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UN Censor Alison Smale Bloviates on E Europe After Decline Into Sleaze Continued By Fleming

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video CJR Letter
BBC The Times (UK) Daily Mail

UN GATE, Nov 20 – One year and five days after banning Inner City Press for life without appeal from the UN, on August 22 now ostensibly gone UN Global Communicator Alison Smale held an ill-attended a press conference about her last hurrah in Salt Lake City. In the press conference, the second of only three questions was from one of the correspondents she gives office space to and who said that France's Macron "made love" to US President Donald J. Trump. Smale said nothing. Video here.

  Now in November 2019 after misusing public money during her tenure at the UN including censoring the Press, Alison Smale appears in a newspaper in Peru, name-dropping and virtue signaling, still corrupt. Under her discredited byline: "I asked Michael Zantovsky, biographer of Mr. Havel and a lifelong friend. Today, Mr. Havel "would have observed that 30 years have passed and that we are not dealing here with the lost cases of the Socialists who would need all kinds of support." Some countries "retreating according to some criteria of freedom, tolerance and democracy ." In a sense, however, this is a testimony of progress. "Havel always said that one of the tragedies of this society is to expect salvation - or condemnation - to come from outside and save us," said Mr. Zantovsky. “He would say it is our job to do that. And we can certainly do it. ”  There are reasons for optimism. A recent survey of Austria and six excommunist countries - prepared for Globsec, a non-governmental organization in Slovakia, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the fall of communism in the region - reflected the often confusing environment in the area. But encouragingly, he found little yearning pronounced by an authoritarian or nationalist government. And he also indicated a growing support for accession to the European Union and democratic institutions , such as free media and civil society.  In the Slovak capital, Bratislava, Zuzana Caputova, is a new face in the politics of the region. He won a victory in the presidential elections in March after campaigning on his ability to close a landfill and, significantly, on the cleansing of Slovakia's corrupt policy after the murder of a young investigative journalist, Jan Kuciak, and his Bride, Martina Kusnirova."

  So Smale continues to purport to promote press freedom after, while at the UN, ordering the investigative Press out, lying to the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression David Kaye that its questions would be answered, and slinking off with a publicly paid pension. She is still citing Eastern Europe of her past, while Inner City Press she banned covers today's Bulgaria and OneCoin" BBC The Times (UK) Daily Mail. We will have more on this - and on the grandly named but still censoring UN Department of Global Communications.

On September 29 from the New York Times' Elaine Sciolino a tale from the crypt of another earlier, now dead president: "Mr. Chirac’s aides tried to put these remarks off the record. When that failed, they called me; Alison Smale, then managing editor of The International Herald Tribune, and the French journalists back for a second interview to clarify France’s position.... As I said goodbye to the aides, France’s national security adviser, Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, asked me what I was going to write. “I’m going to write both interviews,” I said. Alison agreed wholeheartedly.  That was not the answer he wanted to hear...  Later, Jean-David Levitte, France’s ambassador to Washington, made some of the same points in a phone conversation with Bill Keller, then The Times’s executive editor. No matter. The story ran on the front page.  As for Mr. Chirac, he never invited me back, and left office soon afterward."

 So Smale stood up for publishing "off the record" comments - then years later, for money, threw a journalist out of the UN for reporting from Guterres' photo op and on his failures in Cameroon. A disgusting trajectory, continued by Melissa Fleming. Big Tony corrupts everything he touches.

  The UN has refused to answer questions from Inner City Press which Smale banned about when her final day was. As of September 10 Smale's Twitter profile still lists her "at UN," along with hypocritical virtue-signaling about "media purged, free speech lost" when she did all these things.  Her replacement Melissa Fleming, corrupted, refused to answer question and on August 30 was responsible for denying Inner City Press access to UNGA week which they grant to hundreds of dictator promoting state media.

  And now like Tales from the Crypt Smale's canned spin in a venue tellingly silent about her and her successor's censorship: Alison Smale, the head of the UN Department of Global Communications until her recent retirement [? said] that UN Video had ceased production of  “21st Century” but would continue production for the popular “UN in Action” series in the UN’s six official languages.  Smale did not answer questions, however, about the number of programs produced, plans for distribution or effects of budgetary constraints on the series other than to say, “Like many organizations today, we face challenges in obtaining resources to carry out our mandates and we seek dynamic partnerships both within the UN family and externally to create opportunities to produce and share our content.”  ... Smale said, “The role of the Department of Global Communications (DGC) is to share the United Nations story with the world, in multiple languages and formats so that people everywhere have a better understanding of the UN’s work and values." What B.S.. We'll have more on this - and on Fleming's lack of accountability.

Smale's Twitter profile as of September 10 still says "moved to New York for exciting UN job .. still with Russian pianist-composer Sergei Dreznin daughter Lucy in UK ...retweets not endorsements...Yeah, and reputation entirely false or destroyed. Part of her "legacy" - past 4 pm on Friday, August 30 the UN issued a denial of accreditation with no reasoning other than that accreditation had previously been revoked:

"From: malu malu at un dot org
Date: Fri, Aug 30, 2019 at 4:23 PM
Subject: U.N. eAccreditation request for Matthew Lee Ref # M5413398 has been declined
To: Inner City Press:

Greetings Matthew Lee from Inner City Press,  Your media accreditation request, with reference no: M5413398, has been declined for the following reason: Media accreditation was withdrawn on 17 August 2018."

  This is Kafka-esque, and corrupt. We will have more, much more, on this.

 Smale disgraced her former role with for example the New York Times. She never once even spoke to Inner City Press before banning it; she used its questioning of diplomats at the Delegates Entrance as a basis for her Kakfa-esque order.

   Her pianist husband memorably told Inner City Press that to avoid this fate it should wear a suit and tie. Because of course that is the litmus test for journalism. She didn't disclose her outside activities, she delayed in filing the minimal public financial disclosure. She made claims about Inner City Press that were entirely false while allowing no opportunity for rebuttal. She was and is a censor.

  Here for her Salt Lake City scam is the her schedule: The 68th United Nations Civil Society Conference will be held under the theme ‘Building Inclusive and Sustainable Cities and Communities’ in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA from 26 to 28 August 2019.  Organized in cooperation with the NGO/DPI Executive Committee, Salt Lake City’s Mayor’s office and chaired by civil society representative Maruxa Cardama, Secretary General at SLoCaT Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport, this will be the first time a major UN conference will be held in the United States of America, outside of New York...

  Back on 23 August 2018 Smale held a faux press conference from which the Press was banned to announce the UN will spend the public's money in Salt Lake City. Minutes before she began, there were three journalists in the UN Press Briefing Room, if you include the personal friend of Smale's she channeled unedited into her banning letter. The room suddenly filled up with non journalists - a supposed no no, but Smale's Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit did not enforce that rule (or, one hopes, lure any unsuspecting correspondent into "behavior" that Smale could uses as a pretext for punishment. Having to cover this from the UN bus stop made it hard to hear, but Smale was seen stepping off the podium before the end. The other speakers seemed fine and we hope to have more on and from them - Smale makes it difficult, with her outright censorship. It was moderated by another of the complainants Smale channeled, Maher Nasser, who blocked Inner City Press on Twitter after it asked about the placement of sexual exploitation and abuse on a Peacekeeping website he was promoting, and about rules. This is today's DPI, and UN. Utah, Smale seems to think, should make her censorship acceptable, she appears to think. There no way to know, because despite Smale's assurance in her no due process banning letter, of the ten questions Inner City Press asked by email on August 23, not a single one was answered, including the reiterated question, "This is again a request to be informed of the reason on the SG's Public Financial Disclosure page USG Smale is not listed, while Natalia Gherman who was named to her position later than USG Smale is listed and has made public disclosure - and for an explanation why Smale did not recuse herself as was clearly called for from banning me. (There was also August 23-10: In terms of USG Smale's letter banning me for life please state who she says was disparaged, when, and in what medium / in person or not. Please provide the UN's version, and any UN video, of the June 19 private use of briefing room for Al Jazeera and critique afterward. Please immediately provide all UN video of the June 22 ouster and July 3 roughing up and ouster, and the names and nationalities of all involved officers.")
  If Smale doesn't make the minimal public financial disclosure, and it is not explained despite being asked repeatedly after she was accused by whistleblowers in her own Department of diverting funds allocated for Swahili services to English language social media promotion of Antonio Guterres, what about this spending in Salt Lake? Below is from the UN's press release, embargoed until 6 pm when we publish it, fifteen minutes before the press conference regarding which we asked Smale's Department: "request, as a journalist who has covered the UN for 12 years and is still covering it today, to be allowed to attend and ask questions at the 6:15 press conference by USG Smale who never spoke to me once before purporting to ban me for life." While not directly answered, the effect was of course no: more Smale censorship, a Press-less press conference.

At 4 pm on Friday August 17, 2018 Inner City Press got a four page letter from Under Secretary General Alison Smale, formerly the New York Times' Berlin bureau chief. We've put the letter on Scribd here, Patreon download here

The letter informed me, without a single opportunity to be heard and offer rebuttal, that “your accreditation is hereby withdrawn pursuant to the Guidelines.” It cited what it called three previous warnings. But on further inspection there is no there, there. And Grand Inquisitor Alison Smale didn't even consider, or acknowledge, that Inner City Press had responded to the spurious complaints...

As part of its coverage in the UN Inner City Press heard from whistleblowers in Smale's then Department of Public Information that she diverted funds intended for Swahili programming to her avowed focused, getting better coverage for Guterres particularly on social media.

But Smale did not recuse herself, and Guterres who refused my polite question to him on July 20 why this censorship was taking place and why he had been so silent as Cameroon killed Anglophones in the North-West and South-West regions of the country, did not make her recuse. Nor did he recuse himself, despite my timely request that the President of the General Assembly, and not the obviously conflicted Guterres and Smale, take charge of any review deemed necessary.

What is most troubling about the UN's August 17 dis-accreditation letter is how vague it is, and inaccurate the few times it gets specific.

The UN claims that on 3 July 2018 I “attempted to gain unauthorized access to a locked area of the UN.” But as I reported at the the time, and my Periscope video subsequently used by Fox News and The UK Independent shows, I was in the UN's much traveled Vienna Cafe. (Guterres' Assistant Secretary General Christian Saunders, whose involvement in a UN procurement scandal I previously reported, was also there: he oversaw the assault and the next day told me he doesn't like my articles.)

  On July 3, 2018 I was staking out -- that is, standing outside of - the UN Budget Committee meetings. In fact, I had been informed of the meetings by UN personnel and diplomats had invited me down in order to tell me, as a reported, what was going on.

Ironically it was with Cameroon's Ambassador Tommo Monthe that I had just spoken when UN Lieutenant Ronald E. Dobbins and another officer who had still been identified by the UN approached me from behind, grabbed and twisted my arm, grabbed and damaged my laptop computer and tore my shirt. I recoiled and said, loudly, “I am a journalist, covering a meeting!” To Smale, this is incivility, enough to be permanently banned from the UN for.

Next, at the top of page 3 of the letter, Smale runs through a litany of supposed violations without providing any details, nor acknowledging that other correspondents more friendly to Guterres and her are allowed to do these things routinely. Smale pillories my “presence on UN premises outside authorized time periods as stipulated in the Guidelines.”

But those Guidelines, even as selectively quoted by Smale at the top of page 2 of her letter, make clear that I was permitted past 7 pm to cover an advised meeting - such as the July 3 UN Budget Committee meeting considering a $6.7 billion expenditure of public funds or the June 22 event in the UN General Assembly lobby featuring a speech in which Guterres bragged about fasting in Mali.

On June 22, not mentioned in Smale's August 17 letter but alleged as a “repeat violation” by Guterres' deputy spokesman Farhan Haq in a July 5 article, the same Lieutenant Dobbins and four Emergency Response Unit officers he summoned and then told not to give their names, pushed me out of the UN even as other non resident correspondents were allowed to remain in. There is video, here.

Days before that first roughing up of Inner City Press by UN Security but clearly green-lighted from higher up, Guterres' lead spokesman Stephane Dujarric told a person who tried to speak with him on my behalf to get the UN to stop requiring me to have a minder or escort as they have since February 2016 that things would be getting worse for me. It seems clear Dujarric knew about or had already ordered the physical targeting of Inner City Press any time after 7 pm, even if an advised meeting or Guterres speech was taking place.

But a telling omission in Smale's letter is that as recently as June 26 dozens of non resident correspondents were allowed to stay in the UN past 7 pm drinking with Guterres on the North Lawn, ghoulishly in the name of press freedom with Smale. The event was not advised in the UN Media Alert, and I know that UN Security could not have been given a list of approved non resident correspondents since my timely RSVP to cover the event which had yet another canned Guterres speech was never answered. I was told by the organizer of that pro-Guterres event that the RSVP was ignored because it was open to all correspondents. Again, there is video in my contemporaneous coverage. Maybe this is why Smale and Guterres - and Dujarric - say livestreaming is a problem to be solved with Security violence and banning.

   Tales from the crypt... To be coninued...


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