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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.