The late writer, broadcaster and wit Clive James formulated what he called the ‘Barry Manilow Law’: ‘Everyone you know thinks Barry Manilow is absolutely terrible. But everyone you don’t know thinks he’s great.’ (James, cited Martin Amis, ‘Inside Story,’ Vintage, 2020, e-book, p.74) A Media Lens version of this might read: ‘Everyone you know thinks BBC News is absolutely terrible. […]
Author: Media Lens
BURNED AT THE STAKE: UN SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON TORTURE DEMOLISHES FAKE CLAIMS TARGETING JULIAN ASSANGE
On the face of it, the task seems almost hopeless. As Tolstoy wrote: ‘The power of the government is maintained by public opinion, and with this power the government, by means of its organs – its officials, law courts, schools, churches, even the press – can always maintain the public opinion which they need.’ (Leo Tolstoy, Writings on Non-Violence and Civil […]
The key point, for us, which has nothing to do with lefter-than-thou sniping, is that this indicates the extraordinary extent to which the best, supposedly ‘centre-left’ media are protected from rational criticism.
Last week, Jeremy Corbyn humbled the entire political and corporate media commentariat. With a little help from Britain’s student population. And with a little help from thousands of media activists. Without doubt this was one of the most astonishing results in UK political history. Dismissed by all corporate political pundits, including the clutch of withered fig leaves at the Guardian, […]
Our point is that if journalists like Monbiot are serious about establishing the truth, they will test the French government and other claims against the arguments and evidence offered by dissidents. They will consider the different claims, and come to some kind of informed conclusion. What is not acceptable is that journalists should simply accept as Truth arguments made by Western governments openly seeking regime change in Syria and that have a spectacular track record of lying about claims supposedly justifying war.
The title of the editorial said it all: ‘The Guardian view on George W Bush: a welcome return’ In a tongue-in-cheek, almost jovial, piece the Guardian unsubtly rehabilitated a man responsible for crimes that are among the most egregious in all history. Bush was responsible for the destruction of an entire country, the killing of one million Iraqis, the wounding […]
In the wake of Brexit and Trump, ‘mainstream’ media have done the formerly unthinkable by focusing on media bias. The intensity of focus has been such that the Oxford Dictionaries have announced that ‘post-truth’ is their ‘Word of the Year 2016’. ‘Post-truth’ refers to ‘circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion […]
Awkward facts that erode the ‘benign humanitarian’ self-image of the West are routinely side-lined or buried by the corporate media. Consider, for example, the severe impact of sanctions imposed on Syria by the United States and the European Union. An internal United Nations assessment, revealed on September 28 by Rania Khalek in The Intercept, makes clear that the sanctions are […]
A Guardian piece last month described: ‘How September 11 revealed the real Hillary Clinton.’ While even supporters recognise that Clinton’s campaign has been notably cold, passionless and bereft of conviction, ‘The Clinton who emerges from the WNYC [New York Public Radio] tapes is passionate, raw and unrestrained.’ The Guardian quotes sources who reveal how Clinton ‘showed herself to be a […]
National newspapers were ‘unimpressed by Jeremy Corbyn’s victory’ in the Labour leadership election, Roy Greenslade noted in the Guardian, surprising no-one. Corbyn secured almost 62% of the 506,000 votes cast, up from the 59% share he won in 2015, ‘with virtually no press backing whatsoever’. In reality, of course, Corbyn did not just lack press backing. He won in the […]
The ‘mainstream’ Western media is, almost by definition, the last place to consult for honest reporting of Western crimes. Consider the appalling case of Yemen which is consumed by war and an ongoing humanitarian catastrophe. Since March 2015, a ‘coalition’ of Sunni Arab states led by Saudi Arabia, and supported by the US, Britain and France, has been dropping bombs […]
A report published by the London School of Economics last month found extreme levels of bias in BBC reporting. The ‘impartial’ BBC’s early evening news was almost five times more likely to depict Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in a negative light. In the time period studied (September 1 – November 1, 2015), no headlines on this key news programme presented […]