Get your Rapture hats ready, kiddies! The sky is falling, and our wise gift of nuclear winter will propel us all into the loving arms of the all-knowing and all-everywhere G-d.


Fine Young Cannibals We | Media Control | Sorrows of Empire | Shock Doctrine | 64KB

<start with the Conclusion>  the media pied piper is a luxury of venal citizens and their hypocrisy about the cannibalism of their culture ...deliberately and corporately (evil) - just dumb monkeys doing their job
Media Control, Second Edition: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda
by Noam Chomsky
47 of 59 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars small book... powerful ideas., January 13, 2003
By  Pen Name? "mlarsony" (Toledo, OH United States) - See all my reviews

Media Control is perhaps the best short introduction to Chomsky's thought on politics and propaganda around. Whereas books like 9-11 and "What Uncle Sam Really Wants" are choppy and prone to misunderstood interpretations by readers not already accustomed to Chomsky, Media Control is coherent, in depth and very easy and quick to read. The essay is from the time after the U.S. invasion of Iraq known as "Desert Storm" and traces the uses of propaganda and misinformation from that era back to the Wilson era and Walter Lippmann's theory of media control. Chomsky perhaps displays his dry wit in this short volume more than anywhere else, with his comparisson of the typical slogan "support our troops" to the absurd slogan "support the people in Iowa." What this makes clear, is the emptiness of the slogan. The question "do you support our troops?" cannot be answered with a "no" unless one is completely depraved. That question however masks the underlying question "do you support our policy?" which is something that elites in the govt. and media would prefer you not think about, because the answers would be more ambiguous and require real democratic discussion. The rulers and media heads would prefer to make those decisions for you, through what Lippmann dubbed "consent without consent". The mass media (now controlled largely by six major firms who all have holdings and enter into joint ventures with one another.) constrain debate on issues to within a moderate range, so of course most of the media will look to be at the "liberal" end of the allowed spectrum, but that only has the effect of cutting anything further to the "left" out of the discussion, so arguments many tend to go between something like the "hawks" who are for immediate war, unilaterally, and the "doves" largely represented in the media, who may tend to stand for "multi-lateralism" or waiting for more info. Thus, many who have other ideas on the subject are left out of mainstream debate, and thus seem to not exist. What we are left with is a host of false-dichotomies and debates that we don't even want to be in.
... Also, this new edition of Media Control is expanded to include transcript of a talk, previously printed in FAIR, which is a little thought experiment about how a journalist from Mars ... would cover the "war on terrorism." .../...  Permalink |

Chomsky is brilliant, but ...,
July 31, 2007
By  Gary Ark "GaryA" (Winchester, MA United States) - See all my reviews
Brilliant, very insightful. I have only one problem with Noam Chomsky's position - his absolution of general population from responsibilities of their government [which is the logic exploited by US Govt to justify the crushing of humans in other places -- BECAUSE 'they' are explicitly culpable for the circumstances 'they' created] . Yes, America is a big bully and there is a lot of propaganda, but isn't it what the majority wants to hear? Doesn't it feel good when we can beat up on countries like Yugoslavia to make us feel good about our might? The problem with Iraq and Vietnam is that, as with all bullies, if you fight back, the bully turns cowardly. Continuing resistance of Iraqis makes Americans, and media, feel insecure about themselves - with all that might and money we cannot control a few cavemen! Propaganda is successful not because there is a government conspiracy with media - it is successful because we want to hear ( palliatives, sugar-coated cornpone, the teevee toob-fed opiate of the comatose masses) what the media says. [it provides the plausible deniability, the '(DELIBERATE) Incompetence' the alibi of innocence from actual calibrations of mass genocide and cannibalism /js zog]

The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic (American Empire Project) by Chalmers Johnson
516 of 555 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars 'War is a Racket' - General Smedley Butler USMC, April 1, 2004
By  Augustine Redux (San Diego, CA USA) - See all my reviews
Am I the only one who thinks the the rest of his countryman are nuts? For the past 60 years and three generations, Americans have been led to believe that that spending billions for the Defense of the country is not only necessary but patriotic.

Forget conspiracy theories and ideological agendas, just contemplate one fact: The USA spends more on military and intelligence funding in 2004 than it has spent at any one time in history. Fourteen carrier groups to defeat the two remaining countries of the axis of evil, N. Korea and Iran? 750 and counting military bases outside the USA? However, the government tells us it is powerless to defend the country against an attack from a terrorist group with WMD??? So, the next time you watch television and the commentator tells you why we need another aircraft carrier, more tanks, more F-16's, etc., ask yourself: Who are we defending ourselves against? And, as Chalmers Johnson points out, follow the money!

This book is an excellent primer on how our beloved country is being led down the road to ruin by a group of people who are lining the pockets of themeselves and their friends and supporters. All of this is being done in the name of Democracy, Freedom and Globalization. But, why do we want to liberate people who sit on oil while those <other> countries being ruthlessly exploited and practcially enslaved are ignored since they can contribute little or nothing to the "world economy" (pick any poor third world country)?

This review is written by a conservative American, cold war supporter and US Navy veteran (like Chalmers Johnson)who believes in the old Republic (when is the last time you heard that word mentioned in the era of the imperial presidency). Forget whether you are democrat or republican, take the blinders off and seek the truth, excellently told by Chalmers Johnson.

229 of 269 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars essential truths rather than pablum and propaganda, January 16, 2004
By  L. F Sherman "dikw" (Wiscasset, ME United States) - See all my reviews
Essential truths are discomforting but critically important while there may still be time to save the United States from its worst enemies - antidemocratic ruling cliques that are part of the military industrial-complex (now oil and communications industries included) at its worst. This is not the pabulum and propaganda of most of the press and right wing think tanks or corporate media but rather a tough minded well documented and truly scary reality that most would prefer to ignore -- at their own risk. The American Empire of Bases, hidden expenses and private corporate military contracts, together with a plethora of lies make for mass hallucination that has but an inkling of truth. One chapter could stand on its own as a great description of recent economic and military history "What Happened to Globalization?". The chapter also effectively highlights how mythological is the "free market capitalism" that is ideology and far from reality. It is clear that the problem is not new - but also that is far worse than ever with the megalomaniac boy emperor and his irresponsible quest that is destroying everything from the Constitution to the economy. The practical first step - not mentioned directly by Johnson - is to get Bush out of office and work for major restoration of the promise of America for the people and the world rather than a few oil and war profiteers. Wake up! Pray there is still time to restore our country! Johnson does not say it in so many words but it becomes clear that no one has done more to make enemies and reduce our security than this President and his administration. After reading this one is not likely to be a total 'sucker' like Goering's public that could be manipulated by freaking people out about their enemies abroad and calling anyone who disagrees unpatriotic or traitorous.

The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
by Naomi Klein

118 of 152 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars The New "New Economy", September 18, 2007
By  Panopticonman "panopticonman" (Brooklyn, NY USA)
In THE SHOCK DOCTRINE, Naomi Klein brilliantly proposes a compelling counter-story to the prevailing fable of free market infallibility. Buttressed by painstaking and wide-ranging research, and an ability to see connections where others only see coincidence, Ms. Klein amply shows that profit-making is not the essence of democracy as Milton Friedman and his minions would have it. She shows instead that the machinery of the state and the requirements of "disaster capitalism" are now so tightly synchronized in their exploitation of disasters both man-made and natural as to be virtually one in the same.

Citing pertinent examples to prove her thesis that "disaster capitalism" is now rampant around the world - in Russia, in China, in Iraq to name just a few - she describes how in times of crisis, elites everywhere have learned that they can profit by implementing policies, e.g., "shock therapy" or "shock and awe," that would have been vigorously opposed in normal times. When these changes to Friedmanite free-market dicta are opposed, as they were in Chile, a third shock is implemented. This, according to Klein is a shock that is entirely man-made - the torture and murder of those who would stand in the way of the takeover of the public sector, or, as neo-liberal economists would have it, the bringing forth of a new birth of freedom.

During the "Reagan Revolution," Klein argues, the notion of the `Entrepreneur As Hero' was buffed to a high gloss though the influence of right-wing think tanks whose pronouncements were reported by a cowed and obedient media. A decade later in the era, entrepreneurs were burnished to blinding sheen when the media fed the world images of swashbuckling venture capitalists who were touted as bringing forth a new millennium through the Internet. Klein maintains that George W. Bush's "public offering" -- the War on Terror - covered slavishly and avidly by the media, has been wildly successful, lining the pockets of investors in the new Homeland Security sector as promises of taxpayer money everlastingly flowing into the coffers of the military-industrial-energy complex have been fulfilled. This is the new "new economy:" the looting of the public sector through the now tried-and-true methods of disaster capitalism.

THE SHOCK DOCTRINE reveals the many wounds that disaster capitalism has inflicted upon the body politic both here in the U.S. and throughout the world over the past 25 years. It is a breathtaking achievement. Highly recommended.

Read this Book,
November 17, 2007
By  Aimee Montes De Oca "Truth Lover" (Beaches of Florida) - See all my reviews
If you want to understand the difference between democracy and capitalism, read this book. If you want to know why the world's problems never seem to get solved, read this book. I had never read a book on economics before, but this one is riveting. The book of Revelation describes the United States as appearing like a lamb, but having the voice of a dragon. The Shock Doctrine details the fulfillment of that prophecy made 2000 years ago. After you read this book, study Revelation to prepare for everything else that is about to happen.


Iraqi Holocaust Censored By Your Proud Sponsor Deliberate Incompetence

The Republican Noise Machine: Right-Wing Media and How It Corrupts Democracy
by David Brock (Author) "WHEN JOURNALIST EDITH EFRON died at age seventy-nine in April 2001,
Virginia Postrel, the editor of the libertarian magazine Reason, for which Efron had been..." (more)

Key Phrases: think tank network, message machinery, professional news organizations, New York Times, Washington Post, White House (more...)
thank you amazion

70 of 86 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars good insights into ideology and propaganda, June 29, 2004
By  lajollaf "lajollaf" (la jolla ca.) - See all my reviews
Anyone familiar with the history of propaganda and public
relations is aware of how much the strategies of mass persuasion
have served ideologies representing radically different
worldviews. Ideologues can benefit deeply from one another
because content is less important than form
:  .../...

.../... showing all the craft and design that has gone into the Republican
talking-points apparatus. Not only does he document the huge
decades-long financing that has stealthily and steadily
(with the complicity of centrist media) created a radical right-wing
juggernaut, but he also demonstrates how right wing
ideologues have circumvented the standard academic peer-review
processes that are in place to weed out junk research and
impression mongering disguised as consequential results
. The
researchers in this tradition often cry that academic
institutions are against their research, but what they
don't tell you is that they'd rather publish in venues
where their work is looked at less critically, because
it is often unsupportable, and where they simply earn
more than they ever would at universities.

Perhaps the biggest boondoggle to deliberative discussion
in American public discourse is how the media misrepresents
these researchers as "scholars" affiliated with think tanks,
giving a patina of depth and authority
to ideology driven
drivel. What the media audience generally doesn't know is
that these think tanks are bastions of uniformity with
coordinated messages spread by well-dressed commentators
whose ideological conformity are the envy of former
Soviet apparatchiks.
For those who want to understand
why American discourse has coarsened in style and
become monochromatic in content, this book provides a
good starting place.

For those with a broader
historical perspective, it helps one to see that
America's ideologues may be more dangerous than
ideologues of other perspectives because they've
been demonstrably more successful:  .../...

198 of 237 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant. Comprehensive. The Definitive Record., May 18, 2004
By A Customer
.../...  Brock begins at the beginning, with a treatise by a woman named **Efron** arguing that the GOP and business interests need their own distinct media. Efron gets Nixon's attention, Nixon tries to put Efron's plan into action, Nixon runs into the Watergate buzzsaw. But the seed is planted, back in the 1970's, and then cultivated by GOP activists like William Simon, financed heavily by Richard Mellon Scaife, Olin, Coors dynasties etc. (who Brock calls the four sisters). Until the whole thing flowers: all of a sudden a huge battery of propaganda houses like Heritage and American Enterprise, funded by oil companies and GOP financiers, are churning out a counter history of the American experience. Anything counter to GOP orthodoxy is branded 'liberal'; Murdoch and Sun Myung Moon's media empires swiftly join the cause, whose committed purpose is to subdue America's independent media and convert it into service of corporate interests generally and GOP political figures specifically.

Throughout this book, which will be the standard text in colleges and for historians, Brock's tone is calm and steady and he lets the facts speak for themselves (very unlike his earlier books, which are overly polemical -- duh). The research here is encyclopedic. (In a book about media, virtually every quote is on the record).

It is amazing to this reviewer how our media could have been so thoroughly corrupted. How our politicians could have so haplessly junked the Fairness Doctrine which would have smothered the entire Fox News Propaganda Machine in its cradle. It is amazing to me that a small and toxic band of right wing ideologues, (nevertheless armed with billions of dollars of their patrons' money) could so effectively intimidate and cow the so-called guardians of our democracy. Is the triumph of the radical right wing the fault of the Neo-cons, or is it our fault, for our complacency and our timidity?

107 of 134 people found the following review helpful:
4.0 out of 5 stars The Vast Right Wing exposed, June 3, 2004
By  Anthony E Reichenberger (St. Paul, MN United States) - See all my reviews
I completely agree with what this book is about. The political right in America has elevated message control and "echo chambering" to a higher level unseen in previous political discourse. The way they manipulate "facts" to their ends, and are able to put them out into the mainstream media largely intact and unqualified is an incredible achievement. The fact there are so many out there that agree lockstep with everything the right says or does without thinking about it demonstrates their successes in this.

However, there are problems with the book. As good as the book chronicles the mechanisms the right has to accomplish this, I believe it would have been far more effective had it been more objective--taken from a viewpoint that this is a sad example of how political discourse is in America; democrats have them too, they just aren't nearly as effective  .../...

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Follow the money, February 23, 2006
Brock follows the money flowing from Bradley, Scaife, Olin and other foundations dedicated to the rise of ultra-conservative ideology that budded in the 1994 Gingrich revolution and flowered in the 2000 Bush seizure of the presidency. He displays how it is that a few well-paid people generating a constant flow of dis- and mis-information can drown out the reasoned voice of the masses and convince them to vote against their own economic and social interests again and again, in spite of the heroic efforts of volunteer truth-speakers. Brock proves that money is distorting American media and political discourse and exposes the bankruptcy of the Supreme Court's equilibration of spending and free speech in their First Amendment interpretation. Truth withers on the vine in the face of the organized ideological assault Grover Norquist has marshaled at the behest of old industrialist fortunes.

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful:
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book -- Explains so much, April 1, 2006
By  Bart McGowen (Evanston, IL) - See all my reviews
David Brock's book points out how, how, over the past 20 years, a wish list of beliefs that the far right wanted to be echoed by mainstream america has been beaten in to the public conversation by a massively financed corporate media -

Think about it: Almost all broadcast news comes from one of six huge conglomerates: Viacom, General Electric's NBC, Time Warner, Disney, Fox NewsCorp, and Clear Channel. A republican controlled congress and White House means tens of billions extra profit for each of these companies via favorable Tax and Deregulation policies. Yet the right would like you to believe that these companies generate liberal spin ?!?! Please.

This is the same "Liberal" media that rapidly labeled 2 tour Vietnam combat veteran John Kerry a coward, and labeled George Bush, the man who went AWOL from a cushy slot in the Texas Air Guard, a gutsy, heroic straight shooter.  .../...


.../...Edith Efron (who would later become a longtime contributor to the conservative magazine Reason). The News Twisters was really the first attempt by the right wing to declare and systematically prove liberal bias in the mainstream media, and Republicans hailed it as unimpeachable proof of their long-held suspicions, but Brock describes Efron's "research" methods as "admittedly derived not from accepted principles of social science but from her own 'logic.' " The book's entire focus was on media coverage of the 1968 presidential election, and Efron somehow managed to make everything seem like liberal bias. As Brock describes:

Reviewers noted that in Efron's idiosyncratic world, a report on Nixon being met by college hecklers was an example of anti-Nixon bias, while a report on Humphrey being met by college hecklers was listed not as an example of anti-Humphrey bias but as liberal bias: "reporter supports demonstrators." Nor could she explain how her own data tables contradicted her sweeping conclusions, as when she counted the words spoken for and against liberals on the three networks combined and found 20 percent for liberals and 80 percent against.

When CBS news took the extraordinary step of hiring a research firm to do an analysis of the broadcasts Efron cited, it found that she grossly misrepresented the plain meaning of the transcripts. One CBS script that read, "Nixon says he is warning his staff against overconfidence, but he himself hardly looks worried," was listed by Efron as an "anti-Nixon editorial" that "says Nixon is overconfident; suggests he is a liar."

Even to this day you see these strategies applied in the right wing's criticism of the media -- witness the outrageous contortions Ann Coulter will endure to try and read anti-conservative bias into places where it doesn't exist.


Check out those Falsies!

Check out those Falsies!

Help choose the winners of this year's Falsies Awards

Welcome to the fourth annual "Falsies Awards" contest, sponsored by the Center for Media and Democracy to recognize the people and players responsible for polluting our information environment. This year, we are asking you to help identify the worst spinners and propagandists of 2007. Please read through the list of nominees below and rank them. You can also nominate additional candidates in our readers' award section.

Please note: you can vote for multiple winners in each category and the CMD judges will take the recommendations into account when deciding the falsest of the false.

Please fill out the survey before 5:00 p.m. Central Standard Time on Friday November 30, 2007 to make sure your votes are tallied.

Thanks for your input, and stay tuned to in December for the announcement of this year's "Falsies Awards" finalists!

This Year's Nominees:

1. Glowing Green: The Nuclear Energy Institute -- with help from its PR firm, Hill & Knowlton -- launched the "Clean and Safe Energy Coalition" in April 2006 to promote the idea that building new nuclear reactors would help solve global warming. To head the coalition, it hired two people with seeming credentials as environmentalists: Christine Todd Whitman and Patrick Moore. Moore barnstormed the United States calling for the construction of "100 or 200" new nuclear power plants and insisting that storing high-level nuclear waste on the banks of the Connecticut River is "perfectly safe and secure." Whitman penned editorials declaring that nuclear power "stands out as the way to seriously address our energy needs." As the Columbia Journalism Review observed, many journalists treated Moore and Whitman "as dedicated environmentalists who have turned into pro-nuke cheerleaders ... the San Francisco Chronicle, the Boston Herald, the Baltimore Sun, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Rocky Mountain News, the New York Times, and CBS News all referred to Moore as either a Greenpeace founder or an environmentalist, without mentioning that he is also a paid spokesman for the nuclear industry." Reporters also generally failed to note that Moore left Greenpeace in 1986 and has been working since then as a flack for the logging, mining, biotech, nuclear and other industries. Whitman, who served as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under the Bush administration, also got a free ride. Two thirds of the news stories that mentioned her support for nuclear power ignored the fact that she was on the nuclear payroll.

2. War More Years: The U.S. Democratic Party won control of both houses of Congress in the 2006 elections on a platform calling for change, with the war in Iraq the top issue on voters' minds. Once in power, however, other concerns rose to the surface, including the fear of being labeled "soft on national security." Rather than end the war, Democratic politicians, under the leadership of House speaker Nancy Pelosi, crafted "compromise" legislation to provide an additional $93 billion in funding for the war, combined with a few tepidly-worded, optional "benchmarks" of progress in Iraq that Bush was supposed to certify were being met in order to keep the money flowing. The liberal advocacy group threw its weight behind the Pelosi bill, arguing that it would force "the Republicans to choose between an increasingly isolated president and the majority of the Congress and the majority of the American people." After Bush vetoed the Pelosi bill, the Democrats caved completely in May 2007 and gave Bush virtually everything he wanted in funding and unrestricted license to continue waging the war. In November, Pelosi was hard at work crafting a similar compromise -- yet another $50 million for the war, combined with a nonbinding "goal" that troops should be withdrawn by December 2008 -- a target date which accomplishes nothing other than ensure that Democrats can run as the anti-war party during next year's November elections.

3. Tricky Wiki: Computer programmer Virgil Griffith has created an online website called WikiScanner, which documents the organizational affiliations of numerous people who have anonymously edited Wikipedia. It found tens of millions of anonymous edits performed by more than 180,000 organizations, some of them in clear violation of Wikipedia policy. Perpetrators include the FBI, CIA, Britain's Labour Party, the Vatican, Wal-Mart, the Republican and Democratic parties, the Church of Scientology, Dell Computers, Microsoft, Apple, the United Nations, and Diebold, the maker of electronic voting machines. Wikiscanner also helped us catch several sneaky edits by various leading PR firms. At Weber Shandwick, for example, someone anonymously promoted its work on elections in Scotland; Ketchum sanitized a mention of its PR work for the government of Bangladesh; Hill & Knowlton whitewashed the human rights abuses of its client, the government of the Maldives; and Freud Communications edited articles on its clients including Pizza Hut and Carphone Warehouse.
Gold award
Silver award
Bronze award
Dishonorable mention
No prize
4. Impeding Breast Feeding: The infant formula industry and its trade association, the International Formula Council (IFC), continue to pursue marketing strategies designed to undermine breastfeeding, even though babies that are not breast fed suffer higher rates of health problems including sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), diabetes, lymphoma, leukemia, Hodgkin's disease, obesity, high cholesterol and asthma. Peggy O'Mara, the editor of Mothering Magazine, has noticed several IFC-affiliated "stealth" websites "that appear to be grassroots advocacy sites, but are actually mouthpieces for the formula industry." The websites, and, are campaigning against proposed restrictions on the free bags of infant formula being given to new parents by hospitals. BanTheBags, which supports a ban on free samples, observes that the sites "use classic formula company strategies, paying lip service to benefits of breastfeeding even as they promote formula. When breastfeeding is mentioned, it�s a chore and a bother." The formula industry was especially vocal about frank ads being developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to warn about the consequences of not breastfeeding. According to the Washington Post, HHS bowed to industry pressure and toned down the ads so significantly that after they aired, the rate of breastfeeding in the U.S. actually dropped measurably.

5. For More Wars: Freedom's Watch, founded by prominent neoconservatives including former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, is working with the American Enterprise Institute and other pro-war front groups to lobby for continuing the war in Iraq and starting a new war with Iran. According to the New York Times, "The idea for Freedom's Watch was hatched in March at the winter meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition in Manalapan, Florida, where Vice President Dick Cheney was the keynote speaker. ... One benefactor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the group was hoping to raise as much as $200 million by November 2008. Raising big money 'will be easy,' the benefactor said, adding that several of the founders each wrote a check for $1 million. ... Since the group is organized as a tax-exempt organization, it does not have to reveal its donors. ... Among the group's founders are Sheldon G. Adelson ... sixth on the Forbes Magazine list of the world's billionaires; Mel Sembler ... who served as the ambassador to Italy and Australia; John M. Templeton Jr., the conservative philanthropist from Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania; and Anthony H. Gioia, a former ambassador to Malta."

6. The Vaccine for Cancer: The Merck pharmaceutical company, currently reeling from billions of dollars in legal settlements over Vioxx, its prescription pain reliever that has been linked to an increase in heart attack risk, has a new miracle drug it's selling -- Gardasil, a vaccine for Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Gardasil can prevent 4 strains of HPV, which is a leading cause of cervical cancer and pre-cancerous cervical conditions. Using the PR giant Edelman, Merck funded non-profit organizations including the Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation and Step up Women's Network to create a sense of fear and urgency in women and parents of girls. While cervical cancer does cause the deaths of more than 3,500 women each year in the U.S., it is not one of the leading causes of female mortality, and can be reliably detected and treated if regular Pap smears are performed. Merck has also lobbied heavily to make the vaccine mandatory for schoolgirls girls as young as 11 or 12 -- even though vaccination costs nearly $400 per person, and the drug has not been tested with that age group in mind. Merck's urgency to sell as much Gardasil as fast as possible is linked to its temporary monopoly on the market, but at least one competing drug will be presented for FDA approval within months.
Gold award
Silver award
Bronze award
Dishonorable mention
No prize
7. To Thine Own Self Be Falsie: As the wildfires raged in California, the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency held a FAKE news briefing, which was carried on Fox News..../...

8. Deleting [Global] Heating: An investigation by the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform found "hundreds of instances" where Philip A. Cooney, an oil industry lobbyist appointed to head the the White House Council on Environmental Quality, edited government reports to downplay the impact of human activities on global warming trends. Cooney, who has no scientific credentials, worked for the American Petroleum Institute prior to his White House stint and is now working for Exxon Mobil. Cooney worked closely with Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, one of 43 think tanks funded by ExxonMobil to cloud public understanding of global warming and delay action on the issue. Another think tank, the American Enterprise Institute, offered a bounty of $10,000 to scientists and economists for writing articles criticizing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the top interrnational scientific body involved in studying the problem. Yet another, the Illinois-based Heartland Institute, spent $1 million on an advertising campaign to publicize the global warming skepticism of Czech Republic president Vaclav Klaus.

9. The Best Falsies TV Has to Offer: In 2006, CMD published two ground-breaking reports on the widespread use of undisclosed fake TV news. Despite our airing its dirty laundry, and the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC's) levying of first-ever fines for the practice, TV newsrooms still use video news releases (VNRs) produced by PR pros for corporate clients as if they were real journalism. In fact, over the course of just six weeks, CMD documented that WGTU-TV 29 (Traverse City, Mich.) aired at least three VNRs, two with no disclosure and one with a fleeting acknowledgment of the source. The "news" anchor when each VNR was broadcast was Lori Puckett, who is actually WGTU's production and promotions manager. She introduced each VNR as if the on-air publicists were actual reporters. According to its website, "since ABC 29 & 8 first went on the air in 1971, our goal has been to take advantage of the best that television has to offer. Our staff is dedicated to providing the greatest viewing experience to our audience..." The station, which has no news director, made no public comment after the CMD report was released.

10. Smoke Your Moneymaker: While other medical schools have divested their tobacco stocks, Virginia Commonwealth University and its president, Dr. Eugene Trani, have been working to make VCU more tobacco-friendly. VCU includes a major regional medical center, a medical school, and schools of public health, pharmacy and nursing. Trani's tobacco-friendly actions have included negotiating a new smoking policy that explicitly permitted smoking in 41 out of 42 of the University's facilities; inviting Philip Morris CEO Michael Szymanczyk to be the keynote speaker at VCU's graduation ceremony in 2003; and accepting numerous grants totaling millions of dollars from cigarette maker Philip Morris. Dr. Trani also serves as a director of the Universal Corporation, a holding company that owns Universal Leaf Tobacco, the country's largest purchaser and supplier of tobacco leaf. According to an August 9, 2007 filing with the Securities Exchange Commission, he owns 6,250 shares of stock in Universal and thereby privately profits from domestic and foreign cigarette sales, while publicly appearing concerned about health care.

11. Dezenhall's Doublespeak: PR strategist Eric Dezenhall has been hired by the Association of American Publishers (AAP), which represents leading scientific publishers such as Elsevier and the American Chemical Society, to oppose open access for scientific research. The U.S. Congress recently approved legislation that would provide free public access to published research funded by the government. (Unfortunately, President Bush is expected to veto it.) The scientific journals regard open access as a threat to their profits, which are based on charging large subscription fees. In a leaked memo (PDF available here), Dezenhall advised the publishers to develop a PR strategy that targets a "more elite group of decision makers employing strategies that emphasize 'high-concept' rhetoric and in-the-trenches political-style communications. ... Develop simple messages (e.g., Public access equals government censorship; Scientific journals preserve the quality/pedigree of science; government seeking to nationalize science and be a publisher)." Dezenhall's message points figure prominently on the website of AAP's lobbying arm, the Partnership for Research Integrity in Science and Medicine (PRISM).
Gold award
Silver award
Bronze award
Dishonorable mention
No prize
12. Mercenaries for Mercury: The National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition, a "nonprofit organization" funded by the seafood industry, issued a report urging pregnant women and nursing mothers to eat more fish than recommended by health agencies concerned that mercury contamination in fish can hurt babies. The report claimed that women who avoid seafood to limit exposure to mercury deprive their babies and themselves of essential nutrients. The report was funded with $74,000 from the National Fisheries Institute, a client of the Burson-Marsteller PR firm. Another food industry front group, the Center for Consumer Freedom, chimed in with a news release calling for environmental groups to apologize for creating "panic" about mercury in foods. Respected health organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, responded to the report by re-emphasizing their advice to avoid excessive fish consumption.
Gold award
Silver award
Bronze award
Dishonorable mention
No prize
13. Support Our Dupes: On its surface, America Supports You (ASY) was a program organized by the Pentagon through which Americans could send gifts and messages of support to U.S. soldiers stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan. In May 2007, however, complaints forced the Pentagon to investigate charges of improper fundraising and unauthorized spending. Through a multi-million-dollar contract to the PR firm of Susan Davis International, ASY organized activities such as recruiting Americans back home to "text-message" their support to the troops on their cell phones, even though those messages aren't actually sent to the troops. ASY also organized Operation Straight Up, a Christian evangelical entertainment troupe that actively proselytizes among active-duty members of the US military. According to a report by Max Blumenthal, Operation Straight Up's activities include sending soldiers Christian evangelical tracts for use in "proselytizing efforts among Iraqi civilians," along with copies of "the controversial apocalyptic video game, 'Left Behind: Eternal Forces,'" in which players vie to "kill or convert all the non-believers left behind after the rapture." Meanwhile, soldiers injured in Iraq have been "supported" with substandard medical care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and family members of killed soldiers have testified before Congress that the circumstances of their deaths remain mired in secrecy in cases where those deaths conflict with official Pentagon propaganda.
Gold award
Silver award
Bronze award
Dishonorable mention
No prize
14. Add your own nominee. Who or what did we miss in the list above? Please use this section to nominate the person, company, think tank, PR firm, or organization that you feel deserves a Falsies Award as the most shameless shill and twister of truth for 2007.


Its Terrorism To Stop Drinking The Kool-Aid

Infowars Digg:

CORRECTION: Bruce Hoffman is a former, not current RAND employee. Text corrected below.

On Tuesday, November 6, 2007, a House Homeland Security Subcommittee had a hearing on "Terrorism and the Internet".* The hearing featured presentations from several groups, including a former employee of the RAND Corporation, and Mark Weitzman of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. The hearing was chaired by Democratic Rep. Jane Harman, and ranking Republican, Rep. Dave Reichert.

Toward the end of the hearing, Weitzman rolls out a PowerPoint presentation that presents a few 9/11 truth sites sandwiched in between websites that offer training in terrorist tactics, and a website that glorified the attack of 9/11. Among the websites presented under the heading "Internet: Incubator of 9/11 Conpiracies and Disinformation", are Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, and other sites, such as Killtown's, who brought this Hearing to our attention.

Now, we wouldn't want anybody getting the wrong idea here. Here at 911blogger we are opposed to any and all terrorist activities, including STATE SPONSORED TERRORISM. Don't really care who the state is either. It's all bad.

Californians, if Harman is your representative, please set her straight. Washington state, if Reichert is your critter, don't let him absorb this crap with no static.

CSPAN has been more than fair to 9/11 skeptics. Last year they broadcast Alex Jones' American Scholars Symposium, in 2005, they broadcast David Ray Griffin, and they will probably listen to feedback regarding this broadcast.

View the hearing as a video stream here -- the pertinent section begins at the 43:31 mark, but I recommend watching the entire program, because there is so much disinformation in the broadcast itself, it's hard to know where to begin unraveling it.

Homeland Security - Intelligence, Information Sharing, and Terrorism Risk Assessment

Please ask the Simon Wiesthenthal Center (Mark Weitzman in particular) to stop conflating terrorist violence with 9/11 truth, and even though he has not extended the courtesy to us, be polite;

* Exact Hearing title: "Using the Web as a Weapon: the Internet as a Tool for Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism"

June 26, 2003
The Terrorist Hunter Speaks
An amazing story of an Iraqi Jew at the heart of dismantling terrorism.

A Q&A by Kathryn Jean Lopez

Anonymous was revealed as Rita Katz, director of the Site Institute, an international terrorist-investigation and information group. (Katz has written for NRO, here and here and here.) Katz, born an Iraqi Jew, recently talked to NRO about her book, the lawsuit, the war on terror, Iraq, and her terrifying job, among other things.


Kathryn Jean Lopez: You are the "anonymous" "Terror Hunter." Did you expect to be outed when you decided to write the book? Where you prepared for it?


What do you hope people come away from the book with?

Katz: Although my book is a story, my story, and not a textbook on terrorism per se, I wrote it mainly to deliver two important messages through this story. One is to reveal the gravity and the extent of Islamic fundamentalism in America. Even now, after 9/11, many believe that radicalism is something that is prevalent only in the Middle East or in Afghanistan. From what I'd learned by attending mosques, conferences, and rallies, fundamentalism is a major problem right here, in our own backyards. I give numerous examples in my book of statements that I had recorded, some of which are blood chilling, and of others that openly call for jihad. I wanted my book to demonstrate that and to explain how we have to fight this phenomenon in order to be able to eradicate terrorism. The other point I make in Terrorist Hunter is that although many in the American public believe that now, after 9/11, government agencies all work together as one to fight terrorism, unfortunately, this is not the case. I give several examples in Terrorist Hunter of how certain government agencies fight amongst themselves, how they hide information from others, how they try to take over investigations, how they even deliberately slow down terrorism investigations. All this is happening now, almost two years after 9/11. I wanted the American public to know that, because knowing about it is the necessary first step toward fixing what is wrong.

Lopez: You grew up a Jew in Iraq. What was that like?

I grew up in a rich family, surrounded by love and by servants who took care of all my needs. We lived in a huge mansion and went to a private school. We were happy. I had no idea that we were sitting on a ticking time bomb until my father was suddenly taken by Saddam's people and accused of spying for Israel. Since that day, our world fell apart. We suffered terrible abuse, all of us, until we were able to leave Iraq.

Lopez: When and why did you leave Iraq?

Katz: My father was tried in one of Saddam's kangaroo courts and hanged in broad daylight, in Baghdad's central square, to the cheers of a half a million spectators. My family and I we were held under house arrest in a small hut in Baghdad, and we suffered additional abuse and other tragedies, until my mother was finally able to orchestrate a daring escape. My father was hanged in 1969, and we escaped two years later, through Iran, to Israel.

Lopez: Have you been back to Iraq since liberation? If not, do you hope to?

Katz: No, I have not been to Iraq yet after we left it three decades ago, but I would definitely go there when it becomes possible. I would very much like to try to retrieve my father's remains and bring them to a decent burial in Israel. That could finally bring closure for me, and even more so for my mother. And although it is a very long shot, I would also like to try to find some documents that might reveal what exactly happened and why my father was chosen as a scapegoat by Saddam's people. There are many questions in my mind that remain unanswered, and perhaps I will be able to retrieve something in Iraq to help me learn what actually transpired there.

Lopez: What are your thoughts about the current state of things in Iraq?

Katz: The situation in Iraq is complicated by a number of factors. One is the conflict between Iraqi Shiites, the majority of the population, and the Sunni minority that ruled the country until the regime was recently overthrown. Into this already tumultuous powder keg come in countries with strong interests in the region, causing serious tensions in the Muslim and Arab world. The Sunnis, mainly Saudi Arabia and Syria, on the one hand, and the Shiites — Iran — do not want to lose control of the region. Another important factor is the current movement of Muslim terrorist organizations into Iraq, into parts that are becoming no man's land, perhaps similarly to Afghanistan, as operatives from al Qaeda, Jihad, and al Gamaa are moving in to fight the Americans. Some of the most ferocious battles our soldiers had to fight in Iraq were against non-Iraqis. Lastly, being a country that never had the privilege of democracy, it may be a long process before a stable regime can be established there.

Lopez: You do a lot of consulting with government intel and law enforcement. Is that a sign of U.S. intelligence shortcomings still?

Katz: I do work with government agencies on counterterrorism investigations, but this is not a sign of the government's shortcomings. On the contrary, this is a very positive development. As I describe in the book, my research is based mostly on public records: old publications, tax documents, trial transcripts, and so on. I compile the information I find, I connect the dots, and then give my conclusions as leads to the government. As I have studied many Islamic terrorist organizations, their front groups, and their financiers in great depth, and as I understand their mentality and their language well, I could assist the government in such investigations. However, I do not provide "intel" information per se. The government gets its intel by recording, wiretapping, surveillance, etc. Before 9/11, I tried to give the government important leads, but many of these leads weren't taken seriously. These same leads of mine, and, of course, many others, were picked up by the government after 9/11 — and a large number of investigations stemmed from them.


Lopez: Since the terror attack in Riyadh last month, do you have any reason to believe progress has been made vis-à-vis our relationship with the kingdom and the kingdom itself cracking down on al Qaeda and other terror groups within?

Katz: Saudi Arabia plays an important role in educating and funding Islamic radicalism and worldwide terrorism. I explain in my book why the Saudis want jihad and what their reasons are to finance worldwide jihad. I give examples of the radicalism they teach in their schools, and I give examples of how the Saudi government funds terrorist organizations, both directly and indirectly. The Saudis claim now that they are our allies in the war on terror. This is not unlike their claim that they have been "cracking down" on terrorism funding during the last decade. But in reality nothing has changed in Saudi Arabia in that respect. The recent attacks in Riyadh were not targeted against Saudi Arabia, but against the West. Claims that the Saudis have suffered too, even if it is only via collateral damage, are nonsensical; Bin Laden himself responded to a question about the embassy bombings in Africa, when he was asked about the hundreds of Muslims who perished in the attack, by saying that they all went to heaven. For the terrorists who attacked in Riyadh, the target was the West. In their twisted minds, the collateral damage — including their own lives — is only paving those people's path to paradise. And thus, to eradicate Islamic terrorism and radicalism, the U.S. government has to apply pressure on the Saudis to stop educating for jihad and funding terrorists. Only then could a new generation grow in Saudi Arabia that will be willing to hear the moderate voice, which now is non-existent there.

Lopez: There are miles to go yet, though, as you tell vividly in your book. What have been our (the U.S.) biggest mistakes? What must be addressed if we are ever to win the war on terror?

Katz: Changes need to be made both in strategy and in tactics. As for the latter, the short-term fight needs to include the capture of al Qaeda operatives and the destruction of their infrastructure. To do that effectively and to be able to prevent another attack on us, law enforcement agencies have to correct some critical operational flaws. The most serious, in my view, is the competition between agencies and the way some agencies refuse to cooperate with others in the war on terror. I give a number of very disturbing examples demonstrating that pattern in my book. Another problem is that certain law-enforcement agencies approach Islamic terrorism as if it were a criminal investigation: find the culprits if you can, put them in jail, end of story. But Islamic terrorism is different from organized crime on several levels and it needs to be confronted accordingly. For terrorists, money is not a goal, but rather a means. Islamic terrorists, unlike other criminals, have no value for life, not even their own. Without understanding their motives and way of thinking, they cannot be defeated. Therefore, Islamic terrorism needs to be studied in depth, and it needs to be addressed as a global, long-term problem. Which brings me to the strategic planning of the war on terror. The only way we can win this war is if we, the West, will force countries, governments, and organizations that educate, preach, and fund jihad to stop what they are doing. As long as radical Muslim clerics will preach for jihad, and as long as Saudi textbooks will teach their youngsters that we, the "infidels," will always be their enemies, Islamic terrorism will not be eradicated. Through political pressure, diplomacy, sanctions, and similar measures, the West, spearheaded by the U.S., has to force governments such as that of Saudi Arabia to stop spreading this incitement and to engender a new generation that does not have that blind, vicious hate against the West and everything it represents. And then — in a generation — we will be able to win this war once and for all.

Blog Archive