Understanding the demonisation of the mainstream media

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Critical Thinker

Senior Member.
One of the most recurrent themes I see coming from conspiracy theorists, is to attack the 'mainstream media' (a.k.a.... MSM). Usually they refer their audience to alternative media websites (ie,, Infowars) and sources which they contend are more trustworthy than the 'corporate controlled MSM'.

Let's have a space where we can compare the relative merits of the mainstream media versus those websites most often cited as 'good sources' by the CT folk.

I believe that the mainstream media (with the exception of FOX) will issue a correction of a story that was later found to be incorrect. (It is my observation that) On the alternative media sites there are far far far more inaccuracies to be found (and that are never retracted) than we find in the mainstream media. It is my contention that the smearing of the mainstream media is deliberate in order to 'Poison the Well', so that it seems no more reliable than those conspiracy propagation sources.


This is an opportunity to justify the accusations of lying and cite examples (WITH LINKS) of instances where either the mainstream media or the alternative media have posted a story that turned out to be incorrect and failed to issue a correction.

I would like this thread to stick to evidence to support your views, not just another back and forth of people's opinions.
 
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Critical Thinker

Senior Member.
In San Diego there was a march against the mainstream media which was organized by people who are promoting their own alternative media they are putting out.

1.JPG 2.JPG 3.JPG 4.JPG
 

Alhazred The Sane

Senior Member.
Personally, I don't have much time for corporate media outlets. I have less time for the fear-porn channels of guff like InfoWars, and it sets my teeth on edge to hear it referred to as 'alternative media'.

There are alternative ways to get information and informed discussion of the important issues and stories of the day, beyond the big players. I find Amy Goodman's Democracy Now to be consistent at providing intelligent cover, likewise The Real News Network. Both of these are visual media. For informed reading I look to TomDispatch, Alternet, TruthDig, AntiWar, CounterPunch, ZNet, The Samosa, Tikun Olam, and a few others.

For analysis of how corporate media works (?) I visit MediaLens, NewsUnspun, and FAIR.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Yes, it's not just infowars.com vs. cnn.com, there's a vast array of different media outlets. "Alternative" covers a lot of things, as does "Mainstream", and a lot of the alternative sites do actually uphold reasonable standards of journalism.

There should probably be another term for things like Infowars, or Before It's News, or Natural News.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Can you also post all the follow ups, and Schultz's responses, with a transcript.....?

See it's easy to just post a video of someone saying something that sounds a bit dubious. That's not the point is it? The point is how they respond to criticism and corrections.
 

Joe Newman

Active Member
Can you also post all the follow ups, and Schultz's responses, with a transcript.....?

See it's easy to just post a video of someone saying something that sounds a bit dubious. That's not the point is it? The point is how they respond to criticism and corrections.
Sure thing. Right after you do the same for all the claims you have made about AJ or any of the other sources you routinely castigate and claim they just never adjust their story.

See, it's easy to just make sweeping generalizations and stick to the script even when counter evidence is put forth. I did that yesterday with a PJW piece that traced out the different ways that the msm is fighting back against the alt. media. It was immediately dismissed as an op-ed piece which it clearly was. It had over a dozen links to support factual statements, but all of that was ignored because it just doesn't fit the script. It was an example that was different from the puff piece re Lennix, but none of that matters. The artificial dichotomy remains and somehow a empty windbag like Schulz is seen as somehow having more cred than AJ and MSNBC is seen as real journalism and PP/IW total trash.

I'm not saying someone should shit and piss in Schulz's mouth or anything like that, so don't get me wrong, but for all of AJ's ranting, he never goes that low, at least that I've heard. But nobody here will call out MSNBC and the trash they spout.
 

Joe Newman

Active Member
I don't get the point of that link. He's a mouthy commentator, but whatever he's on about - presumably the ACA - he's not reporting a story.
He's on script. While the roll out was flaming out, he was ranting about how it wasn't a problem and how it was actually a sign of the program's success. He very much was reporting a story. Inaccurately, sure, but on point with the way the WH wanted it spun. This isn't the only time he's just made stuff up, either.

http://www.aim.org/don-irvine-blog/ed-schultz-obamacare-enrollment-100-higher-than-yesterday-video/

When the admin has meetings with press outlets they want to carry their water, well, warts and all, I'll take the alt crowd. There's a reason the msm is dying a slow but steady death.

aconservativehideout.com_wp_content_uploads_2009_12_Losing_share_e1312010069313.jpg
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
You are missing the point Joe. The point was that the MSM issue retractions if they get things wrong, Alex Jones does not.

And the MSM is dying because of the internet, not because of their content.
 

dunbar

Active Member
There should probably be another term for things like Infowars, or Before It's News, or Natural News.
There is, it's called yellow journalism

 

dunbar

Active Member
full article
http://www.theguardian.com/media/media-blog/2013/sep/27/seymour-hersh-obama-nsa-american-media
 
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dunbar

Active Member
- Bill Moyers - interview on the Tavis Smily show.
 
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Critical Thinker

Senior Member.
Dunbar and Joe, I wish that you would take your talking points to your own blog instead of hijacking threads. I asked for examples and the supporting links, where the mainstream media posted an incorrect story and failed to issue a correction. What media sources do you consider trustworthy and lets take a look at their journalistic standards.

 

AluminumTheory

Senior Member.
You are missing the point Joe. The point was that the MSM issue retractions if they get things wrong, Alex Jones does not.

And the MSM is dying because of the internet, not because of their content.
I would also point out that the size of one's audience in no way reflects the veracity of their news content. It's basically a bandwagon fallacy that is used among the CT crowd to reinforce their beliefs.
 
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Joe Newman

Active Member
You are missing the point Joe. The point was that the MSM issue retractions if they get things wrong, Alex Jones does not.

And the MSM is dying because of the internet, not because of their content.
No, I'm not missing the point. The msm does not issue retractions when they get things wrong. That's my point and your saying so and leaving it at that is insufficient to carry the point. You guys are simply furthering an inaccurate meme here, Mick.
 

Joe Newman

Active Member
Dunbar and Joe, I wish that you would take your talking points to your own blog instead of hijacking threads. I asked for examples and the supporting links, where the mainstream media posted an incorrect story and failed to issue a correction.
I didn't hijack anything. I sited two instances where someone on MSNBC put out false info re Obamacare and didn't issue a retraction. One of the links was even from a watchdog group citing them for it. You asked, I gave you what you asked for.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
He's on script. While the roll out was flaming out, he was ranting about how it wasn't a problem and how it was actually a sign of the program's success. He very much was reporting a story. Inaccurately, sure, but on point with the way the WH wanted it spun. This isn't the only time he's just made stuff up, either.

http://www.aim.org/don-irvine-blog/ed-schultz-obamacare-enrollment-100-higher-than-yesterday-video/
I didn't hijack anything. I sited two instances where someone on MSNBC put out false info re Obamacare and didn't issue a retraction. One of the links was even from a watchdog group citing them for it. You asked, I gave you what you asked for.
That's the best you can do? Schultz quoting some official figures and saying they were "100%, higher than yesterday"? Don't you see a bit of a disconnect here where you compare that to infowars stories about the end of the world?

And he's just a ranty commentator. Find something actually written down, or in an actual news broadcast.
 

Critical Thinker

Senior Member.
If we're on the subject of Criticizing MSNBC for their Obamacare figures, maybe we can look into some of infowars' Obamacare figures.


http://www.infowars.com/obamacare-t...e-american-family-20000-a-year-announces-irs/

FWIW, I think CNN.com has been very fair about their Obamacare coverage offering perspective and analysis and criticisms from both sides.

I believe they suffer in part due to that.
Hi, AT.... While I agree with your point, could you please cite the claim made by Infowars that is false and provide the source which confirms that they are in error, in order to make it clear?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Hi, AT.... While I agree with your point, could you please cite the claim made by Infowars that is false and provide the source which confirms that they are in error, in order to make it clear?
http://www.factcheck.org/2013/03/obamacare-to-cost-20000-a-family/
http://www.irs.gov/PUP/newsroom/REG-148500-12 FR.pdf
 

AluminumTheory

Senior Member.
Hi, AT.... While I agree with your point, could you please cite the claim made by Infowars that is false and provide the source which confirms that they are in error, in order to make it clear?
Sorry, I figured that it was more common knowledge around here.

There is also the fact that Obamacare is here now, and it's not costing people $20k/year.
 

Critical Thinker

Senior Member.
Sorry, I figured that it was more common knowledge around here.
Mostly it is, but for some folks it would be best to have the link that verifies that the claim was refuted, so they can check the source themselves. We've seen both sides make the assumption that something is common knowledge. It is my nature to never assume that the other party accepts 'common knowledge' if it hurts their own argument.... so I try to always provide the link to a reputable source that backs my claim.
 

Joe Newman

Active Member
That's the best you can do? Schultz quoting some official figures and saying they were "100%, higher than yesterday"? Don't you see a bit of a disconnect here where you compare that to infowars stories about the end of the world?
Are you serious, Mick? You guys spent how much angst over a fucking puff piece about Obama being trained by Lennix and acted as if it was, uh, the end of the world.
And he's just a ranty commentator. Find something actually written down, or in an actual news broadcast.
Wtf? You guys are spending all this time smearing AJ over and over BECAUSE you deem him "just a ranty commentator" and now when examples of the same are thrown back at you, you count it not good enough because it's, well, the exact thing you are complaining about re AJ.

It's not even a double standard. It's no standard at all. Just one long exercise of by whatever means necessary, let's demonize AJ. If the guy is so utterly worthless, why spend so much time demonizing him?
 

JeffreyNotGeoffrey

Active Member
https://www.metabunk.org/threads/agenda-21-not-here-and-not-a-concern-right.2012/

There's the link to the forum here in which an infowars "article" was posted talking of how a woman was arrested as part of the scary UN implementing Agenda 21. The implications are that the police grabbed her off her property, etc, etc. Infowars missed the mark wildly considering she wasn't being charged for violating Agenda 21 but city ordinances about vegetation height in yards and overall cleanliness. When city officials tried to talk to her, she assaulted them. AJ spins this to be the start of the end of our freedoms as we know it due to the UN. To my knowledge he never said, "My bad. I overreached." There are a ton of these things. The man jumps to wild conclusions to back up his grand universal conspiracy theory of the NWO, etc. So in short total garbage. He is a sensationalist fear porn monger. There are more, but my doctor limited me on the craziness I can take per day. This isn't bashing by the way. This is honest criticism of a man, who simply stretched a simple story to make his point. I'll do more research on his shoddy reporting of Sandy Hook, the Boston Marathon bombing ( which he tastelessly immediately said was a false flag with little to no real proof), and other disasters such as the Moore, OK tornadoes which he claimed (with ZERO evidence) was the result of a weather weapon to scare up support for carbon taxes. That is just simply batshit stupid. So there's that Agenda 21 puff piece that was off the mark and that utterly offensive crazy spin of the Moore tornadoes as a government weather weapon to support cap and trade. I think those two are enough to show some fundamental problems with this man's ideology, presentation, and interpretation of basic facts. He issued no retractions or corrections. He simply blathered on about the weirdest idea to scare his audience.

So in my mind, if you really want to defend him, refute the Agenda 21 issue AND how anyone could spin the tragedy of Moore, OK as an evil government secret weather weapon to destroy and kill to get cap and trade passed. And I've seen the Moore, OK thing. Rachael Maddow had a good opinion piece on the craziness of that thinking and just how far down the rabbit hole that idiot has gone. Again, this isn't a hatchet job no more than bluntly stating David Icke is a fucking nutter is a hatchet job. Sorry the sky is blue, hats go on heads, and those two are either very cynically manipulating people, or they are batshit crazy. Take your pick Joe.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Are you serious, Mick? You guys spent how much angst over a fucking puff piece about Obama being trained by Lennix and acted as if it was, uh, the end of the world.


Wtf? You guys are spending all this time smearing AJ over and over BECAUSE you deem him "just a ranty commentator" and now when examples of the same are thrown back at you, you count it not good enough because it's, well, the exact thing you are complaining about re AJ.

It's not even a double standard. It's no standard at all. Just one long exercise of by whatever means necessary, let's demonize AJ. If the guy is so utterly worthless, why spend so much time demonizing him?
Smearing AJ? Demonizing? We simply describe what he does - which is use untruths to promote fear of societal collapse to sell product. Nothing at all like being a "ranty commentator". He's very deliberately lying to make money.
 

Alhazred The Sane

Senior Member.
Are you serious, Mick? You guys spent how much angst over a fucking puff piece about Obama being trained by Lennix and acted as if it was, uh, the end of the world.
Unfair assessment, I think. The site is meant to debunk bunk. The Lennix claim was obviously bunk, and it was debunked. Most of the additional posts were spent dealing with those that wanted the claim to be true.

Wtf? You guys are spending all this time smearing AJ over and over BECAUSE you deem him "just a ranty commentator" and now when examples of the same are thrown back at you, you count it not good enough because it's, well, the exact thing you are complaining about re AJ.
Again, unfair to my mind. The problem that I see has been identified with AJ, and others, isn't just that he's a ranty commentator, but that he's fear-monger, and that the kinds of claims he makes come very close to incitement to violence. That's the first time I've seen Schultz in action, and he's a prat. But the kind of guff he's coming out with is relatively harmless when you compare it to the AJ stuff. I'm thinking specifically of the fear spreading that must be a product of telling your viewers that the government is building concentration camps, is stocking up on burial caskets, that kind of thing. Or the impact his lies must have on the very real people effected by tragedies like Sandy Hook, Boston, etc., by claiming they're only actors in a government spun drama. Things like that don't deserve comparison with the ridiculous guff spouted by Schultz.
 

AluminumTheory

Senior Member.
Are you serious, Mick? You guys spent how much angst over a puff piece about Obama being trained by Lennix and acted as if it was, uh, the end of the world.


You guys are spending all this time smearing AJ over and over BECAUSE you deem him "just a ranty commentator" and now when examples of the same are thrown back at you, you count it not good enough because it's, well, the exact thing you are complaining about re AJ.
Ummm, where was the angst in that thread? Was there anything that we (skeptics) said that was angry or offensive? Please point it out.

And as for that artcile, they're only citing the Wall Street Journal's reports, and their only sources (which they didn't link to) are:

It's not even a double standard. It's no standard at all. Just one long exercise of by whatever means necessary, let's demonize AJ. If the guy is so utterly worthless, why spend so much time demonizing him?
You cited a false equivalency. When we debunk an infowars article, we use actual evidence. Just pointing to another article with a different estimats from vague sources is not "accuracy in journalism"
We're here to debunk. It's what we do and it's the purpose of this website. Exposing people like Alex Jones and his cohorts is a part of that and is unavoidable.
 
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Critical Thinker

Senior Member.
Here is a well known instance where the mainstream media, upon learning that they had referenced evidence that was later found to be unreliable, took corrective action. Does that EVER happen on the alternative media or the 'yellow media'... if so provide the example and the links that verify your claim.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George...ontroversy#Memos_allegedly_from_Jerry_Killian

 

AluminumTheory

Senior Member.
The biggest problem is that nobody is there to call out the bunk jockeys when they purvey erroneous information. It would honestly require full time efforts from everybody here to fact check everything that comes from them.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
The biggest problem is that nobody is there to call out the bunk jockeys when they purvey erroneous information. It would honestly require full time efforts from everybody here to fact check everything that comes from them.
Especially the stuff that's buried deep in hours long videos. The most we can hope to cover are the headline claims.
 

Alhazred The Sane

Senior Member.
The problem for me, and presumably others, isn't that corporate media corrects errors when they've been identified. Every reputable newspaper publishes corrections.

The problem is that corporate media relays government spin as fact. Recent instances of this that come to mind is the barrage of claims in the media that the Syrian government was behind the chemical attack that made the news, despite no actual evidence being provided. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that Syria wasn't responsible, I don't know. And that's the point. At the time nobody knew, but you wouldn't have gotten that impression from watching the US/UK news, or from reading the WaPo or NYT, or even the Grauniad. You have an expert on the Syrian situation appearing on CNN, NBC, ABC, Fox, etc. calling for intervention. An intervention that will need missiles to rain down. At no point does any of the networks he's on tell their audience that he's one of the top dogs in Raytheon, and that Raytheon manufacture those same missiles that the US will use. It's hard not to be cynical.

Likewise, it's amazing the amount of times that Iran's nuclear program has been referred to as Iran's nuclear weapons program, despite the fact there is no evidence of any such thing. The IAEA has been monitoring Iran for quite some time and they state that there is no such program. Israeli intelligence has admitted the same, so has the CIA. But it still gets referred to as 'Iran's nuclear weapons' yadda yadda.

Stepping further back in time, the IAEA was clear that Iraq was not developing 'weapons of mass destruction'. Hans Sponeck was vociferous in his denunciation of this claim prior to the launch of war on that sad nation, yet his voice was barely heard above the screams for war in the media.

Another point would be the whole climate change denial coverage. You have 99% of the scientists that should know what they're talking about in agreement, yet the 1% who claim otherwise are given just as much coverage, just as much time, apparently for balance. Thankfully, that situation seems to be changing. Or sadly, as it has taken the planet reaching the brink of self-destruction to get here.

That's my problem with corporate media - over reliance on 'official' sources, reporting their spin as fact, and ignoring stories that will harm the status-quo for their main advertisers (the auto industry, oil industry, airlines, etc.).
 

Boodles

Banned
Banned
You say tomato, I ask is it a fruit or a vegetable?
Definitely fruit. No debate :) Says something for perceptions though. Are those who are complacent about their media sources fruits? Or vegetables?

Oo! I like this analogy, for perceptions in life. Might use it again.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Likewise, it's amazing the amount of times that Iran's nuclear program has been referred to as Iran's nuclear weapons program, despite the fact there is no evidence of any such thing. The IAEA has been monitoring Iran for quite some time and they state that there is no such program. Israeli intelligence has admitted the same, so has the CIA. But it still gets referred to as 'Iran's nuclear weapons' yadda yadda.
Can you back that up with some evidence? A google news search does not seem to turn up a vast amount in the MSM:
https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&gl=us&tbm=nws&authuser=0&q=iran "nuclear+weapons+program"

Mostly references seem to be in blogs and guest editorials.
 

Alhazred The Sane

Senior Member.

AluminumTheory

Senior Member.
One thing that would to like to point out is that the MSM that you see on TV is not exactly like what its reported online. TV news broadcasts mostly consists of a repetition of sound bytes and talking points. They often leave out more important details, discussions and investigations. I would mainly chalk this up to dwindling attention spans and the overall decline in quality in broadcast tv. Understand that TV is a business. A business ratings and revenue from sponsors. If detailed information isn't not profitable, they will try something else; like persepctive and spin.

People will most likely stay tuned when they're hearing what they to hear so news had made a business out of that.

Alternative media seems to come in flavors. Some of them are honest. But far too many them are too politically engaged with extremism to be considered trustworthy. These news outlets seem to have made a business of confirming prejudices instead of fair reporting.
 

Joe Newman

Active Member
Smearing AJ? Demonizing? We simply describe what he does - which is use untruths to promote fear of societal collapse to sell product. Nothing at all like being a "ranty commentator". He's very deliberately lying to make money.
Wow. When you put it like that, you make him sound as bad as those warmist fear-mongers who deliberately lie and falsely hype the end of the world even though their "science" has been repeatedly shown to be inaccurate.

Still, they keep at it no matter how often their hockey sticks and such are shown to be broken. Hey, there's tons and more tons and megatons of money to be made in carbon taxes, so it's no wonder they go at it hammer and tong.

And just to show what paranoid loons these warmists are, they insist the myriad evidence pointing out the falsity of their claims is that it's a conspiracy by a cabal of corporate elites.

So, to be clear, my point isn't that AJ is perfect or remotely close or that he doesn't have an agenda. I'm just saying that it is inaccurate to section him off from others who are doing the same kind of thing and making a shitload more money doing it.
 
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