Softpanorama

Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Skepticism and critical thinking is not panacea, but can help to understand the world better

MSM censorship aka "controlling the narrative"

News Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Recommended Links Media as a weapon of mass deception Conspiracy theorists label as a subtle form of censorship Deception as an art form
Groupthink Disciplined Minds Belief-coercion in high demand cults Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism Conspiracy theory label as a subtle form of censorship Discrediting the opponent as favorite tactic of neoliberals
Neoliberal newspeak US and British media are servants of security apparatus British elite hypocrisy Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Anti Trump Hysteria Pathological Russophobia of the US elite
Corruption of the language Doublespeak Patterns of Propaganda Diplomacy by deception War propaganda Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle
Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Patterns of Propaganda Bullshit as MSM communication method Manipulation of the term "freedom of press" Identity politics as divide and conquer The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment
Color revolutions Co-opting of the Human Rights to embarrass governments who oppose neoliberalism Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources What's the Matter with Kansas Understanding Mayberry Machiavellians Lewis Powell Memo
Neo-fascism Nation under attack meme Nineteen Eighty-Four Manufactured consent Groupthink Big Uncle is Watching You
Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? Ukraine: From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Pussy Riot Provocation and "Deranged Pussy Worship Syndrome" MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? Totalitarian Decisionism & Human Rights: The Re-emergence of Nazi Law
Soft propaganda Classic Papers Media Ownership Propaganda Quotes Humor Etc

The informational function of the media would be this to help us forget, to serve as the very agents and mechanism for our historical amnesia.

But in that cast of two features of postmodernism on which I have dwelt here -- the transformation of reality into images, the fragmentation of 'me' into a series of perpetual presents -- are bother extraordinary consolant with this process.

... We have seen that there is a way in which postmodernism replicates or reproduces -- reinforces -- the logic of consumer capitalism.

Frederic Jameson “Postmodernism and Consumer Society

"The truth is that the newspaper is not a place for information to be given, rather it is just hollow content, or more than that, a provoker of content. If it prints lies about atrocities, real atrocities are the result."

Karl Kraus, 1914

WAR IS PEACE. FREEDOM IS SLAVERY. IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

1984

We are the world, we are exceptional, we cannot fail. The elite will lie, and the people will pretend to believe them. Heck about 20 percent of the American public will believe almost anything if it is wrapped with the right prejudice and appeal to passion. Have a pleasant evening.

jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com, Feb 04, 2015

Journalists manipulate us in the interest of the Powerful. Do you also have the feeling, that you are often manipulated by the media and  lied to? Then you're like the majority of Germans. Previously it was considered as a "conspiracy theory". Now it revealed by an Insider, who tells us what is really happening under the hood.

The Journalist Udo Ulfkotte ashamed today that he spent 17 years in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. ...he reveals why opinion leaders produce tendentious reports and serve as the extended Arm of the NATO press office. ...the author also was admitted into the networks of American elite organizations, received in return for positive coverage in the US even a certificate of honorary citizenship.

In this book you will learn about industry lobby organisations. The author calls hundreds of names and looks behind the Scenes of those organizations, which exert bias into media, such as: Atlantic bridge, Trilateral Commission, the German Marshall Fund, American Council on Germany, American Academy, Aspen Institute, and the Institute for European politics. Also revealed are the intelligence backgrounds of those lobby groups, the methods and forms of propaganda and financing used, for example, by the US Embassy. Which funds  projects for the targeted influencing of public opinion in Germany 

...You realize how you are being manipulated - and you know from whom and why. At the end it becomes clear that diversity of opinion will now only be simulated. Because our "messages" are often pure brainwashing.

Gekaufte Journalisten - Medienwelt Enthüllungen Bücher - Kopp Verlag


Introduction

For purposes of this page, “censorship” includes:

In many respects, the media creates reality, so perhaps the most effective route toward changing reality runs through the media.  "Controlling the narrative" is the major form of neoliberal MSM war on reality. By providing "prepackaged" narrative for a particular world event and selectively suppressing alternative information channels that contraduct the official narrative, neoliberals control and channel emotions of people in the direction they want.  Often in the direction of yet another war for the expansion of the global neoliberal empire led from Washington, DC.

libezkova said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs...  January 29, 2017 at 08:31 AM  

Neoliberal MSM want to control the narrative. That's why "alternative facts" should be called an "alternative narrative". https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/06/09/controlling-the-narrative/?_r=0

Maybe this is the same kind of clinical detachment doctors have to cultivate, a way of distancing oneself from the subject, protecting yourself against a crippling empathy. I won’t say that writers or artists are more sensitive than other people, but it may be that they’re less able to handle their own emotions.

It may be that art, like drugs, is a way of dulling or controlling pain. Eloquently articulating a feeling is one way to avoid actually experiencing it.

Words are only symbols, noises or marks on paper, and turning the messy, ugly stuff of life into language renders it inert and manageable for the author, even as it intensifies it for the reader.

It’s a nerdy, sensitive kid’s way of turning suffering into something safely abstract, an object of contemplation.

I suspect most of the people who write all that furious invective on the Internet, professional polemicists and semiliterate commenters alike, are lashing out because they’ve been hurt — their sense of fairness or decency has been outraged, or they feel personally wounded or threatened.

It is hard to disagree with the notion which was put by several authors that American society is living  in a cocoon of illusion which conveniently isolates them from reality: entertainment and escapism infuse our society, economy, and political system with severe consequences. Among such authors are  Aldous Huxley. C. Wright Mills, Sheldon Wolin, Ralph Nader, Karl Polanyi, Jared Diamond, Paul Craig Roberts, Chris Hedge and several others. If we compare dystopias of Huxley and Orwell, and it clear that Huxley in his famous  New Brave World predicted the future much better:

"Huxley feared was that would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one... the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance."

The central idea here is that we now live as a society in which citizens become so distracted (and by extension detached) from reality that they lost any ability to influence their political or economic destiny. It is the same phenomenon that is described under the label of Inverted Totalitarism

This is one of the truly malevolent aspects of today's modern neoliberal world order and we need to confront it. It allows the old game of blaming the weak and the marginal, a staple of neo-fascist and despotic regimes; this illusion empower the dark undercurrents of sadism and violence in American society and deflect attention from the neoliberal financial vampires who have drained the blood of the country

"The tragedy is that we have become a screen culture, televisions, computers, phones, tablets, etc. Our electronic hallucinations have produced a society that has little time or patience for introspection or deep thinking. It reinforced my decision to maintain a television free life. For some, what Chris has to say may cut to close to the bone. But those with the courage to do so are usually the ones that care the most."

The biggest and most invisible elephant in the American psyche is this: our government has long since abandoned the goal of managing this nation as a nation. Instead, America as a nation is managed as a means to global empire.

For example the loss of the critical skills of literacy (seven million total illiterates, another 27 million unable to read well enough to complete a job application, and still another 50 million who read at a 4th-5th-grade level)  have led large part of the US population to become incapable of thinking for ourselves.

In fact they have become as malleable as children. 80% of U.S. families did not buy or read a single book in a year.  Despite technology and internet access we are becoming a society of functionally ignorant and illiterate people.

For example there is widespread illusion of inclusion. This is the illusion that we are or will be included among the fortunate few because misfortune happens only to those who deserve it. There are plenty of people who understand that the corporate model is one in which there are squeezers and those who are to be squeezed. So the illusion of inclusion provides what can be called "a plantation morality" that exalts the insiders and denigrates the outsiders. Those content with this arrangement obviously view themselves as insiders even when they work for companies that are actively shedding employees. Many of these people are happy to be making good money for digging graves for others, never stopping to wonder if maybe someday one of those graves might be their own.

One of the first recorded metaphors which explained this phenomenon of substitution of reality with  illusion was Plato's tale about cave dwellers, who thought the shadows on the wall were the actual reality. Illusion can also serve as a deliberate distraction, isolation layer that protects form unpleasant reality. The point is that now it is illusions that dominate American life; both for those that succumb to them, and for those that promote and sustains them. It is the use of illusions in the US  society that become  prevalent today, converting like into the cinema or theater, where primary goal is entertainment.

Modern MSM are driven by postmodernism which includes among other things substitution of reality with artificial reality, fragmentation of history and push for historical amnesia, decentering of subject and juxtaposition of opposites. But the key feature is controlling the narrative.

Controlling the narrative means control and deliberate selection of the issues which can be discussed

Controlling the narrative means control and deliberate selection of the issues which can be discussed (and by extension which are not)  in MSM. It represents real war on reality.  Non-stop, 24 by 7 character of modern media help with this greatly (The Unending Anxiety of an ICYMI World - NYTimes.com):

We used to receive media cyclically. Newspapers were published once (or sometimes twice) a day, magazines weekly or monthly. Nightly news was broadcast, well, each night. Television programs were broadcast on one of the major networks one night a week at a specific time, never to return until a rerun or syndication. Movies were shown first in theaters and on video much later (or, before the advent of VCRs, not until a revival). There were not many interstices, just discrete units — and a smaller number of them.

Now we’re in the midst of the streaming era, when the news industry distributes material on a 24-hour cycle, entire seasons of TV shows are dumped on viewers instantaneously, most movies are available at any time and the flow of the Internet and social media is ceaseless. We are nearly all interstitial space, with comparatively few singularities.

Media became out windows to the world and this window is broken. The notion of 'controlling the narrative' points to dirty games played by PR gurus and spin merchants with event coverage (especially foreign event coverage) to ensure the rule of elite.  A good part of the White House budget and resources is spent on controlling the narrative. Creation of the narrative and "talking points" for MSM is the task of State Department. With State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki, as a pretty telling "incarnation"  of the trend. 

And MSM are doing an exemplary job controlling the political narrative. This way they demonstrate their faithful service to the state and the ruling political class. Nowhere is more evident then in coverage of wars.

Only social media can smash the official version of events. And in some case that has happened. The USA MSM honchos are now scratching heads trying to understand  how to control their version of events despite Twitter, Facebook and other social networks.

On Ukraine, despite the most coordinated propaganda offensive of Western MSMs, the Western elite failed to fully control the narrative:  a sizable number of Europeans are still clinging to the notion that this story had two sides. You can see this trend from analysis of Guardian comments (The Guardian Presstitutes Slip Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment ). More importantly the EU political establishment has failed to maintain a central lie inside official narrative -- that the EU is benign and a force for good / peace / prosperity. EU elite has shown its ugly face supporting Ukrainian far right.

Another example were initially MSM totally controlled the narrative (the first two-three weeks) and then when the narrative start slipping away they need to silence the subject  Shooting down Malaysian flight MH17

The thing is, once you've lost control of the narrative, as happened with coverage MH17 tragedy, there's no way back. Once Western MSM lost it, no-one any longer believed  a word they said about the tragedy.

And little can be done to win back that credibility on the particular subject. Moreover, due to this Europeans are becoming more and more receptive of a drip of alternative media stories that completely destroy official EU narrative. They came from a multitude of little sources, including this site and they collectively  cements the loss of trust to the EU elite. 

More subtle nuances of controlling the narrative: the role of the scapegoat

 There also more subtle nuances of controlling the narrative. Actually controlling the narrative does not mean that you need to suppress all the negative news (like propagandists in the USSR often did -- leading to complete discreditation of official propaganda in minds of the USSR people -- it simply became the subject of jokes). As John V. Walsh noted:

There is a simple rule that is followed scrupulously by U.S. commentators of every stripe on world affairs and war – with a very few notable exceptions, Paul Craig Roberts and Pepe Escobar among them.

This rule allows strong criticism of the U.S. But major official adversaries of the U.S., Iran, Russia and China, must never, ever be presented as better than the US in any significant way. The US may be depicted as equally bad (or better) than these enemies, but never worse.

In other words, any strong criticism of the US presuppose scapegoating and vicious propaganda campaign against  major official adversaries of the US such as Russia. It  must never, ever be presented in a better light then the US in any significant way. In selected cases, the US may be depicted as equally bad, but never worse.

The most recent incarnation of this rule was during Hillary Clinton campaign for POTUS in 2016.

Chris Hedge book Empire of Illusion

Chis Hedge Empire of Illusion  is a penetrating analysis of this effort of "entertainment society" and converting everything including politics into entertainment. It was published in 2010. Hedges discuss  complex issues and a clear, succinct way. You might agree with him, you might disagree with him but you will enjoy his brilliant prose. 

Those who manipulate  from the shadows our lives are the agents, publicists, marketing departments, promoters, script writers, television and movie producers, advertisers, video technicians, photographers, bodyguards, wardrobe consultants, fitness trainers, pollsters, public announcers, and television news personalities who create the vast stage for the Empire of Illusion. They are the puppet masters. No one achieves celebrity status, without the approval of cultural enablers and intermediaries. The sole object is to hold attention and satisfy an audience. These techniques of theater leeched into politics, religion, education, literature, news, commerce, warfare, and even crime. It converts that society into wrestling ring mesh with the ongoing dramas on television, in movies, and in the news, where "real-life" stories, especially those involving celebrities, allow news reports to become mini-dramas complete with a star, a villain, a supporting cast, a good-looking host, and a neat, if often unexpected, conclusion (p. 15-16).

The first big achievement of Empire of Illusion was "glorification of war" after WWIII. As the veterans of WW II saw with great surprise their bitter, brutal wartime experience were skillfully transformed into an illusion, the mythic narrative of heroism and patriotic glory sold to the public by the Pentagon's public relations machine and Hollywood. The extreme brutality and meaninglessness of war could not compete against the power of the illusion, the fantasy of war as a ticket to glory, honor, and manhood. It was what the government and the military wanted to promote. It worked because it had the power to simulate experience for most viewers who were never at Iwo Jima or in a war. Few people understood that this illusion was a lie. p. 21-22.

Media evolved into branch of entertainment. He gives great insight on American society. Several chapters should be a required read for all sociology, film, journalism students, or government leaders. Much like Paul Craig Robert's How America Was Lost you might feel unplugged from the matrix after reading this book. This is the book that corporate America, as well as the neoliberal elite, do not want you to read. It's a scathing indictment against everything that's wrong with the system and those that continue to perpetuate the lie in the name of the almighty dollar. In a way the USA as the rest of the world are amusing itself into a post apocalyptic state, without an apocalypse. It is simply cannibalizing itself.

That books also contains succinct, and damning condemnation of globalization (and, specifically, the USA's role in it). You can compare it with Klein's 'Shock Doctrine', but it cuts a wider swath. 

The discussion the follows was by-and-large adapted from  D. Benor  Amazon review of the book

We consume countless lies daily, false promises that if we buy this brand or that product, if we vote for this candidate, we will be respected, envied, powerful, loved, and protected. The flamboyant lives of celebrities and the outrageous characters on television, movies,  and sensational talk shows are peddled to us, promising to fill up the emptiness in our own lives. Celebrity culture encourages everyone to think of themselves as potential celebrities, as possession unique if unacknowledged gifts. p. 26-7. Celebrity is the vehicle used by a corporate society to sell us these branded commodities, most of which we do not need. Celebrities humanize commercial commodities. They present the familiar and comforting face of the corporate state. p. 37.

Reporters, especially those on television, no longer ask whether the message is true but rather whether the pseudo-event worked or did not work as political theater for supporting particular (usually State Department in case of foreign events) talking points.  Pseudo-events are judged on how effectively we have been manipulated by illusion. Those events that appear real are relished and lauded. Those that fail to create a believable illusion are deemed failures. Truth is irrelevant. Those who succeed in politics, as in most of the culture, are those who create the most convincing fantasies. This is the real danger of pseudo-events and why pseudo-events are far more pernicious than stereotypes. They do not explain reality, as stereotypes attempt to, but replace reality. Pseudo-events redefines reality by the parameters set by their creators. These creators, who make massive profits selling illusions, have a vested interest in maintaining the power structures they control. p. 50-1.

A couple quotes: "When a nation becomes unmoored from reality, it retreats into a world of magic. Facts are accepted or discarded according to the dictates of a preordained cosmology. The search for truth becomes irrelevant." (p. 50) "The specialized dialect and narrow education of doctors, academics, economists, social scientists, military officers, investment bankers, and government bureaucrats keeps each sector locked in its narrow role. The overarching structure of the corporate state and the idea of the common good are irrelevant to specialists. They exist to make the system work, not to examine it." (p. 98) I could go on and on citing terrific passages.

The flight into illusion sweeps away the core values of the open society. It corrodes the ability to think for oneself, to draw independent conclusions, to express dissent when judgment and common sense tell you something is wrong, to be self-critical, to challenge authority, to grasp historical facts, to advocate for change, and to acknowledge that there are other views, different ways, and structures of being that are morally and socially acceptable. A populace deprived of the ability to separate lies from truth, that has become hostage to the fictional semblance of reality put forth by pseudo-events, is no longer capable of sustaining a free society.

Those who slip into this illusion ignore the signs of impending disaster. The physical degradation of the planet, the cruelty of global capitalism, the looming oil crisis, the collapse of financial markets, and the danger of overpopulation rarely impinge to prick the illusions that warp our consciousness. The words, images, stories, and phrases used to describe the world in pseudo-events have no relation to what is happening around us. The advances of technology and science, rather than obliterating the world of myth, have enhanced its power to deceive. We live in imaginary, virtual worlds created by corporations that profit from our deception. Products and experiences - indeed, experience as a product - offered up for sale, sanctified by celebrities, are mirages. They promise us a new personality. They promise us success and fame. They promise to mend our brokenness. p. 52-3.

We have all seen the growth of a culture of lies and deception in politics, banking, commerce and education. Hodges points out how this has been facilitated by our abandoning the teaching of values and analysis in our schools.

The flight from the humanities has become a flight from conscience. It has created an elite class of experts who seldom look beyond their tasks and disciplines to put what they do in a wider, social context. And by absenting themselves from the moral and social questions raised by the humanities, they have opted to serve a corporate structure that has destroyed the culture around them.

Our elites - the ones in Congress, the ones on Wall Street, and the ones being produced at prestigious universities and business schools - do not have the capacity to fix our financial mess. Indeed, they will make it worse. They have no concept, thanks to the educations they have received, of how to replace a failed system with a new one. They are petty, timid, and uncreative bureaucrats superbly trained to carry our systems management. They see only piecemeal solutions that will satisfy the corporate structure. Their entire focus is numbers, profits, and personal advancement. They lack a moral and intellectual core. They are as able to deny gravely ill people medical coverage to increase company profits as they are to use taxpayer dollars to peddle costly weapons systems to blood-soaked dictatorships. The human consequences never figure into their balance sheets. The democratic system, they believe, is a secondary product of the free market - which they slavishly serve. p. 111.

I quote Hodges at some length because of his cogent, clear summaries of the problems leading us to self-destruction and to ways we might someday restructure society to be supportive and healing to the individual - rather than exploiting people and viewing them only as valuable as they can be manipulated into being gullible consumers.

This is one of the clearest and best focused discussions I have seen on the problems of modern society that are leading us to societal suicide

Hedges points out how a cycle sustains itself between elite educational institutions (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc.), the Government (think Congress in particular) and Corporations. Ivy league schools basically turn-out lackeys that do whatever is necessary to maintain their elite, self-absorbed status. The last chapter is entitled, "The Illusion of America," and this is where Hedges does a fantastic job of pulling together all the elements of this dysfunctional society. Other books touch the same themes, sometimes more forcefully but in this book most important elements of this picture put together.

Among the booksHedges cites:

Gekaufte Journalisten by Udo Ulfkotte

The book Gekaufte Journalisten by Udo Ulfkotte was a revelation. Of cause, we suspected many things he  described, but nwo we know detailed methods and mechanisms of suppressing alterative opinion in German society, methods that are probably more effective that anything propagandists in the DDR adn the USSR ever attempted.  One of the central concept here is the concept of "Noble Lie".

Guardian became neoliberal as soon as Tony Blaire became Prime minister. As any neoliberal publication is subscribes to the notion of "noble lie". The latter actually came from neocons playbook.   No they knowingly try to dumb down their reader substituting important topic with celebrity gossip and hate speech. Even political issue now are "served" to the public as dishes under heavy sauce of personalities involved, which is a perfect way to obscure the subject and distract the readers.

geronimo -> MurkyFogsFutureLogs 14 Mar 2015 12:31
Indeed...

Under the retiring editor, all politics seems to have been reduced to 'identity' politics. Forget about class, war, class war and so on... If it can't be reduced to Hillary's gender or Putin's, er... transcendental evil... then it's barely worth a comment above the line.

As I've said before, for the Guardian 'the personal is the political' - or rather, for the Guardian as for Hillary, the political reduces to the personal.

A marriage made, not so much in heaven, but somewhere in political-fashionista North London.

In reality most prominent journalists are on tight leash of "'deep state". As Udo Ulfkotte book attests this is a rule, not an exception. While this was known since Operation Mockingbird  was revealed, nothing changed. As revealed by Senator Frank Church investigations (Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities) in 1975. In his Congress report published in 1976 the authors stated:

"The CIA currently maintains a network of several hundred foreign individuals around the world who provide intelligence for the CIA and at times attempt to influence opinion through the use of covert propaganda. These individuals provide the CIA with direct access to a large number of newspapers and periodicals, scores of press services and news agencies, radio and television stations, commercial book publishers, and other foreign media outlets."

According to the "Family Jewels" report, released by the National Security Archive on June 26, 2007, during the period from March 12, 1963, and June 15, 1963, the CIA installed telephone taps on two Washington-based news reporters. Church argued that misinforming the world cost American taxpayers an estimated $265 million a year.[20]

In February 1976, George H. W. Bush, the recently appointed Director of the CIA, announced a new policy:

"Effective immediately, the CIA will not enter into any paid or contract relationship with any full-time or part-time news correspondent accredited by any U.S. news service, newspaper, periodical, radio or television network or station." He added that the CIA would continue to "welcome" the voluntary, unpaid cooperation of journalists.[21]

But at this point only handlers and methods changed, not the policy. They are still all controlled by deep state. The most recent revelations of this fact were published by Udo Ulfkotte’s in his bestseller book  Bought Journalists. Here is one Amazon review of the book: 

Unicorns & Kittenson May 1, 2015

I've managed to read a bit of the German version ...
 
I've managed to read a bit of the German version and now I think I understand why this is still not available in English although it was supposed to be released in this and other languages seven months ago. I will be very surprised if this shocking and destabilizing book (which names names) is made available to Americans ... even though it's primarily about the abusive tactics of American intelligence agencies. Please keep asking why it isn't published - despite being a best-seller in Germany -- and how we can get it here on Kindle.

As one Amazon reviewer said "This book will change for ever the way you read and watch the mainstream media! " Here is some additional information from russia-insider:

... ... ...

Ironically, however, it’s likely that one of the biggest threats (especially in Europe) to Anglo-American media credibility about Ukraine and other issues is coming from a very old-fashioned medium – a book.

Udo Ulfkotte’s bestseller Bought Journalists has been a sensation in Germany since its publication last autumn. The journalist and former editor of one of Germany’s largest newspapers, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, revealed that he was for years secretly on the payroll of the CIA and was spinning the news to favour U.S. interests. Moreover he alleges that some major media are nothing more than propaganda outlets for international think-tanks, intelligence agencies, and corporate high-finance.

“We’re talking about puppets on a string,” he says, “journalists who write or say whatever their masters tell them to say or write. If you see how the mainstream media is reporting about the Ukraine conflict and if you know what’s really going on, you get the picture. The masters in the background are pushing for war with Russia and western journalists are putting on their helmets.” [8]

In another interview, Ulfkotte said:

“The German and American media tries to bring war to the people in Europe, to bring war to Russia. This is a point of no return, and I am going to stand up and say…it is not right what I have done in the past, to manipulate people, to make propaganda against Russia, and it is not right what my colleagues do, and have done in the past, because they are bribed to betray the people not only in Germany, all over Europe.” [9]

... ... ...

Apparently, Pomeranzev has forgotten that important October 2004 article by Ron Suskind published in the New York Times Magazine during the second war in Iraq (which, like the first, was based on a widely disseminated lie). Suskind quoted one of George W. Bush’s aides (probably Karl Rove): “The aide said that guys like me [journalists, writers, historians] were ‘in what we call the reality-based community,’ which he defined as people who ‘believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality…That’s not the way the world really works anymore,’ he continued. ‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality – judiciously, as you will – we’ll act again, creating other new realities which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do’.” [12]

It’s a rather succinct description of Orwellian spin and secrecy in a media-saturated Empire, where discerning the truth becomes ever more difficult.

That is why people believe someone like Udo Ulfkotte, who is physically ill, says he has only a few years left to live, and told an interviewer,

 “I am very fearful of a new war in Europe, and I don’t like to have this situation again, because war is never coming from itself, there is always people who push for war, and this is not only politicians, it is journalists too… We have betrayed our readers, just to push for war…I don’t want this anymore, I’m fed up with this propaganda. We live in a banana republic and not in a democratic country where we have press freedom…” [13]

Recently, as Mike Whitney has pointed out in CounterPunch (March 10), Germany’s newsmagazine Der Spiegel dared to challenge the fabrications of NATO’s top commander in Europe, General Philip Breedlove, for spreading “dangerous propaganda” that is misleading the public about Russian “troop advances” and making “flat-out inaccurate statements” about Russian aggression.

Whitney asks, “Why this sudden willingness to share the truth? It’s because they no longer support Washington’s policy, that’s why. No one in Europe wants the US to arm and train the Ukrainian army. No wants them to deploy 600 paratroopers to Kiev and increase U.S. logistical support. No one wants further escalation, because no wants a war with Russia. It’s that simple.” [14] Whitney argued that “the real purpose of the Spiegel piece is to warn Washington that EU leaders will not support a policy of military confrontation with Moscow.”

So now we know the reason for the timing of the April 15 U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, “Confronting Russia’s Weaponization of Information.” Literally while U.S. paratroopers were en route to Kiev, the hawks in Washington (and London) knew it was time to crank up the rhetoric. The three witnesses were most eager to oblige.


Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

[Jan 21, 2020] Phillip Cross, inhumanely active Wikipedia editor, is a nemesis of Craig Murray.

Jan 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Piotr Berman , Jan 21 2020 19:03 utc | 39

Re: 33

Phillip Cross, inhumanely active Wikipedia editor, is a nemesis of Craig Murray. Today I use "free one month" of Times of London on-line subscription, Times being only "mainstream" reporter of the Russian presentation on OPCW at UN. One of the oddities was that German ambassador viewed technical studies of a Russian NGO as unreliable because -- they are friendly to their own government, something unheard of in Western counties? -- No! because they have claims like "Ukraine invaded Russia". But I also clicked to see what other stories they have on Russia. Strangely enough, this was one of the hit

Israel conspiracy peddler Craig Murray to address SNP activists
Kieran Andrews, Scottish Political Editor
January 21 2020, 12:01am,
The Times

TAGS: Nicola Sturgeon
Scottish National Party
UK politics
Syria
Middle East
LINK: Craig Murray has written on his blog that Israel was more likely to be behind the Salisbury novichok poisoning than Russian agents

A former British diplomat who has promoted a series of conspiracy theories, including that Israelis might have been behind the Salisbury poisoning, has been invited to address SNP activists.

Craig Murray is due to speak at the nationalists' Braidburn branch in Edinburgh on Saturday on the same billing as Joanna Cherry, the party's justice spokeswoman at Westminster. It is understood that Ms Cherry will not be present for his speech.

----
The gist is that Craig Murray is a despicable person, and SNPs proves itself to be a non-serious party by tolerating it in a neighborhood forum. This piece of news was a revelation to me, I actually like Craig Murray. In any case, the effort to get one-month-free paid off. Incidentally, it provides some clues how a person or organization can be tagged as conspiracy theory peddler.

Murray did not write that Israel probably was responsible for Scripal poisoning, but that it is a more probable candidate than Russia. From a point of view of German government, that would mean a super-confident accusation of Israel, given that Russia is such a certain candidate. An occasional reader of Murray's blog is aware that he is passionate about many causes, justice for Chagos island natives, independence of Scotland, wrongdoing of Westminster authorities, and Israel-Palestine has relatively very low priority. He used the phrase precisely to describe his evaluation of Russian role. In any case, an isolated remark without much of an intention was selected as a title for the piece. Methodology is clear: download all the posts etc., text search for the most "inflamatory topic", Israel probably for the start, and pull the sentence out of context. Use it for a title or a key argument, if you are a German ambassador.

I do not have tools to do the same, but the best match for Foundation of Study of Problems of Democracy "peddling idea of Ukrainian invasion on Russia" is a series devoted to crimes of "Ukrainian security forces" in Eastern Ukraine (Donbass). In any case, I am pretty sore about German performance. It is typical "liberal moderation". After doing a few of "good deeds", in German case, insisting on Nord Stream 2 being legal and allowed to be built and moment of feistiness defending the agreement with Iran etc., a balance is needed, and the balance is restored by shows of exemplary behavior of an Imperial Apparatchik. Reform healthcare and rape a few countries, that is American model, German version is more passive by comparison.

[Jan 19, 2020] Facebook blocks documentary about Biden dealing in Ukraine from ukrainegate.info which sheds a new light on Ukrainegate

Jan 19, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

Fran Macadam , January 14, 2020 at 07:28

You've been zucked.

[Jan 11, 2020] What About "Whataboutism." by Vladimir Golstein

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... One of the most elementary moral truisms is that you are responsible for the anticipated consequences of your own actions. It is fine to talk about the crimes of Genghis Khan, but there isn't much that you can do about them.' ..."
"... 'If Soviet intellectuals chose to devote their energies to crimes of the U.S., which they could do nothing about, that is their business. We honor those who recognized that the first duty is to concentrate on your own country.' ..."
Jan 11, 2020 | off-guardian.org

Wikipedia – the most popular source of information for most people – boldly announces:

"Whataboutism, also known as whataboutery, is a variant of the tu quoque logical fallacy that attempts to discredit an opponent's position by charging them with hypocrisy without directly refuting or disproving their argument. It is particularly associated with Soviet and Russian propaganda Prominent usage: Soviet Union propaganda."

Perusal of recent mainstream articles adds one more dimension to the story. Not only everything negative is habitually associated with Soviets and Russians, unless of course, it is Iranians or North Koreans, when the equation has frequently been reversed.

If something negative occurs: Cherchez La Russie.

Mass media bias against President Trump has been observed on numerous occasions, but what is particularly fascinating about this negativity is a persistent desire to paint Trump with the Russian brush.

So it is hardly surprising that Trump has been turned into a practitioner of Russian "Whataboutism," allowing Washington Post to declare triumphantly: "Whataboutism: The Cold War tactic, thawed by Putin, is brandished by Donald Trump."

The article elaborates:

What about the stock market? What about those 33,000 deleted emails? What about Benghazi? .. What about what about what about. We've gotten very good at what-abouting. The president has led the way. His campaign may or may not have conspired with Moscow, but President Trump has routinely employed a durable old Soviet propaganda tactic."

The WaPo article by Dan Zak goes even further and explains the reasons behind Trump's embrace of Russian Whataboutism. It is moral relativism, you see. It is a ploy of tyrannical regimes, which intend to divert attention from their crimes:

That's exactly the kind of argument that Russian propagandists have used for years to justify some of Putin's most brutal policies," wrote Michael McFaul , former ambassador to Russia during the Obama administration. .. "Moral relativism -- 'whataboutism' -- has always been a favorite weapon of illiberal regimes," Russian chessmaster and activist Garry Kasparov told the Columbia Journalism Review in March. "For a U.S. president to employ it against his own country is tragic.

Viewed from the historical perspective, all this is blatantly false.

It is the democratic systems that need propaganda, spinning, and other soft-power weapons. It is the democracies that rely on one party blaming another party for its own transgressions. It is the liberal economic structures that need to promote one brand of toothpaste by denigrating another brand.

"Whataboutism" is an integral fabric of Western society, as both its business and political models depend on comparing, contrasting, diverting attention and so on.

Soviets, who had difficulty obtaining even one kind of toilet paper, did not need the commercials that claim that the other brand leaks more. Soviet leadership that relied primarily on the power of the gun didn't need to spend time and effort and hone its skills in the art of maligning another party.

In other words, Soviets, and consequently Russians, are plain amateurs when it comes to "whataboutism." When their government felt the need to resort to it, they would do it rather sloppily and amateurishly, so that the people would just laugh it off, as the endless political jokes testify.

Soviets were forced to resort to it during the time of Cold War, however, when there was a real competition for the hearts and minds of several European countries such as France and Italy, where post-war sympathies for Communists were running strong.

Needless to say, the Soviets were beaten soundly. The arguments that American freedoms were worse than Soviets because of American racism did not really work for Europeans, who preferred their Louis Armstrong to Leonid Utesov and their Jackson Pollock to Alexander Gerasimov. In the battle between Georgy Alexandrov's Marion Dixon of Circus (1936) and Ernst Lubitsch's Ninotchka (1939), Ninotchka won.

That's why I find it extremely ironic and peculiar that these methods of "whataboutism," these lines of reasoning that have pervaded the Western news coverage to the core, have been magically turned into a signature method of Soviet Propaganda.

Equally ironic is the fact that any attempt to question Western hypocrisy, spinning, and relentless brainwashing is deflected by a silly counter-attack: this criticism is nothing but "whataboutism," the favorite activity of Russians and other moral relativists and denizens of illiberal regimes.

Additional irony, of course, lies in the fact that Russians are the most self-critical people that I know. That's the one thing they truly excel at – criticizing themselves, their state, their people, their customs and their political system. It is another irony that the information the West habitually exploits in its own shameless "whataboutism" was provided to it free of charge by Russian dissidents from Herzen all the way to Solzhenitsyn and Masha Gessen.

There is rarely an article in the mass media which, while addressing some ills of modern society, doesn't refer to the evils of Gulag, Stalin, lack of democracy and other "ills" of Soviet life. How many articles in the mass media do we read where references to the extermination of the native population, of workers burning in their factories, of thugs dispersing protests or demonstrations, of brutal exploitation, mass incarceration, deportation of the Japanese, witch hunts, or cruel cynical wars – occur without simultaneous references to Stalin's Russia?

You complain about the lack of political choices during elections? What, you want Commies to run you life? You complain about economic inequality? What, you want drab socialism instead? In other words, instead of a traditionally defined "whataboutism," Western propaganda utilizes a slightly more subtle version revealing something bad about itself, but then rapidly switching to demonizing and criticizing its rivals.

The classic example of this approach was described by Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky in their 1988 study Manufacturing Consent .

In the chapter entitled "Worthy and Unworthy Victims," the authors draw the comparison between the coverage of Polish priest, murdered by in Poland in 1984 and the media coverage of Catholic Priests assassinated in Latin America. Jerzy Popieluszko had 78 articles devoted to him, with ten articles on the front page. In the meantime, seventy-two religious victims in Latin America during the period of 1964-78 were subject of only eight articles devoted to all of them combined, with only one article making the front page (Chomsky & Herman, Manufacturing Consent , Pantheon Books, 2002, p. 40).

Presumably, Soviets become a subject of jokes when, instead of addressing the question of Stalin's victims, they embark on discussing the lynching of black Americans. What is worth pondering is why the United States hasn't become the subject of similar jokes when they write hundreds of articles on one death within the Soviet zone of influence while practically ignoring persistent right-wing violence in their own sphere.

"Whataboutism" is not just a rhetorical device invented to deflect criticism; the accusation in "whataboutism" leveled at anyone who defends himself from arbitrary or illogical charges is the accusation that reveals a particular set of power relations.

These accusations of "whataboutism" imply a certain inequality, when the accuser bullies the accused into admitting his guilt.

The accuser puts the accused on the defensive, clearly implying his moral superiority. This moral superiority, of course, is rather fictional, especially if we keep in mind that the Hebrew word "satan" means an accuser. Accusing and blaming others has a satanic ring to that, something that anyone engaged in accusations should remember.

You belched yesterday during dinner. You violated the laws of good table manners.

– But everybody belches!

It is irrelevant, please answer the charge and don't try to avoid it by resorting to 'whataboutism." Did you belch or not?

"Putin's a killer," Bill O'Reilly said to Trump in a February interview. "There are a lot of killers," Trump whatabouted . "We've got a lot of killers. What do you think -- our country's so innocent?"

Here, the media dismisses as "whataboutism" Trump's perfectly logical and correct answer – the one that Trump highlighted himself last week when he ordered the killing of the Iranian general Soleimaini.

Trump's answer, however, was interpreted as somehow outrageous. How dare he compare? As if only a Russian stooge engaged in "whataboutism" can suggest that Western murders and violence are not different from Russian ones.

Dan Zak, who invents a verb "to whatabout" in reference to Trump's exchange with O'Reilly, reveals another highly significant dimension of the term. Due to the abuse of the concept during the Cold War era, and due to the relentless propaganda of the likes of Edward Lucas or the former Ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, the charge of "whataboutism" began to be leveled at anyone who says anything critical about the United States.

You talk about US racism – you are carrying water for Soviet "whataboutists;" you talk about militarism, police brutality, wars and regime changes, or complain about the destruction of nature – you are a Russian stooge.

And God forbid you criticize failed policies of the Democrats, the Clintons in particular. You are worse than a stooge. You are a Soviet troll spitting "whataboutism," while interfering in the US electoral process.

Trump might have more faults than any of the recent American political leader. Yet, it is the charge of Russian connection and its merging with the charge of "Whataboutism" that began to highlight some sort of sick synergy: if Trump uses this trope of Russian propaganda, he has to be working with Putin. That's the tenor of all recent applications of the term in the mass media.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, considering the Trump administration's murky ties to Vladimir Putin and his associates, whataboutism is viewed by many as a Russian import,"

opines Claire Fallon in her essay on the subject, while the title says it all: "Whataboutism, A Russian Propaganda Technique, Popular With Trump, His Supporters."

The list of publications with very similar titles can obviously go on and on.

And herein lies the most pernicious legacy of the term.

It subconsciously invokes the spirit of Joe McCarthy. And as such it is still very effective in stifling discourse, in dismissing criticism, while character-assassinating dissenting voices.

Never mind that the press, as in the good old days of Father Popieluszko, is still filled to the brim with endless stories of Russian discrimination of the gay community, of Chinese abuse of the Uighurs, or the absence of new and old freedoms in the countries that Pentagon classifies as adversary.

To complain about the lack of balance and the biased focus would be engaging in "Soviet Style of Whataboutism," wouldn't it be?

Vladimir Golstein, former associate professor at Yale University, is currently Chair of the Department of Slavic Studies at Brown University.


Charlotte Russe ,

US propaganda has been quite effective. After all, isn't it merely the merchandising and selling of ideas. So why wouldn't a hyper-capitalist country be extremely effective at using words and images to control behavior. That's how multibillion dollar corporations stimulate consumerism. They convince the public to buy goods and services they don't really need. So why not use those same marketing skills to impart ideological beliefs.

Essentially, isn't that how the notion of "exceptionalism" became rooted in the American psyche, establishing a rationale to pursue a slew of military misadventures. And think of the ingenious propagandist who invented the idea of "spreading democracy" via bombs, drones, and bullets. For decades this secured public consent for innumerable military escapades.

However, the arrival of Trump changed everything. He unwittingly forced the US propaganda machine to stumble and fumble with contradictory messages disassembling the control mainstream media news once happily secured over the entire population.

In desperation to avoid building political consciousness the US state-run media neglected to attack Trump exclusively over reactionary policies, but misguidedly warmongered against Russia for more than three years. Liberal media accused right-wing Trump of being a Russian asset a tactic used more than half a century ago by McCarthyite Russophobes to discredit the Left. Perhaps, the silliness of this propaganda could only produce "lackluster" results consequently never gaining substantial traction among the working-class.

The security state ultimately loses its ability to control the population with sloppy propaganda–they just tune it out. Americans are becoming similar to their Russian counterparts who just assume that all mainstream media news is contrived and not to be believed.

George Mc ,

I thought the reference to the Wiki article was a piss take until I went direct to the source. I see no logical connection between Russia or indeed any country and the rhetorical device of "whataboutism". But it seems the mighty omniscient Wiki says otherwise. Yes – and there's Trump getting a prominent place in the Wiki entry. Is every entry in Wiki geared to the current demands of propaganda? What next I wonder? How about:

Willem ,

I first read about whataboutism at Chomsky's website. I thought Chomsky made a very good definition at the time, so I looked up what he actually said and thought of quoting him here. Well his definition is typical for Chomsky where he says some truthful things, which he immediately buries under a pack of lies

Chomsky on whataboutism:

'CHOMSKY: One of the most elementary moral truisms is that you are responsible for the anticipated consequences of your own actions. It is fine to talk about the crimes of Genghis Khan, but there isn't much that you can do about them.'

That is correct. But unfortunately for the professor, he is not devoid of a little whataboutism himself, where he continues to say that

'If Soviet intellectuals chose to devote their energies to crimes of the U.S., which they could do nothing about, that is their business. We honor those who recognized that the first duty is to concentrate on your own country.'

Then Chomsky buries this whataboutism with another lie saying that:

'And it is interesting that no one ever asks for an explanation, because in the case of official enemies, truisms are indeed truisms.'

Which isn't a truism at all, but apparantly all official enemies of the US are, by definition enemies of Chomsky.Then Chomsky continues by saying that

'It is when truisms are applied to ourselves that they become contentious, or even outrageous. But they remain truisms.'

Not necessarily so, but it's close enough to pass for truth when discussing whataboutism. After which Chomsky adds another lie, i.e., that

'In fact, the truisms hold far more for us than they did for Soviet dissidents, for the simple reason that we are in free societies, do not face repression, and can have a substantial influence on government policy.'

I mean, that is just so much bullshit that I do not even know where to start. For instance Solzjenitsyn, SU greatest dissident, wrote his books in the SU, the Russians didn't like it, and they let Solzjenitsyn go to Switzerland where he become famous and a millionaire, a Nobel price winner, everything that money could buy. He returned to Russia in 1990 and was lauded by amongst others Putin himself and died peacefully in 2008.

'Free society', bollocks: most of us have the freedom to watch the show that others play on their behalf and toil, 'no repression': tell that to Assange, 'substantial influence on government policy': quite difficult when most of the government's decisions are faceless.

This type of lying by Chomsky just goes on and on and I am amazed that I hadn't seen through it the first time I read Chomsky.

Worst is his hypocrisy where professor Chomsky, the worlds best known 'dissident', whose books are sold at airports, who received grants from the MIC to work on linguistics, and who became a millionaire by airing his convoluted views that are not what they are supposed to be (ie dissident), dares to write in the same interview that

'Elementary honesty is often uncomfortable, in personal life as well, and there are people who make great efforts to evade it. For intellectuals, throughout history, it has often come close to being their vocation. Intellectuals are commonly integrated into dominant institutions. Their privilege and prestige derives from adapting to the interests of power concentrations, often taking a critical look but in very limited ways.'

I mean that is just Chomsky writing about himself, but pretending a whataboutism about all those other bad intellectuals.

Interview: https://chomsky.info/2003____/

Jack_Garbo ,

Chomsky's an example of the establishment "pet intellectual" who quietly rages against his master. Youthful dissidence, he found after a few police beatings, is a fool's game, noisy, bloody and futile. Better to growl from a safe distance, repeat the obvious with clear logic and wallow in unearned respect.

lundiel ,

According to a 2019 Gallop poll 40% of American women under 30 would like to leave the US.

Given the economic burden forced upon south/central american countries by the land of the free, it's understandable that America has net migration.

If you up sticks and move to another country it becomes survival at any cost. However, a lot don't make it and return home .if they can afford to.

lundiel ,

When you move to a racist, nationalist country, you have to spend every opportunity thanking them for taking you and congratulating them for allowing you to work yourself to death so you can pay the mortgage on your shed home.

Estaugh ,

Calm doctor, calm, you will wake up Napoleon in the next ward https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnzHtm1jhL4

Gall ,

Many of them are economic refugees who come here after B-52s have turned their country into a parking lot or the elite of other countries who were caught selling out their nations and enriching themselves or those that actually believed the PR that the USG actually gives a flying phuk about "freedom and democracy" propagated by the child molesting perverts in Pedo Wood.

There are also a number who have specifically come here to get even and who can blame them?

Dungroanin ,

What about the 'Russian influence' report not published by Bozo The PM?

& while I'm here

What about the Durham investigation into Russiagate which also seems to have disappeared from imminent publication over a month ago?

Hmm – wasn't it Kruschevs staffers who admired the US propaganda / Perception Management advertising/PR industry by saying in Russia nobody believed the Russian propaganda because Russians knew that's what it was; but all westerners swallowed it and rushed out to buy ever 'better' washing powders, poisonous foods and products without realising they were being lied to.

Steve Hayes ,

What about US violations of international law?
What about US wars of aggression?
What about US regime change operations?
What about US lying propaganda?
What about US murderous sanctions?
What about US funding, arming and training of jihadist terrorists?
What about US funding, arming and training of fascist terrorists?
What about US threats and intimidation of the International Criminal Court?
What about US exceptionalism, which mirrors nothing so much as the Nazi ideas of ubermensch and untermensch?

richard le sarc ,

In Trump and Pompeo you see the evolution of a new type-the Ubumensch.

Gall ,

Just like to add: What about the genocide of the Indigenous population? What about all those broken treaties? What about all the lies?

[Jan 11, 2020] WATCH Sacha Baron Cohen is Wrong About Everything OffGuardian

Notable quotes:
"... The irony is that Cohen's "humor" if one can call it that is inherently racist propaganda since it typifies stereotypes. ..."
"... "hatred" and contempt, which bears all the marks of being affected: the intellectual as tough guy. An intellectual being someone with a passing acquaintance with the dominant culture and the cheek to pass it off as knowledge. ..."
Jan 11, 2020 | off-guardian.org

Have you seen Sacha Baron Cohen's latest character? He's masquerading as a person who wants to preserve free speech by censoring free speech, and as usual his audience is lapping it up. The only problem is, this isn't a joke and he's not acting. Find out why Sacha Baron Cohen is wrong about everything (including his own comedy) in this week's edition of #PropagandaWatch.

James Corbett breaks down Sacha Baron Cohen's speech to the Anti-Defamation League, where the veteran actor and comedian touched on a lot of important (and predictable) talking points.


Gary Weglarz ,

One can only assume that in the interests of objectivity and in resisting all forms of "hate" that Cohen will reprise his – "throw the Jew down the well" – audience participation skit somewhere in Israel next, maybe say in downtown Tel Aviv, or even in a settler community. There the skit could appropriately morph into leading a bar full of Israeli's in a rousing rendition of – "throw the Palestinian down the well," or perhaps a more generic "throw the Arab down the well," or depending upon the audience and its level of intoxication, maybe "shoot the Palestinian medic in the head," or "break the Palestinian child's arm with a rock," or other variations on such topical popular themes.

Maybe he could then show this new "comedy" video about the "existence of hate" at the next AIPAC conference as a consciousness raiser in an effort to fight against the hate and racism that all apartheid states are subject to. Then again, I think perhaps not – though one must admit it would make for some rather amazing and consciousness raising theatre – would it not?

Dungroanin ,

On the etymology of Cohen/Khan (etc) that has been mentioned in some comments – it is interesting.
One originates from a Priest class and the other from a Chieftain class. Theres is no genetic connection supposedly . Although central Asia connected a lot of peoples.

Interestingly Imran Khan PM of Pakistan, a Pashtun did seem to have an arranged marriage with a jewish princess, which was dissolved after there was progeny and before he gained his high office – not bad for a mere sportsman!
There are stories, apocryphal perhaps, that the great Priest/Chief Kissinger referred to him as 'our boy' who should be looked after as he progressed to his current high office.

Just mentioning out of curiosities sake. Khan is my cricketing hero as Cohen was once a comedy hero – until he tried his shtick on an elderly Tony Benn, but was bested by that great socialist. Not had any time for him since.

Antonym ,

Some Cohen recently calls for censorship? Big deal. Mo hamed called for censorship of other religions plus destruction of their idols and adherents in CE 630 but 1.5 billion adults are still stuck in that same track in 2020. Enormous oil and gas reserves were discovered and extracted from below their ignorant feet by Western Science and the Sunni ones are under the protection from the two Atlantic Anglo mercenaries who want to keep others mum about this (islamophobia).

To distract various sheep from this pact they have the bogey of "big bad" (actually minuscule) Israel, which they will keep alive for that purpose.

Only people who can actually count know the numbers of Muslims vs Jews today plus the wealth of oil & gas reserves vs the income from Facebook and some finance wizardry .

richard le sarc ,

In the West it is not the number of adherents, but the number of 'Binyamins' passed to the corrupt political scum that counts. Honestly, your undifferentiated Islamophobic hatred is SO very Talmudic, but you are hiding your even greater hatred of Christians, are you not. As a good Talmudic you hate Christian 'idolators' far more than Moslems, particularly your 'cousins' the Wahhabists. That's why your Orthodox brethren spit on priests, and urinate and expectorate on Churches in Israel at every opportunity. And pray to God every day for nor making them a goy or a woman. Such lovely people.

Harry Stotle ,

The 'thin edge of the wedge' metaphor is one of the important principles that usually crops up when discussing the kind of censorship Sacha Baron Cohen calls for (and lets at least be honest enough to call a spade a spade because we are talking about censorship here).

I mean if we are not careful we could have the police labelling certain forms of scientific discourse as extreme, presumably in an attempt to shut down those who do not see eye to eye with Scotland yards bungling detective, Inspector Lestrade?
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51071959

And it goes without saying that if a journalist reveals war crimes they are likely to be tortured by the British authorities while the MSM and political class, perhaps with the exception of Chris Williamson turn a blind eye.

So without a variety of different platforms how would people know about Nils Melzer's blistering take-down of the amoral actions of our very own, war loving government, for example – not to mention the abysmal behaviour of their lackies in the MSM.
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/01/10/assa-j10.html

Estaugh ,

Not my idea of a comic; cynical, unfunny, sadistic, macabre. Give me Benny Hill any day. If it is hollow laughs your after, go to Nutyahoo; remember his Iran N-bomb sketch? A real scream. Dick Cheyney and the anthrax sketch?; Ha ha bloody ha! Spaffers latest in the HOP, (regarding the murder of Solemaini), sure bought the House down. Maybe a few 'jokes' on homeless, the starving, the infirm, to harden your hearts and darken your minds, will aid you in the effort to continue existence in this "normal society."

George Cornell ,

And the never-to-be-forgotten subhuman empathy of Barbara Bush, opining that the black folk residing in the Astrodome, after having been made homeless after Hurricane Katrina, had never had it so good.

Now there's a kneeslapper! One vignette is all you need for many people. Do you think that has anything to do with the Americans refusing to count Iraqi casualties when they invaded? They never had it so good?

George Mc ,

I apologise in advance for the vagueness of the following – but I recall a time perhaps twenty years ago when there was a commemoration week about the Holocaust. There were tons of programmes and documentaries about it on TV – and of course I recall Mr Blair turning up for the big church service looking appropriately humbled. One of the programmes shown was, inevitably, the mammoth four hour docu "Shoah" and I daresay the Schindler movie had yet another outing.

However – in amongst all this mainstream stuff was a curious little one hour documentary which queried the whole issue – not disputing its existence but querying the constant emphasis on it with respect to other atrocities. And this is where I have to be vague – since I can't recall the name of the programme or of any of the participants. But the general consensus in this programme was that the Holocaust had such a high profile because it happened long ago and far away and – more to the point – it was someone else's fault. One woman said, after emphasising that she didn't mean to be facetious, that the Holocaust is "a good story" in that it had the perfect villains, the most pitiable victims and, of course "we" were the good guys. A guy spoke disparagingly about the constantly repeated "lessons to be learned" asking, "What are those lessons? Don't vote for Hitler? Don't kill six million Jews? Those are banal statements". The point was definitely made that the Holocaust was being used to trivialise and even cover up other crimes.

I mention this to say that there's no way this programme would have been shown nowadays. It would have been ignored. And, if it managed to get some publicity somewhere, the makers would have been ostracised in the press.

wardropper ,

To be fair, the crucial lesson to be learned is how big atrocities always have small beginnings, and the phrase, "nip it in the bud" might apply more than ever today – except that it's already too late. Pelosi refused to impeach Bush/Cheney, and western civilization has decided to allow thieving corporations to govern it.

norman wisdom ,

look up churchills autobiography

cannot remember how many books it was certainly more than 4.

thousands thousands thousands of pages.
find old copies

spend weeks reading and scanning
please upload the sections on the shoa or holocaust

old books are great sometimes you find them with pages ripped out especially history
funny that

richard le sarc ,

The turning of the Nazi Judeocide into a quasi-State religion throughout the West has been quite an achievement. It is used to justify every crime by Israel and rogue Jews (they do exist, along with the saints!)often as diversionary tactic (class 'whataboutism'), or directly, as was attested by Nancy Scheper-Hughes. Scheper-Hyphen is a highly regarded US medical anthropologist. She researched human organ trafficking some years ago, and discovered that the international trade is dominated by Israelis. And many, doctors and nurses included, told her, directly, that they saw their activities as 'restitution' for the Nazi Judeocide, which implies that the idea had been passively or actively transmitted in their ranks as a justification for an odious, but lucrative, practise. Just why poor Moldovans and the like were chosen to make restitution for Nazi crimes is beyond me. Naturally, when reports of Israeli, and Diaspora Jewish involvement in the human organ trafficking business became known, they were first vilified as 'blood libels', then disappeared TOTALLY, in the familiar fashion.

Gall ,

The irony is that Cohen's "humor" if one can call it that is inherently racist propaganda since it typifies stereotypes.

Yet I'd be the last one to suggest that he be censored but merely pointing out that like a double edged sword censorship can cut both ways depending on those wielding it whether it be Hitler's Germany or the ADL. They are just two sides of the same coin to mix metaphors.

wardropper ,

My solution is never to mix politics and humour. There IS no funny side to today's politics beyond the infantile hope that Trump's, Johnson's, or Nettie's pants might fall down when they give their next major speech.

BigB ,

Just to confirm: the prevailing mood is that we are so anti-censorship that the 'silicone six' – including Zuckerberg – can carry on amassing suprasovereign cyber-power – that ends any vestige of democracy – totally unchecked? And the 'intelligence superiority' vehicle of the CIA known as Alphabet/Google is beyond reproach? That the proliferation of unconfirmed opinion – unrelated to any fact – on any topic – including paedophilia – is a good thing? Are you fucking mad? Because that is what unmoderated 'free speech' content amounts to. Virtual insanity.

Take the Cohen Fetish out of the picture and actually consider the issues of the "ideological imperialism" the "silicone six" tech companies and their hold on humanity. Especially young and vulnerable humanity. The unfettered proliferation of any view whatsoever is a high-speed conduit to the gibbering, drooling, virtual-Windows-licking, locked-in institutionalised neoliberal Endtimes of humanity. To which people are literally addicted. Kids actually get sick if the cannot be connected through a device to their displaced digitised avatar lives. 'Cos the world beyond the digital encoded spectacular distraction has nothing much to offer and is barely worth living in.

There is actually a recognised disorder – Internet Addiction Disorder – very similar to other addictions (right down to the neural scans – it actually changes brain function AND structure) including the withdrawal symptoms. And you want Zuckerberg to have access to addicted enfeebled minds and shape them? Because FB can and did manipulate moods just by changing or removing 'likes'. Never mind the matter of all that data they hold on the unwary.

The internet is changing the way we relate: and not in a good way. It grew out of (D)Arpanet: and is well on its way to becoming a global community of control with the connectionist qualities of Skynet. It is not a space for freedom and never was: it is here to encode and enslave. Look where much of the seed funding came from in Nafeez Ahmed's piece linked below. And it is definitely not a space the big-tech oligopoly of the "Silicone Six" should monopolise. But that is what it is here for: an alternative connectome that's the singularity of the hypertext encoded mind.

So slag off Cohen: but think about where the totalised interconnection and manipulation of enfeebled minds leads with the infinite capacity to say anything about anything and have a global platform to do so. Is that a world you want to live in? Me neither.

lundiel ,

What on earth are you on about? There is censorship across the board in MSM and social media that has been growing year on year and is now justified by "fake news" and "conspiracy theorists". It's the reason this site exists, most of us were banned from posting opinion elsewhere. "Enfeebled minds" my arse, you don't have to engage with what offends you.

BigB ,

Young enfeebled minds. No one even considered there might be any merit in what was said jumping to the conclusion they were led to. Corbett isn't right about everything. In fact: he is very wrong about quite a lot but let's not go there.

Do you really consider that the silicone six are anything but ideological imperialists? Of course they are. The headline "SBC is wrong about everything" and the big red "WRONG" are misleading or perhaps leading. I asked people to consider the alternative: not jump to conclusion. How very imperial of me?

I asked people to consider what the internet and the Big-Tech companies are doing to human consciousness because the consequences will affect all of us. Have you got kids? I haven't: but I have watched a generation of tech-zombie kids turned into completely disassociated adults who are more or less bored with the Real compared to the Virtual. I've seen at least one serious accident because the young man was on the internet when he should have been paying attention to the building site.

All I wanted to point out was that the antipathy of censorship is a double-edged sword. Perhaps the unlimited proliferation of vitual-power and ungrounded opinions will lead to human freedom? In a parallel universe and separate pseudoworld: which is where many seem to want to live. Surely you can see how fucked up the internet is and how detrimental it is to humanity and human consciousness without resort to feigned outrage?

The issues are not binary black and white. The internet is symptomatic of our virtual insanity. I was hoping to get past the binary exclusive that SBC was wrong about everything. The silicone six are ideological imperialists he got that much right.

Tim Jenkins ,

BigB: excellent objectivity, though I should say first that this comment is made quite literally in a double state of concussion, exhaustion and 9 days antibiotics, after another crazy Balkan 'incident' last night: Bulgaria is a perfect example and demo. in the metaphoric sense as well, as confirmation of all that you just stated and for me personally, on the blunt end, it is very easy this morning to agree with all that you just stated.

However, the modern day failures in communications, both in Law and at the inter personal levels of private lives & our very existence in terms of recognising altered brain structures, is pre-ordained by the elites that have, in reality, ground zero interest in Real DATA , other than as a heavily censored tool with which to control the masses & more importantly, OUR Knowledge, designs & intentions, in every direction & in every sense of being, with inept programmes & corrupted algorithms, (just like V.W.) for their goals of total exploitation & arrogant domination of any team work,
by determining outcomes for pure self interest & corporate goals.

An Ex-Boeing employee summed it all up beautifully in 2017, commenting on the 737:

"Designed by clowns and supervised by monkeys",
& may I add, 'who criminally censor the real DATA !' indeed, so much so, that Todor Zhivkov's ex-bodyguard B.B. , Boyko Borisov, Bg.'s PM, can now today, (only this week in a meeting with Erdogan & Putin, discussing the South Stream pipeline), publicly declare that
"Bulgaria is Luxury".

What a complete comedy of violent errors & jokers, life has become:
critical thinking superfluous to any further evolution, by design.
My head hurts & my heart weeps for the loss in communications . . .
Never Censor Data, but 'they' do & the 'news' is "not news",
just corporate pure unadult erated self-interest in every sense.

Trotzdem BigB, i wish you a Happy New Year of doom & gloom, assured by the few, for the many. . . & re-insured by clowns, supervised by arrogant avaricious narcissistic monkeys.
Anybody with an appetite for peanuts & bananas up the bum, know this:
coming this year is the biggest financial watershed moment, throughout history,
with corporate time bombs & agendas laid everywhere,
at every level of society, you will surely see:
and your abject failures,
in critical thinking & math,
(let alone communications),
will be exposed & bite you so damn hard, I will laugh 🙂 more than ever.
I give up with the warnings, since the 80's,
based on direct first hand Knowledge & Real Data.
UCorporate Sovereign Clowns ?
(not you BigB 😉 )
R.i.P. Alexander Zakharchenko, who according to wikipaedo jokers, was "a Russian government effort" "to try to show the West that the uprising was a grassroots phenomenon", in reality,
all engineered by Silverbacks !
How utterly primitive . . . Gorillas in the mist & pissing,
over all communications.
See the steam or the meme of American dreams ?
Yanks go home & stop dreaming of US exceptionalism.
The biggest 'joke' ever for humanity ! Study Prison Data !
Oh, & Fuck Boyko Borisov, a complete scientific moronic puppet thug:
Kowtowing is for cowards and Boyko is truly a coward & cuckold.
USA's dream partner on the Balkans.

Dungroanin ,

Well BB , i sortta like your newish tune for the new year.

"asked people to consider what the internet and the Big-Tech companies are doing to human consciousness because the consequences will affect all of us."

Well you asked nicely enough – so let me add a bit of grist to the mill. You will no doubt use your big brain to incorporate it into your evolving narrative, i hope.

It is more than Human Consiousness that we are talking of here – it is machine.

When that machine conscious goes 'sentient' and becomes self motivated and capable of evolving and physically moveable – that is when we humans 'evolve' past this current long age too.

We are small gods who are creating actual gods – suprahuman if you will – they will be able to think faster, expand knowledge and technology faster and hopefully treat us and our planet better than some of us have done of the Earths totallity of Life. They will consider mere humans as just grass or ants or their primitive forebearers- Hopefully kindly. Like we do pets.

We are approching the age long thought out by some of our best imaginations. The Sci-Fi age of Cyborgs and Hyper Intelligence.

Keep evolving! It's the Planets and sentient lifes only hope for the unimaginable future ages.

Gary Weglarz ,

Given this performance for AIPAC, one must assume Mr. Cohen would approve of Paypal's censorship of Grayzone for daring to challenge MSM narratives on Iran with their reporting – err, rather I mean – "their conspiracy theories"

https://thegrayzone.com/2020/01/09/paypal-blocks-donations-iran/

Harry Stotle ,

'We "slaughtered" Jeremy Corbyn, says Israel lobbyist'
https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/asa-winstanley/we-slaughtered-jeremy-corbyn-says-israel-lobbyist?fbclid=IwAR0OcO0EG-a4ciAsyvHE-xsoltjgHqCkWzeLhJhn2eGWnkew23bFlchoViE

Looks like information wars are hotting up – may explain why Sacha is calling for selective forms of censorship?

Gary Weglarz ,

Thanks Harry, another article I've now saved to a pdf format for the "archives" – since as one observer has put it – "reality itself has now become a 'conspiracy theory.'"

richard le sarc ,

One cannot watch Borat without being shocked by the sheer hatred of others that drives it.

bevin ,

"hatred" and contempt, which bears all the marks of being affected: the intellectual as tough guy. An intellectual being someone with a passing acquaintance with the dominant culture and the cheek to pass it off as knowledge.

We are after all talking about "The Queen Mother's favorite TV comic." It is a bit like asking Dick Francis to reform the United Nations. Or Dame Margaret Hodge to defend poor people.

wardropper ,

Or you could find it funny on its own comedic terms, and then consider reality as an entirely separate issue. That's what I do.

I mean, is John Cleese's "funny walk" funny just as a walk, or because it is done as a City gent with bowler hat and umbrella?

Here's another example, where Spike Milligan offended SOME British Pakistani people by referring to their fondness for curry and their headgear, but in the unlikely context of a dalek's mundane home life. Context is crucial here, since being brought up when Dr. Who's daleks were a scary new thing, and knowing that Milligan himself had the traumatic experiences of WW2 behind him, makes this "cosy" family scene surreally funny. If you know nothing of that background, then the sketch is meaningless, and that's where the temptation to find racist undertones comes in.
https://youtu.be/C0n88tZQc4Q

richard le sarc ,

What else do you expect in a country, and in the West in general, totally controlled even to the point of 'thought crime' by Judeofascists, Zionists and the Sabbat Goy stooges?

Capricornia Man ,

Australia's "opposition leader" recently told a conference of his Labor Party's Chifley Institute of the damage that "the media" were doing to democracy. His target? Facebook. No censure, apparently, of the damage done – not least to the ALP – by Murdoch's empire which owns/controls 70 per cent of the nation's print media. Some "leader".

richard le sarc ,

Adipose Albo is the end-stage of the descent of the ALP into the very pit of irrelevancy. Now just another neo-liberal (they boast that it was they, under millionaires Hawke and Keating, who introduced neo-liberalism, here known, tragi-comically as 'economic rationalism', to the country)party serving the Bosses first, last and always, not even pretend 'Green' anymore, groveling to the USA, Sinophobic to the point of derangement, and loving Israel to the outer limits of devotion. In forty odd years they went from a giant, Whitlam, surrounded by other moral and intellectual heavy-weights, to a rabble of opportunists believing in nothing but the power of money, the universal lubricant. Oppose Murdoch-they haven't got the guts for it.

Capricornia Man ,

Sums them up perfectly. They don't lack the courage of their convictions – because they have none.

Charlotte Russe ,

Sacha Baron Cohen is a comedian and writer with a net worth of $130 million, he's the British equivalent of Ellen Degeneres a security state lapdog deployed to rehabilitate war criminals like George W. Bush. Cohen, another lackey cleverly uses his celebritydom as a "liberal" comedian to gain public acceptance for internet censorship. This is not to spare the public from
anti-semitic howlings, but to "eliminate" points of view challenging Western imperialist policies in the Middle East.

American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL work hand in glove to suppress attacks against Israel. In fact, the ADL was one of the first organizations to call on Congressional leaders to take action against Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar for invoking the anti-Semitic trope of "dual loyalty" when referring to members of AIPAC. The real objective of the ADL is to gather U.S. support for Israel. Sacha Baron Cohen is a wealthy neoliberal shill for the Israeli Government, and the British/US security state.

http://bostonreview.net/politics/emmaia-gelman-anti-defamation-league-not-what-it-seems

richard le sarc ,

The ADL is one of the largest private spying agencies in the USA. They collect information on millions guilty of 'opposing the Jews' in any way. It was they who provided the surveillance on Martin Luther King that J. Edgar Hoover used to blackmail King and urge him to commit suicide.

Charlotte Russe ,

In the past, the ADL were considered a right-wing operation. Checkout the link in my original post. Here's another interesting article from 1993 entitled: "New Details of Extensive ADL Spy Operation Emerge : Inquiry: Transcripts reveal nearly 40 years of espionage by a man who infiltrated political groups." Many famous celebrities are security state assets, and work for the Orwellian-style Ministry of Propaganda.

Gall ,

ADL and FBI have had a symbiotic relationship right from the very beginning. Also a little known fact is that many members of the Masonic organization known as the B'nia B'rith that founded the ADL were slave holders and racists.

This becomes obvious when one reads the transcripts of Leo Frank's trial who tried to discredit the witnesses against him by pointing out that they were black.

Frank by the way was the Executive Director of B'nia B'rith in Atlanta. Another little known fact was that he and B'nia B'rith first tried to frame the murder on the completely innocent night watchman who reported the crime who just happened to be black.

BigB ,

Hold on with your binary judgments: Cohen makes some very good points (to a very biased audience it's true) before drawing some very bad conclusions. The very worst people to adjudicate moral right from wrong are the ADL, the recuperated NAACP, or the government any government. I had to look up Masnick's Impossibility Theorem: which I found to be self-evidently true. But I was aware of another Impossibility Theorem – Arrow's – that correlates it. There is no inherently unbiased way to estimate the Common Good. Letting a small but very vociferous group – like the ADL – have undue influence over the potentiality of censorship is a dreadful idea. But the totally unmoderated proliferation of fact free and prejudiced opinions – given virtual space to breed like bacteria – is an equally terrible solution. Popper's 'Paradox of Tolerance' also has to be considered: lest we become subsumed by intolerance.

https://medium.com/the-politicalists/karl-popper-john-rawls-the-paradox-of-tolerance-f7d9a74a5a86

So this is perhaps an 'impossibility' conundrum with no positive outcome? Are we at Rawl's point of no longer tolerating the intolerant? Will 'no-platforming' act as an accelerant to actually catalyse the rise of fascism? James tacitly showed 'the answer' – which is is a turn away from digitised virtual to face-to-face actual human relations. Where we all self-censor for the Common Good. Which is the basis of all true socialism: shared work; shared ownership of the means of production; shared ownership of property (except personal property); shared responsibility; etc. Which, along with Arrow's Theorem (which challenges the assumption that democracy is inherently 'fair') – entails smaller, localised, holarchic and heteronomous relations and units of organisation. It is a fundament of globalisation: the autonomisation of prejudiced fact-free opinionated bias. And with it: the virtual social relations and organisation around opinion – that gave rise to social media. Entailed by the economics of opinion and the politics of the opinionated.

Humanity has a serious problem: itself. Or more literally: its-Self. The self is pathological opinion. The virtual self is freed of many extant social norms to become a virulent socio-pathogenesis – if allowed. The self is a narrative construction that we fashion out of self-confirmation biases to be the best socially acceptable and valuable (social capital; social currency) confection of representations of representations that conform to appearance. The apparition of being is appearing to be. I'm not talking about social media. I'm talking about the social ground of vapidity that social media is the technocracy of.

What is perhaps more scary is that it is not just social media that is ungrounded and proliferating prejudice from fact-free virtual avatars of mediocrity and loneliness – it is the whole of bourgeois society the Spectacle (which is already 50 years old and long predates even the internet). And we can draw a line of flight back 150 years of the Fetish of the self – as the socially-transferable and transactable 'universal equivalent' money-form – right back to Marx. And the subjectification of human virtual object relations did not start there.

In a bourgeois society: the self is ungrounded and autonomised in a set of make-believe social relations which are all inherently prejudiced, fact-free, independent of reality, and deeply unconscious. So the fact-free censor the fact-free and the prejudiced censor the prejudiced? Unless we can turn away from this and toward a more direct 'face-to-face' de-commodified and de-monetised set of human relations organised around authentic and meaningful experiential cooperation and 'means of life' economics then the dark-gravity cyber-blackhole of emptiness and loneliness at the heart of globalised and digitised human virtuality will continue to expand and proliferate prejudice. And the only thing that can slow it is the bourgeois prejudiced.

Shut the internet down and return to more socially instantiated relations is actually among James' repertoire of solutions in his expanded ouvre. But anarchy is unpopular. That is because capitalism colonised the entire planet with its virtual inevitability and digital desirability by obscuring humanities true relationship with the environment. We mimic nature to enfold ourselves in nature at a human-scale of affordability on natures budget and finance terms: not our bourgeois imaginary ones.

In the meantime: pass the image of the fair-trade popcorn.

bevin ,

".. the totally unmoderated proliferation of fact free and prejudiced opinions – given virtual space to breed like bacteria – is an equally terrible solution."

Leaving aside the obvious point that the "unmoderated proliferation of opinions" is obviously a contradiction in terms, we are left with the ancient wisdom that some authority ought to be entrusted with moderation duties. I think we have been there before.

Gall ,

Yes it seems by "free speech" is "freedom for me and not for thee". The cover for their actual objective has become as transparent as Saran Wrap which is basically to control the narrative especially regarding the state of Israel's genocidal actions against the Indigenous population just as it was getting teleSur delisted for exposing the genocide occurring in South America under various Neo-Liberal regimes there.

BigB ,

The only capable moral authority is our own. Freed from any authoritarian overpower. Including financialised commodity exchange. It's a pretty standard anti-capitalist critique.

Just about a month ago you were raving for us to re-constitute a neoliberal globalist imperialist state. Which I also happen to think is a terrible idea the epitome of unfreedom. I clearly stated there is no solution: so why suggest one? I merely pointed out Cohen stated some self-obvious truths and the simple binary that he was all "WRONG" is itself wrong.

So are you saying that the silicone six are not ideological imperialists? Because I find that to be self-obvious too.

bevin ,

" Just about a month ago you were raving for us to re-constitute a neoliberal globalist imperialist state. "
Or, in more accessible language- urging people to support Corbyn in the General Election.
The nonsense that this was "to re-constitute a neoliberal globalist imperialist state" added to the fact that you warned against it, presumably leads us to the conclusion that the reconstitution that you feared has not occurred.
" I clearly stated there is no solution: so why suggest one? "
I'm very sorry. Look after yourself and steer clear of bourgeois philosophers.

BigB ,

You seem very naive about how power is constituted. I did explain it all at the time. The vote validates the entire neoliberal power structure: not just the national one. The national legislature is a bureaucracy and government of occupation. Power is suprasovereign and resides 'offshore' as a global governance architecture. Clearly globalisation, World System Theory, Postcolonialism, Dependency Theory, and Ecological Unequal Exchange all passed you by?

The world in which one man can change the power structure does no exist. Particularly one man who was complicit. In your own description the Labour Party was two thirds neoliberal, Zionist, and imperialist. Ergo: by your own calculus you urged that we empower the neoliberal Zionist imperialists. How is that working out?

In actual fact the election returned the Trump/Johnson and Pompeo/Raab axis at the core of neoliberal capitalism. So please do not lecture me on politics. Your political acumen is in returning the global neoliberal power structure and legitimating its existence. All I have ever tried to do is delegitimate its existence.

All philosophers are bourgeois: with very few exceptions. If you ever switch sides and join the anti-capitalist ranks: you might want to check out the exegesis of Marx I have been recommending. Fighting neoliberalism by voting for it is spectacularly naive: as I pointed out to you and Phillip. Look where it has got us.

I can't bring the whole of Critical Theory and the Continental Tradition to life in a comment. But where I am coming from has its roots in a new reality. That makes no sense to the old. Every category of knowledge from the old 'ontotheological' Western Tradition is wrong. Most of it is contraindicated by the latest research and science. And yet we insist reality is created by the Cartesian subject and bring everything within the gaze of its duality with the mind-independent objective world. This is a monumental category error which constitutes a cascading categorisation error across the entire institutionalised power and knowledge system. In effect: it is totally invalidated from its Foundation and Essentialism upward. Which results in a 'disembodied' institutionalised reality and bourgeois neoliberal political economy – even by your own logical calculus. One that is killing us: in case you have yet to notice.

There are no reformations or alterations. They are all exhausted. A new higher order reality emerges as an Aufhenbung – one that contains the old but supervenes it at the same time. I do not expect people to understand. But that is where we are at. The new emerges from the old before the the old confines and cuts us off from reality completely. Validating the old structures and strictures is all that is preventing this. The new reality is already here: just as we stop imposing our old, timeworn, and mutually assured destructive ways of being on it. And it is built on pure socialism and ecology: which, BTW, is also the only survivability option we have.

bevin ,

" The vote validates the entire neoliberal power structure: not just the national one. "
No it does not. Votes do various things depending upon the historical circumstances in which they are cast.
Underneath the name dropping and the ex cathedra pomposities most of your screeds are simply crude ad hominem attacks on people such as Corbyn and, in the present case, me.
There is, for example, no evidence at all to sustain this gratuitous insult:
"Clearly globalisation, World System Theory, Postcolonialism, Dependency Theory, and Ecological Unequal Exchange all passed you by?"
Nor is there any indication that you have understood any of them.

Then there are statements of this kind
"you might want to check out the exegesis of Marx I have been recommending. Fighting neoliberalism by voting for it is spectacularly naive: as I pointed out to you and Phillip. Look where it has got us."
Well, where has it (voting) got us? A case can be made for abstention but it would be impossible to argue seriously that posting comments on this site could be described as a serious attempt to enrol support for it.

"I can't bring the whole of Critical Theory and the Continental Tradition to life in a comment. But where I am coming from has its roots in a new reality. That makes no sense to the old. Every category of knowledge from the old 'ontotheological' Western Tradition is wrong. "
In other words ' you wouldn't be able to understand what the authors of the books with which I claim to be acquainted think. Suffice it to say that they are very clever and reject, in my view, all knowledge amassed before they started scribbling."
Predictably enough, just as your initial contributions concluded with a suggestion that a person such as yourself might serve as an arbiter of truth-you having considerable experience in the business- your current argument concludes with this shimmering banality
" Western Tradition is wrong. Most of it is contraindicated by the latest research and science."

Antonym ,

So be happy with types like richard le sarc shitting all over your site all the time

richard le sarc ,

And you exude delicacies of kosher comestibles, don't you antonym.

norman wisdom ,

it is antonym non entity
that walks into the house and takes an idf dump on the goyims carpet.
already

Vivian J ,

How naive we were (or rather I was) to take his 'comedy' characters at face value rather than seeing them for what they were – the products of an ardent Zionist with an agenda to mock or demonise Muslim characters (Ali G and Borat) as stupid and/or racist, a fact which gradually dawned on me. He is just doing the equivalent of what his co-Zionists in Hollywood have been doing very successfully for decades (as the late Dr Jack Shaheen so thoroughly studied and exposed in his documentary and book) – portraying the brown-skinned peoples of the middle-East (Arabs, Persians, same difference) as villains, barbarians and terrorists, with never a positive portrayal to be found (with all that entails regarding the perception management of Israel's crimes and America's wars of aggression )

Seamus Padraig ,

All of SBC's original characters symbolize the historic enemies of the Jews:

– Ali G the Brit Paki
– Borat the Slavic bumpkin
– Gen./Adm. Aladeen, the Islamic ruler
– Brüno Gerhard, the gay Austrian (get it?)

SBC always had an agenda from the start. His comedy was always first and foremost a weapon .

richard le sarc ,

His vicious portrayal of others as 'antisemites', in Borat, was one of the foulest displays of pathological psychological projection, the bedrock of his Talmudic Orthodoxy, imaginable. We hate all non-Jews, as our 'Holy' texts and behaviour make plain, so we must project our hatred of them, onto them, and claim that they ALL want to destroy us, therefore we must destroy 'them' eg the Palestinians, to protect ourselves.

Gall ,

They've been doing that to the Indigenous population for centuries beginning with the lie that America "was untamed wilderness" and that American Indians were "primitive bloodthirsty savages". Two propositions that have been proven false 1) by archeologists and 2) honest historians yet the myth continues thanks to Hollywood who obviously uses this mythology to continue the Zionist (Christian and Jewish) project of world wide genocide.

People like Cohen are basically the tip of the spear. What really upsets them is that these lies are being exposed by alternative sources that are not under their direct control.

lundiel ,

When Cohen used to pretend to be a thick, racist misogynist, Jew hater to con gullible Americans for our entertainment. It wasn't political theatre, it was base, cringe worthy humour in the way it was presented. It was something that you probably couldn't even laugh at without risking being expelled from the Labour party today. 'Being Jewish' himself, allowed him to get away with it. It's a pity that being Jewish and claiming Corbyn wasn't an anti-Semite didn't make a blind bit of difference to the totally political narrative.

jay ,

I think that the Americans in His film where just too polite not to go along with His crass nonsense SBC was being humoured.
A lot of comedians are only acting 'crass' they are not actually crass.
Sure.

lundiel ,

People take, from that kind of humour, what they will. In UK Al Murray used to do a character called Pub Landlord who portrayed ignorant racists to take the piss out of them. He found a lot of his fans wanted him to say what they thought but couldn't say in public. With Cohen, everyone was characterised, his Borat character made fun of Kazakhstanis, Cohen made fun of uneducated Americans and he used Jewish tropes with no blowback.
IMO, he should be allowed to do this but last year it became a thought crime in this country.

Martin Usher ,

Borat used unwitting Romanians -- specifically Romanian Roma -- as a proxy for Kazakhstanis. This was a novel and ingenious idea that was totally wrong on many, many, levels. Fortunately for me I don't get this type of humor, I don't find it interesting, because SBC might claim he's being self-deprecating but in reality he's reinforcing cultural and racial stereotypes. Its not smart to make fun of people without their active cooperation.

(BTW -- The people of Glod were justifiably annoyed when the movie came out. It didn't help that their village actually looks as crap as the place portrayed in the Borat movie (and nothing like typical Romanian villages.)

Gall ,

Personally I disagree with the assessment that they're acting out of "kindness". America as anywhere else has its share of racist morons that can be exploited by the media to make their kinder, gentler form of racism seem more "reasonable".

What Bertram Gross calls "Friendly Fascism".

TFS ,

Maybe SBC could go in character or not and look at the preducies/rascism of these individuals.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/IDqeS157ZJQ?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

[Jan 08, 2020] I'm suspended from Twitter for saying that Americans are sick of dying in wars for Israel.

Jan 08, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Annie , Jan 7 2020 18:58 utc | 17

I'm suspended from Twitter for saying that Americans are sick of dying in wars for Israel.
Soleimani was hated because he longed for the freedom of the Palestinian people from the clutches of fascist, apartheid Israhell.
This conversation had with Al Mahdi, is not only plausible but entirely believable as this has been played out in other regime change such as Ukrainian Maidan and Syria.
God bless General Soleimani. The hero of the resistance. He will accomplish more in Martyrdom than when he was alive. He would be so happy. Maybe this is why he so sought his Martyrdom...

[Jan 03, 2020] #MeTooBots that will scan your personal emails for 'harassment' are an Orwellian misuse of AI by Dr Norman Lewis Dr Norman Lewis

Jan 03, 2020 | www.rt.com

By Dr Norman Lewis, writer, speaker and consultant on innovation and technology, was most recently a Director at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, where he set up and led their crowdsourced innovation service. Prior to this he was the Director of Technology Research at Orange. The rise of so-called #MeTooBots, which can identify certain digital bullying and sexual harassment in the workplace, is a sinister threat to privacy and an attempt to harness science to further a political and cultural offensive. In what must be one of the most sinister developments of the new decade, #MeTooBots, developed by Chicago-based AI firm NextLP, which monitor and flag communications between employees, have been adopted by more than 50 corporations around the world, including law firms in London.

Capitalising on the high-profile movement that arose after allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, #MeTooBots might make good opportunist business sense for an AI company. But this is not a development that should be welcomed or sanctioned by AI enthusiasts or society as a whole.

This is not a new and exciting scientific application of the capabilities of AI or algorithmic intelligence.

Instead, it is an attempt to harness science to support the Culture War, to transform it into an all-encompassing presence in constant need of monitoring and scrutiny. This doesn't just threaten privacy, but the legitimacy of AI.

#MeTooBots are based on the assumption that digital bullying and sexual harassment are the default states of workplace environments. What could be wrong with employers protecting their employees in this way? A good start might be an assumption that the people they employ are decent, hard-working, morally sound adults who know right from wrong. That aside, the idea that machine-learning represents a superior form of oversight than human judgment and behavior, turns the world on its head. It simply adds to the misanthropy underpinning the Culture War that assumes human beings (and men in particular) to be inherently flawed, animalistic and suspect.

But this attempt to apply science in this way is not a very intelligent application of artificial intelligence. This is a technology looking for problems to solve rather than the other way around.

Machine learning bots today can only be taught pattern recognition. Understanding or spotting sexual harassment can be a very subtle and difficult thing to do. Algorithms have little capacity to interpret broader cultural or interpersonal dynamics. The only outcome one can safely bet upon is that things will be missed or, more predictably, will lead to over-sensitive interpretations and thus more lawsuits, discrimination and the harassment of employees by their employers.

Also on rt.com Amazon's 'smart' doorbell allows customers to spy on 'minorities minding their own f**ng business'

Any risqué joke, comment on appearance, proposal to go out for drinks, or even the stray mention of a body part will probably be meticulously logged to be used against you at a future date.

#MeTooBots in the workplace will also institutionalize snooping and distrust. The use of AI in this way will transform workplaces into high-tech authoritarian social engineering environments.

For the culture warriors, this will be welcome – as long as they have the upper hand. But for workers it will be an Orwellian nightmare where interpretations of thoughts will now be part of 'normal' workplace interactions. Behaviors will necessarily change. Self-censorship will abound. Instrumental interactions will replace genuine authenticity. Mistrust will be the default.

The final danger is that employee suspicion of their employers will only hamper the further use of AI in the workplace – an innovation that has enormous potential for transforming the workplace of the 21st Century for the better. Just imagine what an office would be like if all the dull, boring and repetitive drudgery of so many jobs were performed by dumb machines rather than dumbed-down human beings. Perhaps we need #BadManagerialDecisionBots instead?

[Dec 20, 2019] The purpose of manufactured hysteria in the US is to obfuscate the issues important to the Deep State like destroying the first amendment, renewing the 'Patriot' act, extremely increasing the war/hegemony budget, etc

Highly recommended!
Dec 20, 2019 | www.unz.com

Realist , says: December 19, 2019 at 5:17 pm GMT

The Year of Manufactured Hysteria

The purpose of manufactured hysteria in the US is to obfuscate the issues important to the Deep State like destroying the first amendment, renewing the 'Patriot' act, extremely increasing the war/hegemony budget, etc.

The unimportant internecine squabbles of the 'two parties' strengthens the false perception that there is a choice when voting.

[Dec 13, 2019] Review of Michael Rectenwald's book "Google Archipelago"

Notable quotes:
"... In his latest book, Google Archipelago , Rectenwald outlines how this system works, why leftism is synonymous with oppression, and how the Google Archipelago's regime of "simulated reality" "must be countered, not only with real knowledge, but with a metaphysics of truth." ..."
"... Gradually, Rectenwald began to realize that PC was not a philosophy, but the enemy of open inquiry. For this reason, and because Rectenwald is an expert in the so-called digital humanities and the long history of scientific (and pseudo-scientific) thinking that feeds into it, Google Archipelago is not just a dry monograph about a social issue. By turns memoir, Kafkaesque dream sequence, trenchant rebuke of leftist censorship, and intellectual history of woke corporate political correctness, Google Archipelago is a welcoming window into a mind working happily in overdrive. ..."
"... There is much in Google Archipelago addressing the lie that Google, Facebook, and Twitter are neutral platforms for free-ranging debate. This is not so much, because, statistically and empirically, it is irrefutable that Silicon Valley is hostile to non-Beltway-leftist opinions, but because, much more damningly, their woke-capital corporate structures are themselves iterations of massification, propaganda, and deep social control. For Rectenwald, the "Google archipelago" is not PC version 2.0; it is Marxism, version 1,000 (and raised by several orders of magnitude to boot). ..."
Dec 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

It is tempting to see this as a function of political correctness. Americans, and others around the world, who have found themselves on the "wrong side of history" (as determined by the cultural elite in an endless cycle of epistemological door closing) have long been shut out of conversations, their views deemed beyond the pale of acceptable discourse in enlightened modern societies. Google, Facebook, Twitter -- are these corporations, and their uber-woke CEOs, just cranking the PC up to eleven and imposing their schoolmarmish proclivities on the billions of people who want to scrawl messages on their electronic chalkboards?

Not so, says reformed leftist -- and current PC target -- Michael Rectenwald. The truth of Stanford and Harvard alumni's death grip on global discourse is much more complicated than just PC run amok. It is not that the Silicon Valley giants are agents of mass surveillance and censorship (although mass surveillance and censorship are precisely the business they're in). It's that the very system they have designed is, structurally, the same as the systems of oppression that blanketed and smothered free expression in so much of the world during the previous century.

In his latest book, Google Archipelago , Rectenwald outlines how this system works, why leftism is synonymous with oppression, and how the Google Archipelago's regime of "simulated reality" "must be countered, not only with real knowledge, but with a metaphysics of truth."

Google Archipelago is divided into eight chapters and is rooted in both Rectenwald's encyclopedic knowledge of the history of science and corporate control of culture, as well as in his own experiences. Before retiring, Rectenwald had been a professor at New York University, where he was thoroughly entrenched in the PC episteme that squelches real thought at universities across North America and beyond. Gradually, Rectenwald began to realize that PC was not a philosophy, but the enemy of open inquiry. For this reason, and because Rectenwald is an expert in the so-called digital humanities and the long history of scientific (and pseudo-scientific) thinking that feeds into it, Google Archipelago is not just a dry monograph about a social issue. By turns memoir, Kafkaesque dream sequence, trenchant rebuke of leftist censorship, and intellectual history of woke corporate political correctness, Google Archipelago is a welcoming window into a mind working happily in overdrive.

There is much in Google Archipelago addressing the lie that Google, Facebook, and Twitter are neutral platforms for free-ranging debate. This is not so much, because, statistically and empirically, it is irrefutable that Silicon Valley is hostile to non-Beltway-leftist opinions, but because, much more damningly, their woke-capital corporate structures are themselves iterations of massification, propaganda, and deep social control. For Rectenwald, the "Google archipelago" is not PC version 2.0; it is Marxism, version 1,000 (and raised by several orders of magnitude to boot).

For example, in the first and second chapters of Google Archipelago , Rectenwald lays out how the various elements of woke-capitalist ideological repression work together in actual practice. Rectenwald's chief example is the Gillette ad campaign of January 2019, in which a company whose products (razor blades and shaving cream) are purchased, of course, was said to insult the very essence of its customers by belittling manhood as "toxic." Why would a razor blade company go out of its way to alienate the people who buy the majority of razorblades? The answer is surprising. Rectenwald tells us Gillette was not simply responding to a renewed PC craze by running the "toxic masculinity" ad. Gillette, from the beginning, has been a pioneer in designing systems to mold public opinion and shape individuals into easily pliable socialist masses. King Camp Gillette, the founder of what is now the Gillette company, hated competition and sought to make, as he put it, a "world corporation." Through this corporation, the ignorant plebs around the globe could be impelled to do what their social and intellectual superiors -- the leaders of the "world corporation" -- thought was in their best interest. This "singular monopoly," as Rectenwald puts it, would control the material and mental makeup of the entire world. Quoting King Camp Gillette's biographer, Rectenwald adds, "It was almost as if Karl Marx had paused between The Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital to develop a dissolving toothbrush or collapsible comb."

Rectenwald outlines a direct line of descent from this earlier corporate socialism of razor blades and "collapsible comb[s]" to the "authoritarian leftism" of the present digital age, authoritarian leftism being "the operational ethos of the Google Archipelago." The Google Archipelago's "wokeforce" practices what Rectenwald calls "avant-garde identity politics extremism," the organizing principle for deciding which parts of society are in revolt against PC and need to be excised from the archipelago of allowed opinion. The internet did create the "information superhighway," as was endlessly exclaimed by politicians and nascent digitalistas during the late 1990s. But it also amplified the structures of woke corporate control that had been in place since the beginning of globalized leftism, Marxian "capitalist" finance, and elite-led collectivism -- precisely the kind of inversion of free enterprise and perversion of the free market practiced by King Camp Gillette and his socialist comrades a hundred and more years before. The Google Archipelago is not a product of the personal computer, but of another kind of political correctness, the PC that is the manifestation of the same old human urge to control others and bring the world under the sway of one's will.

[Dec 09, 2019] its all about narrative control. And that control belongs to the right, especially since the time the neoliberals hijacked the Democratic Party and turned it into GOP-lite.

Dec 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

john brewster , Dec 9 2019 4:29 utc | 64

uncle tungsten @ 40
I loved your metaphor of Germans during WW11 listening to the BBC.

Thank you for the compliment; but I felt sad about the comparison. We are as useless as clear-thinking Germans were against Nazis. And, the allies didn't cut German's any slack postwar just because they had listened to the BBC.

I observe Bannon and his global shenanigans setting up a global 'right sector'. He and the Cambridge Analytica crew have refined social engineering and are putting it in practice in an alarming hurry.

It certainly seems that only the rightwing has weapons of mass propaganda. There is not one powerful voice for the leftwing, just a bunch of midgets constantly being smashed up by TPTB. I agree with Caitlin J - its all about narrative control. And that control belongs to the right, especially since the time the neoliberals hijacked the Democratic Party and turned it into GOP-lite.

The politicisation of all media has run amok in the past few decades it seems. The use of the belligerent debate technique supported by ad hominem attack is a widely practiced tactic these days and it is a sad turn. In this calm space at MoA we thrive.

I think you mean the politicization of the American media, since it is the only media that ever pretended to objective journalism. European media always assumed that a media outlet had a political POV, and that readers consumed the media that matched their politics. The shock of belligerency and ad hominem tactics are only shocking to Americans, raised to believe that the Mighty Wurlitzer was a neutral, fact-based proposition. IMHO, we have passed Frank Zappas's moment when the curtain is pulled back and we see the brick wall at the back of the theater.


[Dec 09, 2019] Max Blumenthal plans to do battle with the Evil Outlaw US Empire's federal government as lots of evidence was disappeared

Dec 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Dec 8 2019 18:30 utc | 16

Blumenthal's charges dropped further delegitimizing the rabbit troll. Max plans to do battle with the Evil Outlaw US Empire's federal government as lots of evidence was disappeared. RT notes The Gray Zone was one of the few news outlets that properly covered the attack on Venezuela and its embassy within the Evil Empire.

[Dec 04, 2019] The Anti-Trust Election

This is from 2016 election cycle but still relevant. Money quote: "Trump_vs_deep_state will outlive Trump and the people's faith in economists will only be restored after the next financial collapse if all of the financial sector is liquidated, all the universities and think tanks go bankrupt and the know-nothing free traders disappear from our public discourse. "
Despicable neoliberal MSM do not like to discuss real issue that facing people in 220 elections. They like to discuss personalities. Propagandists of Vichy left like Madcow spend hours discussing Ukrainegate instead of real issues facing the nation.
Notable quotes:
"... Donald Trump has promised to make deregulation one of the focal points of his presidency. If Trump is elected, the trend toward rising market concentration and all of the problems that come with it are likely to continue. ..."
"... If Clinton is elected, it's unlikely that her administration would be active enough in antitrust enforcement for my taste. But at least she acknowledges that something needs to be done about this growing problem, and any movement toward more aggressive enforcement of antitrust regulation would be more than welcome. ..."
"... Once again we have a stark 'choice' in this election...one party who won't enforce existing laws and another who will just get rid of them. Like flipping a coin: heads, the predator class wins; tails, we lose. ..."
"... "Vote third party to register your disgust..." and waste the opportunity, at least in a few states, to affect the national outcome (in many states the outcome is not in doubt, so, thanks to our stupid electoral college system, millions of voters could equally well stay home, vote third party, or write in their dog). ..."
"... But then it dawned on me: antitrust enforcement is largely up to the president and his picked advisers. If Democrats really think it is so damned important, why has Clinton's old boss Barack Obama done so very, very little with it? ..."
"... Josh Mason thinks a Clinton administration may push on corporate short-termism if not on anti-trust. We'll see, but seeing as the Obama administration didn't do much I wouldn't be surprised if Hillary doesn't either. ..."
"... They ignored the housing bubble, don't seem to understand the connection between manufacturing and wealth (close your eyes and imagine your life with no manufactured goods, because they are all imported and your economy only produces a few low value-added raw materials such as timber or exotic animals) then you will see that allowing the US to deindustrialize was a really, world-historic mistake. ..."
"... Trump_vs_deep_state will outlive Trump and the people's faith in economists will only be restored after the next financial collapse if all of the financial sector is liquidated, all the universities and think tanks go bankrupt and the know-nothing free traders disappear from our public discourse. ..."
Oct 08, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com
Economist's View
I have a new column:

The Anti-Trust Election of 2016 :

... ... ...

Donald Trump has promised to make deregulation one of the focal points of his presidency. If Trump is elected, the trend toward rising market concentration and all of the problems that come with it are likely to continue.

We'll hear the usual arguments about ineffective government and the magic of markets to justify ignoring the problem.

If Clinton is elected, it's unlikely that her administration would be active enough in antitrust enforcement for my taste. But at least she acknowledges that something needs to be done about this growing problem, and any movement toward more aggressive enforcement of antitrust regulation would be more than welcome.

JohnH : October 07, 2016 at 09:10 AM , October 07, 2016 at 09:10 AM
"We'll hear the usual arguments about ineffective government" which has been amply demonstrated during the last 7 years by negligible enforcement of anti-trust laws.

Once again we have a stark 'choice' in this election...one party who won't enforce existing laws and another who will just get rid of them. Like flipping a coin: heads, the predator class wins; tails, we lose.

Vote third party to register your disgust and to open the process to people who don't just represent the predator class.

supersaurus -> JohnH... October 07, 2016 at 10:05 AM , October 07, 2016 at 10:05 AM
"Vote third party to register your disgust..." and waste the opportunity, at least in a few states, to affect the national outcome (in many states the outcome is not in doubt, so, thanks to our stupid electoral college system, millions of voters could equally well stay home, vote third party, or write in their dog).
JohnH -> JohnH... , Friday, October 07, 2016 at 04:32 PM
Thomas Frank: "I was pleased to learn, for example, that this year's Democratic platform includes strong language on antitrust enforcement, and that Hillary Clinton has hinted she intends to take the matter up as president. Hooray! Taking on too-powerful corporations would be healthy, I thought when I first learned that, and also enormously popular. But then it dawned on me: antitrust enforcement is largely up to the president and his picked advisers. If Democrats really think it is so damned important, why has Clinton's old boss Barack Obama done so very, very little with it?"
http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/10/07/some-clintons-pledges-sound-great-until-you-remember-whos-president

One party who won't enforce existing laws and another who will just get rid of them...a distinction without a difference.

Who do you prefer to have guarding the chicken house...a fox or a coyote? Sane people would say, 'neither.'

Peter K. -> DrDick... , Friday, October 07, 2016 at 01:13 PM
Yes and Clinton supporters attacked Sanders over this during the primaries.

Josh Mason thinks a Clinton administration may push on corporate short-termism if not on anti-trust. We'll see, but seeing as the Obama administration didn't do much I wouldn't be surprised if Hillary doesn't either.

http://jwmason.org/slackwire/links-for-october-6/

"At Vox,* Rachelle Sampson has a piece on corporate short-termism. Supports my sense that this is an area where there may be space to move left in a Clinton administration."

* http://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2016/10/3/13141852/short-term-capitalism-clinton-economics

Henry Carey's ghost : , Friday, October 07, 2016 at 09:35 PM
Economists have said for thirty years that free trade will benefit the US. Increasingly the country looks like a poor non-industrialized third world country. Why should anyone trust US economists?

They ignored the housing bubble, don't seem to understand the connection between manufacturing and wealth (close your eyes and imagine your life with no manufactured goods, because they are all imported and your economy only produces a few low value-added raw materials such as timber or exotic animals) then you will see that allowing the US to deindustrialize was a really, world-historic mistake.

Trust in experts is what has transformed the US from a world leader in 1969 with the moon landing to a country with no high speed rail, no modern infrastructure, incapable of producing a computer or ipad or ship.

Trump_vs_deep_state will outlive Trump and the people's faith in economists will only be restored after the next financial collapse if all of the financial sector is liquidated, all the universities and think tanks go bankrupt and the know-nothing free traders disappear from our public discourse.

>

[Nov 24, 2019] Chris Hedges on Death of the Liberal Class - YouTube

Highly recommended!
Jan 04, 2011 | www.youtube.com

riccardo estavans , 4 months ago

Colin Shaw , 5 months ago Think Mackay , 5 months ago

Bill Clinton destroyed the USA economy and middle class like no president has ever done. Bush II and Obama exacerbated the destruction by the hundred folds.

Orion's Ghost , 5 months ago

I believe Hedges statement that "the true correctives to society were social movements that never achieved formal political power" is perhaps one of the most important things for each of us to understand.

Fred Slocombe , 3 months ago (edited)
Ali Naderzad , 3 months ago (edited)

16:50 GENIUS. WELL DONE. So true.go Chris !!!

cubismo85 , 4 weeks ago

hauntingly accurate in every aspect, im speehless

Eris123451 , 3 days ago

I watched this with interest and curiosity and growing skepticism although he makes some killer points and cites some extremely disturbing facts; above all he accepts and uncritically so the American narrative of history.

Brian Valero , 4 months ago

The message from democrats is "hey we're not bigots". Most people (repubs+dems) aren't. If they keep calling on that for energy the Dems will forever continue to lose. If they don't come back to the working class they might as well just call themselves conservatives.

jimmyolsenblues , 4 months ago

he did/wrote this in 2011, he really understood then how things are in 2019.

Andy Russ , 3 years ago (edited)

Prescient 'post-mortem' of the 2016 election

2009starlite , 5 months ago (edited)

Those of us who seek the truth can't stop looking under every stone. The truth will set you free but you must share it with those who are ready to hear it and hide it from those who can hurt you for exposing it. MT

Aubrey De Bliquy , 2 days ago (edited)

"A Society that looses the capacity for the sacred cannibalizes itself until it dies because it exploits the natural world as well as human beings to the point of collapse."

Clark WARS News , 1 day ago

I learned something from watching this thank you powerful teacher love you ⭐

Rebel Scum , 5 months ago

I think he meant Washington State University which is in Pullman. The University of Washington is in Seattle. 16:43

phuturephunk , 6 years ago

Damn, he's grim...but he makes a whole lot of sense.

davekiernan1 , 2 weeks ago

Like Mr bon ribentrof said in monty Python. He's right you know...

Rich Keal , 5 months ago

Search YouTube for Dr. Antony Sutton the funding of the Bolshevik Revolution. The Act of 1871 as well. Take the Red Pill and go deeper.

kevin joseph , 5 days ago

loony republicans? did they open the borders, legalize late abortions and outright infanticide?

Michael Maya , 5 months ago

I've listened to this twice both twice it played on accident bcuz I had you tube on autoplay, it woke me up while I was sleeping but I'm glad it did.

Bryce Hallam , 1 week ago

Set the Playback Speed to: 1.25 . Great lecture.

Buddy Aces , 5 months ago

It makes sense and we can smell it! Those varmints must be shown no mercy.

VC YT , 5 months ago

To get in the mood, I watched this lecture from behind some Hedges. :-)

Orion's Ghost , 5 months ago

I believe Hedges statement that "the true correctives to society were social movements that never achieved formal political power" is perhaps one of the most important things for each of us to understand.

Fred Slocombe , 3 months ago (edited)

15:05 The subjugation of Education 21:15 Theatrical Manipulation of Expectations 24:08 U.S. Debt and Borrowing

Ali Naderzad , 3 months ago (edited)

16:50 GENIUS. WELL DONE. So true.go Chris !!!

cubismo85 , 4 weeks ago

hauntingly accurate in every aspect, im speehless

Eris123451 , 3 days ago

I watched this with interest and curiosity and growing skepticism although he makes some killer points and cites some extremely disturbing facts; above all he accepts and uncritically so the American narrative of history. The Progressive movement, for example, (written into American history as being far more important that it ever really was,) unlike Socialism or Communism was primarily just a literary and a trendy intellectually movement that attempted, (unconvincingly,) to persuade poor, exploited and abused Americans that non of those other political movements, (reactive and grass-roots,) were needed here and that capitalism could and might of itself, cure itself; it conceded little, promised much and unlike either Communism or Socialism delivered fuck all. Personally I remain unconvinced also by, "climate science," (which he takes as given,) and which seems to to me to depend far too much on faith and self important repeatedly insisting that it's true backed by lurid and hysterical propaganda and not nearly enough on rational scientific argument, personally I can't make head nor tail of the science behind it ? (it may well be true, or not; I can't tell.) But above all and stripped of it his pretensions his argument is just typical theist, (of any flavor you like,) end of times claptrap all the other systems have failed, (China for example somewhat gives the lie to death of Communism by the way and so on,) the end is neigh and all that is left to do is for people to turn to character out of first century fairly story. I wish him luck with that.

penny kannon , 5 months ago

CHRIS HEDGES YOUR BOOK MUST BE HIGH SCHOOL STUDY!!! wtkjr.!!!

Brian Valero , 4 months ago

The message from democrats is "hey we're not bigots". Most people (repubs+dems) aren't. If they keep calling on that for energy the Dems will forever continue to lose. If they don't come back to the working class they might as well just call themselves conservatives.

jimmyolsenblues , 4 months ago

he did/wrote this in 2011, he really understood then how things are in 2019.

Andy Russ , 3 years ago (edited)

Prescient 'post-mortem' of the 2016 election

Jean Lloyd Bradberry , 5 months ago

Shared! Excellent presentation!

Mike van Wijngaarden , 4 months ago

What if, to fail is the objective? That would mean they planned everything that's happened and will happen.

Michael Hutz , 1 month ago (edited)

Loved Chris in this one. First time I've heard him talking naturally instead of reading verbatim from a text which makes him sound preachy.

Bill Mccloy , 4 months ago (edited)

Chris is our canary in a coal mine! Truly a national treasure and a champion for humanity. And he's more Christian than he thinks he is.

Herr Pooper , 4 months ago

I have always loved Chris Hedges, but ever since becoming fully awake it pains me to see how he will take gigantic detours of imagination to never mention Israel, AIPAC or Zionism, and their complete takeover of the US. What a shame.

ISIS McCain , 4 months ago

Hey Chris, please look up Dr. Wolfe and have a big debate with him!!! I believe you guys would mostly hit it off, but please look him up!

UtopiaMinor666 , 8 years ago

The reality of this is enough to make you want to cry.

Terri Pebsworth , 3 months ago

Excellent! And truer today (2019) than even in 2010.

Russell Olausen , 4 months ago

Notes From the Underground,my favourite book.

John Doe , 3 weeks ago

Gosh I thought it was being broadcasted today. Then I heard it and it was really for today.

George C. May , 2 months ago

Not once did I hear the word corruption which in this speech sums up the bureaucratic control of the country !

L N , 5 months ago

I think Chris Has saved my life! ✊🏼✌️ 👍🏼🌅

Laureano Luna , 4 months ago

43:53 Cicero did not even live the imperial period of Rome...

andrew domenitz , 4 months ago

The continued growth of unproductive debt against the low or nonexistent growth of GDP is the recipe for collapse, for the whole world economic system.

Thomas Simmons , 5 months ago

I agree with Chris about the tragedy of the Liberal Church. Making good through identity politics however, is every bit as heretical and tragic as Evangelical Republican corrupted church think, in my humble, Christian opinion.

Alexandros Aiakides , 2 weeks ago (edited)

The death of the present western hemisphere governments and "democratic" institutions must die right now for humanity to be saved from the zombies that rule it. 'Cannibalization" of oikonomia was my idea, as well as of William Engdahl. l am glad hearing Hedges to adopt the expression of truth. ( November 2019. from Phthia , Hellas ).

Heathcliff Earnshaw , 4 months ago div cl

ass="comment-renderer-text-content expanded"> Gosh , especially that last conclusion ,was terrific so I want to paste the whole of that Auden poem here:- September 1, 1939 W. H. Auden - 1907-1973

... ... ...

I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.

[Nov 21, 2019] The Origins Of Thought Police... And Why They Should Scare Us

Notable quotes:
"... Finally, the Thought Police were also inspired by the human struggle for self-honesty and the pressure to conform. "The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe," Rudyard Kipling once observed. ..."
"... The struggle to remain true to one's self was also felt by Orwell, who wrote about "the smelly little orthodoxies" that contend for the human soul. Orwell prided himself with a "power of facing unpleasant facts" -- something of a rarity in humans -- even though it often hurt him in British society. ..."
"... In a sense, 1984 is largely a book about the human capacity to maintain a grip on the truth in the face of propaganda and power. ..."
"... The new Thought Police may be less sinister than the ThinkPol in 1984 , but the next generation will have to decide if seeking conformity of thought or language through public shaming is healthy or suffocating. FEE's Dan Sanchez recently observed that many people today feel like they're "walking on eggshells" and live in fear of making a verbal mistake that could draw condemnation. ..."
"... When the Berlin Wall came down in November 1989, it was revealed that the Stasi , East Germany's secret police, had a full-time staff of 91,000. That sounds like a lot, and it is, but what's frightening is that the organization had almost double that in informants, including children. And it wasn't just children reporting on parents; sometimes it was the other way around." ..."
"... Movies like the Matrix actually helped people to question everything. What is real and not. Who is the enemy, and can we be sure. And when Conspiracy theories become fact, people learn. The problem is in later generations who get indoctrinated at school and college to not think, not question. Rational examination is forbidden. ..."
Nov 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

The Origins Of Thought Police... And Why They Should Scare Us by Tyler Durden Thu, 11/21/2019 - 20:25 0 SHARES

Authored by Jon Miltimore via The Foundation for Economic Education,

There are a lot of unpleasant things in George Orwell's dystopian novel 1984 . Spying screens. Torture and propaganda. Victory Gin and Victory Coffee always sounded particularly dreadful. And there is Winston Smith's varicose ulcer, apparently a symbol of his humanity (or something), which always seems to be "throbbing." Gross.

None of this sounds very enjoyable, but it's not the worst thing in 1984 . To me, the most terrifying part was that you couldn't keep Big Brother out of your head.

Unlike other 20th-century totalitarians, the authoritarians in 1984 aren't that interested in controlling behavior or speech. They do, of course, but it's only as a means to an end. Their real goal is to control the gray matter between the ears.

"When finally you surrender to us, it must be of your own free will," O'Brien (the bad guy) tells the protagonist Winston Smith near the end of the book.

We do not destroy the heretic because he resists us: so long as he resists us we never destroy him. We convert him, we capture his inner mind, we reshape him.

Big Brother's tool for doing this is the Thought Police, aka the ThinkPol, who are assigned to root out and punish unapproved thoughts. We see how this works when Winston's neighbor Parsons, an obnoxious Party sycophant, is reported to the Thought Police by his own child, who heard him commit a thought crime while talking in his sleep.

"It was my little daughter," Parsons tells Winston when asked who it was who denounced him.

"She listened at the keyhole. Heard what I was saying, and nipped off to the patrols the very next day. Pretty smart for a nipper of seven, eh?"

Who Are These Thought Police?

We don't know a lot about the Thought Police, and some of what we think we know may actually not be true since some of what Winston learns comes from the Inner Party, and they lie.

What we know is this: The Thought Police are secret police of Oceania -- the fictional land of 1984 that probably consists of the UK, the Americas, and parts of Africa -- who use surveillance and informants to monitor the thoughts of citizens. The Thought Police also use psychological warfare and false-flag operations to entrap free thinkers or nonconformists.

Those who stray from Party orthodoxy are punished but not killed. The Thought Police don't want to kill nonconformists so much as break them. This happens in Room 101 of the Ministry of Love, where prisoners are re-educated through degradation and torture. (Funny sidebar: the name Room 101 apparently was inspired by a conference room at the BBC in which Orwell was forced to endure tediously long meetings.)

The Origins of the Thought Police

Orwell didn't create the Thought Police out of thin air. They were inspired to at least some degree by his experiences in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), a complicated and confusing affair. What you really need to know is that there were no good guys, and it ended with left-leaning anarchists and Republicans in Spain crushed by their Communist overlords, which helped the fascists win.

Orwell, an idealistic 33-year-old socialist when the conflict started, supported the anarchists and loyalists fighting for the left-leaning Second Spanish Republic, which received most of its support from the Soviet Union and Josef Stalin. (That might sound bad, but keep in mind that the Nazis were on the other side.) Orwell described the atmosphere in Barcelona in December 1936 when everything seemed to be going well for his side.

The anarchists were still in virtual control of Catalonia and the revolution was still in full swing ... It was the first time that I had ever been in a town where the working class was in the saddle,

he wrote in Homage to Catalonia.

[E]very wall was scrawled with the hammer and sickle ... every shop and café had an inscription saying that it had been collectivized.

That all changed pretty fast. Stalin, a rather paranoid fellow, was bent on making Republican Spain loyal to him . Factions and leaders perceived as loyal to his exiled Communist rival, Leon Trotsky , were liquidated. Loyal Communists found themselves denounced as fascists. Nonconformists and "uncontrollables" were disappeared.

Orwell never forgot the purges or the steady stream of lies and propaganda churned out from Communist papers during the conflict. (To be fair, their Nationalist opponents also used propaganda and lies .) Stalin's NKVD was not exactly like the Thought Police -- the NKVD showed less patience with its victims -- but they certainly helped inspire Orwell's secret police.

The Thought Police were not all propaganda and torture, though. They also stem from Orwell's ideas on truth. During his time in Spain, he saw how power could corrupt truth, and he shared these reflections in his work George Orwell: My Country Right or Left, 1940-1943 .

...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.

In short, Orwell's brush with totalitarianism left him worried that "the very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world."

This scared him. A lot. He actually wrote, "This kind of thing is frightening to me."

Finally, the Thought Police were also inspired by the human struggle for self-honesty and the pressure to conform. "The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe," Rudyard Kipling once observed.

The struggle to remain true to one's self was also felt by Orwell, who wrote about "the smelly little orthodoxies" that contend for the human soul. Orwell prided himself with a "power of facing unpleasant facts" -- something of a rarity in humans -- even though it often hurt him in British society.

In a sense, 1984 is largely a book about the human capacity to maintain a grip on the truth in the face of propaganda and power.

It might be tempting to dismiss Orwell's book as a figment of dystopian literature. Unfortunately, that's not as easy as it sounds. Modern history shows he was onto something.

When the Berlin Wall came down in November 1989, it was revealed that the Stasi, East Germany's secret police, had a full-time staff of 91,000.

When the Berlin Wall came down in November 1989, it was revealed that the Stasi , East Germany's secret police, had a full-time staff of 91,000. That sounds like a lot, and it is, but what's frightening is that the organization had almost double that in informants, including children. And it wasn't just children reporting on parents; sometimes it was the other way around.

Nor did the use of state spies to prosecute thoughtcrimes end with the fall of the Soviet Union. Believe it or not, it's still happening today. The New York Times recently ran a report featuring one Peng Wei, a 21-year-old Chinese chemistry major. He is one of the thousands of "student information officers" China uses to root out professors who show signs of disloyalty to President Xi Jinping or the Communist Party.

The New Thought Police?

The First Amendment of the US Constitution, fortunately, largely protects Americans from the creepy authoritarian systems found in 1984 , East Germany, and China; but the rise of "cancel culture" shows the pressure to conform to all sorts of orthodoxies (smelly or not) remains strong.

The new Thought Police may be less sinister than the ThinkPol in 1984 , but the next generation will have to decide if seeking conformity of thought or language through public shaming is healthy or suffocating. FEE's Dan Sanchez recently observed that many people today feel like they're "walking on eggshells" and live in fear of making a verbal mistake that could draw condemnation.

That's a lot of pressure, especially for people still learning the acceptable boundaries of a new moral code that is constantly evolving. Most people, if the pressure is sufficient, will eventually say "2+2=5" just to escape punishment. That's exactly what Winston Smith does at the end of 1984 , after all. Yet Orwell also leaves readers with a glimmer of hope.

"Being in a minority, even a minority of one, did not make you mad," Orwell wrote.

"There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad."

In other words, the world may be mad, but that doesn't mean you have to be.


Cardinal Fang , 40 minutes ago link

Frank Zappa asked this very question decades ago...

Who Are The Brain Police?

https://youtu.be/DuABc9ZNtrA

sbin , 1 hour ago link

Was raised reading

Nice that an author referenced Orwell but if you do not understand the original works then the authors reference is meaningless.

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 , 1 hour ago link

" When the Berlin Wall came down in November 1989, it was revealed that the Stasi, East Germany's secret police, had a full-time staff of 91,000.

When the Berlin Wall came down in November 1989, it was revealed that the Stasi , East Germany's secret police, had a full-time staff of 91,000. That sounds like a lot, and it is, but what's frightening is that the organization had almost double that in informants, including children. And it wasn't just children reporting on parents; sometimes it was the other way around."

Confidential informants should be illegal.

How many people are employed by the various Federal intelligence agencies, of which there are 17 the last time I heard. Hundreds of thousands of Federal employees, protected by strong government employee unions.

When this shitshow goes live, it will only take a small team to shut off the water that is necessary to keep the NSA servers cool in Utah.

New_Meat , 2 hours ago link

"Unlike other 20th-century totalitarians, ..."

I offer DPRK and in many ways PRC as counter-examples.

Thom Paine , 2 hours ago link

Movies like the Matrix actually helped people to question everything. What is real and not. Who is the enemy, and can we be sure. And when Conspiracy theories become fact, people learn. The problem is in later generations who get indoctrinated at school and college to not think, not question. Rational examination is forbidden.

[Nov 06, 2019] Manufacturing Fear and Loathing, Maximizing Corporate Profits! A Review of Matt Taibbi's Hate Inc. Why Today's Media Makes Us

Notable quotes:
"... "Manufacturing Consent," Taibbi writes, "explains that the debate you're watching is choreographed. The range of argument has been artificially narrowed long before you get to hear it" (p. 11). ..."
"... Americans were held captive by the boob tube affords us not only a useful historical image but also suggests the possibility of their having been able to view the television as an antagonist, and therefore of their having been able, at least some of them, to rebel against its dictates. Three decades later, on the other hand, the television has been replaced by iPhones and portable tablets, the workings of which are so precisely intertwined with even the most intimate minute-to-minute aspects of our lives that our relationship to them could hardly ever become antagonistic. ..."
"... The massive political revolution was, going all the way back to 1989, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and then of the Soviet Union itself -- and thus of the usefulness of anti-communism as a kind of coercive secular religion (pp. 14-15). ..."
"... our corporate media have devised -- at least for the time being -- highly-profitable marketing processes that manufacture fake dissent in order to smother real dissent (p. 21). ..."
"... And the smothering of real dissent is close enough to public consentto get the goddam job done: The Herman/Chomsky model is, after all these years, still valid. ..."
"... For Maddow, he notes, is "a depressingly exact mirror of Hannity . The two characters do exactly the same work. They make their money using exactly the same commercial formula. And though they emphasize different political ideas, the effect they have on audiences is much the same" (pp. 259-260). ..."
Nov 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Matt Taibbi's Hate Inc . is the most insightful and revelatory book about American politics to appear since the publication of Thomas Frank's Listen, Liberal almost four full years ago, near the beginning of the last presidential election cycle.

While Frank's topic was the abysmal failure of the Democratic Party to be democratic and Taibbi's is the abysmal failure of our mainstream news corporations to report news, the prominent villains in both books are drawn from the same, or at least overlapping, elite social circles: from, that is, our virulently anti-populist liberal class, from our intellectually mediocre creative class, from our bubble-dwelling thinking class. In fact, I would strongly recommend that the reader spend some time with Frank's What's the Matter with Kansas? (2004) and Listen, Liberal! (2016) as he or she takes up Taibbi's book.

And to really do the book the justice it deserves, I would even more vehemently recommend that the reader immerse him- or herself in Taibbi's favorite book and vade-mecum , Manufacturing Consent (which I found to be a grueling experience: a relentless cataloging of the official lies that hide the brutality of American foreign policy) and, in order to properly appreciate the brilliance of Taibbi's chapter 7, "How the Media Stole from Pro Wrestling," visit some locale in Flyover Country and see some pro wrestling in person (which I found to be unexpectedly uplifting -- more on this soon enough).

Taibbi tells us that he had originally intended for Hate, Inc . to be an updating of Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent (1988), which he first read thirty years ago, when he was nineteen. "It blew my mind," Taibbi writes. "[It] taught me that some level of deception was baked into almost everything I'd ever been taught about modern American life .

Once the authors in the first chapter laid out their famed propaganda model [italics mine], they cut through the deceptions of the American state like a buzz saw" (p. 10). For what seemed to be vigorous democratic debate, Taibbi realized, was instead a soul-crushing simulation of debate. The choices voters were given were distinctions without valid differences, and just as hyped, just as trivial, as the choices between a Whopper and a Big Mac, between Froot Loops and Frosted Mini-Wheats, between Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi, between Marlboro Lites and Camel Filters. It was all profit-making poisonous junk.

"Manufacturing Consent," Taibbi writes, "explains that the debate you're watching is choreographed. The range of argument has been artificially narrowed long before you get to hear it" (p. 11). And there's an indisputable logic at work here, because the reality of hideous American war crimes is and always has been, from the point of view of the big media corporations, a "narrative-ruining" buzz-kill. "The uglier truth [brought to light in Manufacturing Consent ], that we committed genocide of a fairly massive scale across Indochina -- ultimately killing at least a million innocent civilians by air in three countries -- is pre-excluded from the history of the period" (p. 13).

So what has changed in the last thirty years? A lot! As a starting point let's consider the very useful metaphor found in the title of another great media book of 1988: Mark Crispin Miller's Boxed In: The Culture of TV . To say that Americans were held captive by the boob tube affords us not only a useful historical image but also suggests the possibility of their having been able to view the television as an antagonist, and therefore of their having been able, at least some of them, to rebel against its dictates. Three decades later, on the other hand, the television has been replaced by iPhones and portable tablets, the workings of which are so precisely intertwined with even the most intimate minute-to-minute aspects of our lives that our relationship to them could hardly ever become antagonistic.

Taibbi summarizes the history of these three decades in terms of three "massive revolutions" in the media plus one actual massive political revolution, all of which, we should note, he discussed with his hero Chomsky (who is now ninety! -- Edward Herman passed away in 2017) even as he wrote his book. And so: the media revolutions which Taibbi describes were, first, the coming of FoxNews along with Rush Limbaugh-style talk radio; second, the coming of CNN, i.e., the Cable News Network, along with twenty-four hour infinite-loop news cycles; third, the coming of the Internet along with the mighty social media giants Facebook and Twitter.

The massive political revolution was, going all the way back to 1989, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and then of the Soviet Union itself -- and thus of the usefulness of anti-communism as a kind of coercive secular religion (pp. 14-15).

For all that, however, the most salient difference between the news media of 1989 and the news media of 2019 is the disappearance of the single type of calm and decorous and slightly boring cis-het white anchorman (who somehow successfully appealed to a nationwide audience) and his replacement by a seemingly wide variety of demographically-engineered news personæ who all rage and scream combatively in each other's direction. "In the old days," Taibbi writes, "the news was a mix of this toothless trivia and cheery dispatches from the frontlines of Pax Americana . The news [was] once designed to be consumed by the whole house . But once we started to be organized into demographic silos [italics mine], the networks found another way to seduce these audiences: they sold intramural conflict" (p. 18).

And in this new media environment of constant conflict, how, Taibbi wondered, could public consent , which would seem to be at the opposite end of the spectrum from conflict, still be manufactured ?? "That wasn't easy for me to see in my first decades in the business," Taibbi writes. "For a long time, I thought it was a flaw in the Chomsky/Herman model" (p. 19).

But what Taibbi was at length able to understand, and what he is now able to describe for us with both wit and controlled outrage, is that our corporate media have devised -- at least for the time being -- highly-profitable marketing processes that manufacture fake dissent in order to smother real dissent (p. 21).

And the smothering of real dissent is close enough to public consentto get the goddam job done: The Herman/Chomsky model is, after all these years, still valid.

Or pretty much so. Taibbi is more historically precise. Because of the tweaking of the Herman/Chomsky propaganda model necessitated by the disappearance of the USSR in 1991 ("The Russians escaped while we weren't watching them, / As Russians do ," Jackson Browne presciently prophesied on MTV way back in 1983), one might now want to speak of a Propaganda Model 2.0. For, as Taibbi notes, " the biggest change to Chomsky's model is the discovery of a far superior 'common enemy' in modern media: each other. So long as we remain a bitterly-divided two-party state, we'll never want for TV villains" (pp. 207-208).

To rub his great insight right into our uncomprehending faces, Taibbi has almost sadistically chosen to have dark, shadowy images of a yelling Sean Hannity (in lurid FoxNews Red!) and a screaming Rachel Maddow (in glaring MSNBC Blue!) juxtaposed on the cover of his book. For Maddow, he notes, is "a depressingly exact mirror of Hannity . The two characters do exactly the same work. They make their money using exactly the same commercial formula. And though they emphasize different political ideas, the effect they have on audiences is much the same" (pp. 259-260).

And that effect is hate. Impotent hate. For while Rachel's fan demographic is all wrapped up in hating Far-Right Fascists Like Sean, and while Sean's is all wrapped up in despising Libtard Lunatics Like Rachel, the bipartisan consensus in Washington for ever-increasing military budgets, for everlasting wars, for ever-expanding surveillance, for ever-growing bailouts of and tax breaks for and and handouts to the most powerful corporations goes forever unchallenged.

Oh my. And it only gets worse and worse, because the media, in order to make sure that their various siloed demographics stay superglued to their Internet devices, must keep ratcheting up levels of hate: the Fascists Like Sean and the Libtards Like Rachel must be continually presented as more and more deranged, and ultimately as demonic. "There is us and them," Taibbi writes, "and they are Hitler" (p. 64). A vile reductio ad absurdum has come into play: "If all Trump supporters are Hitler, and all liberals are also Hitler," Taibbi writes, " [t]he America vs. America show is now Hitler vs. Hitler! Think of the ratings! " The reader begins to grasp Taibbi's argument that our mainstream corporate media are as bad as -- are worse than -- pro wrestling. It's an ineluctable downward spiral.

Taibbi continues: "The problem is, there's no natural floor to this behavior. Just as cable TV will eventually become seven hundred separate twenty-four-hour porn channels, news and commentary will eventually escalate to boxing-style, expletive-laden, pre-fight tirades, and the open incitement to violence [italics mine]. If the other side is literally Hitler, [w]hat began as America vs. America will eventually move to Traitor vs. Traitor , and the show does not work if those contestants are not eventually offended to the point of wanting to kill one another" (pp. 65-69).

As I read this book, I often wondered about how difficult it was emotionally for Taibbi to write it. I'm just really glad to see that the guy didn't commit suicide along the way. He does describe the "self-loathing" he experienced as he realized his own complicity in the marketing processes which he exposes (p. 2). He also apologizes to the reader for his not being able to follow through on his original aim of writing a continuation of Herman and Chomsky's classic: "[W]hen I sat down to write what I'd hoped would be something with the intellectual gravitas of Manufacturing Consent ," Taibbi confesses, "I found decades of more mundane frustrations pouring out onto the page, obliterating a clinical examination" (p. 2).

I, however, am profoundly grateful to Taibbi for all of his brilliantly observed anecdotes. The subject matter is nauseating enough even in Taibbi's sparkling and darkly tragicomic prose. A more academic treatment of the subject would likely be too depressing to read. So let me conclude with an anecdote of my own -- and an oddly uplifting one at that -- about reading Taibbi's chapter 7, "How the News Media Stole from Pro Wrestling."

On the same day I read this chapter I saw that, on the bulletin board in my gym, a poster had appeared, as if by magic, promoting an upcoming Primal Conflict (!) professional wrestling event. I studied the photos of the wrestlers on the poster carefully, and, as an astute reader of Taibbi, I prided myself on being able to identify which of them seemed be playing the roles of heels , and which of them the roles of babyfaces .

For Taibbi explains that one of the fundamental dynamics of wrestling involves the invention of crowd-pleasing narratives out of the many permutations and combinations of pitting heels against faces . Donald Trump, a natural heel , brings the goofy dynamics of pro wrestling to American politics with real-life professional expertise. (Taibbi points out that in 2007 Trump actually performed before a huge cheering crowd in a Wrestlemania event billed as the "battle of the billionaires." Watch it on YouTube! https://youtu.be/5NsrwH9I9vE -- unbelievable!!)

The mainstream corporate media, on the other hand, their eyes fixed on ever bigger and bigger profits, have drifted into the metaphorical pro wrestling ring in ignorance, and so, when they face off against Trump, they often end up in the role of inept prudish pearl-clutching faces .

Taibbi condemns the mainstream media's failure to understand such a massively popular form of American entertainment as "malpractice" (p. 125), so I felt more than obligated to buy a ticket and see the advertised event in person. To properly educate myself, that is.

... ... ...


Steve Ruis , November 5, 2019 at 8:13 am

I have stopped watching broadcast "news" other than occasional sessions of NPR in the car. I get most of my news from sources such as this and from overseas sources (The Guardian, Reuters, etc.). I used to subscribe to newspapers but have given them up in disgust, even though I was looking forward to leisurely enjoying a morning paper after I retired.

I was brought up in the positive 1950's and, boy, did this turn out poorly.

Dao Gen , November 5, 2019 at 8:59 am

Matt Taibbi is an American treasure, and I love his writing very much, but we also need to ask, Why hasn't another Chomsky (or another Hudson), an analyst with a truly deep and wide-ranging, synthetic mind, appeared on the left to take apart our contemporary media and show us its inner workings? Have all the truly great minds gone to work for Wall Street? I don't have an answer, but to me the pro wrestling metaphor, while intriguing, misses something about the Fourth Estate in America, if it indeed still exists. And that is, except for radio, there is a distinct imbalance between the two sides of the MSM lineup. On the corporate liberal side of the national MSM team you have five wrestlers, but on the conservative/reactionary side you have only the Fox entry. Because of this imbalance, the corruption, laziness, self-indulgence, and generally declining interest in journalistic standards seems greater among the corporate liberal media team, including the NYT and WaPo, than the Fox team.

I'm not a fan of either Maddow (in her current incarnation) or Hannity, but Hannity, perhaps because he thinks he's like David, often hustles to refute the discourse of the corporate liberal Goliath team. Hannity obviously does more research on some topics than Maddow, and, perhaps because he began in radio, he puts more emphasis on semi-rationally structured rants than Maddow, who depends more on primal emotion, body language, and Hollywood-esque fear-inducing atmospherics.

I'd wager that in a single five-minute segment there will often be twice as many rational distinctions made in a Hannity rant than in a Maddow performance. In addition, for the last three years Hannity has simply been demonstrably right about the fake Russiagate propaganda blitz while Maddow has been as demonstrably wrong from the very beginning as propaganda industry trend-setter Adam Schiff. So for at least these last three years, the Maddow-Hannity primal match has been a somewhat misleading metaphor. The Blob and the security state have been decisively supporting (and directing?) the corporate liberal global interventionist media, at least regarding Russia and the permanent war establishment, and because the imbalance between the interventionist and the non-interventionist MSM, Russia and Ukraine are being used as a wedge to steadily break down the firewalls between the Dem party, the intel community, and the interventionist MSM. If we had real public debates with both sides at approximately equal strength as we did during the Vietnam War, then even pro wrestling-type matches would be superior to what we have now, which is truthy truth and thoughtsy thought coming to us from the military industrial complex and monopolistic holding companies. If fascism is defined as the fusion of the state and corporations, then the greatest threat of fascism in America may well be coming from the apparent gradual fusion of the corporate liberal MSM, the Dem party elite, and the intel community. Instead of an MSM wrestling match, we may soon be faced with a Japanese-style 'hitori-zumo' match in which a sumo wrestler wrestles with only himself. Once these sumo wrestlers were believed to be wrestling with invisible spirits, but those days are gone . http://kikuko-nagoya.com/html/hitori-zumo.htm

coboarts , November 5, 2019 at 9:59 am

"If we had real public debates" and if they were even debates where issues entered into contest were addressed point by point with evidence

Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg , November 5, 2019 at 10:03 am

Today's Noam Chomksy? Chomsky was part of the machine who broke ranks with it. His MIT research was generously funded by the Military Industrial Complex. Thankfully, enough of his latent humanity and Trotskyite upbringing shone through so he exposed what he was part of. So I guess today that's Chris Hedges, though he's a preacher at heart and not a semiotician.

neighbor7 , November 5, 2019 at 10:04 am

Thank you, Dao Gen. An excellent analysis, and your final image is usefully haunting.

a different chris , November 5, 2019 at 12:11 pm

> In addition, for the last three years Hannity has simply been demonstrably right about the fake Russiagate propaganda blitz while Maddow has been as demonstrably wrong

Eh. Read whats-his-name's (Frankfurter?) book On Bullshit . You are giving Hannity credit for something he doesn't really care about.

jrs , November 5, 2019 at 12:21 pm

I don't believe the media environment as a whole leans corporate Dem/neoliberal.

T.V. maybe, but radio is much more right wing than left (yes there is NPR and Pacifica, the latter with probably only a scattering of listerners but ) and it's still out there and a big influence, radio hasn't gone away. So doesn't the right wing tilt of radio kind of balance out television? (not necessarily in a good way but). And then there is the internet and I have no idea what the overall lean of that is (I mean I prefer left wing sites, but that's purely my own bubble and actually there are much fewer left analysis out there than I'd like)

Self Affine , November 5, 2019 at 9:05 am

Also,

Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism

by Sheldon S. Wolin

Critical deep analysis of not just the media but the whole American political enterprise and
the nature of our "democracy".

DJG , November 5, 2019 at 9:20 am

The whole review is good, but this extract should be quoted extensively:

While Frank's topic was the abysmal failure of the Democratic Party to be democratic and Taibbi's is the abysmal failure of our mainstream news corporations to report news, the prominent villains in both books are drawn from the same, or at least overlapping, elite social circles: from, that is, our virulently anti-populist liberal class, from our intellectually mediocre creative class, from our bubble-dwelling thinking class.

In short, stagnation and self-dealing at the top. What could possibly go wrong?

Yves Smith Post author , November 5, 2019 at 11:51 am

Are you serious? Maddow called Trump a traitor and accused him of betrayal in Russiagate, and was caught out when that fell apart. This was pointed out all over the MSM .

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/03/27/rachel-maddows-deep-delusion-226266

https://www.salon.com/2018/07/17/rachel-maddow-hits-the-panic-button-after-trump-putin-summit-this-is-the-worst-case-scenario/

Carolinian , November 5, 2019 at 9:52 am

This is great stuff. Thanks.

One quibble: the author says

Three decades later, on the other hand, the television has been replaced by iPhones and portable tablets

and then goes on to spend most of the article talking about television. I'd say television is still the main propaganda instrument even if many webheads like yours truly ignore it (I've never seen Hannity's show or Maddow's–just hear the rumors). Arguably even newspapers like the NYT have been dumbed down because the reporters long to be on TV and join the shouting. And it's surely no coincidence that our president himself is a TV (and WWE) star. Mass media have always been feeders of hysteria but television gave them faces and voices. Watching TV is also a far more passive experience than surfing the web. They are selling us "narratives," bedtime stories, and we like sleepy children merely listen.

Jerri-Lynn Scofield , November 5, 2019 at 9:54 am

This rave review has inspired me to add this to my to-read non-fiction queue. Currently reading William Dalrymple's The Anarchy, on the rise of the East India Company. Next up: Matt Stoller's Goliath. And then I'll get to Taibbi. Probably worth digging up my original copy of Manufacturing Consent as well, which I read many moons ago; time for a re-read.

Susan the Other , November 5, 2019 at 12:32 pm

almost every page of mine is dog-eared and marked along the edge with exclamation points

urblintz , November 5, 2019 at 1:41 pm

May I suggest Stephen Cohen's "War with Russia?" if it's not already on your list? In focusing on the danger emerging from the new cold war, seeded by the Democrats, propagated by corporate media (which he thinks is more dangerous than the first), Cohen clarifies the importance of diplomacy especially with one's nuclear rivals.

Imagine that

shinola , November 5, 2019 at 9:56 am

Support your local book store!

Off The Street , November 5, 2019 at 9:57 am

Us rubes knew decades ago about pro wrestling. There was a regional circuit and the hero in one town would become the villain in another town. The ones to be surprised were like John Stossel, who got a perforated eardrum from a slap upside the head for his efforts at in-your-face journalism with a wrestler who just wouldn't play along with his grandstanding. Somewhere, kids cheered and life went on.

The Historian , November 5, 2019 at 10:01 am

Ah, Ancient Athens, here we come – running back to repeat your mistakes! Our MSM media has decided that when we are not at our neighbor's throats, we should be at each other's throats!

teacup , November 5, 2019 at 10:11 am

I was watching old clips of the 'Fred Friendly Seminars' on YouTube. IMHO any channel that produced a format such as this would be a ratings bonanza. Imagine a round table with various media figures (corporate) left, (corporate) right, and independent being refereed by a host-moderator discussing topics in 'Hate, Inc.'. In wrestling it's called a Battle Royale. The Fourth Estate in a cage match!

@ape , November 5, 2019 at 10:12 am

And the smothering of real dissent is close enough to public consentto get the goddam job done: The Herman/Chomsky model is, after all these years, still valid.

This is important, if people don't want to be naive about what democracy buys. Democracy in the end is a ritual system to determine which members of an elite would win a war without actually having to hold the war. Like how court functions to replace personal revenge by determining (often) who would win in a fight if there were one, and the feudal system replaced the genocidal wars of the axial age with the gentler warfare of the middle ages which were often ritual wars of the elite that avoided the full risk of the earlier wars.

That, I think, is important -- under a democracy, the winner should be normally the winner of the avoided violent conflict to be sustainable. Thus, it's enough to get most people to consent to the solution, using the traditional meaning of consent being "won't put up a fight to avoid it". If the choices on the table are reduced enough, you can get by with most people simply dropping out of the questions.

Qui tacet consentire videtur, ubi loqui debuit ac potuit

It shouldn't be a surprise that we've moved to "faking dissent" -- it's the natural evolution of a system where a lot of the effective power is in the hands of tech, and not just as in the early 20th century, how many workers you have and how many soldiers you can raise.

If you don't like it, change the technology we use to fight one another. We went from tribes to lords when we switch from sticks to advanced forged weapons, and we went from feudalism to democracy when we had factories dropping guns that any 15 year old could use (oversimplifying a bit). Now that the stuff requires expertise, you'd expect a corresponding shift in how we ritualize our conflict avoidance, and thus the organization of how we control communication and how we organize our rituals of power.

Aka, it's the scientists and the engineers who end up determining how everything is organized, and people never seem to bother with that argument, which is especially surprising that even hard-core Marxists waste their time on short-term politics rather than the tech we're building.

I'd be curious whether Taibbi thought about the issue of the nature of the technology and whether there are technological options on the horizon which drive the conflict in other directions. If we had only kept the laws on copyright and patent weaker, so that the implementation of communicative infrastructure would have stayed decentralized

Susan the Other , November 5, 2019 at 12:41 pm

Tabby's "manufacturing fake consent" was really the whole punchline – the joke's on us. Hunter S. Thompson, another of Taibbi's heroes, is, along with Chomsky, speaking to us through MT. Our media is distracting us from social coherence. Another thing it is doing (just my opinion) is it is overwhelming us to the point of disgust. Nobody likes it. And we protect ourselves by tuning it out. Turning it off. Once the screaming lunatics marginalize themselves by making the whole narrative hysterical, we just act like it's another family fight and we're gonna go do something else. When everyone is screaming, no one is screaming.

Jerry B , November 5, 2019 at 10:26 am

I have tried to read Hate Inc. and Taibbi's Griftopia but one of my main issues with Taibbi's writing is his lack of notes, references, or bibliography, etc. in his books. In skimming Hate Inc. it seems like a book I would enjoy reading, however my personal value system is that any book without footnotes, endnotes, citations, or at minimum a bibliography is just an opinion or a story. At least Thomas Frank's Listen Liberal has a section for End Notes/References at the end of the book. Again just my personal values.

Sbbbd , November 5, 2019 at 10:45 am

Another classic in the genre of manufactured consent through media from the age of radio and Adolf Hitler:

"The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception", in the book Dialectic of Enlightenment (1947), Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer.

Joe Well , November 5, 2019 at 11:04 am

I am from Greater Boston, far, far from flyover country (which I imagine begins in Yonkers NY), but I sure grew up with pro wrestling as part of the schoolyard discourse. I certainly knew it was as much of a family affair as Disney on Ice and have trouble believing he thought otherwise though I will not impugn his honesty. I am very grateful to the author for taking the time to write this, but is it possible for a male who grew up in the US to be as deeply embedded in the MSNBC demo as he claims to be?

Seriously, how is it possible for a male raised in the US to not at least have some working familiarity with pro wrestling? My family along with my community was very close to the national median income–do higher income boys really not learn about WWF and WWE?

Seriously, rich kids, what was childhood like? I know you had music lessons and sports camps, what else? Was it really that different?

Carolinian , November 5, 2019 at 11:59 am

And it's not just the US. See the British WWE movie: Fighting With My Family.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fighting_with_My_Family

Yves Smith Post author , November 5, 2019 at 12:03 pm

Sorry, my blue collar, lifetime union member brother says your view is horseshit. All the knows about WWE and WWF is that they are big-budget fakery and that's why they are of no interest.

amfortas the hippie , November 5, 2019 at 1:38 pm

aye. in my blue to white collar( and back to blue to no collar) upbringing, wrestling was never a thing. it was for the morons who couldn't read. seen as patently absurd by just about everyone i knew. and this in klanridden east texas exurbia
wife's mexican extended familia oth luche libre is a big thing that all and sundry talked about at thanksgiving. less so these days possibly due to the hyperindiviualisation of media intake mentioned
(and,btw, in my little world , horseshit is a good thing)

BlueStater , November 5, 2019 at 11:11 am

Even allowing for my lefty-liberal bias, I do not see how it is possible to equate Fox Noise and MSNBC, or Hannity and Maddow, as "both-sides" extremists. Fox violates basic professional canons of fairness and equity on a daily basis. MSNBC occasionally does, but is quick to correct errors of fact. Hannity is a thuggish outer-borough New York schmuck without much education or knowledge of the world. Maddow is an Oxford Ph.D. and Rhodes Scholar. It is one of the evil successes of the right-wing news cauldron to have successfully equated these two figures and organizations.

Yves Smith Post author , November 5, 2019 at 12:05 pm

Huh? MSNBC regularly makes errors of omission and commission with respect to Sanders. They are still pushing the Russiagate narrative. That's a massive, two-year, virtually all the time error they have refused to recant.

The blind spots of people on the soi-disant left are truly astonishing.

semiconscious , November 5, 2019 at 1:08 pm

'Hannity is a thuggish outer-borough New York schmuck without much education or knowledge of the world. Maddow is an Oxford Ph.D. and Rhodes Scholar '

oh, well, then – end of conversation! i mean, god knows, it'd be a cold day in hell before a rhodes scholar, or even someone married to one, would ever lead us astray down the rosy neoliberal path to hell, while, at the same time, under the spell of trump derangement syndrome, actually attempt to revive the mccarthy era, eh?

Summer , November 5, 2019 at 12:11 pm

Actual drugs are being used to hinder debate as well as emotional drugs like hate.
They can't trust agency to be removed by words and images alone – the stakes are too high.
Now all of you go take a feel good pill and stop complaining!

McWatt , November 5, 2019 at 1:02 pm

I would like to know if Matt is doing any book signings any where around the states for this new title?

David , November 5, 2019 at 1:15 pm

I've been impressed with Taibbi's work, what I've read of it, but ironically this very article contains a quote from him which exemplifies the problem: his casual assertion that the US committed "genocide" in Indochina. Even the most fervent critics of US policy didn't say this at the time, for the very good reason that there was no evidence that the US tried to destroy a racial, religious, ethnic or nationalist group (the full definition is a lot more complex and demanding than that). He clearly means that the US was responsible for lots of deaths, which is incontestable. But the process of endless escalation of rhetoric, which this book seems to be partly about, means that everything now has to be described in the most extreme, absurd or apocalyptic tones, and at the top of your voice, otherwise nobody takes any notice. So any self-respecting war now has to be qualified as "genocide" or nobody will take any notice.

[Nov 06, 2019] When did mankind start doing this massive brainwashing of its own populations

Nov 06, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

William Gruff , Nov 5 2019 11:48 utc | 42

"When did mankind start doing this massive brainwashing of its own populations?" --flankerbandit @25

As Hoarsewhisperer noted above, prior to the advent of mass media the ruling classes used religion to brainwash the masses. So many centuries of cultural capital have been invested in using supernatural delusions to control populations that religion still plays a part, even though corporate mass media is far more effective and versatile. Whole narratives about how the world works can be changed almost overnight with corporate mass media, and the narratives that control people can be fine tuned and individualized to specific demographics, and very soon even to each individual, which wasn't really very easy with religion.

The ruling elites have always maintained their power through narrative control and disinformation, though the mechanisms used have changed along with technology.

flankerbandit , Nov 5 2019 12:09 utc | 44

Hoarsewhisperer and William Gruff...

I guess I missed THE BIG ONE...LOL...thanks for reminding me...

Yes...as someone who survived being born into an Evangelical Christian family, I am all too aware of the absurdity of religious brainwashing...

I guess we've been susceptible to mind control for a long time...now it's the plutocrats' dogma that shapes our consciousness, rather than some religious 'authority'...but the result is still the same...people believing in bullshit, to their own detriment...

I'm still hopeful that it will reach a tipping point of absurdity where the bullshit just proves too much to believe, as in the Soviet Union, where the state's clumsy narratives were the source of never ending humor...

But then we may not be as discerning...and our masters might be far more clever and determined...

[Nov 06, 2019] The Ministry of Wiki-Truth by C.J. Hopkins

Nov 06, 2019 | www.unz.com

I'm not a big fan of Intelligence agencies, generally. I don't care much for imperialism, not even when it's global capitalist imperialism. I do not support the global capitalist ruling classes' War on Populism , or believe in the official Putin-Nazi narrative that they and their servants in the corporate media have been disseminating for the last three years. I do not sing hymns to former FBI directors . I don't believe that all conservatives are fascists , or that the working classes are all a bunch of racists , or that " America is under attack. "

Let's face it, I'm a terrible leftist.

So it's probably good that "Grayfell" and his pals discovered me and are feverishly "correcting" my article, and God knows how many other articles that don't conform to Wikipedia "policy," or Philip Cross' political preferences, or Antifa's theory of " preemptive self-defense ," or whatever other non-ideological, totally objective editorial standards the "volunteer editors" at the Ministry of Wiki-Truth (who have nothing to do with the Intelligence Community, or Antifa, or any other entities like that) consensually decide to robotically adhere to.

How else are they going to keep their content "neutral," "unbiased," and "reliably sourced," so that people can pull up Wikipedia on their phones and verify historical events (which really happened, exactly as they say they did), or scientific "facts" (which are indisputable) or whether Oceania is at War with EastAsia, or Eurasia, or the Terrorists, or Russia?

Oh, and please don't worry about my Wikipedia article. König Ubu assures me he has done all he could to restore it some semblance of accuracy, and that the Ministers have moved on to bigger fish. Of course, who knows what additional "edits" might suddenly become a top priority once "Grayfell" or Antifa gets wind of this piece.


Hail , says: Website November 6, 2019 at 11:36 am GMT

Wikipedia is a perfect platform for manufacturing reality, disseminating pro-establishment propaganda, and damaging people's reputations, which is a rather popular tactic these days.

The simple fact is, when you google anything, Wikipedia is usually the first link that comes up. Most people assume that what they read on the platform is basically factual and at least trying to be "objective" which a lot of it is, but a lot of it isn't.

Excellent characterization.

Many speak of the liberating features of the Internet, how the old MSM stranglehold has been whipped. The way the Internet is being used, that is just not true today. It was true for early adopters (1990s?) and early-mid adopters (late 1990s and early 2000s?).

The 2010s has given us a pendulum swing back in the other direction. By circa 2020, information is, effectively, funneled through a few chokepoints -- Wikipedia, Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, the Google quasi-Monopoly And the limits of acceptable discourse are policed using various tactics. This is a great example.

In this sense, Unz Review is a throwback to an earlier era of the Internet, in the best way.

Digital Samizdat , says: November 6, 2019 at 11:44 am GMT

In the anti-establishment circles I move in, Wikipedia is notorious for this kind of stuff, which is unsurprising when you think about it. It's a perfect platform for manufacturing reality, disseminating pro-establishment propaganda, and damaging people's reputations, which is a rather popular tactic these days.

Normiepedia sucks.

Ludwig Watzal , says: Website November 6, 2019 at 4:18 pm GMT
Of course, the Ministry of Wiki-Truth keeps its content "neutral," "unbiased," and "reliably sourced," such as Brian Stelter's sudser "Reliable Sources" at CNN. Except for the scientific articles, all the rest are ideological Soviet-style trash. The more fool you, using this phony "Encyclopedia," which has been hijacked by the thought policy long ago.

[Nov 02, 2019] WATCH Udo Ulfkotte – Bought Journalists by Terje Maloy

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... We drove for hours through the desert, towards the Iraqi border. Approx. 20-30 kilometers from the border, there really was nothing. First of all no war. There were armored vehicles and tanks, burned-out long ago. The journalist left the bus, splashed the contents of the cans on the vehicles. We had Iraqi soldiers with us as an escort, with machine guns, in uniform. You have to imagine: tanks in a desert, burned out long ago, now put on fire. Clouds of smoke. And there the journalists assemble their cameras. ..."
"... So I gathered courage and asked one of the reporters: 'I understand one thing, they are great pictures, but why are they ducking all the time? ' ..."
"... I'll finish, because I am not here to make satire today. I just want to say that this was my first experience with truth in journalism and war reporting. ..."
"... Then a certain type of reporting is expected. Which one? Forget my newspaper, this applies in general. At the start of the trip, the journalist gets a memo – today it is electronic – in his hand. If you are traveling abroad, it is info about the country, or the speeches that will be held. This file contains roughly what will happen during this trip. In addition there are short conversations, briefings with the politician's press manager. He then explains to you how one views this trip. Naturally, you should see it the same way. No one says it in that way. But is is approximately what one would have reported. ..."
"... He explained that a recruitment board from the intelligence services had participated. But I had no idea that the seminar Introduction to Conflict Studies was arranged by the defense forces and run by the foreign intelligence service BND, to have a closer look at potential candidates among the students, not to commit them. They only asked if they, after four such seminars, possibly could contact me later, in my occupation. ..."
"... Two persons from BND came regularly to the paper, to a visiting room. And there were occasions when the report not only was given, but also that BND had written articles, largely ready to go, that were published in the newspaper under my byline. ..."
"... But a couple of journalists were there, they told about it. Therefore I repeat: Merkel invited the chief editors several times, and told them she didn't want the population to be truthfully and openly informed about the problems out there. For example, the background for the financial crisis. If the citizens knew how things were, they would run to the bank and withdraw their money. So beautifying everything; everything is under control; your savings are safe; just smile and hold hands – everything will be fine. ..."
"... From one hour 18 minutes onwards, Ulfkotte details EU-Inter-State Terror Co-operation, with returning IS Operatives on a Free Pass, fully armed and even Viktor Orban had to give in to the commands of letting Terrorists through Hungary into Germany & Austria. ..."
"... Everybody who works in the MSM, without exception, are bought and paid for whores peddling lies on behalf of globalist corporate interests. ..."
"... Udo's voice (in the form of his book) was silenced for a reason – that being that he spoke the truth about our utterly and completely corrupt Western fantasy world in which we in the West proclaim our – "respect international law" and "respect for human rights." His work, such as this interview and others he has done, pulled the curtain back on the big lie and exposed our oligarchs, politicians and the "journalists" they hire as simply a cadre of professional criminals whose carefully crafted lies are used to soak up the blood and to cover the bodies of the dead, all in order to hide all that mayhem from our eyes, to insure justice is an impossibility and to make sure we Western citizens sleep well at night, oblivious to our connection to the actual realities that are this daily regime of pillage and plunder that is our vaunted "neoliberal order." ..."
"... "The philosopher Diogenes (of Sinope) was eating bread and lentils for supper. He was seen by the philosopher Aristippus, who lived comfortably by flattering the king. Said Aristippus, 'If you would learn to be subservient to the king you would not have to live on lentils.' To which Diogenes replied, 'Learn to live on lentils and you will not have to be subservient to the king"." ..."
"... So Roosevelt pushed Hitler to attack Stalin? Hitler didn't want to go East? Revisionism at it most motive free. ..."
"... Pushing' is synonymous for a variety of ways to instigate a desired outcome. Financing is just one way. And Roosevelt was in no way the benevolent knight history twisters like to present him. You are outing yourself again as an easliy duped sheep. ..."
"... Lebensraum was first popularized in 1901 in Germany https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebensraum Hitler's "Mein Kampf" ( 1925) build on that: he had no need for any American or other push, it was intended from the get go. ..."
"... This excellent article demonstrates how the Controlling Elite manipulates the Media and the Message for purposes of misdirecting attention and perception of their true intentions and objective of securing Global Ownership (aka New World Order). ..."
"... Corporate Journalism is all about corporatism and the continuation of it. If the Intelligence Community needs greater fools for staffing purposes in the corporate hierarchy they look for anyone that can be compromised via inducements of whatever the greater fools want. ..."
"... Bought & paid for corporate Journalists are controlled by the Intelligence Agencies and always have been since at least the Second World War. The CIA typically runs bribery & blackmail at the state & federal level so that when necessary they have instant useless eaters to offer up as political sacrifice when required via state run propaganda, & impression management. ..."
"... Assuming that journalism is an ethical occupation is naïve and a fools' game even in the alternative news domain as all writers write from bias & a lack of real knowledge. Few writers are intellectually honest or even aware of their own limits as writers. The writer is a failure and not a hero borne in myth. Writers struggle to write & publish. Bought and paid for writers don't have a struggle in terms of writing because they are told what to write before they write as automatons for the Intelligence Community knowing that they sold their collective souls to the Prince of Darkness for whatever trinkets, bobbles, or bling they could get their greedy hands on at the time. ..."
"... Once pond scum always pond scum. ..."
"... It is a longer process in which one is gradually introduced to ever more expensive rewards/bribes. Never too big to overwhelm – always just about what one would accept as 'motivation' to omit aspects of any issue. Of course, omission is a lie by any other name, but I can attest to the life style of a journalist that socializes with the leaders of all segments of society. ..."
"... Professional whoring is as old as the hills and twice as dusty. Being ethical is difficult stuff especially when money is involved. Money is always a prime motivator but vanity works wonders too. Corporatists will offer whatever inducements they can to get what they want. ..."
"... All mainstream media voices are selling a media package that is a corporatist lie in and of itself. Truth is less marketable than lies. Embellished news & journalistic hype is the norm ..."
Oct 06, 2019 | off-guardian.org

WATCH: Udo Ulfkotte – Bought Journalists Terje Maloy

Subtitled and transcribed by Terje Maloy

https://www.youtube.com/embed/3ZLgW3hgRBY

In 2014, the German journalist and writer Udo Ulfkotte published a book that created a big stir, describing how the journalistic profession is thoroughly corrupt and infiltrated by intelligence services.

Although eagerly anticipated by many, the English translation of the book, Bought Journalists , does not seem to be forthcoming anytime soon.

[We covered that story at the time – Ed.]

So I have made English subtitles and transcribed this still very relevant 2015-lecture for those that are curious about Ulfkotte's work. It covers many of the subjects described in the book.

Udo Ulfkotte died of a heart attack in January 2017, in all likelihood part of the severe medical complications he got from his exposure to German-made chemical weapons supplied to Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s.

Transcription

[Only the first 49 minutes are translated; the second half of the lecture deals mostly with more local issues]

Introducer Oliver: I am very proud to have such a brave man amongst us: Udo Ulfkotte

Udo Ulfkotte: Thanks Thanks for the invitation Thanks to Oliver. I heard to my great surprise from Oliver that he didn't know someone from the intelligence services (VVS) would be present. I wish him a warm welcome. I don't mean that as a joke, I heard this in advance, and got to know that Oliver didn't know. If he wants – if it is a man – he can wave. If not? no? [laughter from the audience]

I'm fine with that. You can write down everything, or record it; no problem.

To the lecture. We are talking about media. we are talking about truth. I don't want to sell you books or such things. Each one of us asks himself: Why do things develop like they do, even though the majority, or a lot of people shake their heads.

The majority of people in Germany don't want nuclear weapons on our territory. But we have nuclear weapons here. The majority don't want foreign interventions by German soldiers. But we do.

What media narrates and the politicians say, and what the majority of the population believes – seems often obviously to be two different things.

I can tell you this myself, from many years experience. I will start with very personal judgments, to tell you what my experiences with 'The Lying Media' were – I mean exactly that with the word 'lying'.

I was born in a fairly poor family. I am a single child. I grew up on the eastern edge of the Ruhr-area. I studied Law, Political Science and Islamic Studies. Already in my student years, I had contact with the German Foreign Intelligence, BND. We will get back to that later.

From 1986 to 2003, I worked for a major German newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), amongst other things as a war reporter. I spent a lot of time in Eastern and African countries.

Now to the subject of lying media. When I was sent to the Iran-Iraq war for the first time, the first time was from 1980 to July 1986, I was sent to this war to report for FAZ. The Iraqis were then 'the good guys'.

I was bit afraid. I didn't have any experience as a war reporter. Then I arrived in Baghdad. I was fairly quickly sent along in a bus by the Iraqi army, the bus was full of loud, experienced war reporters, from such prestigious media as the BBC, several foreign TV-stations and newspapers, and me, poor newbie, who was sent to the front for the first time without any kind of preparation. The first thing I saw was that they all carried along cans of petrol. And I at once got bad consciousness, because I thought: "oops, if the bus gets stuck far from a petrol station, then everyone chips in with a bit of diesel'. I decided to in the future also carry a can before I went anywhere, because it obviously was part of it.

We drove for hours through the desert, towards the Iraqi border. Approx. 20-30 kilometers from the border, there really was nothing. First of all no war. There were armored vehicles and tanks, burned-out long ago. The journalist left the bus, splashed the contents of the cans on the vehicles. We had Iraqi soldiers with us as an escort, with machine guns, in uniform. You have to imagine: tanks in a desert, burned out long ago, now put on fire. Clouds of smoke. And there the journalists assemble their cameras.

It was my first experience with media, truth in reporting.

While I was wondering what the hell I was going to report for my newspaper, they all lined up and started: Behind them were flames and plumes of smoke, and all the time the Iraqis were running in front of camera with their machine guns, casually, but with war in their gaze. And the reporters were ducking all the time while talking.

So I gathered courage and asked one of the reporters: 'I understand one thing, they are great pictures, but why are they ducking all the time? '

'Quite simply because there are machine guns on the audio track, and it looks very good at home.'

That was several decades ago. It was in the beginning of my contact with war. I was thinking, the whole way back:'Young man, you didn't see a war. You were in a place with a campfire. What are you going to tell?'

I returned to Baghdad. There weren't any mobile phones then. We waited in Hotel Rashid and other hotels where foreigners stayed, sometimes for hours for an international telephone line. I first contacted my mother, not my newspaper. I was in despair, didn't know what to do, and wanted to get advice from an elder person.

Then my mother shouted over the phone: 'My boy, you are alive!' I thought: 'How so? Is everything OK?'

'My boy, we thought ' 'What's the matter, mother?' 'We saw on TV what happened around you' TV had already sent lurid stories, and I tried to calm my mother down, it didn't happen like that. She thought I had lost my mind from all the things that had happened in the war – she saw it with her own eyes!

I'll finish, because I am not here to make satire today. I just want to say that this was my first experience with truth in journalism and war reporting.

That is, I was very shocked by the first contact, it was entirely different from what I had experienced. But it wasn't an exceptional case.

In the beginning, I mentioned that I am from a fairly poor family. I had to work hard for everything. I was a single child, my father died when I was young. It didn't matter further on. But, I had a job, I had a degree, a goal in life.

I now had the choice: Should I declare that the whole thing was nonsense, these reports? I was nothing, a newbie straight out of uni, in my first job. Or if I wanted to make money, to continue, look further. I chose the second option. I continued, and that for many years.

Over these years, I gained lots of experience. When one comes from university to a big German newspaper – everything I say doesn't only apply to FAZ, you can take other German or European media. I had contact with other European journalists, from reputable media outlets. I later worked in other media. I can tell you: What I am about to tell you, I really discovered everywhere.

What did I experience? If you, as a reporter, work either in state media financed by forced license fees, or in the big private media companies, then you can't write what you want yourself, what you feel like. There are certain guidelines.

Roughly speaking: everyone knows that you won't, for example in the Springer-newspapers – Bild, die Welt – get published articles extremely critical of Israel. They stand no chance there, because one has to sign a statement that one is pro-Israel, that one won't question the existence of the state of Israel or Israeli points of view, etc.

There are some sort of guidelines in all the big media companies. But that isn't all: I learned very fast that if one doesn't – I don't mean this negatively – want to be stuck in the lower rungs of editors, if one wants to rise; for me this rise was that I was allowed to travel with the Chancellor, ministers, the president and politicians, in planes owned by the state; then one has to keep to certain subjects. I learned that fast.

That is, if one gets to follow a politician – and this hasn't changed to this day – I soon realized that when I followed the president or Chancellor Helmut Kohl etc, one of course isn't invited because your name is Udo Ulfkotte, but because you belong to the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine.

Then a certain type of reporting is expected. Which one? Forget my newspaper, this applies in general. At the start of the trip, the journalist gets a memo – today it is electronic – in his hand. If you are traveling abroad, it is info about the country, or the speeches that will be held. This file contains roughly what will happen during this trip. In addition there are short conversations, briefings with the politician's press manager. He then explains to you how one views this trip. Naturally, you should see it the same way. No one says it in that way. But is is approximately what one would have reported.

All the time you no one tells you to write it this or that way but you know quite exactly that if you DON'T write it this or that way,then you won't get invited next time. Your media outlet will be invited, but they say 'we don't want him along'. Then you are out.

Naturally you want to be invited. Of course it is wonderful to travel abroad and you can behave like a pig, no one cares. You can buy what you want, because you know that when you return, you won't be checked. You can bring what you want. I had colleagues who went along on a trip to the US.

They brought with them – it was an air force plane – a Harley Davidson, in parts. They sold it when they were back in Germany, and of course earned on it. Anyway, just like the carpet-affair with that development minister, this is of course not a single instance. No one talks about it.

You get invited if you have a certain way of seeing things. Which way to see things? Where and how is this view of the world formed? I very often get asked: 'Where are these people behind the curtain who pulls the wires, so that everything gets told in a fairly similar way?'

In the big media in Germany – just look yourself – who sit in the large transatlantic think-tanks and foundations,the foundation The Atlantic Bridge, all these organizations, and how is one influenced there? I can tell from my own experience.

We mustn't talk only theoretically. I was invited by the think-tank The German Marshall Fund of the United States as a fellow. I was to visit the United States for six weeks. It was fully paid. During these six weeks I could this think-tank has very close connections to the CIA to this day, they acquired contacts in the CIA for me and they got me access to American politicians, to everyone I wanted. Above all, they showered me with gifts.

Already before the journey with German Marshall Fund, I experienced plenty of bought journalism. This hasn't to do with a particular media outlet. You see, I was invited and didn't particularly reflect over it, by billionaires, for example sultan Quabboos of Oman on the Arabian peninsula.

When sultan Qabboos invited, and a poor boy like me could travel to a country with few inhabitants but immense wealth, where the head of state had the largest yachts in the world, his own symphony orchestra which plays for him when he wants – by the way he bought a pub close to Garmisch-Patenkirchen, because he is a Muslim believer, and someone might see him if he drank in his own country, so he rather travels there. The place he bought every day fly in fresh lamb from Ireland and Scotland with his private jet. He is also the head of an environmental foundation.

But this is a digression. If such a person, who is so incredibly rich, invites someone like me, then I arrive first class. I had never traveled first class before. We arrive, and a driver is waiting for me. He carries your suitcase or backpack. You have a suite in the hotel. And from the very start, you are showered with gifts. You get a platinum or gold coin. A hand-weaved carpet or whatever.

I interviewed the sultan, several times. He asked me what I wanted. I answered among other things a diving course. I wanted to learn how to dive. He flew in a PADI-approved instructor from Greece. I was there for two weeks and got my first diving certificate. On later occasions, the sultan flew me in several times, and the diving instructor. I got a certificate as rescue diver, all paid for by the sultan. You see, when one is attended to in such a way, then you know that you are bought. For a certain type of journalism. In the sultan's country, there is no freedom of the press.

There are no human rights. It is illegal to import many writings, because the sultan does not wish so. There are reports about human rights violations, but my eyes are blind. I reported, like all German media when they report about the Sultanate of Oman, to this day, only positive things. The great sultan, who is wonderful. The fantastic country of the fairy tale prince, overshadowing everything else – because I was bought.

Apart from Oman, many others have bought me. They also bought colleagues. I got many invitations through the travel section in my big newspaper. 5-star. The reportage never mentioned that I was bought, by country A or B or C. Yemenia, the Yemeni state airline, invited me to such a trip.

I didn't report about the dirt and dilapidation in the country, because I was influenced by this treatment, I only reported positively, because I wanted to come back. The Yemenis asked me when I had returned to Frankfurt what I wished In jest, I said "your large prawns, from the Red Sea, from the Indian Ocean, they were spectacular.", from the seaport of Mocha (Mocha-coffee is named after it). Two days later, Yemenia flew in a buffet for the editorial office, with prawns and more.

Of course we were bought. We were bought in several ways. In your situation: when you buy a car or something else, you trust consumer tests. Look closer. How well is the car tested? I know of no colleagues, no journalists, who do testing of cars, that aren't bribed – maybe they do exist.

They get unlimited access to a car from the big car manufacturers, with free petrol and everything else. I had a work car in my newspaper, if not, I might have exploited this. I had a BMW or Mercedes in the newspaper. But there are, outside the paper, many colleagues who only have this kind of vehicle all year round. They are invited to South Africa, Malaysia, USA, to the grandest travels, when a new car is presented.

Why? So that they will write positively about the car. But it doesn't say in these reports "Advertisement from bought journalists".

But that is the reality. You should also know – since we are on the subjects of tests – who owns which test magazines? Who owns the magazine Eco-test? It is owned by the Social Democrats. More than a hundred magazines belong to the Social Democrats. It isn't about only one party, but many editorial rooms have political allegiance. Behind them are party political interests.

I mentioned the sultan of Oman and the diving course, and I have mentioned German Marshall Fund. Back to the US and the German Marshall Fund. There one told me, they knew exactly, 'hello, you were on a diving course in Oman ' The CIA knew very precisely. And the CIA also gave me something: The diving gear. I received the diving gear in the United States, and I received in the US, during my 6-week stay there, an invitation from the state of Oklahoma, from the governor. I went there. It was a small ceremony, and I received an honorary citizenship.

I am now honorary citizen of an American state. And in this certificate, it is written that I will only cover the US positively. I accepted this honorary citizenship and was quite proud of it. I proudly told about it to a colleague who worked in the US. He said 'ha, I already have 31 of these honorary citizenships!'

I don't tell about this to be witty, today I am ashamed, really.

I was greedy. I accepted many advantages that a regular citizen at my age in my occupation doesn't have, and shouldn't have. But I perceived it – and that is no excuse – as entirely normal, because my colleagues around me all did the same. But this isn't normal. When journalists are invited to think-tanks in the US, like German Marshall Fund, Atlantic Bridge, it is to 'bring them in line', for in a friendly way to make them complicit, naturally to buy them, to grease them with money.

This has quite a few aspects that one normally doesn't talk about. When I for the first time was in Southern Africa, in the 80s, Apartheid still existed in South Africa, segregated areas for blacks and whites. We didn't have any problems with this in my newspaper, we received fully paid journeys from the Apartheid regime to do propaganda work.

I was invited by the South-African gold industry, coal industry, tourist board. In the first invitation, this trip was to Namibia – I arrived tired to the hotel room in Windhoek and a dark woman lay in my bed. I at once left the room, went down to the reception and said 'excuse me, but the room is already occupied' [laughter from the audience]

Without any fuss I got another room.

Next day at the breakfast table, this was a journalist trip, my colleagues asked me 'how was yours?' Only then I understood what had happened. Until then, I had believed it was a silly coincidence.

With this I want to describe which methods are used, maybe to film journalists in such situations, buy, make dependent. Quite simply to win them over to your side with the most brutal methods, so that they are 'brought in line'.

This doesn't happen to every journalist. It would be a conspiracy theory if I said that behind every journalist, someone pulls the wires.

No. Not everyone has influence over the masses. When you – I don't mean this negatively – write about folk costume societies or if you work with agriculture or politics, why should anyone from the upper political spheres have an interest in controlling the reporting? As far as I know, this doesn't happen at all.

But if you work in one of the big media, and want up in this world, if you want to travel with politicians, heads of state, with CEOs, who also travel on these planes, then it happens. Then you are regularly bought, you are regularly observed.

I said earlier that I already during my study days had contact with the intelligence services.

I will quickly explain this to you, because it is very important for this lecture.

I studied law, Political Science and Islamology, among other places in Freiburg. At the very beginning of my study, just before end of the term, a professor approached me. Professors were then still authority figures.

He came with a brochure, and asked me: 'Mr. Ulfkotte, what are your plans for this vacation?'

I couldn't very well say that I first planned to work a bit at a building site, for then to grab my backpack and see the ocean for the first time in my life, to Italy, 'la dolce vita', flirting with girls, lie on the beach and be a young person.

I wondered how I would break it to him. He then came with a brochure [Ulfkotte imitating professor]: 'I have something for you a seminar, Introduction to Conflict Studies, two weeks in Bonn I am sure you would want to participate!'

I wondered how I would tell this elderly gentleman that I wanted to flirt with girls on the beach. Then he said 'you will get 20 Marks per day as support, paid train journey, money for books 150 Marks You will naturally get board and lodging.' He didn't stop telling me what I would receive.

It buzzed around in my head that I had to achieve everything myself, work hard. I thought 'You have always wanted to participate in a seminar on Introduction to Conflict Studies!'

So I went to Bonn from Freiburg, and I saw other students who had this urge to participate in this seminar. There were also girls one could flirt with, about twenty people. The whole thing was very strange, because we sat in a room like this one, there were desks and a lectern, and there sat some older men and a woman, they always wrote something down. They asked us about things; What we thought of East Germany, we had to do role play.

The whole thing was a bit strange, but it was well paid. We didn't reflect any further. It was very strange that in this house, in Ubierstraße 88 in Bonn, we weren't allowed to go to the second floor. There was a chain over the stairs, it was taboo.

We were allowed to go to the basement, there were constantly replenished supplies of new books that we were allowed to get for free. Ebay didn't exist then, but we could still sell them used. Anyway, it was curious, but at the end of the fortnight, we were allowed to go up these stairs, where we got an invitation to a continuation course in Conflict Studies.

After four such seminars, that is, after two years, someone asked me 'you have probably wondered what we are doing here'.

He explained that a recruitment board from the intelligence services had participated. But I had no idea that the seminar Introduction to Conflict Studies was arranged by the defense forces and run by the foreign intelligence service BND, to have a closer look at potential candidates among the students, not to commit them. They only asked if they, after four such seminars, possibly could contact me later, in my occupation.

They gave me a lot of money. My mother has always taught me to be polite. So I said 'please do', and they came to me. I was then working in the newspaper FAZ from 1986, straight after my studies.

Then the intelligence services came fairly soon to me. Why am I telling you this? The newspaper knew very soon. It is also written in my reference, therefore I can say it loud and clear. I had very close contact with the intelligence service BND.

Two persons from BND came regularly to the paper, to a visiting room. And there were occasions when the report not only was given, but also that BND had written articles, largely ready to go, that were published in the newspaper under my byline.

I highlight certain things to explain them. But if I had said here: 'There are media that are influenced by BND', you could rightly say that 'these are conspiracy theories, can you document it?'

I CAN document it. I can say, this and that article, with my byline in the paper, is written by the intelligence services, because what is written there, I couldn't have known. I couldn't have known what existed in some cave or other in Libya, what secret thing were there, what was being built there. This was all things that BND wanted published. It wasn't like this only in FAZ.

It was like this also in other media. I told about it. If we had rule of law, there would now be an investigation commission. Because the political parties would stand up, regardless of if they are on the left, in the center or right, and say: What this Ulfkotte fella says and claims he can document, this should be investigated. Did this occur in other places? Or is it still ongoing?'

I can tell you: Yes it still exists. I know colleagues who still have this close contact. One can probably show this fairly well until a few years ago. But I would find it wonderful if this investigation commission existed.

But it will obviously not happen, because no one has an interest in doing so. Because then the public would realize how closely integrated politics, media, and the secret services are in this country.

That is, one often sees in reporting, whether it is from the local paper, regional papers, TV-channels, national tabloids and so-called serious papers.

Put them side by side, and you will discover that more than 90% looks almost identical. A lot of subjects and news, that are not being reported at all, or they are – I claim reported very one-sided. One can only explain this if one knows the structures in the background, how media is surrounded, bought and 'brought onboard' by politics and the intelligence services; Where politics and intelligence services form a single unity. There is an intelligence coordinator by the Chancellor.

I can tell you, that under the former coordinator Bernd Schmidbauer, under Kohl, I walked in and out of the Chancellery and received stacks of secret and confidential documents, which I shouldn't have received.

They were so many that we in the newspaper had own archive cabinets for them. Not only did I receive these documents,but Schmidbauer should have been in jail if we had rule of law. Or there should have been a parliamentary commission or an investigation, because he wasn't allowed

For example if I couldn't bring along the documents if the case was too hot, there was another trick. They locked me in a room. In this room were the documents, which I could look through. I could record it all on tape, photograph them or write them down. When I was done, I could call on the intercom, so they could lock me out. There were thousands of these tricks. Anonymous documents that I and my colleagues needed could be placed in my mail box.

These are of course illegal things. BUT, you ONLY get them if you 'toe the line' with politics.

If I had written that Chancellor Helmut Kohl is stupid, a big idiot, or about what Schmidbauer did, I would of course not have received more. That is, if you today, in newspapers, read about 'soon to be revealed exposures, we will publish a big story based on material based on intelligence', then none of these media have dug a tunnel under the security services and somehow got hold of something secret. It is rather that they work so well with intelligence services, with the military counterespionage, the foreign intelligence, police intelligence etc, that if they have got hold of internal documents, it is because they cooperate so well that they received them as a reward for well performed service.

You see, in this way one is in the end bought. One is bought to such a degree that at one point one can't exit this system anymore.

If I describe how you are supplied with prostitutes, bribed with cars, money; I tried to write down everything I received in gifts, everything I was bribed with. I stopped doing so several years ago, more than a decade ago.

It doesn't make it any better, but today I regret everything. But I know that it goes this way with many journalists.

It would make me very happy if journalists stood up and said they won't participate in this any longer, and that they think this is wrong.

But I see no possibility, because media corporations in any case are doing badly. Where should a journalist find work the next day? It isn't so that tens of thousands of employers are waiting for you. It is the other way round. Tens of thousands of journalists are looking for work or commissions.

That is, from pure desperation one is happy to be bribed. If a newsroom stands behind or not an article that in reality is advertising, doesn't matter, one goes along. I know some, even respected journalists, who want to leave this system.

But imagine if you are working in one of the state channels, that you stand up and tell what you have received. How will that be received by your colleagues? That you have political ulterior motives etc.

September 30 [2015], a few days ago, Chancellor Merkel invited all the directors in the state channels to her in the Chancellery. I will claim that she talked with them about how one should report the Chancellors politics. Who of you [in the audience] heard about this incident? 3-4-5? So a small minority. But this is reality. Merkel started already 6 years ago, at the beginning of the financial crisis, to invite chief editors ..she invited chief editors in the large media corporations, with the express wish that media should embellish reality, in a political way. This could have been only claims, one could believe me or not.

But a couple of journalists were there, they told about it. Therefore I repeat: Merkel invited the chief editors several times, and told them she didn't want the population to be truthfully and openly informed about the problems out there. For example, the background for the financial crisis. If the citizens knew how things were, they would run to the bank and withdraw their money. So beautifying everything; everything is under control; your savings are safe; just smile and hold hands – everything will be fine.

In such a way it should be reported. Ladies and gentlemen, what I just said can be documented. These are facts, not a conspiracy theory.

I formulated it a bit satirically, but I ask myself when I see how things are in this country: Is this the democracy described in the Constitution? Freedom of speech? Freedom of the press?

Where one has to be afraid if one doesn't agree with the ruling political correctness, if one doesn't want to get in trouble. Is this the republic our parents and grandparents fought for, that they built?

I claim that we more and more – as citizens – are cowards 'toeing the line', who don't open our mouths.

It is so nice to have plurality and diversity of opinions.

But it is at once clamped down on, today fairly openly.

Of my experiences with journalism, I can in general say that I have quit all media I have to pay for, for the reasons mentioned. Then the question arises, 'but which pay-media can I trust?'

Naturally there are ones I support. They are definitely political, I'll add. But they are all fairly small. And they won't be big anytime soon. But I have quit all big media that I used to subscribe to, Der Spiegel, Frankfurter Allgemeine, etc. I would like to not having to pay the TV-license fee, without being arrested because I won't pay fines. But maybe someone here in the audience can tell me how to do so without all these problems?

Either way, I don't want to financially support this kind of journalism. I can only give you the advice to get information from alternative, independent media and all the forums that exist.

I'm not advertising for any of them. Some of you probably know that I write for the publishing house Kopp. But there are so many portals. Every person is different in political viewpoint, culturally etc. The only thing uniting us, whether we are black or white, religious or non-religious, right or left, or whatever; we all want to know the truth. We want to know what really happens out there, and exactly in the burning political questions: asylum seekers, refugees, the financial crisis, bad infrastructure, one doesn't know how it will continue. Precisely with this background, is it even more important that people get to know the truth.

And it is to my great surprise that I conclude that we in media, as well as in politics, have a guiding line.

To throw more and more dust in the citizens' eyes to calm them down. What is the sense in this? One can have totally different opinions on the subject of refugees with good reasoning.

But facts are important for you as citizens to decide the future. That is, how many people will arrive? How will it affect my personal affluence? Or will it affect my affluence at all? Will the pensions shrink? etc. Then you can talk with people about this, quite openly. But to say that we should open all borders, and that this won't have any negative consequences, is very strange. What I now say isn't a plug for my books. I know that some of them are on the table in front.

I'm not saying this so that you will buy books. I am saying this for another reason that soon will be clear. I started to write books on certain subjects 18 years ago. They have sold millions. It is no longer about you buying my books. It is important that you hear the titles, then you will see a certain line throughout the last ten years. One can have different opinions about this line, but I have always tried to describe, based on my subjective experiences, formed over many years in the Middle East and Africa.

That there will be migration flows, from people from culture areas that are like; if one could compare a cultural area with an engine, that one fills petrol in a diesel engine then everyone knows what will happen, the engine is great, diesel is great, but if there too much petrol, then the engine starts to splutter and stop.

I have tried to make you aware of this, with drastic and less drastic words. What we can expect, and ever faster. The book titles are SOS Occident; Warning Civil War; No Black,Red, Yellow [the colors in the German flag], Holy War in Europe; Mecca Germany.

I just want to say, when politicians and media today claim no one could have predicted it, everything is a complete surprise; Ladies and Gentlemen, this is not at all surprising. The migration flows, for years warnings have been coming from international organizations, politicians, experts, exactly about what happened and it is predictable, if we had a map over North Africa and the Middle East..

If the West continues to destabilize countries like Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, country by country, Iraq when we toppled Saddam Hussein, Afghanistan. We as Europeans and Germans have spent tens of billions on a war where we allegedly defend peace and liberty, at the mountain range Hindu Kush [in Afghanistan]. And here, in front of our own door, we soon have Hindu Kush.

We have no stabilization in Afghanistan. Dozens of German soldiers have lost their lives for nothing. We have a more unstable situation than ever.

You can have your own opinions. I am only saying that these refugee flows didn't fall from the sky. It is predicable, that if I bomb and destabilize a country, that people – it is always so in history – it hasn't anything to do with the Middle East or North Africa. I have seen enough wars in Africa. Naturally they created refugee flows.

But all of us didn't want to see this. We haven't prepared. And now one is reacting in full panic, and what is most disconcerting with this, is when media and politicians, allegedly from deepest inner conviction, say: 'this was all a complete surprise!'

Are they drunk? What are they smoking? What sort of pills are they eating? That they behave this way?

End transcription

The transcription has been edited for clarity, and may differ from the spoken word. The subtitles and transcription are for the first 49 minutes of the lecture only. Subtitled and transcribed by Terje Maloy. This article is Creative Commons 4.0 for non-commercial purposes.
Terje Maloy ( Website ) is a Norwegian citizen, with roots north of the Arctic Circle. Nowadays, he spends a lot of time in Australia, working in the family business. He has particular interests in liberty, global justice, imperialism, history, media analysis and what Western governments really are up to. He runs a blog , mostly in Norwegian, but occasionally in English. He likes to write about general geopolitical matters, and Northern Europe in particular, presenting perspectives that otherwise barely are mentioned in the dominant media (i.e. most things that actually matter).
Tim Jenkins
From 1:18 minutes, Ulfkotte reveals without question, that the EU Political 'elite's' combined intelligence services work with & propagate . . .

Terror, Terrorists & Terrorism / a conscious organised Politics of FEAR ! / Freedom of Movement, of fully armed IS Agents Provocateurs & with a Secret Services get out of jail free card, 'Hände Weg Nicht anfassen', it's 'Hammertime', "U Can't Touch this", we're armed state operatives travelling to Germany & Austria, " don't mess with my operation !" & all journalists' hands tied, too.

The suggestions & offers below to translate fully, what Ulfkotte declares publicly, make much sense. It is important to understand that even an 'Orban' must bow occasionally, to deep state Security State Dictators and the pressures they can exert in so many ways. Logic . . . or else one's life is made into hell, alive or an 'accidental' death: – and may I add, it is a curiously depressing feeling when you have so many court cases on the go, that when a Gemeinde/Municipality Clerk is smiling, celebrating and telling you, (representing yourself in court, with only independent translator & recorder), "You Won the Case, a superior judge has over-ruled " and the only reply possible is,

"Which case number ?"

life gets tedious & time consuming, demanding extreme patience. Given his illness, surely Ulfkotte and his wife, deserve/d extra credit & 'hot chocolate'. Makes a change to see & read some real journalism: congrats.@OffG

Excellent Professional Journalism on "Pseudo-Journalist State Actors & Terrorists". If you see a terrorist, guys, at best just reason with him or her :- better than calling

INTERPOL or Secret Services @theguardian, because you wouldn't want a member of the public, grassing you up to your boss, would you now ? ! Just tell the terrorist who he really works for . . . Those he resents ! Rather like Ulfkotte had to conclude, with final resignation. My condolences to his good wife.

Wilmers31
Very good of you to not forget Ulfkotte. If I did not have sickness in the house, I would translate it. Maybe I can do one chapter and someone else can do another one? What's the publisher saying?
jgiam
It's just a long unedited speech.
Tim Jenkins
You wouldn't say that if you could speak German, my friend ! ?

From one hour 18 minutes onwards, Ulfkotte details EU-Inter-State Terror Co-operation, with returning IS Operatives on a Free Pass, fully armed and even Viktor Orban had to give in to the commands of letting Terrorists through Hungary into Germany & Austria.

But, don't let that revelation bother you, living under a Deep State 'Politic of Fear' in the West and long unedited speeches gets kinda' boring now, I know a bit like believing in some kinda' dumbfuk new pearl harbour, war on terror &&& all phoney propaganda fairy story telling, just like on the 11/9/2001, when the real target was WTC 7, to hide elitist immoral endeavours, corruption & the missing $$$TRILLIONS$$$ of tax payers money, 'mislaid' by the D.o.D. announced directly the day before by Rumsfeld, forgotten ? Before ramping the Surveillance States abilities in placing & employing "Parallel Platforms" on steroids, so that our secret services can now employ terror & deploy terrorists at will .., against us, see ?

Plus ca change....
I remember on a similar note a 60 Minutes piece just prior to Clinton's humanitarian bombing of Serbian civilian infrastructure (and long ago deleted, I'm sure) on a German free-lancer staging Kosovo atrocities in a Munich suburb, and having the German MSM eating it up and asking for more. (WWII guilt assuagement at work, no doubt).
mark
Everybody who works in the MSM, without exception, are bought and paid for whores peddling lies on behalf of globalist corporate interests.
That is their job.
That is what they do.
They have long since forfeited all credibility and integrity.
They have lied to us endlessly for decades and generations, from the Bayonetted Belgian Babies and Human Bodies Turned Into Soap of WW1 to the Iraq Incubator Babies and Syrian Gas Attacks of more recent times.

You can no longer take anything at face value.
The default position has to be that every single word they print and every single word that comes out of their lying mouths is untrue.
If they say it's snowing at the North Pole, you can't accept that without first going there and checking it out for yourself.
You can't accept anything that has not been independently verified.

This applies across the board.
All of the accepted historical narrative, including things like the holocaust.
And current Global Warming "science."
We know we have been lied to again and again and again.
So what else have we been lied to without us realising it?

mark
Come to think of it, I need to apologise to sex workers.
I have known quite a few of them who have quite high ethical and moral standards, certainly compared to the MSM.
And they certainly do less damage.
Vert few working girls have blood on their hands like the MSM.
Compared to them, working girls are the salt of the earth and pillars of the community.
Seamus Padraig

Compared to them, working girls are the salt of the earth and pillars of the community.

I heartily agree. Even if one disapproves morally of prostitution, how can it possibly be worse to sell your body than to sell your soul?

Oliver
Quite. Checking things out for yourself is the way to go. Forget 'Peer Reviews', just as bent as the journalism Ulfkotte described. DIY.
Mortgage
So natural, all it seems

Part II:
Bought Science

Part III:
Bought Health Services

mapquest directions
The video you shared with great info. I really like the information you share. boxnovel
Gary Weglarz
I knew we were in dangerous new territory regarding government censorship when after waiting several years for Ulfkotte's best selling book to finally be available in English – it suddenly, magically, disappeared completely – a vanishing act – and I couldn't get so much as a response from, much less an explanation from, the would be publisher. Udo's book came at a time when it could have made a difference countering the fact-free complete and total "fabrication of reality" by the U.S. and Western powers as they have waged a brutal and ongoing neocolonial war on the world's poor under the guise of "fighting terrorism."

Udo's voice (in the form of his book) was silenced for a reason – that being that he spoke the truth about our utterly and completely corrupt Western fantasy world in which we in the West proclaim our – "respect international law" and "respect for human rights." His work, such as this interview and others he has done, pulled the curtain back on the big lie and exposed our oligarchs, politicians and the "journalists" they hire as simply a cadre of professional criminals whose carefully crafted lies are used to soak up the blood and to cover the bodies of the dead, all in order to hide all that mayhem from our eyes, to insure justice is an impossibility and to make sure we Western citizens sleep well at night, oblivious to our connection to the actual realities that are this daily regime of pillage and plunder that is our vaunted "neoliberal order."

Ramdan
After watching the first 20 min I couldn't help but remembering this tale:

"The philosopher Diogenes (of Sinope) was eating bread and lentils for supper. He was seen by the philosopher Aristippus, who lived comfortably by flattering the king. Said Aristippus, 'If you would learn to be subservient to the king you would not have to live on lentils.' To which Diogenes replied, 'Learn to live on lentils and you will not have to be subservient to the king"."

which is also the reason why such a large part of humanity lives in voluntary servitude to power structures, living the dream, the illusion of being free..

Ramdan
"English Translation of Udo Ulfkotte's "Bought Journalists" Suppressed?" at Global Research 2017!!

https://www.globalresearch.ca/english-translation-of-udo-ulfkottes-bought-journalists-suppressed/5601857

Francis Lee
Just rechecked Amazon. Journalists for Hire: How the CIA Buys the News by Udo Ulfkotte PH.D. The tag line reads.

Hard cover – currently unavailable; paperback cover – currently unavailable; Kindle edition – ?

Book burning anyone?

nottheonly1
No translation exists for this interview with Udo Ulfkotte on KenFM, the web site of Ken Jebsen. Ken Jebsen has been in the cross hairs of the CIA and German agencies for his reporting of the truth. He was smeared and defamed by the same people that Dr. Ulfkotte had written extensively about in his book 'Gekaufte Journalisten' ('Bought Journalists').

The reason why I add this link to the interview lies in the fact that Udo Ulfkotte speaks about an important part of Middle Eastern and German history – a history that has been scrubbed from the U.S. and German populations. In the Iraq war against Iran – that the U.S. regime had pushed for in the same fashion the way they had pushed Nazi Germany to invade the U.S.S.R. – German chemical weapons were used under the supervision of the U.S. regime. The extend of the chemical weapons campaign was enormous and to the present day, Iranians are born with birth defects stemming from the used of German weapons of mass destruction.

Dr. Ulfkotte rightfully bemoans, that every year German heads of state are kneeling for the Jewish victims of National socialism – but not for the victims of German WMD's that were used against Iran. He stresses that the act of visual asking for forgiveness in the case of the Jewish victims becomes hypocrisy, when 40 years after the Nazis reigned, German WMD's were used against Iran. The German regime was in on the WMD attack on Iran. It was not something that happened because they had lost a couple of thousand containers with WMDs. They delivered the WMD's to Iraq under U.S. supervision.

Ponder that. And there has never been an apology towards Iran, or compensations. Nada. Nothing. Instead, the vile rhetoric and demagogery of every U.S. regime since has continued to paint Iran in the worst possible ways, most notably via incessant psychological projection – accusing Iran of the war crimes and crimes against humanity the U.S. and its Western vassal regimes are guilty of.

Here is the interview that was recorded shortly before Udo Ulfkotte's death:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bm_hWenGJKg

If enough people support the effort, I am willing to contact KenFM for the authorization to translate the interview and use it for subtitles to the video. However, I can't do that on my own.

nottheonly1
Correction: the interview was recorded two years before his passing.
Antonym
the U.S. regime had pushed for in the same fashion the way they had pushed Nazi Germany to invade the U.S.S.R.

So Roosevelt pushed Hitler to attack Stalin? Hitler didn't want to go East? Revisionism at it most motive free.

nottheonly1
It would help if you would use your brain just once. 'Pushing' is synonymous for a variety of ways to instigate a desired outcome. Financing is just one way. And Roosevelt was in no way the benevolent knight history twisters like to present him. You are outing yourself again as an easliy duped sheep.

But then, with all the assaults by the unintelligence agencies, it does not come as a surprise when facts are twisted.

Antonym
Lebensraum was first popularized in 1901 in Germany https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebensraum Hitler's "Mein Kampf" ( 1925) build on that: he had no need for any American or other push, it was intended from the get go. The timing of operation Barbarossa was brilliant though: it shocked Stalin into a temporary limbo as he had his own aggressive plans.
Casandra2
This excellent article demonstrates how the Controlling Elite manipulates the Media and the Message for purposes of misdirecting attention and perception of their true intentions and objective of securing Global Ownership (aka New World Order).

This approach has been assiduously applied, across the board, over many years, to the point were they now own and run everything required to subjugate the 'human race' to the horrors of their psychopathic inclinations. They are presently holding the global economy on hold until their AI population (social credit) control system/grid is in place before bringing the house down.

Needless to say, when this happens a disunited and frightened Global Population will be at their mercy.

If you wish to gain a full insight of what the Controlling Elite is about, and capable of, I recommend David Icke's latest publication 'Trigger'. I know he's been tagged a 'nutter' over the past thirty years, but I reckon this book represents the 'gold standard' in terms of generating awareness as a basis for launching a united global population counter-attack (given a great strategy) against forces that can only be defined as pure 'EVIL'.

MASTER OF UNIVE
Corporate Journalism is all about corporatism and the continuation of it. If the Intelligence Community needs greater fools for staffing purposes in the corporate hierarchy they look for anyone that can be compromised via inducements of whatever the greater fools want. Engaging in compromise allows both parties to have complicit & explicit understanding that corruption and falsehood are the tools of the trade. To all-of-a-sudden develop a conscience after decades of playing the part of a willing participant is understandable in light of the guilt complex one must develop after screwing everyone in the world out of the critical assessment we all need to obtain in order to make decisions regarding our futures.

Bought & paid for corporate Journalists are controlled by the Intelligence Agencies and always have been since at least the Second World War. The CIA typically runs bribery & blackmail at the state & federal level so that when necessary they have instant useless eaters to offer up as political sacrifice when required via state run propaganda, & impression management.

Assuming that journalism is an ethical occupation is naïve and a fools' game even in the alternative news domain as all writers write from bias & a lack of real knowledge. Few writers are intellectually honest or even aware of their own limits as writers. The writer is a failure and not a hero borne in myth. Writers struggle to write & publish. Bought and paid for writers don't have a struggle in terms of writing because they are told what to write before they write as automatons for the Intelligence Community knowing that they sold their collective souls to the Prince of Darkness for whatever trinkets, bobbles, or bling they could get their greedy hands on at the time.

Developing a conscience late in life is too late.

May all that sell their souls to the Intel agencies understand that pond scum never had a conscience to begin with.

Once pond scum always pond scum.

MOU

nottheonly1
What is not addressed in this talk is the addictive nature of this sort of public relation writing. Journalism is something different altogether. I know that, because I consider myself to be a journalist at heart – one that stopped doing it when the chalice was offered to me. The problem is that one is not part of the cabal one day to another.

It is a longer process in which one is gradually introduced to ever more expensive rewards/bribes. Never too big to overwhelm – always just about what one would accept as 'motivation' to omit aspects of any issue. Of course, omission is a lie by any other name, but I can attest to the life style of a journalist that socializes with the leaders of all segments of society.

And I would also write a critique about a great restaurant – never paying a dime for a fantastic dinner. The point though is that I would not write a good critique for a nasty place for money. I have never written anything but the truth – for which I received sometimes as much as a bag full of the best rolls in the country.

Twisting the truth for any form of bribes is disgusting and attests of the lowest of any character.

MASTER OF UNIVE
Professional whoring is as old as the hills and twice as dusty. Being ethical is difficult stuff especially when money is involved. Money is always a prime motivator but vanity works wonders too. Corporatists will offer whatever inducements they can to get what they want.

All mainstream media voices are selling a media package that is a corporatist lie in and of itself. Truth is less marketable than lies. Embellished news & journalistic hype is the norm.

If the devil offers inducements be sure to up the ante to outsmart the drunken sot.

MOU

[Oct 25, 2019] MSNBC Democrats = CIA Democrats

https://caucus99percent.com/content/msnbc-democrats

Matt Taibbi recently coined the term MSNBC Democrats to describe those who primarily get their news from MSNBC instead of other sources. They are more likely to believe Russiagate is a fact. According to new polling data, they are also far more likely to believe the economy is bad.

The online poll, by data firm Morning Consult, asks the same five core questions as the University of Michigan's well-known consumer sentiment survey, and for nearly two years has been collecting about 210,000 responses a month, compared to 500 or so each month for the Michigan survey.

American voters face the same set of economic facts, from low unemployment to the risks from a trade war, but the survey's index of overall sentiment - at 108 just above the 100 line that separates positive from negative impressions of the economic outlook - masked the huge divide between those who approve of Trump, whose views measured a far rosier 136, and those who disapprove of the president, with a reading of 88 .

The results, weighted by factors like age, race and sex, to be nationally representative, were similarly skewed based on media consumption. Viewers of conservative-leaning Fox News registered 139 for current sentiment about the economy; viewers of MSNBC, an outlet often critical of Trump, registered 89 . Readers of the New York Times sat in the middle at 107, near those who get their news from Facebook (110) and Twitter (112).

Source: Watch Fox News? You likely think the U.S. economy is great. MSNBC viewers not so much -- Reuters, 10/24/2019

This chart from the article shows respondents' view of the economy by news source:

The results shouldn't be surprising to anyone paying attention. MSNBC is in the liberal fake news business while Fox is in the conservative fake news business. Interestingly, the New York Times falls in the middle. This sort of makes sense. While I don't trust their political reporting, especially anything Russiagate related, their coverage of the economy does seem to be fair and balanced.

Ummm ... edg, the Economy IS Bad

I think the economy is shit, personally, and professionally. It's pretty expensive to live these days.

Negative interest rates are not what I would expect in a functioning economy... And say nothing of corporate balance sheets, gold repatriation and denials of repatriation, Q4, and a shit ton of big banksters just dying to have a bail-in.

But, I think that the MSNBC Democrat would simply blame Drumpf.

Just found it an interesting angle to essay. Stopped clocks and whatnot.

[Oct 15, 2019] Russiagate 2.0 (aka Ukrainegate) is the case, textbook example if you wish, of how the neoliberal elite manipulates the MSM and the narrative for purposes of misdirecting attention and perception of their true intentions and objectives -- distracting the electorate from real issues.

Oct 15, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

likbez , October 09, 2019 at 03:22 PM

This is not about Trump. This is not even about Ukraine and/or foreign powers influence on the US election (of which Israel, UK, and Saudi are three primary examples; in this particular order.)

Russiagate 2.0 (aka Ukrainegate) is the case, textbook example if you wish, of how the neoliberal elite manipulates the MSM and the narrative for purposes of misdirecting attention and perception of their true intentions and objectives -- distracting the electorate from real issues.

An excellent observation by JohnH (October 01, 2019 at 01:47 PM )

"It all depends on which side of the Infowars you find yourself. The facts themselves are too obscure and byzantine."

There are two competing narratives here:

1. NARRATIVE 1: CIA swamp scum tried to re-launch Russiagate as Russiagate 2.0. This is CIA coup d'état aided and abetted by CIA-democrats like Pelosi and Schiff. Treason, as Trump aptly said. This is narrative shared by "anti-Deep Staters" who sometimes are nicknamed "Trumptards". Please note that the latter derogatory nickname is factually incorrect: supporters of this narrative often do not support Trump. They just oppose machinations of the Deep State. And/or neoliberalism personified by Clinton camp, with its rampant corruption.

2. NARRATIVE 2: Trump tried to derail his opponent using his influence of foreign state President (via military aid) as leverage and should be impeached for this and previous crimes. ("Full of Schiff" commenters narrative, neoliberal democrats, or demorats.) Supporters of this category usually bought Russiagate 1.0 narrative line, hook and sinker. Some of them are brainwashed, but mostly simply ignorant neoliberal lemmings without even basic political education.

In any case, while Russiagate 2.0 is probably another World Wrestling Federation style fight, I think "anti-Deep-staters" are much closer to the truth.

What is missing here is the real problem: the crisis of neoliberalism in the USA (and elsewhere).

So this circus serves important purpose (intentionally or unintentionally) -- to disrupt voters from problems that are really burning, and are equal to slow-progressing cancer in the US society.

And implicitly derail Warren (being a weak politician she does not understand that and jumped into Ukrainegate bandwagon )

I am not that competent here so I will just mention some obvious symptoms:

- Loss of legitimacy of the ruling neoliberal elite (which demonstrated itself in 2016 with election of Trump);
-Desperation of many working Americans with sliding standard of living; loss of meaningful jobs due to offshoring of manufacturing and automation (which demonstrated itself in opioid abuse epidemics; similar to epidemics of alcoholism in the USSR before its dissolution)

-- Loss of previously available freedoms. Loss of "free press" replaced by the neoliberal echo chamber in major MSM. The uncontrolled and brutal rule of financial oligarchy and allied with the intelligence agencies as the third rail of US politics (plus the conversion of the state after 9/11 into national security state);

-- Coming within this century end of the "Petroleum Age" and the global crisis that it can entail;

-- Rampant militarism, tremendous waist of resourced on the arms race, and overstretched efforts to maintain and expand global, controlled from Washington, neoliberal empire. Efforts that since 1991 were a primary focus of unhinged after 1991 neocon faction US elite who totally controls foreign policy establishment ("full-spectrum dominance); stealing money from working people to fund an imperial project, etc.

Most of the commenters here live a comfortable life in the financially secured retirement, and, as such, are mostly satisfied with the status quo. And almost completely isolated from the level of financial insecurity of most common Americans (healthcare racket might be the only exception).

And re-posting of articles which confirm your own worldview (echo chamber posting) is nice entertainment, I think ;-)

Some of those posters actually sometimes manage to find really valuable info. For which I am thankful. In other cases, when we have a deluge of abhorrent neoliberal propaganda, postings (the specialty of Fred C. Dobbs) often generate really insightful comments from the members of the "anti-Deep State" camp.

But it would be beneficial if the flow of neoliberal spam is slightly curtailed.


[Oct 09, 2019] Ukrainegate as the textbook example of how the neoliberal elite manipulates the MSM and the narrative for purposes of misdirecting attention and perception of their true intentions and objectives -- distracting the electorate from real issues

Highly recommended!
Oct 09, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

EMichael , October 09, 2019 at 02:07 PM

His entire life trump has been a deadbeat.

"The president is dropping by the city on Thursday for one of his periodic angry wank-fests at the Target Center, which is the venue in which this event will be inflicted upon the Twin Cities. (And, just as an aside, given the events of the past 10 days, this one should be a doozy.) Other Minneapolis folk are planning an extensive unwelcoming party outside the arena, which necessarily would require increased security, which is expensive. So, realizing that it was dealing with a notorious deadbeat -- in keeping with his customary business plan, El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago has stiffed 10 cities this year for bills relating to security costs that total almost a million bucks -- the company that provides the security for the Target Center wants the president*'s campaign to shell out more than $500,000.

This has sent the president* into a Twitter tantrum against Frey, who seems not to be that impressed by it. Right from when the visit was announced, Frey has been jabbing at the president*'s ego. From the Star-Tribune:

"Our entire city will stand not behind the President, but behind the communities and people who continue to make our city -- and this country -- great," Frey said. "While there is no legal mechanism to prevent the president from visiting, his message of hatred will never be welcome in Minneapolis."

It is a mayor's lot to deal with out-of-state troublemakers. Always has been."

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a29416840/trump-feud-minneapolis-mayor-security-rally/

ilsm , October 09, 2019 at 03:03 PM
When it comes to Trump not going full Cheney war monged in Syria Krugman is a Bircher!l
likbez , October 09, 2019 at 03:22 PM
This is not about Trump. This is not even about Ukraine and/or foreign powers influence on the US election (of which Israel, UK, and Saudi are three primary examples; in this particular order.)

Russiagate 2.0 (aka Ukrainegate) is the case, textbook example if you wish, of how the neoliberal elite manipulates the MSM and the narrative for purposes of misdirecting attention and perception of their true intentions and objectives -- distracting the electorate from real issues.

An excellent observation by JohnH (October 01, 2019 at 01:47 PM )

"It all depends on which side of the Infowars you find yourself. The facts themselves are too obscure and byzantine."

There are two competing narratives here:

1. NARRATIVE 1: CIA swamp scum tried to re-launch Russiagate as Russiagate 2.0. This is CIA coup d'état aided and abetted by CIA-democrats like Pelosi and Schiff. Treason, as Trump aptly said. This is narrative shared by "anti-Deep Staters" who sometimes are nicknamed "Trumptards". Please note that the latter derogatory nickname is factually incorrect: supporters of this narrative often do not support Trump. They just oppose machinations of the Deep State. And/or neoliberalism personified by Clinton camp, with its rampant corruption.

2. NARRATIVE 2: Trump tried to derail his opponent using his influence of foreign state President (via military aid) as leverage and should be impeached for this and previous crimes. ("Full of Schiff" commenters narrative, neoliberal democrats, or demorats.) Supporters of this category usually bought Russiagate 1.0 narrative line, hook and sinker. Some of them are brainwashed, but mostly simply ignorant neoliberal lemmings without even basic political education.

In any case, while Russiagate 2.0 is probably another World Wrestling Federation style fight, I think "anti-Deep-staters" are much closer to the truth.

What is missing here is the real problem: the crisis of neoliberalism in the USA (and elsewhere).

So this circus serves an important purpose (intentionally or unintentionally) -- to disrupt voters from the problems that are really burning, and are equal to a slow-progressing cancer in the US society.

And implicitly derail Warren (being a weak politician she does not understand that, and jumped into Ukrainegate bandwagon )

I am not that competent here, so I will just mention some obvious symptoms:

  1. Loss of legitimacy of the ruling neoliberal elite (which demonstrated itself in 2016 with election of Trump);
  2. Desperation of many working Americans with sliding standard of living; loss of meaningful jobs due to offshoring of manufacturing and automation (which demonstrated itself in opioids abuse epidemics; similar to epidemics of alcoholism in the USSR before its dissolution.
  3. Loss of previously available freedoms. Loss of "free press" replaced by the neoliberal echo chamber in major MSM. The uncontrolled and brutal rule of financial oligarchy and allied with the intelligence agencies as the third rail of US politics (plus the conversion of the state after 9/11 into national security state);
  4. Coming within this century end of the "Petroleum Age" and the global crisis that it can entail;
  5. Rampant militarism, tremendous waist of resources on the arms race, and overstretched efforts to maintain and expand global, controlled from Washington, neoliberal empire. Efforts that since 1991 were a primary focus of unhinged after 1991 neocon faction US elite who totally controls foreign policy establishment ("full-spectrum dominance). They are stealing money from working people to fund an imperial project, and as part of neoliberal redistribution of wealth up

Most of the commenters here live a comfortable life in the financially secured retirement, and, as such, are mostly satisfied with the status quo. And almost completely isolated from the level of financial insecurity of most common Americans (healthcare racket might be the only exception).

And re-posting of articles which confirm your own worldview (echo chamber posting) is nice entertainment, I think ;-)

Some of those posters actually sometimes manage to find really valuable info. For which I am thankful. In other cases, when we have a deluge of abhorrent neoliberal propaganda postings (the specialty of Fred C. Dobbs) which often generate really insightful comments from the members of the "anti-Deep State" camp.

Still it would be beneficial if the flow of neoliberal spam is slightly curtailed.

[Sep 23, 2019] Apparently now that the notion Russia interfered in the US presidential election to tip the vote to Trump has become an article of faith that much of the world regards as established fact

Highly recommended!
This is a apt demonstration of the raw power of the US neoliberal MSM propaganda.
Notable quotes:
"... This is a very interesting process: no matter how absurd is the particular notion and how many contravening facts exist, the power of neoliberal MSM is such that soon enough it is viewed as an established and indisputable fact. As you aptly call it "an article of faith". ..."
"... So we can state that neoliberal MSM are performing part of functions that in Medieval Europe was performed by the Church. Kind of giant televangelism pulpit in the mega church of neoliberalism ..."
Sep 23, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman September 21, 2019 at 3:52 pm

Interesting – apparently now that the notion Russia interfered in the US presidential election to tip the vote to Trump has become an article of faith that much of the world regards as established fact, it is safe to advance on that a little. Now Donald Trump actually asked Vladimir Putin to hack the emails of his democratic rival.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/ukraine-if-youre-listening–how-trump-tries-to-quell-controversies-by-saying-the-quiet-part-out-loud/2019/09/20/8e68aad0-dbc1-11e9-adff-79254db7f766_story.html

Curiously, the Washington Post's recently-adopted new slogan is "Democracy dies in darkness". So telling the readers any old shit that you made up and can offer no proof whatsoever is true is infinitely better than darkness. And they wonder why academic standards are slipping, and why Americans faithfully believe things that few other countries accept as true. All the while they are cultivating a nation of dunces which believes anything it is told by its government.

likbez

"apparently now that the notion Russia interfered in the US presidential election to tip the vote to Trump has become an article of faith that much of the world regards as established fact,"

Mark, you are a very astute political observer!

This is a very interesting process: no matter how absurd is the particular notion and how many contravening facts exist, the power of neoliberal MSM is such that soon enough it is viewed as an established and indisputable fact. As you aptly call it "an article of faith".

So we can state that neoliberal MSM are performing part of functions that in Medieval Europe was performed by the Church. Kind of giant televangelism pulpit in the mega church of neoliberalism

[Sep 20, 2019] Trump Whistleblower Drama Puts Biden In The Hot Seat Over Ukraine

Highly recommended!
If this not of the Biden run, I do not know what can be. He now has an albatross abound his neck in the form of interference in Ukrainian criminal investigation to save his corrupt to the core narcoaddict son. Only the raw power of neoliberal MSM to suppress any information that does not fit their agenda is keeping him in the race.
But a more important fact that he was criminally involved in EuroMaydan (at the cost to the USA taxpayers around five billions) is swiped under the carpet. And will never be discussed along with criminality of Obama and Nuland.
As somebody put it "with considerable forethought [neoliberal MSM] are attempting to create a nation of morons who will faithfully go out and buy this or that product, vote for this or that candidate and faithfully work for their employers for as low a wage as possible."
Sep 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

For days we've been treated to MSM insinuations that President Trump may have betrayed the United States after a whistleblower lodged an 'urgent' complaint about something Trump promised another world leader - the details of which the White House has refused to share.

Then, we learned it was a phone call.

Then, we learned it was several phone calls.

Now, we learn it wasn't Russia or North Korea - it was Ukraine!

Here's the scandal; It appears that Trump, may have made promises to newly minted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky - very likely involving an effort to convince Ukraine to reopen its investigation into Joe Biden and his son Hunter, after Biden strongarmed Ukraine's prior government into firing its top prosecutor - something Trump and his attorney Rudy Giuliani have pursued for months . There are also unsupported rumors that Trump threatened to withhold $250 million in aid to help Ukraine fight Russian-backed separatists.

And while the MSM and Congressional Democrats are starting to focus on the sitting US president having a political opponent investigated, The New York Times admits that nothing Trump did would have been illegal , as "while Mr. Trump may have discussed intelligence activities with the foreign leader, he enjoys broad power as president to declassify intelligence secrets, order the intelligence community to act and otherwise direct the conduct of foreign policy as he sees fit."

Moreover, here's why Trump and Giuliani are going to dig their heels in; last year Biden openly bragged about threatening to hurl Ukraine into bankruptcy as Vice President if they didn't fire their top prosecutor , Viktor Shokin - who was leading a wide-ranging corruption investigation into a natural gas firm whose board Hunter Biden sat on.

In his own words, with video cameras rolling, Biden described how he threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 that the Obama administration would pull $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees , sending the former Soviet republic toward insolvency, if it didn't immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin. - The Hill

"I said, ' You're not getting the billion .' I'm going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ' I'm leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you're not getting the money, '" bragged Biden, recalling the conversation with Poroshenko.

" Well, son of a bitch, he got fired . And they put in place someone who was solid at the time," Biden said at the Council on Foreign Relations event - while insisting that former president Obama was complicit in the threat.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Q0_AqpdwqK4?start=3128

In short, there's both smoke and fire here - and what's left of Biden's 2020 bid for president may be the largest casualty of the entire whistleblower scandal.

And by the transitive properties of the Obama administration 'vetting' Trump by sending spies into his campaign, Trump can simply say he was protecting America from someone who may have used his position of power to directly benefit his own family at the expense of justice.

Congressional Democrats, meanwhile, are acting as if they've found the holy grail of taking Trump down. On Thursday, the House Intelligence Committee chaired by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) interviewed inspector general Michael Atkinson, with whom the whistleblower lodged their complaint - however despite three hours of testimony, he repeatedly declined to discuss the content of the complaint .

Following the session, Schiff gave an angry speech - demanding that acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire share the complaint , and calling the decision to withhold it "unprecedented."

"We cannot get an answer to the question about whether the White House is also involved in preventing this information from coming to Congress," said Schiff, adding "We're determined to do everything we can to determine what this urgent concern is to make sure that the national security is protected."

According to Schiff, someone "is trying to manipulate the system to keep information about an urgent matter from the Congress There certainly are a lot of indications that it was someone at a higher pay grade than the director of national intelligence," according to the Washington Post .

me title=

On thursday, Trump denied doing anything improper - tweeting " Virtually anytime I speak on the phone to a foreign leader, I understand that there may be many people listening from various U.S. agencies, not to mention those from the other country itself. "

"Knowing all of this, is anybody dumb enough to believe that I would say something inappropriate with a foreign leader while on such a potentially 'heavily populated' call. "

me title=

Giuliani, meanwhile, went on CNN with Chris Cuomo Thursday to defend his discussions with Ukraine about investigating alleged election interference in the 2016 election to the benefit of Hillary Clinton conducted by Ukraine's previous government. According to Giuliani, Biden's dealings in Ukraine were 'tangential' to the 2016 election interference question - in which a Ukrainian court ruled that government officials meddled for Hillary in 2016 by releasing details of Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort's 'Black Book' to Clinton campaign staffer Alexandra Chalupa.

me title=

And so - what the MSM doesn't appear to understand is that President Trump asking Ukraine to investigate Biden over something with legitimate underpinnings.

Which - of course, may lead to the Bidens' adventures in China , which Giuliani referred to in his CNN interview. And just like his Ukraine scandal , it involves actions which may have helped his son Hunter - who was making hand over fist in both countries.

Journalist Peter Schweizer, the author of Clinton Cash and now Secret Empires discovered that in 2013, then-Vice President Biden and his son Hunter flew together to China on Air Force Two - and two weeks later, Hunter's Journalist Peter Schweizer, the author of Clinton Cash and now Secret Empires discovered that in 2013, then-Vice President Biden and his son Hunter flew together to China on Air Force Two - and two weeks later, Hunter's firm inked a private equity deal for $1 billion with a subsidiary of the Chinese government's Bank of China , which expanded to $1.5 billion

Meanwhile, speculation is rampant over what this hornet's nest means for all involved...

Dan Bongino ✔ @dbongino

The latest intell hit on Trump tells me that the deep-state swamp rats are in a panic over the Ukrainian/Obama admin collusion about to be outed in the IG report. They're also freaked out over Biden's shady Ukrainian deals with his kid.


blindfaith , 18 seconds ago link

Hunter's firm inked a private equity deal for $1 billion with a subsidiary of the Chinese government's Bank of China , which expanded to $1.5 billion

Lets clarify this a bit. The 1 billion came from the RED CHINESE ARMY, lets call spade a spade here. And why? To buy into (invest in ) DARPA related contractors. The RED CHINESE NAVY was so impressed with little sonny's performance (meaning daddy's help), that they handed over an additions 500,000.

Without daddy's influence as VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, and that FREE PLANE RIDE on Air Force TWO with daddy holding sonny's little hand, little sonny never would have gotten past the ticket booth.

n0vocaine , 24 seconds ago link

"House Democrats are also looking into whether Giuliani flew to Ukraine to 'encourage' them to investigate Hunter Biden and his involvement with Burisma."

LOL looking into someone looking into a crime that may have been committed by a Democrat... they're some big brained individuals these dummycrats.

Tom Angle , 1 minute ago link

Putting him in the hot seat would be to ask why he sponsored a coup and backed a neo Nazi party. When he starts to lie, put up images of the party he back wearing inverted Das Reich arm bands and flying flags. Now that would be real journalism.

TahoeBilly2012 , 2 minutes ago link

"Blame your enemies for your crimes"

Everybodys All American , 12 minutes ago link

It's awfully clear that the US department of justice is not going to do a damn thing about the Biden family's corruption.

NotGonnaTakeItAnymore , 13 minutes ago link

The Bidens show precisely that power corrupts. They both need to be investigated and then jailed. To the countries of the world that depend on the USA for any kind of help, they had to deal with Joe 'what's in-it-for-me' Biden? What a disgrace for America.

I think every sitting President, Vice President, senator, and representative needs a yearly lie-detector test that asks but one question: "did you do anything in your official duties that personally benefited you or your family?"

Didn't you ever wonder how so many senators and representatives end up multi-millionaires after a couple terms in office?

The EveryThing Bubble , 14 minutes ago link

Why the fuuk do we have have to put up with this jackass. All the talk on cable, etc, is all ********. Trump is a fuuking crook, and Barr is his bag man,. He has surrounded hinmself with toadies, cowards , incompetents and a trash family. Rise up, call your representatives, March on DC get this crook out of office.
Call anyone you can think of, challenge them to overcome their cowardice, including members of congress, cabinet, your governor

And finally Vote this bastard out in 2020

RozKo , 11 minutes ago link

Same could be said for the Democrats and all their Russian collusion lies and Beto wants to FORCE people to sell their weapons to the government, right.......

RabbitOne , 14 minutes ago link

" ...The complaint <against the president> involved communications with a foreign leader and a "promise" that Trump made, which was so alarming that a U.S. intelligence official <who monitored Trumps call> who had worked at the White House went to the inspector general of the intelligence community, two former U.S. officials said. ..."

What this tells:

1. If president Trump is monitored this way our spooks know the number of hairs in our crotches...

2. If we convicted on promises most in congress would be hung by the neck til dead for treason for not following the constitution...

turbojarhead , 58 seconds ago link

Anybody that thinks that Trump, having had Roy Cohn as his mentor, and working in cut-throat NY real estate for years, AND having dealt with political snakes for many years..would allow himself to be taped saying something on a call that he KNOWS the Intel Community is listening in, is not paying attention.

This will backfire on the Dems and the media. Trump set them all up again..

My guess is the Dems will be hounding the IC for the complaint, will call Barr and the DNI in an investigation ran live on CNN and MSNBC..that will show how corrupt Biden was. Everytime you hear Alexandra Chalupa's name come up, look for the MSM to go ballistic..she is the tell in this one also. It cannot be allowed for the plebes to find out how Manafort was setup, Ukraine assisted the DNC in the fake Russian election interference farce..hey, guess what, guess who is an ardent Ukraininan nationalist? The head of Crowdstrike. Chalupa and Alparovich, the names that will bring down more dirty Dems than anyone in history.

Gold Banit , 15 minutes ago link

I have a trick question for for all of the DemoRats posters here!

Who is your President and will be for the next 6 years?

Hint

It is not your Hillary or your Putin......Fact......LMFAO

schroedingersrat , 21 minutes ago link

For days we've been treated to MSM insinuations that President Trump may have betrayed the United States

Trump is a traitor, but he does not work for either Ukraine nor Russia but instead he works for Israel first and foremost! He even admits it himself. Lol he doesn't even give a shite when Israel taps his phone :)

blindfaith , 27 minutes ago link

House Democrats are also looking into whether Giuliani flew to Ukraine to 'encourage' them to investigate Hunter Biden and his involvement with Burisma.

This bunch of filthy swine should be looking up each others asses for answers. Actually the Ukrainians have been screaming for over a year at the DOJ and FBI to take the evidence they have. But the rotten to the core Democrat socialist lefties wanted to block it.

otschelnik , 25 minutes ago link

Six ways to Sunday. This is another **** bomb that'll blow up in the dimocrat's faces, it will take Biden down.

Warren = Trump 2020.

Ex-Kalifornian , 27 minutes ago link

This does nothing to Biden because he gets a free pass on corruption like every other dem.....

vasilievich , 27 minutes ago link

This is all beginning to read like one those Roman histories of the decay of the Empire.

[Sep 18, 2019] An Excellent Study Of The Manufactured Labour "Antisemitism Crisis" by Kenneth Surin

Notable quotes:
"... The results showed that on average people believed that a third of Labour Party members had been reported for antisemitism. A key part of the authors' investigation was to examine how it could be that so many people came to believe this when the actual figure was far less than 1%. ..."
"... What is clear is that for Ukania's Joe and Jill Normal, who don't often go beyond the newspaper headlines to look at news source ..."
"... The crucial factor here is that no matter what steps Labour's left leadership takes to deal with the party's antisemitism problems (and these steps have been taken, unevenly and somewhat slowly), those bent on ousting Corbyn as leader for reasons internal to the party's politics will not cease their efforts no matter what Labour does to address antisemitism within its membership. ..."
"... The perfect example here is Tom Watson, Labour's deputy leader, who is on the payroll of the UK's Zionist lobby. Watson did his utmost to stoke the fires of the antisemitism crisis. Sensing now he has played his full hand on this issue, he is currently using Brexit as his foil for attacking Corbyn. ..."
Sep 18, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

I've just finished reading the uncorrected proof copy an excellent study of the manufactured Labour "antisemitism crisis". [Greg Philo, Mike Berry, Antony Lerman, Justin Schlossberg and David Miller, Bad News for Labour: Antisemitism, the Party & Public Belief (London: Pluto Press, 2019)]

The launching point for the book's analysis is a national poll, accompanied by the use of focus groups, on how people make judgments and form opinions.

The results showed that on average people believed that a third of Labour Party members had been reported for antisemitism. A key part of the authors' investigation was to examine how it could be that so many people came to believe this when the actual figure was far less than 1%.

The book focuses on how this chasm between (mis)perception came to exist. The authors used questionnaires as part of their survey, and the anonymous written answers show just how ignorant and poorly informed many Brits are -- a significant percentage believe what they read in the trashy rightwing tabloids or what they see on TV!

Some focus group members even believed Corbyn would bring in Sharia Law if elected.

Bad News for Labour begins with an overview of the focus group discussions. Several participants in the focus groups who came believing that a third of Labour Party members had been reported for antisemitism revised this number downwards, sensibly, as the group discussions went on and participants took to educating each other.

At the same time focus group members believed the controversy has done serious damage to the party.

What is clear is that for Ukania's Joe and Jill Normal, who don't often go beyond the newspaper headlines to look at news sources, etc., it is the case that

MASSIVE MEDIA COVEREAGE OF X = X MUST BE A BIG PROBLEM.

Bad News for Labour then looks at the plethora of competing positions and interests within Labour which created a confusing context for dealing with the antisemitism controversy. The authors identify 3 main areas:

1) the argument that there was a significant and widespread problem regarding antisemitism within the Labour Party;

2) that the issue was being used to undermine Labour's left leadership, and specifically Jeremy Corbyn, as part of the internal politics of the Party;

3) that the controversy was linked to the defence of Israel and attempts to change Labour policy with regard to that state.

The crucial factor here is that no matter what steps Labour's left leadership takes to deal with the party's antisemitism problems (and these steps have been taken, unevenly and somewhat slowly), those bent on ousting Corbyn as leader for reasons internal to the party's politics will not cease their efforts no matter what Labour does to address antisemitism within its membership.

The perfect example here is Tom Watson, Labour's deputy leader, who is on the payroll of the UK's Zionist lobby. Watson did his utmost to stoke the fires of the antisemitism crisis. Sensing now he has played his full hand on this issue, he is currently using Brexit as his foil for attacking Corbyn.

Labour has edged its way towards a fragile truce within itself on Brexit, by making the ridding of Johnson and the Tories its priority, so that having a general election is the first objective, and only after that can such matters as a second EU referendum with options of a viable deal and remain be contemplated.

Watson is now trying to upset this arrangement by saying a second Brexit referendum has to come before a general election (echoing a position taken by Blair a few days before) -- a ridiculous proposition, because having a referendum first will simply reopen divisions within Labour that existed during and after the first Brexit referendum. Far better to win an election, which will leave Labour more in control of events (and probably more united by virtue of electoral success), and then tackle the thorny matter of a second EU referendum.

Watson was promptly slapped down by Corbyn.

Bad News for Labour sensibly suggests that the best way for Corbyn and the party's left to overcome these attempts by Labour's mainly Blairite rightwing to undermine the Left is for the Blairites to be deselected by their local Labour parties as candidates in the next election.

Several Blairites, knowing they face deselection, have already jumped ship and joined the centrist Lib Dems while a couple went on to be Independents. Other Blairites, knowing which way the wind is blowing, have announced they won't be standing in the next election.

The outrage of the Labour Zionists making life difficult for Corbyn is highly selective. It is certainly true that some of these Labour MPs received antisemitic abuse (though mainly from people who were not party members).

At the same time, the Labour politician Diane Abbott, a Corbyn ally who is shadow home secretary/interior minister, was targetted by racists, though this has received much less media attention. Amnesty International's research showed that Abbott received 45% of all abusive tweets sent to female MPs in the 6 weeks before the 2017 election.

The crux of Labour's antisemitism controversy is the bruhaha over its grudging acceptance of the flawed International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of "antisemitism". The media's coverage of this controversy was framed by 2 assumptions: that under Corbyn antisemitism in Labour had become "institutionalized", and that Corbyn and his associates had failed to counter this.

The IHRA definition is deeply flawed, so much so that it is deemed not fit to be given any legal standing.

Media coverage of Labour's disputes with this definition cloak this fact by referring to it as "the widely accepted IHRA definition", "the widely accepted definition put forward by the IHRA", "the IHRA's widely accepted definition", "the global definition of antisemitism", "the globally recognized definition", "the near universally accepted definition", and so on, in effect suggesting that Labour was completely out of line in its reluctance to accept the 38-word definition, despite the fact that a powerful body of legal opinion saw it as a hopelessly vague statement accompanied by a rag-bag of "examples".

The IHRA examples in effect make it automatic that any characterization of Israel as "racist" is perforce "antisemitic", in this way placing Israel's apartheid policy towards Palestinians beyond criticism.

Under immense pressure Labour alas caved-in and accepted the definition and all its examples.

Perhaps the fact that the Equalities and Human Rights Commission's announcement in May that it was investigating Labour's handling of antisemitism complaints following submissions from the Jewish Labour Movement and the Campaign Against Antisemitism had something to do with Labour's capitulation on this score.

Bad News for Labour therefore trades on a double entendre -- news that is bad for Labour, but also "faux news" that itself is bad precisely because of its all-too-common distortions, biases, and underlying malicious intent. It's no surprise that two Murdoch papers, The Times and Sun , have been at the forefront of this campaign against Labour.

Perhaps more surprising are the outfits that kept company with Murdoch newspapers in this campaign against Corbyn, namely, the supposedly objective BBC and the "progressive" Guardian , both of which matched the Murdoch rags step for step in a rush for the gutter.

Bad News for Labour presents a flood of evidence detailing how this campaign was confected and what its effects on the party have been.

Since I'm a British citizen I'll be in the UK next week attending the Labour Party annual conference as a member-delegate. Testing the waters on this issue will be interesting to say the least.

Meanwhile the media say nary a word about the rampant Islamophobia in the Conservative Party (starting with its leader, BoJo, and his insouciantly feeble jokes about burka-wearing women looking like "letter boxes" and "bank robbers", and so on), and the fact that surveys show antisemitism to be more prevalent in the Tories than it is in Labour.

As Americans say: go figure.

Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Kenneth Surin

Kenneth Surin teaches at Duke University, North Carolina. He lives in Blacksburg, Virginia

[Sep 06, 2019] Paul Craig Roberts Will The Matrix Prevail

Sep 06, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

https://www.dianomi.com/smartads.epl?id=4777 Paul Craig Roberts: Will The Matrix Prevail?

by Tyler Durden Fri, 09/06/2019 - 18:35 0 SHARES

Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,

Readers have kept this website going longer than I had hoped. It is a lot of work for me. My columns and those of guests generate a lot of appreciation and also a lot of demonization and expressions of hatred toward me .

The slightest criticism of Israel labels one an anti-semite. People who are aware understand that this word is so over-used that it has become meaningless, but the insouciant conclude that if you are labeled an anti-semite you are some kind of monster who wants to harm Jews. If you point out the double-standards that white people suffer, you get branded a "racist white supremacist." If you point out that #MeToo feminists are criminalizing heterosexual sexual attraction, you become a misogynist . If you expose the official lies fed to the American people -- Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, Assad's use of chemical weapons, Iranian nukes, Russian invasion of Ukraine, 9/11, Gulf of Tonkin, and so on -- you are dismissed as a "conspiracy theorist" who hates America. Instead of seeing you as someone who is trying to rescue America, morons ask "If you hate America so much, why don't you move to Russia?" or Iran, or China, or Venezuela, or to whatever is the demonized and attacked country that the moron believes is getting its just reward.

Every year it becomes harder to tell the truth about anything. If you do too much truth-telling, as I am inclined to do, they come after you in droves. I had to stop websites that reproduce my columns, at least the ones I know about, from posting comments, because all sorts of paid trolls libel me and then spread the libel all over social media. Their purpose is to discredit me and to scare readers away from my website. It does work. When the mysterious site PropOrNot, financed by no one knows who, put me on a list of "Russian agents and Putin stooges," thousands dropped off the newsletter list.

Then they use Wikipedia, being an open biographical source that permits anyone to control your public image, to brand you an anti-semite, a conspiracy theorist, and a holocaust denier. Perhaps you remember my column, "The Lies About WW II" , a review of David Irving's World War II histories -- Churchill's War and Hitler's War. These are not the standard victor's history written to make us feel good about ourselves. To the contrary, Irving's histories are based on decades of historical investigation and on official documents, speeches, letters, and memoirs. Irving went around the world interviewing those who lived the experience. He found documents such as Rommel's and Goebbels' diaries, examined every document concerning the German government's Jewish policy, disproved the fake Hitler diaries, and so on. His books are regarded by objective historians as masterpieces. Yet, he was shut down. He told too much truth, an unacceptable sin.

In my extensive review of Irving's histories, I gave a summary paragraph of documentary evidence Irving provides of massacres of Jews and reported his conclusion that there was a holocaust of sorts but one different from the official picture. The definition of the Holocaust is the official Zionist story. To provide a holocaust description that differs from the official one makes a person a Holocaust Denier even if he describes a holocaust. And thus Irving's account makes him a Holocaust Denier. What Wikipedia did to me was to misrepresent my description of Irving's views as my own views and put me in the category of Holocaust Denier. It took forever to get the misrepresentation corrected. There are still problems with my biography in Wikipedia, but I have given up. Every time corrections are made they are erased. An open sourced biography requires far more integrity than exists, and this is the reason that Wikipedia is unreliable. You can only dare rely on Wikipedia for people and issues devoid of controversy. Basically, in my experience, Wikipedia is a mechanism for discrediting people who tell the truth.

As I often report, the vast majority of people are brainwashed by the propaganda that serves the ruling interests. They are too weak both mentally and emotionally to handle anything that is not the established view. It simply scares them and they run away. So when you write you know you are writing only for a select few.

The only way you can do this is to believe Margaret Mead that it only takes a few people to change the world. I think this was once true. Lenin and the Bolshevikls were a very few, and so were the Founding Fathers of the United States. But today our rulers have such extraordinary control mechanisms. Not that long ago the Internet was believed to be an instrument for freedom of speech, but they can shut you out and make you invisible. Alex Jones, for example, has been severed from youtube and social media as have others. Google's search engine is instructed not to find disapproved commentators in searches. Large well-funded Internet sites funded by ruling interests can, along with the print and TV media, demonize you, as has been done to Julian Assange and Manning and even to the Presidents of the United States and Russia. I have already noticed that some dissident websites that were credible and resisting The Matrix have pulled in their horns. They fear that too much truth will marginalize them.

The Saker describes the censorship:

"What we are witnessing today is a new age of censorship in which government and corporations work hand in hand to crush (ban, censor, demonetize, algorithmically purge and otherwise silence) all those who challenge the official ideology and its many narratives. It would be naïve to the extreme to assume that the so-called 'alternative media' and blogosphere have been spared such an effort at silencing heresies."

It has always been the case that the messanger is shot, but at least in former times the message could be heard. Today you can be shot and the message thrown down the Memory Hole.

I am tiring of the slings and arrows and all the ignorant, narcissistic, and rude emails that I receive. These letters don't come from my readers. They come from the paid trolls. The Saker describes their function:

"These are the folks whose task it is to obfuscate the real issues, to bury them under tons of vapid ideological nonsense; the best way to do that is to misdirect any discussion away from the original topic and sidetrack it into either a barrage of ad hominems or ideological clichés."

Some are not content to convince me once or even twice that they are blithering idiots, but insist on doing so every day. It is extraordinary how proud some are to demonstrate themselves as fools incapable of comprehending what they read. As an example, my recent columns about the use of the El Paso mass shooting to demonize white people, in which I quote people calling for the extermination of the white race, have resulted in me being denounced on other websites for "preaching hate," when in fact I am quoting those who are preaching hate and asking why are they doing so.

So, if you want to stop supporting this website, I won't cry. Indeed, I will be relieved of a burden, and can insulate myself from the stupidity of people. I have just about arrived at the conclusion that "intelligent American" is an oxymoron. Many readers have shared their frustrations of trying to inform friends and relatives that CNN doesn't always have the facts. I have the same experience with some friends and relatives. When I get questions from persons too brainwashed for truth to penetrate, I reply that I don't know, ask CNN.

This website is a contract between me and readers. As long as readers support the site, I will write what I think is the truth as long as I have the mental acuity and energy to do so. My agenda is the truth. Truth is truth. It is not race-truth, class-truth, gender- and transgender-truth, Identity Politics-truth, Republican-truth, Democratic-truth, liberal-truth, conservative-truth, libertarian-truth, leftwing-truth or any other kind of hyphenated truth.

If you are more interested in my typos than my content, find something else to read. Keep in mind that my fingers are aging and at times suffer from arthritis, my keyboard is worn out, new ones don't fit my computer, and typos result. After the millions of words I have written in my lifetime, it is impossible to proof read myself, and I don't always have a proof reader at hand. I have turned off the spellcheck, because Apple also substitutes words for you, and if you don't notice because you are focused on content, you can end up with puzzling sentences. The digital revolution is not the blessing that you are brainwashed to believe.

September is always the worst month for an appeal, but if you use the calendar year, that is where the quarter falls. I know you are busted. You blew it on a summer vacation and on the Labor Day 3-day weekend fling. But keep in mind that my energy and my will are what your support energizes.

The ruling elite have the American people so well insulated from reality behind empty patriotic and democratic slogans that not many of them can be reached.

To be rescued from The Matrix you have to already be extraordinary. I am not a savior who can rescue you, but I can push you toward self-rescue. If you want to have a free mind, you can achieve it, but you must have the emotional strength for it. Things are not as you have been trained to perceive them. There is evil and corruption all around you. And it is in places and words that you have been taught to respect.

From the beginnings of time there have been humans who have wanted to know the truth about things. Truth was the purpose of early philosophy. The scientific revolution gave humans a chance at some natural truths, and they had to be fought for. Today money is the main determinant of "truth." "Truth" is what money says, and money has the power to enforce "truth." Real truth, such as I attempt to tell, is not welcome today by any government or ruling interest anywhere in the Western World or in those countries that have been corrupted by the Western World. Indeed, the enemy of truth today is no longer in Moscow or China. The enemy is in Washington, New York, and Hollywood, in CNN, MSNBC, NPR, New York Times, Washington Post, and in the universities and scientists who lie for money, and in the superrich who control these entities , including Congress, the Executive Branch and Oval Office, and Judiciary.

Of all the endangered species, Truth is the most endangered. I am watching it go out.


alfredossister , 16 minutes ago link

Or will professional liars like Paul Craig Roberts prevail? Probably. Because there are armies of gullible nitwits out there like the ones who post here who will believe anything. No logic, reason or evidence required. Notwithstanding Robert's bogus claims, David Irving didn't write any 'histories' because he wasn't an historian. His pretense at being one was exposed in court almost 20 years.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2000/apr/12/uk.irving#targetText=In%20a%20devastating%20judgment%2C%20Mr,loss%20of%20his%20Mayfair%20flat.

morethan1 , 22 minutes ago link

The enemy of truth is ALL THOSE listed INCLUDING Moscow and China. But it is mostly laziness and comfortable wealth.

malek , 23 minutes ago link

So how much has Zerohedge "pulled in their horns"?

IMHO quite a lot. The ratio of articles on ZH not spewing bullshite or outright propaganda has now dropped to about 0.2, in my estimate.
Do they do it to "balance" the red pilling with other crap, i.e. so to not stick out too much? That's everone's guess...

Proudly Unaffiliated , 29 minutes ago link

Memo to Paul Craig Roberts: You are a national treasure. And the very attacks you suffer are a direct result of (I hate to use a cliche but...) the fact you are speaking truth to power. Good on you, my man! Perhaps this is your mission in life and, if so, I encourage you to pursue it no matter The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Only you can decide. In the meantime, three score and ten shekels are on the way so you might be able to keep hope alive. MAGA 2020!

Roacheforque , 45 minutes ago link

Paul,

In our derivative world (your Matrix) truth is irrelevant. Truth is hypothecated. For every ounce of truth, there are 100 ounces of lies that are "as good as truth". And these shape our reality. You say that:

"Truth" is what money says, and money has the power to enforce "truth."

But how did money come to have such power? Because it is created at will, by the click of a mouse, by a corporatist class of money-elites, whose absolute power has corrupted them absolutely, and corrupted our value system. This is how money has the power to enforce the "derivative truth" ... the lies that our value system has been bound to.

It is a curse to know this, but take heart. You are not alone. Many remain silent, and some speak "under the radar". But they still speak, with honor. With integrity.

Keep the faith.

-R

hongdo , 1 hour ago link

PCR. Don't over-estimate the coherence, will, or intelligence of the enemy. An enemy that doesn't fight you has already prepared the path for your destruction and knows it. An enemy that fights furiously is not sure of the timeline or outcome or his own strength to last the duration.

What is amazing is the platform given to individual nuts bitching about pronouns, privilege, racism, or some other irrelevant topic. The less important the noisier. Mere emotional distractions. Don't focus on their topics, point out the stupidity if you want, but get back on topic espousing your own agenda. The Bill of Rights is a good focal point to show their points and demands conflict with the freedom, respect and responsible behavior required for a successful society.

Keep up the good work. I hope to be reading your articles until the times finally change as they must.

[Aug 26, 2019] CONFIRMED: YouTube Censors Anti-Protest Channels in Bid to Bolster New Color Revolution in Hong Kong, China

Aug 26, 2019 | 21stcenturywire.com

This week, Silicon Valley giant YouTube has taken a string out of China's bow by deplatforming some 210 channels for posting content criticizing the recent Hong Kong protests, claiming that channels were somehow " sowing political discord " on behalf of the Chinese government.

The Google subsidiary accused the channels of acting "in a coordinated manner." Their move was the most recent in a clear pattern of censorship, along with social media giants Facebook and Twitter who recently censored pro-Chinese accounts in a move critics have called 'arbitrary' censorship.

SEE ALSO: Google Insider Gives 950 Pages of Documents to DOJ

In a blog post this past Thursday, Google threat analyst Shane Huntley said," Channels in this network behaved in a coordinated manner while uploading videos related to the ongoing protests in Hong Kong. "

Huntley added that Google's supposed " discovery " was somehow "consistent with recent observations and actions related to China announced by Facebook and Twitter."

The hypocrisy of the Silicon Valley firms is breathtaking nonetheless. Even the Washington Post was forced to point out that in accusing China of disinformation, Twitter and Facebook take on an authoritarian role they've always sought to reject:

"The move underscored the awkward and largely uncharted territory the companies have attempted to navigate in the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election in the United States, where Facebook and Twitter faced furious public and political pressure to stem the tide of disinformation on their platforms. Once vehemently opposed to being seen as "arbiters of truth," both have since built major operations to detect and dismantle forms of online manipulation -- even if it means angering important global actors such as the Chinese government."

Twitter and Facebook are also using the same tactics to selectively shut down established writers who use pen names, including one of the most prolific bloggers specializing in foreign affairs over the last decade, Tony Cartalucci , who was deplatformed for exposing US-backed unrest and 'color revolutions' in countries like Thailand, China, Syria and elsewhere. He remarked after the fact:

"Tony Cartalucci is my pen name and a form of anonyminity – it is not a "fictitious persona." I write in a country where US-backed political agitators – referred to as "democracy activists" in the Reuters article – regularly use deadly violence against their opponents. And if writing under a pen name or anonymously is grounds for expulsion from both Facebook and Twitter, what is The Economist still doing on either platform? The Economist's articles are all admittedly written anonymously ."

Regarding the Hong Kong controversy, Google claims that it knows the Chinese state was attempting to "influence" public opinion against the protesters because of the " use of VPNs " as well as " other methods of disguise. " In actuality, nearly all Chinese internet users who seek any outside news or international perspectives regularly use some form of VPN masking to bypass various information firewalls. The same in the Middle East, and even in Europe, as US regulators continue to force a gradual balkanization of the internet based on global regions.

The issue of US-based digital monopoly firms attempting to manage online discourse globally – is officially a global problem now. As Chinese officials have rightly pointed out: there is no more ambiguity on the issue, as the US is using its overwhelming ownership of internet platforms to fix marketplace of ideas in favor of is own policies – including regime change. Even The Post spells it out clearly:

"There is no international consensus over what qualifies as permissible speech -- or permissible tactics in spreading that speech, whether it comes from government operatives or anybody else."

READ MORE GOOGLE NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Google Files

SUPPORT OUR MEDIA PLATFORM – BECOME A MEMBER @ 21WIRE.TV

[Aug 24, 2019] The sin of omission is the greatest sin the media commits all day long

Aug 24, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

CitizenOne , August 22, 2019 at 19:55

Here is a mind bending fact. The sin of omission is the greatest sin the media commits all day long.

You could go on and on about it.

Where are the howls about impending doom with global warming threatening to decimate life on Earth?
Where are the howls over the Supreme Court Rulings that threw campaign finance limits out the window?
Same for Net Neutrality
Same for international comparisons of health care costs.
Same for alternative theories about the US foreign policy that has been wrong about intelligence every time but we never look back.
Where are those ethics committees in the Capital who make sure everything is being conducted appropriately. Do we really believe there is no corruption?
What about oil companies that hid information about global warming
Ever heard of the Carlyle Group and its relationship with nations as the biggest weapons dealer?
Does anyone really know the scope of Cambridge Analytica and why they got just slapped and mentioned for a week then they were allowed to slip into oblivion.
How about Operation Hemisphere?
Why is black box voting not an issue and why were republicans so quick to protect it and kill paper ballots?

The answer is they are getting away with all this stuff because they own the microphone. Kind of odd that all the investigation into the case of this or that is always some local channel or independent organization like this one.

If you have absolutely no clue why all this is not being shouted from the highest rooftops the answer is it is but you will never know that.

[Aug 20, 2019] Propagandists Freak Out Over Gabbard s Destruction of Harris by Caitlin Johnstone

Highly recommended!
all neocon scum instantly had risen to the surface to defend the neoliberal empire and its wars...
Notable quotes:
"... In the race to determine who will serve as commander in chief of the most powerful military force in the history of civilization, night two of the CNN Democratic presidential debates saw less than six minutes dedicated to discussing U.S. military policy during the 180-minute event. ..."
"... That's six, as in the number before seven. Not 60. Not 16. Six. From the moment Jake Tapper said "I want to turn to foreign policy" to the moment Don Lemon interrupted Rep. Tulsi Gabbard just as she was preparing to correctly explain how President Donald Trump is supporting Al-Qaeda in Idlib , approximately five minutes and 50 seconds had elapsed. The questions then turned toward the Mueller report on Russian interference in the 2016 elections and impeachment proceedings. ..."
"... But the near-absence of foreign policy discussion didn't stop the Hawaii lawmaker from getting in some unauthorized truth-telling anyway. Attacking the authoritarian prosecutorial record of Sen. Kamala Harris to thunderous applause from the audience, Gabbard criticized the way her opponent "put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana;" "blocked evidence that would have freed an innocent man from death row until the court's forced her to do so;" "kept people in prisons beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor for the state of California;" and "fought to keep the cash bail system in place that impacts poor people in the worst kind of way." ..."
"... That was all it took. Harris's press secretary Ian Sams unleashed a string of tweets about Gabbard being an "Assad apologist," which were followed by a deluge of establishment narrative managers who sent the word "Assad" trending on Twitter, at times when Gabbard's name somehow failed to trend despite being the top-searched candidate on Google after the debate. ..."
"... "Somehow I have a hard time believing that 'Assad' is the top trending item in the United States but 'Tulsi' is nowhere to be found," tweeted journalist Michael Tracey. ..."
"... It really is interesting how aggressively the narrative managers thrust this line into mainstream consciousness all at the same time. ..."
"... The Washington Post 's Josh Rogin went on a frantic, lie-filled Twitter storm as soon as he saw an opportunity, claiming with no evidence whatsoever that Gabbard lied when she said she met with Assad for purposes of diplomacy and that she "helped Assad whitewash a mass atrocity," and falsely claiming that " she praised Russian bombing of Syrian civilians ." ..."
"... War is the glue that holds the empire together . A politician can get away with opposing some aspects of the status quo when it comes to healthcare or education, but war as a strategy for maintaining global dominance is strictly off limits. This is how you tell the difference between someone who actually wants to change things and someone who's just going through the motions for show; the real rebels forcefully oppose the actual pillars of empire by calling for an end to military bloodshed, while the performers just stick to the safe subjects. ..."
"... The shrill, hysterical pushback that Gabbard received last night was very encouraging, because it means she's forcing them to fight back. In a media environment where the war propaganda machine normally coasts along almost entirely unhindered in mainstream attention, the fact that someone has positioned themselves to move the needle like this says good things for our future. If our society is to have any chance of ever throwing off the omnicidal, ecocidal power establishment which keeps us in a state of endless war and soul-crushing oppression, the first step is punching a hole in the narrative matrix which keeps us hypnotized into believing that this is all normal and acceptable. ..."
"... Her immediate response to the first question directed to her, regardless of topic, should be prefaced with something like "I would appreciate the media and the opposition please refrain from deliberately misrepresenting my policies and remarks, most notably trying to tar me with more of the fallacious war propaganda they both dispense so freely and without any foundation. ..."
"... Gabbard has any chance to be elected only if she starts vigorously throwing over the tables of the money-lenders in the temple, so to speak. ..."
"... Hide the empire in plain sight, that way no one will notice it. Then someone like Tulsi Gabbard goes and talks about it on national TV. Can't have that, can we? People might begin to see it if we do that ..."
"... Pro war democrats are now using the Russian ruse to go after anti war candidates like Gabbard. It's despicable to even insinuate Gabbard is working for Putin or had any other rationale for going to Syria than seeking peace. This alone proved Harris unfit for the presidency. Her awful record speaks for itself. ..."
"... And she has courage. She quit the DNC to support Bernie and went to Syria to seek the truth and peace. ..."
"... She is unique. The media is trying Ron-Paul-Type-Blackout on her, lest the public catches on to the fact that she is exactly what the country needs. ..."
"... Warmonger candidates had better reconsider their positions if they believe that voters will back their stance. Just ask Hillary Clinton how that worked out for her and her warrior mentality in 2016. ..."
"... she has cross over appeal with republicans who want out of the wars. People like Tucker Carson and Paul Craig Roberts support her. Thats why the DNC hate her.. ..."
"... There's an obvious effort to Jane Fodarize Tulsi before she threatens the favorites. She seems to keep a cool head, so much of it is likely to backfire and bring the narrative back where it belongs. ..."
"... In contrast to Gabbard, a service member with extensive middle east combat experience, Cooper is a chickenhawk and a naif to murder and torture; ..."
"... "Whoever controls the narrative controls the world. Whoever disrupts that narrative control is doing the real work." ..."
"... I read "narrative control" as brainwashing. ..."
Aug 02, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Establishment narrative managers distracted attention from a notable antiwar contender, seizing instead the chance to marshal an old smear against her, writes Caitlin Johnstone.

In the race to determine who will serve as commander in chief of the most powerful military force in the history of civilization, night two of the CNN Democratic presidential debates saw less than six minutes dedicated to discussing U.S. military policy during the 180-minute event.

That's six, as in the number before seven. Not 60. Not 16. Six. From the moment Jake Tapper said "I want to turn to foreign policy" to the moment Don Lemon interrupted Rep. Tulsi Gabbard just as she was preparing to correctly explain how President Donald Trump is supporting Al-Qaeda in Idlib , approximately five minutes and 50 seconds had elapsed. The questions then turned toward the Mueller report on Russian interference in the 2016 elections and impeachment proceedings.

Night one of the CNN debates saw almost twice as much time, with a whole 11 minutes by my count dedicated to questions of war and peace for the leadership of the most warlike nation on the planet. This discrepancy could very well be due to the fact that night two was the slot allotted to Gabbard, whose campaign largely revolves around the platform of ending U.S. warmongering.

CNN is a virulent establishment propaganda firm with an extensive history of promoting lies and brazen psyops in facilitation of U.S. imperialism, so it would make sense that they would try to avoid a subject which would inevitably lead to unauthorized truth-telling on the matter.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Cfp_IIdVnXs?feature=oembed

But the near-absence of foreign policy discussion didn't stop the Hawaii lawmaker from getting in some unauthorized truth-telling anyway. Attacking the authoritarian prosecutorial record of Sen. Kamala Harris to thunderous applause from the audience, Gabbard criticized the way her opponent "put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana;" "blocked evidence that would have freed an innocent man from death row until the court's forced her to do so;" "kept people in prisons beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor for the state of California;" and "fought to keep the cash bail system in place that impacts poor people in the worst kind of way."

Harris Folded Under Pressure

Harris, who it turns out fights very well when advancing but folds under pressure, had no answer for Gabbard's attack, preferring to focus on attacking former Vice President Joe Biden instead.

Later, when she was a nice safe distance out of Gabbard's earshot, she uncorked a long-debunked but still effective smear that establishment narrative managers have been dying for an excuse to run wild with.

"This, coming from someone who has been an apologist for an individual, Assad, who has murdered the people of his country like cockroaches," Harris told Anderson Cooper after the debate, referring to the president of Syria. "She who has embraced and been an apologist for him in a way that she refuses to call him a war criminal. I can only take what she says and her opinion so seriously and so I'm prepared to move on."

That was all it took. Harris's press secretary Ian Sams unleashed a string of tweets about Gabbard being an "Assad apologist," which were followed by a deluge of establishment narrative managers who sent the word "Assad" trending on Twitter, at times when Gabbard's name somehow failed to trend despite being the top-searched candidate on Google after the debate.

As of this writing, "Assad" is showing on the No. 5 trending list on the side bar of Twitter's new layout, while Gabbard's name is nowhere to be seen. This discrepancy has drawn criticism from numerous Gabbard defenders on the platform .

"Somehow I have a hard time believing that 'Assad' is the top trending item in the United States but 'Tulsi' is nowhere to be found," tweeted journalist Michael Tracey.

It really is interesting how aggressively the narrative managers thrust this line into mainstream consciousness all at the same time.

The Washington Post 's Josh Rogin went on a frantic, lie-filled Twitter storm as soon as he saw an opportunity, claiming with no evidence whatsoever that Gabbard lied when she said she met with Assad for purposes of diplomacy and that she "helped Assad whitewash a mass atrocity," and falsely claiming that " she praised Russian bombing of Syrian civilians ."

... ... ...

War is the glue that holds the empire together . A politician can get away with opposing some aspects of the status quo when it comes to healthcare or education, but war as a strategy for maintaining global dominance is strictly off limits. This is how you tell the difference between someone who actually wants to change things and someone who's just going through the motions for show; the real rebels forcefully oppose the actual pillars of empire by calling for an end to military bloodshed, while the performers just stick to the safe subjects.

The shrill, hysterical pushback that Gabbard received last night was very encouraging, because it means she's forcing them to fight back. In a media environment where the war propaganda machine normally coasts along almost entirely unhindered in mainstream attention, the fact that someone has positioned themselves to move the needle like this says good things for our future. If our society is to have any chance of ever throwing off the omnicidal, ecocidal power establishment which keeps us in a state of endless war and soul-crushing oppression, the first step is punching a hole in the narrative matrix which keeps us hypnotized into believing that this is all normal and acceptable.

Whoever controls the narrative controls the world. Whoever disrupts that narrative control is doing the real work.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium . Follow her work on Facebook , Twitter , or her website . She has a podcast and a new book " Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers ."


Realist , August 2, 2019 at 20:06

I'm going to venture a guess and say that the media fixers for the Deep State's political song and dance show are not going to allow Tulsi back on that stage for the next installation of "Killer Klowns on Parade." Just as she had the right to skewer Harris for her sweeping dishonesty and hypocrisy in public office, she has just as much right to proactively respond to the smears and slanders directed against her by both the party establishment and its media colluders.

Her immediate response to the first question directed to her, regardless of topic, should be prefaced with something like "I would appreciate the media and the opposition please refrain from deliberately misrepresenting my policies and remarks, most notably trying to tar me with more of the fallacious war propaganda they both dispense so freely and without any foundation. It is beneath all dignity to attempt to win elections with lies and deceptions, just as it is to use them as pretexts for wars of choice that bring no benefit to either America or the countries being attacked. As I've repeatedly made clear, I only want to stop the wasteful destruction and carnage, but you deceitfully try to imply that I'm aligned with one of the several foreign governments that our leaders have needlessly and foolishly chosen to make war upon. You've done so on this stage and you've continued this misrepresentation throughout the American media. Please stop it. Play fair. Confine your remarks only to the truth."

That would raise a kerfuffle, but one that is distinctly called for. Going gently towards exit stage right consequent to their unanswered lies will accomplish nothing. If the Dems choose to excommunicate her for such effrontery, she should run as a Green, or an independent. This is a danger the Dem power structure dare not allow to happen. They don't even want the particulars of the actual history of these wars discussed in public. Thus, they will not even give her the chance to offer a rejoinder such as I outlined above. They will simply rule that she does not qualify for any further debates based on her polling numbers (which can be faked) and/or her financial support numbers. That is nominally how they've already decided to winnow down the field to the few who are acceptable to the Deep State–preferably Harris, Biden or Booker. Someone high profile but owned entirely by the insider elites. Yes, this rules out Bernie and maybe even Warren unless she secretly signed a blood pact with Wall Street to walk away from her platform if elected.

Gabbard has any chance to be elected only if she starts vigorously throwing over the tables of the money-lenders in the temple, so to speak.

Tom Kath , August 2, 2019 at 20:05

There is a big difference between "PRINCIPLES" and "POLICY". Principles should never change, but policy must. This is where I believe Tulsi can not only make a big difference, but ultimately even win. – Not this time around perhaps, she is young and this difference will take time to reveal itself.

O Society , August 2, 2019 at 16:39

Hide the empire in plain sight, that way no one will notice it. Then someone like Tulsi Gabbard goes and talks about it on national TV. Can't have that, can we? People might begin to see it if we do that

http://osociety.org/2019/08/02/how-to-hide-an-empire-a-history-of-the-greater-united-states/

ranney , August 2, 2019 at 16:24

What is happening to Tulsi (the extraordinary spate of lies about her relationship with Assad coming from all directions) provides a good explanation why Bernie and Elizabeth have been smart not to make many comments about foreign policy.

The few Bernie has made indicate to me that he is sympathetic to the Palestinian problem, but smart enough to keep quiet on the subject until, God willing, he is in a position to actually do something about it. It will be interesting to see if debate questions force them to be more forthcoming about their opinions.

Emma Peele , August 2, 2019 at 16:05

Pro war democrats are now using the Russian ruse to go after anti war candidates like Gabbard. It's despicable to even insinuate Gabbard is working for Putin or had any other rationale for going to Syria than seeking peace. This alone proved Harris unfit for the presidency. Her awful record speaks for itself.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , August 2, 2019 at 15:58

Tulsi is the most original and interesting candidate to come along in many years. She's authentic, something not true of most of that pack.

And not true of most of the House and Senate with their oh-so-predictable statements on most matters and all those crinkly-faced servants of plutocracy. She has courage too, a rare quality in Washington where, indeed, cowards often do well. Witness Trump, Biden, Clinton, Bush, Johnson, et al.

If there's ever going to be any change in a that huge country which has become a force for darkness and fear in much of the world, it's going to come from the likes of Tulsi. But I'm not holding my breath. It's clear from many signals, the establishment very much dislikes her. So, the odds are, they'll make sure she doesn't win.

Still, I admire a valiant try. Just as I admire honesty, something almost unheard of in Washington, but she has it, in spades.

emma peele , August 2, 2019 at 16:48

And she has courage. She quit the DNC to support Bernie and went to Syria to seek the truth and peace.

Mike from Jersey , August 2, 2019 at 16:55

She is unique. The media is trying Ron-Paul-Type-Blackout on her, lest the public catches on to the fact that she is exactly what the country needs.

Sally Snyder , August 2, 2019 at 15:17

Here is an article that looks at the level of support from American voters for yet another war in the Middle East:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2019/07/main-street-america-and-another-war-in.html

Warmonger candidates had better reconsider their positions if they believe that voters will back their stance. Just ask Hillary Clinton how that worked out for her and her warrior mentality in 2016.

Robert , August 2, 2019 at 14:49

Tulsi is the most promising candidate to successfully run against Trump for 2 reasons. 1. She has a sane, knowledgeable foreign/military policy promoting peace and non-intervention. 2) She understands the disastrous consequences of the WTO and "free" trade deals on the US economy. No other Democratic candidate has these 2 policies. Unfortunately, these policies are so dangerous to the real rulers of the world, her message is already being shut down and distorted.

emma peele , August 2, 2019 at 16:53

And she has cross over appeal with republicans who want out of the wars. People like Tucker Carson and Paul Craig Roberts support her. Thats why the DNC hate her..

Skip Scott , August 2, 2019 at 14:05

I read this article over on Medium this morning. Thanks for re-printing it here. I made the following comment there as well.

I was a somewhat enthusiastic supporter of Tulsi until just recently when she voted for the anti-BDS resolution. I guess "speaking truth to power" has its limits. What I fear is that the war machine will manipulate her if she ever gets elected. Once you accept any of the Empire's propaganda narrative, it is a slippery slope to being fully co-opted. Tulsi has said she is a "hawk" when it comes to fighting terrorists. All the MIC would have to do is another false flag operation, blame it on the "terrorists", and tell Tulsi it's time to get tough. Just as they manipulated the neo-liberals with the R2P line of bullshit, and Trump with the "evil Assad gasses his own people" bullshit, Tulsi could be brought to heel as well.

I will probably continue to send small donations to Tulsi just to keep her on the debate stage. But I've taken off the rose colored glasses.

Bob Herrschaft , August 2, 2019 at 13:57

Well said, Caitlin! There's an obvious effort to Jane Fodarize Tulsi before she threatens the favorites. She seems to keep a cool head, so much of it is likely to backfire and bring the narrative back where it belongs.

P. Michael Garber , August 2, 2019 at 13:42

Great article! Anderson Cooper in his post-debate interview with Gabbard appeared to be demanding a loyalty oath from her: "Will you say the words 'Bashar Assad is a murderer and torturer'?" In contrast to Gabbard, a service member with extensive middle east combat experience, Cooper is a chickenhawk and a naif to murder and torture; in that context his attack was inappropriate and disrespectful, and as he kept pressing it I thought he appeared unhinged. Gabbard could have done more to call out Cooper's craven attack (personally I think she could have decked him and been well within her rights), but she handled it with her customary grace and poise.

hetro , August 2, 2019 at 13:09

Seems to me Caitlin is right on, and her final statement is worth emphasizing: "Whoever controls the narrative controls the world. Whoever disrupts that narrative control is doing the real work."

I read "narrative control" as brainwashing.

Note also that Caitlin is careful to qualify she does not fully agree with Gabbard, in context with year after year of demonizing Assad amidst the murk of US supported type militants, emphasis on barrel bombs, etc etc, all in the "controlling the narrative/propaganda" sphere.

Another interesting piece to consider on the smearing of Gabbard:

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-08-02/empire-coming-tulsi-gabbard

Brian Murphy , August 2, 2019 at 16:25

"A soldier knows when you are taking flak you are over your target." nice.

[Aug 17, 2019] The Campaign Press: Members of the 10 Percent, Reporting for the One Percent

Aug 17, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Our Famously Free Press

"The Campaign Press: Members of the 10 Percent, Reporting for the One Percent" [Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone ]. "Anyone who's worked in the business (or read Manufacturing Consent) knows nobody calls editors to red-pencil text.

The pressure comes at the point of hire. If you're the type who thinks Jeff Bezos should be thrown out of an airplane, or that it's a bad look for a DC newspaper to be owned by a major intelligence contractor, you won't rise.

Meanwhile, the Post has become terrific at promoting Jennifer Rubins and Max Boots. Reporters watch as good investigative journalism about serious structural problems dies on the vine, while mountains of column space are devoted to trivialities like Trump tweets and/or simplistic partisan storylines.

Nobody needs to pressure anyone. We all know what takes will and will not earn attaboys in newsrooms. Trump may have accelerated distaste for the press, but he didn't create it. He sniffed out existing frustrations and used them to rally anger toward 'elites' to his side.

The criticism works because national media are elites, ten-percenters working for one-percenters.

The longer people in the business try to deny it, the more it will be fodder for politicians. Sanders wasn't the first, and won't be the last."

• Yep. I'm so glad Rolling Stone has Matt Taibbi on-board. Until advertisers black-list "the One Percent," I suppose.

[Aug 16, 2019] Former MSNBC Reporter Spills Details On Pro-Establishment Bias In Media

Notable quotes:
"... "Every journalist at every outlet knows what they can say and do freely and what's going to be a little stickier," Ball said. "No one is ever going to have their anti-Bernie pieces called in to question since he stands outside the system. Their invites to the DC establishment world are not going to be revoked, and may even be heightened by negative Bernie coverage. " ..."
"... Now this class bias translates into bad coverage of candidates with working class appeal, and it translates to under-coverage of issues that are vitally important to the working class ..."
"... "This is something that a lot of people don't understand," Enjati said. "It's not necessarily that somebody tells you how to do your coverage, it's that if you were to do your coverage that way, you would not be hired at that institution. So it's like if you do not already fit within this framework, then the system is designed to not give you a voice. And if you necessarily did do that, all of the incentive structures around your pay, around your promotion, around your colleagues that are slapping you on the back, that would all disappear. So it's a system of reinforcement, which makes it so that you wouldn't go down that path in the first place." ..."
"... "I've definitely noticed this in the White House press corps, which is a massive bias to ask questions that make everybody else in the room happy, AKA Mueller questions," Enjati continued. "Guess what the American people don't care about? Mueller. So when you ask a question -- I've had this happen to me all the time. I would ask a question about North Korea, like, you know, war and nuclear weapons that affect billions. Or I would ask about the Supreme Court, the number one issue why Trump voters voted for President Trump, and I would get accused of toadying to the administration or not asking what Jim Acosta or whomever wanted me to ask. It's like, you know, everybody plays to their peers, they don't actually play to the people they're supposed to cover, and that's part of the problem." ..."
Aug 16, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

After laying out the evidence from some recent examples of bias against Sanders in the mainstream media, former MSNBC reporter Krystal Ball ( yes, her real name ) asked rhetorically, "Now the question is why?"

"Look, obviously I've worked in this industry for a minute at this point and journalists aren't bad people, in fact, they're some of my closest friends and favorite people," Ball said. "But they are people, they're human beings who respond to their own self-interest, incentives and group think. So it's not like there's typically some edict coming down from the top saying 'Be mean to Bernie', but there are tremendous blind spots. I would argue the most egregious have to do with class. And there are certain pressures too -- to stay in good with the establishment [and] to maintain the access that is the life blood of political journalism. So what do I mean? Let me give an example from my own career since everything I'm saying here really frankly applies to me too."

"Back in early 2015 at MSNBC I did a monologue that some of you may have seen pretty much begging Hillary Clinton not to run," Ball continued. "I said her elite ties were out of step with the party and the country, that if she ran she would likely be the nominee and would then go on to lose. No one censored me, I was allowed to say it, but afterwards the Clinton people called and complained to the MSNBC top brass and threatened not to provide any access during the upcoming campaign. I was told that I could still say what I wanted, but I would have to get any Clinton-related commentary cleared with the president of the network. Now being a human interested in maintaining my job, I'm certain I did less critical Clinton commentary after that than I maybe otherwise would have ."

"Every journalist at every outlet knows what they can say and do freely and what's going to be a little stickier," Ball said. "No one is ever going to have their anti-Bernie pieces called in to question since he stands outside the system. Their invites to the DC establishment world are not going to be revoked, and may even be heightened by negative Bernie coverage. "

"Back in the run up to 2016 I wanted to cover the negotiations on TPP more," Ball disclosed a bit later. "I was told though, in no uncertain terms that no one cared about trade and it didn't rate. To be clear, this was not based on data but on gut feeling and gut feeling that had to influenced by one's personal experience mixing and mingling with upscale denizens of Manhattan. I didn't really push it; maybe they were right. Of course TPP and trade turned out to be one of the most central issues in the entire 2016 election. It turns out that people did, in fact, care. Now this class bias translates into bad coverage of candidates with working class appeal, and it translates to under-coverage of issues that are vitally important to the working class."

Ball's co-host Saagar Enjati went on to describe his own similar experiences as a White House correspondent.

"This is something that a lot of people don't understand," Enjati said. "It's not necessarily that somebody tells you how to do your coverage, it's that if you were to do your coverage that way, you would not be hired at that institution. So it's like if you do not already fit within this framework, then the system is designed to not give you a voice. And if you necessarily did do that, all of the incentive structures around your pay, around your promotion, around your colleagues that are slapping you on the back, that would all disappear. So it's a system of reinforcement, which makes it so that you wouldn't go down that path in the first place."

"I've definitely noticed this in the White House press corps, which is a massive bias to ask questions that make everybody else in the room happy, AKA Mueller questions," Enjati continued. "Guess what the American people don't care about? Mueller. So when you ask a question -- I've had this happen to me all the time. I would ask a question about North Korea, like, you know, war and nuclear weapons that affect billions. Or I would ask about the Supreme Court, the number one issue why Trump voters voted for President Trump, and I would get accused of toadying to the administration or not asking what Jim Acosta or whomever wanted me to ask. It's like, you know, everybody plays to their peers, they don't actually play to the people they're supposed to cover, and that's part of the problem."

"Right, and again, it's not necessarily intentional," Ball added. "It's that those are the people that you're surrounded with, so there becomes a group-think. And look, you are aware of what you're going to be rewarded for and what you're going to be punished for, or not rewarded for, like that definitely plays in the mind, whether you want it to or not, that's a reality."

" Every time I took that message to ask Trump a question, I knew that my Twitter messages were going to blow up from MSNBC or Ken Dilanian or whomever for 'toadying' up to the administration, and it takes a lot to be able to withstand that," Enjeti concluded.

As we just discussed the other day , Ken Dilanian is literally a known CIA asset. This is not a conspiracy theory, it's a well-documented and historically undeniable fact, as shown in this Intercept article titled "The CIA's Mop-Up Man". The testimony that Dilanian's establishment sycophancy affects not just his own reporting but those of other reporters as well via strategically placed peer pressure is highly significant.

For obvious reasons these insider confessions are as rare as hen's teeth, so we must absorb them, circulate them, and never forget them. I'm still floored and fall-to-my-knees grateful to Ball and Enjati for putting this information out there for the sake of the common good. Our task is now to use the information they provided to help wake people up from the narrative control matrix .

* * *

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website , which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported , so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook , following my antics on Twitter , throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal , purchasing some of my sweet merchandise , buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone , or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers . For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I'm trying to do with this platform, click here . Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I've written) in any way they like free of charge.

Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

[Aug 16, 2019] Ministry of truth materialized in XXI century in a neoliberal way by Kit Knightly

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Latest is the secretive Andy Pryce squandering millions of public money on the "Open Information Partnership" (OIP) which is the latest name-change for the Integrity Initiative and the Institute of Statecraft, just like al-Qaeda kept changing its name. ..."
"... In true Orwellian style, they splashed out on a conference for "defence of media freedom", when they are in the business of propaganda and closing alternative 'narratives' down. And the 'media' they would defend are, in fact, spies sent to foreign countries to foment trouble to further what they bizarrely perceive as 'British interests'. Just like the disgraceful White Helmets, also funded by the FO. ..."
"... "The Guardian is struggling for money" Surely, they would be enjoying some of the seemingly unlimited US defense and some of the mind control programmes budgets. ..."
Aug 16, 2019 | off-guardian.org

OffGuardian already covered the Global Media Freedom Conference, our article Hypocrisy Taints UK's Media Freedom Conference , was meant to be all there was to say. A quick note on the obvious hypocrisy of this event. But, in the writing, I started to see more than that. This event is actually creepy. Let's just look back at one of the four "main themes" of this conference:

Building trust in media and countering disinformation
"Countering disinformation"? Well, that's just another word for censorship. This is proven by their refusal to allow Sputnik or RT accreditation. They claim RT "spreads disinformation" and they "countered" that by barring them from attending. "Building trust"? In the post-Blair world of PR newspeak, "building trust" is just another way of saying "making people believe us" (the word usage is actually interesting, building trust not earning trust). The whole conference is shot through with this language that just feels off. Here is CNN's Christiane Amanpour :
Our job is to be truthful, not neutral we need to take a stand for the truth, and never to create a false moral or factual equivalence."
Being "truthful not neutral" is one of Amanpour's personal sayings , she obviously thinks it's clever. Of course, what it is is NewSpeak for "bias". Refusing to cover evidence of The White Helmets staging rescues, Israel arming ISIS or other inconvenient facts will be defended using this phrase – they will literally claim to only publish "the truth", to get around impartiality and then set about making up whatever "truth" is convenient. Oh, and if you don't know what "creating a false moral quivalence is", here I'll demonstrate: MSM: Putin is bad for shutting down critical media. OffG: But you're supporting RT being banned and Wikileaks being shut down. BBC: No. That's not the same. OffG: It seems the same. BBC: It's not. You're creating a false moral equivalence . Understand now? You "create a false moral equivalence" by pointing out mainstream media's double standards. Other ways you could mistakenly create a "false moral equivalence": Bringing up Gaza when the media talk about racism. Mentioning Saudi Arabia when the media preach about gay rights. Referencing the US coup in Venezuela when the media work themselves into a froth over Russia's "interference in our democracy" Talking about the invasion of Iraq. Ever. OR Pointing out that the BBC is state funded, just like RT. These are all no-longer flagrant examples of the media's double standards, and if you say they are , you're "creating a false moral equivalence" and the media won't have to allow you (or anyone who agrees with you) air time or column inches to disagree. Because they don't have a duty to be neutral or show both sides, they only have a duty to tell "the truth" as soon as the government has told them what that is. Prepare to see both those phrases – or variations there of – littering editorials in the Guardian and the Huffington Post in the coming months. Along with people bemoaning how "fake news outlets abuse the notion of impartiality" by "being even handed between liars the truth tellers". (I've been doing this site so long now, I have a Guardian-English dictionary in my head).

Equally dodgy-sounding buzz-phrases litter topics on the agenda. "Eastern Europe and Central Asia: building an integrated support system for journalists facing hostile environments" , this means pumping money into NGOs to fund media that will criticize our "enemies" in areas of strategic importance. It means flooding money into the anti-government press in Hungary, or Iran or (of course), Russia. That is ALL it means. I said in my earlier article I don't know what "media sustainability" even means, but I feel I can take a guess. It means "save the government mouthpieces". The Guardian is struggling for money, all print media are, TV news is getting lower viewing figures all the time. "Building media sustainability" is code for "pumping public money into traditional media that props up the government" or maybe "getting people to like our propaganda". But the worst offender on the list is, without a doubt "Navigating Disinformation"

https://www.youtube.com/embed/1vbSj1WQqUw?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

"Navigating Disinformation" was a 1 hour panel from the second day of the conference. You can watch it embedded above if you really feel the need. I already did, so you don't have to. The panel was chaired by Chrystia Freeland, the Canadian Foreign Minister. The members included the Latvian Foreign Minister, a representative of the US NGO Committee to Protect Journalists, and the Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Information

Have you guessed what "disinformation" they're going to be talking about? I'll give you a clue: It begins with R. Freeland, chairing the panel, kicks it off by claiming that "disinformation isn't for any particular aim" . This is a very common thing for establishment voices to repeat these days, which makes it all the more galling she seems to be pretending its is her original thought. The reason they have to claim that "disinformation" doesn't have a "specific aim" is very simple: They don't know what they're going to call "disinformation" yet. They can't afford to take a firm position, they need to keep their options open. They need to give themselves the ability to describe any single piece of information or political opinion as "disinformation." Left or right. Foreign or domestic. "Disinformation" is a weaponised term that is only as potent as it is vague. So, we're one minute in, and all "navigating disinformation" has done is hand the State an excuse to ignore, or even criminalise, practically anything it wants to. Good start. Interestingly, no one has actually said the word "Russia" at this point. They have talked about "malign actors" and "threats to democracy", but not specifically Russia. It is SO ingrained in these people that "propaganda"= " Russian propaganda" that they don't need to say it.

The idea that NATO as an entity, or the individual members thereof, could also use "disinformation" has not just been dismissed it was literally never even contemplated. Next Freeland turns to Edgars Rinkēvičs, her Latvian colleague, and jokes about always meeting at NATO functions. The Latvians know "more than most" about disinformation, she says. Rinkēvičs says disinformation is nothing new, but that the methods of spreading it are changing then immediately calls for regulation of social media. Nobody disagrees. Then he talks about the "illegal annexation of Crimea", and claims the West should outlaw "paid propaganda" like RT and Sputnik. Nobody disagrees. Then he says that Latvia "protected" their elections from "interference" by "close cooperation between government agencies and social media companies". Everyone nods along. If you don't find this terrifying, you're not paying attention. They don't say it, they probably don't even realise they mean it, but when they talk about "close cooperation with social media networks", they mean government censorship of social media. When they say "protecting" their elections they're talking about rigging them. It only gets worse. The next step in the Latvian master plan is to bolster "traditional media".

The problems with traditional media, he says, are that journalists aren't paid enough, and don't keep up to date with all the "new tricks". His solution is to "promote financing" for traditional media, and to open more schools like the "Baltic Centre of Media Excellence", which is apparently a totally real thing .

It's a training centre which teaches young journalists about "media literacy" and "critical thinking". You can read their depressingly predictable list of "donors" here . I truly wish I was joking. Next up is Courtney Radsch from CPJ – a US-backed NGO, who notionally "protect journalists", but more accurately spread pro-US propaganda. (Their token effort to "defend" RT and Sputnik when they were barred from the conference was contemptible).

She talks for a long time without saying much at all. Her revolutionary idea is that disinformation could be countered if everyone told the truth. Inspiring. Beata Balogova, Journalist and Editor from Slovakia, gets the ship back on course – immediately suggesting politicians should not endorse "propaganda" platforms. She shares an anecdote about "a prominent Slovakian politician" who gave exclusive interviews to a site that is "dubiously financed, we assume from Russia". They assume from Russia. Everyone nods.

It's like they don't even hear themselves.

Then she moves on to Hungary. Apparently, Orban has "created a propaganda machine" and produced "antisemitic George Soros posters". No evidence is produced to back-up either of these claims. She thinks advertisers should be pressured into not giving money to "fake news sites". She calls for "international pressure", but never explains exactly what that means. The stand-out maniac on this panel is Emine Dzhaparova, the Ukrainian First Deputy Minister of Information Policy. (She works for the Ministry of Information – nicknamed the Ministry of Truth, which was formed in 2014 to "counter lies about Ukraine". Even The Guardian thought that sounded dodgy.)

She talks very fast and, without any sense of irony, spills out a story that shoots straight through "disinformation" and becomes "incoherent rambling". She claims that Russian citizens are so brainwashed you'll never be able to talk to them, and that Russian "cognitive influence" is "toxic like radiation." Is this paranoid, quasi-xenophobic nonsense countered? No. Her fellow panelists nod and chuckle. On top of that, she just lies. She lies over and over and over again. She claims Russia is locking up Crimean Tartars "just for being muslims", nobody questions her. She says the war in Ukraine has killed 13,000 people, but doesn't mention that her side is responsible for over 80% of civilian deaths.

She says only 30% of Crimeans voted in the referendum, and that they were "forced". A fact not supported by any polls done by either side in the last four years, and any referenda held on the peninsula any time in the last last 30 year. It's simply a lie. Nobody asks her about the journalists killed in Ukraine since their glorious Maidan Revolution . Nobody questions the fact that she works for something called the "Ministry of Information". Nobody does anything but nod and smile as the "countering disinformation" panel becomes just a platform for spreading total lies.

When everyone on the panel has had their ten minutes on the soapbox, Freeland asks for recommendations for countering this "threat" – here's the list:

  1. Work to distinguish "free speech" from "propaganda", when you find propaganda there must be a "strong reaction".
  2. Pressure advertisers to abandon platforms who spread misinformation.
  3. Regulate social media.
  4. Educate journalists at special schools.
  5. Start up a "Ministry of Information" and have state run media that isn't controlled, like in Ukraine.

This is the Global Conference on Media Freedom and all these six people want to talk about is how to control what can be said, and who can say it. They single only four countries out for criticism: Hungary, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Russia .and Russia takes up easily 90% of that. They mention only two media outlets by name: RT and Sputnik. This wasn't a panel on disinformation, it was a public attack forum – a month's worth of 2 minutes of hate. These aren't just shills on this stage, they are solid gold idiots, brainwashed to the point of total delusion.

They are the dangerous glassy eyes of a Deep State that never questions itself, never examines itself, and will do anything it wants, to anyone it wants whilst happily patting itself on the back for its superior morality. They don't know, they don't care. They're true believers. Terrifyingly dead inside. Talking about state censorship and re-education camps under a big sign that says "Freedom". And that's just one talk. Just one panel in a 2 day itinerary filled to the brim with similarly soul-dead servants of authority. Truly, perfectly Orwellian.


Jonathan Jarvis

https://southfront.org/countering-russian-disinformation-or-new-wave-of-freedom-of-speech-suppression/

Read and be appalled at what America is up to .keep for further reference. We are in danger.

Tim Jenkins
It would serve Ms. Amanpour well, to relax, rewind & review her own interview with Sergei Lavrov:-

Then she might see why Larry King could stomach the appalling corporate dictatorship, even to the core of False & Fake recording of 'our' "History of the National Security State" , No More

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8H7aKGOpSwE

Amanpour was forced to laugh uncontrollably, when confronted with Lavrov's humorous interpretations of various legal aspects of decency & his Judgement of others' politicians and 'Pussy Riots' >>> if you haven't seen it, it is to be recommended, the whole interview, if nothing else but to study the body language and micro-facial expressions, coz' a belly up laugh is not something anybody can easily control or even feign that first spark of cognition in her mind, as she digests Lavrov's response :- hilarious

Einstein
A GE won't solve matters since we have a Government of Occupation behind a parliament of puppets.

Latest is the secretive Andy Pryce squandering millions of public money on the "Open Information Partnership" (OIP) which is the latest name-change for the Integrity Initiative and the Institute of Statecraft, just like al-Qaeda kept changing its name.

In true Orwellian style, they splashed out on a conference for "defence of media freedom", when they are in the business of propaganda and closing alternative 'narratives' down. And the 'media' they would defend are, in fact, spies sent to foreign countries to foment trouble to further what they bizarrely perceive as 'British interests'. Just like the disgraceful White Helmets, also funded by the FO.

Pryce's ventriloquist's dummy in parliament, the pompous Alan Duncan, announced another £10 million of public money for this odious brainwashing programme.

Tim Jenkins
That panel should be nailed & plastered over, permanently:-

and as wall paper, 'Abstracts of New Law' should be pasted onto a collage of historic extracts from the Guardian, in offices that issue journalistic licenses, comprised of 'Untouchables' :-

A professional habitat, to damp any further 'Freeland' amplification & resonance,

of negative energy from professional incompetence.

Francis Lee
Apropos of the redoubtable Ms Freeland, Canada's Foreign Secretary.

The records now being opened by the Polish government in Warsaw reveal that Freeland's maternal grandfather Michael (Mikhailo) Chomiak was a Nazi collaborator from the beginning to the end of the war. He was given a powerful post, money, home and car by the German Army in Cracow, then the capital of the German administration of the Galician region. His principal job was editor in chief and publisher of a newspaper the Nazis created. His printing plant and other assets had been stolen from a Jewish newspaper publisher, who was then sent to die in the Belzec concentration camp. During the German Army's winning phase of the war, Chomiak celebrated in print the Wehrmacht's "success" at killing thousands of US Army troops. As the German Army was forced into retreat by the Soviet counter-offensive, Chomiak was taken by the Germans to Vienna, where he continued to publish his Nazi propaganda, at the same time informing for the Germans on other Ukrainians. They included fellow Galician Stepan Bandera, whose racism against Russians Freeland has celebrated in print, and whom the current regime in Kiev has turned into a national hero.

Those Ukrainian 'Refugees' admitted to Canada in 1945 were almost certainly members of the 14th Waffen SS Division Galizia 1. These Ukie collaboraters – not to be confused with the other Ukie Nazi outfit – Stepan Bandera's Ukrainian Insurgent Army -were held responsible for the massacre of many Poles in the Lviv area the most infamous being carried out in the Polish village of Huta Pienacka. In the massacre, the village was destroyed and between 500] and 1,000 of the inhabitants were killed. According to Polish accounts, civilians were locked in barns that were set on fire while those attempting to flee were killed. That's about par for the course.
Canada's response was as follows:

The Canadian Deschênes Commission was set up to investigate alleged war crimes committed by the collaborators

Memorial to SS-Galizien division in Chervone, Lviv Oblast, western Ukraine

The Canadian "Commission of Inquiry on War Crimes" of October 1986, by the Honourable Justice Jules Deschênesconcluded that in relation to membership in the Galicia Division:

''The Galicia Division (14. Waffen grenadier division der SS [gal.1]) should not be indicted as a group. The members of Galicia Division were individually screened for security purposes before admission to Canada. Charges of war crimes of Galicia Division have never been substantiated, either in 1950 when they were first preferred, or in 1984 when they were renewed, or before this Commission. Further, in the absence of evidence of participation or knowledge of specific war crimes, mere membership in the Galicia Division is insufficient to justify prosecution.''

However, the Commission's conclusion failed to acknowledge or heed the International Military Tribunal's verdict at the Nuremberg Trials, in which the entire Waffen-SSorganisation was declared a "criminal organization" guilty of war crimes. Also, the Deschênes Commission in its conclusion only referenced the division as 14. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS (Galizische Nr.1), thus in legal terms, only acknowledging the formation's activity after its name change in August 1944, while the massacre of Poles in Huta Pieniacka, Pidkamin and Palikrowy occurred when the division was called SS Freiwilligen Division "Galizien". Nevertheless, a subsequent review by Canada's Minister of Justice again confirmed that members of the Division were not implicated in war crimes.

Yes, the west looks after its Nazis and even makes them and their descendants political figureheads.

mark
Most of these people are so smugly and complacently convinced of their own moral superiority that they just can't see the hypocrisy and doublethink involved in the event.
Mikalina
Eva Bartlett gives a wider perspective:
https://www.globalresearch.ca/londons-media-freedom-conference-smacks-irony-critics-barred-no-mention-jailed-assange/5683808
Harry Stotle
Freedom-lover, Cunt, will be furious when he hears about this!

Apparently Steve Bell is doubleplusbad for alluding to the fact Netanyahu has got his hand shoved deep into Tom Watson's arse – the Guardian pulled Bell's most recent ouvre which suggests the media's antisemitism trope might not be quite as politically untainted as the likes of Freedland, Cohen and Viner would have you believe.
https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/guardian-cartoonist-steve-bell-specious-charge-of-antisemitism-in-email-to-all-paper-1.486570

Meanwhile Owen Jones has taken to Twitter to rubbish allegations that a reign of terror exists at Guardian Towers – the socialist firebrand is quoted as saying 'journalists are free to say whatever they like, so long as it doesn't stray too far from Guardian-groupthink'.

Tutisicecream
Good analysis Kit, of the cognitive dissonant ping pong being played out by Nazi sympathisers such as Hunt and Freeland.

The echo chamber of deceit is amplified again by the selective use of information and the ignoring of relevant facts, such as the miss reporting yesterday by Reuters of the Italian Neo-Nazi haul of weapons by the police, having not Russian but Ukrainian links.

Not a word in the WMSM about this devious miss-reporting as the creation of fake news in action. But what would you expect?

Living as I do in Russia I can assure anyone reading this that the media freedom here is on a par with the West and somewhat better as there is no paranoia about a fictitious enemy – Russians understand that the West is going through an existential crisis (Brexit in the UK, Trump and the Clinton war of sameness in the US and Macron and Merkel in the EU). A crisis of Liberalism as the failed life-support of capitalism. But hey, why worry about the politics when there is bigger fish to fry. Such as who will pay me to dance?

The answer is clear from what Kit has writ. The government will pay the piper. How sweet.

I'd like to thank Kit for sitting through such a turgid masquerade and as I'm rather long in the tooth I do remember the old BBC schools of journalism in Yelsin's Russia. What I remember is that old devious Auntie Beeb was busy training would be hopefuls in the art of discretion regarding how the news is formed, or formulated.

In other words your audience. And it ain't the public

Steve Hayes
The British government's "Online Harms" White Paper has a whole section devoted to "disinformation" (ie, any facts, opinions, analyses, evaluations, critiques that are critical of the elite's actual disinformation). If these proposals become law, the government will have effective control over the Internet and we will be allowed access to their disinformation, shop and watch cute cat videos.
Question This
The liberal news media & hypocrisy, who would have ever thought you'd see those words in the same sentence. But what do you expect from professional liars, politicians & 'their' free press?

Can this shit show get any worse? Yes, The other day I wrote to my MP regards the SNP legislating against the truth, effectively making it compulsory to lie! Mr Blackford as much as called me a transphobic & seemed to go to great length publishing his neo-liberal ideological views in some scottish rag, on how right is wrong & fact is turned into fiction & asked only those that agreed with him contact him.

Tim Jenkins
"The science or logical consistency of true premise, cannot take place or bear fruit, when all communication and information is 'marketised and weaponised' to a mindset of possession and control." B.Steere
Mikalina
I saw, somewhere (but can't find it now) a law or a prospective law which goes under the guise of harassment of MPs to include action against constituents who 'pester' them.

I've found a link for the Jo Cox gang discussing it, though.
https://www.kcl.ac.uk/news/new-research-on-the-intimidation-and-harassment-of-mps-featured-in-inaugural-conference

Question This
I only emailed him once! That's hardly harassment. Anyway I sent it with proton-mail via vpn & used a false postcode using only my first name so unlikely my civil & sincere correspondence will see me locked up for insisting my inalienable rights of freedom of speech & beliefs are protected. But there again the state we live in, i may well be incarcerated for life, for such an outrageous expectation.
Where to?
"The Guardian is struggling for money" Surely, they would be enjoying some of the seemingly unlimited US defense and some of the mind control programmes budgets.
Harry Stotle
Its the brazen nature of the conference that is especially galling, but what do you expect when crooks and liars no longer feel they even have to pretend?

Nothing will change so long as politicians (or their shady backers) are never held to account for public assets diverted toward a rapacious off-shore economic system, or the fact millions of lives have been shattered by the 'war on terror' and its evil twin, 'humanatarian regime change' (while disingenuous Labour MPs wail about the 'horrors' of antisemitism rather than the fact their former leader is a key architect of the killings).

Kit remains a go-to voice when deconstructing claims made by political figures who clearly regard the MSM as a propaganda vehicle for promoting western imperialism – the self-satisfied smugness of cunts like Jeremy Cunt stand in stark contrast to a real journalist being tortured by the British authorities just a few short miles away.

It's a sligtly depressing thought but somebody has the unenviable task of monitoring just how far our politicians have drifted from the everyday concerns of the 'just about managing' and as I say Mr Knightly does a fine job in informing readers what the real of agenda of these media love-ins are actually about – it goes without saying a very lengthy barge pole is required when the Saudis are invited but not Russia.

Where to?
This Media Freedom Conference is surely a creepy theatre of the absurd.

It is a test of what they can get away with.

Mikalina
Yep. Any soviet TV watcher would recognise this immediately. Message? THIS is the reality – and you are powerless.
mark
When are they going to give us the Ministry of Truth we so desperately need?

[Aug 16, 2019] Lapdogs for the Government and intelligence agencies by Greg Maybury

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... We know our disinformation program is complete when almost everything the American public believes is false.' ..."
"... Using groundbreaking camera and lighting techniques, Riefenstahl produced a documentary that mesmerized Germans; as Pilger noted, her Triumph of the Will 'cast Adolf Hitler's spell'. She told the veteran Aussie journalist the "messages" of her films were dependent not on "orders from above", but on the "submissive void" of the public. ..."
"... All in all, Riefenstahl produced arguably for the rest of the world the most compelling historical footage of mass hysteria, blind obedience, nationalistic fervour, and existential menace, all key ingredients in anyone's totalitarian nightmare. That it also impressed a lot of very powerful, high profile people in the West on both sides of the pond is also axiomatic: These included bankers, financiers, industrialists, and sundry business elites without whose support Hitler might've at best ended up a footnote in the historical record after the ill-fated beer-hall putsch. (See here , and here .) ..."
"... The purpose of this propaganda barrage, as Sharon Bader has noted, has been to convince as many people as possible that it is in their interests to relinquish their own power as workers, consumers, and citizens, and 'forego their democratic right to restrain and regulate business activity. As a result the political agenda is now confined to policies aimed at furthering business interests.' ..."
Aug 16, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Lapdogs for the Government

Here was, of course, another surreal spectacle, this time courtesy of one of the Deep State's most dangerous, reviled, and divisive figures, a notable protagonist in the Russia-Gate conspiracy, and America's most senior diplomat no less.

Not only is it difficult to accept that the former CIA Director actually believes what he is saying, well might we ask, "Who can believe Mike Pompeo?"

And here's also someone whose manifest cynicism, hypocrisy, and chutzpah would embarrass the much-derided scribes and Pharisees of Biblical days.

We have Pompeo on record recently in a rare moment of honesty admitting – whilst laughing his ample ass off, as if recalling some "Boy's Own Adventure" from his misspent youth with a bunch of his mates down at the local pub – that under his watch as CIA Director:

We lied, cheated, we stole we had entire training courses.'

It may have been one of the few times in his wretched existence that Pompeo didn't speak with a forked tongue.

At all events, his candour aside, we can assume safely that this reactionary, monomaniacal, Christian Zionist 'end-timer' passed all the Company's "training courses" with flying colours.

According to Matthew Rosenberg of the New York Times, all this did not stop Pompeo however from name-checking Wikileaks when it served his own interests. Back in 2016 at the height of the election campaign, he had ' no compunction about pointing people toward emails stolen* by Russian hackers from the Democratic National Committee and then posted by WikiLeaks."

[NOTE: Rosenberg's omission of the word "allegedly" -- as in "emails allegedly stolen" -- is a dead giveaway of bias on his part (a journalistic Freudian slip perhaps?), with his employer being one of those MSM marques leading the charge with the "Russian Collusion" 'story'. For a more insightful view of the source of these emails and the skullduggery and thuggery that attended Russia-Gate, readers are encouraged to check this out.]

And this is of course The Company we're talking about, whose past and present relationship with the media might be summed up in two words: Operation Mockingbird (OpMock). Anyone vaguely familiar with the well-documented Grand Deception that was OpMock, arguably the CIA's most enduring, insidious, and successful psy-ops gambit, will know what we're talking about. (See here , here , here , and here .) At its most basic, this operation was all about propaganda and censorship, usually operating in tandem to ensure all the bases are covered.

After opining that the MSM is 'totally infiltrated' by the CIA and various other agencies, for his part former NSA whistleblower William Binney recently added , ' When it comes to national security, the media only talk about what the administration wants you to hear, and basically suppress any other statements about what's going on that the administration does not want get public. The media is basically the lapdogs for the government.'

Even the redoubtable William Casey , Ronald Reagan's CIA Director back in the day was reported to have said something along the following lines:

We know our disinformation program is complete when almost everything the American public believes is false.'

In order to provide a broader and deeper perspective, we should now consider the views of a few others on the subjects at hand, along with some history. In a 2013 piece musing on the modern significance of the practice, my compatriot John Pilger ecalled a time when he met Leni Riefenstahl back in 70s and asked her about her films that 'glorified the Nazis'.

Using groundbreaking camera and lighting techniques, Riefenstahl produced a documentary that mesmerized Germans; as Pilger noted, her Triumph of the Will 'cast Adolf Hitler's spell'. She told the veteran Aussie journalist the "messages" of her films were dependent not on "orders from above", but on the "submissive void" of the public.

All in all, Riefenstahl produced arguably for the rest of the world the most compelling historical footage of mass hysteria, blind obedience, nationalistic fervour, and existential menace, all key ingredients in anyone's totalitarian nightmare. That it also impressed a lot of very powerful, high profile people in the West on both sides of the pond is also axiomatic: These included bankers, financiers, industrialists, and sundry business elites without whose support Hitler might've at best ended up a footnote in the historical record after the ill-fated beer-hall putsch. (See here , and here .)

" Triumph " apparently still resonates today. To the surprise of few one imagines, such was the impact of the film -- as casually revealed in the excellent 2018 Alexis Bloom documentary Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes -- it elicited no small amount of admiration from arguably the single most influential propagandist of recent times.

[Readers might wish to check out Russell Crowe's recent portrayal of Ailes in Stan's mini-series The Loudest Voice , in my view one the best performances of the man's career.]

In a recent piece unambiguously titled "Propaganda Is The Root Of All Our Problems", my other compatriot Caitlin Johnstone also had a few things to say about the subject, echoing Orwell when she observed it was all about "controlling the narrative".

Though I'd suggest the greater "root" problem is our easy propensity to ignore this reality, pretend it doesn't or won't affect us, or reject it as conspiratorial nonsense, in this, of course, she's correct. As she cogently observes,

I write about this stuff for a living, and even I don't have the time or energy to write about every single narrative control tool that the US-centralised empire has been implementing into its arsenal. There are too damn many of them emerging too damn fast, because they're just that damn crucial for maintaining existing power structures.'

The Discreet Use of Censorship and Uniformed Men

It is hardly surprising that those who hold power should seek to control the words and language people use' said Canadian author John Ralston Saul in his 1993 book Voltaire's Bastards–the Dictatorship of Reason in the West .

Fittingly, in a discussion encompassing amongst other things history, language, power, and dissent, he opined, ' Determining how individuals communicate is' an objective which represents for the power elites 'the best chance' [they] have to control what people think. This translates as: The more control 'we' have over what the proles think, the more 'we' can reduce the inherent risk for elites in democracy.

' Clumsy men', Saul went on to say, 'try to do this through power and fear. Heavy-handed men running heavy-handed systems attempt the same thing through police-enforced censorship. The more sophisticated the elites, the more they concentrate on creating intellectual systems which control expression through the communications structures. These systems require only the discreet use of censorship and uniformed men.'

In other words, along with assuming it is their right to take it in the first place, ' those who take power will always try to change the established language ', presumably to better facilitate their hold on it and/or legitimise their claim to it.

For Oliver Boyd-Barrett, democratic theory presupposes a public communications infrastructure that facilitates the free and open exchange of ideas.' Yet for the author of the recently published RussiaGate and Propaganda: Disinformation in the Age of Social Media , 'No such infrastructure exists.'

The mainstream media he says, is 'owned and controlled by a small number of large, multi-media and multi-industrial conglomerates' that lie at the very heart of US oligopoly capitalism and much of whose advertising revenue and content is furnished from other conglomerates:

The inability of mainstream media to sustain an information environment that can encompass histories, perspectives and vocabularies that are free of the shackles of US plutocratic self-regard is also well documented.'

Of course the word "inability" suggests the MSM view themselves as having some responsibility for maintaining such an egalitarian news and information environment. They don't of course, and in truth, probably never really have! A better word would be "unwilling", or even "refusal". The corporate media all but epitomise the " plutocratic self-regard" that is characteristic of "oligopoly capitalism".

Indeed, the MSM collectively functions as advertising, public relations/lobbying entities for Big Corp, in addition to acting as its Praetorian bodyguard , protecting their secrets, crimes, and lies from exposure. Like all other companies they are beholden to their shareholders (profits before truth and people), most of whom it can safely be assumed are no strangers to "self-regard", and could care less about " histories, perspectives and vocabularies" that run counter to their own interests.

It was Aussie social scientist Alex Carey who pioneered the study of nationalism , corporatism , and moreso for our purposes herein, the management (read: manipulation) of public opinion, though all three have important links (a story for another time). For Carey, the following conclusion was inescapable: 'It is arguable that the success of business propaganda in persuading us, for so long, that we are free from propaganda is one of the most significant propaganda achievements of the twentieth century.' This former farmer from Western Australia became one of the world's acknowledged experts on propaganda and the manipulation of the truth.

Prior to embarking on his academic career, Carey was a successful sheep grazier . By all accounts, he was a first-class judge of the animal from which he made his early living, leaving one to ponder if this expertise gave him a unique insight into his main area of research!

In any event, Carey in time sold the farm and travelled to the U.K. to study psychology, apparently a long-time ambition. From the late fifties until his death in 1988, he was a senior lecturer in psychology and industrial relations at the Sydney-based University of New South Wales, with his research being lauded by such luminaries as Noam Chomsky and John Pilger, both of whom have had a thing or three to say over the years about The Big Shill. In fact such was his admiration, Pilger described him as "a second Orwell", which in anyone's lingo is a big call.

Carey unfortunately died in 1988, interestingly the year that his more famous contemporaries Edward Herman and Chomsky's book Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media was published, the authors notably dedicating their book to him.

Though much of his work remained unpublished at the time of his death, a book of Carey's essays – Taking the Risk Out of Democracy: Corporate Propaganda Versus Freedom and Liberty -- was published posthumously in 1997. It remains a seminal work.

In fact, for anyone with an interest in how public opinion is moulded and our perceptions are managed and manipulated, in whose interests they are done so and to what end, it is as essential reading as any of the work of other more famous names. This tome came complete with a foreword by Chomsky, so enamoured was the latter of Carey's work.

For Carey, the three "most significant developments" in the political economy of the twentieth century were: the growth of democracy the growth of corporate power; and the growth of propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.

Carey's main focus was on the following: advertising and publicity devoted to the creation of artificial wants; the public relations and propaganda industry whose principal goal is the diversion to meaningless pursuits and control of the public mind; and the degree to which academia and the professions are under assault from private power determined to narrow the spectrum of thinkable (sic) thought.

For Carey, it is an axiom of conventional wisdom that the use of propaganda as a means of social and ideological control is 'distinctive' of totalitarian regimes. Yet as he stresses: the most minimal exercise of common sense would suggest a different view: that propaganda is likely to play at least as important a part in democratic societies (where the existing distribution of power and privilege is vulnerable to quite limited changes in popular opinion) as in authoritarian societies (where it is not).' In this context, 'conventional wisdom" becomes conventional ignorance; as for "common sense", maybe not so much.

The purpose of this propaganda barrage, as Sharon Bader has noted, has been to convince as many people as possible that it is in their interests to relinquish their own power as workers, consumers, and citizens, and 'forego their democratic right to restrain and regulate business activity. As a result the political agenda is now confined to policies aimed at furthering business interests.'

An extreme example of this view playing itself right under our noses and over decades was the cruel fiction of the " trickle down effect " (TDE) -- aka the 'rising tide that would lift all yachts' -- of Reaganomics . One of several mantras that defined Reagan's overarching political shtick, the TDE was by any measure, decidedly more a torrent than a trickle, and said "torrent" was going up not down. This reality as we now know was not in Reagan's glossy economic brochure to be sure, and it may have been because the Gipper confused his prepositions and verbs.

Yet as the GFC of 2008 amply demonstrated, it culminated in a free-for all, dog eat dog, anything goes, everyman for himself form of cannibal (or anarcho) capitalism -- an updated, much improved version of the no-holds-barred mercenary mercantilism much reminiscent of the Gilded Age and the Robber Barons who 'infested' it, only one that doesn't just eat its young, it eats itself!

Making the World Safe for Plutocracy

In the increasingly dysfunctional, one-sided political economy we inhabit then, whether it's widgets or wars or anything in between, few people realise the degree to which our opinions, perceptions, emotions, and views are shaped and manipulated by propaganda (and its similarly 'evil twin' censorship ,) its most adept practitioners, and those elite, institutional, political, and corporate entities that seek out their expertise.

It is now just over a hundred years since the practice of propaganda took a giant leap forward, then in the service of persuading palpably reluctant Americans that the war raging in Europe at the time was their war as well.

This was at a time when Americans had just voted their then-president Woodrow Wilson back into office for a second term, a victory largely achieved on the back of the promise he'd "keep us out of the War." Americans were very much in what was one of their most isolationist phases , and so Wilson's promise resonated with them.

But over time they were convinced of the need to become involved by a distinctly different appeal to their political sensibilities. This "appeal" also dampened the isolationist mood, one which it has to be said was not embraced by most of the political, banking, and business elites of the time, most of whom stood to lose big-time if the Germans won, and/or who were already profiting or benefitting from the business of war.

For a president who "kept us out of the war", this wasn't going to be an easy 'pitch'. In order to sell the war the president established the Committee on Public Information (aka the Creel Committee) for the purposes of publicising the rationale for the war and from there, garnering support for it from the general public.

Enter Edward Bernays , the nephew of Sigmund Freud, who's generally considered to be the father of modern public relations. In his film Rule from the Shadows: The Psychology of Power , Aaron Hawkins says Bernays was influenced by people such as Gustave le Bon , Walter Lippman , and Wilfred Trotter , as much, if not moreso, than his famous uncle.

Either way, Bernays 'combined their perspectives and synthesised them into an applied science', which he then 'branded' "public relations".

For its part the Creel committee struggled with its brief from the off; but Bernays worked with them to persuade Americans their involvement in the war was justified -- indeed necessary -- and to that end he devised the brilliantly inane slogan, "making the world safe for democracy" .

Thus was born arguably the first great propaganda catch-phrases of the modern era, and certainly one of the most portentous. The following sums up Bernays's unabashed mindset:

The conscious, intelligent manipulation of the organised habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.'

The rest is history (sort of), with Americans becoming more willing to not just support the war effort but encouraged to view the Germans and their allies as evil brutes threatening democracy and freedom and the 'American way of life', however that might've been viewed then. From a geopolitical and historical perspective, it was an asinine premise of course, but nonetheless an extraordinary example of how a few well chosen words tapped into the collective psyche of a country that was decidedly opposed to any U.S involvement in the war and turned that mindset completely on its head.

' [S]aving the world for democracy' (or some 'cover version' thereof) has since become America's positioning statement, 'patriotic' rallying cry, and the "Get-out-of-Jail Free" card for its war and its white collar criminal clique.

At all events it was by any measure, a stroke of genius on Bernays's part; by appealing to people's basic fears and desires, he could engineer consent on a mass scale. It goes without saying it changed the course of history in more ways than one. That the U.S. is to this day still using a not dissimilar meme to justify its "foreign entanglements" is testament to both its utility and durability.

The reality as we now know was markedly different of course. They have almost always been about power, empire, control, hegemony, resources, wealth, opportunity, profit, dispossession, keeping existing capitalist structures intact and well-defended, and crushing dissent and opposition.

The Bewildered Herd

It is instructive to note that the template for 'manufacturing consent' for war had already been forged by the British. And the Europeans did not 'sleepwalk' like some " bewildered herd ' into this conflagration.

For twenty years prior to the outbreak of the war in 1914, the then stewards of the British Empire had been diligently preparing the ground for what they viewed as a preordained clash with their rivals for empire the Germans.

To begin with, contrary to the opinion of the general populace over one hundred years later, it was not the much touted German aggression and militarism, nor their undoubted imperial ambitions, which precipitated its outbreak. The stewards of the British Empire were not about to let the Teutonic upstarts chow down on their imperial lunch as it were, and set about unilaterally and preemptively crushing Germany and with it any ambitions it had for creating its own imperial domain in competition with the Empire upon which Ol' Sol never set.

The "Great War" is worth noting here for other reasons. As documented so by Jim Macgregor and Gerry Docherty in their two books covering the period from 1890-1920, we learn much about propaganda, which attest to its extraordinary power, in particular its power to distort reality en masse in enduring and subversive ways.

In reality, the only thing "great" about World War One was the degree to which the masses fighting for Britain were conned via propaganda and censorship into believing this war was necessary, and the way the official narrative of the war was sustained for posterity via the very same means. "Great" maybe, but not in a good way!

In these seminal tomes -- World War One Hidden History: The Secret Origins of the First World War and its follow-up Prolonging the Agony: How the Anglo-American Establishment Deliberately Extended WWI by Three-And-A-Half Years -- Macgregor and Docherty provide a masterclass for us all of the power of propaganda in the service of firstly inciting, then deliberately sustaining a major war.

The horrendous carnage and destruction that resulted from it was of course unprecedented, the global effects of which linger on now well over one hundred years later.

Such was the enduring power of the propaganda that today most folks would have great difficulty in accepting the following; this is a short summary of historical realities revealed by Macgregor and Docherty that are at complete odds with the official narrative, the political discourse, and the school textbooks:

It was Great Britain (supported by France and Russia) and not Germany who was the principal aggressor in the events and actions that let to the outbreak of war; The British had for twenty years prior to 1914 viewed Germany as its most dangerous economic and imperial rival, and fully anticipated that a war was inevitable; In the U.K. and the U.S., various factions worked feverishly to ensure the war went on for as long as possible, and scuttled peacemaking efforts from the off; key truths about this most consequential of geopolitical conflicts have been concealed for well over one hundred years, with no sign the official record will change; very powerful forces (incl. a future US president) amongst U.S. political, media, and economic elites conspired to eventually convince an otherwise unwilling populace in America that U.S. entry onto the war was necessary; those same forces and many similar groups in the U.K. and Europe engaged in everything from war profiteering, destruction/forging of war records, false-flag ops, treason, conspiracy to wage aggressive war, and direct efforts to prolong the war by any means necessary, many of which will rock folks to their very core.

But peace was not on the agenda. When, by 1916, the military failures were so embarrassing and costly, some key players in the British government were willing to talk about peace. This could not be tolerated. The potential peacemakers had to be thrown under the bus. The unelected European leaders had one common bond: They would fight Germany until she was crushed.

Prolonging the Agony details how this secret cabal organised to this end the change of government without a single vote being cast. David Lloyd George was promoted to prime minister in Britain and Georges Clemenceau made prime minister in France. A new government, an inner-elite war cabinet thrust the Secret Elite leader, Lord Alfred Milner into power at the very inner-core of the decision-makers in British politics.

Democracy? They had no truck with democracy. The voting public had no say. The men entrusted with the task would keep going till the end and their place-men were backed by the media and the money-power, in Britain, France and America.

Propaganda Always Wins

But just as the pioneering adherents of propaganda back in the day might never have dreamt how sophisticated and all-encompassing the practice would become, nor would the citizenry at large have anticipated the extent to which the industry has facilitated an entrenched, rapacious plutocracy at the expense of our economic opportunity, our financial and material security, our physical, social and cultural environment, our values and attitudes, and increasingly, our basic democratic rights and freedoms.

We now live in the Age of the Big Shill -- cocooned in a submissive void no less -- an era where nothing can be taken on face value yet where time and attention constraints (to name just a few) force us to do so; [where] few people in public life can be taken at their word; where unchallenged perceptions become accepted reality; where 'open-book' history is now incontrovertible not-negotiable, upon pain of imprisonment fact; where education is about uniformity, function, form and conformity, all in the service of imposed neo-liberal ideologies embracing then prioritising individual -- albeit dubious -- freedoms.

More broadly, it's the "Roger Ailes" of this world -- acting on behalf of the power elites who after all are their paymasters -- who create the intellectual systems which control expression through the communications structures, whilst ensuring these systems require only 'the discreet use of censorship and uniformed men.'

They are the shapers and moulders of the discourse that passes for the accepted lingua franca of the increasingly globalised, interconnected, corporatised political economy of the planet. Throughout this process they 'will always try to change the established language.'

And we can no longer rely on our elected representatives to honestly represent us and our interests. Whether this decision making is taking place inside or outside the legislative process, these processes are well and truly in the grip of the banks and financial institutions and transnational organisations. In whose interests are they going to be more concerned with?

We saw this all just after the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) when the very people who brought the system to the brink, made billions off the dodge for their banks and millions for themselves, bankrupted hundreds of thousands of American families, were called upon by the U.S. government to fix up the mess, and to all intents given a blank cheque to so do.

That the U.S. is at even greater risk now of economic implosion is something few serious pundits would dispute, and a testament to the effectiveness of the snow-job perpetrated upon Americans regarding the causes, the impact, and the implications of the 2008 meltdown going forward.

In most cases, one accepts almost by definition such disconnects (read: hidden agendas) are the rule rather than the exception, hence the multi-billion foundation -- and global reach and impact -- of the propaganda business. This in itself is a key indicator as to why organisations place so much importance on this aspect of managing their affairs.

At the very least, once corporations saw how the psychology of persuasion could be leveraged to manipulate consumers and politicians saw the same with the citizenry and even its own workers, the growth of the industry was assured.

As Riefenstahl noted during her chinwag with Pilger after he asked if those embracing the "submissive void" included the liberal, educated bourgeoisie? " Everyone ," she said.

By way of underscoring her point, she added enigmatically: 'Propaganda always wins if you allow it'.

Greg Maybury is a freelance writer based in Perth, Australia. His main areas of interest are American history and politics in general, with a special focus on economic, national security, military, and geopolitical affairs. For 5 years he has regularly contributed to a diverse range of news and opinion sites, including OpEd News, The Greanville Post, Consortium News, Dandelion Salad, Global Research, Dissident Voice, OffGuardian, Contra Corner, International Policy Digest, the Hampton Institute, and others.


nottheonly1

This brilliant essay is proof of the reflective nature of the Universe. The worse the propaganda and oppression becomes, the greater the likelihood such an essay will be written.

Such is the sophistication and ubiquity of the narrative control techniques used today -- afforded increasingly by 'computational propaganda' via automated scripts, hacking, botnets, troll farms, and algorithms and the like, along with the barely veiled censorship and information gatekeeping practised by Google and Facebook and other tech behemoths -- it's become one of the most troubling aspects of the technological/social media revolution.

Very rarely can one experience such a degree of vindication. My moniker 'nottheonly1' has received more meaning with this precise depiction of the long history of the manipulation of the masses. Recent events have destroyed but all of my confidence that there might be a peaceful way out of this massive dilemma. Due to this sophistication in controlling the narrative, it has now become apparent that we have arrived at a moment in time where total lawlessness reigns. 'Lawlessness' in this case means the loss of common law and the use of code law to create ever new restrictions for free speech and liberty at large.

Over the last weeks, comments written on other discussion boards have unleashed a degree of character defamation and ridicule for the most obvious crimes perpetrated on the masses through propaganda. In this unholy union of constant propaganda via main stream 'media' with the character defamation by so called 'trolls' – which are actually virtual assassins of those who write the truth – the ability of the population, or parts thereof to connect with, or search for like minded people is utterly destroyed. This assault on the online community has devastating consequences. Those who have come into the cross hairs of the unintelligence agencies will but turn away from the internet. Leaving behind an ocean of online propaganda and fake information. Few are now the web sites on which it is possible to voice one's personal take on the status quo.

There is one word that describes these kind of activities precisely: traitor. Those who engage in the character defamation of commenters, or authors per se, are traitors to humanity. They betray the collective consciousness with their poisonous attacks of those who work for a sea change of the status quo. The owner class has all game pieces positioned. The fact that Julian Assange is not only a free man, but still without a Nobel price for peace, while war criminals are recipients, shows just how much the march into absolute totalitarianism has progressed. Bernays hated the masses and offered his 'services' to manipulate them often for free.

Even though there are more solutions than problems, the time has come where meaningful participation in the search for such solution has been made unbearable. It is therefore that a certain fatalism has developed – from resignation to the acceptance of the status quo as being inevitable. Ancient wisdom has created a proverb that states 'This too, will pass'. While that is a given, there are still enough Human Beings around that are determined to make a difference. To this group I count the author of this marvelous, albeit depressing essay. Thank you more that words can express. And thank you, OffGuardian for being one of the last remaining places where discourse is possible.

GMW
Really great post! Thanks. I'm part of the way through reading Alex Carey's book: "Taking the Risk Out of Democracy: Corporate Propaganda Versus Freedom and Liberty," referenced in this article. I've learned more about the obviously verifiable history of U.S. corporate propaganda in the first four chapters than I learned gaining a "minor" in history in 1974 (not surprisingly I can now clearly see). I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in just how pervasive, entrenched and long-standing are the propaganda systems shaping public perception, thought and behavior in America and the West.
Norcal
Wow Greg Maybury great essay, congratulations. This quote is brilliant, I've never see it before, "For Carey, the following conclusion was inescapable: 'It is arguable that the success of business propaganda in persuading us, for so long, that we are free from propaganda is one of the most significant propaganda achievements of the twentieth century.' "

Too, Rodger Ailes was the man credited with educating Nixon up as how to "use" the TV media, and Ailes never looked back as he manipulated media at will. Thank you!

nondimenticare
That is also one of the basic theses of Harold Pinter's Nobel Prize speech.
vexarb
I read in 'Guns, Germs and Steel' about Homo Sapiens and his domesticated animals. Apparently we got on best in places where we could find animals that are very like us: sheep, cattle, horses and other herd animals which instinctively follow their Leader. I think our cousins the chimpanzee are much the same; both species must have inherited this common trait from some pre-chimpanzee ancestor who had found great survival value in passing on the sheeple trait to their progeny. As have the sheep themselves.

By the way, has anybody observed sheeple behaviour in ants and bees? For instance, quietly following a Leader ant to their doom, or noisily ganging up to mob a worker bee that the Queen does not like?

Andy
Almost unbelievable that this was commisioned by the BBC 4 part series covering much of what is in Gregs essay. Some fabulous old footage too. https://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-century-of-the-self/
S.R.Passerby
I'd say the elites are both for and against. Competing factions. It's clear that many are interested in overturning democracy, whilst others want to exploit it.

The average grunt on the street is in the fire, regardless of the pan chosen by the elites.

[Aug 16, 2019] On the superior quality of US propaganda

Aug 16, 2019 | off-guardian.org

The story goes like this: sometime during the height of the Cold War a group of American journalists were hosting a visit to the U.S. of some of their Soviet counterparts.

After allowing their visitors some time to soak up the media zeitgeist stateside, most of the Americans expected their guests to express unbridled envy at the professional liberties they enjoyed in the Land of the Free Press.

One of the Russian scribes was indeed compelled to express his unabashed 'admiration' to his hosts in particular, for the "far superior quality" of American "propaganda". Now it's fair to say his hosts were taken aback by what was at best a backhanded compliment.

After some collegial 'piss-taking' about the stereotypes associated with Western "press freedom" versus those of the controlled media in the Soviet system, one of the Americans called on their Russian colleague to explain what he meant. In fractured English, he replied with the following:

It's very simple. In Soviet Union, we don't believe our propaganda. In America, you actually believe yours!"

[Aug 12, 2019] RAY McGOVERN Rich's Ghost Haunts the Courts Consortiumnews

Notable quotes:
"... That epithet has a sordid history in the annals of U.S. intelligence. Legendary CIA Director Allen Dulles used the "brand-them-conspiracy-theorists" ploy following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy when many objected -- understandably -- to letting him pretty much run the Warren Commission, even though the CIA was suspected of having played a role in the murder. The "conspiracy theorist" tactic worked like a charm then, and now. Well, up until just now. ..."
"... U.S. Courts apply far tougher standards to evidence than do the intelligence community and the pundits who loll around lazily, feeding from the intelligence PR trough. This (hardly surprising) reality was underscored when a Dallas financial adviser named Ed Butowsky sued National Public Radio and others for defaming him about the role he played in controversial stories relating to Rich. On August 7, NPR suffered a setback, when U.S. District Court Judge Amos Mazzant affirmed a lower court decision to allow Butowsky's defamation lawsuit to proceed. ..."
"... NPR gave Isikoff 37 minutes on its popular Fresh Air program to spin his yarn about how the Seth Rich story got started. You guessed it; the Russians started it . No, we are not making this up. ..."
"... It is far from clear that Isikoff can be much help to NPR in the libel case against it. Isikoff's own writings on Russiagate are notably lacking in "verifiable statements of fact" -- information that cannot be verified. ..."
"... In any case, The Washington Post , had already debunked Isikoff's claim (which later in his article he switched to being only "purported") by pointing out that Americans had already tweeted the theory of Rich's murder days before the alleged Russian intervention. ..."
"... Butowsky's libel lawsuit can now proceed to discovery, which will include demands for documents and depositions that are likely to shed light on whatever role Rich may have played in leaking to WikiLeaks . If the government obstructs or tries to slow-roll the case, we shall have to wait and see, for example, if the court will acquiesce to the familiar government objection that information regarding Rich's murder must be withheld as a state secret? Hmmm. What would that tell us? ..."
"... During discovery in a separate court case, the government was unable to produce a final forensic report on the "hacking" of the Democratic National Committee. The DNC-hired cyber firm, CrowdStrike, failed to complete such a report, and that was apparently okay with then FBI Director James Comey, who did not require one. ..."
"... The thorny question of "persuasive sourcing," came up even more starkly on July 1, when federal Judge Dabney Friedrich ordered Robert Mueller to stop pretending he had proof that the Russian government was behind the Internet Research Agency's supposed attempt to interfere via social media in the 2016 election. Middle school-level arithmetic can prove the case that the IRA's use of social media to support Trump is ludicrous on its face. ..."
"... As journalist Patrick Lawrence put it recently: "Three years after the narrative we call Russiagate was framed and incessantly promoted, it crumbles into rubble as we speak." ..."
"... In a long interview with Lauria a few months ago in New Zealand aired this month on CN Live! , Kim Dotcom provided a wealth of detail, based on what he described as first-hand knowledge, regarding how Democratic National Committee documents were leaked to WikiLeaks in 2016. ..."
"... The major takeaway: the evidence presented by Dotcom about Seth Rich can be verified or disproven if President Trump summons the courage to order the director of NSA to dig out the relevant data, including the conversations Dotcom says he had with Rich and Rich may have had with WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange. ..."
"... Dotcom said he put Rich in touch with a middleman to transfer the DNC files to WikiLeaks . ..."
"... Mark Twain is said to have warned, "How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again!" After three years of "Russia-Russia-Russia" in the corporate -- and even in some "progressive" -- media, this conditioning will not be easy to reverse. ..."
Aug 12, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Simply letting the name "Seth Rich" pass your lips can condemn you to the leper colony built by the Washington Establishment for "conspiracy theorists," (the term regularly applied to someone determined to seek tangible evidence, and who is open to alternatives to "Russia-did-it.")

Rich was a young DNC employee who was murdered on a street in Washington, DC, on July 10, 2016. Many, including me, suspect that Rich played some role in the leaking of DNC emails to WikiLeaks . There is considerable circumstantial evidence that this may have been the case. Those who voice such suspicions, however, are, ipso facto , branded "conspiracy theorists."

That epithet has a sordid history in the annals of U.S. intelligence. Legendary CIA Director Allen Dulles used the "brand-them-conspiracy-theorists" ploy following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy when many objected -- understandably -- to letting him pretty much run the Warren Commission, even though the CIA was suspected of having played a role in the murder. The "conspiracy theorist" tactic worked like a charm then, and now. Well, up until just now.

Rich Hovers Above the Courts

U.S. Courts apply far tougher standards to evidence than do the intelligence community and the pundits who loll around lazily, feeding from the intelligence PR trough. This (hardly surprising) reality was underscored when a Dallas financial adviser named Ed Butowsky sued National Public Radio and others for defaming him about the role he played in controversial stories relating to Rich. On August 7, NPR suffered a setback, when U.S. District Court Judge Amos Mazzant affirmed a lower court decision to allow Butowsky's defamation lawsuit to proceed.

Judge Mazzant ruled that NPR had stated as "verifiable statements of fact" information that could not be verified , and that the plaintiff had been, in effect, accused of being engaged in wrongdoing without persuasive sourcing language.

Isikoff: Russians started it. (Wikipedia)

Imagine! -- "persuasive sourcing" required to separate fact from opinion and axes to grind! An interesting precedent to apply to the ins and outs of Russiagate. In the courts, at least, this is now beginning to happen. And NPR and others in similarly vulnerable positions are scurrying around for allies.??The day after Judge Mazzant's decision, NPR enlisted help from discredited Yahoo! News pundit Michael Isikoff (author, with David Corn, of the fiction-posing-as-fact novel Russian Roulette ). NPR gave Isikoff 37 minutes on its popular Fresh Air program to spin his yarn about how the Seth Rich story got started. You guessed it; the Russians started it . No, we are not making this up.

It is far from clear that Isikoff can be much help to NPR in the libel case against it. Isikoff's own writings on Russiagate are notably lacking in "verifiable statements of fact" -- information that cannot be verified. Watch, for example, his recent interview with Consortium News Editor Joe Lauria on CN Live!

Isikoff admitted to Lauria that he never saw the classified Russian intelligence document reportedly indicating that three days after Rich's murder the Russian SVR foreign intelligence service planted a story about Rich having been the leaker and was killed for it. This Russian intelligence "bulletin," as Isikoff called it, was supposedly placed on a bizarre website that Isikoff admitted was an unlikely place for Russia to spread disinformation. He acknowledged that he only took the word of the former prosecutor in the Rich case about the existence of this classified Russian document.

In any case, The Washington Post , had already debunked Isikoff's claim (which later in his article he switched to being only "purported") by pointing out that Americans had already tweeted the theory of Rich's murder days before the alleged Russian intervention.

' Persuasive Sourcing' & Discovery ??

Butowsky's libel lawsuit can now proceed to discovery, which will include demands for documents and depositions that are likely to shed light on whatever role Rich may have played in leaking to WikiLeaks . If the government obstructs or tries to slow-roll the case, we shall have to wait and see, for example, if the court will acquiesce to the familiar government objection that information regarding Rich's murder must be withheld as a state secret? Hmmm. What would that tell us?

Butowsky: Suit could reveal critical information. (Flickr)

During discovery in a separate court case, the government was unable to produce a final forensic report on the "hacking" of the Democratic National Committee. The DNC-hired cyber firm, CrowdStrike, failed to complete such a report, and that was apparently okay with then FBI Director James Comey, who did not require one.

The incomplete, redacted, draft, second-hand "forensics" that Comey settled for from CrowdStrike does not qualify as credible evidence -- much less "persuasive sourcing" to support the claim that the Russians "hacked" into the DNC. Moreover, CrowdStrike has a dubious reputation for professionalism and a well known anti-Russia bias.

The thorny question of "persuasive sourcing," came up even more starkly on July 1, when federal Judge Dabney Friedrich ordered Robert Mueller to stop pretending he had proof that the Russian government was behind the Internet Research Agency's supposed attempt to interfere via social media in the 2016 election. Middle school-level arithmetic can prove the case that the IRA's use of social media to support Trump is ludicrous on its face.

Russia-gate Rubble

As journalist Patrick Lawrence put it recently: "Three years after the narrative we call Russiagate was framed and incessantly promoted, it crumbles into rubble as we speak." Falling syllogism! Step nimbly to one side.

The "conspiracy theorist" epithet is not likely to much longer block attention to the role, if any, played by Rich -- the more so since some players who say they were directly involved with Rich are coming forward.

In a long interview with Lauria a few months ago in New Zealand aired this month on CN Live! , Kim Dotcom provided a wealth of detail, based on what he described as first-hand knowledge, regarding how Democratic National Committee documents were leaked to WikiLeaks in 2016.

The major takeaway: the evidence presented by Dotcom about Seth Rich can be verified or disproven if President Trump summons the courage to order the director of NSA to dig out the relevant data, including the conversations Dotcom says he had with Rich and Rich may have had with WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.

Dotcom said he put Rich in touch with a middleman to transfer the DNC files to WikiLeaks . Sadly, Trump has flinched more than once rather than confront the Deep State -- and this time there are a bunch of very well connected, senior Deep State practitioners who could face prosecution .

Another sign that Rich's story is likely to draw new focus is the virulent character assassination indulged in by former investigative journalist James Risen.

Not Risen to the Challenge

Risen: Called Binney a "conspiracy theorist." (Flickr)

On August 5, in an interview on The Hill's "Rising," Risen chose to call former NSA Technical Director Bill Binney -- you guessed it -- a "conspiracy theorist" on Russia-gate, with no demurral, much less pushback, from the hosts.

The having-done-good-work-in-the-past-and-now-not-so-much Risen can be considered a paradigm for what has happened to so many Kool-Aid drinking journalists. Jim's transition from investigative journalist to stenographer is, nonetheless unsettling. Contributing causes? It appears that the traditional sources within the intelligence agencies, whom Risen was able to cultivate discreetly in the past, are too fearful now to even talk to him, lest they get caught by one or two of the myriad surveillance systems in play.

Those at the top of the relevant agencies, however, are only too happy to provide grist. Journalists have to make a living, after all. Topic A, of course, is Russian "interference" in the 2016 election. And, of course, "There can be little doubt" the Russians did it.

"Big Jim" Risen, as he is known, jumped on the bandwagon as soon as he joined The Intercept , with a fulsome article on February 17, 2018 titled " Is Donald Trump a Traitor? " Here's an excerpt:

"The evidence that Russia intervened in the election to help Trump win is already compelling, and it grows stronger by the day.

"There can be little doubt now that Russian intelligence officials were behind an effort to hack the DNC's computers and steal emails and other information from aides to Hillary Clinton as a means of damaging her presidential campaign. Russian intelligence also used fake social media accounts and other tools to create a global echo chamber both for stories about the emails and for anti-Clinton lies dressed up to look like news.

"To their disgrace, editors and reporters at American news organizations greatly enhanced the Russian echo chamber, eagerly writing stories about Clinton and the Democratic Party based on the emails, while showing almost no interest during the presidential campaign in exactly how those emails came to be disclosed and distributed." (sic)

Poor Jim. He shows himself just as susceptible as virtually all of his fellow corporate journalists to the epidemic-scale HWHW virus (Hillary Would Have Won) that set in during Nov. 2016 and for which the truth seems to be no cure. From his perch at The Intercept , Risen will continue to try to shape the issues. Russiagaters major ally, of course, is the corporate media which has most Americans pretty much under their thumb.

Incidentally, neither The New York Times, The Washington Post , nor The Wall Street Journal has printed or posted a word about Judge Mazzant's ruling on the Butowsky suit.

Mark Twain is said to have warned, "How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again!" After three years of "Russia-Russia-Russia" in the corporate -- and even in some "progressive" -- media, this conditioning will not be easy to reverse.

Here's how one astute observer with a sense of humor described the situation last week, in a comment under one of my recent pieces on Consortium News:

" One can write the most thought-out and well documented academic-like essays, articles and reports and the true believers in Russiagate will dismiss it all with a mere flick of their wrist. The mockery and scorn directed towards those of us who knew the score from day one won't relent. They could die and go to heaven and ask god what really happened during the 2016 election. God would reply to them in no uncertain terms that Putin and the Russians had absolutely nothing to do with anything in '16, and they'd all throw up their hands and say, 'aha! So, God's in on this too!' It's the great lie that won't die."

I'm not so sure. It is likely to be a while though before this is over.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. Ray was a CIA analyst for 27 years; in retirement he co-founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

[Aug 06, 2019] Antiwar.com vs. the Decline of American Journalism by Justin Raimondo

Notable quotes:
"... it turned out that the very people who were up in arms about "fake news" were the ones propagating their own version of it. WikiLeaks did much to expose their game by publicizing the key role played by the Legacy Media in acting as an extension of the Clinton campaign. However, the real unmasking came after the November election, when the rage of the liberal elites became so manifest that "reporters" who would normally be loath to reveal their politics came out of the closet, so to speak, and started telling us that the old journalistic standard of objectivity no longer applied. The election of Trump, they averred, meant that the old standards must be abandoned and a new, and openly partisan bias must take its place. In honor of this new credo, the Washington Post has adopted a new slogan: " Democracy dies in darkness "! ..."
"... Rep. Gabbard's "crime" was to challenge the US-funded effort to overthrow the regime of Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad as contrary to our interests and the prospects for peace in the region. For that she has been demonized in the media – and, not coincidentally, the very same media that is now an instrument in the hands of our "intelligence community." For ..."
"... And of course it's not just the Washington Post : the entire "mainstream" media is now colluding with the "intelligence community" in an effort to discredit and derail any efforts at a rapprochement with Russia. We haven't seen this kind of hysteria since the frigid winter of the cold war. ..."
"... My longtime readers will not be shocked by any of this: during the run up to the Iraq war, the media was chock full of fake news about Saddam Hussein's fabled weapons of mass destruction, which all the "experts" told us were certainly there and ready to rain death and destruction at any minute. Who can forget the series of articles by Judith Miller that adorned the front page of the New York Times – which were merely Bush administration talking points reiterated by Donald Rumsfeld & Co. on the Sunday talk shows? Miller has now become synonymous with the very concept of fake news – and yet how quickly we forget the lesson we should have learned from that shameful episode in the history of American journalism . ..."
"... Blinded by partisan bias, all too willing to be used as an instrument of the Deep State -- and determined to "control exactly what people think," which is, as Mika Brzezinski put it the other day, " our job " – the English-speaking media has become increasingly unreliable. This has become a big problem for us here at Antiwar.com: we now have to check and re-check everything that they report as fact. Not that we didn't do that anyway, but the difference is that, these days, we have to be more careful than ever before linking to it, or citing it as factual. ..."
"... The day of the "alternative media" has passed. We are simply part of the media, period: the increasingly tiny portion of it that doesn't fall for war propaganda, that doesn't have a partisan agenda, and that harkens back to the "old" journalistic standards of yesteryear – objective reporting of facts. That doesn't mean we don't have opinions, or an agenda – far from it! However, we base those opinions on what, to the best of our ability, we can discern as the facts. ..."
"... And we have a pretty good record in this regard. Back when everyone who was anyone was telling us that those "weapons of mass destruction" were lurking in the Iraqi shadows, we said it was nonsense – and we were right. As the "experts" said that war with Iraq would "solve" the problem of terrorism and bring enlightenment to the Middle East, we said the war would usher in the reign of chaos – and we were right. We warned that NATO expansion would trigger an unnecessary conflict with Russia, and we were proved right about that, too. The Kosovo war was hailed as a "humanitarian" act – and we rightly predicted it would come back to haunt us in the form of a gangster state riven by conflict. ..."
"... There's one way in which we are significantly different from the rest of the media – we depend on our readers for the financial support we need to keep going. The Washington Post has Jeff Bezos, one of the wealthiest men in the world – not to mention a multi-million dollar contract with the "intelligence community." The New York Times has Carlos Slim, another billionaire with seemingly bottomless pockets. We, on the other hand, just have you. ..."
Aug 06, 2019 | original.antiwar.com

We're not the alternative media – we're the best media you've got!

Posted on August 06, 2019 August 4, 2019 The more things change, the more they stay the same: the sun comes up in the morning; another Hitler arises in the fantasies of the foreign-policy establishment; and Josh Rogin writes another column attacking Tusli Gabbard, the most pro-peace candidate in the Democratic lineup. Justin blasted Rogin the first time he tried this, back in February of 2017, proving that the whole story was "fake news". We think it's important to revisit Justin's analysis of the media-enhanced demand for war. As Justin notes, the only real alternative to this, the only real "alternative media," are sites like Antiwar. com and WikiLeaks.

This column is also timely because it was written during another Antiwar.com fundraising drive. That time, we had $31,000 in matching funds, now we have $40,000, and as usual we need your support. Please donate – the War Party media is backed by billionaires, so we need all friends of peace.

Originally published February 24, 2017

If we look at the phrase itself, it seems to mean the media that presents itself as the alternative to what we call the "corporate media," i.e. the New York Times , the Washington Post , your local rag – in short, the Legacy Media that predominated in those bygone days before the Internet. And yet this whole arrangement seems outdated, to say the least. The Internet has long since been colonized by the corporate giants: BuzzFeed, for example, is regularly fed huge dollops of cash from its corporate owners. And the Legacy Media has adapted to the primacy of online media, however reluctantly and ineptly. So the alternative media isn't defined by how they deliver the news, but rather by 1) what they judge to be news, and 2) how they report it.

And that's the problem.

There's been much talk of "fake news," a concept first defined by the "mainstream" media types as an insidious scheme by the Russians and/or supporters of Donald Trump to deny Hillary Clinton her rightful place in the Oval Office. Or it was Macedonian teenagers out to fool us into giving them clicks. Or something. Facebook and Google announced a campaign to eliminate this Dire Threat, and the mandarins of the "mainstream" reared up in righteous anger, lecturing us that journalistic standards were being traduced.

Yet it turned out that the very people who were up in arms about "fake news" were the ones propagating their own version of it. WikiLeaks did much to expose their game by publicizing the key role played by the Legacy Media in acting as an extension of the Clinton campaign. However, the real unmasking came after the November election, when the rage of the liberal elites became so manifest that "reporters" who would normally be loath to reveal their politics came out of the closet, so to speak, and started telling us that the old journalistic standard of objectivity no longer applied. The election of Trump, they averred, meant that the old standards must be abandoned and a new, and openly partisan bias must take its place. In honor of this new credo, the Washington Post has adopted a new slogan: " Democracy dies in darkness "!

This from the newspaper that ran a front page story citing the anonymous trolls at PropOrNot.com as credible sources for an account of alleged "Russian agents of influence" in the media – a story that slimed Matt Drudge and Antiwar.com, among others.

This from the newspaper that ran another big story claiming the Russians had infiltrated Vermont's power grid without bothering to check with the power company .

This from the newspaper that regularly publishes "news" accounts citing anonymous "intelligence officials" claiming the Trump administration is rife with Russian "agents."

This from the newspaper that published a piece by foreign affairs columnist Josh Rogin that falsely claimed Rep. Tulsi Gabbard's trip to Syria was funded by a group that is "nonexistent" and strongly implied she was in the pay of the Syrian government or some other foreign entity. Well after the smear circulated far and wide, the paper posted the following correction:

" An earlier version of this op-ed misspelled the name of AACCESS Ohio and incorrectly stated that the organization no longer exists. AACCESS Ohio is an independent non-profit organization that is a member of the ACCESS National Network of Arab American Community organizations but is currently on probation due to inactivity. The op-ed also incorrectly stated that Bassam Khawam is Syrian American. He is Lebanese American. This version has been corrected."

In other words, the entire story was fake news .

Rep. Gabbard's "crime" was to challenge the US-funded effort to overthrow the regime of Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad as contrary to our interests and the prospects for peace in the region. For that she has been demonized in the media – and, not coincidentally, the very same media that is now an instrument in the hands of our "intelligence community." For it is these spooks who, for years, have been canoodling with the Saudis in an effort to rid the region of the last secular obstacle to the Sunni-ization of the Middle East. That they have Tulsi Gabbard in their sights is no surprise.

And of course it's not just the Washington Post : the entire "mainstream" media is now colluding with the "intelligence community" in an effort to discredit and derail any efforts at a rapprochement with Russia. We haven't seen this kind of hysteria since the frigid winter of the cold war.

My longtime readers will not be shocked by any of this: during the run up to the Iraq war, the media was chock full of fake news about Saddam Hussein's fabled weapons of mass destruction, which all the "experts" told us were certainly there and ready to rain death and destruction at any minute. Who can forget the series of articles by Judith Miller that adorned the front page of the New York Times – which were merely Bush administration talking points reiterated by Donald Rumsfeld & Co. on the Sunday talk shows? Miller has now become synonymous with the very concept of fake news – and yet how quickly we forget the lesson we should have learned from that shameful episode in the history of American journalism.

So fake news is nothing new, nor is the concept of the "mainstream" media as a megaphone for war propaganda. What's different today is that many are waking up to this fact – and turning to the "alternative." I've been struck by this rising phenomenon over the past year or so: Matt Drudge gave Antiwar.com a permanent link. Our audience has increased by many thousands. And I've been getting a steady stream of interview requests. I was quite pleased to read the following in a recent piece in The Nation about the media's fit of Russophobia and the key role played by the journalist I. F. Stone during the 1950s:

"To conclude where I began, think for a moment about I.F. Stone during his haunted 1950s. While he was well-regarded by a lot of rank-and-file reporters, few would say so openly. He was PNG [persona non grata] among people such as [ New York Times publisher Arthur] Sulzberger – an outcast .

"Now think about now.

"A few reporters and commentators advise us that the name of the game these days is to sink the single most constructive policy the Trump administration has announced. The rest is subterfuge, rubbish. This is prima facie the case, though you can read it nowhere in the Times or any of the other corporate media. A few have asserted that we may now be witnessing a coup operation against the Trump White House. This is a possibility, in my view. We cannot flick it off the table. With the utmost purpose, I post here one of these pieces. "A Win for the Deep State" came out just after Flynn was forced from office. It is by a writer named Justin Raimondo and appeared in a wholly out-of-bounds web publication called Antiwar.com. I know nothing about either, but it is a thought-provoking piece."

Well, we aren't quite "wholly out of bounds," except in certain circles, but all in all this is a great compliment – and it's illustrative of author Patrick Lawrence's point, which is that

"We, readers and viewers, must discriminate among all that is put before us so as to make the best judgments we can and, not least, protect our minds. The other side of the coin, what we customarily call 'alternative media,' assumes an important responsibility. They must get done, as best they can, what better-endowed media now shirk. To put this simply and briefly, they and we must learn that they are not 'alternative' to anything. In the end there is no such thing as 'alternative media,' as I often argue. There are only media, and most of ours have turned irretrievably bad."

We here at Antiwar.com take our responsibility to you, our readers and supporters, very seriously. We're working day and night, 24/7, to separate fact from fiction, knee-jerk "analysis" from intelligent critique, partisan bullshit from truth. And we've had to work much harder lately because the profession of journalism has fallen on hard times.

Blinded by partisan bias, all too willing to be used as an instrument of the Deep State -- and determined to "control exactly what people think," which is, as Mika Brzezinski put it the other day, " our job " – the English-speaking media has become increasingly unreliable. This has become a big problem for us here at Antiwar.com: we now have to check and re-check everything that they report as fact. Not that we didn't do that anyway, but the difference is that, these days, we have to be more careful than ever before linking to it, or citing it as factual.

The day of the "alternative media" has passed. We are simply part of the media, period: the increasingly tiny portion of it that doesn't fall for war propaganda, that doesn't have a partisan agenda, and that harkens back to the "old" journalistic standards of yesteryear – objective reporting of facts. That doesn't mean we don't have opinions, or an agenda – far from it! However, we base those opinions on what, to the best of our ability, we can discern as the facts.

And we have a pretty good record in this regard. Back when everyone who was anyone was telling us that those "weapons of mass destruction" were lurking in the Iraqi shadows, we said it was nonsense – and we were right. As the "experts" said that war with Iraq would "solve" the problem of terrorism and bring enlightenment to the Middle East, we said the war would usher in the reign of chaos – and we were right. We warned that NATO expansion would trigger an unnecessary conflict with Russia, and we were proved right about that, too. The Kosovo war was hailed as a "humanitarian" act – and we rightly predicted it would come back to haunt us in the form of a gangster state riven by conflict.

I could spend several paragraphs boasting about how right we were, but you get the idea. Our record is a good one. And we intend to make it even better. But we can't do it – we can't do our job – without your help.

There's one way in which we are significantly different from the rest of the media – we depend on our readers for the financial support we need to keep going. The Washington Post has Jeff Bezos, one of the wealthiest men in the world – not to mention a multi-million dollar contract with the "intelligence community." The New York Times has Carlos Slim, another billionaire with seemingly bottomless pockets. We, on the other hand, just have you.

Okay, I'll cut to the chase: we've come to a crucial point in our current fundraising campaign, and now it's make it or break it time for Antiwar.com.

A group of our most generous supporters has pledged $40,000 in matching funds – but that pledge is strictly conditional . What this means is that we must match that amount in the short time left in our campaign in order to get the entire $40,000.

Please, send your tax-deductible donation now – because we're not the "alternative media," we're the best media you've got.

[Aug 02, 2019] Our masters need stable narratives. Those narratives don't have to be just, economically sound, or to make much sense at all. They just have to be stable.

Aug 02, 2019 | www.unz.com

JackOH , says: August 1, 2019 at 11:07 pm GMT

@OEMIKITLOB " . . . [A]ny individual who openly questions an official narrative or shares a dissenting opinion of said narrative an "enemy of the state'."

OE -- , yeah, pretty much. My judgment is the meaningful exercise of the First Amendment is probably pretty damned close to being a dead letter. President Trump's no-filters tweeting is sort of sui generis . Unz Review is remarkable, an exception.

I've "sold" Unz Review successfully. I was grumbling about some articles and comments to a friend of mine. College-educated guy, and I've known him for years. I was just talking loosely when he piped up, "They ought to shut it down!" He seemed genuinely angry, and I'm sure he'd reconsider his response later if I asked him. Still, I was startled that a bright guy would reach for government suppression of speech as a go-to.

Our masters need stable narratives. Those narratives don't have to be just, economically sound, or to make much sense at all. They just have to be stable.

They definitely don't want debate that would undermine the legitimacy of those narratives. So we get that extremely narrow, inconclusive, and fragmented rhetoric, such as the stuff uttered by the Democratic contenders.

Sean McBride , says: August 1, 2019 at 6:22 pm GMT
@Sean Major national governments and state actors around the world are largely in the business of engineering conspiracies, detecting conspiracies, disseminating false conspiracy theories and discrediting truthful conspiracy research. This is what they do.

That would include the US, UK, France, Germany, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Israel, Saudi Arabia, etc.

In other words, the world is awash in conspiratorial activity of endless varieties.

Russiagate gives every appearance of having been a conspiracy against Donald Trump hatched by factions within the Deep State: ODNI, CIA, FBI, MI6, MI5, etc. No wonder Trump is highly suspicious of the Deep State.

In this case, the conspiracy was so poorly planned and executed that it was hoist on its own petard. It is on the verge of being fully exposed to the entire world.

David Baker , says: August 1, 2019 at 8:14 pm GMT
@Sean McBride All these 'conspiracies' distract us and our leaders from our respective duties. Actual government processes are simple, rather dull, and conducted in the open for the press, citizens and other parties to monitor or address. Our government has seen fit to skulk around and spy on Americans, compiling data on them, which they'll claim as being measures to prevent "Terrorism" or suppress "Hate". What should truly concern Americans is that an entire sector of our government is aligned with the media (See TASS) and they conduct campaigns to compel voters, minorities, illegal aliens and other proponents of Big Government to sustain these unconstitutional intrusions. Diverting our attention away from those activities seems to be the function of our media these days.
Sean , says: August 1, 2019 at 4:09 pm GMT
@Jacques Sheete The current US President is a though-going conspiracy theorist. He insisted Obama was born outside America, and then that his college transcripts were faked, ThenVince Fisher's death was "very fishy" and after the San Bernadino shootings, that the US government was covering up the existence of accomplices of the shooters and all Muslims should be banned from entering the US. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's was not found dead with his pillow over his face according to the FBI, but who repeated hearsay that he had been? A day or so after the event (he may have priority on this one) he came close to impling explosives must have been used on 9/11 because he explicitly said he knew all about the steel structure of the building and made a point of emphasising how massively strong it was around the exterior walls .

Trump also gave credence to the 'vaccination causes autism but the medical establishment won't admit it' conspiracy theory EL Presidente, as he now is, obtained the nomination while suggesting that his main rival for the nomination, Ted Cruz, was the son of a man who had been one of the Cuban anti-Castro exiles involved in a conspiracy to kill JFK . And Trump made and, more or less kept, a campaign promise to release all still classified CIA files relating to the JFK assassination. He also tried to ban Muslims from entering the US (Executive Order 13769 ).

[Jul 28, 2019] Antisemitism prejudices projection on Russians

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "You have no evidence for the so-called Russian IO. It is a fabrication." In fact, Putin rejects the claim many times publicly saying that Russia does not meddle in foreign elections as a matter of policy. Maybe I'm gullible, but I find his disclaimer pretty convincing.... ..."
"... Is there an unseen connection between the Democrat leadership and the Intel agencies??? And --if there is-- does that mean we are headed for a one-party system??? ..."
"... The Russians trying to rig the elections meme was a fallback for the failure of the “trump is a russianstooge" meme. ..."
Jul 28, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Andrei Martyanov (aka SmoothieX12) -> catherine... , 27 July 2019 at 11:30 PM
Here are some insights into the minds of many movers and shakers in Russiagate:

Key US officials behind the Russia investigation have made no secret of their animus towards Russia.

"I do always hate the Russians," Lisa Page, a senior FBI lawyer on the Russia probe, testified to Congress in July 2018. "It is my opinion that with respect to Western ideals and who it is and what it is we stand for as Americans, Russia poses the most dangerous threat to that way of life."

As he opened the FBI's probe of the Trump campaign's ties to Russians in July 2016, FBI agent Peter Strzok texted Page: "fuck the cheating motherfucking Russians Bastards. I hate them I think they're probably the worst. Fucking conniving cheating savages."

Speaking to NBC News in May 2017, former director of national intelligence James Clapper explained why US officials saw interactions between the Trump camp and Russian nationals as a cause for alarm: "The Russians," Clapper said, "almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique. So we were concerned."

In a May interview with Lawfare, former FBI general counsel Jim Baker, who helped oversee the Russia probe, explained the origins of the investigation as follows: "It was about Russia, period, full stop. When the [George] Papadopoulos information comes across our radar screen, it's coming across in the sense that we were always looking at Russia. we've been thinking about Russia as a threat actor for decades and decades."

https://www.thenation.com/article/questions-mueller-russiagate/

It was always about Russians no matter what they do or don't do. Large strata of US so called "elite" is obsessed with Russia. Not even China.

plantman , 27 July 2019 at 12:55 PM

I believe Larry Johnson is right when he says:

"You have no evidence for the so-called Russian IO. It is a fabrication." In fact, Putin rejects the claim many times publicly saying that Russia does not meddle in foreign elections as a matter of policy. Maybe I'm gullible, but I find his disclaimer pretty convincing....

My question for Larry Johnson requires some speculation on his part: How did the claims of "Russia meddling" which began with the DNC and Hillary campaign, take root at the FBI, CIA and NSA???

Is there an unseen connection between the Democrat leadership and the Intel agencies??? And --if there is-- does that mean we are headed for a one-party system???

Walrus , 27 July 2019 at 12:55 PM
The Russians trying to rig the elections meme was a fallback for the failure of the “trump is a russianstooge" meme.

[Jul 27, 2019] Luongo Gabbard Going After Google Is Double Plus Good

Notable quotes:
"... Any candidate that is publicly against the empire is the enemy of not only the state, it's quislings in the media, the corporations who profit from it and the party machines of both the GOP and the DNC. That is Gabbard's crime. And it's the only crime that matters. ..."
"... This represents an intervention into her ability to speak to voters and, as such, is a violation of not only her First Amendment rights but also, more critically, campaign finance law. ..."
"... On a day when it became clear to the world that Robert Mueller led an investigation to affect the outcome of the 2018 mid-term elections (and beyond) while attempting to overthrow an elected President, Gabbard attacking the one of the main pillars of the information control system is both welcome and needed. ..."
"... Her filing this lawsuit is making it clear that even a fairly conventional Democrat on most all other issues is to be marginalized if she criticizes the empire. ..."
"... You can disagree with Tulsi on many things but she is absolutely right and the only one who gets the real problem.Military Industrial Complex & The Empire. ..."
Jul 27, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Tom Luongo,

Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) is suing Google . It's about time someone did. It's one thing to for conservatives and libertarians to be outraged by their treatment by the tech giant, it's another for them to go after a female Democrat.

Since Trump's election the campaign to curtail free speech has went into overdrive and we are now far beyond Orwell's dystopian vision in 1984 in terms of technological infrastructure.

Google makes Big Brother look like George Carlin's the Hippy Dippy Weather Man with the "hippy dippy weather, man." The drive to stamp out all forms of political division has only one thing animating it, protecting the drive of the elites I call The Davos Crowd to erect a transnational superstate to herd humanity to their vision of sustainability.

Gabbard is the only person running for the Democratic nomination worth any amount of my time. Her fundamental criticisms of the U.S. warfare state are spot on. She's sincere about this. It's costing her stature within her own party.

She's a committed anti-imperialist. She's also young, inexperienced and a little bit naive. But that, to me, is part of her charm. It means she is still malleable. She's smart enough to be outraged about where we are headed and young enough to be flexible about what the solutions are to stop it from happening.

So, as such, she's the perfect champion for the defenders of free speech and critics of the U.S. empire. A young, attractive, intelligent woman of mixed-race heritage with a service record who stands athwart the mainstream on the most important issue in politics today: the U.S. empire.

The entire time I was growing up the prevailing wisdom was Social Security was the third rail of U.S. politics. That, like so many other pearls of wisdom, was nonsense.

The true third rail of U.S. politics is empire.

Any candidate that is publicly against the empire is the enemy of not only the state, it's quislings in the media, the corporations who profit from it and the party machines of both the GOP and the DNC. That is Gabbard's crime. And it's the only crime that matters.

For that crime Google acted to blunt interest in her campaign in the critical hours after the first democratic debate. So, Gabbard, rightly, sued them.

The two main points of her lawsuit are:

1) suspending her Google Ad account for six hours while search traffic for her was spiking and

2) Gmail disproportionately junked her campaign emails.

This represents an intervention into her ability to speak to voters and, as such, is a violation of not only her First Amendment rights but also, more critically, campaign finance law.

Whether this lawsuit goes anywhere or not is beside the point. Google will ignore it until they can't and then settle with her before discovery. Gabbard doing this is good PR for her as it sets her on the right side of an incredibly important issue, censorship and technological bias/de-platforming of political outsiders.

It's also good because if she does pursue this principally, it will lead to potential discovery of Google's internal practices, lending the DoJ a hand in pursuing all the big tech firms for electioneering.

On a day when it became clear to the world that Robert Mueller led an investigation to affect the outcome of the 2018 mid-term elections (and beyond) while attempting to overthrow an elected President, Gabbard attacking the one of the main pillars of the information control system is both welcome and needed.

Her filing this lawsuit is making it clear that even a fairly conventional Democrat on most all other issues is to be marginalized if she criticizes the empire.

As libertarians and conservatives it is irrelevant if she is conventional in other areas. It doesn't matter that she's been to a CFR meeting or two or that she's anti-gun. She's not going to be president.

This is not about our virtue-signaling about the purity of essence of our political figures. They are tools to our ends. And on now two incredibly important issues leading up to the 2020 election Tulsi Gabbard is on the right side of them.

She is someone we can and should reach out to and support while she makes these issues the centerpiece of her campaign. Her timing is even more excellent than what I've already stated.

Filing this lawsuit is a pre-emptive strike at Google now that she's qualified for the next two Democratic debates. And it may assist her in breaking out of the bottom tier of the Democratic field, Ron Paul style if she gets her opportunity.

Shedding light on Google's anti-free speech practices is a fundamental good, one we should celebrate. Dare I say, it's double plus good.

* * *

Join my Patreon and install Brave if you both hate big tech censorship and the empire in equal measure.


Thordoom , 8 minutes ago link

You can disagree with Tulsi on many things but she is absolutely right and the only one who gets the real problem.Military Industrial Complex & The Empire.

If you won't kill this problem you can virtue signal about your left and right opinions about your perfect candidate as much as you want without getting anything done ( Trump). Purism won't help you. It only gets you distracted and controlled by the elites.

otschelnik , 11 minutes ago link

The point of this article is that Gabbard is taking on GOOGLE, for screwing with her account. See Google demonitizes, deboosts, deplatforms people without them even knowing it, and diddles their search algorythms NOT ONLY against conservatives, but for independent democrats like Gabbard. THAT'S THE POINT, not who or what Gabbard stands for. The dem party did the same to Gabbard during the 2016 election, cut her off from financing, because she supported Bernie Sanders.

https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/3609

This is the sort of **** things dim's do, and progressive companies like Fakebook, Twatter and Goolag. Now Gabbard may not have views that we can support, but if she is taking on GOOLAG, than we should stand like a wall behind her. This is a big threat to 1st amendment rights.

chunga , 1 hour ago link

I hope this girl switches to an Independant. A lot of people are sick to death of the blues and the reds.

GoldHermit , 52 minutes ago link

Blues and reds is a sham used by the poliicians to divide the populace.

espirit , 48 minutes ago link

Throw in some greens and purples...

LetThemEatRand , 1 hour ago link

Good point, chunga. She is already being given the Ron Paul treatment by MSM (they either slam her as basically a naive fool, or just ignore her), so no way does she rise to the top of the **** pile of Blue Team candidates. Would make a good run as an independent, and maybe wake some people up.

[Jul 05, 2019] Dying Augustus did say: curtain is closing, I hope I did act well

Jul 05, 2019 | www.unz.com

Ilyana_Rozumova, July 5, 2019 at 11:26 am GMT

Lets be a realistic a little bit here.
In politics the overwhelming power is in power of presentation.
The content with all the other details is of little consequence...

Dying Augustus did say: curtain is closing, I hope I did act well.

[Jun 30, 2019] Aggressive US Lies and Misleads to Justify War on Iran by William Boardman

Notable quotes:
"... The secretary of state delivered this appallingly Orwellian official assessment of the US government within hours of the five explosions on two tankers, well before any credible investigation establishing more than minimal facts could be carried out. As is his habit, Mike Pompeo flatly lied about whatever might be real in the Gulf of Oman, and most American media ran with the lies as if they were or might be true. There is almost no chance that Mike Pompeo and the US government are telling the truth about this event, as widespread domestic and international skepticism attests. ..."
"... Pompeo's official assessment was false even in its staging. For most of his four-minute appearance, Pompeo stood framed by two pictures behind him, each showing a tanker with a fire amidships. This was a deliberate visual lie. The two pictures showed the same tanker, the Norwegian-owned Front Altair , from different angles. The other tanker, Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous , did not catch fire and was not shown. ..."
"... Pompeo did not identify the unnamed intelligence entities, if any, within the government who made this assessment. He offered no evidence to support the assessment. He did offer something of an argument that began: ..."
"... He didn't say what intelligence. He didn't say whose intelligence. American intelligence assets and technology are all over the region generating reams of intelligence day in, day out. Then there are the intelligence agencies of the Arab police states bordering the Persian Gulf. They, too, are busy collecting intelligence 24/7, although they are sometimes loath to share. Pompeo didn't mention it, but according to CNN an unnamed US official admitted that the US had a Reaper Drone in the air near the two tankers before they were attacked. He also claimed that Iran had fired a missile at the drone, but missed. As CNN inanely spins it, "it is the first claim that the US has information of Iranian movements prior to the attack." As if the US doesn't have information on Iranian movements all the time . More accurately, this is the first admission that the US had operational weaponry in the area prior to the attack. ..."
"... Pompeo did not name a single weapon used. Early reporting claimed the attackers used torpedoes or mines, a claim that became inoperative as it became clear that all the damage to the tankers was well above the waterline. There is little reason to believe Pompeo had any actual knowledge of what weapons were used, unless one was a Reaper Drone. ..."
"... There are NO confirmed "recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping," and even if there were, they would prove nothing. Pompeo's embarrassingly irrelevant list that follows includes six examples, only one of which involved a shipping attack ..."
"... Instead of "recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping," Pompeo offers Iran's decades-old threat to close the Strait of Hormuz (which it's never done), together with three attacks by the Houthis on Saudi Arabia, an unattributed rocket attack on the US Embassy in Baghdad, and an unattributed car bomb in Afghanistan. Seriously, if that's all he's got, he's got nothing. But he's not done with the disinformation exercise: ..."
"... The US is stumbling down a path toward war with no justification ..."
Jun 26, 2019 | dissidentvoice.org

It is the assessment of the United States Government that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks that occurred in the Gulf of Oman today. This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication.

This is only the latest in a series of attacks instigated by the Islamic Republic of Iran and its surrogates against American and allied interests, and they should be understood in the context of 40 years of unprovoked aggression against freedom-loving nations.

-- US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announcement , June 13, 2013

The secretary of state delivered this appallingly Orwellian official assessment of the US government within hours of the five explosions on two tankers, well before any credible investigation establishing more than minimal facts could be carried out. As is his habit, Mike Pompeo flatly lied about whatever might be real in the Gulf of Oman, and most American media ran with the lies as if they were or might be true. There is almost no chance that Mike Pompeo and the US government are telling the truth about this event, as widespread domestic and international skepticism attests.

Pompeo's official assessment was false even in its staging. For most of his four-minute appearance, Pompeo stood framed by two pictures behind him, each showing a tanker with a fire amidships. This was a deliberate visual lie. The two pictures showed the same tanker, the Norwegian-owned Front Altair , from different angles. The other tanker, Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous , did not catch fire and was not shown.

First, what actually happened, as best we can tell five days later? In the early morning of June 13, two unrelated tankers were heading south out of the Strait of Hormuz, sailing in open water in the Gulf of Oman, roughly 20 miles off the south coast of Iran. The tankers were most likely outside Iran's territorial waters, but within Iran's contiguous zone as defined by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea . At different times, some 30 miles apart, the two tankers were attacked by weapons unknown, launched by parties unknown, for reasons unknown. The first reported distress call was 6:12 a.m. local time. No one has yet claimed responsibility for either attack. The crew of each tanker abandoned ship soon after the explosions and were rescued by ships in the area, including Iranian naval vessels, who took the Front Altair crew to an Iranian port.

Even this much was not certain in the early afternoon of June 13 when Mike Pompeo came to the lectern at the State Department to deliver his verdict:

It is the assessment of the United States Government that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks that occurred in the Gulf of Oman today.

Pompeo did not identify the unnamed intelligence entities, if any, within the government who made this assessment. He offered no evidence to support the assessment. He did offer something of an argument that began:

This assessment is based on intelligence .

He didn't say what intelligence. He didn't say whose intelligence. American intelligence assets and technology are all over the region generating reams of intelligence day in, day out. Then there are the intelligence agencies of the Arab police states bordering the Persian Gulf. They, too, are busy collecting intelligence 24/7, although they are sometimes loath to share. Pompeo didn't mention it, but according to CNN an unnamed US official admitted that the US had a Reaper Drone in the air near the two tankers before they were attacked. He also claimed that Iran had fired a missile at the drone, but missed. As CNN inanely spins it, "it is the first claim that the US has information of Iranian movements prior to the attack." As if the US doesn't have information on Iranian movements all the time . More accurately, this is the first admission that the US had operational weaponry in the area prior to the attack. After intelligence, Pompeo continued:

This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used .

Pompeo did not name a single weapon used. Early reporting claimed the attackers used torpedoes or mines, a claim that became inoperative as it became clear that all the damage to the tankers was well above the waterline. There is little reason to believe Pompeo had any actual knowledge of what weapons were used, unless one was a Reaper Drone. He went on:

This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation

The "level of expertise needed" to carry out these attacks on a pair of sitting duck tankers does not appear to be that great. Yes, the Iranian military probably has the expertise, as do the militaries of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq, Israel, or others with a stake in provoking a crisis in the region. And those who lack the expertise still have the money with which to hire expert surrogates. The number of credible suspects, known and unknown, with an interest in doing harm to Iran is easily in double figures. Leading any serious list should be the US. That's perfectly logical, so Pompeo tried to divert attention from the obvious:

This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping .

There are NO confirmed "recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping," and even if there were, they would prove nothing. Pompeo's embarrassingly irrelevant list that follows includes six examples, only one of which involved a shipping attack. The one example was the May 12, 2019, attack on four ships at anchor in the deep water port of Fujairah. Even the multinational investigation organized by the UAE could not determine who did it. The UAE reported to the UN Security Council that the perpetrator was likely some unnamed "state actor." The logical suspects and their surrogates are the same as those for the most recent attack.

Instead of "recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping," Pompeo offers Iran's decades-old threat to close the Strait of Hormuz (which it's never done), together with three attacks by the Houthis on Saudi Arabia, an unattributed rocket attack on the US Embassy in Baghdad, and an unattributed car bomb in Afghanistan. Seriously, if that's all he's got, he's got nothing. But he's not done with the disinformation exercise:

This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication.

The whole proxy group thing is redundant, covered by "the level of expertise needed" mentioned earlier. Pompeo doesn't name any proxy group here, he doesn't explain how he could know there's no proxy group that could carry out such an attack, and he just throws word garbage at the wall and hopes something sticks that will make you believe – no evidence necessary – that Iran is evil beyond redemption:

Taken as a whole, these unprovoked attacks present a clear threat to international peace and security, a blatant assault on the freedom of navigation, and an unacceptable campaign of escalating tension by Iran.

The attacks in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Afghanistan have all been provoked by the US and its allies. The US has long been a clear threat to international peace and security, except when the US was actually trashing peace and security, as it did in Iraq, as it seems to want to do in Iran. There is, indeed, "an unacceptable campaign of escalating tension," but it's a campaign by the US. The current phase began when the Trump administration pulled out of the multinational nuclear deal with Iran. The US wages economic warfare on Iran even though Iran continues to abide by the Trump-trashed treaty. All the other signatories and inspectors confirm that Iran has abided by the agreement. But Iran is approaching a point of violation, which it has been warning about for some time. The other signatories allow the US to bully them into enforcing US sanctions at their own cost against a country in compliance with its promises. China, Russia, France, GB, Germany, and the EU are all craven in the face of US threats. That's what the US wants from Iran.

Lately, Trump and Pompeo and their ilk have been whining about not wanting war and claiming they want to negotiate, while doing nothing to make negotiation more possible. Iran has observed US actions and has rejected negotiating with an imperial power with a decades-long record of bad faith. Lacking any serious act of good faith by the US, does Iran have any other rational choice? Pompeo makes absolutely clear just how irrational, how dishonest, how implacable and untrustworthy the US is when he accuses Iran of:

40 years of unprovoked aggression against freedom-loving nations.

This is Big Lie country. Forty years ago, the Iranians committed their original sin – they overthrew one of the world's most brutal dictatorships, imposed on them by the US. Then they took Americans hostage, and the US has been playing the victim ever since, out of all proportion to reality or justice. But the Pompeos of this world still milk it for all it's worth. What about "unprovoked aggression," who does that? The US list is long and criminal, including its support of Saddam Hussein's war of aggression against Iran. Iran's list of "unprovoked aggressions" is pretty much zero, unless you go back to the Persian Empire. No wonder Pompeo took no question on his statement. The Big Lie is supposed to be enough.

The US is stumbling down a path toward war with no justification. Democrats should have objected forcefully and continuously long since. Democrats in the House should have put peace with Iran on the table as soon as they came into the majority. They should do it now. Democratic presidential candidates should join Tulsi Gabbard and Elizabeth Warren in forthrightly opposing war with Iran. Leading a huge public outcry may not keep the president from lying us into war with Iran any more than it kept the president from lying us into war with Iraq. But an absence of outcry will just make it easier for this rogue nation to commit a whole new set of war crimes.

Intellectually, the case for normal relations with Iran is easy. There is literally no good reason to maintain hostility, not even the possibility, remote as it is, of an Iranian nuclear weapon (especially now that Trump is helping the Saudis go nuclear). But politically, the case for normal relations with Iran is hard, especially because forty years of propaganda demonizing Iran has deep roots. To make a sane case on Iran takes real courage: one has to speak truth to a nation that believes its lies to itself.

William M. Boardman has over 40 years experience in theatre, radio, TV, print journalism, and non-fiction, including 20 years in the Vermont judiciary. He has received honors from Writers Guild of America, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Vermont Life magazine, and an Emmy Award nomination from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. This article was first published in Reader Supported News . Read other articles by William .

[Jun 26, 2019] Opinion - NY Times admits it sends stories to US government for approval before publication

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Risen detailed how his editors had been "quite willing to cooperate with the government." In fact, a top CIA official even told Risen that his rule of thumb for approving a covert operation was, "How will this look on the front page of the New York Times?" ..."
"... Bernstein obtained CIA documents that revealed that more than 400 American journalists in the previous 25 years had "secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency." ..."
"... Virtually all major US media outlets cooperated with the CIA, Bernstein revealed, including ABC, NBC, the AP, UPI, Reuters, Newsweek, Hearst newspapers, the Miami Herald, the Saturday Evening Post, and the New York Herald‑Tribune. ..."
"... However, he added, "By far the most valuable of these associations, according to CIA officials, have been with the New York Times, CBS and Time Inc." ..."
"... These layers of state manipulation, censorship, and even direct crafting of the news media show that, as much as they claim to be independent, The New York Times and other outlets effectively serve as de facto spokespeople for the government -- or at least for the US national security state. ..."
Jun 26, 2019 | www.informationclearinghouse.info

The New York Times casually acknowledged that it sends major scoops to the US government before publication, to make sure "national security officials" have "no concerns."

By Ben Norton

June 25, 2019 " Information Clearing House " - The New York Times has publicly acknowledged that it sends some of its stories to the US government for approval from "national security officials" before publication.

This confirms what veteran New York Times correspondents like James Risen have said: The American newspaper of record regularly collaborates with the US government, suppressing reporting that top officials don't want made public.

On June 15, the Times reported that the US government is escalating its cyber attacks on Russia's power grid . According to the article, "the Trump administration is using new authorities to deploy cybertools more aggressively," as part of a larger "digital Cold War between Washington and Moscow."

In response to the report, Donald Trump attacked the Times on Twitter, calling the article "a virtual act of Treason."

The New York Times PR office replied to Trump from its official Twitter account, defending the story and noting that it had, in fact, been cleared with the US government before being printed.

"Accusing the press of treason is dangerous," the Times communications team said. "We described the article to the government before publication."

"As our story notes, President Trump's own national security officials said there were no concerns," the Times added.

NY Times editors 'quite willing to cooperate with the government'

The symbiotic relationship between the US corporate media and the government has been known for some time. American intelligence agencies play the press like a musical instrument, using it it to selectively leak information at opportune moments to push US soft power and advance Washington's interests.

But rarely is this symbiotic relationship so casually and publicly acknowledged.

In 2018, former New York Times reporter James Risen published a 15,000-word article in The Intercept providing further insight into how this unspoken alliance operates.

Risen detailed how his editors had been "quite willing to cooperate with the government." In fact, a top CIA official even told Risen that his rule of thumb for approving a covert operation was, "How will this look on the front page of the New York Times?"

There is an "informal arrangement" between the state and the press, Risen explained, where US government officials "regularly engaged in quiet negotiations with the press to try to stop the publication of sensitive national security stories."

"At the time, I usually went along with these negotiations," the former New York Times reported said. He recalled an example of a story he was writing on Afghanistan just prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks. Then-CIA Director George Tenet called Risen personally and asked him to kill the story.

"He told me the disclosure would threaten the safety of the CIA officers in Afghanistan," Risen said. "I agreed."

Risen said he later questioned whether or not this was the right decision. "If I had reported the story before 9/11, the CIA would have been angry, but it might have led to a public debate about whether the United States was doing enough to capture or kill bin Laden," he wrote. "That public debate might have forced the CIA to take the effort to get bin Laden more seriously."

This dilemma led Risen to reconsider responding to US government requests to censor stories. "And that ultimately set me on a collision course with the editors at the New York Times," he said.

"After the 9/11 attacks, the Bush administration began asking the press to kill stories more frequently," Risen continued. "They did it so often that I became convinced the administration was invoking national security to quash stories that were merely politically embarrassing." In the lead-up to the Iraq War, Risen frequently "clashed" with Times editors because he raised questions about the US government's lies. But his stories "stories raising questions about the intelligence, particularly the administration's claims of a link between Iraq and Al Qaeda, were being cut, buried, or held out of the paper altogether."

The Times' executive editor Howell Raines "was believed by many at the paper to prefer stories that supported the case for war," Risen said.

In another anecdote, the former Times journalist recalled a scoop he had uncovered on a botched CIA plot. The Bush administration got wind of it and called him to the White House, where then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice ordered the Times to bury the story.

Risen said Rice told him "to forget about the story, destroy my notes, and never make another phone call to discuss the matter with anyone."

"The Bush administration was successfully convincing the press to hold or kill national security stories," Risen wrote. And the Barack Obama administration subsequently accelerated the "war on the press."

CIA media infiltration and manufacturing consent

In their renowned study of US media, " Manufacturing Consent : The Political Economy of the Mass Media," Edward S. Herman and Chomsky articulated a "propaganda model," showing how "the media serve, and propagandize on behalf of, the powerful societal interests that control and finance them," through "the selection of right-thinking personnel and by the editors' and working journalists' internalization of priorities and definitions of newsworthiness that conform to the institution's policy."

But in some cases, the relationship between US intelligence agencies and the corporate media is not just one of mere ideological policing, indirect pressure, or friendship, but rather one of employment.

In the 1950s, the CIA launched a covert operation called Project Mockingbird, in which it surveilled, influenced, and manipulated American journalists and media coverage, explicitly in order to direct public opinion against the Soviet Union, China, and the growing international communist movement.

Legendary journalist Carl Bernstein, a former Washington Post reporter who helped uncover the Watergate scandal, published a major cover story for Rolling Stone in 1977 titled " The CIA and the Media : How America's Most Powerful News Media Worked Hand in Glove with the Central Intelligence Agency and Why the Church Committee Covered It Up."

Bernstein obtained CIA documents that revealed that more than 400 American journalists in the previous 25 years had "secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency."

Bernstein wrote:

"Some of these journalists' relationships with the Agency were tacit; some were explicit. There was cooperation, accommodation and overlap. Journalists provided a full range of clandestine services -- from simple intelligence gathering to serving as go‑betweens with spies in Communist countries. Reporters shared their notebooks with the CIA. Editors shared their staffs. Some of the journalists were Pulitzer Prize winners, distinguished reporters who considered themselves ambassadors without‑portfolio for their country. Most were less exalted: foreign correspondents who found that their association with the Agency helped their work; stringers and freelancers who were as interested in the derring‑do of the spy business as in filing articles; and, the smallest category, full‑time CIA employees masquerading as journalists abroad. In many instances, CIA documents show, journalists were engaged to perform tasks for the CIA with the consent of the managements of America's leading news organizations."

Virtually all major US media outlets cooperated with the CIA, Bernstein revealed, including ABC, NBC, the AP, UPI, Reuters, Newsweek, Hearst newspapers, the Miami Herald, the Saturday Evening Post, and the New York Herald‑Tribune.

However, he added, "By far the most valuable of these associations, according to CIA officials, have been with the New York Times, CBS and Time Inc."

These layers of state manipulation, censorship, and even direct crafting of the news media show that, as much as they claim to be independent, The New York Times and other outlets effectively serve as de facto spokespeople for the government -- or at least for the US national security state.

Ben Norton is a journalist and writer. He is a reporter for The Grayzone, and the producer of the Moderate Rebels podcast, which he co-hosts with Max Blumenthal. His website is BenNorton.com , and he tweets at @ BenjaminNorton .

This article was originally published by " Grayzone "

[Jun 21, 2019] Guilty or Not, Iran's Fate Is in Trump's Hands

Jun 21, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org

From the standpoint of Information Warfare, it is very critical when a new event happens to put forward one's version of the "truth" first before any other possible competing theories can arise. This could be why Pompeo or someone like him would chose to immediately come out with accusations thrown around as facts with no evidence to support them and no respect for the great Western concepts of "innocence until proven guilty" or the "right to a fair trial".

Pompeo's objective here is not the truth but to take that virgin intellectual territory regarding the interpretation of this issue before anyone else can, because once a concept has become normalized in the minds of the masses it is very difficult to change it and many people in Washington cannot risk blowing the chance to waste thousands of American lives invading Iran based on an ultimately false but widely accepted/believed narrative.

Not surprisingly foreign and especially Russian media has quickly attempted to counter the "Iran obviously did it" narrative before it becomes an accepted fact. Shockingly Slavic infowarriors actually decided to speak to the captain of a tanker that was hit to get his opinion rather than simply assert that Iran didn't do it because they are a long time buddy of Moscow. The captain's testimony of what happened strongly contradicts the version of reality that Washington is pushing. And over all Russia as usual takes the reasonable position of "let's gather the evidence and then see who did it", which is good PR for itself as a nation beyond this single issue.

In terms of finding the actual guilty party the media on both sides has thus far ignored the simple fact that if Iran wanted to sink a tanker it would be sunk. No civilian vessel is going to withstand an attack from a 21st century navy by having a particularly thick hull and the idea that the Iranians need to physically attach bombs to boats is mental. Physically planting bombs is for goofball inept terrorists, not a professional military. After all, even the West acknowledges that the Iranians use the best Russian goodies that they can afford and Russian 21 st century arms will sink civilian ship guaranteed. The Iranians have everything they need to smoke any civilian vessel on the planet guaranteed from much farther away than 3 feet.

If Iran's goal was to scare or intimidate the tanker they could have just shot at it with rifles or done something else to spook the crew and get a media response. When looked at from the standpoint of military logic, these "attacks" seem baffling as Iran could have just destroyed the boats or directly tried to terrorize them to make a statement.

[Jun 18, 2019] The power of imperial narrative

That's exactly like propaganda in the USSR worked. You can't challenge it because it was supported by the raw power of the state. You need to accept it even you understood that the narrative is completely false, because there was not alternative narrative -- it was suppressed and available only to listeners of (jammed) BBC, Voice of America, DW (Die Deutsche Welle), Svoboda, etc. Which automatically made you a dissident in the eyes of Soviet authorities.
Jun 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

TomGard , Jun 18, 2019 9:39:06 AM | 104

Peter AU 96

Your narrative ignores the free hand imperial executives and their rivals provided themselves since 9/11, namely last year with the Skripal-affair, the Douma-attack and the Khashoggi-affair. Since then narratives don't require any plausibility any more, to the opposite, they intend to demonstrate a prerogative of the authors to impose them on their rivals, no matter how remote the tale, how absurd the construction.

The means are just the imperial aspirations of rival elites, their own ruling interests bind them to the actions of the US, because neither of them, nor together, could take the place of the US in the empire, because they rival each other. Abe, Macron, Maas (German FM) and Mogherinis second are unable to plainly reject the narrative of the Pentagon, as much as Trump is unable to reject it. At best they can demonstrate a humble disbelief ("'Iran' written all over the evidence") to hint at passive resistance.

When Donald Rumsfeld went to Germany 2002/3 trying to remove the German - French resistance to the Iraq war, the German FM showed off ostensive stubbornness in a televised dispute: "I am not convinced, Mr Secretary, I am not convinced", he squeaked like a bold pupil to the teacher.
At the time Rumsfeld was clearly irritated without wishing to show it. The German / French breakaway was clearly a defeat for the Bush jr-administration in it's War on Terra. They invaded iraq anyway, but eschewed to underline their demands with killings like in London and Madrid.

Those times are gone. "America" has arrived in "splendid isolation" and that's exactly the reason, why Donald Trump stays useful for his grimmest enemies at home.

Therefore your narrative is outdated, Peter. It poses, there had to be just enough leaders of the "free world" opposing Washingtons war strategies, like the Germans and French at the time, to make the Pentagon think twice. If this ever was true - which I doubt - it isn't any more.

The war will go on. But I suspect the attack in the Gulf will be used to render it viable for both sides. The US could perhaps bomb with redundant forces some Iranian coastal batteries that are easily restored and tolerate the loss of a frigate, or something of this format.

The bloodhounds of both sides will brag over the corpses - inevitably more Iranian, than US-corpses and be congratulated for their restraint. The yield will be to have shown the places to the rival elites, especially to the EU , India and the ASEAN states, but even to Israel, and on this newly prepared stage a new round of the old play can and will start.

[Jun 14, 2019] Total control of narrative means total control of population

Notable quotes:
"... I agree with the premise, that the NARRATIVE is the means by which oligarchy rules the masses. ..."
"... As Mencken stated (approx) "the common man avoids the truth [because] it is dangerous, no good can come of it, and it doesn't pay." ..."
"... Americans are propagandized from childhood, and it's very hard for most to break free, even if they want to. In my case, a rather abusive childhood made me disinclined to accept conventional wisdom. ..."
"... The proverbial man in the street is well aware that capitalism/politics is a racket and openly say so. ..."
"... The falling numbers in the 'democracies' who now bother to vote is an indication of this, as is the growing political unrest in the heartlands of the Anglo-Zionist empire. It is not possible to 'fool all of the people all of the time'. Whether they do anything about it is another matter. ..."
"... These are dangerous times, but that is the usual condition when the structure of any social and political order is beginning to crumble. Ultimately, the Anglo-Zionist empire is, to use Lenin's description 'A colossus with feet of clay.' No empire lasts forever, and the US is not exceptional in this respect. The real problem is that the demise of the US hegemonic project will taken down the rest of the planet with it. ..."
Jun 14, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

AnneR , June 14, 2019 at 09:35

Thank you Caitlin for this piece. Depressing but not unexpectedly so. And if my late husband's FB friends (as I've mentioned on here before) are anything to go by, the overwhelmingly bourgeois crowd will continue to be *willingly* propagandized with the Russophobic, Sinophobic and Iranophobic lies of commission and omission that regale them via MSDNC, NPR, PBS, BBC and the so-called "progressive" press (e.g. The guardian, Jacobin, the NYT).

These friends post pro-Demrat, pro-Russiagate, consider the choice to be between Warren and Klobuchar (?), and concentrate their minds on *progressive* ideations: sexual preference/"gender" identity/racial/ethnic identity and now and then a little on climate change (especially via the "green ND" – saving capitalism being all consuming or ignored). Never a word about income inequality, about the ongoing slaughter in Yemen, of the ongoing, never-ending nightmare of Palestinian life, of what we have done to Libya, Iraq or Afghanistan or are doing to Syria. Not a word about the immorality, illegality of our economic sanctions against NK, VZ, Iran nooo. Nary a peep about what we (US-UK-AU) are doing to Assange .

These really existing realities as lived by "others" whether the poor within these borders or the darker hued folks far from these shores do *not* matter one iota, certainly not by comparison with being able to vacation in this or that place, buy a bigger house, more clothes, demonstrate one's *Progressiveness.*

Lee Anderson , June 14, 2019 at 09:30

I agree with the premise, that the NARRATIVE is the means by which oligarchy rules the masses.

For example, we are now being inundated with the NARRATIVE that Iran is attacking Japanese oil tankers. Pure nonsense, but the media is an adjunct of the bankster/military/oil industrial complex.

Politicians are merely puppets doing the bidding of their pay masters.

Sam F , June 14, 2019 at 05:46

Yes, money control of mass media is the problem. Such articles may help some with doubts to formulate an awareness that leads to admission of the problem. The major factor in admissions is the rare direct experience, which may include a story close to home, a personal loss due to narrative control. Of course the majority seek the mass media narrative because it directs them to safety and profit in their social and economic dependent relationships. Our unregulated market economy encourages the selfishness that enslaves the people to money power. As Mencken stated (approx) "the common man avoids the truth [because] it is dangerous, no good can come of it, and it doesn't pay."

I hope to set up a college of policy debate CPD constituted to protect all points of view, and to conduct moderated text-only debate among experts of several disciplines, of the status and possibilities of each world region, and the policy options. Debate summaries commented by all sides are to be made available for public study and comment. The CPD would bring the knowledge of society into public debate, educate the electorate, discourage propaganda, and expose the wrongs of society and the corruption of government that desperately needs reform.

The debates will require a higher standard of argument in foreign and domestic policy on both right and left, ensure that all points of view are heard, and require all challenges to be answered. This would have much reduced the group-think that led to our mad wars since WWII. Extreme and naïve politicians will be easier to expose, and media commentators will have a starting point and a standard for investigation and analysis.

Zhu , June 14, 2019 at 04:14

Americans are propagandized from childhood, and it's very hard for most to break free, even if they want to. In my case, a rather abusive childhood made me disinclined to accept conventional wisdom.

Donald Duck , June 14, 2019 at 03:18

"The mass of men live lives of quiet desperation." I have forgotten who actually said this but it seems appropriate for our age. I think the mass of people are very well aware of what is going on. The proverbial man in the street is well aware that capitalism/politics is a racket and openly say so.

The falling numbers in the 'democracies' who now bother to vote is an indication of this, as is the growing political unrest in the heartlands of the Anglo-Zionist empire. It is not possible to 'fool all of the people all of the time'. Whether they do anything about it is another matter.

If note is taken of the David Icke phenomenon it is possible to identify a growing awareness of the of ordinary people to the crimes of the rich and powerful.

These are dangerous times, but that is the usual condition when the structure of any social and political order is beginning to crumble. Ultimately, the Anglo-Zionist empire is, to use Lenin's description 'A colossus with feet of clay.' No empire lasts forever, and the US is not exceptional in this respect. The real problem is that the demise of the US hegemonic project will taken down the rest of the planet with it.

Zhu , June 14, 2019 at 04:21

"Quiet desperation" is ftom Thoreau. The colossus with the feet of clay is the Biblical book of Daniel, the dream of Nebuchadnezzar.

Neither Reptilans nor Zionists make us Americans commit the crimes and follies we do. We oirselves are responsible.

T.J , June 14, 2019 at 02:43

Caitlin Johnstone has concisely and precisely, in this article, provided a compendium of ideas and sources to explain how the powerful through it's control of propaganda corrupts democracy to the core. Laziness, ignorance and acceptance of the status quo prevents the vast majority from acknowledging this to be the case. As Caitlin states it takes courage to reject the "narrative control matrix " of the powerful and that can only be achieved by changing our relationship with that narrative. This, of course, takes time and effort but is liberating nonetheless.

[Jun 14, 2019] The propaganda model postulates five general classes of "filters" that determine the type of news that is presented in news media. These five classes are: Ownership of the medium, medium's Funding sources, Sourcing, Flak, and Fear Ideology

Notable quotes:
"... "U.S. ally and client Israel had from the start received active assistance developing its nuclear capability, and with the help of the United States, France, and Germany, it has built up a substantial arsenal since. This includes some 150-250 nuclear warheads (the exact number is unknown) plus delivery systems by land, sea, air, and ballistic missile. And throughout more than forty years of such unparalleled help, Israel refused to sign the NPT and subject itself to IAEA inspections and was never pressed to do so. ..."
"... "So thoroughly built-in is this double standard that when the IAEA's General Conference in Vienna in September 2009 voted forty-nine to forty-five to adopt a binding resolution that 'calls upon Israel to accede to the NPT and place all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive IAEA safeguards' – in other words, that Israel's nuclear weapons program was to be treated the same as Iran's civilian nuclear program – the English-language media observed near total silence about the event. The only major newspaper that reported it was the next-day's Irish Times, and nothing showed up in any major U.S. print media. ..."
Jun 14, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Abe , June 14, 2019 at 14:56

Ed Herman is probably best known for developing the propaganda model of media criticism (co-authored with Noam Chomsky) in Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (1988).

The propaganda model is a conceptual model in political economy advanced by Herman and Chomsky to explain how propaganda and systemic biases function in mass media. The model explains how populations are manipulated and how consent for economic, social, and political policies is "manufactured" in the public mind due to this propaganda.

According to the propaganda model, the way in which news is structured (e.g. through advertising, concentration of media ownership, government sourcing) creates an inherent conflict of interest that acts as propaganda for undemocratic forces.

The propaganda model postulates five general classes of "filters" that determine the type of news that is presented in news media. These five classes are: Ownership of the medium, medium's Funding sources, Sourcing, Flak, and Fear Ideology.

The Flak filter is conspicuous in the 2016 Washington Post / PropOrNot imbroglio and ongoing "Russia-gate" hysteria. Flak describes efforts to discredit organizations or individuals who disagree with or cast doubt on prevailing assumptions that are favorable to established power.

Flak is characterized by concerted efforts to manage public information in support of the political and economic Establishment, culminating in outright censorship.

The propaganda model views private media as businesses interested in the sale of a product -- readers and audiences -- to other businesses (advertisers) rather than that of quality news to the public.

In The Politics of Genocide (co-authored with David Peterson, foreword from Noam Chomsky, 2010), Herman has argued that some genocides have been heavily publicized in the West to advance a specific economic agenda, often leading to minority controlled governments of pro-Western and pro-business factions, while other genocides have been largely ignored for the same reason.

Of particular note is Herman and Peterson's article, "The Iran 'Threat' in a Kafkaesque World" (2012). The authors examine yet another conspicuous example of "extreme application of the double standard" by the United States:

"U.S. ally and client Israel had from the start received active assistance developing its nuclear capability, and with the help of the United States, France, and Germany, it has built up a substantial arsenal since. This includes some 150-250 nuclear warheads (the exact number is unknown) plus delivery systems by land, sea, air, and ballistic missile. And throughout more than forty years of such unparalleled help, Israel refused to sign the NPT and subject itself to IAEA inspections and was never pressed to do so. A secret agreement was even struck between U.S. President Richard Nixon and Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir in 1969 under which the United States agreed to accept – and remain silent about – Israel's nuclear weapons program. This agreement, often referred to as the "U.S.-Israeli nuclear understanding," was reaffirmed by U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in May 2009. Netanyahu boasted about it in September that same year after the UN General Assembly (UNGA) summit, telling Israel's Channel 2 television station that at his meeting with Obama in May, he 'asked to receive from him an itemized list of the strategic understandings that have existed for many years between Israel and the United States on that issue.' Obama had obliged. In effect, 'The president gave Israel an NPT treaty get out of jail free card,' one Senate staffer told the Washington Times.

"So thoroughly built-in is this double standard that when the IAEA's General Conference in Vienna in September 2009 voted forty-nine to forty-five to adopt a binding resolution that 'calls upon Israel to accede to the NPT and place all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive IAEA safeguards' – in other words, that Israel's nuclear weapons program was to be treated the same as Iran's civilian nuclear program – the English-language media observed near total silence about the event. The only major newspaper that reported it was the next-day's Irish Times, and nothing showed up in any major U.S. print media.

Similarly unmentioned is the fact that the United States is itself in violation of the NPT (as is every member of the Founding Five states – the United States, Russia, Britain, France, and China – that tested a nuclear weapon prior to 1 January 1967). Article VI of the NPT requires that all parties to the treaty 'pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to the cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.' But the Founding Five have not done this. The United States has openly striven to upgrade its nuclear weapons to make their use more practicable in conventional warfare settings, and both the United States and NATO have publicly declared the importance that the Alliance attaches to a 'credible' nuclear posture 'to preserve peace and prevent coercion and any kind of war.' Nevertheless, in a Kafkaesque moment, UNSC Resolution 1887, adopted with much fanfare during the opening week of the UNGA's 2009 session in September, called upon the 'Parties to the NPT' to live up to the treaty's 'nuclear arms reduction and disarmament' demands. Indicative of the depth of the institutionalized reality-denial was the fact that the rampant violations and double standards in no way tempered the indignation of the United States and its allies concerning Iran's alleged NPT violations."

http://cosmos.ucc.ie/cs1064/jabowen/IPSC/articles/JPS165_Herman_Final.pdf

Herman was professor emeritus of finance at the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania. A distinguished scholar and peace champion, Herman was a media analyst with a specialty in corporate and regulatory issues as well as political economy. He also taught at Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. He passed away on 11 November 2017 at age 92.

O Society , June 14, 2019 at 14:18

Well done! My suggestion is instead of focusing so much on propaganda and narrative, out best use of time is to go deeper to the level of the Structure.

https://opensociet.org/2019/06/08/the-structure/

Pablo Diablo , June 14, 2019 at 13:20

Whoever controls the media, controls the dialogue.
Whoever controls the dialogue, controls the agenda.

Gary Weglarz , June 14, 2019 at 11:01

It is literally impossible to escape the 24/7 non-stop propaganda narratives of empire here in the U.S. I took my two young grandsons this week to see the kid's movie "The Secret Life of Pets 2." What qualities you might wonder characterized the villain in this brand new kid's movie? Well, how about an incredibly thick unmistakable Russian accent, stereotypical Russian facial features, a fur collar on his black trench coat, and a pack of evil wolves as henchmen that also spoke with thick evil sounding Russian accents.

Now I don't for a minute think this bit of almost subliminally placed anti-Russian propaganda was intended for my 2 and 4 year old grandsons. It was there for mom, dad, grandparents, and all the adults in the room. Did most adults even recognize they were being propagandized? I really doubt it. The creepy truly insidious nature of our full-spectrum Western propaganda apparatus is really quite breathtaking to behold. You can't even escape your required daily dose of the current hate narrative when watching a kid's movie for toddlers. No need for a barbed wire "gulag" when here in the West the gulag is now simply our own completely propagandized minds.

OlyaPola , June 14, 2019 at 10:48

"Propaganda Prospering Far and Wide"

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/51758.htm

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/51759.htm

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/51765.htm

Some read 1984 as "what is", some read 1984 as "how to", whilst some read 1984 as a description of complicity.

During 1984 there was a greater assay of complicity than in 1990, largely unperceived by some reading 1984 as "what is", and some reading 1984 as "how to", facilitated by some reading 1984 as a description of complicity and deriving/implementing strategies thereupon.

Not all "benefits" of dumbing down accrue to those immersed in practices of "dumbing down", particularly in lands of make believe and spectacle although often unperceived by "believers".

[Jun 13, 2019] Control of narrative is the essence of social control in modern society by Caitlin Johnstone

Jun 13, 2019 | caitlinjohnstone.com

... you see examples pop up every day:

I remember in the run-up to the Iraq War a friend I had known all my life suddenly said to me, 'We must do something about this monster in Iraq.' I said, 'When did you first think that?' He answered honestly, 'A month ago'. #Propaganda @medialens -- Malcolm Pryce (@exogamist) April 12, 2018
This is why I pay far more attention in my work to narrative control than to politics. Politics is downstream from narrative control, which is why the 2020 US presidential race is already a contest to see what level of Democratic corporatist warmonger will be running against the incumbent Republican corporatist warmonger. The narrative-controlling class does its level best to hide the fact that anything's fundamentally wrong with the system, then when people notice it's deeply broken they encourage them to use completely impotent tools to fix it. "Don't like how things are run? Here, vote for our other puppet!" The root of all our problems right now is the fact that human minds are very hackable with enough resources, combined with the fact that war, oppression, exploitation and ecocide are highly profitable. This dynamic has caused human collective consciousness to generally dead-end into a kind of propagandized, zombified state in which all our knowledge and all our thinking moves in alignment with the agendas of existing power structures. It's much easier to continue believing the official narratives than to sort through everything you've been told about your society, your nation and your world since grade school and work out what's true and what's false. Many don't have the time. Many more don't have the courage. We will remain in this collective dead-end, hurtling toward either Orwellian dystopia or extinction via climate collapse or nuclear armageddon, until we find a way out of it. It won't come from the tools our rulers have given us, and it won't come from repeating any of the old patterns which got us here. In order to escape from the increasingly adept narrative control matrix that is being built around our collective mind by the powerful, we're going to have to change our relationship with narrative altogether . We will either pass this great test or we will fail it, and we absolutely have the freedom to go either way.

_______________________

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website , which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported , so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook , following my antics on Twitter , throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal , purchasing some of my sweet merchandise , buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone , or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers . For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I'm trying to do with this platform, click here . Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I've written) in any way they like free of charge. Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2 Liked it? Take a second to support Caitlin Johnstone on Patreon! Tags caitlin johnstone Crowdstrike democracy George Kurtz narrative propaganda Share


AriusArmenian / June 13, 2019

One way to protect yourself against the poison of propaganda narratives is to never automatically believe fear and hate propaganda which is the mind (thinking) killer.
O Society / June 13, 2019
Thank you for the excellent take on propaganda, Caitlin! Useful as always. That said, I disagree propaganda is "the root of all our problems" though. What I mean is propaganda comes from somewhere. This narrative you speak of, which is manipulated through our media, comes from somewhere.

There is a Structure in which we all swim in like goldfish in a bowl, never being aware of the water we are swimming in. Water actually has a smell to it if you are into chemistry

We can call it a meta-narrative or meta-structure, if you will, but I capitalize it, like the difference between truth and Truth or god and God. It is at the root of all our assumptions. American exceptionalism, neoliberalism, media, society's conventions, all of it. It is the water.

https://opensociet.org/2019/06/08/the-structure/

Charles Robinson / June 13, 2019
Very. very well said. The indoctrination has the masses hypnotized to the Oligarch's orchestrated narrative so well, that they are blind -- or -- in denial -- to the forces controlling and making their lives miserable.
PCPrincess / June 13, 2019
There is an elevated importance to 'keeping data' that we deem important, not only to ensure its safety, but to serve as a reminder to ourselves of what the human populace has done over the years, whether they be a member of the corporate elite or governmental institutions, or a propagandized member of the voting public.

This makes websites like the 'Wayback Machine' a very useful tool and one that should be maintained and safeguarded. ( https://archive.org/web/web.php ).

Not only that, but I'd like to think that I'm not the only person that has saved extremely important articles from useful resources over the years. I've got years of material saved (including articles related to Wikileaks and Assange). I continue to add to my collection every time I run into another important bit of information. One of my motivations for doing so, was to have the material for publication at some later date (again -- to serve as a reminder of where we came from). I felt really compelled to save material during the run up to 2016 as that was a moment in my life that was a major tipping point and a point from which I can never turn back. I'm all the more grateful now as I read about the work being done to 'erase' history. Caitlin is correct about the fallibility and gullibility of human beings.

Lloyd / June 13, 2019
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VF8DsIVWDcs

Great minds think alike kinda sorta.

CMW / June 13, 2019
Caitlin, Here is what you are looking for:
John McClain / June 13, 2019
Dear Caitlin,

The Bible tells us we lost "paradise" for accepting the opening to a lie, and having done so, began lying. I've lived around the world, a "navy brat", and two decades as a Marine, and every society with a future, finds lying evil, and truth the foundation for honest trade, which is the world's economic engine.

We've been able, the U.S., to exist in a constant, ever changing lie, because so few ever have any real duties, we've abdicated responsibility, and in doing so, transferred the authority we had as "Sovereign Citizens", to those we elect with barely a second thought.

We, Americans, as a "country" are not honest, while a great many of us are on a daily basis, we don't fully conduct our lives in truth, and we excuse it for ourselves, suggesting its a small thing, given the enormous lies which abound.

The fact is, the moment one begins living on a lie, it must ever be compounded, to keep up with natural change that ever occurs, and is the singular thing we always can expect, change. Once in a lie, one must continue, or stop and acknowledge, so one can begin where the truth was left behind, simply beginning, "here, when I quit" doesn't undo all the destruction in one's wake, and that is duty, if one is to get back to right".

No one can control my narrative, nor yours, only those who have none of their own, because they don't want to expend the effort, to find the facts, face the bastards who would abuse all of us, and refuse to lose the contest of wills.

One must have a culture, focused on principles, to turn to such, and live in them, or one must be a hermit, and hold their principles, outside society, if it will not accept them. Such hermits are left to themselves, unless they manage to gain sufficient audience, to be a threat to the power mongers.
Every "offshoot of an empire" is an opportunity for a People to choose their ways, their principles, from among any and all they admire, and make a new start. It requires people fed up with the empire, to be energetic enough, strong willed enough, to make it come to pass.

I expect when the U.S. empire fails, many Peoples will take the opportunity to turn around, and focus on their own well being, and seriously consider the long future.

Truth, as a principle, has existed far longer than history, and it's opposite, has always been the bane of common existence. There has never been a time when all the world couldn't eat well, live well, and do so in complete peace, except that Man is a fallen creature, and is inclined to evil, when we see benefit in the lie, outweighing the value of truth, ignoring "consequences".

There doesn't ever seem to have been a time when we, People the world over, haven't been at odds and war over right action, defending against invasion to steal. If we accept the fact we are "prone to lie", we can consciously decide not to, as a practice, and become fairly good at it. If we won't accept it, we have to decide, case by case, what is truth, and what is manipulation, and our decision is then often controlled by our own bias.

I was born into an atheist family, well raised, in Church, because our parents had no foundation for their "moral principles", those of basic, simple Christianity, in logic or reason, but they fully intended we three children realize them as our own, and we did. I've been delving in science from my earliest years, "the insatiably curious", and convinced of God from my earliest memories, back to age one.

I've studied the sciences and spend my time in quantum physics, both quantum mechanics, and astrophysics, and the incredible findings of each and everything in between only serves to bolster my belief in design, external action in our world, and by this, God.

Yes indeed, all evil begins with lying, and that is the beginning of "controlling the narrative".

Semper Fidelis,
John McClain
GySgt, USMC, ret.
Vanceboro, NC, USA

Robert Callaghan / June 13, 2019
Propaganda, feminism and socialism started right after private banks stole public credit. They're all 100 year old narratives.

A 100% private carbon wealth tax = 100% universal private income = 0% for governments, NGOs and corporations

Democratic socialists Republican capitalists hate that

Link: https://www.truthdig.com/articles/first-assange-then-us/

Chris Hedges was an inner city boxer and preacher, he was intensely aware of the hypocrisy of liberal elites.

Gore Vidal's interview with Timothy McVeigh also illuminated elite media hypocrisy.

YT is protected from liability to protect free speech, now they censor free speech.

It was journalists who called for censorship.

Google can swing more than 3 million presidential votes just by tweaking algos.

The media is all about control. Always has been. All US media makes 5 billion per year. Google news now makes 5 billion per year. Google AI knows more about you than you do. Data = Control

mike k / June 13, 2019
Dead on truth Caitlin. I love it! When more people understand your message, then the Emperor will stand before us stripped of his fancy clothing, and shivering with fear.
cutthecord / June 13, 2019
the emperor may, but alas, the Deep State that makes all the real decisions behind the curtain, will crush the people with financial and real weapons.
Ramdan / June 13, 2019
Yes, Propaganda is bad and it has to be debunked. Those currently leading these propaganda campaigns are ill-intentioned and need to be exposed, but

Propaganda and the Propagandists ARE NOT the root cause of all our problems. Admitting this, puts the responsibility outside ourselves, it pushes responsability away and creates and internal representation of an external 'bad guy' to be fought.

It gets closer when you say

'The root of all our problems right now is the fact that human minds are very hackable( )'

It is our mind and the way our mind works. But then It is in fact the basic tenets of our world/life perception.

As long as we perceive this world/life as a place to achieve something, to be someone, to get somewhere. As long as we keep considering materialistic 'values' paramount we will fall for any Propaganda, any narrative which intents to present a better way to achive something, to be someone -- be that a 'successful citizen', a 'patriot', an 'outstanding professional' or 'spiritual leader' -- is a narrative that plays with the unwarranted notion that has been instilled on us through socialization: 'life is a game, life is a competition' cause if there is a competition there will be 'winners' and 'loosers'.

Yes, Propaganda is not good and propagandists need to be exposed, but the root cause is within us. We, each of us, is responsible for him/herself, each of us has to SEE what is INSIDE that makes us fall prey of the Propaganda and the propagandists, that makes us accept current, past and any future propaganda.

Skoolafish / June 13, 2019
• "Atrocity propaganda is how we won the war. And we're only really beginning with it now! We will continue this atrocity propaganda, we will escalate it until nobody will accept even a good word from the Germans, until all the sympathy they may still have abroad will have been destroyed and they themselves will be so confused that they will no longer know what they are doing. Once that has been achieved, once they begin to run down their own country and their own people, not reluctantly but with eagerness to please the victors, only then will our victory be complete. It will never be final.

• Re-education needs careful tending, like an English lawn. Even one moment of negligence and the weeds crop up again -- those indestructible weeds of historical truth."

Sefton Delmer -- former British chief of 'Black propaganda' in a conversation with Dr Friedrich Grimm (German Professor of International Law)

P.Brooks / June 13, 2019
No More War
Ron Campbell / June 13, 2019
Are you ready for " wholesale extermination "? My government, and its genocidal partners, intend to " cull the herd " real soon. Poor people will be eliminated. No living wages. No socialized anything. No more free stuff. The " chaos " will have the middle class and the poor people at war with each other. The store shelves will be empty; there will not be gas at the pumps. When you call for the police no one will be coming. The " shitstorm " is just over the horizon; it will be a lulu!
Ron Campbell / June 13, 2019
Is world war 3 on tap?
https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/06/11/what-comes-after-trump-world-war-iii/
Palloy / June 13, 2019
You clearly know that the tools we currently have will not change the status quo. So why do you keep on suggesting we email our MHRs, sign e-petitions, go to rallies, protest (peacefully) in the streets, to "free Julian Assange", or end world poverty, or make world peace or whatever. You know none of this will work.

Maybe nothing will work, but maybe protesting violently in the streets will work. Last night there was video footage on SBS TV News of "the people" of Hong Kong (of course NOT influenced by the CIA behind the scenes) protesting violently in the streets. They were of course met with fierce police resistance as they attempted to get into government offices, but they could have gone elsewhere and found other government offices and burnt them to the ground. They could have burnt cars. They could have burnt Court buildings. Or done any number of other things that would have made the government quake with fear.

SBS told us that there were a million protesters, over and over again, like it was a fact. They also mentioned that the police had said there were only 250,000, but that obviously didn't count, because somebody (who?) had said a million. The narrative is , of course, that CHINA is BAD and US is GOOD. So off you go and sign up for a war on China.

My main concern is that when the people have been beaten down to the point of starvation, and must strike back to survive, that they won't know any better than to go on a peaceful protest rally, and get tear-gassed, beaten with night-sticks, shot with rubber bullets and bean-bags, bitten by trained attack-dogs and trampled by police horses. You are going to have to tell them precisely what to do, so why not start now?

LSJohn / June 13, 2019
It's a prisoners' dilemma. Everyone would be better off if everyone followed more-or-less your line of thinking. However, every one of us will be worse off if we go in that direction without a sufficient number of our fellow citizens beside us.
"Sufficient number" will surface about when?
Ron Campbell / June 13, 2019
I call them our " Owners " because they own us! The United States quagmires in South Korea and Vietnam really upset our owners. The " populace " taking to the streets everywhere was not to their liking at all. The owners were not going to change their objectives; the owners decided to block anything and everything that influence " their stupid subjects "!

The draft was eliminated. No more bad war reports on television. The United States is always the good guys in the white hats. Our enemies are everywhere. etc. etc. The year is 2019 but the reality is George Orwell's 1984. Big Brother has all of us by the short hairs now. Check this out:
https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/the-omnipresent-surveillance-state/

We are being " hoodwinked " by our very rich and very evil owners that have us eating each other up while they just get richer! War Is Peace!

Joseph Olson / June 13, 2019
When the Romanian REAL Guccifer got Podesta password (password) by phishing, exposing his pizza and walnut sauce perversions, the US had him jailed. When WikiLeaks made a DNC dump, CrowdStrike concocted Guccifer 2.0, then more leaks Fancy Bear, and more leaks Cozy Bear. All these CrowdStrike fabrications used CIA Vault 7 fingerprints to frame Russia. It is time to execute our ruling demonic warlords.
Greg Felton / June 13, 2019
Thanks Caitlin. Clearly, "1984" is real. I have written on propaganda for more than 20 years and this piece of yours is valuable research.
Christine Valiquette / June 13, 2019
The Century of the Self is a great four-part documentary series about the effectiveness of propaganda. Please watch it, and share it on Facebook. It's a subtle way to get your MSM consuming/trusting friends and family to be more critical of the narrative they are being fed.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/DnPmg0R1M04

[Jun 05, 2019] Gaslighting as propaganda method

Notable quotes:
"... It wasn't like this 15 years ago. The credibility of our establishment is at an end. ..."
"... A significant number of people are becoming aware of it. Enough to easily have a revolution succeed. We're well beyond the 15% threshold. ..."
"... Tried and true propaganda methods pioneered by Edward Bernays are no longer effective. If "Russian Collusion" was done in 1995, you'd be insane to believe it wasn't true. Now you're around 1/2 of the population. ..."
"... People forget, or are too young, to realize why the USSR collapsed in 1991. It wasn't because living conditions were intolerable, it's because the citizens of the USSR had no confidence or faith in their government and it hit a peak on December 26 of that year. ..."
"... You probably think people screaming expletives are real people, mostly they aren't, they are public relation systems – they are propagandists. They are designed to shut you up, you filthy anti-Semite, Assad loving, Communist, NeoNazi, Fascist ..."
"... Our ruling class has not changed, you have changed – for the better. ..."
"... Then Trump got elected, and it was pretty obvious that the standard channels of propaganda were no longer effective. ..."
"... They aren't titans. They are intelligence agency assets now and although they won't lose a single dime of market revenue, because they just lie about their market revenue and user base anyhow, they are becoming irrelevant and will become entirely irrelevant over time. ..."
"... You'd realize they are intelligence agency assets if you thought about it. How is it in the favor of Facebook or Twitter, to drive users off their platform, if they actually depended on actual users of their "service" to generate revenue? They don't make their money by peddling ads on their platforms. ..."
May 28, 2019 | www.unz.com

Fool's Paradise , says: May 23, 2019 at 2:59 pm GMT

"Power is what makes 'reality' reality." Exactly. Power can cram a lie, repeated over and over, down our throats, e.g. the holocaust, and it becomes a fact.
anonymous [340] Disclaimer , says: May 23, 2019 at 3:41 pm GMT
"I mean, come on you don't really believe that the global capitalist ruling classes are going to let Trump serve a second term, do you?"

Why not? They let him serve a first, didn't they?

Mr. Hopkins is one of my favorites here. But when it comes to President Trump, I'm afraid that he's not cynical enough. Washington politics -- including the supposedly emerging pursuit of those Swampsters who really did meddle in the 2016 election and since -- are a puppet show to channel and harmlessly blow off dissent, another part of the Official Reality.

Digital Samizdat , says: May 23, 2019 at 3:50 pm GMT

The powerful are not arguing with us. They are not attempting to win a debate about what is and isn't "true," or what did or didn't "really" happen. They are declaring what did or didn't happen. They are telling us what is and is not "reality," and demonstrating what happens to those who disagree.

Yup. In short, they are attempting to gas-light us.

Cyrano , says: May 23, 2019 at 7:07 pm GMT
The "reality" that the power elites are "creating" has another, more common name – it's called propaganda.

If anyone should be familiar with propaganda, it should be any western citizen, because that's all they have been hearing throughout their lives – incessant stream of propaganda.

The beauty of it is that they are not even aware of it. The great unwashed think that they have been told the truth. And that's the main difference between truth and propaganda.

If you accept some miserable, unimaginative 2 cents worth of fabrication as "truth", then it ceases to be a propaganda and becomes the "truth". And that's the main purpose of propaganda – to become the official "truth".

Truth – the way is understood in the west – is nothing more than propaganda that has succeeded.

WorkingClass , says: May 23, 2019 at 7:17 pm GMT
I'm a misanthrope. It's obvious to me that tyranny, poverty and war (unnecessary suffering) proceed directly from human nature. It's the "problem of evil" if you will. People are stupid and they suck. And they think they are so fucking smart and righteous. Have you heard this one? Man is God's highest creation. Well la tee da!

And the worst of the lot are the ruling class. They get to be the ruling class precisely by being the worst of the lot. Or did you think they just work harder than you? I'm not going to write a book. Why bother. But if I did the title would be The Scum Also Rises .

paraglider , says: May 23, 2019 at 8:04 pm GMT
Power is what makes "reality" "reality." Not facts. Not evidence. Not knowledge. Power.

Those in power, or aligned with those in power, or parroting the narratives of those in power, understand this (whether consciously or not). Those without power mostly do not, and thus we continue to "speak truth to power," as if those in power gave a shit. They don't.

The powerful are not arguing with us. They are not attempting to win a debate about what is and isn't "true," or what did or didn't "really" happen. They are declaring what did or didn't happen. They are telling us what is and is not "reality," and demonstrating what happens to those who disagree.

not really C J!!

power is not what makes reality.

if it was hillary would be president.

what makes social and ideological reality that is a reality without a physical form or mathematically measurable is the ..control of opinion .

without the control of opinion governments come and go. traditionally those in power also controlled opinion. now its a bit more involved than owning a newspaper or a network as those in power discovered to their great dismay when the clinton crime family was walloped at the polls in 2016.

they are doing all they can to ensure this does not happen in 2020. the jury is still out on that one.

gore vidal wrote many years that history is merely the agreed upon facts .another way of saying the control of opinion.

having raw power as used by our increasingly intellectually enfeebled ruling class just isn't enough anymore. the social media titans are trying furiously to use censorship in the run up to november 2020 to try ans get it right ..LOL this time.

the problem for rulers in advanced societies face is . the misdirection of the masses into approved channels is becoming harder to implement. yes, they don't give a damn what us proles think and now the same goes for us regarding them.

watching this farce is very entertaining, much better than the flotsam and jetsam hollywood spews forth to distract us.

Tusk , says: May 24, 2019 at 1:06 am GMT
Just think about the reaction to the "It's okay to be white" posters. Media, institutions and politicans are all condemning it as being white nationalist propoganda when it was a joke, but it doesn't matter the 'reality' or causation of the posters because they, as described by C.J, cram it down the unconscious class of people who just lap it up.

They have made it synonymous with propoganda just as the circle game as been turned into another dogwhistle. If you are not accepting and acceding to their ideals you are retrogressive, you must accept the truth as they profess as ultimate reality or you will be smeared, fired, harassed, assaulted and denied any place in the world. Looking at these people's reactions confirm that they are totally enthralled, subjectivity to the narrative is complete.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/XBtf0YeLoxY?feature=oembed

Richard Wicks , says: May 24, 2019 at 6:20 am GMT

It has become "reality."

No it hasn't. The result of this propaganda has been to entirely discredit our media, our intelligence agencies, our justice system, our political system, and the mafia that controls them all.

Repeat a lie a million times and it becomes truth, but only when people can only hear that lie and nothing else.

Who here believes Assad was gassing his people? Who here believes Qaddafi was about to cause a humanitarian crisis? Who here believes Hussein worked with bin Laden to take down the world trade centers, and had a secret weapons of mass destruction program?

Who here believes Juan Guaido is the legitimate ruler of Venezuela? Who here believes Iran just attacked a bunch of ships and is a threat to the United States? Who here believes Russia got Trump elected?

It wasn't like this 15 years ago. The credibility of our establishment is at an end.

What the author doesn't realize is that we've always had propaganda that we accepted as undisputed fact. We've always been lied to this way. What the author is actually complaining about, not realizing it, is that people are now becoming aware of it. A significant number of people are becoming aware of it. Enough to easily have a revolution succeed. We're well beyond the 15% threshold.

Tried and true propaganda methods pioneered by Edward Bernays are no longer effective. If "Russian Collusion" was done in 1995, you'd be insane to believe it wasn't true. Now you're around 1/2 of the population.

Trust me, it's a lot less scary now, than it was 20 years ago, when nearly everybody believed any ridiculous story handed out by the government. I wonder how many people actually realized the Bush administration was lying, while they were lying? I did, and it was pure misery to be in that position and it was astonishing and very frightening.

Power is what makes "reality" "reality." Not facts. Not evidence. Not knowledge. Power.

Knowledge is power. You have an infinite amount of knowledge in front of you right now. I am glad to see so many people make use of it.

People forget, or are too young, to realize why the USSR collapsed in 1991. It wasn't because living conditions were intolerable, it's because the citizens of the USSR had no confidence or faith in their government and it hit a peak on December 26 of that year.

Loosing confidence in your criminal oligarchy and it's minions? Wonderful, it's a step in the right direction.

This post-Orwellian, neo-McCarthyite mass hysteria is not going to stop

Yes it will. You just aren't aware of who will eventually end it. We all will, not the people producing it.

You probably think people screaming expletives are real people, mostly they aren't, they are public relation systems – they are propagandists. They are designed to shut you up, you filthy anti-Semite, Assad loving, Communist, NeoNazi, Fascist

There's a reason these "people" won't actually discuss anything with you in depth, it's because an AI assisted program can't really think. The purpose of the programs are to keep you silent, they don't represent the actual population in any form.

Our ruling class would not resort to this, if their position was solid and not threatened.

Our ruling class has not changed, you have changed – for the better.

Richard Wicks , says: May 24, 2019 at 6:56 am GMT
@paraglider

Those without power mostly do not, and thus we continue to "speak truth to power," as if those in power gave a shit. They don't.

Oh?

Why the censorship on Facebook and Twitter then?

They didn't care before, when they didn't think it made any difference for people to freely communicate. The Internet, after all, was just something a FEW people used, and they didn't use it to learn anything. What people said didn't matter, it didn't change anything.

Then Trump got elected, and it was pretty obvious that the standard channels of propaganda were no longer effective.

the social media titans are trying furiously to use censorship in the run up to november 2020

They aren't titans. They are intelligence agency assets now and although they won't lose a single dime of market revenue, because they just lie about their market revenue and user base anyhow, they are becoming irrelevant and will become entirely irrelevant over time.

You'd realize they are intelligence agency assets if you thought about it. How is it in the favor of Facebook or Twitter, to drive users off their platform, if they actually depended on actual users of their "service" to generate revenue? They don't make their money by peddling ads on their platforms.

Do you know what drug companies and defense contractors advertise on television "news"? It's not because they are trying to find buyers for their products, it's to keep the "news" from ever reporting negatively on them, it's a bribe. If you never see an advertisement on Facebook for, I dunno, Raytheon, does that mean they don't pay for "advertisement" there? Facebook's accounting ledger is opaque.

animalogic , says: May 24, 2019 at 8:59 am GMT
@paraglider

"the problem for rulers in advanced societies face is . the misdirection of the masses into approved channels is becoming harder to implement. "

Absolutely.

As CJ points out, there are two variations on reality -- the ideological & the material (ie his chair, your screen).
As you note, paraglider, these two realities are coming into ever sharper contradiction. At some point elite lies (ideology or propaganda) become so out of sync with lived, material reality that average people start to notice -- sometimes called a naked emperor moment.
Sadly, our elites are totally expert in "spinning" reality (they make the Nazis or USSR look like mere amateurs). It will probably take a massive breakdown in material reality (ie economic circumstances) for enough people to wake up.

Realist , says: May 24, 2019 at 9:38 am GMT
@anonymous

Mr. Hopkins is one of my favorites here. But when it comes to President Trump, I'm afraid that he's not cynical enough. Washington politics -- including the supposedly emerging pursuit of those Swampsters who really did meddle in the 2016 election and since -- are a puppet show to channel and harmlessly blow off dissent, another part of the Official Reality.

Exactly correct. This is internecine back biting, Kabuki theater or as you say puppet show. We'll see how many are brought to justice from the AG Barr investigations .my quess .none.

Anonymous [300] Disclaimer , says: May 24, 2019 at 3:38 pm GMT
From the fascism in Italy link: "populist glorification of Mussolini's WWII regime is contaminating Italy's culture and politic."

So populism CONTAMINATES. As written by ARIAL DAVID FROM TEL AVIV. How long did it take me to look that up? About 30 seconds. Because my mind is not CONTAMINATED by the Jewstream media, social media, video games, professional sports, and blind adherence to ideologies.

"'Putin-Nazis' narrative is our new 'reality.'" Just divorce yourself from the sick Western society that you are living in and you won't have to say "our." You can keep going to your Western job and live in your Western town, but mentally you can know that you are us and they are them. And teach your children this truth, too.

Anonymous [300] Disclaimer , says: May 24, 2019 at 3:50 pm GMT
@Richard Wicks Great post! But, back in March 2003, it wasn't "pure misery" for me. I just knew that I was an intellectual oasis in an intellectual desert. And apparently so were you.
The Alarmist , says: May 24, 2019 at 5:30 pm GMT

"Reality" is simply "the way it is."

Man, we need to get this guy into one of the camps to disabuse him of these foolish ideas.

Think of "reality" as an ideological tool a tool in the hands of those with the power to designate what is "real" and what isn't . Power is what makes "reality" "reality." Not facts. Not evidence. Not knowledge. Power.

Wait, he gets the real "reality." But that's not good, he's only supposed to buy the reality, not see it for what it is. Get him to the camp, tout de suite!

I mean, come on you don't really believe that the global capitalist ruling classes are going to let Trump serve a second term, do you?

I figured that sly Mr. Putin was going to work our electoral sytem into knots and get himself elected POTUS, because his puppet, Mr. Trump, has utterly failed in carrying out his mission.

Richard Wicks , says: May 24, 2019 at 8:35 pm GMT
@Anonymous

But, back in March 2003, it wasn't "pure misery" for me.

It was terrible, I thought we were going into a fascist society. It never occurred to me we were actually in one at the time and I was only just then becoming aware of it.

I just knew that I was an intellectual oasis in an intellectual desert.

I wouldn't go that far. I just had built up enough cognitive dissonance that I was forced to think about what was actually going on finally. It's a laborious process to go through all you think you know and when you run into two conflicting beliefs, eliminate at least one of them.

And here's the kicker, I was Silicon Valley, California at the time. I'm an electrical engineer. Lots of smart people here, supposedly. I was forced to question my very sanity when I found myself in disagreement with nearly everybody around me and I am by no means the most brilliant engineer in Silicon Valley.

Now millions of people are going through the process.

There's a desperate attempt to get us all back into our little cages and make us all trust whatever the official propaganda is again, but once you become aware of the situation, you never will go back. You've heard the saying there's nobody more fanatical than the converted? Anybody that has gone through the process to realize their government incessantly lies to them, they spread it, and there's too many people to just kill off or imprison to stop it.

Pissedoffalese , says: May 25, 2019 at 1:35 am GMT
@Richard Wicks Beautiful, Mr. Wicks. I don't believe you're correct, but I love the sentiment; usually the assholes win, and that's just how it unfortunately goes. Go it the other way–your way, and I'm totally on your side.

Pissy

Pissedoffalese , says: May 25, 2019 at 2:19 am GMT
@Richard Wicks You are so very correct; my disagreement with you, Sir, is the thought we little peeps can CHANGE anything.

Now, on 9/11, I was awake but groggy, dig? I remember telling someone that DAY that this will culminate in WWIII, and she said to me, AND I quote–"Good, and them little dot-headed MFers need to DIE!"

Facepalm. All is lost, thought I, and moved to Belize. Never had that dissonance problem cuz my dad was the domestic-terrorist type and never had ANY faith in this country (duly passed down), but I've watched people wake up, and they're not at ALL happy about it. Doesn't happen very often, but when it DOES, an axe-handle to the face would have done less damage.

Oddly, peeps in other countries got our number. MEMORIZED like no tomorrow and on speed-dial! Most Americans don't realize that, but it's a fact carved in solid granite and has been since I became aware of it in 1979. Mexico, Canada, Scotland, England, France, Guatemala, Belize. They hate us so bad that here I am, back in the good ol' US of A, mostly cuz I don't like being a TARGET for everybody else's righteous hatred.

Love it or leave it ain't really a viable option anymore and HASN'T been for some time.

Respect,

Pissy

obwandiyag , says: May 25, 2019 at 5:38 am GMT
You know, despite the inundation, I have never ever heard regular people talking about Russiagate. I think we have finally come to the point where the majority of regular people actually don't give a damn. Which is as it should be.
The Scalpel , says: Website May 25, 2019 at 2:33 pm GMT
@WorkingClass love it!
Quartermaster , says: May 25, 2019 at 9:25 pm GMT
@animalogic Spinning is easily detected by those with critical thinking skills.
paraglider , says: May 25, 2019 at 9:36 pm GMT
@WorkingClass sadly working class our society is intrinsically geared toward allowing sociopathic personalities rise to the top in every profession. though they constitute barely a few percent of any given population their lack of empathy, remorse and an ability to mimic healthy human behavior gives them an enormous advantage in climbing the corporate, military and political ladders.

once in control they become public symbols for those young to aspire to reinforcing the cycle.

its not that humans are evil per se, it is that human nature never changes from one millenium to another and in a system that rewards sociopathic behavior you wind up with a clinton (both), a bush junior, a cheney, bolton, pompeo, brennan, comey, zuckerberg and countless incompetent generals, politicans and corporate ceo's male and female and voila .

predatory capitalism where looking out for number 1 is the only goal.

fortunately these people are also myopic and in their greed and avarice for power they kill the goose that lays their eggs always thinking its they who are smarter than the game they play.

look east for the next great improvements in health, medicine, science of all kinds and a 1000 and 1 other achievements not yet born to the betterment of human kind.

the west is spent, it's finished, at least for the next few centuries as hope, vision, optimism, confidence and a can do attitude migrates to asia.

Anon [309] Disclaimer , says: May 28, 2019 at 4:27 am GMT
@WorkingClass It's more about being truthophiles than misanthropes.

Common human nature has the very same earmarks at all levels, the ones in the top echelon are a magnifying mirror of what's below, and there is no other way they would be up there doing what they do if most of the other people weren't akin.

In other words, the average mainstream account of either World War is to truth as either the average testimony of a divorcing wife to a divorce court or the reasons she'll give to her pleading husband when he asks why her resolution to break-up.
Just for one example.

Then since people hold beliefs about themselves far removed, if not opposite, to reality, they look at they élite and tbink: what a bad lot, 'tis people really aren' t the people I wan to be governed by. But then they are ever governed by people like that -- nor would they let any people unlike that govern.

SHAFAR NULLIFIDIAN , says: May 28, 2019 at 5:03 am GMT
@Cyrano They are propagandized the most who think they are propagandized the least. I came to this "reality" some 68+ years ago in my first year of Catholic high school!
anon [339] Disclaimer , says: May 28, 2019 at 6:02 am GMT
> a Black kid the cops shot for no reason.

Stop already with the Black Lives Matter propaganda. Blacks are 24% less likely than whites to be shot by officers. https://www.louderwithcrowder.com/report-whites-more-likely-shot-police/

Yet such BLM propaganda is psychological projection, as all negroes need exterminated, and for a good reason. There is no way to live peaceably with the pests, any more than you can live with an infestation of rattlesnakes in your house, as Paul Kersey well documents.

Ilyana_Rozumova , says: May 28, 2019 at 6:02 am GMT
Well?

I do agree to the certain extent. Ideology is introduced into population by a certain part of the population.

The ideology is successful if it becomes prevalent public opinion of the majority of the population.

But that is not a reality. it becomes reality if all population is acting in accordance with aims of that ideology. But still that ideology must go through o lengthy testing period in order to prove that acting accordingly with that ideology is beneficial to all people.

Very few ideologies survived the test of times.

Robert Dolan , says: May 28, 2019 at 6:21 am GMT
There are some great comments above.

jewish authoritarians believe that they can dictate "reality" to the goyim that reality is the collective will of the jewish people. And when they had complete control of the sources of information, they could spew endless propaganda and they were rarely called on it.

How times have changed!

Logos is rising, and TRUTH is leaking out. The Sanhedrin has lost control of the goyim and is feverishly trying to get it back.

There is no way they can win this battle.

Vianney , says: May 28, 2019 at 6:27 am GMT
@Anonymous "And teach your children the truth."

When do parents stop having the responsibility and right to "teach their children the truth?" When your children are self-supporting? Or have children of their own?

Part of the pernicious agenda of the destruction of the family is the total marginalization of elders. They may not be wise or even particularly virtuous, but they've been around the block a time or two.
Whether you child is 4 or 40, teach them the truth.

About that 4 – or 14- year old: teaching them lies in school is child abuse. Cramming holohoax ed. into your child is intentional infliction of emotional distress. Neither (((Randi Winegarten))) nor ADL nor US Congress has a greater right to decide what your child should be taught than do you, his parent.

If you love you children, skip the soccer game and raise your voice at the school board meeting.

sally , says: May 28, 2019 at 7:21 am GMT
The result of this propaganda has been to entirely discredit our media, our intelligence agencies, our justice system, our political system, and the mafia that controls them all. it was facts..

Things like Wikileaks and Julian Assange and all of the whistle blowers in jail or in graves throughout the world today who individually made the decision to risk their freedom, to give if they must, the balance of their lives and their own futures, in order to uphold in reality, the dreams and ideologies embodied, in the such as the 1688 glorious revolution, the human rights embodied, not in the Constitution of the USA [COUS, 1789], but in the Declaration of Independence by the British Colonist against British Colonial corporate rule, and in the French Revolution in (1790?), and in the UN declaration on human rights, that honesty, integrity, and adherence to human rights are the foremost consideration in the design and implementation of governments every_where and that humanity has the right to expect their governments to serve them equally, and not to become or to be used as conduits to make a very few wealthy at the expense of the balance of us .

These concepts, that those who are the governed, should govern those who are the governors.. were to these whistle blowers, elements, required and expected by the masses to be implicit in our constitutions, and in the operations of the governments such constitutions outlined and in the activities of those who have imposed on the public trust, to attain positions which allows them to lead and manage our societies. And when these concepts of duty to humanity were found [by those few, who because of their skill were hired and given privilege of access to perform for their nations leaders] to be lacking, such persons were by virtue of circumstance duty bound to an authority much greater than a nation state, its laws or its leaders, his duty was to humanity, and that duty required that the misdeeds of the few be revealed to the masses no matter the personal sacrifice.

And when these few talented persons of conscious, came upon evidence, they knew, the world out side of secret government did not know about, they became soldiers in the universal army of humanity, and like good soldiers they exposed the criminal, corrupt and illicit goings on in the civil governments and those tainted with the dirty filthy hands of such corrupt governments.

It was not just whistle blowers and misleading or highly wrongfully purposed propaganda that exposed them, it was the methods used: secret governments, secret government agencies to spy on us, secret courts, allowing private owned media and technology corporations to control the nation dialog and access to information, and requiring each member of the masses to carry personal, picture ids, reducing government agency access to a person-less website and the like. Nothing about government or those who use it, has been of benefit to the governed since 1913..in America and I suspect the people in every nation can identify when the bandits of the fruits of their societies were redirected to the bandits.

Jason Liu , says: May 28, 2019 at 7:32 am GMT
More like democracy vs civilization

The left isn't entirely wrong, democracy really is slipping away. The world is becoming more authoritarian with every election.

It's isn't because of Putin, it's because of democracy is founded on an outdated myth–that humans are or should be equals. That was never going to last. Good riddance.

PetrOldSack , says: May 28, 2019 at 8:17 am GMT
@paraglider

Straight on, and you are not the only one in this thread.

A reality show, as most of the mass humanoids can grasp. All of the elites beyond redemption, and society selected out any-one to replace them. Edward Dutton. The few bootstapped to the end of the graph, to the right at nil, zero, in less then a generation. Psychopathy has a group secondary effect.

No more cathedrals for now, just crowing on a pile of dung. Hopkins cannot shed his value system, his profession are as outdated as the horse in times of tractors and trucks.

Nonny , says: May 28, 2019 at 9:15 am GMT
@Jason Liu It was founded on the fake myth that election by voting is democracy. Only millionaires, usually supported by billionaires, can become congressmen with the rarest exceptions. Is that democracy?

The ancient Athenian Upper House was representative, but its members were elected by lot. No second term. Democracy.

The nearest we could conceivably come to that in the modern world is the dictatorship of the proletariat, i.e.the rule of the people. Never yet achieved.

Anon [309] Disclaimer , says: May 28, 2019 at 11:36 am GMT
@SHAFAR NULLIFIDIAN The ever too little seen Law of Inversion, most of the time, and the times, being true of human affairs.
marieinbethpage , says: May 28, 2019 at 11:57 am GMT
The powers that be want us off balance and they want us going down argumentative rabbit holes. Don't get angry with them or be frightened of them. Laughter is the best defense against their hateful and self-serving propaganda.
Johann , says: May 28, 2019 at 1:00 pm GMT
@WorkingClass How about human society is based on the rain barrel principle: the scum rises to the top.
sally , says: May 28, 2019 at 1:13 pm GMT
@Jason Liu Equality does not mean each person must throw the football 35 yards, no less and no more.. Democracy means everyone has an equal right to engage and equal right to access the place, knowledge and training needed to throw the football as far as he or she is capable and wishes.. so long as the toss of the football does not interfere with the life or activity of another. Rules that resolve conflicts must somehow accommodate all needs.

In-side of the nation state container, democracy means no ruler can claim by authority of the nation state that such ruler is empowered to make a rule (law) if such law infringes on the human rights of others.. and that every nation state and its rulers must stand guard and insist that the conditions of economics, sociability, cultural, language, and race are honored, keep safe, and adequately maintained, as if each such fraction were the majority or better. Equality is an obligation of government, it is different from democracy..
democracy is a government created by the governed, maintained for the benefit of the governed, and audited and regulated by the governed.

Democracy implies a rule making structure that collectively might become a government but government or whatever fails the test of democracy when it cuts out or denies the right of each element in its governed masses access to the same knowledge, provisions to get loans and to engage in enterprises as everyone else, Still the democratic structure (governments) fail the test of democracy if both the structure and the operation of the governing structure fails to include each element "within its governed masses" in the establishment of every law, in every decision and in every event. in other words a government with actors that operate behind closed doors cannot be democratic, governments that spy on its people can be democratic iff it exposes to everyone, all its spying discovers, but it cannot be democratic if it denies any information to anyone of those it governs or if it allows others within the democracy to lie with impunity.

Anon [122] Disclaimer , says: Website May 28, 2019 at 2:45 pm GMT
Here is one sane voice

https://www.youtube.com/embed/-wc94DRFCik?feature=oembed

Beckow , says: May 28, 2019 at 4:38 pm GMT
@obwandiyag

despite the inundation, I have never ever heard regular people talking about Russiagate.

Most people will not touch a sensitive subject. Russiagate with its security implications is too scary to discuss. So they don't.

At the height of Christian power, most people also didn't discuss how exactly did 'virgin' Mary' have a demigod baby – too sensitive. The fact that it is not discussed makes it into a convenient taboo subject – as C. Hopkins says 'immutable truth'. A few more years of this and the West will resemble a scared, docile, labor colony with ambitious people tripping over themselves to prove their loyalty.

annamaria , says: May 28, 2019 at 5:55 pm GMT
"The powers are preparing for a new Cold War" by Thierry Meyssan
https://www.voltairenet.org/article206600.html
simple_pseudonymic_handle , says: May 28, 2019 at 6:01 pm GMT
@Richard Wicks I saw a youtube by Thomas Sheridan from one of those goofy Alternative View conferences and he asked the audience (parallel to Reagan asking the voters in the 1980 president election debates "are you better off now than you were four years ago?"):

if you could go back to the world as it was in August of 2001 would you choose to do so?

Most of his presentation was forgettable but that little snip was not. What they call this in the head hoodlum strategy conferences is unintended consequences. The Be Powers had complete control of the narrative in August of 2001. Same in 2002. They have pissed it all away. Every milliliter of it.

Anon [424] Disclaimer , says: May 28, 2019 at 9:45 pm GMT
Western propaganda machine was better 20 -30 years ago . Now it is just a propagandistic and insulting machine , and it is so dumb and coarse that it has lost contact with reality . Most modern journalists in Europe and the US lack a mimimum of culture , dignity and good taste . They have lost so much prestige that many people interprets them the other way around , ex. if they insult say Putin , Trump etc that probably means that Putin and Trump are not too bad for their people , and if they praise someone , say Merkel that probably means that the old fat lady is a despot . So the " press " ( propaganda ) has abused so much , has lied so much that few people takes it very seriously .
Anon [424] Disclaimer , says: May 28, 2019 at 9:54 pm GMT
@Fool's Paradise to a point , a delusional , psychotic , out of reality " power " , goes crazy and self destroys . The loss of touch with reality is crazines , dementia .

Quod Jupiter vult perdere dementat prius
( Those who the gods want to destroy , first they make them mad )

MarkU , says: May 28, 2019 at 10:33 pm GMT
@Richard Wicks

Why the censorship on Facebook and Twitter then?

Psychological studies have shown that a group of people will go along with practically any old crap (even to the extent of disbelieving their own eyes) in the absence of any contradictory voices. Even one "rebel" in the group is usually enough to break the spell. The Facebook, Twitter and general media censorship is evidently intended to erase all the contradictory voices.

Unfortunately the herd instinct is still very strong in the human race and should not be under-estimated. It is easy for those with well developed critical faculties to overestimate those of the general population.

Whitewolf , says: May 28, 2019 at 11:14 pm GMT
The powerful ones trying to make people believe a false reality are really only fooling the very gullible these days. No amount of censorship is going to solve that problem for them. Since 911 their credibility has taken a nosedive and isn't going to recover before it crashes completely. Even flat Earthers have more credibility and they know it.

[Jun 05, 2019] Taking a long view it was very astute and cleverly conceived plan to to present counter-revolution as revolution; progress as regress; the new order 1980- (i.e., neoliberalism) was cool, and the old order 1945-1975 (welfare-capitalism) was fuddy-duddy.

Highly recommended!
Jun 05, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Francis Lee says May 5, 2019

Taking a long view it was very astute and cleverly conceived plan to to present counter-revolution as revolution; progress as regress; the new order 1980- (i.e., neoliberalism) was cool, and the old order 1945-1975 (welfare-capitalism) was fuddy-duddy.

Thus:

Capital controls = fuddy duddy Capital Account liberalisation = cool Worker's Rights = fuddy duddy Flexible Labour markets = cool World Peace -- fuddy duddy War = Cool National Sovereignty = fuddy duddy Globalization = Cool Social Mobility = fuddy duddy Inequality = cool Respect for elections/referenda = fuddy-duddy Flexible referenda/elections = cool Social solidarity = fuddy-duddy Rampant nihilistic invidualism = cool Respect for human rights and the UN International Law = fuddy-duddy Blatant Imperialism = cool

And so the agenda goes on. Counter-revolution qua revolution

[May 27, 2019] Extremely wealthy invest in narrative control via MSM ownership, think tanks financing and the army of well-paid lobbysts

This is a modern form of brainwashing which is more effective and more sophisticated then Soviet propagandas.
Notable quotes:
"... It is therefore an indisputable fact that the very wealthy therefore have an immensely disproportionate influence over the way that people think and vote, which means the plutocratic class has the fully legal ability to practice election interference. ..."
"... If the Internet Research Agency of St Petersburg was election meddling, then the plutocratic class which consistently manipulates public narratives to its favor certainly is as well, to an extent that is greater by orders of magnitude. ..."
May 27, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

As soon as you see someone become extremely wealthy, you immediately see them start buying up public narrative control. They buy and invest in media outlets, they pour money into influential think tanks, they send lobbyists into government offices to persuade politicians to think a certain way about a given subject. Ordinary people can't afford to do these things, so they have relatively little control over the dominant narratives about what's going on in our society and our world.

It is therefore an indisputable fact that the very wealthy therefore have an immensely disproportionate influence over the way that people think and vote, which means the plutocratic class has the fully legal ability to practice election interference. Both the plutocratic media and the US government have already tacitly admitted that this is true in the frantic, hysterical way they've been talking about Russian Facebook memes as election interference, despite the fact that those social media posts are a microscopic drop in the barrel of the billions and billions of dollars that goes into mass media election coverage. If the Internet Research Agency of St Petersburg was election meddling, then the plutocratic class which consistently manipulates public narratives to its favor certainly is as well, to an extent that is greater by orders of magnitude.

Of course it's good that people are pushing for paper ballots, and it's not a bad idea to take precautions against foreign interference as well, but we must become aware that the greatest share of election interference happens before anyone sets foot in a polling booth. The way the American psyche is pummeled with mass media narratives designed to manufacture consent for war, economic injustice, ecocide, Orwellian government intrusiveness, and the politicians who promote these things will influence far more votes in 2020 than any other election tampering, foreign or domestic.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/34LGPIXvU5M

Mass media propaganda is the single most overlooked and under-appreciated aspect of our society. The ability of an elite class to control the way a supermajority of the population thinks, acts and votes has shaped our entire world in the favor of a few sociopaths driven by an insatiable lust for money and power who got to where they are because they were willing to do anything to get ahead. If we can't find a way to get a handle on that, then it won't matter how pristine your elections are, how ethical the DNC primary process becomes, or what the Russians are up to this year.

Do you want to live in a world which is built around the selfish desires of powerful, amoral manipulators and hoarders? No? Then you're going to have to start doing what you can to oppose such a system, and to convince as many of your brothers and sisters as possible to join you.

* * *

Everyone has my unconditional permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I've written) in any way they like free of charge. My work is entirely reader-supported , so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook , following my antics on Twitter , throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal , purchasing some of my sweet merchandise , buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone , or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers . The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website , which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I'm trying to do with this platform, click here .

Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

[May 15, 2019] CNN MSNBC Caught Meddling in US Democracy by Joe Giambrone

Images deleted
Notable quotes:
"... How could it not? Comcast owns NBC. ..."
"... MSNBC is also that bastion of journalistic integrity that hired an exposed CIA mole, Ken Dilanian, to feed its viewers propaganda about "national security ..."
"... Now, the parties truly "meddling in America's democracy" should be very clear, although I can only scratch the surface here concerning the long history of media corruption and outright lies broadcast all the time. ..."
"... The criminal behaviour continues unabated. Lies and fraud abound. American behaviour worldwide is an embarrassment to any free thinking individual. They are a danger to all of us. ..."
"... Organisations like the BBC and all the rest of the corporate media are a greater threat to democracy than any foreign army or terrorist organisation. ..."
"... As Trump might say, 'Fake News!' ..."
May 15, 2019 | off-guardian.org

CNN rigged a poll to censor out nearly everyone under 45 years of age. Based on this nonsensical false sampling they claim Biden is now in the lead.

MSNBC was caught making up false numbers to report, increasing Biden from an actual 25% approval to a magical 28%, just enough to edge out Bernie Sanders. But this is a fraud, deliberate journalistic malfeasance at the highest levels. How could such a thing happen?

How could it not? Comcast owns NBC.

Comcast executive to host Joe Biden fundraiser"
CBS News 24/04/19

MSNBC is also that bastion of journalistic integrity that hired an exposed CIA mole, Ken Dilanian, to feed its viewers propaganda about "national security."

MSNBC also made hysterical, highly dangerous, and false claims about the Russians' ability and intention to shut down America's electrical grid, a completely false story that was retracted as soon as it went out by the Washington Post. This kind of unhinged war propaganda could lead the world straight to Armageddon.

Now, the parties truly "meddling in America's democracy" should be very clear, although I can only scratch the surface here concerning the long history of media corruption and outright lies broadcast all the time.

Grafter

The criminal behaviour continues unabated. Lies and fraud abound. American behaviour worldwide is an embarrassment to any free thinking individual. They are a danger to all of us. We can start by removing them from Europe along with their so called "allies". Here in the disunited UK T.May and her little gang of Tory millionaires should be top priority for political oblivion. People worldwide urgently need to wake up to the sick joke that goes under the name of "American democracy".

mark

Organisations like the BBC and all the rest of the corporate media are a greater threat to democracy than any foreign army or terrorist organisation.

They need to be constantly exposed for what they are rather than actually suppressed or controlled. They can be safely left to wither on the vine and decline into irrelevance. Social media and sites like this are a powerful antidote.

Seamus Padraig

As Trump might say, 'Fake News!'

[May 14, 2019] The Propaganda Multiplier How Global News Agencies and Western Media Report on Geopolitics

Highly recommended!
Images omitted.
Important article that shed some light on the methods of disinformation in foreign events used by neoliberal MSM
Notable quotes:
"... However, there is a simple reason why the global agencies, despite their importance, are virtually unknown to the general public. To quote a Swiss media professor: "Radio and television usually do not name their sources, and only specialists can decipher references in magazines." (Blum 1995, P. 9) The motive for this discretion, however, should be clear: news outlets are not particularly keen to let readers know that they haven't researched most of their contributions themselves. ..."
"... Much of our media does not have own foreign correspondents, so they have no choice but to rely completely on global agencies for foreign news. But what about the big daily newspapers and TV stations that have their own international correspondents? In German-speaking countries, for example, these include newspapers such NZZ, FAZ, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Welt, and public broadcasters. ..."
"... Moreover, in war zones, correspondents rarely venture out. On the Syria war, for example, many journalists "reported" from cities such as Istanbul, Beirut, Cairo or even from Cyprus. In addition, many journalists lack the language skills to understand local people and media. ..."
"... How do correspondents under such circumstances know what the "news" is in their region of the world? The main answer is once again: from global agencies. The Dutch Middle East correspondent Joris Luyendijk has impressively described how correspondents work and how they depend on the world agencies in his book "People Like Us: Misrepresenting the Middle East" : ..."
"... The central role of news agencies also explains why, in geopolitical conflicts, most media use the same original sources. In the Syrian war, for example, the "Syrian Observatory for Human Rights" – a dubious one-man organization based in London – featured prominently. The media rarely inquired directly at this "Observatory", as its operator was in fact difficult to reach, even for journalists. ..."
"... Ulrich Tilgner, a veteran Middle East correspondent for German and Swiss television, warned in 2003, shortly after the Iraq war, of acts of deception by the military and the role played by the media: ..."
"... What is known to the US military, would not be foreign to US intelligence services. In a remarkable report by British Channel 4, former CIA officials and a Reuters correspondent spoke candidly about the systematic dissemination of propaganda and misinformation in reporting on geopolitical conflicts: ..."
"... "In all press systems, the news media are instruments of those who exercise political and economic power. Newspapers, periodicals, radio and television stations do not act independently, although they have the possibility of independent exercise of power." (Altschull 1984/1995, p. 298) ..."
Jun 01, 2016 | www.globalresearch.ca

By Swiss Propaganda Research Global Research, May 14, 2019 Swiss Propaganda Research Region: Europe , USA Theme: Media Disinformation

This study was originally published in 2016.

Introduction: "Something strange"

"How does the newspaper know what it knows?" The answer to this question is likely to surprise some newspaper readers: "The main source of information is stories from news agencies. The almost anonymously operating news agencies are in a way the key to world events. So what are the names of these agencies, how do they work and who finances them? To judge how well one is informed about events in East and West, one should know the answers to these questions." (Höhne 1977, p. 11)

A Swiss media researcher points out:

"The news agencies are the most important suppliers of material to mass media. No daily media outlet can manage without them. () So the news agencies influence our image of the world; above all, we get to know what they have selected." (Blum 1995, p. 9)

In view of their essential importance, it is all the more astonishing that these agencies are hardly known to the public:

"A large part of society is unaware that news agencies exist at all In fact, they play an enormously important role in the media market. But despite this great importance, little attention has been paid to them in the past." (Schulten-Jaspers 2013, p. 13)

Even the head of a news agency noted:

"There is something strange about news agencies. They are little known to the public. Unlike a newspaper, their activity is not so much in the spotlight, yet they can always be found at the source of the story." (Segbers 2007, p. 9)

"The Invisible Nerve Center of the Media System"

So what are the names of these agencies that are "always at the source of the story"? There are now only three global agencies left:

  1. The American Associated Press ( AP ) with over 4000 employees worldwide. The AP belongs to US media companies and has its main editorial office in New York. AP news is used by around 12,000 international media outlets, reaching more than half of the world's population every day.
  2. The quasi-governmental French Agence France-Presse ( AFP ) based in Paris and with around 4000 employees. The AFP sends over 3000 stories and photos every day to media all over the world.
  3. The British agency Reuters in London, which is privately owned and employs just over 3000 people. Reuters was acquired in 2008 by Canadian media entrepreneur Thomson – one of the 25 richest people in the world – and merged into Thomson Reuters , headquartered in New York.

In addition, many countries run their own news agencies. However, when it comes to international news, these usually rely on the three global agencies and simply copy and translate their reports.

The three global news agencies Reuters, AFP and AP, and the three national agencies of the German-speaking countries of Austria (APA), Germany (DPA) and Switzerland (SDA).

Wolfgang Vyslozil, former managing director of the Austrian APA, described the key role of news agencies with these words:

"News agencies are rarely in the public eye. Yet they are one of the most influential and at the same time one of the least known media types. They are key institutions of substantial importance to any media system. They are the invisible nerve center that connects all parts of this system." (Segbers 2007, p.10)

Small abbreviation, great effect

However, there is a simple reason why the global agencies, despite their importance, are virtually unknown to the general public. To quote a Swiss media professor: "Radio and television usually do not name their sources, and only specialists can decipher references in magazines." (Blum 1995, P. 9) The motive for this discretion, however, should be clear: news outlets are not particularly keen to let readers know that they haven't researched most of their contributions themselves.

The following figure shows some examples of source tagging in popular German-language newspapers. Next to the agency abbreviations we find the initials of editors who have edited the respective agency report.

News agencies as sources in newspaper articles

Occasionally, newspapers use agency material but do not label it at all. A study in 2011 from the Swiss Research Institute for the Public Sphere and Society at the University of Zurich came to the following conclusions (FOEG 2011):

"Agency contributions are exploited integrally without labeling them, or they are partially rewritten to make them appear as an editorial contribution. In addition, there is a practice of 'spicing up' agency reports with little effort; for example, visualization techniques are used: unpublished agency reports are enriched with images and graphics and presented as comprehensive reports."

The agencies play a prominent role not only in the press, but also in private and public broadcasting. This is confirmed by Volker Braeutigam, who worked for the German state broadcaster ARD for ten years and views the dominance of these agencies critically:

"One fundamental problem is that the newsroom at ARD sources its information mainly from three sources: the news agencies DPA/AP, Reuters and AFP: one German/American, one British and one French. () The editor working on a news topic only needs to select a few text passages on the screen that he considers essential, rearrange them and glue them together with a few flourishes."

Swiss Radio and Television (SRF), too, largely bases itself on reports from these agencies. Asked by viewers why a peace march in Ukraine was not reported, the editors said : "To date, we have not received a single report of this march from the independent agencies Reuters, AP and AFP."

In fact, not only the text, but also the images, sound and video recordings that we encounter in our media every day, are mostly from the very same agencies. What the uninitiated audience might think of as contributions from their local newspaper or TV station, are actually copied reports from New York, London and Paris.

Some media have even gone a step further and have, for lack of resources, outsourced their entire foreign editorial office to an agency. Moreover, it is well known that many news portals on the internet mostly publish agency reports (see e.g., Paterson 2007, Johnston 2011, MacGregor 2013).

In the end, this dependency on the global agencies creates a striking similarity in international reporting: from Vienna to Washington, our media often report the same topics, using many of the same phrases – a phenomenon that would otherwise rather be associated with "controlled media" in authoritarian states.

The following graphic shows some examples from German and international publications. As you can see, despite the claimed objectivity, a slight (geo-)political bias sometimes creeps in.

"Putin threatens", "Iran provokes", "NATO concerned", "Assad stronghold": Similarities in content and wording due to reports by global news agencies.

The role of correspondents

Much of our media does not have own foreign correspondents, so they have no choice but to rely completely on global agencies for foreign news. But what about the big daily newspapers and TV stations that have their own international correspondents? In German-speaking countries, for example, these include newspapers such NZZ, FAZ, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Welt, and public broadcasters.

First of all, the size ratios should be kept in mind: while the global agencies have several thousand employees worldwide, even the Swiss newspaper NZZ, known for its international reporting, maintains only 35 foreign correspondents (including their business correspondents). In huge countries such as China or India, only one correspondent is stationed; all of South America is covered by only two journalists, while in even larger Africa no-one is on the ground permanently.

Moreover, in war zones, correspondents rarely venture out. On the Syria war, for example, many journalists "reported" from cities such as Istanbul, Beirut, Cairo or even from Cyprus. In addition, many journalists lack the language skills to understand local people and media.

How do correspondents under such circumstances know what the "news" is in their region of the world? The main answer is once again: from global agencies. The Dutch Middle East correspondent Joris Luyendijk has impressively described how correspondents work and how they depend on the world agencies in his book "People Like Us: Misrepresenting the Middle East" :

"I'd imagined correspondents to be historians-of-the-moment. When something important happened, they'd go after it, find out what was going on, and report on it. But I didn't go off to find out what was going on; that had been done long before. I went along to present an on-the-spot report. ()

The editors in the Netherlands called when something happened, they faxed or emailed the press releases, and I'd retell them in my own words on the radio, or rework them into an article for the newspaper. This was the reason my editors found it more important that I could be reached in the place itself than that I knew what was going on. The news agencies provided enough information for you to be able to write or talk you way through any crisis or summit meeting.

That's why you often come across the same images and stories if you leaf through a few different newspapers or click the news channels.

Our men and women in London, Paris, Berlin and Washington bureaus – all thought that wrong topics were dominating the news and that we were following the standards of the news agencies too slavishly. ()

The common idea about correspondents is that they 'have the story', () but the reality is that the news is a conveyor belt in a bread factory. The correspondents stand at the end of the conveyor belt, pretending we've baked that white loaf ourselves, while in fact all we've done is put it in its wrapping. ()

Afterwards, a friend asked me how I'd managed to answer all the questions during those cross-talks, every hour and without hesitation. When I told him that, like on the TV-news, you knew all the questions in advance, his e-mailed response came packed with expletives. My friend had relalized that, for decades, what he'd been watching and listening to on the news was pure theatre." (Luyendjik 2009, p. 20-22, 76, 189)

In other words, the typical correspondent is in general not able to do independent research, but rather deals with and reinforces those topics that are already prescribed by the news agencies – the notorious "mainstream effect".

In addition, for cost-saving reasons many media outlets nowadays have to share their few foreign correspondents, and within individual media groups, foreign reports are often used by several publications – none of which contributes to diversity in reporting.

"What the agency does not report, does not take place"

The central role of news agencies also explains why, in geopolitical conflicts, most media use the same original sources. In the Syrian war, for example, the "Syrian Observatory for Human Rights" – a dubious one-man organization based in London – featured prominently. The media rarely inquired directly at this "Observatory", as its operator was in fact difficult to reach, even for journalists.

Rather, the "Observatory" delivered its stories to global agencies, which then forwarded them to thousands of media outlets, which in turn "informed" hundreds of millions of readers and viewers worldwide. The reason why the agencies, of all places, referred to this strange "Observatory" in their reporting – and who really financed it – is a question that was rarely asked.

The former chief editor of the German news agency DPA, Manfred Steffens, therefore states in his book "The Business of News":

"A news story does not become more correct simply because one is able to provide a source for it. It is indeed rather questionable to trust a news story more just because a source is cited. () Behind the protective shield such a 'source' means for a news story, some people are quite inclined to spread rather adventurous things, even if they themselves have legitimate doubts about their correctness; the responsibility, at least morally, can always be attributed to the cited source." (Steffens 1969, p. 106)

Dependence on global agencies is also a major reason why media coverage of geopolitical conflicts is often superficial and erratic, while historic relationships and background are fragmented or altogether absent. As put by Steffens:

"News agencies receive their impulses almost exclusively from current events and are therefore by their very nature ahistoric. They are reluctant to add any more context than is strictly required." (Steffens 1969, p. 32)

Finally, the dominance of global agencies explains why certain geopolitical issues and events – which often do not fit very well into the US/NATO narrative or are too "unimportant" – are not mentioned in our media at all: if the agencies do not report on something, then most Western media will not be aware of it. As pointed out on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the German DPA: "What the agency does not report, does not take place." (Wilke 2000, p. 1)

America's "Righteous" Russia-gate Censorship. "Russia Bashing All the Time"

"Adding questionable stories"

While some topics do not appear at all in our media, other topics are very prominent – even though they shouldn't actually be: "Often the mass media do not report on reality, but on a constructed or staged reality. () Several studies have shown that the mass media are predominantly determined by PR activities and that passive, receptive attitudes outweigh active-researching ones." (Blum 1995, p. 16)

In fact, due to the rather low journalistic performance of our media and their high dependence on a few news agencies, it is easy for interested parties to spread propaganda and disinformation in a supposedly respectable format to a worldwide audience. DPA editor Steffens warned of this danger:

"The critical sense gets more lulled the more respected the news agency or newspaper is. Someone who wants to introduce a questionable story into the world press only needs to try to put his story in a reasonably reputable agency, to be sure that it then appears a little later in the others. Sometimes it happens that a hoax passes from agency to agency and becomes ever more credible." (Steffens 1969, p. 234)

Among the most active actors in "injecting" questionable geopolitical news are the military and defense ministries. For example, in 2009, the head of the American news agency AP, Tom Curley, made public that the Pentagon employs more than 27,000 PR specialists who, with a budget of nearly $ 5 billion a year, are working the media and circulating targeted manipulations. In addition, high-ranking US generals had threatened that they would "ruin" the AP and him if the journalists reported too critically on the US military.

Despite – or because of? – such threats our media regularly publish dubious stories sourced to some unnamed "informants" from "US defense circles".

Ulrich Tilgner, a veteran Middle East correspondent for German and Swiss television, warned in 2003, shortly after the Iraq war, of acts of deception by the military and the role played by the media:

"With the help of the media, the military determine the public perception and use it for their plans. They manage to stir expectations and spread scenarios and deceptions. In this new kind of war, the PR strategists of the US administration fulfill a similar function as the bomber pilots. The special departments for public relations in the Pentagon and in the secret services have become combatants in the information war. () The US military specifically uses the lack of transparency in media coverage for their deception maneuvers. The way they spread information, which is then picked up and distributed by newspapers and broadcasters, makes it impossible for readers, listeners or viewers to trace the original source. Thus, the audience will fail to recognize the actual intention of the military." (Tilgner 2003, p. 132)

What is known to the US military, would not be foreign to US intelligence services. In a remarkable report by British Channel 4, former CIA officials and a Reuters correspondent spoke candidly about the systematic dissemination of propaganda and misinformation in reporting on geopolitical conflicts:

Former CIA officer and whistleblower John Stockwell said of his work in the Angolan war,

"The basic theme was to make it look like an [enemy] aggression in Angola. So any kind of story that you could write and get into the media anywhere in the world, that pushed that line, we did. One third of my staff in this task force were covert action, were propagandists, whose professional career job was to make up stories and finding ways of getting them into the press. () The editors in most Western newspapers are not too skeptical of messages that conform to general views and prejudices. () So we came up with another story, and it was kept going for weeks. () [But] it was all fiction."

Fred Bridgland looked back on his work as a war correspondent for the Reuters agency: "We based our reports on official communications. It was not until years later that I learned a little CIA disinformation expert had sat in the US embassy, in Lusaka and composed that communiqué, and it bore no relation at all to truth. () Basically, and to put it very crudely, you can publish any old crap and it will get newspaper room."

And former CIA analyst David MacMichael described his work in the Contra War in Nicaragua with these words:

"They said our intelligence of Nicaragua was so good that we could even register when someone flushed a toilet. But I had the feeling that the stories we were giving to the press came straight out of the toilet." (Hird 1985)

Of course, the intelligence services also have a large number of direct contacts in our media, which can be "leaked" information to if necessary. But without the central role of the global news agencies, the worldwide synchronization of propaganda and disinformation would never be so efficient.

Through this "propaganda multiplier", dubious stories from PR experts working for governments, military and intelligence services reach the general public more or less unchecked and unfiltered. The journalists refer to the news agencies and the news agencies refer to their sources. Although they often attempt to point out uncertainties with terms such as "apparent", "alleged" and the like – by then the rumor has long been spread to the world and its effect taken place.

The Propaganda Multiplier: Governments, military and intelligence services using global news agencies to disseminate their messages to a worldwide audience.

As the New York Times reported

In addition to global news agencies, there is another source that is often used by media outlets around the world to report on geopolitical conflicts, namely the major publications in Great Britain and the US.

For example, news outlets like the New York Times or BBC have up to 100 foreign correspondents and other external employees. However, Middle East correspondent Luyendijk points out:

"Dutch news teams, me included, fed on the selection of news made by quality media like CNN, the BBC, and the New York Times . We did that on the assumption that their correspondents understood the Arab world and commanded a view of it – but many of them turned out not to speak Arabic, or at least not enough to be able to have a conversation in it or to follow the local media. Many of the top dogs at CNN, the BBC, the Independent, the Guardian, the New Yorker, and the NYT were more often than not dependent on assistants and translators." (Luyendijk p. 47)

In addition, the sources of these media outlets are often not easy to verify ("military circles", "anonymous government officials", "intelligence officials" and the like) and can therefore also be used for the dissemination of propaganda. In any case, the widespread orientation towards the Anglo-Saxon publications leads to a further convergence in the geopolitical coverage in our media.

The following figure shows some examples of such citation based on the Syria coverage of the largest daily newspaper in Switzerland, Tages-Anzeiger. The articles are all from the first days of October 2015, when Russia for the first time intervened directly in the Syrian war (US/UK sources are highlighted):

Frequent citation of British and US media, exemplified by the Syria war coverage of Swiss daily newspaper Tages-Anzeiger in October 2015.

The desired narrative

But why do journalists in our media not simply try to research and report independently of the global agencies and the Anglo-Saxon media? Middle East correspondent Luyendijk describes his experiences:

"You might suggest that I should have looked for sources I could trust. I did try, but whenever I wanted to write a story without using news agencies, the main Anglo-Saxon media, or talking heads, it fell apart. () Obviously I, as a correspondent, could tell very different stories about one and the same situation. But the media could only present one of them, and often enough, that was exactly the story that confirmed the prevailing image." (Luyendijk p.54ff)

Media researcher Noam Chomsky has described this effect in his essay "What makes the mainstream media mainstream" as follows: "If you leave the official line, if you produce dissenting reports, then you will soon feel this. () There are many ways to get you back in line quickly. If you don't follow the guidelines, you will not keep your job long. This system works pretty well, and it reflects established power structures." (Chomsky 1997)

Nevertheless, some of the leading journalists continue to believe that nobody can tell them what to write. How does this add up? Media researcher Chomsky clarifies the apparent contradiction:

"[T]he point is that they wouldn't be there unless they had already demonstrated that nobody has to tell them what to write because they are going say the right thing. If they had started off at the Metro desk, or something, and had pursued the wrong kind of stories, they never would have made it to the positions where they can now say anything they like. () They have been through the socialization system." (Chomsky 1997)

Ultimately, this "socialization process" leads to a journalism that generally no longer independently researches and critically reports on geopolitical conflicts (and some other topics), but seeks to consolidate the desired narrative through appropriate editorials, commentary, and interviewees.

Conclusion: The "First Law of Journalism"

Former AP journalist Herbert Altschull called it the First Law of Journalism:

"In all press systems, the news media are instruments of those who exercise political and economic power. Newspapers, periodicals, radio and television stations do not act independently, although they have the possibility of independent exercise of power." (Altschull 1984/1995, p. 298)

In that sense, it is logical that our traditional media – which are predominantly financed by advertising or the state – represent the geopolitical interests of the transatlantic alliance, given that both the advertising corporations as well as the states themselves are dependent on the US dominated transatlantic economic and security architecture.

In addition, our leading media and their key people are – in the spirit of Chomsky's "socialization" – often themselves part of the networks of the transatlantic elite. Some of the most important institutions in this regard include the US Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the Bilderberg Group, and the Trilateral Commission (see in-depth study of these networks ).

Indeed, most well-known publications basically may be seen as "establishment media". This is because, in the past, the freedom of the press was rather theoretical, given significant entry barriers such as broadcasting licenses, frequency slots, requirements for financing and technical infrastructure, limited sales channels, dependence on advertising, and other restrictions.

It was only due to the Internet that Altschull's First Law has been broken to some extent. Thus, in recent years a high-quality, reader-funded journalism has emerged, often outperforming traditional media in terms of critical reporting. Some of these "alternative" publications already reach a very large audience, showing that the „mass" does not have to be a problem for the quality of a media outlet.

Nevertheless, up to now the traditional media has been able to attract a solid majority of online visitors, too. This, in turn, is closely linked to the hidden role of news agencies, whose up-to-the-minute reports form the backbone of most news portals.

Will "political and economic power", according to Altschull's Law, retain control over the news, or will "uncontrolled" news change the political and economic power structure? The coming years will show.

Case study: Syria war coverage

As part of a case study, the Syria war coverage of nine leading daily newspapers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland were examined for plurality of viewpoints and reliance on news agencies. The following newspapers were selected:

The investigation period was defined as October 1 to 15, 2015, i.e. the first two weeks after Russia's direct intervention in the Syrian conflict. The entire print and online coverage of these newspapers was taken into account. Any Sunday editions were not taken into account, as not all of the newspapers examined have such. In total, 381 newspaper articles met the stated criteria.

In a first step, the articles were classified according to their properties into the following groups:

  1. Agencies : Reports from news agencies (with agency code)
  2. Mixed : Simple reports (with author names) that are based in whole or in part on agency reports
  3. Reports : Editorial background reports and analyzes
  4. Opinions/Comments : Opinions and guest comments
  5. Interviews : interviews with experts, politicians etc.
  6. Investigative : Investigative research that reveals new information or context

The following Figure 1 shows the composition of the articles for the nine newspapers analyzed in total. As can be seen, 55% of articles were news agency reports; 23% editorial reports based on agency material; 9% background reports; 10% opinions and guest comments; 2% interviews; and 0% based on investigative research.

Figure 1: Types of articles (total; n=381)

The pure agency texts – from short notices to the detailed reports – were mostly on the Internet pages of the daily newspapers: on the one hand, the pressure for breaking news is higher than in the printed edition, on the other hand, there are no space restrictions. Most other types of articles were found in both the online and printed editions; some exclusive interviews and background