I must say that when someone posted a comment here a few days ago with the Canning Town video, I didn’t know what it was about. It looked to me like I was watching some politician being pulled off a stage while addressing a crowd somewhere, and I wondered whether he was a famous one.
It was only when I kept coming across the same video, and other variants of it, that I realised that it was an Extinction Rebellion protester standing on top of a London tube train being heckled by a crowd of commuters, who eventually pulled him (and his companion) off it.
The (not-so-) strange thing about this bit of news was that it had first been recorded by multiple mobile phones, and then uploaded to the internet (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.) and then had gone viral. And something “goes viral” when other people copy it and post it elsewhere, and the news spreads in a wave across the internet.
The same thing happens with music. The Hit Parade of the 1950s and 60s and onwards was made up of music that had “gone viral” before “going viral” had been invented. And the Canning Town incident was pop news in the same way that the Hit Parade is pop music. It was an example of people making their own news in the same way that they can make their own music.
More and more of the mainstream media News seems to be made up of pop news of this sort. Another current example is of the Spanish Civil Guard beating up Catalan separatist protesters in Barcelona (which I know well, having visited it many times). And other ones are the riots in Hong Kong, and the Gilet Jaunes protests in France.
The mainstream media used to be able to define what was and what wasn’t news, but now it seems that they’re increasingly finding that their news arrived pre-defined for them, and they’re following the news rather than leading it.
And perhaps that’s one of the reasons why the mainstream broadcast media are seeing their audiences/readerships decline: the news is coming from new sources other than paid reporters. And it’s arriving unfiltered: the people holding the mobile phones in Canning Town weren’t providing a running commentary on what they were seeing, nor an editorial perspective.
It seems that the mainstream media added their own editorial overview when they got the footage, and described it as “shocking violence” against noble climate protesters. But was it that violent? And was it that shocking? What were commuters supposed to do with the Extinction Rebellion protesters who were preventing them getting to work? Applaud? Perhaps that’s what most people in the mainstream media thought they should have done? But they didn’t. And that showed what little public support these protesters really had:
Extinction Rebellion called the clashes between protesters and commuters at a tube station on Thursday “regretful” as the group admitted the incident was “a huge own goal”.
It was indeed a huge own goal, because it showed the world how little real popular support there really was for Extinction Rebellion, regardless of how our top-down-controlling politically correct mainstream media tried to spin it.
It won’t help if our newly politically correct police investigate the commuters instead of the protesters:
‘VIGILANTE ATTACK’ Cops investigate COMMUTERS caught up in Extinction Rebellion chaos after protester was pulled off Tube train roof
We are perhaps seeing the demise of mainstream media News, and its replacement by pop news from multiple sources trending on a News Hit Parade, and accompanied by pop editorial comment on it (like the piece I’ve just written).
It’s getting harder and harder for our political elites to tell us what to think. For we’re all becoming reporters, and we’re all becoming editors, and maybe we’re all becoming police as well (what else were those Canning Town commuters doing?).
For a further pop editorial overview of the decline of the mainstream media, here’s the ever-sunny Steve Turley: