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5 Worst Media Moments of Last Week


Billionaire columnist Thomas Friedman wrote a creepy adore minute to Saudi dictator-in-waiting this week.


Photo Credit: By Charles Haynes (Charles Haynes’ flickr account) [CC BY-SA 2.0 ], around Wikimedia Commons


Saudi Arabia gets some top-shelf open family help from U.S. media, alt-right chuds have meltdown over Twitter ban, and the many amateurish administration in story still manages to plainly manipulate the media. We disintegrate these and some-more in this week’s 5 misfortune media moments.

1. Thomas Friedman writes creepy adore minute to Saudi dictator-in-waiting.

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What can be pronounced about Friedman that hasn’t been pronounced a million times by better writers? He’s tedious, venal, incoherent, implicitly unfriendly penetrate who’s been phoning in power-flattering columns given we was in center school. But on Thanksgiving he managed to find a new, once different turn of shamelessness, by using what was, in effect, a open family piece for the Saudi Crown Prince–fresh off a new inform of all his domestic enemies under the guise of “anti-corruption” and “reform”.

“Saudi Arabia’s Arab Spring, at Last“, the title proclaimed. Evidently comprehensive sovereign dictators can explain an “Arab spring” despite the whole indicate of the Arab Spring being to dispute such forces. Nonetheless, Friedman would continue for 2700 difference portrayal the king-in-waiting for his aplomb and courage. Glossing over the brutal, rapist fight in Yemen as a “humanitarian nightmare”, Friedman insists his “biggest sin” was “moving too fast”. Evidently, mercilessly bombing the lowest country in the Arab universe for two-and-a-half years falls next “being too goddamn ardent about reform” in the astringency of sins ranking.

In the cringing interview, Friedman let’s Mohammed bin Salman, but pushback, call Iran “the new Hitler”, explain the anti-corruption review is “independent” (as is the tradition in comprehensive monarchies), pour out deceptive reformist pablum, and even ends by comparing the king to Hamilton from the Broadway show Hamilton (Why does he always work like he’s using out of time”? Friedman fawns). In Dante’s Inferno, sycophants occupy the second array of the eighth round of hell, low in excrement that represents the feigned adulation of their words. There’s not, we will likely find out, a array low adequate nor feces manly adequate suitable for The Times misfortune columnist.

2. Trump plays media like fiddle over fraudulent Iran-HBO penetrate case.

It’s singular one has justification the media is being manipulated in genuine time but such is the case this week with the marvellous case of an Iranian inhabitant hacking HBO and hidden Game of Thrones scripts. The Washington Post reported Sunday that the Trump administration was pressuring DOJ lawyers to find any mud on Iran or Iranian nationals in a broader pull boost tensions with the country:

Last month, inhabitant confidence prosecutors at the Justice Department were told to demeanour at any ongoing investigations involving Iran or Iranian nationals with an eye toward making them public.

The pull to announce Iran-related cases has caused inner alarm, these people said, with some law coercion officials fearing that comparison Justice Department officials wish to exhibit the cases given the Trump administration would like Congress to levy new sanctions on Iran.

Here we have whistleblowers in the DOJ vouchsafing the open know, in no capricious terms, the Trump administration was selectively seeking out cases to allegation Iranians to criticise the Iran Deal, levy sanctions, and stoke a intensity war. How did the media respond to this after a story pennyless the same day an Iranian inhabitant hacked into HBO? By mindlessly repeating the story but observant this vivid piece of mitigating context. Every outlet, from LA TImes to Buzzfeed to Reuters to Daily News to The Guardian to The New York Times ran with the “LOL Winter is Coming for this Iranian hacker” support but observant it was partial of a counsel promotion bid by the Trump White House. DOJ lawyers told us Trump was personification the media and it worked anyway. No one cared.

3. $32 million media campaign to chair Neil Gorsuch on Supreme Court saved by unknown donor.

What would be the biggest liaison of the week in a healthy society––a singular unknown donor subsidy the PR campaign to chair a far-right judge on the Supreme Court—was relegated to teenager coverage in the benefaction ruin timeline.

MapLight’s Andrew Perez and Margaret Sessa-Hawkins suggested Tuesday that the major organisation behind the push, the Wellspring Committee, had, “donated some-more than $23 million last year to the Judicial Crisis Network, which spent $7 million on advertisements pulling Republican senators to retard President Barack Obama’s justice pick, Merrick Garland. After the election, the network spent another $10 million to boost President Donald Trump’s pick, Justice Neil Gorsuch.”

The many descent partial isn’t even that billionaire donors can have such gigantic change over the assignment and electoral process; it’s that they can do so wholly anonymously. Not only can we not do anything about the abounding moulding the notice on matters of outrageous domestic import, we can’t even know who is behind it. This should be an outrage, but alas, it’s just another dot on the sprawling map of monied change we now accept as routine.

4. 60 Minutes, Washington Post totally replace U.S. role in Yemen slaughter.

Two major media outlets spent the past two weeks whitewashing US role in the fast and bombing of Yemen. In this time, the country’s heading National Security paper, The Washington Post, has published two editorials and an explainer on the dispute and omitted, entirely, America’s military role in the campaign that’s left 15,000+ dead, two million internally displaced, and one million with cholera.

Escalating the loosening was CBS News’ 60 Minutes that dedicated a whole 13-minute shred to the dispute and never once mentioned that the United States provides targets for the Saudi Royal Air Force as good as refuels and sells billions in weapons. America’s role in the misfortune persisting charitable predicament on earth just slipped into a memory hole.

5. Major alt-right accounts get banned from Twitter, have gigantic meltdown.

Alt-right troll, master of the self-own, practitioner of self-macing, and part-time pyre fun maker, Baked Alaska (a/k/a Tim “Treadstone” Gionet) was banned from Twitter this week for being an all around sinister nazi-sympathizer. After having a meltdown at an In-and-Out Burger parking lot and yelling at pointless strangers he attempted to combined a “secret” comment which was fast banned as well. 

Twitter has finally got around to arrange of maybe trying to tame its exile nazi problem. The manners are still capricious and ambiguous but at slightest they finally motionless to decertifying luminary white supremacist Richard Spencer–though they couldn’t bring themselves to actually anathema him. This, one assumes, would just be too far.

Adam Johnson is a contributing researcher at FAIR and contributing author for AlterNet. Follow him on Twitter @AdamJohnsonNYC.



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