Thursday, August 30, 2018

The Guardian UK:
'Was it coincidence that a mass raid on two Memphis homes occurred on the first day of a trial in which police face claims of illegal surveillance of Black Lives Matter campaigners? ...

Witnesses described more than 50 heavily armed officers: local police, sheriff’s deputies, some from other agencies. Many shielded their identity with black ski masks. The score from this elaborate, multi-agency gang task force effort? A single “roach” from an ashtray, containing a quantity of marijuana too small to trigger an arrest. The homeowner was given a written citation.

Minutes away, at a downtown courthouse, the police department was entering its first day on trial. The case, brought by activists and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), alleges the Memphis police department (MPD) engaged in illegal surveillance of activists involved with Black Lives Matter and Fight for 15, including “catfishing” them with fake social media accounts."

-->Yes, the Memphis police are acting like the KKK in intimidating Black activists seeking justice in the courts. No, the US media including the NYT didn't print the story.


The Guardian UK:
"Since the beginning of 2016 – the year that a peace agreement was signed with Colombia’s largest leftist rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (or Farc) – some 311 activists, community leaders, and human rights defenders have been murdered, according to the national human rights office. At least 123 of those killings took place in the first six months of this year, in what the country’s human rights ombudsman described as 'an extermination'.

The 2016 deal was supposed to close a chapter in a civil war that had taken over 220,000 lives and left 7 million displaced, but while military casualties have dropped dramatically, activists and 'social leaders' – those who are trying to implement peace at the grassroots level – are living in constant fear."

-->The NYT and mainstream media won't cover this dirty war in Columbia, promoted by the US government. The same is true for the story of death squads in Honduras, another country dominated by a US after a military coup overthrew its democratically elected president. The NYT spends all its energy printing stores supporting the US backed attempt to overthrow the democratically elected government in Venezuela. Pentagon propaganda always comes before real reporting for our "newspaper of record."


Common Dreams:
"NSA Whistleblower Reality Winner Receives Longest Sentence Ever For Unauthorized Disclosure. Her sentence for violating the Espionage Act is extraordinary, particularly when compared to sentences issued in other leak prosecutions. Yet, it is representative of the extent to which the government will go to make examples out of whistleblowers. ...

A [facility] was setup at the courthouse in Augusta for Winner to meet with her attorneys and work on her defense. Throughout this part of her case, she was routinely dehumanized, as she was shackled 12 hours each day. The shackles were at her waist so she could not drink a water bottle with her own hands.

When she wanted to use the bathroom, according to her mother, Billie Winner-Davis, officers would do a 'complete strip search on her.' Any time she was 'taken from the SCIF to return to jail,' they did a strip search on her. Humiliating and degrading strip searches served the purpose of domination and ensured Winner would recognize who was in control over her."

-->The NYT set the standard for US media reporting on Reality Winner's outrageously long sentence and her mistreatment in prison. For example, the newspaper didn't compare her long prison sentence to former general Petraeus, who gave top secret documents to his mistress and got no prison time at all. Her poor treatment was also completely omitted.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The Guardian:
"Michelle Higgins was protesting a high-profile police killing in St Louis when the officers grabbed her. The activist’s arrest for 'failure to disperse' on 15 September 2017 wasn’t the only punishment she faced for marching. When she was released a day later, she learned that the police department had posted her name, age and address on Twitter, alongside 32 others arrested during the chaotic demonstrations sparked by the acquittal of an officer.

Most of the arrests did not result in charges, but the damage was done. It’s a law enforcement tactic that activists say has become increasingly common: police arrest protesters en masse, publicly shame them on social media, and then drop the cases.

The strategy can lead to intense online abuse for Black Lives Matter activists and other protesters. In the case of anti-fascist protesters, some critics argue that police are also boosting the agenda of neo-Nazis and white supremacists by exposing counter-protesters’ identities – and branding them violent offenders before they’ve gone to court."

-->No mention of this shaming tactic by the mainstream media, which often treats anti-fascist protesters just as badly. 


Common Dreams:
"Confronting the 'rot' of corruption that has poisoned every corner of the American political system and rigged government to work solely in the interests of the rich and well-connected, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Tuesday introduced legislation that would address the flagrant ethics abuses of the Trump White House while also taking on the systemic crisis that gave rise to the thoroughly crooked status quo.

'Let's face it: there's no real question that the Trump era has given us the most nakedly corrupt leadership this nation has seen in our lifetimes. But they are not the cause of the rot—they're just the biggest, stinkiest example of it.' 

Officially titled The Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act, Warren's bill proposes transformational changes to the way Washington functions in an effort to create a government that works for the needs of the public—not the needs of lobbyists working to pollute the planet, imprison more Americans, and hike live-saving prescription drug costs for profit."

-->The NYT didn't print this story, but buried it in an AP story on the NYT website. The two major parties are making billions from our corrupted system, and our newspaper of record defends this corporate duopoly every chance it gets.


The Guardian:
"The bomb dropped on a school bus in Yemen by a Saudi-led coalition warplane was sold to Riyadh by the US, according to reports based on analysis of the debris.

The 9 August attack killed 40 boys aged from six to 11 who were being taken on a school trip. Eleven adults also died. Local authorities said that 79 people were wounded, 56 of them children. CNN reported that the weapon used was a 227kg laser-guided bomb made by Lockheed Martin, one of many thousands sold to Saudi Arabia as part of billions of dollars of weapons exports.

Saudi Arabia is the biggest single customer for both the US and UK arms industries. The US also supports the coalition with refueling and intelligence."

-->How refreshing to state how closely the US is connected to the carnage in Yemen. The NYT never quite gets there, telling its readers that the newspaper "could not confirm" the bomb was made in the US.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Common Dreams:
"House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) may believe that the Democratic Party is 'capitalist, and that's just the way it is,' but a new Gallup poll out Monday shows that support for capitalism among Democratic voters has hit a record low while a steady majority of the Democratic base has a favorable view of socialism.

'For the first time in Gallup's measurement over the past decade, Democrats have a more positive image of socialism than they do of capitalism,' Gallup noted in a summary of its findings, which come as socialist candidates continue to surpass expectations, garner widespread enthusiasm, and win elections across the nation."

-->The NYT is busy trying to downplay any swing to the left in the Democratic Party. It didn't carry this story.


"An 11-year-old boy on Friday was able to hack into a replica of the Florida state election website and change voting results found there in under 10 minutes during the world’s largest yearly hacking convention, DEFCON 26, organizers of the event said.

Thousands of adult hackers attend the convention annually, while this year a group of children attempted to hack 13 imitation websites linked to voting in presidential battleground states. ...

'It’s not surprising that these precocious, bright kids would be able to do it because the websites that are on the internet are vulnerable, we know they are vulnerable,' [Matt Blaze, a professor of computer and information science at the University of Pennsylvania] said. 'What was interesting is just how utterly quickly they were able to do it.' ”

-> The NYT has never taken voter machine hacking seriously, preferring to cover how the Russians stole the last election. This story was judged not fit to print.


Jewish Voice for Peace:
"it was truly upsetting this week when a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request revealed one place where ICE has been learning techniques and tools: the Israeli military.

Three years ago former ICE Deputy Director, Peter Edge, joined a delegation to Israel where US & Israeli officials swapped notes on their shared and devastating goals. The group behind the trip was the Anti-Defamation League. ...

The real-world results of these trips have been Israeli & US officials sharing 'worst practices' -- deportation and detention, shoot-to-kill policies, massive spying and surveillance -- that have become the go-to policies of agencies like ICE."

->The NYT predictably did not cover this story. The "Gray Lady" never takes off her rose colored glasses when it comes to reporting Israel's shortcomings. 

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting - FAIR:
"Over the past 18 months, the New York Times has dedicated 21 columns and articles to the subject of conservatives’ free speech on campus, while only three covered the silencing of college liberals or leftists. A review of Times articles, columns, op-eds and reports shows a clear emphasis on documenting and condemning perceived suppression of conservative voices at American universities, while rarely mentioning harassment campaigns against leftist professors and/or the criminalization of leftist causes such as the pro-Palestinian BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanctions) movement. ...

Professors silenced or fired over anti-Israel activities, like Berkeley’s Paul Hadweh or SUNY Plattsburgh’s Simona Sharoni, were not covered, much less defended, in the Times during the study period. The broader trend of anti-BDS activity threatening college free speech was almost never touched upon, and when it was, it was given only a fraction of the pearl-clutching reserved for the lack of far-right professors or the mean things said about Trump supporters by undergrads. ...

On the dubious altar of 'ideological diversity,' the paper of record sacrifices any sense of proportionality. With alt-right and neo-Nazi elements on the march—and a White House that’s at the very least sympathetic to them—the Times focuses its tremendous influence, time and again, on creating a space in academia for reactionary, racist and sexist views that are wildly overrepresented in almost every other sector of society."

-->Carrying water for the Alt-Right? Not really so surprising, as the NYT has always attacked progressives on the nation's campuses.  


Common Dreams:
"As some of America's most prominent corporate media outlets continued their lengthy blackout of Yemen's deepening humanitarian crisis—a catastrophe made possible by the U.S. government's enthusiastic military and political support for Saudi Arabia's years-long assault on the starving nation—the Saudi-led coalition on Thursday reportedly killed more than 50 people and injured over 100 more in a massive bombing campaign targeting the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah. ...

'It is a very painful sight, parts of bodies are everywhere around the hospital gates,' an eyewitness told Reuters, as Yemeni journalists and American activists intensified calls for the U.S. media to stop looking the other way while the Trump administration fuels the ongoing massacre of Yemenis with weaponry and intelligence."

-->The NYT can't help itself. It's editorial staff is so closely tied to the Pentagon that some of its writers are known to have gotten paid by the government. 

Here is a typical NYT article entitled "Savage Chaos in Yemen War, And All Sides Spread Blame." In the piece we learn that "... like so much of Yemen's civil war, many elements of the multiple attacks on Thursday remain hazy: who was responsible, and who or what was the intended target." One country was nowhere to be seen in the article. The same country that is supplying the war planes, refueling them in flight, and making the bombs. Could it be the US? Oh, the NYT's fog of war! 


The Guardian UK:
"Activists who attempted to sail a fishing boat carrying aid to Gaza but were intercepted by the Israeli navy have complained of violence during a boarding operation.

Israel held the 20 foreigners and the boat after they arrived several dozen miles off the coast of Gaza on Sunday and were in the process of releasing and deporting the crew, the group said. Most of those on board Al Awda, which means The Return in Arabic, were held in prison, while two Israelis on the vessel were released on bail.

Freedom Flotilla said the Norwegian-flagged boat had been surrounded by '12 military vessels with hundreds of armed soldiers'. 'Some participants were repeatedly tasered, including in the head. Others were punched or had their head beaten against a wall by IOF soldiers. Zip-cuffs were used in a manner which cut off circulation,' "

-->The NYT didn't cover any of this story, bound as they are by an umbilical cord to the right wing government of Israel's apartheid state. 

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Common Dreams:
"As wages for most American workers continue to steadily decline following the passage of President Donald Trump's massive corporate tax cuts at the end of last year, a new analysis of federal data by Axios found that the pay of some of America's top CEOs is often even higher than the astronomical numbers that typically appear in the headlines.

'The data is out: CEOs are cashing in their huge benefits from the [Trump tax cuts], meanwhile workers' wages are declining and Americans are struggling to afford rising healthcare premiums,' wrote the advocacy group Tax March in response to the new analysis."

->The NYT did not cover this study. Most of the NYT own Board of Directors are clearly in the class benefiting from astronomical CEO pay.


The NYT:
One may wonder why the NYT's Isabel Kirshner is still reporting on the Middle East. She is an Israeli citizen whose husband (also Israeli) works in an institute devoted to portraying the apartheid state in a favorable light, and whose son served in the IDF. She has been a featured speaker at the Israel Hasbara Committee, an organization devoted to spreading pro-Israel propaganda, and her biased coverage of Israel has been condemned by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting.

Her depiction of the release of Ahed Tamimi from jail has all the hallmarks of her subtile, pro-Israeli bias. Kirshner states that "Ms. Tamimi was arrested in December days after she was seen on video kicking, hitting, punching and shoving..." One only needs to watch the video to see how exaggerated this description is.

Other gems of misinformation include: "Ms. Tamimi is no stranger to the camera. She was recorded on video nearly three years ago biting the hand of another Israeli soldier who was trying to arrest her brother." The soldier had her 12 year old brother in a headlock at the time, and had pointed his weapon at other family members. 

Kirshner's theme in the article is to portray the Tamimi family as "publicity-seeking agitators who exploit children by putting them at the forefront of the struggle,' and to paint Ahed as appearing "to condone, or justify, stabbings, suicide bombings and other violence."

Shame on the NYT for being, once again, the propaganda organ of the apartheid state of Israel.


Common Dreams:
"A new USA Today investigation offers a searing indictment of maternal care in the United States, and says the country 'is the most dangerous place in the developed world to give birth.'

'Deadly Deliveries,' the result of a four-year investigation, references federal data showing that more than 50,000 women are 'severely injured' and roughly 700 die during childbirth each year. Perhaps even more staggering is that 'half of these deaths could be prevented and half the injuries reduced or eliminated with better care,' the investigation found.

The findings, based on interviews with women and a trove of internal hospital records, 'reveal a stunning lack of attention to safety recommendations and widespread failure to protect new mothers.' "

-->The NYT avoids stories like this that make the US look too bad. And USA Today avoids the most damning part of the maternal care expose, the fact that Black mothers die at three times the rate of white mothers.