A 1970 strike in Ireland provoked an admirable outbreak of ingenuity - Greece should take note
Television reporters stand in front of the shut doors of banks in Athens and speak as if a few days more of bank closure brings the Greeks that much closer to catastrophe. Media coverage dwells obsessively on the theme that for Greece it is five minutes to midnight, but somehow midnight never comes. Shuttered banks... Read More
Trying to protect a Korean journalist brought Henry Cockburn into conflict with the Japanese – and his own Whitehall...
I spent last week in South Korea helping make a television documentary about my grandfather, Henry Cockburn, who was British Consul General in Korea shortly before the First World War. He arrived in 1905, just as Japan was occupying the country and extinguishing Korean independence, for a posting which was to change his life and... Read More
Denying Military Disasters
As a correspondent in Washington 20 years ago, I received occasional calls from local television stations on the anniversary of the burning of the White House by a British force in August 1814. The reason they wanted a comment was because the raid was jointly led by my distant ancestor, Admiral Sir George Cockburn, who... Read More
From Claud Cockburn to Julian Assange
One of the more satisfactory aspects of being a journalist is the discovery that the powerful are hyper-sensitive to any revelation about their activities. The degree of venom and hysteria expressed by the US government in attacking Julian Assange and WikiLeaks reflects this acute sense of vulnerability. My father, Claud Cockburn, discovered this in 1933... Read More
Is American Casino the Best Picture of the Year?
Andrew and Leslie Cockburn have produced the best movie of the year. American Casino tells the story of the financial crisis, which started with the meltdown in subprime lending and ended up triggering the deepest slump since the Great Depression. The Cockburns skillfully uncover the truth behind the headlines, shining a light on the negligent... Read More
How One Diplomat Fought Against Rendition
As a child the only interesting fact that I knew about my grandfather Henry Cockburn was that he had read his own obituary in The Times. This happened because he was a diplomat in the British legation during the siege of Peking in 1900 during which the Chinese Boxer rebels were wrongly reported to have... Read More
Every Move He Made
My father Claud Cockburn once said that the report that God was on the side of the big battalions was propaganda put about by big-battalion commanders to demoralise their opponents. He saw the rich and powerful as highly vulnerable to journalistic guerrilla warfare of a type largely invented by himself. In 1933, he founded The... Read More
Claud Cockburn at 100
Monday, April 12, 2004, brings us the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Claud Cockburn, father of other Cockburns--the brothers Alexander, Andrew and Patrick--familiar to readers of the CounterPunch website and newsletter. Claud was the greatest radical journalist of his age, an inspiring influence not only on CounterPunch, but on many other seditious journalistic enterprises,... Read More