by Michael Krieger
The Telegraph’s recent coverage of HSBC amounts to a form of fraud on its readers. It has been placing what it perceives to be the interests of a major international bank above its duty to bring the news to Telegraph readers. There is only one word to describe this situation: terrible.
A free press is essential to a healthy democracy. There is a purpose to journalism, and it is not just to entertain. It is not to pander to political power, big corporations and rich men. Newspapers have what amounts in the end to a constitutional duty to tell their readers the truth.
– Peter Oborne, in his article: Why I have resigned from the Telegraph
Anyone reading this website understands that most of the mainstream media has been transformed into little more than complete propaganda over the past several decades. When the various papers and televisions stations aren’t covering up for the war crimes and corruption of politicians and intelligence agencies, they are busy protecting their corporate advertisers from any potential criticism. This isn’t just speculation anymore.
We’ve had several whistleblowers emerge over the past several years warning the public about how things really work. The most stunning of these during 2014 came from Udo Ulfkotte, a former editor of one of Germany’s main daily publications, which I covered in the post: “Non-Official Cover” – Respected German Journalist Blows Whistle on How the CIA Controls the Media.
Naturally, the UK isn’t immune from such infectious corporatist or government propaganda, and the stench emanating from the Daily Telegraph simply became too thick for Peter Oborne, who just resigned in spectacular fashion as the paper’s chief political commentator.
The Guardian covered this incredible story earlier today:
Peter Oborne, the Daily Telegraph’s chief political commentator, has resigned from the paper, accusing it of a “fraud on its readers” over its coverage of HSBC.
In a blistering attack on the paper’s management and owners, Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay, Oborne claimed the paper deliberately suppressed stories about the banking group in order to keep its valuable advertising account.
He said it was a “most sinister development” at the paper, where he claimed the traditional distinction between the advertising and editorial department had collapsed.
He said he had intended to leave quietly but had a “duty to make all this public” following the Telegraph’s coverage of last week’s revelations about HSBC’s Swiss banking arm, which helped wealthy customers dodge taxes and conceal millions of dollars of assets, doling out bundles of untraceable cash and advising clients on how to circumvent domestic tax authorities.
“It has been placing what it perceives to be the interests of a major international bank above its duty to bring the news to Telegraph readers. There is only one word to describe this situation: terrible.
“If major newspapers allow corporations to influence their content for fear of losing advertising revenue, democracy itself is in peril.”
Oborne claimed it was a pattern that could be seen elsewhere in the paper’s reporting, including its coverage of last year’s protests in Hong Kong.
Oborne alleged that the paper had discouraged critical stories of HSBC since the start of 2013 when the bank suspended its advertising with the paper following a Telegraph investigation into its operation in Jersey.
He said one former Telegraph executive told him HSBC was “the advertiser you literally cannot afford to offend”.
Peter Oborne should be commended and celebrated for what he has done. It’s always easier to stay put and collect the paycheck after you realize that what you’re doing is wrong. He’s one of the courageous and honorable ones, and should be supported for his noble act.
He penned a lengthy piece for Open Democracy titled, Why I have resigned from the Telegraph, which I strongly suggest reading. Also, let him know how you feel about his action. His Twitter handle is: @OborneTweets.