Browsing: Useless Media

‘What bothers me is not that we are unable to find the solution to our problems, what bothers me more is the fact that neoliberals are so utterly unaware of real structural issues that their attempts to sort out tangential issues will further exacerbate the main issues. Religious extremism, militancy and terrorism are not the cause but the effect of poverty, backwardness and disenfranchisement.

Empirically speaking, if we take all other aggravating factors out: such as poverty, illiteracy, disenfranchisement, deliberate training and arming of certain militant groups by regional and global players and, more importantly, grievances against the duplicitous Western foreign policy, I don’t think that the Islamic State, al-Qaeda and the likes would find abundant supply of foot soldiers that they are getting now in the troubled regions of the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.’

Read more: The Neoliberal Mindset. How the Mainstream Media Constructs False Narratives?

‘The Tories are refusing to deny whether media mogul Rupert Murdoch asked Prime Minister Theresa May to reappoint Michael Gove to the cabinet or face bad press in his newspaper titles.

In the days following June’s general election, Labour deputy leader Tom Watson wrote to May to ask whether she had reappointed Gove following pressure from Murdoch.

In the email, Watson said it had been “suggested” to him that May could have made the appointment to curry favor with the Murdoch press.

The government has now responded to Watson’s message, but has not denied Murdoch’s involvement outright. Damian Green, the first secretary of state, said decisions over appointments to the cabinet are taken by the prime minister alone.’

Read more: Did Rupert Murdoch demand Michael Gove’s return to cabinet? Tories don’t deny it

‘Venezuela is heading towards an increasingly dangerous situation, in which open civil war could become a real possibility. So far over 100 people have been killed as a result of street protests, most of these deaths are the fault of the protesters themselves (to the extent that we know the cause). The possibility of civil war becomes more likely as long the international media obscure who is responsible for the violence and as long as the international left remains on the sidelines in this conflict and fails to show solidarity with the Bolivarian socialist movement in Venezuela…

…In other words, it is possible that much of the international left has been misled about the violence in Venezuela, into thinking that the government is the only one responsible, that President Maduro has declared himself to be dictator for life (when he actually confirmed that the presidential elections scheduled for late 2018 will proceed as planned), or that all dissent is being punished with prison (when a major opposition leader, Leopoldo Lopez, who was partly responsible for the post-election violence in 2014 was just released from prison, now under house arrest). If this is the reason for the silence on Venezuela, then the left should be ashamed for not having read its own critiques of the mainstream media.’

Read more: Time for the ‘International Left’ to Take a Stand on Venezuela

‘The New York Times’ Tim Arango took what could have been an interesting topic for war journalism—Iran’s increased role in Iraq—and morphed it into a revisionist history of American and Saudi involvement in the Middle East. In doing so, Arango paints the U.S. as a noble, freedom-loving nation on a mission to improve the lives of average Iraqis, and Iran as a sinister imperial force working to expand its sphere of influence across the region.

Arango sets the table by citing examples of Iranian influence in Iraq, framing the disparate motives at work. He suggests that the U.S. invaded Iraq for pro-democratic purposes, while Iran’s response to this unilateral invasion (which its government, of course, vehemently opposed) is portrayed as sinister and plotting.’

Read more: NY Times Rewrites History of Iraq War, Painting U.S. as Noble Democracy-Lover, Iran as Sinister Imperialist

Emirati officials deny government involved in planting fake story that was later used as justification for severing diplomatic ties

‘Qatar has called the alleged hacking of its state news agency by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) “a violation of international law”.

Reports surfaced in the Washington Post on Sunday claiming that government officials in Abu Dhabi orchestrated the planting of a fabricated story in Qatari media on 24 May that contributed to the current political spat in the region.

Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani was falsely quoted as praising Hamas and Hezbollah, as well as speaking positively about Iran and Israel – remarks that drew the ire of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and were later used as justification for severing diplomatic ties with the tiny Gulf kingdom.’

Read more: Qatar accuses UAE of violating international law by hacking state news agency

‘Privacy advocates suffered a stinging defeat by a federal appeals court which ruled in favor of the FBI’s nondisclosure surveillance requests enforced on social media and tech companies.

A three-judge panel of the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco reached a unanimous decision and ruled against privacy advocates while agreeing with a lower court ruling that the FBI, using gag orders, may issue secret national security letters requesting customer data.

Credo Mobile, a phone network operator, and CloudFare, a content distributor, had sued for the right to notify their customers of five national security letters (NSL’s) sent between 2011 and 2013.

The ruling stated that this does not violate free speech protections in the First Amendment of the Constitution.’

Read more: US court upholds ‘gag’ rules on surveillance of social media users

‘The Washington Post’s journalistic decline over the past several years has been remarkable, especially following the newspaper’s 2013 purchase by Amazon founder and billionaire Jeff Bezos, the world’s second-richest man after Bill Gates.

In the face of controversies concerning the use of anonymous and often inaccurate sources and the publication of false news in order to foment anti-Russia hysteria, the Post is now set for another scandal thanks to a new Bezos-approved company-wide policy that seeks to prevent employee criticism of the newspaper’s corporate backers and advertisers.

The policy, which took effect in May, now prohibits Post employees from using social media in such a way that “adversely affects The Post’s customers, advertisers, subscribers, vendors, suppliers or partners.” According to the policy, the paper’s management team reserves the right to take disciplinary action against violators “up to and including termination of employment.”’

Read more: Bezos Bans Washington Post Staff From Criticizing Corporate Advertisers On Social Media 

‘In our digital era of smartphones and social media, it seems nearly everyone suffers from communication overload. Less than 15 years ago, most netizens had just one or two email accounts, texting was tedious and costly, and mobile phones were primarily used to make, well, phone calls.

Today, it’s common for people to manage numerous social media accounts and email addresses. One recent estimate claimed the average internet user has sevensocial media accounts — excluding email. Chunky mobile phones have been replaced by pocket touchscreen computers that constantly jingle and buzz notifications, pulling their owners away from face-to-face encounters with other human beings into a constantly churning social networking vortex.

Experts who look into such things say that while social networking has its benefits — professionally, personally, politically — it’s also dumbing down the ways people communicate with each other. Having so many channels of communication has overwhelmed our ability to thoughtfully interact online, encouraging cheap and easy forms of communication.’

Read more: How Social Media Is Dumbing Down Our Society

‘A new report by the Washington Post, citing US intelligence, says there is evidence that the United Arab Emirates coordinated the hacking of Qatar’s state media agency (QNA), which led to the blockade of the Gulf monarchy. Previously, US media, citing the FBI, blamed the attack on “Russian hackers.”

The UAE government planned the infamous May 24 hacking of QNA, states the report citing US intelligence officials who were not named because of the “sensitive” character of the matter.

The reported evidence shows that on May 23, senior UAE officials discussed the implementation of the hack, which saw statements falsely attributed to Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani, being run by QNA in a text-ticker on-air and on social media. Government Twitter handles were also hacked.

The fake statements, which spoke favorably of Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah, as well as of relations with Israel, provoke the ire of a number of Gulf states as well as Egypt, and Qatar was effectively cut off from the Arabian Peninsula with a blockade.’

Read more: Not ‘Russian hackers’? Washington Post report accuses UAE of orchestrating Qatar media hack