The establishment media is dying. This is not a biased view coming from “alternative media,” it is a fact borne out by metrics and opinion polls from within the establishment itself. It was true before the recent election, and is guaranteed to accelerate after their shameless defense of non-reality which refused to accept any discontent among the American population with standard politics.
Now, with egg on their face after the botched election coverage, and a wobbling uncertainty about how they can maintain multiple threads of a narrative so fundamentally disproven, they appear to be resorting to their nuclear option: a full shut down of dissent.
Voices within independent media have been chronicling the signposts toward full-on censorship as sites have encountered everything from excessive copyright infringement accusations, to de-monetization, to the open admission by advertising giants that certain images would not be tolerated.
However, until now these efforts have appeared random, haphazard, and rife with retractions and restorations of targeted sites and content. A massive backlash of reader outrage toward these restrictive measures has confirmed that most consumers don’t like the idea of being given boundaries to their intellectual freedom.
That said, there has been a notable increase of hoax websites beginning to populate the information stream. We can attest that this has been an incredible annoyance as we are bombarded daily with new outrageous claims and rabbit holes that readers expect us to sift through.
Most times, a cursory glance at the “About” page or any disclaimers quickly shows where this information is coming from. Other times, a bit of common sense and discernment about why a site that has just appeared on the scene (check Alexa for this info) would have “EXCLUSIVE” “BREAKING” content under the banner of an apparent local news channel or a name that is the twisted version of a legitimate news outlet.
But even with those caveats, we’ve all been taken in at one time or another and have had to retract or update articles as necessary, or apologize to our e-mail list for sending out a given link. This does jam up the works, but it is the tax we all must pay if we believe in the free-market of ideas and information. We’re not perfect, but at least we have never been deliberately misleading like CNN and others often have been.
The government recently legalized using propaganda against US citizens. They wielded all of their establishment media force to sell their lies. And now they’re frustrated that people still prefer the truth as they see it naturally.
As The Verge highlighted in a recent article, “Two-thirds of the world’s internet users live under government censorship.” Although this is roundly decried by establishment media as evidence of “declining freedom,” this is exactly the path we are heading toward at the behest of that same media within those areas that have managed to thwart such a reality.
The voices of the corporate media are making a show of calling Facebook to task for evidently not having stringent enough algorithms to discern legitimate news from deliberate hoax. We are being told that this very likely led to the election of Trump, and that this has become a major problem in need of a major solution.
The first shots are being fired as we speak. Yesterday we learned that Facebook and Google would take swift action against “fake news” by de-monetizing or banning them outright.
“Moving forward, we will restrict ad serving on pages that misrepresent, misstate, or conceal information about the publisher, the publisher’s content, or the primary purpose of the web property,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement given to Reuters. This policy includes fake news sites, the spokesperson confirmed. Google already prevents its AdSense program from being used by sites that promote violent videos and imagery, pornography, and hate speech.
This is problematic on a number of levels, not least of which is the vague notion of what constitutes violent imagery and hate speech. War, of course, is what should first come to mind when thinking of violence. Police shootings and other clashes might qualify as well, but routinely populate the most mainstream of sources. And one person’s hate speech is another person’s dissent.
The second component is that of transparency, where we see claims about any effort to “conceal information about the publisher.” Again, very vague, but as any journalist worth their salt knows, it is anonymity which leads to the truth more often than not, especially when threats against journalists and whistleblowers are demonstrably on the rise.
Today, the mainstream media named us as one of the top “fake news” sites to avoid. It’s quite an honor.
US News (linked above) has published a list of websites that it deems unworthy of support, and is essentially urging to be de-monitized or banned based on the previous calls to action.
Here are several fake news sites that have become popular on Facebook, and which should be avoided if you’re looking for the facts:
Firstly, the grouping of satire, hoax, and propaganda is troubling, as the definitions of each aren’t even remotely related to one another.
Satire is literature and has a tradition dating back thousands of years; it has been recognized as an essential component of intellectual and political freedom. A deliberate hoax, we can all agree, is lacking integrity, purposely deceptive, and can be legitimately harmful or dangerous. Propaganda, though, is aligned with the State; and most commonly is directed and funded by the State. That is a serious accusation and one that is entirely without merit for this website. It is also an especially ironic and dubious accusation coming from an outlet called US News.
Yet we’re proud to be biased for peace, love, and liberty. Anyone against those principles is serving fake news as far as we’re concerned.
All of this is to say that we are entering dangerous new territory, as the Internet itself is under a new regime with the transfer to ICANN, an international body. If 2/3 of the globe is under digital dictatorship, what else is the likely outcome from such international control over information?
However, it is also an exhilarating time to be a part of such mammoth upheaval, where the entrenched apparatus of the State itself has declared information to be its enemy and to acknowledge that it must do everything in its power to maintain its tenuous monopoly on the truth.
The unfortunate reality for them is that the truth will always be simpler and, therefore, more efficient to disseminate than the complexities of lies and true propaganda.
The Western War On Truth
The “war on terror” has simultaneously been a war on truth. For fifteen years—from 9/11 to Saddam Hussein’s “weapons of mass destruction” and “al Qaeda connections,” “Iranian nukes,” “Assad’s use of chemical weapons,” endless lies about Gadaffi, “Russian invasion of Ukraine”—the governments of the so-called Western democracies have found it essential to align themselves firmly with lies in order to pursue their agendas. Now these Western governments are attempting to discredit the truthtellers who challenge their lies.
Russian news services are under attack from the EU and Western presstitutes as purveyors of “fake news.” http://www.globalresearch.ca/moscow-accused-of-propagating-fake-news-eu-resolution-on-russian-propaganda/5558835 Abiding by its Washington master’s orders, the EU actually passed a resolution against Russian media for not following Washington’s line. Russian President Putin said that the resolution is a “visible sign of degradation of Western society’s idea of democracy.”
As George Orwell predicted, telling the truth is now regarded by Western “democratic” governments as a hostile act. A brand new website, propornot.com, has just made its appearance condemning a list of 200 Internet websites that provide news and views at variance with the presstitute media that serves the governments’ agendas. http://www.propornot.com/p/the-list.html Does propornot.com’s funding come from the CIA, the National Endowment for Democracy, George Soros?
I am proud to say that paulcraigroberts.org is on the list.
What we see here is the West adopting Zionist Israel’s way of dealing with critics. Anyone who objects to Israel’s cruel and inhuman treatment of Palestinians is demonized as “anti-semitic.” In the West those who disagree with the murderous and reckless policies of public officials are demonized as “Russian agents.” The president-elect of the United States himself has been designated a “Russian agent.”
This scheme to redefine truthtellers as propagandists has backfired. The effort to discredit truthtellers has instead produced a catalogue of websites where reliable information can be found, and readers are flocking to the sites on the list. Moreover, the effort to discredit truthtellers shows that Western governments and their presstitutes are intolerant of truth and diverse opinion and are committed to forcing people to accept self-serving government lies as truth.
Clearly, Western governments and Western media have no respect for truth, so how can the West possibly be democratic?
The presstitute Washington Post played its assigned role in the claim promoted by Washington that the alternative media consists of Russian agents. Craig Timberg, who appears devoid of integrity or intelligence, and perhaps both, is the WaPo stooge who reported the fake news that “two teams of independent researchers”—none of whom are identified—found that the Russians exploited my gullibility, that of CounterPunch, Professor Michel Chossudosky of Global Researh, Ron Paul, Lew Rockwell, Justin Raimondo and that of 194 other websites to help “an insurgent candidate” (Trump) “claim the White House.”
Note the term applied to Trump—“insurgent candidate.” That tells you all you need to know.
You can read here what passes as “reliable reporting” in the presstitute Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/russian-propaganda-effort-helped-spread-fake-news-during-election-experts-say/2016/11/24/793903b6-8a40-4ca9-b712-716af66098fe_story.html
Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept, which somehow escaped inclusion in The 200, unloads on Timberg and the Washington Post here: https://theintercept.com/2016/11/26/washington-post-disgracefully-promotes-a-mccarthyite-blacklist-from-a-new-hidden-and-very-shady-group/
Western governments are running out of excuses. Since the Clinton regime, the accumulation of war crimes committed by Western governments exceed those of Nazi Germany. Millions of Muslims have been slaughtered, dislocated, and dispossessed in seven countries. Not a single Western war criminal has been held accountable.
The despicable Washington Post is a prime apologist for these war criminals. The entire Western print and TV media is so heavily implicated in the worst war crimes in human history that, if justice ever happens, the presstitutes will stand in the dock with the Clintons, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, Obama and their neocon operatives or handlers as the case may be.
About the Author
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West, How America Was Lost, and The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.
Alt-Media Fires Back At Mainstream Press Promotion Of News Site Blacklist
Last week, the Washington Post promoted the claims of a shadowy, anonymous organization that smears dozens of U.S. alternative media websites that are critical of the current order of establishment politics as being “routine peddlers of Russian propaganda.”
The WaPo article – titled “Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, experts say” – cites a report from a website that calls itself PropOrNot, which claims that millions of Americans have been deceived this year in a massive Russian misinformation campaign.
The shadowy group’s report provides a list of what they have deemed Russian disinformation outlets that includes alternative news sources like Drudge Report, Zero Hedge, Infowars, Activist Post, and The Ron Paul Institute. Many of the websites on the list are Clinton-critical left-wing pages, libertarian venues, U.S. foreign policy critics and outlets simply attempting to seek the truth.
Here is PropOrNot’s full list of websites deemed disinformation:
This would be the second alternative media hit list to circulated the mainstream media this month since “fake news” has come into the spotlight post-presidential election.
So, what do some of these alternative voices in the media think about the Russian Propagandist label they received from this organization?
“Firstly, the notion that Activist Post is designed to support Russia in any way is absurd,” a representative from ActivistPost.com told Planet Free Will. “We can only guess that this is an effort to intimidate independent voices into following the establishment narrative.”
Activist Post is a long-running alternative news page that prides itself on exposing mainstream media disinformation and laying bare current U.S. foreign policy for its readers.
The popular website, which has over 540,000 likes on Facebook, went on to tell PFWthat this type of blacklisting of alternative media is a display of authoritarianism.
“That is not what true journalism is about. True journalism asks difficult questions and offers counter perspectives. If that concept becomes so offensive to corporate or government interests that they must establish “lists” of violators, then they have chosen a path toward authoritarianism. It is a shameful position for them to take and still claim to be objective promoters of a free press and freedom of speech,” the Activist Post rep. told us.
Tim Brown of FreedomOutpost.com, a website also mentioned on the PropOrNot list, told Planet Free Will that the attempt to smear independent news signals the death of the corporate media.
“I think it signals the fact that the old dinosaurs of corporately controlled rags and television are dying a slow death and are being challenged by citizen journalists,” Brown said. “While some sites in the list do put out some bad headlines and fail to deliver what they promise, many of the sites listed source what they write, often times pointing to the very people who are attacking them.”
Brown believes that this type of blacklisting is an attempt by the mainstream media and the establishment to cover up its own hypocrisy.
“It tells you these people have been exposed for their hypocrisy and they don’t like it,” Brown told PFW. “So, instead of dealing truthfully about the propaganda they have been engaging in, they point the fingers at those who are actually exposing corruption and criminality in the central government….something that is supposed to be their job.”
Some of the outlets on the list are taking the Russian propagandist label with honor and excitement.
“I’m very excited about all this, and I plan to send a large invoice to the Russian Embassy,” Ezra Levant of the popular Canadian news site TheRebel.Media told Planet Free Will.” I just hope they don’t look at our dozens of videos criticizing Putin’s invasion and annexation of Ukraine, and Gazprom’s abusive monopoly in Europe.”
Michael Krieger, the sole voice behind LibertyBlitzkrieg.com, says that he is honored to be included in the list.
“I have to admit I’m quite honored to see that Liberty Blitzkrieg was recently included on a list of some of the most illustrious, impactful and successful alternative news websites on the planet,” Krieger wrote in an article last week.
Krieger says the list and its coverage in the mainstream press represents the “lashing out at alternative news outlets deemed most effective in countering the smothering and nonsensical pro-Hillary narrative tirelessly propagated by the fake mainstream news media.”
What’s particularly interesting about this list, isn’t the fact that a bunch of anonymous whiners decided to demonize successful critics of insane, inhumane and ethically indefensible U.S. government policy, but rather the fact that the Washington Post decided to craft an entire article around such a laughably ridiculous list. This just further proves a point that is rapidly becoming common knowledge amongst U.S. citizens with more than a couple of brain cells to rub together. The mainstream media is the real “fake news.”
Michael Krieger’s assessment of the WaPo article rings similar to the one Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept wrote over the weekend, in which he said:
This Post report was one of the most widely circulated political news articles on social media over the last 48 hours, with dozens, perhaps hundreds, of U.S. journalists and pundits with large platforms hailing it as an earth-shattering exposé. It was the most-read piece on the entire Post website on Friday after it was published.
Yet the article is rife with obviously reckless and unproven allegations, and fundamentally shaped by shoddy, slothful journalistic tactics. It was not surprising to learn that, as BuzzFeed’s Sheera Frenkel noted, “a lot of reporters passed on this story.” Its huge flaws are self-evident. But the Post gleefully ran with it and then promoted it aggressively, led by its Executive Editor Marty Baron:
The ultra popular financial news website Zero Hedge, who ranks in the top 100 U.S. media publications, has described the mainstream media as “desperate” and “flailing” in its attempt to label independent voices as Russian propaganda.
Zero Hedge writes:
While this latest spin on the so-called “narrative” will certainly backfire, and accelerate the demise of the mainstream media’s efforts to maintain credibility and control of the American mindset – which it painfully lost with their lies during the presidential campaign – not to mention “eyeballs” and ad revenue, we remain fascinated by the so called “liberal left’s” relentless charges that Trump will unleash a massive censorship assault on the “free press” when the “free press” itself is doing everything in its power to squash dissenting voices. To which all we can add is that it is a good thing that said “power” is declining with every passing day.
In a ‘thank you’ note to its readers last week, Zero Hedge made it clear to it’s readers that the outlet “does not, and has never had any financial, political, or any other affiliation or relation to an external entity or organization” and takes no money from the KGB. Rather, Zero Hedge says its goal is to objectively relay news-worthy information for its visitors.
PlanetFreeWill.com has also come under attack by the MSM recently when the New York Times last week tried to discredit an article by PFW reporter Stefanie MacWilliams that covered the “Pizzagate” open source investigation and discussion taking place on forum boards around the Internet.
MacWilliams’ piece was labeled a “fake news article” for covering the facts surrounding the “Pizzagate” controversy.
In an article covering the NYT’s attack I would write:
It is clear that there is a war going on between the sell out mainstream press – who have totally discredited themselves over the course of the recent presidential campaign by spreading misinformation and a steady stream of divisive identity politics – and the rising independent press that is rooting itself on the internet.
With only 6% of Americans having trust in outlets like the New York Times, it is clear that the “fake news” label placed on sites like Planet Free Will, Zero Hedge, Infowars, Breitbart, Activist Post, and more, is a tactic to discredit the competition that is making the mainstream media obsolete.
It looks like the blacklisting and overall attempt to discredit these alternative voices in the media is not going to put a hamper on the future of their operations. In fact, while most of them take the nasty labels of “Russian propaganda” and “fake news” with pride and recognize they are contributing to the demise of the mainstream, lying media, they will surely and confidently continue to do what they have been doing all along: telling the truth in a time of universal deceit.
About the Author
Joseph Jankowski is a contributor for PlanetFreeWill.com. His works have been published by recognizable alternative news sites like GlobalResearch.ca, ActivistPost.com, PrisonPlanet.com and ZeroHedge.com.