UNITED NATIONS, March 14 – The state of Morocco's online media is exemplified by yesterday's mis-reading of Inner City Press' narrative of eviction from and censorship at the UN, #UNcensored, and breathless accusation of spying, here. This is the same gang which tries to get journalists thrown out, calling anyone who disagrees an agent. The narrative recounted, with the clarification now added in brackets, "went back in through the metal detectors to the Security Council's meetings on Western Sahara. Here, at least online, I was accused of being an Algerian agent, [by pro-Morocco trolls, including strangely in Texas,] even though I didn't deal with anyone at the Algerian mission. I criticized Polisario too, how they were losing embassies. Still, they were the underdog, and more fun or more interesting to side with. This had been my criteria in my years at the UN, and now it had come to this." This was called an admission. UNreal.
#UNcensored's 25th installment, run yesterday, states: "After the UN's eviction of Inner City Press, the days went on, always on the move, asked by UN guards “What are you doing here,” told at the noon briefing I was imagining things, how could I say I was ousted if I was physically present in the briefing room now? Told online that it was all my fault, for secret filming, standing silent at the Security Council stakeout, tweeting with the wider world, not even moving to get the spoon-fed spin from P3 spokespeople, just ambushing their ambassadors with Periscope and putting in on YouTube...
Burundians had been emailing me, Manisha Lievin from Louisiana, John from DC, that they would rally on 47th Street. I went out and there were maybe two dozen of them, with flags, diffuse. I Periscoped and interviewed; I followed a guy from South South News, described by Preet Bharara as Ng Lap Seng's bribery conduit, through the park and did a voiceover about UN corruption.
Finally their march began, slowing, down First Avenue. I followed and filmed. Some people recognized me and said, I follow you, or, I love your questions. They took selfies with me - this happened with Sri Lankan Tamils, too, and I got accused of being a terrorist, that was by board members of the United Nations Correspondents Association. That was the UN Correspondents Association for you - self righteous scribes.
It was getting cold, at the Burundians' rally in the 43rd Street Park I'd hung out in for three days. My batteries were going dead. I bid adieu - most of them spoke French - and went back in through the metal detectors to the Security Council's meetings on Western Sahara. Here, at least online, I was accused of being an Algerian agent, by pro-Morocco trolls, including strangely in Texas, even though I didn't deal with anyone at the Algerian mission. I criticized Polisario too, how they were losing embassies. Still, they were the underdog, and more fun or more interesting to side with. This had been my criteria in my years at the UN, and now it had come to this.
I woke up each morning wondering if this would be the day that the New York Times would finally run its story. I Googled the reporter's name, Corey Kilgannon - he went a week with no stories, then something about a bartender in Woodside, Queens. I'd chosen the wrong guy, I'd begun to think. He'd gotten lobbied. Or those above him. I looked to see how to write to the paper's Ombudsperson, their Public Editor, but she'd recently left. It was all corrupt, I decided, uploading yet another story. I would flail around for the four months then get thrown out forever.