tv Listening Post Al Jazeera December 2, 2013 2:30am-3:01am EST
edition of al jazeera news. i'm morgan radford, thank you for watching. >> hello, you're at the listening "post." this week, the nuclear deal with tehran and how it's playing out in the media in iran and in the u.s. we speak with geremi scahill about dirty wars. the world's highest paid news photographer. a jury in new york made sure of that. and don't stop believing. >> you can love harry.
>> our web video. when diplomats gathered in geneva for nuclear talks with iran the international media were there to cover the story that appeared to be on the verge of a break through. the fact that they were meeting for the third time in just over a month created a sense of anticipation for a story usually plagued with stumbling blocks and whispers and accusations of who was to blame. this time was different. the news media finally had a deal to report on. domestic outlets in the u.s. and iran tended to take their cues from their respective governments, echoing the new diplomatic discourse. a few critical reports from conservative outlets on both sides and the israeli media looked out of step. then new leadership, new era, and a new way to deliver it's message.
our starting point this week is geneva. ♪ >> twitter is where the news was originally reported. they got the word out. one could make the case that youtube is where the ground was prepared. that was the platform that iran's foreign minister chose to send a message westward on november 19th just as negotiations were approaching a critical stage. >> he looks into the camera. he speaks fluent english. >> they jump towards deciding our own destiny. >> he's basically saying this is what it is. we're here with this program. it's peaceful. we're willing to work on it as long as bottom lines are acknowledged. that's been the iranian message consistently from the beginning. it has varied from administration to administration of how that message is put out
and it's interesting that that medium itself is illegal inside iran but he's using it to put out a message towards the west. >> ahmadinejad banned social network. he believed they were tools that promoted western culture and secular ism. iranian government is using the social media to transmit iran 's message to an audience that has only received media to provoke fear. and what was extraordinary about it i felt was that here you had a very technical negotiation, and yet the subjects that were chosen by the dr. were on a cosmic level. >> imagine being told you cannot
do what everyone else is doing. what everyone else is allowed to do. the fact that that contrasted so sharply with the bombastic language that we heard from the previous president, mahmood ahmadinejad and ideological negotiating team it was a breath of fresh hair air. >> reporter: for much of the american media over the past decade iran has been the new iraq. the parallels were obvious and for iranians scary. nuclear inspectors at the gates. leaders urging the white house to go to war even though iran signed an nuclear treaty that israel has nuclear weapons that refused to sign. saudi arabia in line with israel at issue. washington echoing all of that and given plenty of time on american airwaves to make their place. >> nothing that secretary kerry just said moves us in the direction of preventing iran
from developing a nuclear weapon. >> the media in the u.s. christia"christian science moni" or bloomberg has changed direction at all. emphasizing that the u.s. intelligence, the israeli intelligence has concluded that iran has not made the decision to acquire nuclear weapons. you never hear mention the fact that iran's nuclear facilities are the most inspected in the world. >> this whole story has been a mind field, and we've watched it ebb and flow and it's been ridiculous some of the reporting that really takes us back ten years to just before the invasion of iraq where we had this entire narrative that was put forward often in the media, especially in the "new york times" it was coming from the bush administration about how basically how evil iraq was. >> states likes these and their terrorist allies constitute an
access of evil. >> how it's cheating all the time on its clear ways for weapons of mass destruction. we've seen episodes of this in the last several years with iran. >> but a lot of outlets, "the new york times" have taken a lot of pains to not make the same mistakes that they made previously with the coverage. there is that spector hanging over people an, and there are or outlets that are presenting things in the light that israelis are presenting them. >> are you worried about that down the road? >> in a critical view, don't trust the iranians, but i do think there is a more concentrated effort to be more accurate this time around. >> among the misconceptions that consist about iran because of limitations of freedom of press its media speaks with one voice dictated by the supreme leader, that has never been the case in
the islamic republic. some outlets reflect the president's views. others the supreme leader. for iranians, newspapers are like political weather veins and hard line papers tell them which way the winds are blowing. >> the tone taken by the newspapers is critical but not critical in a sense that they don't recognize the nuclear negotiations. quite the opposite. they have defended the talks. but the concern is more will that resolution actually be put in place? will it really take affect? or will it be broken promises again. will the lack of trust from the american side continue? >> there are certainly criticism coming from hard line outlets in iran but they're not the loudest even if western video might focus on them the most.
the loudest voices are actually reflected from the reformist media, and the reformist press is very happy and celebratory of mr. zarif. that message that they're showing in a positive light, this is the dominant message there. >> the reformist media are under pressure under ahmadinejad. they're always in favor of peaceful resolution of nuclear program. it's natural when the rouhani administration was able to achieve in 100 days that the ahmadinejad administration could not do in eight years, they would we will it. >> because those reformists feel for the moment they are being heard. consider this, a month ago, the reformist paper printed an
article by the banned secular movement. now the paper has been banned. however intoxicated they feeling about the nuclear deal and their new president there is still plenty of news about the way news is covered to sober them up. millions who need assistance now. we appreciate you spending time with us tonight. up next is the golden age of hollywood going golden but elsewhere. why l.a.'s mayor has declared a state of emergency for the entertainment industry there. next.
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money has been spent in the province. on november 21st citing concerns for the president's safety, they warned the media not to photograph or public any images of the compound saying that doing so would be in breach of the natural key points act. legislation that was passed in 1980 that law prohibits publicity for areas of strategic importance. but they defined the ban with front page shots of the compound. they ran with shots of the home with the caption "look away." while "the times" taunted so arrest us. the south african editors also weighed in on the story and said we'll continue to public images of the upgrade because we believe there is immense public interest, and to stop doing so would be a betrayal of our duty.
one of india's top investigative magazines is struggle ing from a sex scandal. accused of assaulting a young journalist. he admitted that he had shape am quote, an attempted . she was accused of working to protect him and by extension the magazine. she then resigned on november 28th in an e-mail to her staff she said i worked hard for many years and what we have stood for. i do not want raised about my integrity to
tarnish the magazine. it has rallied particularly hard on women's rights, sexual assault which is a huge issue in the country. the alleged victim of the attack resigned from her post. police have filed charges including rape and calling in witnesses as part of their investigation. in new york a photographer from haiti has won substantial damages in a landmark copyright infringement case. on november 22nd, the a jury determined that they violated copyright acts and ordered damages for using images from haiti. those pictures which came iconic appear on the twitter account and then picked up by news outlets around the world without him being credited.
they said it was an innocent mistake. the agency tried to limit the award to $120,000. afp's lawyer told the court by asking for the $1.2 million. they were asking him to make him the best paid news photographer on the planet, which the jury then did. war report something a difficult and dangerous game. that's the case when those wars are declare and fought in the open. then there are the undeclare ed wars in countries like yemen, pakistan, somalia . covert military operations that officials barely acknowledge. those are the kinds of wars that geremi scahill covers. he wrote a book on "blackwater." the military contractor that was paid big money for work largely done in the shadows in iraq and afghanistan. he has done more of that kind of journalism as national security reporter. this year geremi
published a book called "dirty wars." and a documentary version of the book opened up in theaters: he is one of the names along with glen greenwald that will be bankrolled by an ebay billionaire. i sat down with scahill to discuss the documentary and some of the challenges he had when moving from report to this new kind of reporter. thank you for being here. >> good to be back. >> you wrote "dirty wars." and now the documentary. what do you think the documentary could achieve. >> the book itself. i intended it as a resource that was interesting to absorb. i tried it write it in a non-fiction way. with the phi
film, i had never done anything like this. we wanted to humanize the people, those who went through night raids and those killed by down strikes. >> you're a print guy and you struggled with the medium a little bit and working with your partners, rick rowley. he said he wanted you to front that story. >> i didn't want to do that. >> what is that concern, a white guy fronting the story about those who are non-white. >> yes, i was critical about that. a young yemeni woman who was an actress they said the film is incredibly powerful but why is it that america will only listen if some white guy is telling the story of what is going on around the world. i share in that criticism. the reason why i think it felt
fake when we were trying to have me be the neutral tour guide through an archipelago of all these dirty wars was because it wasn't real. the point of the documentary is to tell the truth. i have trouble watching the film. i feel embarrassed. i don't like seeing myself on a big screen like that. >> they said of your documentary scahill comes across as a blend of nobility and narcissism. >> boast of my parents are measures in wisconsin . they would be very honored. >> you have arrived. that was the term, narcissist was a term used about edward snowden. why is it that americans who want to lift the lid like you, like snowe snowden get labeled narcissist, unless you are. >> no, there is a lot of dog
whistling going on against someone who has the audacity to stand up against the official line. looked a greenwald, erik snowden is not a narcissist. this was a guy who was operating on principles. he's living in exile. his life will never be the same. he'll live out the rest of his years in russia or he'll be abducted or extradited to the united states. i don't feel a need to respond to that. anyone who knows my work as a journalist can look and see what my priorities are. my priorities have been to tell the stories of others. there is a criticism of me being in the film itself but the point was to make it digestible to people in the united states. the experience and stories of people who have had their entire lives destroyed by these wars. >> there is a point in the film where you're on bill maher show and jay leno, who is an nbc talk show host at the time basically asks you why you're still alive? >> why you still alive?
are you paranoid? >> everybody laughs except you. >> yeah, well first of all, i was thinking, my mom is watching this show, she's horrified when things like that happen. but i was also--i felt the sense of shame because i know really brave reporters, and they don't have the option to go and be on bill maher show because their entire life is lived in yemen or somalia or journalist who is are killed every week in mexico. i feel embarrassed or ashamed when people say you're brave. you take risks. i can show you reporters who you never heard of who are rock stars to me because they're doing it on a daily grind. we parachute into a place. we report and then go back to wherever it is that we make our life. our friends who live in somalia, yemen or elsewhere, that's where they live and the war is their neighborhood. >> let's talk about your new job. this organization funded by the ebay founder.
glen greenwald is there on the ground floor along with you, laura, american journalist in berlin, who has done amazing work in the middle east, and he's going to throw in $250 million of his own dollars to the venture. what are you going to do with all that cash? >> well, first of all that figure came out in an interview because h he was asked if he was going to buy th an newspaper. which cost $250 million. this is a stance , a robust investigative news site but full spectrum news, not just covering the nsa . >> had he walked up to you and
side i want to hire you with the "washington post." would you have gone to a mainstream organization? >> if he said i want to build the "washington post." it's not that i have a problem with the "washington post." they have great journalist who is have done fantastic investigative reporter. but the process we have a media culture in the united states where we are increasingly adversarial to those in power. pierre was saying i want to transform the "washington post" into this bad ass news organization, sure, i would work for it. >> did he come to you or did you go to him? >> we had been talking about creating our own website, not that we would work exclusively for but put our stories that didn't find a home on more established media outlets. we were talking about how to kick start the campaign. when we talked about how to raise money about this literally this afternoon glen gets an
e-mail from a friend of his saying pierre wants to talk to about a project he's working on. he asks glen if he wants to contribute to a new news site. yeah maybe glen could do a monthly column. glen gets off the phone and comes out and says, you're not going to believe this. so we have this conversation and glen says i think we should go back to pierre and tell him what our intention was and see if he wants to working together on this. it was the most insane magical coincidence. >> i hope it works out for you. one thing that i noticed about you and greenwald since the nsa thing, you're worse than answering your emails than before. are you too big for answering e-mails? >> i may kick myself for answering you on this? richard, you have my g mail address. after the show i'll give you my encrypted e-mail, and as long as you can encrypt your e-mail you
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>> finally a message can be it. a few years ago john stuart's daily show had a couple of 10-year-old he is reconstruct the debates for the cameras making a point. now the youtube comedy network has taken that formula and flipped it. using adults to act out a squabble that took place to music. the boy band one direction and justin bieber. the issue, the sexual orientation of one of the boys in the band and the question of the band's allegiance. >> i have proof that harry a g gay. >> you [bleep] brilliant.
>> here we go. >> but to hear two well aged british actors dramatically reenact an exchange what appears to be a couple of mean girls puts a new spin on a war of words between a directionist and a believer. with nearly two million hits online youtube comment reconstruction number one web video of the week. we'll see you next time at the video post. >> disgusting. >> i'm done.