What’s New April 2007

This page lists changes to this site for April 2007.

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A former senior US official admits that the US coerced India into voting against Iran at the IAEA regarding nuclear technology, even though there has been little proof to date from the US or the IAEA that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. Iran recently took British sailors and marines hostage which has raised tensions. At the same time, there may be wider geopolitical issues at stake here. For example, some feel the US is attempting to contain Iran’s growing influence in the region. However, it might be that it is the regional interest of Russia and in particular, China, that the US is attempting to thwart. Updates were added to explore these themes further

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Channel 4 in the UK aired a documentary showing the British government’s record on tackling climate change might not be as positive as they make it out to be. Two days later, the channel aired a documentary claiming the entire idea of human-induced climate change was a great swindle. Unfortunately, it turns out that documentary itself was a swindle, using disproved theories to make their case, misrepresenting views of at least one leading scientist they interviewed, and more. Various newspapers were at least initially taken in by the documentary. Channel 4 defended airing such a flawed documentary, but this appeared to be false balancing given the poor quality of the documentary. A documentary that more accurately looked at these views, that did not appear to mislead people, would have been better. Interestingly, these two examples show spin on both sides of the climate change views, one which Channel 4 helped expose, and another in which the same media outlet did not appear to review carefully (Channel 4 had to issue an apology for similar problems arising from another film by the same producer years earlier). This update describes these in more detail.

Outside of the US, this is a reasonably common criticism of American mainstream journalists. Within the US, however, more people are also questioning the state of the mainstream media. The famous (now former) CBS anchor, Dan Rather, for example, notes this and additionally accuses journalists of succumbing to pressure to conform as part of their patriotic duty, instead of having the courage to ask tougher questions. Small update was added regarding this

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