Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: Harold Evans - on Media Whores and Heroes ...

17 October 2005

Harold Evans - on Media Whores and Heroes ...

Harold Evans is another old Brit but, Harold doesn't 'do' blogs.

( Since he's simply so much more up-market than me. See? )

Though that's not to say he doesn't usually have something to say or write which isn't well worth listening to, and/or reading.

Take for example, this excellent excerpt from his latest powerful op-ed piece, appertaining to some mainstream media whores and heroes -- of both the past and even more particulary, the present.

In my view, the safe "he-said, she-said, on-the-one-hand, on-the-other " style of journalism is an abdication of the journalist's responsibility to pin down the truth.

More concerned with advertising demographics than a functioning democracy, the networks blur the line between news and entertainment. Any time there's a celebrity crime or a missing blonde in California, the rest of America - the rest of the world - vanishes from the screens.

Les Moonves, the current head of Murrow's old network, CBS, has let it be known that he hankers to do the news "MTV-style".
Sound like Harold Evans could be your sort of scribbler?

Just as he is, This Old Brit's ?

Maybe ? Possibly? Probably ?

So, see some more, before making your mind up.

On the other hand, Mr Moonves, you could have television on television.

One of the extraordinary things about network TV is how little news video they show, cutting back to cotton wool commentary.
Blatantly biased, This Old Brit may well be -- but just like today's big-brother-bosses, Bush and Blair -- we, mere mortal munchkins must stand shoulder to shoulder -- if we're ever to win the war on error - upon error and error - etcetera.

Now, before looking for the 'link to the lot' that regular readers will realise is bound to follow below --- here's the header to the piece quoted from above.

Eh ? Erm ? Excuse me ?

But surely that's arse-ways around?!

That's obviously upside down.

In fact, it's actually, bloody well back to front.

Aha ..... wait a minute ..... by George, I think I've got it.

It's some sneaky sort of subtlety.

Like .... the last shall come first, and the first shall come last -- and so on & so forth?

Eh ?

Well ... we are talking about a pair of old Brits, for God's sake, so what the hell else would the world expect?

After all, don't we always end up doing everything our way -- in the end ?

Good night, and good luck ~~ A POINT OF VIEW

By Harold Evans

In his weekly opinion column, Harold Evans looks at the state of television in the US, and doesn't like what he sees.

Did we forget to tell you ? Sorry, we should have said.

Our old Harold is talking [almost] totally about T.V. -- U.S. style.

So, here comes that [almost] legendary link-to-the-lot.


And in the words of one of these two old Brits' all time, media heroes, Edward R. Murrow --------- good night, and good luck.


Anonymous graniab said...

I haven't yet seen 'Goodnight and Goodluck' but hope to this weekend. Harold hit the nail on the head re US TV news. There are so many important issues that should be hitting the airwaves but sadly are not. It seems that all summer long we were bombarded with the story of a missing teenager in Aruba. It's a sad story to be sure - but what about Iraq and Plamegate

6:01 pm  
Blogger Richard said...


I hope you enjoy that film. Don't forget to give us you're review, here.

Also, while on the subject of Media Whores -- take a look at this -- can you BElive this man?

*Murdoch sells lunch date on eBay

Lunch with Murdoch is being touted as a "unique opportunity"
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch is selling himself as a lunch date for $25,000 on the internet site eBay to raise money for a Jerusalem technology college.

The chairman of News Corporation has posted an advert on the site setting a starting price of $25,000.

The winning bidder will be treated to lunch with four friends at the company's New York headquarters.

Mr Murdoch has long-established links with the Israeli hi-tech industry, the UK's Guardian newspaper reports.

News Corp's satellite TV anti-piracy division NDS has a large presence in the country, the newspaper says.

More here:

8:09 pm  
Anonymous graniab said...

Richard - yes - I saw this headline on Huffington Post but didn't open it - who would want to go to lunch w/Murdoch let alone pay $25,000.00 - I'd rather eat my own vomit!

8:43 pm  
Blogger St!ff M!ttens said...

Tell me something I don't know, Mr. Evans.


10:46 pm  
Blogger Richard said...


I know, but it's always nice to see something like that actually making it into MSM (especially via the BBC) and particularly when it's coming from a man with years of personal experience and who has 'been there, done that and got the T shirt' so to speak.

11:48 am  
Blogger Richard said...


With any luck, maybe the oysters will be 'off'. ;^)

11:49 am  
Anonymous graniab said...

Richard - I know this has nothing to do with Harold Evans but the Guardian is running a breaking news story that Condi is not ruling our force re Iran and Syria - what the .... expletive is going on? Not to mention the fact hat the Guardian's man (irishman Rory Carroll) in Iraq is missing -)

7:11 pm  
Blogger Gert said...

The trouble with main stream news isn't that it's biased: it's always been biased and that's unavoidable.

The trouble is that it's started to take the form of docu-drama, when previously, perhaps partly due to technological limitations, it presented itself in a drier, more factual way.

It makes believing some of that shit even more compelling.

8:09 pm  
Blogger Richard said...


I can't find more on the current Condi/Iran/Syria situation - yet. Though they originally said that a while ago. But I do know about the Guardian's kid, Carroll ['cos that's all he is - a kid]being kidnapped - and I do believe he has been snatched rather than snuffed. I think we'll soon hear of another hostage 'situation'.

8:47 pm  
Blogger Richard said...


I agree about the serial bias, but has it ever been so bloody blatant ?

Docu-drama and/or info-tainment - yep - agreed again.

The ancient Romans were right "Bread and Circuses" still works well.

I can't remember which MSM journalist said it recently, but the message was - the only things seen on TV - are shows - including the news. It's all simply 'show business'.

As pithy as it sounds, I believe it's true. Sigh.

8:57 pm  
Blogger markfromireland said...

Richard I hope you're optimism about Rory Carroll's fate is right and my pessimism is wrong.

As to Syria/Iran - I think the US is absolutely DETERMINED to escalate and that Blair who to my mind is an even worse appeaser than Chamberlain ever was is going to go right along.

9:20 pm  
Anonymous graniab said...

Now that I have had time to think about it - Condi's statement today is probably trying to take the heat off all the rumours over whether or not the special prosectutor Fitzgerald will issue indictments or charges over Valerie Plame. I know Rory Carroll is really quite young. I went on the Irish Independent website to see what I could find out - but at that time there was no mention of him. I will keep trying the RTE website. Here's hoping he is OK! Mark, anything on the Arab language websites?

9:51 pm  
Blogger Richard said...


I'm not actually optomistic. As while I believe it's a genuine kidnapping - I also believe it'll end in sadness -- sooner or later.

As for Blair & Chamberlain, well Blair's by far the bigger b*stard - because he's got a much better working brain.

10:16 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Oops! That's spooky, graniab. You talking about RTE, I mean. The blog I'm banging together right now, invloves an old RTE report.

Stay tuned.

( Heh. ESP, anyone? )

10:19 pm  
Blogger markfromireland said...

grainia very little of substance I still have to hit the various jihad type boards though - I knew joe (his dad also a journalist) to certain extent I God I hate to think what he's going through right now.

Rory Carroll's been consistently anti this whole clusterfuck from day one (sorry about languae) and that might stand to him. I'm praying so. The problem is that all sides have adopted the tactic of targetting journalists. So I'm truly not optimistic.

Night folks I'll try to get back but even I need to sleep sometimes :-(

10:28 pm  
Anonymous graniab said...

Don't apologize Mark there is no other way to describe it other than clusterfuck. Sleep well and hopefully tomorrow will have better news.

Sorry Richard to have hijacked your blog somewhat with this Rory Carroll stuff. I haven't lived in Ireland for years but that Mick-In-Trouble is a powerful force. You sleep well too - it's only 2:30 p.m. in S.F., and I am trying to be somewhat productive.

10:37 pm  
Blogger St!ff M!ttens said...

Regarding escalation into Syria and Iran: It's been tried before and it didn't work then either. When we got bogged down in Viet Nam, Washington accused Viet Nam's neighbors of allowing insurgents to cross the border to join the fight, so we started bombing the crap out Cambodia and Laos. Didn't work. Why? Because that wasn't the problem and the administration knew it. It was just a way to hang the blame of a losing battle on something other than mismanagement and then give the appearance of being proactive about the problem. It won't work in Iraq either, because the problem is not foreign Jihadis coming into Iraq.

All of this should be disturbingly familiar to anyone who's ever played a game of Risk. You secure North America, England, and Australia. Then, as long as you keep hassling your opponents in the Middle East (including Egypt to keep anyone from securing all of Africa) and Asia minor, and if you can prevent anyone from securing all of South America, you can wait them all out. You keep getting your major reinforcements every turn, and everybody else gets a few paltry units (unless they get lucky with multiple matching sets of cards). Eventually you have a massive army sitting in Alaska, and with a little luck on the dice, you can sweep the entire map in two or three turns. It's kind of scary to think of the Whitehouse Iraq Group sitting around a Risk board in the oval office until three in the morning, guzzling Dr. Pepper and munching on Doritoes. But apparently, that's how it's done.

11:26 pm  
Blogger markfromireland said...

Quick update - there's very little comment so far what there is is contradictory. So I place no credence in it.


12:50 am  
Blogger Richard said...


I'm not familair with that game but, from what you say - it certainly sounds similar to their sort of 'style'.

12:55 am  
Blogger DaliWood said...

I don't give the neocons credit for having the brains to be successful in their plans for realigning and "liberating" the Middle East. They're devious, cruel, and short-sighted, but not complex. Yes, their plans have always included taking out Iran and Syria and even Saudi Arabia, but Iraq has kicked them in their arrogant behinds. With a staggering stupidity born of ignorance about the Middle East, they falsely assumed a quick victory in Iraq, then some lies of the WMD type about other Arab nations, followed by quick military takeovers there. They are privately reeling, I am sure, from the surprise they got in Iraq.

The plan is in ruins. The US now does not have the personnel, the materiel, or the public support to engage Iran or Syria on the scale that would be required. Short of nukes, such an attack would be doomed to fail and would garner not only world condemnation but also public outrage at home (finally).

I don't know what they'll do next. They're desperate, stupid, and armed with nukes. I suspect that much of the current bluster is for the benefit of Iran and Syria--it's sabre rattling. I don't know if they'll turn rattling into battling. Actually, I think they may be setting up a predictable scene: we appear to get close to war, then Bush saves us with actions he'll have the media whores describe as a diplomatic triumph. Many Americans will be foolish enough to believe it.

12:55 am  
Blogger Richard said...

*there's very little comment so far what there is is contradictory. So I place no credence in it.

Mark, where are we up to, here. Little comment and contradictions - re: what?

12:57 am  
Blogger Richard said...


That's what worries me most - "Short of nukes, ..."

Does anyone truly know who's finger IS actually 'on the button' ?

'Cos, Jeeze, their's no shortage of 'candidates,' crazy enough.

1:03 am  
Blogger markfromireland said...

Richard it was a quick follow up to Grania's question about the news of Rory Carroll on the first the Arabic language news sites. Then as I said i'd try to do I came back and posted what I thought of what was being said on what for ease of reference I'll call the "jihadi" sites.

Soem stuff which as I say I reject. His survival chances really depend upon who it was who kidnapped him and why. In decreasing order order of probability:

1) Criminals - in which case the outlook could well be very bleak. It is by no means ounknow for them to take them money and kill the hostage anyway.

2) Jihadis - see above to be honest his chances of surviving would be very slim.

3) A shi'ite militia most likely the Badr brigade - very unlikely IMO.

5:20 pm  
Blogger Gert said...


The one thing that strikes me also regarding info-tainment/docu-drama is that the watershed seems to be delayed and delayed more and more
to allow mindless crap like Easterdale/Emmerenders/Corrynation Chicken or the glamourising of police brutality and MI 7b fumblings in Waking the spooks/Deads to clog our screens.

There's plenty of interesting stuff on BBC 4 but mostly after 2 am.

Perhaps we're turning into a "freedom of speech after 2 am only" society?

5:23 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Thanks, Mark.

Here's the latest I've heard on Rory Carroll via BBC.

Irish team sent to free reporter

Guardian reporter Rory Carroll has been in Iraq for nine months
The Irish government is sending a team of officials to Baghdad to try to secure the release of kidnapped Guardian journalist Rory Carroll.
The Dublin-born correspondent, 33, is reported to have been taken by armed men while on assignment in Baghdad.

Ireland's ambassador to Finland - a former ambassador to Iraq - will lead the five-person delegation.

Ireland's foreign affairs minister said the move was intended to emphasise Mr Carroll's Irish citizenship.

More @ link.

8:29 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

gert, what I've noticed over the last year or so on BBC TV news, is that the earlier/earliest reports are mainly much more detailed.

As the day progresses - and new stories come in that someone wants aired - even if they're absolute nonesense - so time is stolen from earlier stories, even when they're MUCH more important.

Or have I imagined this? I don't think so.

My own theory?

The 'night' editors/producers seem to have more of a 'free hand' and be less closely 'directed and/or controlled'.

Maybe? Eh?

8:39 pm  

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