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.
Much of the narrative control in my area around the Ukraine war has been taken up by liberal Democrats, many affiliated with the so-called grassroots group Indivisible.
When I blogged about being the turd in the punchbowl at an alleged peace demonstration that was actually a pro-NATO, anti-Russia event in California I had not yet figured this out. I was just surprised to find myself at a rally for Ukrainian nationalism where people couldn’t figure out why I was carrying this sign:
A former ally in the mascot retirement battle took great issue with my stating that George Soros was the money behind the color revolutions movement in Europe. She accused me of antisemitism (I had not at the time realized that Soros was Jewish but I do now) and of consuming and sharing antisemitic tropes from the dregs of the right-wing internet (something I never do because I try to practice mental hygiene while still following the news of the day). At the time I removed Soros’ name due to her objections and because it was an aside in a post about the pressure to abandon anti-imperialist analysis of the war in Ukraine.
She was wrong.
Soros is deeply involved in Ukraine present and past.
This is clear now that I’ve had more time to read up on this aspect of the current war.
Indivisible is an organization with deep ties to the Open Society Foundations founded by Soros. It sprang up as a sort of Tea Party wannabe during the heyday of the demagogue with bad hair who became our 45th president. Indivisible is currently infiltrating and pushing aside peace organizations in Maine. Narrative control is their trademark and is accomplished sometimes by online shouting matches and sometimes by overwhelming numbers of Ukraine flag wavers at well-established vigils for peace.
I began to notice that the talking points of Indivisible members here in New England were curiously alike.
Not just the perjoratives routinely assigned to the Russian Federation’s president, but the recurring theme that dissenting voices have no right to speak up. And if they dare to speak up anyway, they are routinely accused of being aligned with Putin, or 45, or white supremacists, etc.
Then a friend mentioned that ads for an Indivisible leader in Maine who is running for District Attorney ended with rapid fine print narration that included funding from…Soros. I reached out to Jackie Sartoris’ campaign to ask if I had misheard this and got a prompt response from the campaign manager explaining that those are PAC ads and not within the control or purview of the candidate. Also that Indivisible Brunswick was a “grassroots” group operating independently of the national organization.
So I shared with the campaign manager some of what I’d found:
“Of Indivisible’s 2017 revenue, 35 percent was raised through small dollar donations, and 65 percent was received through major gifts and foundation grants.”
“Angel Padilla, Indivisible Project’s policy director, previously worked as an analyst with the National Immigration Law Center (an organization funded by grants from Soros’ Open Society Foundations).. “
Today I had already decided to peek behind the curtain that obscures the workings of narrative management around the U.S./NATO proxy war with Russia in Ukraine only to discover that, by coincidence, I was suspended yesterday from posting in the VFP Discussion Group on Facebook. The group is run by moderators that might as well work for the Pentagon and they like to note that it’s a private group not affiiliated with VFP (odd choice for a name in that case). They decide what are acceptable and unacceptable news sources — with guidance from the same government that is silencing and shadow banning dissenters on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Google search.
I wonder, does that fact that Veterans for Peace (VFP) national has been in dire financial straits the last couple of years have anything to do with shifts in narrative to defend U.S. government warmongering policies under a Democrat? Or to silence dissenters? It’s impossible to say for sure but these are questions worth asking. The Russia Working Group of VFP recently reported having a heated discussion that included a fellow calling various people “communists.” Research on Ben Schrader turned up his claim of a visiting professorship at Central European University, sometimes called “George Soros University” because it was created with an endowment from Soros and because, as board chair, he would confer diplomas.
Also sad is observing the Democracy Now! media organization become more and more aligned with the Democratic Party, probably due to accepting support from the Open Society Foundations, the Ford Foundation, and the like. DN! touted the faux humanitarian White Helmets of Syria and has done some serious flag waving for Ukraine. Is it worth mentioning that DN! is strapped for cash, too?
A final note on the subject of narrative control: I see that the neo-Nazi Azov battalion that the U.S. taxpayer has been arming has revised its logo. Having the Buffalo mass shooter targeting Black grocery shoppers wear the same design as the background for the Azov logo was…inconvenient. So Azov removed it.
I’ll bet they wish they could scrub the internet of evidence of past usage, but that would be difficult. Keep sharing!