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tv   The Listening Post 2017 Ep 38  Al Jazeera  October 25, 2017 8:33am-9:01am AST

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spend the next thirty years of our lives dealing with destructive ideas we will destroy them someday and immediately the u.n. secretary general has praised peacekeepers in the central african republic who are struggling to contain violence between religious groups with more news in thirty minutes next on al-jazeera it's the listening post to stay with us. al-jazeera recounts the shocking story of the assassination of counts folk abene dot. the first u.n. envoy trying to bring peace to the middle east how is negotiations with him helped save thousands of jews from nazi concentration camps and how these mediation skills put him at the vanguard in the quest for peace in the middle east. killing the count at this time on al-jazeera. and hollywood producer harvey weinstein the actual. call it was called i shot twice but i want
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to show your time. with a. little. fun in that section because it's dark and white. hello i'm richard burton you're at the listening post here is what we're looking at this week exposure what the harvey weinstein story the one that u.s. media failed to report until now says about the relationship between the film industry and the news business some people do stand up to hollywood they work at the cia and the pentagon iranians say goodbye to one of their oldest online institutions is shutting down and a car bomb kills a journalist in malta her son calls the country a mafia state. in hollywood it was one of those open secrets something widely known that no one was prepared to say out loud harvey weinstein one of the most successful producers in the movie business a serial sexual abuser using his
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a men's power and influence to force women including staff in turns and mostly actresses to succumb to his will the fame of those involved made this story headline news raising the question of why something that took place over a period of decades was not reported until now it wasn't for a lack of sources at least two major media outlets have been accused by journalists who chased the weinstein story of burying it there's a conflict of interest at play here the news industry big in the bright lights and reflected glamour of the film industry and relies on its revenues the ad dollars that the studio spent the dozens of women harvey weinstein wronged were not the only parties in this story who feared his influence his power to make or break careers our starting point this week is the headquarters of the weinstein company in new york city. typically stories about the abuse of power conflict of interest and the suppression
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of journalism have at their sent some kind of political figure not this the case of harvey weinstein and other men who have been accused of sexual abuse they've been able to hide their misconduct publicly for several decades because of the power structures that exists in society they know that they're at the top they're the boss they have the money and the power and the influence to make sure that if they're accused of any of these crimes that they can hush it up this is all about. how open was that secret harvey weinstein's treatment of women gawker an online news site with a taste for scandal reported on it in two thousand and fifty inviting. victims to share their experiences but the story went nowhere if the us mainstream media were interested they lacked the appetite to follow up so it's not that it never was
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referred to but there was never this big investigative journalism that really brought it out into the open until the new york times did it this month what is the reason for that well he's been a very powerful guy he's had many friends in the media in entertainment in politics and it was the kind of thing that people sort of looked away from his real talent and skill was in managing publicity getting up advertising campaigns to when people ask carriers if you're like a vanity fair magazine and you wanted to interview those people he could get or deny and so he had a real network in place and we're not italian actress that did come through with a legal claim against weinstein certainly page six of the new york post was running like all these articles against her about her you know her past and that was coming out of weinstein himself and using page six as a tool or commission so i like to see people like actually not just investigate weinstein but investigate the people who are like actively complicit in that for
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those of you see. there are many reasons why a news organization would comply with the wishes of a hollywood movie some films have advertising budgets in the tens of millions of dollars news outlets need those ad revenues and whether journalists cover politics or entertainment access matters alienate a major player in hollywood and you might lose your spot on the red carpet at the oscars or that exclusive interview with a movie star the new york times broke the weinstein story but a journalist who used to work there sharon waxman says she took the story to the times in two thousand and four that the paper was pressured to drop it and the times disputes that ronan farrow is an investigative reporter for n.b.c. . who said he had the weinstein story backed by multiple sources and audiotape months before the times finally published it but that n.b.c. refused to put it on the air farrow eventually took the story to
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a magazine the new yorker which published its version shortly after the times why did you end up reporting the story for the new yorker not for n.b.c.'s i walked into the door at the new yorker with. an explosive lee reportable piece that should have been public earlier and immediately obviously a new yorker recognized that and it is not accurate to say that it was not reportable in fact there were multiple determinations that was reported with the family and he's a much more recent story and it's been published in the new yorker which is family known for not publishing anything that they can't back up so the fact of the it was able to go through the new yorker fact checking system kind of indicates that n.b.c. dropped the ball around and farrah had enough to go forward although the news organizations want to minute i think that they just felt intimidated and they didn't want to deal with the consequences and. harvey weinstein was the producer of project runway which is owned by n.b.c. so you know you had. yours you know we don't want to rock the boat these
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media conglomerates are so big and so there's so many divisions the news divisions get compromise because the entertainment divisions can't put the kybosh on a story that may threaten that part of the enterprise and that's very frightening. in journalism sometimes the best question to ask isn't why it's why now and theories on why the weinstein story is more newsworthy now than in years past ranged from the shifting fortunes of his company to signs that when it comes to certain men in positions of power in america the times are changing the reason why harvey. was taken down now it's my firm belief is because he wasn't that powerful anymore he wasn't making money for other people so ten years ago he's raking in the oscars he's raking in the cash nobody's going to give him up there's no way that
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all these women could have come out and felt comfortable enough to say what they said eventually to the new york times there are factors that have enabled media outlets to finally report the harvey weinstein case they have finally been able to do that because of the other cases that have come forward and have been successfully covered in the news such as donald trump will cost roger ailes they felt empowered because of the news coverage that has been going on we turn next year to stunning new developments after the flood of accusations of sexual misconduct against harvey weinstein as satisfying as it must be for harvey weinstein's many victims to finally see him get the coverage he deserves it must go all of them to watch the same mainstream media outlets that shied away from the story now feasting on it moralizing over it calling it something they should have called it long ago breaking news on the social media side the need to movement has
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resonated with women all over the world with their own stories of harassment or sexual assault in the workplace but sharing a hash tag highlighting a serious social problem is one thing correcting it particularly in a place like hollywood is quite another a lot of this is going on for a long long time the phrase casting couch was first used in one nine hundred thirty one the well worn hollywood. actresses kind of have to sleep with producers or directors to get positions we have many story from the so-called golden age of people like judy garland are really being abused so this is kind of like almost like an accepted part of hollywood there's a lot of hypocrisy going around there's a lot of finger pointing and there's not a lot of people finger pointing by looking at a mirror and saying how. to help assess how did you propagate this. and the problem is that if you don't understand where you did wrong and how you are part of this how is that really going to change anything the news media needs to really take
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a look at itself and i think with social media on our backs now we have an obligation to be more accountable. for we're going to end up being embarrassed. other media stories that are on our radar this week on the mediterranean island nation of malta a journalist who used last year's panama papers data dump to expose widespread corruption has been killed by a car bomb investigative reporter death knock out a wanna go around a blog called running commentary that sometimes attracted more online readers than all of the island's newspapers combined the consortium behind the panama papers won the pulitzer prize for its journalism want to lead the team's investigations in malta and effectively forced prime minister joseph smith scott to call early
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elections there was scott has the nie that he and his wife used offshore bank accounts to hide payments from the ruling family of azerbaijan scott called the murder an attack on press freedom he said everyone knows ms kind of want to see it was a harsh critic of mine both politically and personally but nobody can justify this barbaric act. tatooine i got a son matthew said his mother was assassinated because she stood between the rule of law and those who sought to violate it this is where we are a mafia state where you will be blown to pieces for exercising your basic freedoms iranians witnessed the end of a social media era this past week when one of the country's oldest online platforms clued announced it was shutting down both facebook and twitter are banned in iran and clue which launched twelve years ago filled part of that gap the site frequently clashed with the authorities for failing to take down politically sensitive material or pictures showing women without head scarves which is illegal
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in the islamic republic according to the company's director clued had been taken offline three times the most recent block lasted twenty eight days he said that his team no longer had the energy and enthusiasm to keep fighting instagram and the messaging service telegram are both available in iran and are booming president hassan. pawnee who was reelected earlier this year said he would ease social media restrictions but he has yet to live up to that promise you can add mauritania to the list of governments that have suddenly accused critical media outlets of failing to pay their taxes and shutting them down on october seventeenth the country's broadcasting authority ordered five privately owned t.v. channels to close for failing to fulfill their financial agreements somehow t.v. chin go it out of what the nia and more rabid tune were all ordered to close leaving just one channel the state owned t.v. am on the air. all of this happens in the aftermath of a contentious referendum held two months ago which president muhammad ruled
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abdel-aziz called to expand the powers of the presidency. several journalists including al-jazeera correspondent bob would have been harassed or arrested while reporting on political unrest. the weinstein story was suppressed by hollywood using its legal and financial muscle to keep a lid on it but there are also power centers in the u.s. government that can dictate to hollywood the pentagon and the cia we've examined the u.s. military symbiotic relationship with hollywood before how the department of defense offers filmmakers access to tell a general military hardware and personality a minimal cost in return for the right to alter storylines and veto scenes the pentagon does not like thanks to a neutral of documents a clearer picture is emerging of the cia's attempts to control its on screen image the intelligence agencies track record of political assassinations coup plotting
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overseas and occasional support for terror groups offer countless possibilities for potential screenwriters however the agency works with filmmakers to portray version of its activities removing scenes and changing plot lines the cia sees as unflattering listening posts may not show ravi now on america's military intelligence entertainment complex. much any big budget war movie by taking a spy thriller and you could walk away not knowing just how much your movie expedience was shaped by the pentagon or cia however the truth of official documents obtained under u.s. freedom of information laws and published this year detailed the dealings between filmmakers and intelligence officials at lang. jr the cia headquarters probably the best now in our zero dark thirty and argo but it also says to the television show
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homeland how do we deal with homegrown violent jihad they've also assisted alias the work are very heavily in touch with fighting twenty four. c.b.s. series can be agency. assisted a film called the sum of all fears starring black captain jack wright cia charlie wilson's war is a really good example where they maintain the idea that already you know we're really doing the right thing by arming the mujahideen the forerunners of the al qaeda terrorist organization in afghanistan in the one thousand nine hundred. they kind of question that in a kind of jokey way like the last caption in the in the film telling go sins or something like oh we came we saw but then we mucked up the end game or some joke you know it's like no that's not what you did actually and you know it because the original script and they were you base this on doesn't say that you terrorists in
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a really horrific conflict it's the whole organization behind that a systematic level. and that time charlie wilson's war into this you know saccharin been knowing movie throughout the one nine hundred ninety. two with hollywood very specifically on movies that portray the cia sort of our roic force protecting america most of the movies were based on tom clancy books actually the hunt for red october and that entire franchise. you know the lead character jack ryan is like super heroic figure and he's like constantly you know taking down bag guys. and saving america saving the world from various threats whether it's islamic terrorism or the iraqi air alternately white supremacists. between them and the cia and the u.s. department of defense have had varying levels of input from simply can't find points for authenticity to actually writing parts of script on more than one thousand
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eight hundred movies and t.v. shows. when it comes to influencing filmmaker shaping the story the pentagon is usually in a stronger negotiating position than the cia because of the hardware at its disposal it can shut down before the scene is ever shot. the department of defense is actually a much more powerful player in the entertainment industry for basically financial reasons the department of defense has. expensive toys they have some marines they have aircraft carriers they have tanks and they have the personnel. to operate things so if a filmmaker wants to make a war movie they often will approach the department of defense and basically asked to borrow that equipment and the department of defense will say maybe but can i see your script and they will either say this is great we love the way that the military is portrayed in the us we will go ahead in collaborate with you or they may say we hate the way they were portrayed and refused to participate. when the
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pentagon does agree to support a film that can. the some scripting strings attached and the vietnam war is clearly a sore point in the hulk a reference to a u.s. operation that poison vietnamese farmland was removed and in the bond film tomorrow never dies a suggestion that the us did not win the war was caught out in iron man a reference to soldier suicides is removed again at the pentagon's insistence. the cia's presence in hollywood is harder to detect. and goes back to the early days of the cold war and was designed to counter a propaganda effort coming out of the soviet union. the cia placed undercover agents in major studios where they monitored leftwing screen writers and directors this was at the height of cold war paranoia and hollywood was under the scrutiny of the us congress is investigating alleged communist influence and infiltration in
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the moving picture industry the agency started influencing scripts one senior executive at paramount pictures working covertly for the cia described how to counter what the soviets were saying about the persecution of african-americans quote well dressed negroes unquote would be planted in certain fields. what happens in the one nine hundred ninety s. is that the cold war ends and all of a sudden the cia is left without a visible viable enemy to justify its existence they're going to continue they had to do something to improve their public image and one of the responses to that crisis was to begin to work with hollywood to convince the american public that and congress that they were still worth. being an institution. in one thousand nine hundred six the cia's entertainment liaison office in hollywood began offering free support to movies that featured the agency chase
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brandon an intelligence agent and cousin of actor tommy lee jones was the cia's first liaison officer he's credited as a technical advisor on a host of hollywood blockbusters such as the recruit starting out but as a veteran cia officer off air years are. our successes. but. in reality brandon was far more than a mere advisor on the recruit he helped pitch the film to disney that eventually produced and distributed the movie and was involved in the script writing the create. as another cia as an officer protect hollywood is the only way the public learns about the agency which begs the question should the public be learning about the cia from the cia without even being aware of the agency's role in the production process. these issues became public with the release of one of the biggest cia hollywood collaboration to date zero dark thirty
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a film about the search for osama bin laden you really believe the story. sounded a lot in the zero dark thirty was a really unusual case i think for the cia in terms of how it works with hollywood the cia. director and screenwriter a lot of access to the agency they bounced a lot of ideas back and forth and they wanted to really kind of tightly control the narrative that this was putting out it backfired because very quickly after the movie came out it was criticized for suggesting that torture somehow played a role in the information gathering that led to the capture assassination of the law on. torture and the cia's use of it especially after nine eleven were already under investigation when zero dark thirty was released the senate intelligence committee wrote a letter to the production studio sony pictures they said we believe the film is grossly inaccurate and misleading in its suggestion that torture resulted in
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information that led to the location of osama bin laden zero dark thirty as director kathryn bigelow eventually had to respond to the allegation that her film was making the cia's case for torture in an editorial for the los angeles times she wrote that critics were quote confusing depiction with indorsement torture was as we all know employed in the early years of the hunt that doesn't mean it was the key to finding bin laden it means it's a part of the story we couldn't ignore. that's more of a problem with the film industry and the creative industry total disinterest in the responsibility of the ideological products they create and this is why you can have a very liberal town full of very liberal or even sometimes left wing celebrities and directors but actually they create films that are very much in keeping with the american empire project rare. he has any kind of public credit that suggests that they had any hand in shaping a narrative that that lack of transparency i find incredibly problematic because
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it doesn't allow the viewer to be a smart critical theory. how about this one they just have at the beginning of each film made with the support of the central intelligence agency the cia and on the practice lost then because it wasn't because people look at it and say oh no it's one of the propaganda films. finally back to the harvey weinstein story the fact that his atrocious behavior went unreported for so long has led to allegations as yet unconfirmed of soul searching in the entertainment industry and in the news media but the signs of what kind of man weinstein was were out there for all to see it's just that no one did anything about it we have collected a few clips the odd joke or throwaway line from figures in the film world that prove that weinstein's reputation as a sexual predator was known years before that explosive report in the new york times was published bringing him down we'll see an x.
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time here at the listening comes. the two thousand and twelve nominees for best performance by an actress in a supporting role congratulations you five ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to harvey weinstein. are you here of your own free will. as someone coerced you into being here or do you count harvey weinstein as a course i'm not afraid of anyone in show business i turned down intercourse with harvey weinstein on no less than three occasions out of five you know harvey weinstein is a i don't know whether he's in some kind of organized crime now. but he used to be like some kind of junior mob kind of got writers it was like in the mob that's are they telling yeah and now you know like a big powerful film guy right yes i do all my movies for harvey weinstein that's miramax and i'm lucky to do them there but he will coerce you to do with it so and
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so harvey said it would go on and pro talk about your movies and what herbie said and in return what will her if you do for you. nothing but really what's wrong with that equation. i was the kid see you do the math. i did write my younger you know you're. ok you're going to face your predatory years we're seeing.
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across the globe breathtaking efforts to clean up the planet saturn are on the way in milan companies are turning to a radical solution biodynamics a man toxic pollution so this really is a living building that's constantly interacting with its environment earthrise trees it's the frontin years of the battle for the environment trying to iceland
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a pioneering a new technique to reduce emissions earthrise looked at new ways of preventing air pollution at this time and. we're here to jerusalem bureau covered israeli palestinian affairs we cover the story with a lot of intimate knowledge we covered it with that we don't dip in and out of the story we have presence here all the time apart from being a cameraman it's also very important to be a journalist to know the story very well before going into the field covering the united nations and global the policy for al-jazeera english is pretty incredible this is where talks happened and what happens there matters. you want your knowledge is there i'm still robin these are all top stories china's communist party has revealed.

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