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December 17, 2011

Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting Continues Its Disgusting Apologetics for the Corporate Media

Are there no depths to which the lickspittles at FAIR won't sink in their desperation to kiss the corporate state's jackboot? Apparently not, as you'll see in this post. Chief FAIR propagandist Peter Hart pretends to "criticize" the Washington Post for publishing an article about the Iraq war that provides a long laundry list of rationales for the invasion—including an attempt by Saddam Hussein "to kill then-President Bush's father"—because weapons of mass destruction only make an appearance at the end. Hart writes:

In this bizarre re-telling, Saddam Hussein's support for Hamas and a plot to kill George H. W. Bush seem to matter more than the bogus stories about Iraq's WMDs.

Notice the sleight of hand? There was no evidence at the time in 1993 that Saddam actually tried to assassinate Bush, Sr. and there's no evidence now, after we invaded the country and seized all their government officials and files.

Yet this doesn't stop Peter "Goebbels" Hart from "overlooking" the Washington Post's falsehood and oh-so-coincidentally repeating it as unquestioned fact...all the while posing as an opponent of the media's deceit! If the Soviet Union had had paid liars as sophisticated as Mr. Hart, they'd still be in business today.

BUT SERIOUSLY: It really goes to show how deep the propaganda goes in the U.S. that even FAIR missed this one. I'm sure I myself miss ten things like it every day. God only knows how much of the "history" we all have in our heads is fabricated.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at December 17, 2011 09:48 PM

Actually, Hart may just have been reiterating what the WP writer wrote without endorsing it (though I'd agree that it deserved at least an "alleged").

Posted by: John Caruso at December 17, 2011 11:04 PM

And PREDICTABLY ENOUGH, John "Pravda" Caruso immediately appears to shill for his buddy Peter. I would have thought you'd have your hands full WHITEWASHING THE LATEST IDF MASSACRE!!!

Ha ha. Hopefully Peter H. will show up to say for sure, but I'm 99.98% sure that he missed this, not that he noticed it and just didn't say anything. Especially since flagging the media repeating government lies as fact is FAIR's bread and butter, I don't think they'd do the equivalent themselves. Moreover, the Post repeating the Bush assassination plot lie when it actually was conclusively debunked in a publication that (until recently) was owned by the Post is worse than the WMD stuff.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at December 17, 2011 11:30 PM

Also missed: Saddam as 'long-time nemesis', as opposed to the more accurate term - former client and ally.

Posted by: Robert Mailhot at December 17, 2011 11:36 PM

"I'm sure I myself miss ten things like it every day. God only knows how much of the "history" we all have in our heads is fabricated."

Jon, all of it is fabricated.

Posted by: Elohim, Ilah, Vishnu, Larry at December 18, 2011 06:02 AM

all of it is fabricated - get thee behind me, Satan!

"It ain't ignorance causes so much trouble; it's folks knowing so much that ain't so."
Josh Billings

Jonathan, like his grandfather the historian, who was a saint, wants people to know what happened, to the best of our ability to find out; and to know when other people's versions of what happened are demonstrably incorrect.

Just to give an example, Bush repeatedly said "Saddam threw out the weapons inspectors." Was Bush lying, or did he come to believe this self-serving assertion? That's hard to know. Was it what really happened? No way.

With intermittent but recurrent dedication to truth, justice, and the potentially sentient way, and in eternal opposition to the MICFiC's plans to milk, shear, and slaughter the sheeple,

mistah charley, ph.d.

Posted by: mistah 'MICFiC' charley, ph.d. at December 18, 2011 07:21 AM

99.98% is way more than is warranted, Tablet-guy, whether your reading is right or wrong (and I agree it might be either). I know I don't correct every misleading assertion in a text every time around--it just lards down the writing, especially if it's not what I'm focusing on, which in the case of Hart's blog post was the implied prioritization of the war rationales rather than their truth or falsehood. You can't head off every mistaken assumption, so I just plan on being misread by people who're prone to jumping to conclusions.

Seeing as this is the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT THING ON THE INTERNET right now I've email'ed Peter a pointer to this posting, so he may comment here (or if he responds directly to me I'll summarize).

Posted by: John Caruso at December 18, 2011 12:03 PM

History: Written by the winners since.... hmmmm... since Gilgamesh, basically

Posted by: otto at December 18, 2011 12:21 PM

"God only knows how much of the "history" we all have in our heads is fabricated"

That really is the gist of it. The result of propaganda is a citizenry detached from reality.

But more than that, even when an attempt is made to be forthright, still, what we call "knowledge" really is not. Social Epistemology baby!

It is clear that the very worst thing government can do is propaganda. It destroys everything else.

Posted by: Dredd at December 19, 2011 07:27 AM

Here's the response I got from Peter:

I don't think there's ever been anything to substantiate the Bush plot-- I think I made an attempt to point that out in my first pass at writing that item, but it felt like it veered off course a bit. I think you could easily write another piece that unpacked each of those rationales offered by the Post.

And Jon, you really should reconsider your irrational hatred of the IDF. That last massacre was just a totally understandable case of mistaken identity.

Posted by: John Caruso at December 19, 2011 10:13 AM

otto, it is indeed a great injustice that we have not heard Humbaba/Huwawa's side of the story.

But Gilgamesh didn't achieve immortality, so really he lost in the end.

Or maybe that's just what the Congressional-Hollywood-Industrial-Military-Financial-Gilgamesh Complex wants us to believe...

Posted by: Save the Oocytes at December 19, 2011 12:07 PM

History: Written by the winners since.... hmmmm... since Gilgamesh, basically

I would go back to Cain.

"Nuh-uh, mom. He touched me first!"

Posted by: Happy Jack at December 19, 2011 12:54 PM
I don't think there's ever been anything to substantiate the Bush plot-- I think I made an attempt to point that out in my first pass at writing that item, but it felt like it veered off course a bit. I think you could easily write another piece that unpacked each of those rationales offered by the Post.

Ah, so Hart ADMITS that it was conscious deceit on his part! Well, I'm not surprised the two of you get on so well. I'm 99.98% sure that it's just a matter of time before we see the Hart & Caruso Show on Fox.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at December 19, 2011 02:32 PM

In the interests of beating a dead horse, Mr. Jack, I think the Epic of Gilgamesh predates the Torah as a written work. Of course, we don't have that helpful list of descendents in Gilgamesh to tell us exactly what years the events really happened. (Of course, given what we now know about them, I wouldn't put it past the CHIMFGC complex to fabricate dates.)

Posted by: Save the Oocytes at December 19, 2011 08:00 PM

"Congressional-Hollywood-Industrial-Military-Financial-Gilgamesh Complex"

==that's pretty good as inside jokes go

Posted by: N E at December 20, 2011 12:13 AM

Thank you!

Posted by: Save the Oocytes at December 21, 2011 03:11 AM

ever-crumbling and fetch, erotic yet disturbing, the unfulfilled yearning for one knows not what, fantasies of ruling class life, yellow matter custard dripping from a dead dog's eye

Posted by: Freddy el Desfibradddor at December 22, 2011 08:08 AM

The Internet IS the bestest greatest propaganda machine EVER, so far.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at December 22, 2011 02:11 PM

Granted, FAIR is funded by higher up sources

Posted by: Jenny at December 22, 2011 02:44 PM

Happy Holidays, y'all!

Speaking for myself, these days I am more inclined to hope that the human spirit (which is, after all, a part of the Great Spirit) will endure than to have any hopes for temporal increases in peace, justice, prosperity, and psychosocial wellbeing on a large scale. Maybe these things will happen, and maybe not. The words of Bhante Gunaratana in his book Mindfulness in Plain English speak to me:

>>We are just beginning to realize that we have overdeveloped the material aspect of existence at the expense of the deeper emotional and spiritual aspect, and we are paying the price for that error. It is one thing to talk about degeneration of moral and spiritual fiber in America today, and another thing to do something about it.

The place to start is within ourselves. Look carefully inside, truly and objectively, and each of us will see moments when "I am the punk" and "I am the crazy". We will learn to see those moments, see them clearly, cleanly and without condemnation, and we will be on our way up and out of being so.

You can't make radical changes in the pattern of your life until you begin to see yourself exactly as you are now. As soon as you do that, changes flow naturally. You don't have to force or struggle or obey rules dictated to you by some authority. You just change. It is automatic. But arriving at the initial insight is quite a task. You've got to see who you are and how you are, without illusion, judgement or resistance of any kind. You've got to see your own place in society and your function as a social being. You've got to see your duties and obligations to your fellow human beings, and above all, your responsibility to yourself as an individual living with other individuals. And you've got to see all of that clearly and as a unit, a single gestalt of interrelationship. It sounds complex, but it often occurs in a single instant. Mental culture through meditation is without rival in helping you achieve this sort of understanding and serene happiness.

and another passage: there is "...another whole perspective, a completely different way to look at the universe. It is a level of functioning where the mind does not try to freeze time, where we do not grasp onto our experience as it flows by, where we do not try to block things out and ignore them. It is a level of experience beyond good and bad, beyond pleasure and pain. It is a lovely way to perceive the world, and it is a learnable skill. It is not easy, but is learnable."

The whole book in PDF format, 1.33 MB -

"Mindfulness in Plain English" a chapter at a time

May all potentially sentient beings be well, happy, and at peace.

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. at December 24, 2011 01:45 PM


Posted by: godoggo at December 24, 2011 10:34 PM