Anti-Syrian Media Bias
By Stephen Lendman
Journalistic ethics are clear and unequivocal. They're consistently violated. According to the Society of Professional Journalists' Code of Ethics:
"....public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy."
"The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues."
"Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty."
"Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist's credibility."
The Radio-Television News Directors Association Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct stresses public trust, credibility, accuracy, truth, "reporting anything known to be false," avoiding bias, fairness, integrity, independence, and accountability."
Major media bias is longstanding. It's blatant when America goes to war or plans one. Pseudo-left journalism followers expect better.
Too often they're betrayed. They're carpet-bombed with misinformation. They're fed support for imperial wars. They get it based on lies.
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) provides a vital service. It's a credible media watchdog. It exposes media misinformation, bias and censorship. It promotes truth and full disclosure. It does so because it matters.
On August 28, it headlined "Getting Iran Wrong, by Way of Syria." It caught NPR's Lara Liasson lying.
Obama "has done everything he can to avoid another foreign military involvement, but he can't avoid it after the widespread use of chemical weapons on this scale," she said.
She referenced White House press secretary Jay Carney discussing "other potential users of chemical weapons."
She claimed "(o)ther potential users means Iran. This is not just about chemical weapons."
"It's not just about Assad. This is a proxy war. Iran, who is developing its own weapons of mass destruction, is currently backing the Syrian regime, and it is watching very carefully to see what the US does."
These and similar claims at best are unsubstantiated. Most often they're bald-faced lies. No evidence whatever links Syria to chemical weapons use any time throughout months of conflict.
None suggests Iran's developing nuclear or other WMDs. Baseless accusations persist. They're spurious. They're malicious. Pseudo-left journalists circulate them often. They do so disgracefully.
On October 1, 2012, FAIR headlined "Skepticism Essential in Syria Reporting," saying:
IF Stone was right. All governments lie, he said. So do media scoundrels. Pseudo-left ones are worst of all.
FAIR quoted Human Right Watch claiming Syrian forces fire indiscriminately into "populated neighborhoods."
It cited Reporters Without Borders wrongfully blaming Assad for insurgent crimes. It discussed media reports based on anti-Assad sources. It revealed lies supporting Washington's war on Syria.
On May 15, FAIR headlined "Iraq Then, Syria Now?"
Blatant misreporting supported Bush's Iraq war. That was then. This is now. History's repeating.
Lies beget more of them. A steady drumbeat supports war. New York Times editors said Obama's credibility's at stake. They support war based on lies. So do many pseudo-left media scoundrels.
John Pilger calls journalism the first casualty of war.
"Not only that," he said, it's "a weapon of war, a virulent censorship (and deception) that goes unrecognised in the United States, Britain and other democracies; censorship by omission, whose power is such that, in war, it can mean the difference between life and death for people in faraway countries...."
In their book titled "Guardians of Power: The Myth of the Liberal Media," David Edwards and David Cromwell explained why today's media are in crisis.
Free and open societies are at risk. Press prostitutes substitute fiction for fact. News is carefully filtered.
Dissent's marginalized or suppressed. Supporting imperial priorities substitutes for truth and full disclosure.
Media consumers are betrayed. They're misinformed. They're lied to. They're treated like mushrooms. They're well-watered. They're kept in the dark.
Nation magazine long ago betrayed its readers. Its 1865 founding prospectus said:
"The Nation will not be the organ of any party, sect, or body. It will, on the contrary, make an earnest effort to bring to the discussion of political and social questions a really critical spirit, and to wage war upon the vices of violence, exaggeration, and misrepresentation by which so much of the political writing of the day is marred."
Today it calls itself "the flagship of the left." It's word was never its bond. For sure it's not today.
Katrina Vanden Heuvel is editor and publisher. She's an establishment figure. She supports humanitarian interventions.
She does so for "security" and "stability." She's a regular on scoundrel TV. She's a Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) member.
Historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. once called it a "front organization (for) the heart of the American Establishment."
Vanden Heuvel supports Obama right or wrong. She endorses war. Doing so makes her complicit with his lawless aggression agenda. It doesn't surprise. More on that below.
From inception, Nation magazine turned reality on its head. It once was unapologetic about slavery.
It didn't support minority, labor, or women's rights. It championed 19th century laissez fare.
It attacked the Grangers, Populists, trade unions and socialists. In 1999, it called American-led NATO Serbia-Kosovo aggression "humanitarian intervention."
After 9/11, it backed the official Big Lie. It still does. It does so despite convincing evidence debunking it.
Initially, it supported Bush's Afghan and Iraq wars. It claimed "no evidence" America's 2004 presidential election was stolen.
In January 2006, it ran an offensive full-page anti-Muslim ad. It was titled "Arabian Fables." It said Palestinians are prone to violence and deceptions.
Two months later, it wrongfully claimed Haiti's Jean-Bertrand Aristide was "feared and despised." It blamed Haitians for their own misery. It did so disgracefully.
Its biased editorials and articles support Democrats. They do it right or wrong. They suppress disturbing truths.
They lie for wealth, power and privilege. They support business as usual. They call themselves "progressive."
In December 2009, Vanden Heuvel commented on Obama's Nobel Peace Prize award. She ignored his criminal rap sheet. She called him "an ethical realist."
It's why Nobel Committee members "awarded him this prize," she said. "It was a rebuke to the unilateralism, the jingoism of the Bush years."
She turned truth on its head saying so. She ignored his rage for war. On September 3, she headlined "Congress, Think Carefully Before Intervening in Syria," saying:
Obama's "decision to ask Congress to authorize any action towards Syria is both courageous and correct."
"(H)e made the right call. (He) respond(ed) to his constitutional obligation."
"Now is the time for democracy to work."
"The administration has begun to detail its case that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against its own people."
"Congress should also arrange to receive and consider the report of the UN inspectors, because their report will be accepted by other members of the international community and will offer clues about those behind the attacks even if the mandate of the inspectors does not cover who was responsible for the alleged use of chemical weapons."
Vanden Heuvel ignored international law. No nation may attack another except in self-defense. It may do so only until the Security Council acts. It alone has final say.
America's a UN Charter signatory. International law is inviolable. The Constitution's Article VI contains its Supremacy Clause. It's the supreme law of the land. It states:
"This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding."
Congress may pass no laws subverting UN Charter or other international law provisions. Presidents are prohibited from asking legislators to do so.
Obama ignored his constitutional obligation. He did so based on lies. Insurgents used chemical weapons multiple times.
Clear evidence proves it. None whatever links Assad to WMDs of any kind. Vanden Heuvel didn't explain.
She called America a democracy. It wasn't created to be one. For sure it's not now. Obama presides over a repressive police state apparatus.
He's waging war on freedom. He's ravaging one country after another. Syria's in the eye of the storm.
He's advancing America's imperium. He's risking humanity's survival. Vanden Heuvel supports him right or wrong. Don't expect her to explain.
Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett are former US government officials. On August 30, they headlined "Syria and the Waning of American Hegemony," saying:
Obama's "thoroughly telegraphed strike on Syria over (dubious chemical weapons use) will mark an important inflection point in the terminal decline of America's Middle East empire."
Candidate Obama pledged change. President Obama continues same old, same old. He scorns peace. He pursues war. He does so destructively.
He plans lawless aggression. He does so based on lies.
"Obama's strike will further accelerate erosion of America's position in the Middle East," said both writers. "Assad will emerge with greater political support, not less; Russian and Chinese influence will be enhanced."
Obama's "ushering in a regional balance increasingly tilted against the United States."
He's doing so based on fabricated intelligence. It's on twisted logic. Summary information released is vague and deceptive.
It claims uncorroborated signals, geospatial and human intelligence sources "consistent with" a nerve gas attack.
It claims what's nonexistent. So-called "intercepted communications" are fake. No verifiable evidence confirms them.
According to former UK ambassador Craig Murray, Britain and America monitor "all radio, satellite and microwave traffic across the Middle East."
They follow "almost all landline telephone communications in this region." They share information gotten.
No communications Kerry described were jointly shared, said Murray. He cited an unnamed high-level US intelligence source.
He said so-called intercept information came from Israel. An Israeli source leaked it to a German publication.
It provided baseless information. It did so for obvious reasons. It's partnered with Obama's war on Syria.
It bears repeating. All wars are based on lies. Obama plans more lawless aggression. He claims war is peace.
He risks humanity's annihilation. Its survival depends on stopping him. Impeaching him is a national imperative. It's essential to do it now!
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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