The Real Victim of the US Elections…

…is democracy.

The trust which people seem to have had in the media has all but evaporated. Despite all their differences, both Liberals and Conservatives agree that the news (if we can still call it that) is anything but impartial. Even journalists (like Ted Koppel) are saying that the news media has acted inappropriately. This speaks to the problem of media consolidation, of mergers & acquisitions, and to the problems we’ve all been warned of when too few people control too many sources of information:  It becomes very easy to sway the apathetic populace.

Newspapers, and journalism in general, were the first to go. Newspapers have been closing down… no, dropping like flies is a better phrase. I think it started on 9/11/2001 when the FBI claimed that nineteen Saudi men were responsible for something they had nothing to do with, and when one man in particular, who was never officially implicated, was blamed by everyone but the FBI. Then came the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. By this time, the media was so far gone into the unchecked ‘facts’ that they could no longer go back. They were complicit in their collusion and war-mongering and race-baiting with government and could, therefore, not retrace their position for fear of loss of their reputation. They hedged their positions with news stories exposing minor government lies at the expense of the whoppers.

The declining trend in the newspaper industry has been attributed to the rise of the internet, but I’m not so sure. That might be backwards. Maybe, because the news media stopped doing its job, people turned to the internet. When journalists are told what to write, they stop looking for stories. When that happens, people notice and begin to lose trust in the system. News turns into propaganda. This always precedes the rise of authoritarianism. This time, despite being better disguised, the people started to see through the veil. This eroded trust in the media, trust in long-standing institutions, and trust in the government (which aligned itself very closely with the propaganda machine.) It also raised the question, “If everything is fine with democracy in the USA, why does the media feel the need to lie to us?”

The financial crisis of 2007/2008 was the next step in the collusion between the elected and the falsely and self-proclaimed defenders of democracy, the press. Obviously the headlines were wrong. Nobody, thanks to the subsequent rise of political correctness, said anything for fear of reprisals. The Patriot Act was named thusly, not because it was a particularly patriotic piece of legislation, rather, because patriots would be targeted. This was the opening salvo in the war between populism and globalism. It now became illegal to take a position contrary to the establishment view.

Politicians should not ask why we do not trust them, they have always lied. The advent of the internet and of cell-phone technology makes this easier to prove. The press, however, has always been trusted; and now that we know it did not merit such trust, we are starting to walk-back our position towards them. It turns out that there has been very little truth in the media, even going back as far as Cronkite. Maybe it started with Kennedy, maybe it has been going on for far longer than that.

The ‘Official Story’, no matter what it references, must always be verified lest democracy be lost in the trade. When the news stops doing its job, we must rely on other sources, namely, each other. Rumour has had to replace journalism, the people have nothing else with which to do the job.

Do you feel vulnerable? You need look no further than the current election reporting to know that something isn’t right. Edward R. Murrow is doing cartwheels.

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Don’t Believe ANYTHING You See, Hear, or Read

The “Code of Ethics” of the Society of Professional Journalists states: “Ethical journalism should be accurate and fair. Journalists should examine the ways their values and experiences may shape their reporting. Journalists should support the open and civil exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.”

In the spirit of transparency and openness, which is touted by the mainstream media, wouldn’t it be in the best interest of everyone involved for journalists (read: reporters,) when doing a political piece, to state which party or candidate they support beforehand? If a reporter has a vested interest in the outcome of an election, and does a hit piece on one of the candidates, a conflict of interest necessarily arises.

The politics of journalism are pervasive in every election cycle. Cenk Uygur, in a recent interview on CNN, said it loud and clear. He accused CNN of bias in its reporting. There is no such thing as the concept of ‘fair and balanced’ in the mainstream media anymore. There hasn’t been for a long, long time. Media outlets have long distorted their stories, fabricated the news, misrepresented facts, and tried to dumb-down the population by spoon-feeding them un-truths, half-truths, and outright lies.

There are many examples of this, even outside the realm of politics. Photos are routinely re-labeled for use in completely unrelated stories. Many articles about military actions, political demonstrations, government coups, and even environmental effects, have photos attached which were taken months or years before in different countries portraying different events, altogether. Photos attached to a story about the consequences of a Russian bombing campaign in Syria could actually have been taken from an American sortie in Iraq. Photos of a mass student rally in South America could be used to make it look like a mass uprising in the middle-east. Photomanipulation also plays a key role in some instances.

Ambiguous retractions (offered only when the evidence is publicly debunked) are often buried or said in passing, and only once. For example, after days of non-stop coverage of ‘Assad’s chemical weapons strike,’ CNN aired an interview with a man (who could hardly speak any English) refuting the claim that Assad’s forces were responsible, based on a report from Médecins Sans Frontières. The report was aired once and at 4am EST. They did not, based on this new evidence, change their tune. The MH-17 tragedy was reported on in much the same manner, neglecting to mention conflicting reports simply because John Kerry (based on no evidence) proclaimed it to be so. Most of the information about the situation in Ukraine and Russia’s ‘incursion’ into the Crimea is also suspect. Is the western news media beholden to the State Department? It would appear so.

An excellent article from Global Research with many examples on the subject can be found here.

Many examples of government lines being spun by the media in order to further a political agenda can be found. There are almost as many examples of those stories having been proved biased, mis-leading, incomplete, out of context, or just plain wrong. Stories about 9/11, terrorism, Ukraine, Russia, China, Israel, the Federal Reserve, economics, the middle-east, ISIS, the environment, refugees, prominent suicides, plane crashes, and anything involving John Kerry seem disproportionately affected.

Vocabulary is another tool which the media use to villify others and push their version of the truth. Jake Tapper recently categorized Donald Trump’s ‘attack*’ of an American judge of Mexican descent as being, “…the definition of racism.” He (Jake Tapper) specifically said that ‘Mexican’ was a race. Trump did not. Trump was also accused of ‘attacking’ Latinos and women when he commented that because of a tripling in food stamps, the governor (who is both) should do a better job. I do not support Trump, (nor do I support Clinton,) but none have had their words twisted to the extent that he has. Many bastardizations, miscategorizations, and ignorance of context and nuance are used routinely to bend the words of guests, pundits, and newsworthy individuals. The ‘loose’ translations of speeches and statements by foreign dignitaries is an easy way to achieve this goal, as well. (Religious scholars have been using this trick for millennia.) The word literally, literally, has a new meaning. Words are often mis-pronounced in order to show who’s on which side of the debate. Divisive (div/iss/ive vs. div/ice/ive) is a classic – btw, the former is correct.

Case in point:
*attack
verb
take aggressive action against (a place or enemy forces) with weapons or armed force, typically in a battle or war.
noun
an aggressive and violent action against a person or place.
note: If words are defined as weapons, this definition might be true, but it certainly goes against the spirit of the definitions presented.
 The financial news is perhaps the area in which the most manipulation and cherry-picking occur. Negative stories about the state of the economy are played down, positive stories are played up, and complexities are never truly examined or explained (mostly because of the lack of financial knowledge on the part of the reporters.)

The complete story behind the markets, the American economy, the global economy, the actors involved, and much more can be found here, on ZeroHedge.

And then there is the stuff they just make up.

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Television news has been corrupted. Bought and paid for by corporate and political interests and financed through advertising by these same entities. “Support our candidate or we will advertise on another station.” “Portray the new congressional bill in a positive light or we will cut your funding.” “Support our wars of conquest or you will be labeled as subversive, or worse.” Scratch our backs and we will scratch yours is the mantra that pervades that which passes itself off as news.

Of course, they mainstream news tries to blame the prevalence of fake stories on the internet. “How the internet misled you in 2015”-BBC. This is certainly a valid point. The reality, though, is that much of what is viral first came from a news desk. Not all their mistakes are attributable to conspiracy theorists and subversive forces. Fake social media stories can easily be ignored; those from reputed (Reuters, AP etc) and state-run news agencies (CBC, BBC etc) cannot. The implications are far too important.

News agencies must vett their sources, check their facts, verify their media, do their own research, and double-check everything otherwise the 1st Amendment (and other statutes similar to it) are left hollow, bereft of any meaning in a free and democratic society. Either that or they should admit to being an entertainment program and lose the ‘News’ moniker, altogether. Either way, honesty and integrity need to find their way back into the daily lives of the masses. They simply don’t have time to check.

Is it any wonder why news media outlets are so mis-trusted? Is it any wonder why politicians often use distrust of the news media to deflect, to distract and to deceive? And for those of you who think that this used to happen, but doesn’t anymore…

CNN_Busted_For_Faking_Satellite_Interview__151708

Both these people still make regular appearances on the cable news network. I guess their budgets are not what they used to be. I wonder why.

…do a search with these terms, “cnn fake parking lot.”

Actually, just watch this short video. (26:11)

Some more images (some viral, some from the news) for your consideration.