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ewmayer 2017-05-02 01:05

Establishment Media Witch
 
Seems like its high time to start a thread covering the biggest spreaders of pernicious propaganda and fake news bar none, our beloved Establishment Media, also often referred to as the MSM (mainstream media) and for the print-based ones, as various "papers of record".

o [url=https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/29/world/asia/marines-return-to-helmand-province-for-a-job-they-thought-was-done.html]Marines Return to Helmand Province for a Job They Thought Was Done[/url] | NYT — The greatest part of this headline is that it could have been written 15 years ago and still be true. Brought to you by the paper that has arguably done more than any other in service of the Permanent Global War Project.

o [url]http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/04/dumb-and-vile-independent-falls-for-prank-smears-journalists.html#more[/url]

kladner 2017-05-02 03:26

Hearst: "You give me the pictures and I'll give you the war."
 
You are right. People close to me seem to have bought in. I am discouraged at how complete the subscription to propaganda has become.

Don't confuse us with facts. Wars, properly presented and edited, keep eyes on the screen.
[URL]https://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=132&topic_id=1981748&mesg_id=1982285[/URL]
[QUOTE]The parallels are endless. We were hoodwinked into this by a lucky lingering fire in a coal bunker on the Maine that heated up a bulkhead next to a magazine. Why else was the ship was raised and towed to deep water many years later?[/QUOTE]
Slightly different version-
[URL]http://www.iancfriedman.com/?p=29[/URL]
[QUOTE]Whatever its true cause, Hearst determined that the sinking of the Maine was the result of Spanish treachery and his paper vigorously published stories that helped create and foster the American sentiment reflected in the popular phrase, “Remember the Maine, to Hell with Spain!” Within three months, the United States was at war with Spain in what became known as the Spanish-American War. Though it was only one of the factors–and an often overemphasized factor–that led the U.S. into war with Spain, the effect of Hearst’s newspaper on shaping American support for war was enormously significant. It also signified the growing influence of mass media, which had never before proven to be as immediate and far-reaching.[/QUOTE]

kladner 2017-05-02 04:02

Intel Vets Voice Doubts on Syrian Crisis
 
This is just another example of what I was writing, and quoting about, above.
[URL]https://consortiumnews.com/2017/04/26/intel-vets-voice-doubts-on-syrian-crisis/[/URL]
[QUOTE]Two dozen former U.S. intelligence professionals are urging the American people to demand clear evidence that the Syrian government was behind the April 4 chemical incident before President Trump dives deeper into another war.

AN OPEN MEMORANDUM FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE
From: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
Subject: Mattis ‘No Doubt’ Stance on Alleged Syrian CW Smacks of Politicized Intelligence
Donald Trump’s new Secretary of Defense, retired Marine General James “Mad Dog” Mattis, during a recent trip to Israel, commented on the issue of Syria’s retention and use of chemical weapons in violation of its obligations to dispose of the totality of its declared chemical weapons capability in accordance with the provisions of both the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions.
[/QUOTE][QUOTE]The danger of this rush toward an intelligence decision by Director Pompeo and National Security Advisor McMaster is that once the President and his top national security advisors have endorsed an intelligence-based conclusion, and authorized military action based upon that conclusion, it becomes virtually impossible for that conclusion to change. Intelligence assessments from that point forward will embrace facts that sustain this conclusion, and reject those that don’t; it is the definition of politicized intelligence, even if those involved disagree.
A similar “no doubt” moment had occurred nearly 15 years ago when, in August 2002, Vice President Cheney delivered a speech before the Veterans of Foreign Wars. “There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction,” Cheney declared. “There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies and against us.” The message Cheney was sending to the Intelligence Community was clear: Saddam Hussein had WMD; there was no need to answer that question anymore.[/QUOTE]

Dr Sardonicus 2017-05-02 13:42

[QUOTE=ewmayer;458076]Seems like its high time to start a thread covering the biggest spreaders of pernicious propaganda and fake news bar none, our beloved Establishment Media, also often referred to as the MSM (mainstream media) and for the print-based ones, as various "papers of record".[/QUOTE]

As to the determination that the [I]Maine[/I] was sunk by a coal fire, an article in Smithsonian entitled [URL=http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/remember-the-maine-56071873/]Remember The Maine[/URL] says this was the result of an official US Navy investigation: [QUOTE]In 1976, Adm. Hyman Rickover of the U.S. Navy mounted yet another investigation into the cause of the Maine disaster. His team of experts found that the ship's demise was self-inflicted--likely the result of a coal bunker fire.[/QUOTE]

Another oft-told tale of the march toward war with Spain is the following, repeated here by a 1947 article in [URL=http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,854840,00.html]TIME magazine[/URL]:
[QUOTE]When Hearst Artist Frederic Remington, cabled from Cuba in 1897 that "there will be no war," William Randolph Hearst cabled back: "You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war."[/QUOTE]

However, according to a plethora of sites, such as [URL=https://mediamythalert.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/the-anniversary-of-a-media-myth-ill-furnish-the-war/]this one[/URL], this incident almost certainly never happened.

A post by [B]ewmayer[/B] to [B]Your Next Supreme Commander[/B] about the recent alleged CW attack in Syria [URL=http://www.mersenneforum.org/showthread.php?t=20560&page=41]here[/URL] (#447 to the thread) included the following quotation: [QUOTE]"A pair of veteran leaders on the left, former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean and Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden, called on Hawaiians to vote Rep. Tulsi Gabbard out of office after the Democrat questioned whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was responsible for last week’s chemical attack."[/QUOTE]

This brought to mind something I'd heard about a war in the Nineteenth Century. A description from Smithsonian Magazine may be found in an article entitled [URL=http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/why-mexico-loved-lincoln-180962258/]Why Abraham Lincoln Was Revered in Mexico[/URL]:[QUOTE]Early on in Lincoln’s political career, as a freshman Whig congressman from Illinois, he condemned the 1846 U.S. invasion of Mexico, bucking the prevailing patriotic tide and accusing President James K. Polk of promoting a falsehood to justify war. After a skirmish of troops in an area of what is now south Texas, but was then disputed territory, Polk declared that "American blood has been shed on American soil” and that therefore “a state of war” existed with Mexico. “Show me the spot where American blood was shed,” Lincoln famously challenged, introducing the first of eight “Spot resolutions” questioning the constitutionality of the war. Lincoln’s stand [URL=https://www.nps.gov/liho/learn/historyculture/congressman.htm]proved unpopular with his constitutents[/URL]—he became known as “Spotty Lincoln”—and he did not seek re-election.[/QUOTE]

Note: the mipsplepping "constitutents" is as it appears in the article; I copy-pasted the quotation.

There is sometimes a tendency to discount present-day criticisms of past actions, as judging yesterday by today's standards. However, according to many references, such as [URL=http://www.aotc.net/Grant.htm]The Grant gang anti-home page[/URL], Ulysses Grant, who was there at the time, saw the war as unjust.
[QUOTE]During the Mexican War (1846-48) he was quartermaster for his regiment. However, he did see some action, although how much is debated. At the battles of Molino del Rey under Zachary Taylor and Chapultepec under Winfield Scott, he earned brevet commissions as first lieutenant and captain, although his permanent rank was first lieutenant. Grant wrote years later: "I do not think there was ever a more wicked war....I thought so at the time...only I had not moral courage enough to resign."[/QUOTE]

ewmayer 2017-05-04 00:12

[url=https://consortiumnews.com/2017/05/02/nyt-cheers-the-rise-of-censorship-algorithms/]NYT Cheers the Rise of Censorship Algorithms[/url] Robert Parry, Consortiumnews
[quote]...the Times gives no thought to the potential downside of having a select group of mainstream journalistic entities feeding their judgment about what is true and what is not into some algorithms that would then scrub the Internet of contrary items.

Since the Times is a member of the Google-funded First Draft Coalition – along with other mainstream outlets such as The Washington Post and the pro-NATO propaganda site Bellingcat – this idea of eliminating information that counters what the group asserts is true may seem quite appealing to the Times and the other insiders. After all, it might seem cool to have some high-tech tool that silences your critics automatically?

But you don’t need a huge amount of imagination to see how this combination of mainstream groupthink and artificial intelligence could create an Orwellian future in which only one side of a story gets told and the other side simply disappears from view.

As much as the Times, the Post, Bellingcat and the others see themselves as the fount of all wisdom, the reality is that they have all made significant journalistic errors, sometimes contributing to horrific international crises.[/quote]
IMO Parry is being far too kind with 'errors' in the last sentence. "Mistakes were made!", dontchaknow.

ewmayer 2017-06-14 07:22

[url=www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/06/lee-camp-write-propaganda-ny-times-demonstrated-article.html]Lee Camp: How to Write Propaganda for the NY Times - As Demonstrated in an Article About Me[/url] | naked capitalism

Oh, and one of the comments to the above reminded me of this great eye-opening piece from last fall, before I started this thread:

[url=www.unz.com/article/an-obituary-of-the-new-york-times/]An Obituary of The New York Times[/url] | Johannes Wahlström, Unz Review

ewmayer 2017-06-19 03:59

[url=https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/how-you-can-be-absolutely-certain-that-mainstream-media-lies-about-everything-a5eec69a9264]How You Can Be Absolutely Certain That Mainstream Media Lies About Everything[/url] | Caitlin Johnstone, Medium

storm5510 2017-06-28 05:27

I decided to put some batteries in an old AM/FM radio I have here to see if it still worked. I turned it on and I heard Rush Limbaugh. He spent the better part of an hour blistering CNN.

If one is to believe what they hear, it seems the powers-that-be at CNN insist that Russia stay front-and-center. If one of their journalists drifts off-topic for more than a day, they get told very plainly to drop whatever they are working on, like a hot rock, and get back on Russia.

Of course, all of this is about supposed election tampering, interference, or whatever you want to call it. Apparently, some suggest this all began way before the election last November.

All this begs the question, did this tampering really take place, or is CNN on a vengeance quest about the outcome of the election last November?

:confused2:

kladner 2017-06-28 06:18

1 Attachment(s)
[QUOTE=ewmayer;461522][URL="https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/how-you-can-be-absolutely-certain-that-mainstream-media-lies-about-everything-a5eec69a9264"]How You Can Be Absolutely Certain That Mainstream Media Lies About Everything[/URL] | Caitlin Johnstone, Medium[/QUOTE]
[URL]https://counterpropa.com/7-jaw-dropping-revelations-hearings-motion-dismiss-dnc-fraud-lawsuit/[/URL]
Link from the article, which describes a Class Action suit against the DNC and DW-S. A Reagan-appointed Judge is presiding. DNC lawyer argues that the Primary WAS run fairly and evenhandedly, but that the Party IS NOT REQUIRED to conduct a fair Primary. The suit involves allegations of fraud with regard to the solicitation of funds and the distribution of funds. The Judge seems very skeptical of the Defense's circular arguments, and delivers the stunning remark that "Democracy demands the truth so people can make intelligent decisions."

ewmayer 2017-06-29 23:28

[QUOTE=storm5510;462241]I decided to put some batteries in an old AM/FM radio I have here to see if it still worked. I turned it on and I heard Rush Limbaugh. He spent the better part of an hour blistering CNN.

If one is to believe what they hear, it seems the powers-that-be at CNN insist that Russia stay front-and-center. If one of their journalists drifts off-topic for more than a day, they get told very plainly to drop whatever they are working on, like a hot rock, and get back on Russia.

Of course, all of this is about supposed election tampering, interference, or whatever you want to call it. Apparently, some suggest this all began way before the election last November.

All this begs the question, did this tampering really take place, or is CNN on a vengeance quest about the outcome of the election last November?

:confused2:[/QUOTE]

Perhaps this will help unconfuse you:

[url=https://theintercept.com/2017/06/27/cnn-journalists-resign-latest-example-of-media-recklessness-on-the-russia-threat/]CNN Journalists Resign: Latest Example of Media Recklessness on the Russia Threat[/url] | Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept
[quote]Several factors compound CNN’s embarrassment here. To begin with, CNN’s story was first debunked by an article in Sputnik News, which explained that the investment fund documented several “factual inaccuracies” in the report (including that the fund is not even part of the Russian bank, Vnesheconombank, that is under investigation), and by Breitbart, which cited numerous other factual inaccuracies.

And this episode follows an embarrassing correction CNN was forced to issue earlier this month when several of its highest-profile on-air personalities asserted — based on anonymous sources — that James Comey, in his congressional testimony, was going to deny Trump’s claim that the FBI director assured him he was not the target of any investigation.

When Comey confirmed Trump’s story, CNN was forced to correct its story. “An earlier version of this story said that Comey would dispute Trump’s interpretation of their conversations. But based on his prepared remarks, Comey outlines three conversations with the president in which he told Trump he was not personally under investigation,” said the network.

But CNN is hardly alone when it comes to embarrassing retractions regarding Russia. Over and over, major U.S. media outlets have published claims about the Russia Threat that turned out to be completely false — always in the direction of exaggerating the threat and/or inventing incriminating links between Moscow and the Trump circle. In virtually all cases, those stories involved evidence-free assertions from anonymous sources that these media outlets uncritically treated as fact, only for it to be revealed that they were entirely false.[/quote]

kladner 2017-06-30 03:20

[QUOTE][U]What is most[/U] notable about these episodes is that they all go in the same direction: hyping and exaggerating the threat posed by the Kremlin. All media outlets will make mistakes; that is to be expected. But when all of the “mistakes” are devoted to the same rhetorical theme, and when they all end up advancing the same narrative goal, it seems clear that they are not the byproduct of mere garden-variety journalistic mistakes[/QUOTE].
Any major media outlet, especially the news, is one of the Mouths of Sauron[B]**[/B], as far as I am concerned. I am terrified by the sort of Morgul Spells that are being cast. If you know what I mean. It seems to be a concerted rush to war, aided and abetted by the Ministry of Truth, in all its various manifestations. :help:
**Visible mouthpieces for hidden power.
As long as this post is still edible, I'll throw in what I landed on at Consortiumnews.org
[URL]https://consortiumnews.com/2017/06/29/nyt-finally-retracts-russia-gate-canard/[/URL]
[B]Exclusive:[/B] A founding Russia-gate myth is that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies agreed that Russia hacked into and distributed Democratic emails, a falsehood that The New York Times has belatedly retracted, reports Robert Parry.

[QUOTE]The New York Times has finally admitted that one of the favorite Russia-gate canards – that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies concurred on the assessment of Russian hacking of Democratic emails – is false.

On Thursday, the Times appended [URL="https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/06/25/us/politics/trumps-deflections-and-denials-on-russia-frustrate-even-his-allies.html"]a correction to a June 25 article[/URL] that had repeated the false claim, which has been used by Democrats and the mainstream media for months to brush aside any doubts about the foundation of the Russia-gate scandal and portray President Trump as delusional for doubting what all 17 intelligence agencies supposedly knew to be true.

In the Times’ White House Memo of June 25, correspondent Maggie Haberman mocked Trump for “still refus[ing] to acknowledge a basic fact agreed upon by 17 American intelligence agencies that he now oversees: Russia orchestrated the attacks, and did it to help get him elected.”

However, on Thursday, the Times – while leaving most of Haberman’s ridicule of Trump in place – noted in a correction that the relevant intelligence “assessment was made by four intelligence agencies — the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency. The assessment was not approved by all 17 organizations in the American intelligence community.”
[/QUOTE]

CRGreathouse 2017-06-30 17:24

[QUOTE=kladner;462427]A founding Russia-gate myth is that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies agreed that Russia hacked into and distributed Democratic emails[/QUOTE]

I had never heard this, and it seems like a very strange claim. It seems out of scope for almost all of the IC: how would the GIA or NRO confirm this, and why would they agree? Would they have pointed a satellite at a hacker? Similarly, on the surface at least it has nothing to do with military intelligence and so why would MI/ONI/25 AF/MCIA be involved? Maybe colorable with the connections to the Russian military, but questionable at best. CGI is at least in Homeland Security so it has some sort of plausibility. ONSI... again, what would the connection be, exactly? Etc. etc.

So I guess someone reported an implausible story which is now being shot down, but I can't really get excited about that.

kladner 2017-06-30 20:59

[QUOTE=CRGreathouse;462468]I had never heard this, and it seems like a very strange claim. It seems out of scope for almost all of the IC: how would the GIA or NRO confirm this, and why would they agree? Would they have pointed a satellite at a hacker? Similarly, on the surface at least it has nothing to do with military intelligence and so why would MI/ONI/25 AF/MCIA be involved? Maybe colorable with the connections to the Russian military, but questionable at best. CGI is at least in Homeland Security so it has some sort of plausibility. ONSI... again, what would the connection be, exactly? Etc. etc.

So I guess someone reported an implausible story which is now being shot down, but I can't really get excited about that.[/QUOTE]
I think that the initial claim was typical political claptrap to establish an impression of Proof with those who have no concept of what Spook Country consists of. The retraction will have little or no effect on those who were ignorant enough to have bought the initial claim....like the NYT, WaPo, Slate, and a host of others.

Of course, the outlets mentioned above almost surely knew that they were, and are, spreading thick layers of BS on the more credulous of their readership.

ewmayer 2017-07-07 00:20

[url=http://fair.org/home/as-democratic-voters-shift-left-liberal-media-keep-shifting-right/]As Democratic Voters Shift Left, ‘Liberal Media’ Keep Shifting Right[/url] | FAIR
[quote]On Wednesday, MSNBC announced it had hired torture-supporting, climate-denying, anti-Arab racist Bret Stephens, a recent hire at the New York Times opinion page. Stephens—whose very first article at the Times had to be corrected due to his misunderstanding of basic climate science—will be an “on-air contributor” for both MSNBC and NBC.[/quote]

[url=https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/07/05/opinion/noam-chomsky-on-trump-and-the-state-of-the-union.html]Noam Chomsky: On Trump and the State of the Union[/url] | NYT -- I must say I'm (pleasantly) surprised to see leading establishment propaganda organ NYT actually publish this, which expresses seditious opinions like
[quote]For liberal opinion, the political crime of the century, as it is sometimes called, is Russian interference in American elections. The effects of the crime are undetectable, unlike the massive effects of interference by corporate power and private wealth, not considered a crime but the normal workings of democracy.[/quote]

only_human 2017-07-07 00:38

[QUOTE=ewmayer;462848][url=http://fair.org/home/as-democratic-voters-shift-left-liberal-media-keep-shifting-right/]As Democratic Voters Shift Left, ‘Liberal Media’ Keep Shifting Right[/url] | FAIR


[url=https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/07/05/opinion/noam-chomsky-on-trump-and-the-state-of-the-union.html]Noam Chomsky: On Trump and the State of the Union[/url] | NYT -- I must say I'm (pleasantly) surprised to see leading establishment propaganda organ NYT actually publish this, which expresses seditious opinions like[/QUOTE]
I don't see the media afraid to publish criticism. This is same Chomsky who in the past published a powerful critical opinion about Alan Greenspan and exploitation of working class insecurity.

What I think is more striking that despite some powerful action on the part of women especially no one has co-opted any of the agitated and storm-tossed major factions into a self serving direction. It is mostly unhelmed.

Naomi Klein has a new book out.

I don't think media is the problem so much as that there is no clear compass. People don't trust traditional factions and directions but neither do they trust new movements.

ewmayer 2017-07-07 22:25

[url=https://theintercept.com/2017/07/07/rachel-maddows-exclusive-scoop-about-a-fake-nsa-document-raises-several-key-questions/]Rachel Maddow’s Exclusive “Scoop” About a Fake NSA Document Raises Several Key Questions[/url] | Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept
[quote]None of this is to suggest that there is no newsworthy story here. It appears, at least if one accepts Maddow’s descriptions of the document, that someone did send her an altered document. But there is a massive difference in terms of the importance of this story if it was sent by some random person from the public who obtained the document after The Intercept published it, as opposed to someone who had access to it before publication.[/quote]
Greenwald is being far too kind - how is a pretty-face bubblehead like Maddow who works for an MSM fake-news-and-propaganda outlet like MSNBC falling for a 4Chan-style prank newsworthy, except in the sense that it reinforces why outfits like MSNBC have 0 credibility left and should be shunned by anyone interested in the truth?

ewmayer 2017-07-09 23:25

o [url=www.alternet.org/grayzone-project/bilal-abdul-kareem-al-qaeda-clarissa-ward-cnn-syria-propaganda]CNN Hired Top al-Qaeda Propagandist for Award-Winning Syria Documentary and Wants to Cover Its Tracks[/url] | Alternet
[quote]With a sardonic grin, Abdul Kareem described how he was slighted: “This [i]Undercover in Syria[/i], you can Google it — it won the prestigious Peabody Award, and it won the prestigious Overseas Press Club Award, which are basically the highest awards in journalism for international reporting. Now, [CNN] barely mentioned my name! I’m telling you, somehow CNN must have forgotten that I was the one that filmed it, I guess they forgot that.”

Indeed, Abdul Kareem’s name was a mere footnote in the Peabody Awards press release on its honoring of CNN. The organization praised Clarissa Ward for “[going] undercover into northern Syria to document Russian influence on the fighting and to navigate the ongoing devastation,” but credited Abdul Kareem only in small print, despite the fact that he was responsible for providing CNN with its on-the-ground footage.

At the April 2017 ceremony where the network’s [i]Undercover in Syria[/i] won the Overseas Press Club Award, CNN president Jeff Zucker was on hand to deliver the keynote address. CNN later touted the award in a press release that celebrated the access Ward was granted to eastern Aleppo by the Islamist insurgents that had controlled it. The network noted that her work resulted in her being invited to testify before the United Nations Security Council. But CNN made no mention of Abdul Kareem’s role in the special.

Contrary to Abdul Kareem’s claim that CNN had simply “forgotten” him, the network may have had reason to airbrush him out of its public relations material. The man Ward contracted to take her into rebel-controlled territory was well established as one of the top English-language propagandists for al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra, along with other extremist groups fighting the Syrian government.[/quote]

o [url=https://consortiumnews.com/2017/07/07/hiding-us-lies-about-libyan-invasion/]Hiding US Lies About Libyan Invasion[/url] | Consortium News -- [i]Exclusive: In 2016, when a British parliamentary report demolished the excuse for the U.S. and its allies invading Libya in 2011, it should have been big news, but the U.S. mainstream media looked the other way, reports Joe Lauria.[/i]
[quote]How then could [i]The New York Times[/i] and [i]The Washington Post[/i], the most influential American newspapers, either refuse to adequately cover or not cover at all a story of such magnitude, a story that should have been front page news for days? It was a story that undermined the U.S. government’s entire rationale for an unjustified attack that devastated a sovereign nation.

There can be only one reason the story was ignored: precisely because the report exposed a U.S. policy that led to a horrible crime that had to be covered up.

[b]History Spiked[/b]

Defending U.S. policy appears to be the underlying motive of U.S. news coverage of the world. The Libya story is just one example. I’ve had personal experience of editors rejecting or changing stories because it would undermine U.S. foreign policy goals.

I twice pitched a story about a now declassified Defense Intelligence Agency document warning of the rise of a U.S.-backed Salafist principality in eastern Syria, intended to pressure Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, that could join with Iraqi extremists to become an “Islamic State,” two years before it happened. My story was twice rejected. It would have undermined the entire American narrative on the War on Terror.

On another occasion, I wrote several articles about the lead-up to a U.N. vote to grant Palestine Observer State status. In each article I mentioned that 130 countries already recognized Palestine as a state and many had diplomatic relations, including Palestinian embassies in their capitals. That essential fact in the story kept getting cut out.

Another story I wrote was spiked about the position Russia, Syria and Iran took on who was responsible for the chemical weapons attack outside Damascus in August 2013. The story also included an interview with a Congressman who demanded to see U.S. intelligence backing its accusation against Assad.[/quote]
And here a link to a [url=https://www.counterpunch.org/2015/10/20/libya-from-africas-wealthiest-democracy-under-gaddafi-to-terrorist-haven-after-us-intervention/]related 2015 story from Counterpunch[/url].

ewmayer 2017-07-21 21:38

[url=www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/07/crossing-national-public-radio-npr-off-list-health-care-coverage.html]Crossing National Public Radio (NPR) Off My List for Health Care Coverage[/url] | naked capitalism

[NB: For those unfamiliar with it, "kayfabe" is a term from pro wrasslin' - Wikipedia is your friend.]

ewmayer 2017-07-25 00:40

o [url=cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/washington-post-shoots-for-pulitzer-in-fake-news-with-reporting-on-disability]Washington Post Shoots for Pulitzer in Fake News With Reporting on Disability[/url] | Center for Economic and Policy Research

o [url=http://www.politicaloutsource.com/2017/07/wikileaks-emails-show-cnn-nbc-washingtonpost-worked-with-DNC-Clinton-influence-election.html]New WikiLeaks emails show CNN, NBC and Washington Post worked with DNC to influence election[/url]

This major-party/MSM "influencing" (which in the case of the Dem primary process was quite blatantly rigging, nothing subtle about it) provides an obvious motive behind those same outfits' relentless post-election pushing of the "Deplorable Rooskies hacked our totally free and fair and non-rigged-by-the-2-parties election" [url=https://consortiumnews.com/2017/07/24/intel-vets-challenge-russia-hack-evidence/]codswallop[/url] - our MSM, weapons of mass distraction.

kladner 2017-07-25 04:05

[QUOTE].....an obvious motive behind those same outfits' relentless post-election pushing of the "Deplorable Rooskies hacked our totally free and fair and non-rigged-by-the-2-parties election" [URL="https://consortiumnews.com/2017/07/24/intel-vets-challenge-russia-hack-evidence/"]codswallop[/URL][/QUOTE]I have read that article. I put a lot of trust in the VIPS (Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.) Their rundown of events is stunning. Somehow, "disgruntled insider at DNC leaks" just doesn't have the headline-grabbing zap that "Russians Hack Election" carries. I also noticed that VIPS thinks that there was more than one leaker. Their takedown, of the alleged "Russian fingerprints" in the code, is detailed as to the crudeness of the scam.

Unfortunately, expert testimony is ignored at best, and trashed in other cases, because it does not support the "Commonly Accepted Fact" of Russian involvement.

EDIT: The Russians have had their fingers in many "pies" over time. That does not mean that all "pies" have been thus fingered. Of course, the noble USA would NEVER interfere in another country's democratic processes. Perish the thought! (Or trash the ones who think it.)

ewmayer 2017-07-31 22:09

o Fake MSM "imminent dictatorship!" news on Latin America featuring - but by no means limited to - the execrable [i]Washington Post[/i], as detailed by an [url=http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/07/links-7312017.html#comment-2851935]NC reader[/url]:
[quote][url=http://www.telesurtv.net/english/analysis/What-Mainstream-Media-Got-Wrong-About-Venezuelas-Constituent-Assembly-Vote%2D%2D20170730-0037.html]What Mainstream Media Got Wrong About Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly Vote[/url]
[i]
Venezuelans voted Sunday for representatives of the National Constituent Assembly, amid what the government has called a targeted media campaign to destabilize the country and destroy its sovereignty.

International media outlets rushed to discredit the vote, sharing grossly misrepresentative accounts of the historic electoral process.

[WaPo] said Maduro “defiantly followed through Sunday with his pledge” to hold the election, “creating a critical new stage in a long-simmering crisis that could mint the Western Hemisphere’s newest dictatorship.”

These inflammatory comments, however, do not acknowledge that the right to call a National Constituent Assembly is included in the country’s Constitution and supported by several articles of its text. Indeed the absolute independence of the members of the Constituent Assembly to make changes to the Constitution is protected under these articles.
[/i]
So it seems constitutional democracy in action must be feared and reviled.[/quote]

o And anti-Russia propaganda being emitted by what a friend refers to as the "Plutocrat Broadcast Service":

[url=https://consortiumnews.com/2017/07/27/pbs-anti-russia-propaganda-series/]PBS’ Anti-Russia Propaganda Series[/url] | Consortium News: [i]PBS has joined the anti-Russia propaganda stampede with a five-part documentary series that recycles the false and deceptive claims that have become Official Washington’s dangerous new groupthink, reports Rick Sterling.[/i]

For more on NPR's pronounced illiberalism when it comes to laundering establishment propaganda, I suggest the interested reader do a web search for "NPR CIA talking points".

wombatman 2017-08-01 13:48

[QUOTE=ewmayer;464627]o Fake MSM "imminent dictatorship!" news on Latin America featuring - but by no means limited to - the execrable [i]Washington Post[/i], as detailed by an [url=http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/07/links-7312017.html#comment-2851935]NC reader[/url]:
[/QUOTE]

Two opposition leaders were arrested within hours of the vote. Sounds dictatorial to me.

[url]http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/08/01/540790886/venezuela-agents-arrest-opposition-leaders-in-midnight-raids[/url]

Dr Sardonicus 2017-08-02 12:54

[QUOTE=wombatman;464671]Two opposition leaders were arrested within hours of the vote. Sounds dictatorial to me.

[url]http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/08/01/540790886/venezuela-agents-arrest-opposition-leaders-in-midnight-raids[/url][/QUOTE]

Official statement from Steven "the foreclosure king" Mnuchin announcing sanctions [url=https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/sm0137.aspx]here[/url].[quote]These sanctions come a day after the Maduro government held elections for a National Constituent Assembly (Asamblea Nacional Constituyente, or ANC) that aspires illegitimately to usurp the constitutional role of the democratically elected National Assembly, rewrite the constitution, and impose an authoritarian regime on the people of Venezuela.[/quote]I would think the Trump Administration would be standing up and cheering those objectives. Perhaps they're envious because they can't use the same means to achieve them. Or perhaps they're miffed because they thought it was the CIA's job. At any rate, [i]this[/i] Administration sanctioning another for antidemocratic actions is risible.

Of course, "electing" a constituent assembly to dismiss the legislature, any other troublesome public officials, and to rewrite the constitution is an obvious power grab. The Venezuelan government is desperately trying to pad the totals to obscure the fact that most voters sat this one out.

Here in the good ol' USA, it has been shown time and again that there's no need to rewrite the Constitution in order to achieve unconstitutional objectives. Inconvenient provisions are simply ignored (e.g. the Fifteenth Amendment, for a hundred years following the Civil War, and increasingly again nowadays; the provision in the main body regarding redistricting following the census, from 1920 to 1928; rights of the accused in the Sixth Amendment many times and places; and the Fourth Amendment in modern times). Well, the Bill of Rights is just a bunch of unfunded mandates, right? Better get rid of them, and save the taxpayers some money!

ewmayer 2017-08-03 21:56

[QUOTE=wombatman;464671]Two opposition leaders were arrested within hours of the vote. Sounds dictatorial to me.

[url]http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/08/01/540790886/venezuela-agents-arrest-opposition-leaders-in-midnight-raids[/url][/QUOTE]

Granted, in my quest to call the US-led regime-change preachers out whenever their murderous tripe gets peddled by the MSM I appear to have given Mr. Maduro too much benefit of the doubt. (Also note the reports of "a million votes magically appearing" came out (or at least that's when I first heard them) after I made my post. However, Dr.S is also spot-on in his "pot, meet kettle" comment.

Let's remember that when it comes to the Art of Propaganda, what is omitted is typically as important, if not more so, that what gets 'reported'. A fine recent example of sins-of-omission occur to me -- Recall that in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis, a global civil protest movement known as Occupy Wall Street sprang up, to protest the government bailouts and legal immunization of the fraud cartels which the world's investment banks had devolved into, said banks having been the perpetrators of what is without doubt the largest banking-sector fraud in human history. Roughly as soon as OWS became large enough and widespread enough to begin to discomfit the bankers, recall that the previous US administration orchestrated a multi-city paramilitary crackdown on the movement, which was quite violently thuggish in numerous places - stun grenades lobbed into crowds of peaceful activists and skulls literally cracked. Now, I don't recall any of our esteemed MSM propaganda media at the time raising a hue and cry about 'dictatorship of Big Finance'. Do you?

More hilarity courtesy of WaPo today: [url=https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/business/batteries/congo-cobalt-mining-for-lithium-ion-battery/]The Cobalt Pipeline[/url]. NC's Lambert Strether comments: [i]Good article on “blood cobalt” in your cell phone, but this: “The worst conditions affect Congo’s ‘artisanal’ miners — a too-quaint name for the impoverished workers who mine without pneumatic drills or diesel draglines.” “Artisanal miners.” I can’t even.[/i]

So following WaPo's stylings here, slaves in the US antebellum deep south would be "artisanal cotton pickers"?

wombatman 2017-08-03 23:48

I'm not defending the MSM as perfect arbiters of the truth. They will absolutely commit sins of omission, as you've noted in your post and documented elsewhere on the forum, and the US certainly does not have a monopoly on antidemocratic actions.

I wanted to point out that the WaPo generally had it right on Maduro's attempts to move toward a Chavez-esque dictatorship. The two opposition leaders that were arrested following the vote had only recently gotten out of prison after being held on trumped-up charges, so there was plenty of evidence already present that Maduro was eyeing such a move.

Speaking of stun grenades and literally cracking heads, Maduro's forces (police, military, and secret police types) have been doing that to opposition protests for some time now. There are harrowing pictures and videos of such abuse coming out pretty much daily. There are also accusations of people being arrested, tortured, and otherwise disappeared.

Edit: And not for nothing, but I read that "artisanal" moniker as one that's sarcastic, especially in light of the detail the article delves into about the poverty, abuse, and neglect the miners face. Just my opinion, though.

kladner 2017-08-04 00:32

I have no idea whose stories remotely approach the truth. Many axes are being ground.

Dr Sardonicus 2017-08-04 13:29

[QUOTE=wombatman;464803]Speaking of stun grenades and literally cracking heads, Maduro's forces (police, military, and secret police types) have been doing that to opposition protests for some time now. There are harrowing pictures and videos of such abuse coming out pretty much daily. There are also accusations of people being arrested, tortured, and otherwise disappeared.[/QUOTE]Venezuelans have been out in the streets in droves for quite some time now. This is an excellent indicator that they've lost trust in their government. If the good people of Venezuela are willing to risk getting disappeared, tortured, shot, tear gassed, their heads broken, etc, I'd say that they're pretty fed up with their government.

The country is suffering hyperinflation. The government's solution to unemployment was to stop reporting the figures last April, when it was officially 7.3%. Now, it's thought to be more like 20% and rising. Since so many people don't have jobs and can't buy a lot of things, perhaps they're demonstrating in part because they don't have anything else to do. I mean, besides being as mad as hell about losing their jobs, and finding it difficult to get even the bare essentials. And if a medical problem arises -- well, treatment and medicines will likely not be available.

The basic problem is that policies of subsidizing basic goods, appropriating unprofitable industries, etc, depended on revenues from oil to make up the deficits. And the price of oil has been depressed for some time now. Going into the last quarter of 2014 it was over $100.00 a barrel, then it crashed to below fifty. It's around fifty now. That's been great for us in the good ol' USA -- cheap gas, for example -- but not so great for countries (like Venezuela) who depend on oil revenues to finance their governments' policies.

wombatman 2017-08-04 13:43

Yeah, it's been a shitshow for a while. I've been aware of it courtesy of a family friend who actually lives in Venezuela--his family is more well-off and were thus often the targets of first Chavez and now Maduro's actions. As far as I know, they've thus far been the victims of only economic attacks.

Dr Sardonicus 2017-08-04 13:51

[QUOTE=ewmayer;464798]So following WaPo's stylings here, slaves in the US antebellum deep south would be "artisanal cotton pickers"?[/QUOTE]
They weren't slaves at all! They were "immigrants" and "workers." In a story that was reported in the [url=https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/10/05/immigrant-workers-or-slaves-textbook-maker-backtracks-after-mothers-online-complaint/]Washington Post[/url] as well as Al-Jazeera (both articles have a [url=https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10208244157447955&set=p.10208244157447955]link[/url] to a picture of the page), [url=http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/10/6/publisher-apologizes-for-textbook-calling-slaves-workers.html]Publisher apologizes for textbook calling slaves ‘workers’[/url][quote]The caption in the ninth-grade textbook accompanies a map of the U.S. in a section about [b]immigration[/b]. It reads: “The Atlantic Slave Trade between the 1500s and 1800s brought millions of [b]workers[/b] from Africa to the southern United States to work on agricultural plantations.”
[....]
“We are deeply sorry that the caption was written this way,” McGraw-Hill Education CEO David Levin said in a letter to employees. “While the book was reviewed by many people inside and outside the company, and was made available for public review, no one raised concerns about the caption. Yet, clearly, something went wrong and we must and will do better.”[/quote]

wombatman 2017-08-13 15:02

[URL="https://apnews.com/442d43baabec4fb99c2c6c2b904960af"]https://apnews.com/442d43baabec4fb99c2c6c2b904960af[/URL]

[QUOTE]The government-backed assembly that is recasting Venezuela’s political system appears to be literally taking the place of the opposition-controlled congress.[...]
Government officials have said the assembly should strip lawmakers of their immunity from prosecution — a move intended to hold them accountable for allegedly stirring violence in four months of anti-government protests that have left more than 120 people dead and hundreds more injured or detained.[...]

Venezuela’s new constitutional assembly has passed a decree declaring itself superior to all other branches of government.

The order passed Tuesday bars the opposition-controlled National Assembly and other agencies from taking any action that would interfere with the laws passed by the pro-government super-body.[/QUOTE]

kladner 2017-08-13 22:50

[QUOTE]Now, I don't recall any of our esteemed MSM propaganda media at the time raising a hue and cry about 'dictatorship of Big Finance'. Do you?[/QUOTE]
No.
But hypocritical reporting does not justify repression on [U]any[/U] front, either here, or over yonder somewhere.

only_human 2017-08-13 23:04

More news on Venezuela, The Hill just mentioned that The Miami Herald has obtained a memo about an uncorroborated hit order on Marco Rubio. I'm bailing out of analysing this and just reporting the media data point.
[URL="http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/346417-venezuelan-leader-put-a-hit-on-marco-rubio-report"]Venezuelan leader put a hit on Marco Rubio: report[/URL]

kladner 2017-08-14 00:44

I am dismayed by the encroachment of authoritarian regimes, at home and abroad. It seemed that Chavez enjoyed great popular support, though that impression has been through many filters, one way or the other. Reflecting, now, I think that is easier to be popular in an oil country when oil is high. Still, Hugo had a thousand times the charisma of Maduro. Plus oil is languishing.

I can't help thinking that one of Latin America's curses is of hard choices between fiery revolutionaries and generationally-intrenched elite dynasties.

But then, I guess they are not alone in this dilemma, as at least us USians have a similar situation in progress.

Dr Sardonicus 2017-08-14 15:12

[QUOTE=kladner;465476]I can't help thinking that one of Latin America's curses is of hard choices between fiery revolutionaries and generationally-intrenched elite dynasties.

But then, I guess they are not alone in this dilemma, as at least us USians have a similar situation in progress.[/QUOTE]If these folks get their way, we may have more fun and games September 16!

[url=http://www.dailyprogress.com/news/state/confederate-group-seeks-september-rally-at-the-robert-e-lee/article_c08b1878-8087-11e7-92ba-cb6b4b1d0bfa.html]Confederate group seeks September rally at the Robert E. Lee monument in Richmond[/url]

When monuments to slavery are slated for removal in the South, racists gather and cry, It's part of history! It's part of history! It's part of history!

[url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJzdgZ1lOTA]So's this![/url]

ewmayer 2017-08-16 00:29

This could well be cross-posted in the MET2017 thread:

[url=https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/08/neoliberalism-booster-new-york-times-egregiously-misrepresents-french-labor-laws.html]Neoliberalism Booster New York Times Egregiously Misrepresents French Labor Laws[/url] | naked capitalism

Note the NYT author's take that 10% unemployment in France is sky-high and an indicator of how egregious the country's labor laws are is also shown to be BS when one considers how phonied-up U.S. unemployment stats have become over the past decades. As Mike Shedlock notes in his [url=https://mishtalk.com/2017/08/04/july-part-time-work-jumps-by-393000-full-time-employment-down-54000/]most-recent post on the weekly BLS employment-stats release[/url] (note that his repeated harping on 'disability fraud' in his why-people-drop-out-of-the-labor-force boilerplate is misplaced - Naked Cap. demolished that in a guest post a few months back):
[quote]The official unemployment rate is 4.3%. However, if you start counting all the people who want a job but gave up, all the people with part-time jobs that want a full-time job, all the people who dropped off the unemployment rolls because their unemployment benefits ran out, etc., you get a closer picture of what the unemployment rate is. That number is in the last row labeled U-6.

U-6 is much higher at 8.6%. Both numbers would be way higher still, were it not for millions dropping out of the labor force over the past few years.

Some of those dropping out of the labor force retired because they wanted to retire. The rest is disability fraud, forced retirement, discouraged workers, and kids moving back home because they cannot find a job.[/quote]

It is of course ironic that I should cite Mish in this post, because despite his useful analyses of US employment trends and government statistical flummery, the outrageousness and anti-competitivity of French labor laws are an article of faith with him.

Dr Sardonicus 2017-08-16 15:39

[QUOTE=Dr Sardonicus;465508]

[url=http://www.dailyprogress.com/news/state/confederate-group-seeks-september-rally-at-the-robert-e-lee/article_c08b1878-8087-11e7-92ba-cb6b4b1d0bfa.html]Confederate group seeks September rally at the Robert E. Lee monument in Richmond[/url]
[/QUOTE]
[url=http://www.richmond.com/news/local/city-of-richmond/organizer-of-proposed-sept-rally-at-lee-monument-in-richmond/article_f97dc37b-ecb9-5038-86cd-85571494abde.html]UPDATE: Organizer withdrawing request to hold Sept. 16 rally at Lee monument[/url]
[quote]Bragdon Bowling is withdrawing his request to the state to hold a Sept. 16 rally at the Robert E. Lee statue on Monument Avenue.[/quote]

[quote]"I do not want to be part of an event where people are hurt or killed," Bowling said.[/quote]I nominate the continuation of this quote for a Doublethink Award:[quote]"Our purpose is to save monuments, not be engaged in social and racial issues."[/quote]

ewmayer 2017-08-20 07:08

[url=https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/08/18/two-sides-to-every-issue-the-tedium-twins-debate-the-crucifixion-slavery-and-cannibalism/]Two Sides to Every Issue: the Tedium Twins Debate the Crucifixion, Slavery and Cannibalism[/url] | Counterpunch

Alexander Cockburn dismantles NPR's MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour.

kladner 2017-08-20 11:55

[QUOTE][I][I]The [U]Roman[/U] procurator in Jerusalem is trying to decide whether a man regarded by many as a saint should be put to death.[/I][/I][/QUOTE][I][QUOTE]They fear that new regulations being urged by reformers would undercut [U]America’s[/U] economic effectiveness abroad.[/QUOTE]
The [/I]MacNeil/Lehrer Time Travel Hour. :smile:

(Actually, an enlightening article.)

Dr Sardonicus 2017-08-20 13:31

[QUOTE=kladner;465976][I]
The [/I]MacNeil/Lehrer Time Travel Hour. :smile:

(Actually, an enlightening article.)[/QUOTE]

Time travel, for sure. For one thing, the program wasn't called "NewsHour" until [i]after[/i] the article was published...

1975 [i]The Robert MacNeil Report[/i] debuts on Thirteen/WNET New York; retitled The MacNeil-Lehrer Report later that year, and distributed nationally on PBS

August 1982 "The Tedium Twins" by Alexander Cockburn published in [b]Harper's Magazine[/b]

1983 [i]MacNeil/Lehrer Report[/i] retitled [i]The MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour[/i]. In December, Jim Lehrer suffers a major heart attack, but survives

1995 Robert MacNeil leaves the program; new title, [i]The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer[/i]

2009 Jim Lehrer leaves program; new title [i]PBS Newshour[/i]

July 2012 Alexander Cockburn dies

August 2017 [b]Harper's[/b] reprints 35-year-old article about the MacNeil-Lehrer Report

ewmayer 2017-08-20 21:04

AFAICT PBS's establishment-propagandistic 'news' model hasn't changed since the late Alexander Cockburn wrote that, but yah, shoulda mentioned the wayback-machine-ness.

kladner 2017-08-21 03:09

What's the fun off satire, if you flag it in advance? I was by no means complaining. I was quite amused by it.

It was a high point in my relations with a very self-involved, dual PHD, genetic engineering CEO, cousin; when I dropped a classic Onion article in front of him at a family gathering. "[URL="http://www.theonion.com/article/pope-forgives-molested-children-101"]Pope Forgives Molested Children[/URL]." He is actually fairly liberal, so a storm of [B]"SPUT SPUTTTING"[/B] ensued, as in "What is there to forgive?!?!"
It was just precious.

ewmayer 2017-08-30 01:21

o [url=https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2017/08/somehow-the-nyts-maggie-haberman-used-sheriff-joe.html]Somehow, the NYT’s Maggie Haberman Used Sheriff Joe Arpaio to Smear Bernie Sanders. Seriously[/url] | Paste

And on the fake-news/fact-checking-the-fact-checkers front:

o [url=https://www.vox.com/culture/2017/7/31/16025460/snopes-legal-battle-lawsuit-proper-media-mikkelson]Snopes, the internet’s foremost fact-checking website, may die in a messy legal battle[/url] | Vox

Dr Sardonicus 2017-08-30 13:55

[QUOTE=ewmayer;466634]o [url=https://www.vox.com/culture/2017/7/31/16025460/snopes-legal-battle-lawsuit-proper-media-mikkelson]Snopes, the internet’s foremost fact-checking website, may die in a messy legal battle[/url] | Vox[/QUOTE]

It seems that Proper Media got half the shares in Snopes as a result of a divorce. Quoting the above story:[quote]Snopes was founded in 1994 by a husband-and-wife team, David and Barbara Mikkelson. The Mikkelsons eventually started a parent company for the site, which they named Bardav.

The Mikkelsons divorced in 2015, and David and Barbara each received 50 percent of the company. [...] The next year, in 2016, Barbara Mikkelson sold her half of Bardav to Proper Media, dividing it among Proper Media’s five individual shareholders.[/quote]

The most recent news stories I found about the case were in the San Diego Union-Tribune dated August 4 [url=http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/business/technology/sd-fi-snopes-motions-20170804-story.html]Snopes is owed money, but question remains over how much[/url]

and August 23: [url=http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/business/technology/sd-fi-snopes-minuteorder-20170823-story.html]Snopes.com victorious in pre-trial motions[/url]

[quote]Additional hearings for the case, Proper Media LLC vs Bardav Inc, are scheduled for October.[/quote]

kladner 2017-09-09 04:23

Kid tells InfoWars reporter he’s ‘a f*cking idiot’
 
Info Wars counts as Mainstream, now. Right? :unsure:
[URL]http://deadstate.org/kid-tells-infowars-reporter-hes-a-fcking-idiot-and-wins-the-internets-heart/[/URL]
[QUOTE]Aside from [B]Alex Jones[/B], reporters for his outlet InfoWars probably have some of the most punchable faces in all of online media. Unfortunately, there’s no video of InfoWars reporters getting punched in the face, but this is the closest we can get for now.

This Wednesday, [URL="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7B0Cngn5qs"][I]The Alex Jones Channel[/I][/URL] uploaded video highlights of reporter Owen Shroyer’s “storied career,” showing a mashup of his on-the-street interviews. One portion of the video shows a young girl doing what should be done to every employee of Jones’ conspiracy-laden race-baiting fake news organization.

Shroyer approached the girl and says, “How are you, young man?”
The girl takes a moment, then looks Shroyer in the face and replies, “Um…you’re a f*cking idiot.”

Exactly.
[/QUOTE]

ewmayer 2017-10-21 00:36

o [url=fair.org/home/no-us-didnt-stand-by-indonesian-genocide-it-actively-participated/]No, NYTimes, US Didn’t ‘Stand By’ Indonesian Genocide—It Actively Participated[/url] | FAIR.org

o [url=https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-cia-torture/cia-says-mistakenly-shredded-senate-torture-report-then-did-not-idUSKBN1CM2ZT]CIA says mistakenly ‘shredded’ Senate torture report then did not[/url] | Reuters

And we are to believe that there were/are not multiple digital copies floating around, as well, not even on the sekrit-data-hoovering servers at the NSA, erm, I mean the Deplorable Rooskie intelligence services? The CIA wouldn’t lie to us, would they?

Speaking of the Deplorable Rooskies, the following story - though not with the latest fine-level details - has been making the rounds in the blogosphere for years but been getting studiously ignored by the MSM until very recently, perhaps as a consequence of FBI director Mueller's Trump-administration-Russia-ties fishing expedition having instead uncovered evidence of US-democracy-hacking by Boris and Natasha which goes back just a few years further:

o [url=thehill.com/policy/national-security/356323-bill-clinton-sought-states-permission-to-meet-with-russian-nuclear]Bill Clinton sought State’s permission to meet with Russian nuclear official during Obama uranium decision[/url] | The Hill
[quote]As he prepared to collect a $500,000 payday in Moscow in 2010, Bill Clinton sought clearance from the State Department to meet with a key board director of the Russian nuclear energy firm Rosatom — which at the time needed the Obama administration’s approval for a controversial uranium deal, government records show.

Arkady Dvorkovich, a top aide to then-Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and one of the highest-ranking government officials to serve on Rosatom’s board of supervisors, was listed on a May 14, 2010, email as one of 15 Russians the former president wanted to meet during a late June 2010 trip, the documents show.

“In the context of a possible trip to Russia at the end of June, WJC is being asked to see the business/government folks below. Would State have concerns about WJC seeing any of these folks,” Clinton Foundation foreign policy adviser Amitabh Desai wrote the State Department on May 14, 2010, using the former president’s initials and forwarding the list of names to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s team.

The email went to two of Hillary Clinton’s most senior advisers, Jake Sullivan and Cheryl Mills.

The approval question, however, sat inside State for nearly two weeks without an answer, prompting Desai to make multiple pleas for a decision.

“Dear Jake, we urgently need feedback on this. Thanks, Ami,” the former president’s aide wrote in early June.

Sullivan finally responded on June 7, 2010, asking a fellow State official “What’s the deal w this?”

The documents don’t indicate what decision the State Department finally made. But current and former aides to both Clintons told The Hill on Thursday the request to meet the various Russians came from other people, and the ex-president’s aides and State decided in the end not to hold any of the meetings with the Russians on the list.
[b]
Bill Clinton instead got together with Vladimir Putin at the Russian leader’s private homestead.
[/b]
“Requests of this type were run by the State Department as a matter of course. This was yet another one of those instances. Ultimately, President Clinton did not meet with these people,” Angel Urena, the official spokesperson for the former president, told The Hill.[/quote]
Riiiight ... they talked about the same kinds of stuff Bill and Loretta Lynch talked about in their famous "completely casual, spur-of-the-moment-kind-of thing" airpot-tarmac meeting last year, you know, how're-the-kids-oh-wait-do-you-even-have-any-kids-so-sorry-well-I-have-one-and-she's-married-to-a-Wall-Street-hedge-fund-guy-and-loves-yoga.

Unlike the 2016-election-stolen-by-Putin-who-personally-induced-Hillary-to-blow-off-campaigning-in-the-Rust-Belt hysterical inanity, this one has a wealth of actual facts supporting it, not "consensus assessment of unnamed top intelligence officials" and similar BS. So of course it's being strenuously pooh-poohed via ad hominem argumentation and outright lies, e.g.
[quote]A spokesman for Secretary Clinton said Thursday the continued focus on the Uranium One deal smacked of partisan politics aimed at benefiting Donald Trump.

“At every turn this storyline has been debunked on the merits. Its roots are with a project shepherded by Steve Bannon, which should tell you all you need to know,” said Nick Merrill. “This latest iteration is simply more of the right doing Trump’s bidding for him to distract from his own Russia problems, which are real and a grave threat to our national security.”[/quote]
Funnily, Nick, I see very little 'debunking on the merits' in The Hill piece. Perhaps you got your talking-points memos confused and were referring to your own boss's campaign of Russia scaremongering, the one designed to deflect attention from how The Most Qualified Presidential Candidate Ever™ ended up losing to the The Least Qualified Presidential Candidate Ever?

kladner 2017-10-24 16:55

[QUOTE]o [URL="http://fair.org/home/no-us-didnt-stand-by-indonesian-genocide-it-actively-participated/"]No, NYTimes, US Didn’t ‘Stand By’ Indonesian Genocide—It Actively Participated[/URL] | FAIR.org[/QUOTE]
We just returned from a ship largely staffed by Indonesian and Filipino workers in food and drink service. This story not only calls to mind the Indonesian slaughter, but highlights the ongoing atrocities in the Philippines.

Nick 2017-10-25 15:45

[QUOTE=kladner;470284]We just returned from a ship largely staffed by Indonesian and Filipino workers in food and drink service. This story not only calls to mind the Indonesian slaughter, but highlights the ongoing atrocities in the Philippines.[/QUOTE]
We have occasionally found crew members willing to drop the professional smile for a few minutes and chat openly about their own lives.

Hope you had a good holiday!

kladner 2017-10-25 20:32

[QUOTE=Nick;470332]We have occasionally found crew members willing to drop the professional smile for a few minutes and chat openly about their own lives.

Hope you had a good holiday![/QUOTE]
Thanks, Nick. I thought of you while aboard Oosterdam. I remembered your remark about riding up and down the glass elevators. I will say more in a more appropriate venue; not sure which.

ewmayer 2017-12-10 00:25

o [url=https://theintercept.com/2017/12/09/the-u-s-media-yesterday-suffered-its-most-humiliating-debacle-in-ages-now-refuses-all-transparency-over-what-happened/]The U.S. Media Yesterday Suffered its Most Humiliating Debacle in Ages: Now Refuses All Transparency Over What Happened[/url] | Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept

Someone should send each of the lying liars in the MSM [url=https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4976653/russia-vladimir-putin-calendar-2018-judo-pictures/]one of these[/url] as a year-end holiday president. The specific ebay-auction link therein shows the going price at a hefty £24.99, 50% higher than the £15.99 cited in the The Sun piece, but I found many similar items on each of ebay USA, UK and Australia simply by searching for "putin 2018 calendar" on each. Just ordered a slightly different 2018 Putin wall calendar as an amusing Xmas gift for a friend, only $8.99 including shipping from Russia to Oz. С РОЖДЕСТВОМ!

o I suggest treating Greenwald's above-linked piece as an appetizer, because it's actually a little repetitive and not one of his best - by way of a main course I recommend this gem of piece by CJ Hopkins, which brilliantly and funnily reviews the year of post-election establishment media hysteria:

[url=https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/12/08/the-year-of-the-headless-liberal-chicken/]The Year of the Headless Liberal Chicken[/url] | Counterpunch
[quote]Th[e] initial post-election propaganda was understandably somewhat awkward, as the plan had been to be able to celebrate the “Triumph of Love over the Forces of Hate,” and the demise of the latest Hitlerian bogeyman. But this was the risk the ruling classes took when they chose to go ahead and Hitlerize Trump, which they wouldn’t have done if they’d thought for a moment that he had a chance of actually winning the election. That’s the tricky thing about Hitlerizing people. You need to be able to kill them, eventually. If you don’t, when they turn out not to be Hitler, your narrative kind of falls apart, and the people you’ve fear-mongered into a frenzy of frothing, self-righteous fake-Hitler-hatred end up feeling like a bunch of dupes who’ll believe anything the government tells them. This is why, normally, you only Hitlerize foreign despots you can kill with impunity. This is Hitlerization 101 stuff, which the ruling classes ignored in this case, which the left poor liberals terrified that Trump was actually going to start building Trump-branded death camps and rounding up the Jews.

Fortunately, just in the nick of time, the ruling classes and their media mouthpieces rolled out the Russian Propaganda story. The Washington Post (whose owner’s multimillion dollar deal with the CIA, of course, has absolutely no effect on the quality of its professional journalism) led the charge with [url=https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/russian-propaganda-effort-helped-spread-fake-news-during-election-experts-say/2016/11/24/793903b6-8a40-4ca9-b712-716af66098fe_story.html]this McCarthyite smear job[/url], legitimizing the baseless allegations of some random website and a think tank staffed by charlatans like [url=https://www.truthdig.com/articles/mccarthyism-inc-hyping-russian-threat-undermine-free-speech/]this “Russia expert,”[/url] who appears not to speak a word of Russian or have any other “Russia expert” credentials, but is available both for television and Senate Intelligence Committee appearances. Numerous [url=https://www.counterpunch.org/2016/12/06/manufacturing-normality/]similar smear pieces[/url] followed. Liberals breathed a big sigh of relief … that Hitler business had been getting kind of scary. How long can you go, after all, with Hitler stumbling around the White House before somebody has to go in there and shoot him?[/quote]

kladner 2018-01-02 00:19

Russiagate Is Devolving Into an Effort to Stigmatize Dissent
 
[URL]https://www.thenation.com/article/russiagate-is-devolving-into-an-effort-to-stigmatize-dissent/[/URL]
Paging George Soros. :drama: Ooh..wait...which of those prominent pro-Russian businessmen are they referring to?

[QUOTE]According to the 14 former officials, Russia’s active-measure campaign relies “on intermediaries or ‘cut outs’ inside a country,” which are rather broadly defined as [U]“political organizers and [B]activists[/B], [B]academics[/B], [B]journalists[/B], [B]web operators[/B], shell companies, nationalists and militant groups, and [B]prominent pro-Russian businessmen.[/B]” [/U]


Such “intermediaries” can range from “the unwitting accomplice who is manipulated to act in what he believes is his best interest, to the ideological or economic ally who broadly shares Russian interests, to the knowing agent of influence who is recruited or coerced to directly advance Russian operations and objectives.”
In other words, a Russian “cut out” (or fifth columnist) [U]can be defined as those “activists, academics, journalists, [or] web operators” who dissent from the shared ideology of the 14 signatories of the amicus brief. [/U]
[/QUOTE]

ewmayer 2018-01-02 01:57

[url=https://www.alternet.org/media/nyt-trumpwashes-70-years-us-crimes]NYT Trumpwashes 70 Years of U.S. Crimes[/url] | Alternet
[quote]There’s lots of ideology to unpack here, but let’s start with the empirically false assertion that the “world” viewed the United States as a “reliable anchor of the liberal, rules-based international order.” Poll (Guardian, 6/15/06) after poll (Pew, 3/14/07) after poll (PRI, 1/3/14) throughout the years has shown that much of the world views the United States as threat to peace, often taking the top spot as the single greatest threat. What evidence Landler has for the world viewing the US as a sort of good-natured global babysitter is unclear, as he cites nothing to support this hugely important claim (since if Trump’s cynical disregard for “human rights” is nothing new, then there’s no real story here). It’s just thrown out with the assumption the Times readership is sufficiently nationalistic and/or amnesiac to either not notice or not care. It’s designed to flatter, not to elucidate.
...
The second dubious assertion is the idea that the US is “viewed” as being (or, by implication, objectively is) concerned with “liberal, rules-based international order.” Perhaps Landler missed the part where the US runs offshore penal colonies for untried political prisoners, and a decade-long drone war that’s killed thousands—both entirely outside the scope of international law. Or the time the US invaded and destroyed Iraq without any international authorization, killing hundreds of thousands. Or perhaps he missed the part where the United States refuses to sign “liberal, rules-based international order” treaties such as the International Criminal Court or the ban on bombs and or a prohibition on nuclear weapons. Or the part where [b]the US not only doesn’t recognize the International Criminal Court, but has a law on its books (dubbed “the Hague Invasion Act,” passed in 2002) that if an American is ever held by the ICC for committing war crimes, the US is obligated to literally invade the Hague and free them.[/b][/quote]

Nick 2018-01-02 10:07

Yes, at the time that law was passed in the US, I was working in the building opposite the ICC in The Hague, and my company fitted toughened glass in all the windows on that side.
I believe the US ambassador (to the Netherlands) was summoned to explain this planned invasion.

kladner 2018-01-02 22:56

NYT Writes Epic Cover For Comey's FBI - Its Sole Source: "Officials Said"
 
[URL]http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/01/nyt-writes-epic-cover-for-comeys-fbi-its-sole-source-officials-said.html#more[/URL]
I will mostly let Moon of Alabama speak for themselves. This is just another example of the rampant boondoggling and hornswoggling involved in the so-called "Russiagate" story.
[QUOTE]The Australian diplomat heard from a drunk Papadopoulos that some weird professor claimed to have heard from Russian sources that the Kremlin had dirt on Clinton. Two month later the Aussies tell their U.S. colleagues of that claim. It is fourth degree hearsay when it it reaches the FBI:[INDENT]Once the information Mr. Papadopoulos had disclosed to the Australian diplomat reached the F.B.I., the bureau opened an investigation that became one of its most closely guarded secrets.[/INDENT]Are we really to believe that the FBI opens highly political investigations based on mere drunken rumors? That sounds implausible to me.
In early July 2016 the former British agent Steele had given the first parts of his dossier to an FBI agent in Rome. ([URL="http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/12/your-trump-dossier-cheat-sheet-by-publius-tacitus.html"]Here[/URL] is a cheat sheet on the dossier and its content timeline.) The dossier at that time included an alleged wild night in the Ritz Moscow which the Kremlin could use to blackmail Trump. It also included a trip one Carter Page had made to Moscow. The FBI opened its investigation after Steele had shown his claims to an FBI agent. But the NYT claims that the Steele dossier was not what tripped the investigation. It claims that a rumor that some Aussie diplomat had picked up from a drunken Trump campaign aid was the decisive point.
On what grounds does the NYT make that implausible claim?[INDENT]A team of F.B.I. agents traveled to Europe to interview Mr. Steele in early October 2016. Mr. Steele had shown some of his findings to an F.B.I. agent in Rome three months earlier, [B]but that information was not part of the justification to start an counterintelligence inquiry, [U]American officials said[/U][/B].[/INDENT][/QUOTE]

gophne 2018-01-03 00:39

LSM
 
Good idea.

Perhaps the acronymn MSM some should be changed to LSM, Lame Steam Media, as many people have suggested.

ewmayer 2018-01-03 02:31

Invaluable inconvenient-truth-teller Robert Parry of [i]Consortium News[/i] announces that he had a stroke on Christmas Eve:

[url=https://consortiumnews.com/2017/12/31/an-apology-and-explanation/]An Apology and Explanation[/url]
[quote]The hatred of Trump and Putin was so intense that old-fashioned rules of journalism and fairness were brushed aside. On a personal note, I faced harsh criticism even from friends of many years for refusing to enlist in the anti-Trump “Resistance.” The argument was that Trump was such a unique threat to America and the world that I should join in finding any justification for his ouster. Some people saw my insistence on the same journalistic standards that I had always employed somehow a betrayal.

Other people, including senior editors across the mainstream media, began to treat the unproven Russia-gate allegations as flat fact. No skepticism was tolerated and mentioning the obvious bias among the never-Trumpers inside the FBI, Justice Department and intelligence community was decried as an attack on the integrity of the U.S. government’s institutions. Anti-Trump “progressives” were posturing as the true patriots because of their now unquestioning acceptance of the evidence-free proclamations of the U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

Hatred of Trump had become like some invasion of the body snatchers – or perhaps many of my journalistic colleagues had never believed in the principles of journalism that I had embraced throughout my adult life. To me, journalism wasn’t just a cover for political activism; it was a commitment to the American people and the world to tell important news stories as fully and fairly as I could; not to slant the “facts” to “get” some “bad” political leader or “guide” the public in some desired direction.

I actually believed that the point of journalism in a democracy was to give the voters unbiased information and the necessary context so the voters could make up their own minds and use their ballot – as imperfect as that is – to direct the politicians to take actions on behalf of the nation. The unpleasant reality that the past year has brought home to me is that a shockingly small number of people in Official Washington and the mainstream news media actually believe in real democracy or the goal of an informed electorate.

Whether they would admit it or not, they believe in a “guided democracy” in which “approved” opinions are elevated – regardless of their absence of factual basis – and “unapproved” evidence is brushed aside or disparaged regardless of its quality. Everything becomes “information warfare” – whether on Fox News, the Wall Street Journal editorial page, MSNBC, the New York Times or the Washington Post. Instead of information provided evenhandedly to the public, it is rationed out in morsels designed to elicit the desired emotional reactions and achieve a political outcome.[/quote]
One quibble with this otherwise-excellent post is that RP omits mention that the Obama-birth-certificate nonsense [url=https://www.factcheck.org/2008/11/its-official-obama-born-in-the-usa/]was first pushed by Hillary Clinton supporters[/url] during her failed 2008 presidential campaign. Also amusing is FactCheck's [url=https://www.factcheck.org/2016/05/hillary-clinton-wasnt-a-birther/]later attempts to walk back the story[/url], via what is sometimes referred to as "lawyerly parsing". Compare the wording in the two linked pieces:

FactCheck, 2008:
[quote]Of all the nutty rumors, baseless conspiracy theories and sheer disinformation that we’ve dealt with at FactCheck.org during campaign 2008, perhaps the goofiest is the claim that Barack Obama is not a “natural-born citizen” and therefore not eligible to be president under the constitution.
[b]
This claim was first advanced by diehard Hillary Clinton supporters as her campaign for the party’s nomination faded[/b], and has enjoyed a revival among John McCain’s partisans as he fell substantially behind Obama in public opinion polls.[/quote]

FactCheck, 2016:
[quote]As we wrote last year, [b]there’s no evidence that Clinton or her campaign had anything to do with bogus claims that Obama wasn’t born in the United States[/b] and thus was ineligible to be president.
...
In 2011, Politico did publish an article on the origins of “birtherism” that said that it began with Democrats, not Republicans.
[i]
Politico, April 22, 2011: The answer lies in Democratic, not Republican politics, and in the bitter, exhausting spring of 2008. At the time, the Democratic presidential primary was slipping away from Hillary Clinton and some of her most passionate supporters grasped for something, anything that would deal a final reversal to Barack Obama.
[/i]
...
But one of the authors of the Politico story, Byron Tau, now a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, told FactCheck.org via email that “we never found any links between the Clinton campaign and the rumors in 2008.”

The other coauthor of the Politico story, Ben Smith, now the editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed, previously told MSNBC during a 2013 interview that the conspiracy theories traced back to “some of [Hillary Clinton’s] passionate supporters.” But he said the theories did not come from “Clinton herself or her staff.”[/quote]
Let's say you were running a presidential campaign and wanted to smear an opponent with allegations you knew were bogus. Would you make them yourself, or perhaps arms-length farm them out to some well-placed of your "passionate supporters"? Nor is there any evidence of "the campaign" - as in the official one - attempting to quash the smear campaign by said supporters.

ewmayer 2018-01-04 03:00

1 Attachment(s)
Backstory - so me and my friend Bill in australia been mocking he whole post-election "Russians hacked our democracy and cost Queen Hillary her coronation" dangerous-stupidity being promulgated by the 'liberal' establishment and its mouthpieces in the MSM, as summarized in [url=https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/12/08/the-year-of-the-headless-liberal-chicken/]this article[/url].

So, I sent him [url=https://www.ebay.com/itm/263274452076]this calendar[/url] by way of "mock the Cold War 2.0 hysteria by proudly displaying", ordered on 13 Dec, overland shipping, apparently via horse-mounted band of Cossacks, is a bit slow, finally arrived today. He thanked me, said very amusing, but "a bit gay" - with manly-man pictures like this, I think he is misguided. :)

kladner 2018-01-11 01:25

The US ‘Betrayed’ Russia, but It Is Not ‘News That’s Fit to Print’
 
[url]https://www.thenation.com/article/the-us-betrayed-russia-but-it-is-not-news-thats-fit-to-print/[/url]
Another takedown of two of our major propaganda organs. GHW Bush, through his consigliere, James Baker, made the "not one inch eastward" promise, which Clinton promptly went about violating. However, NYT and WaPo don't report the proof, as revealed in publications by the National Security Archive at George Washington University.
[QUOTE]New evidence that Washington broke its promise not to expand NATO “one inch eastward”—a fateful decision with ongoing ramifications—has not been reported by The New York Times or other agenda-setting media outlets.[/QUOTE]
[QUOTE]Media malpractice has various elements—among them, selective use of facts, some unverified, highly questionable narratives or reporting based on those “facts,” mingled with editorial commentary passed off as “analysis,” buttressed by carefully selected “expert sources,” often anonymous, and amplified by carefully chosen opinion page contributors. Throughout is the systematic practice of excluding developments (and opinion) that do not conform to the [I]Times[/I]’ venerable motto, “All the News That’s Fit to Print.” When it comes to Russia, the [I]Times [/I]often decides politically what is fit and what is not.[/QUOTE]

ewmayer 2018-01-29 01:49

[QUOTE=ewmayer;476095]Invaluable inconvenient-truth-teller Robert Parry of [i]Consortium News[/i] announces that he had a stroke on Christmas Eve:

[url=https://consortiumnews.com/2017/12/31/an-apology-and-explanation/]An Apology and Explanation[/url][/QUOTE]

R.I.P. Robert Parry - Eulogy-article by his son, who explains that RP's Xmas-eve stroke was apparently a side effect of undiagnosed pancreatic cancer. It is a telling indictment of the devolution of U.S. (and more broadly, western-world) mainstream media over the past several decades that the few remaining follow-the-truth-wherever-it-leads investigative journalists like Parry and fellow truth-hound Sy Hersh found themselves ostracized from the MSM.

Related on the 'devolution' theme: [url=https://eand.co/why-were-underestimating-american-collapse-be04d9e55235]Why We’re Underestimating American Collapse[/url] – Eudaimonia and Co

kladner 2018-01-29 02:28

I am very sad, though not surprised, that Parry has left us.

BTW:[URL="https://consortiumnews.com/2018/01/28/robert-parrys-legacy-and-the-future-of-consortiumnews/"] Link to Parry Eulogy.[/URL]

In the parade of investigative journalists, don't leave out the last Prophet of Gonzo, [URL="http://www.gregpalast.com/"]Greg Palast.[/URL]

ewmayer 2018-02-12 22:31

o [url=www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/how-american-media-spin-doctored-the-iranian-protests/]How American Media Spin-Doctored the Iranian Protests[/url] | American Conservative

o [url=https://theintercept.com/2018/02/12/dutch-official-admits-lying-about-meeting-with-putin-is-fake-news-used-by-russia-or-about-russia/]Dutch Official Admits Lying About Meeting With Putin: Is Fake News Used by Russia or About Russia?[/url] - Glenn Greenwald, [i]The Intercept[/i]
[quote]For the six decades of the miserable Cold War, those Americans who tried to argue that the Russian threat was being exaggerated for nefarious ends and who advocated for better relations between Washington and Moscow were branded as “traitors,” Kremlin apologists, or at best, “useful idiots.” The revitalization of Russia as prime villain has also given new life to those old right-wing tactics, though this time wielded by the same people who were once its targets[/quote]

o [url=mondoweiss.net/2018/02/netanyahu-started-corruption/]NYT fails to report that Netanyahu started air war over Syria as corruption probes close in on him[/url] - Mondoweiss
[quote]First, and most important, the article, by Isabel Kershner, nowhere explains that many Israelis and others believe that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is promoting regional armed conflict to distract attention from the corruption probes that are zeroing in on him and his wife, Sara. This site back in December quoted respected Haaretz opinion writer Bradley Burston’s view, that Netanyahu “needs a war with Iran,” that he is “desperate because police detectives and investigative journalists are closing in on him.”
...
Second, the Times report leaves the false impression that the fighting started only yesterday, when an unmanned Iranian drone allegedly crossed from Syria into Israeli airspace, prompting Israel to ‘defend itself’ by striking back at an Iranian base in Syria. The outstanding Israeli online publication, +972, exposes this distortion in a persuasive article by Haggai Matar that points out that “Israel has been bombing inside Syria for months.” He goes on:
[i]
“Make no mistake: the dramatic escalation of violence on the Israeli-Syrian border Saturday morning was initiated by Israel, and it is Israel’s responsibility to end it.”[/i][/quote]
Some good reader engagement on the MW piece, as well.

ewmayer 2018-03-23 06:32

[url=https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/03/andrew-bacevich-shellacks-the-new-york-times-usefully-idiotic-coverage-of-americas-never-ending-wars.html]Andrew Bacevich Shellacks the New York Times' Usefully Idiotic Coverage of America's Never-Ending Wars[/url] | naked capitalism

And the folks at Vox Media commit flagrant journalistic malpractice:

[url=https://www.vox.com/2018/3/20/17142654/north-korea-trump-foal-eagle-germany-artillery-killers]The last 48 hours in rising US-North Korea tensions, explained[/url] | Vox
[quote]The past 48 hours suggests that the relative period of calm between the United States and North Korea may soon come to an end — and that’s as scary as it sounds.

Here’s why: On Monday, Washington and Seoul announced they will hold an annual joint military drill next month. The exercise was previously delayed because of the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may have expected it would not happen ahead of his summit with President Donald Trump. [b]The exercise will certainly annoy him — and may change how he feels about his diplomatic opening[/b].[/quote]
Except, as reported in [url=https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/10/world/asia/trump-north-korea.html]this high-profile 10 March NYT piece[/url] which I linked to at the time over in the Worldwide Nightmare thread:
[quote][South Korean envoy] Mr. Chung had barely launched into his talking points when Mr. Kim [Jong Un] said “I know” and “I understand you.” Then he laid out his proposal: talks with the United States on denuclearizing his country; a suspension of nuclear and missile tests during the talks; [b]and his understanding that the United States and South Korea must proceed with annual joint military exercises[/b].[/quote]
Thanks for the fake news, Vox!

Dr Sardonicus 2018-03-23 13:44

[QUOTE=ewmayer;483150][url=https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/03/andrew-bacevich-shellacks-the-new-york-times-usefully-idiotic-coverage-of-americas-never-ending-wars.html]Andrew Bacevich Shellacks the New York Times' Usefully Idiotic Coverage of America's Never-Ending Wars[/url] | naked capitalism

And the folks at Vox Media commit flagrant journalistic malpractice:

[url=https://www.vox.com/2018/3/20/17142654/north-korea-trump-foal-eagle-germany-artillery-killers]The last 48 hours in rising US-North Korea tensions, explained[/url] | Vox
[quote]The exercise was previously delayed because of the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may have expected it would not happen ahead of his summit with President Donald Trump. The exercise will certainly annoy him — and may change how he feels about his diplomatic opening.[/quote]

Except, as reported in [url=https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/10/world/asia/trump-north-korea.html]this high-profile 10 March NYT piece[/url] which I linked to at the time over in the Worldwide Nightmare thread:
[quote]Mr. Chung had barely launched into his talking points when Mr. Kim said “I know” and “I understand you.” Then he laid out his proposal: talks with the United States on denuclearizing his country; a suspension of nuclear and missile tests during the talks; and his understanding that the United States and South Korea must proceed with annual joint military exercises.[/quote]

Thanks for the fake news, Vox![/QUOTE]

(Apologies if I didn't reconstruct the quotes from the links exactly)

Geez, I even remember TV news accounts mentioning Haircut Man giving the nod to the military exercises. Perhaps journalists have fallen into despondency, and decided that people don't care about facts anymore, and have really short attention spans to boot, besides which [i]Il Duce[/i] & Co. have been flagrantly lying to the public since the campaign began, apparently without suffering any repercussions, so it doesn't really matter any more. I can understand them thinking those things. But that's no excuse because, notwithstanding, IMHO it [i]does[/i] matter.

Unfortunately, [i]Il Duce[/i] may have made "rising tensions with North Korea" into [i]real[/i] news by naming John Bolton his new national security advisor.

ewmayer 2018-04-03 21:37

[URL="https://fair.org/home/npr-runs-idf-playbook-spinning-killing-of-17-palestinians/"][QUOTE]NPR Runs IDF Playbook, Spinning Killing of 17 Palestinians[/QUOTE][/URL][QUOTE] | FAIR

And [B]Politico goes all-in on the Cold War 2.0 hysteria-fomenting[/B], with an op-ed by a 'researcher' at the "Center for New America Security":

[URL="https://www.politico.eu/article/russia-vladimir-putin-as-it-frets-over-china-europe-is-forgetting-the-real-threat/"]As it frets over China, Europe is forgetting the real threat: Russia[/URL] | Politico[/QUOTE]
The prioritization of threats and menaces is depressing. Why must anything big be an enemy?

kladner 2018-04-04 00:16

The above line added to Ernst's post was intended to be a reponse.

Dr Sardonicus 2018-04-04 22:22

[QUOTE=ewmayer;484193][URL="https://fair.org/home/npr-runs-idf-playbook-spinning-killing-of-17-palestinians/"][/URL]
[quote]| FAIR

And Politico goes all-in on the Cold War 2.0 hysteria-fomenting, with an op-ed by a 'researcher' at the "Center for New America Security":[/quote]
The prioritization of threats and menaces is depressing. Why must anything big be an enemy?[/QUOTE]
Heck, why not worry about both Russia [i]and[/i] China?

[url=http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2140301/us-take-note-chinese-russian-militaries-are-closer-you]US take note: Chinese, Russian militaries are closer than you think, China’s defence minister says[/url][quote]“I am visiting Russia as the new defence minister of China to show the world the high level of development of our bilateral relations, and firm determination of our armed forces to strengthen strategic cooperation,” Wei Fenghe was quoted as saying on Tuesday by Tass, Russia’s state news agency.[/quote]

kladner 2018-04-05 11:33

Pentagon Plans for a Perpetual Three-Front “Long War” Against China and Russia
 
[QUOTE=Dr Sardonicus;484315]Heck, why not worry about both Russia [I]and[/I] China?

[URL="http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2140301/us-take-note-chinese-russian-militaries-are-closer-you"]US take note: Chinese, Russian militaries are closer than you think, China’s defence minister says[/URL][/QUOTE]
[URL]http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49124.htm[/URL]
[QUOTE]In 2006, when the Department of Defense spelled out its future security role, it saw only one overriding mission: its “Long War” against international terrorism. “With its allies and partners, the United States must be prepared to wage this war in many locations simultaneously and for some years to come,” the Pentagon’s Quadrennial Defense Review explained that year. Twelve years later, the Pentagon has officially announced that that long war is drawing to a close -- even though at least seven counterinsurgency conflicts still rage across the Greater Middle East and Africa -- and [U]a new long war has begun, a permanent campaign to contain China and Russia in Eurasia. [/U]

“Great power competition, not terrorism, has emerged as the central challenge to U.S. security and prosperity,” claimed Pentagon Comptroller David Norquist while releasing the Pentagon’s $686 billion budget request in January. “It is increasingly apparent that China and Russia want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian values and, in the process, replace the free and open order that has enabled global security and prosperity since World War II.”[/QUOTE]The hubris is confounding and appalling. The US MIIC is, in fact, continuing its Long War on US civilian government. I guess this could have gone in Worldwide Nightmare Theatre, but it seemed to follow on with the preceding discussion.

Dr Sardonicus 2018-04-05 12:55

[QUOTE=kladner;484367][URL]http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49124.htm[/URL][quote] “It is increasingly apparent that China and Russia want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian values and, in the process, replace the free and open order that has enabled global security and prosperity since World War II.”[/quote][/QUOTE]They needn't bother. [i]Il Duce[/i] and the Republicans have got it coverd.

kladner 2018-04-05 20:54

[QUOTE=Dr Sardonicus;484372]They needn't bother. [I]Il Duce[/I] and the Republicans have got it coverd.[/QUOTE]
Well said, Sir!

ewmayer 2018-04-21 00:58

o [url=https://steemit.com/media/@caitlinjohnstone/bbc-reporter-discourages-syria-questions-due-to-information-war-with-russia]BBC Reporter Discourages Syria Questions Due To “Information War” With Russia[/url] | Caitlin Johnstone
[quote]Wait a minute, did that just happen? Did a BBC reporter just suggest that it could possibly be "inadvisable" for a retired naval officer to make public statements questioning what we're being told to believe about Syria? That the conversation shouldn't even be had? That the questions shouldn't even be asked? Because we're trying to win an "information war"? Did McVeigh really suggest that the intelligence of the same war machine which led us into Iraq on false pretenses should not be questioned at the risk of "muddying the waters"?
...
[b]You know you're in trouble when the military man tries to do the journalist's job by asking questions and holding power to account... and the journalist tries to stop him[/b].

I have said that truth is the first casualty in war and that this is doubly true of cold war, but it isn't supposed to be that way. We all know that the BBC has an extensive history of functioning as a propaganda firm for the western war machine, but it isn't supposed to be that way. It isn't supposed to be a BBC reporter's job to concern herself with beating Russia in an "information war", it's supposed to be her job to tell the truth and hold power to account.[/quote]

[url=https://fair.org/home/out-of-20-major-editorials-on-trumps-syria-strikes-zero-opposed/]Out of 20 Major Editorials on Trump’s Syria Strikes, Zero Opposed[/url] FAIR
[quote]None of the top 100 newspapers questioned the US’s legal or moral right to bomb Syria, and all accepted US government claims to be neutral arbiters of “international law.”

The total lack of editorial board dissent is consistent with major papers’ tradition of uniform acceptance of US military action. The most influential paper in the country, the New York Times, has not opposed a single US war—from the Persian Gulf to Bosnia, to Kosovo to Iraq to Libya to the forever war on ISIS—in the past 30 years.[/quote]

Related:
[quote]On Douma, the Guardian treats a Birmingham-based pro-regime change doctor in Turkey as more credible than Robert Fisk, who was in Douma. It even refused to name Fisk, referring to him merely as a reporter “favored by Moscow” [url]https://t.co/HIgfqxJDPJ[/url] via @Jonathan_K_Cook

— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) April 18, 2018[/quote]

kladner 2018-04-21 03:27

Fisk and Hersch are some of the last great investigative reporters. I hope some of the younger folks I've seen on the web develop such journalistic chops.

Dr Sardonicus 2018-04-21 13:27

The near-unanimity of editorial non-endorsement of [i]Il Duce[/i] during the 2016 campaign, and the near-unanimous editorial acquiescence to [i]Il Duce[/i]'s military ventures taken in disregard of Article I, Section 8, clause 11 of the Constitution of the United States, enumerating Congressional power
[quote]To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;[/quote]
irresistibly reminded me of something I'd heard in history class, and am pleased to find on line: a succession of French newspaper headlines chronicling [url=https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Napoleon%27s_March]Napoleon's March[/url] to Paris after leaving Elba.

I also note that the Pentagon is busily issuing non-denial denials of Secretary of Defense James Mattis' unsuccessful efforts to persuade [i]Il Duce[/i] to seek Congressional approval before attacking Syria. The non-denial part is that spokescritters are citing Mattis' saying at the press briefing [i]after[/i] the attack, that Article II, Section 2, which enumerates the Presidential power of Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, gives the President the legal authority to do what this president did.

What he said [i]after[/i] the decision was made does not pertain to what advice he may have given beforehand. Beforehand, he could speak freely on the matter. But once the decision was made, he had to support (or at least acquiesce to) the decision, or else resign his office.

Mattis is well known to think that for a democracy waging war, public support is a vital and limited resource. Of course, it is now debatable whether the good ol' USA is a democracy any more. Perhaps it will soon be known as the Republican People's Republic of [i]Il Duce[/i].

ewmayer 2018-06-11 22:01

[url=https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/06/war-nerd-anglo-american-medias-complicity-yemens-genocide.html]The War Nerd: Anglo-American Media's Complicity in Yemen's Genocide[/url]

ewmayer 2018-06-16 01:40

[url=https://russia-insider.com/en/media-criticism/american-media-and-punditry-remain-dishonest-militaristic-embarrassment/ri23794]American Media and Punditry Remain a Dishonest, Militaristic Embarrassment[/url] - from Michael Krieger, normally of the [i]Liberty Blitzkrieg[/i] blog, for the Putin stooges who read [i]Russia Insider[/i].

ewmayer 2018-06-29 21:24

Pair of recent Counterpunch pieces:

[url=https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/06/27/double-standards-at-the-washington-post/]Double-Standards at the Washington Post[/url] | Pete Tucker - Racial bias in WaPoo's coverage of local-pol corruption.

[url=https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/06/01/badge-of-impunity/]Badge of Impunity[/url] | Jeffrey St. Clair
[quote]What does it take to awaken a somnambulant media these days? Getting shot in the back 8 times by trigger-happy cops while standing in your grandmother’s backyard while holding a cell phone? That was the fate of young Stephon Clark on the night of March 18 in the Meadowview neighborhood of Sacramento, whose ghastly murder by police briefly diverted the attention of the national press from its Trump fixation. But after a couple of days, MSDNC and the New York Times, were, like the White House, content to let Clark’s killing recede from the headlines and become just another “local issue.

”Why did the cops fire 20 shots at Stephon Clark? The official story was that Clark had been seen breaking car windows in his neighborhood, a destitute area of Sacramento that is under police occupation. According to police, Clark had been tracked by a police helicopter for this alleged act of vandalism. The helicopter police warned the cops on the ground that Clark was holding a toolbar. When police confronted Clark, he was standing near his grandmother’s house and then ran into the backyard. The cops followed, guns drawn, body cameras rolling. One officer yells, “Show me your hands! Gun!” Three seconds pass, before the cop again yells: “Show me your hands! Gun! Gun! Gun!” Then Clark is shot multiple times in the back. He falls to the ground and is shot once more in the chest. The entire encounter, from the time the helicopter spotted Clark to the fatal shooting, lasted less than two minutes.

”The police let Clark bleed out for five minutes before approaching him and placing him in handcuffs. “He had something in hands, one of the cops said. “Looked like a gun from our perspective.” But Clark was unarmed. No gun, no tool bar. His hand held only a white i-Phone that belonged to his girlfriend. When the reality of what taken place began to sink in, one of the cops says, “Hey, mute.,” and the audio from body cameras was silenced. The police story changed over the ensuing days: Clark was carrying a gun, he was carrying a toolbar, he was breaking into houses, he was using a concrete block or an aluminum gutter railing. None of this stood up to the simple facts. A 22-year-old unarmed black man had been shot seven times in the back on suspicion of breaking a few windows. The mayor of Sacramento, Darrell Steinberg, said he was “in no position to second guess” the officers. And, just days after Clark was killed, two police unions donated a total of $13,000 to the woman investigating the shooting, Sacramento DA Anne Marie Schubert. “It’s not an exception to the rule – it is the rule. Their relationships with each other are incestuous,” said Cat Brooks, executive director of the Oakland-based Justice Teams Network. “Prosecutors are beholden to law enforcement unions. You can’t engender trust when those relationships are so tightly wound.

””The media can’t be bothered to spend too much time on killings that have become routine, unless, of course, there’s grisly video footage. In the twenty-four-hour period that witnessed Clark’s death, at least five other men were killed by police across the country, including Michael Holliman in Lone Rock, Arkansas, Reuben Ruffin, Jr. in Daviess County, Kentucky, Manuel Borrego in El Monte, California, Jermaine Massey in Greenville, South Carolina and Osbaldo Jimenez in Escondido, California. Only the nightly protests in Sacramento kept Clark’s murder in the news, to the extent that it was covered at all. So many killings, so little airtime.

”Two weeks after the Sacramento shooting, the Supreme Court handed down an appalling decision that will only encourage more police shootings. The case involved the shooting of an Arizona woman in 2010 by police who had come to her house for a “welfare inspection.” When police arrived, Amy Hughes came out of her house holding a kitchen knife at her side. Hughes made no threatening moves but failed to respond to Officer Andrew Kisela’s demands to drop the blade. He then shot her four times without a warning. Fortunately, Hughes survived the shooting and sued the Arizona cop for use of excessive force. The Court ruled that Kisela, and by extension all other police, was entitled to “qualified immunity” from lawsuits because the shooting did not “violate clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known.”[/quote]
Apparently the SCOTUS' "clearly established statutory or constitutional rights" do not include 'not being executed by thuggish cops who intimidate you in your own home based on no reasonable suspicion whatsoever of your being engaged in criminal activity.' That's simply life in post-constitutional America!

ewmayer 2018-07-10 01:31

o [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLuO1qDkoNg]Ex-Host Exposes MSNBC: ‘I Was Told Not To Cover Bernie’[/url] | YouTube

And a bonus MSNBC-related link from Glenn Greenwald:

[url]https://theintercept.com/2018/07/08/msnbc-does-not-merely-permit-fabrications-against-democratic-party-critics-it-encourages-and-rewards-them/[/url]

o Caitlin Johstone on the social-media-orchestration aspect of modern establishment war-drumbeating, here in form of the recent "Iran protests" newsmeme:

[url=https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/this-is-what-modern-war-propaganda-looks-like-ffb523ce8be]This Is What Modern War Propaganda Looks Like[/url] – Caitlin Johnstone, [i]Medium[/i]
[quote]I’ve been noticing videos going viral the last few days, some with millions of views, about Muslim women bravely fighting to free themselves from oppression in the Middle East. The videos, curiously, are being shared enthusiastically by many Republicans and pro-Israel hawks, who aren’t traditionally the sort of crowd you see rallying to support the civil rights of Muslims. What’s up with that?

Well, you may want to sit down for this shocker, but it turns out that they happen to be women from a nation that the US war machine is currently escalating operations against. They are Iranian.

Whenever you see the sudden emergence of an attractive media campaign that is sympathetic to the plight of civilians in a resource-rich nation unaligned with the western empire, you are seeing propaganda. When that nation is surrounded by other nations with similar human rights transgressions and yet those transgressions are ignored by that same media campaign, you are most certainly seeing propaganda. When that nation just so happens to already be the target of starvation sanctions and [url=https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/why-you-should-be-intensely-skeptical-of-everything-you-hear-about-iran-protests-497d73e11ee2]escalated covert CIA ops[/url], you can bet the farm that you are seeing propaganda.[/quote]

Dr Sardonicus 2018-12-17 14:07

Asleep at the wheel
 
The Free Press. Guardian of Democracy and the Rule of Law...

So, a Texas judge has ruled the whole ACA "unconstitutional" because he has ruled the individual mandate "unconstitutional." A fact [i]which most news reports have failed to mention,[/i] is that this ruling was issued [b]despite this provision's already having been adjudicated all the way to the US Supreme Court[/b] in [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Federation_of_Independent_Business_v._Sebelius]National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius[/url], and already ruled constitutional, because it lies within the scope of Congress's power to "lay and collect taxes," though [i]not[/i] its powers under the "commerce clause." And, also in spite of the recent changes to the tax law, which, as far as I can tell, rendered the mandate provision moot.

Texas. It's [size=1]like[/size] a whole other country.

Or perhaps the idea is that, with Neil Gorsuch now on the Court, the previous ruling will be reversed, and the ACA thrown out.

[i]Anyhow[/i], there are at least two reasons that are obvious even to me, why this ruling is [i]wacko![/i] Another indication that even the judge issuing the ruling knows it will be reversed is, he didn't grant an injunction to enforce the ruling.

Of course, the Guardians of Freedom, having long since adopted the "entertainment" model of "journalism," can't be bothered with arcana like that. Who cares, anyway? Apparently they share [i]Il Duce[/i]'s assessment that the public's attention span is straight out of [i]The Marching Morons[/i].

In any case, it looks like the health care system is in for a round of total chaos. So -- if you have any discretionary funds, [i]invest in the funeral industry![/i]

ewmayer 2018-12-20 04:54

[QUOTE=Dr Sardonicus;503117]The Free Press. Guardian of Democracy and the Rule of Law...

So, a Texas judge has ruled the whole ACA "unconstitutional" because he has ruled the individual mandate "unconstitutional." A fact [i]which most news reports have failed to mention,[/i] is that this ruling was issued [b]despite this provision's already having been adjudicated all the way to the US Supreme Court[/b] in [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Federation_of_Independent_Business_v._Sebelius]National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius[/url], and already ruled constitutional, because it lies within the scope of Congress's power to "lay and collect taxes," though [i]not[/i] its powers under the "commerce clause." And, also in spite of the recent changes to the tax law, which, as far as I can tell, rendered the mandate provision moot.[/QUOTE]

It is precisely those changes to the tax law which were the basis for the judge's decision. NC's Lambert Strether [url=https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/12/200pm-water-cooler-12-17-2018.html]explains[/url] (underlines mine):
[quote]Here are my views on Texas v. United States (PDF of decision), the case in which Judge Reed Charles O’Connor of the Northern District of Texas overturned ObamaCare, or will have done so, if his decision is upheld on appeal. (O’Connor was confirmed by voice vote in 2007.) Since time presses, and this isn’t really a post, there will be fewer links than there should be. The notion of “shared responsibility” is central to the architecture of ObamaCare. The IRS explains:

[i]Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government, state governments, insurers, employers and individuals are given shared responsibility to reform and improve the availability, quality and affordability of health insurance coverage in the United States. Starting in 2014, the individual shared responsibility provision calls for each individual to have qualifying health care coverage (known as minimum essential coverage) for each month, qualify for an exemption, or make a payment when filing his or her federal income tax return.
[/i]
The individual is mandated to have insurance coverage, whether through their employer, Medicaid, or the ObamaCare “marketplace.” The mandate is enforced with the “shared responsibility payment” (a tax penality), which indviduals who disobey the mandate must pay (with exceptions). The architects of ObamaCare, especially Jon Gruber, considered the mandate and its penalty essential, because otherwise healthy individuals wouldn’t purchase coverage (“adverse selection”), leading to a death spiral. [u]In the last major ObamaCare case, King v. Burwell, Justice Roberts, after deciding that ObamaCare violated the commerce clause, ruled ObamaCare constitutional because the shared responsibility payment was an exercise of Congress’s power to tax (Article I, Section 8). However, in 2017, the Republican tax bill zeroed out the shared responsibility payment. O’Connor reasons that since the shared responsibility payment now raises no revenue, it is not a tax. Further, the shared responsiblity payment is essential to the architecture of the bill, and so not “severable.” Hence, ObamaCare is no longer constitutional, since the King v. Burwell prop has been knocked out from under it.[/u]

Despite liberal hyperventilating, I don’t see O’Connor’s reasoning as crazed. (It may be wrong, but it’s not crazed). I see O’Connor’s decison as a consequence of ObamaCare’s crazed architecture (see “Four Basic Models,” immediately below), which seems designed to present adversaries with as many attack surfaces as possible.[/quote]

Dr Sardonicus 2018-12-20 13:26

[QUOTE=ewmayer;503391]It is precisely those changes to the tax law which were the basis for the judge's decision. NC's Lambert Strether [url=https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/12/200pm-water-cooler-12-17-2018.html]explains[/url] (underlines mine):[/QUOTE]
By the "reasoning" in the present ruling, if Congress did a 180 and once again made the tax penalty greater than zero, the ACA would magically become constitutional again. By the logic (if "logic" is the right word) of this ruling, the constitutionality of [i]one[/i] law can be made contingent on [i]another[/i] law. I think "crazed" is [i]exactly[/i] the right word.

There's an obvious difference between whether Congress [i]has[/i] the power to do such and such, and whether or how they choose to [i]exercise[/i] that power.

Zeroing out the tax penalty didn't make the law [i]unconstitutional[/i], but it may well have rendered it nugatory.

CRGreathouse 2018-12-20 22:47

[QUOTE=Dr Sardonicus;503433]By the "reasoning" in the present ruling, if Congress did a 180 and once again made the tax penalty greater than zero, the ACA would magically become constitutional again. By the logic (if "logic" is the right word) of this ruling, the constitutionality of [i]one[/i] law can be made contingent on [i]another[/i] law. I think "crazed" is [i]exactly[/i] the right word.[/QUOTE]

If Congress made the penalty greater than zero it would be constitutional again. Why do you consider that magical, and why does that make the reasoning crazed? It seems perfectly reasonable to me. Laws depend on each other all the time -- the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is an example that comes to mind.

(Of course I don't speak to the content of the ACA, just the legality of the ruling.)

chalsall 2018-12-21 00:04

[QUOTE=CRGreathouse;503467]If Congress made the penalty greater than zero it would be constitutional again.[/QUOTE]

Just wondering, have any of you thought about the fact that law is simply code written for humans? And not yet well exercised, let alone debugged?

ewmayer 2018-12-22 23:43

[url=https://medium.com/@micheleanderson/der-spiegel-journalist-messed-with-the-wrong-small-town-d92f3e0e01a7]Der Spiegel journalist messed with the wrong small town[/url] | Medium

Dr Sardonicus 2018-12-23 00:18

[QUOTE=ewmayer;503717][url=https://medium.com/@micheleanderson/der-spiegel-journalist-messed-with-the-wrong-small-town-d92f3e0e01a7]Der Spiegel journalist messed with the wrong small town[/url] | Medium[/QUOTE]
Looks like Claas Relotius needs a new job. Given his obvious talent for spinning false stories, he would be [i]perfect[/i] as an official spokesperson for [i]Il Duce[/i].

ewmayer 2018-12-23 03:54

BTW, the Germans have one of their great word compoundings for this: 'Lügenpresse'. Here in the U.S. we of course have our own domestic version of the thing, but no such perfect word for it.

S485122 2018-12-23 11:37

Mind you, I have found that there is a inverse correlation between distance of the publisher and conformity to fact. I really don't recognise events here in Brussels when read about in US, (English language) Chinese, Australian or even French or Dutch papers or websites. Even those with a reputation for quality can have completely surrealistic reports about events. This means that I have very little faith in stories about far away places : the inverse relationship can't be unidirectional.

It makes understanding what happens in the world more difficult, on the other hand, most of the time, the same motives have the same consequences...

Jacob

Dr Sardonicus 2018-12-23 14:52

[QUOTE=ewmayer;503737]BTW, the Germans have one of their great word compoundings for this: 'Lügenpresse'. Here in the U.S. we of course have our own domestic version of the thing, but no such perfect word for it.[/QUOTE]Ah, yes, the [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lying_press]Lying press[/url]! Hmm. The term seems to have a checkered history. The GDR kept the phrase alive after the Nazi era. More recently, it has come back in vogue with German far-right groups. A smattering of [i]Il Duce[/i]'s supporters have also taken up the cry. Its general meaning seems to be, "Hey! That's not [i]our[/i] propaganda!"

Speaking of propaganda: During the Vietnam war, the press came up with its own term for the military's weekly press briefings: "The Friday Night Follies."

[i]Il Duce[/i]'s WH "alternative facts" Fairy Tale Factory can perhaps be called Lügenweißehaus; "alternative facts" can be translated simply as Lügen (lies).

Speaking of a "perfect" German term with no single-word English equivalent, I offer [i][b]Erz[/i][/b]lügner (either singular or plural nominative), meaning not just your ordinary liar, but arch deceiver, arrant cheat, arrant liar, consummate liar, or habitual liar.

I am grateful to you for bring this up, because it led to me tracking down a reference for something I'd heard about (on a PBS program about the Great Depression IIRC). It is a common device of editorial cartoonists to drive home the point that some leader is a tyrant, by putting a portrait of Hitler on the wall of his office. The question may occur to some, whose portrait did Hitler have in [i]his[/i] office? The answer was in that program, and is mentioned in the following page. One American who set up his own [i]Lügenpresse[/i] (to come back to what you call a "perfect" word) was [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Ford#cite_note-WP-63]Henry Ford[/url]. His publication was the [i]Dearborn Independent[/i].

[quote]Ford is the only American mentioned favorably in Mein Kampf, although he is only mentioned twice: Adolf Hitler wrote, "only a single great man, Ford, [who], to [the Jews'] fury, still maintains full independence ... [from] the controlling masters of the producers in a nation of one hundred and twenty millions." [b]Speaking in 1931 to a Detroit News reporter, Hitler said he regarded Ford as his "inspiration", explaining his reason for keeping Ford's life-size portrait next to his desk.[/b][/quote]

ewmayer 2019-01-01 23:40

[url=https://www.truthdig.com/articles/banishing-truth/]Banishing Truth[/url] - Truthdig
[quote][Seymour] Hersh, the greatest investigative reporter of his generation, uncovered the U.S. military’s chemical weapons program, which used thousands of soldiers and volunteers, including pacifists from the Seventh-day Adventist Church, as unwitting human guinea pigs to measure the impact of biological agents including tularemia, yellow fever, Rift Valley fever and the plague. He broke the story of the My Lai massacre. He exposed Henry Kissinger’s wiretapping of his closest aides at the National Security Council (NSC) and journalists, the CIA’s funding of violent extremist groups to overthrow the Chilean President Salvador Allende, the CIA’s spying on domestic dissidents within the United States, the sadistic torture practices at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq by American soldiers and contractors and the lies told by the Obama administration about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Yet he begins his memoir by the candid admission, familiar to any reporter, that there are crimes and events committed by the powerful you never write about, at least if you want to keep your job. One of his laments in the book is his decision not to follow up on a report he received that disgraced President Richard Nixon had hit his wife, Pat, and she had ended up in an emergency room in California.

Reporters embedded with military units in Iraq and Afghanistan routinely witness atrocities and often war crimes committed by the U.S. military, yet they know that access is dependent on keeping quiet. This collusion between the press and the powerful is a fundamental feature of journalism, one that even someone as courageous as Hersh, at least a few times, was forced to accept. And yet, there comes a time when reporters, at least the good ones, decide to sacrifice their careers to tell the truth. Hersh, relentlessly chronicling the crimes of the late empire, including the widespread use of torture, indiscriminate military strikes on civilian targets and targeted assassinations, has for this reason been virtually blacklisted in the American media. And the loss of his voice—he used to work for The New York Times and later The New Yorker—is evidence that the press, always flawed, has now been neutered by corporate power. Hersh’s memoir is as much about his remarkable career as it is about the death of investigative journalism and the transformation of news into a national reality television show that subsists on gossip, invective, officially approved narratives and leaks and entertainment.

Investigative journalism depends not only on reporters such as Hersh, but as importantly on men and women inside the systems of power who have the moral courage to expose lies and make public crimes. Writing off any institution, no matter how nefarious the activity, as filled with the irredeemable is a mistake. “There are many officers, including generals and admirals, who understood that the oath of office they took was a commitment to uphold and defend the Constitution and not the President, or an immediate superior,” he writes. “They deserve my respect and got it. Want to be a good military reporter? Find those officers.” One of the heroes in Hersh’s book is Ron Ridenhour, who served in a combat unit in Vietnam and who initiated the army’s investigation into the My Lai massacre and generously helped Hersh track down eyewitnesses and participants.

The government’s wholesale surveillance, however, has crippled the ability of those with a conscience, such as Chelsea Manning or Edward Snowden, to expose the crimes of state and remain undetected. The Obama administration charged eight people under the Espionage Act of leaking to the media—Thomas Drake, Shamai Leibowitz, Stephen Kim, Chelsea Manning, Donald Sachtleben, Jeffrey Sterling, John Kiriakou and Edward Snowden—effectively ending the vital connection between investigative reporters and sources inside the government.

This government persecution has, by default, left the exposure of government lies, fraud and crimes to hackers. And this is the reason hackers, and those who publish their material such as Julian Assange at WikiLeaks, are relentlessly persecuted. The goal of the corporate state is to hermetically seal their activities, especially those that violate the law, from outside oversight or observation. And this goal is very far advanced.
...
The later part of Hersh’s career is the most distressing. He was writing for The New Yorker when Barack Obama was elected president. David Remnick, the magazine’s editor, socialized with Obama and was apparently wary of offending the president. When Hersh exposed the fictitious narrative spun out by the Obama administration about the killing of Bin Laden, the magazine killed the story, running instead a report about the raid, provided by the administration, from the point of view of one of the SEALs who was on the mission. Hersh resigned. He published the account of the raid in the London Review of Books, the beginning of his current exile to foreign publications. When we most urgently need Hersh and good investigative reporters like him, they have largely disappeared. A democracy, at best, tolerates them. A failed democracy, like ours, banishes them, and when it does, it kills its press.[/quote]

ewmayer 2019-01-08 06:10

[url=https://www.salon.com/2018/12/07/the-manafort-assange-meeting-that-wasnt-a-case-study-in-journalistic-malpractice/]The Manafort-Assange meeting that wasn't: A case study in journalistic malpractice[/url] | Salon.com
[quote]However, there were serious problems with the [Guardian] report. Firstly, the entire story was based upon anonymous intelligence sources, sources that could not tell the newspaper exactly when the meetings took place.[/quote]
Does that m.o. sound familiar? It should. Even the attempts to walk the story back use that trust-us-we've-got-anonymous-friends-in-the-intel-community-feeding-us-these-unverifiable-but-highly-reliable-claims ploy. They even try layering an absurd RussiaRussiaRussia allegation on top of the BS:
[quote]As the story crumbled, Politico put forward a bizarre explanation for the event, written by an anonymous ex-CIA officer, who argued that Russian intelligence had likely planted the story as a means to discredit Harding and the Guardian, noting that, if it is all false, “the most logical explanation is that it is an attempt to make Harding look bad.” Thus, Trump, WikiLeaks and Russia’s vast “disinformation network” would be able to deride the press as purveyors of “fake news.” It appears not to have occurred to the CIA alum that the story could have been planted to discredit WikiLeaks, Russia or Manafort (and by extension, Trump).[/quote]
It's all Teh Putin's fault, I tellya! Big bad Vlad even personally prevented the article writer from doing the slightest due diligence, if in fact said writer was merely parroting his anonymous spook source rather than simply making sh*t up from whole cloth.
[quote][Guardian 'reporter' Luke] Harding also has a history of publishing deeply inflammatory claims without being able to back them up. His book, "Collusion," on alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election was a New York Times No. 1 bestseller, and yet he could not give any evidence of collusion when asked in [url=https://therealnews.com/stories/wheres-the-collusion-2]a now-infamous interview[/url] with Aaron Maté of The Real News, unable to defend even the title of his book, let alone his thesis. After being pressed harder by Maté, he simply disconnected the interview prematurely.

Therefore, Occam’s razor suggests the most logical explanation is likely that the Guardian published anonymous official sources without checking their claims’ validity.

It is standard journalistic practice to name and check sources. Without a name to match to a quote, its credibility (and therefore that of the story) immediately drops, as there are no repercussions for that individual if they are untruthful. Sources (or journalists themselves) could simply make up anything they wanted with no consequences. Therefore, using anonymous sources is strongly discouraged, except in rare circumstances, generally when sources would face retaliation for revealing information of vital public interest. The Society of Professional Journalists’ code of ethics insists journalists “identify sources whenever feasible” and that journalists must “always question sources’ motives before promising anonymity.”

Unfortunately, the use of anonymous officials in reporting is increasing, and is a worrying trend in modern journalism, as the veteran reporter Robert Fisk once explained:
[i]
I’m just looking at a copy of the Toronto Globe and Mail. It’s a story about Al Qaeda in Algeria. And what is the sourcing? “US intelligence officials said,” “a senior US intelligence official said,” “US officials said,” ‘the intelligence official said,” “Algerian officials say,” “national security sources considered,” “European security sources said”…. We might as well name our newspapers “Officials Say.” This is the cancer at the bottom of modern journalism, that we do not challenge power anymore. Why are Americans tolerating these garbage stories with no real sourcing except for very dodgy characters indeed, who won’t give their names?
[/i]
In this way, anonymous state officials can influence and drive media narratives without even needed to have their name associated with a claim. However, we appear to be entering a new era where unnamed state officials not only influence, but actually write the news themselves, as demonstrated by the Politico article.[/quote]
As for the kinds of democracy-subversion which the relentless tide of MSM fake news conveniently distracts from:

[url=https://theintercept.com/2019/01/05/u-s-senates-first-bill-in-midst-of-shutdown-is-a-bipartisan-defense-of-the-israeli-government-from-boycotts/]U.S. Senate’s First Bill, in Midst of Shutdown, is a Bipartisan Defense of the Israeli Government from Boycott[/url] | The Intercept

You see, Americans have no first (nor fourth, etc) amendment rights when a certain monstrous little client state - in fact I submit it is we who have effectively been made the client state in that 'special' relationship - is concerned.

Dr Sardonicus 2019-01-08 14:17

[QUOTE=ewmayer;505290]As for the kinds of democracy-subversion which the relentless tide of MSM fake news conveniently distracts from:

[url=https://theintercept.com/2019/01/05/u-s-senates-first-bill-in-midst-of-shutdown-is-a-bipartisan-defense-of-the-israeli-government-from-boycotts/]U.S. Senate’s First Bill, in Midst of Shutdown, is a Bipartisan Defense of the Israeli Government from Boycott[/url] | The Intercept

You see, Americans have no first (nor fourth, etc) amendment rights when a certain monstrous little client state - in fact I submit it is we who have effectively been made the client state in that 'special' relationship - is concerned.[/QUOTE]
The actual bill is [url=https://legiscan.com/US/text/SB1/id/1836793/US_Congress-2019-SB1-Introduced.pdf]here[/url]. The relevant section is entitled

[quote]SEC. 402. NONPREEMPTION OF MEASURES BY STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS TO DIVEST FROM ENTITIES THAT ENGAGE IN CERTAIN BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT, OR SANCTIONS ACTIVITIES TARGETING ISRAEL OR PERSONS DOING BUSINESS IN ISRAEL OR ISRAELI-CONTROLLED TERRITORIES.[/quote]

In other words, [quote]Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a State or local government may adopt and enforce measures that meet the requirements of subsection (c) to divest the assets of the State or local government from, prohibit investment of the assets of the State or local government in, or restrict contracting by the State or local government for goods and services with[/quote]

a company that is doing the same WRT Israel, and the Feds will not intervene. Disgusting, to be sure. But -- I don't see any First or Fourth Amendment issues here. This is basically a [i]policy[/i] decision. The Feds can use the Commerce Clause to take action against State or local measures of this sort, or not, as it chooses. There is no interference with speech or free exercise of religion. No search or seizure of persons or property. No prison. No fines. Yes, it allows State and local governments to economically penalize persons or companies that choose to divest from or boycott Israel. But it is the same [i]kind[/i] of penalty these companies or people are exacting, or trying to exact, from Israel.

The "Notwithstanding any other provision of law" clause might provide grounds for a legal challenge. It is conceivable that investment decisions in the private sector could be construed as "speech," but that's a real stretch.

There is, however, a statement about this bill that comes straight out of Alice in Wonderland: [quote](2) POLICY OF THE UNITED STATES. -- Nothing in this section shall be construed to alter the established policy of the United States concerning final status issues associated with the Arab-Israeli conflict, including border delineation, that can only be resolved through direct negotiations between the parties.[/quote]
Oh, no, [i]this[/i] bill isn't putting the US's thumb on the scale, nosirree Bob! Especially the "Israeli-controlled territories" part!

ewmayer 2019-01-09 21:33

Here is an excerpt [url=https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2019/01/starting-new-year-badly-well.html]from a recent NC guest-author piece[/url] which discusses the Israel-antiboycott measure (bolds are from original):
[quote]The top priority for Democrats in the new Senate seems to be support for a bill, not to open the government, or do any of a dozen good things for this country, but to [url=https://theintercept.com/2019/01/05/u-s-senates-first-bill-in-midst-of-shutdown-is-a-bipartisan-defense-of-the-israeli-government-from-boycotts/]protect another country, Israel, from criticism by Americans[/url]:
[quote]
[b]U.S. Senate’s First Bill, in Midst of Shutdown, is a Bipartisan Defense of the Israeli Government from Boycotts[/b]

When each new Congress is gaveled into session, the chambers attach symbolic importance to the first piece of legislation to be considered. For that reason, it bears the lofty designation of H.R.1 in the House, and S.1 in the Senate.

In the newly controlled Democratic House, H.R.1 – meant to signal the new majority’s priorities – is an anti-corruption bill that combines election and campaign finance reform, strengthening of voting rights, and matching public funds for small-dollar candidates. …

But in the 2019 GOP-controlled Senate, the first bill to be considered – S.1 – is not designed to protect American workers, bolster U.S. companies, or address the various debates over border security and immigration. It’s not a bill to open the government. Instead, according to multiple sources involved in the legislative process, S.1 will be a compendium containing a handful of foreign-policy related measures, a main one of which is a provision, with Florida’s GOP Sen. Marco Rubio as a lead sponsor, to defend the Israeli government. The bill is a [url=https://www.aipac.org/learn/legislative-agenda/agenda-display?agendaid=%7BB499D12C-C5ED-4CA6-93CF-61266D842328%7D]top legislative priority for AIPAC[/url].
[/quote]
The bill, which punishes companies that take part in any boycott of Israel, could sweep up individuals as well, and is widely considered unconstitutional:
[quote]
In the previous Congress, that measure [url=https://www.congress.gov/115/bills/s170/BILLS-115s170is.pdf]was known as S.170[/url], and it gives state and local governments explicit legal authority to boycott any U.S. companies which themselves are participating in a boycott against Israel. As the [url=https://theintercept.com/2018/12/17/israel-texas-anti-bds-law/]Intercept reported last month[/url], 26 states now have enacted some version of a law to punish or otherwise sanction entities which participate in or support the boycott of Israel, while similar laws are pending in at least 13 additional states. Rubio’s bill is designed to strengthen the legal basis to defend those Israel-protecting laws from constitutional challenge.

Punishment aimed at companies which choose to boycott Israel can also sweep up individual American citizens in its punitive net, because individual contractors often work for state or local governments under the auspices of a sole proprietorship or some other business entity. That was the case with [url=https://theintercept.com/2018/12/17/israel-texas-anti-bds-law/]Texas elementary school speech pathologist Bahia Amawi[/url], who lost her job working with autistic and speech-impaired children in Austin because she refused to promise not to boycott goods produced in Israel and/or illegal Israeli settlements.
[/quote]
If it passes, it will be with Democrats’ — and Chuck Schumer’s — support:
[quote]
[b]With the seven Democratic co-sponsors[/b], the bill would have the 60 votes it needs to overcome a filibuster. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. – who supported Sen. Cardin’s far more draconian bill of last year and is one of the Senate’s most reliable AIPAC loyalists – also plans to support the Rubio bill, [b]rather than whip votes against it[/b], sources working on the bill said. Schumer’s spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment. [emphasis added]
[/quote]
Not the best look coming into the new year. Expect more stories like this.[/quote]

ewmayer 2019-01-21 22:05

Fitting link on a day honoring a man the Hoover-era FBI [url=https://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/16/magazine/what-an-uncensored-letter-to-mlk-reveals.html]relentlessly surveilled, ratf*cked and attempted to intimidate[/url]:

[url=https://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/2019/01/longtime-reporter-leaves-nbc-accuses.html]Longtime Reporter Leaves NBC, Accuses Media of "Lionizing Destructive Organizations" Like the FBI[/url] | DownWithTyranny

[url=https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/01/20/msm-begs-for-trust-after-buzzfeed-debacle/]Caitlin Johnstone on the BuzzFeed fake-news incident[/url]:
[quote]Following what the Washington Post has described as “the highest-profile misstep yet for a news organization during a period of heightened and intense scrutiny of the press,” mass media representatives are now flailing desperately for an argument as to why people should continue to place their trust in mainstream news outlets.

According to journalist and economic analyst Doug Henwood, [u]the print New York Times covered the Buzzfeed report on its front page when the story broke, but the report on Mueller’s correction the next day was shoved back to page 11[/u]. This appalling journalistic malpractice makes it very funny that NYT’s Wajahat Ali had the gall to tweet, “Unlike the Trump administration, journalists are fact checking and willing to correct the record if the Buzzfeed story is found inaccurate. Not really the actions of a deep state and enemy of the people, right?”

This is the behavior of a media class that is interested in selling narratives, not reporting truth. And yet the mass media talking heads are all telling us today that we must continue to trust them.[/quote]

And for those of you scoring things at home:

[url=https://theintercept.com/2019/01/20/beyond-buzzfeed-the-10-worst-most-embarrassing-u-s-media-failures-on-the-trumprussia-story/]Beyond BuzzFeed: The 10 Worst, Most Embarrassing U.S. Media Failures on the Trump/Russia Story[/url] | The Intercept

Dr Sardonicus 2019-01-23 13:35

I like the fact that you (1) cite the NYT as a source WRT the FBI's campaign against MLK, and (2) quote a piece bashing the NYT for "journalistic malpractice."

kladner 2019-01-23 18:12

[QUOTE=Dr Sardonicus;506685]I like the fact that you (1) cite the NYT as a source WRT the FBI's campaign against MLK, and (2) quote a piece bashing the NYT for "journalistic malpractice."[/QUOTE]
A stopped (12 hour) clock is right twice a day, at least momentarily. Being right about some things can provide great cover for [STRIKE]lying[/STRIKE] [I]being inaccurate[/I] about other things.

Dr Sardonicus 2019-01-24 14:49

[QUOTE=kladner;506704]A stopped (12 hour) clock is right twice a day, at least momentarily. Being right about some things can provide great cover for [STRIKE]lying[/STRIKE] [I]being inaccurate[/I] about other things.[/QUOTE]
The subject of complaint isn't a matter of fact or accuracy. It's an editorial decision on placement of the refutation of the Buzzfeed story by Mueller's office -- in the print edition of the NYT. Assuming the placement was accurately described, it's pretty shabby. Not as bad as Colonel McCormick's practice of vilifying Jews in the front of his Chicago [b]Tribune[/b] one day, and printing retractions inconspicuously back near the classified ads the next, but Lord, it ain't good.

I am curious, though, about the placement of the refutation in the online edition of the NYT.

kladner 2019-01-24 22:15

[QUOTE=Dr Sardonicus;506762]The subject of complaint isn't a matter of fact or accuracy. It's an editorial decision on placement of the refutation of the Buzzfeed story by Mueller's office -- in the print edition of the NYT. Assuming the placement was accurately described, it's pretty shabby. Not as bad as Colonel McCormick's practice of vilifying Jews in the front of his Chicago [B]Tribune[/B] one day, and printing retractions inconspicuously back near the classified ads the next, but Lord, it ain't good.

I am curious, though, about the placement of the refutation in the online edition of the NYT.[/QUOTE]
If the paper hides the correction it is letting the front page splash remain in many people's minds. Is that being supportive of truth?

EDIT: The phrase you quote below was quite sardonic. It also addressed the poker-faced tone of the spokesperson.
For the record, I consider NYT to be the MIIC Propaganda Mouthpiece of Record. I look elsewhere for news.

Dr Sardonicus 2019-01-25 02:08

[QUOTE=kladner;506803]If the paper hides the correction it is letting the front page splash remain in many people's minds. Is that being supportive of truth?[/QUOTE]I don't think it's fair to say they "hid" the story. For one thing, it had already run in other papers; WAPO was the first place I saw it. For another I don't know the layout or the habits of readers of the NYT print edition. It is therefore possible (AFAIK) that there may have been a mention of the story on the front page with a "see page 11" pointer. It is also possible (AFAIK) that readers of the NYT print edition may routinely scan the first section looking for followups to recent items.

I also don't know how the Mueller denial of the Buzzfeed story ran in the online NYT, which I suspect many more people look at than the print edition.

It is also possible that the editors of the NYT thought the Buzzfeed story was substantially true, despite the statement from Mueller's office. To support this contention, I cite an unimpeachable source: [quote=kladner;506395]"...are not accurate." That phasing [b][sic][/b] amuses me to no end. It does not specify a degree of inaccuracy. It rings differently than "...are wrong (you lying sack of scuzz.")[/quote]

ewmayer 2019-03-13 20:45

[url=https://theintercept.com/2019/03/10/nyts-expose-on-the-lies-about-burning-humanitarian-trucks-in-venezuela-shows-how-us-govt-and-media-spread-fake-news/]NYT’s Exposé on the Lies About Burning Aid Trucks in Venezuela Shows How U.S. Government and Media Spread Pro-War Propaganda[/url] | Glenn Greenwald, Intercept
[quote]Every major U.S. war of the last several decades has begun the same way: the U.S. government fabricates an inflammatory, emotionally provocative lie which large U.S. media outlets uncritically treat as truth while refusing at air questioning or dissent, thus inflaming primal anger against the country the U.S. wants to attack. That’s how we got the Vietnam War (North Vietnam attacks U.S. ships in the Gulf of Tonkin); the Gulf War (Saddam ripped babies from incubators); and, of course, the war in Iraq (Saddam had WMDs and formed an alliance with Al Qaeda).

This was exactly the tactic used on February 23, when the narrative shifted radically in favor of those U.S. officials who want regime change operations in Venezuela. That’s because images were broadcast all over the world of trucks carrying humanitarian aid burning in Colombia on the Venezuela border. U.S. officials who have been agitating for a regime change war in Venezuela – Marco Rubio, John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, the head of USAid Mark Green – used Twitter to spread classic Fake News: they vehemently stated that the trucks were set on fire, on purpose, by President Nicolas Maduro’s forces.
...
As it always does – [i]as it always has done from its inception when Wolf Blitzer embedded with U.S. troops[/i] – CNN led the way in not just spreading these government lies but independently purporting to vouch for their truth. On February 24, CNN told the world what we all now know is an absolute lie: that “a CNN team saw incendiary devices from police on the Venezuelan side of the border ignite the trucks,” though it generously added that “the network’s journalists are unsure if the trucks were burned on purpose.”

Other media outlets endorsed the lie while at least avoiding what CNN did by personally vouching for it. “Humanitarian aid destined for Venezuela was set on fire, seemingly by troops loyal to Mr Maduro,” The Telegraph claimed. The BBC uncritically printed: “There have also been reports of several aid trucks being burned – something Mr Guaidó said was a violation of the Geneva Convention.”

That lie – supported by incredibly powerful video images – changed everything. Ever since, that Maduro burned trucks filled with humanitarian aid was repeated over and over as proven fact on U.S. news outlets. Immediately after it was claimed, politicians who had been silent on the issue of Venezuela or even reluctant to support regime change began issuing statements now supportive of it. U.S. news stars and think tank luminaries who lack even a single critical brain cell when it comes to war-provoking claims from U.S. officials took a leading role in beating the war drums without spending even a single second to ask whether what they were being told were true:
...
But on Saturday night, the New York Times published a detailed video and accompanying article proving that this entire story was a lie. The humanitarian trucks were not set on fire by Maduro’s forces. They were set on fire by anti-Maduro protesters who threw a molotov cocktail that hit one of the trucks. And the NYT’s video traces how the lie spread: from U.S. officials who baselessly announced that Maduro burned them to media outlets that mindlessly repeated the lie.

While the NYT’s article and video are perfectly good and necessary journalism, the credit they are implicitly claiming for themselves for exposing this lie is totally undeserved. That’s because independent journalists – the kind who question rather than mindlessly repeat government claims and are therefore mocked and marginalized and kept off mainstream television – used exactly this same evidence [i]on the day of the incident[/i] to debunk the lies being told by Rubio, Pompeo, Bolton and CNN.
...
So everything the New York Times so proudly reported last night has been known for weeks, and was already reported in great detail, using extensive evidence, by a large number of people. But because those people are generally skeptical of the U.S. Government’s claims and critical of its foreign policy, they were ignored and mocked and are generally barred from appearing on television, while the liars from the U.S. Government and their allies in the corporate media were, as usual, given a platform to spread their lies without any challenge or dissent, just like the manual for how to maintain State TV intructs.[/quote]
In light of that, I bring you the NYT again, now on the more recent major power outages in VZ:

[url=https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/11/world/americas/venzuela-blackout-maduro.html]No End in Sight to Venezuela’s Blackout, Experts Warn[/url] | NYTimes
[quote]The government said the blackout was caused by an unspecified fault at Guri, which provides 80 percent of the country’s electricity. Mr. Maduro and his ministers have insisted the blackout is the result of sabotage and cyberattacks organized by the United States and the opposition, without providing any evidence.
...
Energy experts, Venezuelan power sector contractors and current and former Corpoelec employees have dismissed accusations of sabotage, saying the blackout was the result of years of underinvestment, corruption and brain drain.[/quote]
...and I'm sure the highly suspicious timing was sheer coincidence! Even more so in light of this Max Blumenthal piece, describing a 2010 memo by the same organization that trained Greedo and his allies:

[url=https://thegrayzone.com/2019/03/11/us-regime-change-blueprint-proposed-venezuelan-electricity-blackouts-as-watershed-event-for-galvanizing-public-unrest]US Regime Change Blueprint Proposed Venezuelan Electricity Blackouts as ‘Watershed Event’ for Galvanizing Public Unrest[/url]

I believe that is known in baseball terms as "calling one's shot".

Back to CNN, which is apparently still rigging their (in)famous Town Halls by selecting the questioners:
[i]
This was the person selected by CNN last night to question Tulsi [Gabbard] about Assad. She’s a corporate consultant who has worked for Goldman Sachs, Google, and Time Warner. Why does CNN pretend these “town halls” are representative of average voters? pic.twitter.com/PNLGOYDKRn
[/i]
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) [url=https://twitter.com/mtracey/status/1105122696470368257?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw]March 11, 2019[/url]

ewmayer 2019-03-13 21:10

More on the Dem-establishment smear campaign against Tulsi Gabbard:

[url=https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/03/13/colbert-smears-tulsi-gabbard-to-her-face-while-telling-zero-jokes/]Colbert Smears Tulsi Gabbard To Her Face While Telling Zero Jokes[/url] | Caitlin Johnstone[quote]Hawaii Congresswoman and Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard recently appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where instead of the light, jokey banter about politics and who she is as a person that Democratic presidential candidates normally encounter on late night comedy programs, the show’s host solemnly ran down a list of textbook beltway smears against Gabbard and made her defend them in front of his audience.

Normally when a Democratic Party-aligned politician appears on such a show, you can expect jokes about how stupid Trump is and how badly they’re going to beat the Republicans, how they’re going to help ordinary Americans, and maybe some friendly back-and-forth about where they grew up or something. Colbert had no time to waste on such things, however, because this was not an interview with a normal Democratic Party-aligned politician: this was a politician who has been loudly and consistently criticizing US foreign policy.[/quote]
Ah, for the days of yore, when Stephen Colbert pretended to be a right-wing pundit and was still funny ... now that he's outed himself as a loyal tribalist and water carrier for empire, there's nothing funny at all about him.


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