Fake Newz

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on December 1, 2016

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Fake News is news that has been made up and is completely untrue.  It is a waste of everybody's time, made worse by the mindless idiots on Facebook and Twitter, who spread it without thinking.

So some professor from a US university posted a list of "Fake News" websites on Facebook, but those on the list were mostly just anti-establishment websites, giving alternative viewpoints, not fake news. Prominent among the mistakes was RT , (formerly Russia Today), which is financed by the Russian State, and a genuine news site.  RT is comparable to the British BBC and Australian ABC news outlets, except that the latter wouldn't say "Boo" to their Prime Ministers, let alone the US President or Rupert Murdoch. 

RT.com

It has to be admitted that RT likes to publish all the things that the US Government would be embarrassed about, but that is what the US media ought to be doing as part of their job too, but don't.  RT also publishes what President Putin and Foreign Minister Lavrov are saying about world affairs, including the context and background of their statements, which is important to know if you want to express an informed opinion on world affairs.

Thus if you want to get a balanced outlook on current events, and only have time for 2 sites, then CNN and RT should be your first two choices.  They won't be the same, obviously, because they represent the two sides of the argument.

So naturally some of the genuine, but anti-establishment news sites also the on the list, objected.  The financial news site ZeroHedge was one of them.  They follow the Austrian School viewpoint on finance, as opposed to the Keynesian viewpoint, and are hence always anti-Federal Reserve, and pro-"a huge economic collapse is coming"and pro-Gold Standard. You don't have to be an Austrian economist to read ZeroHedge (I'm not one) because they do manage to dig up amazing facts and charts from official sources.  ZH heaped scorn and derision on the list, which presumably caused a twitter-storm amongst the shouting classes.

And thus a new meme was born – "Fake News" is no longer fake news, but anything that doesn't follow the US establishment line.

The list was quickly taken up by the Washington Post, that cheer-leader for the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria.  Remember the WMDs in Iraq, which were ever found ?  Who grilled Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Powell over that big lie, either before or after the invasion? – not WaPo, that's for sure.

PropOrNot

WaPo cites the origin of the list as the website called propornot.com, which has been hosted by GoDaddy since 21 August, and uses free BlogSpot blogging software, and doesn't give the names of any of the people involved.  You will find this on their Home Page:
 

Quote

http://www.propornot.com/p/home.html
We call on Congressional leadership, and the Obama administration, to:

    Immediately begin investigations to determine whether any U.S. government action or inaction has allowed Russia to manipulate the US domestic political process, and interfere in the 2016 election, through online propaganda.

    Immediately begin investigations to determine whether, by action or inaction, the American public has been deprived of related information that they need to vote in an informed manner.

    Work with our European allies to disconnect Russia from the SWIFT financial transaction system, effective immediately and lasting for at least one year, as an appropriate response to Russian manipulation of the election.

 


The first two points are silly, but understandable – "begin investigations" into blah blah blah, OK.  But the third is an immediate punishment for a guilty Russia.  Huh?  Aren't we going to await the outcome of the investigation before proceeding to punishment?  You know, "Innocent until proven guilty" and all that?  That's a bit like President Obama saying Osama bin Laden got "justice", when in fact he was simply assassinated and his body disappeared, which WaPO reported on but didn't question.

SWIFT

If you haven't heard of it before, SWIFT is an internet system which allows banks in different countries to exchange the necessary paperwork before and after the actual transfer of big sums of money, over secure channels.  The threat of being excluded from SWIFT, and hence being internationally isolated, is a very big stick indeed, and would likely lead to the instant start of WW3. 

At least, it would have if the Russians hadn't already written and implemented their own version of SWIFT, known as RosSwift.  It has been up and running for over a year, catering for Russian-to-Russian bank transactions, hence relieving Russia from having to worry about having their national inter-bank transactions being monitored by the US.  All it would take for it to become internationally operational would be the issuing of log-in credentials for RosSwift to foreign banks.  Presumably the Russians have decided, for now, not to split the world into 2 competing financial blocs, but they ready for it.

A moment's consideration should be enough for you to realise that the rest of the BRICS group, China, India, Brazil and South Africa would immediately join RosSwift, as would the CSO countries, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan, and other assorted hangers on like Syria, Iran, Philippines, Cuba, Venezuela – well over half the world's population.  The US couldn't sanction them all, so it would have to live with it.

Then you've got the problem of how the EU countries and Turkey are going to pay for their Russian oil and gas imports, unless they join RosSwift too.  And very soon you will see that cutting Russia off from SWIFT would be a HUGE mistake with endless blowback for the US, and that PropOrNot must be a complete bunch of idiots.

How do PropOrNot identify "Russian propaganda"?

There is a long list of ways that PropOrNot says it can tell if a website is a Russian propaganda site.  This one is quite instructive:
 

Quote

http://www.propornot.com/2016/10/introducing-propornot-be-aware-of-and.html

16. Appear to be effectively influencing public opinion in significant and very problematic ways, by promoting:
    Conspiracy theories about and protests against US military exercises,
    Isolationism/anti-interventionism generally,
    Support for policies like Brexit, and the breakup of the EU and Eurozone,
    Opposition to Ukrainian resistance to Russia and Syrian resistance to Assad,
    Support for the anti-vax, anti-Zika spraying, anti-GMO, 9/11-”truther”, gold-standard, and other related movements

 

   
Yes, if you believe in a peaceful non-interventionist US foreign policy, or supported Brexit like a majority of British voters did, or support a return to the gold standard, or are against Genetically Modified Organisms, you are a Russian propagandist !

The question is …

Getting back to WaPo, why would a news organisation with such an impeccable reputation for good journalism, choose to pick up this story from an anonymous bunch of idiots with a $10 web-site?  Perhaps because they are not a bunch of idiots at all, but a secretive cabal of war-crazed neo-cons, and WaPo have been given the establishment nod of approval to promote them. 

The implications of all this is that if a site regularly publishes articles which question US policy on its interventionist stance towards countries it doesn't like, or on going back to the gold standard, or on Brexit and the break-up of the EU, (all of which are common themes here on Doomstead Diner), then it could be branded a Russian propaganda outlet and some kind of sanctions applied against it.  This could involve lowering its ranking or removing it altogether from Google search results, and Facebook/Twitter news feed rankings, to outright closure.  Facebook has already announced that it is looking at modifying its news filters to try harder to eliminate fake news.

This is a very serious development for all people with alternative views to the US establishment.

The List

And finally, here is the list.  How many of these sites do you want to hear from as part of your political discussion?

fake-newz

3 Responses to Fake Newz

  • K Dog says:

    One man's fake news is another man's truth and news of this makes the gods laugh.

  • Disaffected says:

    In the new world order, there is no "fake news," there is only "news," which may or may not be "news worthy."

    In "plain truth," there is no "news," only information, of whatever timeframe.

    Just as back in grade school, all "news" is first alleged, and then only later "confirmed," often questionably so. In the real world in which we live however, we more often than not find the news "reporters" in bed (figuratively or otherwise) with the news makers, for reasons that should seem obvious (Hint: follow the money). And thus the "news" gradually becomes nothing more than a regurgitation of the news makers' point of view, meant only to reinforce their point of view 24/7.

    Amplify by hundreds/thousands of stories daily, and you see what we have today.

  • Pingback: Controlling the Collapse Argument With the Fakery of “Fake News” | Doomstead Diner

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