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‘Unauthorized Disclosure’: Episode 26—Colombia Peace Deal, Backlash For Journalism On Syrian Rebels

For this week’s “Unauthorized Disclosure” podcast, hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola welcome guest Fabio Andres Diaz Pabon, a Colombian who is a research associate for the Department of Political and International Studies at Rhodes University in South Africa. He is also a contributor to Warscapes.

Khalek and Gosztola talk to Pabon about why a peace deal was rejected by a very slim margin in Colombia. He addresses some of the points he made in his piece for Warscapes titled, “Uncertainty, Peace Agreements, and Public Participation in Colombia.” Pabon also reacts to the decision to give Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos the Nobel Peace Prize.

The co-hosts spend the latter part of the episode on the backlash to reporting by journalist Max Blumenthal, who published reporting on the Syrian rebels for the “Grayzone Project” at AlterNet and received threatening phone calls, emails, and messages on social media. Multiple individuals, who hold themselves as advocates for the liberation of Syria, implored Arabs and Muslims to demonize Blumenthal for his work.

The following are the two pieces Blumenthal produced: “Inside the Shadowy PR Firm That’s Lobbying for Regime Change in Syria” and “How the White Helmets Became International Heroes While Pushing U.S. Military Intervention and Regime Change in Syria.”

Khalek, who contributes to Electronic Intifada, was caught up in this backlash as well. She became a target, along with the site’s editor-in-chief Ali Abunimah. This happened in spite of the fact that the website, which covers Palestine and Israel intensively, had nothing to do with Blumenthal’s journalism. Essentially, a faction of people seized this opportunity to attempt to transform critical voices in media into pariahs when it comes to their views on the bloodshed and war in Syria.

The 26th episode of the third season is available on iTunes. To listen to the episode (and also to download the episode), go here. A page will load with the audio file of the interview that will automatically play.

Or listen by clicking the above player.

Hillary Clinton at the post-DNC rally in Philadelphia. Photo by neverbutterfly on Flickr.
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Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure."