Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Must Read BuzzFlash Interview with Robert Kane Pappas (director of Orwell Rolls In His Grave)

I thought I was done posting but then I checked BuzzFlash (hope you do as well) and saw this

Robert Kane Pappas is the director of the mass media-critiquing documentary, beloved by BuzzFlash readers, "Orwell Rolls in His Grave." This week he agreed to revisit George Orwell's prophetic anti-utopian novel, 1984, and to reflect on recent events in terms of Orwell's vision of a nightmarish future. Are we there yet?
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BuzzFlash: Eason Jordan, the former head of CNN News, was fired for allegedly suggesting, off-the-record, that the U.S. military had targeted journalists in Iraq. He quickly back pedaled, yet he was still "resigned," so to speak. Now the facts indicate that Jordan was right. For instance, an attack on an Al Jazeera reporter was recorded on film in the documentary "Control Room." We also had the deadly attack by American soldiers on journalists at the Palestine Hotel. We've had reports of numerous reporters killed in the field, and just this week Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena was shot, even though these people were known reporters. The bottom line: Orwellian or not?
Robert Kane Pappas: In 1984, Winston Smith worked for the Ministry of Truth, in the department that rewrote past news items to make them conform to the present political realities. As his assignments came in, his daily creative endeavors concerned intuiting how the party might want this done. Winston says, "All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory." It's uncanny how close his job seems to today's lackey editors.
Imagine today's news correspondents' mental gymnastics. They were wringing their hands over the Ukrainian exit polls, using them as a basis to call that election into question, but they were unable to mention (or remember?) what had occurred in their own country only weeks before. Straight-faced irony worthy of Winston Smith.
I think it was November 4th of 2004 that I was listening to "Imus in the Morning," which had a phone interview with Jeff Greenfield of CNN. Imus asked something like, "What about this disparity between the exit polls and the vote?" Greenfield set him straight immediately (I paraphrase): "Oh that's all clear now, we found out through the exit polls that to voters it was about values . . . this was the unforeseen factor that made all those new voters break for Bush" . . . (voters who historically break for the challenger). Judging from his tone of voice, Greenfield had already internalized the new truth. That was it. End of analysis. End of Imus' foray into exit poll discrepancies. As Orwell wrote, "All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory."

I strongly urge to read this interview. If it weren't so late, I'd note his previous BuzzFlash interviews (there are two). But I will note that any member who's purchased Orwell Rolls In His Grave has raved about it. (The e-mail for this site is in case I haven't put it in an entry today.)

I'll also note that it's a DVD I make everyone watch and it's just incredible. So please check the interview. If you enjoy it (and I think you will) and you have the money to spare (I know that's an if, there's no guilt trip here) please consider purchasing the movie. A member cited it on all our time favorite movies list. I'm not sure what The Third Estate Sunday Review is planning to review and write about this week but if they have an open slot, I'll suggest that they write about this documentary and then link to the review. (They've seen it and love it as well.)