British mainstream media downplays Britain’s role in the latest Yemeni killing

28 August 2018 — Drone Warfare

Today, the BBC reports that UN Group of Regional and International Eminent Experts on Yemen will present a report to the UN Human Rights Council next month. It says that the experts believe war crimes may have been committed by all parties to the conflict in Yemen.

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Frankie Boyle: Your new show betrayed Gaza By Jonathan Cook

21 May 2018 — Dissident Voice

Dear Frankie Boyle,

I’d prefer not to be writing this as an open letter, but you didn’t leave me much choice: I can no longer engage with you on Twitter because you blocked me (and many hundreds of others, it seems) for criticising the first episode of your New World Order TV show on Friday.

Since then, having purged your Twitter feed of critics, you have created a series of straw men. In the worst, you have suggested that those unhappy with the show are really closet racists for objecting to the fact that you spent half of your 30-minute schedule allowing your guests, led by David Baddiel, to flay Jeremy Corbyn for a supposed anti-semitism “crisis” in the Labour party. Presumably that offers you a comfortingly circular proof of Labour’s anti-semitism problem.

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‘A Suffocating Groupthink’: Sampling The Corporate Media On Israel, Iran, Syria And Russia

16 May 2018 — Media Lens

The gaping chasm between reality and unreality is exemplified by recent contrasting statements about journalism from two veteran reporters. On the one side we have Jeremy Bowen, the BBC’s Middle East editor, who enjoys a public image of principled honesty and a supposedly fierce commitment to news balance and impartiality. But, when he was challenged recently on Twitter about the blatant bias in BBC News reporting, he responded just as one would expect of a well-rewarded, high-profile employee of the national broadcaster:

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Who’s Reacting to Iran Deal Pull-Out? Why, It’s Women in Chadors, Walking Past Anti-US Mural By Jim Naureckas

11 May 2018 — FAIR

Adam Johnson (FAIR.org10/21/17) called the “Woman in Chador Walks by Anti-US Mural” image  “one of the most overused and toxic stock photos.” Documenting its ubiquity in online US coverage of Iran, Johnson argued that the cliche photo of “one or two Iranian women clad in black chadors, faces usually barely visible, walking past a mural of the Statute of Liberty with a skull face” was intended “to lazily tie together US-bashing and perceived subjugation of women, reinforcing the image of Iran as a country defined by misogyny and seething hate for the West.”

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If you don’t want Facebook, what do you want? By Dan Hind

11 April 2018 — Return of the Public

Facebook is once again in the news. Last month a joint investigation by the Observer, the New York Times and Channel 4 revealed that a UK company, Cambridge Analytica, had used information about Facebook’s users to target voters during Donald Trump’s successful campaign to become president in 2016. But the threat that the data giants’ business model poses to individual autonomy and to democratic process is not news.

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Media Boosts Obvious Saudi Front Group as Neutral ‘Think Tank’ By Adam Johnson

28 March 2018 — FAIR

WaPo: Scapegoating Saudi Arabia Won't Help Us Fight Terrorism

A Saudi government spokesperson couldn’t have said it better (Washington Post, 5/31/17).

The Arabia Foundation appeared in spring 2016, seemingly out of nowhere, as a Saudi-focused think tank with “ties to Riyadh,” but vaguely independent of the regime. Or at least independent enough so that media wouldn’t represent it as an extension of the kingdom. But the past few weeks have clearly shown it to be little more than a PR outlet for de facto Saudi ruler Mohammed bin Salman and his sprawling, opaque business interests.

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Media Lens: ‘A Load Of Tosh’ – The BBC, ‘Showbiz News’ And State Propaganda

8 February 2018 — Media Lens

On January 22, BBC News at Ten carried a piece by ‘defence’ correspondent Jonathan Beale reporting a speech by General Sir Nick Carter, the British Army’s Chief of General Staff. Carter gave his speech, pleading for more resources in the face of the Russian ‘threat’, at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), an establishment thinktank with close links to the military and corporate media.

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Faking it By William Bowles

January 2018 — InvestigatingImperialism

It’s time I did a piece on this Fake News nonsense being put about by the Western propagandists, the originators of fake news and what better place to start than the BBC, the fountainhead of impartial and objective journalism, not.

Hacking, leaking and disputing the facts, it’s never been easier to distort the truth. Thanks to the digital revolution, anyone can dispute established facts and share it with the world on social media – be it for commercial or political gain. But when the line between fact and fiction becomes blurred the very fabric of our society can be endangered. Public trust in traditional media and political institutions has plummeted and some argue the unity of our nations is at stake. How can a free and fair media still operate in a digitised world and restore trust in political debate? – Davos The Fake News Challenge to Politics

The above quote is from the BBC News Website on 28 January 2018. It’s probably the single most disingenuous piece of journalism the BBC has ever published, for what it’s really telling its public is that the BBC no longer has a monopoly on deciding what is the truth. No wonder it thinks the ‘unity of our nation is at stake’.

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Media Lens: Survival? Symptoms Of Breakdown

22 November 2017 — Media Lens 

If the human species survives long enough, future historians might well marvel at what passed for ‘mainstream’ media and politics in the early 21st century.

They will see that a UK Defence Secretary had to resign because of serious allegations of sexual misconduct; or, as he put it euphemistically, because he had ‘fallen short’. But he did not have to resign because of the immense misery he had helped to inflict upon Yemen. Nor was he made to resign when he told MPs to stop criticising Saudi Arabia because that would be ‘unhelpful’ while the UK government was trying to sell the human rights-abusing extremist regime in Riyadh more fighter jets and weapons. After all, the amount sold in the first half of 2017 was a mere £1.1 billion. (See our recent media alert for more on this.) Right now, the UK is complicit in a Saudi blockade of Yemen’s ports and airspace, preventing the delivery of vital medicine and food aid. 7.3 million Yemenis are already on the brink of famine, and the World Food Programme has warned of the deaths of 150,000 malnourished children in the next few months.

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