A brief meditation on media manipulation: Israel, Republicans, ordinary politics

Media outlet puts the sh** in show.

Haaretz has perpetrated a headline.

Biden Administration Braces for Potential ‘Sh**show’ in Appointing New U.S. Ambassador to Israel – U.S. News

It’s a good mental exercise to recall that whenever such scare language (here, “sh**show”) is deployed in headlines, you’re being manipulated to feel bad.

Just as whenever euphemism and omission are deployed to avoid characterizing a topic more accurately, you’re being manipulated to feel normal and reassured.

Here is the unattributed passage of the Haaretz article giving us our scare word: Continue reading “A brief meditation on media manipulation: Israel, Republicans, ordinary politics”


Pravda has uproarious ‘evidence’ CIA shot down MH17 in Ukraine

Mad art.

Get SmartThis definitely rivals the awe-inspiring oeuvre of such past masters as Lord Haw-Haw and Tokyo Rose.

It’s not exactly in the same genre, of course.  It’s more like a live snippet from a sort of Protocols of the Elders of Langley.  Komsomolskaya Pravda (“Young People’s Truth”) has perpetrated a cheesy deception: purportedly an audio recording of CIA agents talking to each other about their preparations to shoot down Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine.

As Mary Chastain indicates at Breitbart London, it’s a thigh-slapper.  The hilarity builds slowly as we hear two “Davids” — a “Hamilton” and a “Stern” — exchange the most stilted, overscripted conversations since Thomas Edison first recorded factory workers reading nursery rhymes.  Both “Davids” have funny (peculiar) accents, one British-sounding, the other with American overtones, but oddly plummy consonants on the margins.  It’s as if the K. Pravda production team for this moronic audio thinks American spies — or any other Americans, for that matter — actually sound like the anchors on Russia Today’s English-language news channel. Continue reading “Pravda has uproarious ‘evidence’ CIA shot down MH17 in Ukraine”

MSM fail: Pope did NOT call Mahmoud Abbas an ‘angel of peace’; *UPDATE*, with double-down

He’s no angel.

(Image: AFP via La Stampa (IT))
(Image: AFP via La Stampa (IT))

Fueled by wire stories from AP and AFP, the mainstream media have been running with a headline that Pope Francis, during a meeting at the Vatican on Saturday 16 May, called Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas “an angel of peace.”

The problem: the pope did not call Abbas — aka the terrorist Abu Mazen — an “angel of peace.”

He did utter the words “angel of peace,” and he suggested that Abbas could or might be one.  In the context of the pope’s complete statement about the meeting, the implication was that Abbas could be an angel of peace if he resumed direct negotiations with Israel.

Why did Francis say the words “angel of peace” at all?  Because he was making a gift to Abbas of a medallion engraved with an image of the Angel of Peace.  The Vatican Insider feature of Italy’s La Stampa has this summary in its English version: Continue reading “MSM fail: Pope did NOT call Mahmoud Abbas an ‘angel of peace’; *UPDATE*, with double-down”

“Islamism” and the West: How do you solve a problem like the AP Stylebook?

One word: freedom.

The Associated Press has decided that the word “Islamist” may not be used to describe anything objectionable.  Lori Lowenthal Marcus calls out the relevant passage from the news service’s newly revised stylebook:

[An Islamist is] an advocate of a political movement that favors reordering government and society in accordance with laws prescribed by Islam.  Do not use as a synonym for Islamic fighters, militants, extremists or radicals, who may or may not be Islamists.

Hmmm.  It’s an interesting question who will be called an Islamist by AP writers, given this definition.

Who is an Islamist?

Presumably, Continue reading ““Islamism” and the West: How do you solve a problem like the AP Stylebook?”


Our global information paradigm is swinging away from consensus and back to competing “visions” of what we know and what’s true. That’s going to make relations tougher, and require soul-searching and a renewal of definitions for Americans.

What do the assassination of an Iranian scientist and a cyber duel between Iran and China have to do with each other?

I’ll ask you to bear with me just a little on this one, readers.  It will all come together, but there are several distinct threads.  It matters, however.  It’s out there right now affecting what you think.  Increasingly, we are all going to need to understand this kaleidoscopically evanescent issue.

The unifying element is the concept of “Information Warfare” or “Information Operations,” Continue reading “Info-Skirmishes”