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EVEN CNN hosts gasp at guest’s claim that Tulsi Gabbard is ‘a Russian puppet’

RT | October 15, 2019

Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard is no stranger to mainstream media smears, but even a panel of CNN hosts and analysts audibly gasped when one guest outright accused the Hawaii congresswoman of working for Russia.

What started off as a standard panel discussion on Tuesday’s upcoming Democratic debate quickly took a dark turn, as CNN political analyst Bakari Sellers accused Gabbard of foreign allegiances. As soon as Gabbard’s name was mentioned, Sellers took the opportunity to claim that there “is a chance that Tulsi’s not just working for the United States of America.”

The dramatic accusation prompted uncomfortable shuffling from the rest of the panel, with CNN contributor April Ryan asking “ohh, wait a minute, what?” Sitting opposite Sellers, commentator Angela Rye jumped in to stress that any accusations of Gabbard working for a foreign power are just “an allegation.”

Sellers was not content to quit, however, adding that it was “not just an allegation” — despite the fact that there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that Gabbard is compromised by any foreign country.

Then Sellers got into the specifics.

“There’s no question, there is no question that Tulsi Gabbard, of all the 12 [debate participants], is a puppet for the Russian government.”

“How is there no question?” host Alisyn Camerota asked, seemingly taken aback by the seriousness of the claim. Sellers instantly cited Gabbard’s position on the war in Syria as proof.

Indeed, the unapologetically anti-war candidate has faced similar smears of being an “Assad apologist” and a “Putin puppet” multiple times due to her criticisms of US foreign policy in Syria, where she believes Washington should never have backed and funded jihadist rebels fighting President Bashar Assad.

As for Sellers himself, he has endorsed California Senator Kamala Harris for president, so his distaste for Gabbard is not entirely surprising. Gabbard won broad praise for expertly taking Harris to task on her record as a prosecutor during an earlier debate — so much so that the hashtag #KamalaHarrisDestroyed even trended on Twitter (but that was apparently Russia’s fault, too).

While Sellers did face some mild pushback from the CNN panel, none of the participants rushed to wholeheartedly defend Gabbard, either. The analyst did experience the wrath of Twitter, however.

Journalist Max Blumenthal tweeted that Sellers comment was somewhat ironic since he is “an actual puppet for corporate America and AIPAC.” Sellers is an activist for the pro-Israel AIPAC lobbying organization, which is accused of waging outsized influence in US domestic politics and foreign policy.

Investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald called Sellers’ comments “repugnant, McCarthyite accusations of treason” and noted that the CNN panel moved quickly on and would surely allow him back to repeat the same smears on another occasion.

“If there were a shred of proof that she is working for the Russian government she would be in a whole world of trouble,” another user wrote, noting that Gabbard is a major in the National Guard and a member of congress with top secret security clearance.

The anti-Gabbard smears have been bubbling in mainstream media since before she even announced her candidacy, but they went into overdrive after she entered the race for president.

NBC has accused her of being supported by Russian trolls on Twitter, while the New York Times recently published a hit piece in the ‘news’ section, headlined: “What, Exactly, Is Tulsi Gabbard Up To?” The piece speculated that Gabbard’s anti-interventionist stances might somehow make her a Russian stooge, even citing coverage of her campaign by RT of all news organizations as some kind of proof.

Gabbard also won no friends within the Democratic Party in 2016 after she stepped down as DNC vice chair, endorsed Bernie Sanders and accused the party of bias in favor of Hillary Clinton.

Gabbard has continued her criticism of her party during this election cycle, too — so it’s no wonder that the mainstream media and Democratic establishment haven’t exactly warmed to her candidacy.

October 15, 2019 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , | 1 Comment

Kentucky is in Syria (and other anomalies of MSM geography) – #PropagandaWatch

Corbett • 10/15/2019

Watch this video on BitChute / DTube / Minds.com / YouTube

Did you know that Kentucky is in Syria? Or that Tripoli is in India? Or that Caracas is in Singapore? No? Then you must not be paying enough attention in MSM Geography 101, class. Better hit the books!

SHOW NOTES

ABC Admits To Using Fake Footage Of Kurdish ‘Slaughter’

Stupid Media Lie by BBC – Showing Tripoli’s Green Square with People waving Indian Flag (August 24)

Tibet monks protest againist Chinise rulers

Constructing the Deception of the Anti-Government “Protests” in Venezuela: A Photo Gallery

The Routine Use of Fake Images and Video Footage by the Western Media

October 15, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | Leave a comment

Fake news fail! ABC claims footage from Kentucky gun range shows Turkish attack on Kurdish civilians

RT | October 14, 2019

In a scarcely believable display of extreme incompetence or bald-faced lying, ABC News has broadcast footage from a Kentucky gun show, claiming it shows a Turkish assault on Kurdish civilians in northern Syria.

The news organization made the humiliating fumble on its World News Tonight show on Sunday and then again on Good Morning America on Monday. It featured in a package that was heavily critical of US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from northern Syria.

“Slaughter in Syria,” the on-screen graphic screamed as anchor Tom Llamas introduced the footage. “This video, right here, appearing to show Turkey’s military bombing Kurd civilians in a Syrian border town,” Llamas said as the tape rolled.

There’s just one problem, the video wasn’t from northern Syria, it was filmed about 6,200 miles (10,000km) away during a gun show at the Knob Creek Gun Range near West Point, Kentucky.

The open air gun range holds the dramatic shows twice a year and they have been immortalized in numerous YouTube videos. ABC played a video from 2017 in its Sunday snafu.

Viewing the clips clearly shows that it’s the same scene but the video has been edited to crop out the audience watching in the foreground.

After broadcasting the fake footage into homes across the US, ABC also uploaded it to YouTube. The video was subsequently deleted when the massive error came to light.

World News Tonight issued a correction on Monday, saying that ABC News “regrets the error.” “We’ve taken down video that aired on ‘World News Tonight’ Sunday and ‘Good Morning America’ this morning that appeared to be from the Syrian border immediately after questions were raised about its accuracy,” it tweeted.

ABC’s mistake is made even more glaring by the fact that footage from the Kentucky gun show previously went viral in another fake news fail when it was claimed that it showed Kurdish forces destroying Turkish tanks in January 2018. Too bad ABC don’t employ any good fact checkers.

October 14, 2019 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | Leave a comment

‘You’ve been duped by spooks & terrorists’: Russian military reveals flaws in NYT’s report on hospital bombings

RT | October 14, 2019

A damning report by the New York Times, which accused Russia of bombing four UN-protected hospitals in Syria, is a product of misinformation by Western intelligence services and jihadists, the Russian military said.

On Sunday, the leading US newspaper said it had irrefutable proof that Russian warplanes had bombed four sites in Syria, which it knew to be locations of civilian hospitals. The accusation stems from analysis of social media, interviews with witnesses, data provided by local plane spotters and records of communications of the Russian military deployed in Syria. The bombings, which happened on May 5 and 6, are just a faction of attacks on civilian infrastructure, for which Moscow carries responsibility, the newspaper alleged.

Responding to the accusation on Monday, the Russian military said Times report was flawed for several reasons, including failure to explain that Idlib Governorate, where the four alleged bombings took place, lives under rule of brutal jihadists. That detail affects the entire narrative, indicating its flawed sourcing.

“Gadgets, modern radio scanners, protected notebooks, internet connection are all things that the local civilian population simply cannot afford. They are more interested in daily surviving under the yoke of the terrorists,” said Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov.

He was referring to the equipment used by “plane spotters”, who provided their data to Times. The newspaper said those observers “insisted on anonymity for their safety”, but the Russian military says they shouldn’t have bothered and identified them as the people behind a “combat intelligence system” based on equipment developed by a US company called Hala Systems.

The system known as Sentry is a collection of suitcase-sized sensors connected into a network plus an AI-based algorithm, which uses signals from those sensors as well as social media data to analyze and predict airstrikes in Idlib. Hala Systems says it’s a for-profit company that develops and operates the system on grants from governments of Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Denmark the United States, and Germany.

The company deemed it necessary to explain in its FAQ that it is not a front for the CIA, but acknowledges that it deployed the system in conjunction with the notorious White Helmets, the group that operated in jihadist-held parts of Syria with strongly suspected ties to Western intelligence services.

The statement by Konashenkov said Times chose to omit those details because they clearly expose its source as potentially compromised rather than to protect anyone.

“The ‘evidence’ published by NYT are not worthy even of the paper it was printed on.”

He added there were inconsistencies with other parts of the report, in particular a claim that a Russian pilot received coordinates for his target openly on the air, which would have been in violation of military operating procedures.

He also questioned identification of one of the locations named by the Times as a civilian hospital, saying it was not clear how one can operate in a remote cave.

“Just a week ago we took over 80 journalists from leading Russian and international media to a cave located in that general area. They saw with their own eyes what is kept in such caves, or rather reinforced terrorist bunkers,” the Russian general said.

“There were large stockpiles of weapons and ammunition, including those Western-made, prisons, holes to cover tanks, gas masks, food and medical supplies.”

October 14, 2019 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | 1 Comment

NASA : Batting 0.000 For Thirty-Three Consecutive Seasons

In 1986, NASA’s James Hansen made some projections about how global warming was going to affect eight cities.

Mintzer distributed a chart showing a 1986 projection made by NASA climatologists of the likely impact of global warming on eight major U.S. cities in the year 2030.

13 Apr 1987, 13 – Lancaster Eagle-Gazette at Newspapers.com

Let’s see how he did.

Memphis, according to EPA statistics, would experience 145 days annually with temperatures surpassing 90 degrees, compared to 65 days now, and 42 days above 100 degrees, com-pared to four now.

Covington is the closest Tennessee USHCN station to Memphis. The frequency of 90 and 100 degree days has plummeted.

Denver, which almost never registers temperatures above 100 degrees, would do so on 16 days a year under the projection, and its 90-phis days would rise from 33 to 86.

Boulder is the closest USHCN station to Denver.There has been no trend over the past 65 years, and it almost never gets above 100 degrees.

In Chicago, the number of over-90 days would jump from 16 to 56, while six days would see temperatures above 100 degrees, a rarity today.

Aurora is the closest USHCN station to Chicago, and the frequency of 90 and 100 degrees days has dropped sharply since the 1930s.

Dallas, which already gets 100 days over 90 degrees and 19 over 100, would see the first figure grow to 162 and the second to 78

Weatherford is the closest USHCN station to Dallas, and the number of 90 and 100 degree days has dropped sharply.

Los Angeles would see the number of 90-plus degree days move up from five to 27, while four days would register more than 100 degrees, compared to one day a year currently.

Downtown LA is much hotter than those numbers, so I assume he meant the airport. The closest USHCN station to LAX is Newport Beach, which shows no trend in hot days.

In New York, four days would exceed 100 degrees annually, while in most years no days are that hot now. The number of over-90 days would rise from 15 to 48.

The frequency of hot days at New York City has dropped sharply since Hansen made his forecasts in 1986.

One hundred degree days in New York peaked in the 1950’s, so the Orwellian New York Times has tried to erase them.

It’s Not Your Imagination. Summers Are Getting Hotter. – The New York Times

Omaha would see 86 days hotter than 90 degrees, compared to 37 today. Days over 100 degrees would jump from three per year today to 21 in 2030.

The closest USHCN station to Omaha is at Ashland, and the number of hot days has plummeted to record lows.

Washington. D C , the number of days above 90 degrees would rise from 36 to 87 per year, while over-100 days would jump from one annually today to 12 in 2030

Purcellville is the closest Virginia USHCN station to Washington D.C., and the number of hot days there has plummeted. I used to live across the river in Maryland, and never needed air conditioning.

Hansen was wrong, because his CO2 climate model was based on superstition rather than science. But undaunted by their past failures, the New York Times continues to push the same nonsense.

How Much Hotter Is Your Hometown Than When You Were Born?

The Union of Concerned Scientists has at least been clever enough to change over to “feels like 90 degrees”

Northwest Region Areas to Endure Seven Weeks or More a Year When “Feels Like” Temperature Exceeds 90 Degrees | Union of Concerned Scientists

In most professions there are consequences for being wrong, but not if you are employed by the climate religion – where facts simply don’t matter. There is no possible way for you to be wrong.

30 years later, deniers are still lying about Hansen’s amazing global warming prediction | Dana Nuccitelli | Environment | The Guardian

October 13, 2019 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

Did Hong Kong police use excessive force?

CGTN | October 13, 2019

Accusations of #HongKong #police using excessive #force are without end. This video puts the issues into perspective.

October 13, 2019 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Video | | Leave a comment

WADA is being weaponized to destroy Russians’ dignity

By Andrew Korybko | October 11, 2019

Most of the world remembers the controversy in recent years about Russian athletes allegedly failing to comply with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) policies, but that scandal still continues to this day after the international organization recently threatened that country’s sportspeople with being banned from next year’s Tokyo Olympics on the same basis. The narrative is that there are supposedly “inconsistencies” with the lab data that Russia submitted to prove its adherence to WADA’s regulations, though that storyline is extremely suspect and also reeks of selective enforcement for political reasons.

To explain, it’s illogical that Russian athletes would continue to use banned substances after the agency globally humiliated them and the country that they represented several years ago on that basis, nor would their coaches and those responsible for them allow “inconsistent” lab results to be given to that international sports body if that was still the case (though it was always questionable to begin with the first time around whether there were actually any violations or not). Every stakeholder therefore has a self-interested reason in ensuring that the testing process proceeds smoothly and without incident, not to cheat the rules while under scrutiny.

Another valid point to make is that other countries’ athletes use questionable medication to treat certain health symptoms that might have actually given them an unfair advantage during competitions. For instance, RT reported last year on how Swedish media alleged that “70 percent of Norwegian medals in Olympic skiing events were won by athletes diagnosed with asthma”, yet those athletes aren’t under WADA’s microscope like Russia’s are. Quite clearly, the agency is only selectively enforcing its standards for what can only be presumed to be political reasons related to the New Cold War.

Russia is one of the US’ chief geopolitical adversaries across the world, and Washington is weaponizing all means at its disposal to wage a Hybrid War against Moscow, one that transcends the traditional definition of war to include intangible and unquantifiable aspects such as the degrading of national dignity. Understanding this, it makes sense why WADA is threatening Russian athletes, since that’s intended to damage their country’s dignity on the world stage as punishment for their government refusing to submit to the US’ foreign policy diktats. As a result, all Russians might be made to suffer.

This strategy isn’t just being carried out for the sake of schadenfreude, but as part of a far-fetched plan to decrease the population’s support of their government. The theory goes that average Russians might eventually be misguided by a forthcoming US-backed infowar campaign to somehow blame their government for this humiliation, which could contribute to increasing anti-government sentiment and then indirectly influence their political preferences in 2024 after President Putin’s final term ends. That idea might sound attractive in Washington think tanks and the halls of Langley, but it’s completely unrealistic in practice.

A supposedly apolitical international organization punishing a population for the disagreements that their government has with another violates all morality and exposes that said body for what it truly would be in that scenario, which is an American proxy organization being weaponized for Hybrid War ends. It doesn’t matter that the consequences of such a decision wouldn’t have any effect on political stability in Russia, but just that it would be very cruel to do to ordinary people who more often than not could care less about international politics and are more interested in patriotically rooting for their country’s team as they compete in Tokyo.

The Olympics are supposed to bring the world together for a few weeks by allowing everyone’s athletes to bask in glory that they deserve for being the best of the best selected to compete in this prestigious event, provided that they earned their place fairly. Singling out Russians for alleged “inconsistencies” while ignoring the much more credible case of Norwegians gaming the system — to say nothing of transsexuals now being allowed to participate, even without undergoing gender reassignment surgery — is a travesty of everything that the Olympics are supposed to stand for and actually degrades the international community’s dignity most of all.

Andrew Korybko is an American political analyst.

October 11, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | 1 Comment

Propaganda 101: The New York Times pumps another ‘evil Russia’ plot

By Finian Cunningham | RT | October 10, 2019

The “newspaper of record” New York Times arguably holds the record for peddling anti-Russia scare stories. This week the NY Times delivered yet another classic spook tale dressed as serious news.

Among its splash articles, under the headline ‘Top Secret Russian Unit Seeks to Destabilize Europe, Security Officials Say’, readers were told of an elite Russian spy team which has, allegedly, only recently been discovered.

It’s called “Unit 29155” and purportedly directed by the Kremlin to “destabilize Europe” with “subversion, sabotage and assassination.”

According to the NY Times, this crack squad of Russia’s most ruthless military intelligence agents were involved in an attempted assassination of an arms dealer in Bulgaria in 2015; the destabilization of Moldova; a failed coup against the Montenegrin government; and the alleged poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal in England last year.

The article states: “Western security officials have now concluded that these operations, and potentially many others, are part of a coordinated and ongoing campaign to destabilize Europe, executed by an elite unit inside the Russian intelligence system skilled in subversion, sabotage and assassination.”

The NY Times adds: “The purpose of Unit 29155, which has not been previously reported, underscores the degree to which the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin, is actively fighting the West with his brand of so-called hybrid warfare — a blend of propaganda, hacking attacks and disinformation — as well as open military confrontation.”

This is all because, the readers are told, “The Kremlin sees Russia as being at war with a Western liberal order that it views as an existential threat.”

In response, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed it as more of the “pulp fiction category” which Western news media have manufactured with seeming increasing intensity over recent years. Peskov pointed out that Moscow has repeatedly stated its desire to normalize relations with Western states and the European Union in particular, contradicting the theme of the NY Times’ piece.

Indeed, the Russian Embassy in Britain recently published a compilation of false articles peddled by Western media over the past four years. The NY Times features prominently as one of the main purveyors of scare stories about alleged malign Russian activities, from hacking into presidential elections, to targeting American power grids, to covert collusion with President Donald Trump.

For students of Propaganda 101, this week’s tale makes a case study of how disinformation is disseminated in the guise of “news reporting.”

First of all, the NY Times reporter, Michael Schwirtz, gives a meandering account of lurid dirty deeds performed in various international locations allegedly carried out by the supposed “elite” Kremlin hybrid warriors. But tellingly, there are no details evidencing Russian involvement. It’s all lurid speculation spiced with fear-mongering, which reads like a pallid John le Carré spy novel.

Then, the usual giveaway that the NY Times is engaging in disinformation, it quotes anonymous security officials for apparent verification of its claims about “Unit 29155”. This is tacit admission of who the real authors are: Western spooks.

Next, a neat effort to give the lame story some legs is to quote named public figures. But these sources don’t confirm the existence of the alleged Kremlin unit; they are merely invited to speculate on its existence and presumed malign purpose. One of those named sources is MI6 chief Alex Younger. Yes, that’s right, the paper of record is quoting British military intelligence as a reliable source for public information. Another named source is Peter Zwack, who is described as a former US military intelligence officer who worked at the American Embassy in Moscow. Zwack is quoted as describing Russians as “organically ruthless” (whatever that means), while the paper actually admits that “he was not aware of the unit’s existence.”

The purpose of throwing a few names into the reporting mix is to lend a veneer of credibility to the nebulous, unverifiable, scary stuff that the anonymous spooks feed the reporter.

A special mention must be given to a third named source quoted by the NY Times. He is Eerik-Niiles Kross, an Estonian lawmaker and former military intelligence chief in Tallinn. He styles himself as “Estonia’s James Bond,” and is known for his salacious Russophobic warnings of “imminent invasion of the Baltic states” – over the past three decades. Kross is quoted to speculate on the existence of the alleged Kremlin hybrid warfare unit. Of course, he dutifully serves up his notorious anti-Russian fear-mongering. But he is not confirming. His speculation is pseudo-validation of information that is essentially fictional.

All in all, the latest installment of anti-Russia propaganda from the NY Times this week is a damp squib among many previous baseless reports of alleged Kremlin malign activity. If it serves any purpose, it is perhaps a choice illustration of how disinformation is sneakily, insidiously presented as ‘news’. The fact that this should appear in a Pulitzer Prize-winning, supposedly premier, American newspaper is the disturbing part.

But it is no surprise to those who have long studied how the US corporate media has been under the control of state intelligence agencies for many decades, especially after the Second World War and during the subsequent Cold War against the Soviet Union.

In a seminal essay in 1977 for Rolling Stone magazine, award-winning journalist Carl Bernstein documented how the CIA systematically cultivated hundreds of reporters, columnists, editors, publishing executives and broadcast networks to function as conduits for disinformation – much of it directed at demonizing the Soviet Union.

“From the outset, the use of journalists was among the CIA’s most sensitive undertakings,” writes Bernstein.

He added: “By far the most valuable of these associations, according to CIA officials, have been with the New York Times, CBS and Time Inc.”

How the CIA goes about planting false stories in the American and European media is outlined in this candid interview by John Stockwell, who was former National Security Council coordinator for the agency during the 1970s. Stockwell also added: “Enemies are necessary for the wheels of the US military machine to turn.”

You may wonder, if the Cold War ended nearly 30 years ago when the Soviet Union dissolved, why then do the NY Times and other Western media outlets continue to pump out anti-Russian propaganda? But that assumes the Cold War was primarily about the US opposing the ideology of communism. It wasn’t. It was, and still is, all about imposing control over the masses so they don’t ever challenge the power structure that deprives them of full democratic rights and decent livelihoods.

In a recent interview, philosopher André Vitchek makes the point that Western politicians and media like the NY Times keep harping on Cold War scare stories about evil foreigners in order “to distract their citizens from thinking about their increasingly limited freedoms and diminishing standards of living.”

The Cold War continues, and anti-Russia hysteria is but a distraction, as was the anti-Soviet hysteria. The aim is to distract the public from the real Cold War which is a war by the elites against democracy ever being actually realized among the masses.

October 10, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | 1 Comment

Experts Say “Experts Say” Headlines are Propaganda – #PropagandaWatch

Corbett • 10/07/2019

Watch this video on BitChute / DTube / YouTube

Experts say don’t believe news headlines that start with “Experts say.” And, in this case, the expert is me. Find out more in this week’s edition of #PropagandaWatch with James Corbett.

SHOW NOTES:

Episode 211 – Expertology

So You’ve Decided To Boycott Google… (Search alternatives)

Experts say getting the flu shot early can give you better protection against the Flu

‘You are failing us’: Plans, frustration at UN climate talks

And Now For The 100 Trillion Dollar Bankster Climate Swindle…

James Corbett on The Post-Carbon Energy Eugenics Hoax

Crimatologists Found Guilty of Hiding Data

$250 Million to Keep Votes Safe? Experts Say Billions Are Needed

October 7, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | 1 Comment

Corruption in Journalism

By Peter Van Buren | We Meant Well | September 30, 2019

Columnist Max Boot in the Washington Post put into writing what we have all known for some time: real journalism, Jefferson’s informed citizenry and all that, is dead. The job has shifted to aspirational writing, using manipulated droplets of facts and just plain made-up stuff to drive events.

Boot (pictured) writes to drive Trump from office and overturn the 2016 election.

Max Boot: “Much of my journalism for the past four years has been devoted to critiquing President Trump and opposing the spread of Trumpism. But no matter how many columns or sound bites I produce, he remains in office… I am left to ask if all my work has made any difference.”

Boot has spent the last years creating and circle-supporting others who create false narratives. They manufacture reasons for Trump to resign, to press Democrats to impeach, or at last resort, to influence voters they otherwise hold in contempt for not knowing what’s good enough for them. We kind of figured this out after senior staff at the New York Times had to remind reporters they were “not part of the f*cking resistance,” but it is helpful to see it in daylight. After all, democracy dies in the darkness.

The uber-false narrative Max and others Frankensteined into existence was Russiagate. Trump wasn’t the Manchurian Candidate and there was no quid pro quo for Russian election help. Yet the media literally accused the president of treason by melding together otherwise unrelated truthlets — Trump wanted a hotel in Moscow, some ads were run on Facebook — that could be spun into a narrative to bring Trump down. Correlation was made into causation in a purposeful freshman Logic 101 fail. What was true was of little consequence; what mattered was whether the media could collectively create a story the rubes would believe, and then pile on.

The critical flaw in Russiagate (other than it didn’t happen) was the media creating an end-point they could not control. Robert Mueller was magic-wanded into the Last Honest Man, the Savior of Democracy, as the narrative first unfolded and then fell apart like a cardboard box in the rain. After his dismal testimony there was nowhere for the story to go.

This autumn’s empty box of a narrative is upgraded to play out without end: Trump is manipulating domestic and foreign policy for personal gain via… hotel fees.

At first glance it seems like a non-starter. Trump’s hotels are as much a part of him as the extra pounds he carries. He campaigned as a CEO and announced early on he was not going to divest. But with the first cold slap of Trump’s election victory a narrative was being shaped: Trump could not become president because of his business conflicts of interest; it was danged unconstitutional.

Early proponents of this dreck dug around in the Constitution’s closet and found the Emoluments Clause, a handful of lines intended to bar office holders from accepting gifts from foreign sovereigns, kings, and princes to prevent influence buying. Pre-Trump, the last time the issue was in actual contention was with President Martin Van Buren (no relation) over gifts from the Imam of Muscat.

The media ran with it. They imagined out of whole cloth any foreign government official getting a room at any Trump hotel was a “gift.” Then they imagined whatever tiny percentage of that room profit which actually went to Trump himself represented a bribe. Then they imagined despite the vast complexity of U.S. relations, Trump would alter course because some guy rented a room. It was Joker-like in its diabolicalness, the presidency itself merely a prank to hide an international crime spree. Pow!

It was also ridiculous on its face, but they made it happen. The now-defunct leftist site Think Progress ran what might be Story Zero before Trump even took office. An anonymous source claimed the Kuwaiti Ambassador canceled a major event at one hotel to switch to Trump’s own DC hotel under pressure. It all turned out to be untrue. “Do you think a reception of two hours in the Trump hotel is going to curry favors with the administration when we host thousands of U.S. troops in Kuwait? When we have in the past and still do support American operations in Afghanistan and Iraq?” the Kuwait ambassador asked when someone got around to his side of the story. But no matter, the narrative was set.

Then it grew. Though the Emoluments Clause is quite specific, the media decided every time anyone stayed at a Trump property it was corruption. Even when Trump visited one of his own homes it was corruption because the Secret Service paid Trump for the privilege. Of course the Secret Service has always paid for the facilities used in their work because the government cannot commandeer private property or accept free rooms (which, ironically, could be seen as a bribe), not from Marriott and not from the Trump Organization. Even Joe Biden still has to charge the Secret Service rent on a cottage he owns, so they can protect him when he’s home in Delaware.

More? T-Mobile booked nine rooms at a Trump hotel, in media hive minds ostensibly to influence federal approval of a $26 billion merger. Those rooms were worth about $2700. Of course the president, who can influence the Dow with a tweet, prefers to make his illegal money off jacked up hotel bills. Think small has always been a Trump trademark.

Reuters headlined how foreigners were buying condos from third party owners (i.e., not Trump or his company), but they were in a Trump-managed building and maybe the monthly maintenance fees would qualify as mini-emoluments? Trump was accused of “hiding” foreign government income at his hotels when servers at the bar failed to ask cash customers if they were potentates or princes (the headline: “Trump Organization Says It’s ‘Not Practical’ to Comply With the Emoluments Clause.”)

And of course that Air Force crew staying at a Trump place in Scotland. No matter that the hotel forged its relationship with a nearby airport long before Trump became president, or that the Air Force had used the airport and hotel hundreds of times before Trump became president (going back to WWII), and or that a decision by the Pentagon to have flights stop more frequently there was made under the Obama administration, nope, none of that stopped the media from proclaiming corruption. One piece speculated the $166 a night the Air Force pays for rooms was always part of Trump’s cornerstone financial plan for the floundering multi-million golf course.

But to see how much the corruption narrative really is a media creation, you have only to compare it to how the MSM covered what might have been a similar question in the past. Imagine if journalists had treated every appearance by Obama as a book promotion. What if each speech was slandered across the channels as corruption, Obama just out there pimping his books? Should he have been impeached for commercializing the office of president?

Follow the money, as Maddow likes to say. The Trump Organization pays to the Treasury all profits from foreign governments. In the 2018, $191,000. The year before the amount was $151,470. So Trump’s in-pocket profit is zero.

Meanwhile Obama’s profit as an author during his time in office was $15.6 million (he’s made multiples more since, including a $65 million book advance.) In the two weeks before he was inaugurated, Obama reworked his book deals to take advantage of his new status. He agreed not to publish another non-fiction book during his time in office to keep anticipation high, while signing a $500,000 advance for a young adult version of Dreams From My Father.

Obama’s books were huge sellers in China, where publishing is largely government controlled, meaning Obama likely received Chicom money in the Oval Office. Obama’s own State Department bought $79,000 worth of his books to distribute as gifts.

As with Trump, nothing Obama did was illegal. There are no laws per se against a president making money. Yet no one bothered to raise ethical questions about Obama. No one claimed he sought the presidency as a bully ATM machine. No one claimed his frequent messaging about his father was designed to move books. No one held TV hearings on his profits or into how taxpayer funds were used to buy his books. It’s not “everybody does it” or “whataboutism,” it is why does the media treat two very similar situations so very differently?

Max Boot confessed why. The media has created a pitch-and-toss game with Democrats, running false, exaggerated or shallowly-reported stories to generate calls for hearings, which in turn breath life into the corruption stories they live off. Max Boot and his ilk are doing a new job. Journalism to them is for resistance, condemnation, arousal, and regime change. And that’s one way democracy does die.

October 6, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , | 3 Comments

Faster than expected except where slower

Climate Discussion Nexus | September 18, 2019

When you get a news story about climate change, it inevitably tells you scientists have looked at something going on in the world, discovered it’s worse than we thought, and concluded that greenhouse gases are to blame. Which at least saves you the trouble of reading further. Except that if you do, you sometimes learn that scientists did not find what journalists claimed up front. For instance we learn from Eurekalert that the Thwaites Glacier ice shelf in Antarctica is being “thawed by a warming ocean more quickly than previously thought.” So why does the lead scientist mention something being more stable than previously thought?

The story in question results from a creative experiment involving “newly digitized vintage film” dating all the way back to the 1970s when, over eight years, scientists flew over the Antarctic recording ice-penetrating radar readings on 35 mm film. Subsequent radar soundings were sporadic until after 2009. So the scientists found a way to digitize the 1970s records to make them comparable to the modern ones.

The result? Glaciers melting and washing away Manhattan? Not exactly. One part of the Antarctic, the Thwaites ice shelf, thinned between 10 and 33 percent over the 40 years of records. Another part, the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf basal channel, didn’t change at all. And part of the Thwaites ice shelf regrounded and became stable. And maybe it’s all due to a warming ocean. Except the rate of submarine melting slowed between the 1978-2004 and 2004-2009 segments.

The conclusion? In the underlying article the authors don’t say it’s “worse then we thought”, more like “we didn’t know what to expect and we saw lots of interesting patterns.” The Eurekalert article quotes the lead author that “[We] were able to have one ice shelf where we can say, ‘Look, it’s pretty much stable. And here, there’s significant change’.” The headline rephrases that as “Thwaites Glacier ice shelf melting faster than previously observed.” Well yes, because it wasn’t previously observed so any data would be new; it could also be phrased as “melting slower than previously observed”. And what about the other parts? From there the journalist spins out the money phrase “thawed by a warming ocean more quickly than previously thought” in the first sentence of the article. Maybe hoping you wouldn’t read any further.

October 5, 2019 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | | 1 Comment

The Campaign to Stop William Barr

By Daniel Lazare | Strategic Culture Foundation | October 5, 2019

The furor over Donald Trump’s July 25 phone call to Volodymyr Zelensky has not been easy to figure out. Contrary to initial reports, the president said nothing about a quid pro quo, and he didn’t push the Ukrainian president to “dig up dirt” on Joe Biden either. All he did according to the official transcript was ask Kiev to look into his activities, and all Zelensky did in response was guarantee that any such investigation “will be done openly and candidly.” An honest inquiry into a politician who cheerfully confessed to forcing out a prosecutor looking into his son’s company – what’s wrong with that?

But now the mystery is solved. The uproar is not about Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani investigating the former vice president. It’s about William Barr investigating Russiagate, which is far more important.

This became clear early this week when the New York Times reported that Trump had also phoned Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and asked him to cooperate with the attorney general. Suddenly, Giuliani and Biden were forgotten as the rest of corporate media screamed themselves hoarse. “Democrats’ worst fears about William Barr are proving correct,” declared the Washington Post. “AG Bill Barr finds himself ‘neck deep’ in Trump scandal,” said MSNBC. The Daily Beast called for his impeachment while the Guardian accused him of nothing less than attempting to “rewrite the history of the 2016 US presidential election.”

This was cheeky coming from a newspaper that tried to rewrite history itself by falsely accusing imprisoned whistleblower Julian Assange of meeting with Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort in connection with stolen Democratic Party emails.

But it was all nonsense. Trump’s crimes – waging war on Yemen, blockading Iran, attempting to starve Venezuela into submission, etc. – are almost beyond enumeration. But this is not one of them. Despite the cries of outrage, he did nothing wrong in phoning up Scott Morrison, and neither did Barr in flying to London and Rome to seek their cooperation. Indeed, both men would have been remiss if they didn’t.

The reason is that Australia, Italy, and the UK are as central to Russiagate, the pseudo-scandal that dominated US headlines for two and a half years, as the Ukraine is to l’Affaire Biden. After all, it was an Anglo-Maltese academic named Joseph Mifsud who told Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos that Russia had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails,” and it was Aussie diplomat Alexander Downer, a self-described “warrior for the Western alliance,” who elicited the news from Papadopoulos at a London wine bar and then triggered a formal investigation by informing the FBI.

It was an ex-British intelligence agent named Christopher Steele who sent the press into a frenzy when someone leaked his phony “golden showers” dossier in January 2017. It was ex-British intelligence chief Sir Richard Dearlove who coached Steele on how to spread word of his “findings,” and it was a long-time US intelligence agent named Stefan Halper, a colleague of Dearlove’s at Cambridge University, who flew Papadopoulos to London so he could pepper him with leading questions:

“It’s great that Russia is helping you and the campaign, right, George? George, you and your campaign are involved in hacking and working with Russia, right? It seems like you are a middleman for Trump and Russia, right? I know you know about the emails.”

“I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about,” Papadopoulos says he replied. If he had taken the bait on the other hand, the FBI might have charged him with collusion and forced him to wear a wire so he could entrap other Trump campaign officials as well.

As for Italy, that’s where Mifsud has reportedly been holed up since early 2017. Anyone wishing to get to the bottom of Russiagate would want to know who is protecting him – and hopefully Rome will now help Barr find out.

Russiagate was one of the most bizarre episodes in modern political history, a wide-ranging disinformation campaign aimed at driving a legally-elected president out of office. The Times, WaPo, MSNBC, and the Guardian were all neck deep in the scandal, and now they’re neck deep in the cover up by attempting to deep-six the official Department of Justice investigation into how Russiagate began before it is even completed. If they get away with it, the big loser will be the public– and democracy as well.

October 5, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , | 1 Comment