Be sure to follow me on Twitter @leftiblog

Friday, May 22, 2020


Headlines for May 22, 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 May 22, 2020

“The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.” — Malcolm X

*Why Bombs Made in America Have Been Killing Civilians in Yemen
Subhead: President Trump sees arms deals as jobs generators for firms like Raytheon, which has made billions in sales to the Saudi coalition. The Obama administration initially backed the Saudis too, but later regretted it as thousands died.
Attempt by the NYT to whitewash Obama while blaming Trump for US bombs killing civilians in Yemen (as if that wasn't/isn't the case in spades in Iraq & Afghanistan as well). 14th paragraph: “After the Yemen war began in 2015 and the Obama administration made a hasty decision to back the Saudis.”
“Officials in the Obama White House, recalling how the Saudis had sought American backing, know it as the “five minutes to midnight” call. It was late March 2015, and the Saudis wanted to know immediately whether the United States would support its imminent invasion of Yemen to suppress the Iranian-aligned rebels who had overthrown the Saudi-friendly government there. The Saudis characterized the military action as necessary to defend their borders from potential Iranian aggression, just as the United States was involved in negotiations with the Iranians over a nuclear deal.
“It happened so quickly,” Ben Rhodes, one of Mr. Obama’s foreign policy advisers, said in an interview. “Obama typically had a very rigorous process around certainly the application of U.S. military force, and this felt very different.”
With few options, none of them appealing, the advisers recommended a high-risk plan to support a country with billions of dollars in American weapons but little experience in using them.”

Obama only suspended delivery of bombs in Dec, AFTER the election. Obama started backing Saudis. He "had misgivings" & "was becoming concerned" because "the war had gone in a direction we had not anticipated." Translation: Saudis hadn't achieved a quick victory that would have made US support look good. Those were the only misgivings Obama had. And not a word in this article about the *active* support US gave Saudi Arabia under Obama — refueling bombing runs in midair, along with targeting assistance.

*Kim Jong Un Disappeared From View, But North Korea’s Problems Never Left
Subhead: Leader signals focus on the home front as Pyongyang faces economic strains, coronavirus threat
Is there a country in the world that isn’t facing these problems? Why write about North Korea and not, say, Haiti? Or a hundred other countries who never see an article about them in the WSJ?
And as for the DPRK, this: “Pyongyang, to much skepticism, has yet to report a single coronavirus case. It canceled public events, closed schools and required citizens to wear masks outdoors.” [and closed the border with China]

*U.S. Space Force To Launch Secret Mission Devoted To Coronavirus Victims & Frontline Workers
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fELO2g6ld7g [Today show video]
This is a sick joke. This mission is devoted to better ways of killing people while simultaneously depriving Coronavirus victims and frontline workers of the money they need to get appropriate healthcare and appropriate supplies and other kinds of support, respectively.

*Russia is interfering in our elections again. And Trump supporters are emulating Russian tactics.
Not sure what “Russian tactics” are. Lying? I’m pretty sure Trump supporters get that from Trump himself. As far as the “Russian interference”, note this from the article (emphasis added): “Attacks against me came first…from far-right sources. Forensics data I was shown suggested AT LEAST ONE ENTITY HAD RUSSIAN TIES.” Unidentified, natch. As is the nature of the alleged “ties”. The article talks about right-wing attacks (on the author) and how “newly created Russian Twitter accounts picked them up”. The link on that goes to an account that tweets in Russian and has 375 followers! [Trump has 80M followers] The article talks about how  “Russian “disinformation clearinghouses” [whatever they are] posted versions of the story.” “Disinformation clearinghouse” links to an article in ZeroHedge, a site run by “a Bulgarian-born, U.S.-based former investment banker and capital-markets trader” (Wikipedia) How is that “Russian”?
This same paper, the Washington Post, ran a headline the next day reading “Trump calls Romney a LOSER following sharp criticism for firing inspectors general”. Who is that amplifies Trump’s message?

*Putin Is Well on His Way to Stealing the Next Election
Not the Russian election, the U.S. election. 🙄 Filled with nonsense, like this:
“The Russians were expecting the election of Hillary Clinton—and preparing to immediately declare it a fraud. The embassy in Washington had attempted to persuade American officials to allow its functionaries to act as observers in polling places. A Twitter campaign alleging voting irregularities was queued. Russian diplomats were ready to publicly denounce the results as illegitimate.”
And this, Russia’s attempt to undermine American democracy: “This winter, the Russians even secured airtime for their overt propaganda outlet Sputnik on three radio stations in Kansas, bringing the network’s drive-time depictions of American hypocrisy to the heartland.”

GOP Plans Stronger Role in Who Gets To Vote
NYT Front page, 5/19
Online: Freed by Court Ruling, Republicans Step Up Effort to Patrol Voting
Nice euphemisms for “voter suppression”

Trump Is Playing the China Card. Who Believes Him?
Subhead: He attacks Joe Biden to deflect blame for his terrible handling of Covid-19 and record of appeasing Beijing.
Susan Rice attacks Trump for attacking China, then tries to outflank him from the right!

Friday, May 15, 2020


Headlines for May 15, 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 May 15, 2020

*Coronavirus Casts Deep Chill Over U.S.-China Relations
Our first story on the U.S. assault on Huawei, “The FBI, CIA and NSA say American citizens shouldn't use Huawei phones”, was in February 2018! 
It's not Coronavirus which is casting the chill, but Trump's attempt to divert blame from his disastrous response to it by blaming China, and in turn Democrats' attempt to "out-hawk" Trump in anti-China rhetoric. So really the proper headline would be "U.S. Domestic Politics Casts Deep Chill Over U.S.-China Relations". Of course this is an echo of what happened with U.S.-Russia Relations, although there it was the Democrats’ attempt to paint Trump with the “collusion” brush, which in turn forced Trump to back off from attempting to improve relations with Russia, and instead to make them even worse. 

*China Is Defensive. The U.S. Is Absent. Can the Rest of the World Fill the Void?
Subhead: Smaller countries like Australia are trying to build a new kind of alliance, by first investigating what went wrong in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic.
This is such nonsense. “What went wrong with the response to coronavirus” (the subject of the article) is no mystery; other countries (with a few exceptions) didn’t respond to the earliest warnings, and even later ones, in a timely and decisive manner. Also the U.S. is hardly “absent”; it’s leading the “blame China” charge.

*U.S. to Accuse China of Trying to Hack Vaccine Data, as Virus Redirects Cyberattacks
Subhead: Iran and other nations are also looking to steal data and exploit the pandemic with attacks on infrastructure, officials say.
“Preparing to issue a warning”. Those “attacks on infrastructure”? Here’s the “evidence”: “The warning comes as Israeli officials accuse Iran of mounting an effort in late April to cripple water supplies as Israelis were confined to their houses, though the government has offered no evidence to back its claim.”

*U.S. Hits Back at China With New Visa Restrictions on Journalists
Subhead: The Trump administration is imposing 90-day limits on work visas for Chinese journalists, raising the threat of further retaliation by the Chinese government.
Essential to know that the US started this whole thing, as you learn in the 10th paragraph: “In February, the State Department designated the five main state-run news organizations in the United States as foreign government functionaries.”

*Is a U.S.-China Cold War already underway?
Ya’ think? “Officials in Washington and Beijing periodically insist they don’t want a new Cold War, but the geopolitical head winds appear to be blowing in that direction.”
“[An internal CPC] report allegedly concluded that the United States was bent on undermining the ruling Communist Party of China and viewed the country as an economic and security threat.”
“In Washington, a cadre of policymakers fret about the United States’ waning (or vanished) military primacy over China.”

Merkel cites 'hard evidence' she was targeted by Russian hackers
Missing from this article? The slightest clue as to what that “hard evidence” consists of. Also missing? Any reminder that the NSA tapped Merkel’s phone for years.

*KRQE survey shows support, opposition for “full reopening” of New Mexico economy
Roughly 70% say "Probably not" or "Definitely not" reopen, but the headline gives equal billing to both (and second billing to the opposition), and the article, incredibly, also has this as its first two paragraphs:
"While New Mexicans prepare for an incremental reopening of the state’s economy, some want to see business move full steam ahead while the virus runs its course.
That anecdote is according to the results of a recent KRQE News 13 online poll showing roughly 30% of respondents feel the state should “definitely” or “probably” “open-up all the way and let COVID-19 just run its course.”"
Not until the fourth paragraph do we read: "Addressing the same reopening-related question, roughly 70% of respondents said the state should “probably not” or “definitely not” open-up all the way and let COVID-19 run its course."

*Republicans are on the verge of winning a House seat in 1 of the most Democratic states
An absurd headline from CNN. California is “one of the most Democratic states” only because of urban areas like LA, SF, & Sacramento, just like the rest of the US. The rest of California is no more Democratic than suburban & rural areas in the rest of US.
*Republicans snatch rare prize of California seat
A Republican candidate has won a congressional seat from the Democrats in liberal California for the first time in more than two decades.” But this seat had been held by Republicans for decades until Katie Hill won it two years ago!

By dropping Michael Flynn’s case, Barr has stripped centuries of credibility from the department of justice
“Centuries” no less! “What would attorney general William Barr have done if [name of prominent Trump enemy] had lied to the FBI about [contact with representative of hostile foreign power] in which they discussed [giving benefit to hostile foreign power] and then got caught and pleaded guilty, twice?”

Saturday, May 09, 2020


Headlines for May 8, 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 May 8, 2020

*Venezuela’s Maduro says two Americans captured in failed invasion attempt
*Venezuela claims to have captured two Americans involved in failed invasion
“Maduro says”? “Venezuela claims”? Both articles confirm everything even including the names of the Americans!
ABC News ran an “Americans ‘captured’?” caption over a photo of the captured Americans!
Any nonsensical claims about Venezuela, like US claims of Maduro being involved in drug-trafficking, are run by the corporate media without question. But even obvious facts must be doubted if they go against U.S. foreign policy.

But the prize for trivialization goes to the BBC:
*Venezuela detains two US citizens over speedboat incursion

*An Incursion Into Venezuela, Straight Out of Hollywood
No. If it were “straight out of Hollywood”, the plucky freedom-fighting Americans would have succeeded against all odds.

*Kim Jong Un appears to be alive after all. So why did CNN and other news outlets report he was on his deathbed?
The WaPo, unlike many others, wasn’t filled with “Kim is dead” stories, but they did run at least one story based on the premise he was:
*Why we shouldn’t rule out a woman as North Korea’s next leader

*Leaked ‘Five Eyes’ dossier on alleged Chinese coronavirus coverup consistent with US findings, officials say
*Intel shared among US allies indicates virus outbreak more likely came from market, not a Chinese lab
*Australia hits back at US claim linking coronavirus to Wuhan lab
The Australian government has pushed back at US claims the coronavirus may have originated in a Wuhan lab and has determined that a “dossier” giving weight to the theory is not a Five Eyes intelligence document. “But the government appears to be walking a diplomatic tightrope, declining to back up the claim while also not wishing to antagonise its US allies – given that Donald Trump and the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, have claimed there is enormous evidence for the theory. Speculation about the possible involvement of the US embassy in distributing the dossier to News Corp has raised the diplomatic temperature.”

*U.S. Treasury To Borrow $3 Trillion In 3 Months To Pay For Pandemic
The word "borrow" is misleading in the extreme:
*How the Government Pulls Coronavirus Relief Money Out of Thin Air
"The Fed will be the biggest buyer by far of the bonds the government will sell to fund this spending…But the Fed isn’t an ordinary bondholder: By law, it has to pay its profits to the Treasury.
That means when the Treasury makes payments on bonds held by the Fed — either paying interest or paying it off at maturity — almost all the money eventually moves back to the Treasury.
When a government bond is involved, the cash moves from one government pocket to another.
“Once the central bank buys them, it’s as if the Treasury never issued them in the first place,” said Dr. Kelton, who was an adviser to Senator Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign. “For all intents and purposes, they’re retired.”

*Trump says he learned a lot from Nixon: 'Don't fire people'

*Nearly Half of Men Say They Do Most of the Home Schooling. 3 Percent of Women Agree.

Least surprising headline of the week:
*Push for Profits Left Nursing Homes Struggling to Provide Care

As Putin Dallies, Russia’s Small Businesses Are Withering Away
Subhead: The Russian president, who seems to share the traditional Soviet view of entrepreneurs as “swindlers,” is doing little to help them through a coronavirus lockdown.
Compare to:
Small-Business Aid Funds Run Dry as Program Fails to Reach Hardest Hit

Original headline: Daily Death Toll Will Nearly Double by June, Trump Administration Models Predict
As States Move to Reopen, 2 Projections Show Deaths Rising
Subhead: The Supreme Court hears a case remotely for the first time. An internal Trump administration report projects about 200,000 new cases [and 3000 deaths] each day by the end of the month.
NOT an “internal Trump administration report”.
Draft report predicts covid-19 cases will reach 200,000 a day by June 1
A draft government report projects covid-19 cases will surge to about 200,000 per day by June 1, a staggering jump that would be accompanied by more than 3,000 deaths each day.
The White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention disavowed the report, although the slides carry the CDC’s logo. The creator of the model said the numbers are unfinished projections shown to the CDC as a work in progress.
The work contained a wide range of possibilities and modeling was not complete, according to Justin Lessler, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, who created the model. He said he didn’t know how the update was turned into a slide deck by government officials and shared with news organizations.

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