Do I need a tin foil hat ?

Discussion in 'Politics & The Economy' started by mikeybabes2, Dec 14, 2016.

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  1. mikeybabes2

    mikeybabes2
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    I've been travelling a lot recently so I have not been keeping up with the news very much, and only then in a superficial manner. I got home fairly late last night, just in time for the news on ITV. The leading item was on the dire situation in Aleppo, and the simply dreadful events that are going on there.

    But rightly or wrongly, as I was watching a felt a dawning sensation that what I was watching was a lot less like news, and more like someone pushing an agenda - I'd possibly even go so far to call it like watching propaganda.

    The tone was so strident, and they were trying to link events there to some of Trump's new appointments. One of his appointments, we were told, had even given speeches at business events in Russia. Now Trump does worry me somewhat, but they seem to be getting ahead of themselves with this as he is not in the Whitehouse just yet.

    I also got the sense that the UK politicians who were featured were effectively saying, 'well you didn't allow us to bomb the country' - so it's nothing to do with us, as if dropping bombs all over the place was going to solve the situation.

    But to not put to fine a point on it - the whole thing felt a bit 'Off' if you know what I mean. The kind of way you are reading an article, and as you get further through it, you realise it is in fact an advertisement, and not an article.

    Now I have long been a critic of the quality of the main stream media - but this felt like a whole new level of pushing an agenda. I don't know exactly what is happening in Aleppo, but neither, I suspect, does the media.

    I have spent time in West Africa, and seen the difference between what is happening on the ground and what is being reported in the media, the most recent being the reporting of the Ebola outbreak.

    Today I stumbled upon this video. Although it is easy to dismiss it as someone who is only seeing a small corner of what is happening, what this reporter is saying resonates in the same way as some of my own experiences with reporting of events in West Africa. It's 18 minutes but it is interesting viewing:

    Syria/Aleppo - Western Governments/Media LIES...


    I am certainly not trying to minimise the terrible events in Aleppo, but Boris John recently used the phrase 'Proxy Wars' in relation to Saudi Arabia, and I wonder if it might not be appropriate here to some degree. I was discussing this with a friend earlier and he suggested that many were strongly opposed to Trump's desire for better relations with Russia, and that this might well be an attempt to really 'poison the well' before he gets into office early next year.

    I'm probably extrapolating too much from a single news report after a long drive home, but I am interested to hear what others here think.

    Do I need to go out and get some tin foil ?
     
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  2. robel

    robel
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    Everybody has an agenda, what´s hers?
     
  3. weaponx031277

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    Its the same on the BBC and other sites. Newsnight last night was particularly terrible up until the point they had the former UK Ambassador to Russia who was the only one speaking any sense that the West had backed the wrong side in the Syria conflict. They had some idiot saying that planting some cruise missiles on Syrian runways was going to end the conflict. There seemed to be an underlying theme to most the guest and the presenter to now want military action.

    You look at the BBC news coverage though and its incredibly anti Russian. Also the one that annoyed me yesterday it was reporting all these alleged crimes in Alleppo as gospel truth when even the UN had to admit they had no independent verification of these incident. The Free Syrian army and its friends have been caught out numerous times sending false reports. Theres the famous ones of the guys reporting from a besieged Syrian town and it turned out they where in the USA.
     
  4. EarthRod

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    Give it a few days, wait until you catch up with everything in the UK - not just the media BS - then it will be back to situation 'normal'.

    ;) :)
     
  5. Toko Black

    Toko Black
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    What is the mainstream media ?

    If you mean the the national papers and much of the online news media services then I would agree there is too much political bias going on in the reporting and presenting of stories.
    However, if you mean the likes of the BBC News, Reuters etc then I would disagree quite strongly.

    Over the last 10yrs of so there has been a narrative pushed that everything is biased, you can't trust the media or news reports etc.
    This has been in a large part because of the likes of Russia and Conservative/evangelical/creationist/anti-climate change organisations and the like artificially creating controversy, misrepresenting evidence and stories etc. to a point that many people are confused and led to believe you can't trust anything you read in the news.

    It's a reaction to the fact that due to the internet, global media and communications, those groups can't control or maintain power over the what ever 'truth' they happen to want to be accepted.
    With information, videos and independent journalists, it is far harder for the likes of Russia to cover up or deny any wrong doing, especially if that information is held or published in other countries.
    The only solution for them to maintain their way of doing things is to destabalise and discredit those sources of news and information, which is what they have been doing for quite a few years now.

    With religious groups and the like, it's been a battle against scientific evidence and information.
    For many religious groups and communities, they didn't need to worry about alternative views or evidence that contradicted their world view because they were essentially isolated in their own bubbles. However, the advent of the internet and global news again allowed contradictory evidence and ideas to get into that bubble.
    Their reaction was to create websites, media companies and videos challenging and misrepresenting the science and the evidence with mantras, crib sheets and catchy sayings.

    Within this sphere of misinformation and dilution of the truth, savvy business people and individuals have jumped on the band wagon to provide content, news and advertising aimed at those audiences because it sells.
    From out and out fake news click bait to more subtle tailored stories to fit particular demographics, it's all combined to create the situation we are in today.

    Examples like Russia's actions in the Ukraine or the state sponsored doping where their answer is "it's all lies and western anti-Russian propaganda".
    Much the same as what Trump was doing by simply flat denial of accepting things he was documented as saying. He outright denied he claimed that climate change was a con propagated by China during the presidential debates .... even though he is on record as tweeting precisely that 10 or 20 times.
    18
    Everything is biased, but it's a matter of identifying by how much... and not based on whether they agree with you or not.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2016
  6. IronGiant

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    @mikeybabes2 Thanks for reminding me to order the Turkey Foil :thumbsup:
     
  7. Mshulla

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    @mikeybabes2 No tin foil hats required. Just check the difference in the coverage of the battles in Mosul and Aleppo.
    In Mosul the brave forces are fighting to liberate the city from jihadists.
    In Aleppo the barbaric Syrian army is murdering civilians. No mention of Al Nusra jihadists, they are just rebels.
    The thing is the various news agencies are very aware these "rebels" are dangerous, murdering scumbags hence why there are few if any of them in east Aleppo. They know they'll end up wearing orange jumpsuits before being filmed having their heads removed.
     
  8. mikeybabes2

    mikeybabes2
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    Some interesting replies, I am always suspicious when a party is totally portrayed as the 'bad guy' in the media. I've always found there are lots of greys in life rather than black and white characterisations, particularly when dealing with events in the Middle East.

    The interesting thing for me is that there seems to be no clear party to support on the opposite 'side' to Assad and his Russian supporters, for want of a better expression. They are always referred to as 'anti-Assad forces', which seems to be quite an umbrella to describe the disparate groups fighting against his regime. Some of these groups seem to be worse that what they are trying to replace, and should they prevail against Assad, it seems that the country would then end up with the same kind of power vacuum we had in Iraq, and the subsequent disaster of lots of violent groups jockeying for power while the West tried to assemble some kind of artificial government that they approved of.

    I get the impression we may be on the wrong side in this - with effectively Assad being the lesser all evils. In particular when it comes to stopping this terrible loss of life.

    I'm just tired of hearing about the poor civilians being murdered by the truck load whilst the rest of the world plays power politics. It seems we learned nothing fro Iraq and Afghanistan. I need to do some more reading, but the loss of life is shameful.
     
  9. robel

    robel
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    In Aleppo, is Assad shipping out the Sunni population and shipping in Shia?
     
  10. Mshulla

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    Why don't you tell us?
     
  11. krish

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    I thought it was a tongue twister
     
  12. Cliff

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    Whenever the news shows children suffering on one side only, then you automatically ask : Who caused this? So easy to frame Russia and Assad. But have we forgotten all the terrible beheadings carried out by the religious extremists?
    The only way forward now is for Assad to take control. It will probably happen anyway with Russian help. We just have to admit we were totally incompetent in deciding who to support and who to bomb.

    There is no good solution but at least Russia has a plan . We don't and that would result in another Libya.
     
  13. Oswald

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    Peter Hitchens in the Mail on Sunday today:

    "Amid the bombs of Aleppo, all you can hear are the lies

    [...] In the past few days we have been bombarded with colourful reports of events in eastern Aleppo, written or transmitted by people in Beirut (180 miles away and in another country), or even London (2,105 miles away and in another world). There have, we are told, been massacres of women and children, people have been burned alive.

    The sources for these reports are so-called ‘activists’. Who are they? As far as I know, there was not one single staff reporter for any Western news organisation in eastern Aleppo last week. Not one.

    This is for the very good reason that they would have been kidnapped and probably murdered. The zone was ruled without mercy by heavily armed Osama Bin Laden sympathisers, who were bombarding the west of the city with powerful artillery (they frequently killed innocent civilians and struck hospitals, since you ask). That is why you never see pictures of armed males in eastern Aleppo, just beautifully composed photographs of handsome young unarmed men lifting wounded children from the rubble, with the light just right [...]

    These days the state-sponsored lies have spread to my own country, and to the BBC, and I tell the truth as loudly as I can, simply because I cannot hear anyone else speaking it. If these lies go unchallenged, they will be the basis of some grave wrong yet to come."


    PETER HITCHENS: Amid the bombs of Aleppo, all you can hear are the lies - Mail Online - Peter Hitchens blog
     
  14. mikeybabes2

    mikeybabes2
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    Thank you for the above post, Oswald. It seems that there is sadly some truth to what I was thinking.

    And so it seems we have learned nothing from the mistakes in Iraq. The lies and errors that took us into a war that is now widely regarded as a grave mistake, repeated yet again.

    Hitchens is particularly poignant when he says...

    "When I used to travel a lot in the communist world, I especially hated the fact that almost every official announcement was a conscious lie, taunting the poor subjugated people with their powerlessness to challenge it.
    I would spend ages twiddling dials and shifting aerials to pick up the BBC World Service on my short-wave set – ‘the truth, read by gentlemen’ – because it refreshed the soul just to hear it. These days the state-sponsored lies have spread to my own country, and to the BBC, and I tell the truth as loudly as I can, simply because I cannot hear anyone else speaking it. If these lies go unchallenged, they will be the basis of some grave wrong yet to come."


    I fear he may be right.
     
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  15. robel

    robel
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  16. Toko Black

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    You do know that's from a Russian State sponsored channel ?
     
  17. robel

    robel
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    No, I didn't and was just putting it out there. Do you think the content was faked?
     
  18. Toko Black

    Toko Black
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    Makes me laugh that the likes of the BBC are being lambasted for 'pushing an agenda' because of perceived bias, while the Daily Mail opinion columns and worse still, Russian state sponsored media is being referenced and quoted for evidence of it.

    RT is an out and out propaganda channel for the Russian Government. It has created and aired FAKE stories claiming the BBC was 'faking' news.

    It's like quite a few people that don't always like what the BBC has to say because it's too centre left or centre right leaning (depending on which side of the fence they sit) have gone right down the rabbit hole driven by their need to justify or support their grudges.

    ps - this post is not a personal attack on you Robel - it's merely an exasperated yell at the way things are going vis a vee the 'post truth'.
     
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  19. Toko Black

    Toko Black
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    With no context and a completely untrustworthy source it's not possible to know what's going on.
    Is there propaganda comming out of rebel groups in Syria ? undoubtably.

    Are the hand picked video's shown:
    - on a channel run by and for the Russian Government
    - who support the Assad regime and
    - are bombing the crap out of Aleppo
    - who state sponsor, cover up and deny massive athletics doping
    - who deny sending troops and heavy weapons into the Ukraine etc etc etc ....

    representative of all, most, half, a handful, of information and messages coming out of Aleppo .... well what is your educated guess ?
     
  20. robel

    robel
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  21. Toko Black

    Toko Black
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    It would be folly to believe everything all the time, equally it would also be folly to be so skeptical that no news, information or evidence can be relied upon either.

    All sides in wars, politics, family disputes and ever other aspect of human interactions are not 100% wholly innocent or at least without any possible responsibility what so ever.
    However, we generally attempt to ascertain and establish what is 'reasonable' or practically unavoidable due to the reality of living, working and getting things done.

    Take driving for example. There are so many variables and issues with balancing having a workable system of transport balanced against safety for the driver and other road users.
    At every point in the system, from road planning, setting speed limits, safety features on vehicles, pedestrian crossings and paths, driver training and policing etc etc, there are practical limitations both from making it usable and also the human limitations of actually getting it right.
    It's not a perfect system nor ever will be, but the aim is generally to find the acceptable and practical balance between usability and safety.

    Driving and Syria are nothing alike, but the problems of dealing with the situation or not all carry a similar level of complex and varied issues, compromises and limitations, with the issue of Syria being even more complex due to the global politics.

    When it comes to reporting and investigating historic and ongoing problems in Syria, there are going to be many agendas and motivations.
    However, you can at least note down the different news organisations and parties involved and rate their agendas and motivations on a scale of 1 to 10 against a list of criteria and establish which are the most likely to be 'pushing' an agenda and who is most like to be actually trying to establish the truth.

    For me, the most telling and significant question or criteria for whether the different news agencies and sources on Syria is this - "what do they gain from not telling the truth?" or "what is in it for them?" so to speak.

    In reasonable and practical terms, the BBC (or for example Reuters) are not really selling you anything. They do have to consider ratings and for Reuters, turning a profit, but their primary goal is quality and the truth as unbiased as reasonably possible.
    The make mistakes, do magazine and opinion pieces that may well be biased, but the primary 'news' editorials are about as good as it gets.

    The list of news sources who's primary concerns are truth and quality is not very big, which is hardly surprising as only 15% of the worlds population lives in a country with a free press.

    I used to take issue with (and still do) the way the BBC reported on issues like for example Drugs, because they were taking the generally accepted establishment line far more than that of the scientific and health professional views.
    However, I do accept they weren't trying to 'sell' me the war on drugs or that "drug's are bad mmkay", more that they were reflecting the social / political climate.
    It doesn't reflect upon the majority of their content or the organisation as a whole.
     
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  22. Oswald

    Oswald
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    Which of these two BBC reports from Syria is the true one? In one report the female British doctor says "Napalm" (from the 2:07 mark), whereas in the second version this is changed to "Chemical Weapons" (from 1:58).

    Syria crisis: Incendiary bomb victims 'like the walking dead' - BBC News
    Syria: Agony of victims of 'napalm-like' school bombing - BBC News
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2016
  23. Toko Black

    Toko Black
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    ...... reporter reacts to story with information he has up to that point ..... later more info comes in and later report using same some of the same footage uses more up to date info and/or the opinions of witnesses.

    ....... internet poster uses footage of the events (that RT also used in a faking of the BBC 'faking a story') of a horrific nature and humans trying to understand and make sense of what was happening in an attempt to score points against the BBC on a forum ....

    .... other internet poster points out the particularly tasteless and inaccurate use and interpretation of the links being used (which the comparrison clearly originates from the already highlighted fake RT video 'evidence') to justify the original posters view that the BBC is biased.

    You didn't research those links yourself .... you went looking googling for evidence of BBC bias and found some site propagating the RT faked story or derivative version there of without fact checking because it fit's your argument.

    PS: I have seen both the original footage and the doctored collection of footage RT broadcast claiming to show the BBC faking the news.
    I did a side by side comparrison and commentary on where the video's were edited and respliced by RT to give a completely different appearance to what was being shown.
    It was an out and out complete fake job done by RT.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2016
  24. Oswald

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    What are you talking about? The two links I gave are both directly to the BBC News website. Kindly answer my original question... which version of the two, almost identical clips on the BBC News website, is the true one?
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2016
  25. mikeybabes2

    mikeybabes2
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    One of those organisations is a privately owned newspaper, well known for its point of view.

    The other is a state broadcaster, compulsorily funded by the people that claims to be the voice of truth.

    If you can't see the difference, well......
     
  26. Toko Black

    Toko Black
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    Are you saying you personally trawled through archive footage from the BBC to find what you consider discrepancies ?

    ..... or did you find links to those videos from a 'site' with pre packaged links ?

    I am well aware that those clips form part of the video used by RT to fake a story about the BBC's reporting. Hence I am questioning your specific use of them and where you got them.

    Both and neither - depends on what you mean by 'true'.
    They are seperate reports created at different times during ONGOING events with a reporter giving an opinion based on what they knew and what was being said at the time.
    Like many events and news stories, as things develop the facts become clearer or are corrected with more footage being shot and shown alongside the original.

    Perfectly reasonable in my opinion.

    Can you explain WHY it is evidence of pushing an agenda rather than merely a progression of a story from what was known or understood at one point and then updated later on ?
     
  27. Toko Black

    Toko Black
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    Of course I know the difference, but do you or some of the other posters here actually bother to define or consider it when you or they make comments about 'the main stream media' and then have a pop at the BBC etc.

    The reason I ask is the abundance of anti-BBC comments that regularly appear on these forums by posters and yet are quite happy to quote Daily Mail articles or their columnists like Peter Hitchens.
    Personally I tend to view Christopher Hitchens as the Albert to Peter's Hermann ;)
     
  28. mikeybabes2

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    Oswald, didn't you realise the BBC website had been hacked by Russians when you posted those links ? Awfully busy chaps those Russians, not only have they hacked the EU referendum here, apparently they hacked the US elections, and obviously formented all the conflicts in the Middle East, over the last twenty-five years. It's getting so bad that whenever I see someone carrying an umbrella I have to cross to the other side of the street.

    Toko, you seem to be very good at criticising the source of these articles, yet you have yet to show that any of the facts they claim are false. If they are - do so. If you want to run about shouting 'Oooh, its the Russians' then don't let me stop you,

    You see, whilst Russia is being criticised for bombing hospitals (which they dispute) our 'side' have no guilt in this sorry affair:

    US airstrikes allegedly kill at least 73 civilians in northern Syria

    You seem to be far more concerned about who says something, rather than it's veracity. I have unfortunately learned to be rather circumspect regarding BBC reporting, and it wasn't the Russians that who hacked my brain.

    I believe it is called identity politics.

    But i still have not had an answer - who are we exactly backing in this brutal and bloody adventure ? No-one seems to know. Anyone except Assad seems to be the answer, and that simply isn't good enough.

    Still, in twenty years time, we can spend another £ 10-20 million on another Chilcott Report to salve our consciences, where we find out events were caused by misinformation, dissembling and outright lying. And the same lessons will again be learnt, or at least that's what they will say.

    And 400,000 people (so far) will have died, and for what. Shameful.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2016
  29. Toko Black

    Toko Black
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    I refer you to a previous thread discussing the events those links are related to and the RT jiggery pokery:

    How the BBC faked a 'chemical gas attack' in Syria
     
  30. Oswald

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    Neither. Given that Syria and the BBC have both been mentioned in this thread it reminded me of these clips. I haven't seen whatever RT story you're talking about.
    Wrong. The woman is not a reporter, she is introduced as a British doctor working for an NGO.
     

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