Friday, March 02, 2007

A small example of journalistic bias.

I tend to enjoy Der Spiegel and often find it interesting. There are times when it’s left-wing bias comes shining through. A series, based on globalization, based on a book by one of their editors, was a particularly egregious example of that.

Now I’m very open about my bias. I support the maximization of individual freedom both economic and social. That is why I’m neither a socialist nor a conservative (who is just another kind of socialist). It is also the reason that I have avoided journalism even though I majored in journalism at university. I have written for newspaper but mainly in the field of opinion pieces.

But it still bothers me when journalists are unable to report honestly. I’ve too often seen how they twist what is said into something very different because it fits their agenda. And Fox News is just as bad, actually worse, than the liberal media. In fact some liberal publications tend to be fairly decent. I happen to have fairly high respect for the New York Times which avoids the most blatant bias but I’ve still criticized them for some material that was just wrong.

But this article at Spiegel Online is particularly bad. The gist of the story is that some years ago a bunch of left-wing students took over a building in Copenhagen which they didn’t own and against the wishes of the owners. New owners of the building secure a court order to have them evicted and they were. Fellow left-wing groups then got upset and rioted and staged demonstrations. Those are the basic facts. What is disturbing is the extremely bad way the unnamed author of this piece describes these events.

First the author refers to “the eviction of squatters from a left-wing youth center.” What makes the building a youth center? Merely that the squatters called it that. Now consider this, the publishers of Der Spiegel have offices. If I were to occupy their offices illegally and then rename them as a church they wouldn’t be a church. They would still be the offices of the publication even if I have illegally occupied it. So it really doesn’t matter what the squatters called the building after they stole it or attempted to steal it. It is not a youth center and ought not be called one. At best it should have been quotes indicating this is what the squatters called it. But as it is reported here they are saying it objectively was a youth center thus supporting the squatters.

Now these individuals are described as left-wing anarchists. First, I’ve met numerous such people and had conversations with many of them. Most are not anarchists and have no idea what the term means. Nor do I think that many of them are left-wing. They are relatively brainless, relatively uninformed about ideology and merely nihilists pretending to have some sort of philosophy behind their actions. They are not so keen to establish any particular kind of society as they are just to destroy whatever one exists around them.

These so-called “left anarchists” have been a plague everywhere they go. They will latch on a demonstration of any kind looking for an excuse to riot and loot. They are social parasites. And I can assure you that they existed inside that building only through two means: one is that they were thieves who stole from others. The second is similar: they were social parasites who had the state do their stealing for them. They lived off of welfare and unemployment.

Here is the hilarity of the entire spectacle. These so called “anti-state” advocates survive only because of the state. They are the children of the welfare state. They are nurtured by the state and couldn’t survive without it. The web site of the thugs called on fellow nihilists to join them in riots to reclaim that which they didn’t own. And some of these nihilists in Germany and Norway used this incident in Denmark as an excuse to riot in their countries. Spiegel reports it this way: “In Germany there were spontaneous demonstrations on Thursday evening to protest the Danish eviction.” These nihilist use the very technology which they rail against much the same way they despise the social order which supports them.

But the important point is that they use the internet to co-ordinate such activities. For a reporter to mention this and then still call these “spontaneous demonstrations” is more than bias. It strikes me as dishonest.

Photo: The photo is not what it first appears to be. One of the "anarchists" attempted to throw a firecracker or explosive device at the police and it exploded and she lost her hand in the explosion and police are helping her -- help she isn't refusing.

Labels: , ,