Hold the Front Page: The Reporters are Missing

So much of mainstream journalism has descended to the level of a cult-like formula of bias, hearsay and omission. Subjectivism is all; slogans and outrage are proof enough. What matters is “perception,” says John Pilger.

By John Pilger
Special to Consortium News

The death of Robert Parry earlier this year felt like a farewell to the age of the reporter. Parry was “a trailblazer for independent journalism”, wrote Seymour Hersh, with whom he shared much in common.

Hersh revealed the My Lai massacre in Vietnam and the secret bombing of Cambodia, Parry exposed Iran-Contra, a drugs and gun-running conspiracy that led to the White House. In 2016, they separately produced compelling evidence that the Assad government in Syria had not used chemical weapons. They were not forgiven.

Driven from the “mainstream”, Hersh must publish his work outside the United States. Parry set up his own independent news website Consortium News, where, in a final piece following a stroke, he referred to journalism’s veneration of “approved opinions” while “unapproved evidence is brushed aside or disparaged regardless of its quality.”

Although journalism was always a loose extension of establishment power, something has changed in recent years. Dissent tolerated when I joined a national newspaper in Britain in the 1960s has regressed to a metaphoric underground as liberal capitalism moves towards a form of corporate dictatorship. This is a seismic shift, with journalists policing the new “groupthink”, as Parry called it, dispensing its myths and distractions, pursuing its enemies.

Witness the witch-hunts against refugees and immigrants, the willful abandonment by the “MeToo” zealots of our oldest freedom, presumption of innocence, the anti-Russia racism and anti-Brexit hysteria, the growing anti-China campaign and the suppression of a warning of world war.

With many if not most independent journalists barred or ejected from the “mainstream”, a corner of the Internet has become a vital source of disclosure and evidence-based analysis: true journalism sites such as wikileaks.org, consortiumnews.com, wsws.org, truthdig.com, globalresearch.org, counterpunch.org and informationclearinghouse.com are required reading for those trying to make sense of a world in which science and technology advance wondrously while political and economic life in the fearful “democracies” regress behind a media facade of narcissistic spectacle.

Propaganda Blitz

In Britain, just one website offers consistently independent media criticism. This is the remarkable Media Lens — remarkable partly because its founders and editors as well as its only writers, David Edwards and David Cromwell, since 2001 have concentrated their gaze not on the usual suspects, the Tory press, but the paragons of reputable liberal journalism: the BBC, The Guardian, Channel 4 News.

Cromwell and Edwards (The Ghandi Foundation)

Their method is simple. Meticulous in their research, they are respectful and polite when they ask why a journalist why he or she produced such a one-sided report, or failed to disclose essential facts or promoted discredited myths.

The replies they receive are often defensive, at times abusive; some are hysterical, as if they have pushed back a screen on a protected species.

I would say Media Lens has shattered a silence about corporate journalism. Like Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman in Manufacturing Consent, they represent a Fifth Estate that deconstructs and demystifies the media’s power.

What is especially interesting about them is that neither is a journalist. David Edwards is a former teacher, David Cromwell is an oceanographer. Yet, their understanding of the morality of journalism — a term rarely used; let’s call it true objectivity — is a bracing quality of their online Media Lens dispatches.

I think their work is heroic and I would place a copy of their just published book, Propaganda Blitz, in every journalism school that services the corporate system, as they all do.

Take the chapter, Dismantling the National Health Service, in which Edwards and Cromwell describe the critical part played by journalists in the crisis facing Britain’s pioneering health service.

The NHS crisis is the product of a political and media construct known as “austerity”, with its deceitful, weasel language of “efficiency savings”  (the BBC term for slashing public expenditure) and “hard choices” (the willful destruction of the premises of civilized life in modern Britain).

“Austerity” is an invention. Britain is a rich country with a debt owed by its crooked banks, not its people. The resources that would comfortably fund the National Health Service have been stolen in broad daylight by the few allowed to avoid and evade billions in taxes.

Using a vocabulary of corporate euphemisms, the publicly-funded Health Service is being deliberately run down by free market fanatics, to justify its selling-off. The Labour Party of Jeremy Corbyn may appear to oppose this, but is it? The answer is very likely no. Little of any of this is alluded to in the media, let alone explained.

Edwards and Cromwell have dissected the 2012 Health and Social Care Act, whose innocuous title belies its dire consequences. Unknown to most of the population, the Act ends the legal obligation of British governments to provide universal free health care: the bedrock on which the NHS was set up following the Second World War. Private companies can now insinuate themselves into the NHS, piece by piece.

Where, asks Edwards and Cromwell, was the BBC while this momentous Bill was making its way through Parliament? With a statutory commitment to “providing a breadth of view” and to properly inform the public of “matters of public policy,” the BBC never spelt out the threat posed to one of the nation’s most cherished institutions. A BBC headline said: “Bill which gives power to GPs passes.” This was pure state propaganda.

Media and Iraq Invasion

Blair: Lawless (Office of Tony Blair)

There is a striking similarity with the BBC’s coverage of Prime Minister Tony Blair’s lawless invasion of Iraq in 2003, which left a million dead and many more dispossessed. A study by the University of Wales, Cardiff, found that the BBC reflected the government line “overwhelmingly” while relegating reports of civilian suffering. A Media Tenor study placed the BBC at the bottom of a league of western broadcasters in the time they gave to opponents of the invasion. The corporation’s much-vaunted “principle” of impartiality was never a consideration.

One of the most telling chapters in Propaganda Blitz describes the smear campaigns mounted by journalists against dissenters, political mavericks and whistleblowers. The Guardian’s campaign against the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is the most disturbing. Assange, whose epic WikiLeaks disclosures brought fame, journalism prizes and largesse to The Guardian, was abandoned when he was no longer useful. He was then subjected to a vituperative – and cowardly — onslaught of a kind I have rarely known.

With not a penny going to WikiLeaks, a hyped Guardian book led to a lucrative Hollywood movie deal. The book’s authors, Luke Harding and David Leigh, gratuitously described Assange as a “damaged personality” and “callous.” They also disclosed the secret password he had given the paper in confidence, which was designed to protect a digital file containing the U.S. embassy cables.

With Assange now trapped in the Ecuadorean embassy, Harding, standing among the police outside, gloated on his blog that “Scotland Yard may get the last laugh.”

The Guardian columnist Suzanne Moore wrote, “I bet Assange is stuffing himself full of flattened guinea pigs. He really is the most massive turd.”

Moore, who describes herself as a feminist, later complained that, after attacking Assange, she had suffered “vile abuse.” Edwards and Cromwell wrote to her: “That’s a real shame, sorry to hear that. But how would you describe calling someone ‘the most massive turd’? Vile abuse?”

Moore replied that no, she would not, adding, “I would advise you to stop being so bloody patronizing.” Her former Guardian colleague James Ball wrote, “It’s difficult to imagine what Ecuador’s London embassy smells like more than five and a half years after Julian Assange moved in.”

Such slow-witted viciousness appeared in a newspaper described by its editor, Katharine Viner, as “thoughtful and progressive.” What is the root of this vindictiveness?  Is it jealousy, a perverse recognition that Assange has achieved more journalistic firsts than his snipers can claim in a lifetime? Is it that he refuses to be “one of us” and shames those who have long sold out the independence of journalism?

Journalism students should study this to understand that the source of “fake news” is not only trollism, or the likes of Fox News, or Donald Trump, but a journalism self-anointed with a false respectability: a liberal journalism that claims to challenge corrupt state power but, in reality, courts and protects it, and colludes with it. The amorality of the years of Tony Blair, whom The Guardian has failed to rehabilitate, is its echo.

“[It is] an age in which people yearn for new ideas and fresh alternatives,” wrote Katharine Viner. Her political writer Jonathan Freedland dismissed the yearning of young people who supported the modest policies of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as “a form of narcissism.”

“How did this man ….,” brayed the Guardian‘s Zoe Williams, “get on the ballot in the first place?”  A choir of the paper’s precocious windbags joined in, thereafter queuing to fall on their blunt swords when Corbyn came close to winning the 2017 general election in spite of the media.

Complex stories are reported to a cult-like formula of bias, hearsay and omission: Brexit, Venezuela, Russia, Syria. On Syria, only the investigations of a group of independent journalists have countered this, revealing the network of Anglo-American backing of jihadists in Syria, including those related to ISIS.

Leni Riefenstahl (r.) (Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)

Supported by a “psyops” campaign funded by the British Foreign Office and the U.S. Agency for International Development, the aim is to hoodwink the Western public and speed the overthrow of the government in Damascus, regardless of the medieval alternative and the risk of war with Russia.

The Syria Campaign, set up by a New York PR agency called Purpose, funds a group known as the White Helmets, who claim falsely to be “Syria Civil Defense” and are seen uncritically on TV news and social media, apparently rescuing the victims of bombing, which they film and edit themselves, though viewers are unlikely to be told this. George Clooney is a fan.

The White Helmets are appendages to the jihadists with whom they share addresses. Their media-smart uniforms and equipment are supplied by their Western paymasters. That their exploits are not questioned by major news organizations is an indication of how deep the influence of state-backed PR now runs in the media. As Robert Fisk noted recently, no “mainstream” reporter reports Syria.

In what is known as a hatchet job, a Guardian reporter based in San Francisco, Olivia Solon, who has never visited Syria, was allowed to smear the substantiated investigative work of journalists Vanessa Beeley and Eva Bartlett on the White Helmets as “propagated online by a network of anti-imperialist activists, conspiracy theorists and trolls with the support of the Russian government.”

This abuse was published without permitting a single correction, let alone a right-of-reply. The Guardian Comment page was blocked, as Edwards and Cromwell document.  I saw the list of questions Solon sent to Beeley, which reads like a McCarthyite charge sheet — “Have you ever been invited to North Korea?”

So much of the mainstream has descended to this level. Subjectivism is all; slogans and outrage are proof enough. What matters is the “perception.”

When he was U.S. commander in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus declared what he called “a war of perception… conducted continuously using the news media.” What really mattered was not the facts but the way the story played in the United States. The undeclared enemy was, as always, an informed and critical public at home.

Nothing has changed. In the 1970s, I met Leni Riefenstahl, Hitler’s film-maker, whose propaganda mesmerized the German public.

She told me the “messages” of her films were dependent not on “orders from above”, but on the “submissive void” of an uninformed public.

“Did that include the liberal, educated bourgeoisie?” I asked.

“Everyone,” she said. “Propaganda always wins, if you allow it.”

Propaganda Blitz by David Edwards and David Cromwell is published by Pluto Press.

John Pilger is an Australian-British journalist based in London. Pilger’s Web site is: www.johnpilger.com. His latest film, “The Coming War on China,” is available in the U.S. from www.bullfrogfilms.com

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135 comments for “Hold the Front Page: The Reporters are Missing

  1. R. Hartman
    September 27, 2018 at 07:06

    The NHS crisis is first and foremost a product of the NHS itself. A wasteful organisation as being a socialist state institution, it faces no risk of bankruptcy as a private organisation would do, and virtually no competition.
    People are forced to use its ‘services’, so there’s no incentive to deliver a quality product at an affordable price.

    Not sure if you intended to defend the NHS or just wanted to illustrate how evil governments are in general. But if the latter, you cannot escape the fact that the NHS itself is a government outfit.

    As for the rest of this post: good job.

    • Rich
      October 1, 2018 at 19:33

      why would it need competition if it is providing healthcare which is a human right. The only reason it is at risk of bankruptcy is cause of market fundamentalists like I assume you are placing it in such a position to be so. People are not forced to use there services if they wish to pay they can go private. They where providing a great product at a affordable price until the neoliberals decided to sabotage it so they could all eat of it with rentier extraction tactics. All because they are not innovative enough to make their capital work in any productive way that adds value to the economy. I guess you subscribe to socialism in as in socialised risk, privatised profits like pfi schemes, too big too fail etc.

  2. jdd
    September 25, 2018 at 06:32

    How apropos, and bone chilling.

  3. Sina
    September 24, 2018 at 01:00

    Great article. I wish we could read you or hear you more often Mr. Pilger. I once had the privilege to hear you speak- I think it was the Logan Symposium. Your work is amazing. I gave one of your documentaries to a British friend, a 70-year old man who is a very nice human being with empathy but who always gets his news from the BBC-he adores it. He was amazed by what he had found out. the doc was about Diego Garcia. He was so surprised to find out what had been going on. I wish there was an organization to massively distribute your work, Hersh’s amazing work, Parry’s work, Chomsky’s work, etc. etc. You are all much needed during these times. Also, may I add here that there have been incredible smear campaigns against academics, one of them being Piers Robinson. I am a journalist now working as an academic in Greece and the media here are as disgusting as they are in the UK. we are doomed…

  4. Ryan Offield
    September 22, 2018 at 14:55

    I thank you for this and I have a question. The one sticking point I have when I discuss WikiLeaks is the inclusion of names, addresses, phone numbers, social security numbers, and credit cards from Dem donors. I swear I’m not a plant or a bot. I donate to Pacifica Radio, Greg Palast, etc… I love John’s work. I read as much underground, honorable investigative journalism as possible… I believe in the transparency of the emails coming out even if I disagree that Clinton would have been worse than Trump. (I protest voted for Sanders in CA and phone banked for Clinton, calling purple states)

    I just keep getting stuck on this one aspect of the release of personal information that fouls the releases. I would appreciate any dialogue or helpful thoughts. I’ve read disparate books and articles and never make much satisfactory headway.


    • Adwoa Oni
      September 24, 2018 at 07:02

      Ryan, I don’t know you but I will say this: The personal information that seems to vexed you so much, I’m presuming, belongs to the bad actors. Even if it’s not, given the value of the wealth of information disclosed by Wikileaks this is a minor by-product. The main issue is the egregious and horrific crimes exposed by Wilileaks, including real mass murders by the US imperialists and their junior partners versus some “potential” harm that may befall persons whose information was released. To date, based on what we know, the number is zero. The real crimes that are committed with inpunity are what people of conscience ought to be concerned with – the real victims, not imaginary victims.

      • September 24, 2018 at 13:16

        Good response. This false notion that our personal information is private anymore is irrelevant compared to the damage that has been done by these criminals. Wikileaks is one of the few sources of information that is on the right side and has any real credibility–along with consortiumnews of course.

  5. September 22, 2018 at 11:13

    The US State Department is accusing the Syrian government and its allies of creating the jihadist terrorists in Syria. The fact that this is completely contrary to earlier State Dept statements bothers not, as they simply assume that no one in the corporate media will challenge the current narrative. The only problem for them is the fact that we now have access to the Internet and some people can remember what happened in the past and can look things up and publish. And this is why they are so keen to spy on everyone and exercise censorship over the Internet. The fact that censorship is contrary to the claimed values is why they are determined to outsource this censorship function to the hi-tech giants. It is, therefore, imperative that we successfully defend the right to freedom of expression and particularly in regard to the Internet.

    • September 22, 2018 at 19:42

      Its worse they know that the corporate media will lie for them.And if like Phil Donahue they dare question they will be fired.

  6. September 21, 2018 at 18:23

    Excellent article by John Pilger. Besides missing reporters, also missing is rational thought, replaced by mass hysteria. The Kavanaugh nomination debacle epitomizes how insane this nation has gone.

    • CitizenOne
      September 21, 2018 at 21:59

      The mass hysteria you speak of is Russiagate. Blaming the Russians for the last presidential election outcome while ignoring the decisions by the Supreme Court in Citizens United vs FEC and McCutcheon vs FEC as likely influence in elections and the other schemes concocted by republicans to marginalize voters via gerrymandering, voter ID laws, illegal voter claims, voter roll purges based on flimsy evidence, shuttering of polling places in democratic districts, the media, the billionaires that spend billions on elections in secret, the FBI interference in reopening Servergate days before the election (By James Comey) and the open supply line the republicans have to inject conservative claims into the main stream press (which they own) are all completely ignored in favor of blaming a single source for the problematic last election. That source is and will continue to be the Russians.

      Who does it benefit? The wealthy military industrial complex who get to wage a new and expensive cold war against an old foe and the politicians on both sides that desperately seek a way to explain the last election without incriminating themselves.

      Hence James Comey is invited to testify about his knowledge as to how the Russians tampered with our electoral process while facing no questions about how he himself influenced the election.

      Fair and balanced? I don’t think so.

  7. rosemerry
    September 21, 2018 at 16:17

    I have tried to access the site Pluto Press to order the book John Pilger recommends but cannot get a response, nor can I find it on the book depository.uk which I use to get most of my books. Any ideas?

    • nondimenticare
      September 21, 2018 at 22:49

      Perhaps because Amazon bought Book Depository in 2013. I just learned that, after using it for a few years.

    • Sergei
      September 21, 2018 at 23:29

      Just wait longer. Their website is extremely slow.

  8. Newshound
    September 21, 2018 at 15:19

    Excellent piece. Another example of bias I’d add would be reports on the Occupy movement in New York’s Zucotti Park and Washington, DC’s McPherson Square. Reporters in DC quoted city officials complaining about the rat population at the encampment without pointing out that anyone who spends much time in downtown DC regularly sees rats on the streets and in subway stations. Reporters in New York repeated officials’ claims that piles of the Occupiers’ personal belongings were “trash” without following the basic principle of asking the Occupiers, or even checking the material themselves. Regular campers know that not everything in a trash bag is trash — it may be personal belongings wrapped up against rain. But reporting was not what local businesses, or residents, wanted to hear. https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post_now/post/city-rat-population-has-exploded-around-occupy-dc-camps/2012/01/09/gIQA6AoylP_blog.html?utm_term=.6a3f6cd641a0 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqL_ub95Hcw

  9. September 21, 2018 at 13:49

    You sound confused. The government needs to get involved with *more* regulation, not less. The crony capitalists are vampire squid parasitizing regular people.

    The capitalism practiced in the US and UK is called neoliberalism. Austerity is a fixture of neoliberal economic policy. Both the Republicans and Democrats have been doing it since Reagan. They have no alternative policy.

    For example, when the mortgage crisis hit the US 10 years ago, Barack Obama bailed out the banks and gave the US economy a stimulus. This did nothing for the average American. The cry “austerity!” means we have no money for social/ economic programs to help citizens.

    This “balance the budget” religion in conjunction with de-regulation, globalization, free market fundamentalism etc. have enabled capitalists to flush the average American down the toilet with a smile on their face.

    The Neoliberal Order is Dying. Time to Wake Up

  10. therevolutionwas
    September 21, 2018 at 12:40

    Media Lens reveals the truth about a lot of bad people in a lot of bad governments. Great. But economics is not their strong suit. Capitalism, properly defined, works well…..UNTIL….government gets involved with monopoly favors and restrictions.

    • Adwoa Oni
      September 24, 2018 at 07:17

      Capitalism only works well in your fantastical imagination. Quite the contrary, it has brought misery, homelessness, mass murder, wars, abject poverty, ignorance, etc. and I can go on. If you are inclined to open your eyes and look at the world around you, capitalist atrocities are inescapable. I dare you to give even one example of a capitalist society where the lot of the masses is not filled with immiseration. Capitalism is defined by extreme poverty for the many and extreme wealth for the few.

      • September 27, 2018 at 23:47

        That is not capitalism. That is capitalism hijacked by those in power (corrupt government + corporatism). Mom-and-pop capitalism is the way to go as it is the freest system on the planet. For larger capitalist ventures they must be regulated more, not less to keep the greedy in check – for example, we need large companies like Apple to invent great products but not own other non-related businesses. Capitalism can be reworked and only seeing the negative is a non-thinking perspective built upon the shaky foundation of emotion only. Look into the issue deeper for mankind’s sake.

        The balanced market society is what is needed – http://globalproject.is/forum/showthread.php?t=3473

  11. Lois Gagnon
    September 21, 2018 at 12:17

    We don’t have corporate reporters or journalists. We have careerists. These people know exactly who signs their paycheck and what the expectations are. In this profit addicted system, “news” is what ever the front office says it is. As end stage capitalist empire makes its final push for global domination, don’t expect anyone profiting off the war machine to break ranks and tell the truth. The only journalists left are those who operate outside the corporate state. They need our support more than ever.

    • CitizenOne
      September 21, 2018 at 20:42

      Totally agree. They are paid performers reading from the talking points. If you ever saw Anchorman there is a lot of truth there like the subplot that everyone knows Ron Burgundy will read anything on the teleprompter, and I mean anything! They’re all Ron Burgundy’s. They know they have a cushy secure job as long as they play by the rules and never let the cat out of the bag. They know they would be ending their careers if they went off the reservation. I’m sure there are some principled people out there but these are the ones you will never see or hear from because they are throttled and muzzled.

      The result? A corporate propaganda state just as efficient in waging a propaganda campaign as a state controlled one like Russia or China. In fact, here RT looks more fair and balanced than other domestic networks. At least they give both sides a chance. I know they do this just to rub our noses in it but if it’s true it shouldn’t matter who says it. Another thing is they do not have a bunch of advertiser customers either.

  12. Will
    September 21, 2018 at 11:18

    “revealing the network of Anglo-American backing of jihadists in Syria, including those related to ISIS”.

    Except I read about that in the main stream press…admittedly, they stopped mentioning this inconvenient fact once it couldn’t be used against Obama any longer.

    • CitizenOne
      September 21, 2018 at 21:42

      Yeah, occasionally they screw up. I remember the main stream media broke the secretly leaked taped phone conversation with Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt about the “midwifing” of the coup in Ukraine.
      Then suddenly it disappeared. Story gone. Gone down the stop hole. Of course Robert Parry covered it fully but it has become a sore point between Russia and the USA ever since. Perhaps it is the sanctions we slapped on Russia for involving themselves with the civil war next door.

      Imagine how it looked to the Russians. The US was influencing elections! Oh no! I think hardly any nation would be surprised that we have our fingers in just about every election of any significance and it is a game of diplomacy and technology and intelligence to create the meddling they do unto others and to detect and thwart the meddling done unto them.

      We can see this as a one sided street with America always the victim of the these crimes but never the perpetrator in other national elections. To see that lopsided analysis just tune into the main stream press. To see the other point of view that emphasizes the gaps in the true story read CN.

  13. September 21, 2018 at 08:32

    A powerful article. Among its gems, of which there are many:

    “The NHS crisis is the product of a political and media construct known as “austerity”, with its deceitful, weasel language of “efficiency savings” (the BBC term for slashing public expenditure) and “hard choices” (the willful destruction of the premises of civilized life in modern Britain). ”

    I remember reading about the decrepit NHS over the years in the US media so one day when my wife and I emerged from the Tube I spotted a sign saying Hospital or something like that. So I walked down the street and walked into this very modern facility. It was an eye opener.

    In America, we have never embraced the “premises of civilized life” regarding health care.

    • Josep
      September 22, 2018 at 19:13

      A lot of so-called “conservatives” seem to link universal healthcare* with socialism too. One can argue that it’s a pathetic attempt to justify America’s dilapidated health care system by making those of other developed nations look bad in comparison. Could this be an extension of the myopic notion of “American exceptionalism”?

      *I’ve seen some say the same about the metric system and soccer, but that’s another story.

      • J2027
        September 25, 2018 at 16:36

        Americans, and I am commenting as one sickened and ashamed by my “fellow countrymen” (most of them anyways) sadly equate nothing worth doing unless money can be made doing it. This is our collective ideological disease. And likely to be our undoing.

        • September 27, 2018 at 23:52

          Clearly you haven’t seen the millions of volunteers in America whether church related or some other non-profit who are spending their time helping others. The idea that Americans only do something for money is false and projected upon us all by biased Hollywood productions and the real greedy folks up top – politicians and CEO’s of multinational companies. The majority of Americans aren’t greedy if you speak with your neighbor and help out somewhere.

  14. CitizenOne
    September 21, 2018 at 08:00

    Yes indeed propaganda really does win. Just look at the Koch brothers and others who have hired propagandists and have fueled and funded global warming denial. If you watch TV news (ABC, NBC, CBS) it is never mentioned. Trump’s administration, Congress, special interest billionaires and their AstroTurf organizations spewing propaganda have attacked EPA scientists (heck, all scientists), defunded the agency, appointed big oil lackeys to head it like Scott Pruitt, erased any mention from the agency website, unfairly treated it in school textbooks, science textbooks etc. The media and current political leaders ridicule climate change , proposes to invade Venezuela (to steal their oil) and names it a state security threat, Iran is demonized and hit with sanctions as we pull out of the nuclear arms control treaty (hint: both Venezuela and Iran have national oil companies).

    The total effort of our media and our government to destroy any credibility about the dangers of our petroleum addiction as well as the geopolitical war mongering (and actual wars) driven by oil and greed should give some level of terror as the handful of billionaires behind all the propaganda gamble on our future.

    It works too. I know so many people who think all the scientists are liars lying about climate change or are convinced that the result of any change is not linked to human activity. It is alarming to see just how effective the propaganda is especially as we turn over a new page in our society and are shocked to see the rise of bigotry, nationalism, hate and xenophobia stoked by a government like we have never seen. The administration is literally playing the hate card to gain favor with the base of the republican party. That’s just plain wrong.

    Even technological achievements like the internet which was heralded as a force for freedom and diversity has to a large extent become just another battlefront in the propaganda wars.

    Propaganda has been with us for a while but the consolidation of power into the hands of a few who can impose thought control over the rest of us playing on our dark emotions seems too close to an Orwellian dystopia.

    I can envision a world which evolves into a corporate state where all of the money is controlled by the few who also control the media and the government and use both to advance their agenda and also to fight anyone who opposes it.

    Wait, someone else already said that.

    “I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. . . . corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.”
    —U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864
    (letter to Col. William F. Elkins)
    Ref: The Lincoln Encyclopedia: The Spoken and Written Words of A. Lincoln
    Arranged for Ready Reference, Archer H. Shaw (NY, NY: Macmillan, 1950)

    Nuff said


    • Will
      September 21, 2018 at 11:38

      I was interested to hear from Jaron Lanier that the Koch brothers were extremely successful in exposing the early Silicon valley tech people to libertarian propaganda that was purpose built to turn hippies into greedy racist A holes

    • Yeahyeah
      September 21, 2018 at 19:47

      It is not just oil.
      There are precious metals and elements.
      North Korea. Africa. South America. China. And that massive country covering lots of geology, Russia.

      Go figure?

      The robbing killing bastardos.

    • CitizenOne
      September 24, 2018 at 23:42

      Ocean acidification. That is what happens when CO2 is absorbed by the 3/4 of our planet circling the Sun which is covered by water. You may have heard about coral bleaching. It sounds like the coral is being disinfected by some magical chemistry courtesy of P&G.

      The fact is the pH or acidity of the worlds oceans are plummeting because the Oceans absorb all of the CO2 we emit from our tail pipes and convert the excess CO2 into Carbonic Acid which lowers the pH of the worlds oceans. The oceans of the world have absorbed almost half of the CO2 emitted by humans from the burning of fossil fuels. It has been estimated that the extra dissolved carbon dioxide has caused the ocean’s average surface pH to shift by about ?0.1 unit from pre-industrial levels. This is known as ocean acidification, even though the ocean remains basic.

      You can repeat the experiment in a bottle full of water by blowing air through a straw into the bottle of water containing the pH indicator Phenolphthalein. As you blow through the straw into the water the pH indicator changes the color of the water indicating that the chemistry of the water has gone form a basic condition to an acid condition.

      Apparently our national political leaders fail to grasp what middle school chemistry students routinely observe when they blow CO2 into a bottle through a straw with water laced with Phenolphthalein.

      The reaction happens as predictably on a global scale as it does in a test tube. Our Oceans are becoming more acidic as they absorb the CO2 we pump into the atmosphere. The death of coral reefs and the effects of sea level rise and the acidification of the World’s Oceans are warning signs that we are polluting the Earth beyond what it is capable of sustaining. The change is at least what we are wiling to tolerate as acceptable consequences of our hydrocarbon energy fueled global economy. At most we do not know what this shift will bring forth to humanity.

      Coral reefs are the Coal Mine Canaries of the health of the oceans and they are dying in front of our eyes but our eyes are blinded. Our eyes are blinded by the fossil fuel industry which has poured unlimited money into political campaigns for politicians who seek oil company donor money and who don’t give a damn about any real consequences we all might face in a global catastrophe of our own making.

      Where are the reporters who should be instructing and educating us about the clear and present danger posed by Global Warming? They are nowhere to be found except in some backwater internet sites that never even react the sunlight like some plant deprived of nutrients.

      Who has deprived and denied all of the science? Who has Washington in a straitjacket? Who has spent hundreds of millions to sway our government into a anti science position filled with climate deniers?

      Billionaires and the media is the correct answer.

      We are about to “wake up in a body bag” as the founder of the Christian Coalition Ralph Reed was quoted. “I want to be invisible. I do guerilla warfare. I paint my face and travel at night. You don’t know it’s over until you’re in a body bag. You don’t know until election night.” – Ralph Reed (R- Christian Coalition executive director 1987-1989)

      So we are going to wake up too late to the existential threat of Global Warming. We are going to wake up in a body bag.

  15. Baz
    September 21, 2018 at 07:02

    What should be done, is the naming and shaming of those ex Journalists, who have taken the 30 pieces of silver, become Editors, and regularly Filter out uncomfortable TRUTH for the ‘Western Media’!

    I watched one guy on U.K. Channel 4, giving an on the spot objective view of the Syrian conflict! The next time he appeared, he was reporting from …..Africa!

    At least he kept his job!

    • Yeahyeah
      September 21, 2018 at 19:33

      I’ll start. ‘Lenni’ Keunesberg of the BBC.
      ‘Interesting’ family and history.


  16. Joerg Pliquett
    September 21, 2018 at 02:33

    The last sentence of Leni Riefenstahl illustrates the whole principle. Unfortunately it will always be like this.

  17. Liam
    September 20, 2018 at 22:11

    Thank you John Pilger for your lifelong career of excellent reporting and truth seeking. Also a big thanks to Robert Parry who truly set an example for us all to emulate. His son Nat is now doing a wonderful job of carrying on his legacy here at Consortium News.

    Regarding the White Helmet terrorists in Syria, this link provides over a dozen videos they uploaded themselves, thus proving clearly that they are indeed members of terrorist groups operating in Syria.

    Direct Terrorist Collusion: Over One Dozen Videos Capture White Helmets Working Side-By-Side With Terrorist Groups in Syria


    • Consortiumnews.com
      September 20, 2018 at 23:09

      Nat did a great job as interim editor until April 1, when Joe Lauria took over as editor-in-chief. He is very grateful to John Pilger for this very fine piece.

      • Liam
        September 21, 2018 at 17:14

        Thanks for that correction. I did not know. Joe is doing a wonderful job also. Its shows in the content which is top notch. Best regards.

  18. September 20, 2018 at 21:31

    Thanks’s for the head’s up on Propaganda Blitz.

    On the subject of propaganda, Timothy Snyder has a recent book on How Online Propaganda Became Mainstream, which is quite good as well.

    “I observe device-driven psychology hasn’t made us happy, but psychology has found ways to break us down; break us down in terms of analytically, but also break us down psychically, like actually make us feel worse. Those are unfortunately the things that are easiest to deploy. It’s much easier on the Internet to make someone stupider and less happy than it is to make them wiser. The internet has good purposes if people use it very wisely, but in terms of what’s simplest, it’s much easier to break somebody down than it is to build them up. That’s a major thing.

    What’s actually happened is it’s not the computers are competing with us to be more human; it’s the computers are making us less human. That’s how they’re winning. They’re breaking us down into little pieces so that we’re less human and more tribal, and more angry and more emotional. That’s the way this competition is actually shaking down.”

    • Tom Kath
      September 20, 2018 at 21:46

      I thought that there was no one home
      But then, it chilled me to the bone,
      I saw ten people, all alone,
      Just sitting there, each with a phone.

      They all seemed terribly dejected
      All conversation was rejected
      As they fearfully suspected
      That they might get disconnected.

    • Don Bacon
      September 20, 2018 at 22:52

      “Propaganda” is so last century. Now at State it’s ” public diplomacy” and at the Pentagon ” Military Information Support Operations (MISO).” (The pentagon has an acronym for everything.)

      • TS
        September 25, 2018 at 12:44

        Don Bacon:

        “Strategic communication” is the expression, if you want to be really up-to-date…

    • September 21, 2018 at 00:51

      Indeed. Fake news. Public relations. Marketing. Spin. Psy-Ops. MISO soup.

      Names change, but there’s nothing new under the sun, is there?

      Edward Bernays: Propaganda

      • Kim Lane
        September 24, 2018 at 03:20

        Indeed. remember “Wag the Dog” ?

  19. Kreditanstalt
    September 20, 2018 at 19:45

    Well said! And The (unrecognizable) Guardian, which once unbelievably gave Edward Snowden a voice at a critical time, deserves every swipe.

    One caveat to the criticism of “mainstream media”: if I believe that the UK is living beyond its productivity, enjoying an undeserved debt-bought temporary standard of living and if I believe that government, which plays favourites and is far, far too well-funded and powerful should be de-fanged and shrunk – and that “austerity” is the inevitable outcome of living beyond one’s means – then am I too part of “the problem” or part of the solution? The NHS too is unsustainable and should be privatized.

    In other words, “right-wing” criticism of the state itself is not “fake news”, not “capitulation, not “propaganda”. It is possible to pick and choose positions, some of them “right-wing”, without being seen as a regime apologist…

    • Nicolas Davies
      September 20, 2018 at 21:21

      The NHS costs about 60% less per capita than the U.S. model of medical exploitation.(https://www.healthsystemtracker.org/chart-collection/how-do-healthcare-prices-and-use-in-the-u-s-compare-to-other-countries/#item-on-average-other-wealthy-countries-spend-half-as-much-per-person-on-healthcare-than-the-u-s) I’ve lived in both countries, and there is no comparison. One is simply about healthcare, paying doctors and nurses good salaries to treat patients in their time of need. The other is about corporations, investors and executives devising schemes to take advantage of the most vulnerable members of society as a captive market, an opportunity for profit that can cost patients their lives, their homes and their livelihoods.

      • September 20, 2018 at 21:36

        Thank you.

      • Skip Scott
        September 21, 2018 at 13:36

        Excellent response. Our present so-called health care system is all about $$$, and very little to do about health. For many families, end of life care takes the entire value of the estate, and then passes them over to “medicaid” where the quality of care is abysmal and they are finally allowed to die, often of complications from neglect. Our local county hospital has recently been corporatized, and they are expanding rapidly, and have an atrium and a grand piano in the lobby. Soon the baby boomers will be handing over all their money as they spend their final days hooked up to tubes and beeping machines.

  20. Josep
    September 20, 2018 at 18:52

    We all know about the dilapidated state of the American press. I’ve read a few other articles elsewhere (on CN and elsewhere) and some anecdotes complaining about the “Western” press being heavily biased. This could mean that America isn’t alone; it seems to affect Canada, the EU, Switzerland, and Australia too (I don’t know about Latin America).
    As neither Japan nor Russia are “Western” countries, I’d be thankful to know how bad the mainstream media in those countries is compared with the situation in the West. While it’s nice to see the existence of alternative media (such as CN) in the Western world, however, it’d be nicer to live in a country where the newspapers and televised reports focus more on news reporting and journalism as opposed to propaganda, especially for households without an internet connection.

    • September 20, 2018 at 21:17

      Re the Latin American press, the “Land of the Free” has spent untold amounts of money propagandizing Latin America. Chile’s major daily, “El Mercurio,” for example, was lavishly paid by the CIA to belittle Allende, support instability and help plotters in the run up to the Pinochet coup on 9/11/73. The National Security Archives has put out some of the documents, here: https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/briefing-book/chile/2017-04-25/agustin-edwards-declassified-obituary

      Chomsky’s “Manufacturing Consent” is always worth repeat watching, for it doesn’t seem much changed since he put that out.

      • Josep
        September 24, 2018 at 04:55

        Do you have details of other Latin American countries, or are you only aware of the situation in Chile?
        Thanks nonetheless.

    • Yeahyeah
      September 21, 2018 at 19:36

      You heard of ‘mockingbird’ yeah?

      • Josep
        September 22, 2018 at 18:36

        I don’t know what you mean. Can you explain?

  21. Frank
    September 20, 2018 at 18:32

    Keep up the good work, shine your light on the propaganda infecting us

  22. Jill
    September 20, 2018 at 17:10

    The NYTimes is on the hunt for people surreptitiously trying to propagandize the public before the 2018 midterms. I found that hysterical but it was also profoundly unsettling. They defined the terms of who could or could not be held accountable as “propagandizing” so that they would axiomatically exclude themselves and any others in the MSM.

    They just printed Hillary Clinton’s essay concerning how Trump’s election was not legitimate and thus was a danger to our democracy. No mention was made about her demonstrated rigging of the Democratic primary, an action which is currently being litigated in a court of law. If there was actual reporting in the MSM, that fact would have been mentioned and that case would be investigated/reported.

    I am glad you brought up “journalists” response to Assange. Apparently, many “reporters” understand they will not suffer similar treatment to Assange as they function as handmaidens to empire. But it was interesting to see that even the most obsequious courtiers seem rattled when they learned FISA warrants were being used to indiscriminately spy on “journalists” as well as journalists. It seemed for a brief moment that they were shocked to discover they might be under surveillance, and even though they are obedient servants, they still had something to hide.

    Propaganda is almost everywhere by now, even at sites where we might not expect it, even in some of the sites Pilger mentions above. There is a subtleness to those sites which are trying to suppress the left. (I’m not sure if this also applies to the right but I would imagine it does.) This lack of trustworthiness eviscerates our society. Mr. Pilger is one antidote to that. For this I am deeply grateful.

    • Realist
      September 20, 2018 at 18:22

      Good on you for mentioning the blatant double standard of the New York Times. No one would ever have mentioned even the possibility of such a thing happening in the vaunted “mainstream” corporatist media, putative guarantors of our American constitutional rights to free speech and a free press. That they can get away with this negligence in broad daylight with not a peep of opposition (at least none that can be widely heard) really underscores the full scale transition this country has gone from a free and open society with civil and personal rights protected under the Bill of Rights to an emerging corporatist dictatorship bent on warmongering and world conquest all within a mere two decades following what was likely a false flag attack on 11 September 2001.

      Nobody squawks about it because most working Americans have been pauperized by the mass manipulation of the economy and its “free” markets strictly to the benefit of the ultra-wealthy, the uber-capitalists who really own your property and your future because they have you trapped in perpetual debt. People simply do not want to lose their job (or their three part-time service “jobs”), their house, their shitty medical care plan, or the expensive educational opportunities for their children because they made waves. And, frankly, they wouldn’t have the time to indulge in effective protest even if they had the gumption. How are we 21st century Americans any better off than the 20th century citizens of the Soviet Union? Seems to me, we have simply traded places with them. The New York Times and the Washington Post are as shameless in their manipulation and manufacturing of the “truth” as Pravda, Tass or Izvestia ever were.

    • Liam
      September 20, 2018 at 22:22

      You make a very good point about those other sites. I noticed that TruthOut and TruthDig were both publishing quite a lot of one-sided misinformation on Syria that promoted regime change and the White Helmets as legit rescuers. Counterpunch seems to have also followed the same course and has gone after reporters who reported the truth about Syria, such as Caitlin Johnstone, Vanessa Beeley and others. A little known fact about TruthOut is that their Board of Advisors includes Dean Baker and Robert Reich who both have strong inter-connections to the Democratic Party and the Obama Administration. I would also recommend people look more closely into the Foundations behind TruthOut and TruthDig as people within these Foundations have connections back to Paul, Daisy and George Soros. Thus, their background is certainly not clean.

      • Realist
        September 21, 2018 at 01:25

        Exactly so, Liam. Most of the “liberal” press, including TruthDig, Truth Out, Think Progress, Buzz Flash and others have hitched their stars to the fraudulent Democratic Party in cahoots with elite establishment insiders and repressive military and intelligence agencies rather than to the “truth” or its pursuit thereof. Quite the pity how rank partisanship and tribalism prevails over objectivity and pragmatism in America and the entire West which it forces into its thrall.

        The sites I used to peruse on a daily basis I now avoid because I can’t stand the lies or the dangerous goals they pursue which are a threat to all life on the planet. It’s quite the joke, really: they can get all urgent and sanctimonious about preserving the environment, non-renewable resources, a clean atmosphere and a stable climate to save species and maintain our quality of life, yet they are willing to risk a thermonuclear Armageddon with their continued gratuitous provocations of Russia, China and the few remaining other independent countries. All the clean air and water in the world will mean nothing if Russia is led to believe that it is under a first strike nuclear attack and counterlaunches its arsenal. Yet we escalate the brinksmanship with them to a new level every day. I’ve been waiting over thirty years for some sanity to re-emerge from Washington but see no evidence for even the slightest trace of such a shift.

  23. Cassandra
    September 20, 2018 at 16:48

    “Presumption of innocence” is not our oldest freedom. It is not only NOT compulsory to hold a pre-determined opinion, it is not desired and pursued that the public should do so.

    “Presumption of innocence” is a guideline for trial procedure and nothing more.

    • David G
      September 20, 2018 at 18:09

      … as the Rolling Stone reporter said to her editor, explaining why there was no need to verify the UVA campus rape article they were about to run (and ended up having to retract in its entirety).

  24. backwardsevolution
    September 20, 2018 at 16:22

    The media have reported on Brett Kavanaugh’s school yearbooks, but Christina Blasey Ford’s yearbooks were apparently scrubbed from the Internet.

    “On Monday Sept. 17th, Christine Blasey Ford’s high school yearbooks suddenly disappeared from the web. I read them days before, knew they would be scrubbed, and saved them. Why did I know they would be scrubbed? Because if roles were reversed, and Christine Blasey Ford had been nominated for the Supreme Court by President Trump, the headline by the resistance would be this:


    And it would be an accurate headline. That’s why the yearbooks have been scrubbed. They are a testament to the incredible power these girls had over their teachers, parents and the boys of Georgetown Prep, Landon and other schools in the area. In the pages below, you will see multiple photos and references to binge drinking and the accompanying joy of not being able to remember any of it.

    These yearbooks are, therefore, relevant to the national investigation now being conducted in the media, in homes, and in the halls of Congress. And they should not have been scrubbed. If Brett Kavanaugh’s yearbooks are fair game, so are these.

    And you will wonder while reading them, why the hell did the faculty approve of these yearbooks? Why did the parents take out paid ads in these yearbooks? Animal House had nothing on the infamous “Holton party scene”.

    The resistance media has been singularly focused on Brett Kavanaugh’s high school yearbooks, which imply that he got drunk and threw up. There’s no need to imply anything from the Holton-Arms yearbooks. It’s all there in focus, and the written word too. All of the sordid details as approved for publication by a “look the other way” faculty. And now it’s available for historical/evidentiary review.”


    Now, this yearbook doesn’t prove that she wasn’t assaulted, but one of Kavanaugh’s “girl” friends said she remembered Christine Blasey Ford at parties. If she was drinking like the rest of the others were, maybe that’s why she can’t remember the year the alleged offense occurred, the date, what house it was at, how she got there, how she got home. Could it be she just remembers wrong, or remembers the wrong person, or is making it out to be more serious than it really was (whoever did it)?

    But you can bet we won’t be hearing about this in the New York Times or the Washington Post or CNN…

    The media is absolutely one-sided, biased, omitting important facts that would level the playing field and give us a more accurate picture of what went on. It is the omissions that are deadly.

    • backwardsevolution
      September 20, 2018 at 16:37

      A former DOJ prosecutor, a child abuse and prevention expert who dealt with children as young as four to adult-age, Frances Hakes, was on Tucker Carlson last night. She said in “he said/she said” cases, she looked for two things: 1) the level of detail in the allegation that indicates veracity; 2) whether there is a motive to make up a false allegation.

      She said she would not bring this case before a court because it is lacking in detail, allegedly happened 36 years ago, and could be politically motivated. All you can really do is talk to both of them (Ford and Kavanaugh).

    • Abby
      September 20, 2018 at 23:12

      Hold the phone a minute. When did Ford say this?

      “Christine “Chrissy” Blasey alleges she cannot recall the exact date, place or names of people who were at the party in question.”

      As far as I know she hasn’t made any statements other than what Feinstein’s letter revealed. Also there is no link to where one can verify that her yearbook photos were deleted.

      Good grief son. You just read this article on propaganda and yet here you are falling for it. How do you know that someone didn’t just get a hold of her yearbook and do that themselves? I wouldn’t put much faith into this unless it’s verified by more than one off the grid website.

      • irina
        September 21, 2018 at 00:26

        There is just far too much synchronicity in this whole situation for it not to have been choreographed,
        presumably by Diane Feinstein in a bid to further her own re-election prospects among other things.

        I came of age in the 1970’s. There was a lot of everything happening. But back then young women
        understood that, if they were going to charge a man with assault, they better 1) have a decent reputation
        themselves and 2) not slander someone for the sake of slandering them, without proof of their allegation.

        No, maybe that’s not fair. But (and I am speaking as someone who was living ‘off the grid’ in Alaska), we
        understood that the men in our lives, while they may have been randy (as were we for the most part), they
        were also there for us in ways we needed in order to live a rather harsh and demanding ‘into the wilds’
        lifestyle. We recognized that as part of the ‘male makeup’. And, in general, they respected us because they
        needed female partners in their lives, as much as we needed male partners. That was just the way it was.

        Now, women can ‘remember’ incidents going back more than 30 years and just bringing up that memory is
        enough to try and convict a man in the social media arena. If we don’t believe the woman, we are ‘misogynists’.
        Even if we are women ourselves, who have more than likely had our own experiences of sexual harassment.

        I have seen the pictures ‘scrubbed’ from Christine’s yearbook page and have no reason to disbelieve them.
        After all, she was at an alcohol-fueled party, by herself, at about age 15. I have also seen some of the quotes
        from Brett’s yearbook and have no reason to disbelieve them either. But I refuse to be drawn into the current
        #metoo craze because I’m supposed to always side with the female. (Full disclosure, I wasn’t with ‘Her’ either,
        in 2016. Or ever.)

      • backwardsevolution
        September 21, 2018 at 03:21

        Abby – “As far as I know she hasn’t made any statements other than what Feinstein’s letter revealed.”

        She has given an interview to the Washington Post, which is linked in the article I posted above.


        Interesting that she initially didn’t want to be questioned by the Senate Judicial Committee, yet she did give an interview to the Washington Post.

        Thankfully, she has changed her mind and now says she will testify, but she doesn’t want Kavanaugh in the room (understandable), and she also wants Kavanaugh to go first. Interesting again. Isn’t it the practice that the accuser goes first, and then the accused has a chance to respond to the accusations?

        The Washington Post article says:

        “After so many years, Ford said, she does not remember some key details of the incident. She said she believes it occurred in the summer of 1982, when she was 15, around the end of her sophomore year at the all-girls Holton-Arms School in Bethesda. Kavanaugh would have been 17 at the end of his junior year at Georgetown Prep.

        At the time, Ford said, she knew Kavanaugh and Judge as “friendly acquaintances” in the private-school social circles of suburban Maryland. Her Holton-Arms friends mostly hung out with boys from the Landon School, she said, but for a period of several months socialized regularly with students from Georgetown Prep.

        Ford said she does not remember how the gathering came together the night of the incident. She said she often spent time in the summer at the Columbia Country Club pool in Chevy Chase, where in those pre-cellphone days, teenagers learned about gatherings via word of mouth. She also doesn’t recall who owned the house or how she got there. […] She isn’t sure how she got home.”

        She also said in the article:

        “Years later, after going through psychotherapy, Ford said, she came to understand the incident as a trauma with lasting impact on her life.

        “I think it derailed me substantially for four or five years,” she said. She struggled academically and socially, she said, and was unable to have healthy relationships with men. “I was very ill-equipped to forge those kinds of relationships.”

        She also said that in the longer term, it contributed to anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms with which she has struggled.”

        In my opinion, she has bigger problems than this incident, if it occurred at all. I would bet money that any “unhealthy relationships with men” she’s had would stem from circumstances long before this alleged incident occurred.

        But you’re right about the article not providing a link to the yearbook that was apparently scrubbed. I’ll see if I can find something on that. I don’t know if the author was referring to the school’s website or what.

      • backwardsevolution
        September 21, 2018 at 03:27

        Abby – I have submitted a response to you, but for some reason it is in moderation. If you look at the article I provided, there is a link to an interview that Ford gave to the Washington Post.

    • Kim Lane
      September 24, 2018 at 03:33

      “[Avenatti] is “aware of significant evidence” that Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh participated in multiple gang rapes while in high school.”


    • Kim Lane
      September 24, 2018 at 03:53

      “Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for Stormy Daniels, says he is “aware of significant evidence” that Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh participated in multiple gang rapes while in high school.

      In an email posted to Twitter Sunday night, Avenatti writes that Kavanaugh, his childhood friend Mark Judge, and others “would participate in the targeting of women with alcohol/drugs in order to allow a ‘train’ of men to subsequently gang rape them.”

      Excerpted from the NY Magazine article

      “Michael Avenatti Implicates Kavanaugh in Pattern of Teenage Sexual Assault”

      By Adam K. Raymond


      • backwardsevolution
        September 25, 2018 at 06:01

        Kim Lane – anything out of the Creepy Porn Lawyer’s mouth is not believable. Kavanaugh does not fit the profile of someone who would participate in gang rape. If he were more like Slick Willy, then maybe, but he’s so far from that it’s not funny. Kavanaugh is a serious academic, a learned scholar, someone who’s actually worked hard to get where he is. Rapists want something for nothing. I doubt very much whether any of these accusers show up.

        • backwardsevolution
          September 25, 2018 at 06:04

          Kim Lane – and show me a rapist who just suddenly stopped being a rapist. If this were his M.O., he would have continued, but there is absolutely no evidence of that. Leopards don’t change their spots.

  25. George Lane
    September 20, 2018 at 16:15

    Concise and sharp analysis as always, and relevant to current issues, an excellent article to share with those in our lives who still trust in the corporate, “enlightened liberal” media.

    In the US, Obama and Trump have functioned as a very effective one-two punch in reinstating some trust in corporate media and those state institutions who lie the populace into war for those who identify as liberal or progressive and had their trust in these media outlets and state institutions almost erased with the Bush years and the illegal invasion of Iraq. Obama of course was the articulate and sophisticated face of US Empire, leading many to think that things were basically fine, and that Obama really would end the wars and rein in the banks if only it were not for the Republicans in Congress. Trump with his open racism and inability to put a pretty face on destructive capitalist policies and imperial foreign interventions, has allowed the corporate media and the state institutions to portray themselves as the Resistance to the aberrant Trump, protecting liberal democratic principles from the usurper.

  26. September 20, 2018 at 16:01

    Thank you for sharing this, John Pilger. Much food for thought here…

    The rise of Donald Trump has rubbed all our noses in it. Not only are the politicians corrupt, so is the press which is supposed to hold them accountable. YIKES!

    Trump & Corporate Media: Both Enemies of the People

    • September 20, 2018 at 16:23

      Ironically the corporate media made Trump.Trump got 6 billion in free airtime while they ignored or derided Sanders who beat all of Obama’s records for crowds and donations.They wanted Trump because he was the only one Hillary could possibly beat { its why she picked him} and they wanted BUSH=Hillary not Trump.We dodged a bullet with Trump as bad as he is things could be worse…..WW3 worse as Hillary planned.

    • September 20, 2018 at 17:53

      We have a celebrity reality TV game show host/ WWF Wrassler as our so-called president. There is no spin you can put on this, Jean, to make any of this OK. It’s not.

      He’s got shit for brains and has never felt empathy in his life. It’s not OK. Trump will never be OK. He is broken beyond repair. We’ll all be lucky to get out of this alive.

      • September 20, 2018 at 21:41

        Nobody is going to make it out of this alive.

      • Kathy Mayes
        September 21, 2018 at 01:32

        Trump Derangement Syndrome much? How the hell do you know what he feels? And “shit for brains”? Let’s hear your”objective” evidence. You sound like a sanctimonious asshole.

      • September 21, 2018 at 03:03

        The baboon in the White House was by far the lesser evil.

        And has taken the mask off.No more pretending.

        Would I have preferred Sanders or Jill Stein?Sure but that’s not what we were offered thanks to Hillary.

    • Tom Kath
      September 20, 2018 at 20:17

      Strange that even here one is labelled a “Trump supporter” just because we OPPOSE some of the same things he is also very openly questioning. Like Jean, we do not like Trump, but we welcome the fundamental questioning he has brought about.

    • Bailey
      September 20, 2018 at 23:16

      Actually Trump has just taken the mask off of what this country has been for quite some time. Almost everything he is doing is the same things that Obama’s administration did and he did the same things that Bush did … etc going back to presidents before him.

  27. ronnie mitchell
    September 20, 2018 at 15:56

    Where do we go from here? What Country is not like this?
    I really want to know because I think we all know that the US is the band leader and no other Country in recorded history has killed as many men women and children and destroyed so many Countries behind the lies the media has fed to the general Public in service to the war mongers.
    No other Countries are even close in the deaths and destruction and we are continually ramping up the most incredible war machine this world has ever seen. While all around the world the media are the cheerleaders/propagandists that give scant, if any attention at all to the recurring news of another seven or eight billion dollar “defense” bill or anything about the deaths and destruction we continue to spread across the world.
    In reality it is an ‘Offense Bill’ which was reported on today’s Democracy Now! (but in that terminology) which unfortunately has become a full blown Russiagate supporter. Just yesterday reporting about a Russian protester that was “likely”poisoned, but the whole clip accepts it as settled fact and links it to Moscow because he went there to court. No better than MSNBC CNN BBC NYT’s etc. on these kind of subjects.
    In news from Capitol Hill, the Senate has voted 93 to 7 to approve a $674 billion military spending bill. Every Democratic senator supported the bill. Six Republicans and independent Senator Bernie Sanders opposed it.

    Countries and publications around the world that might disagree with the US rightfully fear even criticizing or failing to comply with the US on anything which might bring either overt war or covert war and/or sanctions which are another form of warfare.
    Meanwhile with the media’s latest ‘scariest most evil and threatening’ person ‘du jour’ in the world, any alternative views are either blocked or are represented by someone supposedly expressing them but in reality only rephrasing the accepted talking points and watering down the alternative viewpoint beyond recognition.
    All while the US is propping up compliant dictatorships and attacking non compliant tyrannies under a banner of “spreading Democracy” reported on every major newspaper and media outlet. What kind of person can defend a tyrant? is the mainstream meme to silence critics of the military approach as a solution and only supporters of wars are invited on shows to discuss the issue.

    In the late ’60’s I found I could make a little money by hawking ‘free press’ aka ‘underground press’ papers on the streets and they were popular across the US and Canada. I sold them on the streets in Los Angeles, the ‘Harbinger’ around the hippie area of Toronto Canada and on the west coast with ‘The Georgia Straight’ (still publishing at this time) around ‘Gastown’ in Vancouver BC.
    They all exposed lies spread in the newspapers, on the radio, and introduced news that was hidden from the Public and as the lies from mainstream media about the Vietnam war, and how it was sold to the people unraveled as soldiers returned with their own stories of the war lies.
    Stories of corporate crimes made the underground press’ newspapers and many people started to finally question the activities of so called ‘reputable’ companies with products and/or operations that endangered people’s health.
    Check out this Wikipedia link below of all the ‘underground press operations around the US (even those of the underground GI military press), Canada, India, Italy, and the Netherlands. I never had any idea it was so widespread but looking back it seems that every university town and/or place with a lot of hippie culture had an ‘unauthorized’ newspaper.

    The truth has always been popular with ‘the people’ (once they know about it) and very unpopular with established media and government at every level, Federal, State, County and City and their political thugs as they try to keep that ‘Genie’ of truth confined to the bottle.


    • Bob Van Noy
      September 21, 2018 at 08:44

      Excellent link. Thank you ronnie mitchell.

    • Kim Lane
      September 24, 2018 at 03:43

      Ronnie Mitchell, you reminded me of when I was at UCLA in the 70s and I gave a report on an article I had read in Mother Jones about a young woman named Karen Silkwood. and her mysterious death. When my professor asked, what is the source of this story and I replied Mother Jones, she admonished me about my choice of sources.

  28. Carla Binion
    September 20, 2018 at 15:53

    Thank you so much to Consortium News and John Pilger for this important, vital information. Sources such as yours are the public’s only access to the truth amid the present blizzard of propaganda. It’s disheartening to watch the mainstream media’s lies convince so many people to support illicit wars and harmful social policies. If people knew the extent to which corporate media manipulates them, they would be horrified. Consortium News has been my favorite alternative news source for a long time. I’ll always remember Robert Parry as one of the greatest journalists I’ve known. (Consortium News published one of my articles a few years ago, and I corresponded with him via email a few times.) The public needs your strong independent reporting, possibly now more than ever before.

  29. rosemerry
    September 20, 2018 at 15:40

    Thanks to John Pilger as always. I have been getting more and more furious at the acceptance by so many people of the absurd “novichok Skripal GRU” tale from PM May. From the first day, no possible explanation was considered for the event except “Russia did it”, no investigation was tried, the accused were condemned without any right of reply, the punishment was imposed and the “colleagues ” called in to support the story. The clever Russian sounding name “novichok”, taken from a TV program made the headlines even though it had never been made in Russia. The rudeness of Karen Pierce (UK Rep to the UN) bore no relation to diplomatic language and even since she has continued haranguing Russia with lies. Nobody reported the many obvious (to Russia and fair observers) factors making the “highly likely” Russian involvement most unlikely- Skripal was 4 years in a Russian prison and 8 years living openly in Salisbury after being exchanged (nobody kills exchanged spies or the system is useless) and it was just before the World Cup and the likely Election of Putin, and what possible benefit could come to Russia? The latest “revelation” without evidence by PM
    May that the two suspects” (of course described as assassins) are GRU Agents, when we see them daring to be in Salisbury early in March, would disgrace any “intelligence service”, especially Russia, if such poor specimens are chosen!
    My sister in law lives in Salisbury and seems to accept these “facts”-she sent me the Guardians and Times of a few days ago. Like Harding’s exposé was one of the most ridiculous pieces of “journalism” I have read, putting together a pathetic story. The Times editorial wrote that there is no longer any doubt about the Russian responsibility!

    I would like to see the CCTV pics (of the 11000 hours needed to find the 2 Russkies in Salisbury, false names and all!) showing Sergei and Yulia returning to the house and grasping the novichok -laden doorknob after their leaving the house at 9. 15, and also an interview with Sergei, who surely by now has recovered from the fatal, quick-acting nerve agent treated so well by the NHS, telling us the story. If it is true, why not let us hear it from the “victim”??

  30. September 20, 2018 at 15:36

    If Americans and Brits will read Prolonging The Agony by Macgregor and Docherty all will be made clear concerning the past , present, and future.

  31. Lawrence Aotearoa
    September 20, 2018 at 15:17

    Concise and clear. Classic quality from a trustworthy reporter of fact. Thank you JP.

  32. Fabrizio
    September 20, 2018 at 14:52

    Propaganda Blitz should also be in Kindle format, it would have more reach worldwide.

  33. September 20, 2018 at 14:08

    If there was a prize for B.S. I believe the corporate media would win it. their forte is propaganda.
    October 23, 2016
    Are The Corporate Media Propaganda Pushers For The War Criminals?

    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. [2] Syria is just one of example of many countries, where the media are protecting the criminal actions of governments and their treacherous “allies” that are consorting with terrorists….
    [read more at link below]

  34. Stephen P
    September 20, 2018 at 13:54

    Coming from John Pilger I’d say this is the last word on the whole subject of the corporate “media”. Thank you Mr. Pilger. I still mourn Bob Parry.
    Leni Riefenstahl lived to be 101. Such a cruel irony.

  35. September 20, 2018 at 13:32

    Excellent article by Mr. Pilger, I believe most of the present day corporate media are propagandists for the establishment.
    September 18, 2018
    “Despite all the Evidence…”

    “We have to ask ourselves how it can be that the world’s worse criminals—people responsible for the death and displacement of millions of peoples—occupy high office…?” Paul Craig Roberts. The Unz Review, March 9, 2016….

    Despite all the evidence of criminality by past and present, so-called “world leaders” in the bombing, killing, and destroying a number of countries, these war criminals are Free. Their helpers in their planned crimes against humanity are most of the corporate media,…
    [read more at link below]

  36. Jimbobla
    September 20, 2018 at 13:28

    I believe that John touched on one of the real problems. That is “journalism students”. This, I think, is where the first vetting of future MSM journalists takes place. That MSM is a closely held force multiplier of the global crowds propaganda programs must be pretty apparent by now to anyone watching. The ease with which the masses are led is a historical fact what with Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Wilson, Pol Pot, Mao, etc, etc, ad infinitum.

    • September 20, 2018 at 18:23

      I’d rather you never put V Lenin’s name beside the names of the others the way you did it. Or argue.

  37. Jeff Harrison
    September 20, 2018 at 12:36

    It’s always a privilege to read Mr. Pilger. I note that an increasing number of people mock the MSM. At what point will the corporate media become totally irrelevant and dry up an blow away for lack of readership?

  38. Don Bacon
    September 20, 2018 at 11:58

    General David Petraeus declared what he called “a war of perception… conducted continuously using the news media.”

    Norman Solomon wrote about the media, and how “journalists” must toe the line or become ex-journalists. His book is “War Made Easy, How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death”

    War Made Easy cuts through the dense web of spin to probe and scrutinize the key “”perception management”” techniques that have played huge roles in the promotion of American wars in recent decades. This guide to disinformation analyzes American military adventures past and present to reveal striking similarities in the efforts of various administrations to justify, and retain, public support for war. War Made Easy is essential reading. It documents a long series of deliberate misdeeds at the highest levels of power and lays out important guidelines to help readers distinguish a propaganda campaign from actual news reporting. With War Made Easy, every reader can become a savvy media critic and, perhaps, help the nation avoid costly and unnecessary wars.

  39. Don Bacon
    September 20, 2018 at 11:40

    The fake type of “democracy” we have, with non-accountable bought-and paid for “representatives,” necessarily depends upon bought-and paid “journalists” to entertain the powerless public with fake news. Over a third of the US eligible voters (including me) doesn’t even vote in the presidential, and even more so in the biennials, because what’s the point? A meaningless vote only encourages them.

    • guest
      September 20, 2018 at 11:55

      Your vote, everyone’s vote, is vitally needed. Listen to X22 interview, LaRouche Pac with historian Harley Schlanger, called The World is Changing, Sept 20, 2018.

      • Don Bacon
        September 20, 2018 at 12:01

        My vote is needed.. . only to legitimize a bum system.

    • September 20, 2018 at 12:09

      These bought-and-paid for fake journalists are literally owned by the corporate interests they serve. They can do no different unless they leave the whole bloody system as Robert Parry did. Few are that courageous.

      • Jeff Davis
        September 20, 2018 at 15:53

        These bought and paid for “journalists” — ie talking head propagandists — are paid ***A LOT***. Consequently, there will never be a shortage of willing candidates. For every person who can maintain their integrity and refuse 10, 20, 30,000 dollars a day, there will be a thousand who will simply reconfigure their concept of integrity/professionalism to be able to collect that paycheck. It’s not that the Pilgers and Parrys are rare, it’s that they are not willing to be propagandists, which disqualifies them for corporate employment. Genuinely talented Maddows and O’Reillys aren’t all that abundant, but they are “qualified” for the requirements of their corporate employers, at which point it’s just a matter of how much money it will take to get them to sign on. Once they’ve sold their integrity, the money will keep them hooked.

        • KHawk
          September 21, 2018 at 12:49

          Yes. And this is why Paul Craig Roberts continually refers to them as “Presstitutes.”

  40. Tom Welsh
    September 20, 2018 at 10:59

    ‘… a Guardian reporter based in San Francisco, Olivia Solon, who has never visited Syria, was allowed to smear the substantiated investigative work of journalists Vanessa Beeley and Eva Bartlett on the White Helmets as “propagated online by a network of anti-imperialist activists, conspiracy theorists and trolls with the support of the Russian government.”’

    Er, are we then supposed to believe that The Guardian favours imperialism? (Obviously it does, but it seems gauche to admit it so openly).

    • September 20, 2018 at 12:05

      I noticed that Freudian slip too.

  41. Tom Welsh
    September 20, 2018 at 10:56

    “By the time the electorate had succeeded in reducing the electoral college to a mere recorder of the popular vote, or in other words, had broadened the class of notables to the whole property-holding electorate, the parties were firmly established to carry on the selective and refining and securing work of the electoral college. The party leadership then became, and has remained ever since, the nucleus of notables who determine the presidency. The electorate having won an apparently democratic victory in the destruction of the notables, finds itself reduced to the role of mere ratification or selection between two or three candidates, in whose choice they have only a nominal share. The electoral college which stood between even the propertied electorate and the executive with the prerogatives of a king, gave place to a body which was just as genuinely a bar to democratic expression, and far less responsible for its acts. The nucleus of party councils which became, after the reduction of the Electoral College, the real choosers of the Presidents, were unofficial, quasi-anonymous, utterly unchecked by the populace whose rulers they chose. More or less self-chosen, or chosen by local groups whom they dominated, they provided a far more secure guarantee that the State should remain in the hands of the ruling classes than the old electoral college. The party councils could be loosely organized entirely outside of the governmental organization, without oversight by the State or check from the electorate. They could be composed of the leaders of the propertied classes themselves or their lieutenants, who could retain their power indefinitely, or at least until they were unseated by rivals within the same charmed domain. They were at least entirely safe from attack by the officially constituted electorate, who, as the party system became more and more firmly established, found they could vote only on slates set up for them by unknown councils behind an imposing and all-powerful “Party.”

    “As soon as this system was organized into a hierarchy extending from national down to state and county politics, it became perfectly safe to broaden the electorate. The clamors of the unpropertied or the less propertied to share in the selection of their democratic republican government could be graciously acceded to without endangering in the least the supremacy of those classes which the founders had meant to be supreme. The minority were now even more effectually protected from the majority than under the old system, however indirect the election might be. The electorate was now reduced to a ratifier of slates, both of wihch were pledged to upper-class domination; the electorate could have the freest, most universal suffrage, for any mass-desire for political change, any determined will to shift the class balance, would be obliged to register itself through the party machinery. It could make no frontal attack on the Government. And the party machinery was directly devised to absorb and neutralize this popular shock, handing out to the disgruntled electorate a disguised stone when it asked for political bread, and effectually smashing any third party which ever avariciously tried to reach government except through the regular two-party system”.

    Randolph Bourne, “The State” (1918)

  42. Tom Welsh
    September 20, 2018 at 10:54

    ‘“How did this man ….,” brayed the Guardian‘s Zoe Williams, “get on the ballot in the first place?”’

    Thereby letting the cat out of the bag. The choice of candidates was the great breakthrough in finding an antidote to universal suffrage. Sure, let everyone vote – but make sure the only candidates are “the right people” with “the right opinions” and committed to “the right policies”.

    • Tom Welsh
      September 20, 2018 at 11:10

      The great Gore Vidal pointed out, maybe 50 years ago or so, that “There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party… and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat”.

      Seeing the great advantages to the ruling elites of a one-party state, as implemented in Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and the USSR, the rulers of the West had the bright idea of copying that system more or less completely, with just one ornamental modification.

      Instead of openly admitting that only one party is permitted, they staged “elections” every few years. By controlling who is allowed to stand as a candidate, they ensured that only members of the real, underlying single party could ever be eligible for election.

      Hence, as Mr Putin has pointed out (to deafening silence in the West), “Presidents come and Presidents go, but the policies remain identical”.

  43. September 20, 2018 at 10:15

    Yes, indeed.

    And when the author comes round to The Guardian, his criticism is well placed but even understated.

    That particular paper has the most appalling record of attacking those it doesn’t like. It has several columnists who it seems to me would have been comfortable working for Pravda in the Golden Age of the Soviet Union.

    The really odd thing is that its association with the Left is truly dishonest.

    The Guardian, if you study it over a little period – what it defends, what it attacks, what words are used by columnists, its impossibly pretentious editorials, its hobby-horse causes, etc – is almost a crypto-Tory publication.

    It seems to work almost as a kind of Journalistic Fifth Columnist placed in the Left to plant notions.

    That and several other qualities make it, for me, one of the outrageous mainline publications we have in “the West.”

    I sometimes look at it just to enjoy the twists and turns it takes in its non-stop propaganda efforts.

    Readers may enjoy the following:




    And there’s plenty more if you are interested

    • Tom Welsh
      September 20, 2018 at 11:02

      I think the explanation may lie partly in that The Guardian is run by and for those whom Nassim Nicholas Taleb has memorably labelled “intellectuals yet idiots” (IYI).

      Their main motivation is to shore up their own feelings of intellectual superiority. This may be done by adopting the opposite position to that held by the majority, or by common sense – whichever boosts their weak egos the most.

      I have found The Guardian and its readers (most of them, anyway) objects of mirth and mockery ever since I first glimpsed it, in about 1963.

  44. RnM
    September 20, 2018 at 09:50

    Here is my firsthand account of an experience that first convinced me that the BBC is an foreign agent espionage and propaganda tool:
    During 2016, I was paying close attention to the elections, as many of us were. I read a Trump hit piece on the BBC website, and submitted a comment stating my opinion that the BBC had crossed over a line, and that they should refrain from such partisanship in any US election.
    Less than a week later, I received an email from the BBC, telling me about a study they were doing to research the emotional states of commenters to their articles, and would I consent to their getting access to my mobile device’s camera! “Yeah, sure. Right away, matey,” says I.
    If nothing else comes out of the Fail of Russiagate (and I believe that much good will come from it), there should be some recognition, and action thereon, that the Revolution of late 1700’s was never clearly settled in the eyes of the British.

    • David G
      September 20, 2018 at 09:53


  45. David G
    September 20, 2018 at 09:29

    And cue a special pullout Section F in today’s NY Times entitled, “The Plot to Subvert an Election: Unraveling the Russia Story So Far” – fronted by a matryoshka-style illustration (naturally) with the Prince of Golf on the outside, nesting his cronies whom Mueller has already convicted (though not, of course, for subverting or colluding about any elections), with everybody’s favorite sum-of-all-evils judo buff in the center.

    The Times clearly intends this little tome to signify the scale and gravity of Russia-gate. However, an alternative interpretation would be that it reflects the establishment’s insecurity that the disparate and sometimes mutually inconsistent strands of “Meddling & Collusion” can actually be assembled into a coherent structure, rather than a mere ramshackle sprawl.

    In other words, they want us to see them building the rock-solid Brooklyn Bridge, but maybe they’re worried that what they’ve got on their hands is one of those recent collapsing Chinese bridges whose respectable concrete surface turned out to conceal a flimsy structure made largely of styrofoam and garbage. https://www.weirdasianews.com/2010/02/05/shanghai-wonderbridge-trash-collapses/

    To read or not to read …

  46. Silly Me
    September 20, 2018 at 09:06

    Data (both numbers and veritable resources) disappeared from the media in March, 2012. I may have been one of the first to notice. Shortly after telling my students, I lost my academic teaching job.

    I’m sure many male celebrities are given the choice of joining the propaganda or losing their status because of unsubstantiated claims by females of questionable morals. They are not even allowed to split, or else… The same has been going on with the Roman Catholic Church, except kiddie porn worked for a couple of years until about 2003 when a good defense lawyer must have sent an email to everyone on the jury and in the room and once they opened their mail, they all had child porn on their computer (the malicious code then redated the pics, eliminated itself anterior cleaning up it’s travels and performing a secure wipe on the free space on the hard drive, which would take a few hours, but what the heck, just leave your computer on and we’ll check it tomorrow…).

  47. T.J
    September 20, 2018 at 08:55

    Toadies and lackeys of the MSM are nothings but willing slaves, albeit well paid, to the establishment and corporate sector. They are the portrayer of lies, deceit and obfuscation. As John Pilger says, “they claim to challenge corrupt state power but in reality court and protect it and collide with it”. They are nothing but hypocrites. They betray the very profession they supposedly represent. The are the opposite to the Parrys and Pilgers of this world for whom I have nothing but the utmost respect. These are journalists who are steadfastly and consistently true to their beliefs and ideals. Without men and women, who are true to their profession, how would we distinguish truth from lies. One would hope that every school of journalism have as part of their curriculum the works of the many great journalists, which unfortunately are mostly independent. I am all for the “dissenters, political Mavericks and whistleblowers” for how else are we to know the truth.

    • Silly Me
      September 20, 2018 at 09:09

      This crap didn’t start yesterday. It was more extensively allowed while the USSR was still around, because the gamemasters didn’t want to wreck the shop-window.

      • Silly Me
        September 20, 2018 at 09:09

        I mean, free reporting was more allowed…

  48. Bob Van Noy
    September 20, 2018 at 08:45

    Many thanks John Pilger! Man, there is so much to appreciate in this piece.

    Surely if Journalism survives this current propaganda onslaught, this article will be referred to for its accurate description of our current condition.

    “Austerity” is an invention. Britain is a rich country with a debt owed by its crooked banks, not its people. John Pilger. This statement alone puts the Neoliberalism to shame… This is learned Journalism at its best; so refreshing to see in print…

    Thank you John Pilger and CN…

  49. September 20, 2018 at 07:54

    The old school journalists are quite rapidly being replaced by anyone with a computer and internet connection. Its commonly rough unrehearsed writing backed with evidence. Of course there are the fakers, as there will always be, but its easier now to locate trusted truthful sources and keep them.The mainstream media knows this and fully intend to go down in flames. Sobeit and good riddance.

    • Silly Me
      September 20, 2018 at 09:12

      Which is why reading poetry is a waste of time too. Previously, mediocre authors in publishing places cross-published each other’s mediocre writings, resulting in one decent piece in a hundred. These days, you would have to read millions…

    • Don Bacon
      September 20, 2018 at 13:07

      A lot of the US MSM is dying and the web powers are taking over as the world movement from nationalism to globalism (now endangered by MAGA). . . .from Google: “Google is a trusted source of information around the world.”
      LEAKED VIDEO: Google Leadership’s Dismayed Reaction to Trump Election . .here

  50. Marc Lavelle
    September 20, 2018 at 07:53

    Great article, speaking many home truths. Bit harsh omitting other alternative online news reporters like Squawbox, The Canary… to name but a few.

  51. September 20, 2018 at 06:53

    A lovely piece, John. I’m a great admirer of the work by David Edwards and David Cromwell at Media Lens as well as the splendid work of the late Robert Parry and his successors in these pages and of the other organisations you mention. It is to be regretted that reliance on the mainstream media by the general populace for its information is so sullied by what you rightly describe as a cult-like formula of bias, hearsay and omission and when subjectivism is all. But there is light at the end of this outrageous tunnel. As new generations of internet users blossom, the curious and the perceptive will surely tire of the current menu, thereby seeking truth to power by more modern altruistic means. Social media, too, is playing an increasing role in the way we are educated. No longer are many people willing to be led by the pipers playing their corporate masters’ tune.

  52. john wilson
    September 20, 2018 at 06:20

    The “gutter press” used to be reserved for the tabloids but it now it covers all the main media outlets. There isn’t any real serious journalism left anywhere outside of a handful of internet sites. We should remember that journalist are recruited by the owners and editors of the press and electronic media, so I suggest an examination of the employers would tell us a lot about the demise of journalism. I quite often buy the daily star which is probably so far down the journalistic food chain its a veritable door mat. Yet while passing a news stand in a supermarket recently, a piece from the Skripals story was identical in the star as it was in the Times,Guardian and the Mail. It wasn’t journalism it was photocopying at best. Its as though the print and media don’t really have journalists, just boys and girls who repeat the governments/establishments utterances without question. These days you don’t need to go to university and take an English degree and study journalism, all you need is the ability to use a photo copier and use a small tape recorder. Oh and of course, have the willingness and the ability to be an rsole licker with a very long tongue !!

    • Silly Me
      September 20, 2018 at 09:15

      The threat of low wages and disappearing benefits provide good leverage to force the morons to write the unconscionable…

      Very soon, you’ll have to succumb or starve.

    • TomG
      September 20, 2018 at 10:14

      John, you are so right about copy, cut and paste salaried news runners. They couldn’t formulate an original thought of journalistic objectivity if it had any chance of upending their cosy press jobs.

  53. September 20, 2018 at 04:02

    They aren’t missing they are bought and paid for and are working hard for their masters.

    Big difference.

    Trump is exactly right about fake news and propaganda.

    I’m not a big fan of our greedy baboon in the White House but he may be the best thing to happen in a long time and is exposing media corruption and the deep state that controls them.

    The very fact that Bush war criminals and torture enthusiasts Brennan and Clapper and Haden now have jobs at major media organizations is proof of a coup.

    The USSR wasn’t so blatant.

    Literally the same people who lied to us and illegally spy on us and tortured?

    They belong in prison.

    And they hate Trump!

    To me that is a significant indicator of how Trump is a cog in the machine and I say “ go Trump!”

    As bad as he is he has pulled the mask off.

    No more pretending

    • Silly Me
      September 20, 2018 at 09:18

      Apparently, the puppet-masters don’t even care for appeances, because their vested interests are now not in the country.

      Catch them, if you can…

    • RnM
      September 20, 2018 at 09:26

      Great comment, Jean! More people need to stop pretending, or the Brennan’s, Clappers and Comeys etc. et al. will persevere through dupage (is that a word?) of people afraid of what (misinformed) others might think of them.

      • September 20, 2018 at 16:32

        Its unimaginable to me that people like Brennen and Clapper and Haden ,who lied outright to congress and are guilty of crimes against humanity, are now allowed into peoples homes via the TV and are allowed to speak in public at all never mind listened to.Its like a nightmare from which you cant wake up.

    • willow
      September 20, 2018 at 19:18

      The dike that held the propaganda flood at bay was breached when Obama lifted the ban as part of the 2012 NDAA.
      The Smith-Mundt Act was enacted and had been in place since 1945. Now it’s legal and lucrative for our own government manufacture fake news.

  54. David G
    September 20, 2018 at 03:08

    “Although journalism was always a loose extension of establishment power, something has changed in recent years.”

    One manifestation of this unwholesome change that I see in the NY Times – and a real “tell” (in poker terms) about what is going on – is that the normal process of accumulating and building on information can be reversed on certain politically programmed stories.

    As an example (one familiar to CN readers), the *initial* analysis in the Times of the January 2017 “Intelligence Community Assessment” on alleged Russian interference in the U.S. election noted the absence of evidence in the government document, but that observation has been sent down the memory hole, with subsequent Times coverage treating Russian meddling as established fact – based on the very Intelligence Community Assessment whose shortcomings were noted at the outset. In other words, the later reporting is less – not more – informed than the earlier.

    Another instance: soon after U.S. diplomatic personnel in Cuba were first reported to be, supposedly, suffering from some sort of invisible attack that was damaging their health and their brains, the Times ran a brief but authoritative piece explaining that the claims matched no known phenomenon or technology, thus suggesting that the source of the problem lay within the “victims'” own psychology and culture, with no external attacker extant.

    While the story has persisted (metastasized, actually, to U.S. diplomats in China, and Canadians in Cuba), the Times’s reporters and editors have largely set aside their own paper’s factual reporting that the whole affair is nonsense – except as a likely case of mass psychogenic illness (aka “mass hysteria”). E.g.: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/01/science/sonic-attack-cuba-microwave.html (which spices things up with baseless innuendo blaming Russia for perpetrating the “attacks”)

    For what it’s worth, the favored candidate medium for this dastardly assault on these Americans’ precious bodily fluids has moved from acoustic ultrasound to electromagnetic microwaves. My bet is the guilty phenomenon will end up being Monsieur Blondlot’s “N-rays”. See: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/N_ray

    • Ian Brown
      September 20, 2018 at 05:19

      Very good analysis! Thank you.

      I think another tell is that these stories seem to survive on hype, churning up old evidence and irrelevant details until they become a lumbering undead creature with only a crude resemblance to the original reporting.

    • mike k
      September 20, 2018 at 08:12

      Yes. A classic example of how the media bull shits the intellectually limp and incurious public. The vastly ignorant and indifferent public defers everything to “experts”, who often have their own hidden agendas to pursue. Most people live within a false and artificial world created by propagandists of every stripe, never questioning the ridiculous tripe they are being asked to believe.

  55. Realist
    September 20, 2018 at 02:41

    Media Lens: never heard of it before. It’s not listed amongst the usual “alternative” or “independent” news blogs. So, I Googled it and, sure enough, there it is, waiting to be used as another resource by those who want the real truth and have given up trying to find it in the “mainstream” corporate media. I’ll give it a visit maybe once a week–as its offerings are a bit sparse compared to CN, ICH or CP.

    It really wasn’t that long ago that papers like the Independent and the Guardian still published honest objective news reports and allowed open discussion of them. Then the coup in Ukraine happened. At first, the readership received honest objective accounts of the crisis and most of the reader comments displayed a decided disbelief in the accounts given by Western governments. There were many personal accounts from readers on the scene in Crimea, Odessa and the Donbass. By a year into the crisis, it seemed as though “Big Brother” (or rather “Uncle Sam”) had taken complete control of those news outlets and were using them solely as propaganda dispensers for Washington. The comments became rigidly controlled, with as many postings deleted and moderated as allowed to pass. Then they mostly disappeared entirely. Your chances are actually better (though not good) to get a comment critical of the Washington-London hybrid war on Russia posted in the conservative Daily Mail than in one of these “liberal” papers.

    Silly me. How could I forget that “Ing-Soc” has always been at war with Eurasia. (East Asia too, for that matter.)

    • Tom Welsh
      September 20, 2018 at 11:13

      Strongly recommended! As are their books.

      As for The Guardian, the closest any honest person should come to it is OffGuardian. https://off-guardian.org/

    • Onivar
      September 21, 2018 at 20:02

      There are many sources. The MSM controllers strike the heads off the truth tellng journos – and like a hydra they spout many smaller mouthpieces. That is how the propagandists are defeated daily and they hate it. They have moved to mainstream censorship of social media and btl commentators on news sites. Yets as long as beacons spring up across the worldscape we can find safe harbour and succour away from their controlled ports. You and me and every human is a free thinker and if we are truth seekers and sharers then we still have a fighting chance to snatch victory from their gapping jaws defeat.

      Onwards and upwards. Freedom and truth. Onivar

  56. David G
    September 20, 2018 at 01:30

    Characteristically worthwhile contribution from John Pilger.

    I wasn’t aware of Media Lens, and now I am – Thank you.

    Not mentioned in this piece, but I think off-Guardian.org also does its bit in keeping an eye on the fatuousness so prevalent these days in The Guardian and elsewhere.

  57. Tom Kath
    September 20, 2018 at 01:28

    Things are lookin’ croock ! – I share John’s rather gloomy outlook, and I think, a bit like him, the only hope we see is that our incredulous dismay must be shared. Who by, and who with? Give me strength, thanks John.

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