‘Journalism is not a crime’: Australian MP says charges against Assange must be dropped after visiting him in UK prison


20-02-20 08:27:00,

Continued persecution of the WikiLeaks co-founder is a “crazy situation,” Australian lawmaker George Christiansen told RT, adding that Julian Assange did not commit any crime aside from running afoul of US elites.

Christiansen, a member of the Liberal National Party of Queensland, questioned the integrity of the legal process against Assange, who is now facing the possibility of extradition to the US over “unlawfully obtaining and disclosing classified documents related to the national defense.”

The journalist was hauled out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London after his asylum was revoked in April 2019, and has been locked up at the maximum security Belmarsh prison ever since.

“We have an Australian citizen, who is a subject to our laws, extradited by one foreign nation into another on charges in accordance with the laws of a country he did not even set foot to. That is a crazy situation,” Christiansen said, after visiting Assange at Belmarsh, south of London.

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Julian Assange will ‘disappear for the rest of his life’ inside ‘inhumane’ US prison, UN envoy warns… if he makes it that far

If a British citizen faced extradition from a third country to China or another “adversary” of the West, London would spare no efforts seeking his or her release, he added. “The same is true for Assange.”

The extradition hearings should be dropped and he should be returned to Australia.

Having been a journalist himself, Christiansen said that he sees absolutely no crime in Assange’s actions, since he was just “reporting the facts” and revealing information that was “clearly of public interest.”

I do not believe that anyone must be locked up for such an alleged crime. It is not a crime to undertake journalism.

Christiansen has spoken to the UN special rapporteur on torture, Professor Nils Melzer, who has repeatedly raised the alarm about Assange’s health, arguing that his solitary confinement in Belmarsh essentially amounted to psychological torture. What he saw at Belmarsh convinced Christiansen that Melzer was right in this assessment. He particularly noted that Assange “exhibited signs of disorientation” and told Christiansen about his prolonged and “severe” isolation.

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‘Journalism is dying’: US govt ‘has its tentacles’ in every part of media, reporter who quit over ‘suppressed’ OPCW story warns


15-12-19 10:58:00,

Stories that challenge establishment narratives go unreported because the media has been co-opted by the US government, a former Newsweek reporter has alleged, after his editors blocked him from writing about recent OPCW leaks.

Tareq Haddad announced his resignation from Newsweek last week, claiming that his editors had shot down his attempt to report on a leaked email which casts doubt on the OPCW’s findings regarding an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria, in April 2018.

In a lengthy article posted to his personal website, Haddad disclosed internal emails and messages in which he pressed his superiors about the issue, noting that Reuters had confirmed the authenticity of the damning leak.

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Newsweek reporter resigns after accusing outlet of SUPPRESSING story about OPCW leak that undermines Syria ‘gas attack’ narrative

Apparently ignoring the merits of the pitch, his editors responded by accusing Haddad of misreporting previous stories that he had worked on.

Reflecting on his experience in journalism – Haddad had previously worked for the Hull Daily Mail and International Business Times – the ex-Newsweek employee offered a scathing indictment of western media.

The US government, in an ugly alliance with those [that] profit the most from war, has its tentacles in every part of the media—imposters, with ties to the US State Department, sit in newsrooms all over the world… Inconvenient stories are completely blocked. As a result, journalism is quickly dying. America is regressing because it lacks the truth.

Responding to Haddad’s resignation, Newsweek said in a statement that he had “pitched a conspiracy theory rather than an idea for objective reporting. Newsweek editors rejected the pitch.”

A new batch of leaked documents, released by WikiLeaks on Saturday, have corroborated the allegation that the OPCW suppressed and altered key findings in its final report on the Douma incident.

Also on rt.com
New leaks provide further evidence that OPCW suppressed & altered findings on Douma ‘chemical attack’

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24-12-18 01:00:00,

24 December 2018


In two separate major interviews – the first published in India’s leading news magazine, Frontline, the second broadcast on RT – John Pilger describes the rise of a second cold war and the conversion of much of journalism to unconscious satire – ‘beckoning a real, unreported danger’.

Read the Frontline article

Watch RT’s Going Underground

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Journalism Has Become a Cult-Like Formula of Bias, Hearsay, and Omission – John Pilger

Journalism Has Become a Cult-Like Formula of Bias, Hearsay, and Omission – John Pilger

26-10-18 06:35:00,

Subjectivism is all; slogans and outrage are proof enough. What matters is “perception”

The death of Robert Parry earlier this year felt like a farewell to the age of the reporter. Parry was “a trailblazer for independent journalism”, wrote Seymour Hersh, with whom he shared much in common.

Hersh revealed the My Lai massacre in Vietnam and the secret bombing of Cambodia, Parry exposed Iran-Contra, a drugs and gun-running conspiracy that led to the White House. In 2016, they separately produced compelling evidence that the Assad government in Syria had not used chemical weapons. They were not forgiven.

Driven from the “mainstream”, Hersh must publish his work outside the United States. Parry set up his own independent news website Consortium News, where, in a final piece following a stroke, he referred to journalism’s veneration of “approved opinions” while “unapproved evidence is brushed aside or disparaged regardless of its quality.”

Although journalism was always a loose extension of establishment power, something has changed in recent years. Dissent tolerated when I joined a national newspaper in Britain in the 1960s has regressed to a metaphoric underground as liberal capitalism moves towards a form of corporate dictatorship. This is a seismic shift, with journalists policing the new “groupthink”, as Parry called it, dispensing its myths and distractions, pursuing its enemies.

Witness the witch-hunts against refugees and immigrants, the willful abandonment by the “MeToo” zealots of our oldest freedom, presumption of innocence, the anti-Russia racism and anti-Brexit hysteria, the growing anti-China campaign and the suppression of a warning of world war.

With many if not most independent journalists barred or ejected from the “mainstream”, a corner of the Internet has become a vital source of disclosure and evidence-based analysis: true journalism sites such as wikileaks.org, consortiumnews.com, wsws.org, truthdig.com, globalresearch.org, counterpunch.org and informationclearinghouse.com are required reading for those trying to make sense of a world in which science and technology advance wondrously while political and economic life in the fearful “democracies” regress behind a media facade of narcissistic spectacle.

Propaganda Blitz

In Britain, just one website offers consistently independent media criticism. This is the remarkable Media Lens — remarkable partly because its founders and editors as well as its only writers, David Edwards and David Cromwell,

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For Services to Journalism

For Services to Journalism

01-06-18 11:22:00,

Steven Erlanger, New York Times: ‘Named a Chevalier of the French Legion? Me?’ — Reporter’s Notebook.

Steven J. Erlanger is an American journalist who has reported from more than 120 countries. He is currently the Chief Diplomatic Correspondent for Europe for The New York Times, having moved to Brussels in August 2017 after four years as the paper’s bureau chief in London. Erlanger joined the Times in September 1987.

After graduating magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Harvard College in 1974 with an A.B. in political philosophy, Erlanger was a teaching fellow at Harvard from 1975 to 1983. Concurrent with this assignment, he was an editor and correspondent for The Boston Globe beginning in 1976, where he served on the national and foreign desks, covered the Iranian Revolution and Solidarity in Poland and was the European correspondent based in London from 1983–1987. He has written for numerous magazines, including The Spectator, The Economist, The New Republic, The Financial Times, The New Statesman, The Columbia Journalism Review, and The National Interest. France made him a chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur for services to journalism at the end of 2013.

Erlanger behoort tot wat mainstream-opiniemaker Ian Buruma betitelt als de ‘urban elites,’ die door populistische ‘[d]emagogues’ worden gecriminaliseerd. De meest bejubelde polder-opiniemaker, wijlen Henk Hofland, sprak over eerstgenoemden als de broodnodige ‘politiek-literaire elite,’ die ‘ook een blaadje nodig [heeft],’ in werkelijkheid vele ‘blaadjes,’ met daarnaast, zoals bekend, alle staats- en commerciële omroepen. Welnu, de hoofdaap onder de ‘blaadjes’ van de ‘elite’ is sinds jaar en dag The New York Times, de toonaangevende krant van de westerse ‘urban elites.’ Wat de Times beweert geldt — onder de mainstream — als wet, waarbij tekenend is dat de krant, volgens eigen medewerkers, zich nooit tegen een door de VS geplande gewelddadige interventie heeft uitgesproken. Dankzij het ‘fake news’ van allereerst The New York Times steunden de Amerikaanse ‘urban elites’ in grote meerderheid het begin van de agressieoorlog tegen Irak, die het Midden-Oosten in chaos heeft gestort en leidde tot de creatie van ISIS.  » Lees verder

Look How Journalism Should Be!

Look How Journalism Should Be!

30-05-18 04:59:00,

Richard Madeley abruptly stops interview after Gavin Williamson repeatedly dodges question about Putin

Presenter asks: ‘Right, you’re not going to answer, are you?’


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Indy Politics

TV presenter Richard Madeley abruptly stopped a live interview with the defence secretary after the minister avoided answering his question four times.
The ITV Good Morning Britain guest host asked Gavin Williamson whether he regretted telling Russia to “go away and shut up” after Moscow denied carrying out a nerve agent attack in Salisbury.
But the defence secretary responded by paying tribute to health workers who treated Sergei and Yulia Skripal and talking about the international response to the chemical attack.


Sketch: Little Gavin Williamson is hopelessly out of his depth

Mr Madeley repeatedly interrupted him to demand an answer, before finally stopping the interview.

The exchange began by the presenter saying: “You told Russia to ‘shut up and go away’. Do you regret that now? Do you think it was a bit too informal?”
Mr Williamson responded: “I’d like to pay tribute to the health service personnel who did an amazing job…”
Mr Madeley then pressed the defence secretary several times for an answer and Mr Williamson failed to address it.
The conversation culminated with the TV presenter dubbing Mr Williamson’s address to Russia “Trump-esque”.
Mr Madeley said: “Please don’t tell me what happened, because we know what happened. Do you regret using that language? That is the question.”
The minister responded: “What was right was actually that we came together with our allies and made it absolutely clear to Russia that they couldn’t act in that…”
The host said: “Right, you’re not going to answer, are you? OK. All right, interview terminated because you won’t answer the question. It would be helpful if you answered a straight question with a straight answer.”After terminating the interview,  » Lees verder