Knowledge is power, and that power is far to great to be only in the hands of a few who don’t concern themselves with their countries, their societies, their species, their planet only their wallets…
I knew this one would make me mad.
Mad doesn’t begin to describe. Those who know me know that I am slow to anger, but when I do get mad, it’s explosively so.
That’s where I am with Shadows of Liberty, so please excuse me if I ramble, or poorly convey how good this film is. It just made me want to discuss all of it, which, in my opinion, is a sign of a very good film.
Where do journalistic ethics come into play when your news organization is a media conglomerate more interested in a profit than the truth?
Directed by Jean-Philippe Tremblay, the film chronicles the way diverse and objective news outlets, paper, radio and television have been destroyed as media corporations greedily seize control of American news outlets all in the name of the almighty dollar. From there they tell us what they want us to know, often covering up the truth, lying about it, or doing their damnedest to dis-credit the facts and those who reported it.
The film uses a number of examples of reporters doing their job, seeking out the facts and presenting them objectively only to have their story killed by the corporations who own their companies. One of the first revelations is galling and pushed me well on the way to “Hulk Smash” mode, and that is the story of a reporter following the Nike dollar to the shoe factories in South East Asia, where she learns the terrible wage and conditions the employees work in there, which included physical abuse.
When she turned in her story to her news organization for release, CBS, the story was promptly killed, and at the next Winter Olympics, all the CBS reporters were forced to where Nike parkas.
Or the disaster of TWA 800, instead of following the leads, the ‘news’ media forewent their obligation to the public, rolled over and did exactly as their corporations, and media dominated government wanted.
The blatant lie of WMDs to justify a war.
The film goes on to share other examples, as well as presenting the arguments for a diverse and objective news source. It shows how companies have merged into giant media-controlling conglomerates that have no obligation to the people, only their own pocketbooks.
When that happens, we don’t only have a break down in responsible society, we see the dumbing down of the populace as a way to control them.
It’s frustrating, and rage-inducing.
And that means it’s a helluva a good documentary.
Society needs objective and diverse journalists and reporting, otherwise we hear only one side (and that would be the side that those with the money want us to hear) and how is that healthy for anyone?
Journalism used to be a proud and noble profession.
It’s name has been sullied, and has made it into info-tainment.
Now, that’s not to say there aren’t journalists out there who still want to be Woodward and Bernstein, it just seems the forum to do that no longer exists.
I have no answers, except to suggest introducing very strong regulation into the mix to foster the concept of an open and free market.
However de-regulation seems to be the concept of the millennium for governments as they slip into bed with their media conglomerates.
It’s time for a change when the truth can be buried, and their story is presented to us through capped teeth and a fake tan.
It’s an important and dangerous time, and one wonders how history will judge us if we allow these corporations to rule the air-waves and our governments.
If you have the opportunity, I cannot recommend seeing this film enough.
Shadows of Liberty can be seen Friday April 27 at 1:00pm at the Bloor Cinema and Sunday April 29th at 4:00 at the Light Box.