How do we discern reality in the media’s reporting of important events?
In the last two weeks, two public figures, have received vastly different treatment in the mainstream media.
Lady Margaret Thatcher died on Monday morning, the world lost one of the last strong leaders from the 20th century. A leader who exemplified the values of perseverance, commitment, courage, determination and conviction. Values important not just to the baby boomer generation, but to entrepreneurs, independent thinkers and self-starters of all ages.
What is interesting is the attention given to her detractors in the media, yet another glaring example of media bias. Sure, she was divisive, did make mistakes and was uncompromising, but she put the Great back into Great Britain.
She took the country from the brink of chaos, a 3 day work week, widespread electrical power disruptions, piles of garbage rotting in the streets and an almost total breakdown of services to a country with a sound economy, rising employment and a position as a major player on the world stage.
With President Reagan she stood up to the Soviet Union and effectively ended the cold war.
Infographic by Penduluminaction.com
She was one of very few leaders with the courage and honesty to recognise and describe Mandela as the terrorist he was.
My complaint about her is that she failed to save my country, Rhodesia, from the effects of a succession of Labour government’s disastrous attempts to force a terrorist government on us.
That she could later commit the UK to a war against Argentina to save a relative handful of British Subjects after abandoning hundreds of thousands of white, mainly British subjects or descendants and millions of innocent black Rhodesians has to rank as major hypocrisy.
In her defence, by the time she became Prime Minister, most of the damage had already been done by her Labour predecessors Harold Wilson and James Callahan. History suggests that her advisors including Lord Carrington were less than honest in their briefings of the situation to her. They are the real culprits with the blood of many of their former allies from both great wars on their hands.
I don’t have a problem with the media mentioning her critics, or even showing footage of British Police horses knocking down striking miners. What I do have a problem with is the extent that focus has on the overall image of events. The creation of a biased view.
The highlighting of Lady Thatcher’s detractors, compared to the universal fawning over Mandela’s recent hospitalization is sickening and an insult to the thousands of people who have suffered from terrorism in Southern Africa and elsewhere.
Mandela was not convicted for opposing the South African Government as is commonly portrayed, he was not a martyr. In the Rivonia trial, (Wikipedia) he admitted and was convicted of, sabotage, for obtaining an arsenal of weapons and explosives, plotting to place bombs in public places to indiscriminately kill or maim innocent people, and inciting others to do the same. For those crimes in the USA or Canada, he would almost certainly have been sentenced to at least life imprisonment.
Under Mandela’s leadership, the ANC did plant bombs in supermarkets and other public places, did murder an estimated 5000 Zulu people in Natal – mostly through the necklace method of setting fire to a petrol (gasoline) soaked car tyre placed around the victim’s neck while he or she was still alive. Warning, that link leads to an article with graphic images of necklace victims which some may find disturbing.
When I first moved to South Africa in 1979, Mandela’s name rarely appeared in local or international media until Western, left-wing agitators started attacking South Africa, interfering with the country’s sports and economic development and the media needed to create an icon.
If ever there were candidates for the International Criminal Court, it would be Mandela and Mugabe. Instead one got the Nobel peace prize, the other an invitation to the Pope’s inauguration. However the death of the second of the two greatest British Prime Ministers in the 20th century gets less than honourable reporting.
It is interesting to note that many of those whining about her in interviews in some of the poorer parts of Britain this week, might not have found the country bearable or even still be alive and free to whine today, if she had not been the strong leader she was.
Her leadership created waves that reached much further than British welfare offices. The Balkan states, Eastern Europe and many former Soviet republics might be far less free today but for her actions.
Extensive coverage given to the opponents of a great leader, but not a hint of criticism for a convicted terrorist, instead a continuing attempt to whitewash him and elevate him to sainthood. A case of the media making the news, not reporting it. Show the negative side of leaders for balanced reporting, but at least use the same standards for the whole political spectrum.
A case of the media making the news, not reporting it. Why?
Political correctness and the pendulum effect. Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister near the high point of a “Me” cycle. The end of her tenure coincided with the swing back towards the “We” phase.
Beware of what you read and assume to be accurate.
Wishing you success – and fair treatment if you become famous!
“News” Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net