Don’t Post on the English Guardian if you Don’t Drink the Cool-Aid

16 Apr

The Guardian development section often has articles on subjects that most newspapers won’t touch. But they also have their sensitivities when it comes to people criticizing things such as newspapers, especially the Guardian itself, journalists, various currently hyped issues (the ‘cool-aid’ issues) and, of course, their sponsors, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (who are currently beyond question and above criticism, anywhere).

I’ve seen comments being removed for obvious infractions, but I’ve also wondered why some were removed (many of which I’ve been able to read before they were censored) except for the normal reasons for censoring what people can post on their site, things that, presumably, challenge the very concept of a free press.

When I wrote a comment that criticized Gates one time, for example, I wasn’t surprised that my comment was removed. But today I merely questioned the wisdom of an ‘under-cover’ journalist openly (it seems) using an iphone to collect data, record conversations, etc. She was working in a brothel, supposedly for extremely low pay. But the only attention it appears to have attracted in the brothel was an insinuation that she may have stolen it. I find it hard to believe that was the only question raised.

The article was surprisingly descriptive  given the usual stance of journalists to such issues (yes, they usually do all adopt pretty much the same stance, it seems). But in keeping with the style of many articles, this one also seemed to be a lot about the journalist herself and about how she resisted the persuasive techniques of the brothel madam to get her to do a bit of sex work, as opposed to cleaning and the like (perhaps so that she could afford an even more expensive phone without attracting scurrilous insinuations).

I also noted the irony that the journalist’s pricey phone was made by Apple, who have a notorious record when it comes to ‘corporate social responsibility’, which is large scale denial of human rights to you and I. The number of people being exploited in some way, by companies such as Apple and other multinationals, is impossible to guess at. It certainly exceeds the numbers bandied about for trafficking, sex work and various other forms of cool-aid, by a factor of at least hundreds. But perhaps the English Guardian just wants to keep its options open, and who could blame them in these hard times.

So, if you’re in the mood for cool-aid, just bear in mind that the issue of millions of women, men and children being exploited for the production of fashion accessories, cheap raw materials, etc, is not currently on the list. But women making unlikely amounts of money in return for ‘sexual services’ is exploitation, and it is most definitely on the list.

The article is not perceptive, unless you assume it is about the journalist herself, rather than about sex work. But what is most remarkable to me is that this piece of ‘undercover’ work was so clumsily carried out. Were there repercussions in the brothels as a result of the article or the efforts that went into it? Or is there some other explanation as to why the English Guardian is so sensitive about it?

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