Sunday, June 28, 2009

Media Spin fit for the bin

Mr. Obama and Mr. Medvedev
New York Times editorial
July 3, 2009
By the time President George W. Bush left office, Russian-American relations had deteriorated alarmingly. Russia bore a good part of the blame, harassing opponents, stifling a free press and bullying its neighbors.
Of course, it's the fault of those Ruskies... wouldn't have anything to do with the belligerant unilateralist approach of the Bush administration, or the arrogant hypocrisy of the US polity.

Unmasking the mysterious 7/7 conspiracy theorist
By Mike Rudin,
BBC News Magazine
June 30, 2009
In the absence of a public inquiry into the 7 July bombings, conspiracy theories have filled the vacuum.

The government has always resisted calls for an independent public inquiry, and has decided not to actively counter conspiracy theories.

But there is concern that conspiracy theories are divisive and could alienate Muslims from the authorities. The former Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Brian Paddick, says action is needed to prevent further atrocities.

"Hopefully there will be people in the police service, the security service and in government who will realise how important conspiracy theories are. And how important it is… that every attempt is made to try and counteract them."
Yeah right! Maybe they should outlaw conspiracy theories.

But wait a minute, isn't the government's account itself a conspiracy theory?

Four muslims conspired to bomb the Londay subway, right?

That's a conspiracy theory, not a proven fact.

So are we meant to believe that government conspiracy theories are infallable, unifying and conducive to trust in the authorities, but all other conspiracy theories are divisive, alienating and dangerous, the product of crazed lunatics and people with too much time on their hands?

Taliban Losses Are No Sure Gain for Pakistanis
By JANE PERLEZ and PIR ZUBAIR SHAH,
The New York Times,
June 28, 2009
The Pakistani military has claimed success in the Swat Valley, but the stability may be threatened by the militants’ decision to flee, possibly to return later.
I suppose stability would have flourished if the militants' decision had been to stay and possibly be slaughtered... now that would have made an interesting story.

Death in the Afternoon
Author not cited
From the Times Online
June 27, 2009
The shooting of a music student in a Tehran side street encapsulates for the world the brutality of a regime that kills to stay in power
But of course, the shooting of an electrician, Jean Charles de Menezes, in a London subway, did not encapsulate for the world the brutality of a regime that kills to stay in power.

U.S. and Russia Differ on a Treaty for Cyberspace
By JOHN MARKOFF and ANDREW E. KRAMER
The New York Times,
June 27, 2009
The unique challenge of cyberspace is that governments can carry out deceptive attacks to which they cannot be linked, said Herbert Lin, director of a study by the National Research Council, a private, nonprofit organization, on the development of cyberweapons.
Oh really, what's unique about that? Governments can carry out deceptive attacks to which they cannot be linked, in any theatre of operations. It's called false flag or black-ops, ie. covert operations. You would think both Herbert Lin and the journos know this, so what gives...

According to the Department of Defense, a covert operation is "so planned and executed as to conceal the identity of or permit plausible denial by the sponsor."

Test Looms as U.S. Tracks North Korean Ship
By CHOE SANG-HUN
The New York Times
June 21, 2009
A North Korean ship shadowed by an American Navy destroyer and possibly heading toward Myanmar on Sunday could pose the first test of how far the United States and its allies will go under a new United Nations resolution to stop the North’s military shipments.
So eh!... the first test of how far the United States and its allies will go ... under a new United Nations resolution ... to stop the North’s military shipments ... hmmm ...

From the Chronology of U.S.-North Korean Nuclear and Missile Diplomacy ...
December 9, 2002: U.S. forces intercept and search a ship carrying a shipment of North Korean Scud missiles and related cargo to Yemen.
So this new United Nations resolution must be pretty important then, must give the US even more power to board and search North Korean vessels on the high seas... hmm, pity the journo doesn't bother to tell us anything at all about this new United Nations resolution, not even its number, but the article does provide a link to another NYT article that gives the number and says this about the new UN resolution ...
The sanctions in Resolution 1874 were considered tougher than previous versions largely because China and Russia, the closest thing North Korea has to friends, agreed to a mixture of financial and trade restrictions designed to choke off military development.
Got that, financial and trade restrictions designed to choke off military development... hmmm, them sounds like teeth.

http://www.un.org/Docs/sc/unsc_resolutions09.htm

This isn't the first test of the United States ability to intercept and search North Korean vessels on the high seas, that happened in December 2002... at that time the US had no legal authority under international law to sieze the cargo. The only significant change in that respect was made in 2006, three years ago, when the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1718... it would only take a few minutes for a journo or editor to check these facts, but apparently they'd rather look stupid than take the time to check a few facts.

http://www.un.org/Docs/sc/unsc_resolutions06.htm

By creating the impression that the United States was somehow testing newfound powers, the author has completely misrepresented the truth of the matter, and quite deliberately, as evidenced by the marked lack of information regarding the UN resolution referred to in the lead paragraph. Was this done simply to make a good story, or is there some other explanation? Is this a healthy journalistic practice?

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