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The Real Reason Israel Is Attacking Gaza’s Hospitals

Corporate media fail to report that Israel’s war on hospitals has nothing to do with Hamas.

LIFE, THE UNIVERSE, AND MOST THINGS, Arun Gupta, November 20, 2023 

Israeli propaganda is bad, really bad, comically bad

There are fake stories about Hamas beheading babies, and even beheading a fetus. There are outlandish claims of “mass rape so brutal that they broke their victims’ pelvis – women, grandmothers, children.” 

There is a fake Al Qaeda manual found on a dead Hamas fighter emblazoned with “Al Qaeda” in English on its cover. There’s a pristine copy of Hitler’s Mein Kampf found in a child’s room of a Hamas “terrorism hub.”

There’s the Israeli video of a fake nurse at al-Shifa Hospital ranting about Hamas stealing morphine and fuel that was seen more than 12 million times before being deleted. There’s Israeli footage of a Hamas tunnel under a hospital that turned out to be a Swedish Cold War-era bunker

There’s video of IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari, the face of Israeli propaganda, touring a fake Hamas bunker where he said hostages were imprisoned under a children’s hospital. In the video Hagari points to a schedule in Arabic posted to a wall where “every terrorist writes his name” to take turns guarding hostages. In reality, the paper was a shift timetable with dates and days and no names.

As laughably bad as the propaganda is, it gets worse. After besieging hospitals in North Gaza for a week, Israel says it has proof that the largest hospital, al-Shifa, was a Hamas command center. Its evidence? An IDF video showing “about 10 guns.” 

That’s it  — 10 guns, some ammo, vests, uniforms. That’s all the “evidence” the Israelis could muster in a sprawling 10-acre complex with six separate hospitals and medical facilities. Shifa is so large that in October, 50,000 Gazans were sheltering there from relentless Israeli bombing. 

That simple fact, 117,000 displaced Gazans had taken refuge at Shifa and other hospitals in North Gaza, points to the real story. On Oct. 13 Israel issued orders for hospitals in North Gaza to evacuate, which the World Health Organization called a “death sentence” for thousands of injured and sick patients. Amnesty International said the orders amounted to “forced evacuation” and would violate international humanitarian law. 

On Oct. 14, the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights warned that “in the name of self-defense, Israel is seeking to justify what would amount to ethnic cleansing.”

Read More: LIFE, THE UNIVERSE, AND MOST THINGS,

Local Newsrooms strained by budget-slashing financial firms

(CBS) JON WERTHEIM, February 27, 2022

Newspaper industry in state of decline: not exactly a stop-the-presses headline. For two decades now — owing largely to the loss of advertising revenue to Facebook and Google — fewer and fewer Americans get their news, comics and sports from all those gazettes and tribunes and journals. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. There’s an additional threat: hedge funds and other financial firms that now own nearly a third of the daily papers in America. And these new owners are often committed not to headlines and deadlines, but to bottom lines. One fund in particular has been called by some in the industry a “vulture,” bleeding newspapers dry. It all prompts the question: as local newsrooms and local news coverage shrivel up, to what extent does democracy shrink with it?

Behind the marching band and baton twirlers, at the annual 4th of July parade in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, you’ll find a one-man band: reporter Evan Brandt, snapping photos, taking notes, and gathering quotes.

For the last 24 years, he’s chronicled this community of 23,000 for the local newspaper, the Mercury, which at one time had dozens of reporters. Now, Brandt is literally the last reporter standing in Pottstown.

Jon Wertheim: When a community like this loses their local reporters. What else are they losing?

Evan Brandt: It reminds us all about shared experiences. You know who died, you know who graduated from high school. You know whose kid had a great game. You know those are all important elements about holding people together.

Jon Wertheim: You’re describing the soul of a community?  

Evan Brandt: Sure.

Brandt took us to the old headquarters of the Mercury. Punching above its weight, the Mercury won a Pulitzer Prize in 1979 and another in 1990. Now, it looks like this.

Source: CBS News

Corporate Media Is The Misinformation Problem

(DAILY POSTER) David Sarota, February 9, 2022

“Misinformation” is all the rage these days — it’s the topic du jour. Polls suggest we all agree that it’s a problem, and lately liberals appear most mad at it — but seemingly only at certain kinds of misinformation that originate outside the corporate media sphere.

Notably, the ire is rarely directed at a corporate media machine that systematically rewards and praises the purveyors of misleading propaganda, and continues to flood the country with information sewage.

This selective outrage is a huge problem — because the only way to systematically combat misinformation is to construct a Fourth Estate that develops some trust with the audience. That trust will never be rebuilt if liberals pretend to hate misinformation while they patronize a media establishment that fortifies the pathologies that originally created a credibility crisis.

Consider the past week of media news, while the Joe Rogan controversy dominated headlines:

  • NBC News hired Stephen Hayes, one of the key architects of Iraq War misinformation, to serve as a political analyst across all of its properties amid a media drumbeat for a war with Russia. Despite Hayes publishing the seminal book amplifying one of the most egregious lies of the Iraq debacle, NBC’s Chuck Todd lauded him as “a principled reporter and analyst who always puts truth and facts above emotion and sentiment.” Meanwhile, CNN just hired another Iraq War proponent, right-wing propagandist Jonah Goldberg.
  • Speaking of CNN, its employees effusively praised their network’s recently deposed president, Jeff Zucker, even after Zucker oversaw the lionization of Andrew Cuomo while the New York governor was shielding his health care industry donors from legal consequences amid a massacre of nursing home residents. Rolling Stone reported that one source said Zucker was personally involved in engineering the Cuomo promotion — and even helped write talking points for the governor.
  • Corporate media began touting a comeback for Cuomo and his brother, Chris, with no mention of the nursing home catastrophe, as if nothing bad happened over the last two years.
  • An MSNBC-platformed Washington newsletter blasted out propaganda touting Kroger’s “great pay and benefits” — even as thousands of its employees are struggling to afford basic necessities, and even as the grocery chain bankrolls lobbying groups working to kill union rights legislation.
  • The New York Times told its readers that President Joe Biden’s “big climate goals depend on Congress” — somehow not mentioning that they also depend on Biden, who has been using his executive authority to expand drilling at a faster pace than President Donald Trump.
  • Less than two years after the New York Times told its readers that 100,000 pandemic deaths under Trump was “incalculable,” the newspaper has now decided that 900,000 deaths is now a ho-hum story that Americans are bored with. “Though deaths are still mounting, the threat from the virus is moving, for now, farther into the background of daily life for many Americans,” the paper wrote.
  • MSNBC aired an interview with a New York Times columnist blaming inflation on workers getting COVID relief money, rather than on corporations using their monopoly power to fleece consumers with higher prices that then fund giant executive pay packages and shareholder dividends.

Obviously, multiple wrongs don’t make a right. Rogan platforming public health nonsenseand environmental misinformation — and using racial slurs — is not somehow absolved by corporate media concurrently immersing the world in an ocean of self-serving bullshit. His behavior is bad on its own merits. Full stop.

Source: Daily Poster

A Court Ruled Rachel Maddow’s Viewers Know She Offers Exaggeration and Opinion, Not Facts – Glenn Greenwald

(GLENN GREENWALD) June 22, 2021

MSNBC’s top-rated host Rachel Maddow devoted a segment in 2019 to accusing the right-wing cable outlet One America News (OAN) of being a paid propaganda outlet for the Kremlin. Discussing a Daily Beast article which noted that one OAN reporter was a “Russian national” who was simultaneously writing copy for the Russian-owned outlet Sputnik on a freelance contract, Maddow escalated the allegation greatly into a broad claim about OAN’s real identity and purpose: “in this case,” she announced, “the most obsequiously pro-Trump right wing news outlet in America really literally is paid Russian propaganda.”

In response, OAN sued Maddow, MSNBC, and its parent corporation Comcast, Inc. for defamation, alleging that it was demonstrably false that the network, in Maddow’s words, “literally is paid Russian propaganda.” In an oddly overlooked ruling, an Obama-appointed federal judge, Cynthia Bashant, dismissed the lawsuiton the ground that even Maddow’s own audience understands that her show consists of exaggeration, hyperbole, and pure opinion, and therefore would not assume that such outlandish accusations are factually true even when she uses the language of certainty and truth when presenting them (“literally is paid Russian propaganda”).

Source: https://greenwald.substack.com/p/a-court-ruled-rachel-maddows-viewers?token=eyJ1c2VyX2lkIjo4OTQyNTc0LCJwb3N0X2lkIjozNzg4OTIwNCwiXyI6ImJueEgyIiwiaWF0IjoxNjI0NDIzNTY3LCJleHAiOjE2MjQ0MjcxNjcsImlzcyI6InB1Yi0xMjg2NjIiLCJzdWIiOiJwb3N0LXJlYWN0aW9uIn0.6nf6RYGjaUIZVBBTF3YDkGr9-akllulk0n4NpbpDW_E

American carnage: how conservative media amplify Trump’s theme of chaos

(THE GUARDIAN) , July 24, 2020

Mayors across the United States have rejected Donald Trump’s election-season depiction of their cities as awash in violence, and media coverage of peaceful protests in Portland and elsewhere has belied the president’s claims of widespread “anarchy”.

But for Americans who mainly consume conservative media, Trump’s latest evocation of an “American carnage”, with “a shocking explosion of shootings, killings, murders and heinous crimes of violence” is as plain as the news flashing across the screen.

Portland clampdown: why are federal agents there and what are they doing?

The stars of conservative cable TV programs and the biggest conservative news sites and social media accounts have echoed and amplified Trump since he declared himself “your president of law and order” in an appearance outside the White House in early June.

Over the last week, however, alarm over the security of America’s cities has intensified on the conservative airways.

“These vicious, violent, hate-filled, anti-American protesters are also attacking federal buildings,” Rush Limbaugh said on his radio show last week. “How many stores and parks and statues and public buildings have been destroyed recently by rioters?” the Fox News host Tucker Carlson asked last month. “Reign of street terrorists”, the conservative radio host Mark Levin tweeted with a story about the removal and defacement of statues and monuments.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jul/24/donald-trump-conservative-media-protests-anarchy

Matt Taibbi: Media Stupidity on Sanders, Trump Is Uniting Left, Right

(ROLLING STONE) , January 19, 2019

Just a few elections ago, the national press policed the boundaries of both Democrat and Republican politics. You couldn’t sniff either party’s nomination without media assent.

After more high-profile crackups, including a few over the weekend, the press might be months from being pushed all the way to the outside of a general election campaign. Having declared war on Donald Trump and his voters years ago, news outlets are committing to a similar pile-on of Bernie Sanders.

Maybe this will end as an inspirational unity story, like Independence Day, when an invasion of gross aliens brought America together. At present, it just seems short-sighted.

The low point came Saturday, when Joy Reid on MSNBC’s AM Joy show had on a “body language expert” named Janine Driver to declare Sanders a liar, because his posture reminds her of a turtle. There’s not much to say about this except it’s the same combo of junk forensics and yellow journalism that Bill O’Reilly made infamous.

Source: Rolling Stone

How Can News Better Serve You? Join The Open Newsroom

(THE CITY) , , June 28, 2019

THE CITY is launching a year-long project with the Brooklyn Public Library called The Open Newsroom. Our two organizations will convene 24 neighborhood meetings at six library branches over the next year to better understand how information finds its way to and through a community — and to explore how to make local news more collaborative.

We are teaming with the Brooklyn Public Library because libraries and newsrooms are natural partners. We both aim to be hubs of information, conversation and community. And we both love New York.

THE CITY, the Brooklyn Public Library and the community members who join us will explore how to bring these three points together and use what we all learn to create a different model for sharing and participating in local news and information.

Sure, this sounds like a tall order. That’s why we’re holding so many meetings.

We will visit the same six libraries four times each, inviting the same folks back each time (and hopefully they’ll bring others). The meetings are open (and free) to everyone, of course.

The six libraries include: Brighton Beach, Flatbush, Marcy in Bedford-Stuyvesant, New Lots in East New York, New Utrecht in Bensonhurst and Red Hook.

In the first set of events, we will get to know each other. We want to understand what’s important to you, and how you get and share information. Some of the things we’ll ask:

• Whose information do you trust more: TV or your best friend?

• Is Facebook your only news feed? Let’s talk about that.

• Does the only news you need come from the weather report? (Thank you Simon and Garfunkel for that line.)

And while these questions might seem a little flip, we think they’ll help us figure out how we can improve the quality and quantity of information your community receives.

Source: https://thecity.nyc/2019/06/how-can-news-better-serve-you-join-the-open-newsroom.html?utm_campaign=mailchimp&utm_source=daily&utm_medium=newsletter

Interview Tucker Carlson Doesn’t Want You To See Shows ‘How Angry Elites Get’ When Their Corruption Is Challenged

(COMMON DREAMS) Julia Conley, February 20, 2019

Weeks after footage of him slamming the rich at the World Economic Summit at Davos became one of the most watched online videos of the past year, Dutch historian Rutger Bregman joined Tucker Carlson for a discussion on the subject, only to have the right-wing Fox News host lose his cool in epic fashion when called out for being a “millionaire who works for billionaires,” yelled obscenities at his guest, and pulled the plug on the interview.

Carlson evidently expected a friendly discussion of Bregman’s viral Davos appearance—where the historian had told attendees, “Come on, we’ve got to be talking about taxes…All the rest is bullshit in my opinion.”—but it did not go as planned.

Instead, Carlson became incensed when the historian repeated his “tax the rich” message and began yelling at Bregman. While Carlson and Fox killed the interview, Bregman explained that he decided to share the footage “because I think we should keep talking about the corrupting influence of money in politics. It also shows how angry elites can get if you do that.”

Source: Common Dreams

Censoring Commentary on War Crimes and Mass Starvation Is No Joke

(COMMON DREAMS) Amy Goodman, Denis Moynihan, January 4, 2019 — Netflix’s decision to censor an episode of comedian Hasan Minhaj’s series, blocking access to it within Saudi Arabia, has implications that ripple far beyond the borders of the Saudi dictatorship. “Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj” is a comedy series produced by Netflix, featuring the young, Muslim-American comedian’s commentary on news and current affairs. Among the topics covered in the show’s first season this past fall were affirmative action, the corporate giant Amazon, oil, immigration enforcement and, in the episode released on Oct. 28, Saudi Arabia.

The timing of the segment placed it squarely in the midst of the developing scandal around the murder and dismemberment of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. Days before the segment came out, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, speaking at an investment conference in Riyadh that was widely boycotted because of his perceived connection to the brutal murder, said it was a “heinous crime that cannot be justified.” The next day, Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor admitted the killing was premeditated. This only intensified international pressure on Saudi Arabia and Mohammed bin Salman, with bipartisan calls in the U.S. Congress to halt arms sales to the kingdom. The CIA reportedly confirmed that Mohammed bin Salman personally ordered the killing.

The U.S. State Department, in its 2017 annual report on human-rights practices in Saudi Arabia, specifically noted that Khashoggi went into “self-exile” from his home country because “in 2016 authorities purportedly banned him from writing, appearing on television, and attending conferences as the result of remarks he made that were interpreted as criticizing the president of the United States,” referring to President Donald Trump.

Throughout the censored episode, Minhaj implicated Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, often referred to as “MBS,” and noted the close relationship MBS has with the Trump family, especially with Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner. Minhaj said: “MBS was shocked by all of the anger over the killing of one journalist. According to The Wall Street Journal, on a phone call with Jared Kushner, MBS asked, ‘Why the outrage?’ And frankly, MBS’s confusion is completely understandable. He has been getting away with autocratic [bleep] like this for years with almost no blowback from the international community.”

via Censoring Commentary on War Crimes and Mass Starvation Is No Joke.

Veteran NBC Reporter Rips Pro-War Posture of Corporate Media in Scathing Resignation Letter

(COMMON DREAMS) Jessica Corbett, January 4, 2019 — In a biting resignation letter published in full by CNN on Wednesday, longtime NBC News reporter, commentator, and military analyst William “Bill” Arkin blasted the corporate media network for embracing U.S. “national security leaders and generals” while “ignoring the empirical truth of what they have wrought: There is not one county in the Middle East that is safer today than it was 18 years ago. Indeed the world becomes ever more polarized and dangerous.”

“I find it disheartening that we do not report the failures of the generals and national security leaders. I find it shocking that we essentially condone continued American bumbling in the Middle East and now Africa through our ho-hum reporting.”
—William Arkin, former NBC News commentator

Reflecting on his past couple of decades working with the networkin addition to writing books and columns for major newspapers and serving as as military adviser to human rights and environmental groups—Arkin laments: “My expertise, though seeming to be all the more central to the challenges and dangers we face, also seems to be less valued at the moment. And I find myself completely out of [sync] with the network, being neither a day-to-day reporter nor interested in the Trump circus.”

Noting in his 2,228-word memo that “the world and the state of journalism [are] in tandem crisis,” Arkin delivers a scathing critique of how NBC has responded to the foreign policy of President Donald Trump—whom he calls “an ignorant and incompetent impostor”—asserting that “in many ways NBC just began emulating the national security state itself—busy and profitable. No wars won but the ball is kept in play.”

However, Arkin also delivers a broader condemnation of the network’s coverage of the so-called War on Terror in the nearly 18 years since 9/11, and how it has helped produce a scenario in which “perpetual war has become accepted as a given in our lives.

via Veteran NBC Reporter Rips Pro-War Posture of Corporate Media in Scathing Resignation Letter.