Media agenda in Syria? Regime change.

14 Dec

December 9, UN Syria Mission Press Conference: coolly and armed with the facts, Canadian Eva Bartlett puts a smug Christopher Rothenberg straight on what is, and what is not, going down in Syria. Three minutes twenty.

The above clip is a segment from the one below, fifty-two minutes and highly recommended. Ms Bartlett’s command of the facts and unmistakeable authenticity are compelling.

8 Replies to “Media agenda in Syria? Regime change.

  1. Thanks for this Phil, it’s very powerful, and you’re right about Eva Bartlett.
    Where are the voices of the usual anti(ish)-establishment opinion-formers or left wing politicians on this? Is it total MSM censorship or am I missing something?

      • Cheers for this Phil, it’s another useful source. My comment/Q is less about where can I find the ‘truth’ (through you and searching around the web I’ve managed to gain a fair understanding), but more to do with MSM representation of a different viewpoint. Essentially I haven’t come across anything other than the ‘orthodoxy’ in the MSM on Syria. While there’s always been an enormous bias, favouring the ‘establishment’ view, it seems to me there have also been oppositional voices given MSM coverage on issues such as these (if only to ridicule them), but not on Syria, no Chomsky, Pilger, Livingstone, Galloway or even Corbyn etc. (though I can understand (not excuse) why the latter may not be vocal on this currently).

        • Truth is the first casualty … There are two possible readings of that MSM unanimity on Syria (Putin and Ukraine come close too). EITHER it’s all true – Assad a devil … Daara protests represent most Syrians (and the 2014 election giving Assad 88% of vote, on a turnout bigger than any UK election in decades, a fraud MSM did not deign to expose, opting instead to ignore it) … ‘rebels’ (not terrorists as in Mosul) really are ‘moderate’ … pipeline and other material interests for west and regional foes of Damascus are rightly ignored because irrelevant … – OR the stakes are too high; BBC, Graun et al see no choice but to further risk reputations already tarnished. (With Corbyn there was just enough ‘give’ to allow that once in a blue moon piece in support to preserve what’s left of liberal credentials.)

          If you’ve 13 minutes to spare, listen to BBC Radio 4’s Profile last night (Saturday Dec 17) on the White Helmets. How balanced is it? How much evidence does it offer in support of its claims? Is that tiny segment near the end, allotted to criticisms of White Helmets, tokenist and sneering? (For a comparator, see Vanessa Beeley on the same subject.) But the real test is now. With Eastern Aleppo almost entirely liberated, will the BBC go in and do impartial vox pop, and interviews with international agencies on the ground (if any such exist) to establish what presence White H had during the city’s ordeal at the hands of the ‘moderate’ Islamists? So far the word I’m getting – hardly refuted by the silence of such WH cheerleaders as Beeb and Graun – is that no one has even heard of them, despite their megabucks funding from NATO countries.

          Lastly and more generally, check out Andrew Ashland’s page on Facebook. He’s an Anglican priest currently in Syria, and a man not afraid to speak his mind.

  2. As a communications studies graduate I feel as though I should know the answer to this – why would the Guardian chose to report this war in such a disingenuous way ? Is it fearful that it’s ‘independence’ will be under threat, or is its existence entirely a sop to liberals and soft leftists?

    • We need to talk this over a coffee or two Bryan. In brief my own take is that Graun, Indi and Beeb are chasing a centre ground that’s been dragged relentlessly to the right over close to four decades of neoliberal ascendancy. (Attributing the Graun’s rightward lurch to Katherine Viner’s appointment as Editor in Chief, as some do, is IMO anachronistic in its confusion of cause and effect.) I sense a dismal cocktail of (a) cost-driven decline of on the ground investigative journalists in such arenas as Syria; (b) an idealist (in the epistemological sense) worldview that inclines centre right and centre left to take at face value humanitarian rationales for the mayhem wrought in the region. (Later, as with Iraq and Libya, these media will wring hands and ‘discover’ all manner of wickedness but now, when truthful reporting most counts, act as cheerleaders for imperialism – remember how the Graun applauded Hilary Benn’s “Churchillian” speech on bombing Syria?.

      One thing angers me more than all of this, however. Graun, Beeb and I dare say Indi too are still citing such as Syrian Observatory on Human Rights, White Helmets and Human Rights Watch as reliable sources. I can no longer put this down, as I once did, to credulity and lazy journalism. Years after these outfits have been exposed as biased (to the point of deceitfulness) and, in the case of WH, far worse, I say the ‘liberal’ media have crossed the line into mendacity. I don’t see how else to explain what they continue to do.

      BTW, see Pepe Escobar’s piece – a 20 minute read – linked in my reply to Mark, above.

  3. Since the start of the “fake news” hysteria, it has been my theory that having a website which provides the truth about the U.S. support for the head-choppers in Syria or the Neo-Nazis in Ukraine is just about the sole criterion to be so labeled. Tonight when I looked up “Steel City Roddis”, my anti-virus program indicated that you run a “suspicious” website. Now I’m really getting paranoid.

    • Thanks Sam. We steel city scribblers would love to think we’d hit the kind of audience ratings that draw deep state ire.

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