Party-planned journalism

If you were there, what’s true?

If you were somewhere else, why?

A junket of journalists are invited to the press facilities at the meeting of the G-8. Together in a bus while on the way, I’m guessing they begged to see the protesters before hobnobbing near the more elite.

Judging from the height and angle of the camera lens, they stayed on the bus.

Judging by the lack of depth and vigor in the reporting – mere minutes of composites rapidly sold to downstream syndication – neither the people in uniform nor the people in protest are heard.

I finally discovered a report filed by a journalist not being fed; at the Guardian by Patrick Barkham. He took the effort to watch 24 hours of the biggest demonstrations outside the G8.

Obviously my experience of the protests is not comprehensive – mini demonstrations are breaking out all over the place within a 20-mile radius of the G8…

The protesters are like a cross between a medieval army, a modern music festival crowd and performance theatre. They straggle across fields and then break into song, dance or aerobics when confronted by lines of riot police. Almost all of them have been admirably peaceful so far.

Contrary to press reports, I’ve not witnessed any rocks or bricks or dangerous missiles thrown by protesters. (Grand total of missiles thrown that I have seen: one plastic bottle.) I’m not denying it’s happened but it has been rare, so far.

In case you think I’m getting all cuddly with the protesters, from what I’ve seen, the police operation has also been fairly intelligent and certainly effective.

From what I’ve seen, however, there has certainly been more violence used on the police side. The authorities would say that is their job – to stop the G8 being disrupted. So they tend to be the ones trying to force the issue, charging at protesters and beating them with batons to move them back from the roads around the resort.

They also use the water canons fairly liberally and if you think water is some kind of fluffy anti-riot option, it is not, especially when laced with pepper spray.

Media lives in the neighborhood of State; visits, drinks and marries. Ben Franklin knew better. Jefferson said we should move our Capital each generation. Worried about comforting the great, our Founders are begging for another contrition: To repel error, our civilization is in our hands.

It will happen again because it is happening now. Knocking our front door is a uniform.

Children will tell you, elders will warn you, generations have said, unless you come home with joy, you are shopping for danger.

Our steps are simple.

We walk toward.