Chris Hedges on the State of Journalism

Via WeAreChange

At an Occupy event in Philadelphia, Luke Rudkowski of WeAreChange runs into Pulitzer Prize journalist Chris Hedges and gets his take on the state of journalism today.

  • Camron Wiltshire

    I respect Mr. Hedges greatly for helping to overturn NDAA’s most insidious provisions regarding  indefinite detainment..  It’s a sad state when the best journalists around have to stay silent for fear of the ‘Breitbart’ treatment if they speak openly on certain topics….http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtBazX6xpaM  

    I do disagree utterly with his steadfast support of AGW but perhaps like Naomi Klein, it is possible to do brilliant expository writing the catastrophic effects of say the Chicago school of economics on an unsuspecting population such as we have seen in Chile and Argentina (check out the Shock Doctrine) and yet not be able to understand the very same mechanism at play in your own country via carbon credit brokering….  

    It’s an odd schism.  Perhaps only independent journalists can “afford” to tell the truth.  They like monks of old, require community support and donations on their bodhisattva paths, working for the betterment of all beings.

  • Beverly Thighs

     

    Overall
    I liked Empire Of Illusions (2009) Hedge’s
    diatribe against corporate tyranny in the u.s., but the chapter on
    “pornography” was a no go and easily the weakest chapter in the book, showing
    that Hedges had no idea what he was talking about and completely at sea on the
    subject. The result was a sloppy and shrill mess where he dwelled at length on
    lurid details and graphic sex talk in an obvious ploy to titillate middle-class
    readers and garner book sales.

    Also,
    criminally, after the usual shopworn litany of stories of abused and helpless
    porn stars, he never mentions the obvious remedy: a  porn star union to curtail the rampant abuses
    of adult performers enjoined on them by film company owners and producers. The
    adult industry is still, outrageously, open-shop. Pink Cross, a Christian
    fundamentalist group aimed at replacing one form of addiction with another to
    Jesus is portrayed in a neutral light by him, in much the same way that the
    Christian Right and feminist zealots like Catharine MacKinnon joined forces in
    the ‘80’s with Jerry Farwell et al in
    botched attempts to censor “porn” (MacKinnon now prefers to lick her wounds and
    read People Magazine “cover to cover”
    than agitate for petticoats on piano legs.)

    I
    put “porn” in quotes the way Hedges should have, since I feel Rambo or one of the many  Schwarzenegger
    films is real pornography, i.e. the depiction of gratuitous violence against
    people, while I consider films of two people enjoyably fucking to be erotica,
    not pornography. This is a crucial difference, but to an ideologue nuance is
    always verboten, the world must be shown in black and white, no ambiguity is
    permissible. And if vanden Heuvel is cutting his checks at the Nation
    Institute, where Hedges is a “senior fellow” his ideas better hew to the correct,
    NIMBY liberal way of thinking.

    And
    while we’re at it, who paid for Hedges to watch all this porn and fly to Vegas
    to chit chat with busty maidens? Was it all a big tax write off? He seems quite
    familiar with many of the most vulgar DVD porn films. Was he jacking off with
    one hand and pecking at the keyboard “Porn is about reducing women to corpses.
    It is about necrophilia.” with the other? It calls to mind all those senators
    and Supreme Court justices in the ‘70s who watched, hour after hour, on the
    tax-payers dime of course, Deep Throat,
    no doubt making furtive trips to a bathroom stall between showings, all in an
    attempt to determine for the citizenry if it was too obscene for them to be
    allowed to watch.

    Hedges
    pretends to be a total rube, unable to distinguish the simulated rapes that
    form the grizzly fare of “gonzo” porn from the real article.

       “The women in porn. . .are penetrated
    repeatedly by lines of partners, and they are raped.”

    Really?
    Raped? Were the police called? If not
    why not? The answer, as Hedges must have been vaguely aware, is that no illegal
    behavior happened on set, with the probable exception of hard drug use.  

                Hedges
    had an agenda and marshaled and concealed facts from readers, much the same way
    the totalitarian feminists of the ‘80’s did as they failed to enact legislation
    against the industry. He writes:

    In the web site Slut Bus, women
    are lured into a van, offered money for sex, filmed having sex, and then dumped
    on the side of the road. Money is held out toward the woman as the van pulls
    away. She is always left without payment.

    Are
    we really supposed to believe a 15 year veteran reporter for the NY times was so gullible as to believe
    the ad copy for this site? It’s hard to believe he didn’t know it was fake. Instead,
    Hedges chose to deceive readers (or himself) by presenting the rip-offs as
    actual occurrences. But if they were actual occurrences where were the breach
    of contract lawsuits and news stories about all this? There aren’t any because
    the female “victims” were actresses.

    I
    have a feeling he duped readers for the same reason so-called second wave
    feminism hid facts and disdained nuance, as exemplified by Hedge’s idols Andrea
    Dworkin and Susan Brownmiller (he started the chapter with a mawkish epigraph
    from Dworkin, full of filthy language for shock value).

    Which
    brings us back, inevitably and always, to the stumbling block and crux of the “pornography”
    issue: simulation vs. the real thing. Dunderheads like MacKinnon and
    Brownmiller and, pathetically, Hedges, would have us believe they’re the same
    thing.Why? Should stage magicians be banned for sawing women in half? One can
    imagine Hedges in the front row of an Amazing Creskin performance, sweating,
    jumping out of his seat to call the paramedics. And why aren’t the police
    arresting Robert DeNiro or Al Pacino for robbing banks? Those guys should have
    a rap sheets a mile long by now. The NY
    Times evidently never put Hedges on the snuff film beat. . .

    Oddly
    enough, he seems to pine for the early days of porn, before abominations like
    gonzo started reaping huge profits, when laughably soft-core features like Deep Throat got Dworkin’s undies in a
    bunch.

     
     

    • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

      you got some really weird vendetta against this guy don’t you? i think i’ve seen this diatribe or something like it every time chris hedges shows up on disinfo. (and this time you posted it twice)

      Just go back to watching your porn, noone’s going to take it away from you any time soon; stop wasting your breath.

      • Beverly Thighs

        I have no vendetta against Hedges. I do have one against you and the hydrocephalics that spawned you.
        “noone’s [sic] going to take it away from you any time soon.”
         There is now an effort to ban porn from hotel rooms. Saw it on the news last week. This comes largely from religious ministers like Hedges (yes, check his bio) and his weepy minions.
        Looks like you put your foot in your mouth, Chaorder, as usual.

  • Bt

    Overall I liked Empire Of Illusions a diatribe against corporate tyranny in the u.s., but the chapter on “pornography” was a no go and easily the weakest chapter in the book, showing that Hedges had no idea what he was talking about and completely at sea on the subject. The result was a sloppy and shrill mess where he dwelled at length on lurid details and graphic sex talk in an obvious ploy to titillate middle-class readers and garner book sales.
    Also, criminally, after the usual shopworn litany of stories of abused and helpless porn stars, he never mentions the obvious remedy: a  porn star union to curtail the rampant abuses of adult performers enjoined on them by film company owners and producers. The adult industry is still, outrageously, open-shop. Pink Cross, a Christian fundamentalist group aimed at replacing one form of addiction with another to Jesus is portrayed in a neutral light by him, in much the same way that the Christian Right and feminist zealots like Catharine MacKinnon joined forces in the ‘80’s with Jerry Farwell et al in botched attempts to censor “porn” (MacKinnon now prefers to lick her wounds and read People Magazine “cover to cover” than agitate for petticoats on piano legs.)
    I put “porn” in quotes the way Hedges should have, since I feel Rambo or one of the many  Schwarzenegger films is real pornography, i.e. the depiction of gratuitous violence against people, while I consider films of two people enjoyably fucking to be erotica, not pornography. This is a crucial difference, but to an ideologue nuance is always verboten, the world must be shown in black and white, no ambiguity is permissible. And if vanden Heuvel is cutting his checks at the Nation Institute, where Hedges is a “senior fellow” his ideas better hew to the correct, NIMBY liberal way of thinking.
    And while we’re at it, who paid for Hedges to watch all this porn and fly to Vegas to chit chat with busty maidens? Was it all a big tax write off? He seems quite familiar with many of the most vulgar DVD porn films. Was he jacking off with one hand and pecking at the keyboard “Porn is about reducing women to corpses. It is about necrophilia.” with the other? It calls to mind all those senators and Supreme Court justices in the ‘70s who watched, hour after hour, on the tax-payers dime of course, Deep Throat, no doubt making furtive trips to a bathroom stall between showings, all in an attempt to determine for the citizenry if it was too obscene for them to be allowed to watch.
    Hedges pretends to be a total rube, unable to distinguish the simulated rapes that form the grizzly fare of “gonzo” porn from the real article.
       “The women in porn. . .are penetrated repeatedly by lines of partners, and they are raped.”
    Really? Raped? Were the police called? If not why not? The answer, as Hedges must have been vaguely aware, is that no illegal behavior happened on set, with the probable exception of hard drug use. 
         Hedges had an agenda and marshaled and concealed facts from readers, much the same way the totalitarian feminists of the ‘80’s did as they failed to enact legislation against the industry. He writes:
    In the web site Slut Bus, women are lured into a van, offered money for sex, filmed having sex, and then dumped on the side of the road. Money is held out toward the woman as the van pulls away. She is always left without payment.
    Are we really supposed to believe a 15 year veteran reporter for the NY times was so gullible as to believe the ad copy for this site? It’s hard to believe he didn’t know it was fake. Instead, Hedges chose to deceive readers (or himself) by presenting the rip-offs as actual occurrences. But if they were actual occurrences where were the breach of contract lawsuits and news stories about all this? There aren’t any because the female “victims” were actresses.
    I have a feeling he duped readers for the same reason so-called second wave feminism hid facts and disdained nuance, as exemplified by Hedge’s idols Andrea Dworkin and Susan Brownmiller (he started the chapter with a mawkish epigraph from Dworkin, full of filthy language for shock value).
    Which brings us back, inevitably and always, to the stumbling block and crux of the “pornography” issue: simulation vs. the real thing. Dunderheads like MacKinnon and Brownmiller and, pathetically, Hedges, would have us believe they’re the same thing.Why? Should stage magicians be banned for sawing women in half? One can imagine Hedges in the front row of an Amazing Creskin performance, sweating, jumping out of his seat to call the paramedics. And why aren’t the police arresting Robert DeNiro or Al Pacino for robbing banks? Those guys should have a rap sheets a mile long by now. The NY Times evidently never put Hedges on the snuff film beat. . .
    Oddly enough, he seems to pine for the early days of porn, before abominations like gonzo started reaping huge profits, when laughably soft-core features like Deep Throat got Dworkin’s undies in a bunch.
     
     

    • David Howe

      Sex paranoia is something that you can keep in your pocket whenever someone needs to be brought down a few pegs, huh?  Just a little bit of lurid, hysterical gossip (your hysteria reads as sincere to some) is usually enough fuel to help the mainstream dismiss an authentic journalist.  They can now plausibly dismiss Hedges and pretend he doesn’t exist kinda the way they treat Chomsky.

      • Beverly Thighs

        What a load of horseshit. I wrote the truth about a shrill prude. Any facts I got wrong? If anyone, including Chomsky had written eulogies to sex fascists like Dworkin, Brownmiller and Mackinnon I would have had the same comments.  To “plausibly dismiss” Hedges’s views on pornography is a very good thing indeed, Mr. Howe.

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    anyone who takes mainstream “journalism” seriously
    is seriously deceived

    anyone who doesn’t view non-mainstream journalism with serious skepticism
    might as well just imbibe mainstream swill 

  • Beverly Thighs

    P.S. a note to Hedges: Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle, not Sinclair Lewis. Flay your fact checker and correct it for the revised edition of Empire Of Illusions.

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