The Prostitution of the Mainstream Media


A few days ago, a friend remarked that he hasn’t read the Utusan Malaysia for almost 2 years. When I asked the reason why, he answered simply by stating Utusan Malaysia has become the extended mouthpiece of UMNO and BN. Especially the former. Its editorials are nothing more than patronizing dictations by an officious Guru Kanan in charge of discipline. He finds the editorials insulting to the intelligence and nauseatingly overbearing. Who wants to read a paper that says Nik Aziz is delusional, while Dr Mahathir who hasn’t made peace with the new political realities, isn’t?

For substitute he now reads Sinar which has surpassed Utusan in circulation and credibility. I am inclined to believe many others share his revulsion for not only Utusan Malaysia but other members of the mainstream media too.  The citadel for the shameless media partisanship has shifted from Jalan Riong to the HQ of Media Prima.

For many years now mainstream media has become increasingly partisan and more overt in promoting the policies of UMNO and BN.  This evolutionary process by which the MSM became literally the mouthpiece of partisan politics, reached its zenith in 2008 when the media were instrumental in getting Abdullah Badawi kicked out. It was helped further by the existence of some nebulous and often secretive cells in the New Media, helmed often by equally publicity-shy media assassins cloaked under various aliases and pseudonyms. Their obsession for coward secrecy is surpassed only by the intensity of their vitriolic and penchant for ad hominem attacks.

These conclaves of media assassins in the new media are also said to be headed by banished journalists who thought they were legends in the own right. Once upon a time, they thought the world revolves around them and people worshipped at their feet. Some still do and are willing to pay these media witch doctors hefty sums of money.

Many journalists both in the official MSM and in the satellite new media dropped any pretense of objectivity and became not only cheerleaders but active de facto members of the campaign.   What has their newfound loyalty and prostration achieved for the journalism community?  

During the past two decades no other sector of the economy has experienced such overwhelming financial and employment devastation and severe loss of credibility. In a scathing reference to NST Malaysia, Lee Kuan Yew the former Singapore PM simply said that it has lost credibility. What do people read? They read Harakah, Roketkini and of course, the Internet.

Yet the vast majority of the media do not understand why theirs is a declining and failing business model.  They are still in denial and cannot accept the reality of the marketplace, as their actions have prompted the Malaysian public to lose all confidence in their objectivity and integrity.

The 2013 election season has begun and this same media finds itself in the position of having to defend and reinforce the man they chose to sleep with.  They have willingly opted to do exactly that. The mainstream media is systematically pulling out all the stops to destroy any and all viable BN challengers in an undeclared but understood alliance with the Najib re-election machine.

Rather than objectively analyzing the folly of the Najib class warfare strategy and its potential to undermine and destroy societal cohesion, the mainstream media has trumpeted and encouraged this divisive and dangerous strategy.  Clearly, the economic proposals which Najib has announced thus far seem to work preponderantly for the benefit of a select clientele.

Which class welfare agenda is Najib pursuing?   The welfare agenda hasn’t change from the dictats of Dr Mahathir despite the very public and pompously loud announcements of Najib via his various acronym initiatives. It’s the welfare of the wealthy corporate class and the adherents of the free market economy. Except, in the Malaysian application of that concept ‘free market’ has nothing to do with the ideas of market efficiency and productivity which economists are propounding. The ‘free market’ which the Najib administration pushes on and supports is the market freedom for the selected few and the klelptocratic elite to lay their hands on economic resources.

The Perkasa movement, conceived by friends of UMNO  and encouraged by Putrajaya, as well as blessed by many in the mainstream media, was intended to further reinforce the war against the ‘subversive’ and disloyal majority. It was intended also to redirect the anger and blame for all of our country’s woes away from the statist policies of the Najib administration. Yes, Najib hasn’t really moved at all from the mindset of the government knows best. His declaration about the age of government knowing best was naked rhetoric. It’s all an elaborately propped stage.