NEWS & VIEWS No.2
10 March 2023
(Reading time: 5mins.)
The mass media is not great for accuracy or wide coverage and even less so for trustworthy analysis but it does often provide entertainment. Not always even intentionally.
Like when the western mass media reported one day that the Russians were shelling the nuclear reactor in the Russian-held sector of the Donbas area and, within hours, that the Russians were shelling from there.
We’ve all seen examples of the unreliability of the mass media (run by capitalists for the capitalist system so what can we expect, after all?) in our own country but hard to imagine more consistently unreliable and biased than its coverage of the war in the Ukraine.
Take for example the bombing of the Nord Stream pipeline on 26 September last year. The undersea pipeline was delivering Russian gas to Germany; its owners are Russian in financing partnership with European companies and it cost around $9.5 Billion euros to build.
It’s a twin pipeline stretching 1,230 km through the Baltic Sea. Each line comprises around 100,000 individual pipes, each 12 m in length.
So who did the wmm (western mass media) line up to blame, or at least to suggest might have carried out this sabotage? Yep, Russia, major shareholders in the pipeline and major route for exporting of their gas for sale to Europe!
Made no sense at all but to a public marinated in msm propaganda for months …
Now, if you were a reasonable detective, you’d be asking yourself: “Who stands to gain from this?” And you’d have to conclude “enemies of Russia”. Next, who would have the capability and opportunity to do it?
Well, states near the sea there who are not friendly to Russia, obviously. Like Sweden and Norway, whose states have reportedly been investigating for months without any apparent results..
But not just them, also US NATO, who has ships nearby and who carried out the BALTOPS 22 major naval exercise not long before the explosions – including underwater exercises. Sweden and Norway had both participated in the BALTOPS 22 joint NATO exercise.
Who would point the finger of suspicion at them? Not the western mass media, that’s for sure.
However a big fly has very recently landed in the ointment. Seymour Hersh, a long-established USA journalist, who has in his CV a Pullitzer Prize for the exposure of the 1968 US massacre of the Mai Lai village in Vietnam, published a report pointing the finger at the USA.
Of course Russia jumps on that – it’s their pipeline and they consider that the US is fighting a proxy war against them in Ukraine. The US and its allies in turn accuse Russia of just using the accusation to divert attention away from their continued invasion of Ukraine and war there.
Sure, that’s possible. But the blowing of the pipeline is an acknowledged fact and it was blown up by somebody – and the US are looking more and more like the most likely suspects. But don’t expect much help in clearing this up from the wsm.
Apparently Hersch’s report is not reliable because he didn’t name his inside sources. Really? He didn’t burn his whistleblowing sources on whom, apart from any considerations of decency, he might need to use in future? Or for reason to be trusted by future whistleblowers?!
Now we have a new version. No, not Russia in the frame any more but some “pro-Ukrainian group” or “anti-Putin Russian group”. And the source for this? An unnamed (but suddenly that’s not a problem any more) US Intelligence agency. Yeah, sure.
Neither wsm massaging nor US laundering is going to clean this story up. In pursuance of its drive for world hegemony, the ruling class of the US has been pushing Russia, its main obstacle in Europe, into war.
Well, despite the dangers, the European allies of the USA can go along with that, some (e.g. Poland) more enthusiastically than others, but ok overall. But to sabotage the pipeline delivering gas to Germany, the big power in the EU?
Reckless, US ruling class, reckless. And not just environmentally.
Spare a thought for a family being tortured by the Irish State, which has jailed one of its sons already and went and jailed another one more recently. Yes, you’ve heard of them, the Burke family.
First of all, their son Enoch who was a teacher, objected to a pupil identifying themselves by another gender.
The school required him to refer to this person not as ‘he’ or ‘she’ but as ‘they’. Oh, you can imagine the torment suffered by poor Enoch!
True, he might only have to refer to this person a dozen times in the year but … being forced to say “they”. This is a sin against Enoch’s religion! His religious rights are at stake here!
So naturally Enoch had to take a stand and naturally too had to do it in a public situation in the school, for which he got suspended while awaiting a disciplinary hearing.
Enoch’s religious principles required him to refuse the suspension and keep attending the school and to disobey a court order, for which (and for his stalwart protests in court) he was sent to prison in contempt of court.
Eventually, of course, he was sacked but he applied to the High Court to prevent that, during which attendance he and his family antagonised the judge by their interruptions and manner.
Then the younger son, Simeon, emulating his older brother, refused to be silent and accused the judge of “forcing the people of Ireland to accept transgender”, obviously an attack on his religion too.
The judge was “shoving transgenderism down the throats of the people of Ireland, not only in the schools but in the universities”, cried out the younger Burke. The judge ordered him to leave the court and when he declined, the Gardaí were called.
Young Simeon was removed, during which he was, he told the Judge, “shocked and shaken to the core” and had “been treated in a brutal fashion” by a “mob of Gardaí”. And charged with breach of the Public Order.
This raised unkind comments on social media from people alleging that they knew Garda “brutal treatment” in Dublin and in Rossport and that Simeon simply had no idea (some going so far as to cruelly dub him “Simple Simeon”, a reference to a similar-sounding children’s game).
Simeon was offered bail in his own name for a paltry sum and with no conditions except to stay away from the High Court but the brave young Burke refused to sign his bail form. So he went to jail too.
Simeon Burke should know something about the law, having studied it at University of Ireland, Galway. He ran for Student Union President there against the Left in general, where, according to Isaac Burke’s media, out of 2,500 votes cast, he received 482 first preference votes.
The legalisation of contraception, divorce and gay marriage are all presumably “crimes against God” too in the eyes of the Burke family and the High Court judges are sworn to protect those decisions.
Some unkind people are pointing out that if the Burkes consider the High Court to be wrong and its operation against their religion, why take their case there for adjudication? Yes, that is puzzling.
But the substantive and original issue remains: should a man of religious conviction be forced to use the third person plural pronoun to refer to any person?
And, come to think of it, did the Burkes object when Christianity was being “shoved down the throats of the people of Ireland, not only in the schools but in the universities”?
Seymour Hersh claims US Navy behind Nord Stream 2 pipeline explosion (nypost.com)
Nord Stream explosions: US officials say intelligence indicates pro-Ukrainian group sabotaged pipelines | World News | Sky News
Carlow Nationalist — ‘I am not a criminal’: Simeon Burke charged with breach of peace after court incident | Carlow Nationalist (carlow-nationalist.ie)
Who is Simeon Burke, the younger brother of Enoch arrested after scenes at Court of Appeal? (msn.com)
Battle lines drawn at NUI Galway Students’ Union elections – Burke Broadcast