CNN, the network so thoroughly exposed by WikiLeaks as a propaganda mouthpiece of the ruling party, have declared war on alternative media, warning their viewers that independent outlets are “biased” and “misleading.”
An article by Brian Stelter headlined “The plague of fake news is getting worse — here’s how to protect yourself” lays out guidelines for CNN’s audience to follow while they navigate the big, bad world outside of CNN’s media empire.
Stelter informs his audience that alternative news sites can be broken down into three categories:
#1, Hoax sites with totally made-up news headlines that try to trick you;
#2, Hyperpartisan sites that aren’t lying, per se, but are misleading, because they only share good news about your political party and bad news about the other party;
#3, “Hybrids” that purposely mix a little bit of fact and then a lot of fiction.
Let’s get this straight. The network that enabled employee Donna Brazile to funnel debate question to Hillary Clinton, and only fired her after it was revealed by WikiLeaks that she did it more than once, is accusing alternative media of being “hyperpartisan” and “misleading.”
The same network that has been exposed by leaks as having at least nine senior employees who wine and dine with the Clinton campaign manager – at his house – with the express purpose of colluding to “frame the HRC message” and “frame the race.”
This is the network accusing alternative media of being “hyperpartisan” and “corrupt.“
Speaking of WikiLeaks, CNN is the network that did its best to discredit the whistleblowing organization by promoting the unfounded establishment propaganda about Russian links – and was caught lying to Americans about their First Amendment rights by claiming it is illegal to “possess these stolen emails” and therefore everything viewers learn about WikiLeaks publications must be “learnt through us.“
This is the network claiming that alternative media “tries to trick you.”
In a video in the article, Stelter presents an obvious spam site with a name misleadingly close to a well known mainstream broadcaster, and complains that the internet is full of fake sites like this. Stelter explains that even he has been conned by fake sites and articles such as this in the past, and lays out blindingly obvious ground rules to help CNN’s audience avoid being fooled.
But it’s one thing to provide advice on spam sites, and another thing altogether to conflate spam sites with legitimate alternative media outlets, in the way Stelter’s article goes on to do. This is disingenuous at best. The fact is sites like Zero Hedge, Your News Wire and Gateway Pundit – all smeared in Stelter’s article – have no more in common with a spam site than CNN do.
In attempting to scare its audience away from anything on the internet outside their own media empire, CNN is further discrediting itself in front of a smart, tech savvy generation that doesn’t fall for its bullshit anymore.
The fact is CNN would not have covered anything revealed by WikiLeaks if it wasn’t for the pressure built up by the alternative media outlets Stelter tries to convince his audience to avoid. The sites he attempts to smear with his broad brush – Zero Hedge, Your News Wire and Gateway Pundit – are all sites that have covered WikiLeaks revelations while mainstream media have attempted to keep the American public in the dark.
While alternative media has spent the year breaking news and reporting on genuine investigative journalism, CNN have been lying, manipulating and ingratiating themselves with the ruling elite – attempting to protect the establishment from independent, legitimate inquiry.
Alternative media have broken the biggest stories of the year. Mainstream media have followed up – when a story has become too big to ignore without losing face – by putting the establishment’s spin on it. CNN is a public relations firm, “framing” narratives on behalf of the ruling party.
The closing of the American mind
Stelter then goes on to suggest the CNN audience use Snopes to verify the accuracy of political stories in the media.
Snopes became the voice of reason by debunking Bigfoot stories and accounts of UFOs in Haiti, then in an ill-advised case of mission creep they moved into political fact checking. Snopes have been added to the Red Flagged Spam Sites list – curated and shared by young progressive Democrats – as a “hit and miss” source. Snopes are no more trusted than most of the sites they disagree with politically and loftily claim to debunk.
When it comes to politics, Snopes’ modus operandi involves framing questions artfully so they can answer with the FALSE or UNPROVEN verdict that suits their partisan agenda. For more information see here and here.
New staff including an avowed liberal blogger from Inquisitr – a site known for fake quotes and hoaxes – have taken the reigns. Being debunked by Snopes these days is like being savaged by a dead sheep.
By encouraging their viewers to consider Snopes a bastion of truth, CNN are locking their audience in an echo chamber reverberating with establishment propaganda.
And don’t think talk of propaganda in America in 2016 is conspiracy theory territory. It was effectively made legal in July 2013 when the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2013 was passed, overturning a 64 year ban.
Make no mistake, CNN have been exposed as a propaganda mouthpiece for Clinton and the ruling party. Wining and dining with the establishment, framing messages, becoming so close as to be described as “practically courting,” working as hacks for the campaign. It’s disgraceful. There is a reason for the boom in alternative media. It’s simple: mainstream media is not doing its job.
Criticism of a Democratic candidate does not equal support for the Republican candidate. It equals support of a robust democracy. In “promoting” Clinton and giving her “a free ride,” as Chris Cuomo shamelessly boasted, CNN are positioning themselves to be on the wrong side of history.
Cleaning up the internet is an admirable goal. CNN should start with their own output. Mainstream journalism is now a pathway to power, rather than a buffer against its excesses. If it wasn’t for alternative media, the fourth estate would be dead.