“Born liars. Shameless liars. You cannot embarrass them.”
The subjects of my friend’s recent Skype-enabled rant: Al Jazeera, China Today, and Russia Today (RT).
The basis aside from what he’s been reading:
Al Jazeera – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Al Jazeera is owned by the government of Qatar.
China Today – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
China Today (Chinese: 今日中国; pinyin: Jīnrì Zhōngguó), formerly titled China Reconstructs (Chinese: 中国建设;pinyin: Zhōngguó Jiànshè), is a monthly magazine founded in 1949 by Soong Ching-ling in association with Israel Epstein. It is published in Chinese L anguage, English, Spanish, French, Arabic, German and Turkish, and is intended to promote a positive view of the People’s Republic of China and its government to people outside of China.
I haven’t yet done the reading, but let’s call it the “Face of the Nation”, a portal with a role to play, and, at that, a role of immense importance, more so to the People’s Republic of China than to the international reader.
RT (TV network) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
It is registered as an autonomous non-profit organization funded by the federal budget of Russiathrough the Federal Agency on Press and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation.
Basically, RT would seem the Russian “Radio Free America” or U.S. Information Agency — it was born with obligations and today has impressive reach.
What the world on the World Wide Web needs now, of course, might be a few international media assembly giants of trustworthy record.
One exists already.
He may be called the International Reader.
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Whether owned by capitalists or communists, private parties or states, complicated boards of directors — we should take a side trip to Time Warner to look at how that works, and with such as Kingdom Holdings in an influential position — the guts and substance of a news organization resides in its journalists and in the humanity, independence, and integrity they bring to their work.
Some may be aware of their career options and who is sitting in the board room; some on the happy-face beat may be naturally inclined to write always “the best truth possible”; some in their early years may have latched on to the thought that “information is power” so how much cooler would it be to have “power over information” and write to an agenda?
This morning, one of my Facebook buddies asked me to prove Syria launched attacks with chemical weapons because the German intelligence services suggested some disconnects. I countered with Obama’s more specific mention of 11 neighborhoods attacked and communication intercepts of high-level Syrian chatter over the results and, admitted, my trump card: complete trust in Israeli intelligence reporting. If any entity on earth has a premium stake in displaying, promoting, and valuing integrity, it’s that bunch.
Even if recordings of intercepts were furnished by governments and published on the Internet, there would be some readers who would claim that as much could have been put together in a recording studio.
I’ll leave those people alone.
Others, perhaps less troubled, seem quick to buy “Rebels Admit Responsibility for Chemical Weapons Attack: Militants tell AP reporter they mishandled Saudi-supplied chemical weapons, causing accident.”
And articles like it reported out in an odd assortment of left and right — but not middle — oriented publications, from Mint to The Blaze (and between: Global Research, Godlike Productions, Missing Peace, Prison Planet, Activist Post, etc.).
Free Cow has gone to the trouble of debunking “Syrian rebels admit to AP reporter they mishandled the chemical weapons given by Saudi Arabia”, while I’ve merely suggested that the one claim that ‘the rebels done it’ seemed supported by two plants: 1) the claim that some kind of toxic chemicals handling accident took place and 2) a video, and a lot of stills from it, allegedly involving a rebel launch crew plus rocket technology plus a matched launching platform on wheels (that too — one claim: two elaborate stories — I mentioned to the Facebook buddy).
What is it with some readers that they will devour such contraptions — and with some writers that they will invent or promote them?
Better yet: what is it with some leaders that they believe that controlling people starts with controlling their information environment — and that they have the muscle in money and thugs to do it?
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“Follow the BBC,” said my Skype friend. “At least they try to tell the truth.”
I don’t know about that, but at least the Wikipedia entry has been clever about the organization:
Its main responsibility is to provide impartial public service broadcasting in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man.
BBC one hour ago: BBC News – Assad sets out his terms for chemical weapons convention.
So the rebels didn’t have them after all?
I think I’ll take a look at what Reuters has today on Syria.
Well look at this: Putin wrong to blame Syria rebels for chemical attack, Pentagon says | Reuters 9/12/2013.
Flacking for Dictators in the 21st Century | Freedom House 3/13/2012
Fact-Based, In-Depth News | Al Jazeera America
China General Information, China Information, the People’s Republic of China
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