Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Smart phones & Dumb Cops : why WWII revelations are history not journalism

Tiny, high resolution , sound and colour motion cameras - like those found in even the cheapest of today's smart phones, didn't exist back in WWII.

Tiny (but noisy) 8mm color motion cameras did exist then, but were rare and needed good strong summer daylight to work well. The ability to record sound and film together in one compact package simply didn't exist for another 25 years .

The closest equivalent to the Internet and YouTube back then were the newsreel firms but these handful of global firms were under firm government censorship control in peace as well as in war.

Dumb cops - like the dumb cops in the Nazi extermination camps - could get away with a whole lot of evil back then, assured that at best a few grainy black and white stills might get smuggled out.
As indeed happened, once - with virtually no impact on public opinion - assuming many of the wartime public ever saw them.

But today a dumb cop shots a child nine times and the smartphone video (full colour, full motion, full sound of the whole thing) goes viral worldwide on YouTube before the police bosses and the police unions can even get all their lies in working order.

Poop hits fan, mothers ( voters) are outraged : men (aka "the dumb")  run for cover.

Nothing will actually change in any one specific case of dumb cops caught on camera, mind you.

Except that public cynicism about our leaders will only continue to grow beyond all measure, compared to how our grandparents trusted their leaders during WWII.

If YouTube and smartphones had been around during 'the low dishonest war' that was WWII, a lot of the really mean bad thoughtless things done on all sides might have been reined in a little by force of public opinion.

But they didn't - so few wartime revelations were first published as journalism in the same days and weeks they first happened.

Instead it will be the work of future historians - even 50 years from now - to first reveal this or that shabby tale of  wartime moral evil.....

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