Thursday, 20 October 2011

Alex Thomson (Chief Correspondent at Channel 4 News) and the parameters of debate

Dear Mr Thomson,

I hope you are well. Your email to David Cromwell and David Edwards in response to their latest Media Lens Alert reinforces Noam Chomsky's argument about the parameters of debate. You write:

"Media coverage of Afghanistan has been - in many aspects propagandist bilge - run on the assumption that anyone who doesn't want to try to turn Helmand into Surrey is mad.

"Clueless - particularly for those who actually know the place and its people".

So, basically there are two positions that are presented to the public. There are those such as Andrew Marr and Tom Bradby et al who uncritically parrot the claim that our leaders want to spread democracy. Your comments represent the other side of the spectrum. As Chomsky explains:

"(T)he Critics say that the vision is noble, inspiring, but we must understand that (Afghans) and others in the Middle East may not be able to rise to the heights that we have planned for them".

The notion that 'our' leaders are genuinely trying to turn the Middle East into a place like Surrey is so taken for granted that you do not even consider it to be worthy of serious criticism. Thus, you continue to exclude the very credible claim that Britain and America invade other countries for rapacious reasons. Will you change?

I look forward to your reply.

Best wishes,
Tony

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