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Media madness: False accounts served up fast and furious by the MSM this week

Seraphim Hanisch

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The people that write and publish the news are among the most powerful people on earth.

Does this sound like an extreme claim? It might because of the expressed level of cynicism about events and stories that are printed or broadcast in various news media. When I ask my friends and colleagues, they often respond with the blanket statement that “all the news media are lying anyway.”

But then…

Given the chance, usually someone will talk about some story that made an impact on them and it is often quite wild. One example I got in the last week was a report that the Carter Administration knew about the impending explosion of the Yellowstone super-volcano, and that the American foreign policy has been since shaped so as, apparently, to clear out lands for people to relocate after this world-ending scenario takes place.

The person who told me fully believed it.

This is because a well written story and a well established personal bias often meet and mix, with spectacular results. And a skillful writer or speaker can easily manipulate public opinion, simply because they say or write something that is at least halfway believable and which meets a person’s own bias and opinion in a way that constructs or provides reinforcement of the “truth” of things as that person sees it.

In this way, those who write and publish news can create public opinion as well as alter and manipulate those biases which already exist. Also, if a false story is spread in a sensational manner, once the truth comes to light, it doesn’t really matter. The sensational story survives and becomes extremely difficult to defeat.

Present examples of fake news that worked really well

We had a few such stories arise in the last two weeks. Here we list three examples of headlines and the truths that were, well, not so widely accepted.

  • Gina HaspelAccording to this early piece and others like it, she was a ruthless agent of torture at a “black site” run by the CIA in Thailand. This story got circulated for a few days before a very quiet retraction showed up. It turns out that this story of Gina being torture master is just not true.
  • President Trump to fire Robert Mueller – Last week right before the weekend this was circulating widely, despite the President specifically stating he has no such intention. In fact, today, Friday 23 March, USA Today is still trying to push this idea with their headline “Russia probe: Democrats fear Trump will fire Mueller while Congress is on two-week break.
  • Andrew McCabe – “Fired three days before retirement, and will not receive his pension.” The actual news is not quite so extreme sounding, as one can see here, but it was good enough for the media to have quite a freakout over this “sudden” move made, characterized by the press as ostensibly ordered by the Trump Administration directly or by those who work for him.

    The reports that are flying across the news, Twitter, and Facebook are that McCabe was just two days short of retirement and that this move by Sessions will, as, for instance, Vox, reports, “cost him his federal pension.” On Twitter, Andrea Mitchell writes:

    One suggestion from a McCabe supporter: if a friendly member of Congress hired him for a week he could possibly qualify for pension benefits by extending his service the extra days and Massachusetts Congressman Seth Moulton tweeted in reply, “Would be happy to consider this. The Sixth District of MA would benefit from the wisdom and talent of such an experienced public servant.” 

    Which all gives the impression of a veteran, elderly federal official being cheated out of his pension accruals due to a vindictive Trump administration.

In reality, the investigation into McCabe started by an Obama Administration order and Trump appointee Attorney General Jeff Sessions merely gave news of the firing. He did not execute this himself, nor was it his initiative. Further, as this Forbes piece goes on to describe, pension benefits vest at five years of employment for Federal Employees, meaning that benefit accruals cannot be lost. Further, Andrew McCabe is far from destitute. His present net worth is about US $11 million. He is also only 49 years old, so he has a lot of life left. What he did lose is the ability to take benefits at age 50; as it is now, he will have to wait until age 57 before he begins to collect. He also lost eligibility to a special benefit. However, these losses, although less than comfortable, are far from painless.

So, here are just three examples of rather large pieces of news that have made the rounds this last week. Every single one of them hit the streets with a sensational headline and a lot of follow up and sensationalism as secondary and ternary outlets scrambled to echo the new screaming headlines… only to find out that these were largely untrue.

However, each one was directed to one end – to discredit all things Trump and all things conservative. On a wider, geopolitical scale, most such news is made to blast all things Russia, as well as Presidents Putin and Trump and all things conservative. There is a great deal of consistency with all of this, and yet, it happens so constantly and so swiftly that it is very easily accepted that what we hear from the media, even conservative outlets, is the truth.

 

The attack is cunning: even conservative outlets are manipulated to support liberal causes

This ability to control the narrative even through conservative outlets is made stunningly clear in our expository piece released on 22 March about convicted-in-absentia-by-Russia tax fraudster William Browder, who also has been subpoenaed by the American government, only to physically flee the serving. Browder regularly appears in Congressional committee sessions, even though he renounced his American citizenship to evade taxes, and yet he controls the narrative on President Vladimir Putin, and in fact drives it. When he speaks on Fox, the conservative audience that watches Fox takes it as a point of fact that they can trust what Fox puts out so they believe the propaganda and lies this man (a profoundly active CLINTON supporter) manages to get out.

The responsibility spreads in multiple directions. First, the news media is a business. The business fails if it doesn’t make money, and part of how we make money is getting people to watch us and read us, and in so doing grant visibility to the companies that buy advertising with us. Second, there is great competition in the Internet Age, because instead of a few major outlets there are myriad sources for news. This creates a lot of competition to be first to release, and getting the most response is also a great race, through the use of attention grabbing headlines and so forth.

But this incredible competition is not justification for the controlling of the media narrative. THAT is a deeper issue, and further analysis pieces may shine some light on the why and how of this. But for now, we will suffice to say that the most popular type of narrative – at least in the minds of the MSM – is a narrative that supports the notion of secularism, progressivism, equality and several other themes that are all part of what is known as Cultural Marxism. For some reason, Christian conservatism does NOT dominate the intertubes. Maybe it is because there is little that is sexy, scandalous and sensational about most news stories as they really are.

How to correct this problem from the journalist’s side

It is also not presently attractive to present facts for critical analysis. Many of us have become less interested in factual detail and more interested in emotional fire and outrage. And in this climate it becomes really easy to mess around with facts. Facts become important only so far as they help to promote the sensationalism. And that is dangerously misleading.

In observing the way that the media narrative was thrown around this week alone, it becomes apparent that any good journalist needs to check sources, verify and investigate the alleged story to make sure it is true and not the product of someone’s wishful thinking. It is then needed to offer that information even if it is a little boring, on the premise that the boring nature of the non-sensationalized article is nonetheless of much GREATER value than any emotionally sensational piece. With good writing, this is possible. True journalism is an absolute art form.

Not so long ago, some of the greatest news writers did exactly this. One of the greatest achievements in the history of modern journalism was the Watergate exposé, reported and researched intensively by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of the Washington Post. The actual material was about as exciting as watching dead worms soak up the rain. But these two journalists did research, research, research, interviews and checking upon checking, and on top of that, good writing, to make sure the sources and all the information was airtight. The result was history.

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Germany Wants Nuclear Bombers

Germany does not manufacture atomic weapons but has come to consider itself as a nuclear power because it has vectors to use them.

The Duran

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Via VoltaireNet.org:


Germany’s armed forces are currently studying the possibility of acquiring nuclear bombers capable of using the new American B61-12 atomic bombs.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon itself plans to deploy these new atomic bombs in the German region of Eifel, in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The German air force already has multi-tasking Tornado warplanes, which are already capable of deploying American atomic bombs. But those aircraft are going to be replaced, possibly, by European-developed Eurofighters, or by United States manufactured F/A-18 Super Hornets.

Either way, the warplane that Germany selects will have to be equipped with the AMAC (Aircraft Monitoring and Control) system, which allows the use of the new American atomic bombs and enables the regulation of the power of the explosion as well as at what height the bombs explode after they are launched.

Germany does not manufacture atomic weapons but has come to consider itself as a nuclear power because it has vectors to use them, and believes that this gives it the right to sit on the UN Security Council sharing the permanent member position occupied by France.

Both countries would thus represent the European Union, under the auspices of NATO.

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1st since Notre Dame: Yellow Vests back despite ‘unifying’ disaster & they are angry

‘Yellow Vests’ march in Paris for 23rd straight week.

RT

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Via RT…


Yellow Vests protests brought clashes and tear gas back to the streets of Paris, despite politicians’ calls for “unity” in the wake of the Notre Dame fire. For protesters, the response to the fire only showed more inequality.

Saturday’s protests mark the 23rd straight weekend of anti-government demonstrations, but the first since Notre Dame de Paris went up in flames on Monday. Officials were quick to criticize the protesters for returning to the streets so soon after the disaster.

“The rioters will be back tomorrow,” Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told reporters on Friday. “The rioters have visibly not been moved by what happened at Notre-Dame.”

For many of the protesters, grief over the destruction of the 800-year-old landmark has made way for anger. With smoke still rising from Notre Dame, a group of French tycoons and businessmen pledged €1 billion to the cathedral’s reconstruction, money that the Yellow Vests say could be better spent elsewhere.

“If they can give dozens of millions to rebuild Notre Dame, they should stop telling us there is no money to respond to the social emergency,” trade union leader Philippe Martinez told France 24.

Saturday’s protests saw a return to scenes familiar since the Yellow Vests first mobilized in November to protest a fuel tax hike. Demonstrators in Paris’ Bastille district set barricades on fire and smashed vehicles, and police deployed tear gas to keep the crowds at bay.

Sporadic incidents of vandalism and looting were reported across the city, and some journalists even reported rioters throwing feces at police.

60,000 police officers were deployed across the country, and in Paris, a security perimeter was set up around Notre Dame. A planned march that would have passed the site was banned by police, and elsewhere, 137 protesters had been arrested by mid afternoon, police sources told Euronews.

Beginning as a show of anger against rising fuel costs in November, the Yellow Vests movement quickly evolved into a national demonstration of rage against falling living standards, income inequality, and the perceived elitism and pro-corporation policies of President Emmanuel Macron. Over 23 weeks of unrest, Macron has made several concessions to the protesters’ demands, but has thus far been unable to quell the rising dissent.

After Notre Dame caught fire on Monday, the president postponed a television address to the nation, during which he was expected to unveil a package of tax cuts and other economic reforms, another measure to calm the popular anger in France.

Macron’s address will be held on Thursday.

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O Canada! The True North Strong and Free – Not

Maybe it’s past time for Canadians to get serious again about their independence.

Jim Jatras

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Authored by James George Jatras via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Canadian visitors to Washington sometimes wonder why their embassy stands at the foot of Capitol Hill.

The answer? To be close to where Canada’s laws are made.

A main showcase of Ottawa’s craven servility to Washington is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s complicity in the US-led regime change operation being conducted against Venezuela. Not content with ruining his own country with multiculturalism, polysexualism, and the like, Li’l Justin has acted in lockstep with Big Brother to the south inslapping sanctions on Venezuelan officials and serving as a US agent of influence, especially with other countries in the western hemisphere:

‘A Canadian Press report published at the end of January revealed that Canadian diplomats worked systematically over several months with their Latin American counterparts in Caracas to prepare the current regime-change operation, pressing [Venezuelan President Nicolás] Maduro’s right-wing opponents to set aside their differences and mount a joint challenge to the government. “The turning point,” said the Canadian Press [Global News], “came Jan. 4, when the Lima Group … rejected the legitimacy of Maduro’s May 2018 election victory and his looming January 10 inauguration, while recognizing the ‘legitimately elected’ National Assembly.” The report cited an unnamed Canadian official as saying the opposition “were really looking for international support of some kind, to be able to hold onto a reason as to why they should unite, and push somebody like Juan Guaidó.”

‘One day prior to Maduro’s inauguration, [Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia] Freeland spoke to Guaidó, the newly-elected National Assembly speaker, by telephone to urge him to challenge the elected Venezuelan president.’

But that’s not all. Canada is out front and center in the “Five Eyes” intelligence agencies’ war on China’s Huawei – with direct prompting from US legislators and intelligence.  As explained by Col. Larry Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Gen. Colin Powell, it’s not that Huawei violated any law when circumventing US sanctions but it is the US that is acting illegally by unilaterally imposing sanctions that were never agreed to internationally. But that’s OK – when it comes to Washington’s claims of jurisdiction over every human being on the planet, Justin and Chrystia are happy to oblige!

Also, let’s not forget Chrystia’s role in keeping the pot boiling in Ukraine. It would of course be cynical (and probably racist) to attribute anything relating to Ukraine to her own interesting family background …

To be fair, the lickspittle attitude of Canadian officials towards their masters south of the 49th parallel is hardly unique in the world. Also to be fair, it’s natural and would be generally beneficial for Canada to have a positive relationship with a powerful, kindred neighbor rather than a negative one. Think of Austria’s ties to Germany, or the Trans-Tasman relationship of Australia and New Zealand, or the links that still exist between Russia and Ukraine despite efforts by the west to set them against each other (as, for example, Spain and Portugal were at loggerheads for several centuries, when the latter was a loyal ally of Spain’s foe, Great Britain, to such an extent that Portugal was sometimes shown on maps and globes in the same pink as British possessions; a similar situation existed between Argentina and British ally Chile).

A close and mutually advantageous relationship is one thing, but Canada’s de facto loss of independence is another. Not only does the US control Canada’s diplomacy, military, and intelligence but also her financial system (with, among other levers, the notorious FATCA law, which places Canadian institutions under the supervision of the IRS, with Canada’s revenue service acting, care of the Canadian taxpayer, as a cat’s paw for not only the IRS but the NSA and other snooping agencies). As explained by one Canadian nationalist (yes, they do exist!), the redoubtable David Orchard, trade is also a critical issue:

‘Canada …, after almost three decades of “free trade” with the U.S., has more than $1.2 trillion in federal and provincial debt, large deficits at every level, no national child or dental care, high university tuition, miserly old age pensions, years of massive budget cuts, and giveaway prices for its exports of oil, gas, timber and minerals.

‘For 150 years, great Canadian leaders have warned that without an economic border with the United States, we would soon no longer have a political border.

‘We once owned the world’s largest farm machinery maker, Massey Harris, headquartered in Toronto; built the world’s largest and most respected marketer of wheat and barley, the Canadian Wheat Board, based in Winnipeg; created a great transcontinental railway system, beginning in Montreal, which tied our country together; and saw Vancouver’s shipyards produce the beautiful Fast Cat ferry.

‘Instead of spending hundreds of billions on foreign-made machinery, electronics, automobiles, ships, fighter jets and passenger aircraft (even payroll systems for federal employees!), we can build our own, both for the domestic and export market.

‘We once designed and built the world’s most advanced jet interceptor, the Avro Arrow, so we know it can be done. [Emphasis added] With Canada’s resources and ingenuity, it could create a prosperous, domestically controlled economy that would give Canadians multiple benefits, security and pride of ownership. All that is required is some of the will that drove our ancestors to create an alternate power in North America. As George-Étienne Cartier, the great Québécois Father of Confederation, put it, “Now everything depends on our patriotism.”’ [Note: Orchard is the author of the must-read book The Fight for Canada: Four Centuries of Resistance to American Expansionism. To begin at the beginning, in the late 1680s, as part of English-French rivalry in North America, Massachusetts Puritans sought to root out the nest of popish deviltry known as Quebec. Following their disastrous 1690 defeat, they decided to fight Satan closer to home by hanging witches. The rest, as they say, is history…]

Scratch a Canadian patriot and you’ll hear about the Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow. As a watershed moment in Canada’s downward slide into subservience, the cancellation of what by all accounts was a magnificent aircraft – and a snapshot of what Canada’s international competitiveness (including in advanced aerospace) could have looked like had it been able to develop independently – might have been the point of being sucked into the American vortex. As noted by one response to my suggestion that Ottawa’s stance on Venezuela amounted to Canada’s annexation by the US: “Canadian here…unfortunately, the above is true (not literally of course, but in practice). It goes back even before the time of Diefenbaker, who canceled our Avro Arrow program on demand from the US – thus destroying our aerospace industry and causing brain drain to the US/Europe.”

To this day, the decision of then-Prime Minister John Diefenbaker to kill the Arrow project (and “put 14,528 Avro employees, as well as nearly 15,000 other employees in the Avro supply chain of outside suppliers, out of work”) on what came to be known as “Black Friday,” February 20, 1959, remains controversial and shrouded in mystery. A mix of budgetary, political, technological, and personality factors has been cited, none of them conclusive. Pressure from the US side, including unwillingness of Washington to purchase a Canadian aircraft when the US could pressure them to buy American planes and missiles, no doubt played a key role: “Instead of the CF-105, the RCAF invested in a variety of Century Series fighters from the United States. These included the F-104 Starfighter (46 percent of which were lost in Canadian service), and (more controversial, given the cancellation of the Arrow) the CF-101 Voodoo. The Voodoo served as an interceptor, but at a level of performance generally below that expected of the Arrow.”

While we may never know reliably why Diefenbaker cancelled the Arrow or how Canada or Canadian industry might have followed a different path, there’s no question of the superior capabilities of the Arrow. As it happens, one of the few pilots who had a chance to test the Arrow in an impromptu friendly dogfight is now-retired USAF fighter pilot Col. George Jatras, later US Air Attaché in Moscow (also, this analyst’s father). As he related in 2017:

‘I’ve received a number of messages in the last couple days about this bird, including some that say it may be revived. I don’t know how The Arrow would compare to today’s aircraft, but I had a first-hand lesson on how it faired against the F-102.

‘In 1959, I was stationed at Suffolk County AFB on Long Island with the 2nd Fighter Interceptor Squadron. We had an informal exchange program with a Canadian fighter squadron stationed near Montreal. From time to time, two or four aircraft from one of the squadrons would fly to the other’s base on a weekend cross country.

‘On one such exchange, I was #3 in a four ship formation led by [former Tuskegee airmanErnie Craigwell (I don’t recall who the other pilots were). As we entered Canadian airspace, cruising at about 40,000 ft., we spotted a contrail well above our altitude (probably at 50,000ft.) and closing very fast.  As the other aircraft appeared to be passing by, we could clearly see the delta shaped wing and knew it was the Avro Arrow that the Canadian pilots had told us about. Then, instead of just passing by, he rolled in on us! Ernie called for a break and we split into elements. When we talked about the encounter afterwards we all agreed that our first thought was, “This guy is in for a surprise; he doesn’t know that he’s taking on the F-102.”  Well, we were the ones in for a surprise. Even with two elements covering each other, not one of us could get on his tail. His power and maneuverability were awesome.  After he had played with us for a few minutes, like a cat with four mice, he zoomed back up to about 50K and went on his way. What an aircraft! What a shame that it never went into production.’

What is perhaps most curious about the Arrow’s demise is that “everything was ordered brutally destroyed; plans, tools, parts, and the completed planes themselves were to be cut up, destroyed, scrapped and everything made to disappear.”  Why? Well, security of course! Don’t engage in conspiracy theories …

The Canadian national anthem finishes with a pledge: “O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.” It should be noted that understandably resentful Loyalists fleeing the US following the American Revolution were a major contribution to the growth of Canada’s English-speaking population. American troops – back when we were the plucky underdog fighting the mighty British Empire – invaded Canada in 1775 and during the War of 1812 but were defeated. Relations got testy during the American Civil War as well, and even afterwards the US was wary of a proposed united “Kingdom of Canada,” hence the choice of the name “Dominion” in 1967. If today’s Canadians think we-all down here don’t know whom they’ve mostly had in mind to “stand on guard” against all this time, they’d better think again.

Maybe it’s past time for Canadians to get serious again about their independence – eh?

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