No Brake and No Disclosure on Media Owners’ Interests 155

The Times today carries an article on ISIS’ oil interests, Syria and Turkey. Nowhere does it inform its readers that the owner of the newspaper, Rupert Murdoch, has a vested interest in this subject through his role and shares in Genie Energy, an Israeli company granted oil rights in Syria by the Israeli government. Dick Cheney and Lord Rothschild are also shareholders.

No, they really are. This is not a conspiracy theory. It is a conspiracy.

That Israel should grant oil rights within Syria is of course a striking example of contempt for international law, but then that is the basis on which Israel normally operates. Of course Genie’s share value will be substantially boosted by the installation of a neo-con puppet regime in Damascus which can be bought to underwrite the oil concession granted by Israel. Contempt for international law has been the single most important defining characteristic of neo-conservatism, and the need to uphold international law the recurring theme of this blog. I never thought the UK government would make the withdrawal of its support for the concept of international law explicit, as Cameron has done by removing the obligation to comply with international law from the Ministerial Code. That is truly, truly disgraceful.

But to return to Murdoch’s oil interests in Syria, it seems to me a fundamental flaw that when Fox News, Sky News, the Times, the Sun and Murdoch’s numerous other media outlets bang the drum for Western military action in Syria, there is no requirement for the consumer of this propaganda to be told that the outlet is pushing a policy in line with the financial interests of its owner. Even for those actively seeking information, there is no register of the interests of media proprietors.

It is a wonderful irony that there is a register of the interests of the board members of the Independent Press Standards Organisation, but no register of the interests of media proprietors!

This is not an accident. The Leveson Inquiry did receive evidence and questioned a witness – Dr Rowan Cruft of the University of Stirling – who suggested that a proprietor’s financial interest in a story should be revealed. Robert Jay, QC to the counsel asked:

Robert Jay

This is on your page 8, our page 00885. You say:
“First of all, the code could do more to require proprietors, editors and journalist to declare their financial and also their political interests and to declare these to readers as well as editors.”
I don’t think the code does anything to require proprietors, editors and journalist to do that.

Dr Rowan Cruft
That’s right.

Robert Jay QC goes on first to suggest any duty to declare financial interests should only apply to specifically financial journalists. He then moves quickly on to discuss the implications of declaring political interests of proprietors. Robert Jay QC is a clever man and he managed to avoid any discussion of the financial interests of proprietors whatsoever. Shortly after the Inquiry concluded, he was promoted by the Government to be a High Court Judge.

The Leveson Inquiry totally ignored the real rot in Britain’s media – the massive concentration of media ownership and its subservience to other corporate interests. The revised Code of Conduct which was its result does not contain any reference to proprietors’ interests even in the very limited context of writing about stocks and shares. A financial journalist has a duty to declare any interest which he or his family have in a company he writes about, but no duty to declare any interest of his proprietor – the person who is paying him to write.

If you think this is an accident, you are extremely naïve. It is just a tiny glimpse into one aspect of the UK’s extraordinarily dense web of elite corruption,

155 thoughts on “No Brake and No Disclosure on Media Owners’ Interests

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  • Ken2

    The Blairites chose the wrong side. Benn gave his resignation speech,

    A new ‘code’ has been introduced by Westminster, re Leveson. The chairman is Paul Dacre – Express. Owner Non Dom tax evader Lord Rothermere (UKIP)

    Thatcher illegally handed Press over to Murdoch. She broke the ministerial code and denied it. The Right wing Press. Harold Evans ex Times, wrote an article about it recently. The documents were released under thirty year rule, ie Official Secrets Act.

  • Republicofscotland

    It would appear Genie Oil isn’t the only one making a killing in the oil business.

    Vice President of the Turkish Republican People’s Party (CHP), Gursel Tekin has even stated on record that the oil was being smuggled into to Turkey via BMZ, a shipping company owned by Bilal Erdogan.

    He stated that “President Erdogan claims that according to international transportation conventions there is no legal infraction concerning Bilal’s illicit activities and his son is doing an ordinary business with the registered Japanese companies.

    In fact Bilal Erdogan is up to his neck in complicity with terrorism, but as long as his father holds office he will be immune from any judicial prosecution.

  • Republicofscotland

    The Palestinian Health Ministry has confirmed that the Tel HaShomer Israeli Hospital sent them a bill, demanding the Palestinians to pay the expenses of the treatment of Ahmad Dawabsha, the only survivor of his family after Israeli terrorists firebombed their home five months ago, killing his mother, father and his 18-month-old brother.

    I’d have thought picking up the bill, would’ve been the very least they could do, apparently not.

  • Ken2

    Murdoch should be in jail for bribing public officials. It is illegal for any US based firm (NY) to bribe officials, anywhere in the world.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Craig, Yes…”No, they really are. This is not a conspiracy theory. It is a conspiracy.” I posted the same information on the Daily Telegraph website, a few weeks ago – before I got serially banned. What I don’t understand is why they allowed me to post for several years, and hardly ever even deleted anything..and when they did it often wasn’t all of it -they just edited some of it…

    Now, what I am a little bit puzzled about is this French Aircraft Carrier…Yesterday it was supposedly in the Med – off the coast of Syria…and they were supposedly bombing ISIS in Syria..Then President Hollande turned up…and said – Right you guys are off now to The Persian Gulf…that’s many miles away…the other side…off the coast of Iran.

    I thought the French were supposed to be doing this ISIS bombing stuff in agreement with Russia…the The Germans – said – Yeh we are going to do it too.

    I am sure the Russians can sink any floating white elephant they want if they are sufficiently annoyed.

    So who told the French to Fuck Off with their big bath tub?

    Was it The Russians or The Americans?

    “Kicked out? French aircraft carrier redeployed to Persian Gulf”

    Why can’t these lunatics in control just talk to each other – and come to some form of peace.

    What is it with these old men? Phallic Symbols?? Try Viagra instead – not that I have…yet you can now buy this chemical blood pressure exploder in the Gents with a packet of condoms. (I don’t use them either)

    What is wrong with these people?


  • Summerhead

    It is worth noting that Genie Oil an Gas’s website describes the Golan Heights as Northern Israel, no doubt in advance of the planned annexation.

  • Mary

    The Brian Leveson and Robert Jay theatrical cost us £6m.

    Leveson inquiry ‘will cost almost £6m’
    Jeremy Hunt says that £3.4m has been spent so far, with over £1m expected to go on legal fees for barristers

    Jay was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1998 and has served as a recorder since 2000. The salary of a high court judge is £174,481 – which probably amounts to a pay cut considering his recent earnings as leading counsel.

    Lord Justice Leveson has once again batted away questions about the affair between Carine Patry Hoskins, one of the barristers on his inquiry into press ethics and David Sherborne, the barrister representing victims of the press.

    A Whitehall farce like the Chilcot production.

  • fwl

    Wiki has Effi Eitam President of Genie’s Israeli subsidiary down as advocating the expulsion of Israeli Arabs from Israel, or is that a different Effi Eitam?

  • Habbbakuk (combat cant)

    Douglas Clark

    “So, what point were you making?”

    If you take the trouble to read my post at 16h55 carefully it should be clear.

  • RobG

    Tony said: “Why can’t these lunatics in control just talk to each other – and come to some form of peace.”

    It’s because they are lunatics, and they rule us.

    We are in a very dark place at the moment.

    I’m still confident that saner minds will prevail.

    It will probably need a revolution, though, because the rot is set so deep.

  • fwl

    Effi Eitram has belonged to various right wing religious Zionist parties. They all seem to be for a Greater Israel. I google Greater Israel and things start to become clearer.

  • Habbbakuk (combat cant)

    I see that my question regarding the Golan Heights (to Craig btw, suggesting he should clarify) has given rise to considerable excitement from the usual suspects.

    To those “commenters” I would say: calm down dears.

    The annexed part of the Golan Heights is not going back to Syria anytime soon and the sooner everyone gets used to that idea the better. The Syrians themselves have.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Habbbakuk (combat cant),

    I reread your post at 16h55, but I still don’t understand your entire philosophy. Sure I can understand you having a deep love for Israel – and maybe the Jewish Religious books that you read and were taught when you were a child…I just want you to answer one thing.

    What is wrong with a human baby when he or she is born?

    Why do you have to cut bits off?

    I don’t get it.

    Haircut fine..but you guys do something else – and The Muslims do too

    Why do you have to cut bits off?

    Don’t you approve of Physical Pleasure?

    For both boys and girls.

    Why should they grow up – with some parts of their body missing because of Religious Freaks like You?

    And what exactly is wrong with Danish Bacon????

    I just don’t get it.

    Please Explain.


  • Habbbakuk (combat cant)

    I should add, perhaps, that even “Greater Israel”, the very idea of which makes some people foam at the mouth, would be rather small compared to its Arab neighbours.

    Just an observation, of course, and not a political/moral judgement on the rights and wrongs of the matter.

  • fwl

    I concur that a map of where these licences are would assist. In the meanwhile thanks Craig Genie oil is an interesting door to start my study of Israeli politics (a subject on which both Habba and Mary may have noted I know v little).

  • Tony_0pmoc

    There appears to be one word seriously banned here..and it’s not Kes. Isn’t this completely counter-productive in the interests of the people who subscribe to such philosophy?

  • fedup

    The annexed part of the Golan Heights is not going back to Syria anytime soon and the sooner everyone gets used to that idea the better. The Syrians themselves have.

    As the thieves principles dictate for those whom stealing is a way of life; the goods and chattel stolen lose their title of ownership too!!!

    This is the kind of disregard at the very fundamental level to any and international treaties and conventions that makes zionistan a pernicious metastasizing cancerous sore on the planet and a carbuncle on human consciousness!

  • fwl

    Habba, what percentages of Jewish people living in Israel would you say a) believe in a Greater Israel corresponding roughly to the southern boundary of the fertile crescent and b) what % think the state should take active steps to achieve those boundaries.

  • fred

    “I have capitalised some of what Benn left out. As Mark Curtis rightly observes, this does NOT explicitly authorise military force, and that is something that Jeremy Corbyn wanted: a clarification from the UN unambiguously authorising military force.”

    Actually it does explicitly authorise military force, it’s accepted by the members of the UN that that wording in UN resolutions means that military force can be used.

    It’s explained in this book:

  • Mary

    In Gaza, the cowardly thugs in the IDF shoot an elderly woman in the neck with a live bullet not their usual weaponry, a ‘rubber’ bullet or a tear gas canister.

    Israeli forces shoot, critically injure elderly woman in Gaza
    Dec. 2, 2015

    On the same website a list of some other recent atrocities.

    Israel confiscates ICRC tents from Palestinians in Jordan Valley
    Nov. 30, 20152

    Monitor: Palestinian teen shot dead in clashes in Silwan
    Nov. 29, 20154

    2 Palestinians shot dead near Ramallah after alleged attacks
    Dec. 4, 2015

    Dawabsha family: Israeli government gave settlers a ‘licence to kill’
    Dec. 3, 2015

  • John Spencer-Davis

    05/12/2015 8:42pm

    Thank you for that, Fred. I am afraid for some reason your link does not take me to the passage you want me to see.

    However, the matter is discussed in detail here:

    The author of this piece seems to be of the opinion that the Security Council in this Resolution does not authorise the use of force, but allows it (which seems rather a distinction without a difference to me), and that the reason for that is to allow the powers in Syria to continue without compromising the bases, legal or not, on which they are already proceeding in Syria.

    If so, I acknowledge that I have been rather harsh on Benn. I also note that he in fact says nothing about the Security Council authorising the use of force. Clever! However, it still irritates me that both Benn and Cameron are highly selective in what they pretend is a quotation from the Resolution.



  • Tony_0pmoc

    BrianFujisan @ 5 Dec, 2015 – 4:09 pm,

    Thanks for posting that..I didn’t even know that Mark Curtis had a website. Does he post here? I keep getting all these Mark’s mixed up…but they all tend to write and say much the same things…

    I have Mark Curtis’ book “Secret Affairs – Britain’s Collusion with RADICAL ISLAM” literally right next to me. I haven’t read it yet…but I have read other author’s books…and amongst many others..they keep quoting Mark Curtis – and what he wrote.

    I can’t judge his book – because I haven’t yet read it….but some Brilliant Authors have..and they quote Mark Curtis…So I think he must be doing something right.

    Please – don’t strip words or entire sentences out – from what someone has written to try and change its meaning to suit your own political point of you… Summarizing may at times be OK..providing you don’t change the original meaning.

    Think about can just delete one or two words from the original…and completely change the original intended meaning. The censor or the plagiarist can literally change Yes to No and Love To Hate.

    Don’t Do It. That is cheating.


  • fedup

    Good to see you back John and great dig in the resolution, that further validates Hillary having sold his soul and is now walking on the dark side.

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