Wednesday, July 17, 2019

"New York Times reporter Sydney Ember has a problem with Bernie Sanders — which may be why the paper has her cover him.

Ember is supposed to write reported articles, not op-eds, but she consistently paints a negative picture of Sanders’s temperament, history, policies, and political prospects in the over two dozen pieces she’s done on him. This makes sense, given the New York Times’s documented anti-Sanders bias, which can be found among both editors and reporters alike. ...

But for the sake of time and length, this piece focuses on her selection and misrepresentation of sources, which have already drawn scrutiny. Brad Johnson, a political analyst with a background in climate science, pointed out that Ember quoted a source without mentioning that she’s a corporate lobbyist; journalist Zaid Jilani noted that Ember failed to disclose that another source was a senior advisor for a Hillary Clinton Super PAC. Education scholar Diane Ravitch devoted a blog post to the reporter’s 'shameful' reporting on Sanders’s education policy, questioning the authority of her sources."

-->Yes, it is no secret that the corporate wing of the national media, the NYT, wants anyone but Bernie. The NYT is even willing to violate journalistic standards to get its pro-corporate agenda out. Sort of the same way the newspaper covers Israel.


Common Dreams:

"Billionaire mega-donor Haim Saban said Wednesday that he loves every 2020 Democratic presidential candidate—before quickly correcting himself. 'No, minus one. I profoundly dislike Bernie Sanders, and you can write it,' Saban told The Hollywood Reporter. ...

Saban—who told the New Yorker in 2010 that he is 'a one-issue guy, and my issue is Israel'—expressed fury at Sanders last year for spearheading a letter that called for humanitarian aid to the occupied Gaza Strip."

-->This would have been an interesting story for the NYT to report on. But our newspaper of record shies away from linking Israeli billionaires to the funding of the Democratic party. It didn't carry this story.


Common Dreams:
"The majority of American veterans and members of the general public agreed in two new surveys that the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the U.S. military campaign in Syria were all 'not worth fighting.'

The Pew Research Center, for the pair of polls published Wednesday, asked all respondents to consider the costs versus the benefits to the United States in their analysis of whether each conflict was worthwhile.

Roughly two-thirds of both veterans and members of the public told Pew that the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq wasn't worth it, and nearly 60 percent said they felt the same way about the ongoing 18-year war in Afghanistan—the longest in U.S. history."

--The NYT, a persistent warmonger when it comes to US military interventions, did not cover this story. Maybe the newspaper is too busy urging attacks on Iran and Venezuela.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Common Dreams:
"Either Booker is echoing his biggest donors or he is coincidentally out of step with the Democratic Party and aligned with NORPAC, which just happens to be based in his home state of New Jersey

In last Wednesday’s Democratic debate, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) stood apart from the other candidates on the stage by declining to commit to return to the Iran nuclear deal. Videos viewed by LobeLog show that Booker’s unusual position is shared by NORPAC, a pro-Israel PAC aligned with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). As Booker’s biggest donor, NORPAC contributed $185,871 to Booker’s campaign committee in 2018, a cycle in which Booker wasn’t even up for election."

-->Yes, some candidates have obviously been bought by the the Israeli Lobby. But try finding that fact in the mainstream media. Kamala Harris anyone?


The Guardian:
"We are shocked that the Open Source Festival in Düsseldorf has disinvited the black American rapper Talib Kweli, leading to the cancellation of his Germany tour, after he refused to denounce the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights. Attempts in Germany to impose political conditions on artists who support Palestinian rights, particularly targeting people of colour and queer artists, comprise a shameful trend of censorship, anti-Palestinian repression, and attacks on freedom of conscience. ...

Dr Sara Roy of Harvard University, a leading Middle East scholar, recently addressed members of the German parliament: 'I lost a large extended family to fascism and racism. By endorsing the motion that alleges that BDS is antisemitic – regardless of one’s position on BDS – you are criminalising the right to free speech and dissent and those who choose to exercise it, which is exactly how fascism takes root. You also trivialise and dishonour the real meaning of antisemitism.' ”

-->Talib Kweli's censorship never made it onto the pages of the NYT. When it comes to choosing between free speech and the Israel Lobby, our newspaper of record always favors the latter. 


" 'Buttigieg Raises $24.8m, Eclipsing Sanders as Candidate Cull Looms.'
The thread running through these takes is that money, not public support, is what defines a candidate’s 'momentum” or 'surge,' and determines who is in 'eclipse.' Voters are great, seems to be the thinking—but what really counts are donors.

Of course, from a voter’s point of view, what really matters is not how much financial support a candidate is getting, but who they’re getting it from—because those supporters may not have the same interests as the voter. In the case of Buttigieg, the two main sources of funds seem to be the tech industry—in part because of personal ties between the tech world and Buttigieg, who was one of the first 300 users of Facebook (American Prospect, 6/25/19)—and the financial industry, that traditional source of funds for corporate-oriented Democrats."

-->Is the NYT trying to "pitch" the Wall Street funded candidates over the more grassroots ones? Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting does a good job in exposing this obvious corporate bias in the mainstream media. 

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

"A leading Israeli government minister takes credit for 27 U.S. states passing laws aimed at curbing citizens’ advocacy for BDS, the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign targeting Israel.

Gilad Erdan, minister for strategic affairs and information under Benjamin Netanyahu, addressed the Jerusalem Post conference in New York two weeks ago, and bragged that the Israeli government had taken its fights 'to the enemy,' and that includes BDS. ...

So it is a huge scandal that Russia interfered in the 2016 election but Israel is messing in our politics all the time, and that’s standard operating procedure.

-->A double standard? Israel interferes with laws regarding freedom of speech in the US but gets no media condemnation for doing so. Russia hacks some politicians emails and the sky is falling for the last two years. 


Common Dreams:
"In an effort to pressure Democratic presidential candidates to take a stand against Israel's treatment of Palestinians, the youth-led progressive Jewish advocacy group IfNotNow has launched a new campaign arm with the goal of bringing Israel's brutal occupation 'to the forefront of the 2020 elections.'

As Politico reported on Saturday, IfNotNow is 'training organizers in the early primary state of New Hampshire' and 'plans to bird-dog presidential candidates at public events to create viral moments and prod the Democratic Party leftward on the issue of Israel.'

'In addition to pushing the candidates to adopt more progressive positions on Israel,' according to Politico, 'the group said it is hoping to draw public attention to the Democratic Party's changing attitudes on the topic and clarify candidates' stances on particular issues.' "

-->The NYT did run an article entitled "Birthright Trips, a Rite of Passage for Many Jews, Are Now a Target of Protests." But no mention of this becoming an issue in the next presidential election.  


The Guardian UK:
"A group of German rightwing extremists compiled a 'death list' of leftwing and pro-refugee targets by accessing police records, then stockpiled weapons and ordered body bags and quicklime to kill and dispose of their victims, German media have reported, citing intelligence sources. ...

The 30-odd members of the group [called Nordkreuz or Northern Cross] reportedly had close links to the police and military, and at least one member was still employed in the special commando unit of the state office of criminal investigations.

In the past, Nordkreuz was reported as being part of the 'prepper' survivalist movement, whose followers prepare for doomsday scenarios such as the collapse of the prevailing social order.

-->Our mainstream media avoids reporting on rightwing militia groups like this in the US, even though they now threaten many progressive politicians and commentators. It is "see no evil" when it comes to investigative reporting on the growing fascist movement in America.  

Thursday, June 27, 2019

The New York Times:
"Options for Trump Narrow As Iran Standoff Escalates. President Trump's last minute decision to pull back from a retaliatory strike on Iran underscored the absence of appealing options available to him as Tehran races towards its next big challenge to the United States: building up and further enriching its stockpile of nuclear fuel." -June 23, 2019

-->Let's look at these assumptions. What about the option of deescalating the confrontation by reducing or eliminating the trade sanctions on Iran? What about pulling our battleships and navel carriers away from Iran's coast? It seems like there are quite a few options our country hasn't tried. Our government broke the nuclear treaty with Iran, not the other way around. And who said Tehran is "racing" towards another big challenge of the U.S.? 

Our newspaper of record always portrays America's military aggression abroad as the result of narrowing options. The U.S. being pushed into a corner. The NYT headline last month was "As the Crisis in Venezuela Grows, the Options Narrow." How about the empire stop threatening countries around the world with military invasions? Wouldn't that be an unusual option for the NYT to report on?


Common Dreams:
"Pentagon Releases, Then Deletes, Document Detailing Use of Nuclear Weapons to Restore 'Strategic Stability' for US Military. ...

The U.S. military appears to believe it can somehow prevail in a nuclear war, according to a Pentagon document that was briefly made public, and has plans for using atomic weapons in 'small and limited' capacities in order to create 'strategic stability' for itself in the world.

The document, Nuclear Operations (pdf), describes the current political and military environment and the challenges faced by the Pentagon in strategizing how to most effectively deploy nuclear weapons in war. It was first reported on by the Federation of American Scientists, which downloaded and released the document on June 19."

-->The U.S. contemplating the use of nuclear weapons to restore "strategic stability"? This story, straight from the movie Dr. Stangelove, never made it into the NYT. 


Common Dreams:
"Critics Lament as 126 House Democrats Join Forces With GOP to Hand Trump 'Terrifying' Mass Domestic Spying Powers. Privacy advocates and civil liberties defenders are expressing outrage after the Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday night voted down a bipartisan amendment designed to end, as one group put it, the U.S. government's 'most egregious mass surveillance practices' first revealed by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden. ...

'It's good to know that House Democrats like Adam Schiff are 'resisting' Trump by voting to ensure that he has limitless authority to conduct mass warrantless surveillance,' said Evan Greer, the deputy director of Fight for the Future. 'The Democrats who voted against this common sense amendment just threw immigrants, LGBTQ folks, activists, journalists, and political dissidents under the bus by voting to rubber stamp the Trump administration’s Orwellian domestic spying capabilities.' "

-->The NYT and major media are never eager to show how corporate Democrats sell out the American people. This story wasn't covered buy our "newspaper of record."

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Popular Resistance:
"US Seeks To Stop Jeremy Corbyn Before He Is Elected: The audio includes Pompeo promising to do his 'level best' to stop Corbyn from ever being elected as Prime Minister of the UK. Pompeo was responding to a question, 'Would you be willing to work with us to take on actions if life becomes very difficult for Jews in the UK?' This was about the false claim that Corbyn is anti-Semitic because he favors the rights of Palestinians and criticizes Israel. ...

The Secretary of State describing how the US would attempt to influence British elections comes despite all the claims of Russa allegedly influencing US elections. A Labour spokesman responded: 'President Trump and his officials’ attempts to decide who will be Britain’s next prime minister are an entirely unacceptable interference in the UK’s democracy.' ”

-->The NYT has cried for the last several years about Russia interfering in US elections. Yet our newspaper of record doesn't even cover Pompeo's promise to interfere in UK elections.


The Gray Zone:
"Since entering office, the Donald Trump administration has been itching for a war on Iran. And it may have found an excuse to justify an escalation of military aggression — or at least kill independent international attempts at diplomacy with Tehran. 

On the morning of Thursday, June 13, two oil tankers were allegedly attacked in the Gulf of Oman, just off the coast of Iran. ... The vessels happened to be en route to Japan at precisely the same time that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was in Tehran. The first Japanese leader to visit Iran since its revolution 40 years ago, Abe was holding a historic meeting with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei when the incident took place. ...

Prominent Iran expert Trita Parsi noted that the timing of the suspicious attacks suggests that there is fear in Washington that efforts at Iran-Japan diplomacy might succeed in softening the de facto US-led economic blockade of Tehran."

-->US mainstream media, including the NYT never asked the question as to who might benefit from an attack on these tankers. Would Iran attack a Japanese vessel when Japan's prime minister was talking to Iranian officials about avoiding war? Simple question, but one that our Pentagon controlled media doesn't want Americans to think about.


"Israeli tech companies aren't just working on new apps for taxis or food delivery — they're also hacking human rights activists' WhatsApps and creating fake social media accounts to undermine democracy. ...

The vulnerability has been fixed, and presumably WhatsApp is secure once more. But the incident should concern not only human rights activists, who appear to have been the main targets of the attack, but tens of millions of users for whom secure communication is important. ...

Another Israeli company got itself in hot water recently as well: an obscure firm called Archimedes Group, specializing in gun-for-hire election campaign dirty ops on behalf of African despots (aka presidential candidates)."

->Always eager to hide the worst aspects of Israeli apartheid, the NYT didn't cover this story.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Statement by Julian Assange:
"I have been isolated from all ability to prepare to defend myself: no laptop, no internet, ever, no computer, no library, so far, but even if I get access it will be just for half an hour, with everyone else, once a week. Just two visits a month and it takes weeks to get someone on the call list and a Catch-22 in getting their details to be security screened. Then all calls except lawyers, are recorded and calls are max 10 minutes and in a limited 30-min window each day in which all prisoners compete for the phone. And credit? Just a few pounds a week and no one can call in.

The other side? A superpower that has been preparing for 9 years with hundreds of people and untold millions spent on the case. I am defenseless and am counting on you and others of good character to save my life.

I am unbroken, albeit literally surrounded by murderers, but the days when I could read and speak and organize to defend myself, my ideals, and my people are over until I am free! Everyone else must take my place."  

-->The silencing of Julian Assange shows that Western democracies are entering a new era of censorship and conformity. Assange's words, however can get out to Americans, through independent media, your best source for news that is free from corporate influence.


Popular Resistance:
"At the end of May, the Trump administration announced new unilateral economic coercive measures against Venezuela, this time sanctioning people involved in the food distribution program called CLAP. The program delivers basic foods and supplies to over 7 million families every month for about $0.40 each. It has helped to sustain people who are struggling because of hyperinflation, which makes basic goods unaffordable. But, the Venezuelan people remain undeterred. They will now use the civilian militia, composed of almost 2.2 million women and men, to distribute food and goods to those who are most vulnerable.

The CLAP program is one example of the ways the Venezuelan government works to meet the basic needs of its people. Another is the Great Housing Project Venezuela (GMVV). The UN recognized Venezuela as a top country for its work to provide housing as a human right. Since 2011, Venezuela has built over 2.6 million social housing units."

-->The media's coverage of Venezuela will help readers understand the limits of the "free press" in the good old USA. Going against the Pentagon and its military objectives is simply forbodden. The empire's interests always come first.


Common Dreams:
"Citing Fears of Americans Getting 'Screwed,' Progressive Democrats Call Out Pelosi for Crafting Pharma-Friendly Drug Pricing Bill in Secret. ... Amid concerns that the House Democratic leadership is crafting a drug pricing bill that is far too friendly to the pharmaceutical industry, progressives in Congress this week publicly called out House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for writing the legislation in secret and ignoring those who favor a more aggressive approach to lowering out-of-control prescription drug costs.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) was among the progressive Democrats who spoke out Wednesday, telling reporters that the House Democratic leadership has left 'most members' completely in the dark on the details of the prescription drug bill."

-->This is the type of story that is typically covered up by the NYT. Big corporations calling the shots in the Democratic Party establishment. The revolution will start with the overthrow of Nancy Pelosi.

Thursday, June 06, 2019

The NYT:
"A Late Changed, and Fatal Flaws, in a Boeing Jet Design" reads the NYT headline. 

-->This long article tries to pinpoint just what happened with the crashes of two 737 Max airplanes that killed 346 people in two major disasters. There are a lot of reasons, of course. What only gets mentioned at the end of long lists of problems is the F.A.A. and its failure to regulate the airline industry. We are offered wishy-washy explanations like: "The disasters might have been avoided, if employees and regulators had a better understanding of MCAS [software system],"  and "Regulators didn’t conduct a formal safety assessment of the new version ..."

The NYT mentions at the end that a former F.A.A. employee was Boeing's "primary liaison with the F.A.A." but never suggests that this might have been part of the problem, the revolving door of former government employees and the collapse of regulatory oversight.


Common Dreams:
"Providing yet another example of how the billionaire Koch brothers use their immense wealth to influence university research and spread their corporate-friendly ideology, a report released Monday detailed how George Washington University's ostensibly neutral Regulatory Studies Center is in fact a 'key cog' in the Koch family's fight to slash government regulations designed to protect workers and the planet. ...

'The center is a microcosm of the strategy that Charles Koch has honed since the 1970s to finance deceptively named university centers to generate faux scholarship in support of Koch's anti-regulatory views,' [Taylor Lincoln, research director for Public Citizen] said in a statement.

According to the report, much of RSC's work revolves around providing 'scholarly rationales against government regulation' of corporate America, with a particular focus on the fossil fuel industry—where Koch Industries makes much of its profits while financing campaigns to spread doubt about the reality and urgency of the climate crisis.

-->Contrast this story with the coverage of the Koch Brothers by the NYT and AP. The NYT headline reads, "Koch Tackles Poverty by Coaching Nonprofits on Business"


The Guardian:
"Over the past year, evidence of Monsanto’s deceptive efforts to defend the safety of its top-selling Roundup herbicide have been laid bare for all to see. Through three civil trials, the public release of internal corporate communications has revealed conduct that all three juries have found so unethical as to warrant punishing punitive damage awards.

Much attention has been paid to Monsanto conversations in which company scientists casually discuss ghostwriting scientific papers and suppressing science that conflicts with corporate assertions of Roundup’s safety. There has also been public outrage over internal records illustrating cozy relationships with friendly regulators which border on – and possibly cross into – collusion.

But these once-confidential Monsanto documents demonstrate that the deception has gone much deeper. In addition to the manipulation of science and of regulators, the company’s most insidious deceit may be its strategic manipulation of the media, according to the records.

-->The NYT and most US media concentrated on how the juries of three cvil trials found that Roundup caused cancer. No mention of Monsanto's scientific and media manipulation to keep selling Roundup, one of the world's most insidious carcinogen.