Saturday, May 5, 2012

ah, propaganda

Over at the Atlantic, which is really working at a feverish pace to establish itself as the worst media enterprise in the world, I find this. Some self-important apparatchik name John Hudson-- seriously, peep the man's Twitter feed, it's like a parody of what it means to be white and self-involved today-- catches an Iranian news source using one of those Photoshopped images from their missile test. I'm guessing somebody at that publication was in a playful mood, but being a staffer at the neoconservative Atlantic, Hudson takes it as an opportunity to slander all of Iran. The results are as you'd expect; in the comments, for example, you've got charming people saying things like "Is there an Iranian Mensa equivalent?" See, because the brown-skinned evildoing evildoers aren't just the bad guys, they're also stupid.

The Atlantic Wire is a pretty shrewd move; it's a way for the magazine, which is well known for coordinating its opinion sections towards particular political goals, to present as news what's really commentary. Hudson is merely keeping himself employed; the Atlantic is owned by a self-described neocon and doesn't hesitate to send out Jeff Goldberg to invent wars. The shame is just that Hudson clearly thinks of himself as a super serious journalist. That he's capable of maintaining that self-delusion while spouting such absurdly biased bullshit tells you more about the media than about him. It's no surprise whatsoever that someone in comments spouts off with "Stupid F'ing ragheads;" Hudson would of course claim that he doesn't support that thought, but his post is expressing exactly that sentiment. Publications like the Atlantic are always going to provide forums for people who think of themselves as cultured to express bigotry.

The best part: the post falls under a subhead saying "Propaganda Parade." Honey, if you only knew.

(seriously, that fucking Twitter feed. It's like a very dry parody: the lame, desperately-signalling social references, the tired jokes that he obviously spent a lot of time coming up with, the "I'm totally down with the hippity-hop!" cultural anxiety, the attempt to defuse an absurdly pretentious headshot with some Photoshopping that, I promise you, he devoted an entire afternoon to....)

Update: A commenter points out that the Atlantic recently ran a positive profile of John Mearsheimer, which is definitely a cut against the magazine as neocon mouthpiece. Also, I got violently ill shortly after posting this, so if you're inclined to believe in karma....


Anonymous said...

You got the Atlantic all wrong. Goldberg is a huge neocon, but outside of that the website spends most its it's time trying to refute anything Goldberg says. Fallows and wright devote just about every post to inform readers how there is no lesser threat in the world than Iran. And the magazine itself just had a glowing profile on mearsheimer (who is most definitely not a neocon)

Freddie said...

Well, anonymous, I immediately got violently ill right after I published this post. So maybe that's the universe telling me something. That or this dude Hudson knows voodoo.

Ethan Gach said...

I love the Atlantic, but only for its cover stories, and occasional tech coverage (even if it comes from techphiles.

Fallows and Wright are usually good reads too, though they would be so whether at the Atlantic or somewhere else.

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