Media

‘Quite Disturbing’: Leaked Docs Reveal How Easily FBI Can Spy on Journalists

July 7, 2016

Newly leaked documents published by The Intercept expose just how easy it is for the FBI to spy on journalists using so-called National Security Letters (NSLs). The classified rules, which had previously been released only in heavily redacted form, “show that the FBI imposes few constraints on itself when it bypasses the requirement to go to court and obtain subpoenas or search warrants before accessing journalists’ information,” The Intercept‘s Cora Currier wrote on Thursday. According to the reporting, an attempt to access journalists’ call data with an NSL must be approved by the typical chain-of-command as well as the FBI’s general counsel and the executive assistant director of the agency’s National Security Branch. “Generally speaking, there are a variety of FBI officials, including the agents in charge of field offices, who can sign offthat an NSL is ‘relevant’ to a national security investigation,” Currier explained. Trevor Timm of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, an advocacy group which had petitioned for the release of these documents, calls Thursday’s revelations “quite disturbing, since the Justice Department spent two years trying to convince the public that it updated its ‘Media Guidelines’ to create a very high and restrictive bar for when and how they could spy on journalists using regular

John Grant – Omar Mateen: The Answers Are All Around Us

June 29, 2016

The spontaneous, day-long “sit-in” initiated by Congressman John Lewis and others in the House of Representatives echoed Fannie Lou Hamer: “I’m sick ‘n tired of bein’ sick ‘n tired.” At one point Wednesday evening, a Republican House member stood off and shook his fist at an insurgent Democratic speaker focused on reasonable gun legislation. The man simply hollered, “Radical Islam! Radical Islam!” The next morning, Chris Cuomo on CNN debated Republican House member Sean Duffy from Wisconsin on the stand-off. Duffy’s response was this: “The threat is not guns; it’s radical Islamic terrorism!” It has to be one or the other; it can’t be a little of both with a host of other things mixed in. Fox News studio warriors Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly — and let’s not forget the king of hate sleaze, Donald Trump — work this absolutist line hard. It feels like a matter of life and death for them that they jam someone like Omar Mateen into a box labeled RADICAL ISLAM. The term itself has become magical. If one shuts out everything else but these magical words, we’re led to believe the solution will appear as clear as Jesus rising on the third day.

F. William Engdahl – What Media Hid in De Niro Autism Film Affair

June 13, 2016

Dr. Andrew Wakefield, a former British gastro-enterologist and vaccine researcher has been fully exonerated of the charges that he, together with a world renowned pediatric gastroenterologist, Prof. John Walker-Smith, conducted fraudulent tests with children that raised the possibility of a link between the popular MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine and onset of autism and other severe symptoms. Most remarkable is the fact that despite his de facto exoneration in a British Court more than four years ago, in 2012, mainstream media in the UK and the USA have chosen to deliberately ignore the fact. They did so to hide the explosive content of Wakefield’s film, Vaxxed.  This past April, Hollywood actor and founder of the Tribeca film festival, Robert de Niro, announced in an interview to the New York Times that he had personally arranged for a new documentary film, Vaxxed, about links between autism and vaccinations, to be shown on April 24 at his festival in order to open a national debate on the subject. Some 48 hours later the Tribeca website announced it had pulled the film. The pressure had been enormous. To his credit, some days later, on America’s most popular morning show, de Niro repeated his

Medicine That Kills – Gary Null, Ph.D

June 1, 2016

American science and public health is the finest in the world, with the smartest people working with the latest technologies to prevent and cure disease. We are exceptional. That is a common belief held by several million people working within the medical industrial complex. The problem is, it’s untrue. In fact, it’s just the opposite. American medicine kills more people unnecessarily than any other national medical system in the industrialized world. As Harvard School of Medicine professor Lucian Leape noted, American medicine kills 3 jumbo jets-worth of patients every 48 hours.(1) In this series we review the startling science which suggests that deaths from medical error in the US may be conservatively estimated at 400,000 annually, while severe injuries from medical error may top 10,000,000.(2,3) This equates to 8 million deaths and 200,000,000 severe injuries due to modern medical medicine during the past twenty years. It is higher than the casualties from any single conflict or war in American history.

Michael Snyder – 6 Giant Corporations Control The Media, And Americans Consume 10 Hours Of ‘Programming’ A Day

June 1, 2016

If you allow someone to pump hours of “programming” into your mind every single day, it is inevitable that it is eventually going to have a major impact on how you view the world.  In America today, the average person consumes approximately 10 hours of information, news and entertainment a day, and there are 6 giant media corporations that overwhelmingly dominate that market.  In fact, it has been estimated that somewhere around 90 percent of the “programming” that we constantly feed our minds comes from them, and of course they are ultimately controlled by the elite of the world.  So is there any hope for our country as long as the vast majority of the population is continually plugging themselves into this enormous “propaganda matrix”? Just think about your own behavior.  Even as you are reading this article the television might be playing in the background or you may have some music on.  Many of us have gotten to the point where we are literally addicted to media.  In fact, there are people out there that become physically uncomfortable if everything is turned off and they have to deal with complete silence. Read

Debunking Popular Clichés About Modern Warfare

May 23, 2016

“What would a war between Russia and the USA look like?” This must be the question which I am most frequently asked. This is also the question to which I hear the most outlandish and ill-informed responses to. I have addressed this question in the past and those interested in this topic can consult the following articles: Remembering the important lessons of the Cold War Making sense of Obama’s billion dollar hammer Read

Neal Gabler – Why Hating the Media Could Make the Difference in November

May 23, 2016

As the political pundits keep reminding us, this might be called the “hate” election. Both major parties’ presumptive nominees, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, have historically high net unfavorable ratings – so high that voters are said to be casting their ballots against a candidate rather than in favor of one. The question seems to be: Whom do you hate less? The question seems to be: Who do you hate less? So Trump’s and Clinton’s ratings are the equivalent of, say, the batting averages during a baseball season in which no one is hitting very well. Americans are just in a very surly, unreceptive mood. They hate everybody. The second flaw is that the candidates’ unfavorability ratings set up yet another false equivalency: that Trump and Clinton have somehow earned their enmity in equal measure – Trump for his racist, sexist, bullying remarks, his endless prevarications and his general depreciation of the entire political process, and Clinton for… well, Clinton, apparently, for having used a private email server for communications that only later were classified. See? They’re two peas in a pod. But within this very angry electorate is another hate boiling, and it may very well alter the course

Cable Customers Beware: This Mega-Merger Just Created a ‘Price-Gouging’ Monster

May 19, 2016

The maligned merger between Charter Communications, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks is complete, which means the three companies have now become the country’s second-largest cable provider, despite months of warnings from consumer and open internet advocates who assailed it as the creation of a ‘price-gouging’ monster. Charter ultimately paid $55 million to purchase Time Warner Cable and $10.4 billion for Bright House Networks. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) approved the acquisition earlier this month with several caveats—including a ban on data caps and TV exclusivity deals that would harm competition—but opponents warn that the deal is still bad news. “[T]here is some solace that, if rigorously enforced, these conditions should eliminate the more egregious harms this merger could cause while creating a baseline for acceptable industry behavior,” Public Knowledge senior staff attorney John Bergmayer said at the time. Read

Emily Bell – Edward Snowden: The Media Isn’t Doing Its Job

May 13, 2016

The Tow Center for Digital Journalism’s Emily Bell spoke to Edward Snowden over a secure channel about his experiences working with journalists and his perspective on the shifting media world. This is an excerpt of that conversation, conducted in December 2015. It will appear in a forthcoming book: Journalism After Snowden: The Future of the Free Press in the Surveillance State, which will be released by Columbia University Press in 2016. mily Bell: Can you tell us about your interactions with journalists and the press? Edward Snowden: One of the most challenging things about the changing nature of the public’s relationship to media and the government’s relationship to media is that media has never been stronger than it is now. At the same time, the press is less willing to use that sort of power and influence because of its increasing commercialization. There was this tradition that the media culture we had inherited from early broadcasts was intended to be a public service. Increasingly we’ve lost that, not simply in fact, but in ideal, particularly due to the 24-hour news cycle. We see this routinely even at organizations like The New York Times. The Intercept recently published The Drone Papers, which was an extraordinary

Jefferey Jaxen – Harvard Mumps Outbreak: The Real Story Mainstream Media Won’t Tell You

May 9, 2016

Harvard University Health Services Director Paul Barreira recently stated: “I’m actually more concerned now than I was during any time of the outbreak.” Harvard isn’t the only college in the Boston area hit by mumps this spring — Boston University, the University of Massachusetts and Tufts University have also reported cases among their students. Harvard’s recent mumps outbreak has brought all the usual media suspects [2] to the forefront attempting to sweep any discussion of dangerous and ineffective vaccines under the table. NBC news is [3] calling for more people to get mumps vaccines who are attending Boston area colleges by writing: Read
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