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Ed Webb

'Lone wolf' or 'terrorist'? How bias can shape news coverage | Poynter - 0 views

  • take a moment to remember U.S. history (or even a few seconds to do an internet search) and it’s easy to find many examples of far deadlier shootings. It’s a sad reality that most victims of the worst massacres that don’t rate a mention were people of color: Native Americans and African-Americans
  • there have been much worse atrocities and mass shootings committed against Native peoples going back to the beginnings of our country’s history
  • The unwelcome title of largest massacre might belong to Bear River, Utah, where at least 250 Native Americans were slaughtered in 1863; Native American historical accounts put the number at more than 450. In 1890, Native American men, women and children were massacred at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, with estimates of the death toll ranging from 150 to 300.
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  • Just 100 years ago this June, armed whites rampaged through East St. Louis, slaughtering more than 100 African-Americans. In Tulsa in 1921, white mobs attacked a wealthy black neighborhood, killing as many as 300 people and leaving 8,000 homeless in what was wrongly labeled a “race riot” and left out of history texts until recently.
  • after mass attacks perpetrated by brown Muslim assailants, such as the Orlando Pulse massacre or the San Bernardino, California, killings, the media, authorities and politicians were quick to label them “terrorism” even before we had full information
  • Just because someone’s angry or even mentally ill doesn’t mean their actions aren’t those of a domestic terrorist (see U.S. Code definition above). As Joshua Keating points out in Slate, being distraught and a terrorist are “not mutually exclusive.” A 2013 study of violence by far-right extremists in America in Criminology and Public Policy found 40 percent of “lone wolf” domestic terrorists had a history of mental illness
  • Fox News dubiously described the shooter’s father’s life as “colorful,” as if it were entertaining that the man’s father robbed a string of banks, was sentenced to 20 years in prison, and busted out of a federal penitentiary. Can you imagine a black, Muslim or Latino’s long criminal record being described in the same way?
  • Underlying this bias is the implication that Muslims or brown immigrants are more dangerous to Americans’ safety than white attackers. That is provably false, based on government statistics – yet it was the central narrative of President Trump’s campaign
  • according to an analysis by the Cato Institute’s Alex Nowrasteh of fatal terrorism on U.S. soil from 1975 through 2015 – including the staggeringly high toll of the 9/11 attacks – the chances of an American being killed in a terror attack on U.S. soil by a foreigner was a miniscule 1 in 3.6 million per year. The chances of being killed by an illegal immigrant in the same 41-year period was an infinitesimal 1 in 10.9 billion per year.
Ed Webb

Saudi filmmakers build audiences without cinemas - The Washington Post - 0 views

  • By using the internet to show films, Telfaz11 and other Saudi production houses have managed to circumvent traditional distribution channels and make do without cinemas. Even so, Saudi filmmakers have to contend with how to tell their stories within the bounds of the kingdom’s ultraconservative mores and its limits on free speech.
  • The emergence of a Saudi film scene is happening as the kingdom begins to loosen the reins on fun and entertainment after nearly two decades without cinemas or concerts.
  • The government has also backed a Saudi film festival that’s taken place for the past few years in the eastern city of Dhahran. This year, some 60 Saudi films were screened.
Ed Webb

Egyptian intelligence services extend control over media | RSF - 0 views

  • Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is worried about the way Egyptian media outlets are being taken over by businessmen linked to the government and intelligence services. The regime’s domination of the media continues to grow and is even affecting pro-government media.
  • Al Hayat was quietly taken over at the end of August.


    The new owner’s identity has not yet been officially announced but several Egyptian media outlets have reported that it was acquired by Falcon, a successful Egyptian security company whose CEO is a former senior military intelligence officer and a former head of the radio and TV regulatory agency.

  • the financial pressure came shortly after Al Wafd’s representatives in parliament expressed their opposition to the government’s controversial plan to hand over two strategic islands, Tiran and Sanafir, to Saudi Arabia
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  • A former military intelligence officer, who was also an armed forces spokesman, took charge of Al Asema TV in January.
  • ONTV, a popular TV channel that supported the government while occasionally broadcasting critical comments, was taken over in May 2016 by Ahmed Abu Hashima, a powerful multi-millionaire steel magnate said to be close to military intelligence and to President Abdel- Fattah al-Sisi.

    A month after the acquisition, the authorities expelled Liliane Daoud, a well-known ONTV programme presenter with a reputation for journalistic integrity. She was deportable because she has British and Lebanese dual nationality.

  • Hashima bought two other TV channels, Al Nahar and CBC, and four newspapers, Sout Al Omma, Ain, Dot Masr and Al Youm al Sabea, in 2016.
  • the editor had told that that “President Sisi is the newspaper’s new owner” and that it could therefore not continue to employ critical journalists
  • the government’s influence over the broadcast media landscape was also significantly enhanced in 2016 by the creation of a DMC, a major new TV network with a range of news, sports and entertainment channels.

    Dubbed “the mouthpiece of the intelligence services” by some journalists and launched with a patriotic anthem and Koranic chants, DMC gets permission to film where other privately-owned TV channels are denied access. It is also known to broadcast interviews that are presented as exclusives but just reiterate the regime’s pro-security, anti-Muslim Brotherhood dogma

Ed Webb

Prison for dabbing: Saudi entertainer locked up for 'inciting drug abuse' | Middle East... - 0 views

  • The move is officially banned by the Saudi Interior Ministry’s National Drug Control Commission, which consider the move to be a reference to cannabis consumption.
  • “the move is a well-known move…known to represent smoking hashish which leads to addiction.”

    He added that there was “no doubt” that anyone taking part in the move would be subject to questioning and punishment.

    The move could warrant a prison sentence, a fine or both.

Ed Webb

Qatar's Gulf Allies Have Had Enough of Doha's Broken Promises - 0 views

  • Citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states woke up on Monday morning to what is the most severe crisis in the regional block’s 38 year history to date. In a closely coordinated series of statements, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE, along with Egypt, announced the severing of ties with the peninsular state of Qatar.
  • In what may be the most debilitating move, Qatar’s border with Saudi Arabia—which is its only land border —has been shut and all flights over Saudi and UAE airspace has been closed off to Qatar bound flights and Qatar Airways. Qatari citizens have been given two weeks to leave Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE and all travel by these countries citizens to Qatar is now prohibited.
  • It is likely that this time the Gulf States will demand the complete shuttering of the Al Jazeera TV Network before any mediation can take place. Additionally, the plug will have to be pulled on networks funded by Qatar such as Al Araby Al Jadeed (The New Arab), originally set up to compete with Al Jazeera and headed by former Arab Israeli politician Azmi Bishara.
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  • Other Qatar backed networks that were accused of incitement on official Gulf TV channels include Al Quds Al Arabi (Arab Jerusalem) newspaper which was founded in London in 1989, online Arabic news portal Arabi 21, the London based website Middle East Eye, the Arabic version of Huffington Post which is headed by former Al Jazeera boss Waddah Khanfar and Al Khaleej Al Jadeed (the New Gulf).
  • will also demand the expulsion of all Muslim Brotherhood leaders and their Hamas affiliate figures from Qatar, along with Azmi Bishara and Islamist writer Yasser Al-Za'atra. Other demands will include the sacking of Al Arab newspaper editor Abdullah Al Athba
  • It seems though the initial pressure has already somewhat worked on Qatar. Last week Doha deported Saudi activist Mohammed Al-Otaibi who arrived in Qatar in March, while a number of Hamas officials have left Qatar at the country’s request.
  • Qatar imports over 90 percent of its food, and by one estimate about 40 percent of that comes from the its only land border, which is now closed. Within hours photos started circulating on social media of Qatari supermarket aisles that have been emptied by panicked shoppers. Furthermore Gulf media has hinted at an escalation of the dispute with Qatari commercial and trade ties being severed next.

Ed Webb

Omani authorities block access to online magazine "Mowatin" - IFEX - 0 views

  • Launched in June 2013, Mowatin is an independent Omani magazine that covers a variety of topics in Oman and the Arabian Gulf including politics, human rights and the economy. In January 2016, the magazine announced a suspension of its activities due to "circumstances beyond its control", in particular its desire to "guarantee the safety" of its journalists and writers. The magazine's journalists were subjected to pressures and harassment from Omani authorities, in particular the Internal Security Services (ISS), the country's national security intelligence agency.

    In a video published on 25 April, the magazine announced that it would resume publishing from London, on 3 May on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day. However, hours after resuming publication, the magazine and human rights groups reported that the website was blocked inside Oman.
Ed Webb

How to survive gaslighting: when manipulation erases your reality | Science | The Guardian - 0 views

  • What’s happening on a national level is activating and retraumatizing a lot of people who have been gaslighted in the past. The crazy-making, mind-bending, massive confusion-inducing effects of our current administration’s recklessness with the truth and disregard for verifiable facts is creating an emotional and psychological whiplash. It’s affecting people who have been subjected to abusive relationships; people who feel emotionally vulnerable and it seems to stoke a nearly unprecedented rage in those of us who can see it and feel powerless to do anything to combat it. When people in the mainstream media are being discredited, how exactly are you supposed to call this out?
  • Being defiant does not make you difficult. It makes you resilient.
  • the person gaslighting will never be able to respond to logic and reason – and so you have to be the one to recognize that logic and reason can’t be applied.
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  • things will never make sense
  • Detaching from the gaslighting does not mean total detachment. It means distinguishing between the world of the gaslighter and the real world.

  • often people are willing to give up their reality in favor of hanging on to a relationship rather than rupturing it
  • write down what actually happened
  • having to verify reality is in itself destabilizing
Ed Webb

I Went To Turkey To Interview The President And (Almost) All I Got Was A Meeting With A... - 0 views

  • Erdogan rarely makes himself available to the media — especially for foreign reporters who are freer than Turkish journalists to criticize his government. So when Adam Sharon, a Washington-based public relations executive, contacted me and several other reporters last month and offered interviews with Erdogan and other top Turkish officials, it held out a chance, however remote, for American reporters to assess face-to-face whether top Turkish officials had any evidence for their claims about Gulen.

    If the goal of the trip was to convince reporters that the Turkish government’s case against Gulen was based on facts, rather than innuendo and conspiracy theories, it backfired spectacularly.

  • Gokcek said he gets his information from the Internet. “I have the largest intelligence service in the world: Google,” the mayor said. “You can find anything in Google. In Turkey, I am the person who uses Google the best way … I would like to thank Google.”
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