‘Can I Keep You Safe? Your Future Is Uncertain’: Climate And The Fate Of Humanity

1 March 2020 — Media Lens

In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, the most immediate objective is to slow its spread, minimise the death toll and help people through the crisis.  But, despite government promises to support citizens who are now losing their jobs and income, the underlying establishment concern will be as it always has been: to preserve the global inequitable system of wealth and power.

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‘For Unknown Reasons They Waited. And Watched’ – Lancet Editor Exposes Devastating Government Failure On Coronavirus

20 March 2020 — Media Lens

Over the last 20 years, we have documented some shocking examples of journalistic irresponsibility, but the tweet from ITV’s political editor Robert Peston on March 14 was something special. With China, South Korea, Italy, Spain and other countries in shutdown, lockdown and general medical meltdown, with the UK reeling from rising cases and deaths – with the elderly, in particular, facing a terrifying threat that had already claimed thousands of lives around the world – Peston tweeted:

‘Revealed: elderly to be quarantined at home or in care homes for four months, in “wartime-style” mobilisation to combat Coronavirus. Full details here.’

That was that! No comfort, no reassurance, no careful qualification from government spokespeople and medical experts; just a link to an article, which also offered cold comfort for worried readers.

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With Head Lowered And Eyes Averted – Israeli Racism And The ‘Honourable’ Robert Peston

26 February 2020 — Media Lens

Robert Peston is one of the UK’s most high-profile broadcast journalists, renowned for his theatricality and… curious… halting… delivery. As political editor of ITV News he has enormous influence, including 1 million followers on Twitter, just behind the BBC’s political editor, Laura Kuenssberg, with 1.1 million. He also hosts a weekly ITV political discussion show, ‘Peston’. From 2006-2014, Peston was the business editor for BBC News and from 2014-2015 economics editor. Before that, he worked at the Financial Times 1991-2000, becoming the financial editor in charge of business and financial coverage. He then became a contributing editor of the hard-right magazine The Spectator and a weekly columnist for The Daily Telegraph. In 2001, he switched to the Sunday Times, where he wrote a weekly business profile, ‘Peston’s People’. The son of a Lord, Baron Peston of Mile End, he is entitled to use the ‘courtesy’ title, ‘The Honourable’.

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‘And Then – Nothing. Silence’: The Deadly Facade Of ‘Democracy’

19 February 2020 — Media Lens

If you were mad enough to judge the state of the world by the daily outpourings of ‘mainstream’ media, you would have no real understanding of the perilous state of the human race. Or, if you had concerns on seeing the latest news on climate breakdown, you would not be fully informed about the powerful elites that are driving all of us towards this looming catastrophe. Nor would you be alerted to the overriding and immediate imperative for the public to exert its own huge power to avert almost unimaginable disaster, not least human extinction.

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‘Burned At The Stake’ – The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Demolishes The Fake Claims Targeting Julian Assange

13 February 2020 — Media Lens

On the face of it, the task seems almost hopeless. As Tolstoy wrote:

‘The power of the government is maintained by public opinion, and with this power the government, by means of its organs – its officials, law courts, schools, churches, even the press – can always maintain the public opinion which they need.’ (Leo Tolstoy, ‘Writings on Non-Violence and Civil Disobedience,’ New Society Publishers, 1987, p.111)

Last December, we witnessed the awesome capacity of state-corporate power to manipulate public opinion and undermine a democratic election with a ruthless propaganda campaign smearing Jeremy Corbyn, a passionate anti-racist. The campaign depicted Corbyn, not just as an anti-semite, but as someone who might ‘reopen Auschwitz’. The truth wasn’t just distorted, it was reversed.

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The Arrogance Of BBC News

19 December 2019 — Media Lens

Note: This alert was originally sent on 19 December but is now being resent because a technical hitch prevented it from reaching many people’s inboxes.

[BBC News image]

When we started Media Lens in 2001, we had a rather naïve expectation that journalists might: a) want to respond rationally to reasoned criticism; and b) have privileged access to unparalleled journalistic resources, experts and arguments that would enable journalists to respond with serious points to our challenges. In particular, we imagined that BBC journalists and editors – being funded from the public licence fee – might actually feel obliged to respond.

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The Arrogance Of BBC News

19 December 2019 — Media Lens

When we started Media Lens in 2001, we had a rather naïve expectation that journalists might: a) want to respond rationally to reasoned criticism; and b) have privileged access to unparalleled journalistic resources, experts and arguments that would enable journalists to respond with serious points to our challenges. In particular, we imagined that BBC journalists and editors – being funded from the public licence fee – might actually feel obliged to respond.

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Unfree Media – State Stenography And Shameful Silence

7 November 2019 — Media Lens

A recent viral clip of Jeremy Corbyn featured vital truths about the corporate media that ought to be at the forefront of public consciousness in the approach to the UK General Election on December 12. The clip began:

‘A free press is essential to our democracy. But much of our press isn’t very free at all.’

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‘How Dare You!’ The Climate Crisis And The Public Demand For Real Action

30 September 2019 — Media Lens

Reality clashed with the BBC version of false consensus in a remarkable edition of HardTalk last month. Roger Hallam, co-founder of Extinction Rebellion, was starkly honest about humanity’s extreme predicament in the face of climate breakdown and refused to buckle under host Stephen Sackur’s incredulous questioning. Sackur’s inability to grasp that we are already in a climate emergency, and that massive changes are necessary now to avoid societal collapse, was clear for all to see. His line of questioning attempted to present Hallam to the BBC audience as a dangerous revolutionary, trying to destroy capitalism for twisted ideological reasons.

Sackur: ‘You want to bring down the capitalist system as we know it, is that correct?

Hallam: ‘The capitalist system is going to be brought down by itself. The capitalist system is eating itself.’

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Stockholm Syndrome – Julian Assange And The Limits Of Guardian Dissent

17 September 2019 — Media Lens

Nothing happened on September 2 in central London. Roger Waters, co-founder of Pink Floyd, did not initiate a protest outside the Home Office. He did not sing and play the Floyd classic ‘Wish You Were Here’, or say:

‘Julian Assange, we are with you. Free Julian Assange!’

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The Campaign To Stop Corbyn – Smears, Racism And Censorship

22 July 2019 — Media Lens

The greatest fear of those holding the most power and wealth is that they will lose their exalted position in the world. They will resist any changes to the grossly unequal and unjust class structure that causes grievous damage to so many people; and to the planet itself. Even the threat of real change must be crushed. This, in a nutshell, underpins the astonishing and relentless campaign to stop Jeremy Corbyn, a moderate leftist, from ever becoming Prime Minister.

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‘Mirthless Laugh’ – The Persecution And Torture Of Julian Assange

11 June 2019 — Media Lens

For anyone persuaded by the state-corporate campaign of sneers and smears depicting Julian Assange as a shit-smearing narcissist and rapist, the comments made by Nils Melzer, the UN’s special rapporteur on torture, must be deeply shocking. The BBC headline:

‘Julian Assange subjected to psychological torture, UN expert says’

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