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Syria: Controversy surrounding MintPress Ghouta report  by blogger Phil Greaves

(nortehrnsmdotcom) - Following Gavlak's statement release, and after several attempts by myself and many others to contact MintPress News, MintPress editor Mnar Muhawesh in turn released a lengthy statement that defines their position in no uncertain terms: (emphasis added)

    Thank you for reaching out to me in regards to statements made by Dale Gavlak alleging MintPress for incorrectly attributing our exclusive report titled: "Syrians in Goutha claim Saudi-supplied rebels behind chemical attacks." Gavlak pitched this story to MintPress on August 28th and informed her editors and myself that her colleague Yahya Ababneh was on the ground in Syria. She said Ababneh conducted interviews with rebels, their family members, Ghouta residents and doctors that informed him through various interviews that the Saudis had supplied the rebels with chemical weapons and that rebel fighters handled the weapons improperly setting off the explosions.  

    When Yahya had returned and shared the information with her, she stated that she confirmed with several colleagues and Jordanian government officials that the Saudis have been supplying rebels with chemical weapons, but as her email states, she says they refused to go on the record.

    Gavlak wrote the article in it's entirety as well as conducted the research. She filed her article on August 29th and was published on the same day.

    Dale is under mounting pressure for writing this article by third parties. She notified MintPress editors and myself on August 30th and 31st via email and phone call, that third parties were placing immense amounts of pressure on her over the article and were threatening to end her career over it. She went on to tell us that she believes this third party was under pressure from the head of the Saudi Intelligence Prince Bandar himself, who is alleged in the article of supplying the rebels with chemical weapons.

    On August 30th, Dale asked MintPress to remove her name completely from the byline because she stated that her career and reputation was at risk. She continued to say that these third parties were demanding her to disassociate herself from the article or these parties would end her career. On August 31st, I notified Dale through email that I would add a clarification that she was the writer and researcher for the article and that Yahya was the reporter on the ground, but did let Gavlak know that we would not remove her name as this would violate the ethics of journalism.

    We are aware of the tremendous pressure that Dale and some of our other journalists are facing as a result of this story, and we are under the same pressure as a result to discredit the story. We are unwilling to succumb to those pressures for MintPress holds itself to the highest journalistic ethics and reporting standards. Yahya has recently notified me that the Saudi embassy contacted him and threatened to end his career if he did a follow up story on who carried out the most recent chemical weapons attack and demanded that he stop doing media interviews in regards to the subject.

    We hold Dale Gavlak in the highest esteem and sympathize with her for the pressure she is receiving, but removing her name from the story would not be honest journalism and therefore, as stated before, we are not willing to remove her name from the article. We are prepared and may release all emails and communications made between MintPress and Dale Gavlak, and even Yahya to provide further evidence of what was provided to you in this statement.

At the time of writing, Gavlak, or her lawyer, have not responded to the above statement.

... Why the haphazard attempt to disassociate from the story now, three weeks later? It has only given the report an added impotus - highlighted by the fact that a plethora of establishment media pundits and commentators (who originally dismissed and subverted the report) are now going to great lengths to discredit it. There is almost an air of desperation coming from several pundits, going as far as to insinuate that MintPress holds a bias simply because the editors father in-law happens to be a Shi'ite muslim. The NYT lede blog even ran a story on the issue late last night - totally omitting any reference to the crucial pieces of information relayed in the MintPress statement. This is even more perplexing when you consider the fact that outlets such as the New York Times completely ignored recent revelations that the Washington Post's new Jerusalem correspondent is the wife of a Zionist PR tycoon Michael Eglash that regularly lobbies for the Jewish state.

Regardless of the veracity of the original report from Ghouta, and the allegations against the Saud regime held within; MintPress News are undoubtedly within their rights to uphold the Gavlak byline and in turn deem her accountable for its credibility.



Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.
by Oui on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 04:16:09 AM EST
This is even more perplexing when you consider the fact that outlets such as the New York Times completely ignored recent revelations that the Washington Post's new Jerusalem correspondent is the wife of a Zionist PR tycoon Michael Eglash that regularly lobbies for the Jewish state.
Irrelevant antisemitic conspiratorial sop?

In the Neurozone, there can be only one.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 04:26:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's part of the official role by Israel and AIPAC in support of a military strike on Syria by President Obama. Israel by it's own initiative has become part of the sad story in Syria's civil/sectarian war.

Gloves Come Off: Israel Lobby Goes All-In for Syrian Intervention, While New York Times Self-Censors
Mondoweiss - 'NYT' deletes references to AIPAC's role in pushing strike on Syria
Gerald Steinberg's Hasbara War

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 05:48:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not really. Major newspapers have always disliked mentioning their competitors, unless there was really no alternative, and this, relatively minor point, is not one of these. Attacking the NYT for not mentioning that their own Israel reporter has a son in the IDF is valid criticism, but this example is, as Migeru said, irrelevant antisemitic conspiratorial sop.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 06:16:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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