33 Problems With Media In One Chart

One of the hallmarks of democratic society is a healthy, free-flowing media ecosystem.

In times past, that media ecosystem would include various mass media outlets, from newspapers to cable TV networks. Today, the internet and social media platforms have greatly expanded the scope and reach of communication within society.

Of course, journalism plays a key role within that ecosystem. High quality journalism and the unprecedented transparency of social media keeps power structures in check—and sometimes, these forces can drive genuine societal change. Reporters bring us news from the front lines of conflict, and uncover hard truths through investigative journalism.

That said, as Visual Capitalist’s Nick Routley and Carmen Ang detail below, these positive impacts are sometimes overshadowed by harmful practices and negative externalities occurring in the media ecosystem.

The graphic above is an attempt to catalog problems within the media ecosystem as a basis for discussion. Many of the problems are easy to understand once they’re identified. However, in some cases, there is an interplay between these issues that is worth digging into. Below are a few of those instances.

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The Insufferable Arrogance of the Constantly Wrong 

The media, and the people who work in and around it, the Blue Checks™ of Twitter, have upped the ante over the past few years regarding how far they are willing to go to enforce various preferred narratives. 

Pick any major story of the past three years—e.g. Lab LeakJussie SmollettRussiagateUkrainian BiolabsIvermectinHospitalizations From COVID v. With CovidJanuary 6th‘Transitory’ Inflation, and of course Hunter’s Laptop—and you will find absolutely hysterical narrative pushing up front followed by retractions, corrections, and outright denials as reality became undeniable. 

In the meanwhile, our civilization was ripped apart, our citizens were gaslit and impoverished, and in countries across the Western world, innocent people were removed from polite society, branded as lepers, and fired from their jobs. 

Why? Because there is one story that just won’t die and for which no corrections have been issued—the shibboleth that vaccination can prevent infection, transmission, and help “end” COVID.

While there is never an excuse for hateful rhetoric towards, and intervention in, the personal medical choices of law-abiding Americans, perhaps one could have, kinda sorta, understood the campaign if the new vaccines had provided long-lasting immunity and prevented community transmission. They do not. 

Early on we were told: “Nine out of ten [vaccinated] people won’t get sick” (Columbia University feat. Run-DMC, February 12th, 2021, no this is not a joke); “Vaccinated people do not carry the virus, don`t get sick” (Dr. Rochelle Walensky, March 29th, 2021); “When people are vaccinated, they can feel safe that they are not going to get infected” (Dr. Anthony Fauci, May 17th, 2021). 

And by mid-summer, 2021, we were still being told that unequivocally, these vaccines were a resounding success worthy of uncritical support. On July 27th in Scientific American, Dr. Eric Topol wrote, “Vaccination is the closest thing to a sure thing we have in this pandemic.” Not to be outdone, Dr. Anthony Fauci of the NIAID told CBS on August 1st, that the unvaccinated were responsible for “propagating this outbreak.” 

But on July 29th, 2021, the Washington Post reported a scoop that the CDC was privately acknowledging that the vaccinated could spread COVID as easily as the unvaccinated. Occasionally, they are forced to report inconvenient facts. And August 5th, CDC Director Walensky told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that, “They continue to work well for Delta, with regard to severe illness and death — they prevent it. But what they can’t do anymore is prevent transmission.”

While there is a mountain of medical literature available demonstrating quite clearly the failure of these vaccines to prevent infection and transmission, the August 5th declaration from the CDC Director should have made clear that being vaccinated is contributing in no way to the safety of others, nor to the eradication of this virus. 

In fact, Israeli Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz was even caught on tape in September of last year explaining that the use of the Israeli Green Pass wasn’t intended to make a difference epidemiologically, but because it would help convince people to get vaccinated. And even vaccine poobah Bill Gates admitted in a late 2021 interview, that, “We got vaccines to help you with your health, but they only slightly reduce the transmissions.”

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BBC staff told there are more than 150 genders

The BBC hired “trans and nonbinary inclusion” consultants to tell its staff that there are more than 150 genders and instruct them to police each other’s use of gender pronouns, the Telegraph reported on Saturday. 

According to the report, the BBC emailed its radio producers and program editors urging them to attend several training sessions last year organized by Global Butterflies, a group that describes itself on LinkedIn as offering “Trans & Non-binary Corporate Inclusion Training and Consultation.”

During the sessions, staff were reportedly told that “people can self-identify themselves in over 150 ways, and increasing!” They were shown examples of newly-invented gender pronouns such as “xe, xem, xyrs,” and told to include their own pronouns in their email signatures to be more “inclusive and welcoming” and to further their “trans brand.”

Those opting to go by traditional “he/she” pronouns were told that these descriptors “can create discomfort, stress and anxiety” for trans and non-binary colleagues, and that “using correct pronouns and names reduces depression and suicide risks.”

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BRITISH “WATCHDOG” JOURNALISTS UNMASKED AS LAP DOGS FOR THE SECURITY STATE

Events of the past few days suggest British journalism – the so-called Fourth Estate – is not what it purports to be: a watchdog monitoring the centers of state power. It is quite the opposite.

The pretensions of the establishment media took a severe battering this month as the defamation trial of Guardian columnist Carole Cadwalladr reached its conclusion and the hacked emails of Paul Mason, a long-time stalwart of the BBC, Channel 4 and the Guardian, were published online.

Both of these celebrated journalists have found themselves outed as recruits – in their differing ways – to a covert information war being waged by Western intelligence agencies.

Had they been honest about it, that collusion might not matter so much. After all, few journalists are as neutral or as dispassionate as the profession likes to pretend. But as have many of their colleagues, Cadwalladr and Mason have broken what should be a core principle of journalism: transparency.

The role of serious journalists is to bring matters of import into the public space for debate and scrutiny. Journalists thinking critically aspire to hold those who wield power – primarily state agencies – to account on the principle that, without scrutiny, power quickly corrupts.

The purpose of real journalism – as opposed to the gossip, entertainment and national-security stenography that usually passes for journalism – is to hit up, not down.

And yet, each of these journalists, we now know, was actively colluding, or seeking to collude, with state actors who prefer to operate in the shadows, out of sight. Both journalists were coopted to advance the aims of the intelligence services.

And worse, each of them either sought to become a conduit for, or actively assist in, covert smear campaigns run by Western intelligence services against other journalists.

What they were doing – along with so many other establishment journalists – is the very antithesis of journalism. They were helping to conceal the operation of power to make it harder to scrutinize. And not only that. In the process, they were trying to weaken already marginalized journalists fighting to hold state power to account.

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British security state collaborator Paul Mason’s war on ‘rogue academics’ exposed

In his covert assault on antiwar scholars, “left-wing” journalist and security state collaborator Paul Mason enlisted an academic snitch who knew his targets well.

In the latest installment of The Grayzone’s ongoing investigation into the anti-democratic, security state-influenced activities of Paul Mason, we look at how one of Britain’s most prominent alleged left-wing journalists and an ever-expanding cast of covert helpers targeted scholars who dared challenge establishment narratives on the conflict in Ukraine.

Amidst his campaign to neutralize the UK antiwar left, Paul Mason declared in an email to several academics willing to inform on and undermine their own colleagues: “the far left rogue academics is who I’m after… The important task is to quarantine their ‘soft’ influencers and expose/stigmatise the hard ideologists.”

Mason’s fishing expedition was conducted in apparent coordination with Andy Pryce, a senior British intelligence official involved in a series of malign information warfare and censorship initiatives.

The journalist’s key academic enabler, self-styled counter-disinformation researcher Emma Briant, not only helped further his campaign to target antiwar figures, but furnished bogus claims about one individual which appears to have inspired a BBC smear piece on academic critics of the established narrative about killings of civilians in the Ukrainian town of Bucha. Many of those she snitched on considered her a colleague and even a comrade.

Rather than own up to the activities exposed by the leaked emails, Briant has engaged in lawfare, threatening The Grayzone with a formal “cease and desist” demand. Sent by her lawyer on June 10th, the filing falsely charged that Kit Klarenberg, one of the authors of this article, played a direct role in the “misappropriation” of private communications.

Briant’s legal counsel went on to threaten that his client would seek a “prohibitory injunction” to prevent further reporting on the leaked material, if not launch a claim for compensation due to “damage to her career and reputation,” if this outlet failed to comply with the demand.

Briant’s attempt to muzzle The Grayzone is understandable, for as we will see, she has a lot to hide. 

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Netflix, Ron Howard Do Seth Rich a Major Injustice

“It should have been an open and closed case of a tragic robbing,” writes Gretchen Small in Bustle.com of the 2016 Seth Rich murder, “but what ensued was an alt-right conspiracy theory movement designed to take attention off of Donald Trump and put pressure on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.”

Small accurately summarized the thesis of “A Murder in D.C.,” an episode in the Netflix series, “Web of Make Believe: Death, Lies and the Internet.” I suppose she could be forgiven her failure to know that Rich wasn’t robbed. The producers failed to share that rather critical detail, one detail out of many that allowed them to keep airheads like Small ignorant of the real scandal — the media scandal. In this case, the cover-up may well have been worse than the crime.

Although I do not know who killed Seth Rich, I do know that the media did everything in its power to discourage anyone from finding out. Ron Howard, a loyal Democrat, served as executive producer of this visually well-crafted series. Not surprisingly, the episode in question does little but showcase the media’s ongoing role as protector of Democratic Party secrets.

The Alt Right — whatever that is — had almost nothing to with the case save for a little internet gossip. Julian Assange, the darling of the media before he started releasing DNC emails, was the man who moved the curious beyond the “botched robbery” scenario trotted out by the D.C. Police.

Interviewed on Dutch TV four weeks after the shooting, Assange said, unprompted, “Whistleblowers go to significant efforts to get us material and often very significant risks. There’s a twenty-seven-year-old, works for the DNC, was shot in the back, murdered just a few weeks ago for unknown reasons as he was walking down the street in Washington.” The Netflix producers showed this interview, then spent the rest of the episode trying to dismiss its relevance.

The Dutch TV show host, as compromised as his American peers, tried to head off Assange’s line of thought. He said, “That was just a robbery, I believe. Wasn’t it?” Assange would not be reined in. Said he, accurately, “No. There’s no finding.” Although Assange evaded the question of whether Rich was a source, his offer of a $20,000 reward to find Rich’s killer raised the possibility that Rich was one.

Assange’s theorizing was given legs by B-grade media personality Ellen Ratner. The producers knew about Ratner, a Democrat and Hillary supporter. They showed her on camera and mentioned her in passing as someone who worked with Ed Butowsky, the villain of the piece. They then seem to have forgotten about her. My guess is they chose to edit Ratner’s real contribution out and overlooked the initial intro.

Butowsky, a financial guy with Republican leanings, met Ratner through their occasional TV appearances. Ratner was a friend of Assange. Her late brother Michael Ratner, a hard-core leftist, had been one of Assange’s American lawyers. 

On the day after the 2016 election, Ratner boasted during an otherwise banal panel discussion at a Florida university, “I spent three hours with Julian Assange on Saturday at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.” She then added without prompting, “One thing he did say was the leaks were not from, they were not from the Russians.  They were an internal source from the Hillary campaign or from somebody that knew Hillary, an enemy.”

Fortunately for the media, Ratner’s self-involved fellow panelists ignored her comments and returned to their banalities. The video did not surface until much later. It did not interest the media when it did surface.

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CNN Analyst Suggests Inflation Is Needed To Achieve Green Agenda

As we have covered in the past here on ZH, the inflation/stagflation crisis is immensely damaging to the average person, with the threat of poverty and food shortages hanging over the majority of the population, but there are some people out there who see the crisis as a boon, specifically for the Green agenda and carbon taxation.

CNN economic analyst Rana Foroohar follows the bizarre line of thinking in an interview with The Ezra Kline Show, suggesting that inflation is needed in order to pave the way for a carbon credit based economy.  She argued:

“…This is something that I think, unfortunately, no politician, particularly the Democrats right now in advance of midterms or a presidential election want to land on, which is some of the transitions to a kinder, gentler, I believe more stable, and ultimately more resilient economy, are going to be inflationary in the short to medium term.

What’s the cost of something if you actually have a real price on carbon, and then you have to tally in how much it costs to tote it over tens of thousands of miles from the South China Seas? What’s the cost if you have proper environmental and labor standards?  …This is the conversation happening right now. And once you start pricing all those costs in, and you start really thinking of the economy in a different way, then yeah, it is certainly is inflationary…”  

Foroohar then called on the U.S. and Europe to “put a price on carbon.”

The analyst follows a relatively new trend among the political left and globalists in seeking to justify the existence of price inflation as a means to an end; the “greater good” being the induction of Green New Deal-style legislation.  

Some propagandists in the media claim that the inflationary crisis is an opportunity, while others try to claim that climate change is the direct cause of inflation, and if we don’t accept carbon taxation then we will continue to suffer under an inflationary collapse.  But we all know what the game is here:  To use public fears of financial disaster to lure people into accepting authoritarian environmentalism because “Prices are already high anyway, so why not?”

Even NASA and the NOAA openly admit that average global temperatures have only increased 1 degree Celsius in the past century.  Yes, that’s 1 degree we’re supposed to be terrified of.  Keep in mind that the official temperature record used by climate scientists started in the 1880s, so when the NOAA says that a recent temperature was “the hottest on record,” they are using a scale of a little over a century.  That’s a tiny sliver of time in the vast weather history of the Earth.  

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The Guardian Churns Out Embarrassingly Awful Empire Propaganda

The Guardian has put out a smear piece on critics of the imperial Syria narrative that reads like propaganda made by seven year-olds without adult supervision.

The article was initially released under the headline “Russia-backed network of Syria conspiracy theorists identified,” which was then hastily edited to “Network of Syria conspiracy theorists identified,” because the article does not even make an attempt to argue that all of the so-called “conspiracy theorists” it smears are backed by the Russian government. It claims only that the Russian government has at times cited and amplified information about Syria which is inconvenient for the US empire, which, you know, duh. Obviously it’s going to do that.

Your first clue that you are reading brazen empire smut is the feature image The Guardian uses for the article: a cinematic shot of a member of the “White Helmets” heroically carrying a child in front of a destroyed building. The photo is credited to Sameer Al-Doumy, whose own website describes him as an anti-Assad activist since childhood. Even if you knew nothing about the Syrian conflict or the White Helmets narrative control operation, if you knew anything at all about propaganda and how it’s used you would still instantly recognize that photo for what it is.

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