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“Media Extinction Event”: Print Newspapers Face COVID-19 Death-Knell

“Media Extinction Event”: Print Newspapers Face COVID-19 Death-Knell

Traditional print media was already on the ropes long before the crisis, in competition with exploding alternative forms of digital news and independent platforms, but the coronavirus pandemic and accompanying shutdown of the economy could prove the final death blow.

Bloomberg reports at a moment newspaper staff in cities and towns across the US are being furloughed in huge numbers and increasingly being issued pay cuts that “Local papers are slashing staff and publishing less frequently as the already-battered businesses try to weather the Covid-19 storm. Many either won’t survive or will have to drastically reduce their operations.”

File image via AP/Shutterstock 

In some cases for those newspapers not yet completely shuttered, it’s translating into a rapid transition to digital presence only. Others are going from being daily papers to only delivering print copies twice a week — this also as cash-strapped advertisers and shuttered retail stores are foregoing conventional ads.

“I’m hearing 40% to 60% drops in revenue over the last 30 days,” Dean Ridings, chief executive officer of the national trade association America’s Newspaperssaid. “The advertisers are the local mom and pops, the retailers, the restaurants, who are understandably canceling their advertisements.”

Some notable developments strongly suggesting the writing is on the wall:

  • Recall that Warren Buffett already abandoned the industry in January, selling all 31 daily papers to Lee Enterprises Inc. for $140 million.
  • Largest American newspaper chain Gannet Co., which owns USA Today along with hundreds of local papers like the the important Des Moines Register, announced this past week it’s been forced to slash jobs and furlough workers amid the outbreak carnage.
  • A recent Buzzfeed headline dubbed the pandemic a “media extinction event.” 
  • BuzzFeed itself announced pay cuts employees through May in order to stave off mass layoffs.

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

The Virus is a Time Machine

The Virus is a Time Machine

Heinrich Hofmann Christ and the Rich Young Man  1889

Around mid-January I started including coronavirus news in the daily Automatic Earth “Debt Rattle” news aggregators, and wrote the first essay on the topic on January 29. Tons of people since have asked why, but I thought the virus had “potential”. Though not everybody would agree, I still think that. So the Debt Rattles are full of coronavirus these days.

For a proper understanding, we must remember that China was 4-5 weeks too late in reporting the disease, and after that the west was 4-5 weeks late in acting on the news. This happens simply because a politician who cries wolf will have a short career, and reporters, certainly today, follow that same model.

I explained 5 weeks ago why this happens the way it does in China in The Party and the Virus, but western countries’ political and media systems are structured very much the same way. Being early to warn does not help your job prospects. Unless you’re 100% sure, but then you won’t be alone and there’s nothing left to warn about. So might as well stay mum.

Until you must speak, and then you’re way behind, and you’ll be as wrong as you are late. Cast in stone. Bias “R” Us. But then, that’s why there’s the Automatic Earth. The Matrix is never perfectly sealed.

In the case of COVID19, the story is not about the numbers of cases or fatalities at any given point after two months and change, it’s about the disruption it will cause. We have a highly contagious virus that can cause death. That is all you need to know really. Feel free to claim that reactions and measures are over the hill, but no government has the option to say things are not all that bad and it’s business as usual.

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

China Orders Owners Of Closed Factories To Boost Electricity Usage, Pretend Economy Is Back To Normal

China Orders Owners Of Closed Factories To Boost Electricity Usage, Pretend Economy Is Back To Normal

While the media is doing its best to pin the upcoming coronavirus epidemic in the US on a botched response by the Trump administration, with TrumpVirus already starting to trend across social media, the truth is that no matter how bad Trump’s reaction to the pandemic is, it is rocket science compared to the botched, catastrophic actions undertaken by China, which also happens to be source of the deadliest global pandemic in decades.

Here is a quick recap of what has happened so far in China:

  • The deadly Covid-19, i.e., SARS-like coronavirus, originated as a byproduct of banned “gain of function” genetic engineering conducted at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Contrary to the conventionally accepted official narrative, it then spread, presumably by accident, to a nearby food market, where it infected patient zero and the rest is history (in the meantime, anyone who reported that the virus was sourced at the Wuhan Level-4 biolab was ostracized, shunned, threatened, arrested or simply ordered to retract their statement or research).
  • In the early days of the pandemic, in hopes of avoiding a panic, Beijing actively rounded up any doctors who tried to sound the alarm on the danger that the coronavirus posed. Only three weeks later, around Jan 20, did China start reporting official numbers associated with the disease.
  • Just days after it “broke the seal” on the information blackout, Beijing quarantined over 60 million people in major Chinese cities, in hopes of avoiding a further panic, and preventing further spread of the virus. Ultimately, over 700 million people – half of China’s population – was put on some form of lock down. Panic had by now spread across the mainland, as virtually nobody in China had any idea what the facts were aside from the government’s propaganda.

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

Mulvaney Warns Coronavirus Could Lead To School Closures; Blames Press For Peddling ‘False Narrative’ To Take Down Trump

Mulvaney Warns Coronavirus Could Lead To School Closures; Blames Press For Peddling ‘False Narrative’ To Take Down Trump

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said on Friday that the coronavirus is likely to cause disruptions to every day life – including likely school closures and changes to public transportation.

Are you going to see some schools shut down? Probably. Maybe see impacts on public transportation? Sure, but we do this. We know how to handle this,” Mulvaley said while speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) outside of Washington on Friday.

Mulvaney also slammed the media for painting a narrative that the Trump administration is “scrambling” to contain the virus, noting that he briefed Congress along with top health officials six weeks ago. He accused the media of ignoring coronavirus until now, according to The Hill.

Why didn’t you hear about it?” Mulvaney asked the audience while sitting down with Heritage Foundation economist Stephen Moore. “The press was covering their hoax of the day because they thought it would bring down the president.”

“Is it real? It absolutely is real,” Mulvaney said. “But you saw the president the other day — the flu is real.


Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney: “What I might do today to calm the markets is tell people to turn their televisions off for 24 hours…This is not Ebola. It’s not SARS. It’s not MERS

.” #coronavirus #CPAC2020

Full video here: https://cs.pn/2wafM5l 


Blacklist Valley: How Big Tech reshapes politics by censoring conservative ideas

Blacklist Valley: How Big Tech reshapes politics by censoring conservative ideas

FEA.BigTech.jpg

For better or worse, social media is the new public square. Of adults, 68% use Facebook, 73% use YouTube, and a quarter use Twitter. The numbers are much higher for adults under 50. Two-thirds of adults and roughly 4 in 5 under 50 use social media to consume news. Three-quarters of Facebook users are on the site every day, and Twitter users have a disproportionate influence on the media because so many journalists are on the service. 

The size and scale of social media companies exploded primarily because they presented themselves as open platforms — blank slates. Google, Facebook, and Twitter all characterized their products as engines for social improvement. “We think of Twitter as the global town hall,” said former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo. “We are the free speech wing of the free speech party.” 

Costolo was Twitter’s chief executive from 2010 until 2015 and the immediate predecessor of current CEO Jack Dorsey. Twitter’s general manager in the United Kingdom, Andy Yang, likewise described Twitter as the “free speech wing of the free speech party” in March 2012. Google became a multibillion-dollar company by offering a portal for free, unrestricted information to anyone with access to the internet; famously, its original motto was “Don’t be evil.” An internal Facebook memo circulated in June 2016 stated that at Facebook, “we believe in connecting people so deeply that anything that allows us to connect more people more often is de facto good.” 

The public has given these three tech companies (and others) enormous power to select the information we read, share, and discuss with our neighbors and friends. We’ve gotten so accustomed to the role they play in our lives that we fail to notice that Big Tech is sifting through the available information and narrowing, and prioritizing, our choices.

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

China Censors Top Local Media Outlet Over Claims Beijing Is Underreporting Cases, Deaths

China Censors Top Local Media Outlet Over Claims Beijing Is Underreporting Cases, Deaths

Let’s be honest, do you think China is reporting the actual coronavirus cases and deaths? After all, Beijing has been the master of falsifying its economic growth figures for years, what makes you think they’ll change in the reporting of the deadly virus outbreak? 

Balaji S. Srinivasan, angel investor and entrepreneur, also former CTO of Coinbase, tweeted Saturday that a top news organization in China, Caijing, had one of their articles banned by Beijing after it noted Chinese officials were significantly underreporting coronavirus confirmed cases and deaths, especially among the elderly. 


Caijing is one of the most reputable outlets in China. Their article on the #coronavirus was censored today. It claims significant underreporting of both cases & deaths, especially among the elderly.

Here it is:http://archive.is/ObawP 

Translation:https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=zh-CN&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Farchive.is%2FObawP …

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter

Srinivasan said, “If half the claims in this article are true, #nCoV2019 seems to have completely overloaded Wuhan’s healthcare system. It appears particularly deadly for the elderly. But this 45-year-old had to be anesthetized and intubated in order to breathe.” 

“In the past two days, he had seen a 45-year-old patient, a family of five, his parents had died of the new coronavirus pneumonia, and his son was infected. The patient’s condition was very serious. She used high-flow oxygen inhalation and non-invasive mask ventilation, but her blood oxygen saturation was only 50%. Finally, she had to be anesthetized and intubated with ECMO.

“Before intubation and anesthesia, she watched us prepare, tears kept flowing down, and that fear made people feel very distressed,” said Shen Jun. There are still many cases like this, “Our doctors have made a decision Determined to do everything possible to treat all patients,” Caijing wrote. 

Srinivasan points out that the Chinese newspaper found hospitals in Wuhan and elsewhere were intentionally recording coronavirus deaths as “general pneumonia” to keep the death count low. 

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

UK’s Guardian Bans Ads From Oil, Gas Firms In World’s Media First

UK’s Guardian Bans Ads From Oil, Gas Firms In World’s Media First

Guardian paper

UK newspaper Guardian will not accept advertising money from the fossil fuel industry, even if this means a financial hit for the media, making it the world’s first large news organization to ban oil and gas adds.

The Guardian has been active in recent years in covering climate change and reporting on the climate crisis. Last year, the Guardian changed its style guide to use stronger language to describe the climate emergency, using words such as ‘climate crisis’ and ‘climate emergency’ instead of ‘climate change.’

Now the Guardian is outright banning advertising money from oil and gas companies, with immediate effect, the newspaper said on Wednesday.

“Our decision is based on the decades-long efforts by many in that industry to prevent meaningful climate action by governments around the world,” the company’s acting chief executive, Anna Bateson, and the chief revenue officer, Hamish Nicklin, said in a joint statement.

The Guardian has also recently pledged to become a carbon neutral organization at a corporate level by 2030, and to almost entirely divest its Scott Trust endowment fund from fossil fuels.  

Guardian Media Group (GMG) generates 40 percent of its revenue from advertising, so rejecting ads from oil and gas companies would be a financial hit to the organization, the managers said.

“The funding model for the Guardian – like most high-quality media companies – is going to remain precarious over the next few years. It’s true that rejecting some adverts might make our lives a tiny bit tougher in the very short term. Nonetheless, we believe building a more purposeful organisation and remaining financially sustainable have to go hand in hand,” Bateson and Nicklin said.  

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

Media’s Deafening Silence On Latest WikiLeaks Drops Is Its Own Scandal

Media’s Deafening Silence On Latest WikiLeaks Drops Is Its Own Scandal

This is getting really, really, really weird.

WikiLeaks has published yet another set of leaked internal documents from within the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) adding even more material to the mountain of evidence that we’ve been lied to about an alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria last year which resulted in airstrikes upon that nation from the US, UK and France.

This new WikiLeaks drop includes an email from the OPCW Chief of Cabinet Sebastien Braha (who is reportedly so detested by organisation inspectors that they code named him “Voldemort”) throwing a fit over the Ian Henderson Engineering Assessment which found that the Douma incident was likely a staged event. Braha is seen ordering OPCW staff to “remove all traces, if any, of its delivery/storage/whatever” from the organisation’s secure registry.


Minutes from an OPCW meeting with toxicologists specialized in chemical weapons: “the experts were conclusive in their statements that there was
no correlation between symptoms and chlorine exposure”.https://wikileaks.org/opcw-douma/#OPCW-DOUMA%20-%20Release%20Part%204 …

View image on Twitter

The drop also includes the minutes from an OPCW toxicology meeting with “three Toxicologists/Clinical pharmacologists, one bioanalytical and toxicological chemist”, all four of whom are specialists in chemical weapons analysis.

“With respect to the consistency of the observed and reported symptoms of the alleged victims with possible exposure to chlorine gas or similar, the experts were conclusive in their statements that there was no correlation between symptoms and chlorine exposure,” the document reads.

According to the leaked minutes from the toxicology meeting, the chief expert offered “the possibility of the event being a propaganda exercise” as one potential explanation for the Douma incident. The other OPCW experts agreed that the key “take-away message” from the meeting was “that the symptoms observed were inconsistent with exposure to chlorine and no other obvious candidate chemical causing the symptoms could be identified”.

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

Fake News Alert: Headlines Paint False Picture Of Ukraine Aid Freeze

Fake News Alert: Headlines Paint False Picture Of Ukraine Aid Freeze


Leftist media print misleading headlines apparently to incriminate the president over Ukraine aid.

Following the court-ordered release of heavily redacted emails concerning the temporary hold of U.S. financial aid to Ukraine, press bias against President Trump was on full display. The media breathlessly reported that the aid was frozen immediately after Trump’s now-famous July 25 phone call with the Ukrainian president. That all sounds terribly incriminating – if only it were true.

Misleading headlines appear to have been deliberately written to imply a sequence of events that might incriminate the president but, in fact, the articles beneath those headlines concede that a hold was placed on the aid well before the Trump-Zelensky phone call. In each case, that one, vital fact is buried several paragraphs into the respective reports.

Playing Head Games With Headlines

In the age of click-bait, journalists and editors know very well that people who get their news via constantly-shifting social media newsfeeds often do not even read complete articles; they glance at a headline and apply confirmation bias to it. If the headline echoes a political or social position they support, these attention-challenged readers will like, share, repost, upvote and so on. If they don’t like what the headline says, they will give it a thumbs down and perhaps attach to it a snarky or hostile comment.

This is all well and good. Consumers of media products may do as they wish, after all, but the problem is often that the headline itself is the only thing many are taking away from the article. No matter what information the article contains, it is that one statement in bigger, bolder font that influences the thinking of so many.

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

The News Churn Memory Hole: How The MSM Lies Even When Telling The Truth

The News Churn Memory Hole: How The MSM Lies Even When Telling The Truth

“This goofy ass Trump letter is gonna get more outraged coverage than the bombshell report on the entire Afghanistan war being a lie and frankly I don’t know if I can handle that right now,” popular Youtube commentator Kyle Kulinski tweeted today.

The post was just one of the many observations that Kulinski tosses into the Twitterverse every day, presented in his typical casual, offhand way without any self-significance. But if you actually pause and think about what he’s saying here, how true it is and what it says about the mass media institutions which people rely upon to form their worldviews, it’s actually a damning indictment of our entire society.

It is a fact that far more news media energy is going into one trivial aspect of an impeachment agenda that will with absolute certainty fail to remove Trump from office than there is for the known fact that the US government fought to suppress indisputable proof that American officials have been consistently lying about an 18-year military occupation which continues to this day. This fact should, by itself, be sufficient to completely discredit the mainstream press. This one tiny piece of information, that there’s vastly more buzz about an irrelevant impeachment sideshow than there is over the Afghanistan Papers, should in and of itself cause everyone to regard the entire establishment media complex with the same amount of respect as it gives the Flat Earth Society.


This last week teaches us that temporarily freezing and then unfreezing future military aid to one of our many far-flung client states is huge national emergency but the government systematically lying about every aspect of the longest war in US history is a forgettable non-issue


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

About Trump

About Trump

The timing is right for everyone to understand what Donald Trump is doing, and try to decrypt the ambiguity of how he is is doing it. The controversial President has a much clearer agenda than anyone can imagine on both foreign policy and internal affairs, but since he has to stay in power or even stay alive to achieve his objectives, his strategy is so refined and subtle that next to no one can see it. His overall objective is so ambitious that he has to follow random elliptic courses to get from point A to point B, using patterns that throw people off on their comprehension of the man. That includes most independent journalists and so-called alternative analysts, as much as Western mainstream fake-news publishers and a large majority of the population.

About his strategy, I could make a quick and accurate analogy with medication: most pills are designed to cure a problem, but come with an array of secondary after-effects. Well, Trump is using medication solely for their after-effects, while the first intent of the pill is what’s keeping him in power and alive. By the end of this article, you’ll see that this metaphor applies for just about every decision, move or declaration he’s made. Once you understand what Trump is about, you’ll be able to appreciate the extraordinary presidency he’s conducting, like no predecessor ever came close to match.

To start off, let’s clear the one aspect of his mission that is straightforward and terribly direct: he’s the first and only American President to ever address humanity’s worst collective flaw, its total ignorance of reality. Because medias and education are both controlled by the handful of billionaires that are running the planet, we don’t know anything about our history that’s been twisted dry by the winners, and we don’t have a clue about our present world.

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

Postmedia, Torstar Take Taxpayer Cash, Fight to Keep Public in Dark about Cuts

Postmedia, Torstar Take Taxpayer Cash, Fight to Keep Public in Dark about Cuts

Media giants continue to fight disclosure of evidence about 2017 deal that shuttered 36 newspapers.

star.png
Torstar claimed $4.5 million in subsidies under government plan; Postmedia $7 million. The two are being criminally investigated by the Competition Bureau.

Newspaper giants Torstar and Postmedia have both just claimed millions in taxpayer subsidies from the federal government’s controversial news media fund.

But at the same time they’re counting the cash, they’re continuing to fight in court to keep the public from learning about their 2017 deal that resulted in 36 newspapers closing across Canada.

Postmedia’s latest financial report included $7 million from the fund in its revenues — and that’s just for nine months. 

Torstar claimed $4.5 million in subsidies from the fund, also just for nine months, when it released its quarterly financial report Wednesday.

Critics feared the fund, which promises almost $600 million over five years, would enrich shareholders or hedge funds while media corporations continue to slash staff and close newspapers.The Tyee is supported by readers like you Join us and grow independent media in Canada

That’s what Postmedia and Torstar did in 2017. The two corporations swapped 43 newspapers, and on the same day the deal was announced closed 36 of them. Almost 300 people lost their jobs and 36 communities lost a news source. In many of them, competition was replaced with a monopoly controlled by one of the two corporations.

That situation sparked a continuing Competition Bureau investigationinto “alleged anti-competitive conduct.” The bureau later announced it was pursuing the investigation under the criminal conspiracy provisions of the Competition Act. 

And while Torstar and Postmedia are taking taxpayers’ money, the two companies have been fighting to keep the public or prosecutors from seeing documents seized in searches of their offices or used to obtain search warrants. 

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

The Forgotten Media Purges of the Great Depression

The Forgotten Media Purges of the Great Depression

Republican Hoover built the federal broadcasting shield in 1927. Roosevelt fashioned it into a weapon in 1934 and Democrats have never put it down since. One might consider the elaborate FCC speech barriers: A Poll Tax on Public Debate

One of the more enduring myths accepted as reality in our modern society is that America has a relatively free press. The ruling authorities and their entrenched accomplices promote that lie as diligently as they work to ensure that it never again becomes true.

America did have a mostly free and independent press until the rise of broadcasting in the 1920s. Within a few years, a small group of Republicans, progressives and corporate interests successfully nationalized the airwaves with restrictive licensing that blocked competition, rewarded insiders and squelched dissent.

Over the next few decades, the increasingly powerful medium of radio and then television drowned out the previously broad spectrum of information and ideas—with often three or more diverse choices of daily newspapers in many U.S. cities—and turned free speech into carefully rationed federal broadcasting privileges, their anointed urban newspaper monopolies and a few approved magazines.

One of the more ironic parts of this forgotten history is that a Republican, Herbert Hoover, led the initial charge to politicize the press. When the more authoritarian FDR took the reins in 1933—holding onto power until his death in 1945—he would ultimately purge the airwaves as well as the newspaper and magazine stands of the nation’s greatest commentators, publishers, editors and writers. In their absence, only pro-war / pro-welfare state neo-liberals and neo-conservatives would survive in mainstream media for generations to come.

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

5 Stories the Media Ignored While Dividing the Country With Greta Thunberg

5 Stories the Media Ignored While Dividing the Country With Greta Thunberg

The term pedophrasty is a relatively new word — not currently accepted by an official dictionary — but that has a powerful meaning in today’s political and media environment. Pedophrasty is an “argument involving children to prop up a rationalization and make the opponent look like an asshole, as people are defenseless and suspend all skepticism in front of suffering children: nobody has the heart to question the authenticity or source of the reporting. Often done with the aid of pictures.” We have seen this tactic employed by both the left and the right sides of the political spectrum and it is, unfortunately, highly effective.

If you’ve turned on your television this week, you’ve likely seen 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg. No one here at the Free Thought Project are climate scientists, so we will abstain from commenting on her agenda. However, neither is she. But I digress. The political and mainstream media machine’s exploitation of Thunberg is a perfect example of pedophrasty.

If Thunberg’s activism actually wakes people up to pollution and incites a peaceful and a voluntarily implemented environmental benefit — without ushering in a tyrannical climate change police state — we fully support her endeavors. Wanting to save the world is a noble cause and if children want to try to do that, by all means, have at it—just don’t take away anyone’s life or liberty in the process.

The subsequent sh*t storm that was sparked online by Thunberg’s coverage — entailing both support and hatred — however, is a different story. It served as a perfect distraction to things that actually matter in our lives. As videos of Thunberg meeting with Barack Obama went viral (I’ll get to that irony in just a second), extremely important events unfolded around us, which were entirely ignored by the mainstream media.

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

MSM Defends CIA’s “Whistleblower”, Ignores Actual Whistleblowers

MSM Defends CIA’s “Whistleblower”, Ignores Actual Whistleblowers

The word “whistleblower” has been trending in news headlines lately, but not for the reasons that any sane person might hope for.

Read the whistleblower complaint regarding President Trump’s communications with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky“, says The Washington Post. “Trump responds to hearing on whistleblower complaint“, says MSNBC. “Trump-Ukraine scandal: what did the whistleblower say and how serious is it?“, writes The Guardian. “Whistleblower complaint says White House tried to ‘lock down’ Ukraine call records” announces CBS. “Whistleblower’s complaint is a devastating report from a savvy official“, declares CNN.

So who is this “savvy official”? Who is this courageous whistleblower who boldly shone the light of truth upon the mechanisms of power in the interests of the common man? Who is this brave, selfless individual who set off an impeachment inquiry by taking a stand and revealing the fact that the US president made a phone call in July urging Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to help investigate corruption allegations against Joe Biden and his son?

Well believe it or not, according to The New York Times this brave, noble whistleblower who the mainstream media are currently championing is an officer for the Central Intelligence Agency.


The idea that the media needs to “protect” a high-level CIA officer making explosive claims about the president, which have now been used as the basis for impeachment proceedings, is such an insane perversion of journalistic ethics


“The whistle-blower who revealed that President Trump sought foreign help for his re-election and that the White House sought to cover it up is a CIA officer who was detailed to work at the White House at one point, according to three people familiar with his identity,” The New York Times reports. “The man has since returned to the CIA, the people said. Little else is known about him.”

 …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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