Monday, December 2, 2013

Freedom of the Press is freedom to manipulate

This handy set of rules covers most of the games which disinformation artists play on the Internet (and offline). When you know the tricks, you’ll be able to spot the games. Even if you’ve read this list before, you might be surprised at how useful it is to brush up on these tricks.

  1. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. Regardless of what you know, don’t discuss it — especially if you are a public figure, news anchor, etc. If it’s not reported, it didn’t happen, and you never have to deal with the issues.

2. Become incredulous and indignant. Avoid discussing key issues and instead focus on side issues which can be used show the topic as being critical of some otherwise sacrosanct group or theme. This is also known as the “How dare you!” gambit.




3. Create rumor mongers. Avoid discussing issues by describing all charges, regardless of venue or evidence, as mere rumors and wild accusations. Other derogatory terms mutually exclusive of truth may work as well. This method works especially well with a silent press, because the only way the public can learn of the facts are through such “arguable rumors”. If you can associate the material with the Internet, use this fact to certify it a “wild rumor” which can have no basis in fact.

4. Use a straw man. Find or create a seeming element of your opponent’s argument which you can easily knock down to make yourself look good and the opponent to look bad. Either make up an issue you may safely imply exists based on your interpretation of the opponent/opponent arguments/situation, or select the weakest aspect of the weakest charges. Amplify their significance and destroy them in a way which appears to debunk all the charges, real and fabricated alike, while actually avoiding discussion of the real issues.

5. Sidetrack opponents with name calling and ridicule. This is also known as the primary attack the messenger ploy, though other methods qualify as variants of that approach. Associate opponents with unpopular titles such as “kooks”, “right-wing”, “liberal”, “left-wing”, “terrorists”, “conspiracy buffs”, “radicals”, “militia”, “racists”, “religious fanatics”, “sexual deviates”, and so forth. This makes others shrink from support out of fear of gaining the same label, and you avoid dealing with issues.

6. Hit and Run. In any public forum, make a brief attack of your opponent or the opponent position and then scamper off before an answer can be fielded, or simply ignore any answer. This works extremely well in Internet and letters-to-the-editor environments where a steady stream of new identities can be called upon without having to explain criticism reasoning — simply make an accusation or other attack, never discussing issues, and never answering any subsequent response, for that would dignify the opponent’s viewpoint.

7. Question motives. Twist or amplify any fact which could so taken to imply that the opponent operates out of a hidden personal agenda or other bias. This avoids discussing issues and forces the accuser on the defensive.

8. Invoke authority. Claim for yourself or associate yourself with authority and present your argument with enough “jargon” and “minutiae” to illustrate you are “one who knows”, and simply say it isn’t so without discussing issues or demonstrating concretely why or citing sources.

9. Play Dumb. No matter what evidence or logical argument is offered, avoid discussing issues with denial they have any credibility, make any sense, provide any proof, contain or make a point, have logic, or support a conclusion. Mix well for maximum effect.

10. Associate opponent charges with old news. A derivative of the straw man usually, in any large-scale matter of high visibility, someone will make charges early on which can be or were already easily dealt with. Where it can be foreseen, have your own side raise a straw man issue and have it dealt with early on as part of the initial contingency plans. Subsequent charges, regardless of validity or new ground uncovered, can usually them be associated with the original charge and dismissed as simply being a rehash without need to address current issues — so much the better where the opponent is or was involved with the original source.

11. Establish and rely upon fall-back positions. Using a minor matter or element of the facts, take the “high road” and “confess” with candor that some innocent mistake, in hindsight, was made — but that opponents have seized on the opportunity to blow it all out of proportion and imply greater criminalities which, “just isn’t so.” Others can reinforce this on your behalf, later. Done properly, this can garner sympathy and respect for “coming clean” and “owning up” to your mistakes without addressing more serious issues.

12. Enigmas have no solution. Drawing upon the overall umbrella of events surrounding the crime and the multitude of players and events, paint the entire affair as too complex to solve. This causes those otherwise following the matter to begin to loose interest more quickly without having to address the actual issues.

13. Alice in Wonderland Logic. Avoid discussion of the issues by reasoning backwards with an apparent deductive logic in a way that forbears any actual material fact.

14. Demand complete solutions. Avoid the issues by requiring opponents to solve the crime at hand completely, a ploy which works best for items qualifying for rule 10.

15. Fit the facts to alternate conclusions. This requires creative thinking unless the crime was planned with contingency conclusions in place.

16. Vanishing evidence and witnesses. If it does not exist, it is not fact, and you won’t have to address the issue.

17. Change the subject. Usually in connection with one of the other ploys listed here, find a way to side-track the discussion with abrasive or controversial comments in hopes of turning attention to a new, more manageable topic. This works especially well with companions who can “argue” with you over the new topic and polarize the discussion arena in order to avoid discussing more key issues.

18. Emotionalize, Antagonize, and Goad Opponents. If you can’t do anything else, chide and taunt your opponents and draw them into emotional responses which will tend to make them look foolish and overly motivated, and generally render their material somewhat less coherent. Not only will you avoid discussing the issues in the first instance, but even if their emotional response addresses the issue, you can further avoid the issues by then focusing on how “sensitive they are to criticism”.

19. Ignore proof presented, demand impossible proofs. This is perhaps a variant of the “play dumb” rule. Regardless of what material may be presented by an opponent in public forums, claim the material irrelevant and demand proof that is impossible for the opponent to come by (it may exist, but not be at his disposal, or it may be something which is known to be safely destroyed or withheld, such as a murder weapon). In order to completely avoid discussing issues may require you to categorically deny and be critical of media or books as valid sources, deny that witnesses are acceptable, or even deny that statements made by government or other authorities have any meaning or relevance.

20. False evidence. Whenever possible, introduce new facts or clues designed and manufactured to conflict with opponent presentations as useful tools to neutralize sensitive issues or impede resolution. This works best when the crime was designed with contingencies for the purpose, and the facts cannot be easily separated from the fabrications.

21. Call a Grand Jury, Special Prosecutor, or other empowered investigative body. Subvert the (process) to your benefit and effectively neutralize all sensitive issues without open discussion. Once convened, the evidence and testimony are required to be secret when properly handled. For instance, if you own the prosecuting attorney, it can insure a Grand Jury hears no useful evidence and that the evidence is sealed an unavailable to subsequent investigators. Once a favorable verdict (usually, this technique is applied to find the guilty innocent, but it can also be used to obtain charges when seeking to frame a victim) is achieved, the matter can be considered officially closed.

22. Manufacture a new truth. Create your own expert(s), group(s), author(s), leader(s) or influence existing ones willing to forge new ground via scientific, investigative, or social research or testimony which concludes favorably. In this way, if you must actually address issues, you can do so authoritatively.

23. Create bigger distractions. If the above does not seem to be working to distract from sensitive issues, or to prevent unwanted media coverage of unstoppable events such as trials, create bigger news stories (or treat them as such) to distract the multitudes.

24. Silence critics. If the above methods do not prevail, consider removing opponents from circulation by some definitive solution so that the need to address issues is removed entirely. This can be by their death, arrest and detention, blackmail or destruction of their character by release of blackmail information, or merely by proper intimidation with blackmail or other threats.

25. Vanish. If you are a key holder of secrets or otherwise overly illuminated and you think the heat is getting too hot, to avoid the issues, vacate the kitchen.

Postscript: I don’t know who wrote these rules, so I don’t know who to credit.



Now the Main Stream Media is telling you: fear your government.


In one of the most shocking articles that the New York Times has ever put out, a New York Times reporter has openly admitted that virtually every major mainstream news organization allows government bureaucrats and campaign officials to censor their stories. For example, almost every major news organization in the country has agreed to submit virtually all quotes from anyone involved in the Obama campaign or the Romney campaign to gatekeepers for “quote approval” before they will be published.


If the gatekeeper in the Obama campaign does not want a certain quote to get out, the American people will not see it, and the same thing applies to the Romney campaign. The goal is to keep the campaigns as “on message” as possible and to avoid gaffes at all cost. But this kind of thing is not just happening with political campaigns. According to the New York Times, “quote approval” has become “commonplace throughout Washington”. In other words, if you see a quote in the newspaper from someone in the federal government then it is safe to say that a gatekeeper has almost certainly reviewed that quote and has approved it. This is another sign that “the free and independent media” in the US is a joke. What we get from the mainstream media is a very highly filtered form of propaganda, and that is one reason why Americans are turning away from the mainstream media in droves. People want the truth, and more Americans than ever realize that they are not getting it from the mainstream media.
The following quote comes from the recent article in the New York Times mentioned above and it is absolutely jaw dropping….
The quotations come back redacted, stripped of colorful metaphors, colloquial language and anything even mildly provocative.
They are sent by e-mail from the Obama headquarters in Chicago to reporters who have interviewed campaign officials under one major condition: the press office has veto power over what statements can be quoted and attributed by name.
Most reporters, desperate to pick the brains of the president’s top strategists, grudgingly agree. After the interviews, they review their notes, check their tape recorders and send in the juiciest sound bites for review.
The verdict from the campaign — an operation that prides itself on staying consistently on script — is often no, Barack Obama does not approve this message.
This is an article that everyone needs to read. If you have not read it yet, you can find it right here.
What all of this means is that both the Obama campaign and the Romney campaign essentially have “veto power” over any quotes from those campaigns that we see in the newspapers.
According to the New York Times, virtually every major news organization has agreed to submit their quotes for “quote approval”….
It was difficult to find a news outlet that had not agreed to quote approval, albeit reluctantly. Organizations like Bloomberg, The Washington Post, Vanity Fair, Reuters and The New York Times have all consented to interviews under such terms.
This is absolutely disgusting, and it goes against everything that our media is supposed to stand for.
The following is what Joseph Farah had to say when he learned about this story….
All I can say about these people I once considered “colleagues” is that I am so ashamed of them. I am mortified. They are humiliating themselves and a vital institution for any free society.
It seems the biggest threat to the American tradition of a free and independent press is not government coercion. It’s the willing submission of the press to being handled and managed by government and politicians.
Keep in mind that Joseph Farah has been working in the world of journalism for decades. He is deeply saddened to see what is happening to a profession that he deeply loves.
But he is not the only one.
Just check out what Dan Rather had to say during a speech back in 2009….
“At my age and stage I’ve finally reached the point where I don’t have to kiss up to anybody,” he said. “What a wonderful feeling it is.”
Even so, his talk emphasized what he believes is the erosion of quality journalism, because of the corporatization, politicization, and “trivialization” of news. Those three factors, Rather argued, have fueled the “dumbing down and sleezing up of news” and the decline of “great American journalism.”
Likening media consolidation to that of the banking industry, Rather claimed that “roughly 80 percent” of the media is controlled by no more than six, and possibly as few as four, corporations.
And Dan Rather is right. The control over the media in the United States is more tightly concentrated than ever before.
Back in the early 1980s, approximately 50 corporations essentially had nearly total control of the media in the United States.
Today, just six monolithic media corporations dominate virtually everything you watch, hear and read.
 
These six gigantic corporations own television networks, publishing houses, movie studios, newspapers, radio stations, music labels and video game companies. Most Americans are absolutely addicted to information and entertainment, and those six massive corporations supply the vast majority of the information and entertainment that Americans take in.
The amount of control that those six corporate giants have is absolutely incredible. For example, the average American watches 153 hours of television a month. If you can beam 153 hours of “programming” into someone’s head each month, that gives you an awesome amount of influence over that person.
The six monolithic corporations mentioned above are Time Warner, Walt Disney, Viacom, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., CBS Corporation and NBC Universal.
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There are some areas of the media that are not completely dominated by those corporations, but even control over those areas is becoming more highly concentrated than ever.
For example, Clear Channel now owns over 1000 radio stations across the United States. The power that Clear Channel has over the radio industry in America is absolutely staggering.
Even control over the Internet is becoming much more concentrated. Giant corporations such as Facebook, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft are increasingly controlling what we see and hear online.
But it really is the “big six” that dominate most of what we see, hear and read on a daily basis.
In a previous article, I detailed a portion of the vast media holdings of these gigantic corporations….
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Today, six colossal media giants tower over all the rest. Much of the information in the chart below comes from mediaowners.com. The chart below reveals only a small fraction of the media outlets that these six behemoths actually own….
Time Warner
Home Box Office (HBO)Time Inc.Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.CW Network (partial ownership)TMZNew Line CinemaTime Warner CableCinemaxCartoon NetworkTBSTNTAmerica OnlineMapQuestMoviefoneCastle RockSports IllustratedFortuneMarie ClairePeople Magazine
Walt Disney
ABC Television NetworkDisney PublishingESPN Inc.Disney ChannelSOAPnetA&ELifetimeBuena Vista Home EntertainmentBuena Vista Theatrical ProductionsBuena Vista RecordsDisney RecordsHollywood RecordsMiramax FilmsTouchstone PicturesWalt Disney PicturesPixar Animation StudiosBuena Vista GamesHyperion Books
Viacom
Paramount PicturesParamount Home EntertainmentBlack Entertainment Television (BET)Comedy CentralCountry Music Television (CMT)LogoMTVMTV CanadaMTV2Nick MagazineNick at NiteNick Jr.NickelodeonNogginSpike TVThe Movie ChannelTV LandVH1
News Corporation
Dow Jones & Company, Inc.Fox Television StationsThe New York PostFox Searchlight PicturesBeliefnetFox Business NetworkFox Kids EuropeFox News ChannelFox Sports NetFox Television NetworkFXMy Network TVMySpaceNews Limited NewsPhoenix InfoNews ChannelPhoenix Movies ChannelSky PerfecTVSpeed ChannelSTAR TV IndiaSTAR TV TaiwanSTAR WorldTimes Higher Education Supplement MagazineTimes Literary Supplement MagazineTimes of London20th Century Fox Home Entertainment20th Century Fox International20th Century Fox Studios20th Century Fox TelevisionBSkyBDIRECTVThe Wall Street JournalFox Broadcasting CompanyFox Interactive MediaFOXTELHarperCollins PublishersThe National Geographic ChannelNational Rugby LeagueNews InteractiveNews OutdoorRadio VeronicaReganBooksSky ItaliaSky Radio DenmarkSky Radio GermanySky Radio NetherlandsSTARZondervan
CBS Corporation
CBS NewsCBS SportsCBS Television NetworkCNETShowtimeTV.comCBS Radio Inc. (130 stations)CBS Consumer ProductsCBS OutdoorCW Network (50% ownership)Infinity BroadcastingSimon & Schuster (Pocket Books, Scribner)Westwood One Radio Network
NBC Universal
BravoCNBCNBC NewsMSNBCNBC SportsNBC Television NetworkOxygenSciFi MagazineSyfy (Sci Fi Channel)TelemundoUSA NetworkWeather ChannelFocus FeaturesNBC Universal Television DistributionNBC Universal Television StudioPaxson Communications (partial ownership)TrioUniversal Parks & ResortsUniversal PicturesUniversal Studio Home Video
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Please keep in mind that the list above is not exhaustive. It only contains a sampling of the companies that those six corporate giants own.
So are you starting to get an idea of how powerful they are?
If you ever wondered why the version of “the news” that you get is so similar no matter where you turn, it is because control of the news is concentrated in just a very few hands.
So who controls the “big six” media corporations?
Would it surprise you to know that the boards of directors of those big media corporations have a tremendous amount of overlap with the boards of directors of large banks, large oil companies and large pharmaceutical companies?
Media corporations share members of the board of directors with a variety of other large corporations, including banks, investment companies, oil companies, health care and pharmaceutical companies and technology companies.
You can find a list that shows how these boards of directors overlap and interlock right here.
The giant media corporations are not going to criticize the establishment because they are the establishment.
The messages that these media behemoths pound into our heads are going to be the messages that the establishment wants pounded into our heads.
Anyone that believes that the mainstream media is “independent” and that it does not have “an agenda” is being delusional.
Of course it is also worth mentioning that much of what we get from the mainstream media is also often directly controlled by the federal government.
Former Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein (of Woodward and Bernstein fame) has discovered that hundreds of American journalists have worked directly for the CIA.
Not that the federal government and the establishment are opposed to one another. The truth is that they very much work together hand in hand. But sometimes the federal government has slightly different priorities than the corporate establishment does.
In any event, the key point to take away from all this is that the news and entertainment that we all enjoy on a daily basis if very highly censored and very highly controlled.
It is imperative that we understand that those that own and control the media are trying to shape society in a certain way. They want to impose their values and their vision of the future on all the rest of us.
You will notice that none of the major news organizations speak out against the “Big Brother” police state control grid that is going in all around us.
Instead, they insist that all of this added “security” will keep us safe even as our liberties and freedoms are being badly eroded.
You will notice that none of the major news organizations speak out against the population control agenda of the global elite.
Instead, they insist that more “family planning” will help the environment and make the world a more prosperous place for all of us.
You will notice that none of the major news organizations speak out against the Federal Reserve and none of them are warning us about the financial collapse that is rapidly approaching.
Instead, they tell us to keep having faith in the system and they promise us that everything is going to be okay.
Well, you can mindlessly believe the corporate media if you want, but I believe that in this day and age it is absolutely imperative that we all learn to think for ourselves.
Don’t be a mindless robot for anyone.
Think for yourself and make your own decisions.
The truth is out there and you can find it if you are willing to go search for it.