All posts filed under: media watch

Khashoggi: a danse macabre & the New RealityTM

Catte Black The Khashoggi incident continues to roll out in screaming headlines. The “confession” that the journalist died in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul is the latest twist, an indicator of the struggle to control narrative. The manufactured crisis is being used not solely to demonise NATO’s erstwhile best buds, the house of Saud, but also to further isolate and discredit Trump in nice time for the November elections. Trump is currently being bashed by the Dems for doing what they and everyone else was doing a few weeks ago – viz cozying up to the mass-murderers and selling them weapons. With shameless opportunism the same people who ignored the slaughter in Yemen as recently as a week ago are now appalled by it. Aware that the speed of the change might make them look like the sold-out moral blanks they actually are, Jonathan Freedland and Max Fisher (amongst others) are inventing vomit-inducing excuses for why they just hadn’t got round to noticing the dead children until the deep state told them to care. They …

CNN: “Twitter has suspended accounts” that “appear” to smear Khashoggi

Further indication of the alleged murder of Khashoggi being a narrative issued from high levels in the power structure is rolling out all the time. But this is a significant little pointer: Twitter has suspended accounts that appeared to be setting out to smear missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi https://t.co/WaWv8GmkUA — CNN (@CNN) October 19, 2018 The Khashoggi murder narrative, true or false, is being protected and promoted aggressively by the mainstream media. I don’t think this is simply because the press are mad about the attack on “one of their own” or because the scandal is just too big to ignore. In fact I think these frequently-repeated claims are based on a fundamental and dangerous misapprehension about the relationship between the media and its masters and how narratives are currently produced. Whatever happens with the Khashoggi story we need to keep talking about these misapprehensions because they fatally undermine people’s ability to grasp the reality of our current situation. I guess I’ll be returning to it in the future. In the meantime, I note several …

Thank you, Saudi Arabia

by Vladimir Golstein Thank you, Saudi Arabia for exposing the utter hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy of British and American gangsta press and equally gangsta establishment. You’ve been at it for a very long time. And it seems that finally you’ve got it right. When you chopped the heads of your own dissidents or women raped by your spoiled brats, the western media and its politicians said they respect your traditions. When you treated your own women like shit, forcing them to be dressed as Halloween ghosts during the hottest days of summer, the west said that it is our moral duty to accept diverse cultures. When you decimated civilians in Yemen, the west looked another way and sold you more arms to decimate more people in Yemen. When you sponsored all kinds of violent thugs all over Balkans, Middle East, Europe and Africa, and encouraged them to take over giant patches of land, the west looked the other way, as long as the oil was flowing. Finally, some of your sexually repressed thugs flew the …

Jamal Khashoggi: or why you don’t trust the MSM even if they say what you want to hear

The alleged murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is a mass media rollout, every bit as sparsely verified and every bit as questionable as the official Skripal narrative, but this fact is being overlooked due to the cognitive dissonance involved in who is being blamed.

Chemical weapons in Syria? BBC Panorama relies on questionable evidence

A joint investigation by BBC Panorama and BBC Arabic claimed to show how chemical weapons have been used by the Syrian Government as part of a deliberate military strategy. Yet there are serious concerns over the investigation’s reliance on ‘broadly impartial’ sources — who are not named — and consequently the reliability of the report’s findings.

The NYT Whitewashes Haley

The decampment of Nikki Haley from Trump’s military regime is, or ought to be, a nonstory. The United States’ ambassador to the United Nations is a ceremonial position that serves no purpose. The very idea of it is absurd. The US is a law unto itself, readily violating the UN Charter whenever the latter’s principles get in the way of the former’s imperial agenda. Washington didn’t bother obtaining a Security Council resolution for its invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq; nor did it get one for its bombing of, and deployment of troops in, Syria; nor did it get one for its protracted bombardment of Yugoslavia; nor did it get one for its various military operations in Yemen.

Bellingcat outed by the Independent

Philip Roddis The West’s war on Syria, and rapidly heating cold war on Russia, have involved extensive use of smear. Of unsubstantiated or even disproved allegations repeated in our not-so free mediauntil even those who rightly or wrongly – usually wrongly – deem themselves critical thinkers assume, no-smoke-without-fire  fashion, there must be truth to them. This conclusion is seldom drawn by the conscious mind. That’s not how propaganda works: witness on the one hand that near universal belief that ‘adverts don’t sway me in the slightest’;  on the other those misguided capitalists who, oblivious to our immunity to it, continue to throw vast sums at that propaganda form we call commercial advertising. Putin – my, how we feted his predecessor, the drunken Yeltsin, as he oversaw Russia’s descent to basket case status while Wall Street drooled over the spoils! – and Assad feature hardly less frequently on our screens and front pages than do ads for new cars and sofas. The stakes are higher, though[1], which explains two aspects of their demonisation not shared by commercials. One is …

Scrutinising the media: Fake news, censorship, and war

This coming event couldn’t be more relevant right now or closer to our own primary area of concern, and as an added bonus Piers Robinson, one of our much-esteemed contributing authors, will be speaking there – so go along if you can. Visit the website HERE Sun 4 November 2018 13:00 – 17:00 GMT This event will engage the public in discussion and debate about journalistic objectivity in traditional and social media. The aim is to raise public awareness of the techniques used by the media in order to condition public opinion, particularly with respect to war, so that citizens might make better informed judgments about the news they consume. The event will be centred on the topical concept of ‘fake news’ and will explore how that concept is being used to legitimise censorship. Attention will be drawn to the online censorship campaign currently being waged by Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Wikipedia. The media’s role in legitimising US/UK military intervention in Syria will be explored, as will attempts by mainstream news sources to close down …

Bias – The New Impartiality

You know what happens when you split equal time between the flat-Earth and round-Earth arguments? The flat-Earther loses. Because an impartial viewing of the evidence proves them wrong. Propaganda is fragile. A false consensus has fault lines. Lies can be torn down by the gentlest of winds. The truth always wins a fair fight.

In the land of fake news is the spin master king?

One MI6 shill selling the work of another just sums up the level of factual journalism at the Guardian. Tutisicecream Not only was Pippa Crerar one of the Guardian’s deputy editors called out for her pious tweet from the Labour conference writing: “Corbyn criticises some parts of British media, claiming they “smear the powerless, not take on the powerful”. As a journalist, makes me very uncomfortable to hear him leading attack on our free press. Dangerous, Trumpian territory.” Corbyn criticises some parts of British media, claiming they “smear the powerless, not take on the powerful”. As a journalist, makes me very uncomfortable to hear him leading attack on our free press. Dangerous, Trumpian territory. — Pippa Crerar (@PippaCrerar) 26 September 2018 The comment got her loads of flack from the general twittering public for her attempted smear, but then today we get another implausible piece of spin from Luke Harding. The hubris at the Guardian is palpable. The reason I am writing connecting these two points is to demonstrate just how bad the standards of …

“Why I read Counterpunch less often than I used to”

Steve Church Patrick Cockburn’s recent article is one example of why I read CounterPunch less often than I used to. Or, at the least, why I have become more critical of their editorial stance. With this article, I have the impression I’m reading a Bernie Sanders speech, of being Judas-goated into the camp of what I consider a kind of useless caviar Left. While maybe not as bad as The Guardian (I prefer OffGuardian), there are too many weasel words, phrases, and statements that reek of Establishment consensus. That if you’re going to refer to the head-chopping proxies, armed and funded by the US and its good buddies, Saudi Arabia, the UK, and other assorted vassals, as “rebels” rather than the paid lieutenants of the criminal gang in DC, London, Riyadh or Paris, you’re basically saying it’s okay to murder at arm’s length, to somehow plausibly deny any real, true, strong connection to the crime or the perpetrators. Plausible Deniability being spook-speak for basically lying, when timidly asked, about any crime they’ve just committed. Here’s …

Small Blue Bird Scares Centrist Hack

Ducksoap Guardian columnist Rafael Behr is fearful. He is frightened by little blue birds pecking at the media bubble. He is absolutely terrified of the success of twitter as a tool used to organise political action and to share political analysis, views and information. He expressed his fears in Twitter poison. Phrases of doom Behr decided to write in a cod emotional style that oozed despair and exasperation.  Behr’s fear needed to be displayed with childlike horror. Like a vicar delivering a sermon who noticed a few eyes closing and heads nodding, Behr had to keep interrupting his aimless concocted narrative with phrases of doom to maintain the interest of his congregation.  All phrases of doom below were taken directly from his blog with no concern about any phrase being taken out of context because there was no context. “super-accelerated online frenzy“ “sparks ignite partisan wildfires that rage intensely“ “they scorch a little more of the earth“ “24/7 production line of grievance and indignation“ “twitter’s dark gravity“ “quasi-robotic frenzy“ “conformity to tribal ethics“ “ideological vigilantism“ “swarms …

“Chepiga” and “Boshirov” – what does Bellingcat actually tell us?

The alleged “citizen journalist” website, Bellingcat has, of course, recently published the results of its latest piece of alleged research on the “real identity” of one of the men accused (so far without any evidence) of attempting to poison Sergey Skripal and his daughter back in March 2018.

We’ve talked about Bellingcat, and its supposed founder, Eliot Higgins, before on OffG. Bellingcat’s work has been revealed on countless occasions to be both incredibly amateurish and incredibly biased toward a certain extreme neocon/neoliberal agenda. Whether Higgins himself knows it or not, his outfit is almost certainly a front run by various intel agencies for the purpose of disseminating low grade, and often fake or corrupted, data that the agencies and associated governments do not want to be associated with directly.

How an American Anthropologist Tied to US Regime-Change Proxies Became the MSM’s Man in Nicaragua

by Max Blumenthal, September 26, 2018, via MintPress The Guardian, The Washington Post, the BBC and NPR have assigned an American anthropologist with no previous journalistic experience to cover the crisis in Nicaragua. The novice reporter, named Carl David Goette-Luciak, has published pieces littered with falsehoods that reinforce the opposition’s narrative promoting regime change while relying almost entirely on anti-Sandinista sources. An investigation for MintPress reveals that Goette-Luciak has forged intimate ties to the opposition, and has essentially functioned as its publicist under journalistic cover. Having claimed to work in the past as an anthropologist and “human rights defender,” Goette-Luciak operated side-by-side with activists from a U.S.-backed opposition party known as the Sandinista Renovation Movement, or MRS. As we will see in this investigation, U.S. government-funded organizations have supplied the MRS with millions of dollars worth of election assistance, and continue to fund its activists by funding their NGO’s and social media training. Goette-Luciak now lists himself as “director of investigations” for an obscure outlet called Radio Ciudadana that was founded a month before the …

NYT Admits “no evidence” of Russian Collusion.

The headline says it all really – it’s not exaggeration or spin on our part. For months, years even, we’ve been told that Trump is “the Siberian candidate”, or “Putin’s puppet” and “Russia’s Weapon”. The evidence was never supplied, but those who questioned the claim were mocked, derided and ignored. None of that matters now…because today, in the New York Times, these words were published: …no public evidence has emerged showing that his campaign conspired with Russia in the election interference or accepted Russian money.” For proof, and just in case they take it down, here’s the screen cap they took over at Moon of Alabama: Right there in black-and-white. There are other words, of course, thousands of them, a quarter of a novel. All designed to blow smoke over this para and give the opposite impression without actually lying. But none of the others matter: these 20 words prove Russiagate is fake, and that the NYT knows it and just hopes its readers don’t catch on. That para is basically a full on admission …

No, the UN did NOT report China has “Massive Internment Camps” for Uighur Muslims

by Ben Norton and Arjit Singh, via Grayzone Project,  August 23, 2018 Media outlets from Reuters to The Intercept falsely claimed the UN had condemned China for holding a million Uighurs in camps. The claim is based on unsourced allegations by two independent commission members, US-funded outfits and a shadowy opposition group. Numerous major media outlets, from Reuters to The Intercept, have claimed that the United Nations has reports that the Chinese government is holding as many as 1 million Uighur Muslims in “internment camps.” But a close examination of these news stories, and of the evidence behind them — or the lack thereof — demonstrates that the extraordinary claim is simply not true. A spokesperson from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) confirmed in a statement to the Grayzone that the allegation of Chinese “camps” was not made by the United Nations, but rather by a member of an independent committee that does not speak for the UN as a whole. That member happened to be the only American …

The BBC and transgender children

by Sarah Cooksley, via Liverpool Resisters, August 16, 2018 Over the past few years, many parents have begun to take note that the BBC is becoming ever more blatant with publicising and encouraging the transgender ideology amongst children. Where has this come from, and why? In January 2012, the BBC funded a Trans Camp, directed by All About Trans. There was considerable input from the CEO of Mermaids, Susie Green. In 2013, All About Trans met with the BBC Editorial Policy Department.  These meetings were described as “interactions” and the result has been several programmes specifically geared towards young people. All About Trans has several aims as a professional media organisation, but the first and foremost is to increase the public’s awareness of the existence of trans children. A year after these “interactions”, CBBC produced a TV series entitled “My Life: I am Leo”. Leo, aged 13, “always knew I was really a boy” because girls wear dresses and have long hair, whereas boys wear different things and have short hair. CBBC is a BBC …

When Social Networks Care About National Security

Harry Bentham Controversies surrounding online fake news, having alarmed political activists in Britain and the US, are prompting social media companies to be more active in combating the alleged threat. For many people in opposition to the policies of US President Donald Trump and Britain’s exit from the EU, the internet is to blame for the situation because it illicitly influenced voters. As a result, increased policing of social networks to root out foreign spies and domestic dissidents seems necessary to them. One of the latest examples is Twitter’s permanent suspension of American conspiracy theorist entertainer Alex Jones. The responsibility to police the social networks seems to have largely been placed, by pushy and concerned politicians, on the management of tech companies themselves. British MPs and US senators did this by summoning them to hearings and campaigning openly against the internet’s permissiveness on political content, making demands they should shut down dissident and foreign outlets because they have gone too far. Although the most vocal of them are not actually in the incumbent government and …

Amazon Censorship of 9/11 Unmasked?

Edward Curtin On September 10, 2018, I published a laudatory review of the new book, 9/11 Unmasked: An International Review Panel Investigation by David Ray Griffin and Elizabeth Woodworth.  It is the definitive book on the defining event of the 21st century.  The book concludes that the official version(s) of the attacks of 11 September 2001 are false.  The review was subsequently reposted at many publications. There was great reader response and interest in the book, which was due for official release the next day, 11 September.  My review provided a link to the book’s Amazon page that noted the 11 September availability date. By the next day readers were responding in great number that the Amazon site was reporting the book was “out of print,” when in fact it had just been published.  This “out of print” notification lasted until the evening of 13 September when it was changed to “in stock on September 30, 2018.” By the following morning it was changed to “in stock on September 21, 2018,” only to be changed …

Livingstone on antisemitism

Philip Roddis Back in April 2016, at the time of the suspension from the British Labour Party of Naz Shah and Ken Livingstone, I wrote: Thinking people can go into a tailspin of despair when confronted with the stark truth they’ve overestimated the power of reason. Yesterday self righteousness, pack instinct, unthinking emotionalism, malice and rank opportunism swept reason aside in the Labour Party. I took the matter seriously, but not seriously enough. At the time the brouhaha seemed just one more attack – of a piece with those on bombing Syria, shooting terrorists for Laura, losing Scotland for Labour, Virgin Traingate (did you spot the anachronism there?) and lamentable dress sense – on what Jonathan Cook recently and with characteristic cogencycalled “an old school socialist Labour Leader, whose programme threatens to loosen the 40-year stranglehold of neoliberalism on British society”. In short I was complacent. I failed to foresee that the antics of John Mann – who under Labour rules should have had the whip withdrawn, while finding himself on the losing end of a slander writ – would prove an opening shot …