Friday, April 29, 2005

Hypocrites on Parade--Part Two

Fourth-rate hack Ian Williams, the UN consultant-correspondent, is the subject of another column today on the Accuracy in Media website. AIM's Cliff Kincaid describes how The Nation hides its UN-consultant-correspondent's UN work by shoving it onto a separate web page.

Come on, Nation! Be proud! You've got quite a guy working for you at the UN--a fellow who makes no bones about flouting even one of the most basic tenets of journalism ethics, that you don't take money from people you write about. That is one heck of a distinction to have nowadays and still retain even a scintilla of journalistic respectability.

Hey.... wait a second. The Nation doesn't have a scintilla of journalistic respectability! I forgot. Oh, well....

Kincaid goes on to point out that Salon, which actually does have a scintilla of journalistic respectability, also publishes Williams's retchings without disclosing that this UN consultant-correspondent has been on the UN payroll.

Like the experienced shill and UN apologist that he is, Williams omitted inconvenient facts from his latest UN piece, which was on the recent UN "reform plan." Says Kincaid:

"Williams doesn't note that Annan unveiled another U.N. reform plan back in 1997. Looking back at it, one can almost laugh out loud. The U.N. said this plan would move the U.N. 'firmly along the pathway to major and fundamental reform designed to achieve greater unity of purpose, coherence of effort and flexibility in response.' This [1997] plan would create 'a new leadership and management structure which will strengthen the capacity of the Secretary-General to provide the leadership and ensure the accountability that the Organization requires.' Since then, of course, we've had the oil-for-food scandal and U.N. sex abuse scandals."

Kincaid says that Williams is working on a book about rum. That is surprising, as there is nothing on his website indicating that he does media training or other work for the rum industry. "Look for the U.N. to throw a book party for Williams when his book on rum is officially released," says Kincaid. And if past is prologue, you can bet that this fourth-rate hack and correspondent-consultant will have a new industry for which to "consult" and "media train" and do all sorts of good stuff.

Now, in fairness to Williams, I must point out that Williams himself is pretty upfront about the fact that his primary occupation is not journalism at all, but the very antithesis of journalism--
"media consulting." That's the title of his website, by the way, "Ian Williams, Media Consultant." Media consultants are the people hired by corporations and governments (and, in the case of our fourth-rate hack here, the UN) to spin journalists, to get out their story.

Williams calls himself a "media consultant." He's proud of it. Why isn't that pride shared by The Nation or Salon? Why are they trying to hide it?

AIM is the only media watchdog group that has written about this sliminess. Where is everybody else?


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