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News Blackout Creates Chaos


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: News Blackout Creates Chaos
Date: Thu, 02 Dec 1999 02:03:17 -0500
From: Jay Fenello <Jay@Fenello.com>
Organization: Fenello.com, Inc.

News Blackout Creates Chaos
by dan merkle 6:32pm Tue Nov 30 '99

The failure of the U.S. mainstream press to cover the substantive
concerns regarding the WTO has caused a huge backlog of anger and
frustration that has now been released. Scholars, scientists and
activists from around the world have been voicing concerns over the WTO
policies without an voice in the U.S. press.

U.S. politicians, mainstream press and business leaders will privately
wonder why 50,000 people descended on Seattle to voice their concerns
over the policies of the WTO. They will also wonder why there was so
much anger. Yet, the outward spin will be clear and direct: these
activists do not understand the issues and do not offer another vision
superior to that mandated by the corporate interests.

The question as to what triggered the most powerful riot in the U.S. in
the last 30 years is any easy one for scholars, scientists,
intellectuals and activists around the world: the failure of these very
same politicians, press and business leaders to seriously address their

Like a precocious teenager, those who have been voicing concerns against
U.S. corporate policies have been ridiculed, ignored and jailed. For
some, their countries have been invaded and destroyed. The biggest fear
of this extremely small, but powerful, number of people, is that the
truth will be exposed.

Like South Africa, Russia and the British Empire, the use of
manipulation and force is a temporary mechanism to control the social
dynamics to maintain the status quo.

Many in the U.S. who have not directly been subject to the abuse of
power by this government and the corporate interests will have a hard
time understanding this level of wrath. Yet, as the story unfolds and
the crimes of history are put in their proper perspective, we will look
back to the last 20 years as a painful and bewildering period.

The embargoes which kill millions of people will be subject to review by
international human rights courts. The millions killed by the tobacco
industry will be the evidence of the loss of balance between protecting
our community versus the obsessive compulsion to maximize corporate
profits and shareholder wealth.

For the last 40 years the corporate machine has ensured that the use of
force would be available whenever necessary. Much of the rest of the
world is very aware of this market dynamic.

However, the conintued use of force and might can only be maintained in
two scenarios: if the citizens are supportive of the policies; or if the
press manipulates the motivations and effects of such policies. The U.S.
corporate machine has aggressively controlled the mainstream press for
many years. The accelerated consolidation of every aspect of the media
channels over the past 5 years has solidified the control over the
content and means of distribution of what is clearly an in-house public
relations firm for the corporate interests and wealthy class.

The wonderful notion of free press must be qualified in the U.S.: its
free as long as it doesn\'t challenge the structural policies of the
corporate machine. Even Europe is willing to allow for a healthy debate
over the substantive issues which affect our policies.

The information that challenges these policies is available. However,
the corporate media machine will not allow for an open and honest
debate. Rather, the last remaining soapbox is the streets.

Benaroya Symphony Hall in downtown Seattle was the home of international
experts expressing concerns for 2 days this past weekend. Yet, the
mainstream press barely paid lip service to these intelligent and
thoughtful positions.

Rather, the mainstream press has covered only 2 stories: more trade is
better (ignoring the implicit dilemma of the need for a healthy balance
and the need for participation of all segments of our community in
debating and formulating policies); and the activists are childish and
not to be trusted in their extreme views.

This country will now undergo a significant transformation which will
evolve in one of two directions: a further tightening of the
manipulation and blackout of the voices of concern; or the explosion of
positive change supported by diverse communities with the intellect,
commitment and ability to influence the course of history.

Karma, the strength of the human spirit and finally the power of the
internet, satellite and faxes lead me to bet on the latter outcome. If
the latter vision prevails, the possibilities are unlimited.


Jay Fenello,
New Media Relations
http://www.fenello.com  770-392-9480

"We are creating the most significant new jurisdiction
we've known since the Louisiana purchase, yet we are
building it just outside the constitution's review."
   --  Larry Lessig, Harvard Law School, on ICANN