Banning Russian media: Has it begun in the West?

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ygtbk

Even Bloomberg seems to now acknowledge that perhaps journalists may have been too credulous:

Quote:

That leaves private, professional media with plenty of homework to do. How did we end up more mistrusted by a large segment of Western readers and viewers than state-funded Sputnik or RT? Did we perhaps follow government narratives too closely and uncritically? 

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-11-28/how-russian-propaganda-really-works-in-the-west

Different sides have different propaganda.

 

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Well, yeah, we in North American have a long history of tarring those who dissent from the MSM narrative, and particularly from the former Soviet regime, or today's Russia, etc., as propaganda, while noisily claiming the MSM narrative as objective, pure as the driven snow, and as far from propaganda as light is to darkness. And it's kind of funny to see things come full circle; Russian media like RT are just running circles around the so called objective media, and calling them out, and exposing their propaganda, and, in the context of widespread dissatisfaction with the MSM narrative generally, being remarkably successful by simply providing a platform for dissenters - just as Western media did the same with the old Soviet regime more than 25 years ago.

Truth is, and plenty of Europeans that I've met express surprise when they realize their view is not shared by block-headed North Americans, propaganda is simply "partisan" information, etc.. It's neither true nor false, necessarily. Partisan. We go to a church and hear a service. It's propaganda. There are no atheists given a chance to "rebut". And so on.

Even newspapers originated as the organ of particular political perspectives. It was accepted that that is what they were. The history of media, and the development of advertising, marketing, etc., led to the development of so called objective journalism and this ideology that the other guy's stuff is propaganda and "our" stuff is ... factual non propaganda.

6079_Smith_W

ikosmos wrote:

Well, yeah, we in North American have a long history of tarring those who dissent from the MSM narrative

Right. Much easier to shoot them in the face coming out of elevators, pop them one in the back, or slip polonium in their tea.

 

josh

Several American news outlets are considering legal action against the anonymous person or group that last week published a widely distributed list of alleged Russian propaganda outlets and "bona-fide 'useful idiots'" of the Kremlin. . . .

The anonymous website offers no individual analysis to justify its listing of sites, many of them with political views distinct from the mainstream media, such as the Ron Paul Institute, Antiwar.com, and the finance blogs Zero Hedge and Naked Capitalism. 

 

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2016-11-29/publications-called-russi...

 

6079_Smith_W

Good luck there.

Do a search on counterpunch and see how regularly they make exactly the same accusations about mainstream media.

Are people going to file lawsuits for pointing out that FOX News is a de facto arm of the Republican Party? Or that some in the mainstream media serve the interests of big business?

Not saying they are wrong for doing so, but they can hardly complain when someone takes a critical view of them. And although the Washington Post story isn't well backed up, there are plenty of examples of these websites publishing false information that can be brought out if they ever manage to make it to court.

In short, this is smoke.

 

josh

I am a follower of Naked Capitalism and in no way are they are propagator of Russian propaganda.

6079_Smith_W

On the whole I agree with you (and it would be kind of funny, considering they have NYT and CNBC endorsements), and I do think the Post article was sloppy in a number of ways.

On the other hand it didn't take me long to find an article by John Helmer posted on that site, so that might have been an example of what got them on that list.

But the bottom line is that the Post article mentions Sputnik, RT, and Next News Network, and the latter reference is backed up with someone telling how he was instructed to mix real and fake news.That is it.

Sure they made a reference to Propornot, and the list, but I seriously doubt there are any grounds for any of the parties in that US News article to make a case.

 

6079_Smith_W

Though with all this yapping about pretend blacklists, one wonders where real journalists like Hedges and Greenwald were (and they ARE real journalists, which makes this kind of sad) when there was a real blacklist, and the Washington Post was on it:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/trump-lifts-ban-that-excl...

 

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Quote:
As the world collectively laughs in disgust at the entire “fake news” lie being dragged out before us, the US House is quietly acting to bring mass censorship to America and the Internet, in response to “Russia influence” over the media.

On November 30, one week after the Washington Post launched its witch hunt against “Russian propaganda fake news“, with 390 votes for, the House quietly passed “H.R. 6393, Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017“, sponsored by California Republican Devin Nunes (whose third largest donor in 2016 is Google parent Alphabet, Inc), a bill which deals with a number of intelligence-related issues, including Russian propaganda, or what the government calls propaganda, and hints at a potential crackdown on “offenders.”

See WARNING: US House passes bill to censor Russian sites

I guess the censorship would include the site reporting on the proposed censorship. What's also interesting is that this particular bit of legislation was introduced BEFORE the whole fiasco around "fake news". It was already in the works.

Quote:
Curiously, the bill which was passed on November 30, was introduced on November 22, two days before the Washington Post published its Nov. 24 article citing “experts” who claim Russian propaganda helped Donald Trump get elected.

McCarthy would be proud.


6079_Smith_W

There's nothing in there about censorship, ikosmos. Just more of your same nonsense.

This is what the Bill says:

Quote:

(1) To counter active measures by Russia to exert covert influence, including by exposing falsehoods, agents of influence, corruption, human rights abuses, terrorism, and assassinations carried out by the security services or political elites of the Russian Federation or their proxies.

(2) Such other duties as the President may designate for purposes of this section.

If the first place, the only media Trump has been talking about going after is the mainstream media. Started months ago by banning them from his events, and threatening to open up libel laws (which he doesn't have the power to do).

In the second place, if he was of a mind to censor anyone, shut them down, or send them off to camps he'd probably have a few legal hurdles in front of him.

In the third place, why would Donald Trump go after the agents who gave him a leg up in this election?

Of course none of these fake media sites are going to let the facts get in the way of a juicy bit of propaganda.

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/12/trump-campaign-thinking-of-...

Quote:

Meanwhile, Trump adviser Corey Lewandowski told a panel that New York Times editor Dean Baquet should be imprisoned for publishing Trump’s tax return. “It’s egregious,” Lewandowski continued. “He should be in jail.” Also, Trump delivered a long rant against the dishonest media.


kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

In the third place, why would Donald Trump go after the agents who gave him a leg up in this election?

Do you have to wear a tin hat to be in your conspiracy club?

6079_Smith_W

Well he hasn't, and why would he? He has gone after the media which has held him to task, and that is it.

So ikosmos's claim that this bill  which is about identifying foreign propaganda has anything to do with any censoring or blacklisting is not only unsupported by the facts, it ignores those media which HAVE been blacklisted in this campaign:

Quote:

Trump's campaign hasn't confirmed the existence of a list of banned publications. But the list has, at times, included the National Review, the Des Moines Register, Univision, BuzzFeed, the Daily Beast, Fusion, the Huffington Post, and Mother Jones. Rather than targeting specific reporters, the Trump campaign appears to decree blanket bans on publications that have published negative coverage of the Republican candidate.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/03/donald-trump-banned-publicat...

Later, even the Washington Post was added to the blacklist.The only event (until Trump lifted the ban in September) they were able to get credentials to was the Republican convention itself.

Now of course, the talk is of reviving the ban - not against RT or Breitbart, of course.

Quote:

    Fox News host Sean Hannity on Wednesday said that, if he were Donald Trump, he would ban several major news organizations from covering the president-elect.

    "@politico @CNN @NBCNews @CNBC @MSNBC @nytimes @ABC @CBSNews," Hannity tweeted. "Are all biased and Corrupt. 'Fake News.' If I were @realDonaldTrump NO ACCESS!"

    Hannity's tweet comes on the heels of remarks on his Fox News show Tuesday night in which he urged Donald Trump to freeze out the press.

    "The media already had its chance to cover Donald Trump fairly and honestly," Hannity said. "They blew it. And in my opinion, it's time to re-evaluate the press in this country, and maybe it's time to change the traditional relationship that the press will have with the White House."

    http://www.poynter.org/2016/sean-hannity-urges-donald-trump-to-bring-bac...

    So no, kropotkin. No conspiracy club. Just pointing out who is actually being blacklisted in the real world, and who is not.

     

     

     

    swallow

    As is often the case, facts indeed do not appear to support the RT claim in this case.

    This thread, ironically, is full of fake news, disinformation, etc. The US media system is terrible in many ways - but these off-base and dishonest attacks are simply wrong in many cases. Going to the source, rather than simply believing what you read in RT or the NYT, is always useful. 

    ikosmos ikosmos's picture

    ikosmos wrote:
    The Boy Who Cried Wolf is a good story about what happens when fake claims are repeated for too long. You should read it.

    Looks like others are making exactly the same point. That took a long time. Not.

    Spectator editor to RT: “We are in danger of being the boy who cried ‘Propaganda!’”

    Quote:
    ... from the interview of The Spectator’s deputy editor, Freddie Gray, to RT [...] Western mainstream media’s ‘McCarthian’ witch hunt for Russia’s influence on the media shuns objectivity in favor of hysteria – a dangerous reductionism that dumbs down the debate on information warfare, argues Spectator deputy editor Freddy Gray. There has recently been a proliferation of the ‘fake news’ narratives in the Western media, which shows no signs of dying down

    6079_Smith_W

    So December 12 is passed and I notice RTUK is still alive and presumably writing cheques and filling tanks on the company card.

    Nothing on their site about the bank closure that wasn't. I guess they milked that fake story for all it was worth back in October, so it wasn't even worth coming back and pretending NatWest had changed their minds.

    https://www.rt.com/uk/

     

    ikosmos ikosmos's picture

    Whatever they've done (whether go to a different bank, for example, or simply note their success at publicizing the threat that wasn't carried out ... perhaps due to the publicity, etc., etc.), why would the advertise it? They've already got an imperialist bull's eye on their collective foreheads.

    This is a distraction, this threat of shutting them down and silencing them. They're a media network, not a law firm. Looks like they won this round. I'm sure there will be another one, perhaps in the US or Canada next time, ....

    josh

    With their boy Trump in charge, who they helped get elected, they have nothing to worry about in the U.S.

    6079_Smith_W

    ikosmos wrote:

    why would the advertise it?

    Because I've never known RT to pass up on even a fake opportunity at a smear. Why would they turn down the opportunity of this if it was real?

    Or even if the fake story had any mileage left?

     

    swallow

    Either way:

    Quote:
    Banning Russian media: Has it begun in the West?

    Baed on the evidence to date: No.

    Timebandit Timebandit's picture

    For them to win a round, there actually has to be a fight. There was no attempt to shut them down, because if there was any sort of victory to crow about, they'd be doing it. Now, back to the bullshit factory with you.

    lagatta4

    Yes, all this crap is a way of shutting down the site. I don"t think they've ever responded to my posts about femicide (often against Indigenous women and girls) North and South, or discussions on how to create progressive political agendas in our respective cities, towns or regions. They are all but silent about the environment (when environmental damage is a huge feature of militarisation). And they never stop insulting us, even people who are seasoned activists who haven't goet two red cents to rub together. Even where I agree with them - such as in recognition of the huge role the Soviet peoples played in defeating Nazism - it all rings false.

    ikosmos ikosmos's picture

    lol. I'm sorta enjoying giving you guys a thorough pounding. But, c'mon. You can do better. Hurt me bad.

    ikosmos ikosmos's picture

    lagatta4 wrote:

    Yes, all this crap is a way of shutting down the site. I don"t think they've ever responded to my posts about femicide (often against Indigenous women and girls) North and South, or discussions on how to create progressive political agendas in our respective cities, towns or regions. They are all but silent about the environment (when environmental damage is a huge feature of militarisation). And they never stop insulting us, even people who are seasoned activists who haven't goet two red cents to rub together. Even where I agree with them - such as in recognition of the huge role the Soviet peoples played in defeating Nazism - it all rings false.

     

    ffs, lagatta, start a thread on what matters to you. That's what I've been doing.

    lagatta4

    I have. Just not countless ones.

    ADMITTING abuse:

    lol. I'm sorta enjoying giving you guys a thorough pounding. But, c'mon. You can do better. Hurt me bad.

    ikosmos ikosmos's picture

    Info Wars: RT blocked from posting on Facebook. Largest non UK-US English language TV channel censored by US social media giant

    RT 19 Jan 2017 wrote:
    We're currently blocked from new posts or shares to Facebook. The ban, as it stands, lasts until 10:25 p.m. Saturday, Moscow time. Please bear with us, we're working on it with the Facebook team. In the meantime, follow us on Twitter  @rt_com and keep up with the times we're living in. 

    "Round up the usual Russian suspects."

    6079_Smith_W

    Funny. I just tried posting a link to their page, and got a message that it would be reviewed by the page owners. Nothing about any ban.

    So how would anyone know if they are telling the truth or not? Could be just like the other scam they pulled about billboards in London. Or the bank account shutdown.

    Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

    Here's a tweet from Ivor Crotty, apparently the Head of Social Media at RT:

    [IMG]http://i68.tinypic.com/qy8q4m.jpg[/IMG]

    All it's missing is two more options:

    (  ) "Because Freedom"

    (  ) "Hoo Rah"

    bekayne

    Mr. Magoo wrote:

    (  ) "Hoo Rah"

    Isn't it "Boo Rah"?

    sherpa-finn

    ikosmos wrote:  Largest non UK-US English language TV channel censored by US social media giant

    Largest? Not even close to assorted European and Gulf channels that broadcast in English.

    As per its reputation, RT has a long history of grossly inflating its viewership numbers, as was hilariously exposed by a competing Russian network a few years back. Last time the UK numbers were crunched, RT occupied 175th place out of 278 channels. 

    Yawn. 

    ikosmos ikosmos's picture

    More details about the "non-ban" as noted by Smith. lol.

    Facebook blocks RT from posting until after Trump inauguration

    The way I read it, the ban related to anything other than simple text. So, no videos, audio, etc.

    Christ. Don't these idiots know anything? The ban will double, quadruple RTs traffic in the longer term. But I suppose it will have the effect of preventing Facebook users from checking out RTs coverage of the Trump Inauguration.

    ikosmos ikosmos's picture

    sherpa-finn wrote:
    ikosmos wrote:  Largest non UK-US English language TV channel censored by US social media giant

    Largest? Not even close to assorted European and Gulf channels that broadcast in English.

    As per its reputation, RT has a long history of grossly inflating its viewership numbers, as was hilariously exposed by a competing Russian network a few years back. Last time the UK numbers were crunched, RT occupied 175th place out of 278 channels. 

    Yawn.

    RT – FIRST TV NEWS CHANNEL IN HISTORY TO HIT A BILLION VIEWS ON YOUTUBE (june 2013)

    Yawn.

    Get some.

    6079_Smith_W

    ikosmos wrote:

    More details about the "non-ban" as noted by Smith. lol.

    Well seeing as they have claimed censorship in the past and been caught lying I don't believe it until I get corroboration.

    kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

    6079_Smith_W wrote:

    ikosmos wrote:

    More details about the "non-ban" as noted by Smith. lol.

    Well seeing as they have claimed censorship in the past and been caught lying I don't believe it until I get corroboration.

    You can be really tough when it comes to demanding proof of some stories. Other stories not so much. That is what a biased perspective looks like.

    kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

    sherpa-finn wrote:

    As per its reputation, RT has a long history of grossly inflating its viewership numbers, as was hilariously exposed by a competing Russian network a few years back. Last time the UK numbers were crunched, RT occupied 175th place out of 278 channels. 

    Yawn. 

    Actually it seems that the biggest inflater of RT's relevance is the CIA. According to them they had a major influence over the US election. Personally I think the whole report was a steaming pile of horseshit so I don't buy the idea that RT is particularly influential in the UK market or the US market. 

    6079_Smith_W

    kropotkin1951 wrote:

    6079_Smith_W wrote:

    ikosmos wrote:

    More details about the "non-ban" as noted by Smith. lol.

    Well seeing as they have claimed censorship in the past and been caught lying I don't believe it until I get corroboration.

    You can be really tough when it comes to demanding proof of some stories. Other stories not so much. That is what a biased perspective looks like.

    Not quite. They have been caught lying in the UK about exactly this sort of thing, as I just said. And in this case the only source is themselves. So what has been corroborated in the past is that they cannot be trusted when it comes to this kind of stunt.

    The independent has found out that (according to RT) this has to do with them livestreaming Obama's final press conference without permission.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/facebook-b...

    Again though, only one source so far.

    Another site pointed out that it was just a technical glitch, one which has happened to other organizations in the past.

    http://heavy.com/tech/2017/01/rt-blocked-by-facebook-why-ban-during-trum...

    ...and that RT America is working just fine.

    https://www.facebook.com/RTAmerica/

    Not that RT was in any hurry to point those things out. As you can see from the "Redacted tonight" banner currently at the top of their page, making up stories about censorship and bans (or leaving out enough information that everyone is going to think that) is a regular pattern for them.  You'd think a professional network would have checked with FB and with the White House about using that feed in a way that did not result in a copyright complaint.

    So to repeat: non-ban.

     

    ikosmos ikosmos's picture

    Smith, I'm curious. Could you give an example of your "position" that differs from that of the US regime? Because I can't find any. I figure I could just save some time and simply read the missives of the US State Department to get your views.

    ikosmos ikosmos's picture

    Adam Garrie: The Information War has begun.

    Quote:
    The people who pompously lecture on the values of free journalism seem to think that this freedom is a privilege and not a right. None of RT’s critics can seriously accuse RT of false reportage nor of reporting anything but the facts.

    What they’re truly upset about is that a media organisation with growing popularity has an editorial policy which differs from that of fake news outlets like CNN, whose editorial policy has earned it the name ‘The Clinton News Network’.

    RT, by contrast, is not pro-Trump. During the election, RT ran anti-Trump stories and anti-Clinton stories and unlike almost every other major outlet, gave air time to the platforms of Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein and Gary Johnson. RT continues to broadcast interviews with anti-Trump analysis. This is called balance.

    But the fact is, even if RT was pro-Trump, this too is perfectly ethical. CNN has the right to be a Clinton mouthpiece, but they simply ought to declare this openly, rather than pretend they are producing balanced programming. That is, of course, a matter of ethics, not of free speech which I believe both CNN and RT have the right to exercise.

    I suspect that like most anti-RT measures – from a state-owned British bank shutting down RT’s accounts,  to the US intelligence agencies slandering RT, and Facebook censoring RT – will ultimately backfire.

    Yup. I tend to agree.

    6079_Smith_W

    ikosmos wrote:

    Smith, I'm curious. Could you give an example of your "position" that differs from that of the US regime? Because I can't find any. I figure I could just save some time and simply read the missives of the US State Department to get your views.

    I don't support drone strikes.

    What does that have to do with RT withholding information, and faking news stories?

    As for how BBC, Telesur and other media have been treated by automatic robots, perhaps they bothered to check about copyright issues before running livestreams.

    As for lickspittle MSM media, the only primary source here continues to be RT itself. The Independent and other sites have just gleaned what they can from them.

    Nice try though.

     

     

    ikosmos ikosmos's picture

    6079_Smith_W wrote:
    As for how BBC, Telesur and other media have been treated by automatic robots, perhaps they bothered to check about copyright issues before running livestreams.

    That's a negative. Other media, including domestic US ones, with the same arrangements as RT, did the live feed and nothing happened with them.

    Wanna try again, "State Department" Smith?

    6079_Smith_W

    Quote:

     None of RT’s critics can seriously accuse RT of false reportage nor of reporting anything but the facts.

    Except when they have been found to be lying, as they have in the past about many things, including false accusations of censorship.

    6079_Smith_W

    Well, they probably made the phone call ahead of time.

    6079_Smith_W

    So facebook cut them some slack and removed the block earlier than it would ordinarily have expired. According to RT, anyway. They are still the only source here.

    https://www.rt.com/news/374250-facebook-rt-posting-allowed/

    I wonder if the NYT runs articles about their reporters getting parking tickets too.

    But evidently that isn't the end of the story:

    Quote:

    Earlier on Thursday, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman dubbed Facebook's actions "unacceptable."

    It might have been either a form of censorship or an "instrument of competitive struggle," Maria Zakharova said.

    "If it's actually perceived as censorship under a technical pretext, then it's unacceptable. It's also unacceptable because blocking of the competitive position that Russia Today (RT) TV channel has is obvious," Zakharova told a briefing in Moscow.

    Meanwhile, Russia’s telecom regulator, Roskomnadzor, has announced it will find ways to affect the work of American media and social networks in Russia should pressure on RT continue.

    "It is obvious to us that at this stage there is an unprecedented pressure on RT. And the most important thing is that it's groundless," the watchdog’s head, Aleksandr Zharov, told TASS.

    ikosmos ikosmos's picture

    So the RT TV people made a report in their news feed today. Itemized.

    1. Facebook access for video, audio shut off for over 24 hours. Then restored. No real explanation for either.

    2. Dataminr access denied. This is a private company that provides a service of accessing the enormous twitter world. It enables news organizations, like RT, BBC, etc., to be "on top of a story" in the first few minutes of same. Dataminr provided no explanation. They have no idea when the service will be restored.

    Is this the way BBC, TeleSur, etc., are being treated by Dataminr?

    3. The Henry Jackson Society calls for a boycott of Russian media, including RT, involving not doing interviews, etc. to starve their media of info.

    4. The US regime introduces a Bill to establish an "anti-propaganda" institution - complete with $20 million slush fund for giddy supporters of US foreign policy - to combat foreign propaganda (under, I think, the direction of the State Department).

    5. The EU Parliament passes a Resolution to "combat Russian propaganda". Says one member of that odious un-democratic institution: "We are at war with Russia". The Resolution compared Russian media (Sputnik, RT) to the propaganda associated with .... Daesh.

    That's right. Russia is as bad as the head-chopping terrorists, say the EU Parliament. See Nov 23 EU Resolution

    6. The recent unsubstantiated and incendiary allegations around Russian "influence" on the US election includes many pages devoted to RT. The gist of these lurid claims is that RT provides a platform for Western dissidents to have their views publicized.

    7. The Russian FM spokesperson, Maria Z., notes the following

    Quote:
    We are facing an attempt to block not only RT but other Russian media sources as well on the pretext of a technical error frequently, all kinds of tools are used, starting with censorship without any explanation, ending in some made-up reasons. They cut TV signals. Media sources are facing claims, correspondents are threatened with lawsuits.

    Our babbler friend Smith has been re-gurgitating this stuff - US regime, unsubstantiated deep state claims and lickspittle MSM - as fact. 

    Meanwhile, American social media outlets have been exposed as working with, and for, in bed with, the US state, deep or secret state.

     

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