The recent strikes of the contractual employees working as guardians of the archeological site of the Acropolis of Athens, for the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism, is a good example of the coordinated disinformation of the media and their role. Read a brief coverage of the news by contrainfo here. Let’s see now the strategy of media manipulation (newspapers and tv channels).
All newspapers,with their editorial or/and the coverage of the news, first aimed at the sentimentality of the reader. The emotional toll was attempted either by history references (“the Caryatids shed tears”, “goddess Athena cried”,etc) or current situation references(“We became a laughing stock”,” international outcry”etc). Their purpose is on one hand the weakening of critical thought and on the other the drain of propaganda in the unconscious. They constantly speak in first person plural, creating to the recipient of the news the hallucination that we are members of a homogeneous total with common interests, which is affected by an external or internal enemy. “They imprisoned the sacred rock”, said the media, “they captured the sacred rock”, repeated the next day the prime minister in the Parliament. Newspapers, tv channels and radios used exactly the same expressions, with gradations of hysteria depending on the recipient of each one : “We became a laughing stock internationally”, “what happened insulted our country”, “the image of our country was tarnished”, “international vilification of our country”. Under these circumstances and because the strike was in Acropolis, the national element was also mobilized. Greece is victimized and the common interests of Greek capitalists and workers are affected by the image that comes out!
In the world of medias, the image is more important than the content and that’s what they try to impose in the society. “These pictures made the tour of the world”: this is a common phrase of almost all the videos of the regime’s media and all the newspapers and it is even repeated tediously. Accidental? Not at all. In this phrase all the elements of media manipulation that were mentioned above are combined! With constant repetition acquires prestige and is stamped as general acceptable truth in the unconscious of the spectator-subject.
To strengthen and make all of the above more digestible, the opinion of an “authority” is used and of course the “public opinion” drawn up by the media, both in a way selected and processed. The director of the american excavation in Nemea, in order to make his opinion more easily acceptable (ie that of the sovereignty), first presented himself as philhellenist(friend of Greece), ie as a supporter of the fictional construction of the homogeneous total of common interests that the media want to implement in the unconscious, speaking and writing constantly for our country, our place, our homeland etc etc. He stated that actions like these come out negative for the repatriation of Parthenon Marbles (here it is again the common request) and he was surprised by the violence that’s used, equating the violence of the state with the anti-violence of workers announcing the next manipulation strategy.
The disinformation media dedicated a big part of their propaganda to whether a small group of people can use violence and close a site that belongs to everyone. In the videos appeared in the news, the local director of antiquities is forced by the attitude of strikers to submit a complaint to the public prosecutor in order to call the riot police(MAT) and the riot police is forced to use violence! The counter-violence of the unpaid, the bad paid or the dismissed people against the daily violence of the State is presented as a violent intervention in the legality of barbarism. The ferocities of the riot police(MAT) are presented as a simple repulsion of the workers. With suitable preparation the inversion of the roles becomes more digestible. How it is possible for the dogs of the bosses to not be presented as children of workers afterwards, concealing this way their role and function?
Several newspapers, radios and tv journalists deliberately emphasized the small number of strikers. The next day the governmental representative also repeated that (30 from the many). “Why here there are only 30-40 if temporary workers of the Ministry are 800?”,they wondered, using again exactly the same expressions, trying to present the strikers as a small minority, a guild, whose attitude is not shared even by their own guild, so you also don’t have to agree with them spectator. Your place is in the safety, in our (media) majority, this is the message. The encrypted that from the 800 temporary workers the strike was called by the temporary guardians of the Acropolis archaeological site. They encrypted that all these people would be fired. They encrypted or some of them briefly mentioned that the permanent guardians made strike in solidarity with their colleagues and that’s why Acropolis remained closed even after the violent repression of the police. None of the regime’s media said a word about the solidarity demonstration held the same afternoon at the foot of Acropolis. All these don’t fit in the world of the “objective” information of the mass media. And if they fit, they are presented in a way between the tide of brainwashing, that it is like they weren’t said at all. This is an other strategy.The process of the news and its presentation is a suitable way, in the suitable extent, so that it acts as an addition to the misinformation.
The extent of the issue given by the media about the guards who disagreed with the strike was disproportionate. But the “objective” journalists didn’t ask these guards whether they’re guards of the Acropolis site or temporary workers, or if they are unpaid for 2 years, or if they’ll be fired. To be more precise, from them who were supposed to disagree only one was presented. Their question could now be reversed: why one out of the 800 or 80?
“Does somebody have the right to close Acropolis?”, this was the question that the journalists were repeating in a boring way at the news. Coincidentally, that’s exactly the same question a tourist asks at one of the two videos that follow, as a representative of the public opinion drawn by the media. “They could have occupied any other space they wanted, but it’s not the shop of their neighborhood”, added the journalists supporting the above. Not only they pretend, but also they make it bad. They say exactly the same about the occupied schools, universities, factories, public spaces etc and about any mobilization going beyond their frameworks of painless for the system protest, determined by the political parties, the bureaucrats and the rulers.
They construct a virtual reality, a public opinion drawn by the media, and they offer it to the spectator in order to make him identify with it. And if he does not compeletely identified with the extreme version, they have prepared another version more conciliatory: “They are right, but they could have chosen another form of protest”. It’s not accidental that in this period of social unrest, this is the prompt that was reproduced in 99% of the news coverage. All the media of disinformation, without exception, devoted a disproportionate amount of time to comment it. They don’t simply indicate some painless for the system forms of protest. They transfuse them to the unconscious. All of them speak, deliberately and constantly, about protest, implying with the proper use of the word that it is a claim that does not dispute the sovereignty structures, but asks only to improve protesters’ position within these structures.
It is not a coincidence that certain older methods of brainwashing and disorientation have been weakened. In this way, the words about promoted and instigated strikers -that stuttered in the end of their reports by vested speed certain regime’s media and Papandreou repeated the next day in the Parliament – were in second fate. The Power has modernized its ideological arsenal, at least as far as brainwashing methods concern.