All posts tagged: media watch

The Guardian’s propaganda on Venezuela: all you need to know

With the Constituent Assembly elections due to take place on July 30th, the Guardian published a piece titled “Venezuela elections: all you need to know”. But instead of breaking through the fog of falsehood and misinformation that is typical of the mainstream media’s coverage of Venezuela, the Guardian comes up with another propaganda piece laden with lies, distortions and omissions. In this article we go through the Guardian’s piece, clarifying the falsehoods, adding the conveniently omitted information and questioning the whole narrative that is presented.

Mass Arrests of Protesters: Outrageous in Russia, Barely Worth Mentioning in US

by Adam Johnson, July 13, 2017, FAIR Major media’s relative lack of interest in the mass arrests by Metro DC police on Inauguration Day is a fact noted by activists and journalists since the incident almost six months ago. One way to measure the dearth of coverage is to compare the attention paid to comparable protester arrests in Russia last month. On June 12, over 1,700 Russians throughout the country were arrested for “unauthorized protests” in opposition to President Vladimir Putin and government corruption. “Dozens”—including opposition leader Alexei Navalny—were kept in jail longer than a day, but the vast majority were let go immediately. (Navalny, as well as some others, got between 15–30 days in jail.) More than 200 Americans were arrested on January 20 after “rioting” broke out in downtown Washington, DC, in the hours leading up to and after President Donald Trump’s inauguration. Some were let go over the next few weeks, but the bulk of the 200+ still face 10–80 years in federal prison for “felony rioting.” It’s important to note at least two major differences …

Hungary: Paradise for liberals

by István Lovas Do you wonder what you are going to read in the mainstream press on Hungary tomorrow? I will tell you. The same as yesterday, and the same as in the past almost seven years since Hungary’s right-of-center Fidesz government, led by the Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, was elected. You will learn that Mr. Orbán is a populist, an autocratic ruler, a menace to Europe, and a politician not hesitating to use anti-Semitic language in order to win over voters of the far-right Jobbik, and cover up uncomfortable truths about whatever is on the agenda in Hungary on that day. He, of course, has muzzled the media, made the court system a handmaiden of the ruling elite, abolished checks and balances, while he is suffocating the voice of dissenters, creates inordinate fear, chases away half of the country beyond Hungary’s borders, and the rest of the stuff. Lately, Hungary has been called the safe haven of the European ultra-right. At the time when Hungary’s authorities have arrested and expelled two such figures, such …

Our media are not fit for purpose

by Philip Roddis This morning, just after eight, BBC Radio 4’s John Humphrys interviewed an American ‘expert’ – didn’t catch the name – on the first meeting, today, of Trump and Putin. In the time between my reaching for the bread bin, and two slices of the moderately browned popping from the toaster, said expert had presented as incontestable truth – no need to back up such a claim – Russia’s ‘aggression’ as against America’s ‘caution’. People buy this crap, you know, if only subliminally. Why? Because the west, anglo saxon west in particular, long ago traded independence of foreign policy for favoured status in Washington, so framing the boundaries for mainstream discourse on global affairs. And because, thanks to English as world lingua franca, most of us grew up on a cultural diet of the US as force for good: the orientalist corollary being the inscrutable asiatic; untrustworthy and capable of unspeakable acts. (Nowadays no one says such things out loud of course. An age that’s given rise to so many new and useful …

Reuters (finally) realize there are Nazis in Ukraine

by Kit Two days ago Reuters published this report, headlined “How Trump can show he’s tough on anti-Semitism”. I’m not sure why Trump – who has never been called an anti-Semite before, never publicly criticised Israel and whose daughter and son-in-law are both Jewish – suddenly needs to show he’s “tough” on anti-Semitism, but apparently he does. How is Mr Trump going to achieve this? He’s going to denounce Ukraine…because the government is endorsing fascism. For the sake of brevity I will present a bullet point list of the Ukrainian issues that so trouble the article’s author, Josh Cohen: “…local authorities [in Kiev] recently voted to rename a major street after a former Nazi collaborator and anti-Semite named Roman Shukhevych.” “In 2015, Ukraine passed a law honoring the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and its military wing, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, (OUN-UPA)” “Numerous Holocaust memorial sites – including Babi Yar, where over 33,000 Jews were slaughtered by the Nazis – have been vandalized or desecrated by anti-Semitic graffiti and swastikas.” “…the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory …

MSM headlines ignore heightened tensions in Syria conflict

The US shot down a Syrian warplane a few days ago, the pilot is currently being “held” by Kurdish forces on the ground. The plane was targeting moderate fighters under American protection, according to the Americans, and bombing terrorists according to the Syrian government. As a result of this, Russia has ceased cooperation with the US on air-missions over Syrian air-space, and issued several statements which amount to, essentially, an ultimatum. The Syrian government has written letters to the UNSC and intends to address them soon. Australia, in what appears to be a panicked “well, this is none of our business” move, has ceased all missions over Syria with immediate effect. You’d be forgiven for not knowing any of this was happening, given the front pages of Britain’s five major papers all chose to focus a on a collection of non-events and nothing issues: Considering that media-complicity in spreading anti-Assad and anti-Russian propaganda is a big reason the US-Russia tensions have been allowed to get this bad, that they should stick their heads in the …

Two Years of “Wrong” Votes: The Media Take Aim at Democracy

Jeremy Corbyn has won two leadership contests, and gained the largest vote share for Labour in decades. Hillary Clinton had to cheat to get past Bernie Sanders, and was then humiliated by Donald Trump. The UK voted to leave the EU. After two years of getting the “wrong” results thanks to voters refusing to do as their told, some areas of the media and intelligentsia are finally asking the tough question: Is voting bad for democracy?

Idlib chemical attack: A sign no change of policy is on the horizon

The alleged chemical attack, reported yesterday, is the latest in a series of atrocities notionally carried out by the Syrian government (“The Regime”, in the partisan parlance of the press). There has not been time, as yet, to fully examine and analyse all the evidence – the claims and counter claims, the photographs and videos – but it would be a massive mistake to view it in a vacuum.

Iraqi WMDs Anyone? Washington Post Makes Unfounded Claims Of Iranian Supplies To Insurgencies

from Moon of Alabama The Washington Post falls back into its 2005 mode of blaming Iran for the capabilities of a local insurgency. This time it is not Iraq where Iran is allegedly providing to insurgents, but Bahrain. Old and debunked claims are hauled up and propaganda from the U.S. proxy Sunni dictatorship is cited as “evidence”. It is a top-right front-page story in the Sunday edition and thereby “important”. It is also fake news. The headline: U.S. increasingly sees Iran’s hand in the arming of Bahraini militants. The core: The report, a copy of which was shown to The Washington Post, partly explains the growing unease among some Western intelligence officials over tiny Bahrain, a stalwart U.S. ally in the Persian Gulf and home to the Navy’s Fifth Fleet. Six years after the start of a peaceful Shiite protest movement against the country’s Sunni-led government, U.S. and European analysts now see an increasingly grave threat emerging on the margins of the uprising: heavily armed militant cells supplied and funded, officials say, by Iran. The …

The establishment needs to make up its mind: do “false flags” happen, or not?

Just hours after the alleged terrorist attack on a St Petersburg metro station, a BBC news reporter stated (see the video above): Well, there have been demonstrations – political demonstrations – against corruption, and against President Putin and his system…perhaps this is some kind of attempt to distract from the calls for a corruption investigation, and the calls for President Putin himself to step down.” The BBC never uttered a single word about the possible political motives behind any other terrorist attack. Not for decades. Lockerbie, Nice, 7/7, Berlin, the Bataclan, Orlando, 9/11, JFK and the 2001 Anthrax Attacks. Every single attack or assassination has a “possible false flag” theory behind it. Some are extremely likely, others less so. The BBC has given the same exact level of coverage to all of them: zero. There are even proven cases of Governments planning and/or conducting such attacks: Operation Northwoods, The Gulf of Tonkin Incident, the USS Liberty and Operation Gladio. These are all uncontested historical facts. The BBC has given the same exact level of coverage …

“What about Crimea?” – Latest narrative from Canada’s foreign minister

by Roger Annis A news compilation on New Cold War.org on March 8, 2017 reported the controversy that has broken out in Canada surrounding the family history of Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland. Her maternal grandfather edited two pro-German newspapers in Poland and Austria during World War Two. He and his family settled in Canada after the war. The minister told a March 6 press conference in Ottawa that inquiries into her family history constitute a ‘Russia disinformation’ campaign directed at her and the Canadian government. The minister as well as sympathetic journalists state that the ‘disinformation’ has been aided and abetted by unnamed ‘pro-Russia’ websites. The Globe and Mail has published an article on March 16, 2017 in which Minister Freeland hits back at critics questioning her responses to the family history. The article is titled ‘Freeland condemns Russian aggression in Crimea, prompting Kremlin counterattack’. It provides a long list of alleged human rights violations in Crimea as listed by the minister in a statement, whose date happens to coincide with the three-year …

How “News” Media Lie

by Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org I happened to be reading at Huffington Post on March 6th their truthful top-of-homepage news-report: Trump Forced To Water Down Executive Order On Immigration: The new order leaves out many of the most forceful points from the original one.” …and I saw there also a March 3rd headline regarding a news-event that I happened to have researched in depth (as will be summarized below), this headline being: Syria Rebels Want Trump To Know They’re The Ones Fighting ISIS: The Free Syrian Army is hopeful for more support despite the president’s praise of Bashar Assad.” That was from HuffPo’s reporter, Akbar Shahid Ahmed, who writes: Speaking from Geneva after the latest round of internationally sponsored talks between the opposition and the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Maj. Issam Al Reis, spokesman for the Free Syrian Army, cited its push against ISIS in northern Syria, in collaboration with Turkish forces, and the rebels’ resistance against ISIS advances in the south as evidence that it’s ready for the U.S. to …

CNN using intentionally misleading headlines (again)

This is CNN’s latest article on the all ways Trump is allegedly linked to Russia, Russian spies and Vladimir Putin. Above, a screen-grab of their headline. It seems intercepted communications show that members of Trump’s campaign were “in contact” with Russian officials. This is shocking and treason and stuff, so the CNN brought in “intelligence experts” to analyse what all this could mean. It’s all very serious. Buried half-way through the story is this: Officials emphasized that communications between campaign staff and representatives of foreign governments are not unusual. “Not unusual”. So what it could mean…is nothing. So that’s that then.

Amnesty International Admits Syrian “Saydnaya” Report Fabricated Entirely in UK

Amnesty International’s 48 page report titled, “Syria: Human Slaughterhouse: Mass Hangings and Extermination at Saydnaya Prison, Syria,” boasts bold claims. However, even at a cursory glance, before even reading the full body of the report, under a section titled, “Methodology,” Amnesty International admits it has no physical evidence whatsoever to substantiate what are admittedly only the testimony of alleged inmates and former workers at the prison, as well as figures within Syria’s opposition.

What’s the End Game: hype and hysteria surrounding the “Muslim Ban”

by Kit They’re calling it the “Muslim Ban”, that’s the headline attention-grabber. It has its own twitter hashtag too. Everyone, all around the progressive “free world” is coming together to denounce this barbarism with one voice. Actors are making speeches at the SAG awards, and earnest navel-gazing columnists are writing about how this travel ban clashes with “British values”. There’s a petition to ban Trump from entering the UK with over a million signatures already (only tree from the British Antarctic Territories this time). John Harris, in the Guardian, even manages to make this all about Brexit – how triggering Article 50 will push us closer to a Trump administration that is “ruining America’s reputation”. Not even Jeremy Corbyn was immune, his biggest weakness it seems, is that he cannot ever miss an oppurtunity to be “nice”. In a Guardian opinion piece, Jack Straw – a man currently under investigation for permitting the use of torture – is allowed valuable column inches to moralize. He quotes Dick Cheney on “American values”. He compares Donald Trump …

Pannell Beaters…

by Mark Doran Various friends of mine — smart folks, every one of them! — are telling me that they expect Donald Trump to be ‘Grassy Knolled’ by elements of the US ‘deep state’ before he even graduates from ‘President-Elect’ to ‘President’ on 20 January. I myself don’t think that such an event is especially likely … as, to me, it appears far more probable that he and the people around him will be ‘disciplined’ by various powerful forces — not least those that act through state-corporate media — to the extent that his entire project simply mutates into another ‘cookie-cutter’ US administration dedicated to neo-imperial violence and corporate empowerment. The media-based ‘disciplining’ to which I refer actually has two aspects to it — and both of them can already be discerned without the slightest difficulty: first, there is the smacking; secondly, there is the silence. The ‘smacking’ is what you get when something you have done, or are merely said to have done, is used as something for which you can be hammered in …

This week the issue is not Trump. It is ourselves.

by John Pilger On the day President Trump is inaugurated, thousands of writers in the United States will express their indignation. “In order for us to heal and move forward…”, say Writers Resist, “we wish to bypass direct political discourse, in favour of an inspired focus on the future, and how we, as writers, can be a unifying force for the protection of democracy.” And: “We urge local organizers and speakers to avoid using the names of politicians or adopting ‘anti’ language as the focus for their Writers Resist event. It’s important to ensure that nonprofit organizations, which are prohibited from political campaigning, will feel confident participating in and sponsoring these events.” Thus, real protest is to be avoided, for it is not tax exempt. Compare such drivel with the declarations of the Congress of American Writers, held at Carnegie Hall, New York, in 1935, and again two years later. They were electric events, with writers discussing how they could confront ominous events in Abyssinia, China and Spain. Telegrams from Thomas Mann, C Day Lewis, …