NYT’s Fake News about Fake News

Exclusive: The West’s anti-Russian propaganda links Moscow to the blight of “fake news” but the evidence doesn’t connect the two. So, The New York Times makes the case with its own “fake news,” reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

A grave danger from the Western mainstream media’s current hysteria about “fake news” is that the definition gets broadened from the few made-up stories that are demonstrably false – often fabricated by kids to get more clicks – to include reasonable disputes about the facts of a complex controversy.

New York Times building in New York City. (Photo from Wikipedia)

This danger has grown worse because The New York Times, The Washington Post and other major Western news organizations have merged their outrage over “fake news” with the West’s propaganda campaign against Russia by claiming without evidence that the Russian government is somehow putting out false stories to undermine Western democracy.

However, when news organizations actually track down “fake news” outlets, they are usually run by some young entrepreneurs from outside Russia who saw made-up stories as a way to increase revenue by luring in more readers eager for “information” that supports their prejudices.

Yet, a front-page Times article on Tuesday, citing “fake news” as a threat to Europe, contains what arguably is “fake news” itself by claiming that many of the purported 2,500 stories “discredited” by the European Union’s East Stratcom operation have “links to Russia” although the Times doesn’t identify those links.

The article by Mark Scott and Melissa Eddy then goes on to blur these two separate concepts: “In a year when the French, Germans and Dutch will elect leaders, the European authorities are scrambling to counter a rising tide of fake news and anti-European Union propaganda aimed at destabilizing people’s trust in institutions.”

But it is this mushing together of “fake news” and what the Times describes as “anti-European Union propaganda” that is so insidious. The first relates to consciously fabricated stories; the second involves criticism of a political institution, the E.U,, which is viewed by many Europeans as elitist, remote and disdainful of the needs, interests and attitudes of average citizens.

Whether you call such criticism “propaganda” or “dissent,” it is absurd to blame it all on Russia. When it comes to “destabilizing people’s trust in institutions,” the E.U. — especially with its inept handling of the Great Recession and its clumsy response to the Syrian refugee crisis — is doing a bang-up job on its own without Russian help.

Yet, rather than face up to legitimate concerns of citizens, the E.U. and U.S. governments have found a convenient scapegoat, Russia. To hammer home this point — to make it the new “groupthink” — E.U. and U.S. leaders have financed propaganda specialists to disparage political criticism by linking it to Russia.

Even worse, in the United States, the Times and other mainstream publications – reflecting the views of the political establishment – have editorialized to get giant technology companies, like Facebook and Google, to marginalize independent news sites that don’t accept the prevailing conventional wisdom.

There is an Orwellian quality to these schemes — a plan for a kind of Ministry of Truth enforced by algorithms to weed out deviant ideas — but almost no one whose voice is allowed in the mass media gets to make that observation. Even now, there is a chilling uniformity in the endless denunciations of Russia as the root of all evil.

Though the Times’ article treats the E.U.’s East Stratcom operatives as 11 beleaguered public servants sticking their fingers in the dike to protect the citizenry from a flood of Russian disinformation, “stratcom” actually is a euphemism for psychological operations, i.e., the strategic use of communications to influence the thinking of a target population.

In this case, the target populations are the European public and – to an ancillary degree – the American people who get to absorb the same propaganda from The New York Times. The real goal of stratcom is not to combat a few sleazy entrepreneurs generating consciously false stories for profit but to silence or “discredit” sources of information that question the E.U. and U.S. propaganda.

More Stratcom

NATO has its own Stratcom command based in Latvia that also is assigned to swat down information that doesn’t conform to Western propaganda narratives. The U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S.-funded National Endowment for Democracy also pour tens of millions of dollars into media operations with similar goals as do major Western foundations, such as currency speculator George Soros’s Open Society. Last December, the U.S. Congress approved and President Obama signed legislation to create an additional $160 million bureaucracy to combat “Russian propaganda.”

NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

In other words, the West’s stratcom and “psychological operations” are swimming in dough despite the Times’ representation that these “anti-disinformation” projects are unfairly outgunned by sinister forces daring to challenge what everyone-in-the-know knows to be true.

If these “stratcom” operations were around in 2002-2003, they would have been accusing the few people questioning the Iraq-has-WMD certainty of putting out “fake news” to benefit Saddam Hussein. Now, journalists and citizens who don’t buy the full-Monte demonization of Russia and its President Vladimir Putin are put into a similar category.

Instead of trusting in the free exchange of ideas, the new attitude at the Times, the Post and other Western news outlets is to short-circuit the process by smearing anyone who questions the official narratives as a “Putin apologist” or a “Moscow stooge.”

Beyond being anti-democratic, this anti-intellectual approach has prevented serious examination of the facts behind the West’s war or words against Russia. To shut down that debate, all you need to do is to say that any fact cited at a Russian news outlet must be false or “fake news.” Any Westerner who notes the same fact must be a “Putin puppet.”

Western “stratcom” doesn’t even want to allow Russian media to criticize politicians who are criticizing Russia. The Times article lamented that “Many false claims target politicians who present the biggest obstacles to Moscow’s goal of undermining the European Union.” The Times, however, doesn’t offer any examples of such “false claims.”

Instead, the Times writes that Russian news channels had “targeted the [French] presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron, who belongs to the party and is running on a pro-European Union platform.”

But what does that mean? Is it now an act of aggression when newscasts in one country criticize a leader of another country? If so, are the European news channels that have “targeted” U.S. President Donald Trump somehow deserving of U.S. government retaliation? Doesn’t the E.U. – and by extension The New York Times – accept the idea of political disagreement and debate?

This closed-mindedness is especially dangerous – indeed existentially risky – when applied to a confrontation between nuclear-armed powers. In such a case, the maximum amount of debate should be encouraged, instead of what amounts to blacklisting dissidents in the West who won’t toe the official propaganda lines.

Media Censors

Disturbingly, the leading forces in this suppression of skepticism are the most prestigious newspapers in the United States and Europe. Even after the disastrous experience with the Iraq War and the bogus WMD groupthink, Western news outlets that were party to that fiasco have virtually excluded well-reported articles and documentaries that question the U.S. and E.U. narratives of the New Cold War.

Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who pushed for the Ukraine coup and helped pick the post-coup leaders.

For instance, there has been almost no presentation in the mainstream Western media of an alternative – and I would argue more complete and accurate – narrative of the Ukraine conflict, taking into account the country’s complex history and deep ethnic divisions.

It is essentially forbidden to refer to the violent overthrow of elected President Viktor Yanukovych three years ago  as a “coup” or a “putsch” or to cite evidence of a U.S.-backed “regime change,” such as an intercepted phone call between U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt in which they discussed how to “glue” and how to “midwife” the installation of a new leadership in Kiev.

In the supposedly “free” West, you can only refer to the post-coup events in Crimea, in which the people of the largely ethnic Russia area voted overwhelmingly to secede from Ukraine and rejoin Russia, as a “Russian invasion.” No skepticism is allowed even though there were no images of Russian troops wading ashore on Crimea’s beaches or Russian tanks crashing across borders. The “invasion” supposedly happened even though no invasion was necessary because Russian troops were already in Crimea under the naval basing agreement at Sevastopol.

Amid the West’s current hysteria about “Russian propaganda,” U.S. and E.U. citizens are not even given the opportunity to watch well-reported documentaries about key moments in the New Cold War, including an eye-opening investigative report debunking the Western propaganda myth constructed around the death of Russian accountant Sergei Magnitsky or a well-produced historical account of the Ukraine crisis.

Western news outlets and governments even take pride in blocking such dissenting views and contrary information from reaching the American and European publics. Like East Stratcom — the E.U.’s Brussels-based 11-member team of diplomats, bureaucrats and former journalists — establishment institutions see themselves bravely battling “Russian disinformation.” They see it as their duty not to let their people hear this other side of the story.

If that is what the West’s institutions have come to — dismissing reasonable criticism and thoughtful dissent as “Russian disinformation” — is it any wonder that they are losing the confidence of their people?

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).

66 comments for “NYT’s Fake News about Fake News

  1. delia ruhe
    February 25, 2017 at 17:13

    “… President Obama signed legislation to create an additional $160 million bureaucracy to combat “Russian propaganda.” ”

    The stink of two incompatible propaganda narratives at war. Hold your nose while reading.

  2. RD Blakeslee
    February 24, 2017 at 09:57

    “Fake News” is merely the latest shibboleth used to discredit countervailing discussion.


    “Denier” Used to characterize those presenting factual date questioning the methodology and accuracy of atmospheric temperature measurements and theoretical models purporting to show “climate change”

    “Racist” Those who present practically any argument where pigmentation of the epidermis is even remotely involved and not in accord with opinion currently fashionable in the “Progressive” movement.

    “Sexist” Same as “Racist”, except it’s exterior or interior plumbing that’s remotely involved.

    Occupant of a “basket of deplorables” Anybody who voted for Trump.

    “…………..” Fill in the blank.

    The populace isn’t fooled for long:


  3. Realist
    February 24, 2017 at 06:38

    Example of how the “mainstream” digital media can now instantly alter reality–because only everything they say is “the truth,” right? You couldn’t perform this magic trick in the days of the printed word.


    Voila! Instantly down the memory hole! Just like it never happened! Moreover, the author of said “thoughtcrime” gets banned by the “news” source. Thanks Huffpo! Thanks, Obama!

  4. Realist
    February 23, 2017 at 17:33

    It’s amusing. Every day the liars at the New York Times try to elicit a digital subscription from me by sending me emails that say:

    “Here for you. And for the truth.”

    “The truth is vital. Our journalists won’t rest until they find it.”

    No, sir, none of that “fake news” from those real patriots on Manhattan’s Eighth Avenue.

    Funny stuff, eh?

  5. Jeff Davis
    February 23, 2017 at 16:15

    The Establishment/DeepState is fighting, along with their propaganda arm, the MSM, for control of “the narratve”. And they are losing the battle, because the internet has disposed of their long-held monopoly on the information stream. The longer the fake news meme remains current, the more aware the “little people” become of the lies being fed them by the MSM, and the more alert they become to alternate media. People are not stupid. If they know they are being lied to, and if they are shown the lies, they will very rapidly learn the critical thinking skills necessary — foremost among them: ***consider the source*** and it partner, the default presumption that corporate news is fake news — to dispose of bs and track down the truth.

  6. February 23, 2017 at 14:23

    Propaganda term to grant authority : MSM mainstream news media.

    The proper term is corporate news source : cns.

  7. george Archers
    February 23, 2017 at 10:25

    What motive/goal has the all major Jewish media have in pushing fake news? Obvious WWIII against China Iran Russia. 100% military business operation. go back in the late 1800’s. Hearst publications was a tool for the Government. Hearst made million$. Same happens to day.

  8. bozhidar balkas
    February 23, 2017 at 09:41

    Master classes of most or all of asian and european countries and empires have lied to us for millennia. Don’t expect they ever will stop lying to you; robbing, miseducating you!

    Once we educate ‘lower’ classes about this situation and finally succeed in convincing them that it is to up to them to stop being used and abused, the masses must form own political party. Then fight all forms of corruption; deceit or lying being the most, harmful, dangerous, warlike.

  9. exiled off mainstreet
    February 22, 2017 at 20:59

    This is a useful article chronicling the degeneration of western lamestream media into the official stenographic purveyors of “fake news” at the behest of the corrupt, increasingly fascist official deep state. The question is whether this fascist fake news construct can be overcome with controls increasingly being exercised over websites willing to publish reality based rather than propaganda based reporting.

    • LJ
      February 23, 2017 at 16:09


  10. SteveK9
    February 22, 2017 at 20:29

    One would like to think that anyone buying this ‘Russia did it’ garbage is a moron, and deserves to be fooled. Unfortunately if there are enough of these morons, then those of us with a brain are in trouble.

    I really wonder how many people believe this nonsense. You would have to think that citizens who voted for Trump would clearly see this for what it is … a pack of lies to discredit Trump and their own choice. That is a lot of people. And, I’d like to think that some of my former fellows in the Democratic Party (I’m done with them, after this disgraceful performance) would have the honesty to see through this rubbish.

  11. Kalen
    February 22, 2017 at 20:00

    Why supposedly intellectual Europe goes for this absurd Putin blaming?

    Check for yourself, most of those in power in Europe are dual citizen of US and or Israel, pledging no national loyalty but submit to globalist ideology.

    While it is a simplification by Trump and Putin put their countries first and hence became pariah.

  12. Jay
    February 22, 2017 at 19:41

    I note that “reporters” Eddy and Scott have no contact information or NY Times reporting history.

  13. John
    February 22, 2017 at 17:58
  14. Jon Shafer
    February 22, 2017 at 17:40

    This is the.most comprehensive report on this Russia bullshit game. It should have been at or near the top reports listed. Have quoted from it extensively in a Facebook post.

  15. Michael Eremia
    February 22, 2017 at 16:54

    The ease, with which “fake news” peddlers plant their lies, is facilitated by the failure of American schools to require teaching (1) Three years of World History in the 8th, 9th, and 10th grades; (2) Three years of Philosophy (Logic, Critical Analysis, Ethics) in the 8th, 9th, and 10th grades. Winston Churchill once joked about the ease of convincing citizens to go to war: “They know nothing, and they believe everything they hear on the radio, and read in the newspapers.

    • Sam F
      February 22, 2017 at 17:36

      Yes, the US is dumbed-down systematically. Truth=subversion and risk. Job security requires parroting the oligarchy, so they just want to know what they must say.

    February 22, 2017 at 16:52

    I ask the writer to recall Jean Monnet, whose vision beginning with BENELUX was to create a general peace among European Peoples. The EU, despite its many failures, has achieved this. Lest we forget.

    • Bill Bodden
      February 22, 2017 at 22:17

      Unfortunately, times and people change. Consider some of the European members of NATO moving with their forces closer to the Russian border..

    • Brad Owen
      February 23, 2017 at 04:59

      Sell that to the Portugese, the Irish, the Italians, the Greeks, the Spanish, and the Brexiters.

      • Brad Owen
        February 23, 2017 at 05:01

        I guess one can say that, in the misery of austerities there is peace (for the managerial elite).

        • Brad Owen
          February 23, 2017 at 05:05

          When you are ready to admit it, you can say the EU nations have been transformed into colonies, owned by the bankers of London and Wall Street…same with the Five Sisters; Australia, Canada, New Zealand, U.K., USA…all Provinces of a new “Roman Empire”.

          • Brad Owen
            February 23, 2017 at 05:10

            And as you can see in the M. E. and North Africa(and Ukraine), a bankers’ dictatorship does NOT guarantee peace, only the reign of the financier elite.

          • LJ
            February 23, 2017 at 15:23

            ,,,, but it’s all just wind in sails.
            We are not men.
            We are D-EV-O

            PS . Colonialism/Neo-Colonialism never went away for a New York minute. . It has been successfully repackaged. That pest Gaddaffi …, got what he deserved.

    • Antonia
      February 23, 2017 at 14:16

      Ah Yes! Peace! European interference leading to breakup of Yugoslavia! Peace with the betrayal of both Greece and Cyprus to the Turks!


  17. Stiv
    February 22, 2017 at 16:30

    The real problem is Amerikkas inability to process information effectively. If there are no references it’s just opinion or worse…maybe manipulation. Sometimes, even CN takes shortcuts….I’ll be generous there.

    Off the topic a bit…the weekends NYT opinion section….Zionism run amok. Waiting for them to enable a Palestinian viewpoint. I have the feeling it will be quite a wait.

    So, I do read the NYT as much as possible. Its the best general news available in a single entity. I won’t pay though ( anonymous browsing ) and a lot needs to be taken with a grain of salt…maybe more.

    • Sam F
      February 22, 2017 at 17:32

      A newspaper is a bigger single entity than a laptop, with far less news and diversity.
      Single source selection is propaganda capitulation: more attention to veracity and diversity is needed.

  18. Michael K Rohde
    February 22, 2017 at 16:14

    NYT lost me when it printed the fake news story about the demonstrations against Chavez in Venezuela while ignoring the larger demonstrations across town for Chavez. I have never gotten over that piece of propaganda by NYT and still cannot believe an institution which used to dominate my Sunday mornings came to publish like a government organ. I have no idea what they publish now is, the true story or the State Department, anti-Arab, anti-Russian, rubbish emanating from D.C. just like the ginned up news that led us to invade Iraq. I read Reston’s memoir and could see through his career how the paper gradually became part of D.C., government and not the courageous publication that led to the Pentagon Papers. Sort of like, “let justice be done, though the heavens fall”. Justice is defined in Washington now. Woodward sold out decades ago and all of those “courageous” journalists we used to put on a pedestal now get their high 5 and 6 figure speaking fees, just like hillary. All they have to do is the bidding of the check writers. The land of the free and the home of government for sale.

  19. franck-y
    February 22, 2017 at 16:01

    In France we follow you. We have or list , It’ call DECODEX. And it is the mainstream newspaper “Le Monde” who manage that. A very good text of a french “philosophe and hétérodoxe économiste, Frédéric Lordon” in the great “Le Monde Diplomatique”: http://blog.mondediplo.net/2017-02-22-Charlot-ministre-de-la-verite

  20. February 22, 2017 at 15:49

    I see my omission of NYT revenue decreasing since $648mn in 2009 to $278mn in 2016, sorry. But I don’t agree that the propaganda is getting more sophisticated, just think inundation of public by years of TV babble and disinfo websites numbs many media consumers to think clearly. And like my sisters who watch mainly TV, people don’t try to dig for the truth.

  21. LJ
    February 22, 2017 at 15:23

    The propaganda we are being inundated with at all levels is getting more sophisticated. This is not surprising, Our elected Representatives , Senators and President have legislated and approved a lot more cash flowing into the generation of new “fact based” stories to be disseminated by the Times the Post and many others. It is for our own good and you get what you pay for. The latest NDAA outlaid enough grease that better talent can be rewarded for helping all of us Americans see these “facts” properly. I agree with Mr. Parry that the NYT is loathsome to the max. Worse than the Washington Post. But it’s everywhere. The SF Chronicle isn’t even journalism any more . Barely readable. When John McCain is on Meet the Press protecting us and enlightening us about Fascism , it is basically all over but the shouting. I’m off to wander the steppes like I should, . It’s been Fun. President Nixon, Now more then ever. Mr. Parry’s Consortium news is doing a good thing , , it’s too bad that it so traitorous and all that. I mean it’s obvious, everybody says so . That’s what everybody thinks, right?

  22. February 22, 2017 at 15:14

    Brzezinski: Controlling What People Think ‘Is Our Job’

  23. February 22, 2017 at 15:02

    Thanks for article on NYT propaganda, Robert Parry. Yesterday I was looking on-line for info as to how well NYT was doing, and I found an amusing piece on Heat Street of 8-11-16 (heatst.com) titled “New York Times and Its Readers Hobble Toward the Grave”. The Times ran half-page ads titled “New Alternative to Adult Diapers and Catheters Sets Men Free”, placed on 7-28 and 8-08-16. Also on 8-08 quarter page ad for a cane that would help ease joint discomfort. The Times revenue went from $648mn to $271mn in 2016. Their average reader’s age is 48-54. (The Heat Street writer said he used to work for a Yiddish newspaper where the inside dark humor was, “The average age of our readers is dead!”)

    And that recipe for propaganda,Time2WakeUp, should be circulated, it’s great! I think using humor to make a point is very useful, and people hate to be mocked! I got a real chuckle out of it. I think we should mock the neocons, they are so deadly serious about their wars. I read that Jonah Goldberg of Conservative Review said, “Quit calling us neocons!” Call ’em that, and say it again loudly!

    • Bianca
      February 23, 2017 at 15:12

      And the same Goldberg famously said, “neocon is now mainstream”, pointing out to the both parties accepting their imperial agenda. He clearly spoke too soon.

  24. Bill Bodden
    February 22, 2017 at 14:38

    have editorialized to get giant technology companies, like Facebook and Google, to marginalize independent news sites that don’t accept the prevailing conventional wisdom.

    Whatever happened to Google’s credo of “Do No Evil?” I’ve notice whenever I do an Internet search using Google, Yahoo, or Bing results never include sites such as Consortium News, CounterPunch, The Intercept, or similar websites.

  25. Bill Bodden
    February 22, 2017 at 14:34

    Disturbingly, the leading forces in this suppression of skepticism are the most prestigious newspapers in the United States and Europe. Even after the disastrous experience with the Iraq War and the bogus WMD groupthink, Western news outlets that were party to that fiasco have virtually excluded well-reported articles and documentaries that question the U.S. and E.U. narratives of the New Cold War.

    Nothing new there. Some of these establishment propagandists were lying to their people during the First World War – a hundred years ago.

  26. Adrian Engler
    February 22, 2017 at 14:12

    I think three different things are often conflated:
    1) Fake news, i.e. stories that are completely bogus – they usually are from apolitical sources (often clickbaiting is used with commercial goals)
    2) Biased reporting that occurs both in Western and Russian media, just with different biases (but often, one bias is described by those who have it as the correct way to put things and others are described as propaganda)
    3) anti-establishment positions, right-wing and left-wing populism

    In a very simplified world view, there is a big conspiracy with Vladimir Putin who is responsible for all of this.

    In reality, point 1 probably has little to do with the other two. The relationship between 2) and 3) also seems to be rather weak. RT and Sputnik News report about populist politicians more positively than Western mainstream media, but they are not very consistent, as far as reports about Western Europe and the US are concerned. The main Russian interest in having such international media (the US, France, Germany, Britain and other countries have, as well) is to present the Russian point of view for foreign policy questions in which Russia is involved. Reporting about internal matters of Western countries generally follow a vague anti-mainstream line (sometimes right-wing, sometimes left-wing), but this rather seems to be in order to make the media more attractive for Western readers who might be open to acknowledging the Russian point of view in questions in which Russia is involved, it would be exaggerated to say that the goal is “to undermine the values of Western society” (and that it could have such an effect if this was the goal).

    There seems to be some relationship between European right-wing populists and Russia, but its significance should not be exaggerated. Some right-wing populists talked positively about Russia, partially this may be because there is really some common ground, partially because many Western media are more strongly anti-Russian than the general European public, so that there is a certain demand for a less anti-Russian position. There is little evidence for actual support of Russia for Western European right-wing populists. Yes, the French National Front once received a loan from a Russian bank, but then that bank went bankrupt, the National Front still has the same financial problems (Marine Le Pen even had to ask her father whom she threw out of the party for money), and it is not clear whether that loan was politically motivated, at all. There has been no serious suggestion that the German AfD (and similar parties in other countries) receives money from Russia. If there is Russian support for these right-wing populist parties, at all (which is far from clear), it would at best explain a marginal part of their success.

    A good reaction to the relative success of right-wing populists would be, in my view, to ask to what degree it has to do with legitimate problems that should be discussed and to what degree it is based on anti-democratic ideological positions that should be fought. In any case, if a significant part of voters in countries like Austria and France vote for right-wing populists, this mainly has to do with internal political factors (to some degree, these are, of course, similar in many countries). Attempting to present the whole phenomenon of right-wing populism as a big conspiracy masterminded by the Russian government is absurd, not backed by evidence, and it will hardly be a successful strategy for dealing with right-wing populism.

  27. Mark Thomason
    February 22, 2017 at 14:09

    I see this as nothing more than an extension of the Hillary Campaign into post election times. They were on a roll, and they have not stopped. They just added excuses, especially Russia Is Coming.

    They can’t handle the Truth. Sad, because neither can Trump, and in their jump the shark hysteria they are letting him get away with this.

  28. Knomore
    February 22, 2017 at 14:00

    “The maximum amount of debate should be encouraged instead of the close-mindedness we encounter everywhere…” Once again, Robert Parry: Thanks for telling it like it is — there are not many news outlets anywhere today that can boast unalloyed trustworthiness.

    Hillary must be sitting there snug as a bug, smiling from ear to ear… She may not have invented the idea of offense is the best defense, but she certainly did everything in her power to malign Russia where ever, whenever she could to hide her own very deceitful motivations. What is so troubling about this anti-Russian meme is the utter dishonesty with which it is being deployed and for the simple reason that it has been shown, like the 9/11 deceit, to work. “F-ck the European Union” Victoria Nuland, whose picture we are forced to look at for the second time in so many days, is one of the most dishonest politicians out there — but then so was her mentor and promotor, Hillary Clinton.

    The Ukraine disaster and the lies and propaganda that were clearly orchestrated prior to the event (just like 9/11) was not only shamelessly successful, it was so successful that the same shameless players who deployed it, mainly operatives working out of the CFR, determined it a success — despite the need to submerge, alter and waylay much of the critical, factual input. Since these people are short on honest innovation and long on deceit, we will probably be reading this playbook long into the future.

    At bottom, what these remarkably dishonest people count on is the bored, disinterested and dumbed down American population, also a product of CFR-produced state planners.

  29. Patricia Victour
    February 22, 2017 at 14:00

    I encourage everyone to either watch RT America/International online or on your local TV channel if it is offered. DISH has it here in NM. You will be shocked (and hopefully happy and informed) to see the difference between RT and, say, CNN, MSNBC, and the rest of the blah-blah-blah American MSM. Yes, it is “state-sponsored” by Russia. But at least you know that upfront, and can make up your own mind, through knowledge and further inquiry, if you see something you question. Here in America, home of more Fake News than Carter’s got pills, you have no idea if what you are hearing can be trusted as presented, or if you need to find a source to debunk it. We are on a very, very slippery slope here, between the Trump administration and the MSM that are both, in their own way, intent on making America a great mess again.

  30. February 22, 2017 at 13:59

    An informative article by Mr Parry.

    I believe, the Corporate Media are propagandists and that fake news is their forte. The quote below, I believe sums then up.
    “The effective propagandist must be a master of the art of speech, of writing, of journalism, of the poster and of the leaflet. He must have the gift to use the major methods of influencing public opinion such as the press, film and radio to serve his ideas and goals, above all in an age of advancing technology.” Josef Goebbles, Nazi Propagandist
    [read more at link below]

  31. Time2WakeUpNow
    February 22, 2017 at 13:46

    Recipe for: Pasta Signora Grigia ala Propaganda


    1 very large and prominently placed misleading and alarming headline
    1 completely fabricated tale of a (target) enemy’s alleged dastardly deeds
    3-4 large dollops of heavy duty credibility desperation & revenue generating requirements
    6 well-rounded scoops of narrative hubris (preferably oligarchical in origin)
    10 or more generous sprinklings of (Gov) official sounding “unnamed sources”
    1 appropriately sycophantic in-house stenographer or well-known pay-to-play “guest” hack
    1 Very teeny-tiny pinch of buried-at-the-end-of-article counter context (optional)

    Mix all of the above ingredients into a dense mass of manipulated text (and graphs – if required), resembling a now potentially dangerous & alarming: “Our Imperial empire is in dire peril” pseudo-investigative article.

    Let this heavily mediated mass of official (dis) information fester and ferment for several news cycles – making sure that your now steaming pile of bubbling BS has more than doubled in size and has adequately reached the appropriate coagulations of deep(dish) state purpose.

    Once this very important step has been accomplished, the entire convoluted construction can now be successfully replicated (ad-nauseum) by all of your fellow dutifully compliant corporate infotainment compatriots – especially the ever cackling corporate cable news cabals.

    Optional: For appearances sake only: you may – very quietly (if at all), throw out an extremely weak (non)disclaimer concerning any possible suspicions of authenticity that might arise of the actual base ingredients that were used and/or misused as the underlying foundation of the above disinformation dish you’ve so deceptively concocted for general consumption.
    Note: This last step (if employed) should have little or no lasting substantive effect on the perceived validity and overall lasting flavor of your original steaming pile of “Pasta Signora Grigia ala Propaganda”

    This recipe can easily (dis)serve tens of millions – if properly prepared and executed…

    Buon Appetito!

    • February 22, 2017 at 18:18

      Love it. Thanks for making my whole day.

    • LarcoMarco
      February 23, 2017 at 14:57

      Yeah, outstanding outing of the Gray Lady. I think I’ll raise a glass of Pinot Grigio in a toast.

  32. Josh Stern
    February 22, 2017 at 13:35

    It is essential to treat info/speech from Intelligence agencies in a special category. In our everyday experience, when a bad actor is almost always telling lies, we tend to find that out pretty quickly. The situation, in contrast, with the Intelligence agencies is very different. The Intelligence agencies are professionally tasked with lying. The lie constantly. And in truth, lying is often the least grievous of their sins. Intel agencies are vested with extreme powers to keep secrets and to manufacture illusions in order to make lies appear to be true. It is usually not possible to reach certain conclusions about whether they are lying or not in the short term. Sometimes conclusions can never be reached. However it is often possible to look back at events of 10, 20, 40, or 50 years ago and determine whether or not they were lying at the time. When we do that, we see they were almost always lying about the most important issues of the day. This can be conclusively established, in part through the delayed release of their own internal documents showing what they actually believed to be true and/or were involved in at the time they were telling stories to the public. “Legacy of Ashes” by Tim Weiner, “The Untold History of the United States” by Oliver Stone and historian Peter Kuznick, “The National Security Archive” from George Washington Univ., Seymour Hersh’s exposes, the info uncovered by the Church and Pike Commission, the reports on assassination drones by The Intercept and Human Rights Watch, the reports on CIA torture/black sites by the Guardian & Human Rights Watch, The Pentagon Papers, releases of info on surveillance from James Bamford and Snowden/Greenwald, etc. All those sources and many others show that in history, lying was the norm rather than the exception for information given out publicly and contemporaneously by the US Intel agencies.

    Set against that background, it doesn’t make sense to treat new speech acts from those same sources as true information or “news”. They have established a long track record showing that the intention to deceive is their normal routine of affairs. The New York Times, the Washington Post and other outlets that pretend not to understand that committing a deliberate abuse of their readers and the American polity.

    • Joe J Tedesky
      February 22, 2017 at 14:28

      Josh what a great idea to have a tv network dedicated to only programming shows revealing the truth from our past, and with news segments reporting the lies we live with today.

      • Josh Stern
        February 22, 2017 at 14:58

        The past history, when studied in detail, shows that the “National Security” efforts were not making anyone more secure. The people in National Security have policy differences with the bulk of the American people. They want to a kind of Empire, that looks like a Republican Democracy on the surface while being a Shadow Totalitarian state on the issues they really care about. This position wouldn’t win if it was open, democratic, and lawful, so they use secrecy authority, criminal immunity, military capability, and spycraft, to create shadow empire building policy and have the public pay for it and support it. It’s a very expensive, bloody, and immoral affair.

        • Sam F
          February 22, 2017 at 17:13

          Exactly; the heart of corruption is secret agencies. They have a counterpart in the judiciary, both state and federal, whose job is to lie for the same masters, but in legalese, deceiving no one but indecipherable to nearly everyone, pretending to uphold principles even as they deny them. No lawyer who knows dares to disagree, or their legal career is over, and very few on the outside can see the truth. They work very well with secret agencies.

          • Gregory Herr
            February 22, 2017 at 19:36

            John Yoo and Jay Bybee come to mind.

      • John
        February 22, 2017 at 15:30

        Although it is not a network, but a single show, Abby Martin’s The Empire Files, on Telesur English (and online, of course) is an excellent blueprint of what you suggest. (Her earlier work on Breaking The Set on RT – which made up a large bit of the “Russian Propaganda” dossier put out by the professional liars that are paid with our tax money, was also very good, though it had been off the air for 2 years before the election it allegedly “rigged” happened – was also excellent.)

    • February 22, 2017 at 18:15

      As Grocho Marx would say if he was alive today, with reference to the CIA, FBI, Pentagon and the US Dept. of State, ” who are you going to believe, us or your own lyin eyes”.

  33. Tom Welsh
    February 22, 2017 at 13:22

    The Western MSM are repeating the fatal mistakes of their political masters. Whenever Washington has met with resistance abroad, it has resorted to the same tactics of abuse, sanctions, and economic and financial warfare. The net result? Washington is gradually succeeding in cutting the USA off from the rest of the world. Everyone is making plans to free themselves from the tyranny of the dollar; oil and gas are increasingly being sold for other currencies or gold; and now this is happening within the Asian land mass, where military force is not an option.

    Meanwhile, the MSM are rapidly driving away most of their regular readers, viewers and listeners. Even the most placid of conservatives cannot fail to notice the increasingly blatant and discordant contradictions and impossibilities in the stories purveyed by the MSM. Which is why sources such as RT, RI and of course ConsortiumNews get so much attention.

    The huge question that is raised by these trends is whether democracy means anything when citizens’ opinions are so easily created and changed that the outcome of elections is closely correlated with the amount of money spent on propaganda. How can we go on pretending to respect the views of citizens when so many of them are almost like blank sheets, waiting to be scribbled on by the politicians and their media acolytes?

    There is an old joke about the tycoon who tells his subordinates, “When I want your opinion, I’ll tell you it”. But that is no longer a joke; it’s the way the political systems of the West now work.

    • Joe J Tedesky
      February 22, 2017 at 13:58

      Tom I like your comment. Your comment made me think of the forty percent registered voters who didn’t vote. The actual amount of votes cast of our 340 million populace would be less than forty percent. If you take into account how many on each side of the voting public voted for the lesser of the two evils, it leaves you to wonder to how just few partisan voters there are who now are happy with the status quo. We may all be more together than we know, but the MSM keeps us divided.

      • Michael Hoefler
        February 23, 2017 at 06:27

        Joe, your comments made me think of a poll that former Rep Alan Grayson of Florida ran before the election last November. He had the 4 candidates on a slate and added one other category: “None of the above”.

        The final tally of his poll was as follows: None of the above – 40%
        Hillary – 30%
        Trump – 27%
        Johnson – 2%
        Stein – 1%

        Shows how this election did not reflect the views or desires of the people. I think this goes along with your comments.

        • Joe J Tedesky
          February 23, 2017 at 17:36

          Good poll Michael. My family’s presidential race ended with the Democratic Convention. Our dislike for Hillary wasnt because we couldn’t deal with Bernie’s loss, as much as for us it still is hard to come to grips with ‘how’ Bernie loss. Okay Hillary won I get it, but how did she win? Then to top it all off Hillary can’t live with defeat let alone come clean on her unsecure computer servers, but to boot she and her followers blame Putin for her losing to Donald Trump. Maybe in a society who may wish to do things right we would go back to the real crime of this past election, and prosecute the DNC officials who sabotaged the Sanders campaign….I really think there is enough of evidence to prove that Bernie Sanders should be seating in the White House.

    • February 22, 2017 at 21:23

      “anti-democratic, anti-intellectual” – the Mainstream Media really deserves that. MSM opuses also smell quick buck. Zero idealism, zero integrity, zero intellectual brilliance, and zero moral strength. Just a pitiful trash presenting itself as “journalists,” “editors,” and “board members.” Men with the castrated courage and women with the neutered kindness and femininity. In short, “establishment.”

    • Bianca
      February 23, 2017 at 14:49

      That is precisely it! I always thought that they are using the word “isolationism” to shut up those that are precisely AGAINST the isolationism that the political masters have already created. Globally, nobody believes their narrative, as the news sources get more and more abundant. Not all of them are coherent, and well thought through analyses. But that is not the point. The proliferation of information — be it partial, one-sided and local — continues to build a mosaic of real world, warts and all. And that cannot be stopped, even if censorship is applied to shut down some obvious deniers of the official narrative. The world of technology will have to be undone, if one is to stop the proliferation of tidbits of information coming from around the globe.

      By creating an artificial reality, the narrative that cannot be maintained other then by coercion — we are being more and more isolated from the world. We are to be kept happy in our delusion, and happy with the elite that maintains the delusion.

      It is no longer left or right — it is the end of support for status quo.

  34. Charles Watkins
    February 22, 2017 at 13:03

    “Fake News” is a dandy way to attack a story you don’t like without having to say why it’s wrong. Once the term became popular, the politicians and web pundits fell all over themselves to look cool while being able to blithely dismiss stories they didn’t like. Any story (except maybe this one) that uses the term is simply clickbait — another dandy little term.

  35. Joe L.
    February 22, 2017 at 12:26

    I see the push in the media about “Fake News” as a push for censorship – that scares me. It is amazing that our western media who have sold wars killing millions, based on lies, feel that they have the moral authority to decide what is truth and what is fake. Frankly after the Iraq War lies, I want to be able to get news from our “enemies” so that I can make up my own mind of what I believe is the truth rather than the immature view of the world that our media is trying to sell us of “good guys” and “bad guys”. It is interesting to sometimes to watch mainstream media talking about some controversial subject and when someone disagrees with the viewpoint that the station is trying to push then suddenly the station has technical difficulties or they shut off the person’s microphone etc. Our media is literally trying to kill dissent.

    • Joe J Tedesky
      February 22, 2017 at 13:17

      I see news anchors when interviewing a suspected truth teller make smirky faces, or have facial expressions like of such surprise at any answer worth seeking out the truth is pure silly, as ‘oh really’ or ‘and just where did you hear this’ anchor questioning the interviewee is a clever way of boxing in a interviewee as being some-kind of a kook. Then they (the media) bring on a punditry of bought and paid for squaw boxes to ridicule us all to have spend all our quality time watching to many episodes of ‘Ancient Aliens’.

      I honestly think the American public when broken down into each and every individual doesn’t believe a word of what the MSM is promoting this week, or at anytime. The obstacle for the truth is what all news sources are the citizens relying upon?

      Yes the MSM plays us for fools….let’s hope enough of us are hearing and reading the truth, and that we will be able to make a difference with our knowledge of the facts.

      • Joe L.
        February 23, 2017 at 12:28

        Joe Tedesky… I sometimes think of the times that we live in these days with the internet and the “freedom” of information that it affords. I appreciate that I can get on my computer and come to a website like this or listen to Press TV (from Iran), RT (from Russia), Telesur (from South America) etc. and gather their information on world events. I also think back to the time before the internet and how easy it was for media to sell wars, government interests, or even their own corporate interests when they were the only game in town – there were no alternatives. I think the people in power are having a harder and harder time selling their interests (Military Industrial Complex etc.) to the people so they seek to “censor” information or have people self “censor” information by labelling it “Fake News” in order to try to regain control of the information for their own interests. This time also makes me think of Orwell’s 1984 (war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength) where information was censored and changed to control the people. It is scary that western media, which claims to be the freest in the world, is promoting “censorship”.

        Also, I think this is why I am reading that most people do not trust the MSM anymore, I hope that trend only accelerates.

    • Erik G
      February 22, 2017 at 17:03

      Indeed the commercial mass media are “trying to kill dissent.” As Mr. Parry says, “the maximum amount of debate should be encouraged, instead of what amounts to blacklisting dissidents.” And by “dismissing reasonable criticism and thoughtful dissent” the mass media have lost, and Western institutions “are losing the confidence of their people.” Perhaps we are fortunate to see at last the meltdown of corruption.

      • Joe L.
        February 23, 2017 at 12:35

        Erik G… Well I just want to think for myself and have all the information, whether one deems it fake or not, at my fingertips for me to make up my “own” mind of what I believe is the truth or not. After seeing wars that have devastated a whole region of the world, over a million dead, refugees etc. and yet our media and government’s take no responsibility for these actions, the cause and effect, then our media have no right to tell me what to believe or whom to hate anymore. We are living in the 21st Century and that old, immature, way of looking at the world (“good guys” and “bad guys”) should have stayed in the 20th Century as part of history that we should have learned from.

        • Bianca
          February 23, 2017 at 13:27

          They cannot learn. They are stuck in status quo, something that worked for so long, and are doubling down on it, hoping to prevail. And globalism is their ticket, and the well meaning and foolish people who misunderstand the implications. The objective IS no responsibility, and utter inability to control who makes decisions, and who is accountable. And they were so close to it, they could smell the results. And then, something happened. People do not believe. They are looking around for the responsible. And if we are not careful, I can see the choreography already under way. Just pit the poor against the poor, destitute Fly Over country against the immigrants. White vs. the Rest. West vs. the Rest. But the problem is, they are trying to restore “patriotism” of the Americans, in the service of Globalism. Thus Russia, the big, bad enemy.

          The problem with any delusion is, it hurts in the end. When can we talk about the fact that after the closure of Paducah uranium enrichment facility in US, our country has no uranium enrichment capability. And the one in Paducah was old, WWII generation facility, not centrifuge based. So, in addition to importing just about all the uranium, we also rely on the countries that have modern enrichment capabilities. Such as Russia, France, and somewhat Canada. We still do not have our own rocket engine, and still use Russian imported ones. Until we run out of the inventory we bought. Sure, McCain was apoplectic when he heard that all of our heavy rockets, including all the military ones, need Russian engines, and in a disbelief, confronted a NASA scientist in a hearing. Who after a while, being fed up with the bullying said: “With all due respect, sir, it IS a rocket science”, and proceeded saying that no promises could be made on the first US engine. If all goes well, it may be finished by 2019, but in the meantime, Russia has already produced a completely new generation of rocket engines. Our problem is, we are falling behind in technology — notwithstanding our fabulous phones. We do not need experts in robot technology, as we have fewer factories. And even the massive infrastructure work that will start under Trump — will require at first, some foreign equipment and technology, as the market for such was non-existent in US. We did not build any fast speed trains, and other massive infrastructure projects in a long time. It will require that we enable our own capabilities. It is in itself a GOOD thing, and the whole push for reindustrialization and infrastructure improvements is going to expose our shortcomings. Better later then never. Our globalist ideologues do not seem to care. To them, it does not matter. They do not have a homeland. They can just pick one.

          And it is time to break up monopolies in IT, which is stifling development and innovation, while making massive wealth to their owners. Four of them own more then a quarter of the entire planet’s wealth.

  36. Joe J Tedesky
    February 22, 2017 at 12:24

    I’ll keep saying how news sites such as consortiumnews should set up a huge link site of the 200 said to be fake Internet news sites, and call it Fake News draw an X through the word Fake and then it’s News. The irony would fly in the face of the MSM.

    It use to be when a reporter disputed another reporter they wrote a rebuttal article. Now the MSM deems any news other than their news as ‘fake’. The Narrative Police are out in full force. They have a lot on their busy plates. Demonizing Russia is number one. Besides the media insults against Russia, this new Adminstrations saber rattling against Iran, and by Trump talking about ‘safe zones’ in Syria, I think the Russians are further insulted by this Adminstrations considering this a good ploy and Russia dumb enough to swallow the bait. George W Bush looked into Putin’s eyes and saw his soul. Trump better look into Putin’s eyes, and reassure Vladimir that Trump doesn’t take him to be a fool.

    The arrogance of the American foreign policies are breathtakingly pitiful and one sided. America must join the world, not destroy it, but when decisions are made in expensively furnished big board rooms then what else should you expect? These gods of money have been with us for a longtime. What these rich bastards need to be made to realize, is this over populated world of humanity needs it’s governance sovereignty. Without that sovereignty we are all captives of the Bank.

    • JWalters
      February 23, 2017 at 22:55

      “we are all captives of the Bank”

      That pretty much sums it up, and war is a major profit center. The same mainstream media that is feeding us bogus stories about Russia has been feeding us bogus stories about Israel for decades, e.g. “Barbarism by an educated and cultured people”

      This almost certainly means the same Israeli interests behind the longstanding disinformation campaign about Israel are also behind the more recent disinformation campaign about Russia. Robert Parry has explained how Israel benefits from creating conflict between the U.S. and Russia – it keeps them from cooperating in the Middle East to bring peace – in “What Neocons Want from Ukraine Crisis”.

      The plain historical facts – withheld from the American public by Israeli control of the U.S. media – show that Israel was created by its financiers not as a “safe haven” for Jews, but as a perpetually profitable religious war using radical Jewish terrorists as boots on the ground. For new readers who haven’t seen it, this blacked-out history is described briefly in “War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror” at

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