Media

Manfred Weidhorn – The Future Does Not Exist—Yet

May 5, 2016

Periodically the US government, or the West in general, faces a perceived threat to peace and security: From Germany in 1938, Russia in 1956 or 1968 or 2014, Iraq in 1991 or 2002, Syria in 2013, and ISIS in 2014. The consequent dilemma over what to do predictably produces two camps. One side says, Act and punish the bad men, and the other side says that military force rarely results in a positive outcome. The first group cites all the evil consequences of inaction, while the other cites, with equal assurance, the unintended consequences of acting with good intentions. What they have in common is selectivity with the facts and with projected outcomes, as well as willful obliviousness to the other side’s baleful predictions. But the biggest trait they share is ignorance of the future. The one immutable fact humanity can be sure of (besides death) is that no one knows the future. We are only dimly aware of that reality because in everyday life we suppress it. Did we not do so, our lives would be paralyzed, as we continually have to make decisions based on faith in cause and effect relationships: We stop at the supermarket on the way

Mark Taliano – Media Disinformation and America’s Wars: Liars Versus Truthers. The “Progressive Left” Has Been Coopted

April 30, 2016

Well-documented facts pertaining to the 9/11 wars, all supported by sustainable evidence, have barely made inroads into the collective consciousness of Western media consumers. The War on Syria is no exception.  Despite the presence of five years of sustainable evidence that contradicts the Western narratives, people still believe the “official” lies. The consensus of ignorance is sustained by what Michel Chossudovsky describes as an “American Inquisition”. Beneath the protection of this psychological operation, the engineered enemy is Islam, and the Global War On Terrorism (GWOT) has become a brand to disguise imperial wars of aggression as “humanitarian”. Thus, huge sums of public monies are diverted from worthwhile, domestic projects such as healthcare schools and roads, to support a criminal Project for a New American Century (PNAC) that is globalizing death, poverty, and destruction as the U.S led empire tries to impose a  unilateral model of control over the world. Read

Sophie Janicke – How Positive Media Can Make Us Better People

April 27, 2016

Deadpool is the highest-grossing film in the United States so far this year—and one of the most controversial. Though the film has scored points with critics and audiences for its irreverent take on the superhero genre, its extreme gore has raised some familiar questions and objections about the role of violence in films.  But look at the highest-grossing film of 2016 internationally, and you’ll find a different type of movie: Zootopia, a family-friendly animated film that has been praised for its positive messages about the harm of stereotypes and prejudice.  How does consuming these different types of films impact us as individuals and as a society? For a long time, media researchers focused almost entirely on the harmful effects of media, including the effects of media violence on aggression, the media’s role in increasing racial and gender stereotypes, and its potential to shape people’s perception of the world as a dangerous place. Indeed, since the dawn of talking movies in the 1930s, debates have raged about the potential anti-social effects of media.

Stanton Peele – While Tests Are Still Pending, It Is Possible to Draw Some Conclusions About Prince’s Drug Issues

April 26, 2016

When a famous person dies mysteriously and prematurely these days [6], we are instantly led to consider their drug use as cause of death. Prince, the multitalented musician and entertainer, who was found dead [7] at his estate outside Minneapolis last week, is a prime candidate for such speculation. We need to withhold judgment until toxicology and other autopsy data are made public, of course. But current reports suggesting that drugs played a major role in his death, and how they did so, speak to a much wider point: Americans’ lack of skill at drug use. It is unusual for a 57-year-old to die instantly, from no visible cause. Sometimes heart attacks act this way. But Prince didn’t appear to suffer a heart attack, he wasn’t known to suffer from heart disease, and he didn’t display such risk factors as smoking, obesity and lack of physical activity. But the outward signs of his death are consistent with drug poisoning, or the combined effects of various narcotic and depressant drugs. (The New York City Medical Examiner’s Office finds multiple drug use present in 97% of drug-related deaths.) Read

James DiEugenio – How CBS News Aided the JFK Cover-up

April 25, 2016

In the mid-1960s, amid growing skepticism about the Warren Commission’s lone-gunman findings on John F. Kennedy’s assassination, there was a struggle inside CBS News about whether to allow the critics a fair public hearing at the then-dominant news network. Some CBS producers pushed for a debate between believers and doubters and one even submitted a proposal to put the Warren Report “on trial,” according to internal CBS documents. But CBS executives, who were staunch supporters of the Warren findings and had personal ties to some commission members, spiked those plans and instead insisted on presenting a defense of the lone-gunman theory while dismissing doubts as baseless conspiracy theories, the documents show. Read

Media blackout grows: Huffington Post pulls Vaxxed movie review

April 20, 2016

The censorship continues to grow for the documentary, “Vaxxed: From Cover-up to Catastrophe,” with the online news aggregator and blog site The Huffington Post removing a long-time contributor’s review of the film.  HuffPo  contributor Lance Simmens says he had recently submitted his article only to find it had been removed a short time later. Later, Simmens discovered he could no longer access his account. (so much for ‘freedom of speech’) Note: As of this article’s publication date: Simmens account has just been restored – but his review of the Movie is still being blocked from publication. (stay tuned) In his column, Simmens described the documentary as a “must see” film. He expressed hope it could serve as a catalyst for a national discussion on the role of mandatory vaccines for children as well as the role big pharma plays in government decision making. Read

Even The Democrat Establishment Admits Clinton’s Disapproval Ratings Are “Pretty Bad”

April 14, 2016

“They’re pretty bad,” said Democratic strategist Brad Bannon, who connected the poor poll numbers to separate findings that show a broad number of Americans don’t trust Clinton. As The Hill reports,only 40.2% of people view Hillary favorably (drastically lower than Obama’s 62% at this point in the presidential-cycle and Bush’s 63%). As one commentator noted “the political impression that I think she leaves strikes a lot of people as inauthentic, as something they can’t quite trust.“ Clinton’s favorability ratings are historically low and increasingly a concern for her supporters. Read

Robert Parry – A Media Unmoored from Facts

April 12, 2016

Several weeks ago, I received a phone call from legendary investigative reporter Seymour Hersh who had seen one of my recent storiesabout Syria and wanted to commiserate over the state of modern journalism. Hersh’s primary question regarding reporters and editors at major news outlets these days was: “Do they care what the facts are?” Hersh noted that in the past – in the 1970s when he worked at The New York Times – even executive editor Abe Rosenthal, who was a hard-line cold warrior with strong ideological biases, still wanted to know what was really going on. My experience was similar at The Associated Press. Among the older editors, there was still a pride in getting the facts right – and not getting misled by some politician or spun by some government flack. Read

Adam Johnson – CIA’s Work With Filmmakers Puts All Media Workers at Risk

April 11, 2016

Vice’s Jason Leopold (4/6/16) has uncovered documents showing the CIA had a role in producing up to 22 entertainment “projects,” including History Channeldocumentary Air America: The CIA’s Secret Airline, Bravo‘s Top Chef: Covert Cuisine, the USA Networkseries Covert Affairs and the BBC documentary The Secret War on Terror—along with two fictional feature films about the CIA that both came out in 2012. The CIA’s involvement in the production of Zero Dark Thirty (effectively exchanging “insider” access for a two-hour-long torture commercial) has already been well-established, but the agency’s role in the production of Argo—which won the Best Picture Oscar for 2012—was heretofore unknown. The extent of the CIA’s involvement in the projects is still largely classified, as Leopold notes, quoting an Agency audit report: However, because of the lack of adequate records, we were unable to determine the extent of the CIA’s support to the eight projects, the extent to which foreign nationals participated in CIA-sponsored activities, and whether the Director/OPA approved the activities and participation of foreign nationals…. Failure on the part of CIA officers to adhere to the regulatory requirements could result in unauthorized disclosures, inappropriate actions and negative consequences for the CIA. Read

Mary O’Hara – Up to half of people killed by US police are disabled

March 30, 2016

Not only are the total numbers of police-involved deaths in the US appalling – 1,134 in 2015 alone – the final tally for the year highlighted once again the shockingly disproportionate number of African Americans affected, as was exposed by a Guardian investigation, The Counted. Young black men aged between 15 and 34 accounted for 15% of all deaths logged (five times higher than for their white counterparts), despite being just 2% of the population. There is another, much less well-documented feature of police brutality and violence: the prevalence of disabled people and, in particular, those with mental difficulties, who are victims. In an attempt to put the problem on the radar, the Massachusetts-based disability rights non-profit organisation the Ruderman Family Foundation has published an eye-opening paper in which it estimates that a third to half of all people killed by police in the US have a disability. In addition, according to the foundation, almost all well-known and widely reported cases of police violence involve a disabled person. The report, compiled by David M Perry, a professor of history at Dominican University in Illinois, and long-time disability rights activist Lawrence Carter-Long, makes use of available data (there are no official, comprehensive statistics collected on
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