Fake News?

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(A letter from Scott Noble, from Metanoia Films).

Hello everyone,

I rarely send out emails on topical issues but decided to make an exception in this case.

There is a bizarre Orwellian effort underway by old media outlets like The Washington Post — organizations that have consistently promoted disinformation and propaganda virtually from the time of their founding — to label independent alternative media “fake news”. They are working in concert with tech giants and social media outlets like Google, Facebook and Twitter.

Frankly it all seems rather desperate.

There is even a strange and plainly ridiculous neo-McCarthyite co-strategy involved. Evidently it is designed to tie dissidents in the United States to Russia and Vladimir Putin.  This is strongly reminiscent of previous efforts to portray leftists in eg Guatemala or Nicaragua of being Soviet spies, or indeed MLK and the “New Left” of being stooges for the Soviet Union.  Adding to the surreality of the whole affair, these accusations are being leveled at the far right as well as the left and independent researchers.

Anyone who has followed these issues closely already knows that these media corporations, owned by a handful of billionaires and closely linked to the “intelligence community,” have censored content from their users. It appears that this pattern of deception is about to get much, much worse.

If anyone has any doubt about the propagandistic nature of corporate media they may wish to view my films Psywar and The Power Principle II: Propaganda. The sub-header to Psywar is “The real battlefield is the mind.” I meant that quite literally.  This shouldn’t even be controversial outside of grade school.   Whether it was “Remember the Main!”, Gulf of Tonkin, WMD’s or “Israel did nothing wrong!”, the corporate media consists mostly of whimpering sycophants who serve power, not truth.

Here: Bloomberg news, owned by NY billionaire Michael Bloomberg, crusher of Occupy Wall Street, claims that Mark Zuckerberg’s new “truth police” will determine what is suitable “news” for the American people. Say what?

A “blacklist” has been created of “fake news” websites.  The list includes dubious click-bait websites and promoters of disinformation, bigotry and general quackery.   However it also includes media orgs of an anarchist bent; “deep politics” websites; and leftist websites that remain independent of the Democratic Party establishment.

Some of the blacklisted sites have promoted my own work, including Films For Action, Counterpunch, Information Clearing House, Global Research, Black Agenda ReportPaul Craig Roberts and the Corbett Report.  

It is my hope that this rather lame attempt at Orwellian mind control backfires a la “The Streisand Effect,” described as a “phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely, usually facilitated by the Internet.”

Many of the blacklisted websites are indeed garbage.

But many are jewels in the rough and frankly superior to much of what passes for “journalism” in the 21st century.

According to a Gallup poll conducted in September, Americans’ trust in corporate media is at an all time low. Perhaps this is an opportunity to turn the tables.

I signed up for Twitter last year but have since abandoned the platform. Unless you’re very pithy indeed, Twitter is mostly trash. Alternatives to Google are available. Facebook is useless and potentially very harmful. If you want your friends to know what music and movies you like?

Just tell them!

The UK government has announced that it will make people’s entire Internet history available to police and other authorities — minus politicians, of course. This is horrifying. Along with the obvious chilling effect for free speech, and the ability to compile “lists” of a much more sinister nature than alleged “fake news” websites, the possibilities for blackmail are endless. What is to stop them from actually faking a person’s internet history?

Ordinarily I would suggest using TOR or a VPN, but I’m not convinced that there aren’t honeypots in some anonymizing services as well; I mean, it would make sense. I would at least hope that people recognize the danger of self-censorship when it comes to political affairs. I explored this topic when I covered the NSA in part I of “Counter-Intelligence” and compared mass surveillance to the Panopticon prison model developed by Jeremy Bentham in the 18th century.  The ideal slave is someone who polices themselves and does not require coercion by authorities.

Ideally, someone will leak the Internet history of every British politician who authorized this travesty. Other, even more creative counter-intelligence strategies should and presumably will be developed by freedom loving hackers.

Some of you have emailed me asking what I think of the American Presidential election. I have been reminded of Frank Zappa’s quote that “Government is the entertainment division of the military industrial complex.” If the degenerates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are the best the ruling class can offer, then it’s clearly time for restart aka a revolution.

Speaking of independent news sites, Socialist Worker has reviewed Part II of my “Plutocracy” series. It is mostly positive and a pretty good recounting of the film’s contents.  There is some criticism toward the end that the film is less cohesive than part I, which I suppose is fair.  As the reviewer herself acknowledges, the “progressive era” was one of the most complicated affairs in American history.  Although a strictly linear approach may have been more superficially “cohesive” it would have been less enlightening, since the seminal events in American history relating to mechanization and de-skilling; sexual, ethnic and racial conflict; voting rights; labor unions etc. were not strictly chronological.

Ultimately I would like to go all the way up to the present day.  Since I have no funders except my supporters I have no need to pull any punches on any particular issue, no matter how controversial.

Just the facts ma’am.

Thank you to everyone who donated to the fundraiser and thank you to everyone supporting me via Patreon.  I hope to have the next installment online in about four months.  It will cover roughly 1912 to Back Tuesday and will be titled Plutocracy III: Class War.  

– Scott

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