International journalism advocacy group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is declaring March 12 "Online Free Expression Day" to raise awareness to government repression of Web-based journalism in over 20 countries throughout the world.
RSF now lists 15 countries as "Internet enemies" (such as Cuba, Iran, and North Korea) and 11 other nations in a less-severe but nonetheless troubling designation as "countries under watch" (emphasis mine):
Update (18:18 EDT): BBC has updated their article to note the Democratic party affiliation in the 3rd graf (link). Our tipster DB informs us that the BBC's North America editor Justin Webb replied to his e-mail with a promise to "try to get it changed."
The BBC initially noted Gov. Eliot Spitzer is a Democrat, in an early draft of an online news article. The mention was in the 6th paragraph. But that stuck for all of 37 minutes as NewsBusters reader DB informs us (screengrabs shown below page break):
The US media seems to think that their job description includes deciding what information is and is not legal to leak and print- never mind that we elect Presidents, Senators and Representatives to do this, not members of the scribbling class. This arrogance and complete lack of care for their fellow Americans was famously demonstrated in the NSA and SWIFT banking exposes by the New York Times resident anti-Americans, James Risen and Eric Lichtblau.
However, these are not the only such cases. Recently, Risen has once again exposed classified data with the aid of hidden law-breakers in the government. In this case, Risen exposed a CIA-Mossad operation to destabilize Iran. Risen has been subpoenaed by a federal court to reveal who gave him this data, but predictably, he sees his mission of aiding America's enemies and assisting said enemies to kill American citizens as more important that assisting the government to uphold laws about leaking sensitive information. And equally predictably, the rest of the mainstream media is rallying to his defense. Haaretz, an Israeli news source, reported on the topic today, casting Risen in the role of victim.
In rural parts of the country, it happens from time to time; a person appears uninvited on someone's property, and the landowner tells them that "elsewhere" is a better place to be. Typically these confrontations are benign in nature, even when on occasion either the property owner or the trespasser turns out to be armed.
Such was the case in Texas this past weekend when a Danish reporter wandered into the yard of an elderly Texas woman, and she shooed him off, a gun apparently in hand.
CNN's Ed Henry made quite a big deal out of the incident, promoting it as a near "international incident" writing in the lede that the Dane came "this close to getting shot."
An important trial in France revealed the Pallywood fauxtography machine and its media pipeline. Last week, expert testimony supported media critic Philippe Karsenty's claim that France 2 reporter Charles Enderlin's coverage of the Mohammad al-Dura affair was doctored and staged.
Karsenty appealed a verdict that he libeled Enderlin when he questioned the claim that Israel killed the boy who was crouching behind his father during a gunfight between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian shooters.
Al-Dura's iconic image sped around the world and sold stamps, T shirts and the Second Intifada. It inspired violence, riots, terrorism and became a 21st century Blood Libel. On March 3, Israel's Haaretz reported the stunning news that if the boy and his father were actually shot at all, the bullets could not have come from Israel's position, only the Palestinians' (bold mine throughout):
Much of what we do here at Newsbusters is serious commentary on the leftist bias in this world, issues that are consequential to the debate between right and left. But, today we can sit back and have a little lighthearted fun with our lefty friends without all that worry and seriousness hovering over us like a cloud of leftist generated noxious gas. So... do ya wanna hear something funny?
The Telegraph brings us the heart wrenching tale of one Mr. Mark Boyle, the man who thought he was going to backpack on foot from Bristol, England to Mahatma Gandhi's birthplace in Porbander, India. Unfortunately, Mr. Boyle was crestfallen to have to quit this noble effort early. And we are all the poorer for it.
The lynchpin in the anthropogenic global warming theory is the shrinking Arctic ice, but now that some of that ice is actually increasing, scientists claim, without a trace of irony, it is normal for temperatures and ice sheets to fluctuate.
Greenland's Sermitsiak reported, “The ice between Canada and southwestern Greenland has reached its highest level in 15 years.” Denmark's Meteorological Institute used satellite images to track the southward expansion of the ice and when the paper asked how these findings “fit in with” continual reports of Arctic ice “melting at a record rate due to increasing temperatures,” global warming was, of course, affirmed (map) (bold mine throughout):
Over across the pond, the Brits are having a spirited discussion about Islamic law following a statement by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, that sharia is inevitable within the UK. This has pleased some of the more extremely politically correct people who are calling for the creation of a dual-tier legal system which would enforce the medieval dictates of Islamic sharia law.
While he may not be quite that foolish, it seems British journalist Martin Fletcher (h/t LGF) does appear to be more of the useful idiot, at least judging from an op-ed he published which praises his "brush with Islamic justice:"
As one who has been hauled in front of a Sharia court I would like to risk having my hand — or head — chopped off a second time by suggesting that the Archbishop of Canterbury just might have a point.
"How would you like to get the terrorists' perspective on tonight's State of the Union address?" asks Red State's Erick Erickson, noting the prime real estate -- "just three to four steps away from the House Democratic Whip's Office"-- that the al Jazeera network is getting to cover the State of the Union and the corresponding Democratic response tonight.
Remember that touching picture of Yassar Arafat donating his blood to the 9/11 victims that was conveniently published after CNN ran footage of Palestinians cheering and handing out candy to celebrate the destruction in New York? Now France 2 journalist Charles Enderlin says that photo was staged; Arafat never gave blood.
The photos were taken by an AP photographer with a history of biased journalism and given captions that read like “a press release covering talking points.” Power Line's Scott Johnson reported Enderlin's revelation in a January 24 Weekly Standard article (bold mine throughout):
As Joel Pollak recounted online at the site Guide to the Perplexed [ed. link here], Enderlin told his Harvard audience "that Yasser Arafat had faked his blood donation to the victims of the September 11th attacks. Enderlin said the event had been staged for the media to counteract the embarrassing television images of Palestinians celebrating in the streets after the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks."
Writing in the January 16 Financial Times, reporter Marc Frank takes a look at Cuban politics as though it were an actual liberal democracy, not a Marxist dictatorship. Frank finds no irony or contradiction-in-terms in the way he qualifies the election as a public ratification of a pre-determined outcome. And in what amounts to a laughable print edition subheading, Frank's editor wrote this in the subhead to "Castro keeps world guessing on retirement":
Even if the head of state stands down, he may still be able to exert power from the sidelines, writes Marc Frank.
Gee, ya think?!
Here are the first few paragraphs of Frank's page 3 report, with my emphasis added:
They hate us, they love us, but they want us to comply with "Yankee go home," and leave them alone. Yet they crave our cash, our military protection, our cash, our leadership, our cash, our culture, oh, and our cash. Now they want to vote in our elections, too. To that end, a Brussels newspaper called De Standaard has issued the call for liberal Europeans to vote in our elections. And, WHY does Evita Neefs of De Standaard think she should be allowed to vote in our elections? Is it because we have such a great system, one she is dying to be a part of? No, it's because she wants a chance to vote into office candidates that will restrict the U.S. on the international scene, that's why. In other words, she wants the right to vote so that she might use that privilege to materially cripple U.S. interests. Well, at least she has the same goal as our own Democrat Party!
Now that global warmingists are getting governments like the UK and the US to ban incandescent lightbulbs, we're hearing some inconvenient accusations about the bulbs. This time, a January 3 article in the UK's Telegraph said the bulbs may cause migraines (h/t NB reader Linda).
The UK's Migraine Action Association reported that some of its members say the bulbs trigger the headaches. As a result, they want an exception for health reasons included in the UK's ban on traditional incandescent bulbs.
Global warmingists claim that using fluorescent bulbs will reduce carbon emissions and help to stop anthropogenic global warming, but the Telegraph explained the bulbs may be a problem (bold mine):
Several versions use a technology similar to fluorescent strip lights and some migraine sufferers say they produce a flickering effect that triggers their condition.
The "winners" included Christiane Amanpour for “God's Warriors,” the BBC for covering up an internal investigation into its Mid East reporting, US government funded Al-Hurra TV's former 'director Larry Register for dhimmitude, a UNC Daily Tar Heel article about breaking up with a boyfriend because of Israel and of course Charles Enderlin and the Mohammad Al Dura Fautography that launched the Second Intifida. See how many of the stories over at Honest Reporting you know:
Dishonest Reporter of the Year (Christiane Amanpour)
This year's Dishonest Reporter voting marks a change for HonestReporting readers. Previous awards went to large, impersonal news services, but not so this year. One journalist made herself such a lightning rod in 2007 she easily defeated BBC and Reuters – the traditional disfavorites.
The Financial Times (FT) is reporting that an Iran-bound ship seized by the United Arab Emirates last month "contained materials banned by UN Security Council resolutions 1737 and 1747, while the purchaser of the materials has been barred by the same resolutions."
Those resolutions were put in place, FT writers Simeon Kerr and Najmeh Bozorgmehr noted in their December 5 article, "to curtail its [Iran's] nuclear development programme."
Although Kerr and Bozorgmehr's Emirati government source "declined to identify the contents of the cargo or the Iranian company" that ordered them, the development is newsworthy, particularly in light of the shift in the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), that now concludes that Iran stopped its nuclear program in 2003.
A search of the December 5 Washington Post found no articles similar to Kerr and Bozorgmehr's, although it's unclear if the FT reporters have an exclusive scoop.
Dictator-groupie Sean Penn told Australia's The Age that Venezuelan autocrat Hugo Chavez is “much more positive for Venezuela than he is negative” and the Chavez-crafted constitution is “a very beautiful document.”
But hey, Venezuelans, relax! Actor/director/humanitarian Sean Penn isn't concerned that Chavez is on his way to becoming a dictator. So, stop worrying that Chavez will confiscate your home or business and force you to sew “I Heart Holocaust-Deniers” onto his custom-made Commie-red button downs.
The famous picture of a terrified Mohammed al-Dura hiding behind his father enraged millions of Muslims and became such an iconic image of Palestinian martyrdom and Israeli occupation that it caused violent rioting, inspired some UK Muslims to commit to radical Islam and was even used in suicide bomber propaganda.
It took a defamation case to get France2 to fork over the raw footage, but Media Backspin reported portions are missing (bold mine throughout):
Canadian news magazine Maclean's photoshopped George Bush into the familiar black beret, mustache and pseudo-military garb that defined the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. This photo illustration accompanied a September 20 cover story that claimed Bush is the new Saddam because he's “reaching out the the late dictator's henchmen.”
In "How Bush Became the New Saddam," writer Patrick Graham described a decaying civilization that is doomed to fail in this rambling, disjointed article. He traveled around Iraq separately from the US military and even criticized journalists embedded with them because they “learn mostly about Americans...and end up sounding like a visiting columnist for the New York Times“ (my emphasis throughout). Ah yes, Canadians wouldn't want to echo that notoriously pro-military, pro-war and pro-American voice of the NY Times.
Andrew at Biased BBC has an excellent take on the British news agency's flawed reporting on the recent release of some South Korean aid workers. For starters, the original headline glossed over the brutal murder of two hostages. Andrew also noted that contrary to BBC's own style guide, the news agency characterized the murdered missionaries as having been "executed," which implies a legal penalty governed by due process of law.
The indicted former Newark Mayor and current NJ state Senator Sharpe James sure is mysterious. According to the New York Times, WNBC and via the AP, the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo, Philadelphia Inquirer and the UK's Guardian, among others, James seemingly does not belong to a political party. Maybe he belongs to the same non-party as Rep. William Jefferson who was indicted on corruption and bribery charges earlier this year (hat tip to a NewsBusters reader):
Strangely, after a little digging, I discovered that James is a Democrat and that according to the prosecution, some of his alleged expenses included costly trips to Jamaica, Rio de Janeiro and Puerto Rico on the taxpayer's dime, as well as letting a girlfriend buy city property at bargain-basement prices.
What a difference a year makes. The publishing of Muhammed cartoons in the Danish newspaper Jyllends-Posten caused an uproar among Muslims worldwide last year. Despite the newsworthiness of the cartoons as they related to the unfolding story of violent riots throughout Europe and the Middle East, many news outlets reporting on the story refused to publish or show the cartoons out of, um, respect for Muslim sensibilities.
Now, the outcome of a lawsuit resulting from the fracas is left floating somewhere in a media backwater, as journalists seek more lucrative prey. A Muslim group based in Denmark that filed a libel lawsuit against a Danish political party leader has lost. They sued because Pia Kjaersgaard, leader of the Danish People's Party (DPP), accused some members of the Islamic Faith Community of treason for traveling to the Middle East in order to publicize the drawings, thus fanning the flames of violent dissent. The court found the term "treason" non-libelous "because it was used extensively in public debate."
I look forward to complaints that China has only a sixth of the world's population but emits a quarter of its CO2, that Chinese auto emissions standards aren't good enough (Mr Gore?) and that China hasn't signed Kyoto .....
Fox News and Variety have reported that Larry Register, former longtime CNN producer, resigned Friday from Al Hurrah, which is a US government-funded TV station in the Mid-East that is supposed to be a type of Mid-East Voice of America combating the pervasive anti-US and anti-Israel rhetoric in on TV stations like Al Jazeera.
As I noted here at NewsBusters in March, “within weeks” of Register taking over in 2005, the station took a sharp turn toward the radical. Award-winning investigative journalist and columnist Joel Mowbray and the Wall Street Journal have been on top of this story, reporting the problems, which included Register reversing the Al Hurrah policy banning terrorists as guests, that resulted in the broadcast of most of an anti-US/anti-Israel rant by Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hasan Nasrallah and giving other terrorists and extremists air time. Al Hurrah later covered the Iranian conference that denied the Holocaust and hired Yasser Thabet, a well-known Al Jazeera editor who had a habit of “fawning over terrorists,” including broadcasting Osama Bin Ladin's unedited propaganda videos because “[i]t's important to hear [Bin Ladin's] opinions.”
Variety reported Register's resignation June 10 and printed a portion of the letter he submitted (bold mine throughout):
The mainstream media can't get enough of the sectarian violence between the Shiites, the Sunnis, and the Kurds in Iraq. But one kind of sectarian violence that has consistently been under-reported since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 is the persecution of Iraq's native Christian population. A Catholic News Agency story from June 6th reported:
According to the AINA news agency, two churches were attacked in the Baghdad district of Dora. At St. John the Baptist's in Hay Al-Athoriyeen, several security guards who protect the church were killed, and St. Jacob's in Hay al Asya was vandalized and forcibly turned into a mosque. St. Jacob's had previously been attacked in October of 2004.
Surely you've heard the phrase "out of left field" when something is part of a discussion yet it makes no sense to be included? In this case, I have an example of leftist sentiment slamming Richard Nixon at the end of a story that has nothing to do with modern political "sides." It strikes one as quite odd to be where it is. When you see it, you'll cock your head and say, "What the heck is THAT all about"?
You know what I mean, I am sure. It's jarring when someone in the media is talking sports and then suddenly takes a jab at Bush, or when they're talking about fashion and they abruptly throw in a crack at those "evil conservatives", always when it is quite off topic. It makes you go "huh?" It makes you wonder if their hatred of the right is so ginned up in their tiny little minds that they cannot even talk about movies and sports without taking shots their political enemies -- and those enemies are us, folks.
This particular head spinning "Huh?" is in a story in the UK's Telegraph titled, "One filing cabinet held 500 years of history." This is a story that has nothing to do with politics per se, yet this UK paper can't resist a shot at an American Republican. The slam is completely gratuitous and makes no sense in context to the story.
Maybe Michael Moore should listen to people who actually have socialized medicine—at least those who are allowed to disagree with their government’s policies. Singer Elton John’s partner David Furnish slammed Michael Moore and his latest docuganda “Sicko” for misrepresenting the quality of the US health care system. On June 02, Furnish stated, ”[America] was the only place to get good treatment”(emphasis mine):
Canadians are mad as heck, and this time, they’re not going to take it. Michael Moore went too far to be ignored, which meant that a Canuck really gave him “what for” in the form of a polite but pointed recap of a heated press conference on Saturday for the premiere of “Sicko,” Moore’s one-sided US health-care hit job, which debuted at Cannes Film Festival .
May 20, Toronto Star entertainment reporter Peter Howell wrote in the ideologically left of center paper that the Canadian journalists who saw “Sicko” were less than happy with his “playing fast and loose with the facts” and churning out a one-sided Pollyanna treatment of Canadian health care, presenting a system without problems. After being chastised by some of the most polite people on Earth, he fired back and leveled a truly terrible offense at them by stating their system is barely a step above America's. Quelle horreur!
Read what one of the few articles critical of Moore and his accuracy had to say about the movie's obvious problems with Moore’s film (bold emphasis mine throughout):
Restrained praise is in order for the BBC’s Radio 4 series on anti-Americanism called “Death to America.” The brainchild of senior Washington correspondent Justin Webb, the three-part program examined the hatreds toward America that are bubbling over in France, Venezuela, Egypt and beyond. “A pattern was emerging and has never seriously been altered,” Webb said of his experience of anti-Americanism in Europe. “A pattern of willingness to condemn America for the tiniest indiscretion—or to magnify those indiscretions—while leaving the murderers, dictators, and thieves who run other nations oddly untouched.”
It was this realization, he said, that launched him into the series, which aired three consecutive weeks last month. Any regular consumer of the BBC, if he’s honest, must admit that Webb’s simple insight is rarely if ever heard across the BBC’s media colossus. It took gumption for Webb to approach his superiors about the program concept, and a refreshing measure of fairness for the BBC's top brass to sign off on it. [...]