One of my animating passions is the importance of the Internet for freedom of expression. You do not have to get your blogging licence renewed annually for $56.00 from the CRTC (just send your money by credit card to the Minister of Finance – they make it so easy and convenient to pay). Nor do you have to conform to the CRTC’s broadcasting exemption order, which gives you the right to “broadcast” across the Internet without a licence if you conform to its provisions.
As a blogger you do not belong to the regulated universe of broadcasting. You sit down to the computer and write, post pictures, upload videos, and voilà, your blog is ready for however many or few people can be attracted to it.
Broadcasting is a different matter. From the beginning, broadcasting has been heavily regulated by the state for cultural, economic and political purposes, everywhere in the world. The original justification was that broadcasters used precious radio spectrum, which is a public resource, and that signal channels needed to be assigned to particular uses and users so that interference would be prevented.
But once the hand of regulation was laid on broadcasting, the grip has never ceased nor its hold lessened.
Take for example, the leading issue of our time: the role of Islam in our future. Europe has been convulsed with a refugee migration, numbering in the millions, of young males who have been taught by their religion and society that they are conquerors of women and that non-Muslims are fair game for assault and rape. Mixing young Muslim men from unreformed societies into the modern world of Europe: what could possibly go wrong?
Just about everything. But you are not going to hear about “Asian” sex slavery gangs in Britain, or mass sexual assaults in Europe from your carefully controlled state broadcasters. No sirree! The carefully controlled public and private broadcasters exercize restraint and discretion in how they treat outrages committed by Islamic street trash.
A retired media boss at a major German state broadcaster has admitted his network and others take orders from the government on what — and what not — to report.
National public service broadcaster Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF), which was recently forced into a humiliating apology for their silence on migrant violence and sex assault is being drawn into a fresh scandal after one of their former bureau chiefs admitted the company takes orders from the government on what it reports. He said journalists received instructions to write news that would be “to Ms. Merkel’s liking”.
Former head of ZDF Bonn Dr. Wolfgang Herles make the remarks during a radio event (from minute 27) in Berlin where journalists discussed the media landscape. Moving on to the freedom of the press, the panel chair asked Dr. Herles whether things in Germany had got “seriously out of whack”. With an honesty perhaps unusual in Germany, Dr. Herles replied that ordinary Germans were totally losing faith in the media, something he called a “scandal”. He said:
“We have the problem that – now I’m mainly talking about the public [state] media – we have a closeness to the government. Not only because commentary is mainly in line with the grand coalition (CSU, CDU, and SPD), with the spectrum of opinion, but also because we are completely taken in by the agenda laid down by the political class”.
“We are completely taken in by the agenda of the political class”.
There is nothing unusual or surprizing in this admission; German media are no more directed by government than are Canadian, and if they are, it is irrelevant to the argument I am making.
Broadcast media are the slaves of the agenda of the political class. Their enslavement is manifested by government regulation, by whose grace and favour they hold their licences, and to government funding, which keeps them alive. And no one should imagine that private broadcasters are any the less enslaved to government licences because they are also enslaved to private sources of advertizing revenues.
[Take our own broadcasting system as a case in point. We have only to consider Lisa LaFlamme of CTV news hyping every story of political incorrectness and victim-mongering versus the relative calmer national broadcaster, to see the truth of that assertion].
Can you think of one issue of importance in contemporary life where the broadcast media have not toed the line laid out by the political class? Islam? Anthropogenic global warming? Mass uncontrolled immigration?(in the US), multiculturalism? Political correctness?
Toeing the line: all feet come forward the same distance and height
And can you think of a single important political issue since 1990 where the contest against it did not start in the unregulated blogosphere? Certainly talk radio in the United States has assisted the expression of non-conforming thought. Yet the overwhelming case against the preferred positions of the political class have had their origin and found their audience through the blogosphere.
The most important function of the controlled media, here and elsewhere, is to persuade you that opposition is useless, vain, even insane, and that despite what is before your eyes, you must doubt what you experience and conform to the vision laid out by the media. You are alone; you are powerless to resist. No one thinks like you. You do not speak in public what you feel in private. I call it the Iron Mask of political correctness. It is placed over all of us, and it is our duty to notice it and take it off.
The liberation that came with the Internet – an unlicensed and democratic medium – was to allow people to identify themselves and not be alone, to make it easy for small groups to form who could share their disbelief in the false gods set before them by the national media to worship.
Some views expressed on the net are crazy, some bad, some vicious. Of this there is no doubt. But the negatives are eclipsed by the enormous increase of freedom of opinion made possible by the freedom, efficiency, and ubiquity of the Internet. The means of expression has been liberated from government licensing, for the time being. Let’s keep it that way.