by Gordon Duff, Senior Editor
This week, Hamid Reza Emadi, general manager, the best title I can think of, of Press TV found himself at odds with Veterans Today. There is a reason for this and Emadi has chosen to “kill the messenger” rather than “fix the problem.”
Today, Jim Dean was on a Press TV show with Richard Hellman, who Press TV identified as a “UN environmentalist.” The discussion topic was war crimes against the Palestinians.
VT’s own background check on Hellman says he holds the rank of Colonel in Israeli Army Intelligence and spent 7 years in Israel dealing with the “Palestinian issue.” You can read whatever you like into that.
Here in the US, Hellman heads CIPAC, a front for AIPAC tasked with maintaining a US policy in defense of Israeli land grabs, bombing campaigns, war crimes and seizure of Palestinian lands, working closely with the influential Christian Zionist leadership here.
Hellman’s primary task in life is to create a “Jews only” Israel that includes all current territories where no Palestinians are allowed including the West Bank.
Only recently, Hellman, a powerful lobbyist for Israel, went to the US congress asking for American “defunding” of the UN based on their policy of, and this is a Hellman quote, “genocide against Israel.”
Press TV invited this guy on, when warned in advance, never passed it on to their staff, and had a show blow up in their faces when this guy hogged a microphone and spouted pretty crazy propaganda thru an entire show, talking over their host and Jim Dean, who only had a rare moment to refute this Zionist blowhard.
A few weeks ago, we spoke of the New Horizons Conference in Tehran. Iran had sent me the list of attendees and asked me to run background checks on them, not classified military checks, I would never do that, but their political affiliations. I did so, with about a third on their list being “unclear” to hardcore Zionists.
The recommendations were ignored and I was “uninvited,” another case of them “shooting the messenger.” The conference, as many know, blew up in their faces, when Gareth Porter turned on them, and in an attack coordinated with Christiane Amanpour, set back Iran’s chances of ending US sanctions permanently.
This was a modern unprecedented disaster for the Iranian people.
Our issue with Press TV is a complex one. We have great friends there, and VT personnel have been the driving force behind their divisions for years. The top writers for Press TV for years have been Kevin Barrett or me followed by Jim W. Dean.
I have been the subject of dozens of articles at Press TV, had several prime-time hour long TV interviews in Iran and am a regular on various radio and TV shows in that country, in addition to the work I do with Press TV. Others at VT do the same.
On many occasions we have warned Press TV that Americans they were courting were well known enemies of Iran. It amazed us how little real information about who is what in America reaches them. However, with Emadi, it got worse, so much worse it is hard to describe.
I have a simple position. VT does its best but is also professional. We are military and intelligence experts with many years of journalistic experience and, frankly own an entire media sector in not only the US but Western Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
For months, Emadi has been censoring VT writers and has carried little material that didn’t cover his pet cause, persecution of African Americans in the US and police brutality. However, his choice of material, often depending on one or two writers whose beliefs and agenda are abhorrent to most Americans, ended up practically killing Press TV readership.
At the same time, the broadcast teams at Press TV have, for the most part, done very well with one exception, they often provide an open forum for abusive guests who misbehave on the air. Sometimes this backfires and produces enlightening television, other times, it is simply embarrassing. Either way, hosts at Press TV do their best and are as skilled and professional as possible.
An issue mentioned in an earlier article involves the recent security conference in Damascus. VT personnel, representing the US military and intelligence community, keynoted that conference in a most dramatic faction. Press TV filmed the entire conference, but none of the footage was ever shown.
Mind you, this was not a “get together” of activists and whiners, but involved security specialists from around the world meeting in war-torn Syria. Repercussions in Washington are still being felt. Iranians, however, learned and heard nothing.
I admit, VT has looked on Press TV as a younger brother. Iran is insular and is abused and targeted continually. VT has had a great loyalty and admiration for those factions in Iran that have supported peace and open dialog. Some in Iran, as with every other country, have their own agendas.
Toward that end, VT chose not to be a “lapdog” for Iran even though Iranians are known for their generous hospitality and free spending on those they see as friends. It is my issue that when you have the best friends “money can buy,” you don’t have such good friends.
I have my own personal issues. I know what my value is and what my audience following is. VT is a collection of “stars.” As a 40-plus year intelligence professional, attempts to influence, infiltrate and manipulate amuse the hell out of me. It is akin to playing chess with a hamster.
With VT’s resources, it has also been dispiriting. I was talking with Don Fox about this last night. Those who aren’t co-opted or bought are very few. Most of those who dominated what passed for the “alternative press” years ago have either disappeared or now are shown to be tiresome hacks.
Most have, to “insiders” been shown to be something else — paid agents of “unpleasantness” and deception.
Perhaps we expect too much, but based on the risks, on what there is to lose, we have reason to care. We want Syria and Iraq to survive. Iran has to survive also. Israel, perhaps they can fend for themselves, after all, they control Congress. The question is can the American people survive Israel.
What VT writers do is break news stories, use real sources and maintain a high level of integrity. Others, many pander, some simply waste time and a delightful few continue to amaze us with good work. If only there were more of them, but those who are around usually come to VT just for the company.
Press TV has chosen to play “divide and conquer” games with VT, believing they are all knowing. We at VT know our own failings, having been “had” more than once. It is our rule to learn and move on. Press TV has made themselves vulnerable. To those who love Iran, who work for her survival and very real world peace, and there are many of such at Press TV, our undying support.
To those who would have us be clowns and trained monkeys, good luck with that.