April 6, 2012

François Hollande and the Power of the Media

François Hollande
It was Oscar Wilde—not a short-sighted anti-freedom-of-speech reactionary—who said, back in 1890, “In the old days men had the rack. Now they have the Press.” “That is an improvement certainly,” he continued, “[b]ut still it is very bad, and wrong, and demoralising. Somebody—was it Burke?—called Journalism the fourth estate. That was true at the time, no doubt. But at the present moment it really is the only estate. […] We are dominated by Journalism. In America the President reigns for four years, and Journalism governs for ever and ever.“

Well, he was definitely right, but what was true more than a century ago is even truer today with the additional support of cable and satellite television, internet access, etc. Whether you like it or not, the media have never been more influential than they are today, that’s for sure. To the point that they seem persuaded that most people have the same disposition as sheep… Take the case of France, where, as Mirino says in this post over at Viewfinder, they are confident of their divine power to influence public opinion in order to promote the election of a socialist candidate and government next month. “One notes that since Nicholas Sarkozy was elected in 2007,” he says, “certain media have constantly worked against him, discrediting him and denigrating his considerable efforts and accomplishments during one of the most difficult economic crisis in history.”

But François Hollande—the Socialist candidate for president of France who has virtually been “fabricated by the media and programmed to win the next elections”—besides being probably “a calculator and an opportunist” (if we look at the way he handled the DSK affair), is a politician who has never had any ministerial experience, and a man whose ideas are “totally unrealistic, isolationist and irresponsible.”

All this and much more in the above linked post, for which, I must confess, I bear some responsibility… A heartfelt thank you to my good friend Mirino for such an informative and insightful look into what is going on in French politics.