Watching MSNBC last evening the normal programming was interrupted with the unhappy news of the passing of Steve Jobs (1955-2011), the well known co-founder of Apple Computers and other hugely successful technologies like the iPhone and the iMac.  A sad event to be sure.  The coverage of his death, however, seemed to me to be similarly distressing.

For a person of such creativity and accomplishment one rightly expects an abundance of praise during the eulogizing process, but as the coverage developed something caught my attention that was clearly tasteless given what was simultaneously going on probably just down the road from the MSNBC studios in New York, namely the Occupy Wall Street protests.

While praising Jobs, a former colleague could not help but describe the Apple front man as not only a visionary, but also a revolutionary.  When asked to expand on his description, he claimed that Jobs was unlike similar so-called revolutionaries from the sixties who, presumably, marched around vaguely protesting ‘the system’ with no discernible purpose or objective in mind, or as the mourner explained, like those people marching on Wall Street.  Of course not.  Jobs, by contrast, actually accomplished something meaningful with his time and talents.  He was an exceptionally successful entrepreneur which, in our society, makes him citizen number one.

I think if you wanted an example of how cynical the mainstream media and their corporate patrons have become, a clearer example there could not be.

The commercial media is so desperate to ignore what’s going on not only in New York but across the United States (indeed around the world), that when they are obliged to say something about the growing protests they will use any angle possible to discredit the justifiable activism of its citizens, including taking advantage of a persons death.

This of course is in keeping with Naomi Klein’s thesis of the shock doctrine, which explains how a crisis is viewed not as a tragic event, but as an opportunity to exploit any situation if it can further the interests of the privileged minority.

Here is Naomi Klein discussing the media’s predictably derisive response to the Occupy Wall Street protests, among other things.