LM was recently involved in a bit of a spat on Twitter with Sky News's Alex Crawford a so called "special correspondent" and numerous Trolls about this outrageous report from Syria.
My objection to the report was that in a package of about just over 3 minutes Alex Crawford managed to use the following words to describe the Free Syrian Army who are fighting violent oppression from Assad's War Criminals - "Islamic Fundamentalism", "radicalised", "militants" "extremist groups", "anti western", "jihad" etc. In another report the following day Crawford also inserted the word "Taliban" to describe tactics adopted by the FSA who receive very little if any Western weaponry in comparison to Assad's Russian Supplied killing machine.
Following my initial tussle with Crawford a character called Jamie Wood "Executive Producer" of Sky News no less crawled out of the woodwork and not surprisingly leaped to the defence of his colleague initially adopting the usual Iselworth defensive line to take about how brave she is which nobody least of all me was questioning. The issue is not about bravery it is ignorance, racism, bias and ultimately the stereotyping of an entire freedom movement by Murdoch's Sky News simply because they have beards and invoke Allah swt blessings as they undertake a battle against a tyrant like Assad.
Journalists who yes can be brave are also very adept at inserting subliminal and implicit messages when they report from overseas which to this discerning eye does not conceal an agenda. The use of stereotypes when describing Syrian Muslims may serve a purpose of perpetuating a Neo Con Right Wing narrative but certainly not those fighting for liberation in Syria.
As a result, given the bias which is evident in almost every word and nuance by Alex Crawford, Jamie and their various masters like Tim Marshall the Foreign Affairs Editor who on Twitter describes his location as "Worldistan" one needs to establish a purpose behind the misleading deception. In my opinion the intention behind the report was to send an implicit warning to Washington &London to be cautious about getting entangled in the Syrian liberation movement and do not support the FSA because they contain elements who may not be to Murdoch's and Sky News liking.
Sky is the sister station of Fox News that well known "fair & balanced" outfit, the difference between the two channels is Fox are proud of their right wing bias whereas Sky are more sheepish and as a result far more dangerous.
Remember George Galloway tearing into Anna Botting over her bias on Israel's invasion of Lebanon which rattled Sky because he not only eloquently exposed Botting's evident bias but also her ignorance and inability to cogently articulate a view that did not reek of an Israelite narrative.
Let's be clear, LM trusts Sky News on Middle East coverage as much as I do a promise from North Korea to introduce democratic pluralism. The old saying trust me I'm a Doctor seems a little hollow after Harold Shipman, or trusting a politician after Expenses. Similarly, trusting journalists after hacking is a fools game and sadly Alex Crawford who yes is brave to report in Syria has allowed herself to peddle an unsubstantiated myth that the FSA are composed of "militants" who are "anti western".
Moreover, one also needs to address another fundamental aspect of journalism that often gets overlooked in international coverage ie what expertise or specialism do these "special correspondents" have before casting aspersions and labels about brown men in beards who shout Allahu Akbar or wear black headbands that make Alex Crawford rather uncomfortable. Can she speak Arabic, has she studied Islam, if not where does she get ideas from about her increasingly favourite phrase "jihadi groups".
Sadly Alex Crawford has allowed an OBE to go to her head while we all must remain silent and not question her reporting because she is "brave" or so Jamie her minder on Twitter will have you believe. The reality is the brave ones are those questioning myths promulgated by corporate News Empires who span the globe and work assiduously to ensure they control public sympathy and sentiment towards a cause that does not suit their imperialistic agenda.
Corporate news has become servile whose purpose seems to be subverting the democratic aspirations of Muslim people in the Middle East by disseminating a distorted and manipulated version of the truth in order to stereotype an entire cause with the ultimate intent of influencing policy making in Washington and London to the detriment of Muslims.
**Update** As predicted in my last para Clinton warns about "disturbing reports of extremists" in Opposition.