Business Spectator, a Crikey network partner, has published a timely warning by Robert Gottliebsen that the US is edging closer to cancelling the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter or JSF, which would have dire consequences for Australia’s defences.
Gottliebsen nails it. His report demands more than attention from those concerned about defence matters, notably the epidemic of gross corporate dishonesty and media negligence that characterises high technology marketing in our times.
The defence reporting media, and our defence establishment in its craven, slavish, compromised and unquestioning support for this project has already sold Australia short.
Our defence establishment behaved in relation to the JSF as a promotional arm of lead contractor Lockheed Martin rather than a customer. It misled or captured a succession of defence ministers.
For this reporter, there is a wider issue at stake in that media reporting is fundamentally compromised by a decline in editorial standards from that of inquiring into issues and claims to becoming purveyors of communications solutions to government departments, policy makers, and corporations that manufacture and distribute their own marketable versions of reality.
It is the other side of the decline of traditionally structured media, but in my view, the new and evolving forms of on-line media don’t command the resources to take over the roles largely abandoned by the legacy media.
That could, in the immediate future, prove as damaging to our society as an air power strategy based on hype and bungling.