John Pilger is a world-renowned journalist, author and documentary filmmaker, who began his career in 1958 in his homeland, Australia, before moving to London in the 1960s. His documentaries have received academy awards in Britain and the US. In 2009, John Pilger was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize, Australia’s international human rights award.
In his latest column, John Pilger describes the power of advertising - from the effects of smoking to politics - as he reaches behind the facade of President Barack Obama’s first 100 days. Obama was catapulted to victory on the wave of his sleekly packaged "yes, we can" campaign and "change you can believe in" promises. Yet he also said things that most people were not paying attention to. If Obama had a theme at all, it was the rehabilitation of America as a dominant military power and avaricious bully. “We will be the most powerful,” he often declared.
The main obstacle is the indulgence with which journalists and their editorial departments accept a line imposed by their owners’ financial interests that have consequently corrupted their profession. Many lie to themselves when they think they have a certain professionalism or that their “objectivity” is sacred. The most notorious example is the complicity and the silence of the so called “American mainstream press” which directly supported the invasion of Iraq and the murder of tens of (...)
I was dropped at Paradiso, the last middle-class area before La Vega barrio, which spills into a ravine as if by the force of gravity. Storms were forecast and people were anxious, remembering the mudslides of 1999 that took 20,000 lives. "Why are you here?" asked the man sitting opposite me in the packed jeep-bus that chugged up the hill.
On June 12, The Observer announced in a headline: “Relieved 55 billions from Africa’s debt”, “a victory for millions of people”. This last quotation is of Bob Geldof. This time, the Irish singer reaffirmed: “Tomorrow 280 million Africans will wake up without owing us any penny for the first time in their lives.” The nonsense of this would have been breathtaking if it had not been continuously repeated by Geldof, Bono, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, The Observer and company.
The African tragedy has (...)