Thursday 29th of February 2024

news, nothing but the fake crappy news.....

On January 20, 2023, TF1-LCI published an article and a video aimed at discrediting several independent Western journalists working in the Donbass. Except that this pseudo "fact-checking" turns out in the end to be only a collection of truncated information or even false information, when it does not quite simply turn into defamation.

This attempt to discredit independent Western journalists working in the Donbass is not the first and certainly will not be the last, but we must admit that it is so badly done, that it reveals all the incompetence of journalists and French “fact-checkers” pseudonyms.


by Christelle Nil


Indeed, in the video, Samira El Gadir, head of the "fact-checking" service of TF1-LCI, aligns the lies and half-truths on the four journalists who are targeted, namely Thomas Röper, Alina Lipp, Graham Phillips, and myself.

For example, Samira El Gadir says in the video, and this is repeated in the article, that Thomas Röper, a German journalist who has been living in Russia for years, would be presented by the Russian media as working for the spiegel. However, as we can see by looking for his name in Russian, the media of the Russian Federation, like for example RIA FAN, clearly mention Thomas as the founder of the blog Anti-spiegel, and not at all as being a journalist of the spiegel. So either Samira and her team are a bunch of broken hands, unable to do a search in Russian on a search engine, or they are in bad faith.

They then move on to Alina Lipp, whose name they are unable to spell correctly, forgetting the second "p" at the end half the time. In the video, Samira explains to us that Alina now lives in Russia, forgetting to explain why! If Alina can't go home anymore, it's becauseshe faces three years in prison for simply doing her job as a journalist saying that the people of Donbass support the Russian special operation in Ukraine, and that the Ukrainian army is bombing civilians. It must be said that such a confession would crack the “democratic” image (human rights, freedom of expression, all that, all that) of Germany, and therefore of the EU.

Then they go after Graham Philipps, whom dear Samira denies is a journalist, calling him a "blogger", before – in the same sentence (!!!) – saying that he worked for RT and the Russian Ministry of Defense TV channel. Except that Graham did not serve tea or coffee there, he worked there as a journalist reporting on the ground. So Graham Philipps is indeed a journalist and not a blogger.

See the video demystification of "fact-checking" by TF1-LCI

All of the people attacked in this pseudo "fact-checking" of TF1-LCI are independent Western journalists who work in Donbass and Russia, not bloggers, influencers or whatever bogus title aimed at discrediting them. All have press credentials. I recall for Samira and her team of broken arms that a journalist is (I quote Wikipedia who cannot be accused of being pro-Russian): " a person who collects or researches, verifies and writes and then distributes information on any type of media (printed press, radio, TV and information and communication technologies of the Web)". Definition that corresponds to each of us.

If he is forgotten in the video, it is then Adrien Bocquet who is attacked in the article, in what is neither more nor less than pure and simple defamation. It so happens that I have already met Adrien several times, and that I was able to see on his phone several photos and videos of him in Ukraine which prove that he did go there, and this, in the areas he told several French media. I would like to remind the team of TF1-LCI that public defamation is punishable by French law with a fine of €12!

I also remind you that the type of analysis used to discredit one of Adrien's photos (see the demystification he personally made of this pseudo "fact-checking") has already been used in the past by Bellingcat, which was slapped on the wrist by the designer of the analysis tool for using it incorrectly and therefore drawing incorrect conclusions. Using this tool to assess the level of error on a low-quality photo that was then recompressed by Twitter is like reading tea leaves!

Moreover, the designers of the tool used by France TV say themselves that it is necessary "take into account that forensic filters highlight any type of modification of the digital signal of the image and not only manipulations altering the meaning of the image (which means thatthere may be false positives) " and "csome complex textures or excess luminance can also modify the signal without intention of manipulation ". Clearly drawing an unequivocal conclusion based on this tool is impossible.

The video of TF1-LCI and their article ends on me, again with lies and errors galore. Contrary to what these pseudo "verifiers" may say, no, I did not "live in Luxembourg for a long time", since I have NEVER even lived there! Worked yes, but lived no. Already there we start badly, very badly even. Samira and her team have in fact forgotten to look on a map for the size of Luxembourg, which would have allowed them to see that because of the small size of the country, it is very easy to work there, while living in a of the three neighboring countries! What tens of thousands of French, Belgians and Germans do!

Then in the article the team of verifiers-disinformators of TF1-LCI, claims that in my video of July 2, 2022 I would have welcomed the collapse of the Ukrainian defenses and the enormous losses of kyiv. Except I'm just stating facts, I don't say at any point in the video that I'm happy about it. If just to say "the Ukrainian defenses have collapsed" and "kyiv's losses are enormous" is to rejoice for Samira and her team, it is that all the "verifiers" of TF1-LCI on the benches of the school to learn French, and to add them some courses on the duties of the journalist, who must be factual and honest. Now, either Samira and her team have the IQ of a steamed dead octopus, or they intentionally attributed to me intentions and statements that I did not have or keep!

Finally, just to finish discrediting us, the article mentions that none of us had worked for a newspaper title before going to Russia ". Except that it is false concerning me since I worked for a publishing house publishing an economic magazine for two years. That's the problem when you lay out a "fact-check" in less than 24 hours (according to Samira herself), and claim to know everything about the lives of five people after barely looking for five minutes on Google: we wallow miserably. And wanting to spit on independent Western journalists who work in the Donbass under the pretext of lack of experience, when we ourselves have not even gone to journalism school, as Samira El Gadir who entered the profession via the Foundation TF1, and who before that knew nothing at all about it, it's downright the hospital that doesn't care about charity.

I remind Samira and her team of pseudo-experts that I have been a war reporter in the Donbass for seven years! That unlike her, I am in the field, I have been living in a war zone for almost seven years, I have walked the Donbass front line from north to south, I have slept on the front lines, in positions, and I filmed reports and conducted humanitarian missions as close as possible to areas where fighting was still taking place.

I also remind her that the five Western journalists that she and her team of pseudo "verifiers" of TF1-LCI defamed from their comfortable armchairs and desks, all risked their lives, and all endured the bombings of the Ukrainian army on the civilian population of Donbass in order to be able to show their fellow citizens what is really happening on the ground.

Samira, the day you do a third of a quarter of the fieldwork of the five independent journalists you defamed, and you take even a tenth of the risks that we take in the Donbass to do our reporting, you may begin to criticize our work. In the meantime, you have only succeeded in proving that our reports and our articles frighten you to the highest point, pushing you to try everything, even the most crass defamation to try to discredit our work. Unfortunately for you, the only thing you managed to do was to "fact-check" the fact that you can be a "journalist" in France with the IQ of a jellyfish washed up on a beach.

Christelle Nil

source: Donbass Insider




wapo crap.....

By Nolan Higdon and Mickey Huff / Project Censored

The Washington Post’s coverage of a January 2023 study arguing that the post-2016 coverage of Russia election meddling may have been overblown, reveals a corrosive trend in legacy news media where the personalities and outlets that perpetuate inaccurate or false news are rewarded, and the truth-tellers who expose legacy media lies are marginalized and ostracized.

The Washington Post cited a newly published academic study from the New York University Center for Social Media and Politics that concluded there was no evidence that the content suspected of being generated from Russia meaningfully impacted voters in the 2016 election. The authors wrote “we can’t find any relationship between being exposed to these tweets and people’s change in attitudes.” However, the Postwas quick to point out that the study focused on Twitter and there was still the possibility that Russian content on other platforms such as Facebook (now Meta) could have tilted the election. However, there is no solid evidence to confirm such a claim and other previous studies by media scholars Emil Marmol and Lee Major, as well as Nolan Higdon of Project Censored, found Facebook’s reach was also minimal. They were not alone.

The study the Post referenced was hardly revelatory as even more researchers had drawn the same conclusion as early as 2016. Harvard University’s Yochai Benkler and his colleagues pointed out there was no empirical evidence that online content shifted electoral votes in 2016 and noted that cable news proved to be arguably far more influential. All of these studies found that the content from Russia was minimal in scope and influence when compared to the digital content disseminated by Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s multi-million dollar presidential campaigns, which were further boosted by billions of dollars in free coverage from legacy media. Meanwhile, seasoned journalists such as Glenn Greenwald, Matt Taibbi, and Aaron Maté noted the flimsy sources and baseless claims so-called “mainstream” media were relying on to convince audiences that Russia tilted the election. Rather than analyze these arguments, corporate media outlets just shot at the messengers.

Still, other researchers ignored these aforementioned studies and sources and relied on unsubstantiated evidence to make irrational claims that Russia was responsible for Trump’s electoral victory, often straining credulity. A study from Columbia University argued that data from betting markets “confirms” Russian trolls tilted the 2016 election. The authors argued that changes in betting markets around the holidays, when trolls presumably took a break from propagandizing to gamble, demonstrated that it was Russia who tilted the election. Equally absurd, historian Katherine Jamieson Hall argued that Russia influenced the news media cycle by releasing emails from the Hillary Clinton campaign, which distracted from an Access Hollywood tape exposing Trump’s sexism and misogyny. Hall’s analysis seems to imply that Russian trolls dictate news media focus, not the seasoned editors and staff at these much-vaunted institutions.

When confronted with conflicting research, however, the legacy news media overwhelmingly chose to perpetuate the story that Trump’s Electoral College victory was due to Russian interference. For example, over a six week period in 2017, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow covered Russia more than all other stories combined, turning it into a cottage industry as we noted in our book, United States of Distraction. The pervasive coverage by Maddow and others in legacy media laid the groundwork to justify numerous other false and baseless stories that claimed Russia had put a bounty on U.S. soldiers, infiltrated Bernie Sanders’ 2020 campaignhacked a Vermont power plant, fabricated evidence on Hunter Biden’s laptop, and utilized a video recording of Trump being urinated on a by a sex worker as blackmail. All this from the same media outlets warning the public about the spread of “fake news.”

Legacy media’s Russia nonsense not only misinformed audiences, it distracted from substantive investigations into the failures of Clinton’s campaign, the successes of Trump’s, and the ways in which the Democratic Party and FBI were actually some of the most powerful forces meddling in the 2016 election. Yes, Russia meddled, too, but to nowhere near the extent or effect according to the evidence.

While journalists who pointed out the vapid reporting on Russia were erased from legacy media when not being attacked (Glenn Greenwald, Matt Taibbi, Abby Martin, and Aaron Maté), Russia fear-mongering luminaries such as Maddow secured a $30 million annual deal with MSNBC. Having truth-tellers removed to make more room for propagandists is not new; it is the norm for legacy media. For example, in the 1990s, when Gary Webb of the San Jose Mercury News exposed the CIA’s involvement in drug trafficking, a story legacy media was reticent to report, they attacked Webb (who was “let go” by the newspaper) leading to the destruction of his career and end of his life. Similarly, those who perpetuated the lies connecting Iraq to 9/11 and weapons of mass destruction in 2002 and 2003 were rewarded with continued lucrative legacy media careers (Judith Miller, Thomas Friedman, and almost any news anchor on national network or cable news for that matter), while those who challenged them were ostracized as conspiracy theorists (Phil Donahue, Jessie Ventura, Michael Moore), even though the latter were correct. Further, the entire decade-long attack on Julian Assange of WikiLeaks, including CIA plans to assassinate him, is further evidence that those who dare to expose the corruption and lies of the U.S. Empire, including the failures of the Fourth Estate itself, will pay a heavy price.

Another consequence of all this is that it further makes audiences so ignorant about the existence of journalists outside legacy media that they either do not know about their reporting or disregard them altogether. For example, the revelations from the late 2022 and 2023 Twitter Files was largely dismissed by legacy news media and its audiences because it came from independent reporters outside the establishment press, like Matt Taibbi, who offered well-sourced evidence that disproved legacy media’s claims about topics around government collusion and censorship, Russiagate, and the COVID-19 pandemic response.

The result is that audiences are uninformed or ill-informed. That was made abundantly clear last year, when George Santos won a seat in the House of Representatives while lying about nearly everything–where he attended high school and college, his finances, being Jewish (saying he was Jew-ish), having employees shot at the Pulse night club, founding charities, and his relatives’ dying in the 9/11 attacks and the Holocaust. Although Santos ran in New York, a state known as the media capital of the world, the legacy media did not expose these lies until after the election and Santos was already taking office. This journalistic malpractice is especially concerning given that it was a small local newspaper, The North Shore Leader, that exposed Santos’s lies before the election, when it really mattered, but no one bothered to notice. Apparently, the legacy media, whose outlets refer to themselves as “the place of politics” and “the best political team on television,” never considered that politicians might lie to get into office. This is curious given that they were acutely aware of Trump’s thousands of falsehoods, but it’s easier to blame Santos, not themselves, for audiences’ ignorance about the waning veracity of newly elected congressman’s claims. This was a major failure of the establishment press, and another example of why we desperately need local, independent journalism dedicated to telling the truth.

What is clear is that even through the legacy news media may eventually get a story right, it takes too long and the damage they inflict by perpetuating falsehoods results in an uninformed and misinformed public. Rather than wait for the legacy media to utilize its massive resources, power, and access to get a story right, audiences would be wiser to turn to the journalists (Brihana Joy Grey, Lee Fang, Ken Klippenstein, Glenn Greenwald, Matt Taibbi, Abby Martin, Alan MacLeod, and Aaron Maté), and media organizations (like those highlighted by Project Censored) with a track record of getting things right. You can usually tell who they are because they do not appear in legacy media unless they are being attacked.