The Mock Court of Public Opinion


If those in charge of our society – politicians, corporate executives, and owners of press and television – can dominate our ideas, they will be secure in their power. They will not need soldiers patrolling the streets. We will control ourselves. — Howard Zinn, historian and author

To combat cyber-bullying the Government has promised to amend hate speech laws and, in the wake of the terror attacks on the Christchurch mosques, to create new law to deal with hate-motivated offences, such as extremist websites encourage, which can similarly be so destructive.  

But, if cyber bullying, character assassination and hateful website content can warrant this attention, why is it that media stories having the same destructive effect, can be published every day and nothing be done about it?

There is no court of law in the land into which an accused can be dragged, and there, without any proof of guilt being established, be, nevertheless, summarily convicted and sentenced to whatever penalty the plaintiff demands.

But in the, so-called, “Court of public opinion” that happens every day!

As an example, the media-made image of poor communities being riven with child abuse, health issues, benefit reliance, alcohol and violence, presented as if their incidence proves such things are the cause of poverty, and not its consequence, is character assassination of a community.

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And so with that opinion established, that the poor are responsible for their own plight, they are left to the mercy of the market, the media’s life blood, to survive week to week on slave wages, which, under threat of the employer otherwise closing the business, the government is forced to top up.  

I thought Rogernomics was supposed to abolish subsidies!

Ghettoised into sub-standard housing in suburbs pock-marked with fast food outlets, booze barns and loan shark shops, the plight of the poor will be complete when the complicit media hangs a callous sign promising “Arbeit Macht Frie” over the gate. 

But, as long as Mammon is served, the media doesn’t give a stuff! 

Comprising, the institutions of government, the law and the church, the Establishment’s most vital component is the media, which, while purporting to speak truth to power on behalf of the people, is actually owned by “The Power.” 

With full knowledge that if Capital’s cruel control was ever to be challenged it could wreck the very system it perpetuates, the media, having contrived to have people believe that any alternative, to its master holding the reins, would be infinitely worse, sets out to assassinate the character of anyone who refutes Capital’s ‘Final Solution’ plan, the root cause of our “them and us” society.

Shaping public understanding of both local and geopolitical affairs the media’s job is to deliver The Establishment a consensus of support for whatever it requires done, an outcome Noam Chomsky calls “Manufactured Consent.”

But the media’s role in manufacturing consent for malign purposes doesn’t end there. 

The US strides into the mock court of public opinion every day, where, in pursuit of its geo-political objectives the media allows it to make, without any proof of veracity, the most outrageous allegations against people and nations of people, who we are then required to summarily convict and sentence.. 

Lacking even the semblance of proof, which would routinely be required of a general news story, these patently biased allegations which have resulted in millions of deaths, are either printed in ignorance of their paucity, or with complete disregard for the potential consequences, and that of the public’s right to the truth. 

So if we are to have laws to stop character assassinations, let’s insist they be robust enough to address the routine publishing of falsehoods written with a malign intent to assassinate, for political purposes, the integrity of any people, society or nation, wherever they be in the world. 

And, on the day we remember the Christchurch victims of bigotry and prejudice, let’s hope that when anti-hate legislation is passed, first among those charged, in a real court, is the media which, for political purposes, has been doing it for so long.

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  1. Yes, Malcolm, manipulation and lies everywhere, but especially in the mainstream media.

    The only good news is that, as well as destroying society and wrecking the habitability of the Earth, the system is also in the process of destroying itself.

  2. Sure the media is one of the estates of power, albeit undergoing transformation with the proliferation of on-line platforms.

    It has an establishment bias because of the capability of both capital and government to exert influence (and they have an interest in preserving their regime).

    For example note, how the Palace (which sits astride both the regimes of capital and democratic government to anoint their succession to its church and fuedal order of yesteryear) leaked years old stories about Meghan Duchess of Sussex bullying staff just before the TV interview and said it would investigate them because it valued protecting people from bullying.

    Not just managing the narrative from a position of power, but signalling to the British media that negative stories about that woman were fair game. British nationalism uniting behind the establishment against an outsider. It’s the same ay the media prepares a nation for war – WMD and all that. Or to convince nations to join the USA in trade sanctions against China.

  3. I enjoy reading Caitlin Johnstone who is the author in one of Malcoms links ,,,, she has such a frank way of summing things up ….

    “Consent that has been artificially manufactured by propaganda is not informed consent, any more than sex with someone who’s been dosed with rohypnol is consensual sex.”

    Our Dirty Media plays follow the leader in Dirty Geopolitics ,,, the 5 eyes world wide franchise operations in DPI ,,, Dirty Politics International.

    Compare our recent domestic Dirty Politics and our media,,, painting false positive public relations bullshit about John Key ,,,,’a nice bloke who donates his salary to charity and a good man to share a a beer with’ , working for the right wing Nats ,,,, censoring bad information about them,,,, and attacking any one who spoke the truth in opposing them.,,, water ecologists and health professionals being two of many examples.

    Compare that to the present International Dirty Politics operation being done for right wing Israel ,,, Censoring the bad ‘Israel Bombs Syria (Again)’ ,,, and bullshitting about the good , a present example being Israels Vaccination apartheid,,, which is explained very well in this video link ‘Israel’s Covid Crimes’
    The link starts at the relevant spot and describes the deception which our local DP media has been pushing ,,, Later it exposes and debunks the crap which our own goby weinstein , andrew epstein and Juliet Moses push about “the left” ,,,, “94% of anti Semitic attacks in Germany were from the right, according to the German police” ,,,, “Israel and it’s lobby are more threatened by people calling for equality for Palestinians, than they are by the white supremacist neo-nazi extreme right” 2:15:40

    Home grown example ,,,, ,,,, telling the truth is antisemitism “In a public talk, given in Christchurch in 2019, Dr Webb accused “a strong Zionist Jewish lobby” of having disproportionate influence over US politics, a trope considered antisemitic by the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) working definition of antisemitism.” International DP you see .. ‘How Much Pro-Israel Money Politicians Attacking Ilhan Omar Received’

    Approx $50 Million is spent attacking and smearing BDS …. ‘Dima Khalidi speech “criminalizing dissent ” Palestinian Rights Panel at UMASS

    NZ’s MFAT is in on the Syria warmongers DP ,,, making statements and policy on OUR behalf based on a pro war hit job, exposed by whistle blowers and wikileaks , regarding OPCW ,,, NZ 2021


    Finishing with the rich and corporations ,,,, we get nothing but bullshit about them to
    Is Billionaire ‘Philanthropy’ Just Tax Avoidance?

    And whats happens in Aussie is usually happening here ‘BCA: Australia’s most powerful lobby’ …trickle down ..

    • I am not sure about her advice not to participate in the democratic/political party process but wait for/watch the fall of the regime as outsiders.

      Locally we can witness the liberal Stuff editorials supporting targeted trade sanctions on the economic activity in NW China over forced labour/cultural suppression, with the no comment on direct Hindu rule in Kashmir or the the occupation in the West Bank (as to BDS), the elephant in that room.

      Follow the USA lead – Trump, Pompeo Blinkers+1. And just as the UK tacks to our region as part of bonding us to Five Eyes solidarity as quid pro quo to their entry to the TPP via FTA’s with us and Oz. Blairite as.

  4. What a mess. It will all tumble over on motivation and intent and definitions of hate and what constitutes hate, but no matter, Mao Tse-Ardern will have everyone nicely thought-conditioned before the Chinese/whoever take over whatever this country is called now, and evolution is ever so much nicer than revolution – sheep may safely graze and so on.

  5. “Inciting racial or religious disharmony

    Every person commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years who:

    b) says or otherwise publishes or communicates, any words or material that… is… insulting to such group of persons.”

    Three years in prison for saying something that makes a nut feel insulted. Brian Tamaki and Gloriavale are rubbing their hands in glee. And everybody knows they have deep pockets from all the poor people whose lives they’ve been destroying over the years. “God” sure is great – when he makes you rich.

    Meanwhile the most publicly hated demographic in New Zealand receives no protections or even recognition: beneficiaries.

  6. The Right’s big idea is the freemarket, ours is the the people must have a significant say. If we seceded to a hill outside the city the powerful would be nowt. The Left parties in the last 40 years have left the people defenceless by not leading them.

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