Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

Toyota will need to revise their Mexico plans as Trump tweets drive news

January 5, 2017

Trump’s tweets are driving the news.

And now he sets his sights on Toyota’s plans to build in Mexico and export to the US.

He tweeted this a few minutes ago:

20170105 -- 1910CET

20170105 — 1910CET

The Hill: 

Incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer said President-elect Donald Trump’s tweets direct the news cycle.

“[It’s] because that’s what’s going to drive the news,” he said Wednesday during a panel at the University of Chicago, speaking with former President Obama adviser David Axelrod. “Whatever he tweets, he is going to drive the news.”

When Axelrod asked if Spicer feels “a certain sense of dread” about Trump’s posts on Twitter, the former Republican National Committee strategist responded: “No, but I do look there first.”

Spicer cited Trump’s tweet criticizing House Republicans Tuesday as evidence of the president-elect’s power.

“You saw the House vote the other day,” he told Axelrod, who served as chief strategist for Obama’s two presidential campaigns and a senior adviser in his White House.

“[Trump] sends a single tweet out, you know, that the House was not focused on tax reform and healthcare and instead was focused on the Office of [Congressional] Ethics,” Spicer said of the OCE. “Immediately, it’s withdrawn.”

The president-elect on Tuesday criticized House Republicans for prioritizing a plan to weaken the independent ethics panel over other major issues.

“Focus on tax reform, healthcare and so many other things of far greater importance,” he tweeted.

I expect Toyota will modify their plans.


 

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“Putin personally hacked Clinton” – US unintelligence agencies in a post-truth world

December 15, 2016

This is the post-truth world.

Now we have unintelligence agencies. In their world, Saddam had WMD, ISIS does not exist, the US won the Vietnam war and Saudi Arabia is a democratic paradise.

And Putin personally hacked Hillary Clinton and DNC.

They lost the election, they lost the recount and now, the plan is to subvert the Electoral College. It seems the Clinton campaign and the Democratic party and media surrogates are still in denial.

putin-huffpo

Of course this is based on hard evidence from the unintelligence agencies. (How come all this evidence has come only after a lost election).

Oh Dear!

The evidence

putin-hacking

Putin hacking personally

I like this from the American Thinker

image American Thinker

image American Thinker


 

The CIA has been producing fake news for a long time and can “get a journalist cheaper than a good call girl”

December 12, 2016

cia

It sounds like just another conspiracy theory. The Russians hacked the Democrats and the Republicans the story goes. They released selected material from the Democrats via Wikileaks but did not do the same with the Republican material. This was to help Trump win. This is an “assessment” by the CIA (and 16 other intelligence agencies). The FBI is not so certain in their assessments. Note however that it is not contested that the material released by Wikileaks was genuine. 

In the 1980s most of the Iran-Contra stories were planted by the CIA. One remembers of course how the same constellation of agencies, led by the CIA, concluded on the presence of Saddam Hussain’s WMD. Here they even invented evidence for Colin Powell to present to the UN and make an utter fool of himself. One notes also that these same intelligence agencies all missed 9/11 though they had links with Bin Laden. They also missed – or chose to miss – the rise of ISIS completely.

While the war of words continue about Russian hacking and the US Election, it is not fanciful to conclude that the CIA is “faking” news again. The CIA has and does spend a lot of effort on manipulating news not only abroad but also on US soil. Operation Mockingbird has now been well documented and was reported on by the US Congress in 1976.

Operation Mockingbird was a campaign by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to influence media during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Begun in the 1950s, it was initially organized by Cord Meyer and Allen W. Dulles, and was later led by Frank Wisner after Dulles became the head of the CIA. The organization recruited leading American journalists into a propaganda network to help present the CIA’s views. It funded some student and cultural organizations and magazines as fronts. As it developed, it also worked to influence foreign media and political campaigns, in addition to activities by other operating units of the CIA. The CIA’s use of journalists continued unabated until 1973, when the program was scaled back, finally coming to a halt in 1976 when George H.W. Bush took over as director.

In addition to earlier exposés of CIA activities in foreign affairs, in 1966, Ramparts magazine published an article revealing that the National Student Association was funded by the CIA. The United States Congress investigated the allegations and published a report in 1976. Other accounts were also published. The media operation was first called Mockingbird in Deborah Davis’s 1979 book, Katharine the Great: Katharine Graham and The Washington Post.

The CIA fake news activities never stopped. Even the Washington Post wrote 2 weeks ago. I particularly like the quote from a CIA operative that “you could get a journalist cheaper than a good call girl, for a couple hundred dollars a month”.

But – as we document below – the government and mainstream media are by far the biggest purveyors of fake news.

The Government’s Been Deploying Propaganda On U.S. Soil for Many Years

The United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities found in 1975 that the CIA submitted stories to the American press:

Wikipedia adds details:

After 1953, the network was overseen by Allen W. Dulles, director of the CIA. By this time, Operation Mockingbird had a major influence over 25 newspapers and wire agencies. The usual methodology was placing reports developed from intelligence provided by the CIA to witting or unwitting reporters. Those reports would then be repeated or cited by the preceding reporters which in turn would then be cited throughout the media wire services.

The Office of Policy Coordination (OPC) was funded by siphoning off funds intended for the Marshall Plan [i.e. the rebuilding of Europe by the U.S. after WWII]. Some of this money was used to bribe journalists and publishers.

In 2008, the New York Times wrote:

During the early years of the cold war, [prominent writers and artists, from Arthur Schlesinger Jr. to Jackson Pollock] were supported, sometimes lavishly, always secretly, by the C.I.A. as part of its propaganda war against the Soviet Union. It was perhaps the most successful use of “soft power” in American history.

A CIA operative told Washington Post owner Philip Graham … in a conversation about the willingness of journalists to peddle CIA propaganda and cover stories:

You could get a journalist cheaper than a good call girl, for a couple hundred dollars a month.

Famed Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein wrote in 1977:

More than 400 American journalists … in the past twenty‑five years have secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency, according to documents on file at CIA headquarters.

***

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.

***

Among the executives who lent their cooperation to the Agency were [the heads of CBS, Time, the New York Times, the Louisville Courier‑Journal, and Copley News Service. Other organizations which cooperated with the CIA include [ABC, NBC, AP, UPI, Reuters], Hearst Newspapers, Scripps‑Howard, Newsweek magazine, the Mutual Broadcasting System, the Miami Herald and the old Saturday Evening Post and New York Herald‑Tribune.

***

There is ample evidence that America’s leading publishers and news executives allowed themselves and their organizations to become handmaidens to the intelligence services. “Let’s not pick on some poor reporters, for God’s sake,” William Colby exclaimed at one point to the Church committee’s investigators. “Let’s go to the managements.

***

The CIA even ran a formal training program in the 1950s to teach its agents to be journalists. Intelligence officers were “taught to make noises like reporters,” explained a high CIA official, and were then placed in major news organizations with help from management.

***

Once a year during the 1950s and early 1960s, CBS correspondents joined the CIA hierarchy for private dinners and briefings.

***

Allen Dulles often interceded with his good friend, the late Henry Luce, founder of Timeand Life magazines, who readily allowed certain members of his staff to work for the Agency and agreed to provide jobs and credentials for other CIA operatives who lacked journalistic experience.

***

In the 1950s and early 1960s, Time magazine’s foreign correspondents attended CIA “briefing” dinners similar to those the CIA held for CBS.

***

When Newsweek was purchased by the Washington Post Company, publisher Philip L. Graham was informed by Agency officials that the CIA occasionally used the magazine for cover purposes, according to CIA sources. “It was widely known that Phil Graham was somebody you could get help from,” said a former deputy director of the Agency. “Frank Wisner dealt with him.” Wisner, deputy director of the CIA from 1950 until shortly before his suicide in 1965, was the Agency’s premier orchestrator of “black” operations, including many in which journalists were involved. Wisner liked to boast of his “mighty Wurlitzer,” a wondrous propaganda instrument he built, and played, with help from the press.)

***

In November 1973, after [the CIA claimed to have ended the program], Colby told reporters and editors from the New York Times and the Washington Star that the Agency had “some three dozen” American newsmen “on the CIA payroll,” including five who worked for “general‑circulation news organizations.” Yet even while the Senate Intelligence Committee was holding its hearings in 1976, according to high‑level CIA sources, the CIA continued to maintain ties with seventy‑five to ninety journalists of every description—executives, reporters, stringers, photographers, columnists, bureau clerks and members of broadcast technical crews. More than half of these had been moved off CIA contracts and payrolls but they were still bound by other secret agreements with the Agency. According to an unpublished report by the House Select Committee on Intelligence, chaired by Representative Otis Pike, at least fifteen news organizations were still providing cover for CIA operatives as of 1976.

***

Those officials most knowledgeable about the subject say that a figure of 400 American journalists is on the low side ….

“There were a lot of representations that if this stuff got out some of the biggest names in journalism would get smeared” ….

An expert on propaganda testified under oath during trial that the CIA now employs THOUSANDS of reporters and OWNS its own media organizations. Whether or not his estimate is accurate, it is clear that many prominent reporters still report to the CIA.

A 4-part BBC documentary called the “Century of the Self” shows that an American – Freud’s nephew, Edward Bernays – created the modern field of manipulation of public perceptions, and the U.S. government has extensively used his techniques.

The activity has continued under the Obama Administration and is clearly still ongoing.

And the government is treating the real investigative reporters like criminals … or even terrorists:

  • The government admits that journalists could be targeted with counter-terrorism laws (and here). For example, after Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges, journalist Naomi Wolf, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and others sued the government to enjoin the NDAA’s allowance of the indefinite detention of Americans – the judge asked the government attorneys 5 times whether journalists like Hedges could be indefinitely detained simply for interviewing and then writing aboutbad guys. The government refused to promise that journalists like Hedges won’t be thrown in a dungeon for the rest of their lives without any right to talk to a judge
  • In an effort to protect Bank of America from the threatened Wikileaks expose of the bank’s wrongdoing, the Department of Justice told Bank of America to a hire a specific hardball-playing law firm to assemble a team to take down WikiLeaks (and see this)

Postscript: See this and this.


 

Fake News at the NYT

December 6, 2016

It is conveniently forgotten – now – by the main-stream media that they are themselves experts in the art of publishing “Fake News”.

Lest we forget, this was one of the articles at the time claiming the presence of WMD in Iraq before the invasion.

NYT:

AFTEREFFECTS: PROHIBITED WEAPONS; Illicit Arms Kept Till Eve of War, An Iraqi Scientist Is Said to AssertAPRIL 21, 2003


 

Cowardly French court bans video of smiling Downs syndrome kids because it may upset women after abortions

November 24, 2016

It is political correctness gone mad.

You might as well ban children with Downs syndrome from smiling. Or why not just order all Downs syndrome kids from being out in the open. After all they might be seen by a woman soon after having had an abortion.

“the freedom of expression of individuals with Down syndrome must bow to the right to abortion.”

The only logical conclusion is that in this French court’s eyes, a child with Downs syndrome really should not be alive.

The Stream:

French Court Upholds Ban on Video of Happy Children With Down Syndrome

The court claims the video might ‘disturb the conscience’ of post-abortive women.

Video of Downs syndrome children banned in France

Video of Downs syndrome children banned in France

An award-winning video entitled Dear Future Mom featuring happy children and young adults with Down syndrome is banned from French television.

France’s Conseil d’État (State Council) rejected an appeal to lift the ban on November 10, declaring that seeing happy people with Down syndrome was “likely to disturb the conscience of women who had lawfully made different personal life choices” — in other words, women who chose to abort their unborn babies diagnosed with the genetic disorder.

In a press release, Jean-Marie Le Mene, president of the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation, which partnered with other organizations to produce the video and appealed the Higher Council of Audiovisual’s ban, said the court’s decision indicates that “the freedom of expression of individuals with Down syndrome must bow to the right to abortion.”

A cowardly court! An unjust court!

Eggs on faces

November 14, 2016

No comments needed.


 

When sanctimonious arrogance meets blind ignorance

November 13, 2016

It is a potent mixture when sanctimonious arrogance meets blind ignorance. And it is difficult to get more sanctimonious than, or be as blind as, the HuffPo.

I note that they are still in denial about the result and are instigating mayhem and revolt.

From Paul Joseph Watson

arrogance-ignorance


 

The media’s sanctimonious self-righteousness contributed to Trump’s victory

November 11, 2016

It should be fairly obvious that I am not overly impressed by the main-stream (mainly liberal) media in the US. It is my contention that their blindness to the anti-establishment wave that was abroad, and then their sanctimonious stupidity, was no small contributor to the anger against the perceived establishment.

Now the analysis starts.

But some few liberals do see – at least in hindsight – what I thought I saw back in May.

Maybe it’s time to consider whether there’s something about shrill self-righteousness, shouted from a position of high social status, that turns people away.

This is Thomas Frank in The Guardian: (my bold)

Clinton’s supporters among the media didn’t help much, either. It always struck me as strange that such an unpopular candidate enjoyed such robust and unanimous endorsements from the editorial and opinion pages of the nation’s papers, but it was the quality of the media’s enthusiasm that really harmed her. With the same arguments repeated over and over, two or three times a day, with nuance and contrary views all deleted, the act of opening the newspaper started to feel like tuning in to a Cold War propaganda station. Here’s what it consisted of:

  • Hillary was virtually without flaws. She was a peerless leader clad in saintly white, a super-lawyer, a caring benefactor of women and children, a warrior for social justice.
  • Her scandals weren’t real.
  • The economy was doing well / America was already great.
  • Working-class people weren’t supporting Trump.
  • And if they were, it was only because they were botched humans. Racism was the only conceivable reason for lining up with the Republican candidate.

How did the journalists’ crusade fail? The fourth estate came together in an unprecedented professional consensus. They chose insulting the other side over trying to understand what motivated them. They transformed opinion writing into a vehicle for high moral boasting. What could possibly have gone wrong with such an approach?

 

Image from Truth Feed

Image from Truth Feed


 

Western media treatment of East Aleppo and Mosul is hypocrisy in action

October 23, 2016

The Western media (US and Europe) have views about the Middle East which are more than a little coloured by the self induced delusion that the US and Europe are on a righteous crusade against oppression and for the promotion of democracy. That has been and still is the overwhelming view from the time of the first Iraq war, the overthrow of Gaddaffi and all through the Arab spring uprisings in North Africa and now in Syria and Iraq again. That Europe and the US have not just encouraged and supported, but also instigated rebel groups to the prevailing regimes, to the point of recklessness is completely forgotten. Many of the rebel groups (including ISIS and Al-Nusra) would not have dared to begin their blood-letting without the false hopes raised by the Saudi money and the US/NATO/EU support. (It is the same pattern of reckless EU/NATO expansionism – but without the Saudi money – which prevailed in Ukraine and led to the Russian aggression and annexation of the Crimea). This “political correctness” is now blatantly apparent in the difference of media treatment to the assaults on East Aleppo in Syria and on Mosul in Iraq.

Patrick Cockburn has this in The Unz Review (originally in The Independent):

In Libya, Gaddafi was demonised as the sole cause of all his country’s ills while his opponents were lauded as valiant freedom fighters whose victory would bring liberal democracy to the Libyan people. Instead, as was fairly predictable, the overthrow of Gaddafi rapidly reduced Libya to a violent and criminalised anarchy with little likelihood of recovery.

In present day Syria and Iraq one can see much the same process at work. In both countries, two large Sunni Arab urban centres – East Aleppo in Syria and Mosul in Iraq – are being besieged by pro-government forces strongly supported by foreign airpower. In East Aleppo, some 250,000 civilians and 8,000 insurgents, are under attack by the Syrian Army allied to Shia paramilitaries from Iran, Iraq and Lebanon and supported by the Russian and Syrian air forces. The bombing of East Aleppo has rightly caused worldwide revulsion and condemnation.

But look at how differently the international media is treating a similar situation in Mosul, 300 miles east of Aleppo, where one million people and an estimated 5,000 Isis fighters are being encircled by the Iraqi army fighting alongside Kurdish Peshmerga and Shia and Sunni paramilitaries and with massive support from a US-led air campaign. In the case of Mosul, unlike Aleppo, the defenders are to blame for endangering civilians by using them as human shields and preventing them leaving. In East Aleppo, fortunately, there are no human shields – though the UN says that half the civilian population wants to depart – but simply innocent victims of Russian savagery.

Destruction in Aleppo by Russian air strikes is compared to the destruction of Grozny in Chechnya sixteen years ago, but, curiously, no analogy is made with Ramadi, a city of 350,000 on the Euphrates in Iraq, that was 80 per cent destroyed by US-led air strikes in 2015. Parallels go further: civilians trapped in East Aleppo are understandably terrified of what the Syrian Mukhabara secret police would do to them if they leave and try to pass through Syrian government checkpoints. ……

…….

The advance on Mosul is being led by the elite Special Forces of the Iraqi counter-terrorism units and Shia militias are not supposed to enter the city, almost all of whose current inhabitants are Sunni Arabs. But in the last few days these same special forces entered the town of Bartella on the main road twelve miles from Mosul in their black Humvees which were reportedly decorated with Shia religious banners. Kurdish troops asked them to remove the banners and they refused. An Iraqi soldier named Ali Saad was quoted as saying: “(T)hey asked if we were militias. We said we’re not militias, we are Iraqi forces and these are our beliefs.”

It may be that Isis will not fight for Mosul, but the probability is that they will, in which case the outlook will not be good for the civilian population. Isis did not fight to the last man in Fallujah west of Baghdad so much of the city is intact, but they did fight for Khalidiya, a nearby town of 30,000, where today only four buildings are still standing according to the Americans.

The extreme bias shown in foreign media coverage of similar events in Iraq and Syria will be a rewarding subject for PhDs students looking at the uses and abuses of propaganda down the ages.

This has been the pattern of reporting of the wars in Syria and Iraq over the last five years. Nothing much has changed since 2003 when the Iraqi opposition to Saddam Hussein had persuaded foreign governments and media alike that the invading American and British armies would be greeted with rapture by the Iraqi people. A year later the invaders were fighting for their lives. Misled by opposition propagandists and their own wishful thinking, foreign government officials and journalists had wholly misread the local political landscape. Much the same thing is happening today.


 

Facebook does stupid again as it bans Swedish Cancer Society’s educational images

October 20, 2016

UPDATE: Facebook has apologised for removing a video on breast cancer awareness posted by a Swedish group, saying it was incorrectly taken out.


Facebook likes to call itself a technology company rather than what it is – a publisher. It exercises editorial authority and both removes material it does not like and it promotes material that it does. As a publisher they don’t – by any stretch of the imagination – do a very good job. After the fiasco of the banning of the iconic Vietnam “napalm girl” image, they have now proceeded to further demonstrate their stupidity by banning educational images about breast cancer from the Swedish Cancer Society.

Swedish Cancer Society

Swedish Cancer Society: Learn to know your breasts

PhysOrg:

Facebook has removed a video on breast cancer awareness posted in Sweden because it deemed the images “offensive”, the Swedish Cancer Society said Thursday. The video, displaying animated figures of women with circle-shaped breasts, aimed to explain to women how to check for suspicious lumps.

Sweden’s Cancerfonden said it has tried to contact Facebook without any response and has decided to appeal the decision to remove the video. Facebook was not immediately available for comment. “We find it incomprehensible and strange how one can perceive medical information as offensive,” Cancerfonden communications director Lena Biornstad told AFP. “This is information that saves lives, which is important for us,” she said. “This prevents us from doing so.”

Facebook faced outrage in September for repeatedly deleting a historic Vietnam War photo included in a post by Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg. It said the iconic photo of a naked Vietnamese girl fleeing a napalm bombing violated its rules but later backtracked on the decision.


 


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