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Amid Syria War, UNCA Led by CBS, Reuters & AFP Start 2d Counterfeit ICP: Lapdogs with Laptops

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 7 -- The war in Syria has a smaller, sickening echo into the UN in New York: the insider journalists who held a murky "UN briefing" with Saudi supported rebel boss Jarba are now stealthy trying to undermine critical media.

  During the week, a long-time UN Correspondents Association bigwig cut off a question about rebels using chemical weapons, and then demanded the UN spokesperson say what media the questioner worked for.

  Now this weekend, a seemingly larger team from UNCA is counterfeiting @InnerCityPress, one of two Twitterati 100 covering the UN named by Foreign Policy magazine. The UNCA insiders, many of whom merely re-tweet their corporate media's output or fawning selfie photographs with those in power, want to undermine the investigative Press.

So far with the counterfeit account they established on September 5, right after analyzed how CBS, Reuters and Gulf media were the only ones allowed to ask questions of US Ambassador Samantha Power, they have reached out to make 900 follows.

  They get some follow-backs -- 38 so far -- one of whom later told Inner City Press, I thought you guys were starting a new account so I followed.

  That person and others then unfollowed. But the UNCA insiders have started a second counterfeit account. This one, because Inner City Press questions and continues to question the US' public evidence on chemical weapons, and why it did not commit at least to wait for the UN report, draws a link between Inner City Press and Syria's Assad -- anonymously, of course.

To be an anonymous part of an anonymous crowd making such attacks: this is the UNCA board.

  It is derivative and parasitic: they follow those who have chosen to follow @InnerCityPress or @FUNCA_info, the Free UN Coalition for Access which Inner City Press co-founded after quitting UNCA, seeing as they try to get journalists thrown out of the UN, and in the case of Reuters' bureau chief Lou Charbonneau, spy for the UN through UN accreditation official Stephane Dujarric. Story here, audio here, document here.

  Charbonneau told Dujarric that if he didn't thrown Inner City Press out of the UN, Charbonneau -- the go to guy for pro-Western spin -- might leave the UN. Now the UNCA-linked counterfeit account follows Dujarric.

  AFP's Witcher complained to UN Security, leading with the way Inner City Press asked a question to UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous, who previously served on one of AFP's management boards.

  Now they follow and try to confusion countries' Mission to the UN, many of whom already follow the real @InnerCityPress. This was raised to the top of the UN Department of Public Information, when in February 2013 UNCA already had a half dozen of these anti-Press anonymous troll social media accounts, but it has continued.

 One observer called these UNCA Executive Committee members, not without irony, "Ban's shabiha." Or more generously, "Lapdogs with laptops."

  And DPI had threatened the suspend or withdraw Inner City Press' accreditation for hanging the sign of the Free UN Coalition for Access on the door of its shared office, while UNCA has five signs.

  The reality is, after some in the UN tried to get Inner City Press thrown out, after that these UNCA scribes took up the cause: Voice of America, Reuters through Charbonneau and now Michelle Nichols who works under him, Agence France Presse's Tim Witcher, and

Bloomberg, part of those trying to get Inner City Press thrown out until after this was raised to Matthew Winkler and the correspondents was told to stay away from the campaign - at least visibly.

But there are more, linked to these counterfeit Twitter accounts:

Pamela Falk of CBS, figurehead 2013 UNCA president, who send sycophantic tweets at the Ambassadors of the US and UK, who are now followed by the/her UNCA counterfeit account;

Margaret Besheer of Voice of America, who tried to get Inner City Press thrown out of the UN; and the Freedom of Information Act inquiries just keep revealing more.

Ban's UNCA Lunch of the Lost, Feb 7, 2013, credit Evan Schneider, UNPhoto. From left: OSSG's Del Buey; Denis Fitzgerald of Saudi Press Agency; OSSG's Nesirky; Melissa Kent of CBC; Sylviane Zehil of L'Orient le Jour; Tim Witcher of AFP; Ali Barada of An-Nahar; Ban Ki-moon, Kahraman Halicelik of Turkish Radio & TV; Pamela S. Falk of CBS; Lou Charbonneau of Reuters; Bouchra Benyoussef of Maghreb Arab Press; Yasuomi Sawa of Kyodo News; Masood Haider of Dawn; Unknown; Zhenqiu Gu of Xinhua; Stephane Dujarric of UN DPI


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