CBS News 60 Minutes Shame
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Deplorable US establishment media find news ways to disgrace themselves, long ago abandoning journalism the way it’s supposed to be.
Why news consumers embarrass themselves by following their print and electronic rubbish, other than to critique it, they’ll have to explain — designed to deceive, not inform.
In November 2017, NYT pseudo-journalist Thomas Friedman produced puff piece propaganda headlined: “Saudi Arabia’s Arab Spring, at Last,” subtitled: “The crown prince has big plans for his society.”
Friedman ignored the Arab world’s most ruthless dictatorship, a despotic crime family, masquerading as a nation-state — notorious for horrendous human rights abuses, including public beheadings, whippings, torture, political imprisonments, sponsoring terrorism, involvement in wars of aggression, and other lawless actions.
Friedman’s commentaries are shallow, deceptive, arrogant, misguided, and worthless.
He failed trying to reinvent Saudi viciousness. After interviewing crown prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) in Riyadh, willful deception followed, Friedman falsely claiming:
“The most significant reform process underway anywhere in the Middle East today is in” the kingdom — a bald-faced Big Lie.
Fast forward to Sunday night. 60 Minutes gave MBS a platform to lie and deceive without challenge.
Following the cold-blooded murder of Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018, clear evidence showed MBS ordered it.
Other than his father king Salman, no one in the kingdom dares circumvent his authority on most everything.
Since appointed crown prince in June 2017, he consolidated power by eliminating potential rivals, solidifying control over kingdom domestic and geopolitical affairs – including its economy, foreign relations, military, interior ministry, and intelligence/security apparatus.
The CIA blamed him for ordering Khashoggi’s killing. US officials familiar with the incident said it “would not and could not have happened” without MBS’ involvement and authorization.
Yet for weeks, kingdom officials stumbled all over themselves in denial, compounding earlier lies and deception with new fabrications about what happened to Khashoggi.
Each new disinformation version made things worse, each is as implausible as others — after days of coverup, followed by shifting blame to lower level patsies.
Virtually nothing MBS and his henchmen say is credible. 60 Minutes asked: “Did you order the murder of Jamal Khashoggi?”
As expected, MBS lied, saying: “Absolutely not,” adding: “I take full responsibility as a leader in Saudi Arabia, especially since it was committed by individuals working for the Saudi government.”
In a ruthless dictatorship like Saudi Arabia, ruled with an iron fist, dispatching a 15-member hit squad to Istanbul, Turkey to eliminate Khashoggi would never happen without MBS’ direct involvement and authorization.
60 Minutes failed to challenge his Big Lie effectively, asking: “What does that mean that you take responsibility?”
“The world wants the answer to this question. How did you not know about this operation?”
“(H)ow could you not know if this was carried out by people who are close to you?”
“When you heard that people close to you and in your government carried out such a grisly murder, and that the American government thinks that you ordered it, what did you think?”
“The CIA has concluded with medium to high confidence that you personally targeted Khashoggi and you probably ordered his death.”
“What kind of threat is a newspaper columnist to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that he would deserve to be brutally murdered?”
60 Minutes failed to rebut his evasive answers.
The September 14 strike on key Saudi oil facilities was discussed. 60 Minutes asked why Riyadh didn’t prevent what happened, despite spending countless billions of dollars on sophisticated weapons and related equipment — including US Patriot and Hawk missile defense systems, designed for this purpose.
Another evasive answer followed, unchallenged by 60 Minutes.
Shamefully blaming Tehran for what happened, despite no evidence suggesting it, a followup question asked: “What do you think was the strategic reason that Iran (sic) struck Aramco?”
A proper question would be to ask how can Trump regime hardliners and Riyadh blame Iran for what Yemeni Houthis admitted carrying out, their ability to strike strategic kingdom targets shown many times before?
60 Minutes: “Pompeo has called what Iran did in his words, ‘an act of war.’ Was it an act of war?”
MBS: “ Of course. Yes” — a bald-faced Big Lie by both figures, 60 Minutes supporting the deception.
The broadcast ignored US orchestrated and led aggression in Yemen, lied about the civilian toll, failed to explain the humanitarian catastrophe — nor hold MBS’ feet to the fire for terror-bombing hospitals, schools, residential areas, and other civilian targets.
Nor was the US/Saudi medieval siege on the entire country touched on.
MBS falsely claimed Iranian involvement in the war it has nothing to do with, diverting attention from horrendous war crimes he personally ordered as war minister — no 60 Minute challenge of his deception, letting his culpability off the hook.
Why did CBS News give a brutal despot/war criminal/human rights abuser a platform to lie and deceive? Why weren’t his unacceptable answers challenged?
Why did CBS promote discredited Big Lies about nonbelligerent Iran?
Following independent alternative media, largely online, is the only way to stay informed.
Establishment media like CBS treat news consumers like mushrooms — well-watered, in the dark, to know nothing but the fake news official narrative.
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My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”