Venezuela Votes: Will The World’s Media Ever Get It Right?

US AID and Venezuela protest photo Reuters

By Staff of Tele Sur – International coverage entirely ignores Sunday’s demonstration of support for a Constituent Assembly. Did you hear the one about a practice election in Venezuela, where millions of people lined up from early morning until late at night, just to cast their vote in a dry run poll that meant absolutely nothing at all? Except to express support for another election in two weeks time? Actually, it’s not a joke. It did happen. On Sunday. Video shows them singing and dancing as they waited to test voting machines and see how the election of a new Constituent Assembly on July 30 will work. But you probably never heard about it. Because the world’s media, pretty much without exception, concentrated almost exclusively on the other vote happening in Venezuela on Sunday, an informal plebiscite held by the opposition, with no constitutional status, to oppose that Constituent Assembly. So let’s just look at the quality media. The New York Times for example — you remember: “All the news that’s fit to print.” Well, maybe not ALL of it …

Variations In Media Reports On Mass Arrests Of Protesters

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By Adam Johnson for FAIR. Major media’s relative lack of interest in the mass arrests by Metro DC police on Inauguration Day is a fact noted by activists and journalists since the incident almost six months ago. One way to measure the dearth of coverage is to compare the attention paid to comparable protester arrests in Russia last month. On June 12, over 1,700 Russians throughout the country were arrested for “unauthorized protests” in opposition to President Vladimir Putin and government corruption. “Dozens”—including opposition leader Alexei Navalny—were kept in jail longer than a day, but the vast majority were let go immediately. (Navalny, as well as some others, got between 15–30 days in jail.) More than 200 Americans were arrested on January 20 after “rioting” broke out in downtown Washington, DC, in the hours leading up to and after President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Documents Expose How Hollywood Promotes War On Behalf Of Pentagon, CIA And NSA

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By Tom Secker for Insurge Intelligence/ Medium – Alongside the massive scale of these operations, our new book National Security Cinema details how US government involvement also includes script rewrites on some of the biggest and most popular films, including James Bond, the Transformers franchise, and movies from the Marvel and DC cinematic universes. A similar influence is exerted over military-supported TV, which ranges from Hawaii Five-O to America’s Got Talent, Oprah and Jay Leno to Cupcake Wars, along with numerous documentaries by PBS, the History Channel and the BBC. National Security Cinema also reveals how dozens of films and TV shows have been supported and influenced by the CIA, including the James Bond adventure Thunderball, the Tom Clancy thriller Patriot Games and more recent films, including Meet the Parents and Salt. The CIA even helped to make an episode of Top Chef that was hosted at Langley, featuring then-CIA director Leon Panetta who was shown as having to skip dessert to attend to vital business. Was this scene real, or was it a dramatic statement for the cameras?

Amazon Is Not What It Seems, Killer Cop Acquitted, DEA Disaster & More

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By Lee Camp for Redacted Tonight. In this episode of Redacted Tonight, host Lee Camp tears Amazon and CEO Jeff Bezos a new one. He explains the true “cost of convenience” when it comes to the online retailer behemoth. Amazon is quickly taking over our lives and homes. It may sound extreme, but now with their $14 billion purchase of Whole Foods, Amazon is leaping into the “IRL” sphere. The plan is most likely to induce more people to pay to become Prime members by offering deals on food. Amazon controls a huge amount of online sales traffic and now they’re getting into the food sphere, combine that with the reality that they have a $600 million contract with the CIA and that Bezos owns the Washington Post, and it’s certainly time to push back and try to divest. Next, Lee presents a new segment called, “What You Won’t Hear.” He delves into stories the mainstream media may cover, but definitely won’t give you the full story. He talks about the police officer’s acquittal in the Philando Castile murder trial, as well as a massive carbon-sucking machine in Switzerland. In the second half of the show, correspondent John F. O’Donnell joins Lee at the desk to break down a new report by the NGO, Save the Children, entitled, “The End of Childhood Index.” The international child’s rights organization did a comparative analysis of 172 countries to determine the best and worst countries to be a child. Where the US ranks will certainly surprise you. Finally, correspondent Naomi Karavani files a scathing report about the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Naomi delves into a botched drug operation the DEA embarked upon in Mexico. They recklessly shared confidential information that led directly to a massacre. A Propublica report, which largely went under the radar, spotlights the DEA’s role. Naomi also highlights an incident with the DEA in Honduras where they misled congress and the DOJ about fatal shootings.

Media’s Propaganda War On Syria

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By Jonathan Cook for Jonathan Cook Blog. If you wish to understand the degree to which a supposedly free western media are constructing a world of half-truths and deceptions to manipulate their audiences, keeping us uninformed and docile, then there could hardly be a better case study than their treatment of Pulitzer prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh. All of these highly competitive, for-profit, scoop-seeking media outlets separately took identical decisions: first to reject Hersh’s latest investigative report, and then to studiously ignore it once it was published in Germany last Sunday. They have continued to maintain an absolute radio silence on his revelations, even as over the past few days they have given a great deal of attention to two stories on the very issue Hersh’s investigation addresses.

Barrett Brown: DoJ Subpoenaed Intercept For Records On Him

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By Kevin Gosztola and Brian Sonenstein for ShadowProof. The in-house counsel for the Intercept received a subpoena from the Justice Department for all contracts and communications between journalist Barrett Brown and the editor, Roger Hodge, who he worked with at the media organization. The subpoena also requested information on payments the Intercept made to him for his column, which he wrote while in federal prison. Brown was released from prison on November 29, 2016, after serving a prison sentence which stemmed from pleading guilty to threatening an FBI agent, obstructing justice, and being an accessory to a cyber attack. He spent two years in pretrial incarceration prior to his sentence in 2014. Brown said there are a couple “broad possibilities” for why the government would subpoena the Intercept.

The Washington Post Is Selling Snake Oil

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By Adam Gaffney for Jacobin Magazine – Our friends at the Washington Post are waging a brave campaign against Medicare for All. Over the weekend, the Washington Post editorial board took a bold stance: they argued that universal health care with single-payer financing is simply beyond reach. That the Post felt the need to issue the editorial at this particular moment is a testament to single payer’s rising fortunes. From coast to coast, activists are on the march: against the widely loathed, upward-wealth-redistributing, health-care-stripping abomination known as Trumpcare, for sure — but also for real universal health care. Yet the Post’s frail arguments should be confronted, because they repeat a number of common talking points that rest on flawed assumptions and that could do real harm. The Post editorial board begins by briefly conceding that single payer does have “some strong advantages.” It notes that single payer would be less of a hassle for many people (a good point), that it would get employers out of the messy role of providing health-care benefits (reasonable), and finally that it would facilitate cost-effectiveness research by government investigators (fine I suppose, although this is unlikely to galvanize the average person).

Chelsea Manning’s Persevering Spirit Shines In Interview For ABC’s ‘Nightline’

Still image from ABC News interview with Chelsea Manning (Fair use). Source: http://abcnews.go.com/US/chelsea-manning-leaked-classified-military-information/story?id=47942490

By Kevin Gosztola for Shadow Proof – Whether in an imperfect or hostile setting, Chelsea Manning’s persevering spirit and humanity never fails to shine. That was certainly the case in her exclusive interview for “Nightline” on ABC. The United States Army whistleblower describes her military prison life at Fort Leavenworth as a daily fight for survival. She shares how it was profound and moving when she finally was able to hug her attorneys because her sentence was commuted by President Barack Obama. “It made it real. It was a tactile feeling of reality,” Manning says. And she adds, “So the next day, I was surrounded by nature and beauty. People were beautiful because they weren’t wearing the same uniform as everyone else.” Asked about attempting suicide at Leavenworth, Manning confronts the bleakness she endured as a transgender woman trying to be herself. “It’s a very dark place. You’re like if I can’t be me, then who am I? You just want the pain to stop, the pain of not knowing who you are or why you are this way. You just want it to go away.” It almost does not matter that the news program applies the same tired approach that most outlets have applied to her story throughout her case.

World Ignores Opposition Violence At Venezuela Protests

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By Sharmini Peries and Abby Martin for The Real News. I was very surprised to see that the reality was vastly different than what we are being told, Sharmini. I mean, yes, you hear all these horrific stories, right, from on the ground, amidst these protests, and you keep hearing 60 dead, Maduro kills 60 protestors, Maduro’s forces. And what you realize when you get there is, the country is pretty much split in two. It’s heavily divided between Chavistas and the opposition, and of course, amidst such economic, such a horrible economic crisis, people are going to have really strong opinions, but there are certainly huge marches on the ground on both sides. Tens of thousands of people marching for the government, for the opposition, and these are peaceful marches, jubilant atmosphere. Things are very calm, and then what you realize is, when you see these violent statistics and casualties and the death toll that’s rising, and the harsh quote unquote “repression” from government forces, it’s not happening at these marches. It’s happening at something called guarimbas.

Media Monopolies Are Undermining Democracy And Threatening Net Neutrality

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By Emma Niles for Truth Dig – Robert Scheer: Hi, it’s Robert Scheer with another edition of Scheer Intelligence, where the intelligence comes from my guests. In this case, it’s Mark Lloyd, who has had a really interesting career both as a journalist working in electronic media, worked for NBC and CNN, won an Emmy for a documentary called Turning It Around: Urban Teens in Crisis. He knew something about kids in crisis, he grew up in Detroit, went to the University of Michigan, and his most recent book, “The Communications Crisis in America, and How to Fix It.” Mark is a professor of communication at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. So this communication crisis in America, is this another one of these pro-Trump, or following Trump or against Trump stories, or—? Mark Lloyd: This was done before Trump. We anticipated that someone like Trump might be elected. But it is about the fact that most Americans are not able to get the information that they need to keep themselves safe, to make sure they know where to send their children to school, where to get the best medical care, or a wide variety of things about their financial well-being and other things important to them.

MintPress Meets The Father Of Iconic Aleppo Boy, Who Says Media Lied About His Son

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By Eva Bartlett for Mint Press News – HOMS, SYRIA — On the evening of Aug. 17, 2016, an event that has yet to be adequately explained occurred in the Qaterji District of the Syrian city of Aleppo. Four-year-old Omran Daqneesh, as well as his siblings and parents, were injured in media alleged was an attack by the Russians – or the Syrian military, depending on what source one chose to believe. People in Aleppo suggested it could have been a strike by the US-led coalition. The reality is not yet known. The attack also claimed the life of Omran’s 11-year-old brother, Mohammad Ali Daqneesh. Overnight, the world was introduced to Omran, who became the poster child of suffering in Syria due to extensive coverage by Western corporate media. The al-Qaeda-affiliated White Helmets, and subsequently the media, made the child’s injuries out to seem far more serious than they actually were. CNN anchor Kate Bolduan “broke down” over a photo of the boy that was likely taken and propagated precisely to elicit such emotion. Video footage of Omran showed him seated in an ambulance, blank-faced and barefoot with blood drying on his face. The world was collectively heartbroken at seeing Omran – but was also misled about his story.

Media Groups Concerned About Death Threats To California Newspaper

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By Staff of RSF – RSF first learned of threats against the twice weekly newspaper The Sacramento Valley Mirror last April, after the paper’s editor and publisher Tim Crews reached out by email. According to Crews and his attorney, he and reporter Larry Judkins began receiving threatening phone calls and complaints after they covered a local death in late March. In addition to the calls, Crews also sent RSF a photograph of a noose that had been left in front of the door to the paper’s offices in downtown Willows, California on April 21. “This threat, in broad daylight, means to us that the perpetrators, who are trying to warn us off a series we are working on, are operating with impunity,” Crews told RSF. “Since learning of the threat against the Valley Mirror, RSF has been closely monitoring the case, says Margaux Ewen, Advocacy and Communications Director for RSF’s North America Bureau. “Due to the lack of any serious development in the investigation to date and events of the last month where journalists in the United States have been arrested, manhandled and even physically assaulted for attempting to ask questions, it’s important that we implore the local authorities to take threats of violence against the press very seriously.”

Netflix Backs Out Of Fight For Net Neutrality

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By Matt Lopez for The Videoink. At Recode’s Code Conference this week, Netlix CEO Reed Hastings all but threw in the towel against the fight for net neutrality. Netflix, which has extended its reach across 190 countries, has been a vocal proponent of net neutrality rules in the past, but Hastings believes it’s not their fight anymore. “We’re big enough to get the deals we want,” he said at the conference. Why is net neutrality so important? Well, it makes sure internet providers enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites. One concern for the loss of net neutrality is the idea that smaller players wouldn’t be able to compete against larger companies that can afford to pay for priority access. An issue that would have been a bigger concern for “the Netflix of 10 years ago,” Hastings said.

Newsletter United To Save The Internet

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By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers. The former Verizon lawyer, Ajit Pai, who now chairs the Federal Communications Commission has taken the first official steps to destroy the free and open Internet by proposing the end of Title II net neutrality rules on May 18. This would be a giveaway to Comcast, Verizon, AT&T and other large Internet Service Providers that would allow them to control access to content on the Internet and charge users more fees. Chairman Pai, a former lawyer for Verizon, is an example of the revolving door between government and industry that serves big business interests, and not the people. Pai has demonstrated during his first few months as chairman that he will say anything, including obvious lies, to serve the telecom industry. We must act quickly to save the Internet from going the road of cable TV

President’s Comments Should Inspire Press, Not Intimidate It

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By Staff of RCFP – The New York Times has published a story with details of a memo written by former FBI Director James Comeydocumenting a conversation he had with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office in February. The memo was shared with senior FBI officials and close associates of Comey, and read to Times reporters. According to the story, the president told Comey that he should consider putting reporters in prison for publishing classified information. Reporters Committee Executive Director Bruce Brown made the following statement: “The comments attributed to President Trump cross a dangerous line. But no president gets to jail journalists. Reporters are protected by judges and juries, by a congress that relies on them to stay informed, and by a Justice Department that for decades has honored the role of a free press by spurning prosecutions of journalists for publishing leaks of classified information. “Comments such as these, emerging in the way they did, only remind us that every day public servants are reaching out to reporters to ensure the public is aware of the risks today to rule of law in this country. The president’s remarks should not intimidate the press but inspire it.”