Media

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The Soft Power Hoax

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies before Congress on Jan. 23, 2013, about the fatal attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11. 2012. (Photo from C-SPAN coverage)

U.S. officials love the idea of “soft power,” a concept that applies non-violent means – from propaganda to culture – to induce foreign countries to conform to Washington’s wishes. But the arrogance of the approach has alienated, rather than attracted, many people around the world, writes Mike Lofgren.

The ‘Two Minutes Hate’ of Tom Brady

New England Patriot quarterback Tom Brady.

Exclusive: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady may lose his day in court since the NFL maneuvered “Deflategate” into a corporate-friendly venue in Manhattan – possibly sparing the NFL from explaining why rival owners were allowed to intervene to push harsh penalties for Brady and the Patriots, says Robert Parry.

Kafka-like Persecution of Julian Assange

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at a media conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photo credit: New Media Days / Peter Erichsen)

In an era when powerful institutions demonize decent people – and the mainstream media joins in, piling on the abuse – legal proceedings have become another Kafka-esque weapon of coercion. Few cases are more troubling than the persecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, as John Pilger describes.

America’s Mindless Clamor

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, left, interviewed Samuel Wurzelbacher (aka "Joe the Plumber") on his Fox News Channel program in 2009.

America has become a land of institutionalized noise – whether the clamor of a crowded restaurant or the more dangerous shout fests of TV “news” – both intruding on the ability to think and communicate coherently, writes Lawrence Davidson.

A Clash Over Whose Lives Matter

Afghan children await school supplies from Allied forces at Sozo School in Kabul. (French navy photo by Master Petty Officer Valverde)

A Twitter clash has broken out between people favoring #BlackLivesMatter or #AllLivesMatter, both protesting U.S. police violence against Americans but failing to take into account the hundreds of thousands of lives lost to the U.S. military as self-appointed global policeman, says Sam Husseini.

Why Russia Shut Down NED Fronts

Russian President Vladimir Putin laying a wreath at Russia's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on May 8, 2014, as part of the observance of the World War II Victory over Germany.

Exclusive: The neocon-flagship Washington Post fired a propaganda broadside at President Putin for shutting down the Russian activities of the National Endowment for Democracy, but left out key facts like NED’s U.S. government funding, its quasi-CIA role, and its plans for regime change in Moscow, writes Robert Parry.

The Tom Brady Railroad

New England Patriot quarterback Tom Brady.

Exclusive: Powerful institutions – whether the U.S. government, the mainstream media or the NFL – can run roughshod over individuals, twisting facts in whatever direction is desired. The current railroading of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is a cautionary case in point, writes Robert Parry.

Obama Buys False Iran Narrative

An Iranian man holding a photo of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. (Iranian government photo)

President Obama has fallen into the habit of accepting whatever “group think” is prevalent in Official Washington, which often falsely accuses some “enemy” of a nefarious deed, but Obama then tries to dodge the desired reaction: war. This risky pattern is playing out again over Iran, writes Gareth Porter.

Israel Clears the Bench in Iran Fight

Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (State Department photo)

Exclusive: Israel – in its desperation to kill the Iran nuclear deal – is exposing its often-denied influence over the U.S. political/media process. Israeli officials are even using football analogies to rally U.S. lawmakers while emptying the bench of friendly “experts” to mount a goal-line stand, writes Robert Parry.

NYT Enforces Ukraine ‘Group Think’

President Barack Obama talks with President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker following a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office, Sept. 18, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: Determined to enforce the “group think” on Ukraine, the editors of The New York Times lashed out at Russia for urging an expanded inquiry into last year’s MH-17 shoot-down. But the Times won’t join calls for the U.S. government to release its intelligence on the tragedy, writes Robert Parry.