26 April 2023 in Lobbying


A few days ago, an investigation by several international newspapers identified another person who is conducting international journalistic campaigns against payment in order to discredit a single person. A person unknown to most, who is used as a symbol for a hate campaign. In this case, it was the son of Youssef Nada, one of the Muslim Brotherhood’s big bankers, who had been linked to Al-Qaeda in the past.

This was not true, but an exaggeration intended by the US government looking for scapegoats after 9/11. It was the last time I worked for a newspaper for years. I, too, took part in the smear campaign against Mr Nada, and I am ashamed of it, also because it was impossible for me in this way for years to understand the historical greatness of this personality who accompanied an important part of Islam in a process of coexistence in Europe that contributed significantly to the migration from Arab countries to France, Switzerland, Germany and Italy not becoming a problem of explosive proportions – without him it would have been much, much worse.

I’m not looking for excuses. My boss told me: write. I had an official US document in my hand claiming (without trial) that Nada was guilty, and so I wrote. When I realised I was guilty of a serious ethical lapse, I stopped being a journalist.

In the meantime, journalism died from its inability to modernise the method while maintaining the original principles. One must try to write the truth and make it available to as many people as possible. One must clearly separate facts from opinions and, if possible, refrain from expressing opinions (as a journalist). Instead, the press has not survived the transition from paper to digital and now consists only of opinions. Facts themselves are dead, there is nothing credible left, only appointed bigwigs from the entertainment industry and hired assassins like the one who went after Youssef Nada’s son.

Newspapers no longer have the money (or the professional capacity) to pay for in-depth research, so the only real discoveries are made by international consortia of independent journalists (https://www.icij.org/) or by ecological associations. For the rest, newspapers and television are full of unsubstantiated allegations, media hate campaigns and dubious entertainment. It is no longer the newspapers but the corporate and state lobbies that pay.

In this case, for once, it is the United Arab Emirates that is paying, because they have embarked on a mad chase that they believe will make them one of the most economically, militarily, technologically and culturally powerful nations in the world, so that their wealth will outlast the end of oil production. But they are not the only ones who want this: Russia, China, the United States, Israel, Saudi Arabia… the list of hate-mongers is long.

How can we defend ourselves against them? By publishing the biographies of those who work for these hate campaigns, by giving a face and a name to those who spread bloody nonsense that nobody knows. In this way, in the suffering Europe we live in, we are allied with the international environmental organisations (who fund IBI) and people like Oliver Welke and Jan Böhmermann who ridicule the wickedness of the superstition of power.

We won’t tell you the name of Nada’s son. His only fault is that he is a successful businessman who belongs to a faction that is an enemy of the Abu Dhabi monarchy. He is not involved in politics, he is not particularly religious, he is innocent. As for the name of the man who has been enriching himself for a quarter of a century by besmirching the reputation of his clients’ opponents, we promise you that we will write in full knowledge of the facts when we have made sufficient enquiries about him. You will find that he is part of a network of people we have already told you about. These are the lobbyists who use their dollars to determine policy without a mandate from the people and without public accountability. If there is one campaign to save what is left of journalism, it is to make them visible and famous. Make them pay for their possible mistakes or their malicious lies.


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