delete that (although Nisi might like it)

  7. nisakiman says:

    And on that day, I expect the news programmes will feature newsreaders all smoking cigarettes, while telling viewers about all the big news stories that weren’t reported over the past 10 or more years.

    Ha! And I thought that I was the eternal optimist, Frank!

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      nisakiman we aren’t facing anything new or even that really hard to defeat. Take the first smoking bans in the US 43 states out of 45 all repealed by 1917. Then alcohol prohibition repealed 1933. History isn’t very nice to prohibition or to prohibitionists although during their time they owned the media and the government………..then well people say fuck you and its over.

  8. bea kanu says:

    It seems to me that all the ‘trolling’ and generally offensive commenting that goes on these days can be dated to the smoking ban. Somehow it gave permission for people to express their unpleasant views without fear of response. There was, after all, a general approval for their anti smoking comments, so why hold back ? They were only saying what the majority were thinking.

    Live and let live – the mantra of my youth – has been entirely forgotten – and don’t get me started on today’s students and their ‘safe spaces’.

  9. harleyrider1978 says:

  10. harleyrider1978 says:

  11. harleyrider1978 says:

  12. Tony says:

    As of now (the end), there appear to be 982 comments on the HUD ban proposal. I haven’t tried to count numbers on each side but there do appear to be plenty against.!searchResults;rpp=25;po=0;s=FR-5597-P-02;fp=true

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Tony commenting on this type of tripe is simply window dressing to claim the democratic process was followed………..Like a townhall meeting or a city council meeting on a ban………all were already decided long ago the outcomes.

      • Tony says:

        I think we’re both aware of their methods and window dressing public consultations but we still have to speak out where possible.

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