Jeremy Scahill and Jon Stewart Call Out the Hypocrisy of World Leaders Who Have Punished Journalists in Their Own Countries Rallying in Paris in Support of Freedom of the Press

By Elaine Magliaro

On Sunday, more than a million people rallied in Paris “in response to the Charlie Hebdo shootings and ensuing attacks that left 17 people dead.” More than forty world leaders were reported to have traveled to France to help lead the march. During an appearance on Democracy Now! on Monday, investigative journalist Jeremey Scahill said that while it was “heartening” to see so many people rallying in support of freedom of the press, he noted the “hypocrisy” of world leaders participating in the Paris march who had actually “waged their own wars against journalists” in their own countries. Excerpt from Scahill’s interview with Amy Goodman: JEREMY SCAHILL: Yeah, well, I mean, first of all, you know, what we saw yesterday on display, on the one hand, was very heartening, to see so many people come into the streets. And, you know, one of the core issues of press freedom, if this is a moment where the whole world is saying we have to have a free press, and that no matter how controversial or hateful some of the speech is or may be interpreted in some communities, that we judge a free press by how we treat the journalists or the stories that we don’t like or that we’reoffended by. But on the other hand, this is sort of a circus of hypocrisy when it comes to all of those world leaders who were marching at the front of it. I mean, every single one of those heads of state or representatives of governments there have waged their own wars against journalists. You know, David Cameron ordered The Guardian to smash with a hammer the hard drives that stored the files of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Blasphemy is considered a crime in Ireland. You had multiple African and Arab leaders whose own countries right now have scores of journalists in prison. Benjamin Netanyahu’s government in Israel has targeted for killing numerous journalists who have reported on the Palestinian side, have kidnapped, abducted, jailed journalists. You know, there’s this controversy right now: Why didn’t President Obama go, or why didn’t Joe Biden go?… I think that we should remember—and I was saying this on Twitter over the weekend—that Yemen should have sent the Yemeni journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye as their representative. He, of course, was in prison for years on the direct orders of President Obama for having reported on secret U.S. strikes in Yemen that killed scores of civilians. Or Sudan should have sent Sami al-Hajj, the Al Jazeera cameraman who was held for six years without charge in Guantánamo and repeatedly interrogated by U.S. operatives who were intent on proving that Al Jazeera had some sort of a link to al-Qaeda. So, you know, while there is much to take heart in, in terms of this huge outpouring of support for freedom of the press, hypocrisy was on full display in the streets of Paris when it came to the world leaders.     SOURCES “Circus of Hypocrisy”: Jeremy Scahill on How World Leaders at Paris March Oppose Press Freedom (Democracy Now!) Jon Stewart mocks “Je Suis Charlie” hypocrisy: Countries claiming solidarity — even as they jail journalists (Salon)

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28 Responses to Jeremy Scahill and Jon Stewart Call Out the Hypocrisy of World Leaders Who Have Punished Journalists in Their Own Countries Rallying in Paris in Support of Freedom of the Press

  1. Anonymouly Yours says:

    Amazing, just utterly amazing…..we don’t like the news you report on USbut if you’ve got any dirt on them folks… It’s your duty to share it mentality….. When you have fair and accurate reporting without a bias or spin…. Let your fortunes lay where they be….

  2. po says:

    Elaine, Jeremy Scahill’s interview was very enlightening.
    In light of it all, I think Obama was right to skip the march. Can’t help feel it was minor league stuff, especially Bibi forcefully inviting himself and Holland retaliating by inviting Abbas.

  3. eniobob says:

    po:

    Touche !

  4. eniobob says:

    ” For some months now, the Republican House majority leader, Tom DeLay, has been opening speeches to supporters with an occasional routine. He says hi, then adds: “Or, as John Kerry might say, ‘Bonjour.’”

    The remark “always brings the house down,” said DeLay’s spokesman, Stuart Roy, who added that its purpose was to highlight “Mr. Kerry’s lack of support for the war on terror and the way he seems to be in agreement with the arguments of the French.”

    Until recently France stood in for everything that America, at least in the conservatives’ eyes, was not: socialist, pacifist, over-regulated, and homosexual.

    But given events in the past week, new descriptors for France have suddenly appeared in the Republicans’ playbook. Where once France was a total vacuum of values, a dystopian image of American life under the fist of moderate Democrat John Kerry, it is now “our oldest and first ally.” That’s how Rick Perry, the outgoing governor of Texas whom we’ll generously humor as a potential presidential nominee, refers to France while criticizing President Obama for not attending the rally in Paris this weekend as many other Western leaders did.”

    http://www.salon.com/2015/01/13/gops_new_french_love_affair_how_it_fell_in_love_with_its_old_foe/#

  5. pete says:

    I’ve been thinking that it’s a bit hypocritical for newspapers or news organizations to say “we are charlie” yet they won’t run the same cartoons that charlie did. IMHO every paper, every media outlet should have shown radical Muslims what the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect is.

  6. Elaine M. says:

    Pete,

    I released your comment from the spam filter.

  7. swarthmoremom says:

    Yep, eniobob, I remember that whole “freedom fries” thing.

  8. gbk says:

    Then there is this:

    Jewish Newspaper Photoshops Female Leaders Out of Charlie Hebdo March Photo

    http://petapixel.com/2015/01/13/jewish-newspaper-photoshops-female-leaders-charlie-hebdo-march-photo/

  9. pete says:

    Spasibo. Elaine.

  10. mespo727272 says:

    Just a shoutout to Gene for creating such a pleasant soirée around here free of riff raff. Plenty of intelligent comments and some pithy rejoinders, too. Like a gathering at your college buddy’s house, you can walk around the room, admire the art, pour yourself a good scotch, slip into a leather chair and then chat all night with your friends. Nice place you’ve got here, Geno.

  11. po says:

    Indeed, Mespo! Indeed!

  12. Anonymously Yours says:

    Yep….. And where opinons are treated with respect even If disagreed with…..

  13. One lives to be of service.

  14. It is the difference between true moderation and censorship. IMHO, in the marketplace of ideas, moderation wins every time.

    I have never been a fan of the Calvinball school of management.

  15. mespo727272 says:

    Come on Chuck! Why can’t any player declare a new rule at any point during the game?

  16. gbk says:

    “Why can’t any player declare a new rule at any point during the game?”

    It’s called foreign policy; emphasis on foreign.

  17. blouise says:

    I have never been a fan of the Calvinball school of management. – Chuck

    Is ‘never’ a freely interchangeable word?

  18. Elaine M. says:

    Mespo,

    It’s good for all of us “cultists” to have a place to hang out together!

    😉

  19. Elaine M. says:

    Journalist slams CNN, MSNBC and Fox for pushing ‘terrorism expert industrial complex’
    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/01/journalist-slams-cnn-msnbc-and-fox-for-pushing-terrorism-expert-industrial-complex/

    Excerpt:
    Journalist and documentarian Jeremy Scahill confronted CNN International host Hala Gorani on Tuesday with his harsh criticism of both some world leaders showing solidarity toward France and her network’s handling of the recent terrorist attacks in the country.

    “Hypocrisy was on full display on Sunday, with all of these world leaders; many of them are enemies of the press, themselves,” Scahill said. “I also think that CNN and MSNBC and Fox are engaging in the terrorism expert industrial complex. You have people on as paid analysts that are largely frauds who have made a lot of money off of portraying themselves as terror experts, and have no actual on-the-ground experience.”

    Several nations who took part in Sunday’s rally supporting the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in the wake of the attacks — including Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Russia — have been criticized for their own records regarding freedom of the press.

    Scahill did not mention specific “frauds” he believes have appeared on any of the three news networks. But both Fox News and CNN have come under criticism this week.

    Fox contributor Steven Emerson was blasted online and by British Prime Minister David Cameron earlier this week for stating that the English city of Birmingham was “totally Muslim.” And CNN host Don Lemon was roundly mocked after asking a Muslim human rights attorney, Arsalan Iftikhar, if he supported the Islamic State extremist group.

  20. mespo727272 says:

    Elaine M:

    Had a touch of the Kool-aid last night. Culting is fun and living well is still the best revenge.

  21. Mike Spindell says:

    Elaine,

    Glad you supplied that article on the “terrorist experts”. The mainstream media hauls them out every time an incident occurs. They frighten people and mouth self-serving pablum for the public that is just easily digestible nonsense. Never is it mentioned that these “experts” and their cohorts financially benefit from their musings.

  22. Elaine M. says:

    Mike,

    Here’s something for you:

    Glenn Greenwald on How to Be a Terror “Expert”: Ignore Facts, Blame Muslims, Trumpet U.S. Propaganda
    http://www.democracynow.org/2015/1/13/glenn_greenwald_on_how_to_be

    SUMMARY:
    Who are the so-called terrorism experts? In the wake of the Paris attacks, the corporate media has once again flooded its news programs with pundits claiming authority on terrorism, foreign policy and world events. We discuss the growing and questionable field of “terrorism experts” with three guests: Glenn Greenwald, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and co-founder of The Intercept; Lisa Stampnitzky, social studies lecturer at Harvard University and author of “Disciplining Terror: How Experts Invented ‘Terrorism'”; and Luc Mathieu, foreign affairs reporter for the French newspaper Libération.

    Excerpt:
    GLENN GREENWALD: The concept of terrorism is a very widely debated concept all over the world, and there are incredibly divergent opinions, even about what terrorism is, about who it is who’s perpetrating it, about how it is that you define it and understand it, and whether or not there’s even a meaningful definition of the term at all. And yet you have all of these so-called terrorism experts employed by leading American television networks—all of them, really—and on whom most establishment newspapers rely, who are called terrorism experts and yet who are incredibly homogenous in their views, because they spout the very homogenized American conception of all of those questions.

    It’s an incredibly propagandized term. It’s an incredibly propagandistic set of theories that they have. And that’s really what these media outlets are doing, is they’re masquerading pro-U.S. propaganda, pro-U.S. government propaganda, as expertise, when it’s really anything but. These are incredibly ideological people. They’re very loyal to the view of the U.S. government about very controversial questions. They certainly have the right to express their opinions, but the pretense to expertise is incredibly fraudulent. And that’s why they have not just Steve Emerson, the Fox News strain, but really all of them who are held up as the most prominent terrorism experts in the U.S. have a really shameful history of incredible error and all sorts of just very dubious claims, because they’re really just rank propagandists.

    AARON MATÉ: And so, Glenn, what allows them to continue perpetuating these myths that you describe? What is the dynamic that allows this expert industry to keep going?

    GLENN GREENWALD: Well, there are several aspects to it. I mean, one is the United States government obviously has an interest in making people believe that its very particular and self-serving views of terrorism are not subjective or debatable, but are in fact just objective expertise, and so they do all sorts of things to prop these people up. They give them contracts. They pay them lots of money to teach people inside the government about terrorism. Really most disturbingly of all, they continuously call them as, quote-unquote, “experts” at terrorism trials. And all of these experts then dutifully march forth and say whatever the government wants about the Muslim defendants who are on trial, and help the government obtain conviction after conviction, and get a lot of money in the process.

    Part of it is just the role that think tanks play in Washington, which is to lend this kind of intellectual artifice to whatever the government’s policy is or whatever the government wants. And so you have a lot of them who work at think tanks, like Brookings Institute, which employs Will McCants, who misled American media outlets into believing for a full day and then telling the world that the Anders Breivik attack in Norway was actually the work of a jihadist group. Even the more respectable ones are people who generally spout the conventional orthodoxies of the American government about terrorism, and therefore it’s very much in the interest of the U.S. government and these media outlets to continue to depict them not as polemicists and highly opinionated, you know, just participants in debates, but as actual academic experts. And that’s where the fraudulent aspect comes in.

  23. Elaine M. says:

    France Arrests 54 For Defending Terror; Announces Crackdown
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/14/france-terror-crackdown_n_6469726.html

    Excerpt:
    PARIS (AP) — France ordered prosecutors around the country to crack down on hate speech, anti-Semitism and glorifying terrorism, announcing Wednesday that 54 people had been arrested for those offenses since terror attacks left 20 dead in Paris last week, including three gunmen.

    The order came as Charlie Hebdo’s defiant new issue sold out before dawn around Paris, with scuffles at kiosks over dwindling copies of the satirical newspaper that fronted the Prophet Muhammad anew on its cover.

    France has been tightening security and searching for accomplices since the terror attacks began, but none of the 54 people have been linked to the attacks. That’s raising questions about whether President Francois Hollande’s Socialist government is impinging on the very freedom of speech that it so vigorously defends when it comes to Charlie Hebdo.

  24. po says:

    I think if the only thing Democracy now ever produced was Jeremy Scahill (he is an alumnus of the program), it would have done enough.
    He and Glenn Greenwald might be two of the most consistently outspoken reporters out there.

    France is already a surveillance state, and it is indeed getting more so. Unlike in the US however, it is too small and too socially fractured to escape an immediate blowback that would cause a great deal more socio-religious problems.

  25. blouise says:

    Elaine,

    Thanx for the articles on terrorism experts. Like Mike, ( 😉 ) I only watch news programs if one catches my attention as I’m hunting for something else but occasionally I get fooled into stopping to watch the expert. What a waste of time!

  26. Elaine M. says:

    Fox News Plans To Issue Correction For Wildly-Wrong Terror Expert’s Remarks
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/fox-news-correction-steve-emerson-birmingham-uk-muslim

    Excerpt:
    Fox News plans to issue a correction on Saturday’s edition of “Justice with Judge Jeanine,” after a guest was found to have made wildly inaccurate claims about the Muslim population in the UK, according to the Washington Post.

    Self-styled terror expert Steve Emerson on Saturday told host Jeanine Pirro that the British city of Birmingham was one of several cities that is “totally Muslim” where “non-Muslims just simply don’t go in.”

    Fox News plans to air the correction on Pirro’s show, a spokesperson told the Washington Posts’ Erik Wemple. The spokesperson added it is “highly unlikely” that Emerson will “ever be booked again.”

    British Prime Minister David Cameron said this week he “choked on his porridge” when he heard the sound bite. “This guy is clearly a complete idiot,” he told ITV News.

  27. eniobob says:

    Mayor Of Paris: We Are Going To Sue Fox News After Its ‘No-Go Zones’ Reports
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/paris-mayor-sue-fox-news

    French Comedians Parody Terrified Fox Reporters In Paris ‘No-Go Zones’ (VIDEO)

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/french-parody-fox-news-islam-paris

    2015 may be the year of Fox comeuppance.we will see.

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