LUPUS PASTOR: NEWS AND SPEECH OR NEWSPEAK?
“In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible… Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness.” (George Orwell , the 1984 guy, writing in 1949)
Was Mr. Orwell just being polite or were politics nicer back then? These days political sound bites forgo euphemism and vagueness. If such speech does as it claims, to “tell it like it is” then “it” must be nothing but fatuous opinion, ill-informed speculation and flat out propaganda. And the politicians are even worse.
I know propaganda is a harsh word generally associated with 20th century totalitarian regimes but as Wikipedia (which I can now quote because I’m not in school) says, propaganda is, “used primarily to influence an audience and further an agenda, often by presenting facts selectively (perhaps lying by omission) to encourage a particular synthesis, or using loaded messages to produce an emotional rather than a rational response to the information presented.” This sure does sound like journalism today.
But not always, once upon a time, you got your news (they define that as what you needed to know to be an informed citizen, what’s that we ask?) served in sincere and sonorous tones at dinner time by a middle aged/class white guy on one of only three channels. We trusted these wise men. This was truly, according to the elders ,“fair and balanced” news. If you wanted to be entertained or told stories you had to wait until seven.
Sadly these days, convenient but much to our disservice, news and entertainment are one. In “1984”Orwell called this stew “prolefeed.” And in 2015 we proles surely feed as we sing along with our favorite “duckspeaking” journalists and politicians. We confirm our biases 24/7 with “two minute hates” on our ubiquitous “versificating telescreens.” (see www.newspeakdictionary.com/ns-dict.html for definitions )
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matthew 7:15, KJV).
Or the other way around; “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in wolves’ clothing, but inwardly they are well-compensated sheep” It’s hard to tell politicians and journalists apart, sheep in wolves clothes or wolves in sheep’s, they both act as predator and prey to each other. But behind that absurd theater, they share the agenda of getting our attention, be it measured by vote or click. I don’t understand why they bother with us mere spectators. Neither pols or journos work for us—our value to them is only in numbers—they, in spite of their protestations to the contrary, work only for “Big Brother” and its “His” attention they really crave not ours.