What Fig Leaf of Credibility Does Western Corporate Media Have Left?

It was the news of the day on August 20, 2013 — or was it news at all?

The corporate-state media is well known for its “breaking news” but showing news clips of an event before it is alleged to have taken place is a stretch even for it.

That’s presumably what happened on August 20, 2013 when articles and videos appeared in Al Jazeera, (once considered a credible source for Middle East news but now another mouthpiece for the Qatari regime and “the West”), Reuters, and other media outlets, showing victims alleged to have been killed by a gas attack  carried out by the Syrian government.

Thus spoke the nameless, faceless “activists”, working hand in glove with the swarms of invaders who have been committing atrocities against the Syrian people for the past two plus years, and who are armed and funded by the US, UK, France, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar and more. The media calls them “rebels” and/or “the Syrian opposition”.   This is challengable because of  a continual uploading of  videos, under the aegis of the insurgents, showing their executions, beheadings, and sickeningly even cannibalism.

However, in the case of the alleged gas attack, neither Al Jazeera nor Reuters obviously checked the videos for authenticity.

If a check had been made, the real “breaking news” would be, not so much the videos but, the date on which they were uploaded, which was August 20, 2013. However, the “rebels” and their “activists” informed the media that the attack occurred on August 21, 2013! A full day AFTER the videos of the alleged massacre were published by various media. Whoops!

If indeed the story of prerecording is correct, then it begs the question: How could videos of an alleged attack be uploaded BEFORE it happened?

Only if it were carried out by the “rebels” themselves.

This is not the first time an attempt was made to portray victims of a Syrian government massacre to the world.  Back on May 29, 2012 a photograph appeared in corporate-state media outlets (initially by BBC, followed by countless others, including Canada’s CBC) purporting to show the bodies of children who were supposedly awaiting burial following a massacre by the Syrian government in Houla. The photograph had been provided to the BBC by an “activist” (who else?).

At the time, the image, as it was meant to, created outrage amongst leaders in “the West”, many of whom expelled all Syrian diplomats. However, was it a photo of dead bodies from the Houla massacre? Media outlets accepted its legitimacy without question.

Another huge mistake damning corporate-state media credibility!

Because when photographer Marco di Lauro,  who had taken the picture, saw it, he, in his own words, “nearly fell off his chair” in shock. It was, in fact, a photo he had taken in March, 2003 in Iraq, and it showed body bags containing skeletons that had been found in a desert south of Baghdad.

BBC removed the photo, but the damage had been done and the desired effect achieved.

Was there a gas attack in East Ghouta? There may well have been, but does that mean the Syrian government is responsible? I would suggest that President al Assad is not stupid enough to try anything of that nature with the UN already in the country for the supposed purpose of checking allegations of  gas use in other areas.

However, it is noteworthy that in May of 2013 the UN stated that there were concrete suspicions that Syrian insurgents used chemical weapons. It also stated there was no indication that the Syrian military had carried out any such attacks. Where was the western corporate media outrage then?

Would the “rebels” use gas? Well, they allegedly beheaded Bishop Francois Murad back in July of this year and posted the horrific video on line. One of them chopped out the heart of a dead soldier and started to eat it. That too they posted on line. They have allegedly executed scores of civilians in Syria, destroyed multiple churches, and with the aid of the mainstream media, have lied frequently as they carry out atrocities and blame them on the Syrian regime.

It’s interesting to note as well that Doctors without Borders are  getting lots of media attention as if that which they relate is credible. A check of this organization reveals – no surprise here – that DWB is fully funded, as Tony Cartalucci, an independent journalist, notes “by the very same corporate financier interests behind Wall Street and London’s collective foreign policy, including regime change in Syria and neighboring Iran.”  In  fact, one of its Board of Advisors is Elizabeth Beshel Robinson, a banker with Goldman Sachs.

And while DWB, itself, has admitted it is providing assistance to Western funded and armed militants, what the “western” media is not telling its readers according to Mr. Cartalucci is:

… that even Doctors Without Borders admit their own team members are not present at these medical facilities and have only been sending supplies to them – in other words, this evidence is hearsay emanating from terrorist held areas, merely dressed up and spun as actual evidence from a so-called “reputable” international organization.

Yet the “west” is pushing this organization as an independent and reliable source. It is not independent and its reliability is questionable.

The only ones who have anything to gain from this alleged attack are the “rebels” and their funders in the West and other Middle Eastern regimes.

If the Syrian regime did use chemical weapons, this is indeed reprehensible.  Nonetheless, what moral standing and reliability can the US and the West muster to (1) accuse and (2) condemn war crimes by others?   The US is the self-same country that attacked Iraq (leading to the excess mortalities of over a million Iraqis) based on the lie that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons-of-mass-destruction.  The US concocted the lie of torpedo attacks by the North Vietnamese in the Gulf of Tonkin.  These are just two of a string of disinformation that has served as pretexts to aggression against other nations.

The US is also accused of using chemical weapons in Afghanistan along with its NATO allies. It is alleged to have used white phosphorus, as is its Middle Eastern ally, Israel.

Considering the western corporate media’s gullibility of the first alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime, and the western corporate media’s gullibility over the possession of WMD by Saddam Hussein – why should pronouncements out of Washington carry an iota of verisimilitude?

Given that it was Washington that first floated the possibility of a chemical weapons attack by Syria, given that Syria had zero reason to resort to chemical weapons, and given the suspicious timing of the alleged sarin usage since the Syrian regime is defeating the insurgents, and since UN inspectors were on their way what person would grant any credence to Washington or its allies in this latest ruse?

Angie Tibbs is Editor of Dissident Voice and Editor of Poetry on Sunday. She can be reached at: angie@dissidentvoice.org. Read other articles by Angie.