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Challenging The Western Media Hegemony

March 3, 2010

Russia Today (rt.com),
Untimely thoughts (blog),
By Peter Lavelle

In my work presenting RT’s CrossTalk discussion program, I am often dismissed as part of a Kremlin propaganda project – sometimes by people who have never even watched the channel.

My employer and my work are evidently an affront to the complacent and to those who feel threatened by a different – and I would say more sobering – view of the world.

How many readers of The Moscow News have ever heard of Robert Fisk, Norman Finkelstein, or Seyed Mohammad Marandi?

Those who haven’t are missing out.

Fisk is probably a known quantity to British readers.

But in American media and the mainstream Anglosphere in general he is all but ignored. His extraordinary reporting from the Middle East spanning over 30 years is simply too truthful and distressing for American editors and the powers-that-be.

Why is this?

Fisk questions and challenges Washington’s support of Israel and America’s long-misguided approach to Middle East politics, speaking out against taboos that have long been considered off limits.

I am an avid reader of Fisk in The Independent.

When he appeared on my show, he challenged and embarrassed another guest for claiming the Afghans were happy to be occupied by the US and its NATO allies.

Fisk points out the hypocrisy of language that is a staple of Western media reporting.

He has been proven right more times than wrong when it comes to Middle East politics.

Western mainstream media need to have a second look at journalists in the know who have a solid record of defying what we have been told.

The fact is that terrorism in the Greater Middle East is the result of longstanding Western-backed injustices.

Norman Finkelstein is a hate figure for many of those who know of him in America and for many in the worldwide Jewish community.

He is another person who is blacklisted by Western mainstream media for speaking his mind and revealing the frauds of others.

A child of Holocaust survivors – Finkelstein’s father was on a death march in Auschwitz and his mother was a survivor of the Majdanek death camp – he challenges anyone who tries to use his deceased parents’ memory for geopolitical advantage when invoking the Nazi genocide against the Jews.

I understand where Finkelstein is coming from.

I lived in Poland for 12 years and visited every Nazi death camp.

To this day I am left speechless by how the human condition can succumb to evil.

Thankfully we have Norman Finkelstein to remind us that honoring the memory of the Holocaust does not automatically mean supporting Israel and Washington.

As someone aware of how ideologies literally destroy people, Finkelstein is worth listening to when it comes of the suffering of the Palestinian people.

Seyed Mohammad Marandi is a professor of American Studies at the University of Tehran.

Western mainstream media teaches its audiences that Iranians are towel-headed maniacs – a gross exaggeration, of course, and Seyed is a perfect example of an opinion-maker who defies hateful stereotypes.

In public appearances he is calm and confident – he knows Washington’s armchair neocons are all agenda and no substance when it comes to what Iran is all about.

Marandi is not an apologist for Iran’s current political order, but at the same time reflects upon the double-standards placed on Iran by Western powers. It is obvious to him that the West, particularly the US, is looking for still another pretext to wage war against Iran – the only country in the greater Middle East with a public that is actually largely pro-American.

Robert Fisk, Norman Finkelstein, and Seyed Mohammad Marandi are very different people with different points of view.

However, one thing binds them – they speak the truth instead of getting along by going along.

Everyone should explore new and alternative media.

If you don’t, don’t act surprised when your opinion is hijacked, once again, by media that does not seek so much to inform as to make you disagree with the Fisks, Finkelsteins, Marandis – and Lavelles – who are out there if you look for them.

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