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Posts Tagged ‘Fake news’

New York Times Called for “Reality Czar” to Imprison Anyone they Claim is Stating Fake News? | Armstrong Economics

Posted by M. C. on February 6, 2021

Martin Armstrong

The New York Times has called on President Biden to create a “Reality Czar” to shut down all dissent, which they immediately label conspiracy theories without any real investigation. In 1924, the New York Times was pushing that we were heading into a new Ice Age. Was that disinformation? CNN has called on cable companies to drop Fox News as if everything CNN says is the gospel.

The New York Times cheered Stalin and constantly reported that this was the way to the future – Stalinism. They seem to be preaching that again with a “Reality Czar” right out of Stalin’s handbook. They are supporting once again this move to a Marxist Utopia. The New York Times hid the truth about Stalin because they were in favor of Communism during the Great Depression. Stalin’s great economic miracle was achieved by taking all the food from Ukraine to pretend Communism was working in Russia causing over 7 million to starve to death.

I strongly recommend you watch the movie, Mr. Jones. This exposes the TRUE STORY of how the New York Times tried to support Communism in the United States back then, with their top journalist, Walter Duranty (1884-1957), who was their main man in Moscow. The New York Times promoted him to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize for reporting on how Communism was Utopia and our future. When Gareth Jones (1905-1935) in March 1933 reported this was all a lie, the truth finally began to appear.

It took the New York Times until 1990 to admit that their reporting covered up the truth about Stalin and the massive starvation in an effort, like Schwab, once again, to sell “equality” as our salvation. The New York Times covered up the more than 7 million people who died of starvation in the Ukraine famine. The New York Times wrote that their reporting on the Russian Revolution constituted “some of the worst reporting to appear in this newspaper.” They never revoked his Pultizer Prize for writing fake news about Stalin.

The Homeland Security and the FBI both said that Russia’s hack of the DNC did not involve altering the vote. In fact, it was his own paper that reported on November 25, 2016: “The Obama administration said on Friday that despite Russian attempts to undermine the presidential election, it has concluded that the results “accurately reflect the will of the American people.” So was four years of stating the Russians put Trump in the White House, not misinformation?


The constant lies the press has spun about Russia invading the US elections in 2016 and manipulations seem intent upon creating war, exactly as took place with the Spanish American War. We have returned to yellow journalism, which is based upon sensationalism and crude exaggeration. Pulitzer and Hearst went head to head. I remember grade school history class blaming the Spanish American War on fake news. There is one such story that male Spanish officials were strip-searching American woman tourists in Cuba looking for claimed messages from rebels. This was the front page of Hearst’s newspaper showing what has become known as “yellow journalism” whereby the illustration was by Frederic Remington published in the New York Journal, February 12th, 1897.

Hearst’s New York Journal was called out for this fake news by its rival Joseph Pulitzer’s, New York World,  reporting that this story was erroneous and its graphically illustrated strip-search of a woman aboard U.S. passenger steamer was fake. The Journal article was written by Richard Harding Davis, who reported that Spanish authorities boarded the U.S. steamer, the Olivette, as it prepared to leave Havana and searched several passengers for contraband. Among the passengers was a young Cuban woman named Clemencia Arango, whose brother was a leader in the insurgency against Spanish rule. The Journal’s article was ambiguous, implying the woman was strip-searched by men, which was created by the accompanying illustration of Frederic Remington.

The New York World attacked the Journal’s fake news, quoting Arango as denying that men had strip-searched her. That task, she said, had fallen to a matron, or “inspectress.” The Journalist Davis, in a letter to the World, then blamed Frederic Remington for having drawn “an imaginary picture” and insisted his dispatch had not reported that men had conducted the search.

Nevertheless, this story of the strip-search discredited the Journal as being unreliable and prone to publishing “fakes” and other thinly documented reports. Welcome to the present where the New York Times and Washington Post seem to be carrying on in the same unreliable manner as well as ABC, CBS, NBC, and of course – CNN.

Fake news is not limited to the United States. The press has joined the governments 100% around the world.  Journalism is dead. It is now all about just indoctrination. The New York Times wants a “Reality Czar” to imprison and fine anyone who dares to argue an opposite view? Welcome to Communism 3.0. They are destroying everything for their fictional Utopia.

The very foundation of democracy is to encourage a debate. But now, they just label the opposition as a conspiracy theory and condemn them. Since the New York Times supported Stalin and that whatever he did was for the greater good (see: film “Mr. Jones”), we should expect mainstream media to advocate terms of imprisonment for anyone who disagrees with their political views or objectives. The word is that Washington will keep the military in place into 2022. They will use every excuse to constantly extend their military encampment turning Washington into the US version of North Korea. There you join the military to get first dibs on the food. Here, you will be pushed to vaccinate or be denied employment and travel. This is what the New York Times supports.

This is shredding the Constitution and eliminating everything America once stood for. The press is finished. They have defeated the Constitution which they saw as the enemy. They now occupy Capitol Hill. They have become the enemy.

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Can You Believe This? A Real Medical Breakthrough in an Era of Fake News! – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on January 25, 2021

By Bill Sardi

No more tubes forced down the throat (intubation).  No more liquid feeding tubes.  No more damage to the lung from positive pressure ventilators.  Patients able to communicate freely, drink through a straw and eat solid food with assistance (spoon feeding).  I’ve said it many times, we ought to go back to the iron lung if we are going to end up with scarred lungs from positive pressure ventilators.

See the rest here

Copyright © Bill Sardi, writing from La Verne, California. This article has been written exclusively for and other parties who wish to refer to it should link rather than post at other URLs.

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My ‘fake news’ odyssey: How I learned the media prefer narratives over facts and never tell the whole story

Posted by M. C. on October 29, 2020

After the war, when I came to the US to study, I remember reading with incredulity the newspaper archives at my university library. They depicted a war that never happened, a politically correct fiction totally divorced from reality, often thanks to simple omission of relevant facts and ‘editorial guidance’ telling people what they should think instead.

Written by Nebojsa Malic Thursday October 29, 2020

With just days left to go before a US election everyone deservingly regards as pivotal, a battle is raging over ‘fake news’ and even the meaning of words. It’s a battle I’ve already watched being fought, in another war long ago.

Today, outlets like CNN would have you believe ‘fake news’ began with President Donald Trump five years ago, and that he weaponized the term against the good and honest media serving as the guardians of ‘our democracy’, or some such.

Trump was the first US President to deploy the term “fake news” against his opponents. And over the last 4 years, he has brought the phrase into the mainstream, popularizing it as a smear for unfavorable, but factual coverage | Analysis by @elizamackintosh — CNN (@CNN) October 25, 2020

One doesn’t have to be a Republican (I am not) to reject this as misinformation at best, or at worst deliberate gaslighting. It was in fact the mainstream outlets, led by CNN, that weaponized the term ‘fake news’ against Trump, first to block his election and then to delegitimize it with the likes of the ‘Steele Dossier’.

CNN’s Oliver Darcy will be surprised to learn from CNN that “fake news” was pushed by Trump, as opposed to what really happened, which is that Darcy & other journos mainstreamed it as a buzzword in their campaign to delegitimize and undermine the results of the 2016 election. — Omri Ceren (@omriceren) October 26, 2020

The reason I know this, however, goes back 25 years, to Sarajevo. To most of you, the name may only be familiar in the context of the First World War, or the Bosnian War of the 1990s. It happens to be my home town. I grew up on the street where Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in 1914, and almost got killed at least three times during that other war, fourscore years later. 

After the war, when I came to the US to study, I remember reading with incredulity the newspaper archives at my university library. They depicted a war that never happened, a politically correct fiction totally divorced from reality, often thanks to simple omission of relevant facts and ‘editorial guidance’ telling people what they should think instead.

It was the age of ‘advocacy journalism’, led by the likes of CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. So Western adventurers flocked to the war zone, to do advocacy disguised as journalism. I should know – I worked with many of them, as the translator and local fixer in Sarajevo for the better part of 1995.

One story in particular stuck with me, in a ‘there but for the grace of God go I’ sort of way. It was October, and a ceasefire had just been declared. Most of us there didn’t expect it to last, but it would turn out to be the war-ending armistice. I joined a trio of journalists to visit an apartment building, the morning after a gas explosion.

We found a square hole in the building, as if some giant hand had punched right through. The contents of the apartment were scattered about in the parking lot outside. The neighbors told us what happened: like many others in Sarajevo, the family that lived there had installed a makeshift gas hookup, using garden and water hoses. One of the hoses had sprung a leak and filled the apartment with gas. Then power sputtered back on during the night. When one of the sons flipped the light switch… Boom.

The Washington Post version of the story was mostly fair, actually – except for what it omits. For example, it says “the natural gas supplied to Sarajevo by Russia is not odorized, so nobody notices when it leaks,” as if that’s to blame. Except it wasn’t Russia’s fault, as the odor agent is supposed to be added by the local distributor, not the country of origin.

The story also doesn’t mention why most gas hookups were pirated – including the one my family had set up – and that’s because all the metal pipes normally used for the purpose had been diverted to make weapons. So was much of the gas, for that matter: I remember it suddenly running out in the mornings, only to come back sometime at night. If you left your vents open… Boom. 

The explosions were so frequent, we quickly learned their specific sound, just as we had learned to recognize if we were shelled by mortars, howitzers, tanks or rocket launchers.

I told the reporters all this. None of it made it into the stories. It didn’t fit ‘the narrative’. The gas explosions simply couldn’t be a story of civilians suffering from incompetence and greed of their own government, but had to be blamed on the ‘besieging’ Serbs. Even Russia, which provided the gas at a special humanitarian price at a time when it could least afford to, was made to look bad for it.

The is just one story. There were many more. Bosnian War propaganda has radicalized millions around the world, from jihadists and liberal interventionists in the 1990s – as Brendan O’Neill has documented – to domestic militants in places like Norway and New Zealand, as I wrote before.

So it is with anxiety that I watch the same media outlets using the same kind of propaganda now, this time in a battle for power within the US. The same people who insisted the infamous Steele Dossier had been proven true (fact check: wrong) and constantly cite unverifiable anonymous sources, all of a sudden insist that even mentioning a laptop allegedly belonging to a candidate’s son is “unverified” or “Russian disinformation.” 

These are the same people who insist any criticism of them is a danger to freedom of the press, but go out of their way to get dissenters doxxed and deplatformed by social media networks, insisting it’s not censorship when it’s private Big Tech companies doing it. 

Just like the gas leaking out of the makeshift hoses in Sarajevo, this sort of poison is slowly filling up America. Next thing you know, someone will flip a switch. And then… Boom.

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : People have been so spooked by the state-sanctioned Project Fear that they believe TENS OF MILLIONS have died from Covid-19

Posted by M. C. on August 3, 2020

So in real terms, the public in the UK think 4.6 MILLION people have died of Covid there, rather than the actual 46,000. In the US, people believe 29.5m have died from it, rather than 155,000.

On one level, many experts and governments, particularly behavioural ‘scientists’ will welcome this revelation. The idea that striking fear into people as a sure way to get them to change their behaviour (which I wrote about here recently), suggests for those who uphold this diminished view of the masses, that this is not only justified, but that it works.

Written by Norman Lewis


The perception of the risks of the Covid-19 crisis are now so exaggerated that it demonstrates how fear has become the only true enduring reality of the pandemic.

The gap between the reality and perception around Covid risks – almost a factor of 100 – shows how state-sanctioned “fake news” – Project Fear – has come to dominate the public imagination and is negatively impacting how we manage the crisis.

A Research Report, “Covid-19 Opinion Tracker, edition”, published on 27 July 2020, by Kekst CNC, a global strategic communications company which is part of the Publicis Groupe, the world’s third largest communications group, has almost passed the world’s media by. Yet it contains one truly remarkable section on the perception versus the reality of impact of Covid-19 on the public.

The report shows that across the five countries in which the survey was conducted, people, without exception, think that the risks from Coronavirus are far more widespread and dangerous than official figures show.

The survey was conducted between 10-15 July 2020. In the perception versus reality section of the survey, 1000 adults were questioned in the UK, USA, Germany, Sweden, and France.

Two questions were posed which required people filling in percentages: How many people in your country have had coronavirus? How many people in your country have died from coronavirus?

The results are astonishing: to the first question relating to the numbers who have contracted C-19; people in the UK answered 22 per cent (4 times higher than official figures); in the USA, the answer was 20 per cent (20 times greater than confirmed cases); in Germany, the answer was 11 per cent (46 times greater than confirmed cases); in Sweden, the answer was 16 per cent (20 times confirmed cases) and in France, the answers was 12 per cent (46 times confirmed cases).

On the numbers of deaths, the figures are even more exaggerated: in the UK, the response was 7 per cent (100 times greater than confirmed deaths); in the US, the answer was 9 per cent (225 times greater than the confirmed deaths); in Germany, the answer was 3 per cent (300 times greater than confirmed deaths); in Sweden, the answer was 6 per cent (100 times greater than confirmed deaths); and in France, the answer was 5 per cent (100 times greater than confirmed deaths).

So in real terms, the public in the UK think 4.6 MILLION people have died of Covid there, rather than the actual 46,000. In the US, people believe 29.5m have died from it, rather than 155,000.

One might argue that these figures reveal people in these countries need some educating about statistics and percentages. But the truth is that the pattern is unmistakable – the perception of the risk and danger is far greater than reality.

This is the reality of society today. It is the outcome not of ‘fake news’ or an expression of that equally vacuous and fallacious invention, ‘post-truth’ society. This is an outcome of state-backed ‘fake news’, where the threat of the Coronavirus and steps taken to deal with it have institutionalised an exaggerated sense of uncertainty and fear among millions of citizens around the world.

On one level, many experts and governments, particularly behavioural ‘scientists’ will welcome this revelation. The idea that striking fear into people as a sure way to get them to change their behaviour (which I wrote about here recently), suggests for those who uphold this diminished view of the masses, that this is not only justified, but that it works.

But there is a huge price to pay for stoking such fears and misconceptions about the real threat posed by the Coronavirus. For example, the survey has another revealing insight: compulsory mask-wearing, despite having no scientific basis whatsoever, is now popular in almost all countries, and political and corporate leadership on masks has a big impact.This might increase political opportunism and have a short-term benefit for unpopular politicians, but what it is eroding is a longer-term nuanced ability to manage the risk posed by Covid-19. A manmade crisis is morphing into a “natural” disaster where fear now trumps truth; a reality from which we all stand to lose.

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Is the Texas Covid ‘Spike’ Fake News?

Posted by M. C. on July 7, 2020

As Judge Hill said at that May 18th meeting, “If you have a subjective fever and you have a headache and you live in Collin County, you now meet the qualifications to be a probable COVID patient. It is remarkable how low the standard is now.”

Even worse, once a “probable” case was determined based on possibly unrelated subjective criteria, up to 15 people in possible contact with that “probable” case were also listed as “probable cases.” And “probable cases” were considered cases.


On July 2nd, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order mandating the wearing of face masks across the state, whether indoors or outdoors, when six feet cannot be maintained between people. In the governor’s decree, he cited a rise in Covid cases, a rise in test positivity, and a rise in hospitalizations as justification to force people to cover their faces in public.

The move is not only a violation of the civil liberties of all Texans. Abbott may have based his executive order on inaccurate information about a “rise” in Covid cases due to the Texas State Department of Health Services changing the definition of what constitutes a “Covid case.”

Thanks goes to Collin County Judge Chris Hill for blowing the whistle on what appears to be a move in mid-May to redefine what was a “Covid” case to open the door to a massive increase – all to match the mainstream media line that a “second wave” was on the way.

In a Commissioners Court hearing for Collin County on May 18th, it was revealed that while previously the determination of a Covid “case” was a confirmed test result, the definition was suddenly changed to count “probable” cases as “cases.” At the same time, the threshold for determining “probable” was lowered to a ridiculous level.

As Judge Hill said at that May 18th meeting, “If you have a subjective fever and you have a headache and you live in Collin County, you now meet the qualifications to be a probable COVID patient. It is remarkable how low the standard is now.”

Even worse, once a “probable” case was determined based on possibly unrelated subjective criteria, up to 15 people in possible contact with that “probable” case were also listed as “probable cases.” And “probable cases” were considered cases.

Repeat that farce across Texas and is it any wonder there was a “spike” in “cases”?

Also, Governor Abbott’s claim that hospitals were being over-run by Covid patients was refuted by the Houston hospital directors themselves, who said they were nowhere near actual capacity and in fact were about the same level as they were last year.

The basis for Abbott’s unconstitutional “executive order” has been shown to be false. Will he admit his mistake?

It is encouraging to see so many local and county officials across Texas announcing they will refuse to enforce Governor Abbott’s unconstitutional face mask order. Thankfully the spirit of freedom and love of liberty is still alive in Texas.

The “second wave” is driven by propaganda. Across the country, Covid testing increased from about 150,000 to more than 700,000 per day. You can’t drive through Houston without seeing a flurry of signs advertising “Free Covid test! Results in 15 minutes!” Last week Reuters reported that tests shipped around the country by the federal government were contaminated.

Deaths from coronavirus – even the deaths “with” coronavirus rather than deaths “from” coronavirus – are down more than 90 percent since the peak in April. The decline in deaths continues. That means we are closer to the “herd immunity” that will finally kill this virus. Yet Governor Abbott and others across the country see this as a reason to lock the country back down.

Copyright © 2020 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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Nolte: CBS News Plays Italy Hospital Footage — Again — for Report on U.S. Coronavirus Response

Posted by M. C. on April 9, 2020

Ask yourself this… Why is CBS News forced to use another country’s B-roll to try to fool the American people into believing things are worse than they are?

But as we have seen over the past few weeks, although things are bad, they are nowhere near as bad as the media hoped.

Take NOTHING about coronavirus about face value. Especially statistics.

by John Nolte

In this photograph taken from behind a window, doctors work on Covid-19 patients in the intensive care unit of San Matteo Hospital, in Pavia, northern Italy, Thursday, March 26, 2020. The San Matteo hospital is where Patient 1, a 38-year-old Unilever worker named Mattia, was kept since he tested positive …

Far-left CBS has been caught broadcasting misleading hospital footage for a second time during the coronavirus pandemic.

About two weeks ago, on March 22, CBS News used deceptively-edited footage the first time. Breitbart News reported then that “Far-left CBS News was caught red-handed using chaotic footage from an Italian hospital in a story about New York City hospitals.”

“It was an editing mistake. We took immediate steps to remove it from all platforms and shows,” CBS News explained unconvincingly at the time.

The establishment media’s coronavirus agenda is as sociopathic as it is obvious: up the death count. Why else would the media be actively looking to discourage those suffering from the Chinese virus from taking perfectly safe (as long as it’s in consultation with a doctor) anti-malaria drugs?

Simply put, the more Americans who die, the more it hurts President Trump’s 2020 reelection chances. And one way to mislead the American people into believing the death count is unnecessarily high is to air chaotic hospital footage from Italy — a country with socialized medicine, by the way — and tell us this is an American hospital.

In the case of the first CBS fake news broadcast, the Italian footage was used to exaggerate and misrepresent a New York hospital.

Over the weekend, CBS News again used this video to mislead its viewers, this time while talking about a Philadelphia hospital:

As I mentioned in my earlier piece the first time CBS intentionally misled its viewers with this footage:

Am I the only one who’s noticed how these so-called “mistakes” only ever fall in one direction?

Am I saying the media are hoping for death and chaos? Am I saying the media care more about beating Trump in 2020 than they do American lives? You’re goddamned right that what’s I’m saying.

And that’s why these mistakes only ever fall one way: in favor of the fake news media’s anti-Trump agenda.

Has the media ever made a mistake in Trump’s favor?

No. But you already knew that.

Look at the legion of coronavirus lies we have already caught the establishment media spreading, and now we’re supposed to believe this was just — oopsies! — an editing error.

What’s more, and let’s never forget this… CBS was also caught lying when it spread the fake news that Trump told those suffering from the coronavirus to go to work.

After CBS was busted using this footage the first time, CBS said it “took immediate steps to remove [the clip] from all platforms and shows.”

Well, obviously CBS didn’t.

But here’s the thing…

Ask yourself this… Why is CBS News forced to use another country’s B-roll to try to fool the American people into believing things are worse than they are?

The asking of the question answers the question… because CBS cannot get its hands on legitimate footage of U.S. hospital chaos.

And don’t for a minute believe that’s due to a lack of trying.

But as we have seen over the past few weeks, although things are bad, they are nowhere near as bad as the media hoped. Everyone who has so far needed a ventilator has gotten one. Nearby hospitals have been able to handle any overflow, so our hospitals are not overwhelmed, not even in New York,  and coronavirus patients are not stacked one upon the other.

But just don’t call CBS News the enemy of the people. That would be wrong.

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‘What’s Wrong with You?’: Taiwan Excoriates WHO for Coronavirus ‘Fake News’

Posted by M. C. on February 6, 2020

Stay vigilant.

Take nothing you hear about coronavirus at face value.

At a WHO meeting on Wednesday, the United States urged the group to include Taiwan in the response, insisting that saving lives from a health emergency was not a political endeavor…

The pro-mandatory vaccine/anti-gun WHO is part of the UN which is one giant political endeavor.

Makes you wonder what else about coronavirus reporting is lies.

by Frances Martel

Foreign Affairs Minister Joseph Wu of Taiwan erupted against the World Health Organization (WHO) on Twitter Wednesday for its deliberate exclusion of the country from the ongoing coronavirus response and its misreporting on the situation in Taiwan.

The WHO, a United Nations body, refuses to acknowledge the existence of Taiwan or allow it into any of its venues or programs, as the Chinese Communist Party falsely claims it as a rogue province. The WHO has refused to cooperate with the Taiwanese government through the process of responding to the coronavirus crisis that began in China last month and claims to be in contact with Taiwan through the Communist Party, which has no ties to Taipei or control of the island.

As a result, the WHO published false statistics on the coronavirus outbreak in Taiwan, inflating the actual number of confirmed cases there. It has also referred to Taiwan as “Taiwan, China,” which the Taiwanese government has repeatedly condemned as inaccurate and disrespectful.

On Wednesday, Foreign Minister Wu used the official account of his ministry to address the WHO and demanded to know, “what’s wrong with you”:

The WHO published a “situation report” on the coronavirus outbreak – which at press time is believed to have infected over 28,000 people and killed over 500, nearly all of them in China – on Wednesday that referred to Taiwan as “Taipei and environs,” an attempted correction of “Taiwan, China,” which prompted global outrage. The day before, the “Taiwan, China” case count was listed as 13, three more than the Taiwanese government had actually confirmed. The error is a result of the WHO refusing to communicate with the Taiwanese government. Taiwan’s Health and Welfare Ministry referred to the number as “fake news” and blamed “wrong numbers that were provided by China” for the mistake. Taipei also blamed the WHO for Vietnam and Italy limiting its flights to Taiwan, citing false information from the U.N. organization.

The ministry account addressed WHO Secretary-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus directly on Thursday, demanding a retraction of his effusive praise for China’s response to the viral outbreak. China has consistently withheld key information during the outbreak, refusing to acknowledge it for nearly a month in the city of Wuhan, where it originated. The refusal to alert health professionals in the city about the contagious nature of the deadly virus left many exposed to coronavirus patients and resulted in hospitals not adequately isolating potential patients and thus exposing people who were already sick and in a state of compromised health, to the virus.

Adhanom has demanded that the world show “gratitude and respect” to the Communist Party for its flawed response to the outbreak.

The remarks followed a stern rebuke from Foreign Affairs Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou on Thursday, who called the false numbers from the WHO “absurd.”

“We expressed our solemn protest to the WHO after Taiwan’s objection with regards to the matter through its representative office in Geneva and several other channels was ignored,” she said. “I’d like to ask the WHO, how many times are you going to change Taiwan’s name? These are not our correct names. Let me reiterate — our name is Taiwan, whose formal name is the Republic of China.”

At a WHO meeting on Wednesday, the United States urged the group to include Taiwan in the response, insisting that saving lives from a health emergency was not a political endeavor…

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How Finland’s fake four-day week became a ‘fact’ in Europe’s media | News Now Finland

Posted by M. C. on January 7, 2020


David Mac Dougall

We take a look at how media outlets in the UK – and in Europe, Asia, Australia and USA – were all caught out by a Finland story that was just too good to be true. Because it wasn’t.

Have you heard the news? Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) is doing something radical.

“Finland’s new prime minister, 34-year-old Sanna Marin, has announced plans to introduce a four-day week” says the Guardian, underneath the statement that Marin has “promised” a short working week.

“Finland’s new prime minister calls for four-day working week” says the Independent.

Britain’s commercial television channel ITV writes that “Finland PM calls for four-day working week and six-hour days.”

“Four-day working week and six-hour shifts to be introduced in Finland” trumpets Metro.

Meanwhile in the Daily Mail, with millions of readers every day, the headline is “Finland to introduce a four-day working week and SIX-HOUR days under plans drawn up by 34-year-old prime minister Sanna Marin.”

The story is not just confined to UK media outlets either: over the course of 12 hours on Monday it’s been repeated in a Belgian media website; and been the topic of a call-in during an Irish radio programme. It’s been published in Australia, India and the USA as well.

And it’s not true.

Not only are these proposals not included in the Finnish government’s policy programme, multiple government sources told News Now Finland on Monday evening that it’s not even on the horizon.

SDP politicians and party activists gather at 120th anniversary event Turku, 19th August 2019 / Credit: Jukka-Pekka Flander, SDP

Charting the origins of the story 

So how did this fake news story begin, and how did the misinformation spread so quickly?

Back in August 2019 some senior Social Democrat politicians and party activists gathered in Turku on Finland’s southwest coast, for an event to mark the organisation’s 120th anniversary.

The weather was warm, the drinks were flowing, and the Turku Workers’ Association brass band – resplendent in their scarlet blazers – played traditional tunes while the guests sang along.

After then-PM Antti Rinne had made a speech, it was time for a panel discussion.

The participants included Sanna Marin – at the time Minister of Transport; Tytti Tuppurainen, Minister for European Affairs; Ville Skinnari, Minister of Development and Trade; and Antti Rönnholm, the SDP’s Party Secretary.

They sat under a canopy on a small raised stage, with a potted ficus and some SDP banners for decoration.

A moderator posed questions and kept everything moving along, but the whole event that day was about a celebration of the party’s history rather than formulating policy – which had anyway already been enshrined in Rinne’s government programme just two months before.

At one point during the discussion Sanna Marin floated the idea that Finland’s productivity could benefit from either a four-day working week, or a six-hour working day (she never suggested both).

Marin also tweeted about it at the time, noting plainly that it was an SDP party goal to reduce working hours – but to be clear, again, this was never official government policy.

The comment got some modest media attention in Finland but the news cycle soon moved on.

Composite picture showing some of the misinformation about PM Sanna Marin

Tracking the spread of the fake news story

Four months after the Turku event, on 16th December 2019, Austrian news outlet Kontrast picked up the story.

Journalist Patricia Huber quoted Marin as saying that day: “A 4-day week and a 6-hour work day. Why shouldn’t that be our next step? Are eight hours really the last truth? I think people deserve to spend more time with their family, loved ones, hobbies and other aspects of their lives – like culture. That could be the next step in our working life.”

It’s the key quote to follow here, and it matches almost exactly to what Finnish media quoted Marin as saying at the time. So in that sense it’s accurate.

The next time the story crops up is 2nd January 2020, when Brussels-based newspaper New Europe published an article by journalist Zoi Didili whose headline was “Finnish PM Marin calls for 4-day-week and 6-hours working day in the country.”

It gives the impression that this is an initiative announced after Marin became PM with the opening paragraph “Sanna Marin, Finland’s new Prime Minister since early December has called for the introduction of a flexible working schedule in the country that would foresee a 4-day-week and 6-hours working day.”

It gets several things wrong in that one sentence, and while it does reference the SDP’s Turku event, it doesn’t actually quote Marin saying there should be a four-day week, or six-hour days, and frames the whole context as if it’s a new initiative since Marin became PM.

It’s this article which seems to have sparked other stories especially in the British press, who quote Marin’s comments about people deserving to spend more time with their families, but offer no context or timeline for the original information.

File image of computer, cyber / Credit: iStock

How should the government respond to fake news?

This is not the most damaging piece of fake news, but the way it’s been picked up, adapted, and crucially not fact-checked by so many otherwise credible media outlets is worrying in an era where people are quick to spread information without verifying its provenance.

“If the misinformation is harmful then you should really attempt to address it as soon as possible. But always consider that the misinformation is likely to travel faster than the truth, so you are looking more at damage limitation rather than anything more effective” says Fergus Bell, CEO of Fathm, a consultancy for the news industry with a specific focus on countering misinformation in media.

“It is useful to have a communications team that know how to spot stories that might be surfacing – this is going to be the quickest way to put out a correction as quickly as possible” he advises.

It’s sound advice, and may have been hindered in Finland by Monday’s public holiday with civil servants and politicians trying to enjoy a day off. But Bell says that countering misinformation might anyway have a limited impact.

“Because of the way misinformation can spread a rebuttal might only fan the flames of the misinformation and give it life. Drawing additional attention to it isn’t going to make it go away any faster.”

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Realism & Restraint The Campaign to Lie America Into World War II

Posted by M. C. on December 7, 2019

Home/Articles/Realism & Restraint/The Campaign to Lie America Into World War II

Before Pearl Harbor, there was an elaborate British influence operation of forged documents, fake news, and manipulation.

A World War II era poster showing portraits of Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill with the title “Liberators of The World”. The poster also shows the flags of the Allies, and the sinking of the Japanese battleship Haruna. (Photo by David J. & Janice L. Frent/Corbis via Getty Images)

Seventy-eight years ago, on December 6, 1941, the United States was at peace with world. The next morning, local time, the Empire of Japan bombed the U.S. Navy base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Four days later, Nazi Germany issued a declaration of war against the United States. The American people were now unalterably involved in a global conflict that would take the lives of over 400,000 of their native sons.

But before Japan opened this door to war, the United States had been the target of an elaborate, covert influence campaign meant to push public opinion, by hook or by crook, into supporting intervention on the side of the British. Conducted by the United Kingdom’s MI6 intelligence service, it involved sometimes witting (and often unwitting) collaboration with the highest echelons of the U.S. government and media establishment.

In the early summer of 1940, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill dispatched intelligence agent William Stephenson to North America to establish the innocuous-sounding British Security Coordination (BSC). The Canadian-born Stephenson was a World War I flying ace and wealthy industrialist who had been a close Churchill confidant for several years. Adopting the codename “Intrepid” during his operations, spymaster Stephenson served as the main inspiration for James Bond (whose creator, Ian Fleming, worked with the BSC).

The BSC’s base of operations was the 35th floor of Rockefeller Center in New York City, which it occupied rent-free. The influence campaign began in April 1941, employing hundreds of agents, including well-placed individuals in front groups, the government, and polling organizations.

Intrepid had his work cut out for him.

Entering 1941, upwards of 80 percent of Americans opposed U.S. intervention in the war in Europe, a sentiment expressed through the America First Committee. Founded in September 1940 by a group of Yale students (including Gerald Ford, Sargent Shriver, and future Supreme Court justice Potter Stewart), at its peak the organization had 800,000 dues paying members and 450 local chapters spread across the country.

“The America First Committee was taking the position that we should not be involved in foreign wars, as we were in World War I,” John V. Denson, a distinguished scholar at the Ludwig von Mises Institute and former circuit judge in Alabama, told The American Conservative. “There was a great deal of criticism of [Woodrow] Wilson taking us into World War I, so there was strong sentiment that we were tricked into that war and therefore that we needed to stay out of European wars. That was the America First position. We didn’t want England or anyone else dragging us into another war.”

This meant that a primary goal of the BSC was to disparage and harass those Americans opposed to entering World War II. But it couldn’t do this in the open. The Fight for Freedom Committee was (like the BSC) established in April 1941 and also headquartered at Rockefeller Center. There it announced that the United States ought to accept “the fact that we are at war, whether declared or undeclared.”

In September 1941, when North Dakota Senator Gerald Nye, an anti-interventionist and scourge of the armaments industry, gave a speech in Boston, Fight for Freedom demonstrators booed and heckled him while handing out 25,000 pamphlets labeling him an “appeaser and Nazi-lover.” Similarly, when New York Congressman Hamilton Fish III, an irritable thorn in Franklin Roosevelt’s side, held a rally in Milwaukee, a Fight for Freedom member interrupted his speech to hand him a placard: “Der Fuhrer thanks you for your loyalty.” Reporters, alerted ahead of time, made sure photos of the scene were reprinted nationwide.

When Charles Lindbergh, the aviator and the America First Committee’s most popular speaker, addressed a rally at Madison Square Garden in October 1941, Fight for Freedom attempted to sow confusion by printing duplicate tickets. Lindbergh still successfully spoke to over 20,000 supporters, not including an agent provocateur who tried to cause a stir by yelling, “Hang Roosevelt!” (In actuality, it would be Lindbergh’s infamous September 11 remarks in Des Moines that would do more to damage the non-interventionist cause than any of the BSC-orchestrated hijinks.)

A 1945 study by BSC historians described their efforts: “Personalities were discredited, their unsavory pasts were dug up, their utterances were printed and reprinted…. Little by little, a sense of guilt crept through the cities and across the states. The campaign took hold.”

The rest here

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Attacking The Source: The Establishment Loyalist’s Favorite Online Tactic – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on December 4, 2019

If you’re skeptical of western power structures and you’ve ever engaged in online political debate for any length of time, the following has definitely happened to you.

You find yourself going back and forth with one of those high-confidence, low-information establishment types who’s promulgating a dubious mainstream narrative, whether that be about politics, war, Julian Assange, or whatever. At some point they make an assertion which you know to be false–publicly available information invalidates the claim they’re making.

“I’ve got them now!” you think to yourself, if you’re new to this sort of thing. Then you share a link to an article or video which makes a well-sourced, independently verifiable case for the point you are trying to make.

Then, the inevitable happens.

“LMAO! That outlet!” they scoff in response. “That outlet is propaganda/fake news/conspiracy theory trash!”

Or something to that effect. You’ll encounter this tactic over and over and over again if you continually engage in online political discourse with people who don’t agree with you. It doesn’t matter if you’re literally just linking to an interview featuring some public figure saying a thing you’d claimed they said. It doesn’t matter if you’re linking to a WikiLeaks publication of a verified authentic document. Unless you’re linking to CNN/Fox News (whichever fits the preferred ideology of the establishment loyalist you’re debating), they’ll bleat “fake news!” or “propaganda!” or “Russia!” as though that in and of itself magically invalidates the point you’re trying to make.

And of course it doesn’t. What they are doing is called attacking the source, also known as an ad hominem, and it’s a very basic logical fallacy.

Most people are familiar with the term “ad hominem”, but they usually think about it in terms of merely hurling verbal insults at people. What it actually means is attacking the source of the argument rather than attacking the argument itself in a way that avoids dealing with the question of whether or not the argument itself is true. It’s a logical fallacy because it’s used to deliberately obfuscate the goal of a logical conclusion to the debate.

“An ad hominem is more than just an insult,” explains David Ferrer for The Quad. “It’s an insult used as if it were an argument or evidence in support of a conclusion. Verbally attacking people proves nothing about the truth or falsity of their claims.”

This can take the form of saying “Claim X is false because the person making it is an idiot.” But it can also take the form of “Claim X is false because the person making it is a propagandist,” or “Claim X is false because the person making it is a conspiracy theorist.”

Someone being an idiot, a propagandist or a conspiracy theorist is irrelevant to the question of whether or not what they’re saying is true. In my last article debunking a spin job on the OPCW scandal by the narrative management firm Bellingcat, I pointed out that Bellingcat is funded by imperialist regime change operations like the National Endowment for Democracy, which was worth highlighting because it shows the readers where that organization is coming from. But if I’d left my argument there it would still be an ad hominem attack, because it wouldn’t address whether or not what Bellingcat wrote about the OPCW scandal is true. It would be a logical fallacy; proving that they are propagandists doesn’t prove that what they are saying in this particular instance is false.

What I had to do in order to actually refute Bellingcat’s spin job was show that they were making a bad argument using bad logic, which I did by highlighting the way they used pedantic wordplay to make it seem as though the explosive leaks which have been emerging from the OPCW’s investigation of an alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria were insignificant. I had to show how Bellingcat actually never came anywhere close to addressing the actual concerns about a leaked internal OPCW email, such as extremely low chlorinated organic chemical levels on the scene and patients’ symptoms not matching up with chlorine gas poisoning, as well as the fact that the OPCW investigators plainly don’t feel as though their concerns were met since they’re blowing the whistle on the organisation now.

And, for the record, Bellingcat’s lead trainer/researcher guy responded to my arguments by saying I’m a conspiracy theorist. I personally count that as a win.

The correct response to someone who attacks the outlet or individual you’re citing instead of attacking the actual argument being made is, “You’re attacking the source instead of the argument. That’s a logical fallacy, and it’s only ever employed by people who can’t attack the argument.”

The demand that you only ever use mainstream establishment media when arguing against establishment narratives is itself an inherently contradictory position, because establishment media by their very nature do not report facts against the establishment. It’s saying “You’re only allowed to criticise establishment power using outlets which never criticize establishment power.”

Good luck finding a compilation of Trump’s dangerous escalations against Moscow like the one I wrote the other day anywhere in the mainstream media, for example. Neither mainstream liberals nor mainstream conservatives are interested in promoting that narrative, so it simply doesn’t exist in the mainstream information bubble. Every item I listed in that article is independently verifiable and sourced from separate mainstream media reports, yet if you share that article in a debate with an establishment loyalist and they know who I am, nine times out of ten they’ll say something like “LOL Caitlin Johnstone?? She’s nuts!” With “nuts” of course meaning “Says things my TV doesn’t say”.

It’s possible to just click on all the hyperlinks in my article and share them separately to make your point, but you can also simply point out that they are committing a logical fallacy, and that they are doing so because they can’t actually attack the argument.

This will make them very upset, because for the last few years establishment loyalists have been told that it is perfectly normal and acceptable to attack the source instead of the argument. The mass hysteria about “fake news” and “Russian propaganda” has left consumers of mainstream media with the unquestioned assumption that if they ever so much as glance at an RT article their faces will begin to melt like that scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark. They’ve been trained to believe that it’s perfectly logical and acceptable to simply shriek “propaganda!” at a rational argument or well-sourced article which invalidates their position, or even to proactively go around calling people Russian agents who dissent from mainstream western power-serving narratives.

But it isn’t logical, and it isn’t acceptable. The best way to oppose their favorite logically fallacious tactic is to call it like it is, and let them deal with the cognitive dissonance that that brings up for them.

Of course some nuance is needed here. Remember that alternative media is just like anything else: there’s good and bad, even within the same outlet, so make sure what you’re sharing is solid and not just some schmuck making a baseless claim. You can’t just post a link to some Youtuber making an unsubstantiated assertion and then accuse the person you’re debating of attacking the source when they dismiss it. That which has been presented without evidence may be dismissed without evidence, and if the link you’re citing consists of nothing other than unproven assertions by someone they’ve got no reason to take at their word, they can rightly dismiss it.

If however the claims in the link you’re citing are logically coherent arguments or well-documented facts presented in a way that people can independently fact-check, it doesn’t matter if you’re citing CNN or Sputnik. The only advantage to using CNN when possible would be that it allows you to skip the part where they perform the online equivalent of putting their fingers in their ears and humming.

Don’t allow those who are still sleeping bully those who are not into silence. Insist on facts, evidence, and intellectually honest arguments, and if they refuse to provide them call it what it is: an admission that they have lost the debate.


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