At UN After ICP Shows Guterres Spox Spoonfeeding Al Jazeera Trio They Say Too Aggressive

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At UN After ICP Shows Guterres Spox Spoonfeeding Al Jazeera Trio They Say Too Aggressive

By Matthew Russell Lee, Scope, UNCA Audio

UNITED NATIONS, June 21 – After the UN is shown to be hand-delivering Secretary General Antonio Guterres' answer to questions that many media asked to a single favored outlet - Al Jazeera - what is the next step? At the UN, the next step is for Antonio Guerres's spokesman Stephane Dujarric, and the Al Jazeera trio he invited into the UN Press Briefing Room for a private faux press conference, to claim that the coverage that showed what they were doing was too aggressive, even "harassment." That the entire thing is on film doesn't matter - the UN has no rules. But what the hypocrisy of Al Jazeera, with its "Journalism Is Not A Crime" banner, trying mis-represented a live-stream outside their private teachers-pet briefing as too aggressive?  Apparently they claim a use of profanity - but the president of the Association they are members of and use, the UN Correspondents Association, loudly and in a more public place, the UN Security Council stakeout, called Inner City Press an "assh*ole." It being the stakeout, the audio was captured, here. And the head of the Department of Public Information was informed about it and did nothing. So profanity is not a basis for any punishment. It is pure pretext and censorship - and hypocrisy. "Journalism Is Not A Crime," indeed. And those they are lobbying for censorship have their own conflicts of interest - watch this site. Minutes before US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley announced the US' withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council, the doors to the UN Press Briefing Room opened. But nothing was announced. While many media had asked the UN for response, the spokesman for out of town, World Cup bound Secretary General Antonio Guterres arranged for a private “press conference” with Al Jazeera. Inner City Press, evicted from the UN Press Briefing Room and its UN work space by Dujarric, was trying to cover the HRC announcement from a small focus booth on the UN second floor. Click here for Inner City Press' Periscope stream. It observed Al Jazeera's cameraman go by, with a staffer from spokesman Stephane Dujarric's office, then Al Jazeera's correspondent then producer. In an abundance of caution Inner City Press did not go into the UN Press Briefing Room -- which, it and the Free UN Coalition for Access maintain cannot legitimately be opened to some but not other correspondents. Instead, Inner City Press asked the UN Department of Public Information's minder unit, which it must now use to cover any events in the General Assembly, to ask what was taking place in the UN Press Briefing Room. The DPI staffer went in, and then re-emerged with Dujarric and the three Al Jazeera staffers. “No event,” Inner City Press was told. The Al Jazeera producer said they had arranged for a sound byte. Oh. So this is how it is done at the UN. Similarly, Inner City Press was excluded - by Dujarric and DPI's Alison Smale - from a background briefing on counter-terrorism. How corrupt is the UN? Well, it took most of its counter-terrorism money from Saudi Arabia, just as Secretary General Antonio Guterres smiled and took a $930 million check from Saudi's Crown Prince and said nothing about Saudi bombing of Yemen, and now assault on the port of Hodeidah there.  On June 18 the UN in New York held a so-called background briefing for only some of the media which cover the UN day to day.

  Excluded from the background briefing unlike some media who rarely if every report on the issue was Inner City Press, which has criticized Guterres for his silence in taking the Saudi check, and which remains restricted for covering the bribery of the UN by Ng Lap Seng and South South News - which has placed people not only in UNTV but even in UN Department of Public Information - and now by Patrick Ho and the China Energy Fund Committee.

    Other than more targeted censorship, the only rationale for excluding Inner City Press which was one of only five media - including one which also works for UN Photo - covering the Small Arms and Light Weapons press conference on June 18, is that it is no longer a “resident correspondent.”

 This is due to Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric, who evicted Inner City Press from the UN Press Briefing Room and from its office, and from DPI's Alison Smale, who still has no content neutral rule while putting in Inner City Press' office a no-show Egypt state media Akhbar al Yom. Smale has her husband playing piano at a World Cup event sponsored by the Russian Mission - this is today's UN. We continue to believe that briefer USG Vladimir Ivanovich Voronkov was simply unaware this time of the censorship underlying his briefing (of Michèle Coninsx we are less sure). We'll have more on this.


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