The scary void inside Russiagate
Politics and policy should never be over-personalized; larger factors are always involved. But in these unprecedented times, Tillerson may be the last man standing who represents the possibility of some kind of détente. Apart, that is, from President Trump himself, loathe him or not. Or to put the issue differently: Will Russiagate continue to gravely endanger American national security?
Canadian media just created another alt-right superstar
Here’s a quick primer on the ever-growing dumpster fire: Lindsay Shepherd, a 22-year-old teaching assistant at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, showed a video of notorious transphobe and alt-right sympathizer Jordan Peterson to a class of first-year communications students. At least one student complained that it was inappropriate to display such content without sufficient context.
Media’s formulaic approach to terror attacks ignores roots of violence
Coverage of terrorist attacks is so formulaic in 2017 that reporters, if asked, could certainly write a story without an actual event. It would have the sophistication of a puppet show in the town square. The victims, of course, would be European or western allies. There would be fine details of weapons, injuries, trauma, shattered witnesses and mourners and deranged hoodlums as perpetrators.
RIP Edward Herman, Who Co-Wrote a Book That’s Now More Important Than Ever
Herman and Chomsky’s work was a great gift to a generation of thinkers trying to make sense of how power in the West sold itself to populations. The late Herman should be honored for that critical contribution he made to understanding American empire. It’s a shame he never wrote a sequel. Now more than ever, we could use another Manufacturing Consent.
Ezra Levant’s hateful news outlet enabled by Canada’s media establishment
Levant and his crew of propagandists exist because the Canadian media establishment allowed them to. Journalists and industry associations should have denounced the outlet and its correspondents as hateful and dangerous and refused to defend it when it encountered problems while attempting to gain press credentials. They could have taken a stand on behalf of oppressed peoples.
Coverage of Winnipeg’s Rooster Town blockade reveals media’s anti-Indigenous bias
Much of the media coverage of the situation has frequently regurgitated blatant colonial biases. These range from allotting a disproportionate percentage of word counts to the arguments of the developer and his lawyer, deploying the language of capitalist conceptions of property ownership, and refusing Indigenous defenders the ability to self-define.
Rolling Stone’s new cover article on Trudeau is barefaced propaganda
The Rolling Stone cover story was particularly unique in demonstrating how corporate media works to maintain and strengthen liberal hegemony by building a compelling personal narrative, using fascists as foil characters, and inadvertently disclosing profoundly racist and capitalist biases in both author Stephen Rodrick and main source, Trudeau himself.
Castro coverage shows fake news is ubiquitous
Perhaps the biggest media story of 2016 was the overdue discovery of fake news: totally manufactured information slickly packaged as journalism. Getting a lot less attention was the story that real news can be fake news, too, and often is. As the Huffington Post points out, when opinion (which is cheap) is blended with fact (which is expensive) and is endlessly recycled, it gets hard to tell the difference between 60 Minutes and The Daily Show.
Exiting the Vampire Castle
In this pointed polemic, Mark Fisher accuses “neo-anarchists” and those in the “Vampire Castle” for toxic navel-gazing on the Left.
Listen to Chomsky’s Montréal discussion period
Listen to the discussion period from Noam Chomsky’s Montréal lecture in Oct. 2013, a discussion that touches upon the reality of growing police repression in Montréal under the municipal law P-6 that bans free protest, to a clear denunciation of the pending Quebec secularist charter.
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