Journalists, or frontline foot soldiers for White Monopoly Capital?

unnamed

By Carl Niehaus

unnamed-1A day after a front-page story on Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s “entourage” Business Day confessed to have lied about the numbers. 

I have spent most of my political life working in the ANC’s Department of Information and Publicity as Spokesperson for the ANC. So I can, with some justification, say that I know the media, and the world of political reporting. It is not a world for sissies, and as the old saying goes, if you can’t stand the heat stay out of the kitchen.

In this rough-and-tumble world there have been instances where I crossed swords with journalists and publications when I felt that their reporting was biased and unfair, and gave my criticism to them as strait-forward as I could. In some instances I managed to administer that most bitter pill for an editor – a retraction and apology. In turn they have not spared me, and I have been on the receiving end of some of the harshest reporting that probably any politician had been subjected to. Where it was fair I took the blows on the chin, in the instances when it was unfair I complained and fought back to set the record strait.

However, until recently there was still some degree of mutual respect and decorum, but the manner in which the media in general – and some journalists in particular are increasingly conducting themselves in this period of heightened political tension and turmoil – is fast eroding any of that.

As I have said, I am no innocent babe in the media woods, so I know that the idea of so-called ‘objective reporting’ is a mirage that disappears like mist in front of the sun when the political heat increases. Having said that I must, however, admit I have never in my life seen anything like the blatant media activism and embedded journalism that we experience today! Any pretence of fair – not even to speak of objective – reporting, is ditched in an unseemly orgy bought by money and interest driven journalism. In the war that had been declared by White Monopoly Capital here in South Africa, and monopoly capital overall in the world, against the proponents of Radical Economic Transformation, the first casualty (as the old, but very true cliché about wars goes) is the truth.

unnamed-2

I have honestly never experienced the levels of vilification, and sheer vile unbridled hatred, that are now being puked out over the President by the main stream media in South Africa, and I doubt if one will be able to find a worse example anywhere in the world. This is personified by the political cartoonist Jonathan Schapiro (Zapiro), who openly speaks about his hatred for President Zuma, and does not balk at using the most appalling rape analogies in his cartoons. Zapiro does not care that in the process he is not only trashing the President’s most basic human rights, but also insults (no, actually assaults!) and abuses every women in South Africa. As one of my woman comrades recently wrote to me in utter exasperation: “When is this man going to stop raping us with his drawing pencil??”.

These journalists are no longer reporting on political fracture lines and battles, but they have joined the battle primarily as the frontline foot soldiers on the side of the White Monopoly Capital to protect the interests of those who own the media houses they work for, and who pay their salaries.

Just follow the money, and one knows the angle with which any particular story will be reported, or not even reported at all. When newly appointed Minister of Finance, Malusi Gigaba, held his first press conference – surely an event of great news-worthiness – eNCA did not broadcast the event live. Instead there was this tweet indicating the biased shockingly biased approach by many editors against Gigaba (https://twitter.com/MTshwete/status/848590041886711811), from an anonymous journalist saying: “It can’t be correct that we keep quiet when we are told to make Minister Malusi Gigaba our project as from tomorrow. To find any dirt about him or anything against him. To dig dip [sic] and to write whatever it can tarnish him. Even if is false we will apologise later. Journalists must be free to do their work. We must report objectively influenced by nothing else but facts.”

Not long after that tweet Business Day published in blazing front page headlines: “Gigaba moves in with huge entourage in tow”, reporting that the Minister brought 28 staff members with him from Home Affairs, only to be forced to swallow their biased reporting with a retraction that he actually only brought 16 staffers.

 The manner in which unsubstantiated and untested allegations against Mr. Brian Molefe in Thuli Madonsela’s ‘State Capture Report’, have been reported by the very same media one couldn’t blame the general public to believe that he had already been tried and found guilty of corruption. This is nothing less than kangaroo trials by the media, and character assassinations of the worst kind. Once again the media (in this instance the Sunday Times) had to retract and apologise a scurrilous front-page article on January 29, 2017 headlined “From Saxonwold shebeen to MP – shamed by public protector, Molefe is set for comeback”. The Sunday Times was forced to do so by Mr. Johan Retief, the Press Ombud, who found that they have reported inaccurately, and committed a “Tier 2 offence”, which constitutes a serious breach of the media Code of Ethics and Conduct.

There can be no doubt that the media dice is heavily loaded against anyone who wants to bring about a fundamental shift in the economic power dynamics of South Africa. Monopoly Capital (especially local White Monopoly Capital) are doing pretty well, thank you, out of their continued (almost unbridled) control of the South African economy and anyone who wants to stand in their way, or even just looks like a potential threat, has to be destroyed.

In this situation the incredibly corrosive persuasive power of money is brutally on display: Journalists, who in the earlier parts of their careers showed some integrity in the manner that they stood up against the repressive Apartheid Regime for press freedom, now openly associate themselves with the pro White Monopoly Capital forces and their organisations. To coin a new word: this is not journalism, it is prestitution!

In the midst of this sad situation, and on this entirely uneven playing field, fairness and press freedom have become a mockery – anyone who truly wants to change the economic power dynamics in South Africa is fair game.

Those South Africans who do not want to become force-fed sheep to be led to the slaughter house, and who want to be aware of their own best interests and think for themselves, better brace themselves for the no holds barred propaganda onslaught that is being unleashed. Character assassinations will, even more than now, become the order of the day.

Those who care for the sovereignty of this beloved country of ours, and who care about economic empowerment and justice for the majority of black (primarily African) people will have to fight back and protect ourselves.

Fasten your seat belts, this is going to be a bare-knuckle fight, but there is no option. If we do not oppose what is now being done in the name of so-called ‘journalistic reporting’, we will live to regret it in the form of our own subjugation and slavery, and that is truly a fate too ghastly to contemplate.

*Carl Niehaus is a former member of the NEC of the AN and MK veteran.

 

 

9 Comments on "Journalists, or frontline foot soldiers for White Monopoly Capital?"

  1. Jannie vd Merwe | April 16, 2017 at 2:45 pm | Reply

    Thank you Mr Nieuhaus for this truthfull piece. You being one white man i have always respected. Through all your trials and turbulations you have stick to your convictions. As you rightly say any proponent of radical economic transformation is fair game for these journalists and their Masters. How i long for another Vrye Weekblad to be in circulation as an opportunity to make people see the other side of the news.

  2. Greg Mashaba | April 16, 2017 at 5:04 pm | Reply

    A few years back, as the situation at Marikana unfolded , a young journalist who had recently joined one of the 24 hour news channels ( it was not SABC nor was it AAN7 ) came visiting with fiancee , as she then was . We got to discuss the tragedy at Marikana and other political issues then pertaining in the country .
    We could not reach a common position on a wide range of issues . I pointed out to her that , in my view , the credibility of her findings as a reporter would always be clouded by a poor appreciation of constitutional , legal and political processes .
    She conceded that I could be correct . What is of greater concern for purposes of commenting on the current topic is the fact that she told me , on condition of anonymity , that it was official policy of her employers that their reporting always ought to discredit not only the ANC as a political party , but the government irrespective of the facts on the ground.
    Therefore while the concept of “fake news ” ( or is it “alternative facts” ? ) seems to be a relatively new phenomenon in South Africa , it has been with us for much longer . Those who are either old enough or who have read credible history books will recall that Nelson Mandela,Oliver Tambo , Walter Sisulu and yes , Ahmed Kathrada were once freely labelled as “terrorists ” by our esteemed press .
    Finally I will not divulge the name of the young reporter referred to above in order to protect her from the type of harassment which the former editor of “The Citizen ” had to go through for his display of genuine press freedom .

  3. Yes indeed Journalist are foot soldiers of white monopoly capital.
    But the topic I want us to debate is whether civilization is equal to culture.
    Being civil to someone doesn’t mean you accept what that person is doing to you whether you like it or not . But being cultured means that you will not take what you don’t want or believe in from any person, no matter what. So what we see with modern day sellouts these days, is that they are civilised not cultured. This is an option.

  4. We are not all like that. You have to be fair.

  5. When Nene was was removed from aa ministèr of finance we never heard the mobilisation of the populace to march against his removal.Why? Can someone explain please.

  6. Michael Macena | April 18, 2017 at 5:04 am | Reply

    Wow what a comment I was sure the writer was black until I got to the bottom of the comment. It is of great shame that so many of our people are unable to see through this agenda against a democratically elected government

  7. Do not get lured in by the anti-whiteness embedded in the very mention of ‘white’ monopoly capital everywhere. Monopoly capital is the problem, not whiteness, and explicitly insisting that the whiteness of it is the problem, I will continue to read these “objective” and moral-high-ground responses with my eyes rolling.

  8. T. Sipho Mbhele | April 20, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Reply

    You are mostly right, Dan. It is monopoly capital that is holding us back and perpetuating (and exacerbating) the current inequalities in our country. I said mostly right because, the monopoly capital in SA is still almost entirely white.

  9. Let us look at this in a balanced way. Current political events is the catalyst for ‘newsworthy’ reporting. Where there is smoke there’s fire. The media has got its role to play, and play it, they will. Irrespective or the ‘All’s fair in love and war’ cliche mentioned by the author. Being a Muslim, Islamophobia is the flavor of the month, and no matter how deeply it hurts, you can’t put a lock to journalists pens, or news clips, but you can put a lock on what you want to read or watch. Having said that, there is no doubt that the country is being raped. There is no doubt that corruption is at its worst, and was not and probably not become bolder than it is. There is no doubt that strategic cabinet appointments have been made with careful planning and strategy with nepotism as its main ingredient. So I would go on to add to the phrase, ‘where there’s smoke there is fire’ by saying ‘the denser the smoke, the fiercer the fire’. Hence, when there is fire (all and sundry will get together to extinguish it, whether by throwing a pail of water, using a hose, throwing sand, using a fire extinguisher, and by any means possible, no matter how fair, clean, or distasteful. However, the arsonists who started the fire will stand by and do nothing, as it was their intention the start the fire. State capture is no mean fete, and to counter it needs everything it takes. So, it may be yet another ‘blow to your chin’, but wake up and smell the shit without blaming what you ate, because you were from among the greedy.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*