by Claire Bernish, The Free Thought Project:
A now-notorious list of ostensibly “fake” news sites — created by a liberal professor, seemingly out of thin air — spread like wildfire online in the past two days and was eagerly reprinted by corporate media presstitutes hoping to vindicate their own failed reporting on the 2016 election.
But branding perfectly legitimate outlets with the same scarlet letter as those devoid of integrity deemed the professor’s list a spurious attempt to defame alternative and independent media — anyone dissenting from the left’s mainstream narrative — as a whole.
This is, in no uncertain terms, a hit list — or, at least, a laughable attempt — and it fits conveniently into the establishment’s burgeoning war on independent media disguised as a battle against fake news.
When corporate media outlets from the Independent and Business Insider, to the Los Angeles Times and NYMag scrambled over one another to reprint this irresponsibly contrived hit list, they proved yet again a lack of journalistic integrity — the same issue that originally caused regular subscribers to abandon them in the first place.
Indeed, in this otherwise unknown professor’s foray into the world of journalism, a glaring mistake was made — the only mainstream outlets making the list were those who had heralded Bernie Sanders as the best candidate for the White House.
Such an obvious attempt to control thought could only be conjured in a totalitarian regime.
In fact, failing to place the exact corporate media organizations on the list, who for nearly a year praised fealty only to Hillary Clinton — and for decades have foisted on the public countless mendacious whoppers — constitutes a comedic lack of honesty. So, to bring that irony front and center, it’s imperative to examine some mainstream lies — most of which had appalling consequences — including the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people in the United States and around the world.
1. George W. Bush’s Weapons of Mass Destruction
President George W. Bush decided to unleash the full force of the U.S. military upon the world in a new policy of war writ large disguised as a war on terrorism following the attacks of September 11, 2001. First arbitrarily designating Afghanistan as its primary victim due to the supposed identities of the attackers, Bush then chose Iraq to feel the wrath, and set out to invade the country following dubious claims Saddam Hussein harbored destructive chemical and biological weapons and was actively seeking far stronger munitions.
“Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised,” the president asserted in a public address on March 17, 2003. “This regime has already used weapons of mass destruction against Iraq’s neighbors and against Iraq’s people.”
Bush’s assertions were questioned by not only human rights experts, but by U.N. weapons inspectors and countless others — so shortly after the U.S. invaded the sovereign nation, the New York Times took up the slack to fill in the appropriate casus belli.
Judith Miller notoriously reported on a source she described only as an Iraqi scientist who had seen several extensive caches of such weapons stored somewhere in the country. American weapons experts, she claimed, “said the scientist told them that President Saddam Hussein’s government had destroyed some stockpiles of deadly agents as early as the mid-1990’s, transferred others to Syria, and had recently focused its efforts instead on research and development projects that are virtually impervious to detection by international inspectors, and even American forces on the ground combing through Iraq’s giant weapons plants.”
In hindsight, Miller’s problematic report turned out to be horrendously flawed, and the Times spent months attempting to backtrack, but the damage — fomenting widescale public support for a war no one wanted the military to undertake — had been done. Years later in 2014, the Times — after much internal strife — again took up Miller’s case, in a series reporting catastrophic injuries U.S. military personnel suffered in handling chemical weapons in Iraq. But that report, and the parroting of it by multiple other mainstream mainstays, failed to fully disclose Hussein had been oblivious to the stockpiles presence — something the CIA had clearly stated in a report.
2. Gulf of Tonkin Incident
Often, the American mainstream media becomes a de facto government employee, taking the claims of U.S. officials and reporting them as proven fact — and nothing exemplifies this penchant better than reporting on the Gulf of Tonkin incident — perhaps one of most flagrant lies ever dreamed up as a justification for war.
On August 5, 1964, the New York Times reported “President Johnson has ordered retaliatory action against gunboats and ‘certain supporting facilities in North Vietnam’ after renewed attacks against American destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin.” Additional outlets, such as the Washington Post, echoed this claim.
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