More Disinformation Masquerading as “News”

Commentary — Sept 8, 2013

The Financial Times report linked below is the latest example of how disinformation is being dressed up and fed to the public in the guise of “journalism”.
Earlier last week an article entitled “Iran ex-president hints at divisions over support for Bashar a–Assad appeared in the Financial Times, which quoted Rafsanjani as saying:
“God bless the people of Syria . . . they were subjected to chemical weapons by their own government and now they have to expect a foreign invasion…”
Iran’s former president, has publicly denied making the comments attributed to him in the Financial Times article.
“Recent quotes (attributed) to me regarding Syria… are absolutely not true,” Rafsanjani was quoted as telling a crowd of war veteran families on Saturday.
Rafsanjani has also posted a denial that he made the statement on his own website. However, the Financial Times has yet to publish Rafsanjani’s denial or retract or amend the article in which the comments he is alleged to have made originally appeared.
To add insult to injury the following appears should you try to copy the FT report

“High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article…”

So much for the FT’s idea of “High quality global journalism”.
The comments attributed to Rafsanjani seem intended to add weight to arguments that the Syrian government was behind the recent chemical weapons attack on its own people. Despite the fact that strong evidence exists in both video and photographic format that the so-called “Syrian rebels” were behind the atrocity.
True to form, the corporate Western media has completely ignored these indications pointing to the involvement of supposed “Syrian rebels”. Nor is this the only example of the corporate media presenting a distorted account of events in Syria.

The BBC recently reported that the Syrian Air Force appeared to be dropping incendiary bombs on a children’s playground, leaving “scores of children with napalm like burns”.
As yet no other evidence has emerged to corroborate the BBC claim. Nor have any other independent reports appeared to confirm it. Although numerous other reports have cited the BBC claim, and in some cases treated it almost as if it were an established fact.
In effect, large elements of the established media appear to be conducting a campaign to portray the regime of President Assad in the worst possible light. Using unverified claims and factual distortion to argue that “something must be done”. Essentially making the case for military action against President Assad.
If this sounds tiresomely familiar it should, for this is not without precedent. Almost a decade ago the Western media was performing a similar routine over Saddam Hussein and his “Weapons of Mass Destruction”. Remember them? The fabled WMD that were used to justify the invasion of Iraq and which were subsequently found to be largely the product of journalist’s imagination.
Will this media generated disinformation work again? Will it convince a war weary public of the need to punish Assad? Judging by recent surveys the British public has yet to be convinced, and we will know soon enough if the U.S. Congress can be persuaded.

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