By Nicolas J S Davies for Consurtium News – The current debate over “fake news” has reminded me of a conversation I had several years ago with a former citizen of East Germany, now living in the United States. He explained that, in East Germany, everybody knew that what the media told them about their own country was a bunch of lies and propaganda. So they assumed that what the media told them about the West was just propaganda, too. Now living in the U.S., he had come to realize that a lot of what the East German media said about life in the U.S. was actually true. There really are people living on the street, people with no access to healthcare, widespread poverty, a lack of social welfare and public services
By William Boardman for Reader Supported News – Fake news” as a denunciation peddled by Republican and Trump apparatchiks is an old-fashioned, fascist-style Big Lie with a neat capitalist twist. The obvious lie is that most of the media, accused of reporting “fake news,” actually report real news – with real corrections when they get something wrong. This is the antithesis of the way the “conservative” con machine has operated for decades. Among the world’s shortest books would be “Setting the Record Straight by Republican Senators” or “The Collected Corrections of Donald Trump.”
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 Moon of Alabama – Hollywood is all about fake. That is what movies are – fake depictions of a fake reality that only exist in the mind of scriptwriters, directors and a usually gullible audience. (Disclosure: I do like some movies.) Hollywood has never been shy of plagiarizing. Every idea, tale of cinematographic trick that made a splash somewhere – and is thereby a potential money generator – will get copied again and again. Every successful make gets a remake. And another one. In 2015 the promoting host of the Miss Universe franchise “misread” the name of the winner. He announced “Columbia” when the chosen winner was “Philippines”. After he few minutes he “corrected” himself. That “mistake” brought a lot of additional media attention – and financial value – to the event owner.
By Robert Parry for Consortium News – Exclusive: Democrats, liberals and media pundits – in their rush to take down President Trump – are pushing a New McCarthyism aimed at Americans who have talked to Russians, risking a new witch hunt, reports Robert Parry. In the anti-Russian frenzy sweeping American politics and media, Democrats, liberals and mainstream pundits are calling for an investigative body that could become a new kind of House Un-American Activities Committee to hunt down Americans who have communicated with Russians. The proposed commission would have broad subpoena powers to investigate alleged connections between Trump’s supporters and the Russian government with the apparent goal of asking if they now have or have ever talked to a Russian who might have some tie to the Kremlin or its intelligence agencies.
By Andre Damon for WSWS – One day after Donald Trump’s extraordinary news conference, the battle within the American state only grew more intense. The conflict pits the ultra-right president of the United States against powerful sections of the military-intelligence apparatus, with the corporate media, the Democratic Party and a section of the Republicans serving as mouthpieces of the CIA. There is no progressive faction in this dispute, which centers on issues of foreign policy and war. Trump is a noxious representative of the financial oligarchy. He has packed his administration with CEOs and billionaires, alongside ex-generals, social reactionaries and outright fascists. His opponents in the political and media establishment are themselves reactionaries, motivated not by democratic principles, but by concerns that Trump is shifting away from the aggressive, militarist policy toward Russia that is backed by the intelligence establishment and was carried out by the previous administration.
By James DiEugenio for Consortium News -It is not very often that a documentary film can set a new paradigm about a recent event, let alone, one that is still in progress. But the new film Ukraine on Fire has the potential to do so – assuming that many people get to see it. Usually, documentaries — even good ones — repackage familiar information in a different aesthetic form. If that form is skillfully done, then the information can move us in a different way than just reading about it. A good example of this would be Peter Davis’s powerful documentary about U.S. involvement in Vietnam, Hearts and Minds. By 1974, most Americans understood just how bad the Vietnam War was, but through the combination of sounds and images, which could only have been done through film, that documentary created a sensation, which removed the last obstacles to America leaving Indochina.
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 Jeremy Scahill for The Intercept – PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING journalist Seymour Hersh said in an interview that he does not believe the U.S. intelligence community proved its case that President Vladimir Putin directed a hacking campaign aimed at securing the election of Donald Trump. He blasted news organizations for lazily broadcasting the assertions of U.S. intelligence officials as established facts. Hersh denounced news organizations as “crazy town” for their uncritical promotion of the pronouncements of the director of national intelligence and the CIA, given their track records of lying and misleading the public. “The way they behaved on the Russia stuff was outrageous,” Hersh said when I sat down with him at his home in Washington, D.C., two days after Trump was inaugurated.
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 David Swanson for Let’s Try Democracy. The U.S. government has now generated numerous news stories and released multiple “reports” aimed at persuading us that Vladimir Putin is to blame for Donald Trump becoming president. U.S. media has dutifully informed us that the case has been made. What has been made is the case for writing your own news coverage. The “reports” from the “intelligence community” are no lengthier than the New York Times and Washington Post articles about them. Why not just read the reports and cut out the middle-person? The New York Times calls the latest report “damning and surprisingly detailed” before later admitting in the same “news” article that the report “contained no information about how the agencies had collected their data or had come to their conclusions.”
By Moon of Alabama. Last week the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, the CIA, the NSA and the FBI released a report about alleged Russian hacking of the Democratic National Council and on Russian influence operation on the U.S. presidential election. The report failed to convince anyone. It is indeed a public relation disaster for the Intelligence Community. John Harwood covers “the economy and national politics for CNBC and the New York Times.” More then 100,000 people follow him on Twitter. He is known as Hillary Clinton supporter and chummy with John Podesta who ran Clinton’s election campaign. Harwood set up a simple poll. It is not statistically representative but gives a picture of a general sentiment: 83% believed Wikileaks, 17% believed US intelligence officials.