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Ignore Fake News, Says Fake News BBC!

By Paul Homewood | Not A Lot Of People Know That | January 4, 2021

The problem posed by disinformation online is increasingly serious, the BBC’s director general has said.

Tim Davie told the Radio Times: “Traditional journalism has been playing catchup in the disinformation world.”

He added that 2020 has repeatedly highlighted the dangers of the internet as conspiracy theories about coronavirus and the US election were circulated online.

“News sources such as the BBC need to work harder than ever to expose fake news and separate fact from fiction,” he said. “We need to take care that trusted news is not blown off course by claims that are unfounded, however widespread they become.

“And we need to recognise that we are up against the well-funded, state-backed actors who see news as an extension of state influence and a tool for disrupting our societies and democracies.”

Davie said he was proud of the BBC’s effort to “stand up for integrity in news and fight disinformation on the frontline”.

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2020/dec/28/we-must-work-harder-to-separate-fact-from-fiction-says-tim-davie

Could this be the same BBC, who rely on Greenpeace for their climate change reports?

Is it the same BBC, which has just broadcast a woefully one-sided indoctrination programme, masquerading as a “Royal Institution Christmas Lecture”?

Or which trumpeted Christian Aid’s mendacious report on extreme weather, without the slightest attempt to check or challenge it?

Or broadcast a Panorama documentary on UK extreme weather, that was so misleading it should have carried a warning label?

All these instances have occurred in just the last month, and many more examples can be found over the years of outright lies, misinformation, omission of relevant facts, bias and a stubborn refusal to report the views of those experts who don’t agree with the BBC’s climate agenda.

And that’s before we even get started on the BBC’s political and anti-Brexit bias.

What Mr Davie is really saying, of course, is that we must all get our “news” from the BBC, and ignore other sources in case we discover the true facts.

January 4, 2021 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | 1 Comment

BBC News Report Warning About “Fake News” Contains Fake News

By Paul Joseph Watson | Summit News | December 28, 2020

An alarmist BBC News report warning about the dangers of “fake news” contained a claim which was itself a glaring example of fake news.

The article, entitled ‘The casualties of this year’s viral conspiracy theories,’ ominously warned that conspiracy theories were “destroying relationships and endangering lives.”

Prime amongst them according to Marianna Spring, the BBC’s “specialist disinformation reporter,” were a “flurry of online falsehoods about coronavirus.”

“We catalogued mass poisonings and overdoses of hydroxychloroquine – a drug that world leaders like Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro falsely claimed cures or prevents COVID-19,” wrote Spring.

However, as LockdownSkeptics points out, the claim that hydroxychloroquine doesn’t cure or prevent COVID-19 or that it is a poison is itself completely fake news.

“I’m afraid that doesn’t pass the fact-checking test, Ms Spring. Over 200 studies have shown HCQ is an effective treatment for Covid. Trump and Bolsonaro may have exaggerated the preventative and curative properties of HCQ, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely ineffective and anyone taking it is likely to poison themselves. On the contrary, it’s almost certainly no more dangerous than any of the Covid vaccines.”

Despite the efficacy of the drug, hydroxychloroquine has been demonized by the mainstream media from the beginning, partly as a way of preventing Trump from claiming success in fighting COVID and partly because it would have reduced the urgency for a vaccine, which is set to be used as a reason to restrict people’s mobility and travel rights.

December 28, 2020 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | 3 Comments

The media’s anti-Trump bias on both sides of the pond is so blatant is it any wonder the Donald is crying foul?

By Neil Clark | RT | November 7, 2020

Donald Trump always claimed the media was against him and this week’s events prove he was right, whatever one’s opinion of the US president.

It’s probably the understatement of the year to say that Donald Trump is a polarising figure. Rather like Marmite, people tend to love him or loathe him. But even those in the latter category, if they’re being honest, would have to admit that the mainstream media coverage of the 2020 presidential election results has been heavily – and quite outrageously – slanted against the US president.

Let’s put it another way.

Suppose someone who had spent the last four years at a space station on Planet Zog, and who had no background knowledge of US politics, zoomed down to Earth on Tuesday night and decided to tune into the US election coverage. They would work out pretty quickly that most of the media and most ‘commentators’ wanted the man they called ‘Trump’ to lose and the man they called ‘Biden’ to win. Orange Man = Bad, Other Man in Mask = Good.

You’d have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to notice the bias. As the author Candace Owens tweeted “At no point would they call states with a clear Trump lead on election night if it put Trump above Biden. I have never seen anything like it. The media is in full cooperation and collusion with the Democrat Party.”

Quite a claim isn’t it? But it certainly does seem that way to any neutral observer.

Trump’s defeat was something the major channels and most ‘talking heads’ had looked forward to for years. The prospect of him actually winning – against the odds and against the polls – was not something they were willing to countenance. Even when the president had a clear lead in several states. Instead we kept hearing how Joe could still take this or that state. The Democratic candidate was merely ‘biden’ his time, don‘t you know.

We all know the media plays a key role in influencing how people vote, but in the US, because of the peculiarities of the system, they also play a very important role in shaping perceptions of who is actually winning.  Forget the fat lady singing, the US election shows it ain’t over until the media says it is, the New York Times even explicitly said this in a hastily deleted tweet. And the media wasn’t going to call it over with the man they utterly despised in the lead. You don’t have to be a member of the Donald Trump fan club to acknowledge this.

On Tuesday, at 11pm in the UK Biden was odds-on and Trump 2-1 against. But in the morning Trump was odds-on. Then came the time-out. It was the German football manager Franz Beckenbauer who said that if your team is losing, you have to do everything you can to disrupt your opponent’s momentum. The media – and Trump’s opponents – certainly did that.

Of course Trump is angry about what happened. Wouldn’t you be? But look at how his reaction to what happened has been portrayed. The BBC website, declared ‘US goes to wire as Trump falsely claims fraud’. Why the ‘falsely’? Does the BBC know for sure that Trump’s claims are false? They may be but they may not be. Who knows? In the good old days when the BBC reported the news rather than editorialised it, the headline would have been ‘US vote goes to wire as Trump claims fraud’, and viewers would be left to decide for themselves whether they thought the claims had any merit.

ITV News was just as subjective. ’Donald Trump repeats baseless election fraud claim as Joe Biden urges calm’, they tweeted. Got that? Bad Man makes baseless claims, Good Man says ‘Stay calm, folks’.

Isn’t it revealing that Trump’s claims are routinely and summarily dismissed as ‘false’ and ‘baseless’ whereas Democrat claims that he was a de facto Russian agent received no such dismissal. No, they and the associated claims of ’major Russian collusion’ in the 2016 election were reported as credible, even though no evidence was produced. Which begs the question: How can the US electoral system be so fraud-proof in 2020, yet so open to ’Russian fraud’ in 2016?  The double standards are off the scale.

Trump has been told to be a ‘good loser’ and ‘do a John McCain’ by those who did everything they could to delegitimise his victory four years ago. Is it any surprise that he isn’t prepared to concede and instead threatens litigation? To add insult to injury several news networks cut off from the president’s Thursday press conference regarding the election. Newsweek, helpfully, tells us Trump’s statement “was laced with  false claims regarding the election.”

The BBC, even more helpfully, ‘fact-checked’ Trump‘s speech for us. What a service! What a pity all this ‘fact-checking‘ wasn‘t around when George W. Bush (and Tony Blair) were making claims about Iraq having WMDs. They were baseless claims, for sure. But no one reported them as such. Shame that, because lots of people died. But only Donald Trump tells lies. Donald Trump was the man who invented ‘Fake News’. There was none of it before he was around.

Repeat After Me: “Orange Man Bad. Biden Man Good. Once Bad Orange Man goes US will be a great, internationally-respected country again like when it invaded Iraq and Afghanistan, bombed Yugoslavia and destroyed Libya under the ‘honourable’ Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama, who never made any ‘false’ claims at all. Got it, children?”

Now go to sleep. Uncle Joe will (hopefully) soon be in the White House and the world will be a MUCH BETTER PLACE.

Neil Clark is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and blogger. His award winning blog can be found at http://www.neilclark66.blogspot.com. He tweets on politics and world affairs @NeilClark66

November 7, 2020 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite | , , | 1 Comment

Was It Really The Wettest Day?

By Paul Homewood | Not A Lot Of People Know That | November 5, 2020

Saturday 3 October was the wettest day for UK-wide rainfall since records began in 1891, Met Office researchers have said.

The downpour followed in the wake of Storm Alex and saw an average of 31.7mm (1.24ins) of rain across the entire UK.

The deluge was enough to exceed the capacity of Loch Ness – the largest lake in the UK by volume – the researchers added.

The previous record wettest day was 29 August 1986.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-54561601

No doubt this will be wheeled out at the end of the year by the Met Office to bolster its “extreme weather” propaganda. But was it really the wettest day? How do we know?

Quite simply, we don’t, because the Met Office have never published a database of UK daily rainfall. Instead we are expected to take their word for it. Would you trust a company claiming that it had just made record profits, when it had never published any accounts? Of course not.

We also know that the Met Office has recently included several high altitude sites in its rainfall database, which have inevitably skewed upwards rainfall totals.

However, although they do not publish UK daily rainfall data, we do have daily data from the England & Wales Precipitation Series back to 1931. This series categorically shows that October 3rd was not a record, nor anywhere close.

Rainfall totalled 28.48mm on that day, well below the record of 43.23mm which fell in August 1986. Last month’s “record” was in fact only the tenth wettest day.

https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadukp/data/daily/HadEWP_daily_qc.txt

Even the England & Wales series is of limited value, as it still only has 90 years of data. There will undoubtedly have been many other extremely wet days earlier.

In fact, as the Met Office admits, the rainfall on 3rd October was not particularly intense anywhere, simply widespread across the whole country.

For instance, Oxfordshire was one of the wettest spots in England, and they had about 60mm that day:

https://blog.metoffice.gov.uk/2020/10/16/rainfall-on-uks-wettest-day-on-record-could-have-more-than-filled-loch-ness/

However, even at Oxford, such a total was far from being unprecedented:

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2020/11/03/bbcs-oxford-soggy-month-claims-undermined-by-the-actual-data/

To be fair, Scotland got a real drenching that day, which may have tilted the UK figures up from the England & Wales ones. However, as I have frequently pointed out, Scotland has become wetter in recent decades, but that does not mean that the rest of the UK has.

The Met Office’s Mark McCarthy gives us the usual weasel words:

“We can’t make any definitive statements specifically about the attribution of this particular event on October 3,” said Dr McCarthy.

“There’s a general expectation that under our warming climate, we would expect to see increases in some types of extreme rainfall and rainfall events and we’re expecting to have wetter winters overall, we could expect increases in these types of extremes.”

If what he says is true, we would expect to see a pattern of increasingly extreme wet weather in England & Wales, and not just Scotland. The fact is that there is no such pattern, either in these intense daily events, or for that matter monthly totals.

Clearly therefore his theory holds no water.

November 5, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

The Guardian can try rewriting the history of White Helmets’ James Le Mesurier, but the truth is there for all to see

By Kit Klarenberg | RT | October 30, 2020

A fetishistic Guardian article seeks to rehabilitate the life and death of the former British soldier turned ‘humanitarian’, but cannot explain away his lavish lifestyle, missing money, and all the other financial irregularities.

On the morning of November 11, 2019, James Le Mesurier, founder of Syria’s controversial White Helmets, was found dead in Istanbul. Since then, the Western establishment has struggled to get its story straight on the man, his professional history, the group he founded, and how he died.

The latest example of mainstream media narrative management in the ever-mysterious case came in the Guardian on October 27, in the form of a 6,000-word hagiography of Le Mesurier, authored by its veteran Middle East reporter Martin Chulov.

Many at this point will be familiar with the idolatrous portait it paints of its subject – a heroic humanitarian committed to benevolent causes who saved untold lives, tragically driven to suicide by a “disinformation campaign led by Russian and Syrian officials and peddled by pro-Assad bloggers, alt-right media figures and self-described anti-imperialists.” Nonetheless, it marks the first time the significant controversy surrounding his financial dealings has ever been explored, let alone mentioned, by a British news outlet.

In July this year, the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant published a long-read of its own, explosively revealing how, three days prior to his death, Le Mesurier ‘confessed’ via email to the White Helmets’ many international donors, who’d funded the group to the tune of hundreds of millions over the years, that he’d committed fraud.

The disclosure was prompted by an internal audit by a Dutch accountant of the finances of Mayday, the foundation started by Le Mesurier to find, train, and support the White Helmets. The audit found, among other things, that he had been paying himself and his wife, long-time UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) operative Emma Winberg, “excessive” salaries and supplementing the totals with unjustifiably vast cash bonuses; that his employment of his wife represented a potential conflict of interest; and that he might be guilty of tax evasion.

While claiming this malfeasance wasn’t intentional, Le Mesurier took full and sole responsibility, and expressed fears that further investigation could expose yet more “mistakes and internal failures.”

Monetary misconduct

Damning stuff indeed, but De Volkskrant’s seismic disclosures have been curiously ignored by all other Western media outlets until now. The Guardian’s article deals with the damning revelations, both directly and indirectly – Le Mesurier, whom Chulov knew personally, and with whom he clearly maintained an intense affinity, is acquitted on all charges. Indeed, the White Helmets founder is said to have simply “unravelled under the weight of claims that would later prove to be false.”

The author is at pains throughout to frame “disinformation” as fundamental to Le Mesurier’s untimely demise, in terms of causing him immense “stress,” which led to him “disintegrating” mentally, damaging his reputation and that of the White Helmets in the eyes of world opinion, and, in turn, stoking erroneous suspicions in donor countries that he and his company were engaged in various improper activities.

The question of how a battle-hardened military veteran could be so deleteriously impacted mentally and emotionally by “attacks on Russian television and social media,” particularly if they were entirely without substance, is unasked and unanswered.

There’s little doubt Le Mesurier wasn’t in a good state during his final weeks. It’s been widely reported he was taking sleeping pills and psychiatric medication. Less well amplified were Turkish news reports alleging he and his wife had “fought violently” while dining out together the day before his death.

Chulov alleges “a distressed Le Mesurier” told friends just before he died that claims of Mayday’s monetary misconduct “seemed to come from nowhere.” In fact, questions about what purpose the vast sums donated to the company were put to, and where they all ultimately ended up, had long circulated.

While his article states that donor countries maintained their support for the White Helmets “despite the disinformation surrounding the group’s work,” this isn’t true. In September 2018, the Dutch government ended its backing, after a damning Ministry of Foreign Affairs report outlined serious concerns about Mayday’s financial practices, including an almost total lack of oversight over, and even awareness of, how its money entered Syria, and precisely whose pockets it eventually lined.

However, Chulov feels confident dismissing any and all suggestions of embezzlement, for he’s in possession of a report by forensic auditors Grant Thornton, conducted at the request of Mayday’s donors, which concluded there was “no evidence of misappropriation of funds” by Le Mesurier and Winberg.

Except that he isn’t, because it hasn’t been made public, at donors’ express request. Instead, he relies on the claims of a nameless “source familiar” with the report – which could conceivably, of course, be Winberg herself.

Excessive salaries plus bonuses

It’s clear Grant Thornton’s report isn’t an unalloyed clean bill of health, either – the auditors found “significant gaps in the administrative organization and internal control environment of Mayday” and “identified significant cash transactions that have not been (fully) recorded in the cash books and/or general ledger.”

Moreover, due to Mayday’s “informal” working environment, many key discussions took place “orally and over WhatsApp,” meaning auditors “had to reconstruct a number of financial events and are unable to provide certainty in those cases.”

Chulov is quick to dismiss the significance of these failings as nothing more than “shoddy” bookkeeping, contending “auditors found nothing to support the far more serious allegations made” against Le Mesurier – despite apparently not having actually read the report himself.

Likewise, he concedes Mayday’s executive salaries had been “higher than industry standards”, although his anonymous source familiar with the report is on hand to reassure him, and readers, “they were not off-the-scale high.” In 2017, Le Mesurier informed the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs he was paying himself a salary of €24,000 per month, before bonuses – several orders of magnitude higher than the designated salary ceiling at other Dutch government-funded enterprises. And considerably more than the $150 a day the White Helmet rescuers on the ground received.

References to Le Mesurier founding three separate companies named ‘Mayday Rescue’ – Mayday Rescue FZ-LLC in Dubai, Mayday Search and Rescue Training and Consultancy Services Ltd in Turkey, and Stichting Mayday Rescue Foundation in the Netherlands – are predictably absent from the Guardian’s article.

Accounts aren’t publicly available for any of them – the Dutch entity, while not registered as a charitable organisation, is characterised as being ‘without commercial enterprise’, so doesn’t have to file accounts at all. Dutch ‘stichtings’, or foundations, are openly advertised by Dutch law firms as ideal ways for wealthy individuals and corporations to minimize tax liabilities and distribute funds internationally.

The company nonetheless complied with governance and transparency requirements, appointing a Secretary and Treasurer. As such, the UK government could plausibly claim that Mayday Rescue, to which London funneled £43 million between 2015 and 2018, was, to the best of its knowledge, fully above board.

Tax havens and tangled webs

Except the £43 million actually went to Mayday Rescue FZ-LLC in Dubai – something only begrudgingly admitted by the FCO in March 2019, in response to a Freedom of Information request, after much heel-dragging and obfuscation.

Dubai is a notorious tax haven, and FZ-LLCs – Free Zone Limited Liability Companies – aren’t subject to any taxes on dividends, so they can be used to easily and opaquely repatriate profits. The entities are required to maintain accounting records, which can be inspected by authorities, but aren’t required to file accounts of any kind.

It may be significant that one of Stichting Mayday Rescue Foundation’s three directors, alongside Le Mesurier and Winberg, was a British Army veteran, Rupert Davis, who, in April 2016, founded the company Chameleon Global. Dissolved in October 2020, it was categorised as dormant – that is, non-operational – for the duration of its existence. Le Mesurier also founded other companies, with indeterminate connections to his assorted Mayday entities. For instance, in April 2017 he established Sisu Global BV in the Netherlands. It has never filed accounts, in breach of Dutch law. Le Mesurier resigned in November 2018, but Winberg apparently remains a director.

In January 2019, Le Mesurier registered My Zahara Limited as a dormant company in northern England, at an address belonging to a company formation agent specializing in, among other things, compliance with money laundering regulations, suggesting he intended to use the firm to repatriate money from his overseas firms.

Davis was also, until April 2019, connected to Sisu Global BV, a company in the Netherlands founded by Le Mesurier in April 2017. It has never filed accounts, in breach of Dutch law. Le Mesurier himself resigned from it in November 2018. Winberg apparently remains a director.

Chulov also, again predictably, dismisses as “disinformation” allegations that the White Helmets were “created by governments determined to remove Assad from power”; that Le Mesurier was “an agent of western intelligence, using a rescue organisation as a Trojan horse for regime change”; and that the organization was in any way affiliated to violent extremist groups.

What are matters of public record, however, is that the White Helmets were funded by the very governments avowedly committed to ‘regime change’ in Syria via covert and overt means; that Le Mesurier’s professional history included spells as a military intelligence operative; and that the group has openly collaborated with the Al-Nusra Front, among other jihadist elements, and engaged in violent activity.

In a June 2015 speech discussing his founding of the White Helmets, Le Mesurier cited a market research agency study which found that, in fragile environments, security forces garner low levels of public trust while first responders have the highest as a key motivating factor in his decision to establish a “humanitarian aid group.”

Untold millions for propaganda

That the White Helmets’ benevolent image was very carefully constructed and promoted by a government attempting to achieve ‘regime change’ is amply underlined by FCO documents leaked by hacktivist collective Anonymous.

The documents reveal that ARK, a firm founded by FCO veteran Alistair Harris where Le Mesurier worked between 2011 and 2014, played a pivotal role in promoting the White Helmets, developing“an internationally focused communications campaign to raise global awareness” of the group to “keep Syria in the news.”

Along the way, ARK, among many other endeavors, produced a documentary on the White Helmets, and ran its various social media accounts, among them the Facebook page for Idlib City Council, at one time mooted as a potential interim government to replace Bashar Assad. When Al-Nusra took the city, the White Helmets were filmed celebrating the ‘victory’ with the group’s fighters in its main square.

ARK profited to the tune of untold millions of pounds from these and other information-warfare efforts. The same illicit file tranche also reveals InCoStrat, founded by none other than Emma Winberg, also reaped large bounties for manipulating public perceptions about Syria, within and without the country. In one file, the firm boasted of surreptitiously “initiating events to create media effect” and of “using media to create events.”

One example of the former strategy saw InCoStrat produce mock Syrian currency, in three denominations, imploring Syrians to “be on the right side of history.” It was intended to ensure that international opinion remained arrayed against Assad, at a time “media attention has shifted almost exclusively towards ISIS and some influential voices are calling for co-operation with the Syrian regime to combat ISIS.”

The file states: “The notes are due to be smuggled into regime-held parts of Syria once formal clearance has been authorized by HMG officials … We will engage the international media to create a story around the event … The message to the regime [is] covert but active resistance continues.”

Another document indicates that Winberg’s InCoStrat also established Basma – “a media platform providing human interest stories and campaigns that support [UK government] policy objectives” – and engaged in propaganda operations in the wake of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, training and maintaining a network of journalists who were “instrumental in reporting on events in Basra.”

On the subject of propaganda, establishment efforts to rehabilitate Le Mesurier are scheduled to continue apace in future.

Starting on November 9, the BBC will transmit a 15-part radio documentary on Mayday Rescue. Over the summer, Chloe Hadjimatheou, a reporter on the project, approached a number of journalists and researchers who’d publicly raised questions about the White Helmets, asking if they wished to contribute to the program.

Several of the individuals targeted subsequently published their correspondence with Hadjimatheou, showing that the program’s preordained agenda and objectives couldn’t be more blatant.

What is clear is that any suggestion Le Mesurier was a British intelligence operative surreptitiously attempting to foster regime change in Syria, or that the White Helmets weren’t an entirely benevolent, independent humanitarian organization will be rubbished, and all voices critical of the group will be smeared as witting or unwitting agents of the Russian and Syrian governments.

By Kit Klarenberg, an investigative journalist exploring the role of intelligence services in shaping politics and perceptions. Follow Kit on Twitter @KitKlarenberg

October 30, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | Leave a comment

BBC’s upcoming White Helmets ‘documentary’ aims at character assassination of those who challenge Syria war narratives

By Vanessa Beeley | RT | October 24, 2020

The BBC is preparing an attack against journalists, former diplomats, academics and scientists who challenge the dominant pro-war narratives against Syria underpinned by the pseudo-humanitarian White Helmets.

The British public broadcaster has sent out requests for comments to those who have dared to expose the role the UK government and its intelligence agencies have played in the destabilization of Syria, which look more like neo-McCarthyist charge sheets. The producer of an upcoming Radio 4 documentary series had been in email and telephone conversation with the author of this article, as well as Peter Ford, former UK ambassador to Syria, and members of the Working Group on Syria, Media and Propaganda (WGSMP) since June 2020. The result of those conversations, during which the evidence emanating from serious scientific research and on-the-ground testimony was presented to the producer, was a familiar list of accusations of “conspiracy theorism” and suggestions of “incentivized” Russian or Syrian bias.

Fellow independent journalist Eva Bartlett has spent long periods of time inside Syria, reporting from many of the most high-risk areas during the Syrian Arab Army allied campaigns to liberate swathes of Syrian territory from the US coalition-proxy occupation. She had this to say about the email she received a few days ago:

“The questions emailed to me by the BBC evidence a predetermined intent to character assassination. This approach shows an utter lack of journalistic integrity on the part of the BBC.

The BBC’s hostile insinuations against me arrogantly infer that neither I nor the Syrians I interview think for ourselves, but are puppets of the Syrian and Russian governments. My journalism dates back to 2007 and is quite extensive, with 13 years of on the ground experience, from Palestine and Syria, to Venezuela and eastern Ukraine, and elsewhere.

My focuses have been on giving voice to Syrians disappeared by corporate media, highlighting the terrorism they endured by terrorist groups which the West dubs “rebels,” and highlighting war propaganda by outlets such as the BBC.”

It was clear from the BBC’s line of questioning that this was not a genuine investigation into the life and times of White Helmets founder, and former British military intelligence officer, James Le Mesurier. It is effectively a damage limitation exercise designed to discredit the evidence that points to the White Helmets being a propaganda construct with extremist connections funded by the US/UK coalition to vilify the Syrian government and allies, thus justifying military intervention by proxy and aggression against a sovereign nation. The aggression includes economic sanctions that have devastated the Syrian economy and caused widespread poverty and food insecurity among the Syrian people.

The upcoming BBC programme – ‘Mayday’ – appears to be an attempt to whitewash British intelligence operations inside Syria. Operations that were recently further exposed following the leak of alleged UK Foreign Office documents, reported by Grayzone, which detailed the extent to which the UK government provided media and PR support to the armed groups in Syria. Those groups effectively include Al Qaeda and Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) affiliates such as Jaysh Al-Islam and Ahrar Al-Sham, who are responsible for the horrific bloodshed and devastation of infrastructure in the areas they invaded and occupied.

The UK and EU government-funded Mayday Rescue organisation was established by Le Mesurier to provide an intermediary management of the funds the UK government was providing to the White Helmets as they embedded themselves with armed groups in extremist-controlled areas throughout Syria, more recently exclusively in Idlib, the last remaining and “largest Al Qaeda haven since 9/11.” Le Mesurier died in November 2019 having fallen from the balcony of his Istanbul home which he shared with his third wife, Emma Winberg. Three days before his death, which was ruled a suicide, Le Mesurier had reportedly admitted to defrauding Mayday Rescue of funds provided by UK and European governments.

It is also worth a reminder that the Dutch government had withdrawn funding from Mayday Rescue in 2018 following an extensive investigation that had concluded a lack of assurances that funds were not being hijacked by the armed groups in Syria, including Al Qaeda.

The BBC pins its arguments on the view that the White Helmets are a “humanitarian” organisation – an Oscar-winning illusion that has been dismantled by some of the most acclaimed independent journalists and researchers of our time, including Cory Morningstar, Rick Sterling, Eva Bartlett, Stephen Kinzer, Robert Parry, John Pilger, Gareth Porter, Ray McGovern, Phillip Giraldi, Craig Murray and former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter, to name just a few.

The former UK ambassador to Syria, Peter Ford, also received the BBC bill of indictment and he issued this statement in response:

“The BBC have systematically tried to suppress views on Syria which run counter to the standard one-sided narrative. This programme’s efforts to smear dissenters takes BBC conduct to a new low. By alleging conspiracy theorising where there is only evidence-based reporting and analysis, the BBC is showing its frustration at being unable to stifle truth-telling.

The only conspiracy here is whatever coordination has taken place between the BBC and British authorities responsible for failing to achieve regime change in Syria despite throwing many millions of taxpayer money at the effort. Why is the BBC not drawing attention to the biggest failure of British foreign policy since Suez, as judged by its self-proclaimed objective of removing Assad, rather than busying itself with trying to take down unsupported individual dissenters who have ranged against them the vast wealth and resources of the establishment?

The charge of biggest failure since Suez as judged by its own objective of regime change is stinging because palpably true, and will with luck get some play in the follow up. It’s an angle that has been largely lost in the welter of detail.”

On October 5, the US and UK envoys to the UN Security Council (UNSC) led the campaign to ban the former Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) director general, Jose Bustani, from briefing the UNSC meeting presided over by Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia. Nebenzia accused the US/UK-led truth-suppressors of bringing the UNSC into disrepute. One week later, the BBC, a de facto UK-state-media outlet, kicked off its attack on the individuals responsible for highlighting the corruption of the OPCW and the fraud that was the final report on the alleged Douma chemical attack in April 2018.

One member of the WGSMP, Paul McKeigue, has published his conversations with the producer. Regarding the Douma incident, McKeigue informs us that “a reader of this correspondence could reasonably conclude that […] Raed Saleh (White Helmets leader) has something to hide, and further that [the BBC producer] is, for some reason, colluding with him by helping him to avoid having to respond” to questions regarding the whereabouts of the bodies of the alleged chemical weapon attack victims. Part of my response to the BBC also alludes to the apparent suppression of evidence:

“A BBC producer, Riam Dalati, has stated publicly that the Douma hospital scenes, the site of the alleged chemical weapon attack in Syria, 2018, were staged. As has been pointed out repeatedly to Riam Dalati and the BBC, if the hospital scenes at Douma were staged so too were the films of the deceased in the Douma apartment block. The BBC have never reported this information, nor has it passed the information obtained by its producer to either the OPCW FFM or the IIT. It is extraordinary and completely unjustifiable that the BBC should be withholding this vital information from a UN linked organisation.”

Dr. Piers Robinson, the co-founder of the WGSMP, accused the BBC of suppressing truth:

“The BBC is also attempting to smear academics researching alleged chemical weapons attacks in Syria as ‘conspiracy theorists’, even though their work has been supported by the leading chemical and biological weapons expert the late Julian Perry Robinson and vindicated by whistleblowers and leaks from the OPCW itself. The BBC is not engaging in journalism but rather suppression of the truth.”

In conclusion, the BBC is not an honest broker. Our work as journalists and researchers is to mine for the truth. The BBC’s output, especially with regards to foreign affairs, is produced in lock-step with UK foreign policy objectives. In the context of the war against Syria, this has resulted in a pattern of omission and censorship that has underpinned UK FCO efforts to foment conflict within Syria and to overthrow the internationally recognised Syrian government.

The result has been an illegal war that has caused death and suffering for millions of Syrian people. Regarding the UK/US intelligence-incubated, Al Qaeda-linked, White Helmets, the BBC could be considered complicit in manufacturing consent for another “humanitarian war” through their lack of “rigorous journalism” and omission of the facts surrounding this UK state-client-propaganda-manufacturer. Just as the BBC defended the WMD “dodgy dossier” that decimated Iraq and led to the deaths of millions of Iraqis, we now see the BBC rallying around the chemical weapon “dodgy dossier” that has enabled the prolongation of the barbaric war against the Syrian people.

Editor’s note: RT has reached out to the BBC producer for comment on issues raised in Vanessa’s article. A BBC spokesperson gave this response:

“The BBC’s journalism is rigorous, independent and impartial, and that will be evident to anyone who listens to this new series.”


Vanessa Beeley is an independent journalist and photographer who has worked extensively in the Middle East – on the ground in Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Palestine, while also covering the conflict in Yemen since 2015. Follow her on Twitter @VanessaBeeley

October 24, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

BBC Prepares Another Hit Piece on Independent Journalists

Corbett • 10/20/2020

Vanessa Beeley joins the program to discuss the BBC’s forthcoming hit piece on journalists like herself who dare call out the White Helmets as a foreign-founded, foreign-funded, terrorist-embedded propaganda construct. We discuss Beeley’s reporting on Syria that clearly gives the lie to the White Helmets’ humanitarian cover and the clear signs that the BBC is set to launch a new smear campaign against independent journalists.

Watch on Archive / BitChute / LBRY / Minds / YouTube or Download the mp4

SHOW NOTES:
Interview 1342 – Vanessa Beeley Exposes the White Helmets

Episode 330 – The White Helmets Are A Propaganda Construct

Episode 368 – The Douma Hoax: Anatomy of a False Flag

The confession of James le Mesurier

After His Mysterious Death, the Media Scrambles to Get its Story Straight About White Helmets Founder James Le Mesurier

Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media

Beeley’s Twitter thread about BBC hit piece

Leaked docs expose massive Syria propaganda operation waged by Western govt contractors and media

MI5 has ‘legal power’ to authorise agents to commit crimes

The War You Don’t See – John Pilger

Vanessa Beeley Patreon

Vanessa Beeley on Unlimited Hangout

Vanessa Beeley on The Last American Vagabond

Vanessa Beeley on Mint Press news

Vanessa Beeley on Twitter

October 20, 2020 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Video | | 1 Comment

On the British State-Funded BBC’s Pending Smear

By Eva Bartlett | In Gaza | October 16, 2020

The British state-funded BBC, which has a history of perverted war  propaganda against the people of Syria, a history of whitewashing the  crimes of terrorists in Syria, a history of flat out lying about events  in Syria, has decided to launch another smear against myself, Vanessa Beeley, researchers of the Working Group on Syria, a former ambassador to Syria, and others.

This is not just another character assassination, though, this is a serious threat against journalists and those speaking truth against establishment narratives. Thanks to those who have tweeted or spoken about this revolting attack.

On Twitter, Jonathan Cook lent his support.

 

Youtube channel, The Convo Couch, put out a report yesterday on the issue.

 

Vanessa Beeley spoke on UK Column News about the matter.

And others on social media have expressed exceptional support to the journalists, academics and others targeted in the pending smear.

Following is the hostile, journalistic integrity-devoid email sent to me by a British state-funded hack (who is such a cowardly hack she hides her Twitter feed).

Since I frankly neither expect Chloe/the BBC to republish the entirety of any reply I give them, I’ll paste here the basic reply I sent–which I would elaborate on in depth were I to receive the BBC’s word that they would publish my full reply in full.

Chloe,

You asked for a clarification or comment to your hostile email to me, yet you did not make clear whether you would publish in full my reply.

Will you?

If you do not do this as requested, I will say I attempted to meet your request for replies but you declined to publish in full.

Kindly let me know whether you intend to follow professional standards and include my full reply, which I will send depending on your reply.

For the record: my travels to and around Syria, and elsewhere, are at my expense and supported by those who have followed my journalism for years, or even more than a decade. I am not funded by any government (but you are, aren’t you, working for British state-funded media). If you or the BBC publish anything insinuating that I receive funding from any government, I will seek legal counsel.

My writings for RT are mine alone: I pitch opinion articles to them on a per piece basis as an independent freelancer.

However, you seem to be unaware that I, as a freelancer, contribute to/have contributed to a number of other platforms, including Mint Press News, Oriental Review, Dissident Voice, Inter Press Services, and a host of others all detailed on my blog. It is completely disingenuous of you to imply my writing is anything other than my own views, and it is libellous of you.

In the mean time, feel free to peruse my bio, it is quite extensive, with on the ground experience from Palestine to Syria, to eastern Ukraine. And in fact, my journalism has not only won the support of countless readers online, but also merited being awarded by the Mexican Press Club in 2017 and being shortlisted for the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism that same year.

By the way, my support has increased exponentially even prior to you/the BBC running a character assassination piece on me, as people became aware of your intentions.

I have my own questions for you:

Have you ever entered Syria illegally? If so, how many times?

Who did you pay for protection from terrorist factions while in Syria (it is well known, well-admitted, by corporate journalists who have entered Syria illegally that they must pay a protection fee in order to avoid abduction by one of the terrorist factions)?

How can you justify turning a blind eye to the fact that countless White Helmets members have openly expressed support to terrorist groups in Syria, let alone been members of said groups, holding weapons, standing on the bodies of dead Syrians? Can you honestly claim you were unaware of these facts?

How do you explain the presence, throughout Syria, of White Helmets headquarters next to or in close proximity to headquarters of al-Qaeda in Syria, Faylaq al-Rahman, Nour al-Din al-Zenki, and other terrorist groups? How can the White Helmets be deemed as neutral when working side by side these terrorist factions?

P.S. Why does a prominent and published journalist with the BBC feel the need to hide her tweets? What are you afraid of the public seeing? Do you feel this is professional of a journalist to hide their Twitter output, and indeed much of their identity?

Regards,

Eva

Chloe sent a similar but more detailed email to Vanessa Beeley, which Vanessa deconstructed at length on Twitter.

Chloe also previously harassed members of the Working Group on Syria,  Propaganda and Media–the group of academics and researchers whose scrutiny into the alleged Douma chemical attack led to the initial OPCW whistleblowers to speak out (long before others belatedly chased those leaks).

In a meticulously-compiled report exposing Chloe’s whitewashing details around the alleged Douma chemical attack, the Working Group detail the nature of the correspondence (harassment) from her/the BBC.

Since the loaded questions in her hostile email take issue with my perspective and reporting on the White Helmets, I detail below my reports which address issues pertaining to the White Helmets and their crimes against Syrian civilians.

 Organ theft, staged attacks: UN panel details White Helmets’ criminal activities, media yawns

 

 Meet Aylan & Omran: Child victims used for Syrian war propaganda

 

 Syrian civilians from ground zero expose chemical hoax

 

 Torture, starvation, executions: Eastern Ghouta civilians talk of life under terrorist rule

 

 Decision to bring White Helmets to Canada dangerous and criminal

 

 Liberate Syria’s Idlib, precisely for the civilians that America fakes concern over

 

A Syrian boy rides his bike through the destruction of the once rebel-held Jalloum neighborhood in the eastern Aleppo, Syria, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. Last month, government forces captured all parts of eastern Aleppo, brining Syria’s largest city to full control of Syrian authorities for the first time since July 2012. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

 Syria War Diary: What Life Is Like Under ‘Moderate’ ‘Rebel’ Rule

Regarding the boy in the ambulance (Omran Daqneesh), I met him and interviewed his father in mid 2017.

 

 MintPress Meets The Father Of Iconic Aleppo Boy, Who Says Media Lied About His Son

 

The BBC, on the other hand, repeatedly purveyed the lies & war  propaganda that Russia/Syria had airstruck his home. Fake news.

 

SYRIAN CIVILIANS’ SUFFERING:

However, my writing on Syria is not *only* on the White Helmets. In fact, most of it is on the suffering of civilians under terrorist rule or attacks, something the BBC and other Western corporate or state-funded media actively ignore, but which I have been doing since 2014.

Where is the West’s compassion & condemnation following terror attacks in Middle East?

 

 In Aleppo, US and Saudi-Backed Rebels Targeted ‘Every Syrian’

 

 Hadar: A Village Under Siege by Syrian Rebels and Israeli Forces Alike

 

 Mhardeh: A Call from a Martyred Christian Town for Syria’s Full Liberation

 

 

 

 Voices from Syria’s Rukban Refugee Camp Belie Corporate Media Reporting

 

 The Caesar Act: The Latest Western Attack on Syria Didn’t Drop From a Plane

 

Syrian children buy vegetables at the town of Madaya in the Damascus countryside, Syria, Thursday, May 18, 2017. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

 Order Returns To Western Syria, Civilians Recount Horrors Of “Rebel” Rule

 

 US sanctions are part of a multi-front war on Syria, and its long-suffering civilians are the main target

 

 Western leaders, screw your ‘Sanctions Target the Regime’ blather: Sanctions KILL PEOPLE

 

 US exceptionalism: Exploiting certain Syrians, ignoring others

 

 UN Feigns Outrage Over Eastern Ghouta While Terrorist Rockets Rain on Damascus

 

 US-Backed Terrorism in Syria: A First-Hand Account of the Use of Mortars Against Civilians – Global Research

 

 Media Black-Out on Arab Journalists and Civilians Beheaded in Syria by Western-Backed Mercenaries – Global Research

 

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2014/07/08/liberated-homs-residents-challenge-notion-of-revolution/

 

 

 Devastation…and Inspiration: Recalling Liberated Ma’loula

 

 University Hospital, Damascus: Meeting Victims of Western-backed Mortar and Rocket Terrorism February 24-26, 2015

 

 SYRIA: The Children of Kafarya and Foua are Crying in the Dark – 21st Century Wire

 

 Eva Bartlett: Overcoming savagery, treachery, Maaloula’s heroic defenders fight for the future — Sott.net

 

 Western corporate media ‘disappears’ over 1.5 million Syrians and 4,000 doctors — Sott.net

• • •

… and aside from that, my writing focuses on the war propaganda of British and other Western state-funded media like the BBC [tweet]:

“In April 2014, after an elementary school was mortared by terrorists east of Damascus, killing one child, the BBC later reported, “the government is also accused of launching them into neighborhoods under its control.” On a recent social media post, I noted this deceitful journalism, and the BBC could have easily learned about the trajectory of mortars and from where the mortar in question could only have come: the “moderates” east of Damascus.” –From: Absurdities of Syrian war propaganda — RT Op-ed

Or the repeated accusations against Syria:

Сorporate media continues to recycle accusations of starvation, chemical weapons, and more, in the propaganda war on Syria.

and years of NATO propaganda:

Deconstructing the NATO Narrative on Syria

-by Eva Bartlett, Oct 10, 2015, Dissident Voice *republished at Global Research, Syrian Free Press, Sott.net, World News, Uprooted Palestinians…

Or the Guardian’s whitewashing of terrorists in Syria:

How the Mainstream Media Whitewashed Al-Qaeda and the White Helmets in Syria – Global Research

or the Guardian’s giving a platform to terrorist propaganda:

Guardian, Atlantic contributor acts as a Syrian terrorist mouthpiece on Twitter, and if you don’t…

or the global media exploitation of a girl being exploited by her own parents:

Exploitation of Bana al-Abed: Parents use child to whitewash terrorists in Aleppo

or the ad nauseam repetition of war propaganda, from Aleppo to eastern Ghouta:

‘They know that we know they are liars, they keep lying’

 

My reporting from around Syria over the years was funded by myself, unlike Western-funded media operatives who lie about Syria, and has included a great deal of personal risk from mortars and terrorist snipers.

For example, when I went to the state hospital in Dara’a, the city was being mortared by terrorists. Getting to the hospital involved shooting down a road (in a taxi) with terrorist snipers 100 m away. Much of the hospital was destroyed or inaccessible.

· Twitter thread with videos from inside the hospital.

Al-Qaeda’s rescuers never speak of their buddies’ bombs on Dara’a streets, including the day I visited in May 2018. Dara’a hospital is battered from their “freedom” bombs and is extremely dangerous to get to, due to snipers. Nope, just hysterical accusations, as per norm.

Dara’a hospital, heavily targeted by terrorist mortars. Terrorist sniping makes it impossible to reach the pharmacy.

 

Or standing on Castello Road (without body armour) when it was repeatedly mortared by terrorists in November 2016. https://mintpressnews.com/aleppo-how-us-saudi-backed-rebels-target-every-syrian/222594/

or like leaving Aleppo via Castello when the road was being mortared by terrorist factions, in August 2016 [videos]

or on 2 different occasions being fired at by terrorist snipers [tweet]

 

In closing: any questions on my credentials, read here and decide for yourself: https://ingaza.wordpress.com/about-me/

October 16, 2020 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Video | | 1 Comment

Claims of dramatic loss of Great Barrier Reef corals are false


Corals expert hits out at media reports  

GWPF | October 15, 2020

Claims that Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has lost half of its coral cover between 1995 and 2017 have received global media coverage.

The stories were based on a new paper co-authored by controversial Australian researcher, Professor Terry Hughes of James Cook University.

But according to Professor Peter Ridd, a leading authority on the Great Barrier Reef, these claims are false.

According to Professor Ridd, the best data on coral cover is taken by the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), who have been measuring over 100 reefs every year since 1986:

“AIMS data shows that coral cover fluctuates dramatically with time but there is roughly the same amount of coral today as in 1995. There was a huge reduction in coral cover in 2011 which was caused by two major cyclones that halved coral cover. Cyclones have always been the major cause of temporary coral loss on the Reef.”

Coral cover of the Great Barrier Reef 1986-2019; AIMS/Peter Ridd 2020

This is not the first time that Professor Hughes has made such claims about coral loss. His previous study was strongly criticised by the AIMS scientists responsible for collecting and publishing the coral data.

Moreover, Professor Hughes has refused to make public the raw data upon which he made this claim, despite repeated requests.

“This latest work by Prof Hughes needs a thorough quality-audit to test its veracity”, says Ridd. “Prime-facie, there are excellent grounds to treat it with great scepticism.”

Contact

Professor Peter Ridd
e: peterridd@yahoo.com.au

October 15, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , | 1 Comment

Is the UK heading toward medical martial law?

We are hearing frequent calls for the UK’s coronavirus “pandemic” response to become a military operation

OffGuardian | October 2, 2020

On the 28th September Tobias Ellwood, Tory MP for Bournemouth East, stood up in Parliament and suggested that the British Army and the Ministry of Defense be in charge of distributing and administering “millions of doses” of the Sars-Cov-2 vaccines, as well as issuing “vaccination certificates” which will “allow travel”.

And that’s just the highlights, there’s a lot more vaguely sinister language, camouflaged in his rather drab monotone voice. (You can watch the whole speech here, go to 20:24).

This is a concerning development, one very much worth keeping an eye on. The BBC don’t think so, of course, because the call for what would easily amount to medical martial law didn’t even make it into their “Today in Parliament” programme.

This is not new behaviour for Ellwood. He has always been a consistent voice for use of the military in response to the “pandemic”. On the 18th of September he requested the Prime Minister make “greater use of our fine armed forces”.

He specifically mentions “managing the narrative”, which is no surprise considering his role as a former Army officer, a current reserves officer, and his known affiliation with the 77th Brigade. For those who don’t know: The 77th is the British army’s team of “facebook warriors”. An information warfare unit whose job is to “counter misinformation”, “manage the narrative” and generally corral and control the internet conversation.

That’s not a “conspiracy theory”, their existence is readily acknowledged by both the government and the mainstream media. Considering they’re currently employed “countering covid misinformation“, they will likely be in the comments of this post (Hi guys!).

Other countries around the world have already moved on to this “war footing”, and the UK is likely not far behind.

October 2, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Video | , , | 1 Comment

Western media manufactured narratives to rally support for Syria militants: Report

Press TV – September 24, 2020

Western governments and their media outlets have been concocting narratives to sway public opinion in favor of militant groups operating in the Arab country, according to a report.

Citing leaked documents, the investigative journalism group Grayzone revealed in a report published on its news website on Wednesday that Western governments and their affiliated news agencies carefully organized English- and Arabic-language media coverage of the war in Syria to drum up support for the militant groups there.

“Virtually every aspect of the Syrian opposition was cultivated and marketed by Western government-backed public relations firms, from their political narratives to their branding, from what they said to where they said it,” the article said.

The group said US and European contractors trained and advised Syrian “opposition” leaders, including young media activists, at all levels and organized interviews for them on mainstream outlets such as the BBC and the UK’s Channel 4.

“Western government public relation firms not only influenced the way the media covered Syria, but as the leaked documents reveal, they produced their own propagandistic pseudo-news for broadcast on major TV networks in the Middle East, including BBC Arabic, Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, and Orient TV,” Grayzone said.

The UK-funded firms functioned full-time to serve the militant outfits in Syria, according to the article, with one contractor, called InCoStrat, saying it was in constant contact with a network of more than international 1,600 journalists and “influencers,” and used them to promote anti-Damascus narratives.

The leaked documents also revealed that the Western government contractor, ARK, had played a role in “popularizing” the so-called civil defense group the White Helmets in American and European media.

“ARK ran the social media accounts of the White Helmets, and helped turn the Western-backed group into a key propaganda weapon of the Syrian opposition,” the article said.

The so-called White Helmets have been implicated by Syria and its ally Russia in numerous violations, including working with Takfiri militants in the Arab country and staging false-flag gas attacks to be blamed on Damascus as an excuse for Western allies to attack Syria.

ARK also ran an anti-Damascus propaganda outlet called Moubader, which developed a huge following on social media, including more than 200,000 likes on Facebook. The Western government contractor also printed 15,000 copies per month of a “high-quality hard copy” Moubader magazine and distributed in militant-held areas of Syria.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011.

Idlib, in northwestern Syria, and small parts of an adjacent area in Aleppo form the only large areas in the hands of militants after the Syrian military managed to undo militant gains across the country and bring back almost all of Syrian soil under government control.

Idlib is now held by an array of militants dominated by the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) Takfiri group, which is led by members of the former al-Qaeda franchise.

The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups that are wreaking havoc in the country.

September 24, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Election reporting

IRRUSIANALITY | September 14, 2020

Leaders of Russia’s ruling United Russia party were in a good mood on Sunday night as the results of the country’s local elections streamed in. ‘You have received the votes of the people, who trust you’, party chairman (and former Prime Minister and President) Dmitry Medvedev told candidates. ‘All our [gubernatorial] candidates … will win in the first round … and likewise in the regional and municipal parliaments United Russia will form a majority in every region without exception’, added party general secretary Andrei Turchak.

Turchak wasn’t exactly right about the results, but not far off. United Russia has reason to be happy. Its candidates for governor were elected with thumping majorities, even in Irkutsk, where it had been predicted it might lose. And in city and regional elections, the party was consistently top, generally getting around 45% of the vote, some 30% or so above its nearest competitors, the Communists and LDPR.

And yet, that’s not what you’d think if you went by the stories in the Western media today, which focused almost entirely on miniscule gains by supporters of opposition activist Alexei Navalny. ‘Russia opposition makes gains in local elections,’ ran the headline on the BBC website. ‘Navalny allies win council seats as Putin’s party claims victory’, said that in the Guardian. ‘Alexei Navalny’s allies claim council wins in Russia local elections’, shouts Deutsche Welle. And so on. You’d imagine that the elections were indicators of some significant shift in the political tide.

So what were these great gains? Navalny-backed candidates won 2 seats in the city of Tomsk, and 5 in Novosibirsk. That’s it. A grand total of 7 council seats. To be fair, it’s 7 more than they’ve ever had before, and so in that respect, it’s progress. But it’s hardly a significant result in the grander scheme of things. Across the country, United Russia governors were being elected with shares of the vote of 70 or so percent. Is ‘Opposition makes gains’ really the appropriate way of reporting the results? Methinks not, but it’s an interesting insight into the mentality of the Western press corps.

September 14, 2020 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | Leave a comment