The wages of sin and spin.

By Dean Johns

Whether or not the wages of sin is death, as many religionists claim to believe, the wages of spin certainly seems to be. According to a Merdeka Centre poll, almost 60% of Malays and Chinese now mistrust Malaysia’s mainstream media. And the Malaysia Audit Bureau of Circulation reports that the readerships of major newspapers including Utusan Malaysia, Berita Harian and The Star are all falling fast, with that of the once-proud New Straits Times now languishing at little over 100,000.

But though these diseased organs may be dying as fast as their readers’ credulity, their demise is not nearly quick enough for those of us who’ve long detested them for their lying and spinning.

Not nearly painful enough either, as the mainstream ‘news’ media and their ‘editors’ and ‘journalists’ aren’t just incompetent or careless of the truth that they’re professionally bound to tell. They’re accessories after the fact to the crimes they corruptly cover-up, play down or justify on behalf of the Barisan Nasional regime, and thus every whit as deserving of prosecution as the perpetrators themselves.

They’re accessories to improperly-investigated homicide in cases like that of Altantuya Shaariibuu or the countless culpable deaths in police shootouts and in custody that they’re as aware of as the rest of us are, but about which they peddle the official story the better to protect the killers and their political bosses.

And they’re accessories to all the massive financial misdeeds of BN politicians and cronies that they so routinely fail to reveal and report on.

Of course they claim that they’d love to be free to tell the Malaysian people the truth if only they weren’t so gagged and bound by the Printing, Presses and Publications Act. But many of these pariahs of the press are political appointees; stooges and propagandists hand-picked and lavishly paid to betray their families, friends and other fellow Malaysians by peddling the lying BN line.

And what a farrago of falsehood the BN line is. Back in 2009, shortly after he assumed the premiership, Najib Razak told the audience at the MPI Press Awards, in a speech entitled “Policy, Politics and the New Media – A new Way Forward” that he intended to “encourage respectable and fair dialogue on the country’s future involving the whole nation that takes place with a vibrant, free and informed media.”