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Should Medialens be allowed NOT to come on Newsnight?

  • Paul Mason
  • 25 Apr 06, 06:54 PM

My editor is involved in a flame war with the guys at Medialens, that very helpfully critical watchdog of media bias. They have been invited to come on Newsnight tonight to talk about the allegation that the mainstream media is stoking up the conditions for an attack on Iran. But they won't come on! To read their reasons vist their website. There is a heated debate on this at the Medialens bulletin board and Idle Scraw cordially invites you to hit the comment button below and join in the debate here as well. Personally I think the way out of the impasse is for the Medialens spokespeople to lay down certain conditions for coming on: all sorts of other people do it and sometimes get away with it! Just a thought....

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 07:26 PM on 25 Apr 2006,
  • Will, Belfast wrote:

I've read through medialens's correspondence with the BBC news editor on its website and I am simply not impressed by their anaylsis of the BBC's coverage or their extremely amateurish handling of the BBC's response. It is vital that we have independent media watchdogs who call all news agencies to higher standards. But thoise watchdogs lose credibility when they behave as medialens has behaved in this case. Quite honestly, I am not surprised that they are unwilling to put their case on Newsnight. It wouldn't take a Paxman-style cross-examination to reveal the holes in this organisation's analysis. Medialens - I know you will be reading this - please get your act together. Responsible journalism NEEDS you at your best. This episode does you no credit.

  • 2.
  • At 08:15 PM on 25 Apr 2006,
  • Carino Risagallo wrote:

How very bizarre. Don't they realise that they _are_ mainstream media?

  • 3.
  • At 10:02 PM on 25 Apr 2006,
  • Ewan wrote:

While I don't agree with MediaLens' idea that there's some sort of conspiracy it is fair to say that the television format tends to try simplify things, either to make them 'accessible' or to fit within time constraints. Even with the best of intentions this can lead to some shockingly bad results - your own report on Flock being a case in point.

Conspiracy or not the MediaLens guys don't think they would be able to fairly represent their views on TV; the offer of a written piece for the website seems very reasonable. News Online has published externally contributed opinion pieces before, and while MediaLens demand their writing be left unedited, there's nothing to stop an opposing response being published along side it.

It seems this would be the best outcome for everyone. Maybe it could even be done as a guest post on this very blog?

  • 4.
  • At 10:17 PM on 25 Apr 2006,
  • Paul Mason wrote:

I have no objections to Media Lens guest posting on this blog - they just need to send me an email on paul.mason.01@bbc.co.uk.

I would like to know what the audience's views are on the substantive issue: is the MSM getting it wrong on Iran and how? I've seen the Media Workers Against the War open letter to the BBC bosses, but what do individual viewers think?

  • 5.
  • At 11:13 PM on 25 Apr 2006,
  • Leo Pollak wrote:

First things first, Medialens should be considered a *necessary* voice in British civic life. It is the mark of the intellectual temprament of a society that there exists voices critically analysing what is doable and sayable in the public sphere. There exists no other maintained full-time organisation providing consistent scrutiny of the conditions of possibility for public discussion, and hence Medialens should, in their function, be immune to the sort of communal hounding of a public body that we often witness.

That said, Medialens *should* have set conditions for participation, and on their meeting, appeared on Newsnight to explain their point of view, however radical, however critical. I don't know the context in which Newsnight made their offer. I suspect it was probably as casual as with any other guest. Yet, I think that Medialens have made a mistake to turn down the chance to spell out Chomsky/Hermann perspective on media amplification regarding a threat posed by Iran. While they perhaps envisaged the item coming to an abrupt halt, or the presenter cutting them up, their project becoming discredited in the process, they should have had the strength of their convictions to stand their ground in live debate, and influence the viewers. The individuals, or the organisations for that matter, are not the despicable 'other' for Medialens, but rather the practices and systemic basis for bias and complicity, something which I believe can be explained quite succinctly in a short Newsnight interview.

Medialens should not be afraid to impart their message through the media they criticise. To put it in a rather soundbitey way - it is the message, not the media - it is the message, the discourse, that is the final *subject* of the Chomsky/Hermann critique of media practices. For me, it represents a difference between a gung-ho campaign, and a campaign that is truly independent and detached, and capable of comment in any setting through any media.

Come on David and David. There is something important to be said about the war of words and bulletin priorities in relation to Iran. The more people who can see this perspective, the better. Do not be the intellectual that Foucault described disparagingly as "somewhat ahead and to the side".

  • 6.
  • At 11:14 PM on 25 Apr 2006,
  • Leo Pollak wrote:

First things first, Medialens should be considered a *necessary* voice in British civic life. It is the mark of the intellectual temprament of a society that there exists voices critically analysing what is doable and sayable in the public sphere. There exists no other maintained full-time organisation providing consistent scrutiny of the conditions of possibility for public discussion, and hence Medialens should, in their function, be immune to the sort of communal hounding of a public body that we often witness.

That said, Medialens *should* have set conditions for participation, and on their meeting, appeared on Newsnight to explain their point of view, however radical, however critical. I don't know the context in which Newsnight made their offer. I suspect it was probably as casual as with any other guest. Yet, I think that Medialens have made a mistake to turn down the chance to spell out Chomsky/Hermann perspective on media amplification regarding a threat posed by Iran. While they perhaps envisaged the item coming to an abrupt halt, or the presenter cutting them up, their project becoming discredited in the process, they should have had the strength of their convictions to stand their ground in live debate, and influence the viewers. The individuals, or the organisations for that matter, are not the despicable 'other' for Medialens, but rather the practices and systemic basis for bias and complicity, something which I believe can be explained quite succinctly in a short Newsnight interview.

Medialens should not be afraid to impart their message through the media they criticise. To put it in a rather soundbitey way - it is the message, not the media - it is the message, the discourse, that is the final *subject* of the Chomsky/Hermann critique of media practices. For me, it represents a difference between a gung-ho campaign, and a campaign that is truly independent and detached, and capable of comment in any setting through any media.

Come on David and David. There is something important to be said about the war of words and bulletin priorities in relation to Iran. The more people who can see this perspective, the better. Do not be the intellectual that Foucault described disparagingly as "somewhat ahead and to the side".

  • 7.
  • At 12:09 AM on 26 Apr 2006,
  • Ewan wrote:

Well, I for one hope they take you up on the guest post offer.

As for the substantial question then I think the mainstream reports /are/ missing some important things. It's pretty clear why the governments of many countries think that the Iranians having a nuclear weapon would be a very bad thing. Some things which are less clear, and which aren't being greatly explored are:

- Would it actually be bad for regional stability overall? The balance of power kept the US and USSR mostly apart and India and Pakistan are getting on much better since their acquisition of nuclear weapons raised the potential cost of not getting on. While it's clearly bad for America and Israel to have someone in the Middle East that cannot be threatened with military force is it bad for the Middle East?

- What evidence is there that the Iranian programme isn't purely civil, and is it any more reliable than the Iraq WMD intelligence? The usual arguement that Iran doesn't need nuclear because it has so much oil doesn't really hold water - after all, every barrel of oil saved by using nuclear energy is a barrel that can be sold for increasingly large amounts of money.

- By what right is the IAEA requiring Iran to suspend enrichment? Under the NPT Iran is explicitly permitted a civil programme - indeed they're entitled to assistence with it from the existing nuclear states. Iran may be referred to the Security Council for not complying with the IAEA requirements, but it's never explained why those requirements are legitimate, nor why the IAEA seems to be guided more by US interests than Iranian ones, when both countries are equally UN members and NPT signatories.

These are just a few of the things I don't know or understand and that I'd like answers to. There seems to be a common problem (also expressed in relation to different matters in the comments over on Nick Robinson's blog) of obvious questions not being asked by journalists - e.g. the White House says Iran is seeking a nuclear weapon, yet no-one seems to say 'How do you know?' or even 'Prove it.'

There seems to be a consensus that an Iranian Bomb would be a Bad Thing. I think I agree, but I want to feel secure in my opinion because it is an informed one, rather than just a common one, and at the moment I don't really feel that it is.

  • 8.
  • At 12:13 AM on 26 Apr 2006,
  • Carino Risagallo wrote:

"Medialens should, in their function, be immune to the sort of communal hounding of a public body that we often witness."

They are in the public sphere, shouldn't we be free to comment on and criticise them as much as they are free to comment on and criticise others?

  • 9.
  • At 07:56 PM on 26 Apr 2006,
  • Tony Gunnarsson wrote:

I think the point here is that the Mdeialens editors have decided to spend a lot of time writing quite precise and vital articles about the media and the inherited biases. That doesn't mean that they have taken on a public role (though in a sense ML should be seen as a public service) as spokespersons or some sort of political function: ergo if they decide that they don't want to be on TV that is their decition; nor does their decition to decline this invitation bear any meaning on their work on ML.

  • 10.
  • At 11:00 PM on 26 Apr 2006,
  • Liz Masebo wrote:

This isn't about Medialens saying No so much as the BBC worrying that you're 'losing a generation forever'. In fact, if the truth be known you've probably lost more than one generation. I watch Newsnight (and I'm no spring chicken) - not because it gives me fair and balanced reporting - but because it helps me to understand why the average punter in the street (who I come across) hasn't got a clue what's actually going on the in the world.

It really helps me to be more patient with others, because if the BBC, ITV, Channel4, Sky, mainstream papers etc. were the only media I was exposed to, I would also probably dismiss the niggling thoughts in the back of my mind and try to get on with my own immediate daily concerns and let the people 'who know' deal with the bigger issues because they 'know more than me'.

The more I find out from a much wider set of sources, the more I recognise how important it is for everyone to look outside the proverbial box (not just the audio/visual electronic device in the corner either).

Medialens have every right to choose the medium which they find most suitable for their purposes. They are right to draw attention to the cosmetic methods employed by Newsnight to simulate 'balance' in its programmes.

I am pleased that broadcasters are struggling 'to adapt to the new world of digital television' (as reported by Ciar Byrne in The Independent today), because in your efforts to save your own skin you may be forced to provide the likes of me with real balance, quit the patronisation and gain my respect.

  • 11.
  • At 11:56 PM on 26 Apr 2006,
  • Rob Byrne wrote:

On the issue of the BBC's treatment of Iran: it seems to me that ML has done a good job analysing the changes in the way Iran has been covered by the BBC in order to show that recently more negative coverage than before is showing up. Note the fact that it is the delta they study. Now, that _could_ be coindence or a statistical anaomaly. But, and this is the key point, in the context of all the other ML alerts demonstrating BBC tendency to follow the state/corporate line, the Iran data point is another piece of evidence in favour of the ML thesis of mainstream media bias. There is a similar point in the video documentary of "Manufacturing Consent". The interviewer reminds the editor of the NYT that there was a big story breaking in East Timor, with the Indonesian invasion, massacres etc and how come there was no substantial coverage. The editor replies well you know there's alot going on, that's a small place I guess we missed it. They put the point to Chomsky who replies well, if that was a one off maybe, but if consistently what get's missed are the stories/truths that are inconvenient to elite interests then that's not a slip up that's a pattern, indicative of bias.

On the question of whether ML should go on NN: I personally would like to see them do it _if_ they were guaranteed say 20 or 25 mins and the panel was not too big--in order to keep the discussion focused. I recall the famous Chomsky interview with Andrew Marr. This was about 20 or 25 minutes and if you watch it you come away thinking "wow, the world is not the way I was told it is". You also come away thinking "it's not just in the corporate sector where analytical and intellctual skills are of secondary importance to career advancement°. If ML could succeed on NN the way Chomsky did there they would probably open alot of people's eyes. Note that Chomsky appeared on NN http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnigh
t/3732345.stm and he had less than 9 minutes. He did a good job but the time is just too short to really communicate his points. As ML said in an analysis of this interview "slience and moving swiftly on are favoured media strategies in this kind of situation". You can get away with that in an 8 minute interview, but such behavoiour is glaring when you read the text--the lack of comeback questions to deep and cogent points is glaring when you have the text before you, for example "Because I don't think they care that much about terror; in fact we know that. Take say the invasion of Iraq, it was predicted by just about every specialist in intelligence agencies that the invasion of Iraq would increase the threat of al-Qaeda style terror, which is exactly what happened.". So all that to say that ML would need time to really get their points accross.

As a general point, in working for corporations I often have to take minutes in meetings. It is truly extraordinary how many times a given speaker will contradict himself (at least if you take them literally) and often how lttle real content there can be in a converstaion (or monologue, as is often the case). This has led me personally to be very suspicious of the spoken word: it is just too easy to obfuscate, avoid the real points and obscure a real rational analysis. My experience is that spoken words are well suited to selling ideas or things while the written word is far more efficient and reliable for dealing with complex questions where rationality is called for. "Selling" in that sense is used pejoratively. An extreme example perhaps, but mathematicians for example do not publish their proofs as cassette tapes--"...and today's Book at Bedtime, Andrew Wiles reads his proof of Fermat's last theorem" just wouldn't work.
So in the sense that rational analysis is ML's focus their point that they are above all "writers" is perfectly valid.

One auxilliary point is that I think their refusal is also a sign of a certain integrity--I suspect alot of writers and journalists would fall over themselves to be able to benefit from the publicity that making an appearance on NN would bring, whatever the conditions.

  • 12.
  • At 01:09 AM on 27 Apr 2006,
  • David Sketchley wrote:

Is the MSM getting it wrong on Iran?

Its not just Iran. The question should be: Is the MSM getting it wrong full stop. I've had exchanges with BBC journalists where I've pointed out "imbalances" in their reporting. Sometimes they cede on a minor point, while ignoring completely the main thrust of my debate. Its as if one is trying to debate the lawyers for the defence in a court of law or just as bad, a politician.

With Iran its just so obvious. The main facts are consistently ignored, one example:
remember the news that never ended about the Iranian fatwa against Salman Rushdie? Well, to watch, listen or read the BBC you would be hard pushed to know (just do a search on the BBC News website using just 2 words: Iran, fatwa) that the Supreme Leader of Iran, Khameini issued a fatwa last year that the "production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons are forbidden under Islam and that Iran shall never acquire these weapons".
Iran, holder of peaceful nuclear fuel cycle technology, Aug 10 2005, IRNA http://www.irna.ir/en/news/view/menu-236/0508104135124631.htm

Now also remember that for devout Muslims lying is prohibited. I would hope you agree an Ayatollah is a devout Muslim?

Then there's the arguments framed to reflect the official line. The constante use of 'negative' words when describing Iran such as "defy", "defiant", "defiance" as in: "Iran defies UN nuclear pressure ".

But the killer is the consistent allowing to go unchallenged the never-ending demands for Iran to prove a negative. How does one prove that you don't have something. Its an impossibility. Its the same trick that was pulled on Iraq and the missing WMD. As a fellow ML reader wrote:

"Do you have, for example, somewhere in your possession, a Barbie Doll? No? Prove it.

And there is the problem. (I am of course assuming you don't, but if you do, then imagine a different scenario). You can't prove you don't have something which you don't have, because what proof is there in the negative? This is why the central premise of our law system is innocent until proven guilty, rather than the other way around. You must prove that he did, not prove that he didn't." Posted by dereklane on April 26, 2006, 8:53 am, in reply to "Jonathan Freedland: Iran is a threat"
http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/msg/1146038037.html

And then there's the PR ploy of the constant repetition, drilling into the subjects minds the offical message through non-attributable "intelligence sources".

Unqestioning.

Complicit in the "shaping" of public opinion.

Complicit in the past (Iraq) and possible future (Iran) crimes of agression. In Iran's case, against a country that has not invaded another country in 250 years. How many countries has the US invaded in the last 50 - I also count covert CIA activities overthrowing democratically elected governments?

If this interest is genuine, fine. Do something about it. Start telling the people the truth.

There's not enough time or space for me to start here.

Thanks.


  • 13.
  • At 04:55 AM on 27 Apr 2006,
  • Michael Barker wrote:

I fully understand why Medialens does not want to appear on Newsnight. It is pointless to have one show every few years about media accountability. The only way we can have a truly democratically accountable media is for the media to facilitate an ongoing discussion about its role in society (a discussion that should not take place late at night, but during primetime TV).

It would be ridiculous if we only criticised our governments every few years, so why does the media feel it can exempt itself from critical scrutiny.

Of course, not all BBC readers will agree with Medialens's criticisms (which is one reason why they rely on the BBC for news and not alternative sources like www.zmag.org – which hosts all the articles of hundreds of critical journalists from across the globe), but most will agree that they are doing a valuable service by providing logical criticism of the British media. It appears that the BBC recognises this, as it is prepared to offer them a single interview. However, clearly this will not do much to change things, because as the BBC well knows, episodic (decontextualised) coverage of issues does not do much to catalyse any meaningful change. Therefore, I suggest that the BBC offer Medialens ongoing (thematic) coverage. That is, from now one, every time Medialens writes a critique of the BBC they should post a link to it on their homepage. The BBC could then strengthen their democratic role in the UK and facilitate an open, ongoing discussion about the faults Medialens highlights in their media coverage. This discussion would be open for all of the BBC’s online viewers to read, not just the few thousand people who have heard about Medialens. Furthermore, if the BBC is really serious about their role in our democracy, they would provide information about Medialens critiques through other media as well, like the TV and Radio. Only then, when the discussion of media reform becomes a issue for public debate, will we begin to see improvements in media coverage.

  • 14.
  • At 09:34 AM on 27 Apr 2006,
  • martin johnson wrote:

Is it necessary to accept a role in a porn movie to criticise pornography? I would never appear on television, does that lessen my right to criticise it? Why should the huge BBC dictate terms of engagement to a small voluntary group?

One of the Medialens editors' central themes is that media corporations frame features in a manner which marginalises non-power friendly opinion. I think the Davids are wise not to take the bait.

  • 15.
  • At 04:25 PM on 27 Apr 2006,
  • Don MacKeen wrote:

A simple question - why should they? Why should creating a space for debate about the media mean the editors of Medialens should accept Newsnight's invitation? As far as I can remember, Medialens has criticised the BBC and other outlets for not having a more diverse range of opinions. I don't remember reading anything they've written saying they should be put on TV. Not *everyone* wants to be on TV.

  • 16.
  • At 07:18 PM on 27 Apr 2006,
  • Leo Pollak wrote:

Having followed this debate, I can see that the problem lies with control over the editorial line - framing the issues, directing the debate, its lineup, conduct etc...

If Newsnight are serious about running an edition on media accountability, it cannot only avoid inevitable problems of reflexivity by ceding editorial control for one evening. Otherwise, those very elements of analysis which constitute the subject of the Hermann/Chomsky critique cannot in any meaningful sense be held to account.

Therefore, I suggest that Newsnight offer Medialens full editorial control for one edition, providing technical help appointing guests, constructing reports, whilst allowing them to decide the terms and length of debate, focussing on whichever issues it sees fit. This sort of thing has been done before. Some newspapers regularly have guest editors (Anita Roddick with The Independent springs to mind) with some success, and I could see many media analysts, as well as most Newsnight viewers considering this as a very healthy, worthwhile exercise.

I think such an edition of Newsnight, if executed properly (which shouldn't be a problem considering the success of equally if not more complex media operations with broadsheet guest editors) would leave the Newsnight team with a great deal of integrity, helping broaden the scope of public discussion that often seems contrained in its terms of exchange.

Could both David Edwards and Peter Barron please reply to this suggestion, or at least respond to this blog (especially Barron). I think this idea has the potential to provide a much needed critical reflection on a news media which seem to structure public discourse with increasing efficacy. I am convinced that most, if not all, Newsnight viewers would find such a one-off hugely refreshing.

Yours faithfully,

Leo Pollak

  • 17.
  • At 07:23 PM on 27 Apr 2006,
  • Leo Pollak wrote:

Having followed this debate, I can see that the problem lies with control over the editorial line - framing the issues, directing the debate, its lineup, conduct etc...

If Newsnight are serious about running an edition on media accountability, it cannot only avoid inevitable problems of reflexivity by ceding editorial control for one evening. Otherwise, those very elements of analysis which constitute the subject of the Hermann/Chomsky critique cannot in any meaningful sense be held to account.

Therefore, I suggest that Newsnight offer Medialens full editorial control for one edition, providing technical help appointing guests, constructing reports, whilst allowing them to decide the terms and length of debate, focussing on whichever issues it sees fit. This sort of thing has been done before. Some newspapers regularly have guest editors (Anita Roddick with The Independent springs to mind) with some success, and I could see most media analysts, as well as most Newsnight viewers considering this a very healthy, worthwhile exercise.

I think such an edition of Newsnight, if executed properly (which shouldn't be a problem considering the success of equally if not more complex media operations with broadsheet guest editors) would leave the Newsnight team with a great deal of integrity, helping broaden the scope of public discussion that often seems contrained in its terms of exchange.

Could both David Edwards and Peter Barron please reply to this suggestion, or at least respond to this blog (especially Barron). I think this idea has the potential to provide a much needed critical reflection on a news media which seem to structure public discourse with increasing efficacy. I am convinced that most, if not all, Newsnight viewers would find such a one-off hugely refreshing.

  • 18.
  • At 11:45 PM on 28 Apr 2006,
  • Glen wrote:

This whole debate just serves to illustrate how correct the ML editors were NOT to appear. The absurdidty of Newsnight debating/devoting space to whether they will appear or not, not the substantive issue at hand is galling and yet typical of the BBC.

Even the notion "is the mainstream media/BBC getting it wrong on Iran?" as a question is absurd. What issue is there in the first place to get right or wrong? Why the constant echoing of the manufactured "crises" of government spokepeople? Iran has a sovereign right to develop peaceful nuclear energy (as does any country), no right under TBT to dvvelop nuclear weapons (which can be policed internationally), and in a sane world, that would be the end of it.

  • 19.
  • At 11:46 PM on 28 Apr 2006,
  • Glen wrote:

This whole debate just serves to illustrate how correct the ML editors were NOT to appear. The absurdidty of Newsnight debating/devoting space to whether they will appear or not, not the substantive issue at hand is galling and yet typical of the BBC.

Even the notion "is the mainstream media/BBC getting it wrong on Iran?" as a question is absurd. What issue is there in the first place to get right or wrong? Why the constant echoing of the manufactured "crises" of government spokepeople? Iran has a sovereign right to develop peaceful nuclear energy (as does any country), no right under TBT to dvvelop nuclear weapons (which can be policed internationally), and in a sane world, that would be the end of it.

What the BBC now has to realise is because of the increase of blogs and certain website organisations, the BBC and the rest of the mainstream media are no longer taken seriously anymore. Websites like Medialens are becoming more popular because they help in getting the ‘true and factual’ news stories to the people. We all know the BBC is no longer controlled by the licence fee payers or the director general but by certain individuals, which use the mainstream media to manipulate certain situations on this planet, including the current situation in Iran.
The truth is gradually coming out, but sadly it is in no way helped by the BBC or the rest of the mainstream media.
Do you think I am talking a load of rubbish? Invite Steven Greer from the DisclosureProject.org onto a Newsnight programme and let him tell you how the mainstream media are really hiding the truth. I don't think you will though!!
All I can say is good luck to websites like Medialens and even the Idle scrawl because in the end platforms like these will continue to tell the truth and not lie to the people they broadcast too.

Phil.

What the BBC now has to realise is because of the growing number of blogs and certain websites, organisations like the BBC and the rest of the mainstream media are no longer taken seriously anymore. Websites like Medialens are becoming more popular because they help in getting the ‘true and factual’ news stories to the people. We all know the BBC is no longer controlled by the licence fee payers or the director general but by certain individuals, which use the mainstream media to manipulate certain situations on this planet, including the current situation in Iran.
The truth is gradually coming out, but sadly it is in no way helped by the BBC or the rest of the mainstream media.
Do you think I am talking a load of rubbish? Invite Steven Greer from the DisclosureProject.org onto a Newsnight programme and let him tell you how the mainstream media are really hiding the truth. I don't think you will though!!
All I can say is good luck to websites like Medialens and even the Idle scrawl because in the end platforms like these will continue to tell the truth and not lie to the people they broadcast too.

Phil.

  • 22.
  • At 06:20 PM on 06 May 2006,
  • Steven Martin wrote:

MediaLens is one of many sites I visit to see what's going on and to get an alternative viewpoint. I personally spend quite a lot of time monitoring and criticising various media articles, and I think I'm quite good at it and produce some valid arguments.

However, if I were invited to appear on Newsnight I would probably lose my cool and give a very poor performance. Not everyone can remain super calm and just sit there delivering facts like Noam Chomsky. So perhaps Media-Lens should stick to the written word unless they have someone suitable for a TV interview. Of course they may just fear they are going to be set-up since it is after all the media they are criticising.

It does seem odd to me that this debate is going on though. When other people/organisations refuse to appear, is there always a big debate about it?

  • 23.
  • At 10:31 AM on 10 Jun 2006,
  • Ben Pettit wrote:

What about the obligations of the existing nuclear powers "to undertake effective measures in the direction of nuclear disarmament". With the US and UK on their doorstep and the experience of the Shah and oil, that the ruling classes of Iran want a similar "counter measure" can hardly be surprising. The idea of a critical debate on the purpose and role of our own WMD is beyond the pale.

Media Lens have every right to choose their arena.

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