Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the United Nations to Wall Street to the Inner City

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

In Other Media-eg New Statesman, AJE, FP, Georgia, NYT Azerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .


Follow us on TWITTER

Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis


(FP Twitterati 100, 2013)

ICP on YouTube
Sept 24, 2013

UN: Sri Lanka


FOIA Finds  

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

For Softball Q to Hillary, 1st Chance Given to UNCA, Campaign Contributions

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 11 -- Many have now noted that the set-aside first question to Hillary Clinton at the UN Security Council stakeout position on March 10 was a softball, beginning with “it's wonderful to see you” and ending with an invitation to blame the inquiry into privatized State Department email on sexism.

  But there's more.

  To defend the setting-aside of this question, it has been falsely claimed that there is a “tradition” of the UN Correspondents Association getting the first question in such setting.
 A simple review on the UN Television online archives of the last ten, or twenty, or one hundred question and answer sessions at the Security Council stakeout position where Hillary Clinton spoke shows there is no such tradition. So why was this "tradition" invented and invoked?

  And now, there's more. The head of UNCA Giampioli Pioli, to whom it's said the first question was to be given, is a Democratic campaign contributor. To the tune of at least $800.

  This too is online, here -- and has been raised, along with other conflicts of interest, but UNCA has not adopted any policy against it. This is why the new Free UN Coalition for Access opposes privileges for and use of UNCA, for softball questions at the UN.

   The Washington Post's Al Kamen In the Loop reported:

“by tradition, the first question at a U.N. news conferences is asked by the president of the U.N. Correspondents Association. But UNCA president Giampaolo Pioli, of the Italian paper Quotidiano Nazionale (National Daily) wasn’t in town Tuesday. We reached him in the Central African Republic and he said protocol would dictate that one of the other UNCA officers would do the honors. They did indeed follow protocol and the next officer in line,  UNCA first vice president Kahraman Haliscelik, the New York correspondent for the Turkish Radio & TV network, opened the questioning”

  And here was the question: "Madam Secretary, on behalf of the U.N. correspondents association, thank you very much for your remarks and it's wonderful to see you here again.  Madam Secretary, why did you opt out using two devices at the time? Obviously, if this hadn't come out, it probably would not have been an issue. And my second follow up question is, if you are a man today, would all this fuss be made?"

  The question... speaks for itself.  The pretext for setting aside this first question doesn't hold up. Again, a simple search of UNTV's online videos of the last week or month or year of question and answer sessions at the Security Council stakeout where Hillary Clinton spoke shows there is no such tradition, whatever UNCA and perhaps others claim.

  But this Pioli, flying along with Security Council members for quick visits to the Central African Republic and Burundi, about which Pioli has never asked the UN a question nor apparently written any articles (unlike US politics), is a Democratic campaign contributor. Whatever one's political affiliation, is this appropriate? Watch this site.


Share |

* * *

These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

Click for re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-303, UN, NY 10017 USA

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-2015 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]