Michel Spekkers, a Dutch freelance journalist visited the MH17 crash site in January 2017. He found many small pieces of wreckage and what could be pieces of human bones. He took a couple of metals parts plus a single piece of bone with him to the Netherland to have these investigated by the Dutch police.
This post is about double standards by journalists. Journalist who have a simple job: defend our democracy,be critical to the state, government.
Let me be clear: I do not agree with ethics and way of doing journalism by Graham Phillips. However I object to the ‘shoot the messenger’ way of reporting by regular media.
Dutch press responded indignant to Spekkers actions. They reported Spekkers stole stuff, he should not have sent a disrespectfull Tweet, he tried to smuggle the pieces through Dutch customs, he took stuff from a crime scene. One a very few journalists (some of regional press) took the effort to contact Spekkers for his side of the story. Despite Spekkers having published his phone number on Twitter. Most of the press was so lazy it copy/pasted the press release which was released on Sunday. At that time I was the only journalist who called spokesman Wim de Bruin of the Dutch Public Prosecution Service to ask him about the confiscation of imagery at Schiphol.
None of the Dutch press criticized the Dutch state for being negligent for not cleaning the crash site of all debris and human remains. None of the Dutch press did some investigation into the claims by Dutch Public Prosecution Service the crash site is unsafe for recovering. None of the Dutch press reported about how many times Dutch state went to the shed to collect the wreckage.
When Jeroen Akkermans, journalist of RTL Nieuws, removed what likely was a bowtie fragment from the crashsite, none of the journalists criticized him for removing evidence.
Hans de Vreij
Dutch freelance Journalist Hans de Vreij is extra notorious for its anti Russia opinion. I lost count of the number of incorrect statements De Vreij made about MH17. This is just one example.
I called Spekkers at Friday January 13 to ask where exactly he found the bone. According to Spekkers, it was not found in the shed or next to it, but in a field. As he did not have access to photos he took, he could not tell the GPS data. So de Vreij just assumes the bone was found in the shed.
Dutch newspaper Volkskrant made many mistakes in reporting about Spekkers actions. For example by claiming Spekkers contacted Russian media. Dutch media reported about Spekkers a long time before Russian media picked up the story.
Another mistake by Volkskrant. Journalist Bert Lanting writes that pieces were stored in a small city waiting to be collected by the investigation team. Nonsense. The spokesman of Dutch Public Prosecution Service wrote to me:
Het OM is er ook niet op uit, ook niet geweest, om wrakstukken te verwijderen die niet van belang zijn voor het onderzoek.
Translation: Prosecution Service does not have the intention, never had, to remove wreckage parts not relevant for the investigation.
Dutch press response was very similar to the response by German media to an event in Berlin. Two freelance journalists covering MH17 , Graham Phillips and Billy Six, went to the office of German Correctiv in Berlin. Correctiv did an investigation on MH17 which turned out to have many mistakes. For example the location of the launch as published by Correctiv was incorrect.
German press like Bild reported about “Two pro Russia journalists raided the office of Correctiv”. The video recording made by Phillips does not show such a raid. However the image was made clear by German press; the guys are just doing propaganda. None of the press contacted Billy Six or Graham Phillips to understand their part of the story. The verdict was already done.
None of the German press took the effort to investigate the quality of the Correctiv investigation. After reporting about the “raid” their job was finished.
This is the exact behaviour I have seen from most of the main stream media reporting on MH17 since July 2014. Journalist are copy/paste artists which put too much of their personal opinion and ignorance into their stories.
I guess some will now believe I am pro Russia too. Many journalist do not understand the basics of their job. Doing fair, balanced reporting and understanding each story has at least two sides which should be reported on.