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Fact-Checking the Establishment’s “Fact-Checkers”: How the “Fake News” Story is Fake News

Max Parry

It would be an understatement to say that during U.S. President Donald Trump’s term in office, the issue of truth and falsehoods has been a central topic of political discourse. It was a reoccurring issue throughout the 2016 election and has only continued following his unlikely triumph. While naïve liberals who fetishize Trump would have us believe he is the first political figure to ever lie routinely, the real radical departure of the numerous false statements that seemed to propel, rather than hinder, his success was their lack of refinement and unpredictability.

Shortly after Trump took the oath of office, campaign manager Kellyanne Conway infamously used the phrase “alternative facts” while defending Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s dispute of the attendance drop at the inauguration ceremony from predecessor Barack Obama. The low-hanging fruit of Conway’s remarks were widely interpreted as an instance of ‘Orwellian doublespeak’, but the kernel of truth in them was missed by the self-styled ‘respectable’ media of the establishment who hide behind a guise of objectivity and self-appointed expertise while positioning themselves as omniscient arbiters of truth. Spicer’s claim was indeed an obvious lie, yet the general accuracy of Conway’s point was that what one considers ‘factual’ often comes down to worldview.

For the U.S. political establishment, there is only one acceptable worldview. The terrifying significance of Trump’s victory, which defied their so-called expert polling and turned the New York Times forecast needle 180-degrees, is that the propaganda arm of mainstream media has become irrelevant and the American political system is collapsing. Hillary Clinton’s defeat was the culmination of a steady, inevitable process as evening news audiences have been shrinking for years while print media has approached near obsolescence. Simultaneously, more and more people are turning to alternative sources for news and information, albeit some of it unfortunate.

The introduction of the term “fake news” into the political lexicon has been deliberate and is a desperate attempt by the establishment to maintain its grip on the flow of knowledge. It was strategically re-appropriated by Trump himself, who frequently accuses mainstream media of reporting misinformation. Unfortunately, what he deems “fake news” is merely that which undermines him politically or personally, but there is a truth at the core of his crude attacks on the press. Trump’s labeling of mainstream media as “the enemy of the people” was unintentionally accurate only because he was referring to that which undercuts his own power.

Nevertheless, it is an appropriate label considering that 90% of mass media — newspapers, magazines, books, radio, television, film studios, and internet news content — is owned by just six conglomerates in General Electric, News Corp, CBS, Disney, Viacom and Time Warner. Some like G.E. are contracted by the Pentagon.

Frankfurt School critical theorists Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno once wrote of ‘the culture industry’, or how the mechanized standardization of popular culture homogenizes everyday life under capitalism. They would likely cringe at the very idea of the “fake news” phenomenon, which implies that what mass media typically produces is “real.” A billionaire reality television star becoming President is itself the perfect apotheosis of a society governed by a deceptive mass media rendering it docile. Unsurprisingly, the fourth estate was only interested in superficially reducing Trump’s attack on their credibility to his propensity to behave like a despot, something which in their counterfeit world only exists in other countries.

Not only does mass media provide the public with what comic George Carlin called an ‘illusion of choice’, but it acts as a dictation machine for the military-industrial complex. Most notably, virtually all the major news outlets parroted the lies of the Bush administration with its fabrication of evidence that Iraq possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction to sell the U.S. invasion of Baghdad in 2003.

Its monumental failure to hold the Bush administration accountable has directly correlated with the rapidly declining public trust in the media ever since. Perhaps the reason the phrase resonated with voters during the election is because it generally acknowledged the enormous gap between the reported world and the actual one they live in. Noam Chomsky and the late Edward S. Herman wrote the definitive manual on the media’s propaganda function and social engineering in Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media.

In reality, the phrase “fake news” was inserted into the mass political consciousness by the leading US spy agencies, who clearly favored a Clinton victory, through mass media to stoke fears of ‘domestic disinformation’ being spread on social networks by the Russian government. Just as in the lead-up to the Iraq War, major news outlets have simply repeated, instead of scrutinizing, the intelligence community’s unproven claims that Moscow manipulated voters by spreading ‘disinformation’ to influence the election. As a result, the meaning of the expression has been redefined to discredit any news from a political viewpoint that challenges the status quo. The media’s strings have been pulled by a modern equivalent of the C.I.A.’s Operation Mockingbird influence campaign during the Cold War which appears to have been resurrected for its sequel.

Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton, was equally responsible for the idiom’s ubiquitous usage and weaponized it in the same manner — not to identify actual disinformation, but to denote any claims, true or false, which tarnished her image. Clinton dismissed the significance of the WikiLeaks release of transcripts of her speeches to Goldman Sachs and leaked emails which exposed her conspiring with the Democratic National Committee for the party’s nomination against her primary opponent, Bernie Sanders. As a diversion, the genuine leaks were conflated with wild speculation on the right-wing fringe about her health and a debunked conspiracy about a child sex ring at a D.C. pizzeria. However, Clinton and the media never disputed the leak origins and authenticity.

This left the American voter a choice between a far right demagogue speaking to their confused grievances, or a career politician with close ties to a constellation of global financiers who professed to be a champion of women’s rights as she accepted millions from Persian Gulf monarchies that stone women to death for committing adultery. Unfortunately for Hillary, it was easy to tell she would be more comfortable at a Bilderberg Group meeting than at your local feminist bookstore. None of this is to say that Trump isn’t cut from the same cloth, but he expertly cast himself as an outsider up against an elite and they played right into his hand.

The foremost purveyor of truly damaging false news has been liberal flagship, the Washington Post. Owned by the world’s wealthiest man in technocrat Jeff Bezos, whose company Amazon provides the C.I.A. with its cloud infrastructure through a $600 million contract with the Defense Department, it is structurally incompatible for such an asset to ever be critical of the military-industrial complex without working against its financial incentive. Despite that enormous and undisclosed conflict of interest, the Post openly collaborated with the C.I.A. to leak unverified claims by anonymous officials that Russia ‘cyber meddled’ to undermine the democratic process in favor of a Trump victory.

In a paradigm of yellow journalism, WaPo published such unreliable hearsay uncritically while keeping the evidence and sources entirely secret. They presented the accusations as if they should be taken at face value based on the intelligence community’s supposed infallibility, as if to wipe clean the collective memory of the Iraq War and the disclosures of the NSA’s global surveillance program.

The Washington Post also promoted PropOrNot, an anonymously written website that labeled dozens of news sites, some of which this author has written for, as “routine peddlers of Russian propaganda.” The site alleges that the spreading of articles by the targeted outlets somehow influenced the election, when the overlapping characteristic between the pages smeared was not support for Donald Trump or opposition to Hillary Clinton, but a critical regard for U.S. foreign policy across the political spectrum.

PropOrNot also advertises a section entitled ‘related projects’ which mostly lists similar “fact-checking” websites promoted by Google and Facebook. Pseudo-analysis of news has become another weapon of choice for the establishment’s psychological warfare, but unlike grassroots watchdog groups who hold journalism under a critical microscope such as Media Lens and Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, “fact-checking” sites mechanically repeat the pre-approved narratives of corporate media without exception.

The referees of truth endorsed by big tech all don the misleading disclaimer that they have no political affiliations or funding from biased organizations. Take for instance the highly cited FactCheck.org, owned by the Annenberg Public Policy Center and bankrolled by its endowment, the Annenberg Foundation. The late billionaire publishing tycoon Walter H. Annenberg is perhaps most known for his massive painting collection donated to prominent museums and his financial support for the arts. However, he spent much of his life in philanthropy for the purpose of rehabilitating the family reputation tarnished by his crooked father, Moses “Moe” Annenberg, who was convicted in one of the largest tax fraud cases in U.S. history during the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration.

Moe Annenberg started his career working for newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst as a distribution manager where he hired mobsters like Lucky Luciano to terrorize their competitors. He later became a media mogul himself using the same illicit tactics until he was indicted for his financial misconduct in 1939. The young Walter Annenberg worked for his father and initially faced similar charges, but they were dropped after the elder Annenberg pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years in prison. While his father took the rap, Walter Annenberg was free to continue to build the family fortune and eventually a media empire, using his riches to carry on the family legacy of tax evasion in the form of charitable donations. The scam of philanthropy is a practice typical of the ultra-wealthy who mask their influence on global affairs under the phony banner of altruism.

Walter Annenberg later became a diplomat as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom under President Richard Nixon and was even knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, whom he frequently hosted at the Annenberg family’s 200-acre estate along with numerous other figures in high society, from Ronald and Nancy Reagan to the deposed Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza. Despite FactCheck.org’s endorsement from Silicon Valley oligarchs as an impartial source, it turns out the Annenberg Foundation also made huge financial donations to the Clinton Foundation over the years and could not be more in the service of the powers that be.

Google also advertises the U.S.-government funded Polygraph.info as a reputable source, a site launched by the C.I.A.’s Radio Free Europe/Free Liberty and Voice of America “news” organizations. RFE/FL is currently based in Prague but was previously headquarted in West Germany during the Cold War where it broadcast its anti-communist propaganda to undermine the Soviet Union. Polygraph.info now serves a similar purpose of information warfare in cyberspace for the revived Cold War 2.0 while presenting itself as a fact-checking source to counter “Russian propaganda” outlets. The CIA openly admitted the true character of Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty and its origins on its own website:

On June 1, 1949, a group of prominent American businessmen, lawyers, and philanthropists — including Allen Dulles, who would become Director of Central Intelligence in 1953 — launched the National Committee for Free Europe (NCFE) at a press release in New York. Only a handful of people knew that NCFE was actually the public face of an innovative “psychological warfare” project undertaken by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). That operation — which soon gave rise to Radio Free Europe — would become one of the longest running and successful covert action campaigns ever mounted by the United States.”

Meanwhile, the most dubious of all the advocated verification sites is the popular domain Snopes.com. Snopes was founded in the mid-90s originally as Urban Legends Reference Pages, a site started by an apparently ordinary California couple, David and Barbara Mikkelson, to ‘debunk’ urban folklore. Its moniker comes from a fictional family in the Snopes trilogy of novels by renowned modernist writer William Faulkner. In the series, the Snopes family consists of disturbed relatives who commit murder, pedophilia, bestiality, pornography, racism, theft, corruption and other misdeeds. Thus, anyone ‘exposed’ by the site making claims it determines to be false are likened to a seedy member of the Snopes family.

Despite its bottom-up outward appearance, the site never breaks from mainstream news accounts of events. For example, Snopes maintains that the well-documented allegations of ties between the volunteer rescue organization Syrian Civil Defense, AKA the White Helmets, and terrorist groups participating in the Syrian Civil War is “false.” It does not address that there are multiple videos of White Helmets members facilitating and participating in executions, celebrating with militants of Al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate Al-Nusra Front, and dumping the bodies of Syrian Arab Army soldiers.

The issue is clearly still a matter of dispute among the journalism community as many credible figures, from Seymour Hersh to John Pilger, have expressed skepticism about the group, but Snopes per usual made a one-sided determination. It may be able to disprove tabloid fodder or the likes of Breitbart and InfoWars, but it is no authority on matters of geopolitics and should not be irresponsibly promoted as such. Maybe it should stick to its roots debunking popular myths about whether or not earwigs crawl into human ears.

Since the site expanded to include politics and world events, it became extremely popular over time and now averages millions of views. In the meantime, Barbara and David Mikkelson have gone through a bitter divorce and the latter has retained control of the site, hiring a team of assistants allegedly from its message board to replace his ex-wife. Although it claims to have a tiny staff, Snopes somehow manages to produce an extremely prolific amount of investigative articles. Given its scope and body of work, it is difficult to believe it is only receiving its financial support from ad revenue and GoFundMe campaigns alone or is as small an operation it claims. Until recently it was in an ongoing legal battle with Proper Media, an advertising agency with a 50% stake in its ownership which for a time put its future in jeopardy.

Snopes does admit to accepting $100,000 from Facebook for participating in their fact-checking partnership effort following the 2016 election. Rather than being punished for its mishandling of the private information of tens of millions of profiles, the social media giant is being rewarded for its failure to protect user privacy from data breaching. Earlier this year, Facebook announced it had partnered with the Atlantic Council, an elite Washington think tank funded by the U.S. State Department, NATO, foreign governments like United Arab Emirates, weapons contractor Lockheed Martin, oil giant Chevron, and features Henry Kissinger on its board of directors. In a disturbing corporate-state collaboration, Silicon Valley has been empowered to be the umpire of determining authentic news and given the authority to stifle subversive content with no oversight or legal ramifications. All of this begs the question — who fact-checks the “fact checkers”? Who gets to determine what is or what isn’t “fake news”? The ruling elite, apparently.

In her memoir, Hillary Clinton made it clear what constitutes fake news — the release of her emails and transcripts of speeches revealing her corruption and subservience to Wall Street. WikiLeaks’ reporting was never impugned, however, therefore what constitutes “fake news” is actually real news or anything that threatens those in power. Instead of encouraging media literacy, the working class is regarded with utter disdain by the establishment who have made clear they must control what the public is allowed to see because they can no longer be trusted to make the correct decision, i.e. vote for the candidate favored by the military-intelligence apparatus. The true purpose behind the “fact-checking” PSY-OP is to stigmatize criticism of the neocon political establishment as a whole and liken anyone who does so to those who believe global warming is a hoax or that the earth is flat.

Unsurprisingly, it turns out that Trump, like Barack Obama before him, has only expanded the U.S. war machine as President. Unlikely it may seem to many, however, during the campaign he was the ‘peace candidate’ relative to Hillary Clinton. American voters certainly saw it that way and it may have just tipped the scales of the election. Last year, an academic study was released which made the argument entitled Battlefield Casualties and Ballot Box Defeat: Did the Bush-Obama Wars Cost Clinton the White House? Its summary states:

Increasingly, a divide is emerging between communities whose young people are dying to defend the country, and those communities whose young people are not. In this paper we empirically explore whether this divide — the casualty gap — contributed to Donald Trump’s surprise victory in November 2016.

The data analysis presented in this working paper finds that indeed, in the 2016 election Trump was speaking to this forgotten part of America. Even controlling in a statistical model for many other alternative explanations, we find that there is a significant and meaningful relationship between a community’s rate of military sacrifice and its support for Trump.

Our statistical model suggests that if three states key to Trump’s victory — Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin — had suffered even a modestly lower casualty rate, all three could have flipped from red to blue and sent Hillary Clinton to the White House.”

One must ascribe to chaos theory to see the forest through the trees in the Trump era. The significance of his victory is that it has been an enormous ‘shock to the system’ where the permitted political space has been opened to anti-establishment narratives across the spectrum. A similar shakeup came ten years ago in the form of the financial crash and not coincidentally the Occupy Wall St. and the Tea Party emerged. While it has the unfortunate side effect of emboldening the worst elements on the far right, it also has the potential to revitalize a left that was, sans Occupy, largely dormant under Obama. Those in power are well aware and the current wave of censorship is not about preventing a Trump re-election so much as it is about neutralizing the left.

The failures of the left throughout the past century, more specifically that of socialism, can also come from within. Social democrats betrayed the working class and participated in the slaughter of WWI until the Bolsheviks ended it. The left of today must be willing to learn from its mistakes more quickly. For example, many have expressed excitement that Bernie Sanders is partnering with Greek economist Yanis Varoufakis to counter the rise of ultra-nationalism worldwide, as far rightist Jair Bolsanaro was just elected the President of Brazil.

Yet the social democracy that Sanders and Varoufakis advocate is only the most modest New Dealism to reform capitalism and make it more humane. However relatively progressive it may seem, it will likely prove no match for either the ruling class or the up-and-coming wave of far right populism. The fact that Sanders uses the Nordic model should be enough to know their limitations. Although he wisely jumped ship, it was Varoufakis’ elected SYRIZA coalition in Greece which completely betrayed its constituency by capitulating to EU austerity and NATO expansion. History indicates that only a real alternative in genuine socialism and a working class willing to become militant will the promise of emancipatory politics ever be fulfilled.

Independent journalist and geopolitical analyst. My work has appeared in CounterPunch, Greanville Post, OffGuardian, Global Research, Dissident Voice, and more. Max may be reached at maxrparry@live.com

64 Comments

  1. George cornell says

    Admin just posted that Gates may be vaccinating Africans to control population. Sheesh!

    I really enjoy this site. It has air freshening qualities. But you are starting to fall into the same sinkhole that maimed the Fraudian. So one set of standards for the doctrinaire prejudices and another for the “bad guys”.

    Don’t let the politics of envy rule this roost. And not all Americans are bad, although it is easy to get that impression from their government’s behaviour.

    If you want influence, don’t enfeeble your effort by forgoing even-handedness. And those whose immediate response to commentary is to make personal comments about the poster who elicited the reply must be discouraged, somehow short of censoring. I know you are trying.

    And if you don’t mind me saying, having some articles with more balance would help. I am as angry at the state of world affairs as you are but in the end your credibility will rest on fairness and accuracy. And that credibility is fragile. Just ask the NYT.

    https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/bill-gates-vaccinations-depopulation/

    • Admin says

      Errrr….no. We didn’t post Gates “may be vaccinating to control population”. We referred to a statement by Gates himself to the effect that without vaccination it would not be possible to control population. And we asked what he meant by it.

      So take that “sheesh” and put it back where it came from .

      The link to Snopes is wonderful. A link in which Gates is in fact cited as saying exactly what we said he said. Thank goodness Snopes is there to make sure we understand he didn’t mean anything at all eugenicist by it.

      • Are you saying that ‘SNOPES’ is a legitimate site? Did you ever try to find anything 9/11 related on Snopes?

        • George cornell says

          It surely can be. All I can say is for things I know something about (a minority) it seems truth-seeking.

      • George cornell says

        That is a disingenuous reply not worthy of you. You seem more interested in proving yourself right than in the crucial issues of vaccination and population growth. Gates has had advice from the best scientists on the planet, but you know better, is that it?
        Gates’ position is clearly stated in his fdn’s annual report, which is how the Snopes analysis concludes.

        I excerpt it here

        But Gates’ view on childhood mortality contribution to population growth is increasingly discussed in the scientific literature and is still subject to debate. What is not up to debate are the intentions of the Bill and Melinda Gate’s Foundation with regard to vaccines and population growth, as articulated by Bill and Melinda Gates in their Foundation’s 2017 Annual Letter – says Snopes.

        Melinda: Saving children’s lives is the goal that launched our global work. It’s an end in itself. But then we learned it has all these other benefits as well. If parents believe their children will survive—and if they have the power to time and space their pregnancies—they choose to have fewer children.

        Bill: When a mother can choose how many children to have, her children are healthier, they’re better nourished, their mental capacities are higher—and parents have more time and money to spend on each child’s health and schooling. That’s how families and countries get out of poverty. This link between saving lives, a lower birthrate, and ending poverty was the most important early lesson Melinda and I learned about global health.
        This is obviously a far cry from, as YourNewsWire.com puts it, having Bill Gates tell us “how we must all consent to a ‘kill the humans’ strategy, to ‘save the planet’ from the carbon dioxide we make.”

        How more clear can they be? The link to Snopes is indeed wonderful. You took his statement out of context because you thought it would play well on this site, didn’t you?

    • frank says

      “If you want influence, don’t enfeeble your effort by forgoing even-handedness. … And if you don’t mind me saying, having some articles with more balance would help.”

      Maybe the world is in a worse state than you imagine.
      (Also I’m sure some people will have agreed with your comments, it’s just that people only tend to respond when they disagree.)

      But anyway, as an aside: looks like Snopes cannot be entirely trusted and that it has become a propaganda tool:

      The Daily Mail Snopes Story And Fact Checking The Fact Checkers

      Is Snopes biased? Why do some people believe Snopes is biased?

      • George cornell says

        Frank, some people believe everything is biased. Maybe they are sometimes, like everyone else. This analysis seems pretty well balanced to me. Please read the quote from Gates taken from their foundation’s newsletter.

        And I do find the caterwauling about Gates wanting to use his vaccines to kill people outrageous.
        Hey it seems that on this site all one has to do to be up voted is to smear the rich, the powerful, and the influential. No matter that it isn’t true. In this way Admin is little different from the other side for whom they have so much contempt. I mostly share it but not here. In the case of Gates it is not warranted in this context and the irony of readers quoting yournewswire to slime him in the commentary section of an article on fake news surely can’t be lost on everyone.

        Admin of course did not reply to my suggestions opting to maintain their stance and not acknowledging what the analysis actually said. This is no less doctrinaire than the MSM.

  2. In the ever changing world of Western empire’s relentless war on humanity, we now have an absolute declaration of war on “reality” itself. I think it was Paul Craig Roberts who stated that in the West – “reality itself has now become a ‘conspiracy theory.'”

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    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      The real ‘triumph’ of the capitalist parasites is unfolding before our eyes. The collapse of the planet’s ecological life-support systems is proceeding far faster than at any time previously in planetary history, save for the impact of extra-terrestial objects like giant meteors and comets. We have fatally destabilised the climate, poisoned the planet with innumerable toxins and destroyed life from the insects, the basis of Life on Earth, up to the higher animals, 60% of which we have extirpated since 1970. And not only does the psychopathic Right deny all this, and fanatically seek to further the process, all in the name of insatiable greed, but the so-called ‘Left’ downplays it all, and pretends that we can save ourselves, if only we elect the right sort of people. Fermi Paradox resolved.

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      • ” up to the higher animals, 60% of which we have extirpated since 1970″

        So you’ll have no trouble naming 3 dozen then, or perhaps just 3?

        & insects are NOT the basis of life on Earth, Carbon Dioxide, plant food, is.
        http://www.iloveco2.com

        John Doran.

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        • Mulga Mumblebrain says

          Without insects and other arthropods there will be no soil fertility, no turning of plant waste into soil, no food for insectivorous birds, reptiles, amphibian and mammals and greatly lessened plant pollination. You welcome that, do you? As for the collapse of animal numbers, I trust the scientists, not hard Right deniers of EVERY ecological crisis.

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          • But you can’t name a single one of the 60% of higher animals we have “extirpated” since 1970?
            You are so full of ..it.

            And its worms which ensure soil fertility, not insects.

            John Doran.

  3. Ilya Grushevskiy says

    You need to move closer to anarchism, and embrace semi-direct democracy. Otherwise you are just in an evolutionary or revolutionary autocracy.

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  4. DunGroanin says

    Varoufakis is suspect – he is associated with financiers. His actions are aimed at stopping the closer economic unity of the EU, which threatens the $ as reserve currency. His recent efforts have been to create a ‘new socialist’ alliance across ‘Europe’ as opposed to within the ‘EU’, thus looking to destroy it rather then reforming it internally.

    Much like the manufactured new right groups which seemingly rise fully formed with a few thousand supporters to disrupt the EU. Varoufakis is a ‘top-downer’ model of leader, opposing the genuine bottom-up grass roots movements from which genuine leaders emerge.

    I also suggest Bernie is suspect – his Israeli connections are not insignificant.
    He wears the outsiders coat, but did NOTHING when the Clintonites turned on his supporters and delegates and stole the nomination. Infact he urged his new supporters to throw their votes away on their hated Hillary – it wasn’t his fault she lost. She is the worst political campaigner ever. Her point, wave and smile crap didn’t work (Nor did getting a pantomime villain to replace the real Republican candidates…) Bernie played his role of pied piper attracting the young disaffected socialist minded so they wouldn’t go and setup on their own – they don’t appear to have learned the lesson of their betrayal – even as the high numbers of Democratic candidates from the DC/MIC background that have been imposed upon the states show. They really should get their act together after next weeks poll and dump all their DNC overlords, but it may be too late for the US, now that the actual electoral system is so compromised and controllable.

    There are very few actual genuine, uncompromised, unowned, uninfiltrated grassroots socialist democratic movements in the world now. They are crushed as soon as they emerge.

    In Europe – Syrizia, Podemos, Five Star and the largest the current Corbynite Labour/Momentum party with the largest membership – which could easily double if his leadership is threatened again.

    These are the groups that are targeted by the MSM, and their fact-checking DS fronts spend their time shutting down independent media, bloggers, and social media accounts of persons who fight the MSM line.

    This is a war of the overlords against the masses. It has been never ending. They, the plutocratic global robber baron bankers have got their way everywhere except post war Britain.
    That major social democratic victory has been eroded away over the last 50 years by infiltrators into the socialist rooted party.

    Only an election of the current Labour party can stop the rot and reverse the betrayal of ordinary humans – not just in the UK but across Europe and the rest of the developing world!

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      • DunGroanin says

        Not as fake as kippers, brexit campaigners, tommy robinson and their european versions – ciudidano, afd .. every country has their Atlantist alt-rightists.

        Momentum is largely self funded. And is not about to collapse like the kippers did even as the SCL/CA/FB are scrambling to kick their illegality into the long grass by getting a NCS ‘investigation’ – why not the police?

    • Roberto says

      ” … bottom-up grass roots movements from which genuine leaders emerge.”

      This has never happened. Usually all the leaders have been spoiled children of aristocrats, or wealthy bourgeoisie, or even kulaks, So-called socialism has been led by leaders described by Annie Besant as aristocratic socialism, rather than ‘democratic Socialism, controlled by majority votes, guided by numbers, which can never succeed’.
      This idea has its origins in Platonism. And it could even be an expression of group theory, or the theory of logical types, whereupon the ‘solution’, i.e. the leader, cannot be a member of the group he leads.
      Also socialism is not opposed by the MSM, which is overwhelmingly left-wing, socialism is relentlessly promoted by the MSM, fueled by fake news.

      • Socialism is creeping dictatorship, promoted by social elites.
        A hint of a clue is given by the Fabian’ symbol of a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

        John Doran.

  5. prop_or_not?

    * iraq wmd.
    * social spending caused uk public finance deficit.
    * mass murder and rapes imminent in benghazi.
    * corbyn isn’t the least racist figure in uk politics!… he’s the most racist.

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  6. frank says

    Agree with everything except the paragraph where this quote is from:

    “For the U.S. political establishment, there is only one acceptable worldview. The terrifying significance of Trump’s victory, which defied their so-called expert polling and turned the New York Times forecast needle 180-degrees, is that the propaganda arm of mainstream media has become irrelevant and the American political system is collapsing”

    Arguably Cambridge Analytica helped Trump get elected, and that’s also a form of propaganda. Social media in general is being used for propaganda, along with YouTube, Hollywood etc, it’s not just the traditional mainstream media. Both sides -for and against Trump- used propaganda, one side won. Doesn’t mean the other side is “irrelevant”.

    The MSM is pushing this anti-Russia rhetoric. If that helps lay the groundwork for a war with Russia, I wouldn’t say they’re “irrelevant”.

    “the propaganda arm of mainstream media has become irrelevant and the American political system is collapsing

    It’s not collapsing, it’s always been this way. What’s collapsing is freedom of speech and normalcy.

    Later on you contradict yourself by saying: “A billionaire reality television star becoming President is itself the perfect apotheosis of a society governed by a deceptive mass media rendering it docile.” Implying the MSM is not so irrelevant after all.

    So this section of the article is a bit muddled I would say.

    And Varoufakis sold out Greece so yeah, I would be skeptical of anything he is doing.

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    • Roberto says

      You say, quoting the author:
      “’A billionaire reality television star becoming President is itself the perfect apotheosis of a society governed by a deceptive mass media rendering it docile.’ Implying the MSM is not so irrelevant after all.”

      That would only be valid if the MSM supported Trump, which it overwhelmingly didn’t. Alternatively, it would be valid if [insert disparaging opinion here]-Clinton had been elected.
      The author’s proposition is logically inconsistent, and nonsense, unless we modify it to state something like:
      “… governed by a deceptive mass media rendered irrelevant by the actions of the voters.”
      In other words, the MSM was irrelevant.

    • Stonky says

      “Arguably Cambridge Analytica helped Trump get elected, and that’s also a form of propaganda…”

      Sorry Frank but that’s just not true. I, personally, was responsible for the election of Trump.

      Shortly before the election, Hillary consulted me: “Stonky,” she said, “some of my guys are suggesting I should go and talk to the rubes in places like Michconsin and Pennsygan. What do you think?”

      “My dear girl,” I replied. “Don’t be such an ass. These are nasty places with grubby poor people and stuff like that. There are still eye-watering amounts of munny munny to be extracted from California! Trust me – you stay here in the cosy warm, greasing the backsides of wealthy faux-progressives to the tune of $10,000 a pop, and telling them of all the wonderful things you’re going to do for them after the anointing ceremony has taken place…”

      Unfortunately for Hillary, she listened to me. And the rest is history…

  7. George Cornell says

    Are there any scoundrels in the US who have not sought refuge under the cloak of philanthropy? It has become de rigeur legal advice to game the justice system, no matter that the money is often dirty anyway. The practice has the potential to taint real charitable donations, even from the empathetic poor. There are some other differences however.

    Vide how many bricks and mortar structures, university chairs, fellowships, scholarships etc. require the name of the convict donor to be prominently displayed. If there are any reservations among minority university idealists, these just use the same surname and get things named after their mothers or maiden paternal aunts. Annenberg you mention is just one, but the fraudster Millken is a poster boy for this phenomenon, stirred on by his own prostate cancer, as well as wanting to appear as if he had human sympathies, and to mitigate his just deserts.

    But thieving sociopaths who have looted pension funds, Sir Phillip Green, Sir Robert Maxwell, and numerous other lowlifes suddenly become donors of stolen money when facing jail terms. And it works. There can hardly be a shittier guy than Green, the chief sexual harassment officer for his companies, who grittily refuses to relinquish his knighthood. Sir Jimmy Saville, had he lived, would have done the same, perhaps wanting to endow the Saville or King Herod Chair of Babysitting Studies.

    I know this theme is only a small part of this informative piece but it warrants deeper analysis and wider recognition. But it does represent ‘fake news’ of a specific type.

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    • frank says

      Bill gates is still getting richer.
      Society should not have to beg for gratuities from the rich to solve its problems.

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      • George cornell says

        Bill Gates is someone to whose defense it is a pleasure to leap. He and his wife Melinda have revolutionized philanthropy in a positive way, offsetting the gaming of it by high profile American and British crooks and pension fund looters. They made accountability a requisite of getting money from the Gates Fdn. Previously, money given to fight scourge diseases in Africa went to the usual gang of corrupt pols.

        Nobody begged Gates to do what he is doing in Africa. He had a look around and concluded he would have the max impact for good by tackling the continent’s diseases. He should have received a Nobel already and is not the best choice for illustrating the foibles of the rich in my opinion.

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        • George cornell says

          Would those who down voted my brief defense of Bill Gates explain what they do not like about him being the largest recorded donor to charity? 50 billion as of 2017 and a great deal more from convincing many others join his initiatives.

          You must have very high standards indeed, since Gates leads all charitable donors, ever.

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          • Ash says

            I wasn’t one of them, but Gates does use his philanthropic contributions to advance his own agenda. For example, since he personally didn’t like public school, he consistently works to eliminate it as a viable option for anyone else.

            Frankly, I think everyone should rightly be suspicious of anyone with that kind of wealth, no matter how pure their motives may appear to be.

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            • George cornell says

              He has given away 50 billion and has pledged to give away the rest. His agenda is to alleviate the human condition and decided Africa would need his resources more than anywhere else. Everyone should be suspicious of his motives, you say? Well I am suspicious of yours and am glad you do not speak for everyone even though you would like to.

              What do you not like about Gates? He is rich? He has made life better for billions. He has not looted pension funds. He doesn’t publicly lie cheat or steal, and has the respect of most. His philanthropy has not been an attempt to mitigate convictions for crimes, and came at a time when he was at the top of his game.

              I find your attitude and the fact that you seem to have supporters profoundly disturbing.

                • George cornell says

                  You are here and able to spout your anonymous nonsense because vaccines protected your ancestors from the ravages of smallpox, polio, measles, diphtheria and others. The Gates Foundation, recognized that there were millions of deaths in Africa form preventable diseases, ones you won’t get because you were vaccinated. They knew that giving money to corrupt regimes for vaccines would not work because it hadn’t. Their programs have been hugely successful. And you call them dodgy? You don’t have a clue what you are talking about, do you?

                  • Rhisiart Gwilym says

                    George, your naivety blind-spot is showing. ‘When in hole…’

                    Mind you, jdseanjd isn’t sounding much savvier…

              • Gates is a member of the Rockefeller Billionaire Good Club, which is dedicated to reducing world population.

                This is a shame, since all throughout global recorded history, human prosperity has climbed directly in harmony with human numbers.
                Economist Julian L. Simon demonstrated this convincingly in his great book: The Ultimate Resource 2.

                The mechanisms are, briefly: more people = specialisation = greater productivity = better farming & manufacturing = more people = bigger markets = more entrepreneurs, inventors, scientists, distributors, etc, etc etc. I’m sure you get the picture.

                Julian Simon took money off arch-doomster Paul Ehrlich & his Nazi sidekick John Holdren in a bet on resource depletion, 1980 to 1990.
                The Ultimate Resource is human ingenuity.

                This is a joyous book, holding out a great future for us humans, so long as we can escape the present paradigm where too many people still believe the false doom-filled scenarios of the 1%s pushed down our throats by their fake news MSM.

                Bill Gates: his polio vaccines left a trail of 47,500 polio victims behind him in corpse like condition:
                http://www.yournewswire.com/bill-gates-polio-vaccine-program-causes-47500-deaths/

                The man is a monster.

                John Doran.

                • George Cornell says

                  I have looked at your yournewswire link. It is simply not worth replying to. What makes people like you believe this stuff? You obviously want to. They are not his vaccines. The Gates Foundation programs have been administered by world leaders in science and medicine. He is simply the funder, and a very essential one at that.

                  So you deny there is a population problem? Do deny climate change too? The curvature of the earth?

              • Robbobbobin says

                I’ll upvote Bill when he turns a very significant part of his remaining philanthropic resources to recompensing the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of individual and small business owners, unincorpoated individuals, system administrators and other, similar, hapless and unwilling victims of his deeply corrupt business model (he’s really had only one that reappears in multiple uniformly predatory chameleon-like guises) and his grossly negligent technological habits, whose health, happiness, wellbeing, quality of life, family relationships and even life itself have been degraded, damaged and destroyed in the very acquisition of those resources.

                I have just learned that you have spent a life inside the Ivory Tower. So Come On Down and help lick his copious shit off its outside walls as your own personal contribution, why not?

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          • John says

            No problem just go on YouTube and search for Corbett report bill gates and watch some videos

            • George cornell says

              Why would I do that? I have been directly involved in these issues for years.

          • RealPeter says

            The problem is that he made his money and created the first worldwide digital monopoly by ruthlessly exterminating competitors, in the great robber baron tradition (cf. Carnegie et al.)

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            • George Cornell says

              Are you sure his competitors would have done any good with the money they might have made?

            • George Cornell says

              He created a monopoly because his products were better. You had all the freedom to buy his competitors products. Did you?

        • Mulga Mumblebrain says

          Gates uses his ‘philanthropy’ in Africa to pursue the Real Evil Empire’s ambition, such as imposing GE crops and the associated poisons on Africans. He’s a parasite, AND a hypocrite, but what can you expect from his type?

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          • George cornell says

            I am sad for you and your type Mulga. Life must have been very cruel to you.

            • Max P. says

              Bill Gates investments in Exxon Mobil says all you need to know about his ‘philanthropy.’ George you take bootlicking and prostration to new lows.

                • George cornell says

                  So you immediately descend into abusive and gratuitous ad hominem speculation, with just a soupçon of anti-semitism? A debater you are not.

              • George cornell says

                Ok, which rich people do you admire? And before you answer, consider that in my 45 years as a senior academic at one of the UKs ancient universities I might have learned something about disease, about philanthropy and about human nature.

              • George Cornell says

                All I need to know, you say. There is obviously a lot more you need to know. I suspect I know a lot more than you about his philanthropy, which you dismiss because he has invested in Exxon? Really? Too bad some of the posters here cannot be subjected to the kind of scrutiny Gates has been. I suppose you have no pension fund. Nor an employer who holds shares?

                I liked your article anyway.

                • Max P. says

                  I don’t understand how you reconcile the first solid comment you made with your defense of Gates, who could virtually end world poverty with the stroke of a pen. Clearly his efforts to appear selfless while obscenely wealthy have worked on some people. Thanks for reading though.

                  • George Cornell says

                    Very simple Max. I have had involvement with the Foundation and their goals and conduct are squeaky clean. I say that as a lifelong skeptic. And that comes from having spent many decades serving on boards of funding agencies. Sure there are human foibles, like everywhere but it is profoundly depressing to read the comments here, mostly from people with ideological rather than practical stances.

                    Attempts to appear selfless? Max that is embittered craziness, if you don’t mind me saying. I suggest you breed some familiarity with Gates, his wife, his Foundation and report back. And while you are at it have a look at the impact of the ‘robber baron’ foundations, like Carnegie, Rockefeller, Ford and have a go at measuring their impact. It has been enormous, and efficient to boot.

                    I understand how the American ethos of predation, subjugation and theft can make anyone suspicious and cynical but you are being prejudicial in the literal sense of the word.

                    Gates himself would hardly dent world poverty. Poverty is expensive. That’s why this very clever guy (who scored a perfect 800 on his SAT) turned his attention to disease in Africa. Yet the peanut gallery on this thread call me an ivory tower resident, C claim I must have shares in Monsanto etc. Because I express admiration.

                • Mulga Mumblebrain says

                  Well spotted. I don’t much admire the sycophants of our omnicidal capitalist overlords.

              • Admin says

                Guys in this thread (not just Robbobbobin) Keep the conversation reasonably polite please. A succession of one line zingers and nothing else becomes pointless, spammy and annoying.

  8. Decent piece, bit long, but…

    “The introduction of the term “fake news” into the political lexicon has been deliberate and is a desperate attempt by the establishment to maintain its grip on the flow of knowledge.”

    ‘Knowledge’ is the wrong word, ‘information’ would be better, but ‘narrative’ is most accurate.

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