Where are you now?

“‘We are very critical of what Bob Geldof did during the G8 Summit,’ Demba Moussa Dembele of the African Forum on Alternatives tells me. ‘He did it for his self-promotion. This is why he marginalised African singers, putting the limelight on himself and Bono, rather than on the issues. The objectives of the whole Live 8 campaign had little to do with poverty reduction in Africa. It was a scheme intended to project Geldof and Blair as humanitarian figures coming to the rescue of ‘poor and helpless’ Africans.’

“Bob Geldof is beginning to look like Mother Teresa or Joy Adamson. To the corporate press, and therefore to most of the public, he is a saint. Among those who know something about the issues, he is detested. Those other tabloid saints appeared to recognise that if they rattled the cages of the powerful, the newspapers upon which their public regard depended would turn against them. When there was a conflict between their public image and their cause, the image won. It seems to me that Geldof has played the same game.”

George Monbiot, The Guardian, September 6 2005

The Australian media was equally in thrall to the Geldof myth. Today, there is silence.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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