One of the most recent media developments that we have seen in the last week or so and one that is particularly disturbing is the manner in which the short-lived success of Le Pen in France (if it can even be called that) is being treated by the US media right now.
Links have been made between a small number of attacks against the Jewish communities there inspired largely by the perceived brutal manner in which Palestinians have been treated in the Middle East and Le Pen's win in the French Presidential primary when, in reality, the two are may well be unconnected.
Extending this misunderstanding ever further, leading US news organization CNN, for example, recently ran a story about whether there has been a general shift to extremist right wing politics in Europe shooting a major live interview piece from Paris on the question when there plainly has not been anything of the sort.
Whilst they cited race riots in the UK last year no mention was made of the point that support for the Conservatives in the UK is low presently. Even a representative of the extreme right wing British National Party was interviewed although, in reality, no one in the UK believes that this fringe group represents any real chance of gaining power there. By the same token, if we flip over to the other side of Europe for a minute we find that Hungary elected a socialist government recently too and yet that wasn't referenced at all. Most bizarrely perhaps was that the one right win politician who has actually taken power in Europe recently (Berlusconi in Italy) didn't even get a mention at all.
Instead, such reports could much more easily focus on right wing policies in Australia for example where immigrants physically maim themselves and commit suicide in protest at their treatment in detention centers there.
Indicative of how misguided this all is, the report then proceeded to conclude ironically that the entire continent was not heading towards the right at all
Why then, you might ask, was the story run at all in the first place?
Unfortunately, one has to wonder if the answer to this may lie in a desire to maintain high viewing figures by pandering to the current patriot fervor and a Bush administration with a very high popularity rating in the polls.
Consistent with this has been persistent attacks in the media by more right wing hawkish elements with the Republican Party in the US who have rounded fiercely at times upon their supposed European allies because of it's stance on issues such as Iraq and Palestine.
Indeed some of the sentiment flying around about Europe right now in America would hardly make one think that we are allies at all. Ex Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu in his unprecedented speech to US Senators suggested that when it comes to fighting terrorism, there's no reason why they should listen to Europe at all as this was the continent that stood by and let Adolf Hitler come to power. Similarly so, well-known conservative Republican spokespeople/supporters appear on TV suggesting the same, as all it ever contributed to history was the Holocaust.
In the meantime however, the sooner France votes Le Pen off the face of the earth so that we can bury this issue once and for all the better.
Until we do, we may well unfortunately have to suffer more Euro bashing by certain misinformed parts of the media who are merely pandering to the whims of an equally misguided public who themselves are currently far to wrapped up in another form of xenophobia right now anyway.
John Bourke Specially for PRAVDA.Ru
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