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Everything goes to hell. It warms a curmudgeon’s heart. I remember when, as God intended, reporters were bright and profane drunks with no respect for anything. This philosophical end-point was natural for men steeped daily in the lying, thieving, corruption, bribes, shysterism, misery, and unrelenting stupidity that are public life. Ashen-souled, cynical, with a wonderful acerbic sense of humor that would have dissolved a meat axe, they lacked illusions, about anything. If a reporter thought he saw glimmerings of human decency in a politician or a lawyer, he would have his eyes checked.

News weasels were rough-edged, often talented, splendid company and, usually, ugly. Mencken, who looked like a fire plug with leprosy, was the archetype, combing all of these wis;oyord in profusion, plus a monumental capacity for good whiskey.

Mencken, dog-butt ugly, frequently soused, politically incorrect as a lynching. Would be jailed today.
Mencken, dog-butt ugly, frequently soused, politically incorrect as a lynching. Would be jailed today.

By and large they were men of what might be called a robust character, of the sort associated with pit bulls, and sometimes were more combative than quieter people would like. You can’t be diplomatic or spiritual or contemplative or anything of that sort and get a story from someone who doesn’t want you to get it because he is thinking of jail time. It is especially in competition with a snapping pack of dyspeptic scriveners trying to get the same story first. When assembled in hordes, they resembled Mongol barbarians thundering across the steppes. See below.

Some, especially overseas, had odd pasts. There was my friend Paul Vogel of UPI Saigon who, the legend held had been in a catholic seminary somewhere but disappeared over the horizon on a motorcycle with a bottle of gin in one hand and somehow ended up in Hanoi teaching English before joining up with UPI. Most of this has to be apocryphal, such as driving a motorcycle with one hand, but probably no stranger than the truth, whatever that was. Paul spoke several dialects of Vietnamese so well that on the phone he was accepted as native. This is impossible, but I saw it. Anyway we spent afternoons in his apartment above UPI drinking bam de bam and swapping lies.

In Washington you found a more polished sort who were gentlemen or could be if needed–Mike Causey, Wes Pruden, Ralph Hallow– but savvy and smart and of the Pre-Princetonian era. It was only later that we got prissy delicates who probably drank designer water in fern bars instead of sour mash.

Anyway, what brought these reflections on was my stumbling across the following from a previous life. Think of them as being like the Qum Ran Scrolls or something from a cave wall in Lascaux:

The Washington Times, 1982

Bouncing across southern Lebanon is a convoy of 125 reporters, photographers, and TV crazies in 25 rented Subarus, the assembled war corespondents of the western world. Somehow I don’t think this is how Ernie Pyle did it. We look like a traffic jam in Tokyo. Photographers dangle acrobatically from windows. Three TV cameras protrude like poorly thought-out plumbing from the car ahead, intently filming a wrecked jeep. A Brazilian TV crew has crawled onto the roof of its car. Arabs stare, deeply puzzled. They have seen any number of armies roaring about, but nothing so quintessentially mad as this.

For six days I have been living in hotels on Israeli borders with this horde. It is like living in a cageful of histrionic tarantulas. Nowhere but in a war zone have I seen such bellicose, courageous, rude, egotistical, preposterously masculine, faintly reptilian rogues, all working hard at being Marlboro Men. A fellow with a codpiece concession could coin money. Heaven knows what the Arabs would think of that.

We pull into Nabatieh, a village. The Israeli escorts eye the anarchic bull-headed mob like snappish sheep dogs. They know that everybody here wants to escape and get his Subaru blown out from under him at the front. A war correspondent feels slighted by fate if he is not almost blown up every day or two. To a large degree, they believe they are the actors in this scene, the armies being mere props. They look forward to sitting in dark foreign bars in the manner of Hemingway at his most excessive and saying, “Yes, bit of a tiff in ’82, got my bloody Subaru shot out from under me, ought to bullet-proof the things….happens, you know.”

Some Palestinian prisoners are on display for us in a courtyard, so that we can see how beneficently the Israelis treat their captives. The journalists alight in a pack and race toward the alarmed prisoners. The TV guys jog along in pairs, one carrying the camera and the other with a suitcase full of batteries or something. Waving their microphones like the tendrils of some underwater beast, balancing cameras on high so see over those in front, they shout incomprehensible questions at the bewildered Palestinians.

The numerical superiority of the press and its lamentable assertiveness combine, as usual, to dominate the scene. One hundred twenty-five irritated reporters–“Hey, hey, outa the way, buddy, I got pictures to take. Hey you….” engulf and then digest a dozen Christian militiamen on a pair of armored personnel carriers. Nabatieh is now a Press Event. The public will never see this absurd performance, however. Every photographer will carefully frame out the other newsmen, giving the salable impression that he alone was out there in no man’s land.

Bored, I stand with some other reporters next to an Israeli jeep. A framed picture of Yasser Arafat is tied to the bumper. I grin, knowing a GI gag when I see one, but a camera crew begins jogging toward us with its suitcase. The TV types have detected A Visual in ol’ Arafat. The Israeli frantically snatches the picture away: If that goes on the satellite to 500 million viewers, right above the license plate of his jeep, he will have a central position before a firing squad.

ORDER IT NOW

The reporters are grousing about the TV clowns and how they don’t know what news is and how they’re always in the way. This is true. Of the major ethnic groups of the news racket, TV types are the most truly pestilential-comparatively. They carry more electronics than the space shuttle, all wired together with their microphones. They need absolute quiet, nobody else in the picture, a lot of time to set up and a long time to shoot. Reporters usually think TV people should be chained in their hotels during a war, and also between wars. This is wisdom.

Finally the Subaru Bureau remounts and heads home. For any other class of people, driving out of a small town would be done in comity and safety. But no. Everybody jumps in his car as if beginning a Grand Prix, backs fiercely into the crowd and spins the tires viciously trying to be first in the convoy. The idea is to be first to the telephones on reaching the hotel. For this they are perfectly willing to run down seven or eight colleagues and a few slow Arabs, and bash into an armored personnel carrier.

Again we bump across southern Lebanon, cameras protruding, Arabs puzzling, a Japanese used-car lot on the move.

(Republished from Fred on Everything by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: American Media 
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  1. “Reporters usually think TV people should be chained in their hotels during a war, and also between wars.” ….this is… the Fred I know and love. For so many years now.

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  2. MacQ says:

    Let’s not forget those rarest of rare real journalists, the fire plug-ugly gals that could hold thier own with men of thier day and write hot copy to boot. Those like Florabel Muir.

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    • Replies: @FKA Max
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/f/f8/Clare_Hollingworth_OBE_died_2017.jpg/220px-Clare_Hollingworth_OBE_died_2017.jpg

    Hollingworth in Saigon, 1968

    Clare Hollingworth, OBE (10 October 1911 – 10 January 2017) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clare_Hollingworth

    Clare Hollingworth: Breaking the news of World War Two - BBC News

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btOGxc9WJN0

    Published on Jan 10, 2017
    Clare Hollingworth, the veteran British war correspondent who broke the news of the Nazi invasion of Poland, has died in Hong Kong at the age of 105. Hollingworth, who was born in Leicester in 1911, was the first to report on the invasion that triggered the outbreak of World War Two. She went on to report from Vietnam, Algeria and the Middle East.

    Journalist who broke news WWII had started dies aged 105

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49mguBwdq8Y
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  3. Dan Hayes says:

    The story I like best about Mencken was his reason for marrying a devout Episcopalian: now he was able to look hotel detectives straight in their eyes!

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  4. reporters were bright and profane drunks with no respect for anything.

    at least there wasn’t total control before the take overs beginning in the 1980s to 90s.

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  5. Whoever says: • Website

    My mother was friends with Patricia Hangen, wife of Wells Hangen, an NBC television reporter who was killed in Cambodia. From what I learned about him, he seems to have been a good man.
    Hangen disappeared and his fate was not known for more than 20 years. My mother said that Patricia always believed that he would come home one day and for years there were supposedly credible reports of foreign journalists sighted alive in captivity, much as there were with missing pilots and aviators.
    Hangen’s remains were found and positively identified in 1993 and he was buried at Arlington National Cemetery (he had served in the Army before joining NBC). Patricia died two years later.

    Hangen’s fate, excerpted from the link above:

    After a few minutes, a car drove up behind the broken bridge and the CBS car. Welles Hangen got out of a gray Opel along with French soundman Roger Colne, a former French Legionnaire residing in Cambodia since 1947, and Japanese cameraman Yoshiniko Waku. Their driver, a Cambodian named Chay You Leng stood by the car.
    The NBC crew had been behind the CBS cars and also passed the same South Vietnamese roadblock up the road. NBC driver Leng said that the soldiers at the roadblock told them that they shouldn’t go further but also reported that two cars had recently driven past. That was enough for Hangen. “Go, Go,” Leng said that Hangen told him.
    Sakai and Ishii told the NBC crew that they had heard a sharp explosion just as the NBC Opel was coming up. In a few minutes, Vietcong and Khmer Rouge soldiers came on the scene and opened fire on the group, and NBC driver Leng was slightly wounded. The shooting stopped and the soldiers took the men into custody and marched them to a teacher’s house a couple of kilometers away where they were held in a room upstairs.
    They learned there that a rocket-propelled grenade had hit Syvertsen’s jeep killing all its occupants.
    In interviews with a Cambodian soldier who was imprisoned in the same house, Volkert learned that after being held overnight, Hangen, Sakai and Ishii were put in a car and driven south a few kilometers. By an irrigation ditch and in a bamboo thicket, they were forced to their knees and beaten to death. An hour or so later, Colne and Waku were driven to the same place and met the same fate.

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    • Replies: @dlee0
    the kind of thing awating "straight" journalists soon in these united states...
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  6. Alex Weir says: • Website

    A classic re-Reeding! HYUK. Loving every Scooby Doo familiar Fredification here in the wee hours of a Carolina morning. Reminds me of the feel of Saturday morning cartoons of yore. Some might think this sarcasm but I am genuinely tickled. Thanks.

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  7. Winston Churchill besides his other claims to fame was an illustrious correspondent covering the Boer wars in South Africa and the British campaigns in the Sudan. He seemingly took delight being under heavy on many occasions and it is amazing he was not killed. He had many of the positive attributes Fred shares about war correspondents but few if any of the negative. For an entertaining look back at history read Churchill’s accounts of his activities during the two wars I cited.

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  8. loved reading it, Fred

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  9. chedolf says:

    “I hate journalists. There is nothing in them but tittering jeering emptiness. They have all made what Dante calls the Great Refusal. The shallowest people on the ridge of the earth.”
    - Yeats

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  10. dlee0 says: • Website
    @Whoever
    My mother was friends with Patricia Hangen, wife of Wells Hangen, an NBC television reporter who was killed in Cambodia. From what I learned about him, he seems to have been a good man.
    Hangen disappeared and his fate was not known for more than 20 years. My mother said that Patricia always believed that he would come home one day and for years there were supposedly credible reports of foreign journalists sighted alive in captivity, much as there were with missing pilots and aviators.
    Hangen's remains were found and positively identified in 1993 and he was buried at Arlington National Cemetery (he had served in the Army before joining NBC). Patricia died two years later.

    Hangen's fate, excerpted from the link above:

    After a few minutes, a car drove up behind the broken bridge and the CBS car. Welles Hangen got out of a gray Opel along with French soundman Roger Colne, a former French Legionnaire residing in Cambodia since 1947, and Japanese cameraman Yoshiniko Waku. Their driver, a Cambodian named Chay You Leng stood by the car.
    The NBC crew had been behind the CBS cars and also passed the same South Vietnamese roadblock up the road. NBC driver Leng said that the soldiers at the roadblock told them that they shouldn’t go further but also reported that two cars had recently driven past. That was enough for Hangen. “Go, Go,” Leng said that Hangen told him.
    Sakai and Ishii told the NBC crew that they had heard a sharp explosion just as the NBC Opel was coming up. In a few minutes, Vietcong and Khmer Rouge soldiers came on the scene and opened fire on the group, and NBC driver Leng was slightly wounded. The shooting stopped and the soldiers took the men into custody and marched them to a teacher’s house a couple of kilometers away where they were held in a room upstairs.
    They learned there that a rocket-propelled grenade had hit Syvertsen’s jeep killing all its occupants.
    In interviews with a Cambodian soldier who was imprisoned in the same house, Volkert learned that after being held overnight, Hangen, Sakai and Ishii were put in a car and driven south a few kilometers. By an irrigation ditch and in a bamboo thicket, they were forced to their knees and beaten to death. An hour or so later, Colne and Waku were driven to the same place and met the same fate.

    https://i.imgur.com/92JfByG.jpg

    the kind of thing awating “straight” journalists soon in these united states…

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  11. …not a single imbedded reporter amongst um.

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  12. macilrae says:

    Interesting to match the writing-style of the introduction with the ensuing ‘archive’ material – Fred, when you’re on-form you definitely haven’t lost your touch.

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  13. anarchyst says:

    The mainstream media has always been dishonest. From the “yellow journalism” of the late 1800s and early 1900s to today’s “fake news”, journalism has shown its true (communist) roots.
    From the lies about the Spanish-American war to the New York Times’ walter duranty hiding the truth about and denying the artificially engineered and forced communist “famine” in the Ukraine, to the lies about the 1968 Viet Nam communist Tet offensive (a military victory for the South Vietnamese and American troops) reported by walter cronkite as a military defeat, cronkite and his ilk were successful in prolonging the Viet Nam war for years, giving “aid and comfort” to the enemy, who bragged about being supported by the U S media.
    Look at NBCs doctoring of GMC truck gas tanks, rigging them to explode, and the deliberate mischaracterization of George Zimmerman’s conversation withe the 911 dispatcher, deleting a key phrase, as well as showing Trayvon Martin as a 12-year-old rather than his more recent “thug” facebook picture.
    The media has become a “fifth column” of the government and is not to be trusted.
    To our advantage, we now have the internet, which gives the ability for ordinary citizens to be real “journalists”, quite often getting and reporting the story TRUTHFULLY before the mainstream media.
    In fact, there are calls by “mainstream media” to “license” journalists, in an attempt to keep these “citizen journalists” out…twenty years ago, any journalist suggesting such a scheme would have been thrown out, but nowadays…

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    • Replies: @Rurik

    The media has become a “fifth column” of the government and is not to be trusted.
     
    you're right of course about all they lies they tell.

    WMD, 'Osama did it', 'Putin shot down the plane', etcetera ad nauseam...

    If I'd written all the truth I knew for the past ten years, about 600 people -- including me -- would be rotting in prison cells from Rio to Seattle today. Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity in the context of professional journalism.

    Hunter S. Thompson

    But few can turn a phrase like Fred, as this article demonstrates.

    And that's why so many years ago I attempted, often, to recruit Fred to the cause of 9/11 truth.

    I used to email him with glaring evidence that the official story was a pack of lies, and wondered at how anyone who was paying any attention at all could possibly be that gullible and naïve.

    Wow was I ever naïve. It never occurred to me that Fred chose the subjects of his prodigious talents with moistened finger held aloft to the gales du jour.

    There is a reason all those journalists in Lebanon in 1982 had a strange case of myopia, because a genocidal fiend was on the loose, and was organizing massacres of women and children.

    You want gutsy journalism from a journalist who was in Lebanon at the time? Well, here you go:

    Dutch-Jewish director George Sluizer. According to Sluizer, 78, he witnessed Sharon killing two Palestinian toddlers with a pistol in 1982 near the refugee camp Sabra-Shatilla while filming a documentary there.

    “I met Sharon and saw him kill two children before my eyes,” said Sluizer, who lives in Amsterdam.
     

    “Sharon shot two children like you shoot rabbits, in front of my eyes,” he said.

    The children, according to Sluizer, “were toddlers, two or three years old. He shot them from a distance of 10 meters with a pistol that he carried. I was very close to him.” Sluizer added he thought this happened in November, when Sharon was Israel’s minister of defense, but he was not sure of the month.
     
    https://theuglytruth.wordpress.com/2013/03/13/lest-we-forget-i-saw-ariel-sharon-murder-2-palestinian-toddlers-in-lebanon/

    now that is journalism with balls.

    there's also this, since we're on the topic of Lebanon, and journalism and stories redounding in 1982...

    September 20th, 2013

    By Frederick Reese
    [note the namesake]

    https://www.mintpressnews.com/anniversary-of-the-sabra-and-shatila-massacres-in-lebanon-pass-largely-unnoticed/169395/

    actually, it doesn't really flesh out the story completely, because what happened before the massacre, was a deal that was brokered in part by the ZUS, whereupon the PLO fighters would leave Lebanon, with guarantees that their families would be given sanctuary, and be unharmed. So the slaughter that Sharon arranged is even more diabolical, (if possible) since it not only includes betrayal (and rape and mutilation and the savage and brutal mass-murder of women and children by the tens of hundreds), but also implicates Uncle Sam, since the ZUS had been part of the negotiations.

    Charming eh?

    Now, were a crotchety curmudgeon to write about *that* story during 1982 in Lebanon, well then, my hat would be off to them. (but I'm not holding my breath ; )
    , @Jesse James
    "... (a military victory for the South Vietnamese and American troops) reported by walter cronkite as a military defeat, cronkite and his ilk were successful in prolonging the Viet Nam war for years, giving “aid and comfort” to the enemy, who bragged about being supported by the U S media."

    It was a tactical victory for the US-South Vietnamese puppet regime, because the NVA did not have the unfettered supply of heavy weaponry to fight the set piece, WWII-style campaign that the US military was designed to fight. It was, however, a strategic defeat for the US, because American generals were championing an imminent NVA military collapse to the world press. The US public soured on the war because of the lies told to them by those in charge. The US press independently reported what was going on in Vietnam- a 'mistake' allowed by the Pentagon that would not be allowed to happen again as a monopoly on information gathering equates to writing the 'news' fresh each day.

    The "famine" in Ukraine and the USSR was caused by Western sanctions against the USSR, refusal by the UK to accept gold rubles as payment for Western capital goods and drought conditions that affected grain harvests on several continents.

    , @Corvinus
    "The mainstream media has always been dishonest."

    No, there have been dishonest journalists. The mainstream media in and of itself is not patently dishonest. Now, if you are going to paint the broad brush here, then are willing to admit that Fox News also lies, or are you going to give them a free pass?

    "to the lies about the 1968 Viet Nam communist Tet offensive (a military victory for the South Vietnamese and American troops) reported by walter cronkite as a military defeat..."

    From what I recall, Cronkite said that while it was victory for the American military, it was a defeat for the war effort, as the army had repeatedly stated that the enemy lacked the capability of such a large-scale offensive. Moreover, it had been three long years, and there was no end in sight--the will of the Vietnamese people remained strong in their quest for independence. As a result, Cronkite offered his personal opinion that the war was probably unwinnable given the willingness of the enemy to stand their ground despite overwhelming firepower directed at them.

    "The media has become a “fifth column” of the government and is not to be trusted."

    That's not how it works. An intellectually capable person gets as much information as they can from a variety of sources, including ones that oppose their ideological thinking. Then, they break it down and draw conclusions based on the available evidence.

    "To our advantage, we now have the internet, which gives the ability for ordinary citizens to be real “journalists”, quite often getting and reporting the story TRUTHFULLY before the mainstream media."

    Except the problem here is that citizen journalists also fall prey like members of the mainstream media to confirmation bias and hindsight bias.
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  14. Juve says:

    Since we just lost a true ‘reporter’, let us take a moment to pay respects to the late Robert Parry whom we lost in recent days.

    Mr. Parry had worked for network news, and broke a few big and key stories. Ones that those in power probably didn’t want broken. He eventually decided to leave network news, and setup a website called Consortium News. Where he used this to be a free reporter and write about what he thought needed to be written about without the intereference of the modern political officers who now keep watch on all ‘major’ news outlets.

    Thank you to Mr. Parry, and best wishes to him for whatever journey on which he has now set forth.

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  15. Rurik says:
    @anarchyst
    The mainstream media has always been dishonest. From the "yellow journalism" of the late 1800s and early 1900s to today's "fake news", journalism has shown its true (communist) roots.
    From the lies about the Spanish-American war to the New York Times' walter duranty hiding the truth about and denying the artificially engineered and forced communist "famine" in the Ukraine, to the lies about the 1968 Viet Nam communist Tet offensive (a military victory for the South Vietnamese and American troops) reported by walter cronkite as a military defeat, cronkite and his ilk were successful in prolonging the Viet Nam war for years, giving "aid and comfort" to the enemy, who bragged about being supported by the U S media.
    Look at NBCs doctoring of GMC truck gas tanks, rigging them to explode, and the deliberate mischaracterization of George Zimmerman's conversation withe the 911 dispatcher, deleting a key phrase, as well as showing Trayvon Martin as a 12-year-old rather than his more recent "thug" facebook picture.
    The media has become a "fifth column" of the government and is not to be trusted.
    To our advantage, we now have the internet, which gives the ability for ordinary citizens to be real "journalists", quite often getting and reporting the story TRUTHFULLY before the mainstream media.
    In fact, there are calls by "mainstream media" to "license" journalists, in an attempt to keep these "citizen journalists" out...twenty years ago, any journalist suggesting such a scheme would have been thrown out, but nowadays...

    The media has become a “fifth column” of the government and is not to be trusted.

    you’re right of course about all they lies they tell.

    WMD, ‘Osama did it’, ‘Putin shot down the plane’, etcetera ad nauseam…

    If I’d written all the truth I knew for the past ten years, about 600 people — including me — would be rotting in prison cells from Rio to Seattle today. Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity in the context of professional journalism.

    Hunter S. Thompson

    But few can turn a phrase like Fred, as this article demonstrates.

    And that’s why so many years ago I attempted, often, to recruit Fred to the cause of 9/11 truth.

    I used to email him with glaring evidence that the official story was a pack of lies, and wondered at how anyone who was paying any attention at all could possibly be that gullible and naïve.

    Wow was I ever naïve. It never occurred to me that Fred chose the subjects of his prodigious talents with moistened finger held aloft to the gales du jour.

    There is a reason all those journalists in Lebanon in 1982 had a strange case of myopia, because a genocidal fiend was on the loose, and was organizing massacres of women and children.

    You want gutsy journalism from a journalist who was in Lebanon at the time? Well, here you go:

    Dutch-Jewish director George Sluizer. According to Sluizer, 78, he witnessed Sharon killing two Palestinian toddlers with a pistol in 1982 near the refugee camp Sabra-Shatilla while filming a documentary there.

    “I met Sharon and saw him kill two children before my eyes,” said Sluizer, who lives in Amsterdam.

    “Sharon shot two children like you shoot rabbits, in front of my eyes,” he said.

    The children, according to Sluizer, “were toddlers, two or three years old. He shot them from a distance of 10 meters with a pistol that he carried. I was very close to him.” Sluizer added he thought this happened in November, when Sharon was Israel’s minister of defense, but he was not sure of the month.

    https://theuglytruth.wordpress.com/2013/03/13/lest-we-forget-i-saw-ariel-sharon-murder-2-palestinian-toddlers-in-lebanon/

    now that is journalism with balls.

    there’s also this, since we’re on the topic of Lebanon, and journalism and stories redounding in 1982…

    September 20th, 2013

    By Frederick Reese [note the namesake]

    https://www.mintpressnews.com/anniversary-of-the-sabra-and-shatila-massacres-in-lebanon-pass-largely-unnoticed/169395/

    actually, it doesn’t really flesh out the story completely, because what happened before the massacre, was a deal that was brokered in part by the ZUS, whereupon the PLO fighters would leave Lebanon, with guarantees that their families would be given sanctuary, and be unharmed. So the slaughter that Sharon arranged is even more diabolical, (if possible) since it not only includes betrayal (and rape and mutilation and the savage and brutal mass-murder of women and children by the tens of hundreds), but also implicates Uncle Sam, since the ZUS had been part of the negotiations.

    Charming eh?

    Now, were a crotchety curmudgeon to write about *that* story during 1982 in Lebanon, well then, my hat would be off to them. (but I’m not holding my breath ; )

    Read More
    • Replies: @anarchyst
    I was a young person when President Kennedy was assassinated, remembering it well, even seeing some of the "news anchors" of the day smirking and smiling during their television "news presentations" of the assassination. I thought to myself, even back then, "how much prior knowledge did THEY have about that pivotal event of the time?" Being a voracious reader (to this very day), I purchased and read "The Warren Commission Report on Assassinations" when it came out, and almost instantly thought to myself "what a crock of sh!t". Even at that early age, I was able to see through the BS.
    I had no doubt that the CIA or other "deep state" agencies had control of the American mainstream media and DID twist news stories in order to promote their agenda, even back then.
    Forward to the deliberate Israeli act of war against the USA with the attack on the USS Liberty (GTR-5) on June 8, 1967. Lyndon Johnson's "plan" (false flag) for the USS Liberty was to have all sailors perish and blame it on Egypt, giving Israel and it's proxy, the USA, an "excuse" to go into Egypt. When his "plan" failed, and he was forced to feign an "excuse" that it was a "mistake" and "misidentification", letting the Israelis "off the hook" as he "did not want to embarrass an ally", the "fix" was in". The "investigation" involving John McCain's "daddy" was insurance that it would be "whiitewashed".
    Normally, the 50th anniversary of any notable historical event warrants a mention from the "mainstream media". There was NOT ONE PEEP out of the press on the 50th anniversary (June 8, 2017) of the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty. This is proof of outside influences on the "mainstream media", evident on the news blackout of the 50th anniversary of this "act of war" by our "ally", Israel. THAT, my friends is telling...
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  16. FKA Max says: • Website
    @MacQ
    Let's not forget those rarest of rare real journalists, the fire plug-ugly gals that could hold thier own with men of thier day and write hot copy to boot. Those like Florabel Muir.

    Hollingworth in Saigon, 1968

    Clare Hollingworth, OBE (10 October 1911 – 10 January 2017) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clare_Hollingworth

    Clare Hollingworth: Breaking the news of World War Two – BBC News

    Published on Jan 10, 2017
    Clare Hollingworth, the veteran British war correspondent who broke the news of the Nazi invasion of Poland, has died in Hong Kong at the age of 105. Hollingworth, who was born in Leicester in 1911, was the first to report on the invasion that triggered the outbreak of World War Two. She went on to report from Vietnam, Algeria and the Middle East.

    Journalist who broke news WWII had started dies aged 105

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  17. anarchyst says:
    @Rurik

    The media has become a “fifth column” of the government and is not to be trusted.
     
    you're right of course about all they lies they tell.

    WMD, 'Osama did it', 'Putin shot down the plane', etcetera ad nauseam...

    If I'd written all the truth I knew for the past ten years, about 600 people -- including me -- would be rotting in prison cells from Rio to Seattle today. Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity in the context of professional journalism.

    Hunter S. Thompson

    But few can turn a phrase like Fred, as this article demonstrates.

    And that's why so many years ago I attempted, often, to recruit Fred to the cause of 9/11 truth.

    I used to email him with glaring evidence that the official story was a pack of lies, and wondered at how anyone who was paying any attention at all could possibly be that gullible and naïve.

    Wow was I ever naïve. It never occurred to me that Fred chose the subjects of his prodigious talents with moistened finger held aloft to the gales du jour.

    There is a reason all those journalists in Lebanon in 1982 had a strange case of myopia, because a genocidal fiend was on the loose, and was organizing massacres of women and children.

    You want gutsy journalism from a journalist who was in Lebanon at the time? Well, here you go:

    Dutch-Jewish director George Sluizer. According to Sluizer, 78, he witnessed Sharon killing two Palestinian toddlers with a pistol in 1982 near the refugee camp Sabra-Shatilla while filming a documentary there.

    “I met Sharon and saw him kill two children before my eyes,” said Sluizer, who lives in Amsterdam.
     

    “Sharon shot two children like you shoot rabbits, in front of my eyes,” he said.

    The children, according to Sluizer, “were toddlers, two or three years old. He shot them from a distance of 10 meters with a pistol that he carried. I was very close to him.” Sluizer added he thought this happened in November, when Sharon was Israel’s minister of defense, but he was not sure of the month.
     
    https://theuglytruth.wordpress.com/2013/03/13/lest-we-forget-i-saw-ariel-sharon-murder-2-palestinian-toddlers-in-lebanon/

    now that is journalism with balls.

    there's also this, since we're on the topic of Lebanon, and journalism and stories redounding in 1982...

    September 20th, 2013

    By Frederick Reese
    [note the namesake]

    https://www.mintpressnews.com/anniversary-of-the-sabra-and-shatila-massacres-in-lebanon-pass-largely-unnoticed/169395/

    actually, it doesn't really flesh out the story completely, because what happened before the massacre, was a deal that was brokered in part by the ZUS, whereupon the PLO fighters would leave Lebanon, with guarantees that their families would be given sanctuary, and be unharmed. So the slaughter that Sharon arranged is even more diabolical, (if possible) since it not only includes betrayal (and rape and mutilation and the savage and brutal mass-murder of women and children by the tens of hundreds), but also implicates Uncle Sam, since the ZUS had been part of the negotiations.

    Charming eh?

    Now, were a crotchety curmudgeon to write about *that* story during 1982 in Lebanon, well then, my hat would be off to them. (but I'm not holding my breath ; )

    I was a young person when President Kennedy was assassinated, remembering it well, even seeing some of the “news anchors” of the day smirking and smiling during their television “news presentations” of the assassination. I thought to myself, even back then, “how much prior knowledge did THEY have about that pivotal event of the time?” Being a voracious reader (to this very day), I purchased and read “The Warren Commission Report on Assassinations” when it came out, and almost instantly thought to myself “what a crock of sh!t”. Even at that early age, I was able to see through the BS.
    I had no doubt that the CIA or other “deep state” agencies had control of the American mainstream media and DID twist news stories in order to promote their agenda, even back then.
    Forward to the deliberate Israeli act of war against the USA with the attack on the USS Liberty (GTR-5) on June 8, 1967. Lyndon Johnson’s “plan” (false flag) for the USS Liberty was to have all sailors perish and blame it on Egypt, giving Israel and it’s proxy, the USA, an “excuse” to go into Egypt. When his “plan” failed, and he was forced to feign an “excuse” that it was a “mistake” and “misidentification”, letting the Israelis “off the hook” as he “did not want to embarrass an ally”, the “fix” was in”. The “investigation” involving John McCain’s “daddy” was insurance that it would be “whiitewashed”.
    Normally, the 50th anniversary of any notable historical event warrants a mention from the “mainstream media”. There was NOT ONE PEEP out of the press on the 50th anniversary (June 8, 2017) of the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty. This is proof of outside influences on the “mainstream media”, evident on the news blackout of the 50th anniversary of this “act of war” by our “ally”, Israel. THAT, my friends is telling…

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    • Replies: @Rurik
    everything you say is true anarchyst,

    a voracious reader
     
    I like to read as well, so I checked out the journalist who someone posted had passed recently.

    I wanted to know if she was also a professional liar.

    I found this book she had written and began to peruse it.

    https://www.scribd.com/document/47420573/Clare-Hollingworth-The-Arabs-the-West

    what she says at the bottom of page 129 would get her sent to prison in ((occupied)) Europe today.

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  18. Looking at that picture of Mencken, I wouldn’t describe him as fire-plug or even butt-plug ugly, but he is oddly how I would picture Fred himself if I was asked to describe him based on his writing.

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  19. Rurik says:
    @anarchyst
    I was a young person when President Kennedy was assassinated, remembering it well, even seeing some of the "news anchors" of the day smirking and smiling during their television "news presentations" of the assassination. I thought to myself, even back then, "how much prior knowledge did THEY have about that pivotal event of the time?" Being a voracious reader (to this very day), I purchased and read "The Warren Commission Report on Assassinations" when it came out, and almost instantly thought to myself "what a crock of sh!t". Even at that early age, I was able to see through the BS.
    I had no doubt that the CIA or other "deep state" agencies had control of the American mainstream media and DID twist news stories in order to promote their agenda, even back then.
    Forward to the deliberate Israeli act of war against the USA with the attack on the USS Liberty (GTR-5) on June 8, 1967. Lyndon Johnson's "plan" (false flag) for the USS Liberty was to have all sailors perish and blame it on Egypt, giving Israel and it's proxy, the USA, an "excuse" to go into Egypt. When his "plan" failed, and he was forced to feign an "excuse" that it was a "mistake" and "misidentification", letting the Israelis "off the hook" as he "did not want to embarrass an ally", the "fix" was in". The "investigation" involving John McCain's "daddy" was insurance that it would be "whiitewashed".
    Normally, the 50th anniversary of any notable historical event warrants a mention from the "mainstream media". There was NOT ONE PEEP out of the press on the 50th anniversary (June 8, 2017) of the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty. This is proof of outside influences on the "mainstream media", evident on the news blackout of the 50th anniversary of this "act of war" by our "ally", Israel. THAT, my friends is telling...

    everything you say is true anarchyst,

    a voracious reader

    I like to read as well, so I checked out the journalist who someone posted had passed recently.

    I wanted to know if she was also a professional liar.

    I found this book she had written and began to peruse it.

    https://www.scribd.com/document/47420573/Clare-Hollingworth-The-Arabs-the-West

    what she says at the bottom of page 129 would get her sent to prison in ((occupied)) Europe today.

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  20. @anarchyst
    The mainstream media has always been dishonest. From the "yellow journalism" of the late 1800s and early 1900s to today's "fake news", journalism has shown its true (communist) roots.
    From the lies about the Spanish-American war to the New York Times' walter duranty hiding the truth about and denying the artificially engineered and forced communist "famine" in the Ukraine, to the lies about the 1968 Viet Nam communist Tet offensive (a military victory for the South Vietnamese and American troops) reported by walter cronkite as a military defeat, cronkite and his ilk were successful in prolonging the Viet Nam war for years, giving "aid and comfort" to the enemy, who bragged about being supported by the U S media.
    Look at NBCs doctoring of GMC truck gas tanks, rigging them to explode, and the deliberate mischaracterization of George Zimmerman's conversation withe the 911 dispatcher, deleting a key phrase, as well as showing Trayvon Martin as a 12-year-old rather than his more recent "thug" facebook picture.
    The media has become a "fifth column" of the government and is not to be trusted.
    To our advantage, we now have the internet, which gives the ability for ordinary citizens to be real "journalists", quite often getting and reporting the story TRUTHFULLY before the mainstream media.
    In fact, there are calls by "mainstream media" to "license" journalists, in an attempt to keep these "citizen journalists" out...twenty years ago, any journalist suggesting such a scheme would have been thrown out, but nowadays...

    “… (a military victory for the South Vietnamese and American troops) reported by walter cronkite as a military defeat, cronkite and his ilk were successful in prolonging the Viet Nam war for years, giving “aid and comfort” to the enemy, who bragged about being supported by the U S media.”

    It was a tactical victory for the US-South Vietnamese puppet regime, because the NVA did not have the unfettered supply of heavy weaponry to fight the set piece, WWII-style campaign that the US military was designed to fight. It was, however, a strategic defeat for the US, because American generals were championing an imminent NVA military collapse to the world press. The US public soured on the war because of the lies told to them by those in charge. The US press independently reported what was going on in Vietnam- a ‘mistake’ allowed by the Pentagon that would not be allowed to happen again as a monopoly on information gathering equates to writing the ‘news’ fresh each day.

    The “famine” in Ukraine and the USSR was caused by Western sanctions against the USSR, refusal by the UK to accept gold rubles as payment for Western capital goods and drought conditions that affected grain harvests on several continents.

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    • Replies: @anarchyst
    I beg to differ on both points. The Viet Cong were decimated as a result of the Tet offensive. The only thing keeping them going was support by the American mainstream media. North Vietnamese general Giap admitted as much.
    As to the Ukrainian Holodomor, you could not be more wrong. There was no "drought" in the Ukraine. As the Ukraine was the breadbasket of the Soviet Union, grain storage was filled to capacity and beyond. The "kulaks" who refused to "collectivize" their farms were starved into submission.
    Your poor excuses for communism and its atrocities are pathetic.
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  21. anarchyst says:
    @Jesse James
    "... (a military victory for the South Vietnamese and American troops) reported by walter cronkite as a military defeat, cronkite and his ilk were successful in prolonging the Viet Nam war for years, giving “aid and comfort” to the enemy, who bragged about being supported by the U S media."

    It was a tactical victory for the US-South Vietnamese puppet regime, because the NVA did not have the unfettered supply of heavy weaponry to fight the set piece, WWII-style campaign that the US military was designed to fight. It was, however, a strategic defeat for the US, because American generals were championing an imminent NVA military collapse to the world press. The US public soured on the war because of the lies told to them by those in charge. The US press independently reported what was going on in Vietnam- a 'mistake' allowed by the Pentagon that would not be allowed to happen again as a monopoly on information gathering equates to writing the 'news' fresh each day.

    The "famine" in Ukraine and the USSR was caused by Western sanctions against the USSR, refusal by the UK to accept gold rubles as payment for Western capital goods and drought conditions that affected grain harvests on several continents.

    I beg to differ on both points. The Viet Cong were decimated as a result of the Tet offensive. The only thing keeping them going was support by the American mainstream media. North Vietnamese general Giap admitted as much.
    As to the Ukrainian Holodomor, you could not be more wrong. There was no “drought” in the Ukraine. As the Ukraine was the breadbasket of the Soviet Union, grain storage was filled to capacity and beyond. The “kulaks” who refused to “collectivize” their farms were starved into submission.
    Your poor excuses for communism and its atrocities are pathetic.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ilyana_Rozumova
    Result of the tet offensive was Americans hanging on helicopters falling into see.
    , @bluedog
    I'm sure you have a link as to where 'Giap" admitted that, and it would be nice if you posted it,but what Giap did learn was never to go into any large scale battles again, this was what he admitted to as his biggest mistake,and he never did...
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  22. @anarchyst
    I beg to differ on both points. The Viet Cong were decimated as a result of the Tet offensive. The only thing keeping them going was support by the American mainstream media. North Vietnamese general Giap admitted as much.
    As to the Ukrainian Holodomor, you could not be more wrong. There was no "drought" in the Ukraine. As the Ukraine was the breadbasket of the Soviet Union, grain storage was filled to capacity and beyond. The "kulaks" who refused to "collectivize" their farms were starved into submission.
    Your poor excuses for communism and its atrocities are pathetic.

    Result of the tet offensive was Americans hanging on helicopters falling into see.

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  23. bluedog says:
    @anarchyst
    I beg to differ on both points. The Viet Cong were decimated as a result of the Tet offensive. The only thing keeping them going was support by the American mainstream media. North Vietnamese general Giap admitted as much.
    As to the Ukrainian Holodomor, you could not be more wrong. There was no "drought" in the Ukraine. As the Ukraine was the breadbasket of the Soviet Union, grain storage was filled to capacity and beyond. The "kulaks" who refused to "collectivize" their farms were starved into submission.
    Your poor excuses for communism and its atrocities are pathetic.

    I’m sure you have a link as to where ‘Giap” admitted that, and it would be nice if you posted it,but what Giap did learn was never to go into any large scale battles again, this was what he admitted to as his biggest mistake,and he never did…

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  24. Tet upset the narrative the USA was spinning about imminent victory. It also coincided with war-weariness in the USA, strengthening it. They managed to keep a lid on unpleasant details like My Lai for a year or so but that notorious Communist Richard Nixon decided when he took office that Indochina was a black hole into which US resources were disappearing and US participation gradually declined – “Vietnamization” was in.

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  25. Corvinus says:
    @anarchyst
    The mainstream media has always been dishonest. From the "yellow journalism" of the late 1800s and early 1900s to today's "fake news", journalism has shown its true (communist) roots.
    From the lies about the Spanish-American war to the New York Times' walter duranty hiding the truth about and denying the artificially engineered and forced communist "famine" in the Ukraine, to the lies about the 1968 Viet Nam communist Tet offensive (a military victory for the South Vietnamese and American troops) reported by walter cronkite as a military defeat, cronkite and his ilk were successful in prolonging the Viet Nam war for years, giving "aid and comfort" to the enemy, who bragged about being supported by the U S media.
    Look at NBCs doctoring of GMC truck gas tanks, rigging them to explode, and the deliberate mischaracterization of George Zimmerman's conversation withe the 911 dispatcher, deleting a key phrase, as well as showing Trayvon Martin as a 12-year-old rather than his more recent "thug" facebook picture.
    The media has become a "fifth column" of the government and is not to be trusted.
    To our advantage, we now have the internet, which gives the ability for ordinary citizens to be real "journalists", quite often getting and reporting the story TRUTHFULLY before the mainstream media.
    In fact, there are calls by "mainstream media" to "license" journalists, in an attempt to keep these "citizen journalists" out...twenty years ago, any journalist suggesting such a scheme would have been thrown out, but nowadays...

    “The mainstream media has always been dishonest.”

    No, there have been dishonest journalists. The mainstream media in and of itself is not patently dishonest. Now, if you are going to paint the broad brush here, then are willing to admit that Fox News also lies, or are you going to give them a free pass?

    “to the lies about the 1968 Viet Nam communist Tet offensive (a military victory for the South Vietnamese and American troops) reported by walter cronkite as a military defeat…”

    From what I recall, Cronkite said that while it was victory for the American military, it was a defeat for the war effort, as the army had repeatedly stated that the enemy lacked the capability of such a large-scale offensive. Moreover, it had been three long years, and there was no end in sight–the will of the Vietnamese people remained strong in their quest for independence. As a result, Cronkite offered his personal opinion that the war was probably unwinnable given the willingness of the enemy to stand their ground despite overwhelming firepower directed at them.

    “The media has become a “fifth column” of the government and is not to be trusted.”

    That’s not how it works. An intellectually capable person gets as much information as they can from a variety of sources, including ones that oppose their ideological thinking. Then, they break it down and draw conclusions based on the available evidence.

    “To our advantage, we now have the internet, which gives the ability for ordinary citizens to be real “journalists”, quite often getting and reporting the story TRUTHFULLY before the mainstream media.”

    Except the problem here is that citizen journalists also fall prey like members of the mainstream media to confirmation bias and hindsight bias.

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    • Replies: @anarchyst
    You must be a journalist...
    I stand by my statements.
    I heard what Cronkite said. He did not say that it was a military victory for the South Vietnamese or American military. The TET offensive resulted in the decimation of the ranks of the hardcore VC which never regained its effectiveness.
    FOX News IS just as culpable for incorrect information as any other "news outlet".
    "Mainstream media" editors routinely censor stories that their "bosses" may not like. It happens all the time.
    The citizen journalist has no reason to censor a story. He has no "media bosses" to answer to. You don't give enough credit to citizen journalists who DO break stories that the mainstream media won't touch. That is how Matt Drudge got his start.
    The CIA has been feeding the "mainstream media" disinformation since the 1950s, and it continues to this day.
    As a matter of fact, during the "anti-drug hysteria" of the 1980s through the 2000s, Hollywood producers and writers were PAID by the federal government to insert anti-drug messages in to their scripts.
    The mistrust that many Americans have for the "mainstream media" is well-deserved...
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  26. When I was in college it was post-Watergate and journos and lawyers were golden. For me it was between journalism and architecture. I chose the latter, and in spite of the difficulty I have never regretted that decision. Over the years I watched as the former almost completely devolved to taking dictation from so-called leaders. Thanks to UR and Counterpunch, among a few others for trying to find the truth. Without them, and you, yonder lies nonsense and propaganda.

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  27. anarchyst says:
    @Corvinus
    "The mainstream media has always been dishonest."

    No, there have been dishonest journalists. The mainstream media in and of itself is not patently dishonest. Now, if you are going to paint the broad brush here, then are willing to admit that Fox News also lies, or are you going to give them a free pass?

    "to the lies about the 1968 Viet Nam communist Tet offensive (a military victory for the South Vietnamese and American troops) reported by walter cronkite as a military defeat..."

    From what I recall, Cronkite said that while it was victory for the American military, it was a defeat for the war effort, as the army had repeatedly stated that the enemy lacked the capability of such a large-scale offensive. Moreover, it had been three long years, and there was no end in sight--the will of the Vietnamese people remained strong in their quest for independence. As a result, Cronkite offered his personal opinion that the war was probably unwinnable given the willingness of the enemy to stand their ground despite overwhelming firepower directed at them.

    "The media has become a “fifth column” of the government and is not to be trusted."

    That's not how it works. An intellectually capable person gets as much information as they can from a variety of sources, including ones that oppose their ideological thinking. Then, they break it down and draw conclusions based on the available evidence.

    "To our advantage, we now have the internet, which gives the ability for ordinary citizens to be real “journalists”, quite often getting and reporting the story TRUTHFULLY before the mainstream media."

    Except the problem here is that citizen journalists also fall prey like members of the mainstream media to confirmation bias and hindsight bias.

    You must be a journalist…
    I stand by my statements.
    I heard what Cronkite said. He did not say that it was a military victory for the South Vietnamese or American military. The TET offensive resulted in the decimation of the ranks of the hardcore VC which never regained its effectiveness.
    FOX News IS just as culpable for incorrect information as any other “news outlet”.
    “Mainstream media” editors routinely censor stories that their “bosses” may not like. It happens all the time.
    The citizen journalist has no reason to censor a story. He has no “media bosses” to answer to. You don’t give enough credit to citizen journalists who DO break stories that the mainstream media won’t touch. That is how Matt Drudge got his start.
    The CIA has been feeding the “mainstream media” disinformation since the 1950s, and it continues to this day.
    As a matter of fact, during the “anti-drug hysteria” of the 1980s through the 2000s, Hollywood producers and writers were PAID by the federal government to insert anti-drug messages in to their scripts.
    The mistrust that many Americans have for the “mainstream media” is well-deserved…

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  28. Corvinus says:

    “I heard what Cronkite said. He did not say that it was a military victory for the South Vietnamese or American military. The TET offensive resulted in the decimation of the ranks of the hardcore VC which never regained its effectiveness.”

    Here is what Cronkite said. As I correctly stated, he offered his personal opinion that the war was probably unwinnable given the willingness of the enemy to stand their ground despite overwhelming firepower directed at them–”This summer’s almost certain standoff will either end in real give-and-take negotiations or terrible escalation; and for every means we have to escalate, the enemy can match us, and that applies to invasion of the North, the use of nuclear weapons, or the mere commitment of one hundred, or two hundred, or three hundred thousand more American troops to the battle.”

    https://facultystaff.richmond.edu/~ebolt/history398/cronkite_1968.html

    ““Mainstream media” editors routinely censor stories that their “bosses” may not like. It happens all the time.”

    Routinely? No. Certainly, there is “censoring”, but there is context here–in some cases, the interest of national security takes front and center, or there requires more sourcing.

    “The citizen journalist has no reason to censor a story. He has no “media bosses” to answer to.”

    Self-censoring includes confirmation bias and hindsight bias. Citizen journalists are also prone to the foibles of “regular” journalists.

    “The CIA has been feeding the “mainstream media” disinformation since the 1950s, and it continues
    to this day.”

    In some cases, assuredly. Again, context matters.

    “As a matter of fact, during the “anti-drug hysteria” of the 1980s through the 2000s, Hollywood producers and writers were PAID by the federal government to insert anti-drug messages in to their scripts.”

    The Office of National Drug Control Policy offered advertising dollars to networks that embedded anti-drug messages in their programming. It was up to the shows to decide whether they wanted to take this money.

    “The mistrust that many Americans have for the “mainstream media” is well-deserved…”

    Yes, mistrust, not total distrust to the point of claiming it always peddles “Fake News”.

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