The Dead And Those About To Die – Climate Protests And The Corporate Media

17 November 2020 — Media Lens

The Roman poet Horace famously declared:

‘Dulce et decorum est pro patrie mori.’

It is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country. Wilfred Owen, the great English poet of the First World War, described this phrase as ‘the old Lie’ in his famous war poem, ‘Dulce et decorum est’. Patriotism so often means ‘honouring’ those who ‘fell in service to this country’, grand ceremonies at war memorials, feasts of royal pageantry. And then sending yet more generations of men and women to fight in yet more wars.

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‘None Of It Reported’: How Corporate Media Buried The Assange Trial

7 October 2020 — Media Lens

One of the most imposing features of state-corporate propaganda is its incessant, repetitive nature. Over and over again, the ‘mainstream’ media have to convince the public that ‘our’ government prioritises the health, welfare and livelihoods of the general population, rather than the private interests of an elite stratum of society that owns and runs all the major institutions, banks, corporations and media. Continue reading

‘Absolute And Arbitrary Power’: Killing Extinction Rebellion And Julian Assange

9 September 2020 — Media Lens

The use and misuse of George Orwell’s truth-telling is so widespread that we can easily miss his intended meaning. For example, with perfect (Orwellian) irony, the BBC has a statue of Orwell outside Broadcasting House, bearing the inscription:

‘If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.’

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UK: ‘A Perpetual Motion Machine Of Killing’

6 August 2020 — Media Lens

Alleged Cover-Up Of Civilians Murdered By UK Special Forces In Iraq And Afghanistan

On August 1, a rare in-depth investigative piece appeared on the BBC News website based on credible and serious allegations that UK Special Forces had executed unarmed civilians in Afghanistan. The BBC article was produced in tandem with a report, ‘”Rogue SAS Afghanistan execution squad” exposed by email trail’, published by the Sunday Times.

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‘Six Months To Avert Climate Crisis’: Climate Breakdown And The Corporate Media

22 June 2020 — Media Lens

In his classic science fiction novel, ‘Foundation’, Isaac Asimov posited a future in which ‘psychohistorians’ could predict outcomes based on past history and the large-scale behaviour of human populations by combining psychology and the mathematics of probability. Using ‘psychohistory’, the protagonist Hari Seldon discovers that the 12,000-year-old Galactic Empire will collapse in 500 years. He warns the galactic rulers of this likely fate, while explaining that an alternative future in which human knowledge is preserved can be attained. For his trouble, he is exiled to the remote planet of Terminus.

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An Illusion Of Protection: The Pandemic, The ‘Criminal’ Government And Public Distrust of The Media

18 May 2020 — Media Lens

‘Right from the start we’ve tried to throw a protective ring around the our care homes. We set out our first advice in February – we’ve made sure care homes have the resources they need’ says Health Secretary Matt Hancock.’Sky News May 15, 2020

Any notion that the UK government actually considers that its primary responsibility is to protect the health and security of the country’s population ought to have been demolished in 2020. The appalling death toll that continues to mount during the coronavirus pandemic is largely rooted, not merely in government ‘incompetence’, but in criminal dereliction of its core duties in a supposedly democratic society.

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‘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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