Corporate Media’s Credibility Crises

by William Skink

Democrats and their pundit-sycophants are never going to let Russia, the great scapegoat, go. It’s endless. At Montana Post, for example, Joshua Manning continues peddling bullshit propaganda in an effort to insinuate politicians like Steve Daines are traveling to Russia to do the bidding of the Kremlin:

The senators, to include Daines, said they went to Russia to assess the threat it poses to the U.S. but that appears to only be a talking point for American ears and eyes. Russian state TV noted the senators completely caved once in country and “changed their rhetoric” in Moscow. The new Republican emblem should be a jellyfish because it is as spineless as they are.

So why was the trip important? And why should we fear or chastise politicians for going to a country that plays an (outsized) role in the world? Let us rewind a bit… In 2014, the Obama administration and the European Union implemented effective, targeted economic sanctions against numerous Russian politicians and oligarchs for putting together the invasion of Ukraine. Ukraine is a key country on the continent because it has made strides to join the western Democracies of Europe and NATO and also provides a key transit point for gas into Europe. The Kremlin has long sought to control Ukraine to pressure European actions against it with higher gas prices and Russian forces even closer to NATO borders. Crimea gives Russia a first step into annexing Ukraine. This is not from some deep dark briefing paper in CIA headquarters, it is open knowledge.

During the 2014 invasion, Russian and Ukrainian paramilitary forces using Russian-supplied equipment shot down an airliner carrying nearly 300 civilians. Even though intensive investigations have shown the missile was Russian and the forces who fired it were Russian-trained, Moscow has never owned up to its actions. These Russian paramilitary forces along with Crimean separatists then took control of the restive state over the course of days. Imagine if Canada took western Montana. Russia has now demanded Crimea be recognized as a free state and has made clear it believes Crimea is part of Russia’s historical provinces. Not many have followed through recognizing Crimea, though Trump seemed to indicate he might do that.

Joshua Manning is a brazen liar when he says Russia invaded Ukraine. What actually happened is the US supported a coup in Ukraine, unleashing some very nasty strains of Neo-Nazism that has led to a civil war. The Montana Post has been inaccurately depicting events in Ukraine and Crimea for years. Don’t believe a goddamn thing they say about this arena of American foreign policy.

Joshua Manning has also contributed to MSNBC, the corporate media arm of the Democratic Party. In a recent Intercept article, Glenn Greenwald reminds readers how audaciously MSNBC contributors like Malcolm Nance lie and nothing is done about it, even when it’s an easily proven like, like claiming Jill Stein had a TV program on RT. The reality is, no, Jill Stein never had a TV program on RT:

Whatever your views might be about Stein and her third-party candidacy, there is no disputing the fact that Nance’s statement was a falsehood, a fabrication, a lie. Stein did not have a show on RT, nor did she ever host a show on RT. What Nance said was made up out of whole cloth — fabricated — in order to encourage MSNBC viewers to believe that Stein, one of the candidates running against Clinton, was a paid agent of the Kremlin and employee of RT.

Reid allowed Nance’s lie to stand. Perhaps she did not realize at the time that it was a lie. But subsequently, a campaign was launched to urge MSNBC to correct the lie it broadcast, based on the assumption that MSNBC — which is part of NBC News — was a normal news outlet that functions in accordance with basic journalistic principles and would, of course, correct a false statement once that was brought to its attention.

To date — almost two years later — neither NBC News nor MSNBC, nor a single journalist who works for either one of those media outlets has corrected this significant falsehood, despite obviously knowing that it was broadcast to their viewers. In other words, NBC News and MSNBC know that they told viewers something that was materially false, and yet refuse to correct it. Please, defenders of this network: Tell me what that says about its integrity, about its real function, about whether it is a real news outlet.

When a shooting happened at a newspaper in Annapolis, partisans were quick to take advantage of the tragedy to score points against Trump. Are these partisans oblivious to the fact that exploiting a tragedy to score political points just contributes to the perception of Trump supporters that the media is against him? Do they care?

When a pundit lies so brazenly, and the most basic of journalistic standards are completely ignored, the damage done to the media’s credibility (for those paying attention) is immense. For those not thinking critically about the “news” sources they are consuming, it’s pretty obvious because they regurgitate things like RUSSIA INVADED UKRAINE and RUSSIA HACKED OUR ELECTIONS.

Another bullshit narrative that is currently unraveling is the narrative that the Assad regime was responsible for a chemical attack in Douma. Despite the OPCW report which clearly states there was no evidence of a chemical attack, western media have been able to manipulate the OPCW report to actually report the exact opposite. The best analysis I’ve come across is this post from Moon of Alabama.

This is perhaps the most dangerous propaganda of all because it resulted in air strikes launched against Syria by the US, France and UK. How many Americans are aware that these lies are leading us to the precipices of a global military conflagration? Not enough to matter, apparently. And since some media have given up on even issuing corrections, too many Americans will continue believing the lies they are being told indefinitely.

From local blogs to MSDNC, lies and propaganda are being shamelessly peddled in a larger information war against Trump. Corporate media has lost nearly all credibility and they won’t be getting it back any time soon as new lies are piled on top of old ones.

If Trump gets reelected in 2020, the corporate media’s Russiagate propaganda campaign will be a big reason why. Even heading into the midterms there are signs that support and enthusiasm among conservatives could buck the usual midterm slump for the party of the sitting president.

Despite all this, I don’t see the information warriors stopping their dangerous attempts to misrepresent the reactions of Russia in order to damage Trump. They’re going to keep at it because frankly they don’t have any other tools in their tool box.


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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