Corporate Media Silence Helps Maintain Warfare in Syria

Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron made important remarks about the Syria ceasefire that the corporate media ignored in favor of Russiagate, says Black Agenda Report’s Glen Ford

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Story Transcript

Sharmini Peries: It’s The Real News Network. I’m Sharmini Peries coming to you from Baltimore. Was President Trump’s visit to France last week more than a PR opportunity to reset relations with the newly elected President of France, Emmanuel Macron, especially after that awkward start at the NATO meeting in Brussels? Corporate media’s emphasis on awkward moments and RussiaGate questions to Trump about Junior during the press conference occupied most of the coverage, both newspapers and mainstream corporate television. But real policy shifts took place regarding Syria that was completely ignored. On to talk about this with me today is Glen Ford. Glen is co-founder and executive editor of the Black Agenda Report and author of The Big Lie, an analysis of US media coverage of the Grenada invasion. Glen, good to have you with us.

Glen Ford: Oh, thanks for having me back.

Sharmini Peries: So Glen, what really took place in France?

Glen Ford: Well, something quite amazing took place. Here we have a joint press conference between the President of the United States and the newly elected President of France, Mr. Macron, at which the Frenchman expounded at some length on why his country was no longer committed to regime change in Syria. Now, that is big news. Macron said that he and Trump had agreed to a roadmap to a post-war agenda in Syria, and he said that President Assad’s departure was no longer an issue for them. President Trump was standing right there the whole time. Trump made no effort whatsoever to distance himself from Macron’s remarks, and then Trump said that it was a great thing that this ceasefire in effect in Syria, a ceasefire that in fact is patrolled by Russian military police, was a great thing that the Russians and the United States had put this expire into effect, and that it had remained in effect on the ground.

That was a very significant news event. It was an historical event, but all the corporate media wanted to know was what Donald Trump had to say about his son’s meeting in New York City about a year ago with some Russians. CBS News led with the headline Trump Defends Son Regarding Russia. CNN’s headline went like this: Trump Meets Macron Overshadowed or Shadowed by Putin. And the New York Times took a full day before it even mentioned the Syrian aspects of that joint press conference, that meeting, between Trump and Macron. So I think it would be fair if people concluded that the corporate media is so obsessed with the phony RussiaGate story that they become dysfunctional when it comes to reporting on issues of war and peace.

However, really, I think this is more than an issue of incompetence or obsession. I think that the corporate media are taking their cues, their reportorial cues, from the war party, and taking their cues specifically from the intelligence agencies that want to maintain the momentum of the war in Syria. Now, they have a problem, however, because they’re not quite sure how they can undermine, for example, the ceasefire that’s in effect. They’re not quite sure how to do that because most Americans want to see an end to the war. So they have a political problem. They can either ignore any developments in the ceasefire and hope that down the road, they’ll have another chance to sabotage the agreement as they’ve done in the past, or they can belittle it and treat the ceasefire as really nothing more than an extension of the alleged collusion between Trump and the Russians. The Atlantic Magazine, for example, calls this the Trump truce instead of an agreement between the two sovereign nations, the United States and Russia.

I think what we’re really looking at here is an anti-peace alliance between the corporate media, the pro-war elements of both political parties, and the US intelligence establishment. It’s not so much an alliance against Trump, but an alliance against anything that might slow down the momentum of the US military offensive. Regarding the news media, we’re looking at journalism in pursuit of war.

Sharmini Peries: Glen, I too was watching the coverage of not only this trip to France, but also the G20 meeting, and it was completely absent of what actually the conversations that took place regarding Syria. Not only was there a meeting between Trump and Putin, which, of course, the western media covered very well, but there was a meeting about what to do about Syria and about the ceasefire, but very little reportage on that as well.

Glen Ford: Yeah. What is very clear … And anybody who works in this journalism business can see it. What’s clear is that these major news corporations have no investment … And I mean that in the full sense of the word. No investment in these stories, peace stories, let’s call them. That is they don’t bother to insist that the reporters are familiar with all the moving parts. These are complex stories. They don’t give heads up to all of the different components of the organizations so that there would be prompt coverage of developments. You can see that, again, there is no investment in this story because they are not interested in the pursuit of peace. They’re interested in something else, so they’re biding their time waiting to pounce sometimes, it appears, doesn’t it?

Sharmini Peries: Yes, indeed. I thank you so much for joining us today, Glen.

Glen Ford: Thank you.

Sharmini Peries: Thank you for joining us here on The Real News Network.