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.


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.


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

"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. 


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.


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.


"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. 


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.  


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.


"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.