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MSNBC Does Not Merely Permit Fabrications Against Democratic Party Critics. It Encourages and Rewards Them Glenn Greenwald July 8 2018
DURING THE 2016 primary and general election campaigns, various MSNBC hosts were openly campaigning for Hillary Clinton. One of the network’s programs featured Malcolm Nance (pictured above), whose background is quite sketchy but is presented by the cable network (and now by NBC News) as an “intelligence expert” and former intelligence officer for the U.S. Navy.
On August 20, 2016, weekend host Joy Reid asked Nance about the supposed “affinity” for Russia harbored by Jill Stein supporters. In response, Nance told MSNBC viewers: “Jill Stein has a show on Russia Today.”
Whatever your views might be about Stein and her third-party candidacy, there is no disputing the fact that Nance’s statement was a falsehood, a fabrication, a lie. Stein did not have a show on RT, nor did she ever host a show on RT. What Nance said was made up out of whole cloth — fabricated — in order to encourage MSNBC viewers to believe that Stein, one of the candidates running against Clinton, was a paid agent of the Kremlin and employee of RT...
Subsequently, a campaign was launched to urge MSNBC to correct the lie it broadcast, based on the assumption that MSNBC — which is part of NBC News — was a normal news outlet that functions in accordance with basic journalistic principles and would, of course, correct a false statement once that was brought to its attention.
The media watchdog group FAIR repeatedly documented the lie told by Nance and urged MSNBC to issue a correction. The Intercept wrote about this falsehood on several occasions and also noted that MSNBC was refusing to issue a correction of what everyone knows is a false — but an obviously quite significant — claim. Multiple tweets were directed at NBC News, MSNBC, Nance, and Reid asking them to correct the fabrication to their viewers:
To date — almost two years later — neither NBC News nor MSNBC, nor a single journalist who works for either one of those media outlets has corrected this significant falsehood
Worse, not only was Nance never sanctioned in any way for the lie he told, but he was rewarded: He has since gone from “MSNBC contributor” to “MSNBC intelligence analyst,” and is far more pervasive on the network, and its hosts have spent the month aggressively promoting his new book on how Vladimir Putin is destroying U.S. democracy.
On MSNBC, lies are not corrected; they are rewarded, provided the lies are designed to smear the reputations of Democratic Party critics. Is this not definitive and conclusive proof of that: that this is not a news outlet but a political arm of the Democratic Party? What else could possibly explain, let alone justify, behavior like this? I’m asking that earnestly.
Obviously, anyone is free to criticize people who decide to visit Russia. Anyone is free to denounce those who speak with RT (such as Stephen Hawking, whose RT interview can be seen here, though I’d love to hear from those holding such views why it’s permissible to speak to think tanks such as Brookings and Center for American Progress, which are funded by Gulf state tyrannies). And, needless to say, anyone is free to attack or dispute any statements or views that I, or anyone else, express as part of such discussions.
This is because Nance knows that he is free to lie this way with impunity. That’s because he works for an organization — MSNBC — that masquerades as a news outlet but actively encourages its employees to lie this way about anyone who criticizes the Democratic Party.
Obviously, Nance is simply adhering to the post-World War II tactic of the U.S. military and intelligence community from which he emerged: For decades, they accuse any journalists they dislike, or dissidents of any kind, of being covert agents of Moscow.
That’s because NBC News and MSNBC have essentially merged with the CIA and intelligence community and thus, use their tactics. The network is filled with former generals and CIA officials who are part of the community that pioneered these smear tactics of accusing journalists and critics they dislike of being traitors, spies, and Kremlin loyalists. Indeed, Nance sometimes appears on MSNBC along with former CIA Director John Brennan, who MSNBC also hired as an “analyst.” This is who they are.
MSNBC’S RACHEL MADDOW SEES A “RUSSIA CONNECTION” LURKING AROUND EVERY CORNER Intercept: Aaron Maté April 12 2017
ONE DAY AFTER her network joined the rest of corporate media in cheering for President Trump’s missile attack on Syria, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow was back to regular business: seeing Russian collaboration with Trump at work.
It’s “impossible,” fellow anchor Lawrence O’Donnell told Maddow on April 7, to rule out that “Vladimir Putin orchestrated what happened in Syria this week – so that his friend in the White House could have a big night with missiles and all of the praise he’s picked up over the past 24 hours.”
The Washington Post noted that the “conspiracy theory” drew “derision from across the political spectrum.” But it was not out of place.
MSNBC, the country’s most prominent liberal media outlet, has played a key role in stoking the frenzy over Trump’s alleged involvement with Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential race — in lock step with the Democratic Party’s most avid partisans.
Jennifer Palmieri, a senior member of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, captured the prevailing mentality when she recently urged party members to talk about the Russian “attack on our republic” — and to do so “relentlessly and above all else.”
And no leading media figure has done so more than Maddow. In the period since Election Day, “The Rachel Maddow Show” has covered “The Russia Connection” — and Russia, generally — more than it has any other issue.
Maddow’s Russia coverage has dwarfed the time devoted to other top issues, including Trump’s escalating crackdown on undocumented immigrants (1.3 percent of coverage); Obamacare repeal (3.8 percent); the legal battle over Trump’s Muslim ban (5.6 percent), a surge of anti-GOP activism and town halls since Trump took office (5.8 percent), and Trump administration scandals and stumbles (11 percent).
Maddow’s focus on Russia has helped her ratings, which are at their highest level since 2008.
As MSNBC’s most popular host, Maddow over the years has become a critical voice for U.S. progressives, helping to shape the outlook of millions of viewers and the smaller left-leaning outlets that follow her lead. A supremely gifted journalist who Vanity Fair has dubbed “the smartest person on TV,” Maddow’s influence is well-earned. She frequently brings pivotal national attention to overlooked stories, such as the poisoning of Flint, Michgan’s water supply.
While proof of collusion with Moscow could well emerge — and could well topple Trump’s presidency — the “above all else” focus on Russia lacks concrete supporting evidence, either of Russian hacking and cyber disinformation impacting the vote’s outcome or of the Trump campaign’s complicity with it. Journalist Matt Taibbi calls it “an exercise of conspiratorial mass hysteria.”
This muddies the waters for a sober, credible investigation of Russia’s actions — but that is the least of its consequences. Democrats have avoided constructive introspection on their seismic election loss by blaming the Kremlin.
Maddow has acknowledged that allegations of Trump-Russia collusion are unverified. But she has ignored claims that cast them in a more skeptical light. For instance, James Clapper, the former Director of National Intelligence, told NBC News on March 5 that U.S. intelligence has “no evidence” of collusion between Trump and Russia. On March 15, former CIA Director and Hillary Clinton surrogate Michael Morrell said “there is smoke, but there is no fire, at all.” Those statements have gone unmentioned. The Coming Collapse By Chris Hedges May 21, 2018
The Trump administration did not rise, prima facie, like Venus on a half shell from the sea. Donald Trump is the result of a long process of political, cultural and social decay. He is a product of our failed democracy. The longer we perpetuate the fiction that we live in a functioning democracy, that Trump and the political mutations around him are somehow an aberrant deviation that can be vanquished in the next election, the more we will hurtle toward tyranny.
If we do not stand up we will enter a new dark age.
The press is one of the principal pillars of Trump’s despotism. It chatters endlessly like 18th-century courtiers at the court of Versailles about the foibles of the monarch while the peasants lack bread. It drones on and on and on about empty topics such as Russian meddling and a payoff to a porn actress that have nothing to do with the daily hell that, for many, defines life in America. It refuses to critique or investigate the abuses by corporate power, which has destroyed our democracy and economy and orchestrated the largest transfer of wealth upward in American history.
The corporate press is a decayed relic that, in exchange for money and access, committed cultural suicide. And when Trump attacks it over “fake news,” he expresses, once again, the deep hatred of all those the press ignores. The press worships the idol of Mammon as slavishly as Trump does. It loves the reality-show presidency. The press, especially the cable news shows, keeps the lights on and the cameras rolling so viewers will be glued to a 21st-century version of “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.” It is good for ratings. It is good for profits. But it accelerates the decline.
Mainstream Media Just Admitted Billions of Your Tax Dollars Are Funding Child Rape on a Massive Scale Americans are funding a massive child rape operation—to the tune of $70 billion—and most people could not care less.
Afghanistan — As the Free Thought Project has previously reported, the US has known about and covered up horrifying acts of sexual abuse committed by US-allied commanders against children. Not only is the Pentagon covering up the abuse, but your tax dollars are funding it—to the tune of $70 billion.
According to the Leahy Law, no assistance shall be furnished to any unit of the security forces of a foreign country if the “Secretary of State has credible information that such unit has committed a gross violation of human rights.”
It is widely known that U.S.-funded Afghan units routinely engage in “bacha bazi” — boy play. This practice consists of military leaders kidnapping male children and holding them as sex slaves. As TFTP reported at the time, scores of witnesses have come forward to report the rampant sexual abuse committed by their Afghan allies and not only does the US do nothing about it but they are actually funding it.
Hard Censorship Hits the Internet By Paul Craig Roberts October 08, 2017
US Media Credibility Collapses
According to this report [https://www.naturalnews.com/2017-10-06-youtube-moves-to-shut-down-all-independent-media-coverage-of-las-vegas-shooting-desperate-maneuver-to-protect-the-official-narrative.html], YouTube has shut down all independent media coverage of the Las Vegas shooting in a desperate maneuver to protect the official narrative.
I am aware of books by former insiders that describe the CIA’s alliance with members of the media. When I was a member of the congressional staff, I was warned of the Washington Post’s collaboration with the CIA. And we have the case of Udo Ulfkotte, whose book, “Purchased Journalism,” was a best seller in Germany, but the English translation was yanked from the market. Ulfkotte, an editor with one of Germany’s main newspapers, wrote that he and most European journalists post articles handed to them by the CIA.
The way that the One Percent rules is by controlling the explanations. They do that through official statements endlessly parroted by the presstitutes who have sold their souls.
Remember, the presstitutes sold to the public the false story of “Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction,” the false story of “Assad’s use of chemical weapons,” the false story of “Iranian nukes,” the false stories about Gaddafi, about “Russian invasion of Ukraine,” about Afghanistan, and on and on. When the presstitutes are willing to lie at the expense of the destruction of millions of peoples, the infrastructures of the countries, and millions of refugees inflicted upon Europe, how can we believe the presstitutes about Las Vegas, Sandy Hook, etc., especially when contradictions in the official stories are never cleared up and in place of hard evidence we are given only assertions and photoshopped photos?
Media ConsolidationMedia consolidation
Six corporations - Time Warner, Disney, News Corporation, Viacom, Comcast, and CBS - control roughly 90% of the media in the U.S.
These companies are in business to make a profit.
This is why you'll find plenty of advertisements in the media. Entertainment? Check. Sports? Definitely. Weather? Yep.
You'll also find plenty of "if it bleeds, it leads" stories designed to hook you in. Vendors, witnesses recall Venice hit-and-run horror. Fort Hood trial turns bizarre as shooter grills witnesses.
There's also plenty of political bickering: Democrats said this, Republicans said that. We let you decide (but we never weigh in with any facts or fact-checking).
What won't you hear? You won't hear the "liberal media" discuss the corporate media.
What to make of this
If the media were "liberal," it would serve the public interest and shine a light on issues like the ones above.
More people would also have a better understanding of global warming, peak oil, population growth, political lobbying, government's role in a functioning economy, how much we spend on the military, and countless other issues.
What you’re more likely to see in the media, however, are stories designed to get you to buy their paper, or watch their show, or listen to their radio station. If it bleeds, it ledes. This is why the media is concerned with scandal, celebrities, gossip, and fear.
If anything, our news consists of paid advertisements and outlets too scared of offending anyone to publish much of substance. Investigative journalism is also expensive; entertainment is cheap.
The way this corporate media behaves may not be surprising. I apologize if you feel any of this is beating you over the head.
This Buzzfeed-style list wasn't intended to introduce this idea as new (others have 'e a much better job), but rather to highlight the sheer absurdity of a "liberal media" for an audience who may not see it.
One way to approach the topic is to simply ask: If we have a "liberal media," where are the liberal stories?
World Press Freedom Day
"One night, probably in 1880, John Swinton, then the preeminent New York journalist, was the guest of honour at a banquet given him by the leaders of his craft. Someone who knew neither the press nor Swinton offered a toast to the independent press. Swinton outraged his colleagues by replying:|
"There is no such thing, at this date of the world's history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone.
"The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press? We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes."
(Source: Labor's Untold Story, by Richard O. Boyer and Herbert M. Morais, published by United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America, NY, 1955/1979.)
"If you think there is freedom of the press in the United States, I tell you there is no freedom of the press... They come out with the cheap shot. The press should be ashamed of itself. They should come to both sides of the issue and hear both sides and let the American people make up their minds" - Bill Moyers
"..a recent study by Columbia University's Project for Excellence in Journalism found that the TV stations owned by smaller media firms generally produce better newscasts" (Phillips, Peter, and Project Censored. Censored 2004: The Top 25 Censored Stories. NY: Seven Stories Press, 2003: 88).
"..Clear Channel is now widely seen as the poster child for what's wrong with our hyper-consolidated media environment...
"In January 2002, a train carrying 10,000 gallons of anhydrous ammonia derailed in the town of Minot, North Dakota, sausing a spill and a toxic cloud. Authorities attempted to warn the residents of Minot to stay indoors and to avoid the spill. But when the authorities called six of the seven radio stations in Minot to issue the warning, no one answered the phones. As it turned out, Clear Channel owned all six of the stations, and none of the station's personnel were available...
"..the so-called "derelict rodeo roundup," in which employees give homeless people a $20 bill, a 40-ounce bottle of malt liquor, and a bus ticket to the edge of town, was pioneered in spring of 2003 by a Clear Channel station in Cincinnati...
"Egregious examples of [Clear Channel's].. unconscionable.. behavior.. [include] banning the Dixie Chicks and more than 200 peace-related songs..; the many station-sponsored pro-war rallies; the intense union-busting; automated on-air programming and the train wreck in Minot, North Dakota; and the "derelict rodeo roundup"" (88-89).
"Clear Channel's.. non-music coverage was dominated by crime, drugs, and violence"(Phillips, Peter, and Project Censored. Censored 2004: The Top 25 Censored Stories. NY: Seven Stories Press, 2003: 90).
Clear Channel Sucks "this powerful company has grown unchecked, using their monopoly to control the entire music industry. If you find this alarming, ClearChannelSucks.org is the place for you"
"Journalists, George Bernard Shaw once said, "are unable, seemingly, to discriminate between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilization"" (Eric Alterman. "Bush's War on the Press." The Nation, May 9, 2005: 11).
"Why is science in the media so often pointless, simplistic, boring or just plain wrong? Like a proper little Darwin, I've been collecting specimens, making careful observations, and now I'm ready to present my theory. It is my hypothesis that in their choice of stories, and the way they cover them, the media create a parody of science, for their own means. They then attack this parody as if they were critiquing science.
"Science stories usually fall into three families: wacky stories, scare stories and "breakthrough" stories...
"[the bogus stories] help perform a crucial function for the media, which is selling the reader to their advertisers...
"And last, in our brief taxonomy, is the media obsession with "New breakthroughs": a more subtly destructive category of science story. It's quite understandable that newspapers should feel it's their job to write about new stuff. But in the aggregate these stories sell the idea that science, and indeed the whole emperical world view, is only about tenuous, new, hotly contested data. Articles about robustly supported emerging ideas would be more stimulating, of course, than most single experimental results, and these themes are the real developments in science. But they emerge over months and several bits of evidence, not single rejiggable press releases. Often, a front-page science story will emerge from a press release alone, and the formal academic paper may never appear, or appear much later, and then not even show what the press reports claimed it would.
"Scientists never said that tenuous small findings were headline news--journalists did...
"The central theme: there is no useful information in most science stories.
"Remember all those stories about the danger of mobile phones? I must have read 15 newspaper articles on the subject in a single week. Not one told me what the experiment flagging up the danger was. What was the exposure, the measured outcome, was it human or animal data? Figures? Nothing.
"Why? Because papers think you won't understand the "science bit", all stories involving science must be dumbed down...
"Nobody dumbs down the finance pages.
"So how do the media work around their inability to deliver scientific evidence? They use authority figures, the very antithesis of what science is about, as if they were priests, or politicians, or parent figures. And if they want balance, you'll get two scientists disagreeing, although with no explanation of why" (Ben Goldacre. "''t dumb me down." Guardian Weekly, Sep. 16, 2005: 19).
How the Media Can Restore Credibility"... the Gallup poll finds that 49% of Americans consider the news mostly or completely unreliable...
"... the endemic vices of elitism, unaccountability, and star worship that afflict our journalistic institutions beginning with the top management. It will take more than another pro forma mea culpa to rebuild their eroded creditbility. Systemic changes are essential:
"Journalists shouldn't get cozy with government officials... A reporter's job is to discover and tell the truth... politicians and reporters are natural enemies...
"Press conferences produce lies, not news. What comes out of them should be treated as news only after it has been independently verified.
"Journalists should be accessible. Isolation impairs accountability... Every newspaper byline should carry its writer's direct phone number and email address, and they should be required to return their messages...
"Ban patriotism. While I was covering the war in Afghanistan in 2001, a colleague from a major US paper informed me: "We've captured Kunduz!" We? Never mind editorial independence--she identified with the Norther Alliance because they were backed by the United States. CNN mimicked Fox News' perpetually waving stars-and-stripes logo and TV anchors from Maine to Hawaii sported flag lapel pins--a prop on state television in dictatorships. Even when the US is at war, reporters should remain neutral. Skeptics make better journalists than patriots.
"Embedded reporters are whores... ersatz journalists who rode into Iraq in American tanks and armored personnel carriers... Correspondents who participate in a story--a war, say--deserve to be fired" (Ted Rall. "It's the Skepticism, Stupid." The Progressive Populist, Dec. 15, 2005: 2, 19).
Chomsky: There's an Overt Corporate Effort to Indoctrinate American Children education and indoctrination... and the way "capitalism" actually works in the United States.
The Crisis of Democracy was published in 1975, and it was a discussion of the destructive effect of the 1960s. The destructive effect was that it called for too much democracy. You have to read it to believe it. The picture was that before, people were mostly passive and obedient and they did what they were told and democracy functioned fine.
Anyone who looked at the media could see that it's overwhelmingly conformist. But there was some criticism. I mean, there were people in the media who were saying, "The war's too costly. Maybe we shouldn't continue with it" and so on. And they said even that's too much. You can't have the media being this oppositional and critical of power. So maybe the state should step in with some form of censorship and control over the media.
How Establishment Propaganda Gaslights Us Into Submission The mass media has given elites the ability to effectively turn a false story that they themselves invented into an established fact.
The dynamics of the establishment Syria narrative are hilarious if you take a step back and think about them. I mean, the western empire is now openly admitting to having funded actual, literal terrorist groups in that country, and yet they're still cranking out propaganda pieces about what is happening there and sincerely expecting us to believe them. It's adorable, really; like a little kid covered in chocolate telling his mom he doesn't know what happened to all the cake frosting.
Or least it would be adorable if it weren't directly facilitating the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of people.