Accuracy in Media

The reviews of the film The Interpreter have been extremely positive. “Two thumbs up,” say Ebert & Roeper. Larry King calls it “spellbinding.” Rolling Stone calls it “smart.” We agree with that last characterization. As we noted in a column, the film is political propaganda designed to boost the image of the United Nations and make the U.S. look bad for opposing the International Criminal Court. It is one of the smartest pieces of political propaganda to come out of Hollywood.

Meryl Gordon’s article about U.N. boss Kofi Annan, in the May 2 edition of New York magazine, notes that Annan “received a warm welcome” at the VIP screening of the film in New York. But the article is more informative in what it says about Annan’s effort to rehabilitate his own image.

During his first term as U.N. Secretary-General, Gordon says that Annan was “the toast of Washington and New York,” associating with such people as Oscar de La Renta and Tom Brokaw.  That’s the same Tom Brokaw who was anchor of the NBC Nightly News. He’s the same Tom Brokaw who provided an endorsement of Linda Fasulo’s pro-U.N. book, An Insider’s Guide to the U.N. Fasulo covers the U.N. for NBC News, MSNBC, and National Public Radio. This book, as AIM disclosed, was funded by the pro-U.N. lobby to the tune of $26,000. When NPR found out about this, Fasulo was told not to accept any more outside money that would compromise her reporting. NBC, however, has refused to admonish Fasulo for accepting the money. It stands behind her, despite the conflict of interest.

In an April 24 editorial, the Washington Times noted that, in her book, Fasulo “fulsomely (sic) praises” Annan’s work at the U.N. “Sadly,” the editorial said, “the reality bears little resemblance to the gushing praise Mr. Annan often receives from political and media elites. In his two most recent posts (director of U.N. peacekeeping operations from1993 to 1996 and secretary-general since 1996), Mr. Annan has presided over a panoply of international disasters, ranging from genocide to the erosion and collapse of international sanctions against Iraq and the oil-for-food scandal.”

The key to understand his survival is the reference to his backing from “political and media elites.” That includes his socializing with people like Tom Brokaw.

In the World Policy Journal, Martin Walker writes of the battle between Bush and Annan and their surrogates. On Annan’s side: “?the editorial boards of the New York Times and the Washington Post, and the news bulletins of National Public Radio and the BBC?”

Mediacrity, a new website described as a media insider’s view of media hypocrisy and stupidity, takes aim at The Nation,  a magazine firmly in the U.N. camp which employs a U.N. correspondent, Ian Williams, who gets paid by the U.N. Mediacrity describes Williams as a “fourth-rate hack” and a “consultant-correspondent.” Addressing The Nation, the author writes, “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.” You may visit the site  at:

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