New Internationalist

Media Lens and Rupert Read – second thoughts

Earlier this week we published on this website a two-part essay by Media Lens on press coverage of the UN debate on Syria and its aftermath. This had been published on Media Lens’s own website but we felt it was offering a distinctly different perspective on possible intervention in Syria (with a look back at the intervention in Libya) from that which has appeared in the mainstream press.

Immediately after this we were contacted by the Green activist and academic Rupert Read to ask if we would be interested in publishing his own response to the Media Lens article. We said yes in the interest of fostering debate. The piece Rupert Read submitted (originally published on openDemocracy) turned out, however, to be primarily concerned with attacking Media Lens and its past record. We therefore tried to produce an edited version that stuck more closely to the issues related to the current Syrian conflict.

We regret, however, that the edited version retained the following paragraph: ‘So Media Lens, via Dreyfuss, lines up beside the quasi-totalitarian rulers of Russia (which has (not) incidentally an unbelievably dismal state of media freedom) against the brave revolutionaries of the Arab Spring in Syria. People like Media Lens and those they cite are doing a brilliant job of discrediting “the Left” and anti-imperialism.’

You can read Media Lens’s full rebuttal of Rupert Read’s charges here.

Comments on Media Lens and Rupert Read – second thoughts

Comment submissions for this page are closed.

  1. #1 Rory 24 Feb 12

    That is hardly a 'full rebuttal'.

  2. #2 Crowleys Ghost 24 Feb 12

    Nice to see this. I, too, read Read's mostly ad-hominem attack on MediaLens. It's a difficult stance to take, arguing against an assault on Syria, especially as we've been fed just one stream of information from the media since this all began: that Assad is the demon-dictator ruthlessly quashing the pro-democracy forces that seek change. Assad is a ruthless leader, no mistake, but there's more to this 'revolution' than meets the eye. That the same arguments were given before Libya gives me pause. That MediaLens are brave enough to take this stance is commendable, and I'll make sure to read their take on events from here on in.

  3. #3 greenglow 24 Feb 12

    Glad to see New Internationalist can tell the difference between a healthy disagreement over the issues and what appears to be some kind of personal vendetta.

  4. #4 Rupert Read 27 Feb 12

    To the Editors, NI:
    I would appreciate an explanation of what _precisely_ you at NI find wrong with this: ‘So Media Lens, via Dreyfuss, lines up beside the quasi-totalitarian rulers of Russia (which has (not) incidentally an unbelievably dismal state of media freedom) against the brave revolutionaries of the Arab Spring in Syria. People like Media Lens and those they cite are doing a brilliant job of discrediting “the Left” and anti-imperialism.’
    ML have not expressed any doubts about Dreyfuss's work or stance. What was so wrong with my remark here that you had to specifically disassociate yourselves from it, and stand beside ML, and not disassociate yourselves from any of their dodgy remarks (e.g. their shameful imputation that casualty numbers from Syria are ’unsubstantiated’ - when the reason they are ’unsubstantiated’ is that Syria are banning the media and killing those journalists who get in (as well as citizen-journalists!)!)?
    ML have not expressed any doubts about Dreyfuss's work or stance. What was so wrong with my remark here that you had to specifically disassociate yourselves from it, and stand beside ML? Russia is standing against the Arab Spring in Syria, quite clearly. Dreyfuss stands beside Russia in its doing so. ML has no qualms about Dreyfuss. What is the mystery here?

    I must confess, btw, that what I find most distasteful about ML at present is that they [and their friends such as Dreyfuss and Chossudovsky] continue to attack the Western media from behind their laptops while some of those media are actually being murdered by the Syrian state for daring to report from Syria. Of this targetting of the media, this killing of journalists, I haven't yet heard a peep from ML.

    ML were rightly incandescent when the U.S. attacked Al Jazeera in Afghanistan and Iraq. So why the double-standard now?

  5. #5 Rupert Read 27 Feb 12

    NI meanwhile make no comment on the plain violation of their Comments standard by MediaLens' supporters in their outrage at me for daring to criticise ML's stance on Syria.

    And, as Rory says: that was hardly a ’full rebuttal’!

    It looks to me as though NI have given in to flak. A sad state of affairs.

  6. #6 New Internationalist 27 Feb 12

    We would remind our readers that personal attacks against our writers are not acceptable. The above comments have been moderated and this piece is now closed for comment.

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