An Honest Witness: John Pilger on Truth-Telling in the Era of Mainstream Media ‘Fake News’

Global Research News Hour episode 193

It is not enough for journalists to see themselves as mere messengers without understanding the hidden agendas of the message and myths that surround it.” – John Pilger [1]




Click to download the audio (MP3 format)

Ecological disasters, economic disruption, military incursions, political upheaval, and financial exploitation all converge and coordinate on the world scene. A chorus of violence, chaos and destruction reaching a crescendo at this stage in human history.

We have a US President facing opposition from within the very power structure of his country. We have an unprecedented level of hostility being exchanged between two nuclear states: North Korea and the United States. Russia stands accused of meddling and interfering with a US election in spite of a lack of concrete evidence to this effect. A lone gunman in Las Vegas, apparently with no military training or background manages to kill or wound nearly 600 people from a distance of 390 yards in only a few minutes. A Caribbean island and US territory, Puerto Rico, is in crisis after a major hurricane wipes out most of its power generation and access to potable water.

It serves certain powerful interests to emphasize certain developments while under-emphasizing or even ignoring others.

Ironically, in an age when the internet was supposed to liberate the masses from domination of corporate-friendly narratives, special interests have not encountered much in the way of organized resistance to their agendas.

Journalists in the truest sense of the word are truth-tellers. They break down artifice and propaganda and keep the powerful on their toes. To quote the aphorism: they comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.

Few people on the planet have upheld this principle as long, as diligently and as consistently as John Pilger.

An Australian by nationality, John Pilger has been a working journalist for more than half a century. He has covered numerous wars, including Vietnam, Cambodia, Egypt, India, Bangladesh, Biafra and the Middle East . He marched alongside America’s poor following the assasination of Dr. Martin Luther King, and was present in the room when presidential candidate Robert Kennedy was assassinated in 1968. His documentaries, which now number around 70, have earned him numerous awards and accolades including The George Foster Peabody Award in 1990, a  British Academy of Film and Television Arts  in 1991, an American Television Award (Emmy) also in 1991, the Sophie Prize for Human Rights in 2003 and the Royal Television Society Best Documentary in 2004. He has contributed to numerous publications and media outlets over the decades including the BBC, Al Jazeera, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, New Statesman, The Los Angeles Times, The Sydney Morning Herald, Information Clearing House, Truthout, Truthdig, ZNET, Common Cause, and Global Research. [2]

In this week’s feature interview, conducted by special guest host, veteran Winnipeg print and broadcast journalist Lesley Hughes, John Pilger discusses the role of the journalist and modern challenges to authentic journalism, the misleading characterization of North Korea as current tensions mount, the West’s role in instigating the refugee crisis, the destruction of an authentic anti-war movement under President Obama, mainstream media warmongering on Russia, and the mendacity of ‘hope’.

As a final note. The Global Research News Hour wishes to acknowledge and thank University of Manitoba based radio station CJUM 101.5 FM for providing access to their studio for recording purposes.


Click to download the audio (MP3 format)
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  2. ibid

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Articles by: Michael Welch and John Pilger

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