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Friday, April 19, 2019


Headlines for April 19, 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 April 19, 2019

*Front pages the day after the Mueller report drops:

WaPo: Mueller lays out evidence against Trump on obstruction, Russia

NYT: Mueller Details Multiple Contacts with Russians and Trump’s Efforts to Thwart Inquiry
Mercury News: Evidence Against Trump Detailed
The goal posts have been moved so far they’re not even in sight! Front pages are almost entirely about obstruction of justice. “Collusion”? It’s in an article way down the page on the WaPo (and then only in an article about "Barr under fire for repeating no collusion"), the second subhead in the NYT, and nowhere at all in the Mercury News. Lead story in the WaPo only mentions conspiracy in the fifth paragraph, and then only to quote Trump. Mercury News lists “Mueller’s 8 key findings”, none of them being “no collusion”. Just to be clear — the investigation was launched to investigate collusion. The media now wants you to think the central purpose was to investigate obstruction of justice. Um, no.


*Inside the Russian effort to target Sanders supporters — and help elect Trump

Russiagate, the zombie story that will never die.

First of all, the whole premise of the story is suspect. 25% of Hillary 2008 voters cast a ballot for John McCain & Sarah Palin. That's more than twice the number of Bernie 2016 voters who voted for Trump. So if “Russia” was trying to switch Bernie voters to Trump they failed miserably. Of course what do you expect when your budget is $44,000?

Article starts with a tweet from "Red Louisiana News" that urged Sanders supporters to support Trump. First of all, how many people were following "Red Louisiana News" on Twitter? How many Sanders supporters were? @redlanews is now suspended, so you can’t look at that account, but I searched for that term and got people who were retweeting or commenting on @redlanews posts. Based on that, this was a rabid right-wing site filled with Trump supporters. The idea that there were Sanders supporters following this site who then switched their vote to Trump is far-fetched to put it mildly.

Then we're told "it was one of thousands of accounts identified as based in Russia." Identified by who? How? No clue. "A pair of Clemson University researchers, at the request of The Washington Post, examined English-language tweets identified as coming from Russia, many of which were designed to influence the election." But who “identified” them? We’re not told. I can't help but be reminded of how New Knowledge, which may well be the source of this story although it's not so identified, itself was caught creating thousands of fake Russian Twitter accounts and having them support Roy Moore in Alabama in an attempt to elect Doug Jones. I'm also reminded of a story we covered back in February: "Twitter Revises Data on Russian Trolls and Social-media company says 228 accounts were ‘misidentified’", where "Russian trolls" suddenly became "Venezuelan trolls"! And we should also recall that "Hamilton 68", the source for many of these so-called identifications of "Russian trolls and bots", says right on its website that it follows "Russia-linked influence networks", not "Russians" (incidentally they have now scrapped that and are about to introduce Hamilton 68 2.0!). So bottom line - who are these people promoting Sanders? Russians? Americans who hate Hillary Clinton? Right-wingers masquerading as Sanders supporters trying to get people to support Trump. NO ONE KNOWS.

"Some 9,000 of the Russian tweets used the word “Bernie,” and those were “liked” 59,281 times and retweeted 61,804 times." Total number of election-related tweets? MORE THAN 1 BILLION. 9000 is 0.0009%; less than one-thousandth of one percent. Is 61,804 a lot of retweets? Trump got 170,000 retweets on JUST ONE TWEET about Hillary deleting some of her emails!

And don't forget "During the primary race, Sanders gave at least three interviews to a Russia-controlled television network, RT, in which his trade stance was highlighted." The Post neglects to say they were interviews given to Ed Schultz, a former MSNBC host who was, in fact, fired by MSNBC because he wanted to report on Sanders announcing for President! "You're not covering Bernie Sanders" he was told.

*The Mueller report is the opposite of exoneration
Really? The opposite? So the fact that the report found no evidence of collusion, the whole justification for the investigation, means nothing? I'm pretty sure the "opposite of exoneration" is conviction, or at least indictment.

“Mr. Mueller made clear that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential race in “sweeping and systematic fashion,” which Mr. Trump has denied; that the interference was designed to help Mr. Trump; and that the Trump campaign was happy to accept the help, which is morally repulsive.” As is universal in the corporate media and with elected politicians, “Russian interference” is accepted as simple fact, substituting indictments for proof.

*YouTube mistakenly links Notre Dame fire to September 11 attacks
Irony — this was allegedly triggered by an automatic algorithm designed to combat “fake news”. Which tells you how reliable their algorithms for identifying supposedly fake news are.

*Military Drills in Arctic Aim to Counter Russia, but the First Mission Is to Battle the Cold
The new Cold War is not only figurative, it’s literal! The Russians are coming over the North Pole to attack us!

Ecuador’s president alleges Assange used London embassy as a ‘center for spying’
What was this "spying"? "The allegations appear to stem in part from a batch of leaked personal photos of Moreno and his family that appeared last month on an anonymous website." No known connection to Wikileaks, by the way. "Moreno also cited WikiLeaks’ dump of a tranche of Vatican documents in January." Which of course has nothing to do with "spying". Bottom line: if you want to throw mud against the wall, WaPo is happy to assist you. No evidence required.

Why China Should Switch Sides in Venezuela
The latest contribution to the mainstream media aiding and abetting of the attempted coup in Venezuela. Laughable, but of course also deadly serious.

After Years of Denial, Venezuela’s President Allows Aid to Enter
NYT perpetuates the lie that Venezuela has been refusing aid. Front page summary makes it even more explicit: “Venezuela let the first shipment of an aid campaign enter the country after years of denying a crisis”. No, just aid from countries trying to overthrow its government.

The G.O.P. Promotes Leftism
A shocking headline, but it's actually an interesting premise — by resisting or opposing "centrist", "market-based" solutions like Obamacare, Republicans are pushing Democrats to embrace Medicare for All.
Ahead of Mueller report release, U.S. allies and foes are united in skepticism on one issue: The redactions
There is NOT ONE WORD in this article from any ally or foe about Mueller report redactions. Not one. Just speculation. Typical sentence: “Many Brits still remember how U.S. redactions helped to hide the involvement of British intelligence services in the CIA’s secret detention program, which included waterboarding and other abuses, after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.” OK, can you quote a single one skeptical about the Barr redactions? No. And what about the “foes”? “Russian government-funded TV network RT even has a fitting political comedy show: “Redacted Tonight.” But in the case of the Mueller report, Russian state media outlets may find themselves inclined to be a bit more cautious than usual about demanding that redacted parts be made public.”

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