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« What Were We Saying About Hindus? (Norman Costa) | Main | Cookery Carousel (Sujatha) »

July 25, 2011


Person 1: Car bomb in Oslo. Innocent people killed.

Op Ed: Jihadis. More money for military.

Person 1: Mass shooting, mass murder.

Op Ed: Jihadis everywhere. More money for military.

Person 1: No Jihadis. Disturbed, obsessive, local neo-Nazi crackpot.

Op Ed: Same thing. Need even more military money.

Person 1: Beautiful, blonde, boy next door. No associates.


Person 1: I'm missing something.

Op Ed: That's why I'm here.

Their stock is fearmongering and their trading it.

my take is a bit different.
1. I think the initial suspicion of jihadist terrorism was not unreasonable. It would be nice to wait for confirmation before writing op-eds, but it was not an unexpected or unfair suspicion to have (especially with regards to the bombing...the cruel shooting episode with one shooter was not typical of jihadist terrorism).
2. Whether war and invasion was the best response to jihadist terrorism is definitely debatable, but that such a threat exists is not at all "imaginary". Some responses in left wing circles seem to indicate that the threat itself is being imagined and is not real. That does not seem correct to me. The threat to the US would be much less if the US was not a supporter of Israeli occupation, but given current policy preferences (many of which actually have liberal support) the threat is not imaginary.
3. Personally, I do think that occupation and even a lot of "security theater" are not the best responses to the jihadi threat. But I think it is overly simplistic to think all the op-ed writers are just there to create fear so the populace can be kept in line for the next imperialist plot. I think most of them are mistaken in many assumptions but are fully sincere.

Omar, the pattern of single shooter, as you say, isn't typical of jihadi terrorism. Yet, they were eager to pile the blame on Al-Qaeda or some variant thereof.
While it is indeed practical to consider that threats exist from jihadi terrorists, and plan for some means of dealing with it, when the media indulges in over-the-board scaremongering rather than reasoned discussion after some more facts of the case emerge, it becomes very obvious that other agendas than informing the public (market manipulation, for instance) are part of the mix.

I am not convinced that "market manipulation" is a factor here. Or if it is, maybe I dont understand what you mean by "market manipulation"? Can you explain it a little bit?

I guess what Sujatha means is cheer leading for more spending for defense, homeland security and longer wars of occupation. But I will let Sujatha explain what she means.

the media is now just an extension of the terrorism it reports on; they're both vile, feed on one another. they play parasite and host to one another.

loathesome, all of it.

anderson cooper has great hair, though, i guess that's something.

The 'market manipulation' I was referring to is a little more subtle than the usual triumvirate of defense, homeland security and war spending, though those do constitute one of the major agendas behind fearmongering. I was alluding to smaller fluctuations in the stock of companies like say GE, Lockheed Martin, and those who profit from massive trades in those stocks. Even a slight uptick in the fear factor could make for handsome profits even if the share prices only went up by a few cents, just because of the volumes involved. And also, the futures markets, especially for commodities like oil.

In that case, I am not convinced. I dont know how much experience you have with actual news organizations and how they work, but I find it implausible that MOST of their efforts could in any conceivable way be aimed at moving particular stocks up or down. I can imagine an occasional such action by occasional individuals. Can you give us a picture of how that works? any concrete (even imaginary, but detailed) example?

It does seem rather far-fetched, doesn't it? But, as self-anointed Queen of Conspiracy Theories, where would we be if I didn't have one to suit the endless need for fearmongering that afflicts the media. What I list above is just one of the many sub-agendas involved, and flows from some recent financial investigations that I had been reading about and watching. But wait, there is still the media involved in propagating those stories as well. So your mileage may vary, as it did.
As for a single media individual driving some market, we have an excellent example in Glenn Beck and his Goldline nexus.

As i said, an individual case is possible. But it is my impression that most news organizations are driven by a desire for ratings and most biases are society wide, unconscious biases (some are more direct, as in the Murdoch empire). I dont think most news coverage has any connection to moving stocks up or down. Stocks may move, but that is not the primary motivation.

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