The Art of Deception
From Syria to 'Afghanistan, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the Arab Spring, the media wars - those who fight in the mainstream media, for the search for consensus and the control of international public opinion - have become more important than the wars of combat, those fighting each other instead of on the battlefield. And it is only in appearance that the first victims are less than the latter. The first kill in fact the truth, burying (or annacquandola) in the sea of propaganda and disinformation. And this prevents us citizens to exercise our right and duty to be informed, in a free and fair.
For the Media as Weapons is dedicated the last special issue of Limes. And there are various interesting thoughts about it, also in relation to the current geo-media theaters. Common is the emphasis on the excessive power exercised today by the storytelling, an ancient art and in the past has been an important instrument of shared values - how do you explain a great book out a few years ago - but that has become the present day in a terrible weapon of persuasion in the hands of the gurus of marketing, management and communication of political and military, through which shape the opinions not only of consumers but also of the citizens. Now - it is a given in the sight of all - do not sell neither the facts nor ideas but the "stories". And stories are so well scripted, so exciting, that it is hard not to believe it. Thus falling into the deception.
Storytelling dazzles defenseless citizens and journalists themselves. even the best. Matter of laziness, often, or carelessness, hurry, connivance or lack of competence. The fact is that the charm of the "good stories" - especially those packaged according archetypes established as good and evil - is hard to resist, even when it is suspected that they can not be true. On closer reflection, the Arab Spring erupted in recent years have been told by the mainstream media as a "process" - as it was right that it was, as it is a historical phenomenon - but as a sequence of "stories", selected with the intent to touch the hearts than to talk to the minds, and at the risk of forcing the facts and their interpretation. To tell stories, moreover, are the protagonists in the first place, that is, the governments involved and their protestors, as was shown first in Libya and then Syria. And extricate themselves in the sea of misinformation is not easy, even for the most seasoned professionals.
For the same reason it is not easy to understand what is happening in Afghanistan. As he explains Federico Petroni in this issue of Limes President Barack Obama has in fact managed to shut out the news this costly and unpopular war, which he himself helped to "inflate", both in terms of troops and budget. All thanks to a "narrative" ad hoc, so charming and well-articulated that the media maistream have not in fact never challenged, that is, without ever try to question the validity of his thesis. This result has also contributed to the increasingly common practice of embedded journalism, which - as I have tried to argue , too , based on my experience - lose autonomy and "tends to develop a point of view close to that of the sympathetic and troops. "The result is only apparently paradoxical, is that Barack Obama has failed within two years to ensure that his constituents, his audience, had little interest in knowing how he was going to end the conflict in Afghanistan. Brought home this goal then changed narrative, aiming now to bring back "home" to his boys. And on this point to be re-elected.