Defend Truth


Media rules society. It is a business, not some crusader for equality and justice


Sandile Memela is a journalist, writer, cultural critic and public servant. He writes in his personal capacity.

Writers and journalists are employed and handled by supremacist capitalists to attack and denigrate Zuma’s government, to perpetuate racism and protect supremacist interests. The economic status quo must be preserved, at all costs.

We writers and journalists rule the society. We are powerful beyond measure. Everything that the ordinary white folk and educated blacks know comes from us. We shape and influence the perception and control their thinking.

Over the last 23 years we have refined the art of black bashing. It has become an art.

Of course we are not objective, accurate or fair in what we write, how we portray black people, especially the Zuma government, ministers and the State-owned Entities.

They make it easier for us with their tendency to score own goals. They commit sins and mistakes like all leaders everywhere in the world, including Britain, America and Europe.

But you see, the thing with Zuma and his ministers is that they are black. There is an image about blacks that has been been created. We the media must preserve it.

Blacks are incapable, corrupt and destructive. They are not to be trusted. 

It is our responsibility as writers and journalists employed and handled by supremacist capitalists to attack and denigrate Zuma’s government. That is what we get paid to do. Period.

So when some smart-ass black intellectual alleges that we lack objectivity and are unfair, we pretend that we don’t know what they are talking about.

Worse, if they write and submit an article to that effect, with all the evidence, we cannot run it. We spike it, throw it into the bin.

Remember what John Swinton, former Chief of Staff of the most powerful and prestigious newspaper on earth, The New York Times, when asked to give a toast to the “free press” at the New York Press Club, said:

There is no such thing, at this date of the world’s history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it.

There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with.

Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job.

If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before 24 hours my occupation would be gone.

The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth; to lie outright; to pervert; to vilify; to fawn at the feet of Mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread.

You know it and I know it and what folly is this toasting an independent press? We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes.

We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men.

We are intellectual prostitutes.”

That is the power of being a journalist, editor or owning the media. You use your whims to make decisions. You do as you are told.

Look, they would be making a good point like the fact that “objectivity is a myth”.

Few people must know that journalism is not a science but a trade. It is not even a profession. But we must present it as such.

It is important to keep the mind – especially of white folks and the black elite – blind.

Much as they have eyes, they must remain blind to the economic inequality, land dispossession, rampant prejudice and racism and the lack of compassion in society.

When they look at South Africa they must not understand what is going on. It must be through the eyes of the media.

We know that prejudice and stereotypes about Zuma, the government and black people in general are buried deep in the stories we write and the images we beam. We must be complex and sophisticated about how we do that.

This is what we do as the media: perpetuate racism and protect supremacist interests. The economic status quo must be preserved, at all costs.

How could it be any other way.

We have some of the most talented writers to determine the national discourse in this country. They come with great titles for books.

For example, What If There Were No Whites! This is hardly a neutral or objective title.

But you have to understand that we have to promote black dependency. We must make whites seem indispensable saviours with the power to save black from themselves.

The blacks must be treated as children. They must believe that they cannot do anything for themselves without whites.

Every educated black must be haunted by one question: are blacks cursed? This must become a rhetorical question. They must intuitively know the answer.

After all, everything they read or write is subjected to our approval. We own publishing.

Look, apartheid has done a great job to make blacks become irresponsible, ill-disciplined and uncaring, especially to their own.

The good thing is that they have developed the habit of not doing things for themselves, now.

Yes, blacks are incapable of self-rule. They must always be reporting to someone, especially from outside their group.

Even during the days of the Bantustans – barren independent mini states – they could not make things happen for themselves.

That was the idea: empty them of self-responsibility to depend entirely on whites.

The magic bullet effect of the media was, intentionally, to turn black leadership and its elites into consumers.

We fed them news and features that would make them aspire to be like whites.

As you can see, now, their tastes, preferences, political beliefs, values, outlook, class and money are exactly like those of whites.

The only criterion for black success and achievement is to live like whites.

No matter what they achieve, their success and status must make them ngamlas, that is, whites in black skins.

Most important, they have internalised prejudice against blacks and do not have faith, hope and belief in Zuma and his government.

Despite their much vaunted Steve Bantu Biko and his Black Consciousness, we must empty them of self-pride. Blacks must neither trust blacks nor support each other.

Well, it has been 23 years of so-called democracy now. The position of the white minority has not changed and must not change. The status quo must be preserved.

In fact, the minority has become a majority simply because we have won blacks to our way of thinking and living. We have taken over their mind.

This Biko was right when he said: the greatest weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.

Frankly, that is why we killed him. He was no Nelson Mandela.

The only black editors and journalists must be those who are on the side of supremacist capitalists.

Yes, we must recreate and reinvent John Tango Jabavu, the founder of Imvo zaba Nsundu.

Black media professionals, if we must call them that, must work for and side with the exploiters and oppressors.

They must devote their time and energy to attacking Zuma and his government at every given opportunity.

Even when he tries to speak in Zulu, we must immediately translate to hear his thinking.

Zuma is not a president. We the media have reduced him to a commodity. He is what sells our products, that is, newspapers and books and radio talk shows.

Look at how the most recent books are trailblazers.

In fact, we want every white journalist and academic to produce a book on Zuma or any of his ministers and or government.

The motive is to mould and shape how whites and the black elite view the ANC government.

The latter must be crippled and forced into a coalition. By 2019, we want the ANC out of power.

We have The President’s Keepers and Enemy of the People. They are the very latest sensations.

Both are destined to do very well among readers as they confirm white prejudice: blacks are corrupt and destroying the country.

If you are smart you will see the incestuous relationship between journalism, media and business. The one feeds into the other.

But I will not amplify on this point. It gives too much away.

However, we will defend any journalist who is threatened for whatever reason. We will wave court interdicts and demand freedom of the media and expression.

We will reject and defy their right of reply.

We will use that obfuscation to promote, protect and preserve ourselves and the legacy of our European ancestors.

Yes, it was whites that introduced journalism into this society. Remember Thomas Pringle?

As editors, journalists and the media, we do not answer to any man, including the president.

We are a law into ourselves. For that, we must thank our white academics and intellectuals who have been mistaken for revolutionaries. They own and write ANC policy.

But one thing that must be clear: this is our country. We love the flag. We love the country. Yes, we love Mandela beyond the grave.

We designed and drew the flag. The rainbow (nation) does not feature the colour black. But yes, we must espouse nonracialism.

Of course, you may want to know where black media ownership, editors, journalists and writers feature in all this.

Do we have to discuss this?

Those who know will ask: who do black journalists report to? Where do so called-black media owners get their money?

We have to create the myth of independence and freedom for so-called black-owned media.

The so-called independent black media gets its story ideas from us. We set the agenda.

For a black journalist to be a hero, they must be seen to be fighting for their people.

To be seen to be doing this they must, at every given opportunity, attack anything associated with Zuma and his government.

This is what must occupy the minds of the black elite: Zuma must go!

The good thing is not just that Zuma sells. It is that blacks spend time discussing and dissing him. They must repeat our lies to themselves.

Thus they have no time to focus on anything else to take them forward.

We said black leaders are their worst enemies. Through their mistakes and sins, they make things easy for us, feeding media stories.

Take the book Khwezi, for instance. It is a piece of cake. The author is a great hero now.

The perspective is not to tell the story of this black woman and how her family contributed to liberation struggle.

Instead, Khwezi must be reduced to a rape victim. Her family must be forgotten as symbols of black resistance.

This rape-victim perspective perpetuates the best image of the black man: a rapacious beast.

This is not just about the black man who can’t keep his pants zipped up.

Anyone that writes such a story – black or white – will surely be rewarded with prestige, honour and status.

Also, don’t forget who the judges are when it comes to media competition and awards. We the media owners pay for that. It is an investment.

We the media simply do not believe in objectivity or truth.

In fact, as owners we always want editors, journalists and writers around who will make us feel comfortable.

All the better if they like playing tennis, golf or schmoozing at lunch. They must drink a lot – single malt whisky.

We own this country and must protect our interests.

We don’t want any militant black radicals with silly Black Consciousness or Pan Africanist ideas with whom we will have to watch our language.

We want sycophants who will laugh or play deaf when we blurt out the dreaded K-word.

Nobody should be offended by white racism.

Well, most of the pioneers of Black Consciousness have been eradicated from the newsrooms.

There is not and must not be a single publication or institution that espouses Black Consciousness.

What we have now are bloody sycophants who do as they are told. The handful of black media owners are only interested in money.

These are fine young men and women who know which side their bread is buttered. Most of the time, they are willing to sell… the soul of black folks.

They are only interested in the false status bestowed by a picture byline and appearing on TV.

Neither do they question authority. In fact, they have become part of a history and system they fought against.

Above all, they too want to live well like whites with homes in the suburbs, children in white schools, double garages and English as home language.

Biko is dead, especially his spirit. His peers have been sucked into the corrupt government.

Nobody remembers that Biko used to write for a community newsletter. He was a people’s journalist if you like.

But as for his BC comrades, they too love money more than their people. Money and what it can buy makes people forget history.

The good thing is we have identified and employed proper blacks to run the media.

We must continue to make sure they make the correct editorial decisions about how to cover Zuma, his government and black people, in general.

There must be a negative story a day. Yes, rape, pap geld, violence, corruption. If not, feed them stories on celebrities in entertainment or sport.

Even those who work for the SABC must share the white way of thinking.

Their values and orientation must be to see the black government as an enemy of the people.

Yes, the Zuma government and blacks in general must be seen as crime- prone and derelict. Every whiff of scandal must be blown up.

There will be no stories of black achievement telling the Good News about the miracle of Nelson Mandela country. The man is dead.

But maybe we are wrong or even self-delusional as white media.

Well, people will have to tell us WHY they think we may be wrong. This was intended to explain why certain things happen the way they do.

It is not a coincidence.

However, this is not a defence for the white media agenda. It is a simple explanation for our new recruits.

Well, as for the black media agenda… we wish some black upstart can tell us what is the agenda of black editors, journalists and the media owners.

I think they too wish to milk the state. It is what it is.

Media is a business, not some crusader for economic justice, equality, justice and to support calls for the return of the land.

The business of business is business and business must be protected. DM

Sandile Memela is Executive: Media & PR, SA Revenue Service (SARS). He writes in his personal capacity. He writes in his personal capacity.


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