On February 12, we sent an email to Arnaud Ruyssen(1), inviting him to participate in a debate with Bernard Crutzen. The first had criticized the documentary directed by the second, Ceci n’est pas un complot, on the RTBF. The Decoders had then decoded among themselves, made their « debate » internally, talked at length about the documentary without saying anything about it, taking the defense of themselves(2). We had few illusions about Arnaud Ruyssen’s decision. Indeed, two days later, the latter answered us:
» Thank you for the invitation, but quite frankly, I don’t feel like a spokesperson for « the media », or for any profession. I reacted on FB because I felt that this documentary manipulated reality and sullied the work of many journalists, including my own, in a less than honest way. I also answered questions from Matin-Première because I thought it would be useful to explain to the public that we are aware that our work is not perfect and that we often reexamine it.
For the rest, I now want to focus on the core of my business, which I try to do as honestly and conscientiously as possible. I have no doubt that you will find media managers (which I am not) or experts (infectiologists, epidemiologists…) who will be able to debate constructively with Mr. Crutzen. »
When the media justified themselves to each other
He added as a postscript to his email: » My colleague Marie Van Cutsem had tried to reach B. Crutzen before the show but without any answer from him « They wanted to invite him and that the fault lay with the one who did not answer, that they were open to debate « contrary to… », while a journalist of the program in which Arnaud Ruyssen participated expressed: » We could have fast-checked the whole documentary, taken up the elements one after the other, put Bernard Crutzen face to face with an RTBF journalist for example, but it was impossible to be exhaustive in fifteen minutes of debate, which was going to be criticized, and it seemed to us that we were finally also going to produce the polarization that the film constructs, one camp against the other. Note that I called and left a message to Bernard Crutzen and I did not get an answer « To which the presenter of the program instantly added: » yes, important precision obviously « …
« We could have », « we could have »… or how the journalistic format that one arbitrarily chooses to give justifies the rules that one sets for oneself. Faced with a growing distrust of the mainstream media, they adopt a defensive posture and counter-attack. Unwilling to question themselves, they become pathetic. Fortunately, more and more citizens are realizing the primary role of the mass media in maintaining an iniquitous and deleterious system, a stumbling block to the possibility of founding a true democracy.
My response was therefore commensurate with the awareness of the media’s role as a servant of power:
« Thank you for your response. I did not ask to interview a media « spokesperson », but a journalist who has taken a public position on the documentary This is not a Conspiracy. I would have liked to hear you on some of your criticisms, facing Bernard Crutzen, who could have answered them.
I see that it is impossible.