Articles by Media Lens

We found 34 results.


Racism, Sexism, Classism – The Necessary Incoherence of ‘Mainstream’ Ethical Debate
Media Lens - TRANSCEND Media Service, 3 Aug 2020

30 Jul 2020 – If the killing of George Floyd was racism, how shall we describe US- and UK-led UN policy that ‘was more humane with its dogs’? How to describe corporate media that rail against domestic racism while perennially cheerleading the infinitely more violent international version? Why are we not taking a knee for Iraqis and Libyans? Why is no-one toppling Orwellian monuments to a ‘free press’ supporting global oppression, like the statue of George Orwell outside BBC Broadcasting House?

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‘Can I Keep You Safe? Your Future Is Uncertain’: Climate and the Fate of Humanity
Media Lens - TRANSCEND Media Service, 6 Apr 2020

31 Mar 2020 – In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, the most immediate objective is to slow its spread, minimise the death toll and help people through the crisis.  But, despite government promises to support citizens who are now losing their jobs and income, the underlying establishment concern will be as it always has been: to preserve the global inequitable system of wealth and power. Private interests, including airlines, fossil fuel industries and sinister-sounding ‘businesses crucial to national security’, have been busy lobbying governments for taxfunder-paid bailouts.

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‘And Then – Nothing. Silence’: The Deadly Facade of ‘Democracy’
Media Lens – TRANSCEND Media Service, 9 Mar 2020

19 Feb 2020 – If you were mad enough to judge the state of the world by the daily outpourings of ‘mainstream’ media, you would have no real understanding of the perilous state of the human race. The glaring phenomenon of tightly managed ‘mainstream’ news and permissible commentary – on climate breakdown, capitalism and foreign policy – indicates one inescapable truth: there will not, and cannot, be major changes in society without genuinely public media. Human survival, quite literally, depends upon it.

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‘Burned at the Stake’ – The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Demolishes the Fake Claims Targeting Julian Assange
Media Lens – TRANSCEND Media Service, 17 Feb 2020

13 Feb 2020 – Vested interests may appear to hold all the cards – they work hard to give that impression – but this is only an appearance. The very fact that they work so relentlessly to shape public opinion indicates the precarious nature of their dominance. The problem is inherent, structural – a ‘democratic’ society that subordinates the needs of the many to the needs of the few is a society based on lies. Propaganda obfuscating those lies can be disseminated endlessly, day and night, but it will always be vulnerable to individuals and groups with genuine expertise motivated by genuine concern for others.

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‘Mirthless Laugh’ – The Persecution and Torture of Julian Assange
Editorial | Media Lens – TRANSCEND Media Service, 17 Jun 2019

11 Jun 2019 – As Melzer says, corporate media have an astonishing power to influence what we think. We are all vulnerable to the impact of numerous, apparently independent and impartial journalists all insisting that Assange is a vile narcissist, that Jeremy Corbyn is a dangerous anti-semite, that Nicolas Maduro is a brutal dictator, that Gaddafi is planning a vast massacre, that Saddam Hussein has hidden weapons of mass destruction that pose a genuine threat to the West, that Iran is working on a ‘nuclear trigger’, and so on.

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Buried in Broad Daylight: The ‘Free Press’ and the Report from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons on Douma, Syria
Media Lens – TRANSCEND Media Service, 17 Jun 2019

14 Jun 2019 – A defining feature of the propaganda system is that facts supporting the agenda of Western power are pushed to the forefront of the ‘mainstream’ media, while inconvenient facts are buried. A prime example is the shameful media silence in response to a devastating document leaked from the OPCW. ‘When truth is replaced by silence, the silence is a lie.’

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40,000 Dead Venezuelans under US Sanctions: Corporate Media Turn a Blind Eye
Media Lens – TRANSCEND Media Service, 6 May 2019

30 Apr 2019 – A new report on April 25 co-authored by Mark Weisbrot and Jeffrey Sachs for the US-based Center for Economic and Policy Research has estimated that US sanctions imposed on Venezuela in August 2017 have caused around 40,000 deaths. This atrocity has been entirely blanked by the ‘mainstream’ media. Additional sanctions imposed in January 2019 are likely to lead to tens of thousands of further deaths.

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Assange Arrest (Part 1): ‘So now he’s our property.’
Media Lens – TRANSCEND Media Service, 22 Apr 2019

16 Apr 2019 – If ‘journalism’ meant what it is supposed to mean– acting as the proverbial ‘fourth estate’ to challenge power and to keep the public informed – then Julian Assange and WikiLeaks would be universally lauded as paragons. So would Chelsea Manning, the brave former US Army whistleblower who passed on to WikiLeaks more than 700,000 confidential US State Department and Pentagon documents, videos and diplomatic cables about the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Assange Arrest (Part 2): ‘A Definite Creep, a Probable Rapist’
Media Lens – TRANSCEND Media Service, 22 Apr 2019

18 Apr 2019 – As discussed in Part 1, the nub of this ‘mainstream’ scorn was the belief that Assange’s concerns about extradition were a cowardly excuse for fleeing possible sex crimes – fears of extradition were a nerdish, paranoid fantasy. It is a bitter irony, then, that Assange is currently trapped in the high-security Belmarsh Prison, which has been described as ‘Britain’s Guantanamo Bay’.

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The Destruction of Freedom: Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange and the Corporate Media
Media Lens | Editorial – TRANSCEND Media Service, 25 Mar 2019

19 March 2019 – The corporate media is institutionally opposed to the interests of the vast majority of the public; that is why we reject the label ‘mainstream’. The corporate media including BBC News, systematically promotes imperialist and exploitative state interests, together with private power in the form of big business, financial speculation, military forces, the arms industry, the fossil fuel lobby, destructive agribusiness, unsustainable food production and rampant global consumerism that is destroying ecosystems, ramping up mass loss of species and endangering human survival through climate chaos.

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Venezuela Blitz (Part 1): Tyrants Don’t Have Free Elections
Editorial | Media Lens – TRANSCEND Media Service, 11 Feb 2019

5 Feb 2019 – A ‘Propaganda Blitz’ is a fast-moving campaign to persuade the public of the need for ‘action’ or ‘intervention’ furthering elite interests. Affecting great moral outrage, corporate media line up to insist that a watershed moment has arrived – something must be done! A classic propaganda blitz was triggered on January 23, when Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó declared himself ‘interim President’.

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Democracy or Extinction
Media Lens | Editorial – TRANSCEND Media Service, 28 Jan 2019

22 Jan 2019 – What will it take for governments to take real action on climate? When will they declare an emergency and do what needs to be done? How much concerted, peaceful public action will be required to disrupt the current economic and political system that is driving humanity to the brink of extinction? Meanwhile, climate records continue to tumble. 2018 was the hottest for the world’s oceans since records began in the 1950s, continuing a deeply worrying trend. Moreover, the last five years were the five hottest.

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Remembrance – The Dehumanised Human
Media Lens | Editorial – TRANSCEND Media Service, 21 Jan 2019

“From infancy, by every possible means–class books, church services, sermons, speeches, books, papers, songs, poetry, monuments– the people are stupefied in one direction: unquestioning patriotism.” — Leo Tolstoy
“The average individual does not permit himself to be aware of thoughts or feelings which are incompatible with the patterns of his culture, and hence he is forced to repress them.” — Erich Fromm

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Limits of Dissent – Glenn Greenwald and the Guardian
Editorial | Media Lens – TRANSCEND Media Service, 10 Dec 2018

6 Dec 2018 – Even a comparatively honest, Chomskyite journalist like Greenwald is either not willing or not able to tell the whole truth about a paper that has done enormous harm in promoting Perpetual War with endless nonsense about ‘our’ supposed ‘responsibility to protect’ civilians in oil-rich countries like Iraq and Libya. The Guardian has, at last, begun responding to the climate extinction crisis, but it has long downplayed the gravity of the crisis and the truth of corporate denialism, while promoting high status consumerism and fossil fuel advertising.

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The Filter Bubble: Owen Jones and Con Coughlin
Editor | Media Lens – TRANSCEND Media Service, 19 Nov 2018

14 Nov 2018 – There is something dreamlike about the system of mass communication sometimes described as ‘mainstream media’. Why are defence editors, defence correspondents, diplomatic editors and the like so often biased in favour of the Western defence and diplomatic establishment they are covering? And why are they allowed to demonstrate this bias without anyone so much as commenting? The filter bubble ensures that these questions can never be asked, much less answered.

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How to Be a Reliable ‘Mainstream’ Journalist
Media Lens – TRANSCEND Media Service, 12 Nov 2018

8 Nov 2018 – There are certain rules you need to follow as a journalist if you are going to demonstrate to your editors, and the media owners who employ you, that you can be trusted. Being a reliable ‘mainstream’ journalist entails: propagating the myth that ‘we’ are the good guys; conforming to the requirements of wealth and power; keeping one’s head down and never challenging authority; and refraining from any public discussion about these rules.

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‘Follow Your Bliss’ – The Tweet That Brought Corporate Journalism to the Brink of a Nervous Breakdown
Editor | Media Lens – TRANSCEND Media Service, 12 Mar 2018

‘Forget it. Don’t write for the “mainstream”. Don’t write for money. Don’t write for prestige. Just “follow your bliss” by writing what you absolutely love to write to inspire and enlighten other people. Write what seems interesting, important and true, and give it away for free.’

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Preferred Conclusions: The BBC, Syria and Venezuela
Media Lens | Dissident Voice – TRANSCEND Media Service, 18 Sep 2017

13 Sep 2017 – As the late media activist Danny Schechter wrote, when it comes to the corporate broadcast media: ‘The more you watch, the less you know.’ Schechter’s observation only fails in one key respect: ‘mainstream’ output does tell us a lot about which foreign governments are being lined up for regime change.

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Fake News about “Fake News”: The Media Performance Pyramid
Media Lens | Editorial – TRANSCEND Media Service, 12 Dec 2016

5 Dec 2016 – 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’.

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Filtering the Election
Media Lens | Editorial – TRANSCEND Media Service, 21 Nov 2016

When the likes of Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, Bashar Assad, and now Donald Trump, are declared the latest ‘New Hitler’, we learn little except that they are enemies of the establishment. It means the ‘On’ button has been pressed on a propaganda machine designed for maximal demonisation, leaving no room for public doubt.

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Yemen Vote – The Responsibility to Protect Profits
Media Lens – TRANSCEND Media Service, 7 Nov 2016

State-corporate propaganda is full of ‘shoulds’, all rooted in ‘our’ alleged ‘responsibility to protect’. Why ‘us’? Why not Sweden or Iceland? Because ‘we’ care. ‘We’ just care more. A key task of the corporate media is to pretend this is something more than a charade.

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Menwith Menace: Britain’s Complicity in Saudi Arabia’s Terror Campaign against Yemen
Media Lens – TRANSCEND Media Service, 19 Sep 2016

13 Sep 2016 – 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.

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Anatomy of a Propaganda Blitz: “Hitlergate”
Media Lens – Dissident Voice, 23 May 2016

Elites have openly advocated the ‘manufacture of consent’ for decades. In 1932, highly influential US foreign policy adviser Reinhold Niebuhr wrote of the need for ’emotionally potent oversimplifications’ and ‘necessary illusion’ to overcome the threat to elite control posed by ‘the stupidity of the average man’.

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Anatomy of a Propaganda Blitz
Media Lens – Dissident Voice, 16 May 2016

We live in a time when state-corporate interests are cooperating to produce propaganda blitzes intended to raise public support for the demonisation and destruction of establishment enemies. Below, we will examine five key components of an effective propaganda campaign of this kind.

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Thatcher’s Tyrants – The Tanks, The Guns, The Christmas Cards
David Edwards – Media Lens, 31 Aug 2015

“Tyrants willing to serve the West are sent tanks, guns and Christmas cards. Their crimes are buried out of sight, protected from censure at the United Nations. Likewise, outrage at dissidents’ alleged ‘support’ for tyranny is mostly a device used to attack voices threatening power and profit. The state-corporate moral compass is not malfunctioning or broken – there is no moral compass.” – Howard Zinn

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When Free Speech Becomes Dead Silence – The Israel Lobby and a Cowed Academia
Media Lens – TRANSCEND Media Service, 13 Apr 2015

8 Apr 2015 – The sudden cancellation of an academic conference on Israel, as well as the lack of outcry from ‘mainstream’ media, demonstrates once again the skewed limits to ‘free speech’ in ‘advanced’ Western democracies. ‘Je suis Charlie’ already feels like ancient history. It certainly does not apply when it comes to scrutiny of the state of Israel.

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The Purpose and the Pretence – Bombing Isis
Media Lens – TRANSCEND Media Service, 29 Sep 2014

Traditionally, claims that an Official Enemy is uniquely Evil rise to a deafening crescendo just prior to an attack on that enemy. The ‪USA‬ does not bomb countries for humanitarian objectives.‪ Humanitarianism‬ is the pretense, not the purpose.

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Some Deaths Really Matter – The Disproportionate Coverage of Israeli and Palestinian Killings
Media Lens – TRANSCEND Media Service, 7 Jul 2014

Israeli deaths matter much more than Palestinian deaths. This has long been a distinguishing feature of Western news media reporting on the Middle East. The recent blanket coverage afforded to the brutal killing of three Israeli teenagers highlights this immutable fact.

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Journalist Or Activist? Smearing Glenn Greenwald
David Edwards – Media Lens, 28 Oct 2013

Modern thought control is dependent on subliminal communication. Messages influencing key perceptions are delivered unseen, unnoticed, with minimal public awareness of what is happening or why. For example, journalists tell us that Hugo Chavez was ‘divisive’, that Julian Assange and Edward Snowden are ‘narcissistic’, that George Galloway is ‘controversial’. But beneath their literal meaning, these adjectives communicate a hidden message: that these individuals are acceptable targets for negative media judgement; they are fair game.

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Where Journalism Collides With State ‘Security’: BBC News, MI5 and the Mantra of ‘Keeping People Safe’
David Cromwell – Media Lens, 21 Oct 2013

We make no apology for again citing the American writer H. L. Mencken: ‘The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.’

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The Illusion of Democracy
Media Lens – TRANSCEND Media Service, 24 Dec 2012

We stand on the verge of one of the bleakest periods in human history, when the bright lights of civilizations will blink out and we will descend for decades, if not centuries, into barbarity. The elites, who successfully convinced us that we no longer possessed the capacity to understand the revealed truths presented before us or to fight back against the chaos caused by economic and environmental catastrophe, will use their resources to create privileged little islands where they will have access to security and goods denied to the rest of us. (p. 197)

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Targeting Syria – The ‘Bad News’ For The Guardian
Media Lens – TRANSCEND Media Service, 17 Oct 2011

Afghanistan and Iraq may still be in flames. A bloodbath may continue to flow from Nato’s ‘humanitarian intervention’ in Libya. No matter, mainstream journalists are appalled that a double Russian and Chinese veto at the UN has thwarted Western efforts to do more good in Syria. The two powers rejected the latest draft of a UN Security Council resolution condemning the Syrian government and preparing the way for international sanctions. In the Guardian, Middle East editor Ian Black wrote last week:

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Bad News from the BBC: ‘Replete with Imbalance and Distortion’
Media Lens – TRANSCEND Media Service, 30 May 2011

One of the main headlines on the BBC news homepage earlier this month read, ‘Violence erupts at Israel borders’. Israeli soldiers had shot dead at least 12 protesters and injured dozens more. BBC ‘impartiality’ decreed that the brutal killings were presented almost as an act of nature, a volcanic eruption that simply happened.

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“Put the Palestinians on a Diet”
Media Lens – TRANSCEND Media Service, 22 Nov 2010

Media Bury Documents Revealing Israel’s Deliberate Policy of Near Starvation for Gaza: Israel has been forced to reveal what Palestinians and other observers on the ground have known for a long time: that the blockade of Gaza is state policy intended to inflict collective punishment, not to bolster Israeli “security”…. The released documents, whose existence Israel had denied for eighteen months, reveal that the state approved “a policy of deliberate reduction” of basic goods, including food and fuel, in the Gaza Strip.

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