All posts filed under: media watch

The Parallel Universe of BBC Panorama

The folks at Panorama LOVE Putin, or at least love to hate him. In the last two years there have been no less than five (five!) episodes devoted to the man, and indeed the myth. The most recent Putin-hit piece aired just last week – in the run up to the World Cup – its rather more mundane title simply: “Putin’s Russia with David Dimbleby”. The documentary, for want of a better word, opens on David Dimbleby wandering through a Moscow market looking at *sigh* Russian nesting dolls, and it doesn’t get less predictable from there on in.

January 2016 brought us “Putin’s Secret Riches”, January 2017 “Trump: The Kremlin Candidate”, March of this year brought us two inside a week, “Putin: The New Tsar” and “Taking On Putin!”. As the titles suggest, none of them were especially objective or open-minded. That’s not in the BBC’s remit.

Anthony Bourdain’s State Department Smorgasbord

by Lorenzo, June 10, 2018 Anthony Bourdain’s suicide in June 2018 will cement his reputation as a progressive celebrity with a unique acumen for explaining the world to his fans. CNN’s obituary says that the most common sentiment in response to his death is “I feel like I’ve lost a friend.” You’d have to go back to the death of Steve Jobs to find a celebrity who provoked this kind of personal investment on the part of his fans. Bourdain’s reputation was built for this, because the chef could be relied on to impart a very specific view of the world, and more importantly, to not look like he was doing it. This was the most consequential part of his work—why he was hired by CNN—and it’s the part that will get discussed the least as the adulation pours in. The following was written a few months ago but it is offered today with minor changes. As of March 2018 Patrick Radden Keefe, a journalist who typically covers El Chapo and ISIS, can add to …

Ronan Tynan kicks off World Cup anti-Russia campaign by implying US war crimes work of Putin

The big push to derail and/or exploit the Russian world cup for political gain has been unofficially launched today, with a gasp-inducing piece of misdirection by Ronan L Tynan on Twitter. In case he decides to airbrush this shameful performance out of existence we have helpfully screen capped it for his records. He began by posting an Amnesty video of a family in Raqqa who were allegedly killed by “coalition” (US) bombing after the vid was taken. The US destruction of Raqqa is of course a modern war crime, so heinous even Amnesty feels forced to acknowledge it, describing it as “a US-led war of annihilation“. And let’s also be clear, the video specifically and repeatedly states the family was in Raqqa. It says it at the beginning: In the middle: And at the end, where it additionally specifies the family were killed by the criminal coalition bombing: So, Ronan must have known their deaths had nothing to do with Russia or Putin. But look at how he presented this video to the world on …

Holding Hope Hospital Accountable: How the Western Public Was Led to Aid Islamist Terrorists in Syria

by Steven Sahiounie On April 29 of this year, the Guardian published a ‘feel good’ story about a Syrian refugee chef in London, who is cooking to support Hope Hospital in Aleppo. The claims in the article bear scrutiny.  For example, there’s the claim that “….Hope Hospital […] has saved tens of thousands of lives in Aleppo.” Another claim is that “It is the only pediatric hospital in the Aleppo region, serving more than 250,000 people.” From these details, the readers will come away with the impression that Hope Hospital is a worthwhile charity, which is located in Aleppo, Syria and which is the only children’s hospital in the area. However, those claims are not supported by facts. Hope Hospital is not located in the city of Aleppo. The mainstream media covered the battles of East Aleppo for months in 2016, culminating in the December 2016 evacuation of all armed fighters and their families from East Aleppo, and the evacuation of most besieged civilians to West Aleppo, as a result of the Syrian Arab Army’s …

The Boston Globe’s Hit Piece on the Assassination of Senator Robert F. Kennedy

by Edward Curtin The counterattack on those, including Senator Robert Kennedy’s children, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, claiming that Senator Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated as a result of a conspiracy involving at least a second gunman, has commenced. The Boston Globe, the traditional hometown newspaper of the Kennedy family, published a clearly misleading piece on May 31, 2018 by Nik DeCosta-Klipa, with the curiously long and loaded title “Bobby Kennedy’s son thinks he was killed by a second shooter. Is there anything to it? Or has RFK, Jr. “launched a whole new generation of conspiracy nuts 50 years later.” Whether DeCosta-Klipa was acting on orders from above to produce such a specious piece or is ignorant of the fundamental research in a case that shouts out conspiracy is a question I cannot answer, although based on his go-to “expert” in his article – Daniel Moldea, whose contradictory disinformation on the case is well known to serious researchers – I would guess the former to be correct. Let me begin with the …

WATCH: “Russia with Simon Reeve” – BBC Propaganda vs Reality

Independent filmmaker Graham Phillips takes a close look at the BBC program “Russia with Simon Reeve”, revealing the degree of bias – and worse – beneath its benignly smiling exterior. Notes and references can be seen on the original Youtube channel. You can support Graham’s work through his Paypal https://www.paypal.me/grahamwphillips.

Don’t Panic! Lighten Up! Smiley Skripal case forces scientists to revise everything they thought they knew about Novichok

Rob Slane Warning: This article is likely to contain traces of satire. In the aftermath of the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury on 4th March, scientists are currently re-evaluating their understanding of A-234 – or Novichok as it is more commonly known. Prior to the poisoning, it had been thought that the substance was around 5-8 times more toxic than VX nerve agent, and therefore that just a tiny drop would be likely to kill a person within minutes or possibly even seconds of them coming into contact with it. In the unlikely event of a person surviving, it was believed that their central nervous system would be completely destroyed, and that they would suffer numerous chronic health issues, including cirrhosis, toxic hepatitis, and epilepsy before dying a premature and miserable death, probably within a year or so. However, according to an anonymous source at the Porton Down laboratory, which is located just a few miles down the road from Salisbury, scientists now believe they may have completely misunderstood the properties and …

Fake news instead of real criticism

by Denis Churilov, Australia There are so many real things Trump should be criticised for, yet the mainstream media keeps making up stuff, producing fake stories and misreporting news about him. What for? Isn’t there already enough real material for the media to destroy him without repeatedly making fools out of themselves? The most recent case was last week, when major American news outlets (including ABC News, CBS News, CNN, NBC News, as well as the Washington Post) reported that Trump called illegal immigrants “animals”, when in reality he was specifically referring to the members of MS-13, a criminal gang whose associates have been accused of beheading their victims. Don’t they understand that, by fixating on minor things, taking remarks out of context, misreporting and blatantly making up stories, they only de-legitimise the anti-Trump movement? Why do they have to lie? ***   Attempting to answer my own question, I would say that it has to do with the artificially “limited spectrum of acceptable opinion” described by Noam Chomsky in his 1998 book titled “A …

Wikipedia disappears article on “Philip Cross” & life-bans author

Wkipedia contributor “Mojito Paraiso” recently tried the experiment of creating an entry for “Philip Cross” the apparently pseudonymous editor/contributor who has been a persistent defamer/disinfo source, making rapid-fire and negative editing of the Wikipedia entries for many alt-media and “pro-Russia” journalists and commentators. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the article was disappeared very rapidly. And in what looks a lot like overkill, Mojito_Paraiso was then banned from editing in perpetuity. Apparently defaming John Pilger, George Galloway, Media Lens etc is acceptable Wikiconduct, but drawing attention to the persona responsible is a banning offence Here is the text of the now-vanished entry on Philip Cross. Judge for yourselves if the response was deserved, Philip Cross is a self-described jazz and drama enthusiast. He is also a controversial Wikipedia user and editor who dedicates considerable effort to editing Wikipedia entries for well-known British anti-establishment journalists, bloggers, authors and academics such as: George Galloway Neil Clark Craig Murray Media Lens Gilad Atzmon Tim Hayward Piers Robinson Cross’ edits in relation to the above parties are generally disparaging, however, the quantity and …

Guardian archive 2003: Macmillan backed Syria assassination plot

Back in 2003 the Guardian still remembered – sometimes – that facts are sacred and even occasionally spoke truth to power. Here it tells the story of the UK’s various conspiracies (there really is no other word) to overthrow the Syrian government in 1957, by means of false flags, “encouraging internal dissent” and assassination of key figures. Can Jonathan Freedland, Nick Cohen et al still claim the West has the moral high ground when fifteen years ago their own paper was proving it didn’t and never had? SOURCE:https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2003/sep/27/uk.syria1 Documents show White House and No 10 conspired over oil-fuelled invasion plan Nearly 50 years before the war in Iraq, Britain and America sought a secretive “regime change” in another Arab country they accused of spreading terror and threatening the west’s oil supplies, by planning the invasion of Syria and the assassination of leading figures. Newly discovered documents show how in 1957 Harold Macmillan and President Dwight Eisenhower approved a CIA-MI6 plan to stage fake border incidents as an excuse for an invasion by Syria’s pro-western neighbours, …

Watch: Norman Finkelstein on Israel as a dangerous and suicidal state

Interviewed by the BBC in 2012, Jewish intellectual Norman Finkelstein exposes the media lie about Israel as a victim of aggression by its neighbors, despite the best efforts of the – clearly out of her depth – anchor woman to keep him on message yesterday the BBC wrote: "Iran has repeatedly called for an end to the existence of the Jewish state." Norman Finkelstein explains how this is pure ideology and the exact opposite is actually true: Israel has repeatedly threatened to attack Iran pic.twitter.com/epJMsVXgmB — ☀️👀 (@zei_nabq) May 11, 2018

Gina Haspel and the Normalising of Torture

Gina Haspel is almost certainly going to be the next director of the CIA. This shouldn’t happen, but it will.

For those unfamiliar: Haspel was deputy head of the Agency under now-secretary of state Mike Pompeo. But that wasn’t her first job. She also oversaw the CIA torture programme in a secret black-site in Thailand. In 2005 she was promoted (probably because she’s really good at torturing people), and was then in charge of the CIA’s global network of torture sites.

This makes her a terrible person, but probably quite a good CIA agent.

Systematic News Suppression in Today’s U.S.

Ray McGovern was a CIA analyst from 1963 to 1990, and in the 1980s chaired the National Intelligence Estimates and prepared the President’s Daily Brief. But now retired, he’s a critic of the very same government he had spent his career representing, and especially of its virtually fully controlled press

Reality Check – the Tories DID NOT win the local elections.

We were never supposed to be here. This was never supposed to happen. Corbyn keeps ruining plans and breaking rules and gaining votes and making sense. He says reasonable things, queitly, and people listen. This is not how politics is supposed to go.

The bottom line is that the establishment is getting more and more frustrated with Corbyn because he simply won’t do what he’s told. He won’t bang the war drums on command, betray the unions, sell off the NHS or resign in disgrace. He won’t even lose when he’s supposed to.

How Social Media Platforms Suppress Key Truths

by Eric Zuesse On April 23rd, the great independent investigative journalist, Craig Murray — a former British diplomat — headlined at his blog, “Condemned By Their Own Words”, and he posted there the translated-to-English transcript (excerpted below) to this Israeli radio Hebrew broadcast on April 21st, in which an Israeli Brigadier-General, named Fogel, explained why Israel’s troops are doing the right thing to shoot and even to kill Gazans who come (an unspecified) too close to the wall which separates Israel from Gaza: FOGEL: Any person who gets close to the fence, anyone who could be a future threat to the border of the State of Israel and its residents, should bear a price for that violation. If this child or anyone else gets close to the fence in order [the soldier thinks possibly] to hide an explosive device or [to] check if there are any dead zones there or to cut the fence so someone could infiltrate the territory of the State of Israel to kill us… NESIEL [the interviewer]: Then, then his punishment …

WATCH: The Weaponisation of Social Media

Now openly admitted, governments and militaries around the world employ armies of keyboard warriors to spread propaganda and disrupt their online opposition. Their goal? To shape public discourse around global events in a way favourable to their standing military and geopolitical objectives. Their method? The Weaponization of Social Media. This is The Corbett Report. Transcript of this video, along with download links, sources and an audio-only version are available here.

Syria and Chemical Weapons: Debating the Regime-Change War in Syria

by Roger Annis, A Socialist In Canada, April 24, 2018  Like the rest of Canada’s corporate media, the state-run CBC is virulently anti-Russia and a constant voice favouring the regime-change war in Syria. So it was something of a surprise to hear its national radio news report on April 22 provide evidence that counters the claims of a chemical weapons attack against the town of Douma, Syria in the region east of Damascus on April 7. Photo provided to Western media by the Western-funded ‘White Helmets’ agency purporting to show victims of a chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria on April 7, 2018 The CBC reported some of the information first reported by Robert Fisk of the UK Independent on April 17. He spoke to medical personnel who treated what were later claimed by Western media to be victims of a chemical attack. They explained to Fisk that the victims treated that day were suffering from respiratory ailments caused by the dust, debris and concussion symptoms of explosions. The medical personnel were interviewed separately and …

Western Press Descend into Insanity as Syria Narrative Collapses

Syria has disappeared from the front pages of the Western press recently, and for good reason. It’s not going well over there, as far as the “allies” are concerned. Yesterday the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) confirmed what many of us had already deduced – there were no chemical weapons present at the sites targeted by the US/UK/French missiles. That’s not been reported in the Western press, at all. Exemplified by the eternally on-message Guardian, who haven’t had a headline regarding Syria in over a week. The Royal Baby and ABBA’s new song and a stuffed anteater, all apparently too important to be bumped from the front page. Also yesterday, the Russian and Syrian authorities transported 17 witnesses of the alleged Douma “chemical attack” to the Netherlands. The witnesses, including the little boy who featured strongly in the White Helmets propaganda video, spoke at a press conference before taking questions (video is embedded above). All denied a chemical attack had taken place. This, along with Robert Fisk et al’s reporting on the …

Douma: Part 1 — Deception in Plain Sight

by Media Lens, April 25, 2018 UK corporate media are under a curious kind of military occupation. Almost all print and broadcast media now employ a number of reporters and commentators who are relentless and determined warmongers. Despite the long, unarguable history of US-UK lying on war, and the catastrophic results, these journalists instantly confirm the veracity of atrocity claims made against Official Enemies, while having little or nothing to say about the proven crimes of the US, UK, Israel and their allies. They shriek with a level of moral outrage from which their own government is forever spared. They laud even the most obviously biased, tinpot sources blaming the ‘Enemy’, while dismissing out of hand the best scientific researchers, investigative journalists and academic sceptics who disagree. Anyone who challenges this strange bias is branded a ‘denier’, ‘pro-Saddam’, ‘pro-Gaddafi, ‘pro-Assad’. Above all, one robotically repeated word is generated again and again: ‘Apologist… Apologist… Apologist’. Claims of a chemical weapons attack on Douma, Syria on April 7, offered yet another textbook example of this reflexive warmongering. …

Western Media Shorthand on Venezuela Conveys and Conceals So Much

by Joe Emersberger, for FAIR, April 23, 2018 A Reuters article (4/18/18) reports that the European Union “could impose further sanctions on Venezuela if it believes democracy is being undermined there.” The line nicely illustrates the kind of journalistic shorthand Western media have developed, over years of repetition, for conveying distortions and whitewashing gross imperial hypocrisy about Venezuela.  A passing remark can convey and conceal so much. Reuters (4/19/18) reports on EU officials “accusing [Venezuelan President Nicolás] Maduro’s government of breaches of human rights and undermining democracy.” The EU’s sincerity in acting on what it “believes” about Venezuelan democracy is unquestioned by the London-based Reuters.  Meanwhile Spain, an EU member, is pursuing the democratically elected president of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, for the crime of organizing an illegal independence referendum last year. Weeks ago, he was arrested in Germany at Spain’s request, and other elected representatives have been arrested in Catalonia, where Spain’s federal government deposed the elected regional government after the referendum. In July 2017, a few months before the referendum in Catalonia, Venezuela’s opposition …