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Why Public Schools and the Mainstream Media Dumb Us Down

Video Source: Academy of Ideas

In this video we examine how public schools and the mainstream media have contributed to the growth of a passive citizenry, thus paving the way for the rise of tyranny.

We then look at the role anti-authoritarians play in a free and flourishing society.




Can We Bring Back the Old YouTube? An Overview of the FairTube Campaign

By Sophia Zaldivar | MCSC Network w/Niko House

Editor’s Note: You have no doubt heard numerous articles and read some articles about changes to YouTube’s handling of user content over the last 2 years. Very popular “Youtubers” have lost revenues through “demonetization” and have found that their ability to reach their current and targeted audiences have been adversely affected by their treatment in Google’s/YouTube’s algorithm, which determines rankings for the various videos on YouTube. Worse, some video channels have actually been taken down by YouTube. One problem with this phenomenon is that, for the most part, users do not even know why they have been demonetized or shut down. Some have also been concerned that some content is favored over other content. Even certain names will get a channel demonetized. Suspiciously, some of those words are “pizzagate”, “pedophilia”, “Epstein”, and “Tulsi Gabbard.” One group is taking action in this regard, a group in Germany, called Fairtube. The 2 videos below tell you more about this. Please spread the word, comment below, and get involved if you feel that this is an important issue for you.

Below is the video referred to in the above video:

Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield, Massachusetts and New England (USA) & “virtually” the world. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty@gmail.

 




The Musical Coverup of the Century?: UMG Faces Suspicion Over Possible Loss of A Half Million Songs

By Robert G. O’Leary

listen to music

You’ve heard the old expression, “If a tree fell in a forest, would it make a sound.” For this next story, we could rephrase that question to ask, “If a fire occurred, affecting perhaps billions of dollars worth of potential revenues, would you hear (about) it? Well, it took 11 years for any of us to hear about a huge conflagration having occurred at a storage building in Hollywood CA, at Universal Studios Hollywood.

According to the video below, “almost all of the master recordings stored in the vault … including those produced by some of the most famous musicians since the 1940s, [likely including] masters” by the following artists were destroyed:

Billie Holiday

Louis Armstrong

Duke Ellington

Al Jolson

Bing Crosby

Ella Fitzgerald

Judy Garland

Chuck Berry

Aretha Franklin

Buddy Holly

John Coltrane

Ray Charles

B.B. King

The Four Tops

Joan Baez

Neil Diamond

Sonny and Cher

Joni Mitchell

Cat Stevens

Gladys Knight and the Pips

Al Green

Elton John

Eric Clapton

Jimmy Buffett

The Eagles

Aerosmith

Rufus and Chaka Khan

Barry White

Patti LaBelle

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

The Police

Sting

Steve Earle

R.E.M.

Janet Jackson

Guns N’ Roses

Mary J. Blige

No Doubt

Nine Inch Nails

Snoop Dogg

Nirvana

Beck

Sheryl Crow

Tupac Shakur

Eminem

50 Cent, and

The Roots.

How many of your favorite artists did you find in the above list?

As a music consumer, this may not seem like a big deal. You can still go online or to the local music store, and buy the releases from your musical heroes. Yet this is still really important. This is because lost masters contain the mixed-down and post-mastered original recording(s) of each of these artists. They contain the result of many hours of careful fine-tuning and adjustment of all of the musical and vocal tracks that went into to creating each of the songs you, or someone around you, loves. Speaking of love, many of us are “around” because some of these songs were the romantic soundtrack of our parents’, grandparents’, or even great-grandparents’ lives and lovelives.

As you will hear in the videos below, there are important things to consider about the loss of master recordings. Some experts will legally argument that the loss of these masters amounts to Universal Music Group’s loss of the ability to prove its ownership over these recordings. If this is the case, who now would own these songs: the writer, the producer, or someone else? This would require a review of the contracts for each piece of music. It may amount to who owns or possesses the original track recordings which were used to create the masters.

UMG has tried to crisis-manage this news, as discussed in the following video:

As you might expect, there has been reaction to this news, as demonstrated in the below video:

Not only is the loss of these masters devastating, the way in which UMG has handled this tragedy is no less than shocking. One can legitimately call this a cover-up of more than a decade. Those with any claim on this music could also charge Universal Music Group with fraud, or an intentional misrepresentation of any of the facts surrounding the property lost in this inferno particularly considering that the UMG representative in this video did not indicate that there was any loss of masters at the time of the original incident back in June of 2008.

It would also be interesting to know the answer to such questions as “Why now?” and “Who decided to reveal the news?” or “Will the loss of the masters somehow diminish the value which each of these songs hold in terms of sale value in the future?”

I encourage you all to follow this story as it develops. We could conceivably see this story unfolding for years as the various artists, affected by this fire, sue Universal Music Group in court, and attempt to find some justice out of this tragedy.

Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield, Massachusetts and New England (USA) & “virtually” the world. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty@gmail.

 




YouTube Just Fired the First Shot in a New War on Journalism

By Emma Fiala | Activist Post

Wednesday morning, news began circulating warning that YouTube was about to delete thousands of accounts in the platform’s latest wave of censorship. This time, the massive video sharing platform claimed to be targeting hateful content, “supremacists,” conspiracy theorists and anything that promotes discrimination or segregation based on sexual orientation, religion, race, gender, age and more.

Upon hearing the news, regular consumers of independent media knew exactly what to expectCensorship. Corporate platforms use these vague terms that sound nice in theory to cast a wide net that also de-platforms independent, anti-war, and rational voices. Whether this is done on purpose or is a consequence of using artificial intelligence and algorithms to monitor content remains to be seen.

YouTube claims to have made the decision following a review of its own rules on hateful content. In a blog post, the platform wrote:

Today, we’re taking another step in our hate speech policy by specifically prohibiting videos alleging that a group is superior in order to justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion based on qualities like age, gender, race, caste, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status.

The announcement continued:

We will begin enforcing this updated policy today; however, it will take time for our systems to fully ramp up and we’ll be gradually expanding coverage over the next several months.

YouTube’s blog post continued:

The openness of YouTube’s platform has helped creativity and access to information thrive. It’s our responsibility to protect that, and prevent our platform from being used to incite hatred, harassment, discrimination, and violence.

We are committed to taking the steps needed to live up to this responsibility today, tomorrow and in the years to come.

According to YouTube, users should anticipate changes that will alter what content is populated in the “up next” sidebar and the ability for users to earn ad revenue by promoting harmful content. The platform also hinted that it will attempt to work with affected users who make content that is useful to researchers.

Shortly after news spread that a YouTube crackdown was on the horizon and the policy began taking effect, YouTube content creators swept up in the crackdown began receiving emails from YouTube and immediately sharing their frustrations—and their screenshots—on social media.

James Allsup, a history teacher from the British School of Bucharest, was banned for “hate speech.” According to a tweet, the teacher’s “channel featured around 120 historical clips I collated for teachers and students, covering various aspects of world history over the past 1000 years. The Nazi material made up around 10% of all videos.”

Deep Fat Fried Podcast, which calls itself “an educational show made by and for the uneducated,” was demonetized for “hate speech.”

According to Dan Dicks, Press for Truth was demonetized as well.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10161701547130401&set=a.10151765945155401&type=3

According to Buzzfeed, demonetized users included “James Allsup, Austrian Identitarian Martin Sellner, Swedish white nationalists Red Ice TV, and Swedish white nationalist bodybuilder Marcus Follin” as well as Jesse Lee Peterson, a conservative minister who created videos of Rep. Ilhan Omar and more.

Others had videos deleted, including “far-right personality Gavin McInnes and unsuccessful European parliamentary candidate Mark Meechan.” And still others, including neo-Nazi channels Thulean Perspective and The Great Order as well as history teacher Scott Allsop, had their accounts completely removed.

Also swept up in the chaos was a channel dedicated to documenting—without opinion or bias—some of the most important events currently happening in the United States. Immediately after being informed via email that his channel was demonetized and his livelihood ruined, News2Share’s editor-in-chief Ford Fischer took to Twitter to vent his frustrations.

Not long after—and on his day off to boot—News2Share producer Alejandro Alvarez got wind of the situation.

As a documentary journalist, Fischer did what he does best and began documenting the extensive history of News2Share along with evidence that the purpose of his channel is merely to document current events for the purpose of understanding those events and provide critical analysis.

While YouTube’s email to Fischer informing him of News2Share’s demonetization claims “our team of policy specialists carefully looked over the videos you’ve uploaded to your channel News2Share. We found that a significant portion of your channel is not in line with our YouTube Partner Program policies,” their other emails seemed to say otherwise.

The platform removed only two of News2Share’s many thousands of videos. According to Fischer, the first video was that of Jason Charter and Antifa activists confronting a Holocaust denier. The Holocaust denier, not unexpectedly, says things in denial of the Holocaust. At no time during the filming did Fischer agree with or promote those statements—instead he captured raw video of the interaction.

The second video flagged by YouTube was, once again, raw footage of an actual event with no additional commentary from Fischer that News2Share approved of or otherwise promoted what was being said. Fischer filed Mike Peinovich speaking at the event, footage that was eventually used in a PBS documentary that Fischer associate produced.

And what’s more, Fischer’s footage from that very same event was used in the Emmy-winning film White Right: Meeting the Enemy.

Fischer went on to list the many outlets, films and others that have licensed his work that they found, more often than not, on YouTube. In addition to News2Share’s footage and still images being used by local and national news outlets, the outlet’s footage has been used in the New York Time‘s documentary How an Alt-Right Leader Lied to Climb the Ranks, the Document Hate series on PBSBreaking Hate, and many more.

A quick glance at Fischer’s IMDB profile puts to rest any question of whether or not the work of News2Share is valid and necessary.

The Mind Unleashed had a chance to speak with Fischer about Wednesday’s events, the precedent it sets, and his next steps.

So you’ve been demonetized—how do you feel?

Bad. It’s totally unacceptable, and misguided. I honestly feel that YouTube may have taken a misguided and ill-informed step here. People on all sides of the political spectrum have been speaking out about the absurdity of the whole thing. Even those who want to see extremist content removed seem not to want it executed in a way that removes content that covers extremism.

Did YouTube give you any warning?

No, I was completely not expecting it. In fact, I believe YouTube actually told a lot of the mainstream media about this, with an embargo, because I saw a story published that said something to the effect of “many YouTube channels are about to go down.” And I saw it pretty much immediately when someone published it, and I actually posted it, not having any idea that I would be one such channel. And I captioned it something like “YouTube is about to do another purge. What do you think?” Again, I had no idea that it would be me.

So literally minutes later, after I refreshed my email I see that I have three emails from YouTube—Two emails declaring specific videos inappropriate and that they are deleted—unappealable, by the way. And a third one saying that you’re entire channel is no longer eligible for monetization.

I was not expecting that at all.

Have you been affected in the past by demonetization or censorship on YouTube?

Yes, my channel has already faced demonetization, mostly based on an algorithm, where individual videos would be demonetized based on keywords. I recently covered March to Impeach, it was some progressive, Democrat type activists that are saying, “We should impeach Donald Trump” and they’ve got a list of reasons why they think we should do that, and I’m just out there filming. Whether I think Trump should be impeached is irrelevant.

But then some MAGA people came out and started counter-demonstrating. Since there was so much content, I actually made two videos about the event—one was about the people protesting to impeach Trump, the other was “MAGA Activists Confront March to Impeach Trump.”

Interestingly, and I’m not necessarily accusing them here, YouTube automatically demonetized the MAGA one and allowed the monetization of the other one. Little did I know, it wouldn’t matter anymore because everything is demonetized now.

Does any of this come as a surprise to you?

I always believed that YouTube was going to tighten its grip and widen its algorithm to make more and more content demonetized, but I didn’t think I was going to have an outright monetization ban, where all of my content, even a video of Nancy Pelosi saying something like “let’s have more gun control”—the most uncontroversial, mainstream event… that every single video regardless of content would be demonetized. I didn’t anticipate that happening.

You’re documenting real-life events, YouTube is clearly wrong here. Is there an appeal process and, if so, do you plan to appeal their decision?

There isn’t. They’re giving me a month to “review” my content, see if I can figure out what the problem is, and reapply for monetization in a month as if I’m a new application. So it’s not appealing their decision, their decision is not appealable.

But if I figure out what they don’t like, just by guessing, and then delete it… if I can self-censor adequately by that time, then they would allow me to be remonetized. But there are no specifics.

Self-censorship… That’s interesting because that’s what we’ve all been dealing with on other platforms. We’re not getting any information or feedback about what has been done wrong—you just know that you get some sort of strike against your page and then you start self-censoring so it doesn’t happen again, even though you have virtually no information to work with. No one wants to self-censor, but we want to stay on these platforms, so you inevitably start self-censoring. It’s really frustrating and crazy that a company like YouTube cannot give you any more information.

Are you going to attempt to reapply for monetization?

Yes, I suppose that I will probably attempt to, but frankly, they haven’t offered any sort of guidance. They took down two videos but their email to me says that “a sizeable” portion of my YouTube channel is ineligible. So I don’t know what exactly they consider unworthy. Are pro-Trump activists inappropriate? Are my videos, literally raw footage of President Trump speaking, are those inappropriate?

Are you hopeful in the re-application process?

I will probably do whatever they offer, but unless they change something, unless the public outcry over this subject helps me in a significant way where YouTube actually does something, I’m not incredibly confident that I’ll be able to fix this.

That is a problem across all platforms—I’ve seen it commented on some of your posts today—that algorithms, that AI, is deciding what is right or wrong and there is no human part of the process.

Obviously, there are controversial things in your videos—you are documenting real life. You don’t have a show where you’re sharing your opinion, you’re just documenting. It’s extra maddening that it happened to you. You do a really great job of getting both sides of the very issue while not giving your own opinion. And honestly, that can sometimes be frustrating to your fans who do have a strong opinion on where you should be spending your time.

Something I want to emphasize is, even if the right-wing has sort of adopted big tech censorship as their issue, I do not consider myself to be right-wing politically. And also this is something that a lot of very very lefist and quite liberal journalists are kind of coming out in support of.

And, in fact, even the two people who were feuding with each other and actually caused YouTube to do all of this, Stephen Crowder and Carlos Maza, both of them tweeted saying I got caught in the crossfire. So these two people, who literally hate each other so much that they ruined the Internet, both agree that I am not the person who should have been punished for whatever was going on.

https://twitter.com/gaywonk/status/1136425011970019329?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1136425011970019329&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.activistpost.com%2F2019%2F06%2Fyoutube-just-fired-the-first-shot-in-a-new-war-on-journalism.html

It’s maddening that companies as big as YouTube and Facebook can’t spend a few minutes to tell you what you’ve done wrong, or even warn you before going so far as to delete, demonetize, or shadowban. Back in October when pages and journalists were purged from Facebook, there was an appeal process but few people actually heard anything back. This is your livelihood, the fact that you cannot respond and don’t have an appeal process with YouTube is absurd.

It’s infuriating, especially because when Carlos Maza said that he wasn’t happy with what YouTube had done, YouTube replied to him! YouTube replied to his tweet saying “This is what Stephen Crowder specifically needs to do in order to get his monetization back.” But they’ve offered me no such human contact.

With only two videos flagged, how do you think News2Share got so caught up in this to have all videos demonetized?

Well, they haven’t taken my whole channel down. They don’t believe that it’s an extremist propaganda channel, or else they’d get rid of it. I think they basically had oversight or a mistake.

Your work has been featured in everything from professional documentaries to the nightly news. Do they find your work on YouTube?

Yes, they usually find me on YouTube. This is my business—it’s not just about demonetization. This is a step toward the outright loss of the channel. If they can do this very arbitrarily, what’s to say they wouldn’t go ahead and take down the whole thing? YouTube is critical to the licensing of my footage.

How big of a part of your regular income was from YouTube ad revenue?

As an independent news producer, I don’t have any salary whatsoever. I live in DC and travel the country covering activism because I think it’s important—especially in this political moment—to have raw documentation of everything that goes on. Licensing happens sometimes, but ad revenue is consistent—I’ve never had a day where somebody wasn’t watching a video of mine. Ad revenue has been the most consistent form of income I’ve had. And it’s gone.

Where can our readers find your content, besides on YouTube?

I post regularly on the main mainstream social media outlets because I believe in diversifying. If I put it in more places, more people have the opportunity to see it. So I do have FacebookTwitterYouTube—the mainstream ones. But the place that I’m relying on, from now on, that I’m going to basically put all of my content on, is Minds, which is an anti-censorship sort of equivalent to the functionality of Facebook and YouTube and, to some extent, Twitter.

How can our readers support you?

They can support me at Patreon.com/FordFischer or at Paypal via fordfischervideo@gmail.com.

It remains to be seen if YouTube will offer any additional information or a pathway to re-monetization for News2Share or other channels wrongly affected. But regardless of what happens next, it quickly became clear on Wednesday that both Ford Fischer and News2Share have supporters around the world who aren’t going to sit idly by as YouTube erases one of the best efforts that exists today when it comes to documenting the current state of the United States.

https://twitter.com/JackPosobiec/status/1136354540461133825?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1136354540461133825&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.activistpost.com%2F2019%2F06%2Fyoutube-just-fired-the-first-shot-in-a-new-war-on-journalism.html

https://twitter.com/ClaytonRedden/status/1136451309870178305?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1136451309870178305&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.activistpost.com%2F2019%2F06%2Fyoutube-just-fired-the-first-shot-in-a-new-war-on-journalism.html

https://twitter.com/gaywonk/status/1136425011970019329?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1136425011970019329&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.activistpost.com%2F2019%2F06%2Fyoutube-just-fired-the-first-shot-in-a-new-war-on-journalism.html

As of the writing of this article, at least one deleted YouTube channel has been reinstated. According to a tweet from James Allsup, his history channel is back, though some videos are not flagged and one was removed.

News2Share is an online media outlet based in Washington D.C. that documents real events in real time, giving just enough commentary on what is happening to let viewers know what is being recorded. Video from Ford Fischer has been featured on CNNFoxPBSMSNBCABCNBCBBC, and more. It is wrong of YouTube to do this.

The independent media needs Ford Fischer to continue documenting real world events, so let’s all support him before the next shots are fired in this war on journalism.

By Emma Fiala | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

Read more great articles at Activist Post.

 




The Media is Finally Realizing What the Prosecution of Assange Means for Journalism

Op-Ed by Caitlin Johnstone | Activist Post

(CJ Opinion) — Rachel Maddow has aired a segment condemning the new indictment against Julian Assange for 17 alleged violations of the Espionage Act.

Yes, that Rachel Maddow.

MSNBC’s top host began the segment after it was introduced by Chris Hayes, agreeing with her colleague that it’s surprising that more news outlets aren’t giving this story more “wall to wall” coverage, given its immense significance. She recapped Assange’s various legal struggles up until this point, then accurately described Assange’s new Espionage Act charges for publishing secret documents.

“And these new charges are not about stealing classified information or outsmarting computer systems in order to illegally obtain classified information,” Maddow said. “It’s not about that. These new charges are trying to prosecute Assange for publishing that stolen, secret material which was obtained by somebody else. And that is a whole different kettle of fish then what he was initially charged with.”

“By charging Assange for publishing that stuff that was taken by Manning, by issuing these charges today, the Justice Department has just done something you might have otherwise thought was impossible,” Maddow added after explaining the unprecedented nature of this case. “The Justice Department today, the Trump administration today, just put every journalistic institution in this country on Julian Assange’s side of the ledger. On his side of the fight. Which, I know, is unimaginable. But that is because the government is now trying to assert this brand new right to criminally prosecute people for publishing secret stuff, and newspapers and magazines and investigative journalists and all sorts of different entities publish secret stuff all the time. That is the bread and butter of what we do.”

Maddow carefully explained to her audience that these new charges have nothing at all to do with the 2016 election or any of the Russiagate nonsense the MSNBC pundit has been devoting her life to, correctly calling what the Trump administration is doing with Assange “a novel legal effort to punch a huge hole in the First Amendment.” She tied this in with Trump’s common references to the mass media as the “enemy of the people”, finally taking mainstream liberalism into a direct confrontation with Trump’s actual war on the press instead of nonsense about his tweeting mean things about Jim Acosta. She rightly highlighted the dangers of allowing a president with a thick authoritarian streak the ability to prosecute journalists he doesn’t like, and discussed the possibility that the UK may not comply with this new agenda in extradition proceedings.

“I think these 17 espionage charges against the WikiLeaks guy are a huge deal and a very dark development,” Maddow concluded. “Chris Hayes this evening called it a ‘four-alarm development’, and I absolutely share that.”

“And, you know, I know you,” Maddow continued, pointing to the camera. “Given everything else that we know about the WikiLeaks guy, I can feel through the television right now your mixed feelings about what I am saying. I can feel what may be, perhaps, a certain lack of concern about Julian Assange’s ultimate fate, given his own gleeful and extensive personal role in trying to help a hostile foreign government interference in our election in order to install their chosen president with WikiLeaks’ help. Okay? I know. Okay, I feel ya. I got it. But, it is a recurring theme in history, heck, it is a recurring theme in the Bible, that they always pick the least sympathetic figures to try this stuff on first. Despite anyone’s feelings about this spectacularly unsympathetic character at the center of this international drama, you are going to see every journalistic institution in this country, every First Amendment supporter in this country, left, right and center, swallow their feelings about this particular human and denounce what the Trump administration is trying to do here. Because it would fundamentally change the United States of America.”

Wow. Make no mistake, this is a hugely significant development. This isn’t just some columnist for the New York Times or the Guardian, this is Rachel effing Maddow, the Queen Mother of all tinfoil pussycat-wearing Russiagate insanity. This same pundit was just a couple of months ago not just smearing but outright lying about Assange, deceitfully telling her audience that the new legal rings closing around Assange were about his 2016 publications then instructing viewers not to Google anything about it because they’ll get computer viruses. Now that she’s recognized that this could actually hurt her and her network directly, she’s finally feeding her audience a different narrative out of sheer enlightened self-interest.

The fact that such a hugely influential figure in mainstream liberal media is now pushing back against Assange’s prosecution, and doing so in a way that her mainstream liberal anti-Trump audience can relate to, cannot be over-appreciated. Maddow’s credulous audience would eat live kittens if she told them to, so the way she’s pushing back against a dangerous legal precedent in a language they can understand will make a difference in the way American liberals think about Assange’s predicament. It won’t make them like him, it won’t make them value the things he’s done, but it will get them to finally begin resisting something that badly needs to be resisted. And that’s huge.

The danger has always been that this fatal blow to journalism would be meted out with total compliance and support from a population hammered into docility by the ongoing narrative war which has been waged on Assange’s and WikiLeaks’ reputations with the help of the mass media. There was a very real danger that thought leaders like Maddow were going to choose their feelings over reasoning when the foot finally fell and the charges that criminalize journalism as “espionage” were finally put into play. I don’t think anyone would have been surprised if she’d applied that giant intellect of hers into making it possible to ignore it without upsetting her audience and try and figure it out later when it was too late and the legal precedent was set. It would have been so easy to keep feeding into the dominant “Assange is bad so everything bad that happens to him is good” sentiment, but she didn’t. She directly contradicted it.

She actually chose to do the right thing. I’m gobsmacked, and it’s not an exaggeration to say that my hope for humanity sparked up a little today.

If the resting smug-faced apex of liberal psychosis is getting this one right, then many more will surely follow. And indeed, many already are. In addition to Hayes’ coverage of the story, MSNBC’s Ari Melber also did a segment harshly criticizing the implications of Trump administration’s new charges. We’re seeing multiple segments from CNN about the grave dangers of the legal precedent that is being set with the superseding indictment, as well as urgent warnings about the new charges from major publications like the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Guardian.

The outlets which have been smearing Assange relentlessly are now finding themselves forced to defend him.

A typical comment under Maddow’s YouTube share of this segment reads “This is very strange. Very alarming! There we go again. The GOP is preparing the country for a Dictatorship.” And okay, that’s not exactly what is happening (this has been a bipartisan push and it’s not just preparations, we’re in full swing), but whatever, now this viewer can actually see the monster’s outlines. Finally, the Maddow crowd which has been fruitlessly expending all their energy so far on punching at Russian shadows will actually be attacking a real thing.

And I’m quietly excited about that. I’m eager to see what happens to the #Resistance if it actually starts #Resisting something. It doesn’t matter that this is only happening because mainstream liberal media outlets realized that they might be next on the chopping block; it matters that it’s happening, period.

For years mainstream liberals have been fixating on the fake Russiagate psyop and rending their garments about Trump’s rude tweets while commentators like me desperately implored them to pay attention to the actual dangerous agendas that this administration is actually advancing. They’ve been in a holding pattern of adamantly refusing to do that, and now, because it’s threatening them personally, we’re suddenly seeing a sharp deviation from that holding pattern.

As Bill Murray said at the end of Groundhog Day, something is different. Anything different is good.

Support Caitlin’s work on Patreon or PayPal.

Opinion by Caitlin Johnstone / Republished with permission / Medium / Report a typo

Read more great articles at Activist Post.




SURPRISE YouTube Is In Major Pain After Censoring YouTubers!

By Luke Rudkowski | We Are Change

In the mainstream media’s ongoing efforts to control the publication of so-called “fake news,” Google and YouTube are just some of the companies which have been called upon to assist with policing social media. As with other companies, YouTube and Google use algorithms to do this kind of work, and certain websites which do not pass muster can get “demonetized.” This act of demonetization can cause great hardship on the YouTubers behind these websites.

The following video shows how YouTube’s efforts are not without consequences, as many of the demonetized websites have been so popular – apparently in many cases because the viewers see them as being more truthful than the mainstream alternatives – that YouTube’s revenues are suddenly down nearly 10% – which translates into $70 Billion in total losses for this huge company.

Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield, Massachusetts and New England (USA) & “virtually” the world. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty@gmail.

 




Mainstream Media Censors News That Threatens Its Financial Interests | Dr. Mercola

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3nB4fGljTY

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Under the guise of stopping “fake news,” internet watchdogs are burying alternative news that threatens mainstream financial interests
  • The internet watchdog Snopes has been beset by scandals and widely discredited
  • Major media companies have pharmaceutical leaders on their boards and their reporting is shaped by revenue from their many drug ads. Medical news outlets also bury news that would harm commercial drug products
  • Google is pursuing academic, medical, artificial intelligence, military and other ventures that enlarge its already massive footprint
  • NewsGuard, an internet watchdog that sells a browser plugin has received funding from the Publicis Groupe, a giant global communications group serving Pharma clients

Written by Dr. Joseph Mercola

In this Mercola article series, we look at the “Ghost in the Machine” –– the murderous forces in our health care system that harm patients instead of help them. This series exposes the deceptions that occur in almost all facets of health care today for no reason other than money. It also exposes the identities of the ghost’s “puppet masters” who perpetrate health misinformation and unethical drug marketing for profit, whether it’s Big Pharma or its helpers in academia, government and nongovernment agencies.

What if you were in the middle of a phone conversation and the line suddenly went dead because you mentioned a topic like vaccine injury that the service provider considered to be misinformation?  You would probably have two immediate questions: “How does a business know what’s true better than I know myself (especially if I do my own research)?” and “What’s to keep the service from self-dealing — using its influence to push its own agenda?”

As fake news has become a national concern in the U.S., internet watchdogs are emerging to weed out and flag incorrect, falsified and nonsourced stories. Most have websites that people can visit, and one has a plugin that can be downloaded from Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Microsoft’s desktop and mobile Edge.

Certainly, websites with odd names and strange domains that end in “.com.co” and websites that carry non-bylined, nonsourced stories that are found nowhere else on the internet should raise your suspicion meter. But internet watchdogs may not be ethical or virtuous either.

The “protection” these organizations offer sounds like a great idea since everyone wants the news and information sites they visit to be trustworthy. The problem is, who is checking the checkers?Who finances them? Do they have an agenda? Are some watchdogs calling news “fake” just because it threatens their backers’ products, as we have seen with pro-GMO and pro-chemical voices? Sadly, the answer is often yes.

In fact, the conflicts of interest with many internet watchdogs are so blatant it brings to mind the joke about how a sleazy lawyer tells his client “go to hell” — he says “trust me.”

The Rise and Fall of Snopes

One of the calling cards of a fake news site according to Forbes writer Kalev Leetaru1 is that it appears as a “’wilderness of mirrors’ — creating a chaotic information environment that so perfectly blends truth, half-truth and fiction that even the best can no longer tell what’s real and what’s not.”

So, when Britain’s Daily Mail ran a scathing exposé on the fact-checking site Snopes in 2016,2 the exposé itself looked like fake news. It included claims that Snopes was founded by a husband-and-wife team, Barbara and David Mikkelson, who fabricated a nonexistent society. After their divorce, said the Mail, the husband embezzled $98,000 to use for prostitutes and hired his new wife, Elyssa Young, a former escort and porn actress as website administrator.

But, writes Leetaru, after reaching out to David Mikkelson for his comments, he discovered the Daily Mail exposé was not fake news after all.3

It was with incredible surprise therefore that I received David’s one-sentence response which read in its entirety ‘I’d be happy to speak with you, but I can only address some aspects in general because I’m precluded by the terms of a binding settlement agreement from discussing details of my divorce.’

This absolutely astounded me. Here was the one of the world’s most respected fact-checking organizations, soon to be an ultimate arbitrator of ‘truth’ on Facebook, saying that it cannot respond to a fact-checking request because of a secrecy agreement.

In short, when someone attempted to fact-check the fact-checker, the response was the equivalent of ‘it’s secret.’

It is impossible to understate how antithetical this is to the fact-checking world, in which absolute openness and transparency are necessary prerequisites for trust. How can fact-checking organization like Snopes expect the public to place trust in them if when they themselves are called into question, their response is that they can’t respond.”

Do the Internet Watchdogs Have Political Leanings?

It is bad enough that Snopes had many secrets and nontransparencies, but it also had political leanings. Young, Mikkelson’s new-wife-turned-Snopes-administrator, had run for Congress in Hawaii as a Libertarian in 2004 on a “Dump Bush” platform.

Over recent years we have heard a lot of compelling evidence that mainstream news aggregators suppress conservative news and views. “Like handicapping a horse, Google appears to weigh down conservative news sites,” says Alan Gray, publisher of NewsBlaze, an alternative business and world news newspaper. “More liberal sites take all the first page positions and conservative news is pushed back to Page 2, 3 or nowhere at all. This makes conservative news financially unviable.”

Progressive and alternative websites that challenge the status quo are, of course, also sidelined and unable to achieve financial viability. “Before the war against alternative media, OpEdNews.com came out at the top of Google search results for progressive news,” says publisher Rob Kall.

“After Google changed its algorithm, we along with most alternative, non-mainstream news sites, were buried pages deep. This has had a huge effect on our traffic.” Clearly biased news selection can be as dangerous as fake news. This is how Leetaru puts it:4

Think about it this way — what if there was a fact-checking organization whose fact-checkers were all drawn from the ranks of Breitbart and Infowars? Most liberals would likely dismiss such an organization as partisan and biased. Similarly, an organization whose fact-checkers were all drawn from Occupy Democrats and Huffington Post might be dismissed by conservatives as partisan and biased …

In fact, this is one of the reasons that fact-checking organizations must be transparent and open.

If an organization like Snopes feels it is OK to hire partisan employees who have run for public office on behalf of a particular political party and employ them as fact-checkers where they have a high likelihood of being asked to weigh in on material aligned with or contrary to their views, how can they reasonably be expected to act as neutral arbitrators of the truth?”

Big Media Companies Have Big Conflicts of Interest

Have you ever noticed how many news shows and news magazines are anchored by drug ads? Since direct-to-consumer drug advertising began 20 years ago, drug ads with their dangerous side effects famously superimposed with images of puppies and sunsets have arguably become TV’s greatest form of ad revenue.

No wonder mainstream news doesn’t report on the jaw bone death and esophageal cancer associated with the bone drugs bisphonsphates. No wonder it doesn’t expose how TNF-alpha inhibitors like Humira, Enbrel and Remicade invite infection, cancer and even Hansen’s disease (once known as leprosy) according to a recent report.5,6

In addition to ad revenue, representatives of Pharma sit on the actual boards of major TV and print news outlets further censoring reporting about drug safety and effectiveness. The New York Times has had on its board Schering-Plough and Eli Lilly affiliates, and The Washington Post has had Johnson & Johnson affiliates.7 Even so-called “public” media like PBS and NPR have accepted money from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), UnitedHealthcare and the Koch brothers.8

Medical News Is Especially at Risk of Censorship

It should surprise no one that news which threatens Big Food and Big Drug products is especially censored. Paroxetine (Paxil) was a top selling SSRI antidepressant drug for GSK. But in 2004, soon after its approval, the New York attorney general charged that Paxil research published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry buried the drug’s true risks of suicide in adolescents.9

More than 10 years later, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) published a reanalysis that “unburied” the hidden data and amounted to a reversal of the original study. The new research demonstrated that Paxil indeed increases risks of suicide in young people and adolescents.

In 2015, Scientific American magazine shockingly partnered with Johnson & Johnson and GMO Answers for a conference at the National Press Club in Washington.10 GMO Answers is funded by BASF, Bayer, Dow AgroSciencesDuPontSyngenta and Monsanto.

And sites that would question almost all other corporation machinations give Big Vax a pass. Last year, Jezebel ran the headline: “Robert De Niro and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Call Vaccines Dangerous, Which They Are Not.” An Atlantic 2015 article sneered, “Vaccines Are Profitable, So What?”11 The otherwise liberal Daily Beast has gone so far as to publish pro-vax pieces penned by Paul Offit, perhaps the nation’s most extreme vaccine promoter.12,13

Google Is Everywhere and That Can Be a Problem

Aside from monopolizing the internet, Google has strong presences in childhood education, health care and even the food industry of which few are aware. It is also engaged in social engineering pursuits, artificial intelligence, military applications and Biomedical/Pharma ventures.

Few, for example, know about Google Life Sciences (now called Verily) or Google’s subsidiary Calico, focused on “health, well-being and longevity,” according to Google founder Larry Page.14 In 2014, Calico partnered with Humira-maker AbbVie to open an R&D facility focused on aging and age-related diseases, such as neurodegeneration and cancer. It has since joined with other drug developers.

In a chilling demonstration of the partnerships between government, Pharma and internet giants, in 2017 Dr. Thomas R. Insel, the director of the National Institute of Mental Health, left government to join Google Life Sciences (now Verily),15 which develops technologies for early detection and treatment of health problems, though he left soon after.16

Early detection of disease “risks” is a primary Pharma marketing push. Such partnerships might explain why an exposé17 on the alleged illegal marketing of Genentech/Novartis asthma dug Xolair was virtually buried on the internet in 2016.

Google Is Training a Whole New Generation

Google’s internet monopoly, which centers around personal information tracking and sharing, is just the beginning. The technology giant is also involved in childhood education, developing brand loyalty and a future customer base among children through product placements in schools.

This happens quickly because many schools have abandoned books in favor of tablets and computers equipped with aps like Google Classroom, Google Docs and Gmail. Just as Pharma enlists doctor support, Google has enlisted teachers and administrators to promote Google’s products.

Today, more than half of U.S. primary and secondary school students, more than 30 million children, use Gmail and Google Docs and Google-powered laptops like Chromebook. Once the children are out of school, they’re encouraged to convert their school accounts to personal accounts — a move that allows Google to build incredibly powerful personality and marketing profiles of each individual from a very early age and, of course, profits.

This is similar to the Pharma push to keep kids on ADHD drugs once they leave home in order to not lose the market share of a captive audience. ADHD drug marketers worry the 5 million young people they have managed to get on ADHD meds might discontinue the drugs when they leave home.

“I remember being the kid with ADHD. Truth is, I still have it,” said an ad from ADHD drugmaker Shire with a photo of Adam Levine, the lead singer of Maroon 5, in the Northwestern University student newspaper, The Daily Northwestern, a few years ago.

The disease mongering tag line was, “It’s Your ADHD. Own It.”18 In a conference call about its earnings, Shire bemoaned that it loses many of its college age ADHD customers “as they kind of fall out of the system based on the fact that they no longer go to a pediatrician and they move on to a primary care physician.19

The Brave New World Business Model of NewsGuard

Another internet watchdog entrant is NewsGuard, a plugin that promises to rate websites on nine criteria of credibility and transparency. Once installed, the NewsGuard rating will appear on all Google and Bing searches and on articles in your social media news feeds. Marketing plans include getting librarians to help patrons download the plugin on their personal computers, tablets and cellphones.

NewsGuard assigns a color coded “Nutrition Label” to sites that considers the publication of false content and deceptive headlines, ownership and financing disclosures and more.20 It has partnered with tech giant Microsoft for a Defending Democracy Program that addresses hacking, increasing transparency and warding against political disinformation campaigns.

As soon as I saw this ambitious venture I wondered who funds it. I did not have to look far. NewsGuard received much of its startup funds from Publicis Groupe, a giant global communications group with divisions that brand imaging, design of digital business platforms, media relations and health care.

It is so huge it has eight advertising/public relations subsidiaries, including the well-known Saatchi & Saatchi and Leo Burnett.21 Here is how Recode describes NewsGuard’s business model:22

“One thing that makes NewsGuard stand out from many other non-tech journalism initiatives is that it’s for-profit — it has received $6 million in venture funding from its founders and other investors — so it doesn’t need to rely on philanthropic donations. It has also enjoyed plenty of positive press.”

As I expected, Publicis Groupe’s health subsidiary, Publicis Health, names Lilly, Abbot, Roche, Amgen, Genentech, Celgene, Gilead, Biogen, Astra Zeneca, Sanofi, Bayer and other Pharma giants as clients. Does anyone imagine that news about healthy alternatives to Pharma drugs won’t be censored?

And, as far as the transparency NewsGuard is pledged to protect, its own transparency is murky. On NewsGuard’s United States Securities and Exchange Commission Form D filed March 5, 2018, there is an option for disclosing the size of its revenue, but that box was checked, “Decline to disclose.”

In your search for the truthful health news, always follow your own guiding light and your skepticism. Internet watchdogs like Snopes and NewsGuard have their own agenda — and it’s not public health.




MSNBC and its Treatment of Anti-War Voices

By Jimmy Dore | The Jimmy Dore Show

While the typical American citizen seems to be pre-disposed to have peace, rather than war, except when necessary, it seems that our leaders and certain large corporations prefer to have a culture of endless war. It seems that mainstream media has gone along with this goal. The interviewer, Jimmy Dore, highlights in the below video how this phenomenon has affected one of the most popular names in Talk TV, Phil Donahue, and how it is affecting U.S. Congresswoman, Tulsi Gabbard. Both of these individuals bucked the pro-war trend – in the early 2000’s, and this year, respectively. The former lost a show on MSNBC because of it and the latter is receiving mainstream push-back and arguable slander and libel which might affect her current (2020) presidential aspirations. Let us know what you think of the below video, in our comments section below:

 

*Originally entitled: “MSNBC ‘Terrified Of Anti-War Voices’ Says Fired Anti-War Host Phil Donahue”

Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield, Massachusetts and New England (USA) & “virtually” the world. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty@gmail.

 




The 2nd Annual REAL Fake News Awards with James Corbett

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXLe87joQgE

Source: corbettreport

It’s The 2nd Annual REAL Fake News Awards with James Corbett – that ceremony where the worst Fake News offenders of the past year are dishonoured with the shameful Dino awards. So will The Guardian retain its title as biggest purveyor of fake news or will a new challenger come along to take its place? Find out in this year’s most exciting award show!




4 Reasons the Corporate Media Refuses to Talk About Things That Matter

Watch a few hours of national cable TV media, and—outside of a very few shows—odds are you won’t hear any detail of actual policy whatsoever. (Photo: Screenshot)

By Thom Hartmann | Common Dreams

The media recently was all over Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib for calling Donald Trump a “m@therf*cker” in the context of wanting to impeach him. It got lots and lots of coverage, over a period of several days, while the really big work the Democrats were doing in the House is largely ignored, along with most other consequential issues of the day.

Ever since the media began, in a big way in the 1980s, to ignore actual news and go for highly dumbed-down or even salacious stories, many of us who work in the media have been astonished by this behavior by the network and cable news organizations and the major newspapers.

They used to report the details of policy proposals in great detail (see this report from the 1970s about Richard Nixon’s proposal for universal health care, comparing his with Ted Kennedy’s, for example). But since the Reagan era, the networks have largely kept their coverage exclusively to personality, scandal, and horse race.

Why would that be? Why, since the late 1980s, has the “news” lost any semblance of actual news and detail, and degenerated into a cleaned-up version of the National Enquirer?

For example, on January 3, the House of Representatives passed one of the most sweeping political reform bills since the Nixon era, including automatic voter registration, 15 days of nationwide early voting, and an end to gerrymandering. Not to mention a totally revolutionary code of ethics for the Supreme Court.

But was there any coverage of these details—or even of the bill itself—in the media? Even though there’s no way it would pass the Senate, it’s worthy of discussion and debate.

This is just one example of dozens of events that happen every day and are completely ignored by the media in favor of “who’s up and who’s down” horse-race reporting, and gotcha or scandal coverage.

Watch a few hours of national cable TV media, and—outside of a very few shows—odds are you won’t hear any detail of actual policy whatsoever. Every issue is instead framed in the horse-race format of “who’s going to win this fight”—leaving Americans uninformed about the consequences to themselves of the issues being fought over.

But the networks love scandal and conflict. So, to get issues on TV, maybe it’s time to make them obscene.

Imagine if the Democratic Party were to enlist a dozen or so members of Congress to go on national TV and say things like:

Alas, it’s just a dream.

Even if the Democrats did this, the only dimension of it that would get covered would be how much political damage (or benefit) the profanity may be doing to the politicians who are the source or butt of it, as happened with Representative Tlaib. In other words, they’d turn the issues aside and focus on the personalities and the horse race.

Which brings us back to the media refusing to actually discuss or inform the American public about actual issues.

Why would it be this way in 2019, when there’s such a demonstrable thirst for issues-based discussions, as we can see with the ratings of the few top cable network shows that actually do discuss issues and don’t spend half their hour with a “panel”?

Trying to figure out why this is, I’ve come up with four possible reasons (none of which are mutually exclusive; it may be all or a combination of them). Let me know on Twitter or call into my show if you have additions to the list.

1. The End of the Fairness Doctrine

In 1987, Ronald Reagan ordered his FCC to cease enforcing the Fairness Doctrine. This much-misunderstood regulation required radio and TV stations, in order to keep their licenses, to “pay” for their use of the public airwaves (the property of We the People) with actual news. It was called “broadcasting in the public interest.”

Because of the Fairness Doctrine, every one of the networks actually lost money on their news divisions, and those divisions operated entirely separately from the entertainment programming divisions of the networks.

CBS, ABC, and NBC had bureaus all around the world and employed an army of reporters. At the little radio station where I worked in Lansing, Michigan, in the 1970s (WITL), we had, as I recall, five people staffing the newsroom, and it was a firing offense if we were caught hanging out with the sales staff. While stations lost money on news, the payoff was the much larger sums they could earn with entertainment during the rest of the hour or day.

The Fairness Doctrine also encouraged a discussion of the issues of the day with the “balanced commentary” (probably not the official name; it’s what we called it in the ’70s) requirement. This did not say that if a station carried an hour of Limbaugh, they’d have to balance it with an hour of Hartmann. “Entertainment” programming (see Joe Pyne, William F. Buckley, etc., etc.) could have any tilt it wanted.

But when a station ran an editorial on the air that conveyed the opinion of the station’s owners, they then had to allow a member of the community to come on the air and present a balancing and different perspective. If this provision was still in the regulations, every time Sinclair Broadcast Group requires their local stations to air their “must-carry” right-wing editorials, they’d have to follow them with a left-wing perspective rebutting their points.

2. The Rise of “Reality TV”

Reality TV grew out of the twin writers’ strikes of 1988 and 2001. In each case, the networks had to figure out a way to offer compelling programming with shows that didn’t require union writers. In 1988, they mostly did documentaries on policing like “Cops” and “America’s Most Wanted”; in 2001 they rolled out the full-blown reality programming we know today, starting with “Survivor.”

The networks learned two big lessons from this. The first was that “reality” programming actually pulled an audience, and thus was profitable. Extremely profitable, in that it didn’t require union writers and generally didn’t even require union actors.

The second was that it was incredibly cheap to produce.

If you tuned into TV prior to the Reaganification of the news, you may still have heard “experts” discussing things, but there were several differences. First, they were usually actual experts on actual issues that were before Congress. Second, they were a very, very small part of the overall program.

In the years since the rise of reality TV, the news networks have discovered that it’s a hell of a lot cheaper to have four or five or six “pundits” join a host for an hour and “discuss” the issues of the day than it is to pay for actual salaried reporters and news bureaus around the nation and the world.

So every hour, at least on the low-budget or weak-talent shows (notice what a contrast the Maddow show is to this truism), plan on hearing a half-dozen very, very familiar talking heads discussing ad nauseam the same four or five stories all day long. (One wonders why the networks don’t encourage their talent to do more of the kind of in-depth reporting and analysis found on Rachel’s show, particularly since it’s profitable and draws killer ratings. Perhaps the answer is found in reasons three and four.)

Guests like you see on the panels that fill daytime news programming start out working for free, and if they become an “analyst,” “contributor” or some other title for the network are paid between $500 and $2,500 an appearance. In a world where on-air personalities often start with seven-figure salaries, this is incredibly cheap programming.

Even cheaper for the networks is to have politicians on as guests—they show up for free!—which may be why they’re almost never held to account in any serious way. After all, if you piss off a politician on your network and they refuse to ever come back on the air, you’ve lost another bit of “free” talent. And if you piss off an entire political party, and your programming model doesn’t work without “balance,” you’re really screwed.

There’s a reason people all over America are screaming at their TVs every Sunday morning: the majority of guests are conservatives or Republicans, and much of what they offer as “fact” or “opinion” is merely lies and propaganda. Which leads us to number three.

3. Media Corporations Are Corporations, Too

It’s easy to postulate that the absolute lack of coverage of the death, at GOP hands, of net neutrality is because two of the big three cable TV networks are (or soon will be) owned by internet service providers (NBC/MSNBC is owned by Comcast, AT&T is trying to buy CNN), and other big corporations see all sorts of financial advantage if they can use their financial and programming muscle to dominate a newly sliced-and-diced corporatized internet.

Consider: When was the last time you heard an intelligent discussion on TV about taxing the rich? Or holding corporations accountable when they break the law? Or how destructive oligopolies and monopolies are to workers? Or how big pharma scams us about their R&D expenses and price fixing, buying up generic companies, etc.? The list could go on for pages.

Back in the day, the big joke in corporate America was, “You know it’s going to be a bad day when you get to work in the morning and there’s a ‘60 Minutes’ news truck outside the building.” The last time this was seriously considered was in the late 1980s, as in this article about “60 Minutes” doing an exposé of the meat industry. Now, not so much.

The simple fact is that TV “news” organizations are now for-profit operations, and, lacking regulation like the Fairness Doctrine, thus have the same natural and inherent biases toward protecting corporate power and privilege, and the wealth and privilege of their management and largest shareholders.

They also derive the bulk of their money from two sources—billionaire-funded political campaigns (have you noticed how there’s no in-depth coverage of the political spending of the Kochs, Adelsons, and Mercers of the world?), and giant transnational corporate advertisers.

All those campaign ads represent hundreds of millions of dollars going right into the pockets of the networks and their affiliates, along with other corporate advertising revenue. Lacking a regulation like the Fairness Doctrine to require actual “programming in the true public interest news,” who’d bite those hands that feed them?

4. Corporations Like Republicans

The final possibility that occurs to me (and others in media with whom I’ve discussed this over the years) is that the large TV and radio news operations simply like what the GOP stands for. They also know that if GOP policies were widely understood, the Republican Party would fade into the kind of powerless obscurity it enjoyed for most of the FDR-to-Reagan era, when working people’s salaries were growing faster than management and the middle class was solid and stable.

TV networks don’t like unions or uppity workers or regulation any more than any other billion-dollar corporation. They’d prefer the salaries of their senior corporate management weren’t debated (or even known). They prefer to live in today’s semi-monopolistic system where they’re only minimally held accountable, and want to keep it that way.

This is the core of GOP ideology that media shares: Cut taxes on rich people, kill off the unions, cut welfare so more of that money can go to rich people’s tax cuts, deregulate big corporations so they can act without regard to the public good, and subsidize big corporations with government funds whenever and wherever possible.

But if any of these issues were ever explicitly discussed on TV, all hell would break loose. Can you imagine if Bill Kristol or Rick Santorum or any of the other dozens of right-wing trolls who inhabit cable TV were ever asked about their actual positions on policy?

Should we sell off (privatize) Social Security to the big New York banks as the GOP has wanted to do since the 1930s? Should we end Medicare and Medicaid and turn everybody over to the tender mercies of the insurance industry? Should we stop subsidizing the fossil fuel industry? What should we do about the audit that found $21 trillion (yes, with a T) missing from the Pentagon? How do we break the stranglehold monopolistic drug corporations have on the pricing of our pharmaceuticals?

Similarly, the networks are equally terrified of having actual progressives on to discuss actual progressive issues—because the majority of American voters largely supports these issues and, if well informed, will start to vote out Republicans and vote in progressive Democrats.

Imagine how things would go down if the networks started having actual discussions and debates about free college education, free national health care, the environmental impact of big oil, how well publicly owned utilities and internet services (like Chattanooga) work?

The simple reality is that the media oligopoly and the GOP work hand-in-glove, and the Democrats (and particularly the progressives) have been locked out since the Reagan era.

Solutions

The solutions to these problems are not particularly complex, although the GOP will fight them tooth-and-nail.

Reinstate the Fairness Doctrine, put back into place ownership rules, and break up the big media monopolies so there’s a diversity of voices across America. Overrule the Supreme Court’s (by legislation or constitutional amendment) Citizens United (and similar) ruling to regulate money in politics, diminishing the power of big corporations and billionaires (and foreign governments).

In other words, restore to America a rational media landscape.

Today, you can drive from coast to coast and never miss a moment of Hannity or Limbaugh on the radio, so complete and widespread is the nation’s network of corporate-owned radio stations that will only carry right-wing talk. You’ll be hard-pressed, outside of a few major cities, to find any progressive or even moderate talk programming.

This has corrupted America’s politics and led to a nation divided.

We can do better.

This article was produced by the Independent Media Institute.

About the Author

Thom Hartmann (thom at thomhartmann.com) is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program The Thom Hartmann Show. www.thomhartmann.comHis most recent books are Rebooting the American Dream: 11 Ways to Rebuild Our Country and an updated edition of Unequal Protection: How Corporations Became “People” – And How You Can Fight Back.” Previous books include:  Threshold: The Crisis of Western Culture,” “The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight,”  “We The People: A Call To Take Back America,” “What Would Jefferson Do?,” “Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle Class and What We Can Do About It,” and Cracking The Code: The Art and Science of Political Persuasion.” He is a writing fellow at the Independent Media Institute.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License




The 7 Most Important Things You Didn’t Know Happened in 2018

By  | ANON News

Can you believe 2018 is history? On January 1, 2019, every person born before the year 2000 became an adult. That’s insane from the perspective of someone born in the 1990’s.

We’re almost at the end of the 2010’s Decade. What do you think people will remember this decade for? What really was set in stone in the 2010’s Decade? This article will explore 7 stories many people didn’t hear about in 2018, but they should have.

1. THE WAR ON KRATOM INTENSIFIED

(Image credit: wekratom)

Kratom is an herb from southeast Asia, found in the dense jungles of Borneo, Indonesia and surrounding areas. It is an effective painkiller, with its active alkaloid Mitragynine, and it is virtually impossible to overdose on.

It has helped a lot of people quit those terrible, pharmaceutical opioids, and apparently somebody doesn’t like that. So, since about 2016 when the DEA attempted and failed to make kratom a schedule 1, illegal substance, with “no medical value,” several governmental agencies have been taking shots at kratom, trying their best to ban the innocuous herb.

This year alone, reports of salmonella contaminating kratom that were severely misleading and unrealistic circulated, the FDA commissioner repeatedly said bad things about kratom, lots of government agencies tried to demonize it and the supremely effective American Kratom Association (AKA) defended the herb.

It’s so beneficial for people, and so much of an outrage was stirred when the DEA threatened to ban it in 2016, it exploded the AKA’s popularity, and they became a formidable force. 2018 will certainly be remembered for the War on Kratom.

2. GLYPHOSATE (HERBICIDE) WAS DISCOVERED IN SCHOOL BREAKFAST FOODS ACROSS AMERICA

Most people are aware of one of the world’s most popular herbicides, the cancer-linked chemical Glyphosate, often sold by Monsanto as “RoundUp.” For the past several years, headlines have been made about glyphosate repeatedly. It has been found in California wines, and now it is being found in American school breakfast foods, a new report confirms.

Who could be surprised? It’s found in almost everything. The thing is, these “trace” amounts really do have health consequences: and that leads us to our third item on the list.




The Top 5 Censored News Stories of 2018

Image Credit: Waking Times

By Vic Bishop | Waking Times

We all know that the corporate media has no interest in shedding light on certain societal issues, and it seems that many people are awakening to the reality that if we want to know the truth, we have to go out and find it for ourselves. 2018 was a remarkable year in this regard, because tech giants and major media began openly censoring social media and de-platforming anti-establishment voices and media organizations.

Censorship of the news is as old as government itself, and for last 40 years, watchdog groups have kept a record of each year’s most censored, under-reported on, and important issues. Project Censored keeps this tradition alive with its end of year report.

“The presentation of the Top 25 stories of 2017-2018 extends the tradition originated by Professor Carl Jensen and his Sonoma State University students in 1976, while reflecting how the expansion of the Project to include affiliate faculty and students from campuses across North America has made the Project even more diverse and robust. During this year’s cycle, Project Censored reviewed over 300 Validated Independent News stories (VINs) representing the collective efforts of 351 college students and 15 professors from 13 college and university campuses that participated in the Project’s Campus Affiliates Program during the past year.” [Source]

The following top 5 censored stories as excerpted from Project Censored. Serious food for thought, for those out there paying attention:

5. Washington Post Bans Employees from Using Social Media to Criticize Sponsors

In June 2017, Andrew Beaujon reported in the Washingtonian on a new policy at the Washington Post that prohibits the Post’s employees from conduct on social media that “adversely affects The Post’s customers,…

4. How Big Wireless Convinced Us Cell Phones and Wi-Fi are Safe

A Kaiser Permanente study (published December 2017 in Scientific Reports) conducted controlled research testing on hundreds of pregnant women in the San Francisco Bay area and found that those who had been exposed…

3. World’s Richest One Percent Continue to Become Wealthier

In November 2017, the Guardian reported on Credit Suisse’s global wealth report, which found that the richest 1 percent of the world now owns more than half of the world’s wealth. As…

2.  “Open-Source” Intelligence Secrets Sold to Highest Bidders

In March 2017, WikiLeaks released Vault 7, which consisted of some 8,761 leaked confidential Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) documents and files from 2013 to 2016, detailing the agency’s vast arsenal…

Read more

1. Global Decline in Rule of Law as Basic Human Rights Diminish –

A 2018 survey conducted in response to global concerns about rising authoritarianism and nationalism shows a major decrease in nations adhering to basic human rights. As the Guardian reported, the World Justice Project…

Final Thoughts

Take a look at the complete list of The Top 25 Censored Stories of 2017-2018, as presented by Project Censored.

About the Author

Vic Bishop is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com. He is an observer of people, animals, nature, and he loves to ponder the connection and relationship between them all. A believer in always striving to becoming self-sufficient and free from the matrix, please track him down on Facebook.

This article (The Top 5 Censored News Stories of 2018) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Vic Bishop and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio and internal links. 




WATCH: What To Trust in a “Post-Truth” World | Alex Edmans [TED Video]

Source: TED

Watch this fascinating TED video with Alex Edmans discussing what you can trust in a ‘post-truth’ world.

Only if you are truly open to the possibility of being wrong can you ever learn, says researcher Alex Edmans. In an insightful talk, he explores how confirmation bias — the tendency to only accept information that supports your personal beliefs — can lead you astray on social media, in politics and beyond, and offers three practical tools for finding evidence you can actually trust. (Hint: appoint someone to be the devil’s advocate in your life.)




Shooting Pepper Spray at Children Is Okay, Former CBP Deputy Chief Tells Fox News, Because ‘You Could Actually Put It on Your Nachos and Eat It’

Ron Colburn, president of the Border Patrol Foundation and former national deputy chief of the CBP, appeared on Fox & Friends Monday morning and claimed that pepper spray is so harmless you could “put it on your nachos” and eat it. (Screenshot: Fox News)

By Common Dreams staff | Common Dreams

Amid widespread outrage and condemnation over the tear gassing of mothers, their children, and other asylum seekers and migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border on Sunday, Ronald Colburn, president of the Border Patrol Foundation and former national deputy chief of the CBP, appeared on Fox & Friends Monday morning and claimed the gas—which reports said led to children “screaming and coughing in the mayhem” that resulted from it—was really just a “natural” product and “you actually could put it on your nachos and eat it.”

As one observer put it, the stupidity of Colburn’s statement has to be seen to be believed:

The outrageous claim and inhumanity of its implications did not go over well:

https://twitter.com/_RebeccaMarques/status/1067063055320842241?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

https://twitter.com/cs_hecht/status/1067061401569513472?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw


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Facebook Accused of ‘Full-Frontal Suppression of Dissent’ After Independent Media Swept Up in Mass Purge

“Those who demanded Facebook and other Silicon Valley giants censor political content—something they didn’t actually want to do—are finding that content that they themselves support and like end up being repressed,” noted The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald in response to Facebook’s announcement. “That’s what has happened to every censorship advocate in history.” (Photo: Legal Loop)

By Jake Johnson | Common Dreams

The massive shutdown affected many sites devoted to covering war, police brutality, and other issues neglected by the corporate media.

After Facebook announced on Thursday that it shut down and removed hundreds of pages and accounts that it vaguely accused of spreading “spam” and engaging in “inauthentic behavior,” some of the individuals and organizations caught up in the social media behemoth’s dragnet disputed accusations that they were violating the platform’s rules and raised alarm that Facebook is using its enormous power to silence independent political perspectives that run counter to the corporate media’s dominant narratives.

While it is reasonable to assume that some of the more than 800 total pages and accounts shut down by Facebook were engaged in overtly fraudulent behavior—such as the use of fake accounts and bots to generate ad revenue—numerous independent media outlets that cover a wide array of issues say they were swept up in the massive purge despite never using such tactics.

“Facebook has removed the pages of several police accountability/watchdog/critic groups, including Cop Block, the Free Thought Project, and Police the Police,” Washington Post journalist Radley Balko noted in a tweet following Facebook’s announcement. “They’ve also apparently severely restricted activity for the Photography Is Not a Crime page.”

Activist, comedian, and political commentator Lee Camp argued that Facebook’s purge is clear evidence that the “purging of anti-establishment thought is upon us” and described the account shutdowns as “full-frontal suppression of dissent.”

Speaking to journalist Alex Rubinstein after they found out Facebook shut down their pages—some of which had hundreds of thousands of followers—the founders of Police the Police, the Free Thought Project, and other now-shuttered pages denied Facebook’s hazy charge of “fraudulent” activity and accused the company of attempting to suppress dissenting voices that refuse to toe the corporate line.

“Our approach generally is to cover stories and angles that corporate media underreport or misreport and to amplify activist and anti-war voices and stories. All of our content is professionally fact-checked and edited,” said Nicholas Bernabe, founder of The Anti-Media, a self-described “anti-establishment” website whose Facebook page was shut down along with hundreds of others on Thursday. “I can only speculate that these suspensions were a coordinated effort to stifle our message ahead of the coming elections.”

While some of the pages Facebook removed on Thursday were affiliated with right-wing sites that were spreading patently false stories, censorship opponents have long warned of the “slippery slope” of empowering corporate giants to suppress certain kinds of content, given that the suppression almost always expands far beyond the original target.

“Those who demanded Facebook and other Silicon Valley giants censor political content—something they didn’t actually want to do—are finding that content that they themselves support and like end up being repressed,” noted The Intercept‘s Glenn Greenwald in response to Facebook’s announcement. “That’s what has happened to every censorship advocate in history.”

Though Facebook has yet to release a full list of the pages and accounts it removed, several individuals affected by the purge have taken to other social media platforms to denounce the social media giant for squashing pages that took years to develop.


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