Monday, May 28, 2012

Blair gets called a War Criminal, BBC gets caught lying

Though it leaves John Rentoul sobbing into his body pillow with Tony Blair's face on it, in England, Tony can never escape his War Criminal status.  Samira Shackle (New Statesman) reports,that while Tony Blair gave testimony today on -- try not to laugh -- "media standards," he was shouted down with a cry of, "This man should be arrested for War Crimes!"  Tom Chivers (Telegraph of London) identifies the truth-teller as David Lawley-Wakelin who made the documentary Alternative Iraq Enquiry. Sam Lister, Rosa Silverman and Brian Farmer (Independent of London) report that Lawley-Wakelin shouted, "This man should be arrested for War Crimes.  JP Morgan paid him off for the Iraq War.  Three months after he invaded Iraq they held upt he Iraq bank for 20 billion.  He was then paid six million dollars every year and still is from JP Morgan six month after he left office.  This man is a War Criminal!"


From May 13, 2007, that's Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Exit the Poodle."  And today's events prove that he can never escape his War Crimes.  Just last week, John Rentoul was gushing over his crush and proclaiming that the anti-war sentiments had vanished.  Poor little John-John.  He'll need another fantasy to masturbate to now.

The UK's Stop The War Coalition has video of the protest on the upper right side of their home page   The Kuwait Times features a photo with this caption, "Police officers march away a man who threw an egg at the vehicle of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair as he was being driven away after appearing at the Leveson inquiry [. . .]"

Blair, who is still close to Rupert Murdoch (he's the godfather of Murdoch's daughter, as the Telegraph of London reminds), tried to erect a wall of distance between himself and the media mogul.

This is from the Guardian's live blog (Josh Halliday and Duglad Baird) of Blair's testimony:

11.10am: Jay runs through Blair's meetings with media owners.
Blair says about a third were with Murdoch papers, two thirds with other titles.
Jay describes Blair's meetings with media owners as "eclectic" in his first year in office. He stopped meeting Paul Dacre, editor-in-chief of the Daily Mail, in 2001, according to Cabinet Office documents seen by the inquiry. Blair says it became "pretty pointless" to meet Dacre and Daily Mail executives from this time.
11.14am: The Guardian's Dan Sabbagh has just tweeted:
11.14am: Blair is asked about the runup to the Iraq war in 2003.
His three phone calls with Murdoch on 11, 13 and 19 March 2003 are listed. He has also listed phone calls and meetings with other newspaper editors and executives.
Blair says he initiated one of the phone calls to Murdoch and that they are no more than 45 minutes in total.
"I would have been wanting to explain what we are doing. I think I had similar calls with the Observer and the Telegraph," he says, adding: "I don't think there's anything particularly odd about that when you're facing such an issue."
He adds:
With him, probably, I would have been asking him what the situation was in the US and Australia, which were part of the coalition. But, no, I wouldn't have been asking him about press coverage.
11.16am: Dan Sabbagh continues:
Spoke to rog alton mar 8, conrad on mar 13, lunch w guardian on April 7

The above circus took place as the BBC suffered another blow.  Hannah Furness (Telegraph of London) reports the news outlet passed off a Marcy 27, 2003 Iraqi photo as a photo of "Syria massacre in Houla."  The photographer, Marco di Lauro, states:

“I went home at 3am and I opened the BBC page which had a front page story about what happened in Syria and I almost felt off from my chair. “One of my pictures from Iraq was used by the BBC web site as a front page illustration claiming that those were the bodies of yesterday's massacre in Syria and that the picture was sent by an activist.
“Instead the picture was taken by me and it's on my web site, on the feature section regarding a story I did In Iraq during the war called Iraq, the aftermath of Saddam.
“What I am really astonished by is that a news organization like the BBC doesn't check the sources and it's willing to publish any picture sent it by anyone: activist, citizen journalist or whatever. That's all.

Some US outlets are trying to work up a little bit of outrage.  They won't.  They'll excuse and pretend.  The reason being di Lauro's criticism is true of all of them with regards to Syria.  They don't check anything.  Most aren't on the ground and they take their 'copy' from 'rebel' groups that the US government flirts with and then they pretend that they've reported.

As Ava and I observed February 12th at Third:

There's a reporter who has so enlisted in the administration's goals that she's become a joke to even the Pentagon. She's the new Judy Miller and her name is Kelly McEvers.

McEvers was supposed to be NPR's Iraq correspondent. Originally, she had problems getting to Iraq (and finding a place to live), but she got settled in and did some reporting that both she and NPR could be proud of. But actual reporting seems of less and less interest to NPR so the Iraq correspondent began being pulled for every surrounding country in the region.

It's her reporting on Syria that's destroyed her reputation, as each day seems to find her filing yet another breathless report of the violence being witnessed in Syria, the outageous violence, the deaths, the destruction . . . All of which she observes from Beirut. (That's in Lebanaon for those not familiar with the MidEast and, no, Lebanaon is not in Syria, it is its own country which, like Iraq, shares a border with Syria.)

Sometimes, after dispensing 'facts' on bombings and deaths and shootings, 'reporter' Kelly will add something like "the activists and witnesses and citizen journalists who we talk to on a regular basis" tell her this is what is taking place. Such a statement -- not always included -- will usually pass quickly. And no one will question whether her sources are one-sided (they certainly sound one-sided). Last week, when she was 'reporting' on rockets destroying a neighborhood and a hospital (unverifiable claims on her part) this

INSKEEP: Now, Kelly, we should be clear: Few, if any, journalists are inside Homs, or in any of the contested areas in Syria. We're getting information from activists here. How confident are you of the picture that's emerging, of what's happening in Syria right now?

MCEVERS: It is so difficult to verify the numbers. And over the weekend, we saw that there were discrepancies about how many, exactly, had died in some of these government offensives. You had one activist group saying it was over 300. Another activist group saying no, it was only 60. And without being able to go there ourselves and verify it and see it with our own eyes, it's very difficult.

It's very difficult? We'd say it's impossible. And when the administration is pounding the war drums on Syria, we'd say the last thing the US needs is 'reporters' 'reporting' on something they can't verify with their own eyes. Speaking to people with vested interests and basing your report on that? Not only is that not objective journalism, it doesn't even rise to the level of news reporting. At best, it's a feature article -- a lighter category.

But nearly every day, there's Kelly on Morning Edition (or All Things Considered), breathless and insisting that violence is taking place all around her . . . Well, she watches some streams online from her echo chamber inner circle -- apparantly while preparing meals based upon what she declared on Morning Edition last week. Is she doubling as a Sous-Chef at Chez Sami?
exchange did take place:

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