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Unfortunately, these sorts of discussions tend to overlook-need to overlook-certain conditions that are endemic to all societies and have been since humans began forming groups. |
At present, what we all know as the press, or media, is really nothing more than a platform for advertising. Whether to sell underwear, or ideology, making the sale is key.
The question ancient Romans asked as a matter of course in judicial proceedings, qui bono?, or who benefits? is still the question that is most needed, and most reviled by those who run the show.
Throughout our existence, humans, in the process of forming groups, have always gravitated towards relatively a simple system; a small group of highly ambitious, usually greedy, usually intellligent, people are permitted/encouraged or simply assume power (by whatever means imagiinable, including convincing everyone that some spurious deity gave them the go-ahead), and everyone else works to keep them in hot tubs, caviar and exciting women. Or men, as the case may be.
Now, in the modern world, this basic format has not changed. It certainly has become obscured by far more sophisticated means of "governing", but still, the tiny group calls the shots and everyone else scrambles for the crumbs they drop, all the while eyes upward, hoping for a shot at greatness.
That China has been portrayed negatively isn't anything new. Most people read one newspaper, if that, and feel they are supremely well-informed. In this situation, it is not difficult to misinform or outright lie. Anyone remember when, in the USSR, one could only read good news? I do. However, bad news sells papers, which in turn, sells advertising. Why does bad news sell? Because, even when our lives are drab and miserable, something worse, or someone else's poignantly more tragic life shows us we are still in the running for "success" in life, or that, at least, we are not them, sinking to lower and lower, unsuccessful levels of prosperity and an attenuated enjoyment of life. Good news, on the other hand, is boring. Uplifting to some of us, but boring, nonetheless, and does not, as a rule, sell papers, or any media, for that matter.
The three most important words in English, aside from "who benefits", are "consider the source". Who is telling you what you are hearing. This immediately elicits the question, "what do they have to gain". This will tell you a lot about topics that dominate nations, states and provinces, cities and towns and discussion forums like this one.
Have a happy day, folks. And don't forget to have a beer, occasionally. Make sure your friends and family know you love them. Life is short.