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Your Cognitive Dissonance Whiplash Moment of the Day, Brought to You by the Guardian

Weird • Views: 3,485

I don’t think the Guardian’s editors fully appreciated the bizarre disconnect between these two pieces on today’s front page.

Misleading AP Headline of the Day: “No Link to Russian Gov’t in Plane Downing”

Contradicted by the story
World • Views: 5,270

A wave of WTFs went through Twitter this afternoon when the Associated Press tweeted this:

Because of course, the BUK surface-to-air missile was supplied by Russia, the people who used it had to have been trained by Russia, and Russia’s links to the separatists are very well known and thoroughly documented.

A few minutes later the actual AP story was posted, and lo and behold… the headline didn’t tell the full story. In fact, it almost seems designed to mislead: US: No Link to Russian Gov’t in Plane Downing.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senior U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday that Russia was responsible for “creating the conditions” that led to the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, but they offered no evidence of direct Russian government involvement.

[…]

The plane was likely shot down by an SA-11 surface-to-air missile fired by Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, the intelligence officials said, citing intercepts, satellite photos and social media postings by separatists, some of which have been authenticated by U.S. experts.

But the officials said they did not know who fired the missile or whether any Russian operatives were present at the missile launch. They were not certain that the missile crew was trained in Russia, although they described a stepped-up campaign in recent weeks by Russia to arm and train the rebels, which they say has continued even after the downing of the commercial jetliner.

In terms of who fired the missile, “we don’t know a name, we don’t know a rank and we’re not even 100 percent sure of a nationality,” one official said, adding at another point, “There is not going to be a Perry Mason moment here.”

So what this really looks like is that some intelligence people were asked to give details about MH17, and carefully parsed their words to be as equivocal as possible. Basically, there’s no real news here at all — except the headline. And the headline is contradicted by the story.

But guess who jumped all over that headline within minutes?

Clearly, this is going to be a propaganda bonanza for the Kremlin.

UPDATE at 7/22/14 4:47:17 pm by Charles Johnson

The Associated Press has now changed the headline, presumably responding to criticisms like ours: US: Russia ‘Created the Conditions’ for Shoot-Down.

Russian Ministry of Defense, Russia Today Use Debunked Internet Rumors to Lie About Ukraine

Means they don’t have much of a case.
Politics • Views: 6,696

Russia Today, the Goebbelsian Putinist propaganda channel well-known for its rank dishonesty, has published “10 questions” to Ukraine based on the recent Russian Ministry of Defense press conference.

Questions 8 and 9:

8. Where did the launcher - from the video circulated by Western media and showing a Buk system being moved allegedly from Ukraine to Russia - come from? As the video was made on the territory controlled by Kiev, where was the launcher being transported?
“I’d like to say that the information we have presented here is based on objective and reliable data from various technical systems - unlike the groundless accusations made against Russia,” said Kartopolov.

9. Where is it right now? Why are some of the missiles missing on the launcher? When was the last time a missile was launched from it?

These questions do indeed correspond to the claims made by the MoD officials during the press conference:

[Chief of Staff of the Main Operations Directorate - deputy chief of The General Staff Andrew Kartapolov:] To conclude it I would like to mention that all the concrete information is based on the objective and reliable dates of the different Russian equipment in contrast to the accusations of the US against us made without any evidence.The good example of such fact is that some mass media showed transportation of the Buk-M1 missile system from Ukrainian to Russian territory.We can clearly see that its frame-up.

These pictures were made in the city of Krasnoarmeisk that is confirmed by a banner situated close to the road. This banner has an address of the car shop situated at the Dnepropetrovskaya, 34.

Since May 11 the Krasnoarmeysk city is under control of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

That is why we have some questions.

What kind of launching system is it? Where is it transported? Where is it now? Why is it unloaded completely? What was the last time it launched missiles?

To end my speech I would like to emphasize that the Russian Federation did not deliver to the militants any Buk-M1 missiles systems and other equipment.

There are 2 problems with this claim.

1. It’s not true.

2. It comes from an anonymous viral internet text, most probably distributed by the Kremlin trolls and bots.

Continue reading…

Jim Hoft’s Latest Sick Crusade: Attack NGOs Receiving Federal Money to Shelter Immigrant Kids

Caring for kids is an Obama plot!!11ty!!
Immigration • Views: 9,079

Apparently the latest thing over Jim Hoft’s The Gateway Pundit blog is to pinpoint and attack any NGO that receives federal grants to care for undocumented immigrant children.

A week ago. Hoft’s “guest blogger” Kristinn Taylor torpedoed a shelter proposed by BCFS, a charitable organization based in San Antonio. Taylor declared, falsely, that BCFS had received a $50 million federal grant to turn a rundown hotel into a “luxury resort” for immigrant children.

BCFS has since abandoned the project in Weslaco, Texas.

Now, Hoft’s latest target is Southwest Key Programs of Austin, which like BCFS, has received federal grants for shelters and programs benefiting children coming over the border with Mexico.

While Hoft himself offered little comment, he posted in its entirety a story by KEYE-TV of San Antonio to let visitors to his site rant about it.

Southwest Key Programs has received nearly $485 million in federal grants (taggs.hhs.gov) since 2004, but to read the comments, you’d swear these people think it’s all a plot by the Democrats and President Barack Obama to win elections.

Idiots don’t seem to realize children can’t vote.

Some sample comments, to give you the flavor.

They are PROFITING from child trafficking! AT OUR EXPENSE!!!

No words, yes, me, as all here know, I have more than my share of comments but

I am at a complete loss for words. Well, one word keeps coming to mind, IMPEACH.

But, I do have to say, Obama knew about this years ago but he didn’t know About Our Veterans and their mistreatment at the VA?

Obama picks and chooses what is important to them, selfishly and maliciously.

“Charities” getting fat off the American taxpayer. This is run by a husband and wife. They spend over $1 million a year lobbying. Sanchez made $278,000 in 2012 ‘caring for the children’. I’m sure he makes much more now with all that extra money Obama is throwing at him.

Arizona 11 electoral votes, Texas 32 electoral votes and Georgia 16 electoral votes. The blueprint for the Democrats to try and flip three solid Republican states. The Democrats are importing lice infested dead beats to these states to flip them by 2016, or by 2020 at the latest.

My dad told me before he died that his fight was overseas during WWII, and my fight would be here at home.

They rant and rave about the government awarding grants to agencies to deal with the immigrant children, but the only alternative they offer is to deport the kids. Who feeds and shelters the children in the meantime?

{crickets}

Stephen Colbert’s Heart Is Full of Love for Migrant Children

He’s not a monster
Humor • Views: 13,246

Comedy Central Video

This episode of the Colbert Report is actually the comedy version of last week at LGF — Stephen Colbert covers several of the stories that appeared here, including Jim Hoft’s evil, destructive lies about a $50 million resort hotel for immigrant children.

Greenwald Announces New “Grant” Program; First Beneficiary: Greenwald’s Partner

Libertarian altruism
Media • Views: 14,781

Today Glenn Greenwald and Pierre Omidyar’s media organization First Look is announcing a new grant program they’re hyping as: Promoting and Protecting Free Speech and Free Expression.

And if you’ve been paying attention to the way they do things at First Look, it probably won’t surprise you to learn the first beneficiary of their grant program will be — Glenn Greenwald. Or to be more precise, Greenwald’s partner David Miranda, who is suing the British government to recover the stolen NSA documents he tried to sneak through British customs for Glenn Greenwald.

The amazing gall of these people, promoting this as a purely altruistic endeavor when they’re actually awarding this “grant” to themselves.

Glenn Greenwald’s partner David Miranda

Press freedom is enshrined in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as well as in international charters and conventions. A free press contributes to an informed citizenry and protects against corruption and government malfeasance. As Thomas Jefferson declared, “when the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe.” Yet the cost of protecting these rights often imposes too heavy a burden on journalists and their employers. FLM’s Press Freedom Litigation Fund is designed to strengthen the ability of journalists to pursue legal fights where a substantial public interest is at stake. Grants under the program can be used to fund challenges to government policies or actions that restrict press freedoms or denials of freedom of information act requests; motions to quash subpoenas seeking source information or journalistic material; defamation cases where the underlying report concerns a matter of public interest; access cases to closed proceedings or sealed documents; and amicus efforts in support of press freedom. There must be a substantial public benefit to any litigation receiving a grant.

Our first grant will be to support the appeal in the case of Miranda v. Secretary of State for the Home Department, in the UK Court of Appeal.

Weird Conspiracy Propaganda About MH17 Rampant in Russia

A massive propaganda effort
World • Views: 15,840

Here’s an interesting piece by Julia Ioffe at the New Republic on the massive propaganda effort being pushed out by the Kremlin to the Russian population: Russia Conspiracy Theories Trap Putin Malaysia Airlines MH17.

Did you know Malaysia Air Flight 17 was full of corpses when it took off from Amsterdam? Did you know that, for some darkly inexplicable reason, on July 17, MH17 moved off the standard flight path that it had taken every time before, and moved north, toward rebel-held areas outside Donetsk? Or that the dispatchers summoned the plane lower just before the crash? Or that the plane had been recently reinsured? Or that the Ukrainian army has air defense systems in the area? Or that it was the result of the Ukrainian military mistaking MH17 for Putin’s presidential plane, which looks strangely similar?

Did you know that the crash of MH17 was all part of an American conspiracy to provoke a big war with Russia?

Well, it’s all true—at least if you live in Russia, because this is the Malaysia Airlines crash story that you’d be seeing.

Greenwald Wrong Again: The Real Reason NBC Correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin Was Pulled From Gaza

Crying wolf as a business model
Media • Views: 24,764

When NBC News correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin was recently called home from Gaza where he had been reporting on the conflict, our good friend Glenn Greenwald immediately took to The Intercept to post one of his over-heated propaganda pieces, very strongly insinuating that Mohyeldin was pulled out because his reporting was too pro-Palestinian: NBC News Pulls Veteran Reporter From Gaza After Witnessing Israeli Attack on Children.

Despite this powerful first-hand reporting - or perhaps because of it - Mohyeldin was nowhere to be seen on last night’s NBC Nightly News broadcast with Brian Williams. Instead, as Media Bistro’s Jordan Chariton noted, NBC curiously had Richard Engel - who was in Tel Aviv, and had just arrived there an hour or so earlier - “report” on the attack. Charlton wrote that “the decision to have Engel report the story for ‘Nightly’ instead of Mohyeldin angered some NBC News staffers.”

Indeed, numerous NBC employees, including some of the network’s highest-profile stars, were at first confused and then indignant over the use of Engel rather than Mohyeldin to report the story. But what they did not know, and what has not been reported until now, is that Mohyeldin was removed completely from reporting on Gaza by a top NBC executive, David Verdi, who ordered Mohyeldin to leave Gaza immediately.

Over the last two weeks, Mohyeldin’s reporting has been far more balanced and even-handed than the standard pro-Israel coverage that dominates establishment American press coverage; his reports have provided context to the conflict that is missing from most American reports and he avoids adopting Israeli government talking points as truth. As a result, neocon and “pro-Israel” websites have repeatedly attacked him as a “Hamas spokesman” and spouting “pro-Hamas rants.”

It doesn’t take an expert at reading between the lines to see what Greenwald is getting at with these incendiary accusations, and sure enough his followers immediately launched a Twitter campaign to pressure NBC into returning Mohyeldin to Gaza, all of them completely convinced that he’d been pulled out because of pro-Israel bias at NBC.

At the time, I posted these tweets about the situation:

This Friday, NBC reversed their decision, and announced that Mohyeldin would be returning to Gaza — leading Greenwald to take credit and tweet triumphantly:

But now, thanks to Brian Stelter (who actually committed some journalism to get at the truth of the story), we learn that Mohyeldin’s withdrawal from Gaza had nothing to do with his empathy for Palestinians, but everything to do with internal NBC politics around the most important thing to a cable news network: ratings.

What Really Happened With NBC and Ayman Mohyeldin.

Did this decision demonstrate unfairness on the part of NBC, or more mundane internal politicking? Engel is one of NBC’s most recognizable correspondents, after all, and “Nightly News” is locked in a battle with ABC’s “World News” for No. 1 in the Nielsen ratings.

“The producers are so paranoid about the ratings, they’ll do anything to stick with the faces viewers know and trust — so that would be Richard over Ayman,” said one of the employees. “Plus, there is no tolerance if a story is fed in and doesn’t live up to expectations.”

At this point, one has to wonder how many times Glenn Greenwald will cry “WOLF!” and still be considered a reputable journalist, instead of what he really is: a propagandist who regularly twists and distorts facts to suit his agenda.

Update: As a Father Who Lost His Children in Gaza, I Call for an End to This Bloodshed

Middle East • Views: 24,121

The man in the photo below, Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, was born & raised in the Jabalia refugee camp in Gaza. He studied hard and received a scholarship to study medicine in Cairo, then went on to earn a diploma in Obstetrics and Gynecology from the University of London. He subsequently earned a subspecialty in fetal medicine in Europe, and finally a master’s degree in Public Health from Harvard.

Dr. Abuelaish, the first Gazan doctor on the staff of several major Israeli hospitals, had to pass thorough two checkpoints—one Israeli and one Egyptian—every day on his way to work and back. He says these crossings were always fraught with tension and the possibility of humiliation if one didn’t remain calm.

Despite all of this he has long been an advocate for peace. He sent his three eldest daughters to peace camps designed to bring Israeli/Jewish and Palestinian kids together and give them a chance to become familiar with and (hopefully) learn to begin trusting each other. His eldest daughter, Bessan, age 20, had participated in the peace camps three times and wanted to devote her life to peace activism.

In late 2008 Dr. Abuelaish’s wife was stricken with leukemia and soon died, leaving him a widower with eight children—six daughters and two sons, then aged three to 20—to care for.

Continue reading…

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 Frank says:

I feel it's better to sing about these things ourselves and perform them with the people who it happened to than to have some journalist one day say 'then in 1971, one time when they were at the mudshark hotel...' But people have problems with things of a glandular nature in connection with things of a musical nature. They say why, music is way up here, and glands are way down there and they can't get 'em together, but then they are hypocritical because they take a band that doesn't sing about such things directly and couches their language a little and does it with a little choreography and say that that's great and that's real rock and roll. I maintain that there's no difference, we're just honest enough to get up and say 'this is this and that's that and here you are and respond to it' and the response is 'why... I'm hip, but of course I am offended'.