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Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Agent Provocateur Deux

In the past, I have pointed out that rarely does the right-side of the BelugaSphere report on oil depletion. Others have pointed out that programs like Democracy Now! do not mention it explicitly that much either (implying that Amy Goodman is some kind of plant or agent provocateur). Kind of a conundrum on the cursory face of it. However, if you dig deeper, you find out that Amy Goodman essentially coined the word oiligarchy to describe the state of things. My theory is that if any subject had an implicit meaning, the U.S. oiligarchy is probably one of the best examples on record. In other words, the journalistic story of the U.S.'s policies pertaining to access+control of oil tends to obscure the scientific story of oil depletion (i.e. the implied meaning).

And if Ms. Goodman doesn't understand oil depletion (as some contend from her temerity to report peak oil explicitly), then why does she do all the stories on climate change/global warming? Try this query and you will find dozens and dozens of stories. I believe that global warming when combined with the U.S. role (or non-role) in the Kyoto Accords gives these stories explicit meaning and they become transparent to the underlying scientific story.

Unfortunate perhaps, but journalists have to decide on what tip of the iceberg to report on. The left-wing reports on the tip (oiligarchy), and oftentimes misses the bulk (oil depletion). The right-wing reports on neither.

I have to quote the following entire post, because Bart nails journalistic credibility on a Peak Oil thread:
It's hard enough being a dissident as it is -- let's try to be fair and considerate to one another. If you disagree with someone, it does not follow that they are corrupt or idiotic.

Also for tactical reasons. A great way to disrupt a movement is to foment distrust and paranoia.

One problem with being outside the mainstream is that you are hit with a barrage of wild theories, most of which have no bearing on reality. Energy solutions that defy the laws of physics. Small secret groups that control world events.

We need gatekeepers.

As a former reporter, I have a lot of respect for Amy Goodman and Democracy Now. She's THE best broadcast journalist in the country. If there's a new issue, I tend to go with her judgment.

If a journalist does not talk about a particular subject, it does not mean they disbelieve it. It may mean that there is insufficient evidence to make a credible case.

I am impressed with the evidence for Peak Oil. I am not convinced by the evidence for 9/11 plots and I don't see that dwelling on 9/11 leads to productive action. There is no need to believe in 9/11 plots to understand the big picture and begin doing something about it.
The journalists referred to in this thread, Goodman and Corn, have their reputations at stake. They likely won't take the bait for connecting the 9/11 attack to some vast Bush conspiratorial cover-up. You might think this is some sort of weakness, but I consider it once again no different than what a scientist goes through with a new theory. I suppose we can postulate something equivalent to political capital, as in you only get to spend a few crazy ideas before you start to lose credibility. The particular 9/11 conspiracies favored by Michael Ruppert are neither the tip or bulk of the iceberg -- they aren't even on the iceberg. These ideas are floating turds in the water.

But, don't think for a moment that Goodman has no courage, take a listen to her spur-of-the-moment interview with Bill Clinton she did the day of the 2000 election. She enhanced her credibility by asking tough questions (that also essentially enraged Clinton). Was she a right-wing plant because she did this? No way.

If you look at what happened to Bill Moyers in the last few days, that is exactly what the best journalists try to avoid. He basically screwed up by instead of reporting on James Watt's corruption, Moyers went after some urban legend Watt religious rantings. Brutal.

The number of +70 year old Texas journalists with tarnished reputations has risen dramatically in recent months. Goodman is not even close to tarnishing hers.


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