Corporate journalism in the United States preaches "objectivity" and scorns those who take the side of the dispossessed and disenfranchised. But the mainstream media in Britain makes a few allowances. John Pilger, the Australian-born, London-based journalist and filmmaker, is one.
"I grew up in Sydney in a very political household," Pilger told me, "where we were all for the underdog." His father was a Wobbly, a member of the Industrial Workers of the World. Like Orwell, whom he admires, Pilger has a direct style. For example, he uses the term "imperialism" and does not hesitate to attach it to the adjective "American."
He was a featured speaker at the mass peace rally in London on September 28. He told the crowd, estimated at between 150,000 and 350,000, "Today a taboo has been broken. We are the moderates. Bush and Blair are the extremists. The danger for all of us is not in Baghdad but in Washington." And he applauded the protesters. "Democracy," he told them, "is not one obsessed man using the power of kings to attack another country in our name. Democracy is not siding with Ariel Sharon, a war criminal, in order to crush Palestinians. Democracy is this great event today representing the majority of the people of Great Britain.