James Flint on Sat, 27 Sep 1997 21:29:18 +0200 (MET DST)

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<nettime> Re: Death by Media

>        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. 

Funny. That's the reaction i get from a lot of journalists when i tout this
idea around. (I'm a journalist myself, by the way). I thought i'd made it
reasonably clear that i wasn't out to aportion individual blame - hence the
call for acknowledgement of a wider causality at play. I was trying to say
something about the wider dynamic of "the motor of the camera and the motor
of the car, two out of three of the defining motors of our age." When i
wrote i didn't have you personally in mind, honest.

>        But seriously: Your "strong, provocative claim" has been repeated
>over and over again in the news - including the BBC World Service

Exactly - as a nebulous theory to be rejected in passing, as i said.

>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.

I never claimed to be announcing a "great yet-undisclosed truth". I was
rather trying to point out that a lot of the theory talked about by
Virilio, Ballard & Baudrillard (i'm sorry, did i spell it "Baudrilliard"
before? God, i am *so* ignorant. There's no way it could have been a typo,
since i religiously spellcheck every email i send. Please don't tell him -
i interviewed him once and he'll be *so* upset) was materially instantiated
in Diana's death. (I do think i chose a bad title for the piece, by the
way, because it doesn't really reflect what i was trying to say.)

>        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. 

I'm sorry, but i wasn't expressing these views as you put it. I was point
out that the media itself invented these categoties in order to distance
their own sector from any kind of culpability. You seem quite happy to slag
these categories as "populist" - but why aren't you asking yourself how
they become populist?

>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...

Well, that's their problem. Having certain premises in common doesn't
entail that we come to the same conclusion.

>        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

Yeah, i do actually. In fact i think it's a totally appropriate
opportunity, as Diana's brother clearly did. But in fact, that's not really
what i was about. I'm actually quite happy to see the media fuck over the
Windsors (tho i would have preferred it if people hadn't died in the
process). What i was interested in was examining some of the mechanisms by
which this took place.

Jim Flint

vox: +44 (0) 171 837 7479
page: 01523 106401

My socks smell of chips

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