Posts Tagged ‘Fake News’

Will recognition of “fake news” be followed by “fake science”

November 3, 2017

Collins Dictionary has chosen “fake news” as its word for 2017.

When a partisan publication exaggerates – even wildly – in favour of its own cause, it causes no great surprise.  It is not even too astonishing when it fabricates news or omits news to further its own agenda. The insidious nature of “fake news” is worst when it is a supposedly objective publication which indulges in fake news to further a hidden agenda. So when Breitbart or the Daily Mail or Huffington Post produce much of their nonsense it causes no great surprise and hardly merits the sobriquet of “fake news”, even if much of the “news” is slanted or exaggerated or skewed or just plain lies. It is when a publication, having a reputation for objectivity, misuses that reputation to push its own agenda, that “fake news” takes on a life of its own.

It is not that this is anything new but certainly the US Presidential Election has brought “fake news” to a head. “Fake News” applies though to much more than just US politics. Of course CNN heads the list of purveyors of “fake news”. CNN has never been objective but they once generally checked their facts and used to separate straight reporting from opinion. I used to find them, at least, fairly reliable for factual reporting. But they have abandoned that approach and I find that they not just unreliable but also intentionally misleading. Their “journalists” have all become lobbyists and “CNN” has become synonymous with “Fake News”.

I once was a regular reader of the Washington Post. They were biased but were not unreliable as to the facts. It was quite easy to just discount for bias and get what I thought was a “true” picture. But they, too, have degenerated swiftly in the last 2 years. Stories are not just distorted, they are even fabricated. But the real disappointments for me in the last 24 months has been the New York Times. Not just in the space of US politics. The NYT has its own definitions of what is politically correct in politics, in science and even in the arts. Somewhere along the way they have made a conscious decision that they are “lobbyists” rather than reporters. They have decided that, for what they have defined as being “politically correct”, pushing that view justifies omission, exaggeration, “spinning” and even fabrication. Straight reporting has become extinct.

Lobby groups such as Huff Post and Daily Kos and Red State are full of blatant falsifications but have no news reputation of any significance at stake. They are not, therefore, included in my take on the top purveyors of fake new.

If 2017 has seen the recognition of the widespread use of fake news, I am looking to 2018 to recognise the proliferation of fake science. There is fake science being disseminated every day in big physics (CERN funding), pharmaceuticals, “climate science”, behavioural studies, sociology, psychology and economics. Much of fake science follows funding. Perhaps there will be greater recognition that “good science” is neither decided by nor subject to a poll.


 

 

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Suppression of news is also fake news

March 23, 2017

Fake news is created by commission as much as by omission.

Suppressing news which does not support your agenda is common practice by virtually all purveyors of news  – whether newspapers or TV channels or radio broadcasts. In Sweden and Germany (and in most of Europe), it is no secret that the main stream media do not report on stories which are not in line with their perception of  what the public “ought to know”. Extremist media  – whether from the left or the right – suppress or downplay news which is not favourable to their cause. It is therefore that in Germany and Sweden and in most of Europe, barbarous and criminal behaviour by asylum seekers is grossly under-reported. There is a suspicion that such crimes are also under-prosecuted but news reports are sparse.

There are virtually no sources any more of objective, factual reports which are not contaminated by heavy doses of opinion, speculation and even fabrication. There are few subjects left which are not politicised. To get any where close to the facts about any story it becomes necessary to read reports from all the sides of the political divide. You can no longer rely on just one source. If you read Der Spiegel you also need to read Die Welt. If you read Aftonbladet you also need to read Expressen. If you read The Guardian you also need to read the Daily Mail. If you read The Sun you also need to read the Daily Express. (If you read The Independent there is very little hope for you). But to make matters worse, even reading the left/right versions of a story are not enough. They all suppress news if they think the great unwashed public do not need to know.

The latest case of news suppression is in the US. Virtually all of the left-liberal mainstream media , from the Daily Kos and HuffPo on the far left through the WaPo and all the way to the New York Times have ignored or played down this story of illegal immigrants raping a 14 year old in school for obvious political reasons. Only local newspapers in Maryland and Fox News have reported – and Fox News reports have their own political priorities. This story is now getting some coverage, but how many more have been kept hidden?

I think – I cannot be sure – I have the gist of the story. But it has needed that I go from the BBC to local reports to blog posts (even if obviously biased) to reach a point where I think I have the gist of the story.

Suppression of news immediately leads to speculation that much more is being hidden.

BBC:

An alleged rape at a US high school has sparked a row over immigration that has reached all the way to the White House. Two Central American-born students are in custody after a 14-year-old girl was attacked last week at Rockville High School in Maryland, police say. The White House said “tragedies like this” had motivated President Trump’s illegal immigration “crackdown”.

On Tuesday night, protesters gathered outside the school, some expressing concern about undocumented immigrants. Henry Sanchez, 18, and Jose Montano, 17, were charged in the alleged assault, which the victim said took place in a boy’s toilet at the beginning of the school day last Thursday.

BethesdaMagazineThe usually civil political discourse in Montgomery County turned aggressive over the weekend as residents who oppose the county’s liberal policy toward undocumented immigrants angrily emerged in reaction to the brutal alleged rape of a Rockville High School freshman girl by 17- and 18-year-old recent Central American immigrants. 

The county and City of Rockville for many years have had a policy in place that directs their police officers not to ask about an individual’s immigration status during interactions. However, the county and city both share information about individuals who are arrested with federal agencies such as the FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in case those agencies have pending issues with the individuals.

The two high school students arrested and charged Thursday with rape in the Rockville High case are Henry Sanchez, 18, and Jose Montano, 17. Sanchez, who resided in Aspen Hill and arrived from Guatemala about seven months ago, while Montano, of an unconfirmed address, arrived from El Salvador about eight months ago, according to ABC7.

Matthew Bourke, an ICE spokesman, wrote in an email Monday to Bethesda Beat that ICE issued a detainer for Sanchez on Thursday after he was arrested by county police on the rape charge. Bourke wrote that ICE can’t comment on Montano’s case because he is a minor.

Bourke also noted that a border patrol agent interacted with Sanchez in August 2016 in Rio Valley Grande, Texas, and the agent determined Sanchez unlawfully entered the U.S. from Mexico. Sanchez was issued a notice to appear before an immigration judge for a hearing that has not yet been scheduled, according to Bourke. Bourke said an immigration judge never issued Sanchez a deportation order.

Both students speak limited English and were enrolled in Rockville High School as freshmen, according to The Washington Post. They’re accused of raping the 14-year-old girl inside a boys bathroom on Thursday morning during school hours and were ordered held in jail without bond Friday.

But to get an idea of the anger in the local community against the “powers that be ” who presume to know what is best for them , you need to go to the blogosphere. No doubt the reports here have their own political leanings.

http://www.helpsavemaryland.org/

To Senate President, Mike Miller and Statehouse Members,

If you have not gone out and read the outrage over the rape, you must be blind. Even your favorite news outlet reported on the rape, CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/21/us/maryland-undocumented-student-rape/ You know things are bad when they report on it.  You can’t get any further left bias reporting than the liberal CNN news to report.

There were many people who went down to Rockville High School last night in protest of the Sanctuary Policies of Montgomery County, and the lack of law enforcement, lack of protection for students. … Listening to Council President, Berliner, liberal deflector or on Sanctuary Policy, he stated, and I quote “This is not on us, he was caught in Texas by ICE and released”, oh, but let us remind everyone of Catch and Release under Obama’s policy.  While the Illegal Alien was given his letter to appear before the court, when his hearing was to come up, he did what they all do, just go somewhere else and blend in with the other Illegal’s.  Governor Hogan put the hammer down, and now it’s up to you, to do the right thing, KILL THE BILL.  Where was Berliner’s support for the 14 year old victim?  Did he call her parents and offer assistance and console them? ……

But the reality today is that if you wish to get the facts and to make up your own mind, you need to consult multiple sources. You need to know the political leanings of the journalist, the news medium and of its publisher. And above all, you need to be the ultimate skeptic.


 

Did Jeb Bush commission the Trump fake report? and was it “laundered” by John McCain?

January 12, 2017

Fake news needs “laundering” for it to gain legs.

The Obama birther story was first started by Hillary Clinton’s supporters when she was standing against him in the Democratic primaries in 2008. It then took on a life of its own.

Now it seems the fake and scurrilous report about Donald Trump may have been commissioned from a former British intelligence officer as part of Jeb Bush’s efforts during the Republican primaries. To make it even more intriguing it may be that the fake report was passed through John McCain to the FBI – a sort of “laundering” of fake news to give it a semblance of authority. Whether McCain did it knowingly or was duped into the laundering exercise is unknown.

Of course CNN then played their part in “laundering” the fake news though that involvement is very likely intentional.

Reuters:

Christopher Steele, who wrote reports on compromising material Russian operatives allegedly had collected on U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, is a former officer in Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, according to people familiar with his career.

Former British intelligence officials said Steele spent years under diplomatic cover working for the agency, also known as MI-6, in Russia and Paris and at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. After he left the spy service, Steele supplied the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with information on corruption at FIFA, international soccer’s governing body. It was his work on corruption in international soccer that lent credence to his reporting on Trump’s entanglements in Russia, U.S. officials said on Wednesday. ……

……. Steele was initially hired by FusionGPS, a Washington, DC-based political research firm, to investigate Trump on behalf of unidentified Republicans who wanted to stop Trump’s bid for the GOP nomination. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported that Steele was initially hired by Jeb Bush, one of Trump’s 16 opponents in the 2016 Republican primary. It was not immediately possible to verify the BBC’s report. ……

He was kept on assignment by FusionGPS after Trump won the nomination and his information was circulated to Democratic Party figures and members of the media. 

Steele’s dealings with the FBI on Trump, initially with the senior agent who had started the FIFA probe and then moved to a post in Europe, began in July. However, Steele cut off contact with the FBI about a month before the Nov. 8 election because he was frustrated by the bureau’s slow progress.  

And then we have McCain’s involvement.

Breitbart: 

Wednesday on CNN addressing media reports that he had turned over a dossier containing unverified claims about Russia and President-elect Donald Trump, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said, “I don’t know if it’s credible or not but I thought the information deserved to be delivered to the FBI, the appropriate agency of government.”

Partial transcript as follows:

MCCAIN: After looking at that information I took it to the FBI and have had no further involvement with it at issue. By the way, according to some media reports they already had that information, but I didn’t know that at the time. I did what any citizen would do, received sensitive information and then handed it over to the proper government agency and had nothing else to do with it.

Very commendable on the face of it but unlikely to be as innocent as all that.


 

CNN and Buzzfeed (fake news and garbage) have just shot themselves

January 12, 2017

“CNN and Buzzfeed” go together like “fake news and garbage”.

Buzzfeed provides the raw, unsorted garbage and CNN gives it the fake “news” label. But in their eagerness to attack Trump (CNN well deserves the label of being the “Clinton News Network”) they may have just provided Trump with all the justification he needs to sanction them. As lobby groups they really can no longer be considered “News Media”. They have dissipated and no longer deserve the protection that is due to journalistic activity since they have are engaged, now, primarily in advocacy rather than journalism. There are many other advocacy groups masquerading as purveyors of objective news. But most others provide a mix of advocacy and journalism. CNN sticks out as being particularly far removed from genuine journalism. CNN, from my own observations, has been consistently guilty of “politically correct” propaganda at least since the first Gulf War with the elder Bush. To my mind Blitzer (especially) and Amanpour and Tapper and their like are fatally tainted as journalists. At least Zakaria is openly a leftist advocate and does not pretend to be a journalist. CNN lost its objectivity and the skepticism necessary for quality journalism a long time ago.

This time they may have shot themselves in a much more vital area than the foot.

“CNN is fake news”

has a ring of truth about it.

This from Politico which is not particularly friendly to Trump though it has not been quite as rabid and shameless in its “politically correct” propaganda as CNN and WaPo and HuffPo

Politico: 

The best thing that happened to Donald Trump all week is that BuzzFeed published the raw Russia dossier about him.

It can’t be pleasant for anyone to see his name associated with prostitutes and a bizarre sex act in print, not even Donald Trump, who presumably has a higher tolerance for this kind of thing than the average human being, since he has lived and thrived knee-deep in tabloid muck for decades. But in the media’s ongoing fight with Donald Trump, BuzzFeed’s incredible act of journalistic irresponsibility represented the press leading with its chin. ……… 

……. BuzzFeed played right into his hands. There are legitimate questions raised about how determined Trump has been to ignore evidence of Russia’s hacking operations prior to the election. But BuzzFeed did more to obscure and discredit these questions than Trump Tower could ever hope to. By publishing the uncorroborated dossier, BuzzFeed has associated the Russia issue with fantastical rumors and hearsay.

Its decision to post the document has to be considered another chapter in the ongoing saga of the media and Democrats losing their collective minds. If the election had gone the other way, it is hard to see BuzzFeed publishing a 35-page document containing unverified, lurid allegations about President-elect Hillary Clinton that it didn’t consider credible. This was an anti-Trump decision, pure and simple.

It created a media firestorm, but everyone should realize by now that media firestorms are Trump’s thing. They have been literally since the day he got into the presidential race. They suck the oxygen away from everything except the transfixing melodrama surrounding Donald Trump. The question is always, “How can he possibly escape this?” And at the center of attention, vindicating his own honor and that of his supporters by proxy, he always does.

cnn-fake


 

Noted in passing 2nd January 2017 ( Fake news, fake science and other trivia)

January 2, 2017
  1. White House fails to make case that Russian hackers tampered with election
  2. Evidence of Bias in Studies of Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness in Elderly Patients

  3. Russia denies CNN report on closure of Anglo-American School in Moscow

  4. Why Fake Data When You Can Fake a Scientist?

  5. “Fake News” And How The Washington Post Rewrote Its Story On Russian Hacking Of The Power Grid

  6. Planet Earth II ‘a disaster for world’s wildlife’ says rival nature producer

  7. Cologne Police Screen Hundreds Of North Africans, As Migrants Storm Spanish Enclave In Africa

  8. Aide: When Trump tweets, he gets results

  9. Academia’s Broken, so Why Defend Academic Freedom?
  10. EXXON’S 2040 OUTLOOK: FOSSIL FUELS AREN’T GOING ANYWHERE
Source: Exxon 2017 Outlook for Energy

Source: Exxon 2017 Outlook for Energy


 

“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


 


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