Category Archives: Media

Trump’s FCC wants to kill a free and open Internet

To understand why the Internet’s in big trouble again, first know this about how Washington works these days. Continue reading

‘Worse than one could imagine’: Commissioner decries FCC chair’s attack on net neutrality

In an effort to combat the “mountain of lies” FCC chair Ajit Pai has deployed to justify his newly released plan to kill net neutrality, Democratic FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn unveiled a fact sheet (pdf) on Wednesday aimed at helping Americans understand that Pai’s proposals are “worse than one could imagine” and highlighting their life-or-death implications for the open The fact sheet, an easily digestible two pages in length, runs through a series of commonly asked and frequently confusing questions surrounding net neutrality: what it is, why it’s important, and how Pai’s plan would affect the web. Continue reading

Trump’s FCC to end net neutrality

Battle lines are drawn. Trump’s FFC chairman Ajit Pai is on record against net neutrality, saying its days are numbered. Continue reading

Freedom Rider: Defending RT

The Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) was established in 1938 as a means of fighting Nazi influence in the United States. The Russian funded cable network RT was recently forced to register under FARA in order to continue operating in the United States. The wave of ginned up anti-Russian hysteria has created a new and terrible precedent. Continue reading

US slow-motion shutdown of RT and Sputnik?

Hostile US demands on popular English-language Russian media, combined with social media censorship of alternative views called “fake news,” threatens press freedom in America. Continue reading

The Fakebook inside Facebook

What to do about a global info-and-disinfo pipeline, and who can do it?

Beginning in 2004, Mark Zuckerberg and his companions made a historic contribution to the annals of alchemy: They converted the lust for human contact into gold. Facebook’s current net worth is more than $500 billion, with Zuckerberg’s own share tallied at $74.2 billion, which makes him something like the fifth-wealthiest person in the world. Continue reading

Twitter rules changed

Speech, media and academic freedoms in America are threatened—especially digital democracy, the last frontier of open and free expression. Continue reading

‘Death sentence for local media’: Warnings as FCC pushes change to benefit right-wing media giant

Free press advocates say rule changes are "massive handout" to broadcaster Sinclair that would have far-reaching and negative impacts in communities nationwide

In a series of moves last week that have alarmed free speech advocates and critics of media consolidation, the Federal Communications Commissions (FCC) voted to abolish a rule requiring radio and television broadcasters to maintain studios near the communities they serve, and FCC chairman Ajit Pai announced further plans to end certain media ownership rules. Continue reading

Western silence as 20,000 neo-Nazis march in Ukraine

In one of the largest, if not the largest, neo-Nazi demonstration in Europe since WW2, 20,000 facists marched through the streets of Ukraine’s capital Kiev last weekend under the silent gaze of the Western media. Other than Russian state media RT and Sputnik News, facists throwing Nazi salutes and parading in their tens of thousands in a European capital didn’t concern any of the major Western news outlet. Nothing on BBC, France24, CNN, New York Times, The Guardian . . . the silence of the media lambs when it comes to a growing facists movement in Ukraine is deafening. Continue reading

Israel’s war on Palestinian media freedom

Israeli military censorship prohibits publishing anything about IDF high crimes against peace and daily persecution of Palestinians. Continue reading

Journalist assassinated in Malta was on trail through Baku that leads to Trump

Maltese investigative journalist Caruana Galizia, 53, who was killed in a car bomb explosion in Valletta on October 16, was on a trail that not only implicated Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, his wife, and top aides in a scandal partly exposed by the release of the Panama Papers, but one that extended from Azerbaijan to the Trump Organization in New York. Galizia, whose blog generated more interest than Malta’s newspapers, had implicated the Muscat government in the sale of Maltese passports and receiving illegal funds from the government of Azerbaijan. Continue reading

The unending state of emergency

The shocks are not normal, and order will not be restored.

It’s old news that Donald Trump abuses reason, knowledge, decency and dark-skinned people. You can’t tear your eyes away. You can already write tomorrow’s story: Today the vicious, deranged freak-show star trashed Enemy A, picked a fight with Failed Insider B, invited unconstitutional action C, insulted population D, declared his intent to abrogate Agreement E or make war on Country F, and denied facts G through Z. Fill in the blanks. Continue reading

Trump threatens press freedom, FCC broadcast licenses

U.S. presidential strongman Donald Trump has issued a stark warning via Twitter to the American press. In an October 11 tweet, Trump wrote, “With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!” It is not the first time Trump has threatened the First Amendment constitutional right of a free press. Trump has already threatened to use anti-trust laws to punish CNN for unfavorable coverage of him. Trump encouraged the Justice Department to block a merger between CNN’s parent company Time Warner and AT&T. Continue reading

This Sinclair-Tribune merger is a rotten deal for America

What’s to be done about ‘the most dangerous company most Americans haven’t heard of?’

Gather around, everyone, and let me tell you a story about rules. And greed and hypocrisy. Continue reading

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