Sunday, September 19, 2021
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The Press: cowardice and collusion

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IN THE dappled days of long ago, the words of the Times’s Louis Heren served as every journalist’s watchword: ‘Why are the lying b******s lying to me?’ Reporters, even when battling gamely through a liquid lunch before enduring the torments of Spearmint Rhino, never ceased their relentless pursuit of truth. Nowadays the public are entitled to ask Heren’s question of the newspapers themselves: Why are they lying to us?

There are several explanations, not least Bill Gates’s munificence towards the Fourth Estate. In fact, the rot began in the distant past and bears a curious similarity to today’s events. In 1070, shortly after the Battle of Hastings and nearly 300 years before the invention of the printing press, William the B****** of Normandy launched the first broadsheet – the 230ft Bayeux Tapestry. Exquisitely sewn by subject British seamstresses, this one-sided version of the Norman invasion has served as Norman propaganda for nine centuries.

Few visitors to the Musée de la Tapisserie in Bayeux are aware that a significant portion is missing from this official record – about 10ft, in fact. For centuries the tapestry was stored in the damp conditions of Bayeux Cathedral and the final section began to rot. Each year it was pulled out for public display and strips fell off.

The missing section depicted the Battle of London, some experts believe. Scenes of fierce Anglo-Saxon resistance would have fundamentally altered the picture of a Norman walkover. The general impression is that after the loss of their king and most of their nobility, the English gave up. Nothing could be further from the truth. They blocked William’s triumphant entry across London Bridge and harried his occupying force for another 20 years.

A needlewoman from that project might find much that was familiar in the present time, although she would be astonished by the magnitude of the operation under way. Scores of captive scribes labour night and day on a chronological account of the pestilence as decreed by Boris the Bold and his council of soothsayers. They have produced thousands of panels in broadsheet and tabloid form that, when stitched together, would surely encircle the globe.

Our seamstress would detect no reluctance in the outpourings of these bonded copyists, once the guardians of the public’s liberties, but rather a righteousness in the manner they echoed the twists and turns of Boris Johnson’s proclamations, often adding censorious embellishments of their own. It was all nonsense, of course, anyone could see that, couldn’t they? The public, perplexed and kept in a perpetual state of anxiety, clearly sensed that something didn’t add up but found nothing solid to digest in the thin factual gruel they were fed. It was all very strange.

Missing panels in this giant work of indoctrination would have told a radically different story. A resistance movement – a growing army of researchers, scientists and leading players – have patiently conducted a forensic work of detection on social media, following the paper trails and other tell-tale spoor to piece together the concealed fragments of the puzzle. The only reward these self-styled ‘citizen journalists’ have received for performing the work of ‘real’ journalists is to be censored and demonised as conspiracy theorists intent on undermining Johnson’s vaccine narrative. At this stage it is doubtful whether the vaccine strategy, supported only by a thin crust of wishful thinking, can be undermined any further by its own illogic. And the notion that the press is shocked by the existence of conspiracies, which they report regularly as a feature of British life, is ludicrous.

In normal times, newspapers would have leapt at the chance to expose any one of the scandals that are being revealed on social media. Each is a seismic exclusive. Foremost among these is the rigorous suppression of a potent, safe, cheap anti-viral drug, ivermectin, which front-line doctors believe could stop the pandemic in its tracks. Close behind are the vaccines that are not vaccines but a genetic fix which, in addition to enabling the disease to persist and breed new variants, show signs of damaging internal organs. Then there’s the virus that according to investigators is not a virus, but an escaped experimental ‘vaccine’.

These stories are there for the taking. It is inconceivable that the press is unaware of them – I know for a fact that two nationals are sitting on the ivermectin scandal – but they have grown fond of wearing blinkers. Displaying a shameful moral bankruptcy in the face of a vast human tragedy, they have joined hands with Boris Johnson’s mystics and walked through the looking glass into a world of unreality, taking most of the general public with them.

When does caution become cowardice? And when does misguided loyalty become collaboration? The press should have sounded an early alarm when it become clear that Johnson, in his eagerness to be a world leader, entered into a Faustian bargain with drug companies intent on playing genetic roulette with experimental, barely tested ‘vaccines’. Newspapers crossed the line when they began censoring information which the public had a right to know. As propagandists, they are complicit in what amounts to a huge protection racket, at the centre of which are money, drugs, and political opportunism – the old story.

The press is the long stop of democracy. In 1971 the US Supreme Court upheld the right of the New York Times to publish the Pentagon Papers, a detailed record of how US presidents had consistently lied to the public about American involvement in Vietnam. The judgment read in part: ‘. . . paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people.’

The British press has a clear duty to snap the government out of its delusion that the vaccine policy is working and remind them of the sound military maxim ‘Do not reinforce failure’. They need to call for a pause in operations and a fundamental rethink. Just as American technology could not defeat determined Vietnamese peasants with AK47 rifles, the high-tech vaccines are the wrong weapons for the job, likely to store up untold damage in the future.

When the music stops there may be a final reckoning – certainly not the public inquiry Johnson has in mind– to determine who played a role in the public’s deception. In the past newspapers could cite excuses for choosing the wrong side – they didn’t know Tony Blair’s dossier was dodgy, or they were misled by pollsters over Brexit. This time they have chained themselves to Johnson’s chariot wheels in full public view and should expect the green slime douche of society’s censure.

Of course journalists, however honest, can only write what is permitted by their editors, and it is this cadre who should be in the stocks. They have not only brought disgrace to their profession, but perhaps caused it lasting damage by ceding ground to the once disreputable social media. Their censorship has driven serious debate underground to the only forums available, however fleeting, before a taboo word or phrase blanks them out. Newspapers can no longer claim that the only reliable seekers of truth are their trained journalists. Trained in what – concealing the truth and purveying falsehoods?

It may take years for the facts to emerge piece by piece, like shrapnel. That sage of Memphis, a certain Elvis Aaron Presley, put it a different way: ‘Truth is like the sun: you can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t going away.’

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Stuart Wavell
Stuart Wavell is a retired Sunday Times journalist.

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