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,

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

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  • Tony M

    The Syrian Golan oil and gas though are important, so to are the water and the prime agricultural land that was the bread basket of the wider region. ‘Golan Heights’ suggests some inhospitable peaks, it’s hundreds of square miles of sovereign inviolable Syrian territory. Why are UN hundreds of binding UN absolute unequivocal resolutions, almost entirely in respect to outlaw non-state ‘Israel’, squatting in Palestine, not just a threat to peace but savage bloody murder of it, ignored, while another, this recent fudge to encourage, to call for economic sabotage in Syria, this ‘aerial bombers of the world unite’ pact suddenly requiring Hilary Benn to come over all bloodthirsty and camply militaristic, seemingly needing utmost and urgent attention. The UN far from preventing such outrages, such appalling one-sided hypocrisy, actually facilitates it.

    I think the people in this country, flooded out or stranded away from their homes on the wrong side of a raging torrent, one centuries old crumbling bridge a lifeline, might have different ideas about where David Cameron’s Labour Party priorities should lie.

  • Resident Dissident

    “In other words, the fact that 9/11 was a conspiracy is NOT under question.

    The real question, currently left unanswered to everyone’s satisfaction is “WHO conspired?”.”

    Since we are playing silly games it was clearly Colonel Plum, in the library, with the lead piping. Yawn.

  • Tony M

    You are a clueless fucking eejit RD. Sorry to be so blunt but its more attention than you deserve.

  • Tony M

    Fact-free semantic quibbling, absurd preconceptions, faulty logic, from RD and the Banshee.

    I know I’m utterly insignificant, but what does that make those assigned to further belittle me? And those who pay for their dubious services. More fatal internal contradictions.

  • Resident Dissident

    “And those who pay for their dubious services.”

    I can only assume that this self projection.

  • Anon1

    27 killed and over 80 injured yesterday in Chad after three female suicide bombers detonated themselves.

  • Anon1

    So two jihadist fanatics go on a rampage with automatic weapons and pipe bombs, killing 14 and leaving their 6-month old daughter orphaned, and all Mary can say is….

    “The rifling through their home was disgusting”

  • YouKnowMyName

    this us website reprints an LATimes article by Glen Greenwald accusing CIA of lying about the Paris terrr attacks; meanwhile regional voting in France today may give the french far-right a boost, which can’t have been the plan.

    More on Shaking-Bacon’s -made-up- 70thou warriors, this Australian “state of Syria” piece indicates that Cam might have just taken the figure from The Spectator , who recently talked about 75k moderates. Seems the russkies are being clever again too, getting ‘peace’ in January, for their definition of ‘moderate’

  • Anon1

    Meanwhile in what appears to be an instance of sudden jihad, a man is tasered at Leytonstone tube station after lashing out at passengers with a knife, leaving one seriously injured.

  • Tony M

    There have been over 350 mass-shootings in the US this year alone, that’s more than one per day, and the year isn’t even over yet.

  • YouKnowMyName

    Oh, Russia’s powerful state spying machine has been satisfactorily found guilty of breaking the ECtHR ‘ooman-rites’ act , illegal mass-surveillance on ‘mobes:

    Thankfully this would NEVER happen in the UK, (although , sadly, the December plan to publish the legislation to quickly leave international rights scrutiny has had to be delayed until 2016, due to nobody having worked out how to do it yet) It’s complicated & the spin doctors/psyops are busy with everything else. . .

  • Herbie

    From 2010

    The invading Israelis ethnically cleansed the Golan, after their seizure of it in 1967:

    “What happened to the 130,000 Syrian citizens living in the Golan Heights in June 1967? According to the Israeli narrative, they all fled to Syria, but official documents and testimonies tell a different story.”


    “After a massive oil find in Syria’s Golan Heights, occupied by Israel since 1967, Israel is asking President Obama to recognise its annexation of the territory, writes Jonathan Cook. To consolidate its hold, plans are afoot to quadruple Israeli settler numbers to 100,000.”

    ‘Billions of barrels’ of oil

    “Neither Oren nor presumably Netanyahu highlighted another reason why Israel might be anxious to gain US approval of its effective annexation of the Golan in 1981, when it passed the Golan Heights Law extending Israeli law and administration throughout the territory, in violation of international law.”

  • Esclavo

    6 Dec, 2015 – 8:16 am
    ‘In other words, the fact that 9/11 was a conspiracy is NOT under question.
    The real question, currently left unanswered to everyone’s satisfaction is “WHO conspired?”.’

    Equally, Pan, if those who conspired WERE Muslim extremists, then, since for their attack to succeed they needed a day when the US defences were down, defending aircraft far away, and false radar blips planted on the system, where is the traitor who informed them that 11th September was the right day to do it?

  • Tony M

    It must that come as a shock to established, establishment MPs, policy wonks, blue-eyed boys and girls, political dynasties, even the media types in their similar privileged nepotistic world -that it is entirely possible, even preferable that MPs should have had some life experiences, not just as tea-boys and arse-licker PA’s and SPADS, before entering politics.

  • Mary

    You musn’t believe EVERYTHING the corporate media tell you Anon1/Bunny la Roche.

    ‘So two jihadist fanatics go on a rampage with automatic weapons and pipe bombs, killing 14 and leaving their 6-month old daughter orphaned, and all Mary can say is….’

    Instead you should have read to the end of the link I gave.

    ‘That’s how we get to the point where the media invades the home of dead suspects in a shooting and shows the world their family’s personal information: without individualizing the attackers when their skin tone is insufficiently pale, they are seen as part of a monolithic mindless mass of danger, not as the just-as-disturbed and troubled people that their white, male counterparts are.

    We’re only three days into this story, so there will surely be more of these blatant incidents of media bias around the San Bernardino shootings. Whether or not they will reach the heights of MSNBC doxing family members of the shooter is unclear. What is clear is that now that the shooters have been thoroughly “othered” by the media and law enforcement due to their religious and ethnic backgrounds, the storyline will follow its predictable, dehumanizing narrative.’

  • lysias

    And who scheduled those exercises on 9/11? (911 is the phone number to call in an emergency in the U.S.)

    Interesting that Paris took place on Friday the 13th.

  • lysias

    The arch defender of Israel and hater of Islam on this site gleefully tells us about all the attacks blamed on Islamists, but at the same time he calls me anti-Western for pointing out the connection with Wahhabism and Salafism. Go figure.

  • Tony M

    “Interesting that Paris took place on Friday the 13th.”

    It’s not, really, and if you subscribe to occultist numerology, you’re lost, gone, utterly.

  • Tony M

    Unless you’re a mason they’re into all that lunatic stuff, and much much more, some even sillier, some regrettably far far less harmless.

  • lysias

    And so may the movers and shakers who give orders to the heads of the terrorist organizations. They’re big on psyops.

  • Resident Dissident

    “Unless you’re a mason they’re into all that lunatic stuff, and much much more, some even sillier, some regrettably far far less harmless.”

    Since you are talking in the present could you provide us with some evidence for masons having done something recently far far worse than killing 130 Parisians enjoying a Friday evening?

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