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It’s quite ironic that the one newspaper most hysterical in warning the American public about the dangers of “fake news,” has become the most prolific publisher of it. The most recent example, of course, relates to the entirely made up story that those dastardly Russians had hacked into the U.S. power grid through a Vermont utility. The paper’s source for the story? Anonymous government officials. Unsurprisingly, the entire thing was a fairytale.
Most of you will already be aware of the story, but this is such a monumental example of journalistic malpractice, it deserve far more attention and scrutiny.
In that regard, Forbes contributor Kalev Leetaru, has done an excellent job of shining further light on how it all went down in his piece, “Fake News” And How The Washington Post Rewrote Its Story On Russian Hacking Of The Power Grid. Here are some key excerpts:
A few days ago, I wrote about how the Washington Post was committing “credibility suicide” with its obviously fabricated Craig Timberg story accusing Natural News and 199 other websites of being “fake news” sources controlled by the Russian government. Now, after the discredited paper has been threatened with lawsuits by several of the websites named in the WashPost’s cited source, they’ve all but admitted their entire story was surely fake to begin with.
Wednesday evening, the Washington Post added an editor’s note to the top of their story which essentially admits the Washington Post slandered and defamed 200 websites by reporting fabricated, false news derived from sources that even they no longer think are legitimate. Without offering any direct apology or retraction of their blatantly false and extremely irresponsible “fake news” story, Washington Post editors have now added this “weasel words” half-apology:
“We are grateful to the Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries.”
– David Rockefeller, 1991
“For more than a century ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents such as my encounter with Castro to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure–one world, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it. “
– David Rockefeller
Readers of Natural News know that most mainstream, legacy newspapers pretty much parrot the corporate line on everything from finances to banking to industry and food, especially genetically modified food.
As noted in a recent TruthWiki entry, one reporter who regularly shills for GMOs and profits from it is Tamar Haspel of the Washington Post. Truthwiki notes this phenomenon is called “buckraking” – profiting financially by promoting certain foods and products (and so-called “science”).
The site notes:
The entire editorial board of the Washington Post functions as a group of hilarious quack science Monsanto operatives pretending to be engaged in reporting real news. It’s so bad that key articles published by the Post now appear to be “written” by Monsanto, with the “Greenwashington Post” parroting Monsanto’s quack corporate “science” talking points. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the Post’s hit piece response to Chipotle’s announcement of going 100% non-GMO on their menu items.
As background to all this, customer demand for non-GMO foods is exploding across America. People don’t want to eat foods laced with cancer-causing glyphosate, the herbicide chemical that’s sprayed on most GMO crops, and they also don’t want to eat foods made from GMO corn, a crop which grows its own deadly pesticides inside every grain. The fresh food movement is taking America by storm.
– How The Washington Post and The New Yorker Refused to Publish Article on Obama Admin Syria Lies (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Dec 9, 2013):
Seymour Hersh is not some guy off the street with a laptop and a head full of crazy ideas. The pulitzer prize winning journalist broke the My Lai Massacre story during the Vietnam War and also led reporting on the Abu Ghraib scandal in 2004. Well his most recent investigative reporting involves covering some of the blatant lies told by the Obama Administration earlier this year in an attempt to push the nation into a war in Syria on behalf of al-Qaeda, based on some very shaky evidence that Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons. Bizarrely enough, the publication with which Mr. Hersh is most associated, The New Yorker, refused to publish it. So did The Washington Post.
I don’t know about you, but this sure stinks of self-censopship to me. In particular, I think the Washington Post is playing defense following its reporting of the Edward Snowden leaks, and is afraid to further piss off the crony Obama Administration. It also seems likely The Post didn’t want to publish an article that would have showcased the paper’s own sloppy and irresponsible reporting on the matter. Which if true, is beyond pathetic.
From the Huffington Post:
NEW YORK — Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh accused the Obama administration Sunday of having “cherry-picked intelligence” regarding the Aug. 21 chemical attack in Syria that served as evidence for an argument in favor of striking President Bashar Assad’s government.
In his piece — titled “Whose Sarin?” — Hersh reported that al-Nusra, a jihadi group fighting in Syria’s long-running civil war, had also “mastered the mechanics of creating sarin and was capable of manufacturing it in quantity.” Therefore, he wrote, “Obama did not tell the whole story” when stating with certainty that Assad had to be responsible, crossing a so-called “red line” that would trigger U.S. retaliation.
And as you can see, the U.S. government told the Washington Post what to print and what not.
Another important & transparent leak you can believe in.
What real NSA whistleblower would trust the Washington Post anyway???
“There is no such thing, at this date of the world’s history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar weekly salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone. The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth; to lie outright; to pervert; to vilify; to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press? We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities, and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.”
– John Swinton, former New York Times Chief of Staff
– New Snowden Leak Reports ‘Groundbreaking’ NSA Crypto-Cracking (Wired, Aug 29, 2013):
The latest published leak from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden lays bare classified details of the U.S. government’s $52.6 billion intelligence budget, and makes the first reference in any of the Snowden documents to a “groundbreaking” U.S. encryption-breaking effort targeted squarely at internet traffic.
Snowden, currently living in Russia under a one-year grant of asylum, passed The Washington Post the 178-page intelligence community budget request for fiscal year 2013. Among the surprises reported by Post writers Barton Gellman and Greg Miller is that the CIA receives more money than the NSA: $14.7 billion for the CIA, versus $10.8 billion for the NSA. Until this morning it’s generally been believed that the geeky NSA, with its basements full of supercomputers, dwarfed its human-oriented counterparts.
The Post published only 43 pages from the document, consisting of charts, tables and a 5-page summary written by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. The Post said it withheld the rest, and kept some information out of its reporting, in consultation with the Obama administration to protect U.S. intelligence sources and methods.
– U.S. spy network’s successes, failures and objectives detailed in ‘black budget’ summary (Washington Post, Aug 29, 2013):
U.S. spy agencies have built an intelligence-gathering colossus since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but remain unable to provide critical information to the president on a range of national security threats, according to the government’s top-secret budget.The $52.6 billion “black budget” for fiscal 2013, obtained by The Washington Post from former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, maps a bureaucratic and operational landscape that has never been subject to public scrutiny. Although the government has annually released its overall level of intelligence spending since 2007, it has not divulged how it uses the money or how it performs against the goals set by the president and Congress.
The 178-page budget summary for the National Intelligence Program details the successes, failures and objectives of the 16 spy agencies that make up the U.S. intelligence community, which has 107,035 employees.
– Jeff Bezos To Buy Washington Post Newspaper And Its Publishing Assets For $250 Million (ZeroHedge, Aug 5, 2013):
A few months after investing some pocket change into the slideshow-focused “Business Insider”, Jeff Bezos has decided to buy the Washington Post newspaper publishing business, including the WaPo paper itself for $250 MM. The headline blast:
Jeffrey P. Bezos to purchase Washington Post, Express, Gazette, other Greater Washington, DC papers — deal valued at $250 million #breaking
— Reuters Business (@ReutersBiz) August 5, 2013
It is unclear if the online version of WaPo goes with it, but most likely the answer is yes. It is also unclear just what Bezos’ strategy is for the hard-version of the WaPo: maybe instead of selling 450,000 daily copies at $1.25, Bezos will sell 450,000,000,000 at -$1.25?
So long-overdue consolidation in the media space by rich, bored billionaires, or just the imminent arrival of even more slideshows, and even more epic losses to be “made up with volume”? Only time will tell.
The full press release, for now not in slideshow format, and precisely zero kittens:
The Washington Post Company (WPO) announced today that it has signed a contract to sell its newspaper publishing businesses, including The Washington Post newspaper, to Jeffrey P. Bezos.
The purchaser is an entity that belongs to Mr. Bezos in his individual capacity and is not Amazon.com, Inc.
– Homeland Security Threatens to Punish Staff for Reading Washington Post NSA Articles (By Mark Karlin, Editor of BUZZFLASH at TRUTHOUT, July 19, 2013):
The Washington Post recently obtained a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) memo that warned staff not to read articles — get this — printed in the Washington Post that covered whistleblower revelations about classified information.Specifically, DHS — and we are not making this up — implied that there could be legal repercussions for employees who read Washington Post stories about whistleblowers and the information that they disclose. In particular, a DHS memo prohibited reading of such articles from any computer outside of the DHS office:
The Department of Homeland Security has warned its employees that the government may penalize them for opening a Washington Post article containing a classified slide that shows how the National Security Agency eavesdrops on international communications.
An internal memo from DHS headquarters told workers on Friday that viewing the document from an “unclassified government workstation” could lead to administrative or legal action. “You may be violating your non-disclosure agreement in which you sign that you will protect classified national security information,” the communication said.