This is a fascinating, at times chilling documentary from Aljazeera by one of its senior journalists, at least one of my favorite, since his days in the BBC, Rageh Omar, revealing “the tricks of the trade” of Arab dictatorship.
Dan Rather, heir to the iconic American news anchor Walter Cronkite, admitted: “if we [journalists] had done our job and stopped being war stenographers, maybe we could have stopped that war [in Iraq].” As we enter 2011, and at a time when for mainstream news outlets, facts don’t seem to matter anymore and when illusions are held for true, all we can hope is for a major paradigm shift to happen. What Wikileaks and other independent online whistleblower organizations do, is making the truth so compelling that it becomes very difficult or impossible to spin. This is tremendously important. The truth matters as it could have meant life and death, freedom and occupation for Iraqis, Palestinians and Afghans.
Make no mistake, the trial against Julian Assange is an attempt to stifle freedom of speech. It’s a pathetic case of character assassination.
So it’s all the more important to pause for a moment and remember where mainstream media has failed to report the truth.
John Pilger is a former war correspondent and award-winning documentary film maker. His latest film was first shown on British independent TV a couple of days ago. “The War You Don’t See” is a poignant look at the way mainstream media has manipulated the facts in the run up to America’s wars.
The full version is available free online until 10 January 2011. So don’t miss it. You can support Pilger’s work by buying his films online here.