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Friday, March 20, 2020


 

Headlines for Mar. 20, 2020




Click here (check back later for link) 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 Mar. 20, 2020

*The World Needs Masks. China Makes Them — But Has Been Hoarding Them.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/13/business/masks-china-coronavirus.html
This article appeared on the same day Chinese billionaire Jack Ma began shipping one million masks to the U.S. Also, one of the big factories making those masks in China is an American company, 3M! So don’t blame China, blame 3M!
By the way, yesterday California Governor Gavin Newsom addressed the state on TV, and admitted the state has a cache of **11 MILLION masks**! And that they would begin distributing one million of them.

*Virus Hits Europe Harder Than China. Is That the Price of an Open Society?
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/19/world/europe/europe-china-coronavirus.html
"To some extent, experts say, Europeans are paying a price for living in open, affluent democracies, where people are used to free movement, easy travel and independent decision-making, and where governments worry about public opinion. Governments aren’t used to giving harsh orders, and citizens aren’t used to following them.
"But China acted with a severity and breadth that stunned the West, making unpopular moves and accepting deep economic damage as the price of containing the disease."
The word that doesn't appear in this article when attempting to excuse the ineffective response of Europe and the U.S.? "Profit".

*Can Russia Use the Coronavirus to Sow Discord Among Americans?
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/16/opinion/russian-interference-coronavirus.html
The article talks about past “disinformation” efforts allegedly by the Soviet Union (note: a different country than Russia!). The problem with these efforts, from the US point of view? They tell the truth!!!
“Less than a year later, another insidious example of racial engineering appeared, this time in Africa. The 15-page pamphlet started with a one-line, all-caps cover page, inscribed “TO OUR DEAR FRIENDS.” The document purported to come from the “African Friends Association,” allegedly based in the United States. “We, Negroes living in the United States of America, are going to reveal the truth to you about the way the Americans really treat people with dark skin,” the pamphlet said. The forgers reported, for example — truthfully — that Edward Aaron, 34, had been abducted, beaten and castrated by Klansmen in Birmingham, Ala. The K.G.B. circulated and published its paper in English and French in at least 16 African countries.
“This poisonous little racist tract is a headache for our diplomatic missions in Africa,” Richard Helms of the C.I.A. told the Senate Judiciary Committee in June 1961 — a particular headache because the K.G.B. largely stuck to the facts.”
And coronavirus? “The coronavirus is sweeping right into campaign season, it is already flanked by polarizing conspiracy theories and the president’s response to the emergency is hotly contested. The virus is exposing a range of contradictions ready for sharpening — for example, a simmering generational conflict spurred by skewed fatality rates. To reach their disruptive goal, Russian planners may well calculate, as they did in 2016, that helping Mr. Trump weakens America.”

From last week, a story we didn’t get to:
*Russia Trying to Stoke U.S. Racial Tensions Before Election, Officials Say
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/10/us/politics/russian-interference-race.html
It never stops, despite this: “Russia’s primary goal…is to foster a sense of chaos in the US, though its motivations are under debate.” As I have several times recently, I ask: “Has this chaos reduced the war budget? Kept the US from opposing Nordstream? Stopped it from trying to overthrow Assad or Maduro?” They never point to any conceivable benefit to Russia from this “chaos” they’re allegedly causing, because there isn’t any. And how are they causing this chaos? Through utterly nefarious means…by reporting the truth:
“Russia’s more public influence operations, like state-backed news organizations, have continued to push divisive racial narratives, including stories emphasizing allegations of police abuse in the United States and highlighting racism against African-Americans within the military.”
Also “Last week, RT ran a story about a video of New York police arresting a black man that sparked outrage.”

Trump Now Claims He Always Knew the Coronavirus Would Be a Pandemic
Subhead: The president tried to rewrite his history with advising Americans about the coronavirus. His own words prove him wrong.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/17/us/politics/trump-coronavirus.html
Print edition, first page, top headline: PLAN WOULD INJECT $1 TRILLION INTO ECONOMY
Saying He Long Saw Pandemic, Trump Rewrites History
Followed by an entire article of things Trump said like “We have it totally under control.” They did leave out where he called it a “Democratic hoax”.

*Trump asks Syrian government to ‘work with us’ to free journalist who disappeared
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/trump-asks-syrian-government-to-work-with-us-to-free-journalist-who-disappeared/2020/03/19/980c5a4c-6a0e-11ea-b5f1-a5a804158597_story.html
The article itself also notes attempts to free Americans held by Venezuela and Iran. There is a brief reference to Venezuela being “devastated by U.S. sanctions”, but no mention of sanctions on Syria or Iran, much less a mention of regime change efforts in all three. The article mentions the “success” that Trump had in freeing one American held in Iran, but failed to mention that his release on medical furlough was part of a general release of 85,000 Iranian prisoners, and had (as far as we know) nothing to do with any special efforts by Trump.

U.S.-led coalition to withdraw hundreds of troops from smaller bases in Iraq
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/us-led-coalition-to-withdraw-hundreds-of-troops-from-smaller-bases-in-iraq/2020/03/16/4af2b69e-6783-11ea-b199-3a9799c54512_story.html
Where by “withdrawal” they actually mean “being shifted to larger bases where they won’t be quite as vulnerable in a country where they’re not wanted”.



Friday, March 13, 2020


 

Headlines for Mar. 13, 2020




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 Mar. 13, 2020


*Accurate: In the U.S., Getting Tested Is Still Incredibly Hard 
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/12/us/coronavirus-testing-challenges.html

*Misleading: After Trump promised ‘anybody’ can get coronavirus testing, patients and doctors still complain of roadblocks 
https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/coronavirus-testing-denials/2020/03/12/a70eca1e-63df-11ea-912d-d98032ec8e25_story.html

First sentence: “Many Americans who are sick and seeking a coronavirus test continue to be turned away.”

*'Beauty is freedom': The North Korean millennials wearing makeup to rebel against the state
https://www.cnn.com/style/article/north-korea-womens-beauty-freedom/index.html
"Putting on red lipstick is unimaginable in North Korea," she says. "The color red represents capitalism and that may be why North Korean society does not let you wear it." Yeah, no: https://www.boredpanda.com/woman-portrait-photography-noroc-michaela-north-korea/
Don’t ever believe defector stories.

*The OAS helped undermine, not restore, democracy in Bolivia
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/03/07/oas-helped-undermine-not-restore-democracy-bolivia/
Now they’re willing to print this, months too late. “Following Morales’s ouster, Bolivia has come under the control of a right-wing authoritarian regime that has killed dozens of unarmed protesters, detained hundreds, blocked international human rights investigators, systematically repressed political opponents, threatened journalists and media outlets, embraced racism, and enacted a far-right agenda for which it has no electoral mandate nor constitutional legitimacy.” Almost none of this information has appeared in the mainstream media, yet it all well-known to followers of independent media. And while it tries to correct the record of the past, there’s nothing about the upcoming elections, like how Morales has been disqualified from running.

*Bernie Sanders Made a Big Concession Speech. Just Not the Usual Kind.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/11/us/politics/bernie-vs-biden-2020-race.html
The article quotes Sanders as acknowledging that he is “losing” to Biden. That is not what he said! He said “we are losing the debate over electability”.
Headline will definitely suppress Sanders’ vote, just like another one from the Mercury News: “Sanders not dropping out yet, plans to be in Sunday’s debate”. All designed to implant the idea in voters’ minds that Sanders has already lost, so why bother voting for him.

*US, Canadian fighter jets intercept Russian aircraft above Alaska
https://thehill.com/policy/defense/486887-us-canadian-fighter-jets-intercept-russian-aircraft-above-alaska
"Above" in this case apparently means "north of". From the article: "the Russian aircraft remained in international airspace over the Beaufort Sea and came as close as 50 nautical miles to the coast but did not enter U.S. or Canadian airspace."

*U.S. launches strikes in Iraq against Iranian-backed militias after attack that killed coalition troops
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2020/03/12/pentagon-awaiting-decision-trump-how-respond-deadly-rocket-attack-iraq/
Three more references in the article itself to “Iranian-backed militias”; not a single mention of the fact that the people being attacked are Iraqis and part of the Iraqi military. (By contrast, the NYT uses the phrase “an Iraqi militia with ties to Iran” to describe the same attack)

Russia Trying to Stoke U.S. Racial Tensions Before Election, Officials Say
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/10/us/politics/russian-interference-race.html
It never stops, despite this: “Russia’s primary goal…is to foster a sense of chaos in the US, though its motivations are under debate.” As I have several times recently, I ask: “Has this chaos reduced the war budget? Kept the US from opposing Nordstream? Stopped it from trying to overthrow Assad or Maduro?” They never point to any conceivable benefit to Russia from this “chaos” they’re allegedly causing, because there isn’t any. And how are they causing this chaos? Through utterly nefarious means…by reporting the truth:
“Russia’s more public influence operations, like state-backed news organizations, have continued to push divisive racial narratives, including stories emphasizing allegations of police abuse in the United States and highlighting racism against African-Americans within the military.”
Also “Last week, RT ran a story about a video of New York police arresting a black man that sparked outrage. The organization has also posted tweets aimed at stirring white animosity, publishing an article in January accusing The New York Times of hating white people and criticizing Hank Azaria for quitting as the voice of Apu on “The Simpsons” because of its stereotyping of South Asians.”



Tuesday, March 10, 2020


 

It's been "Tulsi is a Russian asset" from day 1


I was watching this latest video put out by Tulsi Gabbard, in which she talks about the grief she got in 2016 for not endorsing Hillary Clinton (and how she wants people to vote for her because she's the best candidate, not because she's a woman), criminal justice reform, what her long-term goals are, and lots more. It's very interesting, but long (an hour and a half). I continue to think that Gabbard is by far the most articulate candidate who was (and still is!) part of the Democratic race.



While watching it, I was reminded by Gabbard of this fact: she announced she was going to run on January 11, 2019 but her official announcement occurred on Feb. 2. On that same day, NBC News ran the very first hit piece on her campaign (presumably in preparation since Jan. 11), headlined "Russia's propaganda machine discovers 2020 Democratic candidate Tulsi Gabbard" and subtitled "Experts who track websites and social media linked to Russia have seen stirrings of a possible campaign of support for Hawaii Democrat Tulsi Gabbard", an article carefully timed to negate any benefit of her announcement. I had this article queued up to talk about on the Feb. 8, 2019 broadcast of Loud & Clear Radio, during my segment on the week's "Worst, Most Misleading, & Funniest Headlines", but we spent the whole time talking about Venezuela and never got to it.

Here's what I would have said (and which appeared in slighter rougher and more abbreviated form in my blog that day):

The article expresses alarm that RT and Sputnik, which are no more “propaganda” than NBC (or the rest of the corporate media) dared to run positive articles about Gabbard. But the real scandal is the underreporting of Gabbard by the corporate media. She announced for President on Saturday and gave a strong speech, speaking out against regime change, against neocons and neolibs who demand permanent war. The next day both the New York Times and Washington Post (and other corporate outlets) had stories on Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, and not a word about Gabbard’s announcement speech. On Sunday night ABC had a brief roundup of Democratic announcements; they gave equal time to a clip from Gabbard’s speech (not centering on her antiwar message) and a clip from Pete Buttigieg (who? He’s the Mayor of South Bend, Indiana!*).

Gabbard is also described as being "pro-Russian" or "pro-Russian interests". Here are two examples which give you an idea what they mean: "'How does going to war with Russia over Syria serve the interest of the American people?' she mentioned in a tweet. Gabbard has also supported Trump's diplomatic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in one of her multiple appearances with Tucker Carlson." That's the "substance" of the charge. If you don't think trying to overthrow the Syrian government, possibly risking a war with Russia (or even not risking a war with Russia, just overthrowing the Syrian government period), serves the interest of Americans, you're "pro-Russia". Ditto for daring to think we should negotiate with North Korea; if you think so, you're obviously doing so because you're "pro-Russia", not because you think it's in the interest of the United States. This is the sick kind of thinking that pervades the establishment in this country.

But the biggest scandal of all isn’t the claim that RT & Sputnik are daring to report on Gabbard, or that she dares take positions which happen to align with the position of the Russian government. It’s the claim of a “Russian bot” social media campaign. Or rather, the “stirrings of a possible campaign of support.” And who says so? “Analysts at New Knowledge.” And who is “New Knowledge”? The company that just got caught by the NYT fabricating Russian troll accounts on behalf of the Democratic Party in the Alabama Senate race to manufacture false accusations that the Kremlin was interfering in that election. The company whose CEO had his account closed by Facebook because of this fraud!


*Buttigieg obviously became better known later; on Feb. 8, 2019, he was almost totally unknown.

Friday, March 06, 2020


 

Headlines for Mar. 6, 2020




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 Mar. 6, 2020


*Pete Buttigieg might be the most progressive candidate ever to run for president
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/mar/02/pete-buttigieg-president-white-house-gay-lgbtq
We don’t even have to go back in history to, say, FDR; Buttigieg was not even in the top three in the current group of candidates! The whole premise is that he’s gay and was treated like a normal candidate. That doesn’t make him progressive, any more than Margaret Thatcher was progressive because she was the first female PM of Britain.
By the way – at one point on Monday, this was the TOP HEADLINE on Google News. Which is why it’s worth noting, despite the fact that the Guardian is not on the top of anyone’s list of most frequently read news sources by Americans.

*China Stopped Its Economy to Tackle Coronavirus. Now the World Suffers.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/02/business/economy/china-coronavirus-economy.html
What’s the matter with China anyway? Why didn’t they let more people die so the “world” wouldn’t suffer? By the way, that “world” in the headline isn’t actually the world’s people, it’s the world’s businesses.

*Bernie Angry. Bernie Smash!
Subhead: Forget the Happy Warrior. Enter the Crabby Warrior.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/04/opinion/bernie-biden-happy-warrior.html
Latest entry in the “anything but Bernie” sweepstakes.
“Mr. Sanders seems to be driven less by joy than by fire, less inspired by the delights of what President Richard Nixon called “the arena” than by the seriousness of the revolution he is trying to bring about.”

*‘November he will win!’: Inside Planet Bernie’s defiant, Phish-fueled, down-with-the-man Super Tuesday party
https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/inside-bernie-sanderss-super-tuesday-party-phish-fueled-and-full-of-down-with-the-man-defiance/2020/03/04/dfd1ad38-5e28-11ea-b014-4fafa866bb81_story.html
“They came in their Carhartt overalls and tie-dye Crocs. They came with their unruly beards and blond dreadlocks. They came with their rain jackets tied around their waists, in enough fleece vests to circle the moon a couple of times. They came with their outrage at the status quo, their willingness to "fight for someone you don't know."” You’d think they were all aging hippies, when in fact most of the crowd was too young to have ever met a hippie.

As Bernie Sanders Pushed for Closer Ties, Soviet Union Spotted Opportunity
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/05/world/europe/bernie-sanders-soviet-russia.html
Not in the article, but the tweet from the NYT promoting the article: “For Bernie Sanders, his 1988 trip to the Soviet Union was an effort to build diplomatic ties. For the Soviets, it was the start of a years-long propaganda effort to exploit his antiwar agenda, documents obtained by The New York Times show.” “Years -long” sounds ominous, but the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991!
“Mayor Sanders was proud to join dozens of American cities in seeking to end the Cold War through a Sister Cities program that was encouraged by President Reagan himself.” [during the era of Gorbachev and Glasnost]
“Unbeknown to him, his desire for friendship meshed with the efforts of Soviet officials in Moscow to “reveal American imperialism as the main source of the danger of war.”” — those crazy Russians, where did they get that idea.
“Mr. Sanders reached out to the Soviet Union via an organization based in Virginia, requesting a sister-city partnership with the Cold War adversary in an effort to end the threat of nuclear annihilation.”
““It is my strong belief that if our planet is going to survive, and if we are going to be able to convert the hundreds of billions of dollars that both the United States and the Soviet Union are now wasting on weapons of destruction into areas of productive human development, there is going to have to be a significant increase in citizen-to-citizen contact,” Mr. Sanders wrote.”

Court Bans Agents Who Botched Carter Page Surveillance From Seeking Wiretaps
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/04/us/politics/fisa-court-fbi-surveillance.html
It wasn’t “surveillance” that was botched, it was the FISA warrant, and those warrants weren’t “botched”, they were deliberately misleading. These people should be going to jail.

*Why Biden Is the Change Candidate
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/04/opinion/biden-2020-election.html
Based on the argument that Biden will give the Democrats a better chance to take over the Senate, even while admitting that “The betting markets suggest that Republicans have a better chance of winning the House than the Democrats do the Senate.” Also the usual “Bernie will never accomplish what he is campaigning on.”

North Korean Swagger May Conceal Brewing Virus Disaster
https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2020-03-03/north-korean-swagger-may-conceal-brewing-virus-disaster
1075 words of pure speculation. Also “North Korean media, meanwhile, are filled with self-described examples of ultra-vigilance — as well as a sense of urgency.” Hardly sounds like “swagger”.

Why Russia Is Rooting for Both Trump and Sanders
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/26/podcasts/the-daily/russia-trump-sanders.html
Filled with definitive statements like “it is public now that Russia is supportive of both President Trump and Bernie Sanders” but a total absence of evidence, covered over by this: “this is wrapped up in their sources and methods.” Anyone remember “Curveball”?

Putin and Erdogan Reach Accord to Halt Fighting in Syria
Subhead: As President Vladimir V. Putin welcomed Turkey’s leader to Moscow, his primary goal is to protect his long-term project of dividing NATO.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/05/world/europe/putin-erdogan-syria.html
Most readers will simply assume Putin has actually said this. Maybe he’s thinking it, maybe not, but asserting this as Putin’s “primary goal” is just misinformation.



Sunday, March 01, 2020


 

Headlines for Feb. 28, 2020




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 Feb. 28, 2020


*Bolivia dismissed its October elections as fraudulent. Our research found no reason to suspect fraud.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/02/26/bolivia-dismissed-its-october-elections-fraudulent-our-research-found-no-reason-suspect-fraud/
“Bolivia” did not dismiss the elections as fraudulent. The OAS, the US government and media, and the Bolivian right-wing and military did. Finally, an even worse problem with the headline is the conclusion—that there's no reason to suspect fraud. That's true, but the real conclusion is more important—that Evo Morales was the legitimate winner of the election, and that the coup against him was completely unjustified.
Essential to note that this study produced identical results to the CEPR study published on Nov. 8 (https://www.cepr.net/press-release/no-evidence-that-bolivian-election-results-were-affected-by-irregularities-or-fraud-statistical-analysis-shows/ ), before the culmination of the coup, but a study which was completely suppressed by the corporate media..

*How Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders both reject the reality of climate change
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/how-donald-trump-and-bernie-sanders-both-reject-the-reality-of-climate-change/2020/02/23/cc657dcc-54de-11ea-9e47-59804be1dcfb_story.html
A Fred Hiatt column, whose thesis is that because Bernie proposes drastic solutions to climate change, including banning fracking, but doesn’t support a carbon tax, ergo he rejects the reality of climate change.

*Democrats, You’ve Got 10 Days Left
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/28/opinion/democrats-super-tuesday.html
To do what? To beat Sanders, of course.

*A socialist is likely to win the 2020 election. No, not Bernie Sanders.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-socialist-is-likely-to-win-the-2020-election-no-not-bernie-sanders/2020/02/24/d5053fba-5747-11ea-ab68-101ecfec2532_story.html
“Trump’s version of socialism soaks the poor, not the rich.”
Yeah, not socialism.

*The Bernie Sanders 'panic index'
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zysnjGXxjOs
The Financial Times has developed a Bernie Sanders 'panic index' using a strange (and confusing) inverted graph. The presenter admits this "thought experiment" is not scientific and is, in fact, "all hypothetical."

*Why Bernie Sanders’s repeating Cuban propaganda rankles so many Latinos
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/02/25/why-bernie-sanderss-repeating-cuban-propaganda-rankles-so-many-latinos/
Now it’s “propaganda” to speak the truth.

*Israel targets Islamic Jihad in Gaza, Syria after Palestinian militants fire rockets into Israel for second day
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/militants-fire-rockets-from-gaza-after-israeli-army-bulldozer-is-filmed-dragging-body/2020/02/23/2ee8a524-565a-11ea-8efd-0f904bdd8057_story.html
The rocket fire inturn was a response to the initial provocation, Israel’s use of a bulldozer to murder of a member of Islamic Jihad. That’s finally mentioned in the tenth paragraph: “Islamic Jihad asserted responsibility for the rocket fire, saying it was in response to the killing of Mohammed al-Naem, a member of Islamic Jihad.”

Trump squeezes Venezuela’s regime, while ordinary Venezuelans go hungry
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2020/02/25/trump-squeezes-venezuelas-regime-while-ordinary-venezuelans-go-hungry/
Sanctions don’t, and were never intended to, squeeze “the regime”. They were always intended to squeeze ordinary Venezuelans to make them dissatisfied with their government and acquiesce to regime change. That is the case in every country the U.S. is sanctioning, including Venezuela, Iran, Cuba, & DPRK.

Apple does not ‘let bad guys use iPhones on screen’
https://amp.theguardian.com/technology/2020/feb/26/apple-does-not-let-bad-guys-use-iphones-on-screen



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