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Freedom Rider: “Journalists” Follow Obama on Ukraine

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    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    The corporate media are a key component of the U.S. imperial machine. Although styling themselves as watchdogs, they are in fact the dogs of war, whose mission is to hide Washington’s aggressions behind a fog of lies. War “crimes are committed with impunity in part because presidents get a helping hand from their corporate media partners.”


    Freedom Rider: “Journalists” Follow Obama on Ukraine

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    Their behaviors are an effort to diminish any debates or arguments against the United States government.”

    Prominent journalists in the United States may as well be on the White House payroll. They are consistent cheerleaders for whoever occupies the oval office and the corporate corner office. They make no attempt to hide their allegiance to power and their lack of interest in informing the public.

    The rotten state of affairs becomes all too obvious whenever a president threatens action against another country. Reporters act more like press agents and spring into action shielding and protecting the aggressors. They make it clear to those few who gain access that questions, criticisms or anything else that smacks of independent thought will not to be tolerated. The American decision to use Ukraine as a means of attacking Russian influence is the latest effort to prop up the empire, and the corporate media obligingly show their approval.

    CNN’s Christiane Amanpour was so eager to fly the American foreign policy flag that she pointedly took a colleague to task on air when he was guilty of nothing more than doing his job. Wolf Blitzer is a corporate media stalwart himself so he and everyone watching was surprised when Amanpour jumped down his throat when he quoted a Russian official.

    " ‘You heard Vitaly Churkin, the Russian ambassador to the U.N. Security Council, saying earlier today that at fault for all of this are what he called fascists and anti-Semites in Ukraine right now ...’

    ‘You know, you've got to be really careful by putting that across as a fact,’ Amanpour said.

    ‘That's what Vitaly Churkin said,’ Blitzer replied.

    ‘He may have done," Amanpour said. ‘Are you telling me, are you saying that the entire pro-European ...’

    ‘Of course not,’ Blitzer defended, explaining that he was presenting what Churkin had said.

    ‘Right, and we have to be very careful,’ Amanpour cautioned.

    Blitzer tried to interject, offering to play Churkin's comments again.

    ‘I heard it,’ Amanpour said. ‘We just as a network have to be really careful not to lump the entire pro-European Ukrainians into, which some may well be, nationalistic and extremist groups.’

    ‘We're not, I'm not,’ Blitzer insisted.”

    They make no attempt to hide their allegiance to power.”

    Amanpour had lots of company at other networks. Gwen Ifill of PBS Newshour also stuck to the White House script with her guest, professor Stephen F. Cohen. Cohen informed viewers that American presidents going back to Bill Clinton have been playing a very dangerous game in their attempt to pry Ukraine from the Russian orbit.

    Ifill was contemptuous of Cohen throughout and stuck to the Putin is evil meme. Her questions lacked even a pretense of a thoughtful search for facts. Nonsense such as “What is Putin’s endgame here?” was all she could muster. When Cohen gave a simple and understandable explanation of why western meddling posed a danger to world peace Ifill decided to ignore him. “Why is any of this important to anyone who is not in Russia or Ukraine?” Cohen, who also suffered through the Amanpour/Blitzer contretemps, gave Ifill as much contempt in return. “I told you at the top. I mean, you and I are old enough to have lived through divided Europe in Berlin.”

    The so-called journalists who are held up to us as exemplars of success and profession acumen are by and large hacks who toe the party line. Ifill has a long standing reputation of defending presidential policy in her reporting. She is at least consistent. Just as she followed the Bush doctrine she is now in synch with the Obama team.

    Amanpour vilifies her colleague on air for cynical reasons and Ifill plays dumb if a guest dares to speak up with real analysis. All their behaviors are an effort to diminish any debates or arguments against the United States government. The only critics on the air are questioning whether Obama is tough enough and if American “prestige” is on the line if we don’t have as much violence in the world as they would like.

    Ifill, Amanpour and company flourish precisely because they do not tell us the truth.”

    Now that the United States government has officially declared war on the rest of the world, Americans are in desperate need of truth telling. But that is not how empires work. Ifill, Amanpour and company flourish precisely because they do not tell us the truth.

    It is not too harsh to point out that the propaganda and lies spread by networks and newspapers are part of an enormous crime. America is the evil doer in Iraq and Haiti and Libya and Venezuela and Ukraine. Nations are invaded and economies are ruined because our government is determined to have its way in the world. The crimes are committed with impunity in part because presidents get a helping hand from their corporate media partners.

    The only thing making Americans squeamish about military involvement against Russia is war weariness. They don’t oppose it on principle because they don’t know what the principles involved are. Just as we aren’t the richest country in the world, and we don’t have the best health care in the world, we don’t have the best press either. We have a government that is more aggressive by the day and they have a mouth piece which we call the media.

    Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)

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    isn't unique to western mainstream media apparently. What about the big "I'm a princinpled and independent journalist" exhibitions we've seen from Russia Today's Abby Martin and Liz Wahl? The former condemning Russia for entering Ukraine and the latter resigning because she can no longer co-sign "Russia Today's propaganda".


    Just another pair of (blow) jobbing hacks hedging their bets to protect their "careers" from any fall out in this face off between Russia and the US. 

    Personally I have no use for any  media with a prepoderance of white faces fronting it, be it western mainstream media, Russia Today, Press TV, Truthdig, Truthout . . . . all of em. Coz when the chips are down, they always show their true colours -- red white and true blue . . . capitalist imperialist. 

    Most so called alternative media talks good dissident until it's actually time to dissent. pfft

    Roll on the cold war. 

    Fuck em all. 

    Amanpour is such a

    Amanpour is such a light-weight in her analyses that I have never been able to listen to her for more than about 20 seconds. I have always been puzzled about how she has reached the prominence that she has in journalism.  I guess she's got the right ideology. Thank you for this analysis of her exchange with Blitzer, as well as the Ifill-Cohen exchange, Ms. Kimberley. Incredibly naked moments of 'journalists' as agents of proaganda.


    has reached the prominence that she has because she's of Iranian descent. It's helpful for the Western media to have an Iranian to spread their anti-Muslim lies. It gives their propaganda "balance."

    This is another top notch Margaret Kimberley article, though I disagree that the only thing making Americans squeamish about military involvement against Russia is war weariness. That was the case in the war against Syria, a 3rd world banana republic with no way to defend itself. Americans are beyond squeamish about Russia, they're terrified. Russia is a nuclear power and even without nukes, remember, those are the people who defeated both Napoleon and Hitler.

    Western Media

    “You could get a journalist cheaper than a good call girl, for a couple hundred dollars a month.” -CIA operative cited in “Katherine The Great” by Deborah Davis 

    “The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media.” -William Colby, former CIA Director, cited by Dave McGowan in “Derailing Democracy

    “There is quite an incredible spread of relationships. You don’t need to manipulate Time magazine, for example, because there are [Central Intelligence] Agency people at the management level.” -William B. Bader, former CIA intelligence officer, briefing members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, From ‘CIA and the Media’, by Carl Bernstein

    “The Agency’s relationship with [The New York] Times was by far its most valuable among newspapers, according to CIA officials. [It was] general Times policy … to provide assistance to the CIA whenever possible.” -CIA and the Media by Carl Bernstein

    “PAO (CIA public affairs office) now has relationships with reporters from every major wire service, newspaper, news weekly and television network in the nation” -Bush family confidant & career CIA operative Robert Gates (1991)


    IMO Sis Kimberley Could Have Titled This Piece:

    'Lame-Stream Media Presstitutes Parrot O-Bomber on Ukraine.'

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