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John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN SPUTNIK

 

Last week, UK Secretary of Defense Michael Fallon accused Sputnik and RT of “weaponizing misinformation,” and said that the outlets need to be “called out” for “misleading or not duly impartial” reporting.

“Fallon’s Attack on Sputnik Reveals Panic Over End to Mainstream Media Hegemony”

That describes the situation exactly.

The West’s mainstream press has been “weaponizing misinformation” all of my life. The Guardian, The Times, The Independent, The Telegraph, BBC – all have played this game for as long as I can remember.

In the United States, the New York Times, the Washington Post, CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, and even PBS play the game night and day.

In Germany, from what someone who does not read German can tell, it is much the same. On the Internet, only the German Economic News offers an informed, interesting, non-official view, and it is under attack from government-inspired sources right now, but it is available only in Google’s [fairly poor] translation.

It is all so obvious, and the pretense of people like Fallon that it is otherwise is tiresome, for people who are critically-minded and want genuinely to understand what is going on, especially on matters of great consequence and of life and death.

Governments like the United States have long felt free to drag their people into wars without any real explanation to the people paying for them, both in money and lives, offering only flimsy reasons written up and colored-up by a fully compliant press. I am not sure the reality is all that different to the peasants of a liege lord in the Middle Ages being taken to war.

Believe me, it is great to see sources which don’t follow that crowd.

I’m not one who believes everything I read anywhere automatically, but you must judge the nature of competing stories to get some sense of truth.

Just as when you write a term paper, you cannot, with academic integrity, cite a single source for something critical. It is incumbent upon the writer to cross-check.

People like Fallon literally demonstrate their own lack of integrity by speaking against this. They also effectively are insulting the intelligence of their own people by saying they cannot distinguish the truth when they read different sources.

Sputnik and RT provide an extremely valuable service to people in Europe and America, another source, a well-resourced source, of information with which to compare and cross-check things of great importance. Of course, they have Russia’s interests to heart, but so what? Russia is an important part of the world community, and increasingly so.

The mainline press in the West is all big corporate interests today, and it faithfully reflects those interests as well as the interests of the governments upon which they depend for permissions, licenses, tips, interviews, and even leaks.

Even the alternate or independent press virtually all have agendas, and those agendas reflect the interests of those who bankroll them.

The bigger, better-financed the source, the more you can be sure that has bias built into it. All those big, new, shiny alternate news sites – outfits like Breitbart or Alex Jones – on the Internet are biased in their own ways just as surely as is the New York Times.

Only some of the small-scale independent bloggers or journalists are not totally encumbered by bias, but they are encumbered by a lack of resources.

The main value of the new alternate and independent sources is to supply another point of view.

If you want to truly understand something vaguely resembling what is really happening, you cannot depend on a single source of any kind

You must read and analyze and compare different sources, keeping in mind their various biases.

Only then can you begin to be informed.

But even with that effort, you will fail to understand some matters because governments and large organizations of every description lie about or hide some of what they are doing. No matter who is reporting about them.

Always. It’s a state of affairs which never changes. Thoughtful citizens must always take it into account.

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