Be sure to follow me on Twitter @leftiblog

Friday, March 15, 2019


Headlines for March 15, 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 March 15, 2019

*Video: The U.S. Blamed Maduro for Burning Aid to Venezuela. New Video Casts Doubt.
*Article: Footage Contradicts U.S. Claim That Maduro Burned Aid Convoy
All of this information (showing anti-government protesters on the Colombian side throwing molotov cocktails which set the aid trucks on fire) was available *at the time*. And it was reported at the time by, e.g., RT, Sputnik, TeleSUR and other independent outlets, the ones routinely branded as “fake news”. Video mentions “mainstream press” as being complicit in spreading the lie, but the caption singles out Twitter & TV, absolving the NYT & WaPo etc. And of course the video contains its own share of slander & misinformation. It also makes it appear this was just a mistake by Rubio et al & not deliberate lies.
The article itself also notes “the claim about a shipment of medicine [that was burned], too, appears to be unsubstantiated, according to videos and interviews.” But the article continues to excuse the media, blaming politicians who made the claims, and continues to imply that the Maduro govt was really ultimately responsible, e.g., “Mr. Maduro’s security forces, along with government-aligned gangs, attacked protesters, who came armed with rocks and Molotov cocktails.”
Note also other outlets barely picking up the story. WaPo, in the middle of a long article about events in Venezuela, adds one sentence: “But a New York Times investigation published Sunday points to new evidence that the fires were set off inadvertently by opposition protesters.” “Inadvertently”. Also just “points to”.
Tulsi Gabbard showed her unique campaign again by posting on FB and tweeting about this today: “Investigation reveals Pence and Bolton lied to promote US regime change in Venezuela. Nothing new there. I wonder why CNN, MSNBC, FOX, etc. haven’t shared this information with the American people. Kudos to New York Times.”
Other non-coverage: Mercury News, ABC Nightly News, FOX Noon News (Shepard Smith), local news.

*Inside the August plot to kill Maduro with drones
Yet again, a US govt/US media story (that the drone attack attempt on Maduro's life last August was faked by Maduro) falls apart."The Venezuelan government's account of the attack confirms parts of [the plotters] story, including the drones' flight paths." Here was typical coverage from last year (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/08/06/venezuela-drone-attack-nicolas-maduro-assassination-attempt-what-happened/913096002/) : “The Venezuelan government alleges that Maduro's political opponents conspired with individuals in Miami and Bogota, Colombia, to try to kill Maduro. They have so far offered no real proof to support this claim, and opposition leaders charge that Maduro is using the attack as an excuse to crack down on his critics.”
Incidentally Bloomberg exposed this entire plot days after it happened:
*Inside the Coup Plotting Before the Venezuela Drone Assassination Attempt

*How the U.S. Is Getting Pulled Into the Venezuela Crisis
Why the crisis will become increasingly difficult for the U.S. to ignore.
The author is basically talking about military intervention, although perhaps out of squeamishness he never actually says so, making the headline and his thesis utterly ridiculous. And of course he never mentions U.S. sanctions, or even the fact that the U.S. basically gave Guaidó the go-ahead (or even the order?) to declare himself President and then immediately recognized him and pressured its allies to do so, was what precipitated the current crisis in the first place.

*Marco Rubio’s inaccurate tweets on Venezuela embolden liberal critics
Rubio tweeted about Maduro forces burning the “aid” trucks, that 80 neonatal patients had died, etc. All of which was, by the way, repeated by corporate media. And while Rubio got heat on Twitter from people like me, his lies are hardly gave “fodder to those on the left who want to negotiate with Nicolás Maduro instead of getting rid of him” as the article absurdly alleges. Most ridiculous line in the article: “But amplifying reports that turn out to be inaccurate fuels domestic critics, mostly on the far left, who say that the decision to recognize Juan Guaidó as the country’s leader over Maduro is the first step in a U.S.-backed coup.”

*Russian trolls can be surprisingly subtle, and often fun to read
So this is an article about "Russian trolls", right? Well, maybe. "Examining a range of data points, including source material and the timing of tweets, told us that this account was most likely operated from Russia’s Internet Research Agency." And what "source material" tipped them off? The first example they give is a bit of snark about Trump, supposedly their favorite guy: "Criticizing Trump in a book is just unfair. It’s like criticizing the Amish on television." The second example is a tweet extolling Michelle Obama: "Daily reminder that the most educated First Lady in American history is a black woman with two Ivy League degrees from Harvard and Princeton." Another example they provide, from the day after the 2016 election, is: "27 IRA accounts tweeted, #ThingsYouCantIgnore a Russian plant as your next #POTUS." Really? Sounds more like a tweet from Hillary Clinton.

Documents shed light on Russian hacking of Democratic Party leaders
A Russian businessman owns Webzilla, which is one of the biggest web hosting companies in the world, and happens to be based in Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, and the Netherlands, not Russia at all. Webzilla servers were allegedly used by hackers. As he says, “Trying to blame XBT (Webzilla) for this is like trying to blame Verizon for everything bad that happens on the Internet because they happen to own some of the fiber cables.”

Pompeo slams Cuba as 'true imperialist power' in Venezuela
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/pompeo-slams-cuba-as-true-imperialist-power-in-venezuela/ar-BBUEzfW (Actually CNN)
Words fail.

Felicity Huffman Apprehended At Her Home By Armed FBI Agents in Early Morning Arrest
Not just armed but with guns drawn!

Recipe For Disaster? Ecuador Set for Reforms with IMF Deal
Just using this headline to rant about one of my pet peeves — the use of the word “reform” to describe any changes. TeleSUR clearly stands against the things being proposed, like cuts in fuel subsidies, yet they still use the word “reform” which per the dictionary means “the improvement or amendment of what is wrong, corrupt, unsatisfactory, etc”.

Thumbnail headline: Amid Blackout in Venezuela, Maduro and Guaidó Hold Dueling Rallies
Article headline: As Venezuela's Blackout Drags On, Protesters Fill The Streets Of Caracas
Article uses its first paragraphs to talk about the Guaidó rally, and finally mentions Maduro addressing supporters in the Presidential palace. No mention of the pro-government rally in the streets, which, judging from pictures on social media, was equal to or larger than the Guaidó rally. Here’s the description of the Maduro event: “Maduro held his own rally inside the presidential palace for supporters, who believe they are the victim of a coup by the White House.” Whereever did they get that idea?

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours? Weblog Commenting by HaloScan.com High Class Blogs: News and Media