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US State Passes Law Defining Any Criticism of Israel as ‘Anti-Semitic’ Just As They Kill 60 Civilians
As many Americans criticize the number of civilian deaths on the Gaza Strip, a state has passed a measure labeling criticism of Israel as “anti-Semitism.”
The news that Israel killed more than 60 Palestinians on Monday alone, has sparked criticism from Americans who are frustrated with the United States’ failure to hold one of its closest allies accountable for the human rights violations it is committing—and individuals in one state will soon be labeled as “anti-Semitic” for openly voicing their opinion.
South Carolina will become the first state to legally define criticism of Israel as “anti-Semitism” when a new measure goes into effect on July 1, targeting public schools and universities. While politicians have tried to pass the measure as a standalone law for two years, they finally succeeded temporarily by passing it as a “proviso” that was slipped into the 2018-2019 budget.
By Rachel Blevins The Free Thought Project
“What is Media at Risk?” is a cross-disciplinary conference bringing together media practitioners, media scholars and media organizations to define what “media at risk” means globally in circumstances of political intimidation and what can be done to resist it.
The term ‘media bias’ does not do justice to the western corporate media’s relationship with Israel and Palestine. The relationship is, indeed, far more profound than mere partiality. It is not ignorance, either. It is a calculated and long-term campaign, aimed at guarding Israel and demonizing Palestinians. More
As part of its “media monitoring,” the DHS seeks to track more than 290,000 global news sources as well as social media in over 100 languages, including Arabic, Chinese and Russian, for instant translation into English.
Abby Martin’s episode highlighting Israeli military violence against Palestinians has been blocked by YouTube in 28 countries for supposedly violating “local laws,” the presenter has announced. According to The Empire Files’ official Twitter account, YouTube sent the program a notice saying “We have received a legal complaint regarding your video,” and notifying that the video would be blocked in 28 countries, including the United Kingdom, France, Israel and Italy. The blocked episode featured an interview with journalist Max Blumenthal about… -more-
By TeleSur. TeleSUR presenter Abby Martin Popular Resistance
RELATED: Sinclair Deal With Tribune Hits Complications in Washington February 27 2018
Boris Epshetyn in a June episode of “Bottom Line With Boris,” carried by Sinclair Broadcast Group. (YouTube)
During the 2016 presidential campaign, the Sinclair Broadcast Group cut a deal with Jared Kushner for “good” coverage of the Trump administration, which seems to have paid off
Politico reported last December:
Sinclair would broadcast their Trump interviews across the country without commentary, Kushner said. Kushner highlighted that Sinclair, in states like Ohio, reaches a much wider audience—around 250,000 viewers [sic]— than networks like CNN, which reach somewhere around 30,000.
By Common Dreams staff July 31, 2018
As part of a promotion for the upcoming “Look, Evil Russians!” film Red Sparrow (hyping Hollywood films is apparently a thing reporters do now), New York Times national security reporter Scott Shane (2/14/18) wrote a synergistic Cold War 2.0 essay about the CIA’s alleged attempt to recruit him. It included a rather jarring—if not risible—paragraph summarizing Shane’s years of reporting:
All these years later, I assume my name appears in multiple files at the CIA, the National Security Agency and perhaps other corners of the sprawling security bureaucracy, with gripes and comments related to my coverage of how America stumbled into torture; how drone strikes went wrong; espionage cases; WikiLeaks cables; Snowden documents; Russian hackers and the Shadow Brokers; and probably stories I’ve forgotten.
Two clauses stand out for their confident attribution of benevolent motives to US foreign policy. First, there’s the idea that “America stumbled into torture,” rather than planned, plotted and spent over 15 years carrying out a policy of torture. This pretends that the US’s massive global torture regime—which involved drownings, beatings, sleep deprivation and sexual humiliation, among other techniques, along with “extraordinary rendition” to allied countries for less refined torture methods–was something other than a deliberate policy initiative.
As FAIR (6/22/17) noted last year, corporate media routinely assert that the US “stumbles,” “slips” or is “dragged into” war and other forms of organized violence, rather than planning deliberate acts of aggression. For reporters in foreign policy circles, the US only does immoral things on accident—unlike Official Bad Countries, which do them for calculated gain when they aren’t motivated by sheer malice.
The second clause, claiming that “drone strikes went wrong,” is a passive way of suggesting that civilian deaths are an unforeseen accident rather than a predictable consequence baked into the cake of the US’s permawar on terror. The US doesn’t murder civilians, it simply launches missiles at unknown and faceless brown people in Yemen and Afghanistan, and sometimes the missiles “go wrong.” While Shane has certainly reported on these respective crimes (as he proudly notes), he has done so in a similar, limited fashion that treats them as unfortunate mishaps, rather than intentional features of a violent empire.
For an essay that is more or less Shane patting himself on the back for holding power to account instead of becoming a spook, his instinct to assume noble intentions on the part of these spooks is a telling indication of the broader ethos of corporate media’s national security reporting: Criticism is welcome around the margins, so long as motives are never challenged.
You can send a message to the New York Times at firstname.lastname@example.org (Twitter:@NYTimes). Please remember that respectful communication is the most effective.
Read the original post here.
By Adam Johnson FAIR February 15, 2018
When people were given a toolbox of deceptive techniques and told to “play Russian troll,” they learned to reject disinformation.
Friday’s indictment of 13 Russians on charges of attempting to defraud the public and influence the U.S. presidential election shows that that the United States remains vulnerable to what the indictment calls “information warfare” but what others call simply fake news. A new research paper released Monday from two Cambridge University researchers shows how to counteract it.
Once a person accepts an untruth, dislodging it can be very difficult, especially if the person’s online social group is pushing that piece of fake news. Some research has suggested that this is because the emotional need for acceptance goes on to influence higher-order rational thinking.
Using MEK images to represent unrest in Iran is like a Chinese outlet using images of a Westboro Baptist Church protest in a story about Occupy Wall Street, because both oppose the US government.
BY ADAM JOHNSON FAIR January 10, 2018
Facebook’s previous efforts at soft censorship failed when it found that people shared articles flagged as ‘fake news‘ even more.
Mint Press News January 12, 2018
Conservative activist James O’Keefe released a new video revealing Twitter’s use of “shadow banning” and algorithms used to censor certain ideas demonstrating the social media giant’s propensity towards censorship.
Mint Press News January 11, 2018
The US Army is pursuing a new intelligence tool which is able to understand social media posts in languages including Russian, Arabic and French, and which can post answers on its own.
Mint Press News January 12, 2018
The NY Times reporter goes with the government/police line that the REAL problem is the pranksters who call the cops. Sure, we shouldn’t like pranksters calling the cops. BUT the real point is – it SHOULDN’T MATTER. If the cops are called to the wrong place, they should be rational enough to figure out, “Hey, there is no crime going on here. Let’s not kill anybody.”
By Lee Camp for Redacted Tonight Mint Press News January 5, 2018
Exposure to violence in media, including television, movies, music, and video games, represents a significant risk to the health of children and adolescents. Extensive research evidence indicates that media violence can contribute to aggressive behavior, desensitization to violence, nightmares, and fear of being harmed. Pediatricians should assess their patients’ level of media exposure and intervene on media-related health risks. Pediatricians and other child health care providers can advocate for a safer media environment for children by encouraging media literacy, more thoughtful and proactive use of media by children and their parents, more responsible portrayal of violence by media producers, and more useful and effective media ratings. Office counseling has been shown to be effective.
Although shootings in schools around the world periodically prompt politicians and the general public to focus their attention on the influence of media violence, the medical community has been concerned with this issue since the 1950s.1–3 The evidence is now clear and convincing: media violence is 1 of the causal factors of real-life violence and aggression. Therefore, pediatricians and parents need to take action.4
In 1972, the US Surgeon General issued a special report on the public health effects of media violence that was based on a growing and nearly unanimous body of evidence.5 Ten years later, the National Institute of Mental Health issued a comprehensive review of the research on media violence and its effects, which outlined concerns about children’s psychological health.6
At a Congressional public health summit in July 2000, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) was joined by the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the American Psychological Association in issuing an unprecedented joint statement on the impact of entertainment violence on children.7 Also in 2000, the Federal Bureau of Investigation released a report on shootings in schools that stated that media violence is a risk factor.8
In 2003, a panel of media-violence experts convened by the National Institute of Mental Health, at the request of the US Surgeon General, published its comprehensive report on the effects of media violence on youth, which revealed media violence to be a significant causal factor in aggression and violence.9
Most recently, in 2007, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released its report on violent television programming and its effects on children and agreed with the Surgeon General that there is “strong evidence” that exposure to media violence can increase aggressive behavior in children.10 The weight of scientific evidence has been convincing to pediatricians, with more than 98% of pediatricians in 1 study expressing the personal belief that media violence affects children’s aggression.11 Yet, the entertainment industry, the American public, politicians, and parents all have been reluctant to accept these findings and to take action.4 The debate should be over.9,12
I first understood the power of the documentary during the editing of my first film, The Quiet Mutiny. In the commentary, I make reference to a chicken, which my crew and I encountered while on patrol with American soldiers in Vietnam.
“It must be a Vietcong chicken – a communist chicken,” said the sergeant. He wrote in his report: “enemy sighted”.
The chicken moment seemed to underline the farce of the war – so I included it in the film. That may have been unwise. The regulator of commercial television in Britain – then the Independent Television Authority or ITA – had demanded to see my script. What was my source for the political affiliation of the chicken? I was asked. Was it really a communist chicken, or could it have been a pro-American chicken?
Of course, this nonsense had a serious purpose; when The Quiet Mutiny was broadcast by ITV in 1970, the US ambassador to Britain, Walter Annenberg, a personal friend of President Richard Nixon, complained to the ITA. He complained not about the chicken but about the whole film. “I intend to inform the White House,” the ambassador wrote. Gosh.
The Quiet Mutiny had revealed that the US army in Vietnam was tearing itself apart. There was open rebellion: drafted men were refusing orders and shooting their officers in the back or “fragging” them with grenades as they slept.
None of this had been news. What it meant was that the war was lost; and the messenger was not appreciated.
The Director-General of the ITA was Sir Robert Fraser. He summoned Denis Foreman, then Director of Programmes at Granada TV, and went into a state of apoplexy. Spraying expletives, Sir Robert described me as a “dangerous subversive”.
By John Pilger JohnPilger.com December 11, 2017
The Real Drama in “The Post” Isn’t About Journalism vs. the Government. It’s About Journalism vs. Capitalism.
Katharine Graham could stand up to Richard Nixon. But 46 years later we know that her family newspaper could not stand up to capitalism.
Jon Schwarz The Intercept December 22 2017
The Israeli ministry tasked with fighting the BDS Movement is spending millions of shekels to place propaganda that looks like news in Israel’s most prominent media outlets.
The Israeli government paid the Yedioth Group, publisher of Israel’s best-selling daily newspaper, hundreds of thousands of shekels to publish articles and interviews meant to influence readers to support a campaign Israel is waging against its critics. The Strategic Affairs Ministry, headed by Minister Gilad Erdan, purchased positive coverage and the distribution of that content on the Internet.
According to information provided to “The Seventh Eye” and “Hatzlacha,” as part of a freedom of information request, the Yedioth AhronothGroup received NIS 350,000 ($100,000) to publish journalistic articles, which were then distributed by member organizations of the “Pro-Israel Network” in Israel and around the world. The articles, according to the information furnished, were meant to motivate or enlist Israelis into the struggle.
The paid-for articles were published starting in June 2017 in the news section of Yedioth Ahronoth‘s weekend magazine, and on its website, Ynet. Like other campaigns that included purchasing articles from the newspaper, this one also included promotions in the widely-distributed weekend edition.
Alongside the paid-for articles, Ynet also published promotional videos produced by the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, as well as three interviews with a ranking official at the ministry, Tzahi Gabrieli. Two of those paid-for interviews were conducted by Ynet’s senior political correspondent, Attila Somfalvi, who asked soft-ball questions that allowed him to present his talking points.
By Itamar Benzaquen The Seventh Eye December 21, 2017
The following about the media and its role in Israel is excerpted from the full article here:
There’s a very good reason why such videos never see the light of day: The IDF Spokesman is a central arm of the hasbara effort, and its people know very well that a video showing a teen being dragged out her parents’ home and led away handcuffed by gunmen would be taken badly pretty much everywhere in the world.
This time the need to calm down the Jewish public made the IDF throw the hasbara effort under the bus.
Perhaps I should amend the last claim. The hasbara effort, despite pretending otherwise, is directed at Israelis and Jews living outside of Israel. It barely tries to reach other crowds. It is intended to convince the already-convinced that everything is fine, that they can keep sleeping peacefully without thinking of what they’re sending their children to do. Hence the mass hysteria surrounding Breaking the Silence: Acting as a Socratic fly, they insist on waking a sleeping public. The public does not want to know. The IDF will show that it can– with a mighty hand and outstretched arm– detain a teen. But if you point out there are thousands of detainees like her, and that this is actually regular activity, you’d be branded a traitor.
Anyone needing more proof that the hasbara campaign is a government-operated psy-ops against the Israeli public which funds it could get it in the new series of articles by media criticism site 7th Eye. Two days ago, it exposed the fact that the Strategic Affairs Office transferred hundreds of thousands of shekels to the largest Israeli daily, Yediot Ahronot, so that the paper would promote so-called independent reports, which were actually government propaganda. Yesterday it showed that the Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Ardan gave the television network Keshet some half a million shekels to promote hasbara content – again, masquerading as legitimate reporting.
Yossi Gurvitz Mondoweiss
The Internet has operated under formal and informal net neutrality principles for years. For the first time, the FCC has not only abdicated its role in enforcing those principles, it has rejected them altogether.
Here’s the good news: the fight is far from over, and Team Internet has plenty of paths forward.
Defending Net Neutrality in Congress
It’s not too late to stop the FCC’s rule change from going into effect. Poll after poll show that Americans overwhelmingly support net neutrality, and Congress has already been inundated with calls for them to take action. We need to keep up the pressure, and we will.
BY ELLIOT HARMON AND CORYNNE MCSHERRY Electronic Frontier Foundation December 15, 2017
As Trump Attacks Media with “Fake News” Claims, a Record 262 Reporters Are Jailed, 46 Killed in 2017 (Video)
The Committee to Protect Journalists has published its 25th annual survey of journalists killed and jailed around the world. This year, the list of those killed included 42 journalists and four media workers. A record 262 journalists were imprisoned around the world, with Turkey, China and Egypt topping the list for the second year in a row. Mexico reached an historic high in journalists killed this year, and the country leads the world in journalists killed in a non-conflict zone. This comes as President Donald Trump has waged a relentless campaign to discredit journalists in the United States, often with rhetoric that could potentially incite his followers to violence. We speak with María Salazar-Ferro, the director of the Emergencies Department of the Committee to Protect Journalists.
We’re joined by María Salazar-Ferro, who is the director of the Committee to Protect Journalists Emergencies Department.
Democracy Now! December 29, 2017
An op-ed by the president of the right-wing human rights group Freedom House, published in the New York Times Monday (12/11/17)—later boosted by New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker—warned of the menace of “commentators, trolls, bots, false news sites and propaganda,” and their negative effects on democracy. Missing from its analysis was any account of how the government that funds their organization—86 percent of Freedom House’s budget comes from the US government, primarily the State Department and USAID—uses social media to stir unrest and undermine governments worldwide.
What the reader was left with was a very selective, curated impression that online social media manipulation is something done exclusively by brown and black people and those dastardly Slavs. The column condemns “surreptitious techniques pioneered in Moscow and Beijing to use the internet to drown out dissent and undermine free elections,” going on to cite online skullduggery in the Philippines, Kenya, Turkey, Mexico and Iran.
By Adam Johnson FAIR December 13, 2017
The U.S. Media Yesterday Suffered its Most Humiliating Debacle in Ages: Now Refuses All Transparency Over What Happened
How did “multiple sources” all innocently feed the same false information to multiple media outlets? The refusal of CNN and MSNBC to say only compounds the damage they caused.
By Glenn Greenwald The Intercept December 9, 2017 Photo: YouTube/MSNBC
28 Nov 2017 – Self-proclaimed “press freedom watchdog” Reporters Without Borders launched a new campaign that it deemed of urgent importance – shutting down a short panel discussion by journalist Vanessa Beeley and Swedish Doctors for Human Rights.
The USAID/NED-funded RWB wrote an open letter published in the Tribune de Genevea ddressed to Guy Mettan, Executive Director of the Swiss Press Club, the organization that was hosting the event, where it dismissed Beeley as a “so-called” journalist who is cited only by “Russian media propaganda” and claimed that Doctors for Human Rights is merely “a tool of Russian propaganda.” The letter urged Mettan to cancel the event or risk tarnishing the image of the Swiss Press Club.
The event was entitled “They don’t care about us: About White Helmets True Agenda,” where Vanessa Beeley, who has reported extensively from inside Syria would present alongside fellow panel members Richard Labeviere’ and Marcello Ferranda De Noli editor of the Proche et Moyen Orient and Swedish Doctors For Human Rights respectively were scheduled to present. As the title suggests, the event was merely a platform to discuss the possibility that the reputation of the White Helmets in Western countries may be different from the reality on the ground. Beeley was included not only because of her expertise in terms of research but also because of her extensive on-the-ground experience in Syria, her length of time in country, and her numerous interviews and investigative reports from Syria itself.
By Brandon Turbeville, transcend.org Popular Resistance December 7, 2017
– Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, confirmed this weekend that the world’s largest Internet company is, in close coordination with the state, manipulating search results to censor sites critical of the US government. Responding to a question about the “manipulation of information” on the Internet during an appearance at the Halifax International Security Forum, Schmidt announced that Google is working on algorithms that will “de-rank” Russian-based news websites RT and Sputnik from its Google News services, effectively blocking users’ access to either site. Schmidt’s remarks at the gathering of military and national security officials confirm the World Socialist Web Site’s charges that Google has been deliberately altering its search algorithms and taking other steps to prevent people from accessing certain information and specific websites through its search engines. The WSWS has itself been a principal target of these efforts. The statements expose as lies the company’s previous claim that changes to its search engine were aimed at “improving search results” and that these changes were politically unbiased. Google’s efforts are just one part of a much wider government-corporate drive to assert control over the flow of information over the Internet, involving Amazon, Twitter and Facebook, as well as Internet service providers such as Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Verizon and AT&T. -more-
By Niles Niemuth for WSWS Popular Resistance November 25, 2017
— Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai plans a full repeal of Net Neutrality protections, exposing internet users to blocking, throttling and paid prioritization of online content by the handful of internet service providers that control access in the United States. Pai will release his proposed rule changes on Wednesday. According to reports, the chairman will seek to overturn nearly all of the Net Neutrality safeguards put in place during the Obama administration. In 2015, the FCC grounded its Open Internet Order in Title II of the Communications Act, a move that follows the laws Congress wrote and that federal appeals courts have twice upheld. Pai is planning to eliminate the “bright line rules,” which prohibit blocking, throttling and paid prioritization. His proposal would also take away the general conduct rules and other protections against cable- and phone-company discrimination. Under the current rules, ISPs ca n’t “unreasonably interfere with or unreasonably disadvantage” people’s ability to access and use the lawful content, applications, services or devices of their choosing. This broader mandate to prevent unreasonable ISP discrimination, even when it doesn’t fall neatly under a bright-line prohibition, is crucial to preventing interference with internet traffic at interconnection points and other “upstream” bottlenecks that ISPs can abuse. Even worse, Pai plans to remove Title II classification of broadband internet access service providers. -more-
By Timothy Karr for Free Press – WASHINGTON Popular Resistance November 23, 2017
Ajit Pai’s plan is expected to contain a “total repeal” of net neutrality protections, posing a grave threat to the future of freedom of expression, access to information, and small businesses particularly for communities of color and low income communities. The December 7 protests represent growing grassroots backlash to the FCC’s plan, which polls show is wildly unpopular with people from across the political spectrum. The events are supported by Team Internet, a grassroots network of nearly half a million volunteer activists spearheaded by Demand Progress, Fight for the Future, and Free Press Action Fund, three of the groups behind the massive July 12 net neutrality day of action that drove millions of comments, emails, and phone calls to the FCC and Congress. Over recent months the groups behind the protests have organized thousands of constituents to attend more than 600 town halls and meetings with lawmakers to demand their suppo rt for net neutrality. A phone call campaign through BattleForTheNet.com has generated nearly 250,000 phone calls to legislators offices. At the protests participants will be encouraged to take a group photo and tweet it at their local members of Congress. Where possible, protesters will march to a nearby lawmaker’s office and deliver petition signatures. Protests are currently planned in Phoenix, Denver, San Francisco, New York City, Indianapolis, Miami, Boston, Seattle, and several other cities across the country. -more-
By Evan Greer for Fight for the Future Popular Resistance November 23, 2017
Meet the Proud Boys, America’s Self-Proclaimed Chauvinists
The segment—part of Left Field, NBC‘s video documentary vertical—is a gratuitous piece of embedded journalism that does little to challenge the claims made by Proud Boy talking heads, such as “there’s a mainstream societal attack on being hetero cis white men.” The piece allowed multiple Proud Boys to spout off their brand of racist and sexist talking points with zero context; arguments that Muslims are uniquely sinister and women should go back to being housewives were advanced with no pushback from other sources or NBC itself.
Adam Johnson FAIR November 9, 2017
Watch and listen to Liesl Bradner’s accompanying photo essay of the “La Raza” exhibit.
On Aug. 29, 1970, La Raza, a little-known bilingual Los Angeles newspaper-turned-magazine became an influential part of the Chicano rights movement. While covering a massive anti-Vietnam War rally in East Los Angeles, Raul Ruiz, the La Raza editor in chief, captured the moment a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy fired a Flite-Rite tear gas missile into the Silver Dollar Café. Ruben Salazar, a former Los Angeles Times columnist and a leading Latino voice of the 20th century, had just entered the crowded bar to quench his thirst after covering the protest. Minutes later, he was dead.
The black-and-white photo taken from the sidewalk that hot August day is considered one of the most well-known and contentious images representing the plight of the Chicano movement (El Movimiento) during the civil rights era.
Our past is relevant to issues we’re confronting today such as immigration, education, migrant farm workers, equal pay and DACA,” said former La Raza photographer and exhibition co-curator Luis C. Garza.
By Liesl Bradner Truthdig November 7, 2017
Wednesday’s hearings by the House and Senate Intelligence committees on “extremist” political views served as the occasion for members of Congress to urge technology companies to flagrantly violate the US Constitution by censoring political speech, carrying out mass surveillance, and muzzling journalists in pursuit of the government’s geopolitical aims.
The hearings revolved around allegations, promoted ceaselessly in recent months by the intelligence agencies, leading figures within the Democratic Party, and newspapers such as the New York Times, that social opposition to the political establishment results from “fake news” promoted by Russia. As Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff put it, “Russia” promoted “discord in the US by inflaming passions on a range of divisive issues” and sought to “mobilize real Americans to sign online petitions and join rallies and protests.” The basic problem, however, as Schiff put it, is “not just fo reign.” The algorithms used by Facebook and Twitter have the “consequence of widening divisions among our society.” Schiff complained: “What ends up percolating to the top of our feeds tends to be things we were looking for,” as opposed to US government propaganda disseminated by the establishment media, which he referred to as “true information.” -more-
By Andre Damon for WSWS – Popular Resistance November 5, 2017
If this document had been published sooner, it could have dramatically changed the course of the war by exposing the true face of the “moderate rebels” — and potentially saved tens of thousands of lives. That didn’t happen, and no reason has been given by the Intercept for its delay.
By Whitney Webb Mint Press News October 30, 2017
(ANTIMEDIA Op-ed) — The mainstream media went batshit Thursday night when it was reported that a rogue Twitter employee on his or her last day on the job shut down the Donald Trump’s personal account for 11 minutes.
The fact that the well-established though unofficial mouthpiece of the president of the United States was taken from him, albeit temporarily, gave journalists and analysts myriad options to choose from when commenting on the story.
Popular topics ranged from Twitter’s internal security — as in how this happened in the first place — to First Amendment issues pointing out that the company has blocked other accounts over content violations while letting The Donald run wild. Some takes highlighted that some were cheering the unknown employee as a hero.
By James Holbrooks The AntiMedia
IN BITING SPEECH
— New York Times headline, October 25, 2017
lake” refers here to first-term senator Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona, whose classic pseudo-eventon October 24 was a seventeen-minute Senate floor speech to announce that he would not run for re-election, all gussied up with at least implied imprecations against a president and administration he could not bring himself to call by name. In seventeen minutes, Flake managed to find fault with nothing more specific in the world today than “our disunion … the indecency of our discourse … the coarseness of our leadership … the compromise of our moral authority.”
Tasty bait there, for anyone who wants to see what anyone wants to see. The Times was not alone in taking the bait as a “biting speech.” Others called it a “bombshell Senate speech” (USA Today), “most important speech of 2017” (CNN), “an indictment of Trump supporters” (Washington Post), “astounding speech” (Daily Beast), “powerful indictment of Trump” (Frank Rich), “a blistering speech” (Democracy NOW!), “cowardly attack on Trump” (Breitbart), “a fiery sermon decrying Trump personally” (Daily Wire), and so on across the political spectrum, with a few exceptions like Rolling Stone explaining why the “speech was meaningless.”
Flake himself gave the game away early, for anyone paying close attention. Flake’s third paragraph begins with a classic deceit: that everyone is at fault — suggesting that no one is at fault — which is a construction that manages to tell two lies at once:
Regret for the compromise of our moral authority, and by our, I mean all of our complicity in this alarming and dangerous state of affairs. It is time for our complicity and our accommodation of the unacceptable to end.
This is vacuity posing as seriousness.
By William Boardman Reader Supported News October 29, 2017
Donald Trump clearly woke up on Thursday morning on the wrong side of the bed because he immediately, first thing this morning started tweeting out about the alleged fake news media. In fact, he went as far as to say that the Senate Intelligence Committee needs to be investigating the fake news networks here in the United States. He said “Why isn’t the Senate Intel Committee looking into the fake news networks in our country, OUR was in all caps to see why so much of our news is just made up. Fake.” Trump tweeted.
By Farron Cousins Ring of Fire
Americans may not like the media, but polls are indicating that they trust it more and more — especially compared with President Donald Trump.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll out earlier this week was the latest to tap into the trend. Of the 14,300 people surveyed, 48 percent expressed a “great deal of” or “some” confidence in the press — a figure that was up from 39 percent in November 2016. People with “hardly any” confidence in the media dropped from 51 percent to 45 percent.
By JASON SCHWARTZ Politico October 5, 2017
The prominent and sympathetic coverage for Antifa from the Times, the Post and NBC is politically sinister. The Times has a policy of excluding any genuinely left-wing opinion, while “Meet the Press,” the most widely-watched Sunday news program, never interviews or features in its panel discussions anyone outside what is considered acceptable by the political establishment.
Colbert brought on Spicer, complete with the rolling press office podium that Melissa McCarthy made famous in her Saturday Night Live impression, to mock President Donald Trump. From the New York Times transcript:
SPICER: This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys, period. Both in person and around the world.
COLBERT: Wow, that really soothes my fragile ego. I can understand why you would want one of these guys around.
Yet for all the outrage over the appearance, and for all the distaste over Spicer’s relatively quick public rehabilitation (Spicer left the White House less than three weeks ago, on August 31), the fact is that it’s par for the course in how the corporate media—both in news and entertainment—treat those in power when they leave Washington.
EOIN HIGGINS FAIR September 20, 2017
Gather around, everyone, and let me tell you a story about rules. And greed and hypocrisy.
Once upon a time in America, there was something called the Fairness Doctrine.
Approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1949, this rule insisted that because the airwaves belong to all of us, every TV and radio broadcast licensee must “devote a reasonable portion of broadcast time to the discussion and consideration of controversial issues of public importance,” and allow “the expression of contrasting viewpoints.”
Translation: When you present points of view from the right on your station, it behooves you to also present views from the left — and others — so that everyone’s opinion gets a fair shake.
Had the Fairness Doctrine remained in place, chances are the explosion of loud-mouthed bigotry on the air and across the internet might have been mitigated in part by a more balanced, countervailing progressive radio and TV to tell all sides of the story.
That was the rule, but it didn’t sit well with conservatives and in 1987, during the latter part of the reign of Ronald Reagan, the Fairness Doctrine was revoked. The disappearance helped encourage the rise of right wing, hate talk radio and the incubator it provided for the likes of Fox News, Alex Jones and Breitbart.
BY MICHAEL WINSHIP Moyers & Co SEPTEMBER 6, 2017
Everyone knows the news outlet serves as a virtual propaganda tool, but new research shows just how effective they are at it
The post Study Confirms Your Worst Fears About Fox News appeared first on MintPress News. September 9, 2017
According to those same sources, six reporters will be given seats on Mattis’ plane on an upcoming trip to India and the region, including a reporter with the French wire service Agence France-Presse, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, a three-person television pool and one radio pool reporter.
The plane has room for up to 18 reporters, although normally about a dozen travel on overseas trips, the sources said.
Bureau chiefs for the AP and Reuters will discuss the issue with chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana White to get an explanation as to why reporters for those wire services will not be allowed to travel, the sources said.
By Kelsey Sutton MIC September 7, 2017
Everyone knows the news outlet serves as a virtual propaganda tool, but new research shows just how effective they are at it
The post Study Confirms Your Worst Fears About Fox News appeared first on MintPress News.
Janine Jackson: Sinclair Broadcasting Group is already the largest owner of television stations around the country, with some 173. But it’s looking to increase that dominance by taking over Tribune Media, which owns stations in key markets like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. The deal would mean Sinclair would own more than 220 stations, reaching some 72 percent of US TV households.
By Janine Jackson, FAIR | Interview Janine Jackson of FAIR interviews Craig Aaron of freepress.net. August 20, 2017
The Washington Post, Boston Globe, AOL News, The Hill, BBC and Sky News UK all chose to frame the ramming of a car into anti-fascist protesters as “clashes.”
BY ADAM JOHNSON FAIR August 12, 2017
The United States government is currently applying sanctions on Cuba, Iran, Russia, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Syria, Venezuela and Zimbabwe and on July 27, the U.S. Congress moved to include Nicaragua as well.
Apart from these sanctions, the U.S. is also enforcing a variety of sanctions in relation to Belarus, Burundi, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, former Ukraine and Yemen. Some of those sanctions are supported by the U.N. but, in any case, U.S. allies cooperate in applying sanctions in a selective way to suit their own interests.
At the highest level, Western strategic thinking in general and U.S. policy making, in particular, is intellectually and morally corrupt, narcissistic and irrational. Corrupt, because it is so deliberately intellectually ingrown and materially self-serving; narcissistic because it cannot engage other legitimate rationalities; irrational because it operates on the basis of “with us or against us” paranoia. The recent U.S. Department of Defense report “At our own Peril” is the clearest expression of that reality.
By Tortilla Con Sal Telesur July 31, 2017
–Claims that Russian identity is based on “projection of power.”
In reality, “projection of power” characterizes the U.S. much more than Russia. For the past two centuries the United States has expanded across the continent and globe. The last century is documented in the book Overthrow: American’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq.
The U.S. currently has nearly 800 foreign military bases in over 70 countries. In contrast, Russia has military bases in only two countries beyond the former Soviet Union: Syria and Vietnam.
–Ignores crucial information about events in Ukraine.
Russian involvement in eastern Ukraine and Crimea are presented as examples of “projection of power.” But basic facts are omitted from the documentary. There is no mention of the violent February 2014 coup in Kiev nor the involvement of neoconservatives such as Sen. John McCain and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland in supporting and encouraging the overthrow of Ukraine’s elected government. In a December 2013 speech, Nuland outlined her intense involvement in Ukraine including U.S. insistence that Ukraine choose a “European future” since the U.S. had “invested $5 billion to assist.” -more-
By Rick Sterling for Consortium News Popular Resistance July 30, 2017
This is not to say that these protests should become violent to attract media attention. The deficit is rather on the other side. The mainstream corporate media should be covering these many nonviolent protests where people risk arrest and often go to jail for their actions.
The G20 (or G-20 or Group of Twenty) is an international forum for the governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies. It was founded in 1999 with the aim of studying, reviewing, and promoting high-level discussion of policy issues pertaining to the promotion of international financial stability. (Wikipedia)
This article was written in response to an article about an anti-G20 action in June: German Railways Plunged Into Chaos by Anti-G20 Arson Attacks
Radical left-wing protestors have claimed responsibility for a strong of arson attacks on the Deutsche Bahn, in protest at Germany’s hosting of the G20 summit next month.
By Sue Ann Martinson Rise Up Times July 10, 2017
International coverage entirely ignores Sunday’sdemonstration of support for a Constituent Assembly. Did you hear the one about a practice election in Venezuela, where millions of people lined up from early morning until late at night, just to cast their vote in a dry run poll that meant absolutely nothing at all? Except to express support for another election in two weeks time? Actually, it’s not a joke. It did happen. On Sunday. Video shows them singing and dancing as they waited to test voting machines and see how the election of a new Constituent Assembly on July 30 will work. But you probably never heard about it. Because the world’s media, pretty much without exception, concentrated almost exclusively on the other vote happening in Venezuela on Sunday, an informal plebiscite held by the opposition, with no constitutional status, to oppose that Constituent Assembly. So let’s just look at the quality media. The New York Times for example — you remember: “All the news that’s fit to print.” Well, maybe not ALL of it … -more-
By Staff of Tele Sur Popular Resistance July 19, 2017
By Adam Johnson for FAIR. Major media’s relative lack of interest in the mass arrests by Metro DC police on Inauguration Day is a fact noted by activists and journalists since the incident almost six months ago. One way to measure the dearth of coverage is to compare the attention paid to comparable protester arrests in Russia last month. On June 12, over 1,700 Russians throughout the country were arrested for “unauthorized protests” in opposition to President Vladimir Putin and government corruption. “Dozens”—including opposition leader Alexei Navalny—were kept in jail longer than a day, but the vast majority were let go immediately. (Navalny, as well as some others, got between 15–30 days in jail.) More than 200 Americans were arrested on January 20 after “rioting” broke out in downtown Washington, DC, in the hours leading up to and after President Donald Trump’s inauguration. -more-
By Adam Johnson for FAIR. Popular Resistance July 17, 2017
If an anonymous source knowingly and maliciously feeds a media outlet false information, should they continue to be granted anonymity? If media continue to protect the deceptive source’s identity, doesn’t that ensure the continuance of a disinformation conveyor belt?
On Monday, three CNN journalists resigned after an article alleging Trump associates’ ties to Russia was retracted by the network. Brian Stelter, CNN‘s media reporter (6/27/17), wrote:
The story, which reported that Congress was investigating a “Russian investment fund with ties to Trump officials,” cited a single anonymous source. These types of stories are typically reviewed by several departments within CNN—including factcheckers, journalism standards experts and lawyers—before publication.
BY SAM HUSSEINI FAIR June 30, 2017
CNN’s Jim Acosta says Trump administration’s suppression of press access “doesn’t make any sense” and should not be tolerated.
Journalist Jim Acosta, the senior White House correspondent for CNN, was among those expressing alarm and frustration on Monday after the White House held a press briefing that barred the use of both audio and video recordings.
“I don’t know why everybody is going along with this,” Acosta said on air after the closed briefing with Sean Spicer, with Trump’s press secretary. “It just doesn’t make any sense to me. It just feels like we’re sort of slowly but surely being dragged into a new normal in this country where the president of the United States is allowed to insulate himself from answering hard questions.”
“I don’t know what world we’re living in right now” he added.
Trump has previously threatened to stop holding press briefings entirely and the White House communications team have previously held audio-only gaggles. Monday, however, was the first briefing in which reporters were forbidden from airing even audio recordings of what was said.
Such rules, complained Acosta, make the questions and answer sessions “basically pointless at this point.”
Later, Acosta’s colleague at CNN, Brian Stelter, said that criticism of the White House has grown as access has been steadily rolled back. “Inch by inch by inch,” he said, “the Trump administration is rolling back press access.”
Common Dreams June 19, 2017
I am going to keep hammering and hammering on this point until I see that it has taken root in American consciousness: the single best way to take down the oligarchy is by aggressively and relentlessly attacking its propaganda engine. People appreciate my cutesy little analysis pieces on current events and my rude nicknames for corporate Democrats, but if there was one idea I could implore you all to ingest and circulate, this would be it.
It is clearer now than ever before that democracy is functionally nonexistent in America. In an unapologetically strict two-party system, the DNC is openly communicating to the public that it considers itself a private establishment under no obligation to provide the public with a legitimate Democratic primary. On the other side of the aisle the purported nationalist who the people supposedly elected has been acting more and more like the neocon globalists that his grassroots supporters despise. No matter how you vote, the plutocrats and their multinational corporations and banks win, and the American people lose. This is settled beyond dispute for anyone who’s been paying attention. We tried all the political doors, and they’re all bolted shut.
So that’s it, right? Checkmate? Time to give up, tap out and wait until they get us all killed in a nuclear holocaust or climate disaster?
Wrong. The elites who manipulate your government are more vulnerable now than ever before and they know it — the solution just isn’t in politics, it’s in media. What Americans lack in voting power, they make up for in the fact that their ability to network and share information has reached completely unprecedented heights, which means that the old propaganda systems which have been used to lull Americans into accepting the establishment narrative are wielding less and less influence. The internet has the potential to initiate a total shift in public perspective.
Caitlin Johnstone Medium.com May 4, 2017
Photo by Oli Scarff
In his essential study of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, University of Kent Professor Richard Sakwa writes that, somewhere down the road, Western media’s reductive, ideological coverage of the conflict “will undoubtedly become the subject of many an intriguing academic study.” That’s if the human race isn’t wiped out by environmental catastrophe or nuclear holocaust first—far from a sure thing, especially with the Trump regime running amok, lobbing cruise missiles and sending armadas (or not) and dropping MOABs, and all of it to quell suspicions that the president’s undersized hands might reflect a certain priapic compactness.
But while, as Sakwa says, the reportage of Ukraine’s civil war by our renowned newspapers has been abysmal and embarrassing, it doesn’t hold a candle to that of Syria, where any pretense of real journalism was done away with long ago. Syria is proof of how low mainstream Western media are prepared to sink in the service of state power.
By Michael Howard Paste April 26, 2017
By Chris Mills for BGR – At the heart of the matter are new fees that Comcast recently introduced, described as a “broadcast TV fee.” It’s a fee that even Comcast admits goes to paying content providers for cable channels, which is exactly what your cable bundle is supposed to be paying for already. It’s a problem because, as the regional regulators outlined in a letter, fees are supposed to be used for things outside the core contract, like government taxes or equipment rental fees. Instead, Comcast (and other cable companies) are breaking up the costs of providing a service and hiding some of them under the fold of the bill. It makes it difficult for consumers to sign up for a service and actually know how much they’ll be paying per month; worse, the fees can change arbitrarily throughout the course of a contract, with zero recourse for the customer. So what does this have to do with net neutrality? Well, the abuse of fees is a classic case of a couple powerful companies with near-monopolies abusing their power at the expense of consumers. The FCC has a “voluntary” program that says that ISPs aren’t meant to do this kind of thing, but it lacks enforcement power to really crack down on it. -more-
Popular Resistance May 5, 2017
By Nilay Patel for The Verge – The fight over net neutrality is starting to heat up — and the big difference between this time and 2015 is that big ISPs seem incredibly emboldened to say whatever they want without any regard for the truth. For example: here’s some sponcon from Verizon, where someone named Jeremy “interviews” Verizon general counsel Craig Silliman about what the FCC is up to and the resultant backlash, and Silliman says a bunch of things that are just flatly not true. How not true? He casually ignores the fact that Verizon sued the FCC to kill net neutrality in the past; losing that case is why the agency had to use the stronger Title II approach in the first place. (I’m not the only one to notice this; Motherboard pointed it out earlier.) Anyway, I’ve lined up almost everything Silliman says in this video against that simple fact. It is astounding. Enjoy. -more-
Popular Resistance May 5, 2017
By Ali Breland for The Hill – Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) on Tuesday said the way that Federal Communications Chairman Ajit Pai introduced his plan to roll back net neutrality may have skirted the law. “He sounded more like a political person taking a political position than someone who was going to really inquiry into the best path forward,” Schatz told reporters. “I think it is legally consequential.” The Hawaii senator, who is the ranking member of the subcommittee on communications and technology, said the FCC chairman may have violated a “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” (NPRM) statute by appearing to take a clear position on a proposal that hasn’t even been considered. The statute states that the FCC must first consider public comment before taking a specific position on a policy. “They are supposed to receive public comment. They are supposed to establish a public record,” Schatz said. “You would never have anybody in judiciary announcing their position, decla ring that they will ‘win in the end,’ that ‘this is a fight and they intend to win it.’ “When Pai introduced his proposal to significantly scale back on Obama-era net neutrality rules, he closed his speech by saying, “Make no mistake about it: this is a fight that we intend to wage and it is a fight that we are going to win.” -more-
Popular Resistance May 5, 2017
Facebook on Thursday detailed the well-funded and subtle techniques used by countries to spread misleading information to promote their goals. Photograph: Regis Duvignau/Reuters
Following bombings in Afghanistan and Syria, the media has become rather fluent in the “language of war.” Turn on your TV and you’ll be witness to government and mainstream media outlets trying to soften and normalize barbaric bombing by using manipulative words to describe it all. The mainstream media’s use of words like “cruising” and “loitering” to describe weapons that maim and destroy innocent people only diminishes the gravity of warfare. And at its core, the media’s propping up the technology of weapons, such as the Tomahawk missile, are essentially a massive, glorified advertisement for waging more war. What’s more, networks like MSNBC and Fox News both gush over the missile strikes and even suggest that these actions make Trump look more presidential. Redacted Tonight host Lee Camp shows how it should be hardly a surprise that in a time of war, corporate-funded media outlets are lacking in the humanity department.
By Lee Camp for Redacted Tonight Popular Resistance April 25, 2017
By Lee Camp, www.rt.com April 25th, 2017
Last year was the deadliest year for journalists in Mexico in the past decade according to rights groups, and the bodies only continue to pile up.
Yet another journalist has been killed in Mexico, the deadliest place in the Western Hemisphere for media workers, bringing the toll of assassinated journalists in the country to five in just the last seven weeks.
Juan Jose Roldan, an LGBTQ rights activist and freelance reporter who previously worked for a local TV station and newspaper, was found dead Sunday morning with signs of torture in Calpulalpan, located in the south-central state of Tlaxcala, which is notorious for rampant human trafficking.
Authorities have not revealed the details of the state of Roldan’s body when it was found, but local media reported that the victim showed “signs of violence” and had blood on his face.
Telesure April 18, 2017
To the extent the Times is concerned with legality, it is only so in a very narrow, domestic way. What international law says about the US-led bombing of Syria is hardly broached, much less explored. Like the scores of US drone bombings and special forces deployments, it just is.
The New York Times argues that Congress has a duty to authorize war–rather than a responsibility to determine whether war should be fought.
As reports come in detailing the degree to which Donald Trump has escalated the “War on ISIS”—and killed hundreds more civilians in the process—this would seem like a good time for the country to sit back and examine the United States’ approach to fighting “terrorism” and its recent iteration, the so-called Islamic State.Not for the New York Times editorial board, which didn’t take the wave of civilians deaths as a reason to question the wisdom of America’s various “counter-terror,” nation-building and regime-change projects in the Middle East, but instead chose to browbeat Congress into rubber-stamping a war that’s been going on for almost three years.
By Adam Johnson FAIR March 27, 2017
Brief: The response from the mainstream media to Wikileaks revelations of CIA surveillance and hacking – against the backdrop of the MSM and Beltway fuelled brouhaha over fake news, alleged Russian spying and interference in U.S elections, and general animus towards Moscow – is further evidence the Fourth Estate is irretrievably beholden to the amorphous Deep State and the ruling classes du jour. It in turn underscores the MSM’s ever present grip on the broader American political psyche. That it was ever thus has been obvious for decades to all but the most deluded afficionados of life, liberty, democracy, privacy, freedom, the rule of law, the pursuit of happiness, and the American way. With this in mind, it’s time to take a deep breath for an even deeper dive into the cess-pool that is the collective press-pool.
ByPoxAmerikana March 13, 2017
In short, the mainstream media have engaged in the “normalization” and distortion of truth while enabling the simultaneous suppression of dissent; they’ve “legitimized the kind of political and moral cowardice that undermines informed resistance,” writes Giroux.
A “made-for-Facebook creative strategy was an essential component” to Pennsylvania GOP Sen. Pat Toomey’s re-election, the company says.
Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly Truthdig March 4, 2017
By Staff of Society of Environmental Journalists – Dear Chairman LaFleur and Commissioner Honorable: As a professional news media organization, we are writing to express our concern about the procedures your agency uses to gather public comment. The Society of Environmental Journalists is a 26-year-old professional organization dedicated to excellence in environmental journalism. Many of our 1,274 members are journalists who cover FERC actions, whether locally or nationally. It’s critical to our members’ reporting on FERC actions to explain factors you weigh in your decision making and the public feedback you receive. At a February 14 public comment meeting in Wilson, N.C., on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (Docket Nos. CP15-554-000 and CP15-554-001), we understand that rather than following the traditional “town hall” procedure, where people who wished to comment could speak in front of others in attendance, FERC switched to what its spokesperson later described as a “listening session.” -more-
Popular Resistance March 1, 2017
Exclusive: The West’s anti-Russian propaganda links Moscow to the blight of “fake news” but the evidence doesn’t connect the two. So, The New York Times makes the case with its own “fake news,” reports Robert Parry.
A grave danger from the Western mainstream media’s current hysteria about “fake news” is that the definition gets broadened from the few made-up stories that are demonstrably false – often fabricated by kids to get more clicks – to include reasonable disputes about the facts of a complex controversy.
By Robert Parry Consortium News Rise Up Times February 22, 2017
Donald Trump and the corporate media are locked in mutual hostility, but they are both enemies of the poor and oppressed. Media tell non-stop lies about foreign leaders abroad and Black people here at home. As servants of corporate power, the media usually kow-tow to whoever wins the White House. They’ve made an exception for Trump, but that doesn’t make them honest journalists — just flunkies for the other party.
By BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley Black Agenda Report February 22, 2017
…there is something chilling in Zuckerberg’s failure to recognise that Facebook is already a for-profit form of social infrastructure, with immense and unprecedented power over our lives. And in making its profit, Facebook creates social value, yes, but also social harm.
Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly Truthdig February 20, 2017
Hersh denounced news organizations as “crazy town” for their uncritical promotion…of Russian hacking
The Intercept Rise Up Times February 17, 2017
By Lee Camp Ring of Fire February 20, 2017
Who’s a Patriot and what is Patriotism’s role in a decaying empire?
Recently Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and I took a Congressional Ethics-approved fact finding trip to Lebanon and Syria, where we visited Aleppo and refugee camps, and met with religious leaders, governmental leaders and people from all sides of the conflict, including political opposition to the Syrian government.
Since that time we have been under constant attack on false grounds. The media and the war establishment are desperate to keep hold of their false narrative for world-wide war, interventionism and regime change, which is a profitable business for Washington insiders and which impoverishes our own country.
By Dennis J. Kucinich Ron Paul Institute February 1, 2017
The legacy of the science of coercion continues into the present day, resulting in “media wars” waged with psychological warfare becoming more blatant…
By Sue Ann Martinson Rise Up Times December 7, 2016
Typical of Brooks’ columns, he makes loaded, self-serving assertions without bothering to cite any basis for them.
By Adam Johnson FAIR January 24, 2017
One day in late November, an earth and environmental science professor named Nathan Phillips visited Breitbart News for the first time. Mr. Phillips had heard about the hateful headlines on the site — like “Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy” — and wondered what kind of companies would support such messages with their ad dollars. When he clicked on the site, he was shocked to discover ads for universities, including one for the graduate school where he’d received his own degree — Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. “That was a punch in the stomach,” he said.
The crackdown has begun.
In a blog post by Scott Spencer, director of product management for sustainable ads, posted on Wednesday, Google said it has banned 200 publishers from accessing its Adsense advertising service for posting fake news stories. Google said it had cracked down on sites which contained 1) Ads for illegal products;
2) Misleading ads;
3) Bad ads on mobile;
4) Ads trying to game the system and,
5) Promoting and profiting from bad sites. But the emphasis was on the so-called “fake news” category which has dominated media buzz for the past two months.
By Tyler Durden Hwaairfan’s Blog January 25, 2016
No biggie, the New York Times assures us.
Donald Trump’s orders to “revive” the Keystone and Dakota Access pipeline projects, whose progress had been slowed by the Obama administration, are much ado about nothing, the New York Times (1/24/17) reported: “The pipelines were more about symbol than substance but generated enormous passion on both sides of the debate,” wrote the Times‘ Peter Baker and Coral Davenport.
Please write to the New York Times and ask them to stop using oil industry consultants as experts on whether Donald Trump’s pro-oil industry moves will be bad for the environment.
Fair January 25, 2017
The media licensed the mountebank for his latest star turn, upgraded him, credited His Fraudulence with a talent for lying when they were not marveling at his blunt originality. They presidentialized him, accorded him their most fulsome praise (interesting!), oo-ed and ah-ed at the spectacle of his shiny performances, surely (you have to admit!) a little bit different from the boring same-old-same-old policy proposals (and wasn’t that refreshing!). There were the favors of commission, like granting him a wad of unpaid broadcast time greater than that received by all the other candidates put together; the puffball “interviews” which he deigned to phone in to slavering “news” personnel; their fascination with his appearances even as their cameras showed — Breaking News! — crowds staring at empty platforms.
By Todd Gitlin / Moyers & Company Truthdig January 10, 2017
Snowden…it is legitimate for NSA to engage in targeted surveillance (i.e., monitoring specific individuals whom a court, based on evidence, concludes are legitimate targets) but inherently illegitimate to engage in suspicion-less mass surveillance (i.e., subjecting entire populations to monitoring).
An open letter to the American media from journalists inside it and out
There is a crisis in American journalism. For too long, news outlets have prioritized their bottom line over real stories, at the expense of the American people. Stories about the vast systemic problems in America, from war to staggering income inequality to climate change to the amount of money being spent on our political system, are perpetually eclipsed by a 24-hour circus of infotainment.
By Concerned Journalists Fair January 9, 2017
…it’s only when it comes to some of the most powerful people on the planet that the rules change.
Rise Up Times January 8, 2017
“WashPost Is Richly Rewarded for False News About Russia Threat While Public Is Deceived.”
Rise Up Times January 6, 2017
The U.S. government is creating a new $160 million bureaucracy to shut down information that doesn’t conform to U.S. propaganda narratives, building on the strategy that sold the bloody Syrian “regime change” war, writes Rick Sterling. By Rick Sterling Consortium News January 1, 2016 The U.S. establishment is not content simply to have domination over […]
Rise Up Times January 3, 2017
Obama’s Recently-Signed National Defense Authorization Act Includes A ‘Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act’. The Intercept’s Alex Emmons Explains…
Rise Up Times January 2, 2017
The U.S. government is creating a new $160 million bureaucracy to shut down information that doesn’t conform to U.S. propaganda narratives, building on the strategy that sold the bloody Syrian “regime change” war, writes Rick Sterling. By Rick Sterling Consortium News January 1, 2016 The U.S. establishment is not content simply to have domination over […]
Rise Up Times January 3, 2017
Glenn Greenwald | False Hysteria Infects WashPost Again: False Story About Hacking U.S. Electric Grid
UPDATE: Just as The Guardian had to do just two days ago regarding its claim about WikiLeaks and Putin, the Washington Post has now added an editor’s note to its story acknowledging that its key claim was false:
Is it not very clear that journalistic standards are being casually dispensed with when the subject is Russia?
Glenn Greenwald The Intercept December 31 2016
Trump’s Attack on the Freedom of the Press (Video)
Historically, tyrants have tried to control the press using 4 techniques that, worryingly, Donald Trump is already using.
Using Holidays As A Distraction, Obama Just Signed NDAA ‘Propaganda’ Provision To Destroy Free Press
President Obama signed into law the 2017 NDAA and its Orwellian countering foreign propaganda provisions — all but making censorship official policy.
True Activist December 24, 2016
The legacy of the science of coercion continues into the present day, resulting in “media wars” waged with psychological warfare becoming more blatant…
Sue Ann Martinson Rise Up Times December 7, 2016
State-sponsored broadcasting CEO to be appointed directly by US president
RT December 18, 2016
“The CIA owns everyone of any significance in the major media”
Ronald Thomas West December 18, 2016
RT December 16, 2016
CrossTalk: Mainstream’s Revenge (Video)
The mainstream media are very angry and fighting back – and fighting back dirty. Because of low ratings and the inability to control the narrative any longer, the mainstream now demonizes alternative media. The powers that be couldn’t be happier. CrossTalking with Dave Lindorff, David Swanson, and Eddie Scarry.
RT December 14, 2016
An example of how conservative media use propaganda to deceive.
Respondents’ correct understanding of the popular vote depended a great deal on partisanship. A large fraction of Republicans — 52 percent — said Trump won the popular vote, compared with only 7 percent of Democrats and 24 percent of independents. Among Republicans without any college education, the share was even larger: 60 percent, compared with 37 percent of Republicans with a college degree.
In a recent article in the British ‘Independent’, Fisk reflects on the siege, uprising and atrocious Nazi massacres in Warsaw, Poland in 1944. The terribly high cost of that war leads him to reject the French assertion that the current siege in Aleppo is the ‘worst massacre since World War Two.’
“Why do we not see the defending fighters, as we do on the Warsaw films? Why are we not told about their political allegiance, as we most assuredly are on the Warsaw footage? Why do we not see ‘rebel’ military hardware – as well as civilian targets – being hit by artillery and air attack as we do on the Polish newsreels?,” he asks, further demonstrating what he perceives to be the flaw of such a comparison.
Not that Fisk doubts that pictures of the dead and wounded children in eastern Aleppo are real; his argument is largely against the one-sidedness of the coverage, of demonizing one party, while sparing another.
Ramzy Baroud Counterpunch December 15, 2016
…even today known establishment and CIA operatives such as Anderson Cooper (CNN-CBS) and Robert Baer (CNN) regularly “report the facts” to millions of Americans…
By Jay Dyer Global Research November 26, 2016
21st Century Wire 24 November 2016
By December 7, 2016
We asked eight companies if they would help build a Muslim registry. Facebook finally responded.
Sam Biddle The Intercept December 14, 2016
Operation Mockingbird, CIA Media Control Program
By Bruce Gagnon Organizing Notes December 13, 2016
Last month, the Washington Post gave a glowing front-page boost to an anonymous online blacklist of hundreds of American websites, from marginal conspiracy sites to flagship libertarian and progressive publications. As Max Blumenthal reported for AlterNet, the anonymous website argued that all of them should be investigated by the federal government and potentially prosecuted under the Espionage Act as Russian spies, for wittingly or unwittingly spreading Russian propaganda. It’s now been a few days, and the shock and disgust is turning to questions about how to fight back—and who we should be fighting against.
Who were the Washington Post’s sources for their journalism blacklist? WaPo’s key source was an anonymous online group calling itself PropOrNot (i.e., “Propaganda Or Not”). It was here that the blacklist of American journalists allegedly working with the Kremlin was posted. The Washington Post cited PropOrNot as a credible source, and granted them the right to anonymously accuse major American news outlets of treason, recommending that the government investigate and prosecute them under the Espionage Act for spreading Russian propaganda.
By Mark Ames for Alternet. Posted on Popular Resistance December 12, 2016
NORMAN SOLOMON – We still don’t have any sort of apology or retraction from the Washington Post for promoting “The List” — the highly dangerous blacklist that got a huge boost from the newspaper’s fawning coverage on November 24. The project of smearing 200 websites with one broad brush wouldn’t have gotten far without…
The Peaceworker December 8, 2016
Be careful what you search for… Google’s predictive questions can lead you down some dark roads. Photograph: Michael Gottschalk/Photothek via Getty Images
Are Jews evil? It’s not a question I’ve ever thought of asking. I hadn’t gone looking for it. But there it was. I press enter. A page of results appears. This was Google’s question. And this was Google’s answer: Jews are evil. Because there, on my screen, was the proof: an entire page of results, nine out of 10 of which “confirm” this. The top result, from a site called Listovative, has the headline: “Top 10 Major Reasons Why People Hate Jews.” I click on it: “Jews today have taken over marketing, militia, medicinal, technological, media, industrial, cinema challenges etc and continue to face the worlds [sic] envy through unexplained success stories given their inglorious past and vermin like repression all over Europe.”
Google is search. It’s the verb, to Google. It’s what we all do, all the time, whenever we want to know anything. We Google it. The site handles at least 63,000 searches a second, 5.5bn a day. Its mission as a company, the one-line overview that has informed the company since its foundation and is still the banner headline on its corporate website today, is to “organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. It strives to give you the best, most relevant results. And in this instance the third-best, most relevant result to the search query “are Jews… ” is a link to an article from stormfront.org, a neo-Nazi website. The fifth is a YouTube video: “Why the Jews are Evil. Why we are against them.”
(ANTIMEDIA — Op-ed) On Sunday, protesters, veterans, and a global network of their allies cheered as the Army Corps of Engineers denied a final easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline, temporarily blocking the project.
Mainstream outlets from ABC, NBC, and CBS to TV behemoths CNN and MSNBC rushed to report the breaking news, many pouncing on a story they spent months ignoring.
According to an article from early September published by Fairness and Accuracy in Media (FAIR), a national media watchdog group:
“The broadcast news networks—ABC, CBS and NBC—have aired exactly one report on the Dakota Access Pipeline protests since the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe began an encampment against the project in April, according to a search of the Nexis news database. That report, read by Anne-Marie Green, aired on the CBS Morning News at 4 a.m. on September 5. Here it is in its entirety:
“National Public Radio reports violence during demonstrations against a proposed oil pipeline in North Dakota. Protesters confronted workers Saturday at a construction site. Police say four private security guards and two guard dogs were hurt. Tribal officials say the construction destroyed an Indian burial ground and cultural sites.”
FAIR noted that in spite of this brief, one-sided report, NPR’s version did feature footage from Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman — but CBS excluded it:
“Goodman’s footage shows the construction project’s security guards wielding pepper spray and deploying attack dogs to provoke and injure demonstrators—violence on the part of the pipeline authorities that got left out of CBS‘s rip-and-read on the protests.”
Carey Wedler The AntiMedia December 6, 2016
The Intercept’s Sam Biddle asked nine companies, including Facebook, Google and management and technology consultants Booz Allen Hamilton, whether they would sell their services to help set up a Muslim registry.
“Would [name of company], if solicited by the Trump administration, sell any goods, services, information, or consulting of any kind to help facilitate the creation of a national Muslim registry, a project which has been floated tentatively by the president-elect’s transition team?” the Intercept asked.
RT December 5, 2016
Russians spread “fake news,” says “experts”—you don’t need to know who they are (Washington Post, 11/24/16).
The Washington Post (11/24/16) last week published a front-page blockbuster that quickly went viral: Russia-promoted “fake news” had infiltrated the newsfeeds of 213 million Americans during the election, muddying the waters in a disinformation scheme to benefit Donald Trump. Craig Timberg’s story was based on a “report” from an anonymous group (or simply a person, it’s unclear) calling itself PropOrNot that blacklisted over 200 websites as agents or assets of the Russian state.
The obvious implication was that an elaborate Russian psyop had fooled the public into voting for Trump based on a torrent of misleading and false information posing as news. Everyone from Bloomberg’s Sahil Kupar to CNN’s to Robert Reich to Anne Navarro to MSNBC’s Joy Ann Reid tweeted out the story in breathless tones. Center for American Progress and Clinton advocate Neera Tanden even did her best Ron Paul YouTubecommenter impression, exclaiming, “Wake up people.”
But the story didn’t stand up to the most basic scrutiny. Follow-up reporting cast major doubt on the Washington Post’s core claims and underlying logic, the two primary complaints being 1) the “research group” responsible for the meat of the story, PropOrNot, is an anonymous group of partisans (if more than one person is involved) who tweet like high schoolers, and 2) the list of supposed Russian media assets, because its criteria for Russian “fake news” encompasses “useful idiots,” includes entirely well-within-the-mainstream progressive and libertarian websites such as Truth-Out, Consortium News,TruthDig and Antiwar.com (several of whom are now considering lawsuits against PropOrNot for libel).
FAIR December 1, 2016
The technology can be used to monitor political ad social justice movements, posing risks to First Amendment-protected activity.
Brennan Center for Justice November 19, 2016
Take it from the internet’s chief myth busters: The problem is the failing media.
The day after the election, news began swirling around social media that New York Times columnist David Brooks had called for President-elect Donald Trump’s assassination. Snopes managing editor Brooke Binkowski had a feeling it was fake. Because, come on now, would a prominent columnist for a reputable news outlet really make that kind of comment?
Snopes has made its business out of correcting the misunderstood satire, malicious falsehoods, and poorly informed gossip that echoes across the internet — and that business is booming. Traffic jumped 85 percent over the past year to 13.6 million unique visitors in October, according to comScore. The site supports itself through advertising, and in the last three years it has made enough money to quadruple the size of its staff.
Sure enough, a bit of Snopes reporting revealed that Brooks had written a column saying Trump would likely resign or be impeached within a year. A news item published on The Rightists claimed Brooks had then said in an interview for KYRQ Radio New York that Trump should be killed.
Back Channel November 19, 2016
Coleen Rowley Comments on Facebook:
Excerpt from interesting article about the work of Snopes, excerpt: “The misinformation crisis, according to Binkowski, stems from something more pernicious. In the past, the sources of accurate information were recognizable enough that phony news was relatively easy for a discerning reader to identify and discredit. The problem, Binkowski believes, is that the public has lost faith in the media broadly — therefore no media outlet is considered credible any longer.” https://backchannel.com/according-to-snopes-fake-news-is-no…
Unfortunately the Snopes article does not explain why the public has lost trust in the media broadly other than to say that journalists just don’t have enough fact checkers and editors. The article entirely omits the problem of corporate media becoming focused on developing cozy ties to powerful top level sources in government, corporations, etc and veering away from the I.F. Stone investigative journalism “speaking truth to power” model. The worst known example being Judith Miller and Michael Gordon publishing Scooter Libby’s total misinformation about Iraq’s aluminum tubes so Cheney could use the NYT as his source to lie the country into war. This is one of the main reasons the public lost its trust in mainstream media.
By Sam Biddle The Intercept November 10, 2016
Popular Resistance November 11, 2016
Today, the invisible government has never been more powerful and less understood. In my career as a journalist and film-maker, I have never known propaganda to insinuate our lives and as it does now and to go unchallenged.
November 8, 2016 · by
Facebook’s system allows advertisers to exclude black, Hispanic, and other “ethnic affinities” from seeing ads.
New York Times (10/21/16): All the news that makes you snooze.
Last week the New York Times (10/21/16) had a story from the trial of the aides to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie who partially closed the George Washington Bridge between New Jersey and New York City, allegedly to punish a New Jersey mayor who had refused to endorse Christie. The Times headline read:
Christie Aide Testifies She Thought Bridge Lane Closings Were a Traffic Study
That’s an odd claim, I guess. But that’s not all that Bridget Anne Kelly, former Christie aide, had to say at the trial—as Times reporter Kate Zernike slipped in at the end of her lead paragraph:
The former aide to Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey at the center of the political plot to close access lanes at the George Washington Bridge broke her long silence in federal court on Friday, saying that the idea to close the lanes had been sold to her as a policy matter to move traffic more rapidly across the Hudson River, and that the governor had signed off on it.
By Kate Zernike FAIR October 21, 2016
Are North Dakota authorities waging a war against the public’s right to know about the ongoing Standing Rock pipeline protests? We are joined by documentary filmmaker Deia Schlosberg, who was charged earlier this month with three felonies for filming an act of civil disobedience in which climate activists manually turned off the safety valves to stop the flow of tar sands oil through pipelines spanning the U.S. and Canada. The actions took place in Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and Washington state. Schlosberg is an award-winning filmmaker and was the producer of Josh Fox’s recent documentary, “How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change.” She was filming the action at a valve station owned by TransCanada in Walhalla, North Dakota. She was arrested along with the activists, and her footage was confiscated. Then she was charged with a Class A felony and two Class C felonies—which combined carry a 45-year maximum sentence.
Democracy Now! October 24, 2016
Julian Assange should be praised for having the guts to stand up to power and reveal how the sausage gets made in Washington, D.C. His journalism—and that is what WikiLeaks is doing—is a public service. Instead, the Podesta emails have reconfirmed a sad truth: There are more characters on Mahogany Row than character. Right about now, many of them are looking for the real-life Winston Wolf.
By Eric Oriz Truthdig October 13, 2016
How social media is being weaponized across the the world.
Like most everything today, the campaign was launched with a hashtag. But instead of promoting a new album or a movie release, #AllEyesOnISIS announced the 2014 invasion of northern Iraq—a bloody takeover that still haunts global politics two years later.
Revealing a military operation via Twitter would seem a strange strategy, but it should not be surprising given the source. The self-styled Islamic State owes its existence to what the internet has become with the rise of social media—a vast chamber of online sharing and conversation and argumentation and indoctrination, echoing with billions of voices.
And not just terrorist groups. This is only the beginning of a larger revolution, one that is already starting to reshape the operations of small-time gangs on one end of the spectrum, and the political and military strategies of heavily armed superpowers on the other.
More than a year ago, we set out to understand the use of social media as both a tool in conflict and a shaper of it, tracking how online chatter has begun to intersect with real-life violence in dozens of armed confrontations around the globe. In doing so, we sought to untangle a seeming contradiction. The internet has long been celebrated for its power to bring people together. Yet as it turns out, this same technology is easily weaponized. Smartphones and social apps have clearly altered the nuts and bolts of violent conflict, from recruiting to battlefield reporting. But the greatest effects may be more fundamental, expanding the causes and possibly the incidence of war, and extending its reach. Social-media platforms reinforce “us versus them” narratives, expose vulnerable people to virulent ideologies, and inflame even long-dormant hatreds. They create massive groundswells of popular opinion that are nearly impossible to predict or control.
Social media has already revolutionized everything from dating to business to politics. Now it is reshaping war itself.
These questions are no longer so fanciful. In recent conflicts, Israel has established Hasbara (the Hebrew word for “explanation”) war rooms, filled with university students and soldiers who tangle with Hamas and Palestinian sympathizers over what, exactly, is going on in their perpetual war. The scale of this online jousting is astounding. During the 2014 flare-up in Gaza, for example, the two sides’ competing hashtags, #GazaUnderAttack and #IsraelUnderFire, racked up some 5 million uses. The Wikipedia page about the conflict has been edited and reedited more than 7,000 times.
Europe, alias the West, has become infested with falsehoods, with thirst for profit and more gains and personal comfort, a hearth of egocentricity and disrespect for her brothers and sisters, let alone for the rest of the world – there is no equal on earth, other than the US of A, the Master of all Masters of crime and horror. Europe with its hundreds of years of colonization always was the chieftain of these ignoble attributes, but now, all scruples are gone; the veils are lifted. There is not even an iota of shame left.
By Peter Koenig Global Research October 05, 2016
In this episode of ‘Behind the Headline,’ host Mnar Muhawesh meets Sut Jhally, an expert on media manipulation and propaganda. In the film ‘The Occupation of the American Mind,’ Jhally and others examine how high-paid spin doctors control the media message on Israel.
Mint Press News July 22, 2016
Racism, discrimination and intolerance at “worrying levels” in Britain, according to a new report published by the European Commission (EC).
The English Defence League marches in Newcastle calling for the repatriation of immigrants in the wake of the EU referendum vote.
“It’s no coincidence that racist violence is on the rise in the UK at the same time as we see worrying examples of intolerance and hate speech in newspapers, online and even among politicians,” Christian Ahlund, Chair of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), said.
By October 4, 2016 Mint Press News October 4, 2016|
A recent film produced by a militia group in Syria, Ahrar al-Sham, is a particularly striking symbol of this new era of conflict footage. Shot using camera-equipped drones and wearable GoPro video recorders, the 15 minute film, entitled “Rage Wind,” documents part of a recent rebel offensive against Syrian government forces near the city of Aleppo.
Murtaza Hussain The Intercept September 21, 2016
Something missing from these reports is any discussion of the relative danger of terrorism. The reporters begin with the premise that voters are afraid of it, never challenging the underlying rationality of those fears.
By Adam Johnson FAIR September 21, 2016
How do warmongering politicians and the corporate arms industry they so readily promote manage to evade serious indictment? Largely, because our media grant them privileged status and effective protection.
Any sane and rational media would be asking how and why such major politicians remain effectively immune from prosecution over their executive wars and elimination of mass populations.
But it’s the very media normalization of militarism, warmongering and its elite exponents that provides the most vital cover.
Zenpolitics September 27, 2016
Neil Young’s song about the Dakota Access pipeline fight is 5 minutes, 39 seconds longer than the combined coverage of the controversy on the ABC and NBC networks. (screenshot: Slate)
The Sacred Stone Camp established by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in North Dakota has broug ht together thousands of demonstrators in opposition to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, a 1,172-mile conduit designed to carry some 200 million barrels of crude oil per year from fracking fields in North Dakota to Southern Illinois. An unprecedented coalition of hundreds of Native American tribes has faced down attack dogs and pepper spray in defense of sacred and historic sites, irreplaceable water resources and the planet’s climate.
By Jim Naureckas FAIR September 21, 2016
A Gallup Poll released this week shows the largest decline in trust in the media since the organization started asking the public’s opinion on the subject in 1972. In a survey conducted among people over 18 years old, across 50 states, only 32 percent said they trust the media “to report the news fully, accurately and fairly.”
Only 14 percent of Republicans trust the media, down from 32 percent in 2015. According to the poll, the steep decline in trust among Republicans has been influenced by Republican leaders, conservative pundits and GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, who continually claims the media is biased toward his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.
Democrats (at 51 percent, compared with 55 percent in 2015) and independents (30 percent versus 33 percent last year) have a little more faith in the Fourth Estate than Republicans.
Young and old alike are distrustful. For the 18-to-49 age group, only 26 percent say they have a great deal or a fair amount of trust in the media, down 10 percent from 2015. For those 50 and older, it’s 38 percent, down 7 percentage points from 2015.
The divisive presidential election this year may be corroding Americans’ trust and confidence in the media, particularly among Republicans who may believe the “mainstream media” are too hyperfocused on every controversial statement or policy proposal from Trump while devoting far less attention to controversies surrounding the Clinton campaign. However, the slide in media trust has been happening for the past decade. Before 2004, it was common for a majority of Americans to profess at least some trust in the mass media, but since then, less than half of Americans feel that way. Now, only about a third of the U.S. has any trust in the Fourth Estate, a stunning development for an institution designed to inform the public.
With the explosion of the mass media in recent years, especially the prevalence of blogs, vlogs and social media, perhaps Americans decry lower standards for journalism. When opinion-driven writing becomes something like the norm, Americans may be wary of placing trust on the work of media institutions that have less rigorous reporting criteria than in the past. On the other hand, as blogs and social media “mature,” they may improve in the American public’s eyes. This could, in turn, elevate Americans’ trust and confidence in the mass media as a whole.
Since 1972, the apex of trust in media by the general public was 76 percent in 1976.
—Posted by Donald Kaufman Truthdig September 17, 2016
Robbie Martin, director of the documentary series ‘A Very Heavy Agenda,’ joins Mnar Muhawesh on ‘Behind the Headline’ to discuss how VICE became a government lapdog pushing pro-interventionist messaging to a millennial audience wary of the government.
Continue reading →
MintPress News. September 16, 2016
MEMORANDUM FOR: Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Vice Chairman, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
SUBJECT: U.S. Media Mum On How Your Committee Faced Down Both CIA and Obama
We write to thank you for your unwavering support for your extraordinarily courageous and tenacious staff in (1) investigating CIA torture under the Bush/Cheney administration and (2) resisting CIA/White House attempts under the Obama administration to cover up heinous torture crimes like waterboarding.
We confess to having been shocked at the torture detailed in the version of the executive summary your Committee released on December 9, 2014. We found ourselves wondering what additional behavior could have been deemed so repugnant that the White House and CIA insisted it be redacted; and if the entire 6,700-page investigation – with whatever redaction might be truly necessary – would ever see the light of day. We think you could take steps now to make it less likely that the full report be deep-sixed, and we will make some suggestions below toward that end.
Consortium News September 16, 2016
A dog-costume contest in 2008. (Tina Fineberg / AP)
We live in two Americas. One America, now the minority, functions in a print-based, literate world. It can cope with complexity and has the intellectual tools to separate illusion from truth. The other America, which constitutes the majority, exists in a non-reality-based belief system. This America, dependent on skillfully manipulated images for information, has severed itself from the literate, print-based culture. It cannot differentiate between lies and truth. It is informed by simplistic, childish narratives and clichés. It is thrown into confusion by ambiguity, nuance and self-reflection. This divide, more than race, class or gender, more than rural or urban, believer or nonbeliever, red state or blue state, has split the country into radically distinct, unbridgeable and antagonistic entities.
By Chris HedgesTruthdig August 31, 2016 This column originally ran on Nov. 10, 2008.
Putting aside the shortcomings of both major candidates, for many critical observers the biggest loser during Wednesday night’s presidential “Commander-in-Chief” forum on NBC News was the platform itself.
Moderated by NBC’s host of The Today Show Matt Lauer, the town hall-style event was staged inside the belly of the U.S.S. Intrepid, a retired World War II aircraft carrier that now serves as a military museum in New York City, and was promoted by the news outlet as a chance to extract specific positions from both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on veterans affairs and foreign policy.
But instead of informing viewers on these key subject matters or holding the candidates to account for past actions or statements, a widespread reaction among progressive viewers and critical journalists from across the political spectrum was that Lauer failed to ask the necessary tough questions or followups, with many suggesting the forum was a lesson in how not to inform voters or put a check on those seeking high office.
By Jon Queally Common Dreams September 8, 2016
“They [the media] are news-as-entertainment professionals – packaging glossy corporate content for maximum distribution and big bucks. The goal is not objective reportage. Their targets are quantifiable and highlighted in a business plan somewhere. Success is based on a simple formula: stay within parameters “understandable” to a wide audience that devours sound bites and familiar storylines on the hour, every hour.
Like trained seals whose every desire, instinct and buying pattern has been measured by corporate media’s marketing department for the consumption of its advertisers, the audience demands satisfaction – and western media delivers it.” ~ Sharmine Narwani
THE BBC BAMBOOZLE
The Madaya media circus still lingers on regardless of the multitude of proven anomalies and outright deceit of the mainstream narrative. Deaf to either public opinion or investigation, institutions like the BBC consider they are above accountability to those who pay for their existence, the British public.
They considered it perfectly acceptable to release footage from Yarmouk 2014 and represent it as Madaya 2016..and when questioned, to remove the offending footage without explanation or responsibility for their obscurantism and misinformation tactics.
Thankfully, Robert Stuart, ardent campaigner against the BBC’s long running, hostile, anti Syria propaganda offensive did raise an official complaint and demanded answers that the BBC has, for too long, been allowed to avoid answering.
Vanessa Beeley 21st Century Wire April 22, 2016
The frequent use of boxing and football metaphors in political discourse did not cause violence to become such an important force in our politics, but this usage is one measure of how presidential campaigns can be less about policy differences and complex political agendas than they can be about the selling of a certain kind of executive masculinity, embodied in a particular man whom the public comes to know largely through television and other technologies of mass communication.
September 3, 2016 · by
The UK’s Guardian newspaper intoned at the time:
To begin restoring that hope will inevitably mean international intervention of some kind. The establishment of credible safe havens and the implementation of a no-fly zone must be on the table for serious consideration.
If at first you don’t succeed: now it is the turn of another hapless child – this time thankfully alive. The excellent OffGuardian news/analysis website demonstrates that another mass push for intervention is underway, with the corporate media content to use a terrorist-sympathizing ‘media center’ as the story’s primary source.
There are lessons here. First, if you want to be brazenly lied to or misled in a way that wins your support of Western bombing under the guise of ‘humanitarian intervention’ (and therefore arms sales) along with the furthering of Western geopolitical objectives in Syria, go no further than the corporate media; even – and especially – the self-described ‘liberal-left’ wing. Second, if you want the truth – or at least honest people trying in good faith to get to the truth – you’ll have to rely on unpaid bloggers and the credible independent media, especially those that publish source documents like WikiLeaks.
Far-right conservative news website Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen Bannon will be Trump’s new campaign CEO Continue reading →
The post Trump Campaign Chairman Resigns, Replaced With Far-Right Media Executive Stephen Bannon appeared first on MintPress News August 19, 2016
British voters’ decision to leave the European Union last week caused panic in world financial markets, with stocks dropping like a stone around the world. The British pound and the euro sank, and many “experts” lamented the beginning of the end of the EU. Maybe it’s true thatBrexit will lead to a period of instability in stock markets, currencies and European politics. But there’s a bigger issue at play—European foreign policy in support of U.S. interventions around the world.
As Chris Hedges eloquently noted in a recent Truthdig column, the U.K. is generally viewed as the closest ally of the United States. Washington uses that relationship to push its foreign policy under the guise of European and Western unity.
Is Libya falling apart? The U.S. and EU intervene, and it’s all a show of unity.
The U.S. identifies a ragtag handful of Syrian “moderates,” and the next thing you know, the entire alliance is wasting its resources arming them.
The U.S. wants to put a yes-man in power in Ukraine, and the EU nods silently in assent.
But that’s not a working alliance. That’s neoliberalism run amok. That’s Washington using its big stick on its friends.
The mainstream media has made a great deal of Brexit being the result of British reaction against immigration. That’s a shallow and not terribly analytic assessment. The truth is that Washington selfishly needs a unified EU to help fight its wars around the world. It needs the British to lean on other European countries to do its bidding.
By John Kiriakou Truthdig July 5, 2016
In another video, which remains on Instagram, Gaines can be heard speaking to her five-year-old son, who’s sitting on the floor wearing red pajamas.
“Who’s outside?” she asks him. “The police,” he replies timidly. “What are they trying to do?” “They trying to kill us.”
The Intercept August 8, 2016
So it’s great to see the New York Times (7/29/16) excoriating North Carolina Republicans’ “scurrilous attempt” to “suppress the rising power of black voters.” In a better world, of course, such campaigns would not have enjoyed years of tailwind from media like the Times rhetorically “balancing” claims of potential voter fraud with evidence of actual voter suppression.
By Janine Jackson FAIR August 6, 2016
Facebook represents a new battleground in the long-running Israel-Palestinian conflict. Israeli officials blame social media for inciting violence, and arrests of Palestinians for Facebook posts have dramatically increased.
Alex Kane — July 7, 2016 The Intercept
On Sunday morning, Meet the Press host Chuck Todd (7/31/16) had on WikiLeaksfounder Julian Assange to discuss his recent leaking of 20,000 emails from within the Democratic National Committee showing aninstitutional preference in favor of Hillary Clinton. Todd asked Assange a total of eight questions, all of which were about alleged foreign hacking of the DNC, never asking about the substance of the leaks.
Hilary Clinton Starts Her Own Cold War…
MINT PRESS NEWS MEDIA BULLETIN July 27, 2016
“It’s the Russians!” is a great way to stir up New Cold War fears to distract the public away from how the Hillary Clinton campaign has been keeping the election and media rigged in her favor in collusion with the DNC at the highest level, as revealed by Wikileaks.
My report titled, Hillary Clinton Starts Her Own Cold War, Blames Russia for Wikileaks’ DNC Email Dump, takes a deeper dive into the Clinton campaign’s efforts to divert attention away from the damning contents of the leaks and instead, blame Putin, by citing shady experts tied to the NSA including one that was caught up in a dick pics scandal after smearing Edward Snowden as a ‘Russian tool”.
The “Putin did it” line is all too familiar and only fits a neoliberal agenda. Major media outlets, such as NBC, brought in many “experts” to echo the claim of “it’s the Russians!” without informing their viewers that these “experts” held a conflict of interest — they worked for either the NSA, the US government, or private contractors associated with US intelligence.
Speaking to CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign manager, said that “experts are telling us that Russian state actors broke into the DNC, stole these emails. And other experts are now saying that the Russians are releasing these emails for the purpose of actually helping Donald Trump.”
Defense One, a security and national defense news and analysis website produced by the neoliberal Government Executive Media Group, followed up on the Clinton camp’s allegations that “Putin did it.”
In the article titled, “How Putin Weaponized Wikileaks to Influence the Election of an American President,” Patrick Tucker admits that the leaked emails expose “Washington’s campaign monster for what it is,” but asks his readers to “leave aside the purported content of the Wikileaks data dump” and “consider the source.”
“This has all the hallmarks of tradecraft. The only rationale to release such data from the Russian bulletproof host was to empower one candidate against another. The Cold War is alive and well,” Tom Kellerman, the CEO of the cybersecurity firm Strategic Cyber Ventures, told Tucker, backing up the author’s assertions that “considerable evidence shows that the Wikileaks dump was an orchestrated act by the Russian government.”
The author of this Defense One article asked his readers to consider the source — so we did.
Kellerman, CEO of Strategic Cyber Ventures, alleges that the WikiLeaks’ DNC email leak is tied to Putin. It’s worth noting, though, that his own firm is made up of former executives from the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team and Booz Allen Hamilton, where NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden once worked. Indeed, many private cyber security jobs are held by people who used to work in or close to the government.
Ultimately, there’s no conclusive proof that the hackers in either instance were Russian or even tied to the Russian government. The entire case is built upon circumstantial evidence, as cybersecurity analyst and expert Jeffrey Carr noted on June 20 in a piece for Medium titled, “The DNC Breach and the Hijacking of Common Sense.”
Clearly, the Clinton campaign wants to smear and discredit the leaks as the #DNCLeaks revealed her expertise in taking down her opponents using ad hominem attacks.
Click here to read my full report.
MintPress News is an independent watchdog journalism business start up. We focus our coverage on issues relating to the effects of special interest groups, big business and lobbying efforts and how they shape policies at home and abroad, including American foreign policy. Through the lens of social justice and human rights, we report on how these dynamics drive our foreign affairs and impact the world, and examine the effects they have on our democracy and freedoms as defined by the Constitution.
Democracy Now! July 20, 2016
Noam Chomsky and Over 100 Intellectuals Denounce ‘Savage’ Media Treatment of Britain’s Jeremy Corbyn
“We do not expect journalists to give any elected leader an easy ride,” they wrote in a letter published by The Guardian, “but Corbyn has been treated from the start as a problem to be solved rather than as a politician to be taken seriously.” READ MORE
Truthdig July 10, 2016
In addition to standard TV advertising and flyovers at the Super Bowl, the U.S. military spends tens of millions of dollars each year on live events that function half as recruitment pitches and half as visceral plugs for its spectacular high-tech weaponry.
The Intercept July 3, 2016
Telesur July 9, 2016
Editor’s note: This article, only briefly excerpted here, is part of a longer in-depth study about how people in America get their news. Click on the title link to go to the article, and click on further pages at the bottom of the summary, as that is where the informative charts and information are contained.
Wave after wave of digital innovation has introduced a new set of influences on the public’s news habits. Social media, messaging apps, texts and email provide a constant stream of news from people we’re close to as well as total strangers. News stories can now come piecemeal, as links or shares, putting less emphasis on the publisher. And, hyper levels of immediacy and mobility can create an expectation that the news will come to us whether we look for it or not. How have these influences shaped Americans’ appetite for and attitudes toward the news? What, in other words, are the defining traits of the modern news consumer?
A new, two-part survey by Pew Research Center, conducted in early 2016 in association with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, reveals a public that is cautious as it moves into this more complex news environment and discerning in its evaluation of available news sources.
To be sure, news remains an important part of public life.
But determined Turks are tough. After all, they are the ones who placed the #TurkeyBlockedTwitter hashtag on world’s top trends list—while Twitter was blocked nationwide.
Read more from the Daily Dot. July 5, 2016
“Targeting journalists in this way is a war crime,” said CAGE Outreach Director Moazzem Begg.
Telesur June 30, 2016
Exclusive: The “group think” about the Syrian government crossing President Obama’s “red line” in a 2013 sarin attack has collapsed, but The New York Times still reports it as flat fact, an industry-wide problem, writes Robert Parry.
Nothing disturbs me more about the modern mainstream U.S. news media than its failure to test what the U.S. government says against what can be determined through serious and impartial investigation to be true. And this is not just some question of my professional vanity; it can be a matter of life or death.
For instance, did Syrian President Bashar al-Assad cross President Barack Obama’s supposed “red line” against using chemical weapons, specifically in the sarin gas attack outside Damascus on Aug. 21, 2013, or not?
Upon this question rests the possibility that a future President Hillary Clinton will invade Syria under the guise of establishing a “safe zone,” a project that would surely expand into another bloody “regime change,” as occurred in Iraq and Libya amid similar U.S. claims about protecting “human rights.
Robert Parry Consortium News May 18, 2016
What Outrages NRA News More Than A Gun Violence Epidemic
When House Democrats including American hero Rep. John Lewis held a sit-in to protest Republicans blocking a vote on gun violence, Fox News figures flipped out. Rush Limbaugh whined. But the strongest reactions were from the NRA, comparing Democrats to criminals and terrorists, and also lecturing Lewis about sit-ins during the Civil Rights movement. But Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) called out the NRA on the House floor. And Andy Parker, whose daughter was killed by a gun, lit into the NRA host for ignoring all the casualties of gun violence.
Media Matters June 24, 2016
Media Matters Update May 10, 2016
Media Matters June 4, 2015
The Washington Post reported on Tuesday (6/14/16) that Russian intelligence had hacked the DNC servers to steal opposition research on Donald Trump
When those who wish to use violence against innocent people are unidentified, they are referred to as “shooters” and their attacks as “attacks” or, in the case of Orlando, as “shootings.” It’s not until the perpetrators are identified as non-white people with an otherized cultural background that the media uses the word “terror.”
Truthdig Ear to the Ground June 12, 2016
As if to prep the populace for their desired outcome, for weeks, mainstream corporate media has been readying the people for a Clinton/Trump general election contest.
LA Times June 6, 2016
Historian Gerald Horne says we can’t let Ali’s legacy be written by people like former president Bill Clinton, who will be speaking at his funeral
The first collaborative protest against the Socialist government since Hollande came to power in 2012, kicked off on 9 March. On March 31, nearly 400,000 people took to the streets, disagreeing with the sweeping changes to labor laws; though organizers put the number at 1.2 million.
yournewswire.com June 2, 2016
Time and again, members of the Washington press corps have credulously accepted officials’ lies and misinformation and passed them on to their readers as the truth. Their real-time skepticism is almost nonexistent. And they keep doing it.
AFSC researchers looked at 600 news stories published by 20 national outlets in the United States last year and discovered a pervasive tendency toward painting violent extremism as an inherently Islamic problem that is only solvable with the use of force.
In this interview, Prof. Noam Chomsky talks about the Corporate Media, their institutional role and which interests they serve in society. Chomsky also touches on how activists should react when they face harsh condemnation from the Corporate Media.
As the political pundits keep reminding us, this might be called the “hate” election. Both major parties’ presumptive nominees, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, have historically high net unfavorable ratings – so high that voters are said to be casting their ballots against a candidate rather than in favor of one. The question seems to be: Whom do you hate less?
The detention of two activists in Bahrain and Pakistan illustrates the limited power of social media campaigns to protect dissidents.
Robert Mackey — May 13 The Intercept
The first time I spoke with Zainab al-Khawaja, in a Skype video conversation in late 2011, the Bahraini dissident explained to me that the popularity of her @angryarabiya Twitter feed — which she used to chart the violent suppression of Bahrain’s Arab Spring uprising that year — seemed to have given her a measure of protection from the authorities.
Two weeks later, whatever protection Khawaja’s social-media fame might have earned her seemed to evaporate, as she was dragged away and punched on camera by police officers breaking up a small sit-in at a traffic circle outside a mall in the the capital, Manama
By Robert Mackey The Intercept May 13, 2016
Washington Post Squeezes Four Anti-Sanders Stories Out of One Tax Study Over Seven Hours
FAIR May 11, 2016
It’s not news that the Washington Post’s editorial board has been lobbying against Sen.Bernie Sanders since the beginning of his improbable presidential campaign. Sometimes this editorial ethos seems to extend to other parts of the paper, as it did in March, when the Postmanaged to run 16 negative stories about Sanders in 16 hours (FAIR.org, 3/8/16).
While the Post has published the occasional pro-Sanders piece, the Jeff Bezos–owned publication was back at it yesterday when it pounced on a tax study by the Urban Institute, running four pieces (two by Post writers, one by the editorial board and one by the AP) in one afternoon.
By The Daily Take Team, The Thom Hartmann Program | Op-Ed
By Robert James Parsons, Truthout | News Analysis
By Neal Gabler, Moyers & Company | Op-Ed
UC Davis contracted with consultants for at least $175,000 to scrub the Internet of negative online postings following the November 2011 pepper-spraying of students and to improve the reputations of both the university and Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi, newly released documents show.
Popular Resistance April 15, 2016
“WE APPRECIATE THAT there are times when secrecy around a government warrant is needed,” Microsoft President Brad Smith wrote in ablog post on Thursday. “But based on the many secrecy orders we have received, we question whether these orders are grounded in specific facts that truly demand secrecy. To the contrary, it appears that the issuance of secrecy orders has become too routine.”
With those words, Smith announced that Microsoft was suing the Department of Justice for the right to inform its customers when the government is reading their emails.
While the action, dubbed #DemocracySpring, garnered wide coverage on social media and over 136,000 tweets, cable news programs found little time to cover the political protests, instead focusing largely on horse-race coverage of the presidential candidates for most of the day.
By Lee Fang The Intercept April 13, 2016
Pedro Brieger, journalist and professor at the University of Buenos Aires, says Argentinians view the government’s dissociation from teleSUR as the loss of one of the only alternative voices for news in Latin America
The Real News Network April 13, 2016
Democracy Now! April 13, 2016 (Video)
With over 53,000 tweets, #DemocracySpring is trending on Twitter and on Facebook, and the protest is still unfolding. However, some noted that even with a massive outcry, mainstream media coverage was nowhere to be found.
US Uncut April 11, 2016
In These Times BY BRANKO MARCETIC April 5, 2016
Despite the fact that Sanders’ campaign has only grown larger and larger, the media always bends over backwards to dismiss him.
A notion is rapidly crystallizing among the national media that Bernie Sanders majorly bungled an interview with the editorial board of the New York Daily News.His rival, Hillary Clinton, has even sent a transcript of the interview to supporters as part of a fundraising push. A close look at that transcript, though, suggests the media may be getting worked up over nothing.
Corporate news outlets are first and foremost businesses, and Trump is pure gold for their bottom line
Glen Greenwald: NYT Editorial Slams “Disgraceful” CIA Exploitation of Paris Attacks, But Submissive Media Role Is Key
By Glenn Greenwald The Intercept November 19, 2015
Why do U.S. officials believe they can get away with blatantly evidence-free assertions to demonize privacy and demand still-greater surveillance?
As Paris trembles in the face of a horrific attack Friday, so does Beirut after twin bombings Thursday and so does Palestine everyday. But only for France has the Sydney Opera House changed its colors, and only for France – in a repeat of the Hebdo incident reactions – have Western presidents come out in horror and the global private media set up live updates, slide-shows, and video pages.
The media’s hierarchy of tragedy reflects and perpetuates a political hierarchy in which some lives supposedly matter more. Further, by selectively using tragedy, sensationalizing it for click kudos and therefore trivializing it, even the reported deaths fall silent because they are not really understood. More
Here are some of the women who worked to preserve the free and open Internet. (The list is long and revealing, while men are getting the recognition and awards.)
Federal Communications Commission Commissioner Mignon Clyburn listens to a fellow commissioner speak during an FCC hearing on Feb. 26, 2015. Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
Earlier this month, Politico Magazine listed me among the top 50 “thinkers, doers and visionaries transforming American politics” for my work in coalitions advancing net neutrality—the principle that cable and phone companies should not block websites or create online slow lanes and paid fast lanes. Over the course of a year—from January 2014 to March 2015—millions of Americans, hundreds of businesses, and dozens of policymakers weighed in at the Federal Communications Commission in favor of net neutrality. Despite the overwhelming political might of the cable and phone companies that opposed the principle, and despite a prevailing conventional wisdom all last year that it would be “impossible” to beat them, the FCC sided with the public and adopted extremely strong net neutrality rules that should be a global model for Internet freedom. On Monday, dozens of academics, nonprofits, and companies filed legal briefs in court defending that important order.
Exclusive: The Pentagon’s new “Law of War” manual puts some journalists in the category of “unprivileged belligerents,” meaning they can be tried by military tribunals as spies, a further sign of U.S. government hostility toward reporting that undercuts Washington’s goals, writes veteran war correspondent Don North.
Coleen Rowley and Reader Supported News shared a link.
Greenwald makes the strongest and best argument imaginable for journalists admitting (and embracing) their own bias. But there is a built-in presumption. What if a journalist’s “bias” is not one towards uplifting humanity and life but a bias for racism, war, and trashing humanity? Just as with the problem with granting a general “reporter’s privilege” that would protect official sources and government leakers (even of disinfo) like Scooter Libby who leaked false info to Judith Miller, some qualititative distinctions must figure into the issue of whether to embrace or reject journalist bias.
“What is more noble for a journalist to do: confront a dangerous, powerful billionaire-demagogue spouting hatemongering nonsense about mass deportation, or sitting by quietly and pretending to have no opinions on any of it and that “both sides” are equally deserving of respect and have equal claims to validity? As Ramos put it simply, in what should not even need to be said: “I’m a reporter. My job is to ask questions. What’s ‘totally out of line’ is to eject a reporter from a press conference for asking questions.”
Indeed, some of the most important and valuable moments in American journalism have come from the nation’s most influential journalists rejecting this cowardly demand that they take no position, from Edward R. Murrow’s brave 1954 denunciation of McCarthyism to Walter Cronkite’s 1968 refusal to treat the U.S. Government’s lies about the Vietnam War as anything other than what they were. Does anyone doubt that today’s neutrality-über-alles journalists would denounce them as “activists” for inappropriately “taking a side”?” —Glenn Greenwald
CNN’s Reliable Sources host, Brian Stelter interviewed The Nation’s Editor, Katrina vanden Heuvel, about a recent campaign stop where John Nichols introduced Bernie Sanders.
Reeyot is one of six journalists, including two bloggers from the Zone 9 blogging collective, released on July 8 and 9. Their only crime was exercising their right to free expression. The timing of the high-profile releases should come as no surprise, given President Barack Obama’s current trip to Ethiopia.
Awarding-winning filmmaker and journalist Laura Poitras sued the Department of Homeland Security and several other federal agencies under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) yesterday, demanding an explanation for the dozens of times the US government detained and questioned her traveling over the border from 2006-2012.
21 June 15
top me if you’ve heard this before: A man walks into a crowded room… and shoots a bunch of people. Yeah, you’ve heard it before. Get used to it, because statistics suggest you’ll be hearing it a lot more. According to a study by Harvard and Northeastern University researchers, from 1982 to 2011, a mass shooting occurred an average of every 200 days; since 2011, mass shootings happened an average of every 64 days. Each time it happens, politicians and commentators immediately rush into to announce the social significance of the tragedy. And sometimes, these commentaries can be more harmful than the actual shootings because of their long-term effect, to the point of creating even more widespread damage to the community.
There once was a time when the U.S. news media investigated U.S. imperial adventures overseas, such as Washington-sponsored coups. Journalists also asked tough questions to officials implicated in corruption even if those queries were inconvenient to the desired propaganda themes. But those days are long gone, as the Washington Post demonstrated again this week.
On Wednesday, the Post’s editorial board had a chance to press Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk about the U.S. government’s role in the Feb. 22, 2014 coup that elevated him to his current post – after he was handpicked by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who declared “Yats is the guy” in a pre-coup intercepted phone call.
Of course the investigative reporter used anonymous sources in his exposé on the bin Laden raid. Only with anonymous sources can journalists get past the wall that the Obama administration has built by prosecuting whistleblowers.
In traditional analog media, PBS NewsHour wonders – as if newly arrived on the planet Earth – what may be the cause and meaning of a Baltimore uprising? Here on the NewsHour, every occurrence takes us by surprise and is treated in a kind of isolation chamber. Something is happening here, a series of Black people killed by police?! Sudden violence, mayhem. What is that all about? This is our US TV in depth and wide breadth coverage of the news, steering carefully between the Scylla of the liberal rocks and the Charybdis of the neoliberal ones.
Every headline event is a source of wonderment. After surprise, wonder and amazement, we go on to hear both sides of an issue after which we are told that the conversation remains open and will continue in the future, a future in which every conclusion will be balanced by an opposing conclusion, Koch Industries and the Center for American Progress locked in an eternal struggle. We are then free to make a personal choice. We are to add our opinion in a culture where everyone knows everything and each knows it differently.
But what exactly is being balanced here? We are seeking a balance on a ship already tilted heavily to starboard. One side has the mass of the population, the other side the mass of the wealth, rather like the present state of South Africa, where minority White wealth and economic power mocks the democratic power of the masses. In US voter turnout, both sides have run about equal, except, for instance, when Barack Obama was able to draw more of the masses to the polling booth. The populace responded to an election in which a man so melded with popular culture celebrity status that he brought the populace out to vote.
(This post is from our new blog: Unofficial Sources.)
It’s hard for anyone to judge the accuracy of Seymour Hersh’s blockbuster story on the killing of Osama bin Laden, given its reliance on unnamed sources. I personally would trust him more than most people stuck in the oozing miasma that is Washington, D.C., but he does ask readers to rely completely on his judgment. So it’s certainly appropriate and useful for other journalists to provide context on whether Hersh’s previous reporting has proven correct.
Glenn Greenwald: U.S. DROPS TO 49TH IN WORLD PRESS FREEDOM RANKINGS, WORST SINCE OBAMA BECAME PRESIDENT
By Glenn Greenwald The Intercept February 13, 2015
Each year, Reporters Without Borders issues a worldwide ranking of nations based on the extent to which they protect or abridge press freedom. Thegroup’s 2015 ranking was released this morning, and the United States is ranked 49th.
That is the lowest ranking ever during the Obama presidency, and the second-lowest ranking for the U.S. since the rankings began in 2002 (in 2006, under Bush, the U.S. was ranked 53rd). The countries immediately ahead of the U.S. are Malta, Niger, Burkino Faso, El Salvador, Tonga, Chile and Botswana.
Fox News is hemorrhaging young viewers, but last week, things hit a new low for Fox. Rachel Maddow beat Fox News for the entire week with viewers…
Exclusive: The New York Times has been more biased on the Ukraine crisis – endlessly promoting State Department propaganda – than when it published false Iraqi WMD stories last decade. Case in point: a story from Mariupol hailing the Azov battalion without noting its neo-Nazi fighters, writes Robert Parry.
ConsortiumNews.com February 11, 2015
Counterpunch.org WEEKEND EDITION FEBRUARY 13-15, 2015
Three young Muslim students were shot and killed Tuesday in Chapel Hill, N.C. The circumstances around the shooting were bad enough; but in the eyes of critics around the world, how the story was—or wasn’t—covered only compounded the tragedy.