World Leaders Face the Foe, er, Faux

hypocrites on paradeThe iconic TV image to emerge after the Islamic massacres in Paris was the 40-plus world leaders marching   at the head of millions of Paris demonstrators. The footage said it all: Angela Merkel, David Cameron, Benjamin Netanyahu, Mahmoud Abbas, etc etc throwing personal safety to the winds as they led the masses through the dangerous avenues of Paris. Thus they showed Islamists that our national leaders can’t be cowed.

Let’s take a look at our ABC’s taxpayer-financed coverage. Exemplary, I’d assume, especially as the ABC boasts a dedicated fact-checking unit run by ex-Age journo Russell Skelton and financed by a $10m handout in 2013 from then-Prime Minister Julia Gillard. I can’t retrieve ABC TV 7pm News coverage for the day (perhaps I’m just incompetent), but a clip from Leigh Sales’ 7.30 on January 12 is illustrative.

Spliced into footage of the mass march, we see the tranche of world leaders marching shoulder to shoulder (from 3.20 to 3.40) with a voice-over hailing their solidarity with victims and determination to ‘show support’.
It would take a particularly alert viewer to notice that no ordinary marchers are in these grabs, that the street is actually empty of other life, and that there is not a soul to be seen hanging out the windows of the five-storey apartments on both sides. In fact, if you look hard, you will notice that the camera angles are specifically framed to conceal the fact that no other marchers are around.

ABC transcriptions show that the national broadcaster on January 12-13 was happy to go along with the fake symbolism. Here’s ABC’s PM  fibbing:

President Francois Hollande and leaders from Germany, Italy, Israel, Turkey, Britain and the Palestinian territories among others moved off from the central Place de la République ahead of a sea of French and other flags.

Then there is ABC News recycling the same fib, this time via wire service Associated Press:

“More than 40 world leaders headed the somber procession”.

And ABC AM fibbing: “Dozens of world leaders also answered the call, linking arms as they walked along the rally route.”

Yet more ABC News fibs:

President Francois Hollande and leaders from Germany, Italy, Israel, Turkey, Britain and the Palestinian territories among others moved off from the central Place de la République ahead of a sea of French and other flags.

And ABC AM fibs yet again:

BARBARA MILLER: Before the mass rally got going dozens of leaders, including from the UK, Germany, Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Turkey, walked the route.

This report, interestingly, seems to separate the national leaders from the mass rally, but leaves us believing that the leaders marched the 3km route from  Place de la Republique to Place de la Nation.

ABC TV’s Mary Gearin also deviated slightly from the script, saying

“This was a special moment; the people leading a million others through the streets of Paris were not the super group of foreign dignitaries but a tight group of surviving workers from Charlie Hebdo and the families and friends.”

So Gearin, though confined in the ‘media pen’, managed to notice that the march was not ‘led’ by those heads of state. She did imply that the leader group was in the thick of it all, but not at the forefront.

Time now for the reality show. Below is a screen grab taken, taken from YouTube, of the dozens of heads of state pretending to be marching with Parisians for free speech and the Western way of life. Their pretendy-march is taking place in a side street blocked off and cleared of ordinary people. The regularly spaced   dark figures in the background represent the security contingent. The pic is a grab from this video, and comes to Quadrant Online via the estimable Pierre Gosselin of Notrickszone:

paris nobsThe video begins with the fakery and then illustrates how the faux march was spliced into various German TV news reports. In this video we can enjoy the sight of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vigorously waving to non-existing supporters (2.56); plus a “whoops” moment when a bad camera angle almost exposes the faking (9.11); plus an announcer summing up, without irony: “Politiker wie Demonstranten” == “Politicians as Demonstrators”. 9.20).

Gosselin comments:

“The reality is that these world leaders were in fact too afraid to appear ‘arm-in-arm, should-to-shoulder’ with the masses. In effect they actually demonstrated their capitulation to terrorism, admitting the terror worked and that they are now too afraid to appear with the public. Congratulations terrorists, your aim has been achieved – at least among our leaders. Obviously real courage is something only for the masses.”

He continues:

“The topping on the cake comes at the 10:00 mark, where the ZDF correspondent even asks:
When was there ever a time where government leaders, or leaders of 50 nations, have come onto the streets as demonstrators, over a kilometer-long stretch that was not even completely safe? That was something particularly special.”

We can also assume from the very restricted clips of the leaders’ march that it was official footage, shot and released to the ABC and other media, not done by the media themselves. The media/ABC went along  by judiciously in-splicing the official footage with footage of the mass demonstration.

I had a go at counting the actual steps marched by the leader group. It looks like somewhere between a dozen and twenty (based on a close viewing of two clips), assuming the leaders didn’t continue stepping out once the cameras had their shots.

Tony Thomas blogs at tthomas061.wordpress.com

3 thoughts on “World Leaders Face the Foe, er, Faux

  • en passant says:

    All religions ARE a threat to freedom of speech, but most never reach the point where they have the power to impose their closed minds on others. Two years ago I had an interesting and worthwhile series of exchanges with the head of a scientific institution in Sydney. The debate came unstuck when I commented that climate change/CAGW advocates were like religious cultists. The lengthy reply harangued me for insulting god and the godly. After my reply that “all I have to do is refer you to the psychotic behaviour and beliefs of the many dying religions. When they meet their demise, does that mean their god dies too?” Of course, before my reply, I had done my research and discovered he was a senior cultist …
    He consigned me to hell and I have not heard from him again, though it was lost on him that he had proved my point.

    Unfortunately, many professed atheists are as equally intolerant of the religious as the religious are of each other. True believers in Communism are a classic example

    The Qur’an is as archaic as the Old Testament, but of course. unless He sends a new prophet to update the text, then god’s word stands immutable so what we have is what we will get forever. Islam cannot rewrite the Qur’an and other writings to eliminate the murderous practices that we see happening around the world. god does not amend his perfect words, not even to add DNA, the internet, stem cells, nuclear power, space travel, etc, so as I can’t see that happening you are dead when they get to you.

    One of the curiosities I find about ‘interfaith’ ceremonies is what the various gods are doing while they are going on. Is the one true god shuffling is feet in annoyance at the unbelievers attending? Or are multiple gods shaking hands and having an interfaith chat or … more likely, are they simply wasting their energy punching the crap out of each other like immortal superheroes? Most likely, nothing is happening as the heavens are empty and it is all in the human mind.

    One last brief comment as a result of a quick google search. Interfaith services are only ever held in christian churches, including St Paul’s in Rome. This is because it is a blasphemy to hold such a service in a mosque. However, when a muslim enters one of these alternative religious sites he must chant a passage that claims the site for islam. This has been done in both St Paul’s and the most senior cathedral in the USA.

    Thank you, Pope Frank, thank you Cardinal whatsit and have no faith in the politicians guarding our future!

    • acarroll says:

      @en passant

      Guarding our future indeed. There’s little evidence of our “leaders” doing that over quite a long span of time now.

      We’re useful (safe) as long as we’re consuming and giving over our hard-earned. Just like a dairy farmer keeps his cows safe from predators.

  • markrow says:

    In the late 18th century the Empress Catherine and accompanying politicians visiting from other countries were said to be fooled by Potemkin villages, temporary shell settlements set up along the banks of the Dnieper to give the impression of Russian prosperity and power.

    The tradition continued in the Communist period when long lists of chosen foreign visitors were shown specially selected places and people to similarly deceive them.

    More recently a colleague informs me that when he was at Berkeley in the latter half of the 1960s “…the first few Russian students and one postdoc were let in. They believed Berkeley was a phoney town staged to imply general prosperity all over the USA. Among their ‘evidence’ was the USA Govt requirement that if they wished to travel out of town they had to get permission. They supposed permission would be refused for non-‘Potemkin’ places.”

    By 2015, Potemkin and his stage props managers have been replaced by a compliant mass media, a gullible Catherine and her equally gullible visiting politicians have been replaced by a knowing cynical French leader and equally knowing cynical visiting foreign leaders. And it is we, the gullible mass public who are to be the object of this new deception.

    Trouble is, in every age there is a little boy, these days with a camera, who notices what the Emperors are wearing.

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