Stephen Fry knows a thing or 2 about propaganda
I am a bit sickened by Stephen Fry’s sanctimonious lecturing to Russia about gay rights. It’s not that gay rights activists shouldn’t be heard - of course they should. It’s the duplicity of Fry’s statements.
The gay rights activists in fact have been heard, as gay rights and gay marriage advocates have without doubt been the most successful civil rights campaigners over the past 50 years. Groups like ‘Act Up’ are model activists who should be studied by other groups: environmentalists, human rights, civil rights, and others as an example of how to do activism right.
Looking at the success of gay rights campaigners around the world, I feel it’s not improbable to imagine that one day in Russia gay rights groups will achieve similar successes - in addition to the successes they have already achieved.
What sickens me is the duplicity of Stephen Fry. Here’s a guy who, when asked by state television network the BBC to participate in an outright propaganda piece exonerating BP from the eco-holocaust in the Gulf of Mexico - the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe - he didn’t bat an eyelash. Roll cameras!
Looking at this “documentary” today you see how the whole narrative of the film is a fabricated investigation of what "really happened in the Gulf of Mexico,” all the while setting the audience up for the pre-cooked conclusion by Stephen Fry, who introduces a spokesperson from BP that spills more toxic propaganda and lies than we saw spill out of the broken drill.
Clearly, these were the marching orders from the BBC to Stephen Fry: do a puff piece on BP's involvement in an environmental holocaust (to mitigate their financial liability, presumably).
I get it. We look back at the Hollywood propaganda films of the
1940s and we can see the manipulation of the audience’s sentiment
to mobilize public opinion. The tricks filmmakers used then are
on display in Fry’s propaganda piece for the BBC. The trusted
foil/stooge that accompanies him on his Louisiana adventure
offers a weak, "sincere" opposing view, only to be shot
down by the brass at BP, who tug on Britain's patriotic
heartstrings to overlook the deaths due to BP's negligence and
focus on the bigger, Union Jack-waving picture.
And speaking of Nazis, as Stephen Fry likes to do: comparing Russia’s policy on gays to Nazi death camps; I think it’s fair to compare Fry’s shameless screed film extolling the wonders of British Petroleum with Leni Riefenstahl’s ‘Triumph of the Will’.
In Riefenstahl's film, the Germans are portrayed as ubermensch that would lead the world to a better place - much like how Fry depicts BP as a company that will be triumphant against its detractors in America whose lives have been shattered and lead the British economy toward greater heights (and bigger dividend payouts to shareholders).
I think that if Stephen Fry wants to mouth off, he should focus on Britain’s complicity in America’s NSA/PRISM scandal, wherein British intelligence illegally forked over reams of data to America allowing the NSA to spy not only on Americans, but British folks too.
Foreign secretary William Hague denies GCHQ tried to bypass the privacy laws, (classified papers show Britain had access to PRISM since 2010). But I think we can all say Hague's interpretation of the law, like the US intelligence officials that own him, is conveniently skewed toward protecting the guilty and victimizing the innocent.
Sorry to trot out the Nazi comparison yet again, but (since Stephen insists) it’s important to remember that everything Hitler (and Hague) did - in their minds anyway - and given the manipulation of laws in dictatorial fashion both in Nazi Germany and in Cameron’s Britain - was “legal.”
So Fry does not have a moral leg to stand on, but he's a good - and very visible – advocate, so let's have Stephen Fry’s thoughts on Hague and the spying scandal. Leave the Russian gay community alone to fight their own battles. They’ll do just fine without Stephen Fry.
As a matter of fact, here's an idea, why not just have some of them come out on the podium after winning some gold medals, in the spirit of Tommie Smith and John Carlos in the 1968 Olympics sporting the ‘black power’ salute.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.