• Latest News
  • Pitch a Story
  • Work with a Journalist
  • Join the Blog Squad
  • Afghanistan
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Baltimore
  • Canada
  • Egypt
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • Russia
  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Health Care
  • Military
  • Occupy
  • Organize This
  • Reality Asserts Itself
  • US Politics
  • The Real News featured on PBS Foreign Exchange

    Paul Jay, CEO of The Real News Network, is interviewed by Daljit Dhaliwal, host of PBS Foreign Exchange -   August 10, 2008
    Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here

    Related Story

    See the patterns

    Share to Facebook Share to Twitter

    I support The Real News Network because it lets viewers voice their uncensored opinions. - David Pear
    Log in and tell us why you support TRNN


    Paul Jay, is CEO and Senior Editor of The Real News Network. Prior to TRNN, Jay was for ten seasons the creator and Executive Producer of CBC Newsworld's flagship debate programs, counterSpin and FaceOff.

    Jay has produced and directed more than 20 major documentary films including "Return to Kandahar", "Lost in Las Vegas" and "Hitman Hart: wrestling with shadows", a feature length documentary, that was screened in 25 major festivals and won more than a dozen awards. It's been called "one of the most acclaimed Canadian films in years"(eye magazine), "A tale as bizarre as Kafka and as tragic as Shakespeare" (Ottawa Citizen) and "one of the best films of 1998"(Peter Plagens, art critic for Newsweek).

    A past chair of the Documentary Organization of Canada, Jay is the founding chair of Hot Docs!, the Canadian international documentary film festival.


    The Real News featured on PBS Foreign ExchangeVOICEOVER: And now Daljit Dhaliwal.

    DALJIT DHALIWAL, PBS FOREIGN EXCHANGE: Paul Jay is a Canadian journalist and filmmaker who combined that experience to build an intrepid television network called Independent World Television. The result is an online network called The Real News. It makes a point of steering clear of government and corporate funding. Paul joins us to talk about why and how it started and his ambitious plans to dominate the international news market. Paul, welcome to Foreign Exchange.

    PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR: Thank you. Dominate? Maybe in 25 years.

    DHALIWAL: Okay, well, so long as you've got the long-term plan here. So what—.

    JAY: Sorry. From the beginning it's been go big or go home. So we have a few years. But we do want to go big.

    DHALIWAL: Right. So what prompted you to start The Real News Network? And I'm kind of curious about the term "real news network." I mean, what's wrong with the news that we have?

    JAY: Well, the reason I started the network was because I didn't think we were getting news about actuality and fact-based news. It comes primarily out of my experience of running the main debate show on television, on CBC, in Canada. In the lead-up during the Iraq War, it was rather obvious that most of the television news in the United States, but also in much of the rest of the world, had become kind of a echo chamber for propaganda. And the facts on the ground were pretty clear. Even the day Colin Powell spoke at the UN, one could have done the reporting then that what he said wasn't true. It led us into a war. And the same thing is happening again now. So I gave up being one of the more successful independent producers in Canada. I'd had a daily television show. I produced 30 long-form documentary films; the last film I shot in Afghanistan. I started the Hot Docs television film festival in Toronto, which is now the largest documentary festival in North America. But from a very personal point of view, I think we're heading towards kind of a perfect storm. If one looks at the growing tensions with Iran, and the possibility of an attack on Iran, the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan, this economic crisis that could be far more severe than what we're feeling (I think the effects of it are being mitigated until the election), and climate change, I just couldn't see living a normal life after that. And I'm certainly not living a normal life.

    DHALIWAL: Right. So let's go back to 9/11 and pre-war Iraq coverage. Where do you think the media fell down? I mean, you've talked about that time when Colin Powell was at the United Nations and delivering his speech. When did it start to go wrong?

    JAY: Well, it's always been wrong, to start with. If you read Edward R. Murrow's speech that was played at the beginning of the film Good Night, and Good Luck, his condemnation of American television news 30 years ago was rather vigorous. I don't think television news has gotten it mostly right almost from its inception, because TV news from its inception was more or less part of a for-profit operation. But the news operation used to be a little protected under CBS, and over the years it's become more and more of a profit center. So it's been a gradual transition to a news operation that's as much about the bottom line of corporate news as the entertainment department is. But more so, since 9/11, the patriotic fervor, which was somewhat reminiscent of McCarthyism, was so profound in American newsrooms that you had someone like Dan Rather say that if you were to criticize the White House during post-9/11, you would have been accused—it would have been like being a traitor in South Africa, a South African township, and the quote is, "and having a flaming tire of patriotism put around your neck." Now, Rather said that to the BBC. Unfortunately, he didn't say it very loudly here.

    DHALIWAL: Let's talk about your plans to cover international news in a way that perhaps you feel that it isn't being covered currently. I mean, I'm assuming that you feel that we're all doing a bad job of covering [crosstalk]

    JAY: Well, I do say corporate news, and I think PBS is a much bigger conversation. The economic model does not lend itself to questioning assumptions. And if you watch television news, there's a limit with which they will ask questions or pursue a story. And the limit's primarily defined by the leadership of the two parties. They will critique the Republicans the way the leadership of the Democratic Party critiques, or they'll go after a story, vice versa, the way the leadership of the Republican Party goes.

    DHALIWAL: So you're saying that the politicians are setting the news agenda, and the newsrooms are following that news agenda without are critiquing anything that they say, that they're just sort of passively taking this information aboard?

    JAY: No, no. I would say they critique it, but within the narrow limits of the debate established by what you could call the official debate. Like, right now, if you take this statement that General Clark made about McCain's war record and dropping bombs from an airplane doesn't make him eligible to be president, this is not such a big story at a time when the United States and Iran are playing chicken. Seymour Hersh has an article that comes out that says there are secret operations going on in Iran, and other news, other verifiable sources, about these operations.

    DHALIWAL: Well, let's take that story, for instance, Iran, that speculation, as you say, in the media, that Iran may be attacked either by Israel or by the United States. How would you be covering that story in a way that's different to how it's currently being covered, just with speculation in the press?

    JAY: Yeah. Well, I would say, to start with, we wouldn't allow the National Intelligence Estimate to disappear into the annals of amnesia. American intelligence agencies said very clearly that the nuclear weapons program, if there was one, ended in 2003. They didn't think there was one now. And even if there was some ability of the enrichment-of-uranium process to be weaponized is probably as much as 10 years off. This current administration is pretending like the NIE never happened. The intelligence coming out of Israel has been trying to spin a kind of dismissal of it. But this was the view of the American intelligence community. What's proceeding in all the dialog about Iran is as if it never happened, the NIE report. So, to start with, we would keep reminding people, hang on here, there is no evidence, as Senator McCain and Joe Lieberman are saying, that Iran is headed towards a nuclear bomb, might give that nuclear bomb to terrorists. The rhetoric that's coming out of these quarters needs to be defied, questioned, examined. It's not happening on the corporate network news.

    DHALIWAL: Right. And, also, in terms of foreign policy coverage, how would you cover the candidates McCain and Obama, their foreign policy positions?

    JAY: Well, to start with, I think we should take seriously what they say. On Obama's speech, for example, at AIPAC, Obama reversed himself on some very important issues. He had previously said, if he'd been at the Senate that day, he would have voted against the Kyl-Lieberman Amendment, which was this amendment declaring the Revolutionary Guard as terrorist. But in his speech at the AIPAC conference, he said that the Iranian Guard had been quite correctly damned as terrorist, which essentially is a reversal of his position. He defended the Israeli bombing of the Syrian installation, which the IAEA says there's no evidence had anything to do with a nuclear program. So what they're saying needs to be taken seriously. Instead, what we see in the presidential election coverage is a coverage of advertising campaigns. We're seeing, "This guy's experienced. This guy's for change." We cover ad words as if it's news. And the real world, which is heading towards very, very serious, serious crises, is like a separate planet—it doesn't get covered. And I don't blame the journalists in the news departments; it's the economic model that restrains people, and that's what we're trying to change. We want PBS without the government subsidy and without corporate underwriting. We want viewer-funded news, because then you can, I think, talk about real life.

    DHALIWAL: Alright, Paul Jay. Well, good luck with your endeavors, and thank you very much for coming on the program.

    JAY: Thank you.

    TEXT ON SCREEN: A record-breaking 46 percent of Americans used the Internet, email, or text messaging to get news about the 2008 elections. Thirty-five percent say they have watched online political videos, three times the figure in 2004. So far, 6 percent have made political contributions online, up from 2 percent in 2004. Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project. Thanks for watching the preview. To get a DVD or transcript of the entire episode visit:


    Please note that TRNN transcripts are typed from a recording of the program; The Real News Network cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


    Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at


    Latest Stories

    The Resegregation of American Schools
    The Modern History of Venezuela, Why Still So Much Crime? - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (7/9)
    What Role Has Russia Played in Eastern Ukraine?
    Can Johns Hopkins Afford to Pay A Living Wage? (2/2)
    University Sit-In Targets World's Largest Private Coal Company
    The Modern History of Venezuela and the Need for a Post-Oil Economy - Edgardo Lander on RAI (6/9)
    Can Johns Hopkins Afford to Pay A Living Wage? (1/2)
    One Percent of Environmentalists Killings Lead to Convictions
    Investigation Finds Former Ukraine President Not Responsible For Sniper Attack on Protestors
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1973 to the Caracazo Massacre - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (3/9)
    Ukraine Transitional Gov't Moves Militarily To Reclaim Seized Buildings
    IPCC Report Flawed By Narrow Focus on Carbon Emissions
    The Modern History of Venezuela: The Bolivarian Revolution - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (5/9)
    Obama Signs Directives to Reduce the Gender Wage Gap
    Eastern Ukraine Lacks Political Representation in Kiev
    Demystifying the Role of Mitigation in the Most Recent IPCC Report
    Hypersurveillance State Won't Prevent Another Boston Marathon Bombing
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1973 to the Caracazo Massacre - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (3/9)
    Univ. of Maine Faculty Reinstated After Students Protest Against Cuts
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1908 to 1973 - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (2/9)
    IMF Will Address Global Inequality, Says Managing Director Christine Lagarde
    Raising Big Banks' Leverage Ratio Good, But Not Nearly Enough
    TRNN Replay: Austerity Road to 19th Century
    Has Palestinian Maneuvering Revived Peace Talks?
    Late Jackson Mayor Lumumba's Son Wins Primary to Replace His Father, Runoff Election Ahead
    Quebecers Reject PQ and Elect a Liberal Government Representing Big Business
    TRNN Debate: Decriminalization vs. Legalization
    The Beginning of the Chavez Era - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (4/9)
    "Off With His Head": Court Upholds Obama's Power to Kill
    Workers at Nation's Top Hospital Strike For Fair Wages
    From Exile to Radicalization in Venezuela - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (1/9)
    Rwanda 20 Years Later: Genocide, Western Plunder of Congo, and President Kagame
    Ukrainian Protesters in the East Demand More Autonomy From Kiev Government
    Hunger Strikers Demand President Obama Halt His Record 2 Million Deportations
    Indian Parliamentary Elections - A Primer With Vijay Prashad
    West Looks to Carve Up Ukraine & Privatize Industries Held by Kleptocrats
    Where Are Israeli-Palestinian Peace Negotiations Headed?
    The Multiple Kingdoms of Saudi Arabia (5/5)
    Do the Afghan Presidential Elections Signify Progress?
    Republican Presidential Hopefuls Pay Homage to Billionaire Casino Tycoon Sheldon Adelson
    Will Extremist Lieberman Become Israel's Next Prime Minister?
    Why do the Saudis Want the US to Attack Iran? (4/5)
    Immigrant Advocates and Families Tell President Obama 'Not One More'
    Elections, Pipelines, and Protests - The Canada Panel
    Chris Hedges on "Israel's War on American Universities"
    Baltimore Residents Decry Lack of Affordable Housing
    Yellen Talks the Talk But Will She Walk the Walk?
    Hopkins Hospital Workers Speak Out against "Poverty Wages"
    Will Venezuela's New Floating Exchange Rate Curb Inflation?
    The European Central Bank's War on Wages is Pushing Europe's Economy to the Brink
    Supreme Court Decision Opens Floodgates for More Campaign Cash
    Charles Keating, the Financier Behind the Savings and Loan Scandal, Dies at 90
    Saudi Arabia and the al-Qaeda Monster (3/5)
    Maryland Residents Voice Opposition to Natural Gas Fracking Export Facility
    Supreme Court Ruling Gives Wealthy Individuals More Influence Over Elections
    What are the Saudis Afraid Of? - Madawi Al-Rasheed (2/5)
    Baltimore's MICA Adjunct Professors Set to Vote on Unionization
    Boycott of Israel Moving to Next Level?
    Hypocrisy Dressed Up as "Realism" Justifies American Alliance with Saudi Dictatorship
    Immigration Reform in the Shadows of Cesar Chavez's Legacy
    Leaked Senate Report Shows Use of Torture As "Ineffective"
    UN Report Says Climate Change Will Threaten Food Production Worldwide
    The Hypocrisy of US Calling for Enforcement of International Law
    How the Ecuadorian Economy Grew in a Global Recession
    'Shadows of Liberty' Trailer
    Kristina Borjesson on Why CBS Shut Down Her investigation into Flight 800 (2/8)
    Glen Ford on Racism in the American Media (3/8)
    Paul Jay on What Drives Corporate Media and What Drive The Real News (4/8)
    Creating a New Media Paradigm After Citizens United (5/8)
    Should The Left Engage with the Mainstream Media? (6/8)
    What Is the Financial Backing For The Real News? (7/8)
    Standing up to Character Assassination (8/8)
    Oligarchs, Fascists and the People's Protest in Ukraine
    TRNN Debate: Is Obamacare In the Interest of Workers?
    Too-Big-To-Fail Advantage Remains Intact For Big Banks
    Obama and the Saudi Agenda
    TRNN Replay: Investigating the Saudi Government's 9/11 Connection and the Path to Disilliusionment - Sen. Graham on Reality Asserts Itself pt 1
    The Iraq War's Real Legacy
    Petitions with 100,000+ Signatures Call for Snowden's Passport to be Reinstated
    We Need to Harness People Power - Andy Shallal on Reality Asserts Itself (4/4)
    BC Pipeline Fight and Quebec Elections - The Canada Panel
    Jonathan Schell - 1943-2014: Board Member of TRNN on Why We Need The Real News
    Teachers on Strike from the UK to Argentina
    Connecticut Poised to Become First State with $10.10 Minimum Wage
    Oil Spill Threatens Wildlife and Local Economy
    DC School Test Scores Up, But Poor Black Kids Are Doing Worse - Andy Shallal on RAI (3/4)
    Obama's Proposal To End NSA Bulk Data Collection Won't Protect Privacy
    How Google, Apple & The Biggest Tech Companies Colluded to Fix Workers' Wages
    An American Should be One that Questions Their Government - Andy Shallal on RAI (2/4)
    What's Driving Putin & Obama's Posturing on Ukraine?
    Hundreds of Students & Faculty Occupy College Campus to Fight Cuts to Public Higher Ed
    Due Process 'Impossible' In Harsh Death Sentencing Of Over 500 Muslim Brotherhood Members
    Has Anglo-American Capitalism Run Out of Steam?
    Being the "Other" in America - Andy Shallal on Reality Asserts Itself (1/4)
    TRNN Debate: Should Baltimore 'Ban The Box'?
    How Fallujah Became the Iraqi Government's New Battleground
    Why I Decided to Blow the Whistle on the NSA
    NASA Climate Predictions Show Serious Threat To Humanity
    Professor Who Teaches Israel-Palestine Conflict Accuses College of Violating His Academic Freedom
    CIA and NSA Wrongdoing Requires Independent Investigation, Says Former Church Committee Staff
    Are Tuition Breaks Enough To Combat High Student Debt And Low Graduation Rates?
    Industries Across the U.S. Are Stealing Wages From Their Lowest Paid Workers
    Who In Ukraine Will Benefit From An IMF Bailout?
    NSA Recording All International Calls From U.S.
    Israel "Making Lives Miserable" for Africans, Hoping They 'Self-Deport' (2/2)
    BP Gets Green Light to Drill in Gulf, But Has Safety Improved?
    Residents Still Not Drinking Tap Water Two Months After West Virginia Spill (1/2)
    Libya's Descent Into Turmoil Three Years After NATO Intervention
    From Pipelines to Peladeau - Canadian Report
    Israel "Making Lives Miserable" for Africans, Hoping They 'Self-Deport' (1/2)
    Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget Strikes Back Against Austerity
    Libya Three Years Later - Chaos and Partition
    Why Was Gaddafi Overthrown?
    Should Ukraine and West Accept De Facto Crimea Joining Russia? (2/2)
    Tony Benn Saw Socialism as the Culmination of Democratization
    Why Didn't Bush/Cheney Attack Iran and Can Obama Make and Sell a Deal? - Gareth Porter on Reality Asserts Itself (3/3)
    After Late Mayor Lumumba is Laid to Rest, What's Next for Jackson, Mississippi? (2/2)
    Crimea Referendum: Self Determination or Big Power Manipulation? (1/2)
    Sen. Graham: President Must Side with Openness About CIA and 9/11
    Manufacturing a Narrative for War - Gareth Porter on Reality Asserts Itself (2/3)
    Protesters Hit the Streets of Brooklyn to Demand $15 Minimum Wage
    Hammer: 'Moral Bankruptcy' Behind Massive GM Recall
    White House Withholds Thousands of Documents from Senate CIA Probe
    I Grew Up Believing in Time Magazine's Version of America - Gareth Porter on RAI (1/3)
    Western European Banks Vulnerable to Ukrainian Sovereign Debt Crisis
    TRNN Debate: What's Driving Inflation in Venezuela? (2/2)
    CIA vs. Senate: Who Is Obama Protecting?
    Will Tipped Workers Get Excluded Again From Minimum Wage Hike?
    TRNN Debate: What's Driving Inflation in Venezuela? (1/2)
    After Late Mayor Lumumba is Laid to Rest, What's Next for Jackson, Mississippi?(1/2)
    TRNN Replay: A Look at Who's Poised to Become No.2 at the Fed
    How Right-Wing Nationalism Rose to Influence in Ukraine (2/2)
    Netanyahu Attacks Boycott As Campaign Enters New Phase
    Moving Towards a Police State - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (7/7)
    Fighting Reagan's Secret, Illegal Wars - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (6/7)
    Puerto Rican Independence Movement and Cuba Further Radicalized Me - Michael Ratner on RAI (5/7)
    The Butcher of Attica - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (4/7)
    MLK and a Radicalizing Moment in American History - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (3/7), Real News Network, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of IWT.TV inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and Real News Network.

    All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network.  Click here for more

    Problems with this site? Please let us know

    Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting