Monday, June 06, 2005

Reuters Shills for Kofi Annan (again)

A reader sent me a link to this gem of an example of loyal shilling and flackery by Kofi Annan's closest friends among the UN press corps, the Reuters "news" service.

In an article examining Israel's bid to get a Security Council seat, Reuters pulls out all the stops in extolling Annan's status as the No. 1 friend of the Jews.

Reuters hack Irwin Arieff first notes, accurately, that Israel has had a stormy relationship with the world body. He then goes on this flight of fancy: "But ties have taken a sharp turn for the better recently. Annan has been outspoken against anti-Semitism, terrorism and suicide bombers and put his weight behind a special General Assembly session in January commemorating the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Nazi concentration camps."

Guess all those ritual condemnations of suicide bombings and other empty gestures aren't as absurd as they seem. They certainly come in handy when volunteer UN flacks like Reuters want to prop up the much-criticized Annan!

By contrast, the AP account stuck to the facts, recording that "Annan has made a priority of reaching out to Jews during his tenure." Which is true. After all, as recorded a few days ago, Annan's Minister of Propaganda, Shashi Tharoor, reached out to such representative members of the Jewish community as Israel Shamir, the Holocaust-denier and anti-Semite.

Let's not forget who came running to Tharoor's defense after the mess was discussed in this and another blog. None other than the chief Reuters correspondent at the UN, Evelyn Leopold, fired off an incoherent email to a reader who had sent her a copy of an item about Tharoor, telling him "You have an agenda and relly [sic] don't know what you are talking about. Tis embarrassing."

It certainly is loyal of Reuters to stick to its guns and defend the UN, its boss and its propaganda minister through thick and thin. Only thing I wonder, given the "news" agency's financial troubles, is why they don't just come out and ask to be paid for all their loyal flacking. (Unless, of course, they have....)