Category Archives: Media

How mainstream U.S. ‘news’ media pump their government’s lies to deceive the public

Now that finally the U.S. government has officially terminated its arming and training of the jihadist gangs that are fighting to overthrow and replace Syria’s government, the neoconservative mainstream U.S. ‘news’ media are disagreeing with each other over how to communicate this fact to the American people without contradicting, or otherwise violating, the false ‘history’ they’ve all been presenting and preserving, throughout the past five years, which has described the U.S. government as being opposed to the jihadists in Syria, instead of as the U.S. government’s arming and training jihadists to overthrow and replace Syria’s government. That’s a pretty blatant ‘historical’ lie, which they’ve all been maintaining, now, for five years; and, they’re at loggerheads over whether or how they’ll deal with it, now that the program (whose very existence they’ve helped the government to hide from the public) has been so publicly and suddenly ordered to end. Continue reading

Don’t let corporations pick what websites you visit

Broadband companies want the government to let them control the Internet as we know it. And they've got help.

Think about the websites you visit. The movies you stream. The music you listen to online. The animal videos that are just too cute not to share. Continue reading

Public interest in the communications of ‘the commons’ about to be dealt a fatal blow

Ever since the dawn of modern telecommunications, the American public has been guaranteed by law certain inalienable rights. The law that established the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Communications Act of 1934, enshrined for all Americans the principle of universal access to communications services. Subsequent laws have expanded universal access from telephones to other services, such as high-speed Internet. There is a particular right of universal access to communications for those living in rural and insular areas, and low-income Americans. The other FCC law that guaranteed Americans the right of access to the communications conduits of the public commons, in this case, the public airwaves, was the Fairness Doctrine of 1949. The doctrine required holders of public broadcast licenses to provide honest, equitable, and balanced views of public importance. In 1987, President Ronald Reagan abolished the Fairness Doctrine in order to please the wealthy GOP donors who owned various media conglomerates. Continue reading

Trump rants endanger safety of journalists in the U.S.

U.S. strongman Donald Trump’s comments and tweets, which have blasted the “fake media” and “fake news,” have endangered journalists across the United States. In combining the unique powers afforded by the presidential “bully pulpit” to every American president since Theodore Roosevelt, who coined the phrase, with the “lying press” (lügenpresse), verbiage favored by Adolf Hitler, Trump has rallied to his side some of the most unsavory political activists and bottom-feeders seen in the United States since the days of the red-baiting Senator Joseph McCarthy. Continue reading

Today, July 12, everyone can stand up for net neutrality

Imagine a world without Internet freedom. This week, a major protest on the web will show what it would be like.

Just over two years after the Federal Communications Commission, under President Obama, approved rules protecting a free and open Internet accessible to all, net neutrality is once again under fire. And once again, the public is being called upon to stand up and fight for freedom of speech. Continue reading

Google ‘News’ is hideous

Even before its recent “redesign,” which was claimed to provide an “uncluttered” look, Google News was one of the worst news aggregator sites on the Internet. Many longtime Google News users have complained about the site’s quality and dubious “news” content. Google has offered no reasonable explanations for its poor business decisions that have resulted in Google News being a repository for misleading news links. Keeping in mind that Google received its initial seed investment from the CIA’s IN-Q-IT, now known as IN-Q-TEL, the agency’s venture capital firm in the Silicon Valley, the CIA may be playing some sort of massive social network experiment on Google News users. Continue reading

Trump is right about fake news media, wrong about most everything else

Media scoundrels abhor journalism the way it should be—especially on domestic and geopolitical issues mattering most, notably on virtually everyting related to imperial wars, Russia and Trump. Continue reading

Trump’s escalating assault on the press

On Sunday morning Trump seemed to promote violence against CNN. Continue reading

What happens when America’s top investigative journalist reports what its media owners don’t want the public to know?

This isn’t only about U.S. President Barack Obama’s secret policy on Syria; it’s also about his successor, Donald Trump, adopting that secret policy, and about the U.S. press keeping this policy secret from the U.S. public—effectively blinding America’s voters so they can’t see, much less understand, the U.S. government’s ongoing international looting-operation, nor even the key parts of it. Continue reading

Once again, mainstream media does Pharma’s bidding

Taxpayers are stuck paying for the opioid crisis created by Big Pharma to make more money. Late last year, the Senate approved $1 billion of our money for “opioid prevention and treatment programs” as part of the 21st Century Cures Act. Continue reading

Former Commish Michael Copps: ‘Maybe the worst FCC I’ve ever seen’

In just a few short months, the Trump wrecking ball has pounded away at rules and regulations in virtually every government agency. The men and women the president has appointed to the Cabinet and to head those agencies are so far in sycophantic lockstep, engaged in dismantling years of protections in order to make real what White House strategist Steve Bannon infamously described as “the deconstruction of the administrative state.” Continue reading

Journalism, history and war: Sit, type and bleed

The typical newsroom set-up, where journalists chase after news headlines dictated by some centralized news gathering agency—often based in some Western capital—does not suffice any more. Continue reading

There is no media more hostile than Qatar’s

It is troubling to discover that one of Al Jazeera’s prime functions was to act as a mouthpiece for the Muslim Brotherhood

In response to the banning of Qatari websites by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, Qatar’s foreign minister announced that his country is the target of “a hostile media campaign.” Continue reading

‘You can’t make this up’: Comcast threatens legal action against net neutrality proponents

If FCC chairman Ajit Pai's plan "is enacted, there would be nothing preventing Comcast from simply blocking sites like Comcastroturf.com that are critical of their corporate policies"

Open Internet proponents who have been fighting the Trump administration’s rollback of net neutrality protections, which has been enacted at the bidding of the telecom industry, said Tuesday that Comcast is now threatening legal action, saying the website Comcastroturf.com is infringing on its trademark. Continue reading

The hidden bombshell in the Comey-Trump story

The president didn’t just want the FBI to stop investigating his friend Mike Flynn. He wanted it to arrest journalists.

How can you tell an authoritarian when you see one? We know the 20th century hallmarks—brown shirts, street rallies, and the like. But there’s an autocratic attitude, some historians suggest, that can easily be traced across the centuries. Continue reading

Major media organize to rig web-search results

The New York Times, as Robert Parry has pointed out, “Cheers the Rise of Censorship”, but only of censorship of any allegations that expose the fraudulence of the NYT’s allegations. The Washington Post, Google, the TV networks, and practically all of the famous providers of ‘news,’ have joined forces in order to block from the internet any statements that contradict, or especially any evidence that disproves, what they collectively define to be ’true’; and, while they do this, they add a lie, that their sole aim in doing this rigging of web-search results is to prevent ‘misinformation’ from polluting your mind. They use as an excuse the existence of some flagrantly fabricated reports on obscure websites, but if the mainstream press can ban reports such as those, then they can also ban real news reports, which expose the mainstream’s own lies. In other words: they are implementing their collective power to block you from being able to know that they’re systematically lying. Will the public trust them with this power? Continue reading

‘A scandal’: After FCC bent rules, right-wing Sinclair network to grow even bigger

Creating the nation’s largest local TV station conglomerate—and raising the frightening prospect of a network that would rival Fox News—conservative Sinclair Broadcast Group announced Monday it will buy Tribune Media for $3.9 billion. Continue reading

Spicer confirms White House actively planning attack on press freedoms

Effort to rewrite libel laws, says press secretary, 'is being looked into substantively and logistically'

White House press secretary Sean Spicer confirmed Monday that the Trump administration is actively—and in his words “substantively”—reviewing the nation’s libel laws as it explores ways it could more easily sidestep First Amendment protections and target press coverage or news stories it deems objectionable. Continue reading

Trump’s FCC gives Big Telecom ‘free reign’ with vote for major handouts

'This is the price we pay for the outrageous influence of money in politics. The public interest suffers, and we are poorer—economically and civically—for it'

At its April open meeting on Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to give yet more handouts to the telecommunications industry, lifting a price cap on broadband services and reinstating a loophole that lets broadcasters monopolize airwaves. Continue reading

Google suppresses important news in addition to alternate media

Google’s now-infamous censorship programs and algorithms, built into the firm’s search engine software, are not merely suppressing alternate news sites, but also ignoring or diverting search results away from important news stories being reported by conventional news organizations. In an attempt to prioritize “reliable” news sites, Google News searches have been found to return as top stories links to a number of non-critical news subjects, including sports, travel, weather, and popular entertainment. Continue reading

America plagued with fake news and fake TV experts

The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee recently held a hearing devoted, in part, to accusations that Russia initiated a massive “fake news” campaign against the United States during the 2016 election. It must be pointed out that the popularity of alternative foreign news sources for the American public came after the “dumbing down” of U.S. news consumers by a “infotainment” industry, headquartered in Los Angeles and New York, that dished massive amounts of “phony news” to America on a 24/7 basis. Continue reading

Five top papers run 18 opinion pieces praising Syria strikes—zero are critical

Five major US newspapers—the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Wall Street Journal and New York Daily News—offered no opinion space to anyone opposed to Donald Trump’s Thursday night airstrikes. By contrast, the five papers ran a total of 18 op-eds, columns or “news analysis” articles (dressed-up opinion pieces) that either praised the strikes or criticized them for not being harsh enough. Continue reading

A couple of things about Jimmy Breslin

Last Wednesday, I sat down to write a piece about the late Jimmy Breslin, the newspaper columnist whose blunt yet eloquent and crafted prose captured New York and its environs as no one has since Damon Runyon. Continue reading

Truth, lies and democracy: Journalism in the age of Trump

Lies do more than debase political debate. Lies are the termites in the house of democracy.

In June 1972, a story about gang of American burglars caught red-handed with their pockets stuffed with hundred-dollar bills made journalistic history. Continue reading

Harvard’s fake guide to fake news sites

Is this what parents pay $63,000 annually for tuition, room, board and fees, so their children can be ill-served and ill-taught? Continue reading

The American media hide from the truth

The CIA created and accumulated from other sources a huge array of malware and cyber attack capability capable of stealing information from any individual, any government, any corporation, any intelligence agency and either leaving no trace or leaving a “fingerprint” of an innocent party. The CIA, being arrogant and incompetent, lost control over its monster which escaped and now is in the hands of we know not who. Floating around the Internet, it was sent to WikiLeaks. Listen to Julian Assange’s explanation of the capability of the CIA’s spyware, which includes end runs around encryption. Continue reading

Who are John Schindler and Malcolm Nance and why should anyone care?

The 24/7 cable “news” networks are giving air time to any “national security experts,” regardless of their credentials and backgrounds, to bash Russia. The current political firestorm over Trump campaign officials meeting with Russian ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak has taken on the aura of the “Red baiting” of the 1950s and Senator Joe McCarthy looking for Communists in every nook and cranny inside the federal government. MSNBC has been the worst network regarding the mole hunt for modern-day Alger Hisses burrowed within the Trump inner circle. However, CNN follows a close second in the resurrection of a version of the John Birch Society among Democrats and Russia-bashing Republicans like Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Ben Sasse. Continue reading

The issue of ‘fake news’

The term “fake news” can be interpreted in various ways. Are we referring only to information that originates in the minds of those who serve as messengers . . . journalists, newscasters, news analysts, the cinema, government officials, etc.? Continue reading

The corporate media enemy

Every day Donald Trump exemplifies the contradictions of this era. He may make a statement that the left can agree with, but not because of shared political beliefs or motives. That is the case with his latest twitter statement regarding the media. “The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!” Continue reading

Police state tactics target independent journalists covering Anti-Trump protests

First Amendment rights are too precious to lose. Without them, all others are at risk. Continue reading

Journalism and pornography

Real crime is always organised

When I began reading the work of Douglas Valentine about six years ago, I had not read his books, only the articles that the US online journal CounterPunch had published. In fact I only began reading CounterPunch because of the accident of having been introduced to the two original editors of what was then only a printed newsletter. Later I was even able to publish a few pieces in that journal before its more famous founding editor’s demise. Why do I preface a book review with such personal observations? To that question, I will return later. Continue reading

A moment of truth for journalists

Are you the people’s tribunes or are you props decorating the scene for a horrendous monologue?

It came to this, on Day 1 of the New Order: Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, summoned reporters to a scolding more officially known as a “briefing,” in the course of which Spicer (1) lied to them repeatedly, (2) scolded them for lying, and (3) refused to permit questions. Andy Borowitz summarizes the scene nicely, in The New Yorker: “DISTURBED MAN GETS PAST WHITE HOUSE SECURITY, GIVES PRESS CONFERENCE.” Continue reading