“I suggest that US foreign policy can still be defined as “kiss my ass or I’ll kick your head in.” But of course, it doesn’t put it like that. It talks of “low intensity conflict…” What all this adds up to is a disease at the very centre of language, so that language becomes a permanent masquerade, a tapestry of lies.”
– Harold Pinter (1990) 
“It is more than a century since Edward Bernays, the father of spin, invented “public relations” as a cover for war propaganda. What is new is the virtual elimination of dissent in the mainstream.”
– John Pilger (February 2022) 
LISTEN TO THE SHOW
Transcript of John Pilger. October 5, 2022.
Global Research: The mainstream press has gone from prioritzing the facts needed to propel wars to eliminating the opposition views altogether. Some very established award-winning journalists have also commented and lamented the downward spiral of the news that has been taken in the last decade. John Pilger is an Australian-British journalist and filmmaker based in London. In 2017, the British Library announced a John Pilger Archive of all his written and filmed work. The British Film Institute included his 1979 film Year Zero: The Silent Death of Cambodia among the 10 most important documentaries of the 20th Century. John Pilger has twice won Britain’s highest award for journalism and has been International Reporter of the Year, News reporter of the Year, and Descriptive Writer of the Year. He has made 61 documentary films and has won an Emmy, a BAFTA, and the Royal Television Society Prize. He has contributed to BBC Television Australia, BBC Radio, BBC World Service, London and Broadcasting, as well as The Guardian, The Independent, New Statesman, The New York Times. And of course, he’s also contributed to the independent news sites, including: Information Clearing House, Truthout, CNET, Common Cause, Truthdig, and of course, Global Research.
John Pilger, welcome to the Global Research News Hour.
John Pilger: Thank you, Michael. Interesting, in that biography of me you read, really the newspapers that I used to write for, I no longer write for, —
JP: — because they are no– they just – they’re a part of our – I think what we’re going to discuss. They are no longer open to journalists like myself, and my work now is almost exclusively on the Net. And I think that shift really says a great deal about, first of all, the Internet has provided some – itself – some extraordinary opportunities in journalism. But it’s also provided a refuge for those like myself who spent entire careers in the mainstream media and find they are no longer wanted in the mainstream media. That’s really, I think, probably an indication of the seriousness of the closing down of a pluralistic media – a genuinely democratic media, if it ever existed – than anything else. You simply can’t get a say anymore.
GR: I remember some aspects of the Iraq war and the Afghan war. And they were relaying some misleading information, but it’s nothing compared to what we are experiencing today with regard to the NATO-Ukraine-Russia war. You have reported through, what, seven or eight different wars, shooting wars, if I’m not mistaken. I think you commented that the distortion is now worse than ever. Could you give an account of why this reporting has gotten so bad? Is it a product of the government censors figuring out how to change media to their satisfaction, or is it something else going on altogether?
JP: The voices are being silenced, as I was saying. I mean, even as recently as the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the invasion even more recently, the invasion and destruction of Libya in 2011, or even the real beginning of the Ukraine war, which was in 2014, there were journalists in the mainstream, across the mainstream, very few, small minority, but who were questioning the official narrative. The official narrative now rules supreme. There are no more dissenters. Those who put their hand up to dissent are quickly silenced. The most extreme case of this, of course, is Julian Assange. Julian Assange, the impact of Wikileaks and its revelations on the so-called narrative, were so dramatic, so traumatic, it turned it inside-out. That rather trite expression “truth to power,” well there you had truth as a tsunami to power. And of course, the result of that has been the persecution of Julian Assange to the point where he’s now awaiting extradition to the United States where he will be tried on bogus charges. Tried for the crime of journalism, in fact.
GR: We’re hearing that our reporting is devolving essentially to the point of – would you say – maybe 1930’s propaganda in Germany? I thought we had overcome that, but you know, as we had racism and anti-Semitism and sexism in other matters, it seems that we’re sliding back, or perhaps, we’re experiencing a cycle of some sort. I mean, do you think that fear of the public, and I suppose, journalist’s fear, is essentially an accomplice of the state. And if so, what are the key events that helped mould us into this new McCarthyistic paradigm?
JP: Well, I mean, essentially, of course, not a lot has changed. Journalists have always been compliant. Most censorship has been – has come from compliant journalists, those who will go along with the system. Those who don’t go against the grain, those who just don’t do their job, don’t question power, they’ll only question power as long as it’s an official enemy or something that the prevailing order doesn’t like. But it will never look in the mirror. The difference today is, compared with a few years ago, a few years ago there was a scattering of journalists who did have spaces, one of the precarious spaces within the media to question, to do their job as real journalists. Those spaces have closed, they’ve shut down completely. I mean, you mentioned the ‘30s, there was more outspokenness in the ‘30s than there is now. There’s more media now. And I suppose the comparison itself is not completely valid, because we now have this extraordinary phenomenon: the Internet. Which, if you really want to find out something, you can, but you have to know how to navigate through the Internet. But the mainstream media, comparing the two, there were outspoken voices in the 1930s. The newspaper I used to work for in London, The Daily Mirror, had the most extraordinary editorial writers, a popular newspaper, which were blowing whistles on practically everything they wrote. And when the war began, they turned those whistles around on the British High Command and started to blow whistles on incompetent generals. Would we have anything like that today? Most certainly not.
GR: What strikes you as the most significant omission in terms of the Ukraine war or anything else that demonstrates just how bad we’ve become?
JP: I’ll give you an example. Somebody I know with whom I’m quite friendly has sent me an article he’s written, he’s very pleased with it. I don’t think he’ll be listening to this. But I read this article with dismay. It was about the Ukraine war and how it started. And it’s a collection of all the assumptions that have been accepted without any real critical discussion in the West about the Ukraine war. The fact is, it did not start with Vladimir Putin’s invasion in February, it started in 2014, there’s no question about that. And unless we understand the context of why it started, then almost any opinion on it doesn’t hold a great deal of worth. But the media today is awash with these – with much worse than the article I’ve just read, I have to say. Well, like a kind of unfettered, puerile, patriotism straight out of the 19th Century. You can imagine people sitting there in their pith helmet plumes writing it. Just – some of it is laughable. But the anti-Russia sense – which has a very powerful and very interesting and very tragic history itself – but the Russia hating has almost come to a head. And that Russian hating, of course, goes right back to 1917. Talking of invasions, it was the invasion the other way, in 1918, 1919. But the sense of – it’s almost as if the West is reclaiming the history that it’s felt rather insecure about. Now that is, who won the Second World War? The decisive winner of the Second World War was the Red Army. I don’t think there’s any doubt statistically and in every other way. Without the Red Army’s victory over Hitler, the war would not have been won as conclusively. As a pause, that’s not what we’re told in the West. And since 1945, much of the coverage of the wars of Western politicians, especially Anglo-American politicians, has been drawn from this other great ethical invention, that this was the pure war which was won by the United States and won by Britain, and somehow, the real enemy was the Soviet Union, and today is Russia. That Russia hating, which has a racist tone about it, can never be underestimated. And it runs through everything now, to the point where it’s just irrational. Much of the coverage.
GR: The late Robert Parry, while he was alive, was an astounding reporter. But the material he submitted with Consortium News on Ukraine, while accurate, has been the source of a lot of controversy, and the disinformation identifiers out there, the agencies and such, has targeted the work of Consortium News and other independent outlets as being either misinformation or being a propagandist for Vladimir Putin. I mean, this is the degree of control they have now. I mean, dare I ask how much worse this can get? I mean, will we see independent journalists, you know, I mean, possibly even yourself disagreeing with the Western narrative on Ukraine actually being jailed?
JP: Well, I think we’re dealing with one who is jailed at the moment. And getting him out of jail is really where our efforts are. But yes, that’s at the end of the road, whether people like myself and others who simply do our jobs find ourselves threatened like that. Well, we’re threatened at the moment, of course, we’re threatened by silence. It’s very difficult to have work published, and there’s no greater sanction than that. So, you know, Parry told the truth and the people you – you, well, you didn’t quote them but you refer to them – are nobodies. Parry was a very distinguished journalist who was largely responsible for the revelations about Irangate, and founded in the 1990s, Consortium News, which was following his death under its editor, Joe Lauria, has carried on that tradition. And yes, it has been threatened because we have a form of insidious McCarthyism which runs through everything today. Journalists are watched, and unless they obey, unless they put out the so-called narrative, they will probably in the first instant find myselfs out. Or if not, they will be harassed in the way that Consortium News has. It’s a very bad situation, and one that should be taken out of the area of the media. And I think the public needs to understand that it concerns them, because it is about illegitimate power, dark power, power from behind the facade of democracies, reaching out and silencing. History has plenty of precedents about that.
GR: Finally, I mean with everything that – I mean, you have the incarceration of Julian Assange, and he was not publishing anything that Daniel Ellsberg did, isn’t doing anything that Daniel Ellsberg did – didn’t do. He was just publishing leaked information, yet he’s being put through hell. Now I’m wondering, like, how can we turn this around as journalists or how can we recreate a more civil and – a society in which journalism, true journalism, is being practised and not just propaganda?
JP: Well, Robert Parry didn’t – he wasn’t just a side-player, he also interpreted these events. And some of his best work has been an interpretation, explanation, which is the job of a journalist. Not just simply to be the message carrier, but also to explain it. And that’s what Robert Parry did which made him such an excellent journalist. And an answer to your broader question: look, for as long as I’ve been alive, media has been an arm of the prevailing order, of power. When I first went to work as a correspondent in the United States in the 1960s, I was struck by how all the newspapers, which were then descended of television and there was no social media, of course. And they all agreed with each other. And there’s a rather amusing story of a lot of Russians arriving from the Soviet Union, absolutely stunned that they – that in the United States they could pull off this uniformity without shoving people in prison, as they didn’t do in those days. It’s the same thing in this country and Britain, the media has always been an empire of powerful, wealthy interests, corporations. And that’s true today and so is social media. So, in many ways, real journalism is an aberration. It breaks the mould. So, a system was setup already, and it didn’t – it wasn’t a good system that’s gone bad. The system always was as it is today, but it is the gaps in it in which independent journalistic voices could be heard have closed. That’s the point.
GR: Mr. Pilger, we are out of time, but your voice is a rare and pivotal one. I thank you, again, very, very much for sharing your thoughts on this subject with the Global Research News Hour.
JP: You’re very welcome. Bye.
Transcript of Max Blumenthal. September 27, 2022.
Global Research: My guest is Max Blumenthal. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Gray Zone. He’s an award-winning journalist and the author of several books, including the best-selling “Republic Gomorrah,” “Goliath,” “The 51-Day War,” and “The Management of Savagery.” In recent months, his group, The Gray Zone, has been facing a campaign to de-platform them, along with MintPress News, Consortium News, and other independent media presenting alternative facts in a war of lies. The authorities say that, knowingly or unknowingly, these media outlets are putting out “false facts,” and “disinformation” at the behest of Russia President Vladimir Putin. So, the art of presenting them this way is the best method to make their discoveries melt without being subject to good, old-fashioned debate. Max Blumenthal, however, goes one step further insofar as he exposes the exposers and found out that these transparent journalists and disinformation-detectors are running their info in touch with – and, in fact, at the behest of British intelligence. Max Blumenthal joins us right now to describe what he has found. It’s a pleasure having you back, Max. Welcome to the Global Research News Hour.
Max Blumenthal: Thanks for having me back, Michael.
GR: Now, how long ago did you realize these people were targeting your journalism?
MB: Well, we’ve been targeted ever since the Syrian Dirty War, which was around the time we came out as The Gray Zone Project at Alternet under the umbrella of a more mainstream, progressive publication. That publication tanked, it went under like so many progressive institutions because of dysfunctional culture inside the institution, to put it lightly. And we went independent, continued to challenge the Syrian Dirty War, and I became the target of what was, obviously, a coordinated campaign that did involve lease contractors for British intelligence that were involved in the Dirty War. And we go on to explain this at-length at The Gray Zone. But, what we were able to do, finally, and what I had always dreamed of doing, was – as you put it – exposing the exposers, obtaining hard evidence of coordination and collusion between individuals who appeared to be acting in an independent fashion as journalists and social media influencers, and the intelligence services. And we got that hard evidence in the form of a tranche of e-mails. That actually followed a separate tranche on British intelligence intrigues and illegal activity by people in high positions in the British state as well as NATO. We got – we obtained a tranche through an anonymous e-mail account that pertained to the supposedly leftist British journalist Paul Mason, a veteran Trotskyist, who was coordinating a campaign, in his words, to “relentlessly de-platform The Gray Zone.” That was actually – those are – no, I’m sorry. Those are actually the words of someone he was working with named Amil Khan, who was one of these contractors. He ran a firm that had contracted with the British Foreign Office and had even embedded with jihadist elements in Syria, and was deeply involved in setting up media fronts inside Syria to push the anti-Assad narrative and drive the campaign for regime change for several years. We exposed him for a separate operation. And so, he got together with Paul Mason and then they went to a person who appears to have been Paul Mason’s handler, named Andy Price, who exists within the Foreign Office, which – as scholars of British intelligence know – is basically the overt umbrella, or parent organization of the MI5, MI6 and hosts many people who are working within the intelligence services. And Andy Price, actually held a post that was dedicated to supposed counter disinformation operations. These were intelligence operations, absolutely, and he is someone who has the power to go to YouTube, to go to social media platforms and instruct them on who to de-platform. I’ll get to how I think this played out. But what we found was that, first, Paul Mason and Amil Khan, the British contractor, British intelligence contractor, proposed hosting an anti-Gray Zone summit in London with figures and organizations including Bellingcat, which poses as an open-source, grassroots media organization taking on bad actors in Russia, in Syria, but which Paul Mason correctly identified as “intelligence services-by-proxy.” In other words, they’re a cut-out for the British intelligence and US intelligence services. And as we know, this is just an established fact, it’s on Bellingcat’s financial disclosures. They’re funded primarily by the US Government through the National Endowment for Democracy, the regime-change arm of the US Government. So, they are proposing this summit also with someone at the BBC named Chloe Hadjimatheou, who was a producer on several specials attacking those who exposed the Syrian White Helmets, attacking me, painting me as a Russian agent, and so on. I don’t think this summit ever happened, but it was very revealing. And what they were planning to do was to dig up the true Russian links between The Gray Zone and, you know, Putin’s FSB, or the military intelligence GRU. They had this theory – Paul Mason, primarily, identified it – that anyone who criticized him, or who publicly criticized the Ukraine proxy-war, must have been a Russian agent. And so, they thought that if they held this summit they would find out the truth about us, which was actually a gigantic lie and libel. And then, they would – in the words of Amil Khan – relentlessly de-platform us, stage lawsuits against us, and they also had planned a phony sting operation to kind of embarrass me and other people affiliated with The Gray Zone, which —
GR: (inaudible) —
MB: — I think – I’ll just kind of elude to it vaguely, I think they’ve already attempted this and they’re not very smart. But, — so, that’s the over-arching attack on us and you know, it played out in various ways after we exposed them.
GR: I mean, you mentioned Amil Khan. Was there a particular story that you were working on that seems to have invoked the wrath, and they say, “Hey, we got to go after this guy.” I mean, it’s not just – I mean, it’s not just that they’re – The Gray Zone is being targeted among others, I mean, they seem to have a particular emphasis on The Gray Zone. So, what was the story that you were working on would you say?
MB: Well, we’ve exposed a lot of shady characters over the years, so they all have their knives out for us. Paul Mason was actually someone who we just – I and Aaron Mate – criticized or mocked on Twitter. He held this leftist rally in support of the Ukraine proxy-war demanding direct military intervention by NATO with, you know, labour unionists, and we kind of made fun of him and that triggered him. But, then there’s Amil Khan, who we actually exposed – not we, but Kit Klarenberg and myself. Kit is one of the best journalists working today on British intelligence affairs from a critical angle. Unlike other British journalists, he’s not a stenographer for the intelligence services, he actually exposes what they do. And we reported that Amil Khan was contracted through the Royal Institution, which was funded under the watch of then-Prince Charles, now King Charles, to AstroTurf a media propaganda campaign to take on critics of COVID restrictions and vaccine mandates. And they recruited a self-styled socialist influencer on YouTube who was very popular and did these high-production – high production value history lessons and also what were considered de-radicalisation seminars to help pull people away from the extreme left and the extreme right, particularly the extreme right. And Amil Khan, with money through the Royal Institution, which was itself funded by the British state under the watch of then-Prince Charles setup an entire channel for this YouTube influencer to pose as grassroots and organic and they are basically – so, basically the British state was funding YouTube influencers to attack critics of COVID restrictions inside the UK and paint them as extremists and try to turn people away from that line of thinking. And we got the documents – Kit Klarenberg had the documents, he had all the files showing that this took place. This is – I mean, it’s not illegal, but it’s obviously a kind of Operation Mockingbird-style manipulation of the public by the state, working through a series of cut-outs, making it seem like, “Oh, we’re just being influenced by people who aren’t being incentivised in any particular way and have no connection to any government.” And that triggered him, so that’s what brought him together, somehow, with Paul Mason. We don’t know how they got together. But it’s just – there are just layers and layers here of illicit activities of intelligence, intrigue, and basically of the covert subversion of the public by people who pose as journalists and democratic actors and who are anything but.
GR: Yeah, I’ve read through a lot of your work. I mean, I know that in his own account, Paul Mason presented an epic list of connections that resemble a spider web of sources and associations and influencing. I note that Jeremy Corbyn, the former Labour leader now – now he’s with the Stop the War – he’s an immense target on that radar screen. Where does he fit into all of this do you think?
MB: Well, he’s at the centre of this Paul Mason mind-map that Kit Klarenberg turned up in one of the e-mails we obtained. Paul Mason drew, what he called, a mind-map illustrating Russian and Chinese influence on the anti-war left, particularly the British left. And this is an absolutely bonkers chart. It starts with the Russian and Chinese state to the left, then moves through the anti-war movement through a series of lines and connections. I don’t know who drew it, I don’t think Paul Mason has the technical wherewithal to do it, but he had someone produce it as kind of a professional-looking document. And you’d see figures like Medea Benjamin or the Morningstar UK, which is a socialist paper in the UK, connected between the Russian or Chinese state and then another line pointing to Dianne Abbott, who is a top supporter of Jeremy Corbyn in the British Parliament. And as you move right, it moves towards the centre and Jeremy Corbyn is sitting right there at the centre, which is highly disturbing and revealing because Paul Mason posed as one of the top supporters of Corbyn and Corbynism within the British media. And all along, he saw Jeremy Corbyn as an agent of Russian influence, apparently. So, was he infiltrating Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign? Then, the map moves further to the right to show who this influences within British society, and all the way to the right you have the black community. You have the young, networked left, you know, the laptop class of left – left-wing socialists whose, you know, behind Corbyn-mania. You have Scottish nationalists, labour unions. And basically, Paul Mason was pointing to all of these key constituencies of Jeremy Corbyn – and Labour in general – as vehicles for Russian influence and Chinese influence. That’s what he thinks of the left. So, was Paul Mason an infiltrator all along? And it does appear pretty clear that he is, at the very least, a security state collaborator, from these e-mails. And there’ another e-mail that’s very revealing, where Paul Mason briefs the person who appears to be his handler in the Foreign Office, Andy Price, on a conference of Podemos, the sort of social-democratic Spanish party that they convened with many more left-wing or Marxist elements against the Ukraine proxy-war. And Mason provided a briefing that he found encouraging, that the conference failed, that their calls for, you know, not sending arms to Ukraine fell on deaf ears in the Spanish government and that it was nothing to worry about. But, I don’t think anyone at that conference who encountered Paul Mason knew that he was there to report back to one of the countries that is engaged in a proxy-war with Russia to an official of that country. So, it does appear he was infiltrating.
GR: I don’t know if he actually believes all this stuff or not. But, in any case, he’s got all these connections. And I note that he’s also going after anti-war academics. Maybe you can maybe describe his, like – or, have we seen this sort of attack before? Is it like the return of – what was it – McCarthyism?
MB: Well, it’s McCarthyism, but not carried out in the open. Joseph McCarthy and Roy Cohn and their team at HUAC were not exactly hiding what they were trying to do. Paul Mason is, and he’s saying in private to Andy Price, who appears to be his handler, that he – it’s the “rogue academics” that he’s after, those are his words. And by “rogue academics,” he means the group of – the propaganda working-group that consisted of a handful of British academics who were critical of the Syrian Dirty War, and who published exposes of the various propaganda machinations waged by the British intelligence services to cultivate support among the British public for the war and to essentially create the Syrian White Helmets as an information operation. They examined the various claims of chemical attacks in Syria and exposed holes in the official narrative, and they fell under enormous attack. Front page of the Times of London featured a blistering and falsehood-laden attack on these academics. And Mason has extended the attack, apparently, with various collaborators as Kit Klarenberg exposed at The Gray Zone, relying on leaked e-mails, hard evidence, showing that Mason was working through this pipeline of figures that went all the way into the BBC to attack academics who criticized the Ukraine proxy-war, Justin Schlosberg being one, who actually managed to force the BBC to issue an apology and various corrections in its smear-laden report. Now who produced that? It’s the producer that I mentioned before who smeared me as a Russian agent on Syria, who smeared all the critics of the Syrian Dirty War, her name is Chloe Hadjimatheou. And she’s someone Kit Klarenberg has also exposed as having a close, long-term working relationship with ARK, which is a British intelligence contractor that was active in the Syrian Dirty War. So, what we’re exposing here is much bigger than all the names you’re hearing. We’re exposing a new kind of Operation Mockingbird where the media is acting as the publicity arm for the intelligence services which are waging these various proxy wars and covert wars and destabilizing entire regions of the Middle East. And this is a war on the minds of the – on the cognition, on the critical thinking of ourselves and our friends and our neighbours and that’s why I think it’s so important to expose. And it is a war, nonetheless.
GR: Why do you think British intelligence – it seems to be very much, you know, at the heart of this. But, do you know anything about operations in the United States where – are they doing something similar?
MB: Well, of course, and we just haven’t obtained the hard evidence to just produce a suite of stories exposing it, but know that to be the case. Politico EU published a hit-piece on Kit for exposing all of this anti-democratic behaviour and activity on the part of not just Paul Mason and all the characters I’ve listed, but on other figures like former MI6 Chief, Richard Dearlove. We did a series on him and his, you know, friends within NATO and the British Civil Service on how they sought to sabotage Theresa May because they wanted a hard-Brexit, and you know… These are just stories that I think are in the public interest. The public deserves that level of transparency about these major issues like Brexit or Ukraine and we’re providing that to them whether you agree with us or not. And Politico attacked him for providing – for literally just doing journalism, and smeared him, smeared us. They called in all of their counter-disinformation pseudo-experts who are all funded by the British state and have called for us to be de-platformed. People like Ross Burley from this phony cutout called the “Centre for Information Resilience.” And what was so interesting about that article – of course, it primarily involves the UK, Kit Klarenberg is British. One of the first accounts, if not the first account, to tweet it out was the cyber warfare division of the US Army. So, I mean, I assume we’re on their radar, they took a great interest in this.
But with the Ukraine war, I mean, it – we know that the US is taking the lead, but the British state, at least under Boris Johnson and I assume under Liz Truss, they are always trying to push the boundaries and expand the parameters of what NATO and the US are doing there. And I think that, you know, that has to do with a historical relationship between the UK and Russia and the UK’s desperation to restore its, kind of, neo-colonial influence.
GR: One final point, Max: you were in Canada earlier this year as part of a meeting of mainstream media outlets. Tell us about some of the things that you said and the responses you got from colleagues.
MB: Yeah, it was called “Collision,” and – I, actually, when my seminar took place with Aaron Mate we got like 15 minutes on stage. We had to miss a Q&A with Eric Schmidt, one of the founders of Alphabet Google, who is working with the Pentagon on its fourth offset to produce an AI weapon to use against China. And I’d seen him speak earlier that day, and Eric Schmidt was predicting – and actually touting a future in which all of us will have an AI twin that will guide us through our lives. Deeply dystopian conference, but very educational for me and interesting. And, you know, you also had the Obama Foundation pushing their counter-disinformation agenda the day before. You had people from the Institute for Strategic Dialogue which had labelled my colleague, Aaron Mate, the “Number one propagator of disinformation on Syria.” They are funded by the State Department in the UK Foreign Office. These are the kind of people on stage at the conference. So, Aaron and I got 15 minutes to just go nuts on them. And we packed in as much as we could, along with a call for the freedom of Julian Assange and emphasizing the importance of his – of combating his persecution. And I warned the people who attended our seminar who were – many of them were young people who were seeking investment for their start-ups. Others were just looking for gigs doing coding. And not everyone there was some reptilian transnational elite. I told them that the policies of people like Eric Schmidt or the Biden Administration and the Trudeau Administration were pursuing, whether in Taiwan or Ukraine, we’re going to do them, and their start-ups would not be starting up and they will not be able to be homeowners and they will not be able to afford to heat their homes, in any case, and they will suffer. And that they need to stop following the corporate media that is trying to redirect their outrage at their own situation to phony villains, and to see that their enemy wasn’t some Trumper in the barroom. It was some heartless suit in the boardroom. That was kind of the message I wanted to send there. We – because the sessions were running like 15 minutes, you had another session coming up with top ABC executives, people from Reuters to talk about, I don’t know, “disinformation.” The panel before us was about January 6th, and it was the lead ABC producer discussing how they were doing everything within their power to maximize the impact of the January 6th hearings, so that the public absorbs it as much as possible. And I was saying, ‘Why are we still focusing on January 6th when the US is waging January 6th on steroids across the world? Like, do we ever hear about that?’ and that really offended people. The green room afterwards was tense, I got icy glares from mainstream media colleagues. One person from ABC, I heard her kind of ranting about us in the corner of the room and we were shuffled out immediately. Then a number of media personnel went to the planners of the conference and complained about us and were really upset. So, that made me feel good, that was a (inaudible, 24:38).
GR: Heh heh!
MB: And outside the room, I invited everyone outside the room to come have an informal Q&A with me, anyone who wanted to yell at me or express disagreement, I would wait in the hall for them. And what we got were a handful of young people who attended the conference. All of whom were of immigrant backgrounds, mostly from the Middle East, also from South Asia, who told us they identify with our perspective and it’s really, you know, upsetting to see what’s happening in these countries that their families now call home.
GR: Wow, that’s interesting. You know, Gandhi famously said that, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, and then you win.” So, it seems these people wanting to preserve the Western-friendly media narrative are at Stage 3. Max, —
GR: — it’s been – it’s been a pleasure having you on, technicalities aside. Thank you for joining us on the Global Research News Hour.
MB: Well, I look forward to joining you again when we’re still in Stage 3!
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“Oh, Superman”, broadcast for Opinion, Channel 4, 31 May 1990; Various Voices: Prose, Poetry, Politics 1948-2005, rev. ed. (1998; London: Faber and Faber, 2005) 198-99.
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