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<nettime> Re: Death by Media
Tilman Baumgaertel on Wed, 24 Sep 1997 17:37:46 +0200 (MET DST)


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<nettime> Re: Death by Media


Flint wrote:

>>>As a textbook Virilio/Baudrilliard/Ballard scenario, this
>>>couldn't be beat.
<...>
the point is that Diana's death was the conclusion of 16 years
of media harassment in which many many journalists, from from TV to
broadsheet, had a personal hand. This sounds like a strong, provocative
claim, but it isn't really

<....>
But still there was as strong a case as one could imagine that the media
shares some of the responsibility for her death and in acknowledging that
should accept a wider causality, one in which a cause is a distributed
mechanism, an affect. But this kind of causality is one not recognised
by current media dogma, except as a nebulous theory to reject in passing.<<<

        Now, that's a   s h a r p  comment, my friend!!

        I have to admit that I feel discovered. I am also one of the "many
many journalists". And if I have to be honest, my secret agenda also is to
make other people's existence miserable. I have reoccuring dreams where the
people I report about get killed, maimed or crippled in car crashes, air
plane explosions and health club accidents because of my activities.


        Unfortunately these fantasies haven't come true so far, but -
especially after "the Diana incident" - I am trying my hardest to wipe out
some of the people I am writing about.

        But seriously: Your "strong, provocative claim" has been repeated
over and over again in the news - including the BBC World Service - and it
is surprising to have this tiresome tirade against "the media" (whatever
you mean with this term) pushed in my mailbox as if it was this
great-yet-undisclosed truth.

        Never mind that most of the photographers that were arrested in
Paris, were not paparazzi, but serious news photographers, that were
labeled by the police as "paparazzi". Never mind that they were kept in
jail much longer than french law allowed and had their press cards taken
away illegally, because of populist notions of the "slimey press" not too
different from the views you express in your essay. Never mind that a
number of second-rate politicians in a number European countries demanded
tougher laws against The Media with pretty much the same rhethoric that
you are using...

        I don't want to spoil your fun. If you think that the death of a
person is a good opportunity to bash The Media, you are perfectly welcome
to.

        Let me just mention an anecdote/rumor about Paparazzi, that to my
mind has a lot to do with Princess Di's accident:

        The word and the profession "paparazzo" became internationally
famous because of Fellinis film "La Dolce Vita", where Marcello
Mastroianni plays one of these scumbags.

        When Fellini was dying two years ago, a photographer managed to
get into his hospital room, and took a picture of him.

        Fellini asked him: "Aren't you ashame to photograph me in this
condition?"

        The photographer answered: "No. You invented me after all", and
left.


Yours,
Tilman

        PS: If the first sentence I quoted from your essay is referring
to the french philosopher - you might want to spell his name correctly:
Baudrillard.


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