(The Free Thought Project | Claire Bernish) As Julian Assange slams corporate media for publishing “weaponized text”, MSNBC anchor admits on-air that “our job” is to “control exactly what people think.”
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange called “very, very, very inaccurate” corporate presstitutes “opportunistic snipers” in an interview last weekend, accusing newspapers of printing “weaponized text.” And the outspoken publisher isn’t at all dissatisfied with the current “fake news” propaganda campaign. As Assange explained to Australian comedian Chas Licciardello, “WikiLeaks is very happy that there is a narrative about fake news out there because we have a perfect record of having never got it wrong in terms of authentications.”
While the corporate press continues misrepresenting information, quoting unnamed and thus unverifiable sources, and even printing flagrant fabrications, Wikileaks indeed maintains an unparalleled streak of publishing authentic and undoctored data — despite harsh criticism from the establishment — thus eliminating all bias or unintended insertion of opinion.
“When the narrative of fake news came out and was then taken off effectively by the neo-liberal press and pushed around,” Assange elaborated. “I could see exactly where that was going. I was rather happy about it.”
The outspoken publisher’s opinion on so-called fake news emphasizes the disastrous failings of a mainstream media hell bent on propping up its own establishment agenda, regardless of which political affiliation a given outlet claims. Noted Assange,
“What is special about WikiLeaks is that it’s not just another damn story. It’s not just another damn journalist putting their damn byline, advertising themselves and their position on another damn story.”
Further, he said of Wikileaks’ searchable database,
“You’re not reading pre-weaponised knowledge. When you read a newspaper article, you are reading weaponised text that is designed to affect a person just like you.”
Assange’s description of weaponized text characterizes the corporate press’ penchant for propaganda — a political establishment-friendly slant that has once-illustrious media institutions like the Washington Post and New York Times frivolously abandoning journalistic integrity whenever it’s deemed necessary. In fact, after the Post published a slew of articles without any basis in fact, The Free Thought Project noted in January,
“This latest astounding deviation from the facts, however, makes indisputably clear the weaponization of news. Journalists and media outlets make mistakes from time to time, but a pattern and practice of publishing unfounded, unverified, and fraudulent articles cannot be characterized simply as irresponsible.
“We are in the midst of an information war of epic proportions — led haplessly astray of the truth with the Post leading the way — and it’s a dangerous and frightening portent of things to come, not the least of which will be propagandized truth and heavy-handed censorship.”
That assessment has proven true, as what appears to be recklessness in corporate journalism generally gains editorial approval if the article appeals to emotion and will manipulate readers into a specific thought pattern — like both anti-Russia and anti-Iran reports so frequently topping mainstream headlines.
Of course, there is no coincidence in fact the corporate press continues its stark criticism of Wikileaks as a “politically-motivated” organization, an allegation oft repeated during the last presidential election cycle. Such accusations only act to divert attention to the corrupt ugliness displayed by politicians and insiders who never imagined their words behind curtains would be unveiled to public scrutiny. Outlets loyal to the Democratic establishment thus accused Wikileaks and its founder of publishing damning documents from the DNC, John Podesta, and candidate Hillary Clinton as part of a political vendetta — particularly due to the lack of documents the outlet received on rival Donald Trump.
“We had lots of critics in the Democratic Party, liars in the Democratic Party… saying that what we published was not accurate — trying to imitate it, sometimes saying it directly. And of course, we could mathematically prove that they were liars. And it’s not every day that you can mathematically prove that your critics are full of it.”
Julian Assange has emphatically repeated that Wikileaks cannot publish what it doesn’t have in its possession — and according to Assange, no whistleblower or leaker has yet come forward with a cache of information on Trump or the RNC.
Beyond content, Wikileaks came under fire for the timing of document dumps during election season — a matter of such concern to the former Obama administration that U.S. officials attempted to dam the flood of documents by persuading the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, which Assange has called home since 2011, to cut his connection to the Internet.
But timing is everything for the clients who hand over information to WikiLeaks, and striking the greatest blow with truth isn’t something Assange avoids. As he told Licciardello on the decision of when to publish the Podesta Files,
“We try and maximize the value of the information to readers. So that’s publishing it at the moment when they most want to read it, when they most want to know what it contains. And that’s definitely before an election rather than after election… Sources don’t give you stuff unless it’s going to have impact.”
Wikileaks, unlike a traditional media outlet, publishes and catalogs data for anyone to search, and doesn’t remove documents after maximum impact has been achieved:
“The real value in WikiLeaks is it is a wonderful library that you can trust… But the library has to be marketed. And so the scandal-generation business, which we’re also in — I view that as a kind of marketing effort for what is much more substantial, which is our archive. … I think that is the real beauty of WikiLeaks… it is that sea of information, that treasure, that intellectual treasure, that rebel library of Alexandria you can go into.”
Critics from both sides of the political duopoly claim Wikileaks’ policy of printing everything in a leak — without editing content — presents a danger to government officials acting surreptitiously in the field. But Assange disputes this, and has said Wikileaks carefully vets every document to ensure no lives would be jeopardized before it publishes. He asserted,
“Nothing that we’ve published has ever hurt anyone, physically. Information very, very rarely, is dangerous. And not compared to what government does.”
MSNBC Just Admitted: “Our Job” Is To “Control Exactly What People Think”
Meanwhile, MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski recently erased any lingering doubts the corporate press serves almost wholly to vomit propaganda in order to control public perception, in a rather stupefying statement during an exchange with Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough about President Trump possibly “trying to undermine the media.”
Scarborough: “Exactly. That is exactly what I hear. What Yamiche said is what I hear from all the Trump supporters that I talk to who were Trump voters and are still Trump supporters. They go, ‘Yeah you guys are going crazy… What are you so surprised about? He is doing exactly what he said he is going to do.’”
Brzezinski, “Well, I think that the dangerous, you know… He is trying to undermine the media and trying to make up his own facts. And it could be that while unemployment and the economy worsens, he could have undermined the messaging so much that he can actually control exactly what people think. And that, that is our job.”
Pause and consider what Brzezinski actually said, whether or not the latter sentence constituted a Freudian slip. A corporate media presstitute — whose game of career-musical-chairs saw her leaving mainstream, right-wing Fox News for mainstream, left-wing MSNBC — just told the American public it’s the media’s job to “control exactly what people think.” That statement comprises the most blatant — if perhaps tacit — evidence pro-U.S. government propaganda measures passed with the 2017 NDAA have already begun.
Mass media has for decades entrenched itself surreptitiously on the side of the ruling political establishment, using the tool of feigned neutrality to manipulate the public into thinking its reports aren’t thoroughly infused with whatever the current agenda might be. But apparently Brzezinski and her corporate press ilk finally feel the same looming threat of censorship burdening alternative and independent outlets, which have experienced as much throughout the last election cycle. What they conveniently forget, however, is that Trump salivating over media control differs negligibly from calls by the same mainstream outlets during that election season not to give credence to information revealed by Wikileaks, nor to disseminate the (accurate) reports based on those documents proffered by alternative media.
Indeed, this dissonant, hypocritical indignation over Trump’s unmistakable effort to tailor information to suit his agenda, however justified the observation is, handily demarcates a battle between the old guard of corporate-media-turned-government-mouthpiece and the new guard of an authoritarian administration testing the limits of its information control. Two arms of the same arrogant censor.
But censorship of the free press has been a grave concern of independent media for months, as corporate outlets scampered to deem any reporting on multiple scandals involving the DNC and candidate Hillary Clinton ‘fake news’ — or even Russian propaganda — no matter the proven validity of the information.
That soft censorship might have suited the interests of the previous political establishment’s favored narrative, and provided a comfortable impunity for mainstream press to sanctimoniously skewer independent reporting, but their lack of foresight — that the oppression of information would eventually come full circle and apply across the board — is laughable. Perhaps MSNBC and other behemoth organizations underestimated the extreme executive powers former President Obama bequeathed to Trump, as well as Trump’s leeway in implementing more.
MSNBC’s offense at the manipulation of fact and fiction rings hollow when it, and other mainstream outlets, evince an established pattern of the same behavior. That’s at least fairly close to, if not exactly, the pot calling the kettle black.
However, these examples happen with such frequency that pointing out astonishing hypocrisy in demands for soft and hard censorship could these days become a new sport. Instead, both sides — the corporate press and the political establishment, including Trump — have ramped up the measures necessary to guarantee the freedom of the press will decline in coming years, without our hyper-vigilance. Hypervigilance is an absolute necessity, now that there is no room to deny the sordid and unseemly marriage of censorship and propaganda — facilitating control of the public mind — championed openly by corporate America’s loyal lapdogs: media and government.
About the author:
Born in North Carolina on the first of March in a year not so long ago, Bernish currently resides in San Diego, California. Educated at University of Cincinnati and School of the Art Institute of Chicago, she finds interest in social justice, police brutality, exposing the truth behind propaganda, and general government accountability.
She describes herself: “I am an activist and journalist: because both my parents were journalists during Watergate; because my father was a DC politician; because plutocratic corporatocracy; because I went to Ferguson following Mike Brown’s murder; because militarized police state; because while livestreaming in Ferguson a CNN crew got out of MY way; because I’ve been homeless several times; because unity of purpose, not mind, will solve everything; because I can tell you from experience there is always something you are not being told; because I want to tell you what they don’t.”