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Media Manipulation Articles
Excerpts of Key Media Manipulation Articles in Major Media


Below are key excerpts of highly revealing, yet little-known mass media articles reported in the mainstream media. Links are provided to the full articles on their major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These mass media articles are listed in reverse date order. You can explore the articles listed by order of importance or by date posted. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

Note: Explore our full index to key excerpts of revealing major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.


Artist says he'll destroy $45M worth of Rembrandt, Picasso and Warhol masterpieces if Julian Assange dies in prison
2024-02-14, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/andrei-molodkin-destroy-rembrandt-picasso-wa...

An artist in the south of France says he's planning to destroy up to $45 million worth of art, including pieces by Rembrandt, Picasso, and Andy Warhol, if WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange dies in prison. Andrei Molodkin [said] that he put a collection of masterpieces that had been donated to him into a 29-ton safe hooked up to two barrels – one containing an acid powder and the other containing an accelerator – which, when pumped into the safe, will create a reaction strong enough to destroy all its contents. The project is called "Dead Man's Switch," and it is backed by Assange's wife, Stella. Assange is currently in jail in the U.K. awaiting his final appeal over extradition to the United States to face charges under the Espionage Act, which will take place later this month. WikiLeaks published thousands of leaked documents relating to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Assange is alleged to have conspired to obtain and disclose U.S. national defense information. Molodkin says that the safe will be hooked up to a 24-hour timer which must be reset every day or else it will trigger the release of the two barrel's corrosive substances inside. He says, each day, the timer will only be reset when someone "close to Assange" confirms he is alive. Assange's wife, Stella, says the project asks the question of "which is the greater taboo: destroying art or destroying human life? If democracy wins, the art will be preserved - as will Julian's life."

Note: The US prosecution of Assange undermines press freedom. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Moderna Surveillance Operation Targeted Independent Media Voices
2024-01-16, Lee Fang on Substack
https://www.leefang.com/p/moderna-surveillance-operation-targeted

Finances at the vaccine manufacturer Moderna began to fall almost as quickly as they had risen, as most Americans resisted getting yet another COVID booster shot. In a September call aimed at shoring up investors, Moderna's then-chief commercial officer, Arpa Garay, attributed some of the hesitancy pummeling Moderna's numbers to uninformed vaccine skeptics. What Garay hinted at during the call, but didn't disclose, was that Moderna already had a sprawling media operation in place aimed at identifying and responding to critics of vaccine policy and the drug industry. Internal company reports and communications ... show that Moderna has worked with former law enforcement and public health officials and a drug industry-funded non-governmental organization called The Public Good Projects (PGP) to confront the "root cause of vaccine hesitancy" by rapidly identifying and "shutting down misinformation." Part of this effort includes providing talking points to some 45,000 healthcare professionals "on how to respond when vaccine misinformation goes mainstream." PGP routinely sent Excel lists of accounts to amplify on Twitter and others to de-platform, including populist voices such as ZeroHedge. The messages also suggested emerging narratives to remove from the platform. The growing network these efforts rely on shows the growth of what has been called the censorship industrial complex.

Note: Learn more about Moderna's misinformation department. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on pharmaceutical industry corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


We're being censored, claim victims of AstraZeneca Covid vaccine
2024-01-06, The Telegraph (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2024/01/06/were-being-censored-victims-of-as...

Victims who suffered life-changing injuries from the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine say they have faced censorship on social media when trying to discuss their symptoms. The UK-based pharmaceutical giant is being sued in the High Court in a test case by a father-of-two who suffered a significant permanent brain injury as a result of a blood clot after receiving the jab in spring 2021. A second claim is also being brought by the widower and two young children of a woman who died after having the jab. Some who have experienced serious adverse reactions from the AstraZeneca vaccine ... have been given "warnings" on social media websites such as Facebook when trying to talk to one another about their experiences. They say they are being forced to "self censor" and speak in code to avoid having their support groups shut down. In one instance, YouTube attempted to censor a video of testimony given by lawyers to the Covid Inquiry about vaccines, flagging the clip as a violation of its "medical misinformation policy". UK CV Family, a private Facebook group with 1.2k members for people left injured or bereaved from Covid vaccines, was started in November 2021 by Charlet Crichton after she suffered an adverse reaction from the AstraZeneca jab. Facebook blocked Ms Crichton from commenting at one stage "to prevent misuse" and there were occasions where her account was temporarily banned because her "activity didn't follow our community standards".

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government COVID vaccines and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Journalism profession has ‘lost its way' – and it's not just the New York Times
2024-01-01, The Hill
https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/4380053-journalism-profession-has-lost-i...

The former opinion editor of the New York Times, James Bennet, took his former employer to task recently in a lengthy essay. The headline of the piece boldly asserted that the New York Times has "lost its way." Inasmuch as the newspaper represents professional expectations and standards for the entire journalism world, Bennet could be translated as saying the broader news industry has also lost its way. The Times is just the largest float at the front of a parade heading in the wrong direction. Public sentiment about the news industry as a whole is at dismal levels. Gallup polling shows Americans' confidence in the news media to report in a "full, fair and accurate way" is at historically low levels. Given this lack of trust, it only stands to reason that Americans are less likely to follow the news at all. There is no need to consume news from sources one can't trust. Journalists rank near the bottom of public ratings of professions in terms of ethics and honesty. Activism has replaced journalism's former mission to provide fact-based information on which citizens can manage their lives and hold the powerful accountable. Of course, opinion and analysis have always been a part of journalism. But there has long been a sense in the journalism profession that such activist content was to be confined to designated sections, and that the news was to be fact-driven and balanced. Fairness is a skill that journalists once prided themselves on achieving.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of revealing news articles on media corruption from reliable sources.


In the name of ‘fake news,' NewsGuard extorts sites to follow the government narrative
2023-12-10, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2023/12/10/opinion/newsguard-extorts-sites-to-follow-the-g...

An opaque network of government agencies and self-proclaimed anti-misinformation groups ... have repressed online speech. News publishers have been demonetized and shadow-banned for reporting dissenting views. NewsGuard, a for-profit company that scores news websites on trust and works closely with government agencies and major corporate advertisers, exemplifies the problem. NewsGuard's core business is a misinformation meter, in which websites are rated on a scale of 0 to 100 on a variety of factors, including headline choice and whether a site publishes "false or egregiously misleading content." Editors who have engaged with NewsGuard have found that the company has made bizarre demands that unfairly tarnish an entire site as untrustworthy for straying from the official narrative. In an email to one of its government clients, NewsGuard touted that its ratings system of websites is used by advertisers, "which will cut off revenues to fake news sites." Internal documents ... show that the founders of NewsGuard privately pitched the firm to clients as a tool to engage in content moderation on an industrial scale, applying artificial intelligence to take down certain forms of speech. Earlier this year, Consortium News, a left-leaning site, charged in a lawsuit that NewsGuard's serves as a proxy for the military to engage in censorship. The lawsuit brings attention to the Pentagon's $749,387 contract with NewsGuard to identify "false narratives" regarding the war [in] Ukraine.

Note: A recent trove of whistleblower documents revealed how far the Pentagon and intelligence spy agencies are willing to go to censor alternative views, even if those views contain factual information and reasonable arguments. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of news articles on corporate corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Biden Is Overseeing the Silent Death of the First Amendment
2023-12-08, The Nation
https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/julian-assange-belmarsh-tribunal/

In early 2024, a new, grim chapter may be written in the annals of journalistic history. Julian Assange, the publisher of Wikileaks, could board a plane for extradition to the United States, where he faces up to 175 years in prison on espionage charges for the crime of publishing newsworthy information. The persecution of Assange is clear evidence that the Biden administration is overseeing the silent death of the First Amendment–with global consequences. Wikileaks exposed not only civilian casualties, torture, and other human rights abuses through projects such as the Iraq War Logs, but also published documents that offer invaluable insight into conflicts still raging today. For example, cables released by Wikileaks in the 2010 Cablegate leaks show Israel's policy towards Gaza in the years following Hamas's election victory in 2006. According to the cable, Israel determined that Hamas's rise in Gaza would benefit them as it would allow the Israeli military to "deal with Gaza as a hostile state" and so turned down a Palestinian Authority request for assistance in defeating Hamas. Israeli policy to blockaded Gaza was to "keep the Gazan economy functioning at the lowest possible level consistent with avoiding humanitarian crisis." The application of the Espionage Act in the US sets a chilling precedent that reverberates far beyond Assange's individual fate. The struggle for press freedom is ongoing.

Note: The US prosecution of Assange undermines press freedom. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Pentagon Was Involved In Domestic Censorship Scheme, New CTIL Whistleblower Files Show
2023-12-07, Public on Substack
https://public.substack.com/p/pentagon-was-involved-in-domestic

A second whistleblower has come forward with Slack messages showing far greater government and military involvement in the Cyber Threat Intelligence League (CTIL) than we had previously discovered. The CTIL Slack "disinformation" channel and the "law enforcement escalation" channel included current and former FBI employees, as well as personnel from the Michigan Cyber Command Center, the US Defense Digital Service (DDS), and at least one European government. Some of the military's involvement in censoring information and shaping opinion has been out in the open. In 2017, the DOD added "information" as the seventh joint function of the military. With the addition of "information" as a function of defense, DOD effectively declared that citizens' perceptions, attitudes, decisions, and behaviors were subject to military scrutiny and manipulation. The Censorship Industrial Complex ... aims to undermine and denigrate populist actors and movements through allegations that anti-government sentiment is linked to hate, conspiracy theories, or Russia. Supposed attempts to stop "disinformation" are really attempts to prevent opposition and challenges to the international political and military order. The new files suggest that the US and UK military and intelligence officials and contractors created the Censorship Industrial Complex's to defeat populist sentiment, not just individuals.

Note: The extensive collusion between Big Tech and government officials to censor COVID information is barely beginning to come to light. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


CTIL Files #1: US And UK Military Contractors Created Sweeping Plan For Global Censorship In 2018, New Documents Show
2023-11-28, Public on Substack
https://public.substack.com/p/ctil-files-1-us-and-uk-military-contractors

A whistleblower has come forward with an explosive new trove of documents. They describe the activities of an "anti-disinformation" group called the Cyber Threat Intelligence League, or CTIL, that officially began as the volunteer project of data scientists and defense and intelligence veterans but whose tactics over time appear to have been absorbed into ... those of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In 2019, US and UK military and intelligence contractors ... developed the sweeping censorship framework. CTIL ... partnered with [Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency] (CISA) in the spring of 2020. CTIL's approach to "disinformation" went far beyond censorship. The group engaged in offensive operations to influence public opinion, discussing ways to promote "counter-messaging," co-opt hashtags, dilute disfavored messaging, create sock puppet accounts, and infiltrate private invite-only groups. The ambitions of the 2020 pioneers of the Censorship Industrial Complex went far beyond simply urging Twitter to slap a warning label on Tweets, or to put individuals on blacklists. The [Adversarial Misinformation and Influence Tactics and Techniques] framework calls for discrediting individuals as a necessary prerequisite of demanding censorship against them. It calls for training influencers to spread messages. And it calls for trying to get banks to cut off financial services to individuals who organize rallies or events. [CTIL] laments that governments and corporate media no longer have full  control of information. "For a long time, the ability to reach mass audiences belonged to the nation-state (e.g. in the USA via broadcast licensing through ABC, CBS and NBC). Now, however, control of informational instruments has been allowed to devolve to large technology companies who have been blissfully complacent and complicit in facilitating access to the public for information operators at a fraction of what it would have cost them by other means."

Note: The extensive collusion between Big Tech and government officials to censor COVID information is barely beginning to come to light. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Moderna is spying on you
2023-11-27, Lee Fang on Substack
https://www.leefang.com/p/moderna-is-spying-on-you

The Moderna misinformation reports, reported here for the first time, reveal what the pharmaceutical company is willing to do to shape public discourse around its marquee product. The mRNA COVID-19 vaccine catapulted the company to a $100 billion valuation. Behind the scenes, the marketing arm of the company has been working with former law enforcement officials and public health officials to monitor and influence vaccine policy. Key to this is a drug industry-funded NGO called Public Good Projects. PGP works closely with social media platforms, government agencies and news websites to confront the "root cause of vaccine hesitancy" by rapidly identifying and "shutting down misinformation." A network of 45,000 healthcare professionals are given talking points "and advice on how to respond when vaccine misinformation goes mainstream", according to an email from Moderna. An official training programme, developed by Moderna and PGP, alongside the American Board of Internal Medicine, [helps] healthcare workers identify medical misinformation. The online course, called the "Infodemic Training Program", represents an official partnership between biopharma and the NGO world. Meanwhile, Moderna also retains Talkwalker which uses its "Blue Silk" artificial intelligence to monitor vaccine-related conversations across 150 million websites in nearly 200 countries. Claims are automatically deemed "misinformation" if they encourage vaccine hesitancy. As the pandemic abates, Moderna is, if anything, ratcheting up its surveillance operation.

Note: Strategies to silence and censor those who challenge mainstream narratives enable COVID vaccine pharmaceutical giants to downplay the significant, emerging health risks associated with the COVID shots. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


Execs ignored the damage Instagram does to teens, Meta whistleblower tells Congress
2023-11-07, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2023/11/07/tech/meta-ignored-warnings-instagrams-harm/ind...

Meta's top executives, including CEO Mark Zuckerberg, ignored warnings for years about harms to teens on its platforms such as Instagram, a company whistleblower told a Senate subcommittee. Meta instead fosters a culture of "see no evil, hear no evil" that overlooks evidence of harm internally while publicly presenting carefully crafted metrics to downplay the issue, said Arturo Bejar, an ex-Facebook engineering director and consultant. Bejar is the latest former insider to level public allegations that the tech giant knowingly turns a blind eye to problems that its policies and technology cannot cheaply or easily address. [Bejar] first became motivated to study the issue because of unwanted sexual advances his own 14-year-old daughter received from strangers on Instagram. "It is unacceptable that a 13-year-old girl gets propositioned on social media," Bejar testified, citing a statistic from his research finding that more than 25% of 13-to-15-year-olds have reported receiving unwanted sexual advances on Instagram. Lawmakers on Tuesday ripped into the social media giant. "They hid from this committee and all of Congress evidence of the harms that they knew was credible," said ... Sen. Richard Blumenthal. Missouri Republican Josh Hawley blasted Big Tech companies for spending "gobs" of money ... to thwart bills that would restrict the industry's power. He also accused Meta of "cooking the books" on data related to mental health harms.

Note: Read how Instagram connects a vast pedophile network. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


As Gaza crumbles, those speaking up for innocent Palestinians are being silenced and sacked
2023-10-31, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/oct/31/gaza-innocent-palestini...

Ever since Israel responded to Hamas's atrocities with a vicious onslaught that has killed more than 8,000 Palestinians there has been an attempt to silence, intimidate and harass Palestinian sympathisers. Inevitably, it is Palestinians who suffer the brunt of a campaign to stigmatise even the most basic opposition to the mass slaughter of their people. Viet Thanh Nguyen, the son of refugees and a sympathiser with other displaced people, had a talk at the 92nd Street Y centre in New York postponed after he signed an open letter demanding an "end to the violence and destruction in Palestine". What of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, whose longstanding conference in Houston was cancelled following the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce describing the event as "a conference for Hamas supporters"? The Hilton cited security concerns as the reason for the cancellation. The keynote speaker, Rashida Tlaib, the first ever elected Palestinian-American congresswoman, has been targeted by a Republican smear campaign, with an attempt to censure her for "antisemitic activity" and "sympathising with terrorist organisations" – all baseless attacks. Meanwhile, MSNBC reportedly stopped three of its Muslim broadcasters from presenting their shows, with no explanation. The broadcaster claimed any change in programming as "coincidental". This intimidation has deadly consequences: it undermines public pressure on Israel's western allies to stop the slaughter and end the occupation.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Media Decides Censorship Is Bad Now That It Hits The Left
2023-10-23, Public on Substack
https://public.substack.com/p/media-decides-censorship-is-bad-now

The Washington Post has published at least four long articles dismissing the censorship revealed by the Twitter Files and Missouri v. Biden lawsuit, which is headed to the Supreme Court. By contrast, in its story on the censorship of pro-Palestinian voices, the Washington Post expresses great skepticism of Big Tech and sympathy for the people censored – the exact opposite of how it treated the issue when it was non-Leftists who were being censored. To be sure, there has been a concerning increase in demands for censorship and blacklisting since the October 7 Hamas attacks. New York University appears to be investigating a student who said, "Israel bears full responsibility for this tremendous loss of life." But the alarm that the news media are raising is in striking contrast to the indifference ... to the evidence of governmental and nongovernmental censorship of a variety of disfavored views and voices relating to climate change, Covid, Ukraine, and the Biden family's influence-peddling. Media outrage about censorship of pro-Palestinian voices sent social media platforms scrambling in order to end the censorship. The Washington Post's queries forced at least one social media company to stop censoring. "After The Washington Post sent questions to TikTok about the video, the sound was restored." A Meta spokesperson said a "bug" had caused some of the trouble. "We fixed a problem that briefly caused inappropriate Arabic translations in some of our products," the statement said.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media corruption from reliable sources.


Is Biden Willing to Damage Relations With a Staunch Ally Like Australia in His Headlong Prosecution of Julian Assange?
2023-10-22, LA Progressive
https://www.laprogressive.com/law-and-the-justice-system/headlong-prosecution...

Last month, a multi-party delegation of Australian Members of Parliament visited the United States to actively lobby U.S. officials to cease their efforts to extradite Julian Assange. The founder of Wikileaks is an Australian citizen facing charges filed by the Trump administration under the infamous Espionage Act of 1917 for revealing US war crimes and violations of international law. The revelations were called "Cable gate," a set of 251,000 confidential cables from the US State Department that disclosed corruption, diplomatic scandals and spy affairs on an international scale. On January 4, 2021, British criminal court judge Vanessa Baraister denied the US government's request to extradite Assange. Given the fact that he had been confined in the Ecuadorian embassy for seven years and then held in the Balmarsh high-security prison since April 12, 2019, the judge found that Assange's mental condition "is such that it would be oppressive to extradite him to the United States of America." The Biden DOJ appealed that ruling and convinced the British higher courts to reverse Judge Baraister. As a result, Assange is now subject to extradition unless his further legal appeals can prevail. For Australians, securing the release of Assange is broadly supported by a coalition that transcends partisan politics. The Australian delegation last month included members of Parliament from the majority Labor Party, the conservative opposition, the Greens, the National party, and an independent party.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Revolutionary Civic Social Media Is On the Horizon
2023-10-10, LA Progressive
https://www.laprogressive.com/techie-tips/revolutionary-civic-social-media

Social media platforms have become an integral part of our lives, but they also pose significant challenges for our society. From spreading misinformation and hate speech to undermining democracy and privacy, social media can have negative impacts on the public good. How can we harness the power of social media for positive purposes, such as civic engagement, social justice, and education? One possible solution is to create a new kind of social media platform that is designed to serve the public interest, not the profit motive. This platform would be owned and governed by its users, who would have a say in how it operates and what content it promotes. Such a platform may sound utopian, but it is not impossible. In fact, there are already some examples of social media platforms that are trying to achieve these goals, such as Mastodon, Diaspora, and Aether. These platforms are based on the principles of decentralization, federation, and peer-to-peer communication, which allow users to have more control and autonomy over their online interactions. Civic Works ... is an emerging social networking platform that provides a more democratic, inclusive, and responsible online space for everyone. It is built on the idea that social media can be a force for good when the objective is not subverted by advertisers, marketers, or shadowy political operatives. It is a platform that inspires people to become active citizens, through civic, political, economic, and/or educational actions.

Note: The social media platform PeakD is censorship-proof and is governed by network operators who are elected by the community. Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


The New Push for Censorship Under the Guise of Combating Hate
2023-10-01, Tablet
https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/censorship-center-guise-comb...

In March of 2021 a nonprofit group called the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) released a report about online misinformation. Founded [by] Imran Ahmed, the CCDH ... provides the White House with a powerful weapon to use against critics including RFK Jr. and [Elon] Musk, while also pressuring platforms like Facebook and Twitter to enforce the administration's policies. One rumor that came up ... is that [Ahmed] works for British intelligence. "There's nothing surprising about this," said Mike Benz, a former State Department official who now runs the Foundation for Freedom Online, a free-speech watchdog. "This is not the first rodeo of British and U.S. intelligence services creating a cutout for the purpose of influencing the online news economy, to rig public debate in favor of political speech that supports agency agendas." CCDH's ... chairman is Simon Clark, a former senior fellow at the Center for American Progress (CAP), a D.C. think tank aligned with the corporate arm of the Democratic Party. One might conclude that CCDH functions as an arm of the corporate wing of the Democratic Party, to be deployed against the perceived enemies of corporate Democrats, whether they come from the left or the right. Clark was also a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensics Lab. "The Atlantic Council, in the past several years, has had seven CIA directors on its board of directors or board of advisers," said Benz. "And it's one of the premier architects of online censorship."

Note: Read an excellent piece on what gave rise to the modern censorship regime. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


The Biden administration tried to censor this Stanford doctor, but he won in court
2023-09-20, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2023/09/20/how-dr-jay-bhattacharya-beat-biden-administrati...

A federal court of appeals ruled earlier this month that the White House, surgeon general, CDC and FBI "likely violated the First Amendment" by exerting a pressure campaign on social media companies to censor COVID-19 skeptics – including Stanford epidemiologist Dr. Jay Bhattacharya. Bhattacharya, a professor of medicine, economics and health research policy at Stanford University, co-authored the Great Barrington Declaration in the fall of 2020 with professors from Harvard and Oxford. The epidemiologists advocated for "focused protection" – safeguarding the most vulnerable Americans while cautiously allowing others to function as normally as possible – rather than broad pandemic lockdowns. "We were just acting as scientists, but almost immediately we were censored," said Bhattacharya. "Google de-boosted us. Our Facebook page was removed. It was just a crazy time. "The kinds of things that the federal government was telling social media companies to censor included us – along with millions of other posts from countless other people who were criticizing government COVID policy," he added. A New Orleans-based three-judge panel found that the federal government "likely coerced or significantly encouraged social-media platforms to moderate content" by vaguely threatening adverse regulatory consequences if social media companies did not suppress certain viewpoints on the pandemic.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Rumble Had Exclusive Rights To Stream Republican Debate – Yet Was Buried In Google Search
2023-09-20, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2023/09/20/republican-debate-google-search-rumble/

Leading up to the August Republican presidential primary debate ... An RNC official told Google via email that the debate would be streaming exclusively on the upstart video platform Rumble. The August 23 debate was broadcast on Fox News and streamed on Fox Nation, which requires a subscription, while Rumble was the only one to stream it for free. On the day of and during the debate, however, potential viewers who searched Google for "GOP debate stream" were returned links to YouTube, Fox News, and news articles about the debate, according to screen recordings. Rumble was nowhere on the first page. For Rumble, which is currently in discovery in an antitrust lawsuit against Google in California, this is a case of Google suppressing its competitors in favor of its own product, YouTube. YouTube is owned by Google, and it has regularly been the subject of anticompetitive allegations from rivals, who charge that Google unfairly and illegally favors YouTube in its search algorithm. Google, in fact, is in the middle of a landmark antitrust trial, charged with anticompetitive practices by the Department of Justice. The company would not have been required by antitrust law to promote [Rumble's] link. It would, however, be barred from suppressing the competitor's link from organic results. The fact that Rumble's link did not appear on the first page even though it was the most relevant link the search could return means either the search engine failed at its task or the link was suppressed.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


New York Times Doesn't Want Its Stories Archived
2023-09-17, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2023/09/17/new-york-times-website-internet-archive/

The New York Times tried to block a web crawler that was affiliated with the famous Internet Archive. The Internet Archive's Wayback Machine has long been used to compare webpages as they are updated over time, clearly delineating the differences between two iterations of any given page. Several years ago, the archive added a feature called "Changes" that lets users compare two archived versions of a website from different dates or times on a single display. The tool can be used to uncover changes in news stories that have been made without any accompanying editorial notes, so-called stealth edits. The Times has, in the past, faced public criticisms over some of its stealth edits. In a notorious 2016 incident, the paper revised an article about then-Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. ... drastically after publication – changing the tone from one of praise to skepticism. More recently, the Times stealth-edited an article that originally listed "death" as one of six ways "you can still cancel your federal student loan debt." Following the edit, the "death" section title was changed to a more opaque heading of "debt won't carry on." A service called NewsDiffs – which provides a similar comparative service but focuses on news outlets such as the New York Times, CNN, the Washington Post, and others – has also chronicled a long list of significant examples of articles that have undergone stealth edits, though the service appears to not have been updated in several years.

Note: The manipulation of media coverage for Bernie Sanders' campaign was widespread, as discussed in an WantToKnow.info interview with media activist Tony Brasunas. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Google wanted to ‘manipulate choices' to become default search engine, behavioral expert testifies at antitrust trial
2023-09-14, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2023/09/14/google-wanted-to-manipulate-choices-to-become-d...

Google fought hard to be the default search engine on smartphones and browsers so it "can manipulate your choices," an expert on human behavior testified for the government at the closely watched antitrust trial. Antonio Rangel, a behavioral economist ... took the stand for the second day and said Google has leaned heavily on default settings to keep users hooked on its search engine and other lucrative services. The Justice Department is arguing ... that the Alphabet unit sought agreements with mobile carriers to win powerful default positions on smartphones to dominate search. The antitrust case – the largest of its kind in more than two decades – will ultimately hinge on whether Google is determined to have taken anticompetitive steps to cut off rivals while building its search behemoth. In testimony on Wednesday, Rangel questioned Google's argument that users could easily switch their default search engine, telling the court that he acquired an Android smartphone and found that it took 10 steps for the owner to switch Google for Microsoft's Bing. "That is considerable choice friction," Rangel said. Justice Department attorneys said Google paid "more than $10 billion per year" to major companies, including smartphone makers Apple and Samsung, browser operators like Mozilla and wireless providers such as AT&T, to secure a 91% share of the search market. The case's outcome won't be determined by a jury. Instead, US District Judge Amit Mehta will reach a determination on the outcome.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Biden officials ‘likely violated First Amendment' in Big Tech COVID censorship efforts, appeals court affirms
2023-09-08, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2023/09/08/biden-officials-likely-violated-first-amendment...

The Biden administration likely infringed upon the First Amendment when it leaned on social media companies to remove false or misleading COVID-19 content, a federal court of appeals ruled Friday – narrowing a bombshell district court order that barred several officials and agencies from communicating with the platforms. The White House, surgeon general, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the FBI "likely coerced or significantly encouraged social-media platforms to moderate content" and in doing so, "likely violated the First Amendment," the New Orleans-based Fifth US Circuit Court of Appeals determined. The three-judge panel, however, adjusted the scope of US District Judge Terry Doughty's July 4 order ... removing officials from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the State Department from the injunction. The Fifth Circuit vacated nine of the 10 provisions in Doughty's order that prevented Biden administration officials from "urging, encouraging, pressuring" or "inducing" social media companies from removing content. Similarly, the appeals court determined that "following up with social-media companies" about content moderation, "requesting content reports from social-media companies" or asking platforms to "Be on The Lookout" for certain types of material does not violate individuals' First Amendment rights. 

Note: Many posts that were censored contained factual information on COVID-related issues. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and media manipulation from reliable sources.


How American Institutions Went From Trust to Bust
2023-09-08, Wall Street Journal
https://www.wsj.com/articles/american-institutions-went-from-trust-to-bust-me...

At the heart of America's political and cultural turmoil is a crisis of trust. In the space of a generation, the people's confidence in their leaders and their most important institutions to do the right thing has collapsed. The federal government, big business, the media, education, science and medicine, technology, religious institutions, law enforcement and others have seen a precipitous decline. Since 1979 Gallup has measured trust among the public in the most important American institutions. Its latest survey ... found that across the nine key institutions Gallup has tracked consistently, the proportion of Americans who said they had "a great deal or quite a lot of confidence" averaged out at 26%. That is the lowest figure ever recorded. Some institutions have forfeited more trust than others. In 1979 Gallup found that 51% of Americans had a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in newspapers. This year the number was 18%. The biggest factor driving mistrust ... is surely the widening cultural gap between the people who have led and thrived in our major institutions and the rest of the population. The past 20 years have seen the rapid emergence of a new elite–expensively educated, versed in progressive nostrums, increasingly distant from and disdainful of the rest of America and its values. This crowd comprises much of the nation's permanent government classes, almost its entire academic establishment, most of the people who control its news and cultural output, and a good deal of its corporate elite.

Note: About half of Americans lost faith in the scientific community after this "new elite" repeatedly misled the public on issues related to the pandemic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and media manipulation from reliable sources.


What if We're the Bad Guys Here?
2023-08-02, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2023/08/02/opinion/trump-meritocracy-educated.html

When I began my journalism career in Chicago in the 1980s, there were still some old crusty working-class guys around the newsroom. Now we're not only a college-dominated profession; we're an elite-college-dominated profession. Only 0.8 percent of college students graduate from the super-elite 12 schools (the Ivy League colleges, plus Stanford, M.I.T., Duke and the University of Chicago). A 2018 study found that more than 50 percent of the staff writers at the beloved New York Times and The Wall Street Journal attended one of the 29 most elite universities in the nation. Members of our class also segregate ourselves into a few booming metro areas. In 2020, Biden won only 500 or so counties, but together they are responsible for 71 percent of the American economy. Trump won over 2,500 counties, responsible for only 29 percent. Like all elites, we use language and mores as tools to recognize one another and exclude others. Using words like "problematic," "cisgender," "Latinx" and "intersectional" is a sure sign that you've got cultural capital. Meanwhile, members of the less-educated classes have to walk on eggshells because they never know when we've changed the usage rules so that something that was sayable five years ago now gets you fired. Does this mean that I think the people in my class are vicious and evil? No. Most of us are earnest, kind and public-spirited. But we take for granted and benefit from systems that have become oppressive.

Note: Watch an excellent interview of journalist Batya Ungar-Sargon discussing how journalism has shifted from being a working class trade that held the powerful accountable to an elite industry that serves the upper class. She articulates that mainstream news has abandoned and divided the working class by creating a culture war around identity and race. Elites shaping the news industry benefit from this political polarization, which hides the tragic reality of income inequality that affect all races across political lines.


New Book Exposes the Horror of the US's Endless, Invisible Wars
2023-07-22, Truthout
https://truthout.org/articles/new-book-exposes-the-horror-of-the-uss-endless-...

Swiss journalist Maurine Mercier found several United States citizens fighting in Ukraine under the guise of humanitarian work. These rudderless warriors are a symbol of a society addicted to warfare. They reflect the tensions that author and antiwar activist Norman Solomon unwinds in his brilliant new book, War Made Invisible, which examines the profound causes and costs of U.S. interventionism. Solomon's book unveils the disturbing proximity between the ruling class and corporate media since the Vietnam War, revealing how the fourth estate sustains the assumptions that make intervention possible in Ukraine and elsewhere. "The essence of propaganda is repetition," he argues. "The frequencies of certain assumptions blend into a kind of white noise," conditioning U.S. people to support military operations they never see or truly understand. This was never clearer than during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Indeed, across the media landscape, embedded intellectuals mobilized their pens to solidify public support for war. ABC, NBC, CBS and PBS all skewed their coverage. In many ways, militarism is a form of class warfare. "The fat profit margins from supplying the Pentagon and kindred agencies," Solomon explains, exacerbate economic inequality while redirecting resources away from social programs. In effect, war is perpetual because it is profitable, enriching an elite firmly entrenched in the military-industrial complex.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war from reliable major media sources.


Many censored social media posts did not contain Covid-19 misinformation
2023-07-21, The Australian (One of Australia's leading newspapers)
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/many-censored-social-media-posts-did-...

Many of 4000 social media posts secretly censored by government during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic contained ­factual information and reasonable arguments rather than ­misinformation, new documents reveal. Digital posts released after Freedom of Information applications show the censored information shared facts such as the ineffectiveness of vaccines in preventing Covid-19 infection and transmission or argued against measures such as mask mandates and lockdowns. For instance, the then Coalition government sought the removal of an Instagram post in April 2021 that claimed "Covid-19 vaccine does not prevent Covid-19 infection or Covid-19 transmission". That statement clearly was accurate yet the official intervention via the Home Affairs Department claimed it breached Instagram's community guidelines because it was "potentially harmful information" that was "explicitly prohibited" by the platform. An April 2021 tweet was challenged because it claimed "Covid-19 was released or escaped from Wuhan laboratory in China and that it was funded by the US government". The Home Affairs Department claimed this was "explicitly prohibited" under Twitter's rules because it might "invoke a deliberate conspiracy by malicious and/or powerful forces", yet American intelligence agencies have found the most likely source of the virus was the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and it has been revealed that some work at the laboratory was funded by the US.

Note: The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) recently published a study that tracked the spread of COVID-19 'misinformation' during the course of the pandemic. Despite significant evidence pointing to the likelihood that COVID leaked from a lab and the unprecedented collusion between the Biden administration and tech giants to remove politically unfavorable views on social media, this JAMA study stated that these claims were inaccurate. How do we stay open to debate, instead of silencing voices with legitimate concerns and labeling it as misinformation? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


FBI facilitated social media ‘takedown requests' made by Ukrainian spy agency: report
2023-07-10, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2023/07/10/fbi-facilitated-social-media-takedown-requests-...

The FBI colluded with a Ukrainian intelligence agency to pressure social media companies into taking down accounts accused of spreading Russian disinformation – some of which belonged to Americans, a House committee said. The report issued by the House Judiciary Committee and the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government ... is based on documents subpoenaed from Meta – the parent company of Facebook and Instagram – and Alphabet – the parent company of Google and YouTube. It alleges that the "FBI violated the First Amendment rights of Americans and potentially undermined our national security." The committees found that following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) enlisted the FBI in support of an effort to combat the spread of "Russian disinformation" on social media. As part of the effort, the SBU transmitted lists of social media accounts to the FBI that it wanted to be banned and the bureau, in turn, "routinely relayed these lists to the relevant social media platforms." The committee claims that "the authentic accounts of Americans, including a verified US State Department account and those belonging to American journalists" were ensnared in the censorship effort and flagged for social media companies to take down. The State Department's Russian-language Instagram account ... was one of the authentic American accounts flagged for removal in a list composed by the SBU and transmitted to Big Tech companies by the FBI.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Covid Censorship Proved to Be Deadly
2023-07-07, Wall Street Journal
https://www.wsj.com/articles/covid-censorship-proved-to-be-deadly-social-medi...

On July 4, U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty temporarily blocked numerous federal agencies and the White House from collaborating with social-media companies and third-party groups to censor speech. Discovery in Missouri v. Biden exposed relationships among government agencies and social-media firms and revealed an additional layer of university centers and self-styled disinformation watchdogs and fact-checking outfits. Elon Musk's release of some of Twitter's internal files revealed that up to 80 Federal Bureau of Investigation agents were embedded with social-media companies. The agents mostly weren't fighting terrorism but flagging wrongthink by American citizens, including eminent scientists who suggested different paths on Covid policy. The U.S. government spent $6 trillion to buoy its shuttered economy, and most people got Covid anyway. Excess mortality in most high-income nations was worse in 2021 and 2022 than in 2020, the initial pandemic year. Sweden, which didn't have a lockdown, performed better than nearly every other advanced nation. Hiding these realities has become more difficult in the internet age. The information explosion has allowed more people to spot quickly the mistakes of officials. Those in charge feel threatened. Digital censorship is their response to this crisis of authority. True, misinformation is rampant online. But it was far worse before the internet, when myths could persist for centuries.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


The Biden-Big Tech Collusion Case
2023-07-05, Wall Street Journal
https://www.wsj.com/articles/missouri-v-biden-judge-terry-doughty-rob-flahert...

Missouri and Louisiana, joined by scientists and conservatives whose posts were censored, sued to protect their First Amendment rights. The issue in Missouri v. Biden [is] whether government officials can be held responsible for their censorship. Judge Terry Doughty ruled they can and his 155-page opinion describes disturbing coordination between the government and tech firms to suppress unpopular views, especially on Covid-19. White House officials and public-health agency leaders held biweekly meetings with tech companies over how to curb the spread of misinformation. Former White House director of digital strategy Rob Flaherty and Covid-19 adviser Andy Slavitt were in constant contact with social-media executives. Officials weren't merely flagging false statements. They were bullying companies to censor anything contradicting government guidance. On July 16, 2021, the President accused social-media companies of "killing people." Judge Doughty concludes from all this that "the public and private pressure from the White House apparently had its intended effect." All 12 people dubbed the "Disinformation Dozen" by the Center for Countering Digital Hate were censored, and pages, groups and accounts linked to them were removed. Some Covid claims flagged by the White House were ... scientifically debatable–for instance, that vaccines can cause Bell's palsy and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, and that Covid had a 99.96% survival rate.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


How a group of Ohio voters are working to bridge the widening partisan divide
2023-07-05, PBS News
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/how-a-group-of-ohio-voters-are-working-to-b...

The group was brought together with the help of Braver Angels, one of hundreds of grassroots organizations that have sprung up in recent years to try to bridge the partisan divide. "I think the media has such a big part in dividing us, whether it is racially or politically or gender or sex," [said Nancy Miranda]. "The media tends to foster the extremes by fueling a lot of the rhetoric that is at the extremes of both red and blue," [said Dr. Bill Shaul]. "And the rhetoric and the disrespect and the lack of civility that we sometimes see portrayed in the media, I think, has made this a lot worse." "Now we have a 24-hour news cycle," [said Leah Nichols]. "And the news I see is probably different than the news Nancy sees, which is probably different than the news that you see, because we're all – have our own tailored algorithms when it comes down to social media. I think that the news is just so different than it used to be. It is hard for us to even be on the same page sometimes. I think it's really easy to look at the other side and be able to say, oh, maybe they just don't have the knowledge that I have or they don't know the things that I know. But, in reality, we all have our own lived experiences that have brought us to where we are. And if we could listen to each other, maybe we'd actually be able to understand a little better." "I really think the answer to our polarization politically in this country is in our communities, and it is in the relationships that we have with one another, especially across lines of difference," [said John Shi].

Note: Read more about the inspiring mission of Braver Angels. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media manipulation from reliable sources.


Judge blocks U.S. officials from contacting social media companies
2023-07-04, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2023/07/04/biden-social-lawsuit-mis...

A federal judge on Tuesday blocked key Biden administration agencies and officials from meeting and communicating with social media companies about "protected speech," in an extraordinary preliminary injunction in an ongoing case. The injunction came in response to a lawsuit brought by Republican attorneys general in Louisiana and Missouri, who allege that government officials went too far in their efforts to encourage social media companies to address posts that they worried could contribute to vaccine hesitancy during the pandemic. Over the last five years, coordination and communication between government officials and [social media] companies increased. Public health officials also frequently communicated with the companies during the coronavirus pandemic. The injunction was a victory for the state attorneys general, who have accused the Biden administration of enabling a "sprawling federal 'Censorship Enterprise'" to encourage tech giants to remove politically unfavorable viewpoints and speakers. The judge, Terry A. Doughty, has yet to make a final ruling in the case, but in issuing the injunction, he signaled he is likely to ... find that the Biden administration ran afoul of the First Amendment. The state attorneys general have argued that starting in 2017 ... officials within the government began laying the groundwork for a "systemic and systematic campaign" to control speech on social media. These efforts accelerated in 2020 ... amid the response to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Agency Under Homeland Security Masterminded the Attempt to Control Public's Thought and Speech During Pandemic
2023-06-30, The Defender
https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/cisa-homeland-security-control-th...

On Monday, the House Judiciary Committee released a report on how the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) "colluded with Big Tech and 'disinformation' partners to censor Americans." The 36-page report raises three familiar issues: first, government actors worked with third parties to overturn the First Amendment; second, censors prioritized political narratives over truthfulness; and third, an unaccountable bureaucracy hijacked American society. The House Report reveals that CISA, a branch of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, worked with social media platforms to censor posts it considered dis-, mis- or malinformation. Brian Scully, the head of CISA's censorship team, conceded that this process, known as "switchboarding," would "trigger content moderation." Additionally, CISA funded the nonprofit EI-ISAC in 2020 to bolster its censorship operations. In launching the nonprofit, the government boasted that it "leverage[d] DHS CISA's relationship with social media organizations to ensure priority treatment of misinformation reports." The switchboard programs directly contradict sworn testimony from CISA Director Jen Easterly. The report outlines how CISA censored "malinformation – truthful information that, according to the government, may carry the potential to mislead." Dr. Kate Starbird, a member of CISA's "Misinformation & Disinformation" subcommittee, lamented that many Americans seem to "accept malinformation as 'speech' and within democratic norms."

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Ukraine Blocks Journalists From Front Lines With Escalating Censorship
2023-06-22, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2023/06/22/ukraine-war-journalists-press-credentials/

Since Russia launched its full-scale invasion last year, Ukrainian authorities have threatened, revoked, or denied press credentials of journalists working for half a dozen Ukrainian and foreign news outlets because of their coverage. Veteran war correspondents, for their part, are accusing Ukrainian officials of making reporting on the reality of the war ... nearly impossible. "I've covered four wars, and I've never seen such a chasm between the drama and intensity and historic import of the reality of the conflict on the one hand, and the superficiality and meagerness of its documentation by the press on the other," Luke Mogelson, a contributing writer for the New Yorker, told The Intercept. "It's wild how little of what's happening is being chronicled. And the main reason, though not the only one, is that the Ukrainian government has made it virtually impossible for journalists to do real front line reportage." Mogelson added that the restrictions come from military and political brass and run counter to rank-and-file soldiers' desire to share their experiences. "The guys who are actually out doing the killing and dying and enduring the misery of the front are almost always thrilled to have journalists witness what they're going through," he added. Ukrainian journalists have also warned that military handlers' tight oversight of journalists is skewing coverage of the war. The Ukrainian military doesn't have a formal embed system. Most press access consists of short, chaperoned visits to military positions.

Note: The proxy war in Ukraine was designed to serve U.S. military-intelligence interests. Read an excellent analysis by Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Chris Hedges, who covers what's going on in Ukraine and Russia beyond the official media establishment narrative. For further exploration, read an in-depth report by veteran journalist Seymour Hersh, who received revealing information from U.S. intelligence sources about how US taxpayer money is being used in this war.


Instagram Connects Vast Pedophile Network
2023-06-07, Wall Street Journal
https://www.wsj.com/articles/instagram-vast-pedophile-network-4ab7189?mod=tre...

Instagram, the popular social-media site owned by Platforms, helps connect and promote a vast network of accounts openly devoted to the commission and purchase of underage-sex content, according to investigations by The Wall Street Journal and researchers at Stanford University and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Instagram doesn't merely host these activities. Its algorithms promote them. Instagram connects pedophiles and guides them to content sellers via recommendation systems that excel at linking those who share niche interests. Certain accounts invite buyers to commission specific acts. Some menus include prices for videos of children harming themselves and "imagery of the minor performing sexual acts with animals." At the right price, children are available for in-person "meet ups." Current and former Meta employees who have worked on Instagram child-safety initiatives estimate the number of accounts that exist primarily to follow such content is in the high hundreds of thousands, if not millions. In 2022, the [National Center for Missing & Exploited Children] received 31.9 million reports of child pornography ... up 47% from two years earlier. Meta accounted for 85% of the child pornography reports filed to the center, including some 5 million from Instagram. Instagram has permitted users to search for terms that its own algorithms know may be associated with illegal material. In such cases, a pop-up screen for users warned that "These results may contain images of child sexual abuse."

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.


The AI firm that conducted ‘state surveillance' of your social media posts
2023-06-03, The Telegraph (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2023/06/03/logically-ai-firm-social-media-po...

An industrial estate in Yorkshire is an unlikely location for ... an artificial intelligence (AI) company used by the Government to monitor people's posts on social media. Logically has been paid more than Ł1.2 million of taxpayers' money to analyse what the Government terms "disinformation" – false information deliberately seeded online – and "misinformation", which is false information that has been spread inadvertently. It does this by "ingesting" material from more than hundreds of thousands of media sources and "all public posts on major social media platforms", using AI to identify those that are potentially problematic. It has a Ł1.2 million deal with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), as well as another worth up to Ł1.4 million with the Department of Health and Social Care to monitor threats to high-profile individuals within the vaccine service. It also has a "partnership" with Facebook, which appears to grant Logically's fact-checkers huge influence over the content other people see. A joint press release issued in July 2021 suggests that Facebook will limit the reach of certain posts if Logically says they are untrue. "When Logically rates a piece of content as false, Facebook will significantly reduce its distribution so that fewer people see it, apply a warning label to let people know that the content has been rated false, and notify people who try to share it," states the press release.

Note: Read more about how NewsGuard, a for-profit company, works closely with government agencies and major corporate advertisers to suppress dissenting views online. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


The AI firm that conducted ‘state surveillance' of your social media posts
2023-06-03, The Telegraph (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2023/06/03/logically-ai-firm-social-media-po...

These blank-looking warehouses are home to an artificial intelligence (AI) company used by the Government to monitor people's posts on social media. Logically has been paid more than Ł1.2 million of taxpayers' money to analyse what the Government terms "disinformation" – false information deliberately seeded online – and "misinformation", which is false information that has been spread inadvertently. It does this by "ingesting" material from more than hundreds of thousands of media sources and "all public posts on major social media platforms", using AI to identify those that are potentially problematic. It has a Ł1.2 million deal with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), as well as another worth up to Ł1.4 million with the Department of Health and Social Care to monitor threats to high-profile individuals within the vaccine service. Other blue-chip clients include US federal agencies, the Indian electoral commission, and TikTok. It also has a "partnership" with Facebook, which appears to grant Logically's fact-checkers huge influence over the content other people see. A joint press release issued in July 2021 suggests that Facebook will limit the reach of certain posts if Logically says they are untrue. "When Logically rates a piece of content as false, Facebook will significantly reduce its distribution so that fewer people see it, apply a warning label to let people know that the content has been rated false, and notify people who try to share it," states the press release.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


Ministers had 'chilling' secret unit to curb lockdown dissent
2023-06-02, The Telegraph (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2023/06/02/counter-disinformation-unit-gover...

A secretive government unit worked with social media companies in an attempt to curtail discussion of controversial lockdown policies during the pandemic. The Counter-Disinformation Unit (CDU) was set up by ministers to tackle supposed domestic "threats", and was used to target those critical of lockdown and questioning the mass vaccination of children. Critics of lockdown had posts removed from social media. There is growing suspicion that social media firms used technology to stop the posts being promoted, circulated or widely shared after being flagged by the CDU or its counterpart in the Cabinet Office. Documents revealed under Freedom of Information (FoI) and data protection requests showed that the activities of prominent critics of the Government's Covid policies were secretly monitored. An artificial intelligence firm (AI) was used by the Government to scour social media sites. The company flagged discussions opposing vaccine passports. Many of the issues being raised were valid at the time and have since been proven to be well-founded. The BBC also took part in secretive meetings of a government policy forum to address the so-called disinformation. It can now be revealed that the activities of Prof Carl Heneghan, the Oxford epidemiologist who has advised Boris Johnson, and Dr Alexandre de Figueiredo, a research fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), were monitored by government disinformation units.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and media manipulation from reliable sources.


How the Military is Using E-Girls to Recruit Gen Z Into Service
2023-06-01, MintPress News
https://www.mintpressnews.com/simp-to-soldier-e-girls-military-recuitment-gen...

Amid a crisis in recruitment, the U.S. military has found a new way of convincing a war-weary Generation Z to enlist: thirst traps. Chief among these attractive young women in uniform posting sexually suggestive content alongside subtle ... calls to join up is Hailey Lujan. In between the thirst traps and memes, the 21-year-old makes content extolling the fun of Army life to her 731,000 TikTok followers. Lujan is a psychological operations specialist with the Army. Her [job] is to convince, persuade and propagandize in creative new ways. The Army recruitment website description of the role sounds eerily similar to her own content. "As a Psychological Operations Specialist, you'll be an expert at persuasion," it reads, adding: "You'll assess and develop the information needed to influence and engage specific audiences. You'll broadcast important information through various mediums and assist U.S. and foreign governments, militaries, and civilian populations." Lujan is far from the only serviceperson on military TikTok (#MilTok) promoting military life, however. Juliana Keding – a military policewoman with over 900,000 followers – regularly combines thirst traps with videos about Army life. TikTok is not the only battleground for young people's minds, however. In the last year, a significant portion of the Biden administration's record-breaking $857 billion defense budget went on advertising. The Army in particular has spent large sums of money collaborating with some of YouTube's biggest stars.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in the military and media manipulation from reliable sources.


If the Police Can Decide Who Qualifies as a Journalist, There Is No Free Press
2023-06-01, Truthout
https://truthout.org/articles/if-the-police-can-decide-who-qualifies-as-a-jou...

In 2021 in the picturesque mountain city of Asheville, North Carolina, The Asheville Blade journalist Veronica Coit sat in a police station waiting to be booked. Both Coit and their colleague Matilda Bliss were processed for trespassing while covering the eviction of unhoused people at Aston Park in Asheville. As of this writing, both journalists are awaiting a jury trial after appealing the guilty verdict handed down by Judge James Calvin Hill on April 19. With that decision, Judge Hill stepped brazenly on the throat of a free press, potentially introducing a precedent that makes journalism illegal – if it's the kind of journalism the ruling class doesn't like. Since 2018, as reported by the Freedom of the Press Foundation's U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, there have been four trials – including this one – against journalists for "offenses allegedly committed while gathering and reporting the news." But this is the first case of its kind to find the defendants guilty. Nearly 50 civil society and media freedom organizations, along with the ACLU of North Carolina, Freedom of the Press Foundation, Reporters Without Borders, National Press Club, the Committee to Protect Journalists and Project Censored, have called on the city of Asheville to drop the charges. But there has been no national outcry over the case in corporate media. "It's a very dangerous precedent to allow the police or anyone in government to define what it means to be a journalist," said Ben Scales, Bliss and Coit's attorney. "We simply don't allow it in this country."

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on judicial system corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Probe reveals Canberra silenced 4213 Covid posts
2023-05-22, The Australian (One of the Australia's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/antic-probe-reveals-canberra-silenced...

In less than three years the federal government intervened at least 4213 times to restrict or censor posts about the Covid-19 pandemic on digital platforms. A freedom of information request by Liberal senator Alex Antic has revealed the number of interventions, but details about the reasons or the guidelines under which they were made remain secret. "It is entirely unclear to me why the Department of Home Affairs, a department which is primarily charged with the duty of overseeing matters like border control, has been using a backdoor arrangement with social media companies to influence the media in relation into matters such as public health," Senator Antic said. Senator Antic ... is now in possession of the Department of Home Affairs Online Content Incident Arrangement Procedural Guideline, which details how the government works with digital platforms such as Facebook, Meta, Twitter, Instagram and Google to monitor and intervene on content. The document is subheaded "Australia's domestic crisis response protocol for online terrorist and extreme violent content". It runs to 28 pages but aside from the title, every page has been fully redacted. A separate document ... revealed that between January 2017 and December 2022 it "had made 13,636 referrals to digital platforms to review content". More than 9000 of these were related to terrorism and violent extremism. But 4213 were "Covid-19-related referrals".

Note: Read this article without a subscription on this webpage. For a deeper analysis, see Matt Taibbi's report. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Confessions of a CIA Terrorist
2023-05-20, LA Progressive
https://www.laprogressive.com/foreign-policy/confessions-of-a-cia-terrorist

In 1979 the Sandinista revolution overthrew the Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua. As a Spanish speaking Latino, [Enrique] Prado ... was recruited as a CIA officer responsible for overseeing the development of the Contra army based in Honduras and conducting cross border attacks on communities in Nicaragua. Prado believes they [were] the "good guys". The International Court of Justice thought otherwise. In 1986 the court ruled the US attacks on Nicaragua were violations of international law. The Reagan administration and media largely ignored the ruling. Later, journalist Gary Webb documented the catastrophic social damage inside the US caused by the cheap cocaine flooding some US cities. Webb was attacked by establishment media. In 1998 the CIA Inspector General acknowledged, "There are instances where C.I.A. did not, in an expeditious or consistent fashion, cut off relationships with individuals supporting the contra program who were alleged to have engaged in drug-trafficking activity, or take action to resolve the allegations." The US deployed Nicaraguans, Afghans and extremist Arab recruits in proxy wars across the globe. "The attacks of September 11 descend in a direct line from events in 1979, the year in which the CIA, with full presidential authority, began carrying out its largest ever clandestine operation - the secret arming of Afghan freedom fighters (mujaheddin) to wage a proxy war against the Soviet Union," [said author Chalmers Johnston].

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.


Digital Privacy Legislation is Civil Rights Legislation
2023-05-18, ScheerPost
https://scheerpost.com/2023/05/18/digital-privacy-legislation-is-civil-rights...

Our personal data and the ways private companies harvest and monetize it plays an increasingly powerful role in modern life. One unifying thread to this pervasive system is the collection of personal information from marginalized communities, and the subsequent discriminatory use by corporations and government agencies–exacerbating existing structural inequalities across society. Data surveillance is a civil rights problem, and legislation to protect data privacy can help protect civil rights. Where mobile apps are used disparately by specific groups, the collection and sharing of personal data can aggravate civil rights problems. For example, a Muslim prayer app (Muslim Pro) sold geolocation data about its users to a company called X-Mode, which in turn provided access to this data to the U.S. military through defense contractors. In 2016, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and nine other social media platforms were found to have provided software company Geofeedia with social media information and location data from their users. This data was subsequently used by police departments across the U.S. to track down and identify individuals attending Black Lives Matter protests. Moreover, lower-income people are often less able to avoid corporate harvesting of their data. For example, some lower-priced technologies collect more data than other technologies, such as inexpensive smartphones that come with preinstalled apps that leak data and can't be deleted.

Note: Read how Clearview AI gave law enforcement access to 30 billion images from social media sites. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.


America's state media: The blackout on Biden corruption is truly ‘Pulitzer-level stuff'
2023-05-13, The Hill
https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/4003066-americas-state-media-the-blac...

This week, Rep. Byron Donald (R-Fla.) tried to do the impossible. After he and his colleagues presented a labyrinth of LLC shell companies and accounts used to funnel as much as $10 million to Biden family members, Donald tried to induce the press to show some interest in the massive corruption scandal. "For those in the press, this easy pickings & Pulitzer-level stuff right here," he pleaded. Despite showing nine Biden family members allegedly receiving funds from corrupt figures in Romania, China and other countries, The New Republic quickly ran a story headlined "Republicans Finally Admit They Have No Incriminating Evidence on Joe Biden." For many of us, it was otherworldly. A decade ago, when then-Vice President Joe Biden was denouncing corruption in Romania and Ukraine and promising action by the United States, massive payments were flowing to his son Hunter Biden and a variety of family members, including Biden grandchildren. The brilliance of the Biden team was that it invested the media in this scandal at the outset by burying the laptop story as "Russian disinformation" before the election. That was, of course, false, but it took two years for most major media outlets to admit that the laptop was authentic. But the media then ignored what was on that "authentic laptop." Hundreds of emails detailed potentially criminal conduct and raw influence peddling in foreign countries. The media simply fails to see the story.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Julian Assange at Vanguard for World Press Freedom
2023-05-07, LA Progressive
https://www.laprogressive.com/the-media-in-the-united-states/julian-assange-a...

We celebrate World Press Freedom Day in May as a reminder that the role of news organizations is to speak truth to power. It's an occasion to remember three people who exemplify the need to speak the truth: Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon Papers fame and Julian Assange of WikiLeaks; and also of Chelsea Manning, without whom we would not have the proof of what the United States was doing, not only in Iraq and Afghanistan but all across the globe. Ellsberg's Pentagon Papers were a mere 7,000 pages, and he photocopied them by hand. Chelsea Manning's "papers", which Assange outed, earning the U.S. government's enmity, consisted of about 750,000 documents. Assange and WikiLeaks that made possible for Manning's information to reach people across the globe. And even when he and Manning have been arrested, jailed and isolated, the information on Wikileaks still continues to be accessible to all of us. Even today the Baghdad video of Collateral Murder, posted on WikiLeaks, was seen across the world and brought home that the United States was lying and involved in a massive cover-up of its war crimes. The Diplomatic Cables on Wikileaks informed the Tunisian people about the kleptocratic rule of the Ben Ali family and started what was later named as Arab Spring. Just as the surveillance state has invaded every nook and corner of our lives, the pathological need of the surveillance state to access and store all this information also makes the state porous and vulnerable.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


How Facebook and Instagram became marketplaces for child sex trafficking
2023-04-27, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2023/apr/27/how-facebook-and-instagram-becam...

Maya Jones* was only 13 when she first walked through the door of Courtney's House, a drop-in centre for victims of child sex trafficking. When she was 12, she had started receiving direct messages on Instagram from a man she didn't know. She decided to meet him in person. Then came his next request: "Can you help me make some money?" According to Frundt, Maya explained that the man asked her to pose naked for photos, and to give him her Instagram password so that he could upload the photos to her profile. Frundt says Maya told her that the man, who was now calling himself a pimp, was using her Instagram profile to advertise her for sex. The internet is used by human traffickers as "digital hunting fields", allowing them access to both customers and potential victims, with children being targeted by traffickers on social media platforms. The biggest of these, Facebook, is owned by Meta, the tech giant whose platforms, which also include Instagram, are used by more than 3 billion people. In 2020, according to a report by US-based not-for-profit the Human Trafficking Institute, Facebook was the platform most used to groom and recruit children by sex traffickers (65%), based on an analysis of 105 federal child sex trafficking cases that year. The HTI analysis ranked Instagram second most prevalent, with Snapchat third. While Meta says it is doing all it can, we have seen evidence that suggests it is failing to report or even detect the full extent of what is happening.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.


CIA's War on WikiLeaks Is a Scandal Worthy of Congressional Investigation
2023-04-10, Truthout
https://truthout.org/articles/cias-war-on-wikileaks-is-a-scandal-worthy-of-co...

In 2010, Chelsea Manning shocked the world with leaked documents that exposed abuses and crimes committed by the United States military in Iraq. These revelations also made the publisher of those documents, Julian Assange, and his organization, WikiLeaks, household names. The U.S. government [is] charging Assange – a publisher – with violating the Espionage Act. Under the Espionage Act, one does not have the ability to make a public interest defense. All prosecutors have to do is show that a whistleblower possessed documents or transferred "national defense information" to a member of the press. Damage has already been done, but the future of journalism is in further jeopardy if the U.S. government holds a trial against Assange, convicts him, and shows the world that it has the final say over who is and is not a journalist. CIA Director Mike Pompeo and other officials sketched plans to target Assange that included poisoning or kidnapping him. This, along with the disruption campaign against WikiLeaks, represented the CIA's all-out war against a dissident media organization. The agency went so far as to redefine the organization as a "non-state hostile intelligence service" to carry out operations that it could never get away with against a group of journalists. It should be the subject of an intense investigation in Congress, and the Justice Department should be dropping the charges after publicly conceding that the CIA's actions mean Assange could never have a fair trial.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Army Info War Division Wants Social Media Surveillance to Protect 'NATO Brand'
2023-04-07, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2023/04/27/army-cyber-command-nato-social-media/

The U.S. Army Cyber Command told defense contractors it planned to surveil global social media use to defend the "NATO brand," according to a 2022 webinar recording reviewed by The Intercept. "NATO is one of our key brands that we are pushing, as far as our national security alliance," [Lt. Col. David Beskow] explained. The mass social media surveillance appears to be just one component of a broader initiative to use private-sector data mining to advance the Army's information warfare efforts. Beskow expressed an interest in purchasing access to nonpublic commercial web data, corporate ownership records, supply chain data, and more. While the U.S. national security establishment frequently warns against other countries' "weaponization" of social media and the broader internet, recent reporting has shown the Pentagon engages in some of the very same conduct. Researchers from Graphika and the Stanford Internet Observatory uncovered a network of pro-U.S. Twitter and Facebook accounts covertly operated by U.S. Central Command, an embarrassing revelation that led to a "sweeping audit of how it conducts clandestine information warfare." Despite years of alarm in Washington over the threat posed by deepfake video fabrications to democratic societies, The Intercept reported last month that U.S. Special Operations Command is seeking vendors to help them make their own deepfakes to deceive foreign internet users.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Congressional Effort to End Assange Prosecution Underway
2023-03-30, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2023/03/30/julian-assange-congress-rashida-tlaib/

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., is circulating a letter among her House colleagues that calls on the Department of Justice to drop charges against Julian Assange and end its effort to extradite him from his detention in Belmarsh prison in the United Kingdom. The Justice Department has charged Assange, the publisher of WikiLeaks, for publishing classified information. The Obama administration had previously decided not to prosecute Assange, concerned with what was dubbed internally as the "New York Times problem." The Times had partnered with Assange when it came to publishing classified information and itself routinely publishes classified information. Publishing classified information is a violation of the Espionage Act, though it has never been challenged in the Supreme Court, and constitutional experts broadly consider that element of the law to be unconstitutional. The Obama administration could not find a way to charge Assange without also implicating standard journalistic practices. The Trump administration, unburdened by such concerns around press freedom, pushed ahead with the indictment and extradition request. The Biden administration, driven by the zealous prosecutor Gordon Kromberg, has aggressively pursued Trump's prosecution. Tlaib noted that the Times, The Guardian, El PaĂ­s, Le Monde, and Der Spiegel had put out a joint statement condemning the charges, and alluded to the same problem that gave the Obama administration pause.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Who Controls How We Remember the Iraq War?
2023-03-18, LA Progressive (A popular Los Angeles Newspaper)
https://www.laprogressive.com/the-media-in-the-united-states/remember-the-ira...

As mainstream U.S. media outlets pause to remember the U.S. invasion of Iraq, it's clear that there's a lot they hope we'll forget – first and foremost, the media's own active complicity in whipping up public support for the war. But the more you dig into mainstream news coverage from that period ... the harder it is to forget how flagrantly news networks across the broadcast and cable landscape uncritically spread the Bush administration's propaganda and actively excluded dissenting voices. A 2003 report by the media watchdog Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) found that in the two weeks leading up to the invasion, ABC World News, NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, and the PBS Newshour featured a total of 267 American experts, analysts, and commentators on camera to supposedly help make sense of the march to war. Of these 267 guests, an astounding 75% were current or former government or military officials, and a grand total of one expressed any skepticism. The bedrock democratic principle of an independent, adversarial press was simply tossed out the window. "Often journalists blame the government for the failure of the journalists themselves to do independent reporting," [author Norman] Solomon says. "But nobody forced the major networks like CNN to do so much commentary from retired generals and admirals and all the rest of it. That really runs directly counter to the idea of an independent press."

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


‘Patient influencers' paid by Big Pharma to mislead followers: report
2023-03-17, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2023/03/17/patient-influencers-paid-by-big-pharma-to-misle...

There's no better way to reach an audience today than through social media – and Big Pharma is well aware of that. The video-sharing platform TikTok, for example, is being flooded with videos of users testifying to wellness through prescription drugs, with hashtags like #adhd (22.3B views), #ozempic (675.1M views) and #wegovy (259.3M views) consistently trending. Now, experts are warning about this misleading tactic by drugmakers, in paying popular social media users to espouse their products under the guise of honest reviews, in a new study published this week in the Journal of Medical Internet Research. These so-called patient influencers, or patient "advocates," are social media influencers who use their platform to promote pharmaceutical medications and/or medical devices. Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder analyzed 26 recent interviews with patient influencers, who had been diagnosed with conditions such as lupus, fibromyalgia, Parkinson's disease, asthma, HIV, celiac disease, chronic migraines and perimenopause. The majority (69%) had previously collaborated with a pharmaceutical company in some way. The Federal Trade Commission mandates that influencers must disclose if they have been paid by using hashtags, such as by adding #ad or #sponsored to related posts, while the Food and Drug Administration has rules and regulations regarding what can be said on social posts. Nevertheless, many consumers fail to decipher a sponsored ad from genuine peer-to-peer advice.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on pharmaceutical corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


The Iraq war started the post-truth era. And America is to blame
2023-03-14, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/mar/14/iraq-war-9-11-george-bu...

This month marks the 20th anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq. We must not forget how the George W Bush administration manipulated the facts, the media and the public after the horrific attacks of 9/11, hellbent as the administration was to go to war in Iraq. On 11 September 2001, mere hours after the attacks, Donald Rumsfeld, the then secretary of defense, was already sending a memo to the joint chiefs of staff to find evidence that would justify attacking the Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein (as well as Osama bin Laden). In the two years following 9/11, Bush and his top officials publicly uttered at least 935 lies about the threat that Saddam posed to the United States, according to the Center for Public Integrity. In the run-up to war, Bush & associates flooded the airwaves with the talking point "we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud" so often that it began to sound like a jingle from a cheap law firm commercial. No weapons of mass destruction were ever found. Bush succeeded at the time because the public, primed to be afraid, was susceptible to his lies. The New York Times, as the nation's leading newspaper, played a key role in disseminating the administration's lies. The Iraq war ushered in a style of politics where truth is, at best, an inconvenience. Long before Trump spokesperson Kellyanne Conway ... told NBC's Chuck Todd about "alternative facts" ... we were already living in a post-truth world, one created in part by an established media willing and able to amplify government lies.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Conflicting Reports Thicken Nord Stream Bombing Plot
2023-03-10, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2023/03/10/nord-stream-pipeline-bombing/

In the month since veteran journalist Seymour Hersh published his bombshell report alleging that President Joe Biden personally authorized a covert action to bomb the Nord Stream pipelines, we've seen a frenzy of speculation, detailed dissection of Hersh's specific assertions, and the emergence of competing narratives both supporting and denouncing the report. On March 7, the New York Times and the German newspaper Die Zeit both published stories that thicken the plot. The Times story was based on a narrative clearly being pushed by U.S. intelligence sources that "a pro-Ukrainian group carried out the attack." If the bombing of the Nord Stream pipelines was, as Hersh alleges, directed by the U.S., then the leaked suggestion that the culprits were a "pro-Ukrainian group" could indicate a nascent effort at floating a cover story. No one has claimed responsibility for this attack, but there are recent precedents for foreign actors taking credit for U.S. operations to conceal Washington's involvement. Military officials have lied or misled the public ... throughout U.S. history. There is no U.S. law or rule prohibiting the government from promoting a false alternative explanation to conceal an operation. "This is an established practice in military operations and intelligence activities where it is often known as ‘cover and deception,'" [said former Government Secrecy Project director Steven Aftergood]. "Sometimes, in order to maintain the operational security of X, you have to declare that it is actually Y."

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Most Major "Threats" These Days Are Based On Lies: False Flag Terrorism is a Great Example
2023-03-09, The Pulse
https://www.thepulse.one/p/most-major-threats-these-days-are

We are stuck in a never ending cycle of disaster that has led to one giant sense-making crises. False flag terrorism ... refers to governments creating, supporting, or staging events, like acts of terrorism in their own country and on their own citizenry, and then blaming it on someone else. Sometimes events can be created and even staged, and other times events are completely real yet the narrative we receive is where the deception lies. Either way, in many cases these events are used for control and/or political and financial gain. Take, for example, Operation Northwoods. This was a plan hatched by the US government in the early 1960s to fool the American public and the international community into supporting a war against Cuba in order to oust Fidel Castro. The plan included blowing up a US ship, attacking a US military base, sinking and blowing up boats of Cuban refugees, hijacking planes, and orchestrating violent terrorism in multiple US cities against American citizens. And of course, blaming Cuba for these actions. 9/11 could perhaps be one of the best examples of false flag terrorism, but the evidence that has lead the majority of people to feel this sentiment has not seen the light of day within the mainstream. There are many similarities between 9/11 and COVID, and in my mind COVID has been a clear act of bioterrorism by the same entities who proposed the ‘solution.' These included vaccine mandates, mask mandates and more, which we are likely to see resurface again in the future.

Note: Read more about false flag terrorism. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


U.S. Special Forces Want to Use Deepfakes for Psy-Ops
2023-03-06, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2023/03/06/pentagon-socom-deepfake-propaganda/

U.S. Special Operations Command, responsible for some of the country's most secretive military endeavors, is gearing up to conduct internet propaganda and deception campaigns online using deepfake videos, according to federal contracting documents. SOCOM's next generation propaganda aspirations are outlined in a procurement document that lists capabilities it's seeking for the near future and soliciting pitches from outside parties that believe they're able to build them. Last October, SOCOM quietly released an updated version of its wish list with a new section: "Advanced technologies for use in Military Information Support Operations (MISO)," a Pentagon euphemism for its global propaganda and deception efforts. Perhaps as provocative as the mention of deepfakes is the section that follows, which notes SOCOM wishes to finely tune its offensive propaganda seemingly by spying on the intended audience through their internet-connected devices. Described as a "next generation capability to ‘takeover' Internet of Things (loT) devices for collect [sic] data and information from local populaces to enable breakdown of what messaging might be popular and accepted through sifting of data once received," the document says that the ability to eavesdrop on propaganda targets "would enable MISO to craft and promote messages that may be more readily received by local populace." In 2017, WikiLeaks published pilfered CIA files that revealed a roughly similar capability to hijack into household devices.

Note: Read more about the potential pitfalls of deepfake technologies. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


America's COVID Response Was Based on Lies
2023-03-06, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/america-covid-response-was-based-lies-opinion-1785177

Almost all of America's leaders have gradually pulled back their COVID mandates, requirements, and closures–even in states like California, which had imposed the most stringent and longest-lasting restrictions on the public. At the same time, the media has been gradually acknowledging the ongoing release of studies that totally refute the purported reasons behind those restrictions. This overt reversal is falsely portrayed as "learned" or "new evidence." Little acknowledgment of error is to be found. We have seen no public apology for promulgating false information, or for the vilification and delegitimization of policy experts and medical scientists like myself who spoke out correctly about data, standard knowledge about viral infections and pandemics, and fundamental biology. History's biggest public health policy failure came at the hands of those who recommended the lockdowns and those who implemented them, not those who advised otherwise. Lies were told. Those lies harmed the public. Those lies were directly contrary to the evidence, to decades of knowledge on viral pandemics, and to long-established fundamental biology. To ensure that this never happens again, government leaders, power-driven officials, and influential academics and advisors often harboring conflicts of interest must be held accountable. Investigations must proceed. Remember G.K. Chesterton's critical lesson that "Right is right, even if nobody does it. Wrong is wrong, even if everybody is wrong about it."

Note: The above was written by Scott W. Atlas, MD, the Robert Wesson Senior Fellow in health policy at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Project Fear's ‘psychological warfare' must never be repeated
2023-03-05, MSN News
https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/project-fears-psychological-warfare-mus...

Leaked messages seen by The Telegraph showed that in December 2020, Matt Hancock, the health secretary at the time, suggested that the Government "frighten the pants off everyone" to ensure strict Covid rules were adhered to. Sir Charles Walker, who was a leading member of the Covid Recovery Group of Conservative backbenchers, said that he was distressed by the leaked conversations. "What makes me so angry is the evils and the psychological warfare we deployed against young people and the population, all those behavioural psychologists," he [said]. "And there needs to be a reckoning. We need to understand and fully appreciate the damage that those sorts of campaigns did." Sir Charles lamented Parliament going "missing in action" as most MPs waved through dozens of Covid restrictions with little debate. He said: "Those voices that raised concerns were just othered. We were positioned as being anti-lockdown, Right-wing headbangers. And actually wanting to do the right thing isn't Right-wing. "We did terrible things to youngsters. We did terrible things to a large number of people. We need to make sure we never do those things again." Paul Dolan, a professor of behavioural science at the London School of Economics, blamed a mix of "mission creep" and "expertise creep" for a response dominated by groupthink. "It was wrong in every sense to make younger people scared of a virus that we knew very early on was of very limited risk to them," he [said].

Note: The unethical use of "nudge" tactics to inflate fear among the public prompted 40 psychologists in the UK to write a letter to the Parliament’s Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, saying it was “highly questionable whether a civilised society should knowingly increase the emotional discomfort of its citizens as a means of gaining their compliance." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and media manipulation from reliable sources.


'Project Fear' authors discussed when to 'deploy' new Covid variant
2023-03-04, The Telegraph (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2023/03/04/project-fear-covid-variant-lockdo...

[Former UK Health Secretary] Matt Hancock wanted to "deploy" a new Covid variant to "frighten the pants off" the public and ensure they complied with lockdown, leaked messages seen by The Telegraph have revealed. The Lockdown Files – more than 100,000 WhatsApp messages sent between ministers, officials and others – show how the Government used scare tactics to force compliance and push through lockdowns. Hancock ... appeared to suggest in one message that a new strain of Covid that had recently emerged would be helpful in preparing the ground for the looming lockdown, by scaring people into compliance. In a WhatsApp conversation on Dec 13 ... Damon Poole - one of Mr Hancock's media advisers - informed his boss that Tory MPs were "furious already about the prospect" of stricter Covid measures and suggested "we can roll pitch with the new strain". The comment suggested that they believed the strain could be helpful in preparing the ground for a future lockdown and tougher restrictions in the run-up to Christmas 2020. Mr Hancock then replied: "We frighten the pants off everyone with the new strain." Mr Poole agreed, saying: "Yep that's what will get proper behaviour [sic] change." Mr Hancock expressed his worry that talks over Brexit would dominate headlines and reduce the impact, and probed Mr Poole for his media advice. "When do we deploy the new variant," asked Mr Hancock. During the pandemic, the Government was accused of scaremongering but it was denied.

Note: This article is available for free viewing on this webpage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and media manipulation from reliable sources.


The Forgotten Terrorist Pretext of the Vietnam War
2023-02-24, Counterpunch
https://www.counterpunch.org/2023/02/24/the-forgotten-terrorist-pretext-of-th...

Antiterrorist moral fervor and ideological blinders propelled the U.S. into its biggest foreign policy blunder since World War Two. The U.S. government constantly embellished the storyline to demonize the communist opposition. A CIA operative provided materials for a massive bomb that ripped through a main square in Saigon in 1952. A Life magazine photographer was waiting on the scene, and his resulting snap appeared with a caption blaming the carnage on Viet Minh Communists. The Kennedy administration sought credibility by profoundly deceiving the American people and Congress regarding its Vietnam policy. In August 1963, South Vietnamese Special Forces "carried out midnight raids against Buddhist pagodas throughout the country. More than 1400 people, mostly monks were arrested and many of them were beaten," according to the Pentagon Papers. The CIA was bankrolling these Special Forces, which were supposed to be used for covert operations against the Viet Cong or North Vietnam, not for religious repression. The Johnson administration exploited the terrorist label to sway Americans to support greater U.S. Involvement in Vietnam. In a special message to Congress on May 18, 1964 seeking additional fund for Vietnam, LBJ declared, "the Viet Cong guerrillas, under orders from their Communist masters in the North, have intensified terrorist actions against the peaceful people of South Vietnam. This increased terrorism requires increased response."

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and terrorism from reliable major media sources.


As Public Trust Wanes, FDA Pledges to ‘Save Lives' by Policing Online Content
2023-02-22, Children's Health Defense
https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/fda-robert-califf-combat-misinfor...

Since U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf began his second tenure as the agency's head in February 2022, he has made combating "misinformation" one of his top priorities, arguing it is "a leading cause of preventable death in America now" – though "this cannot be proved," he said. In an interview ... Califf, who also headed the FDA between 2016 and 2017, reiterated his pledge to "save lives" by policing online content. The FDA may be facing an uphill battle, as multiple factors are combining to foster public mistrust toward the agency. For instance, in January, Frank Yiannas, the FDA's deputy commissioner for food policy and response, resigned over concerns about the FDA's oversight structure. A 2022 study by The BMJ found that the FDA gets 65% of its funding for drug evaluation from industry user fees, while another 2022 study found that 95% of the members of an HHS committee that establishes dietary guidelines for Americans have one or more conflicts of interest with industry actors. Members of the FDA's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee have also been found to have conflicts of interest with the very pharmaceutical companies and vaccine manufacturers they are meant to be regulating. And while public health authorities in other countries have begun to come forward with admissions that the COVID-19 vaccines resulted in cases of myocarditis and death, no such admissions appear to be forthcoming from the FDA at this time.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Media Ignore Seymour Hersh Bombshell Report of US Destroying Nord Stream II
2023-02-15, MintPress News
https://www.mintpressnews.com/media-ignore-seymour-hersh-bombshell-report-of-...

It has now been one week since Seymour Hersh published an in-depth report claiming that the Biden administration deliberately blew up the Nord Stream II gas pipeline without Germany's consent or even knowledge – an operation that began planning long before the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Hersh – the journalist who broke the stories of the My Lai Massacre, the CIA spying program and the Abu Ghraib torture scandal – claims that in June, U.S. Navy divers traveled to the Baltic Sea and attached C4 explosive charges to the pipeline. President Biden himself ordered its destruction. All understood ... that, if caught, it would be seen as a flagrant "act of war" against their allies. Despite this, corporate media have overwhelmingly ignored the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter's bombshell. A MintPress News study analyzed the 20 most influential publications in the United States, according to analytics company Similar Web, and found only four mentions of the report between them. This lack of interest cannot be explained due to the report's irrelevance. If the Biden administration really did work closely with the Norwegian government to blow up Nord Stream II, causing billions of dollars worth of immediate damage and plunging an entire region of the world into a freezing winter without sufficient energy, it ranks as one of the worst terrorist attacks in history. The Nord Stream attack was also one of the world's worst ecological disasters, constituting the largest single leak of methane in history.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


‘Aims': the software for hire that can control 30,000 fake online profiles
2023-02-14, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/feb/15/aims-software-avatars-team-jorg...

Advanced Impact Media Solutions, or Aims, which controls more than 30,000 fake social media profiles, can be used to spread disinformation at scale and at speed. It is sold by "Team Jorge", a unit of disinformation operatives based in Israel. Tal Hanan, who runs the covert group using the pseudonym "Jorge", told undercover reporters that they sold access to their software to unnamed intelligence agencies, political parties and corporate clients. Team Jorge's Aims software ... is much more than a bot-controlling programme. Each avatar ... is given a multifaceted digital backstory. Aims enables the creation of accounts on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Telegram, Gmail, Instagram and YouTube. Some even have Amazon accounts with credit cards, bitcoin wallets and Airbnb accounts. Hanan told the undercover reporters his avatars mimicked human behaviour and their posts were powered by artificial intelligence. [Our reporters] were able to identify a much wider network of 2,000 Aims-linked bots on Facebook and Twitter. We then traced their activity across the internet, identifying their involvement ... in about 20 countries including the UK, US, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Greece, Panama, Senegal, Mexico, Morocco, India, the United Arab Emirates, Zimbabwe, Belarus and Ecuador. The analysis revealed a vast array of bot activity, with Aims' fake social media profiles getting involved in a dispute in California over nuclear power; a #MeToo controversy in Canada ... and an election in Senegal.

Note: The FBI has provided police departments with fake social media profiles to use in law enforcement investigations. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Here's Why Big Pharma Spends More On Ads Pushing Lower Benefit Drugs
2023-02-07, Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/roberthart/2023/02/07/heres-why-big-pharma-spend...

Big pharma spends more money on advertising for drugs that have lower health benefits for patients, according to a study published in JAMA on Tuesday, shedding new light on the almost uniquely American practice amid fierce debate over whether direct-to-consumer prescription drug ads should be banned. The proportion of advertising spending allocated to direct-to-consumer ads was an average of 14.3 percentage points higher for drugs with a low added benefit compared to those with a high added benefit, according to the peer-reviewed analysis of the 150 best-selling branded prescription drugs. Manufacturers of the top six best-selling drugs spent the bulk of their promotional budgets–more than 90%–targeting consumers directly rather than clinicians for a range of treatment options for conditions including HIV, multiple sclerosis and numerous cancers. The findings could suggest pharma firms are aiming promotional dollars directly towards consumers ... as part of a "strategy to drive patient demand for drugs that clinicians would be less likely to prescribe," said the study's lead author Michael DiStefano. Just two countries in the world allow drug makers to market prescription medications directly to consumers: the U.S. and New Zealand. Most countries prohibit directly advertising prescription medications to the public, something the WHO says influences both people and, indirectly, the medical professionals treating them, making it "harder to make decisions on evidence based medicine."

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on pharmaceutical corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Congress is set to expose what may be the largest censorship system in U.S. history
2023-02-04, The Hill
https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/3843751-congress-is-set-to-expose-what-...

The "Twitter files" revealed an FBI operation to monitor and censor social media content. Dozens of FBI employees worked on the identification and removal of material on a wide range of subjects and that Twitter largely carried out their requests. Nor was it just the FBI, apparently. Emails reveal FBI figures like a San Francisco assistant special agent in charge asking Twitter executives to "invite an OGA" (or "Other Government Organization") to an upcoming meeting. A week later, Stacia Cardille, a senior Twitter legal executive, indicated the OGA was the CIA, an agency under strict limits regarding domestic activities. Twitter's own ranks included dozens of ex-FBI agents and executives. The dozens of disclosed emails ... do not include still-undisclosed but apparent government coordination with Facebook and other social media companies. Much of that work apparently was done through the multi-agency Foreign Influence Task Force (FITF), which operated secretly it seems to censor citizens. This is a First Amendment violation. The Twitter files have substantiated long-standing concerns over "censorship by surrogate" or proxy. As with other amendments like the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches or seizures, the government cannot use private agents to do indirectly what it cannot do directly. Just as a police officer cannot direct a security guard to break into an apartment and conduct a search, the FBI cannot use Twitter to censor Americans.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


How the Supreme Court could re-shape the internet as you know it
2023-02-04, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/24/business/section-230-explainer/index.html

Passed in 1996, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act sought to foster the growth of the early internet. Congress created a special form of legal immunity for websites so they could develop uninhibited by lawsuits that might suffocate the ecosystem. In the time since, companies ... have invoked Section 230 to nip user-content lawsuits in the bud, arguing, usually successfully, that they are not responsible for the content their users create. Democrats say the law has given websites a free pass to overlook hate speech and misinformation; Republicans say it lets them suppress right-wing viewpoints. The Supreme Court [is] reviewing Section 230; Congress and the White House have also proposed changes to the law. Understanding how the internet may work differently without Section 230 ... starts with one, simple concept: Shrinking the liability shield means exposing websites and internet users to more lawsuits. A Supreme Court ruling restricting immunity for recommendations could mean any decision to like, upvote, retweet or share content could be identified as a "recommendation" and trigger a viable lawsuit. One option would be to preemptively remove any and all content that anyone, anywhere could even remotely allege is objectionable ... reducing the range of allowed speech on social media. Another option would be to stop moderating content altogether, to avoid claims that a site knew or should have known that a piece of objectionable material was on its platform.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Did the CIA Set Up NSA Leaker Reality Winner?
2023-02-02, MintPress News
https://www.mintpressnews.com/did-cia-set-up-nsa-leaker-reality-winner/283488/

In June 2017, The Intercept published a leaked N.S.A. document, which it claimed revealed "a months-long Russian hacking effort against the U.S. election infrastructure." Ever since, it has been an article of faith in the mainstream media and among Democratic politicians that Russian G.R.U. cyberwarriors "hacked" the 2016 election. Moreover, Reality Winner, the N.S.A. analyst who leaked the document and ended up in jail as a result, has been elevated to the status of a heroic whistleblower. There are strong grounds to believe Winner unwittingly walked into a trap laid by the C.I.A. Winner has always claimed she acted alone, and there is no reason to doubt that she felt it was her patriotic duty to release the document. But her clumsiness, naivety and incompetence suggest she may well be easily manipulable, and a great many individuals and organizations had an interest in the dud intelligence report's release. Foremost among them, elements of the C.I.A. loyal to John Brennan, Agency director between 2013 and January 2017. Brennan fudged ... findings to keep the F.B.I. Trump-Russia "collusion" investigation alive. Launched by the Bureau in 2016, it found no evidence Trump or members of his campaign were conspiring with Moscow. It is an obvious question whether Winner's leak – in addition to furthering the RussiaGate fiction and damaging Trump – also served to discredit the N.S.A. by creating the illusion it had been asleep at the wheel over Kremlin meddling.

Note: Listen to audio of renowned journalist Seymour Hersch debunking the intelligence agency lie that Russia was responsible for the 2016 DNC email leaks, which exposed corruption in the party. Reality Winner's leak gave credence to this lie. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


How George Soros funds ‘fact checkers' to silence dissent
2023-01-25, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2023/01/25/how-george-soros-funds-fact-checkers-to-silence...

It's not enough for George Soros to fund the media and encourage stories that back up his point of view – he has to make sure no one disagrees with it. Last year, Soros partnered with ... billionaire Reid Hoffman (the co-founder of LinkedIn) to financially back a project to fight so-called disinformation. The name they chose: Good Information Inc. Major fact-checking organizations such as PolitiFact, Snopes, and others have long faced allegations of left-wing political bias – allegations a series of studies over the years have confirmed. One of the more recent studies of bias on PolitiFact found sources six times more likely to defend Biden in their "fact-checks" than check his facts. Major funding for PolitiFact's parent company, The Poynter Institute, includes the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Ford Foundation, Soros-backed Tides Foundation ... among many others. One project of the Poynter Institute specifically, the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), was launched in 2015 with its initial funding coming from the National Endowment for Democracy (backed by the US State Department), the Omidyar Network, Google, Facebook, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and George Soros' Open Society Foundations. The problem, of course, is that these "fact checks" are anything but impartial. Facebook and other social-media companies censored any articles that suggested the COVID-19 virus leaked from a Wuhan lab, based on denials of scientists who had a conflict of interest.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on mass media manipulation from reliable sources.


COVID-19 Drugmakers Pressured Twitter to Censor Activists Pushing for Generic Vaccine
2023-01-16, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2023/01/16/twitter-covid-vaccine-pharma/

Vaccine-makers sought to shape content moderation actions at Twitter. Stronger, a campaign run by Public Good Projects, a public health nonprofit specializing in large-scale media monitoring programs, regularly communicated with Twitter on regulating content related to the pandemic. The firm worked closely with the San Francisco social media giant to help develop bots to censor vaccine misinformation and, at times, sent direct requests to Twitter with lists of accounts to censor and verify. Internal Twitter emails show regular correspondence between an account manager at Public Good Projects, and various Twitter officials, including Todd O'Boyle, lobbyist with the company who served as a point of contact with the Biden administration. The content moderation requests were sent throughout 2021 and early 2022. The entire campaign ... was entirely funded by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, a vaccine industry lobbying group. BIO, which is financed by companies such as Moderna and Pfizer, provided Stronger with $1,275,000 in funding for the effort, which included tools for the public to flag content on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for moderation. Many of the tweets flagged by Stronger contained absolute falsehoods. But others hinged on a gray area of vaccine policy through which there is reasonable debate, such as requests to label or take down content critical of vaccine passports and government mandates to require vaccination.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Facebook Wanted Out of Politics. It Was Messier Than Anyone Expected.
2023-01-05, Wall Street Journal
https://www.wsj.com/articles/facebook-politics-controls-zuckerberg-meta-11672...

A Journal article in 2021 cited internal [Facebook] research showing that steps to promote engagement had favored inflammatory material, with publishers and political parties reorienting their posts toward outrage and sensationalism. After the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc. said it wanted to scale back how much political content it showed users. [Chief Executive Mark] Zuckerberg and [Meta's] board chose the most drastic, instructing the company to demote posts on "sensitive" topics as much as possible ... an initiative that hasn't previously been reported. Depending on the mix of suppression features deployed, projected Facebook traffic to Fox News, MSNBC, the New York Times, Newsmax, the Atlantic and The Wall Street Journal would initially fall by as much as 40% to 60% beyond the already enacted reductions. Suppressing civic content didn't appear likely to convince users that Facebook wasn't politically toxic. According to internal research, the percentage of users who said they thought Facebook had a negative effect on politics didn't budge with the changes, staying consistently around 60% in the U.S. Ravi Iyer, a former Meta data-science manager ... said there should be more focus on the way platforms allow certain content to go viral, rather than subjective decisions about what to leave up or take down. “Having employees judge good vs. bad speech often creates more problems than it solves,” he said. “Our goal should be fewer judgment calls.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


'Publishing is not a crime': media groups urge US to drop Julian Assange charges
2022-12-28, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/media/2022/nov/28/media-groups-urge-us-drop-julia...

The US government must drop its prosecution of the WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange because it is undermining press freedom, according to the media organisations that first helped him publish leaked diplomatic cables. Twelve years ago today, the Guardian, the New York Times, Le Monde, Der Spiegel, and El PaÄ‚­s collaborated to release excerpts from 250,000 documents obtained by Assange in the "Cablegate" leak. The material, leaked to WikiLeaks by the then American soldier Chelsea Manning, exposed the inner workings of US diplomacy around the world. The editors and publishers of the media organisations that first published those revelations have come together to publicly oppose plans to charge Assange under a law designed to prosecute first world war spies. "Publishing is not a crime," they said, saying the prosecution is a direct attack on media freedom. Assange has been held in Belmarsh prison in south London since his arrest at the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2019. He had spent the previous seven years living inside the diplomatic premises to avoid arrest after failing to surrender to a UK court on matters relating to a separate case. The then UK home secretary, Priti Patel, approved Assange's extradition to the US. Under Barack Obama's leadership, the US government indicated it would not prosecute Assange for the leak in 2010 because of the precedent it would set. The media outlets are now appealing to the administration of President Joe Biden ... to drop the charges.

Note: WikiLeaks exposed US war crimes and CIA hacking tools. The New York Times and others mentioned above published Assange's findings, so why aren't they being prosecuted for being accessories to Assange? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Spooks infiltrate Silicon Valley: Facebook is riddled with ex-CIA agents
2022-12-22, Daily Mail (One of the UK's Popular Newspapers)
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11562433/Facebook-riddled-ex-CIA-age...

A large number of ex-officers from the FBI, CIA, NSC, and State Department have taken positions at Facebook, Twitter, and Google. The revelation comes amid fears the FBI operated control over Twitter censorship and the Hunter Biden laptop story. The Twitter files have revealed the close relationship with the FBI, how the Bureau regularly demanded accounts and tweets be banned and suspicious contact before the Hunter laptop story was censored. The documents detailed how so many former FBI agents joined Twitter's ranks over the past few years that they created their own private Slack channel. A report by Mint Press' Alan MacLeod identified dozens of Twitter employees, who had previously held positions at the Bureau. He also found that former CIA agents made up some of the top ranks in almost every politically-sensitive department at Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. And in another report, MacLeod detailed the extent to which former CIA agents started working at Google. DailyMail.com has now been able to track down nine former CIA agents who are working, or have worked, at Meta, including Aaron Berman, the senior policy manager for misinformation at the company who had previously written the president's daily briefings. Six others have worked for other intelligence agencies before joining the social media giant, many of whom have posted recently about Facebook's efforts to tamp down on so-called 'covert influence operations.'

Note: Explore a deeper analysis on the ex-CIA agents at Facebook and at Google. Additionally, read how Big Tech censors social media on behalf of corporate and government interests. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


The American PR firm helping Saudi Arabia clean up its image
2022-12-22, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/dec/22/edelman-saudi-arabia-pr-image

Richard Edelman, the CEO of the $1bn public relations firm Edelman, published a blogpost in June reflecting on his trip to the elite gathering of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. "I left Davos inspired by the bravery of the Ukrainians and Poles," Edelman wrote, "[and] more convinced than ever about the global rift between democracy and autocracy." Freedom House named Saudi Arabia as one of the "worst of the worst" nations in the world for human rights and civil and political liberties. The Saudi government "really restricts almost all political rights and civil liberties and engages in arbitrary imprisonment, torture, [and] execution of perceived opponents", said Michael Abramowitz, the president of Freedom House. "It's a pretty grim picture." For those on the receiving end of Saudi repression, that picture has improved little since the October 2018 assassination and dismemberment of the Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, an operation that US intelligence concluded was "approved" by the Saudi crown prince. Over that same period, however, the picture presented by the Saudi government to influential American audiences has been brightened with the help of key contractors, including Edelman. Since Khashoggi's murder, the powerful PR firm has received or is contracted to receive $9.6m (Ł7.9m) in fees from Saudi government agencies and companies controlled by the regime. Most of Edelman's work for the regime has focused on rehabilitating its reputation in the United States.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Twitter Is Said to Have Struggled Over Revealing U.S. Influence Campaign
2022-12-22, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/22/technology/twitter-military-influence-camp...

In response to a 2017 request from the Pentagon, Twitter kept online a network of accounts that the U.S. military used to advance its interests in the Middle East, according to internal company emails that were made public on Tuesday by The Intercept, a nonprofit publication. A counterterrorism division at Twitter knew about the arrangement, but others did not, five people with knowledge of the matter said. The situation was unusual because Twitter normally removes and publicly discloses influence campaigns conducted by governments. The internal documents published by The Intercept were provided by Twitter under its new owner, Elon Musk. Mr. Musk has made an archive of documents available to select journalists to scrutinize the decisions of the company's previous leaders. The situation began in 2017 when an official working with U.S. Central Command requested that Twitter verify some of the military's accounts. The accounts had been flagged by a Twitter system used to automatically detect terrorist content and were not easy to find in searches. The Pentagon asked Twitter to "whitelist" the accounts, which would prevent the automatic tools from flagging them and make them more broadly visible on the platform. Twitter's counterterrorism team complied. While the company regularly disclosed other state-backed influence campaigns in transparency reports, executives ... feared they could violate national security laws by speaking publicly about the takedown of the campaign.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


How social media platforms can reduce polarization
2022-12-21, Brookings Institute
https://www.brookings.edu/articles/how-social-media-platforms-can-reduce-pola...

Polarization is widely recognized as one of the most pressing issues now facing the United States. Even as polarization has increased in recent years, survey research has consistently shown that many Americans think the nation is more divided than it truly is. Meanwhile, Democrats and Republicans think they dislike each other more than they actually do. Social media companies are often blamed for driving greater polarization by virtue of the way they segment political audiences and personalize recommendations in line with their users' existing beliefs and preferences. Given their scale and reach, however, they are also uniquely positioned to help reduce polarization. Jamie Settle's work demonstrates, through a combination of surveys and experiments, that affective polarization is likely to rise when social media users encounter content with partisan cues, even if the content is not explicitly political. A 2020 study by Hunt Allcott and colleagues echoes these concerns. The authors asked some participants to refrain from using Facebook for four weeks. Afterward, these participants reported holding less polarized political views than those who had not been asked to refrain from using Facebook. Deactivating Facebook also made people less hostile toward "the other party." When people interact with someone from their social "outgroup," they often come to view that outgroup in a more favorable light. Spreading more examples of positive intergroup contact ... could go a long way.

Note: Read the full article to explore what social media platforms can do to reduce polarization. For more, read how the people of Taiwan created an online space for debate where politicians can interact with citizens in ways that foreground consensus, and not division.


In the Southeast, power company money flows to news sites that attack their critics
2022-12-19, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2022/12/19/1143753129/power-companies-florida-alabama-med...

Six news outlets across Alabama and Florida [have] financial connections to the consulting firm Matrix LLC. The firm, based in Montgomery, Alabama, has boasted clients including Alabama Power and another major U.S. utility, Florida Power & Light. Last year, Florida Power & Light wrote a bill that was passed by the Florida Legislature and that would have gutted the ability of homeowners to make money off solar panels. One state away, Alabama Power runs and owns a coal-fired power plant that is the largest single source of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States. In Alabama and Florida, Matrix sought to ensure much coverage was secretly driven by the priorities of its clients. Payments flowed as the utilities in Florida and Alabama fought efforts to incorporate more clean energy in electric grids – a fight they are still waging. [Floodlight and NPR investigations reveal] a complex web of financial links, in which the six outlets collectively received, at minimum, $900,000 from Matrix, its clients, and associated entities between 2013 and 2020. Matrix shrewdly took advantage of the near collapse of the local newspaper industry and a concurrent plunge in trust in media in propelling its clients' interests. Matrix founder Joe Perkins has long held an interest in the power of the media. As a doctoral student at the University of Alabama, he wrote his thesis about a specific quandary: How can journalists' choice of sources and anecdotes affect public sentiment?

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


A Fast-Growing Network of Conservative Groups Is Fueling a Surge in Book Bans
2022-12-12, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/12/books/book-bans-libraries.html

The Keller Independent School District, just outside of Dallas, passed a new rule in November: It banned books from its libraries that include the concept of gender fluidity. The change was pushed by three new school board members, elected in May with support from Patriot Mobile, a self-described Christian cellphone carrier. Through its political action committee, Patriot Mobile poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into Texas school board races to promote candidates with conservative views on race, gender and sexuality – including on which books children can access at school. The issue has been supercharged by a rapidly growing and increasingly influential constellation of conservative groups. The groups have pursued their goals by becoming heavily involved in local and state politics, where Republican efforts have largely outmatched liberal organizations in many states for years. They have created political action committees, funded campaigns, endorsed candidates and packed school boards, helping to fuel a surge in challenges to individual books and to drive changes in the rules governing what books are available to children. The materials the groups object to are often described in policies and legislation as sensitive, inappropriate or pornographic. In practice, the books most frequently targeted for removal have been by or about Black or L.G.B.T.Q. people, according to the American Library Association.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media manipulation from reliable sources.


Censorship by Proxy: How Big Tech Censors Global News Platforms
2022-12-11, LA Progressive (A popular Los Angeles Newspaper)
https://www.laprogressive.com/the-media-in-the-united-states/censorship-by-proxy

Big Tech giants and their oligarchic owners now engage in a new type of censorship, which we have called "censorship by proxy." Censorship by proxy describes restrictions on freedom of information undertaken by private corporations that exceed limits on governmental censorship and serve both corporate and government or third-party interests. Censorship by proxy is not subject to venerable First Amendment proscriptions on government interference with freedom of speech or freedom of the press. Censorship by proxy alerts us to the power of economic entities that are not normally recognized as "gatekeepers." For example, in 2022, the digital financial service PayPal (whose founders include Peter Thiel and Elon Musk) froze the accounts of Consortium News and MintPress News for "unspecified offenses" and "risks" associated with their accounts, a ruling that prevented both independent news outlets from using funds maintained by PayPal. Consortium News and MintPress News have each filed critical news stories and commentary on the foreign policy objectives of the United States and NATO. PayPal issued notices to each news outlet, stating that, in addition to suspending their accounts, it might also seize their assets for "damages."  Joe Lauria, editor in chief of Consortium News, said he believed this was a case of "ideological policing." Mnar Adley, head of MintPress News, warned, "The sanctions-regime war is coming home to hit the bank accounts of watchdog journalists."

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


CIA Venture Capital Arm Partners with Ex-Googler's Startup to "Safeguard the Internet"
2022-12-09, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2022/12/02/cia-google-content-moderation-trust-lab/

Trust Lab was founded by a team of well-credentialed Big Tech alumni who came together in 2021 with a mission: Make online content moderation more transparent, accountable, and trustworthy. A year later, the company announced a "strategic partnership" with the CIA's venture capital firm. The quiet October 29 announcement of the partnership is light on details, stating that Trust Lab and In-Q-Tel – which invests in and collaborates with firms it believes will advance the mission of the CIA – will work on "a long-term project that will help identify harmful content and actors in order to safeguard the internet." Key terms like "harmful" and "safeguard" are unexplained, but the press release goes on to say that the company will work toward "pinpointing many types of online harmful content, including toxicity and misinformation." It's difficult to imagine how aligning the startup with the CIA is compatible with [Trust Lab co-founder Tom] Siegel's goal of bringing greater transparency and integrity to internet governance. What would it mean, for instance, to incubate counter-misinformation technology for an agency with a vast history of perpetuating misinformation? Placing the company within the CIA's tech pipeline also raises questions about Trust Lab's view of who or what might be a "harmful" online, a nebulous concept that will no doubt mean something very different to the U.S. intelligence community than it means elsewhere. Trust Lab's murky partnership with In-Q-Tel suggests a step toward greater governmental oversight of online speech.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Elon Musk speaks out on ‘Twitter Files' release detailing platform's inner workings
2022-12-04, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2022/12/04/business/elon-musk-twitter-files-comments/inde...

Twitter owner Elon Musk spoke out on Saturday evening about the so-called "Twitter Files," a long tweet thread posted by journalist Matt Taibbi, who had been provided with details about behind-the-scenes discussions on Twitter's content moderation decision-making, including the call to suppress a 2020 New York Post story about Hunter Biden and his laptop. During a two-hour long Twitter Spaces session, Musk said a second "Twitter Files" drop will again involve Taibbi, along with journalist Bari Weiss, but did not give an exact date for when that would be released. Musk – who claims to have not read the released files himself – said the impetus for the original tweet thread was about what happened in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election and "how much government influence was there." Taibbi's first thread reaffirmed how, in the initial hours after the Post story about Hunter Biden went live, Twitter employees grappled with fears that it could have been the result of a Russian hacking operation. It showed employees on several Twitter teams debating over whether to restrict the article under the company's hacked materials policy, weeks before the 2020 election. The emails Taibbi obtained are consistent with what former Twitter site integrity head Yoel Roth told journalist Kara Swisher in an onstage interview last week. Taibbi said the contact from political parties happened more frequently from Democrats, but provided no internal documents to back up his assertion.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media corruption from reliable sources.


Elon Musk, Matt Taibbi, and a Very Modern Media Maelstrom
2022-12-04, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/04/business/media/elon-musk-twitter-matt-taib...

The so-called Twitter Files, released ... by the independent journalist Matt Taibbi, set off a firestorm among pundits, media ethicists and lawmakers in both parties. It also offered a window into the fractured modern landscape of news, where a story's reception is often shaped by readers' assumptions about the motivations of both reporters and subjects. Mr. Musk teased the release of internal documents that he said would reveal the story behind Twitter's 2020 decision to restrict posts linking to a report in the New York Post about Joseph R. Biden Jr.'s son, Hunter. Mr. Musk, who has accused tech companies of censorship ... pointed readers to the account of Mr. Taibbi, an iconoclast journalist. Published in the form of a lengthy Twitter thread, Mr. Taibbi’s report included images of email exchanges among Twitter officials deliberating how to handle dissemination of the Post story on their platform. Skeptics of Mr. Taibbi seized on what appeared to be an orchestrated disclosure. “Imagine volunteering to do online PR work for the world’s richest man on a Friday night, in service of nakedly and cynically right-wing narratives, and then pretending you’re speaking truth to power,” the MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan wrote in a Twitter post. Mr. Taibbi clapped back on Saturday, writing: “Looking forward to going through all the tweets complaining about ‘PR for the richest man on earth,’ and seeing how many of them have run stories for anonymous sources at the FBI, CIA, the Pentagon, White House, etc.”

Note: Matt Taibbi is one of the few journalists who reports it as he sees it and is willing to look far beneath the surface. We subscribe to his excellent reports as one very useful source of unraveling the jumble of news that comes our way. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media manipulation from reliable sources.


‘Extinction is on the table': Jaron Lanier warns of tech's existential threat to humanity
2022-11-27, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/nov/27/jaron-lanier-tech-threat-h...

Jaron Lanier, the eminent American computer scientist, composer and artist, is no stranger to skepticism around social media. The web is not a free market of information as originally envisioned. It is a gamed system being rampantly abused. [Lanier] helped create modern ideologies – Web 2.0 futurism, digital utopianism, among them. But Lanier is no longer a fan of how the digital utopia is coming along. He's called it "digital Maoism" and accused tech giants like Facebook and Google of being "spy agencies". In his latest thinking Lanier draws attention to Harvard psychologist BF Skinner's theories of "operant conditioning", or behavior controlled by its consequences, otherwise known as behavior modification. In Skinner's studies, lab rats were subjected alternately to electric shocks and treats to achieve a change in response. On social media, he says, we experience something similar. Approval, disapproval or being ignored, such techniques can be manipulated online as part of what is euphemistically called "engagement" and the creation of addictive patterns for individuals and then – by proxy – eventually whole societies. "As we enter an era where nothing means anything because it's all just about power, intermediation and influence, it's very hard to put ideas out and very easy for them to come across not as intended," he said. "I do believe that our survival depends on modifying the internet – to create a structure that is friendlier to human cognition and to the ways people really are."

Note: This was written by Jaron Lanier, who is widely considered to be the "Father of Virtual Reality." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media manipulation from reliable sources.


Google, YouTube pour millions into left-leaning nonprofit for new 'Global Fact Check Fund'
2022-11-20, Fox News
https://www.foxnews.com/media/google-youtube-millions-left-leaning-organizati...

Google and YouTube are pouring millions into over 100 fact-checking organizations as part of a new Global Fact Check Fund aimed at stomping out misinformation online. On Tuesday, Google and YouTube announced a $13.2 million grant to the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) at the left-leaning nonprofit Poynter Institute. The IFCN previously labeled YouTube as one of the "major conduits" of disinformation and misinformation across the world. In an open letter, the IFCN proposed a partnership with YouTube to curb the issue. The new Global Fact Check Fund is expected to support its network of 135 fact-checking organizations across 65 countries, covering 80 languages. It is the largest grant Google and YouTube have ever shelled out regarding fact-checks. "Helping people to identify misinformation is a global challenge. The Global Fact Check Fund will help fact-checkers to scale existing operations or launch new ones that elevate information, uplift credible sources and reduce the harm of mis- and disinformation around the globe," Google said in Tuesday's press release. Google also noted that fact-checking organizations can use their new funding in a variety of ways, including new technologies, the creation or expansion of their digital footprints, new verification tools, and deeper audience engagement through audio, video or podcast formats. Since 2018, the Google News Initiative has invested nearly $75 million to "strengthen media literacy" and "combat misinformation."

Note: Freedom of expression is being greatly limited with the excuse of battling misinformation, which is often valuable, easily verifiable information the elite don't want us to know. Read this informative article to see how what is labeled as fact is many times just opinion or questionable government policy. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Call of Duty is a Government PsyOp: These Documents Prove It
2022-11-18, MintPress News
https://www.mintpressnews.com/call-of-duty-is-a-government-psyop-these-docume...

Within ten days [of its release], the first-person military shooter video game [Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II] earned more than $1 billion in revenue. The Call of Duty franchise is an entertainment juggernaut, having sold close to half a billion games since it was launched in 2003. Its publisher, Activision Blizzard, is a giant in the industry. Details gleaned from documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that Call of Duty is not a neutral first-person shooter, but a carefully constructed piece of military propaganda, designed to advance the interests of the U.S. national security state. Not only does Activision Blizzard work with the U.S. military to shape its products, but its leadership board is also full of former high state officials. Chief amongst these is Frances Townsend, Activision Blizzard's senior counsel. As the White House's most senior advisor on terrorism and homeland security, Townsend ... became one of the faces of the administration's War on Terror. Activision Blizzard's chief administration officer, Brian Bulatao ... was chief operating officer for the CIA, placing him third in command of the agency. Bulatao went straight from the State Department into the highest echelons of Activision Blizzard, despite no experience in the entertainment industry. [This] raises serious questions around privacy and state control over media. "Call of Duty ... has been flagged up for recreating real events as game missions and manipulating them for geopolitical purposes," [journalist Tom] Secker told MintPress.

Note: The latest US Air Force recruitment tool is a video game that allows players to receive in-game medals and achievements for drone bombing Iraqis and Afghans. For more on this disturbing "military-entertainment complex" trend, explore the work of investigative journalist Tom Secker, who recently produced a documentary, Theaters of War: How the Pentagon and CIA Took Hollywood, and published a new book, Superheroes, Movies and the State: How the U.S. Government Shapes Cinematic Universes.


BBC tries to understand politics by creating fake Americans
2022-11-04, Associated Press
https://apnews.com/article/us-elections-misinformation-social-media-BBC-ameri...

BBC reporter Marianna Spring ... created five fake Americans and opened social media accounts for them, part of an attempt to illustrate how disinformation spreads on sites like Facebook, Twitter and TikTok despite efforts to stop it, and how that impacts American politics. Spring worked with the Pew Research Center in the U.S. to set up five archetypes. Besides the very conservative Larry and very liberal Emma, there's Britney, a more populist conservative from Texas; Gabriela, a largely apolitical independent from Miami; and Michael, a Black teacher from Milwaukee who's a moderate Democrat. Emma is a lesbian who follows LGBTQ groups, is an atheist, takes an active interest in women's issues and abortion rights, supports the legalization of marijuana and follows The New York Times and NPR. These "traits" are the bait, essentially, to see how the social media companies' algorithms kick in and what material is sent their way. That's ... left Spring and the BBC vulnerable to charges that the project is ethically suspect in using false information to uncover false information. "By creating these false identities, she violates what I believe is a fairly clear ethical standard in journalism," said Bob Steele, retired ethics expert. "We should not pretend that we are someone other than ourselves, with very few exceptions." For a story last year, the Wall Street Journal created more than 100 automated accounts to see how TikTok steered users in different directions.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media manipulation from reliable sources.


Leaked Documents Outline DHS's Plans to Police Disinformation
2022-10-31, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2022/10/31/social-media-disinformation-dhs/

The Department of Homeland Security is quietly broadening its efforts to curb speech it considers dangerous, an investigation by The Intercept has found. The work, much of which remains unknown to the American public, came into clearer view earlier this year when DHS announced a new "Disinformation Governance Board": a panel designed to police misinformation (false information spread unintentionally), disinformation (false information spread intentionally), and malinformation (factual information shared, typically out of context, with harmful intent) that allegedly threatens U.S. interests. While the board was widely ridiculed, immediately scaled back, and then shut down within a few months, other initiatives are underway as DHS pivots to monitoring social media now that its original mandate – the war on terror – has been wound down. Behind closed doors, and through pressure on private platforms, the U.S. government has used its power to try to shape online discourse. Discussions have ranged from the scale and scope of government intervention in online discourse to the mechanics of streamlining takedown requests for false or intentionally misleading information. There is also a formalized process for government officials to directly flag content on Facebook or Instagram and request that it be throttled or suppressed through a special Facebook portal that requires a government or law enforcement email to use. How disinformation is defined by the government has not been clearly articulated.

Note: The Department of Homeland Security's Disinformation Governance Board has been paused, not stopped. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


How "media literacy" became the new "fake news": A meaningless corporate buzzword
2022-10-14, Salon
https://www.salon.com/2022/10/14/media-literacy-has-become-the-new-fake-news-...

Tessa Jolls, president of the Center for Media Literacy, published a report last month entitled "Building Resiliency: Media Literacy as a Strategic Defense Strategy for the Transatlantic." It reads like a blueprint for indoctrinating students in corporatism and militarism under the auspices of media literacy education. The standard definition of media literacy used in American education is "the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, create and act using all forms of communication." In response to the post-2016 panic over fake news, there was a demand for more media literacy education in schools. This provided a window of opportunity for major media companies – which had long sought to enter the classroom to advertise their products and collect student data – to move rapidly toward indoctrinate students with corporate propaganda under the "media literacy" umbrella. The same military and intelligence communities now calling for "media literacy" have been producing and spreading fake news, at home and abroad, for at least 70 years. Jolla' report ignores that members of the same military and intelligence communities that she lauds have produced and spread fake news to U.S. citizens, from the time of Operation Mockingbird in the mid-20th century up through the present on various social media platforms. She also never discusses public efforts to disempower the military-industrial complex's ability to dictate truth. Real media literacy education empowers students to ... ask their own questions.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Pentagon opens sweeping review of clandestine psychological operations
2022-09-19, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/09/19/pentagon-psycholo...

The Pentagon has ordered a sweeping audit of how it conducts clandestine information warfare after major social media companies identified and took offline fake accounts suspected of being run by the U.S. military in violation of the platforms' rules. The takedowns in recent years by Twitter and Facebook of more than 150 bogus personas and media sites created in the United States was disclosed last month by internet researchers Graphika and the Stanford Internet Observatory. U.S. Central Command is among those whose activities are facing scrutiny. Some [takedowns] involved posts from the summer that advanced anti-Russia narratives. One fake account posted an inflammatory tweet claiming that relatives of deceased Afghan refugees had reported bodies being returned from Iran with missing organs. The tweet linked to a video that was part of an article posted on a U.S.-military affiliated website. In 2020 Facebook disabled fictitious personas created by Centcom to counter disinformation spread by China suggesting the coronavirus responsible for covid-19 was created at a U.S. Army lab in Fort Detrick, Md.. The pseudo profiles ... were used to amplify truthful information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Congress in late 2019 passed a law affirming that the military could conduct operations in the "information environment" to defend the United States. The measure, known as Section 1631, allows the military to carry out clandestine psychological operations.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Facebook Tells Moderators to Allow Graphic Images of Russian Airstrikes But Censors Israeli Attacks
2022-08-27, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2022/08/27/facebook-instagram-meta-russia-ukraine-war/

Internal memos show Meta [the parent company of Facebook and Instagram] deemed attacks on Ukrainian civilians "newsworthy." No such carveouts were ever made for Palestinian victims of Israeli state violence. During the recent Israeli attacks on Gaza, between August 5 and August 15, [civil society group] 7amleh tallied nearly 90 deletions of content or account suspensions relating to bombings. In an expanded, internal version of the Community Standards guide obtained by The Intercept, the section dealing with graphic content includes a series of policy memos directing moderators to deviate from the standard rules or bring added scrutiny to bear on specific breaking news events. Meta directed moderators to make sure that graphic imagery of Ukrainian civilians killed in Russian attacks was not deleted on seven different occasions. At the outset of the invasion, the company took the rare step of lifting speech restrictions around the Azov Battalion, a neo-Nazi unit of the Ukrainian military previously banned under the company's Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy. Reuters reported that Meta temporarily permitted users to explicitly call for the death of Russian soldiers. Critics charge that the company's censorship policies ... tidily align with U.S. foreign policy interests. [Omar] Shakir of Human Rights Watch [states that] "by silencing many people arbitrarily and without explanation, Meta is replicating online some of the same power imbalances and rights abuses we see in the real world."

Note: Read about the increasing issue of censorship that undermines democracy in our Mass Media Information Center. Furthermore, watch a 14-minute interview with a Facebook whistleblower that exposes Facebook censorship techniques.


Saudi doctoral student gets 34 years in prison for tweets
2022-08-18, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/saudi-doctoral-student-gets-34-years-in-...

A Saudi court has sentenced a doctoral student to 34 years in prison for spreading "rumors" and retweeting dissidents. Activists and lawyers consider the sentence against Salma al-Shehab, a mother of two and a researcher at Leeds University in Britain, shocking even by Saudi standards of justice. So far unacknowledged by the kingdom, the ruling comes amid Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's crackdown on dissent. Al-Shehab was detained during a family vacation on Jan. 15, 2021, just days before she planned to return to the United Kingdom, according to the Freedom Initiative, a Washington-based human rights group. Al-Shehab told judges she had been held for over 285 days in solitary confinement before her case was even referred to court. The Freedom Initiative describes al-Shehab as a member of Saudi Arabia's Shiite Muslim minority, which has long complained of systematic discrimination in the Sunni-ruled kingdom. "Saudi Arabia has boasted to the world that they are improving women's rights and creating legal reform, but there is no question with this abhorrent sentence that the situation is only getting worse," said Bethany al-Haidari, the group's Saudi case manager. Judges accused al-Shehab of "disturbing public order" and "destabilizing the social fabric" – claims stemming solely from her social media activity, according to an official charge sheet. They alleged al-Shehab followed and retweeted dissident accounts on Twitter and "transmitted false rumors."

Note: Why does the US government seem to hate Iran so much yet love Saudi Arabia, one of the most repressive regimes in the world? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Fauci, Biden officials served subpoenas in lawsuit over collusion to suppress free speech
2022-07-20, ABC News (Louisiana affiliate)
https://www.ktbs.com/news/louisiana/fauci-biden-officials-served-subpoenas-in...

Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, other Biden administration officials and five social media companies have 30 days to respond to subpoenas in a lawsuit alleging collusion to suppress freedom of speech. Discovery requests were served to ask for information and documents from ... NIAID, CDC, ... Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, and Nina Jankowicz, who led the DHS Disinformation Governance Board until it was disbanded. Also requested were any communications to any social media platform relating to the "Great Barrington Declaration," [which] was published in response to COVID-19 policies that recommended "focused protection," an approach to reaching herd immunity by allowing those at minimal risk of death to live normal lives by building up immunity through natural infection while protecting those at highest risk. A media release from [Missouri Attorney General Eric] Schmitt ... stated information requested was identifying all communications with any social media platform relating to content modulation and/or misinformation. It requests all communications with Mark Zuckerberg from Jan. 1, 2020, to the present. "In May, Missouri and Louisiana filed a landmark lawsuit against top-ranking Biden Administration officials for allegedly colluding with social media giants to suppress free speech on topics like COVID-19 and election security," Schmitt said. "Earlier this month, a federal court granted our motion for expedited discovery. We will fight to get to the bottom of this alleged collusion and expose the suppression of freedom of speech by social media giants at the behest of top-ranking government officials.”

Note: For more details, see this informative article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Facebook's ban on gun sales gives sellers 10 strikes before booting them
2022-06-09, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/06/09/facebook-gun-sellers-10-...

Facebook prohibits gun sales on its service. But buyers and sellers can violate the rule 10 times before they are kicked off the social network, according to internal guidance obtained by The Washington Post. The policy, which has not previously been reported, is much more lenient than for users who post child pornography, which is illegal, or a terrorist image, which prompts immediate removal from the platform. A separate, five-strikes policy extends even to gun sellers and purchasers who actively call for violence. Facebook's gun policies have long been a source of contention among the company's senior leadership and policymaking teams, who have been torn between the platform's support of free speech and public pressure to curtail weapons sales. Gun sellers have seized on loopholes within Facebook's policy. Journalists have repeatedly uncovered strategies sellers use to evade bans while reaching potential customers in dedicated Facebook groups or on Facebook Marketplace, the company's classified services. One tactic is advertising gun accessories, like holsters or cases, which are permitted for sale on the platform; once a customer contacts the seller, a gun can be sold in Facebook's private messages. After responding to several listings for gun cases, a Post reporter received three private messages with offers to purchase a gun. Joel Kaplan, vice president of global public policy ... said that banning transactions of a product that was both legal and highly popular would alienate the political right.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


How to Fix Twitter–And All of Social Media
2022-05-26, The Atlantic
https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2022/05/how-to-fix-twitter-soc...

Those debating the future of Twitter and other social-media platforms have largely fallen into two opposing camps. One supports individuals' absolute freedom of speech; the other holds that speech must be modulated through content moderation, and by tweaking the ways in which information spreads. Both sides are peddling an equally dismal vision. My purpose here is to point out a logical third option. In this approach, a platform would require users to form groups through free association, and then to post only through those groups. This simple, powerful notion could help us escape the dilemma of supporting online speech. Platforms like Facebook and Reddit have similar structures–groups and subreddits–but those are for people who share notifications and invitations to view and post in certain places. The groups I'm talking about, sometimes called "mediators of individual data" or "data trusts," are different: Members would share both good and bad consequences with one another, just like a group shares the benefits and responsibilities of a loan in microlending. This mechanism has emerged naturally ... on the software-development platform GitHub. Whatever its size, each group will be self-governing. Some will have a process in place for reviewing items before they are posted. Others will let members post as they see fit. It will be a repeat of the old story of people building societal institutions and dealing with unavoidable trade-offs, but people will be doing this on their own terms.

Note: This was written by Jaron Lanier, who is widely considered to be the "Father of Virtual Reality." Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


FBI Provides Chicago Police with Fake Online Identities for "Social Media Exploitation" Team
2022-05-20, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2022/05/20/chicago-police-fbi-social-media-surveilla...

The Social Media Exploitation, or SOMEX, team ... had been set up to help the FBI find informants and intelligence using information gleaned from social sites. The Intercept and Chicago-based transparency groups obtained more than 800 pages of emails and other documents about the team through public records requests. These show that the team's officers were given broad leeway to investigate people across platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, using fake social media accounts furnished by the FBI, in violation of some platforms' policies. The week that followed George Floyd's murder by a white police officer was an intense moment in Chicago's – and U.S. – history. Thousands of people took to the city's streets to peacefully demonstrate against police violence. Despite ample warning, the Office of Inspector General report found, Chicago's police were unprepared. When they did react, their response was chaotic and excessively violent, with officers variously hiding their badge numbers, turning off their body cameras, blasting people with pepper spray at close range ... and telling an arrestee that they would be raped in jail. The SOMEX team's reaction was also troubling. The team's mission was to provide both the FBI and the CPD with useful intelligence. What the SOMEX officers did instead: flag potential damage of police cars, investigate the social media connections of people who had made threats online, and cull videos for the department's YouTube channel.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.


DHS pauses a board created to combat disinformation amid a campaign to discredit it
2022-05-18, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2022/05/18/1099848240/dhs-disinformation-group-pause

A group within the Department of Homeland Security that was set up to focus on combating disinformation has been put on pause, DHS said Wednesday, and its director Nina Jankowicz is stepping down. The decision ... comes in the midst of a coordinated ... campaign against Jankowicz. The group, called the Disinformation Governance Board, launched three weeks ago and has not met. The working group was created with the purpose of helping to develop strategies to combat disinformation while, DHS said, remaining committed to protecting Americans' freedom of speech and other rights. Republicans were quick to claim [that] the board would result in censorship, criticizing what they considered an unclear mission as well as Jankowicz as its leader. DHS says it is conducting a review and assessment on how to continue their work on combating disinformation which will last 75 days. During this time, they said the board will not operate. DHS initially decided they would shut down the board on Monday, but by Tuesday they decided the board's work would be paused. "It is deeply disappointing that mischaracterizations of the Board became a distraction from the Department's vital work, and indeed, along with recent events globally and nationally, embodies why it is necessary," Jankowicz said in a statement announcing her resignation.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


What is DHS' Disinformation Governance Board and why is everyone so mad about it?
2022-05-06, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/what-is-dhs-disinformation-governance-board-and-...

The Department of Homeland Security's announcement of a "Disinformation Governance Board" to standardize the treatment of disinformation by the agencies it oversees has been met with an overwhelmingly negative response since it was first unveiled in April. "It's an awful idea, and you ought to disband it," Sen. Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, told Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas at a Senate hearing. The new board is intended to standardize the department's efforts to respond to disinformation that could be connected with violent threats to the U.S. So, if an agency under DHS – like Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) or Cybersecurity and Information Security Agency (CISA) – identifies disinformation under its purview, it's the new disinformation board that would come up with the best practices for any DHS agency handling the disinformation. "There has been a lot of misinformation about your department's work to combat misinformation," said Senator Chris Murphy, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee's Homeland Security panel, told Mayorkas. "This is not the truth police," Mayorkas declared to the Senate panel ... responding to accusations of censorship. DHS selected author and disinformation expert Nina Jankowicz to lead the board. The former Fulbright-Clinton Public Policy Fellow previously oversaw programs for Russia and Belarus for the National Democratic Institute.

Note: 20 US Attorney Generals demanded DHS immediately disband this Disinformation Governance Board and "cease all efforts to police Americans' protected speech." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Facebook's Ukraine-Russia Moderation Rules Prompt Cries of Double Standard
2022-04-13, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2022/04/13/facebook-ukraine-russia-moderation-double...

An unprecedented spree of policy changes and carveouts aimed at protecting Ukrainian civilians from Facebook's censorship systems has earned praise from human rights groups. But a new open letter addressed to Facebook and its social media rivals questions why these companies seem to care far more about some attempts to resist foreign invasion than others. In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Meta Platforms, which owns Facebook and Instagram, rapidly changed its typically strict speech rules in order to exempt a variety of posts that would have otherwise been deleted for violating the company's prohibition against hate speech and violent incitement. The rule change ... included a rare dispensation to call for the death of Russian President Vladimir Putin, use dehumanizing language against Russian soldiers, and praise the notorious Azov Battalion of the Ukrainian National Guard, previously banned from the platform due to its neo-Nazi ideology. In a statement signed by 31 civil society and human rights groups ... criticism is directed squarely at American internet titans like Facebook. "We call for ... equal and consistent application of policies to uphold the rights of users worldwide," reads the letter. "Once platforms began to take action in Ukraine, they took extraordinary steps that they have been unwilling to take elsewhere. From the Syrian conflict to the genocide of the Rohingya in Myanmar, other crisis situations have not received the same amount of support."

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media manipulation from reliable sources.


Washington Post joins New York Times in finally admitting emails from Hunter Biden laptop are real
2022-03-30, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2022/03/30/washington-post-admits-hunter-biden-laptop-is-r...

The Washington Post on Wednesday became the second major news outlet to reverse course and admit that emails from the infamous Hunter Biden laptop are authentic – nine months after it obtained them and a year and a half after the New York Post first reported on them. The paper said two security experts used cryptographic signatures from Google and other technology companies to validate nearly 22,000 emails from 2009 to 2019. Some verified emails involved a deal President Biden's son pursued with the CEFC China Energy conglomerate for which he was paid nearly $5 million. Other verified emails related to his work for the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings, for which Hunter Biden was paid as much as $83,333 or a month, or $1 million a year. In October 2020, the New York Post exclusively revealed the existence of Hunter Biden's emails after being given a copy of the hard drive from a damaged MacBook Pro laptop that the owner of a repair shop in the Biden family's hometown of Wilmington, Del., said was dropped off in April 2019. Following the expose, the Washington Post's "Fact Checker" feature said the paper "has not been able to verify or authenticate these emails" and said there were "fears that the emails could be part of a broader disinformation campaign" by Russia. The paper said it [made] two copies of the hard drive so they could be analyzed by Matt Green, a Johns Hopkins University security researcher, and Jake Williams, a forensics expert and former National Security Agency operative.

Note: For a detailed timeline on Biden's laptop, see this Washington Post article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media manipulation from reliable sources.


America Has a Free Speech Problem
2022-03-18, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/18/opinion/cancel-culture-free-speech-poll.html

Americans are losing hold of a fundamental right as citizens of a free country: the right to speak their minds and voice their opinions in public without fear of being shamed or shunned. How has this happened? In large part, it's because the political left and the right are caught in a destructive loop of condemnation and recrimination around cancel culture. Many on the left refuse to acknowledge that cancel culture exists at all. Many on the right ... have embraced an even more extreme version of censoriousness as a bulwark against a rapidly changing society, with laws that would ban books, stifle teachers and discourage open discussion in classrooms. In a new national poll commissioned by Times Opinion and Siena College, only 34 percent of Americans said they believed that all Americans enjoyed freedom of speech completely. The poll found that 84 percent of adults said it is a "very serious" or "somewhat serious" problem that some Americans do not speak freely in everyday situations because of fear of retaliation or harsh criticism. 46 percent of respondents said they felt less free to talk about politics compared to a decade ago. Only 21 percent of people reported feeling freer, even though in the past decade there was a vast expansion of voices in the public square through social media. At the same time, 22 percent of adults reported that they had retaliated against or were harshly critical of someone over something he or she said.

Note: While the above article focuses on individual actions and perceptions, social media companies like Facebook prioritize angry, divisive content and sometimes censor mainstream news stories. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media corruption from reliable sources.


Facebook allows war posts urging violence against Russian invaders
2022-03-10, Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/exclusive-facebook-instagram-temporarily...

Meta Platforms will allow Facebook and Instagram users in some countries to call for violence against Russians and Russian soldiers in the context of the Ukraine invasion, according to internal emails seen by Reuters on Thursday, in a temporary change to its hate speech policy. The social media company is also temporarily allowing some posts that call for death to Russian President Vladimir Putin or Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, according to internal emails to its content moderators. "As a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine we have temporarily made allowances for forms of political expression that would normally violate our rules like violent speech such as 'death to the Russian invaders.' We still won't allow credible calls for violence against Russian civilians," a Meta spokesperson said in a statement. The calls for the leaders' deaths will be allowed unless they contain other targets or have two indicators of credibility, such as the location or method, one email said, in a recent change to the company's rules on violence and incitement. Last week, Russia said it was banning Facebook in the country in response to what it said were restrictions of access to Russian media on the platform. Moscow has cracked down on tech companies, including Twitter, which said it is restricted in the country, during its invasion of Ukraine, which it calls a "special operation." Emails also showed that Meta would allow praise of the right-wing Azov battalion, which is normally prohibited.

Note: Read more about Facebook permitting praise for the neo-Nazi Azov battalion. Intrepid reporter Ben Swann gives a great, balanced view on the biolabs in the Ukraine, including efforts to scrub one particularly incriminating video from the Internet. And explore an alternative viewpoint on the Ukrainian situation from a respected source. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media corruption from reliable sources.


Canadian pipeline groups spend big to pose as Indigenous champions
2022-03-10, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/mar/10/canadian-pipeline-groups-...

Oil and gas companies and lobby groups in Canada are heavily investing in campaigns to present themselves as defenders of Indigenous interests in the face of high-profile protests against a controversial natural gas pipeline on First Nation land. "I'm being a steward to my land and I'm being a defender," read one of 21 ads targeting British Columbia in November 2021, quoting a Coastal GasLink worker from Nak'azdli Whut'en' First Nation. As the ad conveying Indigenous support for the pipeline appeared on the Facebook and Instagram feeds of people in the Canadian province, 30 Wet'suwet'en Nation members and supporters were being violently evicted from their territory along the pipeline. The fossil fuel groups spent some C$122,000 (US$95,249) on more than 400 targeted Facebook and Instagram ads. The vast majority of the ads, which were shown some 21m times in total, were linked to the Coastal GasLink pipeline, the site of intense protest and violent police crackdown in recent years. The construction of the 670km pipeline through unceded Wet'suwet'en territory – land never signed away to the Canadian government – has sparked nationwide protests in recent years. Analysis of Facebook advertisements ... by Eco-Bot.Net, a research project exposing climate crisis misinformation and corporate greenwashing online, has found a steady flow of "Indigenous-washing" ad campaigns from TC Energy, the company behind the pipeline, and associated oil and gas lobby groups.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Ending Big Tech's Laissez-Faire Approach to Child Sexual Abuse Material
2022-02-16, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/ending-big-techs-laissez-faire-approach-child-sexual...

The EARN IT Act [is] a bill designed to confront the explosion of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) online. EARN IT would help address what is, disturbingly, a common experience for young users: routine exposure to predatory targeting, grooming, sexual violence, prostitution/sex trafficking, hardcore pornography and more. A New York Times investigation revealed that 70 million CSAM images were reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in 2019–up from 600,000 in 2008–an "almost unfathomable" increase in criminality. The EARN IT Act restores privacy to victims of child sexual abuse material and allows them to sueâ₏Żthose who cause them harm online, under federal civil law and state criminal and civil law. It also creates a new commission to issue guidelines to limit sex trafficking, grooming and sexual exploitationâ₏Żonline. CSAM still exists because tech platforms have no incentive to prevent or eliminate it, because Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (passed in 1996, before social media existed) gives them near-blanket immunity from liability. While some in the technology sector [are] claiming EARN IT is a threat to encryption and user privacy, the reality is that encryption can coexist with better business practices for online child safety. We can increase security and privacy while refraining from a privacy-absolutism that unintentionally allows sexual predators to run rampant online.

Note: To understand the scope of child sex abuse worldwide, learn about other major cover-ups in revealing news articles on sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.


Summary of Terrorism Threat to the U.S. Homeland
2022-02-07, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
https://www.dhs.gov/ntas/advisory/national-terrorism-advisory-system-bulletin...

The United States remains in a heightened threat environment fueled by several factors, including an online environment filled with false or misleading narratives and conspiracy theories, and other forms of mis- dis- and mal-information (MDM) introduced and/or amplified by foreign and domestic threat actors. These threat actors seek to exacerbate societal friction to sow discord and undermine public trust in government institutions to encourage unrest, which could potentially inspire acts of violence. The convergence of the following factors has increased the volatility, unpredictability, and complexity of the threat environment: (1) the proliferation of false or misleading narratives, which sow discord or undermine public trust in U.S. government institutions; (2) continued calls for violence directed at U.S. critical infrastructure; and (3) calls by foreign terrorist organizations for attacks on the United States. COVID-19 mitigation measures–particularly COVID-19 vaccine and mask mandates–have been used by domestic violent extremists to justify violence since 2020 and could continue to inspire these extremists to target government, healthcare, and academic institutions that they associate with those measures. Domestic violent extremists have ... have recently aspired to disrupt U.S. electric and communications critical infrastructure, including by spreading false or misleading narratives about 5G cellular technology.

Note: Since when does questioning how much we trust our government make a person an extremist or terrorist? What ever happened to the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution? Our founding fathers would likely have been declared terrorists by the DHS. So sad... For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.


BBC faces backlash after Dershowitz analyzes Maxwell case, despite accusation from alleged Epstein victim
2021-12-20, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/media/2021/12/30/alan-dershowitz-bbc-ghislaine...

The BBC says it is investigating how Alan Dershowitz was allowed on its airwaves to talk about the conviction of Ghislaine Maxwell without mentioning that the constitutional lawyer is implicated in the case and accused of having sex with an alleged victim of financier Jeffrey Epstein. Shortly after Maxwell was convicted Wednesday of sex-trafficking charges for assisting Epstein in abusing young girls, BBC News brought on Dershowitz to analyze the guilty verdict of Epstein's longtime paramour. But the network failed to mention that Dershowitz not only previously served as Epstein's attorney but that he is accused of having sex with Virginia Roberts Giuffre when she was as young as 16. Dershowitz has denied the allegations. Dershowitz used his time on the "BBC World News" to slam Giuffre for supposedly not being a credible witness in the Maxwell case – claims that went unchallenged by the show's anchor. He also claimed the case from Giuffre against him and Britain's Prince Andrew, who has also been accused of sexual assault and has denied the allegations, was somehow weakened after Maxwell's guilty verdict. Giuffre has said that Epstein and Maxwell forced her to have sex with public figures, such as Dershowitz. She asserted to the Miami Herald and the New Yorker that she had sex with Dershowitz at least six times in Epstein's various residences. In denying her claims, Dershowitz ... called Giuffre a "prostitute" and a "bad mother" to her children.

Note: Read an excellent article on the shocking origins of Jeffrey Epstein. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein's child sex ring from reliable major media sources.


Facebook admits the truth: ‘Fact checks' are really just (lefty) opinion
2021-12-14, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2021/12/14/facebook-admits-the-truth-fact-checks-are-reall...

https://nypost.com/2021/12/14/facebook-admits-the-truth-fact-checks-are-really-just...

Facebook finally admitted the truth: The "fact checks" that social media use to police what Americans read and watch are just "opinion." That's thanks to a lawsuit brought by celebrated journalist John Stossel, which has exposed the left's supposed battle against "misinformation" as a farce. Stossel posted a pair of videos that touched the third rail of liberal politics – climate change. Neither questioned whether climate change is real, but each talked about other issues, namely forest management and using technology to adapt. Yet the third party that Facebook contracts to review these pieces, Science Feedback, flagged them as "false," or our favorite, "lacking context." Why? Science Feedback didn't like Stossel's "tone." That is, you can't write anything about climate change unless you say it's the worst disaster in the history of humanity and we must spend trillions to fight it. The Post has faced this same gauntlet too many times. In February 2020, we published a column by Steven W. Mosher asking if COVID-19 leaked from the Wuhan Lab. This was labeled "false" by Facebook's fact-checkers. Of course, those supposed "independent" scientific reviewers relied on a group of experts who had a vested interest in dismissing that theory – including EcoHealth, which had funded the Wuhan lab. When Twitter "fact checked" and blocked The Post's stories about Hunter Biden's laptop as "hacked materials," what was the basis? Nothing. It wasn't hacked. Guess they didn't like our tone.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


AP seeks answers from US gov't on tracking of journalists
2021-12-13, ABC News/Associated Press
https://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory/ap-seeks-answers-us-govt-tracking-j...

The Associated Press sought answers Monday from the Department of Homeland Security on its use of sensitive government databases for tracking international terrorists to investigate as many as 20 American journalists, including an acclaimed AP reporter. In a letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, AP Executive Editor Julie Pace urged the agency to explain why the name of Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Martha Mendoza was run through the databases and identified as a potential confidential informant during the Trump administration, as detailed in a report by Homeland Security's inspector general. The DHS investigation of U.S. journalists, as well as congressional staff and perhaps members of Congress ... represents the latest apparent example of an agency created in the wake of the 9/11 attacks using its vast capabilities to target American citizens. The AP's letter ... called for "assurances that these improper practices and apparent abuse of power will not continue going forward." That would be in line with recent order from Attorney General Merrick Garland prohibiting the seizing of records of journalists in leak investigations. That followed an outcry over revelations that the Justice Department under former President Donald Trump had obtained records belonging to journalists, as well as Democratic members of Congress. During the Obama administration, federal investigators secretly seized phone records for some reporters and editors at the AP.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable major media sources.


Publisher blasts 'total media blackout' of Robert Kennedy's bestseller on Dr. Fauci
2021-12-02, Washington Times
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2021/dec/2/publisher-blasts-total-media-...

Longtime vaccine critic Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has a runaway bestseller on his hands with his blockbuster book skewering Dr. Anthony Fauci, no thanks to what his publisher calls a "total media blackout." "The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health" continued its reign Wednesday atop the Amazon and USA Today nonfiction bestseller lists and ranked fifth on The New York Times' list of top-selling books. The book is flying off the shelves even though technology platforms refuse to carry its advertising. Mainstream media outlets won't touch it, much to the frustration of Tony Lyons, president and publisher of Skyhorse Publishing. "I defy you to find a single case where the No. 1 bestselling book in America over a 16-day period has not been mentioned in one mainstream newspaper in the country," Mr. Lyons [said]. Not even the aura of the Kennedy name has tempted the mainstream media. The snub hasn't occurred in a vacuum. Mr. Kennedy became persona non grata after he launched his vaccine criticism in 2005. Dr. Fauci is a media favorite, and social media companies have cracked down on content that contests the coronavirus authorities in the name of squelching "misinformation." Among the book's claims are that the White House chief medical adviser oversaw the "disastrous mismanagement" of the 2020 pandemic and has prioritized the pharmaceutical industry over public health.

Note: If you don't have time for the whole book (rated 4.9 stars on amazon.com), you can find an engaging summary of key points on this webpage. Learn how the CIA is involved in suppressing Kennedy's book and so much more. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media manipulation and the coronavirus from reliable sources.


One year after the Great Barrington Declaration was issued, its warnings seem prudent.
2021-10-13, Boston Globe
https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/10/13/opinion/with-covid-19-every-disagreeme...

On Oct. 4, 2020 ... a group of doctors and medical experts, most of them specialists in epidemiology, immunology, and related public health disciplines, published a statement challenging the wisdom of the widespread COVID-19 lockdowns. The primary authors of the "Great Barrington Declaration" ... were three scientists: Martin Kulldorff, a professor of medicine at Harvard; Sunetra Gupta, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Oxford; and Jay Bhattacharya, a physician and professor at Stanford Medical School. The declaration ... was soon signed by thousands of additional public health scientists and doctors. "Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health," [it said]. The scientists warned that "keeping these measures in place until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed." The relatively brief declaration was accompanied by a much more detailed analysis of lockdowns and their collateral damage, and of the best ways to shield the elderly and people in other high-risk groups. For a year, the three scientists have been "vilified." Bhattacharya [said] he is worried for his safety "amid a campaign to censor him on the [Stanford] campus where he has worked for 35 years." The Great Barrington authors were on target in doubting the advisability of sweeping lockdowns. Numerous studies have found that shutting down the economy was largely futile in preventing COVID's spread.

Note: Explore the website of the Great Barrington Declaration. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Revealed: Facebook's Secret Blacklist of "Dangerous Individuals and Organizations
2021-10-12, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2021/10/12/facebook-secret-blacklist-dangerous/

To ward off accusations that it helps terrorists spread propaganda, Facebook has for many years barred users from speaking freely about people and groups it says promote violence. The restrictions appear to trace back to 2012, when ... Facebook added to its Community Standards a ban on "organizations with a record of terrorist or violent criminal activity." This modest rule has since ballooned into what's known as the Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy, a sweeping set of restrictions on what Facebook's nearly 3 billion users can say about an enormous and ever-growing roster of entities deemed beyond the pale. But as with other attempts to limit personal freedoms in the name of counterterrorism, Facebook's DIO policy has become an unaccountable system that disproportionately punishes certain communities, critics say. It is built atop a blacklist of over 4,000 people and groups, including politicians, writers, charities, hospitals, hundreds of music acts, and long-dead historical figures. A range of legal scholars and civil libertarians have called on the company to publish the list so that users know when they are in danger of having a post deleted or their account suspended for praising someone on it. The company has repeatedly refused to do so, claiming it would endanger employees and permit banned entities to circumvent the policy. The Intercept has reviewed a snapshot of the full DIO list and is today publishing a reproduction of the material in its entirety.

Note: Facebook was found to be the number one platform for political disinformation campaigns in 2019. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media corruption from reliable sources.


NYT issues correction after significantly overstating COVID hospitalizations in children
2021-10-08, ABC News (South Carolina affiliate)
https://abcnews4.com/news/nation-world/nyt-issues-correction-after-significan...

The New York Times (NYT) issued a correction to one of its stories this week, which significantly overstated the number of U.S. children who have been hospitalized for COVID-19. The article discussed how countries were moving to "revisit the one-dose strategy" due to concerns over health data suggesting myocarditis was more common in children who receive the COVID-19 vaccine than previously thought. The U.S. has not changed its guidance on the issue since June. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted that month to recommend the vaccine for children older than 12 because "the benefits far outweighed the risk." The NYT used the misstated statistic as background information meant to describe the extent of COVID-19's effect on U.S. children. The Oct. 7 correction read: "The article also misstated the number of Covid hospitalizations in U.S. children. It is more than 63,000 from August 2020 to October 2021, not 900,000 since the beginning of the pandemic." Other errors from the article were also discussed in the correction placed at the end of the article. Those errors include incorrectly describing "actions taken by regulators in Sweden and Denmark," who halted the use of pharmaceutical manufacturer Moderna's vaccine for children. The NYT reported the two countries had only halted booster shots, not the vaccine entirely. The article also misstated the timing of a Food and Drug Administration meeting on the authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children.

Note: These corrections are generally issued as a footnote, which practically no one reads. Note that the original article overstated the number of children hospitalized by nearly 1,500%. How could the respected "newspaper of record" get such important information so wrong? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and mass media from reliable sources.


Twitter slammed for fact-checking Seattle mom's obituary that mentioned COVID vaccine
2021-10-04, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2021/10/04/twitter-criticized-for-fact-checking-seattle-mo...

Twitter has been slammed for fact-checking the obituary of a Seattle mother that attributed her death to blood clots brought on by the COVID-19 vaccine after she was forced to get the shot due to "heavy-handed" state mandates. The online obituary for 37-year-old Jessica Berg Wilson, who died Sept. 7, was marked as "misleading" by the social media giant over the weekend. The fact-check warning was removed by Twitter on Monday morning following the backlash. The tribute ... said the mother of two died from "COVID-19 Vaccine-Induced Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia" – a rare blood disorder that can occur in some cases after the vaccine. Wilson had been "vehemently opposed" to getting the vaccine because she was in good health, but she eventually relented after Washington state made it mandatory for teachers and those wanting to volunteer in schools, her obituary said. "During the last weeks of her life, however, the world turned dark with heavy-handed vaccine mandates. Local and state governments were determined to strip away her right to consult her wisdom and enjoy her freedom." The social media giant fact-checked the obituary after it was shared by Twitter user Kelly Bee alongside a tweet that read: "Jessica Berg Wilson, an ‘exceptionally healthy and vibrant 37-year-old young mother with no underlying health conditions,' passed away from COVID Vaccine-Induced Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia. She did not want to get vaccinated."

Note: Learn lots more about this tragedy in this article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles coronavirus vaccines and media manipulation from reliable major media sources.


Facebook whistleblower says company incentivizes "angry, polarizing, divisive content"
2021-10-04, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/facebook-whistleblower-frances-haugen-60-minutes...

Frances Haugen spent 15 years working for some of the largest social media companies in the world including Google, Pinterest, and until May, Facebook. Haugen quit Facebook on her own accord and left with thousands of pages of internal research and communications that she shared with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 60 Minutes obtained the documents from a Congressional source. On Sunday, in her first interview, Haugen told 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley about what she called "systemic" problems with the platform's ranking algorithm that led to the amplification of "angry content" and divisiveness. Evidence of that, she said, is in the company's own internal research. Haugen said Facebook changed its algorithm in 2018 to promote "what it calls meaningful social interactions" through "engagement-based rankings." She explained that content that gets engaged with – such as reactions, comments, and shares – gets wider distribution. "Political parties have been quoted, in Facebook's own research, saying, we know you changed how you pick out the content that goes in the home feed," said Haugen. "And now if we don't publish angry, hateful, polarizing, divisive content, crickets." "We have no independent transparency mechanisms," Haugen [said]. "Facebook ... picks metrics that are in its own benefit. And the consequence is they can say we get 94% of hate speech and then their internal documents say we get 3% to 5% of hate speech. We can't govern that."

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media manipulation from reliable sources.


YouTube is banning prominent anti-vaccine activists and blocking all anti-vaccine content
2021-09-29, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/09/29/youtube-ban-joseph-mercola/

YouTube is taking down several video channels associated with high-profile anti-vaccine activists including Joseph Mercola and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who experts say are partially responsible for helping seed the skepticism that's contributed to slowing vaccination rates across the country. As part of a new set of policies aimed at cutting down on anti-vaccine content on the Google-owned site, YouTube will ban any videos that claim that commonly used vaccines approved by health authorities are ineffective or dangerous. Mercola, an alternative medicine entrepreneur, and Kennedy, a lawyer and the son of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy who has been a face of the anti-vaccine movement for years, have both said in the past that they are not automatically against all vaccines, but believe information about the risks of vaccines is being suppressed. Facebook banned misinformation on all vaccines seven months ago, though the pages of both Mercola and Kennedy remain up on the social media site. Their Twitter accounts are active, too. In an email, Mercola said he was being censored. Kennedy also said he was being censored. "There is no instance in history when censorship and secrecy has advanced either democracy or public health," he said in an email. Social media companies have hired thousands of moderators and used high-tech image- and text-recognition algorithms to try to police misinformation. YouTube has removed over 133,000 videos for broadcasting coronavirus misinformation.

Note: Listen to first hand tragic stories of those who died or were seriously injured by COVID injections. Read one woman's harrowing story of suffering severe side effects from the Pfizer injection only to have her story suppressed even though she supports vaccines in general. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines and media corruption from reliable sources.


Facebook keeps researching its own harms – and burying the findings
2021-09-16, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/09/16/facebook-files-internal-...

Facebook knew that teen girls on Instagram reported in large numbers that the app was hurting their body image and mental health. It knew that its content moderation systems suffered from an indefensible double standard in which celebrities were treated far differently than the average user. It knew that a 2018 change to its news feed software, intended to promote "meaningful interactions," ended up promoting outrageous and divisive political content. Facebook knew all of those things because they were findings from its own internal research teams. But it didn't tell anyone. In some cases, its executives even made public statements at odds with the findings. The world's largest social network employs teams of people to study its own ugly underbelly, only to ignore, downplay and suppress the results of their research when it proves awkward or troubling. A pattern has emerged in which findings that implicate core Facebook features or systems, or which would require costly or politically dicey interventions, are reportedly brushed aside by top executives, and come out only when leaked to the media by frustrated employees or former employees. For instance, the New York Times reported in 2018 that Facebook's security team had uncovered evidence of Russian interference ahead of the 2016 U.S. election, but that Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and Vice President of Global Public Policy Joel Kaplan had opted to keep it secret for fear of the political fallout.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


This Is Your Brain On Drug Ads
2021-09-08, NPR
https://www.npr.org/transcripts/1035147636

British people are [asking]: What is the deal with all of these medicine ads in the U.S.? England doesn't allow commercials for prescription drugs. While there are ads for over-the-counter drugs in most of the world, the U.S. and New Zealand are the only two countries that allow drug companies to advertise prescription drugs directly to consumers. Commercials for prescription drugs do not exist in Europe or South America or Asia or Africa or Mexico or Australia, just in the U.S. and New Zealand, which is a much smaller market. It wasn't too long ago that TV in the U.S. was like the rest of the world, completely free of prescription drug ads. The '60s, the '70s, most of the '80s, there are no ads like this. By the '80s, though, ... drug companies started saying, we don't want to advertise our drugs just to doctors and pharmacists anymore. We want to market our drugs directly to consumers. The FDA was worried about how commercials would impact demand for drugs - misuse, overuse, all kinds of things. But there were compelling reasons to go directly to consumers. So in 1981, the first direct-to-consumer ad runs in print in Reader's Digest. The FDA [decided television] commercials need to say, out loud, the major risks of a drug. You just had to include the major risks of a drug, along with places where consumers could get more information about the drug, like a phone number or a website or a recommendation just to talk to your doctor. And this is what really opens the TV ad floodgates.

Note: The pharmaceutical industry provides 75% of television advertising revenue in the US. So how likely are TV stations to carry stories that reveal problems with drugs or corruption in the industry? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma profiteering from reliable major media sources.


Federal government using social-media giants to censor Americans
2021-09-06, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2021/09/06/federal-government-using-social-media-giants-to...

Ask questions or post content about COVID-19 that runs counter to the Biden administration's narrative and find yourself censored on social media. That's precisely what data analyst and digital strategist Justin Hart says happened to him. And so last week the Liberty Justice Center, a public-interest law firm, filed a suit on his behalf in California against Facebook, Twitter, President Joe Biden and United States Surgeon General Vivek Murthy for violating his First Amendment right to free speech. Hart had his social media most recently locked for merely posting an infographic that illustrated the lack of scientific research behind forcing children to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID. In fact ... study after study repeatedly shows that children are safer than vaccinated adults and that the masks people actually wear don't do much good. The lawsuit contends that the federal government is "colluding with social media companies to monitor, flag, suspend and delete social media posts it deems 'misinformation.'" It can point to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki's July remarks that senior White House staff are "in regular touch" with Big Tech platforms regarding posts about COVID. She also said the surgeon general's office is "flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread." "Why do we think it's acceptable for the government to direct social media companies to censor people on critical issues such as COVID?" Hart asks. The Post has been targeted repeatedly by social media for solid, factual reporting.

Note: Read about another lawsuit alleging collusion between government and big tech companies to censor dissenting views on pandemic policies. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Snopes Retracts 60 Articles Plagiarized by Co-Founder
2021-08-13, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/13/business/media/snopes-plagiarism-David-Mik...

Snopes, which has long presented itself as the internet's premier fact-checking resource, has retracted 60 articles after a BuzzFeed News investigation found that the site's co-founder plagiarized from news outlets as part of a strategy intended to scoop up web traffic. "As you can imagine, our staff are gutted and appalled by this," Vinny Green, the Snopes chief operating officer, said. He said the Snopes editorial team was conducting a review to understand just how many articles written by David Mikkelson, the site's co-founder and chief executive, featured content plagiarized from other news sites. As of Friday afternoon, the team had found 60, he said. By Friday morning, dozens of articles had been removed from the site, with pages that formerly featured those articles now showing the word "retracted" and an explanation that "some or all of its content was taken from other sources without proper attribution." Mr. Mikkelson, who owns 50 percent of Snopes Media Group, will continue to be Snopes's chief executive, but his ability to publish articles has been revoked, Mr. Green said. In a statement, Mr. Mikkelson acknowledged he had engaged in "multiple serious copyright violations of content that Snopes didn't have rights to use." From 2015 to 2019 – under the Snopes byline, his own name and another pseudonym – Mr. Mikkelson published dozens of articles that included language that appeared to have been copied directly from The New York Times, CNN, NBC News, the BBC and other news sources.

Note: There are many serious questions about the biases of Snopes and some of their unscrupulous tactics, as is covered in this Forbes article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media corruption from reliable sources.


Covid Misinformation Comes From the Top, Too
2021-07-27, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/27/opinion/covid-health-misinformation.html

The Center for Countering Digital Hate published "The Disinformation Dozen" – a report on the 12 influencers it claimed were responsible for 65 percent of anti-vaccine falsehoods disseminated on Facebook and other social media platforms. But the story of charlatans peddling fake cures and political conspiracy theories isn't the only part of the Covid misinformation saga. Distrust in public-health messaging is also sown when public-health messengers show themselves to be less than completely trustworthy. The latest set-to in this drama was a July 20 screaming match between Dr. Anthony Fauci and Senator Rand Paul. The Kentucky Republican suggested that Fauci had lied to Congress in claiming that the National Institutes of Health had never funded gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Fauci took vehement exception, saying the research that the N.I.H. had funded ... didn't qualify as gain-of-function, a research technique in which a pathogen is made more transmissible. The larger truth – obscured until recently by fervent efforts (including by Fauci) to dismiss the lab-leak theory for the origins of the pandemic – is that the U.S. government's scientific establishment did support gain-of-function research that deserved far more public debate than it got. Beneficiaries of that funding engaged in deceptive tactics and outright mendacity to shield their research from public scrutiny while denouncing their critics as conspiracymongers.

Note: Read what happened when the publisher of "The Real Anthony Fauci" tried to place a full page ad in the New York Times for this #1 best seller. And why have all major media refused to review this book which is rated 4.8 stars on Amazon and has over 2,000 footnotes to back up the claims made? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media manipulation and the coronavirus from reliable sources.


Huge data leak shatters the lie that the innocent need not fear surveillance
2021-07-18, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2021/jul/18/huge-data-leak-shatters-lie-inno...

Few pause to think that their phones can be transformed into surveillance devices, with someone thousands of miles away silently extracting their messages, photos and location, activating their microphone to record them in real time. Such are the capabilities of Pegasus, the spyware manufactured by NSO Group, the Israeli purveyor of weapons of mass surveillance. The Guardian will be revealing the identities of many innocent people who have been identified as candidates for possible surveillance by NSO clients in a massive leak of data. Without forensics on their devices, we cannot know whether governments successfully targeted these people. But the presence of their names on this list indicates the lengths to which governments may go to spy on critics, rivals and opponents. Journalists across the world were selected as potential targets by these clients prior to a possible hack using NSO surveillance tools. People whose phone numbers appear in the leak ... include lawyers, human rights defenders, religious figures, academics, businesspeople, diplomats, senior government officials and heads of state. One phone that has contained signs of Pegasus activity belonged to our esteemed Mexican colleague Carmen Aristegui, whose number was in the data leak and who was targeted following her exposÄ‚© of a corruption scandal involving her country's former president Enrique PeÄ‚±a Nieto. At least four of her journalist colleagues appear in the leak

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


The Left has taken over Wikipedia and stripped it of neutrality, says co-creator
2021-07-16, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2021/07/16/wikipedia-dominated-left-wi...

Wikipedia has been taken over by Left-leaning volunteers and only offers a one-sided version of information, according to the online encyclopedia's co-founder. Larry Sanger, an American philosopher who co-founded the website in 2001, said the online reference bible seemed to assume "that there is only one legitimate defensible version of the truth on any controversial question". Mr Sanger, 53, cited page entries on Joe Biden and his son Hunter as an example. "The Biden article, if you look at it, has very little by way of the concerns that Republicans have had about him," he [said]. "So if you want to have anything remotely resembling the Republican point of view about Biden, you're not going to get it from the article." Wikipedia is thought to be the world's fifth largest website in the world in terms of site visits, with more than six billion people viewing it each month. The website relies on volunteers to edit and contribute to its pages. But Mr Sanger said the website had strayed from its original mission, committing it to "neutrality" and allowing site contributors to have a free exchange of ideas. "Now, especially over the last five years or so, Wikipedia has changed quite a bit," he said. "Now if you [public users] make any edit at all, you will be sternly warned if not just kicked out," he said. Asked if he thought Wikipedia could be trusted to give truthful information, he replied: "Well, it depends on what you think the truth is." He added that the website could be trusted to offer an "establishment" point of view.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media manipulation from reliable sources.


Wikipedia and the Military-Intelligence Complex: How the Free Encyclopedia Feeds the National Security State from Which It Emerged
2021-06-25, Counterpunch
https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/06/25/wikipedia-and-the-military-intelligen...

Wikipedia is part of the very internet developed by the military with public money in the 1950s-60s, then called ARPANET. Generally speaking, corporations hope that the systems developed in the military that evolve in the public-corporate realm–satellites, computers, data analysis, etc.–will inspire new military-intelligence innovations in a permanent feedback loop. The overarching "values" [of Wikipedia] and its contributors–mainly young, white, middle-class liberals–will reflect those "values". They include progressive slogans but reactionary policies, humanitarianism but pro-war positions, and conformity to consensus opinion even when the consensus is wrong (e.g., "regime change" in Libya and Syria). By 2006, the Intelligence Community had developed its own Intellipedia. A Top Secret report released under a FOIA request instructed intelligence officers how to edit Wikipedia's entry on MK-ULTRA, the CIA's mind control program (1953-circa 1970s), for Intellipedia. Funded by weapons contractors like BAE Systems and Boeing, and until recently led by people like Katherine Maher, ex-World Banker and Fellow of the Truman National Security Project, which exists to promote "US values" at home and abroad, the Wikimedia Foundation that enables Wikipedia does not exist in a vacuum. Wikipedia does not present unbiased, scholarly encyclopedia entries. It is as much part of the military-industrial-complex as mainstream corporate media.

Note: Some Wikipedia entries have been professionally manipulated. Watch a fascinating video with Larry Sanger, the co-founder of Wikipedia, who now says he no longer trusts the website he's helped created. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Ivermectin: Can a Drug Be "Right-Wing"?
2021-06-25, Matt Taibbi on Substack
https://taibbi.substack.com/p/ivermectin-can-a-drug-be-right-wing

At the bedside of a single Covid-19 patient who's already received the full official treatment protocol and is failing anyway, the decision to administer a drug like ivermectin, or fluvoxamine, or hydroxychloroquine, or any of a dozen other experimental treatments, seems like a no-brainer. Nothing else has worked, the patient is dying, why not? Telescope out a little further, however, and the ivermectin debate becomes more complicated, reaching into a series of thorny controversies, some ridiculous, some quite serious. The ridiculous side involves ... the censorship of ivermectin news. Anyone running a basic internet search on the topic will get a jumble of confusing results. YouTube's policies are beyond uneven. It's been aggressive in taking down videos ... and doling out strikes to independent media figures. Ivermectin has suffered the same fate as thousands of other news topics since Donald Trump first announced his run for the presidency nearly six years ago, cleaved in two to inhabit separate factual universes for left and right audiences. The drug has become a test case for a controversy that's long been building in health care, about how much input patients should have in their own treatment. Should people on their deathbeds be allowed to try anything to save themselves? That seems like an easy question to answer. Should the entire world be allowed to practice self-care on a grand scale? That's a different issue.

Note: Don't miss the entire article to see just how crazy the medical establishment has become in treating COVID. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Military campaign to influence public opinion continued after defence chief shut it down
2021-06-24, CBC (Canada's public broadcasting system)
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/psychological-warfare-influence-campaign-can...

Portions of a military information campaign meant to influence the Canadian public during the COVID-19 pandemic continued to operate months after the chief of the defence staff at the time ordered it shut down in the spring of 2020. The Canadian military recently conducted four reviews of controversial initiatives. A copy of one of those reviews was obtained by CBC News under access to information legislation. That review shows that even after the then-chief of the defence staff, Jonathan Vance, verbally called off the overall influence campaign in April 2020, some influence activities aimed at Canadians carried on for another six months – until Vance issued a written edict in November 2020. The military deployed propaganda techniques in Canada without approval during the pandemic and gathered information about Canadians' online activities without permission from authorities. DND denies it has used psychological warfare techniques, honed during the Afghan war, on Canadians. But the line between psychological warfare and information operation campaigns has become increasingly blurry over the last few years. The review document obtained by CBC News says the Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC) ... "liberally interpreted" department policy. The unit decided it had the authority to conduct information operations on Canadians without government approval because it was asked by the government to help with the response to the pandemic.

Note: Learn more in this article titled, "Military leaders saw pandemic as unique opportunity to test propaganda techniques on Canadians, Forces report says." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.


Trump spied on journalists. So did Obama. America needs more press freedom now
2021-06-15, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jun/15/donald-trump-barack-oba...

The US Department of Justice is under increasing fire for the still-unfolding scandals involving the secret surveillance of journalists and even members of Congress in the waning days of the Trump presidency. In response to the growing scandal – and the scathing condemnations from the surveillance targets at the New York Times, Washington Post and CNN – the US attorney general, Merrick Garland, has vowed the DoJ will no longer use legal process to spy on journalists "doing their jobs." The Times, the Post and CNN are set to meet with the justice department this week to seek more information on what happened. Administrations in both parties have spied on journalists with increasing abandon for almost two decades, in contravention of internal DoJ regulations and against the spirit of the first amendment. Before Trump was known as enemy number one of press freedom, Barack Obama's justice department did more damage to reporters' rights than any administration since Nixon. But there is another issue looming large over this debate. Garland has said so far that the DoJ won't spy on journalists unless they are engaged in a crime. Well, the DoJ is currently attempting to make newsgathering a crime, in the form of its case against the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange. The actions described in the indictment against him, most notably the 17 Espionage Act charges, are indistinguishable for what reporters do all the time.

Note: Read more about the growing trend to criminally prosecute journalists who rely on confidential sources to expose corruption. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Beware of ‘expert' consensus. The covid-19 lab leak theory shows why.
2021-05-30, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/05/30/beware-expert-consensus-co...

People who believe the coronavirus was manufactured in a lab haven't been allowed to say so on Facebook since February – until Wednesday, that is, when Facebook announced it was lifting the ban. Presumably this has something to do with the wavering elite consensus on lab leaks. This consensus was never as monolithic as proponents claimed. But it did produce a Facebook ban and a lot of journalism dismissing the hypothesis as a well-debunked conspiracy theory. In one light, this is a happy scientific ending. Over time, with study, natural transmission looked less likely, and a lab accident somewhat more so. As the evidence changed, a previously hard-and-fast consensus became more open to other possibilities, as should be the case for any good scientific theory. But in another light, this story is a disaster. How did so many smart people come to believe, not just that a natural origin was much more likely than a lab leak – which is still, to be clear, the opinion of many scientists – but that a lab leak was basically an impossibility? Labs have leaked deadly viruses in the past. And a lab in the same city where the pandemic began happened to study bat coronaviruses and had a sample of this coronavirus's closest known relative, gathered from a cave hundreds of miles away. It's possible, and maybe even probable, that this was pure coincidence. But it is a hell of a coincidence, and it wasn't kooky to say so.

Note: Top officials were told not to explore the possibility that the virus escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Facebook's Secret Rules About the Word "Zionist" Impede Criticism of Israel
2021-05-14, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2021/05/14/facebook-israel-zionist-moderation/

Facebook's secret internal rules for moderating the term "Zionist" let the social network [to] suppress criticism of Israel amid an ongoing wave of Israeli abuses and violence, according to people who reviewed the policies. The rules appear to have been in place since 2019, seeming to contradict a claim by the company in March that no decision had been made on whether to treat the term "Zionist" as a proxy for "Jew" when determining whether it was deployed as "hate speech." The policies ... govern the use of "Zionist" in posts not only on Facebook but across its subsidiary apps, including Instagram. Both Facebook and Instagram are facing allegations of censorship following the erratic, widespread removal of recent posts from pro-Palestinian users critical of the Israeli government, including those who documented instances of Israeli state violence. Mass violence has gripped Israel and Gaza since last week. Israeli security forces stormed the Al Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's old city. The Palestinian militant group Hamas responded with rocket fire aimed at Israel. Israel, in turn, unleashed massive aerial bombardments and artillery attacks against the occupied Palestinian Gaza Strip. Though none of Facebook and Instagram's content removal has been tied conclusively to the term "Zionist," users and pro-Palestinian advocates were alarmed by disappearing posts and notices of policy violations over the last week.

Note: Read how a U.S. Congresswoman is being slammed for asking legitimate questions about Israel. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media manipulation from reliable sources.


The Military Origins of Facebook
2021-04-12, Unlimited Hangout
https://unlimitedhangout.com/2021/04/investigative-reports/the-military-origi...

While Facebook has long sought to portray itself as a "town square" that allows people from across the world to connect, a deeper look into its apparently military origins and continual military connections reveals that the world's largest social network was always intended to act as a surveillance tool to identify and target domestic dissent. LifeLog was one of several controversial post-9/11 surveillance programs pursued by the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) that threatened to destroy privacy and civil liberties in the United States. LifeLog sought to .. build a digital record of "everything an individual says, sees, or does." In 2015, [DARPA architect Douglas] Gage told VICE that "Facebook is the real face of pseudo-LifeLog." He tellingly added, "We have ended up providing the same kind of detailed personal information without arousing the kind of opposition that LifeLog provoked." A few months into Facebook's launch, in June 2004, Facebook cofounders Mark Zuckerberg and Dustin Moskovitz [had] its first outside investor, Peter Thiel. Thiel, in coordination with the CIA, was actively trying to resurrect controversial DARPA programs. Thiel formally acquired $500,000 worth of Facebook shares and was added its board. Thiel's longstanding symbiotic relationship with Facebook cofounders extends to his company Palantir, as the data that Facebook users make public invariably winds up in Palantir's databases and helps drive the surveillance engine Palantir runs for a handful of US police departments, the military, and the intelligence community.

Note: Consider reading the full article by investigative reporter Whitney Webb to explore the scope of Facebook's military origins and the rise of mass surveillance. Read more about the relationship between the national security state and Google, Facebook, TikTok, and the entertainment industry. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Bad News Bias
2021-03-24, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/24/briefing/boulder-shooting-george-segal-ast...

When Covid cases were rising in the U.S., the news coverage emphasized the increase. When cases were falling, the coverage instead focused on those places where cases were rising. And when vaccine research began showing positive results, the coverage downplayed it, as far as [Dartmouth professor Bruce] Sacerdote could tell. He began working with two other researchers, building a database of Covid coverage from every major network. The researchers then analyzed it with a social-science technique that classifies language as positive, neutral or negative. The results showed that Sacerdote's instinct had been right. The coverage by U.S. publications with a national audience has been much more negative than coverage by any other source that the researchers analyzed, including scientific journals, major international publications and regional U.S. media. About 87 percent of Covid coverage in national U.S. media last year was negative. The share was 51 percent in international media, 53 percent in U.S. regional media and 64 percent in scientific journals. Notably, the coverage was negative in both U.S. media outlets with liberal audiences (like MSNBC) and those with conservative audiences (like Fox News). If we're constantly telling a negative story, we are not giving our audience the most accurate portrait of reality. As Ranjan Sehgal, another co-author, told me, "The media is painting a picture that is a little bit different from what the scientists are saying."

Note: Explore an inspiring article sharing some of the good news to come out of these challenging times. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on mass media corruption from reliable sources.


Fact-Checking Facebook's Fact Checkers
2021-03-05, Wall Street Journal
https://www.wsj.com/articles/fact-checking-facebooks-fact-checkers-11614987375

China last winter censored doctors who shared "dangerous" misinformation about the novel coronavirus on social media. Now America's self-anointed virus experts and social-media giants are also silencing doctors with contrarian views in an apparent effort to shut down scientific debate. Facebook this week appended a Wall Street Journal op-ed "We'll Have Herd Immunity by April" by Johns Hopkins surgeon Marty Makary (Feb. 19) with the label "Missing Context. Independent fact-checkers say this information could mislead people." According to Facebook, "Once we have a rating from a fact-checking partner, we take action by ensuring that fewer people see that misinformation." The Facebook label links to the third-party site Health Feedback ... an affiliate of the nonprofit Science Feedback that verifies scientific claims in the media. Another Science Feedback affiliate fact-checks climate-related articles in predominantly conservative media. Dr. Makary ... made a projection, much like the epidemiologists at Imperial College and University of Washington do. But the progressive health clerisy don't like his projection because they worry it could lead to fewer virus restrictions. Facebook's fact-checkers "cherry-pick," to borrow their word, studies to support their own opinions, which they present as fact. Facebook's fact checkers are presenting their opinions as fact and seeking to silence other scientists whose views challenge their own.

Note: Read more in this excellent article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media manipulation from reliable sources.


Mark Zuckerberg violating own policy with early vaccine concerns: Project Veritas
2021-02-17, Washington Times
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2021/feb/17/mark-zuckerberg-violating-ow...

CEO Mark Zuckerberg has banned from his social media platforms any claims that the novel coronavirus vaccine alters DNA, although he himself expressed similar concerns last year. Project Veritas released video Tuesday of Mr. Zuckerberg raising questions about whether vaccines include risks of side effects such as "modifying people's DNA and RNA" in July during a virtual Q&A meeting with staff. "I do just want to make sure that I share some caution on this because we just don't know the long-term side effects of basically modifying people's DNA and RNA to directly code in a person's DNA and RNA," Mr. Zuckerberg said in the video. "Basically the ability to produce those antibodies and whether that causes other mutations or other risks downstream." In a Feb. 8 post, Facebook updated its COVID-19 and vaccine policies "to protect people from harmful content and new types of abuse related to COVID-19 and vaccines," saying it would remove posts that included "Claims that the COVID-19 vaccine changes people's DNA." Project Veritas president James O'Keefe said that the newly leaked tape showed Mr. Zuckerberg "violating his own code of conduct" and that "he would be censored on the platform today for what he said." "Isn't it interesting that Zuckerberg can vacillate and evolve his thinking on the subject of vaccines, but as soon as he's made up his mind or appears to have made up his mind on the topic, he disallows the almost three billion Facebook users to do the same?" Mr. O'Keefe asked.

Note: Explore an informative essay on this on the Project Veritas websites. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines and media manipulation from reliable major media sources.


YouTube Cancels the U.S. Senate
2021-02-02, Wall Street Journal
https://www.wsj.com/articles/youtube-cancels-the-u-s-senate-11612288061

Google's YouTube has ratcheted up censorship to a new level by removing two videos from a U.S. Senate committee. They were from a Dec. 8 Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing on early treatment of Covid-19. One was a 30-minute summary; the other was the opening statement of critical-care specialist Pierre Kory. Dr. Kory is part of a world-renowned group of physicians who developed a groundbreaking use of corticosteroids to treat hospitalized Covid patients. His testimony at a May Senate hearing helped doctors rethink treatment protocols and saved lives. At the December hearing, he presented evidence regarding the use of ivermectin, a cheap and widely available drug that treats tropical diseases caused by parasites, for prevention and early treatment of Covid-19. He described a just-published study from Argentina in which about 800 health-care workers received ivermectin and 400 didn't. Not one of the 800 contracted Covid-19; 58% of the 400 did. Before being removed from YouTube and other websites, Dr. Kory's opening statement had been viewed by more than eight million people. Unfortunately, government health agencies don't share that interest in early treatment. A year into the pandemic, NIH treatment guidelines for Covid patients are to go home, isolate yourself and do nothing other than monitor your illness. The censors at YouTube have decided for all of us that the American public shouldn't be able to hear what senators heard.

Note: You can access the entire article free of charge on this webpage. Can it be any more blatant that facebook is in cahoots with big Pharma in not wanting cheap, effective treatments for COVID-19? Watch an excellent, eye-opening 14-minute interview with a facebook insider revealing how censorship works. Read about how Silicon Valley is shutting down even live streams by legitimate journalists. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and media manipulation from reliable major media sources.


I Am Guilty of Violating the Espionage Act
2020-12-21, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/21/opinion/laura-poitras-assange-espionage-ac...

I am guilty of violating the Espionage Act, Title 18, U.S. Code Sections 793 and 798. If charged and convicted, I could spend the rest of my life in prison. This is not a hypothetical. Right now, the United States government is prosecuting a publisher under the Espionage Act. The case could set a precedent that would put me and countless other journalists in danger. I confess that I – alongside journalists at The Guardian, The Washington Post and other news organizations – reported on and published highly classified documents from the National Security Agency provided by the whistle-blower Edward Snowden, revealing the government's global mass surveillance programs. This reporting was widely recognized as a public service. Last year ... the Justice Department indicted Julian Assange, the founder and publisher of WikiLeaks, with 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act. None of the architects of the "war on terror," including the C.I.A.'s torture programs, have been brought to justice. Mr. Assange is facing a possible sentence of up to 175 years in prison. I spoke to one of the best First Amendment lawyers in the country. He read the Espionage Act out loud and said it had never been used against a journalist, but there is always a first time. It is impossible to overstate the dangerous precedent Mr. Assange's indictment under the Espionage Act and possible extradition sets: Every national security journalist who reports on classified information now faces possible Espionage Act charges.

Note: The above was written by award-winning journalist Laura Poitras. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


More Journalists are Imprisoned in China, Middle East, Advocates Say
2020-12-15, U.S. News & World Report
https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/articles/2020-12-15/china-leads-co...

In a year that witnessed a crackdown on civil liberties in Hong Kong, China has detained more journalists in 2020 than any other country, extending a role it assumed last year, two leading media rights groups say in studies published this week. The reports, published on Tuesday by the Committee to Protect Journalists and on Monday by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), found Asia and the Middle East to be the most challenging regions of the world for journalists to operate freely. According to RSF ... the top five countries for imprisoning journalists in 2020 were China, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Vietnam and Syria, which collectively accounted for 61% of the 387 journalists they had documented behind bars as of Dec. 1. RSF said at least 117 journalists were detained in China this year. Meanwhile, CPJ reported a record number of detained journalists – 274, according to its report, adding that China, Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia imprisoned journalists at the highest rates. Officials from both organizations said the coronavirus pandemic even provided cover for some governments to more openly target the press in retaliation for critical COVID-19 coverage. "Fourteen journalists were arrested in connection with coverage of the pandemic," RSF Editor-in-Chief Pauline Ades-Mevel says, in response to what their governments called unfair or imprecise coverage. We've seen a backlash around the world against journalists reporting on the pandemic itself as well as government responses to the pandemic.

Note: Explore more on this and on censorship around questioning the official story of COVID-19. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Covid-19: politicisation, "corruption," and suppression of science
2020-11-13, The BMJ (Formerly British Medical Journal)
https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4425.full

Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency - a time when it is even more important to safeguard science. The UK's pandemic response provides at least four examples of suppression of science or scientists. First, the membership, research, and deliberations of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) were initially secret until a press leak forced transparency. The leak revealed inappropriate involvement of government advisers in SAGE. Next, a Public Health England report on covid-19 and inequalities ... was delayed by England's Department of Health. Third, on 15 October, the editor of the Lancet complained that an author of a research paper, a UK government scientist, was blocked by the government from speaking to media because of a "difficult political landscape." Now, a new example concerns the controversy over point-of-care antibody testing for covid-19. Research published this week by The BMJ ... finds that the government procured an antibody test that in real world tests falls well short of performance claims made by its manufacturers. Researchers from Public Health England and collaborating institutions sensibly pushed to publish their study findings before the government committed to buying a million of these tests but were blocked by the health department and the prime minister's office.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in science and the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Why tech giants limited the spread of NY Post story on Biden
2020-10-15, Star Tribune/Associated Press
https://www.startribune.com/why-tech-giants-limited-the-spread-of-ny-post-sto...

When Facebook and Twitter moved quickly this week to limit the spread of an unverified political story published by the conservative-leaning New York Post, it led to predictable cries of censorship from the right. But it also illustrated the slippery hold even the largest tech companies have on the flow of information. While Facebook and Twitter have often been slow to combat apparent misinformation ... their response in this case shows how quickly they can move when they want to. For the first time in recent memory, the two social media platforms enforced rules against misinformation on a story from a mainstream media publication. The story in question, which has not been confirmed by other publications, cited unverified emails from Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's son that were reportedly discovered by President Donald Trump's allies. Facebook used the possibility of false information as the reason to limit the article's reach, which means its algorithm shows it to fewer people, much the way you might not see as many posts from friends you don't interact with often. Twitter, meanwhile, blocked users from tweeting out the link to the story and from sending it in private messages. Though they acted quickly, both companies stumbled on communicating their decision to the public. In part because of this, and in part by the mere act of trying to limit the story, the tech platforms soon became the story.

Note: For more on this important story, read Matt Taibbi's article titled "With the Hunter Biden Expose, Suppression is a Bigger Scandal Than The Actual Story." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media manipulation from reliable sources.


The New York Times Guild Once Again Demands Censorship of Colleagues
2020-10-11, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2020/10/11/the-new-york-times-guild-once-again-deman...

The New York Times Guild, the union of employees of the paper of record, tweeted a condemnation on Sunday of one of their own colleagues, op-ed columnist Bret Stephens. What angered the union today was an op-ed by Stephens on Friday which voiced numerous criticisms of the Pulitzer Prize-winning “1619 Project,” published last year by the New York Times Magazine. One of the Project’s principal arguments was expressed by a now-silently-deleted sentence that introduced it: “that the country’s true birth date” is not 1776, as has long been widely believed, but rather late 1619, when, the article claims, the first African slaves arrived on U.S. soil.” The 1619 Project has become a major controversy. In his Friday column, Stephens addressed the controversy by first noting the Project’s positive contributions and accomplishments, then reviewed in detail the critiques of historians and other scholars of its central claims, and then sided with its critics by arguing that “for all of its virtues, ... the 1619 Project has failed.” But his colleagues in the New York Times Guild evidently do not believe that he had any right to express his views on these debates. In a barely-literate tweet that not once but twice misspelled the word “its” as “it’s” — not a trivial level of ignorance for writers with the world’s most influential newspaper — the union denounced Stephens and the paper itself on these grounds: "It says a lot about an organization when it breaks it's own rules and goes after one of it's own. The act, like the article, reeks."

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media corruption from reliable sources.


New Documents Reveal How the Animal Agriculture Industry Surveils and Punishes Critics
2020-10-10, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2020/10/10/new-documents-reveal-how-the-animal-agric...

Animal agriculture industry groups defending factory farms engage in campaigns of surveillance, reputation destruction, and other forms of retaliation against industry critics and animal rights activists, documents obtained through a FOIA request from the U.S. Department of Agriculture reveal. That the USDA possesses these emails and other documents demonstrates the federal government’s knowledge of, if not participation in, these industry campaigns. These documents detail ongoing monitoring of the social media of news outlets, including The Intercept, which report critically on factory farms. They reveal private surveillance activities aimed at animal rights groups and their members. They include discussions of how to create a climate of intimidation for activists who work against industry abuses, including by photographing the activists and publishing the photos online. And they describe a coordinated ostracization campaign that specifically targets veterinarians who criticize industry practices. One of the industry groups central to these activities is the Animal Agriculture Alliance, which represents factory farms and other animal agriculture companies. The group boasts that one of its prime functions is “Monitoring Activism,” by which they mean: “We identify emerging threats and provide insightful resources on animal rights and other activist groups by attending their events, monitoring traditional and social media and engaging our national network.”

Note: Watch an interview with Dr. Crystal Heath, a veterinarian targeted by Animal Agricultural Alliance for her activism against inhumane factory farming practices. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.


Facebook suspends environmental groups despite vow to fight misinformation
2020-09-22, MSN News
https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/facebook-suspends-environmental-groups-d...

Facebook has suspended the accounts of several environmental organizations less than a week after launching an initiative it said would counter a tide of misinformation over climate science on the platform. Groups such as Greenpeace USA, Climate Hawks Vote and Rainforest Action Network were among those blocked from posting or sending messages on Facebook over the weekend. Activists say hundreds of other individual accounts linked to indigenous, climate and social justice groups were also suspended. The suspended people and groups were all involved in a Facebook event from May last year that targeted KKR & Co, a US investment firm that is backing the Coastal GasLink pipeline, a 670km-long gas development being built in northern British Columbia, Canada. The suspensions, the day before another online action aimed at KKR & Co, has enraged activists who oppose the pipeline for its climate impact and for cutting through the land of the Wetʼsuwetʼen, a First Nations people. “Videos of extreme violence, alt-right views and calls for violence by militias in Kenosha, Wisconsin, are allowed to persist on Facebook,” said Delee Nikal, a Wet’suwet’en community member. “Yet we are banned.” Many of the accounts have now been restored, but a handful are still blocked. The suspensions came just a few days after the social media giant said it was launching a “climate science information center” to counter ... posts that reject the established science of the climate crisis.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and media manipulation from reliable major media sources.


Why The Social Dilemma is the most important documentary of our times
2020-09-18, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/features/social-dilemm...

Netflix’s brilliant new 90-minute docu-drama, The Social Dilemma ... might be the most important watch of recent years. The film, which debuted at Sundance Film Festival in January, takes a premise that’s unlikely to set the world alight ... ie that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram et al aren’t exactly creating a utopia. Its masterstroke is in recruiting the very Silicon Valley insiders that built these platforms to explain their terrifying pitfalls – which they’ve realised belatedly. You don’t get a much clearer statement of social media’s dangers than an ex-Facebook executive’s claim that: “In the shortest time horizon I’m most worried about civil war.” The commonly held belief that social media companies sell users’ data is quickly cast aside – the data is actually used to create a sophisticated psychological profile of you. What they’re selling is their ability to manipulate you, or as one interviewee puts it: “It’s the gradual, slight, imperceptible change in your own behaviour and perception. It’s the only thing for them to make money from: changing what you do, how you think, who you are.” Despite it being public knowledge that Vote Leave and Trump’s 2016 election campaign harvested voters’ Facebook data on a gigantic scale, The Social Dilemma still manages to find fresh and vital tales of how these platforms destabilise modern politics. Russia’s Facebook hack to influence the 2016 US election? “The Russians didn’t hack Facebook. They used the tools that Facebook made for legitimate advertisers,” laments one of the company’s ex-investors.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Journalism’s Gates keepers
2020-08-21, Colombia Journalism Review
https://www.cjr.org/criticism/gates-foundation-journalism-funding.php

Last August, NPR profiled a Harvard-led experiment to help low-income families find housing in wealthier neighborhoods. Every quoted expert is connected to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which helps fund the project. NPR itself receives funding from Gates. The story ... is one of hundreds NPR has reported about the Gates Foundation or the work it funds, including myriad favorable pieces written from the perspective of Gates or its grantees. And that speaks to a larger trend - and ethical issue - with billionaire philanthropists’ bankrolling the news. As philanthropists increasingly fill in the funding gaps at news organizations ... an underexamined worry is how this will affect the ways newsrooms report on their benefactors. Nowhere does this concern loom larger than with the Gates Foundation. During the pandemic, news outlets have widely looked to Bill Gates as a public health expert on covid - even though Gates has no medical training and is not a public official. PolitiFact and USA Today (run by the Poynter Institute and Gannett, respectively - both of which have received funds from the Gates Foundation) have even used their fact-checking platforms to defend Gates from “false conspiracy theories” and “misinformation,” like the idea that the foundation has financial investments in companies developing covid vaccines and therapies. In fact, the foundation’s website and most recent tax forms clearly show investments in such companies, including Gilead and CureVac.

Note: Watch an excellent 15-minute presentation by courageous journalist Ben Swann on the agenda of facebook fact checkers. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and media manipulation from reliable major media sources.


DHS opens investigations into intelligence collection on journalists
2020-07-31, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/31/politics/dhs-investigation-intelligence-journa...

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf on Friday directed the intelligence branch of his department to cease collecting information involving journalists and ordered a review of the incident that was made public on Thursday. The department "will no longer identify US members of the media in our intelligence products," he wrote ... adding that he is ordering an "immediate review of the circumstances surrounding the collection and dissemination of intelligence on US members of the press." The order comes a day after The Washington Post reported that DHS compiled "intelligence reports" about the work of two American journalists covering protests in Portland, Oregon, in what current and former officials called an alarming use of a government system meant to share information about suspected terrorists. The revelations that DHS collected and disseminated information on journalists comes amid increased scrutiny of the department's handling of the unrest in Portland. Homeland Security officials have warned in recent weeks that the increased politicization of law enforcement risks undercutting public trust in the department. One of the journalists DHS collected information on wrote in a series of tweets responding to the Post story, "What is troubling about this story is that I&A shared my tweets *as intelligence reporting,* that is, an intelligence arm of the government filed a report on a citizen for activity at the heart of journalism: revealing newsworthy information about government to the public."

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable major media sources.


The U.S.-Supported Coup in Bolivia Continues to Produce Repression and Tyranny, While Revealing How U.S. Media Propaganda Works
2020-07-23, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2020/07/23/the-u-s-supported-coup-in-bolivia-continu...

The U.S.-supported military coup in Bolivia has largely disappeared from western news outlets ever since the November 2019 massacres of pro-democracy protesters by the right-wing faction that seized power. But for Bolivians, the repression and tyranny that replaced their stable and thriving democracy endures. What makes the coup in Bolivia and its aftermath so worthwhile to explore is not just the inherent importance of Bolivia itself: a country of 11 million people with a rich and unique ethnic, cultural and religious diversity, as well as an ample supply of the now-vital resource of lithium. It is also instructive because of how U.S. discourse evolved in support of the coup, with supposed “foreign policy experts” across the political spectrum ... spouting outright falsehoods to depict the destruction of Bolivian democracy as the salvation of it. Since the coup last October, many of the key claims used to justify the ousting of Morales ... have been proven to have been lies. Yet not a single one of the foreign policy “experts” or media outlets have acknowledged their errors or even addressed these subsequent revelations, because they know that there are never any consequences for journalists and analysts as long as they remain subservient to the U.S. government agenda. Bolivia is but the latest of a long line of thriving, stable democracies destroyed with the support if not the outright participation of the U.S. government, while jingoistic media figures disseminated the propaganda used to justify it all.

Note: Watch journalist Glenn Greenwald interview experts on the Bolivian coup. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Media is obsessed with COVID cases, but death rate is what is important
2020-07-06, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2020/07/06/media-is-obsessed-with-covid-cases-but-death-ra...

Since June 19, when new cases in the United States went back over 30,000 in one day, we have been constantly bombarded with stories of how the virus is “spiking” in “record” numbers in many of the states (like California, Texas, Florida and Arizona) that were not hit hard in the “first wave.” Across the country, our number of new cases has indeed exploded to new levels during this time period ... and the news media, both at the national and local levels, have used these statistics to essentially create panic porn. The resulting public anxiety has caused several states to reverse their reopenings. Obviously the “new case” data point is both real and relevant, but it is also now extremely misleading. By incompetently using the same measure of what a “positive” virus test meant in April, to what it now means in July, the news media is in the process of, quite effectively, sabotaging America’s recovery from this crisis. The data ... now makes it overwhelmingly obvious that nowhere near as many people who recently tested positive for the virus are going to die as did when this nightmare began. While the development has gotten scandalously little news coverage, the daily numbers of deaths with/of COVID has been declining with remarkable consistency for well over two months now. Sweden, a country much maligned in the media because they dared to not lock down by government mandate, has “new case” and “death” charts which look remarkably similar to ours. Their daily death rate has recently been down to single digits.

Note: Don't miss this entire article which pulls back the curtain on media manipulations in these challenging times. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and media manipulation from reliable major media sources.


Teargassed, beaten up, arrested: what freedom of the press looks like in the US right now
2020-06-06, MSN News/The Guardian
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/teargassed-beaten-up-arrested-what-freed...

Covering protests in Minneapolis on Saturday, photojournalist Ed Ou could feel his hands and face were wet. For a long time, he didn’t know if it was teargas, pepper spray, or blood – in the end, it turned out to be a combination of all three. He has documented civil unrest in the Middle East, Ukraine and Iraq, where he learned a few things. So when the curfew hit and police fired teargas into the crowd of protesters, Ou stood steady, out of the way, documenting. And then the unexpected happened. “They literally started throwing concussive grenades in our direction, in the middle of the journalists,” he says. What ensued was a prolonged attack that involved being hit at with batons, being teargassed, dodging concussive grenades and begging for help. As of 9pm Thursday, the US press freedom tracker has received 192 reports of journalists being attacked by police forces while covering the protests across the US. Among them, some have sustained serious injuries. Linda Tirado, a photojournalist, was hit in the face with a tracer round, resulting in loss of sight in one eye. The Chicago Tribune’s Ryan Fairclough was left with stitches after being shot through the window of his moving car. In Detroit, Nicole Hester was hit by pellets fired by Detroit police, leaving welts on her body. Others have been beaten up, arrested, their equipment damaged and they have been threatened for taking photos and filming on public streets. These are not one-off incidents: this is a picture of widespread attacks on the profession.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.


George Floyd: 'Unacceptable' attacks on reporters at protests
2020-06-02, BBC News
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-52880970

Dozens of journalists covering anti-racism protests that have rocked the US have reported being targeted by security forces using tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray. In many cases, they said it was despite showing clear press credentials. The arrest of a CNN news crew live on air on Friday in Minneapolis, where unarmed black man George Floyd died at the hands of police, first drew global attention to how law enforcement authorities in the city were treating reporters. On Tuesday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison asked his embassy in Washington to investigate the use of force by police against an Australian news crew as officers dispersed protesters there. It comes after dozens of attacks on journalists and media crews across the country over the weekend were reported on social media. In total the US Press Freedom Tracker, a non-profit project, says it is investigating more than 100 "press freedom violations" at protests. About 90 cases involve attacks. On Saturday night, two members of a TV crew from Reuters news agency were shot at with rubber bullets while police dispersed protesters in Minneapolis. In Washington DC, near the White House, a riot police officer charged his shield at a BBC cameraman on Sunday evening. On Friday night, Linda Tirado, a freelance photojournalist and activist, was struck in her left eye by a projectile that appeared to come from the direction of police in Minneapolis. She has been permanently blinded in that eye.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.


Antifa rumors spread on local social media with no evidence
2020-06-02, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/antifa-rumors-spread-local-social-medi...

False rumors that antifa is organizing bus rides to take protesters into white neighborhoods and loot homes have gone viral in recent days on digital neighborhood platforms and in group texts throughout the U.S. Some of the posts feature a screenshot of a tweet by a fake antifa Twitter account that Twitter said was created by the white nationalist group Identity Evropa, attempting to drum up fear of looting in residential and suburban areas. On Tuesday, Facebook added a warning to posts on Facebook and Instagram indicating that the fake antifa post was "false information." By then, the post had already gone viral on both platforms, generating hundreds of thousands of interactions. The post was shared by pro-Second Amendment and conservative media pages like Red State and Hot Air. It was also shared by "U.S. Law Enforcement," a page with nearly a half-million followers that claims to be "run by several current and retired U.S. law enforcement officers," which posted the screenshot of the tweet and wrote: "Antifa is warning that tonight they're moving out of the cities — and into residential areas to 'take what's ours.' Law enforcement across the country on high alert. Circulate this asap." The post was also widely shared on Instagram, led by Trump Jr., who shared the post Sunday and wrote: "Absolutely insane. Just remember what ANTIFA really is. A Terrorist Organization! They're not even pretending anymore." His post was liked 96,000 times. Trump Jr. ... deleted the post Tuesday morning.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media manipulation from reliable major media sources.


White nationalist group posing as antifa called for violence on Twitter
2020-06-01, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/security/twitter-takes-down-washington-protest-d...

A Twitter account claiming to belong to a national “antifa” organization and pushing violent rhetoric related to ongoing protests has been linked to the white nationalist group Identity Evropa, according to a Twitter spokesperson. The spokesperson said the account violated the company's platform manipulation and spam policy, specifically the creation of fake accounts. Twitter suspended the account after a tweet that incited violence. As protests were taking place in multiple states across the U.S. Sunday night, the newly created account, @ANTIFA_US, tweeted, “Tonight’s the night, Comrades,” with a brown raised fist emoji and “Tonight we say 'F--- The City' and we move into the residential areas... the white hoods.... and we take what's ours.” This isn’t the first time Twitter has taken action against fake accounts engaged in hateful conduct linked to Identity Evropa. The antifa movement — a network of loosely organized radical groups who use direct action to fight the far-right and fascism — has been targeted by President Donald Trump as the force behind some of the violence and property destruction seen at some protests, though little evidence has been provided for such claims. Josh Russell, an independent bot researcher ... said events like the weekend's protests are ripe for this kind of platform manipulation.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media manipulation from reliable major media sources.


Deepfakes Are Going To Wreak Havoc On Society. We Are Not Prepared.
2020-05-25, Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/robtoews/2020/05/25/deepfakes-are-going-to-wreak...

Deepfake technology enables anyone with a computer and an Internet connection to create realistic-looking photos and videos of people saying and doing things that they did not actually say or do. A combination of the phrases “deep learning” and “fake”, deepfakes first emerged on the Internet in late 2017, powered by an innovative new deep learning method known as generative adversarial networks (GANs). Several deepfake videos have gone viral recently, giving millions around the world their first taste of this new technology: President Obama using an expletive to describe President Trump, Mark Zuckerberg admitting that Facebook's true goal is to manipulate and exploit its users, Bill Hader morphing into Al Pacino on a late-night talk show. The technology is improving at a breathtaking pace. Experts predict that deepfakes will be indistinguishable from real images before long. It does not require much imagination to grasp the harm that could be done if entire populations can be shown fabricated videos that they believe are real. In a world where even some uncertainty exists as to whether such clips are authentic, the consequences could be catastrophic. In a recent report, The Brookings Institution grimly summed up the range of political and social dangers that deepfakes pose: “distorting democratic discourse; manipulating elections; eroding trust in institutions; weakening journalism; exacerbating social divisions ... and inflicting hard-to-repair damage on the reputation of prominent individuals.”

Note: Watch a scary video showing how easy it is to make very realistic fake videos of Bush, Obama, and Trump. Read more about this emerging technology. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media manipulation from reliable major media sources.


Amid Hydroxychloroquine Uproar, Real Studies of Drug Are Suffering
2020-05-20, MSN News
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/other/amid-hydroxychloroquine-uproar-real-stud...

President Trump’s enthusiastic embrace of a malaria drug that he now says he takes daily — and the resulting uproar in the news media — appears to be interfering with legitimate scientific research into whether the medicine might work to prevent coronavirus infection or treat the disease. The drug, hydroxychloroquine ... is also widely used to treat lupus and other autoimmune diseases. But specialists — including Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert — say the jury is still out. Mr. Trump’s frequent pronouncements and misstatements — he has praised the drug as a “game changer” and a “miracle” — are only complicating matters. Last week, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which Dr. Fauci leads, announced a 2,000-patient study to determine whether hydroxychloroquine, when combined with the antibiotic azithromycin, “can prevent hospitalization and death from Covid-19,” joining more than 50 other clinical trials that are continuing in the United States. Researchers around the country said the controversy was depressing enrollment in their clinical trials. The president’s trade adviser, Peter Navarro ... said “hydroxy hysteria” in the news media — not Mr. Trump — was to blame. “Has the media’s war of hysteria on hydroxychloroquine killed people?” Mr. Navarro asked in an interview. “If the scientific evidence does indeed prove that the medicine has both prophylactic and therapeutic value, the answer is yes.”

Note: In a survey reported in this New York Post article, over 2,000 physicians were asked which drug was most effective in treating the coronavirus. Hydroxychloroquine was chosen by the greatest number of those surveyed (37%). Remember that chlorequine has already been proven safe for other illnesses and is very cheap as the patent expired. So big Pharma, who are huge sponsors of the media, don't like this drug. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media corruption and the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


YouTube censors epidemiologist Knut Wittkowski for opposing lockdown
2020-05-16, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2020/05/16/youtube-censors-epidemiologist-knut-wittkowski-...

Big Tech companies are aggressively tamping down on COVID-19 “misinformation” — opinions and ideas contrary to official pronouncements. Dr. Knut M. Wittkowski, former head of biostatistics, epidemiology and research design at Rockefeller University, says YouTube removed a video of him talking about the virus that had racked up more than 1.3 million views. Wittkowski, 65, is a ferocious critic of the nation’s current steps to fight the coronavirus. He has derided social distancing, saying it only prolongs the virus’ existence, and has attacked the current lockdown as mostly unnecessary. Wittkowski, who holds two doctorates in computer science and medical biometry, believes the coronavirus should be allowed to create “herd immunity,” and that short of a vaccine, the pandemic will only end after it has sufficiently spread through the population. “I was just explaining what we had,” Wittkowski told The Post of the video, saying he had no idea why it was removed. “They don’t tell you. They just say it violates our community standards. There’s no explanation for what those standards are or what standards it violated.” In articles and interviews across the web, he has likened COVID-19 to a “bad flu.” That likely made him a target for YouTube. “Anything that goes against [World Health Organization] recommendations would be a violation of our policy,” CEO Susan Wojcicki told CNN.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media corruption and the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Seen 'Plandemic'? We Take A Close Look At The Viral Conspiracy Video's Claims
2020-05-08, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2020/05/08/852451652/seen-plandemic-we-take-a-close-look-...

[A] 26-minute video called Plandemic has exploded on social media in recent days, claiming to present a view of COVID-19 that differs from the "official" narrative. The video has been viewed millions of times on YouTube via links that are replaced as quickly as the video-sharing service can remove them for violating its policy against "COVID-19 misinformation." In it, filmmaker Mikki Willis conducts an uncritical interview with Judy Mikovits. Many of Mikovits' claims concern ... conflicts that she attributes to various high-profile individuals. Among them are Dr. Anthony Fauci [and] Dr. Robert Redfield. Mikovits ... says Fauci has profited from patents bearing his name that were derived from research done at NIAID. The Associated Press did report in 2005 that scientists at the National Institutes of Health "have collected millions of dollars in royalties for experimental treatments without having to tell patients [they] had a financial connection." Fauci [was] among those who received royalty payments. Mikovits also [casts] doubt on the official statistics regarding COVID-19 deaths, saying that doctors and hospitals have been "incentivized" to count deaths unrelated to the disease. In fact, a 20% premium was tacked on to Medicare payments for treatment of COVID-19 patients. The video correctly points to U.S. cooperation with and funding for the Wuhan laboratory. In [a] 2009 paper, Mikovits is among 13 researchers who claimed to have found that a mouse retrovirus may contribute to chronic fatigue syndrome. [The paper] "sent shock waves through the scientific community, as it revealed the common use of animal and human fetal tissues were unleashing devastating plagues of chronic diseases."

Note: We've selected the parts of this article supporting Mikovits, though overall it is clearly biased against her. The article strangely fails to mention her claims Fauci stole her research and used it for profit. Why was this video banned from social media? You can still view it here or on this great website which posts many banned videos. Definitely high strangeness here, as you can read in this article about Mikovits in Science magazine. Explore independent research confirming a number of the claims of Mikovits.


YouTube, Facebook split on removal of doctors' viral coronavirus videos
2020-04-30, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/youtube-facebook-split-removal-doctors...

YouTube has removed two videos of California doctors ... Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi of Bakersfield, California [which] downplayed the risk of the coronavirus and asserted that stay-at-home measures were unnecessary. Facebook, however, has not removed the doctors' videos. The different reactions of YouTube and Facebook highlight the challenges of moderating high-stakes misinformation as it goes viral, especially when it is considered to be expert opinion. The video removed by YouTube showed a one-hour news conference livestreamed by local media, including NBC and ABC affiliates in Bakersfield. By Wednesday, the video had been seen at least 15 million times. Erickson and Massihi, owners of several urgent care centers in the area, presented data from 5,213 COVID-19 tests. The data, they claimed, showed that the coronavirus was widespread in the community already but had caused few deaths. Their data, they said, supported the need to rethink state stay-at-home measures. Furthermore, Erickson ... claimed that COVID-19 death numbers were inaccurate, citing other unnamed doctors in Wisconsin and California who he said had told him that they were urged to list the disease as a cause of death even if it was unrelated. "The only justification for taking it down was that the two physicians on screen had reached different conclusions from the people currently in charge," said Fox News host Tucker Carlson. Massihi posted a video to his personal Facebook page Tuesday thanking supporters while insisting that their comments were meant only to share their own data, not to drive national or even state policy.

Note: Watch an excellent follow-up interview with Dr. Erickson exposing further deception. Even if these doctors are wrong about some of their conclusions, don't they have a right to express their opinions? Will anyone who disputes the claims of government officials be banned from expressing their opinions on social media? Sadly, this BBC article shows that is already true for the coronavirus on YouTube. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Coronavirus: YouTube bans 'medically unsubstantiated' content
2020-04-22, BBC News
https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-52388586

YouTube has banned any coronavirus-related content that directly contradicts World Health Organization (WHO) advice. The Google-owned service says it will remove anything it deems "medically unsubstantiated". Chief executive Susan Wojcicki said the media giant wanted to stamp out "misinformation on the platform". The move follows YouTube banning conspiracy theories falsely linking Covid-19 to 5G networks. Mrs Wojcicki made the remarks on Wednesday during her first interview since the global coronavirus lockdown began. "So people saying, ‘Take vitamin C, take turmeric, we’ll cure you,’ those are the examples of things that would be a violation of our policy,” she told CNN. “Anything that would go against World Health Organization recommendations would be a violation of our policy.” Last week, Facebook announced users who had read, watched or shared false Covid-19 information would receive a pop-up alert urging them to visit the WHO's website. Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp, meanwhile, stopped users forwarding messages already shared more than four times by the wider community to more than one chat at a time. It comes as some of the UK's largest news publishers, including Daily Telegraph and the Guardian, criticised Google for failing to be transparent about its approach to filtering adverts alongside coronavirus-related content, according to the Financial Times.

Note: So now anything posted by those not deemed to be "experts" will be banned. Whatever happened to free speech? Watch YouTube's CEO spell this out in this video. More excellent, little-known information here in an interview with a respected MD whose video was banned. And how can BBC state links between 5G and Covid-19 are false, when that has yet to be established? Is it just a coincidence this CNBC article states China's 5G networks went online just weeks before the coronavirus outbreak? See also concise summaries of revealing coronavirus news articles.


This Minecraft library is making censored journalism accessible all over the world
2020-03-18, The Verge
https://www.theverge.com/2020/3/18/21184041/minecraft-library-censored-journa...

Minecraft has established itself as a cultural phenomenon for many reasons: it's creative, collaborative, and sufficiently facile as to be considered accessible to almost anybody. These benefits ... form the perfect vehicle for Reporters Without Borders' Uncensored Library, a virtual hub housing a collection of otherwise inaccessible journalism from all over the world, with specific sections devoted to Russia, Egypt, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and Vietnam. "In Egypt there's no free information," Reporters Without Borders media and public relations officer Kristin Bässe tells me. Mexico is the country where journalists are most at risk, she adds, with governmental and cartel interference often culminating in the death of those voices deemed dissident. "It's a different form of censorship," Bässe explains. "People don't want to publish because they're scared." "In the Mexico room we built memorials to 12 Mexican journalists who have been murdered," [said Blockworks managing director James] Delaney. Delaney tells me that the forms of censorship in Egypt are more blatant. "The articles you see in this room are actually banned," he explains. "If you live in Egypt you're unable to access them unless you come to our Minecraft server." This is the case for the Russian, Vietnamese, and Saudi Arabian sections, too. "The content you find in these rooms is illegal, but we can see from the server logins that we've already had people from all five of these countries join and read up on this information," he says.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


The facts on coronavirus aren't all scary. So why so much fear?
2020-03-12, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2020/03/12/coronavirus-fear-psycho...

Coronavirus has the world on edge. The outbreak is now a global pandemic. Coast to coast, large public gatherings and major events have been canceled. Employees have been told to work from home, universities have moved all classes online and elementary schools have closed for sanitizing. The stock market has seen meteoric crashes. It's a global event pervading nearly every aspect of people's lives. Psychologists and public health experts say public anxiety is high, and it's largely fueled by a feeling of powerlessness. The spread of the new coronavirus is not just a public health crisis. Part of what drives feelings of anxiety is a lack of information. The virus is new, and there remain many questions. Most people haven't had it, nor do they know someone who has. Experts say that matters. Not everyone reacts to epidemics the same way. When news is mixed, people can choose to focus on the good or the bad. The good news is, for most people, the illness caused by the coronavirus is generally mild and the flu-like symptoms of fever and cough don't last long. The bad news is the virus is novel and highly contagious. Whether people fixate on the good or the bad has a lot to do with who they are. Reports say most people who contract the coronavirus experience symptoms similar to the flu. Then people read stories about the National Guard helping with quarantine containment. A blog post from the Poynter Institute, which trains journalists, noted that saying "deadly virus" can be misleading, because the virus is not deadly for most people. People should also limit their media exposure, experts say. They caution against reading about the outbreak obsessively and recommend getting needed information and moving on.

Note: Read this entire article at the link above to gain a good perspective on the emotional impact of the Coronavirus. Then explore this CDC webpage on the 2009 Swine flu (H1N1), which states, " CDC estimated there were ... 274,304 hospitalizations and 12,469 deaths in the United States due to the (H1N1)pdm09 virus. Additionally, CDC estimated that 151,700-575,400 people worldwide died. 80 percent ... occurred in people younger than 65 years of age." These numbers are far below those of the Coronavirus. So why is the whole world shutting down in fear?


Reporters Face New Threats From the Governments They Cover
2020-01-26, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/26/opinion/greenwald-brazil-reporter.html

Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, was charged last year by the Trump administration in connection with the publication of secret United States government documents. On Tuesday, Glenn Greenwald, an American journalist living and working in Brazil, was charged, in a criminal complaint brought by Brazilian prosecutors, with cybercrimes in connection with his stories on private messages among Brazilian officials that revealed corruption and abuses at the highest levels of the government. The case against Mr. Greenwald is eerily similar to the Trump administration’s case against Mr. Assange. Last April, the Justice Department charged Mr. Assange with aiding a source, the former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, to gain access to a United States military computer database. In May 2019, the charges against him were broadened, and he was indicted under the Espionage Act in connection with the publication of American military and diplomatic documents by WikiLeaks. Both cases are based in part on a new prosecutorial concept — that journalism can be proved to be a crime through a focus on interactions between reporters and their sources. Prosecutors are now scrutinizing the processes by which sources obtain classified or private information and then provide it to journalists. Since those interactions today are largely electronic, prosecutors are seeking to criminalize journalism by turning to anti-hacking laws to implicate reporters in the purported criminal activity of their sources.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on judicial system corruption and media manipulation from reliable major media sources.


I helped write the official lies to sell the Afghanistan war
2019-12-13, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/i-helped-write-the-official-lies-to-se...

This past week, Washington Post reporting showed that the conflict in Afghanistan has been an operation of deception. But The Afghanistan Papers were not a revelation to me. I was one of the deceivers. From July 2009 to March 2010, I served as one of the U.S. Air Forces designees for a nation-building mission, and I witnessed the disconnect between what happened on the ground and the messages the public heard about it. As my teams information operations officer, I played a direct role in crafting those messages. But my job wasnt only to mislead the American public: Our information campaign extended to the Afghan people and to higher-ups within the American military itself. I arrived in Paktia province in July 2009, as part of a provincial reconstruction team (PRT). I wrote broadcast news copy for the teams interpreters to translate and thought of it as a persuasive tool. Local listeners were, in military lingo, the subjects of non-lethal targeting. As accusations of fraud, ballot tampering and voter intimidation circulated around the presidential election, I followed my supervisors directives to aggressively pursue interviews ... highlighting the transparency and legitimacy of the election process. Corruption littered our daily interactions, and a few months into our deployment, my PRT launched an investigation that ultimately uncovered a scheme that wound its way through upper-level government officials, including Paktias then-governor and chief of police.

Note: Listen to a 30-minute NY Times newscast showing the blatant lies behind the Afghanistan war. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war from reliable major media sources.


CBS staffer fired over ABC’s Epstein scandal speaks out: ‘I’m not the whistleblower… the leaker is still inside’
2019-11-08, Fox News
https://www.foxnews.com/media/fired-cbs-news-staffer-jeffrey-epstein

A CBS News employee, fired after ABC executives informed CBS she'd had access to a leaked hot mic video that revealed the Disney-owned network killed a Jeffrey Epstein scoop, says she did not leak the tape and was unfairly axed without being able to defend herself. Ashley Bianco was a producer on ABC’s “Good Morning America” before joining “CBS This Morning” last month. Earlier this week, the controversial group Project Veritas published the damning video in which ... anchor Amy Robach complained that her bosses killed a story that would have exposed the now-deceased child sex offender Epstein three years ago. Bianco said she was fired by CBS after the network received a call from ABC informing her new boss that she once had access to the leaked video. “I did not" leak the tape, Bianco told journalist Megyn Kelly in an interview posted Friday on YouTube. “I’m not the whistleblower. I’m sorry to ABC, but the leaker is still inside.” CBS News declined to comment on Bianco's claim. Bianco denied ever communicating with anyone from Project Veritas and said she simply made a clip of the video and saved it in ABC's internal system. “I never heard of Project Veritas until this,” she said. Bianco, who deleted various social media accounts before speaking out, said she did not inform her manager that she clipped it, but “everyone in the office was freaked out” by Robach’s comments. “Everyone was watching it,” Bianco said, noting that the purpose for “clipping” it was to watch it back later for “office gossip.” Bianco told Kelly that she doesn’t know who leaked the tape because “everyone” at ABC was aware it existed.

Note: The silence of other most major media around this huge story is deafening. Watch an interview with the fired woman. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein from reliable major media sources.


Former Twitter Employees Charged With Spying for Saudi Arabia
2019-11-06, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/06/technology/twitter-saudi-arabia-spies.html

Ali Alzabarah was an engineer who rose through the ranks at Twitter to a job that gave him access to personal information and account data of the social media service’s millions of users. Ahmad Abouammo was a media partnerships manager at the company who could see the email addresses and phone numbers of Twitter accounts. On Wednesday, the Justice Department accused the two men of using their positions and their access to Twitter’s internal systems to aid Saudi Arabia by obtaining information on American citizens and Saudi dissidents who opposed the policies of the kingdom and its leaders. Mr. Alzabarah and Mr. Abouammo were charged with acting as agents of a foreign power inside the United States, in the first complaint of its kind involving Saudis in the country. The case raised questions about the security of American technology companies already under scrutiny for spreading disinformation and influencing public opinion, showing that these firms can be penetrated from the inside as well. It also underscored the broad effort that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia and his close advisers have conducted to silence critics both inside the kingdom and abroad. Jamal Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post who was critical of the way Saudi Arabia is run, was murdered last year by Saudi agents in Istanbul.

Note: Read more on Saudi Arabia's extreme efforts to silence its critics. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable major media sources.


Mainstream media largely ignores ABC's Epstein scandal; CNN’s scant coverage is lampooned
2019-11-06, Fox News
https://www.foxnews.com/media/abc-epstein-cnn-mainstream-media

Mainstream media outlets have largely ignored the Project Veritas bombshell that ABC News killed a story that would have exposed the now-deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein three years ago. Fox News found no coverage on CNN, MSNBC, CBS News, or NBC News from noon through midnight ET on Tuesday while the story was lighting up social media. During that same time frame, Fox News covered the scandal on five different programs. Mainstream media essentially has an unspoken rule not to cover anything Project Veritas does, as the group’s controversial founder, James O'Keefe, describes himself as a “guerrilla journalist”. But the ABC video has been verified by ... ABC itself as authentic, and has therefore created quite a conundrum for mainstream media. Project Veritas’ most recent project, before releasing ABC News anchor Amy Robach's explosive hot mic tape, was publishing undercover recordings made by a now-former CNN employee who secretly documented staffers criticizing the network. The recordings also captured CNN president Jeff Zucker telling top news executives to focus solely on the impeachment of President Trump, even at the expense of other important news. “The traditional media surely do not like Project Veritas snooping around into their behind-the-scenes operations, but the Project Veritas videos of Amy Robach's and Jeff Zucker's comments do lend insight to the workings of these news organizations," [DePauw University professor and media critic Jeffrey] McCall said.

Note: Don't miss this most telling leaked video. Listen also to a one-hour interview by Project Veritas of WantToKnow.info founder Fred Burks. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein and media manipulation. from reliable major media sources.


‘I’ve had this story for three years’: ABC News anchor slams her network’s handling of Epstein scoop
2019-11-05, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/11/05/ive-had-this-story-three-y...

Amy Robach of ABC News: “I tried for three years to get it on, to no avail, and now it’s all coming out. And it’s like these new revelations and I freaking had all of it. I am so pissed right now. ... What we had was unreal.” Those remarks come courtesy of James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas. The “unreal” story [was] related to Jeffrey Epstein, the shadowy financier who died in prison in August of an apparent suicide as he awaited trial for sex trafficking conspiracy and sex trafficking. In August, NPR’s David Folkenflik documented how three news outlets - Vanity Fair, the New York Times and ABC News - “fell short” in tugging on various strands of the Epstein story. ABC News managed to conduct an interview with Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who at the age of 17 had “become part of Epstein’s household.” She has alleged that Epstein “trafficked” her to his friends, including Prince Andrew. “I viewed the ABC interview as a potential game-changer,” Giuffre wrote in an email to NPR. As it turns out, Robach also viewed the interview with Giuffre as a game-changer. “Then the Palace found out that we had her whole allegations about Prince Andrew and threatened us in a million different ways,” says Robach. “We were so afraid we ... quashed the story. She told me everything. She had pictures, she had everything. She was in hiding for 12 years, we convinced her to come out.” Robach also mentions ... Alan Dershowitz, who represented Epstein in 2008 and also stepped in as ABC News was working on the Giuffre-Epstein story.

Note: Don't miss this most telling leaked video. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein and media manipulation from reliable major media sources.


ABC Killed Jeffrey Epstein Sex Trafficking Story Three Years Ago, News Anchor Amy Robach Caught on Camera Saying
2019-11-05, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/abc-jeffrey-epstein-story-amy-robach-prince-andrew-1...

ABC News' Amy Robach, best known as co-anchor of 20/20, claimed that ABC killed her story about convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein's sex trafficking of minors three years ago in sensational hot microphone footage leaked Tuesday. In the footage, reportedly taken in August and published online Tuesday by the right-wing activist group Project Veritas, Robach, 46, says: "I've had this story for three years. I've had this interview with [Epstein accuser] Virginia Roberts. We would not put it on the air. First of all I was told, 'Who is Jeffrey Epstein? No one knows who that is. This is a stupid story.'" "Then the palace found out we had her whole allegations about Prince Andrew and threatened us in a million different ways," Robach continues, referring to the British royal that Roberts alleged in a 2015 court filing Epstein trafficked her to when she was 17. "[Roberts] told me everything," Robach says in the clip. "She had pictures. She had everything. She was in hiding for 12 years. We convinced her to come out. We convinced her to talk to us. It was unbelievable what we had. Clinton. Everything." Epstein was arrested on federal charges of sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy to sex traffic minors in July. He was found dead in his New York prison cell in August. Epstein's death has been ruled suicide by hanging, however, Epstein's family believe he was murdered. A private pathologist hired by the Epstein estate said last week that Epstein's autopsy showed injuries more consistent with "homicidal strangulation" than suicide.

Note: Watch the incredible interview of this revelation. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein from reliable major media sources.


ABC News Defends Its Epstein Coverage After Leaked Video Of Anchor
2019-11-05, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2019/11/05/776482189/abc-news-defends-its-epstein-coverag...

A newly surfaced video of an ABC News anchor's unguarded remarks about the network's coverage of the late Jeffrey Epstein has thrown ABC on the defensive. In a leaked video posted Tuesday by the right-wing activist group Project Veritas, news anchor Amy Robach expresses her frustration to a colleague over ABC's failure to broadcast her interview with a key accuser of Epstein. Robach complains that the network "quashed" her interview, suggesting that ABC had yielded to threats from powerful forces, including Buckingham Palace. Prince Andrew is among those men whom the accuser alleges Epstein trafficked her to for sex. Robach's comments in late August 2019 came just two days after an NPR story disclosed the existence of Giuffre's interview and ABC's failure to broadcast it. In the video, Robach is ... speaking remotely through her microphone with an unseen colleague. "I've had the story for three years," Robach says in the video. "We would not put it on the air. Um, first of all, I was told, 'Who was Jeffrey Epstein? No one knows who that is. This is a stupid story.' Then the palace found out that we had her whole allegations about Prince Andrew and threatened us a million different ways." Robach goes on to say that Giuffre alluded to others in the interview, including former President Bill Clinton, Harvard University law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz and Epstein's former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell. Giuffre has made similar accusations against all of them also in court documents.

Note: Don't miss this most telling leaked video. Read also an article showing how a variety of independent news websites have condemned ABC and CBS over this matter. Meanwhile Newsweek has posted an article titled,"'Epstein Didn't Kill Himself,' Former Navy Seal Blurts Out on Fox News." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein from reliable major media sources.


NBC News Is Facing Internal Rebellion Over Mishandling Sexual Misconduct
2019-11-02, Huffington Post
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/nbc-news-weinstein-ronan-farrow-oppenheim-me-t...

NBC News President Noah Oppenheim and his boss NBC News Chairman Andy Lack are still running the show. They remain at the helm despite the explosive reporting in Ronan Farrow’s new book “Catch and Kill,” which reveals how Oppenheim and Lack not only shut down the investigation into Harvey Weinstein’s predatory and abusive treatment of women, but how NBC News silenced or ignored multiple allegations of sexual misconduct inside the company ― including overlooking the behavior of “Today” show host Matt Lauer for years before finally firing him in 2017. In an article for Vanity Fair in October, Rich McHugh, the NBC producer who worked with Farrow on the Weinstein investigation, called out Oppenheim and Lack’s handling of the story. “They not only personally intervened to shut down our investigation of Weinstein, they even refused to allow me to follow up on our work after Weinstein’s history of sexual assault became front-page news,” he writes. MSNBC hosts Rachel Maddow and Chris Hayes have criticized NBC management on-air. Current and former employees say they want a true independent investigation of what happened at NBC News regarding Lauer, the Weinstein story, and any other incidents of internal sexual misconduct. The Weinstein story wasn’t the only time Oppenheim’s news organization declined to air a story about a powerful man preying on women. NBC famously sat on the “Access Hollywood” tape in which now-President Donald Trump bragged about assaulting women.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.


At Least 70 Countries Have Had Disinformation Campaigns, Study Finds
2019-09-26, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/26/technology/government-disinformation-cyber...

In Vietnam, citizens were enlisted to post pro-government messages on their personal Facebook pages. The Guatemalan government used hacked and stolen social media accounts to silence dissenting opinions. Ethiopia’s ruling party hired people to influence social media conversations in its favor. Despite increased efforts by internet platforms like Facebook to combat internet disinformation, the use of the techniques by governments around the world is growing, according to a report released Thursday by researchers at Oxford University. Governments are spreading disinformation to discredit political opponents, bury opposing views and interfere in foreign affairs. The researchers compiled ... one of the most comprehensive inventories of disinformation practices by governments around the world. They found that the number of countries with political disinformation campaigns more than doubled to 70 in the last two years, with evidence of at least one political party or government entity in each of those countries engaging in social media manipulation. Facebook remains the No. 1 social network for disinformation, the report said. Organized propaganda campaigns were found on the platform in 56 countries. Governments have used “cyber troops” to shape public opinion, including networks of bots to amplify a message, groups of “trolls” to harass political dissidents or journalists, and scores of fake social media accounts to misrepresent how many people engaged with an issue.

Note: This article completely fails to mention the U.S., which has one of the most sophisticated disinformation programs in the world, yet because the "black budget" for this is so well hidden, few know the extent to which citizens are manipulated both in the U.S. and worldwide. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable major media sources.


Monsanto’s Spies
2019-09-16, Huffington Post
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/monsantos-spies_n_5d7ba20de4b03b5fc88233c4?

About a half a dozen journalists were in a northern California courtroom to cover a third lawsuit alleging that Monsanto’s pesticide glyphosate causes cancer. [Sylvie] Barak told others that she was a freelancer for the BBC. When journalists searched the internet for Barak, they noticed that her LinkedIn account said she worked for FTI Consulting, a global business advisory firm that Monsanto and Bayer, Monsanto’s parent company, had engaged for consulting. Monsanto has also previously employed shadowy networks of consultants, PR firms, and front groups to spy on and influence reporters. And all of it appears to be part of a pattern at the company of using a variety of tactics to intimidate, mislead and discredit journalists and critics. In the latest example of Monsanto’s efforts to track journalists, The Guardian reported in August on internal documents from the company’s “fusion center,” which worked to discredit reporters and nonprofits via third-party actors. In the California trial, the reporter who first identified Barak as an FTI plant said she ... saw an uptick in Monsanto’s industry partners contacting her as she covered the trial. A guy named Jay Byrne ... contacted her on social media to discuss how GMO criticism was part of a Russian influence campaign; when she Googled Byrne, she learned he is Monsanto’s former director of communications. In a January deposition, a Monsanto representative said that in 2016 the company spent “around $16 or 17 million” on activities to defend glyphosate.

Note: Major lawsuits are now unfolding over Monsanto's lies to regulators and the public on the dangers of glyphosate. Yet the EPA continues to use industry studies to declare Roundup safe while ignoring independent scientists. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


The Pentagon Wants More Control Over the News. What Could Go Wrong?
2019-09-05, Rolling Stone
https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/political-commentary/darpa-fake-news-in...

From Bloomberg: Fake news and social media posts are such a threat to U.S. security that the Defense Department is launching a project to repel “large-scale, automated disinformation attacks.” One of the Pentagon’s most secretive agencies, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), is developing “custom software that can unearth fakes hidden among more than 500,000 stories, photos, video and audio clips.” It’s the latest in a string of stories about new methods of control over information flow that should, but for some reason do not, horrify every working journalist. “Fake news” is a poorly-defined, amorphous concept that the public has been trained to fear without really understanding. Fake news has a long history in America. The worst “fake news” almost always involves broad-scale deceptions foisted on the public by official (and often unnamed) sources, in conjunction with oligopolistic media companies, usually in service of rallying the public behind a dubious policy objective like a war or authoritarian crackdown. From the ... Gulf of Tonkin lie that launched the Vietnam War, to the more recent WMD fiasco, true “fake news” is a concerted, organized, institutional phenomenon that involves deceptions cooked up at the highest levels. If there’s a fake news story out there, it’s the fake news panic itself. Of course, the final, omnipresent ingredient in most major propaganda campaigns is the authoritarian solution. Here, it’s unelected, unsupervised algorithmic control over media.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable major media sources.


A Dead Cat, A Lawyer's Call And A 5-Figure Donation: How Media Fell Short On Epstein
2019-08-22, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2019/08/22/753390385/a-dead-cat-a-lawyers-call-and-a-5-fi...

A coterie of intimidating lawyers. A five-figure donation. Even, it is alleged, a cat's severed head in the front yard of the editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair. Such were the tools the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein is said to have used to try to soften news coverage and at times stave off journalistic scrutiny altogether. Epstein killed himself, authorities say, in federal prison as he faced criminal charges alleging sex trafficking of underage girls, some as young as 14. And yet with a few notable exceptions, the national media infrequently covered Epstein's behavior and rarely looked at the associates who helped him evade accountability for his actions — at least, not until the Miami Herald's Julie K. Brown's investigative series late last year. "We count on the press to uncover problems, not merely to report on when problems have been prosecuted," says David Boies, an attorney for several of Epstein's accusers. "And here you had a terrible problem. A horrific series of abuses." Boies' firm helped file lawsuits in 2015 and 2017 for clients alleging that Epstein and his associates had sexually trafficked underage girls, at his various homes. The suits were publicly available documents but received little attention in the press. In some cases, Epstein successfully scared off some accusers and struck confidential settlements with others, making it harder for reporters to get them to recount their experiences on the record.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein and media manipulation. from reliable major media sources. Then watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this topic in the US.


I lost my job for keeping Charlottesville police accountable. I'd do it again
2019-08-19, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/19/charlottesville-police-...

When the editor of a weekly paper approached me about writing a regular column about local politics, the first thing I asked her was: “Are you sure you know what you’d be getting yourself into?” I wrote just six pieces before the column was canceled. Two centered on the need for police accountability in a city traumatized by the memory of officers standing by as neo-Nazis beat residents in the streets. In a column published in May, I mentioned a photograph taken in August 2017 of an officer with his arms around James Napier, of the neo-Confederate group the Highwaymen, and Tammy Lee of the American Freedom Keepers militia. Lee’s caption read: “You should know the police escorted us and worked days with us 2b there.” The image of a Charlottesville officer with his arm around a member of a white supremacist militia was to me a perfect illustration of a department choosing to ignore the community it serves. I shouldn’t have been as surprised as I was when I received a letter from the attorney for the local Southern States Police Benevolent Association, sent on behalf of the officer in the picture. One of the remarks the letter quoted and claimed to be “odious” and defamatory was taken directly from the after action report, commissioned by the city. Despite the editor’s best efforts on my behalf and the absence of any follow through on the threat of a defamation suit, the paper’s owners did not want to continue to run my column.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and media manipulation from reliable major media sources.


How Monsanto's 'intelligence center' targeted journalists and activists
2019-08-08, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/aug/07/monsanto-fusion-center-journ...

Monsanto operated a “fusion center” to monitor and discredit journalists and activists, and targeted a reporter who wrote a critical book on the company, documents reveal. The records reviewed by the Guardian show Monsanto adopted a multi-pronged strategy to target Carey Gillam, a Reuters journalist who investigated the company’s weedkiller and its links to cancer. Monsanto, now owned by the German pharmaceutical corporation Bayer, also monitored a not-for-profit food research organization through its “intelligence fusion center”, a term that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies use for operations focused on surveillance and terrorism. The documents, mostly from 2015 to 2017, were disclosed as part of an ongoing court battle on the health hazards of the company’s Roundup weedkiller. Monsanto planned a series of “actions” to attack a book authored by Gillam prior to its release, including ... directing “industry and farmer customers” on how to post negative reviews. Monsanto paid Google to promote search results for “Monsanto Glyphosate Carey Gillam” that criticized her work. Monsanto “fusion center” officials wrote a lengthy report about singer Neil Young’s anti-Monsanto advocacy. The internal records don’t offer significant detail on the activities or scope of the fusion center, but ... government fusion centers have increasingly raised privacy concerns surrounding the way law enforcement agencies collect data, surveil citizens and share information.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and media manipulation from reliable major media sources.


Secretive government agency linked to AFP raid on ABC, documents show
2019-06-08, MSN News
https://www.msn.com/en-au/kids/other/secretive-government-agency-linked-to-af...

Newly released documents show that another government agency, as well as the Australian Federal Police, was involved in the investigation that led to the raid on the ABC in June. The documents, obtained under Freedom of Information, reveal that the AFP refused to release certain documents relating to the June 6 raid because it said they related to an agency of the Federal Government which is exempt from FOI. Under the section cited by the AFP to justify not releasing the material - subsection 7(1) of the FOI Act - agencies which have complete exemption include the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) and the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS). The raid on the ABC's Ultimo headquarters was related to the Afghan Files, a series of stories, published in 2017, which detailed incidents where Australian soldiers in Afghanistan killed unarmed men and children. [South Australian senator Rex] Patrick said ... he believed that the other agency was either ASIO or the Australian Signals Directorate. The primary role of the Australian Signals Directorate is to eavesdrop on conversations and monitor the communications of people of interest outside Australia. The story which prompted one of the raids - on News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst - was about the push by some within the Federal Government to give ASD power to monitor the communications of Australians in Australia, which is currently prohibited by law.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable major media sources.


The State Department has been funding trolls. I'm one of their targets
2019-06-04, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/06/04/state-department-has-been-...

Even after spending a year and a half in prison in Tehran, I knew that if I wanted to go on writing about Iran, I would be a target for plenty of public attacks. But I never imagined the U.S. State Department would be funding my attackers. Last week, several astute Iran watchers drew attention to a series of inflammatory tweets associated with the Iran Disinformation Project, a State Department-funded initiative that its website claims "brings to light disinformation emanating from the Islamic Republic of Iran via official rhetoric, state propaganda outlets, social media manipulation and more." The targets of the tweets included think-tank analysts, human rights activists and journalists. The common thread is that we are all perceived by regime change proponents and supporters of the Trump administration's so-called maximum pressure policy to be soft on Iran because we are critical of crushing economic sanctions and the threat of the use of military force. For these thought crimes, we are branded by @IranDisinfo and similar social media accounts as Tehran's "mouthpieces," "apologists," "collaborators," and "lobbyists" in the West. We're faced with the irony that an initiative aimed at combating Tehran's disinformation campaigns is resorting to disinformation campaigns of its own, using taxpayer funds to spread lies about U.S. citizens. We need programs that fight the spread of falsehoods and propaganda, but such efforts shouldn't combat lies with other lies.

Note: For lots more on this eye-opening event, see this excellent article by Matt Taibbi. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


This Russia whistle-blower is serving 5 years in prison for leaking one document. Her mother says she's being silenced
2019-05-29, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/29/politics/reality-winner-media-blackout-prison/...

The mother of the first whistle-blower arrested in the Trump era says her daughter is being held under an unjust media blackout to stop the American public learning who she really is. Billie Winner-Davis' daughter Reality Winner, a US Air Force veteran, was sentenced to prison for more than five years in August 2018 as part of a deal in which she pleaded guilty to leaking a classified NSA document providing details of a 2016 Russian cyberattack on a supplier of US voting software. Winner, 27, who worked in the US Air Force's drone program, is serving the longest sentence ever given to a journalistic source by a federal court, according to the Department of Justice. CNN has repeatedly sought permission to interview Winner in federal prison, and recently accompanied Winner-Davis on the seven-hour road trip from her home to visit her daughter at FMC Carswell in Fort Worth, where she is incarcerated, but our team was not permitted to go inside. FMC Carswell's warden has denied CNN's requests. Our attempts to speak with the warden over the phone ... were unsuccessful. CNN also sought to interview Winner by telephone but was told by her mother that the former drone operator has been told by prison staff not to add media outlets to her phone list. "She has been warned and she has been frightened as far as the restrictions on her communications," Winner-Davis said. "They're telling her she cannot even have any contact with any kind of journalists or media, in any way, shape, or form."

Note: Read more about Winner's unjust prosecution for blowing the whistle on election interference. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


The White House revoked my press pass. It’s not just me — it’s curtailing access for all journalists.
2019-05-08, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-white-house-has-revoked-my-press-...

For the past 21 years, I have had the high privilege of holding a White House press pass. But no more. The White House eliminated most briefings and severely restricted access to official events. And this week came the coup de grace: After covering four presidents, I received an email informing me that Trump’s press office had revoked my White House credential. I’m not the only one. I was part of a mass purge of “hard pass” holders after the White House implemented a new standard that designated as unqualified almost the entire White House press corps, including all seven of The Post’s White House correspondents. The Post requested exceptions for its seven White House reporters and for me. The White House press office granted exceptions to the other seven, but not to me. I strongly suspect it’s because I’m a Trump critic. The White House is drastically curtailing access for all journalists. Briefings have been abolished in favor of unscheduled “gaggles” ... in the White House driveway. The Pentagon and State Department have done similarly. The White House has also restricted access by allowing only one journalist from a news organization at most events, and by admitting journalists to events only if they register days in advance. This has sharply reduced journalists’ attendance at the White House. White House officials offered me and others it disqualified a lesser credential called a six-month pass. They say it will grant equivalent access, but for various technical reasons, that isn’t true.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


Facebook bans Alex Jones and other controversial figures for hate speech
2019-05-02, Los Angeles Times
https://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-facebook-ban-alex-jones-...

Facebook on Thursday banned conspiracy theorist and InfoWars founder Alex Jones and the accounts of other controversial figures. The company, citing violations of its policies on hate speech and promoting violence, is also blocking religious leader Louis Farrakhan, who is known for sharing anti-Semitic views; Paul Nehlen, a white nationalist who ran for Congress in 2018; far-right figures Milo Yiannopoulos and Laura Loomer; and conspiracy theorist Paul Joseph Watson. Those individuals and accounts that represent them are also banned from photo-sharing app Instagram, which Facebook owns. “They have rules, but enforcement is completely random,” said Roger McNamee, a high-profile Silicon Valley investor who has become a sharp critic of Facebook. “They don’t do anything about it until massive harm has been done and they can no longer find a dodge. Facebook is clearly feeling pressure.” McNamee said Facebook’s business model depends on amplifying content that stimulates fear and outrage, and banning a few influential figures doesn't change that. "It is sacrificing a handful of the most visible extreme voices in order to protect a much larger number of users it needs to maximize profits," he said. The Menlo Park, Calif., company didn’t say what specific posts or actions led to the bans, though a spokesperson said that Jones, Yiannopoulos and Loomer have all recently promoted Gavin McInnes, founder of the violence-prone far-right group the Proud Boys, whom Facebook banned in October.

Note: What happened to freedom of speech guaranteed in the US Constitution? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


U.S. hackers helped UAE spy on Al Jazeera chairman, BBC host
2019-04-01, Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-raven-media-specialreport/special-repo...

A group of American hackers who once worked for U.S. intelligence agencies helped the United Arab Emirates spy on a BBC host, the chairman of Al Jazeera and other prominent Arab media figures during a tense 2017 confrontation pitting the UAE and its allies against the Gulf state of Qatar. The American operatives worked for Project Raven, a secret Emirati intelligence program that spied on dissidents, militants and political opponents of the UAE monarchy. A Reuters investigation in January revealed Project Raven’s existence and inner workings, including the fact that it surveilled a British activist and several unnamed U.S. journalists. At first, the goal was to crack down on terrorism by helping the UAE monitor militants around the region. But Raven’s mission quickly expanded to include monitoring and suppressing a range of UAE political opponents. Among its targets was Qatar, which the UAE and Saudi Arabia had long accused of fueling political opposition across the region, in part through the Qatari government’s funding of Al Jazeera. The Emiratis also tapped Raven in the effort to contain dissent at home. After the Arab Spring, the operatives were increasingly tasked with targeting human rights activists and journalists who questioned the government. The Raven effort went beyond the Middle East. Operatives [targeted] the mobile phones of other media figures the UAE believed were being supported by Qatar, including journalists for London-based Arabic media outlets.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


16 Years Later, How the Press That Sold the Iraq War Got Away With It
2019-03-22, Rolling Stone
https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/iraq-war-media-fail-m...

Sixteen years ago this week, the United States invaded Iraq. We went in on an unconvincing excuse, articulated by George W. Bush: “Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised. This regime has already used weapons of mass destruction against Iraq’s neighbors and against Iraq’s people.” To the lie about the possession of WMDs, Bush added a few more: that Hussein “trained and harbored terrorists, including operatives of al-Qaeda.” WMD became the archetype of a modern propaganda campaign. In the popular imagination, the case for war was driven by a bunch of Republicans and one ... New York Times reporter named Judith Miller. It’s been forgotten this was actually a business-wide consensus, which included the enthusiastic participation of a blue-state intelligentsia. The Washington Post and New York Times were key editorial-page drivers of the conflict; MSNBC unhired Phil Donahue and Jesse Ventura over their war skepticism; CNN flooded the airwaves with generals and ex-Pentagon stoolies, and broadcast outlets ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS stacked the deck even worse: In a two-week period before the invasion, the networks had just one American guest out of 267 who questioned the war. The WMD episode is remembered as a grotesque journalistic failure, one that led to disastrous war that spawned ISIS.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war and the manipulation of public perception.


Leaked Documents Show the Government Tracking Journalists
2019-03-16, NBC (Los Angeles affiliate)
https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/national-international/Source-Leaked-Docum...

The U.S. government created a secret database of activists, journalists, and social media influencers tied to the migrant caravan and in some cases, placed alerts on their passports. At the end of 2018, roughly 5,000 immigrants from Central America made their way north through Mexico to the United States southern border. As the migrant caravan reached the San Ysidro Port of Entry in south San Diego County, so did journalists, attorneys, and advocates who were there to work and witness the events unfolding. But in the months that followed, journalists who covered the caravan, as well as those who offered assistance to caravan members, said they felt they had become targets of intense inspections and scrutiny by border officials. Documents leaked to NBC 7 Investigates show [that the] government had listed their names in a secret database of targets, where agents collected information on them. Some had alerts placed on their passports, keeping at least two photojournalists and an attorney from entering Mexico to work. The documents were provided to NBC 7 by a Homeland Security source on the condition of anonymity. The individuals listed include ten journalists, seven of whom are U.S. citizens, a U.S. attorney, and 48 people from the U.S. and other countries, labeled as organizers, instigators or their roles “unknown.” In addition to flagging the individuals for secondary screenings, the Homeland Security source told NBC 7 that the agents also created dossiers on each person listed.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.


Facebook, Axios And NBC Paid This Guy To Whitewash Wikipedia Pages
2019-03-14, Huffington Post
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/wikipedia-paid-editing-pr-facebook-nbc-axios_n...

The vast majority of the people who propose and make changes to Wikipedia are volunteers. A few people, however, have figured out how to manipulate Wikipedia’s supposedly neutral system to turn a profit. That’s [paid Wikipedia editor Ed] Sussman’s business. And in just the past few years, companies including Axios, NBC, Nextdoor and Facebook’s PR firm have all paid him to manipulate public perception using a tool most people would never think to check. One of Wikipedia’s more well-known rules is its prohibition on editing pages that you have any sort of direct connection to. But ... anyone, even someone financially tied to the subject in question, is allowed to merely suggest edits in the hopes that a less conflicted editor might come by, agree, and implement the changes for them. This is where a paid editor like Sussman comes in. On his website, Sussman identifies himself as “a journalist, lawyer, academic and technology entrepreneur” who “is often called upon in ‘crisis management’ situations where inaccurate or misleading information has been placed in a Wikipedia article.” Sussman’s main strategy for convincing editors to make the changes his clients want is to cite as many tangentially related rules as possible (he is, after all, a lawyer). He often replies to nearly every single bit of pushback with walls of text arguing his case. Trying to get through even a fraction of it is exhausting, and because Wikipedia editors are unpaid, there’s little motivation to continue dealing with Sussman’s arguments. So he usually gets his way.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


Private Eyes Detail Inner Workings of National Enquirer ‘Blackmail’ Machine
2019-02-08, Daily Beast
https://www.thedailybeast.com/private-eyes-detail-inner-workings-of-national-...

It may have shocked the world when the publisher of the National Enquirer allegedly tried to use nude pictures to coerce Jeff Bezos. But it came as no surprise to ... veterans of the Enquirer’s parent company, American Media Inc. “The threats, the blackmail, that’s their business model,” one former National Enquirer staffer told The Daily Beast. That model burst out into public view on Thursday night when Bezos - the world’s richest man, the founder of Amazon, and the owner of The Washington Post - published emails from AMI chief content officer Dylan Howard that threatened the release of a “d*ck pick” if the Post didn’t relent in its investigation of AMI. It was a familiar moment to Paul Barresi, a private investigator who spent years working on cases that informed stories in AMI. “The National Enquirer had some people who would go to a celebrity and say, ‘unless you give in to a one-on-one interview ... we’re going to report XYZ,” he said. “The nice way of calling it was quid pro quo, but really it was blackmail.” The supermarket tabloid company’s bag of dirty tricks is well-chronicled and includes catch-and-kill operations: paying for an exclusive interview only to bury it, as a favor to an ally or after using the dirt to convince a celebrity to play ball with them. Most infamously, AMI has admitted it paid ex-Playboy model Karen McDougal $150,000 in hush money for her story of an affair with Donald Trump, which never saw the light of day.

Note: WTK founder Fred Burks saw personally how the Enquirer is much more highly guarded than any other major media. He is almost certain it is a CIA front used to manage disinformation and discredit real stories that seem unbelievable. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in the corporate world and in mass media.


NBC News veteran warns of 'Trump circus' in 2,228-word farewell
2019-01-02, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/02/media/william-arkin-departs-nbc-news/index.html

There are goodbye notes — and then there's William Arkin's frustrated farewell to NBC News. Arkin's 2,228-word memo to his colleagues says that his time at NBC News has been "gratifying." But he bluntly expresses his displeasure with the "Trump circus," US foreign policy failures, and the state of television news. He's far from the only person in a national newsroom to feel that way. But he is spelling it out in no uncertain terms. Arkin has worked for NBC on and off for three decades, sometimes as a military analyst, sometimes as a reporter and consultant. He describes himself as a scholar at heart, and he has authored numerous books about national security. Friday will be his last day at NBC. Arkin is a sharp critic of what he calls "perpetual war" and the "creeping fascism of homeland security." In his farewell memo, he said the American press is not aggressive enough about covering military engagements. "I find it disheartening that we do not report the failures of the generals and national security leaders," he said. "I find it shocking that we essentially condone continued American bumbling in the Middle East and now Africa through our ho-hum reporting." He said that most of his critiques of NBC apply to the rest of the news media, as well. He also said in the memo that the Trump age led NBC to start "emulating the national security state itself — busy and profitable. No wars won but the ball is kept in play."

Note: See also an excellent interview with Mr. Arkin about his departure from NBC. For more on this, see this concise summary of War Is A Racket, a powerful book written by one of the most highly decorated US generals ever. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war corruption from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Media Information Center.


Does the Media Have It Out for Elizabeth Warren?
2018-12-14, Rolling Stone
https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/elizabeth-warren-2020...

The headline in the New York Times reads: “Sanders and Warren Meet and Agree: They Both Are Probably Running.” At first, the story ... reads like standard election news. Dig deeper, though, and you find signs of negative media campaigns already beginning in earnest. Over the past few weeks, multiple outlets have published negative pieces about Warren in particular, deploying coverage gimmicks used to disparage candidates early in presidential campaigns before. The gist of the new Times piece is that the Warren and Sanders, if they do run, “will not enjoy an easy path to the nomination.” We’re 23 months away from Election Day. It’s beyond premature to be fretting about electability questions. Common phrases used to camouflage invented narratives include “whispers abound,” “questions linger” and today’s golden oldie from the Times, “concerns” (as in, the prospect of Warren and Sanders running has “stirred concerns”). The papers are all citing each other’s negative stories as evidence for Warren’s problems. Warren is the rare prospective presidential candidate with actual knowledge of how Wall Street works who is not a billionaire, a private equity chief or a bank lawyer. As for Sanders, the Times, which has a history of less-than-friendly history with this candidate, is also engaging in the invented-narrative game already. The national press [is] already inventing frivolous reasons to toss people with good ideas out of the race.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on elections corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


Killing Journalists Is Wrong When the Saudis Do It — and When the United States Does It, Too
2018-10-26, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2018/10/26/jamal-khashoggi-killing-tareq-ayoub/

We all now know the name of Arab journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but very few of us know the name of Arab journalist Tareq Ayoub. An elected president of the United States has been blamed for killing Ayoub. We rightly demand justice in the case of Khashoggi, so why not in the case of Ayoub? On the morning of April 8, 2003, less than three weeks after U.S. President George W. Bush ordered the illegal invasion of Iraq, Al Jazeera reporter Tareq Ayoub was on the rooftop of his network’s Baghdad bureau ... reporting live. An American A-10 Warthog attack jet appeared. “The plane was flying so low that those of us downstairs thought it would land on the roof,” Maher Abdullah, the network’s Baghdad correspondent, later recalled. “We actually heard the rocket being launched. It was a direct hit.” Ayoub was killed. Fifteen minutes later, a second American warplane launched a second missile at the building. But the U.S. government, like the Saudi government in recent weeks, tried to duck responsibility. It was just a “grave mistake,” according to a State Department spokesperson. “This coalition does not target journalists,” a U.S. general told reporters. Al Jazeera’s managing director, Mohammed Jassem al-Ali, had written a letter to the Pentagon less than two months earlier ... providing U.S. officials with the exact address and coordinates of the Baghdad bureau. The U.S. military had bombed Al Jazeera’s Kabul office in November 2001, and the network’s bosses wanted to prevent a repeat of such an incident.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


Jamal Khashoggi's Complicated History With The Saudi Royal Family
2018-10-19, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2018/10/19/658947600/jamal-khashoggis-complicated-history...

Jamal Khashoggi's grandfather was the doctor to King Abdul Aziz, the founder of Saudi Arabia in the 1930s. His uncle Adnan Khashoggi became a celebrity billionaire as the weapons broker for another Saudi monarch, King Fahd. For the first time since the journalist's disappearance on Oct. 2, Saudi Arabia acknowledged ... that Jamal Khashoggi died in the country's consulate in Istanbul ... after repeated denials by the Saudis that they knew what had happened to him. Details about his background ... paint an interesting picture of a man known today in the U.S. as a Washington Post columnist but whose family has deep ties to the Saudi monarchy that go back generations. After the 2001 al-Qaida attacks, which included 15 Saudi hijackers, Khashoggi visited the U.S. with the message that the Saudi leadership was still a trustworthy American ally. Khashoggi eventually moved to Washington in 2005. As a journalist in his younger years, Khashoggi interviewed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in the 1980s. In 2015 ... Mohammed bin Salman came to power. Until this point, Khashoggi had been a fixture in the Saudi media for years. But as Mohammed bin Salman began shaking up the kingdom, Khashoggi was effectively barred from media appearances. Khashoggi became more critical of the crown prince. "The power struggle is over. [Mohammed is] totally in control, and he has no one to challenge his rules," Khashoggi [said] in May. On Oct. 2, Khashoggi entered, and died at, the Saudi Consulate in Turkey.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation.


The Trump administration’s new method for cracking down on leakers
2018-10-18, Colombia Journalism Review
https://www.cjr.org/covering_trump/trump-leaker-arrest-natalie-mayflower-sour...

The Trump Administration has now indicted at least five journalists’ sources in less than two years’ time—a pace that, if maintained through the end of Trump’s term, would obliterate the already-record number of leakers and whistleblowers prosecuted under eight years of the Obama administration. The latest case, which broke on Wednesday, shows the administration taking advantage of a new avenue to go after a potential whistleblower. Instead of using the archaic Espionage Act - the 100-year-old law meant for spies, not sources - prosecutors are pursuing the latest alleged leaker using financial laws. A senior Treasury official named Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards has been arrested and charged ... for allegedly sharing “Suspicious Activity Reports” (SARs) about financial red flags with a news organization and its journalist for a series of stories related to the Russia investigation in 2017 and 2018. The complaint contains an interesting allegation, albeit one buried in a footnote: Edwards, according to prosecutors, told investigators she considered herself a “whistleblower.” The government also admitted she had filed a whistleblower complaint within her agency and had talked to Congressional staffers about the issue as well. The Justice Department reportedly has dozens of other [leak] investigations open, and we don’t know who will be next.

Note: This leak prosecution follows the sentencing of Reality Winner to five years in prison for providing evidence of high-level interference in a US election to the media. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


Secret recordings give insight into Saudi attempt to silence critics
2018-10-17, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/secret-recordings-give-insight-into-saud...

Omar Abdulaziz hit record on his phone and slipped it into the breast pocket of his jacket, he recalled, taking a seat in a Montreal cafe to wait for two men who said they were carrying a personal message from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. When they arrived, Abdulaziz, a 27-year-old Saudi opposition activist, asked why they had come all the way to Canada to see him. “There are two scenarios,” one of the emissaries said, speaking of Abdulaziz in the third person. In the first, he can go back home to Saudi Arabia, to his friends and family. In the second: “Omar goes to prison.” To drive home what was at stake, the visitors brought one of Abdulaziz’s younger brothers from Saudi Arabia to the meeting. The clandestine recordings - more than 10 hours of conversation - were provided to The Washington Post by Abdulaziz, a close associate of the missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. They offer a chilling depiction of how Saudi Arabia tries to lure opposition figures back to the kingdom with promises of money and safety. These efforts have sharply escalated since Mohammed became crown prince last year. Khashoggi’s friends said that senior Saudi officials close to the crown prince had contacted him in recent months, even offering him a high-level job ... if he returned to the kingdom. He didn’t trust the offer, fearing it was a ruse. Khashoggi has not been heard from since he visited the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. Turkish investigators have concluded he was killed ... and then dismembered.

Note: There is much more than meets the eye on this Khashoggi case. Read this fascinating article for a taste. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


Saudi Arabia Delivers $100 Million Pledged to U.S. as Pompeo Lands in Riyadh
2018-10-16, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/16/world/middleeast/saudi-arabia-money-syria....

This summer, Saudi Arabia promised the Trump administration $100 million for American efforts to stabilize areas in Syria. That money landed in American accounts on Tuesday, the same day that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo landed in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, for discussions with the kingdom’s leaders about the fate of a missing Saudi dissident. The timing of the money’s arrival raised eyebrows even among some of the bureaucrats whose programs will benefit from the influx of cash. “The timing of this is no coincidence,” said an American official involved in Syria policy who spoke on condition of anonymity. The disappearance of the Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, has battered the image of Saudi Arabia and of its powerful crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, a key player in many of the Trump administration’s ambitions for the Middle East. Turkish officials say that Mr. Khashoggi was slain inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul by Saudi agents on Oct. 2 while he was trying to secure a document he needed to get married. Saudi leaders have denied harming Mr. Khashoggi, but have not provided a credible explanation of what happened to him. Mr. Trump threatened “severe punishment” if it was confirmed that Saudi Arabia killed Mr. Khashoggi. But after speaking with King Salman of Saudi Arabia on Monday, he suggested that “rogue killers” could have been responsible and dispatched Mr. Pompeo to Riyadh to see the Saudi king.

Note: There is much more than meets the eye on this Khashoggi case. Read this fascinating article for a taste. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


California just passed its net neutrality law. The DOJ is already suing
2018-10-01, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/01/tech/california-net-neutrality-law/index.html

The Department of Justice said it is filing a lawsuit against the state of California over its new net neutrality protections, hours after Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill into law on Sunday. The California law would be the strictest net neutrality protections in the country, and could serve as a blueprint for other states. Under the law, internet service providers will not be allowed to block or slow specific types of content or applications, or charge apps or companies fees for faster access to customers. The Department of Justice says the California law is illegal and that the state is "attempting to subvert the Federal Government's deregulatory approach" to the internet. Barbara van Schewick, a professor at Stanford Law School, says the California bill is on solid legal ground and that California is within its legal rights. California is the third state to pass its own net neutrality regulations, following Washington and Oregon. However, it is the first to match the thorough level of protections that had been provided by the Obama-era federal net neutrality regulations repealed by the Federal Communications Commission in June. At least some other states are expected to model future net neutrality laws on California's. The original FCC rules included a two page summary and more than 300 additional pages with additional protections and clarifications on how they worked. While other states mostly replicated the two-page summary, California took longer crafting its law in order to match the details in the hundreds of supporting pages.

Note: Read how the Federal Communications Commission's net-neutrality policymaking process was heavily manipulated. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Abusive media moguls harmed more than just individual women. They shaped a misogynistic culture.
2018-09-13, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/abusive-media-moguls-harmed-mo...

The powerful and now-departed men of CBS - [Les] Moonves, [Jeff] Fager and star interviewer Charlie Rose - helped shape how our society sees women. The network, after all, is the most-watched in the nation. “60 Minutes” for 50 years has been the very definition of quality broadcast journalism: the gold standard. It’s impossible to know how different America would be if power-happy and misogynistic men hadn’t been running the show in so many influential media organizations - certainly not just CBS. What if Mark Halperin, for instance, had not been a network commentator during the 2016 presidential campaign? (James Wolcott of Vanity Fair aptly described him as ... “the most influential” of the men who were felled by sexual-misconduct allegations last year.) What if Bill O’Reilly of Fox News hadn’t been the biggest cable TV star in the nation when a woman had a major-party presidential nomination for the first time? (O’Reilly was forced out after it emerged that he had made a $32 million settlement with an accuser.) What if Roger Ailes hadn’t presided for decades over Fox News, where his own well-documented abuses bled freely into his network’s commentary. A media figure doesn’t have to show up for a business meeting in an open bathrobe to do harm. He can help frame the coverage of a candidate’s supposedly disqualifying flaws. He can squelch a writer’s promising work. He can threaten an underling’s job if she doesn’t stay in line. All these little moments add up.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse scandals and media corruption.


CBS Chief Executive Les Moonves Steps Down After Sexual Harassment Claims
2018-09-09, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/09/business/les-moonves-longtime-cbs-chief-ma...

Leslie Moonves, the longtime chief executive of the CBS Corporation, stepped down on Sunday night from the company he led for 15 years. His fall from Hollywood’s highest echelon was all but sealed after the publication earlier in the day of new sexual harassment allegations against him. Mr. Moonves ... could still walk away with more than $120 million. However, [he] will not receive any severance payment until the completion of an independent investigation into the allegations. He has been under intense pressure since July, when The New Yorker published an article by the investigative journalist Ronan Farrow in which six women accused Mr. Moonves of sexual harassment. On Sunday, the magazine published another article by Mr. Farrow in which six more women detailed claims against Mr. Moonves. Mr. Moonves is the latest high-powered entertainment figure to be ousted from his perch in the #MeToo era. The movie producer Harvey Weinstein has been accused by scores of women of sexual assault and now faces felony charges. Matt Lauer stepped down as the anchor of NBC’s most valuable news program, “Today,” after several women alleged incidents of sexual harassment. Charlie Rose of CBS and PBS left the airwaves after he, too, was implicated by multiple women. And Fox News saw the departures of the founding executive Roger Ailes and its top-rated host, Bill O’Reilly. The allegations go back years — in some cases even decades.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse scandals and media corruption.


Beyond Alex Jones: Twitter and Facebook face heat over alleged bias
2018-09-07, Christian Science Monitor
https://www.csmonitor.com/Business/2018/0907/Beyond-Alex-Jones-Twitter-and-Fa...

Two weeks ago, conservative commentator David Harris Jr. took a video of himself posting to Facebook. Why video something so common? Because he had a hunch what would happen. Sure enough, his post went through, but a photo of a letter that accompanied the post mysteriously vanished and did not show up in his feed until days later – proof, he said, that the sharing service was biased against conservatives. At a Wednesday House committee meeting, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was barraged with examples from Republican congressmen of how conservative voices were being suppressed on its service. On the same day, the US Department of Justice announced that Attorney General Jeff Sessions would meet with state attorneys general to discuss concerns tech companies "may be hurting competition and intentionally stifling the free exchange of ideas on their platforms." The immediate result is increasing and bipartisan pressure for social media platforms to be more transparent about their algorithms and how they block certain content. Longer-term, the threat is more regulation of the platforms, something that even free-market conservatives are reluctantly talking about doing if social media doesn’t clean up its act. Twitter’s Dorsey and Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg repeatedly denied that their companies were trying to tip the scales for or against any party or political ideology. But the pileup of anecdotal evidence clearly has exasperated conservative lawmakers.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing media corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Ronan Farrow’s Ex-Producer Says NBC Impeded Weinstein Reporting
2018-08-30, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/30/business/media/ronan-farrow-weinstein-prod...

In October, when Ronan Farrow published his first article in The New Yorker on the alleged transgressions of Harvey Weinstein, people in the media and entertainment industries wondered how NBC had missed the story. After all, Mr. Farrow had spent months gathering material on the mogul when he was with NBC News. Now a producer who worked closely with Mr. Farrow has accused the network of putting a stop to the reporting, saying the order came from “the very highest levels of NBC.” Rich McHugh, the producer, who recently left his job in the investigative unit of NBC News, is the first person affiliated with NBC to publicly charge that the network impeded his and Mr. Farrow’s efforts to nail down the story of Mr. Weinstein’s alleged sexual misconduct. He called the network’s handling of the matter “a massive breach of journalistic integrity.” “Three days before Ronan and I were going to head to L.A. to interview a woman with a credible rape allegation against Harvey Weinstein, I was ordered to stop, not to interview this woman,” Mr. McHugh said. “And to stand down on the story altogether.” There was a point in our reporting where I felt there were obstacles to us reporting this externally, and there were obstacles to us reporting this internally,” the producer said. “Externally, I had Weinstein associates calling me repeatedly. I knew that Weinstein was calling NBC executives directly. One time it even happened when we were in the room.”

Note: NBC's chief executive stepped down amid sexual harassment claims 10 days after this article came out. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media corruption and sexual abuse scandals.


John Oliver Confronts Fake Grassroots Movements
2018-08-13, Time
http://time.com/5365190/john-oliver-astroturfing-last-week-tonight/

Astroturfing is when corporations or organization[s] try to make it seem as though whatever they are selling is part of a grassroots movement. For example when a seeming small group calling themselves Americans Against Food Taxes run a national ad campaign against a potential beverage tax. It’s not paid for by a small grassroots movement of concerned citizens, but a large beverage conglomerate lobbying against a soda tax. According to [John] Oliver, in the wake of U.S. Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United, astroturfing is becoming increasing common. Like a national wetlands organization funded by real estate developers and oil companies and a seeming restaurant worker group campaigning against minimum wage increase. “It’s pure straight up opposite world,” said Oliver. Some astroturfing experts work with many special interest groups, creating nonprofit shell companies of sorts to ensure that their ties to the fake grassroots campaigns can be kept secret. One of “the most infuriating tools” of astroturfing is the use of paid protestors. These paid protestors show up at places like town hall meetings masquerading as concerned citizens and reciting lines fed to them by special interest groups. The existence of these paid protestors is now a common theme on conspiracy message boards. “That is hugely dangerous,” said Oliver.

Note: The New York Times recently reported on the Koch Brothers' use of tactics like this to kill public transit projects. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


Ready, Set, Embargo
2018-08-11, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/11/insider/embargoes-reporting.html

When Ron Nixon, The New York Times's homeland security correspondent, got an exclusive story about a top Department of Health and Human Services official admitting the agency lost track of nearly 1,500 migrant children, he couldn't publish it right away. It was, without a doubt, the kind of breaking news The Times considers important to delve into quickly and thoroughly. But Mr. Nixon had agreed to an embargo that required him to wait until 10 a.m. on the morning of a congressional hearing about how the agency was keeping track of migrant children to publish his article. Embargoes, set by government agencies, medical journals, theater groups, publishing houses and countless other sources are a common practice in journalism. They entail an agreement between a source and a reporter, or the reporter's publication, that the story will not be published before a given date and time. While it's certainly not a crime to break an embargo, – and in fact, many reporters do so by accident, by misreading a time zone, for example – it comes with consequences. When one news outlet breaks an embargo and hits the publish button, the embargo is lifted for all of the outlets, sometimes instigating a scramble to the finish line. For anyone who breaks an embargo, there's a risk of losing a relationship with a source. Sometimes, the damage is necessary in order to serve readers best. And sometimes ... a reporter may not want to break an embargo. "I try to keep my word," Mr. Nixon said. "That's currency."

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media manipulation from reliable major media sources.


Tech Companies Banned Infowars. Now, Its App Is Trending.
2018-08-08, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/08/technology/infowars-app-trending.html

Just days after Google, Facebook and Apple purged videos and podcasts from the right-wing conspiracy site Infowars from their sites, the Infowars app has become one of the hottest in the country. On Wednesday, Infowars was the No. 1 overall “trending” app on the Google Play store. Among news apps, Infowars was No. 3 on Apple and No. 5 on Google, above all mainstream news organizations. The Infowars app, which includes news articles and the shows of the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, had likely been downloaded a few hundred to a few thousand times a day on average after its introduction last month, said Randy Nelson ... at Sensor Tower, which tracks app data. Now, it is likely getting 30,000 to 40,000 downloads a day, Mr. Nelson estimated. “This is such a niche app with niche content, that for it to make that sort of jump means it has become very interesting to a much broader audience,” said Jonathan Kay, a co-founder of Apptopia, an app analytics firm. “Essentially, it’s gone from being niche to being mainstream.” Mr. Jones has achieved infamy and financial success for spreading lies. Many of his most outlandish claims are made during his show, which runs live for four hours each weekday and is streamed and rebroadcast across the internet. YouTube, Facebook, Spotify and Apple’s podcasts service were all important distribution points for the show.

Note: How many other conspiracy websites will be shut down for "spreading lies"? What happened to freedom of speech? Will the major media be shut down for "spreading lies" of it own? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing media manipulation news articles from reliable major sources.


CBS chief Leslie Moonves accused of sexual misconduct in Ronan Farrow article
2018-07-27, ABC News
https://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/cbs-chief-leslie-moonves-accused-sexual-...

The New Yorker has published a bombshell investigation of the head of CBS Corporation that includes allegations of sexual misconduct. The article by Ronan Farrow alleges that CBS chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior, including unwanted kissing and touching that occurred over 20 years ago. Farrow told ABC News that his latest piece is "about six women who did an incredibly brave thing: overcoming tremendous fear of retaliation to speak about their experiences with Moonves. But it’s also a story about dozens and dozens of sources who told us that a culture of harassment and retaliation had permeated various facets of his company," he said. The women recalled events when they were threatened with retaliation when rebuffing advances and detailed accounts of sexual assault. They "say that they are still afraid of Les Moonves," Farrow said. "They are speaking because they believe there is a broader culture around him in which he has protected other men who have engaged in similar misconduct," Farrow said. Moonves denied any allegations of sexual assault but acknowledged, "I recognize that there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances. Those were mistakes, and I regret them immensely." A person "familiar with the situation" told The Wall Street Journal that CBS has no plans to sideline Moonves.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and sexual abuse scandals.


Venting about press, Trump has repeatedly sought to ban reporters over questions
2018-07-27, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/venting-about-press-trump-has-repeate...

President Trump has sought repeatedly to punish journalists for the way they ask him questions, directing White House staff to ban those reporters from covering official events or to revoke their press credentials. He has also asked that retaliatory action be taken against them. Until this week ... Trump’s senior aides have resisted carrying out his directives. On Wednesday, however, newly installed Deputy Chief of Staff Bill Shine and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders took action against CNN correspondent Kaitlan Collins, telling her she could not attend Trump’s open-media event in the Rose Garden because they objected to her questioning of the president earlier in the day. The move revealed a fresh willingness inside the West Wing to execute the president’s wishes to punish reporters. It immediately drew a chorus of protest throughout the media, including from Fox News Channel, Trump’s favorite network and Shine’s former employer. Olivier Knox, president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, said the group would challenge any further efforts by Trump to curtail the access of reporters who offend him. “In keeping with the spirit of the First Amendment, reporters who cover the White House should be free to do their jobs without the specter of reprisal from the government,” he said in a statement. During his campaign, Trump barred reporters from about a dozen media organizations ... from being credentialed at his rallies, news conferences and other events.

Note: The Department of Homeland Security recently began seeking a contractor to "gather and monitor the public activities of media professionals and influencers." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the manipulation of mass media.


Across Africa, new battlefields for free speech take shape on social media
2018-07-25, Christian Science Monitor
https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Africa/2018/0725/Across-Africa-new-battlefiel...

Like many African governments, the regime of [Emmerson] Mnangagwa’s predecessor, Robert Mugabe, was notoriously thin-skinned about social media criticism. Indeed, only two weeks before Mr. Mugabe was deposed in a coup last November, his government had arrested a young American woman working in Zimbabwe for allegedly tweeting that the country was being run by a “sick and selfish man.” For now, the temperature seems to have changed. But if Zimbabwe’s webspace has changed since the days of Mugabe, it also contrasts with many other African countries. Across the continent ... governments have increasingly targeted social media as a way to bring unruly dissenters to heel. In Tanzania, for instance, a recently introduced law slaps a registration fee of about $900 on bloggers and online forums. A 2016 law in Rwanda makes it illegal to use a digital device to cause “annoyance, inconvenience, or needless anxiety,” and Egypt’s government recently announced a law allowing it to block any social media users with more than 5,000 followers if they disseminate “fake news.” In Zimbabwe, the new government has attempted to show its openness to social media as a way of visibly distancing itself from the autocratic regime of Mugabe, whose iron grip on dissent resulted in broad sanctions against the country that sent Zimbabwe’s economy tanking. Mnangagwa has verified his Twitter account, opened a Facebook page, and set up a “broadcast list” on WhatsApp to send messages to his supporters.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media corruption and civil liberties from reliable major media sources.


Seymour Hersh’s Memoir of a Life Making the Mighty Sweat
2018-06-03, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/03/business/media/seymour-hersh-reporter-memo...

Seymour M. Hersh didn’t even want to write a memoir. His publishers at Alfred A. Knopf ... “said, ‘Write a memoir,’ and I said, ‘No way,’” Mr. Hersh, 81, recalled the other day. The story of a working-class [kid who] exposed the horror of the My Lai massacre, revealed domestic and foreign abuses by the C.I.A. and harried Washington’s elite ... was not finished. Not for the first time in his career, the editors prevailed. “Reporter,” a 355-page memoir, will be released on Tuesday. The book ... reconstructs his reporting on Vietnam, his feuds with Henry Kissinger, the foibles of former bosses. He notes that major publications passed on his My Lai exposé, fearful of government denials that American soldiers had murdered dozens of Vietnamese civilians. In the end, Mr. Hersh syndicated the stories himself, and won a Pulitzer Prize for his efforts. Mr. Hersh’s place in the pantheon of reporters is secure, but his current status is ambiguous. In arguably the most fertile moment for investigative reporting since Watergate, he has been on the sidelines. By choice, he said. Mr. Hersh has found himself at odds with much of Washington’s reporting establishment since The New Yorker declined to publish his report on the death of Osama bin Laden — a story that directly contradicted the account given by the Obama White House and much of the mainstream press. His subsequent reporting on Syria, which questioned whether President Bashar al-Assad had gassed his own people, was similarly derided. But Mr. Hersh is unrepentant.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in mass media.


EPA again blocks journalists from attending summit
2018-05-23, CNN
http://money.cnn.com/2018/05/23/media/epa-blocks-journalists-summit/index.html

The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday barred journalists for the second consecutive day from attending a national summit focused on water contaminants, telling reporters from CNN and other news organizations that they would not be permitted inside the venue. Carrie Budoff Brown, editor of Politico, said in a statement that her publication "would much rather be writing about the agency's efforts to address this health problem than about reporters being excluded. "The summit was focused on an important public health crisis that has affected drinking water supplies across the country, and chemicals that are present in the bloodstreams of nearly all Americans," she added. "We believe it is important that the news media have access to the entirety of this discussion to keep the public informed." On Tuesday, the EPA blocked several journalists, including those from CNN and the Associated Press, from entering the venue when Scott Pruitt, the agency's chief, was speaking. Only those journalists specifically selected by the EPA were permitted to enter the premises. Sally Buzbee, executive editor of the Associated Press, called the move to block journalists "a direct threat to the public's right to know about what his happening inside their government." Less than two weeks ago, CNN aired a special report, "Pruitt Under Fire: The Battle at the EPA," about the various scandals plaguing the federal agency.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the manipulation of mass media.


More families of Sandy Hook victims, FBI agent sue Infowars' Alex Jones
2018-05-23, Chicago Tribune/Associated Press
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-sandy-hook-alex-jones-lawsu...

Six more families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre victims sued right-wing radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones for alleged defamation Wednesday for claiming the shooting was a hoax and the relatives are paid actors. An FBI agent who responded to the shooting joined the families as a plaintiff in the lawsuit filed in Bridgeport Superior Court in Connecticut. The families of two other victims filed similar defamation lawsuits against Jones last month in Travis County, Texas, where his media company, Infowars, is based. The families say Jones' comments have tormented them and subjected them to harassment and death threats by his followers. After the first two lawsuits were filed last month, Jones responded in a YouTube video, saying that the families are being used by the Democratic Party and the news media and that he believes Sandy Hook "really happened." Also named as defendants is Wolfgang Halbig, who the families say is a frequent guest on Jones' show who also questions whether the school shooting actually happened. Halbig, 71, a former police officer ... said Wednesday that he does believe people died in the shooting, but authorities have refused to answer his questions. The lawsuit filed Wednesday cites ... the case of a Florida woman, Lucy Richards, who believed the shooting was a hoax and was sentenced to prison last year for threatening the father of one of the slain children.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing media corruption news articles from reliable sources.


Department of Justice Removes 'Press Freedom' Language in Manual for Federal Prosecutors
2018-04-30, Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/department-justice-takes-out-press-freedom-905976

The Department of Justice has scrubbed and revised language concerning press freedom and civil rights from its manual for federal prosecutors. In a broad revamping - the first in over 20 years - a subsection titled “Need for Free Press and Public Trial” was taken out. "The purpose of that review is to identify redundant sections and language, areas that required greater clarity, and any content that needed to be added to help department attorneys perform core prosecutorial functions," Ian D. Prior, a spokesperson for the Department of Justice, [said]. "Taken in isolation, I’m not sure how much we should read into the language changed in the DOJ manual," Alexandra Ellerbeck, the North America program coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists, told Newsweek. Ellerbeck pointed out, however, that removing the “need for the free press” section is concerning, considering the level of hostility toward journalists. Since President Donald Trump has taken office, he has popularized the term "fake news". The administration has also made repeated threats to go after leakers, Ellerbeck said. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in November there are 27 open leak investigations. In comparison, Sessions noted that during former President Barack Obama's administration, the DOJ investigated "three per year." Reporters Without Borders released its annual World Press Freedom Index last week and cited an increasing sense of “hostility” toward the media. The U.S. fell back two places in rankings.

Note: The NSA recently deleted the terms "honesty" and "openness" from its mission statement. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the manipulation of mass media.


The search for truth in the rubble of Douma – and one doctor’s doubts over the chemical attack
2018-04-17, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/syria-chemical-attack-gas-douma-robert-f...

This is the story of a town called Douma ... and of an underground clinic whose images of suffering allowed three of the Western world’s most powerful nations to bomb Syria last week. When I track [a doctor] down in the very same clinic, [he] tells me that the “gas” videotape which horrified the world – despite all the doubters – is perfectly genuine. The same 58-year old senior Syrian doctor then adds something profoundly uncomfortable: the patients, he says, were overcome not by gas but by oxygen starvation in the rubbish-filled tunnels and basements in which they lived. Dr Rahaibani ... showed me his lowly hospital and the few beds where a small girl was crying as nurses treated a cut above her eye. “All the doctors know what happened. There was a lot of shelling [by government forces] and aircraft were always over Douma at night – but on this night, there was wind and huge dust clouds began to come into the basements and cellars where people lived. People began to arrive here suffering from hypoxia, oxygen loss. Then someone at the door, a “White Helmet”, shouted “Gas!”, and a panic began. People started throwing water over each other. Yes, the video was filmed here, it is genuine, but what you see are people suffering from hypoxia – not gas poisoning.” Oddly, after chatting to more than 20 people, I couldn’t find one who showed the slightest interest in Douma’s role in bringing about the Western air attacks. Two actually told me they didn’t know about the connection.

Note: Learn an alternative view of who the "white helmets" are in this Corbett Report. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


National Enquirer paid doorman $30,000 to squash Trump baby rumor
2018-04-12, ABC/Associated Press
http://abc7news.com/politics/tabloid-paid-doorman-$30000-to-squash-trump-baby...

Eight months before the company that owns the National Enquirer paid $150,000 to a former Playboy Playmate who claimed she'd had an affair with Donald Trump, the tabloid's parent made a $30,000 payment to a less famous individual: a former doorman at one of the real estate mogul's New York City buildings. As it did with the ex-Playmate, the Enquirer signed the ex-doorman to a contract that ... prevented him from going public. The Associated Press confirmed the details [through] interviews with dozens of current and former employees of the Enquirer and its parent company, American Media Inc. Sajudin got $30,000 in exchange for signing over the rights, "in perpetuity," to a rumor ... that the president had fathered a child with an employee at Trump World Tower. The contract subjected Sajudin to a $1 million penalty if he disclosed either the rumor or the terms of the deal to anyone. The parallel between the ex-Playmate's and the ex-doorman's dealings with the Enquirer raises new questions about the roles that the Enquirer and [Trump's personal lawyer, Michael] Cohen may have played in ... a hard-fought presidential election. Enquirer staffers ... said the abrupt end to reporting combined with a binding, seven-figure penalty to stop the tipster from talking to anyone led them to conclude that this was a so-called "catch and kill" - a tabloid practice in which a publication pays for a story to never run, either as a favor to the celebrity subject of the tip or as leverage over that person.

Note: The National Enquirer for decades has been notorious for reporting crazy, unbelievable news. Why would they then quash this juicy tidbit which was real? In his interpreting career with the US State Department, WantToKnow.info founder Fred Burks learned that the Enquirer was actually a CIA managed media front. If any big news on UFOs, mind control, or other sensitive topics that the CIA didn't want published was about to come out, the Enquirer would quickly publish the news so that it could be easily debunked if any media later dared report on the story.


Department Of Homeland Security Compiling Database Of Journalists And 'Media Influencers'
2018-04-06, Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/michellefabio/2018/04/06/department-of-homeland-...

Bloomberg Government reports on a FedBizOpps.gov posting by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with the relatively benign-sounding subject “Media Monitoring Services.” The details of the attached Statement of Work, however, outline a plan to gather and monitor the public activities of media professionals and influencers and are enough to cause nightmares of constitutional proportions, particularly as the freedom of the press is under attack worldwide. As part of its "media monitoring," the DHS seeks to track more than 290,000 global news sources as well as social media. The successful contracting company will have "24/7 access to a password protected, media influencer database" ... in order to "identify any and all media coverage related to the Department of Homeland Security or a particular event." The database will be browsable by "location, beat and type of influencer," and for each influencer, the chosen contractor should "present contact details and ... an overview of the previous coverage published by the media influencer." Increasing government encroachment on the freedom of the press is the sinister backdrop to all of this. Freedom House ... recently concluded that global media freedom has reached its lowest level in the past 13 years. The independent watchdog organization blames "new threats to journalists and media outlets in major democracies" as well as "further crackdowns on independent media in authoritarian countries like Russia and China."

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


Before the Media Lionized Martin Luther King Jr., They Denounced Him
2018-04-04, Rolling Stone
https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/taibbi-how-mlk-media-narrative...

Fifty years ago ... Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was gunned down in Memphis. The Washington Post is running a series of commentaries. The New York Times ran an emotional editorial. Neither paper will mention that they each denounced Dr. King in his later years. Nor will any outlet today likely mention that King had fallen sharply out of favor with much of the national media ... on April 4, 1967. The offense was a speech in New York. King spoke of the “hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence” abroad, and added that a country as financially and politically committed to war as ours could never fight a “War on Poverty” in earnest. One hundred and sixty-eight newspapers denounced him in the days that followed. These editorials had a peculiarly vicious flavor. In late 1967, King pooh-poohed the “violence” and “extremism” criticisms of the civil rights movement, explicitly saying the excesses of urban rioters were “infinitely less dangerous and immoral” than the cold, corporatized murder of the “American mainstream.” “If destruction of property is deplorable,” he asked, “what is the use of napalm on people?” Yet the “mainstream” King is the one most Americans have been conditioned to believe in. King ... died wanting us to radically change our way of life. But history has sanitized him, turning him into a mainstream leader who accomplished what he could within an acceptable role. That sanitizing continues on each of these anniversaries, and is a sad commentary on our inability to listen to even the best of us.

Note: A recent Corbett Report on the assassination of MKL has some powerful evidence of conspiracy at the highest levels. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.


Facebook Closes Page of Hamas-affiliated Palestinian News Agency With 1.3 Million Followers
2018-03-25, Haaretz (One of Israel's leading newspapers)
https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-facebook-closes-page-of-hamas-af...

Facebook closed down the official handle of Palestinian news agency Safa over the weekend. The move came as part of a new company policy to block Facebook pages that promote and publish contents that are defined as inciteful. A Palestinian activist who has been following the affair closely said that the move to close Palestinian Facebook pages started several weeks ago after Hamas operative Ahmed Jarrar was killed near Jenin. Jarrar, who was one of the main strategists behind the drive-by West Bank shooting attack that claimed the life of an Israeli father-of-three, was hailed as a Palestinian hero on social media, and images of him that circulated online had become emblematic of the Palestinian resistance movement against Israel. According to the activist, since the beginning of 2018 alone some 500 Facebook pages of Palestinian activists, journalists and bloggers were closed by the company. The activist also said that pages of news companies had also been blocked, including one of a news company affiliated with Islamic Jihad and another linked to the Palestinian National Front, with Safa being the latest. Other activists have noted that Facebook pages affiliated with Fatah, which recently posted images of Yasser Arafat holding a Kalashnikov, were taken offline by the company. Safa has been operating for a decade out of its offices in Gaza, and is associated with Hamas.

Note: How interesting that no Western media reported this major move by facebook. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing media manipulation news articles from reliable sources.


When the media tries too hard to 'appeal to both sides', integrity is lost
2018-03-24, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/24/when-the-media-tries-too-hard-t...

Trump-era media really is something else. Otherwise smart and interesting publications are working so hard to “appeal to both sides” that they’ve completely abandoned their integrity in the process. Take the Atlantic, who announced a new roster of high-profile columnists this week, including Kevin D Williamson – a writer who compared a nine-year-old black child to a primate, and who argued that women that have abortions – along with their doctors and nurses – should be executed by hanging. When I asked the Atlantic for comment, a spokesperson responded that the magazine has “a large number of contributors who represent a broad spectrum of views”. She wrote that while “diverse viewpoints” are core to the magazine’s mission, they have “strict standards for how these viewpoints are expressed in our pages”. In other words, the Atlantic doesn’t mind employing a marquee columnist who thinks women should be hanged for having abortions so long as he doesn’t say as much in the magazine. But believing America should execute women in genocidal numbers (one in four women in this country will have an abortion) is not a “diverse viewpoint” – and the fact that one of the nation’s leading political magazines could defend it as such indicates a serious moral crisis in mainstream media.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


Cambridge Analytica, Trump-Tied Political Firm, Offered to Entrap Politicians
2018-03-19, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/19/us/cambridge-analytica-alexander-nix.html

Sitting in a hotel bar, Alexander Nix, who runs the political data firm Cambridge Analytica, had a few ideas for a prospective client looking for help in a foreign election. The firm could send an attractive woman to seduce a rival candidate and secretly videotape the encounter, Mr. Nix said, or send someone posing as a wealthy land developer to pass a bribe. “We have a long history of working behind the scenes,” Mr. Nix said. The prospective client, though, was actually a reporter. The encounter was secretly filmed as part of a monthslong investigation into Cambridge Analytica, the data firm with ties to President Trump’s 2016 campaign. The results of Channel 4’s work were broadcast ... days after reports ... that the firm had harvested the data from more than 50 million Facebook profiles in its bid to develop techniques for predicting the behavior of individual American voters. Less noticed has been the work that Cambridge Analytica and its parent company, the SCL Group, have done outside the United States. “Many of our clients don’t want to be seen to be working with a foreign company,” he told the Channel 4 reporter. “We can set up fake IDs and websites.” Mr. Nix ... boasted that Cambridge Analytica employs front companies and former spies on behalf of political clients. The information that is uncovered ... is then put “into the bloodstream to the internet,” said Mark Turnbull, another Cambridge executive. “Then watch it grow,” he added. “It has to happen without anyone thinking, ‘That’s propaganda.’”

Note: Watch an astounding video revealing how Cambridge Analytica has successfully manipulated national elections around the world using sleazy tactics like pretty women to entrap candidates and offering major bribes while recording the exchange. And here is a video featuring the whistleblower who exposed this.


‘I made Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare tool’: meet the data war whistleblower
2018-03-18, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/mar/17/data-war-whistleblower-christoph...

At 24, [Christopher Wylie] came up with an idea that led to the foundation of a company called Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics firm that went on to claim a major role in the Leave campaign for Britain’s EU membership referendum, and later became a key figure in digital operations during Donald Trump’s election campaign. In 2014, Steve Bannon ... was Wylie’s boss. And Robert Mercer, the secretive US hedge-fund billionaire and Republican donor, was Cambridge Analytica’s investor. The idea they bought into was to bring big data and social media to an established military methodology – “information operations” – then turn it on the US electorate. By [2017], Steve Bannon had become Trump’s chief strategist. Cambridge Analytica’s parent company, SCL, had won contracts with the US State Department and was pitching to the Pentagon, and Wylie was genuinely freaked out. “It’s insane,” he told me one night. “The company has created psychological profiles of 230 million Americans. And now they want to work with the Pentagon? It’s like Nixon on steroids.” He ended up showing me a tranche of documents that laid out the secret workings behind Cambridge Analytica. Wylie ... came up with a plan to harvest the Facebook profiles of millions of people in the US, and to use their private and personal information to create sophisticated psychological and political profiles. And then target them with political ads designed to work on their particular psychological makeup.

Note: Billionaire Robert Mercer used this new new technology to build a corporate empire capable of swinging elections by using military propaganda strategies on civilian populations. The above article further details how mass media is being combined with Big Data to produce powerful new forms of mind control. Watch an astounding video revealing how Cambridge Analytica has successfully manipulated national elections around the world.


Al Jazeera did a hard-hitting investigation into US and Israeli lobbying – so why won't they air it?
2018-03-15, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/al-jazeera-investigation-us-israel-lobby...

I’m talking about a documentary called The Lobby, directed by one of Al Jazeera’s top journalists, Clayton Swisher. After months of postponement, The Lobby ... is still no nearer to being shown – and Swisher himself has taken a paid leave of absence. In his published explanation, Swisher described how his award-winning investigative unit ... sent an undercover reporter to look into “how Israel wields influence in America through the pro-Israeli American community. But when some right-wing American supporters of Israel found out about the documentary, there was a massive backlash. It was ... labelled as antisemitic.” Although Swisher’s reporters had exposed genocide in Myanmar, presidential corruption in the Maldives and paedophilia in British youth football, another documentary under Swisher’s direction concentrated on Israel’s influence over Britain and included a secretly filmed sequence in which Israeli official Shai Masot discussed how to “take down” British MPs regarded as pro-Palestinian. In response to antisemitism claims after the London documentary, the broadcasting regulator Ofcom ruled that the programme was “a serious investigative documentary”. It was the same question, Swisher says, that he and his team sought to answer in the American edition of The Lobby: “whether the Israeli government was funding or involved in lobbying efforts in the US under the guise of a domestic lobbying group”.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in mass media.


From fake news to fabricated video, can we preserve our shared reality?
2018-02-22, Christian Science Monitor
https://www.csmonitor.com/Technology/2018/0222/From-fake-news-to-fabricated-v...

People tend to trust video evidence as an arbiter of truth. But that faith could soon become quaint, as machine learning is enabling ordinary users to create fabricated videos of just about anyone doing just about anything. Earlier this month, the popular online forum Reddit shut down r/deepfakes, a subreddit discussion board devoted to using open-source machine-learning tools to insert famous faces into pornographic videos. This episode represents just one of the many ways that the this technology could fuel social problems, particularly in an age of political polarization. Combating the negative effects of fabricated video will require a shift among both news outlets and news consumers. “When you see something, or when you believe that you’re seeing something and hearing something, it has a much more visceral impact ... than when it’s something that you’re just reading about,” says Henry Farrell, a professor of political science. Professor Farrell warned that this technology’s “implications for democracy are eye-opening,” in a Feb. 4 New York Times op-ed. “Democracy assumes that its citizens share the same reality,” the op-ed concluded. “We’re about to find out whether democracy can be preserved when this assumption no longer holds.” When mixed with confirmation bias – the tendency to process information in a way that conforms to one’s preexisting beliefs – [the technology] could become an increasingly destructive social influence, one that corrodes even good-faith efforts to tell the truth.

Note: Read more about producing fake video with machine learning programs. While governments have long been developing technologies to produce very convincing illusions, and it has become trivial to edit video footage of a person talking to change their words and facial expressions, this emerging technology makes it possible to manipulate mass media in previously impossible ways.


The good news is … people like to read good news
2018-02-12, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/12/but-first-here-is-the-good-news-

Strange thing happens when you write about something going right. People take notice. They read to the end. They share it with their friends. They write to thank you. Eighteen months ago, the Guardian launched a pilot project to see how readers would respond if we deliberately sought out the good things happening in the world. More than 150 pieces of journalism later – in which we have examined the relative merits of everything from dog turds to ketamine, the blockchain to microhouses, and gardening to exoskeletons – we have proof of concept. Reader numbers for this kind of journalism have proven remarkably robust throughout the project. While audiences have always been riveted by bad news (it serves as both an early warning system and a reassurance about the comfort of their own lives), they are tired of the avalanche of awfulness. They are switching off. If people just shrug at news because they feel there is little they can do, nothing will change. Journalists in the US, Europe and the UK are waking up to this by publishing what is variously described as constructive journalism, solutions journalism or, somewhat misleadingly, positive news. Now the Guardian is deepening its commitment to this type of work. Our new series, The Upside, launched this week with [a] determination to show readers all of humanity, not just the bad bits. As our editor-in-chief, Katharine Viner, promised in a speech ... recently, “we will develop ideas that help improve the world, not just critique it.”

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Our Opinion: A solution to 'bummer gun' journalism
2018-02-08, Portland Tribune (One of Oregon's leading newspapers)
https://portlandtribune.com/pt/10-opinion/386084-275054-our-opinion-a-solutio...

At Portland's Aladdin Theater at the close of 2017, Storm Large confessed that she finds it hard to follow headlines these days. "It's like a bummer gun aimed right at your face," she said, pointing a pair of imaginary pistols at her head. An April 2016 study by The Tow Center for Digital Journalism offered this sobering observation: "In a journalistic environment where the mantra 'if it bleeds, it leads' continues to resonate - and is amplified ever more by the clickbait web - there is a professional bias in favor of reporting on violence ... and other negative tropes." As journalists, it's our job to point out problems. However, I've come to see that we messengers are part of the problem - and, thankfully, that there's a fix. When I first heard about [the Solutions Journalism Network] I was skeptical. Their point is that journalists ... consistently do an amazing job of providing independent, objective reporting on societal problem. What we don't do as well is report how people respond to those problems, leaving readers like Storm feeling depressed. SJN, led by New York Times reporters Tina Rosenberg and David Bornstein, aims to change that. They're not asking us to dish out "happy news" but simply use a slightly different lens when we look at issues, to take the same professional rigor we bring to our reporting on problems and apply it to investigations of potential remedies. SJN has found that solutions journalism ... engages readers and leaves them feeling empowered, rather than helpless.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing mass media news articles from reliable sources.


Our Hackable Political Future
2018-02-04, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/04/opinion/hacking-politics-future.html

Imagine it is the spring of 2019. A bottom-feeding website, perhaps tied to Russia, “surfaces” video of a sex scene starring an 18-year-old Kirsten Gillibrand. It is soon debunked as a fake, the product of a user-friendly video application that employs generative adversarial network technology to convincingly swap out one face for another. Then it is fall. The junior senator from New York State announces her campaign for the presidency. At a diner in New Hampshire, one “low information” voter asks another: “Kirsten What’s-her-name? She’s running for president? Didn’t she have something to do with pornography?” Welcome to the shape of things to come. The technology [is] closer than you might think. And even when fake video isn’t perfect, it can convince people who want to be convinced, especially when it reinforces ... stereotypes. It might be impossible to stop the advance of this kind of technology. But the relevant algorithms here aren’t only the ones that run on computer hardware. They are also the ones that undergird our too easily hacked media system, where garbage acquires the perfumed scent of legitimacy with all too much ease. It already feels as though we are living in an alternative science-fiction universe where no one agrees on what it true. Just think how much worse it will be when fake news becomes fake video. Democracy assumes that its citizens share the same reality. We’re about to find out whether democracy can be preserved when this assumption no longer holds.

Note: Read more about producing fake video with computer programs. While governments have long been developing technologies to produce very convincing illusions, and it has become trivial to edit video footage of a person talking to change their words and facial expressions, this emerging technology makes it possible to manipulate mass media in previously impossible ways.


The Follower Factory
2018-01-27, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/01/27/technology/social-media-bots.html

An obscure American company named Devumi ... has collected millions of dollars in a shadowy global marketplace for social media fraud. Devumi sells Twitter followers and retweets to celebrities, businesses and anyone who wants to appear more popular or exert influence online. Drawing on an estimated stock of at least 3.5 million automated accounts, each sold many times over, the company has provided customers with more than 200 million Twitter followers. The accounts that most resemble real people ... reveal a kind of large-scale social identity theft. At least 55,000 of the accounts use the names, profile pictures, hometowns and other personal details of real Twitter users, including minors. Fake accounts, deployed by governments, criminals and entrepreneurs, now infest social media networks. As many as 48 million of Twitter’s reported active users ... are automated accounts designed to simulate real people. In November, Facebook disclosed ... that it had at least twice as many fake users as it previously estimated. Up to 60 million automated accounts may roam the world’s largest social media platform. Devumi has more than 200,000 customers, including reality television stars, professional athletes, comedians, TED speakers, pastors and models. Devumi’s fake followers also serve as phantom foot soldiers in political battles online. Devumi’s customers include both avid supporters and fervent critics of President Trump, and both liberal cable pundits and a reporter at the alt-right bastion Breitbart.

Note: The use of social media to manipulate public perception has reportedly influenced recent elections in Latin America, the UK, and the US. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


New York Attorney General to Investigate Firm That Sells Fake Followers
2018-01-27, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/27/technology/schneiderman-social-media-bots....

The New York attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman, on Saturday opened an investigation into a company that sold millions of fake followers on social media platforms, some of them copying real users’ personal information. The company, Devumi, and its sale of automated followers to a swath of celebrities, sports stars, journalists and politicians, was detailed in a New York Times article published earlier on Saturday. At least 55,000 of its “bot” accounts used names, pictures, hometowns and other details taken from people on Twitter. The real users hailed from every U.S. state, including New York, and dozens of countries. “Impersonation and deception are illegal under New York law,” Mr. Schneiderman wrote. “We’re opening an investigation into Devumi and its apparent sale of bots using stolen identities.” Tens of millions of fake accounts have been deployed to defraud businesses, influence political debates online and attract customers. Social media companies, including Twitter and Facebook, have drawn intense scrutiny for not taking greater steps to weed them out. Mr. Schneiderman ... has brought a series of cases focused on the emerging world of online fraud, impersonation and abuse. In December, he began an investigation into how the Federal Communications Commission was flooded with millions of fake comments on a proposal to scrap so-called net neutrality rules. Many of the comments used names and addresses borrowed from real people, almost always without their knowledge.

Note: The use of social media to manipulate public perception has reportedly influenced recent elections in Latin America, the UK, and the US. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


How ex-congresswoman helped squelch reports of secret government surveillance
2018-01-15, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfchronicle.com/nation/article/Ex-congresswoman-helped-squelch-sto...

Two New York Times reporters learned in 2004 that the George W. Bush administration was secretly wiretapping Americans, and collecting their phone and email records. The reporters’ attempt to publish their findings were thwarted by the administration’s intense and successful lobbying of their editors. That effort ... had an unlikely ally: Rep. Jane Harman of Los Angeles, the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. Details of the far-reaching, legally unauthorized surveillance program remained secret until the Times published the article in late 2005. The newspaper’s interactions with administration officials, and Harman’s role, were described by former Times reporter James Risen this month in the Intercept, the investigative publication where he now works. The story on the program known as Stellar Wind was ready for publication before the November 2004 election, when Bush was on the ballot, but NSA Director Michael Hayden and other administration officials told Times editors, in phone calls and face-to-face meetings, that publication would damage national security and endanger lives, Risen said. He said the officials were joined in that effort by Harman, one of a handful of congressional leaders who had been briefed on the program and were enlisted by the White House to contact the Times. Members of Congress learned later that the NSA had not been seeking warrants from a secret court, as required by law, before wiretapping calls.

Note: James Risen is a courageous hero who shared two Pulitzer Prizes for his reporting around 9/11 and massive government surveillance. His recent article in The Intercept describes how a "marketplace of secrets in Washington" supports the US national security apparatus, and is used by corrupt government officials to manipulate the news.


In Washington Speak, Censorship Is Called “Transparency”
2018-01-10, Scientific American
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/in-washington-speak-censorship-is-...

Senior officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told staffers to avoid using seven words such as “science-based” and “fetus” in budget-related documents. The backlash was swift and strident; headlines accused the CDC of censoring scientific ideas. Documents recently obtained via two Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests indicate the CDC and other executive branch agencies ... quietly implement organized strategies to control the flow and tone of scientific information to the press and the public. Moreover, these practices have been in place under both the Trump and Obama administrations. The techniques being used are much more subtle ... than mere censorship. Two agencies under the Department of Health and Human Services’ umbrella have erected obstacles to reporters’ access to federal scientists. And by striking backroom deals with favored journalists, press officers try to get reporters to cleave to an official narrative. Meanwhile government workers at the FDA, are also portraying a ... press-restraining practice as a boon to journalists. In a so-called “close-hold” embargo - exposed by Scientific American in 2016 - a few select journalists are given early access to information; in return they agree to hold off on publishing until the agency gives the go-ahead, and to let officials choose whom the reporter may speak with before the embargo expires. Collectively, these practices at the FDA and CDC are staunching the flow of important science and policy decisions to the public.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable major media sources.


My Life as a New York Times Reporter in the Shadow of the War on Terror
2018-01-03, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2018/01/03/my-life-as-a-new-york-times-reporter-in-t...

The Obama administration was demanding that I reveal the confidential sources I had relied on for a chapter about a botched CIA operation in my 2006 book, State of War. I had also written about the CIA operation for the New York Times, but the papers editors had suppressed the story at the governments request. It wasnt the only time they had done so. My case was part of a broader crackdown on reporters and whistleblowers that had begun during the presidency of George W. Bush and continued far more aggressively under the Obama administration, which had already prosecuted more leak cases than all previous administrations combined. I started covering the CIA in 1995. Success as a reporter on the CIA beat inevitably meant finding out government secrets, and that meant plunging headlong into the classified side of Washington, which had its own strange dynamics. I discovered that there was, in effect, a marketplace of secrets in Washington, in which White House officials and other current and former bureaucrats, contractors, members of Congress, their staffers, and journalists all traded information. This informal black market helped keep the national security apparatus running smoothly, limiting nasty surprises for all involved. The revelation that this secretive subculture existed, and that it allowed a reporter to glimpse the governments dark side, was jarring. It felt a bit like being in the Matrix.

Note: Article author James Risen is a courageous hero who shared two Pulitzer Prizes for his reporting around 9/11 and massive government surveillance. If you read the entire article at the link above, you will learn in detail how the New York Times and other media bow to government pressure and filter what information reaches the public. They also have a strong, but secretive agenda to support war and the military-industrial complex. You will also see how government keeps the media from reporting some of the most important stories.


Think You’re Seeing More Drug Ads on TV? You Are, and Here’s Why
2017-12-24, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/24/business/media/prescription-drugs-advertis...

Television advertisements for prescription drugs ... have been running for 20 years. [Yet] it is not your imagination if you think you are seeing more of them these days. Lots more. 771,368 such ads were shown in 2016 ... an increase of almost 65 percent over 2012. “TV ad spending by pharmaceutical companies has more than doubled in the past four years, making it the second-fastest-growing category on television during that time,” Jon Swallen, Kantar’s chief research officer, said. The ads ... have turned to more serious ailments in the last few years. And when the ads come on, [the] audience is also listening intently to all that can befall them if they take a certain drug. An unexpected side effect of ad agency compliance with the drug administration’s regulation, it turns out, is enhanced credibility. “It’s counterintuitive, but everything in our research suggests that hearing about the risks increases consumers’ belief in the advertising,” said Jeff Rothstein, the chief executive officer of Cult Health, an ad agency that specializes in health care.

Note: 25 years ago drug advertising was illegal, as it was believed drugs should sell themselves on their own merits. Now Big Pharma is raking in profits hand over fist by inundating us with fear-based advertising. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma profiteering news articles from reliable major media sources.


Washington Post uncovers fake Roy Moore story 'sting'
2017-11-28, BBC News
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42150322

The Washington Post says it has uncovered a failed "sting operation" by a group trying to peddle a sensational but false story to its journalists. A source told the newspaper she had been impregnated as a teenager by US politician Roy Moore. The Post said its research debunked her story, and that she worked for a group called Project Veritas, which it said "targets the mainstream news media". The group said the Washington Post was reporting "an imagined sting". The Washington Post said it was originally approached by a woman the day after it published allegations that US Senate candidate Roy Moore had once initiated a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl. The woman, who used a fake name, claimed to have had a sexual relationship with Mr Moore when she was 15. "She said that she got pregnant, that Moore talked her into an abortion and that he drove her to Mississippi to get it," the newspaper said of the conversations. Project Veritas has posted a series of tweets claiming to expose bias at the Washington Post. It claimed the newspaper was attempting to divert attention by inventing the "sting operation" story. But many journalists on social media claimed the attempt to prove the Washington Post had published unverified claims had backfired - and showed the opposite.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing media manipulation news articles from reliable sources.


Malta car bomb kills Panama Papers journalist
2017-10-16, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/16/malta-car-bomb-kills-panama-pap...

The journalist who led the Panama Papers investigation into corruption in Malta was killed. Daphne Caruana Galizia died on Monday afternoon when her car ... was destroyed by a powerful explosive device. A blogger whose posts often attracted more readers than the combined circulation of the country’s newspapers, Caruana Galizia was recently described by the Politico website as a “one-woman WikiLeaks”. Her most recent revelations pointed the finger at Malta’s prime minister, Joseph Muscat, and two of his closest aides, connecting offshore companies linked to the three men with the sale of Maltese passports and payments from the government of Azerbaijan. Caruana Galizia filed a police report 15 days ago to say that she had been receiving death threats. The journalist posted her final blog on her Running Commentary website at 2.35pm on Monday, and the explosion ... was reported to police just after 3pm. Caruana Galizia ... set her sights on a wide range of targets, from banks facilitating money laundering to links between Malta’s online gaming industry and the Mafia. Over the last two years, her reporting had largely focused on revelations from the Panama Papers, a cache of 11.5m documents leaked from the internal database of the world’s fourth largest offshore law firm, Mossack Fonseca. Her family have filed a court application demanding a change of inquiring magistrate. Investigations into the case are being led by Consuelo Scerri Herrera. But Herrera had come under criticism by Galizia in her blog.

Note: The release of the Panama Papers exposed tax-dodging elites in many countries. There is speculative evidence that the CIA had a hand in releasing these documents. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing financial industry corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


The C.I.A.’s Fake News Campaign
2017-10-13, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/13/opinion/cia-fake-news-russia.html

For more than two decades during the Cold War, the public was bombarded by an enormous publicity campaign to shape American views of Russia. The campaign may have been the largest and most consistent source of political advertising in American history. And it was orchestrated by a big, powerful intelligence service: the Central Intelligence Agency. In 1950, [the CIA] created Radio Free Europe, a government-sponsored broadcasting station. Ostensibly, it provided unbiased news for Eastern Europeans, but in fact the agency used it to wage a subversive campaign to weaken Communist governments. But how to hide the agency’s hand? Simple: pretend that ordinary Americans are paying the bills. A well-heeled and well-connected front group, the National Committee for a Free Europe ... ran an enormous fund-raising campaign ... that implored Americans to donate “freedom dollars” to combat Kremlin lies. The donations barely covered the cost of running the “fund-raising drives,” to say nothing of Radio Free Europe’s $30 million annual budgets. But that wasn’t the point. Declassified documents reveal that almost from the start, the CIA saw that it could exploit the fund-raising campaign as a conduit for domestic propaganda. It was a way to rally public support for the Cold War. Our post-truth media environment [carries] voices from this past. The crusade blasted all information from enemy sources as lies and deceit — fake news, we could say.

Note: The US government was legally prevented from broadcasting propaganda to domestic audiences for many years. This prohibition ended when new rules were adopted in 2013. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


Hollywood Sex Abuse Film 'An Open Secret' Released Online
2017-10-13, Hollywood Reporter
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/hollywood-sex-abuse-film-an-open-secret...

An Open Secret, a documentary about the sexual abuse of teenage boys at the hands of Hollywood big-wigs, generated plenty of publicity a few years ago. Now, with new sexual allegations against Harvey Weinstein and others in the movie and TV industry coming practically daily, the producer of An Open Secret has posted his film online for the first time. "It's so funny to keep seeing headlines about how Harvey's abuse was 'an open secret' in Hollywood, and that's the name of our film," said producer Gabe Hoffman. The movie got a limited theatrical release a few years ago, and Hoffman is still seeking more distribution. Much of the movie focuses on the now-defunct Digital Entertainment Network. DEN [is] remembered today for hosting wild parties with drugs, alcohol and underage boys at the former residence of founder, Marc Collins-Rector, now a registered sex offender. Another case explored in An Open Secret involves talent manager Marty Weiss, who pleaded no contest to lewd acts on a child and is heard in the film admitting molestation. Also explored is talent manager Bob Villard, who used to represent Leonardo DiCaprio and also pleaded no contest to lewd acts with a child. "We haven't got any offers from major distributors yet because Hollywood doesn't want to expose its dirty laundry," [said Hoffman]. "Harvey Weinstein, by the way, is not the only one who has used confidentiality settlements. That's why more of Hollywood's behavior hasn't been exposed. This is the tip of the iceberg," he said.

Note: Read a summarized review of this film, or a much more detailed report on the issues it exposes. Then learn how the film's director strangely distanced herself from the film, likely because she was threatened. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


How NBC gave up Ronan Farrow's explosive Harvey Weinstein scoop
2017-10-11, CNN
http://money.cnn.com/2017/10/11/media/nbc-new-yorker-harvey-weinstein/index.html

Reporter and NBC contributor Ronan Farrow pursued leads about Harvey Weinstein's misconduct for months, but NBC passed on the chance to publish his story. "Ronan was basically told to stop working on this," according to a source. So Farrow contacted David Remnick, the editor of The New Yorker. Now the magazine is receiving widespread acclaim for publishing the investigation. What happened at NBC is a media world mystery. Did the network's executives not have the stomach for the inevitable legal threats? Were they trying to protect relationships in Hollywood? Or were there other reasons? The official explanation, from the news division's president Noah Oppenheim, is that "we didn't feel that we had all the elements that we needed to air it," so Farrow "took it to The New Yorker." But some staffers aren't buying that. And they're wondering why Farrow's taped interviews with accusers aren't being broadcast now. The question of how NBC could have let this scoop get away is big enough that it even came up on sister network MSNBC Tuesday night. Host Rachel Maddow asked Farrow, "Why did you end up reporting this story for The New Yorker and not for NBC News?" "Look," Farrow responded, "you would have to ask NBC and NBC executives about the details of that story." Earlier in the interview, he had mentioned that he taped one of his on-camera interviews way back in January.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on mass media corruption and sexual abuse scandals.


FEMA removes — then restores — statistics about drinking water access and electricity in Puerto Rico from website
2017-10-06, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/10/05/fema-removes-...

As of Wednesday, half of Puerto Ricans had access to drinking water and 5 percent of the island had electricity, according to statistics published by the Federal Emergency Management Agency on its Web page. By Thursday morning, both of those key metrics were no longer on the Web page. The statistics that are on the FEMA page, as of Thursday afternoon, include these: There are now 14,000 federal workers on the ground in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, up from 12,300 earlier in the week. All airports, federally maintained ports and post offices are open. More than 30 miles of roadway have been cleared, up from about 20 miles earlier in the week. About 65 percent of grocery stores have reopened, along with nearly all hospitals and dialysis centers. And 64 percent of wastewater treatment plants are working on generator power. Those statistics illustrate President Trump's assertions that the island is quickly making tremendous strides toward full recovery and that the media have exaggerated the conditions on the ground.

Note: As of Friday afternoon, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is once again reporting the percentage of Puerto Ricans who have access to drinking water and the percentage of the island that has power.


The NFL, the Military, and the Hijacking of Pat Tillman’s Story
2017-09-28, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2017/09/28/pat-tillman-nfl-protest-death-army-disgrace/

As part of his ongoing crusade targeting black athletes, President Donald Trump shared a tweet. It included an image of Pat Tillman, the former NFL safety-turned-U.S. Army Ranger who was killed in Afghanistan in the spring of 2004. Trump was co-signing a suggestion that Tillman was a true patriot, unlike those who have chosen to kneel during the national anthem. Tillman’s is indeed an all-American story, it’s just not the kind that Trump and his supporters want it to be. Few episodes of the post-9/11 era have called down more disgrace upon the military than its handling of Tillman’s death. Tillman was 25 years old when he joined the Army ... expecting to join the fight against Al Qaeda and the effort to bring Osama bin Laden to justice. Instead, he was sent to Iraq. Tillman loathed the Iraq War. He confided in his brother and their friend Russell Baer that he thought the invasion and occupation were “fucking illegal.” On April 22, [2004] Tillman was killed. His memorial service was broadcast on national television. The military provided a Navy SEAL ... with a narrative to read to mourners. It described how Tillman charged up a ridgeline, braving enemy fire, and died defending his fellow soldiers. The military knew Tillman was killed by his fellow soldiers, brought down by three bullets to the head let loose during spasms of wildly irresponsible but deliberate shooting. In Tillman’s death, powerful officials saw an opportunity to spin a yarn of heroic sacrifice, rather than an obligation to tell the truth.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing military corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


As Google Fights Fake News, Voices on the Margins Raise Alarm
2017-09-26, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/26/technology/google-search-bias-claims.html

When David North, the editorial chairman of the World Socialist Web Site, noticed a drop in the site’s traffic in April, he initially chalked it up to news fatigue. But when he dug into the numbers, Mr. North said, he found a clearer explanation: Google had stopped redirecting search queries to the site. He discovered that the top search terms that once brought people to the World Socialist Web Site were now coming up empty. Accusations that Google has tampered with search results are not uncommon. But they are taking on new life amid concerns that technology behemoths are directly - or indirectly - censoring controversial subjects in their response to concerns over so-called fake news. In April, Google announced an initiative called Project Owl to provide “algorithmic updates to surface more authoritative content” and stamp out fake news stories from its search results. To some, that was an uncomfortable step toward Google becoming an arbiter of what is and is not a trustworthy news source. “They’re really skating on thin ice,” said Michael Bertini, a search strategist at iQuanti, a digital marketing agency. “They’re controlling what users see." In an open letter to Google last month, Mr. North traced his site’s traffic decline to Project Owl. Mr. North said he believed that Google was blacklisting the site, using concerns over fake news as a cover to suppress opinions from socialist, antiwar or left-wing websites and block news that Google doesn’t want covered.

Note: Visits to WantToKnow.info have dropped to less than half of what they were just eight months ago, largely due to a drop in visits from Google's search engine. Many alternative news websites have lost a lot of visits as Google prioritizes "mainstream" sources over alternative viewpoints. Check out the intriguing, well researched article "How the CIA Made Google." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


The Fake-News Fallacy
2017-09-04, The New Yorker
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/09/04/the-fake-news-fallacy

On the evening of October 30, 1938, a seventy-six-year-old millworker in Grover’s Mill, New Jersey, named Bill Dock heard something terrifying. Aliens had landed just down the road, a newscaster announced. Dock ... prepared to face down the invaders. But ... he’d been duped by Orson Welles’s radio adaptation of “The War of the Worlds.” The next day, newspapers were full of stories like Dock’s. This early fake-news panic lives on in legend, but [historian A. Brad] Schwartz is the latest of a number of researchers to argue that it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. There was no mass hysteria, only small pockets of concern that quickly burned out. Newspapers exaggerated the panic to better control the upstart medium of radio, which was becoming the dominant source of breaking news in the thirties. Newspapers wanted to show that radio was irresponsible and needed guidance from its older, more respectable siblings in the print media, such “guidance” mostly taking the form of lucrative licensing deals and increased ownership of local radio stations. To some, the lesson of the panic was that the F.C.C. needed to take an even more active role to protect people from malicious tricksters like Welles. Yet Schwartz says that the people calling for a government crackdown were far outnumbered by those who warned against one. Today, Facebook and Google have taken the place of the F.C.C. in the conservative imagination. With a powerful, well-funded propaganda machine ... conservatives aren’t the ones who have the most to fear.

Note: Historian A. Brad Schwartz is the author of a bestselling book titled, "Broadcast Hysteria: Orson Welles’s War of the Worlds and the Art of Fake News". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the manipulation of mass media.


How a Crackdown on Leaks Threatens Confidential Sources
2017-09-04, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/04/insider/how-a-crackdown-on-leaks-threatens...

It was just four years ago that roughly two dozen representatives of major news organizations crowded around a conference table at the Justice Department for a meeting with Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. Our agenda? Strengthening the Justice Department’s guidelines that limit when federal prosecutors can serve subpoenas on the news media. It had just been revealed that federal investigators had secretly seized the phone records of The Associated Press and the emails of a Fox News correspondent during leak investigations. The result was important: The Justice Department revised its internal guidelines to make it harder for prosecutors to obtain subpoenas for reporters’ testimony and records. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, after being chided by President Trump for being weak, recently declared a war on leakers and made clear that the news media was also on his mind. It seems all but certain that the Justice Department will try to chip away at the subpoena guidelines, [which] say that prosecutors are to seek testimony and evidence from journalists only as a last resort, and that news organizations should have a chance to go to court to challenge any subpoenas. The guidelines are far from ironclad. If a prosecutor were to ignore them, a journalist would have no right to go into court and demand they be followed. When federal courts dial back protection for reporters, the guidelines become an essential first line of defense against overzealous prosecutors.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.


Washington DC’s role behind the scenes in Hollywood goes deeper than you think
2017-09-03, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/hollywood-cia-washington-dc-films-fbi-24...

The relationship between US national security and Hollywood is much deeper and more political than anyone has ever acknowledged. It is a matter of public record that the Pentagon has had an entertainment liaison office since 1948. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) established a similar position in 1996. Although it was known that they sometimes request script changes in exchange for advice, permission to use locations, and equipment such as aircraft carriers, each appeared to have passive, and largely apolitical roles. Files we obtained, mainly through the US Freedom of Information Act, show that between 1911 and 2017, more than 800 feature films received support from the US Government’s Department of Defence (DoD), a significantly higher figure than previous estimates indicate. These included blockbuster franchises such as Transformers, Iron Man, and The Terminator. On television, we found over 1,100 titles received Pentagon backing – 900 of them since 2005, from Flight 93 to Ice Road Truckers to Army Wives. When we include individual episodes for long running shows like 24, Homeland, and NCIS, as well as the influence of other major organisations like the FBI and White House, we can establish unequivocally for the first time that the national security state has supported thousands of hours of entertainment. For its part, the CIA has assisted in 60 film and television shows since its formation in 1947. This is a much lower figure than the DoD’s but its role has nonetheless been significant.

Note: Read how the Pentagon controls the script of hundreds of movies, some quite well known. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


Seth Rich, Conspiracy Theorists, and Russiagate ‘Truthers’
2017-08-25, The Nation
https://www.thenation.com/article/seth-rich-conspiracy-theorists-and-russiaga...

Seth Rich [was] a mid-level staffer at the DNC who was murdered on July 10, 2016. Conspiracy theorists ... pounced on the story. Rich, they declared, was killed ... because he had stolen vast swaths of data from the DNC and handed it to WikiLeaks. "Whistle-blowers go to significant efforts to get us material. A 27-year-old that works for the DNC was shot in the back, murdered ... in Washington," [WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange said in an interview]. Days later, WikiLeaks offered a $20,000 reward for information about the murder of Rich. On May 16, Malia Zimmerman, a Fox reporter ... published a story on DC’s Fox 5 News outlining a conspiratorial view of the Rich murder. That night, Sean Hannity broadcast a lengthy segment based on Zimmerman’s story. The star witness was Rod Wheeler. But in [a new lawsuit, filed on August 1], Wheeler says that he was a victim of manipulation by others involved in the story. On May 23, Fox would retract the entire story and purge it from its archives. Wheeler ... was recruited [by Fox contributor Ed Butowsky] to serve as a paid investigator by the Rich family. Enter Sy Hersh. According to Wheeler’s lawsuit, “even before Butowsky had ever contacted Mr. Wheeler, Butowsky had already had a conversation on this topic with Seymour (Sy) Hersh.” Hersh claimed - and there’s a recording to support this - that he, Hersh, had had access to a secret FBI report about the Rich case. Hersh also said that Rich had created a Dropbox for DNC e-mails, that WikiLeaks had access to it, that Rich had warned friends in case “something happens to me,” and more.

Note: An intriguing six-minute video by whistleblower website Newsbud presents powerful evidence the Wikileaks DNC leak was not the result of Russian hackers. As reported in the above article, venerable journalist Seymour Hersh stated that murdered Clinton aid Seth Rich was behind the leak and that the whole thing was a CIA operation. Hints of more cover-up and manipulation around this can be found in this Washington Post article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and media manipulation.


Julian Assange slams 'absurd' US plan to label WikiLeaks 'non-state intelligence service'
2017-08-24, International Business Times
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/julian-assange-slams-absurd-us-plan-label-wikileaks-...

Julian Assange, the founder of whistleblowing platform WikiLeaks, has spoken out against a passing US Senate bill which aims to officially label his organisation as a "non-state hostile intelligence service". WikiLeaks has recently been publishing documents allegedly pilfered from inside the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), something that has led its director, Mike Pompeo, to shift from openly citing its publications to harshly criticising them. The WikiLeaks editor-in-chief ... wrote: "Media organisations develop and protect sources. So do intelligence agencies. But to suggest that media organisations are 'non-state intelligence services is absurd. It is equivalent to suggesting that the CIA is a media organisation." The day prior to the statement's release, it emerged that US senator Ron Wyden was the sole politician to vote against the intelligence committee's authorisation bill. Wyden said: "My concern is that the use of the novel phrase 'non-state hostile intelligence service' may have legal, constitutional, and policy implications, particularly should it be applied to journalists inquiring about secrets. The language in the bill suggesting that the US government has some unstated course of action against 'non-state hostile intelligence services' is equally troubling." Legally, experts warn it is largely impossible to prosecute WikiLeaks without also bringing charges against The New York Times, The Guardian or other mainstream publications. Despite this, US attorney general Jeff Sessions has still pledged to "put some people in jail".

Note: In May, United Nations officials said that the US treatment of activists was increasingly "incompatible with US obligations under international human rights law". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the intelligence community.


This is Sinclair, 'the most dangerous US company you've never heard of'
2017-08-17, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/aug/17/sinclair-news-media-fox-trump-w...

Sinclair Media Group is the owner of the largest number of TV stations in America. "Sinclair's probably the most dangerous company most people have never heard of," said Michael Copps, the George W Bush-appointed former chairman of Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the top US broadcast regulator. The New York Times refers to the group as a "conservative giant" that, since the Bush presidency, has used its 173 television stations "to advance a mostly right-leaning agenda". Already the biggest broadcaster in the country, Sinclair is poised to make its biggest move yet. If the FCC approves Sinclair's $3.9bn purchase of an additional 42 stations, it would reach into the homes of almost three-quarters of Americans. Sinclair forces its local stations to run pro-Trump "news" segments. In 2004 ... as George W Bush faced criticism over the faltering war in Iraq, Sinclair ordered seven of its stations not to run an episode of Nightline in which host Ted Koppel read the names of every American soldier killed in the war, saying it "undermine[d] the efforts of the United States in Iraq". Meanwhile, with its 2015 purchase of Circa, a mobile aggregated news app, Sinclair has control for the first time of a national text-based news outlet.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Attorney general says Justice Dept. has tripled the number of leak probes
2017-08-04, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/attorney-general-says-...

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Friday that the Justice Department has more than tripled the number of leak investigations compared with the number that were ongoing at the end of the last administration. Sessions said he was devoting more resources to stamping out unauthorized disclosures, directing Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher A. Wray to actively monitor every investigation, instructing the department’s national security division and U.S. attorneys to prioritize such cases, and creating a new counterintelligence unit in the FBI to manage the work. Sessions also said he was reviewing the Justice Department’s policy on issuing subpoenas to reporters. Rosenstein refused to rule out the possibility that journalists would be prosecuted. It has long been Justice Department practice in leak probes to try to avoid investigating journalists directly to find their sources. Prosecutors in the Obama era brought nine leak cases, more than during all previous administrations combined, and in the process called a reporter a criminal “co-conspirator” and secretly went after journalists’ phone records in a bid to identify reporters’ sources. Danielle Brian, executive director at the Project on Government Oversight, said leak investigations might inappropriately target well-intentioned whistleblowers. “Whistleblowers are the nation’s first line of defense against fraud, waste, abuse, and illegality within the federal government,” Brian said in a statement.

Note: For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the manipulation of mass media.


Monsanto Emails Raise Issue of Influencing Research on Roundup Weed Killer
2017-08-01, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/business/monsantos-sway-over-research-is-s...

Documents released Tuesday in a lawsuit against Monsanto raised new questions about the company’s efforts to influence the news media and scientific research and revealed internal debate over the safety of its highest-profile product, the weed killer Roundup. The active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, is the most common weed killer in the world. The documents underscore the lengths to which the agrochemical company goes to protect its image. Documents show that Henry I. Miller ... a vocal proponent of genetically modified crops, asked Monsanto to draft an article for him that largely mirrored one that appeared under his name on Forbes’s website in 2015. An academic involved in writing research funded by Monsanto, John Acquavella, [wrote] in a 2015 email to a Monsanto executive, “I can’t be part of deceptive authorship on a presentation or publication.” He also said of the way the company was trying to present the authorship: “We call that ghost writing and it is unethical.” Mr. Miller’s 2015 article on Forbes’s website was an attack on the findings of ... a branch of the World Health Organization that had labeled glyphosate a probable carcinogen. The documents also show that A. Wallace Hayes, the former editor of a journal, Food and Chemical Toxicology, has had a contractual relationship with Monsanto. In 2013, while he was still editor, Mr. Hayes retracted a key study damaging to Monsanto that found that Roundup, and genetically modified corn, could cause cancer and early death in rats.

Note: For lots more, see this informative article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health.


Keith Kloor’s Endearing Love Affair With GMOs
2017-07-19, Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/keith-kloors-endearing-love-affair-with-g...

Few science writers have worked as hard as Keith Kloor to impact public opinion on genetically modified organism (GMO) agriculture. An adjunct professor at New York University and former editor for Audubon and blogger for Discover, Kloor has spent years championing GMO products and portraying skeptics and critics as scientifically illiterate quacks. His curious form of advocacy includes bitter attacks on anyone who disagrees with him. Kloor’s targets have included Jake Tapper of CNN; Michael Pollan, professor of journalism at UC-Berkeley; Tom Philpott of Mother Jones; Mark Bittman, the noted food columnist; Glenn Davis Stone, Guggenheim Fellow and professor of archaeology at Washington University; Nassim Taleb, professor of risk engineering at NYU; Marion Nestle, professor of food science at NYU; and Charles Seife, professor of science journalism at NYU. The public has known for some time that Keith Kloor loves GMOs. What they haven’t known, until now, is how hard he’s worked with industry-funded “experts” to present corporate talking points as journalism and then try to cover his tracks. An avalanche of documents released through court proceedings and freedom of information requests point to a coordinated effort by corporate front groups, scientists secretly funded by agrichemical industry giants, and allied reporters attempting to portray themselves as arbiters of scientific expertise while condemning critics of GMO technology as “antiscience.”

Note: The above article provides an in-depth view of Monsanto's corruption of mass media. This company's use of scientists as industry puppets, its lies to regulators and the public and its massive lobbying campaign have not kept information on the risks and dangers of GMOs from getting out.


Don't believe the dangerous myths of 'Drone Warrior'
2017-07-16, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-browne-ling-drones-memoir-brett-ve...

Drone pilots have been quitting the U.S. Air Force in record numbers. They cite a combination of low-class status in the military, overwork and psychological trauma. But a widely publicized new memoir about America’s covert drone war fails to mention the “outflow increases,” as one internal Air Force memo calls it. “Drone Warrior: An Elite Soldier’s Inside Account of the Hunt for America’s Most Dangerous Enemies” chronicles the nearly 10 years that Brett Velicovich, a former special operations member, spent using drones to help special forces find and track terrorists. Conveniently, it also puts a hard sell on a program whose ranks the military is struggling to keep full. The book is, at best, a tale of hyper-masculine bravado and, at worst, a piece of military propaganda designed to ease doubts about the drone program and increase recruitment. Velicovich exaggerates the accuracy of the technology, neglecting to mention how often it fails or that such failures have killed an untold number of civilians. For instance, the CIA killed 76 children and 29 adults in its attempts to take out Ayman al Zawahiri, the leader of Al Qaeda, who reportedly is still alive. The film rights to “Drone Warrior” were bought over a year ago, with much fanfare, by Paramount Pictures. This development is predictable. The U.S. military and Hollywood have long enjoyed a symbiotic relationship. But there is something particularly unseemly about Hollywood’s enthusiasm for bringing Velicovich’s version of drone warfare to the big screen.

Note: Documents obtained by a crowdfunded investigative journalism project show that US military and intelligence agencies have influenced over 1,800 movies and television shows. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption and the manipulation of mass media.


Ajit Pai: the man who could destroy the open internet
2017-07-12, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jul/12/ajit-pai-fcc-net-neutralit...

Ajit Pai, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, has a reputation as a nice guy. This is the man who could destroy the open internet. Pai ... is spearheading the Trump administration’s regulatory rollback of net neutrality protections. Net neutrality, which some have described as the “first amendment of the internet”, is the idea that internet service providers (ISPs) treat everyone’s data equally – whether that’s an email from your mother, an episode of House of Cards on Netflix or a bank transfer. It means that cable ISPs such as Comcast, AT&T or Verizon don’t get to choose which data is sent more quickly and which sites get blocked or throttled based on which content providers pay a premium. In February 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to more strictly regulate ISPs and to enshrine in law the principles of net neutrality. The vote reclassified wireless and fixed-line broadband service providers as title II “common carriers”, a public utility-type designation. But Trump’s FCC, with Pai at the helm, wants to repeal the rules. Pai’s views echo those of the big broadband companies. That might have something to do with the huge sums AT&T, Comcast and Verizon throw toward lobbying, collectively spending $11m in the first quarter of 2017. Pretty much everyone outside the large cable companies supports the FCC’s net neutrality rules.

Note: Members of the public can support net neutrality by sending comments to the FCC until July 18. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world.


Mexico spying targeted international experts in student kidnapping case
2017-07-10, The Guardian/Associated Press
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/10/spyware-mexico-kidnapping-inves...

Investigators have revealed that targets of high-tech spying in Mexico included an international group of experts backed by the Organization of American States who had criticized the government’s investigation into the disappearance of 43 students. Previous investigations by the internet watchdog group Citizen Lab found that the spyware had been directed at journalists, activists and opposition politicians in Mexico. But targeting foreign experts operating under the aegis of an international body marks an escalation of the scandal. The experts had diplomatic status, making the spying attempt even graver. The spyware, known as Pegasus, is made by the Israel-based NSO Group, which says it sells only to government agencies for use against criminals and terrorists. It turns a cellphone into an eavesdropper, giving snoopers the ability to remotely activate its microphone and camera and access its data. The spyware is uploaded when users click on a link in email messages. Citizen Lab said the spyware attempts against the international experts occurred in March 2016 as the group was preparing its final, critical report on the government investigation into the disappearances. The 43 students were detained by local police in the city of Iguala on 26 September 2014, and were turned over to a crime gang. Only one student’s remains have been identified. The experts criticized the government’s conclusions, saying ... that government investigators had not looked into other evidence.

Note: Read the report by Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto for the details of these suspicious spyware attacks. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and the erosion of civil liberties.


Gulf Arabs vs. Qatar: Why all the fuss over Al Jazeera?
2017-07-07, Christian Science Monitor
https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2017/0707/Gulf-Arabs-vs.-Qatar-Wh...

Amid all the talk of Qatar’s alleged support for terrorism, at the core of the Gulf Arab countries’ ongoing blockade of the oil- and gas-rich emirate is one major source of contention: Al Jazeera. A central demand of the Gulf states lead by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates ... is for the Gulf country to “close Al Jazeera network and its affiliates.” Other key demands: downgrading ties with Iran and closing a Turkish military base in Doha. Why the intense focus on the pan-Arab TV network? When launched in 1996, the network was seen as a revolutionary force bucking a largely conservative and autocratic status quo. In an era in which state-run media dominated the Arab world, Al Jazeera for the first time broadcast differing views and opinions, and raised political awareness. Today ... states such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE are exerting all their diplomatic and economic might to bring an end to Al Jazeera in a vain bid to close its Pandora’s box of democratic and liberal social values. Al Jazeera has addressed social issues and taboos often discussed in heated debates at home but never broadcast on-air: honor killings, the plight of migrant workers, suicide bombings, sexual harassment. “We opened a huge debate and exposed a lot of contradictions in the well-established orthodoxy of traditional organizations, including political and religious groups,” says Wadah Khanfar, former director general of Al Jazeera from 2003 to 2011.

Note: Al Jazeera is one of the very few media outlets that has raised serious questions about many of the issues raised by WantToKnow.info, so no wonder the powers that be want it shut down. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and mass media.


Why journalism is shifting away from 'objectivity'
2017-07-06, Christian Science Monitor
https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2017/0706/Why-journalism-is-shifting-a...

Amid the unusual pressures of the Trump era, some are advocating a more interpretive or even combative approach to journalism – and argue that will do more to help society. When President Trump retweeted a meme earlier this week, sending out a cartoonishly doctored video that showed him clotheslining a person representing CNN, it escalated the conflict between Mr. Trump and the press. For the president, his tweet was a “modern-day presidential” counter-punch to his critics. But coming on the heels of his ... reference in February to the nation’s news media as “the enemy of the American people,” many journalists took it seriously. They saw not a joke but a dangerous portrayal of violence against their profession. The press has long been seen as essential to the idea of democratic self-governance. Free speech, enshrined in the First Amendment, is one of the bulwarks of individual liberty and equality. This has not always included the idea of impartiality and objectivity, however. In the 18th and 19th century, in fact, most newspapers were often aggressively partisan. Today, standards are different. “I think for a long time now people judge quality in journalism by how ‘balanced’ it is,” says Mitchell Stephens, a professor of journalism at New York University. “It seems that journalism is attacked for not being balanced more than it’s being attacked for not getting things right.” Professor Stephens ... suggests that American news organizations, abandoning a “pretense to objectivity,” could be returning to their “loud, boisterous, and combative” ways.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and mass media.


Fake news: you ain’t seen nothing yet
2017-07-01, The Economist
https://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21724370-generating-con...

Faith in written information is under attack in some quarters. But images and sound recordings retain for many an inherent trustworthiness. [Machine-learning algorithms] are part of a technological wave that threatens this credibility. Audio is easier to fake. Normally, computers generate speech by linking lots of short recorded speech fragments to create a sentence. Generative audio works differently, using neural networks to learn the statistical properties of the audio source in question, then reproducing those properties directly. Putting words into the mouth of Mr Trump, say, or of any other public figure, is a matter of feeding recordings of his speeches into the algorithmic hopper and then telling the trained software what you want that person to say. Generating images is harder. [Generative adversarial networks] were introduced in 2014 by Ian Goodfellow. Mr Goodfellow ... suggests that the generation of YouTube fakes that are very plausible may be possible within three years. Others think it might take longer. But all agree that it is a question of when, not if. “We think that AI is going to change the kinds of evidence that we can trust,” says Mr Goodfellow.

Note: While government programs have long been developing technologies to produce very convincing illusions, and it has become trivial to edit video footage of a person talking to change their words and facial expressions, this emerging technology makes it possible to manipulate mass media in previously impossible ways.


3 CNN journalists resign over retracted story
2017-06-26, Chicago Tribune/Associated Press
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-cnn-journalists-resign-over...

CNN accepted the resignations Monday of three journalists involved in a retracted story about a supposed investigation into a pre-inaugural meeting between an associate of President Donald Trump and the head of a Russian investment fund. The story was posted on the network's website on Thursday and was removed, with all links disabled, Friday night. CNN immediately apologized to Anthony Scaramucci, the Trump transition team member who was reported to be involved in the meeting. The story had been quickly questioned both internally and externally, including by the conservative site Breitbart News. It was determined that the story was posted without going through the expected checks and balances for a story of such sensitivity, the executive said. The failure to follow proper procedures is what led to the resignations, the CNN executive said. It's not immediately clear what in the story is factually incorrect, or whether CNN will continue to report on the issue. The retracted story had said the Senate investigations committee was looking into a January 16 discussion between Scaramucci and Kirill Dmitriev, whose Russian Direct Investment Fund guides investments by U.S. entities in Russia. Scaramucci, in the story, said he exchanged pleasantries in a restaurant with Dmitriev. The report also said that two Democratic senators wanted to know whether Scaramucci had indicated in the meeting whether sanctions against Russia would be lifted, a decision that could impact the investment fund.

Note: CNN supervising producer John Bonifield was recently caught on camera admitting that CNN's Russia narrative is unsupported by proof but good for ratings. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing media corruption news articles from reliable sources.


Mexican journalists, activists targeted with spyware
2017-06-19, ABC News/Associated Press
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/report-mexican-journalists-activis...

Mexican journalists, lawyers and activists were targeted by spyware produced by Israel’s NSO Group that is sold exclusively to governments. [A] report by Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto said the targets included people, such as prominent journalists Carmen Aristegui and Carlos Loret de Mola, who were investigating alleged government corruption and purported human rights abuses by security forces. The people targeted received messages with links that, if clicked on, opened up their devices to being exploited and spied upon. NSO’s Pegasus spyware allows hackers access to phone calls, messages, cameras and personal data. Other targets included members of the Centro Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez, a prominent human rights group that has investigated cases such as the disappearance of 43 students whom police allegedly detained and turned over to drug gang killers; the anti-graft group Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity; and the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness, a civil society group working on economic policy and combatting corruption. Aristegui, who exposed a case of possible conflict of interest involving a luxury home acquired from a government contractor ... was aggressively targeted. She received more than two-dozen messages with NSO links claiming to be from “the U.S. Embassy in Mexico, Amber Alerts, colleagues, people in her personal life, her bank, phone company and notifications of kidnappings,” the report said.

Note: If the above link is not working, this Associated Press article is also available here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and the erosion of civil liberties.


Television reporters told to stop recording in Senate hallways, prompting outcry
2017-06-13, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/television-reporters-told-to-stop-fi...

Television reporters covering the Capitol were told midday Tuesday to stop recording interviews in Senate hallways, a dramatic and unexplained break with tradition that was soon reversed amid a wide rebuke from journalists, Democratic lawmakers and free-speech advocates. The episode heightened concerns about reporters’ access to Washington leaders in an era when hostility toward the political media has increasingly become the norm. For some, the move to protect senators from impromptu on-camera interviews fell into a wider Trump-era pattern of efforts to roll back press freedoms, whether by barring reporters from interviewing officials or denying them access to briefings, trips and events. “These are actions that are without precedent in the history of the White House and Congress,” said Ben Wizner, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union and director of the group’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project. “Even if some of the violations are of norms rather than rights, the effect is to make the government less transparent at precisely the moment when congressional oversight has been at its weakest,” Wizner said.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about government corruption and mass media.


Upworthy’s Quest to Engineer Optimism for an Anxious Age
2017-05-01, Wired
https://www.wired.com/2017/05/upworthys-quest-engineer-optimism-anxious-age/

The world finds itself in an age saturated with anxiety - at least, that’s the sense created by the daily deluge of news portraying a grim present of economic hardship, global tensions, terrorism, and political upheaval. The five-year-old site Upworthy doesn’t want you to see the world that way. In March of 2012, Eli Pariser - one of the leaders of the activist group MoveOn - and Peter Koechley - also of MoveOn and an editor at The Onion - launched Upworthy with several million dollars of seed money and a surfeit of hope. It was and is a bold attempt at reframing what constitutes news. Fear and anger are the currency of the media realm. Upworthy seeks to upend that formula and focus instead not on what is going wrong but on what might go right. Upworthy ... insists that stories “can make the world a better place” and engage people in a way that makes them want to do something instead of tuning out. On the numbers, Upworthy has 11 million subscribers, 20 million unique visitors to its website, and more important, substantial community engagement through its main distribution platform, Facebook. For those of you who think Upworthy has faded, Facebook’s own research ... demonstrates that the site and its stories have some of the highest community engagement of any Facebook page, behind Fox News but ahead of CNN. The site’s audience is surprisingly diverse in terms of politics and geography. Its experiment seems to be more one of tone: positive encouragement rather than inflammatory antagonism.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Aircraft Carrier Wasn’t Sailing to Deter North Korea, as U.S. Suggested
2017-04-18, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/18/world/asia/aircraft-carrier-north-korea-ca...

Just over a week ago, the White House declared that ordering an American aircraft carrier into the Sea of Japan would send a powerful deterrent signal to North Korea and give President Trump more options in responding to the North’s provocative behavior. “We’re sending an armada,” Mr. Trump said to Fox News last Tuesday afternoon. The problem was that the carrier, the Carl Vinson, and the three other warships in its strike force were that very moment sailing in the opposite direction, to take part in joint exercises with the Australian Navy ... 3,500 miles southwest of the Korean Peninsula. White House officials said Tuesday that they had been relying on guidance from the Defense Department. Officials there described a glitch-ridden sequence of events ... which perpetuated the false narrative that a flotilla was racing toward the waters off North Korea. By the time the White House was asked about the Carl Vinson, its imminent arrival had been emblazoned on front pages across East Asia, fanning fears that Mr. Trump was considering a pre-emptive military strike. In South Korea ... fears of a full-blown war erupted. The government rushed to reassure the public that the Carl Vinson was coming only to deter North Korean provocations. After a week of war drums, fueled by the reports of the oncoming armada, tensions subsided when the weekend passed with only a military parade in Pyongyang and a failed missile test, [while] the Carl Vinson ... was thousands of miles from where most of the world thought it was.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the manipulation of mass media.


MIT expert claims latest chemical weapons attack in Syria was staged
2017-04-18, International Business Times
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/mit-expert-claims-latest-chemical-weapons-attack-syr...

A leading weapons academic has claimed that the Khan Sheikhoun nerve agent attack in Syria was staged. Theodore Postol, a [former scientific advisor at the Department of Defense (DoD)], issued a series of three reports in response to the White House's finding that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad perpetrated the attack on 4 April. Postol said: "I have reviewed the [White House's] document carefully, and [it] does not provide any evidence whatsoever that the US government has concrete knowledge that the government of Syria was the source of the chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun, Syria. "In fact, a main piece of evidence that is cited in the document point to an attack that was executed by individuals on the ground, not from an aircraft, on the morning of 4 April. "My own assessment is that the source [of the sarin release] was very likely tampered with or staged, so no serious conclusion could be made from the photographs cited by the White House." The image Postol refers to is that of a crater containing a shell inside, which is said to have contained the sarin gas. His analysis of the shell suggests that it could not have been dropped from an airplane as the damage of the casing is inconsistent from an aerial explosion. Instead, Postol said it was more likely that an explosive charge was laid upon the shell containing sarin, before being detonated. The implication of Postol's analysis is that [the attack] was carried out by anti-government insurgents as Khan Sheikhoun is in militant-controlled territory of Syria.

Note: See an excellent list of 10 points with strong evidence Assad was not behind the chemical attacks the media has pinned on him. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the manipulation of mass media.


The Bernie Sanders Show is interactive TV talk for the era of Facebook activism
2017-04-11, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/apr/11/the-bernie-sanders-tv-talk-in...

There have been four episodes of The Bernie Sanders Show so far, with the most popular seeing Sanders and his guest, Bill Nye, seated on stylish red armchairs. Sanders has decided to bypass traditional media and broadcast exclusively on Facebook. And it is attracting ... a huge audience. The first episode of the show featured the Rev William Barber, a protestant minister and activist who is a national board member of the NAACP. The conversation ... focussed on grassroots mobilizing, and has been viewed more than 950,000 times. Sanders himself is the brains behind much of the output. “Our goal – and this is all coming from the senator – is to find new ways to move outside the bubble of DC,” [Sanders’ deputy communications director] Miller-Lewis said. The scope of Sanders’ Facebook audience became clear after he used the platform to give a response to Trump’s state of the union speech in February. The video has 8.3m views, and ... 80,000 people watched it live. “We were essentially reaching as many people as we could if he went on cable news after the address,” Miller-Lewis said. “But instead he was able to give a 15-minute speech about whatever he wanted. He didn’t have to deal with the questions that they were going to ask or the things the anchors on CNN thought were important.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and mass media.


What is "brain hacking"? Tech insiders on why you should care
2017-04-09, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/brain-hacking-tech-insiders-60-minutes/

The companies responsible for programming your phones are working hard to get you and your family to feel the need to check in constantly. Some programmers call it “brain hacking” and the tech world would probably prefer you didn’t hear about it. Ramsay Brown studied neuroscience before co-founding Dopamine Labs. The company is named after the dopamine molecule in our brains that aids in the creation of desire and pleasure. Brown and his colleagues write computer code for apps ... designed to provoke a neurological response. The computer code he creates finds the best moment to give you ... rewards, which have no actual value, but Brown says trigger your brain to make you want more. When Brown says “experiments,” he’s talking generally about the millions of computer calculations being used every moment by his company and others use to constantly tweak your online experience. "You’re part of a controlled set of experiments that are happening in real time across you and millions of other people," [said Brown]. "You’re guinea pigs ... pushing the button and sometimes getting the likes. And they’re doing this to keep you in there. You don’t pay for Facebook. Advertisers pay for Facebook. You get to use it for free because your eyeballs are what’s being sold there." While Brown is tapping into the power of dopamine, psychologist Larry Rosen and his team at California State University ... are researching the effect technology has on our anxiety levels. Their research suggests our phones are keeping us in a continual state of anxiety in which the only antidote – is the phone.

Note: This new form of "brain hacking" adds to a vast arsenal of behavior modification technologies developed by government and industry. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on mind control and the disappearance of privacy.


The real shocker in the WikiLeaks scoop
2017-03-14, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-real-shocker-in-the-wikileaks-sco...

WikiLeaks leader Julian Assange’s revelation last week of the CIA’s arsenal of hacking tools had a misplaced tone of surprise. Some scary initial stories argued that the CIA could crack Signal and WhatsApp phone encryption, not to mention your toaster and television. But ... the hardest question here is whether the CIA and other government agencies have a responsibility to disclose to software vendors the holes they discover in computer code, so they can be fixed quickly. This may sound like a no-brainer. The problem is that there’s a global market for “zero-day” exploits (ones that are unknown on the day they’re used). U.S. intelligence agencies buy some of these exploits; so do other countries’ spy services, criminal gangs and the software vendors themselves. A recent report by the Rand Corp. [calculated that] there are about two dozen companies selling or renting exploits to the United States and its allies, with many of these contractors making between $1 million and $2.5 million annually. More than 200 zero-day exploits studied by Rand went undetected for an average of 6.9 years. Given this evidence, Rand argued, “some may conclude that stockpiling zero-days may be a reasonable option” to combat potential adversaries. But let’s be honest: The real shocker in the WikiLeaks scoop is the demonstration ... that the U.S. government can’t keep secrets. It makes little sense for the CIA to argue against disclosing its cyber-tricks to computer companies if this valuable information is going to get leaked ... anyway.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


As many as 48 million Twitter accounts aren't people, says study
2017-03-10, CNBC News
https://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/10/nearly-48-million-twitter-accounts-could-be-b...

According to new research from the University of Southern California and Indiana University, up to 15 percent of Twitter accounts are in fact bots rather than people. Researchers at USC used more than one thousand features to identify bot accounts on Twitter, in categories including friends, tweet content and sentiment, and time between tweets. Using that framework, researchers wrote that "our estimates suggest that between 9% and 15% of active Twitter accounts are bots." Since Twitter currently has 319 million monthly active users, that translates to nearly 48 million bot accounts, using USC's high-end estimate. The report goes on to say that complex bots could have shown up as humans in their model, "making even the 15% figure a conservative estimate." At 15 percent, the evaluation is far greater than Twitter's own estimates. In a filing with the SEC last month, Twitter said that up to 8.5 percent of all active accounts contacted Twitter's servers "…without any discernable additional user-initiated action." USC's researchers ... highlight the benefits of some bots, writing, "many social bots perform useful functions, such as dissemination of news and publications…" But the USC report also points to the downside of bots, saying, "there is a growing record of malicious applications of social bots. Some emulate human behavior to manufacture fake grassroots political support [and] promote terrorist propaganda and recruitment."

Note: The use of social media to manipulate public perception has reportedly influenced recent elections in Latin America, the UK, and the US. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Facebook Reports BBC to Police Over Investigation Into Child Sex Images
2017-03-09, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/09/business/media/bbc-facebook-police-sex-chi...

When Angus Crawford, a journalist at the British Broadcasting Corporation, started reporting on sexualized images of children on Facebook, he knew he had to proceed with caution. Mr. Crawford ... began investigating the presence of obscene images of children on Facebook last year, [and] found that pedophiles were using secret pages to share images of children. A subsequent police investigation led to one man being imprisoned. This year, [Mr. Crawford] followed up and found that there were still images on the website that appeared to break Facebook guidelines, which state that the social media company will remove any content that promotes sexual violence or exploitation. Mr. Crawford reported the images using Facebook’s internal system, but the company took down only 18 of the 100 that he flagged. He then contacted the social network directly ... and was asked to provide examples of images that he had reported. When he provided examples ... the company reported Mr. Crawford and the BBC to the police. The company filed its report with the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Center. Facebook has said it is improving its system for reporting offensive content, but the incident has raised questions about exactly how it polices its site. Mr. Crawford ... noted an apparent contradiction between the view of Facebook’s moderation system, which determined that the photos were not in breach of the social network’s guidelines, and the company’s decision to report the BBC to the police.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.


Facebook’s fake news tag is here. Who is charged with flagging hoaxes?
2017-03-06, Christian Science Monitor
http://www.csmonitor.com/Technology/2017/0306/Facebook-s-fake-news-tag-is-her...

Facebook unveiled its highly anticipated “disputed news” tag Friday, allowing some users to flag stories that appear to contain false information, alerting readers and potentially making them less likely to click through to the content. In December, the company announced it would unveil a fact-checking feature that allows users to dispute material they believe is false. The system relies on users who qualify as fact-checkers after signing onto a list of principles codified by the journalism nonprofit Poytner. These users can flag single stories, rather than entire sources, as fraudulent. Links to vetted debunkers, such as Politifact and Snopes, that analyze claims and arrive at conclusions regarding their validity then appear beneath the post. So users can still see and access flagged stories shared by their friends, but they will get a warning before clicking through. According to Gizmodo, two stories flagged as “disputed” by the social media site Friday seemed to follow a pattern: Both made critical statements about the Trump administration and came from sources that had previously admitted to publishing fake stories. It’s unclear how many fake stories the system will be able to identify, or how many others will trust it. The divisive political climate ... likely won’t be fixed simply by placing an asterisk on some coverage. “The problem is that we are too credulous of news that reinforces our predispositions and too critical of sites that contradict them,” Brendan Nyhan, a political scientist at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., told the Monitor.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing media corruption news articles from reliable sources.


Robert Mercer: the big data billionaire waging war on mainstream media
2017-02-26, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/feb/26/robert-mercer-breitbart-war-...

I Googled “mainstream media is…” And there it was. Google’s autocomplete suggestions: “mainstream media is… dead, dying, fake news, fake, finished”. Google’s first suggested link ... leads to a website called CNSnews.com and an article: “The Mainstream media are dead.” How had it, an obscure site I’d never heard of, dominated Google’s search algorithm on the topic? In the “About us” tab, I learn CNSnews is owned by the Media Research Center. It receives a large bulk of its funding – more than $10m in the past decade – from a single source, the hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer. Robert Mercer is the money behind an awful lot of things. He was Trump’s single biggest donor. Since 2010, Mercer has donated $45m to different political campaigns – all Republican – and another $50m to non-profits – all rightwing, ultra-conservative. This is a billionaire who is ... trying to reshape the world according to his personal beliefs. He is reported to have a $10m stake in the [Cambridge Analytica], which was spun out of a bigger British company called SCL Group. It specialises in “election management strategies” and “messaging and information operations”, refined over 25 years. In military circles this is known as “psyops” – psychological operations. Cambridge Analytica makes the astonishing boast that it has psychological profiles based on 5,000 separate pieces of data on 220 million American voters. With this, a computer ... can predict and potentially control human behaviour. It’s incredibly dangerous.

Note: The above article provides a detailed look at how mass media is being combined with Big Data to produce powerful new forms of mind control.


Reporters' Spy Saga Gives Glimpse of UK Surveillance Culture
2017-02-01, ABC News/Associated Press
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/reporters-spy-saga-glimpse-uk-surv...

British journalist Julia Breen's scoop about racism at her local police force didn't just get her on the front page, it got her put under surveillance. Investigators logged her calls, those of her colleague Graeme Hetherington and even their modest-sized newspaper's busy switchboard in an effort to unmask their sources. The [Northern Echo newspaper] has often provided painful reading for Cleveland Police, a department responsible for a Chicago-sized patch of England's industrial northeast. The small force has weathered a series of scandals. A minority officer, Sultan Alam, was awarded 800,000 pounds ... after allegedly being framed by colleagues in retaliation for a discrimination lawsuit. The judgment made national headlines. Cleveland Police issued a statement insisting the force wasn't racist. The next day, an anonymous caller told Breen an internal police report suggested otherwise. The following morning her byline was across the front page beneath the words: "Institutional racism uncovered within Cleveland Police." Breen ... eventually forgot the episode. Cleveland Police didn't. The force secretly began logging calls to and from Breen, Hetherington and a third journalist from another newspaper. It was later calculated that the surveillance covered over 1 million minutes of calling time. The Echo isn't unique. Britain's wiretapping watchdog ... revealed in 2015 that 82 journalists' communications records had been seized as part of leak investigations across the country over a three-year period.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about police corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


Four more journalists get felony charges after covering inauguration unrest
2017-01-24, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/jan/24/journalists-charged-felonies-tr...

Four more journalists have been charged with felonies after being arrested while covering the unrest around Donald Trump’s inauguration, meaning that at least six media workers are facing up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine if convicted. A documentary producer, a photojournalist, a live-streamer and a freelance reporter were each charged with the most serious level of offense under Washington DC’s law against rioting, after being caught up in the police action against demonstrators. The Guardian learned of their arrests after reporting on Monday that the journalists Evan Engel of Vocativ and Alex Rubinstein of RT America had also been arrested and charged with felonies while covering the same unrest. All six were arraigned in superior court on Saturday and released to await further hearings. “These charges are clearly inappropriate, and we are concerned that they could send a chilling message to journalists covering future protests,” said Carlos Lauría, the [Committee to Protect Journalists'] senior Americas program coordinator. The National Lawyers’ Guild accused Washington DC’s metropolitan police department of having “indiscriminately targeted people for arrest en masse based on location alone” and said they unlawfully used teargas and other weapons. None of the arrest reports for the six journalists makes any specific allegations about what any of them are supposed to have done wrong.

Note: These outrageous charges come on the heels of similar tactics being used to silence reporters covering last October's Dakota Access Pipeline protests. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.


CBS Affiliate Reignites Debunked Pizzagate Conspiracy Theory
2017-01-20, Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/cbs-pizzagate-conspiracy_us_58803dfde4b00...

Pizzagate was the false claim that the Comet Ping Pong pizza place in Washington D.C. was at the center of a pedophilia ring linked to the Hillary Clinton campaign. But on Tuesday night, Meredith-owned CBS46 ran a report full of recycled Internet rumors about the restaurant. Reporter Ben Swann cited the WikiLeaks release of hacked emails from Clinton campaign chief John Podesta heavily throughout his segment. “In all, WikiLeaks dumped around 50,000 email messages, and it was from those emails that the claims that John Podesta may be part of a child sex-trafficking ring come from,” Swann said. However, moments later he added: “To be clear, not one single email in the Podesta emails discusses child sex trafficking or pedophilia.” Swann claimed “strangely worded emails” could be “code language used by pedophiles,” and repeated much of the conspiracy theories featured by conservative radio host Alex Jones and various online forums. “For all that is here, there has not been one single public investigation of any of this,” Swann said. “Not from local police, not from the FBI, no one. And that has to be the big question.” Swann’s boss defended his latest report. “I know he was meticulous with his search for facts,” CBS46 news director Frank Volpicella told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Note: Ben Swann was removed from the show shortly after this report, and his social media accounts went strangely silent. Watch his controversial Pizzagate report on this webpage. The media has slammed Pizzagate as fake news, yet if you look without bias, there is tremendous solid evidence suggesting something very fishy is going on. See this webpage for lots more.


From Headline to Photograph, a Fake News Masterpiece
2017-01-18, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/18/us/fake-news-hillary-clinton-cameron-harri...

[Cameron] Harris started by crafting the headline: “BREAKING: ‘Tens of thousands’ of fraudulent Clinton votes found in Ohio warehouse.” In a raucous election year defined by made-up stories, Mr. Harris ... and his ersatz-news website, ChristianTimesNewspaper.com, make for an illuminating tale. Contacted by a reporter who had discovered an electronic clue that revealed his secret authorship of ChristianTimesNewspaper.com, he was wary at first. “This topic is rather sensitive,” Mr. Harris said, noting that he was trying to build a political consulting business. But eventually he agreed to tell the story of his foray into fake news, a very part-time gig that ... paid him about $1,000 an hour in web advertising revenue. He seemed to regard his experience with a combination of guilt about having spread falsehoods and pride at doing it so skillfully. He pushed the button and the story was launched on Sept. 30, blazing across the web like some kind of counterfeit comet. “Even before I posted it, I knew it would take off,” Mr. Harris recalled. He was correct. The ballot box story, promoted by a half-dozen Facebook pages Mr. Harris had created for the purpose, flew around the web, fueled by indignant comments from people who were certain that Mrs. Clinton was going to cheat Mr. Trump of victory and who welcomed the proof. It was eventually shared with six million people. The money, not the politics, was the point, he insisted. Mr. Harris said he would have been willing to promote Mrs. Clinton and smear Mr. Trump had those tactics been lucrative.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on elections corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


Reality Check: Is 'Pizzagate' Fake News? [See important note]
2017-01-17, CBS News (Atlanta affiliate)
http://www.cbs46.com/category/306621/reality-check-with-ben-swann

Important Note: WantToKnow.info manager Fred Burks watched the CBS news video at the link above one day after it was posted. Two days later, Fred clicked on the same link only to find the video there had been replaced with one titled "Why Reports on Trump Are Fake News." The original video was gone. This is unprecedented and suggests someone did not want you to see this video. Fred managed to download the video before it disappeared. You can watch it now on this webpage.

What exactly is Pizzagate? [It began with] the WikiLeaks release of hacked emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. [Some emails suggest] Podesta may be part of a child sex trafficking ring. Podesta talks about his close relationship with Dennis Hastert, the former Speaker of the House who was recently sentenced to 15 months in prison for abusing boys. To be clear, not one single email … discusses child sex trafficking. But there are dozens of ... strangely worded emails dealing with pizza. Those words [may be] code language used by pedophiles. Comet Ping Pong Pizza [is referenced] at least a dozen or so times. The owner of that place, James Alefantis, is a friend of John Podesta. He was actually named ... by GQ magazine as one of the top 50 most powerful people in Washington. Comet Ping Pong ... is a place where a number of performance artists perform [including] a group called Heavy Breathing and another called Sex Stains. Heavy Breathing has songs that do joke about pedophilia. [Alefantis] has made his Instagram profile private, but an archive search of Instagram reveals a number of strange photographs and words with ... disturbing images. According to the Washington Post, visitors to [John's brother] Tony Podesta's home in Falls Church "got an eye full when they walked into a bedroom ... hung with multiple color pictures by Katy Grannan, a photographer known for documentary style pictures of naked teenagers in their parents’ suburban homes." That just begins to scratch the surface of how strange some of the stuff is.

Note: Explore the retrieved Instagram account of James Alefantis and you will understand why this is so important. Read what may be the most level-headed exploration of Pizzagate. For undeniable evidence of powerful child prostitution rings leading to the highest levels of government, watch the suppressed Discovery Channel documentary "Conspiracy of Silence." An excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" also covers a pedophile ring in the UK which leads to the highest levels of government. See also news articles on sex abuse scandals.


The Deep State Goes to War With President-Elect Using Unverified Claims
2017-01-11, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2017/01/11/the-deep-state-goes-to-war-with-president...

For months, the CIA, with unprecedented clarity, overtly threw its weight behind Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. In August, former acting CIA Director Michael Morell announced his endorsement of Clinton in the New York Times and claimed that “Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.” The CIA and NSA director under George W. Bush, Gen. Michael Hayden, also endorsed Clinton and went to the Washington Post to warn, in the week before the election, that “Donald Trump really does sound a lot like Vladimir Putin.” It is not hard to understand why the CIA preferred Clinton over Trump. Clinton was critical of Obama for restraining the CIA’s proxy war in Syria and was eager to expand that war. Clinton clearly wanted a harder line than Obama took against the CIA’s long-standing foes in Moscow. In general, Clinton defended and intended to extend the decadeslong international military order on which the CIA and Pentagon’s preeminence depends, while Trump - through a still-uncertain mix of instability and extremist conviction - posed a threat to it. The claims about Russia’s interference in U.S. elections and ties to Trump should be fully investigated. But until then, assertions that are unaccompanied by evidence and disseminated anonymously should be treated with the utmost skepticism. Venerating the intelligence community ... and equating its dark and dirty assertions [with] Truth ... cannot possibly achieve any good and is already doing much harm.

Note: For an important viewpoint on the real complexities going on with recent reporting on Trump links to Russia, CIA involvement in Syria, and media manipulations, don't miss the above provocative article by Glenn Greenwald and this interview he gave to Fox News.


Wielding Claims of ‘Fake News,’ Conservatives Take Aim at Mainstream Media
2016-12-25, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/25/us/politics/fake-news-claims-conservatives-...

The C.I.A., the F.B.I. and the White House may all agree that Russia was behind the hacking that interfered with the election. But that was of no import to the website Breitbart News, which dismissed reports on the intelligence assessment as “left-wing fake news.” Until now, that term had been widely understood to refer to fabricated news accounts that are meant to spread virally online. But conservative cable and radio personalities ... have appropriated the term and turned it against any news they see as hostile to their agenda. In defining “fake news” so broadly and seeking to dilute its meaning, they are capitalizing on the declining credibility of all purveyors of information. Journalists who work to separate fact from fiction see a dangerous conflation of stories that turn out to be wrong because of a legitimate misunderstanding with those whose clear intention is to deceive. A report, shared more than a million times on social media, that the pope had endorsed Mr. Trump was undeniably false. But was it “fake news” to report on data models that showed Hillary Clinton with overwhelming odds of winning the presidency? Are opinion articles fake if they cherry-pick facts to draw disputable conclusions? “Fake news was a term specifically about people who purposely fabricated stories for clicks and revenue,” said David Mikkelson, the founder of Snopes, the myth-busting website. “Now it includes bad reporting, slanted journalism and outright propaganda. And I think we’re doing a disservice to lump all those things together.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing media corruption news articles from reliable sources.


The Daily Mail Snopes Story And Fact Checking The Fact Checkers
2016-12-22, Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/kalevleetaru/2016/12/22/the-daily-mail-snopes-st...

Yesterday afternoon a colleague forwarded me an article from the Daily Mail, asking me if it could possibly be true. The article in question is an expose on Snopes.com, the fact checking site used by journalists ... that Facebook recently partnered with to fact check news stories on its platform. The Daily Mail’s article makes a number of claims about the site’s principles and organization, [and questions] whether the site could possibly act as a trusted and neutral arbitrator of the “truth.” The Daily Mail appeared to be sourcing its claims from a series of emails and other documents from a court case. Neither Snopes nor its principles had issued any kind of statement ... disclaiming the story. When I reached out to David Mikkelson, the founder of Snopes, for comment, I fully expected him to respond with a lengthy email in Snopes’ trademark point-by-point format. It was with incredible surprise therefore that I received David’s one-sentence response which read in its entirety “I'd be happy to speak with you, but I can only address some aspects in general because I'm precluded by the terms of a binding settlement agreement from discussing details of my divorce.” This absolutely astounded me. Here was the one of the world’s most respected fact checking organizations, soon to be an ultimate arbitrator of “truth” on Facebook, saying that it cannot respond to a fact checking request because of a secrecy agreement. In short, when someone attempted to fact check the fact checker, the response was the equivalent of “it's secret.”

Note: For lots more on this, see this webpage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


From Many Corners, Journalism Seeking Solutions
2016-12-13, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/13/opinion/from-many-corners-journalism-seeki...

If you follow the news regularly - even if the stories you see are factual - youre likely to overestimate the amount of violence in the world, underrate the performance of the government, and develop an unduly low opinion of the average American. For every problem you see reported in the news, there are almost always people responding - and some are doing pretty smart things. One encouraging pattern visible across the country is a gradual shift from reflexive punishment, which is usually counterproductive ... to harm reduction and treatment. This theme is explored in Chasing Heroin, a two-hour PBS Frontline documentary ... which illuminates the countrys heroin crisis. The film explains the public policies that shaped the crisis and reports on some alternatives to punishment, including drug courts, and a promising initiative in Seattle, Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, which ... has been shown to markedly reduce criminality among addicts. The shift away from punishment can also be seen in schools, as they reduce the use of suspensions as the go-to discipline option, and turn to restorative justice practices, which have been shown to improve school cultures and improve graduation rates. The shift from punishment to treatment is supported by emerging insights from psychology, neuroscience and epigenetics. The Crisis Within, a four-part series ... explain how such toxic stress harms children, and explore ways that parents, educators and others can protect them.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


CIA concludes Russia interfered to help Trump win election, say reports
2016-12-10, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/10/cia-concludes-russia-interfer...

US intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia interfered in last month’s presidential election. Officials ... were told that intelligence agencies had found that individuals linked to the Russian government had provided WikiLeaks with thousands of confidential emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and others. The emails were steadily leaked via WikiLeaks ... revealing that DNC figures had colluded to harm the chances of [Clinton’s] nomination rival Bernie Sanders, and later giving examples of collusion between her campaign and figures in the media to blindside Trump in debates. The Kremlin has rejected the hacking accusations. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has previously said the DNC leaks were not linked to Russia. A ... senior official cited by the Washington Post conceded that intelligence agencies did not have specific proof that the Kremlin was “directing” the hackers. Craig Murray, the former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, who is a close associate of Assange, [said of] the CIA claims: “They are absolutely making it up ... I know who leaked them. “They are certainly not Russian and it’s an insider. It’s a leak, not a hack; the two are different things. “If ... the CIA’s statement refers to people who are known to be linked to the Russian state, they would have arrested someone. America has not been shy about arresting whistleblowers and it’s not been shy about extraditing hackers. They plainly have no knowledge whatsoever.”

Note: The Guardian newspaper's website removed all front page links to the above article just three hours after it was published. In its place, the Guardian ran a new article that was entirely supportive of what Wikileaks affiliate Craig Murray calls "the CIA’s blatant lie" about the leaked DNC emails. A short essay by WantToKnow.info team member Mark Bailey explores this apparent media manipulation.


What’s real? It’s getting harder to tell
2016-12-03, USA Today (Milwaukee, Wisconsin affiliate)
http://www.jsonline.com/story/opinion/crossroads/2016/12/03/thieme-real-getti...

A web of truthiness, post-truths and half-truths is replacing a once-shared goal of knowing the actual truth. Ever since Eddie Bernays changed his occupation from “advertising man” to “public relations expert” a century ago, the distortion and manipulation of the truth through covert campaigns has been a mainstay of public life. We make light of it by calling it “spin” instead of covert information warfare, but covert warfare it is, and the prize is the capture of friends and enemies alike in webs of disinformation. Words - stories, narratives - have been weaponized and collateral damage is extensive. The Russians excelled in the use of stolen material ... to affect the recent campaign. They have done the same with neighbor countries to undermine clarity about their intentions and actions. There is a NATO group, for example, that does nothing but peruse Russian propaganda to understand it, but it was discovered that ... they unconsciously absorbed false material as if it was true, because that’s what the mind does, it treats data as data, even when it knows the data is a fiction. So the NATO group has to be debriefed in order to recalibrate their maps of the real to ... well, to the real. But who debriefs the debriefers? Who debriefs us? The inability to discriminate between plausible and crazy plus the impossibility of knowing what’s real in this perpetual fog of information warfare causes anxiety and fear, which people counter with narratives to comfort the afflicted soul. Then it’s called “truth.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


This is why everything you’ve read about the wars in Syria and Iraq could be wrong
2016-12-02, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/syria-aleppo-iraq-mosul-isis-middle-east-...

The Iraqi army, backed by US-led airstrikes, is trying to capture east Mosul at the same time as the Syrian army and its Shia paramilitary allies are fighting their way into east Aleppo. An estimated 300 civilians have been killed in Aleppo by government artillery and bombing in the last fortnight, and in Mosul there are reportedly some 600 civilian dead over a month. Despite these similarities, the reporting by the international media of these two sieges is radically different. In Mosul, civilian loss of life is blamed on Isis, with its indiscriminate use of mortars and suicide bombers, while the Iraqi army and their air support are largely given a free pass. Contrast this with Western media descriptions of the inhuman savagery of President Assad’s forces indiscriminately slaughtering civilians. One factor making the sieges of east Aleppo and east Mosul so similar, and different, from past sieges in the Middle East ... is that there are no independent foreign journalists present. They are not there for the very good reason that Isis imprisons and beheads foreigners while Jabhat al-Nusra, until recently the al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, is only a shade less bloodthirsty. Unsurprisingly, foreign journalists covering developments in east Aleppo and rebel-held areas of Syria overwhelmingly do so from Lebanon or Turkey. But, strangely enough, the same media organisations continue to put their trust in the veracity of information coming out of areas under the control of these same potential kidnappers and hostage takers.

Note: Read more on the media bias in news coverage of these wars in this article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war and the manipulation of public perception.


Where’s the proof?
2016-12-01, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/letterstoeditor/article/Letter-to-the-Edit...

In your Monday editorial, “Russia’s roulette,” you mentioned the “alarming evidence” of my government’s alleged involvement in the U.S. presidential elections. I do believe that it’s just nonsense, but if you insist that it’s true, then it would be interesting and necessary to see the evidence. I am sure that your respected newspaper meticulously worked through all the proofs before publishing the above-mentioned editorial. Unfortunately, nobody, including my government, despite numerous official requests, has never been presented with the onus probandi. The latter will not come from just repeating the unsubstantiated accusations over and over again or referring to unknown “independent researchers.” As far as I know, (National Security Agency Director) Adm. Michael Rogers in his recent interview with Wall Street Journal has never mentioned RUSSIA, while the official statement of Oct. 7 that has been repeatedly referred to, has never INDICTED Russia (“believing” and even being “confident” is something very different). Without evidence, in every state of law, with the United States being one of them, the principle of the presumption of innocence prevails. And accusations remain pure speculation. In this case, ill-intentioned.

Note: The above was written by Maxim Goncharov, a press attaché with the Russian Consulate in San Francisco. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Elections Information Center.


Washington Post Disgracefully Promotes a McCarthyite Blacklist From a New, Hidden, and Very Shady Group
2016-11-26, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2016/11/26/washington-post-disgracefully-promotes-a-...

The Washington Post on Thursday night promoted the claims of a new, shadowy organization that smears dozens of U.S. news sites that are critical of U.S. foreign policy as being “routine peddlers of Russian propaganda.” The article ... cites a report by an anonymous website calling itself PropOrNot, which claims that millions of Americans have been deceived this year in a massive Russian “misinformation campaign.” The group’s list of Russian disinformation outlets includes WikiLeaks and the Drudge Report, as well as Clinton-critical left-wing websites such as Truthout, Black Agenda Report, Truthdig, and Naked Capitalism, as well as libertarian venues such as Antiwar.com and the Ron Paul Institute. This Post report was [hailed] as an earth-shattering exposé. The individuals behind [PropOrNot] are publicly branding journalists and news outlets as tools of Russian propaganda - even calling on the FBI to investigate them for espionage - while cowardly hiding their own identities. The group promoted by the Post thus embodies the toxic essence of Joseph McCarthy, but without the courage to attach individual names to the blacklist. Echoing the Wisconsin senator, the group refers to its lengthy collection of sites spouting Russian propaganda as “The List.” The group eschews alternative media outlets ... and instead recommends that readers rely solely on establishment-friendly publications. That is because a big part of the group’s definition for “Russian propaganda outlet” is criticizing U.S. foreign policy.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


How the Anthony Weiner sexting scandal hit the Hillary Clinton campaign in bombshell 'October surprise'
2016-10-29, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/10/28/how-the-anthony-weiner-sexting-sca...

One of Hillary Clinton’s closest aides is at the centre of the new FBI investigation into the Democrat candidate's emails after it emerged the evidence was discovered during an investigation into her husband. Anthony Weiner is being investigated over allegations that he sent sexually explicit text messages to a 15-year-old girl. New York prosecutor [Preet Bharara] issued a subpoena for Mr Weiner's mobile phone and other electronic records after the “sexting” came to light in September. It is believed this sparked the reopening of the closed [Clinton] investigation. Mr Weiner [is] the estranged husband of Huma Abedin, 40, Mrs Clinton’s closest aide. Mrs Clinton thought that the issue of her email server – which has been a millstone round her neck since 2012 – was finally settled, with the FBI deciding in July not to charge her with any criminal offence. Mrs Clinton was supposed to have handed over all evidence relating to her use of a private email server – something she instigated in 2009, when she was appointed secretary of state. The Weiner investigation shows she did not. Critics claim there was a security risk if restricted government business was sent over personal email servers. They also say Clinton could skirt around freedom of information requests and have sole control of what information was handed over to interested parties – such as the congressional committee investigating 2012’s attack on the US consulate in Benghazi.

Note: The use of private servers for sending and receiving sensitive official emails is not unprecedented. Between 2003 and 2009, the George W. Bush White House 'Lost' 22 Million emails, which helped cover up its lies about WMDs in Iraq. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and the manipulation of public perception.


Compare the coverage of Mosul and East Aleppo and it tells you a lot about the propaganda we consume
2016-10-21, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/iraq-syria-aleppo-mosul-patrick-cockburn-...

Two large Sunni Arab urban centres – East Aleppo in Syria and Mosul in Iraq – are being besieged by pro-government forces strongly supported by foreign airpower. Yet the coverage is very different. In Libya ... opposition activists were able to gain control of the media narrative. The overthrow of Gaddafi rapidly reduced Libya to a violent and criminalised anarchy with little likelihood of recovery. In present day Syria and Iraq one can see much the same process at work. In East Aleppo, some 250,000 civilians and 8,000 insurgents, are under attack by the Syrian Army ... supported by the Russian and Syrian air forces. The bombing of East Aleppo has rightly caused worldwide revulsion and condemnation. But look at how differently the international media is treating a similar situation in Mosul, 300 miles east of Aleppo, where one million people and an estimated 5,000 Isis fighters are being encircled by the Iraqi army ... with massive support from a US-led air campaign. In the case of Mosul, unlike Aleppo, the defenders are to blame for endangering civilians by using them as human shields and preventing them leaving. The extreme bias shown in foreign media coverage of similar events in Iraq and Syria will be a rewarding subject for PhDs students looking at the uses and abuses of propaganda down the ages. Nothing much has changed since 2003 when the Iraqi opposition to Saddam Hussein had persuaded foreign governments and media alike that the invading American and British armies would be greeted with rapture by the Iraqi people.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war and the manipulation of public perception.


Documentary film-makers face decades in prison for taping oil pipeline protests
2016-10-20, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/oct/20/north-dakota-oil-pipeline-pro...

Two documentary film-makers are facing decades in prison for recording US oil pipeline protests, with serious felony charges that first amendment advocates say are part of a growing number of attacks on freedom of the press. The controversial prosecutions of Deia Schlosberg and Lindsey Grayzel are moving forward after a judge in North Dakota rejected “riot” charges filed against Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman for her high-profile reporting at the Dakota Access pipeline protests. But authorities in other parts of North Dakota and in Washington state have continued to target other film-makers over their recent reporting on similar demonstrations. Schlosberg, a New York-based film-maker, is facing three felony conspiracy charges for filming protesters on 11 October at a TransCanada Keystone Pipeline site in Pembina County in North Dakota. The 36-year-old ... could face 45 years in prison. In Goodman’s case, a judge forced prosecutors to drop a serious “riot” charge. But prosecutors and sheriff’s officials said they may continue to pursue other charges against the critically acclaimed journalist. In Schlosberg’s charges, North Dakota prosecutors have alleged that she was part of a conspiracy, claiming she traveled with protesters “with the objective of diverting the flow of oil”. “I was surprised at the conspiracy charges. I never thought that would ever happen,” her attorney Robert Woods told the Guardian. “All she was doing was her job of being a journalist and covering the story.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.


North Dakota pipeline: US journalist Amy Goodman faces riot charge
2016-10-17, BBC News
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-37676332

US journalist Amy Goodman is facing charges of participating in a "riot" after filming Native American-led protests over an oil pipeline in North Dakota. The Democracy Now! reporter said she would surrender to authorities on Monday in response to the charge. District Judge John Grinsteiner will decide whether there is sufficient evidence to support the riot charge. Ms Goodman filmed the crackdown on protesters by authorities last month. "I wasn't trespassing, I wasn't engaging in a riot, I was doing my job as a journalist by covering a violent attack on Native American protesters," Ms Goodman said. The charge relates to her Democracy Now! coverage of the protests against the Dakota Access pipeline on 3 September. Earlier this month US actress Shailene Woodley was arrested at a construction site for broadcasting the North Dakota protests on Facebook. The video by the Divergent star was viewed more than 2.4 million times on social media within hours of being posted. The Dakota Access oil pipeline project, which will cross four states, has drawn huge protests. Native Americans have halted its construction in North Dakota, saying it will desecrate sacred land and damage the environment.

Note: A judge later rejected the riot charge for Goodman, but the fact that she was even accused speaks volumes. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.


The US just bombed Yemen, and no one's talking about it
2016-10-15, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/oct/15/us-bombed-yemen-middle-...

A US navy destroyer fired a barrage of cruise missiles at three radar sites controlled by the rebel Houthi movement in Yemen. This attack marked the first time the US has fought the rebels directly in Yemen’s devastating civil war. The Pentagon justified this attack as retaliation. Last week, missiles were fired on two separate occasions at another navy destroyer off of Yemen’s southern coast. Those missiles fell harmlessly into the water, but they were enough of a provocation that the navy responded with its own bombardment. Immediately prior to those incidents, on Saturday 8 October, a 500lb laser-guided US-made bomb was dropped on a funeral procession by the US-sponsored Saudi-led coalition fighting the rebels. This bomb killed more than 140 people, mostly civilians, and wounded more than 525 people. Human Rights Watch called the incident “an apparent war crime”. The US ... has sold the Saudis $110bn worth of arms since President Obama assumed office. The US also supplies the Saudis with necessary intelligence and logistics to prosecute its war. The situation in Yemen is already catastrophic and largely out of view. Since the conflict began 18 months ago, more than 6,800 people have been killed. Both rebels and the regime have committed atrocities, though most of the dead are civilians and most have been killed by Saudi-led airstrikes. Almost 14.4 million people are now “food insecure”, according to the UN’s World Food Program, and 2.8 million people have been displaced.

Note: Read a two-page summary of a highly decorated US general's book which exposes how war is a racket meant to benefit the big bankers and power elite. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


US allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar are funding Isis
2016-10-14, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/hillary-clinton-wikileaks-email-isis-saud...

The furore over the sexual antics of Donald Trump is preventing much attention being given to the latest batch of leaked emails to and from Hillary Clinton. Most fascinating of these is [a] memo, dated 17 August 2014. There is no ambivalence about who is backing Isis. The memo says: “We need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to Isis and other radical groups in the region.” After 9/11, the US refused to confront these traditional Sunni allies and thereby ensured that the “War on Terror” would fail decisively; 15 years later, al-Qaeda in its different guises is much stronger than it used to be because shadowy state sponsors, without whom it could not have survived, were given a free pass. It is not as if Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State ... did not know what was happening. An earlier WikiLeaks release of a State Department cable sent under her name in December 2009 states that “Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaeda, the Taliban, LeT [Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan].” But Saudi complicity with these movements never became a central political issue in the US. Why not? The US did not think it was in its interests to cut its traditional Sunni allies loose and put a great deal of resources into making sure that this did not happen. They brought on side compliant journalists, academics and politicians willing to give overt or covert support to Saudi positions.

Note: Read a two-page summary of a highly decorated US general's book which exposes how war is a racket meant to benefit the big bankers and power elite. Then check out a very well-researched essay describing how the war on terror is a fraud. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


US government spent over $500m on fake Al-Qaeda propaganda videos that tracked location of viewers
2016-10-06, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/us-government-pentagon-fake-al-qaeda-...

A former contractor for a UK-based public relations firm says that the Pentagon paid more than half a billion dollars for the production and dissemination of fake Al-Qaeda videos that portrayed the insurgent group in a negative light. The PR firm, Bell Pottinger, worked alongside top US military officials at Camp Victory in Baghdad at the height of the Iraq War. The agency was tasked with crafting TV segments in the style of unbiased Arabic news reports, videos of Al-Qaeda bombings that appeared to be filmed by insurgents, and anti-insurgent commercials. Those who watched the videos could be tracked by US forces. Bell Pottinger ... could have earned as much as $120m from the US in 2006. Former video editor Martin Wells, who worked on the IOTF contract with Bell Pottinger, said they were given very specific instructions on how to produce the fake Al-Qaeda propaganda films. US Marines would then take CDs containing the videos while on patrol, then plant them at sites during raids. “If they’re raiding a house and they’re going to make a mess of it looking for stuff anyway, they’d just drop an odd CD there,” he said. The CDs were encoded to open the videos on RealPlayer software that connects to the Internet when it runs. It would issue an IP address that could then be tracked by US intelligence. The programmes produced by Bell Pottinger would move up the chain of command ... and could sometimes go as high up as the White House for approval.

Note: Read more about the fake "Al Qaeda" videos produced and distributed for the Pentagon. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


Ads disguised as news: A drug company's stealth marketing campaign exposed
2016-10-05, CBC (Canada's public broadcasting system)
http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/vaginal-atrophy-analysis-1.3786547

It's rare to get a glimpse behind the curtain of pharmaceutical marketing. CBC [has] learned about a stealth marketing campaign involving a drug company, a well-known Canadian comedian, a doctor and a public relations firm. "Cathy Jones of This Hour Has 22 Minutes is on a mission to get women to start talking about female sexual health after menopause - and particularly, their vaginas," wrote PR company GCI Group in a press release, offering to arrange an interview. But nowhere did it say this "mission" was initiated and sponsored by Novo Nordisk Canada Inc., which makes a vaginal hormone pill. Nor did GCI's release specify that Jones was paid to give media interviews about vaginal atrophy. When CBC asked if there was a drug company involved, the PR firm said yes, Novo Nordisk, but that was to be kept secret. "No parties including GCI want any mention of the drug or drug company," CBC was told. "It's an unbranded campaign." In other words, it's marketing that looks like any other lifestyle article in news. This is what it looks like on the Globe and Mail's website. There was originally no mention of Novo Nordisk sponsoring the campaign. Is it OK for a drug company, behind a curtain, to generate news about a condition and then encourage women to see their doctor? "No, it is not OK," says Dr. Jerilynn Prior [with] the University of British Columbia. "It is misrepresenting the marketing purpose behind it." This is a rare public example of something that happens all the time.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about Big Pharma corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


The truth about British army abuses in Iraq must come out
2016-10-03, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/oct/03/british-army-abuses-ira...

In the past few days a number of politicians and former generals have criticised the so-called hounding of British soldiers by what they claim are just money-grabbing lawyers launching ill-founded cases into alleged wartime abuse. Criticising the work of the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (Ihat), Tim Collins, the retired colonel who led British troops in Iraq, said the allegations were being made by “parasitic lawyers”. Theresa May has said she wants to end the “industry” of vexatious claims. And Tony Blair, who launched the military action in Iraq and Afghanistan, said: “I am very sorry that our soldiers and their families have been put through this ordeal.” The reality, of course, is somewhat different. The Ministry of Defence has already paid out Ł20m in compensation to victims of abuse in Iraq. Anyone who has been involved in litigation with the MoD knows that it will pay up only if a case is overwhelming or the ministry wants to cover something up. The complaints before the Ihat are not just from lawyers. They are also from serving and former members of the armed forces with no financial interest in the outcome. Even more disturbing, many of these investigations may lead to the door of the MoD itself. Many of the allegations concern physical, sexual and religious abuse during interrogation. The conduct appears systematic, and ... there were secret detention facilities in the UK area of operations which appear to have bypassed prisoner of war facilities. If this is correct, it is in violation of the Geneva conventions.

Note: The Chilcot inquiry recently concluded that Tony Blair deliberately lied to MPs and the public on Iraq to commit British troops to the US-led invasion in 2003. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about war corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


How the FDA Manipulates the Media
2016-10-01, Scientific American
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-the-fda-manipulates-the-media/

It was a faustian bargain—and it certainly made editors at National Public Radio squirm. The deal was this: NPR, along with a select group of media outlets, would get a briefing about an upcoming announcement by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration a day before anyone else. But in exchange for the scoop, NPR would have to abandon its reportorial independence. The FDA would dictate whom NPR's reporter could and couldn't interview. “My editors are uncomfortable with the condition that we cannot seek reaction,” NPR reporter Rob Stein wrote back to the government officials offering the deal. Stein asked for a little bit of leeway to do some independent reporting but was turned down flat. Take the deal or leave it. NPR took the deal – along with reporters from more than a dozen other top-tier media organizations, including CBS, NBC, CNN, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. This kind of deal offered by the FDA - known as a close-hold embargo - is an increasingly important tool used by scientific and government agencies to control the behavior of the science press. By using close-hold embargoes and other methods, the FDA, like other sources of scientific information, are gaining control of journalists who are supposed to keep an eye on those institutions. The watchdogs are being turned into lapdogs. It is hard to tell when a close-hold embargo is afoot because, by its very nature, it is a secret.

Note: And to see how the media is censored by big money and a corrupt judicial system, watch this incredible video of two crack reporters who had their major investigation into a public health threat shut down. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in science and the manipulation of public perception.


Pentagon Paid for Fake ‘Al Qaeda’ Videos
2016-10-01, The Daily Beast
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/10/01/pentagon-paid-for-fake-al-qa...

The Pentagon gave a controversial U.K. PR firm over half a billion dollars to run a top secret propaganda program in Iraq, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism can reveal. Bell Pottinger’s output included short TV segments made in the style of Arabic news networks and fake insurgent videos which could be used to track the people who watched them, according to a former employee. The agency’s staff worked alongside high-ranking U.S. military officers in their Baghdad Camp Victory headquarters. Bell Pottinger reported to the Pentagon, the CIA, and the National Security Council on its work in Iraq. In the first media interview any Bell Pottinger employee has given about the work for the U.S. military in Iraq, video editor Martin Wells told the Bureau his time in Camp Victory was “shocking, eye-opening, life-changing.” The firm’s output was signed off by former General David Petraeus - then commander of the coalition forces in Iraq - and on occasion by the White House, he said. Bell Pottinger’s work in Iraq was a huge media operation which cost over a hundred million dollars a year on average. The ... most sensitive program described by Wells was the production of fake al Qaeda propaganda films. U.S. marines would take the CDs on patrol and drop them in the chaos when they raided targets. Wells explained how the team embedded a code into the CDs which linked to a Google Analytics account, giving a list of IP addresses where the CDs had been played.

Note: So the Pentagon made propaganda films to recruit for Al Qaeda, bombed a place upsetting the people there, then seeded these films to try to capture anyone who was interested in the propaganda they spread. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about war corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


How the FDA Manipulates the Media
2016-10-01, Scientific American
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-the-fda-manipulates-the-media/

It was a faustian bargain–and it certainly made editors at National Public Radio squirm. The deal was this: NPR, along with a select group of media outlets, would get a briefing about an upcoming announcement by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration a day before anyone else. But in exchange for the scoop, NPR would have to abandon its reportorial independence. The FDA would dictate whom NPR's reporter could and couldn't interview. This kind of deal offered by the FDA - known as a close-hold embargo - is an increasingly important tool used by scientific and government agencies to control the behavior of the science press. We only know about the FDA deal because of a wayward sentence inserted by an editor at the New York Times. But for that breach of secrecy, nobody outside the small clique of government officials and trusted reporters would have known that the journalists covering the agency had given up their right to do independent reporting. The two-tiered system of outsiders and insiders that undergirds the close-hold policy is also still enforced. Major press outlets such as Scientific American and Agence France-Presse have written to the FDA to complain about being excluded but have not received any satisfaction from the agency.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


A George Carlin Special Too Raw After Sept. 11 Resurfaces Now
2016-09-04, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/05/arts/george-carlin-raw-pre-sept-11-special-...

On Sept. 10, 2001, George Carlin, the greatest political comic in history if measured only by stand-up specials, recorded a bracing hour of social commentary for his new HBO special. The next day, he shelved it. It wasn’t only the title, “I Kinda Like It When a Lotta People Die,” that seemed in bad taste after nearly 3,000 people were killed a day later in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Mr. Carlin also told a joke about a fart so potent it blew up an airplane. “You know who gets blamed? Osama bin Laden,” Mr. Carlin joked. “The F.B.I. is looking for explosives. They should be looking for minute traces of rice and bok choy.” Fifteen years later, his lost special is finally being released. It’s a polished hour of new jokes. Mr. Carlin, who died in 2008, had always been a left-leaning comic whose skepticism of government would be right at home with the Tea Party. In a 1999 special, he even ridiculed airport security as a pointless charade, saying Americans are “always willing to trade away a little of their freedom” in exchange for “the illusion of security.” But like so many other people, he was transformed by Sept. 11. He released an entirely new special only two months after the attack - “Complaints and Grievances” - in which he talks more about survival than freedom, setting up one premise by saying that dire events call for us to cooperate with “unsavory people” like George W. Bush. Mr. Carlin’s more tentative attitude toward the government is a reminder of the anxiety about even doing comedy after Sept. 11.

Note: Carlin's recorded comedy show will be publicly released on September 16. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing 9/11 news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our 9/11 Information Center.


Fox News Run As A ‘Playboy Mansion-Like Cult,’ Ex-Host Claims
2016-08-23, Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/andrea-tantaros-fox-news-lawsuit_us_57bc6...

Former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros claims in an explosive new lawsuit that disgraced ex-network chairman Roger Ailes sexually harassed her and that high-ranking executives fostered a newsroom culture in which abusive behavior flourished. Fox News masquerades as defender of traditional family values, but behind the scenes, it operates like a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency and misogyny, the suit reads. Ailes was the primary culprit, according to the suit, but his actions were condoned by his most senior lieutenants who engaged in a concerted effort to silence Tantaros by threats, humiliation, and retaliation. Tantaros' suit is the second leveled against Ailes, but the first to name the network itself and several current executives as co-defendants. Last month, former Fox & Friends host Gretchen Carlson opened the floodgates of sexual harassment accusations against Ailes, a legendary TV executive who built and ran Fox News for two decades after serving as a leading Republican operative and former adviser to three presidents. Ailes is reportedly now advising Republican nominee Donald Trump. Less than two weeks after Carlson made her claims, Ailes stepped down as Fox News chairman. In the suit, Tantaros claimed that Fox News' ... public relations department leaked unflattering information about her, didn't adequately promote her, refused legitimate media requests, and used 'sock puppet' social media accounts to post or direct negative comments about her.

Note: For more on this, see this informative Vanity Fair article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


The rush to blame Russia for the DNC email hack is premature
2016-07-25, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jul/25/russia-blame-dnc-email-...

WikiLeaks published the DNC’s hacked emails. There has been a flurry of accusations – including from the Hillary Clinton campaign – that Russian president Vladimir Putin orchestrated both the hack and the leak, in an attempt to help Donald Trump win the presidency. It’s amazing how quickly the media are willing to forgo any skepticism and jump to conspiracy-tinged conclusions where Putin is involved. There is some circumstantial evidence that the hack may have originated in Russia, but there are also many questions that haven’t been resolved. As Adam Johnson detailed, when you look closely, the evidence is shoddy and often contradictory. The bulk of the “evidence” has come from the statements of cybersecurity firms FireEye and Crowdstrike, both of which have lucrative contracts with the US government. As FireEye’s CEO once made clear, his company has a financial stake in nation-state hacking tensions. As Edward Snowden pointed out ... with an accompanying NSA document, “Our government specifically authorized the hacking of political parties.” The US has also considered hacking and then releasing sensitive and embarrassing information in China in retaliation for cybersecurity attacks, as the New York Times reported last year. If the US wants to place blame at the feet of the Russians, they should do so transparently and in public, without leaving it to anonymous officials and cybersecurity firms to make claims without providing hard evidence.

Note: Wikileaks published thousands of documents which exposed significant elections corruption in the US. Why is the media glossing over this to focus so heavily on Russia?


Views of American Indians: true and falsified
2016-07-22, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Views-of-American-Indians-true-and-falsifi...

The images that shaped public imagination of the American Indian - 19th and early 20th century photographs - were mostly fiction. Often, they were sentimentalized portrayals of what Edward S. Curtis, the most successful of all who trained their cameras on the subject, called “the vanishing race.” The ... pictures glossed over attitudes and policies that today are seen as cruelly neglectful, if not genocidal. Curtis himself, funded with J.P. Morgan money to produce some 40,000 photographic documents for his magnificent 20-volume “The North American Indian,” is known to have choreographed ceremonies and dances, phonied up costumes, retouched negatives to remove all signs of modernity; he paid reservation residents to play the part of native nobility. Other photographers purported to show the fearsomeness of the American Indian warrior. Two ... intensely engaging exhibitions newly opened at the California Historical Society present images of Northern California and southern Oregon’s Modoc tribe. “Sensationalist Portrayals of the Modoc War, 1872-73” examines reports of a sad chapter of American history, when a band of about 60 Indian fighters held off 600 U.S. Army troops. “Native Portraits: Contemporary Tintypes by Ed Drew” features Drew’s revival of a 19th century photographic process to depict present-day Modocs as they choose to be seen. Side by side, the two shows add up to a quiet rebuke of photography’s cravenly racist portrayal of the first Americans.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing media corruption news articles.


How the CIA Hoodwinked Hollywood
2016-07-14, The Atlantic
https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2016/07/operation-tinseltow...

The CIA has a long history of “spooking the news,” dating back to its earliest days when the legendary spymaster Allen Dulles and his top staff drank and dined regularly with the press elite of New York and Washington, and the agency boasted hundreds of U.S. and foreign journalists as paid and unpaid assets. In 1977, after this systematic media manipulation was publicly exposed by congressional investigations, the CIA created an Office of Public Affairs that was tasked with guiding press coverage of intelligence matters. The intelligence empire’s efforts to manufacture the truth and mold public opinion are more vast and varied than ever before. One of its foremost assets? Hollywood. The agency has established a very active spin machine in the heart of the entertainment capital, which works strenuously to make sure the cloak-and-dagger world is presented in heroic terms. Since the mid-1990s, but especially after 9/11, American screenwriters, directors, and producers have traded positive portrayal of the spy profession in film or television projects for ... favors at CIA headquarters. As Hollywood became increasingly embedded with Langley ... CIA employees often saw their public-affairs colleagues giving various celebrities personalized tours of the headquarters. “I can’t tell you how many times this happened,” recalled the former CIA officer John Kiriakou. There’s a revolving door between the CIA and Hollywood.

Note: Read how the Pentagon controls the script of hundreds of movies, some quite well known. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


Secret Rules Make it Pretty Easy for the FBI to Spy on Journalists
2016-06-30, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2016/06/30/secret-rules-make-it-pretty-easy-for-the-...

Secret FBI rules allow agents to obtain journalists’ phone records with approval from two internal officials - far less oversight than under normal judicial procedures. The classified rules ... govern the FBI’s use of national security letters, which allow the bureau to obtain information about journalists’ calls without going to a judge or informing the news organization being targeted. Obtaining a journalist’s records with a national security letter (or NSL) requires the signoff of the FBI’s general counsel and the executive assistant director of the bureau’s National Security Branch. The Obama administration has come under criticism for bringing a record number of leak prosecutions and aggressively targeting journalists in the process. In 2013, after it came out that the Justice Department had secretly seized records from phone lines at the Associated Press and surveilled ... reporter James Rosen, then-Attorney General Eric Holder tightened the rules. The FBI could not label reporters as co-conspirators in order to try to identify their sources - as had happened with Rosen - and it became more difficult to get journalists’ phone records without notifying the news organization first. Yet these changes did not apply to NSLs. Those are governed by a separate set of rules. The FBI issues thousands of NSLs each year, including nearly 13,000 in 2015. Over the years, a series of Inspector General reports found significant problems with their use, yet the FBI is currently pushing to expand the types of information it can demand with an NSL.

Note: The aggressive pursuit of leaks and journalists that report them led BBC to recently ask: "Is the US government at war with whistleblowers?" Read more about the FBI's use of secret National Security Letters. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media manipulation and the disappearance of privacy.


Attacking Elizabeth Warren? Political Reporters Will Grant You Anonymity
2016-06-21, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2016/06/21/anonymous-quote-warren/

The fast rise of Sen. Elizabeth Warren within the Democratic Party has coincided with another phenomenon: the continual use by elite-media journalists of anonymous sources in articles that either criticize Warren directly or warn other politicians about the dangers of embracing ... the policies she advocates. That journalistic trend manifested itself most recently on Monday, in a piece by Ben White in Politico that quoted fully five anonymous sources - including “one top Democratic donor,” “one moderate Washington Democrat” and “one prominent hedge fund manager” - to the effect that Hillary Clinton would be making a major misstep by selecting Warren as her running mate. Warren is an expert in bankruptcy and predatory lending and a leading critic of the financial industry. Is the “top Democratic donor” Politico quoted a self-interested executive at Citigroup or Goldman Sachs fearful that Warren would influence policy decisions? We’ll never know. Journalists in this way let powerful individuals take potshots without any fear of accountability and without the reader being able to discern what conflicts of interest might be involved. And when it comes to Warren in particular, pretty much any “administration official” or “political strategist” interested in advancing a narrative gets the anonymous treatment. The Intercept in short order compiled a list of 15 other articles and political newsletters over the last few years of the anonymously sourced, anti-Warren genre.

Note: The complete list of examples of anti-Warren propaganda articles is available at the link above. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing media manipulation news articles.


Perfect End to Democratic Primary: Anonymous Superdelegates Declare Winner Through Media
2016-06-06, The Intercept
"https://theintercept.com/2016/06/07/perfect-end-to-democratic-primary-anonym...

The Associated Press - on a day when nobody voted - surprised everyone by abruptly declaring the Democratic Party primary over and Hillary Clinton the victor. The decree, issued the night before the California primary in which polls show Clinton and Bernie Sanders in a very close race, was based on the media organization’s survey of “superdelegates”: the Democratic Party’s 720 insiders, corporate donors, and officials whose votes for the presidential nominee count the same as the actually elected delegates. AP claims that superdelegates who had not previously announced their intentions privately told AP reporters that they intend to vote for Clinton, bringing her over the threshold. AP is concealing the identity of the decisive superdelegates who said this. Although the Sanders campaign rejected the validity of AP’s declaration - on the ground that the superdelegates do not vote until the convention and he intends to try to persuade them to vote for him - most major media outlets ... declared Clinton the winner. This is the perfect symbolic ending to the Democratic Party primary: The nomination is consecrated by a media organization, on a day when nobody voted, based on secret discussions with anonymous establishment insiders and donors whose identities the media organization - incredibly - conceals. For a party run by insiders and funded by corporate interests, it’s only fitting that its nomination process ends with such an ignominious, awkward, and undemocratic sputter.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about elections corruption and the manipulation of public opinion.


Is social media fueling Hollywood's pedophile problem?
2016-05-27, Fox News
http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2016/05/27/is-social-media-fueling-holly...

Corey Feldman, who has opened up in the past about being molested by multiple Hollywood bigwigs, said he believes the problem of producer pedophiles is bigger today in age of social media. He’s also said one of his abusers is “still prominently in the business today.” Gabe Hoffman is the executive producer of “An Open Secret,” a 2015 documentary that investigated child molesters in Hollywood, and he echoed Feldman’s sentiments. "Young people, both boys and girls looking to work in Hollywood are at great risk from sexual predators,” he [said]. Psychologist Dr. Judith Zackson concurred. “The Internet is becoming an increasingly dangerous place for young, vulnerable stars,” she said. “Internet profiles provide an anonymous platform for pedophiles to study their victim’s personal information and patterns to assist in their ‘grooming’ process - pedophiles develop a relationship with their victims through enticing dialogue filled with promises that promote the young stars dream.” Pop culture expert Cate Meighan said the Internet lets abusers reach out to victims more easily. “Back in the ‘80s it really was quite different in that these people had to wait until child stars were brought into their circle to have access to them,” she said. “Now, they have the ability to hand pick potential targets and probably at a much younger age too.” Feldman has been vocal in the past regarding pedophilia in Hollywood. In 2011, he said it was “the number one problem in Hollywood” claiming it to be “the big secret” plaguing the industry.

Note: Don't miss the incredible film "An Open Secret" which follows five boys and their families who were gradually ensnared by a secret Hollywood pedophile ring which ruins their lives. It is available for free viewing on this webpage. The entire "Secret Societies in Hollywood" series is available here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


Pentagon Official Once Told Morley Safer That Reporters Who Believe the Government Are “Stupid”
2016-05-20, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2016/05/20/pentagon-official-once-told-morley-safer-...

Morley Safer, who was a correspondent on CBS’s 60 Minutes from 1970 until just last week, died Thursday at age 84. In 1965, Safer was sent to Vietnam by CBS. That August he filed a famous report showing American soldiers burning down a Vietnamese village. The next year, he wrote a newspaper column about a visit to Saigon by Arthur Sylvester, the ... head of all the U.S. military’s PR. Sylvester, [who] had arranged to speak with reporters for U.S. outlets, [said] that American correspondents had a patriotic duty to disseminate only information that made the United States look good. A network television correspondent said, “Surely, Arthur, you don’t expect the American press to be the handmaidens of government.” “That’s exactly what I expect,” came the reply. An agency man raised the problem [of] the credibility of American officials. [Sylvester], the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, [responded]: “Look, if you think any American official is going to tell you the truth, then you’re stupid. Did you hear that? Stupid.” A Democratic senator from Indiana, entered Safer’s article into the Congressional Record, and ... a Republican representative from Missouri called for Sylvester to resign. For its part, the Pentagon told CBS executives: “Unless you get Safer out of there, he’s liable to end up with a bullet in his back.” Moreover, Sylvester absolutely meant what he said [to] the journalists in Saigon. [By that time], he’d already told some of the key U.S. government lies about the Cuban missile crisis.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about military corruption and the manipulation of public opinion.


It's not just stem cell research that's overhyped— medical science spin is a widespread problem
2016-05-18, CBC (Canada's public broadcasting system)
http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/stem-cell-science-hype-1.3582223

Would you read a story if this was the headline: "New study raises questions about an experimental treatment that might not work and won't be ready for a long time." That description would apply to most medical studies that make the news but would be unlikely to generate the clicks, taps, likes and shares that propel a story through cyberspace and social media. What gets clicks? Words like "breakthrough," "groundbreaking," "game changer" and "lifesaver." Since the 1970s, the use of positive words in scientific abstracts increased by 880 per cent, according to a study last December in the British Medical Journal. And now, the world's stem cell scientists have been told to stop the hype. The International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) issued new guidelines last week that urge scientists to dial back their enthusiasm when talking publicly about their research. Because people are getting hurt. Last December, the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S. issued a warning letter to a U.S.-based company offering stem cell therapies for a range of diseases, including autism, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease. And a U.K. newspaper claims its undercover investigation lead to the closure of a controversial clinic in Germany where a child died after having stem cells injected into his brain. "There is ... an industry already out there that is marketing unproven therapies directly to patients," said George Daley, a member of the ISSCR and a professor at Harvard Medical School. "It is part of the concern that has raised the alarm."

Note: According to Richard Horton, chief editor of The Lancet, up to half of all science journal claims may be untrue. Read also the revealing comments of Marcia Angell, former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, on the massive corruption she found in the health industry. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing science corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Long-time Iowa farm cartoonist fired after creating this cartoon
2016-05-03, CBS News (Iowa affiliate)
http://www.kcci.com/article/long-time-iowa-farm-cartoonist-fired-after-creati...

Rick Friday has been giving farmers a voice and a laugh every Friday for two decades through his cartoons in Farm News. Now the long-time Iowa farm cartoonist [says] he has been fired. Friday announced ... that his job was over after 21 years in a Facebook post that has since gone viral: "I am no longer the Editorial Cartoonist for Farm News due to the attached cartoon which was published yesterday. Apparently a large company affiliated with one of the corporations mentioned in the cartoon was insulted and cancelled their advertisement with the paper, thus, resulting in the reprimand of my editor and cancellation of its Friday cartoons after ... over 1,090 published cartoons to over 24,000 households per week in 33 counties of Iowa. "I did my research and only submitted the facts in my cartoon. The cartoon features two farmers talking about farming profits. The first says, "I wish there was more profit in farming." The second farm[er] answers, "There is. In year 2015 the CEOs of Monsanto, DuPont Pioneer and John Deere combined made more money than 2,129 Iowa farmers." Friday received an email from his editor at Farm News cutting off their relationship a day after the cartoon was published. Friday’s editor said a seed dealer pulled their advertisements with Farm News as a result of the cartoon, and others working at the paper disagreed with the jokes made about the agriculture corporations.

Note: See the cartoon at this link. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on income inequality and mass media.


Cable News Devotes 30 Seconds to Mass Arrests Protesting Political Corruption
2016-04-12, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2016/04/12/democracy-spring-media-coverage/

A protest movement calling on Congress to “end the corruption of big money in our politics” and “ensure free and fair elections,” converged on Capitol Hill on Monday, staging a nonviolent sit-in that resulted in over 400 arrests. While the action, dubbed #DemocracySpring, garnered wide coverage on social media and over 136,000 tweets, cable news programs found little time to cover the political protests. During daytime and afternoon news segments, CNN did not devote any coverage to the actions. MSNBC mentioned the protests for approximately 12 seconds, while Fox News mentioned the arrests and discussed the protests for about 17 seconds. Hosts on both networks misrepresented the protests. The focus on systemic political corruption ... during the rally yesterday was ignored. The protests were widely covered by CSPAN, Al Jazeera, and NPR, among other outlets. But cable news programs, which specialize in American political news, were another story. The parent companies of cable news networks are closely tied to the Washington establishment being challenged by protesters. Comcast, parent company of MSNBC, is among the biggest spenders on political lobbying. Broadcasting companies have lobbied in recent years against reforms that would diminish the role of big money in election campaigns largely because the bulk of campaign funds are spent on television advertisements. [An] estimated ... $4.4 billion [will] be spent on television ads during the election cycle this year.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about elections corruption and the manipulation of public opinion.


Hacker claims he helped Enrique Peńa Nieto win Mexican presidential election
2016-04-01, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/31/mexico-presidential-election-enr...

Mercenary hackers helped Enrique Peńa Nieto win Mexico’s 2012 presidential election, according to an imprisoned Colombian hacker who says he was involved. Andrés Sepúlveda ... claimed he had also helped to manipulate elections in nine countries across Latin America by stealing data, installing malware and creating fake waves of enthusiasm and derision on social media. In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, the Colombian – who is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence - boasted of his ability to hack into campaign networks and manipulate opinion. “My job was to do actions of dirty war and psychological operations, black propaganda, rumours – the whole dark side of politics that nobody knows exists but everyone can see,” the 31-year-old told Bloomberg. Although he was well paid for his work, Sepúlveda said his primary motive was political. He supported right and centre-right candidates against what he called “dictatorships and socialists governments”. In Mexico ... he reportedly had a $600,000 budget, [and] used a “virtual army” of fake Twitter accounts to direct public debate. “When I realized that people believe what the internet says more than reality, I discovered that I had the power to make people believe almost anything,” he told Bloomberg. To varying degrees, he said he applied similar tactics in other elections over an eight-year period in in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Panama, Honduras, El Salvador, Colombia, Costa Rica and Guatemala. Sepúlveda is now in jail for hacking crimes related to Colombia’s 2014 presidential election.

Note: Read an excellent article on how electronic voting machines are likely being manipulated in the 2016 US elections. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about elections corruption and the manipulation of public opinion.


The U.S. is quietly helping Saudi Arabia wage a devastating aerial campaign in Yemen
2016-03-30, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-0330-whitson-yemen-strikes-2016033...

One week before the Brussels terrorist attacks, a Saudi-led coalition bombed a market in Mastaba, Yemen. Although more people died in Mastaba than in Brussels - 106 versus 34 - the media and the international community in general ignored that earlier atrocity, as they've ignored most of the 150 indiscriminate aerial attacks reported by the United Nations and Human Rights Watch in the last year. The West is actually supporting - by way of arms and military assistance - this all-but-invisible war. The Saudis are violating international law as they carry out attacks [on] schools, hospitals, markets and homes, [which] account for 60% of the 3,200 civilians killed in the conflict. The U.S. and Britain are ... the lead providers of the Saudi coalition's arsenal. Saudi Arabia has ... contracted for at least $20 billion in weapons from the U.S. and almost $4.3 billion in weapons from Britain in 2015. Many human rights and humanitarian organizations, as well as the European Parliament, have called for an embargo on arms sales to Saudi Arabia. What remains unknown is the exact nature of the U.S. and British military role in the Saudi campaign. The U.S. Defense Department has vaguely stated that it is providing “targeting assistance,” which as a matter of law means it is liable for unlawful strikes in which it takes part. Member states of the U.N. Human Rights Council attempted to pursue ... an investigation [into unlawful airstrikes in Yemen], but the Saudi-U.S.-Britain trifecta effectively quashed it.

Note: In one of the largest arms deal ever, the sale of $60 billion worth of US fighter jets and attack helicopters to Saudi Arabia quietly proceeded in 2010 with State Department approval. An International Business Times investigation shows that $10 Million in Clinton Foundation donations coincided with a 97% increase in arms export authorizations to Saudi Arabia from 2006-2012. The underlying reason for this war and most wars is the huge profits that are made, as clearly revealed by a top US general in his highly revealing book "War is a Racket."


Robert De Niro steps into autism vaccination row by screening film
2016-03-26, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/mar/26/robert-de-niro-autism-vaccination...

A disgraced former British surgeon’s new documentary about the discredited link between autism and childhood vaccination has put Robert De Niro at the centre of a medical row that threatens the reputation of his prestigious film festival in New York. De Niro, the father of an autistic child and co-founder of the Tribeca film festival, is standing by the decision to premiere Vaxxed: from Cover-Up to Catastrophe, which has been directed by the controversial Andrew Wakefield. The trailer for Wakefield’s film opens with ominous music as the words “Are our children safe?” appear through a spiral of billowing smoke seeping from a syringe. A key element of the documentary, the trailer claims, will be the testimony of a whistleblower from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US public health body, who is to allege fraud inside an organisation that “knew that vaccines were actually causing autism”. De Niro and his wife, Grace Hightower, issued a statement on Friday, defending the screening. “Grace and I have a child with autism and we believe it is critical that all of the issues surrounding the causes of autism be openly discussed and examined. In the 15 years since the Tribeca film festival was founded, I have never asked for a film to be screened or gotten involved in the programming. “However this is very personal to me and my family and I want there to be a discussion, which is why we will be screening Vaxxed.

Note: After being subjected to intense pressure, De Niro sadly backed down and pulled this documentary from the festival, as reported in this New York Times article. For more on how this film and how De Niro was pressured see this webpage. Then watch a member of US Congress testify in the Congressional record on major cover-up regarding the relationship between autism and the MMR vaccine. Still more here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing vaccine controversy news articles from reliable major media sources.


Highlighting Western Victims While Ignoring Victims of Western Violence
2016-03-25, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2016/03/25/highlighting-western-victims-while-ignori...

For days now, American cable news has broadcast non-stop coverage of the horrific attack in Brussels. This type of coverage is accorded only to Western victims of violence, but almost never to the non-Western victims of the West’s own violence. A little more than a week ago ... fighter jets from a Saudi-led (U.S.– and U.K.-supported) coalition bombed a market in Mastaba, in Yemen’s northern province of Hajjah. The latest count indicates that about 120 people were killed, including more than 20 children, and 80 were wounded in the strikes. Over the past several years, the U.S. has launched hideous civilian-slaughtering strikes in Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Libya, and Iraq. You’ll almost never hear any of those victims’ names on CNN, NPR, or most other large U.S. media outlets. No famous American TV correspondents will be sent to the places where those people have their lives ended by the bombs of the U.S. and its allies. At most, you’ll hear small, clinical news stories briefly and coldly describing what happened - usually accompanied by a justifying claim from U.S. officials, uncritically conveyed, about why the bombing was noble - but, even in those rare cases where such attacks are covered at all, everything will be avoided that would cause you to have any visceral or emotional connection to the victims. You’ll never know anything about them - not even their names ... and will therefore have no ability to feel anything for them. As a result, their existence will barely register. That’s by design.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about war and the manipulation of public opinion.


After 146 years, Rockefeller family is exiting the oil business
2016-03-24, CBS
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/rockefeller-family-is-exiting-the-oil-business/

The Rockefeller Family Fund, a charity that supports causes related to the environment, economic justice and other issues, is liquidating its investments in fossil fuel companies, including Exxon Mobil. "While the global community works to eliminate the use of fossil fuels, it makes little sense - financially or ethically - to continue holding investments in these companies," the fund said. In announcing its decision, the Rockefeller fund attacked Exxon for what it called the company's "morally reprehensible conduct," alluding to allegations that the company has hidden evidence that fossil fuels contribute to climate change. "Evidence appears to suggest that the company worked since the 1980s to confuse the public about climate change's march, while simultaneously spending millions to fortify its own infrastructure against climate change's destructive consequences and track new exploration opportunities as the Arctic's ice receded," the fund said. New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is said to have launched an investigation last fall into whether Exxon misled the public and investors about ... climate risks. California Attorney General Kamala Harris is also reportedly looking into whether Exxon lied about climate change. The probes followed a report by InsideClimate News ... claiming that Exxon sought to undermine scientific evidence that pointed to the growing threat of climate change.

Note: The Rockefeller Brothers Fund announced its fossil fuel divestment in 2014. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on climate change and the corruption of science from reliable major media sources.


Saudi Arabia Continues Hiring Spree of Lobbyists, Retains Former Washington Post Reporter
2016-03-21, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2016/03/21/saudi-arabia-continues-hiring-spree-of-lo...

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is adding more American lobbyists to its payroll by hiring BGR Government Affairs. The contract provides BGR with $500,000 annually to assist with U.S. media outreach for the Center for Studies and Media Affairs at the Saudi Royal Court, a government entity. The retainer includes the services of Jeffrey Birnbaum, a former Washington Post reporter who once covered the lobbying industry and now works as a lobbyist, as well as Ed Rogers, a former Reagan administration official who now lobbies and writes a column for the Post. The Saudi government has brought on a dizzying array of American public relations experts and lobbyists to help spin reporters and influence policymakers, [including] the Podesta Group, a lobbying firm run by a top fundraiser for the Hillary Clinton campaign, [and] Norm Coleman, the former GOP senator who leads a major Republican Super PAC. The money spent on lobbying has been used to counter growing controversies surrounding the kingdom. When Nimr al-Nimr, a peaceful government critic, was executed in January, the Podesta Group helped the regime shape media coverage ... to smear Nimr as a “terrorist.” Other American consultants working for the Saudi Embassy used social media and other efforts to attack Nimr and justify the execution. The kingdom has relied on its media and lobbying apparatus to combat criticism of its human rights record, including the growing rate of executions and beheadings.

Note: Democracy for sale? Read more about Saudi Arabia's influential charm offensive. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about government corruption and the manipulation of public opinion.


PR Firm Attacks Organic Food, Then Pitches Itself to Organic Companies
2016-03-14, Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stacy-malkan/pr-firm-attacks-organic-food-then-...

News that Ketchum Inc., the public relations firm leading the charge to promote chemical-dependent GMO agriculture, is launching a new “specialty group” to capture a slice of the growing organic food market caught many food industry players by surprise last week. Ketchum’s new branch, called “Cultivate,” is pitching itself to “help purpose-driven brands with a natural, organic, and sustainable focus.” The news comes as Ketchum remains a key player in PR efforts to dampen demand for organic foods, spinning messages that tell consumers organics are over-priced and over-hyped. In 2013, Monsanto hired Ketchum’s parent company, Omnicom, to “reshape” its reputation amid fierce opposition to GMOs, according to the Holmes Report. Ketchum now works closely with Monsanto and the agrichemical industry on its massively funded PR efforts to promote genetically engineered food and crops, stop GMO labeling, downplay concerns about pesticides, counteract consumer advocates and convince consumers that organic food is no different from conventional food. A closer look at Ketchum’s past and current activities turns up more reasons that purpose-driven organic and natural food companies might want to steer clear of Ketchum’s “Cultivate” branch. Emails from the late 1990s indicate that Ketchum was involved in espionage against nonprofit groups that were raising concerns about GMOs. Ketchum ... has worked to undermine consumer advocates and the organic foods industry. It would be unwise for organic companies to hire the PR firm.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


CBS Chief: Trump's Success Is 'Damn Good' For the Network
2016-03-01, Fortune
http://fortune.com/2016/03/01/les-moonves-cbs-trump/

It’s still up for debate whether or not the media “created” Donald Trump - or, at least, the GOP presidential frontrunner version of him - but there is no doubt the billionaire reality TV star turned politician has meant big ratings - and income - for networks. Leslie Moonves, the chairman of CBS, admitted as much on Monday. “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS,” Moonves said at a Morgan Stanley conference in San Francisco. In addition to around-the-clock TV news coverage of Trump and his fellow presidential candidates (but, mainly Trump), major broadcast and cable networks have pulled in record ratings for televised debates throughout this election cycle. Roughly 13.5 million tuned in to CBS for a GOP debate last month, making that one of the most-watched debates so far this year, as nearly 5 million more viewers tuned in to watch Trump battle his GOP rivals than did for a Democratic debate on CBS last November. Thanks to those high ratings, networks have reportedly been able to gouge advertisers for higher ad-rates during this cycle’s debates. Moonves indicated that he is more than happy to have Trump in the White House race if it means more advertising money.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about elections corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


BBC missed opportunities to stop sexual predator Jimmy Savile, inquiry finds
2016-02-25, Los Angeles Times/Associated Press
http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-britain-bbc-jimmy-savile-20160225-story.html

An investigation into the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal cleared the BBC of wrongdoing Thursday, even as it painted a damning portrait of an institution where employees were afraid to raise even serious concerns about sexual misconduct for fear of upsetting celebrity talent or making the corporation look bad. Savile, a BBC television presenter and popular charity figure who died in October 2011, is believed to be one of Britain's most prolific sex offenders, often targeting minors. “Celebrities were treated with kid gloves and were virtually untouchable,” said Janet Smith, a former Court of Appeal judge who conducted the inquiry, describing a BBC culture of not wanting to “rock the boat.” Smith said 117 people at the BBC admitted they had heard rumors about Savile, who abused victims on BBC premises, including the venues where his programs “Top of the Pops” and “Jim'll Fix It” were shot. Smith's review said the Savile abuse incidents dated all the way back to 1959. She identified 72 victims of Savile, both male and female. One was only 8 years old. But girls who raised concerns about Savile were treated as a “nuisance.” In one case in 1969, a girl who was molested on the “Top of the Pops” program while standing next to Savile on the podium was “ejected from the building.” The inquiry also concluded that another BBC star, sports presenter Stuart Hall, 86, also used his celebrity to shield his activities, often plying his victims with alcohol. The Hall investigation ... found 21 victims.

Note: Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team titled "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this sad subject in the US. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


How 'Spotlight' missed the story
2016-02-23, USA Today
http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/02/23/spotlight-priest-abuse-bosto...

It is just a single line of dialogue from Spotlight. But it could be a movie in itself. It's an allusion to an entire unknown chapter in the history of the Catholic Church sex abuse scandals: the role of the National Catholic Reporter (NCR) in first uncovering the clerical conspiracy to shield abusing priests. “Have you read Jason Berry’s book? He wrote about the Gauthe case,” an abuse survivor asks the team of investigative reporters featured in the film. The survivor ... holds up a copy of Berry’s 1992 book, Lead Us Not Into Temptation: Catholic Priests and the Sexual Abuse of Children, which expanded on Berry's reporting for the Times of Acadiana in partnership with the NCR. The June 7, 1985, edition of the NCR was earth-shattering. Berry ... published a lengthy piece on Father Gilbert Gauthe’s sexual crimes and their concealment by the highest clerical authorities. In the same issue, reporter Arthur Jones detailed the concealment of pedophile priests throughout America, and NCR wrote an editorial accusing American Catholic bishops of systemic inaction and silence. “The concealment of pedophiles reminded me of the Watergate coverup,” Berry said in a recent essay. By the time The Boston Globe succeeded in bringing the scandal to the attention of the entire world, the NCR had been doggedly covering the story for 17 years, often alone. Secular publications, including The New York Times and The Nation, wouldn’t go near the topic at all. Even the rest of the Catholic press stayed silent.

Note: Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team titled "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this sad subject in the US. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about sexual abuse scandals and the manipulation of public perception.


The problem with newspapers today
2016-02-07, CBC (Canada's public broadcasting system)
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/marty-baron-neil-macdonald-1.3435715

The people who really run the world, it turns out, are perfectly capable of silencing the presses. Consider Postmedia, the biggest newspaper chain in the country. It is largely owned by an American hedge fund ... and editorial direction is dictated from corporate headquarters. Advertiser-controlled copy designed to resemble news [takes] up ever more prominent placement. Marty Baron ... took over the Boston Globe back in 2001, [and] ordered the newspaper's investigative unit to go after pedophile priests. The investigation took a year, and produced a scoop of historic proportion - proving church complicity in covering up heinous crimes. Fifteen years later, like most North American newspapers, the Boston Globe is hobbled and shrunken. Defiance has mostly given way to naked fear, as media managers, and not just in newspapers, desperately try to hold onto splintering audiences and plummeting revenue. Baron, now executive editor of the Washington Post, acknowledged the economic forces ripping the business to shreds. But, said Baron, news institutions must place principle ahead of metrics, or our core withers, and we become clickbait hustlers for corporate paymasters. "The greatest danger to a vigorous press today," he [said], "comes from ourselves."

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corporate corruption and media manipulation.


Zika virus: Brazilian survey calls into question cause of microcephaly
2016-02-07, ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-08/zika-link-questioned-microcephaly-cause...

A four-year survey of more than 100,000 newborn babies in north-eastern Brazil has uncovered hitherto unrecognised patterns of microcephaly. The discovery suggests microcephaly is not necessarily a new phenomenon, and questions whether Zika virus is even the cause. Paediatric cardiologist Dr Sandra Mattos ... and her colleagues surveyed more than 100,000 newborns for congenital heart disease in the Brazilian state of Paraiba. "We tried to establish the pattern of microcephaly over the last four years," Dr Mattos said. "What we expected was that we would have something like ... what has been documented in the official sites. "But we then noticed that we had much, much higher numbers. "Independent of what criteria we used, we had between 2–8 per cent of babies that would fall into the criteria of microcephaly," she said. This represents between 2,000 and 4,000 babies per year in the state of Paraíba - about 1,000 times more than the team expected. The survey goes back to 2012 and 2013 and shows a spike each spring and summer, and while the headlines are all recent, the biggest peak in north-eastern Brazil was actually in 2014. The survey calls into question whether these microcephaly cases are caused by Zika virus or something else. If it is Zika virus, it has been in Brazil for a lot longer than people have thought, but that does not explain why after 50 years Zika has only now been linked to microcephaly.

Note: Another article describes a doctors group which has stated the increasing microcephaly may be caused by a larvacide. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the zika virus from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.


Birth Defects in Brazil May Be Overreported Amid Zika Fears
2016-02-03, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/04/world/americas/birth-defects-in-brazil-may-...

Brazil’s government is considering tightening the guidelines it currently gives doctors, hospitals, and health care providers for when to report infants born with abnormally small heads, a move intended to reduce the number of false alarms that it has received in wake of the Zika epidemic gripping Brazil. In the last few months, the nation has been grappling with a growing surge in medical reports of microcephaly, a rare condition in which babies are born with unusually small heads. According to data released this week by the Ministry of Health, there have been 4,783 reported cases since October last year. Before that, the nation had about 150 annually. But how many of the babies actually have microcephaly - and whether the condition was caused by the Zika virus - is still far from clear. Of the cases examined so far, 404 have been confirmed as having microcephaly. Only 17 of them tested positive for the Zika virus. Another 709 babies have been ruled out as having microcephaly, according to the government, underscoring the risks of false positives making the epidemic appear larger than it actually is. The remaining 3,670 cases are still being investigated. As is often the case with global health epidemics, the numbers have caused confusion. Some have wondered if Brazil was overstating the extent of its health crisis.

Note: Another article describes a doctors group which has stated the increasing microcephaly may be caused by a larvacide. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the zika virus from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.


Hollywood beckons for whistleblower who risked jail over Iraq ‘dirty tricks’
2016-01-30, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/jan/31/katharine-gun-observer-iraq-war-w...

Before Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, and Edward Snowden, the intelligence whistleblower, there was Katharine Gun. The former GCHQ employee ... was a young Mandarin specialist at the British government’s eavesdropping agency in Cheltenham. In early 2003 she received an email asking her and her colleagues to help the US government spy on UN security council delegations in New York. It was a critical moment, as Washington was seeking UN backing for its invasion of Iraq. Gun decided the world had to know, whatever the cost to her life and career. She leaked the memo to the Observer and was arrested, lost her job and faced trial under the Official Secrets Act. Thirteen years later, as bloodshed continues in Iraq, the almost forgotten story is to be brought to a new audience in Official Secrets, a movie [that] will chart Gun’s unlikely bid – courageous self-sacrifice to supporters, treachery in the view of critics – to block George W Bush and Tony Blair’s march to war. Unlike many whistleblowers who leak thousands of documents after the event, Gun was intervening in an active operation and trying to stop a war. The US National Security Agency memo told employees of GCHQ to gather “the whole gamut of information that could give American policymakers an edge in obtaining results favourable to US goals or to head off surprises”. “I saw the email and my gut reaction was pretty instantaneous, that it was highly explosive information and that it should be out in the public domain,” she recalled.

Note: The US has spent several trillion dollars pursuing a policy of endless war since 9/11. Great Britain did not believe Iraq to be a global security threat, but backed the US-led invasion on this false pretense for political reasons. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


Zika virus: 6 things to know about the growing outbreak
2016-01-28, CBC (Canada's public broadcasting system)
http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/zika-virus-explained-1.3422663

The mosquito-borne Zika virus is drawing global attention. Earlier today, the head of the World Health Organization said Zika is "spreading explosively." Brazil has reported more than 4,000 cases of babies born recently with microcephaly, a brain condition characterized by an abnormally small head that can lead to developmental issues or even death. That number compares with fewer than 150 cases in the country for all of 2014. The virus is mainly a health concern for women who are pregnant and it does not have long-lasting effects on most people. The virus is primarily transmitted through the Aedes aegypti mosquito. So far there is limited evidence on whether Zika can be transferred from mother to child. ​But because of the rash of microcephaly cases in Brazil, which spiked after the first confirmed case of Zika, this maternal link is "strongly suspected" and being closely studied. Only one in five of those infected with Zika show symptoms, which develop up to one week after being bitten. Most symptoms are mild, and ... can be easily treated with rest and plenty of fluids. Dr. Sumon Chakrabarti told CBC News, "the one thing to make very clear is that Zika, once it's out of your body, it's gone. It's not something like Hepatitis B or HIV that can stay in your body forever. "Overall, Zika is a very mild illness apart from what we think might be happening in pregnant women."

Note: Lots more fear mongering with this latest virus. Yet there is actually very little risk, with the possible exception of pregnant mothers, and even this is being exaggerated. Remember, powerful people want to keep us in fear, as that makes it easier to manipulate us. The swine flu, avian flu and ebola are prime examples of supposed "doomsday diseases" that turned out to harm relatively few. For more on how these diseases were manipulated and who profited, see concise summaries of deeply revealing major media news articles from reliable sources on this.


“Black Americans for a Better Future” Super PAC 100% Funded by Rich White Guys
2016-01-28, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2016/01/28/black-americans-for-a-better-future-super...

New FEC filings show that all of the $417,250 in monetary donations to a Super PAC called “Black Americans for a Better Future” comes from conservative white businessmen - including $400,000, or 96 percent of the total, from white billionaire hedge fund manager Robert Mercer. Mercer, co-CEO of Renaissance Technologies on Long Island, is best-known politically for donating $11,000,000 to Keep the Promise I, a Super PAC backing Ted Cruz’s presidential run. BABF appears to exist solely as a vehicle for Washington, D.C., consultant Raynard Jackson, who is African-American. Jackson is quoted on his firm’s website stating that “You have a fundamental right to pursue business interests with the least amount of interference from the government.” Jackson has elsewhere accused Barack Obama of “relentless pandering to homosexuals.” At an event in November 2015 at the National Press Club, which cost BABF $13,252.79 for the venue and catering, Jackson said that “Having well-trained, credible, experienced African-Americans constantly challenging the liberal orthodoxy in the media will create a tectonic shift in the perception of the Republican Party within the Black community.” Other donations to BABF [include] $10,000 from Keller Investment Properties of Utah, whose CEO is the white Scott Keller, a member of Mitt Romney’s donor network, [and] $5,000 from the very white Marc Stanley Goldman.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about elections corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


What Happened to Jane Mayer When She Wrote About the Koch Brothers
2016-01-26, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/27/nyregion/what-happened-to-jane-mayer-when-s...

In the fall of 2010, a blogger asked Jane Mayer, a writer with The New Yorker, how she felt about the private investigator who was digging into her background. Ms. Mayer thought the idea was a joke. A few months later, she ran into a former reporter who had been asked about helping with an investigation into another reporter on behalf of two conservative billionaires ... Ms. Mayer recounts in “Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right.” Her acquaintance told her, “‘It occurred to me afterward that the reporter they wanted to investigate might be you.’” Ms. Mayer had published a major story in the magazine that August about the brothers David and Charles Koch, and their role in cultivating the power of the Tea Party movement. [She] began to take the rumored investigation seriously when she heard from her New Yorker editor that she was going to be accused - falsely - of plagiarism. A dossier of her supposed plagiarism had been provided to reporters at The New York Post and The Daily Caller, but the smears collapsed when the writers who were the purported victims made statements saying that it was nonsense. Who was behind this? Ms. Mayer ... traced it to a “boiler room” operation involving several people who have worked closely with Koch business concerns. The private investigation firm ... was Vigilant Resources International, whose founder and chairman, Howard Safir, had been New York City’s police commissioner under the former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

Note: The Koch brothers built a secretive empire to manipulate the political process in the US. This empire plans to spend $889 million on US elections in 2016. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about elections corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


CBC retracts supplement report
2016-01-21, CBC (Canada's public broadcasting system)
http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/marketplace-vitamins-protein-powders-lab-testin...

Some Marketplace reports about vitamins and supplements published in November contained incorrect information, CBC has learned. Last fall, Marketplace commissioned lab testing for samples of fish oil, vitamin C and protein powder supplements to see if consumers are actually getting what they pay for. Based on those test results, Marketplace reported that Emergen-C and two protein powders: GNC Lean Shake 25 and Cytosport Muscle Milk failed to live up to label claims. However, subsequent re-testing of the samples has found that the lab results and analysis provided to Marketplace were incorrect, and that there is no evidence of problems with those products. The original lab tests were performed by an independent lab in Michigan, which is ISO-17025 accredited, registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and used by the supplement industry. The lab was recommended by Neil Thanedar, co-founder and CEO of LabDoor, a company that has products tested and makes those results public to help guide consumers about vitamins and supplements. CBC re-tested some of the products at other independent, accredited labs. None of them found problems with the samples. While Thanedar admits some of the lab results he provided to Marketplace were flawed, he was still unable to explain how the mistakes were made.

Note: Definitely something fishy going on here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.


Cologne police chief fired as witness says NYE violence was coordinated
2016-01-09, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/08/cologne-violence-suspects-includ...

Cologne’s police chief has been removed from his post amid criticism of his force’s handling of a string of sexual assaults and robberies carried out by groups of men in the German city on New Year’s Eve. His enforced departure came as a witness to the violence told the Guardian the events appeared to have been coordinated. Lieli Shabani, 35, said she saw three Arabic speaking males who were “clearly giving instructions”. A leaked police report [describes] how officers were initially overwhelmed by events outside the city’s train station, after which more than 100 women filed criminal complaints of sexual assault and robbery, including two accounts of rape. Cologne mayor Henriette Reker suggested on Friday that police had held back information from her, and said in a statement that her “trust in the Cologne police leadership is significantly shaken”. The leaked police report, obtained by the German newspaper Bild, said women were forced to “run a gauntlet ... beyond description” to reach or leave the station. The incidents in and around the square in front of the main train station have led to accusations of a police and media cover-up. Evidence has emerged that similar attacks had taken place in seven other German cities.

Note: It's entirely possible that these attacks were coordinated in order to stoke anti-immigrant sentiment. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about sexual abuse scandals and the manipulation of public perception.


After Executing Regime Critic, Saudi Arabia Fires Up American PR Machine
2016-01-04, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2016/01/04/saudi-pr-machine/

Saudi Arabia’s well-funded public relations apparatus moved quickly after Saturday’s explosive execution of Shiite political dissident Nimr al-Nimr to shape how the news is covered in the United States. The execution led protestors in Shiite-run Iran to set fire to the Saudi Embassy in Tehran, precipitating a major diplomatic crisis. The Saudi side of the story is getting a particularly effective boost in the American media through pundits who are quoted justifying the execution, in many cases without mention of their funding or close affiliation with the Saudi Arabian government. Meanwhile, social media accounts affiliated with Saudi Arabia’s American lobbyists have pushed English-language infographics, tweets, and online videos to promote a narrative that reflects the interests of the Saudi regime. An editorial published by the Wall Street Journal approvingly quoted Joseph Braude of the Foreign Policy Research Institute claiming that Nimr was a violent extremist. Braude’s depiction of Nimr aligns with ... Saudi Arabia’s terrorism law, [which] includes as acts of terrorism merely criticizing the government. But as journalists and editors from the Christian Science Monitor, The Guardian, the BBC, and other prominent outlets have reported, Nimr advocated nonviolence and encouraged his followers to protest peacefully. Braude did not provide any evidence for his claims beyond anonymous “Saudi sources.”

Note: Read about the Saudi campaign to charm American policy makers even as it set a record in the number of public beheadings. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about government corruption and media manipulation.


CNN Mongers the ISIS Fear Then Wonders Where It Came From
2015-12-28, Esquire
http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a40810/ramadi-liberated-wi...

Ramadi was liberated today, but will anyone notice? The sad fact is that nothing that actually happens on the ground against Daesh (ISIS) is likely going to have a material effect on the culture of fear that has been created to infest the American psyche by so many people who should know so much better. A whopping 59% of Democrats are unhappy with the progress President Obama has made on the war on terror, along with 86% of Republicans and 69% of independents. What did anyone expect? Since the Paris shootings, and certainly since the shootings in San Bernardino, through the efforts of our leading television news stars, Daesh has been converted into the greatest threat to Western civilization since the Battle of Tours. They are supervillains with mad computer skillz and secret Muslim mind-tricks who can turn your children into implacable murder machines. If you want to see what losing the war on terror really looks like, don't look to the Middle East. Instead, watch the television commercials approved by the various Republican presidential candidates. The three Democratic candidates are better, but not by much. You can't win a "war" on terror any more than you can win a "war" on hate or a "war" on any other easily activated human emotion, if there are enough powerful institutions that can profit from its activation. It's really up to the rest of us ... to keep things in perspective about the genuine dangers and the fantastical ones by which other people profit.

Note: Explore powerful evidence that ISIS is aided and was possibly even created by covert US support. Watch this video which shows how the US and its allies stoke war in order to pad the pockets of mega-corporations which profit greatly from arms sales. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the manipulation of public perception.


New York Times reviewing reporting on San Bernardino assailants
2015-12-17, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2015/12/17/new-york-times...

The New York Times is taking a second look at its reporting on the Internet activities of the assailants in the San Bernardino, Calif., massacre. The review is addressing a discrepancy between the paper’s reporting and statements made ... by FBI Director James B. Comey. The New York Times reported in a front-page Sunday piece that Tashfeen Malik, who with her husband Syed Rizwan Farook committed the slayings, “talked openly on social media about her views on violent jihad.” In a session with reporters yesterday, Comey announced: “So far, in this investigation we have found no evidence of posting on social media by either of them at that period in time and thereafter reflecting their commitment to jihad or to martyrdom. I’ve seen some reporting on that, and that’s a garble.” Following Comey’s statements, the New York Times published an article acknowledging the inconsistencies. That the New York Times appears to have botched this story isn’t a shocker. “American law enforcement officials” - upon whom the paper relied for its scoop - are famous for feeding contradictory and unfounded information to the media. Yet the paper’s explanation is indeed a shocker, especially these two sentences: "While those remarks were made online, Mr. Comey said, they were “direct private messages” and not easily accessed. Nevertheless, the F.B.I. was able to obtain them in the days since the attacks." This is a story that needs a large correction, if not a retraction.

Note: Somebody wants us to be afraid. Read an excellent analysis raising serious questions about these alleged mass murderers and others. A New York Times editor admitted that the NYT failed to accurately report the news after 9/11. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the manipulation of public perception.


Where’s Bernie? Media Ignores Sanders Though He’s More Popular Than Trump
2015-12-17, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2015/12/17/wheres-bernie-media-ignores-sanders-thoug...

The headlines about Donald Trump hitting new highs in national polls are tremendously deceptive, as they only measure his support among self-declared Republican primary voters, a small subset of the nation as a whole. For example, in [a] recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, Trump was the first choice of 27 percent of the Republican voters who responded. Given the weighted samples in this poll (38 percent identify as Republican or leaning Republican) this translates into Trump capturing the support of about 11 percent of American voters in total. In the same poll, 37 percent of Democratic voters supported Democratic contender Bernie Sanders. Given the weighted samples (43 percent identify as Democrat or leaning Democrat) that translates into roughly 16 percent of all American voters. Additionally, in a recent Quinnipiac poll, Sanders beat Trump in a head-to-head matchup - by an even larger margin than Hillary Clinton did. But in terms of coverage by the mainstream media, Trump is besting Sanders 23 to 1, by some estimates. Some of this can be explained by the fact that Trump is the GOP frontrunner, and Sanders has consistently run second to Clinton. But it’s also partly because of what a spectacle Trump has made of himself - and because the media has consistently treated Sanders as a marginal candidate. Media executives view Trump’s outrageous antics as good for their bottom line. “Go Donald! Keep getting out there!” Les Moonves, the chief executive of CBS, [recently] cheered.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about elections and the manipulation of mass media.


Strike Two for Pair of New York Times Reporters
2015-12-16, Mother Jones
http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/12/strike-two-pair-new-york-times-...

Today, FBI director James Comey said the San Bernardino shooters never talked openly about violent jihadism on social media: "So far, in this investigation we have found no evidence of posting on social media by either of them at that period in time and thereafter reflecting their commitment to jihador to martyrdom." So where did this notion come from, anyway? The answer is a New York Times story on Sunday headlined "U.S. Visa Process Missed San Bernardino Wife's Zealotry on Social Media." It told us that Tashfeen Malik "talked openly" on social media about jihad and that, "Had the authorities found the posts years ago, they might have kept her out of the country." The story was written by Matt Apuzzo, Michael Schmidt, and Julia Preston. Do those names sound familiar? They should. The first two were also the authors of July's epic fail claiming that Hillary Clinton was the target of a criminal referral over the mishandling of classified information in her private email system. In the end, virtually everything about the story turned out to be wrong. Clinton was not a target. The referral was not criminal. The emails in question had most likely not been classified at the time Clinton saw them. That's two strikes. Schmidt and Apuzzo either have some bad sources somewhere, or else they have one really bad source somewhere. And coincidentally or not, their source(s) have provided them with two dramatic but untrue scoops that make prominent Democrats look either corrupt or incompetent.

Note: A New York Times editor admitted that the NYT failed to accurately report the news after 9/11. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the manipulation of public perception.


Inside Saudi Arabia’s Campaign to Charm American Policymakers and Journalists
2015-12-01, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2015/12/01/inside-saudi-charm-campaign/

Soon after launching a brutal air and ground assault in Yemen, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia began devoting significant resources to a sophisticated public relations blitz. Elements of the charm offensive include the launch of a pro-Saudi Arabia media portal operated by high-profile Republican campaign consultants; a special English-language website devoted to putting a positive spin on the latest developments in the Yemen war; glitzy dinners with American political and business elites; and a non-stop push to sway reporters and policymakers. That has been accompanied by a spending spree on American lobbyists with ties to the Washington establishment. Saudi Arabia continues to be a leading driver of Sunni terror networks worldwide, including in Syria and Iraq. The Saudi Arabian government is currently supplying weapons to a Syrian rebel coalition that includes the Nusra Front, al Qaeda’s affiliate in the region. Private donors in Saudi Arabia have also worked as fundraisers for the Islamic State, or ISIS. And there is a renewed, bipartisan push by lawmakers to declassify the 28 pages of the 9/11 Commission Report, a censored section that reportedly relates to Saudi state support for al Qaeda’s operation. In September, the Kingdom helped sponsor opulent galas for Washington’s business elite at the Ritz Carlton and the Andrew Mellon Auditorium. The events were attended by King Salman, along with the chief executives of General Electric and Lockheed Martin, the chairman of Marriott International, and prominent think tank officials.

Note: A carefully researched report on the covert origins of ISIS suggests the creation of terrorists is useful for Washington's elite. A document that is reported to connect Saudi money to 9/11 remains classified. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about government corruption and media manipulation.


CNN Punished Its Own Journalist for Fulfilling a Core Duty of Journalism
2015-11-20, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2015/11/20/cnns-punishment-of-refugee-defending-jour...

CNN yesterday suspended its global affairs correspondent, Elise Labott, for two weeks for the crime of posting a tweet critical of the House vote to ban Syrian refugees. Whether by compulsion or choice, she then groveled in apology. Labott’s crime wasn’t that she expressed an opinion. It’s that she expressed the wrong opinion: After Paris, defending Muslims, even refugees, is strictly forbidden. I’ve spoken with friends who work at every cable network and they say the post-Paris climate is indescribably repressive in terms of what they can say and who they can put on air. When it comes to the Paris attacks, CNN has basically become state TV. Labott’s punishment comes just five days after two CNN anchors spent six straight minutes lecturing French Muslim civil rights activist Yasser Louati that he and all other French Muslims bear “responsibility” for the attack. In the wake of Paris, an already ugly and quite dangerous anti-Muslim climate has exploded. The leading GOP presidential candidate is speaking openly of forcing Muslims to register in databases, closing mosques, and requiring Muslims to carry special ID cards. Others are advocating exclusion of Muslim refugees (Cruz) and religious tests to allow in only “proven Christians” (Bush). That, by any measure, is a crisis of authoritarianism. And journalists have historically not only been permitted, but required, to raise their voice against such dangers.

Note: The New York Times recently reported that a Syrian passport found at a Paris bombing site was planted as part of a false evidence trail "to turn public opinion against Syrian refugees." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing media manipulation news articles from reliable sources.


Death From Above: Confessions of a Killer Drone Operator
2015-11-19, Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/confessions-lethal-drone-operator-396541

In 2009, not long after his historic election and seven years after the first U.S. drone strike, President Barack Obama accepted the Nobel Peace Prize. Since then, however, deadly U.S. drone strikes have increased sharply, as have doubts about the program’s reliability and effectiveness. The latest criticism comes from Drone, a new documentary about the CIA’s covert drone war. To help promote the film and inveigh against the agency’s drone program ... four former operators - Stephen Lewis, Michael Haas, Cian Westmoreland and Brandon Bryant - appeared at a press conference. Speaking out can lead to veiled threats and prosecution. Which is why for years Bryant was the only drone veteran who openly rebuked the drone war. But his persistence and his appearance in the film, the other three say, inspired them to come forward. On multiple occasions, the men say they complained to their superiors about their concerns to no avail. Drone strikes kill far more civilians than the government admits. These deaths, they argue, wind up helping militant groups recruit new members and hurt the U.S.’s long-term security. By distancing soldiers from the battlefield, the operators suggest the people carrying out strikes may become even more desensitized to killing than their counterparts on the front lines. On some occasions, Haas says operators referred to children as “fun-sized terrorists” or “TITS,” terrorists in training.

Note: A human rights attorney has stated the four former Air Force drone operators-turned-whistleblowers mentioned above have had their credit cards and bank accounts frozen. How many more have not spoken out against these abuses for fear of retaliation like this? Read more about the major failings of US drone attacks. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


California missile test: Social media nightmare or exactly what the Navy wanted?
2015-11-10, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2015/11/09/california-missi...

There’s no longer any doubt that thousands of West Coasters witnessed an unarmed missile streaking across the sky Saturday night. What remains open to interpretation: Why? Why test-fire a missile within sight of the nation’s second-largest city? Did officials underestimate social media’s ability to turn a routine event into front-page fodder? Or was that the plan all along, using the inevitable influence of social media to flex America’s military might for observers in Beijing and Moscow? The answer: It’s complicated. Loren Thompson, a military analyst who used to teach nuclear strategy at Georgetown University, told The Washington Post that “We have entered an era when anybody can reach a large audience using social media and the blogosphere, so the military needs to look closely at the implications of testing close to population centers. Obviously, with something as large as a Trident II missile, whether you launch during the daytime or at night, it will be visible,” he said. “That’s just the nature of it.” Even so, the extra attention might not have mattered to military officials, Thompson said. If you ignore the frenzy on social media, there is a benefit to visibility: The U.S. Navy, Thompson writes in Forbes, views nuclear deterrence as its most important mission, and the Trident is the backbone of that deterrence. “You could have demonstrated same point to the Russians or the Chinese without getting people really concerned in L.A.,” Thompson told The Post.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about government corruption and media manipulation.


Radiant 'Spotlight' illuminates how the Boston Globe covered church sex scandal
2015-11-05, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-et-mn-spotlight-review-2015110...

"Spotlight" ... is the saga of how the Boston Globe won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for uncovering not only decades of sexual abuse by Catholic priests but also systematic maneuvers by the church's Boston archdiocese to shield the more than 70 perpetrators. The story "Spotlight" tells is significant twice over. First for its depiction of the uncovering of what proved to be an international scandal, and also for the way it quietly but potently illustrates society's need for old-fashioned investigative journalism, the kind of labor-intensive telling-truth-to-power work that's increasingly in jeopardy. As "Spotlight" opens in July 2001 ... a new man, the imperturbable Marty Baron, the rare Globe editor not to grow up in Boston, is about to take over the paper. In fact, practically the first thing Baron does is ... focus on the accusations of clergy sexual misconduct. The [news] team (all of whom are lapsed Catholics), as well as the staff in general, symbolized by dubious assistant managing editor Ben Bradlee Jr. are well aware of the enormity of what they're taking on. For one thing, 53% of the Globe's subscribers are Catholic and, for another, as someone says, "the Church thinks in terms of centuries." Because it has done its homework ... "Spotlight" is especially good at the dynamics of interviewing, on what happens when reporters say things like, "Do you want to be on the right side of this story when it breaks?" Honest enough to zing the Globe for neglecting this story for years before it took it on, "Spotlight" is both damning and inspiring.

Note: Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team titled "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this sad subject. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


Vatican Arrests 2 in Connection With Leaked Documents
2015-11-02, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/03/world/europe/vatican-arrests-leaked-documen...

The Vatican announced Monday that two members of a commission set up by Pope Francis to study financial operations at the Holy See had been arrested on suspicion of leaking confidential documents to journalists. The arrests came days before the publication of two books - “Avarizia,” or “Avarice,” by Emiliano Fittipaldi, and “Merchants in the Temple,” by Gianluigi Nuzzi. Both books claim to offer glimpses of the turmoil surrounding Francis as he pursues his reforms of Vatican finances, the operations of the Curia and the Vatican bank. Those institutions had long been plagued by scandal and corruption that contributed to the resignation in 2013 of Francis’ predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, the first pope to step down in nearly 600 years. Divulging confidential documents has been considered a crime in the Vatican since July 2013, after the leak of a cache of Vatican documents ... which Mr. Nuzzi published. Besides reporting on the church’s vast financial holdings, Mr. Fittipaldi said he had also discovered that money given to the church for the poor was used for other purposes. Mr. Nuzzi’s book ... suggests that the Vatican’s finances were in such chaos that Benedict had no choice but to resign. “I am certainly surprised that the Vatican responds to the imminent publication of a book with handcuffs,” Mr. Nuzzi said ... particularly “when handcuffs aren’t used to stop the thieves in the Vatican.”

Note: In 2012, leaked documents revealed that the Vatican Bank was used for money laundering. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the financial industry.


FBI report: Violent crime down in U.S.
2015-09-28, CNN
http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/28/politics/fbi-crime-statistics-report-2014/

The FBI says crime rates, including murder, were down last year. The report is in contrast to headlines this year. In 2014 the U.S. recorded the fewest murders since 2009. Most other violent crimes, such as robbery, burglary, theft and arson have declined, while aggravated assaults and rapes, which now includes a broader definition, were on the rise in 2014. The 2014 numbers do not reflect an increase this year in murders and other violent crimes reported in some cities. Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates highlighted progress made for cities compared to decades past. "We have witnessed a remarkable drop in crime since the 1980's - both violent crime and crime overall. Entire cities have been transformed, unlocking tremendous potential and releasing a wave of prosperity," Yates said, adding that "even though crime is trending downward in most places, we are seeing pockets of rising violence in various locations across the country." While the FBI has expanded the report to include new statistics such as hate crimes and human trafficking arrests, it addressed concerns of transparency in the reporting of potential violent crimes committed by law enforcement officers on civilians.

Note: This article, like almost all media articles on the topic, fails to report the incredible news that violent crime rates have dropped to 1/3 of what they were just 20 years ago. Why are they not highlighting this incredibly inspiring news? For details on this awesome development, see this excellent webpage. See also an excellent graph on this.


John Lydon says he was 'banned from BBC' over Jimmy Savile comments
2015-09-24, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/sep/24/john-lydon-says-he-was-banned-f...

John Lydon has claimed he was banned from the BBC after speaking out against Jimmy Savile. The former Sex Pistol was referring to an interview he’d given in 1978, during which he had said that Savile was “into all sorts of seediness. We all know about it but we’re not allowed to talk about it." Speaking to Piers Morgan for his Life Stories show, he said: “I’m very, very bitter that the likes of Savile and the rest of them were allowed to continue. I did my bit, I said what I had to. But they didn’t air that.” He continued: “I found myself banned from BBC radio for quite a while, for my contentious behaviour. They wouldn’t state this directly; there’d be other excuses.” The band were already in the BBC’s bad books before Lydon’s Savile comments: God Save The Queen received a total ban on radio play from the corporation in May 1977. Lydon didn’t go into the specifics of what the ban entailed, although he said: “Weren’t I right? I think most kids wanted to go on [Savile's popular show] Top of the Pops, but we all knew what that cigar muncher was up to.”

Note: Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this topic in the US. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


The alarming loss of your right to information
2015-09-19, Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, California's leading newspaper)
http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/op-ed/soapbox/article35486796.html

The United States has slipped so far with respect to transparency that some open-government groups now rank it behind Yemen, Kyrgyzstan and Liberia. Today, the Freedom of Information Act – our country’s signature right-to-information law – is alarmingly dysfunctional. It is impeding the ability of the press to do its job. Sharyl Attkisson, a journalist with five Emmy Awards ... asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last October for records related to a virus that had possibly killed 14 children and paralyzed another 115. The CDC still hasn’t turned over a single document in response. This isn’t the first such experience for Attkisson. She recently told a congressional committee that it took the Department of Defense 10 years to respond to a request she made in 2003. It is a sad turn of events that FOIA has become so unhelpful to journalists. Like many other citizens who make requests under FOIA – which allows any person to request federal agency records for any reason – journalists face backlogs, excuses for withholding, and delays. “Non-responsiveness is the norm,” Karen Kaiser, general counsel of The Associated Press, told a Senate panel in May. Agencies could do a far better job of enforcing FOIA as it is written. Notably, agencies need to faithfully adhere to a provision of FOIA that allows journalists’ requests to go to the front of the queue when there is an “urgency to inform the public.” As it stands, agencies reject these so-called “expedited processing” requests the vast majority of the time.

Note: Along with having her FOIA requests stalled, Sharyl Attkisson has sometimes been spied on and computer-hacked by U.S intelligence agencies for her investigative journalism. The number of FOIA requests denied by government agencies has been rapidly increasing in recent years.


NYT Claims U.S. Abides by Cluster Bomb Treaty: The Exact Opposite of Reality
2015-09-03, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2015/09/03/nyt-claims-u-s-abides-cluster-bomb-ban-ex...

The New York Times today has a truly bizarre article regarding the U.S. and cluster bombs. The Paper of Record [claims the U.S.] government, though refusing to sign the cluster ban treaty, has nonetheless “abided by its provisions.” This claim is totally false. The U.S. has long been and remains one of the world’s most aggressive suppliers of cluster munitions, and has used those banned weapons itself in devastating ways. In December 2009 - just weeks after he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize - President Obama ordered a cruise missile strike (that) “killed 35 women and children.” Among the munitions used in that strike were cluster bombs. Although the U.S. at first refused to confirm responsibility, a Yemeni journalist, Abdulelah Haider Shaye, visited the scene and found irrefutable proof that it was done by the U.S., a finding subsequently confirmed. Obama ... then forced the imprisonment for years of the Yemeni journalist who reported it. Under the treaty which The Paper of Record today claimed the U.S. honors: "Each State Party undertakes never under any circumstances to: (a) Use cluster munitions; (b) Develop, produce, otherwise acquire, stockpile, retain or transfer to anyone, directly or indirectly, cluster munitions; (c) Assist, encourage or induce anyone to engage in any activity prohibited to a State Party under this Convention. The U.S. does not occasionally violate one of those provisions. It continually violates all of them, systematically and as a matter of policy.

Note: The international trade in cluster bombs is funded by major banks. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


Feds sued over access to FBI records involving fake news story
2015-08-27, CBS News/Associated Press
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/feds-sued-over-access-to-fbi-records-involving-fa...

The Associated Press sued the U.S. Department of Justice Thursday over the FBI's failure to provide public records related to the creation of a fake news story used to plant surveillance software on a suspect's computer. At issue is a 2014 Freedom of Information request seeking documents related to the FBI's decision to send a web link to the fake article to a 15-year-old boy suspected of making bomb threats to a high school. The FBI has used spyware before to pursue suspected criminals. AP strongly objected to the ruse, which was uncovered last year. AP General Counsel Karen Kaiser [wrote] in a 2014 letter to then-Attorney General Eric Holder, "It is improper and inconsistent with a free press for government personnel to masquerade as The Associated Press or any other news organization. The FBI may have intended this false story as a trap for only one person. However, the individual could easily have reposted this story to social networks, distributing to thousands of people, under our name, what was essentially a piece of government disinformation." In a November opinion piece in the New York Times, FBI Director James Comey revealed that an undercover FBI agent had also impersonated an AP reporter. AP's records request also seeks an accounting of how many times since 2000 the FBI has impersonated media organizations to deliver malicious software. In a response to AP, the FBI indicated it might take nearly two years to find and copy the requested records.

Note: According to The Guardian, the FBI forced an informant to hack into and compromise the computer systems of a major UK newspaper in 2011. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in the intelligence community and the manipulation of mass media.


The Pentagon’s Dangerous Views on the Wartime Press
2015-08-10, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/10/opinion/the-pentagons-dangerous-views-on-th...

The Defense Department earlier this summer released a comprehensive manual outlining its interpretation of the law of war. The 1,176-page document, the first of its kind, includes guidelines on the treatment of journalists covering armed conflicts that would make their work more dangerous, cumbersome and subject to censorship. Journalists, the manual says, are generally regarded as civilians, but may in some instances be deemed “unprivileged belligerents,” a legal term that applies to fighters that are afforded fewer protections than the declared combatants in a war. The manual warns that “Reporting on military operations can be very similar to collecting intelligence or even spying.” It says that governments “may need to censor journalists’ work or take other security measures so that journalists do not reveal sensitive information to the enemy.” Allowing this document to stand as guidance for commanders, government lawyers and officials of other nations would do severe damage to press freedoms. Authoritarian leaders around the world could point to it to show that their despotic treatment of journalists — including Americans — is broadly in line with the standards set by the United States government. The document’s broad assertion that journalists’ work may need to be censored lest it reveal sensitive information to the enemy ... seems to contravene American constitutional and case law, and offers other countries that routinely censor the press a handy reference point.

Note: Read a critical analysis of the Pentagon’s new manual from the Committee to Protect Journalists. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in the intelligence community and the manipulation of public perception.


Coca-Cola Funds Scientists Who Shift Blame for Obesity Away From Bad Diets
2015-08-09, New York Times
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/08/09/coca-cola-funds-scientists-who-shift...

Coca-Cola, the world’s largest producer of sugary beverages, is backing a new “science-based” solution to the obesity crisis: To maintain a healthy weight, get more exercise and worry less about cutting calories. Health experts say this message is misleading and part of an effort by Coke to deflect criticism about the role sugary drinks have played in the spread of obesity and Type 2 diabetes, [and] convince the public that physical activity can offset a bad diet despite evidence that exercise has only minimal impact on weight compared with what people consume. “Coca-Cola’s sales are slipping, and there’s this huge political and public backlash against soda, with every major city trying to do something to curb consumption,” said Michele Simon, a public health lawyer. “This is a direct response.” Coke’s [campaign] is not the only example of corporate-funded research and advocacy to come under fire lately. The American Society for Nutrition and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics have been criticized by public health advocates for forming partnerships with companies such as Kraft Foods, McDonald’s, PepsiCo and Hershey’s. Dietitians have also faced criticism for taking payments from Coke to present the company’s soda as a healthy snack. A recent analysis of beverage studies ... found that those funded by Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, the American Beverage Association and the sugar industry were five times more likely to find no link between sugary drinks and weight gain than studies whose authors reported no financial conflicts.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the corruption of science and the manipulation of public perception.


NBC News Releases the Long-Awaited Trailer for its Summer Horror Film About ISIS
2015-07-23, The Intercept
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/07/23/nbc-news-releases-long-awaited-...

During a discussion yesterday in Aspen with ... CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer, FBI Director James Comey somberly warned that ISIS now officially poses a bigger threat to the “U.S. homeland” than the one posed by former title-holder Al Qaeda — because, of course, the Latest Threat must always be the Greatest Threat. Comey also said that the previous bigger-than-Al-Qaeda contender, “The Khorasan Group,” has been “diminished” by “the work done by our great military” — because the War on Terror narrative requires that it must always be somehow simultaneously true that (1) the Terror Threat facing Americans is Greater Than Ever™ and (2) U.S. military actions against Terrorism are succeeding. To dramatize ISIS as The New Greatest Threat to the Homeland, FBI Director Comey first summoned the TV-actor-who-plays-the-journalist-character-called-Wolf-Blitzer to Aspen, and then NBC News posted to the top of its news article a slick, scary, music-and-graphic-driven video using all of Hollywood’s horror film staples to provide the visceral kick. I’m really grateful that because Americans have a free press, we’re not subject to state propaganda the way people in those bad, unfortunate countries are.

Note: Read an excellent essay by a top US general exposing how war is a racket. Is this why terrorist fear-mongers always claim that it is the scariest time ever? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the manipulation of public perception.


Germany halts treason inquiry into journalists after protests
2015-07-21, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/31/germany-halts-treason-inquiry-jo...

A treason investigation into two journalists who reported that the German state planned to increase online surveillance has been suspended by the country’s prosecutor general following protests by leading voices across politics and media. Harald Range, Germany’s prosecutor general, said on Friday he was halting the investigation “for the good of press and media freedom”. It was the first time in more than half a century that journalists in Germany had faced charges of treason. His announcement followed a deluge of criticism and accusations that Germany’s prosecutor had “misplaced priorities”, having failed to investigate with any conviction the NSA spying scandal revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden, and targeting instead the two investigative journalists, Markus Beckedahl and Andre Meister. The two reporters made reference to what is believed to be a genuine intelligence report that had been classified as confidential, which proposed establishing a new intelligence department to monitor the internet, in particular social media networks. Beckedahl hit out at the prosecutor’s investigation against him on Friday on the state broadcaster Deutschlandfunk, calling it “absurd” and suggesting it was meant as a general warning to scare sources from speaking to journalists. Much of the German media called the decision an attack on the freedom of the press.

Note: The NSA recently got caught spying on German reporters, possibly as a favor to the German government. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in the intelligence community and the manipulation of public perception.


The Spirit of Judy Miller is Alive and Well at the NYT, and It Does Great Damage
2015-07-21, The Intercept
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/07/21/spirit-judy-miller-alive-well-n...

Former New York Times reporter Judy Miller ... granted anonymity to government officials and then uncritically laundered their dubious claims. As the paper’s own editors put it in their 2004 mea culpa about the role they played in selling the [Iraq] war: “We have found a number of instances of coverage that ... seems questionable now, was insufficiently qualified or allowed to stand unchallenged.” But 12 years after Miller left, you can pick up that same paper on any given day and ... find reporters doing exactly the same thing. It is worth observing how damaging it continues to be, because, shockingly, all sorts of self-identified “journalists” — both within the paper and outside of it — continue to equate unverified assertions from government officials as Proven Truth, even when these officials are too cowardly to attach their names to these claims, as long as papers such as the NYT launder them. Among the assertions mindlessly repeated by the Paper of Record from its beloved anonymous officials is this one: that ISIS learned to use couriers as a result of the Snowden revelations. The claim itself ... is monumentally stupid. Terrorists have known for a very long time that the U.S. government and its allies are trying to intercept their communications, and have long used encryption and other means to prevent that. This is the same process that enabled the New York Times, more than any other media outlet, to sell the Iraq War to the American public, and they’re using exactly the same methods to this day.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in the intelligence community and the manipulation of public perception.


A Wizard at Prying Government Secrets From the Government
2015-07-19, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/20/business/a-wizard-at-prying-government-secr...

Reporter Jason Leopold ... has revealed about 20,000 pages of government documents, some of them the basis for explosive news stories. His secret weapon: the Freedom of Information Act. A number of stories over the last several years based on government documents leaked by WikiLeaks and by ... Edward J. Snowden seem to have piqued the interest of the public, and of journalists, in acquiring such materials. In 2009, according to its own figures, the government received about 560,000 Freedom of Information Act requests. By 2014, that number had risen to about 715,000. The Freedom of Information Act was enacted in the 1960s to help citizens gather information on their government. In practice, it can seem as if Kafka and Orwell sat down together to plot a nightmare of bureaucratic complication. Each government agency or department has its own FOIA office that it must finance out of its own budget. [Yet] the office of the secretary of defense ... with an annual budget of more than $500 billion, was reported, in 2013, not to be accepting FOIA requests because its fax machine was broken. The C.I.A.’s FOIA website has been down for some time, Mr. Leopold said, and there seem to be few signs it will be fixed. And there is one small Treasury Department office, he said, that has no working email, fax number or address, and that does not answer the phone.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about high level manipulation of mass media.


Citizenfour director Laura Poitras sues US over 'Kafkaesque harassment'
2015-07-14, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/jul/14/citizenfour-director-laura-poitra...

The Oscar-winning documentary film-maker Laura Poitras is suing the US government. Poitras, 51, said she had been held at borders more than 50 times between 2006 and 2012, often for hours at a time. At various times she alleges being told by officials that she was on a “no fly” list, having her electronic equipment confiscated ... and being threatened with handcuffs for taking notes. The latter incident took place when she was working on a film about the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Poitras [is] launching the legal action "because the government uses the US border to bypass the rule of law,” said the film-maker. She was repeatedly stopped until 2012, when the journalist Glenn Greenwald wrote an article about her experiences. Poitras’s reporting on the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, along with work by Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill and Barton Gellman contributed to the Pulitzer prize for public service won jointly by the Washington Post and the Guardian in 2014. Her film on Snowden, Citizenfour, won the 2015 Oscar for best documentary. The director is being represented by lawyers from digital-rights advocacy group the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “The well-documented difficulties Ms Poitras experienced while traveling strongly suggest that she was improperly targeted by federal agencies as a result of her journalistic activities,” senior counsel David Sobel told the Intercept. “Those agencies are now attempting to conceal information that would shed light on tactics that appear to have been illegal.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in the intelligence community and attempts to manipulate mass media.


Our media's Isis threat hype machine: government stenography at its worst
2015-07-06, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jul/06/isis-cnn-terrorism-threa...

If you turned on US cable news at any point last week, you might have thought this July 4 holiday would be our last weekend on earth – the supposed terrorist masterminds in Isis and their alleged vast sleeper cell army were going to descend upon America like the aliens in Independence Day and destroy us all. CNN has led the pack in whipping Americans into a panic over the Isis threat, running story after story with government officials and terrorism industry money-makers hyping the threat, played against the backdrop of scary b-roll of terrorist training camps. Following the tragedy in Charleston, where a white supremacist terrorist killed nine innocent churchgoers, there was – finally! – widespread acknowledgement that the Islamic terrorism threat in this country is vastly exaggerated, and that white supremacists actually kill many more Americans than Muslim extremists do. As Glenn Greenwald wrote at the time, you are more likely to be struck by lightning, stung to death by bees or killed your own falling furniture on you than you are by a Muslim terrorist. Yet there we were, less than a week later, back to an “Isis is going to kill us all” mentality. Journalist Adam Johnson went back a decade and found 40 ... times the FBI and Homeland Security have issued similar threats around national holidays or major events, none of which actually was followed by a terrorist attack. It’s more than a little disturbing how much CNN and others have seemingly grown to rely on these nebulous warnings to keep viewers hooked.

Note: Read an excellent essay by a top US general exposing how war is a racket. Is this why terrorist fear-mongers always claim that it is the scariest time ever? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the manipulation of public perception.


Obama administration spied on German media as well as its government
2015-07-04, CNN News
http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/03/politics/germany-media-spying-obama-administrat...

An investigation by the German parliament is raising questions on whether the Obama administration not only spied on journalists in that country, but also interfered in the exercise of the free press. On Thursday, Germany's intelligence coordinator, Günter Heiss, testified before a parliamentary investigative committee of the German parliament, the Bundestag, focused on the activities of the U.S. National Security Agency's spying on Germany and whether the German intelligence agency BND had any knowledge of it. In 2013, the German magazine Der Spiegel ... first reported that the NSA was intercepting German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone communications. On Thursday, WikiLeaks released more information, presumably from that surveillance, from a conversation between Merkel and her personal assistant in October 2011. The WikiLeaks release also suggested that the NSA was spying on German ministers in addition to Merkel. Less observed this week was news that the NSA was eavesdropping not only on Merkel, but also in some capacity on Germany's free press, specifically Der Spiegel. "It feels bitter to learn that American intelligence agencies spied on reporters in another country and denounced alleged sources to the government," said one reporter involved, who asked not to be identified for fear of repercussions from his government or the U.S. government. "This is something I expected to happen in authoritarian states like Russia or China, but not in a democracy."

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in the intelligence community and the manipulation of public perception.


How the NSA Started Investigating the New York Times' Warrantless Wiretapping Story
2015-06-27, The Intercept
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/06/26/nsa-started-investigating-new-y...

Three days after the New York Times revealed that the U.S. government was secretly monitoring the calls and emails of people inside the United States without court-approved warrants, the National Security Agency issued a top-secret assessment of the damage done to intelligence efforts by the story. The conclusion: the information could lead terrorists to try to evade detection. Yet the agency gave no specific examples of investigations that had been jeopardized. The December 2005 bombshell story, by James Risen and Eric Lichtblau, set off a debate about the George W. Bush administration's expansion of spying powers after the 9/11 attacks, and also about the Times editors' decision to delay its publication for a year. White House officials had warned the Times that revealing the program would have grave consequences for national security. "To this day we've never seen any evidence – despite all the claims they made to keep us from publishing – that it did any tangible damage to national security, " Lichtblau told The Intercept. "The reality was that the story ... didn't tell terrorists anything that they didn't know," he said. The NSA's damage assessment on the article ... is among the files provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The memo recounts meetings in 2004 and 2005 in which administration officials disclosed "certain details of the special program to select individuals from the New York Times to dissuade them from publishing a story on the program at that time."

Note: You can read the revealing memo mentioned at the link above. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on civil liberties from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Media Information Center.


Major Questions Remain Unanswered in Boston Killing of Alleged ISIS Beheading Plotter
2015-06-10, The Intercept
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/06/10/major-questions-remain-unanswer...

Last week in the Boston area, a 26-year-old black Muslim man was shot and killed by agents of the FBI and Boston Police Department. A surveillance video ... was finally released on Monday. It’s virtually impossible to know what happened from this highly touted video, other than the fact that [Usaamah] Rahim appears to have been walking peacefully when he was approached by multiple individuals, wearing no police uniforms, in a threatening, military-style formation. Rahim’s family issued a statement detailing the numerous questions raised by the video. Early reports claimed that there was a third conspirator beyond Rahim and [his nephew and accused co-conspirator David] Wright. The FBI affidavit filed against Wright repeatedly references a “third person” who plotted with Rahim and Wright and met with them. Yet there has been no further mention of this “third person,” and apparently no arrest of him. Why not? Is that third person an FBI informant? Is this yet another case where the director and prime mover of a scary “terror plot” is in fact the FBI itself. What basis exists for the highly inflammatory claim that Rahim was “linked to” or “inspired by” ISIS? He was not only wary of being set up by the FBI, but specifically said he was “preaching AGAINST violence and terrorism.” As AP noted, on social media Rahim “spoke out against the kind of violence Islamic State extremists are fomenting across the Middle East,” and “made none of the violent calls to arms many supporters of armed extremist groups espouse on social media.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the erosion of civil liberties and the manipulation of public perception.


When It’s O.K. to Pay for a Story
2015-06-09, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/09/opinion/when-its-ok-to-pay-for-a-story.html...

Last week, WikiLeaks disturbed many journalists with an initiative to crowd-source a $100,000 “bounty” on the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. In traditional newsrooms, the idea of offering a cash incentive for the leaking of confidential documents is anathema. But WikiLeaks ... leaves us no choice but to reconsider this prohibition. The TPP exceeds agreements like Nafta in scope and scale and involves far-reaching foreign policy decisions. Its measures will touch the lives of every citizen in the 12 countries expected to sign the pact. Chapters already leaked suggest that the deal restricts fair use of copyrighted material, expands medical patents and weakens public policies that govern net neutrality. Members of Congress can read the text in a secure room but cannot discuss its contents publicly. Representatives from about 600 private corporations are said to have access to the document. Yet the public is excluded. WikiLeaks has arrived at a flawed solution to a very real problem. We have reached a point in the evolution of global democracy at which secrecy and transparency are grotesquely imbalanced. Right now, the bounty may be the best shot we have at transforming the TPP process from a back-room deal to an open debate. But we need a better system to discourage unjustified secrecy, to protect sources and to encourage public-interest whistle-blowing.

Note: The Trans-Pacific Partnership may be a pending disaster. But we do not know for sure, because its contents remain secret. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the corporate world.


Media Lessons from Snowden Reporting: LA Times Editors Advocate Prosecution of Sources
2015-06-07, The Intercept
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/06/07/la-times-editors-advocate-impri...

Two years ago, the first story based on the Snowden archive was published in The Guardian, revealing a program of domestic mass surveillance, which, at least in its original form, ended this week. To commemorate that anniversary, Edward Snowden himself reflected in a New York Times op-ed on the “power of an informed public”. The debate provoked by these disclosures [examined] the role journalism ought to play in a democracy and the proper relationship of journalists to those who wield the greatest political and economic power. Of all the revelations over the last two years, one of the most illuminating and stunning has been the reaction of many in the American media to Edward Snowden as a source. There was plenty of journalistic support for the disclosures. But huge numbers of journalists went on the warpath against transparency. The Los Angeles Times ... believes leaking is criminal and those who do it belong in prison. The LA Times itself constantly publishes illegal leaks, though the ones it publishes usually come from top government officials. Have the LA Times editors called for the criminal prosecution of Leon Panetta, and John Brennan, and the endless number of senior officials who leak not (as Snowden did) to inform the public but in order to propagandize them? Of course not, and therein lies the key media lesson from all of this. These journalists are literally agents of political power.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in the intelligence community and the manipulation of public perception.


For Terrorist Fearmongers, It’s Always the Scariest Time Ever
2015-06-02, The Intercept
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/06/02/fear-mongers-always-scariest-ti...

For the fearmongers in the West and their allies, it’s always the scariest time ever. In February, former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morrell, arguing for renewal of the Patriot Act, warned that “the ‘lone wolf’ terrorist threat to the United States has never been greater.” In January, an anonymous senior aide to U.K. Prime Minister ... argued for a new “snooper” bill by saying that “the terrorist threat has never been greater.” In mid-2014, U.K. Prime Minister Cameron himself raised the threat level to “severe” and announced: “Britain faces the ‘greatest and deepest’ terror threat in the country’s history.” Throughout the Bush years ... officials raised their color-coded terror alerts and issued similar warnings so many times that it became a running joke. Years later, the face of that joke, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, admitted he was pressured to issue warnings for political gain. Here we are 14 years after 9/11, and it’s still always the worst threat ever in all of history. If we always face the greatest threat ever, then one of two things is true: 1) fearmongers serially exaggerate the threat for self-interested reasons, or 2) the threat is always getting more severe, year after year — which might mean we should evaluate the wisdom of “terrorism” policies that constantly make the problem worse. Whatever else is true, the people who should have the least credibility on the planet are [those] who have spent the last 15 years exploiting the terror threat in order to terrorize the American population into doing what they want.

Note: Read an excellent essay by a top US general exposing how war is a racket. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in the intelligence community and the manipulation of public perception.


Decapitated body of Brazilian journalist and blogger investigating child prostitution ring found
2015-05-21, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/evany-jos-metzker-dead-police-find-de...

The decapitated body of a missing blogger who was investigating a child prostitution ring has been found by police in Brazil. Evany José Metzker's body was found outside the town of Padre Paraíso, in ... Brazil's southeastern Minas Gerais state. Metzger, who maintained a blog named 'Coruja do Vale' (The Owl of the Valley), was reportedly investigating a child prostitution ring operating in the area. Metzger had travelled to Padre Paraíso three months earlier. His body was found on Monday. He had been missing for several days. Metzger's wife, Hilma Chaves Silva Borges, was quoted by The Committee to Protect Journalists as saying that Metzker was working in a dangerous part of the country. "There are lots of murders here. I think that the motive, given the barbarity of his murder, was because he hit on something," she was quoted as saying. Brazil is the third most dangerous country for journalists in Latin America, after Mexico and Colombia, according to Reporters Without Borders. In his blog Metzger often reported on corrupt officials and politicians. Extra, a local daily newspaper, quoted Metzker's family as saying the police were led to the body following an anonymous tip-off.

Note: Those running child prostitution rings make huge amounts of money and are protected by politicians at high levels. Many will not hesitate to kill if anyone threatens to expose their sex trade in children. If you want to understand how pedophile rings have infiltrated the highest levels of government, don't miss the powerful Discovery Channel documentary on this available here.


How chemical industry hoodwinked California Legislature
2015-05-16, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/diaz/article/How-chemical-industry-hoodwin...

Grant David Gillham, former legislative staffer ... knows how to work the system. Three major manufacturers of fire retardants went to the right person in 2007 when they enlisted him to help defeat legislation that would ban two classes of retardants believed to cause cancer. Their instructions to him: Don’t worry about the science. Run a political campaign. Oh, and by the way, he was not to reveal his association with the industry. Now Gillham is speaking out in a big way, and his story ... illustrates the extent to which the legislative process can be manipulated. The chemical industry’s main trade group, the American Chemistry Council, denied any connection with Gillham after a 2012 Chicago Tribune series exposed that the advocacy group he created, Citizens for Fire Safety, was not as it claimed, “a coalition of fire professionals, educators, community activists, burn centers, doctors, fire departments and industry leaders,” [but] was funded by three manufacturers who controlled 40 percent of the global market for the targeted chemicals. The strategy worked in California — Leno’s bill to ban chlorinated and brominated fire retardants died on the Senate floor on Aug. 26, 2008 — and Citizens for Fire Safety went on to help defeat similar bills in other states. The manufacturers’ claims of the lifesaving benefits of fire retardants have been contradicted by scientific studies that suggests their flame-resisting properties are minimal, and are more than offset by their negative effect in making fires more toxic.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing stories about manipulation of mass media and corporate corruption from reliable sources.


Obama failing to run 'most transparent’ administration
2015-04-25, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/diaz/article/Obama-failing-to-run-most-tra...

As a candidate in 2008, Barack Obama pledged to run the “most transparent administration” in U.S. history with an “unprecedented level of openness.” Seven years into his presidency, Obama’s promise rings hollower than ever. A year ago, 38 journalism groups assailed the president’s team for “politically driven suppression of the news.” Complaints included the inaccessibility of key staffers, delays in interview requests and — most insidiously — the blackballing of reporters who wrote critically of the administration. Photojournalists also objected to the White House’s insistence on issuing official images of the president instead of allowing them access. Even before that, The Chronicle had issues with the White House. Our Carla Marinucci was even barred for a time from serving as a pool reporter for presidential visits after she shot video of a spontaneous protest at an April 2011 Obama fundraiser in San Francisco. Most transparent administration in history? Obama has ... prosecuted more leakers under the century-old Espionage Act than all of his predecessors combined. He has continued to defy one of his campaign lines by invoking the state secrets privilege to keep classified information out of court proceedings or to force the dismissal of lawsuits. This administration ... is falling well short of Obama’s promise to be the most transparent president in U.S. history.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing media manipulation news articles from reliable sources.


The Miami Herald, the CIA, and the Bay of Pigs scoop that didn’t run
2015-04-17, Miami Herald
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article18792675.html

President John F. Kennedy sent an army of anti-Castro exiles backed by the CIA onto the beach at Cuba’s Bay of Pigs to suffer bloody, catastrophic defeat. A few days later, [Kennedy] wondered aloud why nobody had talked him out of it. Could the Miami Herald have done that - talked him out of it? The Herald, seven months before the Bay of Pigs, had prepared a news story saying that the United States was planning to launch a military operation against Cuba. But the paper’s top management killed the story after CIA Director Allen Dulles said publishing it would hurt national security. In 1960, [reporter David Kraslow's] contacts at the Justice Department ... told him of a brutal feud between legendary FBI director J. Edgar Hoover and the CIA. The CIA wanted to train an army of Cuban exiles to overthrow Castro; the FBI was charged with enforcing the federal Neutrality Act that makes it illegal to stage a military expedition against another country from U.S. territory. Kraslow had a blockbuster story. “It was about 1,500 words and it said the CIA was secretly recruiting and training Cuban exiles for some sort of major military operation against Castro,” he recalls. The Herald wouldn’t run it. Training of the Cuban exiles was moved out the United States to Guatemala. On Jan. 10, 1961, [The New York Times] published a story on the ... base in Guatemala. The day after that, the Herald published its own story. A little editor’s note explained that the Herald had held up the news “for more than two months”.

Note: Although JFK did not stop the Bay of Pigs debacle, his administration did successfully stop a Pentagon plan to fabricate acts of terrorism on US soil as a pretext for war with Cuba. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the manipulation of mass media.


The world of threats to the US is an illusion
2015-04-12, Boston Globe
https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/editorials/2015/04/11/have-seen-enemies-a...

When Americans look out at the world, we see a swarm of threats. China seems resurgent and ambitious. Russia is aggressive. Iran menaces our allies. Middle East nations we once relied on are collapsing in flames. Latin American leaders sound steadily more anti-Yankee. Terror groups capture territory and commit horrific atrocities. We fight Ebola with one hand while fending off Central American children with the other. In fact, this world of threats is an illusion. The United States has no potent enemies. We are not only safe, but safer than any big power has been in all of modern history. It will be generations before China is able to pose a serious challenge to the United States — and there is little evidence it wishes to do so. Russia is ... not always a friendly neighbor but no threat to the United States. Violence in the Middle East has no serious implication for American security. As for domestic terrorism, the risk for Americans is modest: You have more chance of being struck by lightning on your birthday than of dying in a terror attack. Promoting the image of a world full of enemies creates a “security psychosis” that misshapes our view of the world. In extreme cases, it pushes us into wars aimed at preempting threats that do not actually exist. Arms manufacturers profit from the security psychosis even more directly than militarists. Finding new threats is always good business for someone.

Note: Explore powerful evidence that ISIS is aided and was possibly even created by covert US support. Watch this video which shows how the US and its allies stoke war in order to pad the pockets of mega-corporations which profit greatly from arms sales. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about government corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


US Soldiers and Contractors Sexually Abused at Least 54 Children in Colombia Between 2003 and 2007
2015-04-07, The Nation
http://www.thenation.com/blog/203617/us-soldiers-and-contractors-sexually-abu...

Last week, FAIR noticed that not one major media organization in the United States has covered the charge, reported in Colombia, “that US military soldiers and contractors had sexually abused at least fifty-four children in Colombia between 2003 and 2007 and, in all cases, the rapists were never punished–either in Colombia or stateside–due to American military personnel being immune from prosecution under diplomatic immunity agreements.” One of the rapes ... was allegedly committed by Army sergeant Michael J. Coen and an employee of a private security contractor, César Ruiz. The victim was a 12-year-old girl. They abducted her, they drugged her, they took her to the air base near the town of Melgar and raped her, they took videos of her. Colombian prosecutors issued arrest warrants [that] were “not executed because of the immunity of Coen and Ruiz.” Under a series of treaties ... members of the US military stationed in Colombia are immune from prosecution. That immunity has since been extended to private security firms. Another serious sexual assault that, like the rape described above, was covered by the Colombian press, both in print and on TV, but ignored in the United States: in 2004, “53 underage girls were sexually abused by mercenaries, who filmed and sold the tapes as pornographic material.” The private security firm involved [was identified as] DynCorp, a Virginia-based contractor.

Note: Dyncorp is only slightly less infamous than Blackwater, having been involved in numerous international outrages, including a child sex slavery ring in Bosnia in 1999. Explore powerful evidence from a suppressed Discovery Channel documentary showing that child sexual abuse scandals reach to the highest levels of government. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.


Political Smears in U.S. Never Change: the NYT’s 1967 Attack on MLK’s Anti-War Speech
2015-04-07, The Intercept
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/04/07/political-rhetoric-us-never-cha...

John Oliver’s Monday night interview of Edward Snowden ... renewed all the standard attacks in Democratic circles accusing Snowden of being a traitor in cahoots with the Kremlin. What’s most striking about this — aside from the utter lack of evidence for any of it — is how identical it is to what Nixon officials said to smear the last generation’s greatest whistleblower, Daniel Ellsberg. I defy anyone to listen to any Democratic apparatchik insinuate that Snowden is a Russian agent and identify any differences with how Nixon apparatchiks smeared Ellsberg (or, for that matter, how today’s warnings from Obama officials about the grave harm coming from leaks differ from the warnings issued by Bush and Nixon officials). The script for smearing never changes. One of the most illustrative examples of this: an April 1967 New York Times editorial harshly chastising Martin Luther King for his anti-war activism. That editorial was published three days after King’s speech on the Vietnam War at the Riverside Church in New York City, which ... denounced the U.S. government as “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today,” as well as the leading exponent of “the deadly Western arrogance that has poisoned the international atmosphere for so long.” The attack of the NYT editors on King for that speech is ... identical to how anti-war advocates in the U.S. are maligned today [by] Washington smear merchants.

Note: The media smear campaign against Dr. Martin Luther King was followed by his government-sponsored assassination, as a 1999 trial in Memphis, TN ultimately revealed. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about government corruption and the manipulation of mass media.


The CIA, the drug dealers, and the tragedy of Gary Webb
2015-03-23, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/11485819/kill-messenger-gary-webb-tru...

Gary Webb knew his story would cause a stir. The newspaper report he'd written suggested that a US-backed rebel army in Latin America was supplying the drugs responsible for blighting some of Los Angeles's poorest neighbourhoods – and, crucially, that the CIA must have known about it. [Webb's report, titled] "Dark Alliance" has been called one of the most explosive and controversial exposés in American journalism. Nineteen years on, the story of Webb’s investigation and its aftermath has been given the full Hollywood treatment. Kill the Messenger, based on his account of what happened and a book of the same name about the saga by journalist Nick Schou was recently released in cinemas. What Webb did that nobody else had was to follow the supply chain – right to the poverty stricken streets of Los Angeles. Webb summed up the heart of his ... series thus: “It is one of the most bizarre alliances in modern history. The union of a U.S. backed army attempting to overthrow a revolutionary socialist government and the uzi-toting “gangstas” of Compton and South-Central Los Angeles.” Perhaps most damningly, Webb wrote that crack was virtually unobtainable in the city’s black neighbourhoods before “members of the CIA’s army” began supplying it. [In 1999], Webb said that after spending three years of his life looking into it, he was more convinced than ever that the U.S. Government's responsibility for the drug problems in South Central L.A. was “greater than I ever wrote in the newspaper.”

Note: Read an excellent, concise summary written by Gary Webb himself of what happened on this highly revealing Dark Alliance series. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing intelligence agency corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


US sets new record for denying federal files under Freedom of Information Act
2015-03-18, The Guardian/Associated Press
http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/mar/18/us-new-record-denying-files-fr...

The US has set a new record for denying and censoring federal files under the Freedom of Information Act, analysis by the Associated Press reveals. For the second consecutive year, the Obama administration more often than ever censored government files or outright denied access to them under the open-government legislation. The government took longer to turn over files when it provided any, said more regularly that it couldn't find documents, and refused a record number of times to turn over files quickly that might be especially newsworthy. It also acknowledged in nearly one in three cases that its initial decisions to withhold or censor records were improper under the law - but only when it was challenged. Its backlog of unanswered requests at year's end grew remarkably by 55% to more than 200,000. Citizens, journalists, businesses and others made a record 714,231 requests for information. The US spent a record $434m trying to keep up. The government responded to 647,142 requests, a 4% decrease over the previous year. "What we discovered reaffirmed what we have seen all too frequently in recent years," [The AP's chief executive, Gary] Pruitt wrote in a column published this week. "The systems created to give citizens information about their government are badly broken and getting worse all the time."

Note: It appears the the UK's Guardian was the only major media to pick up this AP article. Is this a form of censorship? For more, read how the US government now blocks specific journalists from accessing information, or see concise summaries of news articles about mass media manipulation.


Senior London Telegraph Writer Peter Oborne Quits Over HSBC Allegations
2015-02-20, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/press/peter-oborne-resignation-senior...

A senior writer at the Daily Telegraph has dramatically quit the newspaper after accusing its owners, the Barclay Brothers, of suppressing reports about the HSBC scandal out of fear of losing advertising revenue. Peter Oborne, the paper’s chief political commentator and an award-winning author, announced his resignation [and] accused the Telegraph of committing a “fraud” on readers. Mr Oborne detailed a series of investigations about HSBC, and other financial scandals, which he said executives at the newspaper had closed down. Mr Oborne wrote: “From the start of 2013 onwards stories critical of HSBC were discouraged [because] HSBC [had] suspended its advertising with the Telegraph. “Its account ... was extremely valuable. HSBC, as one former Telegraph executive told me, is ‘the advertiser you literally cannot afford to offend’. “Winning back the HSBC advertising account became an urgent priority. It was eventually restored after approximately 12 months. Executives say that Murdoch MacLennan [chief executive of Telegraph Media Group] was determined not to allow any criticism of the international bank.” As a result of a 2012 investigation into accounts held by HSBC in Jersey, he claimed: “Reporters were ordered to destroy all emails, reports and documents related to the HSBC investigation. I [resigned] as a matter of conscience. The past few years have seen the rise of shadowy executives who determine what truths can and what truths can’t be conveyed across the mainstream media."

Note: Oborne's online resignation provides a unique window into some of the ways that big money is used to manipulate the media. Read lots more on HSBC's empire of corruption in a Rolling Stone article by Matt Taibbi. HSBC was founded to service the international drug trade in the 19th century, and launders money for mobsters and terrorists on a massive scale.


TV News and the Idea of Truth
2015-02-17, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/17/us/tv-news-and-the-idea-of-truth.html?_r=0

I have been the guest of both Jon Stewart and Brian Williams, the newsy comedian and the comedic newsman who announced very different sorts of leave-taking last week. As they depart — Mr. Stewart honorably, Mr. Williams with his integrity in doubt — I found myself recalling very different experiences on their shows. On Mr. Stewart’s show, the truth was a process; on Mr. Williams’s, it was an outcome. “The Daily Show” deconstructed purported truths. “Nightly News” took precarious facts and fallible “experts” and constructed them into something purporting to be Truth. An under-told aspect of Mr. Stewart’s legacy is how much his deconstructing spirit meant to many in the less open parts of the world. On a reporting trip to China some years ago, I was struck by the risks young people took to download the show illegally and, in some cases, to subtitle and disseminate it for others. I telephoned one such Stewart fan in Beijing to ask how she was coping with his departure. “We hope he can delay his resigning until after the 2016 election,” said Maggie Chen. “We’re not interested in your politics,” she said, adding: “We’re interested in the style of the show, and the idea that you can use jokes to tell the truth.” As a young Chinese woman living through a widening crackdown on free speech, Ms. Chen admires the show’s exploration of “the things behind the news or within the news.”

Note: "The Daily Show" has used irreverent comedy to talk about NSA spying, financial industry malfeasance, racial inequality, and even to celebrate child heroes of a global human rights struggle.


Measles fears: Mild case of mass hysteria
2015-02-14, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/Measles-fears-Mild-case-of-mass-hysteria...

It’s not so much that more than a whopping 100 cases of measles have cropped up in California since December. It’s not even that concerns over the number of unvaccinated kids have been escalating in recent years. The reason measles is on the tip of so many people’s tongues these days, and the subject of so much sturm and drang in the media, is this: It’s a mild case of mass hysteria. The reality, doctors contend, is that chances of the potentially deadly disease once again becoming epidemic are nil. The virus was declared wiped out in the U.S. in 2000, and with more than 90 percent of the country still getting vaccinated, overall safety is still strong. The current measles outbreak began in December, when the illness cropped up at two Disneyland theme parks in Southern California. Within a month, smatterings of viral infections had spread throughout the state with a handful of cases showing up in other states. To date, California has reported nearly double the 61 measles cases reported all of last year. That’s ... considerably fewer than the tens of thousands of cases that were diagnosed across the nation in 1989 in another outbreak. But try telling that to parents of little kids who have become alarmed at ceaseless news reports of increasing cases. Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says one or two people in 1,000 with measles worldwide will die from the illness. That’s less deadly than ... tetanus, which globally kills up to 20 percent of its victims.

Note: How many mass media mass hysterias do we have to endure? Every couple years there’s a new killer plague about to devour us all. Today, it’s measles, a couple of months ago, it was Ebola. A few years ago, avian flu was going to do us in. And there was the swine flu, which turned out to be just a common flu. Of course governments worldwide paid Big Pharma billions to buy a special swine flu vaccine. Now it’s measles, and everybody has to get a shot or the drug companies won't make their billions. We definitely wouldn't want that!


Media watchdog laments global decline in press freedoms
2015-02-12, The Star/Associated Press
http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2015/02/12/media-watchdog-laments-global-de...

Russia, the United States, Japan and many parts of Europe lost ground last year in its ranking of global press freedoms. The rise of non-state groups, crackdowns on demonstrations, wars and economic crises provided a backdrop for a tough 2014. The Paris-based media watchdog [Reporters Without Borders] said two-thirds of the 180 countries surveyed in its annual World Press Freedom index scored worse than a year earlier. Western Europe, while top-ranked, lost the most ground as a region. Three Nordic countries headed the list, but there was slippage in Italy — where Mafia and other threats weighed on journalists — and Iceland, where the relationship between the media and politicians soured. The U.S. fell three places to 49th amid a “war on information” by the Obama administration. Reporters also faced difficulty covering events like demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri, where black teen Michael Brown was shot dead in August by a white police officer. Russia dropped two notches to 152nd place after passing “draconian laws” to limit freedom of information, the group said. Legislation allowing access to information helped Mongolia jump 34 spots — the highest single advance — to 54th place. China, Iran and North Korea all remained among the 10 lowest-ranked countries. The group uses seven criteria to calculate its index — measures for media independence, the diversity of opinions expressed, self-censorship, transparency, abuses and the legislative environment.

Note: For more on ongoing threats to press freedom, see concise summaries of deeply revealing media manipulation stories from reliable sources.


New York Times in 1922: "Hitler's anti-Semitism was not so genuine"
2015-02-11, CBS News
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/new-york-times-in-1922-hitlers-anti-semitism-was-...

The New York Times on Tuesday republished its first-ever profile of Adolph Hitler and it seems the newspaper's "reliable, well-informed sources" were not so reliable. The Nov. 21, 1922 article - headlined "New Popular Idol Rises in Bavaria" - offers a profile of the 33-year-old leader of the so-called Bavarian Fascisti. While