Russia-gate Grand Wizard Deceives Audience About Assange

Obsessed Russia-gaters just can’t accept that  the Assange indictment has nothing to do with the 2016 election, writes Caitlin Johnstone. 

Rachel Maddow at the Clinton School in LIttle Rock, Arkansas, 2010. (Rachel Maddow, Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

By Caitlin Johnstone

When it was first revealed in November that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is under secret charges by the Trump administration, I spent the next few days being told by Russia-gaters that this was proof that I have been wrong about their demented cold war cult all along, because #MuellerTime is fast approaching. At long last, they vehemently assured me, Assange was going to prison for working with Russia to deprive Queen Hillary of her rightful throne.

None of those people have come back to apologize or admit that they were wrong when subsequent evidence disproved their claims. None of them ever do.

As it turns out, whistleblower Chelsea Manning has been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury in a secret case investigating Assange for his 2010 role in the WikiLeaks publication of military war logs and diplomatic cables. Manning served seven years in prison for leaking those documents to the transparency advocacy outlet before her sentence was commuted by President Obama, meaning, obviously, that this sealed case has nothing to do with the 2016 leaks Russiagaters have been fiendishly obsessing over. Indeed, The Washington Post reported Tuesday that “U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of grand jury secrecy, say the case is based on [Assange’s] pre-2016 conduct, not the election hacks that drew the attention of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.”

So there you have it. Democrats like Center for American Progress president Neera Tanden who have been cheering for Assange’s arrest have actually been cheering on the Trump administration’s prosecution of a journalist for publishing facts about Bush administration war crimes. They thought they were supporting the agenda to punish Assange for publishing leaks that hurt the Hillary campaign, but in reality they were defending two Republican administrations while helping to manufacture support for a prosecution that would set a devastating precedent for press freedoms throughout the entire world.

If you are unfamiliar with the work of Russia-gate Grand Wizard Rachel Maddow, you might think she would report the revelation that an unfounded belief held by many of her acolytes has been completely and thoroughly disproven once and for all. If you are a bit more familiar with her, you might assume that she would completely ignore this revelation like she normally does when her conspiratorial ramblings are disproven by facts and evidence. But if you know Rachel really, really well, you might guess what she actually did on her show last night.

That’s right, she flat out lied about it.

On Tuesday night’s episode of MSNBC’s most popular show, Maddow blatantly deceived her audience by weaving this story about the Chelsea Manning subpoena into her conspiratorial Russia-gate ramblings about Roger Stone, despite those stories having absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with one another.

Maddow began by gushing about investigations into Roger Stone’s alleged connections to WikiLeaks, of course not mentioning the fact that the only known interactions between Stone and WikiLeaks consist of WikiLeaks telling Stone to stop lying about having connections to them. Maddow smoothly weaved this into the news that the House Judiciary Committee has formally requested documents pertaining to WikiLeaks (among many other things) from dozens of Trump associates, with a gigantic grin on her face and a tone of immense significance in her voice. Then, without pausing, Maddow began talking about the sealed case against Assange and the Manning subpoena, falsely suggesting that these had something to do with the things she’d just been speaking about.

“And because of the criminal case against Roger Stone, you should also know that today, in federal court in Virginia, little bit of drama,” Maddow said. “Today in federal court in Virginia, the U.S. attorney himself, the top of that prosecutor’s office, the EDVA U.S. attorney himself, personally turned up in court for a sealed hearing today that appears to be about some sort of legal case potentially involving WikiLeaks and/or Julian Assange.”

Maddow then went on to describe November’s revelation via court filing error about Assange’s sealed criminal complaint with her trademarked conspiratorial “you can’t tell me this is a coincidence” histrionics. She then cited a Daily Beast report that former WikiLeaks volunteer David House had accepted an immunity deal in exchange for his testimony before this grand jury, completely omitting the fact that the report explicitly states that this testimony pertained to the 2010 leak drop and not anything to do with 2016.

“Late Thursday, Manning revealed that she’s fighting a subpoena to testify before a grand jury that’s been investigating Julian Assange for nearly nine years,” the Daily Beast article reads in its second paragraph. “But Manning isn’t the only one being dragged into the aging probe of WikiLeaks’ first big haul. A former WikiLeaks volunteer who was also personal friends with Manning was subpoenaed last May.”

Maddow knew this, and willfully distorted it to fit her narrative.

“So, all of this to say between that court filing error in November, the reporting around that error that suggested that it was weird that he was in that case and it was a mistake but the information was true, and then what we saw today in Virginia, something appears to be happening in federal court that pertains to WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. And this is happening as the president’s longtime advisor Roger Stone goes to trial for lying to Congress and witness tampering, allegedly, about his supposed communications with WikiLeaks during the campaign. It happens potentially as he’s going to jail for violating the gag order in that case. It happens as tons of people associated with the president and his campaign are being asked detailed questions by the Judiciary Committee about their interactions with WikiLeaks, including during the campaign, and it happens within a week of Trump’s longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen testifying before Congress that the president, himself, was personally notified by phone in advance about WikiLeaks’ plans to dump stolen material that Russia hacked from the Democrats during the campaign.”

So she just plain lied. By suggesting that the Virginia grand jury has anything at all to do with Roger Stone’s walking clickbait shenanigans, the House Judiciary Committee’s investigations into possible Trump malfeasance, and Cohen’s testimony that Trump had advance knowledge of the (already publicly announced) upcoming WikiLeaks drops, Maddow knowingly deceived her tinfoil pussyhat-wearing audience into holding out hope that legal proceedings will soon be vindicating their cult.

Maddow then kicked it up into ultra-mega-Super-Saiyan-galaxy-brain Russiavaping by telling her audience not to Google any of the things she was telling them, because they’ll get computer viruses if they try.

“Now I will warn you,” Maddow said with a laugh, “if you are an interested news consumer who is interested in following this part of the story, I will warn you: just about everything that pertains to WikiLeaks, Julian Assange and Roger Stone is basically un-Googleable. All the online trash that relates to these characters, put your virus protection on. But something does appear to be happening there in federal court.”

Needless to say, this also is completely false. Google algorithms are slanted in favor of mainstream news media, not toward websites that will give you a “virus”, so the top results you get when you type in WikiLeaks or Assange’s name will always be news stories from conventional sites, many of which today refute Maddow’s claim that the Manning subpoena and grand jury have anything to do with the 2016 Trump campaign.

And of course, that’s the point. Narrative management is Rachel Maddow’s job, for which she is extremely well-compensated, and the more isolated she can keep her audience within a tight, narrow echo chamber, the better she can do that job. Rachel Maddow is nothing other than a cold war propagandist, rewarded like all her colleagues for promoting falsehoods to keep mainstream liberals supporting longstanding U.S. government agendas against noncompliant nations while still letting them feel like rebels.

In today’s media landscape, powerful and opaque government agencies are scrutinized and criticized far, far less than a lone political prisoner in an embassy who revealed inconvenient facts about those agencies. The campaign to smear, silence and imprison Assange tells you all you need to know about the governments that WikiLeaks has exposed, and the mass media’s complicity in that campaign tells you all you need to know about them as well.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium. Follow her work on Facebook, Twitteror her website. She has a podcast and a new book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.” This article was re-published with permission.

118 comments for “Russia-gate Grand Wizard Deceives Audience About Assange

  1. March 13, 2019 at 06:49

    The so-called “Liberal Media” has no street cred. Rachel Maddow sold out and became just another talking head.

    You can’t be rich & famous on TV if you question the forever wars. Just ask Phil Donahue… if you can find him.

    Thus otherwise seemingly intelligent people such as Maddow assimilate into the Borg.

    Sean Hannity is another famous example of an actor who plays a “rebel skeptic” on TV while simultaneously pushing the oligarchs’ empire agenda on his show in the form of predigested baby food talking points.

    That’s Infotainment!

  2. Douglas Baker
    March 13, 2019 at 00:43

    Imperial Japan had Tokyo Rose as propaganda narrator ,Hitler’s “thousand year” Reich had Lord Ha Ha and those that direct America’s war on the world have Rachael Maddow as a concrete dike to dam a river of truth from flowing.

  3. Will
    March 11, 2019 at 19:54

    This is silly. No one seriously (or no one serious) thinks this is about the 2016 election. It *is* too bad Assange was dumb enough to call up Don Jr all those times…or mess around with Roger Stone ect ect. just kind of makes it all too easy. Kind of makes you wonder how serious Assange is, doesnt it?

    • Skip Scott
      March 12, 2019 at 07:20


      I am entirely serious, and I think RussiaGate was about the 2016 election. When the “preferred” candidate didn’t get elected, and Trump had made the statement “wouldn’t it be great to get along with Russia?”, team Hillary and Brennan got together and created RussiaGate out of whole cloth. They were working to cast suspicion on the validity of the election, and put the blame on Russia. However, thanks to Bill Binney’s work, all hard evidence points to a leak from inside the DNC. The only contact Wikileaks had with Roger Stone was to tell him to stop lying. Wikileaks wanted Don Jr. to send them his daddy’s tax returns. You’re opposed to that?

      There is plenty of reason to have suspicion about the validity of the electoral process in the USA, but it has nothing to do with Russia.

      The one success RussiaGate has had is to bring the Donald to heel. There is no hope for detente with Russia, let alone cooperating with them to fight terrorism; and the forever war not only continues unabated, it is expanding to new horizons. For our so-called “Intelligence Agencies” it’s “Mission Accomplished.”

  4. Espen Hovdenak
    March 10, 2019 at 15:52

    But according to this NYT Opinion documentary, the Russians have developed a cunning propaganda level previously never seen.

  5. Realist
    March 10, 2019 at 13:36

    How about finally displaying the post I submitted yesterday? The entire readership will have moved on by the time you finally get around to it. Your “moderation” process is so unbelievably needless and capricious. It just frustrates and alienates the people who frequent this site… while entries that are clearly spam get a lengthy pass.

    • Skip Scott
      March 10, 2019 at 14:55

      Hi Realist-

      The same thing happened to me last weekend. The moderator is off on the weekends, so anything “moderated” gets held until sometime tomorrow. And it does seem entirely random at times. I had four comments in a row moderated that had nothing questionable in them whatsoever. I wish they’d just go back to the way is was when Robert Parry was still alive.

        March 11, 2019 at 14:33

        Dear Skip. Thank you for your insights. Here is the comment policy for your review.

        • Skip Scott
          March 12, 2019 at 06:46

          I am aware of the comment policy, and try to stay within it’s guidelines. When all of my posts are moderated in a given day, does that mean I’ve been put on some kind of “watch list”? I know it would take extra time, but it would be nice that if something was determined to be a violation, we could receive a notice. You have our email addresses. Also, as of last October, something in the comment section changed whereby people need to post a test comment to see all the latest comments. Many posters are confused and think their comment was deleted, and you have lost many valuable commenters as a result.

      • Realist
        March 12, 2019 at 05:38

        It was like they had my name on a list or something. Everything I submitted was instantly or eventually disappeared. It finally got me so pissed that I expressed my visceral displeasure with them, which, for reasons known only to them, they made sure to leave stand. I am one who has defended them many times before. Moreover, defense of the free exchange of ideas on this board was the main thrust of my first post in response to Westre, as I challenged him to stick around to give CN and its readers/commentors a fair chance before dismissing them all.

        I haven’t changed my mind about the “moderation” process around here. It is quite dysfunctional. As I said, flaming someone or slandering the author or other commentors is legitimately verboten, also outright lying or misrepresentation of facts might be considered (though iffy), but these random and repeated blocks on individuals contributes nothing positive to the exchange of ideas. Just to say to an author or a fellow reader, you are full of it because you are stupid, is also wrong, as such a judgement deserves a legitimate explanation, upon which anyone should be entitled to deconstruct the entirety of any submitted essay. I could even see, but wouldn’t like, banning the use of pejorative nicknames for public figures, which I must admit I am fond of using. Make it a hard rule and I will stop referring to Slick Willy, Dubya, Obomber, Killery, etc., but an inconsistent code will not fly.

        A test as to the efficacy of the present moderation process would be to ask the question: what percentage of moderated postings are ultimately banned to uphold the stated set of standards? The management has the data to answer this. I do not. I can only say that from my own personal interface with the system, the system is not working. It’s invariably been, as they say in the national television feed from the NFL, “upon further review, the original call is overturned, there was no foul. Repeat first down.” Meanwhile, sometimes days have passed.

        • Skip Scott
          March 12, 2019 at 07:45

          I believe that you won the “moderation lottery” this past weekend, and I go it the previous weekend. I have never seen any post by you that I would think was a violation of their policy. I posted a reply to CN above, asking them to point out our violations when they deem one has occurred. As it is we are being put on a “watch list” without knowing their reason. If I remember correctly, it even happened to Joe Tedesky once, and I’ve never met more of a “gentleman” than Joe.

        • March 12, 2019 at 12:58

          Skip and I have gone over this a few times here for Consortium News commenters.

          I said I would not comment on the situation further, but never say never. Here’s the relevant info again:

          Consortium News is Built on WordPress. Description of Spam Filter Used by WordPress called Akismet follows

          Akismet checks your comments and contact form submissions against our global database of spam to prevent your site from publishing malicious content. You can review the comment spam it catches on your blog’s “Comments” admin screen.

          Major features in Akismet include:

          Automatically checks all comments and filters out the ones that look like spam.
          Each comment has a status history, so you can easily see which comments were caught or cleared by Akismet and which were spammed or unspammed by a moderator.
          URLs are shown in the comment body to reveal hidden or misleading links.
          Moderators can see the number of approved comments for each user.
          A discard feature that outright blocks the worst spam, saving you disk space and speeding up your site.

        • March 12, 2019 at 13:02

          Problem: If you put multiple URL links in your comment, it will bounce. A moderator can bring it back from the void once it bounces, but this where will live until such a time.

          Solution: Do not use more than one link in any given comment. It will bounce almost guaranteed. This multiple URL looks like spam no matter where the links come from or go to, as in the movie listings where the spam bot gives 20 movie titles for you to buy/rent, each of which is a separate URL link.

        • March 12, 2019 at 13:07

          Problem: Sometimes Akismet bounces real comments from real commenters for reasons unclear to all involved.

          Solution: If the reasons are unclear, the Consortium News website admins are advised to contact Akismet directly through their contact form:

          The Akismet people cannot know why real commenters are getting bounced without looking directly at the specific bounced comments and commenters.

        • March 12, 2019 at 13:15

          Problem: Known frequent flier non-troll non-spam commenters here at Consortium News (Skip Scott, Realest, and myself should count as examples, as this thread shows, we interact and we want what is best for everyone), get their comments moderated.

          Solution: There is a way to always allow comments from logged-in users. This would be up to the Consortium News staff to agree with and implement. It may allow the volume of spam to increase here by widening the goalposts.

        • March 12, 2019 at 13:20

          Problem: see above, frequent commenters still get bounced. Is there a way to whitelist for certain words/URLs/users?

          Solution: No. However, Aksimet is “artificial intelligence” which learns from experience. A moderator marking/ unmarking comments as spam helps this AI learn which users are legit, which moves their spot in the algorithm further towards “whitelist” status, though nobody really achieves this status (except admins, moderators, etc.)

  6. hans meyer
    March 9, 2019 at 12:52

    This is sad, but To bug my wife, I called this her “ligle Beck”. She is doing pure propaganda of the worst kind,

  7. Brian James
    March 9, 2019 at 12:21

    You know everthing is a dog and pony show when you know this.

    March 06, 2017 White House logs show Obama talked to the Russians and Iranian regime advocates… no outcry from the media for 8 years

    As reported by the Washington Free Beacon, during Barack Obama’s eight years in the Oval Office, Iranian officials and lobbyists – two high-ranking representatives of Tehran’s government – held more than 30 meetings with top administration officials, indicative of the Obama regime’s earlier admissions it began “negotiating” the so-called “nuclear deal” very early on.

  8. Tom Westre
    March 8, 2019 at 22:00

    My comment is not going to be taken well. But here goes. Wow the attacks on Maddow and MSNBC are astounding. Seems like a Fox News viewer slumber party. Maddow may not be perfect but she does present her case in a thoughtful way. Unlike the slobbering Trump loving Hannity and other far right conservative propagandists who fill up the airways with their brand of lies and hatred. Maybe Johnston has an point and maybe not. I would like to see a daily critique of Rachel by all the MSNBC haters, on a daily basis. Yes that right daily basis. Lets get down to the nitty gritty and point our all of her daily lies.

    • David Otness
      March 9, 2019 at 04:19

      Oh dear. I do hope–along with so many so further advanced and aware—that your insouciant fit will soon pass.
      “Laddie Tom, you know not with whom you mess.”
      And firstly, it’s reality lovers–you left that out, preferring (again in your insouciance) to call the most on this page/site of most-informed readershp—“MSNBC haters”…
      Do you think before speaking? Was that art/skill not tendered to you?
      And this: “Maddow may not be perfect but she does present her case in a thoughtful way.”
      Umm…I see.
      I wrote his to a friend willing to bend, willing to mend her disassociation from reality. That is her admitted MDS–her own Maddow Derangement Syndrome
      I would hope you too, Tom, might find something other than ” lies and hatred” in my critique of Ms Maddow herein:

      What Maddow dispenses is at best “infotainment,” heavy on the entertainment side of that equation. She spins things, and worse, things that are not there, or here, for that matter. She has become in her follies, a caricature to sober, objective, and critically thinking people. And yet has managed to develop a tribal following amongst liberals only because she remains the visible and vocal-most antidote to Trump, the Beast that Bested Hillary—but without Kremlin Gremlins as she so emphatically attests, night after night, week after week, month after month, and now year after ever lasting yeeeear.
      Stringing it along with wilder and wilder paranoid constructs, resembling no one so much as Glenn Beck, but tipping into Alex “Screeching” Jones territory as she continues to come up empty in her possessed thrashings and contortions of “Putin Did IT!”
      In the meantime, with millions of viewers in her thrall, much more hard evidence of Putin having nothing to do with it have surfaced, but are summarily ignored by the liberal class that identifies with the Big Daddy Warbucks politics of Hillary Clinton and WILL NOT HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY!
      Maddow is the most vile propagandist this country has ever produced, or at least so far in the 21st century. She certainly enjoys the reach of cable, satellite and internet connectivity like no one else at any time before, much more than any of her predecessor propagandists in this human history. And she knows she’s got so many hooked into her pixie-like presentation, its off-beat, hands-folded, lean-forward conspiratorial “I’ve got a secret for you” beguilement. That’s her hocus-pocus, her “magic,” her e.n.t.e.r.t.a.i.n.m.e.n.t. Her ‘schtick’ for what she tells. (Ahem. Sells.)
      Her business model is to incite and exacerbate confirmation bias, and in spite of lacking any modicum of substantive proof for her wild noodlings, she has gotten so many hooked on her aberrations of “thought”—thought minus empirical and even solid anecdotal examples. She manufactures fear and loathing out of rent cloth.
      And so a tribe-arisen, her focused audience demographic (liberal and well-to-do,) defends her pronouncements rabidly; seeing red curtains of rage if and when this cultural demigod is put up for well deserved cross examination about actual facts.
      And she has been so-well familialized, so commodified—inculcated even—that it likely is heard every morning as a daily primer in offices across the land: “Did you hear what Rachel said last night?”
      I know, because I’ve even heard it from a commercial fisherman, and variants therefrom, college-educated, but like so many, lulled into la-la land where an iconic culture figure does all of your hard thinking for you, because “I’m so busy.”
      My God, I don’t know where it came from, but I find a harmonic resonance exists between that last urp of iteration and “Me So Horny,” that controversial rap song from NWA back in the 90s. “Contestant Number One is “Too Busy to pay attention” and Contestant Number Two is Too Horny to pay attention!”
      I reckon we’d better leave it up to Rachel Maddow to figure this thing out because…….. Why? Why “because?”
      Nope, R.Maddow is the perfect foil for those wrongly presuming to be ‘left-leaners,’ the self-indulgent prototypical liberal, unbeknownst to them to this very day, all of these years later, their demographic was shifted to right of center by Bill and Hill way back in the 90s and have as a class yet-to figure out what that durn’, vaguely pejorative, ‘neoliberal’ thingie is all about, in spite of its ongoing vicious trail of bloodsucking doom and damnation of FDR’s New Deal under both Clinton and Obama. Obama and his delicacy of drone death-dealing and his euphemising of chopped into spinach social programs using antiseptic gargle garble like ‘sequestration. But that’s who and what Mullti-Millonaire Maddow works for. And we know who caused it listening to her: RUSSIANS!
      The Big Fact remains: The U.S Imperium (and it is composed of powerful and antithetical billionaire factions) is in a war with us, it’s own citizens, to inject dis and mis-information in us so the perpetual war construct brought on stage by Bush 1.33 can continue to wreak its havoc for profits forever. Maddow is a servant/savant distractor, and a complete apologist/sell-out to them just as badly as Fox from the right and CNN in their spectrum of ignrunt demographics do for the non-liberal fumlementalist set—all 3 dissembling and vacuous “models” of dis amd misinformity for their “target” audiences.
      Nor can NPR, BBC, CBC, or DW be trusted to tell the truth, they are all manufacturing the NATO-government-desired narrative in their news stories and play just enough truth in their stories to make them innocuous and palatable. You cannot, absolutely CANNOT trust the msm if you truly want to be aware of what is going on in this world.
      They make all of our own governments’ actions out to be for the cause of justice and democracy, when that could not be farthest from the truth. One hard look at Syria, Ukraine or Venezuela “news” from the msm would rightly cause people to actually stop and reassess where believing turned into passive acceptance of what Big Brother bears so blithely as being of ‘Noble Source.’
      RussiaGate, in particular, is Maddow’s and the DNC’s crazed creation, a Thing that has been sucking all of the air out of the national conversation for years now. Please read the link that came with this post for starters.
      And here are two places that you can find reliable news for our times in the next two comments. Please trust me on this. I try and try and try again to open people’s eyes that we are not only already living under heavy censorship, but are indeed only having the screws evermore rapidly being turned down on our access to unbiased and objective information.
      Nothing I’ve said here should be construed as Trump-supporting. I do not and never have liked or trusted him. But by the same token, the Democrats are just as corrupt and even worse are the snakes in the grass about it.

      • jadez
        March 15, 2019 at 05:08

        kinda sad…when people expose their depressive life to anyone who takes the time to read ..then totally disregard it all…closing temporarily the circle of despair…masochists like you bath in….

    • David Otness
      March 9, 2019 at 04:37

      Nice that you are blanket posting the same comment on different Consortium News articles by copy and paste, Mr Westre.
      Rather than offering adult repartee.
      It’s “good” to make your acquaintance therefrom, Tom.
      It’s good to have your “number,” your schtick, nailed down for future reference.
      G’Day or G’ Night, wherever ye may be.

    • Skip Scott
      March 9, 2019 at 06:25


      Like many daily MSM consumers, you are caught up in a false dichotomy of MSNBC vs. Fox, or Trump vs. Hillary, or Maddow vs. Hannity, USA vs. Russia, etc. You look at politics like it is a team sport, just as you’ve been trained. Frank Zappa said “politics is the entertainment division of the military industrial complex”. Propaganda is propaganda, whether it is from the neocons or the R2Pers. The goal of empire is continuous war, and to keep the masses diddling over trivialities. If you free your mind a bit, you will find that Caitlin has many very good points, and Rachel is an evil servant of empire. I hope your free yourself from the false “my team” vs. “your team” narrative, and start examining things more closely. I suggest you go to the source and read Putin’s speeches and interviews. Also check out this excellent article from John Chuckman, who is one of the regular commenters here at CN.

      • Brian James
        March 9, 2019 at 12:24

        Right on Skip Scott!

      • Dave P.
        March 10, 2019 at 14:27

        Excellent comments, Skip.

    • Realist
      March 9, 2019 at 14:45

      You couldn’t be more wrong if you are assuming that most of the posters here are critical of Rachel Maddow because they are rabid supporters of Sean Hannity or any other talking head emanating from Faux Noise. In fact, they despise Rachel’s turn to the dark side for the same reasons most have condemned the propaganda dispensed on Fox since its creation by Ruppert Murdoch: they hate lies, fear war and loathe being manipulated by smirking tools of the elite who would squander our country’s blood and treasure to benefit their minders who compensate them well for their betrayal of the masses.

      American politics, including its propaganda arm, is not a zero sum game. The people don’t win because Hannity’s verbal poison prevails or because Maddow now has amassed the greatest number of sheep to echo her daily bleating. They are both a clear and present danger for reasons both quite similar and different at the same time. One is a mindless hater who would squander our resources and incite a potential world war from a right wing perch, the other does the same from her alleged left wing vantage.

      Unless you are being a one-off troll, Mr. Westre, try sticking around at CN, you’ll find that most folks here hate the same misinformation, platitudes and war-mongering whether they are dispensed by the left or the right. I loathed seeing the politics of personal destruction being leveled at Slick Willy when he was impeached for personal conduct rather than his public policies which have long since come home to roost, just as I hate seeing Trump demonized as an awful moral person rather than for continuing the same vile foreign policies that Dubya and Obomber had devised and perpetuated before his unexpected win at the polls.

      Slick Willy’s biggest “sin” was not Monica Lewinsky, it was Phil Graham and their stealthy but steady dismantling of the New Deal. Dubya’s problem was not being his father’s son but being Dick Cheney’s sock puppet. Obomber’s was not his place of birth, it was the targets of his drone strikes. Trump’s greatest threat to the people of the world is not his personal ignorance, avarice, or confabulated sexual peccadilloes, it is that he has allowed himself to be manipulated by the same warmongering empire-builders who have pulled the strings of every president since the Gipper, and, contrary to the moniker applied to them by the great deceivers in the media, are neither “new” nor “conservative.”

      Note to the management: My words are not going to improve like fine wine in storage during the tedious “moderation” process again applied to them.

    • ML
      March 10, 2019 at 16:39

      Tom Westre, I am not quite sure why you compare CN to Fox News. This is the irony of the times in which we live. Fox propagandizes, MSNBC propagandizes, and here at CN, it’s simply the truth we are all after, no matter what that truth may be. Read CN for a while. Give it a good 2-3 months. Think critically and thoughtfully. Soon, if you are open to it, instead of reflexively defending your political self when you read something discomforting, you’ll realize that the attempt here is to educate and enlighten us with facts instead of spin, lies of commission and omission of both political parties and their paymasters in this sad, devolving empire in which we all live. Waking up to this truth is both melancholic and liberating, but awaken we must. Peace. M.

      • Brad Owen
        March 11, 2019 at 04:01

        I’ve given it a few years. It’s managed opposition too. Move on to seek truth.

    • Realist
      March 10, 2019 at 23:33

      You couldn’t be more wrong if you are assuming that most of the posters here are critical of Rachel Maddow because they are rabid supporters of Sean Hannity or any other talking head emanating from Faux Noise. In fact, they despise Rachel’s turn to the dark side for the same reasons most have condemned the propaganda dispensed on Fox since its creation by Ruppert Murdoch: they hate lies, fear war and loathe being manipulated by smirking tools of the elite who would squander our country’s blood and treasure to benefit their minders who compensate them well for their betrayal of the masses.

      American politics, including its propaganda arm, is not a zero sum game. The people don’t win because Hannity’s verbal poison prevails or because Maddow now has amassed the greatest number of sheep to echo her daily bleating. They are both a clear and present danger for reasons both quite similar and different at the same time. One is a mindless hater who would squander our resources and incite a potential world war from a right wing perch, the other does the same from her alleged left wing vantage.

      Unless you are being a one-off troll, Mr. Westre, try sticking around at CN, you’ll find that most folks here hate the same misinformation, platitudes and war-mongering whether they are dispensed by the left or the right. I loathed seeing the politics of personal destruction being leveled at Slick Willy when he was impeached for personal conduct rather than his public policies which have long since come home to roost, just as I hate seeing Trump demonized as an awful moral person rather than for continuing the same vile foreign policies that Dubya and Obomber had devised and perpetuated before his unexpected win at the polls.

      Slick Willy’s biggest “sin” was not Monica Lewinsky, it was Phil Graham and their stealthy but steady dismantling of the New Deal. Dubya’s problem was not being his father’s son but being Dick Cheney’s sock puppet. Obomber’s was not his place of birth, it was the targets of his drone strikes. Trump’s greatest threat to the people of the world is not his personal ignorance, avarice, or confabulated sexual peccadilloes, it is that he has allowed himself to be manipulated by the same warmongering empire-builders who have pulled the strings of every president since the Gipper, and, contrary to the moniker applied to them by the deceivers in the media, are neither “new” nor “conservative.”

      Note to the management: My words are not going to improve like fine wine in storage during the tedious “moderation” process again applied to them.

      Okay, now I demand an explanation for why this offering is being “moderated” for two days running now, and why my later inquiry about it was disappeared after a brief appearance. You are treating me like the assholes in the MSM that run roughshod over free speech. Perhaps the people in the front office at CN are unaware of the imperious actions of those they have allowed to control what appears or does not appear on this forum. Discussion of the issues is not being promoted when cogent responses to previous posts are capriciously blocked or disappeared. You are suppressing your own readership with such tactics, and they are not being done to contain any flame wars which are non-existent on this forum.

      • Realist
        March 10, 2019 at 23:37

        I see: right to moderation because of who wrote this, correct? Well, fuck you assholes. Just what is your major malfunction? You won’t be entirely pleased until you have no one who will take the time to contribute comments because of your high-handed abuse of the readership. Unbelievable that you would act like the very bastards your contributing writers routinely condemn in their articles.

  9. March 8, 2019 at 20:30

    I have always supported Julian Assange, and I don’t believe journalists should be censored for reporting fact. I am concerned that in all of this stuff about Russiagate and the desire by Democrats to anoint Hillary as monarch elect, that the naysayers here have all but asked why, with Trump long history of corruption, that Donald didn’t receive equal time by Julian…leading up to the 2016 election.

    Something is amiss here. And Trump liked what Julian was doing at the time he was ‘doing it’, but now that fingers are all pointing at Trump’s high crimes and misdemeanors, Donny evidently believes a willingness to prosecute Assange is a means to an end!

  10. March 8, 2019 at 14:35

    I think Trump does not want to try Assange in the USA because it is a Freedom of the Press issue and the Democrats and Progressives old and new would back Julian Assange if only to keep their promise to resist everything Trump wants and Trump would lose and he is smart enough to at least know this.

  11. Paul G.
    March 8, 2019 at 13:32

    So she comes from ultra conservative parents, then goes on to work for the Air America show. It appears now she has returned to her roots, amazing what a $7million a year salary will do to any spark of honesty and integrity.
    Similar story to Hillary who coming from a very conservative upbringing goes to Wellesley, blasts a sitting Senator in her valedictorian speech, and leaves still a Republican. That was until Nixon’s shenanigans cured her of the disease, and she campaigned for McGovern. Now, of course, with a large accumulation of money and immersion in the euphoria of power she has returned to her roots. Money talks, no it swears.

  12. Linda Furr
    March 8, 2019 at 13:26

    The day before yesterday I could not log onto any Consortium article. It was blocked all day. I was first trying to receive the Cohen/Blumenthal, 1/29/19 article about Venezuela’s new self-proclaimed President, Juan Guaido, and his long connection to National Endowment for Democracy, Koch Bros’-backed insurrection training sessions, and violence infused anti-Chavista demonstrations where gruesome deaths occurred. Absolutely everything else I googled from Consortium that day was blocked, too. Things opened up yesterday.

    Everyone, join any NO WAR ON VENEZUELA!!! demonstration you can in your area March 16 & 30 – Wear Red!!! Google
    info.nowaronvenezuela for a demonstration near you.

    • March 8, 2019 at 20:34

      Use duckduckgo if you want to search something, rather than googling it. Duckduckgo also does not track, so it’s a much better alternative to other search sites.

      • March 10, 2019 at 13:05

        My thoughts too. I would have thought that the idea of using Google (while better, arguably, than nothing) isn’t wise.

  13. Truth first
    March 8, 2019 at 10:12

    Good video on how bullshit killed millions. Nothing much has changed.

  14. Eric32
    March 8, 2019 at 09:33

    Democracy is largely a sham.

    If you’re in Athens 2400 yrs ago, or a member of a tribe of a few thousand people, where decisions are reached by group consensus and most of the participants know the basic issues being faced, then democracy is a real thing.

    Nowadays, in large complicated societies with ubiquitous mis- and dis-information, it’s a sham. A dangerous sham – because it creates a delusion of righteousness in gullible people.

    All this deep state Hillary Russia vilification crap is alarming the Russians and they’re taking measures for their own protection.

    An incompetent loser gets to create an explosive situation, waiting for a spark.

    • March 9, 2019 at 01:08

      democracy a real thing?

      in slave society ancient greece?

      is it any wonder that demublicans and republicrats rule?

      • Eric32
        March 11, 2019 at 07:41

        >democracy a real thing?
        in slave society ancient greece? is it any wonder that demublicans and republicrats rule?<

        Politics in the US are garbage because of the large percentage of nitwits with sophomoric views
        in the population.

  15. Bob Van Noy
    March 8, 2019 at 08:32

    There is a very important article available on Off Guardian this morning thoroughly describing how the news is assembled. I’m a long time skeptic but somehow I overlooked this very simple aspect of acquisition…

    Thank you CN for real reporting.

    • March 8, 2019 at 11:01

      Excellent! Thanks for sharing, Bob.

      • March 8, 2019 at 11:42

        Bob (and all of CN) ~

        There are two other publications by the Swiss Propaganda Research called:

        The American Empire and Its Media
        andThe Logic of US Foreign Policy

        I combined those two publications with The Propaganda Multiplier article and posted all three in a single place for ease of finding and reading for the CN regulars. Enjoy!

        Here it is:

        • Bob Van Noy
          March 10, 2019 at 08:25

          Many Thanks O Society. Yes,yes,yes… I’m reading an older book called “Secret Agenda” by Jim Hougan (1984) that describes the drama (not sure of the accuracy) of the Nixon foreign policy with Nixon, Kissinger and the Foreign Policy advisors (CFR) etc. the Drama is palpable!

          There has to be a better way of assembling decision making information and better insight by the so called Forth Estate.

          I’m at this site because I was impressed by the apparent honesty that both Robert Parry and Gary Webb so courageously displayed reporting against TPTB. Years of corrupt government have given us the complexity you point out as a way of burying the Truth. The answer is a Truth And Reconciliation public Commission. Thanks to all for the important thread…

          • O Society
            March 11, 2019 at 12:30

            We are on the same page. What the so-called “sheep” of America needs are real critical thinking tools in their toolboxes.

            Not whataboutism.

            Not talking points to regurgitate be these from CNN, FoxNews, or MSNBC.

            How does confirmation bias work?

            How does propaganda work?

            How do I apply whatabotism to *myself*? How do I filter propaganda out of *my* views? What does the Dunning-Kruger effect mean for *my* beliefs?

            I no longer care how anyone else justifies *their* incoherent thought patterns.

            I care about waking *myself* up and peace of mind, no more cognitive dissonance.

            My head hurts and I’m tired of it.


    • Jeff Harrison
      March 8, 2019 at 20:48

      O.M.G. Thanx for an excellent study link. Frankly, it scares the pants off me.

    • March 9, 2019 at 19:20

      Thanks for this link that everyone should read. We’re being played like a fiddle.

  16. Eddie
    March 8, 2019 at 07:58

    Such copious ink for the MSNBC corporate media charlatan. Frankly, I could not finish this article as Johnstone’s precise imagery all too well lit up the neurotransmitters in my brain and ignited my revulsion for the shrieking fake-news reader.

  17. Michael
    March 8, 2019 at 06:47

    Another excellent article by Caitlin, albeit Maddow is an easy but untouchable target. She is the DNC/CIA mouthpiece.

    One minor point. Caitlin mentioned Chelsea Manning’s horrific treatment for the Bush/ Cheney War and her sentence commutation by Obama. She didn’t mention Manning’s jailing in 2010 under Obama, nor her horrible treatment for almost three years under Obama before finally being “arrested”and charged in 2013 under Obama, and Manning’s unbelievable sentence under Obama. Just the very late commutation, rather than a full justified pardon. While many of the documents and videos occurred under Bush/ Cheney, the infamous Granai Massacre occurred under Obama in May, 2009. Caitlin does seem to realize that Bush/ Cheney (surprisingly) did not arrest whistleblowers (maybe they saw them as beneath contempt?), whereas Obama was vicious with whistleblowers, imprisoning more by far (including John Kiriakou and attempts on VIPS members) than all other Presidents. Obama was the most secretive, least transparent President in American history, regardless of his platitudes and homilies.

    • Skip Scott
      March 8, 2019 at 10:12

      Spot on Michael. That Obama gets such a pass from the latte-sippers and MSM shills is nauseating. On the other side of the coin, it is impossible to know if he was co-opted willingly, or threatened early on. I think he was co-opted. He mostly took the carrot, but he saw they had a stick too. I forget when and where, but I believe at one point he was quoted as saying he didn’t want to wind up like JFK. He also stated that “what the CIA wants, they pretty much get.”

      • March 8, 2019 at 11:19

        Obama was the perfect candidate for the ruling class and I believe he played (and continues to play) his role quite willingly.

        • March 10, 2019 at 13:09

          As do I.

      • Realist
        March 8, 2019 at 13:36

        Any “employee” who gets whatever he wants from the “boss” essentially runs the place. A pertinent question would be, who ultimately apprises the president of what names are to be put up for nomination of the heads of the major intelligence agencies, i.e., who picks the heads of the HSA, CIA, FBI, and NSA? That person or persons functionally runs the country, or at least its foreign policy. Whoever informed Obama the troika that would give orders to the Oval Office would be Clapper, Brennan, Mueller and/or Comey is really America’s Big Brother. Tell me how it works that the guys working in those offices to sabotage Trump’s presidency were truly picked by him?

        • Robert Mayer
          March 11, 2019 at 03:55

          Actually if I remember correctly Bush holdover Bob Guts likely held Obama’s stick while billion$ book tevenue was the carrot.

  18. DH Fabian
    March 8, 2019 at 01:43

    Well, Democrats have nothing else to sell. They already sold out all of their values, their integrity…

  19. Steven Langhorst
    March 7, 2019 at 20:39

    Rachel has always suffered from smarmy smartest person in the room syndrome. Obviously she considers herself a Clintonista. That somehow she was robbed of the election by foreign interference. So now it’s what ever it takes to weave a narrative of bo

  20. mike k
    March 7, 2019 at 20:11

    Those who constantly listen to liars (like Maddow) become eventually liars themselves, while thinking that they are telling the truth.

    • mike k
      March 7, 2019 at 20:13

      Maddow’s whole mission is to convince her listeners that her lies are the truth.

  21. Deniz
    March 7, 2019 at 19:42

    We can despise her all we want, but Maddow is merely a tool, if not her, someone else will take her place. Comcast purchased MSNBC in 2011, Microsoft left MSNBC in 2012. Subsequently, Maddow went from being the most intelligent personality on television to the nightmare that she is today.

    The questions that should be asked is, who is Brian Roberts, Comast’s CEO, and why is he using Maddow to create a Cold War?

  22. Eric32
    March 7, 2019 at 17:14

    The Duran (a youtube news analysis show) mentioned a Gallup poll recently released re. Americans’ perceived threats to the US.

    What these low grade “news” huksters are doing, is having a real effect.

    ” Russia’s military power deemed critical threat by 52% in U.S.
    Russia tops list of countries Americans’ deem chief U.S. enemy
    Russia’s favorable rating drops to another post-Soviet Union low ”


    • DH Fabian
      March 8, 2019 at 01:50

      Propaganda 101: Any lie that is repeated often enough by those in the public spotlight come to be accepted as fact, no matter how illogical they are. Many still believe that Iraq had “stockpiles of WMD.”

      • March 9, 2019 at 16:17

        Yes, between FOX, MSNBC, and CNN, we are awash in a nation of blind-faith ideologues severely afflicted with cognitive dissonance

    • rosemerry
      March 8, 2019 at 06:15

      And all this absent ANY evidence at all, just like the UK Skripal farce which Theresa May has kept going for a year with the help of her Russophobic “defence minister” and foreign ministers. The Russians have asked the govt for the answers to their questions over this whole affair and NONE have been answered.

  23. Lois Gagnon
    March 7, 2019 at 16:51

    Russia-Gate is a cult and Maddow is its leader. The David Koresh of the fake left. You should see how bad it is around here where her permanent residence is. Those people would rather die than face up to how deeply bamboozled they have been by their local celebrity. They also tend to worship the Obamas. Like I said, it’s a cult.

    • lucius pat
      March 8, 2019 at 00:07

      You do a disservice to Koresh with your comparison.

    • March 10, 2019 at 13:13

      It’s nice to see someone call the fake Left the fake Left. Too often I read something very good by a leftie who spoils an otherwise important bit of journalism by calling the fake Left the Left. No one’s perfect. No group’s perfect. But the fake Left is going in the opposite direction to that of the Left.

  24. March 7, 2019 at 14:52

    “Someone who lies and someone who tells the truth are playing on opposite sides, so to speak, in the same game. Each responds to the facts as he understands them, although the response of the one is guided by the authority of the truth, while the response of the other defies that authority and refuses to meet its demands. The bullshitter ignores these demands altogether. He does not reject the authority of the truth, as the liar does, and oppose himself to it. He pays no attention to it at all. By virtue of this, bullshit is a greater enemy of the truth than lies are.” Harry G Frankfurt – On Bullshit (2005)

    “The great masses of the people will more easily fall victims to a great lie than to a small one.” Adolf Hitler – Mein Kampf

    Unfortunately, we the people in this country, and the world in general, are the victims who are left to decide who are the truth tellers, the liars, or the bullshitters. Hopefully we can continue to communicate with one another without fear of repercussions to our freedom of speech or receive physical harm for our differences. Keep up the good work of dialogue all of you.

    • March 9, 2019 at 16:18

      Yep- lies change, but the truth stays the same.

      • March 10, 2019 at 13:17

        Which is why Jesus Christ to his followers to let their ‘yes’ mean yes and their ‘no’ mean no, for what goes beyond that is evil. (Matthew 5:37) You have worldly honesty, in which humanitarian intervention/democracy promotion means regime change for the benefit of a minority of parasites within the aggressor State or States, for example and then simple honesty in which unwarranted aggression is unwarranted aggression.

  25. Eric32
    March 7, 2019 at 12:37

    It’s not a news media – it’s a carnival populated with perverted side show freaks.

    Apparently, many (most?) Americans believe what the freaks are putting out.

    You have to pay for cable and sat TV, where most of this is being shoveled out from – that’s an insight all its own.

  26. Hmmm
    March 7, 2019 at 12:34

    The Glenn Beck of MSNBC. There’s something to be proud of.

  27. March 7, 2019 at 11:40

    “I will warn you: just about everything that pertains to WikiLeaks, Julian Assange and Roger Stone is basically un-Googleable. All the online trash that relates to these characters, put your virus protection on. . . . ” – Maddow

    – LOL, and proud to be a member of, “all the online trash,” Ms. Maddow is demonizing who support Julian and Wikileaks. I’ll tell you what isn’t “un-Googleable” Ms. Maddow, the phrase “amoral corporate shill.”

  28. Jeff Harrison
    March 7, 2019 at 11:23

    If you tell a big enough lie and repeat it often enough, people will believe it.

    I read a piece on Reuters this AM about all the great revelations that Mueller has made about Russian interference in the 2016 election. It really is everything that you already know – and less. Reuters identifies two things (1) the indictments of a couple of alleged Russian troll farms and (2) the indictment of a dozen alleged GRU members who allegedly hacked the DNC. Three companies and 13 individuals. What they don’t tell you is that the companies are contesting the complaints, are demanding discovery, and the complaints don’t seem to be going anywhere. They also don’t tell you that the actual reach of any of the efforts of these three companies were minuscule and much of their efforts were after the election. Of course, the indictments of the alleged GRU members depends on showing that the Russians hacked the DNC and there’s a whole host of people starting with the former head of the NSA’s technical section who will dispute that allegation – also not mentioned by Reuters. Reuters also doesn’t give you the context that the vast majority of what Mueller has allegedly uncovered is for political corruption, bank fraud, and money laundering by Republican political operatives in the US and Ukraine (not Russia)

    And for you Russiagate addicts, there is an excellent piece over on The Nation by Stephen Cohen about Russian/US meddling over the last 100 years. It will probably show up on RT soon.

    • rosemerry
      March 8, 2019 at 06:19

      RT has a recent piece on the novichok case linked in with Theresa May’s Brexit problems. entertaining and on the point!

  29. March 7, 2019 at 10:20

    Over at Information Clearing House Binney has a great interview. Go search it out.

    Of course all the bright and fair minded readers of ConsortiumNews and ICH knew the Russia hoax narrative was baloney since Nov. 2016. Now, fellow ConsortiumNews readers, we get to indulge in what Gore Vidal (rest his magnificent soul) called the four greatest words in the English language:

    I told you so.

    Of course the brainwashed Maddow obsessed freaks will never give us credit, but we told them so, we told them so.

    • Bob Van Noy
      March 7, 2019 at 10:37

      Thank you Drew Hunkins, I agree about that video, here is the link for those interested…

    • Miranda M Keefe
      March 7, 2019 at 17:07

      Thanks, Drew and Bob.

      I watched the video and posted it on Facebook. I doubt my FB friends who adore Rachel Maddow and think Schiff is a hero and who love to share simplistic memes about Trump being a traitor will bother watching it. But I can hope.

  30. mike k
    March 7, 2019 at 10:02

    What may have really happened is irrelevant to one bent on constructing a preferred narrative.
    Maddow is payed to stick to a story that suits her wealthy bosses; a story they want the American public to believe in unquestioningly. She is trained to repeat their false version of reality endlessly. Like a trained seal striving to earn the promised fish treat, she slavishly seeks to please her Masters, so as to be rewarded by the outlandish salary she receives for her obedience to their commands. Having a mind of her own, or asking troubling questions is definitely not part of her job description.

    • Antiwar7
      March 7, 2019 at 13:15

      And I hazard a guess that it’s not only the money, prestige, and adulation Maddow receives which motivates her brazen manipulations. (The same sort of intentional innuendo the W Bush administration used to sell their invasion and destruction of Iraq.)

      It could be pure tribalism, as well. She probably likes playing hard for the team that she likes to identify with: successful, ambitious government and corporate insiders.

    • March 7, 2019 at 14:12

      Mike, I agree that Rachel Maddow is payed to stick to a story that suits her wealthy bosses, along with the rest of MSNBC talking heads, but what the vast majority of us Americans fail to realize is that so do the other talking heads from the other “Garbage News Networks”, like Fox News, CNN, BBC, etc. Corporate heads from these “news sources” (LOL) all have an agenda and they all have their followers (loyal viewers) who believe what they have to say. So sad.

      • rosemerry
        March 8, 2019 at 06:33

        Most of the”experts” are former generals or otherwise involved in the MIC, so we never consider peace to be an option. Clapper, Brennan, Comey are objective truth-tellers!!!!

        • March 10, 2019 at 13:23

          I believe it was Chomsky and Herman, in “Manufacturing Consent,” who pointed out that the resources of the mic for propaganda far, far outdo any org and even all of them together. I’m reading, ploddingly, Yves Engler’s “A Propaganda System,” right now and he most clearly and authoritatively states that the Canadian military establishment similarly outspends all media in Canada combined – and brags about it. Ergo…

  31. Agnes Moore
    March 7, 2019 at 09:30

    I feel sorry for you. The truth is going to be hard for you.

    • Skip Scott
      March 7, 2019 at 10:08

      Thank you for such an evidence-filled comment. So enlightening.

    • Sean
      March 7, 2019 at 11:40

      You seem privy to facts hitherto unknown, Agnes. I wouldn’t ask you to reveal them yet, but could you at least give some indication or clue as to how they came to your attention?

    • Eric32
      March 7, 2019 at 20:10

      What “truth” would that be, that’s going to be hard?

      Some of us have already adjusted to recognizing the truth that a large section the US public are incompetent beyond repair.

    • David Otness
      March 7, 2019 at 22:59

      Most excellent use of the passive-aggressive, Ms Moore!
      But it is likely more-so the truth will inversely not be hard for you if you are defending Maddow’s schtick with your above comment. It’s quite evident RM’s cultists have blithely and in Rachel-ratcheted self-delusion, already and for 2 + years now completely ignored the hard real evidence that includes Podesta, Mook and HRC/DNC inventing this entire Russiagate blather. And I see scant evidence that further truths unveiled will change the hardened by Maddow’s incessant haranguing disinformation already-ossified minds.
      And sadly nobody but the national conversation will pay penance for Maddow’s antics having so seriously further disrupted USA-Russia relations, in addition to planting false hopes in blind faith supporters.
      I think the DNC, MSDNC and the Intel camps have played this thing so hard and effectively that it will be like the Civil War became long after 1865, even unto this day for some an impossible pill to swallow for having lost it.

      “Lost it.” That’s what has happened to those buying into this plethora of anti-Russian narratives that have been so relentlessly prosecuted and propagandized ever since NATO would not take a Ukrainian “no” for an answer back in 2014. And consummated a bloody coup under the auspices and Offices of Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton,, and Her field agent -provocateur, Victoria Nuland. Are you familiar with that seminal “Incident,” Ms Moore?
      There is always so much more in history than meets the eye, (if the eye is willing to meet it) but I adjudge the Maidan Coup as a starting point in understanding just when all of this Russia nonsense got its legs. And that will begin to describe how far off the trail, or if you prefer, rails, we have traveled since then, at that point in time. And circumstances.

      • Skip Scott
        March 8, 2019 at 11:56

        Excellent reply. I think however the seminal moment was before the Maidan Coup. I believe it goes back to Putin kicking out many of the Oligarchs from the Yeltsin years and bringing the others to heel, and Bill Browder’s perfidy leading to the Magnitsky Act. The looting was halted, and Russia refused it’s new role as the empire’s latest vassal. That was Putin’s unforgivable crime, and Russia has been the demon d’jour ever since.

        • David Otness
          March 9, 2019 at 04:50

          I left what you said unsaid, Skip.
          I could go back to 1918 in how the West has perennially and perpetually fckt with Russia AND the USSR.
          I was just keeping it relevant to the latest (in this decade) ramping up of tensions, the period most younger-than-me people could or would grasp. The older I get (I’m old) the more nuanced and specific I try to make it, knowing as I do, most young people require quick, snappy, succinct, if it is to be absorbed as valid information/history at all.

    • Tom Westre
      March 8, 2019 at 21:48

      It’s obvious the Trump Admin is criminal enterprise. Just listen to Don to Con and follow his antics. His hiring of crooks and liars like himself says everything. Why would anyone doubt that he would want Russia to help. He asked them to. He had financial dealings the them. Just what was said between Don the Con and Putin in private with no one else present. Mueller has indicted a number of Dons top people. The Swamp surrounds Don no matter which direction you look. His admin reeks with indictable offenses. But so many trumpistas will support the Con even if he shot his mother on 5th avenue. Do we know for sure if collusion was part of his getting election…no we don’t. Probably never will if the Mueller report is never made public. But we do know the Don the Con is the Con. Lets hope he will have his behind hand to him in 2020.

      • Skip Scott
        March 9, 2019 at 07:58

        And it is not obvious that the preceding Obama administration was a criminal enterprise as well? I think you need to dig a bit deeper, Tom. As for hiring crooks and liars, Citigroup picked Obama’s cabinet in 2008. I think they qualify as major crooks. James Clapper was Obama’s DNI, and a proven liar. Let’s hope that the DNC/RNC flimflam artists will all have their behinds handed to them in 2020.

  32. March 7, 2019 at 09:04

    Our “conventional wisdom” needs an enema, doesn’t it? Here’s how we replace the spectacle narrative selected for through mob rule with something better, a structure to weed out the stories keeping us stupid:

    • March 9, 2019 at 17:31

      The Zeirgeist Movement is simpatico to this

      • O Society
        March 13, 2019 at 08:08

        It’s the only way to beat the bastards. Divide the oligarchs so they fight amongst themselves. Use the opening to insert an authentic collective intelligence.

        Not Trumpet pseudo-populism. Not neoliberal surveillance capitalism.

        More like legit power to the people. AOC represents just the tip of the iceberg; the rest is below the waterline.

        Real public benefit. First step is wake ourselves up. No one can do this for us. Therein lies the rub…

  33. Joe Tedesky
    March 7, 2019 at 08:50

    It’s good we have Caitlin to critique the Russia hating Maddow as Johnstone breaks Rachel down into describing a well paid corporate shills propaganda techniques to the fullest. Its a heavy lift for Caitlin to reach the vast Maddow MSNBC audience but as, the web popularity of Ms Johnstone increases there’s always hope that the truth will prevail. So it’s good we here at the Consortium are fortunate enough to be educated by the likes of such a young truth teller as Caitlin Johnstone is.

  34. AnneR
    March 7, 2019 at 08:39

    Thank you Ms Johnstone for this update on MSDNC’s campaign against the truth and for corporate-capitalist-imperialist propaganda. (My late husband and I never subscribed to any cable company, so thankfully were spared the further drumbeat of misinformation from those sources. Bad enough that we were subjected to the same via the radio – NPR and the BBC.)

    As I’ve commented on other articles here, what amazes me is the fact that so many of my late husband’s friends are heavily invested in the Russiagate, pro-Killary business. Overwhelmingly these people are very well, indeed highly, educated, yet they all seem to have been taken over by some alien force (I jest, I think). Perhaps you have it – being anti the Strumpet allows them to feel rebellious even as they consume the earth’s resources at a galloping rate. Yet they are only so with regard to Russia “dunnit” and China might be about to, otherwise they seem to be fully on board with, or at least completely uninterested in, his admin’s actions vis a vis Venezuela, Iran, Israel, Saudia and so on. They crow with delight when he bombs Syria but scream blue murder when he (pretends) to pull the troops out of that poor, benighted country. Fully in keeping with the propaganda mill’s output.

    As was the brief report I heard on NPR this morning. It concerned some American journalist who had been detained by the Venezuelan authorities (Cody Weddle and he apparently works for a Berkshire Hathaway Company – Local 10) for 12 hours before being sent back to the US. The Committee for Journalist Protection apparently spoke up for Weddle, making its concerns known.

    Now Marzieh Hashemi was detained for 10 DAYS – not for anything that she had done (she wasn’t charged with anything) but as a “witness.” Did state media – NPR or BBC – mention her detention, her treatment (refusal to provide her with Halal or even Vegan food? forced removal of her headscarf?)? Not to my hearing. And if NPR had it would have been but briefly without any criticism of the US authorities, of that I am sure. Certainly there would have been NO comparisons made between her detention and treatment and that of other journalists in other countries, not any comparisons that denigrated the US in any way.

    Meanwhile, in order to distract from Hashemi’s situation (?), on the radio (whether NPR or the BBC I have forgotten) there was an interview (broadcast on at least two occasions during Hashemi’s detention) with an American-Iranian journalist who had been held in Iran. Look not to what we do, but focus on what our enemy does.

    Moreover, and shamefully, the Committee for Journalist Protection was totally silent on Hashemi’s detention.

    Clearly some journalists matter more than others.

    And truth matters not at all.

    • Frankly Speaking
      March 7, 2019 at 19:39

      Thank you Anne for such a thoughtful and well written post. I live in the UK and have US and colleagues of other nations too, the whole Anglo Saxon world has become Russophobic. I fear it’s a moulding of public opinion to create fear and hate against Russia to justify a hot war; suicidal madness.

    • ToivoS
      March 8, 2019 at 02:47

      AnneR writes Overwhelmingly these people are very well, indeed highly, educated, yet they all seem to have been taken over by some alien force (I jest, I think).

      Well if you substitute cognitive dissonance for alien force you have hit the problem head on. I have also witnessed what you are describing among many of my acquaintances — university trained professionals and college faculty that experienced an incredible shock when a flim flam artist beat their beloved Hillary. They were unable to understand why such a thing happened (cognitive failure) and then descended into absurd fantasy in an effort to explain what happened (dissonance). In short they fell into Trump derangement syndrome. This will likely become another chapter in the ongoing book on the madness of crowds.

      • March 8, 2019 at 12:06

        These highly educated idiots are the enemies of the people. They are quite comfortable materially and love their positions as the “intelligentsia” in our pathetic society. They will, happily, be eliminated if the revolution ever happens.

        • JD2027
          March 9, 2019 at 17:58

          That they will!

  35. Nathan Mulcahy
    March 7, 2019 at 08:15

    Many years ago, when Rachel Maddow first starting appearing on MSNBC, and when I was just in the process of completely boycotting the entire US corporate media, I was struck by her intelligence and wit. But it didn’t take me long to recognize her intellectual falsity. Although it seems juvenile, I smile when I see so often her being titled as Rachel Madcow :)

  36. Realist
    March 7, 2019 at 07:33

    Great article on the abuse of the mass media in pursuit of a political agenda, Caitlin. Never let up on the ever-dangerous Rachel Maddow. She blew a cerebral fuse on election night when the “impossible” happened, her overwhelmingly favored faction lost and has ranted like a paranoid psychotic ever since. Her unceasing demented verbiage proves that her true agenda all along has merely been absolute political power by the Hillary wing of the War Party rather than pursuit of ideals like peace, freedom, genuine democracy, fairness, justice, and human compassion because all her specious narratives only subvert all hope for achieving anything of the sort if we willfully remain in the throes of a raging cold war with a country as important, proud, diligent and powerful as a much-abused nuclear-armed Russia.

    • Skip Scott
      March 7, 2019 at 08:41

      Propagandists were prosecuted at Nuremberg. They were determined to be just as evil as the mass murderers. One can only dream that someday Rachel will be brought to the Hague in handcuffs along with the rest of the war whores. She is a modern day Julius Streicher.

      • willow
        March 7, 2019 at 15:05

        Propagandizing US citizens used to be illegal from shortly after WWII until Obama repealed the Smith-Mundt Propaganda ban in 2013. Since then, the corporate media has become a government funded and sanctioned propaganda industry whose goal is to shape American consciousness to accept forever wars.

        • michael
          March 8, 2019 at 06:33

          The Telecommunications Act of 1996 put all of media in the hands of six owners. Smith Mundt made what the media was doing– pushing CIA (officially State Dept) narratives rather than news– legal.

          • March 10, 2019 at 13:42

            And we, the people, lost the internet twice. It was privatized in 1995, but allowed to develop and the people were allowed to use it unmolested. It could not last. Sure enough, Google was the spearhead with its First Draft. The censorship is steamrolling. Soon, Most people won’t even know what they’re missing. The State and its tools believe that that will equal nirvana. That’s what happens though when people self-modify and acquire twisted values and desires, along with an affinity for deceit, violence and inequality (satisfying a sick need to feel strong by robbing others of their means of survival as a way to survive).

            An good analogy, perhaps, can be found in the story of Tor (as told by Yasha Levine in “Surveillance Valley”). Fakers like Snowden (how aware I don’t know) and Jacob Appelbaum (an aware and paid government asset) and EFF convinced people that Silicon Valley, and innovations like the secrecy browser Tor, would save us from Big Brother. Dread Pirate Roberts bought it hook, line and sinker and for a while, the watchful State let him, and the scum who he attracted, do what they want online (child porn, weapons sales, assassination ads). Then one day they were all scooped up for their crimes which, surprise!, were not invisible to Big Brother who, together with his private sector components, had been there all along.

            The point is not, Don’t be evil (like Google). The point is that the internet does not belong to the people (the way that’s needed). Be prepared.

  37. Sally Snyder
    March 7, 2019 at 07:30

    Here is an article that looks at one of the key players in the neoliberal world order which is largely responsible for the anti-Russia narrative:

    Once one figures out the cast of highly influential characters that have created this movement, one can gain a better understanding of the anti-Russia movement and why it exists.

    • March 7, 2019 at 09:18

      Want to know what’s funny? Both funny “ha ha!” and funny as in strange.

      When you read George Soros – you know, the things he actually says and writes as opposed to the things people say about him – it’s quite clear not only is George Soros opposed to neoliberalism, he was denigrating this free market fundamentalism and capitalist self centered greed 30 years ago, long before it became fashionable to use the term “neoliberalism” in America.

      That’s the nature of propaganda though, isn’t it? Subvert the meaning of words to mean their opposites. Project one’s own scams and faults on someone else. That’s how it works.

      Blame Kaiser Sose. Invent cartoon super villans. Vladimir Putin. George Soros. Pinky and the Brain taking over the world.

      Don’t take my word for it. Read what Soros says about neoliberalism yourself. He says this casino capitalism stuff is the biggest threat in the world:

      • March 10, 2019 at 14:02

        Perhaps O. But don’t underestimate people’s capacity for perverseness. No one has dissected the US-led Corporatocracy (which is not a label that he uses for it) more thoroughly than Noam Chomsky. How could someone so informed (although biased about his method of learning, taking next to nothing from non establishment sources and eschewing the internet, as far as I can tell) buy the barrel bombs baloney?, in regard to Syria. How could Michael Klare, who wrote “Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet,” and the incredibly detailed “War Without End – American Planning For The Next Vietnams,” swallow and push the ‘Russia hacked the American 2016 election’ idea? Those are the good guys! And, although it’s been a few years now and the sting has wore off, How could Amy Goodman push White Helmets propaganda and The Intercept publish pro USAID, pro White Helmets propaganda. These are only a few examples of the betrayals. Anyone, including the most principled and knowledgable people’s champions, can up and change their minds. It’s a free universe. But it’s not one in which we can escape consequences.

    • March 14, 2019 at 11:29

      Sally & Arby’s ~

      Interesting places these cookie cutter talking points lead us, don’t you think?

      Nobody’s perfect. I don’t agree with half of what I said in 1990-something, much less what someone else said. My views evolve.

      This is what Karl Popper refers to as fallibility. As in science.

      Happy reading!

  38. Sarge
    March 7, 2019 at 07:01

    It’s a sign of how Orwellian the times are when MSM Russiagaters get to smear dissenting voices as conspiracy theorists and fake news merchants. As far as I’m aware, everything that WikiLeaks has ever put out has proven to be 100% accurate.

    I wonder what Rachael Maddow’s percentage is….

  39. LB
    March 7, 2019 at 06:17

    She is nothing but a puppet. One time I happened to switch to that channel and she was going on about stupid conspiracy theory of “if the power/electricity goes out” this was during the sub freezing winter storms we were having recently, “maybe Russia has something to do with it” I almost hurled into the nearest trash can.

    • Realist
      March 7, 2019 at 07:49

      She had most of us fooled for years, thinking that she was actually in favor of honesty and transparency in both the media and the government, which that media should be tirelessly investigating rather than protecting from credible charges of war crimes, dissemination of false information, violations of the U.S. constitution and breaking federal law. But here she is, as shameless a practitioner of propaganda in the service of power as Tokyo Rose.

      • Antiwar7
        March 7, 2019 at 13:18

        I think you do Tokyo Rose a disservice in that comparison, in that she was no doubt subject to coercion, unlike Maddow.

        • michael
          March 8, 2019 at 12:30

          Tokyo Rose was one of only ten Americans convicted of treason. Four were convicted for spreading propaganda for the enemy.

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