All posts filed under: media watch

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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 …

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This week the issue is not Trump. It is ourselves.

by John Pilger On the day President Trump is inaugurated, thousands of writers in the United States will express their indignation. “In order for us to heal and move forward…”, say Writers Resist, “we wish to bypass direct political discourse, in favour of an inspired focus on the future, and how we, as writers, can be a unifying force for the protection of democracy.” And: “We urge local organizers and speakers to avoid using the names of politicians or adopting ‘anti’ language as the focus for their Writers Resist event. It’s important to ensure that nonprofit organizations, which are prohibited from political campaigning, will feel confident participating in and sponsoring these events.” Thus, real protest is to be avoided, for it is not tax exempt. Compare such drivel with the declarations of the Congress of American Writers, held at Carnegie Hall, New York, in 1935, and again two years later. They were electric events, with writers discussing how they could confront ominous events in Abyssinia, China and Spain. Telegrams from Thomas Mann, C Day Lewis, …

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CIA, FBI and NSA produce joint report, jointly prove nothing

by Ricardo Vaz, originally published at Invesig’Action The recent hysteria surrounding Russia’s alleged interference with the November presidential elections saw another episode after an intelligence report, jointly elaborated by the CIA, FBI and NSA, was released on Friday, January 6th. After weeks of bombshell headlines based on statements from anonymous intelligence officials, western media finally had an official intelligence report to support their bombshell headlines. Unsurprisingly, all headlines look very similar, with the Guardian even changing the title of their main story after realising it was not menacing enough. The problem is that, much like the old stories, the new ones do not contain any evidence to support the claims, because the report itself does not have anything in that regard. The report says that the “evidence” remains highly classified. These outlets are just being fed the same (non-)information in a new package, and reporting it as “remarkably blunt” (WaPo) and “damning and surprisingly detailed” (NYT) does not change the fact that there are no facts to back this thesis that there was a campaign …

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RT jubilant after US Intel report gives it tons of free publicity

 Russia Insider reports: So who is really working for the Kremlin here? Last Friday the US Intel Community published a report on Russia’s alleged (and unsubstantiated) interference in US elections and gave RT more free advertising than it could ever buy itself. Almost one third of the 25-page report talks about RT. Its TV hosts feature as prominently as alleged Russian hackers and spooks. And RT could not be happier about it, in fact they’re running victory laps. Its report on the CIA hatchet job proudly highlighted RT was a prime target with the headline “RT stars in ODNI report on ‘Russian activities and intentions’ in U.S. presidential election”. Its follow up rebuttal of the report took things to its logical conclusions and openly thanked the US Intel Community ending with the words: “Oh, and thanks for the free advertising, ODNI! Be sure to check out more of our coverage on the RT America YouTube page.” Question. How much would @RT_com have to pay for the kind of free advertising today's hopelessly crap CIA report is giving …

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Obama’s Sanctions against Moscow “Intended to Box In Donald Trump”: Evidence that Hacking of DNC Accusations are Fake

by Prof. Michael Chossudovsky at Global Research, Dec. 30 2016 President Obama in the course of his last few weeks in the White House has ordered several retaliatory actions against Russia, on the grounds that Moscow was in involved in the hacking of the Democratic Party National Committee (DNC) with a view to influencing the outcome of the US presidential elections in favor of Donald Trump. The sweeping measures taken by Obama on December 29 consist in imposing sanctions on Russia’s intelligence services as well as requiring the departure of 35 Russian diplomats “suspected of being spies” from the US as well the shut down of two Russian compounds in Maryland and New York. According to NBC, the December 29 sanctions on Russia constitute “an assertive act by President Obama to punish Russia before he leaves office.” The unspoken truth, however, is that the punishment was intended for Trump. Whereas the sanctions were directed against Russia, the ultimate intent was to undermine the legitimacy of president-elect Donald Trump and his foreign policy stance in relation to Moscow.  According …

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Greenwald: Guardian engaged in ‘journalistic fraud’ in Assange interview rewrite

Photo Oli Scarff/Getty Images RT reports: Journalist Glenn Greenwald has accused his former employer, The Guardian, of falsifying the words of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in a report about the interview he gave to La Repubblica. Assange spoke to the Italian newspaper’s correspondent Stefania Maurizi last week when she visited him in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. The interview was in English and a transcript of it is available on La Repubblica’s website. The Guardian’s report on the interview was published Saturday and contains two false statements about what Assange told the Italian newspaper, Greenwald says in a damning piece on The Intercept. The headline said Assange “gives guarded praise” to Donald Trump, while inside the article itself The Guardian cited the WikiLeaks founder as claiming that “there was no need for WikiLeaks to undertake a whistleblowing role in Russia because of the open and competitive debate.” Neither statement accurately represented what Assange actually said in the interview, Greenwald says. His comment on Trump said that the US president-elect was no “DC insider” and was bringing in …

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Journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates’ love letter to Barack Obama

by Niles Niemuth and David Walsh, via WSWS Ta-Nehisi Coates, national correspondent for the Atlantic, recently wrote a lengthy piece for that publication, “My President Was Black.” It is a love letter to Barack Obama. Coates is the author of Between the World and Me, which gained him the 2015 National Book Award for Nonfiction. Last year he received a “genius” grant, worth $625,000, from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. “My President Was Black” is a piece that takes sycophancy and prostration before authority to extraordinary new heights. The Atlantic—for many years the Atlantic Monthly—was founded in Boston in 1857 as a journal of cultural commentary. It was initially an organ of leading New England literary circles (James Russell Lowell, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Harriet Beecher Stowe, etc.), which at the time had some substance to them, including opposition to slavery. Presumably, even in its present state, the publication views itself as a commentator on and critic of the American cultural and political scene. But the Atlantic’s “national correspondent” openly expresses admiration and …

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British Govt-Funded Outlet Offered Journalist $17,000 a Month to Produce Propaganda for Syrian Rebels

by Rania Khalek, via AlterNet Emails reveal that a popular source for mainstream Western media is a U.K.-backed propaganda outlet. The Revolutionary Forces of Syria (RFS) media office, a major Syrian opposition media outfit and frequent source of information for Western media, is funded by the British government and is managed by Westerners operating out of Turkey, according to emails provided to AlterNet by a Middle East reporter RFS tried to recruit. The outlet stirred controversy this November when it released a video at the height of the Mannequin Challenge, a pop culture craze in which people compete for how long they can freeze in place on video.  The RFS video depicted a staged rescue by the White Helmets, the Western-funded rescue group that operates exclusively in rebel-held territory.  RFS quickly removed the video and issued an apology out of apparent concern that the staged rescue could raise questions about the authenticity of other videos by the White Helmets. Over the summer, the Middle East reporter, who asked not to be named, was contacted by an American acquaintance …

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The CIA’s Absence of Conviction

by Craig Murray I have watched incredulous as the CIA’s blatant lie has grown and grown as a media story – blatant because the CIA has made no attempt whatsoever to substantiate it. There is no Russian involvement in the leaks of emails showing Clinton’s corruption. Yes this rubbish has been the lead today in the Washington Post in the US and the Guardian here, and was the lead item on the BBC main news. I suspect it is leading the American broadcasts also. A little simple logic demolishes the CIA’s claims. The CIA claim they “know the individuals” involved. Yet under Obama the USA has been absolutely ruthless in its persecution of whistleblowers, and its pursuit of foreign hackers through extradition. We are supposed to believe that in the most vital instance imaginable, an attempt by a foreign power to destabilise a US election, even though the CIA knows who the individuals are, nobody is going to be arrested or extradited, or (if in Russia) made subject to yet more banking and other restrictions …

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A Tale of Two Aleppos

by Bill Purkayastha Going on CNN and other free and truth-telling Western media, you discover a horrifying Aleppo apocalypse, where the evil tyrant Assad is massacring untold thousands of civilians, with the help of even more evil Russian air strikes, which invariably hit hospitals, schools, and bakeries. You discover a city where people would rather die than give themselves up to the tender mercies of this regime, with its torture camps and jails, and where a tiny handful of brave rebels and White Helmets stand between them and annihilation. Going on the Russian paid fake news sites, like for example 21st Century Wire, The Duran, Al Masdar News or Moon of Alabama, strangely enough, you discover a different Aleppo altogether – one in which the “White Helmets” are fake propaganda, the rebels are actually headhunting jihadi terrorists who have been holding tens of thousands of civilians hostage, and where the legitimate government of Syria is liberating them with Russian military aid. You find an Aleppo where the people are grateful to the government forces for …

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Washington Post reporter spreads blacklist of independent journalist sites

by Pam Martens and Russ Martens, December 1, 2016, via Wall Street on Parade Craig Timberg, a Washington Post reporter with an interesting history (which we’ll get to shortly), doubled down last night with a new article suggesting that Congressional legislation may be coming to further crack down on independent journalists not properly adhering to the dogma of Washington.    Craig Timberg (right) of the Washington Post Interviews Google’s Eric Schmidt at the Koch Brothers’ Financed Cato Institute. Timberg has become the deserving piñata of writers like Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone, Ben Norton and Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept, Max Blumenthal of AlterNet, Robert Parry at Common Dreams and numerous other writers at alternative media. Timberg and the Washington Post, which is owned by the billionaire CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, are being stridently called out as McCarthyites for an article published on Thanksgiving Day that cited unnamed “experts” at a shadowy group called PropOrNot to smear 200 alternative media sites as tools of Russia. The blacklist included some of the most informed and …

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Spectator editor to RT: “We are in danger of being the boy who cried ‘Propaganda!’”

Screencap from the interview of The Spectator’s deputy editor, Freddie Gray, to RT […] Western mainstream media’s ‘McCarthian’ witch hunt for Russia’s influence on the media shuns objectivity in favor of hysteria – a dangerous reductionism that dumbs down the debate on information warfare, argues Spectator deputy editor Freddy Gray. There has recently been a proliferation of the ‘fake news’ narratives in the Western media, which shows no signs of dying down. The gist of these stories is essentially that false news stories have been planted by a foreign actor in order to influence the political affairs of another, and the consequent accusations asserting that the 2016 US presidential election was swayed in favor of Donald Trump by such alleged manipulation of the news by Russia has thrust the issue into the spotlight. A Washington Post article recently accused 200 US news sites of being “routine peddlers” of Russian propaganda. New Yorker magazine subsequently released an article entitled ‘The Propaganda about Russian Propaganda,’ which slammed the report as a total mess.Gray examines what this means for …

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U.S. ‘News’ Media & Intel Agencies Blame Moscow for Trump’s Election

by Eric Zuesse On November 30th, Buzzfeed bannered “Intel Officials Believe Russia Spreads Fake News”. Their ‘reporter’ (that is, stenographer of U.S. government propaganda) opened: US intelligence officials believe Russia helped disseminate fake and propagandized news as part of a broader effort to influence and undermine the presidential election, two US intelligence sources told BuzzFeed News. ‘They’re doing this continuously, that’s a known fact,’ one US intelligence official said, requesting anonymity to discuss the sensitive national security issue. ‘This is beyond propaganda, that’s my understanding,’ the second US intelligence official said. The official said they believed those efforts likely included the dissemination of completely fake news stories… One intelligence official said, ‘In the context, did Russia attempt to influence the US elections; the aperture is as wide as it can possibly be.’” Then, there was this: One of the intelligence officials who spoke to BuzzFeed News said the lack of clarity had proven to be a challenge in combating the propaganda efforts. ‘The real unanswered question is, why did they do it?’ the second US …

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Bait & Switch – Fake News, propornot, the Real Inform & Influence Operation

by GH Eliason A few days before the 2016 election I contacted several publishers and told them they were on a list to be dealt with/ taken down after what was supposed to be a Clinton victory. This effort was against news sites and websites that spoke or wrote against current US policies that Clinton supported. As I was writing this Glen Greenwald’s great article came out specifically about propornot. That plays a small part in this. Journalists that said or wrote anything damaging to the Clinton campaign or supported her opponents in any way were targeted. News sites and journalists that failed to criticize Vladimir Putin, or worse; they were sympathetic of this or that Russian or Syria policy at any time are on the lists. The implication isn’t that Hillary Clinton had anything to do with this. She didn’t, at least not directly. We’re going to take a clear look at this, who is behind it, and why. The political stakes and stakeholders go far beyond the presidency. It was about setting the …

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Rolling Stone: WaPo ‘fake news/Russian propaganda’ story is shameful and disgusting

  Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone: Last week, a technology reporter for the Washington Post named Craig Timberg ran an incredible story. It has no analog that I can think of in modern times. Headlined “Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, experts say,” the piece promotes the work of a shadowy group that smears some 200 alternative news outlets as either knowing or unwitting agents of a foreign power, including popular sites like Truthdig and Naked Capitalism. The thrust of Timberg’s astonishingly lazy report is that a Russian intelligence operation of some kind was behind the publication of a “hurricane” of false news reports during the election season, in particular stories harmful to Hillary Clinton. The piece referenced those 200 websites as “routine peddlers of Russian propaganda.” The piece relied on what it claimed were “two teams of independent researchers,” but the citing of a report by the longtime anticommunist Foreign Policy Research Institute was really window dressing. The meat of the story relied on a report by unnamed analysts from a …

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Media Silent as Lame-Duck House Passes Resolution for Syrian No-Fly Zone — Provoking War with Russia

by Justin Gardner, via Free Thought Project Hillary Clinton’s loss was a shock to the purveyors of U.S. military hegemony, who saw in her an easier path to keep the Syria conflict going. Secretary of State Clinton was instrumental in the early days of Syria intervention, in 2010 making a series of demands for Syria to get in line behind the U.S. vision for the Middle East. When Bashar al-Assad refused to roll over, regime change became the talking point of Washington think tanks and mainstream media echo chambers. Clinton promised during her campaign to ramp up action in Syria, to the delight of the same neocons who brought the Iraq invasion. She acknowledged that many civilians would die if the U.S. set up a no-fly zone. Establishment of a no-fly zone is the next crucial step toward full-scale war. It would mean Syrian planes could not fly in their own airspace and would bring the disturbing prospect of U.S. planes shooting down Russian planes — which are operating there on invitation from Syria to help …

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The West Ignores Terrorist Crimes in Aleppo

by Anna Jaunger Speaking at a UN Security Council session held to discuss the humanitarian situation in Aleppo, Syria’s permanent representative to the UN Bashar Al-Jaafari said that no one in the world is more committed than the Syrian government to protect the Syrians’ lives which suffer from the terrorism of armed organizations. He added, that terrorist attacks on civilians in Aleppo thrice coincided with the announcement of humanitarian pauses which were aimed at civilian’s lives saving. However, the West stubbornly ignores the significant efforts made by the Syrian authorities to rescue civilians including the introduction of humanitarian pauses, organization of humanitarian corridors, and delivery of humanitarian assistance. In addition, Al-Jaafari pointed out that all who commit crimes should be declared terrorists, no matter which group they belong to. Anyone who raises a weapon against civilians can’t belong to the “moderate” opposition. A striking example of the relevance of his words is a rocket attack on a primary school in Aleppo in the Al-Furqan on Sunday, November 20. It resulted in death of ten people, …

just some of the innumerable books claiming to tell “the truth” about JFK’s life and death

JFK & history as fiction

by Catte Our revolution has made me feel the full force of the axiom that history is fiction and I am convinced that chance and intrigue have produced more heroes than genius and virtueMaximilien Robespierre, 1792 Fifty-three years ago on November 22, President John F Kennedy was shot to death in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas. Sixteen years after the fact the House Select Committee on Assassinations found a “probable conspiracy” to have been behind his death, though it was also careful to exonerate all the popular candidates for the source of such a conspiracy. It’s an interesting reflection on the nature of consensus reality that, even with this official endorsement of the dreaded “c” word, still the mere idea that more than one person fired shots that day, or that Lee Harvey Oswald did not act entirely alone, is media cryptonite. It’s as if even acknowledging the bare possibility that Oswald may have had help, in any form, even if it was just some buddy from the Book Depository holding the spare bullets, is something …

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The 60 Minutes Interview George Soros Tried To Bury

Long lost footage of George Soros appearing on 60 Minutes in 1998. GS has allegedly gone to some lengths to suppress this interview, and it’s not hard to see why. He does not come off well. Sit back and enjoy the media-vaunted “philanthropist” inadvertently reveal his textbook psychopathy to an incredulous interviewer (who does his best to cover for him). Listen to George tell us it’s all about making money and the social consequences of his actions just don’t bother him. Watch George admit he feels no shame for selling out his fellow Jews to the Nazis and pocketing their gold. Marvel at his blank incomprehension when asked if he is tortured by guilt for what he did. Guilt? Moi? Nah, he says, with what may pass for a smile to those familiar with his facial expressions, it’s just like business really – if George wasn’t doing it someone else would be. Still think George is funding Avaaz and all those other NGOs because he just cares so much about humanity to the depths of …