Climate denialist propaganda on United States corporate media

This 29 December 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

CNN and [Rupert Murdoch‘s] Fox News repeatedly gave climate deniers a platform in 2018

In a year when experts were shouting from the rooftops about our urgent need to act on climate change, cable news still gave these people a platform. Extremely alarming.

Saudi Arabia: The worst-performing country on battling climate change. Saudi Arabia has been at the bottom of the world league table on combatting climate change since tables were first compiled: here.

CNN, more Big Oil propaganda than climate change news

This video from the USA says about itself:

CNN Spent More Time Running Fossil Fuel Ads Than Covering Climate Change

28 April 2016

If you tuned into CNN earlier this year, when NASA and NOAA announced that 2015 was the hottest year on record, you weren’t likely to see much coverage of that announcement. In fact, you were more likely to see an ad for the fossil fuel industry than a news story on how fossil fuels are driving the planet’s warming, according to a new report.

Read more here.

NYT CLIMATE REPORT MISSES MARK The New York Times magazine’s 31,000-word opus on climate change misses the main villain — the rise of neoliberalism. [HuffPost]

United States corporate media anti-Bernie Sanders bias

This video from the USA says about itself:

CNN Destroyed Over Their Lack Of Bernie Sanders Coverage

21 March 2016

DemocracyNow! host Amy Goodman told CNN’s Brian Stelter that his network and most other mainstream media were “manufacturing consent” for Donald Trump by giving him more airtime than other candidates

Read more here.

Bahrain, CNN and censorship

This video from the USA says about itself:

1 October 2014

Amber Lyon recounts her time spent covering the Bahrain conflict and how CNN censored her story about the events taking place there.

Bahrain: Free Activists Facing Free-Speech Charges: here.

Bahrain dictatorship hush money to CNN?

This video is about western public relations corporations, paid by the absolute monarchy in Bahrain for propaganda.

From the Atlanta Paulding County Republican in the USA:

Former CNN reporter alleges CNN accepted money from Bahrain to ignore oppression

November 3, 2012

By: Christopher Collins

Breaking here in the U.S. are allegations that CNN and its international arm engaged in accepting money from oppressive Islamic nations such as Bahrain to promote flattering reporting instead of the oppression the regime has engaged in against its citizens. CNN International also denied showing a documentary about Bahrain and its oppression on its people.

According to the allegations, former Emmy winning CNN correspondent Amber Lyon blew the whistle despite being threatened of being fired by CNN management.

The story first broke by the UK’s “The Guardian” and picked up yesterday by U.S. based, Mario Murillo Ministries presenting the bias lean of CNN’s agenda-based decisions.

Last year when the Arab Spring began and was spreading throughout the Middle East, Lyons and three other CNN crew members went to Bahrain to film a one-hour documentary depicting the use of social media and the internet by pro-democracy activists in the region. Those who spoke with Lyon’s and her crew were dealt with retaliations.

Lyons and her crew were also detained and interrogated for several hours. Their photos from their cameras were destroyed by the Bahrain security forces who detained them. However, the documentary survived.

Lyons also stated that CNN International refused to air their own award-winning documentary, “iRevolution“, a documentary that Lyons and her crew put together exposing Bahrain regime’s brutal suppression against pro-democracy protesters. The documentary is available on YouTube and includes the 13-minute segment focusing on Bahrain.

Lyon’s story was never reported widely reported here in the mainstream news media in the U.S.

In documents posted on the Internet, CNN responded to Lyon’s and Glenn Greenwald of the Guardian‘s accusations.

In one response, CNN stated, “It was never intended to air on CNN International. It was an hour-long program about the impact of social media on the Arab Spring that was commissioned for CNN US, where it ran in June of 2011. The portion of it that concerned Bahrain lasted about 13 minutes. Despite Greenwald’s speculation about the editorial choices that are made when operating multiple networks with different audience profiles, there is nothing unusual about this programming decision.”

Lyon responded, “I was approached by numerous CNN employees, some employed by the network for decades, who told me this programming decision was suspiciously unusual. I’ve produced numerous pieces for CNN U.S. that did not run on CNN International, but this was different. Other factors were at play here…Bahrain was a paying customer.”

She said that a long time executive wrote her and said, “Why would CNNi not run a documentary on the Arab Spring, arguably the biggest story of the decade? Strange, no?”

When CNN continued to deny her reports and the decision to not air the documentary on CNN International, Lyons in-part said, “CNN calls this ‘Journalism 101’. I call it ‘Propaganda 101’.”

“My duty as an investigative journalist is to be a watchdog that finds and exposes the truth to the people, not to ‘be fair’ and habitually include responses from oppressive regimes,” said Lyons. “Including responses that you know are not true undermines the truth, and adds potentially dangerous propagandistic side effects to your reports…think ‘weapons of mass destruction’.”

“CNN repeated that U.S. government-provided response phrase to viewers an indefinite number of times leading into the Iraq war, even though CNN could not independently verify the veracity of the statement.”

“There’s a psychological effect that even if viewers hear something they know to be false, if it’s repeated enough, they begin to categorize it in their minds as truth,” said Lyons.

“Once the pattern of CNN book-ending my work with government propaganda became inevitable, I began to wonder if it was better for the plight of Bahrain’s pro-democracy protesters if I just quit reporting on Bahrain for the network altogether.”

While CNN has defended the accusations, a Facebook page was created “Thank you Amber Lyon CNN reporter“, by some of the people in Bahrain” praising Amber Lyon for her reporting of the oppression.

“The “Most Trusted Name in News” must ultimately decide whether it’s in the business of government propaganda or journalism, because despite the network’s claims of objectivity, I learned firsthand CNN is having trouble biting the hand that feeds it,” said Lyons said.

Lyons further said, “I’ll take this time to remind network executives of a quote by George Orwell, “Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations.”

Jeff Nall, Truthout: While Hollywood invariably depicts the US and its military as the good guys (or loses access to Pentagon cooperation), the US arms nations with highly questionable commitments to democracy and human rights, like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain: here.

Bahrain dictatorship arrests doctors again

This video says about itself:

1 October 2012

Al Jazeera interviews Ali al-Ekry, one of the nine medics sentenced to prison in Bahrain, after the court of cassation dismissed their appeals.

From Al Jazeera:

Bahrain medics jailed after losing appeal

Police arrest five doctors in early-morning raids, amid uncertainty whether government would execute sentence.

Last Modified: 02 Oct 2012 06:19

Police in Bahrain have arrested five medics in a series of dawn raids on Tuesday morning, just one day after the country’s highest court dismissed their appeals in a case international human rights groups have rejected as a farce.

The first doctor, Ali al-Ekry, was arrested at his home at around 5:30am local time (02:30 GMT), according to his family. Al-Ekry is facing the harshest jail term: He was sentenced to five years in prison for “possession and concealment” of weapons and “illegal assembly”.

The other medics were arrested one-by-one in subsequent raids, according to sources in Bahrain.

The doctors are part of a group of 20 arrested last year and convicted by a military court; those convictions were upheld by a civilian tribunal in June, despite widespread criticism of the trial from international human rights groups.

See also here.

Bahrain’s Denial of Visas to Rights Activists Underscores Contempt for Human and Worker Rights: here.

Migrant Workers in Bahrain Face Widespread Abuses – Mani Mostofi: here.

‘Bahrain buys favorable CNN content’ – former channel journalist Amber Lyon: here.

Mourners clash with police during funeral in Bahrain, photos here.

Bahrain dictatorship and opposition

Jihan Kazerooni works to promote human rights in Bahrain

Human Rights Defender Profile: Jihan Kazerooni of Bahrain: here.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Thursday said that the Bahraini appeals court’s decision to uphold the convictions of 20 human rights activists and political opponents was deeply regrettable: here.

Bahrain: World’s reaction unanimous on rejecting military court sentences: here.

The news giant CNN is under criticism for refusing to air a documentary it had commissioned and produced that featured a lengthy segment on the uprising against the U.S.-backed regime in Bahrain: here.

The year and a half long protest movement of the majority Shi’ite people of Bahrain could be forewarning of a crippling migraine headache for the USA if it succeeds in overthrowing the western installed Al Khalifah dictatorship that has ruled Bahrain since “independence”: here.

From Reuters news agency today:

Police fired tear gas and stun grenades at dozens of anti-government protesters who defied a ban on unauthorized demonstrations and marched in the center of Bahraini capital Manama on Friday.

Bahrain, where the U.S. Fifth Fleet is based, has been in political turmoil since a protest movement dominated by majority Shi’ite Muslims erupted in February 2011 during a wave of revolts against authoritarian governments across the Arab world.

The Sunni Muslim ruling Al Khalifa family put down the uprising with martial law, troops from Saudi Arabia and police from the United Arab Emirates, but unrest has resumed, with almost daily clashes between Shi’ites and police.

Armored vehicles and riot police closed off some of the main roads leading into the city but protesters still made it to Friday’s march, which had been called by Bahrain’s main opposition bloc Al Wefaq and tweeted as “freedom for prisoners of conscience”.

CNN’s links to Kazakhstan, Bahrain dictatorships

This video is called Kazakh Socialist, Ainur Kurmanov speaks at Human Rights Subcommittee on abuses (25-10-10).

By Glenn Greenwald:

CNN and the business of state-sponsored TV news

The network is seriously compromising its journalism in the Gulf states by blurring the line between advertising and editorial

Tuesday 4 September 2012 20.02 BST

Today I reported on the refusal of CNN International (CNNi) to broadcast an award-winning documentary, “iRevolution“, that was produced in early 2011 as the Arab Spring engulfed the region and which was highly critical of the regime in Bahrain. The documentary, featuring CNN’s on-air correspondent Amber Lyon, viscerally documented the brutality and violence the regime was using against its own citizens who were peacefully protesting for democracy. Commenting on why the documentary did not air on CNNi, CNN’s spokesman cited “purely editorial reasons”.

Even so, the network’s relationships with governments must bear closer examination. CNNi has aggressively pursued a business strategy of extensive, multifaceted financial arrangements between the network and several of the most repressive regimes around the world which the network purports to cover. Its financial dealings with Bahrain are deep and longstanding.

CNNi’s pursuit of sponsorship revenue from the world’s regimes

CNNi’s pursuit of and reliance on revenue from Middle East regimes increased significantly after the 2008 financial crisis, which caused the network to suffer significant losses in corporate sponsorships. It thus pursued all-new, journalistically dubious ways to earn revenue from governments around the world. Bahrain has been one of the most aggressive government exploiters of the opportunities presented by CNNi.

These arrangements extend far beyond standard sponsorship agreements for advertising of the type most major media outlets feature. CNNi produces those programs in an arrangement it describes as “in association with” the government of a country, and offers regimes the ability to pay for specific programs about their country. These programs are then featured as part of CNNi’s so-called “Eye on” series (“Eye on Georgia“, “Eye on the Philippines“, “Eye on Poland”), or “Marketplace Middle East”, all of which is designed to tout the positive economic, social and political features of that country. …

“That tiny disclosure provides that “CNN’s Eye On series often carries sponsorship originating from the countries we profile.” In other instances, such as its online promotion for “Eye on Georgia”, no such disclaimer is provided.

A recent critique from the Atlantic‘s website of the network’s “Eye on Kazakhstan” series noted that “there are some unusual things going on with CNN International’s Kazakhstan series” but “you’d have to know the country pretty well to spot them.”

Specifically, as Myles Smith, a Central Asia-based consultant, reported in a piece entitled “Kazakhstan: CNN Blurs Line Between News and Advertising”, the program ends with an “in association” disclosure that merely shows two unnamed corporate logos: as it turns out, those logos are of agencies of the Kazakh government, though the average viewer would have no way of knowing this. The program also features an expert guest who, undisclosed to the viewer, is an employee of the Kazakh government. As Smith commented:

“[T]elevision and internet viewers are left with little indication that the programing isn’t news, but rather a flashy infomercial exploiting CNN’s waning credibility.”

CNN’s “sponsorship policy”, which bears a date after this controversy arose over its rosy-eyed “Eye On” program about Kazakhstan, states that:

“‘[P]arts of CNN’s coverage beyond the daily news are produced as Special Reports, which attract sponsors who pay to associate their products or services with the editorial content,’ but claims that ‘at no stage do the sponsors have a say in which stories CNN covers.'”

Even so, CNNi’s editorial conduct toward Bahrain, combined with its aggressive pursuit of money from the regime, raises serious questions about its ability, or desire, to maintain journalistic independence.

CNNi’s financial dealings with the regime in Bahrain

At the same time as CNN was covering the regime, Bahrain was an aggressive participant in CNN’s various “sponsorship” opportunities, with official agencies of the regime often boasting of how their extensive involvement with CNN was improving the nation’s image around the world. Beyond that, there are multiple examples of CNN International producing plainly propagandistic coverage of the regime, often without any minimal disclosure of the vested interests of its sources.

The primary regime agency exploiting these opportunities at CNNi is the Bahrain Economic Development Board (BEDB). It describes itself as “responsible for marketing the Kingdom of Bahrain abroad”. The agency is chaired by “His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince“.

Bahrain Live Coverage: Shutting Away Political Prisoners, Shutting Away the News: here.

CNN self-censorship on Bahrain dictatorship

This video is called Bahrain portion of iRevolution on CNN June 19 2011.

By Glenn Greenwald:

Why didn’t CNN’s international arm air its own documentary on Bahrain‘s Arab Spring repression?

A former CNN correspondent defies threats from her former employer to speak out about self-censorship at the network

Tuesday 4 September 2012 20.01 BST

In late March 2011, as the Arab Spring was spreading, CNN sent a four-person crew to Bahrain to produce a one-hour documentary on the use of internet technologies and social media by democracy activists in the region. Featuring on-air investigative correspondent Amber Lyon, the CNN team had a very eventful eight-day stay in that small, US-backed kingdom.

By the time the CNN crew arrived, many of the sources who had agreed to speak to them were either in hiding or had disappeared. Regime opponents whom they interviewed suffered recriminations, as did ordinary citizens who worked with them as fixers. Leading human rights activist Nabeel Rajab was charged with crimes shortly after speaking to the CNN team. A doctor who gave the crew a tour of his village and arranged meetings with government opponents, Saeed Ayyad, had his house burned to the ground shortly after. Their local fixer was fired ten days after working with them.

The CNN crew itself was violently detained by regime agents in front of Rajab’s house. As they described it after returning to the US, “20 heavily-armed men”, whose faces were “covered with black ski masks”, “jumped from military vehicles”, and then “pointed machine guns at” the journalists, forcing them to the ground. The regime’s security forces seized their cameras and deleted their photos and video footage, and then detained and interrogated them for the next six hours.

Lyon’s experience both shocked and emboldened her. The morning after her detention, newspapers in Bahrain prominently featured articles about the incident containing what she said were “outright fabrications” from the government. “It made clear just how willing the regime is to lie,” she told me in a phone interview last week.

But she also resolved to expose just how abusive and thuggish the regime had become in attempting to snuff out the burgeoning democracy movement, along with any negative coverage of the government.

“I realized there was a correlation between the amount of media attention activists receive and the regime’s ability to harm them, so I felt an obligation to show the world what our sources, who risked their lives to talk to us, were facing.”

CNN’s total cost for the documentary, ultimately titled “iRevolution: Online Warriors of the Arab Spring”, was in excess of $100,000, an unusually high amount for a one-hour program of this type. The portion Lyon and her team produced on Bahrain ended up as a 13-minute segment in the documentary. That segment, which as of now is available on YouTube [see top of this blog post], is a hard-hitting and unflinching piece of reporting that depicts the regime in a very negative light.

In the segment, Lyon interviewed activists as they explicitly described their torture at the hands of government forces, while family members recounted their relatives’ abrupt disappearances. She spoke with government officials justifying the imprisonment of activists. And the segment featured harrowing video footage of regime forces shooting unarmed demonstrators, along with the mass arrests of peaceful protesters. In sum, the early 2011 CNN segment on Bahrain presented one of the starkest reports to date of the brutal repression embraced by the US-backed regime.

On 19 June 2011 at 8pm, CNN’s domestic outlet in the US aired “iRevolution” for the first and only time. The program received prestigious journalism awards, including a 2012 Gold Medal from New York Festival’s Best TV and Films. Lyon, along with her segment producer Taryn Fixel, were named as finalists for the 2011 Livingston Awards for Young Journalists. A Facebook page created by Bahraini activists, entitled “Thank you Amber Lyon, CNN reporter | From people of Bahrain”, received more than 8,000 “likes”.

Despite these accolades, and despite the dangers their own journalists and their sources endured to produce it, CNN International (CNNi) never broadcast the documentary. Even in the face of numerous inquiries and complaints from their own employees inside CNN, it continued to refuse to broadcast the program or even provide any explanation for the decision. To date, this documentary has never aired on CNN.

CNNi’s refusal to broadcast ‘iRevolution’

It is CNN International that is, by far, the most-watched English-speaking news outlet in the Middle East. By refusing to broadcast “iRevolution”, the network’s executives ensured it was never seen on television by Bahrainis or anyone else in the region.