Monday 20th of January 2020

in search of the truth...

in search of the truth...

In his eulogy of Robert Parry, Oliver Stone blasted Steven Spielberg’s movie “The Post"… (Oliver Stone slams ‘lame-brained’ Spielberg movie over WaPo portrayal). 

Stone commended the Consortium News’ founder [Robert Parry] for breaking from the “tyranny of mainstream media conformity” and his breaking of the Iran-Contra scandal. Stone then pointed to the fact that the Washington Post’s publisher Katharine Graham, who is the subject of ‘The Post’ [movie], “deliberately ignored” that story.

Robert Parry died a few days ago. 

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA — Robert Parry, a longtime investigative journalist who was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 1985 for his Associated Press exclusives about the CIA's production of an assassination manual for Nicaraguan rebels, has died. He was 68.

Parry died Saturday in hospice care after a series of strokes brought on by undiagnosed pancreatic cancer, said his wife, Diane Duston.

Parry joined the AP in 1974 and went on to work in the Washington bureau, where he covered the Iran-Contra scandal as it rocked the Reagan administration. His work on the scandal also brought a George Polk Award in 1984.

After leaving the AP in 1987, Parry worked for Newsweek until 1990 and then became an investigative reporter for the PBS series "Frontline."

In 1995, frustrated with what he saw as dwindling venues for serious investigative reporting, Parry founded the Consortium for Independent Journalism. Its website,, sought to provide a home for such reporting in the early days of the internet, though it struggled financially and relied on contributions.


This leads us to the “Washington Times”…
As an investigative journalist, I’m not much for catchy political metaphors, but the revelation that snakes and rodents are infesting the Washington Times building as the Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s newspaper [Washington Times] sinks into a financial swamp does have some poetic justice about it.
This was the beginning of a long fascinating article on Moon by Robert Parry published in 2010 (

The Washington Times is a rag in the same vein of politically slanted news as the New York Post, though it does not have the presentation brashness and clever crassness of such Murdoch paper. So how come, in the days of a "Soros driven world-media" for “journalistic truth”, someone like Parry was struggling to make a crust. Could Soros have funded Robert Parry’s operation? Would Parry have accepted cash from Soros? Does Soros like “independent News”? So many questions! To which the answers would have been NO, no and no...
The main problem for us, the educated public at large, is to find “real” information that has not gone through the sieve of “conspiracies” and/or partisan filters to defraud us from knowing the truth. Where are we going to find this? In the Soros media? in the Murdoch Media? In independent media? In the Voice Of America ( On the ABC (Australia)? At DemocracyNow!? In the Washington Times? Mother Jones? Under a rock? RT? Sputnik? On Mars?

The “war” on fake news is as fake as the news itself. This is why Robert Parry struggled. He exposed the rotten hidden undercurrents of governments, which, themselves, are battling other hidden undercurrents from opponents. There are fiddles and fake news galore floating like turds on an ocean of plastic sterile info.

Now the New York Post, possibly with a slithering tongue in its right-hand cheek, tells us:
America’s biggest tech giants are nothing if not popular. Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon rank as some of the most well-liked brands in the world. Pollsters find that 86 percent of Americans hold a favorable view of Google and 80 percent share a favorable impression of Amazon. The reason is simple — these companies’ products are entertaining, accessible and seemingly cheap.

But their growing dominance is giving rise to an insidious trend that we shouldn’t so happily accept. Just last week, billionaire philanthropist George Soros gave a speech in Davos, Switzerland, in which he attacked Facebook and Google for “inducing people to give up their autonomy” and driving inequality. He’s not wrong. In fact, tech giants are just like the monopolists and robber barons that ruled the American economy a century ago. But, while Standard Oil’s monopoly was as obvious as the smoke-belching refineries it controlled, the powers of Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon are less transparent — if not entirely secret.

Yippee!  I hope you can spot the irony here of the Murdoch empire, usually versus the Soros empire, now united in battling the new kids on the block… 
Soros is a very rich "philanthropist” — with making money (dollars) on his mind. His main venture is currency trading while influencing the values of currencies through his media empire. Though he “is not allowed to do business in the USA” (except through “charities”), he does the bidding of spreading the US’s style of democracy — read “the world US empire” outside of the USA, through his  media outlets. This is why Soros hates Donald Trump and Bitcoin (

Soros is a supporter of "soft” hypocrisy as a means to get his wishes of a world government (read a world Big Brother), mainly by supporting the Clintons and Obama. To say the least, these geezers broke a few eggs, including fomenting the ugly US driven push against Russia, the destruction of Libya and the demolition of Syria to please Saudi Arabia. Soros supports the zionists (though he fights them openly) and Saudi Arabia — as well as fund McCain (, because this Republican is fiercely anti-Trump. 

In the same way that Soros supports the “Democrats”, Uncle Rupe supports the “Republicans”, including Donald Trump. All these major influencers will pick and choose information (news “interpretation" wrapped up in real events) that will further their causes. 
For example, a few entities that slipped under the radar of Soros who points out Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon, there are other influencers including Murdoch as mentioned and … wait for it… Disney. While much of Hollywood influences adults, Google and Facebook influences young pimply adults, Disney influences the “kids”. Disney moulds the way kids will be receptive to some rightwing “philosophies”, including that of the hierarchical system in which kings and princesses rule the roost. Thus the Murdoch “sell” of his Hollywood assets to Disney is part of a “conservative” consolidation.
Back to the Washington Times, this ultra-conservative newspaper hates Soros. First because Soros supports Black Lives Matter, “idealist” news outlet like those that released the “Panama Papers”, but also because Soros supports Al Gore’s global warming efforts (

So does Soros "believe” in global warming”? I personally do not think so. He never made any noise about it. And it would not make any sense. So why would Soros support this “leftist” agenda (Note: global warming is real). Strangely enough Soros hates (I mean HATES) socialists, commies and to some extend the “left” in general — but he loves Nazis when profitable or to defeat socialism. Soros likes money. There is cash to be made by manipulating “unrest” in countries around the world. There is no unrest with the rich dudes. Unrests always comes from the “left” and/or loonie poor Nazis… Unrests tend to devalue currencies by a few notches… Play the currency game well and you make a billion overnight. 

Scandal: Leaked documents released a few days ago provide juicy insider details of how a fabulously rich businessman has been using his money to influence elections in Europe, underwrite an extremist group, target U.S. citizens who disagreed with him, dictate foreign policy, and try to sway a Supreme Court ruling, among other things. Pretty compelling stuff, right?

Not if it involves leftist billionaire George Soros. In this case, the mainstream press couldn't care less.

On Saturday, a group called DC Leaks posted more than 2,500 documents going back to 2008 that it pilfered from Soros' Open Society Foundations' servers. Since then, the mainstream media have shown zero interest in this gold mine of information.

We couldn't find a single story on the New York Times, CNN, Washington Post, CBS News or other major news sites that even noted the existence of these leaked documents, let alone reported on what's in them.

Indeed, the only news organization that appears to be diligently sifting through all the documents is the conservative Daily Caller, which as a result has filed a series of eye-opening reports.

So what could possibly explain the mainstream media's disinterest?


Answer to this is self-explanatory. Soros supports the RICH “left” progressive liberals and most of the media in the USA from The Washington Post to The New York Times are on the same pathway. The liberal media hate the fact that Trump passed the post when they were ready to all celebrate “the first woman President” (and all ready to approve her bombing of Damascus). 
Other medias have a few skeletons in the closet, especially the very religious “The Washington Times” and too few will bash Soros, but most of the TV outlets in the English hegemony are on the side of “progressivedom”, TPPs and all that. 

But in Europe, one needs some rightwing balance, otherwise the socialists might take over. Thus Soros funded ultra-conservative Macron’s election to defeat the socialists (the left) and Marine LePen, the loony demolisher that would have brought unrest in Europe. At the time, Soros' cash would have been under “pressure” by being invested (gambled) in the “wrong” direction. (

nowtheendbegins’s EDITOR’S NOTE: His campaign slogan is ‘En Marche‘, which when translated to English means ‘Move On’. Just like the name of the Soros-sponsored Hmmm. His campaign received huge financial assistance from globalist George Soros. Hmmm again. New French president Emmanuel Macron was trained in the Jesuit school system. Hmmm again. Google and Facebook used Soros-funded groups to “help the French electorate make sense of what and who to trust” before casting their votes. That’s my final “hmmm”, and you wonder how Macron won in a landslide? Hmmm. 

Here we need to follow Meyssan:
Unnoticed in the Western world, the renewal of the Lancaster House Treaty by London and Paris creates a super « Entente cordiale » which is far more immersive than the Treaty of 1904. It participates in the re-institution of a bipolar world, and will inevitably provoke the exit of France from the European Union and the return of tension between Paris and Berlin.

Soros paid a lot of cash and spread a lot of “information" (read; disinformation) in the toppling of the Russian leaning Ukrainian government to be replaced by right-wing Nazi thugs. Soros is still leading the Crimea disinformation output.
Meanwhile, Murdoch plays the game of “news”, cunningly like a Fox. Murdoch is richer than Soros, but the “new kids on the block” are cramping his style. Apple, Google and others are making a mint by giving out “news” (pre-digested info about events in the world with the same emphasis as half-a-cat video) which they often steal by “repeating” (like we do here, in a way), making us bypass the paywalls. You know what I mean — Google news: AFP said that… AAP-London… etc. But they won’t go the Wikileaks or other “independent” route… This is most likely why Murdoch made a “deal” with Disney...
We have lost a MAJOR channel of underground information (that should have been main-stream) — as well as a good guy — with the death of Robert Parry. He had a very level headed view about the Trump/Russia connection… (

… We have few clarionists left… Say Julian Assange, Snowden, Thierry Meyssan and John Pilger. It’s dangerous work, I know, but we need more… And strangely, a few of them appear on the Russian media that are far closer to the truth than the “liberal” US media — but understandably, with this Russian media comes a necessary anti-US empire viewpoint... 
For example, the "revelations" which were known all along that the US did not respect the contract between Reagan and Gorbachev, that the US interfered with the Russian elections and tried to "rape Russia", now turned into a hate in full swing against Russia does not get more than a oh-hum (a cat video will definitely get more coverage) treatment in the liberal media... Relentless OUTRAGE at our hypocrisy should be the order of the day... But, it's like boxing — an ugly sport — when the opponent drops his guard. Boom... We applaud like monkeys. Anything goes until........ we manage to fall on our face for being too cocky... That day is on the cards.

Condolences to Robert Parry’s family. 

Gus Leonisky
Your local truth-seeker...

more deaths on the way...

A thousand people died in Afghanistan in January as a result of terror attacks committed by the Taliban. With the Taliban now active in 70 percent of Afghan territory, Radio Sputnik discussed the issue with Rahimullah Yusufzai, a political and security analyst,as well as an expert on the Taliban.

Sputnik: Over the years we have heard the White House say that there is no purely military solution against the Taliban. But the US continues to prioritize military action over diplomacy. Why is it so?

You know, the Americans say one thing and do another. This is what Trump is known for. He is very impulsive and can do very unexpected things. The Americans believe they can weaken the Taliban and then [force] it to agree to peace talks. […] The Taliban will never make a deal with the Americans.

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See also: 

Gekaufte Journalisten...

not the truth...

what the western media DOESN'T WANT to tell you...

Consensus between the Syrians at Sotchiby  Thierry Meyssan

While the Congress for a Syrian National Dialogue has not solved the conflict, it has swept away the minor groups who were pretending to represent the Syrian People for the benefit of the Western powers. It has also cleared the way for a consensus, adopted by the representatives of almost all Syrians, and decided the creation of a Constituent Commission. The basis for peace has been established, but without the Western powers.

For the first time since the beginning of the conflict, in 2011, a conference uniting 1,500 Syrian delegates, of all origins, confessions, and almost all political opinions was held in Sotchi - the Congress for a Syrian National Dialogue.

This initiative by President Vladimir Putin was placed under the high patronage of Iran, Russia and Turkey [1]. It was denigrated, even rejected, for no reason, by the other powers implicated in the war. De facto, the idea of an inter-Syrian conference excluded them from the peace process.

Does the Congress represent the minorities?

Much pressure was brought to bear by the partisans of the war to ensure that the Congress would not be representative of the Syrian People. In the minds of foreigners, including Russia, Syria shelters minorities who aspire to autonomy – supposedly the case of the Kurds and the Druzes. However, this view of the situation ignores what the Syrian project has actually been for several thousands of years.

This Asian territory, which reaches from the West of the Euphrates to the Sinaï, is inhabited by a multitude of minorities – the Kurds and the Druzes of course, but also the Turkmen, the Chechens, the Georgians, the Bedouins, the Armenians, etc., etc. These ethnic minorities are themselves composed of religious minorities with antique confessions, such as the Alaouites (who were Christianised, then Islamised), Christians of all sorts of churches, and the Sunni Muslims. This territory is situated between the five seas, in such a way as to constitute an obligatory waypoint, not only for traders, but also for conquerors. Throughout their history, these peoples have adhered to a common project - Syria. They learned that they needed one another in order to resist all sorts of invaders. They mingled everywhere, to the point that at the start of the 20th century, no minority identified with any particular region. It took British and French colonisation to attempt to make Palestine a Jewish state, Lebanon Christian, and Jordan Muslim. Throughout this vast area, only what is now the Syrian Arab Republic still maintained, just ten years ago, this profound social diversity.

When they were preparing the Congress in Sotchi, the Russian diplomats at first believed, spontaneously, that it would be enough to federalise the country according to its minorities in order to bring peace. In its first version, the Conference was to be called the « Congress for the People of Syria ». Discussing this subject with various participants, they came to understand that the history of Syria is different from that of Russia, and that, geographically, it is not possible to federalise this diversified land. But on the contrary, the Israëlis pursued the idea of separating the Kurds from the Arabs, while France entertained the notion of distinguishing Christians and Muslims, etc. By doing so, they restricted their action to the continuity of the colonial Sykes-Picot-Sozonov agreements.

At their instigation, the Kurds of the PYD boycotted the Congress. But, contrary to a preconceived idea widely held in the West, while the PYD is the only exclusively Kurdish political party, it is nonetheless a minority amongst the Kurds of Syria. In the national culture, all ethnic parties are illegal - the PYD is an exception.

In any case, the people present at the Congress were either elected by direct universal suffrage, the leaders of associations, or recognised personalities. The invitations had been sent as widely as possible in order to leave no-one out.

Does the Congress represent political opinions?

Every power implicated in the war sponsors the Syrians who represent their interests. At first, Turkey and Saudi Arabia organised and financed the Syrian National Council in Istanbul. Then, with the entry of Qatar, it became the National Coalition for Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces. As events evolved, several groups appeared, each one instrumentalised by a foreign party.

One group refused in advance to participate in the Congress in Sotchi – the High Negotiations Committee which, contrary to what its title may suggest, refuses all negotiation. It is based in Riyadh and represents Saudi interests (which, within the Syrian population, are supposed to correspond to the wishes of the Bedouin tribes of the Syria-Iraq-Saudi desert). Although it maintains its democratic rhetoric as long as the cameras are running, it promotes desert values - tribalism, a unique religion, and a refusal of History.


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the vietnam experience...

The US hawks still blame the US Vietnam defeat on the free press that exposed the shenanigans of war. Since this wallop, the free press (now "the media") has mostly rolled over into the same bed as the US government. Any military venture will be applauded with fanfares and trombones. This is why reporters were imbedded during the Iraq war, and the news became one sided, tightly controlled by the CIA. The whole MMMM (mediocre mass-media de shit) has been one-sided ever since, even though now there is a small hiccup with the non-existent Russian/Trump connection which the media froths up to keep an illusion of doing "its" job... It's fake as all get out and the more the media pushes, the more it emboldens DumbDumb. The reports on Syria in the "free media" are appallingly one sided to say the least, and designed to satisfy the urges of the Faustian US empire...


We deserve better that adverts for OfficeWorks being passed off as News on Channel Nine.

soros sorrows...

You’d have to have a real sense of humor failure not to laugh. The news that US billionaire Soros donated £400k to an anti-Brexit group came on the day that YouTube said they found no evidence of Russian interference in Brexit. 

Repeat After Me (with robotic arm movements): “Unproven Russian involvement in Brexit – terrible! Impose more sanctions on Moscow! A £400k check from an American billionaire for an anti-Brexit campaigning group – that’s no problem; it’s helping our democracy!”

You don’t have to own a brand new £999 state-of-the art Hypocrisy Detector from Harrods, to pick up on the double standards. Just having a few functioning brain cells and thinking for yourself will do. For months in the UK we’ve been bombarded with Establishment-approved conspiracy theories – peddled in all the ’best’ newspapers – that Russia somehow ‘fixed’ Brexit. Getting Britain to leave the EU was all part of a cunning plot by Vladimir Putin, aka Dr. Evil, to weaken Europe and the ‘free world.’

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protecting the source of his lies...

Dutch Foreign Minister Halbe Zijlstra has admitted that he lied when he claimed to have heard President Vladimir Putin describing an ambition to unify Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic states and Kazakhstan as a single country.

Zijlstra claimed at a party conference in 2016 that he had overheard Putin outlining the grand plan for a “Greater Russia” in 2006 during a gathering of businessmen. He was working for the oil company, Shell, at the time.

In the original retelling of the story, Zijlstra said he had been in a back room of a dacha (country house) when he heard Putin define “Great Russia” as “Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and the Baltic states,” adding that “Kazakhstan was nice to have.”

The story was questioned by the newspaper Volkskrant, however, which discovered from Zijlstra’s colleagues that he had not been at the 2006 business meeting in Russia, despite being part of the Shell delegation. When confronted about this, the minister acknowledged lying and claimed he was simply trying to protect a source.

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His source was most likely to be a CIA disinformation specialist...

update on halbe zijlstra

Dutch Foreign Minister Halbe Zijlstra has resigned, a day after he admitted lying about overhearing Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. In 2016 Zijlstra alleged Putin had in 2006 expressed ambitions to create a “Greater Russia.”

The official admitted that his credibility had been damaged by the ongoing scandal to such an extent that his position had become untenable.

Halbe Zijlstra announced his resignation in an emotional speech to the House of Representatives. Zijlstra described the “Greater Russia” affair as the “biggest mistake” in his political career, adding that the country deserves a Foreign Minister who is beyond reproach.

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no, they didn’t...

The Guardian published this short opinion piece today, its headline reads:

America lost a cyberwar to Russia in 2016. When will we have truth? 

Refuting the stale claims repeated in the headline, and expanded upon in the prose, is but the work of a moment. Hitchens’ razor states that any claim made without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence. A Yale professor should know that. Therefore the refutation of the claim “Russia hacked the election” can be made in three simple words: No, they didn’t.

Job done. I consider the article dealt with. But now we have to deal with the undertone. Now we have deal with why this article is scary.

The scary part of this article isn’t the war-like talk about Russia. 

The scary part isn’t that this seemingly delusional man is apparently a professor at one of the most auspicious institutes of learning in the Western world (although, that is cause for some concern).

The scary part isn’t an elitist “academic” sweepingly dismissing the electoral process of his own country, and ignoring the majority will of his countrymen.

No, the scary part is that he really, really means it. This isn’t propaganda, in the old sense of that word. This isn’t misinformation to spread an agenda. This is full-blown delusion. He genuinely believes the Russians are at “cyber war” with America.

To be crystal clear about this – there is literally ZERO evidence to support this. The Mueller investigation is limping along, revealing absolutely nothing (except that the FBI wanted Hillary to win). The Steele dossier is revealed to have been paid for by the DNC.

There is no evidence. And yet he believes.

Russia has become the great, Orwellian “enemy”. The unseen force behind all our ills. Russian trolls are to blame for Brexit (even though they’re not), and Catalonia (again, untrue) and Donald Trump. Russian trolls were even blamed for hacking the winter Olympics.

This is scary. Scary because it demonstrates that the liberal elite of the USA, and its vassal states, have totally lost their minds. They live in a fantasy world, an un-reality. And they will believe anything that is convenient, anything that supports their un-reality, even if it puts them on a path to real war.

That should terrify everybody.


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more delusions from the chief of spies...

WASHINGTON — Russia is already meddling in the midterm elections this year, the top American intelligence officials said on Tuesday, warning that Moscow is using a digital strategy to worsen the country’s political and social divisions.

Russia is using fake accounts on social media — many of them bots — to spread disinformation, the officials said. European elections are being targeted, too, and the attacks were not likely to end this year, they warned.

“We expect Russia to continue using propaganda, social media, false-flag personas, sympathetic spokespeople and other means of influence to try to exacerbate social and political fissures in the United States,” Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, told the Senate Intelligence Committee at its annual hearing on worldwide threats.

Mr. Coats and the other intelligence chiefs laid out a pair of central challenges for the United States: contending with the flow of Russian misinformation and shoring up the defenses of electoral systems, which are run by individual states and were seen as highly vulnerable in 2016.

“There should be no doubt that Russia perceives its past efforts as successful and views the 2018 U.S. midterm elections as a potential target for Russian influence operations,” said Mr. Coats, testifying alongside Mike Pompeo, the C.I.A. director; Christopher A. Wray, the F.B.I. director; and other leading intelligence officials.

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Please explain which way the Russians could sway the 2018 elections. Vote for the Trump Team? No advantage in that. Trump has already sold out to the military machine, contrarily to what he said he would do, and Putin "would not be impressed"... Vote for the Democrats? Hum...  Just to make politics unworkable in the USA?  Hum... why not. But the Democrats would resent any help from the Russians, would they not? So the only way the Russians can interfere in the 2018 mid-term US elections is to not interfere... like they did not interfere with the 2016 US Presidential elections...

like a google search in 0.37 seconds...

"Twitter doesn't make it easy to track Russian propaganda efforts — this database can help," the news agency wrote on their website.

The released database was created with the powers of "three sources familiar with Twitter's data systems" to cross-reference a partial list of names released by Congress with tweets from the accounts that Twitter suspended earlier for alleged association with ‘Kremlin trolls’. 

NBC states that Twitter has linked the tweets - all 200,000 of them - to "malicious activity" from Russia-linked accounts during the 2016 presidential election. 
A link is included in NBC's article which allows readers to examine some of the tweets in a Google document. 

After reading the database, one may reach a shocking revelation – the tweets do not show anything that cannot already be seen online every single day, and do not receive any attention whatsoever.

Most of the tweets are political (what a shock - politics being talked about on social media during a major US election), however, they take on both candidates and parties.

Some were pro-Trump, with one tweet saying "Sorry, Hillary: Trump's policies are clearly better for blacks."Another said that "Donald Trump has huge support from women" but "the media will never show this."Others criticized Trump: one said that "66% of voters are still voting against Trump," and was followed by smiling and winking emojis. Another called Trump an #AssClown, and included a link to "how Trump got his party to love Russia." Sound familiar?


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Yes it sounds familiar... When you do a "google" search, you often get a 2.3 million results in 0.397 seconds at most. The first ten results are barely relevant, though you might find what you are looking for at level 2 by adding an obscure parameter. The rest has basically nothing to do with what you want to know, but the number of "results" is impressive... It would take you a lifetime to check every single one of them for relevancy, but I can assure you, there is nothing relevant. This NBC thingy of course is based on the first few twits and no-one is going to check them all to the last 200,000 (except RT of course). NBC is banking on this (not on the RT investigation). But the large number gets implanted in the heads of the populace: there was 200,000 twits from "Russia" that influenced the 2016 Presidential elections, — AND THAT'S THE ONLY THING THAT NBC WANTS THE PUBLIC TO "ACCEPT", relevant or not. And I nearly forgot: when doing a "google" search, by page 5, there is a lot of "repeats", if you know what I mean...

dress the "fake news" in jewel tones...

A few days ago, every local news station in America owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group – a massive media conglomerate – read a short statement about the spread of “fake news”. The same statement, word-for-word. CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox, it didn’t matter. They were united in their chant.

As you watch the montage – put together by user “D” on youtube – you have to ask yourself: What is the mechanism behind this? Who wrote the statement, and what structure allows their words to be spoken by hundreds of mouths to millions of viewers?

Most importantly – how revealing is this of our media? How often has this united-front of opinion been present, but less obvious?

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The fuller script of the promo reads:

"The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media. More alarming, national media outlets are publishing these same fake stories without checking facts first.

"Unfortunately, some members of the national media are using their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control exactly what people think. This is extremely dangerous to our democracy."

The scripts for the promo, which were read by each local station's news team, came with this instruction: "Please produce the attached scripts exactly as they are written. This copy has been thoroughly tested and speaks to our journalistic responsibility as advocates to seek the truth on behalf of the audience."

The internal communications also included detailed instructions on how presenters were to dress.

"Talent should dress in jewel tones; they should not look political in their dress or attire," it said.

"Avoid total red, blue and purples dresses and suits; avoid totally red, blue and purple ties, the goal is to look apolitical, neutral, nonpartisan yet professional," the notes read.

"Black or charcoal suits for men; females should wear yellow, gold, magenta, cyan, but avoid red, blue or purple."

Even more disturbingly, the internal memo said the company's head office would "monitor" audience reaction and "send replies to your audience on your behalf."

The fallout comes as Sinclair is at a corporate crossroads, part-way through the acquisition of another company, Tribune, which will expand Sinclair's 193 stations to 233.

The FCC is expected to rule on that takeover soon.


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By its nature, all political news or social news is slanted, biased and partisan. This is unavoidable. For example, the headline for the murder of 15 Palestinians on Israel border with Gaza in the SMH is: "Israel "did what had to be done". The fact that the heading has quotes is ambiguous. Yesterday's SMH editorial was "Forget the politics, this is a catastrophe" in regard to Syria. I guess from the tone of the letters today that nowhere has been acknowledged that more than 140,000 people have been evacuated from East Goutha, nor that Damascus people are not under the threat of bombs coming from East Goutha anymore. 


Read from top.

the news has been cancelled...

In one of the least surprising developments in an ongoing story, the Sun newspaper has been forced to remove a report from its website in which a Russian model claims Vladimir Putin is trying to kill her.

The article has since been removed “for legal reasons,” and, some are speculating, probably for some ‘truth’ reasons as well.

Russian-born Anna Shapiro and her British husband Alex King were at the center of another poisoning scare in Salisbury last Sunday in an incident that appeared at first to echo the attack on ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the very same city.


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human nature and political civility...


By Robert W. Merry.

Back in 1953, in the early months of the Dwight D. Eisenhower administration, the new president found himself in a political minefield related to his nomination of Charles E. (“Chip”) Bohlen to be U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union. The unfolding political drama tells us something about how we used to do things in America as opposed to how we do them today. One example is President Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to become a Supreme Court justice. Human nature having not changed, there were people of solid character back then as well as people of low character, the same as today. The big difference between the two situations lies in the level of political civility that reigned when politicians grappled with a potential scandal.

Bohlen was an acknowledged Soviet expert and a dedicated career diplomat who nonetheless had some bitter enemies inside and outside government. This was, remember, the height of the so-called McCarthy era, named after Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy, the fiery anticommunist pugilist who had placed at the center of politics the question of whether domestic communists were undermining America’s posture towards the Soviet Union.

Though a Republican, Bohlen was identified with the Democrats’ internationalist establishment. In those dark days of Cold War anxiety, conservative partisans delighted in attacking this establishment as a hotbed of domestic fools and villains responsible for the sad state of the world.

Worse, Bohlen had been at the 1945 Yalta Conference, site of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s secret agreements with the Soviets over the postwar map of Europe. Republicans believed these had sealed the tragic fate of Eastern Europe and fostered the Soviet threat to the West. The ongoing debate over Yalta was bitterly partisan.

All this amounted to a political firestorm that threatened to engulf the Eisenhower administration in its tender early phase. Perhaps Bohlen could have doused the flames had he criticized the Yalta agreements during his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. But he believed they were in the country’s interest—and probably the best deal Roosevelt could have gotten from the Soviets’ Josef Stalin at the time based on the alignment of military forces in postwar Europe. He brashly refused to criticize Yalta, and the fat was in the fire.

Enter the masters of the Senate ambush—Republican McCarthy and his Democratic sidekick, Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada. Before Bohlen’s nomination was sent to the floor, the committee had focused on his views; now the ambush specialists turned to his character.

A whisper campaign began. The FBI’s investigative files, it was suggested, contained damaging information about Bohlen’s homosexual proclivities (considered disqualifying at a time when most gay people kept their sexual preferences in the closet). The rumors also hinted at possible loyalty questions. In those days, FBI files weren’t routinely passed around to various senators and their staffs to be leaked to the news media at strategic moments. But for the likes of McCarthy and McCarran, even suppressed investigative files had their political uses.

McCarthy called on Bohlen to take a polygraph test to refute the vague allegations swirling around the Capitol. McCarran attacked Eisenhower’s new secretary of state, John Foster Dulles, for suppressing the FBI information. He should come to the Hill, the wily senators suggested, and testify under oath as to why he wouldn’t allow public scrutiny of this important information.

At this point, Ohio’s influential Senator Robert A. Taft entered the fray. Taft hated Yalta and never shrank from using its symbolic significance for political advantage in foreign policy debates. But more than Yalta he hated the character assassination he saw unfolding on the Senate floor. He initiated a counterattack.

“Mr. Dulles’ statement not under oath is just as good as Mr. Dulles’ statement under oath, as far as I am concerned,” declared Taft. He then proposed a compromise: a senator from each party would inspect the FBI files and report back to the chamber on any pertinent character information they contained. The compromise was accepted, and Taft joined Alabama’s Democratic Senator John J. Sparkman on a mission to FBI headquarters. When they returned after three hours of study to report that the files contained no disqualifying information, the battle was over. Bohlen was confirmed, 74-13.

You can’t prove a negative, as the logicians tell us. Taft and Sparkman never learned for sure whether Chip Bohlen was gay. But they did know that the suggestion of homosexuality was never proved, and so Bohlen’s nomination could not be derailed.

How very civilized, even quaint, all this seems as we contemplate the kind of politics practiced today. There are some striking similarities between the Bohlen story and our current drama regarding Kavanaugh. These include: the focus on character matters after opponents failed to prevail on the nominee’s views, the late hit, the use of allegations that can never be definitively disproved, and the lack of regard on the part of the character assassins for the reputation of the man at issue.

But there are some big differences also. These mostly center on the prevailing mores and protocols of Senate behavior. If there are allegations that could prove damaging, they must be investigated. But most senators in Bohlen’s day knew they didn’t want a messy public battle, with the likes of McCarthy and McCarran wielding their big pikes. And consider the level of collegial trust that undergirds this story. When Taft and Sparkman returned with their report, the vast majority of senators instantly accepted their veracity. There was honor among colleagues, and it was understood that in delicate matters involving the reputations of public men, a central aim was to keep the McCarthys and McCarrans from running rampant through the halls of discourse.

Today the McCarthy/McCarran characters are given free rein, and no one can curtail their destructive romps. The leading McCarthy/McCarran figure in today’s unfolding drama is California’s Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein, who embarked on the most destructive approach she could conceive of in handling an allegation that was unproved and probably unprovable. She sat on the information throughout the committee process, then slipped it into the political maw. Her maneuver was designed to preserve for her a fig leaf of integrity while drawing into the public fray a woman who had said she didn’t want her name revealed. Then she sat back and watched the braying hounds attack.

As of today, we don’t know what actually took place between Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, at that unsupervised teenage party 36 years ago, and we probably never will. Ford hasn’t given us much to go on—no date, no address, no identification of who owned the house, no witnesses (except one, who denies that the sexual attack took place), no recollection of how she got to the party or got home, no contemporaneous revelation of what happened even to her closest friends.

None of this is to impugn her honesty or the veracity of her story. But that story is unsubstantiated, and unsubstantiated allegations shouldn’t derail the course of Senate business. That was well understood in the Senate of 1953, and the result was a discreet and proper and civilized effort to adjudicate the matter without a lot of civic breakage. These days, civic breakage seems to be the name of the game.

Robert W. Merry, longtime Washington, D.C. journalist and publishing executive, is a writer-at-large for The American Conservative. His latest book is President McKinley: Architect of the American Century.


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winners and sore losers to come...

US magnate George Soros and his liberal counterparts have good reason to be up in arms about Donald Trump and the Republican Party ahead of the upcoming midterms, Wall Street analyst Charles Ortel told Sputnik, presenting his prognosis on who would be the winners and sore losers in the November vote.

US billionaire George Soros is preparing for a decisive battle for the US Congress by investing heavily in the Democrats. According to The Atlantic, should the Democratic Party win the House, they would be able to kick off "non-stop investigations" into the Trump administration and "possibly commence" impeachment procedures against the US president.

Soros has been joined by fellow liberal donors and his son Alex, who has poured nearly $3 million into Democratic committees for the November midterms, as Federal Election Commission data indicated.

Charles Ortel, a Wall Street analyst and investigative journalist who has been looking into the alleged fraud by the Clinton Foundation over the last few years says that the anti-Trump leftists have good reason for losing sleep over the upcoming vote: There is much more at stake for them than one could imagine.

"George Soros, through his 'Open Society' Foundations and affiliates appears heavily invested in foisting unregulated 'globalism' on nations worldwide," the analyst told Sputnik. "Under unregulated 'globalism,' he, his investment funds, and companies in which he invests are better able to game national regulators and profit from volatility in stock, bond, and commodity prices."

The investigative journalist remarked that Donald Trump's approach to "unregulated globalism" and its controversial endeavors and practices is well known: The president is about to bring an end to these.


"Donald Trump's 'Make America Great' approach, his encouragement of other national leaders to concentrate on internal projects, and his disdain for corrupt, expensive, and ineffective globalist projects are a direct threat to Soros so it is natural that he and other 'liberal' donors would fund opponents of Trump and or Republicans," Ortel elaborated.

The Wall Street analyst pointed out that "a particular fear that Soros and allies should have is that President Trump and Congress will enforce and tighten laws that bar 'charities' from engaging in partisan political activities and from profiting personally in any significant way from their operation."

Why Kavanaugh's Appointment is Step in the Right Direction

According to Ortel, the appointment of "strict constructionist" Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court Justice is one of the steps in this direction.

Commenting on the disruptive protests in the streets against Kavanaugh by a coalition of activist organizations including Women's March, the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) and Housing Works, backed by Soros and his left-wing counterparts, Ortel noted that Democratic lawmakers in Congress had been no less "reprehensible."

"Behavior of Senate Democrats, especially in the Judiciary Committee was reprehensible," the investigative journalist said. "President Trump earned the absolute right to nominate a qualified candidate to replace Justice Kennedy on the US Supreme Court. As a candidate, Trump long ago submitted a list of names he was considering and Democrats had many months to study each of them, including Kavanaugh."

Ortel has drawn attention to Senator Feinstein who, "in particular behaved deplorably," he stressed: "If it is true that she first received the complaint from Dr. [Christine] Ford, she could have arranged to investigate the allegations in confidence, well before the last-minute circus that erupted and unfairly tarnished many persons, even including (possibly) Dr. Ford."


"As the confirmation saga recedes in memory, a clear takeaway is that Democrats embrace mob-rule antics, while believing that laws do not apply to them and to their supporters. America remains a conservative nation (protestations from media 'elites' notwithstanding) and I believe the polls do not yet reflect true, underlying reality," the Wall Street analyst suggested.

According to him, the Republican Party has good chances of winning as "independents are a growing share of likely voters."

"I believe a clear majority will support Trump and Trumpism, preferring winning over losing under economically clueless, intolerant, arrogant, and fake elitists!" Ortel said.

Under Trump Red is the New Black

Referring to The Atlantic prognoses, the Wall Street analyst opined that "as in 2016, supposed elite commentators are well out of step and believing their own pipe dreams."

"Yes, if Democrats win the House (and they could do so, conceivably) they will throw sand in the gears of the Trump agenda — but they are most unlikely to secure the required 67 votes to convict anyone they ultimately do impeach (should they do so) in the Senate," he underscored.


Ortel believes that more likely Democrats will lose again. He foresees that they will "grow even angrier and reckless, challenging the vote count and the legitimacy of those who do win, particularly if they support President Trump's agenda."

"History is repeating itself, with a different rhyme — 'progressive' yet intolerant Democrats are an army of sore losers, who have yet to understand the folly of believing that unregulated 'globalism' will benefit any worker based in a rich (and expensive) nation as the march of technology renders all of us vulnerable to replacement," the analyst said.

"Revolutionaries fought 'redcoats' and cold warriors fought the 'red menace' — but under Trump, red is the new black — and I expect a red wave, and a blue whimper on November 6, 2018, recognizing that fate can still intervene to change many calculations, possibly at warp speed," he concluded.


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Note: Ortel is a hack for Murdoch's WSJ. Murdoch and Soros don't see eye to eye. Murdoch is a Turmpism opportunist while Soros is a double-crossing "leftie" opportunist who hates the left but uses it as a way to manipulate money markets. 

fartstein does not understand the word green...

'You didn't vote for me': Senator Dianne Feinstein responds to young green activists

Sunrise Movement says California senator reacted with ‘smugness and disrespect’ to their campaigning for New Green Deal.

The California senator Dianne Feinstein is facing criticism over a video of her response to a group of children and teenagers asking her to support the Green New Deal.

The video clip shows parts of a Friday morning meeting between the Democrat and young activists from the Sunrise Movement. Founded in 2017, the group organizes young people to fight climate change and support the Green New Deal.

When Feinstein pushes back on the young activists’ request, one child says: “The government is supposed to be for the people, by the people, and all for the people.”

“I’ve been doing this for 30 years. I know what I’ve been doing,” Feinstein responds. “You come in here and say it has to be my way or the highway. I’ve gotten elected. I just ran. I was elected by almost a million vote plurality and I know what I’m doing. Maybe people should listen a little bit.”

“I hear what you’re saying,” a teenage activist says. “But we’re the people who voted you, you’re supposed to listen to us.”

“How old are you?” Feinstein asks her.

“I’m 16,” the young woman responds.

“Well, you didn’t vote for me,” Feinstein says.

Later in the clip, Feinstein tells a young activist, “Well, you know better than I do. So I think one day you should run for the United States Senate and then you do it your way.”

“Great, I will,” the teenager responded.

The senator issued a statement Friday evening: “I want the children to know they were heard loud and clear,” she said, misstating the group’s name as the Sunshine Movement. “I have been and remain committed to doing everything I can to enact real, meaningful climate change legislation.”

The senator reacted “with smugness + disrespect”, the Sunrise Movement tweeted on Friday, sharing a video clip of the meeting. “Her reaction is why young people desperately want new leadership in Congress.”

By Friday night, the video the Sunrise Movement shared on Twitter, which had been edited and focused on clips of the most tense moments from the meeting, had been viewed more than 3m times.

The full video of the meeting between Feinstein and the young activists was also available on the group’s Facebook page. Some viewers said they found the full video, which includes more conciliatory moments between Feinstein and the young protesters, less shocking than the edited version.

In the full video, Feinstein repeatedly urges the young activist to read her draft legislation and explains the reasons she cannot support the Green New Deal. “There’s no way to pay for it,” she tells the children.

“It doesn’t have a single Republican vote, and the Republicans control the US Senate,” she adds. “I’ve been in the Senate for over a quarter of a century, and I know what can pass and I know what can’t pass.”

The Green New Deal, a proposal that aims to fight inequality and tackle climate change at the same time, is being advanced by the congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, among other Democratic lawmakers. 

The proposal could face a vote in the senate as early as next week.


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Read from top. The Guardian is somewhat goodish on green cabbage leaves but is very poor on international laws... See: 

a secret cornerstone upturned at the guardian...


And did I say Farstein? I did. My apologies for showing that Feinstein had no clue (or did not pay attention to, except her own inflated self) as to whom she was talking to... young activists from the Sunrise Movement, not from the Sunshine Movement... Ah, the Sunrise movement!




Meanwhile, in France:


Les étudiants et lycéens vont se retrouver place de l'Opéra à Paris à partir de 13h pour la seconde édition de leur grève du vendredi pour l'urgence climatique. L'ado suédoise militante Greta Thunberg, qui a lancé le mouvement, viendra les appuyer.

Après les dizaines de milliers de jeunes Australiens, Britanniques, Néerlandais, c'est au tour des jeunes Français de se mobiliser pour l'urgence climatique en menant des grèves du vendredi. 


Translate it yourself. Jules Letambour has just gone on holidays....


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an exercise in fiction-truth...

SPOILER ALERT: if you don't want to know the truth behind Martin Scorsese's new film, stop reading now.

Anyone who says Bob Dylan hasn't got a sense of humour can't have watched his new movie, Rolling Thunder Revue, directed by Martin Scorsese.

At the Sydney Film Festival audiences were laughing out loud at the characters, the storyline and the revelatory details contained in many of the scenes. 

The complicating factor in all this is very simple: some of the characters and quite a few of the stories are completely fictitious. 

Only the director and Dylan know exactly what's what, and the question is, does it really matter?

The background you need to know

First up there are a few things you need to know that, to the best of my knowledge, are true. 

In 1975, when Dylan set out on the Rolling Thunder tour, his marriage was on the rocks. 

Secondly, he'd just released one of his greatest albums, Blood on the Tracks (inspired in part by the break-up). 

Thirdly, he was brassed off with the idea of playing to big crowds, in big arenas, and he wanted to re-connect with his audience.

His answer to all this was to take to the road creating a travelling show like a carnival. To do that he gathered a troupe of musicians and artists including Joni Mitchell, Allen Ginsberg, Joan Baez and actor Sam Shepard, along with a first-rate band.

It was in many ways a promotor's nightmare. Lots of people, lots of venues and smaller audiences. But as Bob makes clear in the new film, you don't measure success by profit. 

Just to add spice to the undertaking, he shot the whole proceedings with a view to making a movie called Renaldo and Clara which, at its heart, was about multiple personalities and illusion.

So the film is a documentary, right?

Jump forward 44 years and now we are presented with the documentary version of the tour. 

Or are we? 

Early on, we are told the reason we have all the footage is that filmmaker Stefan van Dorp was contracted, way back then, to make a film about the tour in the style of a series of silent movie scenes — but it was never finished.

This of course is a total fabrication. The man being interviewed is actor Martin von Haselberg, who as it happens is married to singer and actress Bette Midler. 

It may be an illusion, but van Dorp's relationship with Dylan becomes a running joke in the documentary, culminating in a scene where the fictitious documentary-maker's voice asks Dylan for a quick interview and Dylan says "are you still here?". 

At this point the audience at the film festival erupts in horrified laughter, not because it's a joke but because we think Dylan's dismissal is real.

The truth and lies keep on coming. The fun part is working out what's what.


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wapo turns to the right...and publishes assumptions...



Iran must escape the American chokehold before it becomes fatal

By David Ignatius


Joe Biden is a walking, talking gaffe machine

By Marc A. Thiessen


If even France can’t figure out a climate policy, what hope is there for the U.S.?

By Catherine Rampell


Peeling away Russia’s lies about the downed Malaysia Airlines flight

Editorial Board


Facebook must like trouble, because its new cryptocurrency just means more of it

By Megan McArdle


The U.S. can’t stand by while foreign governments intervene in elections

By Ellen L. Weintraub



Read more at the Washington Post



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soros is a right-wing fake lefty...

Donald Trump selfishly wants to improve the US economy, instead of shunning economic cooperation with China as part of a virtuous crusade for democracy, billionaire activist George Soros has complained in an op-ed article.

The US president should be applauded for waging economic warfare against China, but he must not use restrictions placed on Huawei as a bargaining chip to cut a trade deal with Beijing, the Hungarian-American businessman wrote in the opinion piece, published by The Wall Street Journal.

In it, the founder of the Open Society Foundations accuses Trump of seeking a trade deal with China as part of a cynical plot to “bolster the US stock market and economy to improve his chances at re-election” – because obviously Donald Trump would be the only American to benefit from a robust economy.

According to Soros, whose visionary worldview helped create the migrant crisis in Europe, Trump needn’t concern himself with petty trifles such as the “US economy” – he’s only the president of the United States, after all. Instead, he should volunteer his nation in an esoteric struggle to “open” Chinese society.


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Soros is a fake "democrat". He hates the right-wing but hates socialism like hell. He loves money more than Trump does. He is a capitalist whose ideals are to stir "liberal" revolutions and instability while he plays the currency markets as he creating "false news" of delusion. He is more dangerous than Rupert Murdoch who at least we know what he stands for.


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what's a bilious billion?... Tax losses?


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democracy dies in the shadowy tricks...

Columnist Max Boot in The Washington Post put into writing what we have all known for some time: real journalism, Jefferson’s informed citizenry and all that, is dead. The job has shifted to aspirational writing, using manipulated droplets of facts and just plain made-up stuff to drive events.

Boot writes to drive Trump from office and overturn the 2016 election. Max: “Much of my journalism for the past four years has been devoted to critiquing President Trump and opposing the spread of Trumpism. But no matter how many columns or sound bites I produce, he remains in office…. I am left to ask if all my work has made any difference.

Boot has spent the last several years creating and circle-supporting others who create false narratives. They manufacture reasons for Trump to resign, press Democrats to impeach, and try to persuade voters they otherwise hold in contempt that they don’t know what’s good enough for them. We kind of figured this out after senior staff at the New York Times had to remind reporters that they were “not part of the f*cking resistance,” but it is helpful to see it in daylight. After all, democracy dies in darkness.

The uber-false narrative Max and others Frankensteined into existence was Russiagate. Trump wasn’t the Manchurian Candidate and there was no quid pro quo for Russian election help. Yet the media literally accused the president of treason by melding together otherwise unrelated truthlets—Trump wanted a hotel in Moscow, some ads were run on Facebook—that could be spun into a narrative to bring him down. Correlation was made into causation in a purposeful freshman Logic 101 fail. What was true was of little consequence; what mattered was whether the media could collectively create a story that the rubes would believe and then pile on.

The critical flaw in Russiagate (other than that it didn’t happen) was that the media created an end-point they could not control. Robert Mueller was magic-wanded into the Last Honest Man, the Savior of Democracy, as the narrative first unfolded and then fell apart like a cardboard box in the rain. After his dismal testimony, there was nowhere for the story to go.

Was it only a week ago Law and Order: Scotland SVU was the locus of the Next Big Thing following Greenland? Because even as we race to catch up (debunking takes longer than making up accusations,) a whole new Big Thing popped up over the Ukraine. Details are vague, based all on leaks and persons familiar with some of it, but are as dire as they are lacking.

But as with every other outrage, leaks in the new phone call-gate instantly became certainties, certainties became foreign influence in our elections, and demands to impeach were recycled until Twitter voted for the death penalty. And all before a single piece of hard data is public. See the pattern yet?

If the latest “gate” doesn’t pan out, Democrats have already jumpstarted an old favorite, upgraded for the 2020 election: Trump is now manipulating domestic and foreign policy for personal gain via…hotel fees.

At first glance, it seems like a non-starter. Trump’s hotels are as much a part of him as the extra pounds he carries. He campaigned as a CEO and announced early on that he was not going to divest. But with the first cold slap of his election victory, a narrative was being shaped: he could not become president because of his business conflicts of interest; it was danged unconstitutional.

Early proponents of this dreck dug around in the Constitution’s closet and found the Emoluments Clause, a handful of lines intended to bar officeholders from accepting gifts from foreign sovereigns, kings, and princes to prevent influence buying. Pre-Trump, the last time the issue was in actual contention was with President Martin Van Buren (no relation) over gifts from the Imam of Muscat.

The media ran with it. They imagined out of whole cloth that any foreign government official getting a room at any Trump hotel had been given a “gift.” Then they imagined that any tiny percentage of that room profit that actually went to Trump himself represented a bribe. Then they imagined that despite the vast complexity of U.S. relations, Trump would alter course because some guy rented a room. It was Joker-like in its diabolicalness, the presidency itself merely a prank to hide an international crime spree. Pow!

It was ridiculous on its face, but they made it happen. The now-defunct leftist site Think Progress ran what might be Story Zero before Trump even took office. An anonymous source claimed that, under pressure, the Kuwaiti ambassador had canceled a major event at one hotel to switch to Trump’s own D.C. hotel. It turned out to be untrue. “Do you think a reception of two hours in the Trump hotel is going to curry favors with the administration when we host thousands of U.S. troops in Kuwait? When we have in the past and still do support American operations in Afghanistan and Iraq?” the Kuwait ambassador asked when someone got around to his side of the story. But no matter: the narrative was set.

Then it grew. Though the Emoluments Clause is quite specific, the media decided that every time anyone stayed at a Trump property, it was corruption. Even when Trump visited one of his own homes, it was corruption, because the Secret Service paid Trump for the privilege. Of course, the Secret Service has always paid for the facilities used in their work because the government cannot commandeer private property or accept free rooms (which, ironically, could be seen as a bribe), not from Marriott and not from the Trump Organization. Even Joe Biden still has to charge the Secret Service rent on a cottage he owns so they can protect him when he’s home in Delaware.

More? T-Mobile booked nine rooms at a Trump hotel, in media hive minds ostensibly to influence federal approval of a $26 billion merger. Those rooms were worth about $2,700. Of course, the president, who can influence the Dow with a tweet, prefers to make his illegal money off jacked up hotel bills. Think small has always been a Trump trademark.

Reuters headlined how foreigners were buying condos from third-party owners (i.e., not Trump or his company), but they were in a Trump-managed building and maybe the monthly maintenance fees would qualify as mini-emoluments? Trump was accused of “hiding” foreign government income at his hotels when servers at the bar failed to ask cash customers if they were potentates or princes (the headline: “Trump Organization Says It’s ‘Not Practical’ to Comply With the Emoluments Clause”).

And of course, there was the Air Force crew staying at a Trump place in Scotland. No matter that the hotel had forged its relationship with a nearby airport long before Trump became president, or that the Air Force had used the airport and hotel hundreds of times before Trump became president (going back to World War II), or that a decision by the Pentagon to have flights stop more frequently there was made under the Obama administration. None of that stopped the media from proclaiming corruption. One piece speculated that the $166 per night the Air Force pays for rooms was always part of Trump’s cornerstone financial plan for the floundering multi-million golf course.

But to see how much the corruption narrative really is a media creation, you have only to compare it to how the mainstream media covered what might have been a similar question in the past. Imagine if journalists had treated every appearance by Obama as a book promotion. What if his every speech had been slandered across the channels as corruption, Obama just out there pimping his books? Should he have been impeached for commercializing the office of president?

Follow the money, as Rachel Maddow likes to say. The Trump Organization pays to the Treasury all profits from foreign governments. In 2018, that was $191,000. The year before, the amount was $151,470. So Trump’s in-pocket profit is zero.

Meanwhile, Obama’s profit as an author during his time in office was $15.6 million (he’s made multiples more since, including a $65 million book advance). In the two weeks before he was inaugurated, Obama reworked his book deals to take advantage of his new status. He agreed not to publish another non-fiction book during his time in office to keep anticipation high, while signing a $500,000 advance for a young adult version of Dreams From My Father.

Obama’s books were huge sellers in China, where publishing is largely government controlled, meaning he likely received Chicom money in the Oval Office. His own State Department bought $79,000 worth of his books to distribute as gifts.

As with Trump, nothing Obama did was illegal. There are no laws per se against a president making money. Yet no one bothered to raise ethical questions. No one claimed he sought the presidency as a bully ATM machine. No one claimed his frequent messaging about his father was designed to move books. No one held TV hearings on his profits or how taxpayer funds were used to buy his books. It’s not “everybody does it” or “whataboutism”; it’s why does the media treat two very similar situations so very differently?

Max Boot confessed why. The media has created a pitch-and-toss game with Democrats, running false, exaggerated, and shallowly reported stories to generate calls for hearings, which in turn breathe life into the corruption stories they live off. We will soon see how far last week’s breathless drama—unnamed “whistleblower” leaks supposedly charging Trump with pressuring the Ukrainian president to investigate his rival Joe Biden—will go. 

Boot and his ilk are doing a new job. Journalism to them is for resistance, condemnation, arousal, and regime change. And that’s one way democracy does die.



Peter Van Buren, a 24-year State Department veteran, is the author of We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People, Hooper’s War: A Novel of WWII Japanand Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99 Percent.

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Trump is still a mad man, but La Madam Clinton would have been worse...

the cornf(l)ake news...

Professional journalists are losing touch with the moral code that once galvanized the profession, a new study shows. But what truth-slinger wouldn’t be having an existential crisis in an industry where facts no longer matter? ​

Ideology, speed, and novelty have nudged veracity and honor out of the way at the ethical core of the journalist’s trade. Journalists have become so estranged from the morality that once imbued them with a sense of purpose that the black hole where their profession’s honor used to be was actually measured in a recent study published in Journalism Practice. Working journalists “primed” to think of themselves in their professional role scored no higher on moral reasoning tests than when thinking of themselves as ordinary citizens, collapsing a sizable spread found in a similar study 13 years ago.

​Given the abysmal state of journalistic ethics on display in 2019’s sordid 24-hour news cycle, it’s no surprise journalists no longer surpass all but doctors and priests in moral acuity.

But it’s more than just the rush to be “first” and amass clicks that has torn the heart out of the profession. Truth itself is sidelined to suit the interests of the business interests which own nearly all mainstream outlets. There is no more speaking truth to power, and certainly no more afflicting the comfortable – even once-reputable outlets like the New York Times submit sensitive stories to intelligence agencies for approval.  Adversarial reporting lives – but only certain adversaries are permitted.

​Two of the world’s most prestigious news agencies pulled a story highlighting the plight of 100,000 helpless migrant children in US custody, imprisoned under the heartless border policies of President Donald Trump, earlier this week after the United Nations pointed out one small error. The heartbreaking number actually referred to children in custody in 2015, under then-president Barack Obama. The story was memory-holed by AFP and Reuters, though not before minimizing the accidentally scathing indictment of Obama’s border policies by pointing out belatedly the figure was cumulative.


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