Journalism as a system of domination: Peter Dutton edition

Peter Dutton is a human being. That’s not a moral point I’m making — I’m just talking about the task of making sense of others — particularly since, if we can’t kill them, we have to live with them. (And trying to kill someone pretty much always gets in the way of your being the best ‘you’ you can be). I’m fond of the way German philosopher Hans Georg Gadamer put the point:

One does not go about identifying the weaknesses of what another person says in order to prove that one is always right …. one seeks instead as far as possible to strengthen the other’s viewpoint so that what the other person has to say becomes illuminating. Such an attitude seems essential to me for any understanding at all to come about. This is nothing more than an observation. It has nothing to do with an ‘appeal’ and nothing at all to do with ethics. Even immoral beings try to understand one another.

In the clip above Dutton shows every sign of trying to illuminate his own position for the audience. But the journalist has already decided that explanation or illumination isn’t the point. As I wrote in “Journalism as a system of domination” the first time I ever saw Yanis Varoufakis on Tele:

It’s Greece versus the Troika. Varoufakis verses Merkel. It’s ultimatums, struggle. Someone wins. Someone loses. It’s responsibility and fiscal conservatism versus naïve utopianism etc etc. Never imagine that some new kind of meaning might be forged in an exchange of views – the only task is that of fitting the interviewee – however reluctantly, however invidiously, into one of numerous pre-ordained pigeonholes.

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Chris Lloyd
Chris Lloyd
1 year ago

And trying to kill someone pretty much always gets in the way of your being the best ‘you’ you can be.” Thanks for making me spray my coffee all over the keyboard Nick!