Sunday 31st of May 2020

anonymous sources feed the agencies with crap, fake news, alternative facts, defective information...


A Reuters report which claims the Russian death toll in Syria this year was four times higher than officially released data has drawn strong criticism from Moscow, with the defense ministry saying it causes nothing but contempt.


“It’s not the first time that British news agency Reuters is trying by any means to discredit Russia’s operation to destroy IS (Islamic State, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorists and restore peace in Syria,” defense ministry spokesman, Igor Konashenkov said in statement Wednesday.



Moscow also recalled “Reuters' hysteria” over unverified reports of civilian casualties from an alleged Russian bombardment of Aleppo, Syria in early 2017 “when no Russian aircraft even approached the city.”


The ministry also criticized the news agency for turning a blind eye to the atrocities of militants in Aleppo and the sufferings of civilians in Mosul, Iraq and Raqqa, Syria due to airstrikes by the US-led coalition.

“The publication of UK’s Reuters about the alleged massive ‘classified losses’ of Russian servicemen in Syria is no exception to this trend,” Konashenkov said.

The spokesman pointed out the questionable credibility of the sources in the report, including “some kind of rumors, data from social networks and fictitious conversations with allegedly ‘intimidated’ and anonymous ‘relatives and acquaintances.”

“At the same time, the servicemen of the Russian Armed Forces are only slightly mentioned (by Reuters). Instead, a myth is planted about some killed ‘mercenaries’ from a ‘mysterious’ organization,” he said.

READ MORE: 'We’re bad day away from Russians asking, ‘Why are you still in Syria?’ – top US commander

The defense ministry was emphatic in that “there are no, and never were [there] any alleged ‘secret’ burials of Russian servicemen, who died in Syria. Attempts to present private individuals, who aren’t related to the Russian Armed Forces and the operation in Syria, as such – are false from start to finish.”

Unlike the British military, which is illegally deployed in Syria, Russian soldiers are risking their lives… as they deliver humanitarian aid to the Syrians or reconciling the warring parties,”
it said.



“Therefore, the mockery over the issue of deaths of Russian soldiers in Syria by British news agency Reuters can cause anything nothing, but our contempt,” the ministry underlined.

Earlier Wednesday, Reuters published a report claiming the Russian death toll in Syria since the start of the years has reached 40.

The anonymous sources in the publication also insisted that some of the Russians killed on the battlefield were employees of private security firms.

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mccain not happy about being happy...

US President Donald Trump’s signature, imposing new sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea, prompted Republican Senator John McCain to call out the president – this time for (faint) praise.

Trump expressed major reservations about the bill immediately after signing it into law. That’s a new level even for Trump: to bash something he will forever be on-record as having approved to become law. “The concerns expressed in the president’s signing statement are hardly surprising, though misplaced,” McCain said Wednesday.

“While the American people surely hope for better relations with Russia, what this legislation truly represents is their insistence that Vladimir Putin and his regime must pay a real price for attacking our democracy,” the statement says. 

Trump had little choice but to sign the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act into law, given the nearly 100 percent legislative support it received in Congress. If Trump had vetoed it, there were enough votes in the House and Senate to override his veto, which would have been a major embarrassment to the president.

Instead, Trump continued to disrupt “politics as usual” by passing the law, and then immediately stating the law contained “clearly unconstitutional provisions” and “remains seriously flawed—particularly because it encroaches on the executive branch’s authority to negotiate.”

"As president, I can make far better deals with foreign countries than Congress," he said. The sanctions have drawn the ire of not only Russia, but France, Germany and the EU; the political victory of the US Congress has come at some cost internationally.

Of course, US intelligence reports suggesting Russian hackers broke into a Democratic National Committee server spurred skepticism among members of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). VIPS is a group of former CIA, NSA, and other intelligence and defense officials.

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rorting controversies...


Reuters has a policy of taking a "value-neutral approach," which extends to not using the word "terrorist" in its stories, a practice which has attracted criticism following the September 11 attacks.[16] Reuters' editorial policy states: "We are committed to reporting the facts and in all situations avoid the use of emotive terms. The only exception is when we are quoting someone directly or in indirect speech."[17] (The Associated Press, by contrast, does use the term "terrorist" in reference to non-governmental organizations who carry out attacks on civilian populations.[16])

Following the September 11 attacks, Reuters global head of news Stephen Jukes reiterated the policy in an internal memo and later explained to media columnist Howard Kurtz (who criticized the policy): "We all know that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter, and that Reuters upholds the principle that we do not use the word terrorist...We're trying to treat everyone on a level playing field, however tragic it's been and however awful and cataclysmic for the American people and people around the world. We're there to tell the story. We're not there to evaluate the moral case."[16]

In early October 2001, CEO Tom Glocer and editor-in-chief Geert Linnebank and Jukes later released a statement acknowledging that Jukes' memo "had caused deep offence among members of our staff, our readers, and the public at large" and wrote: "Our policy is to avoid the use of emotional terms and not make value judgments concerning the facts we attempt to report accurately and fairly. We apologize for the insensitive manner in which we characterized this policy and extend our sympathy to all those who have been affected by these tragic events."[18]

In September 2004, The New York Times reported that Reuters global managing editor, David A. Schlesinger objected to Canadian newspapers' editing of Reuters articles to insert the word terrorist. Schlesinger said: "my goal is to protect our reporters and protect our editorial integrity."[19]

Climate change reporting[edit]

In July 2013, David Fogarty, former Reuters climate change correspondent in Asia, resigned after a career of almost 20 years with the company and wrote about a "climate of fear" which resulted in "progressively, getting any climate change-themed story published got harder" following comments from then deputy editor-in-chief Paul Ingrassia that he was a "climate change sceptic". In his comments, Fogarty stated that "Some desk editors happily subbed and pushed the button. Others agonised and asked a million questions. Debate on some story ideas generated endless bureaucracy by editors frightened to take a decision, reflecting a different type of climate within Reuters—the climate of fear," and that "by mid-October, I was informed that climate change just wasn't a big story for the present. …Very soon after that conversation I was told my climate change role was abolished."[20][21] Ingrassia, currently Reuters' managing editor, formerly worked for The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones for 31 years.[22] Reuters responded to Fogarty's piece by stating that "Reuters has a number of staff dedicated to covering this story, including a team of specialist reporters at Point Carbon and a columnist. There has been no change in our editorial policy."[23]

Subsequently, climate blogger Joe Romm cited a Reuters article on climate as employing "false balance", and quoted Dr. Stefan Rahmstorf, Co-Chair of Earth System Analysis at the Potsdam Institute that "[s]imply, a lot of unrelated climate skeptics nonsense has been added to this Reuters piece. In the words of the late Steve Schneider, this is like adding some nonsense from the Flat Earth Society to a report about the latest generation of telecommunication satellites. It is absurd." Romm opined that "We can't know for certain who insisted on cramming this absurd and non-germane 'climate sceptics nonsense' into the piece, but we have a strong clue. If it had been part of the reporter's original reporting, you would have expected direct quotes from actual skeptics, because that is journalism 101. The fact that the blather was all inserted without attribution suggests it was added at the insistence of an editor."[24]

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lies, easy media lies...

The Russian Defense Ministry has denied a recent media report regarding the number of Russian servicemen killed during the course of the Russian military operation in Syria.


Earlier, Reuters reported that Russian casualties in Syria had jumped in 2017. The news agency claimed that the actual death toll among Russian soldiers and private contractors was at least 40, including 21 private contractors, 17 soldiers and two people with an unclear status.

According to Defense Ministry Spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, this is "not the first time" such reports have been published, and that they’re aimed at "discrediting" Russia’s operation against Daesh in Syria.

"An article about alleged heavy 'secret losses' among Russian servicemen in Syria, released especially for the Russian Airborne Troops Day, is not exception. The sources again are rumors, social networks data and talks with anonymous 'relatives and friends,'" Konashenkov said Wednesday.

The spokesperson added that there have been repeated attempts to impose a "myth about some killed 'contractors' from a 'secret' organization."


"Such attempts are a lie from A to Z," Konashenkov underscored.

Earlier, the Kremlin commented on the reports, saying that the only official source of information regarding losses among the Russian military is the Russian Defense Ministry, not media.

"Data comes through the Defense Ministry channels, it is necessary to be guided by this data, it is official," Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said.

The recent report by Reuters was a deliberate misinformation attempt, according to Vladimir Kozin, a Russian military expert and professor at the Academy of Military Sciences.

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adding crap to the lies...

Reuters Suggests But Can Not Find "Iran's new route to Yemen" 

The Trump administration is filled with people who, for whatever reason, hate Iran. These people are attempting to break the "nuclear deal" with Iran and other powers. Their propaganda accuses Iran of every "evil" in this world. Their position is fully in line with the Israeli-Saudi anti-Iran axis.

Since the U.S., the UK and the Saudis wage war against Yemen they claim that Iran is allied with the Zaydi people of northern Yemen who, together with the Yemeni army, resist the Saudi invasion. Iran is regularly accused of smuggling weapons to them even as no evidence for this has ever been shown.

Reuters jumps into the breach with this fantastic fake-news item: Exclusive: Iran Revolutionary Guards find new route to arm Yemen rebels:

LONDON (Reuters) - Iran's Revolutionary Guards have started using a new route across the Gulf to funnel covert arms shipments to their Houthi allies in Yemen's civil war, sources familiar with the matter have told Reuters. 
For the last six months the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has begun using waters further up the Gulf between Kuwait and Iran as it looks for new ways to beat an embargo on arms shipments to fellow Shi'ites in the Houthi movement, Western and Iranian sources say.

Using this new route, Iranian ships transfer equipment to smaller vessels at the top of the Gulf, where they face less scrutiny. The transhipments take place in Kuwaiti waters and in nearby international shipping lanes, the sources said.

"Parts of missiles, launchers and drugs are smuggled into Yemen via Kuwaiti waters," said a senior Iranian official. "The route sometimes is used for transferring cash as well."

The writer of that Reuters piece is one Jonathan Saul. Other most recent piece on his Reuterspage are: European banks struggle to solve toxic shipping debt problemGlobal shipping feels fallout from Maersk cyber attack and Lenders to ramp up pressure on holders of toxic shipping debt - survey. Older stories by Saul have similar headlines. Saul writes from London about the global shipping industry. That surely qualifies him as an expert on Yemen.

But even an expert can err. The Houthi are not Shia in the sense that Iran is predominantly Shia. They are Zaidi and follow the Hanafi school of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence. They pray in same mosques as Sunni believers do. Using the term Shia for the Zaidi side of the Yemen conflict is a lazy repeat of unfounded Saudi claims which try to set any local conflict in the Middle East into a "Sunni-Shia" frame even when that is completely inappropriate. As the Carnegie Endowment states:

Claims of Iran’s influence over the Houthis have been overblown. While the Houthis do receive some support from Iran, it is mostly political, with minimal financial and military assistance. However, since the Houthis took control of Sanaa, the group has increasingly been portrayed as “Iran-backed” or “Shia,” often suggesting a sectarian relationship with the Islamic Republic. Yet until after the 2011 upheavals, the term “Shia” was not used in the Yemeni public to refer to any Yemeni groups or individuals.

The Reuters piece comes with this rather unhelpful map.

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the news you consume is the shit they poop...


The Propaganda Multiplier: Governments, military and intelligence services using global news agencies to disseminate their messages to a worldwide audience.

Therefore you always have to ask yourself: Why do I get
this specific information in this specific form at this moment?
Ultimately, it’s always about questions of power.”
Dr. Konrad Hummler, Swiss banking and media executive

It is one of the most important aspects of our media system – and yet hardly known to the public: most of the international news coverage in Western media is provided by only three global news agencies based in New York, London and Paris.

The key role played by these agencies means that Western media often report on the same topics, even using the same wording. In addition, governments, military and intelligence services use these global news agencies as multipliers to spread their messages around the world.

A study of the Syria war coverage by nine leading European newspapers clearly illustrates these issues: 78% of all articles were based in whole or in part on agency reports, yet 0% on investigative research. Moreover, 82% of all opinion pieces and interviews were in favor of the US and NATO intervention, while propaganda was attributed exclusively to the opposite side.


“How does the newspaper know what it knows?” The answer to this question is likely to surprise some newspaper readers:

The main source of information is stories from news agencies. The almost anonymously operating news agencies are in a way the key to world events. So what are the names of these agencies, how do they work and who finances them? To judge how well one is informed about events in East and West, one should know the answers to these questions.”
Höhne 1977, p.11


A Swiss media researcher points out:


The news agencies are the most important suppliers of material to mass media. No daily media outlet can manage without them….So the news agencies influence our image of the world; above all, we get to know what they have selected.”
Blum 1995, p.9


In view of their essential importance, it is all the more astonishing that these agencies are hardly known to the public:

A large part of society is unaware that news agencies exist at all … In fact, they play an enormously important role in the media market. But despite this great importance, little attention has been paid to them in the past.”
Schulten-Jaspers 2013, p.13


Even the head of a news agency noted:

There is something strange about news agencies. They are little known to the public. Unlike a newspaper, their activity is not so much in the spotlight, yet they can always be found at the source of the story.”
Segbers 2007, p.9

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Read from top. 


We've been on this subject since the inception of this site. This "propaganda multiplier" of the Western media (read US hegemony) is actually also interpreted by various media outlets (to frame the debate). Some media will let you know that "Trump is crap" and a few will limit the damage on this score. What comes out from all the media is the same soup stirred from different directions. As far as the US exceptionalism is concerned, most (all) Western media will have thick anckles (support the concept). 


This is why someone like Assange "has to be destroyed". Chelsea Manning is back in prison. This is the actual position of most MSM at present. The media is frothing at the mouth to see what comes next. For a while, outlets like The shitty Guardian gobbled the Wikileaks raw news that were not pretty, but TRUE, then the Guardian boffins realised that their elitist capitalistic patrons would not be too happy about the truth. Hence the awful crappy position of The Guardian on Venezuela for example. 

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