All posts filed under: media watch

Google’s New Search Engine Bias is No Accident

by Jonathan Cook, October 1, 2017, via Dissident Voice Alternet has gone public with concerns about the way Google and Facebook have limited traffic to its website and, more generally, undermined access to progressive and independent media. Its traffic from web searches has dropped precipitously – by 40 per cent – since Google introduced new algorithms in the summer. Other big progressive sites have reported similar, or worse, falls. More anecdotally, and less significantly, I have noticed on both my own website and Facebook page a sharp drop in views and shares in recent weeks. Alternet is appealing for financial help, justifiably afraid that the drop in traffic will impact its revenues and threaten its future. Nonetheless, there is something deeply misguided, even dangerous, about its description of what is happening. Here is how its executive editor, Don Hazen, describes Alternet’s problems: Little did we know that Google had decided, perhaps with bad advice or wrong-headed thinking, that media like AlterNet—dedicated to fighting white supremacy, misogyny, racism, Donald Trump, and fake news—would be clobbered by Google …

The problem with modern “journalism” summed up in one story

by Kit That a protest Facebook/twitter account focusing on the mistreatment of black people by American police was actually a fake account run by Russians to make the US look bad and spread division in the West…is one hell of a claim. If you were to make it, you’d probably be expected to supply evidence to back up your accusation. That’s only reasonable. Well, CNN don’t feel the need. Two days ago they reported this story verbatim, here. Under the headline: Exclusive: Fake black activist accounts linked to Russian government Now, the headline doesn’t say HOW these accounts were linked to Russia, or indeed who linked them. But that’s OK, because neither does the body of the text. There’s not a single link, source or piece of evidence cited at all. The only basis for the claim is: two sources with knowledge of the matter told CNN That’s it. In total. They never say who these two sources are (leaving the very real possibility they don’t even exist), they never say what their supposed “knowledge …

Canadian FM Freeland Was Slated to Be George Soros’ Authorized Biographer

by John Helmer, via Russia Insider A Toronto newspaper has revealed that Canada’s leading Russia hater, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, had a deal with George Soros (lead image) to write his biography after she had lost her journalist jobs at the Financial Times and Reuters, and before she started her run for election to the Canadian parliament. On August 16 the Toronto Globe and Mail reported Soros is a “close friend” of Freeland, and that with her he has “very great hopes for Canada”. Before she decided to run for parliament, the newspaper says Freeland had a “deal” for “a sort of authorized biography of George Soros”. Soros’s spokesman in New York, Laura Silber, refused to answer repeated questions last week for clarification of the terms of this deal or the compensation Soros agreed with Freeland. Freeland’s first filing to the Canadian parliament’s ethics watchdog was registered on May 1, 2014. There is no mention of Soros, but there is “income received under a book collaboration agreement with an individual”. Freeland refused last week to identify that individual by name. …

U.S. Near Bottom in Public Trust of Newsmedia

by Eric Zuesse According to the most extensive study ever done of the public’s usages of, and trust in, the news media in their country — a study that (in late January early February) scientifically sampled thousands of people in each one of 36 different industrialized countries — the United States scored #28, which was in the bottom 22% of all 36 nations, regarding the public’s trust of the news media.  However, the average American had a 53% level of trust in the news-sources he or she is relying on.  The country with the highest level of trust in the news media generally was Finland, where 61% of the population trust the nation’s news media.  Two countries were tied for the last place in trusting the media among the 36 nations surveyed, both scoring a 23% level of trust: Greece, and Korea.  All of the countries that scored below the U.S. (in order increasingly less-trusting than America, down to the very bottom) were: The Czech Republic, Hungary, Taiwan, France, Malaysia, Slovakia, and then, Greece and …

Terror in Myanmar as US faces off against China

by Sean Stinson China’s Belt and Road Initiative portends a monumental transformation of the global economic order; one which poses an existential threat to the Pax Americana which has existed since the end of the Cold War. Understanding this context is critical to making sense of the current hysteria gushing from the NGO-Industrial complex and being fuelled by Western liberal punditry. As I’ve argued previously, decisions taken by the Trump administration since January indicate a shift in US foreign policy. No longer concerned with waging petty wars on behalf of the Israel lobby and the billionaire class, attention has been focused acutely on Asia, and in particular China. Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon was quite forthright about this in his August 16 interview with American Prospect magazine in which he stated unequivocally “To me, the economic war with China is everything. We have to be maniacally focused on that. If we continue to lose it, we’re five years away, I think, 10 years at the most, of hitting an inflection point from which we’ll never …

Amazon Censor Bad Reviews of Hillary Clinton’s New Book

Hillary Clinton’s book “What Happened”, a memoir of a fairly disastrous and ridiculously expensive Presidential campaign, went on sale a few days ago. Within hours it had over 1500 reviews on Amazon, many of them very, very negative. Amazon responded by deleting over 900 of them. 95% of those left are 5 star reviews. Zero Hedge have a great selection of screengrabs showing the progression. Putting aside the questions of corruption and corporate censorship, this is not new ground for Clinton’s camp, or for power structures in general. During the early stages of the Ukrainian coup in 2014, many mainstream news outlets (and especially the Guardian) responding to dissention in the comments by deleting swaths of them. That policy is the very reason this website exists. During the Presidential election the press was filled to the brim with babble, that never once touched on some important issues. American TV networks cut-off people mid-interview for saying the wrong thing. Three. Separate. Times. The media completely denied Clinton was sick, deriding it as a “conspiracy theory”, until …

The United States of Manufactured Hysteria

C.J. Hopkins in Counterpunch: Thank God for the Charlottesville Nazis! For a moment there, it was looking like we were actually going to have a few days to stop and reflect on the state of America without being subjected to some new form of manufactured mass hysteria. Seriously, just a few short weeks ago, as the corporatist ruling classes’ ridiculous attempt to convince the world that Donald Trump is some sort of Russian sleeper agent appeared to be finally fizzling out, a significant number of leftist types were beginning to wonder if maybe, just maybe, the fact that the United States government is controlled by a global corporate plutocracy that has no allegiance to any nation, or people, or to anything other than itself, and that is in the process of demonizing and potentially deposing an elected president … that maybe that might be something to focus on, not exclusively, by any means, but alongside other vital issues, like defending the rights of transgender drone pilots and purging syllabi of oppressive pronouns. Fortunately, thanks to the Nazis …

Terror Incognita: ‘Demistifying’ the Fog of War

by Sean Stinson, August 28, 2017 “The Muslim terrorist apparatus was created by US intelligence as a political weapon” – National security adviser to the Carter administration, Zbigniew Brzezinski “The truth is, there is no Islamic army or terrorist group called Al-Qaeda, and any informed intelligence officer knows this. But, there is a propaganda campaign to make the public believe in the presence of an intensified entity representing the ‘devil’ only in order to drive TV watchers to accept a unified international leadership for a war against terrorism. The country behind this propaganda is the United States.” – Former British Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” – H.L. Mencken Corporate propaganda is flying so thick and fast lately it’s dizzying just keeping up with it. For regular readers of the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Guardian, Vladimir Putin is the new Fuhrer of American …

The West Just Might Be Giving Up On Syrian Regime Change At Last

In the Syrian city of Deir Ezzor, sieged by ISIS, residents watch a speech by president Assad projected on a wall. Caitlin Johnstone in Medium: The Guardian has published a new article titled “Victory for Assad looks increasingly likely as world loses interest in Syria”, which is just as significant for what it says as for who is saying it. The Guardian has long been one of the most virulent promulgators of establishment lies about the Syrian government, giving extensive coverage to the transparent Bana Alabed psy-op, the western-instituted propaganda outlet known as the White Helmets, as well as advancing establishment narratives about Aleppo and Assad and many other blatant falsehoods. And indeed the article itself does a good job of retaining that vintage Guardian propaganda feel, portraying the failure to unseat Bashar al-Assad as something unfortunate and talking about poor refugees who are afraid to return home now that regime change is looking unlikely. But it also describes how the US, UK, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey and other nations have been coming to terms with …

Why is the media promoting Antifa?

by Gabriel Black, for WSWS Over the past week, the anarchist affiliation Antifa (“Anti-fascist”) has received widespread and favorable coverage in the establishment media. On August 18, the New York Times, the main newspaper voice for the Democratic Party, published a major front-page feature article, “Antifa Grows as Left-Wing Faction Set to, Literally, Fight the Far Right.” The piece, written by Thomas Fuller, Alan Feuer, and Serge F. Kovaleski, showcased the views of the movement with interviews of its members. The article presents Antifa as a serious force for fighting fascism, all but inviting readers to sign up. “Unlike most of the counterdemonstrators in Charlottesville and elsewhere,” the Times reports, “members of Antifa have shown no qualms about using their fists, sticks or canisters of pepper spray to meet an array of right-wing antagonists whom they call a fascist threat to American democracy.” The newspaper interviewed several members of the affiliation, who, the Timesstates, believe “the ascendant new right in the country requires a physical response.” The quotes are all presented favorably, including one from a self-identified member of …

Charlottesville 2

by Paul Craig Roberts, August 16, 2017 What the liberal/progressive/left is trying to do with Charlottesville is to associate Trump supporters with White Supremacists and in this way demonize Trump supporters so that they will not have a voice when Trump is overthrown in a coup. Or it can be put in a different way: Charlottesville is being used by someone to discredit Trump and the people who elected him in order to pave the way for a coup, and the liberal/progressive/left is enabling the plot. Upon reflection, I think that for most of the liberal/progressive/left the denunciations and one-sided interpretation of Charlottesville are just the ingrained knee-jerk reaction of people brought up in Identity Politics.  In Identity Politics, everyone is a White Hat except racist, sexist, homophobic, gun-nut white males. The only tolerable white males are those who accept this characterization of themselves. All others are “white supremacists” or “nazis.” From what I read on progressive websites, those imbued with Identity Politics are letting the emotionalism of the politics run away with them. My …

The Battle of Charlottesville?

by Jon Jeter, August 14, 2017 Mothafuckas just gonna have to be mad at me, I don’t give a fuck. This right here be some bullshit. Is Trump a neo-fascist?  By any critical measure, indeed he is. But for the life of me, I cannot come up with a single definition of fascism that would NOT also include Obama.  I suppose that if we stick to Cobb’s narrow prescriptions of “Nazism” it’s true that we have never before seen a feebler response as Trump’s inaction this weekend, sort of like it’s true that Michael Jordan and John Paxson once combined to score 71 points in a single game. But for those of us who are NOT sophists and understand Nazism as Germany’s particular expression of fascism, we recognize that there is a seamless continuity between Bush, Clinton, Baby Bush, Obama and the White House’s current occupant. Was Obama’s failure to prosecute a single police officer for the murders of black and brown people that occurred on his watch some kind of testament to liberal democracy? …

Reuters Suggests But Can Not Find “Iran’s new route to Yemen”

by Bernhard at  Moon of Alabama, August 1, 2017 The Trump administration is filled with people who, for whatever reason, hate Iran. These people are attempting to break the “nuclear deal” with Iran and other powers. Their propaganda accuses Iran of every “evil” in this world. Their position is fully in line with the Israeli-Saudi anti-Iran axis. Since the U.S., the UK and the Saudis wage war against Yemen they claim that Iran is allied with the Zaydi people of northern Yemen who, together with the Yemeni army, resist the Saudi invasion. Iran is regularly accused of smuggling weapons to them even as no evidence for this has ever been shown. Reuters jumps into the breach with this fantastic fake-news item: Exclusive: Iran Revolutionary Guards find new route to arm Yemen rebels: LONDON (Reuters) – Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have started using a new route across the Gulf to funnel covert arms shipments to their Houthi allies in Yemen’s civil war, sources familiar with the matter have told Reuters. … For the last six months the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has begun using waters …

Venezuela Regime Change Project Revealed

by David William Pear When the U.S.A. wanted a regime change it used to be done in secret by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), especially when that country had a democratically elected government such as Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954), Chile (1973), Nicaragua (1980’s), Haiti (2006), Honduras (2009), Ukraine (2014) and Syria, where the bloody project is still raging, the body count mounting, and millions of refugees are homeless. In the last few decades the U.S. has grown bolder in its regime change projects. What used to be done secretly is now unabashedly done in plain sight. The 2017 Venezuela regime change project has gone public. Most of the U.S. public cannot see the forest for the trees of propaganda that has the public confused about what is behind the chaos in Venezuela today. Mostly what is behind it is U.S. funding millions of dollars to the political parties of the oligarchs. Without that money the opposition political parties would be more divided than they already are and weaker. The mainstream media spreads the propaganda that President …

The New York Times Pushes Propaganda War Against Russia

by “Publius Tacitus”, via Sic Semper Tyrannis, August 1, 2017 There is no longer any doubt that the New York Times is nothing more than a willing cog in the establishment war machine and is happy to serve as a propaganda platform. While there are times that newspapers and electronic media outlets are unwitting dupes for propaganda, the article penned by Michael Gordon and Eric Schmitt (published on 31 July 2017) is the work of willing puppets masquerading as journalists: Russia’s Military Drills Near NATO Border Raise Fears of Aggression This screed starts with this piece of artful dishonesty: Russia is preparing to send as many as 100,000 troops to the eastern edge of NATO territory at the end of the summer, one of the biggest steps yet in the military buildup undertaken by President Vladimir V. Putin and an exercise in intimidation that recalls the most ominous days of the Cold War. Since when is it an act of “aggression” for a country–Russia in this case–to conduct military exercises in its own territory? Gordon and Schmitt also conveniently omit the …

The Guardian’s propaganda on Venezuela: all you need to know

With the Constituent Assembly elections due to take place on July 30th, the Guardian published a piece titled “Venezuela elections: all you need to know”. But instead of breaking through the fog of falsehood and misinformation that is typical of the mainstream media’s coverage of Venezuela, the Guardian comes up with another propaganda piece laden with lies, distortions and omissions. In this article we go through the Guardian’s piece, clarifying the falsehoods, adding the conveniently omitted information and questioning the whole narrative that is presented.

Mass Arrests of Protesters: Outrageous in Russia, Barely Worth Mentioning in US

by Adam Johnson, July 13, 2017, FAIR Major media’s relative lack of interest in the mass arrests by Metro DC police on Inauguration Day is a fact noted by activists and journalists since the incident almost six months ago. One way to measure the dearth of coverage is to compare the attention paid to comparable protester arrests in Russia last month. On June 12, over 1,700 Russians throughout the country were arrested for “unauthorized protests” in opposition to President Vladimir Putin and government corruption. “Dozens”—including opposition leader Alexei Navalny—were kept in jail longer than a day, but the vast majority were let go immediately. (Navalny, as well as some others, got between 15–30 days in jail.) More than 200 Americans were arrested on January 20 after “rioting” broke out in downtown Washington, DC, in the hours leading up to and after President Donald Trump’s inauguration. Some were let go over the next few weeks, but the bulk of the 200+ still face 10–80 years in federal prison for “felony rioting.” It’s important to note at least two major differences …

CNN Hires Top al-Qaeda Propagandist for Documentary

by Jay Syrmopoulos, July 12, 2017, Free Thought Project Bilal Abdul Kareem, of On the Ground News, was contracted by CNN to film a documentary called Undercover in Syria.  Kareem is a self-proclaimed media activist living in rebel-held Syria and is considered “one of the top English-language propagandists for al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate Jabat al-Nusra,” according to an Alternet expose on Abdul Kareem and his connections to terrorism and CNN. On June 16 Abdul Kareem went public with his intimate connection to CNN, and its documentary “Undercover in Syria”.  He relayed his frustration with the network, having essentially whitewashed him out of his credit for a documentary he had a large hand in creating for CNN, which won a prestigious Peabody Award. Abdul Kareem explained how CNN contracted him and his online news outlet, On the Ground News, to film the award-winning documentary. “This was with CNN and their correspondent Clarissa Ward, which I have big-time respect for, big-time respect as a journalist, as a person,” Abdul Kareem said. “This Undercover in Syria, you can Google it — it won the prestigious Peabody Award, and …

Hungary: Paradise for liberals

by István Lovas Do you wonder what you are going to read in the mainstream press on Hungary tomorrow? I will tell you. The same as yesterday, and the same as in the past almost seven years since Hungary’s right-of-center Fidesz government, led by the Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, was elected. You will learn that Mr. Orbán is a populist, an autocratic ruler, a menace to Europe, and a politician not hesitating to use anti-Semitic language in order to win over voters of the far-right Jobbik, and cover up uncomfortable truths about whatever is on the agenda in Hungary on that day. He, of course, has muzzled the media, made the court system a handmaiden of the ruling elite, abolished checks and balances, while he is suffocating the voice of dissenters, creates inordinate fear, chases away half of the country beyond Hungary’s borders, and the rest of the stuff. Lately, Hungary has been called the safe haven of the European ultra-right. At the time when Hungary’s authorities have arrested and expelled two such figures, such …