Category Archives: Media

The hypnotic effects of news intros have lulled us into wars, complacency, and worse

For the last 30 or so years, it has not mattered whether you tune into the televised news in Kansas City or Khartoum or Denver or Dar es Salaam, a few seconds of viewing and hearing news introductions have had the same effect: you are mesmerized by techniques developed by psychiatrists, psychologists, and psychological warfare experts to keep your attention and lure you into the trance-like state. Once you are hypnotized, you will have the tendency to believe whatever is being transmitted to you by news readers who are merely following what they are seeing on teleprompters. Continue reading

The media bias no one is talking about

The mainstream media have historically tried to balance left and right in their political coverage, and present what it views as a reasonable center. Continue reading

WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange and free press setback

It is imperative that everyone who understands the need for a free press, the people’s fundamental-democratic right to know, must act to defend Julian Assange.

Julian Assange, WikiLeaks founder, is in greater danger of being extradited to the United States for publishing its crimes, and those of many other countries’ governments. Continue reading

Further blow to press freedoms as US wins appeal in effort to extradite Julian Assange

"This disingenuous appeal should be dismissed by the court and President Biden should take the opportunity to drop these politically motivated charges."

As Britain’s High Court on Wednesday handed the United States a win in its bid to extradite Julian Assange, press freedom and other human rights defenders renewed calls for the Biden administration to drop all charges against the WikiLeaks founder. Continue reading

How media consolidation endangers our health amid pandemic

The FCC has allowed local stations nationwide to become overrun by corporate giants that have little interest in vetting the syndicated disinformation they pump out over our airwaves. Continue reading

Readers didn’t give up on local news. Corporations did.

Corporations gutted local newspapers and then wondered why people stopped buying them.

Mega-investor Warren Buffett once held a big portfolio of daily and weekly newspapers. Continue reading

Just do it, PBS: Carry the January 6 insurrection hearings in prime time

Throw away the regular nighttime schedule and let every American see the truth.

There’s an argument to be made that President Richard Nixon’s downfall in 1974 wasn’t only because his illegal behavior was called out by intrepid journalists and prosecuted by Congress and the Supreme Court. Another important factor was the role of public broadcasting. Continue reading

US/UK dark forces want Julian Assange dead from medical neglect and slow torture

Along with complicit establishment media, US/UK regimes want Julian Assange silenced by death behind bars. Continue reading

Saagar Enjeti: The pseudo-populist mainlining neocon ideas into progressive politics

While he is undeniably a charismatic and confident host, Saagar Enjeti’s schtick is remarkably similar to that of his former employer Tucker Carlson, who also rails against elites while being one of them.

WASHINGTON—Saagar Enjeti and Krystal Ball are the new king and queen of alternative media. After having just quit The Hill to go fully independent, their new show “Breaking Points” immediately debuted at number one in the global politics podcast charts, comfortably overtaking well-established brands like “Pod Save America” and “The Ben Shapiro Show.” They even received the ultimate plug with an appearance on and an endorsement from Joe Rogan, a veritable blessing from the pope of pop culture. Continue reading

No escaping in the American Rockies

As the country continued to spiral out of control with a pretend president whose election is as illegitimate as he is unhinged and with the uncertainty of national collapse only a matter of timing, retreat into the idyllic American Rockies in the hopes of escaping the tyranny threatening the rest of the country has provided little satisfaction. Continue reading

Key witness admits lying about Julian Assange, a major blow to U.S. extradition case, yet Western media ignores this development

Former WikiLeaks volunteer, who became an FBI informant for $5,000, says he fabricated important parts of the accusations in the U.S. indictment.

Conclusive evidence: Julian Assange committed no crime of hacking or seeking access to telephone recordings of Icelandic MPs. This revelation comes from the witness who lied about that, in order to please the United States prosecution against the publisher in the extradition trial, in London, last summer. Key witness in Assange case admits to lies in indictment–Stundin Continue reading

The horrifying rise of total mass media blackouts on inconvenient news stories

Two different media watchdog outlets, Media Lens and Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR), have published articles on the complete blackout in mainstream news institutions on the revelation by Icelandic newspaper Stundin that a US superseding indictment in the case against Julian Assange was based on false testimony from diagnosed sociopath and convicted child molester Sigurdur Thordarson. Continue reading

The weird, creepy media blackout on recent Assange revelations

As of this writing, it has been three days since the Icelandic newspaper Stundin broke the story that a key witness in the US government’s case against Julian Assange had fabricated allegations against the WikiLeaks founder. And yet, somehow, Assange is still in prison. Continue reading

Biden’s hypocrisy on press freedom

President Biden condemned China on June 24 for exerting pressure on Hong Kong to close down the special region’s only remaining pro-democracy newspaper, Apple Daily. Biden said, “It is a sad day for media freedom in Hong Kong and around the world,”adding, “through arrests, threats, and forcing through a National Security Law that penalizes free speech, Beijing has insisted on wielding its power to suppress independent media and silence dissenting views.” Continue reading

Freedom Rider: Biden, Putin and the press

The corporate media claim that President Biden went easy on Vladimir Putin outside the G7 meeting, but that’s only because Biden preferred to sic the imperial press hounds on the Russian president. Continue reading

With Bezos at the helm, democracy dies at the Washington Post editorial board

In the Soviet Union, everybody was aware that the media was controlled by the state. But in a corporate state like the U.S., a veneer of independence is still maintained, although trust in the media has been plummeting for years.

WASHINGTON—The Washington Post’s glaring conflicts of interest have of late once again been the subject of scrutiny online, thanks to a new article denouncing a supposed attempt to “soak” billionaires in taxes. Written by star columnist Megan McArdle—who previously argued that Walmart’s wages are too high, that there is nothing wrong with Google’s monopoly, and that the Grenfell Fire was a price worth paying for cheaper buildings—the article claimed that Americans have such class envy that the government would “destroy [billionaires’] fortunes so that the rest of us don’t have to look at them.” Notably, the Post chose to illustrate it with a picture of its owner, Jeff Bezos, making it seem as if it was directly defending his power and wealth, something they have been accused of on more than one occasion. Continue reading

Reporters do a better job when they do not ignore civic groups

Connecting the civic community with the mainstream media is no minor endeavor. Historically, this connection has been essential to a functioning democracy. The citizenry is the taproot of democracy and a key source for journalists’ declared function of informing the people. Continue reading

Think tank wars and the enforcement of thought crime laws

For those who believe that freedom of the press exists in the United States, here’s a news bulletin: Those days are long over!

The United States, Russia, Britain, and other countries are waging a war that pits think tank against think tank and criminalizes ideas and opinions. That war heated up on April 15 when the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposed financial sanctions on the Moscow-based think tank, Strategic Culture Foundation (SCF), for whom I have written for over ten years. OFAC alleged, without much in the way of any hard evidence, that SCF was an arm of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, the SVR. Treasury’s sanctions came after a 2020 State Department Global Engagement Center (GEC) report that illustrated the opinions being expressed by SCF and other Russian think tanks and news organizations as similar to Covid-19 virus microbes. In any event, I’ve been compared to worse than a Covid microbe. Continue reading

They’re not conservatives, they’re extremists

By mislabeling the radical members of the Republican Party "conservative," the mainstream media gives them a veneer of respectability.

The House Freedom Caucus is routinely described as conservative, by its members, by the mainstream media, by Wikipedia. The caucus, which draws together 45 Republican Party members of the House of Representatives, is the furthest to the right of any major political formation in the United States. The most extreme and flamboyant politicians in America, like scandal-plagued Matt Gaetz of Florida and gun-toting Lauren Boebert of Colorado, are proud to call the Caucus their political home. Even Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, after threatening to form an explicitly racist America First caucus, chose ultimately to continue promoting her nativist, QAnon-inspired beliefs from within the Freedom Caucus. Continue reading

Why Israel blows up media offices and targets journalists

The Israeli government is now exerting deadly force on a large scale to underscore an assertion of impunity—in effect, wielding power to subjugate Palestinian people with methodical disregard for their basic human rights.

Israel’s missile attack on media offices in Gaza City last weekend was successful. A gratifying response came quickly from the head of The Associated Press, which had a bureau in the building for 15 years: “The world will know less about what is happening in Gaza because of what happened today.” Continue reading

The greatest knowledge we can bestow on our youth

The most important thing one may know, in order to function with minimal comprehension amidst the constant shot and shell of contemporary misinformation, is that mainstream media are controlled. Continue reading

‘Terrible news’: Tribune shareholders approve $633 million sale to vulture fund Alden Global

A union leader had urged the newspaper company's second-largest shareholder to vote "no," warning that "Alden ownership would be a disaster for Chicago, democracy, and society at large."

Tribune Publishing shareholders on Friday approved “vulture” fund Alden Global Capital’s $633 million bid to buy the Chicago-based newspaper chain—a development that sparked both confusion about how key ballots were recorded as well as outrage among journalists, union leaders, and readers alarmed over what the future may hold. Continue reading

Israel’s war on truth-telling media and journalists

Time and again, truth-telling journalism as it should be is a casualty of all things war and related violence. Continue reading

NPR at 50—straying from its civic mission?

This month is the 50th anniversary of National Public Radio (NPR). Knowing about my work back then with other advocates, to persuade Congress to pass legislation creating NPR and PBS, (which was opposed by most of the commercial radio/TV industry), a friend asked what I think of NPR now. Continue reading

Establishment media ignore Israeli high crimes

There’s no ambiguity about life in Occupied Palestine. Continue reading

News Guild fights to save newspapers from vulture capitalists

CHICAGO—The Chicago News Guild plans a mass rally for May 15 to publicize its campaign to save the Chicago Tribune and allied papers from the predatory private venture fund, Alden Global Capital. The rally will be at Freedom Center, 560 West Grand Ave. Continue reading

Reporting from around the world, Reese Erlich was a beacon of independent journalism

The longtime war correspondent, who died earlier this month, embodied the honesty and deep humanity that makes for the very best journalists.

When Reese Erlich died in early April, we lost a global reporter who led by example. During five decades as a progressive journalist, Reese created and traveled an independent path while avoiding the comfortable ruts dug by corporate media. When people in the United States read or heard his reporting from more than 50 countries, he offered windows on the world that were not tinted red-white-and-blue. Often, he illuminated grim consequences of U.S. foreign policy. Continue reading

The once-proud New Yorker soils itself in radioactive offal

For decades, The New Yorker has set a high bar for journalistic excellence. Continue reading

The truth on trial at Trump’s second impeachment

Big stories reveal the good, the bad and the ugly of humankind—and that includes those who report and comment on the news.

While watching Saturday’s events in the U.S. Senate and the gamut of public reaction to them, I thought about the disconnect that takes place between the reality of events and the way they’re perceived from the outside looking in, especially by the media. Continue reading

Same as the old boss, Julian Assange edition

On February 9, the US Justice Department announced that US President Joe Biden, as in so many other areas, intends to serve Donald Trump’s second term when it comes to persecuting heroes guilty of exposing US war crimes and embarrassing American politicians. Continue reading

Ignoring pleas of press freedom defenders, Biden DOJ files appeal to extradite Julian Assange

"The Assange case represents the gravest threat to press freedom in a generation."

The Biden Justice Department on Friday formally appealed a British judge’s rejection of the U.S. request to extradite Julian Assange, confirming the new administration’s intention to run with its predecessor’s espionage charges against the WikiLeaks publisher despite warnings that the case endangers press freedoms around the world. Continue reading

‘This is not a game’: Internet defenders warn against gutting of Section 230—key law for online speech

"Section 230 is one of the most important laws protecting freedom of expression and human rights in the digital age."

A coalition of internet defenders on Wednesday cautioned lawmakers against responding to this month’s attack on the U.S. Capitol by making “uncareful changes” to section 230 of the Communications Decency Act that could “profoundly alter the state of digital free speech and human rights.” Continue reading