Archives for posts with tag: alternative media

Narciss-O-Meter

(or how the first-person-personal-pronoun became the love of my life)

This morning ‘I’ went to the Liberty Blitzkrieg blog and read Michael Krieger’s ‘about me.’ We’ll use his example as the introduction to the narciss-o-meter.

“My name is Michael Krieger, and I am the creator and editor of Liberty Blitzkrieg. I’m originally from New York City.

“As far as my academic and professional background, I attended college at Duke University where I earned a double major in Economics and Spanish. After completing my studies in 2000, I took a job at Lehman Brothers where I worked with the Oil analyst in the Equity Research Department.  In 2005, I joined Sanford C. Bernstein where I served as the Commodities Analyst on the trading floor. About halfway through my time there, I started to branch out and write opinions on bigger picture “macro” topics that no one else at the firm was covering. These opinion pieces were extremely popular throughout the global investment community, and I traveled around providing advice to some of the largest mutual funds, pension funds and hedge funds in the world.

“I loved my job, but as time passed I started to educate myself about how the monetary and financial system functions and what I discovered disgusted me. I no longer felt satisfied working within the industry, and I resigned in January 2010.  At that point, I started a family investment office and continued to write macro pieces on economic, social and geopolitical topics. That summer, I drove cross country for six weeks and ultimately decided to leave the crowded streets of Manhattan for the open spaces of Boulder, Colorado, where I currently reside.

“In the years that followed, I gradually recognized that my true passion centers upon writing on issues of significant societal importance given the extremely challenging times we live in. This realization culminated with me losing interest in financial markets and eventually launching this website in early 2012.

“If you are interested in a more detailed description, replete with colorful anecdotes, of how I ended up making this bizarre professional transition, take the time to watch the video below”

Michael Krieger employs the first-person-personal-pronoun ‘I’ no less than 20 times in five paragraphs, composed of 315 words. 315 divided by 20 = 15.75 or ‘I’ on average every 15+ words. Now, I only have picked on Michael because the idea for this satire occurred while reading there. I’ll somehow not be surprised if he scores high on the narciss-o-meter.

TomDispatch’s Tom Englehardt employs the first-person-personal-pronoun ‘I’ no less than 49 times in an article of 3,606 words or once on average every 73.6 words on the narciss-o-meter. I had previously believed his was a record but this is an article lauding the author’s importance in relation to ‘big  events’ so I expect the extra wordiness counts for something. Or maybe it’s just my prejudicial view of Englehardt’s taking CIA liaised Ford Foundation (laundered) money to write propaganda poisoned stories, which it seems is legal in today’s USA, since congress essentially overturned the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 making intelligence agency media lies legal (in 2013.) But I digress…

Over at Porkin’s Policy Review, a random sample:

“In the second hour I update the listeners on the most recent development in the JonBenet case regarding Burke Ramsey’s lawsuit against CBS and Dr. Werner Spitz. Then I move on to the conspiracy culture and the latest attempt at mainstreaming the movement. I talk about the History Channel show Hunting Hitler and the possibility that it is an experiment and operation designed to influence the movement. I talk about the show’s main host, former CIA agent Bob Baer, and the involvement of the Pentagon in the show. I explore the idea that both the CIA and DOD may be trying to influence the way the alt-media/conspiracy culture conducts research and present themselves to the world at large. I also talk about the pitfalls that this presents to us moving forward and being taken seriously”

Six times ‘porky’ uses the first-person-personal-pronoun ‘I’ in 135 words. 135 divided by 6 = ‘I’ every 22.5 words on the narciss-o-meter. But what’s really creepy about ‘porky’ is his promoting Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty as a recommended site at his blog even as he ‘explores’ CIA & Department of Defense media manipulation. Call it the spy versus spy alternative media equivalent of catching your foreskin in your pant’s zipper….

Ok, says me to meself, let’s go for a guy who ‘I’ really admire, Nafeez Ahmed, just to find out:

Nafeez Ahmed, Investigative journalist, recovering academic, tracking the Crisis of Civilisation patreon.com/nafeez. Editor of INSURGE intelligence, Return of the Reich

WOW. 20 words, no personal pronoun, no math, no stupid stuff. Do I agree with Nafeez in every respect? No. But ‘I’ admire his bona fide courage in attacking the 21st Century Nazi meme, head on. ‘I’ recommend everyone who reads here to visit his sites, INSURGE intelligence & Return of the Reich

Now, for the tough part, an unbiased self-evaluation. Method? Go to my 2014 story of exile, for the first time targeting the first-person-personal-pronoun ‘I’ … and ‘I’ expect Nafeez is going to deliver myself a good spanking by comparison.

6,745 words. First-person-personal-pronoun ‘I’ 142 times. Ow, ouch. ‘I’ used the big ‘I’ on average every 47.5 words. The CIA’s fuckin Englehardt beat me. On the other hand, ‘I’ can take consolation in the fact ‘I’ was actually writing about myself as opposed to how important ‘I’ am writing in relation to other people. Uh, this paragraph sort of sucks, ‘I’ seven times in 69 words (includes numbers) [67 divided by 7 = first-person-personal-pronoun ‘I’ every 9.8 words, excepting the ‘I’ in these brackets, all of the preceding parties just stepped on me, face in palm.]

Disclaimer: ‘I’ was not about to go through my story’s nearly 7,000 words more than once to see if ‘I’ had counted correctly… anyone reading here that is anal enough to count through it enough times to come up with the same number twice, is welcome to submit the corrected math via comment –

*

Related:

Zerohedge Drinks The Kool-Aid on Tom Engelhardt’s false-flag journalism

Pentagon Papers, CIA & The Lies of Daniel Ellsberg More on Englehardt’s TomDispatch disinformation

*

Mephisto

On Alternative Media

“Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief” – Frantz Fanon

The preceding paragraph illuminates a social phenomena played by corporate owned mainstream media, taking advantage of people everyday. ‘Alternative media’ is meant to circumvent this but in fact often is a wolf dressed in the proverbial sheep’s clothing. Here is why:

All of the ‘alternative’ news outlets (all of those with any degree of independence and significant readership in any case) will be targets of the several competing intelligence agencies wishing to shape discourse. The ability of the agencies to do this will depend on the environment, awareness, personality, sympathies and approach of the producers. Zerohedge is (my perhaps imperfect assessment) far less manipulative than, example given, TomDispatch (a blatant case) but no matter the outlet there is always some degree of risk the consumer will absorb deliberate disinformation. Additionally, ideological alignment will play in the alternative outlets, no matter how clean. Information is shaped both by conscious effort and unconscious influences.

I would place zerohedge in that category where anti-corporate, libertarian ideology (yes, there is such a thing, as opposed to corporate controlled or manipulated ‘libertarian’ tea party, e.g. Koch brothers) shapes its discourse on the right, over on the left there are also examples, for instance Global Research, Voltaire Net and more recently The Intercept are all to some extent shaped by ideology or personal prejudices. Of course intelligence agencies will look at every opportunity to exploit these outlets. The Intercept appears to have been co-opted rather quickly by western intelligence via its bank-roller Pierre Omidyar; particularly on the Ukraine discourse (Glenn Greenwald’s disclaimers notwithstanding.)

In cases of more insidious perversion of information, a common modus operandi is to associate events that cannot be concealed with the wrong party (false flag is pervasive method of disinformation) and embed facts together with inventions in the discourse. Consortium News is a past master at this, for instance Robert Parry consistently shaping the discourse to point to incompetent or maverick Ukrainian military downing MH 17 with a Buk surface to air missile, as opposed to the Ukrainian SU 25 combat jet which he steadfastly refuses to so much as mention much less consider. The point of method like this can be to create a face saving or less damaging escape for the western aligned parties in the event the initial propaganda efforts blaming Russia fall apart. Better some drunk or incompetent Ukrainian military performed the shoot down in the public eye (in the western intelligence view) than a Ukrainian air force jet on orders from Kiev. A secondary possible effect (the CIA would hope) is when, more likely than if, considering the incompetence involved, the west’s MH 17 story falls apart, the Russians will allow for the alternative line put forward by someone like Parry in return for concessions in the ‘spirit’ of so-called ‘Realpolitik’ where cynical geopolitical deals will necessarily determine truth must be the first casualty.

Another method is to play on peoples’ sense of helplessness while steering them away from the essential reality and attending motivations by keeping them preoccupied with outrage. That’s Tom Engelhardt’s method. A short research pulls up CIA associated funding underlying TomDispatch, originating with Ford Foundation grants, laundered via The Nation Institute (The Nation is another long time intelligence penetrated organization, host of disinformation puppet Bob Dreyfuss.)

Just a few short but critical examples. The best one can do with all of this is to keep track of the metadata threads (facts within events than cannot be denied) while being careful not to be sucked into the attending spin. Assembling a focus this way, you seldom will get a perfect picture but done competently, one should certainly get a far clearer understanding of what’s actually going on.

A footnote would be, the Russians recognize the western press is so corrupt, they don’t need to much engage in overt deceits but more or less stick to the facts surrounding events (as much as possible) to gain credibility, and when this is not an option, their preferred fallback technique is ‘lies by omission.’ The western consumer taking in RT gets a much better deal than the eastern consumer lapping up the Helsinki based, western mainstream media clone misnamed ‘The Moscow Times.’

ve42

%d bloggers like this: