Thursday, 3 September 2009

MSM perspectives

I do my best to avoid the mainstream media but occasionally check in to see what they’re up to.

In the middle of last night’s Newsnight was an extended feature on a Black African immigrant in Russia running for mayor in the small country town he now lives in. The reporter began by describing the town, ‘conservative, rural, dull’ (and this was said with real venom - do view the link), before introducing the watermelon salesman (I kid you not) who was bringing some much needed vibrancy to this awful place. It was never explained why, if the place is so miserable, this African chose to go and live there in the first place. This became especially puzzling when the remainder of the report was given to describing how much hostility Africans and other immigrants in Russia endure, the would-be mayor even finding it necessary to hire a full-time bodyguard. Predictable comparisons with America and Obama followed, the theme being that as regards race Russia has a long way to go to catch up with its old ‘Cold War’ foe. So a silver lining, then.

Later I caught the last few minutes of a ‘Hardtalk’ interview with filmmaker Tom Hooper discussing a movie he has in the can about Nelson Mandela. Interviewer Stephen Sackur wondered how Hooper had approached the material given that, quote: ‘Mandela is the closest thing we have to a living saint.’ I didn’t hear the answer for laughing.

Maybe the MSM isn’t so bad after all.

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