The media. Big government. Connected donors. We can’t stop their puerile and evil attempt to thwart public opinion. At least we can educate ourselves about what they do, and how they do it.
In the last few weeks we’ve been treated to climate story after climate story*. Along with the near-identical news coverage, whether the US, Canada or the UK, there have been public demonstrations, most notably the so-called Extinction Rebellion. There are two things that stand out with these stories: the demonstrations and demonstrators are liked, or even loved, by the media, and the cause itself is liked, or even loved, by big government. They also appear to be well-funded and well-organized.
Compare this coverage to last month’s Brexit demonstration in London. Jon Snow, of UK’s Channel 4 news, even stated that he had, “…never seen so many white people in one place,” in reference to the crowds that showed up. Snow had no such reservations when it came to the equally pale-colored Extinction Rebellion crowds. Why say this, except to imply that anyone who supported the Brexit demonstration was a white supremacist?
The redress of grievances is a vital aspect of the freedoms espoused in many Western nations. If we can’t complain to our governments, then we are little more than their savages, instead of them being what they are supposed to be: our servants. However, if we have this collusion between the media, big government, and big donors, then the public impact of such demonstrations will naturally skew in favor of the ones the media likes and loves. And they just love Extinction Rebellion. And they despise Brexit supporters.
As long as the public is aware of this bias it can be counteracted. In fact, there may even be hope that this blatant, juvenile bias (“…so many white people…”) can actually invigorate demonstrations that mock the media bias, mock the support of big government, and laud private contributions, as opposed to well-connected, self-serving donors. In other words: real.
When it came to Brexit for example, even though the media and government, and various donors, were hell-bent on what was deemed ‘Operation Fear‘, for months, in order to stop Brexit, they failed. It was close: 52-48. It could have been a much wider win if not for the campaign of fear. But they still won their independence, albeit now being ignored by the British government, the media, and, of course, well-connected donors.
The point here is clear: we cannot stop these interferences in genuine public demonstrations. From Charlottesville, to Brexit, from Extinction Rebellion, to whatever comes next. As long as we know this institutional bias is there, then we can still make our points. And when all is said and done, the people’s demonstrations will look genuine, spontaneous and honest, whereas the demonstrations that they like and love will look like just what they are: fake, plastic and staged. And loved.
* Not really part of this discussion, but these demonstrations often pop-up at opportune times for unpopular governments. A good example is Justin Trudeau’s attempt to bury his SNC-Lavalin scandal, aided and abetted, of course, by the government-media, CBC.