Lies, Damn Lies, and Major Media Scoundrel Journalism
by Stephen Lendman
Merriam-Webster’s defines journalism as involving “writing characterized by a direct presentation of facts or description of events without an attempt at interpretation.”
In other words, the truth, the whole truth, and nothing else.
The Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics Preamble states:
“….public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues. Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty. Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist’s credibility.”
The Radio-Television News Directors Association Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct stresses public trust, credibility, accuracy, and truth. “(R)eporting (must exclude) anything known to be false.” It must stress fairness, integrity, independence, accountability, and “responsibility to the profession of electronic journalism.”
Clearly, major media print and broadcast journalism fails on all counts. They serves wealth and power. They feature managed and junk food news. They exclude truth and full disclosure. Readers, viewers, and listeners are cheated by lies, damn lies, and an agenda harming their vital interests.
In 1941, Frank Mott said yellow journalism features:
(1) scare headlines, often on minor junk food news.
(2) lavish use of photos, pictures, or imaginary drawings.
(3) fake interviews, misleading headlines, pseudo-science, featuring paid-for-media “experts.”
(4) full-color Sunday supplements.
(5) sympathy with underdogs against the system.
The latter practice is now reversed. Victims are called villains. War criminals are portrayed as liberators. As a result, America, its NATO partners, and Israel get away with murder under the banner of fighting terrorism and spreading democracy to beleaguered people.
Fiction substituting for fact facilitates it. At the same time, dissent’s marginalized and targeted. Imperial wars are supported. Patriotism means going along or else. “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is Strength.” Big Brother’s alive, well, and flourishing in America, rogue NATO states and Israel.
Militarists and profiteers demand war, the more the better. In lockstep, major media scoundrels cheerlead it. After a decade of human slaughter, misery, and vast destruction, Syria and Iran appear next.
Supporting America’s Permanent War Agenda
Falsified reports cheerlead it. Op-eds and editorials highlight it. Truth and full disclosure’s prohibited. The New York Times March 2 editorial headlined, “Crushing Homs.” It reinvented reality on the ground.
It accused Assad of weeks of “merciless bombardment,” saying there’s “no doubt (he’ll) keep on killing. The international community must keep stepping up the pressure for him to go.”
For the past year, Western recruited, trained, armed and funded insurgents ravaged parts of Syria, notably in cities like Homs. Assad struggled to liberate the city and other killer gang infested areas. No responsible leader would do less. He’s more victim than villain, but you’d never know it from falsified major media reports.
“On Friday, (Assad) blocked” relief aid for Homs “without explanation. There were unconfirmed reports that security forces were conducting house-to-house searches and summary executions.”
From Geneva, the ICRC reported the following:
“(H)humanitarian aid reaches people in Homs and Bludan. In Homs, Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteers are distributing food, medical supplies, blankets, and hygiene consumables to thousands of people affected by the increasing violence.”
“A convoy loaded with these supplies entered the city yesterday, while a similar convoy reached Bludan.”
Syrian Red Crescent head of emergency operations Khaled Erksoussi said:
“Our volunteers were able to deliver food parcels, blankets and other urgently needed supplies to these displaced people.”
The ICRC and Syrian Red Crescent plan further missions to deliver vitally needed humanitarian aid.
Sick and wounded are being evacuated despite killer gang attempts to prevent ambulances from reaching affected areas.
On March 3, Syria’s Arab News Agency SANA reported insurgents responsible for murder and vandalism routed from Homs, including the Baba Amro neighborhood.
Residents said they terrorized the city for weeks. They “occupied schools, medical centers and public establishment (facilities) by force of arms, turning them to centers for killing and torture, adding that the terrorists also took over some houses in the neighborhood and kicked their occupants out, transforming the houses to lairs where they planned their attacks.”
Residents were forced to participate in protests. Those refusing were killed or tortured. Snipers shot civilians from rooftops. Terrorized residents dared not leave home. Some had no choice.
They expressed relief after Syrian forces freed them, saying they feel free again. The Times falsely accused Assad of “summary executions” committed by killer gangs.
Most Syrians support Assad. Overwhelmingly approving a new constitution showed it. They deplore killer gang violence they want ended. Yet The Times falsely claimed “demonstrators chose the name this week of ‘The Friday of Equipping the Free Syrian Army.’ ”
Most Syrians oppose it. In insurgent held areas, protesters are forced to participate in protests on threat of death or torture.
Propaganda videos falsify events on the ground. They replicated fake Libyan ones. Al Jazeera featured them, including fabricated euphoric scenes of Tripoli’s liberation. Weeks in advance, they were shot in Doha, Qatar at a Hollywood-like sound stage replica of Green Square and Gaddafi’s compound. It was theater, not real.
On Friday, the EU recognized the opposition Syrian National Council as a “legitimate representative of Syrians,” saying:
“The European Union supports the Syrian opposition in its struggle for freedom, dignity and democracy, recognizes the Syrian National Council as a legitimate representative of Syrians and calls upon all members of the Syrian opposition to unite in its peaceful struggle.”
Ahead of Russia’s March 4 presidential elections, polls not only show Vladimir Putin’s support at 60%, 76% of Russians see America as an “aggressor bent on imposing its control on all countries.”
In late February, Hillary Clinton admitted that Al Qaeda and other US designated terror groups are part of Syria’s anti-Assad opposition. In other words, she tacitly acknowledged supporting them.
For years, Al Qaeda’s been used as friend and foe, depending on where and for what strategic purpose. Against regimes like Assad, they’re heavily armed and supported to terrorize civilians.
Against Gaddafi, Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) Al Qaeda elements were used. In Syria, the same process is playing out. No wonder most Russians think America’s bent on world domination. One imperial war segues seamlessly into another. People around the world know it. Most Americans remain out of touch in the dark.
On March 1, The Hindu headlined, “When Insanity rules the world, saying:
“India should resist the West’s brazen efforts to use championship of democracy as a cover for regime change.”
America and other rogue Western states “have not merely abandoned the secular, albeit autocratic, regimes that had kept the peace in the Middle East for four decades, but trampled upon the last remnants of the doctrine of national sovereignty upon which the international order, indeed international law itself, has been based for the last 350 years.”
Only fools believe waging ruinous wars “make(s) the world ‘safer for humanity.’ ” Wars beget more of them with endless carnage. “One shudders to think” where this madness will end!
A Final Comment
Last month, Voice of Russia reported flights from Lebanon’s Kleyate Airport delivering Israeli weapons to Syrian killer gangs. “(T)here are grounds to assume that the airport in the north of Lebanon will become a transshipment base to supply weapons to Syrian insurgents.”
Opposition Syrian forces openly admit being armed by America and France. Besides Lebanon, shipments come from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey, and perhaps directly from Israel through Golan and other border crossings.
Occasional weapons caches are found. Israeli-made ones with Hebrew inscriptions are among them, including bombs, other explosive devices, automatic rifles, protective vests, night-vision equipment, and more.
Where indeed does this end? It’s hard imagining how cooler heads can stop it before it’s too late.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.