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Poynter retracts list of ‘unreliable news sources’ after listed sites prove it to be unreliable

By Helen Buyniski | RT | May 3, 2019

Journalism nonprofit Poynter has retracted a long list of supposedly unreliable news websites, admitting the list itself was unreliable – a fact ironically brought to its attention by several of the outlets it calls untrustworthy.

“We regret that we failed to ensure that the data was rigorous before publication, and apologize for the confusion and agitation caused by its publication,” Poynter’s managing director Barbara Allen wrote after removing the list from its website. Allen notably didn’t apologize for compiling the list in the first place, and it is unlikely we’ve heard the last of Poynter’s unreliability index, given that mainstream media gatekeepers have been trying to convince the public it needs an exalted class of media-whisperers to interpret the news for years.

Before deleting entirely, Poynter apologized to the Washington Examiner and FirstPost, two of several sites included on the blacklist who politely inquired as to why they’d been included. Baybars Orsek even told the Examiner that “the total number of complaints is less than 2 percent of the whole database.” By Thursday night, however, the page had vanished, and “inconsistencies between the findings of the original databases… and our own rendering” were blamed, with a promise that a “more consistent and rigorous set of criteria” was on its way. We can hardly wait!

RT made the “unreliable” list, hardly a surprise given the notable bias of neocon-affiliated “fact-checkers” like the folks at NewsGuard, but the other 515 sites held a few surprises. In addition to about 30 well-known conservative outlets like the Daily Caller (“bias,” “clickbait”) and Drudge Report (“bias”), popular progressive pages like Common Dreams (“clickbait”) and Activist Post (“conspiracy,” “unreliable”) are listed side by side with apolitical platforms like Liveleak (“fake”) among the obvious fakes (including joke sites like Clickhole and Reductress ). The list thus appears to be a PropOrNot-style “wrongthink”-tracker designed to tar legitimate dissent and other inconvenient voices with the ‘fake news’ brush.

Poynter apparently doesn’t think much of its audience’s intelligence, as the list included “satire” among the otherwise somewhat interchangeable terms it used to smear included sites – “bias,” “unreliable,” “fake,” “clickbait,” and “conspiracy.” Never mind that some conspiracies are real – Watergate, anyone? – or that their definition of “clickbait” would condemn most of the internet (“sources that provide generally credible content, but use exaggerated, misleading, or questionable headlines, social media descriptions, and/or images”). Blacklisting “satire” because you assume readers are too dim to “get it” enshrines the lowest common denominator in the driver’s seat.

The blacklist was supposedly “built from pre-existing databases compiled by journalists, fact-checkers and researchers around the country,” though Poynter admits that more than half the domains in those databases were no longer active as of November 2018. Most of the data came from OpenSources, a database run by Merrimack University’s Melissa Zimdars, whose academic work, as Breitbart (“bias, unreliable”) noted, centers almost exclusively on obesity (“Watching Our Weights: The Consequences and Contradictions of Televising Fatness in the ‘Obesity Epidemic’”), despite her self-styled credentials as a ‘fake news’ analyst.

The absence of any mainstream voices from the list despite numerous instances of fake stories parading across their pages just in recent months – Covington Catholic students harassing peaceful protesters, the hate crime against Jussie Smollett, Maduro’s government burning humanitarian aid, Donald Trump’s campaign colluding with the Russians – says all that is necessary about the real purpose of Poynter’s list, which is less about protecting readers from fake news than protecting readers from dissenting views.

May 3, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | Leave a comment

Foxes Guard Facebook Henhouse

By F. William Engdahl – New Eastern Outlook – 22.12.2016

The latest mantra of CIA-linked media since the “Pizzagate” leaks of data alleging that Hillary Clinton Campaign Manager John Podesta and other highly influential political persons in Washington were connected to an unusual pizza place near the White House run by a 41-year old James Achilles Alefantis called Comet Ping Pong, is the need to crack down (i.e. censorship) on what is being called “Fake News.” The latest step in this internet censorship drive is a decision by the murky social media organization called Facebook to hire special organizations to determine if Facebook messages are pushing Fake News or not. Now it comes out that the “fact check” private organizations used by Facebook are tied to the CIA and CIA-related NGO’s including George Soros’ Open Society Foundations.

In the last weeks of the US Presidential campaign, Wikileaks released a huge number of emails linked to Clinton Campaign Manager, John Podesta. The contents of thousands of emails revealed detailed exchanges between Podesta and the oddly-influential Comet Ping Pong pizza place owner, Alefantis, as well as the Clinton campaign, which held fundraisers at Comet Ping Pong.

The Pizzagate scandal exploded in the final weeks of the US campaign as teams of private researchers documented and posted Facebook, Instagram and other data suggesting that Alefantis and Comet Ping Pong were at the heart of a pedophilia ring that implicated some of the most prominent politicians in Washington and beyond.

The New York Times and Washington Post moved swiftly to assert that the Pizzagate revelations were Fake News, quoting “anonymous sources” who supposedly said the CIA “believed” Russia was behind hackers who exposed emails and documents from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta. Former NSA senior intelligence expert William Binney claimed the Podesta and Clinton campaign data were leaked, not hacked. The NSA, he pointed out, would immediately identify a hack, especially a foreign hack, and they have remained silent.

The uncovering and release to Wikileaks of the Podesta emails were immediately blamed on Russian intelligence by the CIA, and now by the US President, with not a shred of proof, and despite the fact that NSA. Wikipedia, whose content is often manipulated by US intelligence agencies, rapidly posted a page with the curious title, “Pizzagate (Conspiracy Theory).”

To make certain the neutral interested reader gets the message, the first line reads, “Pizzagate is a debunked conspiracy theory which emerged during the 2016 United States presidential election cycle, alleging that John Podesta’s emails, which were leaked by WikiLeaks, contain coded messages referring to human trafficking, and connecting a number of pizzerias in Washington, D.C. and members of the Democratic Party to a child-sex ring.”

‘Fake News’ Mantra Begins

My purpose in mentioning Pizzagate details is not to demonstrate the authenticity of the Pizzagate allegations. That others are doing with far more resources. Rather, it is to point out the time synchronicity of the explosive Pizzagate email releases by Julian Assange’s Wikileaks web blog, with the launch of a massive mainstream media and political campaign against what is now being called “Fake News.”

The cited New York Times article that Wikipedia cites as “debunking” the Pizzagate allegations states, “None of it was true. While Mr. Alefantis has some prominent Democratic friends in Washington and was a supporter of Mrs. Clinton, he has never met her, does not sell or abuse children, and is not being investigated by law enforcement for any of these claims. He and his 40 employees had unwittingly become real people caught in the middle of a storm of fake news.” The article contains not one concrete proof that the allegations are false, merely quoting Alefantis as the poor victim of malicious Fake News.

That New York Times story was accompanied by a series of articles such as “How Fake News Goes Viral: A Case Study.” Another headline reads, “Obama, With Angela Merkel in Berlin, Assails Spread of Fake News.” Then on November 19, strong Clinton supporter, Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg is quoted in a prominent article titled, “Facebook Considering Ways to Combat Fake News, Mark Zuckerberg Says.”

Facebook uses CIA Censors

Zuckerberg, CEO and founder of the world-leading social media site, Facebook.com, the world’s 5th wealthiest man at an estimated $50 billion, has now established a network of “Third Party Fact Checkers” whose job is to red flag any Facebook message of the estimated one billion people using the site, with a prominent warning that reads, “Disputed by Third-Party Fact Checkers.”

Facebook has announced that it is taking its censorship ques from something called The International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN). This IFCN, a new creation, has drafted a code of five principles for news websites to accept, and Facebook will work with “third-party fact checking organizations” that are signatories to that code of principles.

If we search under the name International Fact-Checking Network, we find ourselves at the homepage of something called the Poynter Institute for Media Studies in St. Petersburg, Florida.

OK. If we look a bit deeper we find that the Poynter Institute’s International Fact-Checking Network in turn, as its website states, gets money from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google, the National Endowment for Democracy, the Omidyar Network, the Open Society Foundations of George Soros.

Oh my, oh my! Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation who partners with Soros in numerous nasty projects such as convincing African countries to accept Genetically Modified or GMO seeds? Google, whose origins date back to funding by the CIA and NSA as what intelligence researcher Nafeez Ahmed describes as a “plethora of private sector start-ups co-opted by US intelligence to retain ‘information superiority‘ “?

The Omidyar Foundation is the foundation of eBay founder and multi billionaire, Pierre Omidyar, which finances among other projects the online digital publication, The Intercept, launched in 2014 by Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Jeremy Scahill.

And the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the US Government-financed “private” NGO behind every Color Revolution CIA regime change from the Ukraine Color Revolutions to the Arab Spring? The NED was a CIA project created in the 1980’s during the Reagan Administration as part of privatizing US intelligence dirty operations, to do, as Allen Weinstein, who drafted the Congressional legislation to establish the NED, noted in a candid 1991 Washington Post interview, “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.”

And if we dig even deeper we find, lo and behold, the name George Soros, convicted hedge fund insider trader, tax-exempt philanthropist and giga-billionaire who seems to fund not only Hillary Clinton and virtually every CIA and US State Department Color Revolution from Russia to China to Iran through his network of Open Society Foundations including the 1990’s Jeffrey Sachs Shock Therapy plunder of Russia and most of former Communist East Europe.

Another one of the media working with Zuckerberg’s Facebook censorship of Fake News is the Washington Post, today owned by Amazon billionaire founder Jeff Bezos. Bezos is a major media business partner of…. The US Central Intelligence Agency, a fact he omitted to inform about after taking over ownership of the most important newspaper in Washington.

Bezos’ Washington Post recently published a bizarre list of 200 websites it claimed generated Fake News. It refused to identify who gave them the list. Veteran Washington investigative reporter, Wayne Madsen, exposed the source of the McCarthy-style taboo list of so-called Fake News. It was a “website called PropOrNot.com that has links to the CIA and George Soros.”

It’s not merely the Pizzagate revelations that have triggered such a massive attack on independent Internet websites. It seems that back in January 2014 at the Davos World Economic Forum control of information on the Internet was a top item of discussion. At the time, Madsen noted, “With the impending demise of World Wide Web ‘net neutrality,’ which has afforded equal access for website operators to the Internet, the one percent of billionaire investors are busy positioning themselves to take over total control of news reporting on the Internet.”

It’s not even the foxes who are guarding the Internet Henhouse. It’s the werewolves of CIA and US Government censorship. Whether the explosive Pizzagate Podesta revelations merely triggered a dramatic acceleration in the timetable for the CIA’s planned “Fake News” operation as the successor to their 1980’s “Conspiracy Theory” linguistic discrediting operation, it’s clear this is no unbiased, objective, transparent public service to protect the Internet public from harmful content.

And, besides, who are they to tell me or you what you are allowed to read, digest and form your independent ideas about? This is a 21st Century reincarnation of the Spanish Inquisition, one by the real fake newsmakers–Washington Post, AP, ABCNews, Snopes.com, FactCheck.org, the CIA and friends. I would say it’s an alarming development of cyber warfare, not by Russia, but by those CIA-run networks that are fomenting Fake News to demonize any and everyone who opposes Washington intelligence propaganda.

December 22, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Fake News, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments