Friday, 26 October 2007

FILM: Orwell Rolls In His Grave

Orwell Rolls In His Grave is a film which asks whether America has become an 'Orwellian world of doublespeak where outright lies can pass for the truth'.

The film shows how a memo written in 1971 by corporate lawyer Lewis Powell - The Powell Memorandum - started the Neo-Cons and corporate elite on a mission to control and manipulate the media for their own gain. In the memo Powell said that 'consumer activists' were infecting the general population with an anti-corporate bias, a message which soon circulated around many of America's most wealthy industrialists. One of those industrialists, Mellon Scaife, following Powell's memo, paid $250,000 to set up the Heritage Foundation, the first Neo-Con group devoted to influencing and controlling the media.

The film goes on to chart how the Neo-Con's and Corporate elite have steadily come to control the mainstream media. And of course, this has not come to be without casualties: namely democracy and a free press. In 1987 under the Raegan administration - in a move that Hitler or indeed any fascist tyrant would have proud of - the 'Fairness Doctrine' was eliminated from US law, meaning that the media were no longer compelled to air opposing views. Another fascistic gem was accomplished in 1996 under the Clinton administration. Behind closed doors the rules of the airwaves were re-written in the Telecommunications Act. No longer were independent radio stations protected from corporate take overs. And lo and behold, a company called Clear Channel - with board members who funded both the Clinton and George W Bush political campaigns - went from owning a few radio stations to owning almost 1100, they also owned a further 236 stations overseas. Clear Channel soon had access to 110million American listeners and owned 47 of the top 50 listenned to radio stations in the US. There were dissenters, of course. However the three major US news networks devoted a total of only 19 minutes air-time, over 9 months, to the implimentation of Telecommunications Act. The dissenters were silenced, and they were silenced thanks to Raegan's elimination of the Fairness Doctrine: opposing views were simply and lawfully ignored.
As the trailer says, in March 2003, as America and Britain began their hostile and criminal invasion of Iraq, a CNN/Gallop poll revealed that 69% of American's believed that Saddam Hussein was responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Are we in an Orwellian world where 'outright lies can pass for the truth'?
[Watch the full film here.]

1 comment:

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