Tag Archives: CNN

That’s rich: After hiring Ebola crisis actors, NYT decries Ebola conspiracy theories

The august New York Times used paid “crisis actors” in its video report on the Ebola epidemic from Liberia — and, in so doing, feeds conspiracy theories about Ebola. But the paper has the audacity (Obama’s favorite word) to publish an article decrying Ebola conspiracy theories.

Beginning at the 8:08 mark in the video above, you’ll see the New York Times‘ video report of a young man wearing a neon-green t-shirt supposedly sick with Ebola, who flung himself to the ground outside a health clinic. Note that he displays none of the symptoms of Ebola: no sweat, no vomit, no diarrhea.

Most damning is the fact that, beg. at the 12:42 mark in the video, as he was walking away from the camera, the young man’s father stuffed a handful of cash into his back pocket.

Ebola cash

My post on this, “Is Ebola pandemic a false flag?,” also dealt with CNN similarly resorting to crisis actors in its reporting on Ebola. Ask yourself this question:

Why would NYT and CNN hire Liberians to PRETEND they’re deathly ill with Ebola? 

See also these other fake reportings by CNN at Sandy Hook and the Gulf War.

Below is Alan Feuer’s hypocritical New York Times article of Oct. 18, 2014, on Ebola conspiracy theories.

~Eowyn

do as i say

The Ebola Conspiracy Theories

The spread of Ebola from western Africa to suburban Texas has brought with it another strain of contagion: conspiracy theories.

The outbreak began in September, when The Daily Observer, a Liberian newspaper, published an article alleging that the virus was not what it seemed — a medical disaster — but rather a bioweapon designed by the United States military to depopulate the planet. Not long after, accusations appeared online contending that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had patented the virus and was poised to make a fortune from a new vaccine it had created with the pharmaceutical industry. There were even reports that the New World Order, that classic conspiracy bugbear involving global elites, had engineered Ebola in order to impose quarantines, travel bans and eventually martial law.

While most of these theories have so far lingered on the fringes of the Internet, a few stubborn cases have crept into the mainstream. In the last few weeks, conservative figures like Rush Limbaugh and Laura Ingraham have floated the idea that President Obama had sent aid to Africa, risking American lives, because of his guilt over slavery and colonialism. And just days ago, the hip-hop artist Chris Brown took to Twitter, announcing to his 13 million followers: “I don’t know … but I think this Ebola epidemic is a form of population control.”

Conspiracy theories have always moved in tandem with the news, offering shadow explanations for distressing or perplexing events. Though typically dismissed as a destructive mix of mendacity and nonsense, they often reflect societal fears.

“Conspiracy theories don’t have to be true to tell us something about ourselves,” said Michael Barkun, a professor emeritus of political science at Syracuse University and the author of “Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America.” “They’re not effective as accurate accounts — they’re effective as expressions of anxiety.”

The notion, for example, that health officials are conspiring with Big Pharma to consciously spread — and then cure — Ebola as a profit-making venture might sound like the plot to a cheesy summer thriller, but in fact it touches on a genuine aspect of our health care system, said Mark Fenster, a professor at the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law and the author of “Conspiracy Theories: Secrecy and Power in American Culture.”

“The truth is that we do rely on private corporations to develop and produce our pharmaceuticals,” he said. “While we may not like that fact, it’s not so hard or paranoid to imagine private companies acting in their own best interests.”

The theory works, Professor Fenster added, because it is “truthy,” to borrow from the comedian Stephen Colbert. Which is to say, it has just enough veracity “that it rings true when carried to Ebola,” he said.

It’s not surprising that populist and anti-government conspiracies are rampant at a moment when opinion polls suggest that our trust in government has reached a record low. In fact, most theories pit those who perceive themselves as powerless against a dominant cabal of secretive elites.

That model certainly seems to fit the allegation that the Department of Defense created Ebola in a military lab to loose on the world as a Malthusian device to reduce the population. “Conspiracies against the powerless tend to be effective because the masses often feel that way,” James F. Broderick, an English professor at New Jersey City University and co-author of “Web of Conspiracy: A Guide to Conspiracy Theory Sites on the Internet,” said. “They reflect and reinforce the idea that ordinary citizens are victims of the government.”

Viral outbreaks, as a genre, have long attracted conspiracy theorists, beginning in medieval times when the Jewish leaders of Toledo, Spain, were blamed for having spread the Black Plague. More recently, the AIDS epidemic was also said to have been caused by a government plot.

The Ebola virus, experts say, is classic conspiracy theory fodder: a silent killer that penetrates the body undetected and lies dormant for weeks. Its sources are obscure, its symptoms horrific.

“Diseases in particular are suited to conspiracy because they are invisible and invisibly transmitted,” Professor Barkun said. “Our senses can’t tell us exactly how the danger spreads. The theory has an answer for what mystifies and frightens.”

Many conspiracy theorists pride themselves on having inside information, but in the case of Ebola such alleged information, or misinformation — the government is in on it! — can erode the public trust when it’s needed most.

“If these were just opinions that people spouted off on talk radio or at dinner parties, you could argue that there wasn’t much harm,” Professor Broderick said. “But to have the C.D.C. debased in public as a puppet of the New World Order or of major corporations is obviously a dangerous proposition.”

 Nonetheless, some scholars find value in conspiracy theories because they allow us to vent and give voice to hidden fears.

“I view these things as a way of framing the world, of offering us narratives,” Professor Fenster said. “And they’re not necessarily a bad thing. Conspiracy theories are something that’s available in American discourse as a way of telling stories, as a way of explaining who we are.”

Dan Rather Attacks War Supporters Who Don’t Send Own Kids To Fight

rather

Newsbusters: Dan Rather, former anchor of the CBS Evening News, appeared on CNN’s Reliable Sources to harshly criticize those in Congress calling for the U.S. to take military action against the terrorist group ISIS.

Speaking to anchor Brian Stelter on Sunday, August 24, Rather proclaimed that he will only listen to those who advocate boots on the ground “if you tell me you are prepared to send your son, your daughter, your grandson, your granddaughter to that war of which you are beating the drums.”

The disgraced former CBS anchor began his rant by declaring that regarding ISIS “the war drums have been beating along the Potomac for some little while, accentuated in recent weeks and now in recent days.” Rather continued by insisting on the need to “do something about ISIS” but slammed those calling for direct military intervention:

“My first question to anyone who is on television saying, we have to get tough, we need to put boots on the ground and we need to go to war in one of these places is, I will hear you out if you tell me you are prepared to send your son, your daughter, your grandson, your granddaughter to that war of which you are beating the drums. If you aren’t, I have no patience with you, and don’t even talk to me.

As the segment continued, Stelter lamented that individuals would dare call for using U.S. resources to destroy ISIS and turned to a familiar liberal talking point, the Iraq War:

“It worries me that I hear so many more voices on television that are advocating for action than I do hear voices of people who are trying to push on the brakes, push on the brakes. And it is somewhat reminiscent of 2002 and 2003 in the run-up to what was a, of course, much, much bigger U.S. military action in Iraq than anything that is being contemplated now.”

Unsurprisingly Rather, who was fired from CBS for running a fake attack story on President Bush’s service in the Texas Air National Guard, eagerly agreed with the CNN host to close out the segment:

“We have a lot to answer for about what we didn’t do and what we did do in the run-up to the war in Iraq, which I think history will judge to be a strategic disaster of historic proportions. We journalists, including this one, we didn’t ask the right questions. We didn’t ask enough questions. We didn’t ask the follow- up questions. We did not challenge power. And I am concerned that, once again, as the war drums begin to beat and get louder and louder, that there will be a herd mentality of saying, well, we have to go to war in Syria, we have to go to war Ukraine.”

Here’s a couple of questions for Mr. “Fake But Accurate”:

  • Aren’t soldiers who sign up adults who can decide for themselves if they want to serve?
  • Are parents forced “send” their children to war?
  • What about the people who don’t have children? Are they not allowed an opinion?

Here’s a story Mr. “Fake But Accurate” won’t share with you: When my soldier was in Afghanistan, he and other soldiers had to go outside the wire. The reason? Mr. “Fake But Accurate” had left a bag at Kabul and needed it brought to him. The number of children who risked their lives to retrieve his bag?

  • My soldier and his gunner
  • Six US soldiers who drove MRAPs (one in front and one behind of my soldier’s vehicle)
  • Rather’s two assistants
  • The CBS employee who drove the bag from Kabul for the rendezvous

So I ask you, Mr. “Fake But Accurate”, how many children’s lives did you risk when they had to go outside the wire to retrieve your precious leather bag? Answer: NONE OF YOUR OWN CHILDREN.

Sanctimonious jerk.

DCG

P.S. My soldier jokes about retrieving Rather’s “shorts”.

P.S.S. The assistants kept insisting it was his Viagra that was in the bag :)

550 Buyouts, Layoffs Imminent at Turner; HLN, CNN Among Cuts

cnn

TheWrap: Some 550 buyouts are to be offered at Time Warner’s Turner network this week, including a large number of those at CNN and HLN, which will lead to layoffs if they are not taken voluntarily, according to an individual with knowledge of the network’s plans.

The buyouts will come across the Turner division, with a couple of hundred expected at CNN and HLN, the individual said. A CNN spokeswoman had no immediate comment.

News of the buyouts comes shortly after Turner Broadcasting System CEO John Martin revealed in an internal memo Tuesday that corporate restructuring was coming in the next two months.

“Division leaders now are reviewing the working groups’ reports on their respective areas of oversight,” Martin wrote. “Over the coming weeks, they will work with me to finalize the organizational changes we will implement.”

Time Warner-owned Turner is the parent company of HLN.

Martin’s note also stated that the company will ”start 2015 a more streamlined, nimble and efficient company focused on driving programming, monetization and innovation, in a culture that emphasizes and rewards continuous improvement.” (Blah, blah, blah…)

CNN chief Jeff Zucker called in to a Turner news meeting last week to elaborate on Martin’s memo. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution posted a partial transcription on Sunday.

“We now have a sense of what Turner is expecting from CNN,” Zucker said on the call. “I am working with the senior management team at CNN to figure out what this means for us. This will result in changes and what we do and what we stop doing.”

Zucker told employees that they’d be hearing news from their managers this week or the next. ”We are going to do less and have to do it with less,” he concluded.

HLN has been struggling in the ratings, regularly finishing fourth in total viewers and in primetime across the key cable news demo, viewers 25-54. It did edge out MSNBC in the demo across a total day measurement in 2014’s second quarter.

CNN’s ratings have been doing well during times of big, national breaking news — but the cable news net regularly ranks far behind Fox News and battles with MSNBC probably more than it would prefer.

Last week, TheWrap reported that Glenn Beck’s The Blaze was in talks with Time Warner’s CNN to replace sister cable news network HLN. The Blaze offered Time Warner two proposals, but neither went anywhere. Time Warner has been in talks with the online news network Vice, cofounded by Shane Smith. No deal is in place there either.

See also:

DCG

Veterans die while waiting for MONTHS to see a doctor at VA hospitals

U.S. Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals have a rule that medical care is to be provided to patients, i.e., military veterans, in a timely manner, within 14 to 30 days.

The reality however is quite different.

For six months, CNN has been reporting on extended delays in health care appointments suffered by veterans across America, some of whom died while waiting for appointments and care. But nothing was done, despite all the lip service that politicians pay to the wellbeing of veterans. Blah, blah, blah.

On April 24, 2014, CNN published a THIRD report, this time on the utterly unconscionable practices at a VA hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, where 1,400 to 1,600 sick veterans are kept on a secret waiting list for months to a year. 40 of those vets actually died while waiting for an appointment just to see a doctor.

In effect, the long waiting list is a de facto death list.

But the hospital kept the waiting list a secret, while giving Washington politicians a fake “official” list of timely appointments.

VA hospital PhoenixHere are excerpts from Scott Bronstein and Drew Griffin’s report for CNN, “A fatal wait: Veterans languish and die on a VA hospital’s secret list,” April 24, 2014:

At least 40 U.S. veterans died waiting for appointments at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system, many of whom were placed on a secret waiting list.

The secret list was part of an elaborate scheme designed by Veterans Affairs managers in Phoenix who were trying to hide that 1,400 to 1,600 sick veterans were forced to wait months to see a doctor, according to a recently retired top VA doctor and several high-level sources. […]

Internal e-mails obtained by CNN show that top management at the VA hospital in Arizona knew about the practice and even defended it.

Dr. Sam Foote just retired after spending 24 years with the VA system in Phoenix. The veteran doctor told CNN in an exclusive interview that the Phoenix VA works off two lists for patient appointments:

There’s an “official” list that’s shared with officials in Washington and shows the VA has been providing timely appointments, which Foote calls a sham list. And then there’s the real list that’s hidden from outsiders, where wait times can last more than a year.

The scheme was deliberately put in place to avoid the VA’s own internal rules,” said Foote in Phoenix. “They developed the secret waiting list,” said Foote, a respected local physician.

The VA requires its hospitals to provide care to patients in a timely manner, typically within 14 to 30 days, Foote said.

According to Foote, the elaborate scheme in Phoenix involved shredding evidence to hide the long list of veterans waiting for appointments and care. Officials at the VA, Foote says, instructed their staff to not actually make doctor’s appointments for veterans within the computer system.

Instead, Foote says, when a veteran comes in seeking an appointment, “they enter information into the computer and do a screen capture hard copy printout. They then do not save what was put into the computer so there’s no record that you were ever here,” he said. […]

Foote estimates right now the number of veterans waiting on the “secret list” to see a primary care physician is somewhere between 1,400 and 1,600. […]

Several other high-level VA staff confirmed Foote’s description to CNN and confirmed this is exactly how the secret list works in Phoenix.

Foote says the Phoenix wait times reported back to Washington were entirely fictitious. “So then when they did that, they would report to Washington, ‘Oh yeah. We’re makin’ our appointments within — within 10 days, within the 14-day frame,’ when in reality it had been six, nine, in some cases 21 months,” he said.

In the case of 71-year-old Navy veteran Thomas Breen, the wait on the secret list ended much sooner.

“We had noticed that he started to have bleeding in his urine,” said Teddy Barnes-Breen, his son. “So I was like, ‘Listen, we gotta get you to the doctor.”

Teddy says his Brooklyn-raised father was so proud of his military service that he would go nowhere but the VA for treatment. On September 28, 2013, with blood in his urine and a history of cancer, Teddy and his wife, Sally, rushed his father to the Phoenix VA emergency room, where he was examined and sent home to wait.

“They wrote on his chart that it was urgent,” said Sally, her father-in-law’s main caretaker. The family has obtained the chart from the VA that clearly states the “urgency” as “one week” for Breen to see a primary care doctor or at least a urologist, for the concerns about the blood in the urine.

“And they sent him home,” says Teddy, incredulously. […]

No one called from the VA with a primary care appointment. Sally says she and her father-in-law called “numerous times” in an effort to try to get an urgent appointment for him. […]

Thomas Breen died on November 30. The death certificate shows that he died from Stage 4 bladder cancer. Months after the initial visit, Sally says she finally did get a call.

“They called me December 6. He’s dead already.” […]

Foote says Breen is a perfect example of a veteran who needed an urgent appointment with a primary doctor and who was instead put on the secret waiting list — where he remained hidden.

Foote adds that when veterans waiting on the secret list die, they are simply removed. […] Foote said that the number of dead veterans who died waiting for care is at least 40. […]

CNN has obtained e-mails from July 2013 showing that top management, including Phoenix VA Director Sharon Helman, was well-aware about the actual wait times, knew about the electronic off-the-books list and even defended its use to her staff. […]

__________________________

Sharon Helman

Note: C.J. Ciaramella reports for the Washington Free Beacon that public records show Sharon Helman received more than $9,000 in bonus pay in 2013, in addition to her annual base salary of $169,900. Overall, leadership at the Phoenix VA hospital was paid more than $700,000 in taxpayer money.

__________________________

Last year and earlier this year, Foote also sent letters to officials at the VA Office of the Inspector General with details about the secret electronic waiting list and about the large number of veterans who died waiting for care, many hidden on the secret list. Foote and several other sources inside the Phoenix VA confirmed to CNN that IG inspectors have interviewed them about the allegations.

CNN has made numerous requests to Helman and her staff for an interview about the secret list, the e-mails showing she was aware of it and the allegations of the 40 veterans who died waiting on the list, to no avail. […]

The Phoenix VA’s “off the books” waiting list has now gotten the attention of the U.S. House Veterans Affairs Committee in Washington, whose chairman has been investigating delays in care at veterans hospitals across the country.

According to Rep. Jeff Miller [R-Florida], chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, what was happening in Phoenix is even worse than veterans dying while waiting for care.

Even as CNN was working to report this story, the Florida Republican demanded the VA preserve all records in anticipation of a congressional investigation.

In a hearing on April 9, Miller learned even the undersecretary of health for the VA wasn’t being told the truth about the secret list:

Gordon Duff writes for Veterans Today, April 24, 2014, that “When one of our own groups picketed a massive VA facility for its acts of denial of care and massive corruption, the VA sent out police and then thugs to attack our members, average age 76. Two of our own died during the protest, Steve Palmer and Daniel Overmyer, both decorated World War II veterans. On another front, over 200 veterans who made complaints to the Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General were illegally prosecuted in order to shut them up.”

H/t FOTM’s swampygirl

~Eowyn

‘Rahm will look good': Emails show how CNN producers worked with Chicago mayor’s office to portray him as a ‘star’ of documentary series

Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gestures prior to inauguration ceremony of Barack Obama as President of the United States in Washington

DailyMail: Chicago is no stranger to corruption so perhaps it’s unsurprising that recently released emails show how CNN worked with city officials to portray Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a positive light for “unscripted” documentary series “Chicagoland”.

The Chicago Tribune obtained more than 700 emails that reveal how the CNN production team filming the eight-hour series worked with the mayor’s office to develop storylines – getting their input on details like camera angles and the working of press releases for the show.

The emails are made all the more inflammatory by the fact that Emanuel is currently running for re-election in 2015, and the documentary appears to be reinforcing his campaign.

“Make no mistake” This is Rahm Emanuel’s story, his re-election campaign vehicle. This is the boss of Chicago selling his heroic narrative to American voters,” Tribune columnist John Cass wrote following the report.

The pandering starts as early as October 2013, when director Marc Benjamin writes Emanuel’s director of communications, asking for more access to the mayor in the series which was shot the following spring.

“I know I am needy but we want more of Rahm in the series, I know I sound like a [broken] record, but in the Feb. 14 broadcast, Rahm will look good making “his” points,” Benjamin writes.

By February, CNN seems to have struck a deal with Emanuel when executive producer Marc Levin sends off an email to a press aide, saying he is “thrilled that City Hall and the Mayor have agreed to assist our production team, help steer us to strong stories and participate directly in the CNN series.”

When they started filming the series, Emanuel was planning on closing 50 public schools, the largest school closure in the city’s history.

The CNN producers hoped to take advantage of that moment to “highlight the Mayor’s leadership” going into detail on exactly what kind of shots they needed – such as the mayor talking on his phone in the car.

“I know we still have time to round out the mayor’s story and present him as the star he really is,” Levin writes in another email.

rahm

The mayor’s press office was so involved in the production that they even edited news releases prepared by CNN to announce the show, as shown in one email.

Besides the shady staging of Emanuel in the documentary, there are some other noted conflicts of interests.

Producers Levin and Benjamin are both represented by the William Morris talent agency, which is run by Ari Emanuel – the mayor’s brother.

When reached by the Tribune for comment, Levin said that everything Emanuel does is “stage-managed”.

“This is the way he operates, so I’m not going to dispute that,” Levin said. “I would be the first to acknowledge that you don’t get into Chicago…and get access without having to do a certain dance.”

CNN reinforced that message in a statement to Mediaite Friday. “The mayor’s office was never granted editorial control over the content or the press communications for Chicagoland, and no agency was ever granted authority to offer the mayor’s office editorial approval for the content or the promotional materials for the series.”

Chicagoland premiered March 6 on CNN after being showcased at the Sundance Film Festival in January. It was produced by Robert Redford.

???

DCG

Piers Morgan quits

Piers Morgan in Burger King Flame Fragrance Advert

We’re starting the week with good news!

Three years after taking over for Larry King in CNN’s plum 9 pm slot, the insufferable Piers Morgan has seen the ratings for his show, “Piers Morgan Live,” hit some new lows.

Piers said last week that he and CNN president Jeffrey Zucker had been talking about the show’s failure to connect and had decided to pull the plug, probably in March.

Piers said, “It’s been a painful period and lately we have taken a bath in the ratings. Look, I am a British guy debating American cultural issues, including guns, which has been very polarizing, and there is no doubt that there are many in the audience who are tired of me banging on about it. That’s run its course and Jeff and I have been talking for some time about different ways of using me.”

Sadly, this doesn’t mean we won’t see Piers anymore.

The supercilious Brit said he was interested in doing fewer appearances to greater effect — big, major interviews that would be events in themselves. Plans for a replacement at the 9 o’clock hour are still underway, but Piers and CNN are in talks about him remaining at CNN in a different role.

Source: New York Times

~Eowyn

Nancy Grace says “F**king coons”

Nancy Grace rails against Zimmerman’s “hatred” for Trayvon; insists Zimmerman said “F**king Coons.”

Guess what, Nancy? It does not say “Coons.”

Even CNN, not wanting to be sued, has brought in an audio expert to clean up tape. 

Pay attention at the 1:00 mark of this tape of the 911 call:

Zimmerman clearly said, “It’s f**king cold,” not “f**king coons.”

Nancy, you’re a race baiting pig.

~Steve~                Now I’m done on this topic. I think….

 dog-pulls-blanket