Glenn Greenwald notes that unnamed sources told Chris McGreal Israel controls CNN. So, it must be true!

H/T Margie

In his latest CiF commentary, ‘CNN and the business of state sponsored TV news‘, September 4th, Glenn Greenwald argues that CNN compromises its journalistic integrity by engaging in financial arrangements with the same repressive ‘Gulf states’ that the network covers.  

Greenwald’s piece follows up on a post he published on the same day, ‘Why didn’t CNN’s international air its own documentary on Bahrain’s Arab Spring repression?‘, in which he claimed that the network’s business relationship with Bahrain influenced their decision not to air a report titled ‘iRevolution: Online Warriors of the Arab Spring’. (Greenwald fails to mention that the Guardian itself completely removed a commentary from their site for over a month which was critical of Bahrain, evidently after legal threats.)

Greenwald, towards the end of his latest post, threw in the following:

“Amber Lyon [the on-air correspondent for iRevolution] insists that CNN journalists and producers complained relentlessly about the type of business-driven censorship she now vocally claims was prevalent at CNN.”

Then Greenwald added:

“Back in 2004, the Guardian’s Chris McGreal reported on the network’s Middle East bureau: “CNN sources say the network has bowed to considerable pressure on its editors. Israeli officials boast that they now have only to call a number at the network’s headquarters in Atlanta to pull any story they do not like.” “

Who was the source for this ‘shocking’ revelation?  Well, McGreal doesn’t say. 

Further, if you go back to McGreal’s 2004 report you will see the following passages which Greenwald did not include: 

“The network’s former Middle East correspondent, Jerrold Kessel, who was widely respected for his informed and nuanced reporting, said that while doubtlessly there was pressure on his editors to get him to modify his coverage, he regarded it as irrelevant.

“The less notice one takes of pressure, the less pressure one invites on oneself,” he said. “If you get into a mind where the pressure is a factor, you get into the mind of worrying about what the effect of the pressure is going to be.” “

So, the entirety of Greenwald’s supposition that the Israeli government can kill stories they don’t like simply by dialing CNN’s offices is based on an anonymous source – a characterization which was dismissed by the network’s former Middle East correspondent.

This is what passes for journalism by the Guardian’s latest U.S. correspondent. 

11 replies »

  1. Glen is always good for a laugh. I would have loved to have seen Hitchens lay into this man. It would have been brutal. Chris would have made him cry on stage.

  2. This is not really very surprising. GG and McGreal are both very talented op-ed writers who do not have the ability to also be capable straight reporting journalists. They’re just miscast in the roles that unfortunately they’re never going to A) recognize they’re not suited for and B) have any part of their no-facts-please fan base tell them to walk away from and editorialize full time. Helen Thomas could tell them how posing as a serious writer in polemicist form works out.

    • They write mainly for effect, get the bit between their teeth and go for it, without doing the background research and triangulation of facts which any good journalist does as a matter of course.

      The result is, of course, the cr*p printed in the Groan as “fact” when any of us could drive a coach and horses through it. and thanks to Cif Watch, do.

      An ethical journalist friend laid the blame for all this not on how these people were taught, but on the pressure for “news” which has to be provided very quickly.

      Nevertheless, people have choices. Myself, I blame journalists like McGreal and most in the Guardian stable for rank dishonesty and for bringing their profession into disrepute. I am sorry that they can’t be put on trial for the mayhem their false reporting of half-baked, ill-informed opinions as facts causes.

      • Excellent post Serendipity. Agree that the Guardian’s malfeasance in publishing material that is consistently dishonest, inflammatory, and constantly anti-Israel and antiSemitic while always defending the Islamists, is beyond shameful and disgusting.
        Isn’t there any way of bringing defamation charges against these transparent liars, who i do believe cause great harm to Israel and provide more fodder for violence against Jews worldwide.
        The Guardian’s many outright lies are not without consequence, and i do think the time has passed where Jews and others concerned about demagoguery in the media need to take some strong action.

  3. No doubt about it – Israel controls the world. Here’s the proof!!

    ” Israeli officials boast that they now have only to call a number at the network’s headquarters in Atlanta to pull any story they do not like.”

    Its just odd that nevertheless CNN runs reports that Israel frequently dislikes and criticizes, yet seems unable to have “pulled”.

    McGreal and Greenwald should try “pulling” the other leg.

  4. As opposed to any news reorts critical of islam and the arab-islamic world view which disappear with indecent haste or never make it into print or dont get broadcast or if they do make it into print or on to the airwaves are followed by a groveling apology or pressure for a groveling apology for daring to be critical of islam as anyone who has been following the uproar over the recent Channel 4 program “islam and the untold story”

    • I don’t know where you are writing from, Joghinder, but you may have heard about the avalanche of complaints from Muslims about the UK Channel 4 programme “Islam, the Untold Truth” written and presented by Tom Holland.

      In it, Tom Holland dared to advance the very reasonable theory that the koran emerged and was amended over time, and that much of it was fictional, rather than, as Muslims are told to believe, was revealed as a complete entity to their prophet and is literally true in every particular.

      I saw the programme. Holland was scholarly and thoughtful and not at all insulting to people who are not primed to feel insulted at the drop of a hat. Nevertheless, the Ramadan Foundation’s spokesman called for the programme to be withdrawn and formal complaints about it were made to OFCOM. (This is the same Ramadan Foundation which tried to pour gallons of oil on troubled waters in the UK recently, in the wake of the child grooming convictions, when it admitted that British Pakistani communities may well have issues with white women).

      Tom Holland explained himself on the Channel 4 web page and did not apologise, but I’d be willing to bet that he was leant on to do so but refused. I can’t prove that, however.

  5. I must say I admire anyone who has the tenacity to read all the way through one of Greenwald’s turgid pieces. I begin to lose the will to live after the third or fourth paragraph.

  6. More pathetic nonsense from a notorious Israel-basher, the moron Glenn Greenwald. Assertions like this 1 about CNN are just another way to try getting news outlets to minimize ANY positive statements about Israel by attempting to make them defensive.
    This shabby bit of sneaky passive-aggressive antiSemitism from Greenwald is particularly ridiculous in the case of CNN, which has never been positive about Israel and hosts the likes of Christine Amanapour, herself a long-standing antiSemitic bigot. And is Greenwald even aware that CNN is owned by Ted Turner, never a friend of Israel or Israelis?

    Greenwald is just another “JStreet” type self-hating Jew–and a stupid one at that. Tells you a lot about HuffPost that they continue to publish his garbage.