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Getting On : All My Politics

Fake TV News

from Perry - Tuesday, March 15, 2005
accessed 1838 times

Here's an article from AlterNet, an alternative news source, on the rampant use of propaganda on TV news. You'll never be able to trust your local or national TV news broadcast again (if you ever did). This article also contains a link to the original NY Times expose.

Not Necessarily the News
By Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!
Posted on March 15, 2005, Printed on March 15, 2005

Editor's note: The following is an edited transcript of a Democracy Now! interview with's John Stauber and Pulitzer-winning reporter Laurie Garrett. For the full transcript go to Democracy Now!

Yesterday, The New York Times featured an extensive front-page investigation detailing the extent that pre-packaged news releases – produced by the federal government – are being used by television stations all across the country.

The article reports that at least 20 federal agencies – including the Defense Department and the Census Bureau – have distributed hundreds of television news segments in the past four years. Many were then broadcast on local stations without crediting the government as the source of the information.

The article goes on to state that "the administration's efforts to generate positive news coverage have been considerably more pervasive than previously known. At the same time, records and interviews suggest widespread complicity or negligence by television stations." Later the article says that "some reports were produced to support the administration's most cherished policy objectives like regime change in Iraq and Medicare reform. ... They often feature quote, unquote "interviews" with senior administration officials in which questions are scripted and answers rehearsed. Critics are excluded as are any hints of controversy, waste or mismanagement."

Here is an example of a video news release produced by the State Department:

Reporter: The televised images from Baghdad prompted celebrations from Iraqi Americans all across the United States. They seemed to revel in the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime, as much as they did in Baghdad. In suburban Detroit, hundreds of Iraqi Americans marched triumphantly through the streets. The community of Dearborn is home to America's largest Arab community. On Warren Avenue people chanted, "No more Saddam," as they honked horns and waved Iraqi and American flags.

Iraqi American 1: We love the United States! We love America! They help us!

Iraqi American 2: Yes!

Reporter: In this Kansas City cafe, Iraqi Americans watch the historic events on TV.

Iraqi American 3: I'm very, very happy. I said, thank you, Bush. Thank you, U.S.A. I love Bush, I love U.S.A., because they do that for Iraqi people's freedom.

Reporter: At the Arab-American Center in San Jose, California:

Iraqi American 4: To see him toppled and destroyed, it's very gratifying. It's very gratifying to all of the Iraqis.

Reporter: At this Mid-Eastern market in Denver, Colorado:

Iraqi American 5: I never heard anybody who said he wants to see Saddam stay so they all want Saddam to go.

Reporter: For Iraqis living in the U.S., the nearly quarter century-long nightmare in their homeland is now drawing closer to the end.

Amy Goodman: A video news release produced by the State Department. On the phone us with from Madison, Wisconsin, John Stauber whose organization, PR Watch, has been tracking the rise of government- and corporate-produced news for years. Welcome to Democracy Now!, John.

John Stauber: Hi, Amy. It's a pleasure to be on.

Amy Goodman: It's good to have you with us. This is a major piece in the Times. They have got the frames of video news releases front and center in yesterday's New York Times. Headline: "Under Bush, A New Age Of Prepackaged News." You have been following this kind of, I think you could call, selling, whether it's corporations or government, for a long time.

John Stauber: I was absolutely elated to see The New York Times front page coverage with the inside spread. I would urge everyone watching or listening to read that article. We link to it off of our web site at In the more than 10 years that I have been investigating and reporting on the widespread use of public relations as news, there's never, ever been a story like this. This widespread use of fake news, we're talking thousands of stories a year. This is a billion dollar sub-industry of the P.R. industry has been going on for 20 years, and this is the first mainstream media expose of any length and depth about it.

Amy Goodman: So let's get into how these end up on local newscasts.

John Stauber: Well, it's like this. First of all, we're talking about fake news. These are news stories done by journalists, but these are journalists who now work for public relations firms employed by the State Department, employed by pharmaceutical companies, and they're producing news stories, video news releases, which are provided free to TV networks and TV stations, and are then aired by TV networks and news producers as if they were news, often as if they were produced locally by the station. And what this is, actually, is propaganda, because these are not news stories. They look like news stories, but they have a bias in favor of a political program or an ideology or a product. And the networks and stations that air these, and we're talking about thousands of these produced a year, are engaging simply in plagiarism and fraud, fraud perpetrated on their viewers, saying this is news when it's not news. It's all provided. To follow up on some critical points that Laurie was making earlier, what's going on here is that TV news directors and networks are not only passing on fake news and propaganda, but that so-called "news hole," all of that time that could be used to actually report news is being filled up with this fake news and propaganda. And The New York Times piece really, really puts the wood to the Bush administration for their massive spending, a quarter of a billion dollars in just the last four years on P.R. spin and propaganda. You know, we need a full scale investigation of how that money has been spent, but actually, that's just the tip of the iceberg, when you consider that most of these are coming from corporations.

Amy Goodman: Couldn't you also argue that people would have gotten a sense of where these were coming from earlier, if the actual newscasts didn't look a lot like this anyway? I mean, you have a Pentagon report where they're all saying, "Welcome, America," without any countering point of view. Isn't that often what we got anyway, and it really is hard to distinguish. This is what's frightening. The VNR, the video news release from the Pentagon, from a standard report, and maybe that's even worse, a report that so-called was produced independent of the government.

Laurie Garrett: One of the things that happens a lot in the local news is, since – again, they have to have a high profit return on their local newscast, and that's hard to do if you are spending a lot of money sending reporters out to do slick, well-produced stories. But you could take a produced story like this, the one you just saw about Iraq or the one about the Transportation Safety Agency, and you can pull out the audio of the fake reporter and put in audio of your own reporter, voicing over the same footage with basically the same slant and the same construct of the editing of the video, and it sounds like – and if you are sitting there in Memphis, Tennessee, watching this on your TV, or in Oakland, California, or wherever you might be, to you – it seems like a locally-produced, legitimate news story. And this is true both for things coming from the government and also it has been true for a long time, for corporate spin releases on specific corporate products, especially the pharmaceutical industry.

Amy Goodman: Looking at the piece inside, they have a photograph of Karen Ryan, the so-called reporter in several of the government produced segments. "As she cringes at the phrase, 'covert propaganda.' These are words for dictators and spies, and yet they have attached themselves to her like a pair of handcuffs," the Times writes. "Not long ago, Ryan was a much-sought-after so-called reporter for news segments produced by the federal government. A journalist at ABC and PBS, who became a P.R. consultant, Ryan worked on about a dozen reports for seven federal agencies in 2003 and 2004. She was surprised by the number of stations that were willing to run her government segments without any editing or acknowledgement of origin. As proud as she says she is of her work, she did not hesitate even for a second when asked if she would have broadcast one of her government reports if she were a local news director. She said, 'Absolutely not.'"

John Stauber: Well, to use her own words this is covert propaganda, and the fact that when she puts on her journalist hat, she says, "I wouldn't air the fake news that I produce through my P.R. firm," really underlines that. Karen Ryan has sort of become the poster child over the last year, of this problem, but there's – here's what's happening. The people like Karen Ryan, the public relations professionals who usually, by the way, come out of journalism and go into P.R. because there's a lot more money to be made, say, "Hey, you know, we're P.R. people. Of course, we produce these. It's up to the news directors and producers to label them as provided footage." But they know. They know perfectly well that virtually no news director in this country, no producer at a TV station in this country, labels this as provided footage. They should, but if they label that footage, and they said, "This is a video news release provided by the State Department," "This is a video news release provided by the Transportation Security Administration," "This is a video news release provided by Monsanto," that would destroy it. That would expose it. So, what's going on here is that the public relations industry, the billion-dollar industry of video news releases knows that the TV news directors and producers are not going to label these, and there's a very simple solution here. Label it. They should be labeling it. The Radio, TV, and News Directors' Association has for decades now turned a blind eye to this, and it clearly violates their ethics code. In The New York Times article, they're muttering about strengthening their ethics code, but that won't matter, because they don't care. There's so much money to be made or saved, if you will, by replacing real news on TV with fake news, that this will continue to be a widespread problem unless there's a mobilization of outraged news viewers who demand that the F.C.C. step in and enforce standards which would seem to indicate that this is in violation of the F.C.C. standards, and then I think the media reform movement is also going to have to figure out how to hold TV news directors and producers' feet to the fire, because they're not going to want to give this up. This – we're talking billions of dollars here in producing these and in airing them instead of going out and producing real news.

Laurie Garrett: You know, one of the things that I found, Amy and John, I'd love to know your sense of this, as well, but one of the things I found as a visiting professor at a lot of graduate journalism departments around the country over the last few years is, I have seen this disturbing trend where I will ask students in the room, "How many of you want someday to work at a major newspaper, be a Woodward or Bernstein at The Washington Post or be a network television correspondent." A couple of hands go up. Then I look the at rest of the room. "Well, what is it you all want to do?" and they all say "public relations." So, the lines are getting very, very blurred, even at the level of the basic training in journalism schools.

Amy Goodman: Well, aren't P.R. schools and journalism schools also merging in some places?

Laurie Garrett: They have merged. I mean, let's face it. And when you ask the students why public relations as opposed to journalism, often they would say to me, "Well, there really isn't that much of a distinction, but you can make more money on the P.R. side."

Amy Goodman: Well, isn't the scandal around Jeff Gannon or whatever the guy's name is, who was in the White House using a false name and asking puffball questions, isn't this – how, John, would you connect this to this expose on VNRs? I mean, you have got these P.R. people who aren't even using their own names in their reports, who are using fake names, for example, the TSA so-called reporter?

John Stauber: I consider the Jeff Gannon story a major scandal, and certainly, that deserves much deeper examination than it's gotten. But I think when we're talking these fake news stories, it's an even bigger scandal, and here's why. Most Americans get most of their news, unfortunately, from television. We know that TV is the worst source to receive news. For instance, back in the first Gulf War, the Hill & Knowlton P.R. firm produced 20, at least, video news releases promoting the war. No one has gotten a hold of those to examine them. A reporter from The Progressive investigated this afterwards, and the P.R. firm refused to turn them over. We also know from the University of Amherst study back then, and there have been other studies that have corroborated this with other situations since, that the American public, who watched the most TV coverage of that Gulf War, thought they knew the most, actually knew less than most people who were getting their news through newspapers, for instance, and yet were the strongest supporters of the war. So, the bottom line here is that if you are watching war on television, with all of the propaganda and video news releases that go along with it, you are actually being misinformed, and yet you're more likely to support the war. Television is the number one source of so-called news for most Americans, and a huge proportion of that is fake news.

Amy Goodman: Now, isn't this a violation of the Smith-Mundt Act after World War II, that you're not supposed to propagandize your own population? You know, it's why we can't hear Voice of America in the United States?

John Stauber: Well, it would appear to be, and there are other acts, going all the way back to the 1920s where Congress has weighed in and said that in a democracy, government propaganda is inappropriate and illegal. But the government has consistently gotten around that, and both Republican and Democratic administrations and politicians have hired P.R. professionals and used spin and used propaganda, but I think the exciting thing now is that I hope this New York Times expose in the context of all of the other exposés going on and in the context of the growing media reform movement will really incite a mobilization where, through F.C.C. regulations and through grassroots mobilization, we can get rid of these video news releases.

Amy Goodman: I just want to bring in one thing, since we only have 30 seconds. In California, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger [is] also coming under criticism for producing video news releases. Last week, his communications director, Rob Stutzman, defended the so-called VNR, saying it's just like any other press release, only it's on video.

John Stauber: Well, that would be true if the press release constituted verbatim, for instance, most of the front page of The New York Times. The difference here is that they're handing a fake news story, and it's being aired as a real news story. It's not being used for background information. It's taking the place of the news.

Amy Goodman: And we're paying for it.

John Stauber: Yeah. In the case of Governor Schwarzenegger -

Amy Goodman: Taxpayer dollars.

John Stauber: – and the Bush administration, that's public money.
© 2005 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
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from legal to lie
Thursday, April 24, 2008 - 04:22

(reply to this comment)
from NI
Friday, March 18, 2005 - 10:08


This has got me thinking about one of my favorite scenes in


Scene 3

[clop clop]
ARTHUR: Old woman!
ARTHUR: Man, sorry. What knight lives in that castle over there?
DENNIS: I'm thirty seven.
DENNIS: I'm thirty seven -- I'm not old!
ARTHUR: Well, I can't just call you `Man'.
DENNIS: Well, you could say `Dennis'.
ARTHUR: Well, I didn't know you were called `Dennis.'
DENNIS: Well, you didn't bother to find out, did you?
ARTHUR: I did say sorry about the `old woman,' but from the
behind you looked--
DENNIS: What I object to is you automatically treat me like an
ARTHUR: Well, I AM king...
DENNIS: Oh king, eh, very nice. An' how'd you get that, eh? By
exploitin' the workers -- by 'angin' on to our outdated imperialist
dogma which perpetuates the economic an' social differences in our
society! If there's ever going to be any progress--
WOMAN: Dennis, there's some lovely filth down here. Oh -- how
d'you do?
ARTHUR: How do you do, good lady. I am Arthur, King of the
Britons. Who's castle is that?
WOMAN: King of the who?
ARTHUR: The Britons.
WOMAN: Who are the Britons?
ARTHUR: Well, we all are. we're all Britons and I am your king.
WOMAN: I didn't know we had a king. I thought we were an
autonomous collective.
DENNIS: You're fooling yourself. We're living in a dictatorship.
A self-perpetuating autocracy in which the working classes--
WOMAN: Oh there you go, bringing class into it again.
DENNIS: That's what it's all about if only people would--
ARTHUR: Please, please good people. I am in haste. Who lives
in that castle?
WOMAN: No one live there.
ARTHUR: Then who is your lord?
WOMAN: We don't have a lord.
DENNIS: I told you. We're an anarcho-syndicalist commune. We
take it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the
DENNIS: But all the decisions of that officer have to be ratified
at a special biweekly meeting.
ARTHUR: Yes, I see.
DENNIS: By a simple majority in the case of purely internal
ARTHUR: Be quiet!
DENNIS: --but by a two-thirds majority in the case of more--
ARTHUR: Be quiet! I order you to be quiet!
WOMAN: Order, eh -- who does he think he is?
ARTHUR: I am your king!
WOMAN: Well, I didn't vote for you.
ARTHUR: You don't vote for kings.
WOMAN: Well, 'ow did you become king then?
ARTHUR: The Lady of the Lake, [angels sing] her arm clad in the
purest shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of
the water signifying by Divine Providence that I, Arthur, was to
carry Excalibur. [singing stops] That is why I am your king!
DENNIS: Listen -- strange women lying in ponds distributing
swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive
power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some
farcical aquatic ceremony.
ARTHUR: Be quiet!
DENNIS: Well you can't expect to wield supreme executive power
just 'cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!
ARTHUR: Shut up!
DENNIS: I mean, if I went around sayin' I was an emperor just
because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me they'd
put me away!
ARTHUR: Shut up! Will you shut up!
DENNIS: Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system.
ARTHUR: Shut up!
DENNIS: Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the system!
HELP! HELP! I'm being repressed!
ARTHUR: Bloody peasant!
DENNIS: Oh, what a give away. Did you hear that, did you hear
that, eh? That's what I'm on about -- did you see him repressing
me, you saw it didn't you?
(reply to this comment)
From Shaka
Friday, March 18, 2005, 10:18

Lol, I love that movie. I don't think they ever beat Life of Brian though.(reply to this comment
Friday, March 18, 2005, 11:38

Holy grail the stage show is coming to the UK , I think it came out in the US already on broadway.(reply to this comment
From Shaka
Friday, March 18, 2005, 10:32


This is great. The "terrorist" meeting scene.RogersWe get in through the underground heating-system here, up through an audience chamber here, and Pilate's wife's bedroom is here. Having grabbed his wife, we inform Pilate that she is in our custody, and fore with issue our demands. Any questions? Revolutionary IWhat exactly are the demands? RegWe're giving Pilate two days to dismantle the entire apparatus of the Roman imperialist state, and if he doesn't agree immediately, we execute her. MatthiasCut her head off? RogersCut all her bits off! Send them back on the hour, every hour! Seldom why not to be tried for it. RegAnd of course, we point out that they bear full responsibility when we chop her up, and that we shall not submit to blackmail. All revolutionaries except RegNo blackmail! RegThey bled us white, the bastards. They've taken everything we had. And not just from us! From our fathers, and from our father's fathers. LorettaAnd from our father's father's fathers. RegYeah. LorettaAnd from our father's father's father's fathers. RegYeah, all right Stan, don't delay with the point. And what have they ever given us in return? Revolutionary IThe aqueduct? RegWhat? Revolutionary IThe aqueduct. RegOh. Yeah, yeah, they did give us that, ah, that's true, yeah. Revolutionary IIAnd the sanitation. LorettaOh, yeah, the sanitation, Reg. Remember what the city used to be like. RegYeah, all right, I'll grant you the aqueduct and sanitation, the two things the Romans have done. MatthiasAnd the roads. RegOh, yeah, obviously the roads. I mean the roads go without saying, don't they? But apart from the sanitation, the aqueduct, and the roads... Revolutionary IIIIrrigation. Revolutionary IMedicine. Revolutionary IVEducation. RegYeah, yeah, all right, fair enough. Revolutionary VAnd the wine. All revolutionaries except RegOh, yeah! Right! RogersYeah! Yeah, that's something we'd really miss Reg, if the Romans left. Huh. Revolutionary VIPublic bathes. LorettaAnd it's safe to walk in the streets at night now, Reg. RogersYeah, they certainly know how to keep order. Let's face it; they're the only ones who could in a place like this. All revolutionaries except RegHahaha...all right... RegAll right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh-water system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us? Revolutionary IBrought peace? RegOh, peace! Shut up! (reply to this comment

From Knightess that says NI
Friday, March 18, 2005, 11:34

Love it, can't decide which is funnier, know them both by heart.
This scene has me in stiches everytime. After fleeing the the square and being followed by the crowd, brian runs into the desert and slips down a hole in the ground...

[holy music]
Master! Master!...
Hey! Is there another way down? Is there another path down to the river?
Please! Please help me! I've got to get--
Oh, my foot! Oh!
Oh, damn, damn, damn!
Well, I'm sorry. Shhh.
Oh, damn, damn, and blast it!
I'm sorry. Shhhh!
Don't you 'shhhh' me. Eighteen years of total silence, and you 'shhhh' me!
I've kept my vow for eighteen years. Not a single, recognisable, articulate sound has passed my lips.
Oh, please. Could you be quiet for another five minutes?
Oh, it doesn't matter now. I might as well enjoy myself. The times in the last eighteen years I've wanted to shout and sing and...
...scream my name out! Oh, I'm alive!
Hava Nagila!
Hava Nagila! Hava Nagila, ha ha ha! Look out. Oh, I'm alive! I'm alive! Hello birds! Hello trees! I'm alive! Get off. I'm alive! Hava Nagila. Hava the relinq--
Master! The Master! Master! Master!...
The Master! Aha. He is here!
The shoe!...
The shoe has brought us here!
Speak to us, Master! Speak to us!
Go away!
A blessing! A blessing!
How shall we go away, Master?!
Oh, just go away! Leave me alone!
Give us a sign!
He has given us a sign! He has brought us to this place!
I didn't bring you here! You just followed me!
Oh, it's still a good sign by any standard.
Master! Your people have walked many miles to be with You! They are weary and have not eaten.
It's not my fault they haven't eaten!
There is no food in this high mountain!
Well, what about the juniper bushes over there?
Hhhh! A miracle! A miracle! Ohh!...
He has made the bush fruitful by His words.
They have brought forth juniper berries.
Of course they've brought forth juniper berries! They're juniper bushes! What do you expect?!
Show us another miracle!
Do not tempt Him, shallow ones! Is not the miracle of the juniper bushes enough?!
I say, those are my juniper bushes.
They are a gift from God!
They're all I've bloody got to eat. Uhm. I say, get off those bushes! Go on! Clear off, the lot of you. Go on.
Lord! I am affected by a bald patch.
I am healed! The Master has healed me!
I didn't touch him!
I was blind, and now I can see! Aargh!
A miracle! A miracle! A miracle!
Tell them to stop it. I hadn't said a word for eighteen years till he came along.
A miracle! He is the Messiah!
Well, he hurt my foot!
Hurt my foot, Lord! Hurt my foot. Hurt mine...
Hail Messiah!
I'm not the Messiah!
I say You are, Lord, and I should know. I've followed a few.
Hail Messiah!
I'm not the Messiah! Will you please listen? I am not the Messiah, do you understand?! Honestly!
Only the true Messiah denies His divinity.
What?! Well, what sort of chance does that give me? All right! I am the Messiah!
He is! He is the Messiah!
Now, fuck off!
How shall we fuck off, O Lord?
Oh, just go away! Leave me alone.
You told these people to eat my juniper berries. You break my bloody foot. You break my vow of silence, and then you try and clean up on my juniper bushes!
Oh, lay off!
This is the Messiah, the Chosen One!
No, he's not.
An unbeliever!
An unbeliever!
Persecute! Kill the heretic!
Kill the heretic! Kill him! Persecute! Kill!...
Leave him alone! Leave him alone! Leave him alone. Put him down. Please!
(reply to this comment
From Shaka
Friday, March 18, 2005, 10:33


WTF?? Why did it show it like this? (reply to this comment

from Anarchist
Friday, March 18, 2005 - 05:20

(reply to this comment)
from Anarchist
Friday, March 18, 2005 - 03:25

--Washington is isolated at a meeting of over 40 nations
by Alessandra Stanley

Rome, June 17 -- Seeking to limit the scope of an international criminal court, the United States today dismissed United Nations efforts to create a fully independent prosecutor as unrealistic and unwise.

[a4a: buzzword alert! No elaboration on "unrealistic" and "unwise" - we're merely supposed to swallow this pronouncement and accept it!]

In a statement that infuriated human rights groups, the United States representative at the United Nations, Bill Richardson, warned delegates to a United Nations conference here not to turn the court into "a human rights ombudsman open to, any and all complaints from any source."

The conference had been convened to set up rules to try individuals for genocide and other crimes against humanity.

The United States wants the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council to play a major role in determining what crimes and which defendants should be prosecuted by a permanent international court.

[a4a: This is because the US bankrolls and trains human rights violators around the world, and any independent UN court would end up trying US clients (and even US soldiers) for human rights violations; if the US secures a role in what cases get ruled on, it would be able to pressure the UN court to conveniently "overlook" the considerable violations of human rights by US client states]

"This court cannot and should not address every crime that goes unpunished, no matter how horrific or atrocious it may be," Mr. Richardson said.

[a4a: My first question to this is, "why not?" Again, the paper doesn't ask that question, it merely takes Richardson's words as gospel. If the court is to curb human rights abuses and genocide, shouldn't it seek them out everywhere? Or is he saying that some violations are acceptable, even desirable?]

But for now Washington finds itself isolated at a conference where more than 40 other nations, united in what is known as the like-minded group, and hundreds of human rights groups are pushing for a fully independent prosecutor with the power to start investigations as the best means of guaranteeing the court's power and impartiality.

[a4a: BUZZWORD ALERT! Here the majority opinion (the other 40 nations) is marginalized by portraying them as "the like-minded group" (and the writer says, "what is known as" - I wonder, who calls them this? It's never pointed out. Further, the writer doesn't feel the need to explain what these 40 other nations are "like-minded" about - they're made to seem sort of mysterious, almost conspiratorial - this bloc of bad guys picking on the poor US.]
To read more:
(reply to this comment)
Friday, March 18, 2005, 04:06

Even the TV bulletins and newspapers set their content to ensure we aren't too upset or distraught but are instead entertained. The bombing of Baghdad in late 1998 was merely a visual treat for us, a Christmas fireworks display, as opposed to a life-threatening attack upon a vulnerable people, bombed into the stone age since the Gulf War.

Newspapers have to rely on their advertising revenue to stay financially viable, so anti-status quo stories which may upset business must be avoided at all costs. You will find that news items criticising Nike's sweatshop labour, or Nestle's unethical babymilk marketting, are very rare in the mainstream media.

The news convinces us that we are good people, by turning the grey morality of situations like Iraq into a simplistic black & white, us & them playground fight. Paedophiles are declared to be evil, and our children are said to be threatened by lonely anorak-wearing men who offer sweeties despite the statistics which show children are more at risk from their own families and friends, or of being run over by a car. Very little of the news challenges us, or questions the way we do things. Instead, it places us on a false moral pedestal, from which we can pronounce judgement upon the Iraqi people, the killers of Jamie Bulger, or 'bogus' asylum seekers. The reason the news is this way is because challenging reading is bad for newspaper sales and viewing figures, and so bad for advertisers. What the advertisers want is a placid, passive, happy population, each one content in their own little consumerist bubble, who will continue to take in the con-tricks, and buy things they never knew they needed.

"Anarchism is really a synonym for socialism. The anarchist is primarily a socialist whose aim is to abolish the exploitation of man by man." Danie Gurin
(reply to this comment
From Sonderval
Friday, March 18, 2005, 03:48

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

Heh, anyone who calls themselves an anarchist always makes me laugh, Anarchy is not possible in the human race. The majority of people need to be told what to think and what to do, the evidence is very clear on this (see current society and the history of the human race to date). Any attempts at establishing anarchy would last all of a few minutes before a proto-feudalistic state emerged with small scale charismatic types establishing little robber baron fiefdoms. This would then develop into full feudalism as the more successful robber barons came to understandings with each other to stabilise their own little power structures and give themselves more security, etc etc etc.

People don't want freedom, they want to be able to watch their pot noodles in peace while watching Celebrity Breast Implants Gone Wrong, and as long as that's all the majority care about (eg forever) then those in power can and will do whatever they want. While the people want to be controlled (thus freeing them from the massive effort and responsibility of making their own decisions) then people who have the ability and the inclination to do so will always rise to the top, how can people still muster surprise, let alone outrage, when these people prove to be somewhat unethical? Sheesh, who'd have thought that there'd be a link between the ability and willingness to tell people whatever comfortable lie they want to hear in order to get into power could be connected in any way with a slight lack of ethics.

This is how things work, it sucks, get used to it.(reply to this comment

From Anarchist
Friday, March 18, 2005, 04:53

Anarchism is about believing in the fundamental good in people, not about performing evils created by capitalists. Anarchism is not chaos and any true anarchist will tell you so, anarchy means 'without leader' not chaos. It is not about killing because you have no law to tell you not to but rather about not killing because you know it benefits all. Most anarchists and nearly all anarchist organisations promote non violent direct action, violence only comes back at you from the police and state laws. (Look at the way some protesters are treated.)
In old East Germany the people managed it to kick out the gouverment without violence, without larger confrontations. Why? There were enough who had the courage to go on the streets.Their slogan was: "WE are the people!"

At its current pace, western civilization will cause the extinction of more than 50% of all plant and animal species on our planet within the next hundred years. And the ecological repercussions associated with that mass extinction. What a messin so little and pavement and gas and oil wells and global warming? That's violent. And what about the slaughter of millions of people, the genocide, the eradication of people in Africa, Tanzania, Japan, Germany, midle east, the "New World." What about clearcuts, striping forrests, dammed rivers, mined mountains, buried radiation? What about chilren forced into sweatshops. What about institutional prisons breaking the souls of the poor and of minorities? And it's all perpetuated by the system which you say we need to cooperate with. It's crazy. How do you respond to that sort of massive oppression? How do you react to a force so violent? How to turn this system around? Our government(s) is based on things like manifest destiny, imperialism, genocide and the silly Christian notion that all living things exist to be exploited by "man." (reply to this comment
From Sonderval
Friday, March 18, 2005, 07:43

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

Non-violent does not equate to leaderless, there were leaders in the East-German movement as there were in all the perestroika movements, they were not anarchist movements, the definition of anarchy as you said means to have no hierarchical power structure, and mankind as a species simply does not and has never functioned like that. Your idealism is very touching but show a scrap of evidence that supports it and I'll eat my computer, it is easier to be told what to do and what to believe than to think for yourself, the movement in East Germany you refer to was accomplished because people believed one leader over another because they were convinced that they'd get more pot-noodle and tv time in the west than in the east, and this has proved to be true, the governments that have taken the place of the oppressive communist state they were in are part of the system that you're railing against now.

I'm not accusing anarchists of being violent, I'm saying that as long as mankind is predominantly lazy, violent, intellectually stunted and selfish then anarchism will never work, just like communism didn't (which at it's heart is just slightly more organised anarchy, both are based on co-operation without a hierarchical power structure).

It's easy to blame a disembodied government for all the ills in the world, but we as a race have put them there, they are not some other species, they are us, they were formed by us, they are peopled by us and we allow them to continue dominating us. Thinkers and activists are the tiny minority and always will be, there has always been a vocal minority of dissaffected malcontents (rightly so, I'm not maligning their cause, just stating it's futility). As far as the planet's rape is concerned my only hope as I said earlier is that our society rips itself apart and wipes out enough of the overpopulation without messing it up beyond all repair.

Every cynic is an idealist who's seen a little too much to hang on to their idealism, next time you're at one of your gatherings (if you go to any, I did several times and still sometimes go to amnesty international meetings), really look around you and watch the people there, are they going to change the world? Why are they there? Most of them are ineffectual individuals angry at the society which has mistreated them and too disempowered to ever actually do anything to bring it down (such as sabotaging the pot noodle distribution network or jamming satellite tv, you know, things that would REALLY destabilise society), and the rest are there because they like the sound of their own voice and think they look good in black, or are trying to expiate a little residual guilt about being part of the affluent white middle class that maintains itself on the blood and sweat of poorer nations by taking part in sponsored poetry readings, blegh.

Humanity sucks, you want to solve a few problems go out and get rid of a few of them, thin the herd, it's overgrazing.(reply to this comment

From roughneck
Saturday, March 19, 2005, 20:47

I've modded this comment UP. :)

However! For the sake of us who don't colour outside of the lines much anymore, will you please use a full stop or period (.) where necessary? Other punctuation including the exclamation mark (!), the question mark(?) or the semicolon(;) are permissable if your meaning requires it. I thank you so much. :)

Yes, yes, I know, this is JoeH's job. He's been slacking lately. Please don't hate me.. :) (reply to this comment
From Sonderval
Saturday, March 19, 2005, 23:54


You want me to punctuate a RANT!!!!

Are you mad, that would ruin the effect of sugar crazed bipolar hyperactivity I was going for there. :p

I can do punctuation, some things just work better without it, so nyer.(reply to this comment

Friday, March 18, 2005, 08:51

Isn't that what empire has been doing?(reply to this comment
From Sonderval
Friday, March 18, 2005, 09:54

Not 100% sure what you mean by that, but if you're referring to the US empire then I'd say not currently, but they're bringing about the level of animosity and hatred necessary to bring about a real war that might just do the trick.(reply to this comment
from Shaka
Wednesday, March 16, 2005 - 14:30


Heh heh, I like this one.
(reply to this comment)

From Joe H
Wednesday, March 16, 2005, 14:32

So obviously fake, but hilarious nonetheless (reply to this comment
from your daddy
Wednesday, March 16, 2005 - 14:04


All But Won -- The media can't see that Iraq is close to secure ( This is an AWESOME article!! "Lt. Col. Jim Stockmoe, chief intelligence officer for the First Infantry Division, roared with laughter as he recalled the increasing missteps of the resistance in Iraq in an interview earlier this month with British journalist Toby Harnden, writing for The Spectator. "There were three brothers down in Baghdad who had a mortar tube and were firing into the Green Zone," Stockmoe said. "They were storing the mortar rounds in the car engine compartment and the rounds got overheated. Two of these clowns dropped them in the tube and they exploded, blowing their legs off." The surviving brother sought refuge in a nearby house, but the occupants "beat the crap out of him and turned him over to the Iraqi police," Stockmoe told Harnden, "It was like the movie 'Dumb and Dumber.' " "The nine election day suicide bombers averaged about three victims each, a strike rate so bad that Allah might soon start rationing the virgins to show his displeasure," Harnden wrote. Stockmoe has heard so many similar stories that he created an Iraqi version of the "Darwin Awards." Created in 1993 by a student at Stanford University, the Darwin awards commemorate those who "contribute to our gene pool by removing themselves from it in a really stupid way." The number of insurgent attacks has fallen off significantly since the Fallujah offensive last November, and the attacks that are being made are less effective. There are about 50-60 attacks a day on coalition forces, about half the pre-Fallujah level. Almost all are within the Sunni Triangle, and most are ineffective. "Most of these are ambush-style attacks that result in no casualties," noted The news media report the attacks, but tend not to report, as StrategyPage does, that "dozens, sometimes over a hundred, of the attackers, or suspects, are arrested every day." Unbalanced reporting has given Americans a false impression of how the war is going, said Austin Bay, a retired colonel in the Army Reserve who was called to active duty in Iraq last year. "Collect relatively isolated events in a chronological list and presto: the impression of uninterrupted, widespread violence destroying Iraq," said Bay, who is also a syndicated columnist. "But that was a false impression. Every day coalition forces were moving thousands of 18-wheelers from Kuwait and Turkey into Iraq, and if the insurgents were lucky, they blew up one. However, flash the flames of that one diesel rig on CNN and 'Oh my God, America can't stop these guys' is the impression left in Boston, Boise and Beijing." It will be some months before the news media recognize it, and a few months more before they acknowledge it, but the war in Iraq is all but won. The situation is roughly analogous to the battle of Iwo Jima, which took place 60 years ago this month. It took 35 days before the island was declared secure, but the outcome was clear after day five, with the capture of Mt. Suribachi. Proof of this was provided by Sen. Hillary Clinton. Iraq is functioning quite well, she said in a press conference in Baghdad Feb. 19. The recent rash of suicide attacks is a sign the insurgency is failing, she said. "When politicians like [Clinton] start flocking to Iraq to bask in the light of its success, then you know that the corner has been turned," a reader of his blog wrote to Bay. More substantive signs abound. The performance of Iraqi security forces is improving, as are their numbers. Nearly 10,000 men showed up at a southern Iraqi military base Feb. 14 to volunteer for 5,000 openings. Only 6,000 had been expected. Sunni Arab politicians have admitted they made a big boo-boo in boycotting the Jan. 30 election, and are pleading to be included in the political process. Some ex-Baathists are seeking terms for laying down their arms. Those who get their news from the "mainstream" media are surprised by developments in Iraq, as they were surprised by our swift victory in Afghanistan, the sudden fall of Saddam Hussein, the success of the Afghan election and the success of the Iraqi election. Journalists demand accountability from political leaders for "quagmires" which exist chiefly in the imagination of journalists. But when will journalists be held to account for getting every major development in the war on terror wrong?")

Phil "Filthy" Grandfield
Asst Aviation Requirements
(reply to this comment)

from Nick
Wednesday, March 16, 2005 - 07:45

Everyone knows that the only true news source out there is ... Duhhh!!!
(reply to this comment)
From Sonderval
Wednesday, March 16, 2005, 08:56


meh, I used to read it read it faithfully but I think it's run out of ideas a bit, for a really off-the-wall read try

You Yanks got nothing on us when it comes to weird, we rule :D(reply to this comment

From xolox
Wednesday, March 16, 2005, 09:11

I don't think Nick qualifies as a yank!(reply to this comment
From Sonderval
Wednesday, March 16, 2005, 12:00

meh, was a general statement to all Yanks present :p(reply to this comment
from lies of the media
Wednesday, March 16, 2005 - 06:27

According to the complaint submitted to the International War Crimes Tribunal by the War Crimes Commission of Inquiry after the Gulf War,

“President Bush systematically manipulated, controlled, directed, misinformed and restricted press and media coverage to obtain constant support in the media for his military and political goals. The American people were seduced into the celebration of a slaughter by controlled propaganda demonizing Iraq, assuring the world no harm would come to Iraqi civilians, deliberately spreading false stories of atrocities including chemical warfare threats, deaths of incubator babies and threats to the entire region by a new Hitler.”

This was achieved with the help of the owners of TV networks and newspapers, elite columnists and commentators, who used intimidation and control to prevent the adverse opinions reaching the public. “Independent observers, eyewitnesses' photos, and video tapes with information about the effects of the U.S. bombing were excluded from the media.” For details see International War Crimes Tribunal. United States War Crimes Against Iraq.
(reply to this comment)
From elkyle
Wednesday, March 16, 2005, 15:44


(I read these)

This is why we have sites like this, and blogs. Some facts though, are discernable in the implications, and we can ignore the slant. A REALLY good case in point is the aforementioned New York Times article on fake news. Kind of comes full circle, I guess the NYT has come a long way, gotten braver, more financially independent, knows more dirty secrets, whatever.(reply to this comment

Wednesday, March 16, 2005 - 06:13

"The continual intrusion into our minds of the hammering noises of arguments and propaganda can lead to two kinds of reactions. It may lead to apathy and indifference, the I-don't-care reaction, or to a more intensified desire to study and to understand. Unfortunately, the first reaction is the more popular one."
~ Joost Meerloo

It’s not like they even hide what they think or keep secret their methods."Propaganda must not serve the truth, especially insofar as it might bring out something favorable for the opponent."
~ Adolf Hitler (1889-1945)

"The history of mankind is a history of the subjugation and exploitation of a great majority of people by an elite few by what has been appropriately termed the 'ruling class'. The ruling class has many manifestations. It can take the form of a religious orthodoxy, a monarchy, a dictatorship of the proletariat, outright fascism, or, in the case of the United States, corporate statism. In each instance the ruling class relies on academics, scholars and 'experts' to legitimize and provide moral authority for its hegemony over the masses."
Ed Crane

"Today the primary threat to the liberties of the American people comes not from communism, foreign tyrants or dictators. It comes from the tendency on our own shores to centralize power, to trust bureaucracies rather than people."
~ George H. Allen (1922-1990)

"Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for"
Hermann Goering quotes
When the tyrant has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty, and there is nothing more to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader.
Three quarters of the American population literally believe in religious miracles. The numbers who believe in the devil, in resurrection, in God doing this and that - it's astonishing. These numbers aren't duplicated anywhere else in the industrial world. You'd have to maybe go to mosques in Iran or do a poll among old ladies in Sicily to get numbers like this. Yet this is the American population.
Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media.
The Bible is one of the most genocidal books in history.
The more you can increase fear of drugs and crime, welfare mothers, immigrants and aliens, the more you control all the people.
If the Nuremberg laws were applied, then every post-war American president would have been hanged.

Three quarters of the American population literally believe in religious miracles. The numbers who believe in the devil, in resurrection, in God doing this and that - it's astonishing. These numbers aren't duplicated anywhere else in the industrial world. You'd have to maybe go to mosques in Iran or do a poll among old ladies in Sicily to get numbers like this. Yet this is the American population.
Noam Chomsky
They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety.
Benjamin Franklin
"Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed."
Martin Luther King, Jr. quotes
"There will be in the next generation or so a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude and producing dictatorship without tears so to speak. Producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda, or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution."
- Aldous Huxley, Tavistock Group, California Medical School, 1961 -

(reply to this comment)
from Thank God for the internet!
Wednesday, March 16, 2005 - 05:59

War crimes are center stage
May 7, 2004
Limabugh and Savage prove that this administration condones dangerous mouths to speak to the masses
Savage openly calls for putting anyone who criticizes the government in a forced labor camp.
Limbaugh declares that his listeners should accept that those committing the crimes were "blowing off steam"
Laidies and Gentlemen: We cannot do much more. We have made the case. It's time for you to make whatever sacrifice you deem is appropriate to change the current course. It's an upside down world. It's time you understand you have a role and place in turning it around.
Israel voted in Sharon to free them from the shackles of Oslo. They have now fully discovered that Sharon is Peres with a bigger waistline. Similiarly all facets of our government are aligned major league with the NWO agenda, one that permits 9-11, abuse, indiscriminate murder and mayhem and is willing to tolerate as acceptable collateral damage deaths of innocents including infants and children. What took the cake today is hearing that Rush Limbaugh Republican spokesman actually told his audience to tolerate the torture and humiliation in Iraq as part and parcel of the need of the military there to blow off steam. Look, the Germans during WWII were out there blowing off steam from their defeat and humiliation in WWI and the net result was global warfare and the most repressive and reprehensible regime in world history. The German Congress and people were happy to have a dictator mow over the form of government in Germany and create a new Germany, a new vision, for a new future of world domination and control. If that is what you want or will tolerate we can't do more than what we have done. We have proven that President Bush not only allowed 9-11 to take place but was complicit in it. We also consistently highlighted a (NWO) regime that showed wanton disregard for life including those of children and innocents, who allowed hospitals to be plundered rather than the world see armless and legless children at the hospital recovering as collateral damage to an invasion without a legitimate predicate. If you are happy that the new America with its new regime went out to seize the oil so you can have cheaper oil prices, and tolerate this then you deserve what this new regime has in store for you (and it won't be cheaper oil). This new regime told us many many years ago that the American people would lay down as sheep and without a media hollering about the injustices in play would accept allowing themselves to serve as the victims of humiliation, to their country, their flag, their heritage, their infrastructure, their Constitution, their Bill of Rights, their culture, their families and themselves. You will just go to the gas pump and pay whatever is the price, allow those victimizing you to skirt taxes altogether, while you revel in finding out that perhaps a crumb or two went your way. You will wake up in the morning, keep your nose straight, and just be happy at the end of the day to learn that the new American government doesn't have you on their list for extraction under the new laws protecting the new America. If you hear that your neighbor got picked up for questioning and interrogation, or at least that is what your neighbor's family believes is the case, because you neighbor doesn't get legal representation, and the government needn't admit or deny that he is in thier custody, then you will go to sleep and pray that tomorrow it is not you that gets extracted when you are in your car, stopped by police state authorities, told to abandon your car, and come with them for questionning. Thus, it's all OK as long as its not you, but you will keep quiet and silent if it is your friend or neighbor. You thus see that we have now proven that you have sunk into a status of a compliant whimp and sheep unwilling to do anything as long as they leave you alone. The New World Order loves you. You are their type of American. A sap among a nation of saps. Here's the link to what Rush Limbaugh had to say. It would be similar to a German broadcaster spinning the torture and murder that reigned supreme during the course of an era that should not be quickly forgotten. That lesson as I have expounded was to make sure that history did not repeat with a Congress acquiescing when a presidential administration moves to change the form of government and assume powers that allowed it to commit abuses foreclosed to it under the original form of government. Allow this to occur again and they have won and you have lost. I can only tell you with all my heart and soul I believe the consequences are going to be quite monumental for you and your family. The yesterday you are familiar with will become a distant memory and a new dark world will open up all because you allow a presidential administration to commit heinous crimes against humanity, including treasonous crimes against their own country allowing 3000 citizens to die and now intent on committing war crimes and atrocities rejected by history and the true original form of government for this country. Thus we live in an upside down world that is structurally unstable where dramatic changes are surely ahead for us all.

(reply to this comment)
From Sonderval
Wednesday, March 16, 2005, 06:16

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

It's depressing, this has been shouted about for a long long time now and it has had no effect, the above could be a Bill Hicks script, he's dead now and the things he fought are just getting stronger by the day.

Hunger causes revolutions, that's it, as long as people are fed and entertained they will not rise up and change anything, we are a race of sheep with few exceptions and those exceptions will never motivate the herd as long as it is being fed, don't get me wrong, I respect those who still have the energy and a belief in human nature necessary to get worked up about this, I'm just no longer among them.

History will always repeat itself, with luck the damage this time will be enough to reduce the population back down to a more reasonable level and with luck there'll still be a planet worth living in afterwards, if not, well if I survive I'll fight you for my pile of rocks and melted plastic and may the best man win.(reply to this comment

from Newcast
Wednesday, March 16, 2005 - 04:17

See some "Real" news @ MoonCityNewz:
(reply to this comment)
from movedon
Tuesday, March 15, 2005 - 22:10

This is a great article! Thanks for posting.
(reply to this comment)

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