A Media Unmoored from Facts

Exclusive: Mainstream U.S. journalism has completely lost its way, especially in dealing with foreign policy issues where bias now overwhelms any commitment to facts, a dangerous development, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

Several weeks ago, I received a phone call from legendary investigative reporter Seymour Hersh who had seen one of my recent stories about Syria and wanted to commiserate over the state of modern journalism. Hersh’s primary question regarding reporters and editors at major news outlets these days was: “Do they care what the facts are?”

Hersh noted that in the past – in the 1970s when he worked at The New York Times – even executive editor Abe Rosenthal, who was a hard-line cold warrior with strong ideological biases, still wanted to know what was really going on.

Washington Post's editorial page editor Fred Hiatt.

Washington Post’s editorial page editor Fred Hiatt.

My experience was similar at The Associated Press. Among the older editors, there was still a pride in getting the facts right – and not getting misled by some politician or spun by some government flack.

That journalistic code, however, no longer exists – at least not on foreign policy and national security issues. The major newspapers and TV networks are staffed largely by careerists who uncritically accept what they are fed by U.S. government officials or what they get from think-tank experts who are essentially in the pay of special interests.

For a variety of reasons – from the draconian staff cuts among foreign correspondents to the career fear of challenging some widely held “group think” – many journalists have simply become stenographers, taking down what the Important People say is true, not necessarily what is true.

It’s especially easy to go with the flow when writing about some demonized foreign leader. Then, no editor apparently expects anything approaching balance or objectivity, supposedly key principles of journalism. Indeed, if a reporter gave one of these hated figures a fair shake, there might be grumblings about whether the reporter was a “fill-in-the-blank apologist.” The safe play is to pile on.

This dishonesty – or lack of any commitment to the truth – is even worse among editorialists and columnists. Having discovered that there was virtually no cost for being catastrophically wrong about the facts leading into the Iraq invasion in 2003, these writers must feel so immune from accountability that they can safely ignore reality.

But – for some of us old-timers – it’s still unnerving to read the work of these “highly respected” journalists who simply don’t care what the facts are.

For instance, the establishment media has been striking back ferociously against President Barack Obama’s apostasy in a series of interviews published in The Atlantic, in which he defends his decision not to bomb the Syrian government in reaction to a mysterious sarin gas attack outside Damascus on Aug. 21, 2013.

Though The Atlantic article was posted a month ago, the media fury is still resonating and reverberating around Official Washington, with Washington Post editorial-page editor Fred Hiatt penning the latest condemnation of Obama’s supposed fecklessness for not enforcing his “red line” on chemical-weapon use in Syria by bombing the Syrian military.

Remember that in 2002-03, Hiatt penned Post editorials that reported, as “flat fact,” that Iraq possessed hidden stockpiles of WMD – and he suffered not a whit for being horribly wrong. More than a dozen years later, Hiatt is still the Post’s editorial-page editor – one of the most influential jobs in American journalism.

On Thursday, Hiatt reported as flat fact that Syria’s “dictator, Bashar al-Assad, killed 1,400 or more people in a chemical gas attack,” a reference to the 2013 sarin atrocity. Hiatt then lashed out at President Obama for not punishing Assad and – even worse – for showing satisfaction over that restraint.

Citing The Atlantic interviews, Hiatt wrote that Obama “said he had been criticized because he refused to follow the ‘playbook that comes out of the foreign-policy establishment,’ which would have counseled greater U.S. intervention.” Hiatt was clearly disgusted with Obama’s pusillanimous choice.

The No ‘Slam Dunk’ Warning

But what Hiatt and other neocon columnists consistently ignore from The Atlantic article is the disclosure that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper informed Obama that U.S. intelligence analysts doubted that Assad was responsible for the sarin attack.

Clapper even used the phrase “slam dunk,” which is associated with the infamous 2002 pledge from then-CIA Director George Tenet to President George W. Bush about how “slam dunk” easy it would be to make the case that Iraq was hiding WMD. More than a decade later, brandishing that disgraced phrase, Clapper told Obama that it was not a “slam dunk” that Assad was responsible for the sarin attack.

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney receive an Oval Office briefing from CIA Director George Tenet. Also present is Chief of Staff Andy Card (on right). (White House photo)

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney receive an Oval Office briefing from CIA Director George Tenet. Also present is Chief of Staff Andy Card (on right). (White House photo)

In other words, Obama’s decision not to bomb Assad’s military was driven, in part, by the intelligence community’s advice that he might end up bombing the wrong people. Since then, evidence has built up that radical jihadists opposed to Assad staged the sarin attack as a provocation to trick the U.S. military into entering the war on their side.

But those facts clearly are not convenient to Hiatt’s neocon goal – i.e., how to get the United States into another Mideast “regime change” war – so he simply expunges the “slam dunk” exchange between Clapper and Obama and inserts instead a made-up “fact,” the flat-fact certainty of Assad’s guilt.

Hiatt’s assertion of the death toll – as “1,400 or more people” – is also dubious. Doctors on the ground in Damascus placed the number of dead at several hundred. The 1,400 figure was essentially manufactured by the U.S. government using a dubious methodology of counting bodies shown on “social media,” failing to take into account the question of whether the victims died as a result of the Aug. 21, 2013 incident.

Relying on “social media” for evidence is a notoriously unreliable practice, since pretty much anyone can post anything on the Internet. And, in the case of Syria, there are plenty of interest groups that have a motive to misidentify or even fabricate images for the purpose of influencing public opinion and policy. There is also the Internet’s vulnerability as a devil’s playground for professional intelligence services.

But Hiatt is far from alone in lambasting Obama for failing to do what All the Smart People of Washington knew he should do: bomb, bomb, bomb Assad’s forces in Syria – even if that might have led to the collapse of the army and the takeover of Damascus by Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front and/or the Islamic State.

Nationally syndicated columnist Richard Cohen, another Iraq War cheerleader who suffered not at all for that catastrophe, accused Obama of “hubris” for taking pride in his decision not to bomb Syria in 2013 and then supposedly basing his foreign policy on that inaction.

“In an odd way, Obama’s failure to intervene in Syria or to enforce his stated ‘red line’ there has become the rationale for an entire foreign policy doctrine – one based more on hubris than success,” wrote Cohen in a column on Tuesday.

President Barack Obama shakes hands with U.S. troops at Bagram Airfield in Bagram, Afghanistan, Sunday, May 25, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama shakes hands with U.S. troops at Bagram Airfield in Bagram, Afghanistan, Sunday, May 25, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Note how Cohen – like Hiatt – fails to mention the relevant fact that DNI Clapper warned the President that the intelligence community was unsure who had unleashed the sarin attack or whether Assad had, in fact, crossed the “red line.”

Cohen also embraces the conventional wisdom that Obama was mistaken not to have intervened in Syria, ignoring the fact that Obama did, in violation of international law, authorize arming and training of thousands of Syrian rebels to violently overthrow the Syrian government, with many of those weapons (and recruits) falling into the hands of terror groups, such as Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Climbing into Bed with Al Qaeda.”]

Neocon Ideologues

So, it appears that these well-regarded geniuses don’t appreciate the idea of ascertaining the facts before charging off to war. And there’s a reason for that: many are neocon ideologues who reached their conclusion about what needs to be done in the Middle East – eliminate governments that are troublesome to Israel – and thus they view information as just something to be manipulated to manipulate the public.

This thinking stems from the 1990s when neocons combined their recognition of America’s unmatched military capabilities – as displayed in the Persian Gulf War in 1990-91 and made even more unchallengeable with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991– with Israel’s annoyance over inconclusive negotiations with the Palestinians and security concerns over Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia.

The new solution to Israel’s political and security problems would be “regime change” in countries seen as aiding and abetting Israel’s enemies. The strategy came together among prominent U.S. neocons working on Benjamin Netanyahu’s 1996 campaign for Israeli prime minister.

Rather than continuing those annoying negotiations with the Palestinians, Netanyahu’s neocon advisers — including Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, David Wurmser and Mevray Wurmser — advocated a new approach, called “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm.”

The “clean break” sought “regime change” in countries supporting Israel’s close-in enemies, whether Iraq under Saddam Hussein, Syria under the Assad dynasty or Iran, a leading benefactor of Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas.

Two years later, in 1998, the neocon Project for the New American Century called for a U.S. invasion of Iraq. PNAC was founded by neocon luminaries William Kristol and Robert Kagan. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Mysterious Why of the Iraq War.”]

After George W. Bush became president and the 9/11 attacks left the American people lusting for revenge, the pathway was cleared for implementing the “regime change” agenda, with Iraq still at the top of the list although it had nothing to do with 9/11. Again, the last thing the neocons wanted was to inform the American people of the real facts about Iraq because that might have sunk the plans for this war of choice.

Thus, the American public was consistently misled by both the Bush administration and the neocon-dominated mainstream media. The Post’s Hiatt, for instance, was out there regularly reporting Iraq’s WMD threat as “flat fact.”

After the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003 and months of fruitless searching for the promised WMD caches, Hiatt finally acknowledged that the Post should have been more circumspect in its confident claims about the WMD. “If you look at the editorials we write running up [to the war], we state as flat fact that he [Saddam Hussein] has weapons of mass destruction,” Hiatt said in an interview with the Columbia Journalism Review. “If that’s not true, it would have been better not to say it.” [CJR, March/April 2004]

Yet, Hiatt’s supposed remorse didn’t stop him and the Post editorial page from continuing its single-minded support for the Iraq War — and heaping abuse on war critics, such as former U.S. Ambassador Joe Wilson who challenged President Bush’s claims about Iraq seeking yellowcake uranium from NIger.

The degree to which the neocons continue to dominate the major news outlets, such as The Washington Post and The New York Times, is demonstrated by the lack of virtually any accountability on the journalists who misinformed their readers about an issue as consequential as the war in Iraq.

And, despite the disaster in Iraq, the neocons never cast aside their “clean break” playbook. After Iraq, the “regime change” strategy listed Syria next and then Iran. Although the neocons suffered a setback in 2008 with the election of Iraq War opponent Barack Obama, they never gave up their dreams.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressing the AIPAC conference in Washington D.C. on March 21, 2016. (Photo credit: AIPAC)

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressing the AIPAC conference in Washington D.C. on March 21, 2016. (Photo credit: AIPAC)

The neocons worked through Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other Iraq War supporters who managed to survive and even move up through the government ranks despite Obama’s distaste for their military solutions.

While in office, Clinton sabotaged chances to get Iran to surrender much of its nuclear material – all the better to keep the “regime change” option in play – and she lobbied for a covert military intervention to oust Syria’s Assad. (She also tipped the balance in favor of another “regime change” war in Libya that has created one more failed state in the volatile region.)

But the most disturbing fact is that these war promoters – both in politics and the press – continue to be rewarded for their warmongering. Hiatt retains his gilded perch as the Post’s editorial-page editor (setting Official Washington’s agenda); Cohen remains one of America’s leading national columnists; and Hillary Clinton is favored to become the next President.

So, the answer to Sy Hersh’s question – “Do they care what the facts are?” – is, it appears, no. There is just too much money and power involved in influencing and controlling Washington and – through those levers of finance, diplomacy and war – controlling the world. When that’s at stake, real facts can become troublesome things. For the people who wield this influence and control, it is better for them to manufacture their own.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).

91 comments for “A Media Unmoored from Facts

  1. April 11, 2016 at 17:01

    Hersch lost all credibility with his latest book on Bin Laden. He has no room to complain about irreverence for the truth. Citing him twice in this piece makes me doubt the veracity of the author himself, wondering if his journalism isn’t sprinkled with his own flights of fancy. Stating in no-nonsense terms that Clinton wanted to go to war with Iran is as unsupportable a claim as all the #benghazi fabrications which have emerged over the last 6 years.

  2. stinky rafsanjani
    April 10, 2016 at 12:14

    “Cohen also embraces the conventional wisdom that Obama was mistaken not to have intervened in Syria, ignoring the fact that Obama did, in violation of international law, authorize arming and training of thousands of Syrian rebels to violently overthrow the Syrian government, with many of those weapons (and recruits) falling into the hands of terror groups, such as Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front.”

    please explain. why are foreign-supported groups who attempt to ” violently overthrow the Syrian government” not considered terrorists?

  3. billyjoe
    April 10, 2016 at 07:40

    Complaining about the “lamestream” media has become cliche, especially when it’s voiced on Facebook, which has its own unique brand of distorted information sharing.

  4. Secret Agent
    April 10, 2016 at 07:37

    The media is like high school forever. You want to be one of the in crowd; you have to be like everyone else. You have to live in the eternal now. You have to be ideologically pure. You never ever question the consensus. Try doing something different and you are out.

    • Daniel
      April 10, 2016 at 16:47

      Exactly the point I make to everyone who will listen. With just 6 (for-profit!) corporations determining most of everything that 320million Americans hear, the ‘high-school-clique’ method of gathering and delivering information is all we’ve got, and has no chance but to fail us all miserably. This was all by design of course, implemented at the start of Reagan’s reign and solidified by President Clinton.

      They’re never gonna give up this messaging power over us. We will have to shame them all, steal it from them, and install Robert Parry-types to as many helms as we can. Is there anything more important today – and more daunting a task – than getting to the truth?

  5. Jill
    April 10, 2016 at 00:22

    I do like about this site that it admits that neocons are wrong when they want to get into every possible conflict in the world, in order to enrich the Military Industrial Complex.

    However, to act as if Assad is some great guy, after he slaughtered large numbers of his people– with or without using sarin gas– sending 1/5 of the Syrian population fleeing for their lives to Europe, is equally wrong. And to act like Putin is some great guy for propping him up while he did that is also wrong.

    If our own invasions of other countries are wrong, it would be consistent to also think that Putin’s invasions of Ukraine and Syria (on Assad’s side) are also wrong. But no, no consistency to be had here. This site seems pro-Assad and pro-Putin, no matter what they do.

    • stinky rafsanjani
      April 10, 2016 at 12:21

      you realize that mean ol’ commie was…..get this….invited to syria?
      i don’t recall being invited to iraq, afghanistan, somalia, libya, grenada, panama, etc.

      invasion of ukraine? really? i must have missed the video
      documentary on the history channel. oh, no video. i see.

    • Curious
      April 13, 2016 at 01:58

      Please Jill,

      To articulate some information outside of the news bubble you may be reading, is not pro-Assad, nor pro-Putin. Read up on the compliment of Russian troops stationed in Crimea due to a contract and Savastopol (40K?) before Nuland talked about sinking 5 billion of our tax dollars into Ukraine, plus the history of Crimea dating back to Catherine the Great. The vote count of the referendum in Crimea has been substantiated at least 2 more official times. Do you not believe the citizens of Crimea can vote, or know how to vote? Also read up on some random Brzezinski chessboard madness as if the world is his playground. Some of the Russian (USSR) weapons you might see in eastern Ukraine date back to WW2.

      I agree with the above comment that Mr Parrys’ site is not a debate format but a channel for information. Please educate yourself. The dynamics of Assad and Syria?. I really don’t like to approach any comments here without a form of respect or simply the fact they may have more information than I do regarding secrets and hidden matters (yes, I fail). But recently I am just baffled by some of your replies.

  6. richard young
    April 9, 2016 at 19:20

    This article is correct and especially applicable to US foreign policy regarding Latin America and the Caribbean. Unfortunately our US Government (supported by almost all politicians of both political parties) continues a decades-old policy of opposing “populist” governments — i.e., governments which actually prioritize the needs of the vast majority of their citizens over the desires of a tiny minority of rich and powerful people — in nations such as Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Venezuela and Ecuador. Such opposition continues to include the deliberate defamation of honest progressive leaders, the destabilization of progressive governments through funding and training violent opposition groups, and the covert participation of our Government in recent coups in Haiti, Honduras and Venezuela. And all this disgusting US Government behavior is facilitated by the kind of disgusting US media behavior you have described. Keep up the good work.

  7. Abner Hosmer
    April 9, 2016 at 16:24

    1. “Still a pride in getting the facts right – and not getting misled by some politician or spun by some government flack. That journalistic code, however, no longer exists – at least not on foreign policy and national security issues.” It doesn’t exist on any issues. Contemporary “journalism” is execrable. The writing is bad. The “style” of this age of celebrity and spectacle is clogged with adjectives and analysis–a “look at me” pseudo-sophistication that frustrates the most patient and attentive reader trying to understand what happened. The who, what, where, when, and how have been swept away by the “why,” wherein the “journalist” is free to indoctrinate rather than describe This bad writing infects all MSM and semi-MSM “news”–and in every domain: hard news, cops and robbers, courts, local, all politics, all international, sports (to a lesser extent), and so on, not just foreign policy and national security.

    2. Mr Parry pulls his punch. Just as surely as the Zionist Entity occupies the West Bank of the Jordan, they occupy the east bank of the Potomac; and the US media is an apparatus of ZOG.

  8. wootendw
    April 9, 2016 at 11:53

    “On Thursday, Hiatt reported as flat fact that Syria’s “dictator, Bashar al-Assad, killed 1,400 or more people in a chemical gas attack…”

    Good news: I looked at the ‘Comments’ section of the online version of this WP article and responding readers overwhelmingly disagreed or disbelieved Hiatt’s shameful piece.

  9. jim
    April 9, 2016 at 11:33

    The famous humanities question is, if you could have killed Hitler before he initiated the war — would YOU do it? I say that is the past and the real question regarding the future of this planet is what must we do with these neo-cons (a narcissistic illness that is ‘collectively’ far worse than Hitler).

    This genocide-lusting cancer is not just skin deep, but has spread throughout our entire political system, the Pentagon, the State Department, most of corporate America and the Press.

    • David Powell
      April 12, 2016 at 19:20

      Actually, a very remarkable man – a carpenter named Georg Elser came close to killing Hitler in November, 1939. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Georg_Elser (but maybe you know this already). I follow your reasoning here, and agree that we’re living in very different times than the 1930’s – but the parallels do exist. Still, there is no way around it: Hitler – together with his allies – was bad enough when it comes down to it. Fascism in the 1930’s – as it’s neo-con update is today – was international. Hitler had a lot of support everywhere (including America) – and not just in Germany.

      Is it worse now? Definitely – given that we are armed to the teeth with many times more nuclear weapons than needed to incinerate all of us with a couple of button-pushes. Practically NO ONE in the present Anglo-American axis is going into the streets about this – or giving any indications that they’re even aware of the extreme danger just around the corner. But then, the whole of Europe sleep-walked into World War I … so, very large sleeping populations is nothing new … except that this time the sleep might turn out to be on the endless side.

      What to do with the neo-cons? … OK, if things keep going on like they are now – with no significant change (everyone tending to their own affairs, spacing-out on what goes on around them, etc., etc., etc.), we won’t have to do anything with the neo-cons. The neo-cons will perish right along with all the rest of us.

      • David Powell
        April 12, 2016 at 20:44

        PS – There is quite a lot more I could write about “a narcissistic illness that is ‘collectively’ far worse than Hitler” – but I’d expend as many words on our narcissistic masses of people who are too busy with their self-serving lives and careers to be bothered by the people next to them who have been thrown out of their homes by criminal banks; or had their homes bombed by criminal governments. The main point (as I see it, anyway) is that the “illness” is not confined to a power elite – but pervades a Western and Western-oriented international culture which has no higher aspiration than achieving success at any price in MATERIAL terms alone (and THIS for some time already). To make this comment shorter, I’ll just supply one of my favorite aphorisms:

        “The real end of the world is the destruction of the spirit; the other kind depends on the insignificant attempt to see whether after such a destruction the world can go on.” – Karl Kraus

        Kraus did not mean “religious values” when he used the word “spirit” – he meant “thought” in the broadest sense possible … something which has now been dead for so long, we can only imagine it means something outside the propaganda lies told by the MSM.

        Sure, we have our counterparts to Georg Elser who almost killed Hitler. One of them sits (or “rots”, depending on how one wants to see it) in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, one of shining capitals of Western “democracy”. But where are the thousands and thousands of demonstrators in London, Toronto, New York, Washington, Paris, Berlin, etc. demanding the release of this political prisoner? I guess they have more pressing concerns…

        This was what Karl Kraus meant by “the destruction of the spirit” … and what I see going on now … well, it looks like a pretty insignificant attempt to me.

  10. jerry hoyt
    April 9, 2016 at 08:36

    I have 5 reasonaby intelligent college educated children and not one of them belives Israel is behind all our troubles in the Middle East. What the heck can I do?

    • dahoit
      April 10, 2016 at 12:46

      It’s amazing isn’t it,that alleged intelligent people can’t see the elephant in the room?
      I have issues myself with family,they are so brainwashed,the truth is an enemy.

  11. delia ruhe
    April 9, 2016 at 01:06

    Excellent piece.

    I personally found it an interesting experience to bounce back and forth between Fred Hiatt and Mark Weisbrot on the topic of Chavez and the Venezuelan economy. They lived on different planets, and I suspected that Hiatt merely published memos from the State Department over his name.

  12. Frank McEvoy
    April 8, 2016 at 16:27

    I asked a Russian journalist I know some time ago if he thought American journalists were lazy. He didn’t really answer me, but I still think that’s true. I guess too many journalists are worried about their mortgages.

  13. April 8, 2016 at 16:09

    We are now a schizophrenic empire and the media is completely corrupt, including so-called “grass roots” and “progressive” media.

    The end result is this:

    Why ISIS Exists: The Double Game

  14. Tom Welsh
    April 8, 2016 at 14:51

    “President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney receive an Oval Office briefing from CIA Director George Tenet”.

    In the photograph, it is instructive to notice that Tenet is directly addressing Cheney while completely ignoring Bush (supposedly the President).

  15. Abe
    April 8, 2016 at 14:14

    Fake “citizen investigative journalist” Eliot Higgins has consistently jumped to the fore to “confirm” Western “Government Assessment” allegations, including:

    1) repeated unproven accusations against Syrian president Bashir Assad that the Syrian government used “barrel bombs” against opposition forces and claims that Assad “gassed his own people”

    2) unproven accusations against Russian president Vladimir Putin of a “Russian invasion” of Ukraine, and claims that a Buk-1 missile launcher operated by a Russian crew or pro-Russian separatists caused the destruction of Malaysian Air flight MH-17 over eastern Ukraine

    Deception operatives like Eliot Higgins and the Bellingcat website provide a channel for Western “Government Assessment” claims to more effectively reach the public and be perceived as truthful.

    Here’s how it works:

    Higgins provides “investigation reports” that “confirm”the Western government narrative. Higgins then “fact checks” the Western “Government Assessment” and rubber stamps it with the Bellingcat “digital forensics” seal of approval, further advancing the dubious Western narrative.

    Higgins has actively promoted this deception strategy.

    In his article, “Social media and conflict zones: the new evidence base for policymaking” https://blogs.kcl.ac.uk/policywonkers/social-media-and-conflict-zones-the-new-evidence-base-for-policymaking/ Higgins cited “Bellingcat’s MH17 investigation” and declares that “a relatively small team of analysts is able to derive a rich picture of a conflict zone” using online information and social media.

    Higgins extolled the virtues of this “new evidence base” of “open source information” side-stepping the obvious opportunities for deceptive information being planted in these media from not-so-open sources.

    The “overarching point” concludes Higgins, is that “there is a real opportunity for open source intelligence analysis to provide the kind of evidence base that can underpin effective and successful foreign and security policymaking. It is an opportunity that policymakers should seize.”

    Whenever Bellingcat’s fabricated “evidence” has been debunked by real independent investigative journalists such as Pulitzer Prize winning reporters Seymour Hersh and Robert Parry, technical experts such as professor Theodore Postol from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, forensic researchers such as Neil Krawetz who established the Fotoforensics site, or Russian media, Higgins either ignores them completely or attacks them in Bellingcat articles or Twitter posts.

    The New York Times, the UK Guardian, Daily Mail, Telegraph and Deutsche Welle, “regime change” think tanks like the Atlantic Council, and other outlets to laud Higgins as a genius while endlessly and unquestioningly repeating his long-ago debunked claims.

    According to Higgins, anyone who does not loudly applaud Bellingcat’s debunked “evidence” is indulging in “theory” or “Truther BS”.

  16. Willem
    April 8, 2016 at 13:31

    Asking the mainstream media if they could please stop selling their highly addictive sickening news, is like asking the tobacco industry if they could please stop selling their highly addictive sickening cigarettes. That will never happen, as lies/cigarettes are the products that need to be sold by the tobacco industry/mainstream media. And so we should not act surprised that these so-called highly praised MSM journals and their journalists exist, but perhaps we should just stop listening to them (which is difficult, as it’s addictive, but not impossible, and there are alternatives).

    Thanks Mr Parry, for the briliant essay and exposing MSM journalists for what they are: liars who are backed by corporate power and certainly not by the people.

  17. John
    April 8, 2016 at 12:39

    Dual citizen Jews major policymakers in USA ?? That would be a great headline in major msm in USA

  18. April 8, 2016 at 12:31

    Unfortunately the purely propagandist agenda of the US media has crossed the pond and is now replicated in other corridors of power outside the media in Europe. We even have our own brand of brainless neo-cons. For example the recent head of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen, a Danish gentleman, spoke of the WMD issue in Iraq in the following terms: ‘we don’t think Saddam has any WMDs, we know he has.’ Or words to that effect. Similarly the was absurd circus of the alleged submarine apparently active off the Swedish coast. There was a huge hue and cry and naval search for the vessel in question. All along Swedish naval types insisted there was a Russian submarine operating in the area, trouble is they couldn’t find it. But then Eureka! they found a 1916 Tsarist sunken submarine on the seabed.

    These are the depths of lunacy that these people are prepared to plumb. If it were not so dangerous it would be hilarious.

    • Brad Owen
      April 8, 2016 at 14:19

      Probably a phenomenon that was co-ordinated in some Bilderberg meeting. There is a higher socio-political organization at work here, going beyond mere Nation-States and their supposed sovereignty. I’ve taken to calling it the rebirth of the New Western AND Eastern Roman Empires: created by the RoundTable Group and its’ descendants, (for the Western Empire, basically The Commonwealth-plus-USA, with Ibero-America-as-colony); and by the Synarchist Movement for Empire, and its’ descendants (or SME, for the Eastern Empire “from the Atlantic-to-the-Urals”, with Africa-as-colony). They will be “squaring off” against the very large and powerful Asia Grouping. George Orwell gave the basic architecture of this. I guess he wasn’t indulging in fiction. Or is this just another conspiracy theory…if it proves to be true, it’ll already be too late to do anything about it, by that point.

  19. Herman
    April 8, 2016 at 11:53

    Seems like with all the liars in the media cave, there ought to be way to smoke them out. I am not an activist but I remember joining the march against the Iraq war in Washington. With the hundreds of thousands marching that day, and knowing it was going on around the world, I remember feeling optimistic. This time, I thought, they had to listen. I think that moment demoralized a lot of people who believed that those in power cared about what ordinary people think. Up to the first off shore missile firing, there was always the thought in my mind; no they can’t go through with it. They did and the media cheered as did the great majority of people, as I recall.

    Hard to be optimistic but we it’s imbedded in our DNA.

    • Curious
      April 8, 2016 at 15:55

      Thank you Herman for protesting, as I could not since I was in the media cave at the time. Just so you know how some of these ‘producers’ think, the producer on our show was screaming out loud at you people (within our platonic cave), yelling that it was a criminal act etc. There was no dialog as to your right to protest, nor any thought given to the reasons you may have been out in the streets. It was simply knee-jerk screaming at you, the people. It is an example of the training and attitudes of many of those in charge. Many of these producers are very smart people, extremely capable, and talented as well, but there is little room for opinions other than their own or their advertisers. Often, what those who watch the news don’t realize is the producer is in the ear of the ‘talent’ and guests, encouraging loud and angry dialog, since that seems to be more marketable today, for many reasons. A quiet, reflective, thought provoking discussion doesn’t sell. The US, sadly, seems trained for war and more wars.

  20. Alec
    April 8, 2016 at 11:15

    “For a variety of reasons – from the draconian staff cuts among foreign correspondents to the career fear of challenging some widely held “group think” – many journalists have simply become stenographers, ”

    You are ‘forgetting’ the biggest reason of all which is that they are frightened to write anything which questions the official Israeli version for fear of being hounded from their careers …. UK & US politicians and journalists are all bought and paid for …by the Trojans in our midst.

    • dahoit
      April 10, 2016 at 12:42

      Trojans?How about the Greeks?The Trojan Horse killed Troy,not the Achaeans.

  21. Amazonia
    April 8, 2016 at 11:03

    Its time for an antitrust suit against the media companies.

  22. Elizabeth
    April 8, 2016 at 09:21

    “Nine-year-old US reporter defiant after critics say ‘go back to playing with dolls’ “:



    I’m Hilde Kate Lysiak, the publisher of the Orange Street News.

    I am nine years old.

    My story went viral this week when I responded to residents in my town who were upset that I was reporting on a serious crime, rather than doing – well, whatever it is they think nine-year-old girls should be doing.

    Here’s what happened. On 2 April, there was a homicide in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. It took place just a few blocks from my house, where I run my newspaper.

    I acted on a tip from a good source that I was able to get through some of my other reporting. After confirming with the police department, I then went straight to the scene and spoke to neighbors and got more information. I worked very hard.

    Because of my work I was able to keep the people of Selinsgrove informed about this very important event hours before my competition even got to the scene.

    In fact, some other news sites run by adults were reporting the wrong information or no information at all while the Orange Street News was at the scene doing the hard work to report the facts to the people.

    In the hours that followed, many residents of Selinsgrove began making negative comments about me on my website and other social media sites. I understand that, as a reporter, the things I cover will sometimes make people mad. But these negative comments were not so much about the homicide I was covering, but the fact that I – a nine-year-old girl – was covering it at all.

    Residents of Selinsgrove publicly called my work trash and told me I should leave it to the professionals. Other people told me I should stick to tea parties and playing with dolls.

    Maybe that’s what the “professionals” were doing while I was working the scene, because they sure weren’t there. I have since found out that the police had asked the media not to run the story. I may be nine, but I have learned that my job as a reporter is to get the truth to the people. I work for them, not the police. I think that some people are angry that I didn’t follow along like everyone else.

    My parents and I have also been warned that covering this story meant my reporting was no longer “cute”. I don’t think people should be able to decide for me who I should be and what I should be doing. I never began my newspaper so that people would think I was cute. I started the Orange Street News to give people the information they need to know.

    End of excerpts

    Many who call themselves journalists could take a lesson from young Hilde. There are too many stenographers, as you rightly note.

  23. HopeLB
    April 8, 2016 at 09:06

    Can’t we the citizens and journalists (and Ralph Nader) band together in a class action suit that demonstrates that Big Media is preventing the Republic from having an informed citizenry; that Big Consolidated Media is coercing and constraining knowledge and inhibiting objective, democratic decision making? Couldn’t we demand citizens get free computers with net nuetral internet access in order that the citizens have access to information and therefore that voters are informed or at least have the capability to be? What a great trial it would be! Demonstrations of all of those stories that were buried and a full vetting of the new law allowing propagandizing of US citizens!

    • Amazonia
      April 8, 2016 at 11:04

      Right.mperfect.mwhy are these companies apparently immune from The Sherman Act.

    • eveonst
      April 8, 2016 at 13:24

      Not to mention the theft of trillions of our tax money for illegal wars sold to us on lies. Can’t we all wage a giant lawsuit demanding:

      (a) a return to Americans of the tax money that went toward our 2000-2001 military budget prior to 9/11. Since obviously they spent that money on something other than doing their job.

      (b) a return to Americans of all the tax money subsequently spent on the War on Terror, in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other countries, because these wars are based on deception and false outcomes

  24. historicvs
    April 8, 2016 at 08:39

    You know, there is precious little evidence for a free objective press anywhere in U.S. history. My field is American journalism and I have spent a lifetime reading original old newspapers. Almost any New York Times from the Civil War years reports Union defeats in the most glowing optimistic terms while describing the rebels as cowardly rascals. My favorite headline is “The Retrograde Movement of Our Troops” euphemizing their defeat by insurgent fighters. And it was even worse in the south. If you read almost any southern paper from 1860, you’ll find that candidate Lincoln planned to immediately abolish slavery on taking office, grant the freedmen full political and social rights, chief among these was the right to marry your daughters, with or without their consent, and that his running mate, the nationally unknown Hannibal Hamlin of Maine, was himself a black man.

    The Founders were among the most cynical of men. It’s not hard to picture them laughing in their sleeves over the farcical First Amendment (just as they must have over the Tenth), for well they knew from colonial experience there was no such thing as a free press. The “freedom” to publish belongs only to those who can afford the price of a printing press, ink, and paper, and who, most importantly, curry favor from government and the business interests that have always controlled it. Ben Franklin, for example, grew prosperous with subsidies from the colonial Pennsylvania Assembly, not for dissenting against it, but for printing in his Pennsylvania Gazette newspaper just what the legislature wanted the people to believe.

    As soon as the federal government began in 1789, it rewarded only those newspapers which reported favorably on its activities with the lucrative contracts to publish the latest Acts of Congress, which guaranteed their financial success.

  25. bill
    April 8, 2016 at 06:44

    Whilst part of the propaganda machine is aimed at every day moving the perameters just a little further from the truth and insidiously altering opinion in its favour, stampede propaganda is also a telling strategy,getting in there first with allegations and repeating them until they become accepted by the majority who dont want to or havent got time to sift, as realities. Thus, we have Oswald as the main suspect within an hour or 2,Bin Laden by lunchtime on 9/11,all concerns over a 2nd gun and an escaping couple in Los Angeles ruthlessly quenched and Assad an “obvious” chemical weapons killer without any evidence, and Putin as author of MH17 also without evidence.
    The good news is that young people are rejecting and have rejected the MSM in huge numbers and sales are falling with some titles closing or moving completely online.Once online however peoples reading loyalties are much less reinforced as they have the choice of alternative media at their fingertips and they will explore and seek more satisfying explanations.
    This is why sites such as Consortium News are such valuable resources even if this report http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/03/11/455173/Obama-bomb-Syria-2013/ explains far better imo why Obama didnt bomb Syria after the Ghouta incident and utterly destroys the sanctimonious self-congratulation of his Atlantic interview

  26. Joe Lauria
    April 8, 2016 at 06:09

    A Requiem for American journalism.

  27. Peter Loeb
    April 8, 2016 at 05:34


    Today America is falling apart but doesn’t want to know. about it.

    An acquaintance here tells the story of a cousin struggling on
    the ground, pinioned by a bully. “Do you want any help?” the
    older cousin asks ,

    “No, I’ve GOT him! I’ve GOT him!” screams the victim from
    the ground….

    Hundreds of thousands of workers for defense contractors
    see the pinch. Fewer and fewer weapons are made. Thousands
    are laid off to protect the profits of a parent corporation and the
    rhetoric of politicians. Will that worker lose his family?
    His home?. Himself (to drugs, suicide, homelessness etc.)?

    What the more efficient more expensive killing machines will
    be used for becomes of secondary importance. Of course,
    they will massacre families far away, demolish their homes,
    kill their way of life and so forth. There is an extreme disconnect
    between the misery of death and destruction and the tragedy
    of lost families, lost homes, lost “place”… (See John Tirman’s

    No one cares about the facts. They care about their own
    broken lives, torn families and in their own incohate terms.

    (This is nothing really “new” but in the solid tradition of
    centuries in the United States.)

    The immediate focus of critics of the “staus quo” should
    be as much on their own survival as on the facts themselves.

    These are very conservative times in the US. They easily
    lead to authoritarianism, the suspension of any and all

    This disintegrating “society” hellbent on making war,
    improving killing machines will most probably not
    crumble in a blaze of lightening.

    The current presidential election cycle (no exceptions)
    is indicative of our coming immolation. This tragedy is
    an ultimate fact : I will live through this to the end
    of my days.

    Yes, we are at Wounded Knee! (SD, last attempt of
    Native Americans to fight for themselves.)

    It seems that no series of events, no lessons
    of the failures of past war policies, are
    even near to being considered by the powerful.
    None are supported by US mass movements.

    —Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

  28. Curious
    April 8, 2016 at 00:19

    Thank you Mr Parry,

    I worked in the backgrounds of tv media for years and I witnessed a lot of falsehoods that were never questioned… call it simply unquestioned dogma or the desire to believe. When I read this column and the good comment section I wonder how the very people you mention in journalism (Hiatt & Cohen) are still able to weave their webs of deception. I wonder where these people gestate, propagate, or if they are simply squeezed out of and old “shmata”

    Oh course they can’t explain the controlled demo of 911, or building 7 falling at the rate of gravity because of an ‘adjacent fire’ even though there are recordings of “pull it”. The results are quite obvious. But these same journalists were so quick to say “someone should be fired at Rolling Stone” after the article on the rape at UVA. So, many journalists, or editors of fame think it’s more important to fire the journalist in a (bogus) rape investigation than the millions of people dying needlessly in one of their manufactured wars. It is baffling. If the RS journalist should be fired, Hiatt and Cohen, certainly should as well for constantly lying to the American people.

    But I’d like to raise another point. I had to watch for about a year on the CNN propaganda machine how we should go after Saddam, and CNNs constant video was of him shooting a shotgun on some balcony. I kept trying to figure out the tie-in between his use of a shotgun and how he had to be taken out. I think a lot of people forget that, not only were the inspectors in Iraq, but he also allowed the US to fly high def photo missions in his airspace before the war. There is no way any sane professional could mistake those rocket aluminum tubes for nuclear centrifuges. And yet the verbiage changed from a scary “mushroom cloud” to chemical weapons seemingly overnight. We knew something might be there chemically because the US supplied those to Iraq, but why are we not talking about the lies of a mushroom cloud anymore?

    What is even more baffling is how these defenders of ‘regime change’ seem so ready to kill untold thousands for the sake of one person of note and their arguments seem so porous. So, Saddam is bad, turn his country into dust as punishment for his evils and ‘shock and awe’ the world with how great the military is, while murdering hundreds of thousands of people in a dazzling display of years of killing. Gaddafi is bad, so bomb Libya for 6 months, tear out the infrastructure so the people can have no lives and no future, and add Syria to the mix, where the US takes out electrical grids, sources of water, hospitals, and kills untold thousands and it’s all because of Assad. For the sake of argument, what if the Syrian Army did use something bad to kill some 400 or so, how does that warrant or defend the US being there for 5 years killing and tearing the country down to rubble? Is this all because of a “red line” that was supposedly crossed? There used to be a common phrase for people like the ones in your article “juvenile delinquents”

    After the alleged use of chemical weapons by Assad I read in the Jerusalem Post an editorial from an ‘expert’ in Israel who saw some video of the chemical attack in Syria and positively “knew” that Assad did it somehow. His blatant mis-use of some social media video seemed to match what was being reported in the Washington Post. How do these people get away with constantly lying? And more simply, why is the New American Century not concerned with America?

  29. Garratt Caddy
    April 8, 2016 at 00:13

    Would you please print an article in defense of Bernie Sanders for President for he is a good and honest man as are you, thank you.
    This country needs you both!

  30. Garratt Caddy
    April 8, 2016 at 00:07

    Would you please write an article in support of Bernie Sanders for President – we need your help for he is a good and honest man as are you !

  31. Pablo Diablo
    April 7, 2016 at 23:40

    Wars are fought to obtain resources for corporations. Natural gas pipeline across Syria anyone?

    • dahoit
      April 8, 2016 at 11:28

      Some,and some are for Zionist expansion and hegemony.You decide which is which.

  32. Tristan
    April 7, 2016 at 21:50

    Thanks again for a very thoughtful article Mr. Parry. It occurs to me that we now inhabit a world where in the West the power elite are no longer concerned with much more than whose faction holds power, all of whom are dancing at the gala court balls celebrating power and conquest, unbridled capitalism, held in the glittering Imperial Capitol of the Free Market World. With so much indispensability and essentialness, what is reality and what is agenda is irrelevant to the dancers. They are still calling the tune.

  33. doray
    April 7, 2016 at 21:32

    There’s a document called ‘The Domestic Extremism Lexicon’ put out by the DHS, that amounts to a huge list of “possible non-Islamic domestic extremists” that has just about everyone on it, including this site. Second in the alphabetical list is “alternative media.” It reads, “A term used to describe various information sources that provide a forum for interpretations of events and issues that differ radically from those presented in mass media products and outlets.” No kidding here. If you don’t go along with the mainstream media, you could be considered a domestic extremist. This government is supposed to protect our right to free speech, not put us on a list because we don’t believe the stream of BS coming out of the corporate media. Two other possible non-Islamic domestic extremists on the list are “Constitutionalist,” and “Constitutionist” under the heading of “patriot movement.” It’s a sad state of affairs when believing too much in the Constitution is considered to be a threat to z homeland. The term “Homeland” itself is ominous.

  34. April 7, 2016 at 21:21

    As someone who gleaned great instructional value from the adrenaline attacks brought on as a result of frequent and close escort by Soviet Mig-17 aircraft off the far eastern coast of the Soviet Union in the late fifties in the dead of winter several hours flight time from home base, I looked on with great horror in March of 2003 as two draft dodgers (Bush and Cheney), egged on by a band of dual-national Neo-Cons, who had no interest in this country other than what it could do for Israel, opted for war in Iraq. Since then, it’s been more of the same with the so-obvious-it-hurts purpose of ramping up the war industry for the benefit of the profiteers. It seems to have gone unremarked that part of the anger that we see out there these days is surely the result not only of economic stress but also of the bitterness whiich has been generated over the last 40 years by the betrayal by our “leaders” in having used us as cannon fodder for their personal enrichment.

    • April 7, 2016 at 21:23

      What do you mean “required fields are marked”?. I filled them as asked.

      • April 7, 2016 at 21:24

        I don’t understand your format.

  35. William Jacoby
    April 7, 2016 at 20:55

    Amazing that 9/11 just happened to occur when Cheney, Feith, Perle, et al came into office and needed a “New Pearl Harbor.” If one entertains the notion for a moment that that event was not a coincidence, it might become less mysterious why all the columnists and media that, through the group think you deplore, all support the official version of 9/11. It then would not merely be an issue of bias and “group think”, but of staving off a trial for treason that would implicate a lot of people. Everything you say about the denial of facts and “group think” on the Syrian Sarin attack is a thousand times truer for 9/11, as you know, where the evidence of controlled demolition is buttressed by far more robust science than that which supports the innocence of Assad. Or that of Putin in regard to MH-17.

    Some cases of “group think” are harder to free oneself of than others, I guess. Since we can’t wrap our heads around the CIA’s proven pivotal role in contaminating our country and the world with heroin, which arguably caused more harm than 9/11 did, how can we expect journalists to question the 9/11 “‘coincidence”? Or the Anthrax coincidence? We live in a world of coincidences, don’t we? Just gotta get used to it.


    • Erik
      April 8, 2016 at 07:16

      Some truh here, but must either explain your ignoring all the evidence of airplanes filmed crashing into the buildings and resulting in the fire, or leave off this nonsense. If you have no evidence that there were no airplanes, then go study structural engineering and stop insulting our intelligence.

      • William Jacoby
        April 8, 2016 at 10:51

        I won’t turn Mr. Parry’s website into a debate about this, the materials can be found elsewhere. Seek and ye shall find. Suffice it to say that no one should doubt that planes hit the buildings. There is a lot of disinformation out there, and not by accident.

        Mr. Parry has pointed out inconsistencies and problems with official accounts of the Syria gas attacks and the downing of MH-17, without handing us the solution neatly wrapped with a ribbon. If the government has satellite pictures of the shootdown of the plane, and isn’t releasing them, we shouldn’t take the bait and pretend we know everything that happened. But it is certainly suspicious that the government won’t release those pictures, and one can’t help drawing inferences. On 9/11, the primary disinformation technique is to challenge sceptics to come up with a complete package of evidence, when obviously the most importance evidence would be, and is being, withheld. The unanswered questions about 9/11 are many, and the motive to withhold evidence is far stronger than with Ukraine or Syria. But when Mr. Parry speculates as to why the government might withhold that satellite imagery or the intelligence agencies’ doubts about chemical weapons, he finds (as I do) that the question “qui bono” is relevant.

        With the entire War on Terror, and the substitution of Islamic terrorism for world communism as a justification for the National Security State (surveillance, torture, DoD-funded propaganda, corruption of media and academia, and overthrowing multiple Arab governments) resting on the 9/11 fairy tale, the questions of who benefits, who would lose from the undermining of the narrative, and what the consequences of such unravelling would be, are far more fundamental. What we as citizens need to do is not play amateur investigator as if we had all the facts, but to demand convincing answers to all the questions that have gone unanswered for fifteen years. So far, all we get is ad hominem attacks on “conspiracy theorists”, and a great fear on the part of many to “go there”. If we’re a free country, then why the fear?

      • KHawk
        April 8, 2016 at 11:10

        I forgot, how many planes hit WTC 7? Yet it collapsed into it’s own footprint at near freefall speed with warnings that it was about to come down. Uncanny! And who could deny all the video footage we saw of a plane crashing into the Pentagon or all the plane debris footage from the Pentagon and Shanksville, PA? Oh, wait!

        Yes, planes did crash into the Twin Towers and there were fires. The way in which those buildings completely came down at near freefall speed is a matter of physics, and witnessing planes and fires unfortunately doesn’t solve that problem. Just ask the structural engineers and physicists.

        But I digress. How dare anyone raise the issue, particularly relating to this article about the absence of fact reporting in the mainstream media? Move along.

        • Erik
          April 8, 2016 at 14:42

          Oh, I quite agree with Mr. Jacoby as well as his response, and with your grounds for suspicion and your concern about the diversion, which was caused by his suggestion that plane collisions were Not the cause. As an amateur structural engineer with lots of experience I don’t wish to hear the claim of “mysterious free fall” after planes hit the buildings. The burning fuel caused overheated columns to bend so the top collapsed (I’ve seen such things in person) and the impact caused columns to fail further down. The whole thing was built like a house of cards. Gravitational force points straight down, and there wasn’t enough strength there to push anything very far sideways. Imagine someone taking the trouble to crash planes into buildings if they were all ready to blow up all of the columns so neatly right then anyway, and could have blamed that on the same people without bothering with airplanes. And remember the plane that never hit its target building, which did not spontaneously fall down anyway. Sorry to be annoyed by those who don’t know, but there would have to be proof to look at that stuff at all.

          • Stefan
            April 8, 2016 at 16:27

            So Erik, as “an amateur structural engineer”, what could have caused WTC 7 to collapse so neatly?

            Was it due to office fire?

          • Erik
            April 8, 2016 at 20:05

            Stefan, please see above. Tens of thousands of gallons of burning fuel spread suddenly across one floor is no office fire. It heats up the steel I-beam columns so that they melt or become too soft, and they fold over. On that scale they would all be weakened across the whole floor at about the same rate. When the first goes, it instantly overloads the next, etc in a domino effect called “progressive failure.” So the upper floors would have been unsupported very quickly across the whole floor, causing them to fall almost vertically (the floors aren’t very high for their width). in a second or so the whole upper structure would descend and hit the floor below the fire, overloading all columns all the way down. Then further such progressive failures below, accelerating.

            Smaller buildings collapse more irregularly because they use supporting walls etc. which are stronger per size, so likely to break up, tip outward, etc. Also the floors are not so wide per height. Also they usually collapse due to local damage rather than uniform weakening across one horizontal slice, so only one vertical part collapses, causing nearby parts to become unstable and collapse, etc. so you see more lateral movement during collapse.

            Yes, it’s a bit weird, because we don’t often see such tall buildings collapse, but this was also a very unusual type of damage. Sorry for the detail, but you asked.

          • Stefan
            April 10, 2016 at 11:59

            I was asking of WTC 7 only, you gave conjecture about the buildings hit by planes-which is fine, thus I feel my answer wasn’t properly addressed.

            Can you please try to give a plausible explanation (if you can)as to how WTC 7(and only WTC 7) collapsed so neatly?

      • rosemerry
        April 8, 2016 at 17:43

        Erik, this is a very wobbly explanation of your point!!

    • eveonst
      April 8, 2016 at 12:43

      I agree with you. As with the media, we need a judicial system that will do its job and indict individuals who are responsible for 9/11, those who provided for the failure of the military on that day, those who oversaw prior and subsequent US war crimes, and those behind psychological operations now traumatizing the public.

  36. Chet Roman
    April 7, 2016 at 20:44

    The lies repeated by the likes of Fred Hiatt and Richard Cohen are not mistakes due to ignorance, they are deliberate actions to pursue hidden agendas. Their loyalty is to another power structure that seems to be dictating U.S. policies, call it what you will, the Deep State, the 1%, the Kosher Nostra, the Lobby or the Council on Foreign Relations but even the President of the U.S. is under its influence. When Robert Kagan, the uber neocon/zionist, wrote an article critical of Obama’s policy, Obama quickly invited Kagan for lunch at the White House to explain himself. I wonder if Obama ever asked Chomsky, Sy Hersh or Parry to explain himself after a critical article by them.

  37. Bill Bodden
    April 7, 2016 at 20:43

    It isn’t only the big guys at the New York Times and the Washington Post but also the regional and local media who are probably worse by relaying only a small portion of foreign news from national and international sources. Consequently, many readers might be better informed by not reading these snippets that are more likely to be disinformation than information.

    • April 7, 2016 at 22:46

      “..many readers might be better informed by not reading these snippets that are more likely to be disinformation than information.”

      Assange and Snowden made 1/2 of the intelligence activities in the US common knowledge, the collection process, that is the gleaning of intelligence from just about every person on the planet, be it from emails, texts, phone calls, or other electronic remote access means

      The other half is critical part of the pie, the dis, mis or mal, information that’s given out… AKA psychological Operations. (PYOPS). The on-board-media outlets includes all the usual names – ABC, CNN, NPR, MSNBC, Time, Wash Post, NY TImes, FOX News, Wash Times etc, as well as hundreds more..Reuters, Israel Today, Huff post, AOL, Yahoo, Christianity Today, plus thousands of local news offices around the nation. You’re right. One remains better informed by not reading the papers at all.

    • dahoit
      April 8, 2016 at 11:24

      Even the local news on LI,the Herald, is filled with Zionist warmongers,or their American whores.
      Ubiquitous,and everywhere.

    • Curious
      April 13, 2016 at 01:06

      Yes Bill,

      Look how Sheldon Adelson bought the largest newspaper in Vegas (the Las Vegas Review-Journal) before the primaries this year in his state and he did his most to keep his influence quiet. The lead editor, to his credit, resigned. Also, the newspaper he has in Israel was close to violating all of Israels’ publication and election laws regarding the continuation of Bibi and the Likud party itself. I suppose he got away with that one too.

  38. Erik
    April 7, 2016 at 20:02

    The US mass media are owned by the same oligarchy that thereby controls elections with foreign and domestic bribes and other people’s money from big business, waging economic warfare against the US tantamount to treason, and their mode of organization should be a felony crime. This is the sad result of having no protection in our Constitution of democratic institutions against control by the economic concentrations that did not exist in 1785.

    It is good to have this site point out that US mass media are nothing at all but propaganda operations under the same corrupt control as the politicians.

    • Douglas Dewar
      April 8, 2016 at 18:36

      In 1980, 90% of American media was owned by 3,200 corporations. Today, 90% of American media is owned by 6 corporations.
      We must source our information from alternative sources.
      All news services have an axe to grind so we consume them with the evaluating grain of salt.

  39. April 7, 2016 at 19:55

    Not to mention the facts concerning Ukraine

  40. April 7, 2016 at 19:11

    A flat out thank you for a necessary essay. I pray for a return to sanity in the United States. The first step toward that goal is that Hillary Clinton, an in your face vassal to the American – Israeli military industrial complex and thoroughly nightmarish banking system, never gets her fingers on the button that can kill the whole planet. In every speech she wanders ever farther from reality. Naomi Klein has another article in The Nation today that lays out why she is a threat to life as we know it on earth. Michael Fish, Canada.

    • Joe L.
      April 7, 2016 at 19:19

      Michael Fish… Since this article was about media, what do you think about ours? I am Canadian also. I find that our media is not as extreme as the US but I dislike that much of our foreign reporting on different world issues quite often comes from NBC, CNN, CBS etc. I also find with our reporting is that sometimes it is not as much about what they say but rather about what they don’t. Our media also reported that Assad used chemical weapons but I did not hear a peep about Carla Del Ponte from the UN saying that it was likely the rebels or even about the 2 kg of Sarin Gas that Al Nusra was in possession of in Turkey. Also, I was wondering where the debate was for us to bomb in Syria which I believe clearly broke international law – that should have been debated all over our news but there was complete silence. I also don’t recall even seeing any reporting on the BRICS, such as the BRICS Development Bank, or anything of that ilk. While I believe our media is nowhere near as venomous as US media, it most certainly portrays its’ biases. What do you think?

      • Brad Owen
        April 8, 2016 at 04:30

        To me, the indications are that USA ,Canada, Australia are all ensconced within the same oligarchical Empire with shadowy means of governance via Deep State agents. Why the same lying media, the same Rightward drift in politicians (with some set-backs here-n-there), and too many people puzzled as to who voted for all this obvious nonsense?…it’s some kind of orchestration on a massive, trans-national scale. Manipulation from a “Globalized” ruling Elite who DON’T think of themselves as Americans, Canadians, or Australians, but simply as Rulers (and we all are simply “the ruled”).

        • Brad Owen
          April 8, 2016 at 04:59

          America has more extreme cases of this Rightward-leaning phenomena because we are “the big fish” caught in the net of Empire, PLUS, we have a long tradition of being AGAINST being manipulated by foreign Imperial Powers; so, the Imperial “Powers that be”, must double-down on all of the tactics to make us “Face Right”. Russia will experience it too…America captured by “The New Western Roman Empire”, and Russia by “The New Eastern Roman Empire” (they’ll get to re-use their old Imperial Two-headed Eagle Flag again).

        • Joe L.
          April 8, 2016 at 14:18

          Brad Owen… Thank you for the reply. Actually our country has gone left but not as far left as I would have liked – the Liberals are in power where I would have preferred the NDP. I actually believe that even Canada’s Conservatives are still to the left of US Democrats. That being said, I see my country very much following the American line especially when it comes to foreign policy and foreign points of view (I am sure many Europeans or even Australians would say the same). Washington is the pinnacle of the Western World so I am sure that when they say jump then our leaders generally say how high – which is sad really. Though I do believe that the US is leading this disastrous charge in the world for endless wars, coups etc. – definitely our leaders are not blameless. I also find that our media is bad not so much as being outright belligerent but rather not giving Canadians all of the facts meanwhile portraying western bias for “insert name here” (our “enemies”). Our governments don’t always follow the US lead (which I wish they would do more), such as Trudeau with Castro where I believe Castro was a pallbearer at his funeral, but our government mostly bows to US interests. Frankly, I would love to see Europe stand on its’ own since I don’t think, with Canada’s proximity, that Canada will ever truly have its’ own policies for the world free of the US. I think that I witnessed the US hand when McCain, who is largely reviled in Canada, did a speech in Halifax for us to ignore international law and even our own laws to start bombing in Syria and shortly after that we were bombing in Syria. Anyway, our government is largely a puppet, as I see it, and so is our media.

      • rosemerry
        April 8, 2016 at 17:41

        I live in France, and find the print media very one-sided, and quite unwilling to do anything but toe the official line, whatever Party is in charge.

        I tend to keep to internet sites I feel I can rely on; not always agreeing, but having reasonable arguments and diverse facts.

        • Joe L.
          April 8, 2016 at 19:48

          Rosemerry… For me, especially after the Iraq War and knowing that the US invaded a country that did nothing to it based on LIES then I started looking beyond our mainstream media – I wish I had done it sooner. I am Canadian, as I am sure that I have iterated above, but after that then I found RT (Russia Today), the Young Turks (American), PressTV (Iran), Telesur (Venezuela or South America), Democracy NOW!, Consortium News, The Nation etc. (though I unsubscribed from the Young Turks over their awful coverage of Syria and Ukraine). Sadly much of our news does not give us a complete story and more times than not it seems that the US Government and US NGO’s are involved in creating the woes of the world. I have also found documentaries from John Pilger (who is a contributor to this site), who I highly respect. If you have not seen it then you must watch “War on Democracy” (https://vimeo.com/16724719) that was eye-opening along with his other documentaries such as “Stealing a Nation” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zhGvId4fcc) from his YouTube Channel.

  41. April 7, 2016 at 19:09

    A significant example of Washington’s media control was seen in the recent episode where the CIA left plastic explosives on a Virginia school bus. I have never before seen this degree of damage control, counting no less than 50 media posts, out past the first 12 pages of GOOGLE, the texts of which were all duplicating essentially the same script. The editorial downplaying of this event, along with random inserts of requisite CIA bashing to keep it ‘real’, were the epitome of playing by the piper. They’d have had to have a psychic in each journal to have achieved the level of sameness as we saw there. This is not reporting. This is a media moored to Big Brother mouthpieces. http://the-parallel-universe.com/the-bomb-on-the-bus-and-the-cia/

    • Michael K Rohde
      April 8, 2016 at 12:26

      It appears to me that you could change “Washington’s media control” to “AIPAC media control” and you end up at the same place. Exactly the same message. It is like they are the publicity department for Israel. Don’t bother with the facts, we have an anti-muslim message to effect regime change, don’t bother us with reality. And we are talking about “mainstream” media in the states. Mainstream has become “right wing Israel”.

      • Tom Welsh
        April 8, 2016 at 15:00

        Control is transitive. Thus AIPAC control of Washington + Washington control of the media = AIPAC control of the media.

      • William
        April 9, 2016 at 18:49

        Michael Rohde is absolutely correct. Our mainstream press is dominated by Israel and devoted U.S. supporters of Israel. Many people know this, but no one dare write about it or mention it. To do so means being fired or black listed. Writers know that it is forbidden to mention Israeli control of U.S. foreign policy — directly or indirectly — with the consequence being our continued support of a murderous, illegal, immoral, and treacherous policy.

      • masmanz
        April 10, 2016 at 12:04

        …And the American right wing is convinced that MSM is controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood and their Muslim President in disguise sitting in the White House. AIPAC is pretty happy with the situation.

  42. Joe L.
    April 7, 2016 at 19:05

    Mr. Parry… I find it amazing that anyone even reads any of those papers anymore. If the Iraq War was not a good indication of how twisted the media is then we have the examples such as Obama, and I believe, Kerry saying that Assad is only one who could have possibly used chemical weapons in Syria meanwhile, I believe, Assad had just invited in UN inspectors who were on the ground when it happened – which made absolutely no sense to me. It is also interesting that any claims that rebels used chemical weapons were brushed off meanwhile I believe Al Nusra Front was caught in Turkey with 2 kg of Sarin Gas and now we have reports that ISIS is likely using chemical weapons in Syria – surprise, surprise. I just don’t know how anyone with a modicum of intelligence can believe a single thing coming from the US Government and western media in general especially after an example such as Iraq or you can even go back further to things like the Gulf of Tonkin – there are a few bright spots only such as yourself (and your contributors) Mr. Parry. How can anyone respect a government and media that continually lies to them? I don’t get it.

    Another great example of how stupid reporting truly has become is watching Reza Aslan on CNN or other media where Reza is a scholar of “religion” but they cannot get past how a “Muslim” is writing about Jesus and they continue to push the “Islam is evil” line continually even though he rebuts them many times over. It just seemed like one of the dumbest interviews I have ever seen but this kind of reporting is commonplace.

    • dahoit
      April 8, 2016 at 11:18

      I read the web sites of Wapo,the Lying Times,the Graun and the Indy to see what the enemy is thinking.

    • Tom Welsh
      April 8, 2016 at 14:58

      I must say I agree. In fact, anyone of moderate intelligence who goes on accepting the output of the MSM as fact has forfeited their right to claim they didn’t know what was going on. They have deliberately and knowingly closed their eyes to the truth, and I’m afraid they deserve whatever is coming to them by way of blowback.

      • Joe L.
        April 8, 2016 at 16:39

        Tom Welsh… I could not agree more. You know another thing that I find very interesting is how our media has not taken any responsibility or even pointed out the obvious that the US, and the west, are responsible for the refugee crisis. 15+ years of bombing along with regime change and then the “blowback” is starting to happen but no acknowledgement of our governments roles in this disaster – amazing. Instead you hear Obama trying to blame Assad for ISIS, which is downright stupid, and blame the Russians for everything that is going wrong in the Middle East – unbelievable. Sometimes it is like we are living in a George Orwell novel – war is peace etc. One poignant quote from Orwell that resonates particularly today is “Speaking the Truth in times of universal deceit is a revolutionary act.” That quote is indicative of Robert Parry, Seymour Hersh, John Pilger, Jeremy Scahill, Chris Hedges and a whole host of other journalists that still have integrity.

  43. Gregory Kruse
    April 7, 2016 at 18:56

    A commiserating call from Seymor Hersch! Wow.

    • April 8, 2016 at 09:43

      The national press continues to ignore facts. ie: 933 false statements made by 8 people (including Bush) in the run-up to the Iraq war. Which Iran Won!!!
      Larry Dunn

      • Solly
        April 10, 2016 at 07:29

        But Mr. Parry himself is eliding the truth by failing to mention the media is largely Jewish controlled and owned.

        • April 11, 2016 at 13:53

          Right on, Solly! I would add “and Zionist” to your “Jewish.” The USrael “entangling alliance,” in all its hydra-headed manifestations, is America’s shame and will be its downfall. But the Zionists don’t care about that: they’ll simply move as parasite fleas onto the back of the next host.

          I’ve noted this elision repeatedly by Mr. Parry. He needs to be more forthcoming.

      • April 12, 2016 at 00:04

        Exactly! The countdown to the Iraq war was one of the most deceptive pieces of media work I’ve witnessed in my lifetime.

        They do not have a free Press. They have a lot of government employees on the take from the government, the publishing houses, the networks, and the newspapers from which they draw a salary. They have a lot of lobbyists masquerading as journalists. America used to be a shining beacon, but regrettably, now they are just a red-light district.

Comments are closed.