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UN Censors Give Gold To Their Own VP, Take Samsung TV

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 6 -- What kind of correspondents' association gives its "Gold" journalism award to its own first vice president? One at the UN, of course, where conflicts of interest are increasingly shrugged off or censored.

  The United Nations Correspondents Association on December 5 announced it is giving a Gold award to its outgoing first vice president Louis Charbonneau, Reuters bureau chief and part time UN spy, click here for that.

  Spying aside, isn't this a conflict of interest? To give your Gold award to your own Number Two official?

  Meanwhile UNCA is relying on the UN of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to assure it that it is not a conflict of interest to accept a free television from Samsung.

  Earlier this week, Inner City Press reported on new conflicts of interest, following up on one in 2011 in which the president of UNCA, having rented one of his apartments to the Ambassador of Sri Lanka agreed to screen the Sri Lankan government's film denying war crimes inside the UN.

  After Inner City Press reported that in 2011, UNCA Executive Committee insiders demanded that the factual article be taken off the Internet and when Inner City Press refused, tried to throw it out of the UNCA board then out of the UN.

   This last is provided by documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act from Voice of America, which claimed support from Agence France Presse and Reuters' Louis Charbonneau.

  Now UNCA, re-christened the UN Censorship Alliance, has announced its "Gold" award to this same Charbonneau, who wrote to the private e-mail address of the UN's accreditation boss that if Inner City Press were not thrown out he would leave the UN (and no longer perform his spying functions).

  You can't make this stuff up -- the document is here, with Charbonneau's "you didn't get this from me" and the audio of Charbonneau promising the document would stay within UNCA here -- it is truly Gold.

  The cursory minutes of UNCA's recent General Meeting, held ignoring a Security Council meeting about the Central African Republic, focused on why it is OK for them to accept the free TV from Samsung (it's "not from a Mission," they claim -- and even worse, rely on the UN telling them there is no conflict of interest).

  The problem here is that the UN props up its UN Censorship Alliance, giving it automatic first questions and a big clubhouse, then UNCA "leaders" lobby the UN to try to get investigative press troublesome to both thrown out. Any correspondents' association worthy of the name would have a rule of not seeking to get reporters thrown out. For this UNCA that is not even on the horizon: just a free TV from Samsung, one wonders why.

   The 2013 president Pamela Falk is running unopposed for a second term (which rarely happened in the past); she was told on the record in February 2013 that her team has started multiple anonymous troll social media accounts impersonating first the new Free UN Coalition for Access (yes, @FUNCA_info) then Inner City Press. Audio here and here and here.

  This anonymous social media trolling picked up on November 27, the day before Thanksgiving.

  Falk's main concern was that she herself not be named. What's next - why isn't she giving herself a Gold award? Perhaps that is next. Watch this site.


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