‘How rock star Roger Waters was hung out to dry by Amnesty and Bellingcat for his views on Syrian ‘chemical attack’, 14 Oct, 2020, RT.com
“A leaked phone call reveals that outside pressure caused Amnesty to pull its promotion of a webinar featuring Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters – a vocal skeptic of the Douma ‘chemical attack’ that prompted Western powers to bomb Syria.
In August this year, environmental pressure group Amazon Watch broadcast an online panel discussion in support of Steven Donziger, a crusading attorney who dared try to hold US energy giant Chevron to account for widespread environmental destruction in the Amazon, and was left fighting for his life, livelihood and liberty as a result.
In February 2011, Chevron was found liable by an Ecuadorian court for contamination resulting from crude oil production in the region by its subsidiary Texaco between 1964 and 1992, in a legal action that was many years in the making and led by Donziger.” […]
“Donziger himself was present on the Amazon Watch webinar that August evening, and was joined by a number of prominent campaigners, including Simon Taylor, founder of NGO Global Witness, and Roger Waters, co-founder of rock institution Pink Floyd.
The talk was widely promoted in advance by a number of prominent human rights activists, and NGOs, perhaps most prominently Amnesty International.
However, the organization’s endorsement triggered a deluge of criticism on social media from a number of notorious advocates for regime change in Syria. This led to a post advertising the webinar published by Amnesty USA’s official Twitter account the day before broadcast to mysteriously disappear without explanation.”
The Very Lengthy rest is here, including this Tweeted Ministry of Truth Disinformation:
I would appeal to @amnestyusa not to promote this event given Roger Waters participation because slandered #WhiteHelmets repeating Russian propaganda putting their lives at risk when saved over 150,000 lives & cannot remain silent as know them well as a filmmaker @SyriaCivilDefhttps://t.co/8e311Xcj2S
— Ronan L Tynan (@RonanLTynan) August 5, 2020
‘Caitlin Johnstone: Imagine if MSM consistently applied the evidentiary standards it’s applying to Hunter Biden’s emails’, 15 Oct, 2020, RT.com (CC at her home website)
“Mainstream media and social media platforms are blacking out an October surprise published by The New York Post which purports to show “smoking gun” emails from the laptop of Hunter Biden, son of Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
Both Twitter and Facebook have censored the story on their platforms, the first time we’ve seen the powerful social media giants deplatform a mainstream news media article, both citing concerns about the origins of the emails and an uncertainty about the veracity of the claims.
“Facebook was limiting distribution of the story while its outside fact-checkers reviewed the story’s claims, spokesman Andy Stone said,” reports NPR, adding that “Twitter said it decided to block the story because it couldn’t be sure about the origins of the emails.”
Twitter claims it found the emails to be in violation of its policies banning content which contains private information and its rules against “hacked materials,” both of which would have forbidden all articles sharing the contents of the 2016 WikiLeaks drops if those rules had existed back then. As I warned could happen back in August, these rules have set the stage for the cross-platform censorship of a 2020 October surprise.
Right behind him in lack of self awareness is @kylegriffin1. He didn’t want anyone sharing the link to the Post story, but he was happy to share @RepAdamSchiff’s conspiracy about Russian collusion even post-Mueller report. pic.twitter.com/CSnblk9X3V
Drew Holden (@DrewHolden360) October 14, 2020
“There’s a good thread going around Twitter compiling posts that mainstream media reporters have been making in objection to the circulation of Hunter Biden’s emails alongside posts made by those same reporters promoting far more ridiculous and insubstantial allegations, like MSNBC’s virulent Russia conspiracy theorist Kyle Griffin saying nobody should link to the New York Post report because if they do they’ll be “amplifying disinformation.”
A new Reason article discusses how the mass media are not just avoiding the story but actively discouraging it:
‘On Wednesday, The New York Post published an attention-catching original report: “Smoking-gun email reveals how Hunter Biden introduced Ukrainian businessman to VP dad.” In the previously unreleased email, which was allegedly sent on April 17, 2015, an executive with Burisma, the Ukrainian natural gas company, thanks Hunter Biden for “giving an opportunity” to meet Joe Biden, according to The NY Post.
It’s a story that merits the attention of other journalists, political operatives, national security experts, and also the public at large — not least of all because there are serious questions about its accuracy, reliability, and sourcing. And yet many in the media are choosing not just to ignore the story, but to actively encourage others to suppress any discussion of it.
Indeed, two mainstream reporters who acknowledged (and criticized) the Post’s scoop — The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman and Politico’s Jake Sherman — faced thunderous denunciation on Twitter from Democratic partisans simply for discussing the story. Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden accused Haberman of promoting disinformation, and New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg told Sherman that he was helping nefarious conservative activists “launder this bullshit into the news cycle.” Historian Kevin Kruse asked why they were “amplifying” the story.
Indeed, a scroll through today’s mainstream news reporting does appear to show some consensus among most news media that the topic of the emails should be avoided, with most MSM articles on the matter covering the after-effects of the New York Post release or explaining why readers should be dubious about its contents. A new Washington Post article titled “Hunter Biden’s alleged laptop: an explainer” takes great pains to outline how important it is to be very, very certain that this story is everything it purports to be before investing any credulity in it.
“How do we know the email is authentic? We do not,” WaPo tells us. “The New York Post posted PDF print-outs of several emails allegedly from the laptop, but for the ‘smoking gun’ email, it shows only a photo made the day before the story was posted, according to Thomas Rid, author of Active Measures, a book on disinformation. ‘There is no header information, no metadata.’ The Washington Post has been unable to independently verify or authenticate these emails, as requests to make the laptop hard drive available for inspection have not been granted.”
“This would be the same Washington Post that has been circulating disinformation about Russia for years due to its disinterest in verifying information before reporting, and has, alongside the rest of the mass media, been promoting the narrative that Russia interfered in the 2016 US election based solely on unproven assertions promoted by government agencies despite many gaping plot holes in that narrative. Where was the journalistic concern for seeing the data and inspecting the hard drives then?
In and of itself there is no problem at all with mainstream news media applying high evidentiary standards to its reporting and making sure readers are aware when political manipulators could be pulling the wool over their eyes. In and of itself this would be a good thing. The problem is that all this emphasis on verification and truth only comes up when it is politically convenient for these plutocratic media outlets, because only favoring truth when it’s convenient is the same as lying constantly.” […]
Johnstone cites Ministry of Inconvenient Truth examples galore, and closes:
“They lie because the mass media within the US-centralized empire are the propaganda engine for that empire. The drivers of empire understand that whoever controls the narrative controls the world, so they ensure that all points of narrative influence are tightly controlled by them.
A world where all news stories are held to the same evidentiary standards as Hunter Biden’s emails are currently being held would be a world without empire. People would never consent to the insanity of imperialism and endless war if their consent wasn’t manufactured, and depriving them of the information that is inconvenient for that empire is essential in that manufacturing.”
‘BBC Targets Journalists Exposing Fake Syrian Chemical Attacks, A War On Journalism; Oct. 14, 2020
‘Fiorella reports that on Monday two journalists, Eva Bartlett and Vanessa Beeley were targeted by the BBC. Both were sent a letter via email by a BBC News reporter named Chloe Hadjimatheou informing her them of airing a series called “May day” about the White Helmets and their cofounder James Le Mesurier and asking if there was any clarifications or “statements”. The email went on to state that Bartlett and Beeley’s reporting on the exposed Syrian chemical attacks were conspiracy theories. Specifically Beeley was threatened with a possible indictment. The Syrian chemical attacks were dismissed as fake after an investigation by the OPCW, featuring witnesses, whistle blowers, and journalists. The attempt was found to be a U.S/U.K backed action. This is an important development amidst the Assange trial.’
The link goes to ‘The UK & US alliance brings the UNSC into disrepute by banning Syria chemical weapons briefing from ex-OPCW head’, Vanessa Beeley, Oct. 7, 2020, RT.com
“In an extraordinary effort by the UK, US, and their allies to censor the former OPCW director general, José Bustani was not allowed to brief the UN Security Council on the alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria, in 2018.”
(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)