Sunday 1st Feb 2009

If someone told you they'd just been to a second-hand car salesman, handed them a blank cheque and said "just pick me out a good one", you would think them hopelessly naive. Unfortunately, that's pretty much what most of us do every day when we take our news from the press and the TV. Journalists depend for their livelihood on sales of their media products (or, worse, on the sales of the products of their parent company). Why do we trust these salespeople more than the second-hand car variety? When they say "Muslims eat babies!" why do we give them credence? Of course mostly it is much more subtle than that — "the terrorists came from the Muslim community". Huh? You mean like Myra Hindley came from the Christian community?

So, on the one hand we're all writing blank cheques left right and center to a bunch of harassed employees of one media empire or another; on the hand the bankers are sailing away on their bonus yachts with the heart of our economy while the oil companies destroy the planet and the Israelis rape Palestine.

Does our species have a future, I wonder?


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