Democracy Then! Propaganda Now

Democracy Now!, legacy alternative media for the latte left, has been repeatedly exposed as biased in favor of the U.S./NATO empire. But most who watch DN! cannot tolerate the cognitive dissonance to acknowledge this shift.

Credit for the title of my post — Democracy Then! Propaganda Now —  goes to “Diogenes” who posted a version of it commenting on this discussion between Max Blumenthal, Aaron Mate and Randy Credico on The Grayzone’s YouTube channel. 

A shorter version of the video can be found attached to this Grayzone tweet, but the longer version (11 or so minutes) is worth watching if only to see Julian Assange lied about to his face as he repeatedly denies the false charge that wikileaks said Donald Trump would be less dangerous as president than Hillary Clinton. 

Count how many times Assange says “No, we didn’t” while DN!’s guest talks over him.

Summary of The Grayzone’s charges against Democracy Now!:

  • John Pilger told Blumenthal he was banned from DN! because their funder the Lannan Foundation did not like Pilger’s views
  • DN! was wrong on wikileaks & Julian Assange, and has never apologized
  • DN! was wrong on the Syrian war & the White Helmets
  • DN! was wrong on Russiagate, which it heavily promoted
  • DN! was wrong on alleged Uyghur genocide
  • DN! is wrong on the Ukraine war origins & goals, and clearly biased against Russia

The propaganda of the U.S. empire is, as many have observed, outstandingly effective. 

It has split the antiwar movement in the U.S. by capturing many of their sources of information.

I once worked in marketing (for cars) and learned of the strong spending to build brand loyalty among college students. Because research shows that brand loyalties are formed when we are quite young and these loyalties are extremely resistant to change for most people. 

This is why it’s effective to lure people into trusting a news outlet like Democracy Now! (or Common Dreams, or NPR, etc. — those are posts for another day). Once trust has been established, the slow drift toward supporting the imperial narrative can begin. Much like the frog in that pot of slowly warming water, most won’t notice and many will employ strong denial tactics to maintain  that they’re not being boiled to death.

Some have identified the first sign of Democracy Now!’s rightward drift in their coverage of the unfortunate events of 9/11/01. Since the current nonstop warmongering of the U.S. kicked off using 9/11 as a pretext, that makes a lot of sense. But substantiating that claim would take more research than I have time for at the moment. 

Just something to think about.

Peasants WILL Support The Wars Of Their Overlords — Or Else

There’s no point trying to write something better about so-called progressives in Congress publishing and then quickly disavowing a letter to Biden suggesting negotiations to end the bloodshed in Ukraine. In “The Brutal Comedy of the Withdrawn Letter,” Matt Taibbi has already aptly described the clownish collapse of anything resembling opposition to shoveling billions into arming Ukraine. Jayapal, AOC, Liz Warren, and even Bernie are millionaires controlled by billionaires, and the fear that they had angered the billionaires who own them was palpable.

The project of weakening Russia in order to take on China without their big ally is one underwritten by every billionaire-owned media outlet in the West. “Step out of line, the man comes and takes you away.”

Scott Ritter provided an immediate test case for the claim that “the bird is freed” i.e. Elon Musk’s Twitter would no longer see speech stifled to please the rich and powerful. 

Musk flunked. Is there anyone who really believed he’d pass? 

In “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss,” Ritter details how he was suspended from Twitter back in April for the a tweet like this one:

He went on to explain:

I based this conclusion on three primary sources, which included a videotape of a Ukrainian official warning the citizens of Bucha that a “cleansing operation” was going to be conducted in Bucha, and that the citizens should remain indoors and not to panic, an article which appeared in an official Ukrainian government website, LB.ua, entitled “Special forces regiment ‘SAFARI’ began to clear Bucha of saboteurs and accomplices of Russia,” which declared that “Special forces began clearing the liberated, by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, city of Bucha of the Kiev region from saboteurs and accomplices of Russian troops,” and video which purported to show members of the Safari Regiment shooting civilians who were not wearing the blue distinguishing armbands signifying loyalty to the Ukrainian cause.

But never mind about evidence. Controlling information about the NATO’s war in Ukraine has been job #1 from the get-go, and I’ve written about it several times already (e.g. here and here).

Truth tellers are still out here but their reach is much curtailed. 

Various pretexts have been offered for why too much truth could endanger the peasantry.

First, they said Russia was meddling in U.S. elections. And anyone questioning or denying this should be silenced. (Meanwhile, The Intercept among others news outlets silenced news of the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop until after the 2020 election.)

Source: “During COVID-19 Pandemic It Isn’t Just Fake News But Seriously Bad Misinformation That Is Spreading On Social Media”, Forbes

Then, they said so-called disinformation on the pandemic was dangerous to our health. And the restrictions put in place to suppress beliefs that eventually became mainstream e.g. lab origin, ineffectiveness of vaccines in stopping transmission, remained.

Next, they said Ukraine was a democracy and an innocent victim of Russia’s unprovoked aggression. Journalists with large followings who pointed out the Maidan coup happened all the way back in 2014 were shadow banned or suspended from social media. And an army of bots attacked anyone who expressed doubt about the righteousness of NATO’s cause.

Finally, they said any questioning of the many false flags in this war — massacred civilians in Bucha, shelling of the nuclear power plant Zaporizhzhia, sabotage of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany– was grounds for being silenced.

Silencing of dissent is dangerous as we face open confrontation between nuclear powers.

I took some comfort yesterday from war-watcher Big Serge on why neither the U.S. nor Russia is likely to use nukes in Ukraine.

I wanted to include a photo of the massive French austerity protests here, but Google only wants me to know about the CIA-sponsored uprisings in Iran — despite my using the search terms “france protests today.” Search engines are an important part of the information control matrix. 

Meanwhile, more austerity for the peasants rolls on. After Ukraine sent drones to attack ships at port in Sevastopol, Russia suspended grain shipments via ship. (That the grain was supposed to go to hungry people in Africa but was actually ending up in Europe may have had something to do with it.) 

Those with the patience and a stomach for truth may want to listen to the 3 1/2 hour speech plus Q & A session with Putin at the Valdai Discussion Club last week. If you need a chuckle today, imagine either Biden or Kamala Harris pulling off something like what Putin did at Valdai.

Why am I laughing in the face of millions freezing and starving this winter as we face the real possibility that our corporate overlords crave nuclear war?

Because if I start crying I might not be able to stop.


* Actually, I was wrong. AOC is only half a millionaire. Thanks to reader Edward F. for the correction.