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Monday, April 27, 2015

Japan PM Trying To Muzzle Media

Hey! Koga-san… what do you think about Japanese Prime Minister Abe?

"Mmmf-mmf-ra-mmmmf."

Welcome to the world of Japanese politics, where it is alleged that top dogs for Japanese Prime Minister Abe are muzzling the media in their attempts to criticize deer Führer.

I'm an ex-journalist, but currently a full-time writer in my day job, and for this and other blogs (Pioneers of Aviation, You Know What I Hate, and more) - and so I realize that there are times when one has to affectively self-center one's views to avoid getting in trouble.

But pity poor Japan, where journalists in multiple media (TV, newspaper and radio - and perhaps even social media and blogs and websites) are being 'coerced' into the news they provide the viewer.

All the news that's fit to print?

That hasn't been true for decades… I know that… in the past, just because it's news, it doesn't mean it's news-worthy.

In Japan, however, media outlets are being told they must toe the company line… told what they can report and even how to put a spin on it.

While every media outlet has these self-imposed guidelines (I won't officially swear or show porn here), in Japan the media is being bullied or coerced by politicians to report news or create op-ed pieces that place certain politicians in a better light.

Case in point - one Koga Shigeaki (surname first), a television commentator of some renown in Japan who has provided fierce criticism of the political establishment - regardless of who is in charge - whenever he sees fit to discuss it.

That's what political commentary is all about… as is the right to express one's own opinion.

We have that in Canada, often with a disclaimer that the views of the speaker are not necessarily the views of the station (that broadcasts it).

Anyhow… during a live television news program last month - a scripted news program - he ran away from the carefully scripted words he was to speak and instead noted that this would be his last day on the show because television network executives had given in to political pressure and agreed to have him banned from the airwaves.

Koga says that his removal rom the show was due to edged comments he had made (on many an occasion) about PM Abe.

Later in his last show, he poignantly held up a placard reading "I am not Abe" - a paraphrasing of the slogan journalists killed this past January at a French satirical newspaper.

While commiting workplace suicide, Koga did at least bring to light the way the hawk-like government of Abe is trying to recreate the gold old days of Japan's Imperial might… when it controlled exactly what the people heard and thought about the way the government went about its business.

Other journalists and politicos say that Abe and his right-wing government (Right-wing politics are political positions or activities that view some forms of social stratification or social inequality as either inevitable, natural, normal, or desirable, typically justifying this position on the basis of natural law or tradition.) are using tactics to stifle the voice of the news media… or to soft-soap them with expensive private sushi lunches for noted journalist and top media execs.

Hell… who doesn't want to sit with someone viewed as important?

According to media outlets, Abe's political crew have openly mentioned they should revoke the broadcasting licenses of networks that have been overly critical of the current government… saying there is a law already in place that says TV news reports should not intentionally twist facts.

Right now… Abe is pushing to deconstruct Japan's current Constitution (created after WWII by the U.S.)… wanting to restart its nuclear industry (currently on hold because of the sheer lack of proper safety measures in place)… and change the pacifist view of the country while spinning the Japan's WWII actions in a more positive light.

Abe's government doesn't believe in the whole Nanjing massacre (it's just a flesh wound) or the  rampant use of comfort women (we just dated for a while)… it doesn't believe Japan needs or needed to apologize for anything it did during WWII and earlier.

How do you do that? Get the media under your control.

Once the media in under your boot, the general public will lap up whatever it sees and hears… just as it did in those heady days of the 1030s and 40s when Japan thought it was god's gift to Asia and the world… when it possessed an arrogance second (perhaps) only to Nazi Germany.

The unfortunate thing, is that unlike the tough as nails and now unemployed Kage, many of Japan's media outlets are kowtowing to the whims of the Abe government and its henchmen.

Abe is attempting to sell its own brand of propaganda to the people… there's nothing to see here except wonderful, happy people in a land where the Japanese people are proud and safe and secure, and maybe we should all go and show those Red Chinese the what for since we're all on the same page.

Yeesh.

For your amusement on such a hay topic, let me present to you a wonderful bit of American propaganda from WWII - against Nazi Germany, but whatever… Japan isn't quite at the Imperialist Japan days yet… but unless people take up the battle cry and get Abe out of office, pretty soon they'll have their kids come home in a box. 

This is Spike Jones' Der Fuehrer's Face:

Chorus
When der fuehrer says we is de master race
We heil heil right in der fueher's face
Not to love der fuehrer is a great disgrace
So we heil heil right in der fuehrer's face

When Herr Goebbels says we own the world and space
We heil heil right in Herr Goebbels' face
When Herr Goring says they'll never bomb this place
We heil heil right in Herr Goring's face
Are we not he supermen Aryan pure supermen
Ja we is the supermen (super duper supermen)
Is this Nazi land so good
Would you leave it if you could
Ja this Nazi land is good
We would leave it if we could
We bring the world to order
Heil Hitler's world to order
Everyone of foreign race
Will love der fuehrer's face
When we bring to the world this order

If you would prefer to hear the song, check out the video link below in the classic 1943 Donald Duck cartoon - an all-time favorite of mine. 

https://youtu.be/5LYD0Fzf1LU

My favorite lie of the whole song is the last one: "When we bring to the world this order"… you can actually hear how it sounds like 'dis-order'. That's pure comic genius, boys und girls.

Now I'm not likening PM Abe to Hitler, despite Japan having once been full-blown partners during WWII.

But… I'm not saying it can't get that way.

En Guarde, Japan,
Andrew Joseph


 

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