Wednesday, October 17, 2012

News Bias, Anwar Ibrahim and a Turkey Shoot

Read yesterday, a concise but articulate article in Free Malaysia Today, "How biased
are our newspapers, online media
?"

What endeared me to the article was the author's closing words.

And by chance also yesterday, The Star had an article by Karim Raslan, "Turkey rising!"

Turkey is blue blazes to me but to each his own I always say.

However, if the author wanted to write about Turkey in such exalting fashion, the least he could do is to be a wee bit more objective for his justifications and praise.

Karim Raslan wrote,
September 2012 saw some 300 military officers convicted of attempting to overthrow the government via the “Sledgehammer” plot – an unprecedented development when you consider how the armed forces used to dictate terms to civilian governments.

This has further strengthened Erdogan’s hand in remaking Turkey as well as projecting its power abroad
I don't know what "power" Karim immediately contradicts himself about but the Turkish "Sledgehammer" affair is a moot subject, significant in more ways than one.

It would not be so difficult for Karim, after all, as The Star which carries his piece, had put up two reports from Reuters about the "Sledgehammer" trials, one "Turkey clips military's wings in landmark verdict" which "critics of the government have said the trial was a purge of the government's opponents in the army's ranks"

It also reported, Pinar Dogan, a lecturer at Harvard University and daughter of Cetin Dogan, convicted by the Turkish courts as one of the masterminds of the attempted coup, as saying it was not a legal case and that it was a wider operation with powerful forces behind it, those with firm secularist beliefs were ones targeted. Also she said her mother Nilgul Dogan, 60, faces three years in prison in a separate case for planting a rose bush near the courthouse to protest against the trial.

The other carried by the Star, also a Reuter report, "Turkish court sentences 322 military officers to jail", had thousands of people, including journalists, lawyers and politicians, in jail pending verdicts in trials that human rights groups say raise questions about Turkey's commitment to democratic rights.

Karim could take a leaf out of The Guardian for a lesson of an objective point of view in "Turkey's Sledgehammer Coup verdict: justice or Soviet-style show trial?" that noted it seem no coincidence that many of the soldiers, politicians, Kurdish activists, lawyers, academics and journalists caught up in the Sledgehammer and other mass investigations are also Erdogan's opponents and critics.

The Guardian, in the same report quotes Harvard professor and son-in-law of General Cetin Dogan, Dani Rodrik, saying Turkey holds more journalists in jail than China and Iran combined.

More of Dani Rodrik on the "Sledgehammer" trial is here.

The BBC has a Q&A on Turkish military coups and "Sledgehammer".

Why I do not give a single sen worth for Turkey, I admit, is the irritating and continous manner your friend not mine, Anwar Ibrahim, showers accolades on Turkey as comparisons only to denigrate Malaysia.

You can never find another Malaysian political personality who insults his own country as frequently and unashamedly as Anwar Ibrahim, as if his own country is an enemy state.

Then again Anwar Ibrahim has a special affinity for Turkish delights.

Who can forget that fleeting moment in time when Anwar crashed the Turkish embassy to save his own skin from phantom assassins in Sodomy act part II.

Julian Assange must have been inspired by that drama act.

Two weeks ago, Anwar had again taken Turkey as an example, also touching on the economy, a precursor to Karim's perhaps, in support of his argument when debating the Malaysian budget, with praise not unlike Karim Raslan.

Therefore, it is not by chance that I have singled out Karim Raslan's Turkish bouquet lacking in objectivity. A subtle attempt to paint a positive scenario and conceal a dysfunctional political situation in Turkey.

Bird's of a feather flock together as the saying goes. None more aptly applied for Karim Raslan and Anwar Ibrahim.



Karim's tweet to the other bird @anwaribrahim to READ (has a broken link). When it's a Malaysia Chronicle article, you immediately know where Karim is coming from. When it's a Malaysia Chronicle report, you know where it's headed to, with the usual PKR SOP threats and claims to "thousands" of documents but nothing to show.

Anytime and anything that Anwar, his PKR vultures and other birds of a feather like Karim Raslan say, do yourself a favour and check it out.

A must read "Neither justice nor democracy has been served" of the "Sledgehammer" trial and verdicts.

I do not really know or care who or what Karim Raslan is. As far as all these types of journalists, analysts, academicians etc etc are concerned, to all readers of the mainstream and alternative media, I borrow in closing, those timely and endearing words of the FMT author -
"Nothing is what it seems and that the search for the truth often requires scratching under the surface, reading all sides and finally coming down with an objective conclusion."

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