Tuesday, July 09, 2013







Blessed Saint Barack removed all US troops from Iraq, praise be, Barack.  That's the lie, right? The damn media lie that so many whores pretending to be journalists repeat?  Well if Barack removed them all at the end of 2011, poor  Matthew Harless must have been forced to walk home from Iraq.  How else to explain his arrival home on July 4th?

The obvious way, Barack didn't remove all troops and at this late date you have to be an idiot in the news industry to pretend that he did.  Jed Gamber (WITI) has the video of Army Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Harless surprising his family by returning home last week -- they were surprised because they didn't know he was back and also because his original deployment required that he stay in Iraq another two months.  Barack did not remove all troops.  He got to tell that lie in the debates, he lies about it every damn day and the pathetic press in the United States lets him get away with it over and over, aids and abets him in the deception.  Not only did all not leave at the end of 2011, he's also begun sending more back in.  We'll go into that more later in the snapshot but considering how pervasive the lie has been that all US troops are out of Iraq, we'll open today with link to video of Harless' return.

A very dear friend called me today about a faux documentary.  He's an award winning investigative reporter of many years. I always say, "He does the hard job, not the herd job."  He's not running after the latest water cooler topic.  He's doing a job that really matters.  So he's upset about this piece of crap documentary -- radio documentary.  He calls it self-indulgent and notes that it is "all 'I' and 'me' and totally fact-free."  I say back, "Why am I picturing Kelly McEvers?"  He laughs and says it is Kelly.

What an embarrassment.

Heaven save us all from this crap put out by Transom.org "A Showcase & Workshop for New Public Radio."  If this is "New Public Radio," the big news is public radio has found a way to be even worse than it currently is.

"Diary of a Bad Year: A War Correspondent's Dilemma" ("by Kelly McEvers with Jay Allison") is not only indulgent -- self-indulgent to the extreme -- it's not only offensives and sexist (yes, it's very sexist though Kelly will claim talking about her daughter was about 'letting it all hang out' -- you're a reporter, it's not supposed to all hang out, buy some emotional spankx and keep those inner thoughts and feelings packed in tight), it's one damn lie after another.

At one point, after Kelly flees Syria (or Syria-adjacent)  for Yemen to avoid attending Anthony Shadid's funeral (she 'knows' he would want her to go cover Yemen), and after War Hawk Marie Colvin dies, as Kelly babbles on about "the tribe" and other nonsense that makes it sound like she's on a shroom trip because she didn't know anyone who could score her some peyote, she starts damning the news consumers, the entire world population, because Shadid and Colvin are dead and this hasn't made the people demand that Syria be addressed.

Someone slap Kelly to help her down from her high.

Syria doesn't need foreign troops.  That's my opinion and the opinion of many.  When NPR let Kelly report on Syria, they should have ensured that her goal was to report, not to start a war. 

NPR did allow Kelly to 'report' on Syria from Beruit (Lebanon).  Ava and I called it out repeatedly.  Such as here:

It's her reporting on Syria that's destroyed her reputation, as each day seems to find her filing yet another breathless report of the violence being witnessed in Syria, the outrageous violence, the deaths, the destruction . . . All of which she observes from Beirut. (That's in Lebanaon for those not familiar with the MidEast and, no, Lebanaon is not in Syria, it is its own country which, like Iraq, shares a border with Syria.)
Sometimes, after dispensing 'facts' on bombings and deaths and shootings, 'reporter' Kelly will add something like "the activists and witnesses and citizen journalists who we talk to on a regular basis" tell her this is what is taking place. Such a statement -- not always included -- will usually pass quickly. And no one will question whether her sources are one-sided (they certainly sound one-sided). Last week, when she was 'reporting' on rockets destroying a neighborhood and a hospital (unverifiable claims on her part) this exchange did take place:

INSKEEP: Now, Kelly, we should be clear: Few, if any, journalists are inside Homs, or in any of the contested areas in Syria. We're getting information from activists here. How confident are you of the picture that's emerging, of what's happening in Syria right now?

MCEVERS: It is so difficult to verify the numbers. And over the weekend, we saw that there were discrepancies about how many, exactly, had died in some of these government offensives. You had one activist group saying it was over 300. Another activist group saying no, it was only 60. And without being able to go there ourselves and verify it and see it with our own eyes, it's very difficult.

It's very difficult? We'd say it's impossible. And when the administration is pounding the war drums on Syria, we'd say the last thing the US needs is 'reporters' 'reporting' on something they can't verify with their own eyes. Speaking to people with vested interests and basing your report on that? Not only is that not objective journalism, it doesn't even rise to the level of news reporting. At best, it's a feature article -- a lighter category.
But nearly every day, there's Kelly on Morning Edition (or All Things Considered), breathless and insisting that violence is taking place all around her . . . Well, she watches some streams online from her echo chamber inner circle -- apparently while preparing meals based upon what she declared on Morning Edition last week. Is she doubling as a Sous-Chef at Chez Sami?

Ava and my critique above?  Published February 12, 2012.  A month and four days before Anthony Shadid died.  A month and ten days before Colvin died.  What's the title of that piece Ava and I wrote?  "No One Gets Out Alive."

Nothing that happened after we wrote that piece was surprising, nor should it have been surprising before we wrote it.

Here's reality: Anthony Shadid is not dead today because of an asthma attack.

Anthony Shadid is dead today because of his own actions which include bailing on the Iraqi people.  Yeah, I said it.  Going to Syria didn't mean he deserved to die.  But stop pretending that this was the sign of a great reporter.  No, it was the sign of a dabbler and he wasn't the only one.  Dropping coverage of what was taking place in Iraq in order to rush off to cover Syria and get a fresh war high. 

Apparently in need of more awards and not feeling Iraq would produce them, the former Washington Post journalist who had moved over (with his wife) to the New York Times and was assigned to cover Iraq decided to up and leave Iraq and go to Syria.

That's real sweet, isn't it?  How lucky he was that Iraq had ceased to have problems, right?

Oh, wait, Iraq was and is an ongoing tragedy, a world crime aided and abetted by an active press that wanted -- as Kelly let's slip that she wanted to with Syria -- to start a war.

What's really cute is listening to Kelly pour on the drama.  I love it when she's crying and pretending like she's talking to someone on the cell phone as she dictates her juvenile audio diary.  It's so perfectly stupid, so totally self-involved and the xenophobia still manages to waft over in that moment.

It's cute to listen to her babble on throughout the special, crying in her microphone about her "tribe" and her never grasping that she's an embarrassment and a racist.

See, British Marie is part of her tribe, American Anthony is part of her tribe, but what of the Iraqis?

From 2003 to 2009, the Committee To Protect Journalists notes that 117 Iraqi journalists died from violent attacks.  They're apparently not part of the 'tribe.'  Last April, Dahr Jamail (Al Jazeera) explained:

By 2010 Reporters Without Borders had recorded the deaths of 230 media professionals, 87 per cent of which were Iraqis.
The infamous day when [Tareq] Ayoub was killed along with the two Reuters' cameramen unfortunately became a warning of what was to come for journalists working in Iraq. As high as both the CPJ and Reporters Without Borders tallies are, another group, the Brussells Tribunal, closely tracked Iraqi media worker deaths in detail, and provides a detailed account of each death, concluding with the current total number of 382 journalist and media worker deaths when combining Iraqi and non-Iraqi. However, Iraq's impunity rate, or the degree to which perpetrators have escaped prosecution for killing journalists, is the worst in the world at 100 per cent. Even today, as Iraq has moved beyond the US conflict, both Iraqi and US governmental authorities have shown no interest in investigating these murders.

None of those murdered journalists are mentioned.  In a 'special' about reporting.  They don't get to be part of Kelly's 'tribe.'  It's called racism.  Most people today are smart enough not to use a derogatory word to signal their racism.  So what you're left with are their actions and their remarks.  Kelly repeatedly explains how important this death and that death and this tribe member and that tribe member is and was.  She can reach back years to include some.  But none of them are Iraqis.

February 8, 2011, Kelly reported (NPR's Morning Edition) on how Iraqi journalist Hadi al-Mahdi had been abducted from a Baghdad cafe by Nouri's forces (abducted along with other journalists) and tortured.  September 8, 2011, Hadi was assassinated in his home.  Assassinated by a person or persons smart enough to have turned off the neighborhood video camera that would have caught the assassin or assassins on tape.  Assassinated by a person whom Hadi trusted enough to let into his home and to serve tea to.  And Kelly was off with the so-called 'rebels' of The Free Syrian Army.

In all her time advocating on behalf of The Free Syrian Army and passing this advocacy off as 'reporting,' Kelly never managed to offer a realistic view of her charming buddies.  August 3, 2012, Hannah Allam and Austin Tice (McClatchy Newspapers) reported:

The issue of rebel conduct has come to the forefront this month largely because of a video posted online showing the aftermath of apparent executions of pro-Assad militiamen during the rebels’ capture of an intelligence center in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city.
A reporter for the Turkish newspaper Milliyet witnessed the incident Tuesday and confirmed in a first-person account the circumstances of the killings: More than a dozen men were captured alive and then summarily executed in what advocacy group Human Rights Watch called an apparent “war crime.”
The men “were forced into a building, then brought before a court of the Free Syrian Army on the back of a pickup truck, after which they were lined up and shot at lightning speed,” the Milliyet reporter wrote.
The incident doesn’t appear to be isolated, either. A McClatchy reporter traveling with a unit of the Free Syrian Army was told that rebels had captured about 45 Assad loyalists in fighting in Al Tal, north of Damascus. Asked later what had become of the prisoners, a rebel said eight had been executed, 25 had been released and the rest were being held in hopes of a future prisoner exchange.

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/08/03/159888/accounts-of-syria-rebels-executing.html#.Udss5G2bKrt#storylink=cpy

Hey, remember the 'report' where Kelly cried on microphone for her 'dear friend' with The Free Syrian Army who had just died?  Kelly does a lot of whimpering, most of it ill or uninformed. 

No ethical boundary or fact has ever constrained Kelly from serving up her emotional outbursts passed off as reporting. 

She is paid to be objective and unbiased but her 'reporting' on Syria made clear that she was no such thing.  She was one-sided and it was always in favor of the 'poor' 'rebels.'  She admits she wanted US troops on the ground in Syria -- admits that in her little documentary.  NPR should be appalled by the documentary, McEvers should be ashamed of how far she will go in her attempt to sell a war, that's she's so quick to turn herself into a one-woman William Randolph Hearst. 

But the major problem is -- and remains -- that 'reporters' were allowed to leave Iraq.  The US press sold the illegal war.  They should never, ever be allowed to leave Iraq.  They should always have a ton of reporters present.  Instead, they're no better than a con artist at a bad used car lot.  They sold it, when it broke down, they didn't want to know.  They did just enough to get it going and off the lot and then they were focusing on other things.

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