Media Issues

The German media and Julian Assange: Silence and slander

By Gregor Link and Johannes Stern, 13 August 2019

Over a week after a US federal court threw out a civil case brought by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) against Julian Assange, the German media has been dominated by an embarrassed silence.

Australian actor John Jarratt sues Daily Telegraph after jury throws out rape charge

By Richard Phillips, 13 August 2019

The jury of five men and seven women took just over 15 minutes to unanimously reject the #MeToo-inspired rape allegation against the veteran actor.

Persecuted Sri Lankan writer released on bail

By Vimukthi Vidarshana, 13 August 2019

Although Shakthika Sathkumara is out on bail, the threat to his freedom of expression and that of other artists remains.

The ABC documentary “Hero or Villain”: Undermining the defence of Julian Assange

By James Cogan, 12 August 2019

The program’s pernicious subtext was that Assange should be viewed as dubious, at best, and undeserving of sympathy, let alone active political support.

Canada’s Liberal government steps up internet censorship with creation of new media fund

By Penny Smith and Roger Jordan, 18 July 2019

Drawing on the language used by Google to justify its censorship, the Trudeau government plans to dispense $600 million to media outlets deemed to be producing “authoritative content.”

CNN peddles intelligence agencies’ lies against Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 17 July 2019

A recent CNN broadcast recycles the discredited claim that WikiLeaks was involved in a Russian conspiracy to deprive Hillary Clinton of the US presidency.

The Assange precedent: Journalists in Britain threatened with Official Secrets Act

By Robert Stevens and Laura Tiernan, 16 July 2019

What the Metropolitan Police proposed was the de facto criminalisation of journalism so that it could be bracketed within terrorist activity.

Australian government seeking to prosecute journalists over exposure of war crimes

By Oscar Grenfell, 16 July 2019

The federal police are investigating journalists over the 2017 publication of the “Afghan Files,” which revealed Australian military involvement in extrajudicial killings and other crimes.

Racialism and money-grubbing: The New York Times explains why “more critics of color” are needed

By David Walsh and Fred Mazelis, 9 July 2019

In the interests of honesty, “Race-fixated upper middle class continues its campaign for positions and money” ought to have been the headline of an opinion piece published by the New York Times July 5.

US Border Patrol agents joke about immigrant deaths in secret Facebook group with 9,500 members

By George Marlowe, 2 July 2019

A report by ProPublica revealed that Border Patrol agents used a secret Facebook group to make sadistic and violent jokes about immigrants as well as members of Congress.

Human rights imperialism, social media censorship and the fraud of Facebook’s “Oversight Board”

By Kevin Reed, 2 July 2019

Behind the recent report on the creation of an Oversight Board to oversee “content decisions” at Facebook is a plan for social media censorship in defense of the global capitalist system.

UN Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer exposes propaganda and censorship in Assange reporting

By Chris Marsden, 1 July 2019

Melzer was offered various reasons by newspaper editors for rejecting an op-ed on Assange: “Some of them said it wasn’t high enough on their news agenda, some of them said it wasn’t within their core area of interest.”

Terry Hicks, father of former Guantánamo Bay prisoner David Hicks, demands freedom for Assange and Manning

28 June 2019

“There’s only one word to describe the victimisation and persecution of Assange and Manning, and that word is barbaric.”

The Guardian’s direct collusion with media censorship by secret services exposed

By Thomas Scripps, 22 June 2019

The facts provide damning proof of the Guardian’s total integration into the propaganda wing of the Ministry of Defence following its involvement in the WikiLeaks and Snowden files releases.

Behind the cover-up of the 2008 Universal Music Group vault fire

By Kevin Reed, 17 June 2019

The recent exposure of Universal Music Group's concealment of the loss of a huge trove of postwar popular music reveals the corruption of the corporate elite, as well as the compliance of news media.

Russian journalist Ivan Golunov released after campaign against his arrest

By Clara Weiss, 12 June 2019

While supporting the US-led persecution of Julian Assange, Western media and politicians, as part of their campaign for regime change in Moscow, decried the arrest of Golunov.

Dr. King and Mr. Garrow

By Patrick Martin, 4 June 2019

The historian and King biographer David Garrow has unleashed a #MeToo-style slander campaign against the martyred civil rights leader.

Julian Assange and the degraded spectacle of Britain’s Guardian

By Robert Stevens, 30 May 2019

Under conditions in which the WikiLeaks journalist is facing life in prison or worse, the Guardian cannot bring itself to defend him.

French government threatens “national security” charges against journalists who revealed Yemen war arms sales

By Will Morrow, 30 May 2019

Macron’s actions are part of a drive by capitalist governments around the world to criminalize whistleblowing and destroy the freedom of the press.

New Zealand PM leads global Internet censorship campaign

By Tom Peters, 18 May 2019

New Zealand’s Labour Party-led government is heading international efforts to exploit the Christchurch terrorist attacks to ramp up restrictions on social media.

Media lies in service of war for regime change in Venezuela

By Bill Van Auken, 3 May 2019

As top Trump administration officials make increasingly explicit military threats, the corporate media acts as a propaganda service for imperialist intervention.

The sentencing of Julian Assange: A legal travesty

By Andre Damon, 2 May 2019

Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks publisher and journalist, was sentenced to almost a year in prison by a UK judge Wednesday, in what can only be called a show trial.

Chinese authorities arrest editors involved with workers’ protests

By Navin Dewage and Peter Symonds, 18 April 2019

Amid a slowing economy and growing signs of working class unrest, Beijing is using its police state apparatus to clamp down on opposition.

The media’s role in persecuting Julian Assange

By Andre Damon, 17 April 2019

The newspapers, the broadcast news, and, perhaps worst of all, the late-night talk shows have targeted crude insults against a persecuted man who cannot defend himself.

German media denounce Assange

By Peter Schwarz, 15 April 2019

Reading the comments of the German media on the arrest of Julian Assange, one can only conclude that democracy and press freedom in Germany are in a dire state.

Worldwide outrage over arrest of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange

By Niles Niemuth, 12 April 2019

After nearly seven years of confinement to the Ecuadorian embassy in London, Assange now faces the possibility of a year in a UK prison and extradition to the United States.

Amid corruption scandals and deals with IMF and Washington, Ecuador’s government betrays Assange

By Bill Van Auken, 12 April 2019

The handing over of Assange to his British and US persecutors is part of a sharp drive to the right by the corruption-stained government of Lenín Moreno.

Free Julian Assange!

By Statement of the World Socialist Web Site Editorial Board, 12 April 2019

The World Socialist Web Site emphatically condemns the forcible seizure and arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

The media and the Mueller report

By Barry Grey, 27 March 2019

The Mueller report is a political debacle for the Democratic Party, the New York Times and the bulk of the corporate media, which day after day pumped out unsubstantiated claims and outright lies.

New York Times lines up with anti-China hawks

By Nick Beams, 12 March 2019

The key US demand is that China must make “structural” changes to its economy, including abandoning state subsidies to major industries.

Australian media union complicit in the persecution of Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 27 February 2019

The MEAA claims to defend journalists, but only those who have not fallen afoul of the US and Australian governments and the major media conglomerates with which it collaborates.

US media passes over in silence Trump’s fascistic diatribe in Miami

By Bill Van Auken, 20 February 2019

To the extent that the corporate media reported the speech it was limited to foreign policy and electoral calculations, ignoring the echoes of 1930s fascism in Trump’s remarks.

Murdoch newspaper approves chief Nazi lawyer’s legal defence of dictatorship

By Richard Hoffman, 8 February 2019

Carl Schmitt was the Nazi crown jurist who prepared legal doctrines justifying the destruction of the Weimar Constitution and the establishment of the Hitler dictatorship.

The Australian newspaper targets Chinese university students

By John Harris, 21 January 2019

The article implied that the victory of a Chinese-born student in a university election expressed the dangers of “Chinese interference” at Australian campuses.

US-born anchor for Iranian TV jailed without charges

By Bill Van Auken, 18 January 2019

The police state style abduction and imprisonment of Marzieh Hashemi is part of Washington’s wider preparations for war against Iran.

German political parties and media express solidarity with far-right AfD

By Ulrich Rippert and Johannes Stern, 14 January 2019

The Magnitz case reveals the extent to which the AfD has been integrated into official politics.

Corporate media smears WikiLeaks and Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 11 January 2019

A host of articles attacking Julian Assange this week are representative of what the world-renowned investigative journalist John Pilger aptly described as “Vichy journalism.”

German media demand accelerated rearmament

By Peter Schwarz, 7 January 2019

Editorials in leading German publications are marked by a mixture of fear and aggression as the new year begins.

Der Spiegel’s counterfeit journalism and the campaign against “fake news”

By Peter Schwarz, 31 December 2018

The unmasking of a counterfeiter in the editorial offices of the German newsweekly Der Spiegel has exposed the manipulation of public opinion by the so-called authoritative media.

Germany’s Der Spiegel spreads fake news

By Peter Schwarz, 27 December 2018

Der Spiegel has responded to the revelation that it spread invented "news" with an admission of guilt, self-pity and attempts to shift the blame.

Mary Queen of Scots and The Favourite: The unimpressive recent results of “women in film”

By Joanne Laurier, 24 December 2018

Mary Queen of Scots and The Favourite belong to this year’s flood of “women” films. Many others have already disappeared without a trace.

CNN fires contributor accused of “anti-Semitism” for defending Palestinian rights

By Kayla Costa, 1 December 2018

While CNN has not provided a full explanation, the firing of Marc Lamont Hill came one day after he made public statements critical of Israeli policy against Palestinians.

After police raids on LFI, French courts and media denounce Mélenchon

By Alex Lantier, 18 October 2018

The official reaction to the police raids on Mélenchon’s LFI movement shows that a police state exists and is rapidly consolidating itself in France.

A reply to French daily Libération

Is the WSWS exaggerating the threat of war?

By Alex Lantier, 17 October 2018

While admitting the WSWS accurately reports US military measures aimed at Russia and China, Libération claims that we are overstating US preparations for “total war.”

Rupert Murdoch accused of insisting on Australian prime minister’s removal

By Mike Head, 22 September 2018

Behind the façade of elections, the reality is that powerful figures in the corporate ruling class make or break governments.

UK: Corbyn’s media policies leave corporate domination unchanged, silent on censorship

By Joe Mount and Julie Hyland, 20 September 2018

There was not a single proposal by the Labour Party leader challenging the corporate oligarchy’s domination of the media.

Economist magazine calls for soldier MPs to lead UK

By Julie Hyland, 18 September 2018

The Bagehot column celebrates that the tradition of soldier-statesman is “now being renewed, after a succession of wars in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Ronan Farrow’s #MeToo campaign brings down Leslie Moonves at CBS

By Fred Mazelis, 13 September 2018

The ousting of Moonves is part of an ongoing struggle for power and wealth within the media and entertainment industries.

New York Times covers up Google’s censorship

By Andre Damon, 7 September 2018

The Times’ report on allegations that Google is censoring the Internet is a white-wash, echoing the company’s self-serving denials without any serious examination of the facts.

The “unmaking” of #MeToo’s Asia Argento

By David Walsh, 22 August 2018

The latest episode in the #MeToo drama unfolded earlier this week following the revelation that actress Asia Argento, one of the alleged victims of producer Harvey Weinstein, purportedly paid off a young man who accused her of sexual abuse.

German Left Party leaders launch right-wing coalition

By Ulrich Rippert, 11 August 2018

The #StandUp coalition combines anti-corporate demagogy with nationalist and xenophobic positions pioneered by the extreme right.

The New York Times defends Sarah Jeong after racist tweets come to light

By Hiram Lee, 8 August 2018

After a series of anti-white tweets by reporter Sarah Jeong emerged online, the New York Times and the pseudo-left came to her defense.

Australia: Nine-Fairfax Media merger threatens jobs

By Oscar Grenfell, 3 August 2018

The deal marks a new stage in a protracted restructuring of corporate media organisations, dictated by the financial elite.

Under massive pressure, Trump backpedals on Russia “meddling”

By Andre Damon, 18 July 2018

This entire sordid episode demonstrates the degree to which the intelligence apparatus, with its single-minded pursuit of military conflict with Russia, holds sway over the American state, media and political establishment.

The Guardian’s Marina Hyde accuses actress Susan Sarandon of being Trump’s “asset”

By David Walsh, 10 July 2018

Sarandon’s great crime? Failing to endorse Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election and instead calling for a vote for Jill Stein of the Green Party.

Sex and the New York Times: When “Her Too” isn’t “Me Too”

By David Walsh, 27 June 2018

The New York Times discovers nuance in sexual behavior when it involves a reporter and a valuable source.

The foul role of Spiked in the demonization of Julian Assange

By Thomas Scripps, 23 June 2018

Spiked has echoed the propaganda of the British government and a compliant media in demanding the prosecution of WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange.

Political cartoonist fired by right-wing Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editors over anti-Trump cartoons

By Kayla Costa, 16 June 2018

After rejecting nineteen of his cartoons since March, the newspaper’s editors fired Rob Rogers for not complying with their efforts to shift content to the right.

The Guardian mounts defence of British government lies over Skripals

By Jean Shaoul, 12 June 2018

The Guardian is acutely aware of the widespread and entirely healthy scepticism towards anything the government says on the Skripal case.

Anti-“fake news” bill gives French state unchecked Internet censorship powers

By Alex Lantier, 8 June 2018

Judges will be allowed to force service providers to take down material posted on the Internet simply by asserting that they believe it to be “fake news.”

“Government propaganda and the war on terror from 9/11 to Syria”

Journalists and academics expose UK’s criminal actions in the Middle East

By Julie Hyland, 31 May 2018

Despite media smears and government censorship, Media on Trial held an important and successful event exposing the connection between press propaganda and government warmongering.

Sunday Times Rich List: Wealth of Britain’s richest grew 10 percent

By Simon Whelan, 22 May 2018

In the same year that 72 people were killed in London’s Grenfell Tower inferno due to cost-cutting, the city’s wealthiest residents became even richer.

Two Britains: The Grenfell inquiry and the royal wedding

By Thomas Scripps, 22 May 2018

Not a single national newspaper deemed the opening of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry worthy of a position on their front page. Instead, they continued to obsess over the minutiae of the weekend’s royal wedding.

Sunday Times Insight team: Propagandists for Internet censorship and war

By Steve James and Laura Tiernan, 7 May 2018

The Sunday Times feature, published April 29, purports to show that Russian Twitter bots tried to “swing” the 2017 general election for Jeremy Corbyn.

US election meddling in the age of the Internet

How Google, Facebook and Twitter are manipulating the Mexican presidential elections—Part 1

By Alex González and Andrea Lobo, 28 April 2018

The United States is now engaged in advanced efforts to exploit data on every voter in the country, as well as user data from Google and the social media companies, to influence the elections of its southern neighbor.

Germany: Why is the taz newspaper defending the far-right ideologue Baberowski?

By Christoph Vandreier, 27 March 2018

The veteran journalist Edith Kresta has spoken out again “moral sectarianism” in relation to far-right positions and against the stigmatization of xenophobic prejudices.

Geoffrey Rush lawsuit strikes blow against anti-democratic #MeToo campaign

By Richard Phillips and James Cogan, 22 March 2018

A judge ruled that the Murdoch media could not substantiate the allegations of sexual misconduct it made against acclaimed Australian actor Geoffrey Rush.

“A Weinsteinian sex pest”?

In defence of poet Robert Burns: “Ye know, and dare maintain, the Royalty of Man”

By Paul Bond, 15 March 2018

The ahistorical middle-class moralizing of the sexual misconduct campaign has perhaps reached a new low with an attack on the great Scots poet Robert Burns (1759-1796).

An Open letter from the International Youth and Students for Social Equality to the editors of German daily Tageszeitung

12 March 2018

The following letter was sent by the IYSSE to the editors of the German daily Tageszeitung, after it published a defence of right-wing extremist professor Jörg Baberowski and defamed his critics.

The Oscar speech we’d like to hear Sunday night: “Members of the Academy, what hypocrites and conformists so many of you are!”

By David Walsh, 3 March 2018

The 90th Academy Awards ceremony, ostensibly honoring the best films and performances of 2017, will be held Sunday evening at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

Ex-CIA head John Brennan hired as news analyst by NBC

By Julian James, 28 February 2018

Brennan is implicated in some of the most criminal policies enacted under the Bush and Obama administrations, including the CIA torture program and the drone assassination program.

BBC gender pay row: Selective outrage of wealthy women

By Laura Tiernan, 22 February 2018

The privileged advocates of identity politics at the BBC are not remotely interested in the problems faced by most women in the workforce.

The New York Times and the strange case of Quinn Norton

By Will Morrow, 22 February 2018

The hiring and firing of the little-known blogger reveals certain realities about the Times editorial page.

The suicide of Jill Messick: #MeToo campaign claims a victim

By David Walsh, 10 February 2018

Messick was the manager of actress Rose McGowan at the time of an incident involving producer Harvey Weinstein in January 1997 at the Sundance Film Festival, during which McGowan alleges a sexual assault occurred.

A conversation with film historian Max Alvarez: How the #MeToo campaign echoes the McCarthyite witch hunt of the 1940s and 1950s

“The climate is chillingly similar in terms of the massive capitulation and conformity”

By David Walsh, 8 February 2018

It is “Scoundrel Time” again in Hollywood, complete with denunciations, anonymous informants, humiliating “confessions,” trial by media and the banning of prominent performers.

US Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg endorses #MeToo

By Ed Hightower and Tom Carter, 1 February 2018

As a sitting Supreme Court justice, Ginsburg's comments granted a quasi-official sanction to the lynch mob atmosphere surrounding the campaign.

Opposition mounts to sexual harassment witch-hunt

By Joseph Kishore, 16 December 2017

With the initial shock of the campaign beginning to wane, opposition is emerging from some of those targeted, including PBS personality Tavis Smiley.

Australian actor Geoffrey Rush fights back, suing Daily Telegraph for defamation

By Richard Phillips and Linda Tenenbaum, 9 December 2017

Many in the industry are deeply opposed to this new McCarthyism and they are starting to speak out.

Former UK minister indicates Brexit referendum “deal” between Rupert Murdoch and David Cameron

By Julie Hyland, 7 December 2017

According to Ken Clarke, Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of Murdoch’s British arm, News International, said she was “running the government now in partnership with David Cameron.”

Acclaimed Australian actor Geoffrey Rush becomes the latest witch-hunt victim

By James Cogan, 2 December 2017

The Murdoch media is circulating unsubstantiated allegations, made by an unidentified individual, in an attempt to destroy Rush’s career.

The Guardian’s George Monbiot joins “fake news” campaign

By Jean Shaoul, 22 November 2017

For the Guardian’s George Monbiot to portray the entirely valid criticisms of the official line on the Khan Sheikhoun attack in Syria as fuelling far-right conspiracy theories is politically criminal.

Google announces moves to censor RT and Sputnik

By Trévon Austin, 21 November 2017

Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google’s parent company Alphabet, announced that Google will create algorithms designed to “de-rank” web sites such as RT and Sputnik.

Australia: Glencore steps up provocations against locked-out miners

By Terry Cook, 20 October 2017

The giant company is seeking to force through an enterprise agreement that slashes pay and working conditions.

GM Canada strike in danger

Why is Unifor trying to gag CAMI strikers?

By Carl Bronski and Jerry White, 22 September 2017

Officials from the Unifor union said Wednesday that they have offered an “olive branch” to GM to end the strike.

Channel Four News anchor Jon Snow: From mea culpas over Grenfell Tower to demands for censorship

By Chris Marsden, 1 September 2017

Snow’s proposals to “democratise” the media repeated official complaints about “fake news” used by Google to blacklist the WSWS and other sites.

Der Spiegel calls for a strongman in Germany

By Wolfgang Weber, 14 August 2017

An entire edition of the leading news magazine is devoted to discussing how a Trump-style leader could be just what the German ruling class needs.

The Guardian’s Owen Jones: A political health warning

By Julie Hyland, 17 June 2017

Guardian journalist Owen Jones, who spent much of the last year preparing for yet another leadership challenge against Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn, is now singing another tune.

Australian establishment falls into line with anti-China allegations

By James Cogan, 7 June 2017

Fears about growing anti-war sentiment motivate efforts to develop suspicion and hostility towards China.

After Australian journalists’ strike

The political issues facing Fairfax workers

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 11 May 2017

The end of the week-long strike and the commitment of the media union to resume back-room negotiations for the destruction of jobs, poses major political issues before Fairfax workers.

Federal agency to investigate talk show host Stephen Colbert over anti-Trump joke

By David Walsh, 8 May 2017

Colbert’s monologue on May 1 was bankrupt and did not offer a trace of insight, comic or otherwise, into the predicament the American population faces under a Trump administration.

Behind the Sun’s diatribe against footballer Ross Barkley

By Tony Robson, 18 April 2017

In the furore surrounding the filthy column by Kelvin MacKenzie, little has been said about the attack on working class men in Liverpool that constitutes the main thrust of his column.

Britain’s Guardian cynically poses as opponent of war in Syria

By Chris Marsden, 14 April 2017

The Guardian is arguing for continued pressure to be placed on Trump in order to extract the necessary quid pro quo from Washington in return for British and European support for the US war drive in Syria.

US claims of Syria nerve gas attack: The anatomy of a lie

By Patrick Martin, 13 April 2017

All available evidence suggests that the tragedy in Khan Sheikhoun is a deliberate provocation organized by the American CIA and its clients among the Syrian “rebels.”

Der Spiegel columnist adopts slogans of the far right

By Ulrich Rippert, 13 April 2017

Jakob Augstein, son of the founder of Der Spiegel and publisher of the weekly newspaper Freitag, has adopted positions associated with the far right: identity and homeland.

Behind the Guardian’s “Laundromat” money laundering exposure

By Jean Shaoul, 3 April 2017

Last week, the Guardian newspaper carried a feature story claiming to expose a “vast money-laundering operation run by Russian criminals with links to the Russian government and the KGB.”

The WikiLeaks revelations and the crimes of US imperialism

By Andre Damon, 9 March 2017

The WikiLeaks documents expose the US as the greatest “rogue state,” carrying out spying, hacking, exploitation and disinformation operations all over the world in order to further the interests of the US ruling elite.

Columnist Myles E. Johnson on Beyoncé at the Grammys

The New York Times opens its pages to frenzied racialism

By David Walsh, 16 February 2017

The February 14 op-ed piece in the Times by Myles E. Johnson (“What Beyoncé Won Was Bigger Than a Grammy”) is an especially repugnant example of racialism.

The Guardian uses anti-Russian hacking claims to proselytise for CIA and war

By Julie Hyland, 13 January 2017

The Guardian demands that readers abandon their critical faculties—or what the newspaper would undoubtedly deem their “illegitimate scepticism”—to line up behind the war aims of the CIA and the Democratic Party.

German government plans propaganda agency in response to “fake news”

By Marianne Arens and Peter Schwarz, 9 January 2017

The campaign against “fake news” on the Internet is being used as a pretext for state censorship and the establishment of a propaganda agency.

The media campaign on Russian hacking and the US debacle in Syria

By Andre Damon, 9 January 2017

Despite the absence of any factual evidence in the report released last week by US intelligence agencies on alleged Russian hacking, the media campaign for war shows no signs of abating.