Thursday, April 25, 2019

"Media Cheer Assange’s Arrest. ... A Washington Post editorial (4/11/19) claimed Assange was 'no free-press hero' and insisted the arrest was 'long overdue.' Likewise, the Wall Street Journal (4/11/19) demanded “accountability” for Assange, saying, 'His targets always seem to be democratic institutions or governments.' ...

A host of other media outlets across the spectrum (Washington Post, 4/12/19; New York Times, 4/12/19; London Times, 4/7/19) similarly framed him as a 'narcissist,' one with an 'outsized view of his own importance,' despite his poor 'personal hygiene,' according to the New York Times (4/11/19).

The narcissist accusation is a common trope thrown at enemies of the US establishment, including Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez (National Review, 6/27/07; Economist, 3/9/13; Miami Herald, 7/25/15), Vladimir Putin (Atlantic, 4/15/14; Guardian, 3/10/18) and even Bernie Sanders (Huffington Post, 2/9/16; New York, 11/25/18). It was also exactly the same line of attack the media used against Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who leaked NSA documents (e.g., New Yorker, 6/10/13; Bloomberg, 11/1/13; Chicago Tribune, 12/23/14), and how the prosecution portrayed Chelsea Manning at her trial, suggesting it is a convenient putdown rather than a good-faith description of anti-establishment figures.”

-->Thank you, FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) for showing us that in some cases the US mainstream media is little more than a mouthpiece for government and corporate interests.


The Guardian UK:
"The US is threatening to veto a United Nations resolution on combatting the use of rape as a weapon of war because of its language on reproductive and sexual health, according to a senior UN official and European diplomats. ...

Even after the formal monitoring mechanism was stripped from the resolution, the US was still threatening to veto the watered-down version, because it includes language on victims’ support from family planning clinics. In recent months, the Trump administration has taken a hard line, refusing to agree to any UN documents that refer to sexual or reproductive health, on grounds that such language implies support for abortions."

-->The NYT protects its readers from such shameful behavior. It didn't print the story. UPDATE: the very watered down version was passed, limiting resources for women who are raped during wartime. That story was covered by the NYT.


"We often think of video games as fiction, but the US government has weaponized them to advance its agenda around the globe. Nowhere is this more clear than in Venezuela, where the US military has laundered regime change propaganda through some of the world’s most popular first-person shooter games. ...

Venezuelan citizen journalists Orlenys Ortiz and Sancocho Power have drawn attention to the similarity between the plot of a 2013 first person shooter game, Call of Duty. ...

The mission ends with the execution-style killing of Venezuela’s leader, who is shot in the back in slow motion by America’s finest."

-->Yes, another shameful chapter in how the empire treats the rest of world. It's really just a video game after all. Thank goodness our newspaper of record protects us from such revelations.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

The NYT:
-->"Changes to Flight Software on 737 Max Escaped F.A.A. Scrutiny." This NYT headline and story lets other aspects of this tragedy escape scrutiny as well. There is no mention in this front page article about the collusion between the F.A.A. and the plane's manufacturer, Boeing. To the NYT, it is all about technicalities, rather than the fact that Boeing was allowed to involve itself in most of the F.A.A. testing and conclusions. Read the article to get an appreciation of how deep this corporate corruption goes. The aviation industry has captured its government regulators, and the corporate media can't bring itself to even mention this most important fact.


Common Dreams:
"Leaked documents from France's military agency 'show that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are overwhelmingly dependent on Western-produced weapon systems to wage their devastating war in Yemen,' The Intercept reported Monday. ...

'The reality is that countries that supply weapons to the Saudi-led coalition—having known for years that they may be used in unlawful attacks—risk complicity in committing grave violations of the laws of war,' Bénédicte Jeannerod and Wenzel Michalski, the French and German directors of Human Rights Watch, wrote in an op-ed published by the EU Observer last week. ...

The coalition's ongoing air war, coupled with a blockade of foreign food and medical aid, has left 20 million people in Yemen food insecure, with "half of them suffering extreme levels of hunger," according to United Nations data from February.

-->Yes, massive war crimes committed by Nato weapons manufacturers. Not something that the NYT would dwell on. Actually, our newspaper of record didn't cover the story at all. 


Buzzfeed News:
"In early August, after months of heightened tension in the region, Israel carried out airstrikes in the Gaza. ... Meanwhile, another battle was just starting on social media.

On the Facebook page of the New York Times, under an article about the latest outbreak of violence, a user named Nancy Saada wrote that “over 150 missiles and mortar shells were fired at Israeli civilians and towns injuring 11 Israelis and sending over 1 million Israelis running to bomb shelters!” She said Israel had a right to defend itself against Hamas and appended the hashtags #FreeGazaFromHamas and #IsraelUnderFire.

The campaign, which targeted dozens of prominent international outlets, was organized through Act.IL, a smartphone app and website developed by former Israeli intelligence officers in collaboration with the Israeli government, and with financial backing from conservative American casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson."

-->Yes, astroturf wars in social media planned by Israel and paid for by the filth rich Zionist who helped elect Trump. The NYT is a no show when it comes to Israel's meddling into social media, showing the newspaper to be part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The NYT:
-->Our newspaper of record is at it again, equating criticism of Israel and the Israel Lobby with antisemitism. In an article entitled "Extremes of Right and Left Share Ancient Bias," the NYT includes racist shootings and white nationalist dictators on the right. But things come to a sorry state when looking for antisemitism on the left. The Yellow Vest Movement in France? Ilhan Omar, newly elected to the House of Representatives, and Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party in England? It is simply preposterous reporting to equate criticism of Israeli apartheid on the left with mass shootings, grave desecrations, and racist white nationalist on the right. 

Yet this is the type of reporting that we get from our supposedly unbiased press. One suspects that the protection of Israel from criticism is the NYT top priority, and that the newspaper is willing to muddy the waters on what antisemitism really is to protect America's colony in the Middle East. 

The result of such article, of course, is to turn charges of antisemitism into a tool for the empire. Both Jews and Muslims must suffer for the continued existence of America's racist colony in the Middle East.


Common Dreams:
"Global Left Celebrates Sanders 2020 Bid as Chance to Build 'Worldwide Progressive Movement.' ...

'From South America to Europe to the Middle East, leftist leaders are celebrating his candidacy, viewing him as an iconic democratic socialist with the potential to lead a worldwide progressive movement at a time when right-wing populism is on the rise across the map,' Politico's Holly Otterbein reported Thursday.

'In Canada, Israel, Germany and Spain, progressive politicians have also hailed the Vermont senator on social media and in interviews,' Otterbein continued, 'often speaking favorably of his 'Medicare for All' proposal, noninterventionist foreign policy and advocacy for the 'Green New Deal.' "

-->None of this even faintly interests the NYT, which has a policy on Bernie: ignore, and when you can't do that, attack him. Would Trump be president if our major media hadn't blacked out news about Bernie during the campaign? Let's face it; corporate media would rather have a Trump than a Bernie Sanders.


The Guardian:
"Year of the lesbian mayor? On Tuesday Lori Lightfoot made history when she was elected the first openly LGBTQ and black female mayor of Chicago. ... However, while representation matters, it’s important to ask what Lightfoot actually represents. For many Chicago activists, Lightfoot, and her far-from-progressive record as a corporate lawyer and federal prosecutor, doesn’t represent the 'beginning of something a little bit different' but the continuation of an oppressive status quo.

'Black queer Chicagoans, especially those who are low-income, don’t merely predict oppressed people will suffer under the Lightfoot administration but know it,' wrote Benji Hart, a Chicago-based writer and educator in the Advocate. Hart argued that Lightfoot’s 'record already demonstrates a commitment to gentrification, disinvestment from poor communities of color, and impunity for an ever more militarized police force'. ...

Lightfoot’s plan to expand police presence in the city … and transform 38 closed public schools into mini-cop academies should concern every LGBTQ person in Chicago.”

-->It takes a foreign press to look beyond a candidate's surface appearance and see his/her real background. The the U.S. media loved Obama in the same simplistic way, even though he was backed by real estate interests and Wall Street. The Chicago deception. 

Thursday, April 04, 2019

Common Dreams:
"This Is Not Ok: Sears Condemned for Ending Retirees' Life Insurance After Handing Executives $25 Million in Bonuses....

The retail giant Sears came under fire Saturday following reports that the company is ending life insurance benefits for an undisclosed number of its 90,000 retirees—just months after handing executives over $25 million in bonuses. 'It's the last benefit that retirees had,' Ron Olbrysh, chair of the National Association of Retired Sears Employees (NARSE), told CBS News. ...

Progressives responded with outrage to reports of Sears' move, which fits a pattern of corporate giants rewarding top executives while average employees face benefit cuts and lay-offs."

-->Our newspaper of record doesn't have the stomach to print stories like this. Too many corporate elites on the NYT Board of Directors.


Common Dreams:
"Denouncing the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's new policy of cutting off firms that work with primary challengers as 'divisive' and 'harmful,' Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Saturday advised small-dollar donors to stop giving money to the DCCC and instead donate to progressive candidates directly.

'The DCCC's new rule to blacklist + boycott anyone who does business with primary challengers is extremely divisive and harmful to the party,' tweeted the congresswoman from New York. 'My recommendation, if you're a small-dollar donor: pause your donations to DCCC and give directly to swing candidates instead.'

-->Another story of corporate controlled Democrats trying to frustrate the rise of progressive candidates. Why didn't the NYT print it? Probably because the newspaper supports corporate controlled Democratic incumbents. 


Armed with US-made bombs and British-made fighter jets, Saudi Arabia and its allies have been waging a ruinous war on Yemen for the last four years. Since they intervened in the country's civil war on March 26, 2015, more than 19,000 raids have been carried out in Yemen, the Arab world's poorest country. ...

Despite assurances by the coalition that all precautionary measures would be taken to avoid civilian casualties, a sizable number of coalition attacks have targeted civilian areas. According to data collected by the Yemen Data Project, nearly two-thirds of the coalition’s air raids have struck non-military and unknown targets.

Airports, ports, bridges and roads have all been repeatedly attacked. So, too, have farms, schools, oil and gas facilities, factories and private businesses. According to rights groups, the coalition has not accidentally attacked civilian infrastructure – it has been doing it deliberately."

-->Following Pentagon wishes, the NYT has not printed much about the killing fields in Yemen. Nothing about the U.S. made planes and bombs and the millions of starving children.