Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,
The Grayzone’s Max Blumenthal has published the first part of an investigative series on how so-called non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are being used to manipulate the narrative about what’s going on in Syria by posing as impartial investigative bodies and circulating pro-imperialist disinformation to the western political/media class as objective fact.
Part one is titled “Behind the Syrian Network for Human Rights: How an opposition front group became Western media’s go-to monitor”, and it documents a mountain of evidence that one of these “NGOs” is in fact very much state-funded and highly biased in favor of anti-Assad forces, yet still gets cited as an independent source by western mass media outlets in a way that just so happens to help make the case for western interventionism in Syria.
“Citing the Syrian Network for Human Rights as an independent and credible source is the journalistic equivalent of sourcing statistics on head trauma to a research front created by the National Football League, or turning to tobacco industry lobbyists for information on the connection between smoking and lung cancer. And yet this has been standard practice among correspondents covering the Syrian conflict,” Blumenthal writes. “Indeed, Western press has engaged for years in an insidious sleight of hand, basing reams of shock journalism around claims by a single, highly suspect source that is deeply embedded within the Syrian opposition – and hoped that no one would notice.”
Major media outlets rely on the Syrian Network for Human Rights as a go-to source.
They won’t tell you that @snhr is based in Qatar & run by Syrian opposition leaders who clamor for US intervention.@MaxBlumenthal rips the lid off a propaganda front: https://t.co/myUpZbARO4
— The Grayzone (@GrayzoneProject) June 14, 2019
I’ve taken to calling such things “narrative management operations” lately, because that’s a much clearer illustration of their function than simply labeling them propaganda constructs and psyops (though those labels are certainly accurate as well). Countless operations have been set up both inside and outside of Syria to control the narrative about what’s happening there, and now if a casual observer decides to find out more about the Syrian conflict they’ll almost certainly be consuming information that has been filtered through narrative management ops that have been funded by governments within the US-centralized power alliance.
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Authored by Alexander Rubinstein via MintPress News
The Syrian American Council and a collection of pro-war lobbyists have led an intimidation campaign aimed at bullying a major Washington-based bookstore, Politics and Prose, into canceling award-winning journalist and author Max Blumenthal’s launch event for his new book The Management of Savagery.
And it appears to have worked. Politics and Prose announced that it would “postpone” the event, citing “concerns” over the event’s “format, substance, … [and] security” in a tweet. In a testament to the ferocity of the harassment campaign against the small chain, the company has pinned the statement to the top of its Twitter page so that anyone visiting it sees immediately that they caved.
Politics and Prose is the go-to space for D.C. book events. If you are on a book tour and coming to Washington, chances are that Politics and Prose will be hosting your event.
On Monday, I called the Politics and Prose location that was to host the event for Blumenthal. I was directed to the events department, as nobody in the store itself had authority on such matters. After being put on hold for a few minutes, I was told by an employee, “I spoke to all of my co… my manager and also our events person and we have no plans for canceling that event. It is going to go on as scheduled.”
What was left out was that the store had already begun making onerous demands of Blumenthal, including requiring him to have an “interlocutor” on stage, specifically, one who would appease the Syrian American Council. Blumenthal secured Andrew Cockburn, one of the premiere journalists covering U.S. and Middle East politics and a longtime correspondent for Harper’s Magazine. But Blumenthal told MintPress that Cockburn was denied; Politics and Prose management insisted that Cockburn was “too sympathetic” to his own views.
Since @PoliticsProse caved to a harassment campaign spearheaded by a pro-regime change lobbying group & a gaggle of anarcho-neocons in NYC I’ve decided to release audio of the events department telling me on Monday that the event will “go on as planned”
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