Trump and Big Media: Clash or Collusion?

Now that the media is protesting the suspension of Jim Acosta’s credentials Sam Husseini asks why he and the other journalists didn’t intervene on his behalf when he was expelled from a news conference.

By Sam Husseini
Special to Consortium News

CNN’s Jim Acosta has had his White House press credentials suspended following a tense exchange with Trump on Wednesday. CNN, the White House Correspondents’ Association and others have denounced the move.

CNN says it’s “Facts First.” That’s about as believable as Trump’s claim of “America First.” Some see aggressive journalism here. I see media logrolling, and “frenemies” at play.

On a superficial level, I empathize with Acosta. At press conferences I try to ask tough questions. At State Department briefings, spokeswoman Heather Nauert has carefully avoided calling on me, especially after this exchange when she refused to say what State’s position was on torture and evaded criticizing Saudi Arabia and Israel.

I was suspended from the National Press Club for a time (the ethics committee eventually overturned it) after confronting a Saudi autocrat at the start of the Arab uprisings. And this summer I was forcibly ejected from the Trump-Putin news conference in Helsinki for nothing more than carrying a sign with the subject of my question — a tactic I hoped would increase my chances of getting called on.

Acosta seems eager for solidarity just now. 

Husseini: Kicked out. 

This is interesting in part because of how he and his network failed to extend that same solidarity to me that day in Helsinki. Among other things, after I was forced out of the room, while clutching my sign, “Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty,” Anderson Cooper asked Acosta what was going on. Acosta said I was being forced out and described me as “a man who identified himself with The Nation, a progressive publication. I’m not sure if that’s accurate, that’s how he represented himself.” He added, “He said the reason I’m being removed — talking about himself obviously — is that he had a sign.”

Acosta then speculated on live TV that, “It appears he was being removed from the room because he was carrying some kind of protest sign and he planned on causing a commotion.” Acosta suggested that I was a “journalist or posing as a journalist” who was “not willing to go on his own volition,” effectively implying I was to blame for the “scuffle” and that Finnish police were justified in removing me.

I’ve explained exactly what happened before. (Judge for yourself by watching a video of me explaining to reporters and officials why I had the sign.) Contrary to what Acosta reported, I didn’t expect to be taken out when I held it up. As I did, journalists were screaming at me to turn around so the TV cameras behind me would pick it up. (But I didn’t do that—as any self respecting protester would have—proving it wasn’t a protest, but a sign to get called on.)

At least CNN’s Christiane Amanpour correctly noted: “For all we know, that could have been a question — it sounds pretty innocuous.”

‘Deeply Troubled’

Trump accosts Acosta.

Acosta then tweeted: “Man describing himself as a reporter for The Nation forcibly removed from news conference.” The editor and publisher of The Nation, Katrina vanden Heuvel tweeted back at Acosta: “Sam Husseini, communications director of Institute for Public Accuracy, received press accreditation from @thenation to cover the summit. As Trump administration consistently denigrates media, we’re deeply troubled by reports that he was forcibly removed from press conference.”

Neither Acosta nor CNN responded.

A lie – that I was a protester, not an accredited journalist – went around the world as I was detained for hours in Helsinki.

Producers from CNN and other big networks called to have me on the air to explain what happened. But then all of them suddenly cancelled.

Now that Acosta and the media are protesting the White House’s suspension of his credentials I must ask why he and the other journalists that day didn’t intervene on my behalf or object to my expulsion?

No Urgency

CNN says they are “Facts First” not because they care so much about facts. It’s a brand to say Trump is a liar. They don’t have to engage in actual journalism — examining the ills of society, such as how big funders systematically pay off politicians for legislation they want, like Trump’s huge tax giveaway to the rich. There’s no urgency in corporate media to examine structural inequality, corporate corruption and the revelations of whistleblowers. They have little need for that if they can get an audience in an advertiser-friendly environment by focusing on the latest Trump outrage.

And Trump doesn’t need to deliver good paying jobs, restore communities ravaged by the opioid crisis, or scale back wars. He can just talk about how unfair CNN is.

They end up locking in each other’s audience. People gravitate to CNN because they hate Trump and people root for Trump because they hate CNN. (When he’s bombing someone though, CNN calls him “presidential.”)

The media-Trump shouting match dominates, drowning out other voices and underreported stories.

The mid-term elections briefly revived reporting on issues people care about: health care, the economy, immigration, the courts, even U.S. government support for Saudi-led atrocities in Yemen. But, unfortunately and predictably, it’s back to Trump-CNN squabbling, largely about Russia-gate.

While corporate media obsesses about Trump’s attacks on the press, it says nothing about the administration’s possible prosecution of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, or RT and Al-Jazeera being forced to register as foreign agents. State Department spokesperson Nauert—who has reportedly been offered the ambassadorship to the UN—has outright refused to take questions from Russian outlets.

While I was locked up in Helsinki, I couldn’t help but chuckle over the fact that throughout the city there were hundreds of billboards proclaiming Finland the “land of free press.”

I learned firsthand about CNN’s idea of “Facts First” when I confronted Jake Tapper over a falsehood a few years ago. It was never corrected on air. But more telling was his reaction: “Good point, we should we have couched that.” He implied that finessing the language could have deceived the viewer without being oafishly false—like Trump.

Sam Husseini is an independent journalist, senior analyst at the Institute for Public Accuracy, and founder of, which encourages disenchanted Democrats and Republicans to pair up. Follow him on Twitter @samhusseini.

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58 comments for “Trump and Big Media: Clash or Collusion?

  1. sam fetters
    November 16, 2018 at 15:30

    Mafia Don Trump is an Entertainer.
    His role is to distract from the realities of the growing neo-feudal police state.

    CNN is owned by Turner Broadcasting.
    Turner is a subsidiary of WarnerMedia, which is a subsidiary of AT&T.
    The largest institutional shareholders of AT&T include:
    State Street
    Bank of America
    Wells Fargo
    And other of the largest money-management firms and banks, whom operate collaboratively, forming virtual monopolies amongst the largest “competing” corporations, via large share holdings, in most every single industry.

    These are among the firms of the .001 percent, the neo-feudal Lords.

    These are among the same firms whom own some 90 percent of all media.

    These are many of the same largest institutional shareholders of both Fox and MSNBC.

    The book “The New Media Monopoly” by Ben Bagdikian states:
    “Five global firms ‘operating with many of the characteristics of a cartel’ own
    most book publishers, newspapers, magazines, movie studios, radio stations
    and TV stations in the United States.
    Time Warner
    Walt Disney
    New Corporation (Murdoch)
    Bertelsmann (Germany)”

    “The “product” of media are entertainment, news and political programs and
    the big 5 indulge in mutual aid and share investments in the same product.”

    “The major media maintain their cartel-like relationship with only
    marginal differences among them, a relationship that leaves all of them
    alive and well — but leaves the majority of Americans with artificially
    narrowed choices in their media.”

    “The Big 5 have interlocking members on their boards of directors (ex. News
    Corp, Disney, Viacom and Time Warner have 45 interlocking directors).”

    Bagdikian doesn’t even take into account the similar ownership in his analysis.
    This makes for even closer “cartel-like” operations.

    Corporate media exists largely to ENTERTAIN.
    They exist to divert and distract from the constructs of the new American Planned Market Economy. That is, “capitalism” only for the .001 percent.
    This is truly the effects of neo-feudalism in America.

    These same largest shareholders also own the largest “competing” corporations in most every single industry, from Apple to Alphabet to Microsoft to IBM to Facebook to Twitter to Netflix, etc. From AT&T to Verizon to T-Mobile. From Costco to Walmart to Target to Ebay to Amazon to Kroger to Macy’s to JC Penney. They own the largest “competing” defense contractors, the largest “competing” airlines, the largest “competing” banks, the largest “competing” insurance co’s, pharmaceutical co’s, energy/utility co’s, auto mfg’s, and so on, and so on, and so on……
    (source –

    What’s more:
    • Corporations owned by these institutional firms are among the largest political campaign donors, to politicians from both the “left” and “right” (even their “fringe” elements like the “Libertarians” and “Progressives”).

    • Corporations owned by these institutional firms are among the largest spenders on lobbying activities, to politicians & bureaucrats of both the “left” and “right”.

    • Not surprisingly, corporations owned by these institutional firms are also among the largest recipients of the over $110 BILLION given away ANNUALLY by the government in the form of corporate subsidies.

    They not only own corporate America, but American politics, and as such, the U.S. government.

    They reap profits off special-interest legislation, they similarly make money off the resultant public/political turmoil those create, via loyal readers of their “partisan” media.

    They effectively pit the followers of the “left” and “right” against one another, keeping them busily distracted blaming & fighting one another over which sides leaders are the most corrupt, as they escape recognition and accountability for their actions, and near total control of the markets, and the government.

    Clash or Collusion?
    I say both.

    When politics devolve into mere Springeresque type mindless entertainment spectacles, the neo-feudal Lords keep the public’s attention diverted and distracted from the harsh realities of the world…..the fact that they are initiating near total control of what people see, buy, read, hear, watch, eat, drive, and think.

    There are the .001 percent, with everyone else relegated as their mere serfs.

    Just as during times of medieval feudalism, the people, the serfs, are again wholly reliant on the neo-feudal Lords.
    They rely on them for employment via their held corporate assets, so that they can continue enriching them via their other held corporate assets as they pay for rents, mortgages, insurance, loans, utilities, food, clothing, travel, communication, entertainment, etc.

    This is the new American Planned Market Economy, corporatocracy enforced via a totalitarian police state to ensure compliance.

  2. R Davis
    November 16, 2018 at 08:28

    The video footage shows a/the woman White House staffer trying to take the microphone from Jim Acosta.
    Her uses the top of his hand against her arm to push her away.
    What was wrong with this scene.

    It was never a good idea for the woman White House staffer to physically try to take the microphone from Jim Acosta, not under any circumstances.
    Not a good idea !!
    1. She should have asked him to give over the microphone to her.
    If he did not comply.
    2. She should have then insisted he give it over or she would have to call in security.
    If he was still not cooperative.
    3. She then needed to act & call in security to relieve Acosta of the microphone.
    What happened instead ??
    Acosta, pushed her away in an impersonal manner.
    At which point ….
    She was lead away by security & Acosta got to keep the microphone.

    Why is no one talking about health & safety in the work place ??

  3. Kathy Woods
    November 14, 2018 at 04:00

    You’re in good company, Sam. The US press corp didn’t defend Glenn Greenwald when the Snowden story broke. They either denounced him as a traitor or dismissed him as a blogger. He won the Pulitzer for that work. They do not consider Julian Assange as one of their number, although he broke some of the biggest stories of the past decade. He has been labeled a non state intelligence operative, a rapist, a cat litter shirker, and a bad houseguest, but they do not recognize him as a journalist. So they remain silent about his mistreatment and take the opportunity to land a few cheap shots while he is unable to respond. When RT had their Capitol Hill credentials pulled, the press didn’t sound the alarm or claim, as they have for Acosta, that “letting this go unchallenged could have a chilling effect on the media’s ability to cover elected officials” because the folks at RT including Pulitzer Prize winner, Chris Hedges. weren’t real journalists. They are foreign agents. Being labeled a pretender by mainstream media insiders is an accomplishment that puts you in the company of some pretty heavy hitters. It means that the courtiers of corporate media perceive, correctly, that the work you do is different from the work they do. Congratulations.

    • Hank
      November 14, 2018 at 11:19

      Gary Webb(San Jose Evening Mercury News) wrote articles describing CIA drug running from Central and South America into the USA by the CIA and look what it got him- TWO shots to the head, that’s right, two- and it is “officially” declared a suicide! In a nation that runs on lies and half truths, the TRUTH IS the enemy!

  4. clifton
    November 14, 2018 at 02:33

    its time to get rid of those Sodomites at CNN

  5. clifton
    November 14, 2018 at 02:29

    the truth is…. those Sodomites at CNN

  6. Yahweh
    November 13, 2018 at 21:15

    Oh, my, what a mess we have. Everywhere is trouble… A fair solution for the coming problem with the asylum seekers from central and south America would be a sponsorship program. Instead of a burden for the tax payers construct a program that allows the matching of the asylum seekers ( up to 4 seekers) with a sponsor who would be willing to pay a modest fee for processing and a guarantee from the sponsor that they will be held responsible for the seekers for 2 years. The seekers must live with their sponsor at their primary address for the 2 year period. The penalty for breaking the laws of the land by the seekers will be paid by the sponsors….. This is a program President Trump must adopt.

    As I read the reports from the media in the USA the citizens will come to the rescue with open arms….

  7. November 13, 2018 at 17:46

    You ever wonder why the majority of Americans and our media go gonzo over stories such as Trump doesn’t go to symbolic cemetery show in the rain for WWI veterans who died 100 years ago, yet this same majority doesn’t hear/ talk about meaningful issues, such as how Trump stiffs the veterans who are alive now? Gotta be a coincidence…

    • KiwiAntz
      November 13, 2018 at 18:33

      Frankly, I’m glad Trump didn’t go to that American Cemetery because President Bonespurs would have drawn attention to himself rather than the Soldiers who died in these senseless Wars? Also, did we really want to see Trump struggle to open or close a umbrella or get that shocking Toupee & Wig WET, the rain would have exposed that massive orange combover & exposed his balding chrome dome, Liberace like, in all it’s glory, so Trump saved us the Horror of that sight, Haha. Halloween has already come & gone so thank you Mr Trump for sparing us that horrendous sight!

      • Whistler
        November 14, 2018 at 19:27

        You make the authors point perfectly by wasting time talking about Trump’s Toupee and Wig. By all means don’t let anyone stop you.

      • November 14, 2018 at 21:05

        Whoa! You’re talk’n wilted wet spray net strands thinly plastered to a chrome dome.

        Egads ! Have you no at least humorous respect for his honor?

  8. michael
    November 13, 2018 at 07:47

    Hillary complained after the media “gave free airtime to Trump” to trash and deride him (and increase their ratings). She refused to join the fray and give interviews, since she has no acceptable substantive ideology and didn’t want to hear her words played back (like her super predator views). Much like siblings complaining about their brother getting beaten every day, “why does he get all that attention?”
    Now it’s the media who is getting minimally held to account. I remember Michael J. Erickson and Hillary’s emails “independently verified from several sources”. Credibility is the essence of being a journalist, not so much for a politician. Not clear why so many “journalists” are so eager to join the clown show and become the center of attention. Something lacking in their character?

  9. November 13, 2018 at 02:12

    Sam Husseini is right. It’s a game the media plays. Trump goes along with it, and the rest of the establishment pretends it’s real.

  10. November 13, 2018 at 00:17

    Proto-fascism becomes Crypto-fascism which eventually fills its sails and becomes fullblown fascism.

    Do Americans care?

    • Michael
      November 13, 2018 at 07:58

      They cared a bit when the tools were created by Bush/ Cheney, and not at all when the police state was perfected under Obama. Now they complain and criticize after giving these tools to Trump. It won’t get any better, as there’s no effort to solve America’s problems, most based on economic inequality.

      • Zhu
        November 13, 2018 at 20:43

        Constant warfare has much to do with the US’ problems.

  11. Babyl-on
    November 12, 2018 at 15:51

    Trump/Acosta is a play Shakespeare surly could have written. While all the court is abuzz with the king’s current wife and how long she has to live, Cromwell has all the power. In this case Cromwell comes in the form of the transnational oligarchy which owns and controls the assets and natural products of the world necessary for human life.

    Governments come and go, the al-Saud family continues, the Cargill family endures, the House of Windsor is strong.

    Nothing will change until these vast dynastic fortunes are dismantled. We live under feudalism wearing a fancy digital dress.


    • Babyl-on
      November 12, 2018 at 15:53

      Sorry, beats me with comments on this site often they drift into the void.

      • Maxwell Quest
        November 12, 2018 at 17:10

        The solution to the comment problem from a recent Skip Scott post:

        The way to be up to date on the comments is to make a test comment and post it. You can then reload the page, select “edit comment” and then “delete”. If you don’t, you won’t be able see your comment or the correct number of comments until the following day.

  12. Babyl-on
    November 12, 2018 at 15:26

    Trump/Acosta is a play Shakespeare surly could have written. While all the court is abuzz with the king’s current wife and how long she has to live, Cromwell has all the power. In this case Cromwell comes in the form of the transnational oligarchy which owns and controls the assets and natural products of the world necessary for human life.

    Governments come and go, the al-Saud family continues, the Cargill family endures, the House of Windsor is strong.

    Nothing will change until these vast dynastic fortunes are dismantled. We live under feudalism wearing a fancy digital dress.

  13. Hide Behind
    November 12, 2018 at 15:17

    One of my most respell you msected Journalist/Reporters of White House Briefings and other political figures. was Helen Thomas.
    No matter the political party affilliation of a Seated President, her questions never once were began with bullshit self inflation or that of her employersa show for viewers, for she went streight to the point in a direct but respectfull manner, respect for the Office and not dependent of holdrrs popularity.
    When President and is mouthpiece tried the old tactic of” Well understand or good question and then began long winded entry of subjects fsr removed and actually never answered topic she would then respondvwith the question was and you never answered it.
    She dug into topics others did not dare enter, and was the Grand Dame of all of those present and popular with open minded and intelligent people.
    Her questioning of American foreign policy of war making made the Nationalistic bombast leades and followers uncomfortable so they stopped pointing to her during briefings and remover well earned front sesting to back bench nobody land.
    Not even her employer complained and to slap her face they sent a prettyboy to take her front row seat.
    White housr press corp are no more than prima donnas and only serve their employers and self interest, so thst without Helen making them look like no more than loyal opposition fops they gained exposure.
    A couple of well respected true kounalist wrote op eds in her favor but they were no more than for their own edification and to try and claim her reknown as yes fair and balanced for themselves.
    White house press corp never ask for the why of wars, but like entertainment rabble rousers personality questions instead.
    They pose as unbiaded but only so far as to not ipset the systems Powers That Be.
    They hide behind title of journaist as they deliberately obfuscate the real isdues , all smoke and mirrors.
    All media outlets, hell even Hollywood gets funding from Federal source so as to not go too far, and today their is no difference in media, internet included, than being but another than as a disinformation outlet for Department of Information under control of Executive Branch

  14. F. G. Sanford
    November 12, 2018 at 13:52

    I remember years ago sitting in the audience when a Flag Officer called out a young trooper for some infraction. He made the kid stand up in front of the crowd, humiliated him, and had a couple of MPs escort the kid off the premises. An old warrant officer sitting next to me turned and whispered: “That kid works for him. He showed up with the staff. The whole thing is staged so he can look like a bad@$$ in front of the crowd.” It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that there was some CNN “collusion” here. They were probably going to move Acosta to a different beat anyway, and it works out good for everybody. Who knows, maybe Kelly and Mattis are teaching them old tricks. If so, this was a very, very old one.

    • Joe Tedesky
      November 12, 2018 at 15:15

      You are right F.G. the whole news conference looked to be predictable. Trump could rely on Acosta for the awkward question regarding the caravan (refugee migration) as Acosta was able to rest assure that Trump would be his usual ignorant self. It isn’t as though these 2 even need a script to work from, as the certainty was baked into their very conflicting personalities, or something like that. While Sam Husseini was the outlier, so he had to go.

      Good observation F.G. Joe

  15. Kim Louth
    November 12, 2018 at 13:32

    Protecting true journalists such as Husseini is of paramount importance, but I find stories such as the Acosta debacle
    much ado about little, propaganda theater, and most likely a ploy to distract public attention away from real news. Let us ask instead why CNN is not reporting on the atrocities occurring in Gaza and Yemeni, for example. Instead they focus on
    (CNN homepage headlines)

    The real reason the stock market is down
    Saudi Arabia cuts oil supply; OPEC may, too
    Dion Lewis blasts Patriots after blowout victory
    Sears should close for good, creditors say
    Brexit headlines predict catastrophe
    Christina Aguilera says house band wouldn’t let her sing on stage
    They worried about their water. And they were right
    Ebola outbreak is worst in DR Congo’s history
    Nurse sings to ailing hospice care patient
    P&G plans to start shipping Tide in a shoe box
    Aetna denied her claim. Now it owes over $25M

    Is someone who stands in front of Trump asking him questions he knows will never yield the truth seriously helping educate the public? Yes, he confronted Trump and exposed Trump’s assholian ways, but we already know what Trump is. This is not news.

    • Laninya
      November 12, 2018 at 20:02

      ” …someone who stands in front of Trump asking him questions… ”

      Ah! And there’s the rub. Because, in the case of the Acosta debacle, Mr. Acosta was not asking a question — he had taken the mic to (in his own word) “challenge” Trump on something. Trump responded to the point he had made. Then, in a room crowded with his peers all waving their hands for a chance to ask an allotted ONE question, Acosta attempted to commandeer the mic in order to press some further points. I watched the press conference. Acosta’s contribution exposed nothing except his own assholian ( and woefully unprofessional) ways. It was pure grandstanding. Whether or not “we already know what Trump is” is a question I do not believe has been answered yet. He continues to surprise.

      • Laninya
        November 12, 2018 at 20:10

        You’re right, of course, that this is all just distraction from serious issues the news corporations choose not to cover. Sad.

    • Mild - ly - Facetious
      November 13, 2018 at 14:02

      Kim Louth– “Let us ask instead why CNN is not reporting on the atrocities occurring in Gaza and Yemeni, for example.”

      We live in the perilous 21st century where President Trump can arbitrarily skip a visit to the burial ground of KIA Americans in WW1 France ; BECAUSE IT WAS RAINING. His refusal to adhere to histories of protocol is as the proverbial Middle Finger to decades of decorum in honoring American War Dead on foreign soil.

      Trump signifies and embodies the Arrogance of the wealthy 1% who’ve gained fundamental control of American Government.

      To Wit …

    • Mild -ly - Facetious
      November 13, 2018 at 14:12

      Kim Louth– “Let us ask instead why CNN is not reporting on the atrocities occurring in Gaza and Yemeni, for example.”

      We live in the perilous 21st century where President Trump can arbitrarily skip a visit to the burial ground of KIA Americans in WW1 France ; BECAUSE IT WAS RAINING. His refusal to adhere to histories of protocol is as the proverbial Middle Finger to decades of decorum in honoring American War Dead on foreign soil.

      Trump signifies and embodies the Arrogance of the wealthy 1% who’ve gained fundamental control of American Government. Trump and Big Media / Trump and Big MONEY … .

      To Wit …

    • Mild - ly - Facetious
      November 13, 2018 at 14:33

      Kim Louth– “Let us ask instead why CNN is not reporting on the atrocities occurring in Gaza and Yemeni, for example.”

      We live in the perilous 21st century where President Trump can arbitrarily skip a visit to the burial ground of KIA Americans in WW1 France, – BECAUSE IT WAS RAINING. His refusal to adhere to historical protocol is as the proverbial Middle Finger to decades of decorum in honoring American War Dead on foreign soil.

      Trump signifies and embodies the Arrogance of the wealthy 1% who’ve gained fundamental control of American Government. Trump and Big Media / Trump and Big MONEY … .

      To Wit …

      • Tim
        November 14, 2018 at 06:53

        Mild-ly Facetious, did you knowingly post that message three times in a row?

  16. Andrew Thomas
    November 12, 2018 at 13:10

    Thank you for your excellent piece, Mr. Houssaini. The last few months have shown clearly just how important was the question you wanted to ask in Helsinki. Perhaps Putin might have called on you if the sign was in Russian….

    • Skip Scott
      November 13, 2018 at 09:29

      Actually Putin understands English fairly well. I’m sure he was capable of reading the sign himself.

  17. November 12, 2018 at 12:48

    Because they don’t give a flying rat’s ass about the principle involved, nor about the truth.

    CNN’s staff and management ought to be in lock-down at Gitmo for this. Subject to full interrogatory procedures. This is gas-lighting. This is brainwashing. This is intended to “trigger” emotional reactions. This is the STAGING of scripted trauma as “reality”, in order to advance agendas. And any President or “FCC” that allows its mass communications and “information” infrastructure to be perverted in this manner, does not deserve to continue in power. And won’t.

  18. Devil's Advocate
    November 12, 2018 at 12:08

    “Now that the media is protesting the suspension of Jim Acosta’s credentials Sam Husseini asks why he and the other journalists didn’t intervene on his behalf…”

    Let’s not even ask why the MSM is fine with what is happening with Julian Assange.

    • Joe Tedesky
      November 12, 2018 at 12:24

      You are right we should include the fate of Julian Assange into this conversation. Joe

      • Joe Tedesky
        November 12, 2018 at 23:05

        “Assange was once feted and courted by some of the largest media organizations in the world, including The New York Times and The Guardian, for the information he possessed. But once his trove of material documenting U.S. war crimes, much of it provided by Chelsea Manning, was published by these media outlets he was pushed aside and demonized. A leaked Pentagon document prepared by the Cyber Counterintelligence Assessments Branch dated March 8, 2008, exposed a black propaganda campaign to discredit WikiLeaks and Assange. The document said the smear campaign should seek to destroy the “feeling of trust” that is WikiLeaks’ “center of gravity” and blacken Assange’s reputation. It largely has worked. Assange is especially vilified for publishing 70,000 hacked emails belonging to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and senior Democratic officials. The Democrats and former FBI Director James Comey say the emails were copied from the accounts of John Podesta, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, by Russian government hackers. Comey has said the messages were probably delivered to WikiLeaks by an intermediary. Assange has said the emails were not provided by “state actors.”
        Chris Hedges

        Hope this helps.

  19. Joe Tedesky
    November 12, 2018 at 11:53

    While Mr Husseini was disregarded and used as a prop of protest, as opposed to CNN’s Acosta was being abused for his being denied freedom of speech, it’s a matter of dramatic optics and how to use them. CNN should be ashamed of itself for under reporting the plight of Sam Husseini, but this kind of self reflection by the global news agency isn’t in CNN’s wheelhouse of compassion or realm of reporting the news. I guess one could ask themselves would reporting factually what was going on with Sam Husseini have gained the news network higher ratings, whereas dwelling on Acosta’s Trump problem is an ongoing series made for tv. It’s all about the ratings, and with it America spirals down the dark hole of truth evermore.

    Thank you Mr Husseini.

    • strngr--tgthr
      November 12, 2018 at 18:15

      No! Sorry! Acosta is are best reporter there is. Imagine if all reporters were like him Donald Trump would never survive in a press confrence. All reporters should show with protester signs and and make it impossible for Trump to speak his lies. Why were not reporters protesting during the Trump speach before Jim Acosta was forceably removed? Sitting there like mush rooms instead of yelling. But you could here the screams of people outside in the resistance always. Trump never sees those protesters but if all the press pool protested and screamed he would have no choice but to see. We cant do this impeachment alone. We got beaten in the Kavnaugh hearing because reporters feel some fairness urge of there conscience to report both sides no matter how inplausible or ridiculous. This sows dowt in the minds of the people and each time destroys are election chances. Reporters have the freedom of Press and speach written in the Constitution to protest at a Trump press conference. All reporters need the Acosta backbone if we are going to win 2020 and get are country back!

      • Joe Tedesky
        November 12, 2018 at 21:09

        Your algorithm thingy needs adjusted.

        • zman
          November 13, 2018 at 22:16


  20. chucknobomb
    November 12, 2018 at 11:43

    Are the Free Acosta, and Free Assange supporters merging for Truth?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. chucknobomb
    November 12, 2018 at 11:41

    So Dems love Clapper, Brennan, Sessions, etc (MIC profiteers)and want to save Muellar? Do they want to Free Assange, and truth among other thingy’s. Fraud is spelled with a D and R. (copyright$ pending). The Dem House should ban Russian Dressing for salads at the Capital. BDS…

  22. Eric32
    November 12, 2018 at 10:14

    The established media is of negative value. Forget these kabuki episodes, they’re just distractions.

    There should a process that uses the internet for the public to submit questions for the President and other officials to answer in regularly scheduled video Q&As.

    The questions would be processed by a few private websites with a minimum of editor control. Areas of major public concern could be recognized, sensible questions formulated, these questions posed in regularly scheduled video Q&As in a professional non-carnival atmosphere.

    A system would develop where real concerns are addressed and any evasions, lying, bad answers would be quickly seen by the public and addressed in subsequent questions.

    • T
      November 14, 2018 at 06:59

      > There should a process that uses the internet for the public to submit questions for
      > the President and other officials to answer in regularly scheduled video Q&As.

      Three guesses which country already has something of that kind (and the President spends hours answering on TV).

      Hint: its capital lies in the northeastern corner of Europe…

    • Garrett Connelly
      November 14, 2018 at 21:15

      Yes. Now if we use a computer network to focus distributed human intelligence; Do we become artificial intelligence? Will we transmogrify into a transistor based life form with plastic in our Dna?

    • John Wright
      November 15, 2018 at 19:14

      Eric32 –

      “The questions would be processed by a few private websites with a minimum of editor control.”

      How are you going to guarantee that these “private websites” won’t manipulate the questions?

      Might I suggest publicly owned websites that are open source ?

      We need to rethink our entire information/electoral/political systems with present day technology, transparency and accountability in mind…evolution is necessary or we will continue toward a technocratic feudalism.

      Be well.

  23. Sally Snyder
    November 12, 2018 at 09:07

    As shown in this article, the United States scores rather poorly when it comes to an independent evaluation of the freedom of its press:

    When politicians in other nations see America’s political leaders continuously criticizing their own nation’s news media, leaders around the world may seek to emulate the American example by further suppressing press freedom in their own spheres of influence.

  24. November 12, 2018 at 08:58

    VERY informative. Thanks

  25. November 12, 2018 at 08:41

    Thank you for the term logrolling. I believe Trump and CNN are playing heel vs face. It’s performance art.

    Not much is authentic about the Trump regime or the way the media cover its cliche scripts.

  26. November 12, 2018 at 04:32

    Yes, but there is no getting away from the basic fact that the “ideals” of journalism are at odds with an imperial state.


    There’s no avoiding it.

    Really powerful entities, such as the American government, have absolutely no use in private for journalism or a free press. None, although they would never say that in public.

    American corporate journalism understands this perfectly, and virtually everything it does is informed by this truth.

    The Acosta Affair, I agree, was not some fundamental principled fight. Not at all.

    But it is entertaining to see this bizarre President driven to such lengths in a public gathering.

    It has, however, very little to do with journalism or freedom of the press.

    It is the kind of stage drama America loves.

    America’s culture of complaint just loves to play act at fighting over high principles when in fact it has none.

    Food fights using words about principles – that’s America.

      November 12, 2018 at 04:49

      By the way, and I am not at all picking up on Trump’s rhetoric about the press, CNN has always been quite disgraceful.

      There are countless examples of crappy, shameful work. but a few stand out for me.

      There was the obvious phony documentary at the time of America’s blundering invasion of Afghanistan about poison gas labs and experiments in Osama’s “mountain redoubt,” a redoubt which truly was little more than some primitive caves for hiding in. It was the cheapest piece of shoddy propaganda, yet they broadcast it.

      There was their pathetic coverage of that poor security guard, Richard Jewell, who was completely innocent but was accused by some of the press in the Atlanta Olympic bombing. CNN had truly garbage stuff like a reporter waiting outside his house, shoving a microphone in his face and photographing him driving away after he properly declined answering. But there was the reporter, doing pantomime gestures as CNN photographed nothing.

    • Maxwell Quest
      November 12, 2018 at 15:17

      Agreed, John. The state (empire) has no desire for a functioning Fourth Estate nipping at its heels. This might help explain the recent consolidation of US media outlets, effectively concentrating them into a few obedient corporate hands.

      As Chris Hedges opined in a recent interview with David North:

      “The head of CNN, Jeff Zucker, who helped create the fictional persona of Donald Trump on “Celebrity Apprentice,” has turned politics on CNN into a 24-hour reality show. All nuance, ambiguity, meaning and depth, along with verifiable fact, are sacrificed for salacious entertainment. Lying, racism, bigotry and conspiracy theories are given platforms and considered newsworthy, often espoused by people whose sole quality is that they are unhinged. It is news as burlesque.”

      • Garrett Connelly
        November 14, 2018 at 21:20

        My recommendation is seven branches with press and text book accuracy in a fourth branch controlled by the people.

  27. Realist
    November 12, 2018 at 02:23

    The American president should be subjected to a public “Question Time” each week, just like the British Prime Minister has questions directed from the members of parliament. However, it would be more meaningful to have them directed from the media without any possibility of ducking the hard ones. Each major news organisation plus some independents should get to submit at least one substantive written question which the president may review ahead of time but not avoid during the formal session. The sundry news agencies might actually co-ordinate their questions to avoid duplication and cover maximum ground, or to delve more deeply into current areas of crisis. Making such an event an inescapable requirement of office might thin the ranks of unqualified, intellectually shallow and inarticulate candidates. The information conveyed might remain rank illogical balderdash, but at least it should be semi-coherent rubbish that can and should be systematically dissected by the media pundits. That said, there is no guarantee that the words spoken by the president would actually match his actions or policies, in evidence of this review the press conferences of all our recent presidents. The hope is that the ubiquitous lies, evasions and misdirections might be reduced.

    • rosemerry
      November 12, 2018 at 13:33

      What an excellent idea.

    • Sam F
      November 13, 2018 at 09:39

      Another means is scoring candidates and officials on their knowledge of all viewpoints in debates conducted by a public College of Policy Debate, producing public commented debate summaries. The debaters would be rated similarly in knowledge and policy preferences.

      Thus candidates and officials cannot make statements in ignorance of the knowledge available and policy alternatives, without being caught. And they can be held to account for falsely stating policy preferences.

  28. Tom Kath
    November 12, 2018 at 00:52

    I think there is some potential benefit in the whole “Fake News” controversy, although it inevitably leads to mistrust and emotional division or polarisation of the whole population. There is the obvious downside in that it makes it seem that there are only two possible narratives, and only one must be lying. Not both? – And of course it does determine and restrict the issues that anyone concerns themselves with.
    I’ll repeat my Verse interpretation which is a bit relevant here –

    There’s a war in the east, so we’re told at least
    There’s a war in the west, some just call it unrest
    We feel shame, who’s to blame? Well it’s always the same
    And the times are once again changing

    We have conflict down south, it’s in everyone’s mouth
    And there’s conflict up north, refugees and so forth
    Open borders for all, or build a wall, heed the call
    Well the times are once again changing

    There’s resentment and strife between man and wife
    And a hostile fight between the left and right
    Is it Adam or June calls the tune night and noon?
    The times are once again changing

    You better learn how to crawl, those who triumphed will fall
    Those who now dictate will soon find it too late
    You’re corrupt, too well supped, and you can’t get it up
    So the times are once again changing

    These times my dears are not measured in years
    They’re recorded in blood since before the great flood
    If you do not belong then this song will sound wrong
    But the times are once again changing

  29. Anne Jaclard
    November 12, 2018 at 00:33

    Ah, yes, the Helsinki summit. Four months on, tell me, has NATO been dissolved yet and US sovereignty handed over to Russia? Is Alexandr Dugan the only philosopher permitted in the Free World?

    Wait, the US is still a corporate oligarchy?

    Because the media hysteria associated with that summit- gross, overblown, and careless- is the other side of the coin of the marginalisation of real journalism and issues like Sam’s work on the Nuclear Ban. Now, the focus is flipped, with the corporate journalist Acosta treated as a massive scandal while the genuine voter suppression, fascist rhetoric, and such are ignored…..

    Welcome to the fun house mirror known as the Euro-Atlantic MSM.

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