Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Common Dreams:
"A new Public Citizen analysis shows that over the past five years—as rising global temperatures repeatedly set records—national television news networks and the 50 most widely circulated newspapers in the United States increased their coverage of right-wing think tanks denying the climate emergency...

The study focuses on coverage of the Heartland Institute and the four other think tanks associated with the conference—the American Enterprise Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Cato Institute, and the Heritage Foundation...

The analysis shows that across all 50 newspapers, the right-wing think tanks were cited or published a total of 528 times on the climate crisis. Only 17 percent of those mentions included an acknowledgement of the think tank's ties to the dirty energy sector, and 60 percent 'presented arguments or comments by think tank representatives as legitimate views.' "

-->If you care to look at one such omission, check out the NYT recent article entitled "Record Heat Melts Europe, and Relief is Scarce." This front page story is all about the European need for air conditioning. Climate change gets three sentences. 


"MSNBC’s Anti-Sanders Bias Makes It Forget How to Do Math. When MSNBC legal analyst Mimi Rocah (7/21/19) said that Bernie Sanders 'made [her] skin crawl,' though she 'can’t even identify for you what exactly it is,' she was just expressing more overtly the anti-Sanders bias that pervades the network.

MSNBC made a handy graphic for a poll on July 7 that showed 2020 match-ups against Trump among Democratic voters. The list was in descending order of candidates’ polling numbers—except for Bernie Sanders, whose name is placed under Warren’s and Harris’s, though he polls higher than both of them.

Lest you think this was an isolated incident, MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki placed Sanders’ name below Warren’s on July 15, when he was 'reporting' on a poll put out by the Washington Post and NBC (MSNBC’s parent company.) Once again, the order of the names is descending by poll numbers—except for Bernie Sanders’, which is, once again, placed below where it should be."

-->This extensive article gives so many examples of this bias that few newspapers or TV news programs are left unscathed. The nation's media is so in bed with the corporate state that any reporting on Bernie can't really be trusted. 


The Peace Report:
"Neutrality is an easy concept to understand: don’t invade other countries and don’t take sides in other people’s wars. Yet, Irish Neutrality has for decades aided the U.S. military in transporting troops and weapons to and from combat zones throughout the world. 

This violation of Irish Neutrality [makes] Ireland complicit in any war crime the U.S. commits. Recently, two U.S. veterans attempted to stop an aircraft at Shannon Airport and as a result were thrown in jail for two weeks and had their passports seized as they await an unknown trial date. This incident occurred over four months ago in March 2019 and they have yet to return home to the United States. This incident highlights the larger issues of Irish capitalism, US, British, and EU imperialism which exposes the semi-colonial state of Ireland."

-->Most countries that hold US citizens against their will are at least reported in the mainstream media. Can you imagine if this happened in Iran or Venezuela? But Ireland is playing ball with the US empire, and our compliant media plays along by refusing to carry this story. Free veterans Tarak Kauff and Ken Mayers!

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

The New York Times:
Our "newspaper of record" did cover Israel's recent demolition of a Palestinian housing block, but the story had all the earmarks of a coverup. In the first two paragraphs, readers learn that:

The housing block was "built to close" to Israel's "security" barrier. The housing was "abutting" another Israeli annexed area. The block was "illegal" and "mostly uninhabited." An Israeli court had ruled that the block was "a severe security threat" and that it provided cover to "suicide bombers and other terrorists hiding among civilian populations."

This extensive article, written by longtime Israeli apologist, Isabel Kershner, does include other voices, but they come later. Kershner never questions Israel's narrative, stating that everything is just too complicated to assign guilt. She simply blames "the legal complexities and human difficulties caused by the absence of internationally recognized boundaries and competing authorities."  

-->How can the NYT can continue to employ Kershner to write news stories about Palestine? She and her husband are both immigrants to Israel. Her son was a member of the Israeli IDF, and her husband works for an Israeli linked PR group. What a blight Kershner's reporting is on the reputation of the NYT. Defending Israel is simply more important than good journalism. 


Common Dreams:
"Global outcry erupted on Monday—with one critic condemning the move as 'ethnic cleansing with impunity'—after Israeli forces demolished dozens of homes in Sur Baher, a Palestinian village that straddles East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.

'These demolitions are a flagrant violation of international law and part of a systematic pattern by the Israeli authorities to forcibly displace Palestinians in the occupied territories; such actions amount to war crimes,' Saleh Higazi, deputy Middle East and North Africa director for Amnesty International, said in a statement Monday.

'Israel must immediately end its cruel and discriminatory policy of home demolitions and forced displacement,' added Higazi. 'Instead of destroying families' homes Israel must dismantle parts of the fence/wall built inside the occupied Palestinian territories, including in parts of Sur Baher, in violation of international law.' "

-->The bitter truths that our mainstream media always distorts or hides from the American public.


Common Dreams:
"A new Gallup poll showed that Bernie Sanders is the most favorably viewed contender for the Democratic presidential ticket.

Gallup released the results of the poll on Friday. It was conducted July 1-12, after first round of Democratic debates, and measured 10 Democratic White House hopefuls.

Sanders led the pack, with 72 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters viewing him favorably. Former Vice President Joe Biden followed at 69 percent. Rounding off the top half of the pack were Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 59 percent, Sen. Kamala Harris at 54 percent, and Sen. Cory Booker at 44 percent."

-->Good news for Bernie, although readers of the NYT won't be aware of it. Wall Street and its stooge publication, the NYT, never have a good word to say about the most progressive Democratic candidate running for president.

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.