Billionaire-funded organization boasted of ‘briefing’ journalists before stories were published
Paul Joseph Watson
Monday, November 7, 2011
Ahead of a widely-expected Israeli-led attack on Iran, Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre, an elitist pro-Israeli lobbying firm, has been caught “briefing” the British mainstream media on how to present news items relating to Israel, bragging in a leaked email of how BBC and Sky News editors “changed their narrative” on stories after meeting with BICOM representatives.
The revelations came to light as a result of the fallout from the Liam Fox scandal. British Defence Secretary Fox was forced to resign last month after details emerged of Fox’s relationship with Adam Werritty, a front man for the now defunct Atlantic Bridge Research and Education Scheme, a lobbying group that posed as a charitable “think tank” which was designed to promote neo-conservative thinking amongst foreign policy hawks in the US and UK.
Werritty attended numerous defence meetings with Fox despite the fact that he was not employed in any official capacity by the British government. It later emerged that Werritty had plotted with the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad to carry out regime change in Iran and had traveled to Iran to meet with various Iranian opposition groups.
Werritty’s Atlantic Bridge group received funding from BICOM via the patronage of Michael Lewis. “Bicom has been linked to Werritty, and paid for the 33-year-old’s flight and hotel bills when he attended a conference in Israel in 2009 to speak about Iran,” reported the London Guardian.
BICOM is bankrolled by billionaire Chaim “Poju” Zabludowicz (pictured above), ranked 18th on a list of the wealthiest people in the United Kingdom. The organization has financially contributed to all three main political parties in the UK.
The current CEO of the group is former Labour Member of Parliament Lorna Fitzsimons, who revealed her contempt for the democratic process when she told a conference last year, “Public opinion does not influence foreign policy in Britain. Foreign policy is an elite issue.” Fitzsimons took over from previous BICOM chief Danny Scheck, a former high-level Israeli foreign minister.
Fitzsimons unwittingly spilled the beans on the astounding influence wielded by BICOM when she mistakenly sent an internal email to members of the press that was subsequently leaked on the Internet.
However, the shocking contents of that email have barely even been mentioned by any mainstream media source since its release. This is an eye-opening illustration of how the establishment media is fed talking points and controlled not by objective integrity, but by well-financed and agenda-driven lobby groups.
In the email, Fitzsimons reveals how BICOM officials regularly meet with editors and journalists from the BBC, Sky News and the Financial Times to ‘brief’ them on how to frame issues relating to Israel in order to ensure that, “the most objectively favourable line was taken.”
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
“Throughout the weekend, BICOM staff were in contact with a whole host of BBC and SKY news desks and journalists, ensuring that the most objectively favourable line was taken, and offering talking heads, relevant to the stories unfolding,” wrote Fitzsimons. “BICOM’s Senior Analyst Dr. Noam Leshem, briefed the BBC World News Editorial Board on Saturday afternoon regarding the fall-out from the Israel Egyptian Embassy siege. After contact with the BICOM Media Team, SKY News changed their narrative in explaining the prior events in the region which lead up to this weekend.” (emphasis mine)
Later in the email, Fitzsimons reveals how BICOM “had regular contact with the Editor at Large of Prospect Magazine, David Goodhart, helping to inform him about the forthcoming UN vote on Palestinian statehood.” She also notes how BICOM was able to get its talking points out via an article she wrote for the Huffington Post.
Fitzsimons then boasts about how a BBC reporter was chaperoned by BICOM during a visit to Israel.
“BICOM has one of BBC News’ key anchors on a bespoke delegation. When planning her very first trip to the region, Sophie Long got in touch with BICOM to see if we could help her out with meeting in the region. Sophie is now spending three days of her trip with BICOM Israel, taking a tour around the Old City, meeting Mark Regev and Dr. Alex Yacobsen, as well as visiting Ramallah and Sderot.”
Do you think it’s likely that Long’s impartiality regarding Israel was affected by the fact that she enjoyed three days of hospitality on behalf of a vehemently pro-Israeli lobby group? Does this correlate with the BBC’s taxpayer-funded mandate to provide unbiased news coverage?
Fitzsimons also reveals how she personally, “briefed Jonathan Ford, the Financial Times leader writer for his upcoming leading article in tomorrow’s paper.”
Note the term that Fitzsimons uses to describe her meeting with Ford. She didn’t provide him with an ‘interview,’ nor did she give him a ‘quote’ – she “briefed” him on what to write. The wording in all these examples clearly suggests that the likes of Sky News, the BBC and the FInancial Times are subordinate to BICOM and freely dispense with any balanced objectivity to prostitute themselves as mouthpieces for this lobbying firm.
This is an outrageous admission of how powerful lobby groups, and we’d be naive to think there aren’t an army of them doing the same thing as BICOM in different fields of influence, are insidiously controlling the media agenda in the United Kingdom – particularly as it relates to Israel and Iran.
This takes on an even more ominous tone given the fact that the press is gearing up to spin this week’s IAEA report as a justifiable pretext for a planned military assault on the Persian nation.
Read the BICOM leaked email in full below.
Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show.
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