Which itself is interesting. Because I acknowledge that truth is very important, very powerful. I just know how flimsy it is, and how easy to manipulate. For example, everything that I do could be discredited by pulling the above statement out of context and putting it in an article.
From my years studying the media, I have noticed, by myself and at the provokation of certain theorists, that the media are mostly full of shit. Mostly, they hold onto this idea of "truth", and nothing else. When you do this, you are able to both proclaim your honesty and authenticity, and manipulate reality however you want. Create the headline first - then write the article.
I will create an example.
Let's say there's rumours circulating about some sort of scandal. It's blurry. It's heresay. But let's say the rumour is someone has been sleeping with a prostitute. Let's say its a high-up minister.
Now, the journalist hearing this is faced with a certain dilemma. He/she can report the details, or not. There's no real justification for reporting the details, the matter hasn't even, for example, made it to the courts yet, and prostitution is itself not illegal (in my home state of Victoria, anyway). But obviously, people frown upon it, so it will have a political effect.
There are two ways the journalist can look at this:
1) The facts of the case, being a legal, private act, do not justify them being published. Therefore, I'll wait until more details emerge before I publish anything, if at all, or I will investigate the matter and see if there is any breach of his public duty.
2) I will publish the rumours. Obviously, they will create a sensation and sell more papers. My work now is to find a reason to do so.
Method two is becoming increasingly popular, as the publication sells more advertising. It's a kind of working backwards: you settle on the desired result, and then you work back towards finding reasons for doing it. In other words, it's "ends first, means are secondary". Readers have created this mentality by buying media which is sensational. Or for theatre, seeing shows that participate only in entertainment, or not considering the means of production and its consequences.
Now, here's a quote from a famous recent American strategist, and key George Bush advisor, Karl Rove, who is speaking to a journalist:
"The aide (Rove) said that guys like me (the Journo) were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." ... "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
This denotes an action and speed as being the key to power, and discussion as powerless and futile.
Put in these terms... which surely few are following in the age of Guns, Ganja, and Gaga - so much of our action now is unjustifiable that it's almost overwhelming.
Bringing this back to Mike, my key question, which I cannot properly answer, is whether or not his actions were justifiable, whether they were "accountable".
My thoughts on this at the moment, as I go deeper and deeper into his script, into his philosophy, is that this problem, the problem of accountability, is so significant in our current context, and likewise the forces that hide it are so powerful, that any attempt to address it is a noteworthy act of resistence.
He made mistakes, but I believe his work is largely accountable to the people it talks about, and the issues.
What do you think?