Tuesday, August 09, 2005

UN Hacks Caught Flat-Footed


The shrill cackle of media defenders of the UN -- particularly its biggest defender, the fifth-rate hack and Payola Pundit Ian Williams -- fell silent today, as word crept out about the Volcker report's conclusion that the head of the UN oil-for-food program, Benon Sevan, took kickbacks.

For months on end, hacks led by Williams -- flacking for a UN from which he took money -- have been mercilessly attacking journalists who broke from the pack and dared to write negative stories about the East River Debating and Terrorist Cheerleading Society.

None have been more egregious in their UN p.r. work than Williams, who continues to boast about his past UN work as a media trainer, writer and consultant on his "Ian Williams, Media Consultant" Website.

Here's a sampling of Williams's good work making excuses for UN corruption:

MaximsNews, April 7: Williams pooh-poohs the oil for food scandal, calls the Volcker investigation a waste of money, and goes on to plead for the UN to pay Sevan's legal fees, saying it's "only fair" and calling the investigation a "witch hunt."

Speaking of the oil for food program, the Payola Pundit predictably puts on his "UN Flack" hat: "In fact, allowing for the usual inefficiencies of any international bureaucracy, it was a very successful program." Well done! Phrased just as succinctly as one would have expected from the "senior UN officials" he has trained in what his website calls "media handling." (Who knows? Could Benon Sevan been one of those high UN officials getting the Ian Williams Media-Handling Touch?)

In MaximsNews on December 1, Williams ripped into William Safire for criticizing UN officials who "profess to believe the repeated denials of Benon Sevan, the longtime right-hand man of Kofi Annan put in charge of what became history's largest swindle." The Payola Pundit stood up for his pal Sevan, saying "Sevan could make much more money from a libel case than he is alleged to have made in one scrap of hitherto unexamined paper from dubious sources from Iraq."

In The Nation on December 22, Williams said "Charges of corruption against UN official Benon Sevan are suspect at best."

Meanwhile, the loathsome Russ Baker, who laughingly calls himself an "investigative reporter," has been using the oil-for-food scandal to beat up his nemesis, Judith Miller-- one of the few reporters who has been on the story, totally neglected by the somnolent UN press corps. (This far-left anti-investigative-reporting attack dog is, by the way, a contributing editor of the Columbia Journalism Review.)

The rotten egg that you smell is dripping from the faces of the media's knee-jerk defenders of a deeply corrupt UN. But don't worry. These shameless, unprincipled ideologues will come back swinging. The facts have never prevented them from coming to the defense of the UN.
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