Saturday, October 01, 2005

CNBC Promotes UN-Sponsored Fake News

UN fake news, hosted by correspondent assn. honcho

Today the press is all agog with the GAO finding it was illegal for the Bush Administration to pay commentators like Armstrong Williams to push its education policies. The New York Times thought this was so earth-shattering that it put its story on page one. I'd feel a lot more hot and bothered by this controversy if it wasn't for this: the media turns a blind eye toward identical practices by the United Nations.

Indeed, a UN-produced fake-news shows called UN World Chronicle, produced by the UN Department of Public Information, is regularly broadcast on CNBC World without disclosure by CNBC, on its website or in cable TV listings, that it is fake news.

The program is usually hosted by the UN's fave former UN Correspondent Assn. president, a shrill left-wing hack named Tony Jenkins, though sometimes UN Minister of Propaganda Shashi Tharoor hosts the "news" show.

Here's how CNBC World misleadingly describes the UN World Chronicle on its website:

WORLD CHRONICLE is an interview programme on global issues featuring experts and international personalities. This is a talk show where guests share their views on key issues facing the world and the UN.

Thirty-nine programmes are produced each year with 13 suggested 'best of the season' re-runs for a total of 52 programmes annually. Programmes are 28 minutes in length and are only available in English.

Recorded at UN Headquarters in New York, WORLD CHRONICLE has featured hundreds of prestigious guests during its 22-year history including. . . . [list of UN honchos follows]

Guests are interviewed by a panel of journalists from international news organisations accredited to the United Nations.
That's it. Not one word indicating that this show is produced by bureaucrats at the UN's bloated propaganda ministry, when it is not setting up anti-Israel scream-fests featuring anti-Semites and professional Israel-bashers.

The charade continues in misleading cable and satellite TV program listings. For example, take a look at this DirecTV satellite television guide, which shows the UN World Chronicle at 10 a.m. today on CNBC World (CNBW), Channel 357, at the same time that CNBC, Channel 355, is listing "paid programming." In fact, the UN World Chronicle is paid programming too because it is bought and paid for by the UN.

Why isn't the mainstream media up in arms about CNBC letting itself be a conduit for fake UN news? Why do mainstream-media journalists appear on this fake-news show, and sometimes get bucks for doing so? Why the double standard?

It's not just the "World Chronicle." The UN has made a practice of hiring UN correspondents as consultants, and the UN Correspondents Association is rife with all kinds of sleaziness -- ranging from junkets to violating immigration laws to bullying of dissident reporters. The transgressors include The Nation's UN consultant-correspondent, the fifth-rate hack Ian Williams, and former UNCA president and UN Chronicle host Jenkins.

Jenkins -- the UN propaganda bureaucracy's favorite journo, judging from his regular UN Chronicle hosting gig -- has been accused of threatening dissidents with revocation of their credentials, according to FrontPage Magazine. The publication reported that

several UNCA members reported that former president Tony Jenkins threatened many members with revocation of their credentials if they questioned the leadership's ethics or leaked information to outsiders. He knows officials at the U.N., he reportedly told at least four individuals, who would yank their credentials. Jenkins denies making such threats.

Jenkins also slimed his way into the headlines by blasting media coverage of the Middle East and publicly urging action against Israel, saying in a speech that "It's as if all of American Jewry, in its multifaceted glory, had been hijacked by the Likud."

Accuracy in Media reported that Jenkins went on to urge U.N. action against Israel, saying, "Why are so few in the American media explaining that this policy of unilaterally annexing parts of the occupied territories won't work? That we don't live by 19th century rules anymore. That you can't go marching into someone else's land, wipe out all the Indians, build a wall around it and say 'this is mine,' with impunity. That, it was precisely to stop such actions that the United Nations was founded…"

Sounds like a perfect choice to host a UN fake news show, wouldn't you say?

Apart from Fox News, only FrontPage and Accuracy in Media (and various blogs, of course) have reported on this sliminess.

UPDATE: A reader tells me that the fifth-rate hack Ian Williams, who still boasts on his website about all the great media-training work he has done for UN officials, is still pushing his weight around at UNCA despite the controversy and scandal that has swirled around him. As indicated by the UNCA website, this ethics-deprived quasi-journo is head of UNCA's "awards committee."

Says the UNCA website: "Secretary-General Kofi Annan will present the prizes at the UNCA Awards Dinner at UN Headquarters in New York, 2 December 2005." Think about it: The award winners are picked by the consultant-correspondent, and the awards are handed out by the much-flayed head of the UN, Williams' sometime employer and subject of many puff pieces. Cozy!

UPDATE: Great piece in Accuracy in Media, which expanding considerably on the topic.

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