Lying Politicians, Fake News and Media Criticism

by William Skink

Criticism of the media seems to be coming from everywhere these days. Its power to shape narratives and control minds is coming under fire in ways I have never seen before.

Critics come in all shapes and sizes. Don Pogreba, for example, is a perennial media scold because local media doesn’t adhere to his expectations of what to cover, and how. A few journalists and an editor have even pushed back a bit, obviously tired of the endless harping.

At the national level, there is now open warfare between corporate media and Trump, inspiring this telling exchange on MSNBC:

SCARBOROUGH: “Exactly. That is exactly what I hear. What Yamiche said is what I hear from all the Trump supporters that I talk to who were Trump voters and are still Trump supporters. They go, ‘Yeah you guys are going crazy. He’s doing — what are you so surprised about? He is doing exactly what he said he is going to do.'”

BRZEZINSKI: “Well, I think that the dangerous, you know, edges here are that he is trying to undermine the media and trying to make up his own facts. And it could be that while unemployment and the economy worsens, he could have undermined the messaging so much that he can actually control exactly what people think. And that, that is our job.”

Politicians and corporate media figures all appear to be coming unhinged. A local example is how a recent claim by State Rep. Kerry White turned out to be complete bullshit:

More than 100 people showed up to testify, the vast majority opposition to White’s revolution. But John Todd says he didn’t hear anything he would consider a threat.

“Rep. White’s insinuation is as false as it is absurd. I was at the hearing with my 7-year old daughter. I did not testify, and I had to leave early because it was a school night and it was getting close to her bedtime.”

Todd is the conservation director for the Montana Wilderness Association.

After the hearing, White’s group Citizens For Balanced Use named Todd, along with four other Montana-based conservationists, in their Facebook post, which asked, “Has it really come to bodily harm and threats for their cause?”

John Todd was the only one of the five people named in the Facebook post who attended Monday’s hearing.

Michael Garrity, executive director of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, was also named in the post. He called it part of a disturbing trend, in which both of Montana’s Senators have called environmental groups “extremists” for opposing timber sales.

“This is just part of what happens when politicians call citizens who are exercising their rights under a democracy to voice their viewpoints, when they start calling them names, that it leads to something like this where people start making up that we are now violent.”

This particular lie from a Republican politician is exacerbated by years of bipartisan demonization, which has been happily facilitated by local corporate media. So don’t expect much attention from Lee newspapers or Democrat blogs over this blatant false depiction of non-collaborating environmentalists as violent extremists.

There are many fronts in this information war, but one of the most pernicious ones brewing is between those fighting child trafficking and those providing cover for pedo-networks that implicate the rich and powerful. On that front there was an interesting claim about media complicity from the Attorney General in Utah:

The Utah Attorney General scolded the media Thursday, saying they don’t do enough reporting on human trafficking crimes.

Attorney General Sean Reyes made the statements at a press conference Thursday, where he announced the arrests of 16 people since January 1.

Each of the suspects were involved in human trafficking or internet sex crimes against children, Reyes said.

But then Reyes turned his focus to the media.

“People don’t believe it can happen here, fueled sometimes by media stories and reports that these kind of things don’t exist, that they’re fabricated by law enforcement,” Reyes said while standing off to the side of the podium.

“Fueled by media reports that these things don’t exist?” one reporter at the event asks.

“Sure,” Reyes replies.

“Any specifics?” another reporter asks.

“No, not right now,” Reyes responds, moving back toward the podium. “I do have one more thing to comment on though, because I don’t want to hijack…”

“No, please…” one reporter says before another adds, “That’s quite an accusation…”

Reyes replies: “You can look and do your own homework. I have read articles and reports where people have speculated that this is not actually happening. And I think it would be irresponsible to take that view, because we have put so much time, so much effort, so many resources, and we know these cases exist.”

I have done my homework, and I think Reyes is right–the media is not doing enough to raise awareness regarding how extensive organized child abuse is, and how many powerful and influential people are implicated. Unlike Reyes, I will provide an example: the Franklin Credit Union Scandal.

The documentary that broke open this scandal, Conspiracy of Silence, never aired as intended in 1994. It was pulled at the last minute. Gee, I wonder why?

The media has been reporting on mass arrests happening as pedophile rings are busted in places like Toronto, Norway and Los Angeles.

Child trafficking is a deeply disturbing and well-organized criminal enterprise with dangerous political and intelligence entanglements. That is, if you take it seriously and haven’t succumbed to the pizzagate fake news psyop. Many people have succumbed because it’s easier to believe it’s fake than to accept the reality that it’s not.

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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3 Responses to Lying Politicians, Fake News and Media Criticism

  1. Matthew Koehler says:

    Thanks for pointing out the situation with Rep Kerry White and his organization, Citizens For Balanced Use. Here are some more details.

    On February 20 Montana state Rep Kerry White’s organization, Citizens For Balanced Use, made a post on their Facebook page in which they made (up) entirely false allegations that environmentalists supposedly “threatened” Rep Kerry White during the hearing for HJ 9 in the Montana state house and that for his own safety Rep Kerry White was ‘escorted out of the Montana Capital under police protection.”

    Here is a copy of the (now removed) Facebook post from Rep Kerry White’s CBU:

    And here is the audio of the entire hearing on HJ 9, which was a resolution encouraging Congress to release Wilderness Study Areas on federal public lands in Montana (totally about 700,000) for logging, motorized use and other forms of development:

    The audio recording of the entire hearing reveals zero evidence that Rep Kerry White was ‘threatened’ “during their comment period” as CBU claimed in their Facebook post.

    There is zero evidence during the audio recording of the hearing that anyone engaged in “threats” of “bodily harm.”

    There was also zero evidence from the audio recording that any of the environmentalists named by name in CBU’s Facebook post even made any public comments during the entire hearing.

    It’s also been confirmed that 4 of the 5 environmentalists named by name in CBU’s Facebook post did NOT even attend the hearing at all. The one person of the five named on CBU’s post that did attend the hearing, attended it with his 7 year old daughter and never made a public comment at all.

    Rep Kerry White’s CBU also made additional comments on their original Facebook post in which they printed the phone numbers of the some of the environmentalists they listed by name.

    It appears Rep Kerry White’s Citizens For Balanced Use are just lying and they in fact are the ones threatening environmentalists by name with some entirely made up and baseless allegations. Reporters with the Missoula, Helena IR and Bozeman Chronicle (news outlets that covered the hearing on Kerry White’s bill) were alerted to the lies posted on Rep White’s organization’s FB page, but so far the only follow-up coverage has been from Montana Public Radio.

    It should also be pointed out that earlier this week, when Senator Steve Daines gave a speech to the Montana Legislature he used the word ‘extremist’ twice.

    Once, when Daines was referring to radical Islamic terrorists.

    And once when Senator Daines was referring to Montana citizens – Steve Daines’ constituents – who care enough about the management of America’s public lands that they use completely legal means – as established by the Founding Fathers in the U.S. Constitution – of ensuring that the government follows the law and best science.

    Of course, Senator Tester also called those same Montana citizens – Tester’s constituents – “extremists” because they dared raise concerns about Senator Tester’s mandated logging bill for National Forests, which would’ve dramatically increased commercial logging on public lands and released nearly 100,000 acres of Wilderness Study Areas for logging, motors and development.

    Same as it ever was…same as it ever was.

  2. JC says:

    I just watched the documentary “Who Bombed Judy Bari” a few nights ago. For those not familiar with the story, Judy Bari and Darryl Cherney were forest defense activists in northern California in the 80s and 90s when politicians and corporations found it expedient to label environmentalists as “terrorists.”

    When politicians do this, it creates an open season for violence to be perpetrated upon activists who are practicing their constitutional rights or utilizing nonviolent civil disobedience tactics (Bari and Cherney publicly disavowed the use of tactics like tree spiking and property damage) in their campaigns.

    Bari and Cherney were targeted in 1990 with a bomb exploding in their car that almost killed Judi, leaving her disabled through the rest of her life. They were immediately arrested by police and accused by the FBI as having caused their own bombing while transporting a pipe bomb they had manufactured. Over the course of the next decade, and after Judi’s death, they won their lawsuit against the FBI and Oakland Police Dept. for civil rights violations. The investigation into who really bombed the two is still not being pursued by the feds and police, though there is continual push back to force information into the public eye and to re-open the case to ultimately find who is responsible. The documentary implicates FBI agents, a prosecutor and others in the bombing.

    Cherney released the video for public viewing a few weeks ago in light of the potential for increased violence against activists. This is an important documentary for any who want to understand what happens when politicians normalize violent behavior by labeling environmental and social justice activists as “extremist”, and labeling constitutionally protected, and/or nonviolent civil disobedient protest activities as “terrorism.”

  3. steve kelly says:

    After decades of bloody war against Yellowstone buffalo, here’s what Gov. Bullock uses as his excuse to do nothing to stop the senseless slaughter: “The National Park Service needs to address bison overpopulation in Yellowstone National Park.” (Bullock letter to me re: buffalo policy comments)

    Can anyone produce a single peer-reviewed scientific study, or published, credible population carrying-capacity research that concludes Yellowstone National Park is “overpopulated” with wild buffalo?

    Media in Montana seems incapable — or possibly biased — of conducting its own inquiry into this critical piece of information.

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