So when Bashar Assad undemocratically took power, North Korean-style, after his father died, I was forced by my editor (against my protests, because I saw no evidence of this) to give the impression that Assad would likely be a reformer. Assad was described in the Telegraph as “mild-mannered,” a “modernizer” and so on.
I was also sometimes asked to describe the equally murderous Yasser Arafat as “moderate.” On one occasion, when I questioned my editor about inaccuracies that had been introduced by him into one of my published articles, he told me that “The Guardian, Independent and Times [of London] were saying Arafat wasn’t responsible.” In fact, the evidence showed both at the time and by the admission of Arafat’s own wife Suha later, that these other papers had got it wrong.
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