Posts Tagged ‘news’

Islamophobia Machine Uncovered

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

A $40M, 10 year campaign designed to promote fear of Islam and Muslims – coordinated by interconnected foundations, think tanks, pundits, and bloggers – has been uncovered by the Center for American Progress (CAP).

The 140-page CAP report, “Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America,” identifies seven foundations that have quietly provided the multi-million dollar funding needed to spearhead the nationwide effort from 2001 to 2009.

The anti-Islam propaganda party includes what the report calls “misinformation experts” who are often tapped by television news networks and right-wing radio talk shows to comment on Islam and the threat it allegedly poses to U.S. national security.

“Together, this core group of deeply intertwined individuals and organizations manufacture and exaggerate threats of ‘creeping Sharia’, Islamic domination of the West, and purported obligatory calls to violence against all non-Muslims by the Quran,” according to the report.

Once these ‘experts’ get their hate speech out there, it gets reverberated in the “Islamophobia echo chamber” consisting of leaders of the Christian Right, Republican politicians, and FOX news.

Judging by recent polls, the Muslim bashing network has proved remarkably successful, according to the report which cited a 2010 Washington Post poll that shows 49 percent of U.S. citizens held an unfavorable view of Islam, up ten percent since 2002.

So what’s the lesson here? Well, for one, it demonstrates how, for a modest sum and with a coordinated effort, one can significantly alter public opinion and media messaging.

More importantly, this report shows us the importance of getting our information from a wide range of sources. If we trust just one source for all our news, we could very easily fall victim to brainwashing.

But, if we take the time to diversify our news gathering – relying on Internet news, foreign sources, and a multitude of ideological perspectives – we will be immunizing ourselves against the power of special interests, ensuring that we have the most accurate to perception of reality.

News Corp Scandal – Why We Need Transparency

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

(Rupert haz a sad.)

The captivating News of the World hacking scandal – the one that is causing more heads to roll by the hour – shows us exactly why we need transparency throughout the system. Inherent corruption can only survive when shrouded in secrecy and silence, and when you expose it to the world, the injustice ends.

The entire global system could use an infusion of transparency, not just for governments, but for all giant, powerful institutions: multinational corporations, religious institutions, and major industries (especially the Military Industrial Complex).

If all of these organizations had their darkest secrets revealed to the world, there would be an uproar, and heads would literally roll. Fortunately for our world’s tyrants and oligarchs, the transition to a transparent system will likely stay as it has been – a gradual process.

But with the wheels already in motion, and groups like Wikileaks and Lulzsec leading the way, we’re heading towards a future where the whole world has been opened up.

This will likely mean a more just civilization for all humans to enjoy. Hooray!

Internet Outage: 2.5 days in

Saturday, May 7th, 2011

Oh, man. How did we ever get along before the Internet?

I’ve resorted to watching some kind of electronic picture & sound box which predominantly shows advertisements interspersed with trace amounts of intelligible content.

And to stay apprised of world events, would you believe I was reading some news site’s hard copy version… on paper? Take that, old growth forest! Too bad the updates were far from instant, not to mention how the warped perspective from the evident bias made it hard to get a clear picture of what’s really going on out there.

At least the end is in sight. The part I need is just a couple hours drive away. Now if only I could do a search for the number to a nearby courier. Ugh!

Change the Media, Change the World

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

If you are in or around the Boston area, be sure to check out the National Conference for Media Reform’s 2011. Registration closes this Friday, for what is sure to be a stimulating event. Prominent speakers include Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman, House Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Craiglists’ Craig Newmark.

An informed public is a crucial part of a functioning democracy. The mainstream media, as the predominant source for all of our new information, should be considered a vital resource for our well-being, and the integrity of this resource needs to be ensured.

Movement’s like those of the NCMR face an uphill battle against powerful corporations and influential lobbyists. But as awareness of the importance of a free press grows, so too will the support needed to reform the media.

Clinton is Correct to Bash US News

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

Speaking critically of her nation’s media, Hillary Clinton says it “amounts to a million commercials… and arguments between talking heads and the kind of stuff that… is not particularly informative to us.”

The Secretary of State believes news outlets in the United States lack journalistic integrity, especially when compared to the standards set by foreign media like Al Jazeera, who report “real news”.

And you know what? She’s right!

Take, for example, news that just went national exposing the US government’s secret plans to arm Mexico’s drug criminals. You’d think such a story would have made a bigger splash, but it didn’t.

Even the agency responsible for the debacle were shocked by the lack of response. An internal memo reveals a sigh of relief as the scathing story had “not sparked any follow up coverage by mainstream media and seems to have fizzled.”

Federal Agents did execute some damage control, but it seems the propaganda campaign wasn’t even needed. American mass media is so dysfunctional that an important story can easily drown in the noise, all by itself.

So the news sucks in the States. Anyone informed by alternative sources will already be aware of this.

The US people are intentionally kept in the dark, distracted and sedated. If too many of them become aware of the role their nation is playing, they’d be in an ideal position to rise against the injustice.

Fortunately, this uprising is coming even without the support of the mainstream media. Thanks to the diversity of online information, more and more of the US population is waking up to see that their nation has become a highly-militarized, corporatist state where both political parties serve the wealthy more than the electorate.

Americans, just like people from all around the world, are joining in the movement towards a more just global civilization. Even if the revolution isn’t televised, don’t worry. It will most certainly be tweeted.

Wikileaks to Take on Fox News and Murdoch

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Wikileaks’ champion Julian Assange let slip another of his future targets: News Corp. owner Rupert Murdoch and his station Fox News. In an interview with John Pilger, Assange claimed he has some dirt on Murdoch, which will be held as insurance for the time being.

Given how Assange faces possible Gitmo detention or execution, it’s hard to blame him for wanting to secure his own assets. However, Assange willingly took up this cause, and chose to be a leader in the fight for transparency in government. He knew the risks involved.

But what about all of the whistle-blowers who risked severe penalties, trusting in Wikileaks to release their documents. They are still waiting for justice and a blow against corruption, yet Assange just sits on his stockpile of secrets.

Is Assange just loving the attention and relishing his celebrity status? Probably. The fact that he sought to protect his own financial interests by threatening to sue The Guardian if they released ‘his’ cables shows what Assange thinks of freedom of information when he’s on the short end of it.

But let’s not come down too hard on Assange. He is still a hero, having spearheaded a pivotal moment in humankind’s history. Wikileaks and Cablegate have defined the moment when the balance of power truly began to shift away from the corrupt oligarchies of ole’ and into the hands of the world’s people.

In time, other leaks will come out, either from Wikileaks or one of their spin-offs, or maybe from a publicly shared torrent containing all the secrets. No matter the truth comes out, it will no doubt rattle the establishment.

It’s just hard sometimes to be patient anticipating the change transparency will bring.

News Media = Al Qaeda

Monday, August 21st, 2006

A terrorist is someone who uses violence or the threat of violence against the public to further their own agenda. When one thinks of a terrorist, it is easy to picture a radical ideologue making a martyr of themselves in a crowded place, which creates an immediate increase in terror due to the violence caused by blowing one’s self up.

However, the lasting effects of such terrorist acts – a heightened state of fear in the minds of the population- is the purpose of terrorism. Instilling a lasting fear is what they do… and these effects are just as significant as the actual act of taking innocent lives, perhaps even more so to those whose lives are not touched directly by the people who are killed.

When a politician uses references to terrorism and terrorist acts, like when they say ‘In this post-9/11 world’, they are using fear to further their own agenda. When it comes to politicians, their agenda is almost always to maintain and gain power, and they do so by scaring the population so that they give up some of theirs.

The mere threat posed by an insecure world is often enough for some people to abandon their rights and liberties, and this power can be acquired by the politicians and used for whatever they want (including policies that make the world even less secure).

Just like the terrorists, some politicians instill an lasting sense of fear into the population in order to further their own agenda.

Even worse is the corporate news media. Except for the weather, the sports, and the occasional “feel-good” piece, the news is always bad news… death, demise, debauchery. Chaos and uncertainty… except the certainty of knowing one will be getting a solid dose of FEAR.

Part of the media’s agenda is to capture the viewers attention, and the news media accomplishes this via sensationalism and fear. By inducing a heightened state of fear, the viewer will be both more inclined to tune in later, to see if the coast is clear and all is safe. But it never will be… the shadow of fear can never be cleared as long as their agenda remains the same.

Just like the terrorists, the news media instills a lasting sense of fear into the population in order to further their own agenda.

Make a note of this:

Politicians and the news media, just like terrorist organizations, use fear to further their own agendas.


Q: Why are they not being punished? Q: Why are politicians and the news media not being labeled as the terrorists that they are?

A: The same reason why many people will have trouble accepting the aforementioned statement: because we are taught (read:indoctrinated) to trust our politicians and the media.

Both politicians and the members of the media can be like any other human – selfish and greedy- and they have no real reason to have anything but the most thinly veiled pretext of concern when it comes to the population that they rely upon.

What’s worse is how politicians and the news media will even work together to compound their fear inducing tactics, with our political leaders telling us their distorted versions of the truth, and having all the news personnel, who, like mindless parrots, repeat what they are told without verifying the integrity of what they are saying.

It is up to those who see how our fears are being exploited to stand up and let our voices be heard. We need to speak out against corrupt, self-serving politicians and the fear-mongering corporate news media.

If we can gain enough support, we can start to restructure the way we receive news, so that unnecessary fear is not the norm. Once the media’s shadow of fear lifted, we can go on to reform our political system into one where peace and justice and the plight of the masses takes precedence over the interests of the elite minority.