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: 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: The Great Libya War Fraud

3 October 2016 — Media Lens

National newspapers were ‘unimpressed by Jeremy Corbyn’s victory’ in the Labour leadership election, Roy Greenslade noted in the Guardian, surprising no-one. Corbyn secured almost 62% of the 506,000 votes cast, up from the 59% share he won in 2015, ‘with virtually no press backing whatsoever’.

In reality, of course, Corbyn did not just lack press backing. He won in the face of more than one year of relentless corporate media campaigning to politically, ethically, professionally, psychologically and even sartorially discredit him. That Corbyn survived is impressive. That he won again, increased his vote-share, and took Labour Party membership from 200,000 to more than 500,000, is astonishing.

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Media Lens: Menwith Menace: Britain’s Complicity In Saudi Arabia’s Terror Campaign Against Yemen

13 September 2016 — Media Lens

The ‘mainstream’ Western media is, almost by definition, the last place to consult for honest reporting of Western crimes. Consider the appalling case of Yemen which is consumed by war and an ongoing humanitarian catastrophe.

Since March 2015, a ‘coalition’ of Sunni Arab states led by Saudi Arabia, and supported by the US, Britain and France, has been dropping bombs on neighbouring Yemen. The scale of the bombing is indicated in a recent article by Felicity Arbuthnot – in one year, 330,000 homes, 648 mosques, 630 schools and institutes, and 250 health facilities were destroyed or damaged. The stated aim of Saudi Arabia’s devastating assault on Yemen is to reinstate the Yemeni president, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, and to hold back Houthi rebels who are allied with the former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh. The Saudis assert that the Houthis, who control Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, are ‘proxies’ for Iran: always a convenient propaganda claim to elicit Western backing and ‘justify’ intervention.

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Media Lens: ‘Propagandising For War’ – Gareth Porter Responds To The BBC Today Programme On Syria

25 August 2016 — Media Lens

A report published by the London School of Economics last month found extreme levels of bias in BBC reporting. The ‘impartial’ BBC’s early evening news was almost five times more likely to depict Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in a negative light. In the time period studied (September 1 – November 1, 2015), no headlines on this key news programme presented Corbyn in a positive light.

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Media Lens: Killing Corbyn

29 June 2016 — Media Lens

The ‘Brexit’ referendum vote, split 52% to 48% in favour of leaving the European Union, has been exploited by the ‘mainstream’ media to launch yet another assault on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. ‘Impartial’ BBC News, directed by former Murdoch editor James Harding, has been one of the worst culprits.

Consider the wave of resignations of Labour shadow ministers which was heavily promoted in advance on the front page of the BBC News website: ‘ “Half” of Labour top team set to resign…the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg understands’. When the Labour resignations started to roll in, Kuenssberg could be heard virtually gloating over Corbyn’s predicament:

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Media Lens: ‘Our Only Fear Was That He Might Pull His Punches’ – BBC Caught Manipulating The News

13 January 2016 — Media Lens

‘Our Only Fear Was That He Might Pull His Punches’ – BBC Caught Manipulating The News

Nobody with a questioning mind seriously expects impartiality from BBC News. Certainly not anyone who has followed its reporting on the National Health Service, Scottish independence, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn or a myriad of other important issues.

While some may believe that the corporation’s failure to provide fair and balanced journalism is a relatively recent phenomenon, many others will recognise that it stretches back many decades: coverage of the West’s destruction of Libya in 2011; the invasions of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003; Nato’s war on the former Yugoslavia in 1999; genocidal UN sanctions against Iraq in the 1990s; the Persian Gulf War in 1990-91; the miners’ strike in 1984-85; the Falklands War in 1982; and on and on.

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Media Lens: Sick Sophistry – BBC News On The Afghan Hospital ‘Mistakenly’ Bombed By The United States

20 October 2015 — Media Lens

Sick Sophistry – BBC News On The Afghan Hospital ‘Mistakenly’ Bombed By The United States

One of the defining features of the corporate media is that Western crimes are ignored or downplayed. The US bombing of a Médecins Sans Frontières hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, on the night of October 3, is an archetypal example.

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Media Lens: Daesh, The Revolutionary Neoliberal Party and the British Falsehood Corporation

8 July 2015 — Media Lens

‘It’s A Distortion That The BBC Wants To Be Fair’

Lord Hall, the director general of the BBC, is to be questioned by MPs over his refusal to refer to Islamic State using the term ‘Daesh’ (an Arabic abbreviation that means ‘one who crushes something underfoot’ and ‘one who sows discord’) because it is pejorative and therefore biased. Controversial British prime minister David Cameron had sent a request to the BBC supported in a letter signed by 120 MPs from across the spectrum – Labour, Tory and SNP. Independent journalist Jonathan Cook comments:

‘So let us agree that Cameron can insist on the BBC calling Islamic State “Daesh” when he also insists on the broadcaster referring to the Conservatives as the “Revolutionary Neoliberal Party” [RNP].’

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Media Lens: Unfree Elections – The Corporate Media, UK General Election And Predictable Outcomes

12 May 2015 — Media Lens

The famous physicist Albert Einstein was fond of Gedankenexperimenten – thought experiments – which tested his understanding of physics problems and stimulated solutions to them. For example, when he was a teenager, Einstein asked himself, ‘What would the world look like if I rode on a beam of light?’ Pursuing this question, he eventually came up with the Special Theory of Relativity and the most famous equation in science, E=mc2.

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Media Lens: A Match Made In Heaven – President Obama And The BBC’s John Simpson

4 November 2014 — Media Lens

Sometimes a piece of propaganda is so glaring you almost have to splash cold water on your face to make sure your eyes are not deceiving you. Take a bow John Simpson, the grandly titled ‘World Affairs Editor’ of BBC News. You don’t earn a moniker like that by offending the global power elite. But is it really necessary to genuflect before US President Barack Obama as Simpson did in a recent article masquerading as informed commentary?

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Media Lens: The Establishment – Andrew Marr And Owen Jones

14 October 2014 — Media Lens

Picture the scene: No.10 Downing Street, September 16: ‘a gentlemen’s-club-style reception room, given factitious poshness by two marble pillars’. The event: a book launch party hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron himself to ‘mark the publication’ of a political novel, ‘Head of State’, by the BBC’s senior interviewer and former political editor, Andrew Marr.

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Media Lens: ‘Disgustingly Biased’ – The Corporate Media On The Gaza Massacre

24 July 2014 — Media Lens

Soon after Malaysian Airlines MH17 crashed near Donetsk, Ukraine on July 18, killing 298 people, the BBC website quickly, and rightly, set up a ‘LIVE’ feed with rolling reports and commentary on the disaster. This was clearly an important and dramatic event involving horrific loss of life with serious political implications. The public would, of course, be searching for the latest news.

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Media Lens: A Tale Of Two Titans – Jon Snow of C4 News And Jeremy Bowen of BBC News

11 July 2014 — Media Lens

On July 4, Independence Day in the United States, Channel 4 News broadcast a Jon Snow interview with Hillary Clinton, former US Secretary of State and presumed presidential candidate. For a self-proclaimed ‘pinko liberal’ like Snow, this was a glorious opportunity to ask hard-hitting questions about US foreign policy and Clinton’s own role in shoring up the American Empire.

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