Sunday, August 28, 2016


     The New York Times, once one of the most highly respected American news outlets, has long gone the way of the rest of the US media and become the servile tool of political and corporate interests. In line with Hilary Clinton's recent attempts to connect the American Alt-Right with Russia, the Times obligingly today posted an article by one Neil MacFarquhar denouncing the Russian media as a global disinformation machine.

     MacFarquhar's cites as contributors to his article Lincoln Pigman, a NYT intern specializing in defense issues and Eva Sohlman, an obscure Swedish author, who's apparently written art columns for the Times on occasion.

     This is all rather ironic in light of recent revelations that George Soros---with the collusion of Obama, Clinton, and Kerry---pumped millions of dollars into anti-Russian propaganda campaigns. Campaigns which, incidentally, used professional PR firms and networks of paid contacts inside the Corporate Media itself. Nonetheless, MacFarquhar---who to our knowledge, hasn't had a word to say about Soros states that "The Kremlin uses both Sputnik and RT and covert channels that are almost always untraceable." to spread this alleged disinformation.

       Aside from the fact that the Russian government does not control the Russian media, MacFarquhar and his cohorts have premised this entire article on the idea that Russia is somehow weaponizing information---claiming that Russian media is a direct extension of Russia's military policy. He quotes at length the opinions of some Swedish politician who is angry at a proliferation of Swedish news articles opposing Sweden's proposal to join NATO.

      The only thing that is actually noteworthy about this article is its blatant yellow journalism. A good rebuttal was published by Sputnik, and the authors there point out that no evidence is given for any of MacFarquhar's assertions; the mere say-so of Mr. Lincoln Pigman to the contrary notwithstanding.

      Articles like MacFarquhar's are the reason why people turn to non-Western media sources in the first place. Journalism is not about starting with a preconceived bias and then finding 'sources' to corroborate it. Journalism is about collecting facts and arriving at a fair conclusion. The New York Times no longer practices this type of professional journalism any longer; hence its descent into tabloid-style sensationalism and cheap propaganda.

       MacFarquhar takes especial issue with what he perceives as negative depictions of the United States "RT often seems obsessed with the United States, portraying life there as hellish." It probably seems that way to the Corporate Media, which seems obsessed with keeping Americans in a permanent state of denial about any of our deep national problems. He goes on claim that both RT and Sputnik "depict the West as grim, divided, brutal, decadent, overrun with violent immigrants and unstable" which actually sounds somewhat like an accurate depiction excepting the violent immigrant part. The Russian media has actually reported on mistreatment of immigrants here and covered pro-immigration rallies and similar events. MacFarquhar probably threw that misstatement in as an afterthought, since the Alt-Right---whom he insinuates is tied to Russia---portrays immigrants in this way.

       MacFarquhar also tries to dazzle readers with his supposed knowledge of history and carries on at length about Soviet disinformation campaigns---as though any of those are relevant to 21st Century Russian policies. Naturally he didn't bother to mention that during the Cold War, our government passed the Anti-Propaganda Act of 1948, which forbade the US government from engaging in domestic propaganda itself. Obama repealed that law in 2013 as part of the notorious National Defense Authorization Act. In 1985, former Senator Edward Zorinsky, voting to renew the 1948 law stated, "such propaganda should be kept out of the US, to distinguish America from the Soviet Union where domestic propaganda is a principal government activity."

     So which country's news outlets are spreading disinformation here? Maybe instead of attacking RT and Sputnik, the US media ought to do a little more introspection about its own standards and practices.  

     Probably the most crowning irony of all is that Cultural Marxists in Democratic Party and the Corporate Media point an accusing finger at the Alt-Right as racist and xenophobic; while at the same time accusing Russia---a multiethnic foreign power---of being behind it all. But such is what passes for deep political discourse and high-level journalism in the Prozac Nation.



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