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Journalists, Learning They Spread a CIA Fraud About Russia, Instantly Embrace a New One

Journalists, Learning They Spread a CIA Fraud About Russia, Instantly Embrace a New One

The most significant Trump-era alliance is between corporate outlets and security state agencies, whose evidence-free claims they unquestioningly disseminate.

A US soldier in Afghanistan CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES

That Russia placed “bounties” on the heads of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan was one of the most-discussed and consequential news stories of 2020. It was also, as it turns out, one of the most baseless — as the intelligence agencies who spread it through their media spokespeople now admit, largely because the tale has fulfilled and outlived its purpose.

The saga began on July 29, 2020, when The New York Times announced that unnamed “American intelligence officials” have concluded that “a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan — including targeting American troops.” The paper called it “a significant and provocative escalation” by Russia. Though no evidence was ever presented to support the CIA’s claims — neither in that original story nor in any reporting since — most U.S. media outlets blindly believed it and spent weeks if not longer treating it as proven, highly significant truth. Leading politicians from both parties similarly used this emotional storyline to advance multiple agendas.

The story appeared — coincidentally or otherwise — just weeks after President Trump announced his plan to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2020. Pro-war members of Congress from both parties and liberal hawks in corporate media spent weeks weaponizing this story to accuse Trump of appeasing Putin by leaving Afghanistan and being too scared to punish the Kremlin. Cable outlets and the op-ed pages of The New York Times and Washington Post endlessly discussed the grave implications of this Russian treachery and debated which severe retaliation was needed…

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CNN’s Blatant Disinformation About Russia-Ukraine Activity

MSNBC host Joe Scarborough’s belittling comments against fair and balanced Russia related journalism relate to an April 12-13 CNN airing on recent matters concerning Russia and Ukraine. The segment at issue begins with CNN reporter Matthew Chance joining Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the frontline of the demarcation area between the forces of the Ukrainian government and Donbass rebels. Thereafter, CNN news anchor John Vause follows up with longtime US academic/mass media journalist Jill Dougherty.

The false spin is given that Russia increased tension by amassing troops along its border with Ukraine. In actuality, the Kiev regime’s dramatic military buildup near the Donbass rebels occurred beforehand. This oversight is in line with the aforementioned CNN segment misidentifying Ukrainian forces as being Russian.

The CNN bit gives an inaccurate psychoanalysis of what’s motivating the recent Russian military activity. Omitted, is some otherwise valid insight of what could very well be influencing Zelensky and the Russian response to him. Zelensky’s low poll numbers are in part due to the miserable socioeconomic conditions in Ukraine and some faulty decision-making on the part of his government. Unable to get a prompt delivery of Western Covid-19 vaccinations, the Ukrainian government shot down the possibility of acquiring the Russian Sputnik vaccine. That stance can be reasonably seen as a shortsighted nationalist stance. It’s not as if Russia and Ukraine don’t commercially interact. Despite the differences between their governments, Russia remains a key trading partner of Ukraine.

Zelensky won the last Ukrainian presidential election on a platform that wasn’t as confrontational towards Russia as his opponent Petro Poroshenko. The former has since done an about face with brazen comments towards Russia and the Donbass rebels…

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It’s The Media’s Job To Normalize War: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

It’s The Media’s Job To Normalize War: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Exactly zero percent of the world’s worst criminals are in prison. Imperialists. War profiteers. Ecocide profiteers. The very worst of thieves are financial elites. The system isn’t designed to protect us from society’s worst, it’s designed to protect society’s worst from us.

I don’t write much about the specific individuals who drive the oligarchic empire because individuals are not the problem, the system is. Right-wing conspiracy analysts prefer to focus on specific corrupt elites because they like to think if you just got rid of them, capitalism would work fine. And it just wouldn’t. If you rounded up and executed all the sociopathic ruling elites today but left our current systems intact they’d just be replaced tomorrow. A competition-based model where war, corruption, oppression and exploitation remain profitable guarantees this.

A lot of right-wing conspiracy analysis today ultimately boils down to “These bastards are ruining the capitalism!” But capitalism is already ruined, and ruinous. As long as it’s profitable to destroy each other and our ecosystem, the ruin will continue. That’s the real problem. Making it about individuals feeds into the false impression that the individuals are the problem, and absolves us of our collective responsibility to move out of our competition-based model to one in which we collaborate with each other and our ecosystem to create a healthy world.

As long as we have systems in which it’s advantageous to be sociopathic enough to do whatever it takes to get ahead, we will find ourselves ruled by sociopaths. The names and faces on those sociopaths are ultimately irrelevant. They’re a symptom of the underlying disease.

It’s the mass media’s job to normalize war and abnormalize peace. It’s our job to do the exact opposite.

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Journalists Attack the Powerless, Then Self-Victimize to Bar Criticisms of Themselves

Journalists Attack the Powerless, Then Self-Victimize to Bar Criticisms of Themselves

Powerful media figures now invoke sexist and racist tropes to cast themselves as so fragile and marginalized that critiques of their work constitute bullying and assault.

An unidentified man walks through the lobby of the Gannett-USA Today headquarters building August 20, 2013 on a 30-acre site in McLean, Virginia. (AFP/PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty Images)

The daily newspaper USA Today is the second-most circulated print newspaper in the United States — more than The New York Times and more than double The Washington Post. Only The Wall Street Journal has higher circulation numbers.

On Sunday, the paper published and heavily promoted a repellent article complaining that “defendants accused in the Capitol riot Jan. 6 crowdfund their legal fees online, using popular payment processors and an expanding network of fundraising platforms, despite a crackdown by tech companies.” It provided a road map for snitching on how these private citizens — who are charged with serious felonies by the U.S. Justice Department but as of yet convicted of nothing — are engaged in “a game of cat-and-mouse as they spring from one fundraising tool to another” in order to avoid bans on their ability to raise desperately needed funds to pay their criminal lawyers to mount a vigorous defense.

In other words, the only purpose of the article — headlined: “Insurrection fundraiser: Capitol riot extremists, Trump supporters raise money for lawyer bills online” — was to pressure and shame tech companies to do more to block these criminal defendants from being able to raise funds for their legal fees, and to tattle to tech companies by showing them what techniques these indigent defendants are using to raise money online.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

glenn greenwald, journalism, journalists, critique, criticism, media, mainstream media,

Have Journalists become Traitors to the United States?

Those in management at most of the mainstream media should be dragged from their offices and charged with conspiracy to overthrow the United States government and to eradicate the US. Constitution. The Washington Post displays its motto “Democracy Dies in Darkness” and indeed they are at war against the United States just as Klaus Schwab and his World Economic Forum which is out to remove the United States as a superpower and transfer that status to the United Nations. Their report, along with CNN, New York Times, ABC, NBC, and CBS along with most others, are indeed conspiring to overthrow the United States and if they were put on trial using their own words, any unbiased jury would find them guilty.

The Supreme Court’s key decision in 1964 in New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964), which has since protected many media outlets from lawsuits. It is time that it should be scrapped along with total immunity for vaccine companies. If you buy a car and you turn on the ignition and it blows up, is not the auto-manufacturer liable? In every other field, companies are responsible for the products they produce. Why is the media and vaccine companies have any immunity whatsoever? In that case, Supreme Court reversed a libel damages judgment against the New York Times. The decision established the important principle that the First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech and press may protect libelous words about a public official in order to foster vigorous debate about government and public affairs. To sustain a claim of defamation or libel, the First Amendment requires that the plaintiff show that the defendant knew that a statement was false or was reckless in deciding to publish the information without investigating whether it was accurate.

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martin armstrong, armstrong economics, united states, journalism, libel, us supreme court, media

Congressional Testimony: The Leading Activists for Online Censorship Are Corporate Journalists

Congressional Testimony: The Leading Activists for Online Censorship Are Corporate Journalists

A hearing of the House Subcommittee focused on anti-trust and monopoly abuses examines the role of the corporate media in these growing pathologies.

Hearing of the House Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law, Mar. 12, 2021

There are not many Congressional committees regularly engaged in substantive and serious work — most are performative — but the House Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law is an exception. Led by its chairman Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) and ranking member Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), it is, with a few exceptions, composed of lawmakers whose knowledge of tech monopolies and anti-trust law is impressive.

In October, the Committee, after a sixteen-month investigation, produced one of those most comprehensive and informative reports by any government body anywhere in the world about the multi-pronged threats to democracy posed by four Silicon Valley monopolies: Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple. The 450-page report also proposed sweeping solutions, including ways to break up these companies and/or constrain them from controlling our political discourse and political life. That report merits much greater attention and consideration than it has thus far received.

The Subcommittee held a hearing on Friday and I was invited to testify along with Microsoft President Brad Smith; President of the News Guild-Communications Workers of America Jonathan Schleuss, the Outkick’s Clay Travis, CEO of the Graham Media Group Emily Barr, and CEO of the News Media Alliance David Chavern. The ostensible purpose the hearing was a narrow one: to consider a bill that would vest media outlets with an exemption from anti-trust laws to collectively bargain with tech companies such as Facebook and Google so that they can obtain a greater share of the ad revenue

Mainstream Journalism Doesn’t Exist: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Mainstream Journalism Doesn’t Exist: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Journalists should be exposing inconvenient truths about powerful people in their own nation and its allies. Instead the people we call “journalists” criticize enemy nations, smear political dissidents, demand increasing amounts of censorship, and advance narratives that are convenient for the powerful.

The “war on terror” is a false pretext for interventionism in the Middle East and the “war on drugs” is a false pretext for interventionism in Latin America.

Lula being free and eligible to run again in Brazil is a very big deal with huge implications for US imperialism. This isn’t like some fake leftist getting into the Democratic Party or whatever, this is a real thing that will have real consequences in a nation with huge geostrategic significance to the US empire. The empire invested many years staging a coup in one of the largest nations on earth, and it’s not just going to let it be reversed without a fuss. I’m bit nervous about what will happen.

The Monroe Doctrine is literally just the US saying “Latin America is our Africa. You guys get those brown people over there, these are our brown people over here.”

I love how pundits talk about the Monroe Doctrine like it’s a real thing that has actual legitimacy. “Well we can’t have Russia and China interfering in Venezuela, that’s just the Monroe Doctrine.” No, how about you fuck all the way off from any country not named the United States of America.

We could be collaborating with each other and with our ecosystem to create a beautiful, awesome, healthy world. Instead we’re all competing with each other working meaningless jobs creating pieces of landfill which serve no purpose besides turning millionaires into billionaires.

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House Democrats, Targeting Right-Wing Cable Outlets, Are Assaulting Core Press Freedoms

House Democrats, Targeting Right-Wing Cable Outlets, Are Assaulting Core Press Freedoms

Democrats’ justification for silencing their adversaries online and in media — “they are spreading fake news and inciting extremism” — is what despots everywhere say.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (C) with other House Democrats at the U.S. Capitol January 15, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Not even two months into their reign as the majority party that controls the White House and both houses of Congress, key Democrats have made clear that one of their top priorities is censorship of divergent voices. On Saturday, I detailed how their escalating official campaign to coerce and threaten social media companies into more aggressively censoring views that they dislike — including by summoning social media CEOs to appear before them for the third time in less than five months — is implicating, if not already violating, core First Amendment rights of free speech.

Now they are going further — much further. The same Democratic House Committee that is demanding greater online censorship from social media companies now has its sights set on the removal of conservative cable outlets, including Fox News, from the airwaves.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee on Monday announced a February 24 hearing, convened by one of its sub-committees, entitled “Fanning the Flames: Disinformation and Extremism in the Media.” Claiming that “the spread of disinformation and extremism by traditional news media presents a tangible and destabilizing threat,” the Committee argues: “Some broadcasters’ and cable networks’ increasing reliance on conspiracy theories and misleading or patently false information raises questions about their devotion to journalistic integrity.”

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It’s Not A Political Problem, It’s A Propaganda Problem: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

It’s Not A Political Problem, It’s A Propaganda Problem: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

While we all fixate on electoral political solutions, the powerful focus on narrative control, because that’s where real power is at. The people who pose an actual threat to the machine are those who disrupt its narratives and narrative control agendas. Everyone else is harmless.

If the majority of a troubled population believes their political system is operating in a way that is demonstrably very different from the way it actually operates, then that population doesn’t have a political problem, it has a propaganda problem.

Berners watched the mass media actively sabotage the Sanders campaign day after day in two consecutive elections, and went “The problem is not enough progressives in government!” No, the problem is the billionaire media are constantly lying to everyone. Create a truth-based information ecosystem and politics will move toward health by itself.

As long as the ruling class is successfully using mass-scale narrative manipulation, it won’t matter what political strategies you employ because they’ll just manipulate that too. Everything we try will be neutered by propaganda until fighting propaganda becomes our number one priority. The narratives around your insurgent third party will be manipulated to the advantage of the powerful. Your progressive takeover of the Democrats will be narrative managed into impotence.

You can’t politics your way around narrative manipulation. You’ve got to make it the issue. You don’t measure how effective someone is against the machine by what their campaign platform says or what their strategies are, but by how disruptive they are to the narratives and narrative control of the powerful. If they’re not disruptive on that front they’re not effective.

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The Journalistic Tattletale and Censorship Industry Suffers Several Well-Deserved Blows

The Journalistic Tattletale and Censorship Industry Suffers Several Well-Deserved Blows

The NYT’s Taylor Lorenz falsely accuses a tech investor of using a slur after spending months trying to infiltrate and monitor a new app that allows free conversation.

New York Times reporter Taylor Lorenz and Silicon Valley investor Marc Andreessen

A new and rapidly growing journalistic “beat” has arisen over the last several years that can best be described as an unholy mix of junior high hall-monitor tattling and Stasi-like citizen surveillance. It is half adolescent and half malevolent. Its primary objectives are control, censorship, and the destruction of reputations for fun and power. Though its epicenter is the largest corporate media outlets, it is the very antithesis of journalism.

I’ve written before about one particularly toxic strain of this authoritarian “reporting.” Teams of journalists at three of the most influential corporate media outlets — CNN’s “media reporters” (Brian Stelter and Oliver Darcy), NBC’s “disinformation space unit” (Ben Collins and Brandy Zadrozny), and the tech reporters of The New York Times (Mike Isaac, Kevin Roose, Sheera Frenkel) — devote the bulk of their “journalism” to searching for online spaces where they believe speech and conduct rules are being violated, flagging them, and then pleading that punitive action be taken (banning, censorship, content regulation, after-school detention). These hall-monitor reporters are a major factor explaining why tech monopolies, which (for reasons of self-interest and ideology) never wanted the responsibility to censor, now do so with abandon and seemingly arbitrary blunt force: they are shamed by the world’s loudest media companies when they do not.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

glenn greenwald, media, journalism, new york times, censorship, media ban, big tech

The clickbait future of news and our crisis of consensus

The clickbait future of news and our crisis of consensus

It’s often hard to distinguish between what has come to be known as “clickbait”—which according to Dictionary.com is “a sensationalized headline or piece of text on the internet designed to entice people to follow a link to an article on another web page”—and simply a clever headline.

What irks me about true clickbait headlines is that the story often contradicts or fails to mention the claim made in the headline. Of course, if the entire story is merely fabricated or exaggerated in ways that obscure what is actually going on, that is a problem, too.

News organizations are no strangers to sensationalized headlines. In fact, the newspaper business invented an entire category for what is called clickbait, namely, tabloids. The often repeated adage that “if it bleeds, it leads” is reaffirmed on a daily basis.

(Tabloids are, of course, named after the tabloid format that many sensationalizing newspapers adopt. The most recognizable newspaper format is called broadsheet which is used by major daily papers around the world. For a very short explanation of newspaper sizes, you can click here.)

Now, adult readers should generally be left to sort things out for themselves. They can learn to trust and mistrust news sources from experience and weigh the headlines and information provided accordingly. I know many people are very concerned about the kind of fantasies offered on the Internet that lead otherwise sane people to disconnect from any shared reality and even resort to violence. That is certainly a problem, and it requires an entire book to explain and respond to. I don’t plan to deal with it here.

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Be Your Own Revolution

Be Your Own Revolution

I made the mistake of involving myself in a sectarian Twitter spat when I was halfway through my morning coffee today and I instantly felt like an idiot.

People from the Left Twitter faction I’d offended rushed in to push back against the offense I’d caused them, and within minutes I felt it: the all-too familiar sensation of inspiration and creativity draining away from my body. Tension, coldness and defensiveness where previously there was playfulness and the crackling sensation of an exciting new day in which anything was possible.

If you’re active online, you’ve probably experienced this too. The days when you’re involved in sectarian bickering are the days when you are at your least creative, your least inspired, and your least effective at fighting against the machine. At best the drama gives your ego a tickle (as social media platforms are designed to do), after which you feel a bit yuck. The longer you engage in it, the lower the probability that you will produce something creative and inspired that day.

As a general rule, you may find that it works best to reject cliques and factions altogether. When you “belong” to any group you feel compelled to defend it, and to move with it wherever it goes even if that’s not where you feel like the energy is. You get invested in wanting the collective to move in a certain direction, and you get frustrated when it just wants to focus on silly nonsense and sectarian feuds.

So my advice to you here, which you of course can take or leave, is to just blast off on your own and fight your own revolution in your own way.

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The Mephistopheles Media


Ary Scheffer Faust in his Study c1840
The essence of the story of Faust is simple: He is a man who sells his -future- soul to the devil in return for short term gain, for riches “now”. But years later, the devil comes to collect his prize.

Here’s a modern allegory.

In 2015 -or thereabouts- many of the mainstream media (MSM) outlets were facing dire times. Social media were taking over much of their readers’ attention, their ad revenue plummeted, and they didn’t have big stories to tell that would revert that trend. Things did not look good for the survival of CNN, New York Times or MSNBC. The Washington Post suffered the same problems, but they were owned by the world’s richest man.

And then the salvation presented itself on their doorstep in the form of Donald Trump. It’s not something they planned for, it just happened; it even took them a while to figure it out, but once they did, they went for it headfirst and all-in. How could they not? They were dying. Their finance departments told them anything negative about Trump was selling like hotcakes. And Trump willingly added to the fire.

The MSM made a Faustian pact with the devil (through his messenger Mephistopheles) for survival. And that devil was not Donald Trump, they never signed a deal with him, the devil disguised himself in the shape of clickbait, which very much has the devil’s signature, since it required them to do their “reporting” based on promoting hatred, conflict, division, anger, negativity, bitterness, resentment. All of which sells. Like nothing else. You don’t get people’s attention with happy stories, you get it by making them angry.

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We Need a New Media System

We Need a New Media System

If you sell culture war all day, don’t be surprised by the real-world consequences

The moment a group of people stormed the Capitol building last Wednesday, news companies began the process of sorting and commoditizing information that long ago became standard in American media.

Media firms work backward. They first ask, “How does our target demographic want to understand what’s just unfolded?” Then they pick both the words and the facts they want to emphasize.

It’s why Fox News uses the term, “Pro-Trump protesters,” while New York and The Atlantic use “Insurrectionists.” It’s why conservative media today is stressing how Apple, Google, and Amazon shut down the “Free Speech” platform Parler over the weekend, while mainstream outlets are emphasizing a new round of potentially armed protests reportedly planned for January 19th or 20th.

What happened last Wednesday was the apotheosis of the Hate Incera, when this audience-first model became the primary means of communicating facts to the population. For a hundred reasons dating back to the mid-eighties, from the advent of the Internet to the development of the 24-hour news cycle to the end of the Fairness Doctrine and the Fox-led discovery that news can be sold as character-driven, episodic TV in the manner of soap operas, the concept of a “Just the facts” newscast designed to be consumed by everyone died out.

News companies now clean world events like whalers, using every part of the animal, funneling different facts to different consumers based upon calculations about what will bring back the biggest engagement kick. The Migrant Caravan? Fox slices off comments from a Homeland Security official describing most of the border-crossers as single adults coming for “economic reasons.” The New York Times counters by running a story about how the caravan was deployed as a political issue by a Trump White House staring at poor results in midterm elections.

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Mass Media Propaganda Is Enemy #1: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Mass Media Propaganda Is Enemy #1: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

The most Orwellian tool of our rulers which does the most damage and affects the most lives is not surveillance, nor police militarization, nor government secrecy, but domestic mass media propaganda. It’s also the most overlooked. It’s good to protest the other mechanisms of authoritarian control, but propaganda is enemy number one.

You don’t need the ability to spy on dissident groups if you can control public thought enough to prevent those groups from forming in the first place. You don’t need the ability to quash public uprisings if you can propagandize people away from rising up at all. And they can. And they do.

The ability of the plutocratic class to manipulate public thought at mass scale is the single most overlooked and under-appreciated aspect of our society. It warps the entirety of our political spectrum, all our thinking, all our discourse, and what we perceive as normal. And you just don’t see people fighting it. The ACLU isn’t protecting people’s mental sovereignty from the manipulations of sociopathic government-aligned oligarchs. People aren’t taking the media-owning class to the Supreme Court for brazen election interference. People aren’t taking to the streets protesting it. But they could.

In terms of the effect it has on society, no control tool comes remotely close to advancing as many interests of the powerful against the interests of the people as domestic plutocrat-sponsored propaganda. Nothing will change until people start noticing and resisting this.

Theories about elite conspiracies to shore up more control over the population tend to greatly underestimate how much control they already have.

Wanting the US government to have a “competent leader” is like wanting a serial killer to be skilled at evading detection.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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