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The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection

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Our American Pravda
The major media overlooked Communist spies and Madoff’s fraud. What are they missing today?

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In mid-March, the Wall Street Journal carried a long discussion of the origins of the Bretton Woods system, the international financial framework that governed the Western world for decades after World War II. A photo showed the two individuals who negotiated that agreement. Britain was represented by John Maynard Keynes, a towering economic figure of that era. America’s representative was Harry Dexter White, assistant secretary of the Treasury and long a central architect of American economic policy, given that his nominal superior, Secretary Henry Morgenthau Jr., was a gentleman farmer with no background in finance. White was also a Communist agent.

Such a situation was hardly unique in American government during the 1930s and 1940s. For example, when a dying Franklin Roosevelt negotiated the outlines of postwar Europe with Joseph Stalin at the 1945 Yalta summit, one of his important advisors was Alger Hiss, a State Department official whose primary loyalty was to the Soviet side. Over the last 20 years, John Earl Haynes, Harvey Klehr, and other scholars have conclusively established that many dozens or even hundreds of Soviet agents once honeycombed the key policy staffs and nuclear research facilities of our federal government, constituting a total presence perhaps approaching the scale suggested by Sen. Joseph McCarthy, whose often unsubstantiated charges tended to damage the credibility of his position.

The Cold War ended over two decades ago and Communism has been relegated to merely an unpleasant chapter in the history books, so today these facts are hardly much disputed. For example, liberal Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein matter-of-factly referred to White as a “Soviet spy” in the title of his column on our postwar financial system. But during the actual period when America’s government was heavily influenced by Communist agents, such accusations were widely denounced as “Red-baiting” or ridiculed as right-wing conspiracy paranoia by many of our most influential journalists and publications. In 1982 liberal icon Susan Sontag ruefully acknowledged that for decades the subscribers to the lowbrow Readers Digest had received a more realistic view of the world than those who drew their knowledge from the elite liberal publications favored by her fellow intellectuals. I myself came of age near the end of the Cold War and always vaguely assumed that such lurid tales of espionage were wildly exaggerated. I was wrong.

The notion of the American government being infiltrated and substantially controlled by agents of a foreign power has been the stuff of endless Hollywood movies and television shows, but for various reasons such popular channels have never been employed to bring the true-life historical example to wide attention. I doubt if even one American in a hundred today is familiar with the name “Harry Dexter White” or dozens of similar agents.

The realization that the world is often quite different from what is presented in our leading newspapers and magazines is not an easy conclusion for most educated Americans to accept, or at least that was true in my own case. For decades, I have closely read the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and one or two other major newspapers every morning, supplemented by a wide variety of weekly or monthly opinion magazines. Their biases in certain areas had always been apparent to me. But I felt confident that by comparing and contrasting the claims of these different publications and applying some common sense, I could obtain a reasonably accurate version of reality. I was mistaken.

Aside from the evidence of our own senses, almost everything we know about the past or the news of today comes from bits of ink on paper or colored pixels on a screen, and fortunately over the last decade or two the growth of the Internet has vastly widened the range of information available to us in that latter category. Even if the overwhelming majority of the unorthodox claims provided by such non-traditional web-based sources is incorrect, at least there now exists the possibility of extracting vital nuggets of truth from vast mountains of falsehood. Certainly the events of the past dozen years have forced me to completely recalibrate my own reality-detection apparatus.

Thoughtful individuals of all backgrounds have undergone a similar crisis of confidence during this same period. Just a few months after 9/11 New York Times columnist Paul Krugman argued that the sudden financial collapse of the Enron Corporation represented a greater shock to the American system than the terrorist attacks themselves, and although he was widely denounced for making such an “unpatriotic” claim, I believe his case was strong. Although the name “Enron” has largely vanished from our memory, for years it had ranked as one of America’s most successful and admired companies, glowingly profiled on the covers of our leading business magazines, and drawing luminaries such as Krugman himself to its advisory board; Enron Chairman Kenneth Lay had been a top contender for Treasury secretary in President George W. Bush’s administration. Then in the blink of an eye, the entire company was revealed to be an accounting fraud from top to bottom, collapsing into a $63 billion bankruptcy, the largest in American history. Other companies of comparable or even greater size such as WorldCom, Tyco, Adelphia, and Global Crossing soon vanished for similar reasons.

Part of Krugman’s argument was that while the terrorist attacks had been of an entirely unprecedented nature and scale, our entire system of financial regulation, accounting, and business journalism was designed to prevent exactly the sort of frauds that brought down those huge companies. When a system fails so dramatically at its core mission, we must wonder which of our other assumptions are incorrect.

Just a few years later, we saw an even more sweeping near-collapse of our entire financial system, with giant institutions such as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Wachovia, and AIG falling into bankruptcy, and all our remaining major banks surviving only due to the trillions of dollars in government bailouts and loan guarantees they received. Once again, all our media and regulatory organs had failed to anticipate this disaster.

Or take the remarkable case of Bernie Madoff. His colossal investment swindle had been growing unchecked for over three decades under the very noses of our leading financial journalists and regulators in New York City, ultimately reaching the sum of $65 billion in mostly fictional assets. His claimed returns had been implausibly steady and consistent year after year, market crashes or not. None of his supposed trading actually occurred. His only auditing was by a tiny storefront firm. Angry competitors had spent years warning the SEC and journalists that his alleged investment strategy was mathematically impossible and that he was obviously running a Ponzi scheme. Yet despite all these indicators, officials did nothing and refused to close down such a transparent swindle, while the media almost entirely failed to report these suspicions.

In many respects, the non-detection of these business frauds is far more alarming than failure to uncover governmental malfeasance. Politics is a partisan team sport, and it is easy to imagine Democrats or Republicans closing ranks and protecting their own, despite damage to society. Furthermore, success or failure in public policies is often ambiguous and subject to propagandistic spin. But investors in a fraudulent company lose their money and therefore have an enormous incentive to detect those risks, with the same being true for business journalists. If the media cannot be trusted to catch and report simple financial misconduct, its reliability on more politically charged matters will surely be lower.

The circumstances surrounding our Iraq War demonstrate this, certainly ranking it among the strangest military conflicts of modern times. The 2001 attacks in America were quickly ascribed to the radical Islamists of al-Qaeda, whose bitterest enemy in the Middle East had always been Saddam Hussein’s secular Baathist regime in Iraq. Yet through misleading public statements, false press leaks, and even forged evidence such as the “yellowcake” documents, the Bush administration and its neoconservative allies utilized the compliant American media to persuade our citizens that Iraq’s nonexistent WMDs posed a deadly national threat and required elimination by war and invasion. Indeed, for several years national polls showed that a large majority of conservatives and Republicans actually believed that Saddam was the mastermind behind 9/11 and the Iraq War was being fought as retribution. Consider how bizarre the history of the 1940s would seem if America had attacked China in retaliation for Pearl Harbor.

True facts were easily available to anyone paying attention in the years after 2001, but most Americans do not bother and simply draw their understanding of the world from what they are told by the major media, which overwhelmingly—almost uniformly—backed the case for war with Iraq; the talking heads on TV created our reality. Prominent journalists across the liberal and conservative spectrum eagerly published the most ridiculous lies and distortions passed on to them by anonymous sources, and stampeded Congress down the path to war.

The result was what my late friend Lt. Gen. Bill Odom rightly called the “greatest strategic disaster in United States history.” American forces suffered tens of thousands of needless deaths and injuries, while our country took a huge step toward national bankruptcy. Economics Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz and others have estimated that with interest the total long-term cost of our two recent wars may reach as high as $5 or $6 trillion, or as much as $50,000 per American household, mostly still unpaid. Meanwhile, economist Edward Wolff has calculated that the Great Recession and its aftermath cut the personal net worth of the median American household to $57,000 in 2010 from a figure nearly twice as high three years earlier. Comparing these assets and liabilities, we see that the American middle class now hovers on the brink of insolvency, with the cost of our foreign wars being a leading cause.

But no one involved in the debacle ultimately suffered any serious consequences, and most of the same prominent politicians and highly paid media figures who were responsible remain just as prominent and highly paid today. For most Americans, reality is whatever our media organs tell us, and since these have largely ignored the facts and adverse consequences of our wars in recent years, the American people have similarly forgotten. Recent polls show that only half the public today believes that the Iraq War was a mistake.

Author James Bovard has described our society as an “attention deficit democracy,” and the speed with which important events are forgotten once the media loses interest might surprise George Orwell.

Consider the story of Vioxx, a highly lucrative anti-pain medication marketed by Merck to the elderly as a substitute for simple aspirin. After years of very profitable Vioxx sales, an FDA researcher published a study demonstrating that the drug greatly increased the risk of fatal strokes and heart attacks and had probably already caused tens of thousands of premature American deaths. Vioxx was immediately pulled from the market, but Merck eventually settled the resulting lawsuits for relatively small penalties, despite direct evidence the company had long been aware of the drug’s deadly nature. Our national media, which had earned hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising revenue from Vioxx marketing, provided no sustained coverage and the scandal was soon forgotten. Furthermore, the press never investigated the dramatic upward and downward shifts in the mortality rates of elderly Americans that so closely tracked the introduction and recall of Vioxx; as I pointed out in a 2012 article, these indicated that the likely death toll had actually been several times greater than the FDA estimate. Vast numbers Americans died, no one was punished, and almost everyone has now forgotten.

Or take the strange case of Bernard Kerik, New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s police commissioner during 9/11, later nominated by President Bush to be America’s first director of national intelligence, a newly established position intended to oversee all of our various national-security and intelligence agencies. His appointment seemed likely to sail through the Republican-controlled Senate until derailed by accusations he had employed an undocumented nanny. With his political rise having been blocked, the national media suddenly revealed his long history of association with organized-crime figures, an indictment quickly followed, and he is currently still serving his federal prison sentence for conspiracy and fraud. So America came within a hairbreadth of placing its entire national-security apparatus under the authority of a high-school dropout connected with organized crime, and today almost no Americans seem aware of that fact.

Through most of the 20th century, America led something of a charmed life, at least when compared with the disasters endured by almost every other major country. We became the richest and most powerful nation on earth, partly due to our own achievements and partly due to the mistakes of others. The public interpreted these decades of American power and prosperity as validation of our system of government and national leadership, and the technological effectiveness of our domestic propaganda machinery—our own American Pravda—has heightened this effect. Furthermore, most ordinary Americans are reasonably honest and law-abiding and project that same behavior onto others, including our media and political elites. This differs from the total cynicism found in most other countries around the world.

 

Credibility is a capital asset, which may take years to accumulate but can be squandered in an instant; and the events of the last dozen years should have bankrupted any faith we have in our government or media. Once we acknowledge this, we should begin to accept the possible reality of important, well-documented events even if they are not announced on the front pages of our major newspapers. When several huge scandals have erupted into the headlines after years or decades of total media silence, we must wonder what other massive stories may currently be ignored by our media elites. I think I can provide a few possibilities.

Consider the almost forgotten anthrax mailing attacks in the weeks after 9/11, which terrified our dominant East Coast elites and spurred passage of the unprecedented Patriot Act, thereby eliminating many traditional civil-libertarian protections. Every morning during that period the New York Times and other leading newspapers carried articles describing the mysterious nature of the deadly attacks and the complete bafflement of the FBI investigators. But evenings on the Internet I would read stories by perfectly respectable journalists such as Salon’s Laura Rozen or the staff of the Hartford Courant providing a wealth of additional detail and pointing to a likely suspect and motive.

Although the letters carrying the anthrax were purportedly written by an Arab terrorist, the FBI quickly determined that the language and style indicated a non-Arab author, while tests pointed to the bioweapons research facility at Ft. Detrick, Md., as the probable source of the material. But just prior to the arrival of those deadly mailings, military police at Quantico, Va., had also received an anonymous letter warning that a former Ft. Detrick employee, Egyptian-born Dr. Ayaad Assaad, might be planning to launch a national campaign of bioterrorism. Investigators quickly cleared Dr. Assaad, but the very detailed nature of the accusations revealed inside knowledge of his employment history and the Ft. Detrick facilities. Given the near-simultaneous posting of anthrax envelopes and false bioterrorism accusations, the mailings almost certainly came from the same source, and solving the latter case would be the easiest means of catching the anthrax killer.

Who would have attempted to frame Dr. Assaad for bioterrorism? A few years earlier he had been involved in a bitter personal feud with a couple of his Ft. Detrick coworkers, including charges of racism, official reprimands, and angry recriminations all around. When an FBI official shared a copy of the accusatory letter with a noted language-forensics expert and allowed him to compare the text with the writings of 40 biowarfare lab employees, he found a perfect match with one of those individuals. For years I told my friends that anyone who spent 30 minutes with Google could probably determine the name and motive of the likely anthrax killer, and most of them successfully met my challenge.

This powerful evidence received almost no attention in the major national media, nor is there any indication that the FBI ever followed up on any of these clues or interrogated the named suspects. Instead, investigators attempted to pin the attacks on a Dr. Steven Hatfill based on negligible evidence, after which he was completely exonerated and won a $5.6 million settlement from the government for its years of severe harassment. Later, similar hounding of researcher Bruce Ivins and his family led to his suicide, after which the FBI declared the case closed, even though former colleagues of Dr. Ivins demonstrated that he had had no motive, means, or opportunity. In 2008, I commissioned a major 3,000-word cover story in my magazine summarizing all of this crucial evidence, and once again almost no one in the mainstream media paid the slightest attention.

An even more egregious case followed a couple of years later, with regard to the stunning revelations of Pulitzer Prize winner Sydney Schanberg, one of America’s foremost Vietnam War reporters and a former top editor at the New York Times. After years of research, Schanberg published massive evidence demonstrating that the endlessly ridiculed claims of America’s Vietnam MIA movement of the 1970s and 1980s were correct: the Nixon administration had indeed deliberately abandoned many hundreds of American POWs in Vietnam at the close of the war, and our government afterward spent decades covering up this shameful crime. Schanberg’s charges were publicly confirmed by two former Republican House members, one of whom had independently co-authored a 500 page book on the subject, exhaustively documenting the POW evidence.

Although a major focus of Schanberg’s account was the central role that Sen. John McCain had played in leading the later cover-up, the national media ignored these detailed charges during McCain’s bitter 2008 presidential campaign against Barack Obama. One of America’s most distinguished living journalists published what was surely “the story of the century” and none of America’s newspapers took notice.

In 2010 Schanberg republished this material in a collection of his other writings, and his work received glowing praise from Joseph Galloway, one of America’s top military correspondents, as well as other leading journalists; his charges are now backed by the weight of four New York Times Pulitzer Prizes. Around that same time, I produced a 15,000-word cover-symposium on the scandal, organized around Schanberg’s path-breaking findings and including contributions from other prominent writers. All of this appeared in the middle of Senator McCain’s difficult reelection campaign in Arizona, and once again the material was totally ignored by the state and national media.

An argument might be made that little harm has been done to the national interest by the media’s continued silence in the two examples described above. The anthrax killings have largely been forgotten and the evidence suggests that the motive was probably one of personal revenge. All the government officials involved in the abandonment of the Vietnam POWs are either dead or quite elderly, and even those involved in the later cover-up, such as John McCain, are in the twilight of their political careers. But an additional example remains completely relevant today, and some of the guilty parties hold high office.

During the mid-2000s I began noticing references on one or two small websites to a woman claiming to be a former FBI employee who was making the most outlandish and ridiculous charges, accusing high government officials of selling our nuclear-weapons secrets to foreign spies. I paid no attention to such unlikely claims and never bothered reading any of the articles.

A couple of years went by, and various website references to that same woman—Sibel Edmonds—kept appearing, although I continued to ignore them, secure that the silence of all my newspapers proved her to be delusional. Then in early 2008, the London Sunday Times, one of the world’s leading newspapers, ran a long, three-part front-page series presenting her charges, which were soon republished in numerous other countries. Daniel Ellsberg described Edmonds’s revelations as “far more explosive than the Pentagon Papers” and castigated the American media for completely ignoring a story that had reached the front pages of newspapers throughout the rest of the world. Such silence struck me as rather odd.

Philip Giraldi, a former CIA official who regularly writes for this magazine, suggested he investigate her charges. He found her highly credible, and his 3,000-word article in TAC presented some astonishing but very detailed claims.

 

Edmonds had been hired by the FBI to translate wiretapped conversations of a suspected foreign spy ring under surveillance, and she had been disturbed to discover that many of these hundreds of phone calls explicitly discussed the sale of nuclear-weapons secrets to foreign intelligence organizations, including those linked to international terrorism, as well as the placement of agents at key American military research facilities. Most remarkably, some of the individuals involved in these operations were high-ranking government officials; the staffs of several influential members of Congress were also implicated. On one occasion, a senior State Department figure was reportedly recorded making arrangements to pick up a bag containing a large cash bribe from one of his contacts. Very specific details of names, dates, dollar amounts, purchasers, and military secrets were provided.

The investigation had been going on for years with no apparent action, and Edmonds was alarmed to discover that a fellow translator quietly maintained a close relationship with one of the key FBI targets. When she raised these issues, she was personally threatened, and after appealing to her supervisors, eventually fired.

Since that time, she has passed a polygraph test on her claims, testified under oath in a libel lawsuit, expanded her detailed charges in a 2009 TAC cover story also by Giraldi, and most recently published a book recounting her case. Judiciary Committee Senators Chuck Grassley and Patrick Leahy have publicly backed some of her charges, a Department of Justice inspector general’s report has found her allegations “credible” and “serious,” while various FBI officials have vouched for her reliability and privately confirmed many of her claims. But none of her detailed charges has ever appeared in any of America’s newspapers. According to Edmonds, one of the conspirators routinely made payments to various members of the media, and bragged to his fellow plotters that “We just fax to our people at the New York Times. They print it under their names.”

At times, Congressional Democratic staff members became interested in the scandal, and promised an investigation. But once they learned that senior members of their own party were also implicated, their interest faded.

These three stories—the anthrax evidence, the McCain/POW revelations, and the Sibel Edmonds charges—are the sort of major exposés that would surely be dominating the headlines of any country with a properly-functioning media. But almost no American has ever heard of them. Before the Internet broke the chokehold of our centralized flow of information, I would have remained just as ignorant myself, despite all the major newspapers and magazines I regularly read.

Am I absolutely sure that any or all of these stories are true? Certainly not, though I think they probably are, given their overwhelming weight of supporting evidence. But absent any willingness of our government or major media to properly investigate them, I cannot say more.

However, this material does conclusively establish something else, which has even greater significance. These dramatic, well-documented accounts have been ignored by our national media, rather than widely publicized. Whether this silence has been deliberate or is merely due to incompetence remains unclear, but the silence itself is proven fact.

A likely reason for this wall of uninterest on so many important issues is that the disasters involved are often bipartisan in nature, with both Democrats and Republicans being culpable and therefore equally eager to hide their mistakes. Perhaps in the famous words of Benjamin Franklin, they realize that they must all hang together or they will surely all hang separately.

We always ridicule the 98 percent voter support that dictatorships frequently achieve in their elections and plebiscites, yet perhaps those secret-ballot results may sometimes be approximately correct, produced by the sort of overwhelming media control that leads voters to assume there is no possible alternative to the existing regime. Is such an undemocratic situation really so different from that found in our own country, in which our two major parties agree on such a broad range of controversial issues and, being backed by total media dominance, routinely split 98 percent of the vote? A democracy may provide voters with a choice, but that choice is largely determined by the information citizens receive from their media.

Most of the Americans who elected Barack Obama in 2008 intended their vote as a total repudiation of the policies and personnel of the preceding George W. Bush administration. Yet once in office, Obama’s crucial selections—Robert Gates at Defense, Timothy Geither at Treasury, and Ben Bernanke at the Federal Reserve—were all top Bush officials, and they seamlessly continued the unpopular financial bailouts and foreign wars begun by his predecessor, producing what amounted to a third Bush term.

Consider the fascinating perspective of the recently deceased Boris Berezovsky, once the most powerful of the Russian oligarchs and the puppet master behind President Boris Yeltsin during the late 1990s. After looting billions in national wealth and elevating Vladimir Putin to the presidency, he overreached himself and eventually went into exile. According to the New York Times, he had planned to transform Russia into a fake two-party state—one social-democratic and one neoconservative—in which heated public battles would be fought on divisive, symbolic issues, while behind the scenes both parties would actually be controlled by the same ruling elites. With the citizenry thus permanently divided and popular dissatisfaction safely channeled into meaningless dead-ends, Russia’s rulers could maintain unlimited wealth and power for themselves, with little threat to their reign. Given America’s history over the last couple of decades, perhaps we can guess where Berezovsky got his idea for such a clever political scheme.

 

Major References in The American Conservative:

[Erratum: In my text I mentioned that Bernard Kerik, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's New York City police chief during the 9/11 attacks, was a high school dropout with ties to organized crime, who is currently still serving his federal prison sentence on related charges. This was correct. However, President George W. Bush had nominated him to run America's Department of Homeland Security rather than to be America's Director of National Intelligence.]


(Reprinted from The American Conservative by permission of author or representative)
 
The American Pravda Series

97 Comments to "Our American Pravda"

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  1. JonF
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    Re: Just a few months after 9/11 New York Times columnist Paul Krugman argued that the sudden financial collapse of the Enron Corporation represented a greater shock to the American system than the terrorist attacks themselves, and although he was widely denounced for making such an “unpatriotic” claim, I believe his case was strong.

    I sure don’t. Show of hands: who remembers where they were and what they were doing when they heard about Enron? Now, who remembers where they were and what they were doing when they heard about 9-11.

    Re: Although the name “Enron” has largely vanished from our memory

    Actually no, it’s the butt of various jokes, and occasionally held up by the Left as a sample of unregulated capitalism.

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  2. spite
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    If find the best news about America comes from foreign sources. Every source is ultimately biased, but the big media in America is so closely welded to the people that run the state, I have as much faith in objective reporting from Fox news, NYT, CNN etc. as I have of Xinhua delivering objective news about China.

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  3. The Main Stream Media,in America, has been under the control of the elitists and globalists from at least the last decade of the 19th Century to the current time. Again as your article stipulates,it is not the “news” that they propagate but the news that they either refuse to report,bury,marginalize or spin that does the damage to “public opinion.” This control of information is also exasperated and made worse by the fact that most Americans either don’t care about the facts or have been dumbed down to accept the “news” as fact. There are many examples of this throughout American history. As the “news” and facts were used, at the time, to help advance the policy of the elites. The list of directed “news” and propaganda is very long. From the sinking of the Maine in Havana harbor to the WMD in Iraq. But perhaps a small tidbit of directed “news” reporting that had a profound effect on the course of history was the reporting of the Soviet man made famine in the Ukraine in the early 1930s that starved to death millions of innocent people. The “news” was covered by New York Times correspondent Walter Duranty who either didn’t report the famine or marginalized the events. It turned out that Mr.Duranty was a Soviet agent working to normalize relations between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. For his actions Duranty won the Pulitzer Prize ,the Soviets won diplomatic relations with America and millions of Ukrainians lost their lives.

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  4. robby
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    Jon,
    just because you don’t remember where you were in re: Enron, doesn’t make it less important. obviously lives lost are more important in reality and memories, but that isn’t what Krugman or Unz’s point is about

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  5. DavidT
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    On Soviet spies; remember that the Venona decrypts were a very closely guarded secret at the time. I am not saying that the accusations of defecting Communists like Elizabeth Bentley and Whittaker Chambers should not have been given more weight than they were by some in the press; but the fact remains that some of the most convincing corroboration was simply not then available:

    “While Haynes and Klehr acknowledge that there were “sensible [security] reasons” for keeping Venona secret (so secret that even President Truman lacked direct knowledge of it), they argue that “This decision denied the public the incontestable evidence afforded by the messages of the Soviet Union’s own spies.” Proof of Soviet espionage and “American Communist participation” based on the testimony of defectors was “inherently more ambiguous than the hard evidence of the Venona messages.”

    http://www.unc.edu/depts/diplomat/AD_Issues/amdipl_15/platt_15.html

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  6. EliteCommInc.
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    Enron, I was in my Charleston, Il teaching class.

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  7. Jim Evans
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    Excellent article.

    Yes, it was the internet which opened a gate to a wider collection of news sources for my consideration (and it changed my political consciousness).

    A republican form of government based on democratic, representational government, based on a written constitution, depends on an informed & active citizenry.

    To the extent the public is ignorant, the elite and insiders can control the policy as dictated by their financial interests. Follow the money & cui bono dominate over the broad public welfare of the general citizenry.

    Reasonable & rational debate on policy choices, likely to provide positive results, can not be held when the claimed situation is not as represented by corporate media, which can still be dominant during high-saturation, mass-media, events, as ratings demonstrate, after those events of intense public interest.

    In the present day, in my opinion, the so-called “War on Terror”, is such an event. But the political establishment of both parties and the corporate media, which carries their political water, have an interest in promoting this bi-partisan myth.

    And all one has to do is follow the money & cui bono to find this out, but you won’t find such common sense reporting in the corporate media — it goes against their corporate-parent, employers’ financial interest.

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  8. Josh McGee
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    Excellent timing, following so soon after the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

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  9. Dahlia
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    Mr. Unz,
    Great article, your writings on this have opened my eyes.
    Just a couple days ago, so many of these themes were demonstated about FEMEN in a post at Mangan’s.
    Apparently, much of the public who becomes aware of this group has no trouble believing that an anti-religious group using profanity and nudity as their schtick spontaneously came to be made up of only young, gorgeous, white women. Whistleblowers are few and far between.

    I believe this is an important story because of the extreme hatred this group (more accurate, the people who pay them) has demonstrated for their victims: sawing down crosses and dousing a Catholic bishop with water among other things. I may be mistaken, but I believe while they have done anti-Muslim acts, the majority are anti-Christian. I’m not sure if their hatred extends to other religions.

    Before you think I’m making a mountain out of a molehill, please google “FEMEN” for pictures and “FEMEN cross”. They’re totally profane, btw.
    Not even the Rightist blogosphere has shown an interest, to my knowledge; Mangan’s attention seems to be short. I hope I’m wrong.

    Here’s the thread; I suspect the informed anons are likely European, fwiw; I had some fun speculating and it shows my stream of consciousness, but please don’t let that take away from the seriousness of this topic:

    http://mangans.blogspot.com/2013/04/sign-of-apocalypse.html

    _________
    I googled Sibel Edmonds and found her Boiling Frogs site which I bookmarked. She seems like quite a remarkable woman.

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  10. Johann
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    Just prior to the invasion of Iraq, I remember an affable and sincere sounding Hans Blix, the Norwegian UN WMD inspector, stating in no uncertain terms that there was no evidence whatsoever of WMD in Iraq. ALL of the US media made fun of him. Some media even likened him to Homer Simpson, which he kinda sorta resembled. They all used the “ridicule if you can’t refute with facts” tool of propaganda.

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  11. libfreak48
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    I don’t recall anyone on the right raising any alarm bells about Mr. Madoff either.

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  12. EliteCommInc.
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    Patriot Act/Homeland Security – it was about 11:30 Midnight or thereabouts. I was taking a bath in Charleston Il.

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  13. Pat
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    Noam Chomsky would be proud

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  14. Sam
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    God I hope more than anything that there are no POWs still in Vietnam, or that any were left behind. I can handle the Enrons and the Wall Street scams, but the POW issue genuinely scares me.

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  15. Andrew
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    The realization that the world is often quite different from what is presented in our leading newspapers and magazines is not an easy conclusion for most educated Americans to accept

    “Educated”?? I believe they constitute the most gullible segment of society. I am currently watching Christian Amanpour on CNN giving “military” advices simply on the merit that she “was on the ground”. Wow! Andrew Sullivan gave her a run for her money, though.

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  16. Larry Long
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    I just want to express my appreciation to Mr. Unz for yet another necessary and useful article.

    I would also like to bring attention to another category of this American media syndrome. I don’t want to derail the discussion on this topic, but to point out that it isn’t only media silence that is an issue. A perhaps greater one involves times when the media are not silent.

    Mr. Unz has of course mentioned the lies surrounding the invasion of Iraq, and someone raised the name of Hans Blix whose truth was ignored because it didn’t fit the narrative.

    But there are many more cases where a totally fabricated narrative has entered the mainstream of knowledge as a truth. I have one example here for you to consider in the light of the content of this article, and what it all means . . .

    We all know about the “Tiananmen Square Massacre” where thousands, or tens of thousands, of students were mercilessly gunned down or crushed with tanks on June 4, 1989.

    What most of us don’t know, is that none of this ever happened. The entire story was fabricated, a hoax, a conflation of a peaceful student sit-in with a totally-unrelated violent event in another part of Beijing that occurred at the same time.

    Many of the reporters of the time, like James Miles of the Economist, Jay Matthews who was the WSJ Beijing bureau chief at the time, and many others, have now all come out of the woodwork to admit that the student protest in Tiananmen Square ended peacefully and that the Chinese government had been telling the truth all along when they claimed that nobody died in Tiananmen Square.

    For his part, Miles tells us that “we got the story sort of right, but we got some of the facts wrong”, the “wrong facts” being those about the student deaths! But still.

    The catalyst for this incredible revelation was Wikileaks’ leaking of all the cables sent from the US Embassy in Beijing that day and night to Washington, detailing that the protest ended peacefully. When this shocking news emerged, the truth began creeping out from everywhere.

    There are many of these events, and I suspect Mr. Unz and many other Americans would be unhappy to learn of them. Their implications are rather more serious than the anthrax, at least in terms of international relations and world peace.

    Here is an article I would ask you to read. I wrote it. My research was extensive, involving many personal interviews of those who were actually present in Tiananmen Square. I have no doubts about the context or the conclusions.

    I would ask that you add this to the content of this article and ask yourself (1) what it all means, and (2) what else is out there?

    Let’s Talk About Tiananmen Square, 1989

    http://www.bearcanada.com/china/letstalkabouttam.html

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  17. Combining some aspects of both past failures of oversight, the revolving door migration of the minions of disbarred K-Street operators into erstwhile conservative think tanks more forgiving of proximity to felony than the SEC.

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  18. Labropotes
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    I think an interesting example of the phenomenon of the American media turning a blind eye to a brilliant voice because it doesn’t jibe with the mainstream narrative is Robert Fisk. He has called the outcome of so many struggles in the middle east over the past three years correctly yet is never heard here, whereas the likes of Tom Friedman seemingly never lose credibility no matter how consistently wrong in their predictions.

    I don’t always agree with Fisk, but he is a great correspondent. Two years ago Fisk said Assad was going nowhere fast. I guess he was right.

    It’s not a divine muse that makes his reporting so good, it’s that he speaks the local language, he respects and loves the people he’s reporting on, and he does all he can to inform HIMSELF. He doesn’t rely only on “State department officials” or “senior administration officials” — who decline to be named — for his information.

    On a separate point, I used to do financial analysis on publicly traded insurance companies. Once, I saw a chart of AIG’s earnings growth through the 1990′s (or thereabouts). It showed a perfectly straight line somewhere around 12%. The exact same rate of growth year in and year out. This is only possible by cooking the books. Anyone could see this, but “hey, what’s the big deal, they pay their debts, right?”

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  19. EliteCommInc.
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    “They all used the “ridicule if you can’t refute with facts” tool of propaganda.”

    I am also thinking about Scott Ridder.

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  20. Frank
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    The good news is that, today, “Our American Pravda” is only taken seriously by those who choose to remain ignorant. There are so many quality sources of information and analysis available and accessible to anyone that it’s hard to describe it as anything other than a choice.

    Actually, if it was just ignorance, it wouldn’t be that bad. But most of the people who rely on MSNBC, FOX, NYT, WaPo, etc. for information aren’t ignorant, they hold beliefs that are so out of touch with reality that they can accurately be described as delusional.

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  21. T. Sledge
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    “The notion of the American government being infiltrated and substantially controlled by agents of a foreign power has been the stuff of endless Hollywood movies and television shows, but for various reasons such popular channels have never been employed to bring the true-life historical example to wide attention.”

    A centrist former GOP senator was vilified by a blogger employed by the Washington Post as virtually a would-be Himmler, because he had the audacity to respond to an inquiry while he was in the Senate that he was a US Senator, not a member of the Knesset; this vilification went on and on for over 72 individual postings by the little hack over a five week period. She was joined by the right wing blabocracy in this sordid attempt to smear Chuck Hagel.

    One would have thought Hagel went home at night, pressed the secret button under a book case, entered the hidden chamber, where all the SS uniforms are hidden, and pranced around “Night Porter” like in nazi regalia.

    I’d REALLY like to see a “true-life historical” representation of what happened to Chuck Hagel via such “popular channels” as film and TV. THAT will be the day.

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  22. Training in detection of falsity helps. American public is getting slowly into this phase, and this happens according to the “brainy quotes about accomplishments” – that the Americans will have to. And they will accomplish finally reaching that point which was reached by many citizens of other countries: “Do not trust your government. Ever.”
    On the other side – this developed instinc also helps when another segment is trying to play on this embedded distrust, falsely portraing itself as the “benefactor” of the citizenry, the sheep. Such is the case with Femen, such is the case with Khodorkovsky or Bieriezowsky or the “rainbow revolutions revolutionaries”. They were all not real, they are all with agendas – nefarious.
    When the public observe the parachuting of “leaders” into the Eastern European coutries – almost each of the initial batch was with Western tickets. Several names come to mind – like the famous “friend” Micheil… Or the coming from nowhere “Stan Tyminski”, of …..Peru. To be the President of….Poland. Or, take, the “friend” Yuschenko of Ukraine… The knowledge of the agenda is growing – it is very enlighting to read the Comments sections in Russian, Polish or Bielorussian. The realisation of the Great Lie is already there. USA is not the shining light at the Hill anymore – despite of the fact, that, say, Poland (as a country governed by puppets, source: the Comments sections) – is a “steadfast ally of America”. Not in the view of my friends, or my friends in…. Germany.
    There is plenty of polite official bending and hands shaking, media Grand Bombastic Coverages – but the training works: falsity is being seen. The previous decades or even centuries left the lessons absorbed.
    Ona personal note: I was able to appreciate certain class of great writers here in the USA who rightly sensed the rat, always at the top of it. Some of them were in the UK, too. Many, naturally, in other countries – where the “suspicious” doubt about America was, naturally, stemming from the hate of the “democratic ways we live”.
    Yet, as someone noted already – the viewing of America is best from a larger distance from the “Hill, and the shining light at the top”.

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  23. Your last paragraph is astounding. Nothing better sums up our current public structure than encapsulating it as inspiration for that late, oily Oligarch. Our government, media – news and entertainment – and academia are thoroughly out of touch with the rest of us out here, bucketing along in the real world. An alien reviewing signals from the U.S. (or, really, the West in general) would believe racist whites lynch poor, noble blacks on the White House fence, that most of the country is obsessed with gay marriage, and that Klansmen in the boonies stymie blessings of gun control. On arriving, ET would discover a disappearing middle class ravaged by low-cost labor of imported workers, loan shark banking, and one failed social experiment after another – topped now by “health reform” that only will make Big Insurance even bigger.

    But cracks are beginning to show. One bright spot is the Internet itself, where the curious, the angry and the utterly nauseated can pull out for themselves nuggets of truth from a cesspool of corrupt, Frankfurt School obfuscation.

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  24. John Wiswall
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    One of the most surreal recent events involving the MSM was the fate of the Howard Dean presidential campaign in 2004. At the beginning of that year Dean was getting a slew of endorsements, including that of Al Gore, who had been considered a leading possible candidate. A major reason for Dean’s popularity was his opposition to the Iraq war. Then, on the day of the Iowa caucus he gave a primal scream during a pep talk to supporters. It was played ceaselessly in the media, and almost literally overnight his candidacy was finished. The Democrats eventually ran John Kerry, who didn’t differ much from Bush on the war, similar in that respect to Obama.

    John

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  25. How very strange, and sad, and dangerous, that most Americans seem to think Saddam Hussien was behind the “9/11″ attacks, when Osama bin Laden wanted Saddam assassinated.

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  26. John Wiswall – – I doubt John Kerry would have been so foolish as to reject the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, to get out of Iraq asap by making deals with Iran and Syria.

    Kerry should have hit back harder at the vicious slanders of his courage, patriotism, etc etc etc (the “Swiftboating”).

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  27. Larry Long
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    I’ve re-read this article a couple of times and am surprised at the odd sense of confusion or bewilderment it seems to evoke, as if it’s reminding me of things I once knew but can no longer remember clearly.

    Today we have many secondary media telling us the FBI are engaged in a huge cover-up on the Boston bombing, claiming it may well have been another false-flag operation. The FBI appealed to the public for assistance in identification, but the ‘terorrists’ mother claimed they had been in constant contact with the FBI for years and knew full well who they were. Then we have the first ‘terrorist’ reported killed but his mother identified him in a CNN video as being very much alive. Nobody has seen the body, no one knows his whereabouts. His brother apparently too severely injured to talk, but then not at all. The FBI were confirmed by many as having carried out ‘practice runs’ of the bombing in precisely the places where the bombs were put. FBI agents were seen, and photographed, in these practice runs, carrying the identical backpacks carried by the ‘terrorists’. There is much more that appears well-documented, and in articles written by people not given to foolishness.

    There is still much about 9-11 that just won’t go away. We still have recurring information about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and so much apparently trustworthy evidence that Roosevelt knew but didn’t warn Hawaii. We have the sinking of the Lusitania, and apparently solid evidence it was inexplicably instructed to proceed slowly without zig-zagging; we have solid evidence from the recovery divers that it was carrying munitions and artillery; we have evidence Germany tried to place ads warning citizens to not travel on that ship, ads which were not printed. We appear to have substantial evidence the CIA is one of the largest drug-dealing networks in the world.

    We had a recent story that the US FED refused to return German’s gold supply, stating it would require until at least 2020 to do so, on several occasions refusing Germany the right to view its gold supposedly in storage by the FED. Then permitting the Germans to see and touch only 6 bars, then on a later occasion to only look into a room but touch nothing. How to avoid concluding the FED has no gold? We have Goldman Sachs selling certificates for gold bullion and charging storage fees but apparently having no gold actually in hand. We have a concerted present effort to talk down, and to short, gold, with the FED itself doing a naked short of something like 400 million ounces. Why would the people who own the gold, want to short it and drive down the price?

    There are many documented reports that the FED and the US government gathered much of the gold from the world, before and during WW II, ostensibly to keep it safe from German or Japanese hands, exchanging the gold, which was taken to the US for safekeeping, with paper certificates. This was denied by the FED until the certificates recently emerged in many places, and are condemned as forgeries. But I have photos of the boxes and containers and certificates, and they sure don’t look phony to me. I wouldn’t know about the certificates, but just to see the container trunks and metal cans, is enough to convince most anyone. Many nations and banks have attempted to reclaim their gold from the FED but have been unable to do so.

    Coupled with many reports that the FED has almost no gold and that Fort Knox is likely empty, not having had an audit since the 1950s, and all requests since then being stonewalled. And then the report that in the middle 1980s the FED remelted all its gold into bars of different shaped; no justification, but one result would be to forever destroy the markings and the possibility of identifying the source. No complete story, but so many nuggets of information from so many disparate and unrelated sources, all fitting together perfectly. And then a brief cryptic report in a recent Chinese newspaper of a shipment of gold being refused by the country’s central bank and returned to the US because it was plated tungsten.

    There seems to be such a long list of misinformation and deceit surrounding so much of our recent history. It is becoming increasingly difficult to avoid the temptation to conclude that the world is being run by some kind of massive mafia.

    And nowhere is the media to be seen. If we didn’t have websites like this one, we would have nothing at all.

    Lastly, this quote from the article is certainly true for me:

    “Even if the overwhelming majority of the unorthodox claims provided by such non-traditional web-based sources is incorrect, at least there now exists the possibility of extracting vital nuggets of truth from vast mountains of falsehood.”

    I often find that reading the posted comments appended to articles can contain valuable bits of information that provide another piece to the puzzle.

    It seems so difficult to separate conspiracy theory from yet another unforgiveable cover-up.

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  28. Fran Macadam
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    Enron is important, because nothing changed after it, despite the passage of Sarbanes-Oxley. I was an IT Director at a Fortune 500 company, and got to see executives in action hidden from their public pronouncements. They were all still considering themselves “the smartest guys in the room” and with exactly the same unbowed Enron-exec mentalities of greed, self-interest and duplicity. Nothing has been learned.

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  29. Valvoda
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    Wonderful article.

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  30. Fake Herzog
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    Ron,

    While your efforts at bringing “light” to stories that need to be told are admirable, your attempts at analysis fall short. For example:

    “Comparing these assets and liabilities, we see that the American middle class now hovers on the brink of insolvency, with the cost of our foreign wars being a leading cause.”

    That is just silly — the middle class may have problems today, but they don’t “hover on the brink of insolvency” and Afghanistan and Iraq were not even close to a leading cause of their problems.

    Also, this is silly:

    “The 2001 attacks in America were quickly ascribed to the radical Islamists of al-Qaeda, whose bitterest enemy in the Middle East had always been Saddam Hussein’s secular Baathist regime in Iraq.”

    Hussein was al-Qaeda’s “bitterest enemy”? I always thought that was the Saudi royal family and the U.S., assuming you go by Osama’s propaganda and actions.

    Finally, Timothy Geither worked for the New York Fed during Bush’s Presidency, but that doesn’t make him a “top Bush official”. With the exception of Fed Governors, the President really doesn’t have much to do with the day to day operations of the Federal Reserve System.

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  31. Ron.
    Thanks for the excellent essay

    However we’re not at the “Pravda Level”, and there is no way to reach it practically due to very simple “technical” reason:

    The population of former Warsaw Pact region got 100% of their information from the media, 101%-controlled by Communist apparatus. And the blockage of VOA , BBC, Liberty and German Wave radio broadcastings has been guaranteed by noise/signal ratio equals to 2000/1 (radio frequencies white noise produced by network of special antennas).
    Even without WWW/Internet, the Wild Western World will have some number of independent publishers and radio stations.

    Re: Infiltration into the West infra/intra structure.

    You’re correct. It goes back to 20′s of XX Century, when communists’ secret services started recruiting Russians lived in the West – by playing with their ethnic/patriotic sentiments.

    You’ll be amazed to learn much more from “Red Horizons”: The True Story of Nicolae and Elena Ceausescus’ written by former head of Romania’s secret police.

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  32. John Wheeler
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    Lt Col. Phillip Zack??

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  33. Mightypeon
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    Actually, having lived in East Germany, I would like to correct some things:

    1: East German media did rarely do complete fabrications/lies. They were usually telling legends, but these legends had a grain of truth somewhere. They also did less easily verifiable/stupid lies than Fox “Germany is small and gets more sunlight than the entire USA” News.
    2: The East German gouverment generally believed that, to be accepted by the not exactly uninformed people (East Germans generally shake their heads at west Germans that believe everything the media tells them), propaganda must have a certain accurate and usefull information content. The innofficial guideline was somewhat akin to 30% information, 70% propaganda. I guess this compares favorably with American cable news today.
    3: Americans looking at records of Eastern Block propaganda often see propaganda when the people making it quite sincerly believed it to be information.
    4: If you look at German media coverage of Syria, the entire media (apart from the honest to Marx communist Junge Welt, and some reporters from the tory but independent FAZ) says exactly the same thing, that thing being “democracy Akhbar”. The difference to East German media coverage on the Vietnam War, or on the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, was not very different (there were media outlets in East Germany did very informative segments on early soviet strategy, particularly by contrasting it with the US failures in Vietnam).

    I actually believe that the difference between eastern and western censorship is that the latter operates on the level of “who is listened to”, while the former generally intervened earlier, at the level of writing or saying.

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  34. Ligon
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    “What are they missing today.”

    They are missing a sense of neoconservatives as being at least on a par with the threats formerly posed by communist spies or Bernie Madoff.

    There is a deep continuity between the three phenomena. All three advanced by deception, did great damage to the country, and were in a sense hidden in plain sight (neocons are still burrowed deeply in core national institutions). Finally, all three had a prior loyalty, respectively the Soviet Union, a vaulting selfhood, and Israel.

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  35. daan
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    Fake Herzog wrote, “That is just silly — the middle class may have problems today, but they don’t “hover on the brink of insolvency”

    It depends on who the middle class rally is.

    In the early-mid 90′s the Clinton administration, as part of a campaign to ‘boost’ the economy, reported the CPI much lower than what the old calculations used to do. By the late 90′s the difference between the official CPI and the true increase in Cost of Living (refer John Williams of Shadowstats.com) was about 7-8%. Unfortunately, but quite understandably so, employers gave increases allied to the CPI and not to increases in the true cost of living. Over the past 15 years the purchasing power of wages and salaries have declined more than just substantially.

    Working America is being impoverished and the process continues. One result is the massive increase of people on Foodstamps (quite visible) and the even greater number receiving some form of government aid (not so visible).

    The middle class is no longer the skilled men and women of working America, but the self-employed; the entrepreneurs, people with an own business and professionals. These are the new middle class. In that respect Herzog is right, but he confuses the ‘middle class’ of long ago with the new reality where many of the old middle class now receive government assistance to survive.

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  36. Don Mynack
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    Although I disagree specifically with Unz’s claims concerning Vioxx – Merck was sued, and would still be sued were those many deaths caused by the product (he presents no evidence why trial lawyers would suddenly stop suing them), I do agree generally with the points of the this article. Another example is this (http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2008/04/shocking_revelations_about_hil.html) – why wasn’t Hilary Clinton’s firing from the Watergate investigative committee a larger issue in the 2008 campaign, or even mentioned during her confirmation hearing for Sec State?

    “She was an unethical, dishonest lawyer. She conspired to violate the Constitution, the rules of the House, the rules of the committee and the rules of confidentiality.”

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  37. Garry
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    Regarding the “greatest strategic disaster in United States history” the only thing Unz notes is how this war caused death and financial trouble to American soldiers there and civilians back home. Is something important missing in this picture? What about the ghastly death and massive destruction inflicted upon the innocent Iraqi people? No mention. Their suffering, hardship and deprivation far exceeds anything experienced by people across the ocean in the U.S.A. And they never asked for any of it. While the writer makes many good points and examples in the article the egocentrism of American writers goes beyond my ability to understand.

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  38. It is encouraging that your magazine has published an article that shows you may be beginning to understand how the world actually works. However, your magazine has published promising articles before (e.g., Christopher Ketchum: The Anthrax Files, Aug 25, 2008; and Dave Lindorff: The Mystery of Minot, Oct 22, 2007) and then promptly dropped the ball.

    I used to subscribe to your magazine (from 2003-2011) but I let my subscription lapse precisely because your magazine didn’t get it, and also because you published a favorable review of a book that called a lot of the people who do get it as kooks (Ordinary Kooks by Daniel J. Flynn, September 2011).

    If you continue to follow up this good article with more good ones, I will probable re-subscribe to your magazine. In the meantime I am going to make a $10 donation to your magazine just because of this article.

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  39. Dar
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    Garry says:
    May 4, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    “Regarding the “greatest strategic disaster in United States history” the only thing Unz notes is how this war caused death and financial trouble to American soldiers there and civilians back home. Is something important missing in this picture? What about the ghastly death and massive destruction inflicted upon the innocent Iraqi people? No mention. Their suffering, hardship and deprivation far exceeds anything experienced by people across the ocean in the U.S.A. And they never asked for any of it. While the writer makes many good points and examples in the article the egocentrism of American writers goes beyond my ability to understand.”

    Well, sadly that is a common way of thinking to too many people, lacking any empathy or moral over-view.

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  40. A review of Adlai Stevenson’s career will indicate that he also was a Soviet agent. While a candidate for President during the Korean War, he was allowed to conduct a thorough inspection of South Korean military positions – for no legitimate reason. Why would a mere candidate (or nominee) be given access to such critical, life-or-death military intelligence? Evidently he was working for someone who wanted a report in a hurry.

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  41. joe berger
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    The biggest hornswaggle of all was that we fought and died for Joe Stalin.
    We fought and died so he could turn a dozen countries in central Europe into gigantic communist slave labor camps. Anyone trying to escape was shot on sight.
    We DID NOT fight for freedom and democracy. We died so that communism could become a first rate military power with over 11 billion dollars in foreign aid from America alone. …and extend its influence over China, Korea, and later Vietnam and Cambodia. etc.
    As Solzenitsen stated…. “” We would have all starved to death if not for our cans of American stew.””” etc. etc. ad nauseum.

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  42. Radu
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    Mr. Unz,

    excellent article! Just to substantiate your point I’d like to mention the fact that anyone in the media who dared to have any doubts about the Iraq war was promptly fired for some (bogus) reason or another. The biggest that comes to mind was NBC’s Phil Donahue. There was also a very popular radio talk show somewhere from the south (Texas?) – I fail to remember his name. He also questioned the premise of the Iraq war; as a result his very popular program has been moved from prime-time to after midnight, only couple of month later to be let go because of “lack of audience”.
    How about our own honest weapon inspector in Iraq, Scott Ritter? Nobody want to talk or interview him.
    Let’s also add to the list Helen Thomas, dean of White House reporters, the only one that dared to ask GWB and his press secretaries for evidence of WMD in Iraq.
    Their fate only shows the more or less subtle censorship of our media.
    Having lived more than half of my life behind the iron curtain, I see a major difference between the various East European Pravda’s (News Deutschland, Nepszabadsag, or my own Scinteia) and our many Pravdas: nobody in the East believed or for that matter read the first pages. The only thing of interest and accurate was the last page containing sport/soccer results and the weather forecast; the last one less accurate… By contrast americans do largely ingest willingly this media poison coming from both sides of the political spectrum; I’m selecting just the extremes: Fox News or NPR. The former, despite desperate tries to be taken serious has a serious dose of involuntary humor; the latter is far more dangerous; by design it targets the intellectual class and appears to be more credible. I have to admit that they have a unique talent to ask questions in such way to point the finger where the root of the problem is not to be found. Charlie Rose comes to mind. Anyway, Joe Average does believe in one or the other depending on his political leanings.
    Finally, just a suggestion for a possible future article; the fate of the anti-war media people that have been dumped in the dustbin of time.

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  43. Frank Snepp, who worked as a CIA information analyst in the United States Embassy in Saigon during the fall of Saigon to the NVA, wrote a book titled A DECENT INTERVAL about events at the embassy during the fall of Saigon. It was on the American market for one day before a court order forbid its release, and all copies bought on credit cards were confiscated by the FBI. A few copies bought with cash remained in circulation.

    Snepp documented that North Vietnamese prisoners, who had been kept on minimum diets and in refrigerated rooms for years, had been handcuffed and dumped into the South China Sea from helicopters, rather than allow them to rejoin their victorious colleagues. There is no question that Sen. McCain knows why American POW’s were not returned, and has joined in the cover-up.

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  44. Ken Van Doren
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    So Krugman was right, that Enron was a greater shock than the terrorist attacks, because it undermines our faith in the financial system and the regulatory apparatus that was supposed to prevent such fraud?

    OK, I will buy that. But it is worthy of note that not only Enron and Bernie Madoff scandals were able to be concealed by a form of fraud that Paul K whole heartedly endorses: that is, fiat currency and the Federal Reserve System. Without an influx of money perpetually created by the FED, it would have been harder to obscure the real returns of these “investments,” and the fraud could not have continued as long as it did. Oh, and another fraud no doubt also supported by PK, that kept Enron afloat longer than it otherwise would have, is the $6 Billion in subsidies it received.

    Paul Krugman and his economic theories remain one of the greatest frauds of the last 50 years, despite the fact that in this case, he was (partially) correct. Million monkeys, million typewriters……etc. etc.

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  45. “Their biases in certain areas had always been apparent to me. But I felt confident that by comparing and contrasting the claims of these different publications and applying some common sense, I could obtain a reasonably accurate version of reality. I was mistaken.”

    I use to read and watch everything that mattered. I gave up about 15-20 years ago. It’s all a shell game and the paranoid fact-less fantasy’s of the nut cases turn out to be as likely to true as the gentle re-assurances of the ruling classes.

    For all we know, there could be nothing but dust and empty candy bar wrappers in Fort Knox.

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  46. Arshad Ali
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    In Ian Fleming’s book, Goldfinger was intending to steal the $11bn in gold in the vaults of Fort Knox. $5bn was for himself and the rest for his, er, associates drawn from the ranks of American organised crime. The movie version differed.

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  47. Sam Adams
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    The other leg on which the American propaganda system stands is the public ‘education’ system. Americans are no longer taught the critical thinking skills needed to see through the lies presented to them. In addition, public ‘schooling’ grinds away at children until they graduate with little creativity or curiosity. Such people will never be informed citizens, and most could care less. All this has been researched and documented by former NY State and NYC Teacher of the Year, – John Taylor Gatto. He left teaching since he was no longer willing to harm children ‘teaching’ them in the public school system.

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  48. Very informative! Kept reading on and on waiting for some mention of the most stupendous public health disaster in history (that is being completely covered up by the mainstream media), namely Fukushima. Was surprised the author never cited it and the price in worldwide deaths that will be payed for this collusive act.

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  49. ZM
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    All the media are biased. Readers need to apply a filter.

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  50. South Park exposed this a few years ago.

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  51. Art Vandalay
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    I find the reference to Krugman’s credibility disturbing since his Marxist rallying leans toward complete government control. Not to justify war, but the article leans heavy on past experiences not including chemical warfare used by Husein, unless the buried shells of those weapons was also a media hoax. Now in turn Syria has released these weapons. I expect this article to be updated when the Benghazi cover up is revealed to the public. To me this article seemed a media attempt to discredit one side of politics by resurrecting facts of the past that apply mainly to one political side of the isle. Written in April 2013 this article leaves out everything regarding the current administrations attempts to sway public opinion so I can only see this as a media attempt to distract the viewer from current affairs by addressing the tactic of media forming public opinion then using the tactic against the viewer of this article. This in itself is a form of communist propaganda.

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  52. averagejoe
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    Good article. I think it layed out a pattern of incompetence by our media over the past few decades. I’m not sure how collaborative our political machine is with the media, I think our media is a product of our society and as we are an ADD society, our media has evolved in a manner to accomdate us. In fact, I believe the US media is so completely incompetent today, that it doesn’t require anyone to cohort with them, you can simply rely on how easy it is to manipulate the machine or simply distract them with some other crisis that will drive their ratings higher. Indeed, in a free market economy, our media machine has proven to be nothing more than a corporate profit monger and serve no altruistic calling to reveal the truth to our society unless the truth furthers their bottom lines.

    I do hope more independant journalism channels, offering rebuttals and oversight to the mainstream media, are allowed to grow in our country. With the continued growth of the internet, I feel this is the only way to watchdog the mainstream media and articles such as this are part of that. I’m just an average joe, but this was good read I must say.

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  53. Brian B
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    “I find the reference to Krugman’s credibility disturbing since his Marxist rallying leans toward complete government control. Not to justify war, but the article leans heavy on past experiences not including chemical warfare used by Husein, unless the buried shells of those weapons was also a media hoax. Now in turn Syria has released these weapons. I expect this article to be updated when the Benghazi cover up is revealed to the public. To me this article seemed a media attempt to discredit one side of politics by resurrecting facts of the past that apply mainly to one political side of the isle. Written in April 2013 this article leaves out everything regarding the current administrations attempts to sway public opinion so I can only see this as a media attempt to distract the viewer from current affairs by addressing the tactic of media forming public opinion then using the tactic against the viewer of this article. This in itself is a form of communist propaganda.”

    Hilarious!

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  54. Oscarphone
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    “Just a few years later, we saw an even more sweeping near-collapse of our entire financial system, with giant institutions such as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, . . . . Once again, all our media and regulatory organs had failed to anticipate this disaster.”

    This is not the case. I remember specifically Bush making two (maybe three but I remember two) speeches directly warning of the problems surrounding Fannie and Freddie. He said that their collapse wouldn’t be pretty and it would be big. He also called for a full accounting of what they were up to and their eventual dissolution.

    He was laughed at by Barney Frank, Schumer and the mainstream media. Frank and Schumer both assured everybody that F&F, whcih they were overseeing was in fine shape. Nothing wrong here, move along.

    The rest is history.

    I also have problems with the authors WMD recollections, but that’s for another day.

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  55. Dena
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    I notice how convienient that all references and examples were of conservative perceived mistakes. I guess the current administration with IRS thugs, secretly printing money, Benghazi cover-ups and the like don’t quite qualify for this particular piece. Disgusting.

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  56. Gabriel
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    Great article. You mention the difficulty many people will have with realizing their trusted sources of news have been lying to them. Many of the readers’ comments demonstrate the truth to that idea!

    Of course, it is extraordinarily disconcerting to question the media, especially if you ever got around to trusting it in the first place. You made a comparison of the information we get from our own senses with news we get from the media. Excellent comparison — and it works both ways: not being able to trust the media is just as bewildering as not being able to trust your own nervous system! You’re being hit over the head but you can’t tell! Every time you question the source of that trail of blood behind you everyone laughs at you! Not only do media lies disturb your own vision, but the mainstream media, through various means, controls the “group mind” as well. Fall out of touch with that, and you can lose friends, influence, investors, your job… whatsoever.

    Some readers do/did get it though. This comment made me laugh:

    “Fox News or NPR. The former, despite desperate tries to be taken serious has a serious dose of involuntary humor; the latter is far more dangerous; by design it targets the intellectual class and appears to be more credible. I have to admit that they have a unique talent to ask questions in such way to point the finger where the root of the problem is not to be found.”

    Fox does have that problem. And the media’s meat and potatoes: endless bantering about stupid diversions while avoiding issues of consequence is one of the things that turned me away from the mainstream press even as a child.

    Many readers point to things left out of this article, often with an accusatory tone. Look, people: this article punches a hole in the wall of illusion the mainstream press has built around each of us. The author proceeds to point in various specific directions. To those disturbed that x, y, and z weren’t covered I would say: there is an entire world on the other side of that wall. An entire universe. It’s called the truth, and there’s a whole lot of it.

    I’ve personally come to regard every single thing I hear in the mainstream press as suspect. If it’s not an outright lie it’s a distraction, and if it’s neither — as one East German reader pointed out — it’s the sports scores or the weather forecast.

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  57. WorkingClass
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    Thanks for this very important piece. The bleating of the red sheep here in the cheap seats makes your point. I have been kicked off of several political blogs, red and blue, because I insist that no new combination of D’s and R’s in Washington will change anything. Please keep up the good work.

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  58. Robert Bruce
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    What is wrong with the author using examples from Bush’s time in the WH? For anyone at this point in time to even assume there is a rat’s ass of difference between the two major political parties is rather disturbing. Both parties are slaves to the military industrial complex and its expanded corporate reach. Since the author is a conservative, it made sense to go over media chicanery during a conservative presidency as to not look like a political attack job. Great article Mr. Unz!!!!!!!

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  59. Robert
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    For the comments about trading nuclear secrets where covert behavior is, chiefly, in vogue, there is the missing facts about the impossible fact of 12/26/04, not a tsunami, but a nuclear detonation that must be touted as a strike-dip earthquake. Since the strike-slip variety does not lift water, nor would a strike-dip tectonic shift create a round wave, one that is concentric, the tsunami story is, in ALL probability, false. Indication is what matters in science. The late Joe Vialls recorded this one factually, and was then poisoned for having the scoop ‘on time.’

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  60. Robert
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    Sibel Edmonds’ connection to Indira Singh leads to the fact that Indira Singh is, now, missing. Having stated to Richard Andrew Grove that she was missing some items on her computer at the inception of their contacting eachother, that seems to have been her last communication. I hope she did not end up like Pierre Paulo Pasolini, tortuously murdered, from fear for the sake of fear, thus power exalted even more in this moment by the extinction seeming imminent, very possibly a bifurcation, or a cusp in time.

    That brings up Randell L. Mills work, particularly how the discussion about a middle energy spectrum contrasts with the work of James Lovelock and his analysis of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. A pollution free energy source, if not handled intelligently, could catapult the double-cocked (warmed by CO2, cooled by atmospheric pollution resulting in albedo effect) planet into a transient state where 80% of agriculture disappears overnight. If only learning mattered.

    Just, who was Gregory Bateson, or for that matter, Francisco J. Varela? Lynn Margulis?

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  61. Robert
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    Hurricane Erin on 9/11 is another ‘chink’ worth noting for the timing of all this, plus it indicates more about contemporary advances in earth science we need to put in perspective. Alex Jones did an excellent piece on this one.

    Of course, there is the video on AIDS called “The Emperor’s New Virus?” Just understanding Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos about viruses maturing to the reproductive state, or being isolated as supernatant material is enough to crack open this nut. More than this video exists, like the much earlier, “Deconstructing the Myth of AIDS” and “House of Numbers.”

    A Theft by Deception from Larkin Rose is important, also, for measuring the timeline involved in the path to the dissolution of the nation-state as regulations supersede statutory law, or just explaining how liability has become pure usury when the statutes don’t say there IS any.

    What you do is more focused for this moment, however, having to do with treasuries bringing all nation-states down, albeit, ultimately, for the gold, while ignoring ecologic mentalities for the greatest good.

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  62. R Stack
    says:
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    Excellent article. Americans, for too long, have been far too trusting of the main stream media. There are two points I would like to make:

    There is no way we can understand today’s MSM without the realization that 95% is owned and controlled by six mega corporations. This enormous concentration of power and control is one of the fatal flaws of the system.

    The second point is a bit touchy for some people. But the MSM’s total refusal to deal with the power and politics of Israel and the Zionist lobby in the U.S. is really the elephant in the room that is totally ignored. The third rail in the media is any criticism of Israel government policies. This has to change.

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  63. Dear Working Class: Red Sheep? I didn’t know people were still openly identifying themselves as Communists here in the USA. I guess Gus Hall won after all…that whole Venona Transcripts thing might as well never have happened.

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  64. Leon Kautsky
    says:
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    First, an insignificant typo:

    Typo alert:

    “Vast numbers Americans died, no one was punished, and almost everyone has now forgotten.”

    should be

    “Vast numbers *of* Americans died, no one was punished, and almost everyone has no forgotten.”

    Second, @Art:

    “I find the reference to Krugman’s credibility disturbing since his Marxist rallying leans toward complete government control.”

    Uh…no.

    “Not to justify war, but the article leans heavy on past experiences not including chemical warfare used by Husein, unless the buried shells of those weapons was also a media hoax. Now in turn Syria has released these weapons. I expect this article to be updated when the Benghazi cover up is revealed to the public. To me this article seemed a media attempt to discredit one side of politics by resurrecting facts of the past that apply mainly to one political side of the isle. Written in April 2013 this article leaves out everything regarding the current administrations attempts to sway public opinion so I can only see this as a media attempt to distract the viewer from current affairs by addressing the tactic of media forming public opinion then using the tactic against the viewer of this article. This in itself is a form of communist propaganda.”

    I think you’re more a WorldNetDaily type than an Am Con type.

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  65. gwern
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    > as I pointed out in a 2012 article, these indicated that the likely death toll had actually been several times greater than the FDA estimate. Vast numbers Americans died, no one was punished, and almost everyone has now forgotten.

    Unz, do you ever plan to respond to Schaeffer’s comments observing that the mortality rates show the opposite of your claims?

    If you don’t, then you may have inadvertently answered your own question about why no one picks up your stories.

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  66. Airien
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    Looks like you’re on the path to Dark Enlightenment.

    Just what was that eggshell?

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  67. 7x7
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    Ron,

    Read Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent and Necessary Illusions. The ultra-left has been on to this type of media criticism for decades. Your contribution is a welcome update.

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  68. Kerik was nominated to be the second Secretary of DHS, not the first DNI.

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  69. Bruce Stram
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    Fascinating article.

    I’d quibble about Enron, Ron takes the common media line here an incorrectly so, but in a sense that’s his point.

    FWIW, Enron collapsed not because it was a fraud, it made tons of money. Rather it was not properly capitalized for the primary business it was in, and when it ran into some serious headwinds because of minor (financially) mischief and significant malfeasance, a run on the bank crushed it.

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  70. DaveO
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    I see this piece has made its way to the ZeroHedge front page!

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  71. bjm
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    Tyco did not disappear, and was nothing like Enron or the others.

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  72. stephen
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    The Uniparty. A convenient name for the Dems and Reps.

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  73. Jon
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    A quality piece without the histrionics. I’ve been dissatisfied with the media for years and this article simply reinforces what I’ve suspected all along. I feel that the media have become lemmings, reporting (or ignoring) the same stories without much difference between them. It certainly is not helpful that the only profitable news outlets are on cable TV. With the exception of the BBC and Al Jazeera (yes, Al Jazeera!), most of it is 24/7 hype masquerading as news.

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  74. Doug
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    Although I agree with the general theme, this piece could have used a (better?) fact-checker, or having ideology trump facts in Conservatives continuing embrace of McCarthyism.

    For example, the characterization of Alger Hiss is wrong. Although he is now widely believed to have been a Soviet agent, much of that assessment is ambiguous as the the extent (Are the inconsistencies the expected mistakes in data or are they errors in the analysis such as conflating different people). However, what seems not to have changed in the general assessment that Hiss was not an “important advisor” to Roosevelt and that he did not play an important role in the decisions about the post-war world. His focus was on creating the UN, and there his most important contribution was arguing _against_ more power for the Soviets (who wanted a vote for each Republic). That assessment was part of the McCarthyite need to create boogeymen, and the press’ credulous adoption of such.

    On the other hand, I am encouraged by the critique of Conservatives knee-jerk reaction about the war in Iraq.

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  75. julimac
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    Thank you for this. In retirement, I’m an internet addict with politics my primary motivation, yet still had not heard of the Vietnam MIA stuff, although the Edmonds story is familiar. If I were to adopt a motto, it would be: Nothing is as it seems.

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  76. steve
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    To equate Enron, Adelphia, Worldcom and Tyco is wrong. There was nothing wrong with Tyco’s balance sheet, the ‘fraud’ was that of its CEO in padding his pay (and to an extent that didn’t affect the health of the company). Somewhat the same with Adelphia.

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  77. megapotamus
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    Non-existent WMDs? That is a lie. No point reading further or really even to that point. The rest is a series of truisms long known to people who concern themselves with public affairs. Clearly that does not include Mr Unz but welcome, if late, to the party.

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  78. Viking
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    O Povark-Smak-Axl (I’d be interested in what that means!), Working Class never answered you, but I believe his “red sheep” remark refers to Republican true believers, not Communists. That is, states that go with the Rs are “red”, while those which vote the Ds in are “blue”. Have to admit tho, that fooled me for a minute too.

    Viking

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  79. JWJ
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    As others have noted, Tyco was not at all the same type of situation as Enron, WorldCom, & Global Crossing.

    For Mr. Unz to get such a basic fact, that is incredibly easy to check, so dramatically WRONG, really calls into question his entire article.

    Also, Saddam Hussein used toxic gas that killed people, especially during the Iran/Iraq war. Whether he used the gas against the Kurds or not specifically is debatable, but Saddam certainly used the toxic gas during the war.

    So a question, is toxic gas that can kill considered to be a weapon of mass destruction? If yes, then Saddam had WMD.

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  80. Bobo Sarduci
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    “For decades, I have closely read the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and one or two other major newspapers every morning, supplemented by a wide variety of weekly or monthly opinion magazines. Their biases in certain areas had always been apparent to me. But I felt confident that by comparing and contrasting the claims of these different publications and applying some common sense, I could obtain a reasonably accurate version of reality. I was mistaken.”

    Did you also believe that Coke and Pepsi represented sharply contrasting beverages? Ditto Democrats and Republicans, McDonalds and Burger King…

    I mean, what WERE you smoking, Ron?

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  81. hammersmith
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    in the 40′s & 50′s it was communists. today it is zioninst. both allegations equally true and met with the same reaction in their time.

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  82. New Yorker
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    The Vioxx description is wildly off the mark. The FDA epidemiological study your refer to was inferior to what already was in the literature, and it was not that study (which showed an increase CV risk only for high dose Vioxx, which represented about 17 percent of prescriptions) but an actual clinical study that led to Merck pulling the drug. And there was no delay between the results of that clinical trial and the withdrawal of the drug, so it is a very poor example to use.

    It is too bad the media reports often prove incorrect — but unfortunately your column contributes to the errors.

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  83. What Do You Know? If Anything | CanSpeccy
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    […] Our American Pravda, Ron Unz explores this question in light of almost multiple failures of the American media since […]

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  84. Censorship in America? China? | In Praise of China
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    […] The realization that the world is often quite different from what is presented in our leading newspapers and magazines is not an easy conclusion for most educated Americans to accept, or at least that was true in my own case. For decades, I have closely read the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and one or two other major newspapers every morning, supplemented by a wide variety of weekly or monthly opinion magazines. Their biases in certain areas had always been apparent to me. But I felt confident that by comparing and contrasting the claims of these different publications and applying some common sense, I could obtain a reasonably accurate version of reality. I was mistaken.  Read more… […]

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  85. What Do You Know – If Anything? | Alfred Burdett
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    […] Our American Pravda, Ron Unz explores this question in light of multiple failures of the American media to inform the […]

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  86. Art M
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    To the best of my memory (which is not the best) it was about 8 to 10 years ago that I saw a televised discussion between a (now) somewhat famous alternate news person and a government apologist on the subject of government intrusion into our lives and the trashing of the Constitution to boot. The alternate news guy warned that the government was starting to spy on the people and was in the process of making blimps that would be used to spy on Americans from the air. The apologist poo-pooed the idea with, “Blimps? I haven’t see any blimps. Have you seen any blimps? You’re just being a paranoid conspiracy theorist.” Well, I saw one of those blimps a couple of days ago, guess where? On the front page of the Washington Post. Now, that kind of says it all. The alternate news guy was 100% right about the blimps, 1000% right about the govt spying on us, and the apologist was 1100% wrong about everything – that is, if you had to wait for the Washington Post to get around to reporting it. Think about it, the Post was 10 YEARS behind the rest of the world in it’s news reporting. Somewhere the term “Professional Journalism” must certainly pop up.

    I think it was about that same 10 years ago that the LA Times and The Chicago Sun Times were sold to the same conglomerate, which immediately dispatched a fair-haired, whiz kid genius to set the ships in order. Among one of the first statements the Whiz Kid said was, “It is not a Newspapers job to print news, it’s first duty is to make money.” From a strictly American capitalistic viewpoint (that is, no further into the future than the next quarterly report) this probably makes sense, and will work, for a short while. But, apparently this attitude caught on with the “major media”. Now, the Whiz Kid in question had obviously grew up on the Walt Disney School of Life, to whit: people will pay you lots of money to tell them lies and fantasies, as long as it makes them feel good. For objects like Amusement Parks or hookers, this philosophy will usually create a positive cash flow; however, that idea applied to a newspaper is a lot like Harry’s Donut Shop. Harry’s Donut Shop opened up in my town and advertised that it made and sold the world’s most dietary donuts. In fact, they guaranteed that if you ate only their Diet-Rite donuts for a whole week you would lose weight! Of course, the curious rushed to Harry’s and upon buying their first box of a dozen donuts ($14.76 plus tax) found it full of nothing but air. Oh, and those tissue paper kinda things and a couple of napkins. Harry has since closed his doors; but every morning, as I drive by, there are a few hard core Diet-Rite fans queing up, ever hopeful.

    But, I don’t know, maybe you like your news 10 years old. To answer the question that the article asked, what is the “major media” missing today: anything and everything. And if you were to question the major media as to why this is so, I’m pretty sure that they would answer with reasoning hard to come back at: why should we tell you anything? whether we work hard and dig and ferret and sweat to print the truth, or we kick back and make up schlock, what’s the diff? the pay is the same.

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  87. While I no nothing of the 3 cases described here and unreported by the mainstream media, the framework from which Utz’ s analysis is one that I’ve increasingly held since observing the great similarities between the Obama and Bush II administrations. It’s a framework that I never thought to share with somebody labeled a “conservative”. For me the penultimate sentence very succinctly describes my conclusion several years ago that the only logical explanation for the lack of any meaningful legislative changes that would set our country back on course: “With the citizenry thus permanently divided and popular dissatisfaction safely channeled into meaningless dead-ends, Russia’s rulers could maintain unlimited wealth and power for themselves, with little threat to their reign.” For me, the only important question that remains is: What can we do about it?

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  88. Old fogey
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    Very well put, Mr. Unz, though this fine effort probably will, in turn, not be reported in any of the major media outlets. Perhaps, though, it might encourage your readers not to dismiss alternative points of view about major events, such as the reported attacks at Sandy Hook Elementary School and the Boston Marathon, along with questions concerning the collapse of Building 7 of the World Trade Center, etc., as nothing more than “conspiracy theories.” Blessedly, the Web has allowed people to ponder and publish alternative explanations concerning the evidence -written, spoken, photographed – that is available about these events, much of which does not pass the “sniff” test among the public. Certainly, the greatest of these “conspiracies” is that among the news media themselves.

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  89. manton
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    I take it nobody fact checks anything on this site? And memories are not what they used to be?

    Mr. Unz, you are clearly a very smart man, one I respect in many ways despite a great many significant disagreements. But the site so far is marred by some significant embarrassments.

    E.g.: Kerik was not nominated to be DNI, a position which had not yet even been created in the fall of 2004 when Kerik was nominated to be … Secretary of Homeland Security. And not the first, but the second. (The first was Tom Ridge.)

    Even then, now that it exists, the DNI does control “the entire national-security apparatus.” It nominally controls the entire intelligence community (16 agencies overall), in which respect it is no different than the Director of Central Intelligence, which used to be in nominal control of the entire IC. But in reality, both positions are in control only of their own staffs and budgets and—lacking budgetary or personnel control over the other agencies—can’t in practice tell them what to do. It was never proposed, much less made real, to make the DNI overlord of the State or Defense Departments, hence it is simply wrong to say that Kerik—even if he had been nominated for DNI, which he wasn’t, and the position did not even exist at the time—would have “oversee[n] oversee all of our various national-security and intelligence agencies.”

    Elsewhere on the site, I find this: “In 2010 the Bush administration modified US strategic doctrine from a retaliatory role to permit preemptive nuclear attack, and Counterforce doctrine.”

    Typo? I would hope so. But the rest of the piece is so outlandishly bad that I have my doubts.

    Just one more thing before I turn in. You published a piece by Paul Craig Roberts, a man with a sterling resume, but who seems to have become rather histrionic of late. Do you, as editor / publisher of this site, actually believe the following has any basis in reality?

    “Washington thinks nuclear war can be won and is planning for a first strike on Russia, and perhaps China, in order to prevent any challenge to Washington’s world hegemony. The plan is far advanced, and the implementation of the plan is underway.”

    Really?

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  90. Sunbeam
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    I think the most utterly convincing piece of evidence to support this article is the whole Jeff Gannon fiasco.

    You can find it if you google.

    That story should have been like throwing red meat to a pack of wild dogs.

    But it barely made a blip in news coverage. The story had everything, everything. From national and political importance, to the clientele for court tv.

    And the pictures, my god the pictures. But down the memory hole.

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  91. American Pravda: Who Shot Down Flight MH17 in Ukraine? | The Global Realm
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    […] year I published Our American Pravda, making the case for the utter corruption and unreliability of the mainstream American media, both […]

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  92. American Pravda: Who Shot Down Flight MH17 in Ukraine? | Global Research « The Progressive Mind
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    […] year I published Our American Pravda, making the case for the utter corruption and unreliability of the mainstream American media, both […]

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  93. Who Shot Down the Malaysian Jetliner? | Michigan Standard
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    […] year I published Our American Pravda, making the case for the utter corruption and unreliability of the mainstream American media, both […]

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  94. It simply a case that “what’s good for Jews” is what becomes news.

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  95. Paco
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    Re: Bernard Kerik, to be fair, he was at one time a high school drop-out . . . BUT, according to Wikipedia, he went back to school and got a college degree, “he received a B.S. in social theory, social structure and change, from (ESC) Empire State College of the State University of New York in 2002″

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  96. Bill Jones
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    I’ve got no sympathy for the thugs who traveled to the other side of the world to murder people.

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  97. Bill Jones
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    “The realization that the world is often quite different from what is presented in our leading newspapers and magazines is not an easy conclusion for most educated Americans to accept”

    The single best antidote to this is to switch countries.
    If you move to the US, you realize how grossly misrepresented your country is.
    If you move from the US you realize how grossly misrepresented their country is.

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