Media Lens: ‘An Impeachable Offence’ – Professor Postol and Syria

26 April 2017 — Media Lens

It is hard to believe that just three weeks ago the entire corporate media was in uproar over Syria; specifically, about the need to ‘do something’ in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack in Khan Shaykhun, Idlib, Syria, on April 4. Guardian commentator George Monbiot summed up the corporate media zeitgeist:

‘Do those who still insist Syrian govt didn’t drop chemical weapons have any idea how much evidence they are denying?’

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Media Lens: West Coast: BBC News Massively Hypes North Korean ‘Threat’ To The United States

18 April 2017 — Media Lens

One of the longstanding functions of the ‘mainstream’ media is to channel government ideology about who are ‘the Good Guys’ – that’s ‘us’ and our allies – and who are the ‘Bad Guys’ – ‘Putin’s Russia’, ‘Saddam’s Iraq’, ‘Chavez’s Venezuela’, ‘Gaddafi’s Libya’ (until rehabilitated for a while by Blair) and North Korea.

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Media Lens: Trump’s Tomahawks – The Instant Certainty Of The ‘Mainstream’ Press

12 April 2017 — Media Lens

As ever, it didn’t take long for them to make up their minds. Roy Greenslade reports in the Guardian on the media reaction to Donald Trump’s bombardment of Syria in ‘retaliation’ (USA Today) for the alleged chemical weapons attacks on Khan Sheikhoun, Idlib, Syria:

‘There was an identifiable theme in almost every leading article and commentary: “Well done Donald, but … ” The “buts” amounted to eloquent judgments on the president’s character, conveying explicit messages of disquiet and distrust.’

In other words, almost every leading article and commentary in every UK newspaper supported Trump’s blitz. Continue reading this...

Media Lens: So What Is Objective Journalism?

21 March 2017 — Media Lens

‘Just The Facts, Ma’am’

So what is objective, impartial journalism?

The standard view was offered in 2001 by the BBC’s then political editor, Andrew Marr:

‘When I joined the BBC, my Organs of Opinion were formally removed.’ (Marr, The Independent, January 13, 2001)

And by Nick Robinson describing his role as ITN political editor during the Iraq war:

‘It was my job to report what those in power were doing or thinking… That is all someone in my sort of job can do.’ (Robinson, ‘”Remember the last time you shouted like that?” I asked the spin doctor’, The Times, July 16, 2004)

‘Just the facts, Ma’am’, as Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi wryly describes this take on journalism. Continue reading this...

Media Lens: Rehabilitating Bush – The Deadly Illusion Of Corporate Dissent

3 March 2017  — Media Lens

 The title of the editorial said it all:

‘The Guardian view on George W Bush: a welcome return’

In a tongue-in-cheek, almost jovial, piece the Guardian unsubtly rehabilitated a man responsible for crimes that are among the most egregious in all history.

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Media Lens: The ‘Superficial, Arrogant Smugness’ Of BBC News – Peter Oborne Delivers Some Home Truths On BBC Radio 4 Today

22 February 2017 — Media Lens

In a recent media alert, we noted the occasional tell-tale signs of uncomfortable truths that slip through cracks in the propaganda façade of BBC News. Very occasionally, the propaganda nature is clearly highlighted and can be enjoyed for its directness and the flustered BBC response it provokes.

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Media Lens: Undermining Democracy – Corporate Media Bias on Jeremy Corbyn, Boris Johnson and Syria

6 February 2017 — Media Lens

Are we able to prove the existence of a corporate media campaign to undermine British democracy? Media analysis is not hard science, but in this alert we provide compelling evidence that such a campaign does indeed exist.

Compare coverage of comments made on Syria by a spokesman for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in October 2016 and by UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson in January 2017. Continue reading this...

Media Lens: Deranged And Deluded: The Media’s Complicity In The Climate Crisis

30 January 2017 — Media Lens

In an important recent book, the Indian writer Amitav Ghosh refers to the present era of corporate-driven climate crisis as ‘The Great Derangement’. For almost 12,000 years, since the last Ice Age, humanity has lived through a period of relative climate stability known as the Holocene. When Homo sapiens shifted, for the most part, from a nomadic hunter-gatherer existence to an agriculture-based life, towns and cities grew, humans went into space and the global population shot up to over seven billion people.

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Media Lens: BBC Propaganda Watch: Tell-Tale Signs That Slip Through The Cracks

13 December 2016 — Media Lens

Even the most powerful systems of propaganda inadvertently allow uncomfortable truths to slip out into the public domain. Consider a recent BBC News interview following the death of Cuba’s former leader Fidel Castro. Dr Denise Baden, Associate Professor in Business Ethics at the University of Southampton, who has studied Castro’s leadership and Cuban business models, was asked by BBC News presenter Justine Mawhinney for her views on Cuba and Castro. It’s fair to say that Baden’s responses didn’t follow the standard establishment line echoed and amplified in much of the ‘mainstream’ media.

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Media Lens: Fake News About ‘Fake News’ – The Media Performance Pyramid

5 December 2016 — Media Lens 

In the wake of Brexit and Trump, ‘mainstream’ media have done the formerly unthinkable by focusing on media bias. The intensity of focus has been such that the Oxford Dictionaries have announced that ‘post-truth’ is their ‘Word of the Year 2016’.

‘Post-truth’ refers to ‘circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief’. Continue reading this...

Media Lens: Filtering The Election

18 November 2016 — Media Lens

Introduction

When the likes of Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, Bashar Assad, and now Donald Trump, are declared the latest ‘New Hitler’, we learn little except that they are enemies of the establishment. It means the ‘On’ button has been pressed on a propaganda machine designed for maximal demonisation, leaving no room for public doubt. This inevitably drives comparisons in the direction of Hitler and the Nazis.

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Media Lens: Flagship Of Fearmongering: The Guardian, MI5 And State Propaganda

8 November 2016 — Media Lens

Readers of the Guardian woke up last Tuesday (November 1, 2016) to find that the newspaper and website had been given over to promoting MI5. To be more precise: the paper was trumpeting a fearmongering ‘exclusive’ with MI5 Director-General, Andrew Parker. It was billed as ‘the first interview of its kind’ and was conducted by the paper’s deputy editor, Paul Johnson, and the diplomatic editor, Ewen MacAskill. However, it quickly became clear that this ‘interview’ consisted largely of the two senior Guardian journalists listening to the MI5 chief and diligently writing down what he said with no discernible challenge or scrutiny.

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Media Lens: Yemen Vote – The Responsibility To Protect- Profits

3 November 2016 — Media Lens

At first sight, compassion appears to loom large in ‘mainstream’ politics and media. When the American and British governments target countries like Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, ‘compassion’ is always at or near the top of the agenda.

Time and again, the cry from the political system is: ‘We Must Do Something!’ ‘We’ must save Afghan women from the ‘Medieval’ Taliban. ‘We’ must save Kuwaiti new-borns flung from their incubators by Iraqi stormtroopers. ‘We’ must save Iraqi civilians from Saddam’s shredding machines. ‘We’ must save civilians in Kosovo from Milosevic’s ‘final solution’.

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Media Lens: ‘Centrist Soft-Liberal Feminism’ – Presidentialising Hillary Clinton

17 October 2016 — Media Lens

A Guardian piece last month described: ‘How September 11 revealed the real Hillary Clinton.’

While even supporters recognise that Clinton’s campaign has been notably cold, passionless and bereft of conviction, ‘The Clinton who emerges from the WNYC [New York Public Radio] tapes is passionate, raw and unrestrained.’

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