Pilger’s “The War You Don’t See” censored in the US

14 Jun
John Pilger NS head shot

Image via Wikipedia

(Thanks to PW for telling me about this.)

John Pilger‘s 2010 documentary The War You Don’t See has been banned from a planned screening at the US Lannan Foundation in Santa Fe.

The film is an investigation into the media’s role in war; the ethics of “embedded” journalism, and the rise of the electronic battlefield. Pilger investigates the media’s role in promoting government propaganda such as the weapons of mass destructions claims used to justify the invasion of Iraq.

The Lannan Foundation is a private family foundation dedicated to financially supporting projects that encourage freedom of inquiry, imagination and expression. Pilger was due to attend the screening of his doco in Santa Fe, and then to speak on US foreign policy, censorship and free speech. He was notified that his film screening and his appearance had been cancelled only 48 hours before the event, and has been given no explanation by the foundation as to why this decision was taken.

Speculation round the blogosphere is that the doco is far too close to the bone, embarrassing the US and other governments. However the Lannan Foundation has not been squeamish in supporting dissenting voices in the past, and they are renowned for their support of liberal causes.

Those who would repress and censor debate always fail to realize that in the West this is impossible. We have the Internet and we have bloggers. Any attempts to silence only make everybody more noisy. I understand half of Pilger’s doco has appeared on YouTube since the Santa Fe ban.

This action has tarnished the Lannan Foundation, and made something of a mockery of their claims to support freedom of inquiry. One can only speculate on the kind of pressure and the sources of that pressure, that have caused this extremely wealthy private organisation to take this action.

It’s only outcome will probably be to arouse much wider interest in the film, and further  aggravate anyone who cares about free speech, like bloggers, who will chatter on about it just like this.

All power to the blog!

2 Responses to “Pilger’s “The War You Don’t See” censored in the US”

  1. paul walter June 14, 2011 at 10:51 pm #

    What I find dubious about it is the lack of explanation or apology from an organisation that touts free speech, involving thisof alindividuals on thisof all topics.
    Ive seen excerpts from the latest Pilger on two or SBS a month or so ago, if that was drawing on this latest doco.
    its another effort that is uncompromising. What I saw started with UsAirborne troops on a turkey shoot in Iraq, pickingoff civilians in the street. What came later I saw later was a series of government officials and media bosses writhing in discomfort , in accounting for their failure to report “without fear or favour”, the war in Iraq from the outset, particulalry after Bush overtised and authorised the events of the early two thousands.
    The final interviewee was a particularly sinister US state dept officials who sent chills up my spine, at his sheer capacity to lie straight-faced.
    I found out about it from an FB friend an Asian South African.
    Since when did we have to start importing the truth from SA?
    I thought to raise the issue but apart fromn Troppo, which had a thread up on media any way, no response- the silence (and lack of pride) of current media/press is alarming (to me). But you, myself and a handful of others seem to recognise a problem. Or are we just deluded and the cheerful oiks “out there” right after all, as they sit beaming at us in our anxiety and naivity, like so many Sir Humphreys.


    • Jennifer Wilson June 15, 2011 at 8:01 am #

      There’s been hundreds of hits on this piece, Paul, so it’s my guess there are people really hungry for this kind of information that is nowhere to be found in the msm. We also got hundreds of hits on the video of Malaysian caning. I’ll just keep on putting up whatever gets sent to me – I can’t find out everything thats going on so I really appreciate it when you give me a story.

      Sorry, Gerard, if you’re reading this, I haven’t discarded your piece – I’ll get it up soon!


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