Posts Tagged ‘Reveals’
NPR vs. Fox News: Juan Williams firing reveals deeper media fight – Christian Science Monitor
Last Updated on Saturday, 23 October 2010 02:08 Written by admin Saturday, 23 October 2010 02:08
NPR’s firing Juan Williams comes just as controversial figures connected to NPR and Fox News – philanthropist George Soros and commentator Glenn Beck– are in a harsh rhetorical fight.
NPR’s firing of news analyst Juan Williams couldn’t come at a worse time for public radio.
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Not only did it occur in the midst of on-air fund-raising by many public radio stations, it also happened just as controversial figures connected to NPR and Fox News – liberal philanthropist George Soros and conservative commentator Glenn Beck– are engaged in a harsh rhetorical fight.
Fox News is Mr. Williams’ other employer and the place where he made his controversial statement about Muslims. Mr. Soros recently donated $ 1.8 to NPR, seen by conservative critics (and certainly by Mr. Beck) as proof (a) that NPR is a liberal mouthpiece and (b) that billionaire Soros pressured NPR to get rid of Williams.
“Up until then, opinions by NPR correspondents and analysts had been expressed in abundance, but Williams’ statement on Fox, because it was expressed on Fox, amounted to apostasy,” editorializes Investor’s Business Daily. “The firing sends a message that Fox is beyond the pale and must be silenced.”
The fall-out from William’s dismissal has been sharp and swift, and it’s likely to continue.
On NPR’s web site, ombudsman Alicia Shepard reported that thousands of comments had caused the organization’s “Contact Us” form to crash.
“The overwhelming majority are angry, furious, outraged,” she wrote. “They want NPR to hire him back immediately. If NPR doesn’t, they want all public funding of public radio to stop. They promise to never donate again. They are as mad as hell, and want everyone to know it. It was daunting to answer the phone and hear so much unrestrained anger.”
In addition to his gift to NPR, Soros also recently gave $ 1 million to Media Matters “to hold Fox News accountable for the false and misleading information they so often broadcast.” Media Matters is the progressive media watchdog which has been pressuring advertisers to drop their business with Fox News because of Beck’s “hate speech leading to violence.”
Specifically, Beck’s dozens of comments attacking the Tides Foundation are being linked to the attempt by a heavily-armed man to assassinate employees at the San Francisco-based foundation, which funds environmental, human rights, and other progressive projects. The attack in July was thwarted in a shoot-out with police in which two officers were wounded.
Beck and his supporters insist that he does not promote violence. On his highly-popular Fox News show, Beck has turned around the accusation of violence, charging that Soros’ $ 1 million contribution to Media Matters is a “wanted dead or alive poster” and a “million dollar bounty” on himself.
In the midst of all this comes the Juan Williams controversy.
Williams is an accomplished journalist and an expert on the civil rights era. But his on-air comments had become more openly opinionated in recent years, and this was why in 2008 his job title was changed from “news correspondent” to “news analyst.” On Fox, however, he was expected to be a pundit, performing alongside such provocative figures as Bill O’Reilly. There, the format is more likely to be shoot-from-the-lip.
NPR’s reaction to the current episode is likely to prolong the controversy, certainly among fans of Fox and its most successful personality, Glenn Beck.
Writes NPR ombudsman Shephard: “This latest incident with Williams centers around a collision of values: NPR’s values emphasizing fact-based, objective journalism versus the tendency in some parts of the news media, notably Fox News, to promote only one side of the ideological spectrum.”
WikiLeaks ‘reveals thousands of previously unknown deaths in Iraq’ – CNN
Last Updated on Saturday, 23 October 2010 05:35 Written by admin Saturday, 23 October 2010 05:35
- WikiLeaks publishes documents on Iraq war
- Assange aimed to reveal hidden truth
- U.S. military denies any wrongdoing
- Pentagon Papers whistleblower praises Assange
London, England (CNN) — Classified military documents published on the WikiLeaks site increase the civilian death toll of the Iraq war by 15,000, anti-war activists said at a news conference Saturday.
“We have seen that there are approximately 15,000 never previously documented or known cases of civilians who have been killed by violence in Iraq,” WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange said.
Those cases raise the civilian death toll in Iraq to 122,000, said Iraq Body Count, an-anti-war group.
Assange and other figures appeared at a news conference on Saturday in London, England, to discuss the release of nearly 400,000 classified military documents from the Iraq war by his whistle-blower website WikiLeaks.
Assange said the massive leak aims to reveal hidden truths about the Iraq war.
“The attack on the truth by war begins long before war starts and continues long after a war ends,” Assange said.
“In our release of these 400,000 documents about the Iraq war, the intimate detail of that war from the U.S. perspective, we hope to correct some of that attack on the truth that occurred before the war, during the war and which has continued on since the war officially concluded.”
On Friday, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell refuted allegations that the new round of field reports showed evidence of war crimes.
“We vetted every single one of the documents, word by word, page by page,” Morrell told CNN, saying the process began in July. “There is nothing in here which would indicate war crimes. If there were, we would have investigated it a long time ago.”
WikiLeaks called the release of the Iraq war documents the largest classified military leak in history. After the leak in July of more than 70,000 Afghanistan war documents, the website was heavily criticized by the U.S. government, the military and human rights groups for failing to redact names of civilians in the documents, putting them at risk of retaliation by the Taliban.
John Sloboda, the Iraq Body Count’s co-founder, told reporters that the names of civilian victims are among the details included in the documents.
“Almost every log tells a story, and far too often, this is a previously unknown story of human suffering and death,” he said.
Sloboda said the meticulous records kept by the U.S. military and published by WikiLeaks will be a valuable tool in investigating civilian casualties in the Iraq war.
Phil Shiner of the U.K.-based Public Interest Lawyers, a firm specializing in international and human rights law, told reporters that some information in the documents would be the subject of legal action in the United Kingdom.
He alleged that the documents revealed details about unlawful killings of civilians, indiscriminate attacks against them and unjustified use of lethal force.
“There must now be a judicial inquiry into all these deaths,” he said.
Pentagon Papers whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg, responsible for leaking the U.S. government’s top secret study on the Vietnam War in 1971, attended the press conference and praised Assange.
“I want very much to congratulate all of you who are mining this material to learn what we could have learned if it had come out earlier,” Ellsberg said.