Of course, I have my own list in mind, but funnily enough I have a similar one here compiled from a recent 22-county poll conducted by GlobeScan (an international opinion research consultancy) and the Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland – Program on International Policy Attitudes.
The theory goes like that: if you suspect a foreign conspiracy against your country, then the conspirators would be funding their locals agents with the foreign country’s currency. Well, this is at least what the Syrian TV and Iranian Al-Alam Channel think, who are in the same league with Addounia TV.
Apart from Fox News Channel, who else employs crap minds like that? This is Fox‘s Tucker Carlson calling for an Iranian holocaust:
We (America) are the only country with moral authority sufficient to do that (launch a war on Iran), …I do think Iran deserves to be annihilated. They are lunatics, I think they are evil.
If there are any experts in the ‘zoom-in-zoom-out’ strategies to manipulate crowd images, it’s surely the Lebanese politicians who impressed us in the last decade or so with these technologies. In recent years, both the pro-western (March 14) and anti-western (March 8/Hezbollah) camps spent a bulk of their political airtime discussing the ‘zoom politics’ as I call it.
After 10 months of an internal uprising, the Syrian TV has ‘mastered’ fabricating news tricks, but today we discovered its skills in zooming. These below two videos are footage of the same event: the attendance of the Bashar Assad at supporting rally usually called a ‘spontaneous rally’ with a ‘Nasrallah style’ entrance; the top one was directed by the Syrian TV, in which Assad said @04:00: ‘Allahu Akbar for this crowd’. The bottom one was taken by an amateur/activist.
It was a majestic funeral indeed for the North Korean Leader Kim Jong-il yesterday. You can see from the above photo how tidy the scene is. Mourners standing in lines, snowy white background and parades passing by in order. I just wondered if the people were crying because of their leader’s death or they we were just feeling cold.
But with North Korea being one of the highest militarised country in the world (9.3 million or 38% of the total population are military personnel including the reserves), and for a country that responded with a ‘military-first’ policy to a national famine that killed around 1.5 million of its people, you can’t really trust anything that comes out from this country, not even a funeral photo!
I wanted to post the same interview of the Syrian President Bashar Assad as a ‘caricature of the day’! But then I came across Annahar’s Armand Homsi’s caricature which I thought is convenient enough.
The interview was done by Barbara Walters of ABC, and aired last night on the American channel. You can watch its “highlights” below, but basically it seems Bashar Assad has defected from the Syrian presidency.
In response to Syria’s crackdown on its uprising, and with all its decay, the Arab League [of dictators] has marked a historic milestone in its career by suspending Syria’s activities in its organisation. Before the ongoing Arab Spring, this move took place only once when Egypt was expelled due to its unilateral peace initiative with Israel in 1979 (& Libya in 2011); how times change. This is really a big slap in the face, with Syria being ‘the beating heart of the Arab Nation’.
It might be a brave move on the face of it in Syria’s case, but it can only show the Arabs fear from the growing Iranian influence in the region, or simply the delusional rising power of Qatar, or a mix of both (you can check the legal basis of the decision here).
A quasi-government Lebanese body, which is desperate for regulation and review itself, is planning to regulate the ‘electronic websites’. The National Council for Audio-Visual Media (NCAVM) announced this week its intention to create a register for websites. They didn’t specify for what type of websites and what are the criteria, though I can only speculate the initiative is targeted at the main sites that deals with news and politics, which became in the recent years as close as they can be to the ‘Main Stream Media’.
These websites would be the likes of Lebanonfiles.com, beiruobserver.com, cedarnews.net, elnashra.com, nowlebanon.com, Naharnet.com, 14march.org, Lebanonfiles.com, and many others including the websites of the main TV channels, newspapers and political parties. Saying that, media is not just ‘politics; it’s advertisement, films, entertainment, documentaries, social and cultural shows – all published or broadcasted. This move by the NCAVM to create a register has a lot of problems and unwanted consequences:
If you haven’t watched the below video yet, then it’s the time to do so. It’s a documentary, produced by AlJazeera English, about Bahrain’s unrest called: ‘Shouting in the dark’.
It’s a film about what I call the forgotten revolution, with the Arab and Western Main Stream Media ignoring what’s happening over there for convenient reasons (apart from shy coverage here and there, and extensive coverage by Hezbollah’s and Iran’s controlled media).
Bahrain’s ‘revolution’ was plagued from start with sectarian themes between the Sunnis and Shias, without the intention of the protesters (I say). And the responses of the regime and its supporters were controlled by sectarian motives too, which make their claims against the other side void.
Expanding on the conspiracy saga, and in a TV interview yesterday the former Brigadier General Amin Hoteit (or Amine Hotait), the Lebanese pro-Hezbollah political and military analyst, said this:
…the mission of this Lebanese political movement [implying Hariri's Future Movement] is funding with $2m the rape operations for the Christian and Alawite women in Syria, and of dumping them afterwards naked in the streets.
This is the most horrific and serious accusation I have ever heard in my life in the dirty Lebanese political ‘game'; it doesn’t even top facts from the crazy Lebanese civil war, or outcomes of the widest imagination of a science fiction Hollywood director (usually, there is some science to the fiction though).
Mr. Hoteit doesn’t seem to be inciting hatred or sectarian violence at all. The accused party could expand their plans and hurt all of us; they must be drug dealing, human trafficking and blood trading too. Shouldn’t they? Surely, we should save the planet from this Dracula party.
Shouldn’t Lebanon’s General Prosecutor invite Mr. Hoteit for a ‘cup of coffee’ (or finjein 2ahwi) to validate his evidence?
Thanks for Tayyar.org and OTV for helping the planet by letting the General expose these criminals, and reporting his statements.
Mr. Hoteit gained stardom in 2000 during the demarcation of the blue line with Israel. So keep an eye on him, he is a potential high-flyer…
If you live in Britain, and have taken 2 weeks holiday somewhere where you were completely disconnected from the news, you will not feel home when you come back. All this is because of the media storm caused by the phone hacking scandal of the News of the World in specific, and about Rupert Murdoch’s media empire in general; unbelievable the coverage and fast sequence of events.
What you see below is screen shot from the prime news programme on MTV – the Lebanese TV channel – on Friday 8th July 2011. It was shown as part of a reportage on the illegal advertising billboards on the streets in Lebanon. The MTV reporter was worried that these illegal chaotic billboards visually pollute the scene, and could be at risk of falling as result of strong winds (as previously happened).
MTV reporter was spot on with these worries, but what worried me of his worries was that he missed a main ‘health and safety’ concern: the men climbing, walking and working from heights without any proper protection. There wasn’t any barrier to protect them, and they were not connected with any ropes. Moreover, they didn’t wear any personal protective equipment (known as PPE).
In a previous post (Is the Western media promoting Syrian propaganda?), I may have told you that the Syrian regime sourced the crowd (different from crowdsourcing!) talking to the Western media, which I accused of colluding with the regime to pass its message across.
Now, I have a proof on that!
The authorities are always exposing themselves with the low quality video editing, and with the mistakes of their bad actors.
What’s chance of bumping into the same guy in two interviews in two separate locations? It happened in Syria, and with two separate media companies: CNN and Sky News!
This is Ed Miliband, the opposition leader in the UK House of Commons (Parliament), in an interview with the BBC.
Listen carefully to him repeating almost the same answer to every question. Is he a robot or an idiot – at least less idiot than the BBC presenter?
I just hope he doesn’t have to copy-paste Gordon Brown’s policy, else he should let his brother David have a go…
Western journalists were given access to Syria 3 days ago, which was the first time since the start of its uprising 100 days ago. I counted three organisations: CNN, Sky News, and The Sunday Times. The latter did not wish to name its reporter, but I noticed the others from their TV and Twitter reporting; they were Jeremy Thompson from Sky, Hala Gorani, Arwa Damon and Jomana Karadsheh – all from CNN (unless I missed others).
If you read this blog, you are less likely you watch the Syrian state media or the ones affiliated with it (unless the ‘Moukhabarat’ started following me).
So I thought of posting this below video, your opportunity to listen to some of the rhetoric being said on these ‘media outlets’.
The man speaking in this video is a Syrian ‘researcher’ called Ali Al-Shu’eibi. Continue reading
We saw too many episodes of the failed organised Syrian state propaganda since the start of the uprising in Syria (ridiculously & hopelessly), but I think we saw one of the top ones yesterday.
The story started when France24 TV English channel (first then the French channel) hosted over the phone the Syrian Ambassador to France Lamis Chakkour who resigned live on air. She said that she sided with the people, against the crimes being committed by the regime. The interview, which was exclusive to the France24, obviously became a hit within seconds of its ending. The announcement, if true, would have a huge impact on the regime of Bashar Al-Assad. Continue reading
Al-Manar, a Hezbollah controlled Lebanese TV channel, broke the news last Friday to the Lebanese & Arab audience, about the interview Abdul Halim Khaddam, the Syrian ex-Vice President, gave to the Israeli TV Channel 2 from his exile. Al-Manar closely monitors the Israeli media sources. Their monitoring proved to be efficient in managing the physiological and military war with Israel. I think they made a scoop this time, but I have a view on it!
Loyalty in the Arab culture is what underpins the ‘popular support’ for the political regimes in Arab world, in a kind of distorted way. Some people can be so connected to a theory, person, vested interest or an ‘ex-favour’ – (through ‘wasta’) – to the extent that transparency or truth desert their logic. Although this is present across the board, but I wish to specifically mention the Syrian Actor Mr Duraid Lahham (known as Ghawwar Al-Toushe) as a test case! He recently drew my attention through an interview he gave to the Syrian state TV, and an edited video posted on YouTube (enclosed below).