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The media-corporate complex has declared war on free speech and Trump mustn’t remain silent

While Donald Trump has clearly surrendered to the military-industrial complex, he still could and should fight the media-corporate complex.

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Both Donald Trump’s critics and biggest supporters will admit that he is probably the most publicly outspoken President of the US in recent memory, if not in US history. His often foulmouthed campaign rallies became online hits that are still doing the rounds.

But the man who famously stated that he and his country “do not have time” for political correctness (aka censorship) is now overseeing a period in the United States when both the traditional airwaves, the once free internet and even public venues are being targeted with censorship more heavily than at any time in contemporary US history.

In less than a week one has seen RT and Sputnik banned from advertising on Twitter, Alex Jones’ InfoWars have been restricting from livestreaming material on Facebook, and just yesterday, it was confirmed that Roger Stone, a one time Trump advisor and stalwart supporter has been banned from Twitter.

Censorship as a corporate reaction to the ‘candidate Trump business model’

A common denominator between RT, InfoWars and Roger Stone is Donald Trump. Donald Trump was the first victorious US Presidential candidate to be interviewed on RT and InfoWars during his campaign. Roger Stone of course worked closely with Trump during part of his campaign and later became one of Trump’s most colourful supporters.

What started with an enhanced crackdown on political descent among ordinary Facebook and Twitter users is now being used on prominent individuals and media outlets. What’s all the more extraordinary is that this is happening under the watch of a supposedly free speech minded President.

Few US Presidents have benefited more from the US free speech laws which are enshrined as the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution, than Trump. His use of social media to say what he wants, when he wants and most crucially how he wants, has earned Trump both praise and infamy. How is it then that the man who said “pussy” in private and still got elected and who said “motherfucker” on the campaign trail is overseeing the crushing of free speech in a country whose laws are supposed to protect it?

Beware the media-corporate complex

The answer lies in a sadistic alliance between Trump’s political opponents and giant corporations who now control both Wall Street and Silicon Valley. While lower Manhattan and northern California may appear to be very different places, both now have the same attitude and the same agenda. Crucially both make money off of each other, both invest in each other and both are in many cases managed by the same financiers.

Wall Street and Silicon Valley both want to promote a political agenda which is led by candidates that they fund (along with the increasingly un-powerful Hollywood which is now considerably less influential than Silicon Valley or Wall Street). Those candidates will consequently return the favours by promoting legislation as well as so-called ‘grace and favour’ measures for the leaders of firms on Wall Street and Silicon Valley and the cycle will continue for as long as possible. Below the surface, bribes, kick-backs and lump sum ‘gifts’ are flowing in all directions.

This is the real reason why Trump is hated. While Donald Trump’s foreign policy is largely controlled by the military-industrial complex, his domestic agenda is largely free of the media-corporate complex. It is in this way that a Trump Presidency differs most from his predecessors.

In 2017, ideological debates about the future of America are important to some ordinary people, are largely meaningless to objective observers and are incredibly useful to the media-corporate complex.

What better way to justify the censoring of media outlets who challenge the primacy of the media-corporate complex than to say it is being done based on the ideology of ‘not wanting to offend’? The method is both simple and effective.

Just to demonstrate how effective this method has become, below are real examples of censorship by the media-corporate complex followed by the stated reason for the censorship and then the real reason for the censorship.

What they said and what they meant

1. RT and Sputnik banned from Twitter 

What they said: RT and Sputnik need to be punished for helping Russia to meddle in US elections.

What they meant: CNN, MSNBC and other giant media corporations are seeing their old captive audience being swallowed up by RT, Sputnik and other international outlets. Let’s retain our unfair advantage by banning their advertisements.

2. Milo Yiannopoulos banned from Twitter 

What they said: Milo’s ‘hate speech’ is offensive and should not have a platform.

What they meant: Milo’s brand is becoming popular among the 18-25 demographic and beyond. This is generally spendthrift demographic with time on their hands to consume new products. The cost of Milo making a video rant, speaking before an audience or writing a blog post is much smaller than the cost of the average MTV program or young-adult sitcom and thus Milo’s profit margin is far bigger. He needs to be curtailed.

3. Ordinary people banned from social media for spouting controversial views 

What they said: Person X used hateful speech to promote a hateful and dangerous political point of view.

What they meant: All media, including the news is entertainment. The news is just entertainment for people who are stimulated/entertained by factual information and analysis. If someone’s rants on Facebook are becoming overly pervasive, they distract from people discussing the products being marketed to them on social media. Furthermore, if ‘Person X’ has an anti-corporate agenda, he could gradually build a viral cohort of people who conspicuously avoid our products. This will scare away advertisers from our platform if repeated. He should be banned.

4. Roger Stone banned from Twitter 

What they said: Roger Stone spewed hateful remarks to a CNN host

What they meant: Roger Stone is highly entertaining. His ‘act’ consists of his personal wardrobe and a microphone. If Stone can be more entertaining by screaming into a microphone while also providing news and views on domestic issues in the US, why bother to watch multi-million dollar CNN? Better cut Stone off from a major outlet of content distribution.

A clear pattern 

At this point a clear pattern emerges, one which highlights the similarity of ‘new’ or ‘alt’ media sources and the Trump Presidential campaign. In both cases, a product that costs comparatively little to produce is going head to head with a lavishly funded product and in both cases the inexpensive product is winning.

Trump financed his campaign through a combination of personal funds and individual donations. Most of the individual donations were small pledges from ordinary people. Hillary Clinton by contrast had some of the biggest corporate backers in modern US election history and she still lost.

Likewise, most modern media outlets operate on a far smaller budget than CNN and do not rely on major corporate sponsors to fund their operations. However, the power of the web allows them to reach surprisingly high levels of audience proliferation and even build their own brand recognition.

Is it any wonder therefore that if Hillary Clinton and her compatriots have the same corporate sponsors as mainstream media, that these corporations are trying to stop both Donald Trump’s Presidency and the new/alt media movement? It’s about as surprising as learning that brushes and combs are not marketed to bald men.

International outlets

While RT and Sputnik aren’t exactly a ‘mom and pop’ operation, they still are run at a fraction of the cost of western corporate mainstream media. What’s more is that their sources of funding are as far away from Wall Street and Silicon Valley as are independent US based outlets which are funded either through donations, subscriptions or comparatively localised advertising campaigns.

In this sense, the idea of a partly ‘state-funded’ media outlet like RT is only important insofar as it means independence from Wall Street. Hence, RT and Sputnik are in the same ‘basket’ as InfoWars or smaller alt-media outlets, simply because they have the same effect of eating into the audience numbers of corporate mainstream media while being outside of the media-corporate funding loop.

If you’ve noticed that I haven’t mentioned the context of the aforementioned outlets, there is a reason for this. Few of RT’s critics ever bother to watch it. They simply adopt a fake narrative about ‘Kremlin propaganda’ in order to keep their shareholders happy. It is all about the bottom line and has little to do with the headline.

Donald’s Trump Card 

Donald Trump has shown that he is not afraid to take on any corporation that doesn’t suit his personal tastes. His ongoing showdown with the NFL, a once apolitical sports entertainment corporation, is proof positive that he is very much willing to use his office to make critical statements about a corporation’s product.

Trump also continually berates CNN, MSNBC, CBS, the New York Times, Washington Post and other corporate MSM outlets.

When will he go after social media networks who are part of the same club?

Based on precedent, he may do so in short order, especially if Twitter and Facebook continue to attack public figures and outlets who are supportive of Trump.

When this happens, there may be an even stronger impetus for people to move away from Twitter and Facebook, just as many relate Trump’s attacks on the NFL to declining ratings and audience attendance at football games.

If Trump refrains from doing this, he’ll ultimately be cheating himself. Trump’s corporate opponents have declared war on free speech and Trump frankly owes it to himself and the wider free speech cottage industry, to expose the corporate sham that lies behind the ideological phoney war against fiscally nimble new media outlets.

Products, services or honest ideology?

Some may have been ‘offended’ that referred to US Presidential candidates and news commentators as ‘products’. Of course, they mean much more than this to many people…but so do most products in the capitalist world have a higher sentimental value to the purchaser than to the seller or producer.

In order to understand the thinking the lies behind the media-corporate complex, one must understand their internalised rhetoric. For them, everything is a product and every war they fight, including the censorship war, is about money.

In a society like the United States, everyone has the right to promote a product, but a line is crossed when promoting one’s own product becomes a matter of destroying someone else’s. This is why fair trade practices legislation exists. For example, the Ford Motor Company can say “Buy the new Ford because it’s fast, good looking and fuel efficient”. However, they cannot say “Buy the new Ford because buying the Oldsmobile will cause you to die of the black plague”. The latter would not be allowed.

However, when it comes to the media war, this is essentially what the media-corporate complex is saying. They are saying that Roger Stone’s four letter words, RT’s news and analysis or someone’s political posts on Facebook are somehow bad for society’s collective mental health. This clear attempt to induce mass hysteria is just as unethical as a car company saying that their competitor’s vehicles cause one’s life to deteriorate. Most rational people realise this, but mass hysteria is defined as:

“a condition affecting a group of persons, characterized by excitement or anxiety, irrational behavior or beliefs, or inexplicable symptoms of illness”.

Every time someone actually believes that Roger Stone is causing real social harm with his foul language, someone is being brainwashed by the media-corporate complex into ‘questioning less’ and taking a crude marketing strategy at face value.

If someone really believes the myth that colourful or provocative language actually causes people real harm, then you are a useful idiot, or corporate chump and nothing more. This was true when mostly left-leaning musicians were attacked for using provocative language in the 1980s, a matter which as Frank Zappa exposed, was used to distract people from a tax on blank tapes that was being rammed through Congress.

CONCLUSION

Donald Trump ought to show the American and wider global public that he is willing to defend free speech as a matter of principle rather than just as a right he has used to further his own political career. If he indeed plans to run for re-election in 2020, he is going to need it.

READ MORE: 

‘Twitter versus RT’ will either kill alternative media or social media networks

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Macron cuts ski holiday short, vowing crack down on Yellow Vests (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 109.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the 18th consecutive week of Yellow Vests protests in Paris. Following last weeks lower participation, Saturday’s Yellow Vests in Paris gathered larger crowds, with various outbreaks of violence and rioting that has been blamed on extreme elements, who French authorities claim have infiltrated the movement.

“Act XVIII” of the protests has shown that the Yellow Vests have not given up. France’s Champs-Élysées boulevard was where most of the violence occurred, with the street being left in a pile of broken glass and flames.

One day after Paris was set ablaze, French President Emmanuel Macron cut his ski holiday short, returning to Paris and vowing to take “strong decisions” to prevent more violence.

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Via Zerohedge


Paris awoke on Sunday to smouldering fires, broken windows and looted stores following the 18th consecutive Saturday of Yellow Vest protests.

Around 200 people were arrested according to BFM TV, while about 80 shops near the iconic Champs Elysees had been damaged and/or looted according to AFP, citing Champs Elysees committee president Jean-Noel Reinhardt.

The 373-year-old Saint Sulpice Roman Catholic church was set on fire while people were inside, however nobody was injured. The cause of the fire remains unknown.

The riots were so severe that French President Emmanuel Macron cut short a vacation at the La Mongie ski resort in the Hautes-Pyrénées following a three-day tour of East Africa which took him to Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya.

Macron skied on Friday, telling La Depeche du Midi “I’m going to spend two-three days here to relax, to find landscapes and friendly faces,” adding “I’m happy to see the Pyrenees like that, radiant, although I know it was more difficult at Christmas” referring to the lack of snow in December.

In response to Saturday’s violence, Macron said over Twitter that “strong decisions” were coming to prevent more violence.

Macron said some individuals — dubbed “black blocs” by French police forces — were taking advantage of the protests by the Yellow Vest grassroots movement to “damage the Republic, to break, to destroy.” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Twitter that those who excused or encouraged such violence were complicit in it. –Bloomberg

The French President has family ties in the Hautes-Pyrénées, including Bagnères de Bigorre where his grandmother lived. He is a regular visitor to the region.

Emmanuel Macron (2ndL), head of the political movement In Marche! (Onwards!) And candidate for the 2017 presidential election, and his wife Brigitte Trogneux (L) have lunch April 12, 2017 (Reuters)

 

 

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Vesti calls out Pompeo on lying about Russia invading Ukraine [Video]

Secretary Pompeo displayed either stunning ignorance or a mass-attack of propaganda about what must be the most invisible war in history.

Seraphim Hanisch

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After the 2014 Maidan revolution and the subsequent secessions of Lugansk and Donetsk in Ukraine, and after the rejoining of Crimea with its original nation of Russia, the Western media went on a campaign to prove the Russia is (/ was / was about to / had already / might / was thinking about / was planning to … etc.) invade Ukraine. For the next year or so, about every two weeks, internet news sources like Yahoo! News showed viewers pictures of tanks, box trucks and convoys to “prove” that the invasion was underway (or any of the other statuses confirming the possibilities above stated.) This information was doubtless provided to US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

Apparently, Secretary Pompeo believed this ruse, or is being paid to believe this ruse because in a speech recently, he talked about it as fact:

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Russia’s annexation of Crimea and aggression in eastern Ukraine an attempt to gain access to Ukraine’s oil and gas reserves.

He stated this at IHS Markit’s CERAWeek conference in Houston, the USA, Reuters reports.

Pompeo urged the oil industry to work with the Trump administration to promote U.S. foreign policy interests, especially in Asia and in Europe, and to punish what he called “bad actors” on the world stage.

The United States has imposed harsh sanctions in the past several months on two major world oil producers, Venezuela and Iran.

Pompeo said the U.S. oil-and-gas export boom had given the United States the ability to meet energy demand once satisfied by its geopolitical rivals.

“We don’t want our European allies hooked on Russian gas through the Nord Stream 2 project, any more than we ourselves want to be dependent on Venezuelan oil supplies,” Pompeo said, referring to a natural gas pipeline expansion from Russia to Central Europe.

Pompeo called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine an attempt to gain access to the country’s oil and gas reserves.

Although the state-run news agency Vesti News often comes under criticism for rather reckless, or at least, extremely sarcastic propaganda at times, here they rightly nailed Mr. Pompeo’s lies to the wall and billboarded it on their program:

The news anchors even made a wisecrack about one of the political figures, Konstantin Zatulin saying as a joke that Russia plans to invade the United States to get its oil. They further noted that Secretary Pompeo is uneducated about the region and situation, but they offered him the chance to come to Russia and learn the correct information about what is going on.

To wit, Russia has not invaded Ukraine at all. There is no evidence to support such a claim, while there IS evidence to show that the West is actively interfering with Russia through the use of Ukraine as a proxyWhile this runs counter to the American narrative, it is simply the truth. Ukraine appears to be the victim of its own ambitions at this point, for while the US tantalizes the leadership of the country and even interferes with the Orthodox Church in the region, the country lurches towards a presidential election with three very poor candidates, most notably the one who is president there now, Petro Poroshenko.

However, the oil and gas side of the anti-Russian propaganda operation by the US is significant. The US wishes for Europe to buy gas from American suppliers, even though this is woefully inconvenient and expensive when Russia is literally at Europe’s doorstep with easy supplies. However, the Cold War Party in the United States, which still has a significant hold on US policy making categorizes the sale of Russia gas to powers like NATO ally Germany as a “threat” to European security.

It is interesting that Angela Merkel herself does not hold this line of thinking. It is also interesting and worthy of note, that this is not the only NATO member that is dealing more and more with Russia in terms of business. It underscores the loss of purpose that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization suffers now since there is no Soviet Union to fight.

However, the US remains undaunted. If there is no enemy to fight, the Americans feel that they must create one, and Russia has been the main scapegoat for American power ambitions. More than ever now, this tactic appears to be the one in use for determining the US stance towards other powers in the world.

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Ariel Cohen explains Washington’s latest foreign policy strategy [Video]

Excellent interview Ariel Cohen and Vladimir Solovyov reveals the forces at work in and behind American foreign policy.

Seraphim Hanisch

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While the American people and press are pretty much complicit in reassuring the masses that America is the only “right” superpower on earth, and that Russia and China represent “enemy threats” for doing nothing more than existing and being successfully competitive in world markets, Russia Channel One got a stunner of a video interview with Ariel Cohen.

Who is Ariel Cohen? Wikipedia offers this information about him:

Ariel Cohen (born April 3, 1959 in Crimea in YaltaUSSR) is a political scientist focusing on political risk, international security and energy policy, and the rule of law.[1] Cohen currently serves as the Director of The Center for Energy, Natural Resources and Geopolitics (CENRG) at the Institute for Analysis of Global Security (IAGS). CENRG focuses on the nexus between energy, geopolitics and security, and natural resources and growth. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, within the Global Energy Center and the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center.[2] Until July 2014, Dr. Cohen was a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. He specializes in Russia/Eurasia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.

Cohen has testified before committees of the U.S. Congress, including the Senate and House Foreign Relations Committees, the House Armed Services Committee, the House Judiciary Committee and the Helsinki Commission.[4] He also served as a Policy Adviser with the National Institute for Public Policy’s Center for Deterrence Analysis.[5] In addition, Cohen has consulted for USAID, the World Bank and the Pentagon.[6][7]

Cohen is a frequent writer and commentator in the American and international media. He has appeared on CNN, NBC, CBS, FOX, C-SPAN, BBC-TV and Al Jazeera English, as well as Russian and Ukrainian national TV networks. He was a commentator on a Voice of America weekly radio and TV show for eight years. Currently, he is a Contributing Editor to the National Interest and a blogger for Voice of America. He has written guest columns for the New York TimesInternational Herald TribuneChristian Science Monitor, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, EurasiaNet, Valdai Discussion Club,[8] and National Review Online. In Europe, Cohen’s analyses have appeared in Kommersant, Izvestiya, Hurriyet, the popular Russian website Ezhenedelny Zhurnal, and many others.[9][10]

Mr. Cohen came on Russian TV for a lengthy interview running about 17 minutes. This interview, shown in full below, is extremely instructive in illustrating the nature of the American foreign policy directives such as they are at this time.

We have seen evidence of this in recent statements by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regarding Russia’s “invasion” of Ukraine, and an honestly unabashed bit of fear mongering about China’s company Huawei and its forthcoming 5G networks, which we will investigate in more detail in another piece. Both bits of rhetoric reflect a re-polished narrative that, paraphrased, says to the other world powers,

Either you do as we tell you, or you are our enemy. You are not even permitted to out-compete with us in business, let alone foreign relations. The world is ours and if you try to step out of place, you will be dealt with as an enemy power.

This is probably justified paranoia, because it is losing its place. Where the United Stated used to stand for opposition against tyranny in the world, it now acts as the tyrant, and even as a bully. Russia and China’s reaction might be seen as ignoring the bully and his bluster and just going about doing their own thing. It isn’t a fight, but it is treating the bully with contempt, as bullies indeed deserve.

Ariel Cohen rightly points out that there is a great deal of political inertia in the matter of allowing Russia and China to just do their own thing. The US appears to be acting paranoid about losing its place. His explanations appear very sound and very reasonable and factual. Far from some of the snark Vesti is often infamous for, this interview is so clear it is tragic that most Americans will never see it.

The tragedy for the US leadership that buys this strategy is that they appear to be blinded so much by their own passion that they cannot break free of it to save themselves.

This is not the first time that such events have happened to an empire. It happened in Rome; it happened for England; and it happened for the shorter-lived empires of Nazi Germany and ISIS. It happens every time that someone in power becomes afraid to lose it, and when the forces that propelled that rise to power no longer are present. The US is a superpower without a reason to be a superpower.

That can be very dangerous.

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