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Old 03-01-2014, 08:22 PM   #61
Marcus
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Re: The MSM propaganda machine

The Greatest Propaganda Coup Of Our Time?

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There’s good propaganda and bad propaganda. Bad propaganda is generally crude, amateurish Judy Miller “mobile weapons lab-type” nonsense that figures that people are so stupid they’ll believe anything that appears in “the paper of record.” Good propaganda, on the other hand, uses factual, sometimes documented material in a coordinated campaign with the other major media to cobble-together a narrative that is credible, but false.

The so called Fed’s transcripts, which were released last week, fall into the latter category. The transcripts (1,865 pages) reveal the details of 14 emergency meetings of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) in 2008, when the financial crisis was at its peak and the Fed braintrust was deliberating on how best to prevent a full-blown meltdown. But while the conversations between the members are accurately recorded, they don’t tell the gist of the story or provide the context that’s needed to grasp the bigger picture. Instead, they’re used to portray the members of the Fed as affable, well-meaning bunglers who did the best they could in ‘very trying circumstances’. While this is effective propaganda, it’s basically a lie, mainly because it diverts attention from the Fed’s role in crashing the financial system, preventing the remedies that were needed from being implemented (nationalizing the giant Wall Street banks), and coercing Congress into approving gigantic, economy-killing bailouts which shifted trillions of dollars to insolvent financial institutions that should have been euthanized.

What I’m saying is that the Fed’s transcripts are, perhaps, the greatest propaganda coup of our time. They take advantage of the fact that people simply forget a lot of what happened during the crisis and, as a result, absolve the Fed of any accountability for what is likely the crime of the century. It’s an accomplishment that PR-pioneer Edward Bernays would have applauded. After all, it was Bernays who argued that the sheeple need to be constantly bamboozled to keep them in line. Here’s a clip from his magnum opus “Propaganda”:

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.”

Sound familiar? My guess is that Bernays’ maxim probably features prominently in editors offices across the country where “manufacturing consent” is Job 1 and where no story so trivial that it can’t be spun in a way that serves the financial interests of the MSM’s constituents. (Should I say “clients”?) The Fed’s transcripts are just a particularly egregious example. Just look at the coverage in the New York Times and judge for yourself. Here’s an excerpt from an article titled “Fed Misread Crisis in 2008, Records Show”:

“The hundreds of pages of transcripts, based on recordings made at the time, reveal the ignorance of Fed officials about economic conditions during the climactic months of the financial crisis. Officials repeatedly fretted about overstimulating the economy, only to realize time and again that they needed to redouble efforts to contain the crisis.” (“Fed Misread Crisis in 2008, Records Show”, New York Times)

This quote is so misleading on so many levels it’s hard to know where to begin.

First of all, the New York Times is the ideological wellspring of elite propaganda in the US. They set the tone and the others follow. That’s the way the system works. So it always pays to go to the source and try to figure out what really lies behind the words, that is, the motive behind the smokescreen of half-truths, distortions, and lies. How is the Times trying to bend perceptions and steer the public in their corporate-friendly direction, that’s the question. In this case, the Times wants its readers to believe that the Fed members “misread the crisis”; that they were ‘behind the curve’ and stressed-out, but–dad-gum-it–they were trying their level-best to make things work out for everybody.

How believable is that? Not very believable at all.

Keep in mind, the crisis had been going on for a full year before the discussions in these transcripts took place, so it’s not like the members were plopped in a room the day before Lehman blew up and had to decide what to do. No. They had plenty of time to figure out the lay of the land, get their bearings and do what was in the best interests of the country. Here’s more from the Times:

”My initial takeaway from these voluminous transcripts is that they paint a disturbing picture of a central bank that was in the dark about each looming disaster throughout 2008. That meant that the nation’s top bank regulators were unprepared to deal with the consequences of each new event.”

Have you ever read such nonsense in your life? Of course, the Fed knew what was going on. How could they NOT know? Their buddies on Wall Street were taking it in the stern sheets every time their dingy asset pile was downgraded which was every damn day. It was costing them a bundle which means they were probably on the phone 24-7 to (Treasury Secretary) Henry Paulson whining for help. “You gotta give us a hand here, Hank. The whole Street is going toes-up. Please.”

Here’s more from the NYT:

“Some Fed officials have argued that the Fed was blind in 2008 because it relied, like everyone else, on a standard set of economic indicators. As late as August 2008, “there were no clear signs that many financial firms were about to fail catastrophically,” Mr. Bullard said in a November presentation in Arkansas that the St. Louis Fed recirculated on Friday. “There was a reasonable case that the U.S. could continue to ‘muddle through.’ (“Fed Misread Crisis in 2008, Records Show”, New York Times)

There’s that same refrain again, “Blind”, “In the dark”, “Behind the curve”, “Misread the crisis”.

Notice how the Times only invokes terminology that implies the Fed is blameless. But it’s all baloney. Everyone knew what was going on. Check out this excerpt from a post by Nouriel Roubini that was written nearly a full year before Lehman failed:

“The United States has now effectively entered into a serious and painful recession. The debate is not anymore on whether the economy will experience a soft landing or a hard landing; it is rather on how hard the hard landing recession will be. The factors that make the recession inevitable include the nation’s worst-ever housing recession, which is still getting worse; a severe liquidity and credit crunch in financial markets that is getting worse than when it started last summer; high oil and gasoline prices; falling capital spending by the corporate sector; a slackening labor market where few jobs are being created and the unemployment rate is sharply up; and shopped-out, savings-less and debt-burdened American consumers who — thanks to falling home prices — can no longer use their homes as ATM machines to allow them to spend more than their income. As private consumption in the US is over 70% of GDP the US consumer now retrenching and cutting spending ensures that a recession is now underway.



On top of this recession there are now serious risks of a systemic financial crisis in the US as the financial losses are spreading from subprime to near prime and prime mortgages, consumer debt (credit cards, auto loans, student loans), commercial real estate loans, leveraged loans and postponed/restructured/canceled LBO and, soon enough, sharply rising default rates on corporate bonds that will lead to a second round of large losses in credit default swaps. The total of all of these financial losses could be above $1 trillion thus triggering a massive credit crunch and a systemic financial sector crisis.” ( Nouriel Roubini Global EconoMonitor)

Roubini didn’t have some secret source for data that wasn’t available to the Fed. The financial system was collapsing and it had been collapsing for a full year. Everyone who followed the markets knew it. Hell, the Fed had already opened its Discount Window and the Term Auction Facility (TAF) in 2007 to prop up the ailing banks–something they’d never done before– so they certainly knew the system was cratering. So, why’s the Times prattling this silly fairytale that “the Fed was in the dark” in 2008?

I’ll tell you why: It’s because this whole transcript business is a big, freaking whitewash to absolve the shysters at the Fed of any legal accountability, that’s why. That’s why they’re stitching together this comical fable that the Fed was simply an innocent victim of circumstances beyond its control. And that’s why they want to focus attention on the members of the FOMC quibbling over meaningless technicalities –like non-existent inflation or interest rates–so people think they’re just kind-hearted buffoons who bumbled-along as best as they could. It’s all designed to deflect blame.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying these conversations didn’t happen. They did, at least I think they did. I just think that the revisionist media is being employed to spin the facts in a way that minimizes the culpability of the central bank in its dodgy, collaborationist engineering of the bailouts. (You don’t hear the Times talking about Hank Paulson’s 50 or 60 phone calls to G-Sax headquarters in the week before Lehman kicked the bucket, do you? But, that’s where a real reporter would look for the truth.)

The purpose of the NYT article is to create plausible deniability for the perpetrators of the biggest ripoff in world history, a ripoff which continues to this very day since the same policies are in place, the same thieving fraudsters are being protected from prosecution, and the same boundless chasm of private debt is being concealed through accounting flim-flam to prevent losses to the insatiable bondholders who have the country by the balls and who set policy on everything from capital requirements on complex derivatives to toppling democratically-elected governments in Ukraine. These are the big money guys behind the vacillating-hologram poseurs like Obama and Bernanke, who are nothing more than kowtowing sock puppets who jump whenever they’re told. Here’s more bunkum from the Gray Lady:

”By early March, the Fed was moving to replace investors as a source of funding for Wall Street.



Financial firms, particularly in the mortgage business, were beginning to fail because they could not borrow money. Investors had lost confidence in their ability to predict which loans would be repaid. Countrywide Financial, the nation’s largest mortgage lender, sold itself for a relative pittance to Bank of America. Bear Stearns, one of the largest packagers and sellers of mortgage-backed securities, was teetering toward collapse.



On March 7, the Fed offered companies up to $200 billion in funding. Three days later, Mr. Bernanke secured the Fed policy-making committee’s approval to double that amount to $400 billion, telling his colleagues, “We live in a very special time.”



Finally, on March 16, the Fed effectively removed any limit on Wall Street funding even as it arranged the Bear Stearns rescue.” (“Fed Misread Crisis in 2008, Records Show”, New York Times)

This part deserves a little more explanation. The author says “the Fed was moving to replace investors as a source of funding for Wall Street.” Uh, yeah; because the whole flimsy house of cards came crashing down when investors figured out Wall Street was peddling toxic assets. So the money dried up. No one buys crap assets after they find out they’re crap; it’s a simple fact of life. The Times makes this sound like this was some kind of unavoidable natural disaster, like an earthquake or a tornado. It wasn’t. It was a crime, a crime for which no one has been indicted or sent to prison. That might have been worth mentioning, don’t you think?

More from the NYT: “…on March 16, the Fed effectively removed any limit on Wall Street funding even as it arranged the Bear Stearns rescue.”

Yipee! Free money for all the crooks who blew up the financial system and plunged the economy into recession. The Fed assumed blatantly-illegal powers it was never provided under its charter and used them to reward the people who were responsible for the crash, namely, the Fed’s moneybags constituents on Wall Street. It was a straightforward transfer of wealth to the Bank Mafia. Don’t you think the author should have mentioned something about that, just for the sake of context, maybe?

Again, the Times wants us to believe that the men who made these extraordinary decisions were just ordinary guys like you and me trying to muddle through a rough patch doing the best they could.

Right. I mean, c’mon, this is some pretty impressive propaganda, don’t you think? It takes a real talent to come up with this stuff, which is why most of these NYT guys probably got their sheepskin at Harvard or Yale, the establishment’s petri-dish for serial liars....
....So, there you have it. The American people were fleeced in broad daylight by the same dissembling cutthroats the NYT is now trying to characterize as well-meaning bunglers who were just trying to save the country from another Great Depression.
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Old 03-11-2014, 05:12 PM   #62
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Re: The MSM propaganda machine

CBS Journalist Sharyl Attkisson Resigns After Pressure Over ‘Anti-Obama’ Reporting

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On Monday, long time CBS reporter and five-time Emmy award winning journalist Sharyl Attkisson followed in the footsteps of RT host Liz Wahl by resigning her position at CBS, claiming that the pressure from the pressure that her reporting was overly critical of the Obama administration.

Politico reports:


Attkisson, who has been with CBS News for two decades, had grown frustrated with what she saw as the network’s liberal bias, an outsized influence by the network’s corporate partners and a lack of dedication to investigative reporting, several sources said. She increasingly felt like her work was no longer supported and that it was a struggle to get her reporting on air.

At the same time, Attkisson’s own reporting on the Obama administration, which some staffers characterized as agenda-driven, had led network executives to doubt the impartiality of her reporting. She is currently at work on a book — tentatively titled “Stonewalled: One Reporter’s Fight for Truth in Obama’s Washington” — which addresses the challenges of reporting critically on the Obama administration.






Obviously the executives at CBS believe she is biased because the truth is everyone is biased. There is no such thing as neutrality and we all know it. It’s a myth. The real issue they don’t like is that Attkisson is biased towards truth, not propaganda.

When the majority of major news outlets bailed on the Fast and Furious scandal, followed by the Benghazi scandal, Attkisson was there, digging in and trying to discover the truth. In those reports, she didn’t just deal with the Obama administration and Democrats though; she packed some punches in at Republicans as well.

There is no doubt the Obama administration doesn’t like Sharyl Attkisson or reporters like her. Last year the White House and FBI denied her access to Benghazi details and photos in a Freedom of Information Act request. Her computer was discovered to be compromised following the revelation that the Justice Department had been secretly monitoring reporters and editors at the Associated Press...
Velcome to Amerika! Land of da free!

TMOT (The Minister Of Truth)was big on Ron Paul and made a lot of videos. He's running for Rep in GA and is not happy w/ the propaganda shenanigans going on there.
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:25 PM   #63
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Re: The MSM propaganda machine

The Most Popular Show In America Is Basically NSA Propaganda... And Brought To You By Lockheed Martin

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NCIS and its sibling NCIS: Los Angeles are the top-rated dramas on television, a distinction they have held for several years.

Next season there will be a third iteration, which ones hopes will be titled NCIS: Spinoff. As Quartz’s Jason Lynch notes, viewers love these formulaic procedurals—while critics ignore them.

But what exactly are so many Americans watching—and rooting for—when they tune in for these TV shows? A closer look reveals that both series are uncomfortably akin to a cheering section for the NSA: The shows depict a world in which terrorists planning mass slaughter are under every bed, in which viewers root for the good-looking, wisecracking agents to smash down doors without warrants; in which super-advanced electronic surveillance is used exclusively to protect the public. In the NCIS version of reality, we’ll all die unless powerful government agencies treat the United States Constitution like a big joke...
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Old 05-03-2014, 03:12 PM   #64
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Re: The MSM propaganda machine

White House has a Media Monitor to Preemptively Kill Reporters’ Stories

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For the Obama White House, tweets from reporters are a kind of early warning system. It’s up to Jessica Allen, 24, to sound the alarm.

Allen, whose official title is “media monitor,” tracks journalists’ tweets and flags them in mass emails that land in the in-boxes of more than 80 Obama aides, including chief of staff Denis McDonough, White House counsel Kathy Ruemmler, press secretary Jay Carney and senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer.

The result? Reporters who regularly cover Obama have become familiar with seemingly out-of-the-blue emails or telephone calls from officials taking issue with their tweets — often thoughtfully and constructively, sometimes with obscenity-laced yelps of outrage…

While White House communications staff track her alerts closely, other officials have been known to route her messages into email folders and check them just a couple of times a day, one Obama aide said…
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Old 05-03-2014, 08:30 PM   #65
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Re: The MSM propaganda machine

Ben Swann is a stud! Here's a man that has worked in the belly of the beast and talks about it. I hope he has eyes in the back of his head. If you haven't signed up to his email reports, you should.


Ben Swann on RT - Why RT Has The State Department So Concerned
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Old 06-03-2014, 10:07 PM   #66
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Re: The MSM propaganda machine

Former CBS Reporter Agrees: Mainstream Media Manipulated, Controlled By Establishment
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Old 06-06-2014, 05:41 PM   #67
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Re: The MSM propaganda machine

Former CBS Reporter Agrees: Mainstream Media Manipulated, Controlled By Establishment

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Former CBS Reporter Agrees: Mainstream Media Manipulated, Controlled By Establishment

Growing movement to sway public opinion through social media and even Wikipedia

by KIT DANIELS | INFOWARS.COM | JUNE 3, 2014

Speaking from direct experience, and with refreshing honesty, a former CBS correspondent openly confirmed that the mainstream media is being covertly manipulated by well-financed political forces who are also trying to sway public opinion through social media and by editing Wikipedia articles.

Sharyl Attkisson, who also served as a correspondent with CNN, suggested that real investigative journalism is disappearing in mainstream media due to the current editorial trend to push stories in an unnatural direction in order to serve establishment agendas.
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Old 08-03-2014, 09:38 AM   #68
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Re: The MSM propaganda machine

How To Sell A War

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With the spigot of propaganda wide open and Washington appearing increasingly bent on instigating the next war, we thought lessons from past "wars" might help the people when thinking about what is spoon-fed to them each and every day. "To Sell A War" is a documentary that first aired in December 1992 exposing the Citizens for a Free Kuwait campaign as public relations spin to gain public opinion support for the Gulf War. Among other things, it reveals that Nurse Nayirah was in fact Nijirah al-Sabah, the daughter of Kuwait's ambassador to the United States Saud Nasir Al-Sabah, coached by Hill & Knowlton to forge her infamous testimony about Iraqi soldiers removing babies from incubators, which was widely reported and repeated throughout the media.
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Old 09-14-2014, 06:29 PM   #69
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Re: The MSM propaganda machine

The new Osama Bin Laden (boogeyman), brought to you by the fed gov't and their MSM lackeys. Disgusting. I can't believe that the sheeple still fall for this BS.



Boo!!

How long are they going to be able to ride this 9/11 scare mongering? For as long as fools keep believing their lies and BS. ISIS is but another Blackwater type entity.
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Old 09-21-2014, 05:06 PM   #70
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Re: The MSM propaganda machine

When are we going to stop acting like scared little sheeple?

Has ISIS attacked America?
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Old 09-27-2014, 08:58 PM   #71
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Re: The MSM propaganda machine

There is currently talk from our gov't to get rid of the Daily show. Apparently, the truth has become too uncomfortable for them.
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Old 10-30-2014, 08:02 AM   #72
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Re: The MSM propaganda machine

20-Year CBS News Veteran Details Massive Censorship And Propaganda In Mainstream Media
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-1...instream-media

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Earlier this week, I published a piece titled, Former CBS Reporter Accuses Government of Secretly Planting Classified Docs on Her Computer, which I thought was incredible in its own right, yet the information in that post seems almost trite compared to the flood of information Attkisson has revealed to the New York Post’s Kyle Smith.

The following excerpts from the piece will confirm all of your worst suspicions about mainstream media:

Sharyl Attkisson is an unreasonable woman. Important people have told her so.

When the longtime CBS reporter asked for details about reinforcements sent to the Benghazi compound during the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack, White House national security spokesman Tommy Vietor replied, “I give up, Sharyl . . . I’ll work with more reasonable folks that follow up, I guess.”

Another White House flack, Eric Schultz, didn’t like being pressed for answers about the Fast and Furious scandal in which American agents directed guns into the arms of Mexican drug lords. “Goddammit, Sharyl!” he screamed at her. “The Washington Post is reasonable, the LA Times is reasonable, The New York Times is reasonable. You’re the only one who’s not reasonable!”
Interesting, because as Matt Taibbi notes in the quote at the top, investigative journalists are not supposed to be reasonable. I digress…

In nearly 20 years at CBS News, she has done many stories attacking Republicans and corporate America, and she points out that TV news, being reluctant to offend its advertisers, has become more and more skittish about, for instance, stories questioning pharmaceutical companies or car manufacturers.

Working on a piece that raised questions about the American Red Cross disaster response, she says a boss told her, “We must do nothing to upset our corporate partners . . . until the stock splits.” (Parent company Viacom and CBS split in 2006).

Reporters on the ground aren’t necessarily ideological, Attkisson says, but the major network news decisions get made by a handful of New York execs who read the same papers and think the same thoughts.

Often they dream up stories beforehand and turn the reporters into “casting agents,” told “we need to find someone who will say . . .” that a given policy is good or bad. “We’re asked to create a reality that fits their New York image of what they believe,” she writes.

Reporting on the many green-energy firms such as Solyndra that went belly-up after burning through hundreds of millions in Washington handouts, Attkisson ran into increasing difficulty getting her stories on the air. A colleague told her about the following exchange: “[The stories] are pretty significant,” said a news exec. “Maybe we should be airing some of them on the ‘Evening News?’ ” Replied the program’s chief Pat Shevlin, “What’s the matter, don’t you support green energy?”

Says Attkisson: That’s like saying you’re anti-medicine if you point out pharmaceutical company fraud.

One of her bosses had a rule that conservative analysts must always be labeled conservatives, but liberal analysts were simply “analysts.” “And if a conservative analyst’s opinion really rubbed the supervisor the wrong way,” says Attkisson, “she might rewrite the script to label him a ‘right-wing’ analyst.”

In mid-October 2012, with the presidential election coming up, Attkisson says CBS suddenly lost interest in airing her reporting on the Benghazi attacks. “The light switch turns off,” she writes. “Most of my Benghazi stories from that point on would be reported not on television, but on the Web.”

Two expressions that became especially popular with CBS News brass, she says, were “incremental” and “piling on.” These are code for “excuses for stories they really don’t want, even as we observe that developments on stories they like are aired in the tiniest of increments.”

Hey, kids, we found two more Americans who say they like their ObamaCare! Let’s do a lengthy segment.

When the White House didn’t like her reporting, it would make clear where the real power lay. A flack would send a blistering e-mail to her boss, David Rhodes, CBS News’ president — and Rhodes’s brother Ben, a top national security advisor to President Obama.
I had no idea that the President of CBS News’ brother was a top national security advisor to President Obama, did you?...
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Old 11-17-2014, 10:13 PM   #73
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Re: The MSM propaganda machine

Rachael Madcow exposed. She's a CIA paid disinfo agent.
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Old 11-24-2014, 10:04 AM   #74
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Re: The MSM propaganda machine



Disinformation Unmasked: The Alternative Media Exposed

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-1...-media-exposed

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For any/all readers who retain the capacity for independent thought; it is universally acknowledged that the mainstream, Corporate media is little more than a propaganda megaphone. It broadcasts a single message, 24/7, with which the Old World Order brainwashes the masses in our Zombie societies.

It is understood that with the overwhelming financial resources at its disposal; the One Bank has been able to (literally) buy each-and-every mainstream media outlet across the Western world, with all of these media outlets controlled within a mere handful of its 147 corporate fronts. We understand that because of this media oligopoly that, conservatively speaking, 99% of what is spewed by the mainstream media is irredeemably tainted – and thus cannot be relied upon.



This is not to say, however, that 99% of the personnel in the mainstream media are (direct) “employees” of the One Bank. That would be both utterly impractical, and entirely unnecessary.





Rather, the way in which this media oligopoly (and any propaganda machine) is operated is simple and efficient. Key, senior personnel of the largest and most-influential outlets are hired Stooges. The rest are mere zealots. They have listened to the propaganda of the Corporate media for so long that they have adopted it as “truth”. They willingly parrot any/all propaganda which is fed to them, oblivious to the fact that not only is most of it entirely wrong, but it is literally opposite to reality.





The Stooges, on the other hand, knowingly fabricate and distribute these lies themselves, and they command underlings to echo their own biases and propaganda. But they do much more than that.





They preach (and enforce) conformity, the proverbial “herd mentality”. Everyone can’t be wrong, they repeat to the zealots again and again and again. What gets lost in that pseudo-logic (and never enters the minds of the zealots) is that “everyone” is now a mere six or eight corporate fronts – all controlled by a single crime syndicate.





Thus the zealots are made to believe (like all zealots) that all wisdom lies inside the Herd. They self-censor most ideas/opinions which are contrary to the Script which the One Bank distributes to its media tentacles on a daily basis. Any non-conformity which is not self-censored by the zealots themselves is either censored (or heavily edited) by the Stooges, since they exercise editorial control of the major media tentacles.







None of this is “news” to most who are reading this. Part of our conviction here is a simple function of arithmetic. With the One Bank having roughly $100 trillion in new currency/leverage provided to it, for free, each year (via the money-printing process alone); buying-off all major media outlets (and maintaining control) requires nothing more than a trivial fraction of its overall financial resources.







This brings us to the Alternative Media. Again as a simple function of arithmetic; it would be the utmost in naivety to believe that this same crime syndicate would simply ignore the Alternative Media, and allow it to distribute undiluted/uncontaminated Truth.





Let’s attach some numbers to this proposition of arithmetic. With roughly 0.0001% of its annual financial resources; the One Bank could finance the entire Alternative Media. Pocket change.





The fact that this crime syndicate did not instantly/immediately seek to monopolize the Alternative Media is a simple function of the arrogance of the oligarchs who control it. However, upon seeing the Alternative Media distributing (in their eyes) a disturbing amount of Truth to a large-and-growing audience; undoubtedly they would – and have — corrected this error.





Here it’s important to understand that it’s not necessary for the One Bank to exercise either direct ownership or direct control of the various outlets of the Alternative Media. Through simply financing key Alternative Media outlets; it can use its financial clout to either “influence” editorial content at that site, or (when necessary) apply direct pressure to censor or heavily edit content which the One Bank finds particularly threatening.





The other principal means of sabotaging the Alternative Media is simply by flooding it with enormous quantities of disinformation. Here the process is somewhat different than its method for corrupting the mainstream media. Most of its Stooges in the Alternative Media are independent actors, who gain access to the Alternative Media (and/or its audience) through one of two disguises. They pass themselves off as either...
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Old 12-27-2014, 10:28 AM   #75
Marcus
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Re: The MSM propaganda machine

2014: The Year Propaganda Came Of Age

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From just about as early in my life as I can remember, growing up as a child in Holland, there were stories about World War II, and not just about Anne Frank and the huge amounts of people who, like her, had been dragged off to camps in eastern Europe never to come back, but also about the thousands who had risked their lives to hide Jewish and other refugees, and the scores who had been executed for doing so, often betrayed by their own neighbors.

And then there were those who had risked their lives in equally courageous ways to get news out to people, putting out newspapers and radio broadcasts just so there would be a version of events out there that was real, and not just what the Germans wanted one to believe. This happened in all Nazi – and Nazi friendly – occupied European nations. The courage of these people is hard to gauge for us today, and I’m convinced there’s no way to say whom amongst us would show that kind of bravery if we were put to the test; I certainly wouldn’t be sure about myself.

Still, without wanting to put myself anywhere near the level of those very very real heroes, please don’t get me wrong about that, that’s not what I mean, I was thinking about them with regards to what is happening in our media today. I’ve mentioned before that I don’t think Joseph Goebbels had anything on US and European media today.

That propaganda as a strategic and political instrument has been refined to a huge extent over the past 70-odd years since Goebbels first picked up on Freud’s lessons on how to influence the unconscious mind, and the ‘mass-mind’, as a way to ‘steer’ an entire people, not just as a means to make them buy detergent. These days, the media can make people believe just about anything, and they have the added benefit that they can pose as friends of the people, not the enemy.

But there is a reason why such a large ‘industry’ has developed on the web with people writing articles that don’t say what the mass media say. That reason for is, obviously, first and foremost that not everybody believes whatever they are told. The problem is equally obvious: not nearly enough people are being reached to make a true difference, and to question the official narratives.

Me, I have no claim to fame outside of the appreciation I get from first, my readers and second, from my colleagues and peers. I get a lot of both, and I thank you for that, but this certainly is not about me. If anything, it’s about trying to live up to the desire for truth in the face of odds squarely stacked against it, and against the people I try to reach out to. Trying to do just 0.1% of what the WWII underground press was about.

A few days ago, I wrote in About That Interview:

The FBI claims they are certain the hackers are North Korean, but they have provided no proof of that claim. We have to trust them on their beautiful blue eyes. I think if anything defines 2014 for me, it’s the advent of incessant claims for which no proof – apparently – needs to be provided. Everything related to Ukraine over the past year carries that trait. The year of ‘beautiful blue eyes’, in other words. Never no proof, you just have to believe what your government says.

And that truly defines 2014 for me. A level of propaganda I don’t recognize, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. 2014 has for me been the year of utter nonsense. To wit, it just finished in fine form with a 5% US GDP growth number, just to name one example. Really, guys? 5%? Really? With all the numbers presented lately, the negative Thanksgiving sales data – minus 11% from what I remember -, the so-so at best Christmas store numbers to date, shrinking durable goods in November and all? Plus 5%?

It really doesn’t matter what I say, does it? You have enough people believing ridiculous numbers like that to make it worth your while. After all, that’s all that counts. It’s a democracy, isn’t it? If a majority believes something, it becomes true. If you can get more than 50% of people to believe whatever you say, that’s case closed.

With well over 90 million working age Americans counted as being out of the labor force, and with 43 million on food stamps, you can still present a 5% GDP growth number, if only you can get a sufficiently large number of people to ‘believe’. And you do, I’ll give you that. As far as the media goes, we have achieved the change we can believe in. We may not have that change, but we sure do believe we have, don’t we? And isn’t that what counts? Are congratulations in order?

Well, not where I’m at, they’re not. I should do a shout out to the likes of Zero Hedge, Yves Smith, David Stockman, Wolf Richter, Mish, Steve Keen, Jim Kunstler, and so many others, we’re a solid crowd by now even if we’re neglected, and please don’t feel left out if you’re not in that list, I know who you are. The problem is, we’re all completely neglected by the mass media, even though there are a ton of very sharp minds in this ‘finance blogosphere’. And perhaps we should make it a point to break through that ridiculous black-out in 2015.

2014, in my eyes, has been the year of propaganda outdoing even its own very purpose, and succeeding too. We are supposed to be living in a time of the best educated people in the history of mankind, and everyone thinks (s)he’s mighty smart, but precious few have even an inkling of a clue of what transpires in the world they live in. Talk about a lost generation. Or two.

We really need to question the value of higher education, if all we get for it is a generation of people so easily duped by utter blubber. What do they teach people at our universities these days? Certainly not to think for themselves, that much is clear. And then what is the use? Why spend all that time raising an entire generation of highly educated pawns, sheep and robots? I can think of some people liking that, but for society as a whole, it’s devastating if that’s all higher education is.

And if you would like to raise doubts here, the very existence of finance blogosphere I mentioned before is proof that we indeed have raised a generation of sheep. If we had functioning media, there’d be no need for that blogosphere. We are the people who keep on pointing out where the mass media fail, let alone the politicians, simply by being there and being supported to the extent we are by the few people who escape the sheep mentality.

But that’s not nearly enough. Journalists, reporters, whatever they call themselves, working for Bloomberg, Reuters, CNBC etc. should at the very least quote Zero Hedge on a daily basis, and Mish, and Steve, and Yves, and perhaps even me – though it’s fine if they continue to ignore me, as long as they give the rest their rightful place.

There are many people in the blogosphere who are many times smarter than the people who write for the mass media, and that’s a very simple and hardly disputable fact that needs to be recognized. When you read something in your paper or at your online news provider, it should be second nature to ask yourself: but what would Tyler Durden say, or the Automatic Earth, or Naked Capitalism, or David Stockman?

But we’re nowhere near that, are we? We’ve been fooled with economic stats for years, not just in the US, not even just in the west, but all over, they all grabbed on to the potential of providing people with numbers that have little to do with reality, but that simply feel good. Or even just look good.

Still, boy, have we been, and are we being, fooled. Then again, most of you wouldn’t know, would you? We people tend to discount the future, to see today as more important than tomorrow, and in the same manner we find our children’s future much less important than our own. Because that feels good too. If we are comfy right now, screw them. Not that we’d ever put it into those terms.

But you know, that’s really all old hack by now. 2014 brought us a whole other class of nonsense. And we swallowed it all hook line and entire sinker.

2014 gave us Ukraine. And you just try and find anyone today who doesn’t think Vladimir Putin is and was the evil genius mind behind the whole thing, including the 4500+ people who died there over the past 10 months. Why is it so hard to anyone who doubts that narrative? Because our media told us Putin is the bogeyman. And ‘we’ never asked for any proof. That is, except for those of us in that same blogosphere...
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