Media Lens: Won’t Get Fooled Again? Hyping Syria’s WMD ‘Threat’ By: David Edwards

12 December, 2012 — Media Lens

Reading about crimes of state over many years, it is tempting to try to fathom the mind-set of political leaders. What actually is going on in their heads when they order sanctions that kill hundreds of thousands of children? What is in their hearts when they wage needless wars that shatter literally millions of lives? Are they desperately cruel, mindlessly stupid? Do they imagine they are living in a kind of hell where monstrous acts have to be committed to avoid even worse outcomes? Are they indifferent, focused on what will bring them short-term political and economic gain? Are they morally resigned, perceiving themselves as essentially powerless in the face of invincible political and economic forces (‘If I didn’t do it, someone else would.’)?

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Leveson’s Punch and Judy show on the press masks ‘hacking’ on a scale you can barely imagine By John Pilger

6 December 2012 — John Pilger


In the week Lord Leveson published almost a million words about his inquiry into the “culture, practice and ethics” of Britain‘s corporate press, two illuminating books about media and freedom were also published. Their contrast with the Punch and Judy show staged by Leveson is striking.

For 36 years, Project Censored, based in California, has documented critically important stories unreported or suppressed by the media most Americans watch or read. This year’s report is 013: Dispatches from the media revolution by Mickey Huff and Andy Lee Roth (Seven Stories Press). They describe the omissions of “mainstream” journalism as “history in the un-making”. Unlike Leveson, their investigation demonstrates the sham of a system claiming to be free. Among their top 25 censored stories are these:

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Putting Palestine On The Agenda: At The Russell Tribunal In New York By Danny Schechter

8 October 2012 — News Dissector

New York, New York: The needs and concerns of the Palestinian people are not in the news much in the United States, even though the issues have been around for decades here in the city that hosts the United Nations and where there have been, over the years, persistent resolutions based on allegations of international law violations and apartheid-like abuses in the territories occupied by Israel.

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Murder in Afghanistan, the Coverup Begins (updates)

12 March 2012 — Veterans Today

Sixteen Dead, Nameless “Lone Gunman,” We Have Heard It All Before

 by  Gordon Duff, Senior Editor

The village is Balandi, outside Kandahar in Afghanistan.  Thus far the dead are 16, shot in their homes, not just said to be “women and children” but actually infants murdered in their mother’s arms and set afire.

The US claims the perpetrator to be an unnamed “Army Staff Sergeant who has turned himself in.” There are inconsistencies.

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Government bought and sold by Murdoch’s News Corp

27 February 2012

This from Channel 4‘s email today;

Corruption across Whitehall! Three words I never expected to put in one sentence, but the evidence of Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers from Scotland Yard at the Leveson Inquiry is complete dynamite. DAC Akers is leading the investigation into allegations that employees of Rupert Murdoch‘s News International ran a covert, systemic operation in which they paid huge sums to public officials in the police, the military, the Department of Health and many other areas of Whitehall. The payments were dressed up and in at least one case involved sums as high as £80,000.

Three words John Snow never expected to hear in one sentence, “Corruption across Whitehall”? Who is he kidding! We have a government owned, lock, stock and smoking barrel by big business. Corruption is rife at every level.

British Regulators Pull Press TV: Another Blow To Media Freedom By Danny Schechter

22 January 2012 — The News Dissector

The British media regulator OFCOM has pulled Press TV’s license to be seen in the United Kingdom.

The regulator that has done so little to regulate the methods of Rupert Murdoch’s media practices, or BBC’s tilted coverage of the war in Iraq, has suddenly decided that the Iran’s global English language channel must be sanctioned by being removed and silenced. (Ironically, it was Murdoch’s BSKYB channel that carried Press TV in the UK)

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Information Clearing House Newsletter 14 November 2011: Beating Babies For Jesus?

14 November 2011 — Information Clearing House

Op-Ed Articles

Beating Babies For Jesus?
The Shady World of Right-Wing ‘Discipline’ Guides
By Frank Schaeffer
There is a brutal movement in America that legitimizes child abuse in the name of God. 
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The BBC is, and Always Has Been, Part of the Problem By Tom Mills

3 October 2011 — New Left Project

Activists and scholars campaigning for a more democratic and humane media face a daunting task.  Outnumbered and outgunned by corporate lawyers and lobbyists, we must of course use our limited time and resources wisely and pick our fights carefully.  Mindful of this reality, I have great sympathy with Des Freedman’s argument that to allow the ‘BBC question’ to enter into the debates around Leveson will simply play into the hands of the commercial media.  But this is a tactical question which should not distract from the simple reality that the BBC is part of the problem and one which we are going to have confront if we are to succeed in our broader goals. 

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Media: The Leveson Inquiry: Should We Care? By Des Freedman

2 September 2011 — New Left Project

I have written elsewhere that the aftermath of the phone hacking scandal and the establishment of the Leveson Inquiry, ‘is a hugely significant moment both for the British media and for British democracy’ and that ‘the spell of media power is facing its most serious challenge to date’. Given that official inquiries rarely generate genuinely radical proposals and we have seen no evidence that press proprietors and media executives are willing to give up their privileged positions, was this simply wishful thinking? The evidence, I would suggest, is mixed.

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Interrogating Contemporary News: Asking the Right Questions By Natalie Fenton

14 September 2011 — New Left Project

The Leveson inquiry has been launched to investigate phone hacking and the culture, practices and ethics of the press; there is a Lords Select Committee on the future of investigative journalism; a joint Select Committee on privacy and injunctions; all of which will feed into a Communications Review leading up to the New Communications Act in 2013 and bring with them unprecedented opportunities to interrogate contemporary news. So what questions should we be asking?

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BP Profit From Torture By Craig Murray

7 September 2011 — Craig Murray

These are the ‘democrats’?!

Just when you thought that nothing could be more sickening than the revelation that the mad Mahdi Blair was godfather to the baptism of Murdoch’s daughter in the River Jordan…

Kudos to the Daily Mail for outing BP’s Mark Allen as the MI6 man who wrote the sickeningly jaunty message to Gadaffi henchman Moussa Koussa on the rendition to terrible torture of a Libyan dissident and his wife and family. Lest we forget, this is the message:

I congratulate you on the safe arrival of Abu Abd Allah Sadiq. This is the least we could do for you and for Libya to demonstrate the remarkable relationship we have built over recent years.

Allen then moved seamlessly from MI6 to a £200,000 pa job at BP working on their relationships with Gadaffi and other Arab dictators. We can only hope that one day Egypt emerges from military government to democracy and its security files too are opened. But I am willing to bet that MI6 and CIA shredders have been put in to Cairo government offices and will be working ceaselessly for the next few days. Expect the odd fire too.

Murdoch Press and the Fictional Jewish Chocolatier By Samah Sabawi

26 August 2011 — Palestine Chronicle

The Murdoch press in its zeal to attack the Palestinian Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) campaign has misrepresented facts and even ran an entire article quoting a fictional character that simply does not exist. The invention of Max Brenner the Jewish chocolatier demonstrated the lack of integrity and journalistic ethics employed within the Murdoch press’s campaign against the pro-Palestinian advocacy groups who have called for a boycott of the Israeli owned Max Brenner chocolate franchise.

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Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: August 20, 2011

20 August 2011 — Stop NATO

  • NATO Eyes Early Missile Interception Capability
  • 30-Story, 50,000-Ton U.S. Interceptor Missile Radar Deployed After Repairs
  • Joint Strike Fighters: Australia’s Largest Military Build-Up Since WW II
  • Most Combat Deaths Since Second World War: Poland Loses 28th Soldier In NATO’s Asian War
  • NATO’s 2011 Death Toll Reaches 400
  • Statue Of Liberty Renovation, Rupert Murdoch And Mike Royko
  • Lockheed Martin To Reveal New Interceptor Missile Production Facility
  • U.S. Ballistic Missile Submarines: China, Russia ‘Kept In Check By Silent Behemoths’

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UK: Feral Capitalism Hits The Streets By David Harvey

12 August 2011 — The Bullet • Socialist Project E-Bulletin No. 535

“Nihilistic and feral teenagers” the Daily Mail called them: the crazy youths from all walks of life who raced around the streets mindlessly and desperately hurling bricks, stones and bottles at the cops while looting here and setting bonfires there, leading the authorities on a merry chase of catch-as-catch-can as they tweeted their way from one strategic target to another.

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New moves by British parliament to shield the Murdochs By Robert Stephens

30 July 2011 — WSWS

On Friday, members of Parliament’s Commons Culture Select Committee voted against recalling News Corporation Chairman James Murdoch to give more evidence on phone hacking and police corruption. Labour MP Tom Watson had called on Murdoch, the son of international media mogul Rupert Murdoch, and two ex-News of the World executives, former editor Colin Myler and the newspaper’s ex-legal manager Tom Crone, to appear.

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The Israel Lobby’s Power Comes From the American Ruling Class

30 July 2011 — Al Jazeera

“Prince Walid bin Talal bin Abdelaziz Al-Saud, the second biggest shareholder in News Corporation after Murdoch, recently gave an interview, on his yacht, to the BBC flagship programme Newsnight. The Saudi prince declared himself “a good friend” of Rupert Murdoch and his son James Murdoch (probably the next executive to be charged by the police in the scandal). He defended both men briskly, but in doing so drew attention to the fact that he is the second biggest shareholder in the Murdoch empire, and that the Murdochs were major shareholders in his own Rotana media empire in the Middle East. An unholy alliance, surely? Mr Murdoch is the co-owner, with Prince Walid, of Fox News – one of the most virulently anti-Muslim television stations in the world. The station gives a megaphone to the likes of Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly and Sarah Palin. In the US, Fox’s role was to throw gallons of petrol on the flames Islamophobia which were leading to the burning of the Holy Quran by vigilantes.” Read the full article here