Propaganda: Poppyshow have dem gang

On the first page of Chapter 1  in his book Manufacturing Consent, Noam Chomsky points out that mass media serves as a propaganda system for wealthy class interests.

In countries where the levers of power are in the hands of a state bureaucracy, the monopolistic control over the media, often supplemented by official censorship, makes it clear that the media serves the ends of a dominant elite. It is much more difficult to see a propaganda system at work where the media are private and formal censorship is absent.

Source: Manufacturing Consent by Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky.

I couldn’t help but recall that passage as I observed the Jamaican Gleaner make a mockery of themselves in their coverage of the tendered and withdrawn resignation of Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin as Commissioner of Police.

Observer Cartoon published 6/4/2008. Copyright Clovis Brown 2008. Used under fair use provisions of copyright laws.

This article in the Gleaner by Mark Beckford is particularly horrible, how one can “report ” in the way that Beckford did for this article and get published is beyond me; I have known high school newspaper editors who would have spiked the article for its glaring lack of news. In Jamaica’s largest circulation daily newspaper, this is a cover story.

Beckford, who may not have left his office or spent more than 15-minutes  for this LEAD STORY advises the readers in his second paragraph and throughout the article that the powers-that-be don’t want to make public the reason that Lewin tendered his resignation. Writes Beckford:

“We did not go into why he resigned because we did not believe it was the right thing to do at the moment,” said Noel Hylton, chairman of the [Police Service] commission. “When things have settled down, we will try to find out from him what are the most pressing issues,” he told The Gleaner last night.

Source: Jamaica Gleaner.

And later:

Yvonne McCalla Sobers, convenor of Families Against State Terrorism, yesterday called for a public revelation of the reasons for the resignation of the commissioner.

“There must have been serious issues which caused the commissioner to adopt such a position,” she said. “We don’t want it swept under the carpet.”

Maria Carla Gulotta of the Jamaican chapter of Amnesty International agreed with McCalla-Sobers.
Source: Jamaica Gleaner.

As Porky Pig would say “That’s all folks!” No follow-up, no investigative journalism, not quotes given without attribution, no facts provided on background about personality conflicts within the JCF or National Security Ministry, nothing! But this is A COVER STORY.

Rewritten for brevity, this cover story in full would be:

Jamaica Gleaner Exclusive

“As you already know, Rear Admiral Harley Lewin tendered his resignation as commissioner of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, and then withdrew his resignation for reasons that he has not yet made public. Reached for comment, Commissioner Lewin told this intrepid journalist “No comment. I’ll speak to you when I speak to you.” His boss Minister of National Security Col. Trevor Macmillan advised  the  Daily Gleaner “I can’t speak to you on the matter.” In a combination of laziness and cowardice, we at the Daily Gleaner left it at that. Hardley any news here.

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