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MSM as the attack dog of Russiagate color revolution plotters

Media's Trump coverage has radicalized me. That's why this set of pages about color revolution against Trump was created despite the fact that I am a programmer, not a reporter.  Looking at WaPo and NYT I can only say Wow! That proves the CIA were not joking when their spokesman said: "We shall know we have done our job when everything the public believes is false." It's like the editorial desk of every major MSM has a talking points written personally by Brennan.

News NeoMcCartyism Recommended Links US and British media are servants of security apparatus Purple revolution against Trump Wolff revelations and slander MadCow desease of neoliberal MSM Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Anti Trump Hysteria
Ukraine-gate as Russiagate 2.0 Adam Schiff Witch Hunt Demonization of Trump and "Trump is insane" meme Coordinated set of leaks as a color revolution tool Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Strzok-gate Steele dossie DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin
The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies Woodward insinuations  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Corporatist Corruption  Media-Military-Industrial Complex Doublespeak The Deep State National Security State Nation under attack meme
NeoMcCartyism UK Government, MI6 and "Integrity Initiative" Luke Harding a pathetic author of rehash of Steele Dossier book MSM as attack dogs of color revolution US and British media are servants of security apparatus Was Natalia Veselnitskaya meeting with Trump Jr. a trap Brennan elections machinations Fake tale about Smolenkov as "Kremlin spy" who provided info for Steele dossier Mistressgate: Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal affairs
Deception as an art form The Iron Law of Oligarchy Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Neoliberalism History of American False Flag Operations FBI Mayberry Machiavellians Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc
   

A Suffolk University poll last month showed Fox News viewers have an unfavorable view of the media by a margin off 64-24. Another survey showed 76 percent of Republicans think the media makes up stories about Trump. And a Quinnipiac poll in November showed 91 percent of Republicans disapproved of how the media covered Trump and just 10 percent trusted the media more than Trump.

"Every president gets pounded by the press," Kurtz wrote. "But no president has ever been subjected to the kind of relentless ridicule, caustic commentary and insulting invective that has been heaped on Trump. I have a name for this half-crazed compulsion to furiously attack one man. It's called Trump Trauma

Howard Kurtz Media's Trump coverage has 'radicalized me'

One more comment here about Michael Wolff and his claim that everybody in the White House thinks that Trump’s a child, that he’s a moron, he doesn’t like to read, he’s mentally unbalanced, all this. This is really irresponsibly absurd. And for this claim to be 100% of the people around Trump, and Wolff is the guy saying that he can’t guarantee everything in his book is right, and he’s also admitting that he did anything to get his story, including not tell people they were on the record when he was talking to ’em.

Nuking the Wolff Book The Rush Limbaugh Show

In East Germany, Stasi leader Markus Wolfe took things a step further with the “zersetzung” tactic. The idea was to *induce* a “personal crisis” through clandestine harassment, including at the hands of acquaintances secretly recruited by the Stasi. In other words, ... trying to cause *real* mental illness by relentlessly gaslighting selected individual dissidents until they cracked.

John Grudlos, January 26, 2018 at 9:49 am

 


Introduction

The “Resistance” – the loose affiliation of neoliberals and neo-conservatives opposing Donald Trump – is not a grass-roots movement. They don’t speak for the everyman or the poor, or the oppressed. They are stooges of intelligence agencies and financial oligarchy. The latter are closely interconnected; remember that Allen Dulles was a Wall Street lawyer before becoming the top spy; and  ;-). The Resistance is the voice of the Deep State – Pro-war, pro-globalisation, pro-Imperialism. It just try to hide its true face behind a mask of “progressive values”.

President Trump accuses his neocon and neoliberal critics and MSM of with hunt. And he is right. It is witch hunt of neoliberal MSM against the President  who have the courage (at least during his election campaign) to call things with their proper names and to question neoliberal globalization and redistribution of wealth up, leaving Rust Belt without jobs and without perspectives.  But witch hunt is not the whole story. It is just a part of a color Revolution against Trump.

President Trump accuses critics, the media of with hunt. And he is right. It is witch hunt of neoliberal MSM against the President  who have the courage (at least during his election campaign) to call things with their proper names and to question neoliberal globalization and redistribution of wealth up, leaving Rust belt without jobs and without perspectives.

The Deep State – i.e. the constellation of national security agencies and private actors who have directed and maintained our globalist foreign policy since the end of World War II – would have targeted Trump in any case, due to his hostility to their interventionist foreign policy, Neoliberal presstitutes just follow the orders.

They tell us, in clear voices, who they are and that's why many voters refuse to listen them.  There is, of course, certain percentage of totally brainwashed progressives who  will side with anyone hitting anti-Trump talking points, spouting the right buzzwords, hashtags, etc. But most people understand that neoliberal MSM play a very dirty game.

Completely crazy, 24/7 promotion of mediocre Wolff book  in January 2018 was a typical example of unrelenting campaign to discredit Trump and force him to abandon his  position. And look at all those "kid gloves" interviews with Wolff in neoliberal MSM. And there were other similar books in pipeline. Most flopped (only Woodward book generated some buzz)

Media's treatment of Trump is a classic, textbook case of demonization of the elected leader of country, an essential part of preparation by intelligence agencies of a color revolution against him. Paradoxically this American Don_Quixote Trump fought back and managed to shred the neoliberal MSM credibility, especially CNN and MSNBC.

A Suffolk University poll last month showed Fox News viewers have an unfavorable view of the media by a margin off 64-24. Another survey showed 76 percent of Republicans think the media makes up stories about Trump. And a Quinnipiac poll in November showed 91 percent of Republicans disapproved of how the media covered Trump and just 10 percent trusted the media more than Trump.

This new Trump book could do even more damage than Michael Wolff’s. Here’s why., WaPo, Jan 22, 2018

The bottom line is that the intelligence services of the United States, and top officials of the FBI, have indeed launched a regime change operation comparable to the dozens carried out by these very same spooks over the years from Latin America to the Middle East. One telling sign of a color revolution is when the media use too many anonymous sources when detailing what happens behind the scenes at the White House:

Unnamed sources are way overused, especially by major news outlets. People are allowed to take cheap shots without their names attached. They are empowered to engage in political sniping from behind a curtain of anonymity. And top news executives know this.

This abuse of anonymous sources and comaigh of "leaks" from White House hiding under the curtain of anonymity and weak slander laws. Slander law in the USA  requires public figure to prove malicious intent to win in court. As this is difficult to do slander using anonymous source became the trademark feature of witch hung against Trump.

The media and Hollywood are fully behind this “Resistance to Trump” smear campaign. This would be rather hilarious, if it was not for all gravitas with which the neoliberal MSM are trying to reverse the last election results (in close cooperation with the intelligence agencies).

Actually the USA media coverage of Trump after elections reminds us once again, that key MSM in the USA used to be controlled by CIA. At the highest level, top FBI and CIA officials deploy the assets available, including MSM to harass, undermine, and betray a sitting President. All for deviation from classic neoliberal party line, especially in the area of neoliberal globalization.

So theoretically we can guess who is behind  the curtain  and who is paying for all this dirty show. As well as who is organizing this stream of leaks and salacious detail (Steele dossier via FBI contractor Fusion GPS, Mistressgate, attack of Trump business empire, books like Wolff's book (BTW Wolff was Iraq war reporter:   look at his interview  to Bill Maher Jan 18, 2018 )  or more recent Woodward book. As somebody said about Christopher Steele, the author of Steele dossier "former MI6 agents are never ex." And they are using th full bag of tricks they learned at the agencies.

As neoliberalism is the regime of "by rich for rich" it requires the distortion of reality comparable with Soviet

  If you are the British establishment tabloid press, make Jeremy Corbyn worse than Hitler. Just replace his picture at a recent debate with images of desecrated Jewish cemeteries, while providing a platform for tear-strained Blair-ites to conjure up the coming holocaust under his leadership.

While you are dredging up history to realign it with your own beliefs, why not reincarnate Joe McCarthy to defend liberal establishment plutocrats against Russian oligarchs?

Enlist an elite cadre of lesbians to make the case for endless war and the lovability of war criminals.

Elevate wheezing old apparatchik Josef Bidenevsky to replace the doddering nazi the party’s central committee “elected” while drunk on Grey Goose vodka.

Hybrid warfare, which usually provides cover for the aggressor nation or multinational, allowing it to avoid detection in the ‘grey zone’ it operates within, is no longer a covert strategy, but an openly waged campaign against humanity itself, with both the establishment left and the hard right steering its neoliberal course....

...We are subjected daily to a relentless pummeling against reason, whether it’s Donald Trump’s Twitter feed or Rachel Maddow’s nightly (mis)infomercials for her corporate sponsors. Either way we toe party line, (Collusion! or ‘Covefef’) the result is a cry of “Banzai!” (and the sound of “Ka-Ching”) from the trading floors of Goldman Sachs.

Just as the Corporate State tightens its oxygen-depleting chokehold across the globe, destroying all resistance with the speed and force of a flesh-eating superbug pandemic, its media organizations deliberately transmit this particularly deadly strain of the Neoliberalism Virus.

Jennifer Matsui , CounterPunch

This "war with the reality" of neoliberal MSM, which are ready to defend neoliberalism and globalization against nationalism and isolationalism to the last American,  will continue to the last day of Trump presidency. Because the "war with the reality" is the immanent feature of neoliberalism, which can't exist without myths. Which suggest that it is a secular religion. 

At the same time this #neverTrump campaign revealed several ugly truths about neoliberal MSM, neoliberal establishment, and its fifth column in intelligence agencies, as well as about neoliberal aversion to the truth.

It is important to understand that neoliberal MSM does not act independently, they are just puppets. So all those leaks and revelation are done under supervision or at least in close cooperation with (and individual journalist often with funding by) intelligence agencies. This is very true about any color revolution, including Russiagate revolution against Trump:

SethPoor -> BennyBoy Jan 22, 2018 9:47 AM Permalink

For example, now it is known that FBI contractor Fusion GPS paid some  journalists to blackmail Trump  (redstate.com, Jan 07, 2018):

Why is Fusion GPS fighting so hard to resist the subpoena? Because the redacted records already released showed Fusion GPS paying money to journalists and to media organizations.

We don’t know if these payments were for pushing the totally irrelevant Trump dossier but we can be very sure that we will soon know the names of the journalists and organizations involved.

Being Trotskyism for the rich, neoliberalism not only reuses all Soviet propaganda tricks on a new technological level, it also inevitably creates a new nomenklatura, part of which can be called "national security parasites". Along with  fincancial "masters of the universe" or top 0.1%) they controls a leion share of national wealth (redistribution of wealth up is the goal of neoliberalism).  so huge military expences feed greedy "national security elite" which in the level of greed does not differ much from the financial elite.  This formation of a cast of "national security parasites" is part of parcel of the more general process of the gradual corruption and degeneration of the political elite.  Or how it is now called the "Washington swamp." or simple the swamp. 

This new role of "national security parasites" -- a deeply entrenched in Washington caste of bureaucrats with exorbitant (for government) salaries who are essentially "enjoying their life" in Washington, DC, while understaffed and underfunded field personnel during all the heavy lifting is a completely new phenomenon.  the level of infestation of intelligence agencies is such they they now are capable to influence elections.  Worries of this caste were increased by Trump promises to cut Washington bureaucracy and send some of those Washington "fat cats" to field positions. This perspective might be yet another trigger points of the color revolution against him.

In this sense it looks  like the US political situation after Trump victory is starting to mirror the Eastern European situation under Communism with the security agencies representing  independent and formidable political force.

This is poorly understood but this political change with the intelligence agencies assuming a political role is the key to understanding of the current witch hunt against Trump. It is this development that made launching a color revolution against Trump possible.

And while public stopped trusting neoliberal MSM like CNN and MSNBC, the atmosphere was successfully poisoned.

In this sense that only reliable source of new remain foright sites on Internet (including some maligned by neoliberal MSM) and small web sites, as well as YouTube broadcasts.

They are now a new Samizdat. And this trend clearly worries the establishment (see comments to Are the Clintons Israeli Agents - The Unz Review). 

There is clear analogy between behavior of British neoliberal press as for Brexit
 and USA neoliberal MSM as for Trump elections

  On another level, this regime-change operation is being waged in the media – or, rather, by the media, since 95% of the “mainstream” news outlets have been turned into anti-Trump propaganda outfits, emitting straight polemics 24/7. It’s no different from what they did in Chile, in 1973, when the CIA overthrew Salvador Allende, using clandestine contacts with the media to target the government with black propaganda, false flag incidents, and a general atmosphere of instability and crisis.

Justin Raimondo, Antiwar.com, September 13, 2018

In both cases it is clear that the majority of the MSM is controlled by intelligence  agencies. See US and British media are servants of security apparatus

There are clear analogies here between Trump victory and Brexit and most US voters understand that they need to fight “big banks and hell-bent on neoliberal globalization financial elite” like UK voters did:

...the British politician, who was invited by Mississippi governor Phil Bryant, will draw parallels between what he sees as the inspirational story of Brexit and Trump’s campaign. Farage will describe the Republican’s campaign as a similar crusade by grassroots activists against “big banks and global political insiders” and how those who feel disaffected and disenfranchised can become involved in populist, rightwing politics. With Trump lagging in the polls, just as Brexit did prior to the vote on the referendum, Farage will also hearten supporters by insisting that they can prove pundits and oddsmakers wrong as well.

This message resonates with the Trump campaign’s efforts to reach out to blue collar voters who have become disillusioned with American politics, while also adding a unique flair to Trump’s never staid campaign rallies.

... ... ...

“I am going to say to people in this country that the circumstances, the similarities, the parallels between the people who voted Brexit and the people who could beat Clinton in a few weeks time here in America are uncanny,” Farage told Super Talk Mississippi. “If they want things to change they have get up out of their chairs and go out and fight for it. It can happen. We’ve just proved it.”

“I am being careful,” he added when asked if he supported the controversial Republican nominee. “It’s not for me as a foreign politician to say who you should vote for ... All I will say is that if you vote for Hillary Clinton, then nothing will change. She represents the very politics that we’ve just broken through the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom.”

What they do not understand is that intelligence agencies also have  their own elite and it is no less dangerous then the financial elite. They also tent to control MSM competing and allying in this task with the financial elite (CIA was actually created by a Wall Street lawyers, such as Allen Dulles) .  A more general question that arise in this context is: "Can any country with powerful intelligence agencies be  a republic or a democracy?"

And another related question is "Can MSM in a country with powerful intelligence agencies exist outside of their control?".


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[Jul 03, 2020] My take on Tucker and Maddow: both serve those who write their paychecks, but one of the two bosses is a better businessman.

Jul 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Piotr Berman , Jul 3 2020 5:43 utc | 96

My take on Tucker and Maddow: both serve those who write their paychecks, but one of the two bosses is a better businessman.

Tucker does not duplicate Hannity which lets them serve different (if overlapping) segments of the audience. Showing Paralimpil and Gabbard to the viewers did not lead to any major perturbation in American politics, but it lets his viewer feel that they are better informed than the fools who watch Maddow. And it helps that to a degree they are.

uncle tungsten , Jul 3 2020 6:53 utc | 103

JC #72

I get that Tucker invites good a reasonable people on his show and gives voice space where they would not otherwise get it. That is deliberate.

I bet you that the stats show that the demented monotone oozing out of MSNBC and CNN etc has been a serious turn off for a sector of audience that is well informed and exercise critical faculties. That is exactly what Tucker needs to pay for his program as I would be fairly sure these people are Consumers of a desirable degree and advertisers like Tucker's formula and Fox Bosses like Tuckers income generator.

I don't think it is more complex than that and his bosses will entertain most heresies as long as the program generates advertiser demand for that time slot.

So Tucker is OK and he is reasonable and he will interview a broad spectrum. Good for him. But he smooths the pillow and caresses the establishment arse.

[Jul 01, 2020] Russiagate's Last Gasp by Ray McGovern

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... One can read this most recent flurry of Russia, Russia, Russia paid the Taliban to kill GIs as an attempt to pre-empt the findings into Russiagate's origins. ..."
"... But Moscow recognized from the start that Washington was embarked on a fool's errand in Vietnam. There would be no percentage in getting directly involved. And so, the Soviets sat back and watched smugly as the Vietnamese Communists drove U.S. forces out on their "own resources." As was the case with the Viet Cong, the Taliban needs no bounty inducements from abroad. ..."
"... Former CIA Director William Casey said: "We'll know when our disinformation program is complete, when everything the American public believes is false." ..."
"... If Durham finds it fraudulent (not a difficult task), the heads of senior intelligence and law enforcement officials may roll. That would also mean a still deeper dent in the credibility of Establishment media that are only too eager to drink the Kool Aid and to leave plenty to drink for the rest of us. ..."
"... I am not a regular Maddow-watcher, but to me she seemed unhinged -- actually, well over the top. ..."
Jun 29, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

One can read this most recent flurry of Russia, Russia, Russia paid the Taliban to kill GIs as an attempt to pre-empt the findings into Russiagate's origins.

By Ray McGovern
Special to Consortium News

O n Friday The New York Times featured a report based on anonymous intelligence officials that the Russians were paying bounties to have U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan with President Donald Trump refusing to do anything about it. The flurry of Establishment media reporting that ensued provides further proof, if such were needed, that the erstwhile "paper of record" has earned a new moniker -- Gray Lady of easy virtue.

Over the weekend, the Times ' dubious allegations grabbed headlines across all media that are likely to remain indelible in the minds of credulous Americans -- which seems to have been the main objective. To keep the pot boiling this morning, The New York Times' David Leonhardt's daily web piece , "The Morning" calls prominent attention to a banal article by a Heather Cox Richardson, described as a historian at Boston College, adding specific charges to the general indictment of Trump by showing "how the Trump administration has continued to treat Russia favorably." The following is from Richardson's newsletter on Friday:

Historian Richardson added:

"All of these friendly overtures to Russia were alarming enough when all we knew was that Russia attacked the 2016 U.S. election and is doing so again in 2020. But it is far worse that those overtures took place when the administration knew that Russia had actively targeted American soldiers. this bad news apparently prompted worried intelligence officials to give up their hope that the administration would respond to the crisis, and instead to leak the story to two major newspapers."

Hear the siren? Children, get under your desks!

The Tall Tale About Russia Paying for Dead U.S. Troops

Times print edition readers had to wait until this morning to learn of Trump's statement last night that he was not briefed on the cockamamie tale about bounties for killing, since it was, well, cockamamie.

Late last night the president tweeted: "Intel just reported to me that they did not find this info credible, and therefore did not report it to me or the VP. "

For those of us distrustful of the Times -- with good reason -- on such neuralgic issues, the bounty story had already fallen of its own weight. As Scott Ritter pointed out yesterday:

"Perhaps the biggest clue concerning the fragility of the New York Times ' report is contained in the one sentence it provides about sourcing -- "The intelligence assessment is said to be based at least in part on interrogations of captured Afghan militants and criminals." That sentence contains almost everything one needs to know about the intelligence in question, including the fact that the source of the information is most likely the Afghan government as reported through CIA channels. "

And who can forget how "successful" interrogators can be in getting desired answers.

Russia & Taliban React

The Kremlin called the Times reporting "nonsense an unsophisticated plant," and from Russia's perspective the allegations make little sense; Moscow will see them for what they are -- attempts to show that Trump is too "accommodating" to Russia.

A Taliban spokesman called the story "baseless," adding with apparent pride that "we" have done "target killings" for years "on our own resources."

Russia is no friend of the Taliban. At the same time, it has been clear for several years that the U.S. would have to pull its troops out of Afghanistan. Think back five decades and recall how circumspect the Soviets were in Vietnam. Giving rhetorical support to a fraternal Communist nation was de rigueur and some surface-to-air missiles gave some substance to that support.

But Moscow recognized from the start that Washington was embarked on a fool's errand in Vietnam. There would be no percentage in getting directly involved. And so, the Soviets sat back and watched smugly as the Vietnamese Communists drove U.S. forces out on their "own resources." As was the case with the Viet Cong, the Taliban needs no bounty inducements from abroad.

Besides, the Russians knew painfully well -- from their own bitter experience in Afghanistan, what the outcome of the most recent fool's errand would be for the U.S. What point would they see in doing what The New York Times and other Establishment media are breathlessly accusing them of?

CIA Disinformation; Casey at Bat

Former CIA Director William Casey said: "We'll know when our disinformation program is complete, when everything the American public believes is false."

Casey made that remark at the first cabinet meeting in the White House under President Ronald Reagan in early 1981, according to Barbara Honegger, who was assistant to the chief domestic policy adviser. Honegger was there, took notes, and told then Senior White House correspondent Sarah McClendon, who in turn made it public.

If Casey's spirit is somehow observing the success of the disinformation program called Russiagate, one can imagine how proud he must be. But sustained propaganda success can be a serious challenge. The Russiagate canard has lasted three and a half years. This last gasp effort, spearheaded by the Times , to breathe more life into it is likely to last little more than a weekend -- the redoubled efforts of Casey-dictum followers notwithstanding.

Russiagate itself has been unraveling, although one would hardly know it from the Establishment media. No collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Even the sacrosanct tenet that the Russians hacked the DNC emails published by WikiLeaks has been disproven , with the head of the DNC-hired cyber security firm CrowdStrike admitting that there is no evidence that the DNC emails were hacked -- by Russia or anyone else .

U.S. Attorney John Durham. (Wikipedia)

How long will it take the Times to catch up with the CrowdStrike story, available since May 7?

The media is left with one sacred cow: the misnomered "Intelligence Community" Assessment of Jan. 6, 2017, claiming that President Putin himself ordered the hacking of the DNC. That "assessment" done by "hand-picked analysts" from only CIA, FBI and NSA (not all 17 intelligence agencies of the "intelligence community") reportedly is being given close scrutiny by U. S. Attorney John Durham, appointed by the attorney general to investigate Russiagate's origins.

If Durham finds it fraudulent (not a difficult task), the heads of senior intelligence and law enforcement officials may roll. That would also mean a still deeper dent in the credibility of Establishment media that are only too eager to drink the Kool Aid and to leave plenty to drink for the rest of us.

Do not expect the media to cease and desist, simply because Trump had a good squelch for them last night -- namely, the "intelligence" on the "bounties" was not deemed good enough to present to the president.

(As a preparer and briefer of The President's Daily Brief to Presidents Reagan and HW Bush, I can attest to the fact that -- based on what has been revealed so far -- the Russian bounty story falls far short of the PDB threshold.)

Rejecting Intelligence Assessments

Nevertheless, the corporate media is likely to play up the Trump administration's rejection of what the media is calling the "intelligence assessment" about Russia offering -- as Rachel Maddow indecorously put it on Friday -- "bounty for the scalps of American soldiers in Afghanistan."

I am not a regular Maddow-watcher, but to me she seemed unhinged -- actually, well over the top.

The media asks, "Why does Trump continue to disrespect the assessments of the intelligence community?" There he goes again -- not believing our "intelligence community; siding, rather, with Putin."

In other words, we can expect no let up from the media and the national security miscreant leakers who have served as their life's blood. As for the anchors and pundits, their level of sophistication was reflected yesterday in the sage surmise of Face the Nation's Chuck Todd, who Aaron Mate reminds us, is a "grown adult and professional media person." Todd asked guest John Bolton: "Do you think that the president is afraid to make Putin mad because maybe Putin did help him win the election, and he doesn't want to make him mad for 2020?"

"This is as bad as it gets," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday, adding the aphorism she memorized several months ago: "All roads lead to Putin." The unconscionably deceitful performance of Establishment media is as bad as it gets, though that, of course, was not what Pelosi meant. She apparently lifted a line right out of the Times about how Trump is too "accommodating" toward Russia.

One can read this most recent flurry of Russia, Russia, Russia as a reflection of the need to pre-empt the findings likely to issue from Durham and Attorney General William Barr in the coming months -- on the theory that the best defense is a pre-emptive offense. Meanwhile, we can expect the corporate media to continue to disgrace itself.

Vile

Caitlin Johnstone, typically, pulls no punches regarding the Russian bounty travesty:

"All parties involved in spreading this malignant psyop are absolutely vile, but a special disdain should be reserved for the media class who have been entrusted by the public with the essential task of creating an informed populace and holding power to account. How much of an unprincipled whore do you have to be to call yourself a journalist and uncritically parrot the completely unsubstantiated assertions of spooks while protecting their anonymity? How much work did these empire fluffers put into killing off every last shred of their dignity? It boggles the mind.

It really is funny how the most influential news outlets in the Western world will uncritically parrot whatever they're told to say by the most powerful and depraved intelligence agencies on the planet, and then turn around and tell you without a hint of self-awareness that Russia and China are bad because they have state media.

Sometimes all you can do is laugh."

Ray McGovern works for Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. During his 27-years as a CIA analyst he led the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and prepared The President's Daily Brief for Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Reagan. In retirement, he co-created Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.


Aaron , June 30, 2020 at 12:33

If anything, all roads lead to Israel. You have to consider the sources, the writers, journalists, editors, owners, and rich people from which these stories come. This latest ridiculous story will certainly help Trump, so the sources of these Russia stories are actually fans of Trump, they love his tax cuts, he helps their revenue streams, and he's the greatest friend and Zionist to Israel so far and also Wall Street. I think most Americans can understand that Putin doesn't possess all of the supernatural all-encompassing powers and mind-controlling omnipotence that Pelosi and her ilk attribute to him. That's why at his rallies, when Trump points to where the journalists are and sneers at them calling them bloodsuckers and parasites and all that, the people love it, because of stuff like this. It's like saying "look at those assholes, those liberal journalists over at CNN say that you voted for me because of Vladimir Putin?!" It just pisses off people to keep hearing that mantra over and over. So it's a gift to Trump, it helps him so much. And seeing that super expensive helicopter flying around the barren rocky slopes of the middle east, seems like it's out of some Rambo movie. And like Rambo, the tens of thousands of American servicemen that were sacrificed over there, and still commit suicides at a horrific rate, have always been treated by the architects of these wars that only helped the state of Israel, as the expendables. Whether it's a black life, a soldier fighting in Iraq, a foreclosed on homeowner by Mnuchin's work, or a brainwashed New York Times subscriber, we don't seem to matter, we seem to feel the truth that to these people were are indeed expendable. The question to answer I think is, not who is a Russian asset, but who is an Israeli asset?

Andrew Thomas , June 30, 2020 at 12:04

Great reporting as usual, Ray. But special kudos for the NYT moniker 'Gray lady of easy virtue.' I almost laughed out loud. A rare occurrence these days.

Michael P Goldenberg , June 30, 2020 at 10:45

Thanks for another cogent assessment of our mainstream media's utter depravity and reckless irresponsibility. They truly have become nothing more than presstitutes and enemies of the people.

Bob Van Noy , June 30, 2020 at 10:42

"It's all over but the shouting" goes the idiom and I think that is true of Russiagate, especially, thank all goodness, here at Robert Parry's Journalistic site!

I have a theory that propaganda has a lifetime but when it reaches a truly absurd level, it's all over. Clearly, we've reached that level Thanks to all at CN

evelync , June 30, 2020 at 10:33

You call Rachel Madcow "unhinged", Ray ..well, yes, I'm shocked at myself that there was a time that I tuned in to her show .
Sorry Ms Madcow you've turned yourself into a character from Dr Strangelove

The key threats – climate change, pandemics, nuclear war – and why we continue to fail to address these real things while filling the airwaves instead with the tiresome russia,russia,russia mantra – per Accam's razer suggests that it serves very short term interests of money and power whoever whatever the MICIMATT answers to.
"Former CIA Director William Casey said: "We'll know when our disinformation program is complete, when everything the American public believes is false." "

Who exactly was the "we" Casey was answering to each day?
I know it wasn't me or the planet or humanity or anyone I know.

Bill Rice , June 30, 2020 at 10:20

If only articles like this were read by the masses. Maybe people would get a clue. Blind patriotism is not patriotic at all. Skepticism is healthy.

torture this , June 30, 2020 at 09:54

It's a shame that VIPS reporting is top secret. It's the only information coming from people familiar with the ins and outs of spy agencies that can be trusted.

GeorgeG , June 30, 2020 at 09:45

Ray,
You missed the juicy stuff. See: tass.com/russia/1172369 Russia Foreign Ministry: NYT article on Russia in Afghanistan fake from US intelligence. Here is the kicker:

The Russian Foreign Ministry pointed to US intelligence agencies' involvement in Afghan drug trafficking.
"Should we speak about facts – moreover, well-known [facts], it has not long been a secret in Afghanistan that members of the US intelligence community are involved in drug trafficking, cash payments to militants for letting transport convoys pass through, kickbacks from contracts implementing various projects paid by American taxpayers. The list of their actions can be continued if you want," the ministry said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry suggested that those actions might stem from the fact that the US intelligence agencies "do not like that our and their diplomats have teamed up to facilitate the start of peace talks between Kabul and the Taliban (outlawed in Russia – TASS)."

"We can understand their feelings as they do not want to be deprived of the above mentioned sources of the off-the-books income," the ministry stressed.

Thomas Fortin , June 30, 2020 at 12:08

Affirmative Ray, two of my old comrades who were SF both did security on CIA drug flights back in the day, and later on both while under VA care decided to die off God I miss them, great guys and honest souls.

DH Fabian , June 30, 2020 at 09:41

One point remains a mystery. Why would anyone think that when the US invades a country, someone would need to pay the people of that country a bounty to fight back?

Mark Clarke , June 30, 2020 at 09:27

If Biden wins the presidency and the Democrats take back the Senate, Russiagate will strengthen and live on for many years.

Al , June 30, 2020 at 12:11

All to deflect from Clinton's private server while SOS, 30,000 deleted emails, and the sale of US interests via the Clinton Foundation.

Zedster , June 30, 2020 at 12:56

That, or we learn Chinese.

Skip Scott , June 30, 2020 at 09:08

Another interesting aside is that Tulsi Gabbard's "Stop funding Terrorists" bill went nowhere in Congress. So it's Ok for us and our Arab allies to fund them, but not the Russians? Maybe we should go back to calling them the Mujahideen?

Thomas Scherrer , June 30, 2020 at 12:10

Preach, my child.

And aloha to the last decent woman in those halls.

HARRY M HAYS , June 30, 2020 at 09:01

Do you not think that the timing of all this (months after the report was allegedly presented to Trump) is an attempt to stop Trump from signing an agreement with the Taliban that will allow him to withdraw American troops from that country?

Skip Scott , June 30, 2020 at 08:58

Great article Ray, but I have to question whether Durham will fulfill his role and get to the bottom of the origins of RussiaGate. If he actually does name names and prosecute, how will the MSM cover it? What will Ms. Madcow have to say? Ever since the fizzling failure of the Epstein investigation, I have had my doubts about Barr and his minion Durham. I hope I'm wrong. Time will tell.

Thomas Fortin , June 30, 2020 at 12:24

I think on here I can talk about this issue you brought up Scott, on other places when I tried to have a rational discussion on the matter, I got shouted down, well they tried anyway.
I highly suggest to any readers of this here on Consortium to get Gore Vidal's old book, Imperial America, and also watch his old documentary, THE UNITED STATES OF AMNESIA.
Here is the point of it,
"Officially we have two parties which are in fact wings of a common party of property with two right wings. Corporate wealth finances each. Since the property party controls every aspect of media they have had decades to create a false reality for a citizenry largely uneducated by public schools that teach conformity with an occasional advanced degree in consumerism."
-GORE VIDAL, The United States of Amnesia
Also,
"There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat. Republicans are a bit stupider, more rigid, more doctrinaire in their laissez-faire capitalism than the Democrats, who are cuter, prettier, a bit more corrupt -- until recently and more willing than the Republicans to make small adjustments when the poor, the black, the anti-imperialists get out of hand. But, essentially, there is no difference between the two parties."
? Gore Vidal
Others have pointed out the same like this,
"Nobody should have any illusions. The United States has essentially a one-party system and the ruling party is the business party."
? Noam Chomsky
"In the United States [ ] the two main business-dominated parties, with the support of the corporate community, have refused to reform laws that make it virtually impossible to create new political parties (that might appeal to non-business interests) and let them be effective. Although there is marked and frequently observed dissatisfaction with the Republicans and Democrats, electoral politics is one area where notions of competitions and free choice have little meaning. In some respects the caliber of debate and choice in neoliberal elections tends to be closer to that of the one-party communist state than that of a genuine democracy."
? Robert W. McChesney, Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order
"The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies is a foolish idea. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can throw the rascals out at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy. Then it should be possible to replace it, every four years if necessary, by the other party which will be none of these things but will still pursue, with new vigor, approximately the same basic policies."
? Carroll Quigley [1910 – 1977 was an American historian and theorist of the evolution of civilizations. He is remembered for his teaching work as a professor at Georgetown University, for his academic publications.]
Teddy Roosevelt, whose statue is under attack in NYC, had this to say,
"The bosses of the Democratic party and the bosses of the Republican party alike have a closer grip than ever before on the party machines in the States and in the Nation. This crooked control of both the old parties by the beneficiaries of political and business privilege renders it hopeless to expect any far-reaching and fundamental service from either."
-THEODORE ROOSEVELT, The Outlook, July 27, 1912
I suggest also that you look up on line this article, Heads They Win, Tails We Lose: Our Fake Two-Party System
by Prof. Stephen H. Unger at Columbia, here is his concluding thought,
"The drift toward loss of liberty, unending wars, environmental degradation, growing economic inequality can't be stopped easily, but it will never be halted as long as we allow corporate interests to rule our country by means of a pseudo-democracy based on the two-party swindle."
With this all in mind, and if your my age, you might recall about how over the past more then 50 years, no matter which party gets in power, nothing of any significance changes, the wars continue, the transfer of wealth to the few, and the erosion of basic civil liberties continues pretty well unabated.
Trump is surrounded by neo-cons and I expect nothing will happen to change anything. I would get into how most called liberals are hardly that, but in reality neo-cons, but I've said enough for now, when you consider the statements I shared, then the Matrix begins to come unraveled.

Grady , June 30, 2020 at 08:01

Not to mention the potential peace initiative with Afghanistan and Taliban that is looming. Peace is not profitable, so who has the dual interests in maintaining protracted war in a strategic location while ensuring the poppy crop stays the most productive in the world? It seems said poppy production under the pre war Taliban government was minimal as they eliminated most of it. Attacking the Taliban and thwarting its rule allowed for greater production, to the extent it is the global leader in helping to fulfill the opiate demand. Gary Webb established long ago that the intelligence community, specifically the CIA, has somewhat of a tradition in such covert operations and logic would dictate they're vested interest lies in maintaining a high yield crop while feeding the profit center that is the MIC war machine. While certainly a bit digressive, the dots are there to connect.

Paul , June 30, 2020 at 07:54

My friend, I love your columns. Thank you, you have been one of the few sane voices on Russiagate from the beginning.

Sadly most Americans and most people in the world will not receive these simple truths you are telling. (not their fault)

We will continue our fight against the system.

Peace, Paul from South Africa

Voice from Europe , June 30, 2020 at 07:38

Don't think this will be the last Russiagate gasp whoever becomes the next president.
The 'liberal democrats' believe their own delusions and as long as they control the MSM, they won't stop. Lol.

Thomas Fortin , June 30, 2020 at 12:29

You should read my reply to Scott, most of these Democrats are not liberals, but neo-cons who just liberal virtue signal while in reality supporting the neo-con agenda. I hate it how the so called alternative or independent media abuse terms and words, which obscures realities. Anyway, take a look at my reply and the quotes I shared.
"Definition of liberal, one who is open-minded or not strict in the observance of orthodox, traditional, or established forms or ways, progressive, broad-minded, . willing to respect or accept behavior or opinions different from one's own; open to new ideas, denoting a political and social philosophy that promotes individual rights, civil liberties, democracy, and free enterprise."
? Derived from Webster's and the Oxford Dictionaries

"Liberal' comes from the Latin liberalis, which means pertaining to a free man. In politics, to be liberal is to want to extend democracy through change and reform. One can see why that word had to be erased from our political lexicon."
? Gore Vidal, "The Great Unmentionable: Monotheism and its Discontents," The Lowell Lecture, Harvard University, April 20, 1992.

Tom Welsh , June 30, 2020 at 06:23

Er, hypocrisy much?

"'Kill Russians and Iranians, threaten Assad,' says ex-CIA chief backing Clinton"
hXXps://www.rt.com/usa/355291-morrell-kill-russians-clinton/

Tom Welsh , June 30, 2020 at 06:13

Once again I would like to compliment Mr McGovern on his magnificently Biblical appearance. That full set would do credit to any Old Testament prophet.

I see him as the USA's own Jeremiah.

Tom Welsh , June 30, 2020 at 06:12

Seeing that picture of Johnson's sad, wicked bloodhound features really, really makes me wish I had had a chance to be outside his tent pissing in. I'd have been careful to drink as many gallons of beer as possible beforehand.

Although it would have been better, from a humanitarian pont of view, just to set fire to the tent.

Tom Welsh , June 30, 2020 at 06:10

"Historian Richardson "

Clearly a serious exaggeration.

Tom Welsh , June 30, 2020 at 06:09

Ah, the Chinook! The 60-year-old helicopter that epitomises everything Afghan patriots love about the USA. It's big, fat, slow, clumsy, unmanoeuvrable, and may carry enough US troops to make shooting it down a damaging political blow against Washington.

Vivek , June 30, 2020 at 05:43

Ray,
What do you make of Barbara Honeggar's second career as a alternative story peddler?
see hXXps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jB21BVFOIjw

CNfan , June 30, 2020 at 03:43

A brilliant piece, with a deft touch depicting the timeless human follies running our foreign policy circus. Real-world experience, perspective, and courage like Ray's were the dream of the drafters of our 1st Amendment. And ending with Caitlin's hammer was effective. As to who benefits? I suspect the neocons – our resident war-addicts and Israeli assets. Paraphrasing Nancy, "All roads lead to Netanyahu."

Ehzal , June 30, 2020 at 03:12

So,Russia what will do in next Upcoming Years during these covid-19.

Realist , June 30, 2020 at 02:54

Ray, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has embraced these allegations against Russia as the gospel truth and has threatened to seek revenge against Putin once he occupies the White House.

He said Americans who serve in the military put their life on the line. "But they should never, never, never ever face a threat like this with their commander in chief turning a blind eye to a foreign power putting a bounty on their heads."

"I'm quite frankly outraged by the report," Biden said. He promised that if he is elected, "Putin will be confronted and we'll impose serious costs on Russia."

This is the kind of warmongering talk that derailed the expected landslide victory for the Queen of Warmongers in 2016. This time round though, Trump has seemingly already swung and badly missed three times in his responses to the Covid outbreak, the public antics attributed to BLM, and the Fed's creation of six trillion dollars in funny money as a gift to the most privileged tycoons on the planet. In baseball, which will not have a season in spite of the farcical theatrics between ownership and players, that's called a "whiff" and gets you sent back to the bench.

According to all the pollsters, Donnie's base of white working class "deplorables" are already abandoning his campaign–bigly, prompting the none-too-keen Biden to assume that over-the-top Russia bashing is back in season, especially since trash-talking Nobel Laureate Obama is now delivering most of the mute sock puppet Biden's lines. It was almost comical to watch Joe do nothing but grin in the framed picture to the left of his old boss during their most recent joint interview with the press. This dangerous re-set of the Cold War is NOT what the people want, nor is it good for them or any living things.

DH Fabian , June 30, 2020 at 10:18

Biden already lost 2020 -- in spite of the widely-disliked Trump. This is why Democrats began working to breath life back into Russia-gate by late last year, setting the stage to blame Russia for their 2020 defeat. We spent the past 25 years detailing the demise of the Democratic Party (replaced by the "New Democrat Party"), and it turned out that the party loyalists didn't hear a word of it.

John A , June 30, 2020 at 02:15

As a viewer from afar, in Europe, I find it mindboggling how the American public seem to believe all this nonsense about Russia. Have the people there really been that dumbed down by chewing gum for the eyes television and disgusting chemical and growth h0rmone laced food? Sad, sad, sad.

Tom Welsh , June 30, 2020 at 06:17

John, I think there is something to what you say about dumbing down. I recall Albert Jay Nock lamenting, in about 1910, how dreadfully US education had already been dumbed down – and things have been going steadily downhill ever since.

But I don't think we can quite release the citizenry from responsibility on account of their ignorance. (Isn't it a legal maxim that ignorance is not an excuse?)

There is surely deep down in most people a sly lust for dominance, a desire to control and forbid and compel; and also a quiet satisfaction at hearing of inferior foreigners being harmed or killed by one's own "world class" armed forces.

TS , June 30, 2020 at 11:14

> As a viewer from afar, in Europe, I find it mindboggling how the American public seem to believe all this nonsense about Russia.

May I remind you that most of the mass media in Europe parrot all this nonsense, and a large segment of the public swallows it?

Charles Familant , June 30, 2020 at 00:50

Mr. McGovern has not made his case. To his question as to why Taliban militants need any additional incentive to target U.S. troops in Afghanistan, it is not far-fetched to believe these militants would welcome additional funds to continue their belligerency. Waging war is not cheap and is especially onerous for relatively small organizations as compared to major powers. What reason would Putin have to pay such bounty? The increase in U.S. troop casualties would provide Trump an additional rationale to bring the troops home, as he had promised during his campaign speeches in 2015 and 2016. This action would be a boon to his re-election prospects. Putin is well aware that if Biden wins in November, there is little likelihood of the hostility in Afghanistan or anywhere else being brought to an end. But, more to the point, the likelihood of U.S. sanctions against Russia being curtailed under a Biden presidency is remote. To what he deemed rhetorical, Mr. McGovern asks how successful were U.S. interrogators of such captured Taliban in the past, I remind him that there were opposing views regarding which techniques were most effective. Might not these interrogators have, in the present case, employed more effective means? Finally, it should not even be a question as to why any news agency does not reveal its sources. But in this case, the New York Times specifically mentions that the National Security Council discussed the intelligence finding in late March. Further, if it is true that Trump, Pence et al ignored the said briefs of which the administration was well aware, this should be no surprise to any of us. Case in point: how long did it take Trump to respond to the present pandemic? One telling observation: Mr. McGovern says that Heather Cox Richardson is "described as a historian at Boston College.' She is not just "described as a historian" Mr. McGovern, she IS a historian at Boston College; in fact, she is a professor at that college and has authored six scholarly works that have been published as books, the most recent of which in March of this year by the Oxford University Press. Mr. McGovern states that the points Richardson made her most most recent newsletter as "banal." I see nothing banal in that newsletter, but rather a list of relevant factual occurrences. Finally (this time it really is final), Mr. McGovern employs the use of sarcasm to discount what Richardson and others have contended regarding this most recent expose. And seems to give more credibility to the comments made by Trump and his cohorts, as though this administration is remarkable for its integrity.

Sam F , June 30, 2020 at 11:05

Plausible interest does not make unsupported accusations a reality. What bounties did the US offer?
Have you forgotten that the US set up Al Qaeda in Afghanistan with weapons to attack the USSR there?

Zhu , June 30, 2020 at 00:34

Come December this year, which losing party will blame which scapegoat? Russia? China? The Man in the Moon? It must be a hard decision!

Zhu , June 30, 2020 at 00:31

Unfortunately, bad ideas and conspiracy fictions rarely disappear completely. But that Afghans need to be paid to kill invaders is the dumbest conspiracy fiction yet.

Thomas Fortin , June 29, 2020 at 21:31

Excellent report Ray, as usual.
Interesting note here, I watched The Hill's Rising program, and listened to young conservative Saagar say, although he does not believe that Russia-gate is credible, he made the statement that Russia is supplying the Taliban weapons and wants us to get out of Afghanistan, and that is considered a fact by all journalists!
Saagar is a bit conflicted, he does not, but does believe the gods of intelligence, like so many did with the Gulf of Tonkin so long ago, I remember that all too well.
As I look out upon the ignorant masses and useful idiots who strain at those Confederate and other monuments, while continuing to elect the same old people back into office who continue the status quo, its a bit discouraging. We were told so long ago about our current situation, that,
"It is only when the people become ignorant and corrupt, when they degenerate into a populace, that they are incapable of exercising the sovereignty. Usurpation is then an easy attainment, and an usurper soon found. The people themselves become the willing instruments of their own debasement and ruin." [James Monroe, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1817]
As a historian of some sort and educational film maker, I do my best to educate people, though its a bit overwhelming at times how ignorant and fascist brain-washed most are. Monroe, like the other founders knew the secret of maintaining a free and prosperous republic, from the same piece, "Let us, then, look to the great cause, and endeavor to preserve it in full force. Let us by all wise and constitutional measures promote intelligence among the people as the best means of preserving our liberties."
George Carlin got it right about why education "sucks", it was by design, so our work is cut out for us.
"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."
~Thomas Jefferson

GMCasey , June 29, 2020 at 21:25

Why would Putin even bother? America and its endless wars is doing itself in. Afghanistan is said to be," the graveyard of empires." It was for Alexander the Great -- –it was for Russia and I suppose that it will be for America too -- -

DW Bartoo , June 29, 2020 at 20:50

Ray, I certainly hope that Durham and Barr will not wait too long a time to make public the truth about Russiagate.

Indeed, certain heads should, figuratively, roll, and as well, the whole story about who was behind the setting up of Flynn needs to, somehow, make it through the media flack.

Judge Sullivan's antics having been rather thoroughly shot down, though the media is desperately trying to either spin or ignore the reality that it was not merely Flynn that Sullivan was hoping to harm, but also the power of the executive branch relative to the judicial branch.

The role of Obama and of Biden who, apparently, suggested the use of the Logan Act as the means to go after Flynn, who we now know was intentionally entrapped by the intrepid FBI, need to be made clear as well.

Just as with the initial claims that torture was the work of "a few bad apples", when anyone with any insight into such "policy" actions had to have known that it WAS official policy (crafted by Addington, Bybee, and Yoo, as it turned out, directed to do so by the Bush White House), so too, must it be realized that it was not some rogue agents and loose cannons, but actual instructions "from above", explicit or implicit, that "encouraged" the behavior of those who spoke of "Insurance" policies designed to hamper, hinder, and harm the incoming administration.

Clearly, I am no fan of Trump, and while I honestly regard the Rule of Law as essentially a fairytale for the gullible (as the behavior of the "justice" system from the " qualified immunity" of the police, to the "absolute immunity" of prosecutors, judges, and the political class must make clear,to even the most giddy of childish believers in U$ purity, innocence, and exceptionalism, that the "law" serves to protect wealth and power and NOT the public), I should really like to consider that even in a pretend democracy, some things are simply not to be tolerated.

Things, like torture, like fully politicized law enforcement or "intelligence" agencies, like secret court proceedings, where judges may be lied to with total impunity and actual evidence is not required. As well as things like a media thoroughly willing to requrgitate blatant propaganda as "fact" (while having, again, no apparent need of genuine evidenc), or other things like total surveillance, and the destruction of habeas corpus.

One should like to imagine that such things might concern the majority.

Yet, a society that buys into forever wars, lesser-evil voting, and created Hitler like boogeymen, that countenances being lied into wars and consistently lied to about virtually everything, is hardly likely to discern the truth of things until the "Dream" collapses into personal pain, despair, and Depression.

Unless there is an awakening quite beyond that already tearing down statues, but yet still , apparently, unwilling to grasp the totality of the corruption throughout the entire edifice of "authority", of the total failure of a system that has no real legitimacy, except that given it by voters choosing between two sides of the same tyranny, it may be readily imagined, should Biden be "victorious", that Russiagate, Chinagate, Irangate, Venezuelagate, and countless other "Gates" will become Official History.

In which case, this is not a last gasp, of Russiagate, but a new and full head of steam for more of the same.

How easy it has been for the lies to prevail, to become "truth" and to simply disappear the voices of those who ask for evidence, who dare question, who doubt.

How easy to co-opt and destroy efforts to educate or bring about critically necessary change.

There are but a few months for real evidence to be revealed.

If Durham and Barr decide not to "criminalize policy differences", as Obama, the "constitutional scholar", did regarding torture, then what might we imagine will be the future of those who have an understanding of even those lies long being used, and with recent additions, for example, to torture Julian Assange?

All of the deceit has common purpose, it is to maintain absolute control.

If Russiagate is not completely exposed, for all that it is and was intended to be, then quaint little discussions about elite misbehavior will be banished from general awareness, and those who persist in questioning will be rather severely dealt with.

Antonia , June 30, 2020 at 11:43

ABSOLUTELY. Well said. NOW where to make the changes absolutely necessary?

Zalamander , June 29, 2020 at 18:47

Thanks Ray. There are multiple reasons for the continued existance of Russiagate as the Democratic party has no real answers for the economic depression affecting millions of Americans. Neoliberal Joe Biden is also an exceptionally weak presidential candidate, who does not even support universal healthcare for all Americans like every other advanced industrialized country has. That said, the Dems are indeed desperate to deflect attention away from the Durham investigation, as it is bound to expose the total fraud of Crossfire Hurricane.

Sam F , June 29, 2020 at 18:16

Thanks, Ray, a very good summary, with reminders often needed by many in dealing with complex issues.

[Jul 01, 2020] Outrage Erupts After NYT Uses Slain Marine's Photo For -Unsubstantiated- Propaganda -

Jul 01, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

As we noted earlier Tuesday, several pundits took the DNI and CIA statements as a clear denial that there was anything significant or worthy of briefing the president on regarding alleged "Russian bounties" -- meaning it was likely deemed "chatter" or unsubstantiated rumor picked up either by US or British intelligence -- and subsequently leaked to the press to revive the pretty much dead Russiagate narrative of some level of "Trump-Putin collusion".

In short, when your 'unsubstantiated chatter' hit-piece loses steam, prop it up with a slain Marine .

[Jul 01, 2020] Looks like the same people who used to push records up the pop charts are now manipulating the Amazon best sellers charts, though I wouldn't put this past Amazon themselves.

Jul 01, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

AlfieDolittle , 1 minute ago

Amazon's No 1 Bestseller?

Looks like the same people who used to push records up the pop charts are now manipulating the Amazon best sellers charts, though I wouldn't put this past Amazon themselves.

No one buys this garbage other than uni libraries.

scott157 , 2 minutes ago

Matt Taibbi hits ANOTHER grand slam!!!!! regarding robin diangelo, she should cease scissoring and try a penis........it would spread sunshine all over her place.......................

Michael Norton , 4 minutes ago

Someone should write a book called White Strength.

novictim , 4 minutes ago

And let us never forget the crackpot theory that only Blacks cannot be racist 'cuz P + P + R -> (Prejudice + Power) = Racism.

This social theory defines blacks as being definitionally incapable of possessing power over whites. Ya, that's not racist at all!

johnnyg , 5 minutes ago

Teaming up with Ruth Frankenberg to help attack "fellow whites"? Oy vey!

I wonder if it's "fragility" to need every university, multinational corp, media monopoly, and celebrity constantly patting you on the *** and silencing any criticism of your constant terrible behavior?

Shirley Yugest , 5 minutes ago

She should end her whiteness immediately.

[Jun 29, 2020] After Iraq WMD and Russia Collusion, we should ask for real evidence instead of the top intelligence sources

Petty scoundrels from NYT are not that inventive. They just want to whitewash Russiagate fiasco. This whole "story" stinks to high heaven. Judy Miller redux - regime-change info ops, coordinated across multiple media organizations.
Notable quotes:
"... After Iraq WMD and Russia Collusion, we should ask for real evidence instead of the "top intelligence sources". And we should not buy we can't provide any evidence because of sources & methods. ..."
"... On a practical note, how was a Taliban soldier militant meant to verify his claim to a bounty? I assume that scalping was not a feasible option, but if you are going to offer a bounty then you are going to want proof that the person claiming that bounty did, indeed, do the job. ..."
Jun 29, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
"Russia offered bounties to Afghan militants to kill US troops" - TTG - Sic Semper Tyrannis

blue peacock | 27 June 2020 at 10:19 PM

After Iraq WMD and Russia Collusion, we should ask for real evidence instead of the "top intelligence sources". And we should not buy we can't provide any evidence because of sources & methods.

Be skeptical of anything published by Pravda on the Hudson and Pravda on the Potomac when it comes to intelligence matters. Especially months before a general election.

Fred | 27 June 2020 at 10:32 PM

On to Moscow! Where's Bomb'n Bolton when we need him? "a European intelligence official told CNN."..... "The official did not specify as to the date of the casualties, their number or nationality, or whether these were fatalities or injuries."

So, unknown official, unknown date, unknown if there were any actual casualties.

"The US concluded that the GRU was behind the interference in the 2016 US election and cyberattacks against the Democratic National Committee and top Democratic officials."

Quick, someone tell the House Impeachment Inquiry Committee! Oh, wait, that was Ukraine. What did Mueller collude, I mean conclude, about that Russian interference?

Let me quote the former acting DNI: "You clearly don't understand how raw intel gets verified. Leaks of partial information to reporters from anonymous sources is dangerous because people like you manipulate it for political gain."

https://twitter.com/RichardGrenell/status/1277024942232530945

I believe he was tweeting that to the press, but then they are doing this for political reasons. Lockdowns and socialist revolutionary riots must not be working in the left's favor. I wonder why?

Yeah, Right | 28 June 2020 at 12:50 AM

On a practical note, how was a Taliban soldier militant meant to verify his claim to a bounty? I assume that scalping was not a feasible option, but if you are going to offer a bounty then you are going to want proof that the person claiming that bounty did, indeed, do the job.

So if a coalition soldier died on *this* day how was a Talibani supposed to confirm to the GRU that "Yep, I did that. Where's my money?"

TTG, I think you are being led away from the truth by your significant bias against Russia. Those with a blinkered vision see only what they want to see. No mystery there.

Now you want to portray NYT as the paragon of truth telling!! Haven't we seen enough examples of the lying by Jewish owned neocon media, especially the Times? Now that the Russia-gate fire is nearly put out, these guys are pumping this story.
You really need to understand the depth of hatred the Jews have for Russia and Russians that makes them like this. That's the only country /civilisation that got away from their grasp just when they thought have got it. Not once, but twice in the last century.

But then isn't your ancestry from Lithuania. Your hatred is strong. I get that - I see that all time with people from the ex-Soviet republics formerly ruled by Russia. Hope others see that too.

Barbara Ann , 28 June 2020 at 09:42 AM

Regardless of its veracity, this story will definitely hit Trump where it hurts - chapeau to the individual(s) who conceived this work of fiction, if indeed it is so.

Again, whether or not performance bonuses* were actually offered by the GRU, has anyone considered that this may still be a Russian Intelligence op?

Perhaps we should first ask whether the Kremlin wants to deal with a US under another 4 years of Trump. From their FP POV, the huge uncertainty and instability they see in the US now will surely be ramped up to a whole new level, in the event that he is re-elected. And of course all hope that Trump may be able to improve the relationship with Russia was dashed long ago, by Russiagate and the ongoing Russophobia among the Borg. Jeffrey's mission in Syria is a case in point. At least the US Deep State is the devil they know.

If the answer to the above question is "no" it must surely be a trivial matter for the GRU to feed such a damaging story to Trump's enemies in the USIC.

* "bounties" is an emotive word, useful to Trump's enemies, evoking individual pay for an individual death - real personal stuff. As others have pointed out the practicality of such a scheme seems improbable. Surely it is more likely that any such incentive pay would be for the group, upon coalition casualties confirmed in the aftermath of an attack. The distinction may not seem important, but the Resistance media can be relied upon to use language designed to inflict the most harm.

Flavius , 28 June 2020 at 09:48 AM

'Intel' without evidence is "bunk". Have we learned nothing from Chrissy Steele and the Russiagate fiasco - I know a guy who knows a guy who said... the Russians are bad and Donald Trump is an a......e. Bob Mueller and 18 pissed off democrats have concluded that the Russians are systemically bad and Donald Trump is an a......e. 4 months before a Presidential election intel sources have revealed to the NYT that the Russians are very very bad and Donald Trump is an a......e. Ah yes, the New York Ridiculously Self Degraded Times has broken another important story. I wonder why? Enough already...and yes, we have made a systemic laughing stock of ourselves.

Oh, and remind me again of why we've been staying around Kabul - something about improving the lot of women, or gays, or someone?

Diana Croissant , 28 June 2020 at 09:51 AM

I'm personally not ready to "duck and cover" after reading this.

I have accepted the fact that Russia is no longer the Soviet Union. I am watching television news at night but no longer see the clock ticking as I turn it off and go to sleep. So far, no one I know has taken to building a fallout shelter in his back yard.

I want an answer to this question: Whatever happened to the pillow and blanket I had to bring to school and store in the school's basement in case we all had to retreat there and be locked down in it during the bombing? Who do I go to to get reparations for the cost of those items? (I was never given the opportunity to retrieve them when I graduated.) Did Khrushchev have to take his shoe to a cobbler after using it to pound on the table while threatening to bury us?

Babak makkinejad , 28 June 2020 at 10:19 AM

TTG

The rebuttal from Russia.

Which raises the ante by making very very serious accusations of drug trade by US Intelligence.

https://tass.com/russia/1172369/amp?__twitter_impression=true

Charlie Wilson , 28 June 2020 at 11:06 AM

I think the killing of soldiers should be strictly forbidden. Only civilians should be targeted. It is easier and no one gives a shit.

The Twisted Genius , 28 June 2020 at 11:17 AM

Babak,

There's a rich history of stories about USI involvement in the drug trade. CIA was involved in the heroin trade during the Viet Nam War. The Iran-Contra mess involved selling Columbian cocaine to help finance Nicaraguan anti-Communist rebels. US involvement in the Afghanistan drug trade has been talked about for years. As I said, there are no glitter fartin' unicorns here.

Babak makkinejad , 28 June 2020 at 11:42 AM

TTG

The Iranian statistics do not lie. Transhipment of drugs across Iran from Afghanistan has been increasing since the American invasion and occupation of Afghanistan.

The US Office of Foreign Asset Control, the US DIA, the CIA etc. are powerless to do anything about that but are, evidently, all powerfull against USD transactions of the Iranian government.

[Jun 28, 2020] Unsophisticated disinformation Moscow rebuffs NYT story alleging Russia offered Taliban money to kill US troops in Afghanist

Notable quotes:
"... "covertly offered rewards" ..."
"... On Saturday, the Russian Foreign Ministry dismissed the NYT story as "fake information." ..."
"... This unsophisticated plant clearly illustrates the low intellectual abilities of the propagandists from US intelligence, who, instead of inventing something more plausible, resort to conjuring up such nonsense. ..."
"... "Then again, what else can one expect from intelligence services that have bungled the 20-year war in Afghanistan," the ministry said. ..."
"... Moscow has suggested that this misinformation was "planted" because the US may be against Russia "assisting" in peace talks between the Taliban and the internationally-recognised government in Kabul. ..."
Jun 27, 2020 | www.rt.com

The Russian Foreign Ministry has rejected a US media report claiming Moscow offered to pay jihadi militants to attack US soldiers in Afghanistan. It said such 'fake news' merely betrays the low skill levels of US spy agencies. Citing US intelligence officials – unnamed, of course – the New York Times reported that, last year, Moscow had "covertly offered rewards" to Taliban-linked militants to attack American troops and their NATO allies in Afghanistan.

On Saturday, the Russian Foreign Ministry dismissed the NYT story as "fake information."

This unsophisticated plant clearly illustrates the low intellectual abilities of the propagandists from US intelligence, who, instead of inventing something more plausible, resort to conjuring up such nonsense.

"Then again, what else can one expect from intelligence services that have bungled the 20-year war in Afghanistan," the ministry said.

Moscow has suggested that this misinformation was "planted" because the US may be against Russia "assisting" in peace talks between the Taliban and the internationally-recognised government in Kabul.

US-led NATO troops have been fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan since 2001. The campaign, launched in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, has cost Washington billions of dollars and resulted in the loss of thousands of American soldiers' lives. Despite maintaining a military presence for almost two decades, the US has failed to defeat the Taliban, which is still in control of vast swaths of the country.

Moreover, the office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction has compiled several reports detailing how tens of millions of US taxpayers' funds have been spent on dubious regeneration projects.

[Jun 28, 2020] It is the US intelligence s job to lie to you. NYT s Afghan bounty story is CIA press release by Caitlin Johnstone

This whole "story" stinks to high heaven. Judy Miller redux - regime-change info ops, coordinated across multiple media organizations.
Notable quotes:
"... To be clear, this is journalistic malpractice. Mainstream media outlets which publish anonymous intelligence claims with no proof are just publishing CIA press releases disguised as news. They're just telling you to believe what sociopathic intelligence agencies want you to believe under the false guise of impartial and responsible reporting. This practice has become ubiquitous throughout mainstream news publications, but that doesn't make it any less immoral. ..."
"... "Same old story: alleged intelligence ops IMPOSSIBLE to verify, leaked to the press which reports them quoting ANONYMOUS officials," tweeted journalist Stefania Maurizi. ..."
"... "So we are to simply believe the same intelligence orgs that paid bounties to bring innocent prisoners to Guantanamo, lied about torture in Afghanistan, and lied about premises for war from WMD in Iraq to the Gulf of Tonkin 'attack'? All this and no proof?" ..."
"... "It's totally outrageous for Russia to support the Taliban against Americans in Afghanistan. Of course, it's totally fine for the US to support jihadi rebels against Russians in Syria, jihadi rebels who openly said the Taliban is their hero," ..."
"... On the flip side, all the McResistance pundits have been speaking of this baseless allegation as a horrific event that is known to have happened, with Rachel Maddow going so far as to describe it as Putin offering bounties for the "scalps" of American soldiers in Afghanistan. This is an interesting choice of words, considering that offering bounties for scalps is, in fact, one of the many horrific things the US government did in furthering its colonialist ambitions , which, unlike the New York Times allegation, is known to have actually happened. ..."
Jun 28, 2020 | www.rt.com
By Caitlin Johnstone , an independent journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Her website is here and you can follow her on Twitter @caitoz

Whenever one sees a news headline ending in "US Intelligence Says", one should always mentally replace everything that comes before it with "Blah blah blah we're probably lying."

"Russia Secretly Offered Afghan Militants Bounties to Kill Troops, US Intelligence Says", blares the latest viral headline from the New York Times . NYT's unnamed sources allege that the GRU "secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan -- including targeting American troops", and that the Trump administration has known this for months.

To be clear, this is journalistic malpractice. Mainstream media outlets which publish anonymous intelligence claims with no proof are just publishing CIA press releases disguised as news. They're just telling you to believe what sociopathic intelligence agencies want you to believe under the false guise of impartial and responsible reporting. This practice has become ubiquitous throughout mainstream news publications, but that doesn't make it any less immoral.

Also on rt.com There they go again: NYT serves up spy fantasy about Russian 'bounties' on US troops in Afghanistan

In a post-Iraq-invasion world, the only correct response to unproven anonymous claims about a rival government by intelligence agencies from the US or its allies is to assume that they are lying until you are provided with a mountain of independently verifiable evidence to the contrary. The US has far too extensive a record of lying about these things for any other response to ever be justified as rational, and its intelligence agencies consistently play a foundational role in those lies.

Voices outside the mainstream-narrative control matrix have been calling these accusations what they are: baseless, lacking in credibility, and not reflective of anything other than fair play, even if true.

"Same old story: alleged intelligence ops IMPOSSIBLE to verify, leaked to the press which reports them quoting ANONYMOUS officials," tweeted journalist Stefania Maurizi.

America to end 'era of endless wars' & stop being policeman, Trump gives same old election promises he broke

"So we are to simply believe the same intelligence orgs that paid bounties to bring innocent prisoners to Guantanamo, lied about torture in Afghanistan, and lied about premises for war from WMD in Iraq to the Gulf of Tonkin 'attack'? All this and no proof?" tweeted author and analyst Jeffrey Kaye.

"It's totally outrageous for Russia to support the Taliban against Americans in Afghanistan. Of course, it's totally fine for the US to support jihadi rebels against Russians in Syria, jihadi rebels who openly said the Taliban is their hero," tweeted author and analyst Max Abrams.

On the flip side, all the McResistance pundits have been speaking of this baseless allegation as a horrific event that is known to have happened, with Rachel Maddow going so far as to describe it as Putin offering bounties for the "scalps" of American soldiers in Afghanistan. This is an interesting choice of words, considering that offering bounties for scalps is, in fact, one of the many horrific things the US government did in furthering its colonialist ambitions , which, unlike the New York Times allegation, is known to have actually happened.

It is true, as many have been pointing out, that it would be fair play for Russia to fund violent opposition the the US in Afghanistan, seeing as that's exactly what the US and its allies have been doing to Russia and its allies in Syria, and did to the Soviets in Afghanistan via Operation Cyclone . It is also true that the US military has no business in Afghanistan anyway, and any violence inflicted on US troops abroad is the fault of the military expansionists who put them there. The US military has no place outside its own easily defended borders, and the assumption that it is normal for a government to circle the planet with military bases is a faulty premise.

'Unsophisticated' disinformation: Moscow rebuffs NYT story alleging Russia offered Taliban money to kill US troops in Afghanistan

But before even getting into such arguments, the other side of the debate must meet its burden of proof that this has even happened. That burden is far from met. It is literally the US intelligence community's job to lie to you. The New York Times has an extensive history of pushing for new wars at every opportunity, including the unforgivable Iraq invasion , which killed a million people, based on lies. A mountain of proof is required before such claims should be seriously considered, and we are very, very far from that.

I will repeat myself: it is the US intelligence community's job to lie to you. I will repeat myself again: it is the US intelligence community's job to lie to you. Don't treat these CIA press releases with anything but contempt.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

[Jun 28, 2020] Trump himself demolished NYT provocation -- the Russia/Taliban story

Jun 28, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Brendan , Jun 28 2020 14:18 utc | 4

Trump himself has rubbished the NYT's Russia/Taliban story on Twitter today:

"Nobody briefed or told me, @VP Pence, or Chief of Staff @MarkMeadows about the so-called attacks on our troops in Afghanistan by Russians, as reported through an "anonymous source" by the Fake News @nytimes. Everybody is denying it & there have not been many attacks on us..... "
https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1277202159109537793

"The Fake News @ nytimes must reveal its "anonymous" source. Bet they can't do it, this "person" probably does not even exist! twitter.com/richardgrenell "
https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1277215720418484224

Christian J. Chuba , Jun 28 2020 15:17 utc | 11

NYT exclusive: breaking, bombshell report, bombshell report, Russia pays Taliban to kill U.S. Troops

The puppets dance for their puppet masters yet again. I was struck that in all of the MSM responses on CNN and FOX every single host accepted it as an absolute fact that this was true. If an unnamed source said something to a reporter at the NYT then it must have happened in that way and the facts are irrefutable. Wow our 'journalists' are pathetic.

1. The guy who leaked this could be twisting a half or even quarter truth to embarrass Trump, derail our withdrawal from Germany or Afghanistan ... nahh impossible. Our CIA guys never have an agenda.

2. This could be disinformation against Russia ... nahh we are the good guys, that's not how we roll.

The guy on CNN could not believe the WH statement that they were not briefed, 'it strains credibility'. Maybe one POW made an outlandish claim to get better treatment and lower level staff did not think the claim itself had enough credibility. Nope, it was leaked by an Intelligence guy, therefore it must be true.

journalism is dead. buried, dug up, cremated and then scattered over a trash dump in the U.S.

[Jun 28, 2020] Evidence Free Press Release Claims 'Russia Did Bad, Trump Did Not Respond' - NYT, WaPo Publish It

Highly recommended!
Projection, yet another time. An old and very effective dirty propaganda trick. Fake news outlet are intelligence services controlled outlets.
Notable quotes:
"... Reporters from the New York Times and the Washington Post were called up by unnamed 'officials' and told to write that Russia pays some Afghans to kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. There is zero evidence that the claim is true. The Taliban spokesman denies it. The numbers of U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan is minimal. The alleged sources of the claims are criminals the U.S. has taken as prisoners in Afghanistan. ..."
"... The journalistic standards at the New York Times and Washington Post must be below zero to publish such nonsense without requesting real evidence. The press release like stories below from anti-Trump/anti-Russian sources have nothing to do with ' great reporting ' but are pure stenography. ..."
"... If the Russians were truly inclined in a direction leading them to "pay bounties" for American scalps in Afghanistan, they would instead be doing what we once did: providing state-of-the-art Manpads to Afghan jihadis. Any sort of bar room or shit house rumor these days is attributed to "intelligence officials" or "intelligence sources", always unnamed of course. ..."
"... The paragraph about "reasons to believe" is vacuous in the extreme: ..."
"... "The intelligence assessment is said to be based at least in part on interrogations of captured Afghan militants and criminals. The officials did not describe the mechanics of the Russian operation, such as how targets were picked or how money changed hands. It is also not clear whether Russian operatives had deployed inside Afghanistan or met with their Taliban counterparts elsewhere." ..."
"... We know from the past that US forces were torturing TOTALLY RANDOM INDIVIDUALS, occasionally to death. Needless to say, "officials did not describe the mechanics" of the interrogation, neither did not describe any corroborative details. The most benign scenario is that "captured Afghan militants and criminals" are pure fiction rather than actual people subjected to "anal inspections", "peroneal strikes", left overnight hanging from the ceiling etc. to spit out random incoherent tidbits about the Russians, like "it is also not clear".... A long list of "not clear"'s. ..."
"... Together, it is very crude "manufacturing of consent", and unfortunately, this is a workable technique of manipulation. Crudity is the tool, not a defect in this case. I will explain later what I mean, this post is probably too long already. ..."
Jun 28, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Evidence Free Press Release Claims 'Russia Did Bad, Trump Did Not Respond' - NYT , WaPo Publish It A. Pols , Jun 27 2020 14:34 utc | 1

There were allegations about emails that someone exfiltrated from the DNC and provided to Wikileaks . Russia must have done it. The FBI and other intelligence services were all over it. In the end no evidence was provided to support the claims.

There were allegations that Trump did not really win the elections. Russia must have done it. The various U.S. intelligence service, together with their British friends, provided all kinds of sinister leaks about the alleged case. In the end no evidence was provided to support the claims.

A British double agent, Sergej Skirpal, was allegedly injured in a Russian attack on him. The intelligence services told all kind of contradicting nonsense about the case. In the end no evidence was provided to support the claims.

All three cases had two points in common. The were based on sources near to the U.S. and British intelligence community. They were designed to increase hostility against Russia. The last point was then used to sabotage Donald Trump's original plans for better relations with Russia.

Now the intelligence services make another claim that fits right into the above scheme.

Reporters from the New York Times and the Washington Post were called up by unnamed 'officials' and told to write that Russia pays some Afghans to kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. There is zero evidence that the claim is true. The Taliban spokesman denies it. The numbers of U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan is minimal. The alleged sources of the claims are criminals the U.S. has taken as prisoners in Afghanistan.

All that nonsense is again used to press against Trump's wish for better relations with Russia. Imagine - Trump was told about these nonsensical claims and he did nothing about it!

The same intelligence services and 'officials' previously paid bounties to bring innocent prisoners to Guantanamo Bay, tortured them until they made false confessions and lied about it. The same intelligence services and 'officials' lied about WMD in Iraq. The same 'intelligence officials' paid and pay Jihadis disguised as 'Syrian rebels' to kill Russian and Syrian troops which defend their countries.

The journalistic standards at the New York Times and Washington Post must be below zero to publish such nonsense without requesting real evidence. The press release like stories below from anti-Trump/anti-Russian sources have nothing to do with ' great reporting ' but are pure stenography.

The New York Times :

Cont. reading: Evidence Free Press Release Claims 'Russia Did Bad, Trump Did Not Respond' - NYT, WaPo Publish It

Posted by b at 13:43 UTC | Comments (3) If the Russians were truly inclined in a direction leading them to "pay bounties" for American scalps in Afghanistan, they would instead be doing what we once did: providing state-of-the-art Manpads to Afghan jihadis. Any sort of bar room or shit house rumor these days is attributed to "intelligence officials" or "intelligence sources", always unnamed of course.

JohnH , Jun 27 2020 14:45 utc | 2

Biden is the intelligence services' ideal candidate -- an easily manipulated empty suit. There's a reason why charges of Biden wrongdoing are as easily dismissed as nonsensical charges against Trump and Russia get fabricated. And that reason is that the media is as happy to be manipulated as Biden.
Piotr Berman , Jun 27 2020 15:03 utc | 3
Two puzzling and disturbing aspects.

The paragraph about "reasons to believe" is vacuous in the extreme:

"The intelligence assessment is said to be based at least in part on interrogations of captured Afghan militants and criminals. The officials did not describe the mechanics of the Russian operation, such as how targets were picked or how money changed hands. It is also not clear whether Russian operatives had deployed inside Afghanistan or met with their Taliban counterparts elsewhere."

We know from the past that US forces were torturing TOTALLY RANDOM INDIVIDUALS, occasionally to death. Needless to say, "officials did not describe the mechanics" of the interrogation, neither did not describe any corroborative details. The most benign scenario is that "captured Afghan militants and criminals" are pure fiction rather than actual people subjected to "anal inspections", "peroneal strikes", left overnight hanging from the ceiling etc. to spit out random incoherent tidbits about the Russians, like "it is also not clear".... A long list of "not clear"'s.

This is disturbing, although this is precisely the quality of "intelligence" that gets released to the public. The second disturbing aspect is that the article was opened to comments, and as usually in such cases, the comments are full of fury at Russians and Trump, and with the numbers of "recommend"'s reaching thousands. On non-Russian topics, if comments are allowed, one can see a much wider spectrum of opinion, sometimes with huge numbers of "recommend"'s to people who criticize and doubt the official positions. Here I lost patience looking for any skeptical comment.

Together, it is very crude "manufacturing of consent", and unfortunately, this is a workable technique of manipulation. Crudity is the tool, not a defect in this case. I will explain later what I mean, this post is probably too long already.

[Jun 26, 2020] The Media War On Truthful Reporting And Legitimate Opinions - A Documentary

Notable quotes:
"... You can fool someone for a long time, you can fool a lot of people for a short time - but you can't fool a lot of people for a long time. That is, unless those people are willing to live the lie. ..."
"... I think the reason the MSM's propaganda is so effective nowadays (and I'm thinking specifically about the world since the Iraq invasion in 2003) is that, deep down, maybe in the collective inconsciousness level, the working classes from the First World countries know their superior living standards depend on imperial brutality over the rest of the world. ..."
"... The current increased smear campaigns against the so called Russian Bots, Assad Apologists etc., is surely just the first part of of a an attempt to implement very serious censorship and control over the internet to attempt to completely block out any alternative voices. ..."
"... Obivously western intelligence servies, NATO leak stuff to western msm to intimidate and censor political oppostion in every western country. ..."
"... Orwell's great fear was totalitarianism. Either from the left or the right. What we have now is much more subtle. The MSM retains the illusion of freedom and most people go along with it. We may even realize we are being manipulated but the only alternative is posting on sites like MOA. ..."
"... The Skirpal charade was a front for several things but mainly, I think, to turn the focus away from Brexit and to opening the Cold War front again. ..."
"... George Orwell has been a presence throughout this thread. It was unfortunate he was hurried by MI6 to finish the last pages of 'Animal Farm' so it could be translated into Arabic and be used to discredit Communist parties in Western Asia. This always raised the ire of Communist organisations through following decades .This being said he wrote some great text especially for me the revealing 1939 novel - Coming up for A ..."
"... I don't know if wars are really an extension of diplomacy by other means, but they certainly seem to be... an extension of ideology and propaganda. Ideas are very important in preparing and fighting wars; especially today, though, in reality the way we think about our western imperial war-fighting, goes back well over a century, back to the Whiteman's Burden and other imperialist myths. ..."
"... For the last thirty years we've essentially been fighting 'liberal crusades for freedom and democracy.' That, at least, was the 'cover story' the pretext presented to the people. There's an irony here. Just like Islamic State, we've been engaging in 'holy warfare' too! ..."
Apr 21, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Early in life I have noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper, but in Spain, for the first time, I saw newspaper reports which did not bear any relation to the facts, not even the relationship which is implied in an ordinary lie. I saw great battles reported where there had been no fighting, and complete silence where hundreds of men had been killed. I saw troops who had fought bravely denounced as cowards and traitors, and others who had never seen a shot fired hailed as the heroes of imaginary victories; and I saw newspapers in London retailing these lies and eager intellectuals building emotional superstructures over events that had never happened. I saw, in fact, history being written not in terms of what happened but of what ought to have happened according to various 'party lines'.
George Orwell, Looking back on the Spanish War , Chapter 4

Last week saw an extreme intensifying of the warmongers' campaign against individuals who publicly hold and defend a different view than the powers-that-be want to promote. The campaign has a longer history but recently turned personal. It now endangers the life and livelihood of real people.

In fall 2016 a smear campaign was launched against 200 websites which did not confirm to NATO propaganda. Prominent sites like Naked Capitalism were among them as well as this site:

This website, MoonofAlabama.org , is now listed as "Russian propaganda outlet" by some neoconned, NATO aligned, anonymous " Friendly Neighborhood Propaganda Identification Service " prominently promoted by today's Washington Post . The minions running that censorship list also watch over our "Russian propaganda" Twitter account @MoonofA .

While the ProPornOT campaign was against websites the next and larger attack was a general defaming of specific content.

The neoconservative Alliance For Securing Democracy declared that any doubt of the veracity of U.S. propaganda stories discussed on Twitter was part of a "Russian influence campaign". Their ' dashboard ' shows the most prominent hashtags and themes tweeted and retweeted by some 600 hand-selected but undisclosed accounts. (I have reason to believe that @MoonofA is among them.) The dashboard gave rise to an endless line of main-stream stories faking concern over alleged "Russian influence". The New York Times published several such stories including this recent one :


bigger
Russia did not respond militarily to the Friday strike, but American officials noted a sharp spike in Russian online activity around the time it was launched.

A snapshot on Friday night recorded a 2,000 percent increase in Russian troll activity overall, according to Tyler Q. Houlton, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security. One known Russian bot, #SyriaStrikes, had a 4,443 percent increase in activity while another, #Damsucs, saw a 2,800 percent jump, Mr. Houlton said.

A person on Twitter, or a bot, is tagged by a chosen name led with an @-sign. Anything led with a #-sign is a 'hashtag', a categorizing attribute of a place, text or tweet. Hashtags have nothing to do with any "troll activity". The use of the attribute or hashtag #syriastrike increased dramatically when a U.S. strike on Syria happened. Duh. A lot of people remarked on the strikes and used the hashtag #syriastrike to categorize their remarks. It made it easier for others to find information about the incident.

The hashtag #Damsucs does not exit. How could it have a 2,800% increase? It is obviously a mistyping of #Damascus or someone may have used as a joke. In June 2013 an Associated Press story famously carried the dateline "Damsucs". The city was then under artillery attack from various Takfiri groups. The author likely felt that the situation sucked.


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The spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security Tyler Q. Holton, to which the Times attributes the "bot" nonsense, has a Twitter account under his name and also tweets as @SpoxDHS. Peter Baker, the NYT author, has some 150,000 followers on Twitter and tweets several times per day. Holton and Tyler surely know what @accounts and #hashtags are.

One suspects that Holton used the bizzare statistic of the infamous ' Dashboard ' created by the neoconservative, anti-Russian lobby . The dashboard creators asserted that the use of certain hashtags is a sign of 'Russian bots'. On December 25 the dashboard showed that Russian trolls and bots made extensive use of the hashtag #MerryChristmas to undermine America's moral.


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One of the creators of the dashboard, Clint Watts, has since confessed that it is mere bullshit :

"I'm not convinced on this bot thing," said Watts, the cofounder of a project that is widely cited as the main, if not only, source of information on Russian bots. He also called the narrative "overdone."

As government spokesperson Holton is supposed to spout propaganda that supports the government's policies. But propaganda is ineffective when it does not adhere to basic realities. Holton is bad at his job. Baker, the NYT author, did even worse. He repeated the government's propaganda bullshit without pointing out and explaining that it obviously did not make any sense. He used it to further his own opinionated, false narrative. It took a day for the Times to issue a paritial correction of the fact free tale.

With the situation in Syria developing in favor of the Syrian people, with dubious government claims around the Skripal affair in Salisbury and the recent faked 'chemical attack' in Douma the campaign against dissenting reports and opinions became more and more personal.

Last December the Guardian commissioned a hatchet job against Vanessa Beeley and Eva Bartlett . Beeley and Bartlett extensively reported (vid) from the ground in Syria on the British propaganda racket "White Helmets". The Guardian piece defended the 'heros' of the White Helmets and insinuated that both journalists were Russian paid stooges.

In March the self proclaimed whistle-blower and blowhard Sibel Edmonds of Newsbud launched a lunatic broadside smear attack (vid) against Vanessa Beeley and Eva Bartlett. The Corbett Report debunked (vid) the nonsense. (The debunking received 59,000 views. Edmonds public wanking was seen by less than 23,000 people.)

Some time ago the CIA propaganda outlets Voice of America and Radio Free Europe started a 'fact-checking' website and named it Polygraph.info . (Some satirist or a clueless intern must have come up with that name. No country but the U.S. believes that the unscientific results of polygraph tests have any relation to truthfulness. To any educated non-U.S. citizen the first association with the term 'polygraph' is the term 'fake'.)

On April 4 the Polygraph wrote a smear piece about the Twitter account Ian56 (@Ian56789). Its headline: Disinfo News: Doing the Kremlin's Work: A Fake Twitter Troll Pushes Many Opinions :

Ben Nimmo, the Senior Fellow for Information Defense at the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab, studies the exploits of "Ian56" and similar accounts on Twitter. His recent article in the online publication Medium profiles such fake pro-Kremlin accounts and demonstrates how they operate.
...

Nimmo, and several other dimwits quoted in the piece, came to the conclusion that Ian56 is a Kremlin paid troll, not a real person. Next to Ian56 Nimmo 'identified' other 'Russian troll' accounts:

Ben Nimmo @benimmo - 10:50 UTC - 24 Mar 2018

One particularly influential retweeter (judging by the number of accounts which then retweeted it) was @ValLisitsa, which posts in English and Russian. Last year, this account joined the troll-factory #StopMorganLie campaign.

Nimmo's employer, the Atlantic Council, is a lobby of companies who profit from war .

Had Nimmo, a former NATO spokesperson, had some decent education he would have know that @ValLisitsa, aka Valentina Lisitsa , is a famous American-Ukrainian pianist. Yes, she sometimes tweets in Russian language to her many fans in Russia and the Ukraine. Is that now a crime? The videos of her world wide performances on Youtube have more than 170 million views. It is absurd to claim that she is a 'Russian troll' and to insinuate that she is taking Kremlin money to push 'Russian troll' opinions.

Earlier this month Newsweek also targeted the journalists Beeley and Bartlett and smeared a group of people who had traveled to Syria as 'Assad's pawns'.

On April 14 Murdoch's London Times took personal aim at the members of a group of British academics who assembled to scientificly investigate dubious claims against Syria. Their first investigation report though, was about the Skripal incident in Salisbury. The London Times also targeted Bartlett and Beeley. The piece was leading on page one with the headline: "Apologists for Assad working in universities". A page two splash and an editorial complemented the full fledged attack on the livelihood of the scientists.


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Tim Hayward, who initiated the academic group, published a (too) mild response.

On April 18 the NPR station Wabenews smeared the black activists Anoa Changa and Eugene Puryear for appearing on a Russian TV station. It was the begin of an ongoing, well concerted campaign launched with at least seven prominent smear pieces issued on a single day against the opposition to a wider war on Syria.

On April 19 the BBC took aim at Sarah Abdallah , a Twitter account with over 130,000 followers that takes a generally pro Syrian government stand. The piece also attacked Vanessa Beeley and defended the 'White Helmets':

In addition to pictures of herself, Sarah Abdallah tweets constant pro-Russia and pro-Assad messages, with a dollop of retweeting mostly aimed at attacking Barack Obama, other US Democrats and Saudi Arabia.
...
The Sarah Abdallah account is, according to a recent study by the online research firm Graphika, one of the most influential social media accounts in the online conversation about Syria, and specifically in pushing misinformation about a 2017 chemical weapons attack and the Syria Civil Defence, whose rescue workers are widely known as the "White Helmets".
...
Graphika was commissioned to prepare a report on online chatter by The Syria Campaign , a UK-based advocacy group organisation which campaigns for a democratic future for Syria and supports the White Helmets.

The Syria Campaign Ltd. is a for profit 'regime change' lobby which, like the White Helmets it promotes, is sponsored with millions of British and U.S. taxpayer money.

Brian Whitaker, a former Middle East editor for the Guardian , alleged that Sarah Abdullah has a 'Hizbullah connection'. He assumes that from two terms she used which point to a southern Lebanese heritage. But south Lebanon is by far not solely Hizbullah and Sarah Abdallah certainly does not dress herself like a pious Shia. She is more likely a Maronite or secular whatever. Exposing here as 'Hizbullah' can easily endanger her life. Replying to Whitaker the British politician George Galloway asked:

George Galloway @georgegalloway - 14:50 UTC - Replying to @Brian_Whit

Will you be content when she's dead Brian?
...
Will you be content Brian when ISIS cut off her head and eat her heart? You are beneath contempt. Even for a former Guardian man

Whitaker's smear piece was not even researched by himself. He plagiarized it, without naming his source, from Joumana Gebara, a CentCom approved Social Media Advisor to parts of the Syrian 'opposition'. Whitaker is prone to fall for scams like the 'White Helmets'. Back in mid 2011 he promoted the "Gay Girl in Damascus", a scam by a 40 year old U.S. man with dubious financial sources who pretended to be a progressive Syrian woman.

Also on April 19 the Guardian stenographed a British government smear against two other prominent Twitter accounts:

Russia used trolls and bots to unleash disinformation on to social media in the wake of the Salisbury poisoning, according to fresh Whitehall analysis. Government sources said experts had uncovered an increase of up to 4,000% in the spread of propaganda from Russia-based accounts since the attack, – many of which were identifiable as automated bots.

Notice that this idiotic % increase claim, without giving a base number, is similar to the one made in the New York Times piece quoted above. It is likely also based on the lunatic 'dashboard'.

[C]ivil servants identified a sharp increase in the flow of fake news after the Salisbury poisoning, which continued in the runup to the airstrikes on Syria.

One bot, @Ian56789, was sending 100 posts a day during a 12-day period from 7 April, and reached 23 million users, before the account was suspended. It focused on claims that the chemical weapons attack on Douma had been falsified, using the hashtag #falseflag. Another, @Partisangirl, reached 61 million users with 2,300 posts over the same 12-day period.

The prime minister discussed the matter at a security briefing with fellow Commonwealth leaders Malcolm Turnbull, Jacinda Ardern and Justin Trudeau earlier this week. They were briefed by experts from GCHQ and the National Cyber Security Centre about the security situation in the aftermath of the Syrian airstrikes.

The political editor of the Guardian , Heather Steward, admitted that her 'reporting' was a mere copy of government claims:

Heather Stewart @GuardianHeather - 10:38 UTC - 20 Apr 2018

It's not my analysis - as the piece makes quite clear - it's the government's.

The government claim was also picked up by other British outlets like Sky News (vid).


bigger

A day earlier Ian56/@Ian56789 account with 35,000 followers had suddenly been blocked by Twitter. Ben Nimmo was extremely happy about this success. But after many users protested to the Twitter censors the account was revived.

Neither Ian, nor Partisangirl, are 'bots' or have anything to do with Russia. Partisangirl, aka Syria Girl, is the twitter moniker of Maram Susli, a Syrian-Australian scientist specialized in quantum chemistry. She was already interviewed on Australian TV (vid) four years ago and has been back since. She has published videos of herself talking about Syria on Youtube and on Twitter and held presentations on Syria at several international conferences. Her account is marked as 'verified' by Twitter. Any cursory search would have shown that she is a real person.

The claim of bots and the numbers of their tweets the government gave to the Guardian and Sky News are evidently false . With just a few clicks the Guardian and Sky News 'journalists' could have debunked the British government claims. But these stenograhers do not even try and just run with whatever nonsense the government claims. Sky News even manipulated the picture of Partisangirl's Twitter homepage in the video and screenshot above. The original shows Maram Susli speaking about Syrian refugees at a conference in Germany. The picture provides that she is evidently a living person and not a 'bot'. But Sky News did not dare to show that. It would have debunked the government's claim.


bigger

After some negative feed back on social media Sky News contacted the 'Russian bot' Ian and invited him to a live interview (vid). Ian Shilling, a wakeful British pensioner, managed to deliver a few zingers against the government and Sky News . He also published a written response:

I have been campaigning against the Neocons and the Neocon Wars since January 2002, when I first realised Dick Cheney and the PNAC crowd were going to use 9/11 as the pretext to launch a disastrous invasion of Iraq. This has nothing to do with Russia. It has EVERYTHING to do with the massive lies constantly told by the UK & US governments about their illegal Wars of Aggression.
...

Brian Whitaker could not hold back. Within the 156,000 tweets Ian wrote over seven years Whitaker found one(!) with a murky theory (not a denial) about the Holocaust. He alleged that Ian believes in 'conspiracy theories'. Whitaker then linked to and discussed one Conspirador Norteño who peddles 'Russian bots' conspiracy theories. Presumably Whitaker did not get the consp-irony of doing such.

On the same day as the other reports the British version of the Huffington Post joined the Times in its earlier smear against British academics, accusing Professor Hayward and Professor Piers Robinson of "whitewashing war crimes". They have done no such thing. Vanessa Beeley was additionally attacked.

Also on the 19th the London Times aimed at another target. Citizen Halo , a well known Finnish grandma, was declared to be a 'Russian troll' based on Ben Nimmo's pseudo-scientific trash, for not believing in the Skripal tale and the faked 'chemical attack' in Syria. The Times doubted her nationality and existence by using quotes around her as a "Finnish activist".

Meanwhile the defense editor of the Times , Deborah Haynes, is stalking Valentina Lisitsa on Twitter. A fresh smear-piece against the pianist is surely in the works.

The obviously organized campaign against critical thinking in Britain extended beyond the Atlantic. While the BBC , Guardian, HuffPo, Times and Sky News published smear pieces depicting dissenting people as 'Russian bots', the Intercept pushed a piece by Mehdi Hasan bashing an amorphous 'left' for rejecting a U.S. war on Syria: Dear Bashar al-Assad Apologists: Your Hero Is a War Criminal Even If He Didn't Gas Syrians .

Mehdi Hasan is of course eminently qualified to write such a piece. Until recently he worked for Al Jazeerah , the media outlet of the Wahhabi dictatorship of Qatar which supports the Qatari sponsored al-Qaeda in its war against Syria. The Mehdi Hasan's piece repeats every false and debunked claim that has been raised against the Syrian government as evidence for the Syrian president's viciousness. Naturally many of the links he provides point back to Al Jazeerah's propaganda. A few years ago Mehdi Hasan tried to get a job with the conservative British tabloid Daily Mail . The Mail did not want him. During a later TV discussion Hasan slammed the Daily Mail for its reporting and conservative editorial position. The paper responded by publishing his old job application. In it Mehdi Hasan emphasized his own conservative believes:

I am also attracted by the Mail's social conservatism on issues like marriage, the family, abortion and teenage pregnancies.

A conservative war-on-Syria promoter is bashing an anonymous 'left' which he falsely accuses of supporting Assad when it takes a stand against imperial wars. Is that a 'progressive' Muslim Brotherhood position? (Added: Stephen Gowans and Kurt Nimmo respond to Hasan's screed.)

On the same day Sonali Kolhatkar at Truthdig , as pseudo-progressive as the Intercept , published a quite similar piece: Why Are Some on the Left Falling for Fake News on Syria? . She bashes the 'left' - without citing any example - for not falling for the recent scam of the 'chemical attack' in Douma and for distrusting the U.S./UK government paid White Helmets. The comments against the piece are lively.

Those working in the media are up in arms over alleged fake news and they lament the loss of paying readership. But they have only themselves to blame. They are the biggest creators of fake news and provider of government falsehood. Their attacks on critical readers and commentators are despicable.

Until two years ago Hala Jabar was foreign correspondent in the Middle East for the Sunday Times . After fourteen years with the paper and winning six awards for her work she was 'made redundant' for her objective reporting on Syria. She remarks on the recent media push against truth about Syria and the very personal attacks against non-conformist opinions:

Hala Jaber @HalaJaber - 18:36 UTC - 19 Apr 2018

In my entire career, spanning more than three decades of professional journalism, I have never seen MSM resolve to such ugly smear campaigns & hit pieces against those questioning mainstream narratives, with a different view point, as I have seen on Syria, recently.

.2/ This is a dangerous manoeuvre , a witch hunt in fact, aimed not only at character assassination, but at attempting to silence those who think differently or even sway from mainstream & state narrative.

.3/ It would have been more productive, to actually question the reason why more & more people are indeed turning to alternative voices for information & news, than to dish out ad hominem smears aimed at intimidating by labelling alternative voices as conspirators or apologists.

.4/ The journalists, activists, professors & citizens under attack are presenting an alternative view point. Surely, people are entitled to hear those and are intelligent enough to make their own judgments.

.5/ Or is there an assumption, (patronizing, if so), that the tens of thousands of people collectively following these alternative voices are too dumb & unintelligent to reach their own conclusions by sifting through the mass information being dished at them daily from all sides?

.6/ Like it or hate it, agree or disagree with them, the bottom line is that the people under attack do present an alternative view point. Least we forget, no one has a monopoly on truth. Are all those currently launching this witch hunt suggesting they do?

The governments and media would like to handle the war on Syria like they handled the war in Spain. They want reports without "any relation to the facts". The media want to "retail the lies" and eager propagandists want to "build emotional superstructures over events that never happened."

The new communication networks allow everyone to follow the war on Syria as diligently as George Orwell followed the war in Spain in which he took part. We no longer have to travel to see the differences of what really happens and what gets reported in the main stream press. We can debunk false government claims with freely available knowledge.

The governments, media and their stenographers would love to go back to the old times when they were not plagued by reports and tweets from Eva, Vanessa, Ian, Maram and Sarah or by blogposts like this one. The vicious campaign against any dissenting report or opinion is a sorry attempt to go back in time and to again gain the monopoly on 'truth'.

It is on us to not let them succeed.

Posted by b on April 21, 2018 at 23:02 UTC | Permalink


bevin , Apr 21 2018 23:23 utc | 1

next page " Excellent.
The good news about both The Intercept and Truthdig pieces is that the comments quickly showed that readers knew what the publishers were up to. The Intercept seemed to have removed Hasan's obscene act of prostitution within a day.

The reality is that we simply have to expect the imperialists, now reduced to propaganda and domestic repression, to act in this way: there is no point in attempting to shame them and they never did believe in journalistic principles or standards or ethics. They are the scum who serve a cannibalistic system for good wages and a comfortable life style- that is what the 'middle class' always did do and always will.

Kaiama , Apr 21 2018 23:56 utc | 2
No longer is it possible to control TV, Radio and printed newspapers and use them to set the message. There are now an almost infinite set of channels including youtube, twitter, blogs, podcasts,streamed radio... It's like there is a public bitcoin/bitnewsledger where new information only gets written into the ledger if it is authenicated by sufficient endorsements.

In the past, a lie could travel around the world before the truth got its shoes on (Mark Twain I believe) but the truth is catching up. We are in the midst of the great changeover where older people still rely on traditional information channels yet younger internet enabled peoplecan leverage the new channels more effectively to educate themselves.

Cycloben , Apr 22 2018 0:01 utc | 3
Western propagandists are freaking out because nobody believes their lies anymore. The more they freak out, the more we know they have lost the narrative.

I just fear for the safety of these independent journalists. It is not beneath the deep state to assassinate their enemies. These people need to be very careful.

Michael Murry , Apr 22 2018 0:47 utc | 11
Orwell would have understood and loved this:
The 2018 Pulitzer Prize winner in National Reporting – Staffs of The New York Times and The Washington Post

For deeply sourced, relentlessly reported coverage in the public interest that dramatically furthered the nation's understanding of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and its connections to the Trump campaign, the President-elect's transition team and his eventual administration. (The New York Times entry, submitted in this category, was moved into contention by the Board and then jointly awarded the Prize.)

The hysterical, side-splitting laughter over this chicken-choking, circle-jerking drivel will echo in eternity. Galactic stupidity simply doesn't get any more cosmic, except perhaps awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Henry Kissinger and Barack Obama.

C I eh? , Apr 22 2018 1:04 utc | 12
This is a fight between Deep States of the Rothschild-UK 'Octopus,' US-centric Rockefeller-Kochs, Russian (itself split between competing and intertwined Anglo-American clans/Eurasianists vs Altanticists) and China (also divided between sovereignty oriented Shanghai and Rothschild affiliated Hong Kong which was founded upon the opium trade in cooperation with the UK-Octopus).

The main point of contention is whether we have a hard or soft landing as the New World Order is born, with the UK-Octopus needing to instigate an epic crisis so as to bury countless trillions of worthless derivatives it sits upon, specifically seeking to collapse the USD as a global fiat and use the ensiung chaos to assist the Chinese as they establish an unasailable Yuan fiat. A war with Russia will bring the US-centric Deep State to it's knees and so this forms the basis of the not-so secret alliance between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, while China attempts to remain neutral since Xi prefers a smooth transition since the US-centric group may well launch a nuclear false flag attack on the Korean peninsula, thus irradiating the region and dooming the potential for a Chinese dominated century, should the interests of yhis group be ignored.

All gloves are off and the dispostions of various players are suddenly crystal clear after the firing of Octopus agent Tillerson by Trump via twitter led immediately to the launching of operation 'Novichok,' and was followed up with an attempted series of false flags in East Ghouta which were planned so as to bring the US and Russia to war.

Other important players include the US military (itself divided between Octopus NATO and US-centric Pentagon), the CIA, which is always on all sides of any conflict but was until recently headed by Koch protege Mike Pompeo, as well as smaller Arab, Persian and Turkish Deep States all jockeying for advantage and position. Even the Vatican is included and said to be divided between Polish Cardinals on one side, with German, Italian and many Spanish speaking Cardinals as opponents. There are other Deep States as well and in every instance they are divided between one of the two main parties and themselves to one or another degree.

Media and social control is mainly the preserve of the UK Octopus, so as all of us have understood for some time, anything included within it, from the NYTimes to most of Hollywood, is completely worthless. Alternative media was created as an alternative to Octopus media, while Trump takes to twitter so as to bypass their control.

I feel like a US voter forced to choose between Republicans and Democrats, but with the promised 'Blue Wave' coming in November when Congressional elections are due, certain to be impeached Donald Trump and his US-centric backers have a very short time frame in which to change the score.

S , Apr 22 2018 1:08 utc | 13
CNN also published a long smear piece against YouTubers, basically advocating for depriving them of ad income: http://money.cnn.com/2018/04/19/technology/youtube-ads-extreme-content-investigation/index.html . Among other things, it had this to say about a U.S. comedian and political commentator Jimmy Dore:
Ads also appeared on The Jimmy Dore Show channel, a far-left YouTube channel that peddles conspiracy theories, such as the idea that Syrian chemical weapons attacks are hoaxes.

Syria is really the unifying theme in all these attacks.

Diana , Apr 22 2018 1:21 utc | 15
I congratulate Bernhard on yet another excellent piece of investigative journalism. My comment is not intended to criticise or take away from it, but only to point out that Orwell's quote was taken out of context, in the sense that although he remarks on partisan propaganda, he says that it is unimportant, since "the broad picture of the war which the Spanish Government presented to the world was not untruthful. The main issues were what it said they were." On the other hand, the lies of the pro-NATO press are important because unlike the partisan lies told by leftist parties during the Spanish Civil War, today's NATO lies are the equivalent of the official fascist propaganda of that time: they distort and hide the main issues. Here is the full quote from the link that B has diligently provided:

I remember saying once to Arthur Koestler, 'History stopped in 1936', at which he nodded in immediate understanding. We were both thinking of totalitarianism in general, but more particularly of the Spanish civil war. Early in life I have noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper, but in Spain, for the first time, I saw newspaper reports which did not bear any relation to the facts, not even the relationship which is implied in an ordinary lie. I saw great battles reported where there had been no fighting, and complete silence where hundreds of men had been killed. I saw troops who had fought bravely denounced as cowards and traitors, and others who had never seen a shot fired hailed as the heroes of imaginary victories; and I saw newspapers in London retailing these lies and eager intellectuals building emotional superstructures over events that had never happened. I saw, in fact, history being written not in terms of what happened but of what ought to have happened according to various 'party lines'. Yet in a way, horrible as all this was, it was unimportant. It concerned secondary issues -- namely, the struggle for power between the Comintern and the Spanish left-wing parties, and the efforts of the Russian Government to prevent revolution in Spain. But the broad picture of the war which the Spanish Government presented to the world was not untruthful. The main issues were what it said they were. But as for the Fascists and their backers, how could they come even as near to the truth as that? How could they possibly mention their real aims? Their version of the war was pure fantasy, and in the circumstances it could not have been otherwise.

Tyronius , Apr 22 2018 1:48 utc | 16
As a given group loses its grip on power, it tends to employ ever more extreme tactics. This explains the recent behavior of players like the US government, the UK government, the American mainstream media and various think tanks. What other extreme behavior should we expect from such a cabal? After all, they've already shown contempt for conditionally protected freedoms- all of them- and a willingness to manufacture any narrative they want in order to further their aims of conquest and profiteering. This whole mess could spiral out of control in countless ways with terrifying consequences.
dh , Apr 22 2018 1:49 utc | 17
@15 Yes but I'm not sure how relevant Orwell's quote is to today. Do we even have a 'left-wing' anymore? Or a Comintern for that matter? Even fascism wears a smiley face. Seems to me that what we have is a tightly controlled MSM. That control may be slipping but we have yet to see a replacement.
psychohistorian , Apr 22 2018 2:01 utc | 18
Those of us at MoA who are regulars may feel a certain level of complacency based on the level of discourse here but I assure you that most Americans are still very much zombie followers of whatever the TV and other media tell them. I believe that there is a strong possibility that MoA and like sites will become the focus of paid narrative pushers and if that is not successful there are other ways to make b and our lives difficult.

If b is ever knocked offline for some reason and needs help I encourage him to email his readers with potential strategies to show/provide support. Thanks again and again for your web site b.

Jackrabbit , Apr 22 2018 2:05 utc | 19
The first casualty of war is the truth. Many Westerners would recognize this phrase but many of them don't understand that there -IS- a war (the new Cold War). The longstanding law that prevented government propaganda in the US was revoked several years ago. U.S Repeals Propaganda Ban, Spreads Government-Made News to Americans
Ken , Apr 22 2018 2:07 utc | 20
This type of tyranny has been going on forever in the US. Take A. Lincoln. More than 14,000 civilians were arrested under martial law during the war throughout the Union. Abraham Lincoln did so because they expressed views critical of Lincoln or his war. It's the same-o. Different faces same crap.
frances , Apr 22 2018 2:14 utc | 22
b- I am sorry to see their attacks on you, if things do go sideways please contact me if I can be of help in any way.
Do you know what has happened to Tucker Carlson, he has been such a strong voice for truth that I am concerned for him.
Stay strong and thank you for all you do in support of the truth.
Clueless Joe , Apr 22 2018 2:23 utc | 23
Sure, there are more people that see the lies and bullshit for what they are. Still, seeing it is not enough. What really matters now is to fully wipe out the mainstream media, to make it completely extinct, and therefore seeing they're full of shit is only the prerequisite to pondering how to actually bankrupt and destroy them. That's what everyone who's not fully on board with the Western regimes' and bankers' propaganda should be thinking about. How to convince people not only to stop buying their lies, but to stop buying them at all, how to cut down the vast majority of their readership/viewers to the point they don't matter anymore.
Tom , Apr 22 2018 2:26 utc | 24
Thank you b. This a very important subject. It wouldn't surprise me if a false flag happened that would be aimed at censuring all alternative news. This might be centered around a decoupling of east from west, perhaps when the current financial crisis explodes. Oh, has anyone heard from Tucker Carlson lately?
VK , Apr 22 2018 3:06 utc | 25
You can fool someone for a long time, you can fool a lot of people for a short time - but you can't fool a lot of people for a long time. That is, unless those people are willing to live the lie.

I think the reason the MSM's propaganda is so effective nowadays (and I'm thinking specifically about the world since the Iraq invasion in 2003) is that, deep down, maybe in the collective inconsciousness level, the working classes from the First World countries know their superior living standards depend on imperial brutality over the rest of the world. That's why, for example, the USG and Downing Street haven't lost significant credibility domestically after Iraq and after Libya. This is a dark social pact: people live the lies only to sleep well at night and claim plausible deniability after; they only wish it to be over quickly and at the least human cost from their side (every coffin that comes back to their community from the Middle East is a crack in the illusion). They believe in Russiagate because, deep down, they don't want to believe they were capable of electing someone like Trump and, mainly, because they know their economies are failing, and the only solution is to invade other countries/prop up the war industry.

Brian , Apr 22 2018 3:16 utc | 26
Smearing people for appearing on RT! Americans who prattle on about freedom and democracy are pressuring other not to do this or that which is to inhibit their freedom. Don't they know it makes them look like dictators without portfolio?
Fernando Arauxo , Apr 22 2018 3:34 utc | 27
The greatest martyr IMHO is Lisa Howard. If she were alive today she would have thrived on the Alt-media circuit. She is our patron saint.
Rob , Apr 22 2018 4:35 utc | 28
Great article, b. I am a relative newcomer to MoA, having found it through Caitlin Johnstone (Rogue Journalist), but in a short time, I have come to rely heavily on it for "hidden" news and incisive analysis. Yes, independent news outlets are vital sources of truth, but their reach is still tiny compared to that of the Empire and its toads in the media. The well organized smear campaign against those who refuse to bow down is a frightening development indeed.
karlof1 , Apr 22 2018 4:45 utc | 29
Thanks b for your outstanding dissecting! The Information War is complex yet still remains simple--all that's required is a critically thinking approach for any personally unconfirmed sources and the data presented followed by the willingness to ask questions, no matter how uncomfortable. Such a disciplined mind was once the paramount goal for those seeking wisdom, but such pursuits are deemed passé, unrequired in the Digital Age. But Big Lie Media's been working its evil for decades despite many calling out the lies. Funny how the two big former communist nations are now more credible than the West and expressly seek honest and open--Win-Win--relationships based on trust and equality. The Moral Table at play during Cold War 1 is flipped with the Outlaw US Empire being the Evil Empire. And the Evil Empire can't stand its own nakedness and its oozing social sores.

The liar is often agitated and nervous whereas one with the facts rests easy and remains calm. In the run up to their summit, note how Trump is already agitated and nervous, already prefacing his lies to come, whereas Kim is easy and calm, setting the table. Shrillness and hysteria are the similar signs provided by media liars and is almost always fact-free, supposed "sources" anonymous.

Grieved , Apr 22 2018 5:02 utc | 30
A magisterial piece of journalism, b. Congratulations, and thank you.

~~

Spain. Orwell. Fascism.

I was born decades after the Spanish Civil War, and to be very honest I never knew much about it, nor have ever learned since. But Guernica I knew about, even as a young teenager in school. The culture was shocked into remembering forever that there was a lie involved with Guernica. That's all I ever really knew, was that Spain was a lie, underneath which a massacre lay.

They say it was the humanitarian and artistic type of people who kept the truth of Spain alive against the propaganda of the fascists. I don't know. I believe as I said the other day that propaganda only works to crowd out the truth, so that people are not exposed to the truth. But propaganda doesn't work in a battle against the truth, when people are exposed to both sides of the story.

If you were running a scam based on fake news, and one day you had to make allegations using this very term, and play your "fake news" card on the table in a round of betting that was merely one round in a long game - if you did this, you'd be a bad card player, or one driven to the corner and getting extremely close to leaving the table.

If your playing partner suddenly had to show the "false flag" card on the surface of the table for the whole game to see - yet another secret hole card exposed and now worthless forever - you could well think your game was finished. And it is - barring a few nasty tricks...which will be recorded and placed into the game as IOU's.

Don't anybody be part of that collateral damage - be well. And instead, let's collect on those IOU's. The game is almost over. Many people will appear to say that the players cannot be beat. But they are with the losers. We are the players.

Merlin2 , Apr 22 2018 5:32 utc | 32
psychohistorian @17

I wholeheartedly second your suggestion. I think the battle against the truth by the deep States everywhere has only begun. They will not stop at smearing individual posters or sites.

I do think we all need to start becoming more aware of alternatives, to YouTube (how's DTube?), Twitter (gab?), Facebook, Google (several alternatives) etc. But that will not be enough because I fear that in time the IP providers will come under pressure too - in all the western countries, especially. And the domain providers 9we all know them), followed by blog platforms such as WorldPress. I am not saying it's easy to curtail all of those, but they will try, as sure as the sun sets in the West.

Of course, the biggest attacks will be mounted against anonymous commenters and posters. That's already in the works at several outlets. The idea is of course that by stripping off anonimity people will self-censor for fear of repercussions to their real life selves.

There are people working on alternative platforms of all sorts. I am somewhat hopeful about user owned sites though these efforts are nascent. I hope commenters here will share what they know of alternatives, even knowing this won't be an easy battle. After all, Twitter owes its popularity to well, its popularity. Same with Facebook or Instagram or youTube. Therein lies the rub - it won't be easy to wean users from these platforms as many start-ups found out. That however should not mean that we shouldn't try. More and more Twitter users for example are cross-posting on gab, and several youTubers started uploading also to Dtube. neither site is ideal, I know. But neither was Twitter when it started.

Antares , Apr 22 2018 5:50 utc | 33
The real aim of propaganda is to persuade the politicians and not the public. One man in their middle wants to start a war and the media make sure that his or her fellow politicians will hear no other story and make support the only possibility. That's why people like us have to be vilified, so that all these politicians can invent an excuse for themselves and turn their head away. What we think really doesn't matter because we are not the ones in control. They only have to convince the Colin Powells and Frank Timmermans's.
Al-Pol , Apr 22 2018 5:52 utc | 34
The current increased smear campaigns against the so called Russian Bots, Assad Apologists etc., is surely just the first part of of a an attempt to implement very serious censorship and control over the internet to attempt to completely block out any alternative voices.

Amber Rudd the UK Home Secretary has been banging on about Russian cyber attcks for the past couple of months. Whilst based on the history of UK Government IT projects I couldn't expect the UK alone to be capable of implementing any meaningful censorship scheme (they have a track record of producing so many multi-billion pound national IT project disasters) but with the coordinated help of the US and others they might just be able to put up enough censorship barriers to be able to get back to their original plans (removing Assad and whatever else they have in mind). False-flag chemical attacks haven't quite worked out to plan, but add in a false-flag cyber attack that apparently disables some of the UK (and/or US/EU) vital services and that should be enough for them to convince the plebs and sufficient MP's that it has become absolutely necessary to block Russain and other media and internet sites and force the owners of many social media channels to disable long lists of people with alternative views.

Dave , Apr 22 2018 6:32 utc | 36
Prop or Not is NOT a 'friendly neighbourhood' anything. It was exposed a while ago as being a joint state propaganda project between the CIA and West Ukraine, with the goal of spreading anti-Russia disinformation, and employing the collusion of some no-integrity US propaganda rags like The Daily Beast.

http://yournewswire.com/propornot-cia-ukrainian-operation/
https://consortiumnews.com/2018/01/28/unpacking-the-shadowy-outfit-behind-2017s-biggest-fake-news-story/

bobzibub , Apr 22 2018 7:14 utc | 37
Many thanks b for the hard work. This is what we wish our traditional media would invest the time and publish.

Instead, what we get is something like: Terry Glavin: Here's why some people choose not to believe in Assad's atrocities which seems to be a great example of the Dunning Kruger effect. Note the vitriol!

My question is their motivation and timing. Why does the rhetoric seem to increase after the latest attack? Why care if 10% of the population doesn't follow their narrative now? Are they preparing for a new round of kinetic action? Or do they simply believe their management of the narrative needs more investment?

ralphieboy , Apr 22 2018 9:38 utc | 41
If people are going to rely on social media feeds for anything other than information on what their friends and family are up to, then they are opening themselves up to being manipulated easily and with a minimum of actual effort.

You no longer need to own a newspaper or a broadcast network to do so.

JohnnyRVF , Apr 22 2018 11:23 utc | 49
Ultimately people with a concience and some integrity will realize that something is awry. I'm no spring chicken and have been on the net for nearly 20 years. There are more ' old ' people surfing the net than initially may be apparent. As life passes by people become much more attuned to bullsh*t. T. May's husband is on the board of a large British Armaments company. No doubt her ministers are all in on many scams. She is a very mediocre character, a fool as her time as home secretary demonstrated and was only voted in place so as to do the bidding of others. And in my opinion, when I say others I mean she is the western harlot who jumps when anyone pulls her string. They say that if you tell a lie often enough people believe it to be the truth. Not necessarily. There are so many holes in the Skripal and Syrian stories that only someone who doesn't want to have their view challenged will believe them. The stories are falling apart and as they do, so does the credibility and trust of the western MSM and Politik. The reason the Germans and others refused to join in, is I suspect, they realize that in part, because once that is lost, it takes a great deal more to recover it. The Skripal case and the latest Syrian faked gas attack is the start of the end for T. May and her govt.
fairleft , Apr 22 2018 11:25 utc | 50
Good comments, especially psychohistorian about being prepared to jump to alternative platforms ... Perhaps Russian ones?

What I was referencing in comment 5 is this relatively new desire by the 'powers that be' for purity, for absolutely no one from 'our side' dissenting against the mainstream (and completely bonkers in its anti-Russian extremism) narrative. This is not like the pre-digital age, when small-circulation real leftist publications were not subject to mainstream and official government extermination campaigns. And I don't think this is simply because of digital age reach, because the readership for the real alternative media's left/anti-imperial perspective doesn't engage enough people to be meaningful in terms of power and elections. At least in the US; less certain about elsewhere.

There's something angry, extreme, and extremely insecure about the psychology of the Western ruling class right now. My bet is that because of that insecurity they won't be so dangerous to Russia/China in the years to come, but instead the anger will be directed at internal left/anti-militarist dissenters. For some reason our reality bugs the sh!t out of them despite our small numbers.

deschutes , Apr 22 2018 11:33 utc | 51
Until recently I used to read articles at both The Intercept and at Truthdig, but have since realized both of these 'news' outlets actively censor posts that are too accurate, too insightful of what the US government and MSM are doing in Syria and how they are manipulating public opinion with the White Helmets, staged false gas attacks, etc. I don't trust Pierre Omidyar, the philanthropist behind The Intercept, he has questionable political alliances. I have had many of my posts at both Truthdig and The Intercept censored even though they were entirely within comment rules. The Intercept has a lot of really BAD journalists posting crap there, like this ass clown Mehdi Hasan. Even Glenn Greenwald, a multi millionaire, is suspect. Both of these websites are psuedo-left and should not be trusted!
From the resistance trench with love , Apr 22 2018 11:40 utc | 52
....attacks on critical readers and commentators are despicable..

Indeed, but "the one free of sin to throw the first stone" ....

From my experience at several supposed "alternative media", most of them somehow pro-Russian in the sense that they do not promote the sick warmongerism coming from the US and UK stablishments against Russia and its allies in Syria and against Syria herself, every site has its biases and slandering attacks by the owners of the blogs or by the "community" os sycophants residing there are everyday bread for any newcomer who could express a bit of dissent against the general editorial view.
I mayself have been obliged to change my nickname several times already to avoid attacks or banning/censorship, when my position about Syrai and Russia does not differ almost in the least with that of the people mentioned above who are being object of smearing campaign by the MSM....and this has happened to me in the supposed pro-Russian "alt-media"....

Thus, I would recommend to apply a bit of self-criticism and reflect about how anyone of us are probably contributing to the same effort of the bullies mentioned above against mainly common citizens who only try to commit themselves to spread some of the truth they are finding online through research and intensive reading, and try to offer an alternative point of view or simply debunk the usual nonsense especially against certain ideologies, mostly spreaded by US commenters.....

timbers , Apr 22 2018 11:50 utc | 53
I noticed the part about Ian Shillilng being accused of denying the Holocaust or implying it was a govt conspiracy.

I find that interesting, because a co-worker asked me out to the blue "Do you even believe the Holocaust happened?" It's a strange question with no relation to Russiagate, yet pops up a lot so it clearly has an agenda. The question made no sense but I did recognized it as a familiar attack by the warmongers. My response was to to respond to such a ridiculous, dishonest question and I ignored it.

He went to ask if I was "stupid" for not seeing that Mueller's indictments over lying to the FBI and tax evasion/money laundering in Ukraine are NOT are not same thing as proving Russia meddled to deny Hillary her Presidency.

Don Wiscacho , Apr 22 2018 12:07 utc | 54
Thanks for the article b.
As painful as it is to watch the increasing attempts at censoring non-msm voices, we can take solace in the fact that, like a cornered rat, the establishment has no other option left but an all-out, full-retard attack on anyone not toeing the line. While the damage they are doing is real, this should be balanced with the fact that this attack comes out of weakness and not strength: they are the ones "losing", and knowledge of that reality makes them increasingly unhinged.
partisan , Apr 22 2018 12:13 utc | 55
https://twitter.com/RealAlexRubi/status/966178001858826241

LOL

At first I thought this is some kind of joke. Than I watched few times, I still believe CNN guy is in some kind of mission here, let's say to distract its viewers from existential matters that grips ordinary people in the US. His insistence on the "Russians" is illogical at first...this woman appear to be serious but when it comes to CNN everything is set-up, not just everyone can come to CNN, period. No facts involved the conversation is about NOTHING, that is the US national narrative being imposed by the ruling class trough various media. Just like "attack" on Syria and Syria's gas attack. There were none, there were no cruise missile fired, there were no downed ones! CNN's role is also to entertain its audience as well, everything but not talk about social and economic issues. In other words to indoctrinate - shift attention, not to ask unpleasant questions.

fast freddy , Apr 22 2018 13:50 utc | 61
The NYT and NPR are warmonger institutions. It is sad that ppl who consider themselves to be liberals, democrats, blue team (anti-war?- that's a stretch!) embrace these institutions as purveyors of truth or even real news.

Has the NYT ever seen a war it didn't support?

Anonymous2 , Apr 22 2018 14:00 utc | 62
Great job b,

Obivously western intelligence servies, NATO leak stuff to western msm to intimidate and censor political oppostion in every western country.

Ben Nimmo is one of the most maniac propaganda dogs Nato/Neocons out there, he is a propaganda agent for NATO.

Levcek , Apr 22 2018 14:06 utc | 63
@ Diana 15

I don't feel that the quote is out of context. Yes, you show that Orwell clearly didn't consider it a big deal at that time, but what is happening now is that what he describes is omnipresent, the main stream of information we get, there is nothing else if you don't search for alternatives. It is beyond doubt that Orwell, in the present context, would never have added what he added in that book.
So in that light I feel the quote is extremely relevant and a good start of the article.

I want to express my thanks for this site and am really glad I was pointed towards MoA by other sources of real information.

Anonymous2 , Apr 22 2018 14:14 utc | 64
Meanwhile, the same western media give free pass to liberal warcriminals like Macron's France that just today call for permanent illegal occupation of Syria - after illegally bombing it.

France's Macron Urges US, Allies to Stay in Syria Even After Daesh Defeat
https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201804221063800226-macron-daesh-us-france-syria/

But no, it is people like us who call out this BS that gets silenced and harassed by the same ignorant western media/"journalists" along with the western deep state spy networks!

Eric , Apr 22 2018 14:28 utc | 66
What an excellent source of information the MoA site offers those of us who are seeking the truth and living in an Empire full of lies.Over the past few months, I have perused this site regularly and always find it very helpful in gaining a better and more concise understanding of
what is really going on in our world.

I am also astounded at how helpful it is for me to read the comments of so many who are regulars here.
The courtesy and level of intellectual dialog that goes on here in the comments section is a rare thing indeed! We all must fight for truth for the sake of our families and loved ones.

Levcek , Apr 22 2018 14:45 utc | 68
@ somebody | Apr 22, 2018 7:01:49 AM | 46

"Fake" and "Genuine" are used to describe the video with the water being poured over people. Fisk calls them genuine because the video was taped in the place where it pretends to be, not in a film set or a location where nothing was going on. It was filmed in the real hospital with real doctors, nurses and victims.
The video therefore is real (not staged), but the claim that people are suffering from gas wounds is false.

You can thus also say that the video is fake: it is said to show victims of a gas attack, while the doctor says they were suffering from suffocation, and only when someone shouted "gas", did people start hosing each other down (which as someone posted in another article, would have only made things worse if they had chlorine on them). As evidence of a gas attack, the video is fake.

As long as a person is not claiming that the video shows victims of a real gas attack aftermath, we're all on the same side I guess.

Anonymous2 , Apr 22 2018 14:51 utc | 70
The response is of course to more eagerly call out the neocons propangada, western media propaganda and so forth, get a twitter account, get a blog, lets multiply this movement, because these people will of course not stop at destroying peoples lives in the newspapers, they will call for censorship, registrations and sooner or later jail for these views.
dh , Apr 22 2018 14:54 utc | 71
Orwell's great fear was totalitarianism. Either from the left or the right. What we have now is much more subtle. The MSM retains the illusion of freedom and most people go along with it. We may even realize we are being manipulated but the only alternative is posting on sites like MOA.
Bevin Kacon , Apr 22 2018 15:49 utc | 76
@ 75

The UK has no credibility left now. May's farcical handling of the Brexit negs has exposed her as little more than a Tory mouthpiece, parroting party bon mots whilst having no clue where she is heading. And I suspect her civil servants haven't, either!

The Skirpal charade was a front for several things but mainly, I think, to turn the focus away from Brexit and to opening the Cold War front again. But what is alarming was her open support for attacks on Syria. It's been known for some time that the UK has special forces operating in Syria covertly; May's tub-thumping pretty much clarified that the Uk is as determined as Washington and that Rothschild puppet Macron to force a regime change in Syria.

You said she must go. I said the same thing last September after the fall-out from the June election and other foot-in-mouth incidents: she'd be gone before year end. How wrong I was. She has figures in the background protecting her.

majobrs , Apr 22 2018 19:10 utc | 78
Crushing dissent goes completely against 'liberal values' which is about the only high ground left for the humanitarian regime changers a.k.a the Franquistas. So that is not going to happen. On the other hand, social media is the easiest place to use covert operatives, even MSM has other sponsors and actors, social media can be directly controlled by governments , and the 'intelligence community'. So they are just using the net for what they set it up for.
Propaganda for domestic consumption in the USA, isn't really meant to convince as much as to scare people into submission. People don't obey Big Brother because they like him or believe him, but because they cannot talk back to him and are scared of him. Media Scare tactics work less if people can talk back, hear their own voice, not just Big Brother from every loudspeaker.

Martin Luther (not King) said that "A lie is like a snowball: the further you roll it the bigger it becomes." The snowball is melting because there is shift in the narrative given what is happening on the ground in Syria. I find it fascinating that as it melts down layer by layer, the first trojan horse outfits to implode are left humanitarian ones like the Intercept, Newsbud, Democracy Now. The right wing ones like Fox, Young Turks, just concentrate on dumbing down the conversation to reduce reality to bombastic and misleading 'political' points. This is a another way to control the conversation, to scare people into thinking that facts or not facts but partisan political 'opinions'. Look at how Jimmy Dore's in the interview mentioned by B with Carla Ortiz, is trying to dumb down the conversation and keeps feigning ignorance. Thankfully she blows him out of the water. Good job Carla!
The snowball is big and melting slowly. Who's next?

Grieved , Apr 23 2018 1:47 utc | 84
@b

Vesti has a great 10-minute clip dated yesterday from a Russian talk show with Margarita Simonyan of RT doing much of the talking. What she says is really encouraging about how she's trying to talk, not to power (which already knows the real truth that it's obscuring) but to common people, because there are those among the common people who do speak up and who really do shape public opinion - not governments.

She cited Roger Waters as an example, who was speaking at a concert and telling the truth about the White Helmets. She said, someone has to read in order to speak. And someone has to write so someone can read. And that's what RT is doing, and that's how it works. And it is working.

The panel agreed that the truth from Tony Blair finally came out 15 years later. So we have only to persist and stay safe for 15 years and we win:
The Tony Blair Rule: The Truth Takes 15 Years to Come Out, Skripal Countdown Starts Now - Simonyan

David Park , Apr 23 2018 2:16 utc | 87
Thanks for introducing us to Valentina Lisitsa! Her playing is magnificent with exquisite dynamics and timing.
ashley albanese , Apr 23 2018 3:52 utc | 89
George Orwell has been a presence throughout this thread. It was unfortunate he was hurried by MI6 to finish the last pages of 'Animal Farm' so it could be translated into Arabic and be used to discredit Communist parties in Western Asia. This always raised the ire of Communist organisations through following decades .This being said he wrote some great text especially for me the revealing 1939 novel - Coming up for A
Steve , Apr 23 2018 8:54 utc | 91
What many people don't realize is that fascism is a greedy habit, it expands to finally swallow up those who think they are protected by silence or looking the other way. The individuals and organizations villified today are the real heroes, and even if they suffer today, they will be vindicated in the end. But unfortunately the gullible masses would by then be in the open prison of fascism.
MichaelK , Apr 23 2018 15:00 utc | 94
I don't know if wars are really an extension of diplomacy by other means, but they certainly seem to be... an extension of ideology and propaganda. Ideas are very important in preparing and fighting wars; especially today, though, in reality the way we think about our western imperial war-fighting, goes back well over a century, back to the Whiteman's Burden and other imperialist myths.

For the last thirty years we've essentially been fighting 'liberal crusades for freedom and democracy.' That, at least, was the 'cover story' the pretext presented to the people. There's an irony here. Just like Islamic State, we've been engaging in 'holy warfare' too!

The reason our media is so full of lies and distortions and propaganda is because the harsh realities of our New Imperialism wars are so out of synch with the reality of what's happening and crucially the attitudes of the general public who don't want to fight more overseas wars, and especially if they are 'crusades' for democracy and freedom. But what's happened recently is that dissent is being targeted as tantamount to treason. This is rather new and disturbing.

It's because the ruling elite are... losing it and way too many people are questioning their ideas about the wars we are fighting and their legitimacy and 'right to rule.'

In many ways the Internet is bringing about a kind of revolution in relation to the people's access to 'texts' and images that reminds one of the great intellectual upheavals that the translation of the Bible had on European thought four hundred years ago. Suddenly Bibles were being printed all over the place and people could read the sacred texts without having to ask the educated priests to 'filter' and translate and explain what it all meant. In a way Wikileaks was doing the same thing... allowing people access to secret material, masses of it, bypassing the traditional newsmedia and the journalistic 'preists.'

[Jun 24, 2020] Trump has caved numerous times, he is an idiot when it comes to hiring his enemies hoping to appease them, but there is no question that he opposes mass immigration and invasions.

Jun 24, 2020 | www.unz.com

Hegar , says: Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2020 at 5:44 pm GMT

Giraldi's first paragraph is spot on. But after corona dealing the economy a heavy blow, I don't think Trump will start a war before the election. I don't think he would have done that otherwise either, though there was some risk. Trump has caved numerous times, he is an idioht when it comes to hiring his enemies hoping to appease them, but there is no question that he opposes mass immigration and invasions.

I suppose most people here know this, but let's look at how many of the pro-war names mentioned belong to the 2.5 % "Chosen":

George Bush
Donald Rumsfeld
Hillary Clinton
Michael Ledeen (White, but studied history under *George Mosse, immigrated from Germany)
Reuel Gerecht
Dan Senor

*Richard Perle
*Paul Wolfowitz (The architect of the Afghan-Iraq invasions, who gathered support for them in Congress and organized the pro-war communication)
*Douglas Feith (would have been the Sec. of Defense if people hadn't objected too much, as he was infamous after the Iran-Contra affair)
*Eliot Abrams
*Lewish "Scooter" Libby of the dead eyes
*Robert Kagan
*Frederick Kagan
*Victoria Nuland
*Madeleine Albright (Half a million dead Iraqi children from starvation sanctions and bombing the infrastructure for twelve years was "worth it")

That's six Whites and nine Tribe.

If those nine hadn't existed millions would have been alive today, there would have been no flood of Somalis, Afghans, Iraqis and Syrians to Europe, and the U.S. and the Middle East would have been far better off.

[Jun 24, 2020] Advice to Russigaters of the Democratic Party

Jun 24, 2020 | www.unz.com

JoaoAlfaiate , says: Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2020 at 2:48 pm GMT

Before confronting the Russians, it might be a good idea to regain control of Minneapolis and Seattle ..

[Jun 23, 2020] Identity politics is, first and foremost, a dirty and shrewd political strategy developed by the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party ( soft neoliberals ) to counter the defection of trade union members from the party

Highly recommended!
divide and conquer 1. To gain or maintain power by generating tension among others, especially those less powerful, so that they cannot unite in opposition.
Notable quotes:
"... In its most general form, identity politics involves (i) a claim that a particular group is not being treated fairly and (ii) a claim that members of that group should place political priority on the demand for fairer treatment. But "fairer" can mean lots of different things. I'm trying to think about this using contrasts between the set of terms in the post title. A lot of this is unoriginal, but I'm hoping I can say something new. ..."
"... The second problem is that neoliberals on right and left sometimes use identity as a shield to protect neoliberal policies. As one commentator has argued, "Without the bedrock of class politics, identity politics has become an agenda of inclusionary neoliberalism in which individuals can be accommodated but addressing structural inequalities cannot." What this means is that some neoliberals hold high the banner of inclusiveness on gender and race and thus claim to be progressive reformers, but they then turn a blind eye to systemic changes in politics and the economy. ..."
"... Critics argue that this is "neoliberal identity politics," and it gives its proponents the space to perpetuate the policies of deregulation, privatization, liberalization, and austerity. ..."
"... If we assume that identity politics is, first and foremost, a dirty and shrewd political strategy developed by the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party ("soft neoliberals") many things became much more clear. Along with Neo-McCarthyism it represents a mechanism to compensate for the loss of their primary voting block: trade union members, who in 2016 "en mass" defected to Trump. ..."
Dec 28, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 12.27.19 at 10:21 pm

John,

I've been thinking about the various versions of and critiques of identity politics that are around at the moment. In its most general form, identity politics involves (i) a claim that a particular group is not being treated fairly and (ii) a claim that members of that group should place political priority on the demand for fairer treatment. But "fairer" can mean lots of different things. I'm trying to think about this using contrasts between the set of terms in the post title. A lot of this is unoriginal, but I'm hoping I can say something new.

You missed one important line of critique -- identity politics as a dirty political strategy of soft neoliberals.

See discussion of this issue by Professor Ganesh Sitaraman in his recent article (based on his excellent book The Great Democracy ) https://newrepublic.com/article/155970/collapse-neoliberalism

To be sure, race, gender, culture, and other aspects of social life have always been important to politics. But neoliberalism's radical individualism has increasingly raised two interlocking problems. First, when taken to an extreme, social fracturing into identity groups can be used to divide people and prevent the creation of a shared civic identity. Self-government requires uniting through our commonalities and aspiring to achieve a shared future.

When individuals fall back onto clans, tribes, and us-versus-them identities, the political community gets fragmented. It becomes harder for people to see each other as part of that same shared future.

Demagogues [more correctly neoliberals -- likbez] rely on this fracturing to inflame racial, nationalist, and religious antagonism, which only further fuels the divisions within society. Neoliberalism's war on "society," by pushing toward the privatization and marketization of everything, thus indirectly facilitates a retreat into tribalism that further undermines the preconditions for a free and democratic society.

The second problem is that neoliberals on right and left sometimes use identity as a shield to protect neoliberal policies. As one commentator has argued, "Without the bedrock of class politics, identity politics has become an agenda of inclusionary neoliberalism in which individuals can be accommodated but addressing structural inequalities cannot." What this means is that some neoliberals hold high the banner of inclusiveness on gender and race and thus claim to be progressive reformers, but they then turn a blind eye to systemic changes in politics and the economy.

Critics argue that this is "neoliberal identity politics," and it gives its proponents the space to perpetuate the policies of deregulation, privatization, liberalization, and austerity.

Of course, the result is to leave in place political and economic structures that harm the very groups that inclusionary neoliberals claim to support. The foreign policy adventures of the neoconservatives and liberal internationalists haven't fared much better than economic policy or cultural politics. The U.S. and its coalition partners have been bogged down in the war in Afghanistan for 18 years and counting. Neither Afghanistan nor Iraq is a liberal democracy, nor did the attempt to establish democracy in Iraq lead to a domino effect that swept the Middle East and reformed its governments for the better. Instead, power in Iraq has shifted from American occupiers to sectarian militias, to the Iraqi government, to Islamic State terrorists, and back to the Iraqi government -- and more than 100,000 Iraqis are dead.

Or take the liberal internationalist 2011 intervention in Libya. The result was not a peaceful transition to stable democracy but instead civil war and instability, with thousands dead as the country splintered and portions were overrun by terrorist groups. On the grounds of democracy promotion, it is hard to say these interventions were a success. And for those motivated to expand human rights around the world, it is hard to justify these wars as humanitarian victories -- on the civilian death count alone.

Indeed, the central anchoring assumptions of the American foreign policy establishment have been proven wrong. Foreign policymakers largely assumed that all good things would go together -- democracy, markets, and human rights -- and so they thought opening China to trade would inexorably lead to it becoming a liberal democracy. They were wrong. They thought Russia would become liberal through swift democratization and privatization. They were wrong.

They thought globalization was inevitable and that ever-expanding trade liberalization was desirable even if the political system never corrected for trade's winners and losers. They were wrong. These aren't minor mistakes. And to be clear, Donald Trump had nothing to do with them. All of these failures were evident prior to the 2016 election.

If we assume that identity politics is, first and foremost, a dirty and shrewd political strategy developed by the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party ("soft neoliberals") many things became much more clear. Along with Neo-McCarthyism it represents a mechanism to compensate for the loss of their primary voting block: trade union members, who in 2016 "en mass" defected to Trump.

Initially Clinton calculation was that trade union voters has nowhere to go anyways, and it was correct for first decade or so of his betrayal. But gradually trade union members and lower middle class started to leave Dems in droves (Demexit, compare with Brexit) and that where identity politics was invented to compensate for this loss.

So in addition to issues that you mention we also need to view the role of identity politics as the political strategy of the "soft neoliberals " directed at discrediting and the suppression of nationalism.

The resurgence of nationalism is the inevitable byproduct of the dominance of neoliberalism, resurgence which I think is capable to bury neoliberalism as it lost popular support (which now is limited to financial oligarchy and high income professional groups, such as we can find in corporate and military brass, (shrinking) IT sector, upper strata of academy, upper strata of medical professionals, etc)

That means that the structure of the current system isn't just flawed which imply that most problems are relatively minor and can be fixed by making some tweaks. It is unfixable, because the "Identity wars" reflect a deep moral contradictions within neoliberal ideology. And they can't be solved within this framework.

[Jun 20, 2020] The American Press Is Destroying Itself by Matt Taibbi

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Twitter Robespierres who move from discipline to discipline torching reputations and jobs with breathtaking casualness. ..."
"... The leaders of this new movement are replacing traditional liberal beliefs about tolerance, free inquiry, and even racial harmony with ideas so toxic and unattractive that they eschew debate, moving straight to shaming, threats, and intimidation. They are counting on the guilt-ridden, self-flagellating nature of traditional American progressives, who will not stand up for themselves, and will walk to the Razor voluntarily. ..."
"... Now, this madness is coming for journalism. Beginning on Friday, June 5th, a series of controversies rocked the media. By my count, at least eight news organizations dealt with internal uprisings (it was likely more). Most involved groups of reporters and staffers demanding the firing or reprimand of colleagues who'd made politically "problematic" editorial or social media decisions. ..."
"... The New York Times, the Intercept , Vox, the Philadelphia Inquirier, Variety , and others saw challenges to management. ..."
"... I always question, why does a Black life matter only when a white man takes it?... Like, if a white man takes my life tonight, it's going to be national news, but if a Black man takes my life, it might not even be spoken of It's stuff just like that that I just want in the mix. ..."
"... Bon Apetit ..."
"... Philadelphia Inquirer's ..."
"... Morning Consult ..."
"... Philadelphia Inquirer ..."
"... fuck you, shut up, send money, do better, check yourself, I'm tired ..."
"... Game of Thrones ..."
"... washing the feet ..."
"... The traditional view of the press was never based on some contrived, mathematical notion of "balance," i.e. five paragraphs of Republicans for every five paragraphs of Democrats. The ideal instead was that we showed you everything we could see, good and bad, ugly and not, trusting that a better-informed public would make better decisions. This vision of media stressed accuracy, truth, and trust in the reader's judgment as the routes to positive social change. ..."
Jun 20, 2020 | taibbi.substack.com

Reporting by Matt Taibbi Subscribe

Sometimes it seems life can't get any worse in this country. Already in terror of a pandemic, Americans have lately been bombarded with images of grotesque state-sponsored violence, from the murder of George Floyd to countless scenes of police clubbing and brutalizing protesters.

Our president, Donald Trump, is a clown who makes a great reality-show villain but is uniquely toolless as the leader of a superpower nation. Watching him try to think through two society-imperiling crises is like waiting for a gerbil to solve Fermat's theorem. Calls to "dominate" marchers and ad-libbed speculations about Floyd's "great day" looking down from heaven at Trump's crisis management and new unemployment numbers (" only" 21 million out of work!) were pure gasoline at a tinderbox moment. The man seems determined to talk us into civil war.

But police violence, and Trump's daily assaults on the presidential competence standard, are only part of the disaster. On the other side of the political aisle, among self-described liberals, we're watching an intellectual revolution. It feels liberating to say after years of tiptoeing around the fact, but the American left has lost its mind. It's become a cowardly mob of upper-class social media addicts, Twitter Robespierres who move from discipline to discipline torching reputations and jobs with breathtaking casualness.

The leaders of this new movement are replacing traditional liberal beliefs about tolerance, free inquiry, and even racial harmony with ideas so toxic and unattractive that they eschew debate, moving straight to shaming, threats, and intimidation. They are counting on the guilt-ridden, self-flagellating nature of traditional American progressives, who will not stand up for themselves, and will walk to the Razor voluntarily.

They've conned organization after organization into empowering panels to search out thoughtcrime, and it's established now that anything can be an offense, from a UCLA professor placed under investigation for reading Martin Luther King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" out loud to a data scientist fired* from a research firm for -- get this -- retweeting an academic study suggesting nonviolent protests may be more politically effective than violent ones!

Now, this madness is coming for journalism. Beginning on Friday, June 5th, a series of controversies rocked the media. By my count, at least eight news organizations dealt with internal uprisings (it was likely more). Most involved groups of reporters and staffers demanding the firing or reprimand of colleagues who'd made politically "problematic" editorial or social media decisions.

The New York Times, the Intercept , Vox, the Philadelphia Inquirier, Variety , and others saw challenges to management.

Probably the most disturbing story involved Intercept writer Lee Fang, one of a fast-shrinking number of young reporters actually skilled in investigative journalism. Fang's work in the area of campaign finance especially has led to concrete impact, including a record fine to a conservative Super PAC : few young reporters have done more to combat corruption.

Yet Fang found himself denounced online as a racist, then hauled before H.R. His crime? During protests, he tweeted this interview with an African-American man named Maximum Fr, who described having two cousins murdered in the East Oakland neighborhood where he grew up. Saying his aunt is still not over those killings, Max asked:

I always question, why does a Black life matter only when a white man takes it?... Like, if a white man takes my life tonight, it's going to be national news, but if a Black man takes my life, it might not even be spoken of It's stuff just like that that I just want in the mix.

Shortly after, a co-worker of Fang's, Akela Lacy, wrote, "Tired of being made to deal continually with my co-worker @lhfang continuing to push black on black crime narratives after being repeatedly asked not to. This isn't about me and him, it's about institutional racism and using free speech to couch anti-blackness. I am so fucking tired." She followed with, "Stop being racist Lee."

The tweet received tens of thousands of likes and responses along the lines of, " Lee Fang has been like this for years, but the current moment only makes his anti-Blackness more glaring ," and " Lee Fang spouting racist bullshit it must be a day ending in day ." A significant number of Fang's co-workers, nearly all white, as well as reporters from other major news organizations like the New York Times and MSNBC and political activists (one former Elizabeth Warren staffer tweeted, " Get him !"), issued likes and messages of support for the notion that Fang was a racist. Though he had support within the organization, no one among his co-workers was willing to say anything in his defense publicly.

Like many reporters, Fang has always viewed it as part of his job to ask questions in all directions. He's written critically of political figures on the center-left, the left, and "obviously on the right," and his reporting has inspired serious threats in the past. None of those past experiences were as terrifying as this blitz by would-be colleagues, which he described as "jarring," "deeply isolating," and "unique in my professional experience."

To save his career, Fang had to craft a public apology for "insensitivity to the lived experience of others." According to one friend of his, it's been communicated to Fang that his continued employment at The Intercept is contingent upon avoiding comments that may upset colleagues. Lacy to her credit publicly thanked Fang for his statement and expressed willingness to have a conversation; unfortunately, the throng of Intercept co-workers who piled on her initial accusation did not join her in this.

I first met Lee Fang in 2014 and have never known him to be anything but kind, gracious, and easygoing. He also appears earnestly committed to making the world a better place through his work. It's stunning that so many colleagues are comfortable using a word as extreme and villainous as racist to describe him.

Though he describes his upbringing as "solidly middle-class," Fang grew up in up in a diverse community in Prince George's County, Maryland, and attended public schools where he was frequently among the few non-African Americans in his class. As a teenager, he was witness to the murder of a young man outside his home by police who were never prosecuted, and also volunteered at a shelter for trafficked women, two of whom were murdered. If there's an edge to Fang at all, it seems geared toward people in our business who grew up in affluent circumstances and might intellectualize topics that have personal meaning for him.

In the tweets that got him in trouble with Lacy and other co-workers, he questioned the logic of protesters attacking immigrant-owned businesses " with no connection to police brutality at all ." He also offered his opinion on Martin Luther King's attitude toward violent protest (Fang's take was that King did not support it; Lacy responded, "you know they killed him too right"). These are issues around which there is still considerable disagreement among self-described liberals, even among self-described leftists. Fang also commented, presciently as it turns out, that many reporters were "terrified of openly challenging the lefty conventional wisdom around riots."

Lacy says she never intended for Fang to be "fired, 'canceled,' or deplatformed," but appeared irritated by questions on the subject, which she says suggest, "there is more concern about naming racism than letting it persist."

Max himself was stunned to find out that his comments on all this had created a Twitter firestorm. "I couldn't believe they were coming for the man's job over something I said," he recounts. "It was not Lee's opinion. It was my opinion."

By phone, Max spoke of a responsibility he feels Black people have to speak out against all forms of violence, "precisely because we experience it the most." He described being affected by the Floyd story, but also by the story of retired African-American police captain David Dorn, shot to death in recent protests in St. Louis. He also mentioned Tony Timpa, a white man whose 2016 asphyxiation by police was only uncovered last year. In body-camera footage, police are heard joking after Timpa passed out and stopped moving, " I don't want to go to school! Five more minutes, Mom !"

"If it happens to anyone, it has to be called out," Max says.

Max described discussions in which it was argued to him that bringing up these other incidents now is not helpful to the causes being articulated at the protests. He understands that point of view. He just disagrees.

"They say, there has to be the right time and a place to talk about that," he says. "But my point is, when? I want to speak out now." He pauses. "We've taken the narrative, and instead of being inclusive with it, we've become exclusive with it. Why?"

There were other incidents. The editors of Bon Apetit and Refinery29 both resigned amid accusations of toxic workplace culture. The editor of Variety, Claudia Eller, was placed on leave after calling a South Asian freelance writer "bitter" in a Twitter exchange about minority hiring at her company. The self-abasing apology ("I have tried to diversify our newsroom over the past seven years, but I HAVE NOT DONE ENOUGH") was insufficient. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Inquirer's editor, Stan Wischowski, was forced out after approving a headline, "Buildings matter, too."

In the most discussed incident, Times editorial page editor James Bennet was ousted for green-lighting an anti-protest editorial by Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton entitled, " Send in the troops ."

I'm no fan of Cotton, but as was the case with Michael Moore's documentary and many other controversial speech episodes, it's not clear that many of the people angriest about the piece in question even read it. In classic Times fashion, the paper has already scrubbed a mistake they made misreporting what their own editorial said, in an article about Bennet's ouster. Here's how the piece by Marc Tracy read originally (emphasis mine):

James Bennet, the editorial page editor of The New York Times, has resigned after a controversy over an Op-Ed by a senator calling for military force against protesters in American cities.

Here's how the piece reads now :

James Bennet resigned on Sunday from his job as the editorial page editor of The New York Times, days after the newspaper's opinion section, which he oversaw, published a much-criticized Op-Ed by a United States senator calling for a military response to civic unrest in American cities.

Cotton did not call for "military force against protesters in American cities." He spoke of a "show of force," to rectify a situation a significant portion of the country saw as spiraling out of control. It's an important distinction. Cotton was presenting one side of the most important question on the most important issue of a critically important day in American history.

As Cotton points out in the piece, he was advancing a view arguably held by a majority of the country. A Morning Consult poll showed 58% of Americans either strongly or somewhat supported the idea of "calling in the U.S. military to supplement city police forces." That survey included 40% of self-described "liberals" and 37% of African-Americans. To declare a point of view held by that many people not only not worthy of discussion, but so toxic that publication of it without even necessarily agreeing requires dismissal, is a dramatic reversal for a newspaper that long cast itself as the national paper of record.

Incidentally, that same poll cited by Cotton showed that 73% of Americans described protecting property as "very important," while an additional 16% considered it "somewhat important." This means the Philadelphia Inquirer editor was fired for running a headline – "Buildings matter, too" – that the poll said expressed a view held by 89% of the population, including 64% of African-Americans.

(Would I have run the Inquirer headline? No. In the context of the moment, the use of the word "matter" especially sounds like the paper is equating "Black lives" and "buildings," an odious and indefensible comparison. But why not just make this case in a rebuttal editorial? Make it a teaching moment? How can any editor operate knowing that airing opinions shared by a majority of readers might cost his or her job?)

The main thing accomplished by removing those types of editorials from newspapers -- apart from scaring the hell out of editors -- is to shield readers from knowledge of what a major segment of American society is thinking.

It also guarantees that opinion writers and editors alike will shape views to avoid upsetting colleagues, which means that instead of hearing what our differences are and how we might address those issues, newspaper readers will instead be presented with page after page of people professing to agree with one another. That's not agitation, that's misinformation.

The instinct to shield audiences from views or facts deemed politically uncomfortable has been in evidence since Trump became a national phenomenon. We saw it when reporters told audiences Hillary Clinton's small crowds were a " wholly intentional " campaign decision. I listened to colleagues that summer of 2016 talk about ignoring poll results, or anecdotes about Hillary's troubled campaign, on the grounds that doing otherwise might "help Trump" (or, worse, be perceived that way).

Even if you embrace a wholly politically utilitarian vision of the news media – I don't, but let's say – non-reporting of that "enthusiasm" story, or ignoring adverse poll results, didn't help Hillary's campaign. I'd argue it more likely accomplished the opposite, contributing to voter apathy by conveying the false impression that her victory was secure.

After the 2016 election, we began to see staff uprisings. In one case, publishers at the Nation faced a revolt – from the Editor on down – after articles by Aaron Mate and Patrick Lawrence questioning the evidentiary basis for Russiagate claims was run. Subsequent events, including the recent declassification of congressional testimony , revealed that Mate especially was right to point out that officials had no evidence for a Trump-Russia collusion case. It's precisely because such unpopular views often turn out to be valid that we stress publishing and debating them in the press.

In a related incident, the New Yorker ran an article about Glenn Greenwald's Russiagate skepticism that quoted that same Nation editor, Joan Walsh, who had edited Greenwald at Salon. She suggested to the New Yorker that Greenwald's reservations were rooted in "disdain" for the Democratic Party, in part because of its closeness to Wall Street, but also because of the " ascendance of women and people of color ." The message was clear: even if you win a Pulitzer Prize, you can be accused of racism for deviating from approved narratives, even on questions that have nothing to do with race (the New Yorker piece also implied Greenwald's intransigence on Russia was pathological and grounded in trauma from childhood).

In the case of Cotton, Times staffers protested on the grounds that " Running this puts Black @NYTimes staff in danger ." Bennet's editorial decision was not merely ill-considered, but literally life-threatening (note pundits in the space of a few weeks have told us that protesting during lockdowns and not protesting during lockdowns are both literally lethal). The Times first attempted to rectify the situation by apologizing, adding a long Editor's note to Cotton's piece that read, as so many recent "apologies" have, like a note written by a hostage.

Editors begged forgiveness for not being more involved, for not thinking to urge Cotton to sound less like Cotton ("Editors should have offered suggestions"), and for allowing rhetoric that was "needlessly harsh and falls short of the thoughtful approach that advances useful debate." That last line is sadly funny, in the context of an episode in which reporters were seeking to pre-empt a debate rather than have one at all; of course, no one got the joke, since a primary characteristic of the current political climate is a total absence of a sense of humor in any direction.

As many guessed, the "apology" was not enough, and Bennet was whacked a day later in a terse announcement.

His replacement, Kathleen Kingsbury, issued a staff directive essentially telling employees they now had a veto over anything that made them uncomfortable : "Anyone who sees any piece of Opinion journalism, headlines, social posts, photos -- you name it -- that gives you the slightest pause, please call or text me immediately."

All these episodes sent a signal to everyone in a business already shedding jobs at an extraordinary rate that failure to toe certain editorial lines can and will result in the loss of your job. Perhaps additionally, you could face a public shaming campaign in which you will be denounced as a racist and rendered unemployable.

These tensions led to amazing contradictions in coverage. For all the extraordinary/inexplicable scenes of police viciousness in recent weeks -- and there was a ton of it, ranging from police slashing tires in Minneapolis, to Buffalo officers knocking over an elderly man, to Philadelphia police attacking protesters -- there were also 12 deaths in the first nine days of protests, only one at the hands of a police officer (involving a man who may or may not have been aiming a gun at police).

Looting in some communities has been so bad that people have been left without banks to cash checks, or pharmacies to fill prescriptions; business owners have been wiped out (" My life is gone ," commented one Philly store owner); a car dealership in San Leandro, California saw 74 cars stolen in a single night. It isn't the whole story, but it's demonstrably true that violence, arson, and rioting are occurring.

However, because it is politically untenable to discuss this in ways that do not suggest support, reporters have been twisting themselves into knots. We are seeing headlines previously imaginable only in The Onion, e.g., " 27 police officers injured during largely peaceful anti-racism protests in London ."

Even people who try to keep up with protest goals find themselves denounced the moment they fail to submit to some new tenet of ever-evolving doctrine, via a surprisingly consistent stream of retorts: fuck you, shut up, send money, do better, check yourself, I'm tired and racist .

Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey, who argued for police reform and attempted to show solidarity with protesters in his city, was shouted down after he refused to commit to defunding the police. Protesters shouted "Get the fuck out!" at him, then chanted " Shame !" and threw refuse, Game of Thrones -style , as he skulked out of the gathering. Frey's "shame" was refusing to endorse a position polls show 65% of Americans oppose , including 62% of Democrats, with just 15% of all people, and only 33% of African-Americans, in support.

Each passing day sees more scenes that recall something closer to cult religion than politics. White protesters in Floyd's Houston hometown kneeling and praying to black residents for "forgiveness for years and years of racism" are one thing, but what are we to make of white police in Cary, North Carolina, kneeling and washing the feet of Black pastors? What about Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer kneeling while dressed in " African kente cloth scarves "?

There is symbolism here that goes beyond frustration with police or even with racism: these are orgiastic, quasi-religious, and most of all, deeply weird scenes, and the press is too paralyzed to wonder at it. In a business where the first job requirement was once the willingness to ask tough questions, we've become afraid to ask obvious ones.

On CNN, Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender was asked a hypothetical question about a future without police: "What if in the middle of the night, my home is broken into? Who do I call?" When Bender, who is white, answered , "I know that comes from a place of privilege," questions popped to mind. Does privilege mean one should let someone break into one's home, or that one shouldn't ask that hypothetical question? (I was genuinely confused). In any other situation, a media person pounces on a provocative response to dig out its meaning, but an increasingly long list of words and topics are deemed too dangerous to discuss.

The media in the last four years has devolved into a succession of moral manias. We are told the Most Important Thing Ever is happening for days or weeks at a time, until subjects are abruptly dropped and forgotten, but the tone of warlike emergency remains: from James Comey's firing, to the deification of Robert Mueller, to the Brett Kavanaugh nomination, to the democracy-imperiling threat to intelligence "whistleblowers," all those interminable months of Ukrainegate hearings (while Covid-19 advanced), to fury at the death wish of lockdown violators, to the sudden reversal on that same issue, etc.

It's been learned in these episodes we may freely misreport reality, so long as the political goal is righteous. It was okay to publish the now-discredited Steele dossier, because Trump is scum. MSNBC could put Michael Avenatti on live TV to air a gang rape allegation without vetting, because who cared about Brett Kavanaugh – except press airing of that wild story ended up being a crucial factor in convincing key swing voter Maine Senator Susan Collins the anti-Kavanaugh campaign was a political hit job (the allegation illustrated, "why the presumption of innocence is so important," she said ). Reporters who were anxious to prevent Kavanaugh's appointment, in other words, ended up helping it happen through overzealousness.

There were no press calls for self-audits after those episodes, just as there won't be a few weeks from now if Covid-19 cases spike, or a few months from now if Donald Trump wins re-election successfully painting the Democrats as supporters of violent protest who want to abolish police. No: press activism is limited to denouncing and shaming colleagues for insufficient fealty to the cheap knockoff of bullying campus Marxism that passes for leftist thought these days.

The traditional view of the press was never based on some contrived, mathematical notion of "balance," i.e. five paragraphs of Republicans for every five paragraphs of Democrats. The ideal instead was that we showed you everything we could see, good and bad, ugly and not, trusting that a better-informed public would make better decisions. This vision of media stressed accuracy, truth, and trust in the reader's judgment as the routes to positive social change.

For all our infamous failings, journalists once had some toughness to them. We were supposed to be willing to go to jail for sources we might not even like, and fly off to war zones or disaster areas without question when editors asked. It was also once considered a virtue to flout the disapproval of colleagues to fight for stories we believed in (Watergate, for instance).

Today no one with a salary will stand up for colleagues like Lee Fang. Our brave truth-tellers make great shows of shaking fists at our parody president , but not one of them will talk honestly about the fear running through their own newsrooms. People depend on us to tell them what we see, not what we think. What good are we if we're afraid to do it?

Sean Carson Jun 13

This is such an IMPORTANT story. But it's not just happening in newsrooms, it's happening everywhere: college campuses, corporations and the workplace, social media platforms, politics, you name it. These ideologues are the Red Guard of a new Cultural Revolution. Their goal is power and their method is leveraging progressive guilt. I think they are far, far more dangerous than Donald Trump or anything going on with the right. Thank you Matt for writing about this! 163

Dazed and Confused Jun 13

Bravo for writing this Matt. You could, of course, have written it without first establishing your bona fides as a trump detractor. The problem you address has nothing to do with trump and would exist regardless of who was in the white house. This doesn't mean there are no problems with trump, or that he hasn't made a bad situation worse. But that is where we are today. Before anyone can criticize the obviously insane ideological absurdities within the liberal/left wing press they must first take a swing at trump in case anyone thinks criticism of the press is the same thing as supporting trump. How sad.

[Jun 20, 2020] "If none of us ever read a book that was "dangerous," had a friend who was "different," or joined an organization that advocated "change," we would all be the kind of people Joe McCarthy wants."

Jun 20, 2020 | taibbi.substack.com

Check Jun 13

"If none of us ever read a book that was "dangerous," had a friend who was "different," or joined an organization that advocated "change," we would all be the kind of people Joe McCarthy wants."

Edward R. Murrow

[Jun 20, 2020] These ideologues are the Red Guard of a new Cultural Revolution. Their goal is power and their method is leveraging progressive guilt

Matt Taibbi whose recent book Hate Inc. is worth reading, has written a J’accuse essay arguing that “the American left has lost its mind.”
Notable quotes:
"... I think they are far, far more dangerous than Donald Trump or anything going on with the right. Thank you Matt for writing about this! ..."
"... It's due to the PRESS. They have lost all credibility before Trump got in with The Collusion, The Ukraine thing, all the hyping the Golden Shower. They are stoking the fire Big Time! ..."
"... Not so shocking if you understand how revolutions have always worked. It's never the poor... they have the most to lose if the cart turns over. It's the idle "just below wealthy" crowd. There are so many people out here with degrees and no careers or jobs for those particular degrees.... ..."
"... "the hippies all went off to get law or finance degrees. Then, they became the greedy rats." ..."
"... That's who is behind Antifa, BTW... idle and bored upper to upper-middle class kids who like the rotten offspring of nobility in the past have no future to hope for and so they tear the temple down. ..."
"... It's always been this way - the ruling class is ALWAYS anarchistic. THEY'RE the ones with a precarious perch... and they are the ones who hate the order and the law because it hampers their mobility. ..."
"... Why are most of the #resistance participants mostly white, mostly upper-middle to upper class and mostly centered around Ivy League and prestigious, (read as: EXPENSIVE,) colleges? ..."
"... Incredibly, many High Church Democratic Party Partisans justify that abandonment of integrity with Whataboutism. Thereby passing on yet another opportunity to distinguish themselves from the Republican Party skunk-works politics, in favor of doing a half-hearted imitation of it. (Because once fairness- integrity- is discarded, any ad man can lick any college professor.) ..."
"... To promulgate a Red Guard - Cultural Revolution policy without physical power is like tapping a rattlesnake with a stick ..."
"... What we need is fewer journalists and more old fashioned reporters. ..."
"... But your state IS breaking federal law. They have allowed Marxist anarchists to carve out a six-block Caliphate in the middle of Seattle. Under Federal Law, that is insurrection. ..."
"... You're prioritizing agitprop, advocacy, and activism, over the neutral reporting of reality. Ideas like yours are helping turn the entire political conversation into a two-team football match where no tactic is concerned below the belt. ..."
"... How many times have i heard "Silence is Violence." So no one can say anything that is counter to the talking points of #BLM or any one of it's sycophantic zombie parrots AND if one says nothing at all or doesn't take a knee to beg forgiveness for not letting someone get in front of them in a lunch line, that person is either a) most definitely RACIST or A Tom. I cant think of more effective ways to silence people short of cutting out their tongues. ..."
"... I'm sympathetic to your position re: social media regulation, but ultimately I think that it would be inappropriate for the owners / shareholders of user-content platforms like Twitter or Facebook to institute their own censorship policies. As Taibbi has documented in the past, it frequently becomes an unaccountable secret censorship board that scoops up all sorts of legitimate coverage and activism. ..."
"... It was the right that eliminated the "fairness doctrine" under Saint Ronald Reagan. It was OK as long as their allies owned the bullhorn. I feel their pain, but only up to a point. ..."
"... You say that the witch-burning zealotry of progressive thought is not a sign of progressives' inability to recognize the fundamental right of people to hold non-dogmatic views, even though that's exactly what it looks like, and that's exactly what progressives keep telling us they believe. No matter. As long as wrong-thinking people never state their views, and as long as they publicly pledge allegiance to whatever liberal groupthink is then in fashion, then they will be treated as having basic human dignity. ..."
"... You explain away the totalitarianism of this solution by claiming the clones always had a choice. But you are really just making the right of others to think for themselves contingent upon their willingness to have you do it for them. Human dignity is just a tool for extending your will. ..."
"... I don't know the work of Lee Fang. I think is it generally unwise to bully a journalist to self-censor. I understand the general criticism of the black-on-black crime... ..."
"... Upper class bourgeois cunts once again trying to flip the cart over because they think they know better than the "commoners"? These New Victorians are shit. ..."
"... We are constantly being told we need to engage in a "dialogue" about race. But you can't have a dialogue in a minefield where the slightest misstep sets off a Twitter explosion. ..."
"... Politics are fine in the larger discussion of finding ways to solve social problems. It's how we hash ideas out and improve society. But the trends I am seeing now, and of which you report on here, are more reminiscent of the Soviet-era Pravda. The truth is whatever the State says it is, and even the slightest dissent will be met with ruthless personal destruction and ostracism. I grew up reading William L. Shirer, John Hersey, Peter Maas, Robin Moore, Woodward and Bernstein and many more like them. ..."
"... 1984 -- The writer of Truth rewrites history to fit whatever they want. Read the book. That's the news media today. A warning leftists: Stalin and Hitler controlled the media. It's not TRUMP controlling the media. Or ignoring the truth. And it should scare the hell out of every American. ..."
"... Mr. Taibbi fires a warning shot to alert us that the "instinct (in the American media) to shield audiences from views or facts deemed politically uncomfortable ..."
"... I'm thankful that there's more to the Internet news media than Facebook, and more to Internet discourse than Twitter. I participate in neither one. And frankly, their management decisions don't worry me overly much. ..."
"... You say: "Lacy to her credit publicly thanked Fang for his statement and expressed willingness to have a conversation; unfortunately, the throng of Intercept co-workers who piled on her initial accusation did not join her in this." ..."
"... To her credit? Matt, why so generous? You are rewarding Lacy for doing a horrible thing. This is like the irritating cherry on top of a pile of poisoned shit. She chose to first light the match and throw it onto what she surely knew was a pile of gas-soaked kindling. Fang gets torched by the mob-inferno she incited, then SHE gets an apology from Fang???!!! THEN she says she's willing to have a conversation, ie, the petty princess deigns... while watching her colleague get his job threatened for .... doing his job well? Well, well... hell. This is hell. ..."
"... I am an immigrant from a communist country and I believe that Soviet style communism was worse it terms of its brutality, but not as morally damaging as this voluntary march to serfdom that I see in modern America. ..."
Jun 20, 2020 | taibbi.substack.com

Matt Taibbi Jun 12 1,191 493 A flurry of newsroom revolts has transformed the American press Read →


Sean Carson Jun 12

This is such an IMPORTANT story. But it's not just happening in newsrooms, it's happening everywhere: college campuses, corporations and the workplace, social media platforms, politics, you name it. These ideologues are the Red Guard of a new Cultural Revolution. Their goal is power and their method is leveraging progressive guilt. I think they are far, far more dangerous than Donald Trump or anything going on with the right. Thank you Matt for writing about this!

Lawcat Jun 15

The hijacking of the media by progressives and those to the left of them has a real potential to kill America. We need voices like Matt's to make ordinary Americans hear how real this danger is. The Constitution cannot take much more abuse.

Substack Commenter 34 Jun 13

It's our modern Terror, and everyone on Twitter is our Robespierre. Right down to often having the mob turn on the accusers eventually as well. The main difference is that it's your career and reputation that get the guillotine these days.

Scott Jun 15

IDK... human history reminds us that both extremes have been fighting it out since, well since the dawn of man.

In the political climate leading up to WWII, there were plenty of communist factions running alongside national socialist fascism. Both were authoritarian and both totalitarian.

One side won out over the other eventually, and the US/GB/FR alliance's own brand of nationalism/globalism won out when the Soviet Union collapsed.

The parallels are striking, though "things are different now". PEOPLE aren't different now.

They STILL don't seem able to remember the Armenian genocide during WWI, and the cycles go on.

We'll either end up with nationalism or we'll end up with another Stalinesque era.

Dazed and Confused Jun 13

Bravo for writing this Matt. You could, of course, have written it without first establishing your bona fides as a trump detractor. The problem you address has nothing to do with trump and would exist regardless of who was in the white house. This doesn't mean there are no problems with trump, or that he hasn't made a bad situation worse. But that is where we are today. Before anyone can criticize the obviously insane ideological absurdities within the liberal/left wing press they must first take a swing at trump in case anyone thinks criticism of the press is the same thing as supporting trump. How sad.

Sherry Jun 13

It's exactly the same kind of constraint that anyone who might dare oppose defunding the police now how to include paragraphs about how saintly George Floyd was and on and on. The poor man died a horrific death, and the cop who did it should face justice. But that doesn't mean that George Floyd himself is ready for sainthood.

Substack Commenter 34 Jun 14

To be clear, Matt has a strong track record of anti-Trump writing. You are correct that his election to put those words into the article is to establish some credibility with that audience... but his bone fides are only questioned by those who are too blinded by Trump hate to see the dangers from his enemies. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" is not the best path when in that way Comey becomes your buddy (despite the totality of his actions including destroying HRC's election chances). I try to hate the bad actors on both sides equally and lament the weakness of the center.

Lekimball Jun 14

I'm sure he does have a history of it, but that doesn't mean he wouldn't remind folks. Or shouldn't. It's a good strategy of persuasion. I'm not sure I'm following the rest of your point. WHOSE enemies? Trump's or Matt's?

Scott Frasier Jun 12

Liberalism has been tamed by the illiberal elements on the right for quite some time. The "fairness" and "both sides" argument has been wielded like a weapon to undermine what many liberals believe should be a liberal society.

What you are seeing is a reaction by the formerly liberal to the continued erosion of our society and its norms. Donald Trump's election has accelerated this erosion to the point that those who feel justifiably threatened by him and his supporters are no longer going to be "fair". Only suckers are fair with this crowd.

I don't disagree that something has changed in the media, although I don't think it is a drastic as this article suggests. The New York Times doesn't accept any opinion that is submitted. They won't publish one that calls for the destruction of Israel, for example.

In the context of Donald Trump threatening time deploy the military to states - blue ones, if we are going to be honest about it - the Cotton opinion was viewed as a dangerous provocation by many. It wasn't merely an academic argument for public policy nerds. In another time, such an opinion might just be ignored, but this is a time where many anti-Trump voters have a palpable fear that he knows no limits and that their concept of America is being lost through inattention by fair-minded liberals.

You are watching the country go on civil war footing. The differences are becoming more sharply drawn and liberals are finally going to draw those lines for themselves. I agree it is not a pretty picture, but it is entirely understandable considering the political instability that three and a half years of Trumpism has brought us.

Sean Carson Jun 12

The toxicity that Matt writes about isn't just due to Trump - it's due to the left abandoning traditional liberal values in favor of political correctness and identity politics. This new Red Guard of ideological purity is the natural - shocking - evolution of that....

Postipressionist Jun 13

It's due to the PRESS. They have lost all credibility before Trump got in with The Collusion, The Ukraine thing, all the hyping the Golden Shower. They are stoking the fire Big Time!

Trump managed to keep US out of any new wars and he's bringing back troops. He brokered peace between, the Koreas, also brokered a ceasefire in the middle of the Syrian war which lead to more peace there and removing our troops.

The economy was getting back on track. He flunked in Education, infrastructure, and a bunch of other stuff. What he did for immigration was great. We are not a dumpster for the world. We need to feed, house and employ the people already here.

Granted he's a jerk but he is the most transparent president we ever had. You can know what he's thinking because his subconscious is hooked up to twitter.

Traditional Liberal Values? They're screaming, he's going to push the Red Button, He's going to get US into war. He insulted all our foreign friends (who were NEVER our friends.) He's pulling 9,000 troops from Germany and Korea's next with 20,000 troops there. Look at Pelosi? Statues? Really? our educational system has crashed, 60% of our households are dependent on the other 40% for subsidy. Make raising the wage a priority.

It's too late for education - California is spending $13,000,000,000 on Special Ed. and has nothing to show for it.

I'm sorry. I'll shut up!

LorriAnn Jun 15

No dont shut up! Say it. Too many people (myself included) are so fatigued by this nonsense that we either check out from all of it which is a great strategy by the liberal fascists or we watch and listen frightened by what we see, hear and experience but we're so tired of being bullied and shamed for dissent that we just go back to Amazon or Netflix to find that big black box staring us in the face and the new carefully curated featured content to remind us of just how shitty we are for trying to get away from it for an hour or two. Im exhausted by the energy it takes to stop myself from introducing most every sentence w: of course George Floyd was murdered and murder is murder. Or...i resent that you assume Im a racist- trying to defend something about to come out of my mouth when no defense is necessary. Honestly this the most intelligent informed discourse and mostly rational well-formed arguments Ive seen in...well ever. Now what can we do?? What actions can we take? I am seriously interested in ideas because im tired of being held hostage. Thanks Matt for your work. You attract the kind of readers capable of this sort of grown up discussion

Mascot Jun 17

"60% of our households are dependent on the other 40% for subsidy."

That's a terribly unclear statistic. But the inference I draw from it is that most people aren't getting paid enough money, and their rent is too damn high.

Granted, that opinion is drawn from analyses that rely on more than just one statistic.

https://whorulesamerica.ucsc.edu/power/wealth.html

Also, two award-winning reporters whose work has largely been ignored by the "liberal press" and television for the last 25 years http://barlettandsteele.com/

(Maybe it's because they criticized some congressional Democrats, back in the 1980s. I don't know. But for whatever reason, the work of Donald Barlett and James B. Steele is relegated to the margins in the pages of the New York Times and the Washington Post. Their bio blurb states that they've had stories published in both of those papers of note, but I've never once seen their byline on a story published by either outlet. I've never once seen either of them interviewed on a TV news program, either. They ought to be running an entire network, considering that their reportage covers more substantive content than CNN, FOX, CNBC, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, and NBC combined.)

I never see this former Nixon campaign strategist in the newspapers or on TV, either https://www.amazon.com/Politics-Rich-Poor-Electorate-Aftermath/dp/006097396X

Postipressionist Jun 18

60% of Households Now Receive More in Subsidized Income Than they Pay in Taxes -

https://taxfoundation.org/60-percent-households-now-receive-more-transfer-income-they-pay-taxes/

Scott Frasier Jun 17

He used to show up a lot in the 80's and early 90's. After the Clinton era, everyone in the media lost interest in class.

The demise of the beat reporter in America and the dominance of news "stars" removed any remaining class connection between those who report the so-called news and those who consume it.

Scott Jun 15

Not so shocking if you understand how revolutions have always worked. It's never the poor... they have the most to lose if the cart turns over. It's the idle "just below wealthy" crowd. There are so many people out here with degrees and no careers or jobs for those particular degrees....

So they turn on everyone: their parents, the "system".

Read up on as many "revolutions" as you can and you'll see that the drivers are mostly white, mostly wealthy, (compared to the majority,) and always angry.

The 1960s saw HUGE cultural changes... led by drugged out trust-fund babies who could afford to sit around getting high all day espousing the tenets of some "exotic" ideology. The working class either went off to die in a rice paddy or they worked for a living and didn't have the time to march/sit in/revolt all week.

The movement was a real thing, based in honorable intentions... but it got hijacked and then commercialized - the Achilles' heel. Once Sears started selling ponchos, the game was over. It just spiraled into the decadence of the 1970s and the hippies all went off to get law or finance degrees.

Then, they became the greedy rats.

Lekimball Jun 15

Ha. This is very astute and so true. My husband and I always talk about this! The same thing is happening now. It isn't even about Floyd anymore.

Scott Jun 15

Sadly, they're hijacking the movement because THEIR stupid movement isn't a movement at all - it's just more regurgitated Marxism. Somehow their totalitarian Marxism is going to be better than all other iterations that came before -at the cost of around 200 million lives so far.

We should be having a discussion on how best to change the entire criminal justice system -not trying to occupy city neighborhoods and declare a new shit-country like CHAZistan.

CHAZ is like the "Summer of Love" movement; only with a LOT less love.

I'm sure the real estate market in Seattle is going to suffer. As if homeless junkies shitting on the streets and the massive upsurge in theft wasn't bad enough. Now Seattle has LARPers pretending openly that they have started a new country. HAHAHAH

The not so funny side of this is that the black and minority populations STILL won't catch a goddamned break here.

Well, hopefully we can all work toward a better future before the Bolsheviks and Nazis get on to and start the next big extermination.

Mascot Jun 16

"the hippies all went off to get law or finance degrees. Then, they became the greedy rats."

A canard if ever I heard one. Outliers notwithstanding, the lawyers and bankers of America are not a cohort that has an origin story in the "hippie movement" (such as it was.) Or to "the American Left", either. (It's necessary to point out that the inchoate psychedelic idealism of American hippies and the ideology-driven (but callow) American Left are two very different features of the 1960s-early 1970s Zeitgeist. There was some overlap, but a lot less than is often portrayed.)

I mean, come on, think. For more than a minute. That's some Time magazine c.1981 shit.

Scott Frasier Jun 16

But it's considerably easier to hurl insults and invective than it is to actually address another's argument.

And, what if some did get law and finance degrees? What does that prove?

For all the carping about "snowflakes" and safe spaces, some of it legitimate, the flip side is the incessant name-calling, online threats, and paranoia that passes for debate.

The first instinct for many now is the argumentation fallacy of ad hominem, including by those who claim to decry it.

Substack Commenter 34 Jun 15

I generally agree to you but one thing to take into consideration is that we have a much larger group of professional activists who got college loans and a degree in something that would not have been considered pragmatic before government guaranteed loan money was pushed as a way to expand the ranks of the college educated.

Scott Frasier Jun 13

I'm not the one who proposes to invade states with the US military, nor did I raise an I identified police force that assaulted peaceful protesters for a bible photo op.

I'm merely defending the right of a private media company to operate the way they choose. Read the 1st Amendment sometime. It limits government powers. I never said I was a liberal by your definition, which apparently includes advocating for a police state.

Scott Jun 13

I never defined what a liberal is but I did suggest that you might be an authoritarian with moral flexibility. You drew up the correlation between a liberal and an authoritarian all on your own. Space in your head is rent free and it includes a continental breakfast.

Scott Frasier Jun 13

You seem to have this backward. You are advocating that I allow these opinions to exist "rent free" in my paid media sources. I'm arguing that I won't subsidize their crap with my subscription. Why my marketplace choices equate to authoritarianism is mystifying.

I respect Matt's opinion, but choice in what a particular publication publishes has always been within limits. Carping about the internal workings about the NYT, and throwing around words like authoritarian , when we have a regime in Washington that actually wants to deploy the Army on the street of those who didn't vote for them, is a bit off the mark.

Maybe what you are observing is that "liberals" are tired of being tolerant of right wing extremists and their threats and guns and misogyny and racism and are fighting back. It's about time!

Lekimball Jun 13

Oh bull. The secret service said they were throwing rocks. When they are told to MOVE BACK because the president is arriving there, you MOVE BACK. Peaceful or not. If it had been Obama, they would have been MOVED BACK. That is just leftist spin.

LorriAnn Jun 15

Moved back, done a twirl and fallen to their knees. I saw one of those cops take LITERALLY 45min of verbal abuse physical threats and invitations to assault and did not flinch other than to stand his ground when the group advanced. Say what you want about cops but even with the best training available i doubt few if any of those "humans" could withstand That.

Seth Jun 16

Why why why was it necessary for Trump to take that walk in the first place? It was a stunt. It was idiotic. And it endangered people who were protesting legally.

Jen Jun 16

It was an Op Ed, about a very real discussion that was being played out in tweets and sound bites that week anyway.

A Rep. senator and a Dem. senator piece should appear every week. With rational discussion via comments able to challenge or dig deep into what complications it may cause, how the constitution stacks up and any implementations for afterwards.

Same goes for left Op-Edd

Senators more than ever hide behind the party and seeing what they stand for helps with future voting and in some cases (not a great example) can seperate the individuals from the cocoon of the party.

Ive always been left leaning. The current government we have in Australia is Centre/Right wing. It's not quite as polarising here (yet) and things like unfair dismissal based on Age, sexual orientation, etc are just normal things here. As is Medicare and abortion is legal. Those things across the board for everyone make it a firm ground for us to look further and see what the issues and thoughts of our elected officials are, regardless of the are insane.

I cringe at a lot of what the left is lately...the forever offended being aggressive in your compliance with their movement. I agree with some commentary I see from the right skewed media.

These shades of grey are dying - and not hearing from those in office, despite the opposition to the view, is detrimental for all of us

Scott Frasier Jun 16

No such context was provided, nor was an opposing argument provided as a counterpoint. Thus used to occur in the NYT. Now, they provide anger to get ad clicks.

The problem I have with your criticism is that these are not "normal" times and it wasn't a debate between senators. What Sen. Cotton was proposing was being actively threatened by a president who has, for the past three and a half years used/abused his power and mostly against states that didn't vote for him. Those are facts. Trump was in the act of deploying troops at the time of that op-ed and was marching around with his top general wearing combat clothing.

It is quite reasonable for people to take such a situation as an imminent threat and to react to it. Would you have an armchair debate about whether crime pays with someone who had a gun to your head, or would be more concerned with the threat itself?

The NYT should have been more responsible given the political context. Once an illegal invasion of a state is allowed to occur through complacency, it the damage to the country and the military will be permanent.

Holdfast Jun 12

"Liberalism has been tamed by the illiberal elements on the right for quite some time. The "fairness" and "both sides" argument has been wielded like a weapon to undermine what many liberals believe should be a liberal society."

He's saying that what you're seeing with the press is exactly the opposite of liberalism.

Scott Jun 15

The "left" is far more "right" than the "right" has been lately.

I mean ideologically... they are right wing.

Wow, this reads like a bourgeois manifesto. That's who is behind Antifa, BTW... idle and bored upper to upper-middle class kids who like the rotten offspring of nobility in the past have no future to hope for and so they tear the temple down.

It's always been this way - the ruling class is ALWAYS anarchistic. THEY'RE the ones with a precarious perch... and they are the ones who hate the order and the law because it hampers their mobility.

Why are most of the #resistance participants mostly white, mostly upper-middle to upper class and mostly centered around Ivy League and prestigious, (read as: EXPENSIVE,) colleges?

You and I both know the answer to that question.

These cycles go on and on.

LorriAnn Jun 15

This goes to your earlier point (which i loved) re: academia and the cancer that gets spread there. I read some statistic lately about the racial demographics of students at ivy league schools and was SHOCKED to find Asians make up just 6% (please fact check me on that if you like). The thesis is that because these students tend to be more conservative and generally have more traditional values they are essentially harder to indoctrinate. Also self-described slight right or conservative academics are almost non-existent at most colleges. They just cant get hired.

Mascot Jun 17

"I read some statistic lately about the racial demographics of students at ivy league schools and was SHOCKED to find Asians make up just 6% (please fact check me on that if you like)."

Sure, I'll fact-check that. Why, doing other people's legwork is practically an avocation for me. Students of Asian ethnicity in Ivy League universities:

https://blog.collegevine.com/the-demographics-of-the-ivy-league/

One day, when it becomes a thing for people to start demanding references for every fact claim of political significance made on the Internet, you may have to worry about your credibility, LoriAnn. But for now- party on!

Scott Frasier Jun 17

You have more patience than I do, or more spare time. I usually just ask if someone could dish me something resembling a fact to support what they "have heard".

Not to be to unkind about it, but there may be some correlation between the anger and paranoia online (and lack of economic success perhaps) and the lack of energy devoted to running rumors to ground.

Mascot Jun 13

"The "fairness" and "both sides" argument has been wielded like a weapon to undermine what many liberals believe should be a liberal society."

"Donald Trump's election has accelerated this erosion to the point that those who feel justifiably threatened by him and his supporters are no longer going to be "fair". Only suckers are fair with this crowd."

Fairness is a Principle. Not some political tactic to be jettisoned by high-strung political hacks who imagine that it impairs their effectiveness (as of the most recent poll trend), in favor of "fighting fire with fire." And taking the low road bears no conceptual resemblance to that firefighting tactic. Neither does censorship.

Incredibly, many High Church Democratic Party Partisans justify that abandonment of integrity with Whataboutism. Thereby passing on yet another opportunity to distinguish themselves from the Republican Party skunk-works politics, in favor of doing a half-hearted imitation of it. (Because once fairness- integrity- is discarded, any ad man can lick any college professor.)

Most Americans have been terribly miseducated in this society in regard to both the importance and definition of "debate", as a discipline that rewards knowledge and clear thinking, and exposes ignorance, sloppy thinking, bad logic, mendacity, and manipulation.

But that fact doesn't call for the abandonment of fairness and open discussion, which merely results in allowing everyone to wallow in their double-mindedness and inability to question their own thinking, justified with a pose of moral superiority. No one with a sincere interest in learning to think for themselves can duck out on the responsibility to ask the hard questions, and to do their own self-criticism.

The self-criticism I'm talking about has nothing to do with posturing, public shaming sessions, or group thought control. I'm talking about the real thing.

tom mitchell Jun 13

"Civil War" footing usually is reached by assembling firepower and the skill to use it. Provocation without firepower is short-sighted, at best. To promulgate a Red Guard - Cultural Revolution policy without physical power is like tapping a rattlesnake with a stick. First get the necessary tools, then try to dictate. Get the sequence right.

William R Jun 12

I don't agree with this take, but I admit that I also haven't yet gotten around to reading Taibbi's recent book, which is clearly related.

To use the prominent _Times_ example, I think it's good that employees have more influence in the positions promoted by their paper. I'm surprised that Taibbi would be opposed to democratizing the industry in this way. There will always be perspectives and stories implicitly censored by editing and publishing decisions, as Taibbi and Chomsky have often discussed - why not let the regular employees have a say? Kingsbury didn't even say she would halt a story if someone found it offensive - just that she wanted there to be a discussion.

I also don't think that if an opinion or a belief about a topic is widespread, it should necessarily be covered as news or in editorials. Ironically, I'll probably be condemned and dismissed as a lefty critiquing 'both sides-ism', since Taibbi and his fanbase so often disparage the idea. But I don't see any merit to letting a lead creationist or climate science denier write editorials or push their perspective, even if huge swaths of the population agree with them. Such writers are often willfully trying to manipulate public opinion or sow confusion, and it can do a lot of real damage to magnify their voices. I don't think their posts should be deleted from Twitter and Facebook, but I don't see any value to elevating them to fairly exclusive platforms like major newspapers, with captive audiences and 'reputations'.

There are, of course, times when the 'censorship culture' goes too far. There are cases where bad faith actors try to 'cancel' someone, or good faith actors overreact and do more damage than good. I think I'd agree that Lee Fang falls into that category. But on the whole, it's a good thing that people are trying to hold journalists accountable for their coverage and bias, and it certainly looks to me like there are far more false negatives than false positives in the current reckoning.

No one is advocating silencing all voices that we disagree with. I don't agree with this analysis, but I'm of course not going to rage-cancel my Taibbi sub. But, if most of Taibbi's pieces start to become about how it's okay to shift the dialogue from progressive reform to property damage, because people are worried about property damage, I'd probably cancel eventually. Not because it's an unpleasant opinion, but because I don't think that it's adding usefully to the dialogue. This isn't some kind of threat, and I'm sure that Taibbi wouldn't even notice if I dropped him. But I think that the best thing about newer media models, like SubStack, is that writers are held accountable by the democratic bulk of their readers, rather than editors or business executives. We can each support the reporters, journalists, and writers that we feel are contributing usefully and amplifying important unheard perspectives. I think that's wonderful, and I also think that it's very different than 'censorship'.

Substack Commenter 34 Jun 13

You can pay for whatever media you wan't you just can't call it journalism. You're not paying for journalism, you're paying to have your views reinforced. And, frankly, you're actually paying to have your views weakened by having sweet nothings spoken into your ear. Because what reinforces my opinions about climate change and creationism is that i have the knowledge of what the other side is saying so that i can refute it.

Kate Jun 14

What we need is fewer journalists and more old fashioned reporters.

TheMadKing59 Jun 13

"I don't pay for media that advocates military invasion of my state against my state government wishes when my state is breaking no federal laws, which is the ONLY time it's legal to impose troops that way."

But your state IS breaking federal law. They have allowed Marxist anarchists to carve out a six-block Caliphate in the middle of Seattle. Under Federal Law, that is insurrection. You WILL see that act implemented by Trump if Mayor Durken and Gov, Inslee refuse to act. These Seattle Snowflakes have NO idea what's coming!

M of the L Jun 14

"This isn't just a Columbia Journalism class. I'm NOT a neutral observer. I don't pay for media that advocates military invasion of my state against my state government wishes when my state is breaking no federal laws, which is the ONLY time it's legal to impose troops that way."

Scott, that's journalistic nihilism if I ever saw it. As if reporting on current events, especially by a self-styled Newspaper of Record, something people go back and research decades from now, should be subservient to the demands of one advocacy v. advocacy of a different set of ideals. As far as you're concerned, the publishing of Cotton's piece demonstrates advocacy by the paper, and that's offensive to you. It is their duty, you believe, to avoid actually reporting what an elected official currently in power believes. Instead, it is to write things that act in the interest of what you believe to be the correct moral path forward.

There are many ways to demonstrate how harmful a mindset this is. But maybe if pointed out that the dreaded Fox News takes a similar approach, again relying on paid sponsorship and outrageous divisiveness, I could appeal to your empathy.

You're prioritizing agitprop, advocacy, and activism, over the neutral reporting of reality. Ideas like yours are helping turn the entire political conversation into a two-team football match where no tactic is concerned below the belt.

Scott Jun 15

Let me ask you this: if the KKK somehow rose to power in YOUR city.... and your governor and mayor sat back and pretended "this is fine." you'd be yelling for you party's president to send in the troops and clear them out.

You'd probably even quote Churchill.

You frame every argument in a "this isn't what anyone PAYS for" and don't even realize that the "news" isn't really supposed to be a product you can consume like Coke or Pepsi.

It's the wrong framework.

LorriAnn Jun 14

How many times have i heard "Silence is Violence." So no one can say anything that is counter to the talking points of #BLM or any one of it's sycophantic zombie parrots AND if one says nothing at all or doesn't take a knee to beg forgiveness for not letting someone get in front of them in a lunch line, that person is either a) most definitely RACIST or A Tom. I cant think of more effective ways to silence people short of cutting out their tongues. But then paper and pencils are a possibility unless you cut off their hands and feet but maybe they could use their nose unless you cut that off...

Kate Jun 14

How closed minded you are. You must be very well educated.

Holdfast Jun 12

"No one is advocating silencing all voices that we disagree with." You sure about that?

Postipressionist Jun 13

They are doing it WITHOUT advocating. That's a sign of Fascism squelching any opposing views. This is how it starts.

Chris Sanders Jun 13

William R - to this comment: " I don't think their posts should be deleted from Twitter and Facebook, but I don't see any value to elevating them to fairly exclusive platforms like major newspapers, with captive audiences and 'reputations'." I say, you have not checked the valuations of NYT, Dow/WSJ and other similar publications and news orgs compared the FB, Twitter, et al?There may be an elite few who regard these as our last bastions of Edward R Morrow-esque-public news but they are not. And as Matt points out they are indeed a "captive audiences" but not in the way you might revere. Captivated by a need for information that fits a captive world view (or one that seems ever-shifting to the mood of the loudest crowd). For better or worse leaving the "climate deniers" and "manipulators" on social media is far, far more powerful than censoring them from NYT. At least on NYT, they can be curated, a contrary piece can run along side it, other commentary available. In social media where billions vs millions will see it, a piece will do far, far more toward mis-information and legitimization.

Check Jun 13

"If none of us ever read a book that was "dangerous," had a friend who was "different," or joined an organization that advocated "change," we would all be the kind of people Joe McCarthy wants."

Edward R. Murrow

BBB Jun 13

Mob rule seems to be what your advocating to replace a mechanism that was instituted to report the facts and opinions of the day.

William R Jun 13

I'm sympathetic to your position re: social media regulation, but ultimately I think that it would be inappropriate for the owners / shareholders of user-content platforms like Twitter or Facebook to institute their own censorship policies. As Taibbi has documented in the past, it frequently becomes an unaccountable secret censorship board that scoops up all sorts of legitimate coverage and activism.

The NYT, etc, are inherently curated platforms, but uncurated platforms like Twitter should give everyone an opportunity to engage, without needing to already have power, fame, money, or influence. This seems valuable to me - I don't want a full censorship regime of all social media, where thoughtcrime is suppressed, even if they start by going after people that I consider awful.

Scott Frasier Jun 13

I happen to be an owner of Twitter, although a small one. I have listened to Dorsey explain to shareholders what his goals are for Twitter, and am generally supportive. He is concerned that social media has become more and more anti-social due to the actions of a few who threaten other posters or, in the case of government officials, threaten to violate certain constitutional rights of their constituents.

There is no right to threaten others, on or off a social media platform, and no business such as a Twitter is required to allow such threats to be posted on their platforms. In fact, no law prohibits even stricter filtering of posts, although Dorsey to his credit had limited his intervention much more strictly.

Beyond that, it is my right as a shareholder to have my property managed the way I and other owners choose. If we wish to "clean up" the platform to attract a less strident stream of posters, that is our right. If Facebook (or the FOX commentary shows) chooses to monetize anger at "the Caliphate" or "the War on Christmas" or whatever other right wing nonsense they find profitable, that is their choice.

William R Jun 13

If it was addressed to me, then I hear what you are saying. I used to be very worried about mob rule and tyranny of the majority. But I was convinced otherwise by the writing of authors like Graeber, Chomsky, etc. Opponents of democracy have always used this attack on it, but usually it ends up being about protecting property rights rather than people's civil rights (ex., Madison's opulent minority). Between relying on the mob and relying on a benevolent editor, I favor the former.

David Peers Jun 13

Sounds like you only want to read things you agree with.

William R Jun 13

People keep accusing opponents of the publishing of Cotton's piece of being unwilling to read things that they disagree with. This is an absurd straw man. I don't know about anyone else, but it seems to me that I'm almost constantly reading things that I disagree with. If I stopped reading every outlet, or even every writer, when they published something that I disagreed with, I'd have to give up reading altogether. I've even written things that I later disagreed with!

But everyone has limits about what's acceptable, and they always have. Our own personal 'overton windows', if you like. The only thing that's new about the current uproar is that the censorship is coming from the interns and subscribers rather than the editors and the executives, and I have trouble seeing this as a bad thing.

Scott Frasier Jun 13

Beyond that, William, another thing that is new is that in the past right wing ideology as bound up with ownership of the media. Things are a bit better balanced now and liberals and the so-called Left have more economic and decision making power over how media properties are managed.

In the past, it was the left that complained that they didn't have enough of a voice due to media censorship by corporate owners. Now it is the right that is unhappy. It was the right that eliminated the "fairness doctrine" under Saint Ronald Reagan. It was OK as long as their allies owned the bullhorn. I feel their pain, but only up to a point.

I agree that a subscribe-based discipline is much better than one based on editor opinion. The old cable model required me to pay FOX or MSNBC or CNN whether I wanted to or not. What they pump out is a consumer product as much as a fridge or a car, so I should have a choice about paying them or not.

Unlessround Isfunny Jun 14

Ok, now imagine someone from work read your post, took some personal offense to it, ginned up a mob, got you fired, and then come back and explain again how reasonable this is. I'll wait.

You say that the witch-burning zealotry of progressive thought is not a sign of progressives' inability to recognize the fundamental right of people to hold non-dogmatic views, even though that's exactly what it looks like, and that's exactly what progressives keep telling us they believe. No matter. As long as wrong-thinking people never state their views, and as long as they publicly pledge allegiance to whatever liberal groupthink is then in fashion, then they will be treated as having basic human dignity. It's only when they fail to tow the party line hard enough, or (God forbid) take a contrary position that lose even the most basic common courtesy. And they all know the terms of this Faustian bargain, so the persecution they suffer by breaking it is really their own fault. Rationalize it all you want, but that doesn't me you are giving them a choice. You are giving them the illusion of one so you can blame them for all the misery you made the choice to inflict.

Variations in thought are the natural and necessary result of the human condition, comprised as it is by individuals and not mindless clones. But acknowledging this ambiguity would preempt the self-righteous certainty of conviction so in vogue these days, which is treated as proof of the validity of the same conviction. After all, people wouldn't feel so strongly about their opinions if they weren't so, so right. Rather than give this up and be forced to continually validate what they believe, they've decided to just force everyone else to become one of their clones. Problem solved.

You explain away the totalitarianism of this solution by claiming the clones always had a choice. But you are really just making the right of others to think for themselves contingent upon their willingness to have you do it for them. Human dignity is just a tool for extending your will.

You shouldn't need to see yourself in people in order for them be people. This is the same wrong-headed and offensive view that led to "don't ask, don't tell," but even that gave people the option of just keeping their mouths shut. The "don't tell, even if asked" premise of your approach is something worse.

That said, I'd still work with you, let your kids play with my kids, and let you eat in public without having throngs of idiots scream at your family. Because I believe you can think the wrong thing and still be a person. A good person, even. ;)

Scott Frasier Jun 12

I pretty much agree with this comment. Every "news" source is curated to some extent, and liberals or the so-called Left should be under no special obligation to allow "all" opinions to be published in their publications. The 1st Amendment doesn't require that any private publication publish anything.

I don't know the work of Lee Fang. I think is it generally unwise to bully a journalist to self-censor. I understand the general criticism of the black-on-black crime...

Scott Jun 15

Wall of text to justify what exactly? Upper class bourgeois cunts once again trying to flip the cart over because they think they know better than the "commoners"? These New Victorians are shit.

NanC Jun 12

We are constantly being told we need to engage in a "dialogue" about race. But you can't have a dialogue in a minefield where the slightest misstep sets off a Twitter explosion. This, of course, ends up ticking off the white working class, falling right into the hands of the ruling elites -- both liberal and conservative -- whose greatest fear is that poor whites, blacks and Native Americans will one day discover there Is more that unites than divides them.

Sean McT Jun 12

Thank you for defending Lee and providing greater clarity about what happened. I shared a few classes with Lee in college since we had the same major and distinctly remember him as one of the few people in lecture that actually gave a shit and asked probing questions (many of the other smart students were just gunning for the foreign service and basically took whatever was taught at face value). I'm still a big fan of The Intercept's reporting, but I was disappointed how his colleagues failed to publicly defend him from such a serious and spurious charge.

Rory Jun 12

"Today no one with a salary will stand up for colleagues like Lee Fang." And that's why I just subscribed to your substack, thanks for your indispensable work Matt!

TheMadKing59 Jun 13

Matt, I am an Independent right-leaning voter who often disagrees with your political take on things. Like Glenn Greenwald or Bill Maher, you have been to me like a broken clock that's right twice a day. But I just subscribed to you because this post hits every nail on the head with fearless disregard for the cultural firebombers. And they will come.

But I say to you today the problem is far more widespread than just our Fourth Estate. Actor Hartley Sawyer, aka The Flash (ex-Flash now) has been incinerated on social media and unpersoned over uncharitable texts in his youth about Rev. Al Sharpton and homeless women's breasts. The latter was no doubt a puerile attempt to one-up his similarly immature social media peers. No trial. No appeal. Just burned to the ground like Minneapolis on social media, along with his hit show. Think about that. The CW canceled a hit show out of fear of the SJW mob.

The Terror is back in Hollywood, and no one is safe this time. You don't even get a show trial before the American people. Even worse, our enlightened Culture Police are now in Hollywood editing rooms (HBO in this case) adding mandatory SJW commentary to Gone With The Wind. GWTW has shot up to #1 on Amazon and Blazing Saddles is climbing the ladder. That tells me ordinary Americans don't trust Hollywood to protect our treasured film heritage. How sad and pathetic a statement is that?

Politics are fine in the larger discussion of finding ways to solve social problems. It's how we hash ideas out and improve society. But the trends I am seeing now, and of which you report on here, are more reminiscent of the Soviet-era Pravda. The truth is whatever the State says it is, and even the slightest dissent will be met with ruthless personal destruction and ostracism. I grew up reading William L. Shirer, John Hersey, Peter Maas, Robin Moore, Woodward and Bernstein and many more like them.

They are what real investigative journalists aspire to: following the truth and the story no matter to whom and where it leads, and regardless of politics. Now the political cart leads the journalism horse, and woe betide anyone who says the horse should be in front. I may not always agree with you, Matt, but you've always aspired to teh truth of the matter in all your reporting, and that is enough for me. Keep up the great work!

Sherry Jun 13

The twitter lynch mobs have a great deal to answer for, except they never do answer for it.

TheMadKing59 Jun 13

Crazy times indeed. It is reminiscent of the Hollywood Terror. A tipping point will come when enough people are sickened of their arbitrary and capricious cultural fascism.

Mascot Jun 15

In the meantime, the faux-mo madness rages on https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/olivia-benson-svu-mariska-hargitay-canceled-cops-1014181/

Lekimball Jun 13

1984 -- The writer of Truth rewrites history to fit whatever they want. Read the book. That's the news media today. A warning leftists: Stalin and Hitler controlled the media. It's not TRUMP controlling the media. Or ignoring the truth. And it should scare the hell out of every American.

Tommy Jun 13

Damn man. This was what I (and I imagine many others) need to read right now. I thank you for finally not tiptoeing around the thing I've had to come to grips with myself - that the left has completely lost all credibility and sanity. I only hope others can see through the corporate pandering and corruption that is the DNC in 2020.

John B Jun 12

An excellent piece! Thank you for speaking out against the insanity currently infesting left-wing American newsrooms. Sometimes it feels like the world would be a much better place without Twitter.

Scott Jun 13

The biggest indictment of the press is the fact that I'm reading this on SubStack instead of the NYT.

Horatio Flemm Jun 13

Mr. Taibbi fires a warning shot to alert us that the "instinct (in the American media) to shield audiences from views or facts deemed politically uncomfortable has been in evidence since Trump became a national phenomenon." I would say not "since" -- that vile instinct has merely been more in evidence. The media's fear and hatred for diversity of opinion, for the freedom of speech, has doubtless worsened since President Tweet was heaved onto the throne. But the hatred and fear of free speech have been lovingly cultivated for years; they are now blossoming.

... ... ...

Mascot Jun 15

I'm thankful that there's more to the Internet news media than Facebook, and more to Internet discourse than Twitter. I participate in neither one. And frankly, their management decisions don't worry me overly much.

It was always clear to me that the Facebook news feed works as a reducing valve that's engineered to tell people only what they want to hear, as if they were monarchs pampered by a retinue of sycophantic courtiers. I could never quite get to do that.

And even with the character count doubled from 140 to 280 characters, Twitter is like something for fifth-graders. Yet the users continue to express bewilderment when their pithy three-sentence observations are misinterpreted or misunderstood, sometimes spiraling into acrimonious exchanges for pages on end...

Todd Waterman Jun 12

Another tremendous piece. Lee Fang has done excellent work and it sickens me that he is forced to submit to the Orwellian mob that is destroying our country. Keep up the great work Matt and do not let them silence you. I am afraid they'll come for you soon...

J JVS Jun 12

At the risk of sounding melodramatic this article singlehandedly saved me from totally giving up on the media. Taibbi, Greenwald, Andrew Sullivan, etc. are the last stand for the proud classical liberal tradition.

Sean Carson Jun 13

Chris Hedges, too....

Adele 18 hr

You say: "Lacy to her credit publicly thanked Fang for his statement and expressed willingness to have a conversation; unfortunately, the throng of Intercept co-workers who piled on her initial accusation did not join her in this."

To her credit? Matt, why so generous? You are rewarding Lacy for doing a horrible thing. This is like the irritating cherry on top of a pile of poisoned shit. She chose to first light the match and throw it onto what she surely knew was a pile of gas-soaked kindling. Fang gets torched by the mob-inferno she incited, then SHE gets an apology from Fang???!!! THEN she says she's willing to have a conversation, ie, the petty princess deigns... while watching her colleague get his job threatened for .... doing his job well? Well, well... hell. This is hell.

I didnt know of him or her till I saw this, but I'm afraid he can never really write (well) again unless he disavows his apology, speaks out against the wrong committed against him, and leaves the Intercept. Of course. They, the mob around and at the Intercept, have publicly and privately bullied and humiliated him for doing a very good job, for succeeding where they fail! And then they put him on notice that any further success of this sort (truth in reporting, meaningful truth, that offends their sacred fictitious narrative) will not be tolerated. All because a spoiled brat black person flings "racist" at him. What incredibly toxic power for a word that is increasingly losing its meaning. What a sad, sad, terribly sad story. Sad ending.

Guys, roll this one out and hitch it onto the rest. Another one for the chain. Next?

Jack Clancy Jun 12

Clarity, thoroughness, balance and reason. This is what I have grown to expect from you and you deliver it every time. In the darkest hours before dawn it is most difficult to imagine that journalism will one day have a rebirth. You give us a small measure of hope.

noname Jun 13 Liked by Matt Taibbi

I signed up For you, because of this piece. It's extraordinary. Please keep writing about this. What's appropriate is that you can't be cancelled Because of the way substack works. So this is the perfect place for you to do it (and i say this as a former journalist).

JPZenger Jun 13

This piece prompted me to subscribe too. I've followed Matt's work for a couple of years. In a world where the NYT wins Pulitzers by being loudly and consistently wrong on the biggest stories of our time, it's good to know there are still a few actual journalists out there.

Bea South Jun 12

The American press used to be a fearless bulwark against tyrants; now it imposes tyranny. The American left used to ensure liberal ideals and free expression of thought; now it's the second coming of the Jacobin Club. The only institution with any credibility is the military and that is very worrisome

Check Jun 13

Matt, I doubt you and I will ever agree politically. But your writing is great and needed. I look forward for the day that this column becomes the new New York Times. The only major news outlet that I'm aware of that is still remotely objective is the Wall Street Journal.

So there is a need for real reporting. Without the threat of being fired if you annoy or insult someone.

Big Wally Jun 14

Hey Matt- I know you have to write what you feel you need to write but I would think the reaction to this piece ought to be eye opening. You have hit a major artery here. So many intelligent and reasonable people who have felt silenced by the crushing conformity of liberals feel like we've heard a voice in the wilderness. I don't subscribe to anything but I subscribed to this. Please understand that there is a sizable portion of the population who are fucking sick of being insulted by today's dogshit media.

Lekimball Jun 13

That's bologne. Cotton is not a psychopath and he didn't advocate using the military against peaceful protestors like they lied about -- he suggested it should be done if these governors couldn't stop the killing, looting, and violence. It should be a last resort. But it should be a threat if they don't stop doing it.

All the American people were for prosecuting Chauvin--and they are. So the rest of this has nothing to do with Floyd and it shouldn't be tolerated. It isn't about "buildings"--it's about LIVES. People's lives and livelihoods. And it's about black police chiefs who have a right to live just like Floyd does. No outrage about that. That is what Cotton is talking about.

Takes4Dayz Jun 13

Read Manufacturing Consent and get back to me on if the NYT are good framers of the discourse...

LorriAnn Jun 16

Take a look at what's happening in the Merry Ole Land of CHAZ. Its a mob shake down complete with the worst of everything that last week its citizens decried. Armed enforcers, stop and frisk-like policies and this is def not anything at all like the brutal "terrorist" Seattle PD slaughtering black children in the schools (thanks Ilhan Omar)

Scott Jun 15

I love how Bill and Hillary Clinton garnered support for and implemented one of the absolute worst crime bills in US history but somehow 2016 was HER turn.

Fucken nightmare land

Andre Jun 13

I have been reading your work for almost a year but subscribed right away after reading this articele.

What is frightening to me is that people who are supposed to be a smart do not understand that they are not only destroying the press, they are destroying the country. What is even more frightening is that their hate of Trump makes them blind to anything else. He will be gone on less then one year, OK maybe in 5 years but the destruction of federal institutions, and the death of credible media will define America.

I am an immigrant from a communist country and I believe that Soviet style communism was worse it terms of its brutality, but not as morally damaging as this voluntary march to serfdom that I see in modern America.

And the enablers, like Jeff Bezos for example, who thinks that if he get to his knees fast enough nobody will ask him about the work conditions in Amazon warehouses, these people make me really sick.

Scott Jun 15

It's yet ANOTHER bourgeois "rebellion". Here again to tear shit down and become the assholes they hate.

Starry Gordon Jun 12

I agree with most of what you have written here, but it's sort of like having a food fight on the upper decks of the Titanic. The American ruling class has deteriorated to the point where it cannot keep itself afloat, and is thrashing around as it sinks, while other actors are maneuvering to take its place. The Cotton thing -- which I have read was solicited by the _Times_ -- regardless of what it literally said, was certain to be read as a call for the military to attack people exercising their rights of assembly and expression, and could have been reasonably interpreted as fighting words, except I guess hardly anyone reads any more.

Scott Jun 12

The Cotton Op-Ed was solicited by the NYT and it went through several iterations as a part of the editorial process. It is also worth noting that Cotton did not write the headline.

jbmoore61 Jun 12

I was surprised Lee Fang was in trouble for doing his job because a colleague was uncomfortable. Guess he'll be finding other employment. This is all so sad. We need good journalism now. It's an election year, there's a pandemic, and an economic depression happening all at once. But, we won't get any issues, or data, or anything. It'll be doublespeak, political correctness, mob chanting, and God knows what. There's no air travel, so there's no quick escape from this bullshit and madness.

Joshua Reaser Jun 12

What a wild situation! It seems like no one cares. That last bit about reporters being too scared to talk about the fear in their own news room! Wow!

next.20.yrs@gmail.com Jun 12

Hope this is incorrect, but I deduce that Glenn Greenwald did not speak up for Fang. That is disappointing.

Mascot Jun 14

A while ago, I decided to stop indulging in judging people based on nothing more than what they haven't said, or haven't done. There's a latent totalitarianism in implicitly demanding that everyone make a public statement to take a side about everything. Especially, like, five minutes after some event happens.

next.20.yrs@gmail.com Jun 14

Personally, if I were attacked in the way Fang was by many of his co-workers and others ("get him"), I would not be so generous with a colleague I knew disagreed with the bullying but stood silent. I have no idea what was going on in GG's life at the time and make no accusations (or judgments) that he stood by silently (but would be quite disappointed if he did so for lack of bravery). While so many were able to pile on Fang, there was time to know what was happening and time to defend him. Why was he left blowing in the wind by everyone? Too many, those who are well-known and those we never hear about, are being attacked by the mob while those who could defend them don't. Silence can indeed be violence.

Mascot Jun 14

It's been ten days. Arguably, that doesn't even qualify as enough time to refer to the incident in the past tense.

Also, if you've ever waded into these disputes, you know how exhausting they can be: the sheer imperious pettiness and pique of the most vehement Cancel Culture advocates, cloaked in self-ordained moral superiority. Their use of baiting comments, sarcasm, imputations of motive, tacit assumptions offered with no support (other than an isolated data point of two). The micro-scrutiny of every last verbal construction found in a dissenting response, in order to find language that they can exploit with interpretations contrived to support their position and make the opposition wrong. The demand for "dialogue", coupled with an insistence on unconditional agreement on practically every point of their personal views. The incomprehension of the possibility that a movement claiming to champion democratic values, civil liberties, and justice makes a mockery of its own credibility when so much of its Internet discourse resembles a Maoist self-criticism session directed by whoever hurls the most vitriolic rhetoric for the purpose of mandating conformity with their capricious whims.

The main result of these purges and attempts at intimidation within the ranks is the increased marginalization of the political movements who engage in them. Any potential "ally" who notices what they're in for if they offer any deviationist views or observations- or even casually phrased language that might possibly be interpreted contain some latent "insensitivity"- as a member of the movement quickly realizes that they're better off declining to participate. I don't know how many otherwise sympathetic people the coercive justice warriors are losing with their high-handed attitudes, but it's a non-trivial number.

As for the mockers on the right- who hand-wave away the very idea of the continued existence of of antiblack racism- they get to have a field day in their reportage on these fiascos. Especially the more they're protracted.

I don't blame Glenn for laying out, at least until the media teapot tempest dies down and matters can be better sorted out.

next.20.yrs@gmail.com Jun 14

If the mob comes for me, I hope I have allies who will bravely and forcefully defend me in the moment, rather than wait until things are "sorted out." The Lee Fang incident, as far as I can tell, was a very clear cut instance of gratuitous bullying and he had no one who came to his defense. I do not understand why and maybe there is a very good reason but I do wish Glenn would address this.

Skeptic Jun 14

As a general proposition, yes, but The Intercept is GG's baby.

Mascot Jun 14

My impression is that the editorial functions of the Intercept are carried out with a lot less rigor and control than those of the NY Times. And while Glenn is on the masthead as one of the editors there, I don't think he takes an especially active role in that regard. For that matter, much of The Intercept reads more like the blogs on Huffpost than, say, Mother Jones magazine.

Scott Jun 15

Bourgeois virtue signalling.

LorriAnn Jun 15

Its when i abandoned Greenwald

Substack Commenter 34 Jun 13

Yes what's up with that. Although Greenwald's life has to be sickening right now given what he and his family have faced from Bolsonaro.

Donald Twain Jun 13

Is that indeed true? Wow

Kate S Jun 14

Thank you, thank you so much. I've feel as though I've been pulling out my hair for weeks attempting to articulate to friends and peers what you've thoughtfully laid out. You're certainly not alone in the realization. Long time reader/listener but the stones it takes to call this one like it is just forced me to sub in support.

Science Does Not Care Jun 13

Ideologues have always been dangerous, always delusional, and always present in media, even esteemed publications. But the modern media insanity, which started before 2016, perhaps derives from a different trend: the 21st century safety culture.

To borrow from Lukianoff and Haidt, I suggest we are seeing the result of social and institutional coddling over the past few decades. The voices who now express pain and anguish over disagreeable opinions, and demand not just ideological conformity but personal safety, are the same ones who also demanded safe spaces and just plain non-challenging experiences as they came of age (?) in US colleges. Their core values and criteria are much more about perceived risk and discomfort than about free speech and challenging thought (or even about straight-up propaganda--these sensitive souls really do fear some words and ideas).

And where do many of the strident young press corps come from? Perhaps these same coddling institutions, with newly minted degrees in humanities, social science, and politics (the ideological biases there are another topic). Of course they demand to silence uncomfortable voices; they have learned that ethic since they could read.

TheMadKing59 Jun 13

It's all about ideology. You saw the same trends in Communist revolutions. Students turning in their teachers, even their parents, for ideological blasphemy and nonconformity. Not the road I hoped American would be taking in the 21st Century.

Mascot Jun 13

Let's be clear: the terms "ideology" and "ideologue" refer to all ideologies and ideologues, not just those identified with the Left.

Scott Jun 15

...and yet, here we are.

Scott Jun 15

Pfff. nothing new under the sun....

The bourgeois have been ruining everyone's lives since the middle ages. They have no future, no jobs and all those degrees... What ELSE could they do?

"Giacomo" Jim Frimmel Jun 13

Matt, in the value-for-value spirit of the No Agenda podcast, I dropped cash for the subscription. This article alone is worth it. Thank you.

I find myself deleting whole drafts of emails and tweets out of fear. I yearn for some end-time prophet who might fearlessly speak truth for us. Then I realize folks like you are all we've got. And I sigh, "It would have been enough" ... still early days I suppose.

Postipressionist Jun 12

Matt, I'm so glad you've gone journalistically independent. You're free, and FEARLESS.

Bruce Lesnick Jun 13

Excellent, much needed article. But one elephant in the room isn't mentioned at all: trans rights activists and their allies in the media who seek to silence anyone who believes in biology and that biological sex is real and meaningful. It goes way beyond J K Rowling. See https://off-guardian.org/2020/02/12/are-you-now-or-have-you-ever-been-a-believer-in-biological-sex/

Cara MariAnna Jun 13

Thank you for adding Patrick Lawrence in your paragraph about the despicable shenanigans at The Nation - a once venerable magazine. His report published Aug, 9 2017 - https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/a-new-report-raises-big-questions-about-last-years-dnc-hack/ - was met with immediate hostility and concerted attacks by the DNC and their surrogates working at The Nation. Within months Lawrence, a veteran reporter was gone. That his reporting proved to be true and accurate matters not. I've long marveled at the silence surrounding this incident.

Donald Twain Jun 13

I'm now a subscriber. Beautifully expressed and argued, a balm to this fellow Gen X-er's mind.

AHamilton Jun 15

Keep going Matt. Each one of your pieces is making history. Thank God there are still a few good journalists out there. Just none at the NY Times.

Scott Jun 16

lol When the power goes out for good, all of this will vanish.

We'd better get this down on parchment or STONE.

Z. E. Jun 13

I don't know under which rock I was living but I'm glad to have discovered your writing, Matt. This is such a refreshing perspective.

don lovell Jun 13

The media / press has long been nonobjective. It hides (doesn't report) what it doesn't want people to see, and pushes the progressive agenda like good little lap dogs. It's not journalism it's democrat propaganda.

Ann Jun 12

This is one of your best pieces; it's right up there with the Vampire Squid. Thanks for writing it.

todd smith Jun 12

Well said! All of this policing of opinion has gotten out of hand, which goes hand-in-hand with the de-platforming phenomenon on the Net. Really, it's like the latest brand of censorship, and censorship is trending pretty hard these days. The irony seems to be that for all the finger-pointing pontifications out there about Racism and racists, Racism appears to be alive and sickeningly well. What's up with that? I get tearing down offensive statues, for example, but the thing that those statues represent does not thereby vanish; in fact, it may become even more insidiously powerful by being rendered "invisible," like a virus. It seems that the Racial Virus has mutated, and "cancel culture" may be an effect of this mutation...

Cara MariAnna Jun 12

Thanks for this. You just got a new subscriber.

Skeptic Jun 14

I'm hoping there will be a preference cascade of people switching their subscriptions from NYT and WaPo to Matt. He's taking risks, and he deserves the rewards.

Alden Jun 13

Matt, thank you once again for opening the windows and blowing the stink out of the room. You are a light in a dark and depraved world. I live in Appalachia, right on the Tennesssee/NC border. We have an underground railroad here of northerners running the hell away from the craziness.

I actually make my 15 year old read your stuff, and Michael Goodwin, Maureen Dowd, Ben Shapiro, to name a few others. It was important to me to show him that you, as a progressive or whatever you classification you fit, are able to be honest, insightful, unafraid, and WILLING to stand up against an army of swords with just your pen and intellect. Anyway, I told my teenager that you and I don't see things (in some cases) the same way, BUT, the mere fact you present your reporting with such ferocity towards the truth, it must be considered, sifted through, and respected. It's inspiring!

By the way, get your ass back on Rogan's podcast dude. We need to hear from you again in that forum!

Ilja B Jun 13

Excellent article!

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" is an important principle is all but lost today.

As for NYT and most of the media publications, probably a good slogan is "All the News That's Fit the Narrative".

TheMadKing59 Jun 13

All of the News To Print That Fits.

KC Jun 13

thank you thank you thank you. I've sent this to everyone I know who I feel might be ready for some journalism. Also I subscribed.

J JVS Jun 12

Thank you Matt...you are doing a huge service to the country and free thinkers left or right. As Orwell said, "If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear."

Ben Jun 12

Subscribed. $40/year is a bargain. Paying nyt customer since 2002. Had enough. Thank you Matt. Please let us know how we can continue to support.

ROBERT BEERBOHM Jun 18

I just took out a subscription here at substack. I long had one at Rolling Stone mainly just to read your articles, Matt. Some years ago I sat next to your father Mike on an airplane going from point A to point B. (Chicago to LA?) I'm 68 as of yesterday. This was when you were first beginning RS. I had bought an ish with a Semi-cover feature mention of you in a Hudson News. I picked it up, looked at the article, said, "yep," made my plane ride read purchase, got on the plane, but then Mike mentioned that I was reading his son's work. And what did I think?

Needless to say I have been a huge fan of your pop's for decades. Murrow Awards mean a lot in my world view of journalism. We talked of Tuskegee Airmen for a bit. We delved into (re)discussing the Pentagon Papers made public by Daniel Ellsberg (as we discussed the protests in the streets of America in the 60s). It was a hard pill for me to swallow back then every Prez since Truman on up was a Liar about Viet Nam.

By Aug 1972 being all of 20 years old with a couple like age friends we opened one of the very first comic book stores in the world at 2512 Telegraph Ave near UC-Berkeley campus. People's Park was across the street around the corner. Many homeless messed up Viet Vets were trying to re-assimilate to life back in the States. Similar to the Mid East Vets who are committing suicide at record numbers once again.

It is and always has been the 1% vs the rest of us. I see it as the .1 of 1% controls the 1% who controls the upper 10% who control the rest of us. That seems to be history's game plan for those who harbor superiority narcissistic tendencies

All these labels on people being tossed around these days describing this or that person as being a so & so this or that has been getting a mite confusing of late. Not just in levels of who we think we are, but where we think we came from. And where we as a nation might be going.

Similar to your father's background, at one point I was married to a half Japanese half black women born in Tokyo in the late 1950s. We lived in Oakland Calif. We have two kids who are all three major "races" inside what I used to describe as a mini United Nations. My 2nd wife had an earlier daughter whose father was black who came out darker. My two have skin tone of President Obama. I had earlier married a white lady so my oldest daughter fits that category.

My oldest daughter soon saw and experienced when they all went into stores together that she was being treated 'differently' than her siblings. And she came to a juncture in her figuring life out to me asking "why" do the store owners follow her sisters but not her?

That all said, it comes back to the 1% who seek to divide, wedge to conquer.

Matt, for what it is worth, I have long seen you as a "leader" in the journalism world. Seeking Truth and Speaking to Power.

I do not "see" much of anything changed in the media of the past half century (and my history studied tell me such propaganda has existed for eons, actually. The tech delivery systems change and evolve is all.

The 1% "own" most of the media. The internet profusion of Bots is real. During 2016 I must have blocked over 100 Rooskie Bots on my FB page which I have wide open as I conduct historical research into the origins of what we have come to call comic strip books.

And politics in the first century beginning Sept 14 1842 thru till the USA advent of World War Two 1941 saw all sorts of politics, racial slurs and depictions, aimed at damn near every group possible. Then the WW2 comic books began to portray all Japanese and German Italians as the most evil lost souls on the planet.

This is part of my book am finishing I call Comic Book Store Wars. My long time friend Art Spiegelman (Maus Pulitzer) agreed to write one of the Introductions. I well remember when the first 3 pages of MAUS were published in Funny Aminals #1 in 1972. It came out just a few months before we opened that first Comics & Comix store. I watched my friend delve into his passions of telling Truth.

I am in full agreement with Max that black on black murder is more numerically than cops killing black people. Then again, so far (still) by sheer force of numbers whites killing whites is also up there as high - more so even.

I have studied the 1800s extensively as I work on this 175+ year history of the business of comics, comic strips, comic books in America. Also the 1700s in America as there were broadsides published with comic strips. One huge sheet of paper. The racist images I have absorbed became down right depressing.

Also, even much more so (because it is simply easier) the 20th century. I was especially blown away as I discovered the concept of Eugenics originates more so in America. That AH guy in Nazi Germany said many times his ideas for a "master" race came from America.

Oliver Stone bought comic books from me out of my Haight Ashbury store. His book and 12 episode Untold History of the United States is must viewing for every one. His is just one of at this point a ga-zillion documentaries teaching what came before we were born.

Bringing up Max's thoughts expressed by Mr Fang, yes, there is a whole lot of blood letting going on. I also have a son who I am terrified is going to be shot by "peace" officers for walking while black. I witness that in Oakland more than once. I wish I had not.

To me, it wasn't so much that white cop killed George Floyd - and I hasten to emphasize how horrific that was to watch for 8:46 minutes.

It was the f*ucked look in that cop's eyes. He murdered with impunity. He looked directly into that 17 year old woman's camera phone. Made eye contact. That POS knew exactly what he was doing. It was a public lynching with out the rope. Cold Blooded.

THAT is why the outrage has finally taken to the streets. Me, personally, I subscribe to Ghandi and MLK lines of thought. And we need to teach the children better. Or, maybe they are teaching older lost souls it is over due time to change.

I ask you and every other reporter journalist out there maybe it is time to teach the tenets of this timeless song. My favorite version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5AuFDHdrrg

JPZenger Jun 13

Brilliant piece! The press has become essentially a secular Church Lady. And, like the Moral Majority before them, their influence will wane as they become more stridently narrow-minded.

Scott Jun 15

Populism is the new punk

HobbesForPrez Jun 13

While I disagree with Matt on politics, in this we are in full agreement. We are supposed to be able to agree to disagree, but that seems long gone. I pay $5 a month to Matt in the hopes that Substack will grow and displace traditional media, where brave journalists like Matt will continue to write what they think without fear of the Thought Police.

PRZ Jun 13

Thanks Matt. I stay out of most social media and have avoided making comments but had to say I am happy to see that your approach (like Joe Rogan) is working out (I hope). Anyway, I'm a subscriber and appreciate your efforts.

David Eason Jun 12

Who fights for truth and resists power must be willing to sacrifice all. Otherwise, you will not only say 2 + 2 = 5, you will believe it.

Big Wally Jun 14

Wow! A "journalist" with the balls to call out what passes for media these days. The ones that have abdicated any sense of integrity in favor of pushing a narrative and condemning anyone who dissents. It is the most dangerous development in the history of this country and is frightening to contemplate where this is headed.

I remember my high school civics teacher saying "Though I may disagree completely with what someone says, I will defend to my death the right for them to say it." Gee, how quaint huh?

I also remember Eisenhower saying to beware of the Military-Industrial Complex, which he was right about but today the bigger threat is the Education-Media-Political Complex where students are indoctrinated and not educated and they pass into media jobs who are conveniently exploited by liberal politicians. Works like a charm to create an echo chamber.

Caek Islove Jun 18

Just subbed due to this piece. Keep on telling the truth!

Mike Jun 13

Failure of the press has literally killed thousands of people in the last few months. It is the presses obligation to inform the public of the most important news of the day. The various organs of the media keep bureaus or at least agents in the important centers of the world. And where there is real and obvious danger, it is there job and obligation to bring this to the public's attention. One would expect them to find and present voices which can inform and shape responses to that danger. Now if the press had been willing to report on what was happening in Wuhan Before the 5th of February with the emphasis on the real events occurring there during January it would have been more than obvious that we had a potentially world wide crises rapidly developing. Had that been done the American public, even the world's public, might have insisted that their Congress and Executive branch act on this with the seriousness it deserved. Why did they fail. Maybe because there was only one story fit to print, the Impeachment of Donald Trump. However, at least some reporters and editors must have been informed of those events. Were those papers so enthralled with the impeachment story that their attention could not be spared. Perhaps, there was concern that it might draw attention away from this most important, though preordained failed, event, which was central to the very popular and enthralling narrative of the malfeasance and failure of DJT. Or even perhaps, impeachment was drawing so many clicks and hence advertising dollars, that it would have been financially imprudent to turn the reportage to a story developing in a distant land, no matter how potentially devastating. Interestingly, it reminds me of the War Bond rallies during the Spanish Flu. The pursuit and marshaling of support for WWI was considered to be far more important than the threat of a pandemic which ultimately killed far more than the war.

Scott Frasier Jun 14

It's a bit off base to blame the media for not emphasizing Covid 19 in January and early February. The media usually follows the lead of the federal government on important matters, or at least matters important to the government. They followed impeachment because the Congress was tied up with it, and to a lesser extent Trump.

The real question you should ask is: where was the government itself on Covid 19 at the time. All the principal actors in the government had been briefed by late January about the seriousness of the epidemic. Many of the public health agencies were raising alarms about countermeasures and PPE and other supply issues.

Trump and his son-in-law apparently didn't want to believe the experts. Members of Congress of both parties stayed silent about what they knew and some seemed more interested in reallocating their portfolios than in alerting their constituents, with the exception of large donors in private meetings. Where was the press conference featuring Pelosi or Schumer or Burr or McConnell raising the issue?

The news media doesn't do investigations anymore, if they ever did. They follow the urgency of government. They started paying attention when the market started crashing and the state governors became concerned. You may wish the press was more proactive, but that is almost never the case.

Mike Jun 15

"The media usually follows the lead of the federal government on important matters, or at least matters important to the government. " Yes. just like WMDs. Glad you think the 4th estate's job is to focus on the government's interests. Obviously, you have read Taibbi's work "Hate, Inc." As he noted, the 4th estate is objective and apolitical and with their world wide network of bureaus and stringers exist only to discuss the news that the political parties, I mean corporate owners, oops, sorry the US gov. promotes. What is most encouraging is that the media has explained to me, that if we only get rid of Trump, the world will be a place of beauty and light. Look over there, it is that nefarious DJT!, ignore the fellow behind the curtain. I am so grateful to have Pelosi and Schumer as alternatives, who are providing support to the workers who have lost their livelihood, and the small closed business which are unlikely to come back. I think their taking advantage of this crisis to ram thru, at least temporarily, Medicare for all and a Universal Basic Income shows their level of concern. They understood that the waitress's rent would be due immediately, and feeding her children could not wait. Their rush to pass the HEROES act would take care of all the desperate problems of the unemployed, not to speak of those poor lobbyists and land lords whose income is drastically reduced. They had learned, after 2008 that in the heat of the panicked moment, a rush to pass a midnight bill, unread by anyone might result in a lot of money thrown fruitlessly at the wrong people. Of course large corporations, financial institutions and banks are also heavily impacted. But, Pelosi, as one of the richest women in America, is particularly situated to realize that a few months wait would not be disastrous to those in that strata. She understood, that, unlike the newly unemployed, the 1% of the 1% have the financial resources to allow time to carefully craft a plan that would not be frivolous or misguided. .

Scott Frasier Jun 15

" Glad you think the 4th estate's job is to focus on the government's interests. "

Instead of having a knee-jerk reaction to something I wrote, you might have tried to digest what was actually written. I was stating a sad fact about the "news media", NOT my wishes.

I don't disagree with most of what you have written. The elites have utterly failed to look out for the populace. They have stuffed gobs of money into the financial system to bail out bad corporate debt, and made the rest of the population beg for crumbs. I happen to have been a big beneficiary of this largess to stockholders, but I recognize it for what it is: looting.

I don't know your politics, but it seems like it is somewhat progressive. We have bad choices right now. A crackpot populist who won't even deliver on some of the legitimate concerns he exploits, and a member of the same neoliberal gang that will not change.

All I was pointing out is that the so-called 4th Estate is a business, and has always been one. If all you do as a citizen is consume their product and watch their paid ads to determine who to vote for, you won't get anywhere. You need to understand the issues and the candidates for what and who they really are.

I'm old enough to have become disillusioned about democratic change with an ignorant population that watches TV and has a Facebook account. I lose most elections. Instead, I work the system as it is and make my life. I didn't invent or vote for neoliberal financial capitalism, but it has been with me all my life, so I take my share because otherwise I leave it on the table for the same rich guys who own the rest of it.

Rich McConville Jun 13

I confess that I was wondering what you were up to. I am pleased that you were working on this story. It needs to be told. You da man!

Brian Lund Jun 12

🔥 🔥 🔥

You just got a new subscriber from a fellow Substack author.

Thanks for writing this Matt.

Alex Kline Jun 12

Thanks Matt. I suspected exactly these ridiculous shenanigans when I read about Bennet's firing.

Mitchy Jun 12

thank you again

Anthony Jun 15

Sad to see the Intercept capitulate to cancel culture and for throwing him under. They have been getting a little ridiculous in force feeding narratives and not allowing you to critically think

Jen Jun 14

Great article. So miffed at the negative responses around, many proving the case in what you wrote about.

As an Australian following from afar the last few years, it's quite remarkable to see discourse plays out in the US...every opinion or side of even the most frivolous issues instantly boxes you in to red or blue.

I've found it quite amusing to be called both a Republican Trumper and Snowflake Liberal in response to a comment or question I might post on an issue. There seems to be no middle ground, no conversation and a collectivism approach to judging someone's stance.

I've seen some commentary trying to box you in as a 'contrarian' now. The landscape surely is flipped on its head.

As a parent, it's horrifying to think rational discussion is critically endangered.

I had seen you on Joe Rogan over the years and found your observations pretty sound. Perhaps not having the filters of a political dogma provides readers like me an easier path in appreciating them.

Thankyou and happy to be a new subscriber.

Lekimball Jun 13

I don't agree with everything Matt says because despite Donald Trump's moments of insanity, I'm not sure he isn't all that stands between us and fascism,--the Republicans usually roll over and won't stand up to these people -- but I have to applaud Matt's courage because what I am most upset about is the lack of media integrity and they're refusing to tell the truth. The media is just the arm of the progressive Marxist left as Matt says. The Obama administration weaponized our justice department and none of the media would report it, as Matt says. They irresponsibly went after Kavanaugh as Matt says. They publish Vladimir Putin and terrorists but not a US senator with a valid point of view supported by a huge majority of the American people (AND they lie later about what Cotton said). Any means justify their ends of getting rid of Trump and it does not. Their cancel culture and censorship and omission of the truth is more dangerous than any one president could ever be. The only thing that I hold out hope for is that Matt is right and all this backfires and re-elects Trump--we have no choice. Matt understands what's at stake here even if he's no Trump fan, so I just spent money to support the first Democrat reporter in my lifetime who dared to tell t he truth. Good for you, Matt.

Mascot Jun 14

" The media is just the arm of the progressive Marxist left'

utterly incoherent. And emblematic of the muddled bilateral cognitive paralysis that passes for your political point of view, unfortunately.

Alden Jun 13

Great post!

Skeptic Jun 13

Matt, I just subscribed. I've been following your work since Moscow days. You're doing a great service to our country, and you're one of the few writers reaffirming a common ground that both left and right in this country should be able to accept. God help us if they don't.

tom mitchell Jun 13

OK, folks: Dwight Eisenhower sent the 101st Airborne to usher 9 students into a local high school in 1957. Tell me why he would have been wrong to do that in your state under the same circumstances.

Scott Frasier Jun 13

He wouldn't be wrong today to do the same thing. However, he did it because the government of Arkansas was explicitly refusing to obey federal law established by a unanimous SCOTUS ruling.

Where is that federal law or Supreme Court ruling that state governors are violating in this situation? Only in the imagination of Donald Trump.

tom mitchell Jun 13

One factor that links all the "Weird" phenomena -- a tidal rise in Careerism. Stick with me on this: Millennials now range in age from 24 to 40. The "best and brightest" of them graduated college into a nasty jobs market. Except for a few brief periods here and there, the markets for smart, young college graduates have been miserable since 2007, and they are even much worse in 2020. Of all the social upheavals in history, GENERATIONAL and CAREER stimuli have played a major part. Think 1848 in Europe or 1968 around the world. The Russian Revolution would have been impossible without Trotsky's speeches in 1905 and 1917-18, yet the final winner was the committed careerist Stalin. Examine the Arab Spring or Prague 1968 and Poland 1980. Major forces in every case were rising generations of smart, educated young people who could not find jobs that gave them enough power and/or financial freedom. In the face of these forces, Matt, I'd argue that anything that resembles traditional values or principles simply becomes irrelevant to the privileged mobs -- because they are "window-dressing"in contrast to the powerful urges of individual ambitions and desires -- or hopes and dreams , or wishes and hungers. The RAW NEED of the rising generation makes all arguments pointless. Give them the power and money and go away. Their own moral artifices are just to caver their naked Neediness. Which they genuinely feel.

J JVS Jun 13

Joel Kotkin has a good book on this

Jamie Thomson Jun 13

As a journalist of 25 years, I wasn't in any way shocked that Bennett was sacked. He didn't even read the op-ed. Total dereliction of duty for something that was always going to be contentious (which they knew, otherwise why would they have solicited a piece from Cotton?) It's the 21st century - it's not like they had to courier over proofs to his beach house while the back bench were sat around the phone, drumming their fingers as the first edition deadline loomed ever closer.

Ditto Stan Wischowski. Strip away all the windy, self-serving tenets about speaking truth to power and providing a dispassionate window onto the world that journalists like to bandy about, and you are left with one golden rule (mostly thanks to Rupert Murdoch): Know what the punter wants. 'Buildings matter, too' is such a tone-deaf glob of reactionary horseshit (regardless of what polls say. Since when have they become a fait accompli, Matt?) I can only imagine the reactions of the rest of Wischowski's staff when he said that, no, despite all their protestations, this was definitely what they should go with. Print and be damned! (In fact, I've seen with my own eyes editors railroading through terrible ideas like this, and then some lowly copy editor being forced to carry the can for it because they're the one that sent the page, so - if anything – in the case of the Inquirer, it was quite refreshing to see a higher-up actually get the boot for once.)

The Lee Fang case is absurd though. The only thing more ridiculous than the liberal left's reflexive rejection of black-on-black crime as a talking point is Fox News et al's adoption of it as a whataboutery tactic to counter charges of systemic racism in policing. Aside from the many times police have actually murdered black people, I can't think of a better example to highlight institutional racism than law enforcement's complete abandonment of effective policing in black communities, and replacing it with continual harassment and some low-level drug arrests when the quotas demand it. (The early chapters in Jill Leovy's Ghettoside lay this out perfectly. LAPD officers had a habit of recording black-on-black violent crimes under the acronym NHI - 'No Human Involved'. Nice, eh?)

That the left has allowed the braying quislings of Fox etc to hijack this travesty for their own ends, and then be dragged into pointless naysaying as a result, is a searing indictment of their own impotence.

Mattykelly Jun 13

Years ago I found this quote on a game box.

"When the effort to follow the rules exceeds the benefits of playing, people start to look for a different game"

There is just so much bullshit a person can take. Senator McCarthy, do have no dignity.

Will Van Allen Jun 12

Great article, Matt. You captured a lot of my own frustrations with the left, the media and the strange zeitgeist of cancel culture we find ourselves in. The only winners here are those who exploit fear, and one of the best of all time is currently in the Oval, and, despite my liberal friends vehement denouncement to the contrary (and shunning/shouting me down for having escaped the cult) I do fear he may retain his crown another term.

Keep up the great work, it is vital and tremendously appreciated.

J JVS Jun 12

My guess is Matt left Rolling Stone because he was enough of a gentleman to know that they'd be unable/unwilling to support him.

Dennis Rosenberg Jun 12

New subscriber, I appreciate the opportunity to support your unfettered voice, more important than ever as typified by your latest piece.

Scott Duncan Jun 12

Bravo

Antipodean Jun 12

This India based writer talks about "Post Truth Analysis"...if it has infected US media outlets too, we are headed for a rough ride!!

______________

"...One of the topics that I was mostly reading of late was about 'Post truth analysis'. It is a situation in which people are more likely to accept an argument based on their emotions and beliefs, rather than one based on facts.

...

Now, the online mobs are proliferating day by day. Lynching in social media platforms has become common in India.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, women, Muslims, migrants and other marginalized communities are their favorite targets.The paid political pawns, cyber guardians, cyber bullies are all the poisons that blind you and open your eyes. The society itself lacks objective reality. When it itself turns nonsensical, the social norms, political system, nation states, nationality becomes meaningless. Once it stands, the associated norms also becomes reality.

Some of these norms are acceptable to us while others do not and the struggle for recognition crops up. Societal norms themselves are lacking objective reality. There are no rules but driven by basic instincts. The numerical strength and its predominant anonymity in social media can lead to instinctual behaviors..."

Source: https://countercurrents.org/2020/06/echo-chambers-post-truth-era-and-the-fear-of-missing-out-a-millennials-tale/

Jonathan Jun 14

Once upon a time, I took quality journalism for granted. No more. I may not often agree with Matt's politics, but going forward I'll read whatever is published here, and cherish the opportunity. Subscribed!

Malphius Jun 14

Just subbed for this piece. I agree that Lee Fang at least seems like a good dude and the press and media to need to stand up for themselves. This has been happening to ordinary people for the past 8 years though. Really things noticeably started going off the rails in progressive circles around 2012 and the doxing and cancel culture started shortly after. This has been organized.

Moviedad Jun 14

Another great article. Thank you for your continued authenticity in writing about our, "Interesting Times."

Have none of Mr. Fang's colleagues heard of Voltaire?

Scott Jun 15

They are Voltaire's BASTARDS... Why would they care?

J JVS Jun 13

Pol Pot has been hired as news analyst on CNN

Mascot Jun 13

If anyone wants to understand why so many Americans are inclined to reject American-style Left politics, a lot of it has to do with the fact that the Left has seldom held any actual power- so thoughtful Americans who might be open to other paradigms have to make inferences about whether the Left can be trusted with power on the basis of the behavior of the American Left. Loudmouth "Woke Left" Twitter lynch mobs don't provide for a lot of reassurance in that regard.

The prevailing attitude toward the principle of Due Process combines the worst aspects of blithe ignorance and mocking disdain for the very idea. The Inquisition deals with dissent by viewing anyone voicing disagreement on a single point as an Enemy Combatant, often with explicit attributions of evil intention and motive. Accusations are hurled on the basis of the most threadbare and contestable traces of evidence, which frequently proves sufficient to convict the accused. The policy is "one strike and you're out." No warning, no probation. Often, no "statute of limitations." Trail in the press, often with no defense permitted, or regard for the context provided by the factual record of their other writings or statements. There's an insistence on racializing every issue, at every turn, as a zero-sum game- especially if it can be used as a tactic to hoard power, to ,silence, to shut down discussion of dissenting views, and to dehumanize people into easily pigeonholed roles on the basis of one or two characteristics.

Cue the 'Redpilled' Trump-Wing Right', applauding what I just said- and the Woke Vanguardist Left, insisting that I must be talking about the way the Neo-Confederate Right handled their business in the Jim Crow era.

No, this is both of you. Both extremes have that double-mindedness in common. You're both really that bad.

Scott Frasier Jun 13

In a vague sense, I agree with you, but what you are saying is pretty detached from actual examples. I'm leery of labels such as "woke" or "snowflake" or "racist". It is just too easy to hurl stuff around.

My days as an ideologue were pretty short and ended decades ago. My own experience with ideologues I knew in college is that they had sexual inadequacy fears and the attendant problems getting a genuine date.

I have my moral compass, but facts can't be ignored. I don't typically rely on opinion or journalists to provide me with facts because it's just too easy to be sloppy or to lie. I gather data from many sources and try to form a consensus on what is "probably" true. It's my profession.

I also can't ignore the history of the political actors on the scene, so I'm justifiably skeptical of people like Sen. Cotton. He could prove me wrong, but so far he's fit the mold of a white Southerner resentful of civil rights.

Trump, by most accounts, appears to lie with utter abandon. Most of those statements I can't actually assert are lies. However, there are subjects about which I know a lot and on many of those he's a total liar or is seriously in error, to put it mildly. I just have to use that information to form my best assessment of him or anyone else.

How do you go about sifting out fact from comfortable ideology? In politics, it is cost free to ignore facts. In serious matters of health, finance or other real life concerns, the consequences of self-delusion are usually not good.

Mascot Jun 14

"I'm leery of labels such as "woke" or "snowflake" or "racist"."

I'm wary of labels like those, too. But I don't hesitate to use them for group identification when they're embraced by the people I'm criticizing. Or if the labels were originally embraced by many of the people indulging in the slipshod ethics that I'm criticizing, anyway. Political labels nearly always carry a high quotient of semantic unclarity, but they're sometimes necessary as an alternative to lengthy digressions.

The usual climb-down in response to my criticisms of cancel culture and related intolerance for dissenting views or discomforting factual observations is that what I'm referring to isn't really happening, or that the excesses are few and far between, or of little consequence. If only that were the case. Then Matt wouldn't have had to write a column like this one.

That said, I've also recent detected some signs of honest examination and reflection within the "Woke Left" community, where formerly the criticisms were simply hand-waved, or met with reflexive hostility.

It's easy to sift out fact from ideology, once one dispenses with the embrace of a single ideology to the exclusion of all others. That embrace is practically always a matter of personal egotism. The key to being an impeccably clear thinker is to recognize the folly of investing ones personal ego in being right on a question. When logical errors are pointed out or facts hitherto unknown emerge to provide a more complete picture showing that a given position is mistaken, it is not a sign of weakness to change ones mind. It's a sign of mental strength.

" In politics, it is cost free to ignore facts."

That's just plain wrong. I'd argue that one of the most effective tactics in a political struggle is to expose the opposition whenever they attempt that sort of indulgence. But that tactic only has sustaining worth for political movements- and politically minded individuals- who aren't indulging in their own wholesale denials of factual reality. That happens to be a critical problem that isn't just afflicting the two major political parties in this country, but the Socialists, the Greens, and the Libertarians, as well. In different ways, but with consequences that are terribly severe in each case.

Ideological rigidity is a syndrome that leads to Cognitive Dissonance, a degenerative disease. There are no exceptions. Ideological allegiance not to be confused with a quest to adhere to a single standard of moral and ethical principles. In practice, rigid ideological loyalty inevitably tramples those principles. And partisan political loyalty is even worse in that regard. The double-mindedness is frequently astounding.

Those problems should be easy for anyone to recognize and identify- if it weren't for the Cognitive Dissonance thing. One of the hallmarks of the affliction is that lack of even-handed reality testing and assessment- a lack of reflective processing which can reach levels so blatant that it practically qualifies as a type of somnambulism. Late-stage consequences of such chronic self-deception include delusions, paranoia, solipsism, impulsive violence, depression, anxiety, despair...

The cure is simple. Just uncouple the personal ego from allegiance to any one ideological template. They're designing tools, not gateways to ultimate truth. Different ones work better to solve different problems. Practically all of their uses benefit from being buffered or modified to some extent, sometimes by the valid points found in other ideologies that are (ostensibly) antithetical.

As for partisan political loyalty- what's the payoff, over maintaining independence? We need ranked-choice voting, which undercuts the entire con game of partisanship. I want political candidates and parties to work for my vote, instead of devoting their efforts to cornering me into voting for the least worst of the two choices that show up over and over as the default, for no reason other than inertia.

Scott Frasier Jun 14

When I said that in politics, ignoring facts is cost free, you disagreed but then confirmed what I said for a large portion of the political actors, including elected representatives and the party apparatuses that surround them and sustain them.

Sure, it would be nice if pointing out the facts would chip away the ice, but they just deny that the facts are true and cite "alternative facts" which are provably bogus but which support their viewpoint or self-interest.

In a vague rhetorical way, we have the same gripe. But what if we test that with an example. I don't know your views on any issues because you have only discussed process.

So, take climate change for example. Are you willing to go with scientific fact or does it conflict with your self-interest and cause you to deny it?

Do you think the military should invade cities against their state government wishes? It happens to be unconstitutional and illegal in all but the most dire circumstances.

My point is that on the ground, it isn't just the "woke left" or "right wingers" who get off for ignoring facts. The whole political discourse that matters surrounds politicians promising that reality doesn't matter because it gets votes. I think it comes from too much exposure to commercial-speak. "Get a $50 value for only $9.95 + shipping". Don't ask how that's possible because you really want it to be true.

Mascot Jun 14

Thanks for your clarifying remarks. There's a lot of insight there.

I do get that "political reality" is a dimension of human existence that can't be ignored, even though it shares few characteristics with "physical reality", which is more foundational and governed by natural laws rather than human design. You can't fool Mother Nature; physical/material reality has to be considered on its own terms. Political reality is much more mutable, and contains a lot more latitude for modifications. The corollary to that is that it's possible to cheat in order to gain advantage, which is something that can't be done with physical reality.

There's a lot of play in the realm of political reality. This is a good thing, because it allows ideological flexibility; it's possible to draw on the insights of more than one paradigm in order to construct a workable system of governance. But it's also a bad thing, because there it's possible to cheat. There isn't any God-given enforcement mechanism, so to speak. Political reality is a function of human Power. Including in constitutional democratic republics whose precepts and ideals seek to distribute a large share of that power to the people in common, and the public commons. That system is intended to foreclose autocratic rule- unless the people can be tricked into assenting to it, of course. It's also intended to provide accountable, transparent government responsive to the prevailing will of the common people, the electorate- unless the voting population can be tricked by demagoguery, temporizing, kicking the can down the road, etc. Because political reality is so mutable, it's possible to undermine the spirit of the law and its intentions- sometimes to such an extent that bugs are viewed as features. A situation that indicates real trouble. But the saving grace of political reality is that no situation is inherently intractable. Viewing a pervasively corrupt or unjust system as if it were as impossible to change as the law of gravity is simply a lazy, cowardly cop-out.

Notwithstanding the fact that political reality (which includes conventions like monetary systems) is malleable, when it tries to cheat the constraints of physical reality, it always loses. As with this question:

"take climate change for example. Are you willing to go with scientific fact or does it conflict with your self-interest and cause you to deny it?"

Of course the physical reality of climate change conflicts with my "self-interest." Imagine (the realm of political reality!) how much easier and less worrisome our existence would be if there was no such thing as anthropogenic climate change impacts from fossil fuels use to contend with. But you can't bullshit the ocean. It isn't listening. All the denial in the world doesn't shift the carbonic acid content of the oceans one iota. So all that attempts to cheat physical reality with political reality do in the long run is to escalate the consequences of inaction, due to prioritizing political reality over physical reality.

That's an example of the Cognitive Dissonance I spoke of, at its worst. You know, it may underpin a carefree consumer attitude that works to rationalize heedlessness- for a while. It may help shore up a stock portfolio- for a while. It may ensure a re-election or three, to aid in the process of accumulating more Power to manipulate political reality. But meanwhile, physical reality is on its own clock. Imagining (that word again!) that it's possible to view physical reality as dispensable, expendable, or otherwise subordinate to political reality is inevitably a fatal mistake. The people in charge of Sumerian civilization made the choice to keep irrigating crops on the same ground, even as the salinity built up in the soil. The passenger pigeon was once the most common bird on the planet. According to Marc Reisner, it was something like the canned tuna of the 19th century. And the harvests from market hunters grew ever larger. Until, over the course of a single century the bid went extinct- first commercially, then entirely.

Political reality could have changed that physical reality. But that would have entailed a regulatory regime to constrain the marketplace, which is otherwise governed only by the law of inertia. So-called "free marketers" speak of "laws of the marketplace"- with no regulation, that's what you're left with. The law of inertia. Every resource, talent, mental and physical human endeavor in the world fed into the same machine, that makes an inedible sausage called "money." To accumulate and spend on the planet ever more impoverished and desertified by that inertia.

Scott Jun 15

Jesus Fraiser... Give it a fucking rest

M of the L Jun 14

Thanks for writing this piece, as it is well thought-out, time was spent gathering the examples and research, and most importantly it's brave. And kudos for "Twitter Robespierres"; I have a suspicion that unfortunately, many of the agitators have no idea who that was, yet it's a superb phrase I plan to steal.

While this piece resonated with me, this morning I canceled my NYT subscription for other reasons. Namely, its burying of the negative nature of some of the recent strife. When Manhattan was sacked one Sunday and one Monday of a couple of weeks ago, hundreds of stores were smashed and looted in Soho. The next day in midtown Manhattan, the NYT ran cover stories on Trump. The top headline on the front page was Trump's clearing of the protestors for his photo op - a reprehensible action that he committed worthy of critique, no doubt - and the sides of the page were all links to commentaries about those acts, and a few of the usual social justice headlines on miscellaneous topics focused on gender and race issues.

Somehow, opinion pieces took higher precedence over reporting facts that could potentially dangerously sway debate. It's not every day that midtown Manhattan and luxury stores in Soho are looted. But don't mention it, please. Don't you support #BLM?

This morning I saw the front page. "Protests about police killing in Atlanta." No mention of the torching of the Wendy's. Bloomberg, Reuters, and the mainstream press all showed pictures of a torched Wendy's next to mentions of the killing and response. Not the NYT. Also available that day, a headline opinion piece from Kristof that asks (or perhaps states), "What the Pandemic Reveals About the Male Ego: Why are the rates of coronavirus deaths far lower in many female-led countries?"

Suddenly, I felt dirty paying the NYT $5 a month for a subscription. It felt wrong, even though the money amount is so small. It didn't feel morally correct to pay for a left-wing version of Fox News. And it's not even very left-wing, it simply is obsessed with a Postmodernist manichean view of gender and racial minorities v. the dominant oppressive hierarchy.

I patiently waited the 30 minutes to get in touch with representative so I cease supporting this new left-wing Fox News competitor. A small symbolic gesture.

mrm Jun 14

Привет Матт,

Неплохая статья. Меня здорово удивляет, что такой левак как ты действительно понимает, что происходит с прессой. Таких как ты немного.

В реальности это не новый процесс. Мы наблюдаем как SJWs превращаются в большевиков. Россия прошла этот этап ~120 лет назад. Судя по твоей биографии, ты должен был узнать об этом когда жил в колыбели революции.

Я небольшой фанат Трампа (его яйца больше, чем его мозги). Однако, только такой человек способен противостоять этому процессу, все остальные просто ссут от страха. Я боюсь, он долго не продержится.

William R Jun 13

How's this for an Onion-style headline: Prominent gonzo journalist writes polemic in favor of journalists reporting "what we see, not what we think"

But really, I love your writing, Matt. I'm going to stop swimming around in this comment-swamp for now.

Jack C Jun 13

We should also remember that journalism has been in a one-industry depression for 15 years. Newspapers employ half of the people they did in 2006 at their peak. Newspaper journalists do the yeoman's work of journalism.

Since employment as a journalist is so dear, the median journalist is very sensitive to career threats. It is a shame that journalists have used that power against their colleagues, rather than show solidarity.

I have no idea how journalism recovers; the public has grown accustomed to free information of whatever quality. I subscribed today to try to be part of the solution.

Mike Jun 13

Sounds like you need to shave out the back of your neck and put on a nice loose-collared shirt today, Matt.

A Glasser Jun 13

Thank you for this and other realistic reporting you have done. It feels like reading Zamizdat! The real deplorables are the PC loyalists on the right and left who can't deal with any reality that questions the orthodoxy. Like another reader said, we don't need to pay the WP, NYT, or watch CNN or FOX. If we want BS there's plenty of "Free Press."

xRayd Jun 13

Have been a fan of your columns since ~2007ish in RS describing what makes Putin tick. Have definitely been hit or miss since then, but as an independent Iowan, seeing more hit than miss. In this current story I'm trying to decide if you are hoping to win back liberals, or truly trying to be a free-thinking journalist. You've got me for now. Convince me that you can think for your self, and are not just trying to remake what you remember of the party you grew up with.

J N Jun 12

Too much about Fang. Article too long. Sorry, I enjoy just about all of Matt's work. So much to read these days.....

Bill*B Jun 12

Matt, you are a good man. I wish I could ease your angst. The simple fact is, the U.S. left betrayed you, sold out to big $$ donors, and now gives a happy damn about the causes you espoused and thought that mattered to them. They care only about their own power.

Antipodean Jun 16

Even Peter Hitchens (brother of the late "Hitch") over in the UK must have read Matt's article ;-) Here he is just yesterday discussing the Tom Cotton events and self-censorship.

I've transcribed from about 11 minutes in:

"...I do think ultimately there is a benevolent impulse in all of this. A lot of people who take up these positions do so because they think they are doing good, they think that they can actually make society kinder, nicer and gentler. That's the problem, that's why it's so hard to fight.

And in some cases, of course, it's true, a lot of the precepts of political correctness are basically just good manners. The problem is, the extra 15%, which is not good manners but actually self-censorship and indeed the creation of a "new-speak" in which thoughts aren't allowed to be done.

Any cult in which the cultists believe they are benevolent is extraordinarily hard to fight. They think they are good and they don't think you are wrong, they think you are bad..."

Source: https://youtu.be/rPLR9JNktXU?t=469 (where the NY times Tom Cotton debacle is discussed)

Big Wally Jun 15

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yes, dope has always been around and will always be around to some degree. So no one should bother to limit the flow and availability? Let's use the Covid-19 mentality- everyone lock down because every life matters. The number of people dying from drug overdoses is almost on that scale but we just throw up our hands and say fuck it?

I grew up in the '60's that saw the rise of the drug culture. That was bad enough but all you need to do is go to any major city like San Francisco or Los Angeles and see the massive amount of human wreckage piling up from hard drug addiction-and those are the ones still alive! It is much worse than ever.

There are countries that are effective in limiting drug availability and yes, that would be more difficult here in the US, but we should not be literally aiding and abetting it by allowing millions of undocumented immigrants into the country, many whose sole purpose is to sell dope.

Mascot Jun 15

Typical reactionary thinking, reacting only to the last thing that happened. Taken by surprise. Annoyed at being roused out of slumber by an alarming situation that anyone already awake could see coming years in advance. Decades in advance, in my case. Since I've made it a particular focus of my attention.

Who made the rules? Right-wing authoritarians, and their ninny-state limousine liberal enablers.

Big Wally Jun 15

And the other, possibly more important question is why? Why are people more susceptible to dope now than ever before if it's always been available? Why, on a massive scale is the populous so willing to ingest these powerful substances knowing full well they will become addicted. It's like pregnancy- everyone knows how you get pregnant and everyone knows how you get addicted.

What in the collective mind of the citizenry causes this self destructive behavior?

Mascot Jun 15

You're giving our forebears too much credit. They simply drank more booze. And opioids were consumed in the form of patent medicines. They were part of every pharmacy inventory, on land or sea. Read accounts of the Lewis and Clark expedition to learn how important it was.

Anybody, this history book will blow your mind: https://www.amazon.com/Opium-Realitys-Dream-Thomas-Dormandy/dp/0300175329 Just- don't let it give you any reckless ideas, okay? Just because ____ jumped off a cliff, that doesn't mean that you should do it, too.

There's also the fact that the more powerful purified drugs weren't invented until the mid-19th century, and the most popular mind and mood altering pharmaceutical pills weren't invented until the mid-20th century. Don't kid yourself, as soon as they were invented, they became popular. The first wave of morphine addiction in the US happened after the Civil War, when it was called "the soldier's disease." And over in Europe, the Crimean War. Florence Nightengale.

I'm old enough (uh, 64) to remember when alcohol and tobacco weren't even thought of as "drugs." Very few people referred to alcohol or tobacco as addictive substances. No one in my parents generation thought of any prescription pill as "dope" when it was prescribed to them, either. There was a massive drug culture among the over-30s in the 1960s. But they were so unreflective about their own drug use that they didn't even realize it. I'm not making this up, the annual prescription and manufacturing statistics are all on the books. And in the books.

The real story is what happened when the illicit drug markets began showing up in the high schools on the coasts in the late 1960s, making their way inland by the 1970s. The "teenybopper" market. There's no way to blame legalization for that, either. Exactly the opposite. Teenagers weren't only taking the drugs, there were making good money as retailers, selling to their peers. For part-time work in a party environment. Money for nothing... How is that not going to catch on, in the land of opportunity?

In a more rational world, I wouldn't have to underscore the point that the juvenile criminal retail dope dealers in the schools at that point were overwhelmingly whiteys. As were most of the users...when I was in high school, most of the black kids were abstainers or late adopters. Drug dealers were widely considered the dregs of the black community. And then the white kids started going in for it...and illegal drugs started turning into big business...the next thing you know, Superfly is a folk hero. As is Zachary Swan, in the novel Snowblind...now there's a film adaptation that has yet to be made. Although George Jung in the memoir/movie "Blow" was pretty much the real-life version of Swan, except that Jung did time for pot dealing early on, which is how he got his connections to go way beyond Zachary Swan's level. (Nothing beats illegal dope as a multilevel marketing opportunity.)

The teen years are the wrong time to begin experimenting with drugs. And the riskier the drugs being used by a teenager, the more problems later on. But they've served as an informal, unsupervised rite of passage for a large percentage of American youth for the past 50 years or so. And a multibillion dollar youth market.

(Readers, please excuse my digression, in to a digression.)

Scott Jun 15

It's got to be programmed in at a genetic level.

Some Bro Jun 14

Madness. Reading that physically hurt.

Seemingly we're not able to have discussions with anyone who doesn't have a completely identical point of view with our own. This seems to be a wonderful display of a divide and conquer strategy. The manufacture of consent alongside the manufacturer and complete disarray of decent. All against all.

If this is some sort of psy ops, fair play good sirs, fair play. Until it turns into an orgy of violence, but that's probably a win too as the segments of society deemed as superfluous can kill each other off, simultaneously allowing for more draconian laws and erosion of freedoms as justification for 'keeping the peace' or 'protecting freedom' etc GG

Scott Jun 15

You can take comfort in knowing that IF it's a giant psy-op... the ruling class will only let it go on long enough before it shuts this shit down entirely and rebuilds -in its own image.

Jacob Glazebnik Jun 14

Thank you, Matt.

Chris McCaffrey Jun 14

That was great! Best analysis of the current situation.....

Larry Jun 14

A passionate cri de coeur that really resonated with me, Matt. Thanks. And thank you for your defense of the great Lee Fang. Sadly, I also detect a clear, horrified anticipation that a corporate media which previously, not unproblematically, of course, was once capable of providing worthwhile products, is now, like so much else in our society, simply hell-bent on consigning itself to an absurd impotence, even as events acquire a obvious grotesqueness that one would desperately hope would consign all the virtue signaling to its often childishly self-indulgent preposterousness. I am sorry for this wordiness, but I am having trouble expressing the extent of my own befuddlement and anguish at this terrible situation. One thing I would put forward for consideration: to adopt the posture of an armchair sociologist, some fifteen years ago, I privately put forward the notion, to borrow Benedict Anderson's excellent phrase "long-distance nationalism, of "long-distance morality"; in doing so I wanted to express the notion that people, particularly in the US, were aligning their moral compass not so much within a shrinking sphere of direct, personal relations, but evaluating their own moral integrity more and more in terms of positions they held concerning people they almost never came in contact with, and that political and religiously defined groups tended to up a huge share of this. When you speak of "moral manias", this is precisely the sort of thing I see increasingly occupying consciousness, even at the expense of parts of life that heretofore were considered the proper moral realm, but have become less relevant sites of interaction in our society as we b come more atomized in our action and segregated in our public spheres. And here I think of your interesting ideas in Hate, Inc., especially about how social media are provided with otherworldly incentives to become addicted to hating each other with a decidedly moral vengeance. Such things also suggest to me a kind of specifically moral manifestation of the morbid symptoms Gramsci referred to. Are we passing an important milestone on our ideological journey that will turn a traditional, if corruptible and problematic source that at least tended to turn attention to the situation of others, back in on itself, in ways that can only become manifest in automatically ratified absurdities? Again, sorry for the wordiness folks, but I remain at a loss.

Scott Jun 15

lol: "childishly self-indulgent preposterousness."

Look no further than the bourgeois douchebags pushing this hard line everywhere.

When an advanced degree in underwater basketweaving doesn't provide you with a solid career you can feel "fulfilled" in, there is no choice but to throw a giant fucking tantrum. Hey, it worked against their worthless parents... why shouldn't it work against the nanny state?

Big Wally Jun 14

Gee, with stories about censorship on this blog, my comment got censored. Hmmmmm

Boatguy Jun 17

People depend on us to tell them what we see, not what we think. What good are we if we're afraid to do it?

Johnny Maudlin Jun 14

Matt! Thanks. I think you should triple your subscription price. I'm happy to pay for this work. I sense you are genuinely distressed and wonder how it might feel to be working in a field where one's best efforts to improve the field itself (journalism) are met with mistrust and outright hostility. It must feel shitty. Write books. Or maybe spend less money ;-)

Eat less. Lower your overhead.

Whatever allows you to keep standing and keep fighting an important fight. History will show that even the most basic tenets and principles and values are subject to change. We are living through a real spasm. Best of luck.

Alden Jun 14

"Matt! Thanks. I think you should triple your subscription price."

Let's keep it at $5. He's no Josephus, but close

J JVS Jun 13

Walter Cronkite, James Reston and Ben Bradlee would be proud of you.

Substack Commenter 34 Jun 13

For your consideration as to contributing causes to changes in attitudes about policing: a large swath of people born after 1990 may have less of a sense of what it means to be worried about being mugged. I don't have a strong position here, but rather am seeking answers, and I realized that the 5x increase in incarceration rate from 1975 to 2000 was essentially in full effect for their entire adult lives, so they don't have the same sense of the pros, and they see the cons (which are ample). Again, I'm not taking a position here on which perspective is "better", just pointing out the differences in perspective.

Tony Papert Jun 13

I'm so happy you came out with this. You will be attacked, but you're rightly a moral authority in this country, and youre voice is so much needed just now.

--Tony Papert

Karen Jun 13

Matt, This article was illuminating. I don't think opinion "polls" should have ANY bearing on reporting, however as you seem to suggest. It seems that would be flagrant reporting bias. Maybe I missed something. Would appreciate clarification on your thoughts. Thank you.

Paul Rubin Jun 16

As usual, well and deeply thought out and well written. The wave polarization that has been swelling for decades may be cresting sweeping away no only the press but changing simple actions in public life, too. Who feels safe wearing a MAGA hat in San Francisco or a Bernie 2020 hat in any number of other places? Who dares now to point out the egregious bullying, fear mongering, pro-fossil fuel attitudes and actions in Joe Biden's record in the company of upper-middle class liberals who are doing just fine thank you? Who dare question the wisdom of inflammatory and self-defeating sloganeering in favor of going deeper into a social ill?

And, yes, without a press free to question and one too afraid of the power of the truth to print an unpopular point of view we are in peril.

How to get through this in a system in decline?

Eric Jun 16

Amen, Mr. Taibbi. Amen. You are one of the very, very few voices of reason still on the scene. I think you should start your own media channel/business/publication/site. It could well be the only source of actual reporting out there if you did.

Simon Jun 16

This is hack level left bashing (or is it liberals?) msnbc, ny times, colleges campus's etc. etc. basically maoist comrades now. I fucking wish.

Big Wally Jun 15

No doubt the medical profession is addicted to giving out prescriptions of all kinds although there has been a major clamp down on narcotics.

Big Wally Jun 15

Read carefully- I said if there was no dope to buy then no one would buy dope. How is that not true? Why must I be in a "fantasyland?" It is just a simple statement that is an absolute. I never said it was anything else.

Tony Jun 15

Thanks Matt. Keep up the good work.

AllObamasfault Jun 15

Pelosi/Schumer are clearly worthless fraudulent whichever way the wind blows self-absorbed hacks but are they too old to be snowflakes?

Tom Sullivan Jun 13

And I thought the 60'S were wild and crazy times. Chicago my home town, step back in time-1968 Michigan Ave. Dem. national convention, cops ver. everyone else, A giant street brawl.

Scott Jun 15

The bourgeois shits are at it again.

Rich McConville Jun 15

Leaving military equipment behind never works well. Even if it doesn't get used against us later. The Great Barrier Reef was made larger by the dumping of military equipment into the ocean at the end of WWII. Fine don't give the leftover ordinance to the local police, but don't pretend that it represents value that could be converted to other uses either. This is beyond naive.

Scott Jun 15

Give it to ME!!!

I want a SWAT personnel carrier to play around with!

LorriAnn Jun 14

Hey Matt, Completely off topic - i just spent 20min crafting an exquisite (if excruciatingly long) salient and life altering comment. After sending was re-directed to login again and it was gone. Im over 40 and too tired to re-write so you'll have to wait for my next flash of brilliance. Prob next year.

In the meantime...Would you mind giving your take on the current social climate in comparison/contrast to the "warnings" given in the mid 1980s by Russian defector Yuri Besmenov? What do you know about him? Do you consider him and his explanations/methods for de-stabilizing A society to be credible? Thanks!

Skeptic Jun 14

Matt, back in your Moscow days, as Russia came close to disintegration in the 90s, you favored mildly nationalist, populist, dissenting politicians like Aleksandr Lebed and Yevgeny Primakov (and provided a platform for the decidedly un-mild but entertaining Limonov). As I recall, your reasoning was that these guys may be a little crude and unpleasant, but at least they might not steal the Russian people blind and sell out the country, as the prevailing powers were doing. Do you think a similar logic might apply in the US? I think you know what I mean. Thanks for all your great writing and courage. --a longtime reader but brand new subscriber

Kyle Thiermann Jun 14

Thank you Matt.

Pangolin69 Jun 13

Collective historical guilt meets identity politics. Hilarity ensues.

Alden Jun 13

"If there's an edge to Fang at all, it seems geared toward people in our business who grew up in affluent circumstances and might intellectualize topics that have personal meaning for him."

--Matt, please stand up for Andy Ngo. You just described Andy dear Sir!!!!!!

© 2020 Matt Taibbi. See privacy and terms Publish on Substack

[Jun 20, 2020] The symphony orchestra of Austin, Texas has fired their lead trombonist for politically incorrect Twit

People who post of Twitter are stupid by definition, but people who fire employees for posting on Twitter are trying to replicate excesses of Stalinism (and, in way, McCarthysm) on a farce level. As in Marx "history repeats: first as tragedy, the second as farce"
By classifying the (somewhat incorrect; Obama was elected not only because he was half black, but also because he was half--CIA ;-) Twit below as the cry "fire" in crowded theater, we really try to replay the atmosphere of Stalinist Russia on a new level.
Notable quotes:
"... Austin Symphony Trombonist Fired Over Racist Comments , The Violin Channel, June 1, 2020 ..."
Jun 20, 2020 | www.unz.com

Here's some darkness: the symphony orchestra of Austin, Texas has fired their lead trombonist. This is a white lady named Brenda Sansig Salas, 51 years old and a U.S. Army veteran. Austin Symphony Trombonist Fired Over Racist Comments , The Violin Channel, June 1, 2020 She'd been posting comments on social media. The comment that precipitated her firing was apparently this one:

The BLACKS are looting and destroying their environment. They deserve what they get.

Brenda Sansig Salas

Have you checked out the 1/2 black president swine flu H1N1, and EBOLA?

What has your 1/2 black president done for you??

The ONLY REASON he was elected was because he is 1/2 black.

People voted on racist principles, not on the real issues . The BLACKS are looting and destroying their environment. They deserve what
they get. Playing the RACE CARD IS RACIST.

Symphony orchestra spokes-critter Anthony Corroa [ Email him ]announced the firing of Ms. Salas in the dreary schoolmarmish jargon of corporate wokeness: This language is not reflective of who we are as an organization." And "there is no place for hate within our organization."

[Jun 16, 2020] Saagar Enjeti- Obamagate is real and the media can't just ignore it

They gaslighted the whole nation. Amazing achievement. In other words, they are a real criminal gang, a mafia. No questions about it. This is Nixon impeachment level staff. This are people that brought us Lybia, Syria: this senile Creepy Joe.
Jun 16, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Saagar Enjeti blasts former President Obama after it was revealed in transcripts he was the person who told then-deputy attorney general Sally Yates about Mike Flynn's intercepted phone call with the Russian ambassador, Joe Biden responds to Flynn claims on Good Morning America.

Maniachael Productions , 1 month ago

Lmao a war criminal complaining about the rule of law not being upheld

C.I.A. , 3 weeks ago

It's disgusting to me how news sources say that Obama gate isn't real.

[Jun 16, 2020] Saagar Enjeti- BOMBSHELL reveals Biden at center of Obamagate, media ignores

They gaslighted the whole nation. Amazing achievement. In other words, they are a real criminal gang, a mafia. No questions about it.
Jun 16, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Columbus1152 , 1 month ago

Dementia comes in handy at a time like this.

RayC1 , 1 month ago

Biden just described his entire political career, "I was there, but i had nothing to do with it"

Arthur Sprong , 1 month ago

He's not senile, he's getting ready to be "unfit for trial".

Charles Jannuzi , 1 month ago

Bad Brain Joe was Obomber's point man in the Ukraine coup and all the grifting and grafting that followed.

john smith , 1 month ago

"I know nothing about those moves to investigate Flynn." "These documents clearly outline that you were in a meeting at a specific time specifically about that." "OH! I'm sorry! I thought you asked if I was INVOLVED IN IT!"

Jeff Zekas , 1 month ago (edited)

The word is "entrapment" - Years ago, one of the officers in the investigations squad said to me, "How can you claim to be better than them, if you break the law to catch 'em?" - Now I understand what he was saying.

[Jun 15, 2020] In the 20th Century approximately 30 world leaders were assassinated. I bet in most cases those prosecuted for the crime were little more than Oswald-like patsies. And this list doesn't even include government leaders killed in mysterious plane crashes.

Jun 15, 2020 | off-guardian.org

Charlotte Russe Jun 13, 2020 1:21 PM CONTROLLED OPPOSITION

In the 20th Century approximately 30 world leaders were assassinated. I bet in most cases those prosecuted for the crime were little more than Oswald-like patsies. And this list doesn't even include government leaders killed in mysterious plane crashes.

One such political figure was Senator Paul Wellstone who died in a highly suspicious 2002 plane crash. "Wellstone's death comes almost two years to the day after a similar plane crash killed another Democratic Senator locked in a tight election contest, and that was Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan, on October 16, 2000.

Wellstone was in a hotly contested reelection campaign, but polls showed he was beginning to pull ahead of Republican nominee Norm Coleman, the former mayor of St. Paul, in the wake of the vote in the Senate to authorize President Bush to wage war against Iraq.

The liberal Democrat was a well-publicized opponent of the war resolution, the only Senator in a tight race to vote against it. there are enormous financial stakes involved in control of the Senate. Republican control of the Senate would make it possible to push through new tax cuts for the wealthy and other perks for corporate America worth billions of dollars -- more than enough of an incentive to commit murder." The death of US Senator Paul Wellstone: accident or murder?

It would appear, politicians risk being murdered if they "genuinely" go against the grain remaining true to their beliefs and principles by deliberately using their power to jeopardize insidious ruling class lucrative schemes and scams. By the way, this is how you know ALL the nonstop "resistance" against the orange buffoon is just utter bullshit. If Trump was a actually a threat to the military/security/surveillance/corporate state he would have already been JFK'd or Olof Palme'd.

The worldwide gangster ruling class is just like any other criminal organization which regularly eliminates anyone who has the power to alter the status quo. The security state like common mobsters use extortion or murder to get their way. We all know about J Edgar Hooverr and his extortion files. Hoover maintained a special official and confidential file in his office. The "secret files," as they became widely known, guaranteed Hoover's longevity as Director of the FBI. In fact, today those intelligence agency "dirty files" are even more extensive given the sophisticated and heightened nature of surveillance. Funny, that gives the term "controlled opposition" a whole new meaning. Gezzah Potts Jun 13, 2020 1:57 PM Reply to Charlotte Russe You hit the nail on the head Charlotte. If Trump really was a genuine threat, they would've already got rid of him. It's all one giant charade.
A Punch and Judy Show for the masses.
Find it quite startling the divisiveness in the United States, and those that I often come across who fervently believe that Trump or Qanon will save the United States and also lock up Obama, the Clinton's, Soros, etc, etc. What can you say?
While reading your comment, four names popped into my head: Thomas Sankara, Patrice Lumumba, Maurice Bishop and Salvador Allende.
And we know what happened in Chile after Allende's death. It became the test tube guinea pig for Neoliberalism. 6 0 Reply Charlotte Ruse Jun 13, 2020 3:47 PM Reply to Gezzah Potts Yes it's all showbiz ..

[Jun 12, 2020] Russia, Russia, Russia - Obama Apparatchiks Blame Moscow For America's Riots

Jun 12, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Russia, Russia, Russia - Obama Apparatchiks Blame Moscow For America's Riots by Tyler Durden Thu, 06/11/2020 - 22:45 Authored by Phillip Giraldi via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

If one ventures into the vast wasteland of American television it is possible to miss the truly ridiculous content that is promoted as news by the major networks. One particular feature of media-speak in the United States is the tendency of the professional reporting punditry to go seeking for someone to blame every time some development rattles the National Security plus Wall Street bubble that we all unfortunately live in. The talking heads have to such an extent sold the conclusion that China deliberately released a lethal virus to destroy western democracies that no one objects when Beijing is elevated from being a commercial competitor and political adversary to an enemy of the United States. One sometimes even sees that it is all a communist plot. Likewise, the riots taking place all across the U.S. are being milked for what it's worth by the predominantly liberal media, both to influence this year's election and to demonstrate how much the news oligarchs really love black people.

As is often the case, there are a number of inconsistencies in the narrative. If one looks at the numerous photos of the protests in many parts of the country, it is clear that most of the demonstrators are white, not black, which might suggest that even if there are significant pockets of racism in the United States there is also a strong condemnation of that fact by many white people. And this in a country that elected a black man president not once, but twice, and that black president had a cabinet that included a large number of African-Americans.

Also, to further obfuscate any understanding of what might be taking place, the media and chattering class is obsessed with finding white supremacists as instigators of at least some of the actual violence. It would be a convenient explanation for the Social Justice Warriors that proliferate in the media, though it is supported currently by little actual evidence that anyone is exploiting right-wing groups.

Simultaneously, some on the right, to include the president, are blaming legitimately dubbed domestic terrorist group Antifa , which is perhaps more plausible, though again evidence of organized instigation appears to be on the thin side. Still another source of the mayhem apparently consists of some folks getting all excited by the turmoil and breaking windows and tossing Molotov cocktails, as did two upper middle class attorneys in Brooklyn last week.

Nevertheless, the search goes on for a guilty party. Explaining the demonstrations and riots as the result of the horrible killing of a black man by police which has revulsed both black and white Americans would be too simple to satisfy the convoluted yearnings of the likes of Wolf Blitzer and Rachel Maddow.

Which brings us to Russia. How convenient is it to fall back on Russia which, together with the Chinese, is reputedly already reported to be working hard to subvert the November U.S. election. And what better way to do just that than to call on one of the empty-heads of the Barack Obama administration, whose foreign policy achievements included the destruction of a prosperous Libya and the killing of four American diplomats in Benghazi, the initiation of kinetic hostilities with Syria, the failure to achieve a reset with Russia and the assassinations of American citizens overseas without any due process. But Obama sure did talk nice and seem pleasant unlike the current occupant of the White House.

The predictable Wolf Blitzer had a recent interview with perhaps the emptiest head of all the empowered women who virtually ran the Obama White House. Susan Rice was U.N. Ambassador and later National Security Advisor under Barack Obama. Before that she was a Clinton appointee who served as Undersecretary of State for African Affairs. She is reportedly currently being considered as a possible running mate for Joe Biden as she has all the necessary qualifications being a woman and black.

While Ambassador and National Security Advisor, Rice had the reputation of being extremely abrasive . She ran into trouble when she failed to be convincing in support of the Obama administration exculpatory narrative regarding what went wrong in Benghazi when the four Americans, to include the U.S. Ambassador, were killed.

In her interview with Blitzer, Rice said:

"We have peaceful protesters focused on the very real pain and disparities that we're all wrestling with that have to be addressed, and then we have extremists who've come to try to hijack those protests and turn them into something very different. And they're probably also, I would bet based on my experience, I'm not reading the intelligence these days, but based on my experience this is right out of the Russian playbook as well. I would not be surprised to learn that they have fomented some of these extremists on both sides using social media. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that they are funding it in some way, shape, or form."

It should be noted that Rice, a devout Democrat apparatchik, produced no evidence whatsoever that the Russians were or have been involved in "fomenting" the reactions to the George Floyd demonstrations and riots beyond the fact that Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden all believe that Moscow is responsible for everything. Clinton in particular hopes that some day someone will actually believe her when she claims that she lost to Trump in 2016 due to Russia. Even Robert Mueller, he of the Russiagate Inquiry, could not come up with any real evidence suggesting that the relatively low intensity meddling in the election by the Kremlin had any real impact. Nor was there any suggestion that Moscow was actually colluding with the Trump campaign, nor with its appointees, to include National Security Advisor designate Michael Flynn.

Fortunately, no one took much notice of Rice based on her "experience," or her judgement insofar as she possesses that quality. Glenn Greenwald responded :

"This is fuxxing lunacy -- conspiratorial madness of the worst kind -- but it's delivered by a Serious Obama Official and a Respected Mainstream Newscaster so it's all fine This is Infowars-level junk. Should Twitter put a 'False' label on this? Or maybe a hammer and sickle emoji?"

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Maria Zakharova accurately described the Rice performance as a "perfect example of barefaced propaganda." She wrote on her Facebook page "Are you trying to play the Russia card again? You've been playing too long – come back to reality" instead of using "dirty methods of information manipulation" despite "having absolutely no facts to prove [the] allegations go out and face your people, look them in the eye and try telling them that they are being controlled by the Russians through YouTube and Facebook. And I will sit back and watch 'American exceptionalism' in action."

It should be assumed that the Republicans will be coming up with their own candidate for "fomenting" the riots and demonstrations. It already includes Antifa, of course, but is likely to somehow also involve the Chinese, who will undoubtedly be seen as destroying American democracy through the double whammy of a plague and race riots. Speaking at the White House, National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien warned about foreign incitement , including not only the Chinese, but also Iran and even Zimbabwe. And, oh yes, Russia.

One thing is for sure, no matter who is ultimately held accountable, no one in the Congress or White House will be taking the blame for anything.

[Jun 10, 2020] They Really Are Lying To You The American Conservative

Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post's ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Wall Street Journal ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
Jun 10, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The media's Russiagate failures were just a trial-run for the last four months.

June 10, 2020

|

12:01 am

Arthur Bloom The most effective kind of propaganda is by omission. Walter Duranty didn't cook up accounts from smiling Ukrainian farmers, he simply said there was no evidence for a famine, much like the media tells us today that there is no evidence antifa has a role in the current protests. It is much harder to do this today than it was back then -- there are photographs and video that show they have been -- which is the proximate cause for greater media concern about conspiracy theories and disinformation.

For all the hyperventilating over the admittedly creepy 2008 article about "cognitive infiltration," by Cass Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule, it was a serious attempt to deal with the problem of an informational center being lost in American public life, at a time when the problem was not nearly as bad as it is today. It proposed a number of strategies to reduce the credibility of conspiracy theorists, including seeding them with false information. Whether such strategies have been employed, perhaps with QAnon, which has a remarkable ability to absorb all other conspiracy theories that came before it, I leave to the reader's speculation.

Books will one day be written about the many failures of the media during the Trump presidency, but much of the Russiagate narrative-shaping was related to the broader problem of decentralization and declining authority of establishment media. One of the more egregious examples is the Washington Post's report that relied upon a blacklist created by an anonymous group, PropOrNot, that found more than 200 sites carried water for the Russians in some way, and not all on the right either. In fact, if the Bush administration had commissioned a list of news sources that were carrying water for Saddam Hussein in 2006, it would have looked almost the same as the PropOrNot list, except here it was, recast as an effort to defend democratic integrity. On the list was Naked Capitalism, Antiwar.com, and Truthdig.

This should have been a bigger scandal, very good evidence that the war on disinformation was not that but a campaign against officially unapproved information. But virtually nobody except Glenn Greenwald objected. There is some evidence that this style of blacklisting went even further, into the architecture of search engines. My reporting on Google search last year found that one of the "fringe domain" blacklists included Robert Parry's Consortium News. In other words, if Google had been around in the 1980s, Parry's exposes on Iran-Contra would have been excluded from Google News results.

The criteria for inclusion on any of these lists are much more amorphous than a more traditional one: taking money from a foreign power. As of this week, we now have a figure for how much the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal have taken from China Daily, a state-run newspaper, since 2016. It's $4.6 million, and $6 million, respectively. This is more than an order of magnitude greater than Russia is thought to have spent on Facebook advertising prior to the 2016 election.

There are other specific Russiagate disgraces one would be remiss to overlook, like star reporter Natasha Bertrand, who was hired at MSNBC after several appearances in which she repeatedly defended the accuracy of the Steele Dossier, which itself was likely tainted by Russian disinformation. The newspaper that published the Pentagon Papers defended the outing of a source to the FBI. How David Ignatius, considered America's top reporter on the intelligence community, can show his face in public after he was allegedly told by James Clapper to "take the kill shot on Flynn," and then two days later doing just that, is disturbing (Clapper's spokesman disputes this account, but Ignatius has not). The scoop, that Flynn, the incoming national security advisor had spoken to the Russian ambassador, is in no way suspicious, but for weeks was treated as if Flynn was making contact with his handler.

What Russiagate amounts to, as Matt Taibbi among others have written, is the use of federal investigative resources to criminalize or persecute dissenters from the foreign policy line of what we here at TAC call the Blob, in the same way that the PropOrNot list amounts to an attempt to suppress unapproved sources of news.

Many of the same figures involved in prolonging the Russiagate hysteria were also big cheerleaders for the Bush and Obama wars. Before Russiagate, there was the Pentagon military analysts scandal, in which it was revealed that dozens of media commentators on military affairs were doing so without disclosing their connections to the Pentagon or defense contractors. It implicated Barry McCaffrey, Bill Clinton's drug war czar, who is now an MSNBC contributor who helped to provide color for the narrative of General Flynn's decline, suggesting he was mentally ill after he had initially been supportive of him getting the job.

In a certain sense, Trump provides journalists who have disturbingly cozy relationships with powerful people a way of looking like they are holding the powerful accountable, without alienating any of their previous friends. Trump is in fact one of the weakest executives in presidential history, partly because of the massive resistance to him in the federal workforce, but also because his White House seems powerless to actually do anything about that. That people actually think the dark cloud of fascism has descended upon the land when Trump can't even figure out how to work those levers of power just shows how obsessed with symbolic matters -- "representation," they call it -- our politics has become.

The subsequent failures of the American information landscape have only served to reinforce this dynamic. Both the self-inflicted economic catastrophe of the coronavirus shutdowns, and the recent civil unrest, will serve to concentrate wealth away from the hated red-state bourgeoise and into the hands of the oligarchs in blue states, including Jeff Bezos, the owner of the Washington Post . This bears repeating: COVID and the protests will lead to a large transfer of wealth from a reliably Republican demographic -- small business owners -- to one that is at best split, which is why you saw Jamie Dimon kneeling in front of a bank vault this week.

Untangling the question of intent is difficult in the best of circumstances, and the same is true here. The contrast between news networks ominously reporting on Florida beachgoers a month ago now cheering on mass gatherings in large cities may not in fact be due to the fact that the large consortiums that own the networks stand to benefit financially from the continued shutdown of the country. They may sincerely believe, along with public health officials , that balancing the risks of institutional racism and getting COVID-19 is worth discussing in relation to protests, but balancing the same risks when it comes to going to church or burying a family member is not. Or it may just be studied naivety, like the kind exhibited a few weeks ago when the whole New York media scene rushed to the defense of the New Yorker 's Jia Tolentino, who played the victim after people on social media revealed that her family was involved in what certainly appears to be an exploitative immigration scam.

The rise of the first-person essay and subjectivity in journalism may turn out to be a perfectly congenial development for the powerful people in America; Tolentino is great at writing about herself. For one thing, this is a lot cheaper than reporting; it probably isn't a coincidence that this development has coincided with a huge decline in newsroom budgets. But at the same time blaming this on economics feels like it misses the point, because there are many people who are convinced this trend is good.

But the way it intersects with official corruption has me rather nervous. To give one example, it seems clear that #MeToo degenerated after the Kavanaugh hearings and Biden's nomination. And given the apparent loyalties of someone like David Ignatius, he isn't going to be the one to unravel the intelligence connections involved in the great sexual violence story of our generation, the Jeffrey Epstein scandal. So we are left with the Netflix version, slotted right into the typical narrative, in which the Epstein story looks fundamentally the same as most other stories of sexual coercion, involving a powerful man and less powerful woman, only with an exceptionally powerful man. And yet there are so many indications it was not typical.

So it is today with George Floyd as well. It seems like there are perfectly reasonable questions to be asked about the acquaintance between him and Derek Chauvin, and the fact that the rather shady bar they both worked at conveniently burned down. But by now most of the media is now highly invested in not seeing anything other than a statistic, another incident in a long history of police brutality, and the search for facts has been replaced by narratives. This is a shame, because it is perfectly possible to think that police have a history of poor treatment toward black people and there might be corruption involved in the George Floyd case, which is something Ben Crump, the lawyer for Floyd's family, seems to suggest in his interview on Face the Nation this weekend.

Two incidents in the last week, the freakout among young New York Times staffers over their publication of an op-ed by Senator Tom Cotton that has now led to the resignation of the editorial page editor, and the report by Cockburn that Andrew Sullivan has been barred from writing about the protests by New York magazine, are a good indication that all of this is going to get worse. As for the class of people who actually own these media properties, they will probably find that building a padded room for woke staffers, in the form of whatever HR and "safety"-related demands they're making, will suit their interests just fine. about the author Arthur Bloom is managing editor of The American Conservative. He was previously deputy editor of the Daily Caller and a columnist for the Catholic Herald. He holds masters degrees in urban planning and American studies from the University of Kansas. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Spectator (UK), The Guardian, Quillette, The American Spectator , Modern Age, and Tiny Mix Tapes.

[Jun 06, 2020] One crisis too many -- Will the riots be Trump's undoing by Arnon Mishkin

Jun 06, 2020 | www.foxnews.com

But even among those who justified the unrest, there was a sense that it, particularly the video of looting and violence, could result in a sense of "white backlash" and play into President Trump's reelection effort. This is a president who used his inaugural address to promise to fight "American Carnage" and has successfully appealed to "white backlash" throughout his career.

The history of urban unrest – starting with the 1967-68 riots, but extending through 1992 and 2014 – was consistent with the belief that Trump could benefit politically. Indeed, the 1968 riots helped both George Wallace and Richard Nixon run on "law and order" platforms, the 1992 riots arguably helped lead to the 1994 "Super Predators" crime bill, and the 2014 protests clearly, in the end, benefited Trump politically.

Indeed, many assumed that the response would help Trump successfully benefit from the 2020 unrest. Among those was Trump himself, who came out strongly arguing for "law and order" –criticizing governors who were not dealing sufficiently harshly with protesters, sending the U.S. military into Washington, D.C., and suggesting he was going to send them into other cities as well.

But so far, it hasn't worked out politically as some expected. Trump's poll numbers continue to decline – Biden currently leads him by eight points in the RealClearPolitics average

[Jun 06, 2020] Why Does The New York Times Brazenly Deny The Obvious Zero Hedge

Jun 06, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

by Tyler Durden Fri, 06/05/2020 - 22:00 Authored by Jeffrey Tucker via The American Institute for Economic research,

Don't laugh derisively, as people do these days, but I've always admired the New York Times . First draft of history. Talent everywhere. Best production values. Even with its ideological spin, it can be scrupulous about facts. You can usually extract the truth with a decoder ring. Its outsized influence over the rest of the press makes it essential. I've relied on it for years. Even given everything, and I mean everything.

Until now. It's just too much. Too much unreality, manipulation, propaganda, and flat out untruths that are immediately recognizable to anyone. I can't believe they think they can get away with this with credibility intact. I'm not speaking of the many great reporters, technicians, editors, production specialists, and the tens of thousands who make it all possible. I'm speaking of a very small coterie of people who stand guard over the paper's editorial mission of the moment and enforce it on the whole company, with no dissent allowed.

Let's get right to the offending passage. It's not from the news or opinion section but the official editorial section and hence the official voice of the paper. The paragraph from June 2, 2020, reads as follows.

Healing the wounds ripped open in recent days and months will not be easy. The pandemic has made Americans fearful of their neighbors, cut them off from their communities of faith, shut their outlets for exercise and recreation and culture and learning. Worst of all, it has separated Americans from their own livelihoods.

Can you imagine? The pandemic is the cause!

I would otherwise feel silly to have to point this out but for the utter absurdity of the claim. The pandemic didn't do this. It caused a temporary and mostly media-fueled panic that distracted officials from doing what they should have done, which is protect the vulnerable and otherwise let society function and medical workers deal with disease.

Instead, the CDC and governors around the country, at the urging of bad computer-science models uninformed by any experience in viruses, shut down schools, churches, events, restaurants, gyms, theaters, sports, and further instructed people to stay in their homes, enforced sometimes even by SWAT teams. Jewish funerals were broken up by the police.

It was brutal and egregious and it threw 40 million people out of work and bankrupted countless businesses. Nothing this terrible was attempted even during the Black Death. Maximum economic damage; minimum health advantages . It's not even possible to find evidence that the lockdowns saved lives at all .

But to hear the New York Times tell the story, it was not the lockdown but the pandemic that did this. That's a level of ideological subterfuge that is almost impossible for a sane person to conjure up, simply because it is so obviously unbelievable.

It's lockdown denialism.

Why? From February 2020 and following, the New York Times had a story and they are continuing to stick to it. The story is that we are all going to die from this pandemic unless government shuts down society. It was a drum this paper beat every day.

Consider what the top virus reporter Donald J. McNeil (B.A. Rhetoric, University of California, Berkeley) wrote on February 28, 2020, weeks before there was any talk of shutdowns in the U.S.:

There are two ways to fight epidemics: the medieval and the modern.

The modern way is to surrender to the power of the pathogens: Acknowledge that they are unstoppable and to try to soften the blow with 20th-century inventions, including new vaccines, antibiotics, hospital ventilators and thermal cameras searching for people with fevers.

The medieval way, inherited from the era of the Black Death, is brutal: Close the borders, quarantine the ships, pen terrified citizens up inside their poisoned cities.

For the first time in more than a century, the world has chosen to confront a new and terrifying virus with the iron fist instead of the latex glove.

And yes, he recommends the medieval way. The article continues on to praise China's response and Cuba's to AIDS and says that this approach is natural to Trump and should be done in the United States. ( AIER called him out on this alarming column on March 4, 20202.)

McNeil then went on to greater fame with a series of shocking podcasts for the NYT that put a voice and even more panic to the failed modeling of Neil Ferguson of the Imperial College London.

This first appeared the day before his op-ed calling for global lockdown. The transcript includes this:

I spend a lot of time thinking about whether I'm being too alarmist or whether I'm being not alarmist enough. And this is alarmist, but I think right now, it's justified. This one reminds me of what I have read about the 1918 Spanish influenza.

Reminder: 675,000 Americans died in that pandemic. There were only 103 million people living in the U.S. at the time.

He continues:

I'm trying to bring a sense that if things don't change, a lot of us might die. If you have 300 relatively close friends and acquaintances, six of them would die in a 2.5 percent mortality situation.

That's an astonishing claim that seems to forecast 8.25 million Americans will die. So far as I know, that is the most extreme claim made by anyone, four times as high as the Imperial College model.

What should we do to prevent this?

You can't leave. You can't see your families. All the flights are canceled. All the trains are canceled. All the highways are closed. You're going to stay in there. And you're locked in with a deadly disease. We can do it.

So because this coronavirus "reminds" him of one he read about, he can say on the air that four million people could soon die, and therefore life itself should be cancelled. Because a reporter is "reminded" of something.

This is the same newspaper that in 1957 urged people to stay calm during the Asian flu and trust medical providers – running all of one editorial on the topic. What a change! This was an amazing podcast -- amazingly irresponsible.

McNeil was not finished yet. He was at it again on March 12, 2020, demanding that we not just close big events and schools but shut down everything and everyone "for months." He went back on the podcast twice more, then started riding the media circuit, including NPR . It was also the same. China did it right. We need to lock down or people you know, if you are one of the lucky survivors, will die.

To say that the New York Times was invested in the scenario of "lock down or we die" is an understatement. It was as invested in this narrative as it was in the Russia-collaboration story or the Ukrainian-phone call impeachment, tales to which they dedicated hundreds of stories and many dozens of reporters. The virus was the third pitch to achieve their objective.

Once in, there was no turning back, even after it became obvious that for the vast numbers of people this was hardly a disease at all, and that most of the deaths came from one city and mostly from nursing homes that were forced by law to take in COVID-19 patients.

That the newspaper, a once venerable institution, has something to answer for is apparent. But instead of accepting moral culpability for having created a panic to fuel the overthrow of the American way of life, they turn on a dime to celebrate people who are not socially distancing in the streets to protest police brutality.

To me, the protests on the streets were a welcome relief from the vicious lockdowns. To the New York Times , it seems like the lockdowns never happened. Down the Orwellian memory hole.

In this paper's consistent editorializing, nothing is the fault of the lockdowns.

Everything instead is the fault of Trump, who "tends to see only political opportunity in public fear and anger, as in his customary manner of contributing heat rather than light to the confrontations between protesters and authority."

True about Trump but let us remember that the McNeil's first pro-lockdown article praised Trump as perfectly suited to bring about the lockdown, and the paper urged him to do just that, while only three months later washing their hands of the whole thing, as if had nothing to do with current sufferings much less the rage on the streets.

And the rapid turnaround of this paper on street protests was stunning to behold. A month ago, people protesting lockdowns were written about as vicious disease spreaders who were denying good science. In the blink of an eye, the protesters against police brutality (the same police who enforced the lockdown) were transmogrified into bold embracers of First Amendment rights who posed no threat to public health.

Not even the scary warnings about the coming "second wave" were enough to stop the paper from throwing out all its concern over "targeted layered containment" and "social distancing" in order to celebrate protests in the streets that they like.

And they ask themselves why people are incredulous toward mainstream media today.

The lockdowns wrecked the fundamentals of life in America. The New York Times today wants to pretend they either didn't happen, happened only in a limited way, or were just minor public health measures that worked beautifully to mitigate disease. And instead of having an editorial meltdown over these absurdities, preposterous forecasts, and extreme panic mongering that contributed to vast carnage, we seen an internal revolt over the publishing of a Tom Cotton editorial, a dispute over politics not facts.

The record is there: this paper went all in back in February to demand the most authoritarian possible response to a virus about which we already knew enough back then to observe that this was nothing like the Spanish flu of 1918. They pretended otherwise, probably for ideological reasons, most likely.

It was not the pandemic that blew up our lives, commercial networks, and health systems. It was the response to the virus that did that. The Times needs to learn that it cannot construct a fake version of reality just to avoid responsibility for what they've done. Are we really supposed to believe what they write now and in the future? This time, I hope, people will be smart and learn to consider the source.

[Jun 06, 2020] Lisa Page Hired By NBC And MSNBC As Legal Analyst (No, Not The Onion!) by Jonathan Turley

This is just the Deep State retirement package.
So another rabid neocon is hired by neocon MSM and instantly was interviewed by neocon Madcow, blaming Russia for the coup d'état against Trump that Obama administration with her help launched. Nothing new, nothing interesting.
Notable quotes:
"... Page testified that even by May 2017, they did not find such evidence that "it still existed in the scope of possibility that there would be literally nothing" to connect Trump and Russia. ..."
"... There was little reason to believe in this "insurance policy" given the absence of evidence. Yet, Page still viewed the effort led by Strzok as an indemnity in case of election. ..."
"... The Inspector General found that, soon after the first surveillance was ordered, FBI agents began to cast doubts on the veracity of the Steele document ..."
"... it was quickly established that no credible evidence existed to support the continuance of the investigation -- which Page called their "insurance policy." ..."
"... Page also left out her other emails including calling Trump foul names while praising Hillary Clinton and other opponents. Even if she were not involved in the ongoing controversy, her emails show her to be fervently opposed to both Trump and the Republicans. ..."
Jun 06, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Jonathan Turley,

Lisa Page, the former FBI lawyer who resigned in the midst of the Russian investigation scandal, has been hired a NBC and MSNBC as a legal analyst. The move continues a trend started by CNN in hiring Trump critics, including officials terminated for misconduct, to offer legal analysis on the Trump Administration. We have previously discussed the use by CNN of figures like Andrew McCabe to give legal analysis despite his being referred for possible criminal charges by the Inspector General for repeatedly lying to federal investigators. The media appears intent on fulfilling the narrative of President Trump that it is overly biased and hostile in its analysis. Indeed, it now appears a marketing plan that has subsumed the journalistic mission.

Page appeared with Rachel Maddow and began her work as the new legal analyst by discussing her own controversial work at the FBI. Page is still part of investigation by various committees and the investigation being conducted by U.S Attorney John Durham.

I have denounced President Trump for his repeated and often vicious references to Page's affair with fired FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok . There is no excuse for such personal abuse. I also do not view her emails as proof of her involvement in a deep-state conspiracy as opposed to clearly inappropriate and partisan communications for someone involved in the investigation. Indeed, Page did not appear a particularly significant figure in the investigation or even the FBI as a whole. She was primarily dragged into the controversy due to her relationship with Strzok.

However, Trump has legitimate reason to object (as he has) to this hiring as do those who expect analysis from experts without a personal stake in the ongoing investigations. It has long been an ethical rule in American journalism not to pay for interviews. Either NBC is paying for exclusive rights to Page in interviews like the one on Maddow's show or it is hiring an expert with a personal stake in these controversies to give legal analysis. Neither is a good option for a network that represented the gold standard in journalism with figures like John Chancellor, Edwin Newman, and Roger Mudd.

It is not that Page disagrees with the Administration on legal matters or these cases. It is the fact that she is personally involved in the ongoing stories and has shown intense and at times unhinged bias against Trump in communications with Strzok and others. She is the news story, or at least a significant part of it.

Andrew A. Weissmann has also been retained as a legal analyst by NBC and MSNBC. While Weissmann has been raised by Republicans as a lightening rod for his perceived partisan bias as a member of the Mueller team, he does not have the type of personal conflict or interest in these investigations. Weissmann is likely to be raised in the hearing over the next weeks into the Flynn case in terms of prosecutorial decisions. (It is worth noting that Fox hired Trey Gowdy at an analyst even though he would be commenting on matters that came before his committee in these investigations.) In terms of balance, however, the appearance of both Page and Weissmann giving analysis on the Administration's response to the protests is a bit jarring for some .

Page was an unknown attorney in the FBI before she was forced into the public eye due to her emails with Strzok. Her emails fueled the controversy over bias in the FBI. They were undeniably biased and strident including the now famous reference to the FBI investigation as "insurance" in case Trump was elected. In the email in August 2016, here's what Strzok wrote:

I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy's office [Andrew McCabe is the FBI deputy director and married to a Democratic Virginia State Senate candidate] for that there's no way he gets elected -- but I'm afraid we can't take that risk. It's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40

What particularly concerns me is that Page has come up recently in new disclosures in the Flynn case . In newly released document is an email from former FBI lawyer Lisa Page to former FBI special agent Peter Strzok, who played the leadership role in targeting Flynn. In the email, Page suggests that Flynn could be set up by making a passing reference to a federal law that criminalizes lies to federal investigators. She suggested to Strzok that "it would be an easy way to just casually slip that in." So this effort was not about protecting national security or learning critical intelligence. As I have noted, the email reinforces other evidence that it was about bagging Flynn for the case in the legal version of a canned trophy hunt.

It appears that, on January 4, 2017, the FBI's Washington Field Office issued a "Closing Communication" indicating that the bureau was terminating "CROSSFIRE RAZOR" -- the newly disclosed codename for the investigation of Flynn. That is when Strzok intervened. The FBI had investigated Flynn and various databases and determined that "no derogatory information was identified in FBI holdings." Due to this conclusion, the Washington Field Office concluded that Flynn "was no longer a viable candidate as part of the larger CROSSFIRE HURRICANE umbrella case." On that same day, however, fired FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok instructed the FBI case manager handling CROSSFIRE RAZOR to keep the investigation open, telling him "Hey don't close RAZOR." The FBI official replied, "Okay." Strzok then confirmed again, "Still open right? And you're the case agent? Going to send you [REDACTED] for the file." The FBI official confirmed: "I have not closed it Still open." Strzok responded "Rgr. I couldn't raise [REDACTED] earlier. Pls keep it open for now."

Strzok also texted Page:

"Razor still open. :@ but serendipitously good, I guess. You want those chips and Oreos?" Page replied "Phew. But yeah that's amazing that he is still open. Good, I guess."

Strzok replied "Yeah, our utter incompetence actually helps us. 20% of the time, I'm guessing :)"

Page will be the focus of much of the upcoming inquiries both in Congress and the Justice Department as will CNN's legal analyst Andrew McCabe.

In her Maddow segment, Page attempts to defuse the "insurance policy" email as all part of her commitment to protecting the nation, not her repeatedly stated hatred for Trump. In what is now a signature for MSNBC, Maddow did not ask a single probative question but actually helped her frame the response. Even in echo journalistic circles, the echo between the two was deafening.

Page explained"

"It's an analogy. First of all, it's not my text, so I'm sort of interpreting what I believed he meant back three years ago, but we're using an analogy. We're talking about whether or not we should take certain investigative steps or not based on the likelihood that he's going to be president or not."

You have to keep in mind if President Trump doesn't become president, the national-security risk, if there is somebody in his campaign associated with Russia, plummets. You're not so worried about what Russia's doing vis-à-vis a member of his campaign if he's not president because you're not going to have access to classified information, you're not going to have access to sources and methods in our national-security apparatus. So, the 'insurance policy' was an analogy. It's like an insurance policy when you're 40. You don't expect to die when you're 40, yet you still have an insurance policy."

Maddow then decided to better frame the spin:

"So, don't just hope that he's not going to be elected and therefore not press forward with the investigation hoping, but rather press forward with the investigation just in case he does get in there."

Page simply responds " Exactly ."

Well, not exactly.

Page is leaving out that, as new documents show, there never was credible evidence of any Russian collusion. Recently, the Congress unsealed testimony from a long line of Obama officials who denied ever seeing such evidence, including some who publicly suggested that they had .

Indeed, Page testified that even by May 2017, they did not find such evidence that "it still existed in the scope of possibility that there would be literally nothing" to connect Trump and Russia.

There was little reason to believe in this "insurance policy" given the absence of evidence. Yet, Page still viewed the effort led by Strzok as an indemnity in case of election.

The Inspector General found that, soon after the first surveillance was ordered, FBI agents began to cast doubts on the veracity of the Steele document and suggested it might be disinformation from Russian intelligence. The IG said that, due to the relatively low standard required for a FISA application, he could not say that the original application was invalid but that it was quickly established that no credible evidence existed to support the continuance of the investigation -- which Page called their "insurance policy."

Page also left out her other emails including calling Trump foul names while praising Hillary Clinton and other opponents. Even if she were not involved in the ongoing controversy, her emails show her to be fervently opposed to both Trump and the Republicans.

Bias however has become the coin of the realm for some networks. Why have echo journalism when you can have an analyst simply repeat her position directly? For viewers who become irate at the appearance of opposing views ( as vividly demonstrated in the recent apology of the New York Times for publishing a conservative opinion column ), having a vehemently biased and personally invested analyst is reassuring. It is not like Page will suddenly blurt out a defense of Flynn or Trump or others in the Administration.

With Page, NBC has crossed the Rubicon and left its objectivity scattered on the far bank.

we_the_people, 11 minutes ago (Edited)

Nothing says professional journalism like hiring a dirty whore who was an active participant in a coup to overthrow a duly elected President!

The level of insanity is truly amazing!

Heroism, 14 minutes ago

The MSM gets more Orwellian by the day, and today is like tomorrow.

More proof that corruption and deceit pay, big time. Surely, at some point viewers and voters

will say, "Enough!" and hit these purveyors of lies where it hurts--in the ratings and pocketbooks. Meanwhile,

the people will just willingly suffer..............

[Jun 04, 2020] The Minneapolis Putsch by CJ Hopkins

Looks like the third stage of the Purple revolution against Trump, with Russiagate and Ukrainegate and two initial stages.
Notable quotes:
"... Things couldn't be going better for the Resistance if they had scripted it themselves. Actually, they did kind of script it themselves. Not the murder of poor George Floyd, of course. Racist police have been murdering Black people for as long as there have been racist police. No, the Resistance didn't manufacture racism. They just spent the majority of the last four years creating and promoting an official narrative which casts most Americans as "white supremacists" who literally elected Hitler president, and who want to turn the country into a racist dictatorship. ..."
"... According to this official narrative, which has been relentlessly disseminated by the corporate media, the neoliberal intelligentsia, the culture industry, and countless hysterical, Trump-hating loonies, the Russians put Donald Trump in office with those DNC emails they never hacked and some division-sowing Facebook ads that supposedly hypnotized Black Americans into refusing to come out and vote for Clinton. Putin purportedly ordered this personally, as part of his plot to "destroy democracy." ..."
"... The protesting and rioting that typically follows the murder of an unarmed Black person by the cops has mushroomed into " an international uprising " cheered on by the corporate media, corporations, and the liberal establishment, who don't normally tend to support such uprisings, but they've all had a sudden change of heart, or spiritual or political awakening, and are down for some serious property damage, and looting, and preventative self-defense, if that's what it takes to bring about justice, and to restore America to the peaceful, prosperous, non-white-supremacist paradise it was until the Russians put Donald Trump in office. ..."
"... America is still a racist country, but America is no more racist today than it was when Barack Obama was president. A lot of American police are brutal, but no more brutal than when Obama was president. America didn't radically change the day Donald Trump was sworn into office. All that has changed is the official narrative. And it will change back as soon as Trump is gone and the ruling classes have no further use for it. ..."
Jun 04, 2020 | consentfactory.org
underground bunker ." Opportunist social media pundits on both sides of the political spectrum are whipping people up into white-eyed frenzies. Americans are at each other's throats, divided by identity politics, consumed by rage, hatred, and fear.

Things couldn't be going better for the Resistance if they had scripted it themselves. Actually, they did kind of script it themselves. Not the murder of poor George Floyd, of course. Racist police have been murdering Black people for as long as there have been racist police. No, the Resistance didn't manufacture racism. They just spent the majority of the last four years creating and promoting an official narrative which casts most Americans as "white supremacists" who literally elected Hitler president, and who want to turn the country into a racist dictatorship.

According to this official narrative, which has been relentlessly disseminated by the corporate media, the neoliberal intelligentsia, the culture industry, and countless hysterical, Trump-hating loonies, the Russians put Donald Trump in office with those DNC emails they never hacked and some division-sowing Facebook ads that supposedly hypnotized Black Americans into refusing to come out and vote for Clinton. Putin purportedly ordered this personally, as part of his plot to "destroy democracy." The plan was always for President Hitler to embolden his white-supremacist followers into launching the "RaHoWa," or the "Boogaloo," after which Trump would declare martial law, dissolve the legislature, and pronounce himself Führer. Then they would start rounding up and murdering the Jews, and the Blacks, and Mexicans, and other minorities, according to this twisted liberal fantasy.

I've been covering the roll-out and dissemination of this official narrative since 2016, and have documented much of it in my essays , so I won't reiterate all that here. Let's just say, I'm not exaggerating, much. After four years of more or less constant conditioning, millions of Americans believe this fairy tale, despite the fact that there is absolutely zero evidence whatsoever to support it. Which is not exactly a mystery or anything. It would be rather surprising if they didn't believe it. We're talking about the most formidable official propaganda machine in the history of official propaganda machines.

And now the propaganda is paying off. The protesting and rioting that typically follows the murder of an unarmed Black person by the cops has mushroomed into " an international uprising " cheered on by the corporate media, corporations, and the liberal establishment, who don't normally tend to support such uprisings, but they've all had a sudden change of heart, or spiritual or political awakening, and are down for some serious property damage, and looting, and preventative self-defense, if that's what it takes to bring about justice, and to restore America to the peaceful, prosperous, non-white-supremacist paradise it was until the Russians put Donald Trump in office.

In any event, the Resistance media have now dropped their breathless coverage of the non-existent Corona-Holocaust to breathlessly cover the "revolution." The American police, who just last week were national heroes for risking their lives to beat up, arrest, and generally intimidate mask-less "lockdown violators" are now the fascist foot soldiers of the Trumpian Reich. The Nike corporation produced a commercial urging people to smash the windows of their Nike stores and steal their sneakers. Liberal journalists took to Twitter, calling on rioters to " burn that shit down! " until the rioters reached their gated community and started burning down their local Starbucks. Hollywood celebrities are masking up and going full-black bloc, and doing legal support . Chelsea Clinton is teaching children about David and the Racist Goliath . John Cusack's bicycle was attacked by the pigs . I haven't checked on Rob Reiner yet, but I assume he is assembling Molotov cocktails in the basement of a Resistance safe house somewhere in Hollywood Hills.

Look, I'm not saying the neoliberal Resistance orchestrated or staged these riots, or "denying the agency" of the folks in the streets. Whatever else is happening out there, a lot of very angry Black people are taking their frustration out on the cops, and on anyone and anything else that represents racism and injustice to them.

This happens in America from time to time. America is still a racist society. Most African-Americans are descended from slaves. Legal racial discrimination was not abolished until the 1960s, which isn't that long ago in historical terms. I was born in the segregated American South, with the segregated schools, and all the rest of it. I don't remember it -- I was born in 1961 -- but I do remember the years right after it. The South didn't magically change overnight in July of 1964. Nor did the North's variety of racism, which, yes, is subtler, but no less racist.

So I have no illusions about racism in America. But I'm not really talking about racism in America. I'm talking about how racism in America has been cynically instrumentalized, not by the Russians, but by the so-called Resistance, in order to delegitimize Trump and, more importantly, everyone who voted for him, as a bunch of white supremacists and racists.

Fomenting racial division has been the Resistance's strategy from the beginning. A quote attributed to Joseph Goebbels, "accuse the other side of that which you are guilty," is particularly apropos in this case. From the moment Trump won the Republican nomination, the corporate media and the rest of the Resistance have been telling us the man is literally Hitler, and that his plan is to foment racial hatred among his "white supremacist base," and eventually stage some "Reichstag" event, declare martial law and pronounce himself dictator. They've been telling us this story over and over, on television, in the liberal press, on social media, in books, movies, and everywhere else they could possibly tell it.

So, before you go out and join the "uprising," take a look at the headlines today, turn on CNN or MSNBC, and think about that for just a minute. I don't mean to spoil the party, but they've preparing you for this for the last four years.

Not you Black folks. I'm not talking to you. I wouldn't presume to tell you what to do. I'm talking to white folks like myself, who are cheering on the rioting and looting, and are coming out to "help" you with it, but who will be back home in their gated communities when the ashes have cooled, and the corporate media are gone, and the cops return to "police" your neighborhoods.

OK, and this is where I have to restate (for the benefit of my partisan readers) that I'm not a fan of Donald Trump, and that I think he's a narcissistic ass clown, and a glorified con man, and blah blah blah, because so many people have been so polarized by insane propaganda and mass hysteria that they can't even read or think anymore, and so just scan whatever articles they encounter to see whose "side" the author is on and then mindlessly celebrate or excoriate it.

If you're doing that, let me help you out whichever side you're on, I'm not on it.

I realize that's extremely difficult for a lot of folks to comprehend these days, which is part of the point I've been trying to make. I'll try again, as plainly as I can.

America is still a racist country, but America is no more racist today than it was when Barack Obama was president. A lot of American police are brutal, but no more brutal than when Obama was president. America didn't radically change the day Donald Trump was sworn into office. All that has changed is the official narrative. And it will change back as soon as Trump is gone and the ruling classes have no further use for it.

And that will be the end of the War on Populism , and we will switch back to the War on Terror, or maybe the Brave New Pathologized Normal or whatever Orwellian official narrative the folks at GloboCap have in store for us.

#

CJ Hopkins
June 1, 2020
Photo: Nike (George Floyd commercial)

[Jun 03, 2020] Dems ratpack of reparations freaks, weird sexual curiosities, and race hustlers is actually a fifth column for Trump re-election by Fred Reed

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The Democrats are fielding as candidates a roster of middle-school clowns and unflavored tapioca. Are they secretly in Trump's pay? Like Clinton with her "Deplorables" suicide line? ..."
"... Probably the Russians are behind it. ..."
Jul 25, 2019 | www.unz.com

They're going to do it, I tell you: The whole touchy-feely do-gooding ratpack of Microaggression worriers, reparations freaks, weird sexual curiosities, race hustlers, bat.-Antifa psychos, and egalitarian enstupidators of universities. They are going to elect Trump. Again.

Washington, where I shortly will be for a bit, is crazy. It has not the slightest, wan, etiolated idea of what is going on in America. The Democrats are fielding as candidates a roster of middle-school clowns and unflavored tapioca. Are they secretly in Trump's pay? Like Clinton with her "Deplorables" suicide line?

Probably the Russians are behind it.

[Jun 03, 2020] Not The Onion: NY Times Urges Trump To Establish Closer Ties With Moscow

Highly recommended!
Jul 23, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

2016 a Russia-Trump campaign collusion conspiracy was afoot and unfolding right before our eyes, we were told, as during his roll-out foreign policy speech at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., then candidate Trump said [ gasp! ]:

" Common sense says this cycle, this horrible cycle of hostility must end and ideally will end soon. Good for both countries. Some say the Russians won't be reasonable. I intend to find out."

NPR and others had breathlessly reported at the time, "Sergey Kislyak, then the Russian ambassador to the U.S., was sitting in the front row" [ more gasps! ].

This 'suspicious' "coincidence or something more?" event and of course the infamous Steele 'Dodgy Dossier' were followed by over two more years of the following connect-the-dots mere tiny sampling of unrestrained theorizing and avalanche of accusations...

Here's a very brief trip down memory lane:

2017, Politico: The Hidden History of Trump's First Trip to Moscow

2017, NYT: Trump's Russia Motives (where we were told: "President Trump certainly seems to have a strange case of Russophilia.")

2017, Business Insider: James Clapper: Putin is handling Trump like a Russian 'asset'

2017, USA Today: Donald Trump's ties to Russia go back 30 years

2018, NYT: Trump, Treasonous Traitor

2018, AP: Russia had 'Trump over a barrel'

2018, BBC: Russia: The 'cloud' over the Trump White House

2018, NYT: From the Start, Trump Has Muddied a Clear Message: Putin Interfered

2018, USA Today: " From Putin with love"

2019, WaPo: Here are 18 reasons Trump could be a Russian asset

2019, Vanity Fair: "The President Has Been Acting On Russia's Behalf": U.S. Officials Are Shocked By Trump's Asset-Like Behavior

2019, Wired: Trump Must Be A Russian Agent... (where we were told...ahem: " It would be rather embarrassing ... if Robert Mueller were to declare that the president isn't an agent of Russian intelligence." )

Embarrassing indeed.

"The walls are closing in!" - we were assured just about every 24 hours .

It's especially worth noting that a July 2018 New York Times op-ed argued that President Trump -- dubbed a "treasonous traitor" for meeting with Putin in Helsinki -- should "be directing all resources at his disposal to punish Russia."

Fast-forward to a July 2019 NY Times Editorial Board piece entitled "What's America's Winning Hand if Russia Plays the China Card?" How dizzying fast all of the above has been wiped from America's collective memory! Or at least the Times is engaged in hastily pushing it all down the memory hole Orwell-style in order to cover its own dastardly tracks which contributed in no small measure to non-stop national Russiagate hype and hysteria, with this astounding line:

President Trump is correct to try to establish a sounder relationship with Russia... -- Editorial Board, New York Times, 7-22-19

That's right, The Times' pundits have already pivoted to the new bogeyman while stating they agree with Trump on Russian relations :

"Given its economic, military and technological trajectory, together with its authoritarian model, China, not Russia , represents by far the greater challenge to American objectives over the long term . That means President Trump is correct to try to establish a sounder relationship with Russia and peel it away from China ."

[... Mueller who? ]

Remember how recently we were told PUTIN IS WEAPONIZING EVERYTHING! from space to deep-sea exploration to extreme climate temperatures to humor to racial tensions to even 'weaponized whales' ?

It's 2019, and we've now come full circle . This is The New York Times editorial board continuing their call for Trump to establish "sounder" ties and "cooperation" with Russia :

"Even during the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union often made progress in one facet of their relationship while they remained in conflict over other aspects. The United States and Russia could expand their cooperation in space . They could also continue to work closely in the Arctic And they could revive cooperation on arms control."

Could we imagine if a mere six months ago Trump himself had uttered these same words? Now the mainstream media apparently agrees that peace is better than war with Russia.

With 'Russiagate' now effectively dead, the NY Times' new criticism appears to be that Trump-Kremlin relations are not close enough , as Trump's "approach has been ham-handed " - the 'paper of record' now tells us.

Or imagine if Trump had called for peaceful existence with Russia almost four years ago? Oh wait...

" Common sense says this cycle, this horrible cycle of hostility must end and ideally will end soon. Good for both countries." -- Then candidate Trump on April 27, 2016

Cue ultra scary red Trump-Kremlin montage.

[Jun 03, 2020] Requiem to Russiagate: this was the largest and the most successful attempt to gaslight the whole US population ever attempted by CIA and Clinton wing of Dems by CJ Hopkins

Highly recommended!
Neoliberal MSM just “got it wrong,” again … exactly like was the case with those Iraqi WMDs ;-).
So many neocons and neolibs seem so disappointed to find out that the President is not a Russian asset that it looks they’d secretly wish be ruled by Putin :-).
But in reality there well might be a credible "Trump copllition with the foreign power". Only with a different foreign power. Looks like Trump traded American foreign policy for Zionist money, not Russian money. That means that "the best-Congress-that-AIPAC-money-can-buy" will never impeach him for that.
And BTW as long as Schiff remains the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee the witch hunt is not over. So the leash remains strong.
Notable quotes:
"... it appears that hundreds of millions of Americans have, once again, been woefully bamboozled . Weird, how this just keeps on happening. At this point, Americans have to be the most frequently woefully bamboozled people in the entire history of woeful bamboozlement. ..."
"... That's right, as I'm sure you're aware by now, it turns out President Donald Trump, a pompous former reality TV star who can barely string three sentences together without totally losing his train of thought and barking like an elephant seal, is not, in fact, a secret agent conspiring with the Russian intelligence services to destroy the fabric of Western democracy. ..."
"... Paranoid collusion-obsessives will continue to obsess about redactions and cover-ups , but the long and short of the matter is, there will be no perp walks for any of the Trumps. No treason tribunals. No televised hangings. No detachment of Secret Service agents marching Hillary into the White House. ..."
Apr 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by CJ Hopkins via The Unz Review,

So the Mueller report is finally in, and it appears that hundreds of millions of Americans have, once again, been woefully bamboozled . Weird, how this just keeps on happening. At this point, Americans have to be the most frequently woefully bamboozled people in the entire history of woeful bamboozlement.

If you didn't know better, you'd think we were all a bunch of hopelessly credulous imbeciles that you could con into believing almost anything, or that our brains had been bombarded with so much propaganda from the time we were born that we couldn't really even think anymore.

That's right, as I'm sure you're aware by now, it turns out President Donald Trump, a pompous former reality TV star who can barely string three sentences together without totally losing his train of thought and barking like an elephant seal, is not, in fact, a secret agent conspiring with the Russian intelligence services to destroy the fabric of Western democracy.

After two long years of bug-eyed hysteria, Inspector Mueller came up with squat. Zip. Zero. Nichts. Nada. Or, all right, he indicted a bunch of Russians that will never see the inside of a courtroom, and a few of Trump's professional sleazebags for lying and assorted other sleazebag activities (so I guess that was worth the $25 million of taxpayers' money that was spent on this circus).

Notwithstanding those historic accomplishments, the entire Mueller investigation now appears to have been another wild goose chase (like the "search" for those non-existent WMDs that we invaded and destabilized the Middle East and murdered hundreds of thousands of people pretending to conduct in 2003). Paranoid collusion-obsessives will continue to obsess about redactions and cover-ups , but the long and short of the matter is, there will be no perp walks for any of the Trumps. No treason tribunals. No televised hangings. No detachment of Secret Service agents marching Hillary into the White House.

The jig, as they say, is up.

But let's try to look on the bright side, shall we?

... ... ...

[Jun 02, 2020] Trump vs spring riots

Notable quotes:
"... All this race hatred, discrimination and societal engineering should have been over in the 60s and 70s , but the USG always needs to have an enemy . In fact it pays to have several , ask the Pentagon and the Law Enforcement Agencies, in regards to wages, benefits, kickbacks, cash theft, and pensions , these days. ..."
"... You want the Trump you voted for? You got him. A liar with all the integrity of a corona virus. You indirectly voted for Bibi too. Don't try to claim you didn't know for heavens sake. Kushners and Trumps are openly in Bibi's pocket. It was in plain sight and you voted accordingly. ..."
"... Trump was always a weak coward who believes in nothing, save the ego of Trump. Events have simply caught up to him. If the Republicans stick with this useless coward, not only are they committing suicide as a Party, they are dooming the nation as well. ..."
Jun 02, 2020 | www.unz.com

vot tak , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 9:29 am GMT

Trump hid from protesters in UNDERGROUND BUNKER, claims NYT, triggering #BunkerBoy trend

https://www.rt.com/usa/490358-trump-underground-bunker-hashtag/

"Trump wants to portray himself as a strongman, authoritarian did he really go hide in a bunker from some 20 year old kids? real tough guy"

Actually likud quisling trump is an ideal poster boi for vdare "values".

Truth3 , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 9:33 am GMT
Trump is a narcissistic windbag clown, that lied his way into Bill Clinton's Oral Office.

I know, personally, how evil he is.

Total JooStooge and he deserves nothing less than complete rejection by those he fooled honest law-abiding working Christian Americans.

Good riddance.

Of course Hillary is worse. Of course Biden is worse.

But until real Americans finally realize that we can't wait for a saviour, but have to save ourselves, Trump and his kind will continue to drag us deeper into the bog of Joogoo.

GMC , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 9:37 am GMT
All this race hatred, discrimination and societal engineering should have been over in the 60s and 70s , but the USG always needs to have an enemy . In fact it pays to have several , ask the Pentagon and the Law Enforcement Agencies, in regards to wages, benefits, kickbacks, cash theft, and pensions , these days.

But the Owners knew, that keeping the populace fighting, is like money in the Banks { literally } so those folks breaking through for Peace in the 60s, had to be silenced, bought off, run off or assassinated. It's been one evil social game after another – and its more visible today , than it was 50 yrs ago- I won't get started on what or who put the nail in the coffin, with the 1965 Open, Unlimited, Unvetted Immigration changes.

Emily , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 10:14 am GMT
You want the Trump you voted for? You got him. A liar with all the integrity of a corona virus. You indirectly voted for Bibi too. Don't try to claim you didn't know for heavens sake. Kushners and Trumps are openly in Bibi's pocket. It was in plain sight and you voted accordingly.

Where were all these voters weeping into their coffee when the primaries were held?. The best choice was Rand Paul – got nowhere – as all these now weeping cupcakes voted for Trump – a man with such an appalling record of honesty and integrity and an insult to any decent person.

You voted for Trump. And have voted for Hillary for years too. Probably the worlds biggest financial criminal and a war criminal without parallel even by US standards.. You also voted for Bush one and two. Obama twice. And one of the most corrupt and hideous candidates – Bill Clinton also Twice. And you imposed this roll of lies and dishonour onto the entire planet.

No wonder America and its people are being seen as depraved and stupid, lacking in simple understanding of international law and any decency and honour.
And now all set to vote for Biden are you? A rapist and vilely corrupt, outstandingly so in a bed of of corruption misnamed Washington.

Emily , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 10:25 am GMT
@ebear

So you will vote for a man who has so far refused to arrest and put on trial the group of men and women who would appear to be guilty of sedition and treason against your country?

Wow!. Traitors going to walk – so it seems.. Vote for a man so devoid of respect for America, its people, its rule of law and its constitution. A band of absolute traitors to the state – laughing..

The day you see indictments of Comey, Brennan, McCabe and the rest of the nest of vipers – then consider your vote – but to vote for a man who refuses – so far and its now years – to take action against those guilty of trying to overthrow the governance of the United States – is not a man fit for the office of President. You need an outstanding third party candidate and the brains to vote for them

Dream on. Biden ot Trump – are you mad or just brainwashed psychos. Its makes Xi look good.

theMann , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 10:29 am GMT

Trump was always a weak coward who believes in nothing, save the ego of Trump. Events have simply caught up to him. If the Republicans stick with this useless coward, not only are they committing suicide as a Party, they are dooming the nation as well.

Anonymous [661] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 10:53 am GMT
The current situation is nothing new. In '92 Mayor Bradley publicly announced no police would intervene in the LA riots because it was too dangerous–thereby guaranteeing widespread arson and looting. Same thing in Baltimore a few years ago, it's okay 'we just need to let the rioters blow off some steam'.

And why wasn't Antifa declared a terrorist organization three years ago? Why did they get a free pass all this time?

I guess nothing will happen until Netanyahu picks up the phone and tells Trump what to do.

Emslander , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 11:38 am GMT
@Herald Don't believe for a second that Joe Biden is being helped by any of this. Trump is a weak blowhard, but naming Antifa a terrorist organization will be very important over the next three months.

Trump will win, but it'll be a vapid and lukewarm next four years of him trying to develop a "legacy" of sweetness and liberality. Someone will come along, then, who will make him look like a pussy.

Realist , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 11:49 am GMT
@Really No Shit

Trump has one weakness that he can't overcome even if his life depended on it. the love of money which is the driving force behind his decisions and not the jingoistic hogwash about the love for America!

That weakness is one that is shared by those that rule this country. It is called avarice avarice for wealth and power. Trump is a minion of the Deep State. Today in spite of all the shit the stock is up in pre market trading. If the market were valued realistically it would have been down at least 30% from here before the recent bullshit.

Manfred Arcane , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 12:06 pm GMT
@Anonymous Kirkpatrick was declaring Trump in freefall, a fool who abandoned his early promises, etc., as early as the 2016 Wisconsin primary. He has been writing variations on this theme for four years, and I don't know why anyone takes him seriously. Do I want Trump to declare martial law, round up every last BLM and Antifa member, and start telling everyone that Floyd got what was coming to him? Of course. Do I expect him to do it? Of course not. A lot of people don't seem able to understand that Trump is not playing to us, or to the blacks, when he tries to take the middle road when dealing with situations like this; he's playing to the enormous amount of middle-class suburban Boomers and Evangelicals out there, who unfortunately he can't get elected without, and who will never be willing to accept the truth about vibrancy and its effects. To them, black folks are still sacred objects, and they will freak out in large numbers if the President starts mouthing "white nationalist" rhetoric and having "protesters" gunned down in the streets. I love Trump and appreciate what he's been able to do, but he can't save people who aren't willing to be saved–and since that includes a majority of the "conservative" citizens, America is ultimately unsalvageable, regardless of what Trump does or doesn't do.
Norman , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 4:08 pm GMT
@NDarwish No, you have it backwards. WE never gave up on Trump. Trump gave up on US. Filling the white house with the Tel Aviv mafia.

[Jun 02, 2020] Where Have You Gone, Donald Trump A Nation Turns Its Yearning Eyes To You by James Kirkpatrick

This riots in no way represent a danger to Trump other then in PR. They have zero organization and most rioters soon iether be arrested or gone home. In a way "Occupy Wall Street" was a more dangerous for the elite movement. This is just a nuisance.
As for elections on one side Trump again demonstrated upper incompetence and inability to act with some nuance, on t he other it discredited Democrats identity politics.
Notable quotes:
"... Live Updates, George Floyd Protests Continue ..."
"... Twitter changed its profile to honor Black Lives Matter amid George Floyd protests ..."
"... Business Insider, ..."
"... Looter shot dead by pawn shop owner,' during George Floyd riots ..."
"... Family identifies federal officer shot, killed in connection with George Floyd protest in Oakland ..."
"... Woman Found Dead Inside Car In North Minneapolis Amid 2 nd Of Looting ..."
"... , Fires, CBS Minnesota, ..."
"... Separate shootings leave 3 dead in Indianapolis overnight ..."
"... Attorney General William P. Barr's Statement on Riots and Domestic Terrorism ..."
"... , Department of Justice, ..."
"... Tim Walz Blames Riots On 'Outsiders,' Cartels And White Supremacists -- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Joy Reid Join in ..."
"... St. Paul police rebut social media theory that officer instigated Minneapolis unrest ..."
"... Right-Wing Conspiracists Pull From Old Playbook: Blame George Soros For Riots ..."
"... LA appeals for National Guard as looting spreads, ..."
"... George Floyd's brother says Trump 'kept pushing me off' during call ..."
"... Advantage Biden, with risks; Trump disapproval grows: POLL ..."
"... Bush Wins Points for Speech on L.A. Riots ..."
"... The Christian Science Monitor, ..."
"... When trump spoke at AIPAC before the 2016 election, I already wrote him off. I was 1000% on the money. ..."
"... Trump was always the Pied Piper, following Hillary's orders while leading foolish populists off the cliff. If you're still expecting anything else from him, you're deluded. ..."
"... A true opponent of Deepstate would have spent the first month firing and jailing thousands of bureaucrats. Trump didn't fire anyone at all. ..."
"... Trump is finished. Unfortunately, his opponents are just as corrupt and criminal. ..."
"... I see a lot of whites among the protesters. How much of that is anger over Floyd and how much is pent up rage over the senseless lockdowns I cant say. ..."
"... As in 2016, people will again vote Trump as a giant FU to the Left, which they'll perceive as having caused, if not instigated this crisis. Disaffected Trump supporters who might not have bothered this time, are rethinking that as we speak. At this point, a Trump landslide is a very real possibility. ..."
"... the unholy and fragile Democrat alliance that includes white-hating blacks, left-indoctrinated students, hysterical femmes, radical queers, antifa terrorists, disaffected POC, and white 'moderates' constitutes an arranged political marriage that will not endure ..."
"... On the other hand, Trump now gets to advocate for political stability, cultural continuity, and even physical safety. The unhinged, far-too-left looters now seen on TV are actually a Godsend for Trump. Watch him amass most of what's left of America's silent (white, middle class) majority on election-day. Regular folks will reemerge as a unified block in the wake of these despicable acts of lawlessness and greed. ..."
"... It would take more then a department store and a police precinct to make a point: "We want leadership, not profiteering", "Bust the bulb" add focus. Corporate headquarters, gated communities, the White House, Capitol Hill, Millionaire communities, airports, bridges, paralysing the hardware farms of Google, Facebook and Twitter, spreading to cities as London, Amsterdam, Paris, great opportunities there. "No borders, no castles". Disruption is a start and a means to an end. Explaining comes later. Only going that direction would cause any effects that last. ..."
May 31, 2020 | www.unz.com

President Donald Trump ran on a Law And Order platform in 2016 but he's currently presiding over the most widespread civil disorder of this generation. The obvious reality: these riots are simply an excuse for blacks to loot without fear of punishment. Without an immediate policy of ruthless coercion directed and executed by the federal government, most Americans will correctly assume that Trump is unwilling or incapable of defending their lives and property. If so, his re-election campaign is probably finished -- and America along with it.

Link Bookmark It's hard to overstate the extent of the violence, with riots, arson and looting in Scottsdale, Dallas, New York , Ferguson, St. Louis, Richmond and countless other cities [ Live Updates, George Floyd Protests Continue , by Tony Lee, Breitbart, May 30, 2020]. In Minneapolis, where the riots began, Mayor Jacob Frey blamed riots on " white supremacists ," an insane conspiracy theory which went completely unchecked by Twitter's "fact checkers." Twitter itself, showing utter contempt for President Trump's executive order alleging political bias, changed its profile to show solidarity with Black Lives Matter [ Twitter changed its profile to honor Black Lives Matter amid George Floyd protests , by Ellen Cranley, Business Insider, May 31, 2020].

President Trump had previously tweeted that " when the looting starts, the shooting starts " (a tweet censored by Twitter). However, while Minneapolis police were unable to prevent their own precinct headquarters from being burned down , they did have the time to arrest a man for allegedly shooting looters near his business [ ' Looter shot dead by pawn shop owner,' during George Floyd riots , by James Hockaday, Metro, May 28, 2020]. Unless President Trump demands pardons for all those who will be in a similar situation, such anarcho-tyranny will continue.

There have already been deaths, few of which attracted much attendance from the Narrative-promoting Main Stream Media . These include:

Federal Protective Service officer Dave Underwood, a black man whose life doesn't Matter to Black Lives Matter [ Family identifies federal officer shot, killed in connection with George Floyd protest in Oakland , by Dan Noyes and Lauren Martinez, ABC News, May 31, 2020]. A woman found dead in Milwaukee "trauma visible" on her body; some reports on social media suggest she was kidnapped before being murdered [ Woman Found Dead Inside Car In North Minneapolis Amid 2 nd Of Looting , Fires, CBS Minnesota, May 29, 2020] Three dead in Indianapolis, another city which has been ravaged by recent anti-police protests; none of the shootings involved police officers [ Separate shootings leave 3 dead in Indianapolis overnight , WISHTV8, May 31, 2020].

There were also countless beatings, including of a man holding an American flag in Portland and another who tried to help him , a man who allegedly tried to defend his business with a sword , and people at a shop in broad daylight .

It is useless to try to find all the examples, they are incalculable, as is the number of businesses destroyed or the amount of property damage.

President Trump said Sunday morning the government would declare Antifa a terrorist organization. Attorney General William Barr said violence "instigated and carried out by Antifa and other similar groups in connection with the rioting is domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly" [ Attorney General William P. Barr's Statement on Riots and Domestic Terrorism , Department of Justice, May 31, 2020].

We'll know that this is serious if these Leftist networks, which raise money and operate openly, are arrested using the RICO statutes and other prosecutorial tools.

I have my doubts but also my hopes.

It is truly amazing is that Leftists have decided to believe that the rioting is being carried out by whites, or at least is directed by whites. Leftists, not just in Minnesota, think " white supremacists " are to blame [ Tim Walz Blames Riots On 'Outsiders,' Cartels And White Supremacists -- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Joy Reid Join in , by Virginia Kruta, Daily Caller, May 30, 2020]. Others think the police are instigating the violence with undercover officers [ St. Paul police rebut social media theory that officer instigated Minneapolis unrest , by John Shipley, Pioneer Press, May 29, 2020].

It's important to note that Leftists actually believe this. They believed in the Russia Hoax, didn't they?

Meanwhile, President Trump and conservatives' focus on white "Antifa" or George Soros makes a similar mistake [ Right-Wing Conspiracists Pull From Old Playbook: Blame George Soros For Riots , by Sergei Klebnikov, Forbes, May 30, 2020]. Much of this violence is simply blacks robbing and looting because they can , not because there is any political end beyond a vague fury at police and whites generally.

President Trump has avoided addressing the nation, reportedly because First Son-In-Law Jared Kushner thinks it will make things worse [ LA appeals for National Guard as looting spreads, by Ella Torres, William Mansell, and Christina Carrega, ABC News, May 31, 2020]. But, as with his handling of the coronavirus, Trump is suffering politically not because he is being too forceful, but because he is being too weak.

Trump called George Floyd's family, but the family is condemning him for it, not praising his compassion [ George Floyd's brother says Trump 'kept pushing me off' during call , by Martin Pengelly, The Guardian, May 31, 2020]. He now heavily trails Joe Biden in the polls and is once again falling into his signature trap: saying tough things that infuriate Leftists without backing up his words with action that rallies the Right [ Advantage Biden, with risks; Trump disapproval grows: POLL , by Gary Langer, ABC News, May 31, 2020].

During the Los Angeles Riots, even President George H.W. Bush eventually sent in the Marines and then addressed the nation, simultaneously displaying leadership and paternal concern for the American people [ Bush Wins Points for Speech on L.A. Riots , by Linda Feldmann, The Christian Science Monitor, May 4, 1992].

https://www.youtube.com/embed/KD_3NOIEk-0?feature=oembed

President Trump thus far is limited to vague tweets about "STRENGTH!' without much tangible proof of it.

Even worse, in the case of this "STRENGTH" tweet, Twitter once again instantly suspended the account of the person President Trump quote-tweeted.

The company knows the White House won't do anything. This situation is becoming increasingly humiliating not just for the president, but for his supporters.

During the 2016 campaign, Trump seemed to have remarkable luck, with extraordinary events breaking in his favor. In the run-up to this election, he hasn't had great luck, but he has had a series of crises that any competent nationalist politician could have easily exploited:

He had a foreign pandemic and huge public support for enacting at least a temporary immigration moratorium or more creative economic populist policies . Instead, he disastrously tried to downplay the pandemic to try to appease the stock market in the short term. He has Twitter revealing its bias to the entire world, giving him a sure-fire rationale for protecting the free speech of his supporters. This would dramatically ease his task of fighting the Main Stream Media/ Democrat cartel during the re-election campaign. However, the president has done nothing substantive, once again coming off as weak and feckless and leaving his supporters isolated. Now, he has nationwide riots and videos of businesses being burned to the ground, all being essentially cheered on by his MSM/Dem opponents. America is begging for a crackdown. Instead, President Trump is blaming Democratic state and local elected officials rather than taking action himself.

President Trump simply can't afford any more mistakes. America is burning. The nationalist that voters thought they were electing in 2016 needs to act.

If he doesn't, he can't be surprised if Leftists simply become more emboldened, and if demoralized patriots stay away from the polls.

This is President Trump's one last chance not to let his voters down. If he blows it, I think the 2020 campaign will be irredeemable -- and unlike Republicans, Democrats will have no problem in using government power to crush their political enemies once they are in the White House again.

James Kirkpatrick [ Email him |Tweet him @VDAREJamesK ] is a Beltway veteran and a refugee from Conservatism Inc. His latest book is Conservatism Inc.: The Battle for the American Right . Read VDARE.com Editor Peter Brimelow 's Preface here .


Anon [333] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 4:40 am GMT

Why doesn't Trump realize Jared is a viper at the heart of his family and administration? He absolutely needs to address the nation. Jared might be setting up another style of coup attempt.
Astuteobservor II , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 4:43 am GMT
When trump spoke at AIPAC before the 2016 election, I already wrote him off. I was 1000% on the money.
polistra , says: Website Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 4:44 am GMT
You're four years late. Trump was always the Pied Piper, following Hillary's orders while leading foolish populists off the cliff. If you're still expecting anything else from him, you're deluded.

There's one small point of forgiveness for fools. Obama showed his Deepstate loyalty BEFORE the 2008 election, so there was no reason for any honest observer to vote for him. Trump didn't show his hand until just AFTER the 2016 election. After the first week it was amply clear that he had no intentions of "draining the swamp". A true opponent of Deepstate would have spent the first month firing and jailing thousands of bureaucrats. Trump didn't fire anyone at all.

Uncle J , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 4:44 am GMT
Another white supremacist trash piece. You guys never learn. Trump is finished. Unfortunately, his opponents are just as corrupt and criminal. This country is doomed and it will not be able to redeem itself, and deserves what's coming to it. Especially, not with the moronic and insensitive example of articles, authors and a blind culture that is portrayed above.
Pft , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 5:17 am GMT
I see a lot of whites among the protesters. How much of that is anger over Floyd and how much is pent up rage over the senseless lockdowns I cant say.

If you look back to last year Barr developed his precrime program, Trump pushed HARPA/SAFE HOME, bills for Domestic Terrorism were proposed, FBI issues memo that conspiracy theories (question official narratives) promote terrorism , etc. This all happening while Crimson Contagion exercises, Urban Outbreak Exercises and Event 201 simulation are happening. Coincidence?

The Rockefeller Lockstep Report in 2010 predicted pushback

After Lockdowns over the virus , conditions were ripe for an explosion that would allow the pre-crime/domestic terrorism agendas to get political support. Just needed a trigger and I think the Floyd killing was an operation intended to be that trigger. Push back begins. The protests gone violent with a convenient supply of bricks may be due to agent provocateurs. Contract tracing apps issued before the protests will certainly be put to good use. Contract tracers will be given another job.

Trump now declares antifa a Terrorist Group. Basically anyone opposed to fascism and authoritarianism can be suspected of being antifa and a terrorist. How convenient for fascists and authoritarians.

Trapped on Clown World , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 5:20 am GMT
At this point people have to be considering the fact that Trump is more of a hindrance than a help. He appears to be nothing more than a lullaby used to put his supporters to sleep, secure in their delusions that they have a viable political future as long as they vote hard enough.

If it takes a president Stacy Abrams to wake them up, then why not now? In the extremely unlikely event that Trump pulls off another victory, what will be the purpose? He's clearly demonstrated that he is incapable of any action beyond nominating a SC justice and tweeting. 4 more years of having to listen to delusional MAGA people is too much to stomach for no payoff.

I'd rather have an obese gap toothed woman of color ordering the construction of all POC settlements in white neighboorhoods. Maybe then the MAGA folks would wake up. Of course it's more likely that they would start cheering Marco Rubio by claiming that he only wants to build 10 apartments per un-diverse town instead of 30.

I have America fatigue.

ebear , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 6:16 am GMT
I'll preface this with I'm no fan of Donald Trump.

That said, I believe the soon-to-be-wrath of the people will fall mainly on state governors and city mayors rather than on Trump. Polls mean nothing these days. 2016 proved that one. What's right in front of many people today is that they've not only lost wages to CV-19, but now, just as they're gearing up to return, their workplace is gone -- either burned down, or indefinitely closed due to the riots and related damage to public infrastructure.

Meanwhile in flyover country, people look on in horror at what, rightly or wrongly, is associated in their minds with BLM and ANTIFA. That is to say The Left. Cartoonish, yes, but that's what they see.

As in 2016, people will again vote Trump as a giant FU to the Left, which they'll perceive as having caused, if not instigated this crisis. Disaffected Trump supporters who might not have bothered this time, are rethinking that as we speak. At this point, a Trump landslide is a very real possibility.

This is not the outcome I want -- that doesn't actually exist at this time -- but FWIW, it's the way I see it playing out. I know history doesn't always repeat, but this looks a lot like 1968 to me.

Franz , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 7:29 am GMT
@Meena

Trump is hiding in a bunker . Hope he stays there for good.

Yes. It's why some of us stayed home in 2016. A choice between Hillary, a lifelong flake, and yet another third-rate actor. Did everyone forget that the other third-rate actor, Reagan, gave the country away?

It's fitting for Trump to tweet and hide. He has successfully updated hit and run.

green , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 7:43 am GMT
Welcome back, James Kirkpatrick! Trump has disappointed, and he may be down in the polls, but he's not out.

This Mau Mau power grab (and the media's role in promoting it) is actually winning votes for Trump. The President represents the rule of law. Civilization. This is a winning ticket. And people are fed up with all the slick media favoritism. It's toxic.

Meanwhile, the unholy and fragile Democrat alliance that includes white-hating blacks, left-indoctrinated students, hysterical femmes, radical queers, antifa terrorists, disaffected POC, and white 'moderates' constitutes an arranged political marriage that will not endure . Most of these assorted malcontents have only one thing that unites them: hatred of Trump and his base. This is not a winning platform. Plus, sleepy Joe will have to repudiate all this liberal violence and looting if he's to maintain his (allegedly) leading position in the polls. BLM may not like this, nor will the uber-progressive wing of the Democrat party. Expect fireworks.

On the other hand, Trump now gets to advocate for political stability, cultural continuity, and even physical safety. The unhinged, far-too-left looters now seen on TV are actually a Godsend for Trump. Watch him amass most of what's left of America's silent (white, middle class) majority on election-day. Regular folks will reemerge as a unified block in the wake of these despicable acts of lawlessness and greed.

After Trump chews up sleepy Joe in the debates, watch this race flip into a Trump landslide. It happened for Nixon. Maybe then, Trump the two-term President will revisit the agenda that got him elected as a candidate in 2016. This final scenario might not be likely, but stranger things have happened.

Carlos22 , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 7:45 am GMT
So what's the difference between this and the Rodney King riots?

They'll blow off some steam and will return back to their shitty little lives by the end of the week.

Commentator Mike , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 7:57 am GMT
@Pft Even all this arson may be of benefit the business community. Weren't we reading endless comments how the lockdown has badly affected small businesses, many of which would go bankrupt due to lack of customers? Perhaps the best thing for them is to get burnt down so they can claim the insurance as many of them would probably have had to close shop anyway.
nietzsche1510 , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 8:00 am GMT
@Anon show me one single pick of his admin. who ended up beneficial for him or his reelection: Jared is the personification of Netanyahu in the White House: clusterfuck nation will be his signature at the court of History.
anon [113] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 8:03 am GMT
@Pinche Perro This is the same guy who sat back and did nothing as Covid-19 approached American shores. You think he cares about you now?

Trump allegedly asked Fauci if officials could let coronavirus 'wash over' US

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/492390-wapo-trump-allegedly-asked-fauci-if-officials-could-let-coronavirus

nietzsche1510 , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 8:12 am GMT
Minnesota is diverting the looming class war to racial rioting.
PetrOldSack , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 8:54 am GMT

Where Have You Gone, Donald Trump? A Nation Turns Its Yearning Eyes to You
James Kirkpatrick • May 31, 2020

Out of context, the whole of the elites bulb is irrecoverable. The "bend" to turn it into politics, is going to be little of a patch, won´t last the next round.

The "ramble" in the streets is way exaggerated, nothing will come of it if all semi-organized groups that have ambitions do not add to the noise, and get some pertinent rusults: bargaining power. It is a dream opportunity to "vote" with one´s feet. Real disorder cannot be worse, when the asserted elites are morally corrupt and have no ethics.

It would take more then a department store and a police precinct to make a point: "We want leadership, not profiteering", "Bust the bulb" add focus. Corporate headquarters, gated communities, the White House, Capitol Hill, Millionaire communities, airports, bridges, paralysing the hardware farms of Google, Facebook and Twitter, spreading to cities as London, Amsterdam, Paris, great opportunities there. "No borders, no castles". Disruption is a start and a means to an end. Explaining comes later. Only going that direction would cause any effects that last.

These are few things that come to mind. When historically, "real" leaders can have a chance to re-assert and reorganize, effectively stump out the "rot at the top", there must be some serious rioting first.

There is not much of an alternative, and outside the US forces, Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, people up to dumps as Bangladesh, Libya, will gladly stomp the US obese backside.

These above are thoughts that come to mind, regarding a minor overblown bush-fire for now. The thing is a fizzle.

[Jun 02, 2020] Susan Rice Suggests Russians Fomented Floyd Protests, Violence Across U.S. Obama s former national security adviser offered no evidence for her bizarre claim by Barbara Boland

So one of key players of Russiagate gaslighting and Flynn entrapment trying the same dirty trick again. Nice...
Notable quotes:
"... "We have peaceful protesters focused on the very real pain and disparities that we're all wrestling with that have to be addressed, and then we have extremists who've come to try to hijack those protests and turn them into something very different. And they're probably also, I would bet based on my experience, I'm not reading the intelligence these days, but based on my experience this is right out of the Russian playbook as well." ..."
"... "I would not be surprised to learn that they have fomented some of these extremists on both sides using social media. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that they are funding it in some way, shape, or form." ..."
Jun 01, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

President Barack Obama's former national security adviser Susan Rice suggested without evidence that the Russians could be behind the violent demonstrations that have taken place across the U.S. following the death of George Floyd.

Speaking to CNN's Wolf Blitzer Sunday, Rice said:

"We have peaceful protesters focused on the very real pain and disparities that we're all wrestling with that have to be addressed, and then we have extremists who've come to try to hijack those protests and turn them into something very different. And they're probably also, I would bet based on my experience, I'm not reading the intelligence these days, but based on my experience this is right out of the Russian playbook as well."

"I would not be surprised to learn that they have fomented some of these extremists on both sides using social media. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that they are funding it in some way, shape, or form."

Rice admits she's not reading the intelligence anymore, so what makes her think the Russians are behind this?

She doesn't offer much more in the way of evidence for her assertion, other than that the Russians are the Democrats' always-present bogeyman, ever ready from behind their poorly translated social media posts to unleash mayhem upon the U.S.

Ever since the election of President Donald Trump, Democrats have blamed Russians for the outcome of the 2016 election.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller found evidence that Russian-linked accounts spent a small amount of money placing social media ads for the purpose of influencing the 2016 election, but there's nothing to suggest their efforts were successful. The Department of Justice abruptly dropped its prosecution of a Russian-based troll farm, days before trial. Mueller also did not find evidence that the Trump campaign conspired with Russia during the 2016 election.

Although the claims of Russian "collusion" in the 2016 election were eventually found to be nearly totally baseless, Rice's new narrative, that Russians support 2020's post-Floyd rioting, appears to be even more fact-threadbare.

Rice's claim drew criticism from across the political spectrum.

Eoin Higgens, a senior editor at Common Dreams, tweeted "you cannot make this sh– up. F -- - deranged" while former U.S. attorney Andrew McCarthy tweeted "there she goes again."

There's a reason Rice's claim was not taken seriously -- besides the lack of evidence for the Russian meddling narrative that has dominated the nation's political life since 2016, there's also the sheer ineptitude of the actual Russian trolling and ads themselves.

Just look at this ad the Russians funded from the 2016 election cycle for a taste of how convincing those Russians and their social media campaigns can be:


Feral Finster 19 hours ago

Predictable as a stopped clock.
Bureaucrat 19 hours ago • edited
I haven't seen condemnation across the political spectrum. There are a few hard-left progressives like Aaron Mate, Matt Taibbi, and Glenn Greenwald of course, but they have always hated the RussiaGate conspiracy. I won't be holding my breath for any of the #Resistance puppets castigate Rice. They can't, because #RussiaGate is foundational to their existence.
Connecticut Farmer Bureaucrat 2 hours ago
"...#RussiaGate is foundational to their existence."

It's the only hat rack that they have, otherwise they would be left with having to blame themselves for running the wrong horse in 2016.

Scroop Moth 18 hours ago
Y'all are really confusing me! During the civil rights marches, conservatives warned people that the "agitators" were Russian tools. Now, you say that's crazy talk!.

Rice asserts that civic agitation is ". . .right out of the Russian playbook. . ." Let's presume she's had a peek into the Russia playbook. Her statement can be falsified by the good fact checkers at this website!

Speaking for myself, I wouldn't be more surprised than Rice to learn that Russia is still in the outside agitator business. Just a suggestion, of course. Someone as patriotic as Rice really should check it out.

Connecticut Farmer Scroop Moth 2 hours ago
"Russia is still in the outside agitator business."

So is the United States (check out the Russian election of 1996). We're not as good as the Russians though.

Gerald Arcuri 17 hours ago
Why would anyone listen to what Susan Rice has to say about matters of national security?
Alex (the one that likes Ike) 17 hours ago
The saddest thing is that she's been too lazy to come up even with the most jury-rigged conspiracy theory as to why Russians would need it, despite the fact that emotional reaction-oriented rhetorical turds to... sculpture such a theory (albeit a very debunkable one) are floating on the surface. A most deplorable intellectual sloth. What to expect from neolibs/neocons, though? They're always like that. Say some folderol - and then go hiding in the kind Grandpa Bolton's venerable moustɑche.
Timothy Herring 16 hours ago
Wild speculation needs no evidence.
MPC Timothy Herring 15 hours ago
People like her are about to get their due, by being baselessly accused of being Chinese agents.
AdmBenson 13 hours ago
I don't know which idea is more laughable - Black Americans are so lacking in agency that they aren't even responsible for their own protests, or, the Russians are so diabolical that they can turn anyone and everyone into the Manchurian Candidate.

More likely, Susan Rice can't admit that her woke ideology has limitations. She needs a scapegoat so badly that she'll babble any nonsense to accuse one. Hard to believe she was once the National Security Adviser.

ZizaNiam 12 hours ago
I read on a libertarian oriented forum that the current protests are actually being done by the Chinese. Apparently, the Soviets (Russians) instigated the riots in the late 60s.
Slappyhappy 9 hours ago
Where are all the stars you ask" afterwards they will come out with concerts on TV, speeches big speeches that they real do care you hear me, PC BS they will look tragic this time, all the makeup in the world won;t hide their deception, arrogance, utter idiocy in White Towers.
JPH 4 hours ago
Transcripts of under oath statements before the House Intelligence committee revealed neither Susan Rice nor other Obama administration officials had any evidence of Russian meddling in 2016. Of course all proceeded with spreading baseless inuendo for years before and afterwards.

So if not under oath anything Susan Rice alleges is simply not worth listening to.

Miamijac 2 hours ago
civic agitation is ". . .right out of the Russian playbook. . ." Were they responsible for the Boston Tea Party too?
Wallstreet Panic 2 hours ago
Seems like so many presidents have been led into terrible foreign policy decisions by their Blob advisors...Obama by Susan Rice, Samantha Power, and Hillary; Dubya by Cheney and Rumsfield; Carter by Zbiggy, Ford and Nixon (both who should have known better) by Kissinger.
L RNY 2 hours ago
Susan Rice is more ignorant and has far lower intelligence than I ever suspected or she is playing politics and lying. The Russians have no motive. The Russians have no hand to play. The Chinese who have bribed a long list of democratic politicians have a very significant motive and a major hand to play in fomenting riots and race animosity...as a means to influence the November election away from Trump to Biden.

[Jun 01, 2020] More Evidence of the Fraud Against General Michael Flynn by Larry C Johnson

Highly recommended!
Looks like regular consultation between Russians and incoming administration to me. Also it was lame duck President who unilaterally decided to up his ante against Russians (criminally gaslighting the US public), expelled Russian diplomats to make the gaslighting more plausible, and seized Russian diplomatic property in violation of international norms. It was Obama who unleashed FBI dogs like Strzok and McCabe on Trump.
Russia later retaliated in a very modest way without seizing any US property, they just cut the level of the USA diplomatic personnel in Russia to the level of Russian personnel in the USA.
Notable quotes:
"... To summarize--a total of eight different calls between Kislyak and Flynn were recorded between December 22, 2016 and January 19, 2017. Five of the eight calls were initiated by Ambassador Kislyak -- Mike Flynn only called Kislyak three times and two of those were in response to calls from Kislyak, who requested a call back or left a message. ..."
Jun 01, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

More Evidence of the Fraud Against General Michael Flynn by Larry C Johnson

I never ceased to be amazed at the dishonesty and laziness of the media when it comes to reporting anything about Michael Flynn and the astonishing miscarriage of justice in bringing charges against him. The documents declassified and released by the DNI last Friday exonerate General Flynn and expose the FBI and the Mueller team as gargantuan liars. Even though Friday's release of the declassified summaries and transcripts was overshadowed quickly by rioting in Minnesota (you know, if it bleeds and burns it is the lede), the documents reveal General Flynn as the consummate professional keen on serving his country and the Russian Ambassador as disgusted by the petulance and arrogance of the Obama administration.

The declassified material released by newly installed Director for National Intelligence actually consists of two different sets of documents--First, there are five summaries of conversations for 22, 23, 29 (two on the 29th) December 2016 and 5 January. Second, there are the full transcripts of the conversations for December 23, December 29, December 31 in 2016 and January 12 and January 19, 2017.

To summarize--a total of eight different calls between Kislyak and Flynn were recorded between December 22, 2016 and January 19, 2017. Five of the eight calls were initiated by Ambassador Kislyak -- Mike Flynn only called Kislyak three times and two of those were in response to calls from Kislyak, who requested a call back or left a message.

Here are the specifics of those calls.


Alan , 30 May 2020 at 09:44 PM

This is also very interesting:

"Before General Flynn's voce message turns on, there is an open line, barely audible chat.
Someone asks Chernyshev, "Which agency are we talking about?" Chernyshev asks as to
confirm if he understands the question and responds in the same time: "Which Agency hackers
did the hacking? Believe me, Americans did hacked this all."

Petrel , 30 May 2020 at 10:56 PM
The full exchange between General Flynn and Ambassador Kislyak throws much light on the subsequent Sunday morning mis-speaking by the Vice-President Pence.

From the first telephone call, Flynn tells Kislyak that President-elect Trump will only be inaugurated 3-weeks hence. Therefore Trump in late-December cannot formally make foreign policy decisions immediately.

In a later exchange about Russia's proposed Astana Peace Conference to de-escalate ISIS activity In Syria, Flynn responds that Russia has Trump's backing to begin preparations with the Syrians, Turks et al. On his part, Flynn will begin pencilling-in who would be on a future US delegation.

It goes without saying that Vice President-elect Pence, during this period had a full-time job marshaling the Transition and may not have been in the loop on these tentative Russian peace initiatives. When asked on a Sunday morning talk show, Pence could correctly say President Trump had no "official communications" with the Kremlin. But to later trash & demand Flynn's dismissal for "lying to him" about the informal phone calls was inappropriate.

Pence could easily have told Americans that President-elect Trump was establishing informal relations, through multiple phone calls, with world leaders and he, Pence, was not party to all of them. No one in the fledgling Trump Administration was lying to him.

anon , 31 May 2020 at 12:25 AM
Hi Larry.why not tackle this knot from the Russian end.Russia has been fighting in Syria since jisr al shugour massacre in the groves.There naval base on the med was threatened and Gazprom stood to lose control of energy resources flowing out of the me too Europe.That has now been achieved.Not only that but Wagner group are in Libyan with Russian air support.From that point of view what was Flynn's role in this
Mathias Alexander , 31 May 2020 at 02:50 AM
" amazed at the dishonesty and laziness of the media". Dishonesty and laziness are the norm in the media.
English Outsider , 31 May 2020 at 06:06 AM

That was one superb summary.

I wonder sometimes whether the new administration, from Trump downwards, realised just what they were up against after that unexpected election victory.

h , 31 May 2020 at 12:02 PM
Time will tell but something tells me the release of the Kislyak-Flynn transcripts/FBI cuts is also related to Boente's forced resignation. Here's sundance's take - it's a long read btw - https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2020/05/30/boom-dana-boente-removed-fbi-chief-legal-counsel-forced-to-resign/

And yes, the hacking comment is fascinating on so many levels. It's just kinda left hanging out there all by itself, eh?

And a quick off-topic thank you to the Col for posting the Lara Logan clip. All efforts hunting for it yesterday failed. She nailed it.

JerseyJeffersonian , 31 May 2020 at 01:15 PM
English Outsider,

Yes, I think that evidence thus far revealed suggests that the sedition was far along, and this even before Trump's victory - an insurance policy, if you will, and way beyond any opposition research, as much of the "information", if not at root fabricated, was otherwise illegally gathered.

And immediate that election victory, things went into overdrive as the seditionists' panicked, doubling and tripling down on their illegal actions to frame a projected impeachment narrative as their next tactic. I hesitate to call it their next strategy, as it was too knee jerk to be characterized in that fashion.

So, no, I think that the new Trump administration had little idea of just how this transition of administration was, counter to most prior precedents, planned to be undermined with the full intent to invalidate the election of President Trump, and if possible, to overturn it .

This was sedition on multiple levels, crimes deliberately embarked upon to destroy the Constitution and the Republic by any means that these traitors deemed efficacious.

May they all rot in Hell.

blue peacock , 31 May 2020 at 04:48 PM
Petrel,

I believe Trump knew he was being spied on as Adm. Rogers informed him and thereafter he moved his transition organization away from Trump Tower.

In any case why did Trump throw Flynn under the bus? In hindsight that was a huge mistake. Another huge mistake in hindsight was not cleaning house at the DOJ, FBI and the intel agencies early. That allowed Rosenstein and Wray to get Mueller going and created the pretext of the investigation to bury all the incriminating evidence. Trump never declassified anything himself which he could have and broke open the plot. He then gave Barr all classification authority who sat on it for a year. Look how fast Ric Grenell declassified stuff. There was no "sources & methods" the usual false justification.

It is unconscionable how severely Flynn was screwed over. Why is Wray still there? How many of the plotter cohort still remain?

[Jun 01, 2020] Obama adviser Susan Rice knows who's responsible for the George Floyd riots. You guessed right, it's RUSSIA!

In was not enough for Obama honchos to gaslight the while nation with Russiagate. They want more action ;-)
Jun 01, 2020 | www.rt.com

How original.

[Jun 01, 2020] Injustice inequality are the real cause of US riots – but establishment who ignored the problem now cowardly blame Russia by Scott Ritter

Notable quotes:
"... The United States today functions in a never-never land of fiction and fantasy when it comes to allegations of Russian meddling in its internal affairs. Logically speaking, most Americans should be insulted by the notion that their democratic institutions are so weak that a half-baked social media campaign could sway a national election (never minding the reality that former presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg spent more than $500 million on advertising , run by the most sophisticated media support team in the history of American politics, and couldn't get the electoral needle to move an inch). ..."
Jun 01, 2020 | www.rt.com

As American political leaders are confronted with the scope and scale of the unrest engendered by decades of failed policy, they're turning to a time-tested scapegoat to deflect responsibility away from their shoulders – Russia. While American cities burn, its politicians are desperately looking to assign responsibility for the chaos and anarchy that is unfolding. Among those casting an accusatory finger is Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican from the State of Florida and the acting Chairman of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee.

"Seeing VERY heavy social media activity of #protest & counter reactions from social media accounts linked to at least three foreign adversaries," Rubio tweeted . "They didn't create these divisions," Rubio noted, "but they are actively stoking & promoting violence & confrontation from multiple angles."

Also on rt.com Russia's to blame? MSM allegations that Moscow had a hand in US anti-police-brutality riots 'entirely to be expected'

Evelyn Farkas, a former Obama-era defense official and current candidate for Congress, tweeted "I hope the @FBI is investigating potential direct or indirect foreign interference in looting. Definitely not out of the question." While neither Rubio nor Farkas named Russia in their tweets, they are both well-known for their Russia-baiting postings on social media, and there could be little doubt as to whom they were pointing an accusatory finger at.

President Obama's former National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, however, left no doubt about where the source of this "foreign influence" came from. In an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Rice, discussing the violent protests sweeping America today, declared "I would bet, based on my experience, I'm not reading the intelligence these days, but based on my experience this is right out of the Russian playbook as well."

Rice, Rubio and Farkas are not alone. Typical of the anti-Russian hyperventilation taking place in US media regarding Russia's alleged hidden hand in the ongoing riots is an article published by CNN , written by Donie O'Sullivan , a reporter who works closely with CNN's investigative unit "tracking and identifying online disinformation campaigns targeting the American electorate." While concluding that "the protests are real, and so are the protesters' concerns," and cautioning the reader to step back and take a breath "before getting too caught up" in any discussion about Russian involvement, O'Sullivan asserts that starting with the 2016 Presidential election "Russia backed (and is likely still backing) an elaborate, years-long covert misinformation campaign" involving "a network of Facebook and Twitter pages designed to look like they were run by real American activists and that were used to stoke tensions in American society."

But the pièce de résistance comes in the middle of the article. "Arguably Russia's biggest achievement," O'Sullivan states, "was the paranoia it instilled in American society. We now regularly see Americans accuse people and groups on social media that they do not agree with of being Russian trolls or bots. These accusations are often made with no evidence and can distract from and undermine real Americans who are engaging in political speech."

Thanks to Russia, O'Sullivan asserts, Americans now have Russia on their mind even if Russia is not involved–which is, of course, Russia's fault. But don't fret -- "It is possible that we will learn in the coming days, weeks, and months that some covert activity has been going on–that some Facebook pages and Twitter accounts encouraging violent protests are indeed linked to Russia."

The United States today functions in a never-never land of fiction and fantasy when it comes to allegations of Russian meddling in its internal affairs. Logically speaking, most Americans should be insulted by the notion that their democratic institutions are so weak that a half-baked social media campaign could sway a national election (never minding the reality that former presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg spent more than $500 million on advertising , run by the most sophisticated media support team in the history of American politics, and couldn't get the electoral needle to move an inch).

There is a truism that you cannot solve a problem without first properly defining it. In their effort to shift blame away from their own failings by alleging "outside" (i.e., Russia) sources of interference in the ongoing social unrest ravaging American cities, the politicians and leaders Americans look to for solutions are setting themselves up for failure, if for no other reason that any solution which is predicated on unproven allegations of Russian meddling isn't solving the real problems facing American society today.

Russia did not direct the murder of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police. Nor did Russia direct and implement decades of policing culture in the United States underpinned by racism, backed by a system of justice that sustained and magnified the same. The social and legal inequities of American law enforcement have been a problem hiding in plain sight for decades, only to be ignored by generations of American leaders who exploited the fear-based culture that fed on this system for their own political gain; Russia had nothing whatsoever to do with this cancer that has metastasized throughout the width and breadth of the American body public.

It is the height of intellectual hypocrisy and moral cowardice for those whom America needs the most in this time of trouble to stand up and take a hard, honest look at the diseased nature of the American law enforcement establishment today, and make the kind of difficult but necessary decisions needed to reform it, to instead cast blame on the Russian bogeyman. The Russian blame game may play well on media outlets that long ago surrendered to a political establishment desperate to retain power and influence regardless of the cost. But, for the legion of Americans whose frustration with the inherent racism of American policing policies today, this kind of simplistic deflection will not succeed. America's cities are on fire; manufacturing false narratives that place the blame for this conflagration of Russia will not put them out.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT. Scott Ritter is a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer. He served in the Soviet Union as an inspector implementing the INF Treaty, in General Schwarzkopf's staff during the Gulf War, and from 1991-1998 as a UN weapons inspector. Follow him on Twitter @RealScottRitter is a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer. He served in the Soviet Union as an inspector implementing the INF Treaty, in General Schwarzkopf's staff during the Gulf War, and from 1991-1998 as a UN weapons inspector. Follow him on Twitter @RealScottRitter

[Jun 01, 2020] More Evidence of the Fraud Against General Michael Flynn by Larry C Johnson

Highly recommended!
Looks like regular consultation between Russians and incoming administration to me. Also it was lame duck President who unilaterally decided to up his ante against Russians (criminally gaslighting the US public), expelled Russian diplomats to make the gaslighting more plausible, and seized Russian diplomatic property in violation of international norms. It was Obama who unleashed FBI dogs like Strzok and McCabe on Trump.
Russia later retaliated in a very modest way without seizing any US property, they just cut the level of the USA diplomatic personnel in Russia to the level of Russian personnel in the USA.
Jun 01, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

More Evidence of the Fraud Against General Michael Flynn by Larry C Johnson

I never ceased to be amazed at the dishonesty and laziness of the media when it comes to reporting anything about Michael Flynn and the astonishing miscarriage of justice in bringing charges against him. The documents declassified and released by the DNI last Friday exonerate General Flynn and expose the FBI and the Mueller team as gargantuan liars. Even though Friday's release of the declassified summaries and transcripts was overshadowed quickly by rioting in Minnesota (you know, if it bleeds and burns it is the lede), the documents reveal General Flynn as the consummate professional keen on serving his country and the Russian Ambassador as disgusted by the petulance and arrogance of the Obama administration.

The declassified material released by newly installed Director for National Intelligence actually consists of two different sets of documents--First, there are five summaries of conversations for 22, 23, 29 (two on the 29th) December 2016 and 5 January. Second, there are the full transcripts of the conversations for December 23, December 29, December 31 in 2016 and January 12 and January 19, 2017.

To summarize--a total of eight different calls between Kislyak and Flynn were recorded between December 22, 2016 and January 19, 2017. Five of the eight calls were initiated by Ambassador Kislyak -- Mike Flynn only called Kislyak three times and two of those were in response to calls from Kislyak, who requested a call back or left a message.

Here are the specifics of those calls.


Alan , 30 May 2020 at 09:44 PM

This is also very interesting:

"Before General Flynn's voce message turns on, there is an open line, barely audible chat.
Someone asks Chernyshev, "Which agency are we talking about?" Chernyshev asks as to
confirm if he understands the question and responds in the same time: "Which Agency hackers
did the hacking? Believe me, Americans did hacked this all."

Petrel , 30 May 2020 at 10:56 PM
The full exchange between General Flynn and Ambassador Kislyak throws much light on the subsequent Sunday morning mis-speaking by the Vice-President Pence.

From the first telephone call, Flynn tells Kislyak that President-elect Trump will only be inaugurated 3-weeks hence. Therefore Trump in late-December cannot formally make foreign policy decisions immediately.

In a later exchange about Russia's proposed Astana Peace Conference to de-escalate ISIS activity In Syria, Flynn responds that Russia has Trump's backing to begin preparations with the Syrians, Turks et al. On his part, Flynn will begin pencilling-in who would be on a future US delegation.

It goes without saying that Vice President-elect Pence, during this period had a full-time job marshaling the Transition and may not have been in the loop on these tentative Russian peace initiatives. When asked on a Sunday morning talk show, Pence could correctly say President Trump had no "official communications" with the Kremlin. But to later trash & demand Flynn's dismissal for "lying to him" about the informal phone calls was inappropriate.

Pence could easily have told Americans that President-elect Trump was establishing informal relations, through multiple phone calls, with world leaders and he, Pence, was not party to all of them. No one in the fledgling Trump Administration was lying to him.

anon , 31 May 2020 at 12:25 AM
Hi Larry.why not tackle this knot from the Russian end.Russia has been fighting in Syria since jisr al shugour massacre in the groves.There naval base on the med was threatened and Gazprom stood to lose control of energy resources flowing out of the me too Europe.That has now been achieved.Not only that but Wagner group are in Libyan with Russian air support.From that point of view what was Flynn's role in this
Mathias Alexander , 31 May 2020 at 02:50 AM
" amazed at the dishonesty and laziness of the media". Dishonesty and laziness are the norm in the media.
English Outsider , 31 May 2020 at 06:06 AM

That was one superb summary.

I wonder sometimes whether the new administration, from Trump downwards, realised just what they were up against after that unexpected election victory.

h , 31 May 2020 at 12:02 PM
Time will tell but something tells me the release of the Kislyak-Flynn transcripts/FBI cuts is also related to Boente's forced resignation. Here's sundance's take - it's a long read btw - https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2020/05/30/boom-dana-boente-removed-fbi-chief-legal-counsel-forced-to-resign/

And yes, the hacking comment is fascinating on so many levels. It's just kinda left hanging out there all by itself, eh?

And a quick off-topic thank you to the Col for posting the Lara Logan clip. All efforts hunting for it yesterday failed. She nailed it.

JerseyJeffersonian , 31 May 2020 at 01:15 PM
English Outsider,

Yes, I think that evidence thus far revealed suggests that the sedition was far along, and this even before Trump's victory - an insurance policy, if you will, and way beyond any opposition research, as much of the "information", if not at root fabricated, was otherwise illegally gathered.

And immediate that election victory, things went into overdrive as the seditionists' panicked, doubling and tripling down on their illegal actions to frame a projected impeachment narrative as their next tactic. I hesitate to call it their next strategy, as it was too knee jerk to be characterized in that fashion.

So, no, I think that the new Trump administration had little idea of just how this transition of administration was, counter to most prior precedents, planned to be undermined with the full intent to invalidate the election of President Trump, and if possible, to overturn it .

This was sedition on multiple levels, crimes deliberately embarked upon to destroy the Constitution and the Republic by any means that these traitors deemed efficacious.

May they all rot in Hell.

blue peacock , 31 May 2020 at 04:48 PM
Petrel,

I believe Trump knew he was being spied on as Adm. Rogers informed him and thereafter he moved his transition organization away from Trump Tower.

In any case why did Trump throw Flynn under the bus? In hindsight that was a huge mistake. Another huge mistake in hindsight was not cleaning house at the DOJ, FBI and the intel agencies early. That allowed Rosenstein and Wray to get Mueller going and created the pretext of the investigation to bury all the incriminating evidence. Trump never declassified anything himself which he could have and broke open the plot. He then gave Barr all classification authority who sat on it for a year. Look how fast Ric Grenell declassified stuff. There was no "sources & methods" the usual false justification.

It is unconscionable how severely Flynn was screwed over. Why is Wray still there? How many of the plotter cohort still remain?

[May 31, 2020] Russians are geniuses: first they put Donald Trump in power and now they're trying to tear the country apart under him by supporting both black lives matter, and white supremacists at the same time.

May 31, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Maximus , May 31 2020 20:32 utc | 76

Boy these Russians are geniuses of the highest order ... First they put Donald Trump in power and now they're trying to tear the country apart under him by supporting both black lives matter, and white supremacists at the same time.

I don't know how these stupid Journos can even imagine this stuff up out of their arses. The sad irony is that these journalists will be the ones when future generations look back who most contributed to the downfall of America ....

[May 31, 2020] On the meaning of the term Russiagate

May 31, 2020 | angrybearblog.com
  1. likbez , May 31, 2020 2:03 am

    Anybody who uses the term "Russiagate" seriously and not to recognize the actual and serious Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election in support of Trump is not to be taken remotely seriously.

    Russiagate is a valid and IMHO very useful political discourse term which has two intersecting meanings:

    1. Obamagate : Attempt of a certain political forces around Clintons and Obama with the support of intelligence agencies to stage a "color revolution" against Trump, using there full control of MSM as air superiority factor. With the main goal is the return to "classic neoliberalism" (neoliberal globalization uber alles) mode

    Which Trump rejected during his election campaign painting him as a threat to certain powerful neoliberal forces which include but not limited to Silicon Valley moguls (note bad relations of Trump and Bezos), some part of Wall street financial oligarchy, and most MSMs honchos.

    2. Neo-McCarthyism campaign unleashed by Obama administration with the goal to whitewash Hillary fiasco and to preserve the current leadership of the Democratic Party.

    That led to complete deterioration of relations between the USA and Russia and increase of chances of military conflict between two. Add to this consistent attempts of Trump to make China an enemy and politicize the process of economic disengagement between the two countries and you understand the level of danger. .

    When a senior Russian official implicitly calls the USA a rogue state and Trump administration -- gangsters on international arena, that a very bad sign. See

    https://nationalinterest.org/feature/russian-deputy-foreign-minister-sergei-ryabkov-%E2%80%9Cwe-have-no-trust-no-confidence-whatsoever%E2%80%9D

    But then again, it may well be so that the current Republican administration will in effect become a line in history in which a considerable number of useful international instruments were abrogated and that America exited them in the anticipation that this approach would serve U.S. interests better. Having said that, I will never say or never suggest that it was for us -- at least in the mid-2010s -- better with the previous administration.

    It was under the previous Obama administration that endless rounds of sanctions were imposed upon Russia. That was continued under Trump. The pretext for that policy is totally rejected by Russia as an invalid and illegal one. The previous administration, weeks before it departed, stole Russian property that was protected by diplomatic immunity, and we are still deprived of this property by the Trump administration. We have sent 350 diplomatic notes to both the Obama and the Trump administrations demanding the return of this property, only to see an endless series of rejections. It is one of the most vivid and obvious examples of where we are in our relationship.

    There is no such thing as "which administration is better for Russia in the U.S.?" Both are bad, and this is our conclusion after more than a decade of talking to Washington on different topics.

    Heilbrunn: Given the dire situation you portray, do you believe that America has become a rogue state?

    Ryabkov: I wouldn't say so, that's not our conclusion. But the U.S. is clearly an entity that stands for itself, one that creates uncertainty for the world. America is a source of trouble for many international actors. They are trying to find ways to protect and defend themselves from this malign and malicious policy of America that many of the people around the world believe should come to an end, hopefully in the near future.

    What I can't understand is this stupid jingoism, kind of "cult of death" among the US neocons, who personally are utter chickenhawks, but still from their comfortable offices write dangerous warmongering nonsense. Without understanding possible longer term consequences.

    Of course, MIC money does not smell, but some enthusiasts in blogs do it even without proper remuneration

[May 29, 2020] Andrew Weisdman, the attack dog of Mueller investigation, fundraiser links Creepy Joe to Russiagate and Mueller

May 29, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

The Biden campaign has quietly canceled a fundraiser headlined by Andrew Weissman - former special counsel Robert Mueller's 'attack dog' lawyer who hand-picked the so-called '13 angry Democrats.'

Weissman, who attended Hillary Clinton's election night party in 2016, donated to Obama and the DNC, yet somehow conducted an unbiased investigation that turned up snake-eyes, was set to do a June 2 "fireside chat" with Biden , according to the WSJ , which notes that the fundraiser was pulled right after it was posted late last week - shortly after the Trump campaign began to latch onto it.

Yes, there's more value in keeping the lie going that the mueller special counsel hasn't already been established beyond any doubt as a fraudulent and deeply unethical partisan takedown scheme against Trump https://t.co/5wuFYpgggr https://t.co/mxaHomTaQO

-- Buck Sexton (@BuckSexton) May 29, 2020

Weissman - known as the "architect" of the case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort - notably reached out to a Ukrainian oligarch for dirt on Trump and his team days after FBI agent Peter Strzok texted "There's no big there there" regarding the Trump investigation in exchange for 'resolving the Firtash case' in Chicago, in which he was charged in 2014 with corruption and bribery linked to a US aerospace deal.

According to investigative journalist John Solomon, Firtash turned down Weissman's offer because he didn't have credible information or evidence against Trump , Manafort, or anyone else.

[May 28, 2020] U.S. Declares a Vaccine War on the World

Notable quotes:
"... The failure of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) against COVID-19, with nearly four times the annual budget of the WHO, is visible to the world. The CDC failed to provide a successful test for SARS-CoV-2 in the critical months of February and March , while ignoring the WHO's successful test kits that were distributed to 120 countries. ..."
"... Trump has yet to hold his administration and the CDC responsible for this criminal bungling. This, more than any other failure , is the reason that the U.S. numbers for COVID-19 are now more than 1.5 million and about a third of all global infections. Contrast this with China, the first to face an unknown epidemic, stopping it at 82,000 infections, and the amazing results that countries such as Vietnam and South Korea have produced. ..."
"... Taiwan was the first to inform the WHO of human-to-human transmissions in December, but was completely ignored. ..."
"... "Just how evil does this situation become? Is the general leadership of the American political economy trying to be evil just for the fun of it?" ..."
"... And at what point does the general indifference to this state of affairs that still, incredibly, obtains, turn over into mass outrage and condemnation? Skrelli, Bayer, and all the rest are frelling evil. Extortion writ large, with easily preventable death and suffering. ..."
"... As you note it's about profits. One of the disturbing condemnations of the now fading American Century, which most USians remain contentedly oblivious to is that during their watch as global hegemon, the US, in what can be seen, in the best light, as bad faith, worked to undermine the democratic functionality of international cooperative organizations like the WHO, the UN, etc. ..."
"... The intention of granting copyrights and patents was noble, to provide a limited monopoly on an invention or literary work for a limited period. IP has been distorted and twisted, extended to insane time limits to protect works that for any common sense thinkers have already become public domain (see, e.g. the Happy Birthday song, Mickey Mouse or re-formulation of a drug that's gone out of patent). Software should have had its own IP regime but that ship has sailed (thanks Bill G.). ..."
May 28, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Donald Trump launched a new vaccine war in May, but not against the virus. It was against the world. The United States and the UK were the only two holdouts in the World Health Assembly from the declaration that vaccines and medicines for COVID-19 should be available as public goods , and not under exclusive patent rights. The United States explicitly disassociated itself from the patent pool call, talking instead of "the critical role that intellectual property plays" -- in other words, patents for vaccines and medicines. Having badly botched his COVID-19 response, Trump is trying to redeem his electoral fortunes in the November elections this year by promising an early vaccine. The 2020 version of Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan is shaping up to be, essentially, " vaccines for us" -- but the rest of the world will have to queue up and pay what big pharma asks, as they will hold the patents.

In contrast, all other countries agreed with the Costa Rican proposal in the World Health Assembly that there should be a patent pool for all COVID-19 vaccines and medicines. President Xi said that Chinese vaccines would be available as a public good , a view also shared by European Union leaders . Among the 10 candidate vaccines in Phase 1 and 2 of clinical trials, the Chinese have five, the United States has three, and the UK and Germany have one each.

Trump has given an ultimatum to the World Health Organization (WHO) with a permanent withdrawal of funds if it does not mend its ways in 30 days. In sharp contrast, in the World Health Assembly (the highest decision-making body of the WHO), almost all countries, including close allies of the United States, rallied behind the WHO. The failure of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) against COVID-19, with nearly four times the annual budget of the WHO, is visible to the world. The CDC failed to provide a successful test for SARS-CoV-2 in the critical months of February and March , while ignoring the WHO's successful test kits that were distributed to 120 countries.

Trump has yet to hold his administration and the CDC responsible for this criminal bungling. This, more than any other failure , is the reason that the U.S. numbers for COVID-19 are now more than 1.5 million and about a third of all global infections. Contrast this with China, the first to face an unknown epidemic, stopping it at 82,000 infections, and the amazing results that countries such as Vietnam and South Korea have produced.

One issue is now looming large over the COVID-19 pandemic. If we do not address the intellectual property rights issue in this pandemic, we are likely to see a repeat of the AIDS tragedy . People died for 10 years (1994-2004) as patented AIDS medicine was priced at $10,000 to $15,000 for a year's supply, far beyond their reach. Finally, patent laws in India allowed people to get AIDS medicine at less than a dollar a day , or $350 for a year's supply. Today, 80 percent of the world's AIDS medicine comes from India. For big pharma, profits trumped lives, and they will continue to do so, COVID or no COVID, unless we change the world.

Most countries have compulsory licensing provisions that will allow them to break patents in case of epidemics or health emergencies. Even the WTO, after a bitter fight, accepted in its Doha Declaration (2001) that countries, in a health emergency, have the right to allow any company to manufacture a patented drug without the patent holder's permission, and even import it from other countries.

Why is it, then, that countries are unable to break patents, even if there are provisions in their laws and in the TRIPS Agreement? The answer is their fear of U.S. sanctions against them. Every year, the U.S. Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) issues a Special 301 Report that it has used to threaten trade sanctions against any country that tries to compulsorily license any patented product. India figures prominently in this report year after year, for daring to issue a compulsory license in 2012 to Natco for nexavar, a cancer drug Bayer was selling for more than $65,000 a year . Marijn Dekkers, the CEO of Bayer, was quoted widely that this was "theft," and "We did not develop this medicine for Indians We developed it for Western patients who can afford it."

This leaves unanswered how many people even in the affluent West can afford a $65,000 bill for an illness. But there is no question that a bill of this magnitude is a death sentence for anybody but the super-rich in countries like India. Though a number of other drugs were under also consideration for compulsory licensing at that time, India has not exercised this provision again after receiving U.S. threats.

It is the fear that countries can break patents using their compulsory licensing powers that led to proposals for patent pooling. The argument was that since many of these diseases do not affect rich countries, big pharma should either let go of their patents to such patent pools, or philanthropic capital should fund the development of new drugs for this pool. Facing the pandemic of COVID-19, it is this idea of patent pooling that emerged in the recent World Health Assembly , WHA-73. All countries supported this proposal, barring the United States and its loyal camp follower, the UK . The United States also entered its disagreement on the final WHA resolution, being the lone objector to patent pooling of COVID-19 medicines and vaccines, noting "the critical role that intellectual property plays in incentivizing the development of new and improved health products."

While patent pooling is welcome if no other measure is available, it also makes it appear as if countries have no other recourse apart from the charity of big capital. What this hides, as charity always does, is that people and countries have legitimate rights even under TRIPS to break patents under conditions of an epidemic or a health emergency.

The United States, which screams murder if a compulsory license is issued by any country, has no such compunction when its own interests are threatened. During the anthrax scare in 2001, the U.S. Secretary of Health issued a threat to Bayer under "eminent domain for patents" for licensing the anthrax-treatment drug ciprofloxacin to other manufacturers. Bayer folded, and agreed to supply the quantity at a price that the U.S. government had set. And without a whimper. Yes, this is the same Bayer that considers India as a "thief" for issuing a compulsory license!

The vaccination for COVID-19 might need to be repeated each year, as we still do not know the duration of its protection. It is unlikely that a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 will provide a lifetime immunity like the smallpox vaccine. Unlike AIDS, where the patient numbers were smaller and were unfortunately stigmatized in different ways, COVID-19 is a visible threat for everyone. Any attempt to hold people and governments to ransom on COVID-19 vaccines or medicines could see the collapse of the entire patent edifice of TRIPS that big pharma backed by the United States and major EU countries have built. That is why the more clever in the capitalist world have moved toward a voluntary patent pool for potential COVID-19 medicines and vaccines. A voluntary patent pool means that companies or institutions holding patents on medicines -- such as remdesivir -- or vaccines would voluntarily hand them over to such a pool. The terms and conditions of such a handover, meaning at concessional rates, or for only for certain regions, are still not clear -- leading to criticism that a voluntary patent pool is not a substitute for declaring that all such medicines and vaccines should be declared global public goods during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unlike clever capital, Trump's response to the COVID-19 vaccine is to thuggishly bully his way through. He believes that with the unlimited money that the United States is now willing to put into the vaccine efforts, it will either beat everybody else to the winning post, or buy the company that is successful . If this strategy succeeds, he can then use "his" COVID-19 vaccine as a new instrument of global power. It is the United States that will then decide which countries get the vaccine (and for how much), and which ones don't.

Trump does not believe in a rule-based global order , even if the rules are biased in favor of the rich. He is walking out of various arms control agreements and has crippled the WTO . He believes that the United States, as the biggest economy and the most powerful military power , should have the untrammeled right to dictate to all countries. Threats of bombing and invasions can be combined with illegal unilateral sanctions ; and the latest weapon in his imaginary arsenal is withholding vaccines.

Trump's little problem is that the days of the United States being a sole global hegemon passed decades ago. The United States has shown itself as a fumbling giant and its epidemic response shambolic . It has been unable to provide virus tests to its people in time, and failed to stop the epidemic through containment/mitigation measures, which a number of other countries have done.

China and the EU have already agreed that any vaccine developed by them will be regarded as a public good. Even without that, once a medicine or a vaccine is known to be successful, any country with a reasonable scientific infrastructure can replicate the medicine or the vaccine, and manufacture it locally. India in particular has one of the largest generic drug and vaccine manufacturing capacities in the world. What prevents India, or any country for that matter, from manufacturing COVID-19 vaccines or drugs once they are developed -- only the empty threat of a failed hegemon on breaking patents?


Noel Nospamington , May 28, 2020 at 4:19 am

Clearly the Trump and Johnson administrations are completely wrong in not supporting that all COVID vaccines and medications be declared as public goods. This is an unprecedented global threat requiring unprecedented global response.

But as a Canadian I have to reluctantly admit, there are legimate reasons to oppose the WHO. Trump like a broken clock can be correct twice a day, even if he is wrong the other 1438 times a day.

The worst offence is that the WHO (World Health Organisation) is suppose to represent the world, and yet it deliberately excludes Taiwan, which it a known part of the world with 24 million people.

Taiwan was the first to inform the WHO of human-to-human transmissions in December, but was completely ignored. And Taiwan has best handled its response to the pandemic.

Personally I think that all countries should stop supporting the WHO until it restores Taiwan's observer status it previous had until 2016. The only other reasonable option would be to create an alternative health organisation to the WHO which does not exclude any part of the world.

The WHO also has other failings, including corruption, exorbitant travel expenses, and an unqualified president beholden to the CCP. But these failings pale in comparison to Taiwan's exclusion, and hopefully the other failings can be fixed within the organisation.

Amfortas the hippie , May 28, 2020 at 7:49 am

"Just how evil does this situation become? Is the general leadership of the American political economy trying to be evil just for the fun of it?"

And at what point does the general indifference to this state of affairs that still, incredibly, obtains, turn over into mass outrage and condemnation?
Skrelli, Bayer, and all the rest are frelling evil. Extortion writ large, with easily preventable death and suffering.

it did NOT begin with trump.It's been there for most of my life. What will it take for ordinary people to get mad enough about it all to do something about it?

Even in this article, the unspoken assumption is that our hands are somehow tied that these corps have agency far beyond anyone else's but those corps can be seized, and exist only at the pleasure of governments in the places they pretend to exist in.

They are a human creation an Egregore, set tottering about as if it were willful and alive but even Lefties treat them as untouchable godlike entities "oh, well lets appeal to "Benevolent Capital, instead "

"Behold, I show you the last man. 'What is love? What is creation? What is longing? What is a star?' thus asks the last man, and blinks. The earth has become small, and on it hops the last man, who makes everything small. His race is as ineradicable as the flea; the last man lives longest. 'We have invented happiness,'say the last men, and they blink. They have left the regions where it was hard to live, for one needs warmth. One still loves one's neighbor and rubs against him, for one needs warmth

One still works, for work is a form of entertainment. But one is careful lest the entertainment be too harrowing. One no longer becomes poor or rich: both require too much exertion. Who still wants to rule? Who obey? Both require too much exertion.

No shepherd and one herd! Everybody wants the same, everybody is the same: whoever feels different goes voluntarily into a madhouse. 'Formerly, all the world was mad,' say the most refined, and they blink

One has one's little pleasure for the day and one's little pleasure for the night: but one has a regard for health. 'We have invented happiness,' say the last men, and they blink.""

-Zarathustra

mpalomar , May 28, 2020 at 8:50 am

As you note it's about profits. One of the disturbing condemnations of the now fading American Century, which most USians remain contentedly oblivious to is that during their watch as global hegemon, the US, in what can be seen, in the best light, as bad faith, worked to undermine the democratic functionality of international cooperative organizations like the WHO, the UN, etc.

Thus when emergencies arise such as international diplomatic crisis or pandemics, it is found these organisations have been rendered untrustworthy, corrupted and unreliable; unsuited to purpose. American exceptionalism?

VietnamVet , May 28, 2020 at 5:55 am

It is clear now that the USA will not fund a national public health system to fight the coronavirus epidemic. The only conclusion is the reason is to allow Pharmaceutical Corporations to make huge profits by marketing patented drugs and vaccines to treat the illness; if and when, they become available sometime in the future.

Due to incompetence, lack of money and bad messengering; the economic reopening of the USA could kill close to a million Americans. To Republicans and Libertarians, this is of no concern. Democrats may acknowledge the deaths but say they are unavoidable.

For the Elite keeping their wealth is more important than spending a portion to prevent the huge costs in lives and treasure that will come once the Wuhan Coronavirus is established across North America like the related common cold.

Alternate Delegate , May 28, 2020 at 6:32 am

This is a teachable moment on the immorality of all "intellectual property". I am pleased to see that so many countries – other than the US and the UK – can get together on the common decency of allowing everyone to live, and set that above the "justice" of paying off intellectual property assignees. But these countries still have some ways to go in understanding that this applies to all information. That the creation of information can never be a living – in contrast to a living based on the creation of essential goods and services, about which we are learning so much right now! – and that information can never be owned.

They do not yet fully comprehend that all claims to own and extract rent from information are in fact crimes against humanity.

But they will. A teachable, as I said, moment.

Bugs Bunny , May 28, 2020 at 7:05 am

The intention of granting copyrights and patents was noble, to provide a limited monopoly on an invention or literary work for a limited period. IP has been distorted and twisted, extended to insane time limits to protect works that for any common sense thinkers have already become public domain (see, e.g. the Happy Birthday song, Mickey Mouse or re-formulation of a drug that's gone out of patent). Software should have had its own IP regime but that ship has sailed (thanks Bill G.).

Either a giant reform is due or people will ignore the law and infringe the IP. Chinese companies do it with impunity. Maybe they're right to do so.

John Wright , May 28, 2020 at 9:59 am

It appears that the USA has some real competition in the intellectual property game.

Per https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Intellectual_Property_Indicators

Patent applications for the top 20 offices, 2018
Rank Country Patent applications
1 China 1,542,002
2 U.S. 597,141
3 Japan 313,567
4 South Korea 209,992

If one sums up USA patent applications vs Asia (China, Japan, SK), it is USA 597K vs Asia 2066K.

So Asia is putting in patent applications, vs the USA, at a 3.46 multiple vs the USA.

It will be interesting to see if the USA attitude about the sanctity of intellectual property changes when important key patents are held by the rest of the world.

timbers , May 28, 2020 at 8:33 am

Teachable moments. This could get really interesting if China or a non US & associated puppets develops an effect Covid treatment first.

I will dream of something like this: China develops vaccine, offers it free to US on condition it reduce it's Dept of War & Aggression by 80% and honor all existing and recently existing arms control agreement, and withdraws it's Naval forces though out the world and confines them to the North Atlantic and California coast.

ProNewerDeal , May 28, 2020 at 8:55 am

I wonder if a geopolitically powerful nation/bloc of nations such as China/India/etc might announce that they disregard pharma IP, & announce that they will adhere to the economist Dr Dean Baker-type policy of open source pharma R&D/recipe publication, any private manufacturer may manufacture & sell the resultant pharma SKU. I am referring to any type of pharma or medical device (such as ventilators), not just a COVID-19 vaccine. I would guesstimate that the "soft power" & goodwill generated by such a policy would be extremely beneficial to those nation(s). Furthermore, the US if it tried to retaliate via sanctions or other threats would get a corresponding additional decrease in soft power.

Raj , May 28, 2020 at 9:37 am

To be honest, in some instances Indian govt practices on pharma are quite bad. It is extremely hard in some instances to recoup investments at prices they ask for.

[May 26, 2020] Too much drinking at working place or what -- omething really strange happening at the NY Times: instead of usual warmongering we see critique of military as white supremacist organization

May 26, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , May 25 2020 18:08 utc | 96

Something's happening at the NY Times .

As I pointed out in my 29 above about the front page noting the names and occupations of 1,000 of the 100,000 that have needlessly died due to Trump's Treasonous Do Nothing COVID-19 Policy, today RT reports about a Memorial Day op/ed that disses the Military: "Why Does the U.S. Military Celebrate White Supremacy?"

That made the Pentagon's Spin Master angry, puff out his chest to fume and moan.

There's not much to the RT report, but I can't recall any similar display done before by the NY Times . IMO, something's happened within the Top Office and it seems to be aimed at Trump.

Of course, I'd never have known about any such happening if it hadn't been for the reporting by RT & Global Times .

[May 24, 2020] Wouldn't it be more useful to allocate $ 250,000 to save someone's lives instead of "Exposing Russian Health Disinformation"

$250K can buy a lot of masks, probably over million ;-)
May 24, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

moscowexile May 24, 2020 at 4:10 am

Have they nothing better to do than peddle their Russophobia?

Wouldn't it be more useful to allocate $ 250,000 to save someone's lives, @StateDept ? Instead of "Exposing Russian Health Disinformation"
➡️ https://t.co/Hv3CydUgBX

📸 Medical aid 🇷🇺✈️🇺🇸 in NYC and Moscow pic.twitter.com/BVFxDVJJAH

-- Russia in USA 🇷🇺 (@RusEmbUSA) May 23, 2020

[May 24, 2020] Shadow of coronavirus over the US Presedential elections

Did Trump really lost "Over 65" voting block? If so he is cooked.
May 24, 2020 | www.globaltimes.cn

"The American people are miserable amid the epidemic, and their president is an eccentric who does not care about the safety of ordinary people and is good at passing the buck," Li said.

Many analysts have noted the epidemic in the US might not end before the US election , and Trump's repeated emphasis on work resumption would not take off as long as the coronavirus enjoys freedom to spread.

... ... ...

Ni Feng, director of the institute of American studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, told the Global Times the death notice of COVID-19 victims on the New York Times' front page could "deal a fatal blow to Trump's re-election" as most of the names on the front page were elderly people, his potential voters.

The elderly are always conservative, and thus most are potentially Trump's voters, Ni opined.

The voter turnout of the elderly is also higher than young people, said Ni, noting Trump's behavior will make the firmest supporters change their mind, "facing the crisis of life."

[May 24, 2020] Why Russiagate Still Matters by Rob Urie

The concept of managerial class liberals (PMC - abbrevation which probably means "project management class" ??? ) as the core of Clinton wing of the Democrtic Party is an interesting one.
Notable quotes:
"... At the height of the Russiagate hysteria, as charges were flying that the 'attack' was worse than Pearl Harbor and 9/11 rolled into one, the class that had filled military recruiting stations following these earlier events was notably quiet. The faction that believed the charges, managerial class liberals (PMC), still substantially believes them despite none of the evidence put forward to support them holding up under examination. ..."
"... The Iraq War and the Great Recession created political divisions that are unlikely to be resolved without a redistribution of political and economic power downward. ..."
"... By the time the Great Recession struck in 2007, the U.S. war against Iraq was widely understood to be a strategic and military blunder, murderous almost beyond comprehension, and based on lies from American officials. ..."
"... Prior to this -- in the early 1990s, the New Democrats had made a strategic decision to tie their lot to the 'new economy' of Wall Street. Recruiting suburban Republicans into the Democratic Party was old news by Bill Clinton's second term. The PMC was made the ideological core of the Party. This helps explain the substantial overlap between the 'liberal hawks' who would some years later support George W. Bush's war against Iraq and the Russiagate truthers who were tied through class interests to its orthodoxies. ..."
"... While Democrat versus Republican or left versus right are most often used to distinguish Russiagate proponents and believers from skeptics, it was the urban and suburban PMC that gets its news from the establishment press -- the New York Times, Washington Post and NPR, that believed and supported the story. As it happens, the PMC and rich are the demographic that these news sources serve . Class connotes substantively different lived experience. The Russiagate true believers have benefitted from official connections and the skeptics and large majority of those disinterested in Russiagate haven't. ..."
"... As one who spent years using scientific methods to conduct empirical research, 1) it is as easy to lie with evidence as without it and 2) every source for the Russiagate charges that I followed tied back to the DNC, the CIA or its NGO affiliates like the Atlantic Council. These are political actors, not disinterested parties. The method of reporting is to state charges in the headline, and then to correctly state that official sources claim that the headline charges are true in the body of the article. This leaves the impression that evidence supports the headline charges with no actual evidence having been presented. Deference to authority isn't evidence. ..."
"... As I laid out in 2018 here , the role of the CIA in oil and gas geopolitics ties the motives for demonizing Russia to U.S. machinations in Ukraine and to weapons production and distribution as the business of U.S. based corporations. Further back, while the George W. Bush administration's war against Iraq was a strategic, military, moral and humanitarian disaster, oligarchs and corporate executives made personal fortunes from it. This 'model' of the modern state acting on behalf of business interests ties all the way back to the alleged pre-capitalism of mercantilism. ..."
"... The PMC is the service class of this state-capitalism, with corporate lawyers, tech workers, Wall Street traders and middle managers whose livelihoods and identities are tied to their class position through these jobs. ..."
"... This difference in lived experience explains why the PMC saw the Wall Street bailouts as both necessary and effective, while much of the rest of the country didn't. Wall Street is the functional core of the PMC economy through the process of financialization. ..."
"... The tendency to vote rises with family income. The well to do elected Donald Trump, as they do every president. As the machinations to make Joe Biden the Democrat's candidate in 2020 suggest, the poor can vote for their choice to represent the interests of the rich, but not their own ..."
"... Russiagate was and is defense of a class realm, of the power of the rich and the PMC to do as they please without the political chatter of the 'little people' or the populist pretensions of Donald Trump. ..."
"... While it seems evident now that Trump was never more than a minor inconvenience in the CIA's plans for murder, mayhem, and world domination, this wasn't evident at the outset of his tenure in the White House. John Brennan and James Clapper have demonstrated over long careers that the well-behaved fascism of corporate political control, for profit militarism, targeted and occasionally brutal repression of the 'little people' and democracy in name only, are fine with them. ..."
"... That none of the Russiagate charges turned out to have merit has had no determinable political impact to date. Its central protagonists knew they were telling lies (links above) all along. Not considered by the Russiagate acolytes is that those telling lies weren't lying to the marginally literate 'fascists' who should in elite theory have been the easiest to fool. Those people don't spend their days reading the New York Times and listening to NPR. They were lying to the educated elite. And lest this elite imagine that it was in on the lies -- they quite conspicuously believed every word of them. ..."
May 22, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org

A thought experiment with a purpose is to ask: if a group of former Directors of the CIA, NSA and FBI put forward a story about a malevolent foreign power acting against the U.S. without providing evidence that their story is true, who would believe them? While this wasn't precisely the setup for Russiagate, all of the former Directors came forward as former Directors of intelligence agencies, not as private citizens. And the information they presented was compiled as opposition research for a political campaign. It might have (did) provided a basis for further inquiry, but it wasn't evidence as it was presented.

Oddly, ironically even, the part of the population that in earlier history would have taken former government officials at their word and been ready to fight, kill, or die to right this alleged wrong, was circumspect in the case of Russiagate. At the height of the Russiagate hysteria, as charges were flying that the 'attack' was worse than Pearl Harbor and 9/11 rolled into one, the class that had filled military recruiting stations following these earlier events was notably quiet. The faction that believed the charges, managerial class liberals (PMC), still substantially believes them despite none of the evidence put forward to support them holding up under examination.

This seeming role reversal of managerial class liberals being whipped into a nationalistic fervor while the rest of the country looked away was a long time coming. Trump loathing explains why liberals want Donald Trump gone from office, but not the nationalistic fervor or the studied disinterest of the rest of the country in the 'attack' by a foreign power. The receptivity, or lack thereof, of these political factions (classes) to official proclamations is the result of lived history. The Iraq War and the Great Recession created political divisions that are unlikely to be resolved without a redistribution of political and economic power downward.

Graph: As was much reported at the time, the Great Recession was orders of magnitude more economically destructive than prior post-WWII recessions. Both the severity and persistence of unemployment were far outside of the post-War experience. At the time of the 2016 election, long-term unemployment had still not returned to pre-recession levels. Its levels and impact were differentiated by class, with employment amongst the PMC, composed largely of liberal Democrats, quickly returning to pre-recession levels. while working class employment permanently disappeared or was turned into gig jobs. Source: St. Louis Federal Reserve.

Up through the U.S. war against Iraq, working class men joined the military and fought American wars while the rich and professional classes got educational deferments or a doctor's note claiming one or another exemption-worthy malady to do the hard work of 'changing the system from within.' Even with the class-blind farce of a 'volunteer' military, there came a time around 2006 when the intersection of official lies and body bags accumulated to the point where a righteous rebellion against official power took hold amongst the 'lesser' classes. Barack Obama won election in 2008 based in part on his carefully worded rejection of wars of choice.

By the time the Great Recession struck in 2007, the U.S. war against Iraq was widely understood to be a strategic and military blunder, murderous almost beyond comprehension, and based on lies from American officials. And it was far from being resolved. For structural reasons including three-plus decades of planned deindustrialization, the systematic weakening of labor's power and the social safety net, and the partitioning of the economy into financialized and not financialized sectors, the bailouts of Wall Street produced different outcomes by class, with the PMC seeing its fortunes quickly restored while the working class was left to languish.

Prior to this -- in the early 1990s, the New Democrats had made a strategic decision to tie their lot to the 'new economy' of Wall Street. Recruiting suburban Republicans into the Democratic Party was old news by Bill Clinton's second term. The PMC was made the ideological core of the Party. This helps explain the substantial overlap between the 'liberal hawks' who would some years later support George W. Bush's war against Iraq and the Russiagate truthers who were tied through class interests to its orthodoxies.

To tie this together, the Americans who died, were permanently disabled or who lost family members and friends in the U.S. war against Iraq, also found themselves on the wrong side of the class war that began in the 1980s with deindustrialization. By the time of the Great Recession, working class labor was forced to contend with long-term unemployment (graph above) or with the perpetual insecurity of the gig economy. Contrariwise, those whose class position meant that they had 'better things to do' than to volunteer to serve in Iraq had their fortunes quickly restored in the Great Recession through government bailouts.

While Democrat versus Republican or left versus right are most often used to distinguish Russiagate proponents and believers from skeptics, it was the urban and suburban PMC that gets its news from the establishment press -- the New York Times, Washington Post and NPR, that believed and supported the story. As it happens, the PMC and rich are the demographic that these news sources serve . Class connotes substantively different lived experience. The Russiagate true believers have benefitted from official connections and the skeptics and large majority of those disinterested in Russiagate haven't.

Referred to, but not yet addressed, is the complete failure of the Russiagate evidence to match the DNC / establishment press / national security state storylines. From collusion between the Russian government and Donald Trump to emails leaked to, and then published by, Wikileaks to the Russian troll farm and its ties to the GRU (Russian intelligence), none of these theories have been supported by the evidence offered. And most of the political actors who spent years promoting them knew they weren't true before Donald Trump even took office.

As one who spent years using scientific methods to conduct empirical research, 1) it is as easy to lie with evidence as without it and 2) every source for the Russiagate charges that I followed tied back to the DNC, the CIA or its NGO affiliates like the Atlantic Council. These are political actors, not disinterested parties. The method of reporting is to state charges in the headline, and then to correctly state that official sources claim that the headline charges are true in the body of the article. This leaves the impression that evidence supports the headline charges with no actual evidence having been presented. Deference to authority isn't evidence.

This kind of journalism isn't just poor reporting. It is either naively trusting of official sources or it is intended to deceive. Given how little follow-up has been done on the serial failures of the evidence, the most probable answer is that it is straight-up propaganda. But the conception of propaganda that the facts support requires something like a unified state interest, as well as an explanation of how and why the establishment press serves as a permanent conduit for official disinformation. Given that an elected President was the target of the Russiagate campaign, the unified state interest theory doesn't work.

More broadly, the neoliberal project seems to have been modeled on the Marxist / Leninist conception of the state as existing to promote the interests of prominent capitalists. Beginning around the time of Bill Clinton's election to the presidency, the privatization of government services led to the creation of a public-private amalgam composed of PMC workers who perform state functions like domestic spying for the CIA and the NSA. Russiagate certainly appears from its motives, sources, 'facts' and constituency, to have been carried out by functionaries in this public-private amalgam who saw it as their right to reverse the outcome of the 2016 election.

As I laid out in 2018 here , the role of the CIA in oil and gas geopolitics ties the motives for demonizing Russia to U.S. machinations in Ukraine and to weapons production and distribution as the business of U.S. based corporations. Further back, while the George W. Bush administration's war against Iraq was a strategic, military, moral and humanitarian disaster, oligarchs and corporate executives made personal fortunes from it. This 'model' of the modern state acting on behalf of business interests ties all the way back to the alleged pre-capitalism of mercantilism.

The PMC is the service class of this state-capitalism, with corporate lawyers, tech workers, Wall Street traders and middle managers whose livelihoods and identities are tied to their class position through these jobs. Through the social partitions of class, they are free to have self-flattering politics that have no bearing on how their lives are lived. Identity politics like 'ending racism' have no bearing on who their co-workers are, who their neighbors are or who their children attend school with. Class determines these. This largely explains why beliefs, rather than acts, are the currency of this politics. Class is invisible for those who never encounter, or more precisely see, the economic and social consequences of capitalism on different classes.

This difference in lived experience explains why the PMC saw the Wall Street bailouts as both necessary and effective, while much of the rest of the country didn't. Wall Street is the functional core of the PMC economy through the process of financialization. That the vast majority of the country works and lives far from this functional core makes it the center of the PMC economy, not of the broader economy. And the bailouts 'worked' in the sense that they quickly restored PMC jobs and bonuses. That they topped off four decades of declining fortunes for working class workers (graph above) was hidden behind economic aggregates.

The endless reading of the political tea leaves over Donald Trump's electoral victory, over whether it was a dispossessed working class or Republican plutocrats that brought him to victory, is the analytical equivalent of the debate over the economic impact of the bailouts. Rich people vote, poor people don't (graph below). Electoral politics is a struggle that takes place amongst the rich and the PMC. The visceral disdain the PMC has shown for the 'little people' throughout Russiagate is the product of four decades of class warfare launched from above, not the start of it.

Graph: The tendency to vote rises with family income. The well to do elected Donald Trump, as they do every president. As the machinations to make Joe Biden the Democrat's candidate in 2020 suggest, the poor can vote for their choice to represent the interests of the rich, but not their own. This gives credence to Thomas Ferguson's 'investment theory' of politics. The rich vote to protect their investment in political outcomes. Source: econofact.org.

Russiagate was and is defense of a class realm, of the power of the rich and the PMC to do as they please without the political chatter of the 'little people' or the populist pretensions of Donald Trump.

While it seems evident now that Trump was never more than a minor inconvenience in the CIA's plans for murder, mayhem, and world domination, this wasn't evident at the outset of his tenure in the White House. John Brennan and James Clapper have demonstrated over long careers that the well-behaved fascism of corporate political control, for profit militarism, targeted and occasionally brutal repression of the 'little people' and democracy in name only, are fine with them.

What they and the PMC do object to is any notion of democracy that doesn't leave them in control of everything that it allegedly exists to determine. If elected leaders believe they have a legitimate reason for taking military action, why do they resort to using political and psychological coercion (like Russiagate) rather than taking their case to the people? If other, much poorer, countries can run free and fair elections, why can't the U.S.? And why are corporate representatives allowed to craft public policies when their interests diverge from the public's?

That none of the Russiagate charges turned out to have merit has had no determinable political impact to date. Its central protagonists knew they were telling lies (links above) all along. Not considered by the Russiagate acolytes is that those telling lies weren't lying to the marginally literate 'fascists' who should in elite theory have been the easiest to fool. Those people don't spend their days reading the New York Times and listening to NPR. They were lying to the educated elite. And lest this elite imagine that it was in on the lies -- they quite conspicuously believed every word of them.

That Brennan, Clapper and company are everything that liberals claim to hate about Donald Trump -- tacky talk show hosts who spout whatever bullshit comes to mind if they think it will close the deal, suggests that Trump himself would be a #Resistance hero if he had run as a Democrat. Otherwise, bright lights on the left can't seem to get past the notion that the establishment press always reports bullshit when doing so is politically convenient. Reporting what power says rather than what it does is to be a mouthpiece for power. That is what the establishment press does, and that is why it is considered the 'legitimate' source.

As befits this moment in history, there are no generally applicable lessons to be drawn from Russiagate. Its central protagonists have already moved on to the 'restoring integrity to the White House' grift. By making the election a choice between getting ass cancer or shingles, Biden or Trump -- you decide which is which, the nation has reached a zenith of sorts.

This type of moment produced punk rock in an earlier age. Again, as befits the age, we now have the moment without the punk rock. As the existential philosophers had it, despair is our friend. At least that's what Putin tells me.

Rob Urie is an artist and political economist. His book Zen Economics is published by CounterPunch Books.More articles by: Rob Urie Join the debate on Facebook

[May 24, 2020] Did coronavirus cooked Trump, including the erosion of his support by evangelicals?

May 24, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Po litico says that some recent polls showing the president's support among his white Christian base is eroding has prompted Trump to call for churches to re-open. Excerpts:

The anxiety over Trump's standing with the Christian right surfaced after a pair of surveys by reputable outfits earlier this month found waning confidence in the administration's coronavirus response among key religious groups, with a staggering decline in the president's favorability among white evangelicals and white Catholics. Both are crucial constituencies that supported Trump by wide margins in 2016 and could sink his reelection prospects if their turnout shrinks this fall.

The polls paint a bleak picture for Trump, who has counted on broadening his religious support by at least a few percentage points to compensate for weakened appeal with women and suburban populations. One GOP official said the dip in the president's evangelical support also appeared in internal party polling, but disputed the notion that it had caused panic. Another person close to the campaign described an April survey by the Public Religion Research Institute, which showed a double-digit decline in Trump's favorability among white evangelicals (-11), white Catholics (-12) and white mainline protestants (-18) from the previous month, as "pretty concerning."

More:

Following the PRRI survey, which was conducted while Trump was a dominant presence at televised daily briefings by his administration's coronavirus task force, Pew Research Center released new data last week that showed a 7-point increase from April to May in white Catholics who disapprove of Trump's response to the Covid-19 crisis and a 6-point decline among white evangelicals who previously gave him positive marks.

The open-the-churches call from Trump today is just rhetorical. The president doesn't have the power to re-open them; state governments do. The president is trying to send a signal that he is on the side of churchgoers. Not sure that's going to do the trick. From Politico:

It's unlikely that critics of church closings alone are responsible for the decline in Trump's favorability among critical religious demographics. According to the Pew survey, 43 percent of white evangelicals and 52 percent of white Catholics think the current restrictions on public activity in their areas are appropriate versus 42 percent and 31 percent, respectively, who think fewer restrictions would be better. Greater shares of white evangelicals and white Catholics also said they are more afraid about their state governments lifting restrictions on public activity too soon than they are about leaving the restrictions in place for too long.

Read it all.

Maybe the truth is that conservative Christians may prefer Trump to Biden on issues that matter to them, but his handling of the global pandemic overrides everything else this year. No doubt that many Christian voters would vote Trump no matter how he performed on pandemic response. Andrew Sullivan writes today:

A year ago precisely, Trump's approval rating was, in FiveThirtyEight's poll of polls, 53.8 percent disapprove, 41.1 percent approve. This week, the spread was 53.1 percent disapprove and 43 percent approve. Almost identical. None of the events of the last year -- impeachment, plague, economic collapse -- have had anything but a trivial impact on public opinion.

Sullivan unspools a merciless reel of Trump's failures in the crisis -- really crushing stuff. TAC's Bob Merry wrote earlier this week that Trump will probably lose this fall because he has not been a very good president. Excerpt:

It is true also that Trump's knot of popular support–about 43 percent of the electorate, based on approval surveys–is remarkably solid, willing to accept just about anything he does or says so long as he continues to attack those dastardly elites.

But presidential elections also don't turn on any incumbent's base of support. Reelection requires that a president build upon that base and create a governing coalition by bringing in new converts through Oval Office achievement. Richard Nixon, a 43 percent president following the 1968 election, pulled to his party much of the George Wallace constituency, nearly 14 percent of the popular vote in 1968. The result was a reelection landslide. Similarly, following the 1980 election Ronald Reagan pulled to his banner the so-called Reagan Democrats, which contributed to his margin of victory in numerous congressional battles and in his own landslide reelection in 1984.

Or consider the case of Bill Clinton, like Nixon a 43 percent president after his 1992 victory against incumbent George H. W. Bush and upstart candidate Ross Perot, who garnered 19 percent of the popular vote. Clinton had his head handed to him in the 1994 midterm elections following a sub-par performance during his first two years in office. But after that he brilliantly calibrated his leadership to capture a significant portion of the Perot vote. Thus did he build on his base through performance in office and become a two-term president.

Trump has proved himself incapable of this kind of political calibration. He can't even talk to those Americans who might be receptive to his policies but haven't yet joined up. He talks only to his base.

This is true. If Trump gets bad news, he blames the messenger. He attacked Fox News today over a poll showing him behind Biden nationally -- as if reporting what their poll actually found was an act of disloyalty. As Sullivan writes,

Directly challenging him, even when his numbers are wrong, appears to erode Mr. Trump's trust, according to former officials, and ultimately he stops listening. In other words, the officials who tell him things he doesn't want to believe are soon sidelined or fired.

Again, everybody knows that there is a solid rock of immovable Trump voters -- I'm guessing that the 44 percent of Republicans who believe that Bill Gates wants to inject microchips into people with a coronavirus vaccine are part of that crowd -- but they are not enough to win Trump a second term. What about everybody else? Why are those Christian voters who had a favorable opinion of Trump now abandoning him? I'd say a lot of it has to do with exhaustion. The country is facing a crisis like none it has seen in a century. It is crashing the economy. We can re-open, but if people start getting sick again, everybody's going to stay home. These people who are normally inclined to Trump, but now going off of him -- they're going to make the difference between victory and defeat for the president. And they're worn out with all this instability, and the stupid, pointless drama.

I mean, look at this. Whatever you think of Jeff Sessions, he stood by Trump early, when few others in Washington did. But he made the mistake of putting duty to the law above personal loyalty to Trump. This is the kind of thing that once upon a time, conservatives thought worth supporting. Trump has never forgiven him for it. Sessions is running for his old Senate seat back -- and Trump is trying to keep him from getting it. Look:

. @realdonaldtrump Look, I know your anger, but recusal was required by law. I did my duty & you're damn fortunate I did. It protected the rule of law & resulted in your exoneration. Your personal feelings don't dictate who Alabama picks as their senator, the people of Alabama do. https://t.co/QQKHNAgmiE

-- Jeff Sessions (@jeffsessions) May 23, 2020

See what I mean? What is the point of doing this to Jeff Sessions, except spite? I mean, come on, Jeff Sessions? Really? There are a certain number of conservatives who are just fed up with crap like this, and can't stand the thought of four more years of it.

That's my guess -- but then, I'm talking about somebody like myself: never a fan of Trump, and genuinely frightened about what a Democrat in the White House would do, especially if the Dems take the Senate (which they will likely do if Trump loses in a landslide). But nobody knows what the future holds for the country in this pandemic, either in terms of public health or the economy. Can we risk four more years of this chaos and craziness and overall incompetence, especially not knowing what's ahead on the virus and the economy? Is that prospect scarier than a Democratic president and Democratic Senate naming and confirming judges?

Maybe. I did not imagine anything like this in January, but then, I didn't imagine that we would get to Memorial Day weekend with almost 100,000 Americans dead, and 40 million unemployed.

UPDATE: Reader Daniel (Not Larison)'s comment resonates with me:

This Pandemic, and the response to it, and the response of the public to the response, has left me utterly exhausted.

My Facebook feed is getting crammed with my conservative friend's fear-mongering about how (a) the virus is just a "cold", (b) the official death counts are greatly exaggerated (through wide-spread incompetence and fraud), (c) the left is using this crisis to destroy our freedoms, (d) masks are tyranny, (e) Trump's response has been perfect, (f) blue state governors want to gain power and destroy their economies just to make Trump look bad, and (g) the people who died would have died from something else any way. Sprinkled among these responses are things like the Gates microchip thing, 5g causes the virus, it's really Obama's fault, etc.

Sometimes they post some actual true information, like the errors of 4 states in double-counting positive test results or that congressional democrats did try to pack the COVID-19 relief bill with a wishlist of progressive causes. But mostly I see wild assertions and baseless accusations. Anyone who agrees with Trump is smart and can be trusted, anyone who disagrees with him is stupid and/or evil.

It truly is remarkable how even this kind of a crisis has been politicized. There is nearly a perfect correlation between COVID-19 skepticism and Trump support. Tens of thousands of health professionals and medical examiners committing fraud or incompetent by including COVID-19 as a cause of death? Certainly, if it makes Trump look bad. Dozens of other nations adopting similar policies to blue governors? Yeah, they're crashing their economies because they hate Trump, too.

It is utter madness. Rather than respecting genuine differences in opinion, rather than arguing with facts and data, we are responding with hatred, contempt, and raw emotion.

The left certainly is not above this–as we have seen in issues like transgenderism and Project 1619, the left certainly has engaged in this and continues to do so. I've lost count of how many liberal friends I've had to stop following on Facebook because of their utter contempt not just of Trump, but of anyone who would dare express support for him or his policies. And their cursing like sailors they wear like a badge of honor, as of it's a mark of liberation.

Weimar America, truly. We're facing a dual crisis of health and economic collapse that we hadn't seen in a century, and rather than rising to the occasion, many of us are just attacking each other. It reminds me of what Josephus wrote in "The Jewish War" about the Jews, under siege by Roman forces in an incredibly over packed Jerusalem, were busy killing each other rather than facing the enemies outside.

Perhaps I am just a pessimist. Certainly not all Americans are rigidly divided into Team Red and Team Blue–maybe not even the majority. But enough are for me to lose much of my hope for the future of this country.

Yet I know God is in control, and this could very well be a manifestation of his judgment on our wicked, wicked culture. Or even from a secular perspective, our culture has built such a toxic response to crisis that we cannot survive. Either way, without change, I cannot see us surviving as a unified nation and people (if we truly are any more) too far into the future.


William Anderson a day ago

Rod, there is one thing you left out of the article: Democrats have made it absolutely clear that they hate white evangelicals and their campaign rhetoric will be quite incendiary on any issues of Christianity and society. At best, they will tell evangelicals that they should be more like the so-called Religious Left (Sojourners, Natalie Bolz-Weber, etc.) and at worst, they will sound like Beto O'Rourke when he called for taxing churches that did not change their theology to welcome homosexuality and transgenderism.

Biden already has declared that transgender rights are "today's civil rights issue," and I expect him to double down on his commitment there. Furthermore, given his tendency to say outrageous things, you can bet he will be going right up to the line to where he declares the Bible to be hate speech, and he is going to outright threaten evangelicals. He will go radical on abortion rights and let it be known that churches that do not support open-ended abortions to the time of birth (paid for by taxpayers) are going to face the wrath of his administration.

Does anyone believe Biden will be silent on these issues or be anything but in-your-face incendiary? Now, Donald Trump will not respond very well, since Trump doesn't respond very well on anything and he almost surely will say and do things that will partially neutralize this advantage that Biden will drop into his lap. Nonetheless, Joe Biden will be absolutely clear that he hates evangelicals and means to do them harm if he is elected. Given that much of secular America feels the same way, it probably will get him votes on the left.

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Beowulf 21 hours ago
In political years, five months is like a few generations these days. Trump is not anyone's idea of an effective president but I think it is way too early to see how corona affects him. I suspect most of his supporters think this is a hoax anyway and the people really freaked out by corona weren't voting for Trump in the first place.

As to Trump's performance on corona, how is that going to be assessed? I'd assume by lives lost and economic damage. But corona has hit a lot of countries. If Trump's bumblings actually had an effect, how would we know except by comparison? In the good 'ol moneyball stats there is a
metric called "value over replacement player" (VORP) where you compare the performance your player in question to the performance you would get from the average replacement. Just because you are disappointed in the performance of your player doesn't mean you can expect to get much
better from replacing him. It could turn out he's close to the average.

So if we are looking at stats to assess Trump, we are gonna have to moneyball it. Which leader are we going to compare Trump to? Which country "did things right"? What's our baseline? Our average replacement player? I don't think any of us can say right now which countries did things right. It is too early, we don't know enough about corona and we don't know the ways in which the decisions of leaders have affected the outcome or failed to affect it. In terms of deaths per million, U.S. seems pretty average. Plenty of countries in Europe with leaders who "listen to experts" have far higher deaths per million at the moment. Belgium, Sweden, Netherlands, UK, Italy, France, Spain all look worse than us.

None of this is to attribute any real skill to Trump, but in a situation where there is no prospective
criteria by which to identify who has the wisdom to navigate the situation (only retrospective analysis of the data of countries that all tried different things) you might rather be lucky than good.

Heroic Fool 21 hours ago
I'm genuinely puzzled as to where you and Politico are coming to this conclusion based on the evidence presented. Looking at the data used in the article, it appears that Trump's approval rating among certain groups felt a bump around the time when the main COVID panic started, and then, a month later decreased to....where it was at the beginning of the year. His overall approval/disapproval rating is still more or less the same as it had been throughout his presidency, and more interestingly, Trump's approval among his "core base" has increased significantly compared to 2017, not to mention 2015.

The other key fact embedded in the data is that Trump's approval among certain groups was still considerably low during November 2016 , much lower than it is today for example. This speaks to the simple truth that the majority of people who vote for Trump aren't necessarily that fond of the man, but they still pulled the lever for him. Until there is hard evidence that the number of people who absolutely will not vote for Trump increases, we can't make any conclusions as to how more or less likely Trump's chances are in November.

One last item to note is that the worst cases by far occurred in heavily Democratic districts, and, as the reports explained, were the main areas where this loss of support among Christians was reported. On the one hand, it's very likely that these people, to be blunt, wouldn't have had much chance at pushing their districts to the Republican side anyway and thus their support is not nearly as important as those in swing states. On the other hand, to be a bit cheeky, given how poorly Democrat-run areas have fared in this crisis, why on earth would you want another Democrat in the highest executive office?

Megan S 20 hours ago
I thought we'd seen into Trump's soul over the past five years, but the way he's revealing himself now is astounding. The man is just unraveling, all his spitefulness and sociopathies bubbling to the surface. There's nothing left to him now but his impotent rage. Maybe the people who didn't want to see the truth of the man can't help but see now.
Siarlys Jenkins Megan S 3 hours ago
He's a failure, on a world stage, and his self-image is that he's a genius whose wise leadership will bring us all peace, contentment and prosperity. Naturally, he's throwing a temper tantrum and lashing out in all directions.
MacCheerful 20 hours ago
I think you underestimate the power of fear and self-delusion. Nearly all Republicans have been convinced that all Democrats are nearly satanic. For the next week conservative media will dwell relentlessly and obsessively on Biden's recent stupid statement while ignoring whatever additional nonsense comes out of the White House. (Did you know there's a recent study showing that widespread use of hydroxychloroquine (sp?) is probably bad? You wouldn't if you read conservative media) It's strange to live in a country where a substantial number of people can no longer see the good in other citizens, but here we are
Rod Dreher Moderator MacCheerful 6 hours ago
Do you not see that most Democrats regard Republicans in the same way? This has been documented.
MacCheerful Rod Dreher 6 hours ago
Oh absolutely. Speaking for myself only, I regard Republican leadership, people like Mitch McConnell, Pompeo, and of course our president as various mixtures of stupid and evil, and their more devoted followers as pretty close to the same. The people who vote Republican because they always vote Republican and don't pay much attention to politics, like members of my family, I regard simply as incurious, but as family I still love them.

But I still think Democrats are a lot more justified in their disdain, as implied by Kevin Drum in a recent post:

https://www.motherjones.com...

Did you know the candidate for the U.S. Senate in Oregon is a Q follower? And that when the National Review advised Republicans to abandon her the majority of the comments on the page retorted that Democrats are worse and more deluded and more crazy than Q?

Daniel (not Larrison) 15 hours ago
This Pandemic, and the response to it, and the response of the public to the response, has left me utterly exhausted.

My Facebook feed is getting crammed with my conservative friend's fear-mongering about how (a) the virus is just a "cold", (b) the official death counts are greatly exaggerated (through wide-spread incompetence and fraud), (c) the left is using this crisis to destroy our freedoms, (d) masks are tyranny, (e) Trump's response has been perfect, (f) blue state governors want to gain power and destroy their economies just to make Trump look bad, and (g) the people who died would have died from something else any way. Sprinkled among these responses are things like the Gates microchip thing, 5g causes the virus, it's really Obama's fault, etc.

Sometimes they post some actual true information, like the errors of 4 states in double-counting positive test results or that congressional democrats did try to pack the COVID-19 relief bill with a wishlist of progressive causes. But mostly I see wild assertions and baseless accusations. Anyone who agrees with Trump is smart and can be trusted, anyone who disagrees with him is stupid and/or evil.

It truly is remarkable how even this kind of a crisis has been politicized. There is nearly a perfect correlation between COVID-19 skepticism and Trump support. Tens of thousands of health professionals and medical examiners committing fraud or incompetent by including COVID-19 as a cause of death? Certainly, if it makes Trump look bad. Dozens of other nations adopting similar policies to blue governors? Yeah, they're crashing their economies because they hate Trump, too.

It is utter madness. Rather than respecting genuine differences in opinion, rather than arguing with facts and data, we are responding with hatred, contempt, and raw emotion.

The left certainly is not above this--as we have seen in issues like transgenderism and Project 1619, the left certainly has engaged in this and continues to do so. I've lost count of how many liberal friends I've had to stop following on Facebook because of their utter contempt not just of Trump, but of anyone who would dare express support for him or his policies. And their cursing like sailors they wear like a badge of honor, as of it's a mark of liberation.

Weimar America, truly. We're facing a dual crisis of health and economic collapse that we hadn't seen in a century, and rather than rising to the occasion, many of us are just attacking each other. It reminds me of what Josephus wrote in "The Jewish War" about the Jews, under siege by Roman forces in an incredibly over packed Jerusalem, were busy killing each other rather than facing the enemies outside.

Perhaps I am just a pessimist. Certainly not all Americans are rigidly divided into Team Red and Team Blue--maybe not even the majority. But enough are for me to lose much of my hope for the future of this country.

Yet I know God is in control, and this could very well be a manifestation of his judgment on our wicked, wicked culture. Or even from a secular perspective, our culture has built such a toxic response to crisis that we cannot survive. Either way, without change, I cannot see us surviving as a unified nation and people (if we truly are any more) too far into the future.

Kessler 14 hours ago
I think Trump entered oval office as a political tabula rasa. Republicans could have moulded him into anything policy-wise, since he lacked knowledge of washington insider on how to run things. So they did. Republicans turned him into a traditional, respectable republican corporatist stock market whisperer President(tm). I think Republicans deserve to lose because of their terrible policies and incompetence, though I don't see how democrats deserve to win, because of their terrible policies and incompetence. But then again, it's not like policies matter. As Cuomo demonstrates, all you need is good media coverage. It's frustrating, that Trump is likely going to lose, because his PR is worse, not because his policies have been terrible.
5Miriam9 Kessler 4 hours ago
Republicans didn't have to work too hard given how willfully ignorant Trump is. All he's ever been interested in doing is brandishing his brand and lining his pockets. There's nothing there but endless appetite and resentment. He has no policies save for self-aggrandizement.
David Naas 13 hours ago
Even out of office, he has been exposed to the addictive thrill of cheering crowds, and so he will not fade from the scene. Certain Progressivists are salivating at the prospect of hauling him and his associates through the courts, but that will not stop his rallies, and will only keep his name in lights for a long time.

The Democratic Party leadership - - or "Donorship" - - wants to return to their version of normal, getting rich(er) off globalism. The neocons want to get back to endless wars. And Trump's Troopers will be there, carrying their AR-15 clones to protests and occupying national park rest areas. It will be chaotic. One can easily foresee more "Ruby Ridge" scenarios in our collective future.

Shy of a nation-wide revival of religion or of the civil religion, it won't get better for a long time.

Those who liken this time to how WW1 changed the world forever are partly right. But they miss that the world is always changing forever. And yet it is always the same. Face it, the last half of the 20th Century was an unusually easy time for Americans. We are now moving into what the rest of the world, throughout history, considers normal.

[May 23, 2020] 'Rhetorical hyperbole' and NOT FACT: Court rejects OAN suit over MSNBC host Rachel Maddow's claim about 'Russian propaganda'

Court defined Madcow as professional liar, not a news source
Notable quotes:
"... "the most obsequiously pro-Trump right wing news outlet in America" ..."
"... "really literally paid Russian propaganda." ..."
"... "the Kremlin's official propaganda outlet" ..."
"... "utterly and completely false. ..."
"... "has never been paid or received a penny from Russia or the Russian government," ..."
"... "news and opinions," ..."
"... "makes it more likely that a reasonable viewer would not conclude that the contested statement implies an assertion of objective fact." ..."
May 23, 2020 | www.rt.com
A US judge dismissed a defamation lawsuit by One America News Network against MSNBC over Rachel Maddow's claims that OAN was "literally" Russian propaganda, ruling that her segment was merely "an opinion" and "exaggeration." OAN sued the liberal talk show host and MSNBC for defamation, demanding over $10 million in damages, back in September 2019. The lawsuit was based on the July 22 episode of The Rachel Maddow Show, where Maddow launched a scathing broadside against the conservative television network, labeling it "the most obsequiously pro-Trump right wing news outlet in America" and "really literally paid Russian propaganda."

In the segment, Maddow cited a story by The Daily Beast's Kevin Poulsen about OAN's Kristian Rouz, who has previously contributed to Sputnik as a freelance author. Toeing the general US mainstream line on the Russian media, be it Sputnik or RT, Poulsen branded the Russian news agency "the Kremlin's official propaganda outlet" and said Rouz was once on its "payroll." Shortly after MSNBC's star talent peddled the claim, OAN rejected the allegations as "utterly and completely false. " The outlet, which is owned by the Herring Networks, a small California-based family company, said that it "has never been paid or received a penny from Russia or the Russian government," with its only funding coming from the Herring family.

In their bid to win the case, Maddow herself, MSNBC, Comcast Corporation and NBCUniversal Media did not address the accusation itself - namely, that her claim about OAN was false - but opted to invoke the First Amendment, insisting that the rant should be protected as free speech.

Siding with Maddow, the California district court defined Maddow's show as a mix of "news and opinions," concluding that the manner in which the progressive host blurted out the accusations "makes it more likely that a reasonable viewer would not conclude that the contested statement implies an assertion of objective fact." h

The court said that while Maddow "truthfully" related the story by the Daily Beast, the statement about OAN being funded by the Kremlin was her "opinion" and "exaggeration" of the said article.

While the legal trick helped Maddow to get off the hook without ever trying to defend her initial statement, conservative commentators on social media wasted no time in pointing out that dodging a payout to OAN literally meant admitting that Maddow was not, in fact, news.

[May 22, 2020] Why Trump Will Likely Lose in November

Predictions are difficult, especially about the future. Who wll vote for Creepy Joe? that is the question. But it is true that many people who voted for trump in 2016 hoping for changes will not vote for him. Most will not vote at all. With his foreign policies and smug warmonger Pompeo at the State Department he lost all anti-war independents block. With COVID-19 fiasco he lost a large part of working class -- which was most severely hit by the lockdown as well as small business support.
Notable quotes:
"... Look at how Trump is getting killed among people that don't like either candidate. And how he's losing independents solidly. That's your danger zone, not the left. He won in 2016 in large part because he had those two in the bag. ..."
May 22, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Mitt Romney was treated by the mainstream media with derision and ridicule, portrayed as an out-of-touch plutocrat who babbled about binders full of women. They depicted him as "a wealthy 1950s sitcom dad who liked firing poor people. Trump will attacked in the same way

Donald Trump captured the presidency in 2016 in part because he perceived, alone among presidential contenders that year, that a chasm had opened up between the country's arrogant meritocratic elite and vast numbers of citizens who felt the elites had turned on them and were leading the country astray. But another factor was the perception of many voters that Barack Obama's second term had been a mild failure (following a mild first-term success; hence his 2012 reelection). Incumbent performance in office remains a potent factor in presidential elections.

And that's why Donald Trump likely will lose the presidency come November. His performance, thoroughly at variance from his blustery rhetoric, will have rendered him, in the eyes of a majority of Americans, ineligible for rehire. His is not the kind of record that normally leads to a two-term presidency or to party retention of the White House when the incumbent is not on the ballot. Viewed from this perspective, Trump looks like a goner.

Trump supporters will of course recoil at this prediction. In disbelief, they will point to the intensity of his followers and the fecklessness of his opposition. And it is true that former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic candidate, appears hapless as he hunkers down in his Delaware basement and projects himself with a certain halting awkwardness. But history tells us that voters focus far more on incumbent performance, which can be sharply defined, than on predictions of challenger performance, which are wispy at best.

It is true also that Trump's knot of popular support–about 43 percent of the electorate, based on approval surveys–is remarkably solid, willing to accept just about anything he does or says so long as he continues to attack those dastardly elites.

But presidential elections also don't turn on any incumbent's base of support. Reelection requires that a president build upon that base and create a governing coalition by bringing in new converts through Oval Office achievement.


engineerscotty David Naas 3 days ago

With Trump, I expect a "surprise" (and other various dirty tricks) here on out.

As I've noted before, the Burisma nonsense may end up backfiring. Not only did it get him impeached (even though he wasn't removed from office), but it may innoculate Biden from further such surprises--there will be a presumption, if anything scandalous comes from out of left field, that it might well be another attempt at rat-f***ing.

(And Biden has been equally fortunate in his accusers from the left; as the Tara Reade allegations seem to be falling apart. He's not entirely in the clear--the vagueness of the allegations prevent Biden from mounting an affirmative defense, such as an alibi, but right now he seems to be winning the credibility battle on that front).

Mother124 engineerscotty 2 days ago
The Tara Reade allegations aren't "falling apart." They're being smothered. They're either ignored, or dismissed with a "Biden says it never happened? Oh, OK....never mind" attitude.
Room_237 David Naas 2 days ago
A QAnnon crazy just won the Oregon GOP senate primary. Not only is Trump losing he is taking the entire GOP down with him. Either the GOP clears up the nuts or the nuts take over.
Mother124 PeteZilla 2 days ago
I agree. Trump has taken politics to a new low. When he's not on teleprompter, his "speeches" are more of a stand-up act where he exaggerates his accomplishments ("the best ever"..."record" everything) and lobs personal insults at his perceived enemies "loser,""incompetent," "the worst").

He has NO intention of expanding his base. He's happy to play to their adoration. And his cultists don't want him to "pivot and change." They cheer him on.

That this is what so many people in this country want from a president is appalling.

TISO_AX2 KeepAmericaGreat! 2 days ago
He proved that in '16. Rather, we did. We the people made it happen. DJT just happens to be the means by which we re-made the American political landscape. Leftist Democrats still haven't caught up.

They learned nothing from 2016 and after...nothing. They still cling to Washington establishment politics like a communist to The Party. Power in a handful of politicians is all that matters to them. They'll sooner or later see that the people are the source of our government.

MPC TISO_AX2 a day ago
TISO you seem like a pretty reasonable guy generally.

Look at how Trump is getting killed among people that don't like either candidate. And how he's losing independents solidly. That's your danger zone, not the left. He won in 2016 in large part because he had those two in the bag.

I'm in those groups and voted for him then - I won't repeat this year. He was a good statement to make in 2016 but for me that's now made. Personally he looks like a real idiot handling a crisis but I don't like his personality cult, I don't like his floppiness with the ruling elite, and I especially don't like his turning immigrants into the white male of the right. I hate idpol and he's just refined a right wing version of it.

My two cents. No doubt I'll be back to voting Republicans in 22 or 24.

Robert Bruce MPC 16 hours ago
Nice post!!!!!!! Trump is indeed losing the indie vote as well as a sliver of the true conservative vote. The guy is only a shade or two better than having a president Camacho from Idiocracy. Trump won both the GOP nomination and the general election because he was the only GOP candidate that said what the majority of GOP voters wanted to hear and was the only candidate that didn't come off as an Establishment clone. On top of that, Hilary was not a well liked candidate(either was Trump) as two thirds of GOP and Dem voters didn't like their candidate, but disliked the other just a bit more. It is sad that we are in the same situation in 2020, in which there really isn't a really good candidate to choose from
Robert Bruce TISO_AX2 16 hours ago
Guy was a moron for his famous line to a GOP crowd insinuating that half the people in the country were freeloaders. Not too far fetched of a statement, but absolutely a campaign killer. They indeed did depict him as a rather wealthy 1950's Mr Cleaver type that was a job killer, but that wasn't far off the mark either. The banking cartel had their boy in office already so there was no need for a change, thus the rather stale, boring, and easily targeted Romney was hung out to dry.
EboTebo PeteZilla 2 days ago
He's NOT stupid, but he's dumb, thick and most of all lazy, too lazy to stand up and do the right thing!
The_Anthropologist_Forensic Bryce David Sylvia 2 days ago • edited
He "defeated" the ISIS Caliphate? And here i was under the impression that Iran was a Shia country and Syria was mostly secular, while ISIS was a product of Salafist and Wahabist American allies like the Saudis?

This commenter epitomizes everything wrong with the Fox News cheerleading devotee. So consumed by the cult of Personality that is Trump and "owning the Libs" that they can't see they have gotten nothing from Trump. No immigration reform, no wall, no end to Middle East adventurism..... Just "tough tweets"

LETS LOOK AT THE FEW THINGS HE HAS DONE...He along with Kim Kardashian put forth the "First Step Act" freeing tens of thousands of mostly inner city felons; the situation in the Middle East exponentially worse "thanks" to his rhetoric, loose usage of missiles on countries WE ARE NOT at war with along with ASSASSINATING NATIONAL HEROES/MILITARY COMMANDERS of other sovereign nations we are not at war with; he passed a corporate tax cut, Trump has focussed on spreading LGBT values to Africa and abroad, and after attacking NAFTA for two decades passed "NAFTA 2.0", and has consistently made this country look even worse than it normally has over the past 40 years.

If Israel isn't your priority in regards to the embassy moves or if your not a corporate head benefiting from Trumps "we need more immigration than ever before" glut of cheap third world labor, then you should see him as an unmitigated disaster. Look beyond the Grifters like Charlie Kirk and Sean Hannity.

FND The_Anthropologist_Forensic 2 days ago
The ISIS caliphate was defeated. ISIS still exists. One cannot destroy an ideology on the battlefield. The caliphate was their "country" that they carved out of Syria. Virtually ALL of the rebels in Syria, even the non-ISIS ones are Sunni, not Shia. The Shia are on the side of the Syrian government. That includes Iran.
JonF311 FND 2 days ago
To be clear, the US did not defeat the "caliphate". That honor goes to Syria and its patron Russia. America was just the cheering section.
Blood Alcohol JonF311 2 days ago • edited
Iran was not mentioned for some reason!
Iranians were the first to recognize ISIL was an arm of Israel/UAE/US axis to destabilize not only Syria but any country that stood up to the axis. Then the Russian read the message on the wall and got involved.
Robert Bruce DukeofAnarchy . 16 hours ago
Of course they did. Any decent economic/business magazine/ web site/blog was saying as far back as last September that the FED was running out of "ammo" to forestall a collapse that was going to happen late this summer or early fall, then the virus hits to take the blame for the poor economy instead of where it belongs and that is with the Federal Reserve and co. Now we are hearing we are going to get QE to infinity and beyond, which basically means the globalists are tanking the dollar for probably a global digital currency sometime in the not too distant future.

[May 22, 2020] System Update with Glenn Greenwald - The Murderous History and Deceitful Function of the CIA

May 22, 2020 | www.youtube.com

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity The CIA’s Murderous Practices, Disinformation Campaigns, and Interference in

In the weeks before the 2016 presidential election, the most powerful former leaders of the Central Intelligence Agency did everything they could to elect Hillary Clinton and defeat Donald Trump. President Obama’s former acting CIA chief Michael Morrell published a full-throated endorsement of Clinton in the New York Times and claimed “Putin ha[s] recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation,” while George W. Bush’s post-9/11 CIA and NSA Chief, Gen. Michael Hayden, writing in the Washington Post, refrained from endorsing Clinton outright but echoed Morrell by accusing Trump of being a “useful fool, some naif, manipulated by Moscow” and sounding “a little bit the conspiratorial Marxist.” Meanwhile, the intelligence community under James Clapper and John Brennan fed morsels to both the Obama DOJ and the US media to suggest a Trump/Russia conspiracy and fuel what became the Russiagate investigation.

In his extraordinary election-advocating Op-Ed, Gen. Hayden, Bush/Cheney’s CIA Chief, candidly explained the reasons for the CIA’s antipathy for Trump: namely, the GOP candidate’s stated opposition to allowing CIA regime change efforts in Syria to expand as well as his opposition to arming Ukrainians with lethal weapons to fight Russia (supposedly “pro-Putin” positions which, we are now all supposed to forget, Obama largely shared).

As has been true since President Harry Truman’s creation of the CIA after World War II, interfering in other countries and dictating or changing their governments — through campaigns of mass murder, military coups, arming guerrilla groups, the abolition of democracy, systemic disinformation, and the imposition of savage despots — is regarded as a divine right, inherent to American exceptionalism. Anyone who questions that or, worse, opposes it and seeks to impede it (as the CIA perceived Trump was) is of suspect loyalties at best.

The CIA’s antipathy toward Trump continued after his election victory. The agency became the primary vector for anonymous, illegal leaks designed to depict Trump as a Kremlin agent and/or blackmail victim. It worked to ensure the leak of the Steele dossier that clouded at least the first two years of Trump’s presidency. It drove the scam Russiagate conspiracy theories. And before Trump was even inaugurated, open warfare erupted between the president-elect and the agency to the point where Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer explicitly warned Trump on the Rachel Maddow Show that he was risking full-on subversion of his presidency by the agency:

Democrats, early in Trump’s presidency, saw clearly that the CIA had become one of Trump’s most devoted enemies, and thus began viewing them as a valuable ally. Leading out-of-power Democratic foreign policy elites from the Obama administration and Clinton campaign joined forces not only with Bush/Cheney neocons but also former CIA officials to create new foreign policy advocacy groups designed to malign and undermine Trump and promote hawkish confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia. Meanwhile, other ex-CIA and Homeland Security officials, such as John Brennan and James Clapper, became beloved liberal celebrities by being hired by MSNBC and CNN to deliver liberal-pleasing anti-Trump messaging that, on a virtually daily basis, masqueraded as news.

Fair Use Excerpt. Read the rest here.


Arthur Davis , 1 day ago

All covered extensively in Killing Hope , U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, by William Blum

Timothy Lee , 22 hours ago

Oliver Stone's "The Untold History of the US" opened up my eyes to how shameful our history really is. The American Empire is no better then Great Britain, the very power this country was supposed to rise above.

Mehdi Hosseini , 1 day ago

When a system is fully controlled by the big corporation/money every action and move must serve it's master. Some are directly related to their immediate interest and some to prevent any future challenge to it.

Dennis Miller , 1 day ago

let's not forget the Dulles Brothers (CIA & State)

Joe Filter , 1 day ago

Such sad facts. 'Killing Hope' really does describe it.

Cygnus X-321 , 1 day ago

"...At CBS, we had been contacted by the CIA, as a matter of fact, by the time I became the head of the news and public affairs division in 1954 shifts had been established ... I was told about them and asked if I'd carry on with them...." -- Sid Mickelson, CBS News President 1954-61, describing Operation Mockingbird

Jorge Eduardo da Silva Tavares , 1 day ago

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, by John Perkins, was a NYTimes best-seller about the methods CIA use to dominate countries in Latin America and in Asia. John Perkins never was interviewed by Us Media.

[May 21, 2020] Falsification of history as the major goal of propaganda

May 21, 2020 | off-guardian.org

Howard ,

"History," they say, "is written by the winners." But if you want to get at the fundamental flaw, remove the last three words and you have it: "History is written."

Events cannot be written, they can only be lived.

Just as a sun in a picture cannot give heat or light. The problem is that those who live history seldom speak of it, it's much too traumatic for them.

And those who speak voluminously of it most likely did not live it.

kenny gordon ,

Nice comment, Howard.

When my Father [Royal Artillery] was told to stop fighting against my Father-in-Law [Waffen SS], he was sent off to fight against MOSSAD in Palestine he witnessed the brutal treatment handed out to the "indigenous people" and was very reluctant to talk about his experience.. "By way of deception thou shalt do war"..!

[May 21, 2020] Russophobia in the Age of Donald Trump: The Narrative of Trump's "Collusion" with Russia by Andrei P. Tsygankov

May 21, 2020 | www.oxfordscholarship.com

During the US presidential election campaign, American media developed yet another perception of Russia as reflected in the narrative of Trump's collusion with the Kremlin. 1 Having originated in liberal media and building on the previous perceptions of neo-Soviet autocracy and foreign threat, the new perception of Russia was that of the enemy that won the war against the United States. By electing the Kremlin's favored candidate, America was defeated by Russia. As a CNN columnist wrote, "The Russians really are here, infiltrating every corner of the country, with the single goal of disrupting the American way of life." 2 The two assumptions behind the new media narrative were that Putin was an enemy and that Trump was compromised by Putin. The inevitable conclusion was that Trump could not be a patriot and potentially was a traitor prepared to act against US interests.

The new narrative was assisted by the fact that Trump presented a radically different perspective on Russia than Clinton and the US establishment. The American political class had been in agreement that Russia displayed an aggressive foreign policy seeking to destroy the US-centered international order. Influential politicians, both Republicans and Democrats, commonly referred to Russian president Putin as an extremely dangerous KGB spy with no soul. Instead, Trump saw Russia's international interests as not fundamentally different from America's. He advocated that the United States to find a way to align its policies and priorities in defeating terrorism in the Middle East -- a goal that Russia shared -- with the Kremlin's. Trump promised to form new alliances to "unite the civilized world against Radical Islamic Terrorism" and to eradicate it "completely from the face of the Earth." 3 He hinted that he was prepared to revisit the thorny issues of Western sanctions against (p.83) the Russian economy and the recognition of Crimea as a part of Russia. Trump never commented on Russia's political system but expressed his admiration for Putin's leadership and high level of domestic support. 4

Capitalizing on the difference between Trump's views and those of the Democratic Party nominee, Hillary Clinton, the liberal media referred to Trump as the Kremlin-compromised candidate. Commentators and columnists with the New York Times , such as Paul Krugman, referred to Trump as the "Siberian" candidate. 5 Commentators and pundits, including those with academic and political credentials, developed the theory that the United States was under attack. The former ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, wrote in the Washington Post that Russia had attacked "our sovereignty" and continued to "watch us do nothing" because of the partisan divide. He compared the Kremlin's actions with Pearl Harbor or 9/11 and warned that Russia was likely to perform repeat assaults in 2018 and 2020. 6 The historian Timothy Snyder went further, comparing the election of Trump to a loss of war, which Snyder said was the basic aim of the enemy. Writing in the New York Daily News , he asserted, "We no longer need to wonder what it would be like to lose a war on our own territory. We just lost one to Russia, and the consequence was the election of Donald Trump." 7

The election of Trump prompted the liberal media to discuss Russia-related fears. The leading theory was that Trump would now compromise America's interests and rule the country on behalf of Putin. Thomas Friedman of the New York Times called for actions against Russia and praised "patriotic" Republican senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham for being tough on Trump. 8 MSNBC host Rachel Maddow asked whether Trump was actually under Putin's control. Citing Trump's views and his associates' travel to Moscow, she told viewers, "We are also starting to see (p.84) what may be signs of continuing [Russian] influence in our country, not just during the campaign but during the administration -- basically, signs of what could be a continuing operation." 9 Another New York Times columnist, Nicholas Kristof, published a column titled "There's a Smell of Treason in the Air," arguing that the FBI's investigation of the Trump presidential campaign's collusion "with a foreign power so as to win an election" was an investigation of whether such collusion "would amount to treason." 10 Responding to Trump's statement that his phone was tapped during the election campaign, the Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum tweeted that "Trump's insane 'GCHQ tapped my phone' theory came from . . . Moscow." McFaul and many others then endorsed and retweeted the message. 11

To many within the US media, Trump's lack of interest in promoting global institutions and his publicly expressed doubts that the Kremlin was behind cyberattacks on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) served to exacerbate the problem. Several intelligence leaks to the press and investigations by Congress and the FBI contributed to the image of a president who was not motivated by US interests. The US intelligence report on Russia's alleged hacking of the US electoral system released on January 8, 2017, served to consolidate the image of Russia as an enemy. Leaks to the press have continued throughout Trump's presidency. Someone in the administration informed the press that Trump called Putin to congratulate him on his victory in elections on March 18, 2018, despite Trump's advisers' warning against making such a call. 12

In the meantime, investigations of Trump's alleged "collusion" with Russia were failing to produce substantive evidence. Facts that some associates of Trump sought to meet or met with members of Russia's government did not lead to evidence of sustained contacts or collaboration. It was not proven that the Kremlin's "black dossier" on Trump compiled by British intelligence officer (p.85) Christopher Steele and leaked to CNN was truthful. Russian activity on American social networks such as Facebook and Twitter was not found to be conclusive in determining outcomes of the elections. 13 In February 2018, a year after launching investigation, Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted thirteen Russian nationals for allegedly interfering in the US 2016 presidential elections, yet their connection to Putin or Trump was not established. On March 12, 2018, Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr stated that he had not yet seen any evidence of collusion. 14 Representative Mike Conaway, the Republican leading the Russia investigation, announced the end of the committee's probe of Russian meddling in the election. 15

Trump was also not acting toward Russia in the way the US media expected. His views largely reflected those of the military and national security establishment and disappointed some of his supporters. 16 The US National Security Strategy and new Defense Strategy presented Russia as a leading security threat, alongside China, Iran, and North Korea. The president made it clear that he wanted to engage in tough bargaining with Russia by insisting on American terms. 17 Instead of improving ties with Russia, let alone acting on behalf of the Kremlin, Trump contributed to new crises in bilateral relations that had to do with the two sides' principally different perceptions. While the Kremlin expected Washington to normalize relations, the United States assumed Russia's weakness and expected it to comply with Washington's priorities regarding the Middle East, Ukraine, and Afghanistan and nuclear and cyber issues. 18 Trump also authorized the largest expulsion of Russian diplomats in US history and ordered several missile strikes against Assad's Russia-supported positions in Syria, each time provoking a crisis in relations with Moscow. Even Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, whom Rachel Maddow suspected of being appointed on Putin's advice to "weaken" the State Department and "bleed out" (p.86) the FBI, 19 was replaced by John Bolton. The latter's foreign policy reputation was that of a hawk, including on Russia. 20

Responding to these developments, the media focused on fears of being attacked by the Kremlin and on Trump not doing enough to protect the country. These fears went beyond the alleged cyber interference in the US presidential elections and included infiltration of American media and social networks and attacks on congressional elections and the country's most sensitive infrastructure, such as electric grids, water-processing plants, banking networks, and transportation facilities. In order to prevent such developments, media commentators and editorial writers recommended additional pressures on the Kremlin and counteroffensive operations. 21 One commentator recommended, as the best defense from Russia's plans to interfere with another election in the United States, launching a cyberattack on Russia's own presidential elections in March 2018, to "disrupt the stability of Vladimir Putin's regime." 22 A New York Times editorial summarized the mood by challenging President Trump to confront Russia further: "If Mr. Trump isn't Mr. Putin's lackey, it's past time for him to prove it." 23 The burden of proof was now on Trump's shoulders. Opposition to the "Collusion" Narrative

In contrast to highly critical views of Russia in the dominant media, conservative, libertarian, and progressive sources offered different assessments. Initially, opposition to the collusion narrative came from the alternative media, yet gradually -- in response to scant evidence of Trump's collusion -- it incorporated voices within the mainstream.

The conservative media did not support the view that Russia "stole" elections and presented Trump as a patriot who wanted to make America great rather than develop "cozy" relationships with (p.87) the Kremlin. Writing in the American Interest , Walter Russell Mead argued that Trump aimed to demonstrate the United States' superiority by capitalizing on its military and technological advantages. He did not sound like a Russian mole. Challenging the liberal media, the author called for "an intellectually solvent and emotionally stable press" and wrote that "if President Trump really is a Putin pawn, his foreign policy will start looking much more like Barack Obama's." 24 Instead of viewing Trump as compromised by the Kremlin, sources such Breitbart and Fox News attributed the blame to the deep state, "the complex of bureaucrats, technocrats, and plutocrats," including the intelligence agencies, that seeks to "derail, or at least to de-legitimize, the Trump presidency" by engaging in accusations and smear campaigns. 25

Echoing Trump's own views, some conservatives expressed their admiration for Putin as a dynamic leader superior to Obama. In particular, they praised Putin for his ability to defend Russia's "traditional values" and great-power status. 26 Neoconservative and paleoconservative publications like the National Review , the Weekly Standard, Human Events Online , and others critiqued Obama's "feckless foreign policy," characterized by "fruitless accommodationism," contrasting it with Putin's skilled and calculative geopolitical "game of chess." 27 A Washington Post / ABC News poll revealed that among Republicans, 75% approved of Trump's approach on Russia relative; 40% of all respondents approved. 28 This did not mean that conservatives and Republicans were "infiltrated" by the Kremlin. Mutual Russian and American conservative influences were limited and nonstructured. 29 The approval of Putin as a leader by American conservatives meant that they shared a certain commonality of ideas and were equally critical of liberal media and globalization. 30

Progressive and libertarian media also did not support the narrative of collusion. Gary Leupp at CounterPunch found the (p.88) narrative to be serving the purpose of reviving and even intensifying "Cold War-era Russophobia," with Russia being an "adversary" "only in that it opposes the expansion of NATO, especially to include Ukraine and Georgia." 31 Justin Raimondo at Antiwar.com questioned the narrative by pointing to Russia's bellicose rhetoric in response to Trump's actions. 32 Glenn Greenwald and Zaid Jilani at Intercept reminded readers that, overall, Trump proved to be far more confrontational toward Russia than Obama, thereby endangering America. 33 In particular Trump severed diplomatic ties with Russia, armed Ukraine, appointed anti-Russia hawks, such as ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, National Security Advisor John Bolton, and Secretary of State Michal Pompeo to key foreign policy positions, antagonized Russia's Iranian allies, and imposed tough sanctions against Russian business with ties to the Kremlin. 34

The dominant liberal media ignored opposing perspectives or presented them as compromised by Russia. For instance, in amplifying the view that Putin "stole" the elections, the Washington Post sought to discredit alternative sources of news and commentaries as infiltrated by the Kremlin's propaganda. On November 24, 2016, the newspaper published an interview with the executive director of a new website, PropOrNot, who preferred to remain anonymous, and claimed that the Russian government circulated pro-Trump articles before the election. Without providing evidence on explaining its methodology, the group identified more than two hundred websites that published or echoed Russian propaganda, including WikiLeaks and the Drudge Report , left-wing websites such as CounterPunch, Truthout, Black Agenda Report, Truthdig , and Naked Capitalism , as well as libertarian venues such as Antiwar.com and the Ron Paul Institute. 35 Another mainstream liberal outlet, CNN, warned the American people to be vigilant against the Kremlin's alleged efforts to spread propaganda: "Enormous numbers of (p.89) Americans are not only failing to fight back, they are also unwitting collaborators -- reading, retweeting, sharing and reacting to Russian propaganda and provocations every day." 36

However, voices of dissent were now heard even in the mainstream media. Masha Gessen of the New Yorker said that Trump's tweet about Robert Mueller's indictments and Moscow's "laughing its ass off" was "unusually (perhaps accidentally) accurate." 37 She pointed out that Russians of all ideological convictions "are remarkably united in finding the American obsession with Russian meddling to be ridiculous." 38 The editor of the influential Politico , Blake Hounshell, confessed that he was a Russiagate skeptic because even though "Trump was all too happy to collude with Putin," Mueller's team never found a "smoking gun." 39 In reviewing the book on Russia's role in the 2016 election Russian Roulette , veteran New York Times reporter Steven Lee Myers noted that the Kremlin's meddling "simply exploited the vulgarity already plaguing American political campaigns" and that the veracity of many accusations remained unclear. 40 Explaining Russophobia

The high-intensity Russophobia within the American media, overblown even by the standards of previous threat narratives, could no longer be explained by differences in national values or by bilateral tensions. The new fear of Russia also reflected domestic political polarization and growing national unease over America's identity and future direction.

The narrative of collusion in the media was symptomatic of America's declining confidence in its own values. Until the intervention in Iraq in 2004, optimism and a sense of confidence prevailed in American social attitudes, having survived even the terrorist attack on the United States on September 11, 2001. The (p.90) country's economy was growing and its position in the world was not challenged. However, the disastrous war in Iraq, the global financial crisis of 2008, and Russia's intervention in Georgia in August 2008 changed that. US leadership could no longer inspire the same respect, and a growing number of countries viewed it as a threat to world peace. 41 Internally, the United States was increasingly divided. Following presidential elections in November 2016, 77% of Americans perceived their country as "greatly divided on the most important values." 42 The value divide had been expressed in partisanship and political polarization long before the 2016 presidential elections. 43 The Russia issue deepened this divide. According to a poll taken in October 2017, 63% of Democrats, but just 38% of Republicans, viewed "Russia's power and influence" as a major threat to the well-being of the United States. 44

During the US 2016 presidential elections, Russia emerged as a convenient way to accentuate differences between Democratic and Republican candidates, which in previous elections were never as pronounced or defining. The new elections deepened the partisan divide because of extreme differences between the two main candidates, particularly on Russia. Donald Trump positioned himself as a radical populist promising to transform US foreign policy and "drain the swamp" in Washington. His position on Russia seemed unusual because, by election time, the Kremlin had challenged the United States' position in the world by annexing Crimea, supporting Ukrainian separatism, and possibly hacking the DNC site.

The Russian issue assisted Clinton in stressing her differences from Trump. Soon after it became known that DNC servers were hacked, she embraced the view that Russia was behind the cyberattacks. She accused Russia of "trying to wreak havoc" in the United States and threatened retaliation. 45 In his turn, Trump used Russia to challenge Clinton's commitment to national security (p.91) and ability to serve as commander in chief. In particular, he drew public attention to the FBI investigation into Clinton's use of a private server for professional correspondence, and even noted sarcastically that the Russians should find thirty thousand missing emails belonging to her. The latter was interpreted by many in liberal media and political circles as a sign of Trump's being unpatriotic. 46 Clinton capitalized on this interpretation. She referred to the issue of hacking as the most important one throughout the campaign and challenged Trump to agree with assessments of intelligence agencies that cyberattacks were ordered by the Kremlin. She questioned Trump's commitments to US national security and accused him of being a "puppet" for President Putin. 47 Following Trump's victory, Clinton told donors that her loss should be partly attributed to Putin and the election hacks directed by him. 48

Clinton's arguments fitted with the overall narrative embraced by the mainstream media since roughly 2005 characterizing Russia as abusive and aggressive. Clinton viewed Russia as an oppressive autocratic power that was aggressive abroad to compensate for domestic weaknesses. Previously, in her book Hard Choices , then-secretary of state Clinton described Putin as "thin-skinned and autocratic, resenting criticism and eventually cracking down on dissent and debate." 49 This view was shared by President Obama, who publicly referred to Russia as a "regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors not out of strength but out of weakness." 50 During the election's campaign, Clinton argued that the United States should challenge Russia by imposing a no-fly zone in Syria with the objective of removing Assad from power, strengthening sanctions against the Russian economy, and providing lethal weapons to Ukraine in order to contain the potential threat of Russia's military invasion.

Following the elections, the partisan divide deepened, with liberal establishment attacking the "unpatriotic" Trump. Having (p.92) lost the election, Clinton partly attributed Trump's victory to the role of Russia and advocated an investigation into Trump's ties to Russia. In February 2017 the Clinton-influenced Center for American Progress brought on a former State Department official to run a new Moscow Project. 51 As acknowledged by the New Yorker , members of the Clinton inner circle believed that the Obama administration deliberately downplayed DNC hacking by the Kremlin. "We understand the bind they were in," one of Clinton's senior advisers said. "But what if Barack Obama had gone to the Oval Office, or the East Room of the White House, and said, 'I'm speaking to you tonight to inform you that the United States is under attack . . .' A large majority of Americans would have sat up and taken notice . . . it is bewildering -- it is baffling -- it is hard to make sense of why this was not a five-alarm fire in the White House." 52

In addition to Clinton, many other members of the Washington establishment, including some Republicans, spread the narrative of Russia "attacking" America. Republican politicians who viewed Clinton's defeat and the hacking attacks in military terms included those of chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee John McCain, who stated, "When you attack a country, it's an act of war," 53 and former vice president Dick Cheney, who called Russia's alleged interference in the US election "a very serious effort made by Mr. Putin" that "in some quarters that would be considered an act of war." 54 A number of Democrats also engaged in the rhetoric of war, likening the Russian "attack," as Senator Ben Cardin did, to a "political Pearl Harbor." 55

Rumors and leaks, possibly by members of US intelligence agencies, 56 and activities of liberal groups that sought to discredit Trump contributed to the Russophobia. In addition to the DNC hacking accusations, many fears of Russia in the media were based on the assumption that contacts, let alone cooperation with the (p.93) Kremlin, was unpatriotic and implied potentially "compromising" behavior: praise of Putin as a leader, possible business dealings with Russian "oligarchs," and meetings with Russian officials such Ambassador Sergei Kislyak. 57

There were therefore two sides to the Russia story in the US liberal media -- rational and emotional. The rational side had to do with calculations by Clinton-affiliated circles and anti-Russian groups pooling their resources to undermine Trump and his plans to improve relations with Russia. Among others, these resources included dominance within the liberal media and leaks by the intelligence community. The emotional side was revealed by the liberal elites' values and ability to promote fears of Russia within the US political class and the general public. Popular emotions of fear and frustration with Russia already existed in the public space due to the old Cold War memories, as well as disturbing post–Cold War developments that included wars in Chechnya, Georgia, and Ukraine. In part because of these memories, factions such as those associated with Clinton were successful in evoking in the public liberal mind what historian Richard Hofstadter called the "paranoid style" or "the sense of heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy." 58 Mobilized by liberal media to pressure Trump, these emotions became an independent factor in the political struggle inside Washington. The public display of fear and frustration with Russia and Trump could only be sustained by a constant supply of new "suspicious" developments and intense discussion by the media.