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Imagine If All Officials Were Interrogated By Reporters Like This

A fascinating exchange took place at a UN press briefing the other day between China Global Television Network’s Xu Dezhi and the UN’s Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General Farhan Haq about the US military occupation of Syria. The exchange is interesting both for the wild pro-US bias shown by a UN official, and for the way it illustrates how much truth can be exposed when journalists do what they’re supposed to do in the press gallery. Xu, who has done on-the-ground reporting in Syria in the past, asked Haq some challenging questions about an attack on a US military base in eastern Syria last week which injured multiple American troops and killed an American contractor.

The Lord Of Chaos

Two decades ago, I sabotaged my career at The New York Times. It was a conscious choice. I had spent seven years in the Middle East, four of them as the Middle East Bureau Chief. I was an Arabic speaker. I believed, like nearly all Arabists, including most of those in the State Department and the CIA, that a “preemptive” war against Iraq would be the most costly strategic blunder in American history. It would also constitute what the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg called the “supreme international crime.” While Arabists in official circles were muzzled, I was not. I was invited by them to speak at The State Department, The United States Military Academy at West Point and to senior Marine Corps officers scheduled to be deployed to Kuwait to prepare for the invasion.

What Dan Ellsberg Means

I have never met Daniel Ellsberg. A mutual friend, Rob Johnson, the executive director of the Institute of New Economic Thinking, in New York, proposed to introduce us several times but the occasion never presented itself. It does not matter. I know Dan Ellsberg as one knows someone by way of the work he or she has done, and what that work has meant in one’s life. Another friend, a dear one, wrote a note from Gadsden, Alabama, last Thursday with the subject line, “Ellsberg dying.” This was thoughtful, as this friend unfailingly is, because Twitter has censored my account and I cannot read anything on it unless someone sends an item I am able to open.

The Trump-Russia Saga And The Death Spiral Of American Journalism

Reporters make mistakes. It is the nature of the trade. There are always a few stories we wish were reported more carefully. Writing on deadline with often only a few hours before publication is an imperfect art. But when mistakes occur, they must be acknowledged and publicized. To cover them up, to pretend they did not happen, destroys our credibility. Once this credibility is gone, the press becomes nothing more than an echo chamber for a selected demographic. This, unfortunately, is the model that now defines the commerical media. The failure to report accurately on the Trump-Russia saga for the four years of the Trump presidency is bad enough.

Saving Julian Assange, With John Shipton And Kevin Gosztola

Shipton has been on a mission to secure his son’s freedom for many years now. Assange is currently serving a sentence in a U.K. prison for skipping bail, and is facing extradition to the United States, where he could potentially be sentenced to life in prison for his role in Wikileaks’ publishing of classified documents. Shipton has traveled all over the world, speaking out against the treatment of his son and calling for his release. He has argued that Assange’s prosecution is a threat to press freedom and that he is being targeted for exposing the misconduct of governments and powerful organizations. Shipton’s efforts have gained widespread support from a wide range of organizations and individuals, including human rights groups and high-profile figures like Noam Chomsky and Pamela Anderson.

On Prison Journalism: ‘The Lesson Here Is That the System Is Cruel’

From 2010 to 2012, Keri Blakinger was incarcerated in state and county correctional facilities for possessing a “tupperware of heroin.” Since then, she has gone on to work as a prison reporter at the Houston Chronicle, The Marshall Project and, most recently, the Los Angeles Times. In June 2022, Blakinger published Corrections in Ink, a memoir about her experience in the prison system. The book shows how Blakinger and fellow incarcerated people navigated the New York state prison system, profiling their resilience in the face of dehumanizing conditions. Since its release, Blakinger has shared notes on Twitter from people in prison who have found the book to be a tool for hope and post-carceral strength. But a few months after its publication, Blakinger learned the Florida Department of Corrections was considering permanently banning her “dangerously inflammatory” book at prisons across the state after an inmate at Okaloosa Correctional Facility requested the book through the Prison Book Program.

Fort Worth Journalists Win Only Newspaper Union Contract In Texas

On the heels of an unprecedented 24-day labor strike late last year, around 20 journalists at the 117-year-old Fort Worth Star-Telegram have ratified the only union contract at a Texas newspaper. The union victory comes after more than two years of difficult negotiations and forms part of a surge in nationwide newsroom organizing since the mid-2010s as journalists have increasingly fought back against corporate predation in a struggling industry. Workers at two other Texas papers, in Dallas and Austin, are still bargaining for union contracts after roughly two years. Before launching the labor strike on November 28—likely the first open-ended newsroom work stoppage in Texas history—Kaley Johnson, a justice reporter at the Star-Telegram and vice president of the paper’s union, the Fort Worth NewsGuild, said negotiations were largely stuck in the mud.

A History Of Dissent

The United States was founded by dissenters. The Declaration of Independence is one of history’s most significant dissenting documents, inspiring people seeking freedom around the world, from the French revolutionists to Ho Chi Minh, who based Vietnam’s declaration of independence from France on the American declaration. But over the centuries a corrupt centralization of American power seeking to maintain and expand its authority has at times sought to crush the very principle of dissent which was written into the United States Constitution. Freedom to dissent was first threatened by the second president. Just eight years after the adoption of the Bill of Rights, press freedom had become a threat to John Adams, whose Federalist Party pushed through Congress the 1798 Alien and Sedition Acts.

Civil Society Organizations Condemn Israel’s Targeted Smear Campaign

On 14 December 2022, Israel’s mission to the United Nations in Geneva smeared the respected and eminent UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territory Occupied since 1967, Francesca Albanese, in a direct attempt to attack and undermine the mandate she has been entrusted with and thwart her expert human rights work on Palestine. The statement which contains baseless accusations of antisemitism, raises concerns about the “impunity that exists today regarding antisemitism and antisemitic comments made by UN officials”. More specifically, it refers to a historic Facebook post made by UNSR Francesca Albanese almost a decade ago, in 2014, which at the time reflected on the reasons for international inaction on the question of Palestine.

Journalist Targeted By Ukraine Speaks Out: Wyatt Reed With Lee Camp

Journalist Wyatt Reed is based out of Washington, DC. That hasn’t prevented him from delivering some of the hardest hitting frontline reporting on an impressive list of critical events within the past few years. From Charlottesville to the Venezuelan Embassy, the BLM Uprising, the color revolution of Bolivia, and hot off the heels of a trip to the Donbas region as an international election observer. The quality of his coverage is rivaled only by his ability to ratio so-called “journalists” on Twitter like Keith Olberman in defense of Nicaragua’s democratic election process, which he observed during November 2021. But there is a twist. Wyatt Reed was put on a dystopian kill list run by the Ukrainian Interior Ministry bearing the name Myrotvorets or Peace Maker. 

Journalist In Donestk: Ukrainian Government Put Me On A Hit List

As the Ukraine-Russia conflict escalates, the Ukrainian government forces have increased their bombing of civilians in Donetsk. Fighting in the Donbas has claimed over 15,000 lives since 2014. Journalist Johnny Miller has been living in Donetsk and joins the show to provide the on-the-ground reality of the daily attacks on civilians there and what are their real attitudes towards Russia and Ukraine.

Sweden Expands Espionage Law, Endangers Press Freedom

Sweden’s parliament adopted a major espionage law expansion that will permit the country’s police to investigate journalists, publishers, and whistleblowers if they reveal secret information that “may damage Sweden's relationship with another state or an international organization.” Journalists, publishers, or whistleblowers found guilty of revealing such “damaging” information could be sentenced to up to four years in prison under the new law. The expansion was aimed at ensuring the Swedish government has even more control over what the public learns about the country’s cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the European Union, and the United Nations.

Writing On War

"As this century began, I was writing War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, my reflections on two decades as a war correspondent, 15 of them with the New York Times, in Central America, the Middle East, Africa, Bosnia, and Kosovo. I worked in a small, sparsely furnished studio apartment on First Avenue in New York City. The room had a desk, chair, futon, and a couple of bookshelves — not enough to accommodate my extensive library, leaving piles of books stacked against the wall. The single window overlooked a back alley. There were days when I could not write. I would sit in despair, overcome by emotion, unable to cope with a sense of loss, of hurt, and the hundreds of violent images I carry within me. Writing about war was not cathartic. It was painful. I was forced to unwrap memories carefully swaddled in the cotton wool of forgetfulness. The advance on the book was modest: $25,000. Neither the publisher nor I expected many people to read it, especially with such an ungainly title. I wrote out of a sense of obligation, a belief that, given my deep familiarity with the culture of war, I should set it down. But I vowed, once done, never to willfully dredge up those memories again."

How Murdoch’s Rogue News Corp Operates

The way News Corp operates must be traced to Rupert Murdoch himself for he has told us that ‘for better or worse (News Corp) is a reflection of my own thinking, my character and my values’. Let me give some examples of how News Corp operates. Ken Cowley was a very senior and loyal executive of News Corp for many years. He was my production manager in Sydney at News Ltd. Unwisely, three years ago Cowley told the Australian Financial Review that [Rupert’s son] Lachlan Murdoch was not particularly smart and that The Australian ‘is pathetic’. People were wheeled out within 24 hours to defend Lachlan. Cowley was brought to heel. The Australian extracted the following from him: ‘‘The Australian has always been good, the Editor in Chief has been doing an excellent job… I have great respect for Lachlan Murdoch.”

US-Backed Ukrainian Officials Are Trying To Prosecute Journalists

This past May, Rand Paul, the Senator from Kentucky, did something that made a lot of sense. Before a vote to send another $40 Billion to Ukraine, Paul demanded language that would create oversight for that money. Most of Congress was furious with him for daring to put restrictions on U.S. funding for the proxy forces in Ukraine. One of his peers who was most upset with him was Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. As former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter writes for Consortium News, three weeks after Schumer forced that bill through and got the money for the proxy war in Ukraine, something funny happened.
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