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CNN tries to make case for trusting anonymous-source echo chamber despite steady stream of fake news

RT | May 3, 2021

CNN took a holier-than-thou approach to explaining away mainstream media’s penchant for telling anonymously sourced stories that later prove to be false, saying that unlike “MAGA media,” it tries to get the news right.

“There are safeguards in place,” CNN media reporter Oliver Darcy told ‘Reliable Sources’ host Brian Stelter on Sunday. “Unfortunately, human error is still at play, and news organizations sometimes do get burned like this.”

Darcy was referring to the latest correction debacle involving multiple MSM outlets that supposedly confirmed each other’s anonymously sourced reports – only to later issue corrections admitting that their central claim was completely false. The New York Times, NBC News and the Washington Post said on Saturday that their reports claiming that US law enforcement had warned Rudy Giuliani and One America News that they were being targeted by a “Russian influence operation” were not true.

The false claim was so integral to the story that correcting it was not as simple as changing a name or recasting a sentence. “The premise and headline of the article below have been changed to reflect the corrected information,” NBC said in its correction.

Stelter lamented that “a bogus report of this magnitude” tars all mainstream outlets and allows “bad-faith actors” to lump them in with less credible outfits. Darcy argued that “responsible” media outlets set themselves apart by correcting their mistakes, whereas publications such as the New York Post avoid admitting their errors.

“Sometimes, it seems like they are intentionally promoting falsehoods and moving on, some of those folks in MAGA media,” Darcy said.

The Post last week removed an article from its website that said copies of a children’s book written by Vice President Kamala Harris were being put in the welcome kits given to migrant children being held at a shelter in California. In an updated version it issued a correction, saying it turned out there was only one known copy of the book at the shelter.

However, it was the New York Post that broke bombshell news last October, reporting on alleged influence-peddling by then-presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, after obtaining emails from a laptop that the younger Biden had allegedly left at a repair shop. At the time, with the presidential election just a couple of weeks away, CNN called the reports “dubious” and cited anonymous people saying that “US authorities” were investigating whether the Hunter Biden emails were part of a Russian disinformation campaign.

Then-Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said there was no connection between Hunter Biden’s laptop and Russian disinformation, but only later did the likes of the New York Times and the Washington Post admit that the evidence-free conspiracy claims were apparently false.

The Washington Post has had its share of falsehoods lately. In March, the newspaper corrected a January story accusing former president Donald Trump of pressuring a Georgia official to help overturn the election’s result. The Post admitted that it had misquoted the official. In fact, it said that claims Trump urged the official to “find the fraud” and that she would be a “national hero” if she did were completely false.

CNN technical director Charlie Chester suggested that such “mistakes” weren’t accidental – at least at his network. Chester was shown on video telling an undercover Project Veritas reporter that CNN’s main focus was to help oust Trump from office through propaganda and that it purposely fearmongered about Covid-19 to boost ratings. He added that CNN also endeavored to make Black Lives Matter look good, a task made more difficult by the group’s conduct.

Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who helped break the Edward Snowden NSA scoops in 2013, said MSM outlets are able to “independently confirm” each other’s false reports because their meaning of “confirm” is misleading. Rather than confirming that a report is true, they merely get the same anonymous source to make the same false claims to them.

“It’d be one thing if this were some rare occurrence,” Greenwald said. “The opposite is true. Over and over and over, these same big corporate outlets purport to have ‘independently confirmed’ one another’s stories that turn out to be totally false. Is that trustworthy?”

May 3, 2021 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Leave a comment

CNN’s New “Reporter,” Natasha Bertrand, is a Deranged Conspiracy Theorist and Scandal-Plagued CIA Propagandist

CNN’s new national security reporter Natasha Bertrand, then of Politico and NBC News, with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Sept. 19, 2019
By Glenn Greenwald | April 27, 2021

The most important axiom for understanding how the U.S. corporate media functions is that there is never accountability for those who serve as propagandists for the U.S. security state. The opposite is true: the more aggressively and recklessly you spread CIA narratives or pro-war manipulation, the more rewarded you will be in that world.

The classic case is Jeffrey Goldberg, who wrote one of the most deceitful and destructive articles of his generation: a lengthy New Yorker article in May, 2002 — right as the propagandistic groundwork for the invasion of Iraq was being laid — that claimed Saddam Hussein had formed an alliance with Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. In February, 2003, on the eve of the invasion of Iraq, NPR host Robert Siegel devoted a long segment to this claim. When he asked Goldberg about “a man named Abu Musab al-Zarqawi,” Goldberg replied: “He is one of several men who might personify a link between Iraq and al-Qaeda.”

Needless to say, nothing could generate hatred for someone among the American population — just nine months away from the 9/11 attack — more than associating them with bin Laden. Five months after Goldberg’s New Yorker article, the U.S. Congress authorized the use of military force to impose regime change on Iraq; ten months later, the U.S. invaded Iraq; and by September, 2003, close to 70% of Americans believed the lie that Saddam had personally participated in the 9/11 attack.

Goldberg’s fabrication-driven article generated ample celebratory media attention and even prestigious journalism awards. It also led to great financial reward and career advancement. In 2007, The Atlantic‘s publisher David Bradley lured Goldberg away from The New Yorker by lavishing him with a huge signing bonus and even sent exotic horses to entertain Goldberg’s children. Goldberg is now the editor-in-chief of that magazine and thus one of the most influential figures in media. In other words, the person who wrote what is arguably the most disastrous article of that decade was one most rewarded by the industry — all because he served the aims of the U.S. security state and its war aims. That is how U.S. corporate journalism functions.

Another illustrative mascot for this lucrative career path is NBC’s national security correspondent Ken Dilanian. In 2014, his own former paper, The Los Angeles Times, acknowledged his “collaborative” relationship with the CIA. During his stint there, he mimicked false claims from John Brennan’s CIA that no innocent people were killed from a 2012 Obama drone strike, only for human rights groups and leaked documents to prove many were.

A FOIA request produced documents published by The Intercept in 2015 that showed Dilanian submitting his “reporting” to the CIA for approval in violation of The LA Times’ own ethical guidelines and then repeating what he was told to say. But again, serving the CIA even with false “reporting” and unethical behavior is a career benefit in corporate media, not an impediment, and Dilanian rapidly fell upward after these embarrassing revelations. He first went to Associated Press and then to NBC News, where he broadcast numerous false Russiagate scams including purporting to “independently confirm” CNN’s ultimately retracted bombshell that Donald Trump, Jr. obtained advance access to the 2016 WikiLeaks archive.

On Monday, CNN made clear that this dynamic still drives the corporate media world. The network proudly announced that it had hired Natasha Bertrand away from Politico. In doing so, they added to their stable of former CIA operatives, NSA spies, Pentagon Generals and FBI agents a reporter who has done as much as anyone, if not more so, to advance the scripts of those agencies.

Bertrand’s career began taking off when, while at Business Insider, she abandoned her obsession with Russia’s role in Syria in 2016 in order to monomaniacally fixate on every last conspiracy theory and gossip item that drove the Russiagate fraud during the 2016 campaign and then into the Trump presidency. Each month, Bertrand produced dozens of Russiagate articles for the site that were so unhinged that they made Rachel Maddow look sober, cautious and reliable.

In 2018, it was Jeffrey Goldberg himself — knowing a star CIA propagandist when he sees one — who gave Bertrand her first big break by hiring her away from Business Insider to cover Russiagate for The Atlantic. Shortly after, she joined the Queen of Russiagate conspiracies herself by becoming a national security analyst for MSNBC and NBC News. From there, it was onto Politico and now CNN : the ideal, rapid career climb that is the dream of every liberal security state servant calling themselves a journalist. Her final conspiratorial article for The Atlantic before moving to Politico is the perfect illustration of who and what she is:

CNN’s new national security star was no ordinary Russiagate fanatic. There was no conspiracy theory too unhinged or evidence-free for her to promote. As The Washington Post‘s media reporter Erik Wemple documented once the Steele Dossier was debunked, there was arguably nobody in media other than Rachel Maddow who promoted and ratified that hoax as aggressively, uncritically and persistently as Bertrand. She defended it even after the Mueller Report corroborated virtually none of its key claims.

In a February, 2020 article headlined “How Politico’s Natasha Bertrand bootstrapped dossier credulity into MSNBC gig,” Wemple described how she was rewarded over and over for “journalism” that would be regarded in any healthy profession with nothing but scorn:

Where there’s a report on Russian meddling, there’s an MSNBC segment waiting to be taped. Last Thursday night, MSNBC host Joy Reid — subbing for “All In” host Chris Hayes — turned to Politico national security reporter Natasha Bertrand with a question about whether Trump “wants” Russian meddling or whether he can’t accept that “foreign help is there.“ Bertrand responded: “We don’t have the reporting that suggests that the president has told aides, for example, that he really wants Russia to interfere because he thinks that it’s going to help him, right?”

No, we don’t have that reporting — though there’s no prohibition against fantasizing about it on national television. Such is the theme of Bertrand’s commentary during previous coverage of Russian interference, specifically the dossier of memos drawn up by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele. With winks and nods from MSNBC hosts, Bertrand heaped credibility on the dossier — which was published in full by BuzzFeed News in January 2017 — in repeated television appearances.

Wemple systematically reviewed the mountain of speculation, unproven conspiracies and outright falsehoods Bertrand shoveled to the public as she was repeatedly promoted. But it was the document that gave us deranged delusions about pee-pee tape blackmail and Michael Cohen’s trip to Prague that was her crown jewel: “The Bertrand highlight reel features a great deal of thumb-on-scale speculation regarding the dossier,” Wemple wrote.

And when information started being declassified that proved much of Bertrand’s claims about collusion to be a fraud, she complained that there was too much transparency, implying that the Trump administration was harming national security by allowing the public to know too much — namely, allowing the public to see that her reporting was a fraud. A journalist who complains about too much transparency is like a cardiologist who complains that a patient has stopped smoking cigarettes, or like a journalist who voluntarily rats out her own source to the FBI or who agitates for censorship of political speech: a walking negation of the professional values they are supposed to uphold. But that is Natasha Bertrand, and, to the extent that there are some people who still believe that working at CNN is desirable, she was just rewarded for it again yesterday — just as journalists who rat out their own sources to the FBI and advocate for internet censorship are now celebrated in today’s rotted media climate.

Bertrand’s trail of journalistic scandals and recklessness extend well beyond her Russiagate conspiracies. Last October, she published an article in Politico strongly implying that Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe was speaking without authorization or any evidence when he said Iran was attempting to undermine President Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign. But last month, the Biden administration declassified an intelligence report which said they had “high confidence” that Iran had done exactly what Ratcliffe alleged: namely, run an influence campaign to hurt Trump’s candidacy. A former national security official, Cliff Sims, said upon hearing of CNN’s hiring that he explicitly warned Bertrand’s editors that the story was false but they chose to publish it anyway.

It was also Bertrand who most effectively laundered the extremely significant CIA lie in October, 2020 that the documents obtained by The New York Post about the Biden family’s business dealings in China and Ukraine were “Russian disinformation.” Even though the John-Brennan-led former intelligence officials admitted from the start that they had no evidence for this claim, Bertrand not only amplified it but vouched for its credibility by writing that the Post‘s reporting “has drawn comparisons to 2016, when Russian hackers dumped troves of emails from Democrats onto the internet — producing few damaging revelations but fueling accusations of corruption by Trump” (that those 2016 DNC and Podesta documents produced “few damaging revelations” would come as a big surprise to the five DNC operatives, led by Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, who were forced to resign when their pro-Hillary cheating was revealed).

It was this Politico article by Bertrand that was then used by Facebook and Twitter to justify their joint censorship of the Post‘s reporting in the weeks before the 2020 election, and numerous media outlets — including The Intercept — gullibly told their readers to ignore the revelations on the ground that these authentic documents were “Russian disinformation.” Yet once it did its job of helping defeat Trump, that claim was debunked when even the intelligence community acknowledged it had no evidence of Russian involvement in the appearance of these materials, and Hunter Biden himself admitted he was the subject of a federal investigation for the transactions revealed by those documents.

Politico, Oct. 19, 2020

But even when her fantasies and conspiracies are debunked, Bertrand — like a good intelligence soldier — never cedes any ground in her propaganda campaigns. She was, needless to say, one of the journalists who most vocally promoted the CIA’s story — published as Trump was announcing his plans to withdraw from Afghanistan — that Russia had paid bounties to the Taliban for the death of U.S. soldiers. Yet even when the U.S. intelligence community under Joe Biden admitted last week that it has only “low to moderate” confidence that this even happened — with the NSA and other surveillance agencies saying it could find no evidence to corroborate the CIA’s story — she continued to insist that nothing had changed with the story, denying last week on a Mediaite podcast that anything had happened to cast doubt on the original story: “I think it’s much more nuanced than it being a walk-back. I don’t think that’s right actually.”

Even a cursory review of Bertrand’s prolific output reveals an endless array of gossip, conspiracy and speculative assertions masquerading as journalism. The commentator Luke Thomas detailed many of these transgressions on Monday and correctly observed that “arguably no single reporter has contributed more to the deranged and paranoid national security fantasies of the center-left than Natasha Bertrand. She’s an embarrassment to her profession and will, therefore, fit right in at CNN.”

As Thomas noted, beyond all of Bertrand’s well-documented and consequential propaganda, “she sees conspiracies and perfidiousness around every corner,” pointing to this demented yet highly viral tweet that deciphered comments from former Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) as inadvertently revealing some secret scheme to expand Trump’s pardon powers. That scheme, like most of her speculative predictions, never materialized.

Then there is her garden-variety ethical scandal. In January, freelancer Dean Sterling Jones accused Bertrand of stealing his work without credit or payment. In a post he published, Jones documented how he emailed Bertrand a draft with reporting he had been working on, and in response she agreed to report it jointly with him on a co-byline. Yet two weeks later, the article appeared in The Atlantic with Bertrand as the only named reporter. Only after Jones complained did they insert a sentence into the story begrudgingly citing him as a source. “By my count,” Jones wrote, “Bertrand’s article contains at least six unequivocal examples of direct copying and revisions of my work.” When he published his post detailing his accusations, Bertrand arrogantly refused even to provide comment to the freelancer whose work she pilfered.

Natasha Bertrand has spent the last five years working as a spokesperson for the alliance composed of the CIA and the Democratic Party, spreading every unvetted and unproven conspiracy theory about Russiagate that they fed her. The more loyally she performed that propagandistic function, the more rapidly she was promoted and rewarded. Now she arrives at her latest destination: CNN, not only Russiagate Central along with MSNBC but also the home to countless ex-operatives of the security state agencies on whose behalf Bertrand speaks.

Once again we see the two key truths of modern corporate journalism in the U.S. First, we have the Jeffrey Goldberg Principle: you can never go wrong, but only right, by disseminating lies and propaganda from the CIA. Second, the organs that spread the most disinformation and crave disinformation agents as their employees are the very same ones who demand censorship of the internet in the name of stopping disinformation.

I’ve long said that if you want to understand how to thrive in this part of the media world, you should study the career advancement of Jeffrey Goldberg, propelled by one reckless act after the next. But now the sequel to the Goldberg Rise is the thriving career of this new CNN reporter whose value as a CIA propagandist Goldberg, notably, was the first to spot and reward.

April 27, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Project Veritas Founder Sues Twitter After He Was Banned Amid Ongoing ‘Expose CNN’ Series

By Alexandra Kashirina – Sputnik – 20.04.2021

Earlier, Twitter permanently suspended the account of Project Veritas founder, James O’Keefe, as the watchdog continues to release its “Expose CNN” series, including the broadcaster’s director saying that the channel was using “propaganda”.

James O’Keefe, founder of Project Veritas, filed a defamation lawsuit against Twitter on Monday, denying platform accusations that he used false pages, considered in Twitter rules as a way to “artificially amplify or disrupt conversations.”

“This defamation action arises from Twitter’s false and defamatory April 15, 2021, statement concerning Twitter’s decision to ban Plaintiff James O’Keefe, an investigative journalist followed by over 926,000 Twitter users as of the time he was banned.”

“Twitter’s false claim that Mr. O’Keefe used ‘fake accounts’ on Twitter has caused Mr. O’Keefe damage and, unless retracted, will continue to cause him damage,” the lawsuit reads.

According to the lawsuit, “Twitter made such claims with knowledge of their falsity in order to distract and detract from Project Veritas’s CNN release of the same day.”

Last week, Twitter banned O’Keefe’s page after accusing O’Keefe of using “fake accounts.”

The ban came shortly after the release of a third Project Veritas revelation which included an interview with CNN technical director Charles Chester recorded clandestinely on a hidden camera. Chester claimed that the broadcaster was aiming to prevent former US President Donald Trump from being re-elected by focusing on negative news about him.

“Look what we did, we [CNN] got Trump out. I am 100% going to say it, and I 100% believe that if it wasn’t for CNN, I don’t know that Trump would have got voted out…I came to CNN because I wanted to be a part of that,” Chester appeared to say during a secretly recorded conversation with a Project Veritas journalist.

Chester also claimed that CNN was only covering US President Joe Biden in a favorable light and asserted that the network had assisted BLM the movement by concealing crimes committed by people of color.

The non-profit conservative outlet Project Veritas was founded in 2010 by O’Keefe and includes a group of journalists who focus on publishing investigative reports on officials they claim are liberal as well as various organizations, including big tech companies.

Project Veritas and the social media accounts of several of its employees have faced a number of bans regarding their reporting about Facebook, Twitter, Google and Pinterest.

April 20, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Media Lied Repeatedly About Officer Brian Sicknick’s Death. And They Just Got Caught.

Nancy Pelosi at a congressional tribute to the late Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick who lies in honor in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol on Feb. 3, 2021. (Photo by Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images)
By Glenn Greenwald | April 19, 2021

It was crucial for liberal sectors of the media to invent and disseminate a harrowing lie about how Officer Brian Sicknick died. That is because he is the only one they could claim was killed by pro-Trump protesters at the January 6 riot at the Capitol.

So The New York Times on January 8 published an emotionally gut-wrenching complete fiction that never had any evidence — that Officer Sicknick’s skull was savagely bashed in with a fire extinguisher by a pro-Trump mob until he died — and, just like the now-discredited Russian bounty story also unveiled by that same paper, cable outlets and other media platforms repeated this lie over and over in the most emotionally manipulative way possible. Just watch a part of what they did and how:

As I detailed over and over when examining this story, there were so many reasons to doubt this storyline from the start. Nobody on the record claimed it happened. The autopsy found no blunt trauma to the head. Sicknick’s own family kept urging the press to stop spreading this story because he called them the night of January 6 and told them he was fine — obviously inconsistent with the media’s claim that he died by having his skull bashed in — and his own mother kept saying that she believed he died of a stroke.

But the gruesome story of Sicknick’s “murder” was too valuable to allow any questioning. It was weaponized over and over to depict the pro-Trump mob not as just violent but barbaric and murderous, because if Sicknick weren’t murdered by them, then nobody was (without Sicknick, the only ones killed were four pro-Trump supporters: two who died of a heart attack, one from an amphetamine overdose, and the other, Ashli Babbitt, who was shot point blank in the neck by Capitol Police despite being unarmed). So crucial was this fairy tale about Sicknick that it made its way into the official record of President Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate, and they had Joe Biden himself recite from the script, even as clear facts mounted proving it was untrue.

Articles on this Substack, Feb. 16, 2021 and Mar. 5, 2021

Because of its centrality to the media narrative and agenda, anyone who tried to point out the serious factual deficiencies in this story — in other words, people trying to be journalists — were smeared by Democratic Party loyalists who pretend to be journalists as “Sicknick Truthers,” white nationalist sympathizers, and supporters of insurrection.

For the crime of trying to determine the factual truth of what happened, my character was constantly impugned by these propagandistic worms, as was anyone else’s who tried to tell the truth about Sicknick’s tragic death. Because one of the first people to highlight the journalistic truth here was former Trump official Darren Beattie of Revolver News and one of the few people on television willing to host doubts about the official story was Tucker Carlsonany doubts about the false Sicknick story — no matter how well-grounded in truth, facts, reason and evidence — were cast as fascism and white supremacy, and those raising questions smeared as “truthers”: the usual dreary liberal insults for trying to coerce people into submitting to their lies:

Because the truth usually prevails, at least ultimately, their lies, yet again, all came crashing down on their heads on Monday. The District of Columbia’s chief medical examiner earlier this morning issued his official ruling in the Sicknick case, and it was so definitive that The Washington Post — one of the media outlets that had pushed the multiple falsehoods — did not even bother to try to mask or mitigate the stark conclusion it revealed:

The first line tells much of the story: “Capitol Police officer Brian D. Sicknick suffered two strokes and died of natural causes a day after he confronted rioters at the Jan. 6 insurrection, the District’s chief medical examiner has ruled.” Using understatement, the paper added: “The ruling, released Monday, likely will make it difficult for prosecutors to pursue homicide charges in the officer’s death.”

This definitive finding from the medical examiner not only rids us of the Fire Extinguisher lie but also the second theory to which these media outlets resorted once they had to face the reality that they spent weeks spreading an outright lie (needless to say, they provided no real accountability or even acknowledgement for the fact that they did spread that Fire Extinguisher tale, instead just seamlessly moving to their next evidence-free claim). They changed their story to claim that pro-Trump protesters still murdered Sicknick, not with a fire extinguisher but with bear spray, which video shows at least one protester using in his vicinity.

Clockwise: Tweet of Associated Press, Jan. 29; Tweet of NBC’s Richard Engel, Jan. 9; Tweet of the Lincoln Project’s Fred Willman, Jan. 29; Tweet of The New York Times’ Nicholas Kirstof, Jan. 9

The problem with that theory is that bear spray is not usually fatal, and the medical examiner’s findings ruled out the possibility that this is what caused his death:

In an interview with The Washington Post, Francisco J. Diaz, the medical examiner, said the autopsy found no evidence the 42-year-old officer suffered an allergic reaction to chemical irritants, which Diaz said would have caused Sicknick’s throat to quickly seize. Diaz also said there was no evidence of internal or external injuries…

Diaz said Sicknick suffered two strokes at the base of the brain stem caused by a clot in an artery that supplies blood to that area of the body. Diaz said he could not comment on whether Sicknick had a preexisting medical condition, citing privacy laws.

So there goes that second fairy tale. The Post did note the medical examiner’s observation regarding Sicknick’s participation in defending the Capitol that day that “all that transpired played a role in his condition.” That of course is true: just as it is true for the two pro-Trump supporters who had heart attacks that day and the other pro-Trump supporter who died from too much amphetamine in her system, having a stressful encounter as a police officer likely played a role in why someone would have two strokes the following day. But police officers are trained for stressful encounters, and that obviously is a far cry from being able to claim that any pro-Trump supporter murdered Sicknick.

I’ll have much more on this story as it unfolds. A significant amount of media accountability is warranted. But you’re seeing why there is so much resentment and so many attacks on platforms like this one that permit journalists to report and analyze facts and dissect media narratives without being constrained by liberal orthodoxies and pieties and while remaining immune from liberal pressure tactics: it’s one of the few ways that real dissent to their lies and propaganda can be aired.

The New York Times, in a now-”updated” article, Jan. 8, 2021

Truth matters. Noble lies are never justified no matter the cause, especially in journalism. But these employees of corporate media outlets have been taught the exact opposite model: that their primary obligation is to please and flatter the partisan agenda and political sensibilities of their audience even if it means lying or recklessly spreading unproven theories to do it. That is their profit model. And they have trained their audiences to want and expect this and that is why they never feel compelled to engage in any self-critique or accountability when they get caught doing this: their audiences want to be lied to — they are grateful for it — and would prefer that they not admit they did it so that their partisan interests will not be undermined.

What is most depressing about this entire spectacle is that, this time, they exploited the tragic death of a young man to achieve their tawdry goals. They never cared in the slightest about Officer Brian Sicknick. They had just spent months glorifying a protest movement whose core view is that police officers are inherently racist and abusive. He had just become their toy, to be played with and exploited in order to depict the January 6 protest as a murderous orgy carried out by savages so primitive and inhuman that they were willing to fatally bash in the skull of a helpless person or spray them with deadly gases until they choked to death on their own lung fluids. None if it was true, but that did not matter — and it still does not to them — because truth, as always, has nothing to do with their actual function. If anything, truth is an impediment to it.

April 19, 2021 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 5 Comments

Overexposed Fauci has nothing to add to gun debate and his intervention is an insult to firearms victims

By Micah Curtis | RT | April 19, 2021

CNN’s invitation to Dr. Anthony Fauci to opine on whether gun violence is a health issue in the US was totally misplaced. He’s not qualified to comment, and after his performance on Covid, few will be prepared to listen anyway.

The president’s chief medical adviser has been the darling of the political left ever since Covid-19 changed our world. He has been pushed and promoted outside his normal sphere to the extent that he was even invited to talk at the Latin American Music Awards alongside Ricky Martin. Boy, do I wish I was kidding…

Now that he’s the poster boy for all things health-related in America, it was perhaps not surprising that he was asked to  appear on CNN’s State of the Union program for his opinions on whether or not gun violence is a health issue in America. But there’s a problem with that. Because Dr. Fauci is an immunologist, not a psychologist.

Sure, the good doctor has a right to his opinion. He gets to enjoy that right just as much as any other American. However, some opinions have more value than others. And in this particular case, I think that Fauci’s opinion is worthless. I have nothing personal against him, but I would much rather hear a psychologist discuss this particular topic. After all, there is always an individual or individuals behind the violence, and I think we need to know what goes into the decision-making process to compel someone to kill so many people with a gun.

Then again, I’m also cognizant enough to know that the left does not care at all whether or not Dr. Fauci is qualified to give his opinion. At the moment he is their go-to guy, as opposed to someone like Bill Nye. And, ultimately, the reason that Fauci is given airtime has nothing to do with his actual qualifications, but everything to do with the fact that he is to be used as a cudgel. The administration that he works for declared gun violence a public health epidemic earlier this month. So he is there to make it seem like its decision to make such a declaration is rooted in science.

It’s a rather cynical move, and one that clearly is not very well thought out. Trying to use an overexposed immunologist to push gun control is not exactly going to be something that resonates with a lot of people in America. Many are simply sick of seeing this guy everywhere, so there’s no way that they’ll listen to what he has to say with regard to what should be done with firearms.

Whichever way you look at it, Dr. Fauci is as qualified to comment on this as he is on how to repair a muffler on a semi truck, and everyone knows it. And what makes it even worse is that his contribution to the debate solves nothing.

Right now, Democrats simply do not have the numbers to push through an assault weapons ban on Capitol Hill. And no matter how much data is brought together to show how many people are killed by guns, there is an overarching issue that isn’t being addressed. And that is why people are pulling the trigger in the first place.

In my opinion, this is the question we should be striving to find the answer for. And our failure to do so makes the situation even worse and more depressing. It shows a lack of care for the people who are victims of gun violence, and a lack of desire to figure out what exactly drives people to do such things.

Whether it’s extreme mental duress or an actual mental illness, at some point our culture is going to have to figure out exactly what causes people to kill so freely if we ever want America to get better.

Parading Dr. Fauci around like a prize parrot is going to do nothing more than annoy people… while others lose their lives.

April 19, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | Leave a comment

Corrupted News Network CNN

By Stephen Lendman | April 18, 2021

Founded in 1980, the most distrusted name in television news CNN consistently features fake news and mass deception over the real thing it long ago banned on air.

Like other establishment media, it reports a daily drumbeat of utter rubbish — truth and full disclosure on major issues nowhere in sight.

Project Veritas (PV) caught CNN reporting bald-faced Big Lies earlier.

Last week, Twitter suspended the account of its founder James O’Keefe for exposing anti-Trump propaganda reports by CNN — falsely claiming he violated company rules.

PV’s undercover video caught CNN technical director Charlie Chester red-handed — boasting about his anti-Trump propaganda, saying:

“Look what we did. (CNN fake news) got Trump out (sic).”

“I am 100​ percent going to say it, and I 100​ percent believe that if it wasn’t for CNN, I don’t know that Trump would have got voted out (sic).”

“Our focus was to get Trump out of office, right? Without saying it, that’s what it was.”

He bragged about joining CNN to work on denying Trump a second term.

He also boasted about featuring (fake numbers of covid) deaths displayed at all times on CNN’s screen during broadcasts.

His aim was (and remains) all about boosting ratings by fear-mongering viewers to self-inflict harm by going along with government mandates and recommendations on all things seasonal flu-renamed covid.

He told an undercover PV reporter that “fear really drives numbers. (It) keeps them tuned in.”

Hyped covid related rubbish produced “gangbuster… ratings.”

“It’s why (CNN) constantly ha(s) the (covid) death toll on the side, which I have a major problem with, with how we’re tallying how many people die every day.”

Meaningless numbers are artificially inflated multiple times higher than reality.

CNN fake news artificially inflates them higher — for maximum fear-mongering effect.

Its viewers are too out-of-touch with real news and information to know they were willfully duped.

The same goes for other establishment media in cahoots with Big Government, Pharma and other monied interests.

Their mandate is all about proliferating fake news mass deception — CNN the worst of an on-air collective lying machine.

The same goes for the NYT in print.

CNN management mandates fake news about major issues, including about covid.

According to Chester, “(t)he special red phone rings and this producer picks it up.”

“You hear (murmurs) and every so often they put it on speaker, and it’s the head of the network being like, ‘There’s nothing that you’re doing right now that makes me want to stick.’ ”

Without mentioning WarnerMedia chairman Jeff Zooker by name, he quoted him, saying:

“Put the (fake covid death toll) numbers back up because that’s the most enticing thing that we had. So, put it back up.”

Virtually everything reported about all things covid since early last year was and continues to be willfully and maliciously fabricated.

It’s all about instituting and maintaining draconian control.

It’s part of Great Reset mass deception to create ruler/serf societies worldwide.

It’s about privileged interests owning everything, ordinary people nothing.

It’s about dystopian harshness replacing free and open societies.

It’s about government instituted/media supported tyrannical rule no one should tolerate anywhere.

April 18, 2021 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 2 Comments

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

By Glenn Greenwald | April 16, 2021

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

The saga began on June 26, 2020, when The New York Times announced that unnamed “American intelligence officials” have concluded that “a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan — including targeting American troops.” The paper called it “a significant and provocative escalation” by Russia. Though no evidence was ever presented to support the CIA’s claims — neither in that original story nor in any reporting since — most U.S. media outlets blindly believed it and spent weeks if not longer treating it as proven, highly significant truth. Leading politicians from both parties similarly used this emotional storyline to advance multiple agendas.

The story appeared — coincidentally or otherwise — just weeks after President Trump announced his plan to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2020. Pro-war members of Congress from both parties and liberal hawks in corporate media spent weeks weaponizing this story to accuse Trump of appeasing Putin by leaving Afghanistan and being too scared to punish the Kremlin. Cable outlets and the op-ed pages of The New York Times and Washington Post endlessly discussed the grave implications of this Russian treachery and debated which severe retaliation was needed. “This is as bad as it gets,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Then-candidate Joe Biden said Trump’s refusal to punish Russia and his casting doubt on the truth of the story was more proof that Trump’s “entire presidency has been a gift to Putin,” while Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) demanded that, in response, the U.S. put Russians and Afghans “in body bags.”

What was missing from this media orgy of indignation and militaristic demands for retaliation was an iota of questioning of whether the story was, in fact, true. All they had was an anonymous leak from “intelligence officials” — which The New York Times on Thursday admitted came from the CIA — but that was all they needed. That is because the vast majority of the corporate sector of the press lives under one overarching rule:

When the CIA or related security state agencies tell American journalists to believe something, we obey unquestioningly, and as a result, whatever assertions are spread by these agencies, no matter how bereft of evidence or shielded by accountability-free anonymity, they instantly transform, in our government-worshipping worldview, into a proven fact — gospel — never to be questioned but only affirmed and then repeated and spread as far and wide as possible.

That has been the dynamic driving the relationship between the corporate press and the CIA for decades, throughout the Cold War and then into the post-9/11 War on Terror and invasion of Iraq. But it has become so much more extreme in the Trump era. As the CIA became one of the leading anti-Trump #Resistance factions — a key player in domestic politics to subvert the presidency of the 45th President regarded by media figures as a Hitler-type menace — the bond between the corporate press and the intelligence community deepened more than ever. It is not an exaggeration to call it a merger: so much so that a parade of former security state officials from the CIA, NSA, FBI, DHS and others was hired by these news outlets to deliver the news. The partnership was no longer clandestine but official, out in the open, and proud.

In case anyone needs reminding, here’s a partial list of the ex-spooks who served as media figures in the Trump years:

John Brennan, James Clapper, Chuck Rosenberg, Michael Hayden, Frank Figliuzzi, Fran Townsend, Stephen Hall, Samantha Vinograd, Andrew McCabe, Josh Campbell, Asha Rangappa, Phil Mudd, James Gagliano, Jeremy Bash, Susan Hennessey, Ned Price, Rick Francona…

Also Michael Morell, John McLaughlin, John Sipher, Thomas Bossert, Clint Watts, James Baker, Mike Baker, Daniel Hoffman, Susan Rice, Ben Rhodes, David Preiss, Evelyn Farkas, Tony Blinken, Mike Rogers, “Alex Finley,” Malcolm Nance…

The first goal this story served was to weaponize it in the battle waged by pro-war House Democrats and their neocon GOP allies to stop Trump’s withdrawal plan from Afghanistan. How, they began demanding upon publication of the CIA/NYT story, can we possibly leave Afghanistan when the Russians are trying to kill our troops? Would that not be a reckless abdication to the Kremlin of this country that we own, and would withdrawal not be a reward to Putin after we learned he was engaged in such dastardly plotting to kill our sons and daughters?

In late June, this alliance of pro-war House Democrats — funded overwhelmingly by military contractors — and the Liz-Cheney-led neocon wing announced amendments to the military budget authorization process that would defund Trump’s efforts to withdraw troops from either Afghanistan or Germany (where they had been stationed for decades to defend Western Europe against a country, the Soviet Union, that ceased to exist decades ago). They instantly weaponized the NYT/CIA story as their primary argument.

The record-breaking $740 billion military budget was scheduled to be approved by the House Armed Services Committee in early July. In a joint statement with Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) on June 29 — the day the NYT story appeared — Liz Cheney proclaimed that “we remain concerned about Russian activity in Afghanistan, including reports that they have targeted U.S. forces.” One of the Democrats’ most pro-war House members, Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), announced on July 1 (three days after the NYT story) his own amendment to block any troop withdrawal from Germany, citing “increasing Russian aggression.”

On July 1 and 2, the House Armed Services Committee held its hearings and votes — I watched all fourteen hours and reported on it in a series of articles and a 90-minute video report — and it not only approved this massive military budget but also both amendments to bar troop withdrawal. Over and over, the union of pro-war Democrats and Cheney-led neocon Republicans steamrolled the anti-war faction of left-wing and right-wing war opponents (led by Congressmembers Ro Khanna (D-CA), Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and Matt Gaetz (R-FL)), and repeatedly used the Russia bounty story to justify continuation of the longest war in America’s history. This little speech from Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) was illustrative of how this CIA story was used all day:

The U.S. media was somehow more militaristic and blindly trusting about this CIA story than even this pro-war union of lawmakers. That the CIA’s leaked claim to The New York Times should even be questioned at all — given that it was leaked anonymously and was accompanied by exactly zero evidence — is not something that even crossed their journalistic minds.

These people who call themselves “journalists” do not view pronouncements from the U.S. security state as something that prompts skepticism let alone requires evidence before believing. The officials who run those agencies are their friends, partners and colleagues — those they most revere — and their every utterance is treated as Gospel. If — after watching them behave this way the last five years without pause — you think that is an exaggeration, watch this short video compilation produced by The Daily Caller to see for yourself how they instantly converted this CIA “Russia bounty” leak into proven fact that nobody, least of all them, should question:

As usual, the media figure most loudly and dramatically enshrining the CIA leak about Russia as Proven Truth was the undisputed Queen of demented conspiracy theories, jingoistic rhetoric, and CIA propaganda: MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.

Over and over, she devoted melodramatic segments to denouncing the unparalleled evil of Russian treachery in Afghanistan (because the U.S. would never pay bounties to kill Russian soldiers in Afghanistan), at no point pausing her histrionics for even a second or two to wonder whether evidence ought to be presented before telling the millions of #Resistance liberals who watch her show that she is vouching for the truth of this story.

Predictably, now that this CIA tale has served its purpose (namely, preventing Trump from leaving Afghanistan), and now that its enduring effects are impeding the Biden administration (which wants to leave Afghanistan and so needs to get rid of this story), the U.S. Government is now admitting that — surprise! — they had no convincing evidence for this story all along.

The Daily Beast on Thursday was the first to notice that “the Biden administration announced that U.S. intelligence only had ‘low to moderate’ confidence in the story after all.” The outlet added: “that means the intelligence agencies have found the story is, at best, unproven—and possibly untrue.” The Guardian also reported that “US intelligence agencies have only ‘low to moderate confidence’ in reports last year that Russian spies were offering Taliban militants in Afghanistan bounties for killing US soldiers.” NBC News went even further, citing Biden’s campaign attacks on Trump for failing to punish Putin for these bounties, and noting: “Such a definitive statement was questionable even then…. They still have not found any evidence, a senior defense official said Thursday.”

What made this admission particularly bizarre — aside from rendering weeks of decrees from media figures and politicians humiliatingly reckless and baseless — is that the Biden administration continued to assert this claim as truth as recently as Thursday. When announcing new sanctions aimed at Moscow and diplomatic expulsions of Russian diplomats — primarily in response to allegations of Russian hacking — the White House said “it was responding to reports that Russia encouraged Taliban fighters to injure or kill coalition forces in Afghanistan.” The official White House announcement of the retaliation said explicitly that “the Administration is responding to the reports that Russia encouraged Taliban attacks against U.S. and coalition personnel in Afghanistan based on the best assessments from the Intelligence Community (IC)” — a claim for which the IC itself admits it has only “low to moderate confidence” is even true.

When asked about this glaring contradiction yesterday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki gave an answer that barely rose to the level of cogency, yet she clearly admitted the lack of evidentiary basis for this long-standing CIA/media tale:

That there is no evidence for this media-laundered CIA story is not something we learned only yesterday. It has been obvious for many months. In September, NBC News — as Maddow was in the midst of her performative sadness and indignation over the story on its cable network — noted:

Two months after top Pentagon officials vowed to get to the bottom of whether the Russian government bribed the Taliban to kill American service members, the commander of troops in the region says a detailed review of all available intelligence has not been able to corroborate the existence of such a program.

“It just has not been proved to a level of certainty that satisfies me,” Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of the U.S. Central Command, told NBC News. McKenzie oversees U.S. troops in Afghanistan. The U.S. continues to hunt for new information on the matter, he said.

“We continue to look for that evidence,” the general said. “I just haven’t seen it yet.

That was what made the refusal to question this story all along so maddening. Not only was no evidence presented to support the CIA’s assertions — something that, by itself, should have prevented every real journalist from endorsing its truth — but commanders in Afghanistan were saying months ago they could not find convincing evidence for it. That is what The Daily Beast meant in Thursday’s report when it said “there were reasons to doubt the story from the start” — not just the lack of evidence but also that “the initial stories emphasize[d] its basis on detainee reporting” and “the bounties represented a qualitative shift in recent Russian engagements with Afghan insurgents.” NBC News on Thursday also said that “such a definitive statement was questionable even then.”

But these doubts were virtually non-existent in most media reports. Indeed, one of the New York Times reporters who broke the story publicly attacked me as a conspiracy theorist back in September when I cited that NBC News story about the lack of evidence while pointing out what a crucial role this uncorroborated story played in stopping troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and claiming Trump was beholden to Putin. And while The Daily Beast on Thursday said there were reasons to doubt the story from the start, that same outlet was one of the most vocal and aggressive in pushing the story as true:

Even worse, other media outlets — led by The Washington Post — purported to have “independently confirmed” the NYT/CIA tale of Russian bounties. Twice in the last year, I have written about this bizarre practice where media outlets purport to “independently confirm” one another’s false stories by doing nothing more than going to the same anonymous sources who whisper to them the same things while providing no evidence. Yet they use this phrase “independent confirmation” to purposely imply that they obtained separate evidence corroborating the truth of the original story:

For months, pro-war members of both parties and leading members of the NYT/CNN/MSNBC media axis pushed a story — an inflammatory, dangerous one — based on nothing more than the say-so of anonymous CIA operatives. How can anyone do this who knows even the bare minimum about what this agency does and what its function is: to spread disinformation not just to foreign countries but the domestic population as well? It is both mystifying and toxic. But for people who call themselves “journalists” to repeat, over and over, evidence-free CIA claims, telling those who trust them to believe it, is nothing short of repulsive.

If you think that, upon learning yesterday’s news, there was any self-reflection on the part of the media figures who spread this, or that they felt chastened about it in any way, you would be very, very wrong. In fact, not only did few if any admit error, but they did exactly the same thing on Thursday about a brand new evidence-free assertion from the U.S. Government concerning Russia: they mindlessly assumed it true and then stated it to millions of people as fact. They are not embarrassed to get caught spreading false CIA propaganda. They see their role, correctly, as doing exactly that.

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, run by Biden’s Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, issued a short Press Release about its targeting of Russian-Ukrainian political consultant, Konstantin Kilimnik, with new sanctions. One sentence of this press release asserted a claim that the Mueller investigation, after searching for eighteen months, never found: namely, that “Kilimnik provided the Russia intelligence services with sensitive information on polling and campaign strategy” that he received from then-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.

Is it true that Kilimnik passed this polling data to the Kremlin? Maybe. But there is no way for a rational person — let alone someone calling themselves a “journalist” — to conclude that it is true. Why? Because, like the CIA tale about Russian bounties — a claim they learned yesterday had no evidence — this is nothing more than a U.S. Government assertion that lacks any evidence.

Do you think journalists learned the lesson that they just had rubbed in their faces hours before about the foolishness of assuming official statements to be true with no evidence? Of course that is a rhetorical question: too many to count instantly proclaimed that this story was true without spending an ounce of mental energy to question if it was or apply any skepticism. Here’s Maddow’s MSNBC comrade showing how this is done:

Do you see what Hayes just did there? It is vital not to lose sight of how irresponsible and destructive this behavior is just because it is now so common. He saw a Press Release from a U.S. Government agency, read an assertion that it contained in one sentence, had no evidence that this assertion was true, but nonetheless “reported” it as if it were proven fact to millions of people in a predictably viral tweet.

Hayes was far from alone. I cannot count how many employees of corporate media outlets did the same: read the Treasury Department’s Press Release and, without pausing for a second, proclaimed it to be true. Indeed, the two MSNBC hosts who follow Hayes’s nightly news program explicitly described this evidence-free Press Release as “confirmation”— confirmation!

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell celebrating an evidence-free Treasury Department Press Release as “confirmation,” Apr. 15, 2021

Let’s set aside the absurdity of treating this as some shocking revelation even if it were true. Just like the oozing historical ignorance of pretending that there would be something astonishing about Russians paying for the killing of U.S. troops in Afghanistan when the CIA just last week explicitly boasted of having done the same to Russian soldiers in Afghanistan, what is this Treasury Press Release supposed to prove that is so breathtaking and scandalous: that the Kremlin could not possibly have obtained polling data about the U.S. electorate had Manafort not provided it to them? That they never would have known that Wisconsin and Pennsylvania were swing states without an elaborate plot of collusion to learn this from the Trump campaign?

But the far more important point is the U.S. media’s willingness — their subservient eagerness — to obediently treat U.S. government pronouncements as Truth. Just like with the Russia bounty story, where there were ample reasons to doubt it from the start, the same is true of this Treasury Press Release. To begin with, if this were such a smoking gun “confirming” collusion, why did the Mueller investigation after eighteen months of highly aggressive subpoena-driven investigative activity not discover it?

Let’s express this as clearly as it can be expressed. Any journalist who treats unverified stories from the CIA or other government agencies as true, without needing any evidence or applying any skepticism, is worthless. Actually, they are worse than worthless: they are toxic influences who deserve pure contempt. Every journalist knows that governments lie constantly and that it is a betrayal of their profession to serve as mindless mouthpieces for these security agencies: that is why they will vehemently deny they do this if you confront them with this accusation. They know it is a shameful thing to do.

But just look at what they are doing: exactly this. These are not journalists. They are obsequious spokespeople for the CIA and other official authorities. Even when they learn that they deceived millions of people by uncritically repeating a story that the CIA told them was true, they will — on the very same day that they learn they did this — do exactly the same thing, this time with a one-paragraph Treasury Department Press Release. These are agents of disinformation: state media. And when they speak, you should listen to them with the knowledge of what they really are, and treat them accordingly.

April 17, 2021 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CNN Exposed Admitting They Rig The News On COVID19!

Project Veritas – April 15, 2021

New Project Veritas video filmed undercover catches a top CNN executive admitting everything rigged to fool the public into compliance.

Snippets from the confession: “Listen to the way we ask questions… we tell the interviewee what to say” Regarding Covid-19: Why don’t you guys cover Covid-19 recovery rates?: ‘Recovery rates? Big pause as he’s unsure what that is.

April 15, 2021 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | Leave a comment

‘Our focus was to get Trump out of office’: CNN technical director admits network is ‘PROPAGANDA’

RT | April 13, 2021

An undercover video released by Project Veritas shows CNN technical director Charlie Chester revealing how the network purposefully painted Joe Biden in a positive light to get Donald Trump out of office.

In a conversation with a Project Veritas journalist, Chester can be seen on video admitting CNN worked to make Trump look “unfit for office,” while simultaneously portraying Biden as healthy to combat fears the 78-year-old was not up to holding the presidency.

“Look what we did, we [CNN] got Trump out. I am 100% going to say it, and I 100% believe that if it wasn’t for CNN, I don’t know that Trump would have got voted out…I came to CNN because I wanted to be a part of that,” Chester says in the video.

He also detailed bringing in “medical people” to tell a story that was “all speculation” about Trump’s hand shaking.

“We were creating a story there that we didn’t know anything about. That’s what – I think that’s propaganda,” he said.

Chester revealed the opposite was done for Biden during the 2020 presidential race.

“We would always show shots of him [Biden] jogging and that [he’s] healthy, you know, and him in aviator shades. Like you paint him as a young geriatric,” he said, saying the strategy was a “deflection” of his age and numerous public gaffes.

CNN ran numerous stories about Trump’s health during the presidential race, including one from Brian Stelter with a headline reading: ‘It’s now up to journalists to get to the truth about Trump’s health’.

Another from outspoken Trump critic Jim Acosta in October read: ‘Trump’s doctors paint a rosy – but vague – picture of his health during Covid-19 treatment’.

The CNN employee also claimed his network’s strategy as it moves away from Covid-19 coverage is to shift to a focus on climate change.

“It’s going to be our [CNN’s] focus. Like our focus was to get Trump out of office, right? Without saying it, that’s what it was, right? So, our next thing is going to be climate change awareness,” he said.

Chester added he doesn’t specifically know what that coverage looks like, but it will likely include fear-mongering videos of “the effects it’s having on the economy,” as well as “decline in ice” and “weather warming.”

Chester revealed the person deciding all of this slanted coverage is CNN head Jeff Zucker.

The network had not reacted to the video at the time of this article’s publication. However, a source close to CNN told Mediaite Chester was targeted through the dating app Tinder, which included the detail that he worked for the channel.

April 13, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 1 Comment

CNN Raises Eyebrows After Using Images of Ukrainian Tanks While Bashing Russia’s ‘War Preparations’

By Andrei Dergalin – Sputnik – 13.04.2021

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has delivered a sharp rebuke to CNN after the media outlet used a picture of Ukrainian tanks to illustrate an article about Russia’s purported war preparations.

“Dear CNN TV channel and its staff. We realize that you have no time for fact-checking, since you’re so immersed in ideological struggle for the triumph of liberalism,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “But to present Ukrainian tanks at a Ukrainian train station, with Ukrainian train carriages in the background, as Russia’s preparations for war is a bit too much.”

She also snarkily suggested that perhaps CNN correspondents in Moscow should devote more time to their professional duties rather than focus on participating in public life in Russia.

The CNN’s article in question was related to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s recent visit to Donbass, and featured a video depicting Ukrainian tanks on train carriages while the narrator speaks about a “dramatic buildup of Russian forces near the Ukrainian border” and about the emergence of cellphone footage of “military hardware being transported by rail”.

The video fragment with the tanks appeared strikingly similar to a video that emerged on social media earlier this month, which a number of uploaders described as Ukrainian tanks being shipped to Donbass.

The situation in Ukraine’s restive eastern Donbass region has deteriorated in the past few weeks, with Donetsk and Lugansk regional authorities and militia forces reporting an escalation of shelling attacks, bombings and sniper fire by Ukrainian forces.

Meanwhile, the US blamed Russia for allegedly stoking tensions in the region, and threatened to to respond to Russian “aggression”.

The armed conflict in eastern Ukraine broke out in 2014, shortly after the triumph of the Euromaidan coup in Kiev, when residents of the Donbass region refused to submit to the new authorities.

May be an image of train, railroad and text that says 'Y CNN'
May be an image of text that says 'CNN Live Ukraine's President heads to the trenches as Russia masses its troops EXCLUSIVE by Matthew Chance, CNN Updated 8:39 AM EDT, Mon April 12, 2021 r CNN On the front lines in eastern Ukraine(CNN)- Ankle-deep in thick black sludge, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky moves stealthily with his troops in single file through the warren of trenches and tunnels that form the tense front'

Ukraine’s colors visible no less

April 13, 2021 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 3 Comments

CNN.com Gaslights Readers on Failed Ocean Predictions – Now Claims Opposite

By James Taylor | ClimateRealism | March 2, 2021

Just one year after climate activists and their media allies spread fear with claims that global warming is causing the world’s ocean currents to speed up, CNN.com is now claiming the opposite – and claiming scientists predicted a slowing of ocean currents all along. CNN’s attempt at “Gaslighting” (a term derived from the 1944 movie Gaslight, in which a man attempts to convince his wife that she cannot believe her own memory) reveals the lack of honesty and lack of scientific basis for alarmist climate claims.

CNN published an article this morning titled, “The slowing down of ocean currents could have a devastating effect on our climate.” In the course of claiming all sorts of existential threats caused by slow ocean currents – including stronger hurricanes, heat waves, and sea-level rise – CNN asserted, “The slowdown of ocean circulation is directly caused by warming global temperatures and has been predicted by climate scientists.”

Except that “climate scientists” and the activist media were telling us exactly the opposite just one year ago.

On February 6, 2020, NASA published an article titled, “Arctic Ice Melt Is Changing Ocean Currents.” The article claimed global warming is speeding up ocean currents. According to the article, “A major ocean current in the Arctic is faster and more turbulent as a result of rapid sea ice melt, a new study from NASA shows. The current is part of a delicate Arctic environment that is now flooded with fresh water, an effect of human-caused climate change.”

On February 6, 2020, Scientific American published an article titled, “Ocean Currents Are Speeding Up, Driven by Faster Winds.” The article claims, “Climate change may in part be spurring the acceleration, which could change how heat and nutrients are pushed around the oceans.”

On February 5, 2020, Science magazine published an article titled, “Global warming is speeding up Earth’s massive ocean currents.” Quoting a scientist reviewing data on ocean-current speeds derived from instruments on Argo robotic floats, Science reported, “The evidence in the Argo data is absolutely astonishing,”

On February 6, 2020, the website Live Science published an article titled, “Ocean currents are getting faster.” The article claimed, “The change is driven by global warming and wind.”

To ensure the public was sufficiently aware and sufficiently alarmed about accelerating ocean currents, Washington Post climate change reporter Chris Mooney published a February 5, 2020, article titled, “World’s oceans are speeding up – another mega-scale consequence of climate change.” According to the article, “It’s the latest dramatic finding about the stark transformation of the global ocean — joining revelations about massive coral die-offs, upheaval to fisheries, ocean-driven melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, increasingly intense ocean heat waves and accelerating sea level rise. … This suggests the Earth might actually be more sensitive to climate change than our simulations can currently show.”

On February 11, 2020, NBC News published an article titled, “Climate change models predicted ocean currents would speed up – but not this soon.” According to the article, “Climate models had predicted that ocean circulation would accelerate with unmitigated climate change, but the changes had not been expected until much later this century … The disparity suggests that some climate models may underestimate the effects of global warming.”

Now, quickly and completely forget everything you just read. New data are destroying all those claims of climate change speeding up ocean currents. As CNN reports this morning, ocean currents now appear to be slowing down, not speeding up, due to global warming. And, remember, as CNN tells us, climate scientists predicted this all along.

March 2, 2021 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment

Even While It Was Happening, It Wasn’t Happening

Was there really such a year as 2020?

By Michael Lesher | OffGuardian | December 31, 2020

You know how it goes: if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, et cetera…?

Suppose an entire society goes to smithereens, while our media elites stubbornly refuse to notice. What then?

Suppose the reporters and the pundits and the “experts” ignore the coup that has trampled our basic freedoms since last March.

Suppose they all assure us that defending democracy is “anti-science,” and preach to us that civil rights (except for Black Lives Matter protests) are nothing but a “death cult.”

Suppose, after an “election” conducted mainly in the press, on the basis of a torrent of worthless propaganda, a notorious corporate whore is about to be installed in the White House as carnival-barker-in-chief for scantily-tested vaccines – drugs being peddled by a gang of profiteers who wouldn’t even make the stuff until they were promised complete legal immunity for whatever they do to their victims.

Well? Does the murder of our liberties even make a sound?

Was there really such a year as 2020?

In his Nobel Prize acceptance speech in 2005, the playwright Harold Pinter had this to say about every atrocity concealed by the Western press:

It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest.

And so much never happened this past year!

Four-fifths of the United States of America suspended democracy and declared the Bill of Rights obsolete. The United Kingdom unleashed a new sort of “police” – faces masked, truncheons in their paws – to maul peaceful protesters for the crime of breathing. In parts of Australia, it became a criminal offense to tell other people the time and place of a political demonstration. Germany outlawed political protest.

But none of that happened. It wasn’t reported in the mainstream press. It was of no interest.

In just over nine months, economies in once-wealthy countries were reduced to ruin. Social media reeled under systematic thought-policing. Following a wave of “executive orders” that shuttered small businesses across the United States, an unprecedented number of Americans began to steal food to survive. In the U.K., UNICEF is distributing food to hungry children for the first time in more than 70 years. Around the world, people in need still can’t get medical treatment. Cultural institutions have been shattered. The performing arts have been banned. Singing was deemed a public health risk.

It didn’t matter.

This year, for the first time in history, more than 40 governors in the U.S. awarded themselves quasi-dictatorial powers – on the strength of laws hastily designed less than 20 years ago for massive bioterrorism attacks, pressed into service to counter a medical “emergency” that was never an emergency. By the end of 2020, most of the American population was still living under dictatorial rule.

That was of no interest.

Huge numbers of people, in Europe as in America, were placed (without a court order) under virtual house arrest. This was called a protective measure – and it was reported as such, though the practice violated civil-rights rulings going back nearly a century. Tens of millions of people saw their livelihoods snatched from them by officials they never even had the opportunity to confront.

Yes, a handful of states that did not imprison their populations or wreck their economies claimed to have medical results as good as – if not better than – neighboring states that did both. Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson went so far as to assert all this on May 5 in the editorial pages of the Washington Post, a main purveyor of coronavirus propaganda. But those claims were never investigated in the mainstream press. They didn’t matter.

Now the mega-corporations that supported the “lockdowns” are sucking the life out of the small-business economy that was once the mainstay of the free world. For restaurants, the picture is so bleak that chef and author Edward Lee calls it “the end of the independent restaurant era,” and warns that…

we will lose the culture of all of our American cities…. [W]e will become a nation of corporate chain restaurants that will look and taste the same in every city.

Culture is under attack from other directions as well. London’s theatres, heirs to one of the proudest dramatic traditions in the world, are closed for the first time in modern history – and whether they will ever open again depends upon the whims of politicians. Musicians and other artists have been devastated by “social distancing” rules that never made any sense and have never been obeyed by the powerful.

That doesn’t matter, either.

In respectable society, it can’t even be talked about.

The U.K. Labour Party’s Angela Rayner – last seen threatening to expel “thousands and thousands” of members who don’t think their country should be governed by Israel – is now grousing that…

[o]ur children should not have to rely on humanitarian charities that are used to operating in war zones and in response to natural disasters.

You’d never guess that the self-righteous Rayner actually supported the economy-wrecking madness that caused this deepening poverty – in fact, back in May, she wanted even stricter police-state tactics than those the government imposed.

Governments lied to us throughout the year about the nature of the medical threat we faced, about what they planned to do about it, and about what it was going to cost us.

Formerly-esteemed scientists tried to tell us that the hype made no sense. “We’re falling into a trap of sensationalism,” Stanford University’s John Ioannidis said as early as March 23. “We have gone into a complete panic state.” The interview containing those comments was soon banned by Youtube, even though Ioannidis is universally recognized as “one of the world’s foremost epidemiologists.”

Prominent scientists who signed the Great Barrington Declaration suffered a similar fate, smeared as fringe elements promoting “craven lunacy” and a “brutal” attempt to “let people die” – in other words, as Nazis.

But that wasn’t name-calling. And it wasn’t censorship, either – even though Reddit’s moderators promptly banned the Declaration. Such facts mustn’t be mentioned. Breathe the word “censorship” and you’re a right-wing fanatic.

Speaking of fanaticism, though: an 18-year-old American college student is behind bars at this moment in the Cayman Islands. Her crime? Watching – by herself – as her boyfriend competed in his last jet-skiing race of the year, after she had received not one but two negative tests for COVID19. It seems other people attending the race snitched on the woman, resulting in a four-month prison sentence for cutting short a fourteen-day “quarantine” – one that was issued without a court order, of course.

Once upon a time, we would have called those snitches “collaborators,” if not “heartless fanatics.” Now their actions are praised by newspapers and prosecutors alike: after all, they were protecting the public “health” by putting a young woman in prison.

New vaccines for COVID19 are another way of protecting the public health, of course – they have nothing whatsoever to do with the billions of dollars pharmaceuticals companies are likely to make from selling them.

Never mind that the Food and Drug Administration had to short-circuit its own rules in order to authorize their use. Never mind that the manufacturers had to be promised that “for the next four years, [they] cannot be sued for money damages in court over injuries related to the administration or use” of their new vaccines – a blanket legal immunity that is “very rare,” according to a prominent labor attorney. (Oh, and you can’t sue the FDA either.)

None of that matters. None of that is of interest.

That’s why CNN’s “political analyst,” Joe Lockhart, could recently insist that the government ought to prevent Tucker Carlson from stating inconvenient facts about those vaccines on his Fox News program. The First Amendment doesn’t matter any more, you see. Joe Lockhart says so. He’s a representative of a press outlet calling for government censorship of another press outlet – for expressing an opinion he doesn’t agree with.

And? Has anyone in the “free press” complained about Lockhart’s breathtaking treachery – attacking the Constitution’s press protections while handing over a colleague to the Thought Police? Not as far as I know.

Because, you see, none of it happened.

Just like the rest of the coronavirus coup. Even while it was happening, it wasn’t happening.

It didn’t matter that all the recent hysteria about COVID19 “cases” was based on the results of a manifestly unreliable testing procedure. It didn’t matter that inexpensive and effective treatment for the disease may already be available, with no serious side effects, from drugs like ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine. When the highly-credentialed Dr. Pierre Kory tried to interest Congress in the use of these medications – from which no one stands to benefit except those suffering the worst cases of COVID19 – he was the target of an astonishing smear by the ranking Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security Committee.

That was typical of official reaction, though: after a group of physicians announced the promising results of the same drugs on December 4…

no major U.S. media outlets reported [their] pleas for help from the federal government to act… Nor did any representative from the CDC, the NIH or the World Health organization contact them,

… according to one of the rare alternative news sources that bothered to report the story.

So the unproven vaccines will roll out everywhere; Big Pharma will get even richer; poor people will be allowed to die. As manufactured claims of rising “case” numbers stoke renewed hysteria, government after government will subject its citizens to further mass house arrests, even though the experience of Belarus – which did not impose “lockdowns” – strongly suggests that the mass-incarceration strategy does more harm than good.

To those in power, all this is of no interest. It didn’t matter. It never happened.

And to the rest of us?

That will depend, I suppose, on the steadfastness of people who care more about the truth than about conformity.

Those for whom words still have meaning, and facts still matter.

Those who are not ashamed to touch, nor afraid to stand up.

Those who will not swallow lies nor ingest a fraud.

Those to whom the word “freedom” isn’t an insult.

Those are the ones who have truly survived the ghastly year 2020 – and on whom our future depends.

Michael Lesher is an author, poet and lawyer whose legal work is mostly dedicated to issues connected with domestic abuse and child sexual abuse. His book Sexual Abuse, Shonda and Concealment in Orthodox Jewish Communities (McFarland & Co., 2014) was the first to focus on sex abuse cover-ups among Orthodox Jews; his first collection of poetry, Surfaces, was published by The High Window in 2019. He is also the author of a memoir of his discovery of Orthodox Judaism as an adult – Turning Back: The Personal Journey of a “Born-Again” Jew – published by Lincoln Square Books.

January 1, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , | 2 Comments