Attack on RT Is Another Step Towards Sovietization of American Media

This week the US Department of Justice Criminal Division forced the Russian-funded television network RT (formerly Russia Today) to register as a “foreign agent” under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Failure to comply would have risked arrest of RT’s management and seizure of its assets. The move comes on the heels of Senators’ recent demands that terrified tech giants Twitter, Facebook, and Google act as ideological filters.

With no discernable defenders among America’s media establishment, RT rightly denounced the selective FARA mandate as an attack on media freedom – which it is. But more ominous is what the move against RT says about America’s rulers’ further intention to limit the sources of information available to its subjects.

As Daniel McAdams of the Ron Paul Institute writes:

“RT America is a news organization operating in the United States that is funded at least partly by a foreign government. So is the BBC. So is Deutsche Welle, France24, Al-Jazeera, and numerous other foreign media organizations. It is assumed that they all to a degree reflect the editorial interests of those who pay the bills.

“The same is true with other, non-state funded media outlets, of course. It’s up to us to factor these things in when we consume media. That’s what it means to be a free people.

“A core value in a free society is that our own government has zero power over what we read, what we watch, how we think, how we come to interpret current events, the conclusions we draw based on these inputs, and so on. These are private matters over which any government that is not tyrannical should have no sway.

“The real insidiousness of tyrannical systems is that the government most lasciviously seeks control over most private spaces — including the most private space called our brain, our intellect, our conscience. We must be free to follow our interests down whatever path they may lead us so that we may reach our own conclusions and then perhaps test them ourselves in the marketplace of ideas.”

The attack on RT (and another Russian network, Sputnik, which evidently has not yet been given a deadline for registration) is a milestone in the degeneration of the American official (call them what you want – corporate, legacy, mainstream) media into PR agencies for the governing establishment and its ideological imperatives. We’ve been moving along this path for a while now, and it’s going to get worse.

Long gone are those halcyon days of yore when Americans could just sit back and watch CBS’s Walter Cronkite with total confidence they were getting the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. (For youngsters who have no idea who the hell Cronkite was, just Google “most trusted man in America.”) Back in the naïve infancy of the TV age, from about the 1950s until the beginning of the 1990s, there was a common national media culture that reflected the established, generally liberal, mainly Democratic tilt of the American inteligentsiya that was almost uniform among the (then only) three networks and a handful of major newspapers and magazines. To be sure, that was also a ruling class media of a sort, but it reflected a broad and deep social consensus.

Those days are no more. Perhaps the unraveling of media trust and social consensus alike started in earnest with Vietnam. But still, for decades afterwards there still seemed to be plenty of empty cranial receptacles for government and corporate propaganda of the first Gulf War under Bush 41, Bill Clinton’s phony humanitarian wars in the Balkans, Bush 43’s Iraq War, and Obama’s Libyan and Syrian imbroglios. Sadly, there are many such cranial receptacles even today.

By its attack on RT, the US government is officially telling us that only the mainstream media (MSM) can be regarded as are purveyors of Truth (with a capital T) and that anybody not on the approved list is fake. How do we know? Why, the MSM themselves tell us! The Washington Post’s “Democracy Dies in Darkness.” CNN’s “Facts First.” The New York Times’ “The Truth is Hard.” (The fact that certifiably authoritative and truthful media are militantly hostile to Russia, not to mention to Donald Trump, is purely coincidental.)

A lot of Americans don’t buy it anymore, though. Some of the skepticism falls along purely partisan lines reflecting increasing moral and political polarization: our media (which I exclusively consult) tells the truth, but your media (which I don’t consult) are liars. About one-third of Americans get their talking points from, say, Michael Moore, and from Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, with their related internet echoes, while another third gets theirs from Rush Limbaugh, and from Sean Hannity on Fox News, and their internet echo chambers. Increasingly, there is nothing like a national dialogue on anything, but rather two entirely separate, diametrically opposed ideological cultures – and alternate realities – each demonizing “them.” This is why when after Barack Obama’s election the Tea Party appeared, the GOP fell over itself trying to co-opt them, while the Democrats denounced them as a mob of racists and subversives. When later the “Occupy” and Black Lives Matter movements broke out on the Left, the Democrats tried to figure out how to channel it while top Republicans denounced it as gang of commie anarchists and losers.

With the election of Donald Trump the divide intensified further to one of latent civil war.

At some point the false picture of pseudo-reality (as Alain Besançon called it in the late Soviet propaganda context) diverges so far from real reality that the official media narrative becomes useless and even counterproductive. While a majority of Americans probably are still glued to the partisan outlets of “their” side of the political divide, there is a growing sense across the spectrum that not only the MSM but even partisan media like Fox News and MSNBC are untrustworthy.

In the past, notably in the totalitarian societies of the 20th century, maintaining the credibility of official media required the physical repression of alternatives. Today, such a crude approach is unnecessary and almost technologically unfeasible, even for such undemocratic countries as Iran, Cuba, and Saudi Arabia (though North Korea may be successful through the sheer unavailability of modern communications technology to most of the population). Instead of suppressing dissent, is it sufficient to maintain major media’s role as gatekeeper and certifier of reliability.

Which brings us back to the impact of foreign media like RT, Sputnik, Strategic Culture Foundation, Al-Jazeera, CGTN, Press TV, often in parallel with alternative media like Zero Hedge, Lew Rockwell, Antiwar.com, Ron Paul Institute, and others, to break through the information firewall but arguably then being influenced by the agenda of the sponsoring foreign governments. In any case, a growing segment of the American public is discovering a skill once well-honed by the citizens of the former communist countries: reading between the lines of the official media (which is assumed to be full of lies) and making informed comparisons to samizdat alternative media, foreign sources, and the rumor-mill to guess what the truth might be.

Make no mistake – what has started with RT won’t end with RT. Our betters have decided they need to protect our minds from “propaganda” penetration that might cause us to doubt the truth of what CNN and the Washington Post tell us.

Citizens! Be grateful for such wise leaders and dedicated information workers! Smash the enemy voices that seek to undermine our democracy as we march boldly into the radiant future!

Read More: https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/11/18/attack-rt-another-step-towards-sovietization-american-media.html

BLS Caught Fabricating Wage Data

While it’s not the first time we have observed the BLS manipulate data (the last time was in “This Is What Happens When The Bureau Of Labor Statistics Is Caught In A Lie“), never before had we actually caught the Bureau Of Labor Statistics openly fabricating data. Until now.

As reported earlier today, in one of the most closely watched statistics in today’s payrolls report, the BLS reported that the annual increase in Average Weekly Earnings was a whopping 2.9%, above the 2.5% expected, and above the 2.5% reported last month. On the surface this was a great number, as the 2.9% annual increase – whether distorted by hurricanes or not – was the highest since the financial crisis.

However, a problem emerges when one looks just one month prior, at the revised August data.

What one sees here, as Andrew Zatlin of South Bay Research first noted, is that while the Total Private Average Weekly Earnings line posted another solid increase of 0.2% month over month, an upward revision from the previous month’s 0.1%, when one looks at the components, it become clear that the BLS fabricated the numbers, and may simply hard-coded its spreadsheet with the intention of goalseeking a specific number.

Presenting Exhibit 1Table B-3 in today’s jobs report. What it shows is that whereas there was a sequential decline in the Average Weekly Earnings for Goods Producing and Private Service-producing industries which are the only two sub-components of the Total Private Line (and are circled in red on the table below) of -0.8% and -0.1% respectively, the BLS also reported that somehow, the total of these two declines was a 0.2% increase!

Another way of showing the July to August data:

  • Goods-Producing Weekly Earnings declined -0.8% from $1,118.68 to $1,109.92
  • Private Service-Providing Weekly Earnings declined -0.1% from $868.80 to $868.18
  • And yet, Total Private Hourly Earnings rose 0.2% from $907.82 to %909.19

What the above shows is, in a word, impossible: one can not have the two subcomponents of a sum-total decline, while the total increases. The math does not work.

This, as Zatlin notes, undermines not only the labor inflation narrative, but it puts into question the rest of the overall labor data, and whether there are other politically-motivated, goalseeked  “spreadsheet” errors.

We have sent an email to the BLS seeking an explanation for the above data fabrication, meanwhile here is what likely happened: a big, juicy fat-finger error, whether on purpose or otherwise because if one looks at the finalized July weekly earnings of $907.82, it’s precisely the same as what the August preliminary wage number was as released last month, also $907.82.  For the excel fans out there, it means that the August totals were simply hard coded when the BLS shifted cells in the spreadsheet, becoming July.

Of course, if the BLS confirms that this was a transposition fat finger error, it would also imply that the August number is in fact, the September data, a rather massive mistake which today has had a impact on trillions dollars worth of assets.

Source: BLS

read more: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-06/bls-caught-fabricating-data

YouTube: Ministry of Truth

YouTube “Tweaks” Its Search Algos After Las Vegas Conspiracy Theories Go Viral

In Silicon Valley’s ongoing crusade to make sure that you only consume mainstream media propaganda, you know because $100,000 worth of Facebook ads crushed Hillary’s campaign and changed the course of human history forever, YouTube has joined the likes of Facebook and Twitter in saying that it will promote more “authoritative sources in search results” going forward.  All of which, once again, begs the question of who gets to determine who is an “authoritative source?”

As the Wall Street Journal points out today, YouTube searches for “Las Vegas Shooting” earlier this week included a video from “End Times News Report” with the title “Proof Las Vegas Shooting Was a FALSE FLAG Attack – Shooter on 4th Floor.”  The video, created by Jake Morphonios who posts YouTube videos in his spare time, quickly went viral and amassed over 1.1 million views in just 27 hours…but all that changed when YouTube decided to censor Morphonios’ content and replace it with mainstream media videos…you know for your protection.

For example, the fifth result when searching “Las Vegas shooting” on YouTube late Tuesday yielded a video titled “Proof Las Vegas Shooting Was a FALSE FLAG attack—Shooter on 4th Floor.” The video said there were multiple shooters in Sunday’s mass shooting, a claim dismissed by law enforcement. Posted by a channel called the End Times News Report, it amassed more than 1.1 million views in about 27 hours.

The high search ranking of the End Times News Report video claiming there was a second shooter in Las Vegas helped it gain 371,000 views over four hours late Tuesday. On Wednesday, YouTube removed the video.

Jake Morphonios, who runs the End Times News Report along with a damaged-inventory-liquidation business in Kernersville, N.C., said the video eventually reached 2.5 million views. “It was a hot topic, of course, and was going to get some views anyway, but it really did get caught in [YouTube’s] algorithm and went viral from there,” he said. “Clearly it got into featured videos or something.” The 43-year-old said he has posted about 800 videos and typically gets about 5,000 views each.

He said he aims to offer viewers information on news events that mainstream news sources won’t. “It’s my opinion, it’s my analysis, and everyone’s got an opinion, and I can understand that maybe they don’t want me to be considered the equivalent of The Wall Street Journal or the New York Times or something like that,” he said. “But still, I’m not presenting myself as mainstream media. I’m just a guy with a computer offering an opinion. And to be punished for that is, well, it’s draconian.”

Not surprisingly, YouTube said the the “tweaks” made to their search engines were designed to promote more “authoritative sources,” especially when searches are related to “major news events.”

In response to criticism on social media of some search results this week, a person familiar with YouTube said the company is accelerating the rollout of planned changes to its search engine. On Wednesday night, the video service began promoting more authoritative sources in search results, especially pertaining to major news events, the person said. YouTube doesn’t disclose how it determines which sources are authoritative.

But while YouTube refused to offer any insights into how they plan to decipher “authoritative sources” from “non-authoritative sources”, running the same search for “Las Vegas shooting” today, after YouTube’s ‘tweaks’, provides some clues on their methodology…

Conclusion, YouTube’s ‘tweaks’ have turned it into nothing more than a mainstream media echo chamber.

FROM: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-06/youtube-tweaks-its-search-algos-after-las-vegas-conspiracy-theories-go-viral

Taibbi: Blame Media for Creating World Dumb Enough for Trump – Rolling Stone

Trump holds up an executive order that reads, "punk't."

Yet another TV executive says Trump is “good for business.” Is sudden good fortune of news media by accident or design?

The craziest part of Donald Trump’s 77-minute loon-a-thon in Phoenix earlier this week came when he rehashed his shtick about the networks turning off live coverage of his speech. Trump seemed to really believe they were shutting the cameras off because “the very dishonest media” was so terrified of his powerful words.

“They’re turning those lights off so fast!” he said. “CNN doesn’t want its failing viewership to see this!”

Trump is wrong about a lot of things, but it’s hard to be more wrong about any one thing than he was about this particular point.

No news director would turn off the feed in the middle of a Trump-meltdown. This presidency has become the ultimate ratings bonanza. Trump couldn’t do better numbers if he jumped off Mount Kilimanjaro carrying a Kardashian.

This was confirmed this week by yet another shruggingly honest TV executive – in this case Tony Maddox, head of CNN International. Maddox said CNN is doing business at “record levels.” He hinted also that the monster ratings they’re getting have taken the sting out of being accused of promoting fake news.

“[Trump] is good for business,” Maddox said. “It’s a glib thing to say. But our performance has been enhanced during this news period.” Maddox, speaking at the Edinburgh TV festival, added that most of the outlets that have been singled out by Trump are doing a swimming business. “If you look at the groups that Trump has primarily targeted: CNN, The New York TimesThe Washington PostSaturday Night Live, Stephen Colbert,” he said, “every single one of those has seen a quite remarkable growth in their viewing figures, in their sales figures.”

Everyone hisses whenever they hear quotes like these. They recall the infamous line from last year by CBS chief Les Moonves, about how Trump “may not be good for America, but he’s damn good for CBS.” Moonves was even cheekier than Maddox. He laughed and added, “The money’s rolling in, and this is fun. They’re not even talking about issues, they’re throwing bombs at each other, and I think the advertising reflects that.”

Read More: www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/taibbi-blame-media-for-creating-world-dumb-enough-for-trump-w499649

Russia Story Is Still Fake News: Thanks Again Treasonous Losers

Jan Brady says Russia Russia Russia

From Glenn Greenwald
September 28 2017,

Yet Another Major Russia Story Falls Apart. Is Skepticism Permissible Yet?
Yet Another Major Russia Story Falls Apart. Is Skepticism Permissible Yet?

Now we have the “Russia-hacked-the-voting-systems-of-21-states” to add to this trash heap of debunked official claims. Is this a healthy climate?

LAST FRIDAY, most major media outlets touted a major story about Russian attempts to hack into U.S. voting systems, based exclusively on claims made by the Department of Homeland Security. “Russians attempted to hack elections systems in 21 states in the run-up to last year’s presidential election, officials said Friday,” began the USA Today story, similar to how most other outlets presented this extraordinary claim.

This official story was explosive for obvious reasons, and predictably triggered instant decrees – that of course went viral – declaring that the legitimacy of the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election is now in doubt.

Virginia’s Democratic Congressman Don Beyer, referring to the 21 targeted states, announced that this shows “Russia tried to hack their election”:

The same day @realDonaldTrump refers to “Russia Hoax,” Homeland Security Dept. tells 21 states that Russia tried to hack their elections. https://twitter.com/ericgeller/status/911334297717501952  

MSNBC’s Paul Revere for all matters relating to the Kremlin take-over, Rachel Maddow, was indignant that this wasn’t told to us earlier and that we still aren’t getting all the details. “What we have now figured out,” Maddow gravely intoned as she showed the multi-colored maps she made, is that “Homeland Security knew at least by June that 21 states had been targeted by Russian hackers during the election. . .targeting their election infrastructure.”

DHS didn’t bother to tell the 21 states Russia tried to hack during the election until this afternoon. 

They were one small step away from demanding that the election results be nullified, indulging the sentiment expressed by #Resistance icon Carl Reiner the other day: “Is there anything more exciting that [sic] the possibility of Trump’s election being invalidated & Hillary rightfully installed as our President?”

So what was wrong with this story? Just one small thing: it was false. The story began to fall apart yesterday when Associated Press reported that Wisconsin – one of the states included in the original report that, for obvious reasons, caused the most excitement – did not, in fact, have its election systems targeted by Russian hackers:

 

Read More: theintercept.com/2017/09/28/yet-another-major-russia-story-falls-apart-is-skepticism-permissible-yet/

Democrat-Backed Creators of the “Trump Dossier” were Paid Russian Agents

The saga surrounding the Democrat supporting, leftwing Fusion GPS, just took another major turn.

At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing earlier this week the nation learned that the Democrat-linked opposition research firm, FusionGPS, was also linked to someone else.

The Russians.

We realized this several weeks ago, and we reported it to you, when we learned that the Russian lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr. was actually an employee of FusionGPS and that she had entered the country under a special dispensation from the Obama administration and that she was seemingly connected to Obama’s top Russia official, Michael McFaul.

The realization that the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, was not just some lawyer but an employee of a Democrat research firm was curious. Even worrisome. Now we know even more, and it seems more likely than ever that the Russian government was purposely attempting to sow the exact chaos we are currently seeing in our nation.

At the Senate Judiciary Committee we learned that FusionGPS, the folks who invented the Trump Dossier, were actually paid Russian agents.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM: This whole story reads like some kind of novel that nobody would buy, it’s got to be fiction, but unfortunately maybe it’s true. Let’s just break down sort of why you’re here. You believe that Fusion GPS should of registered under FARA, because they were acting on the behalf of the Russians?

WILLIAM BROWDER: That’s correct.

SEN. GRAHAM: So, I just want to absorb that for a moment. The group that did the dossier on President Trump hired this British spy, wound up getting it to the FBI. You believe they were working for the Russians?

BROWDER: And in the Spring and Summer of 2016 they were receiving money indirectly from a senior Russian government official.

SEN. GRAHAM: Okay. So, these are the people that were trying to undermine Donald Trump by showing the nefarious ties to Russia. Is that what you’re saying?

BROWDER: Well, what I’m saying with 100% certainty is that they were working to undermine the Magnitsky act and the timing of that.

SEN. GRAHAM: But, the Fusion GPS products apparently as they hired a guy to look into Trump?

BROWDER: Yes.

Browder further explained that the Russian government also worked with the Democrat firm to push “fake news” to the nation.

So. The same people who were working for the Democrat Party, created the fake Trump Dossier, spread fake news about the President, were being paid by THE RUSSIANS to do so.

Can we say collusion?

Read More: constitution.com/democrat-backed-creators-trump-dossier-paid-russian-agents/