• Islamism,  Journalism

    Egypt’s Islamist leaders accused of controlling media

    The New York Times reports on several moves by government authorities in Egypt against journalists critical of the ruling Muslim Brotherhood. No surprise then that the Brotherhood has taken notes from Hosni Mubarak’s playbook in suppressing those critical of the regime. Two cases are worrying observers. One involves the suspension of a satellite television channel that features a programme hosted by is Tawfik Okasha who is a vocal critic of former Muslim Brotherhood leader and now president, Mohamed Morsi. The station has been suspended for 45-days and been warned it could come off the air permanently. The second incident involves confiscation of copies of the daily newspaper Al Dustour at the weekend, which has also…

  • antisemitism,  Israel/Palestine,  Journalism

    Animus and Inversion: the Guardian turns the world upside down again

    This is a guest post by Alan Johnson On April 3 2011 Juliano Mer Khamis, the half-Jewish, half-Palestinian Israeli director of Jenin’s Freedom Theatre was assassinated by masked gunmen who shot him five times in the head. In today’s Guardian the playwright Howard Brenton leaves his readers with the impression that Israel may have done the deed. He does this in three ways. First by creating uncertainty about the identity and motivations of the killers. He claims that ‘reports vary as to the details’ about who was responsible. Second, by establishing a narrative and a protagonist. The murder is made to appear as the opening salvo in a campaign waged…

  • Journalism

    Robert Fisk Makes Things Up

    So, finally, Private Eye has published the stories that everybody has heard, but nobody has put in print. Robert Fisk is widely thought to be a fantasist of Johann Hari-esque proportions. Hugh Pope, a former Independent colleague of Fisk’s, recently published a memoir of his three decades of reporting in the Middle East, Dining with al Qaeda. When they were both covering the Iraqi Kurd refugee crisis in 1991, he writes, Fisk reported that Turkish troops were on a “rampage of looting”, stealing refugees’ “blankets, sheets and food”, and that British forces “cocked their weapons in a confrontation with the Turkish troops”. For his book, Pope telephoned Fisk’s main named…