Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Media Category

Conrad Black Goes to Uruguay

  • December 29, 2012
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Rousing myself from my post-Xmas torpor on Boxing Day morning for a brief survey of the news through a random I-Pad, my eyes were caught by an article in the Huffington Post from Conrad Black about Uruguay’s remarkable president José Mujica.

At first – and second – glance, these are not two names that one would expect to find together in any context.   Black, or Lord Black of Crossharbour, as the Queen generously dubbed him in 2001 at Tony Blair’s behest, is a former newspaper tycoon and convicted fraudster, who has spent most...

We All Hate Julian Assange

  • June 25, 2012
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I have to admit a certain ambivalence towards Julian Assange.  On the one hand I admire what he and Wikileaks have done.  At least from a distance however,   he comes over as somewhat egocentric, grandiose and reckless,  with an appetite for self-promotion that has overshadowed the collective efforts of the...

Swimming with sharks: the rightwing press snatches distraction from defeat

  • May 05, 2012
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Faced with the Coalition’s predictable drubbing in yesterday’s local elections,  the rightwing press has been reminding the electorate of the issues that really matter, showing the thoughtful analysis for which it is justifiably famous.

Yesterday’s Times had a piece on the collapse of the computerized visa system at Lunar House with a Pavlovian headline guaranteed...

Rupert Murdoch’s Little Shop of Horrors

  • April 26, 2012
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Facing commercial disaster and the prospect of a criminal investigation in the United States,  the carnivorous plant that is News International is in deep trouble, and the master florist is coming out fighting in an attempt to save his creation.   Yesterday Rupert Murdoch’s testimony at the Leveson Inquiry was very different from...

In the garden of good and evil: the media and Syria

  • March 16, 2012
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Objective analysis of the brutal conflict in Syria has been generally conspicuous by its absence over the last 12 months, where the mainstream media has generally  followed the narratives propagated by their governments with all the independence and perspicacity of  trained seals.

One of the few exceptions is the political analyst and blogger Sharmine Narwani....

I.F. Stone, court scribes and pseudo-journalism

  • March 13, 2012
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I’m currently reading a collection of pieces by the outstanding radical journalist I.F. Stone (1907-1989), which rather amazingly,  you can download for free here.   Stone was a socialist and a fiercely independent journalist who was most famous for I.F. Stone’s Weekly, a newsletter which he wrote, produced and edited himself for 17...

About Me

I’m a writer, campaigner and journalist.  My latest book is The Savage Frontier: The Pyrenees in History and the Imagination (New Press/Hurst, 2018).  The Infernal Machine is where I write on politics, history, cinema and other things that interest me.

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