Our relative was killed by the police outside his own house (in Texas). The police took the man’s body, his phone, and didn’t tell the family who went looking from hospital to morgue. In the meantime they coordinated a story, released it to the press, and the two worked together to cover-up a murder. This is what the police/press nexus does.
In the US Alec Karakatsanis laboriously documents ‘copaganda’ (especially in the NYTimes), but this is everywhere. Everywhere the boot of cop steps, there is a journalist telling you its for your own good. They are part of the same system. Cops are fundamentally there to protect private property (the rich) and those rich enough to own private presses use it to protect the cops. One hand washes the other, while both feet stomp wherever they please. As 21 Savage said:
Know we walk around the world
Steppin’, not givin a damn ‘bout where our feet land at, yeah
Get your ass mushed, smooshed
Where I live, in Sri Lanka, I can see it in closer circumstances. So close I can’t even talk about because the persecution (pressecution) is ongoing. If you ever see the press talking about you or your loved ones you see how much they A) get wrong and B) lie and then you realize that this is endemic. In Sri Lanka the press constantly reports on poor people being killed by the cops as ‘trying to escape’ or ‘reaching for a weapon’. The police devour bodies and the press shits them out. The police/press nexus constitutes one tapeworm embedded deep in our body politic.
This parasite hides itself in two ways. First the police posture that they protect and serve, and that society would be immeasurably worse without them. Second the press postures that they speak truth to power, and protect us from forces that would otherwise operate in the dark. Both are lies. The police protect and serve the powerful and are effectively their bodyguards. The press is owned by the same powers, and uses the light to misdirect, mislead, and fundamentally blind.
The fact is that this life is but a dream and our experience of it is just a story. If you can control the story, you can take life and people won’t even notice it. You can take lives slowly through impoverishment and call it ‘rule of law’ (which is really the rule of property). You can even take lives violently and call it ‘defending the peace’. If you control both the truncheon and the mouthpiece, you can spin the story anyway you want. You can assassinate people and their character, and call it a strong police force and free press. As if these are real and good things, and not just naked power covered up with a convenient story.
What is the purpose of this police/press nexus? The same purpose as any animal population dividing up food. Some humanoids get to eat first and even let food rot, and some must offer up their portions and live by whatever falls down the tree. The police are there to beat this reality into people, and the press is there to make it seem like freedom. It’s the same as the claws of a lion or them pissing up a tree. The only purpose is maintaining hierarchy.
For another metaphor, think of the mafia. It’s the basic model of governance. Some people are above the law and can kill and steal. Some people are beneath and can be killed and stolen from. The only difference from the mafia is effectively marketing. While the mafia takes police powers upon itself, it lacks the societal power to brand this as being for society’s own good. So they are perceived as just bad via mafia movies. But the cops do the same shit (indeed, in America they account for more theft than regular thieves) and their reputation is laundered in the news the next day.
It takes a lot of work (in my case decades and then bitter experience) to break down this perception. We’re trained to think that cops are out there protecting people and that journalists are out there looking for the truth. But wait till you encounter either one of them. Then you’ll see the rank brutality and bullshit that characterize both in reality. Cops are out there to protect property and power and the press is literally owned by the same people. What do you think they’re doing? Certainly not what they’re saying.
So fuck the police and fuck the press. They’re both part of the same hypocrisy.