Critical thinking, not censorship, is the solution to fake news

All this talk about fake news brings to my mind a picture of people in glass houses frantically throwing stones. The fact is that many of those complaining about fake news, especially those dominating our mainstream media, are guilty of promoting fake news – and have done it for years.

I can’t help thinking what really upsets them, is that their readership may be becoming a bit more critical and looking for other sources of news. They are trying to poison the water.

Edward Snowden’s interview from last December 13 is very relevant here. The above video is just a clip from the full video where he talks about fake news – why it’s happening and what to do about it. I really like his conclusions:

“The problem of fake news isn’t solved by hoping for a referee but rather because we as participants, we as citizens, we as users of these services help each other. The answer to bad speech is not censorship. The answer to bad speech is more speech. We have to exercise and spread the idea that critical thinking matters now more than ever, given the fact that lies seem to be getting very popular.”

This really is a time when we have to oppose attempts to limit our access to information. We must not allow the political and media elite to tell us what we can and cannot read and view. We must not allow them to tell us that some news sources ar “out of bounds.” We must not allow them to put blinkers on us.

Alternative media only part of the answer

Sure, accessing alternative new sources is not the full answer – it is only part of the answer. All news sources have a bias, an agenda. For the unthinking person, the solution might be to choose the news source which confirms their own bias or agenda. But that is really unthinking – and it certainly is not a defense against fake news. Quite the opposite. The unthinking acceptance of fake news only encourages it.

No, the answer is to resort to critical thinking. By recognising that all sources may be guilty of fake news – and all news sources have a bias and agenda – we can start thinking for ourselves. We develop the skills of listening and viewing these sources critically. Balancing the information from one source against another. Thinking about the credibility of news stories and the sources they rely on. Recognising bias and false news when we come across it.

Moving towards censorship?

Unfortunately, the political and media elite are working hard to discredit alternative news sources. And their attempts are determined, serious and occurring at a high level. It is hard to envisage truly democratic countries accepting the sort of censorship this seems to be promoting. But have a read of Putin’s Useful Idiots: Britain’s Left, Right and Russia.” Produced by the right-wing Henry Jackson Society this report actually advocates a range of extreme measures, including legislation, controlling the media appearances of politicians and the deliberate intensive undermining of the credibility of “non-approve” news media.

I have seen local journalists actually advocating measures as if they are lifted unchanged from this document – so much for a professional approach to their occupation. And this approach is inherent in the recently adopted resolution of the European parliament on the media and “anti EU-propaganda.”

It is hard to see how such censorship could even be effective in the age of the internet. But the incessant propaganda about false news and attempts to discredit alternative news sources – not for the news they carry but just because they are alternative – is encouraging forms of self-censoring for many individuals. People are being encouraged to reject information because it is from an alternative new source, and not because of the information itself. They are being encouraged into wearing blinkers.

Avoiding self-censorship

A simple exercise. How many time do you see a comment or piece of information on social media rejected out of hand because it was reported on RT, or another alternative news source? Then compare that with the number of times you have seen similar rejections because the report was carried by CNN, Al Jazeera, BBC, etc. Yet all those news media are just as capable of carrying false news as each other. One has only to have followed the US Presidential elections or the Syrian war to recognise that.

Full video

The full interview of Edwards Snowden by Twitter’s  Jack Dorsey and Snowden’s answers to Twitter questions is well worth watching. He is a very intelligent man and should not be ignored.

Here is the full video.

Conclusion

Again it is very much a matter of “reader beware.” We have to stop trusting news sources just because they are “mainstream”.”official,” or “approved.” We have to resist the pressure for self-censorship and the wearing of blinkers that the current political and media elite are promoting.

We should be unafraid and should take advantage of all the sources available to us in this age of the internet.

And, above all, we have to develop and protect our critical thinking skills so that we can use this media – mainstream and alternative – wisely.

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35 responses to “Critical thinking, not censorship, is the solution to fake news

  1. Please explain to your audience what would happen to Edward Snowden if he openly criticized the Russian Federation, in exactly the same way that he criticizes the United States, living in Russia where he has chosen to seek asylum.

    The density of your own hypocrisy is beyond frustrating. Please tell me you have the intelligence and the insight to understand this.

    Try not to be so wordy. Economics in writing is the hallmark of a good writer.

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  2. Regarding this post, you get a C- for word economics as you repeat yourself several times. The central thrust of your argument, however, appears to be that one must expose one’s self to “alternative” media, step outside one’s comfort zone, and mainstream media can not be trusted. As proof, you cite Syria, and the U.S. presidential election.

    Regarding Syria, you have never admitted the cause of the Syrian Civil War. You have never admitted Assad’s brutal human rights record, and you have never admitted collateral damage caused by Russian military. Nor has RT, the “alternative” media you are trying to get your audience to view. Your alternative media is clearly worse than what you would call mainstream media.

    Let’s compare the Free U.S. mainstream media to RT.

    Two instances come to mind in which the U.S. media took on its own government and defeated it wit the power and freedom of the press.

    In the 1950s, CBS’s Edward R. Murrow took on the tidal wave of U.S. political paranoia, personified in the figure of Senator Joseph McCarthy, and triumphed, using the power of the free press guaranteed in the Constitution.

    In the 1970s, journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, using the power of the U.S. Free Press, caused the most powerful person in the world to resign his position.

    In the 1970s, CBS’s Morley Safer broadcast its own government committing war crimes in Viet Nam.

    Name one other country on Earth which has granted its own “mainstream media” enough power to topple its own administration. Twice. Please. Name one other country.

    And so you hold up Edward Snowden, as some sort of beacon of truth, a man who has taken refuge in a country known for the murders of its own journalists. His version of full disclosure is but a shadow of the great tradition of the United States Free Press. . . Could you even be more pathetic in your attempt to push your agenda?

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  3. Snowden has been openly critical of intelligence legislation in the Russian Federation. He may actually refer to that criticism in the video – he certainly has elsewhere.

    Several years ago he publicly posed a question regarding monitoring of civilians similar to what happens in the USA to President Putin in the annual Q/A programme. Putin gave him a politicians answer claiming that any monitoring they do is covered by law. I don’t think Snowden was satisfied with the answer – but I don’t think he could have got anything better.

    Snowdon did not choose to seek asylum in the Russian Federation and has made several attempts to move elsewhere. He ended up stranded in Moscow in transit to latin America because the US removed his passport and threatened airliners who might have carried him.

    You may not be able to view Snowden rationally. I did not find his revelation surprising – but the details confirmed what many people believed. I think Snowden is man of principle and look up to him fo what he did. I think most people consider him a hero.

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  4. Thank you for your typical non-answer, and then trying to act as though I’m the one with the problem (“You may not be able to view Snowden rationally.”)

    You’re the one with the problem. To prove you can’t view Snowden rationally . . you were either unable to read the question I posed regarding him, or you have chosen clear avoidance of it. I asked:

    ” . . what would happen to Edward Snowden if he openly criticized the Russian Federation, in exactly the same way that he criticizes the United States, . . ”

    Are you really saying that he openly criticizes the Russian Federation “in exactly the same way” as he is critical of the United States? I hope not, otherwise you really are irrational when it comes to Snowden. Snowden did not steal thousands of classified Russian documents and release them to the world.

    He formerly worked for the CIA. I believe that classifies him as a spy. His actions constitute theft of government property and a violation of the 1917 Espionage Act. Whether he was a whistle-blower or spy, it all comes down to the same thing for the purposes of this discussion:

    So, to ask the question again . . what would happen to him if he criticized Russia in exactly the same way that he has criticized the U.S.? Have you ever heard of Russian spy / whistle-blower Alexander Litvinenko who sought political asylum in the U.K.?

    Question asked and answered. Edward Snowden is a hypocrite. He has taken asylum in Russia. If he had done to Russia what he had done to the U.S. he would be dead. More than that, he is a coward, afraid to face the consequences of his actions by living in a country that might have killed him with a grain of polonium-210 for his actions. While not the most pleasant way for a government to kill one of its own, that doesn’t seem to bother Snowden who feels his own prison confinement might be more inconvenient than any true allegiance to an ethical principle.

    FOR THE RECORD, you could not name another country beyond the U.S. in which the press is allotted the Freedom and Power to triumph over its own government. This is the “mainstream” media you are openly criticizing. Perhaps you prefer government propaganda tools like FOX or RT?

    So, as you may have guessed, my primary criteria for determining the credibility of a news source is to assess whether it is a government propaganda tool, . . . the most ruthless agenda of all.

    RT may be an alternative news source. But so what. It is clearly a government propaganda tool.

    Prove me wrong. Show me your best example of RT (your precious alternative news) criticizing its own government. I’ll put your best example up against an example of U.S. mainstream media criticizing its own government any time. And U.S. mainstream media will win – hands down.

    So, how much freedom does RT have to criticize the Russian Federation? Give me an example.

    I’ll bet you could answer in under 40 words with a link if you tried 🙂

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  5. David, I guess it is far too much to expect you to be rational about Edward Snowden.

    Of course, Snowden cannot criticise the Russian government “in exactly the same way” as he has criticised the policies of the US government. He is not a Russian citizen and has no access to information of the sort he had in his job as contractor with the US company Booz Allen Hamilton. But he did publicly raise the issue of data collection on Russian citizens, similar to that done by the NSA, with the Russian president and he has criticised, publicly, some Russian intelligence legislation for its potential in limiting the rights of citizens. (Interestingly, his public questioning of the Russian president over the intelligence issue would just not have been possible in the US which does not have anything like the annual marathon presidential Q/A. Say what you like about president Putin, but could any of the US presidents expose themselves to such intensive questioning and be able to respond so effectively).

    I doubt whether he has, and really could, participate in street demonstrations on these issues. His positon in the Russian Federation is tenuous as he only has temporary asylum and I think both he and the Russian government see him moving to another country when and if he can (and let’s face it, his exile in the Russian Federation is the result of US actions, not of any desire on his part).

    It is extremely silly to compare him to Litvinenko, who was a Russian citizen and worked for the FSB. He was also a political colleague, co-conspirator, of Berezovsky, who attempted to use Putin before he became acting president. Incidentally, Litvinenko did actually make serious allegations about his colleagues in the FSB on television – a position that Berezovsky engineered for him. Litvinenko was silly to have done this (and I think he very much regretted being used in this manner) and paid the price by having to flee the country (as did Berezovsky) to avoid criminal charges. And don’t forget, those charges against Berezovsky included huge economic crimes as well as conspiracy in murders.

    As for your comments on RT, etc. You have an unhealthy obsession with the news agency – as do, apparantly US intelligence agencies and hangers-on to the lame duck US prsidency. I realise RT is thankful for all this free publicity – and they do tend to faithfully report all these criticisms, probably for their humour value. But I wonder if you are really just taking orders from the groups who have listed these sort of activities for anti-Putin idiots ( 🙂 ) in their reports and resolutions.

    Hell, the EU has childishly set up an attack group aimed at countering “Russian misinformation” which uses the slogan “question even more.” A childish response to the slogan used by RT “question more.” Couldn’t get more clumsy – and that is an indication of how ineffective such political campaigns are.

    I think questioning, or exposing #fakenews promoted by the mainstream media to critical analysis, is the last thing these idiots want.

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  6. Hilarious. You can’t really be serious with that response.

    FOR THE RECORD: You could not name another country beyond the U.S. in which the press is allotted the Freedom and Power to triumph over its own government. This is the “mainstream” media you are openly criticizing.

    and . .

    FOR THE RECORD: You could not cite one example of RT (Russian Television, one of your precious “alternative” news sources) in which it openly criticized its own government. If you ever do provide such an example, I will gladly put your example against U.S. mainstream media criticizing its own government. U.S. mainstream media will easily win in that contest. No question. This is because RT is a propaganda tool of the Russian Federation, and it is not allowed to criticize its own government.

    So much for your argument that “alternative” news media is somehow more truthful.

    LET’S GET THIS OUT OF THE WAY FIRST:

    Your quote: “As for your comments on RT, etc. You have an unhealthy obsession with the news agency . . ”

    Answer: Ken, I had never heard of RT until I started looking at your posts, of which a disproportionate happen to come from RT. It was after I started seeing your posts that I began to look at this news agency, critically and intelligently, an activity that, apparently, you have failed to undertake.

    In the U.S., we have the propaganda tool, FOX News. We have these idiots who say, “FOX is the only news that tells the truth.” “You can only get the truth from FOX.” You’re exactly like one of those idiots.

    It is your obsession with RT that has brought the network to my attention. I am merely responding to you; and rightly so, since this is your forum.

    I doubted the stability of your mental facilities when I saw this comment from you: “But I wonder if you are really just taking orders from the groups who have listed these sort of activities for anti-Putin idiots ( 🙂 ) in their reports and resolutions.”

    Your weird conspiracy theories border on the paranoid. Stop posting bullshit shit from RT, and I’ll stop commenting on it. It’s that simple 🙂 .
    NOW A RESPONSE TO YOUR COMMENT:

    Your quote: “David, I guess it is far too much to expect you to be rational about Edward Snowden.”

    And how do you justify your typical diversionary tactic of placing your irrational inadequacies on your opponent? With this:

    “Of course, Snowden cannot criticise the Russian government “in exactly the same way” as he has criticised the policies of the US government.”

    Oh . . Whoa there! . . . Wait Just A Minute!! . . . It looks like a little back-peddling from the great Ken Perrott. Let’s review, . . shall we?

    At the top of this thread I said, “Please explain to your audience what would happen to Edward Snowden if he openly criticized the Russian Federation, in exactly the same way that he criticizes the United States, living in Russia . . . ”

    Your answer to that was: “Snowden has been openly critical of intelligence legislation in the Russian Federation. He may actually refer to that criticism in the video – he certainly has elsewhere.”

    And now you’re telling me I’m not being rational because either you didn’t understand the question . . or you chose to divert away from it . . or you are incapable of allowing information in that might conflict with your bias.

    I’m not being rational? Ken, You’re a Jerk. I hope you realize that.

    So, tell us, if you are capable, (and for the 4th time now) what would happen to Snowden if he openly criticized the Russian Federation in exactly the same way that he criticized the U.S.? (You know, the question you keep avoiding) What would happen if he worked for Russian Intelligence, if he stole thousands of Russian documents, if he sought assylum in, for example, the U.K., as Litvinenko had done?

    But in your mind, Litvienko is different. To quote you: “Litvinenko did actually make serious allegations about his colleagues in the FSB on television . . ”

    . . . as we post comments under your post in which Snowden makes a global video appearance with a Twitter celebrity. Could your hypocrisy be more glaring?

    Ken, do us all a favor. Admit you are embarrassingly biased. Tell us all you will work on your problem. And end this. The further this goes, the worse it makes you look.

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  7. David, you are just being silly.

    And you do seem to follow the script as outlined in the “Putin’s idiots” report. Mind you, you are not the only one.

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  8. Whatever happened to the rules of discussion on this site? Well I guess at least your prolific commentator discredits himself with the level of ad hominems, name calling and sheer nastiness in his attempts at discussion! I guess you must rattle his cage Ken.

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  9. Yes, Sonya, I could be rattling his cage. However, I thought he had more intelligence than to succumb to these emotional rants that have become a substitute for rational discussion.

    I can’t help thinking he is following the commands of that disgusting report “Putins Useful Idiots” produced by an extremist think tank in the UK but taken up by the European parliament in incorporated into their resolutions.

    In particular, the command that legislation be passed to control politicians’ media appearances – in particular appearing on RT. And that commentators should continually:

    “raise awareness in the West of the nature of the Russian regime.” The examples they advise include “its involvement in the murder of people like Anna Politkovskaya, Sergei Magnitsky, and Boris Nemtsov; its military tactics in Syria. By raising these points widely and vigorously, academics, commentators, and others can do a lot to discredit Russia’s efforts to increase its influence in the West.”

    David seems to be following these commands.

    but then again so do others – one of the reasons our media now seems to concentrate on #fakenews.

    RT has a very balanced and sensible report on this hysterical publication. I think RT is just milking all this free advertising for them. They quote Martin McCauley, a historian and political analyst:

    “What this report means is that the Russian narrative is very effective, if it weren’t, it would just be ignored.”

    Perhaps David should start taking RT more seriously if that assessment is reliable.

    For a start, David, how about itemising some example of my use of RT (sure I have occasionally used RT, as I have used many other news agencies that are not on your approved list).

    Alongside the specific examples you cite could you please explain what was wrong with the information contained in the report I used (besides just coming from a “Russian” source – that would be racist, wouldn’t it. 🙂 )

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  10. McCarthyism 2.0 on steroids. Lets hope Americans are too busy stewing in their own juices so the rest of the world can have a bit of a break…

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  11. David Fierstien

    Sroussina, I don’t know you . . but I doubt you hear what you are saying.

    “Lets hope Americans are too busy stewing in their own juices so the rest of the world can have a bit of a break…”

    Give you a bit of a break? Do you mean like . . . you wish U.S. citizens, who may happen to like their country, . . you wish we would just go away and not bother to comment on anti-U.S. rhetoric like this post which glorifies Edward Snowden as some sort of beacon of truth?

    You wish we would give you a bit of a break from countering the thick hypocrisy of a former CIA agent who stole thousands of classified documents from his country, made them public, and now bad-mouths that same country while living in another country that would have murdered him for those same actions? Is this what you wish?

    You wish we would just ignore the bad-mouthing from people living in New Zealand, and all over the world, as we “stew in our own juices?”

    Feel free to bad-mouth “extremest” think-tanks in the U.K. It’s irrelevant to me. And despite its irrelevance to me, Dr. Perrott must enjoy goading me on with completely senseless and easily refutable points. He cites a passage: ” . . The examples they advise include “its involvement in the murder of people like Anna Politkovskaya, Sergei Magnitsky, and Boris Nemtsov; . . ” And then he attempts to use that in his argument that “alternative” media sources like RT are on par or superior to U.S. mainstream media.

    Dr. Perrott, I’ve asked you this countless times and your avoidance of the question is, in itself, an answer:

    Please provide the best example you can find of RT criticizing its own government, the Russian Federation.

    Show me the Russian versions of Edward R. Murrow, Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward, or Morley Safer who openly filmed and broadcast his own country committing war crimes. (Perhaps you can show me their Russian graves instead.)

    Until you can do that, don’t pretend you are convincing anyone that a propaganda tool is anything other than a propaganda tool. It is not an answer to mainstream media . . it is not a free press . . it is not even a news service. It is a tool.

    Unlike Russia, and its propaganda tool, RT, which you attempt to misrepresent as a bastion of journalistic integrity, the United States celebrates its journalistic heroes who stand up and triumph over its own government. Show me that happening in Russia, and then you will have something to celebrate.

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  12. David, if you respect Bob Woodward have a listen to what he is saying about the state of US media and intelligence community today and their use if false reports and #fakenews to attack a democratically elected president.

    As for your obsession with RT. You claim you were not familiar with it until you came across me using it. Yet you are completely unable to cite even one example of my use which can be discussed.

    Away with you.

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  13. David Fierstien

    Bob Woodward himself has admitted his great failures during the Bush II Administration. His correctness, or incorrectness is not the issue. The issue – as you very well know – is his ability, as a journalist working in a country that allows a Free Press, to write the story as he sees it. Bob Woodward did not wind up dead or missing. Your attempt at diversion is noted.

    “Yet you are completely unable to cite even one example of my use which can be discussed.”

    Unable? Hardly. We both know you rely on RT. Discussed for what purpose? Your ability to cherry-pick items from RT which may or may not be factually correct is not the issue. Your attempt at both diversions now have been noted.

    You keep trying to veer away and avoid the issue that you have raised.

    RT itself as a credible “alternative” source is the issue. Why? You, yourself, have said, “All news sources have a bias, an agenda.” The question at the heart of your issue is: ‘What is that agenda?’

    What was the agenda of Edward R. Murrow, other than to expose the truth? And, I submit, is this not an honorable and worthy agenda? Is this not the proper and correct agenda of a news service?

    On the other hand, the agenda of RT, a propaganda tool of the Russian Federation, is little more than to present a pro-Moscow / anti-NATO, anti-Western, anti-U.S. story-line.

    Prove me wrong. Please provide the best example you can find of RT criticizing its own government, the Russian Federation.

    Surely a news organization that can, as you say, present a “balanced and sensible” rebuttal to a U.K. extremist smear job, should have in its repertoire at least one item in which it is critical of its own government? No?

    In that case, please provide only one example of collateral damage caused by Russian air strikes in Aleppo. That should be easy. After all, RT and its minions, yourself included, have openly said that only pro-Assad journalists were on the ground in Aleppo. And surely, there must have been at least one case of an innocent civilian killed by those Russian bombs. Would not RT have filmed it if it was a balanced news service?

    If you can’t provide even one example of either of those requests, I think even a “balanced and sensible” person would have to admit that a news service which can not even criticize its own government is certainly not balanced, although it may be a sensible approach . . given the high rate of murders of journalists in Russia.

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  14. Bob Woodward’s comments on the behaviour of the intelligence community (or some parts of them) and the #fakenews mainstream media like CNN is very topical.

    As for RT – you seem completely unable to cite even one example of my reference to RT (come on it should not be hard to do so), let alone show the report is false. You are a complete newbie by self-admission to RT yet claim to clai9m to know all about it.

    In truth, you are just following orders.

    You should “question more!”

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  15. David Fierstien

    Bob Woodward is not always correct. His correctness is not the issue that you divert away from again and again:

    “Woodward believed the Bush administration’s claims of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction prior to the war. During an appearance on Larry King Live, he was asked by a telephone caller, “Suppose we go to war and go into Iraq and there are no weapons of mass destruction”, Woodward responded “I think the chance of that happening is about zero. There’s just too much there.”[16][17] Woodward later admitted his error saying, “I think I dropped the ball here. I should have pushed much, much harder on the skepticism about the reality of WMD; ”

    Please review my comment above.

    Your ability to cherry pick selections from RT is not the issue. It is pointless to discuss any specific cherry-picked items. This would be neither relevant, nor useful.

    Your quote from this post: “Yet all those news media are just as capable of carrying false news as each other.”

    This is the issue you have raised. It is incorrect. Please review my comment from above.

    Again: RT, has a specific agenda that renders it useless as a credible source. It is not balanced. Its own agenda prevents that. It is a propaganda tool of the Russian Federation. It’s agenda is little more than to present a pro-Moscow / anti-NATO, anti-Western, anti-U.S. story-line.

    Prove me wrong. Please provide the best example you can find of RT criticizing its own government, the Russian Federation.

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  16. I think Bob Woodward is certainly correct this time. He is one of the few sane voices in the US at the moment. Perhaps you should learn from the mistake he made on the WMD – he seems to have. Mind you – he apparently saw evidence that time – this time all he can see is manufactured lies – a disgrace to the profession, as he describes it.

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  17. Bob Woodward is being overly prudent because of his epic failure last time. He failed where other U.S. media got it right. Knight Ridder, for example: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/03/17/the-reporting-team-that-g_n_91981.html He was lazy.

    ” Mind you – he apparently saw evidence that time – this time all he can see is manufactured lies – a disgrace to the profession, as he describes it.”

    A pathetic diversion away from the issue that you have raised. Bob Woodward hasn’t seen the classified information, and neither have you. Donald Trump, who began this discussion denying that Russia had anything to do with the hacking of the Democratic emails (for obvious, personal reasons) has now seen the classified evidence. He has now admitted that it “probably was Russia.”

    After you and I take a good hard look at the evidence that changed Trump’s mind, then we can have this discussion. Until then, it is merely you pathetic at a diversion.

    For now, and relevant to this discussion, please provide the best example you can find of RT criticizing its own government, the Russian Federation.

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  18. Your comment:

    “You are a complete newbie by self-admission to RT yet claim to clai9m to know all about it.

    In truth, you are just following orders.

    You should “question more!””

    Answer: I am questioning more, but I don’t seem to be getting an answer. Please provide the best example you can find of RT criticizing its own government, the Russian Federation.

    I have asked this question many, many, many, may times with no answer. Therefore, I am forced to conclude that RT does not, as a matter of policy, criticize its own government. That being the case, RT is not a balanced, unbiased news source. It is a propaganda tool of the Russian Federation.

    Since the function of RT is nothing more than a propaganda tool for a government, it is not a valid news source. A PR tool is not a news service, since the two may, at times, have conflicting purposes.

    That being said, this statement from you must necessarily be false:

    “How many time do you see a comment or piece of information on social media rejected out of hand because it was reported on RT, or another alternative news source? Then compare that with the number of times you have seen similar rejections because the report was carried by CNN, Al Jazeera, BBC, etc. Yet all those news media are just as capable of carrying false news as each other. ”

    There is a reason that information from RT is rejected. The very premise of RT is a lie. It claims to be a news service. It is not. It is a tool. This is obvious from your inability to provide even one example of RT criticizing its government, since one of the functions of a news service, may, at times, be to question its own government (at least in the U.S.) Given, that the very existence of RT is a lie, nothing that comes from it can be considered to be valid. This logic is irrefutable. Your post is irrational and biased; therefore it is incorrect. This discussion is ended.

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  19. David, you ask “Please provide the best example you can find of RT criticizing its own government, the Russian Federation.”

    Well, I am not going to review all the thousands of videos RT has on-line. I personally have seen RT people being critical of the Russian government but I know nothing I produce will change your bias on the matter.

    However, have a look at this video. Besides being fascinating it does include Abby Martin’s’ comments on the time that she criticised the Russian government (over the return of Crimea – I vaguely remember her commenting as an anchor for her programme). it has come up again because of the way the US intelligence document referred to her old programme and the way the NY Times dishonestly described the incident.

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  20. David, I really should not have believed RT when they told me about the recent earthquakes in central NZ or the resignation of our prime minister.

    Actually, can you back up your statements about RT with any example? Any example at all?

    I personally never take any news media’s claims uncritically – as you well know. And there are some issues where I would not listen to RT at all – again as you well know. But thinking about it I suspect on other issues where I have been able to make a critical assessment (and I do not watch Rt as regularly as Al Jazeera, for example – there are some days I just can’t get it for some reason 🙂 ) RT has proven to be more accurate than many other news media. They certainly outshine Al Jazeera on Syria and even CNN on internal US politics. RT never ran with the most recent dossier – said they it was so dirty they wouldn’t touch it. Not CNN – they jumped in boots and all and certainly earned Trump’s title for them of #fakenews.

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  21. Sorry, forgot to provide the link to the video

    Looking at it now I realize it is RT so it must be good. 🙂 Mind you, it is a programme I have not seen before – must look out for it as it really is very good.

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  22. David Fierstien

    I’ll review the RT video later, when I have sound. However . . you might find this interesting. Regarding your comment:

    ” Not CNN – they jumped in boots and all and certainly earned Trump’s title for them of #fakenews.”

    Yes, Trump did do that in a news conference. Immediately afterward, he took a question from Breibart. Breibart is owned by Trump’s Chief Adviser, Steve Bannon. The question Trump answered was basically, ‘how are you going to control the free media problem?’

    So . . when Trump calls someone Fakenews, and then takes a painless patsy question from from what is basically his own adviser as if it means something, that accusation is fairly toothless.

    In 2013, Steve Bannon told The Daily Beast, “Lennin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too.”

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  23. David Fierstien

    By the way, when you say, “RT never ran with the most recent dossier – said they it was so dirty they wouldn’t touch it. Not CNN – they jumped in .. ”

    If you are referring to the Russian hacking of Democratic emails, after Trump looked at the classified evidence during his briefing, he agreed, it probably was Russia.

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  24. David Fierstien

    On the other hand, when you say, “RT never ran with the most recent dossier – said they it was so dirty they wouldn’t touch it. Not CNN – they jumped in .. ”

    If you are referring to scandalous accusations made against Trump. You must be joking. RT holds no moral high ground there: https://www.rt.com/usa/world-s-10-biggest-political-sex-scandals/

    (Maybe they wouldn’t touch it because they like Trump . . which explains why the Russians hacked & released Democratic emails.)

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  25. David Fierstien

    RT, “said . . it was so dirty they wouldn’t touch it.” Got any evidence to support your biased claim? Here’s mine.

    “Reports claim the case also involves politicians and a police officer.”
    https://www.rt.com/news/367652-norway-pedophiles-arrested-scandal/

    And of course, RT would never pass up on a political sex-doll scandal:
    https://www.rt.com/viral/370391-sex-doll-gift-chile/

    Wow! The stuff they had on Trump must have really been horrible if it was so bad RT “wouldn’t touch it.” 🙂

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  26. I think you are on the turps again, David. Your links d not mention the dossier at al.

    As for evidence, simply watching the news programme the frontman made the point that their editorial committee was not going to get into the salacious dossier – he mentioned this was probably the decision of editors around the world. CNN was an exception – hence the label of #fakenews for them.

    Considering that many people describe CNN as the “Clinton News Service” I think Trump’s treatment of them must have won approval. I certainly think it an appropriate, if clumsy, put down of a very rude reporter.

    Incidentally, despite trying very hard the RT reporter at the press conference also was unable to put his question to Trump – that is the way things go. The sense of entitlement from the established media like CNN is sickening.

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  27. David, you say ” after Trump looked at the classified evidence during his briefing, he agreed, it probably was Russia.”

    This statement reveals 2 things.

    1: The #fakenews we are getting pushed on us by the mainstream media. Trump agreed that Russia, China and many states are involved in hacking (an obvious truism which says exactly nothing about Wikileaks sources). He did not say the specific claims made by his political enemies were true – in fact, he specifically said hacking did not affect the election result. #Fakenews outlets like CNN did their usual job of feeding us their biased conclusions – not what he actually said.

    2: The willingness of people to confirm their bias. Happens all the time to all of us – but there is a lot of straw clutching going on over this. One purpose of this hysteria is to coopt Trump. There is a lot of pressure but so far this has not happened. Miobnd you, in end he will have to cave into the neocons or they will get rid of him. We will see.

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  28. Interesting difference of perspective, David. We must be showing our ages. 🙂

    You interpret my reference to the “dossier” as dirty as referring to sex. I assumed it was obviously referring to political dirt.

    I thought this was obvious from the origins of the “dossier” Prepared by a former intelligence office in the UK on the request of political opponents of Trump’s (democrats and republicans). Such smearing is apparently par for the course for politics in the great US democracy. And hardly surprising considering the revelations of the Wikipedia leaks about corrupt practices used to get rid of Sanders.

    Incidentally, considering the provenance and intended use of this dossier shouldn’t all this hysteria be directed against the UK? Shouldn’t Obama have kicked out a few British diplomats?

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  29. David Fierstien

    Ahh, . . . the dossier. I was unaware of your meaning until I looked at the actual Wikipedia article “Donald Trump Russia Dossier.” Who knew there was something else?

    You must be naive with this one: “Such smearing is apparently par for the course for politics in the great US democracy.”

    Have a look at this. Karl Rove took it to a whole new level with his “Whisper Campaign” in South Carolina:

    “During the 2000 Republican presidential primary, Senator John McCain was the target of a whisper campaign implying that he had fathered a black child out of wedlock. (McCain’s adopted daughter is a dark-skinned child from Bangladesh). Voters in South Carolina were reportedly asked, “Would you be more likely or less likely to vote for John McCain if you knew that he fathered an illegitimate black child?”.[1] McCain would later lose the South Carolina primary, and the nomination, to George W. Bush.

    In addition, on the week of the nomination vote, dozens of radio stations were called on the same day asking talk show hosts what they thought of McCain’s fathering of a black child out of wedlock. McCain later said of the incidents:[2]

    “There were some pretty vile and hurtful things said during the South Carolina primary. It’s a really nasty side of politics. We tried to ignore it and I think we shielded [our daughter] from it. It’s just unfortunate that that sort of thing still exists. As you know she’s Bengali, and very dark skinned. A lot of phone calls were made by people who said we should be very ashamed about her, about the color of her skin. Thousands and thousands of calls from people to voters saying, ‘You know, the McCains have a black baby.’ I believe that there is a special place in hell for people like those.”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whispering_campaign#In_politics

    In other words, fake pollsters called Republican voters on the telephone and asked them these questions.

    Nothing that Hillary Clinton ever did comes close to the litany of dirty tricks played by Bush/Rove. Why do you keep obsessing about this Bernie Sanders non-issue?

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  30. David Fierstien

    And since we are on the subject of Bush. And since this post is about Fakenews, you may enjoy this.

    Bill Moyers has done an excellent job of documenting exactly how the Bush Administration sold the Iraq War to the media. It is fascinating.

    Not all the media bought into it, however. Knight Ridder is the shining example of people who did their jobs. Woodward was lazy, as were so many others. I hope you watch it. Bill Moyers is one of the great U.S. journalists.

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  31. One thing, Ken. You keep doing this to bolster your argument . . to make it appear you are on the side of rightness. Your classic straw-man:

    ” He did not say the specific claims made by his political enemies were true – in fact, he specifically said hacking did not affect the election result. ”

    So What . . No one has ever said that!! The only reason you would ever say this is for argument’s sake and no other. Please, Ken . . You’ve done this before and you’ve been corrected, yet you keep doing it.

    Again, no one has ever said the Russian hacking affected the election. Please don’t use this irrelevant tactic again.

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  32. I have reviewed the RT video you provided. I thought I was going to see an example of RT criticizing its own government . . filmed war crimes by the Russian Federation . . showing collateral damage of innocent civilians caused by Russian air strikes . . you know, the kind of thing the U.S. Free Press normally shows its audience of its government, the United States.

    Alas, this was not to be. You have only proven my point that RT is little more than a propaganda tool of a government with an occasional news story thrown in for good measure. It is not a news service.

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  33. So, David, it looks like you agree with Trump that the Wikileaks leak of the Democrat’s emails did not affect the election.

    I actually disagree with both you and Trump. The lies told by Clinton about the leaking of the emails, her attempt at neo-McCarthyism, probably did effect the elections – bringing her more votes than she might have otherwise got. That, of cour5se, was the main reason for the diversion she used.

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  34. perhaps you should go back and watch the video again. it was never presented to you as an example of “RT criticising” the government. It was presented to you as information on a case when the fronts women did make such a criticism. SWhe discusses the example and how it was mkjisrepreser4tned by the NY Times.

    Are you claiming she is wrong about this? Do you know better what she did and what happened as a result?

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  35. “So, David, it looks like you agree with Trump that the Wikileaks leak of the Democrat’s emails did not affect the election.”

    Yes, of course I agree with that. I have never said anything to the contrary. Nor has U.S. Intelligence which has stated there is no way to assess how the Russian hacking has affected the election. How could they?

    Like

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