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In the news there is no truth

March 2, 2013

[J.P.'s Moment of Common Sense on Broad View, KJFK 1230 AM Reno. Listen live Saturdays at 3:00 PM Pacific Time.]

Who doesn’t like Russian humor? Often based on the bitter reality of the ex-Soviet Union’s dysfunctional communist tyranny, it’s delightfully dark. The 1986 nuclear accident at Chernobyl was perfect fodder for Russian jokes:
"Grandpa, is it true there was an accident at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant?"

"Yes, there was," answered Grandpa, patting the boy's head.

”Grandpa, is it true that it had no consequences?"

"Yes, absolutely, no consequences," answered Grandpa, patting the boy's second head.
Back in the days when Russians were being lied to about Chernobyl, the lying was done by Soviet propaganda sheets pretending to be newspapers. The two biggest such were Pravda, the official organ of the Communist Party, and Izvestia, the official organ of the government. In Russian, “pravda” means “truth” and “izvestia” means “news” so naturally the two names inspired a popular saying:
“In the Truth there is no news, and in the News there is no truth.”
That’s pretty much where we stand in the United States now. There is no truth in our news anymore – it’s all propaganda. We can’t trust a single word the mainstream media tell us.

This past week, Robin Roberts returned to Good Morning America from her battle against cancer and interviewed Michelle Obama. During the interview, Mrs. Obama said something that was so inaccurate it was embarrassing... so ABC News simply erased it. With clever camera switches and precise editing, people watching never knew what happened; never saw the First Lady uttering nonsense.

This “technological” type of dishonesty is commonplace now. After the Sandy Hook shooting, a grieving father testified at a public hearing and MSNBC edited the video to make it seem like pro-gun lobbyists in the audience were heckling him. Here are the exact words of the MSNBC host:
“A father’s grief, interrupted by the cries of a heckler. That was the scene today in Hartford, Connecticut.”
In real life, the father turned to the audience and asked a question, which, after an awkward pause, two or three people answered. There was no heckling and no disrespect. MSNBC invented the whole story.

Last year when Trayvon Martin was shot, the news media went nuts trying to sell the concocted tale of a white racist executing an innocent black youngster. First thing they did was create a fake picture. Using a Facebook photo of Trayvon wearing a hoodie, they lightened the skin and narrowed the face to make him look younger. That picture – the fake one – was the picture that accompanied news stories across America. As for George Zimmerman, the so-called “white Hispanic” guy who shot Trayvon, they used an outdated mug shot of him in prison attire.

Sometimes they went even further and used a photo of Trayvon taken six years earlier, so Americans would see a ten-year-old Trayvon side-by-side with a burly guy in an orange jumpsuit. “Gee, which one is the bad guy?”

There’s no level too low for the news media to sink. NBC News in Miami edited Zimmerman’s 911 call to make him sound racist. What people heard on NBC was Zimmerman saying, “This guy looks like he’s up to no good … he looks black.” In real life, he said, “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. Or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.” Then the 911 dispatcher said, “OK, and this guy – is he black, white or Hispanic?” to which Zimmerman replied, “He looks black.”

Eager to join the lynch mob, ABC News showed the video of Zimmerman arriving at the police station and declared, “A police surveillance video taken the night that Trayvon Martin was shot dead shows no blood or bruises on George Zimmerman.” Except viewers couldn’t actually see his head because ABC News covered it with the words “ABC News.” The raw police footage, without the ABC News graphic, showed a gaping wound on the back of Zimmerman’s head.

The examples are endless. Two years ago, Ed Schultz on MSNBC admitted that he hires fake callers to call his show. (Ed Schultz isn’t the brightest bulb in the lamp, so avoiding real callers is understandable.) A year earlier, a cabal of mainstream “JournoLists” was caught using a secret Internet forum to coordinate propaganda that would help the Democrat Party. Also in 2010, a CBS reporter forgot to hang up his cellphone and accidentally left a voicemail wherein reporters discussed inventing news stories to make Republicans look bad.

Speaking of CBS, don’t forget how Dan Rather’s career ended. Right before the 2004 presidential election, he was caught using fake National Guard memos, ostensibly from the 1960s, to attack George Bush. Unfortunately for Mr. Rather, his memos used Microsoft Word fonts invented in the 1990s. Oops.

(Hey, I said the news media are dishonest – I never said anything about them being smart.)

A few months ago, CNBC and the Huffington Post admitted that some of their articles are written by a public relations firm hired by the Russian government... so now we know where all those propaganda experts from Pravda and Izvestia went after the Soviet Union collapsed.

The mealy-mouthed liars are inventing American news now.

That's... today’s dose of common sense.

"An old woman stands in the market with a ‘Chernobyl mushrooms for sale’ sign. A man goes up to her and asks, ‘Hey, what are you doing? Who's going to buy Chernobyl mushrooms?’ And she tells him, ‘Why, lots of people. Some for their boss, others for their mother-in-law...’" – Russian joke

"Khrushchev visited a pig farm and was photographed there. In a newspaper's office, a discussion is under way what should be the caption under the picture. ‘Comrade Khrushchev among pigs,’ ‘Comrade Khrushchev and pigs,’ ‘Pigs around Comrade Khrushchev...’ all are rejected. Finally the editor makes a decision: the caption is ‘Third from left - Comrade Khrushchev.’" – Russian joke written by Armenians

From Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA       

March 7, 2013 - I'm not quite sure it is when we stopped getting the real news. The news that provide the facts of who, what, where and when. The facts only, so that a reader or listener or watcher than could form their own opinion in a matter. Maybe it's a product that the news stop being a venue to inform people of the facts and became a business. A business to make money and get high ratings. Now what people listen to or watch seems more like entertainment shows where everything is sensationalized. It's not really the news, but the impression of what they think they heard, or think they understand it to mean. I see them more as personal editorials. Heck I don't even think some of the people are even actual journalists. If you know that and are watching these programs for entertainment that's one thing. But to make an informed opinion on something they said on their shows is completely another. But I think many Americans have gotten lazy, they don't research anything, people that I know that lean to the left sound like a bunch of parrots. They all say exactly the same thing, they even use the same wording. Because they heard it on a show that kept repeating the same thing over and over again, it must be true. After all Chris Matthews and Al Sharpton and Rachel Maddow and any number of the personalities the stations put out there as news people, they wouldn't lie, so it must be true. Even though several of the various news stations have been caught red handed doctoring tapes to make a story more in line with the agenda of the station. And yet when you point that out to them they have no defense for that. Especially if you point it out to them that countries that are run by dictators, their news is edited in one direction too! – Pam T., Virginia

March 2, 2013 - A Democratic pollster who worked for Jimmy Carter recently said the news media has become an enemy of the people. If even Democrats recognise the danger, the problem must be serious. – Robert O., Nevada
J.P. replies: Googled the video: Pat Caddell.

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