Indeed today when I switched on the news, I got to see the ongoing events in Pakistan. Apparently the president Musharraf suspended (highly contested by the supreme court) the Pakistani constitution and declared a state of emergency.
Off course the return of Benazir Bhutto to Pakistan for the elections a few days ago and her pending return tomorrow, might have to do something with this events. But what most struck me was seeing the army trucks driving around being folowed all over by television cameras and photographers. I mean, really a swarm, just like you would expect paparazzi around celebreties.
And then again, even if it were 5 or 10 trucks driving around with some 50 soldiers in them, you wouldn’t notice. Local television stations are suspended off course, but international newsagents will all air this same images of these trucks driving down some street, each one from a slightly different angle.
On the one hand this provides some sort of international scrutiny on ongoing events. On the other hand it just takes a few carefully staged news “events” to convey a message and stage a revolution or take-over. Just remember the images of the muslim outrage where this one guy keeps popping up in every picture, crying out loud, surrounded by what looks like a mass off people, but actually is no more than 10 or 20.
Similarly protests staged all over the world just require the attention of a television camera, not the big masses of the past.