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Friday, October 18, 2019


Headlines for Oct. 18, 2019

Click here to listen to this week's segment on Loud & Clear Radio.  
Headlines with an * are the ones we managed to fit in in our allotted time slot.

Worst, Most Misleading & Funniest Headlines for Oct. 18, 2019

*US Pullout From Syria Leaves a Major Prize for Its Foes
*Chaos in Syria after U.S. leaves
http://mercurynews.ca.newsmemory.com/?publink=03d9af9a9 — lead front page headline
The US has not left Syria!!!

*Trump downplays U.S. alliance with Syrian Kurds, saying ‘they didn’t help us in the Second World War’
After quoting Trump’s inane (or would insane be better) remark, which specifically added that the Kurds didn’t help us at Normandy, the WaPo adds not one word of historical information to put any perspective into Trump’s claim. Readers are left to believe this is a perfectly reasonable take. Not only aren't the Kurds a country, and not only didn't pretty much every country in the world "not help us at Normandy" (only Americans, British, and Canadians were part of the invasion), you know who else *was* at Normandy? The Germans.

*What, Exactly, Is Tulsi Gabbard Up To?
A follow-up to their August article headlined “Tulsi Gabbard Thinks We’re Doomed”
Associates her with "alt-right internet stars, white nationalists and Russians", the latter basically meaning "Russian news media" (so I'm afraid we're proving their point!). Smeared as "a potentially useful vector for Russian efforts to sow division within the Democratic Party."
How come we never see an article entitled "What, Exactly, is John Delaney Up To?" Or Steve Bullock? Or Wayne Messam? Or Michael Bennet? et al. All of them have no more chance of winning the election than Gabbard, and arguably much less.
Answer: Because none of them challenges establishment "wisdom" [sic] like Gabbard does, that's why. Gabbard’s tweet yesterday really demonstrates her “heresy”: “No part of Syria belongs to the U.S. So Trump does not have the right or power to "give" away a piece of Syria (Kurdish homeland) to Turkey. You can’t give away what doesn’t belong to you.”

*Poll: Trump beats Warren, Biden in Iowa match-ups
Notice anyone missing? Yes, it’s the guy who the poll shows beats Trump — Bernie Sanders. How about a headline reading “only Sanders beats Trump in Iowa”? Actually, the headline could also read “Poll shows Sanders, Warren, & Biden vs. Trump are all too close to call”, since they’re all within the margin of error. Claiming that any of them beats the other is actually unjustified.

Warren Dares Facebook With Intentionally False Political Ad
This is totally stupid; there are no false claims in this ad. The first sentence *pretends* there are, but then immediately retracts it in the third paragraph. Nice try, Liz. Why not make a *real* false claim, like saying you support Medicare for All?

*White House Says Trump ‘Strongly Condemns’ Violent Video Attacking Media
Subhead: The White House on Monday said President Trump “strongly condemns” a fake video depicting him killing members of the news media and political rivals.
Nonsense. The “White House” (ie, the staff) may condemn (whether sincere or just PR) the video. If *Trump* wanted to condemn it, he would tweet about it. He hasn’t, although he had time to tweet condemnation of Chris Wallace. Note: since the initial article, the NYT has completely rewritten the headline and the article, the latter even emphasizing how Trump himself has not actually condemned the video.

*Mark Zuckerberg suggests Facebook might have helped prevent the war in Iraq
It seems Zuckerberg is not aware that *millions* of people were in the streets protesting the war before it started. It happened anyway.

A Nazi Version of DDT Was Forgotten. Could It Help Fight Malaria?
Just because a scientific discovery was made by German scientists during WWII, it doesn’t make it a “Nazi molecule”.

*China's economic growth drops to lowest level since 1992
*China’s economic growth plunges to a new low of 6.0 per cent amid US trade war
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLDKwtYoI7M (South China Morning Post)
True. Growth was "only" 6%. Growth in the U.S. last quarter? 2%.

Friday, October 11, 2019


Headlines for Oct. 11, 2019

Click here to listen to this week's segment on Loud & Clear Radio.  
Headlines with an * are the ones we managed to fit in in our allotted time slot.

Worst, Most Misleading & Funniest Headlines for Oct. 11, 2019

*Mark Zuckerberg Says No One Deserves to Be a Billionaire
Actually very misleading. He finishes by saying, “At some level it’s not fair, but it may be optimal.”
Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center 
2008: San Francisco passes an $888 million bond to build a new hospital
2015: Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan give $75 million to help fund equipment and technology for the new hospital.
[His net worth = $67 billion; $75 million is 0.1% of his wealth]
2016: The new hospital building is completed.

And what are most billionaires really spending money on?
*No One Needs a Superyacht, but They Keep Selling Them
*Luxury doomsday bunkers: How the mega-rich are preparing for the apocalypse

*As Ecuador protests grow, president moves government out of the capital
If this were Venezuela or any other country in imperialism’s crosshairs, the headline would read “government flees capital”.

*North Korea’s Demands Throw Cold Water on Denuclearization Talks
How about “US intransigence throws cold water on denuclearization talks”?

This is how unusual it is for an intelligence officer to become a whistleblower
Subhead: In my 30 years at the CIA, I never heard of any similar case.
”I spent 30 years working in the CIA’s Clandestine Service. During those three decades, I was never aware of a whistleblower anywhere inside the CIA or the broader intelligence community.”
30 years in the CIA and he’s never heard of John Kiriakou or Jeffrey Sterling! 

To what extent did Russia’s social media effort in 2016 suppress the black vote?
A good article, but an unnecessarily clickbait headline. The answer is clear from the article, and it’s nil. There’s no evidence the Black vote was suppressed by any actions of the IRA (not “Russia”, which the article conflates with the IRA despite the lack of any evidence of that).

This Top Gifted and Talented School Is Integrated. Is It the Future?
It's 2019? Is the NYT really asking this question?

Why the wife of a U.S. diplomat was granted immunity after a fatal car crash
The headline promises a real, thoughtful answer but it’s not forthcoming. The only answer given? Because Trump says so. Basically because we’re the U.S. and they’re not.

Friday, October 04, 2019


Headlines for Oct. 4, 2019

Click here to listen to this week's segment on Loud & Clear Radio.  
Headlines with an * are the ones we managed to fit in in our allotted time slot.

Worst, Most Misleading & Funniest Headlines for Oct. 4, 2019

*Joseph C. Wilson, diplomat caught in dispute over Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, dies at 69
President Bush's 2003 State of the Union Address included these 16 words: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." In response, in the July 6, 2003, issue of The New York Times, Wilson contributed an op-ed entitled "What I Didn't Find in Africa".
“Caught in dispute over Iraqi weapons of mass destruction” — well, that’s one way of framing it. “Exposed the lies of the Bush Administration” would be another.
Compare to CNN headline: “American diplomat Joseph Wilson, who challenged reasoning for Iraq war, dies at age 69”

*Hong Kong Police Shoot Protester, as National Day Demonstrations Turn Violent
Actual details from the article:
In the video, the protester who was shot is first seen joining a black-clad mob of people who chase a riot officer and tackle him to the ground. They kick him and beat him with what appear to be metal pipes.
At one point, the protester approaches a second police officer who is standing nearby with a handgun drawn. Just after the protester hits the officer with the pipe, the officer fires at the man at point-blank range.

Now see how the media treats the protester:
*Hong Kong Student Shot by Police Is ‘The Bravest Type,’ Cousin Says
A guy who attacks a cop with a metal bar is being portrayed in the WSJ as a brave hero!

Another one from FOX:
*Hong Kong teen shot by police during pro-democracy protests now risks 10-year jail sentence

Compare to how the NYT treated protests in Iraq, where 42 people have now been shot dead:
*‘Just Give Us a Country’: Thousands in Iraq Protest Corruption
That was two days ago. Here’s today:
*At Least 42 Dead After Days Of Violent Protests In Iraq
Note how they carefully avoid saying that Iraqi security forces killed the protesters: “Iraqi security forces fired live rounds to disperse crowds of protesters in Baghdad on Friday, as the death toll from days of anti-government unrest has reached at least 42, according to officials.”

Also worth comparing to coverage of yellow vest protests:
✔ 45 weeks of protests
✔ 11 dead
✔ 76 seriously injured
✔ 2500 injured
✔ 23 lost an eye
✔ 5 lost a hand
✔ thousands arrested
✔ no mainstream media coverage

This week’s #FakeNewsByOmission story:
*Havana syndrome: Exposure to neurotoxin may have been cause, study suggests
CBC reports on a new study showing that pesticide spraying, not non-existent "acoustic weapons", caused the problems of US diplomats in Havana. BBC and Reuters eventually covered the story, but so far neither the NYT, WaPo, nor CNN (nor any other US outlet) have done so.

Trump called impeachment a ‘coup.’ Here’s why past U.S. officials have avoided the word.
Of course it’s not just “past US officials” who have refused to call the ouster of Morsi in Egypt, or Zelaya in Honduras, a “coup”, or the brief military uprising against Maduro an “attempted coup”, it’s also the WaPo, the NYT, & the rest of US media.

*Xi Extols China’s ‘Red’ Heritage in a Land Haunted by Famine Under Mao
Front page. All about the millions who died during the great famine following the Great Leap Forward. No word on the immense gains under Mao. Life expectancy from 1949 to 1979 increased from 35 to 66, meaning that billions of lives were significantly lengthened. 

Why Trump Just Made Your Dinner More Expensive
Speaks to who the Times sees as its audience. Spanish olives, French wine, and Scotch whiskey are not elements of most people’s dinners, or even their dinner parties, which are more likely to involve California olives, California wine, and Tennessee bourbon (or American beer). The one common food they mention, Parmesan cheese, may come from Italy in its “fancy” form (Parmigiano), but the Parmesan cheese in my refrigerator, the Safeway house brand, comes from Canadian cows.

Fact check: Trump attacks Washington Post over book by New York Times journalists
To quote Rick Perry, Oops! [The book is about immigration policy]

In Clashing Accounts, Trump and Rouhani Explain Why U.N. Meeting Fell Through
Why would you give equal credence in a headline to someone with more than 12,000 *documented* lies?

Friday, September 27, 2019


Headlines for Sept. 27, 2019

Click here to listen to this week's segment on Loud & Clear Radio.  
Headlines with an * are the ones we managed to fit in in our allotted time slot.

Worst, Most Misleading & Funniest Headlines for Sept. 27, 2019

*Frederick Douglass photos smashed stereotypes. Could Elizabeth Warren selfies do the same?
Wow. “Douglass sat for scores of pictures to normalize the idea of black excellence and equality, and Warren’s thousands of selfies with supporters could do the same for a female president.” "Warren is today confronting another harmful myth, experts said: that a woman is not presidential and does not belong in the Oval Office." And her "strategy to fight back" is to "stay behind to pose for pictures with pretty much every supporter who asks." Really? That’s her way of being “Presidential”? Note: Douglass was alone in all the pictures, while Warren was always with “fans”, accelerating the celebrity-obsession of our culture which was one of the factors in bringing us a Trump Presidency.

*Trump called this ex-Ukrainian prosecutor ‘very good.’ But he resigned in disgrace.
Compare the headline, which claims Shokin resigned, to the final 2 paragraphs: “To pressure Poroshenko to dismiss Shokin, the Obama administration threatened to withhold $1 billion in loan guarantees.
“In March 2016, Shokin was dismissed.”

*Phone Call Showed Only a Slice of Trump’s Obsession With Ukraine
What bollocks. Trump is not obsessed with Ukraine, which he probably couldn’t locate on a map, he’s obsessed with power and being reelected (which includes tearing down his rivals).‬

*We aid Ukraine to help it fight Russia. By holding back support, Trump helped Putin.
Aside from the lie that Ukraine is fighting Russia (if they were they would have lost years ago), author is former deputy assistant secretary of defense during the Obama administration, and even acknowledges that Obama completely withheld lethal aid, but apparently Trump’s very short-term (albeit for crass political motives) withholding of it was “helping Putin”.

*A Year Later, Iran Finds Evaporating Sympathy at the U.N.  
Another variant of when the media talks about “world opinion” when they mean “the opinion of the U.S. and its capitalist allies”. The article talks only about Britain, France and Germany.

Trump-Rouhani Meeting Was a Near Miss, but Iran Leaves the Door Open
Subhead: “President Hassan Rouhani did not dismiss the idea that a meeting with the American leader was entirely possible — under conditions set by the Iranians.”
Simpler headline from the Mercury News: Rouhani leaves door open to a meeting with Trump
Sure. All the U.S. Has to do is drop the sanctions. This is what Iran has been saying for weeks.

Yemeni Rebels Warn Iran Plans Another Strike Soon
According to “people familiar with the matter” (and denied by Houthi spokesperson).

*Trump says he is worthy of a Nobel Prize ‘for a lot of things’ — but isn’t treated fairly
“They gave one to Obama immediately after his ascent to the presidency, and he had no idea why he got it,” Trump told reporters in New York on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. “You know what, that was the only thing I agreed with him on.”

Trump Makes Clear He’s Ready for a Fight He Has Long Anticipated
Just because Trump says or pretends he’s “ready for a fight”, doesn’t mean he is. He might be scared to death, for all we know; “bluster” is his middle name. The same with “long anticipated”. Says who? For all we know he’s always assumed it would never happen, at least unless Democrats captured the Senate.

Same day, opposite take:
Trump incredulous after his moves on transparency failed to stop Pelosi
So he wasn’t “long anticipating” it?

She fled North Korea for a better life. She died with her young son in an apartment in Seoul
Learning the ultimate lesson about the reality of capitalism.

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