Internalise and Neutralise

I love watching the American media machine in action.  The PR blitz that surrounds the Pope's visit is a case in point, one which reminds of the similar avalanche of tosh which came after the death of John Paul II.  There we had a Pope who had spent much of his life lambasting the West for its excesses, just as he attacked the Soviet sphere for its abuses of human rights; yet on his death, the media conveniently forgot the former.  He became `one of us.'  The current Pope is a Catholic conservative (even his aesthetic preference for medieval-style shows a heart harking back to the good old days) and anyone remotely acquainted with his writings will know of his trenchant critiques of Western materialism.  Yet, as filtered the news media, he is transformed into another rubber-stamp on the godless and materialist Western way, as the President made very clear during the birthday celebrations.   The power of the media to internalise criticism and critics, and thus to neutralise them, is truly awesome and makes one sceptical of Christian attempts to use it for influence.  To quote Percy Bysshe Shelley: "`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings, look on my works, ye mighty, and despair.'