为什么美国大媒体只关注香港而对其他不感兴趣

2019年10月25日这一天,在《纽约时报》网站以“香港抗议(Hong Kong protests)”为词条检索,可搜到最近一个月中有282条结果,而“智利抗议(Chile protests)”有20条,厄瓜多尔有43条,海地仅有16条。这种比例失调的现象在《福克斯新闻》那里则更为明显,在同一时间段内搜索香港有70个结果,智利、厄瓜多尔和海地却分别仅有4个、2个和3个。

为什么美国大媒体只关注香港而对其他不感兴趣

【察网编者按:本文译自美国媒体监察团体FAIR(「公平准确报导」,Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting)网站在2019年10月26日发表的文章。作者艾伦·麦克劳德(Alan MacLeod)是英国格拉斯哥大学媒介研究小组(Glasgow University Media Group)的成员,他最新编着的《信息时代的宣传:继续制造共识》(Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent)在2019年5月由劳特利奇(Routledge)出版社出版。】

2019,世界各地风起云涌。海地人民正在反抗腐败的政治体系和他们的总统若弗内尔·莫伊兹(Jovenel Moïse)——许多人将其视为窃国大盗和美国的傀儡。在厄瓜多尔,庞大的公开集会迫使莱宁·莫雷诺(Linín Moreno)总统撤回了由国际货币基金组织(IMF)支持的新自由主义一揽子计划,这将大大削减政府支出并提高运输价格。

与此同时,智利人民对皮涅拉保守政权的普遍不满激化为大规模的抗议活动,并立即遭到暴力镇压。塞巴斯蒂安·皮涅拉(Sebastián Piñera)总统宣布:“我们已处于战争状态。”他重复着已经作古的法西斯独裁者奥古斯托·皮诺切特(Augusto Pinochet)的口号。皮涅拉一边命令着坦克开进圣地亚哥,一边疯狂叫嚣那些暴力反对他的人“将会为自己的行为付出代价”。

持续进行中的大规模反政府示威活动也席卷了黎巴嫩,加泰罗尼亚和英国。

然而,迄今为止,商业媒体最关注的是香港。在香港,反对派认为与中国中央政府达成引渡协议将损害公民自由和香港的半自治地位,作为回应,他们发起了示威活动。 2019年10月25日这一天,在《纽约时报》网站以“香港抗议(Hong Kong protests)”为词条检索,可搜到最近一个月中有282条结果,而“智利抗议(Chile protests)”有20条,厄瓜多尔有43条,海地仅有16条。这种比例失调的现象在《福克斯新闻》那里则更为明显,在同一时间段内搜索香港有70个结果,智利、厄瓜多尔和海地却分别仅有4个、2个和3个。

无论是从抗议的规模、意义、伤亡人数还是当局的反应出发,都无法解释为什么会出现这种悬殊。在海地正在进行的抗议中,有18人死亡,在智利有19人并且人数还在上升,而在厄瓜多尔,示威者俘虏了50多名士兵——这些士兵正在执行莫雷诺下达的戒严令。 相比之下,在香港没有人因此丧生,当局也没有出动军队,而北京对香港地方自己处理这件事充满信心。 智利政府宣布,它在仅仅一周的抗议活动中就逮捕了5400多人,这一数字是在香港持续数月的示威中被捕人数的两倍多。此外,社交媒体还充斥着世界各地镇压抗议活动的图片和视频。

想要理解为什么媒体只关注香港而对其他地方不那么感兴趣,一种很好的方法就是看是谁在抗议,为什么抗议。

30多年前,爱德华·赫尔曼(Edward Herman)和诺姆·乔姆斯基(Noam Chomsky)在他们的著作《制造共识》中提出了他们对有价值受害者与无价值受害者的理论,以解释为什么商业媒体在报道某些事件的同时有意忽视另一些。通过比较媒体对于一宗在敌国(共产党执政的波兰)一名牧师被谋杀案件的报道,和在过去的20年里发生在美国的中美洲附庸国包括一百名美国公民在内的100多个宗教殉道者被杀害案件的报道, 他们发现,《纽约时报》、《时代》、《新闻周刊》和《哥伦比亚广播公司新闻》,不仅对牧师遇害案给予大量报道,而且报道的语气也明显不同:在报道杀害耶日·波比耶乌什科(Jerzy Popieluszko)神父时,媒体表现出了强烈的愤慨,要求伸张正义,谴责共产主义的野蛮行径。然而,在关于这些中美洲亲美政府的组织杀害宗教人物的报道中,仅仅是在陈述一般事实,几乎不带任何感情色彩,看不出言辞上的愤怒。

换言之,当官方的敌人被定性为邪恶势力,而官方的盟友被定性为值得同情的受害者时,商业媒体倾向于对此表现出极高的关注度。 相反,当“不合适的”人成为恶棍或受害者时,他们的热情将大大降低。

在香港问题上,《纽约时报》分别在2019年6月10日、8月14日和10月1日发表了三篇社论,每一篇都极力鼓吹赞美“具有民主思想的人民”为反抗“中共专制统治”而做的斗争,谴责共产党的反应证明了其“家长制作风体制的残酷”和落后,说明中国已经“将强权等同于权力,将异见等同于叛国”。另一方面,香港沾前英国殖民地的光,已经孕育出了“一种由民主、人权、言论自由和独立思想所构成的西方政治文化。”然而《纽约时报》却没有就世界上其他抗议活动发表任何有关社论。

《纽约时报》还嘲笑了“外国势力”(即美国政府)可能会影响抗议活动的说法,称其为共产党政府使用的“陈词滥调”。 然而,自2014年以来,美国国家民主基金会(NED)正式投入了超过2200万美元在中国,或用于“为香港民主和政治改革确定新途径”。《纽约时报》的社论没有一篇提及这笔资金的存在可能会扰乱把外国干预香港示威的说法当作“谎言”的宣传。

但是,西方媒体(例如《美国之音》2019年10月11日报道、《迈阿密先驱报》10月9日报道、路透社10月9日报道),却严厉指责厄瓜多尔的抗议活动实际上是由委内瑞拉总统尼古拉斯·马杜罗(Nicolás Maduro)在国外策划的。《卫报》10月8日的报道不仅没有将厄瓜多尔的示威者描述为“有民主思想的人”,反而骂他们是“暴徒” ——这个标签在涉港的报道中不会出现,除非是为了指控中国官员(如《时代》10月2日报道、 CNN10月22日报道)。在几乎所有的报导中,中国官员都被指控为“专制”(如Vox8月29日报道、《卫报》10月19日报道)和“独裁政权”的代表(《纽约时报》8月29日报道)。

至于那些不怎么被报道的抗议活动,不管是抗议的人民还是镇压抗议的政府,都是“不合适的”。 正如《华盛顿邮报》2019年10月14日在评论海地时所指出的,美国的支持是莫伊兹得以继续掌权的因素之一,美国官员很少公开评论当地的抗议活动。

对于厄瓜多尔,美国国务院态度更加鲜明,完全赞同莫雷诺的新自由主义紧缩方案:

【美国支持莫雷诺总统和厄瓜多尔政府为使民主实践制度化和实施必要的经济改革而做出的努力……我们将继续与莫雷诺总统合作,支持民主、繁荣与安全。】

换句话说,不要期待商业媒体会发表任何言辞愤怒的社论来谴责像海地或厄瓜多尔这样的美国附庸国,或者指责智利政府对抗议运动的镇压表明了资本主义的道德破产。实际上,商业媒体(如《卫报》10月8日报道、美国有线电视新闻网(CNN)10月8日报道、《今日美国》10月10日报道),在强调厄瓜多尔示威者暴力行为的同时,却有意对香港示威者的暴力行为轻描淡写。《纽约时报》在其6月30日的报道中甚至发明了“挑衅性非暴力(aggressive nonviolence)”一词来形容香港示威者的行动,急切希望将针对中国的示威游行描绘为无可非议的值得称赞的行为。

商业媒体关注哪些抗议活动,与这些抗议是否正义、是否受欢迎关系不大,更重要的是看他们抗议的对象是谁。 如果你在一个美国附庸国反抗资本权力或贪污腐败,那就不要期望会有多少电视台派摄像组去现场报道了,革命是几乎不会被电视转播的。 

【察网编译自美国媒体监察团体FAIR(“公平准确报导”,Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting)网站2019年10月26日,原标题为《革命不会被电视转播——媒体对世界各地的抗议运动不感兴趣》】

 

英文原文:
The Revolution Isn’t Being Televised——Media uninterested in protest movements around the world

 Alan MacLeod

https://fair.org/home/the-revolution-isnt-being-televised/

It’s all kicking off everywhere in 2019. Haitians are revolting against a corrupt political system and their President Jovenel Moïse, who many see as a kleptocratic US puppet. In Ecuador, huge public manifestations managed to force President Lenín Moreno to backtrack on his IMF-backed neoliberal package that would have sharply cut government spending and increased transport prices (FAIR.org, 10/23/19).

Meanwhile, popular Chilean frustration at the conservative Piñera administration boiled over into massive protests that were immediately met with force. “We are at war,” announced President Sebastián Piñera, echoing the infamous catchphrase of former fascist dictator Augusto Pinochet. Piñera claimed that those responsible for violently resisting him were “going to pay for their deeds” as he ordered tanks through Santiago. (See FAIR.org, 10/23/19.)

Huge, ongoing anti-government demonstrations are also engulfing Lebanon, Catalonia and the United Kingdom.

Yet the actions that have by far received the most attention in corporate media are those in Hong Kong, where demonstrations erupted in response to a proposed extradition agreement with the Chinese central government that opponents felt would undermine civil liberties and Hong Kong’s semi-autonomous status. A search for “Hong Kong protests” on October 25, 2019, elicits 282 responses in the last month in the New York Times, for example, compared to 20 for “Chile protests,” 43 for Ecuador and 16 for Haiti. The unequal coverage is even more pronounced on Fox News, where there were 70 results for Hong Kong over the same period and four, two and three for Chile, Ecuador and Haiti, respectively.

This disparity cannot be explained due to the protests’ size or significance, the number of casualties or the response from the authorities. Eighteen people have died during the ongoing protests in Haiti, 19 (and rising) in Chile, while in Ecuador, protesters themselves captured over 50 soldiers who had been sent in as Moreno effectively declared martial law. In contrast, no one has been killed in Hong Kong, nor has the army been called in, with Beijing expressing full confidence in local authorities to handle proceedings. The Chilean government announced it had arrested over 5,400 people in only a week of protests, a figure more than double the number arrested in months of Hong Kong demonstrations (Bloomberg, 10/4/19). Furthermore, social media have been awash with images and videos of the suppression of the protests worldwide.

One way of understanding why the media is fixated on Hong Kong and less interested in the others is to look at who is protesting, and why.

Over 30 years ago, in their book Manufacturing Consent, Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky developed their theory of worthy vs. unworthy victims to explain why corporate media cover certain stories and why others are dropped. They compared the media coverage of a single murdered priest in an enemy state (Communist Poland) to that of over 100 religious martyrs, including some US citizens, murdered in Central American client states over a period of two decades. They found that not only did the New York Times, Time, Newsweek and CBS News dedicate more coverage to the single priest’s assassination, the tone of coverage was markedly different: In covering the killing of Father Jerzy Popieluszko, media expressed indignation, demanding justice and condemning the barbarism of Communism. The killings of religious figures in Central America by pro-US government groups, on the other hand, were reported in a matter-of-fact manner, with little rhetorical outrage.

In other words, when official enemies can be presented as evil and allies as sympathetic victims, corporate media will be very interested in a story. In contrast, they will show far less enthusiasm for a story when the “wrong” people are the villains or the victims.

On Hong Kong, the New York Times published three editorials (6/10/19, 8/14/19, 10/1/19), each lauding the “democracy-minded people” fighting to limit “the repressive rule of the Chinese Communists,” condemning the Communist response as evidence of the backward, “brutal paternalism of that system,” in which China “equates greatness with power and dissent with treachery.” Hong Kong, on the other hand, thanks to the blessing of being a former British colony, had acquired “a Western political culture of democracy, human rights, free speech and independent thought.” (The Times has not elected to publish any editorials on the other protests.)

The Times also ridiculed the idea that “foreign forces” (i.e., the US government) could be influencing the protests, calling it a “shopworn canard” used by the Communist government. Yet the US National Endowment for Democracy (NED) has officially poured over $22 million into “identifying new avenues for democracy and political reform in Hong Kong” or China since 2014. The Times editorials did not mention this funding as possibly complicating their dismissal of foreign involvement in the Hong Kong protests as a “canard.”

However, media (e.g., Voice of America, 10/11/19; Miami Herald, 10/9/19; Reuters, 10/9/19) are taking seriously the accusation that the Ecuadorian protests are, in fact, masterminded abroad, by President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela, with the Guardian (10/8/19) going so far to describe the Ecuadorians not as “democracy-minded people,” but “rioters”—a label not appearing in connection with Hong Kong, except as an accusation by Chinese officials (e.g., Time, 10/2/19; CNN, 10/22/19), are almost universally condemned in coverage as part of a “repressive” (e.g., Vox, 8/29/19; Guardian, 10/19/19) “dictatorship” (New York Times, 8/29/19).

In the cases of the less-covered protests, the “wrong” people are protesting and the “wrong” governments are doing the repressing. As the Washington Post (10/14/19) noted on Haiti,

One factor keeping Moïse in power is support from the United States. US officials have been limited in their public comments about the protests.

On Ecuador, the State Department has been more forthcoming, issuing a full endorsement of Moreno’s neoliberal austerity package:

The United States supports President Moreno and the Government of Ecuador’s efforts to institutionalize democratic practices and implement needed economic reforms…. We will continue to work in partnership with President Moreno in support of democracy, prosperity, and security.

In other words, don’t expect any angry editorials denouncing US client states like Haiti or Ecuador, or arguing that the Chilean government’s repression of its protest movement shows the moral bankruptcy of capitalism. Indeed, corporate media (e.g., Guardian, 10/8/19; CNN, 10/8/19; USA Today, 10/10/19) emphasized the violence of the Ecuadorian protestors while downplaying Hong Kong’s—the New York Times (6/30/19) even inventing the phrase “aggressive nonviolence” to describe the Hong Kong protesters’ actions, so eager was it to frame the demonstrations against China as unquestionably laudable.

Which protest movements interest corporate media has little to do with their righteousness or popularity, and much more to do with whom they are protesting against. If you’re fighting against corporate power or corruption in a US-client state, don’t expect many TV cameras to show up; that revolution is rarely televised.

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原标题:革命不会被电视转播——媒体对世界各地的抗议运动不感兴趣

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