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Wednesday, Aug 20th

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US told about UK newspaper destruction of Snowden data

NSAThe Obama administration knew in advance that the British government would oversee destruction of a newspaper's hard drives containing leaked National Security Agency documents last year, newly declassified documents show. The White House had publicly distanced itself on whether it would do the same to an American news organization.

The Guardian newspaper, responding to threats from the British government in July 2013, destroyed the data roughly a month after it and other media outlets first published details from the top secret documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

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ABC's Diane Sawyer Identifies Palestinian Family as Israeli

Diane SawyerABC's Diane Sawyer committed an egregious error Wednesday night during her introduction of an ABC World News segment on the latest from Israel and the Gaza Strip.

Sawyer, in her waning months as host as the flagship evening news program, misidentified a Palestinian family as Israeli — a massive mistake in a conflict where divisions run deep.

“We take you overseas now to the rockets raining down on Israel today as Israel tried to shoot them out of the sky,” Sawyer says in her introduction as producers show video footage of Israeli airstrikes on Gaza.

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George Clooney attacks Daily Mail over 'irresponsible' story on his fiancée

George ClooneyActor George Clooney has accused the Daily Mail of concocting a false and irresponsible story about his fiancée, the human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin.

He issued a strongly-worded statement to the popular American national newspaper, USA Today, following the publication of a Mail article which claimed that Alamuddin's mother, Baria, opposed their forthcoming marriage on religious grounds.

It cited unnamed family members as its source. Clooney wrote:

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BBC staff told to stop inviting cranks on to science programs

BBCBBC journalists are being sent on courses to stop them inviting so many cranks onto programmes to air ‘marginal views’

The BBC Trust on Thursday published a progress report into the corporation’s science coverage which was criticised in 2012 for giving too much air-time to critics who oppose non-contentious issues.

The report found that there was still an ‘over-rigid application of editorial guidelines on impartiality’ which sought to give the ‘other side’ of the argument, even if that viewpoint was widely dismissed.

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Judge throws out George Zimmerman's libel suit against NBC

george zimmermanA Sanford judge today put an end to George Zimmerman's libel suit against NBC Universal.

Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson ruled that the former Neighborhood Watch volunteer is entitled to no money from the media giant.

She issued a summary judgment in the network's favor, meaning that unless an appeals court reverses her, the case is now dead.

Zimmerman had filed suit two years ago, accusing NBC of falsely portraying him as a racist in a series of broadcasts shortly after he killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black 17-year-old, in Sanford.

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New York Times Public Editor Criticizes Paper's Iraq Coverage

NY TimesNew York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan was very critical of the paper's recent Iraq coverage and warned Saturday that the Times could be headed down a dangerous yet familiar path.

In a weekend column, Sullivan wrote that in the months leading up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, much of the Times' reporting took a hit for being "flawed" and "lacking in needed skepticism." Now, with the renewed crisis in Iraq, Sullivan said that readers are once again accusing the Times' coverage of lacking in balance -- and that they're right to do so.

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If You Were An Iraq War Critic, You're Probably Not Being Asked To Go On TV

CheneyKent Conrad’s phone hasn’t been ringing very much over the past few weeks, as Iraq, and the debate over America's future in the country, has once again dominated the news.

The architects of the Iraq war are back in TV studios and on op-ed pages, as are journalists and pundits who promoted the Bush administration’s ultimately bogus case for invading. But Conrad, a former senator who was one of only 23 to vote against authorizing the war in October 2002, hasn’t heard from CNN, MSNBC or any other TV outlet. "Not once," he said, when asked if anyone in the press had reached out regarding the current crisis in Iraq.

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