Sunday, 2 November 2014

OUGD403 Research (Studio Brief Three)

On Russell Brand's appearance on Newsnight with Jeremy Paxman's replacement, Evan Davis, Brand commented on the fact he was "open-minded" about the notion that the US Government has masterminded the 9/11 attacks. In his book "Revolution", Brand highlights the links between former president George W. Bush and Osama Bin Laden, which Davis questioned him upon, this in turn started the row.

After finding out that this was the reason behind the article, I decided I would watch the video of his appearance on Newsnight which can be found HERE. The interview actually barely revolves around the comment, and it's kind of funny how the media completely blew it out of proportion. Some of the article headlines suggest he agrees with the conspiracies, such as "Another 'Newsnight' interview, another row as Brand tries his hand at 9/11 conspiracy theorist", however in the interview he literally says "At this time when we have so little trust in our political figures, where ordinary people have so little trust in the media, we have to remain open-minded to any kind of possibility."

I decided that I would look into Russell Brand and why he was asked to appear on 'Newsnight' in the first place, which brought me to Russell Brand's Youtube account, where he makes weekly videos entitled 'The Trews', where he looks at stories that the media have reported on and tells the truth behind them. I think it's a really interesting channel, and he really does show just how corrupt the country we live in is. 'The Trews' can be found HERE. I watched a couple of the videos on the channel, and they really made me think about the state of our economy and the way the government use the media to manipulate UK residents.

I then started looking into 9/11 conspiracies that exist. I was told in the group crit that I should look at some Youtube videos, as they are generally the most simple way to understand the theory. The most interesting video I found was entitled 'Best 9/11 Documentary: If you seek truth, watch this" and it was a documentary that was 1 hour and 40 minutes long, that went into great detail about the conspiracies and why they exist. The video can be viewed HERE. Put simply, the documentary questions why the worlds most powerful airforce failed to intercept the hijacked planes, and also why the Twin Towers seemed to collapse in a very controlled way, as they didn't damage the surrounding buildings. The video also questioned why the third building fell, as it wasn't hit by any planes. There also wasn't a lot of coverage of this building's collapse in the news, for example I didn't even know a third building had collapsed until I started researching the attacks! This could definitely be seen as a corrupt media, as there isn't a lot of coverage and there doesn't seem to be a legitimate reason behind the collapse of the third building, for example when I went online no news reporter had commented on the situation, other than talking about conspiracy theories behind it.

I decided I would look into some facts about 9/11 so that I could understand the scale of the disaster. I found out the following facts:

• On September 11th 2001, nearly 3,000 people were killed in the terrorist attacks at The World Trade Centre in New York City.
• On a week day, up to 50,000 employees worked in The Twin Towers, and an additional 40,000 passed through the complex.
• It took 9 months in total to clean up the wreckage from the site.
• It was the single largest loss of life on American soil from a foreign attack.
• Only 18 people were rescued alive from the rubble.
•  It took firefighters 100 days to extinguish all the fires ignited by the attacks in New York.
• Five of the 9/11 hijackers stayed in a motel right outside the gates of the American Spy Organisation, The National Security Agency, in the days immediately before the attacks.

Some people believe in the conspiracy theories, as after the 9/11 attacks, the government was then backed by American's to go to war with Afghanistan, which is wasn't previously. This website HERE basically sums up what I found about what happened after 9/11, and it also comments on whether it was justified. It doesn't really answer whether the war in Afghanistan was justified or not, but rather gives an argument for both sides of the story. It also discusses ways in which the report of the 9/11 attacks were flawed, such as apparently a hijackers passport was found, however this is impossible as everything in the buildings were completely pulverised to dust, minus the steel frames.

I looked into which newspapers have reported on the Russell Brand "open-minded" comment, and I found that The Guardian, The Independent, The I, The Daily Express, The Times, The Daily Mail and The Huffington Post online had, each showing just how corrupt the media is. I found The Huffington Post's article the most interesting, as it didn't have an opinion and just stated what happened, however it was the most interesting as it showed multiple comments from people tweeting about the interview. The article can be found HERE.

There were quite a few comments on each newspaper website, mostly mocking Russell Brand. Some of them were actually pretty humourous. I noted these three comments, as all have a different opinion. Of course, the ones agreeing with Brand were replied to by non-believers of the conspiracies, even though there is quite a lot of unanswered questions. It actually shows how easily manipulated people are by the media and the 'news'.

A comment agreeing with Brand was "What else would you expect from this newspaper but for them to berate the man but he did say a lot of truths, especially regarding people's mistrust of politicians and the fact that the British media does not report about the things that effect the British people." - Kevin, a comment found on The Daily Express' website.

"Open-minded he most certainly is, nothing between the ears." - Mike, a comment found on The Guardian's website.

"Brand at least has the courage to open up to the truths that our governments are mostly corrupted institutions and use the media for their dumbing down and misleading agenda." - Steve, a comment found on The Daily Mail's website.

In my personal opinion, I don't believe that the government planned 9/11, however I believe that they are definitely capable of pulling off something to this scale. I think that Russell Brand is incredibly smart to question the relationship between George W. Bush and Osama Bin Laden, and I think people should remain open-minded. There are some rumours online that he is going to try to become the next mayor of London, which personally I think would be really interesting as he has 'anti-politics' views.

To present my research, I think it'd be really interesting to create a video of a news report, however because we only have a week to do the research and create a presentation of it, I think this would be unrealistic to try to do, as there isn't a lot of time to edit the video footage, and also shoot the video to a high quality. So I have decided against this idea, however if I had more time I think this would be a really good way to present it.

So instead of doing this, I am going to look at infographics and infosheets. I think an infosheet would be a really good way to present my research, as it's still quite formal, so will fit the theme of politics, however will still have images and still be interesting to look at. An infographic would be interesting to create, however I don't think it'll be very relevant, as I think I will want to present my research with more text than image.

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