In The Canary’s mission statement, it claims to provide an alternative to the “largely conservative” mainstream media controlled by “a handful of powerful moguls.” That is, when it’s not lifting stories from one of Britain’s most right-wing political commentators.
Peter Hitchens has called climate change “a cult”; blamed sex education in schools for rising teen pregnancies and STDs; and endorsed UKIP in the 2015 General Election.
Despite this, The Canary have published an article which rewrites one written by Hitchens and published by the Mail. Hitchens claimed in his column last month that the Foreign Office has given a grant of £195,000 to The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) for communications equipment and cameras, and argued that the donation compromised the group’s independence.
Who are the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights? Founded in 2006 to expose human rights and freedom of speech abuses under Assad’s regime, the organisation has been reporting civilian killings since the civil war began in 2011. The figures for civilian casualties are trusted and reported by the BBC, the New York Times, and many other major international news outlets. The group is also trusted by Amnesty International, with a member of their staff saying of The SOHR: “Generally, the information on the killings of civilians is very good, definitely one of the best, including the details on the conditions in which people were supposedly killed.”
So why are The Canary regurgitating a Peter Hitchens’ hatchet job on a human rights organisation? The Canary’s article goes on:
“So, to some extent, the group influences the public’s perception of the situation there. And now we discover the British government, which recently needed to win public support for its airstrikes against the Syrian government, is throwing taxpayers’ money at the SOHR. It doesn’t take a genius to work out how dangerous this relationship could be, especially if the British media keeps blindly presenting the SOHR as an impartial and independent source.”
The Canary are attempting to discredit the organisation which is shining a light on the atrocities being committed in the Syrian civil war, by implying that SOHR are a propaganda arm for the British Government. In doing so, they are repeating the types of attacks seen on the White Helmets, the Syrian volunteer rescue workers, who are accused through Russian-spread conspiracy theories of links to Al-Qaeda and ‘staging’ chemical attacks. As The Red Roar said of the Alt-Left’s coverage of the Salisbury attack, they are doing Vladimir Putin’s work for him.