Media Articles from 2021
Media Cheers DC Under Military Occupation
by Michael Tracey
Posted January 20, 2021
Downtown Washington, DC is currently under what essentially amounts to military occupation. Streets are locked down, guarded by Army vehicles and blocked off by huge, garish checkpoints. Vehicular traffic is limited to motorists who can show papers demonstrating that, as one Guardsman told me, they are conducting “legitimate business.” (Apparently this includes Uber drivers and food delivery workers.) According to official estimates, 25,000 military personnel are now deployed to the area — on top of countless federal, state, and local law enforcement agents. Troops roam around carrying rifles with no ammo loaded. If you can manage to navigate on foot to the perimeter of the National Mall, you encounter an enormous fencing apparatus, complete with barbed wire.
Question: does anyone with a media job find this situation to be worthy of some further inquiry? Or in other words, worthy of questioning the premise of why such an extravagantly intensive military presence is allegedly necessary? Is it proportionate to the scale of the purported threat? Has the nature of the threat itself — whatever that might be, exactly — been adequately probed to determine whether it is grounded in reality? Already a bunch of purported threats initially trumpeted across the media with the usual five-alarm-five hysteria have dissipated in short order, so there is perhaps some reason for doubt in that regard. More…
How Silicon Valley, in a Show of Monopolistic Force, Destroyed Parler
by Glenn Greenwald
Posted January 14, 2021
Critics of Silicon Valley censorship for years heard the same refrain: tech platforms like Facebook, Google and Twitter are private corporations and can host or ban whoever they want. If you don’t like what they are doing, the solution is not to complain or to regulate them. Instead, go create your own social media platform that operates the way you think it should.
But today, if you want to download, sign up for, or use Parler, you will be unable to do so. That is because three Silicon Valley monopolies — Amazon, Google and Apple — abruptly united to remove Parler from the internet, exactly at the moment when it became the most-downloaded app in the country.
If one were looking for evidence to demonstrate that these tech behemoths are, in fact, monopolies that engage in anti-competitive behavior in violation of antitrust laws, and will obliterate any attempt to compete with them in the marketplace, it would be difficult to imagine anything more compelling than how they just used their unconstrained power to utterly destroy a rising competitor. More…
The Great Social Silencing
By Kalev Leetaru
Posted January 13, 2021
Last week Silicon Valley silenced the president. In unison, the social media giants, with an assist from Amazon and Apple, also eliminated their most popular conservative competitor and announced that their own moderation policies would now extend to other companies. Meanwhile, CNN openly called for Fox News to be banned from cable, while a major talk radio network issued new speech rules to its hosts, extending tech’s moderation policies to the offline world. Beyond all this, Congress and the European Union called for powerful new regulation of online speech.
As a handful of unelected billionaires declare sovereignty over digital speech, where might the coming months take us? More…
“Listen to the scientists”
by Simon Black
Posted January 11, 2021
Now we’re being force fed a narrative that science is absolute and 100% certain… and that, above all else, we must listen to the scientists.
Or, more precisely, we must listen to the scientists they want us to listen to.
We absolutely must listen to the scientists who tell us to cower in fear in our homes because of a virus.
We must listen to the scientists who tell us that we need to keep our masks on, and then take their own masks off as soon as they’re no longer on camera. We must listen to the scientists who tell us to cancel everything and not spend time with friends and family, who then themselves hop on a plane to visit their own friends and family. We must listen to the scientists who tell us we need to do whatever it takes to prevent a single Covid death… but that deaths due to suicide, heart attack, and stroke are perfectly fine, and so are domestic violence, drug addiction, and depression.
And we must listen to the scientists who tell us that an unproven vaccine devoid of any long-term study is completely safe and effective.
But we absolutely must NOT listen to any scientists who voice concerns about Covid vaccines. We must not listen to scientists whose peer-reviewed research shows that Covid might not be as bad or as deadly as the media continues to portray. More…
MSM Already Using Capitol Hill Riot To Call For More Internet Censorship
by Caitlin Johnstone
Posted January 8, 2021
The United States received a very small taste of its own medicine today as rioting Trump fanatics temporarily forced their way into the nation’s Capitol building, and now the whole nation is freaking out.
I am being generous when I say that America was given a very small taste of its own medicine; unlike the horrific coups and violent uprisings the US routinely orchestrates in noncompliant nations around the world, this one stood exactly zero chance of seizing control of the government, and only one person was killed.
I am also being generous when I say the rioters “forced their way” in; DC chose not to increase its police presence in preparation for the protests despite knowing that they were planned, and there’s footage of what appears to be cops actively letting them through a police barricade. There was some fighting between police and protesters, but contrasted with the unceasing barrage of police brutality footage which emerged from Black Lives Matter demonstrations a few months prior it’s fair to say the police response today was relatively gentle. More…
A New Technology That Will Dangerously Expand Government Spying on Citizens
by Jack Rasmus
Posted January 8, 2021
If you’re worried about the capability of government to conduct surveillance of citizens engaged in political assembly and protest, or even just personal activity, then you should be aware the technological capability of government surveillance is about to expand exponentially.
The US Air Force’s Research Lab (yes, it has its own lab) has recently signed a contract to test new software of a company called SignalFrame, a Washington DC wireless tech company. The company’s new software is able to access smartphones, and from your phone jump off to access any other wireless or bluetooth device in the near vicinity. To quote from the article today in the Wall St. Journal, the smartphone is used “as a window onto usage of hundreds of millions of computers,s routers, fitness trackers, modern automobiles and other networked devices, known collectively as the ‘Internet of Things’.”
Your smartphone in effect becomes a government listening device that detects and accesses all nearby wireless or bluetooth devices, or anything that has a MAC address for that matter. More…
The Lesson Of 2020: What’s The Point Of Pointing Out The Hypocrisy?
by Tom Luongo
Posted January 2, 2021
As I sat down to write this morning the overwhelming sense of futility washed over me. And nothing saps your will to work more than reading through the headlines and noting the complete lack of conscience on display by the media, our political leadership or frankly anyone with half a brain.
Notice the trend? Major stories that are supposed to matter are dropped the moment they get anything close to uncomfortable for those in power who are chosen to remain in power.
Every rabbit hole you go down forks into a deeper one, revealing even more information about how truly corrupt and inhuman our political systems are and yet our media stands there like a thousand monkeys banging away on their iPhone keyboards trying to convince us what they are producing is Shakespeare and not auto-corrected Engrish.
I’ve always thought Donald Trump’s biggest flaw was that he was an incurious man, but compared to the so-called journalists of our corporate media Trump is the second coming of Sherlock Holmes for pity’s sake. More…
[Justice] [Political] [Media]
The Kafkaesque Imprisonment of Julian Assange Exposes U.S. Myths About Freedom and Tyranny
by Glenn Greenwald
Posted January 1, 2021
The real measure of how free is a society is not how its mainstream, well-behaved ruling class servants are treated, but the fate of its actual dissidents.
Persecution is not typically doled out to those who recite mainstream pieties, or refrain from posing meaningful threats to those who wield institutional power, or obediently stay within the lines of permissible speech and activism imposed by the ruling class.
Those who render themselves acquiescent and harmless that way will — in every society, including the most repressive — usually be free of reprisals. They will not be censored or jailed. They will be permitted to live their lives largely unmolested by authorities, while many will be well-rewarded for this servitude. Such individuals will see themselves as free because, in a sense, they are: they are free to submit, conform and acquiesce. And if they do so, they will not even realize, or at least not care, and may even regard as justifiable, that those who refuse this Orwellian bargain they have embraced (“freedom” in exchange for submission) are crushed with unlimited force. More…
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