Category Archives: Media

Silencing the lambs: how propaganda works

In the 1970s, I met one of Hitler’s leading propagandists, Leni Riefenstahl, whose epic films glorified the Nazis. We happened to be staying at the same lodge in Kenya, where she was on a photography assignment, having escaped the fate of other friends of the Führer. Continue reading

Deliberate misrepresentation: Western media bias makes Israeli war on Palestinians possible

While US and western mainstream and corporate media remain biased in favor of Israel, they often behave as if they are a third, neutral party. This is simply not the case. Continue reading

Corporate media has failed to report accurately on the threats to women’s reproductive rights

The establishment press ignored stories about the right's racist assault on reproductive health for years

In the weeks since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the corporate media has been saturated with analyses and reports about the implications of the ruling for women’s lives and health. Legal observers have weighed in on the conservative majority’s reasoning in the case. The impact of the ruling on the 2022 midterm elections has been discussed endlessly. The state-by-state battles over legislation and state-level constitutional amendments banning abortion have been covered exhaustively, as have efforts by women’s rights groups and medical providers to ensure that women get the reproductive health services they need. Continue reading

The Alex Jones playbook

Jones and legacy news media hate each other, but they often use the same playbook

In August 2022, a Texas jury ruled that internet personality Alex Jones pay $49 million for defaming the parents of the victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary school massacre. Starting a decade earlier, Jones had claimed that the shooting was a hoax. He argued that crisis actors played the victims and the children never existed. The decision was met with relief from the loved ones of the victims and ideological opponents of Jones. Continue reading

The deadly business of reporting truth

Two grim anniversaries demonstrate how journalists around the world increasingly face violence, but leaders—including President Biden—have been slow to act

Violence is the most basic and blunt form of press censorship. To kill or imprison a journalist is to silence the public’s source of news. To date, 33 journalists around the world have been killed this year and another 494 are currently imprisoned, according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF). Put another way, thus far in 2022, on average, once per week somewhere in the world a journalist is killed for reporting the news. Continue reading

News outlets, press freedom groups to DOJ: don’t let GOP states criminalize abortion coverage

"We ask that you publicly reiterate the press freedoms granted under the First Amendment, and remind states that they cannot infringe on those rights when news outlets write about abortion."

More than two dozen newsrooms and press freedom groups sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland on Tuesday, calling on the Justice Department to prevent journalists and their employers from being prosecuted for simply writing about abortion. Continue reading

Journalists hijacking planes for performing bears

Recent revelations that MI5 outlet Bellingcat was involved in a Keystone Cops plot to hijack Russian planes should give their primary targets pause for thought regarding MI5’s Ukrainian machinations. Although fighter pilots have defected from other theaters in the past, this twist in a hoary old Hollywood plot is important because given that the players, clowns like Zelensky and Bellingcat, are so innately stupid, we must examine why MI5 employs such cretins. Continue reading

Elite lapdogs always welcome in the corporate media

Chris Cuomo’s return is a reminder that corporate media personalities are not accountable to the public, they are accountable to the elites they serve

The return of Chris Cuomo to television is the latest reminder that there is little accountability to speak of in corporate news media. Chris was ousted at CNN in late 2021 amidst an ethics investigation that claimed he utilized his position at the cable news juggernaut to consult his brother, then governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo. At the time, the governor was facing a series of sexual misconduct allegations. Chris was using his professional connections to identify what reporters knew about the allegations, and then using that information to consult Andrew on how to respond, all while hosting Andrew on his daily CNN program. In July 2022, Cuomo returned to television to promote his podcast The Chris Cuomo Project. Cuomo appeared on Dan Abrams show on NewsNation (where Cuomo recently secured a position and I have served as an expert guest) and Real Time with Bill Maher. Continue reading

New media are as intertwined with imperial power as old media

Alan MacLeod has a new article out with Mintpress News showing how most of the supposedly independent “fact-checking” organizations which Facebook has partnered with to police the information people are allowed to see on the platform about the war in Ukraine are, in fact, funded by the United States government. Continue reading

To the New York Times—“We thought we knew ye”

In 1980 we produced a report titled How to Appraise and Improve Your Daily Newspaper: A Manual for Readers, authored by David Bollier, one of our precocious interns, who had just graduated from Amherst and went on to become an expert on the Commons (See, bollier.org). I thought about this past initiative to empower readers/consumers while contemplating what is happening in recent months to the print edition of the New York Times. Continue reading

Glen Ford’s irreplaceable journalism

I was very proud to write the preface to Glen Ford's book, The Black Agenda, which published posthumously by OR Books. I endeavored to explain why Glen was truly irreplaceable.

In the best sense of the word a journalist is someone who brings to the public sphere accurate, well sourced information, and rigorous analysis. Those individuals speak for the marginalized, who can’t speak for themselves, and they expose the privileged, who are always given opportunities for expression. They point out the faults of those deemed too authoritative to be questioned. If an outlet claims to write all the news that is fit to print or declares that democracy dies in darkness, their work should be given more scrutiny than credibility. The journalist should be truly independent and skeptical of official narratives. Glen Ford was such a person. His decades of work provide a blueprint for anyone who wants that word to have real meaning and integrity. Continue reading

The Assange case still matters—a lot

Let's not be naïve about the symbolic importance of the US putting Assange on trial. It would be an alibi for cracking down on journalism for every repressive, authoritarian government in the world.

The announcement by UK Home Secretary, Priti Patel, that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange would be extradited to the US to face espionage charges may be news that many consider to be of lesser importance. We are, after all, in the midst of both a war inside of European borders and an economic crisis. The seemingly endless Assange saga has been going on for 12 years, and there is undoubtedly fatigue on the part of news consumers who have lost interest in the story. Continue reading

Let’s not obsess over Julian Assange’s job title, but consider what is the real story about his extradition

Assange will battle on now with an appeal against the UK decision to extradite him to the U.S. It’s time now for his own team to play the same dirty game which they have fallen victim to and forget about the foibles of journalists and the media

Is Julian Assange a journalist or a publisher? It’s a divisive question which usually draws the wrath of an entire legion of on-line haters, mainly in Australia, who assume the author is attacking the founder of WikiLeaks and so rationale is lost to nationalistic vitriol and score settling. The so-called supporters usually fail to see how if that energy was put into campaigning rather than just letting off steam on Twitter against total strangers, then Assange might have a chance of attaining something akin to justice. Continue reading

Free Assange? Yes, but that’s not nearly enough.

On June 17, UK Home Secretary Priti Patel approved the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States to face 18 criminal charges: One count of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion, and 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act of 1917. If convicted on all charges, Assange faces up to 175 years in prison. Continue reading

‘Sad day for Western democracy’: Chomsky, Ellsberg, others denounce Assange extradition

"The U.K.'s decision to extradite Julian Assange to the nation that plotted to assassinate him—the nation that wants to imprison him for 175 years for publishing truthful information in the public interest—is an abomination."

As supporters of Julian Assange held a news conference Friday at the United Kingdom’s consulate in New York to demand freedom for the jailed WikiLeaks founder, a trio of leading leftist figures decried the British government’s approval of the ailing Australian’s extradition to the United States. Continue reading

RIP two veteran DC journalists

It’s ironic that on the 50th anniversary of the break-in of the Watergate that two journalists who were involved in covering the incident and the subsequent scandal that drove Richard Nixon from the White House have passed on. Continue reading

‘A chilling message to journalists the world over’: UK approves Assange extradition to US

Julian Assange's wife, Stella, slammed the U.K. government for moving to send the WikiLeaks publisher "to the country that plotted his assassination."

The U.K. government on Friday formally approved the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States to face espionage charges, a decision that human rights groups condemned as a dire threat to journalism worldwide. Continue reading

We’re getting used to fake news. And we’re getting tired of the Ukraine War. Here’s why you should be worried

Journalists and congressmen these days seem to be uniformly unable to probe and scrutinize egregious amounts of cash and military hardware being apparently sent to Ukraine. One reason could be that it is not being sent there in the first place.

The ghost of Kiev pilot is dead, Putin is dead, Ukrainian soldiers were slaughtered on Snake Island and 300 Ukrainians perished in the Mariupol theatre attack. Which of these four news stories coming from western media is true? In fact, they are all entirely false but have been put out as entirely Bonafede news stories and not even corrected when the evidence is overwhelmingly to the contrary. Continue reading

Journalism is an endangered species

Journalism’s best days are long gone. And, unless NATO’s journalists have a collective Damascene moment, they too will deservedly go the way of the dodo. Continue reading

Assange now hostage to ‘triumph of evil’ decision to send him to a U.S. jail but politics can still save him

The argument that Assange operated as a journalist and exercised his right to freedom of speech, has very little gravitas with the western mindset.

Whether you love or loathe Julian Assange, the decision by a British court to allow a U.S. extradition process is morally repugnant and wrong on so many levels. Assange will now have approximately four weeks to wait and see whether the British government itself signs off on his extradition or not – at which point he can decide to appeal. Continue reading

‘A real threat to democracy’: Musk buys Twitter for $44 billion

"This isn't just some corporate takeover," said one critic. "This is about a set of very specific moves that our oligarchs have been taking that have gradually concentrated economic, political, and discursive power in fewer and fewer hands."

Rights advocates, public health experts, and media critics were among those on Monday who warned that the purchase of Twitter by mega-billionaire Elon Musk, the world’s richest person, creates a direct threat to democracy and the common good by putting the outsized power of the social media platform used by hundreds of millions worldwide into the hands of one man. Continue reading

Assange’s extradition is another building block of the controlled explanation

The corrupt US & British governments, greatly aided and abetted by Western presstitutes, have destroyed the First Amendment protection of journalism. Julian Assange’s extradition to the US to stand trial for espionage signals the termination of a free press as a method of holding government accountable. Henceforth, any journalist who publishes a leaked story unfavorable to the government can be prosecuted as a spy. Continue reading

‘Journalism is not a crime’: Outrage as judge approves Assange extradition to US

"Extraditing Julian Assange to face allegations of espionage for publishing classified information would set a dangerous precedent and leave journalists everywhere looking over their shoulders."

A British judge on Wednesday officially approved the U.S. government’s request to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who faces espionage charges for publishing classified material that exposed war crimes by American forces. Continue reading

Humilitainment: How to control the citizenry through reality TV distractions

Once again, the programming has changed. Continue reading

How corporate media has put the American public in a state of Ukraine-Russia psychosis

There is a growing psychosis sweeping the U.S. around the Russian bombardment of Ukraine, and it is being triggered by the legacy news media. The steady stream of biased, often erroneous or incomplete information spewing from the establishment press is leading people to quickly choose sides in a complicated international conflict, waving flags in support of “their side,” fawning over global leaders, and even holding peaceful car parades in efforts to do what they think they can to prevent World War III. In the process, the context and details of the conflict, as well as its historic roots, are being pushed aside in favor of a kind of binary knee-jerk activism that is far too common in American political culture. Speaking out against Russian attacks on Ukraine and in support of the people there should not be difficult to understand or do. However, demanding that the U.S. take aggressive action, such as swiftly implementing a no-fly zone, displays a waning level of sophistication regarding international relations. Continue reading

Mainstream media cover-up of neo-Nazis in Ukraine

War is never inevitable, despite what the masters of war say. But what is inevitable are the relentless propaganda, censorship and disinformation disseminated by the mainstream media, politicians and pundits in the ongoing coverage of the war in Ukraine. In the last few months, the corporate-owned MSM and social networks have been working overtime to spread Cold War propaganda against Russia, while restoring the US, rising from the ashes of its retreat in Afghanistan, as the re-emergent champion of Good and Democracy against Russian aggression. Continue reading

Major media in the U.S. become cheerleaders for war in Ukraine

We can all agree that a free and independent press, such as we believe we have in the United States, must do more than simply question government narratives that are handed to it daily. It must, on a continual basis, show how corporate-driven propaganda for war can force us into making false choices. Continue reading

Mass suffering in Ukraine amidst historic refugee crisis

Russian President Vladimir Putin this past weekend turned down numerous requests from foreign leaders that he agree at least to cease fire in his war against Ukraine as the number of Ukrainians fleeing across the border into Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Russia ballooned to 1.5 million of the nation’s population of 44 million. The refugee crisis is the worst in Europe since World War II when many millions were uprooted in the wake of the war and Holocaust instigated by the Nazis. Continue reading

Russia and Ukraine: Know and understand US objectives

Standard media reportage of recent events has become so dogmatic and simplistic, there is no longer even a vague distinction between journalism and propaganda. Dissent and attempts to contextualize such events are treated as seditious inhumanity, ignorance of history, and even foreign agency or espionage as one has experienced. Therefore, in the few short paragraphs ahead, I will attempt to “shed light”, as it were, as an observer and critic of US foreign policy, on how standard narratives and media fare of late have been grotesquely disingenuous.
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Biden’s real challenge is not Russia or China, but poverty in America

Mainstream US media continues to celebrate the supposed strength of the US economy. Almost daily, headlines speak of hopeful numbers, sustainable growth, positive trends and constant gains. The reality on the ground, however, tells of something entirely different, which raises the questions: Are Americans being lied to? And for what purpose? Continue reading

Fake news claim: Russia seeks wider conflict

Big Lies take on a life of their own by ad nauseam repetition. Continue reading

The Washington Post: The voice of the CIA

The Washington Post has always been a CIA asset. The CIA used the Washington Post to orchestrate the Watergate narrative used to drive President Nixon out of office. Continue reading