Tuesday, January 01, 2019

2018: The Year of Media Self-Exposure

As 2018's final months ticked down, a joke popped up frequently on the campuses we were speaking at.

"What did Aretha Franklin say to St. Peter at the pearly gates?"

"I knew you were waiting, I knew you were waiting for me."

I'm not presenting it because I think it's a break through classic for humor.  I'm noting it because the joke, unlike so many we heard in 2017 and 2016, wasn't based on cynicism or hatred.  Could it be that finally we were rediscovering hope?  Or at least finding joy despite the occupation?

Occupied.  That's what the US felt like for the bulk of the year.

Not even during Bill Clinton's impeachment did the press seem so hell bent on telling We The People what we should think.  Remember that?  Cokie Roberts and company were convinced that we just didn't understand that Bill and Monica had engaged in sexual relations.  So if they said "blow job, blow job, blow" over and over on TV, we'd finally get it and agree to impeach Bill.

Didn't work out that way despite their non-stop efforts.

The anti-Bill media looked like pikers compared to what sprung up in 2016.  They could never get behind Bill but, suddenly, they were behind Hillary.  She lost the 2016 election but wouldn't go away.

No, that's not normal.

When John Kerry lost in 2004, for example, he went overseas and then, when he returned, kept a low profile.  As did others who lost.

That's, in part, because the press is supposed to allow a grace period -- they call it a "honeymoon" -- when a new president is elected.  Donald Trump was denied that.

Maybe Hillary couldn't go away -- or even shut up -- for a moment or two because she so worried over what might be said if she wasn't steering the media circus?

Margaret Kimberley (BLACK AGENDA REPORT) said it better than anyone:

Now that there has been no evidence presented of Russian government collusion with Donald Trump, the rehashing will be more frequent. The Democratic Party and the corporate media cannot let this story die. They depend upon it and they must keep covering up their own lies. Russiagate is the gift that keeps on giving.
Hillary Clinton, the Democratic National Committee and their establishment supporters are responsible for the Donald Trump presidency. They were more concerned with covering up her scandals, attracting Republican voters and raising corporate money than they were about getting out the black vote that they always rely upon for victory. Despite raising more than $1 billion they presided over one of the worst debacles in American political history. Any outrage about the Trump presidency must be pointed in their direction.

 Instead of addressing those realities, 2018 played out like a never-ending season of WHAT'S MY LINE? -- only the guest being questioned was there to explain how Donald Trump was about to be impeached.

If as many impeachments took place as they predicted, the dog catcher of Cuyahoga Falls would be in the White House currently.  For the record, no impeachments took place.  But didn't they repeatedly act as though it was about to happen -- over and over.

No impeachment and, all this time later, no collusion with Russia.

Imagine if, instead of all that nonsense, the media had focused on actual issues?

Because these predictions weren't just wrong, they also weren't news -- not unless NETWORK's Sybil The Soothsayer had taken over journalism.

News, pay attention, is what happens.

Not what you wish would happen, not what you fantasize about while masturbating.

News?  Actual events that take place.

Somehow it got so confusing to allegedly trained journalists.

Let's clear up something else, talk show hosts?  Not reporters.  They may host an entertainment program or a public affairs one, but they aren't reporters.  They are talk show hosts. Flapping their jaws does not, and never will, pass for reporting.

It is confused with news programming because basic cable serves it up.  Now they know it's not news but they know what it is: Cheap.

Cheaply made television.  Investigative journalism?  That requires time and money and, regardless of whether the owner goes by COMCAST or Bezos or Omidyar or whatever, they're not going to spend money for that.  So we get opinion and, sadly, 2018 was nothing but uninformed opinion.  There was no proof of collusion, there was no impeachment, there were a lot of lies presented as fact by the media.

As 2018 drew to a close, the media was yet again 'reporting' another lie: Donald Trump endangered special-ops troops in Iraq.  How?  By exposing them.  But, as we discovered last Friday, he didn't expose them, the press did.  The same press that hissed at him for exposing the special-ops, that press would be the one who announced what Donald never did: That the troops whose faces were shown in one of his Tweets were special-ops.

That the press could -- and did -- blame Donald for days goes to the reality that there are no grown ups left in the press -- just a bunch of bitchy little brats.

And, sadly, for much of 2018, they set the tone and mood.

For example, Cher, like most Americans, is a caring person.  But egged on by the press, you'd never know it.

Thank you General Mattis 4 Lifetime Of Service 2🇺🇸,& 4 Staying On As Long As You Could 2 Keep trump from 💥Up The🌎.Would Also Like 2 Thank Brett McGurk,US Envoy 2 Global Coalition,Fighting Islamic State,4His Service.He resigned In Protest,after Gen.Mattis.

Cher and Mad Dog Mattis, captured for eternity by Isaiah.

 mad dog and cher

 Cher's never been more stupid and that's really saying something when we're talking about the woman who destroyed her film career with her "OOOOAAAAHHHO!" moment in an infomercial for hair care products.

But Cher, like many Americans, is only as smart as the media she consumes.  And today's media just isn't interested in the truth.

To the people of Falluja -- and those who give a damn about the murder of civilians -- Mad Dog Mattis is a War Criminal.

If the reporting of what actually went down, the reporting by Dahr Jamail, is too much for you, there's always FOREIGN POLICY -- the unofficial bible of the Council on Foreign Relations*.  It was there where Micah Zenko offered "James Mattis Wasn't Ready To Serve In A Democracy."

 Throughout his shortened term, and in the tributes written after his resignation, Mattis was generally spared criticism, because it was believed that he stood up to Trump. (Although there is—thankfully—no evidence he refused a direct order from the commander in chief.)  Mattis was also given a pass because he was a good quote, he sounded super tough, and he enjoyed several glowing media profiles that promoted him as “Mad Dog” or a “warrior monk.”
 But Mattis has always been more complex than this simplistic portrait, as his many on-the-record comments made in speeches, press statements, and congressional hearings prove. For anyone willing to assess the entirety of the entirety of the public record, rather than just his supposed private interactions with Trump, Mattis’s legacy as defense secretary is unlikely to match the hagiographic eulogies the media immediately provided on his behalf.
 [. . .]
It is often overlooked that Mattis oversaw a growth in the wars that he inherited from the Obama administration. There was a steady growth in airstrikes in declared warzones (such as Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan), as well as in non-battlefield settings (Somalia, Yemen, and Pakistan). There was also an expansion of the U.S. military footprint in the Middle East, from 40,517 troops in mid-2017 to 54,180 by September of that year, according to then-available Pentagon data.
Under Mattis the Pentagon also systematically reduced its overall transparency and accountability. Between October 2017 and October 2018, Air Forces Central Command abruptly stopped releasing data on airstrikes in Afghanistan. When this was approved to be released again, the military had stripped out information on targets without explanation. The decision not to publish this happened shortly after the Bureau of Investigative Journalism released findings that showed that 66 buildings had been destroyed in the previous month -- targets more likely to hold civilians. In May 2017, an anonymous military press officer confirmed that the Pentagon would no longer acknowledge when its own aircraft were responsible for civilian casualties; rather they were henceforth attributed broadly to the coalition. In January, the Pentagon ordered the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction not to publish certain data that was marked "unclassified" and available for years. Two months later, the Department of Defense reversed course and permitted the oversight authority to continue releasing the data.
But nothing captured the poor transparency of America’s military commitments under Mattis better than Syria. On Nov. 16, 2017, the director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, claimed there were "about 503" troops in Syria. The following day, the Defense Manpower Data Center quarterly report announced there were actually 1,723. Two weeks later, Defense Department officials reported the figure at "slightly more than 2,000." What did the military do to resolve this confusing message? In April, the Pentagon simply stopped providing Defense Manpower Data Center numbers for Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan -- information that had been published for more than a decade.
In December 2017, Mattis defended supporting the air war in Yemen by telling reporters, “I’m never okay with any civilian casualty. Don’t screw with me on this.” It is wrong for any public servant to berate journalists for asking questions, not to mention that it establishes a poor command climate for the entire Department of Defense.

 That's what Cher praised.


Because the lying media told her Mattis was someone worthy of praise.  Because, like so many, she can only handle dualities -- i.e. if Trump is bad and Mattis loathes Trump then Mattis must be good.

No, dear, life's a lot more complicated than that.

This knee-jerk reaction is promoted by the press because, as Cher damn well knows, no one's ever really encouraged to think for themselves in the United States.  No, independent thought is to be feared not promoted.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS is CoFR's official bible and that's where Elizabeth Warren has elected to publish her foreign policy vision as she prepares to seek the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.  The senator works a few truths into her essay:

There’s a story Americans like to tell ourselves about how we built a liberal international orderone based on democratic principles, committed to civil and human rights, accountable to citizens, bound by the rule of law, and focused on economic prosperity for all. It’s a good story, with deep roots. But in recent decades, Washington’s focus has shifted from policies that benefit everyone to policies that benefit a handful of elites. After the Cold War, U.S. policymakers started to believe that because democracy had outlasted communism, it would be simple to build democracy anywhere and everywhere. They began to export a particular brand of capitalism, one that involved weak regulations, low taxes on the wealthy, and policies favoring multinational corporations. And the United States took on a series of seemingly endless wars, engaging in conflicts with mistaken or uncertain objectives and no obvious path to completion.

Cher's never been one of the elites.  Elites don't get booed while performing for Princess Margaret.  Elites aren't invited to entertain at a party given by Jane and Charles Engelhard Jr. because Jacqueline Kennedy wants to see them perform -- and then get informed that they are "the help" and will not be sitting down with the guests to eat.  Cher would note that since they were performing for free, the least this South Africa exploiting White man whom Ian Fleming supposedly based the character of Goldfinger on could do was feed them.  Elites don't perform in Las Vegas and they certainly aren't fined for what's termed "Chair blare."

Cher confuses reality with what the media tells her.

The media is not your friend.  You'd think Cher would have realized that long ago.  This is the same media that invented romances that never took place, that falsely reported on what happened to her at a party (she was not taking drugs, she was credited with helping to save someone from a drug overdose), that has lied repeatedly to tear her down and destroy her as they attempted to use her name to increase their audience.

Again, you'd think Cher would be smarter but she's as likely to be fooled by the media as anyone.

It truly is a case of: The more you learn, the less you know.

As Peter Schwarz (WSWS) observed yesterday:

Freedom of the press is an achievement of the bourgeois revolution. The bourgeoisie upheld it as long as it was fighting against the supremacy of the aristocracy, and later enshrined it in its constitutions. While capitalism remained capable of social compromise, such freedoms retained a spark of life. But freedom of the press is not compatible with war, militarism and a society based on intolerable levels of social inequality.
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who exposed the Watergate scandal, were still being celebrated and honoured in the 1970s. Today, Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, who have uncovered incomparably more serious crimes of US imperialism, are isolated and living in forced exile, and must fear for their lives. Outrageous counterfeiters such as Relotius, on the other hand, are awarded prizes.
The incestuous relationship between the world of politics and the media has taken on a dimension that defies description. Billion-dollar media conglomerates dominate the press. Journalists and leading politicians know each other, mingle at the same bars, and frolic together alongside film stars and other celebrities at annual press galas.

I.F. Stone long ago warned that all governments lie.  When the press was sugar coating and justifying lynchings, it was Ida B. Wells who exposed the truth that lynchings were barbaric and used to for everything including to destroy Black businesses.  Seymour Hersh exposed the My Lai Massacre and the Abu Ghraib torture scandal.  Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky examined the propaganda model and self-censorship in their groundbreaking work MANUFACTURING CONSENT: THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF THE MASS MEDIA.  Michael Parenti explored the political realities that lead to THE ASSASSINATION OF JULIUS CAESAR: A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF ANCIENT ROME.  George Seldes co-created IN FACT: AN ANTIDOTE TO FALSEHOODS IN THE DAILY PRESS -- and did so in 1940.

The above stand out because the bulk of the media refused to do what those people do.  Let's not pretend, the way TIME recently did when they self-selected themselves as The Person Of The Year, that the bulk of press reports are not both meaningless and dishonest.

That's how it's always been and it's how it will always be until people demand more.

What arrogance to think that we're so special that our media would never lie to us.

What egotism to think that we're more informed than our predecessors.

The press lies and has always lied.  It defended slavery as good which is why the abolition movement not only had to start but also why it had to create its own media such as the pamphlets written by sisters Angelina and Sarah Grimke, William Lloyd Garrison's newsletter THE LIBERATOR and Harriet Beecher Stowe's UNCLE TOM'S CABIN.

The press lies were why we needed Margot Lee Shetterly's 2016 HIDDEN FIGURES: THE AMERICAN DREAM AND THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE BLACK WOMEN WHO HELPED WIN THE SPACE RACE.  Were these women hidden by some invisible ray?  No, they were hidden by the consent and willingness of a so-called free press.

A so-called free press that regularly utilized CIA assets and agents to smear American dissidents -- such as Edward Behr and Kermit Lansner who worked together with the CIA to destroy Jean Seberg.  No, our friends in the press are not our friends.  And, no, it was not normal in 1970 for journalism to report -- as NEWSWEEK did in the August 24th issue:

Can a small-town girl from Iowa find happiness in Paris?  It seems so, despite the ups and downs of her marriage.  "It's wonderful," smiled movie actress Jean Seberg, 31, when reporters looked in on her in a hospital in Majorca, where she was recuperating from complications in her pregnancy.  "We are completely reconciled -- ironically just when our divorce papers are finally coming through."  She and French author Romain Gary, 56, are reportedly about to remarry even though the baby Jean expects in October is by another man -- a black activist she met in California.

No, you don't 'report' who the father is.  And, in fact, Behr had it wrong about who the father was.

But then he had so much wrong -- like Jean's quotes.  Edward trash never spoke to Jean -- he made the whole thing up -- which is why he rots in hell forever.

Let's go to CRAPAPEDIA on Jean Seberg:

In 1970, the FBI created the false story, from a San Francisco-based informant, that the child Seberg was carrying was not fathered by her husband Romain Gary but by Raymond Hewitt, a member of the Black Panther Party.[29][30] The story was reported by gossip columnist Joyce Haber of the Los Angeles Times,[31] and was also printed by Newsweek magazine.[32] Seberg went into premature labor and, on August 23, 1970, gave birth to a 4 lb (1.8 kg) baby girl. The child died two days later.[33] She held a funeral in her hometown with an open casket that allowed reporters to see the infant's white skin, which disproved the rumors.[34]

Well Cher can claim to have accomplished what with her Twitter feed?

Not one damn thing.

But by screaming online for years now -- search the archives, we've talked about the reality of Jean here forever and a day -- NEWSWEEK is now part of the story.

CRAPAPEDIA's still not accurate but, hey, we've moved it a little.

And that goes to the media environment today.

Now I'm not an actress who's a lesbian and was married to a gay man I pretended to love (and he pretended to love me while he was alive -- pretended for public consumption), so I never had a problem with Joyce Harber.

Maybe if I did, I'd be attacking her.

But Joyce didn't out Jean Seberg -- despite the crap in CRAPAPEDIA.

Before we began repeatedly taking on the lies that existed to protect the US government, the story was that a gossip columnist named Joyce Harber destroyed Jean Seberg by printing that she was having a baby that was fathered by a Black Panther.

That was always a lie.

Joyce printed a blind item -- that could have applied to any number of women -- including Jane Fonda, Carrie Snodgress, Susan Anspach or Barbara Hershey -- among others.  Hell, if the reader was really clueless, they might have thought Joyce's blind item was about Ann-Margaret.

But there I was new to the world on online and finding out a horrid and horrible lie was being told.  We took on all the liars who blamed Joyce.

I'm getting really angry, a common media reaction in 2018, so let's drop back to a roundtable at THIRD in 2007:

Jim: Okay. Betty had asked for something to be brought up. It's peace then, peace now, I'm guessing. But there's a new book on Jane Fonda entitled Jane Fonda's War by Mary Hershberger that Betty doesn't care for.

C.I.: I'm sorry, Betty.

Betty: No, I loved reading most of it. C.I. gave me a copy, I think most of us got a copy. Right?

Rebecca: Right. And I think I know what you're going to talk about. I've avoided noting the book at my site for that reason. I do enjoy the book of speeches and intend to note that. The speeches were collected and edited by Hershberger as well.

Betty: This is about the media. It's about the government. It's about a war on peace. Which is why I'm bringing it up. There's a section in the book that has no relation to reality and I know Dona's warning about time so what I'd like to do, if that's okay, is read the section that infurated me and have C.I. rebutt line by line. Is that okay?

Jim: Fine by me. C.I.?

C.I.: Sure.

Betty: This begins on page 52 and continues through page 53. The discussion is about how J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI attempted to smear those speaking out. This section focuses on Jean Seberg and C.I. has brought that up in roundtables and written of it at The Common Ills. What the woman presents in this book is not reality. Jean Seberg is pregnant, she's an actress famous for Breathless, among other films. She is publicly with Romain Gary. Both are White. The decision is made to discredit her. The FBI decides they will discredit her by stating that she's carrying the baby of a Black Panther which is supposed to send shock waves through the still racist America. Richard Wallace Held is the FBI agent Hershberger identifies as participating.

C.I.: But there were more.

Betty: Right. So he prepares a letter with a phony signature that won't be traced back to the FBI, the book tells you. "Held heeded the order and then sent his letter to Hollywood gossip columnist Joyce Harber under a false name, purporting to be a friend of Seberg's." C.I.?

C.I.: If Hershberger knows what really happened, that is a lie. More likely she's bought into the attempts to lynch Harber which allowed others to go scott free. Harber was not sent the letter. Okay, I'm taking a breath. Just to explain the importance of this, what will be done to Seberg destroys her. She will never recover from it. She will suffer under the stress and she will eventually kill herself. This isn't something to be tossed out or something to write about when you don't know your facts. I'll assume Hershberger doesn't know her facts. That sentence alone contains a huge inaccuracy. Harber was not sent the letter. She was given it. She was given it by Bill Thomas, then the city editor of The Los Angeles Times, and he wrote at the top of the letter something like, "Joyce, I don't know if you care, but this comes from a reliable source." Joyce Harber was not sent the letter. She didn't do a blind item, but I'm getting ahead, on some letter she was sent. An editor at the paper passed it on and vouched for it. That was Bill Thomas. Bill Thomas publicly admitted to that. He had to because the letter was in Harber's files and anyone could see Thomas' note that he'd scribbled on it. When he admitted to it he denied remembering anything about it. Bill Thomas was up to his neck in that. He also, just FYI, was the person who fired Joyce Harber from the paper.

Betty: "She didn't name Jean Seberg, calling her "Miss A," but she printed unique details of Seberg's life and career that made the identity of 'Miss A' obvious."

C.I.: Well the item could have described several. That's what a blind item is. The musical in the item is probably the biggest clue but many could have read it and thought, for instance, "Jane Fonda" and just assumed she'd signed to do a musical and they didn't know about it.

Betty: I'm going to hurry this along. "Newspapers and magazines around the country picked up the story, and an emotionally fragile Seberg attempted suicide. Doctors tried to save her baby's life by performing a
caesarean section, but the baby lived only two days."

C.I.: There are so many lies in that I don't know where to start. Harber wrote for The LA Times. Her column was also syndicated. Those who carried her syndicated column picked it up as they normally did. It did not cause anything like what that woman describes in her book. Rebecca told me not to read that because she knows how I am about Seberg. Not to read the book. I'm glad I didn't. Is Flyboy listening?

Rebecca: Yes. Why?

C.I.: See if he'll speak for a minute.

Flyboy: Sure. What's up?

C.I.: I've talked in roundtables about this and written about it at The Common Ills. Betty knows and everyone else knows what happened. I'm thinking you may not.

Flyboy: Not really. Just what Betty was reading and Rebecca telling me, "Oh my God, C.I. is going to be furious." That was when she was reading the book.

C.I.: You heard what Betty read. Could you tell me the events as the author portrays them?

Flyboy: A gossip columinist at an LA paper writes that Jean Seberg is pregnant by a Black Panther. Jean Seberg tries to kill herself. The baby dies.

C.I.: Thank you. That is such a fucking lie -- and I just told one member last week I'd try to watch my own language in these editions. I do not take kindly to anyone lying about Jean Seberg. Rebecca said skip the book or you'll be pissed. Jean Seberg went into the hospital in August. The trauma at that time was Newsweek, not The Los Angeles Times. When the Harber blind item ran it was May of 1970.

Betty: May 19, 1970 according to the endnote.

C.I.: Thank you. Sebergs ends up in the hospital in August, after Seberg o.d.ed on sleeping pills, which was not thought by all to be a suicide attempt, she was taken to the hospital. While she was in the hospital, Edward Behr wrote up a bit on her for Newsweek. He maintained that he included the 'news' that the baby's father was a Black Panther in his cable to Newsweek's NY headquarters because he was just trying to prove he was 'on' the story and in the know but it wasn't for publication. In the cable he does mark that "Strictly FYI". That ends up running in Newsweek. Kermit Lasner will offer the laughable excuse that he had no idea how that piece of shit made it into the magazine because he'd had a scooter accident at lunch. Newseek printed, August 24th issue, 1970, that, this is a quote, I damn well know what they printed: "She and French author Romain Gary, 56, are reportedly about to remarry even though the baby Jean expects in October is by another man -- a black activist she met in California." That's what got picked up everywhere, including in The Des Moines Register, Seberg's hometown paper. Now that book is supposed to utilize government documents and the FBI had Seberg's phones tapped, including her hospital phone, so they knew very well that her state of mind was frantic after Newsweek published the item. She lost the baby because of the Newsweek article. I question everything that Betty quoted including the timeline. Newsweek printed it, it got picked up everywhere, Jean Seberg lost her baby, and Romain Gary was quite clear whom he blamed when he wrote "The Big Knife" which was published in France-Soir. This was a very huge thing, in press on both sides of the Atlantic. It's still a huge deal to many and one of the main reasons I never link to the piece of crap Newsweek.

Betty: I knew it was wrong. We've discussed this and it's addressed in "Spying and Seberg" but I had to wonder how an author gets it that wrong? Maybe because it's a little easier to go after a dead gossip columnist than it is to go after Newsweek?

C.I.: To be honest with you, that's exactly where I went as well. Joyce Harber was scapegoated for that thing which she never would have read if the city editor hadn't vouched for it. Bill Thomas got off scott free. But what Harber did was a bit of gossip. In a blind item. Newsweek, not a gossip publication, printed a lie in their magazine and that set off a wave outside of any gossip community. They knew what would happen when they did that, both to Seberg and in terms of being echoed throughout the press. That was nothing but corporate media going after a peace activist. It's exactly the kind of crap they've always done and for an author of a book published by The Free Press to either not know or to avoid telling readers the actual truth is just disgusting. It's the August 24, 1970 issue of Newsweek. Anyone who doubts it can get their ass to a libary and utilize the reels or microfiche.

Dona: I just want to note that this wasn't true, it was something created by the FBI, and, therefore, it needs to be asked how a Newsweek reporter in France got hold of the information?
So now we're on the topic of the media. Okay, everyone, we're taking a break. C.I. just walked off in disgust.

Jim: And we're back. Before we move on, do you want to add anything C.I.?

C.I.: Just that if you feel the press led to the death of Seberg's child, I do, and that it was a government plot, which has been established and someone needing a source can comb through Richard Cohen's columns, he's written very strongly about it, after the FBI records became public, at The Washington Post, you name the people involved. This is the sort of cowardice we see too much of it, if it's not ignorance, a refusal to go after the big targets because you're scared. It makes my blood boil. Betty's right, it's really easy to go after a gossip columnist. It's a lot more difficult to go after Newsweek for some. But the reality is that it was Newsweek in August, not Harber in May that printed the lie and printed Jean Seberg's name by it. It was a government plot against Seberg and running to hide behind gossip columnists sure does allow Newsweek breathing room. When the government decides to destroy someone and when you can prove that it was a plot to destroy her, carried out by the FBI, with J. Edgar Hoover's approval, you tell the truth about it. You don't write, "OH MY GOD! JOYCE HARBER RAN A BLIND ITEM AND IT DESTROYED JEAN SEBERG!" The blind item worried her. Newsweek destroyed her. There's a difference.

Mike: A big difference. Like chasing after the ghost of Judith Miller while Michael Gordon continues to sell the war. It's easy, no one's going to challenge you, and, to the uninformed, it looks like you've done some work.

Participating in that roundtable were The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Jess, Ty, Ava and Jim; Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude (and her husband);Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills);Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man; C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review; Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix; Mike of Mikey Likes It!; Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz; and Wally of The Daily Jot. There's an f-word somewhere above -- I say it.  I'm not taking it out -- mainly because I don't read it.  It will only make me angry.  Or angrier.  Sorry for the f-word.

But I believe the above covers it all.  The FBI used their associate/plant to get the item to Joyce, this man told Joyce that the item was from a trusted source that they used frequently.  It was from the FBI and Bill should have been exposed for that but even now, online, he's not.

More to the point, it was the CIA pulling in France and Edward Behr.

The NEWSWEEK item?  It led to her miscarriage.  And that's why Romain and Jean sued NEWSWEEK.

Oh, bonus points, Joyce didn't write for THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER so someone want to include them as well?  "Hear a Black Panther's the pappy of a certain film queen's expected baby, but her estranged hubby's asking her back anyway."  That was July 11, 1970.  But let's all pretend it was Joyce.

It was a government plot and the press took part in it -- some like Joyce did so unknowingly, others like Kermit, Edward and NEWSWEEK did so knowingly and willingly which is why they were willing to break the rules of journalism (you didn't print what they printed) in an attempt to destroy Jean Seberg.

The press is not your friend.  It will always use you if it can and it will betray you when something better or someone more powerful comes along.  That is the true history of the press.

And in 2018, we've seen what the press -- and the CIA, let's be honest -- can do.  They can attempt a coup on a sitting president.  I'm honestly surprised that Donald Trump has not been assassinated yet -- either with bullets or with a sex scandal (which is the preferred method).

Donald being targeted by the CIA -- Clapper and other crooks -- doesn't make him a good person.  We don't live in dualities -- the world is far more complicated.

We'd do better to grasp how we're being lied to repeatedly.

The press threw another fit as 2018 winded down.   The thought of peace breaking out was too much for them.

Donald Trump threatening to pull troops from Syria and Afghanistan should be applauded.  But, egged on by the press, a bunch of idiots who can't handle complexities are spewing outrage.

I didn't vote for Donald.  If he runs for re-election, I don't see myself voting for him.  But if he does something good -- for the US or for other countries -- I will gladly applaud that.  Maybe the reason a War Lord like Barack Obama is still wrongly seen as someone of peace is because people can't handle complexities and complexities don't work in the simple narrative the press provides?

A simple narrative is necessary when the point of 'reporting' is not to tell the truth but to socialize and propagandize and proselytize  -- a simple narrative is required.

The media is not your friend and maybe the hope that some of us are starting to feel is because so many Americans have awakened to that reality?

In a country that valued truth, Julian Assange would not be persecuted, Edward Snowden would be celebrated, John Stauber would run THE NATION, PACIFICA would drop DEMOCRACY NOW! (a pro-war propaganda outlet since the war on Libya) and instead pour the money into BLACK AGENDA RADIO.

We're not there, we probably never will be sadly.  But we can at least wake up to the reality that the media is not our friend, that it has not practiced fairness and that it is more determined to tell us what to think than to tell us the truth.  Maybe even Cher can grasp that truth?

If not, maybe she can at least grasp that the breathless false claims repeated constantly haven't panned out and that the media's only succeeded in exposing itself.  The press as flasher -- not a good look.

2017: The Year of Chicken Little
2016: The Year of WTF
2015: The Year of the Ass
2014: The Year of Self-Exposure
2013: The Year of Exposure
2012: The Year of Avoidance
2011: The Year of the Slow Reveal

  • 2010: The Year of Enough
  • 2009: The Year of Living Sickly
  • 2008: The Year of Living Hormonally

  • 2007: The Year of Living Useless

  • 2006: The Year of Living Dumbly

  • The Common Ills Year in Review 2005

    The Common Ills Year in Review

    Other year in review pieces at this site are: