Aftermath of the Mueller report – the media starts looking at itself

Once again I am seeing vindication, a bit unexpected I must say because it involves the media analysing its own faults.

The Al Jazeera media programme, The Listening Post, today covered a few home truths about the media behaviour over the Russiagate conspiracy theory. What heartens me is that for the first time I get to see some of the independent journalists I have followed over the last two and a half years. Journalists like Aaron Maté who followed the evidence (in this case the lack of evidence), resisted the pressure to stick with the official narrative – and got attacked for it. Treatment of independent journalists by corporate media over this issue has been disgusting.

For the first time, I get to see a balanced (“balanced” in the sense the views of three Russiagate sceptics and two promoters are covered).

I don’t for one minute think this is anything more than an isolated case of responsible media coverage of the corporate media behaviour and, frankly, hysteria. It is nothing more than a start. A lot more must be done.

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9 responses to “Aftermath of the Mueller report – the media starts looking at itself

  1. I wonder if this mea culpa is just the media’s version of the confessional, wiping all their sins clean so they can go on the next .
    “See, we can admit we’re wrong when its laid out , but in this case,… now we’re really on to something.”
    Venezuela, Iran, Syria

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  2. Yes, probably an early version of a confessional. Nowadays they can admit they made mistakes of Iraq and WMD – but it’s like printing an apology on the back page – no one sees it and it was long ago.

    I was just surprised to see Al Jazeera running this so quickly. But on the whole, the corporate media and their stenographers are busy moving goalposts and inventing new conspiracy theories.

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  3. David Fierstien

    Ken, what you are saying about the media and the Iraq war is not incorrect. However, not all of the mainstream media got it wrong. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-reporting-team-that-g_n_91981

    U.S. Intelligence didn’t get it wrong. It was manipulated by the Bush Administration. https://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/06/opinion/what-i-didn-t-find-in-africa.html and pushed by his own media outlet.

    This is what happened: At literally the same time U.N. Inspectors were in Iraq looking for WMD, Donald Rumsfeld said, “We know where they are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad.” End Quote.

    This begged the obvious question for anyone who wasn’t caught up in the anti-critical pro-war frenzy of the time: Why Doesn’t Rumsfeld tell the U.N. Inspectors where they are? Doesn’t Rumsfeld want the WMD found for the world to see?

    There were people in the media who were able to see the obviousness of it all. Two journalists from Knight Ridder, for example (see my link above) did their jobs. But even they took criticism for doing their jobs by other lazy journalists who weren’t doing theirs. https://www.ctvnews.ca/entertainment/these-journalists-got-the-iraq-war-right-even-as-colleagues-called-their-stories-fake-news-1.4030705

    Why?

    Because State propaganda TV, Fox News, and certain personalities on that network, bullied anyone who dared to question the illegal invasion of Iraq. As one disgusting example, Cindy Sheehan, mother of a fallen soldier who questioned the validity of the War, was called a traitor and vilified by Fox’s Bill O’Reilly.

    Take 4 minutes and watch this video, O’Reily on David Letterman, because it really exemplifies the bile that these guys were puking out. Even in the Video, O’Reily pushes the lie that the CIA got it wrong. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7RmrkW9mTw

    This is why I object to State Propaganda TV. Anti-war personality Phil Donahue talked about his brief news show on MSNBC during the war in which, he said, he was required to have 2 conservatives for every 1 liberal on his show. His show was cancelled because MSNBC, owned by war contractor G.E., felt that his was the wrong face to air during this time of war.

    Phil Donahue agrees with you. You may find his perspective fascinating. I encourage you to watch this unique personality who got it right in 2003.
    https://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2015/10/25/phil-donahue-on-ciriticizing-iraq-war.cnn (One quote from the video: “The Framers had it right. It’s too much temptation for 1 man.”)

    My point . . and I’m finally getting to it . . is that State Propaganda TV today is worse than it was during the Bush Administration. Don’t believe me? Google “Sean Hannity and Donald Trump.” We should have learned our lesson from 2003, but we didn’t, did we.

    So now, when any media outlet, and particularly State Propaganda TV, reports on a news event, it puts its own spin on the story, don’t you think?

    For example, this Attorney General’s Summary of the Mueller Report, which is about 1% the size of the actual report. It was written in a day. And it was written by someone who was critical of the Mueller Report in the first place. And the only thing the author of that summary does is clear the man who appointed him for the job in the first place. Seems questionable to me.

    But now we have all these outlets whipping up a frenzy of vindication and I-Told-You-So!! And before anybody can think about it, everybody has made up their minds and has dug in their heels about what the actual Mueller Report really says.

    And Fox is not the only State Propaganda media outlet.

    We didn’t learn a thing from 2003 did we, Ken.

    These are dangerous times. I hope we don’t forget what happened prior to the illegal invasion of Iraq.

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  4. David – you say:

    “But now we have all these outlets whipping up a frenzy of vindication and I-Told-You-So!!”

    Could you list these outlets for me? As far as I am aware the number of journalists who can justifiably feel vindicated can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Three of them are in the above video. Telling the truth and pointing the finger at those journalists and outlets who lied and promoted an official narrative, or those journalists who blindly went along with the hysteria is hardly “whipping up a frenzy.” These principled journalists were attacked, smeared and prevented from doing their job. They were refused access to corporate media. They have a right to say I told you so and demand an apology.

    I think that is simply your biased perspective. You have taken it on yourself to attempt to hold people back, to stop them from drawing conclusions and moving on. You are behaving as a herder. And a protector of the dishonest and hysterical.

    So in your perspective “everybody has made up their minds and has dug in their heels about what the actual Mueller Report really says.” That certainly is not my perspective and not one I actually see in most places. But I do see a section of the media resigned to what the report will show and therefore either moving the goals posts (attacking the honest journalists is one example) or, in a few cases like the Al Jazeera programme, asking the important questions – like how did the media fall into this trap?

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  5. David Fierstien

    “Could you list these outlets for me?”

    Well there’s this: https://www.rt.com/op-ed/455097-russiagate-american-democracy-damage/
    It says we shouldn’t be gloating, but they’re gloating.

    There’s this: https://www.rt.com/op-ed/454739-mueller-report-indicts-journalism/ That’s an I-told-you-so

    This https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/03/26/i-am-pissed-off-hannity-other-fox-news-hosts-rage-democrats-media-over-mueller-report/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.45504bdcfc6c

    It seems your insight is a bit lacking. . . I have only posted links to State Propaganda TV. Now. Juxtapose that with my previous comment and let’s see how insightful you really are.

    Ken, for the 7th time now, why do you care? You hate Trump. You said you don’t give a stuff about Trump. The only thing Barr’s summary did was to clear Trump (the guy who appointed Barr was cleared, and he got the job because he objected to the Mueller Report in the first place.)

    I don’t get it. Why do you care that Trump was cleared of Russiagate? Why is that so hard to answer? Take time and honestly try to answer that question .. if only to yourself.

    Go back and re read my previous comment. Take some time and digest it. The sun is rising on your side of the planet and it’s time for me to go to bed. So take your time with it. No rush. It would be nice if we could actually communicate and find some common ground.

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  6. First, I have to say I was mistaken suggesting the honest journalists could be counted on one hand – one really needs two. For some reason, I often forget about Greenwald.

    Thanks for the links – I had not seen them and the first two at least were important.

    The first one is an op-ed by Stephen Cohen, a respected US academic and specialist on Russia who has written profusely on this issue. He has a lot of credible inside knowledge and I find myself agreeing with most of his writing. His op-ed piece is excellent (and no I wouldn’t say he is gloating). It is actually a hell of a lot better than much of the stuff on RT. I think their problem is that they try to adopt a strict balanced approach to these issues because there is strong pressure to exclude them from the UK and US. The leaked documents from the Integrity Initiative make clear there is an organised campaign among military, government, intelligence community and stenographic journalists to achieve this. A campaign the government funds. Consequently, RT’s reporting can actually cover up the real issues.

    The second is also an op-ed by Danielle Ryan and is also excellent. Her first sentence is right on – “while Donald Trump was not indicted and no evidence of collusion with Russia was found, the report is a massive and damning indictment of American journalism.”

    The third, Washington Post, article describes the reaction of Sean Hannity to the Muller report conclusions. I hope he follows through on his promise “We will hold every liar, every propagandist, every conspiracy theorist accountable.”

    But you wrote “But now we have all these outlets whipping up a frenzy of vindication and I-Told-You-So!! ” and I asked for a list of these outlets.

    You produce 2 op-eds (you will notice the formal wording at the bottom of these op-eds – “The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.”). They themselves are not whipping up a frenzy -they are producing a calm analysis – which they have been doing over the last two and half years anyway. And the corporate media has studiously ignored them and excluded them.

    Those links do not provide any evidence of a frenzy being whipped up, by the writers or the outlet.

    The Washington Post appears to simply report the reaction of some individuals to the conclusion s of the Mueller report. The tone was critical of them – hardly the Washington post “whipping up a frenzy.”

    I think you have just shown that you are so caught up in this false narrative that you just can’t see anything truthful without interpreting it as “whipping up a frenzy.

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  7. You want to see gloating, David. Watch Jimmy Dore – but he is still correct6. He followed the facts.

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  8. David Fierstien

    Ken, I am sorry that you didn’t take my advice and use the afternoon to reflect on this comment by me rather than coming back with a knee-jerk reaction. https://openparachute.wordpress.com/2019/03/31/aftermath-of-the-mueller-report-the-media-starts-looking-at-itself/#comment-125562

    You missed the point by a mile.

    I would have been more interested in your take on the Phil Donahue interview. It would have been refreshing to see you step outside your comfort zone. Of course you love R.T. opinion writers. Big shock!

    Once again I end it here. This is pointless. Your mind is rusted shut. We can’t communicate.

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  9. Yes, RT does have some excellent op-ed writers – but that particular place of publication is not the criteria I use to judge their quality. They also write elsewhere. Perhaps you should read one of Cohen’s very informative books – I can highly recommend “War with Russia: From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate

    I have recently finished it and it contains writing over the last 4 years or so covering the Ukrainian coup and its aftermath, the US elections and the Russiagate hysteria. One can see how dangerous this hysteria has been from his writings and analyses.

    I think Cohen writes mainly for the Nation.

    No, I am not interested in Phil Donahue but many thanks for bringing the other articles to my attention.

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