Media

The President Is Crazy. Someone Should Do Something.

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 17/01/2020 - 6:48pm in

Everyone agrees that President Trump seems to have been exposed as unfit for office in the week of his rash assassination of a top Iranian general. But who is going to act? The public is scared because they know that protest doesn’t work and that it often turns protesters into targets of surveillance. Congress won’t act because they are cowards and are owned by major corporations. And the media won’t do anything for the same reason.

France at a Crossroads

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 17/01/2020 - 2:34am in

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Labor, Media

The nationwide general strike in France, now in its record seventh week, seems to be approaching its crisis point. Despite savage police repression, about a million people are in the streets protesting President Macron’s proposed neoliberal “reform” of France’s retirement . . .

Read more ›

10 Reasons Aaron Hernandez Committed Multiple Murders

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 16/01/2020 - 11:11pm in

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Media

Does offering many explanations really explain repeated premeditated murder?

Cartoon: Demonize the eco-wise

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 14/01/2020 - 11:50pm in

For more, see this NY Times article.

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Follow me on Twitter at @JenSorensen

My ABC, some of the time

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 09/01/2020 - 8:40am in

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Media

Why so many? After all, there are about as many Buddhists as Aboriginals, and three times as many Chinese. Ah well, despite the ABC's need to show impartiality, Reconciliation is somehow more important.

Lincoln v. Douglas – 2020

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/01/2020 - 6:48pm in

The 1858 debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas over the issue of slavery were notable for their erudite discussion of an important policy matter. Now we don’t talk about issues, we talk about political viability in terms of how much the candidates have to spend. Ideas? Not so much.

The trouble with the BBC

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 06/01/2020 - 7:15pm in

I encountered this rather good twitter feed on the gradual changes to the News offering from the BBC and their consequences from a certain Niall Fleming, who writes as though he has some inside knowledge. Whether he does or not, his conclusions, I feel are worthy of note. I offer the piece completely unedited as... Read more

Jews Fleeing Britain Because of Right-Wing Anti-Semitism

This is disgusting. Absolutely disgusting. But it’s not going to be covered in the media, and especially not the establishment Jewish media, like the Jewish Telegraph or Jewish Chronicle, because they’re only interested in it when it’s a stick to beat the left. Tom Pride, of the ‘Pride’s Purge Blog’, has posted that he and his family are leaving Blighty because of the threat of rising right-wing anti-Semitism. Pride’s a left-wing blogger, who has been attacking the Tories and the forces of the right for years with intelligence, facts and statistics, and a caustic wit. Last Monday, 30th December 2019, he posted that he and his father are both leaving Britain. He is Jewish, and his grandfather a survivor of the Holocaust. His father came to Britain from Austria to escape the Nazis’ mass murder of European Jews. However, his father, that man’s son, has told Pride that he is washing his hands of the UK and moving to another, European country, because of the rise of the far right in Britain. This gentleman is in his 80s, and has said that he is frightened and will not set foot in the UK again. Pride is also leaving Britain, but as he’s a Brit born and bred, he isn’t completely turning his back on our country.

Pride states that anti-Semitism in Britain comes almost exclusively from the right. He backs up this statement with a mass of evidence, from stats showing that Tories made rather more anti-Semitic comments than Labour members, to profiles over some real anti-Semites. They were right-wingers who supported the Daily Mail and Brexit, and who also hated Muslims. They’re the real face of anti-Semitism in the UK. As for the people that harassed Luciana Berger, they were also far right stormtroopers. Berger claimed that she was leaving the Labour party because of anti-Semitic harassment. However, the man jailed for harassing her was Joshua Bonehill-Paine. Bonehill-Paine is a bizarre individual, who poses as a Nazi in order to troll both Fascists and anti-Fascists. Or so he has said on his blog.  He’s been arrested and convicted several times for harassing different women, breaking into a police station and defecating in the aisle of a supermarket. Pride also notes that over the Christmas and Hanukkah holiday this year, shops and supermarkets were scrawled with anti-Semitic graffiti. He also states very clearly that the anti-Semites whose odious activities he watches are right-wingers and loudly support Boris Johnson. One of the supporters of anti-Semitism is the loathsome Katie Hopkins, shown in a photograph posing with the anti-Semitic Peter Sweden, a Holocaust denier.

But although genuine anti-Semitism in the Labour party is minuscule, the Tories, Lib Dems and Labour ‘Centrists’ have done everything they can to convince the public that it all comes from the Labour party and Jeremy Corbyn. They’ve done this to protect the interests of a handful of billionaires, which would have been under threat had the definitely not anti-Semitic Corbyn become Prime Minister. Pride says that while many ordinary people shared his information online, nobody in the establishment media did. Because it didn’t fit their agenda of smearing Corbyn and the Left.

https://tompride.wordpress.com/2019/12/30/while-antisemites-cheer-johnson-this-holocaust-survivors-family-is-fleeing-britain/

I’m sorry Tom’s leaving Britain. It wouldn’t surprise me if other Jews leave too. A few years ago I read a newspaper report that British Jews of German descent were taking out German nationality as a safeguard against Brexit. I also got the impression that Brits of Irish descent were also taking out Irish nationality, even if they were only partly Irish, for the same reason. And Brexit certainly has embolden the real racists, islamophobes and anti-Semites on the far right.

But we won’t hear of this from the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, the Jewish Leadership Council, the Board of Deputies or the Chief Rabbi, because they’re not interested in protecting Jewish Brits from real anti-Semitism. They’re only interested to preventing criticism of Israel and, as Tories, supporting the rich and powerful. They are not remotely interested in doing anything for the poor, which obviously includes Jews. Indeed, they have vilified those Jews, who did support Labour and Corbyn, or who criticised Israel, as anti-Semites themselves.

They’re disgusting liars, who have helped a greedy, incompetent racist in 10 Downing.

And now, partly thanks to their efforts, ordinary Jews are at risk from the real anti-Semites of the Fascist Right.

 

The Beeb’s Reward for the Election: Tory Poll Pushes Its Privatisation

Mike put this story up yesterday, and it shows how the Conservatives view their allies at the Beeb. The Corporation played a vital role in their re-election. It’s coverage of Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour has, for the last four years or so, been unrelentingly hostile. The Beeb’s reporters did everything they could to promote the Blairite faction and their plots and rebellions, including the resignation of one of Corbyn’s shadow cabinet live on the Andrew Marr show. And they, like the rest of the media, denounced Corbyn and his supporters, who were the most anti-racist of politicians, as inveterate anti-Semites, who were a real threat to Jewish Brits. And no argument was allowed to the contrary. This hate campaign kicked into overdrive at the election, with outright lies – that Labour’s manifesto promises were as deceitful as the Tories, when all the lies noted came from the Conservatives – and with Kuenssberg’s flagrant breach of electoral law. This forbids anybody divulging the progress of the postal votes before the results as a whole are declared. Nevertheless, Kuenssberg blithely announced that she’d heard the results from the postal votes as they were coming in, and it didn’t look good for Labour. This should have got her sacked, but the Beeb has just waved it off as ‘a mistake’. The trouble, is there are far too many of such ‘mistakes’ for that to be anywhere near convincing.

Boris Johnson has declared that he wants non-payment of the BBC license fee to be decriminalised. And yesterday the Daily Mail Online reported that a YouGov poll found that 50 per cent of people would like the Beeb privatised.  YouGov was set up by Nadhim Zahawi and a fellow leading Tory, and as Mike says, its polling always seems to follow the results demanded by the its proprietors. Polls don’t report how people intend to vote, as how the polling organisations want them to vote. And the Tories are obviously softening the public up for its eventual privatisation.

Of course, the Tories have hated the BBC for years. Way back when I was at school forty years ago I can remember Thatcher’s government suggesting that the license fee should be scrapped and the Beeb funded through advertising. Or privatised altogether. Most people at that time were very firmly against it, so that disappeared. Only to reappear a few years later under John Major, when the Tories were accusing the Beeb once again of being biased against them (What?) Instead of outright privatisation, they simply passed legislation demanding that the corporation have a certain amount of its programmes produced by private production companies. Which is why, if you watch some of these programmes, you’ll find the logo of a private company like Mentorn at the end of their credits.

The Tories are the company of private industry, so they hate state industries as a matter of course. But there’s also the selfish interest of their corporate masters. The Murdoch papers – the Scum and the Times – have been attacking the Beeb for decades because Murdoch loathes it as a rival to his own Sky network. And the Americans have been buying up British broadcasters for several years now. The Tory ideal is to have it funded either through subscriptions or advertising. The result would be something like the American PBS, which shares the Corporation’s ethos of public service broadcasting, but is hardly a major broadcaster. The Beeb does make some excellent programmes, but it only does this because of the license fee. The commercial broadcasters have found it difficult to make quality, expensive programmes because there isn’t enough revenue from advertising.

And as loathsome as the Beeb’s newsroom is, privatisation would make the situation worse. Fox News has a right-wing bias so blatant and overt it can be seen from space. And it peddles so much fake news that one monitoring organisation found that you would be less informed after watching it than if you took no news at all. Which is an achievement, of sorts. It’s a network that’s exerting a positive drag effect on American collective intelligence. For some reason, my YouTube page came up with videos from Australian Sky TV. And that seemed to be as bad or worse.

I can’t say I’m totally happy with the Beeb. Looking through the Radio Times I get irritated, as I feel quite often that I’m being condescended to. But I think that comes from the British media class generally, and the way it sees itself as the gatekeepers and opinon makers of British culture. I don’t want the Beeb privatised. But I do want the newsroom reformed and purged of its bias.

But I don’t think that’s going to happen. Not when so many of the Beeb’s journos come from the Tory papers, like Andrew Neil, or from the Conservative party itself, like Nick Robinson, or show their real political allegiances by departing to join their propaganda unit.

I dare say that if the Beeb is privatised, the likes of Robinson, Kuenssberg, Pinaar and the rest will get a very cosy reward on one of the private broadcasters.

But we would lose out, as the Beeb’s public service mission to inform, educate and entertain would be scrapped in favour of highly commercialised, partisan rubbish.

See: https://voxpoliticalonline.com/2020/01/04/job-done-bbc-got-the-tories-re-elected-and-now-tory-pollster-is-softening-us-up-for-privatisation/

In Redux of Iraq War Run Up, Media Cheers on Assassination of Soleimani

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 04/01/2020 - 6:47am in

Early Friday morning, a U.S. airstrike assassinated Iranian Lt. General Qassem Soleimani as he traveled from Baghdad’s international airport. A charismatic and capable military figure, Soleimani was widely considered to be one of the most powerful and influential individuals in Iran. Two years to the day since MintPress News reported that the U.S. government had given the green light to assassinate him, Soleimani’s convoy was struck from the air. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo presented the decision as a defensive one, claiming that Soleimani was preparing an “imminent attack” against the U.S. When pressed, he refused to give any more evidence or details. Despite claiming the strike made Americans much safer, the government immediately instructed all U.S. citizens to leave Iraq and avoid the American Embassy.

Assassinating foreign leaders is a major international war crime under international law, yet across the corporate spectrum, media applauded the bombing, or “precision targeting,” as CNN described it. Unsurprisingly, many conservative media outlets supported the Trump administration’s decision to potentially spark a huge international conflict. The Washington Examiner quoted one “expert” celebrating the killing as more important than Bin Laden’s death and a “massive blow to the regime.” Fox News quickly published an opinion piece from Christian Whiton of the strongly hawkish Center for the National Interest, praising Trump for acting “correctly and decisively,” preventing further American bloodshed by taking out a major “terrorist.” It also immediately invited major Neoconservative hawks and public faces of the Iraq War, Karl Rove and Ari Fleischer, on air to discuss the situation and inform its audience what to think.

Media with more liberal audiences ­– who claim to be leading the resistance against a dangerous fascist commander-in-chief – were no less supportive of Trump’s latest aggressive actions. Just as it had done with U.S.-supported coup attempts in Venezuela and Bolivia, resistance media lined up shoulder-to-shoulder with the president and condemned Soleimani as guilty of a myriad of crimes against humanity. CNBC’s headline read, “America just took out the world’s no. 1 bad guy,” accusing him of being the leader of the world’s “most active and pervasive terrorist army.” It claimed that Trump’s decision had “saved current lives” and represented “justice” to his many victims. It also claimed that it saved further American lives as it would “deter future Iranian attack plans.” “There’s no question Soleimani had American blood on his hands” claimed one source in USA Today; “he was an enemy.” It is worth noting, however, that the American deaths being referenced are not civilians, but members of an invading and occupying army in Iraq who were killed by locals resisting a foreign occupier.  

The New York Times claimed he had “spent the last decade replicating the Hezbollah model in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, propping up local militias with precision weapons and tactical know-how” and held him responsible for “driving over 10 million [Syrian] people from their homes” not mentioning the American role in any of those warzones. Meanwhile, CNN’s Alex Marquardt claimed that, “US lawmakers are united in their support of the killing of Soleimani” and that Republicans and Democrats alike agreed that, “this is a man who deserved to be killed because of everything he has done against American forces” and were busy “congratulating” Trump for his heroism. The message from corporate media was clear: “Soleimani is a ruthless killer. He’s a horrible human being,” (CNN). The evidence presented for this claim was that “he commanded a division in the Iran/Iraq War” – a war in which the United States armed, funded and supported its then ally Saddam Hussein to invade Iran, causing around one million deaths.

In reality, corporate media are not celebrating Soleimani’s assassination because of his many (real) faults, but rather because of his qualities as an effective leader and organizer, someone who has constantly stymied American efforts to further dominate the region. In Syria, where the U.S. has all but allied with Al-Qaeda/Al-Nusra in order to overthrow the Assad dynasty, Iran has provided a significant counterweight to American-backed forces. Likewise, it continues to support groups such as Hezbollah that resist the U.S. and its allies across the region. It has also, rhetorically at least, supported the Houthi rebels fighting against a U.S./Saudi onslaught, although the extent of Iranian involvement is questionable.  

The U.S. government has announced that it is preparing to increase its presence in the wake of the Soleimani assassination, sending at least 3,000 more troops to the region. With echoes of Iraq, media are once again cheering an attack and a military build-up against a Middle Eastern country on the grounds of a supposedly imminent strike against the United States. History, they say, never repeats itself. But it often rhymes.

Feature photo | Gen. Qassim Soleimani, center, attends a meeting of a group of the Guard members with Iranian Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in Tehran, Iran on Oct. 2, 2019. Photo | AP

Alan MacLeod is a MintPress Staff Writer as well as an academic and writer for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. His book, Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting was published in April.

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