Mainstream Media’s ‘Victimhood’

Exclusive: Just weeks ago, mainstream U.S. media decried “fake news” and backed a blacklist of independent news sites over “Russian propaganda.” Now, under fire from President Trump, the MSM loves a free press, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

It’s heartwarming that The New York Times and The Washington Post are troubled that President Trump is loosely throwing around accusations of “fake news.” It’s nice that they now realize that truth does not reliably come from the mouth of every senior government official or from every official report.

The Washington Post building in downtown Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Washington Post)

The Times is even taking out full-page ads in its own pages to offer truisms about truth: “The truth is hard. The truth is hidden. The truth must be pursued. The truth is hard to hear. The truth is rarely simple. The truth isn’t so obvious. …”  On Sunday, those truth truisms ran opposite an alarmist column by Jim Rutenberg entitled, “Will the Real Democracy Lovers Please Stand Up?” Meanwhile, The Washington Post launched its own melodramatic slogan, “Democracy Dies in Darkness.”

Yet, it was only weeks ago when the Post and Times were eagerly promoting plans for silencing or blacklisting independent news sites that didn’t toe the line on what the U.S. government and its allies were claiming was true.

On Nov. 20, the Times published a lead editorial calling on Facebook and other technology giants to devise algorithms that could eliminate stories that the Times deemed to be “fake.” The Times and other mainstream news outlets – along with a few favored Internet sites – joined a special Google-sponsored task force, called the First Draft Coalition, to decide what is true and what is not. If the Times’ editorial recommendations were followed, the disfavored stories and the sites publishing them would no longer be accessible through popular search engines and platforms, essentially blocking the public’s access to them. [See’s “What to Do About ‘Fake News.’”]

On Thanksgiving Day, the Post ran a front-page story citing an anonymous group, called PropOrNot, blacklisting 200 Web sites, including and other important sources of independent journalism, because we supposedly promoted “Russian propaganda.”

Although PropOrNot and the Post didn’t bother to cite any actual examples or to ask the accused for comment, the point was clear: If you didn’t march in lockstep behind the Official Narrative on, say, the Ukraine crisis or the war in Syria, you were to be isolated, demonized and effectively silenced. In the article, the Post blurred the lines between “fake news” – stories that are simply made up – and what was deemed “propaganda,” in effect, information that didn’t jibe with what the U.S. State Department was saying.

Back then, in November, the big newspapers believed that the truth was easy, simple, obvious, requiring only access to some well-placed government official or a quick reading of the executive summary from some official report. Over the last quarter century or so, the Times, in particular, has made a fetish out of embracing pretty much whatever Officialdom declared to be true. After all, such well-

Former New York Times reporter Judith Miller, who co-authored the infamous New York Times article in 2002 about Iraq buying aluminum tubes to build nuclear bombs.

dressed folks with those important-sounding titles couldn’t possibly be lying.

That gullibility went from the serious, such as rejecting overwhelming evidence that Ronald Reagan’s Nicaraguan Contra rebels were deeply involved in drug trafficking, to the silly, trusting the NFL’s absurd Deflategate allegations against Tom Brady. In those “old” days, which apparently ended a few weeks ago, the Times could have run full-page ads, saying “Truth is whatever those in authority say it is.”

In 2002, when the George W. Bush administration was vouching for a motley crew of Iraqi “defectors” describing Saddam Hussein’s hidden WMDs, Iraq’s purchase of some “aluminum tubes” must have been for building nuclear bombs. In 2003, when Secretary of State Colin Powell showed some artist drawings of “mobile chemical weapons labs,” they must really exist – and anyone who doubted Powell’s “slam-dunk” testimony deserved only contempt and ridicule.

When the Obama administration issued a “government assessment” blaming the Syrian military for the sarin gas attack outside Damascus on Aug. 21, 2013, there was no need to scrutinize its dubious assertions or ask for actual proof. To do so made you an “Assad apologist.”

When a bunch of U.S. allies under the effective control of Ukraine’s unsavory SBU intelligence service presented some videos with computer-generated graphics showing Russians supplying the Buk missile that shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, there was no need to examine the holes in the evidence or note that the realistic-looking graphics were fictional and based on dubious assumptions. To do so made you a “Moscow stooge.”

In other words, when the U.S. government was gluing black hats on an “enemy” and white hats on a U.S. “ally,” the Times never seemed to object. Nor did pretty much anyone else in the mainstream media. No one seemed to note that both sides usually deserved gray hats. With very few exceptions – when the State Department or other U.S. agencies were making the charges – the Times and its cohorts simply stopped applying responsible journalistic skepticism.

Of course, there is a problem with “fake news,” i.e., stories that are consciously made up for the purpose of making money from lots of clicks. There are also fact-free conspiracy theories that operate without evidence or in defiance of it. No one hates such bogus stories more than I do — and they have long been a bane of serious journalism, dating back centuries, not just to the last election.

But what the Times, the Post and the rest of the mainstream media have typically ignored is that there are many situations in which the facts are not clear or when there are alternative explanations that could reasonably explain a set of facts. There are even times when the evidence goes firmly against what the U.S. government is claiming. At those moments, skepticism and courage are necessary to challenge false or dubious Official Narratives. You might even say, “The truth is rarely simple. The truth isn’t so obvious…”

A Tough Transition

During the transition from the Obama administration to the Trump team, the Times, the Post and other mainstream media outlets got caught in their own transition from trusting whatever the outgoing officials said to distrusting whatever the incoming officials said. In those final days, big media accepted what President Obama’s intelligence agencies asserted about Russia supposedly interfering in the U.S. election despite the lack of publicly available evidence that could be scrutinized and tested.

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

Even something as squirrelly as the attack on Trump’s National Security Adviser Michael Flynn – with Obama holdovers citing the never-prosecuted Logan Act from 1799 as the pretext for ginning up some kind of criminal-sounding case that scared Trump into firing Flynn – was treated as legitimate, without serious questions asked. Since Obama officials were doing the feeding, the no-skepticism rule applied to the eating. But whatever statements came from Trump, even his few lucid moments explaining why war with nuclear-armed Russia wasn’t such a great idea, were treated as dangerous nonsense.

When Trump scolded the mainstream press for engaging in “fake news” and then applied the phrase “enemy of the people,” the Times, the Post and the rest went into full victimization-mode. When a few news companies were excluded from a White House news briefing, they all rushed to the barricades to defend freedom of the press. Then, Trump went even further – he rejected his invitation to the White House Correspondents Dinner, the black-tie/evening-gown event where mainstream media stars compete to attract the hottest celebrity guests and hobnob with important government officials, a walking-talking conflict-of-interest-filled evening, an orgy of self-importance.

So, the Times, the Post and their mainstream-media friends now feel under attack. Whereas just weeks ago they were demanding that Google, Facebook and other powerful information platforms throttle those of us who showed professional skepticism toward dubious claims from the U.S. government, now the Times, the Post and the others are insisting that we all rally around them, to defend their journalistic freedom. In another full-page ad on Sunday, the Times wrote: “Truth. It’s more important now than ever.”

I would argue that truth is always important, but especially so when government officials are leading countries toward war, when lives are at stake, whether in Iraq or Syria or Ukraine or the many other global hotspots. At those moments in the recent past, the Times did not treat truth – in all its subtlety and nuance – as important at all.

I would argue, too, that the stakes are raised even higher when propagandists and ideologues are risking the prospect of nuclear war that could kill billions and effectively end human civilization. However, in that case, the American people have seen little truly professional journalism nor a real commitment to the truth. Instead, it’s been much more fun to demonize Russian President Vladimir Putin and paint black-and-white pictures of the evil Russians.

At such moments, those New York Times’ truisms about truth are forgotten: “The truth is rarely simple. The truth isn’t so obvious. …”

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


57 comments for “Mainstream Media’s ‘Victimhood’

  1. Curious
    March 6, 2017 at 12:51

    Now comments don’t go into an edit mode before posting. Is this new or just another bug?

  2. March 1, 2017 at 23:33

    Control of all major media outlets by only 5 or 6 corporations, setting policy for what their journalists may or may not say, embedded with the government power structure, sets the whole drivel in motion. David Rockefeller’s statement to Bilderbergers says it all, the filthy rich plunderers set the narrative, thank you for that quote which I’ve read before. The Rothschild family in Europe are considered the wealthiest on the planet, assets thought to be $2 trillion but unknown, they have power to keep themselves out of news. An interesting book by Jim Marrs from 2000 is “Rule By Secrecy”, considered a conspiracy book because of info on matters rarely if ever circulated, such as creation of the Federal Reserve, origin of specific wars as not what is motivation sold to public, goes back to Knights Templar as creators of fractional reserve banking, funding of Trotsky in Bolshevik revolution by US and UK industrialists as well as Hitler funding; Marrs was a journalist with Fort Worth Star Telegram before going independent. Paycheck for all these media players is what matters to them, not truth, go independent and you may be out the door.

    BTW, Time2WakeUpNow, you should copyright and get that recipe for “Pasta Signora Grigia ala Propaganda” published somewhere. I copied it to my notebook of memorable ideas. Don’t know if you look back to Comments on CN as I do, I find so many intelligent thoughts posted here, as much learning as the articles. When you read comments on many other websites, it shows how deeply polarized, bigoted, and uncivil this “great nation” (??!!) has become.

    • LarcoMarco
      March 2, 2017 at 18:50

      pane, coperto e giornale sono extra.

  3. P Gregory Sutter
    March 1, 2017 at 17:18

    So the takeaway from this article is that altruism and integrity are the hallmarks of good journalism. But are there really any publications out there that possess this attribute?

  4. tony
    March 1, 2017 at 13:50

    Excellent article, except for the love affair with the NE Cheatriots and over rated Thom Braddy

    • Skip Scott
      March 1, 2017 at 15:47

      I have found Parry’s obsession with deflate gate amusing as well. Although I believe the evidence is suspect in that case, the 2007 spygate case was undoubtedly proven, and showed that “sportsmanlike conduct” is a quaint concept. Talented or not, I lost all respect for the Patriots from then on. Actually, I’ve lost respect for football in general with it’s inflated egos, criminal behavior, and of course now with the prevalence of CTE.

  5. March 1, 2017 at 09:03

    Mr. Parry’s narrative about fake news is right on. I have yet to read anything he has printed as a known lie. What I find amazing in some of the replies to his article is the interpretations being made. No where does he state that the MSM is wrong all the time. It is up to the reader to be able to further investigate stories that seem false. A person who uses one source for their information will find they are ill-informed.

  6. March 1, 2017 at 08:59

    1. to the many posters inquiring about the deletion/censorship policy here, right arm… seems egregious on an ‘alternative news’ site which proclaims to champion our natural and constitutional rights, most especially including free speech… doubly so in the context of the subject of the article… it always seems curious to me (particularly with lefty sites which *supposedly* espouse tolerance and the exercise of (some) free speech), that ‘freedom loving’ web sites/authors do not practice what they declaim the gummint for not practicing… soooo, in control of your own sandbox, you can not -or will not- do what you expect the gummint to do ? ? ? hmmmm…

    2. “But what the Times, the Post and the rest of the mainstream media have typically ignored is that there are many situations in which the facts are not clear or when there are alternative explanations that could reasonably explain a set of facts. There are even times when the evidence goes firmly against what the U.S. government is claiming. At those moments, skepticism and courage are necessary to challenge false or dubious Official Narratives.”
    c’mon, do we have to plow this field for the hundredth time: it AIN’T because both gummint reps/officials and media droids, are stooopid (although some undoubtedly are); it AIN’T because they just don’t know all the ‘facts’ (although they undoubtedly don’t); it AIN’T because all that is between us and social/political nirvana is a weally, weally hard calculus problem nobody can solve (although we do have *some* intractable problems); but what DOES motivate the power players involved and cant policy and law to their will, is that Empire must roll on… MUST…
    THE WHOLE PONZI SCHEME that the .1% (and their technokrats of the 10%) are parasitizing is totally dependent upon Empire raping and pillaging the globe at will… OF COURSE such madness is unsustainable and ultimately catastrophic, but the .1% MUST have their gold-plated unicorns, NOW, damn tomorrow ! ! !
    NO ONE involved in this corrupted system is swayed by ‘oh my goodness, i didn’t realize we were helping a certified Bad Guy subjugate that nation and murder millions of innocents, oh my stars, how silly of me, we had best see to that post haste ! ! !’
    are you fucking daft ? ? ?
    all that ‘collateral damage’, THAT IS DONE PURPOSEFULLY…
    the amerikan citizens are bystanders to the horrors of Empire, but still many/most will not recognize the terrorist’s face is in the mirror…
    and no one will throw their body in the gears of the War Machine…
    need more shiny icrap so we can endlessly bitch about all the horrors of the world (caused by gluttonous desire of shiny icrap)…

  7. Joe Tedesky
    February 28, 2017 at 23:55

    I’m in the middle of reading Mark Shaw’s book ‘The Reporter Who Knew to Much’ where Shaw writes about famed news reporter, and TV game show panelist Dorthy Kilgallen. So far I’m learning how Dorthy Kilgallen strived hard to expose the truth. She brought to the public through a confidential leaker the Warren Reports Jack Ruby 102 page testimony, and by doing so she put herself on J Edgar Hoover’s enemy list. I also was pleased to find out how Dorthy Kilgallen through her column stuck up for the comedian Lenny Bruce. Bruce was jailed for lewd language, and Dorthy not even a fan of Bruce stressed to her readers the value of free speech. I’m not through with Shaw’s book, but so far it is an interesting read, and one that JFK assassination buffs will find helpful to their gaining more knowledge for what really went down on the fateful day of November 22th 1963, and what events were to follow. Dorthy Kilgallen’s strange and unseen suicide is another unsolved mystery where deadly fowl play may have occurred.

    • Joe Tedesky
      March 1, 2017 at 03:10

      While I’m on a honoring the truth teller theme, we should not forget to pay tribute to Gary Webb. The sad results of losing such truth tellers as were Kilgallen and Webb, is the world has been guided for a very long time by these heroic reporters killers. I will add that when I come along this realization from time to time, that’s when I hope the most there is a world beyond, because the dominance condition which infects mankind seems to be incurable.

    • LarcoMarco
      March 2, 2017 at 00:11

      Yes, Dorothy Kilgallen! My grandmother liked to watch What’s My Line. When Dorothy died, it was reported that she OD’d on booze and barbs (in her bathtub?). No mention of suicide and/or homicide at the time.

      The MSM destroyed the powerless Gary Webb in the same way they are trying to destroy Trump (who may have to fulfill a Grand Bargain with Deep State to remain in office).

      • Joe Tedesky
        March 2, 2017 at 01:04

        They both suffered the same fate for trying to report the truth.

  8. John
    February 28, 2017 at 20:56

    Everyone loves the spotlight…..: )……There is only one stop shopping in the fabulous game of market share…….Even Mr. Parry is looking for market share…..for his website….and there is absolutely nothing negative about that…….Market share 5th Graders…..Some of you folks are just now seeing the narrative of market share agenda……You think they care for you? lol…….

  9. Tomk
    February 28, 2017 at 20:21

    “We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected the promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world-government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries. —David Rockefeller, Speaking at the June, 1991 Bilderberger meeting in Baden, Germany (a meeting also attended by then-Governor Bill Clinton and by Dan Quayle)”

  10. February 28, 2017 at 18:52

    Interesting link below:
    Newly-Declassified Documents Show that a Senior CIA Agent and Deputy Director of the Directorate of Intelligence Worked Closely with Owners and Journalists with Many of the Largest Media Outlets

    Posted on February 27, 2017 by WashingtonsBlog

  11. Art
    February 28, 2017 at 18:44

    This presidency is like none we have seen before. I love it. A commander in chief that actually is trying and in many cases keeping his promises and takes no shit from a bunch of liberal cry babies that have driven the narrative for far too long.

    • LJ
      March 1, 2017 at 15:19

      Art , Taking no shit? His entire agenda has been subverted by McConnell and the same Republican hierarchy he insulted by taking the nomination. Not the Dems or the NY Times or Washington Post. Did you notice GW Bush laid into him yesterday after 8 years of not criticizing Obama. There will be no sanctions relief on Russia, there will be no immigration reform, There will be another mass legalization of illegal aliens. The Republicans aren’t buying his ACA reform or his infrastructure package, He will not get a Supreme Court Justice through. What promises can he keep? Tweet that. . He can keep his hairline if he takes enough Rogaine or gets implants like Biden but policy, HA HA HA, He is a rookie with no skills just like Obama was and he will have to do what Obama did >>> Pose, act like you are in charge and do what you are told. Pwezident Tweety Bird gets up at 2AM and combs his hair and pretends he’s going to get something done. This is just more trickle down theory, more spending and more debt . Watch, Growth is projected at 2.4% next year , maybe. This will be more trickle up to billionaires and the military industrial complex. Trump is already a one and done and our country will not be better because of it. He might have good intentions but the 2 party hierarchy have the power of the Purse and control legislation.

    February 28, 2017 at 17:26

    In my experience, NOT DISCLOSING A SOURCE” is traditionally & historically employed by the Press & its journalists to protect that source from miscreant acts.
    The present President who makes things up with impunity as he goes along seems to be his own source.
    [From my point of view, Robert Parry was a good investigative reporter in the 1980’s]
    On the accuracy of accurate letters, I’d say that the aim of good journalism is to create a definite set of identical texts for an indefinite number of readers.

    • Tomk
      February 28, 2017 at 20:25

      You think the corporate press cares about the truth and does not have a Globalist agenda, an agenda now that with all the lies as to the Ukraine where the CIA/USA toppled the elected government, the ginned up hatred, and the phony “Russia did it” meme has us nearly at WWIII as Gorbachev recently stated…think again, they are now and have been in the tank against the interests of the American people and they lie and misrepresent to push that agenda forward. Just listen to David Rockefeller, he knows: “We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected the promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world-government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries. —David Rockefeller, Speaking at the June, 1991 Bilderberger meeting in Baden, Germany (a meeting also attended by then-Governor Bill Clinton and by Dan Quayle)”

  13. mikekrohde
    February 28, 2017 at 17:22

    Funny thing, NYT insisting on truth. 20 years ago maybe. Not for a while now. The Times led us to a “fake war” in Iraq with dame Judy Miller’s compelling fabrication of aluminum tubes. Trump is probably calling them fake because sometimes they are. And I don’t like trump.

  14. mike k
    February 28, 2017 at 16:14

    The MSM has now done all of us with eyes to see, a huge favor by completely discrediting themselves. Whatever shred of credence one might have still entertained for their veracity is now gone forever. They are starkly revealed as simple propaganda organs for the wealthy and powerful class, and the shadow government they support. Thanks again for so totally exposing yourselves!

  15. February 28, 2017 at 15:14

    Why try to save paper and ink on a website? If you insist on small type, at least darken it to something like #333333

    • JohnMMorgan
      March 2, 2017 at 09:46

      That has bothered me too on my preferred browser, Safari on Mac, but when I view Consortium News on Firefox the type is pleasantly larger and darker. Apparently some compatibility issue.

  16. Josh Stern
    February 28, 2017 at 14:54

    Good, strong editorial. One of the hallmarks of high-quality news journalism is supposed to be a willingness to print a retraction when a factual mistake is uncovered. As Robert Parry notes here, there is a system of in place in what passes for high-quality journalism to uncritically pass on and endorse statements from government officials. When these statements turn out to be lies – as they almost always do in the area of foreign policy – there is no retraction printed. According to their logic, the journalists didn’t make a “factual mistake” by reporting the lies of the government officials, so their is nothing for them to correct. They were just doing their job – duping the American sheeple, as their predecessors did before them. They take no responsibility for correcting the false impressions they created about the news in earlier generations.

    Americans who are not history buffs are still largely ignorant about the most basic truths of America’s wars in Vietnam and Laos, 50 years ago. In the case of Iraq – not only did Iraq not have “WMD” at the time of the 2nd US invasion….not only did the lying officials have good reason to know that (e.g. they knew “Curveball was a liar” and they knew there was no satellite evidence and they knew Cheney was asking people to make up lies to justify what he wanted to do…they also knew that the US itself had given Iraq/Hussein chemical “WMD” decades earlier – – and they knew that they had come pretty close to tricking him into invading Kuwait –
    They made a bet that they Saddam had not complied with his punishment requiring him to destroy those earlier weapons, and they lost that bet. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of people died, a country’s infrastructure was “bombed back to the stone age”, Cheney’s companies made (& corruptly embezzled) huge profits rebuilding Iraq, and it became an unstable region that would “justify” high defense spending for many more decades, or perhaps forever.

    U.S. lying and foreign policy is modeled incredibly well by a cave man theory: The US CIA and often the State Dept. and Pentagon will always act in a way and tell stories that promote more security spending, year after year…sometimes in wars, sometimes in covert ops, sometimes for “rebuilding” what we destroyed, and sometimes for homeland or cyber security. The primitive, conspiracy type theory – that it is all a racket and >90% of terrorist attacks are partially false flags in origin – turns out, tragically, to be the best, most explanatory theory going. One adopts that as a hypothesis and the evidence falls like manna from the sky. By insisting that they have no responsibility to correct the fall impressions they delivered to the public, the stewards of high journalism continue to promote public ignorance about the most important true facts of their nation’s foreign policy, overt and covert.

  17. Cal
    February 28, 2017 at 14:17

    ”…..joined a special Google-sponsored task force, called the First Draft Coalition, to decide what is true and what is not. ”

    rotflmao. !!..oh yea, goggle is the perfect fake news and propaganda debunker partner……NOT !
    Goggle’s side bar on Israel shows Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
    I wised up to goggle long ago when they ‘re-ordered’ their search results.

    Capital: Jerusalem
    Founded: May 14, 1948
    Prime minister: Benjamin Netanyahu
    Population: 8.059 million (2013) World Bank
    President: Reuven Rivlin
    Continent: Asia
    Official languages: Hebrew, Arabic*

    • February 28, 2017 at 19:27

      During the last massacre in Gaza, operation cast lead at everyone, the zionists shelled the floor the AP had its offices. Next day AP online homepage prominently displayed two huge zionist flags. The national discussion would be more honest and edifying, if propaganda was used and “fake news” not used.

  18. Patricia Victour
    February 28, 2017 at 13:42

    If we lose important online news and opinion sites, such as Consortium News and a host of others, we will be dependent on the MSM, which is less and less truthful and factual by the day. That means there will be no way to independently check the veracity of what we hear on TV or read in the newspaper or news mags like Time. I lay the blame for this mess directly on Hillary Clinton and the DNC for starting their Russian witch hunt after HRC’s campaign began to fall apart with the revelations contained in the WikiLeaks trove. This opportunity was seized by the CIA, etc., as a chance to reignite the Cold War and also to take control of any and all information critical of the status quo in advance of any real resistance movements that might be coalescing. There’s been a coup alright, and the American people’s right to know is the victim.

  19. February 28, 2017 at 13:40

    I believe the “Mainstream Media” is a self serving joke:

    There is overwhelming evidence that there are war criminals that plotted and planned a number of wars in various countries. [1] Yet, you won’t hear or see most of the corporate controlled media exposing the criminality of the powerful war perverts in our midst, or the victims of the war criminals and their war business….
    [read more at link below]

  20. Bill Bodden
    February 28, 2017 at 13:27

    It is testimony to the moral and intellectual decadence of the mainstream media and the American people that publications such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and cable news channels and their supporting presstitutes continue to exist after their monumental crimes in supporting the barbarism of the war on Iraq and subsequent regime changes in the region. If the Nuremberg Principles were to be applied to the war on Iraq the publishers, producers, and pundits associated with the preceding enterprises would be, at a minimum, looking at long years in prison – or, perhaps, joining Julius Streicher in Hell.

  21. Jules M.
    February 28, 2017 at 13:23

    I applaud the critics of poor journalism in the US but, really, does that mean you hold up Pravda as the shining example of truth? And, why should we believe the Russian intelligence apparatus any more than the CIA / NSF? The forces that seek to foment conflict and maintain belligerent relationships among nations are worldwide…..the US has no corner on the market. How do we confront that ?

    • John
      February 28, 2017 at 14:54

      Who, other than creators of strawmen arguments, is holding up Pravda as an example? (It is a marginal paper with a very small reader base in Russia, a far cry from being influential there.)

      Where do you get the idea thst Russia is trying to foment belligerent relationships with other nations? Certainly this is not a view you have gained from Russian policies, as if you had looked at what Putin and Lavrov have actually said and done, it becomes rather onvious that deescalation of tensions is their goal. Russia’s MIC is a minor player in their economy, unlike the US. Russia’s self-interest is in having good relations with other nations, and the Russian leadership not only realizes this, but is very vocal about this realization.

      • Lonkal
        February 28, 2017 at 18:58

        Excellent reply, spot on.

      • LJ
        February 28, 2017 at 21:40

        Yes comrade, well stated. Meet me out back, we can sing L’Internationale.

    • JWalters
      February 28, 2017 at 19:45

      “That there are men in all countries who get their living by war, and by keeping up the quarrels of nations, is as shocking as it is true.” – Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1791

      See “War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror”

  22. D5-5
    February 28, 2017 at 13:16

    I would like to request, from Robert or whoever, what determines why comments here are deleted, since discussion and perspectives, along with information, are so important as indicated by this piece. Yesterday I included a link to a discussion by Pilger and Assange on Hillary Clinton and other topics from November 7, right before the election. My comment was part of a discussion I was having with another commenter. This was deleted. I have had comments deleted before, and so I would like to request a policy statement on what links are the offending ones.

    My impression right now is we’d better lay off links to and questions about 9/11, as that is not welcomed here, and now it seems the Assange link is also somehow odious. Perhaps others could suggest topics or links that are not welcomed so we can get a feeling for this site’s limitations so as to avoid what will interrupt discussions and the flow of information. So, again, I would like an official policy statement here for everyone to see, as I believe I’m not the only one concerned about this problem. I thank anyone for adding an insight to my concern here.

    • rosemerry
      February 28, 2017 at 16:13

      I was just reminded by Robert’s article about immediate post-9/11 coverage and the observation that (I think) only two journalists of reknown actually criticized (obliquely) the USA, and both lost their jobs. All the rest wrote/spoke in unison, almost in Dubya Bushian terms.
      I found the 5 minute video of James Corbett “9/11- a conspiracy theory” very telling.

      • D5-5
        February 28, 2017 at 18:09

        Thank you, rosemerry. I will try not to belabor the issue. My understanding is that unsupported conspiracy theory is suspect here, as well it should be, on whatever issue. I am tiptoeing here because I think many legitimate questions remain on 9/11, whereas my feeling is these questions are not welcomed here.

        Here appears to be the policy applied to that topic and similar from the article above:

        “There are also fact-free conspiracy theories that operate without evidence or in defiance of it. No one hates bogus stories more than I do—and they have long been a bane of serious journalism, dating back centuries, not just to the last election.”

        I am puzzled on cutting the Assange link, which, based on intercepted emails is factual, not fact-free. I don’t think Assange, who I take to be reliable, is making up what he says in the interview with Pilger. I don’t see it as a “bogus story” but apparently that’s what has happened.

        • March 1, 2017 at 12:11

          The official conspiracy theory is completely unsupported by the facts–I’m sorr of losy but your comment is just silly. You know as well as I do that the idea of what happened was slipped in by a personage (never seen again) and had nothing to do with any evidence. You also know that anyone who says anything outside the official version of the event will be fired or ostracized in some way. There has never been any investigation of the events of 9/11 that was supported by forensic evidence–but the American intellectual class has no interest in truth only fear losing their positions. The same is true for other events–for example how many people know (I’m sure you have no idea) that the forensic evidence in the RFK murder showed that the fatal shots were delivered from the back at point blank range and sound analysis showed 13 shots coming out of an 8 shot revolver. But, of course, you don’t want anyone to know you even read those lines from a madman who failed to take his meds today. Before you call these and other conspiracies you need to see that there are facts and that, should you read the ancient historians you would know that conspiracies are at the heart of politics and always has been–somehow the U.S.A. is an exception people like you believe (without evidence and without thinking about it). You believe in evidence then go by it otherwise go with what most Americans do (to be “safe”) and go with myth.

          • D5-5
            March 2, 2017 at 13:03

            I don’t know who “your comment” applies to but this response is ignorant and infantile without taking in the context of this discussion. I’m asking about why a post with a link to a Pilger-Assange discussion on The Clinton Foundation was deleted, and what the policy is for such matters. No answer so far several days later. I mention 9/11 because materials and questions related to it are not welcomed here. I say I think there are many legitimate questions about 9/11. And you reply with this garbage attack on “your comment” complete with your arrogant assumptions and superior tone. You add nothing to an intelligent discussion of the issues involved.

      • JWalters
        February 28, 2017 at 19:39

        rosemerry, it’s my impression also that 9/11 remains too hot a potato for even progressive websites to handle if they want to maintain their credibility. It seems to me that will eventually change, since the evidence is so overwhelming. Meantime people need to find other avenues for sharing the legitimate evidence.

        • LarcoMarco
          March 1, 2017 at 04:13

          That has been my opinion for a long time. Noam Chomsky will not touch 9/11 with a 10-foot pole, either.

          • Gregory Kruse
            March 1, 2017 at 15:01

            It’s funny how annoyed Chomsky gets when asked about 9/11. It is clear to me that a conspiracy was necessary to accomplish the task, and there are many theories about who was involved and how it was done. Some are silly, but some are plausible. There are some facts, and a theory that includes all or most of the facts should be considered near the truth. The government has promoted a conspiracy theory that doesn’t include all the facts, so it is suspect. For that reason I can’t accept it as true. Because some facts (on the ground) were removed quickly and some are officially hidden, rival theories are at a disadvantage compared to the official one. I wouldn’t encourage Mr. Parry write extensively about 9/11 theory, but I wish he wouldn’t treat the whole issue with such contempt.

    • LJ
      February 28, 2017 at 21:26

      I will give you an official policy statement. Here goes, ” I’ll think about it” . A couple times i typed a couple things that treadled upon the great grey line and they were deleted A couple other times maybe I deviated from the norm but generally speaking, Does it really matter? Damnable apostate, Reckless libertine? ? ? ? I think the point here is CN is an outlet for people that are frustrated by the thinkspeak and doublethink that is pervasive in mainstream media. If at times it seems like this site could an intelligence asset for somebody ,well, maybe. I am reminded of RT’s (and others) Pepe Escobar or Dallas Darling or GlobalRasearch,ca . Whatever. The more disparate information the better. We can’t have a do over on 9-11 and like a bad recording of a song, the 9/11 Commission Report is already in the can. There is such a thing as the official narrative.

    • Realist
      March 1, 2017 at 02:07

      Perhaps Mr. Parry sometimes gets letters of complaint from the author of an essay. I once had a post deleted in response to the preposterous Lawrence Davidson. Rather than have an article withdrawn upon the wishes of an offended author, the editor of this site may choose to remove the response which provoked that author. It’s a judgment call that the editor has to occasionally make: offend the authorship or the readership. Anyway, that’s my speculation.

    • RAW
      March 2, 2017 at 16:57

      Here’s the scoop on Linking in comment section: Your comment probably will not see the light of day if you include more than one link. Comments are flagged and held for moderation if you include multiple links (typical spam behavior). And I don’t think they go to much effort in releasing those flagged comments. Just use one link and you’ll be ok.

  23. Tom Welsh
    February 28, 2017 at 13:07

    Now that the NYT has developed such a keen interest in truth, maybe it should change its name to “Truth”. And print it in Russian.

    • Lonkal
      February 28, 2017 at 18:48

      Good one… but in all seriousness I’d prefer they leave the Russians out of their mess.

    • Realist
      March 1, 2017 at 01:57

      How does Pravda transliterate to the Cyrillic?

    • March 1, 2017 at 07:38

      Like the Washington Post (aka Pravda on the Potomac).

      For some obscure reason, it is assumed that because a publication or newspaper is privately owned it is not subject to censorship. Thus we get the blatant non-sequitur Private=Free. The real point is, that the journalist doesn’t need to be told what to say, he knows instinctively; this is because he has the same mindset, and has imbibed the same cultural norms and beliefs of those for whom he is working. No, it’s not a conspiracy theory, as Gore Vidal once opined, ‘it’s just that they all think the same’.

      Or perhaps ‘Every bourgeois journalist has an internal gendarme in his head so that the external one is unnecessary.’ (L.Trotsky).

      Or as an old British political Limerick will have it:

      You cannot hope
      to bribe or twist,
      thank God! the
      British journalist.

      But, seeing what
      the man will do
      unbribed, there is
      no occasion to.

  24. W. R. Knight
    February 28, 2017 at 13:07

    How can one ever forget the fake news about “weapons of mass destruction”. With that, MSM completely destroyed any credibility they might have had.

    Given that, plus the lack of credibility of our current president and his henchmen, who does one believe? We have MSM reporting fake news about what is said by someone who lies (or at best, is clueless). At this point, I’m not sure that I care if Trump keeps reporters out of his “press conferences” as I wouldn’t believe what the press said about what he says and I wouldn’t believe what he says if I were there and heard it myself.

    • Lonkal
      February 28, 2017 at 18:45



      • LarcoMarco
        March 1, 2017 at 03:58


        • franck-y
          March 1, 2017 at 06:27

          Malheureusement, France Kafka too.

  25. Adam Baum
    February 28, 2017 at 13:04

    All News is fake to somebody…..But I have to say, Trump has put the MSM in their place.

  26. Time2WakeUpNow
    February 28, 2017 at 12:25

    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 usually (dis)serve tens of millions – if properly prepared and executed…

    Buon Appetito!

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