Media Manipulation ArticlesExcerpts of Key Media Manipulation Articles in Major Media
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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 â€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."
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 â€solution.' These included vaccine mandates, mask mandates and more, which we are likely to see resurface again in the future.
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 â€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.
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.
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.
[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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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."
Important 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.