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Caitlin Johnstone

Mass Media’s Phony Freakout Over Bernie’s WaPo Criticism Is Backfiring

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After days of ridiculous, hysterical garment rending by mass media talking heads in response to Senator Bernie Sanders’ utterly undeniable assertion that The Washington Post has displayed unfair bias against his campaign, people with extensive experience in the mainstream press who are fed up with the lies are beginning to push back. Hard.

Former MSNBC producer Jeff Cohen has published an article in Salon titled “Memo to mainstream journalists: Can the phony outrage; Bernie is right about bias”. Cohen details his experience with the way corporate media outlets keep a uniform pro-establishment narrative running throughout all their coverage without their staff having to be directly told to to do this by their supervisors (though sometimes that happens, too). He writes as follows:
It happens because of groupthink. It happens because top editors and producers know — without being told — which issues and sources are off limits. No orders need be given, for example, for rank-and-file journalists to understand that the business of the corporate boss or top advertisers is off-limits, short of criminal indictments.

No memo is needed to achieve the narrowness of perspective — selecting all the usual experts from all the usual think tanks to say all the usual things. Think Tom Friedman. Or Barry McCaffrey. Or Neera Tanden. Or any of the elite club members who’ve been proven to be absurdly wrong time and again about national or global affairs.

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The Persistent Myth That Trump Opposes War

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Whenever I criticize the foreign policy of the current US administration, I always get some pushback from Trump supporters who insist that this president is doing more good than harm by “fighting the Deep State” and, even more commonly, by “keeping us out of wars”.
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Americans Should Be Very Skeptical Of Calls For New 'Terrorism' Laws

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Two mass shootings have rocked the United States in less than 24 hours, leaving dozens dead and many more wounded. The first in El Paso, Texas was allegedly perpetrated by a white supremacist whose racist motives are outlined in a rambling “manifesto”, the second allegedly by a self-described “leftist” whose motives, like the 2017 Las Vegas shooter, are presently unknown. These incidents occurred a week after another mass shooting in Gilroy, California.

All the usual US gun control debates have of course reignited, which is understandable. Alongside this debate, however, we are seeing another, far more pernicious agenda being raised that I would like to address here.

In an interview with MSNBC’s Joy Reid, notorious liar and propagandist Malcolm Nance claimed that existing laws aren’t sufficient for prosecuting the El Paso shooter, because there are no laws designating his act of mass murder as “domestic terrorism”.

“I think that Congress needs to take up right away a series of domestic terrorism laws,” Nance said. “It’d be very simple: just match them to the words ‘international terrorism’, so that a member of al-Qaeda and a member of a white nationalist terrorist cell or a militia that thinks they’re going to carry out international acts of terrorism are equal all the way around. Right now there are no laws called ‘domestic terrorism law’. They can get you for firearms, they get you for hate crimes, but you are not treated as a terrorist. This act in El Paso was clearly by all definitions a terrorist attack in the United States, but of course by the nature of the person being white and American he can’t be treated like a member of ISIS or al-Qaeda. He can’t even be detained, he can only be treated as a murderer.”
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New CNN Assange Smear Piece Is Amazingly Dishonest, Even For CNN

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CNN has published an unbelievably brazen and dishonest smear piece on Julian Assange, easily the most egregious article of its kind since the notoriously bogus Assange-Manafort report by The Guardian last year. It contains none of the “exclusive” documents which it claims substantiate its smears, relying solely on vague unsubstantiated assertions and easily debunked lies to paint the WikiLeaks founder in a negative light.

And let’s be clear right off the bat, it is most certainly a smear piece. The article, titled “Exclusive: Security reports reveal how Assange turned an embassy into a command post for election meddling”, admits that it exists for the sole purpose of tarnishing Assange’s reputation when it reports, with no evidence whatsoever, that while at the Ecuadorian embassy Assange once “smeared feces on the walls out of anger.” Not “reportedly”. Not “the Ecuadorian government claims.” CNN reported it as a fact, as an event that is known to have happened. This is journalistic malpractice, and it isn’t an accident.

Whenever you see any “news” report citing this claim, you are witnessing a standard smear tactic of the plutocratic media. Whenever you see them citing this claim as a concrete, verified fact, you are witnessing an especially aggressive and deliberate psyop. The Ecuadorian embassy was easily the most-surveilled building in the world during Assange’s stay there, and the Ecuadorian government has leaked photos of Assange’s living quarters to the media in an attempt to paint him as a messy houseguest in need of eviction, so if the “feces on the walls” event had ever transpired you would have seen photos of it, whether you wanted to or not. It never happened.
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The UN Torture Report On Assange Is An Indictment Of Our Entire Society

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On the eighth of April, shortly before London police forcibly carried WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange out of the Ecuadorian embassy, a doctor named Sondra S Crosby wrote a letter to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights requesting that the office look into Assange’s case. Today, following a scorching rebuke of multiple governments by UN Special Rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer, mass media outlets around the world are reporting that Julian Assange has been found to be the victim of brutal psychological torture.
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The Worst 2020 Election Interference Will Be Perfectly Legal

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“After the Mueller report was released, our president called Vladimir Putin, spent an hour on the phone with him,” Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke said on CBS’s Face The Nation yesterday. “Described the report as a hoax, giving Putin a green light to further interfere in our democracy.”

“Russia interfered in the 2016 election,” tweeted presidential candidate Kamala Harris the other day. “If we don’t do anything to upgrade our election infrastructure, we will leave our nation vulnerable to future attacks.”

We’ve been seeing many such hysterical warnings about Russian interference in the upcoming 2020 elections, and as the election gets nearer we are 100 percent guaranteed to see a lot more.

Another concern people have been voicing, which has far more legitimacy, is the fear of election tampering from domestic actors. An article published the other day by Roll Call reports that experts are warning America’s 2020 elections “will be held on voting machines that are woefully outdated and that any tampering by adversaries could lead to disputed results.” An article published last month by the Guardian warns that new voting machines aren’t necessarily an improvement.
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CONFIRMED: Chemical Weapons Assessment Contradicting Official Syria Narrative Is Authentic

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The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has begun responding to queries by the press about a leaked document which contradicts official OPCW findings on an alleged chemical weapons attack last year in Douma, Syria. The prepared statement they’ve been using in response to these queries confirms the authenticity of the document.

To recap, a few days ago the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media (WGSPM) published a document signed by a man named Ian Henderson, whose name is seen listed in expert leadership positions on OPCW documents from as far back as 1998 and as recently as 2018. It’s unknown who leaked the document and what other media organizations they may have tried to send it to.

The report picks apart the extremely shaky physics and narratives of the official OPCW analysis on the gas cylinders allegedly dropped from Syrian government aircraft in the Douma attack, and concludes that “The dimensions, characteristics and appearance of the cylinders, and the surrounding scene of the incidents, were inconsistent with what would have been expected in the case of either cylinder being delivered from an aircraft,” saying instead that manual placement of the cylinders in the locations investigators found them in is “the only plausible explanation for observations at the scene.”
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