Pannell Beaters…

by Mark Doran

Various friends of mine — smart folks, every one of them! — are telling me that they expect Donald Trump to be ‘Grassy Knolled’ by elements of the US ‘deep state’ before he even graduates from ‘President-Elect’ to ‘President’ on 20 January. I myself don’t think that such an event is especially likely … as, to me, it appears far more probable that he and the people around him will be ‘disciplined’ by various powerful forces — not least those that act through state-corporate media — to the extent that his entire project simply mutates into another ‘cookie-cutter’ US administration dedicated to neo-imperial violence and corporate empowerment.

The media-based ‘disciplining’ to which I refer actually has two aspects to it — and both of them can already be discerned without the slightest difficulty: first, there is the smacking; secondly, there is the silence. The ‘smacking’ is what you get when something you have done, or are merely said to have done, is used as something for which you can be hammered in so many contexts that your own planned agenda is simply submerged; the ‘silence’ is what you encounter when something you do that is of possible value finds itself effectively unreported, in spite of all your efforts to communicate it. What I want to do at this point is concentrate upon the latter — by highlighting the fact that the man who, for a year and more, has been castigated by media organisations and outraged liberals everywhere for saying things that aren’t true (What’s that? A man seeking election telling lies?!?) has now said a few things that are actually truths of genuine importance — and has not been given the slightest credit for them. Let’s have a quick look at some…

It was last Wednesday that Trump gave a press conference that I was soon seeing described in the most negative terms. According to the UK Guardian it was ‘Trump’s trainwreck press conference’; in the words of the US Globe and Mail it was ‘his train-wreck press conference’; while in a Twitter message from American horror author Stephen King, it was ‘a trainwreck’. Me being me, I ignored the lot of them and simply listened to the entire thing for myself (video and transcript here).

Here’s the first thing that made my ears prick up:

Appalled as I am by the US corporatecare healthcare system — coming soon to a UK hospital and GP practice near you! — I have waited decades to hear a ranking US political figure venture anywhere near the topic of ‘big pharma’ and the corruption-driven stranglehold it has over medicine-related decision-making in the stinking sewer of US politics. Yet here was President-Elect Trump — in what was his very first press conference after winning the election! — not merely alluding to the problem but also proposing what, to a right-wing brain (of which there must be more than two hundred million in the US), is the most obvious ‘market-based’ solution.

And was that truth-and-solution bombshell a topic of admiring discussion in our proudly independent media? Was it celebrated as a potentially positive development by previously hostile liberals appalled by a healthcare racket that leaves 1 in 5 Americans — 35 million people — unable to pay for their prescriptions? From where I sit, it certainly doesn’t appear to have been…

(And just to reinforce the extent to which Trump’s bit of truth-telling placed him at odds not only with the corporate carpetbagger elite but also with the bought-and-paid-for parasites on both sides of the US’s notional political divide, literally two days later I saw that this had happened.)

All right, let’s move on. Here’s the bit where PEOTUS Trump refused to take a question from the CNN staffer at the event — for reasons connected with the monumental absurdity of what future generations (should there be any) will refer to as the ‘Golden Shower’ dossier:

My point here is that, once again, what Trump said is absolutely true: any media-savvy critic who has, over time, examined the content and conduct of ‘Cable News Network’ — the cable and satellite television channel owned by the Turner Broadcasting System division of Time Warner — knows that CNN is terrible, and CNN is ‘fake news’. Of course, CNN is far from alone in being either of those things; but that doesn’t invalidate what Trump is saying — and doing! — on this specific occasion. Once again: truth telling — and of no little significance, at least potentially.

And, in any case, more and — for me! — better was still to come on this very topic. Here’s my transcript of a little exchange that took place a few moments later…

TRUMP: […] Go ahead. Go ahead. You’ve been waiting. Go ahead.

QUESTION: As far as we understand, the intelligence community are…

TRUMP: Stand up, please.

QUESTION: Ian Pannell from BBC news. Ian Pannell from BBC news.

TRUMP: BBC news. That’s another beauty…

[Laughter]

Here’s the exchange in full:

Now, I have been following the actions of the BBC’s news services for long enough to know that, yet again, Trump was speaking unvarnished and ungainsayable truth, however sarcastic and indirect the phraseology. What makes the exchange richly amusing in addition is the involvement of Ian Pannell. For it was Pannell — as you may or may not remember — who on 29 August 2013 produced a BBC News report whose aim was to convince audiences that a Syrian fighter jet had dropped an incendiary bomb on a school playground in Aleppo. Not only was it very suspiciously the case that the report and its three-day-old footage aired while the UK House of Commons was voting on a possible UK military assault against Syria — meaning that, had the vote been in favour, the item would have acted as a perfect focus for the transformation of public concern into bloody warfare — but the footage itself went on to form the basis of a Panorama programme (‘Saving Syria’s Children’, 30 September 2013) whose manifest fraudulence has seen the BBC fighting ever since to have copies and extracts deleted from YouTube…

(For Robert Stuart’s sterling work in unmasking a quantity of sheer fakery that — in a sane society — would have turned this BBC broadcast into a career-ending scandal, see here.)

From all of which I think it is pretty clear that Donald Trump is not going to get the credit for anything he says that is true, nor for anything he seeks to do that is good: the simple fact is that he was not the establishment’s intended victor, and he can look forward to nothing except full-spectrum opposition from the media guardians of established power that will not cease until he has given in to the latter on every important issue (and possibly not even then).

And if that doesn’t remind you of the leader of the UK’s Labour Party, it really ought to. For the full-spectrum media assault on Jeremy Corbyn has not let up even a little since I first drew attention to it in these electronic pages not long after he won the leadership election he was not supposed to win.

Let’s have a look at what happens over here. On January 10 — just one day before Trump’s alleged ‘train-wreck’ press conference — Jeremy Corbyn gave a speech in Peterborough that, likewise, was presented by the media as a debacle. And, as in the case of Trump’s appearance, the truthful and valuable content was either misrepresented or ignored.

Here are three things that — in that single day! — the BBC did to distract attention from Corbyn’s message and to toxify him as a individual. I present them in the order in which I happened to see them as the day wore on…

First, a BBC TV News animation in which one of the 12 stars of the European Union flag detaches itself — in a reference to so-called ‘Brexit’…

bbccorbynhatstar2

This star then turns red…

bbccorbynhatstar21

And heads for the centre of Corbyn’s cap…

bbccorbynstarshat2

(All three images saved by Anthony, to whom I send sincere thanks.)

See what they did there? Corbyn — by any rational standard a mild social democrat who has never even proposed so basic a socialist policy as ‘workers’ control of the means of production’ — is suddenly made to look like Mao Zedong (‘Chairman Mao’): he gets a Chinese People’s Liberation Army cap — and a quick bit of toxification in terms of those decades of far-away tyranny and destruction, the millions killed, the dogmatic political inflexibility, etc.

Isn’t that a remarkable thing for the BBC to have done? Why would they do something like that, d’you think…?
A little time passes, and what do I see next? Ah! I see something online that features Laura Kuenssberg — the ‘Political Editor’ of BBC News, and very obviously the head of the Corporation’s Anti-Corbyn Unit. Let’s look closely…

bbckuenssbergcorbynangleheadline2

There are in fact three fascinating elements there. First, there’s the choice of headline: without there being a quotation mark in sight, and whatever his half-hour speech was really about, Corbyn is credited IN BIG PRINT with saying the one thing that is guaranteed to constitute a red rag to many millions of working class voters whom the Labour Party is currently seeking to win back. (And this, let me remind you, comes from the BBC which has allowed Nigel Farage of the anti-immigration party UKIP no fewer than 31 appearances on Question Time since November 2000: ever wondered what a broadcaster’s attempt to split the working class anti-Tory vote would look like…?)

bbckuenssbergperspective2

Secondly, there is what follows it — in the form of a reference to a denial of an alleged embarrassing, undermining U-turn. See that? That’s how you write when you want to place an idea in people’s minds while still being able to claim that you weren’t really trying to place the idea in people’s minds. (So, for example: ‘Corbyn denies that he kills tiny and helpless kittens using a big hammer’. See? He denies it; and it’s not true anyway — but you still felt a feeling and saw an image that I created for you.)

bbckuenssbergperspective3

Thirdly, there’s the framing and cropping of the photo. See how Kuenssberg appears as a huge and dominating visual element, filling almost a third of the space? And how Corbyn, by contrast, is presented as a tiny and distant figure — and, on top of that, shown as literally ‘in a corner’…?

Isn’t that a remarkable thing for the BBC to have done? Why would they do something like that, d’you think…?

And then there’s Newsnight. Less than eight hours after the BBC had made Corbyn stink like a long-dead Chinese communist, viewers saw their national broadcaster change tack — and make Corbyn stink like every liberal’s latest hate-figure, Donald Trump…

See how they did it? They did it by producing and broadcasting — for an extended period — a photograph of something that has never, ever happened: Corbyn wearing a Donald Trump-type hat…

bbccorbynhat bbccorbyntrumphat2

Consider what had to take place for that image to have come into existence. Someone in charge of a budget and able to give instructions to a skilled photoshop operator will actually have sent out an order:

‘Look, stop what you’re doing: we need something for 10.30pm. Get a photo of Donald Trump in his red hat. Take him out of the picture so you’ve only got the hat. Manipulate the letters on it so that they say ‘Make Britain Great Again’. Yes, ‘Britain’. Then find a high-resolution photo of Jeremy Corbyn seen — and lit! — from the same sort of angle, and put the hat on it so it looks like he’s wearing it. Oh, and don’t forget to darken the area under the peak: this has to look realistic. Yes, you can email it. ‘Newsnight’ office. That’s right: serious analysis of current affairs…’

Isn’t that a remarkable thing for the BBC to have done? Why would they do something like that, d’you think…?

Nor was this the end of that day’s BBC onslaught. Before long, they had gone to Twitter and were advertising one of Newsnight‘s interviews in the following terms…

bbcnewsnightchakrabarti

If you can’t tell what attracted my attention to that, simply take a look through the programme’s various Twitter timelines — and see if you can see a pattern in who has, and who has not, been described as ‘getting grilled’…

“Getting grilled” was she…? Seems not.

I spoke earlier of the twin media mechanisms of ‘smacking’ and ‘silence’, and of their role in shaping political events rather than merely ‘reporting’ them. In connection with Corbyn, I want to underline my point by presenting the entire text of his Peterborough speech — which you can see here. When UK readers have read it (or watched the video below), I hope they will be so kind as to consider this question:

On January 10, Corbyn featured in the BBC’s news and current affairs output over and over again: he and his speech — and the associated ‘debacle’ — were referred to, and discussed, during the day, in the evening, and late into the night. As you’ll see from the video, the BBC — as it was obliged to! — actually broadcast the whole speech live (albeit on a news channel most people don’t watch, and at a time when most people are busy working anyhow). Yet how much of what he said in that long speech did you yourself actually encounter in all of that studio-based ‘coverage’…? Or, for that matter, in our proudly ‘free’ billionaire-owned press…?

In other words, when you came to read the text linked to above — or to watch the speech as recorded — how much of it still came as a complete surprise to you…?

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may hem
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may hem

BBC – Badly Bereft of Credibility

John
Reader
John

I would like to thank Mark Doran for a truly revelatory article. I was aware that Jeremy Corbyn was not getting a fair shake from the BBC but to see above just how they have manipulated images to make him look and appear as something he is not is really shocking. I consider myself a rational sceptic but this – where the BBC is involved – may not be enough. It seems the BBC will end up turning us all into hard-boiled cynics as to their own probity. I watch and listen to the BBC less and less these days.… Read more »

Jo
Reader
Jo

The BBC Trust recently ruled on a Laura Kuennsberg piece (concerning the shoot to kill policy) and declared that the piece was “inaccurate”. While it was reassuring to hear this the judgement itself went on to say what a truly professional journalist Kuennsberg is and stressed that their judgement on this occasion was in no way suggesting otherwise! Which brings that word “truth” again to mind for the truth is that Ms Kuennsberg is the worst journalist ever with the BBC. Where Corbyn is concerned she has been at the root of too many slanted items and was the main… Read more »

pavlovscat7
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pavlovscat7

The public learned more about the BBC from Jane Standly on the 11th September 2001 than the BBC can afford to learn today.

Al
Reader
Al

Exactly and a good point. I believe they erased all of footage of the farce known as 911 from their website, some time afterwards. Anybody who trusts anything from the mainscream needs to wise up. Use it to see what canvas they’re trying to paint and then tell us this is truth, but apart from that, it’s a major arm of the powers that shouldn’t be’s propaganda unit. All very well done, i might add! Well, in most cases apart from instances like Jane Standby’s building 7 blunder. Stay wise, friends.

pavlovscat7
Reader
pavlovscat7

And what happened to 9/11 in all these forums of the bleeding obvious?..it’s the only thing that will bring the media scum undone….is it possible the offGuard is the control alt delete of all 9/11 dialogue?????

michaelk
Reader
michaelk

Corbyn’s in an incredibly difficult position, he’s essentially trying to lead two different parties at once. The Westminster party, which is against him and the Labour Party in the country, which supports him. The two by-elections next month are really important. If Labour loses both seats, this’ll be a really bad sign and show that their chances of winning the coming election are slim. Political culture in the UK doesn’t favour leaders like Corbyn, which is unfortunate to say the least. That’s not really his fault.

Jo
Reader
Jo

I’m beginning to think the reality is that in order to be an effective leader of a political Party one requires a brutality and ruthlessness which many genuinely dedicated people do not possess. That is unfortunate indeed for Corbyn however on occasions I feel he has left himself wide open to criticism by failing to make his position on some things clear with many interviews containing contradictory statements. That is not to say there aren’t many issues indeed where it is reasonable not to adopt an absolute position but, sadly, the occasions he does it are used to portray him… Read more »

falcemartello
Reader

The GBC Goebols Broadcasting Corporation. or the AZBC the anglo-zionist broadcasting corproation. I recall many years ago when the whole Uganda/Rwanda genocide was occuring. I noted how none of the journo’s reporting from the area would once speak to the locals. They would always speak to some anglo-zionist exceptionalist from some thinktank anglo-zionist ngo. It was arrogant and elitist.Most western state organisations r all controlled and elitest based agenda. I remember when the Paris attacks happened . The storm the continous analysis and how the ME minus Isreal was a burning hell but Israel the bastion of democracy and the… Read more »

BigB
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BigB

“YESTERDAYS NEWS GETS WRAPPED IN TODAYS FISH” is absolutely and undeniably true; it is ‘throwaway’ precisely because within 24hrs (more or less) it has made its mark and done its job. I would suggest that most people who comment on this site are exceptional – in that (judging by the preponderance of well informed comments) they follow the news and are capable of critical analysis. The 24 hour news cycle (represented here by the likes of the BBC – and even more so by social media ‘news’) is not set up for the likes of us – it is inculcation… Read more »

BigB
Reader
BigB

It may interest any fact-checkers or concerned citizens that the CIA has made its 25 year CREST archive available in searchable form online – MKULTRA yields 22,281 results (so much for it being a conspiracy theory then?)
Supposedly, the results are not cherry-picked or heavily redacted. Curiously though, a Guardian article about the release of the material neglected to mention MKULTRA.
Selective Perception?
https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/collection/crest-25-year-program-archive

pavlovscat7
Reader
pavlovscat7

SHIX- PAC SIBBOLETH With six tins for pistons I started the engines..To fly down to Tysons and question Mick Zion, about just what went down on that hill: But a camel-double was parked outside and primed for this symposium, where occidental sporting-types, hyped a cultural explosion: So hate went east as love went west and the good guys and the baddies, picked up the hands the dealer delt..as sights were oiled for Baghdad: Some servants came and Janna Wendt, to find the cheques Tolouse had sent, to the CIA or the government..whichever one was greater: At the border Allan layed… Read more »

Jo
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Jo

Excellent, tho’ depressing, post. I watched the inauguration yesterday on the BBC and the worst thing about it was the commentary which accompanied it from the small band of so-called journalists covering the event. It was basically just a bitching-fest and nothing more and once again I was appalled at how completely unprofessional it all was. Then today, on Dateline London, we had the Guardian’s Polly Toynbee ranting about Trump having to be got rid of by whatever means at the earliest possible date. (She only just managed not to suggest assassination as an option, I felt!) She was like… Read more »

John
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John

I watched the whole inauguration on BBC Parliament Channel, which relayed C-Span coverage without any overlaid commentary from the never-stop-talking BBC correspondents. Apart from official announcements and the speeches during the ceremony, most of the time I was watching the whole event live in silence. Glorious!
RT TV can also provide interesting coverage, though the occasional advertising is a slight pain in the neck!

Seamus Padraig
Reader
Seamus Padraig

Was it celebrated as a potentially positive development by previously hostile liberals appalled by a healthcare racket that leaves 1 in 5 Americans — 35 million people — unable to pay for their prescriptions? From where I sit, it certainly doesn’t appear to have been … From all of which I think it is pretty clear that Donald Trump is not going to get the credit for anything he says that is true, nor for anything he seeks to do that is good Among liberals in the US, the cognitive dissonance regarding Trump is overpowering. Whenever Trump makes an observation… Read more »

Arrby
Reader

Oh yes. The Globe And Mail is Canadian. They just finished building their new Toronto head office, on King Street, where the Rooster coffee shop is and where I practically live. I’m wondering when some journo, hearing me and my friends diss their class (more specifically their class antics) will interrupt me to tongue lash me.

Arrby
Reader

Good report Mark! I am sure Donald Trump is skilled at lawbreaking, those he knows and those he doesn’t know. As far as I’m concerned, he’s Homer Simpson with hair and an army. Expect trouble. It would be nice, I’ll grant you, if the trouble can be shared a bit between the classes. I’d love to see him get ruffled by defenders of corporate health care to the point where he pushed back. The fact of the matter is, if he did, he’s got much of the public behind him. If Chomsky’s right (in “Requiem For The American Dream”) about… Read more »

michaelk
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michaelk

Unfortunately Corbyn doesn’t have the political skills of Donald Trump, in relation to the UK media. Trump turned the massive media attacks on him to his advantage. The more they attacked him the more he looked like an insurgent outsider and the more popular he became. Only to do that , to take on the media and break them, one has to have an incredibly strong personality and the will to confront them, their values and their control of the discourse and language employed. Corbyn doesn’t have any of that, which is why he usually looks so lost and gives… Read more »

Seamus Padraig
Reader
Seamus Padraig

Corbyn, like Bernie Sanders, is weak. He so desperately wants to please and placate the media and the establishment that they can keep him sidetracked with spurious allegations forever.

jag37777
Reader

That’s a little unfair on Corbyn. The media simply won’t report anything that would put him in a positive light.
They trivialise and demean whilst ignoring the substance.

BigB
Reader
BigB

Let’s be clear about Corbyn: most, if not all of what you say is true, @MichaelK; and even as an ardent fan I can accept that. He looks timid and scared a lot of the time, which does not instill great confidence or project great strength. However, I feel that it is time for us to go beyond identity politics, the facade, the glib words and the polished rhetoric and be more discerning – to get to the heart of the matter, the heart of the man. Corbyn stands on the right side of history, and he stands for the… Read more »

BigB
Reader
BigB

I like this piece, it makes me feel slightly less paranoid, I’m not the only one applying reverse psychology to the BBC, Mark Doran (amongst others) is too. I say reverse psychology because that is exactly what they are doing to us, make no mistake. Ok, it is hardly full blown cybernetics, but however crude, the examples cited above are evidence of ‘active measures’ – designed to ‘steer’ others beliefs toward their own agenda. So ignore them, turn off the set? Like the author above, I’m more curious than that – if they are trying to influence my perception, they… Read more »

Tim Groves
Reader

I also enjoyed this article immensely, and I thank Mark Doran for showing us a lot about how mass media manipulation is carried out. A problem for the ordinary person who is not a total political junkie is that we tend not to pay very much attention to what’s going on in the news and current affairs programmes and this gives their producers a lot of opportunities to pull a fast one on us. For example, how many viewers would have known that Jeremy Corbyn doesn’t actually wear a Donald Trump-style hat of the kind he was shown wearing on… Read more »

Tish Farrell
Reader

V. good post. I don’t follow political news that closely, and I don’t think much of Trump, but even I had noticed some apparently truthful comments coming from the man, and especially re Syria. As for the BBC, which we Brits are brainwashed into thinking is an unalloyed unbiased presenter of news – well silly us. Isn’t it in thrall to the Tory government due to its funding crisis. In recent years I’ve noticed too, that Radio 4’s morning news show, with its insistence on debating for and against any topic – either reduces complex situations to complete nonsense, or… Read more »

pavlovscat7
Reader
pavlovscat7

Late at night when it’s nice and quiet..You might see the newsreaders’ eyes go white..But don’t be frightened and don’t take flight..It’s only a talking-head seeing the light..From the devil that lives in the autocue:

paulcarline
Reader

An excellent analysis, especially of our disgusting BBC lie machine. But I’m just wondering whether Trump’s apparent “climate denial” might be one of the things you think he actually deserved to be ‘smacked’ for? I’m curious because an awful lot of people are going to be red-faced and blustering when the truth about ‘climate change’ is finally (hopefully) accepted: that there has been no significant (i.e. about 0.8 of a degree) increase in average global temperature for around 18 years; that there is no causal relationship between CO2 levels and temperatures; that CO2 levels always rise AFTER a rise in… Read more »

pavlovscat7
Reader
pavlovscat7

Yes paulcarline…Isn’t it quaint how dotty old men with no understanding of the greenhouse effect can be noble laureates?

PsyBorg (@PsyBorg)
Reader

You reveal bias and you display neoliberal conservative ideology not any knowledge of the science that explains climate change.
Ivar Giaever is totally wrong and many of his points are out of date or misconstrued.
His ideas are like Fake News… you can call them Fake Science.
https://skepticalscience.com/ivar-giaever-nobel-physicist-climate-pseudoscientist.html

Tim Groves
Reader

Quasi-scientific one-upmanship: the last refuge of a scoundrel. I agree with Paul Carline that a lot of people are going to be red-faced when it becomes clear that human influence on climate turns out to be considerably less than advertised and Northern farmers won’t be able to grow plantations of avocados or bananas in the fields adjacent to the south side of Hadrian’s Wall. I also agree with Moriarty’s Left Sock, who states the case for real debate based on empirical evidence (data). Unfortunately, though, politicization has thoroughly corrupted the the climate science field to the extent that even the… Read more »

Moriarty's Left Sock
Reader
Moriarty's Left Sock

Come now, there is value to both sides of the climate debate. But it needs to be a real debate, of data not colliding belief-systems. IMO those who are most certain (on either side) are often the least informed (or holding an undisclosed agenda). The more you know on this topic the more you appreciate that certitude is not appropriate.

Karel Rehor
Reader
Karel Rehor

Yes, about as much value as the debate over whether H2O comes to a boil at 100 degress C and becomes solid at 0 degrees C. I’ll remember to respect any ‘scientist’, who claims that below 0 you might not get ice, and neglect to put chains on the tyres, when driving in winter.

Melissa
Reader
Melissa

actually climate change is real