Thursday, February 11, 2010

Iran anti-government protests= News; Mexico anti-government protests= Not News


In my First Post piece earlier this week, I highlighted western double standards when it comes to post-election protests:

In the 2006 presidential elections in Mexico, official results showed that the neo-liberal, anti-leftist and pro-American Felipe Calderon had won by 0.58 per cent.
The left-wing 'Coalition for the Good of All' alleged voting irregularities in more than 30 per cent of polling stations and organised massive street protests. But the protesters' cause was not championed by Washington and the election controversy was barely mentioned in the mainstream western media. Why? Because the "right" side had won.


Unlike in Iran of course, when in last year’s election, the "wrong" side, i.e. President Ahmadinejad, won. And that’s why the BBC’s Newsnight are, we are told, ‘watching events in Iran closely.’ (hat tip Ed on Media Lens message board)

What I’ve seen from Iran today is hundreds of thousands of people gathering in Tehran to celebrate the 31st anniversary of the country’s Islamic revolution. How very inconvenient for the BBC and other hawk-eyed Iran ‘watchers’. But of course, in the view of the Biased Broadcasting Corporation, the opinions and views of the people who support President Ahmadinejad don't count, it's only the supporters of the Twittering 'democratic' opposition who matter.

If, like me, you are sick and tired of the BBC’s very biased reporting of events in Iran, and their highly selective coverage of anti-government protests around the globe, then details on where to complain can be found here.

Always remember, it’s meant to be our BBC.

9 comments:

Mr. Piccolo said...

With so many protests around the world these days, I have developed some neat little equations to help me tell the bad protesters from the good ones.

Young, affluent, good-looking protesters + a desire to have more access to shop for cool consumer goods and an opposition to boring, stuffy, old-fashioned social mores = Champions of Freedom.

Industrial workers, farmers, and other assorted dirty people + a desire for good public services, rights to land, or family wages = Totalitarian Fascist Monsters.

Try using my patented Protest Equation System next time you aren't sure which protest you should be supporting and which protest you should oppose.

All joking aside, great article Mr. Clark.

Neil Clark said...

Mr Piccolo: Many thanks. Your P.E.S. is brilliant!

Gregor said...

@Neil
For the time being I don't think I could be bothered complaining. As I see it, the neo-liberal hegemony isn't the result of some willful conspiracy but due to clanishness, insecurity and intellectual laziness. Most BBC journalists will be selected from the same upper middle class social group from South East England. I'd say that their concept of freedom, which is focussed primarily on the freedom of rich people to be greedy pigs (hence Berezovsky the 'dissident') is fairly well ingrained.

I'd say also that talking about political positions is meaningless. The news often describes Sarkozy as 'centre right' and new Labour as 'Centre Left'. Maybe the BBC thinks it's balanced by employing people from 'left wing' papers. However, neither The Guardian nor The Independent actually seem to me to be left wing in any true sense.

@ Mr Picollo
I've also noticed how the media treats different protestors. According to a Russian 'dissident' letting poor people vote is 'dangerous'
http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinion/article/letting-poor-people-vote-is-dangerous/399397.html

I suspect we'll see a lot more arguments like this coming up.

Mr. Piccolo said...

Mr. Clark: Thank you very much!

Gregor: As odd as it may seem, Yulia Latynina’s sentiments don’t surprise me. 19th Century liberals often opposed extending suffrage to the lower classes because they were afraid they would vote for things like progressive taxation, nationalization, etc. I think behind all of the pro-democracy happy talk of the neoliberals, deep down many of them still hold on to the same prejudices that the classical liberals had.

I agree, we will probably see more arguments like this soon.

jack said...

@Gregor

Former US Professor and author Tom Sunic a Croatian whose father a former with him fled Communist Yugoslavia under Tito basicallly summed it up best why although an anti-communist he is against western free market capaitalist system.

"You are known as a very outspoken anticommunist. Please explain the reasons for your opposition to communism? In addition, you have said that Croatia's current, main threats are the "Western" ideals of capitalism and consumerism. If you consider yourself to be an anticommunist as well as an anticapitalist, what political system would you like to see take shape in Croatia, a sort of third-position?

There are different forms of anticommunism. However, being an anticommunist does not presuppose that one must, therefore, embrace its only present counterpart, i.e., global capitalism. Both systems have inherent principles of egalitarianism, economism, and universalism, i.e., the belief in the abstract ideology of "human rights" and the dogma of perpetual economic growth. Due to its violent transparency, poor economic results, and negative social-biological selection, along with the nameless topography of terror, communism lost its intellectual appeal. By contrast, modern capitalism, which operates today under the term of "globalism," is more successful in promoting the same totalitarian goals, albeit with different rhetoric. It is utopia achieved. Many failed communist practices are now fully operational, albeit under different labels in the EU and USA. Former paleo-communist political romanticism, such as multiculturalism, multiracialism, academic self-censorship, intellectual opportunism, which is known as political correctness, and the loss of the sense of the tragic, is in full swing in the West. Moreover, unlike communism, modern liberalism, i.e., global capitalism, does not leave visible traces of blood and cohorts of martyrs in its wake. Its destructive longevity is guaranteed."

http://www.rosenoire.org/interviews/sunic.php

Gregor said...

@Mr Piccolo

These type of arguments have long been implied by many rich Venezualans: they portray their country as a prosperous wonderland which has been impoverished by poor and stupid people voting for Chavez (who in their alternative universe has done nothing for the poor).

However, as neo-liberalism crumbles, I think the neo-liberals will return to supporting Pinochet types.

@Jack
Perhaps given my age (born early 80s) the word 'conservative' has very little meaning aside from someone who idolises greed. I've just assumed I'm a leftist because I dislike right wing policies.

However, watching this excellent documentary on Boris Berezovsky really made me feel ashamed for my country in an oddly conservative way:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71zCFH6RFRc&feature=related

The scenes of Alex Goldfarb (treated as a hero in the Brit media) drivelling over Berezovsky is really horrible (looks like he's going to have an accident in his pants when he's eying Boris across the aisles of the private jet). But for me the most sickening scene was when Boris makes some criticism of Putin at an official meal and receives thunderous, sycophantic applause.

Anyone could make the exact comments he made. But only billionaires can expect to be flattered for it.

David Lindsay said...

If all those people in Tehran were bussed in, then how come there were large demonstrations going on at the same time in every other city?

No wonder that the Iranians are jamming the BBC. Good for them.

I wouldn't have voted for Ahmadinejad, either. But he still won. Those who say otherwise need to get out of the parts of Tehran that could be Notting Hill. And they need to be educated that every other candidate was just as signed up to the legacy of 1979.

What's that you say? "The Guardian Council"? We have no such thing here, of course. We just have Fleet Street. And the BBC.

Mr. Piccolo said...

@Gregor:

I couldn't agree more. That is the scary thing, that we might see a resurgence of Pinochet types in the near future.

Suvorov said...

The same Yulia Latynina who claimed that Russia started the war in South Ossetia. I've watched her debate against a Russian military analyst, and every time she was confronted with obvious facts, she changed the subject to the war in Gaza or Lebanon.