Archive for the BBC bias, distortions and lies Category

“‘Hard Clay’ – Remaking Afghanistan In ‘Our’ Image” – Anglo bourgeois media whitewash sham elections under UK’s violent occupations [Media Lens]

Posted in Afghanistan, BBC bias, distortions and lies, Capitalist media double standard, Corporate Media Critique, Iraq, Media smear campaign, NATO, NATO invasion, Oligarchy, Russia, Syria on May 4, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By David Edwards

April 28, 2014

Last month, we reviewed the mind-boggling contrast between corporate media coverage of the January 2005 election in Iraq and the March 2014 referendum in Crimea.

Whereas all media accepted the basic legitimacy of an Iraq election conducted under extremely violent US-UK military occupation, they all rejected the legitimacy of a Crimea referendum conducted ‘at [Russian] gunpoint’.

It was not difficult to guess how the same media would respond to the Afghan presidential election of April 5 under the guns of Britain and America’s occupying force.

The Daily Telegraph had welcomed ‘the first democratic elections’ in Iraq (Leader, ‘Mission accomplished,’ December 6, 2004) and dismissed the Crimea vote as ‘an illegal referendum conducted at gunpoint’. As for Afghanistan:

‘The sight of millions of Afghans defying the Taliban to vote in their country’s presidential election should induce genuine humility. We might take democracy for granted; they emphatically do not.’

Democracy it was, then. Had the editors forgotten that the vote was taking place under US-UK military occupation? In fact, no:

‘The idea that the Taliban are waiting to sweep back to power as soon as American and British troops depart has also taken a knock. If this poll continues to proceed smoothly, the country should have the inestimable benefit of a legitimately elected leader.’

The election was thus declared both democratic and legitimate. As in Iraq, the delegitimising effect of military occupation was ignored – ‘our’ occupations are simply accepted as legitimate and uncontroversial.

A Sunday Times leader hailed ‘democratic elections’ in Iraq, noting only that they were threatened by ‘terrorists’ – Iraqis, not the illegal foreign invaders who had wrecked the country with war, sanctions, bombing and more war (Leader, ‘Send more troops,’ October 10, 2004). By contrast, The Times claimed that the Crimea referendum was made absurd by Russian troops ‘massing on their western border’. (Leading article, ‘Russian Pariah,’ March 17, 2014)

But The Times found nothing absurd about the Afghan election:

‘We should honour and celebrate the resolve of these voters, their commitment to the democratic process.’

To be sure, military involvement had been a problem:

‘The Taleban has been malignly active in the run-up to the election, attacking foreigners in restaurants and showering death threats on democratic activists.’

What about the occupation?

‘As US and British troops ready themselves for withdrawal by the end of this year, the Afghans are evidently eager to take command of their own political destinies.’

And yet this was impossible in Crimea, although Russian troops were not occupying and fighting, merely said to be ‘massing’ on the border.

For the BBC, the Iraq election was ‘the first democratic election in fifty years’. (David Willis, BBC1, News at Ten, January 10, 2005) But the West had dismissed the Crimea referendum ‘as illegal and one that will be held at gunpoint’.

The BBC felt no need to reference the West’s view on Afghanistan, stating baldly:

‘The election marks the country’s first democratic transfer of power.’

On Channel 4 News, Alex Thomson, a courageous and comparatively honest reporter, covered the Afghan vote from Kabul. We tweeted him:

‘How free are these elections, Alex? What’s the state of press freedom, for example?’

We supplied some context:

‘In 2004-5, press supplied no analysis of state of press freedom prior to elections in Iraq, January ’05. Will you in Afghanistan?’

Thomson responded: ‘huge questions gents’. He added:

‘quick honest answer? I probably won’t regrettably. There’s a civil war on and it’s not too priority…’. Moreover: ‘I can only work 18-20 hours a day and there isn’t time is truthful answer. Someone should find research.’

Establishing whether the elections were actually free and fair – or not – was not ‘too priority’, somebody else’s job. A few moment’s research, and indeed thought, would have told Thomson that an election under US-UK occupation could not be described as free and fair.

Thomson later commented on his Channel 4 blog:

‘So enjoy your election in all its colour, noise, excitement and yes, valid democratic exercise up to a limited point.’

= Guardian – Working The ‘Very Hard Clay’ =

The vote in Iraq was ‘the country’s first free election in decades’ for the Guardian (Leader, ‘Vote against violence,’ January 7, 2005), which dismissed the Crimea referendum as ‘irrelevant’ because ‘it took place while the autonomous region was under military occupation’.

No surprises there. As for the election in Afghanistan:

‘And yet, in spite of Taliban attacks, Afghans will go to the polls on Saturday to elect a new president, with the turnout expected to be high, and media coverage voluminous and varied. Irregularities will be high, too, and more difficult to measure because of Taliban threats to monitors and foreign observers. But the leading candidates, even given their warlord connections, are credible figures. Ethnic deals should permit some transcending of regional loyalties. There is a woman candidate for vice-president.’

Far from ‘irrelevant’, then. The only identifiable military problem involved the usual bad guys – Afghans:

‘The Taliban may have changed… behind an unyielding facade. Or it will have to if the shift in public mood is reinforced by a successful election.’

Despite US-UK military occupation, the election could be ‘successful’.

From the lofty moral and intellectual heights of British civilisation, the Guardian editors patronised effortlessly:

‘Could we make the Afghans more like us? That has been the question ever since the Americans and their allies went into Afghanistan 12 years ago…’

This indeed was the central theme of the editorial, as indicated by the title:

‘Afghanistan: more like us: It is hard to resist the feeling that Afghans, responding to the chaos and opportunity of foreign intervention, have changed.’

Changed for the better, thankfully. That is, they have become ‘more like us’. The ‘intervention’ – in fact an illegal invasion – was an ‘opportunity’ for the victims, according to the UK’s leading liberal newspaper. As with every colonial mission, there have been difficulties:

‘Afghanistan is a very hard clay in which to work, and those who tried to work it were very slow and unskilled.’

Naturally, the British and American states that have ravaged the people and planet of this earth for hundreds of years have the right to ‘work’ the lowly Afghans, who are such ‘very hard clay’, in an attempt to remake them in ‘our’ exalted image. As for the problems:

‘The failures, the follies, and the tragedies which followed have been well documented. Generals, ambassadors, high representatives, aid experts and special envoys have come and gone. NATO soldiers have died, including 448 British, many more in the ranks of the Taliban, and more still among Afghan civilians.’

Chief among the failures, follies, tragedies, and indeed criminal complicity, has been the inability of our ‘free press’ to perceive the criminality of ‘our’ ‘unskilled’ work. This simply isn’t done. As for the Afghan ‘clay’, why even offer a ballpark figure for the casualties of ‘our’ blood-drenched pottery?

Passing over the criminal record of master potter Tony Blair, the Guardian splashed his complementary views across its front page. Independent commentator John Rentoul summarised the shared worldview with approval:

‘Now he [Blair] is calling on us to rescue true Muslims not just from dictators but from a perversion of their own religion.’

Blair’s comments were also treated to front-page coverage in the Independent and on the BBC website. Seumas Milne noted the perversity in the Guardian:

‘Quite why the views of a man whose military interventions in the Muslim world have been so widely discredited… should be treated with such attention by the media isn’t immediately obvious. But one reason is that they chime with those of a powerful section of the political and security establishment.’

Milne failed to mention his own newspaper’s front-page, or the ugly example of its ‘hard clay’ editorial. In fact, the Guardian has always been Blair’s greatest cheerleader. In May 2005, even after the invasion of Iraq, the editors wrote:

‘We believe that Mr Blair should be re-elected to lead Labour into a third term this week.’ (Leader, ‘Once more with feeling,’ The Guardian, May 3, 2005)

The Guardian-Blair view has a long, violent history stretching back many hundreds of years. In the nineteenth century, English civil servant Herman Merivale offered guidelines for government administrators interested in the control of native customs:

‘It will be necessary, in short, that the colonial authorities should act upon the assumption that they have the right in virtue of the relative position of civilised and Christian men to savages, to enforce abstinence from immoral and degrading practices, to compel outward conformity to the law of what we regard as better instructed reason.’ (Quoted, John Bodley, Victims of Progress, Mayfield Publishing, 1982, p.105)

In 2000, senior Guardian commentator Polly Toynbee updated the doctrine in an article titled, ‘The West really is the best’:

‘In our political and social culture we have a democratic way of life which we know, without any doubt at all, is far better than any other in the history of humanity. Even if we don’t like to admit it, we are all missionaries and believers that our own way is the best when it comes to the things that really matter.’ (Toynbee, The Observer, March 5, 2000)

Back in the real world, a study by Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page, ‘Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizen’, to be published in the autumn 2014 issue of the academic journal, ‘Perspectives on Politics’, finds that ‘the democratic way of life’ of the United States is in fact oligarchy masquerading as democracy:

‘When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or well organized interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the U.S. political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it.’

The authors add:

‘When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy… we believe that if policymaking is dominated by powerful business organizations and a small number of affluent Americans, then America’s claims to being a democracy are seriously threatened’.

To compound the comedy, the Guardian reported of the June 3 presidential election in Syria, the latest unfortunate to be added to the list of official enemy states:

‘Western and Gulf Arab countries that back Assad’s opponents had called plans for the vote a “parody of democracy” and said it would wreck efforts to negotiate a peace settlement.’

The US oligarchy’s allies, the ‘Gulf Arab countries’ – currently waging merciless war on Syria – are themselves, of course, violent, unaccountable tyrannies. The Guardian failed to mention the irony, being itself a parody of an independent, progressive newspaper.

Article link: http://www.medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/2014/762-hard-clay-remaking-afghanistan-in-our-image.html

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Commentary: China’s economy, to crash or just bashed? [Xinhua]

Posted in Anti-China media bias, Anti-China propaganda exposure, BBC bias, distortions and lies, China, China-bashing, Economy, Reform and opening up on March 7, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Xinhua writer Chen Siwu

BEIJING, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) — China seems to have little to cheer about in recent weeks, from persistent toxic smog to an economic slowdown, according to recent reports by the Western media.

China has no excuse for the environmental crisis, but the hype about the country’s current economic slowdown requires reconsideration.

Among the gloomy reports by Western media is a film by Robert Peston, How China Fooled the World, carried by the British broadcaster BBC on its website.

Peston warns of a “serious risk of calamitous crash” of the Chinese economy, saying China could be in trouble and the third wave of the global financial crisis is looming large.

Such a conclusion is sensational, but not fresh.

Since China launched its reform and opening up drive, Western observers have foreseen the so-called “collapse” of China many times, but none have turned out to be genuine prophets.

The latest cry about China’s economy is like a fortune-teller in the street who talks nonsense, with predictions more resembling fictional thrillers than real-life previews.

What makes such predictions false is that they oversimplify China’s economy into one or a few numbers and then exaggerate them.

The number cited most by bearish analysts is 7.7 percent — last year’s growth, which tied with that of 2012 for the weakest since 1999.

So what?

Since China began posting GDP data in 1978, the country’s annual economic growth has dropped below 6 percent three times, below 8 percent nine times, below 9 percent 12 times, and below 10 percent 19 times.

To the woe of those passive observers, China’s economy never collapsed in previous slowdowns…

Excerpted; full article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2014-02/27/c_133148003.htm

See also related article — “Commentary: Doomsday prophets misread Chinese economy” [Xinhua] – http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/indepth/2014-02/26/c_133144690.htm

The Media’s Hypocritical Oath – Mandela And Economic Apartheid [MediaLens]

Posted in BBC bias, distortions and lies, Corporate Media Critique, Iraq, Libya, Nelson Mandela, South Africa on December 28, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

December 13, 2013

by David Edwards

What does it mean when a notoriously profit-driven, warmongering…media system mourns, with one impassioned voice, the death of a principled freedom fighter like Nelson Mandela?

Does it mean that the corporate system has a heart, that it cares? Or does it mean that Mandela’s politics, and the mythology surrounding them, are somehow serviceable to power?

Consider, first, that this is what is supposed to be true of professional journalism:

‘Gavin Hewitt, John Simpson, Andrew Marr and the rest are employed to be studiously neutral, expressing little emotion and certainly no opinion; millions of people would say that news is the conveying of fact, and nothing more.’ (Andrew Marr, My Trade – A Short History of British Journalism, Macmillan, 2004, p.279)

Thus, Andrew Marr, then BBC political editor, offering professional journalism’s version of the medical maxim, ‘First, do no harm’. First, do no bias.

The reality is indicated by Peter Oborne’s comment in the Telegraph:

‘There are very few human beings who can be compared to Jesus Christ. Nelson Mandela is one… It is hard to envisage a wiser ruler.’

Responding to 850 viewers who had complained that the BBC ‘had devoted too much airtime’ to Mandela’s death, James Harding, the BBC’s director of news, also expressed little emotion and certainly no opinion when he declared Mandela ‘the most significant statesman of the last 100 years, a man who defined freedom, justice, reconciliation, forgiveness’.

In other words, the corporate media had once again abandoned its famed Hypocritical Oath in affirming a trans-spectrum consensus. As ever, a proposition is advanced as indisputably true, the evidence so overwhelming that journalists simply have to ditch ‘balance’ to declare the obvious.

The motive is always said to be some pressing moral cause: national solidarity and security at home, opposition to tyranny and genocide abroad. In these moments, the state-corporate system persuades the public of its fundamental humanity, rationality and compassion. But in fact this ‘compassion’ is always driven by realpolitik and groupthink.

– ‘Emotionally Potent Over-Simplifications’ –

Because it is an integral part of a system whose actual goals and methods would not be acceptable to the public, the corporate media cannot make sense of the world; it must deal in what US foreign affairs advisor Reinhold Niebuhr called ’emotionally potent over-simplifications’.

Thus we find the endlessly recurring theme of the archetypal Bad Guy. When bin Laden is murdered, Saddam Hussein lynched and Gaddafi bombed, beaten and shot, it is the same Enemy regenerating year after year, Doctor Who-like, to be ‘taken down’ by the same Good Guy archetype. This is the benevolent father figure who forever sets corporate hearts aflutter with hope and devotion…

Full article link: http://medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/alerts-2013/750-the-media-s-hypocritical-oath-mandela-and-economic-apartheid.html

“The Illusion Of Democracy” – Liberal Journalism, Wikileaks… [Media Lens]

Posted in BBC bias, distortions and lies, Bourgeois parliamentary democracy, Capitalism crisis early 21st century, Corporate Media Critique, Iraq, U.K., Wikileaks on December 28, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by David Cromwell

December 18, 2012

In an era of permanent war, [and] economic meltdown…, we need all the champions of truth and justice that we can find. But where are they? What happened to trade unions, the green movement, human rights groups, campaigning newspapers, peace activists, strong-minded academics, progressive voices? We are awash in state and corporate propaganda, with the ‘liberal’ media a key cog in the apparatus. We are hemmed in by the powerful forces of greed, profit and control. We are struggling to get by, never mind flourish as human beings. W e are subject to increasingly insecure, poorly-paid and unfulfilling employment, the slashing of the welfare system, the privatisation of the National Health Service, the erosion of civil rights, and even the criminalisation of protest and dissent.

The pillars of a genuinely liberal society have been so weakened, if not destroyed, that we are essentially living under a system of corporate totalitarianism. In his 2010 book, Death of the Liberal Class, the former New York Times reporter Chris Hedges notes that:

‘The anemic liberal class continues to assert, despite ample evidence to the contrary, that human freedom and equality can be achieved through the charade of electoral politics and constitutional reform. It refuses to acknowledge the corporate domination of traditional democratic channels for ensuring broad participatory power.’ (p. 8)

Worse, the liberal class has: ‘lent its voice to hollow acts of political theater, and the pretense that democratic debate and choice continue to exist.’ (pp. 9-10)

This pretense afflicts all the major western ‘democracies’, including the UK, and it is a virus that permeates corporate news reporting, not least the BBC. For example, the BBC’s political editor Nick Robinson has a new book out with the cruelly apt title, ‘Live From Downing Street’. Why apt? Because Downing Street is indeed the centre of the political editor’s worldview. As he explains in the book’s foreword:

‘My job is to report on what those in power are thinking and doing and on those who attempt to hold them to account in Parliament.’ (Added emphasis).

Several observations spring to mind:

1. How does Nick Robinson know what powerful politicians are thinking?

2. Does he believe that any discrepancy between what they really think and what they tell him and his media colleagues is inconsequential?

3. Why does the BBC’s political editor focus so heavily on what happens in Parliament? What about the wider spectrum of opinion outside Parliament, so often improperly represented by MPs, if at all? What about attempts in the wider society to hold power to account, away from Westminster corridors and the feeble, Whip-constrained platitudes of party careerists? No wonder Robinson might have regrets over Iraq, as he later concedes when he says:

‘The build-up to the invasion of Iraq is the point in my career when I have most regretted not pushing harder and not asking more questions.’ (p. 332).

4. Thus, right from the start of his book Robinson concedes unwittingly that his journalism cannot, by definition, be ‘balanced’.

But, of course, corporate media professionals have long propped up the illusion that the public is offered an ‘impartial’ selection of facts, opinions and perspectives from which any individual can derive a well-informed world view. Simply put, ‘impartiality’ is what the establishment says is impartial.

The journalist and broadcaster Brian Walden once said: ‘The demand for impartiality is too jealously promoted by the political parties themselves. They count balance in seconds and monitor it with stopwatches.’ (Quoted, Tim Luckhurst, ‘Time to take sides’, Independent, July 1, 2003). This nonsense suggests that media ‘impartiality’ means that one major political party receives identical, or at least similar, coverage to another. But when all the major political parties have almost identical views on all the important issues, barring small tactical differences, how can this possibly be deemed to constitute genuine impartiality?

The major political parties offer no real choice. They all represent essentially the same interests crushing any moves towards meaningful public participation in the shaping of policy; or towards genuine concern for all members of society, particularly the weak and the vulnerable.

The essential truth was explained by political scientist Thomas Ferguson in his book Golden Rule (University of Chicago Press, 1995). When major backers of political parties and elections agree on an issue ­– such as international ‘free trade’ agreements, [or] maintaining a massive ‘defence’ budget… – then the parties will not compete on that issue, even though the public might desire a real alternative.

US media analyst Robert McChesney observes:

‘In many respects we now live in a society that is only formally democratic, as the great mass of citizens have minimal say on the major public issues of the day, and such issues are scarcely debated at all in any meaningful sense in the electoral arena.’ (McChesney, Rich Media, Poor Democracy, The New Press, 2000, p. 260).

As the Washington Post once noted, inadvertently echoing Ferguson’s Golden Rule, modern democracy works best when the political ‘parties essentially agree on most of the major issues’. The Financial Times put it more bluntly: capitalist democracy can best succeed when it focuses on ‘the process of depoliticizing the economy.’ (Cited by McChesney, ibid., p. 112).

The public recognises much of this for what it is. Opinion polls indicate the distrust they feel for politicians and business leaders, as well as the journalists who all too frequently channel uncritical reporting on politics and business. A 2009 survey by the polling company Ipsos MORI found that only 13 per cent of the British public trust politicians to tell the truth: the lowest rating in 25 years. Business leaders were trusted by just 25 per cent of the public, while journalists languished at 22 per cent.

And yet recall that when Lord Justice Leveson published his long-awaited report into ‘the culture, practices and ethics of the British press’ on November 29, he made the ludicrous assertion that ‘the British press – I repeat, all of it – serves the country very well for the vast majority of the time.’

That tells us much about the nature and value of his government-appointed inquiry…

Full article link: http://medialens.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=713:the-illusion-of-democracy&catid=25:alerts-2012&Itemid=69

Edited / excerpted by Zuo Shou

“The Nobel Peace Prize for War” by Michael Parenti [Globalresearch.ca]

Posted in Afghanistan, BBC bias, distortions and lies, EU, European Union, France, Germany, Iraq, Libya, Nobel Peace Prize, Norway, Yugoslavia - former FRY on October 27, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

18 October 2012

[Excerpted]

Those who own the wealth of nations take care to downplay the immensity of their holdings while emphasizing the supposedly benign features of the socio-economic order over which they preside. With its regiments of lawmakers and opinion-makers, the ruling hierarchs produce a never-ending cavalcade of symbols, images, and narratives to disguise and legitimate the system of exploitative social relations existing between the 1% and the 99%.

The Nobel Peace Prize would seem to play an incidental role in all this. Given the avalanche of system-sustaining class propaganda and ideological scenarios dished out to us, the Nobel Peace Prize remains just a prize. But a most prestigious one it is, enjoying a celebrated status in its anointment of already notable personages.

In October 2012, in all apparent seriousness, the Norwegian Nobel Committee (appointed by the Norwegian Parliament) bestowed the Nobel Peace Prize upon the European Union (EU). Let me say that again: the European Union with its 28 member states and 500 million inhabitants was awarded for having “contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy, and human rights in Europe.” (Norway itself is not a member of the EU. The Norwegians had the good sense to vote against joining.)

Alfred Nobel’s will (1895) explicitly states that the peace prize should go “to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.” The EU is not a person and has not worked for the abolition or reduction of standing armies or promotion of any kind of peace agenda. If the EU award looked a bit awkward, the BBC and other mainstream news media came to the rescue, referring to the “six decades of peace” and “sixty years without war” that the EU supposedly has achieved. The following day, somebody at the BBC did the numbers and started proclaiming that the EU had brought “seventy years of peace on the European continent.” What could these wise pundits possibly be thinking? Originally called the European Economic Community and formed in 1958, the European Union was established under its current name in 1993, about twenty years ago.

The Nobel Committee, the EU recipients, and the western media all overlooked the 1999 full-scale air war launched on the European continent against Yugoslavia, a socialist democracy that for the most part had offered a good life to people of various Slavic nationalities—as many of them still testify today.

The EU did not oppose that aggression. In fact, a number of EU member states, including Germany and France, joined in the 1999 war on European soil led largely by the United States. For 78 days, U.S. and other NATO forces bombed Yugoslavian factories, utilities, power stations, rail systems, bridges, hotels, apartment buildings, schools and hospitals, killing thousands of civilians, all in the name of a humanitarian rescue operation, all fueled by unsubstantiated stories of Serbian “genocide.” All this warfare took place on European soil.

Yugoslavia was shattered, along with its uniquely designed participatory democracy with its self-management and social ownership system. In its place emerged a cluster of right-wing mini-republics wherein everything has been privatized and deregulated, and poverty has replaced amplitude. Meanwhile rich western corporations are doing quite well in what was once Yugoslavia.

Europe aside, EU member states have sent troops to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and additional locales in Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia, usually under the tutorship of the U.S. war machine.

But what was I to expect? For years I ironically asserted that the best way to win a Nobel Peace Prize was to wage war or support those who wage war instead of peace. An overstatement perhaps, but take a look…

Full article link: http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-nobel-peace-prize-for-war/5308808

Belling the Cat — the BBC role in fabricating the Pussy Riot affair [Strategic Culture Foundation

Posted in BBC bias, distortions and lies, Corporate Media Critique, Media smear campaign, Russia on September 27, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

It was obvious to me that the video making the rounds purportedly showing the performance of PR at the Moscow Cathedral was a rather bad edit job, raising questions about what actually happened that day, why the video was edited as it was and presented under false pretenses. This article attempts to examine these issues, which were patently ignored by the biased Anglosphere media — a media which this article suggests played a central role in the manipulating the images for propaganda purposes. See original article for live links (indicated by ‘here’ in the article). – Zuo Shou

Sept. 19, 2012

A British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) correspondent in Moscow named Steven Rosenberg staged and filmed a rehearsal of what he claims Pussy Riot told him they were planning at the Christ the Saviour Cathedral at least a day, possibly several days before February 21. That is the day when three of the group members committed the acts for which they were convicted in a Moscow court on August 17, and sentenced to prison for two years.

The BBC’s role in encouraging these acts, coaching them in rehearsal in front of a camera, and then acting as an international megaphone for their songs and claims, was not called in evidence during the court proceedings, nor mentioned in the judgement. But the BBC is now refusing to answer questions about what they have done to promote Pussy Riot in media that have been circulating worldwide since February.

The video clip Rosenberg directed and produced on or before February 20 shows four women he has identified as the Pussy Riot band. They appear to be miming through their balaclavas. The soundtrack, which includes a drum and a tambourine not visible in the filming, appears to have been added after Rosenberg and his cameraman took the women through their act.

Here is the BBC-staged version, dated February 20, in which the Russian language voice-over claims the cathedral performance was to take place the very next day, and that the purpose of the “rehearsal” was get the timing right for the cathedral.

Here is the purported cathedral performance by three women on February 21. On the 2.15-minute tape, less than 60 seconds was filmed in Christ the Saviour Cathedral; film from another church, in Elohovsky Epiphany Cathedral, shot earlier with other participants, was spliced into the running to make it appear to be part of the same cathedral sequence; the soundtrack was fabricated and added afterwards.

And here is Rosenberg’s report, dated February 28, in which he claims that earlier that same month eight members of Pussy Riot, standing on top of Lobnoye Mesto, “had conquered Red Square.” Other press reports, including Pussy Riot support groups, say this incident happened on January 20. The discrepancy was either a mistake on Rosenberg’s part, or a sign that the February 28 commentary was prepared much before its broadcast date, and delayed for some reason. In voiceover, Rosenberg claims the women had performed a “concert” at the Red Square monument lasting two minutes before the police arrived. But the BBC film of the women, and of the police reaction, runs for less than 60 seconds.

Rosenberg didn’t report that they were arrested; apparently they weren’t. Nor did Rosenberg reveal there was no concert – the guitar sounds were faked.

The Wikipedia history of Lobnoye Mesto, which dates to the 16th century, was modified on August 17 to include a photograph of Pussy Riot on the monument. From the positional evidence this image appears to have come from the same source as provided the footage edited into the BBC broadcast on February 28.

Rosenberg’s version of what was shouted during the “concert” came from him; it is impossible to verify his claim from the soundtrack of the tape. Just 40 seconds of the “rehearsal tape” were shown again. It’s possible that both pieces of film were prepared for broadcast before the cathedral incident had actually taken place. Either that, or else Rosenberg knew the cathedral incident had happened, but didn’t want to report that news. By February 28, according to Rosenberg, Pussy Riot had “asked us not to reveal where they are, or who they are. It’s all very hushhush.” Rosenberg and the BBC didn’t explain why. If Pussy Riot was Rosenberg’s idea of a poster for freedom of speech, he was being strangely coy himself…

By John Helmer, Moscow, johnhelmer.net

[Excerpted by Zuo Shou]

Full article link: http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2012/09/19/belling-cat-bbc-role-fabricating-pussy-riot-affair.html

Murdoch may be a convenient demon, but the media is a junta [Johnpilger.com]

Posted in Australia, BBC bias, distortions and lies, Corporate Media Critique, Israel, Obama, Oligarchy, Tony Blair, U.K., US drone strikes, US imperialism, USA, War crimes on July 10, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by John Pilger

30 June 2012

Australia is the world’s first murdochracy.  US citizen Rupert Murdoch controls 70 per cent of the metropolitan press.  He has monopolies in state capitals and provincial centres.  The only national newspaper is his.  He is a dominant force online and in pay-TV and publishing. Known fearfully as "Rupert", he is the Chief Mate.

But Murdoch’s dominance is not as it is often presented.  Although he is now one of the West’s accredited demons, thanks to his phone-hackers, he is but part of a media system that will not change when his empire is broken up.  The political extremism that is the concentration of the world’s wealth in few hands and the accelerating impoverishment of the majority will ensure this.  A Melbourne journalist, Paul Chadwick, one of the few to rebel against Murdoch, described this as "akin to a small group of generals who sit above the main institutions… a junta in all but name".

Consider the junta’s rise.  In the US, at the end of the second world war, 80 per cent of newspapers were independently owned.  By 1987, most were controlled by 15 corporations, of which six dominate today. Their ideological message is a mantra.  They promote global and domestic economic piracy and the cult of "perpetual war".  This is currently served by a "liberal" president who pursues whistleblowers, dispatches drones and selects from his personal "kill list" every Tuesday.   In Britain, where the propaganda of big capital also dominates, the historic convergence of the two main political parties is rarely news. Tony Blair, a conspirator in the greatest crime of this century, is promoted as "a wasted talent".  In all these agendas, notably the promotion of war, the Murdoch press often plays a supporting role to the reputable BBC.  The Leveson inquiry has shown not the slightest interest in this.

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