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05 August 2016


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Here is another example of the propaganda campaign being waged against Americans:

David Duke on NPR? Really? Must be that white Americans are a bunch of racists. Not Hilary or those voting for her. Those other white people.


I've told my friends for the last fifteen years or so, anyone who relies on broadcast "news" for information deserves what happens to them. It was the media blackout, more or less, of the huge NY anti-Iraq war protests that convinced me to rely on samizdat.

More practically, I recommend to them getting to know specific authors as TTG opened my eyes yesterday with Rukmini Callimachi. Get to know a good few writers in the beats you're interested in and then turn of the slime ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWoxUvWHtB4 ) on the video and use your print subscriptions to keep up with the official RepubliCrat narrative.

That's how I found this site, which along with Global Guerrillas, Moon Of Alabama and The War Nerd, I rely on to interpret official obfuscations.


I think the lack of journalistic professionalism is part of a larger trend in Washington. People in government agencies such as the state department also seem to display the same behavior-- a lack of professionalism and a party line everyone is expected to follow.

The beginning of the end for the news may have been the FOX business model; instead of doing actual journalism, which is expensive, they hire some people to pontificate. CNN decided to adopt this model about a month before 9-11.

I wonder how our press compares with the Soviet press during the cold war. There is no accountability when they misreport stories.


Once the media became corporate extensions, the quality has suffered. If you want quality, you need to look elsewhere. The good news is that they are becoming more and more irrelevant. There is also a herd mentality that they have trouble getting away from.

As we have seen with the coverage of Donald Trump, it is all ratings driven. When he was being outrageous during the primaries, he drove ratings. He is still driving the ratings, but the focus has flipped to him still being outrageous and thus unfit for office.

There is an old adage: Live by the media, die by the media. Corporate media, not without cause, has decided El Cheeto is not good for their masters and thus not for the country.


CNN, Fox, MSNBC and others like them are not News channels. They are magazines (bad ones) in video format.


People often look back to the past with rose-tinted glasses. I am not sure that the quality of the new media is any worse today than 30 years ago. I doubt many people regularly re-read 30 year old newspapers, which would be necessary to inform themselves of their relative quality.

I remember that last year I was unwrapping the contents of an old box in the garage, and I decided to read the newspaper wrapping. The old writing's arguments and opinions actually seemed to be worse than in my paper today.

Also, I really do think commentary available on many online magazines or blogs is very good. Nothing like this existed 30 years ago.

I think that if you are the type of person who wants to be informed (and are suitably self-controlled to realize your own biases) there is no better era to be living in than ours at present.



the corporate media is small "c" conservative. It is prude, and fixated on politeness and good manners. Policy has little to do with it (aside from a few talking heads).

Trump is loud, brash, and says lots of things that are ill mannered and impolite. The Republican soccer moms are horrified. Tut, tut, tut. Short of a makeover of Trump into a well-mannered gentleman, the corporate media will continue to get the vapors.



My perusal of the Washington Post (on line edition) today is 4 of 5 articles (80%) anti-Trump, no mention of Hilary. The opinion section, also front page, is 4 of 6 articles. Bloomberg has a report that Hilary will win in a landslide bigger than Reagan's. http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-08-05/-trump-is-cratering-new-polls-signal-deep-trouble-for-republican-nominee

r whitman

They are entertainment channels that rot your brain.

Babak Makkinejad

Well, I must admit that I used to quite enjoy "Babe Watch", er, "Bay Watch".

Among all those things that rots one's brain, it was one of the best.

rakesh wahi

there was an opinion writer, Mike Royko who quit rather than work for Murdoch way back in the eighties. He desribed Murdoch media well way back then, once American media was infiltrated by Murdoch it was only a matter of time till the bad media started driving out good .


Check out the episodes of "The Simpsons" called "Sideshow Bob Roberts" and then check the premiere date. You'll see the FoxNews model was alive and well a full two years before FoxNews went live, and even arguably four years when production on the episode started. At one point in the episode, the debate moderator a parody of Rush Limbaugh uses an absurd question once asked by Bernie Shaw at a real Presidential debate.

Did "The Simpsons" predict the future or just point out what was already there? FoxNews is merely a symptom.

The Beaver

Good news media went the way of the dodo the day after 9/11.
You are either with us or against us is still reverberatibg since the MSM do not want to be pidgeon-holed.
First, they wanted to be embedded in Afghanistan and Iraq, secondly no one wanted to get the cold shoulder from the WH press Secretary, third the WAGs at the UNSC want to get their exclusivity that it is becoming like a circus at Turtle Bay- the ambassadors from FrUKUS know how to play the game.
Even the BBC can't be reliable - a good example is the reporting of Kim Ghattas on Syria ( oh yes she ha two or three sources inside Damascus who are all against Assad)- these days.

Eric Newhill

It's shameless and they don't even try to hide it anymore.

A real revolution would be if everyone just turned it off. That would impact them. Trump was wise to begin messaging how corrupt the media is. He's far more savvy than people credit him for being.



IMO the Republicans and other principled people should simply refuse to appear to be abused. pl

Keith Harbaugh

The topic of media bias is a vast one, but here is one not-so-insignificant example: the media's use of photos to depict the candidates.
Sure, that's not very intellectual, but it really does have an effect.
Look at the photos of Hillary Clinton in the media.
Almost always smiling.
Politico went so far as to run a photo of her face from below with a light illuminating her hair making it look like she had a halo; this in an article about her email problems.
On the other hand, poor Donald Trump, who surely must smile sometimes, is invariably shown open-mouthed, looking like he is shouting, snarling, or both.
Does Hillary ever have an unflattering photo?
And further back, there was the case of George W. Bush.
Rarely did you see a flattering photo of him.

Again, some will on the one hand decry any mention of such bias as being "irrational",
while on the other hand they will use such visual effects to shape opinion and images.

Eric Newhill

I think the internet has gad a lot to do with it. It just happens that the internet grew to become a viable alternative source after 9/11.

Anyone truly interested gets their news from the internet. As a result, cable news, etc. have just become entertainment tinged with some vestiges of reporting. The viewership really isn't that high.


In two words "Cognitive Dissonance".

More broadly speaking, omission, partial sentences, cutting off any reasoned thought with the pundit's own assertions followed by another rapid fire question, then rinse, spin and repeat.

The MSM is commercial flatulence on a grand scale. It is directed, concentrated white noise that actively thwarts small things like democracy, due process and gross perception of reality. A pox upon em all.

Eric Newhill

Sir, They fear that if they refuse to appear they will fall quickly into obscurity. That is the old model and the grip that MSM still has - or at least everyone is still convinced they have it.

I see that changing soon.


Perhaps this is just a symptom of a bigger set of distortions that we live in. Below is a comment from Moon of Alabama blog during the whole Ferguson incident. Thoughts?
From Moon of Alabama Blog shortly after Ferguson back in August...some points of interest: August 20, 2014
Malooga On Ferguson - The Bigger Picture
by Malooga
lifted from a comment
@154 luca kasks: "Why don't you people wait for all the facts to come in?"
Facts are not like beloved relatives coming in to visit on cherished holidays; facts are like murdered ex-collaborators, to be secretly disappeared and buried deep in some dank forgotten hole in the ground.
Facts, for the ruling class, are dangerous beasts. Myths and stories are far safer fare.
Facts may escape unexpectedly at the very beginning of an event, before proper control systems are in place, after that all one is likely to get is the official story, or if that fails, the official fall-back position.
How could one get what is going on geopolitically by following this blog, and not get that the same conditions and principles of domination, control and brutalization operate similarly on a local scale?
Perhaps it might be helpful to detail those conditions and principles in order to remind ourselves what the theater in which these events take place is truly like, both for the residents of places like Ferguson, and for the police who manage those residents.
The war on drugs was not a war against drugs. It was a war for the ultra-rich rulers to control and profit from the cash streams of illegal drug profits, to finance un-sellable illegal wars, a method of destabilizing other countries through drug addiction, and a method of criminalizing the intentional poverty and hopelessness of the bottom 30%, or more, of the domestic population. (See: US protection of heroin in southeast Asia and Afghanistan, CIA crack distribution in US cities, Gary Webb, etc.)
The "War on Terror" is virtually the same thing: An outright war on the poor, and a destabilization of territories the empire does not control outright. Additionally, like drugs, the “war” is largely synthetic, that is to say, fake and victimless, where the perpetrators have to be secretly sponsored to create an artificial enemy, with what Rowan Berkeley accurately termed “pseudo-gangs.”
These wars are not real, in the sense that the problems as described are not real; and, such problems as may exist, are intentionally handled so as to exacerbate them, and reinforce the problem-reaction-solution dynamic.
Drugs are not a problem to be eradicated, rather, they are a medium to be employed, a means to an end. Terror, as we know, is not even a thing, it is just a tactic. You can’t criminalize a tactic, but you can employ it as a means to an end.
I don’t need to remind you that the US, the “land of the free,” has the largest -- in absolute and relative terms -- prison population on the planet. And the vast, vast, vast majority of those who are imprisoned are there for victimless crimes.
But that’s not all. Because if you grow up in the projects, and you raise your kid right, and miraculously manage to keep him away from guns and gangs, you still face two more daunting hurdles: poverty and police violence.
Let’s start with poverty. Official unemployment rates are lied over, real rates can be many times higher, and many in the projects can find no work at all, or only part-time work, without benefits, in a fast food joint. Lack of work equals lack of money, which equals lack of education, which equals lack of opportunity and work, and so on, in an endless vicious cycle.
Domestically, a new war is underway: an outright war on the poor, where those who can’t -- because of unemployment or other reasons -- keep up with their financial obligations are threatened with imprisonment for non-payment of bills, taxes, child support, court fees, parking tickets, etc. Indeed, we as a society have regressed to the days of Oliver Twist and workhouses. Prisoners must work for their keep these days as low cost producers for corporations, and quaint notions like labor laws or minimum wages do not apply to them.
Prisons have been privatized, and prisoners are just another commodity to be profited from in the capitalist system, like pork bellies, or wheat futures. Judges, like police, have been proved to have quotas: they are expected to meet a production goal where, like a factory worker, a certain number of people must be imprisoned each month or year. After all, the owners of these prisons are top campaign contributors, and they provide “jobs” to the local economy, so they must be kept happy. Cops, like judges, are under pressure to do their part in maintaining prison occupancy rates.
Any fool can see that this is not a description of a society, as anthropologists might have studied 100 years ago, but of a catabolic process, whereby a sick or diseased body (politic) greedily consumes itself on the way to the grave. And, as they quietly lament around my way, “it is what it is.”
And yet, it is worse: for those that escape these first three evils -- drugs, the “war on terror” and poverty -- which I have briefly detailed, there is a fourth evil to be circumvented: what the sociologists call “structural violence.” And this takes two forms. The first comes in the form of what psychiatrists term “frustration aggression.” Watch industrially raised chickens, confined to 2/3 of a square foot of cage space, artificial lighting, and a diet of drugs and GMO feedstock engage in vicious acts of cannibalism, and you will get a sense of what that is. The ghetto is a similarly sociologically confined space, and frustration and the inability to cope or escape can lead to misplaced violence or acting out against others.
The second type of violence is institutionalized violence, where, in an intentional process of social engineering, one group or class of people is taught to hate and fear another group or class. This is the process that I, employing Gregory Bateson’s insights, term schismogenesis. It is divide and rule at its most base level: Civil wars, genocide, pogroms, mob violence, etc.
And yes, the police are deeply inculcated in perpetuating institutional violence. They are trained to both hate and fear the public they lord over. And the system is not accidental, by any means. The police on the beat, the SWAT teams, the civic snipers, etc. -- these are people of rather limited intellectual abilities in understanding how the entire geopolitical system works. They are, by nature, not curious in that way -- rather, they are ordinary people who value fitting in, convention, tradition, and law and order in society. In other words, they buy into the myths of our society, its “freedom," and “liberty," and “goodness of purpose," and “rightness of heart," and “exceptionalism," lock, stock, and barrel. And they expect others to buy in as well in order to be “good" patriotic Americans. After all, “if you are not with us, you are against us," as George Bush Jr. explained in one of his few elegantly articulate formulations. Therefore, the police are vulnerable to being easily propagandized.
They are then compartmentalized in knowledge, grouped into subgroups, and endlessly trained and drilled in hate and fear of the official "enemy" of the day, and then trained in techniques of the highest level of violence in thwarting the alleged goals of these enemies. Police no longer make use of bobby clubs, they are now given the elite weapons of war that our soldiers use in combat. They watch movies to see how these weapons are employed. And to seal the deal, they are given special classes, trainings and drills from the same “specialists" on “terror” that train our military because the American way of subversion always includes making people feel special. Now, they are not dumb cops anymore, they are well trained, and they are told that they are our elite guard protecting the “homeland” from those who hate our ways of freedom.
They are also economically privileged compared to the people of places like Ferguson. Police have unions, and theirs are probably the only labor unions in America today not under constant attack from the ruling class. So they get generous overtime, benefits, can buy houses and raise kids in safety outside of the leviathan that I am describing. They also, to a certain extent, benefit from the inequalities of society. So they look down on those they are policing and look up to their betters: The wealthy and those who are experts in the “threats facing society today.” Go to a real wealthy neighborhood, and the cops don’t have that same smug attitude. They address you as “Sir” or Ma’am.” If they have to pull you over for having a headlight out, they can be downright apologetic -- after all, you may be a judge or a city councilman. They know who their betters are, and now they act like public servants, albeit a little falsely servile. This is obviously not the case in Ferguson, where the number of police stops annually is greater than the population of the town, and arrests are similarly elevated.
Finally, police on the force for any length of time must face the complete corruption of our society: They know that justice is a farce. They know who the drug dealers are, the money runners, the pimps, the bought politicians, and judges -- the whole nine yards. And they know that there is no will to change any of this. Moreover, they have no power over any of this: They can either choose to be complicit in the corrupt system, or keep to themselves and hope for the best not to be set up one day as a patsy.
Thus, police in our society live in a state of total cognitive dissonance, what one might call an ethical double-bind. They are forced to see that on one hand, we are supposedly the greatest society ever; on the other hand, life is hopelessly brutal and corrupt. They must believe in, or at least publicly pay lip service, to the myths they are sworn to uphold: the wars on drugs and terror; the promise of progress and a quasi-religious kind of civic and moral redemption -- that if you just keep your nose clean and work hard, you can escape the poverty of the ghetto they police; and that we live in a just society in which they are the protectors of that justice. Meanwhile, they like everyone else in America, watches as the whole system is rapidly breaking down. They know that there are no real jobs for the people of Ferguson, and that, like in the movie, “TheTruman Show,” the residents cannot escape the set.
This double bind is of course unresolvable. So police themselves, under tremendous internal strain, resort to the same frustration-aggression, and unexpected violent lashing out, in order to cope.
Under these conditions, the only power police have is over the people in the community they are supposed to serve. And the only way they can demonstrate that power is by acting out brutally and violently.
Sociologists and criminologists know that the methods police are taught and trained in don’t work, just as economists know that “trickle down” really means “flow up.” Gentler methods involving community involvement, restorative justice, etc. have all been worked out and proved to work. But the new methods actually do work, only for different purposes and to different ends: they frighten and cower populations, they allow one group to dominate another, they isolate people and pit them against each other in fruitless zero-sum games, and they destroy human lives, values, and charitableness. In sum, they control people, and allow them to be selectively harvested for profit, like a slowly maturing cash crop in the sweltering St. Louis summer heat.
And, community policing, bad as it is these days, does not even compare to the violence perpetrated by the new elite SWAT teams. These groups are as brutal as the teams used to clear houses in Iraq -- and no surprise there, for they are taught the same methods: If it moves, take it out.
And that brings us back to the police. Under the conditions I have just detailed, under the impossible constraints they forced to endure, how can they not be violent, at least some of the time. And how can they, as an organized force, not be violent in a systematic manner. Perhaps not all the time, but more often than not the social forces which police work under these days force violence to be propagated down in a systematic and totalizing manner.
And it is the awareness of all that I have described that causes many commenters here to reflexively assume police lies and violence to be ubiquitous. I hope that this is more understandable now. It is not a judgment of an individual’s (the cop who shot Michael Brown) -- who one obviously doesn’t know well -- moral value, rather it is an holistic appraisal of the social and material conditions of our society today, in which the American underclass, and their handlers, seek to operate.
Therefore, as for the police themselves, yes, perhaps out of the many hundreds of cases a year like this of police murder, corruption, assault, brutality, cover-up, bribery, theft, etc., there are possibly a few that were accidental, unintentional, or even false charges. If that were to be the case -- which appears practically impossible -- the facts would get out -- unless the cop were being intentionally set up. But, to focus on this petty detail, and insist upon its importance to the bigger picture, is to miss that bigger picture altogether. I hope we can all see this.
Posted by b on August 20, 2014 at 06:49 AM


here is a sample of media quality 30 years ago. It was not "news," but is on topic as the prequel ... backstory [???] to our current news.

End of Empire (1985) Ch7 - Iran https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5HNNm1aHaU&

The series playlist is at ...


michael brenner

The media get under our skin for good reason. Still, it is helpful to member that "it isn't personal, it's business." So-called "news" today is a "business" both in the literal sense and in the looser sense that a variety of agenda items extraneous to presenting and trying honestly to interpret information dictate what and how it is done.

Re. Trump, it is instructive to recall that the MSM largely made Trump a year or more back by giving him and his ravings disproportionate coverage with little if any critical commentary attached to it. This last despite ample evidence from Day 1 that he was indeed a crap artist, a crude racist and a borderline psychotic. Those were the days when long-scheduled special documentaries were cancelled in order to show live candidate Trump arriving at some obscure campaign stop with his big mouth act in full gear.

At that very same time, and thereafter, Bernie Sanders was drawing as many votes on his side and beating Trump in mock contests. Yet, he was largely ignored and disparaged. After all, who was interested in a mild-mannered Brooklyn Socialist with normal grey hair? Those attributes not withstanding, he quickly would have gotten the star treatment had he done the following: proposed to build a 40 foot barrier around Wall Street to prevent its toxic products creating another financial pandemic; accused their executives of being the prime source of the S & M perversion proliferating in the seedy bars nestled under the derelict West Side Highway (factually true in the 1970s and 80s); ascribed these vile behaviors to genetic flaws in WASPs, and threatened to carpet bomb they next meeting of the IMF Executive Board unless they ceased immediately plotting to enslave Americans.

The MSM would have been all gaga about this bold spirit who was giving expression to the deeply felt anger and frustrations of average Americans. They then would have turned on him as they have turned on Trump.

By contrast, had Trump followed the advice of his few sane advisers and transmuted himself into a more sober - if still Tea Partyish Republican - the media would have totally forgotten who he was a few months earlier.

Let's face it, the entire system has degenerated into a crap-shoot among crap-artists which is immortalized on our screens and in print by the owners and operatives of the MSM who are the loyal products of the same society.


Kim Ghattas strikes me as an especially virulent war monger. I'm guessing that she has several axes to grind dating back to the Lebanese civil war and lives for exaction of her enemies.

different clue


I notice the BBC radio interviewers have done a lot of that for years. They do it from a sense of personal and institutional superiority on their own part, and rudeness on display.

Bill Herschel

Every single solitary one of my friends and family repeats verbatim what they hear on the "news" (print or TV) about Trump, Clinton, and American foreign policy. Any challenge to any individual piece of "information" is treated with surprise and ultimately something bordering on anger. "You can't be serious," is the message.

This is a thunderous triumph for the purveyors of this material. If I ask why it is that we must spend a trillion dollars a year on defense and fight the longest war in American history in Afghanistan, place combat troops in numerous countries in active warfare, carry out aerial bombing via drones and aircraft in places where we have absolutely no identifiable national interest, etc. etc., I am ignored. The questions are not answered. They are treated as the ruminations of someone who "just doesn't get it."

I respectfully decline to answer any questions about my friends and family, but they do not in general fit the profile of crazies with old George Bush stickers on their cars, although some of them probably do.

Res ipsa loquitur, which in this case either means I am crazy or that the media is very effective at a task which has nothing to do with news.

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