By Josh Feldman for Mediate. On CNN’s Reliable Sources this morning, The Intercept’s Jeremy Scahill went off on the “atrocious” media coverage of the Syria missile strikes, even calling out CNN’s Fareed Zakaria in particular. Last week Zakaria said that after that strike, Trump “became President of the United States.” This morning, an hour before Scahill was on CNN, Zakaria said that he congratulates President Trump for striking a “blow against evil.” Scahill told Brian Stelter that CNN “needs to immediately withdraw all retired generals and colonels from its airwaves.” And then he said this: “You know, Fareed Zakaria––if that guy could have sex with this cruise missile attack, I think he would do it.” He also slammed Brian Williams for his strange quotation of Leonard Cohen in speaking about the “beauty of our weapons.”
By Ben Norton for FAIR. If you read the headlines of major corporate media outlets, you’d think hundreds of Iraqi civilians coincidentally died in the same location that just so happened to be hit by a US airstrike. A March 17 US attack in the city of Mosul resulted in a massacre of civilians. The monitoring group Airwars estimated that between 130 and 230 Iraqis were killed in the incident. Iraqi media reported similar figures. Civilian victims of the US-led bombing campaign to oust ISIS from the major northern Iraqi city, which has been terrorized by the extremist group for three years, have received little media coverage. The Washington Post (3/28/17) noted, nevertheless, that the recent airstrike “was potentially one of the worst US-led civilian bombings in 25 years.” Yet just a few days before the Post published this stark fact, leading news networks went out of their way to craft some of the most euphemistic headlines imaginable.
By Lee Camp for Redacted Tonight. There is a specific type of global mind control other than the mainstream media that grips us daily without us realizing: Corporate advertisements. They have a powerful influence on our emotions and esteem to the point that we adopt whatever they peddle as our own beliefs. And a recent Starbucks commercial demonstrates how the corporate-coffee giant uses more than caffeine to control your brain. What was meant to be a touchy-feely campaign from Starbucks to unite American coffee consumers over good times and bad instead served as a sobering reminder of the ills of capitalism, corporate pollution of the Earth and economic inequality. They may manipulate you into believing they’ve got your back, but what corporations like Starbucks really got is your money–and your morals. Self-professed coffee drinker Lee Camp lays into the gods of the frappucino and more in the latest Redacted Tonight.
By Staff of Society of Environmental Journalists – Dear Chairman LaFleur and Commissioner Honorable: As a professional news media organization, we are writing to express our concern about the procedures your agency uses to gather public comment. The Society of Environmental Journalists is a 26-year-old professional organization dedicated to excellence in environmental journalism. Many of our 1,274 members are journalists who cover FERC actions, whether locally or nationally. It’s critical to our members’ reporting on FERC actions to explain factors you weigh in your decision making and the public feedback you receive. At a February 14 public comment meeting in Wilson, N.C., on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (Docket Nos. CP15-554-000 and CP15-554-001), we understand that rather than following the traditional “town hall” procedure, where people who wished to comment could speak in front of others in attendance, FERC switched to what its spokesperson later described as a “listening session.”
By Lisa Sorg for The Progressive Pulse – Just 15 minutes after the doors opened last night, the auditorium at Forest Hills Middle School — a public school — in Wilson was beginning to fill with people. But the “public” listening session about the Atlantic Coast Pipeline wasn’t really public. And only select people could listen. Hosted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the four-hour listening session was intended to take public comment on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement regarding the pipeline. But FERC officials prohibited the media (there were just two outlets –NCPW and the Wilson Times) from interviewing citizens, recording comments or taking photographs inside the auditorium — even with permission from the citizens themselves. Reporters were allowed to do their jobs outside of the auditorium but could not be present for the listening sessions themselves.
By Marguerite Reardon for CNET. Pai often goes out of his way to be nice. He’s the kind of person who remembers co-workers’ birthdays or your kids’ first names. It doesn’t matter if you’re a congressman from California or the parking attendant at the lot near the FCC’s headquarters, Pai offers a folksy and sincere greeting to all. He always has a kind word for colleagues, even when they stand on the opposite side of the aisles. “He made the chairman’s life miserable,” said Gigi Sohn, a former adviser to the previous head, Tom Wheeler, in reference to their constant ideological clashes. “But I like him. Everyone likes him.” This nice guy is no pushover, though. The 44-year-old chairman has already introduced a number of programs and steered the FCC in a different direction from his predecessor. And he’s still gearing up for his biggest move: the takedown of many of the regulations that protect net neutrality, the concept that all internet traffic must be treated as equal.
By Ryan Holiday for Observer – In 2009, I helped sketch out a marketing campaign for an internet personality and blogger named Tucker Max. With a very limited advertising budget available for the independent movie he had written and produced, we had few options for getting the word out. Maybe it was crazy but my thinking was that one of the best ways to get young men to go see a movie was to tell them they should not be allowed to see it. What ensued was several months of chaos and controversy that ultimately drove Tucker’s book to No. 1 on the New York Times Bestseller list, sold out a multi-college bus tour and ultimately sold millions of dollars worth of tickets, dvds and books.
By Mitchel Cohen. CJ Hopkins has penned, below, a very perceptive, snide (and funny) analysis of what we’re facing. Might as well call it “Manufacturing Dissent.” I pretty much agree with it, except that as a participant in many radical movements I’ve noted that things happen in the course of movements that the puppet-masters can’t control, although they try. So the neoliberal Dems’ bolstering of the anti-Trump movement is a gambit that they’re willing to risk, just as they’ve done many times in the past. Usually they’ve emerged victorious, but with unanticipated side effects. Our job is to make those “side effects” come back to haunt them. Remember when the robber-baron Jay Gould in the 1880′s bragged that he could hire half the working class to kill the other half? His observation was correct — and so workers organized into the Knights of Labor, Western Federation of Miners, the Wobblies, and other militant working class organizations whose goals included unifying sectors of the working class around defending workers through direct action.
By Steve Cunningham for Black Agenda Report. If it wasn’t for Wikileaks, we would think Hillary Clinton’s public position were here private position; that the DNC was perfectly neutral and that Hillary Clinton won her nomination fair and square; and that the sole purpose of the Clinton Foundation was AIDS research. If anything, Wikileaks saved the election from the lies and deception of the Clinton campaign. So what if a foreign entity intervened? There is a stark difference between foreign propaganda, and foreign intervention that leads to more truth being exposed. The difference is that the first one is founded on a lie, and the second one is founded on the truth. There can never be enough truth in a democracy, unless getting to that truth involves the violation of rights. Yet acts of civil disobedience in terms of hacking are necessary at times when so much truth has become obfuscated. We cannot say how much hacking is too much hacking, only when the rights of individuals have become so impugned that it outweighs the value of the hacking. Yet in this instance, so much truth was revealed, so as to outweigh the rights to privacy and other rights of the DNC members.
By Abby Martin for Media Roots. Desperate to push this US intelligence narrative, The New York Times called the report “damning and surprisingly detailed,” while adding that it includes no actual evidence. The very next day, on Jan. 7, the Times published another piece titled “Russia’s RT, The Network Implicated in U.S. Election Meddling.” In the article, NYT journalist Russell Goldman used two blatantly false statements about my work at RT to support the argument that the network is simply a Putin-dictated propaganda outlet. First, he stated “…two anchors who quit during live broadcasts say the network is a propaganda outlet.” I did not quit during a live broadcast, nor did I say that the network is a propaganda outlet.
By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. When we discussed these specific arrests with Chris Hedges over email his view was “This is just the start.” On our radio show, Hedges described how cowering the media is a key part of silencing dissent. If the media is not there to cover the mistreatment of protesters, then law enforcement will become even more abusive. Reporters Without Borders described the media as “Public Enemy Number One for the Trump administration,” writing it is “alarmed by the new administration’s repeated attacks on the media and blatant disregard for facts in the first three days of Donald Trump’s presidency. . . In the first 72 hours since the 45th President of the United States took his oath of office, his administration has executed a coordinated attack on the media and demonstrated a clear disregard for facts.” Margaux Ewen, Advocacy and Communications Director for RSF North America, said: It is clear that Trump views the media as his number one enemy and is taking every single opportunity to try to weaken their credibility.
By Staff of RSF – Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is alarmed by the new administration’s repeated attacks on the media and blatant disregard for facts in the first three days of Donald Trump’s presidency. RSF calls on Trump and his team to stop undermining the First Amendment and start defending it. In the first 72 hours since the 45th President of the United States took his oath of office, his administration has executed a coordinated attack on the media and demonstrated a clear disregard for facts. “It is clear that Trump views the media as his number one enemy and is taking every single opportunity to try to weaken their credibility, says Margaux Ewen, Advocacy and Communications Director for RSF North America.
By Tyler Durden for Zero Hedge – Yesterday we noted Part I of a new Project Veritas undercover series that exposed the efforts of several protest groups to disrupt the Trump inauguration by deploying butyric acid (aka “stink bombs”) at the National Press Club during the Deploraball event scheduled for January 19th. Part II of that series was just released and exposes further plotting by a group know as “DisruptJ20″ to completely paralyze various modes of transportation on inauguration day. Among other things, the protesters in the video plot to shut down surface traffic with “checkpoint blockades” and “a series of clusterfuck blockades” intended to shut down “all the major ingress points in the city.”
By Eleanor Goldfield for Act Out! Conveniently signed into law on December 23rd, the benignly named Cultural Engagement Center just seeks to “recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining United States national security interests.” Or as journalist Rick Sterling put it, it sets aside “160 million dollars to combat any “propaganda” that challenges Official Washington’s version of reality.” And, yes, bees are dying. And for those of us who enjoy eating food, that’s bad news. Enter the solitary bee. This means local bees pollinating local plants and crops, promoting the overall ecological health of the entire area they populate. Charlie Mohr of Crown Bees explains more about how we can save the bees, our food and our land with solitary bees.
By The Intercept. IF YOU’RE A public servant in Washington, you may be worried about what your job will look like after January 20 — who you’ll be working for, what you’ll be asked to do. You might be concerned that the programs you’ve developed will be killed or misused. Or that you’ll be ordered to do things that are illegal or immoral. You may be thinking you have no choice — or that your only alternative is to quit. But there is another option. If you become aware of behavior that you believe is unethical, illegal, or damaging to the public interest, consider sharing your information securely with us. History shows the enormous value of government workers who discover abuses of power collaborating with journalists to expose them.