Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The US media has been keen to point out that Mugabe (the UK's #1 bogeyman) and Ahmadinejad (the US's #1 bogeyman) will be a huge distraction from what should really be the focus at the the UN Food Summit in Rome.

Of course, by harping on this during the news broadcasts and various programs (NPR I'm talking to you) the news media are the very ones deliberately creating this distraction and it is they rather than Mugabe or Ahmadinejad who are to be rightfully blamed for deflecting attention from the issues at hand.

While we are on the topic of unwelcome attendees of the event, US State funded Radio Farda reporter was apparently denied entry into the UN Food Summit in Rome yesterday.

Of course, the one and only available source about the incident is Radio Farda's parent organization Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

Someone influential from the US government must have complained, so the decision has since been revoked. It was fun while it lasted though, listening to Rafat and RFE/RL President Jeffrey Gedmin fuming about the incident and posturing about "independent" journalism.

If you don't know Rafat, you may have heard of his Italian "news" agency Adnkronos International, which is a regular source for misinformation and propaganda.

Whatever the details may be, the folks at the UN were probably justified in barring Rafat. A good friend of mine at an internationally respected organization has a policy of refusing to speak to certain self-proclaimed journalists or news organizations. He once flat out told Eli Lake of the tabloid NY Sun that he only gives interviews to "real papers."