West restricts access to Press TV and alternative media outlets : William Spring

Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:36PM GMT
Interview with William Spring

Ofcom allows, every day, a whole host of criminal or semi-criminal organizations to dominate the satellite channels and very degrading to women, to families, attacks on family life, attacks on any type of religious belief and this is all being orchestrated by Ofcom and I feel that this is very sad that the West should have lost its way so profoundly.”

An activist says that the West has ‘profoundly lost its way’ in terms of the freedom of speech, to a degree that they take some alternative channels off air but at the same time continue to air degrading channels.

A group of Spanish lawmakers have heaped scorn on their government for pulling the plug on Iranian channels Press TV and Hispan TV under the influence of Zionist lobbies in the United States. In a letter, the United Left deputies asked the Spanish government to explain if Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo had discussed the ban on Iranian networks in his meeting with the Zionist lobbies in October 2012. An overwhelming majority of 72 percent of respondents to a recent Press TV poll from across the globe said Iran’s media are attacked by Zionist lobbies for their revelation of truth about Israel and the West. The ban on Press TV and Hispan TV in Spain followed a similar move by France’s Eutelsat company, which had already taken several Iranian satellite channels and radio stations off the air, claiming that the channels were removed because of “a wider interpretation of EU regulations.”

To shed more light on the issue at hand, Press TV has conducted an interview with William Spring, human rights activist from London. He is joined by two additional guests on Press TV’s The Debate program: Caleb Maupin, with the International Action Center from New York City and Alon Ben-Meir, with the NYU Center for Global Affairs from New York City. What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.

Press TV: Why do you think that there is a continuous attack on Iran’s media especially during this past year?

Spring: Well, it appears an irrational outbreak, sort of, Islamophobia perhaps, I do not know.

It is certainly not something which can be analyzed in any intellectual model because there is no sense to it, no legality to it.

I can only assume that it must be to do with a power of the Christian-Zionists and the Zionist lobby in the United States because UK tends to jump into line with whatever America is doing and there is no doubt that they want to destroy freedom of speech on the issue of Palestinians, of the Palestinian question; and also many other issues relating to war and peace.

So, therefore this illegal action that the governments and companies and satellite providers are engaged in must be just directed from some malevolent but very debased sort of mind operating out of Washington.

I do not imagine that President Obama is giving the green light to it but it must be one of his hirelings, who has, sort of, said well, we cannot tolerate freedom of speech, we simply cannot allow intellectual debate.

Press TV: William Spring, let us put this into context a little bit. In Spain’s case of Hispan TV, there were two articles that were mentioned. Women’s right was one and the promotion of violence.

Now, on women’s right they have said that depicting women in a discriminatory fashion and of course we have had an editor out of Spain say, ‘but what about the fact that there are naked women being shown on other channels? So should not those channels be closed down?’

He has got a point, does not he? I mean why is not then that done?

Spring: Well, I think that the issue that we are discussing is freedom and the West does not seem to understand freedom. Their concept of freedom is license.

I am astonished that Ofcom, who are the people who took Press TV off the air, they allow, every day, a whole host of criminal or semi-criminal organizations to dominate the satellite channels and very degrading to women, to families, attacks on family life, attacks on any type of religious belief and this is all being orchestrated by Ofcom and I feel that this is very sad that the West should have lost its way so profoundly.

What we need is proper freedom in terms of being able to accept and discuss arguments not taking one spectrum dominance, which is the position of the United States and Britain.

Britain and the USA do not like to hear any form of opposition on air to their attacks on various countries, for example on Iraq. I saw the other week, a very excellent program on Press TV about the killing of Dr. Kelly, it would not be shown on BBC.

Press TV: William Spring, he [Caleb Maupin, other guest of the show] touched on a subject that are perhaps worthy to open up more and that is the fact that perhaps Press TV, Hispan TV do focus on certain issues that the respective governments do not the concentration for those issues to be on.

For example in the UK the British queen and the extravagant spending that is done, the different protests that occur for austerity for example and the police violence that ensues.

Is it because that Press TV, perhaps, highlights those issues?

Spring: Well, I think that the Press TV is not a perfect channel by any means and your other contributor was quite right to say that there is no perfect media operation.

However what I do believe is that Press TV and RT, the about the only two channels, that I have access to as a matter of fact, which are reporting the news in a regular manner.

The BBC no longer reports news, nor the Sky. For example the bombing in Aleppo, the other day, at the university was completely ignored by the BBC. I turned on looking for the news at ten o’clock, it was on RT and it was on Press TV but not a mention from the BBC.

BBC does not want people to know the degree of terrorism that is going on in Syria, which is backed by the Saudis and backed by the United States and UK and we really need to get a proper journalistic ethic reestablished in this country.

I think most of the BBC journalists are really sadly ashamed of what their channel is doing and the Sky TV, of course, is worse but at least Sky TV has some sort of news sense; BBC does not seem to have any news sense and Press TV, with a small operation in London is doing enormously well in terms of bringing news and opinion to people.

I mean I am not a Muslim, it is not therefore, as far as I can see, for Muslim propaganda but it is there to provide a bridge for intellectual discussion and that is what Press TV is doing.

MY/JR