Fake News and World Views
Good riddance 2016! I mean — what kind of year was that — honestly? There was the US election campaign that saw the massive popular support garnered by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders fail to topple the Democratic Party old guard — the Bernie or Bust brigade seemed like a vibrant, hopeful bunch, especially when contrasted with the spectacle of the rallies for Republican candidate Donald Trump. However, it was Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton who eventually went head-to-head on the Presidential Debates, in a series of bizarre encounters where it seemed as though she failed miserably to articulate anything the American people wanted to hear while he loomed over her like a prison guard and actually threatened to jail her if he won office. Bizarre stuff.
So what happened? Did the Large Hadron Collder over at CERN — all 17 miles of it, housed beneath the French /Swiss border — actually succeed in smashing us into some parallel dimension where reality has finally gone to shit? Maybe, taking the above link as a perfect example, there’s just been too much fake news playing with my head over the course of 2016? After all, we’ve consistently been warned over the past few months about the rise of ‘fake’ news sites — although if you’re anything like me, you probably gave up believing in ‘real’ news a very long time ago and might be wondering why it took so long for this better-late-than-never observation to start doing the rounds.
When it transpires that the source of these dire warnings is none other than the CIA — yes, that CIA — those good folks who brought us the Iraq Dossier, torture and rendition, black ops, MK Ultra, not to mention all those countless regime changes across the globe you can be excused for choking on your corn flakes. These fine upholders of truth and justice who have never sought to profit from war, torture, people enslavement, drug trafficking, subterfuge, or disinformation, at any time have issued a statement claiming the Russians probably hacked the US election. That this is a highly public political stance for the CIA to take is undeniable, and, given the obvious reasons a shadowy organisation such as they might tend towards more covert operations with little or no fanfare, you may, like me, be wondering why they have chosen to speak out at this point.
The word timely may actually have some meaning here. Other recent purveyors of the belated truth that our media is not to be trusted, include the good people at mainstream media (msm) organisations such as the BBC and channel 4 News who are seen here pursuing a very unsubtle, anti-Russian narrative with regard to Syria that quickly seems to degenerate into McCarthyite paranoia between reporter Paraic O’Brien picking up the mike and asserting the unproven — and apparently still uninvestigated — theory that Russian agents influenced the outcome of the US elections to favour Donald Trump through a campaign of disinformation via fake news items and targeted leaks such as the Podesta emails released by Wikileaks.
Channel 4 News’ own earlier article (shame on you, Jon Snow) about the ‘phenomenon’ informs us that all this fakery simply originated in Macedonia with a group of pro-Russian teenagers who came up with a totally genius combination of clickbait articles, social media savvy, and hunger for ad revenue, and makes me feel nostalgic for a time when there was some halfway decent investigative reporting going on at C4. Moving on swiftly to other, less mainstream sources, it seems there is now a growing list of ‘fake’ news sites that Facebook and Google are trying to proscribe, sorry, protect us from. Checking through the list, collated by an unknown and unverified source organisation calling themselves Prop (i.e., ‘propaganda’) or Not, I began to wonder when my sensibilities and reader/viewer discrimination had become so weakened and distorted I was unable to decide for myself what I should and shouldn’t be viewing/reading. Could it be that the sheer ugliness of the Trump rallies had turned my brain to complete mush or was it the frightening nature of some of the rumours about Hillary Clinton and her entourage? Why was a mainstream media that not so long ago had allowed access to news footage of a deposed, despotic leader (or victim of regime change, depending how you look a it) being publicly sodomised on camera with a knife now trying to protect my sensibilities? It made no sense. Then the pope made a very sudden appearance and said his piece which went something along the lines of, people who consume scandalous news are akin to shit-eaters who get aroused at the smearing (a bit visual for me too, that one) of politicians. Aaaah! Politicians who’ve been smeared — now it makes sense.
Over in the US, Hillary Clinton took a fair pounding from the media on all sides during her election campaign. Initially there were accusations of vote-rigging to steal the candidacy from the popular choice of Senator Bernie sanders; there were the two federal investigations into her use of a private email server; then there was the drip,drip,drip effect of the emails released by Wikileaks that posed questions about associates of Hillary Clinton and campaign manager John Podesta and apparently linked them to a Satanist/Paedophile/child-trafficking ring out of Washington DC with links to the Clinton Foundation. Meanwhile, the unthinkable happened as we woke in our parallel universe (thanks, Satanists at CERN) to fnd Donald Trump had become President Elect.
So what is really going on, and what information are the msm, the pope, the CIA, and Hillary Clinton really trying to put back into the box? Why are the Russians such baddies (again) that we have to try and sanction and maybe bomb them off the face of the earth? Could the answer to the first question be the questions that have arisen from the so-called Pizzagate theorists and forums springing up across the internet (and the answer to the second be the economy, stupid). Still, it’s probably worth a quick detour though the whole alternative media (alt. media) versus mainstream media (msm) story so far up to this point.
Alternative media sources have sprung up like proverbial mushrooms, ever since the internet made it possible for anybody with a desktop PC to broadcast a news channel from their bedroom. Some alt. media channels such as RT, Alex Jones’ Infowars, and the right-wing Breitbart News, already have audiences in their millions while others such as Democracy Now!, 21st Century Wire, Natural News, etc., have a growing following based on their coverage of events like the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) Protests, or a willingness to investigate and debunk mainstream narratives such as that of the White Helmets in Syria. Indeed, many have conjectured it was 21st Century Wire’s exposure of western collusion with terrorist groups in Syria that led to them being tagged with the ‘fake news’ label. Amy Goodwin of Democracy Now! was arrested in 2016 for trying to film events at DAPL, and it was the outcry around this that led to numbers of independent filmmakers and citizen journalists joining the protestors in attempt to document events at the Standing Rock Reservation that the governor, local police and the oil pipeline company would much rather we didn’t know about.
All in all, I’m pretty much in favour of hearing those stories that the mainstream media doesn’t want to report and I’m not alone in this. RT now has more You Tube (i.e., young) subscribers than CNN — could this be another reason for all those fake news smears? As for the Woman gives birth to alien clickbait stories — I’m pretty sure I can avoid those, or read them as I choose. So why the attempt to outlaw and the moves to demonetise particular sites? What effect will it have on the small and medium sites that utilise the audience potential of social media and attempt to make a living from it?
Channels and sites that deal with the type of material deemed offensive, such as the analysis of the leaked Podesta emails including their strange use of what seems to be code words; associations with self-proclaimed witch, Marina Abrahamovic around ‘spirit cooking’ and general investigation of the various players in this story have recently found much of their content is being demonetised by You Tube. The new rules for what is deemed advertiser friendly on YT are here, but,as the article points out, this could easily be comprehended as a form of online censorship containing a warning to be bland and inoffensive and not rock any boats by upsetting the rich and powerful people.
Censorship is definitely a concept which has been raising its head, despite all efforts by the msm to keep it below the parapet. First there was the deletion of the Pizzagate subreddit in December; meanwhile the Reddit CEO was also caught deleting comments/content he didn’t like. This then spawned the 4chan Pizzagate site which was duly banned again and migrated to Voat where it currently lives alongside the various Facebook groups whose sole purpose now seems to be to unearth countless creepy photos and videos across the internet of pseudo-satanist activity by the aforementioned rich and powerful.
One of the high (or low) points of the Pizzagate/Fake News furore was when a lone gunman entered Comet PingPong, the pizza restaurant at the centre of the DC paedophilia/child trafficking accusations and let off a shot in protest. Nobody was hurt but there was a justified outcry about the safety of staff and customers, followed by a fawning interview by ironically enough, somebody who’s on a fake news list. Oh, and Prop or Not the website the msm have decided to endorse as the arbiters of fake and real news, appear to be run by a group of Ukranian fascists somewhere in Kiev.
Honestly, you couldn’t make this stuff up!