Wednesday, October 09, 2019

The NYT:
In a recent article in Sunday's NYT Business Section, David Enrich tells the story of a whistle blower who revealed secrets about Deutsche Bank's illegal activities. It is a good story, all about money laundering and corruption at the very top. 

The focus of the piece is not on Deutsche Bank as much as it is on the twisted needs of the whistle blower, Val Broeksmit: "What makes a person crave the attention of journalists?" asks Enrich. His answers say a good deal about what the NYT wants its readers to think about all whistle blowers.

"Here is the thing about whistle-blowers: They tend to be flawed messengers. Daniel Ellsberg, Chelsie Manning, Edward Snowden -- each of the was dismissed as selfish, damaged, reckless and crazy. Yet all of them, regardless of motivation, used secret documents to change the course of history. ... We might wish our whistle-blowers were stoic, unimpeachable do-gooders. In reality, to let you in on a journalistic secret, they're often more like Val Broeksmit."

-->The "journalist secret" that Enrich reveals is more like the hostility that the NYT and the American media feel for the nation's truth tellers. As part of the corporate state, the NYT wants us to hate whistle-blowers as much as our newspaper of record does. 

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Common Dreams:
"New Study Warns India-Pakistan Nuclear War Could Kill 125 Million Immediately. Then Spark Global Mass Starvation. ...

Published in the journal Science Advances, the new research shows that rapidly growing nuclear stockpiles in India and Pakistan, which are currently in conflict over Kashmir, could release 16 million to 35 million tons of soot, or black carbon, into the atmosphere if the two countries escalated their standoff into nuclear strikes by 2025.

'Such a war would threaten not only the locations where bombs might be targeted but the entire world,' said Alan Robock, co-author of the study and a professor of environmental sciences at Rutgers. 'The only way to avoid such an outcome is to eliminate nuclear weapons.' "

-->Disinterested in this global catastrophe, The NYT didn't print this story. Hey, the nation's weapons makers have to make a living, don't they?

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Common Dreams:
" 'Money Is Not Speech and Corporations Are Not People': Sanders Unveils Plan to Get Corporate Money Out of Politics. 'You can't take on a corrupt system if you take its money.'

Holding up the small-donor campaign model his campaign has revolutionized as proof alternatives exist, Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday unveiled an ambitious new plan to get 'corporate money out of politics.'

The Sanders plan aims to end the corrupting influence of dark money by dramatically curbing the ability of corporations to dominate giving to political parties, replacing the Federal Election Commission with a new enforcement agency, establishing public funding for all federal elections, and pushing for a Constitutional Amendment."

-->It is shameful that the NYT does not cover Bernie, except when he has a heart attack. These are visionary plans that go to the heart of this nation's problems. And our "newspaper of record" can't be bothered.

Thursday, October 03, 2019

FAIR:
"Media Continue to Push Misinformation About Venezuela and Drug Trafficking. In recent years, Western corporate journalists have turned to systematically citing unnamed sources and secret documents from the US national security state. ...

'The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western world,' Gore Vidal remarked. 'No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity—much less dissent.'

The goal is never to prove anything or present substantive debate, but to further poison the well of US public opinion against Venezuela, legitimating regime change as US state policy. Rather than victims of murderous US sanctions, Venezuelans are depicted as the purveyors of an anti-American drug war. In fact, the most egregious dealers of death and deceit in the hemisphere are, as always, US policymakers and their stenographers in the corporate media."

-->NYT reporting on Venezuela is on of the best proofs we have when it comes to how the US media has failed to provide the truth to its readers. Countries on the Pentagon hit list just never get a break; it's fake news 24/7 when the empire is on the move. 

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The Guardian:
"A federally sponsored anti-terrorism fusion center in Oregon assisted a task force monitoring protest groups organizing against a fossil fuel infrastructure project in the state, according to documents obtained by the Guardian. ...

In the wake of the 2016-17 Dakota Access pipeline movement, the Department of Homeland Security and seven state fusion centers produced a nationally circulated bulletin that had similarly claimed the NoDAPL [Dakota Access Pipeline] movement has been associated with a rise in 'environmental rights extremism'.

Lauren Regan, the executive director of the Civil Liberties Defense Center, said labeling of activists as 'extremists' is part of a strategy for marginalizing them from potential supporters. 'The use of the term ‘extremism’ is a government calling card when it intends to use repressive criminalization against a social movement,' Regan added.

-->Scary Big Brother stuff. But the NYT wasn't interested in printing this story. Our "newspaper of record" has a long history of being on the side of that security state.

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Common Dreams:
"Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Sunday that the only way to move toward lasting peace in the Middle East is for the United States and other Western powers to immediately leave the Persian Gulf, a call that comes days after the Trump administration announced the deployment of more troops to Saudi Arabia.

'Your presence has always been a calamity for this region, and the farther you go from our region and our nations, the more security would come for our region,' Rouhani said in a speech during a rally on Sunday. ...

'If they are truthful and really seek security in the region, they must not send weapons, fighter jets, bombs, and dangerous arms to the region.'

-->If the US really had freedom of the press, why Rouhani's speech would be in every newspaper. AP carried the story, as did Newsweek. But the NYT is too committed to war in the region to post these words of truth.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

The Guardian:
"Fumigation against mosquitoes and not 'sonic attacks' may have caused the mysterious illness which afflicted some 40 US and Canadian diplomats in Cuba, according to a new study commissioned by the Canadian government.

The incidents took place from late 2016 into 2018, causing the administration of Donald Trump to charge that diplomats had been attacked by some sort of secret weapon. Canada has refrained from such charges.

The United States in 2017 reduced its embassy staff to a minimum and Canada followed more recently, citing the incidents and the danger posed to staff from what has become known as the 'Havana syndrome'."

-->After giving pages and pages of coverage to the supposed "Havana syndrome" attack on the US Embassy in Cuba, the NYT can't bring itself to print one sentence on the gigantic hoax the story has turned out to be. Pentagon propaganda at it's best.

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Common Dreams:
"Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono told reporters Wednesday that he has not seen any intelligence indicating Iran was behind the attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities over the weekend, contradicting Saudi and Trump administration claims about the incident.

'We are not aware of any information that points to Iran,' Kono said during a press briefing. 'We believe the Houthis carried out the attack based on the statement claiming responsibility.'

The only evidence the Trump administration has released to substantiate its claim of Iranian responsibility are satellite photos that experts said are not clear enough to assign blame."

-->A clear head on the charges that Iran bombed Saudi Arabia. Like the Pentagon, our newspaper of record has pretty much decided to blame Iran. Why print any doubts now? The NYT did not carry this story.

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The New York Times:
When it comes down to it, most liberals believe that the newspaper they love advocates for peaceful solutions in international affairs. However, the opposite has been true for decades, and recent stories show the same proclivity. 

"American Commitment to Defend Gulf Kingdoms Is Put to the Test" screams a recent headline. The story advocates a military strike on Iran to restore US credibility in the Middle East. Another headline warns that "Hesitation to Act May Embolden Tehran," as if Saudi charges against Iran needed no further proof. 

Or how about the headline: "American Vow To Defend Gulf Is Facing a Test"? The article claims that bombing Iran without the slightest proof is the only way to "defend" the Middle East. This is Bolton talk, full of false assumptions and misleading comparisons. At the very least such warmongering opinions should be put on the editorial page, and not presented as news. But the NYT, as usual, puts the interests of US weapons makers' above the people's right to know. 

Thursday, September 19, 2019

FAIR:
"David Koch may be dead, but his legacy of support for far-right politics and climate change denial lives on. The New York Times, however, chose to focus more on his love for the ballet than on his pollution and profiteering.

In its obituary (8/23/19), 'David Koch, Billionaire Who Fueled Right-Wing Movement, Dies at 79' the Times called Koch a 'man-about-town philanthropist.' On the same day, the Times (8/23/19) published an affectionate article calling him 'largely uncontroversial' in arts circles because of his donations. 

Another piece (8/26/19), from a feature called 'New York Today,' celebrated the 'mark' the 'generous benefactor of hospitals and museums' left on New York, listing the David H. Koch Dinosaur Wing at the American Museum of Natural History and the David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center—and ignoring the less glamorous mark his company’s pollution has left on other parts of the country."

-->Leave it to our national corporate organ, the NYT, to omit David's involvement in funding climate denial think tanks, and his oil company's despicable pollution record. The NYT has always acted like one of David's corporate front groups. 

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The Guardian:
"Leaked communications suggest that the UN’s migration agency is censoring itself on the climate crisis and the global compact on migration, following pressure from the US government.

An email sent by a US-based official of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) on 28 August to colleagues around the world relayed that the US state department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) told the agency documents related to programme activities it funds 'must not be in conflict with current [US government] political sensitivities'.

Sensitivities include the climate crisis, sustainable development goals, the global compact for migration and 'anything that seems at odds with the administration’s take on US domestic/foreign issues', the official wrote in the email."

-->Is the UN often controlled by the country that funds a good deal of it, and that provides land for its headquarters? The NYT avoids this issue by not printing the story.

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The Guardian:
"Twitter has blocked the accounts of the Cuban Communist party leader Raúl Castro, his daughter Mariela Castro and Cuba’s top state-run media outlets, a move the Cuban Union of Journalists denounced as 'massive censorship'.

Dozens of accounts of journalists for Cuban state-run media as well as the official account for the communications ministry were also blocked in the crackdown late on Wednesday.

Twitter did not explain or forewarn of the measure, state-run media wrote on their websites. The company did not immediately reply to a request for comment."

-->The NYT did not cover this story, although a Reuters report is on the NYT website. Big tech companies like Twitter and Facebook almost always follow the empire's directives, and should be seen as part of the US propaganda machine.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The Intercept:
"The Associated Press reports today from Jerusalem that 'the Israeli government and Facebook have agreed to work together to determine how to tackle incitement on the social media network.' These meetings are taking place 'as the government pushes ahead with legislative steps meant to force social networks to rein in content that Israel says incites violence.' In other words, Israel is about to legislatively force Facebook to censor content deemed by Israeli officials to be improper ... 

The joint Facebook-Israel censorship efforts, needless to say, will be directed at Arabs, Muslims, and Palestinians who oppose Israeli occupation.

In 2014, thousands of Israelis used Facebook to post messages calling for the murder of Palestinians. ... Indeed, Justice Minister Shaked herself — now part of the government team helping Facebook determine what to censor — has used Facebook to post astonishingly extremist and violence-inducing rhetoric against Palestinians. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his other top ministers have done the same. ... Can anyone imagine Facebook deleting the posts of prominent Israelis calling for increased violence or oppression against Palestinians?"

-->The NYT likes to talk about the potential evils of the tech world. But not when it comes to Israel. It didn't print this story.

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Mondoweiss:
"According to statistics from the Palestinian Prisoners’ Centre for Studies, Israeli forces arrested 450 Palestinians in August including 69 children. The numbers were posted on the Facebook page of Riad Al-Ashqar, a spokesperson for the group. ...

There’s a number of proposed bills connected to Israel/Palestine that lawmakers are hoping to move forward and one of them is H.R. 2407–the Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act. The legislation, which was introduced by Minnesota Rep. Betty McCollum in April, would amend the Foreign Assistance Act to block funding for the military detention of children in other countries, including Israel."

-->The NYT likes stories about children put into detention centers and deprived of their rights. But in true PEP tradition (progressive except for Palestine), our newspaper of record did not cover this story. 

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Common Dreams:
"Unaffordable Health and Child Care Alongside Flimsy Safety Net Leaves US Among Most Unlivable Nations: Global Survey. According to expats living in 187 countries, the U.S. is among the least safe and affordable countries in the world.

A new global survey finds that expats living in the U.S. aren't able to enjoy life in the world's wealthiest country because of many of the same factors that cause anxiety among Americans: high healthcare and child care costs and a general lack of social welfare programs. ...

Compared to the highest-ranking countries, including Taiwan, Vietnam, and Portugal, the U.S. was found to be less safe, less affordable, and less politically stable. Many expats in the U.S. described a living experience marked by financial precariousness, fears for safety, and the knowledge that the U.S. government would do little to support them in the event of an emergency."

-->The US media doesn't like to run stories like this. The NYT avoided printing the survey, although the NY Daily News and a scattering other of US news media did. Is the NYT protecting the image of the US abroad, or simply hiding the effects of our corporate run, Neoliberal state?

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Common Deams:
"Just ahead of the 125th anniversary of the creation of Labor Day as a national holiday, a Gallup poll published Wednesday showed support for unions among the American public is at a near 50-year high despite the best efforts of corporations and right-wing politicians. The Gallup survey found that 64 percent of Americans approve of unions, up 16 percent from 2009. ...

The survey comes after 2018 saw a record-breaking number of work stoppages as teachers, healthcare workers, and others walked off the job to protest poor benefits and low wages. 

'The number of U.S. workers involved in a strike in 2018 was the highest since 1986," Time reported in February.' "

-->Guess who hates union activism so much that it didn't cover this story? Yes, the NYT doesn't like spreading this anti-corporate message.  

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Common Dreams:
"Months after the DCCC (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) formally announced it would blacklist consultants who work with primary challengers against incumbent Democrats, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee—controlled by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer—is reportedly taking the policy of its House counterpart 'one step further' by undermining progressive candidates attempting to flip Republican-held seats.

The Intercept reported Thursday that Andrew Romanoff, a Medicare for All and Green New Deal supporter running for Sen. Cory Gardner's (R-Colo.) seat, has had 'multiple consultants' turn down offers to work on his campaign due to 'pressure from the DSCC.' ...

 'Shameless, but not surprising,' Romanoff said. 'I support a Green New Deal and Medicare for All. Those priorities don't sit well with the party bosses and powerbrokers in Washington—but I'm not running to represent them.' "

-->So tell me again how the Democratic corporate stooges are different from the Republican corporate stooges. The NYT didn't cover this 'shameless" story.

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Bloomberg:
"U.S. Unleashes Military to Fight Fake News, Disinformation. ...

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency wants custom software that can unearth fakes hidden among more than 500,000 stories, photos, video and audio clips. If successful, the system after four years of trials may expand to detect malicious intent and prevent viral fake news from polarizing society. ...

The algorithm testing process will include an ability to scan and evaluate 250,000 news articles and 250,000 social media posts, with 5,000 fake items in the mix. The program has three phases over 48 months, initially covering news and social media, before an analysis begins of technical propaganda."

-->The NYT didn't carry this story. The danger of the Pentagon deciding what is fake news apparently didn't occur to our preeminent newspaper. In fact, the danger didn't even register with Bloomberg, the news outlet that published the story. Bloomberg limited itself to how the military will search stories and how necessary this government intervention is.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

FAIR:
"The battle for the Democratic presidential nomination is dominating the news cycle, and two of the three clear frontrunners in polls, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, draw their support from the resurgent left of the party. ... Across corporate media, the choice is being portrayed as between progressive idealism and a more credible pragmatism—not left vs. right, but left vs. realistic. ...

In the face of increasing public rejection of their definition of 'pragmatism,' corporate media have moved from skepticism to outright hostility. Washington Post columnist David Von Drehle savaged Warren, claiming it is embarrassingly 'self-evident' that her 'idealistic' plans are way 'out of the mainstream.' ...
Similarly, a New York Times headline asserted that 'Ahead of Debates, Pennsylvania Democrats Want Candidates to Stress Pragmatism.' "

-->Oh how the NYT loves "pragmatic" sellouts to the corporate establishment. One wonders if our mainstream media would prefer a fascist like Trump to a true reformer. 

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Common Dreams:
"A new ad by former Vice President Joe Biden released Tuesday that uses his personal story of familial loss as an attack line against Medicare for All is being panned by critics as a cynical ploy that obfuscates the similar kind of pain that millions of people could endure under a Biden plan that would leave them un- or under-insured.

Characterizing the commercial—in which Biden recounts losing his first wife and daughter in a 1972 car accident and his son Beau to brain cancer in 2015—as 'so manipulative' towards potential voters, writer Natalie Shure said on Twitter that the former vice president was using his life story to swipe at the Medicare for All proposal supported by his top Democratic primary rivals. ...

Journalist Chris Person was even harsher on Biden. 'This is easily the cruelest, dirtiest, and most manipulative thing Joe Biden has done so far,' said Person, 'dangling his son's cancer against the fight for Medicare For All.' "

-->The NYT take on this story is entitled "Why This Joe Biden Health Care Ad Stands Out." Our newspaper of record found the ad to be "an extraordinarily emotional appeal ... [that] reminds voters of the good will and empathy many have for the former vice president." No hint of criticism towards The NYT's corporate backed candidate of choice.

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Israel Palestine News:
"Survivors of the lethal 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty have been attacked, threatened, and bullied. Yet, they continue to speak out, and their fellow American veterans support them, one of the most decorated crews in US Naval history.

In 2017 the members of the American Legion passed a resolution calling for a full investigation of the Israeli attack. Despite this resolution, American Legion leaders continue to censor the Liberty, prohibiting them from having a booth at the national convention.

From a resolution supporting the Liberty survivors: 'At around 2 PM, local time, on June 8, 1967, while operating in international waters, properly marked as to her identity and nationality, and in calm, clear weather in the eastern Mediterranean, the USS Liberty (AGTR-5) was the target of an unprovoked aerial and naval attack by Israeli forces, lasting over an hour, that killed 34 members of the Liberty’s crew and wounded 173.' "

-->The mainstream media has never touched this story since the very first day when it was published in the NYT. That's a 50 year media blackout on the death of 34 US sailors.