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Lizzie Phelan on Press TV: Western Media are Manipulating the Syrian Crisis
Press TV: Let's focus on the coverage of the unrest in Syria by the mainstream particularly the alleged Syrian president's emails and the CNN report that a Syrian journalist working for Press TV and al-Alam in Damascus giving advice to President Assad on how to deal with the unrest. Mr. Assad should have many advisors and other heads of state to do that. As a journalist, you've been to Syria - What do you think of this specific report by CNN?Phelan: I have been to Syria and I've had the honor of meeting Mr. Murtada and I can assure that he is a man of utmost integrity and honesty and so my immediate reaction would be that a gentleman like Mr. Murtada has far more credibility than news organizations such as CNN who have proven to have a vested interest in undermining anybody who is associated with channels like Press TV or al-Alam who have been far more objective in their coverage of events.This is the typical kind of tactics of the aggressive Western media of trying to drag anyone's name through the mud who doesn't support their narrative. And so really this is nothing surprising from CNN.Press TV: It seems like the media are really going out on a limb in terms of portraying at least in a negative light their credibility. Let us look at Reuters, if you remember, when Homs was recaptured by the Syrian army; they reported that it was under, as they said "the bombardments by the Syrian army for 26 days."Doesn't that contradict earlier reports? And I'm sure you are aware of this particular piece that I'm talking about - that they have said for months the army had bombarded Homs.There's a lot of distortion going on, is my point, on how the media, newswires are reporting in Syria not to mention the numerous resignations that occurred this past week from Al Jazeera journalists to one of their bureau chiefs.Phelan: Yes, I mean this is absolutely a media war that is taking place against Syria and I've said before that if it wasn't for the media's role in manipulating events, fabricating events and just turning out pure war propaganda then this crisis would have been over effectively before it would have started and you're absolutely right.I was surprised actually that Reuters and other media outlets like the New York Times and others shamelessly put out reports that there had been a siege of Homs supposedly that had been occurring for approximately a month when as you rightly say since the beginning of the crisis we have been pretty much hearing that Homs has been under siege all of that time.So it was effectively an admission, but of course they'd never come out and hold their hands up and say oh well actually we were lying because of course they can never do that outright.And it takes, for somebody who has been following the events very closely actually, to pick up on those manipulations and to expose them. We have seen this time and time again through the media Syrian privately-owned channel, Addounia did an expose not so long ago showing just how manipulated and fabricated many of the stories that were coming out of Al Jazeera and CNN were.And of course the mainstream media always tries to cover its back when it makes reports about Syria by saying that its reports come from unverified sources and it slips that in at the end, which of course after they've talked about killing and massacres, you know, people have been so bombarded that they tend to kind of not hear that it comes from unverified sources at the end.But really, this shows the desperation - these fabrications and manipulations and attempts to undermine the truth - shows the desperation of the media because really the things aren't going how they expected them to go...Homs has been re-secured by the Syrian government; Idlib has been re-secured by the Syrian government. The Syrian government predicts that hopefully it will be able to win militarily in all the major cities in Syria within the next month and it looks well on track to do so.The economy is also picking up a little bit - the Syrian pound is doing much better against the dollar than it was last week. The Syrian opposition is falling apart as your report rightly said leading for the French foreign minister to beg for the Syrian opposition to get its act together.And meanwhile just yesterday millions of people came out in the streets in support of their government in another show. You know, Kofi Annan said it has to be up to the Syrian people. Well, the Syrian speak time and time again.They spoke when they voted in the referendum with an overwhelming Yes, effectively; they spoke when they came out into the streets in January in their hundreds of thousands; they came spoke when they came out in their millions yesterday; and they will speak again on May 7th when they vote in democratic elections.
Syria, Media, Al, Alam, Hossein, Mortada, Press, TV, Kofi, Anan, UN, terrorists, war, imperialism