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    Paul Mason involvement? Archived Message

    Posted by Ian M on July 19, 2022, 3:52 pm, in reply to "Response to my FOI request"

    Out of interest I looked up what Paul Mason was tweeting about around the time of the offending broadcasts, searching his account for 'RT' and 'Ofcom'. These tweets came up:


    Feb 1, 2022: Last night we protested outside the London offices of Russian state propaganda outlet RT. Here's my message to the journalists working there...and to the people of Ukraine, Russia and Belarus #NoWarInUkraine -

    Feb 23, 2022: I just forced myself to watch 20 sickmaking mins of RT output. Here's why it should be shut down in UK: it's outright lies packaged within the architecture of "objective news"... the critical difference is the showcased interview with Patrick Lancaster...

    Lancaster simply retailed a series of unproven claims - Ukraine planting IEDs targeting Donbas civilians - without any pictures or any proof. “Definite increase in hostilities by Ukraine and targeting of civilians”... that's the rules-breach...

    ... the use of Putin-proxy fake "journalists" to retail Kremlin disinformation is the content. All the rest, the British patsies reading out the news, the talking heads etc, is the form. Ofcom turned a blind eye to this for political reasons only...

    ... there's always been a case to de-license RT. But Putin changed the game by ripping up the rules-based order and international law on Monday night.

    ... one more thing. Hilariously the looped b-roll, same pictures on several "reports" completely fights the allegations: it's a bunch of pensioners wandering around peaceful, poverty stricken streets, cats sitting on fences etc...

    ... they've spent all the money on studios, Western talking heads etc but none on actual newsgathering in situ that could substantiate the claims, because professional newsgatherers would not do so. @Ofcom -

    Feb 25, 2022: Right now RT is telling blatant lies about Ukrainian fascists using Mariupol residents as human shields... with no evidence and over a looped generic shot of conflict damage. Why is it still on the air @ofcom? Why is it still on @YouTube? -

    Feb 27, 2022: Goodbye Sputnik, Goodbye RT...
    Quote Tweet
    Efi Koutsokosta@Efkouts
    Pres. @vonderleyen also said that the EU will ban the Kremlin’s media machine in the EU: “The state-owned RT, Sputnik+ their subsidiaries, will no longer be able to spread their lies to justify Putin’s war. We are developing tools to ban their toxic disinformation in Europe” -


    So I think we can guess at least one of the 'viewers' writing in complaints to Ofcom and pressuring them to make this decision.

    I note the issue of civilians being used as 'human shields' by the Azov battalion in Mariupol was one of the alleged breaches, though broadcast on Feb 27th, two days after Mason tweeted his outrage about the same claim to Ofcom. It was also sent to youtube which is interesting given that the Grayzone leaks identify a certain Andy Pryce as Mason's handler at the Foreign Office’s Counter Disinformation and Media Development (CDMD) unit

    'which was founded in April 2016 to “counter-strike against Russian propaganda.”'


    'On March 5th of this year, Andy Pryce emailed Paul Mason with a bare outline of a proposal for an astroturfed civil society organization that would serve as “the major, forward leaning player in the information war.” Inspired by a “Ukrainian friend and colleague,” the UK Foreign Office hand branded his project the “International Information Brigade ” (IBB).

    Two days earlier, Pryce boasted of engineering YouTube’s recent ban on “Russian stuff.” Ministers have confirmed the Counter Disinformation Unit (CDU) where Pryce is likely posted was responsible for the ban, and added that it was “working closely” with social media platforms to ensure the rapid removal of “disinformation and coordinated inauthentic or manipulated behaviour.”

    I also note that US journalist & contributor to... The Grayzone, Anya Parampil is mentioned in the broadcasts, making these comments:

    'PS: “Well, the editor of The Grayzone news site Anya Parampil spoke with us about the beginning of the turbulence in Ukraine eight years ago, emphasising that the US supported it then and continues to do so now”.

    AP: “It’s been going on for eight years. Ukraine’s sovereignty was initially violated in 2014, when the United States supported openly a coup in Kiev, installed a puppet government and then sparked off conflict in the country’s east. The suffering of the people of Donbass, who have experienced shelling and artillery fire at the hands of the Ukrainian military over the past eight years, leading to the deaths of nearly 15,000 people, their story has been completely erased in US media. I think if you pulled the average American individual, US American individual, they wouldn’t have even known that there was a war in Ukraine for these past eight years. President Biden just approved $350 million in weapons to be released to Ukraine, to the Ukrainian Government. I wonder where those weapons will go, considering Russia has all but wiped out Ukraine’s main military capacity. It’s disturbing because just in recent weeks in the United States, reports surfaced in media showing that, and this is according to US officials, the United States has been covertly training Ukrainian forces in order to respond to a potential Russian entry into their country, creating the kind of pretext for a situation as we saw in Syria, where the US isn’t officially working with the government or the military, but training paramilitary groups in order to destabilise Ukraine and embroil Russia in a prolonged conflict. I think that is the worst-case scenario we could see play out at this point”.'
    - pp.12-13

    I can imagine Mason getting worked up enough at seeing someone from his bete noir news organisation appearing on RT as one of the 'western talking heads' he dislikes so much to start scribbling another furious complaint to Ofcom, but that's just me speculating...

    Btw all Ofcom had to say about Parampil's interview was to list her claim of 15k deaths in Donbass as an example of 'contentious claims that were highly critical of the Ukrainian authorities, including its military' which 'failed to preserve due impartiality' (p.15, 18) presumably by not including a counter-claim from a Ukrainian source.

    We should remember there was big pressure coming from the UK govt & media figureheads at the same time calling for RT to be banned, eg:

    Will be interesting to see if there are any further responses from RT or the journalists named in the Ofcom report - if we're even able to see. I'll try to keep tabs on it. Anybody feel like wading through it and writing up a critique, let me know!


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