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Old 2019-12-31, 22:30   #133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
Use of the word iconic in any news story or public statement from this organization is hereby prohibited.
Yes!
And any use of the word "skyrocket" should explain why "rocket" was not sufficient.
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Old 2020-01-01, 05:41   #134
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
Yes!
And any use of the word "skyrocket" should explain why "rocket" was not sufficient.
That depends on the meaning of "sky." (Thanks, Bill Clinton.)
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Old 2020-01-01, 15:39   #135
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The following amendments to Style Manuals would also generally improve news writing:
Anyone using "centered around," in place of "based on" [or upon]; "founded on" [or upon]; or "grounded in" [or on], shall suffer the malediction of God; and be drawn and quartered.

Anyone using "hone in on" instead of "home in on" shall be burned at the stake.
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Old 2020-01-01, 16:47   #136
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Posted by ewmayer: It is really disappointing to find out that the Intercept is corrupted.
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Old 2020-01-03, 21:06   #137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
I have a modest proposal for the new year. The Style Manual for every news organization that has one, should be amended to contain the following provision:
Use of the word iconic in any news story or public statement from this organization is hereby prohibited. Infractions of this rule shall be punished by death.
My modest new year's proposal to the digital-ink-stained wretches is to lift the ban on the usage of the word 'alleged'. E.g. if you are a venal propagandistreporter and someone from the DC defense/natsec 'Blob' whispers something in your ear, lacking independent confirmation of what was whispered makes it just that - alleged - and reportable as such.

Last fiddled with by ewmayer on 2020-01-03 at 21:07
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Old 2020-01-03, 21:40   #138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
My modest new year's proposal to the digital-ink-stained wretches is to lift the ban on the usage of the word 'alleged'. E.g. if you are a venal propagandistreporter and someone from the DC defense/natsec 'Blob' whispers something in your ear, lacking independent confirmation of what was whispered makes it just that - alleged - and reportable as such.
I would add that abominations like

"According to [authorities] [police] [investigators] [the indictment], Snidely Whiplash allegedly tied Little Nell to the tracks..."

could be better phrased something like

"[Authorities] [Police] [Investigators] [The indictment], allege(s) that Snidely Whiplash tied Little Nell to the tracks..."
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Old 2020-01-04, 03:52   #139
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
I would add that abominations like

"According to [authorities] [police] [investigators] [the indictment], Snidely Whiplash allegedly tied Little Nell to the tracks..."

could be better phrased something like

"[Authorities] [Police] [Investigators] [The indictment], allege(s) that Snidely Whiplash tied Little Nell to the tracks..."
If we are making up rules, then "highly placed sources speaking on condition of anonymity" must be outed once they spill the beans, release the cats, etc.
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Old 2020-01-08, 22:44   #140
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Language Log >> Marg bar ___
Quote:
As someone who does a lot of translating, I understand that there is an ethical component to the craft. People rely on your work to understand the Other. For this reason, cultural context is absolutely imperative. The "Death to ___" chant commonly heard in Iranian political protests for well over sixty years, is a mistranslation. Yes, the Farsi word "marg" can translate to "death," but "marg bar ___" translates to "Down with ___", as you can see in the lead photo for the Guardian article "Iranians turn out in force for rallies after call for Trump response", 2/10/2017:
[Click to embiggen]

The Wikipedia article on the "Marg bar Âmrikâ" slogan shows a mural in Tehran with the same English translation:
[Click to embiggen]

Furthermore, the "down with ___" chant as it is used today is not about a violent overthrow or physically harming the people of a nation. The phrase became popular during the Persian Constitutional Revolution (1905-1911), when political activists would chant "zende ba ___" ("long live ___") in support of a policy or leader, or "marg bar ___" in opposition. These two phrases became entrenched within Iranian political discourse, and during the Iranian Revolution of 1979, swarms of protestors took to the streets chanting "marg bar Shah" to express their dissatisfaction with Iran's monarchy. "Marg bar ___" and "zende ba ___" have continued to live on as colloquial phrases incorporated into political chants, and they have been appropriated to express opposition to or support for any number of subjects.

While the phrase "marg bar" has not made its way into most Farsi or Farsi-English dictionaries, it is commonly understood in Iran as an idiom without violent intent. In fact, the Farsi Wikipedia article for "marg bar America" explains that the phrase is not in reference to the American people or even the country as a whole, but instead discontent with American political policies and its intervention in the Middle East. When the Iranian people took to the streets last week to celebrate the anniversary of the revolution, the chants of "marg bar America" were not threats of violence or war, but rather anger over Trump's policies targeting Iranians and Muslims.

In covering that event, the 2/10/2017 Reuters article "Hundreds of thousands rally in Iran against Trump, chant 'Death to America'" follows in this tradition of Farsi-English translators for news media egregiously misrepresenting Iranian words and sentiments, which helps to engender the deep Islamophobia and hatred of the Middle East among much of the American people. The Guardian article that I cited earlier does a better job of representing the feelings of the Iranian people, although they still get some of it wrong. At least they address the fact that Iranians are deeply appreciative of the Americans who have come out in support of Muslims and opposed the immigration ban. And the New York Times' coverage of the event "Iran Celebrates its Revolution, and Thanks Some Americans" 2/10/2017, does an admirable job of changing the narrative on the phrase "marg bar ___" and conveying Iranians' true sentiments towards the American people.
The Trump-caricature posters are well done. One commenter adds that Krushchev's (in)famous "we will bury you" quote is similarly a mistranslation of a more anodyne Russian saying, amounting to roughly "we will still be here long after you are gone".

Last fiddled with by ewmayer on 2020-01-08 at 22:49
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Old 2020-01-08, 23:31   #141
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
Language Log >> Marg bar ___

The Trump-caricature posters are well done. One commenter adds that Krushchev's (in)famous "we will bury you" quote is similarly a mistranslation of a more anodyne Russian saying, amounting to roughly "we will still be here long after you are gone".
During the days of the Iranian Revolution, I recall seeing a newspaper photo of one of the demonstrations or parades or whatever. Some of the marchers were carrying large photographs of people who had been executed by firing squad, still tied to the posts, with the face of the Shah superimposed on some, and of President Carter on others.

I also remember a report that, on the day Ronald Reagan was inaugurated, at the exact time he became President, demonstrators chanting of "Marg bar Amreeka, marg bar Carter" changed to "Marg bar Amreeka, marg bar Reagan."

Posters and murals in Iran say, in English, "Down with USA." I don't think "down with" means they think we're friends.
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Old 2020-01-21, 20:44   #142
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o The MSM, which instantly jump on every Trump tweet and utterance with a fact-checking feeding frenzy, have been remarkably loath to call out establishment-favorite-son Joe Biden on his various whoppers of Big Lies. Finally, belatedly, recently there has been some pushback on his worst self-promoting fictions, notably his statements to the effect that he opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq despite having, um, voted in favor of it. But such exceptions have been, well, exceptionally few. And those supposed independent fact-checking outfits often prove to have their own political agendas. "Who is fact-checking the fact-checkers?" is a pertinent question. To wit:

PolitiFact Wrongly Lets Biden Off the Hook: The Truth About Social Security Cuts | naked capitalism

o And there is another "Deplorable Rooskies hacking our precious Western Democracy" conspiracy theory making the MSM rounds - it's almost as if they're working from a shared script but, nah, that could never happen here, could it? This one is apparently intended to head off any awkward fact-finding re. the Bidens', papa Joe and son Hunter, dealings in post-Maidan-coup Ukraine:

Establishment Pundits Go Nuts Over New Russian Hacking Conspiracy | Caitlin Johnstone, Medium
Quote:
The New York Times reports that GRU operatives launched a successful ‘phishing attack’ on the Ukrainian gas company at the heart of scandalous allegations about Joe Biden, and establishment pundits are falling all over themselves to tweet the hottest take on this exciting new Russia conspiracy. The story itself fails the smell test on a number of fronts. It falsely claims that allegations of Biden’s corrupt dealings with Ukrainian officials as vice president have been “discredited”, and its only named source is a cybersecurity firm with foundational ties to the NSA and to Crowdstrike, which you may remember as the extremely shady Atlantic Council-tied company at the heart of the plot hole-riddled 2016 Russia hacking narrative (whose CEO is now a billionaire). The article also of course lacks any hard evidence for its claims, and is of course completely silent on any details as to how the security firm knows that the alleged hackers were both (A) Russian and (B) tied to the Russian government. This is par for course with mass media news reporting on anything negative about Russia, where all journalistic standards have gone out the window and nobody suffers any professional consequences for even the most egregious misreporting on that nation.
So evidence-free allegations of Russian 2016 "election hacking" now morph into evidence-free claims that evil Rooskies hacked the company tied to the Biden clan's shady grifting in Ukraine, thus that henceforth any evidence emerging on the latter subject can be dismissed out of hand because "clearly it was doctored by the Russians to incriminate that loveably goofy paragon of virtue, Joe Biden". I mean, stuff like the following would be LOL-worthy if it and other symptoms of raging Trump Derangement Syndrome hadn't actively infected most of the US MSM:
Quote:
“More evidence that Putin fears Biden and is actively trying to help Trump,” added the Obama administration’s Michael McFaul. “Not good. All who believe in American sovereignty should denounce, Democrats and Republicans alike.”
A reader comments:

"Personally I believe that the Russians did hack Burisma. And that is the problem. They managed to download all those files before all the paperwork could be shredded and the computer files deleted and written over. And that is why the panic. The Russians have the goods on the Bidens. That is why the appeal by corporate media editors to refuse to publish the material or call it Russian disinformation. It is too hot. Remember that time CNN said it’s illegal for the public to look at Wikileaks Clinton emails but not for them and the public should trust them to say what was in them? I do. This is kinda like that.
I love the smell of corporate media panic in the morning. It smells like a Bernie victory."
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Old 2020-01-24, 20:12   #143
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Pushback against the promulgators of Red Scare 2.0:

o Consortium News Sends Libel Notices to Canadian Signals Intelligence Agency and Major Television Network: Consortium News has sent libel notices to a Canadian spy agency and major broadcaster after their reports said CN is part of a Russian-directed propaganda campaign targeting Canadian leaders.

o Tulsi Gabbard sues Hillary Clinton for $50M over Russian asset remark | MSN.com -- Gabbard may no longer be a viable candidate - thanks in no small part to the orchestrated establishment smear campaign against her - but if she could manage to get Toxic Hillary to finally STFU by suing her pantsuit off her, that would be an invaluable public service.

And Netflix once again as a spreader of US imperial propaganda:

o Netflix, Iran and the Documentary as Geopolitical Weapon | FAIR
Quote:
The third main character [in the Netflix documentary Nisman, President Kirchner, in office from 2007–15, is a center-left politician who rejected Washington consensus economic policies in favor of Keynesian developmentalism, and reached out to Washington bete noires like Fidel Castro, Evo Morales and Hugo Chávez. She set an example for leaders around the world by strengthening labor unions, initiating large minimum wage hikes and by renationalizing strategic companies that had been privatized during the disastrous IMF-imposed structural adjustment period of the 1990s, including the train system, the water system, the Aerolinas airline company and the YPF oil company. Her government was marked by high growth rates and innovative redistributive policies that reduced inequality. Consequently, she became extremely popular with the poor and working class.

After [Argentinean right-wing prosecutor Alberto] Nisman died, Alonso’s right-wing Republican Proposal party capitalized on the frivolous treason charges against Kirchner, spread conspiracy theories about his death and catapulted party leader Mauricio Macri to the presidency. Praised by Barack Obama and English-language corporate media, Macri used presidential decrees to immediately gut the public health and education systems, lay off tens of thousands of public sector workers, reestablish a relationship with the IMF and implement privatization.

As had happened during the IMF structural-adjustment period, poverty skyrocketed and widespread hunger led to food riots. As Macri’s popularity plummeted, fellow Nisman character Alberto Fernandez won the presidential election by 7 percentage points, with Cristina Kirchner as his VP; they took office on December 10, 2019. You would have no idea that any of this had happened by watching Nisman.

Cristina Kirchner is one of the most fascinating political characters of the 21st century, but all we see of her in Nisman are short speech fragments and soundbites, peppered with unflattering photos and ominous background music.

During her 50 seconds of airtime in episode 5, for example, she says, “This isn’t an issue that started here in Argentina, it is a political, judicial and communications matrix that extends throughout the entire region.” Kirchner is talking about “lawfare,” the weaponized use of legal tactics to destroy political enemies. This has indeed been applied to left and center-left politicians across Latin America, often with the support of the US Department of Justice, as happened to her friend and former Brazilian President Lula, who was arrested on frivolous charges with no material evidence in order to bar him from the 2018 presidential elections.

The frivolous treason accusation against her, also apparently prepared in partnership with the US DOJ, is another clear example of lawfare. Taking a small fragment of a speech on this subject out of context, however, makes her look like a paranoid conspiracy theorist. This is ironic to see in a six-part documentary that is entirely built upon two conspiracy theories which, as is shown in the series itself, do not have any material evidence to back them up.
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