Saturday, August 12, 2006
Richard Bailey said...My italics added. Let us not ever, under any circumstances, have anybody from the lying racists of the BBC ever claiming that they do not manufacture the news. I replied
Iain, I didn't comment then but will now. Well done for both posts. Your instincts were always right. I saw for myself in Kosovo how people on the ground manipulate images and especially the media. Never ever trust what you see on the evening news.
I looked after the BBC team in Pristina during my time their, acting aas their military escort and PR man. Hell, even their most famous and undoubtedly brilliant premiere reporter knew EXACTLY what she intended to say on that evening's news before the day had begun, and I can assure you that odd things were done to achieve it if the day didn't quite offer up the required backdrops. We spent one afternoon looking for a burning building and racing to get there before it went out!!
The Kosovans knew exactly what they were doing when they pitched camp in Macedonia and they used Blair visits for their means far more than he used them for his!
I know, I was there, and to my eternal shame, I helped ensure that the right shots were taken and the right tents were visited.
Thank you Richard Bailey for your post.Incidentally I think this is another example of where the entire left/right dichotomy breaks down. Iain is a Tory & economically a fairly pro capitalist one. His blog is clearly run specificly to push Toryism. Nonetheless he is obviously not pushing the "trust the great & good" position which what traditionally the Tory party was about. On the other hand most opponents would call themselves comparatively left wing yet are supporting the "left wing" opposition to Israel. If supporting terrorists is left wing, & pointing out dishonesty by the state broadcasting system is right wing then I suggest left & right are now politically meaningless.
The lying the media has been, at the very least, involved in goes back to Kosovo & Bosnia & I suspect, much further.
I am not sure how much the present exposures are due to the existence of the blogsphere being able to present views & facts the official media censor & how much to the fact that Hezbollah do not have the general level of government support the ex-Nazi Izetbegovic in Bosnia & our genocidal KLA friends had.
I suspect that something like 50% optimism is justified.
'....CNN and the BBC were the media bodies most prone to "rigging false news footage." '
The "CNN Factor" and Kosovo
Eason Jordan's true failings
by Christopher Deliso
New Hague Testimony Bolsters the Case for CNN's Fraud
In recent witness testimony at the Hague (unsurprisingly, ignored by CNN), three Macedonian medics who worked in 1999 at the Kosovo border refugee singled out Eason Jordan's CNN for being the most intellectually corrupt and deceptive news agency of all those present during the conflict.
Whereas the network (and most of the other foreign press) declared that the Albanian refugees had been driven out of Kosovo by vengeful Serbs, robbed and beaten along the way, only to die in squalor across the Macedonian border, three men who worked day in and day out at the camps – the head of Macedonia's emergency medical services, Dr. Dobre Aleksovski; Goran Stojcic, a driver who worked for the emergency services; and medic Mirko Babic – claimed that the truth was somewhat different. While hundreds of thousands passed through the camps, only 14 had serious injuries: "[O]ne woman cut her finger on a tin can, and some other people slipped and fell on the wet ground, sustaining injuries such as broken bones and twisted ankles; there were also a couple of pregnant women who were sent to the hospital to give birth." (Contrast that with NATO Spokesman Jamie Shea's absurd claim that 100,000 babies were born in the refugee camps).
Further, unlike what most Western media reports stated, the refugees had money, cigarettes, telephones, and some, even guns. According to Dr. Aleksovski's testimony, "the Albanians refused to eat bread that was baked in Skopje. They would only eat bread from [the Albanian-majority city of] Tetovo. Whereas normal refugees would have been grateful for any food they got."
The "CNN Factor" at Work
According to the witnesses, the war-hungry media – led by CNN – turned the refugee camps into a three-ring circus of simulation and journalistic fraud. For his part, Mr. Stojcic "witnessed a CNN camera crew coaching refugees on how to act for the cameras. He eyewitnessed a man cross the border with two children. CNN spoke to the man and sent him back to cross the border so that he could cross again in front of the camera; the second time the man crossed over he had his children crying for the cameras."
Further, Mr. Stojcic "witnessed a group of refugees throwing a child into the mud; a CNN camera crew then filmed the child after it was crying and covered in mud. The witness identified Christiane Amanpour as the CNN reporter who was on the spot in the refugee camps. He said that CNN was the worst media outlet, as it was the most prone to staging scenes for its news broadcasts."
This testimony was supported by the medic, Mirko Babic, who "witnessed a CNN camera crew staging a phony exodus of refugees over a hill. A large group of refugees were gathered together and the camera crew filmed them coming over a muddy hill. The camera crew recruited elderly people and small children to be part of this group. The camera crew separated the children from their parents and then paired them up with the old people who the children did not know. The result was that the children would cry. The CNN crew even went so far as to instruct the old people to pull out their handkerchiefs and act like they were crying too."
According to Babic, CNN and the BBC were the media bodies most prone to "rigging false news footage."
Unfortunately for him, Hague Prosecutor Geoffrey Nice tried to rebut these charges by recourse to old CNN footage that "claimed that eight Albanians had died in the camps for want of medical treatment in one day alone." He could just as well have mentioned the April 6, 1999 CNN report that claimed, without naming sources, that 50 helpless refugees had died. However, according to both medic Babic and Dr. Aleksovski, "only one refugee died in the camps the whole time, and not due to lack of medical care. CNN had lied when it reported that eight refugees died in one day."
For the mainstream media, however, all that's worthy of note here is that the refugee angle "was used to great effect in Kosovo."
Conflicts of Interest, From Amanpour to the Psy-Ops Crew
These shenanigans allowed the vital creation of woeful, heartbreaking images for the viewer back home who might otherwise question the rationale behind war. But above and beyond the work carried out by CNN's hacks in the field, by any reasonable standard the network was guilty on a much higher level of gross conflict of interest, in that its top war correspondent (the aforementioned Ms. Amanpour) was the wife of the State Department's spokesman and official liaison to the KLA at Rambouillet, James Rubin. As Rubin himself put it when imploring budding diplomats toward public service at a Columbia graduation speech on May 19, 1999, "cynicism … is simply not an option." Indeed.
Even had Amanpour not been merely the faithful mouthpiece for the U.S., NATO, and the KLA (which she was), the simple fact that she was truly embedded with one of the parties involved with the war should have prevented her from being allowed to take part in covering it. Nevertheless, for the media establishment and the Peabody Awards, where the CNN gang had been just two days before the Columbia event, award-winner Amanpour represents "all that is good and great in television journalism."
That such conflicts of interest might matter little to the likes of Eason Jordan is attested by an even more blatant connection between CNN and the government's war machine in Kosovo. In a Counterpunch article of March 26, 2000, Alexander Cockburn recounts having received "an angry phone call from Eason Jordan" following his report about how U.S. Army Psy-Ops personnel had been working in CNN's Atlanta headquarters during the Kosovo war, "helping" in "the production of news," according to a U.S. Army Major quoted. However, despite being "full of indignation that [Cockburn] had somehow compromised the reputation of CNN," Jordan admitted that the story was true – though, like the Amanpour conflict, it apparently mattered little to him.
A further telling detail, in light of the recent scandal, is the fact that Eason and CNN had received advance warning from the military about the impending bombing of the Radio Television Serbia building by NATO. Jordan claimed that "CNN used the knowledge to warn off the planned bombing, as journalists from the U.S. and elsewhere would have been in the building at the time." However, "days later, when the Western journalists had gone, the U.S. bombing went ahead, killing 16 Serb journalists."
The above are a few excerpts. I strongly recommend reading the entire article at:
Dateline 11th September 2004
The BBC's coverage of the Milosevic Trial is as grossly biased as was their coverage of the illegal war against Yugoslavia - biased towards Catholic Croatia and Muslim Bosnia, despite both "States" having had as their leaders two of the biggest clerical religious bigots in Europe - Franjo Tujman and Alia Izetbegovic.
"Genocide is a natural phenomenon commanded by the Almighty in defence of the only true faith" Franjo Tujman, Former President of Croatia
"I must admit that I have been obsessed with the criminal character of the Independent State of Croatia. Even the Germans were appalled by the crimes committed in it." The Nazi Hunter, Simon Wiesenthal, 1990
"There can be no peace or co-existence between the Islamic faith and non-Islamic institutions... The Islamic movement must and can take power as soon as it is morally and numerically strong enough, not only to destroy the non-Islamic power but to build up a new Islamic one...Turkey, as an Islamic country, used to rule the world. Turkey as an imitation of Europe, represents a third rate country." Alia Izetbegovic
The trial in the Hague has been a disaster for the prosecution with not one single piece of evidence linking Milosevic to any assumed "atrocity" - and certainly no actual atrocity. When the prosecution's star witness appeared he DENIED any link and said he had been tortured to admit such a link. The greatest atrocity is the presence in (multi ethnic) Serbia and Montenegro of 1 million refugees ethnically cleansed over the last 14 years by NATO's (and in particular Germany's) allies - Bosnia, Croatia and Albanian Kosovo (all fascist allies in the second world war!).
We have quoted here two BBC reports of the trial and commented in italics on their contents. The deliberate smearing of a decent and distinguished academic - Professor Smilja Avramov, is one of the most despicable acts of journalism of which the BBC has been guilty.
Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 September, 2004, 09:28 GMT 10:28 UK
First Milosevic witness testifies
Milosevic is refusing to co-operate with his new lawyers. The first defence witness has started testifying at the trial of the former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic at The Hague's UN tribunal.
Smilja Avramov, a retired Serbian law professor and ultra-nationalist, said
Western-trained "terrorists" had worked to break up the former Yugoslavia.
(This is the kind of bigoted biased comment typical of the dramatic fall in standards at the BBC. As the UN and NATO have recently had to admit their allies in the Yugoslav wars, the Albanian KLA - whom Milosevic was fighting much as the British Government was fighting the IRA but with fewer deaths! - were and are a terrorist group. Professor Smilja Avramov is not an "ultra nationalist". She is a distinguished academic lawyer who, like most Serbs, believes in the democratic rights under international law of her own nation state - a nation state illegally destroyed by those very forces who illegally kidnapped Milosevic and put him on trial, not at the international court in the Hague but in a politically constructed tribunal)
Mr Milosevic said two British lawyers appointed to defend him represented the court and he refused to meet them. Mr Milosevic, who has heart trouble, tried again to defend himself. But the presiding judge, Patrick Robinson, cut off Mr Milosevic's microphone when the former Yugoslav president denounced his court-appointed defence as
"a legal fiction". "I don't want to hear the same tired refrain," Judge Robinson said.
(This is not the kind of biased remark any civilised court would accept from a judge. Mr Milosevic is rightly complaining here of the gross illegality, something of which this kangaroo court - the kind of "special court" specifically outlawed in international law - should daily be reminded.)
Lawyers Steven Kay and Gillian Higgins are overseeing proceedings on behalf
of Mr Milosevic, who has been deemed unfit to defend himself. The ex-leader faces 66 charges of war crimes during the 1990s Balkan wars.
Mr Milosevic had represented himself since the beginning of the trial in February 2002. But his frequent bouts of ill health caused months of delay to the trial, prompting prosecutors to accuse him of "manipulating this tribunal" with his ailments.
(In that case why are they now saying he is really ill - so ill that the law has to be broken to impose lawyers on him? As the former Amicus Curiae at the Hague Tribunal) Branislav Tapuskovic, rejecting his own imposition on Milosevic, said:
"I have respected the provision of Article 21, point 4/d of the Statute of the ICTY, according to which every defendant has the guaranteed right TO BE TRIED IN HIS PRESENCE AND TO DEFEND HIMSELF IN PERSON."
Began February 2002
Milosevic faces more than 60 charges
Prosecutors' case rested February 2004
Court already heard from 295 witnesses
Timeline: Milosevic trial
Doctors said his heart condition could become life-threatening if he continued to represent himself. (Note how it was a much less ill General Pinochet who was excused trial altogether in Britain on the grounds of ill health!) Mr Milosevic will be able to question witnesses, but only after they have been examined by the defence.
Ms Avramov was an adviser to Mr Milosevic during the 1990s and took part in
negotiations between Croatia and Serbia.
She said "terrorist groups" trained in Germany, the United States, Canada
and Australia were active in the break-up of the former Yugoslavia. (Note how often the BBC uses the term terrorist in other contexts without using inverted comas or adding "so called" before the word!)
Mr Milosevic wants to call more than 1,000 witnesses, but it is unlikely they will all be able to appear during the 150 trial days allotted for his defence, the BBC's Geraldine Coughlan reports from The Hague. This month, the former Greek and Russian prime ministers are due to appear, as well as prominent figures from the US, Canada, France and Serbia.
If the world's best known broadcasters are willing to routinely do this are there any circumstances when they can be trusted?
To answer myself - Yes. My rule is that when a journalist or politician lets slip something that is not in their interest it can be believed although even then when in front of an audience of good old boys they sometimes overegg the evils they, so cleverly, managed.