Tag Archive for: MAINSTREAM MEDIA

‘They Created An Industry’: How Leftists Gaslight Americans On Extremism

Democrats’ final pitch to Americans this November as the midterms approached couldn’t have been more clear: Republicans are “extremists” hellbent on destroying Democracy.

Joe Biden infamously declared that “Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic” at a September speech in Philadelphia. But 50 million Americans voted for Donald Trump in 2016 — 50 million Americans who, according to their president, are fringe “extremists.”

Interest in the word “extremism” is vastly more pronounced in Washington D.C. than in any state over the last year, according to Google Trends. On a scale of 0-100, DC stands at 100, with Vermont, Virginia and Maryland following at 22, 20 and 16, respectively. Swing states such as Ohio, Indiana and New Jersey have a relative interest in the word of 8, 7 and 8, respectively. In short, obsession with the problem of extremism is mainly a passion project of the D.C. elite.

Following the Supreme Court’s opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Center, Democrat lined up to support Roe v. Wade, and even enshrine it into law. Biden promised to codify Roe if Democrats took majorities in the midterms, and Vice President Kamala Harris lamented the potential overturning of Roe back in May.

But Roe v. Wade allowed abortions up to the 24th week of pregnancy, well into the second trimester, and most Americans support restrictions on abortion after the first trimester, which ends at 12 weeks. In fact, the Mississippi abortion law that sparked the Dobbs decision would not ban abortions until the 15th week of pregnancy.

Progressive Rep. Pramila Jayapal called a Florida bill that bans explicit discussions of sex and gender in classrooms “extremist.” Jayapal is one of many Democrats who inaccurately dubbed this legislation the “Don’t Say Gay Bill,” although it nowhere prohibits individuals from saying the word “gay.” Despite Democrat claims of extremism, a majority of registered voters supported the legislation, and only 35% opposed it. Opposition to transgender surgery for children has also been dubbed “extremist” by LGBT activists, but a recent poll from McLaughlin and Associates finds that 65% of Americans think the transgender movement has gone too far in recommending such procedures to minors.

Brian Levin, who directs the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, told the Daily Caller that extremism can be defined as “a position that is … antithetical to our constitution and the processes of our democracies, particularly with regard to bigotry and discrimination,” but admitted that the word is often thrown around too lightly.

“Sometimes we label people extremist because we’re too lazy to debate them, but other times people are labeled extremists because they are,” Levin told the Caller, adding that political problems arise, “when we have people running for various types of critical office who are election deniers.”

Kyle Shideler, the director and senior analyst for homeland security and counterterrorism at the Center for Security Policy, said the term “extremist” is problematic from the start.

“I think we should discard the term altogether. If we need to talk about ideologies that potentially lead to violence, we need to talk about those ideologies on their own terms. So if we have concerns about Neo-Nazi groups, we should talk about neo-Nazism,” Shideler told the Caller. “Same thing if we’re concerned about anarchists like Antifa. You don’t need a blanket term to do it. We should identify groups and ideologies on their own terms.”

In June 2021, the Biden White House released a National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism, which claimed that domestic terrorism comes from “racial or ethnically motivated violent extremists and networks whose racial, ethnic, or religious hatred leads them toward violence, as well as those whom they encourage to take violent action.”

The document not only decries “explicit” calls for violence against religious and ethnic minorities, but also words that are “less explicit, lurking in ideologies.” Chief among these ideologies are, according to the document, “conspiracy theories and other forms of disinformation and misinformation.”

Shideler told the Caller that the government’s use of the term “extremism” blurs the line between speech that calls for violence and constitutionally protected speech, causing the government to censor speech which they claim is so extreme that it leads to violence.

“It’s a sort of bait and switch that’s been perpetuated, because they will use the term extremist and say not everyone who is an extremist is a terrorist and they have first amendment rights … But then they will turn around and say ‘oh there’s a rise in extremism.’ And so they dance between whether they’re talking about people who are actually engaged in criminality or people who hold certain ideas,” he added.

As an example, in July 2021 then-White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the White House was working with Facebook to determine which posts on the platform should be flagged for “disinformation” on the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We’re flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation,” Psaki said, noting that “Facebook has repeatedly shown that they have the levers to promote quality information.”

“[The left] created a terminology, and then they created an industry,” Shideler told the Caller, “and they staffed that industry with certain academics who held a particular viewpoint.”

Levin told the Caller that people who spread extremist ideologies online but don’t necessarily call for violence still contribute to a negative environment.

“Those individuals are at least part of the ecosystem of extremism even if they’re not the bullseye center of it,” Levin said.

AUTHOR

SARAH WEAVER

Staff writer.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Italy: A great example of why I take mainstream media coverage of populism with a grain of salt

The major newspapers seem to believe that the superiority of their political opinions is a self-evident fact that needs no explanation.


There was a time when journalists from respected media outlets like the BBC, the New York Times and the Guardian, at least made a sincere effort to distinguish between reporting the facts and reporting one’s political opinions. But that era is long over. We now live in a world in which journalists blithely dismiss political movements they disagree with as “extreme,” “hard-right,” and “fascistic,” as though the superiority of their own political opinions was a self-evident fact that needed no explanation.

This is perhaps nowhere more clear than in the response of Western mainstream media – in particular media that embrace progressive-leftist positions – to the prospect that Giorgia Meloni will be Italy’s first-ever female prime minister. From the tone of that response, one would think that Meloni was advocating the abolition of democracy, the abrogation of rule of law, or some sort of Putin-style military incursion into neighbouring territories.

Here is a sample of mainstream coverage of Giorgia Meloni’s election:

  • BBC: “Ms Meloni is widely expected to form Italy’s most right-wing government since World War Two. That will alarm much of Europe…”
  • CNN: “Giorgia Meloni claims victory to become Italy’s most far-right prime minister since Mussolini.”
  • El País: “The strong result for the extreme-right obliges the EU to be smart in how it manages its relationship with Meloni.”
  • The Guardian: “Giorgia Meloni is a danger to Italy and the rest of Europe.”
  • New York Times: “The country’s hard turn to the right has sent shock waves across Europe after a period of stability in Italy led by Mario Draghi.”

Meloni, president of the conservative Fratelli d’Italia, or “Brothers of Italy”, party, swept to victory in Italy’s recent elections, and is now poised to become Italy’s first ever female prime minister. She is undoubtedly a controversial figure, and her style can be a bit shrill.

She defends a range of positions that are now viewed with disdain by many Western politicians and journalists, such as the primacy of the natural family, the importance of maintaining a birth-rate above replacement level, the ideal of heterosexual marriage, the sanctity of human life, the value of national identity and culture, the positive value of religion, the opposition to transgender operations for children, and the rejection of illegal immigration.

On the other hand, being a bit shrill or abrasive hardly makes a political leader a threat to democracy or a harbinger of political instability. And let’s not forget that the positions defended by Meloni were perceived as perfectly normal in many parts of the West a few decades ago, so it is hard to see why they would now put her outside the pale of civilisation or make her a serious “threat” to Europe.

The media’s intense hostility to Meloni, and by extension, the popular movement that brought her to power, can be explained by one simple fact: her opinions on “hot button” issues have put her directly at odds with the progressive-leftist movement that now dominates social media, mainstream media, EU bureacracy, and the Biden Administration. And that, for many self-styled progressives, puts her far beyond the moral and political pale.

One does not have to support Italy’s newly elected prime minister or her opinions to understand that mainstream media’s coverage of her is nothing short of reactionary. Progressive-minded journalists seemed unwilling or unable to understand how opinions different to their own could end up resonating with a sufficient number of Italians to propel the leader of a conservative, pro-life party into power.

Indeed, the crude, reactionary coverage of Meloni’s victory was quite reminiscent of the coverage of Trump’s election – a mix of perplexity and indignation at the prospect that a large number of voters might actually hold opinions radically at odds with those of progressive-leftist journalists and politicians. The only explanation that occurred to progressive-leftist analysts, in both cases, was that the voters in question were either ignorant or manipulated.

If journalists report on political elections almost exclusively as ideological cheer-leaders, dismissing opposing opinions as part of a “hard right” agenda that menaces the future of democracy, then they are not doing their jobs. They are not actually attempting to understand social reality as it is, nor are they attempting to empathise, even remotely, with voters who wear “the other shirt.” It becomes impossible for them to understand the motives and points of view of their fellow citizens, and it becomes impossible for them to respect the opinions of citizens who see the world differently from themselves.

When journalists become completely tone-deaf to opinions at odds with progressive-leftist principles, or automatically dismiss such opinions as anathema to liberal democracy, their coverage of political events loses any appearance of impartiality and their work becomes largely irrelevant to a large swathe of the citizenry. Once journalists enter into “campaign” mode, many citizens tune out or treat their pronouncements with a grain of salt.

And rightly so.

This article has been republished with permission from the author’s Substack, The Freedom Blog.

AUTHOR

David Thunder

David Thunder is a researcher and lecturer at the University of Navarra’s Institute for Culture and Society. More by David Thunder

EDITORS NOTE: This MercatorNet column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

‘My Son Hunter’: An imperfect but necessary indictment of media’s corruption

This satirical film reveals a disturbing truth about modern mainstream journalistic standards.


We all love the literary motif of the unwilling prostitute who, at the end of the story, does virtuous deeds to save herself and others. In Crime and Punishment, Sonya is instrumental in Raskolnikov’s redemption. Director Robert Davi uses the same formula to tell the story of President’s Biden son in My Son Hunter.

Grace struggles to pay for her college tuition, so she is a favourite escort of powerful men. As she encounters Hunter Biden in a world of cocaine, wild sex, and rampant corruption, she offers him a path to redemption — and of course, he rejects it.

Now, Davi is no Dostoevsky — nor does he intend to be. My Son Hunter is first and foremost political satire, all-too-frequently engaging in cheap shots. But it does take a stab at Dostoevskyan psychological profundity, and in that endeavour, it partly succeeds.

The shadow of successful Beau Biden — Hunter’s deceased brother — looms large over Hunter, who struggles to find meaning in life. Very much as Raskolnikov, he comes across as a pathological narcissist who engages in criminal activity as a way to prove to himself that he is so great so as to be above the law.

Overblown

Unfortunately, My Son Hunter often goes overboard and loses effectiveness. I lost count of the number of times Joe Biden sniffs the hair of women in the film. Is that necessary? That portrayal runs the risk of playing into the left-wing narrative that criticisms of the Bidens focus on petty things that can be easily dismissed.

The stakes are high, so a more focused and incisive portrayal was needed. Say what you want about Oliver Stone’s leftist politics and penchant for conspiracy theories, but he surely can strike an opponent in his films — Richard Nixon and George W. Bush being the most notorious cases.

The story of Hunter Biden lends itself to Stone’s sober cinematographic style, but My Son Hunter misses an opportunity, to the extent that it aims for low-hanging fruit. Yes, the Bidens are corrupt, but one is left wondering: can they be that corrupt? While the dialogues between Joe and Hunter are clever and amusing, the perversity defies credibility. Perhaps Davi was deliberately aiming more for Saturday Night Live’s lampooning style all along. If so, the film works at some level, but never entirely.

I would have personally enjoyed a more sober style because there is a far darker theme in the film. My Son Hunter is not about the moral failings of a privileged, corrupt drug addict. It is not even about crony capitalism and globalist elites. The real central theme is the media’s rot.

Media manipulation

Two scenes are particularly frightening. At the beginning of the film, Grace is at a Black Lives Matter protest, and records some of her comrades engaging in violent deeds. A fellow activist says: “You can’t post that video… it will make the protest look bad… Those people are too ignorant to understand complex moral issues. You have to withhold things for their own good. We choose truth over facts.” Grace acquiesces.

Towards the end of the film, Grace summons a journalist to expose Hunter’s corruption. The man tells her: “Even if what you are saying is true, it’s not news. We have the chance to take down a fascist dictator [Trump]… I’m sorry Grace, this one is not for me.” We now know that Twitter and Facebook — with their disturbing algorithms — were not the only ones trying to bury Hunter’s laptop under the sand.

As Mark Zuckerberg recently acknowledged, the FBI itself pressured him to do so, because they did not want the bad Orange Man to win the election — all with the excuse that the whole story was Russian disinformation. Later on, both the Washington Post and the New York Times had to reverse their stance and admit that, in fact, the laptop does contain compromising emails.

Plato infamously recommended telling people the Noble Lie. Very much as the Black Lives Matter activist in this film, Plato believed such lies were for people’s own good, as they were too stupid to understand things. In his seminal study of totalitarianism, Karl Popper persuasively argued that Plato’s plan became a central tenet of totalitarian regimes. That is the real fascism.

While being far from a perfect film, My Son Hunter provides meaningful insight on this issue, and hopefully it might become an important step towards much-needed media accountability in this woke age.

For the time being, we need to be realistic. Don’t hold your breath waiting for Hollywood to make an Oliver Stone-like blockbuster about the corruption and hypocrisy of the Left.

Rather, keep an eye out for low-budget productions like My Son Hunter that are bypassing the Hollywood production and distribution system. These include Uncle Tom I and II, various Christian films, such as Run, Hide, Fight.

They will not be great works of art, but at least they will be something. And from there, the quality of such films may gradually improve, until we again see mainstream studios portraying corrupt politicians from both sides of the political spectrum.

AUTHOR

Gabriel Andrade is a university professor originally from Venezuela. He writes about politics, philosophy, history, religion and psychology. More by Gabriel Andrade

EDITORS NOTE: This MercatorNet column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

POLL: Majorities Of Both Parties Say The Media Isn’t Trustworthy

Huge majorities of Republicans, Democrats and Independents say the U.S. media is biased and its main goal is to advance its own agenda, according to a Thursday poll from the Trafalgar Group and Convention of States.

More than 76% of poll respondents stated that the media is primarily focused on advancing their own political opinions and agenda, with 62.7% of Democrats, 76.1% of Independents and 90.3% of Republicans agreeing.

The poll surveyed 1,084 likely general election voters between Dec. 4 and Dec. 7. and reported a 3% margin of error. Trafalgar employs a number of methods for conducting its polls, including live phone calls, automated calls, emails, text messages, and two other proprietary methods it does not share publicly.

“Thanks to the decentralization of the news through the internet and social media, the mainstream press outlets no longer have a monopoly on controlling the news,” Mark Meckler, President of Convention of States Action, said in a statement provided to the Daily Caller. “Unfortunately, the mainstream media has been slow to adjust to this reality and don’t seem to realize that the average American can now see in real time the difference between the actual facts of a story versus what the mainstream media says. People are realizing the open bias and partisanship of the press, and it is making them increasingly cynical.”

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE CHART ON MAINSTREAM MEDIA FOCUS BY THE TRAFALGER GROUP

The Trafalgar Group was one of only two polling firms that accurately predicted Trump’s victory in the presidential election of 2016. The firm was also among the few that predicted Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ win in 2018, as well as Republican victories in Virginia in November.

The poll is only the latest indicator of Americans’ loss of trust in the media. A June survey from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism found that the U.S. ranked the lowest in trust for the media among 46 nations with developed media industries.

“This is an extraordinary (though unsurprising) finding,” journalist Glenn Greenwald said after the report’s release. “Most amazing is that the corporate sector of the US media is failing in every respect: financially, culturally, collapsing trust.”

The poll also shows a dramatic drop from the “new low” for trust in the media established in January 2021, when just 46% of Americans stated the media was trustworthy. The Trafalgar poll now puts that number at 23.7%.

COLUMN BY

ANDERS HAGSTROM

White House correspondent.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

Esteban Santiago [a.k.a. Aashiq Hammad] is a Puerto Rican Salafist Sunni Muslim

EDITORS UPDATE:

WeSearchr and GotNews published more of their findings that neither the government nor media have yet discovered or released: BREAKING: #FortLauderdale Terrorist #EstebanSantiago Joined MySpace As “Aashiq Hammad”, Recorded Islamic Music – GotNews

Fort Lauderdale Airport terrorist Esteban Santiago registered on MySpace under the name “Aashiq Hammad” and recorded Islamic religious music on the site, 3 years before he ever deployed to Iraq as a U.S. soldier, destroying the lying mainstream media’s narrative that he was just a mentally disturbed veteran and that “Islam had nothing to do with it.”

[ … ]

And take a look at the three songs recorded by “Aashiq Hammad.” The first one is titled “La ilaha illAllah”, which is Arabic for “There is no God but Allah,” and the first half of the Muslim declaration of faith, the Shahadah:

[ … ]

That song was recorded in 2007, 3 years before Esteban Santiago went to Iraq as a U.S. soldier in 2010, destroying the lying mainstream media’s narrative that he was a “mentally disturbed veteran”, although even they admit Santiago went into an FBI office in 2015 and told agents he was being forced to watch ISIS videos by voices in his head (or something).

2007 was also the year that “Naota33” was posting on an explosives/weapons forum about mass-downloading Islamic propaganda videos, as GotNews exclusively revealed yesterday.

[ … ]

“Aashiq Hammad” also has Bryan Santiago — Esteban’s brother — as a connection…

The perpetrator of today’s random shooting at Fort Lauderdale, Esteban Santiago Ruiz is a Puerto Rican Salafist Sunni Muslim who was a resident of Anchorage, Alaska. CBS reported that he walked into an Anchorage, Alaska FBI office in November 2016 claiming he was forced to fight for ISIS.

He was born in New Jersey, but moved to Penuela, Puerto Rico to live with his brother and mother shortly thereafter. He moved to Alaska in 2015 for work, and had been employed as a security guard. Same job as Omar Mateen, the perpetrator of the Orlando Pulse Nightclub Massacre. He was “fighting with a lot of people” during his time in Alaska, including his girlfriend. At the time of the shooting, he was receiving mental help for his depression .

Santiago Ruiz is reportedly a Sunni Muslim with Salafist beliefs, and he is a father of one. He served in the Puerto Rican National Guard for six years. He also signed up for the National Guard as a combat engineer and served a year in Iraq. Reports indicate he had a history of mental health issues. In November 2016, he walked into the FBI office in Anchorage, claiming he was fighting for ISIS.

Esteban Santiago Ruiz’s record:

  • February 2015: Eviction for nonpayment of rent.
  • January 2016: Fourth-degree assault and damage of property, from a domestic violence incident. Santiago settled the charges.
  • On January 6, 2017 Esteban Santiago killed 5 people and injured many more in the . His name was released by Florida US Senator Bill Nelson on MSNBC. He was carrying a military ID.
  • On January 6, 2017 Esteban Santiago killed 5 people and injured many more in the Fort Lauderdale Airport shooting. His name was released by Florida U.S. Senator Bill Nelson on MSNBC . He was carrying a military ID.

Santiago took Delta Airlines Flight #1088 from Anchorage to Minneapolis – Saint Paul Thursday night. He landed Friday morning, and then took Delta Flight no. 2182 from Minneapolis-St. Paul to Fort Lauderdale. He then appeared in the Terminal 2 baggage claim area wearing a Star Wars shirt.

Witnesses say he appeared to randomly target his victims during the shooting spree which has left at at least five people dead and many more injured. He was apprehended by authorities when he stopped shooting to reload, witnesses said.

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EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of Santiago pictured wearing a black on green Palestinian Keffiyeh scarf giving a “one-finger salute,” a gesture displayed by the ISIS gunman who shot the Russian ambassador in December.