Founded in 2001 by Cromwell and David Edwards, Media Lens is a media analysis website which monitors the broadcast and the print media in the UK, attempting to show evidence of bias, distortions and omissions on such issues as climate change, Iraq and the “war on terror”.
The founders of Media Lens draw on the Propaganda Model of media control advanced by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky. As a ‘media analysis site’ Media Lens portrays itself as providing an alternative view to the increasingly mistrusted corporate media.
They claim to focus on calling to account the ‘liberal media’, e.g. the Guardian and the Observer and want us to believe Media Lens are a corrective to the ‘mainstreams’ ‘distorted vision’. Their aim, they claim, ”is to raise awareness of the systemic failure of the corporate media to report the world honestly and accurately.”
Scrutiny of Media Lens output, however, indicates that rather than being objective analysts of the media, they strongly promote their own agenda which has much in common with that of the establishment media they claim to be critiquing.
Media Lens state on their website:
”We also hope to encourage the creation of non-corporate media – good examples are Democracy Now!, The Real News Network and ZNet – that offer genuine alternatives to the corporate mainstream.”
ZNet appears to have folded. But Democracy Now and The Real News Network are hardly ‘ corporate alternatives’ since both are corporate financed. The former is funded by the Carnegie Foundation, George Soros’s Open Society and Tides Foundations, and the Ford Foundation. The latter is funded by the the Ford Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation.
The corporate hand
Both DN and TRNN claim to be independent and progressive. However, the corporate hand has shown itself very clearly, for example, on the issue of the Syrian war, where both DN and TRNN are firmly squarely on the side of imperialism and regime change.
The public’s ”trust” in Media Lens’ analysis is premised on the false assumption that journalism is a vital component of our democracy. The position of Media Lens seems to be that they and their corporate outlets of choice who they have a number of shared interests with, are best placed to determine which sources are deserving of this “trust”.
Media Lens rely heavily on social media for impact, especially twitter, rather than a high volume of articles (termed ‘Alerts’). The two editors, David Cromwell and David Edwards, have also authored some books, most recently, Propaganda Blitz. They tweet, retweet and write about failings of the media on issues where the corporate media see their role as propaganda or suppression rather than fact.
They are seen as progressive and anti-imperialist, as they largely make the right noises about, for example, Gaza, Yemen and Syria. However, the Media Lens response to the wars on first Libya, then Syria, as well as the Russia-Ukraine conflict, appears dutiful rather than enthusiastic, even compromised. They are seemingly unaware that the tradition of the brutality of Gaddafi and Bashar al-Assad owes more to Western propaganda than to evidence.
Media Lens aspires ‘to show evidence of bias, distortions and omissions on such issues as climate change, Iraq and the “war on terror’. As well as stressing their left-wing credentials, the three major issues that are arguably utmost on the Media Lens agenda is their promotion of Noam Chomsky, climate change alarmism and their rejection of the sceptical arguments in relation to the Covid event.
Media Lens and Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky, often hailed as America’s premier dissident illectual, fearless purveyor of truth-fighting against media propaganda, murderous US foreign policy and the crimes of profit-hungry transnational corporations, enjoys a worldwide slavish cult-like following from students, journalists and activists.
Media Lens are among those who fawn over Chomsky’s every utterence and written word as if they were scripture and prophetical. To them, Chomsky is the supreme deity, a priestly master whose logic cannot be questioned. Chomsky has a reputation for being a ‘progressive’, a critic of government and the corporations, and an advocate of democracy. This is also the position of Media Lens.
The implication is that democratic principles are underscored by ‘trusted’ news reportage sanctioned by the likes of Media Lens and their chief advocates and therefore we should trust them, unquestioningly, to the exclusion of dissenting ‘others’.
Chomsky has been strongly criticised as suppressing discussion on any issue that threatens globalist interests, from the Kennedy assassinations, the activities of the CIA, the Federal Reserve and above all the Covid narrative and the plan for global government. The organisations mostly closely involved with global government, the Trilateral Commission, the WEF, the Committee of Foreign Relations are ignored or dismissed as ‘nothing organisations’.
Chomsky facilitated the invasion of Libya by whitewashing the rebels and demonising Gaddafi, and went on to support the United States with regard to the war on Syria. Chomsky pushes the NATO propaganda line of the popular Syrian uprising, the brutal response first by ‘Assad’ and then ‘Assad’ in conjunction with the Russians, and the necessity for regime change, by negotiation if possible and if necessary by arming ‘rebels’.
Media Lens, however, has steadfastly ignored the growing disillusionment with Noam Chomsky on part of anti-imperialists, and lose no opportunity to promote him as a cult figure. Media Lens and Chomsky mutually resent the charge they are pro-Assad and reject the arguments of those who are critical of the anthropogenic climate warming narrative.
Anthropogenic global warming
David Cromwell , we are told, has a PhD (1987) in solar physics from Glasgow University and then carried out post-doctoral research in Boulding Colorado at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). NCAR is a partner of the World Bank in the Climate Change Knowledge Portal, and also carries out research on geoengineering).
Cromwell subsequently worked for Shell in the Netherlands (four years) and then for 17 years in a research post at National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, United Kingdom, before leaving in 2010 to work full-time on Media Lens. Cromwell’s impressive qualifications both explain an interest in global warming and give credibility to his position. However, his manner of engagement on the issue is hardly consistent with a scientific interest.
While Media Lens claims to be scrutinising the mainstream media, they are actually in lockstep with the corporate media who are pushing the same message. The media analysts, for example, constantly promote the globalist position by uncritically tweeting mainstream media articles such as this one and this one, as well as tweets from alarmists like Michael Mann on December 5, 2018 and Bill McGuire on February 21, 2023, both of whom blocked me for no apparent reason other than I reject their thesis that human activity is driving catastrophic climate change.
Media Lens have also quoted, uncritically, Inger Andersen, the executive director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in the Guardian.
”We had our chance to make incremental changes, but that time is over. Only a root-and-branch transformation of our economies and societies can save us from accelerating climate disaster.”
In a November, 14, 2022, Media Alert, Media Lens said:
”Scientists are now admitting more often that they are ‘scared’ about the climate crisis.”
The media analysts added:
”Record high temperatures this summer in the UK alone prompted Professor Hannah Cloke, from Reading University, to say: ”This sort of thing is really scary. It’s just one statistic amongst an avalanche of extreme weather events that used to be known as “natural disasters”.
No room for debate
There is no room for scientific debate with Media Lens on any point. The analysts frequently praise campaigns‘ of vandalism committed by climate activists like Extinction Rebellion and Just Stop Oil. Their alerts consistently and uncritically report from the alarmist perspective.
In this alert which could well have come from the Guardian, they cited the Daily Mail who they previously condemned as a ‘mainstream climate sceptic‘, apparently quoting the US’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The Daily Mail article claims that ”normally chill Norway, Sweden and Finland all saw temperatures they have never seen before on any date, pushing past 90 degrees”. Oddly enough, July high temperature records for Sweden, for one, have remained unchallenged since 1901 (Götaland), 1933 (Svealand) and 1945 (Norrland). Climate alarmists have been warning of an ice-free Arctic for decades, and continue to do so, but the ice is, if anything, increasing.
Media Lens’ in their alert also state:
”In Greece, 80 people died in terrible wildfires.”
This completely overlooks the fact that in 2007 there were fires which killed 84 people, and that then as now, Greeks blamed arson, as do many in California. The Media alert is sensationalist popular journalism of the worst kind, designed to uncritically push the corporate agenda.
Their position is totally partisan. What happened to the objective ‘media analysis’ website?
Investigative journalist and researcher, Whitney Webb summed-up the prevailing climate change orthodoxy in a single tweet, highlighting the fact that it’s intimately tied to corporate interests embodied in the UN’s climate change agenda formulated at the annual ‘COP’ gatherings:
“COP26 is about setting up the financial infrastructure for a completely new economic system based on CBDCs and the financialization of ‘natural capital’ and ‘human capital’ into new asset classes. It’s about complete economic domination of the planet, not about ‘saving’ it.”
Webb’s remark was in response to a speech at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference – COP26 – in Glasgow by the UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance, Mark Carney, who remarked:
‘The architecture of the global financial system has been transformed to deliver net-zero. We now have the essential plumbing in place to move climate change from the fringes to the forefront of finance so that every financial decision takes climate change into account.”
Webb had revealed in her tweet the true nature of power and its interconnectedness which extends beyond the limited confines that the media analysts are prepared to admit.
To be fair to Media Lens, they did quote quite extensively from an article of Webb’s in their 22 October, 21 alert where they acknowledged the endless corporate drive to privatise the planet and the tendency for capitalists to both seek control of ecosystems as ‘financial assets’, and the rights people around the world have to ‘ecosystems services’. These include the benefits that humans receive from Nature such as food production, tourism, clean water, biodiversity, pollination and carbon sequestration.
But the problem is, Media Lens are seemingly unable to grasp that legitimate issues and concerns like these are intrinsically linked to a nefarious decades-long Malthusian climate change agenda.
This agenda is outlined in The Club of Rome’s 1992 book, The First Global Revolution which says:
”In searching for a common enemy against whom we can unite, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like, would fit the bill. In their totality and their interactions these phenomena do constitute a common threat which must be confronted by everyone together. But in designating these dangers as the enemy, we fall into the trap, which we have already warned readers about, namely mistaking symptoms for causes. All these dangers are caused by human intervention in natural processes, and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. The real enemy then is humanity itself.”
Perhaps Media Lens can be forgiven for their various shortcomings and ommisions on climate change on the basis of good intentions, no matter how misplaced. But their response to arguably the biggest event in decades, the Covid debacle, is unforgiveable.
Having positioned themselves as analysts who regard media and government propaganda-busting as their raison d’etre, the fact that they have had little or nothing to say in the face of a government and media propaganda blitz, arguably unrivalled in peace time, can only be explained if you happened to be following an agenda consistent with power and accept promoting harmful societal and economic measures.
What little they have said, cannot possibly be reconciled with their stated or implied values. During the early days of the alleged pandemic, in March, 2020, Media Lens had nothing to say about either the fact that Covid was ”no longer considered to be a high consequence infectious disease (HCID) in the UK”, or that the global IFR published in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation is 0.15‐0.20%.
Excess death rates were another reliable indicator that nothing exceptional was happening. According to a paper published in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation, “the excess deaths from the measures taken is likely to be much larger than the COVID‐19 deaths”.
Cure worse than the disease
That the cure had the vast potential to be far worse than the disease was patently obvious to many before the lunacy of lockdowns became reality. When Peter Hitchens questioned this fundamental principle on 22 March in his Mail on Sunday column, Media Lens responded with ill-informed emotional-based vitriol, devoid of facts:
They agreed wholeheartedly, however, with Paul Mason’s authoritarian advocacy of caging a population that could not be trusted to make sensible decisions based on facts which ought to have been calmly provided by the government.
The science always was and still is clear that locking populations down to address this particular threat is ineffective. Sweden, the smoking-gun ignored by Media Lens, followed an almost identical trajectory in its timeline of infections and deaths, did not lock down and yet achieved better outcomes.
To make matters worse, Media Lens’ effectively attacked, by extension, one of the world’s most cited and respected scientists, Professor John Ioannidis of Stanford University who, in the absense of any cost-benefit analysis, was also asking similar questions and voicing similar doubts as Hitchen’s.
So much for Media Lens adhering to their own stated philosophy: ”Our aim is to increase rational awareness, critical thought and compassion. Our goal is not at all to attack, insult or anger individual journalists…”
Public bodies significantly downgraded the threat of Covid on 19 March, 2020. In addition, many eminent experts cautioned against lockdowns. These facts, in tandem with the speed and aggression with which Media Lens uncritically embraced wholesale imprisonment – the efficacy of which was plainly questionable and the harms all too apparent – is crucial to understanding that the response of Media Lens cannot be regarded as an error of judgement based on lack of knowledge about the threat.
It is reasonable to conclude, that at least as far the Covid event is concerned, Media Lens agree with, and support, the authoritarian diktats of the state. If anybody should doubt this, their subsequent lack of response to the revelations of Dr Mike Yeadon, should end all these doubts.
Dr Mike Yeadon has a degree in biochemistry and toxicology and a research-based PhD in respiratory pharmacology. He has spent over 30 years leading new medicines research in some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, leaving Pfizer in 2011 as Vice President & Chief Scientist for Allergy & Respiratory, the most senior research position in this field in Pfizer.
Yeadon demonstrated prior to Lockdown 2 that:
“the pandemic was over by June 2020 and herd immunity was the main force which turned the pandemic and pressed it into retreat.”
Yeadon’s conclusion demolished the 7 per cent immunity claim made by the government’s chief scientists. So how was was it possible that Media Lens, who claim to ”check the media’s version of events against credible facts and opinion provided by journalists, academics and specialist researchers”, fail to challenge the 7 per cent claims or, at the very least, show any indication that they were even remotely curious about this propaganda and the potential impact of it on society?
Masks, advertising and SAGE
Then there is the issue of masks. In November 2020, the most comprehensive randomised controlled trial to date targeting Covid infection specifically was published confirming that mask wearing in the general population was ineffectual.
Why wouldn’t Media Lens regard it to be an approriate course of action to investigate,in the public interest, the claims made by BBC journalist, Deborah Cohen, that the World Health Organisation changed it’s advice on masks, from ‘don’t wear them’ to ‘do wear them’ due to lobbying pressure from governments’?
Not once has Media Lens challenged the pseudo science underpinning the State’s line on masks. On the contrary, they label those who use scientific-based arguments to challenge the alleged effectiveness of masks, as ”conspiracy theorists”.
Neither have Media Lens questioned why, from 23 March to 30 June 2020, the government intensified its media propaganda campaign by increasing its spending on media advertising by 5000% nor have they written an Alert about the nefarious activities of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) who used unethical behavioural ‘nudge’ techniques to manipulate the public, mostly by engendering fear, shame and blame.
Not once, to my knowledge, have Media Lens tweeted about the fact that the far more measured and appropriate response was the approach taken by the Swedish authorities who actually did calmly follow the science.
This kind of a rational approach was identified by the World Health Organisation as being “just as dangerous” as an alleged global pandemic, included any and all information that questioned the diktats of our “democratic” policymakers.
But arguably, most importantly of all, Media Lens have failed abjectly to inform their readers about Pfizer’s history of corruption, lies, and fraud. This dates back to at least 1994 when the corporation agreed to pay $10.75 million to settle allegations from the Justice Department that they “lied to get Federal approval for a mechanical heart valve that has fractured, resulting in over 600 deaths”.
Media Lens have also failed to inform their readers about how Pfizer manipulated studies to bolster the use of its epilepsy drug Neurontin for other disorders, while suppressing research that did not support those uses.
In September of 2009, the U.S Justice Department announced a $2.3 billion fine on Pfizer, the largest healthcare fraud settlement in American history.
The best available data on the adverse event rate of the Pfizer vaccine showed a serious adverse event rate of 1 per 10,000 vaccinees. According to renowned Harvard biostatician Dr. Martin Kuldorff, these figures are unacceptably high (compared to other vaccines on the market which produce adverse event rates in the ballpark of 1 per million).
Given Pfizer’s dark and sordid history, their attempts to withhold data the public relied on to license its COVID-19 vaccine, as well as the corporations admission that they never tested whether it would prevent transmission, followers of Media Lens might think that these important topics are a worthy subject for an Alert.
Sadly, for them, Media Lens have totally swept these scandals under the carpet. It would appear, then, that Media Lens, along with much of the Left in general, are more concerned with defending Big Pharma than they are with defending the public interest against the criminality of Big Pharma.
Rather than attempting to counteract government and media hysteria as part of their role within the so-called ‘alternative’ media, Media Lens instead joined in with the legacy media by attacking or ommitting all dissent and looked askance at sceptical scientific papers on behalf of the establishment.
They also looked askance at the millions of people who raised their voices in mass protests. These protests were either ignored by Media Lens or the protestors views were distorted and their peaceful demonstrations labelled “extremist” or ”right wing”.
The lack of any critical engagement in relation to the Covid event, the denial of, and refusal to engage with, the science and their actual support of some of the most draconian, illiberal and authoritarian measures ever enacted by the state, is evidence that Media Lens deliberately and consciously filtered out a relentless campaign that manipulated the public into believing that Covid was the most catastrophic public health threat since the Black Death.
Of course, it would subsequently take their cult leader in crime, Noam Chomsky, to effectively validate Media Lens for their belittling, or at least censoring, of dissenting voices that dared challenge the prevailing Covid narrative.
In this sense, by censorsing by omission dissenting voices that do not conform to their restrictive Chomskyian narrative but, rather, by promoting what have been referred to as the ‘cruise-missile left’, Media Lens are essentially no different from any other ‘news’ outlet. Their main objective is to reaffirm a specific world view ‘brand’ and business plan model.
With Media Lens we don’t get any critiques of ‘net zero’, Agenda 30, of global institutions like the WEF and the WHO, of indiscriminate mandatory vaccination policies, the tyranny associated with lockdowns or the move towards technocratic authoritarianism.
Instead, readers are subjected to anti-Assad propaganda, lip service to anti-imperialism, and the perpetuation of the Club of Rome’s anthropogenic climate change and WEF ‘build back better’ global agendas that, paradoxically, are consistent with the ‘manufacturing of consent’ accusation Media Lens level at many of their ‘mainstream’ media critics.