Tag Archives: FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting)

Chinese ‘disinformation’ and US propaganda

By Joshua Cho

In Western media’s latest anti-China crusade, unsubstantiated allegations of a Chinese disinformation campaign – which the reports themselves admit have had little engagement on social media, and nonexistent impact offline – supposedly represent a very serious threat to the US.

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Coronavirus alarm blends Yellow Peril and Red Scare

Coronavirus Alarm Blends Yellow Peril and Red Scare

Gothamist photo (1/31/20) of Asian Americans wearing surgical masks, illustrating a story about the absence of coronavirus (at that point) in New York City.

By JOSHUA CHO

As an Asian-American, I’m not surprised that there are numerous reports surfacing of racist and xenophobic responses arising in the US (and elsewhere) as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, where “coughing while Asian” is being compared to “driving while black.” In case there are any doubts that media coverage is being racialized, reports about new coronavirus updates in the US, particularly in areas like New York City, are using unrelated header images of East Asian people wearing face masks to drive the impression that Chinese people are unique carriers of disease, even when they aren’t Chinese. Continue reading

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A CIA officer has a headache. Media blame Russia.

More plausible explanations for these maladies include headaches, crickets, paranoia, mass hysteria or simply lying, rather than a vast global conspiracy using heretofore unknown science fiction weapons in order to mildly inconvenience a few American operatives | ALAN MACLEOD

Julia Ioffe (GQ, 10/20/20) reported that “dozens of American diplomats, spies and government employees” were “targets of what some experts and doctors now believe were attacks perpetrated by unknown assailants wielding novel directed energy weapons.”

A 9,000-word story for GQ (10/20/20) about the mystery ailment of a CIA officer in Moscow has become the unlikely subject of a weeks-long media storm. Continue reading

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US news falsely reports that North Korea threatened to nuke US

By JOSHUA CHO, FAIR

Bellicose cartoon featured by US News & World Report (6/26/20), by Dana Summers of the Tribune Content Agency, depicting North Korea launching a nuclear attack on the US.

In order to eliminate the nuclear threats from the US, the DPRK government has made all possible efforts, either through dialogue or in resort to the international law, but all ended in a vain effort…. The only option left was to counter nuke with nuke.

Does this statement made by the North Korean government sound like a threat to launch a nuclear strike on the US? Continue reading

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Mean-spirited US media attack Cuba for sending doctors, not bombs, to help Covid-19 victims

By BELEN FERNANDEZ

As coronavirus ravages the world, Cuba has exhibited disproportionate heroism, deploying medical personnel to at least 14 countries thus far to battle the pandemic—including to Italy, which has been particularly devastated. The response is in keeping with Cuba’s decades-long tradition of “doctors, not bombs,” which has seen the tiny island nation dispatch tens of thousands of medics across the globe to combat everything from Ebola to more mundane diseases like malaria and tuberculosis. Continue reading

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Media struggle to defend Washington’s cruelty toward Venezuela and Iran as coronavirus spreads

Media Struggle to Defend Washington’s Cruelty Toward Venezuela and Iran as Coronavirus Spreads

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro wears a facemask, Marcch 23 | Venezuelanalysis

An Associated Press article (New York Times3/17/20) headlined “IMF Rejects Maduro’s Bid for Emergency Loan to Fight Virus” declared:

The request is an about-face for Maduro, who for years refused to share economic data with the Washington-based lender and just last month condemned it as a tool of US imperialism. In the past he has called the IMF a blood-sucking “assassin” responsible for plunging millions of people into poverty across Latin America. Continue reading

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Media ignore unmasking of Twitter exec as British psyops officer – Government penetration and control over media of little interest to those who are subject to it

By Alan MacLeod

Middle East Eye: Twitter executive for Middle East is British Army 'psyops' soldier

Middle East Eye (9/30/19)

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US media: The phony liberalism of Bill Maher –

Despite everything he does and says, media still call HBO host a ‘liberal’ | ALAN MACLEOD

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Bill Maher rose from being an “edgy,” opinionated comedian to becoming one of the most influential and recognizable faces in our media. His political talk show, Real Time With Bill Maher, has been on HBO since 2003, spanning 17 seasons with over 500 episodes to date. Real Time continues to be one of the most popular shows on cable TV, drawing in more than 4 million viewers per episode, according to a new New York Times interview (9/30/19), which frames him as a straight-shooting satirist on an “antihypocrisy crusade,” with Maher presenting himself as the voice of liberals across the country fed up with PC culture. Certainly, he has a legion of dedicated, primarily Democrat-voting Baby Boomer and Generation X fans, who take seriously his every pronouncement. Continue reading

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US media in state of denial, waits for Trump to knock over a bank

The discussion on the crisis in the US ruling circles is marked by an obtuse refusal on the part of the media to objectively examine the objective reality and the problems facing the current US system. They refuse to look at the realities of the political situation, especially the broad disaffection and discontent which exists, the need for political renewal, and even the realities of their own constitutional and electoral regime | JIM NAURECKAS of FAIR comments on the creation of a parallel universe”

Here’s a Doonesbury cartoon by Garry Trudeau from 1974:

Doonesbury cartoon

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A million extinctions eclipsed by one royal grandbaby

Sea turtle image from IPBES report

As many as 1 million of the estimated 8 million plant and animal species on Earth are at risk of extinction — many of them within decades — according to the scientists and researchers behind a new UN report. The assessment by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services is the most comprehensive review to date of the damage humans are causing to biodiversity. The group’s chair, Robert Watson, says: Continue reading

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US media disinforms to promote coup in Venezuela

fp-venezuela-coup(New York) – We like to think we have an adversarial media—one that will stand up, in particular, to Donald Trump. The media assured us that they would perform their crucial democratic role in holding this dangerous new president and commander-in-chief accountable at every turn. This struck a chord with the public; in the wake of Trump’s victory in 2016, the New York Times added over a quarter-million digital subscribers in a matter of weeks. “Democracy,” after all, “Dies in Darkness,” as the Washington Post tells us on every webpage. Continue reading

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Media ignore government influence on Facebook’s plan to fight government influence

Gizmodo: Facebook Partners With D.C. Think Tank to Combat Election Meddling

Gizmodo , May 17, 2018

The U.S. social media mega-giant has been presenting itself as a legitimate force to police political discourse. During the past week, Facebook shut down three websites that featured information critical of the Politics of Assassination attempted against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on August 4. Continue reading

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The sanctification of NATO

By GREGORY SHUPAK*

Claims that US President Donald Trump is undermining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) by criticizing some of its members and having a cordial meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin have sent establishment media into a frenzy to sanctify NATO as a force for peace and democracy. Continue reading

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Ahed Tamimi: Erasing the violence, erasing the history

Still from Telesur

The same newspaper that heralds “a new era” for women in Canada victimized by “men in power” has no objection to the brutish treatment of Ahed Tamimi, the 16-year-old Palestinian girl who is in indefinite military custody for courageously challenging Israeli occupation forces on her family’s property. The Globe and Mail has carried but one item – on January 1 from Reuters. CBC also carried the same item on January 1st. The Toronto Star carried a derivative six-sentence item on the same date. Continue reading

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New York Times: Tool of US nuclear disinformation

Alamagordo atomic test (photo: Jack Abbey)

Alamagordo atomic test, July 15, 1945 | Jack Abbey

The New York Times’ longtime nuclear power reporter, Matthew Wald, has announced that he’s been hired as the senior director of policy analysis and strategic planning for the Nuclear Energy Institute, the chief lobbying arm of the nuclear industry. Investigative reporter Karl Grossman wrote a piece a few years ago on the ties between the Times and the nuclear power establishment that go back to the dawn of the Atomic Age.  Continue reading

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History’s warmest year: Media ignores climate change

NOAA temperature map (12/14-15/15)

High and low temperatures over the last 24 hours (12/14-15/15). Source: NOAA

As wave after wave of record-breaking high temperatures grips huge swaths of America, media coverage of the December warmth has rarely been willing to discuss its cause.
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US ’news’ on Cubans in Syria lacks one thing: Cubans in Syria

Cuban imilitary (photo: Reuters)

Fox News illustrated its report on Cubans in Syria with a Reuters photo of Cubans not in Syria

Fox News (10/14/15) reported last week that Cuba has sent Gen. Leopoldo Cintra Frias and hundreds of troops to Syria to assist the Russian and Assad governments in “operating Russian tanks.” This explosive claim was soon echoed by James Bloodworth in the Daily Beast (10/16/15) and subsequently spread widely on social media. Continue reading

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US: Reality blows up media-police falsification of the murder of yet another African-American

mediaculpaheader.stretchedA total of 111 people were killed by police in the United States in the month of March, 2015, almost four a day. (Since 1900, in the United Kingdom, with the exception of Northern Ireland, 52 people have been killed by police.) At least 1148 people were killed by police in 2014, of whom 304 (26 per cent) were Black and over 100 unarmed. Now one of them has been caught red-handed in South Carolina. A bystander filmed the unprovoked murder.

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How the US media escalated the war

A US study shows how a “debate” is deliberately staged to confuse the people and put them out of action. “The debate was between two advocates for war who disagree on the type of war the United States should wage.” On the high-profile Sunday TV talkshows, 89 guests were invited to talk about the war. But just one could be coded as an anti-war guest. PETER HART

ISIS, Meet the Press

Meet the Press: Chuck Todd (right) interviews two senators (from left, Ron Johnson and Chris Murphy) taking “opposite sides” on Obama’s ISIS war–though both support the war.

Moments after Barack Obama’s September 10 primetime address laying out a military plan to attack ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria, CNN featured a debate between Republican Sen. John McCain and former White House press secretary Jay Carney. The somewhat contentious exchange went viral. Continue reading

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American exceptionalism and Iran: US is not ‘the world’

warner-ifillSometimes it’s the little things that say a lot. And when PBS NewsHour anchor Gwen Ifill and correspondent Margaret Warner (11/5/14) were discussing  various consequences of the midterm elections, this part caught my ear: Continue reading

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Freedom of the press, US style: Attack dogs set against courageous journalist

The American monopoly media is unleashing its attack dogs all over against the late Gary Webb, who had the courage to expose the relationship between the CIA, the Contras and the drug trade, including the role of the CIA Cuban-American terrorist, Posada Carilles. Courage is, after all, contagious. The attack is carried in a definite and surreptitious way. “A different rule actually governs American journalism – that journalists need ‘extraordinary proof’ if a story puts the US government or an ‘ally’ in a negative light, but pretty much anything goes when criticizing an ‘enemy’.” *

wapo-no-hero-webbIn 1996, in the wake of his explosive “Dark Alliance” series for the San Jose Mercury News (8/18-20/96), the Washington Post was one of the major newspapers to attack Gary Webb (FAIR Blog10/21/14).

It’s 2014, and they’re still at it. Continue reading

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Freedom of the Press, US style: How to drive a colleague to his grave and sleep easy at night

On the collaboration of American monopoly journalists. “The fact that the Contras were the CIA’s army, and not, say, the Bolivian secret service’s army, was crucial to understanding the story – and therefore Webb’s attackers did everything they could to obscure this point.” JIM NAURECKAS*

garywebb-article

Gary Webb

Ryan Grim’s 2009 book This Is Your Country on Drugs–recently excerpted in the Huffington Post (10/10/14)–sheds light on the establishment media’s 1996 effort to discredit Gary Webb’s Contra crack revelations (“Dark Alliance,”San Jose Mercury News, 8/18-20/96) by talking to some of the key players. As depicted in the new biopic Kill the Messenger, other journalists’ attacks on Webb cost him his job, and after being run out of the profession he loved, in 2004 he apparently took his own life. But the people who wrote those attacks sleep very well, they want you to know–it’s an object lesson in how to do bad without feeling bad. Continue reading

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Israel, Gaza and false balance

Media-CulpaUS monopoly media constructed a false symmetry of violence where none existed. The manipulation of facts included ABC World News presenting photos of a Palestinian family as Israelis. Or the Hamas “strategy to get its own children killed” that was “forcing [Israel] to kill their children.” PETER HART of FAIR*

Striving for a deceptive “balance,” US media miscast the devastating violence of Israel’s attacks on Gaza and obscured the lopsided nature of the death toll.

This started with the timeline preferred in much of the press. By most media accounts, the conflict started when three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped on June 12; their bodies were discovered on June 30. The Israeli government immediately declared Hamas responsible. Days after the discovery of the victims’ bodies, a Palestinian teenager was abducted and murdered by Israeli extremists, in what was called a “revenge” attack. Hamas rockets started falling in Israel, and “Operation Protective Edge” was Israel’s response. Continue reading

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CNN: Zakaria’s fantastic, expert economic advice

To a startling degree, when you see discussions about the economic policies of other countries in the US press, you’re reading fantasy stories about imaginary lands where peoples are rewarded or punishment according to their adherence to the free market faith, writes Jim Naureckas*, FAIR. Whether it is Venezuela, Cuba or Iran you can read articles about how the economy is in shambles. Every year. In fact, the economy of any country that stands up to the US happens to be in shambles. 

LatinMap-300x199(Jan. 14) – FAREED ZAKARIA presented what he called “another installment of ‘How to Ruin Your Economy in Five Easy Steps’” on his GPS show on CNN(1/12/14): “Last time, Venezuela ticked off all the boxes, but we found another country that is following the same sad path.”

That country was Argentina, which Zakaria criticized for following Venezuela’s lead in “attacking big business,” allowing “restrictions on global trade” and so forth – the basic neoliberal critique of developing economies. Zakaria ends with the moral: Continue reading

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USA: The accelerating assault on journalism

Some prominent media figures applaud the criminalization of investigative reporting, something not confined to the USA. On November 30, 2010 the former chief of staff to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Thomas Flanagan, publicly called for the assassination of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange on CBC TV’s Power and Politics. Most media in Canada passed over his call without comment. Yet, according to the US media watchdog group FAIR, “While whistleblowers have been the chief targets of the harsh crackdown on media challenges to official secrecy, journalists themselves are increasingly in the government’s sights.”

FAIR (Aug. 27) – U.S. soldier Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning’s 35-year sentence represents the harshest punishment issued to date for providing media with evidence of government wrongdoing (Forbes, 8/21/13). She is the first whistleblower to be convicted under the Espionage Act, ratifying the new reality that those who give the press information that the government wants to keep secret will henceforth be treated as spies. Continue reading

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WikiLeaks shows diplomats lie to themselves before they lie to Journalists

By , FAIR

mediaculpaheader.stretchedTODAY (12/2/10) the New York Times has another report based on the latest WikiLeaks cables. The focus is on U.S. policy toward the former Soviet republic of Georgia, and the upshot is that diplomats based there exercised little to no scrutiny of the claims made by Georgian government regarding South Ossetia and Russia. The conflict there led eventually to a brief war in 2008, which was often inaccurately portrayed in U.S. media as unprovoked Russian aggression against a U.S. ally. The Times reports: Continue reading

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The short, happy Iraq War of Howard Kurtz – war criminal

By FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting)*

Media-CulpaAS THE world marks the sixth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, corporate media’s most prominent journalism critic is wondering if Barack Obama’s Iraq policy isn’t being sufficiently scrutinized. As Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz asked recently on his CNN program (3/15/09): “What about the previous president? I mean, he famously landed on that aircraft carrier, declared ‘Mission Accomplished,’ and we’re still there. Could journalists be falling into the same trap of taking a president’s word about Iraq at face value?” (Oddly, FAIR does not mention the name of the program or that Kurtz has been host of CNN’s weekly program Reliable Sources since 1998 – TS.)

It’s a good question to ask –  but is Kurtz really the best person to ask it? In the heady days of “post-war” Iraq, Howard Kurtz went out of his way to criticize those journalists who didn’t adopt Bush’s short-sighted optimism about the “success” of the invasion. Continue reading

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The return of PSYOPS

Media-CulpaU.S.military’s media manipulation in advance of the recent attack on Fallujah demands more investigation, says FAIR, the media watchdog group

THE Los Angeles Times revealed this week (12/1/04) that the U.S. military lied to CNN in the course of executing psychological warfare operations, or PSYOPS, in advance of the recent attack on Fallujah. This incident raises serious questions about government disinformation and journalistic credibility, but recent discussions of the government’s propaganda plans have excluded some valuable context. Continue reading

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On the role of the media to facilitate the disinformation of the U.S. state

Media-CulpaThree items on a U.S. psychological operation suppressed by the American monopoly media and obviously never mentioned on “Reliable Sources,” CNN’s own media monitoring program hosted by Howard Kurtz. (Postscript: In May 2013, Kurtz, the American journalist who publicly defended the war on Iraq on CNN along with a legion of generals parading as “analysts” as the bombs began to fall on Baghdad, was cashiered by Newsweek from The Daily Beast, allegedly over his boneheaded reporting about gay basketball star Jason Collins.)

Why were government propaganda experts working on news at CNN?

By FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting)* 

(March 27, 2000) – REPORTS in the Dutch newspaper Trouw (2/21/00, 2/25/00) and France’s Intelligence Newsletter (2/17/00) have revealed that several officers from the US Army’s 4th Psychological Operations (PSYOPS) Group at Ft. Bragg worked in the news division at CNN’s Atlanta headquarters last year, starting in the final days of the Kosovo War. Continue reading

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