Monday, April 3, 2017

After UN Evicted ICP, Spox Dujarric Wanted To Control NYT Article Too, Entrenched Corruption

By Matthew Russell Lee, SeriesVideo, Reply

UNITED NATIONS, March 31 – Weeks after the UN evicted and restricted me,  what would a New York Times article change? Deputy Secretary Jan Eliasson, who'd previously written back if only to say, you have to deal with Cristina [Gallach], didn't answer. I got an automatic, it seemed, confirmation of receipt by the SG's office, and nothing from Mulet.  At the Security Council stakeout there was silence from the insiders, some whispered talk from the outsiders, two of whom I'd helped get their offices in the UN.

Down in the basement, some staff members gave the thumbs up. “For once people hear how it is here,” one of them said, “how Ban is.” Over in the 46th Street library active citizen Dan Purcell said he loved it, he'd like to help more, he'd try to re-synch audio from the eviction video. An Ambassador asked me to sign his copy of the New York Times, la lutta continua. But what would it change?

  It was the UN that wanted changes. Corey called me and said Ban Ki-moon's (and before that, Kofi Annan's) spokesman Stephane Dujarric wanted a correction, that I didn't just get in on day passes but had a non-resident pass until June 22.  I told Corey, fine, but then I want some changes too. When did they ever call the NYPD on me, as the story said? How did I arrive “uninvited” in the UN Press Briefing Room, if in fact the meeting was announced by squawk over the public address system by Dujarric's office? And, I told him, I ran for president of the United Nations Correspondents Association in 2009, on platform of bloggers' and new media rights. After that I was still elected first vice president. The story made it seem I quit right after I ran.

  Whatever, Corey said. The UN is really pushing for its correction.

  So I am for mine, I said.

  I left the UN focus booth and got one of the Media Accreditation staffers or minders to escort me to the stakeout area in front of ECOSOC. The tall Caribbean guard was there and immediately came over. “Here we got again,” he said. “Why do you have to be here? What makes you so special?”

  Read the New York Times, I told him. The spokesman says that if escort I can get where I need--

  I don't read the New York Times, the guard said, I read the UN Times.

  “So you know the UN killed 10,000 people in Haiti then, right?”

  “Why do you have to go there?”

 “You said you read the UN Times. That's what the UN did,” I told him. We went round and round as diplomats walked by, some of them widening their berth. Maybe the article wouldn't help.

  If nothing else, the article made me feel I didn't have to explain anymore, or feel that if I didn't explain my plight to some mid level diplomat I was screwing myself. I was identified as thrown out. Some long-ago acquaintances called to ask if I was OK. My friend David said the story didn't include the diplomats he'd met who liked and read my work. That, it did not. A Lebanese journalist I knew, from London, called it an “establishment hatchet job.” Still, I told myself, at least this stage was over. But what was the next stage?