[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]


To:             	mailijst@dds.nl
Subject:        	Re: THIS IS HOW WE WILL LIE TO YOU (the big media about the WTO)
From:           	kees@stad.xs4all.nl (kees/ventana)
Date sent:      	Tue, 23 Nov 99 17:48:12 GMT

--by the editorial staff at the big dailies-- 

The World Trade Organization is a complicated topic, and both the talks
being held and the variety of protests confronting it are far too
complicated for the feeble minds of our readers to fully comprehend.  We
would never want to inconvenience our readers by giving them information
that is complex or contrary to the opinions we've already fed you.
Therefore, we're going to lie our fool tushies off during our WTO

Here's how: 

-- On the WTO Itself: 

 * We will repeatedly tell you, as WTO proponents do, that world trade
means jobs, and that Washington state in particular depends on world
trade. The implication, sometimes explicit, is that anti-WTO activists
oppose world trade, which is untrue. They generally oppose the specific
mechanisms--i.e., unfettered capitalism--by which the WTO governs world
trade. There are many other possible ways to arrange for world trade and a
globalized economy, but we won't tell you that. We also won't tell you
that while trade creates jobs, the neoliberal policies of the WTO, on
average, force down the wages and standards of jobs in both developed
couuntries and developing ones. Behemoths like Microsoft and Boeing can
outsource work to India or Mexico (respectively), where workers are paid
far less than in Seattle. Eventually, wages and benefits in Seattle will
have to drop to "compete. 

 * We'll tell you that the primary beneficiaries of unfettered trade are
regular folks like you and me. Not hardly. Workers at Boeing may owe their
jobs to trade, and family farms may export their wares. But Boeing itself,
or huge agribusiness concerns, benefit far more from free trade. In fact,
policies of the WTO are part of what's driving small farmers <I>out of
business</I>; and as mentioned above, Boeing workers can lose their jobs
to cheaper overseas help. Free trade is designed to help the huge
transnational corporations that can move resources around the globe at the
drop of a hat. Whether it helps, or, more likely, hurts the average
citizen is strictly incidental.

 * The Clinton Administration cares about jobs, the environment, and
labor. This is a lie told by government officials, which we will repeat
uncritically. In fact, Clinton is a prime architect of the WTO, and his
administration has overseen one of the greatest Wall Street booms in
history- -and one of the greatest increases in the gap between incomes of
the wealthy and those of average citizens. The donations of these huge
corporations are what keep Clinton and Gore or Bush in office. Their
policies have been a relentless sellout of the environment to huge
corporations, and favoritism to those corporations over the interests of
labor. They don't care about you. They think you're just so many sheep to
be manipulated. We help.

 * In discussing the WTO, we will focus solely on how it helps or hurts
America, and ignore the rest of the world, especially developing
countries. If developing countries are mentioned, we will equate the
interests of a few elites with those of the country as a whole. This gives
an incredibly distorted view of the true damage caused by WTO policies. We
will uncritically repeat the myth that these countries are better off with
the jobs provided by transnational corporations, ignoring other means of
developing economies that might not remove so many resources and so much
capital from these countries, and might promote greater democracy and
better standards of living.

 * We will repeat the accusations that WTO critics have not done their 
homework, without giving them any forums to display their understanding 
of the issues; that WTO critics are solely oppositional, without airing 
any of their positive proposals for promoting fairer trade; and that 
WTO critics are marginal members of society, without listing their 
mainstream supporters. 

-- On the Protests: 

 * You can safely take any estimate we publish of demonstration crowd
sizes and multiply them by ten to arrive at a truer estimate of size.
Actually, the exact multiplier is nine: first, police will reduce their
estimate by a factor of three, and then we will reduce the police estimate
by a further factor of three. This is to make you feel safer. It's for
your own good. 

 * We won't lie about student walk-outs, worker sick-ins, or other efforts
by ordinary workers and students to shut down Seattle as part of this
protest. We'll just ignore them. They're just too difficult to quantify.

 * Any "violence" that erupts will be the responsibility of the
demonstators. We will ignore the "nonviolent" horses, batons, mace, pepper
spray, rubber bullets, and guns brought by security forces. That's crowd
control, not violence. 

 * We will rely almost exclusively on "official" sources--WTO organizers,
the police, elected officials, and other government employees. This isn't
a lie, exactly. We'll simply report their spin on the facts as the
objective truth, and not report any other spin or try to synthesize
competing versions of events. This will give WTO advocates the most
positive possible light.

 * We will marginalize demonstators wherever possible. Photos will show
the most outrageous costumes, emphasizing that these are not normal
people. Organizers are "paid organizers," although the Seattle Host
Organization paid people, too. Foreign demonstrators will become "outside
agitators." If necessary, we will redbait.

 * We will emphasize conflict, property destruction, violence, and
hostility. The 99% of peaceful, nonviolent demonstrator are boring. They
are also much too responsible.

 * Wherever possible we will refer to anti-WTO activists as anti-trade
rather than "fair trade" proponents. This makes them seem less reasonable. 

 * We will focus a lot on the inconvenience of demonstrations to commuters
and other "ordinary citizens," as though the protesters were not ordinary
and as though Seattle gridlock was not ordinary, either. This also implies
that traffic reports are of equal importance to global trade issues.

 * Conversely, we will NOT report the impact on Seattle's homeless of WTO
organizing--namely, loss of motel and shelter space, street sweeps, and
crackdowns on tent cities and other attempts at visibility. We would never
ignore these demonstrations. It's too big and too exciting a story. But we
will make a point wherever possible to lie so as to deny their
credibility. After all, if protesters are correct and free trade is a
threat to the world's environment, standard of living, and democracy, then
we must be called upon to act.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Now go check out the comics. How 'bout those Seahawks? 
--ETS! News Service EAT THE STATE! P.O. Box 85541 
Seattle WA 98145 USA 206-903-9461 ets@scn.org 


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * INFO * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
eat-the-state@scn.org is the mailing list for distribution of 
"Eat The State!", the e-mail version of the periodical. 
To subscribe or unsubscribe, send your request to majordomo@scn.org. 

Dit bericht kwam via de MAIlijst, die dient
als medium voor de internationale Anti-WTO campagne.
+ Wil je zelf op de lijst, iets toevoegen of er vanaf:
Stuur je berichtje op naar: <mailijst@dds.nl>
Kijk voor meer informatie op internet: http://www.stelling.nl/wto 
Daar vind je een nieuws-archief met zoekmachine
Wil je regelmatig actuele nederlandstalige informatie ontvangen
van de WTO-NED lijst, stuur dan een aanvraag naar: