Thursday, October 23, 2014

Our story of last week by Jeff Cohen, “The assault by the Washington Post, New York Times and Los Angeles Times drove Gary Webb out of the newspaper business, and ultimately to his death” now has a response from the NYT.

UPDATE: The NYT finally reviewed “Kill the Messenger” and it's another hatchet job too. The NYT is still saying that Webb's reporting was "deeply flawed," and that rival newspapers easily "blew holes in his story." Our newspaper of record offers no examples of Webb's flawed reporting, but then again nothing substantial was offered the first time The NYT savaged his journalistic credibility. 

Most of the movie review is another thinly veiled attack on Webb's series, calling it a "lurid presentation" and criticizing "his willingness to draw causality based on very thin sourcing and evidence." Referring to its own supposed august position in the US media, The NYT concludes with the observation that "Sometimes, when David takes on Goliath, David is the one who ends up getting defeated."

Just in case anyone could miss how bad Gary Webb really was, he is described in the movie review as: "lurid," "overheated," "oversold," and "wrong." And that's before Tim Golden, a NYT reporter who had attacked him 18 years ago, is brought in to say, "the hand that struck Mr. Webb was mostly his own. Webb made some big allegations that he didn't back up..." 

And Tim Golden's qualifications? "Extensive background covering the CIA and Central America," according to The NYT. Of course, The NYT has learned nothing from Gary Webb's professional assassination, except that it is safer and more profitable being a whore to the CIA than to do honest reporting.


Guardian UK:
“The UK authorities are operating a surveillance system where “anything goes” and their interceptions are more intrusive to people’s privacy than has been seen in the US, Edward Snowden said.

Speaking via Skype at the Observer Ideas festival, held in central London, the whistleblower and former National Security Agency specialist, said there were “really no limits” to the GCHQ’s surveillance capabilities.

He said: ‘In the UK … is the system of regulation where anything goes. They collect everything that might be interesting. It’s up to the government to justify why it needs this. It’s not up to you to justify why it doesn’t … This is where the danger is, when we think about … evidence being gathered against us but we don’t have the opportunity to challenge that in courts. It undermines the entire system of justice.’ “ 

—>The NYT didn’t print this story. Very much like the original revelations of massive data collection by its own reporter, James Risen, our newspaper of record only defies the surveillance state when it is forced to do so. Risen had to publish a book to get the NYT to print his first story of massive US spying on its own citizens.


"NPR's Morning Edition (10/8/14) decided to examine the terminology used to describe Israel's illegal building projects in the West Bank, which could have been a useful exercise. Unfortunately, its sole source for the discussion was an Israeli newspaper columnist who essentially endorsed the Israeli government's misleading rhetoric.

NPR aired excerpts from a recent interview with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Morning Edition, 10/2/14), in which he said of a planned expansion: ’These are not settlements. These are neighborhoods in Jerusalem.’

As host Steve Inskeep explained: ‘It matters a lot to Israelis and Palestinians alike just what things are called. The differences in language suggest differences in ways of seeing the issue on the ground.’

This is certainly true. But what to call something depends on what that thing ‘on the ground’ really is. Under international law, it's illegal to colonize territories captured in war, which is what Israel is doing by constructing housing for Israelis in the Occupied Territories of the West Bank. This is true whether or not Israel claims sovereignty over the land, as it does in the part of the West Bank known as East Jerusalem, as it's also illegal to annex territory captured in war. But that was not the kind of perspective NPR was looking to share with listeners. Instead, Morning Edition turned to historian Ari Shavit, a columnist for the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz.“

—>NPR helps its listeners make the transition from “colonies” to “settlements” and now to “neighborhoods.” Anything to make apartheid Israel look good.

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