1. Fox News - And Right Wing Media - Is Nothing More Than A Conspiracy & Nazi-Style Propaganda Ring 2. Incontrovertible Proof that Sean Hannity Is Just A Two-Bit Factless Conspiracy Theorist: Alex Jones Of Infowars And Sean Hannity Of Fox News Are Really Just Two Peas In A Pod. 3. To Understand The GOP Position On Guns Follow The Blood Money 4. Is The NRA A Terrorist Organization? A Look At The NRA's Incendiary Rhetoric And Attack Ads
This post begins with John Oliver analyzing the NRA's fearmongering style that I have categorized as terrorism (but it could just be Nazi-like tyrants with an agenda). Then there are a bunch of extracts from media matters which paint the picture of a network of conspiracy (non-fact) based "news" channels all working together to help Trump and the GOP with thier lies & thus, as per thier Oaths of Office, treason. These channels includes all of right wing media from Fox news, to NRAtv, to Infowars and local news programming done by yet another upcomming Republican dictator.
NRA TV: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) The NRA's streaming lifestyle network aims to boost gun sales, often by using an ominous tone that would make just about anything sound terrifying...including muffins.
John Oliver: The "defining characteristic" of NRATV "is painting a bleak vision of America with threats around every single corner” (Media Matters)
Notice that, while pretending to stand for the second amendment, Trump and the GOP are actively fighting the first amendment by trying to create a State TV system where every view contrary to thier lies and terrorist viewpoints are aggressively challenged (currently everyone not a part of thier Nazi "conservative" movement is being attacked, as one should expect from a Nazi-like outfit such as the GOP and its supporting media).
The Trump FCC is now being investigated for making rules changes to help Sinclair
The nefarious relationship between the Trump-era Federal Communications Commission (FCC), conservative local TV news giant Sinclair Broadcast Group, and the Trump administration itself is now under investigation.
On February 15, The New York Times reported that the FCC inspector general has opened an internal investigation into potential improper conduct by Trump-appointed FCC chair Ajit Pai and his aides in advocating for deregulatory rules that specifically benefited Sinclair.
The internal investigation could also tackle a series of recent FCC actions that have directly allowed Sinclair greater room to expand:
In April, the FCC reinstated an outdated media ownership rule known as the UHF discount, making room for a new level of local media consolidation at the hands of big media groups like Sinclair.
Weeks later, Sinclair announced it was proposing to acquire Tribune Media, a huge local news merger that wouldn’t have been allowed without the UHF discount in place. The FCC and Trump’s Department of Justice are now the only agencies that need to approve the deal.
In October, the FCC voted to eliminate a rule that required local news stations to maintain offices within the communities they serve, making it easier for Sinclair to consolidate and centralize local news resources as it buys up more stations.
In November, the FCC rolled back rules that limit broadcast station ownership, allowing for Sinclair to more easily own or operate multiple stations -- or merge stations -- in the same local media markets.
Sinclair’s unprecedented gains under Pai’s purview are not just significant in terms of media consolidation; they’re ideologically dangerous. The company is known for requiring its local news stations across the country to air almost-daily segments that function as Trump propaganda. Its pending acquisition of Tribune would allow these segments to quietly spread further into major cities and battleground states ahead of the 2020 presidential race.
Here are the "Jews" the GOP's new nazi-like propaganda outlet (Sinclair) wants us to be afraid of and pretty much create news stories to accomplish this treasonous/anti-democratic-anti-facts goal
Sinclair’s “Terrorism Alert Desk” segments are designed to gin up xenophobia via local newsI watched more than 200 of Sinclair's terror alerts -- here's what I learned
Conservative TV news giant Sinclair Broadcast Group wants its local viewers to be constantly petrified of an impending terror attack by Muslim immigrants and refugees.
That’s the conclusion I’ve reached after watching all of Sinclair’s “Terrorism Alert Desk” segments from 2017 -- segments the company produces in its national offices and forces its local stations across the country to air almost every day.
Sinclair is now well-known for its history of abusing public trust to air right-wing spin on local news shows, and is currently awaiting federal approval to finalize a massive acquisition that will help it spread its conservative propaganda further across the country. It launched the Terrorism Alert Desk segments in November 2015. Last July, HBO’s John Oliver described them as “beneath the journalistic standards” of even Breitbart, noting that one segment that focused on a ban on burkinis in some French towns wasn’t even “about terrorism … just about Muslims” and mentioning a particularly shocking story that his research term could not verify.
Fixating on terror attacks in Europe perpetrated by immigrants or refugees (or people they can imply are somehow “foreign,” e.g. brown)
A typical story shared by the Terrorism Alert Desk -- without any context -- goes something like this:
LINDSEY MASTIS (ANCHOR): Two men suspected of fighting for an Al-Qaeda-linked group in Syria were arrested in the Netherlands today. The men traveled to the Netherlands as refugees in 2015.
In the above instance, that’s all the information viewers were offered about the case. The two sentences about the arrest do not include the name of the terror group or explain how the men were apprehended, nor do they offer what evidence law enforcement may or may not have for arresting them or provide any other details about the case. This small snapshot does, however, contain all the buzzwords necessary to stoke fear that refugees and immigrants continually commit terror attacks in European countries that welcome them -- a common xenophobic trope in far-right circles. (One Terrorism Alert Desk anchor, reporter Jonathan Elias, has also authored some online articles for Sinclair that rely on these far-right talking points about refugees perpetrating violence in Europe.)
Giving ISIS free publicity
Terrorism Alert Desk segments also frequently reported on violent incidents as though they were confirmed as having been perpetrated by ISIS members. Sinclair is seemingly unaware that the terror group tends to claim responsibility for attacks it did not directly plan or materially support. Segments often included a line about ISIS claiming responsibility but failed to provide any further context about what that means (or doesn’t mean). Others implied ISIS connections in vague terms or misled viewers by grouping confirmed ISIS-perpetrated attacks with other violent incidents with shakier or no confirmed ISIS connections.
Here are just a few reports from the “OK, so why report this at all” hall of fame:
“ISIS is still trying to claim responsibility for the mass shooting in Las Vegas” but “federal investigators do not believe ISIS was involved.” [10/6/17]
“There have been significant terrorist attacks since the start of Ramadan on May 26, and ISIS has called on its followers to commit attacks during this holy month,” but “officials say there is no evidence of a specific threat to the U.S.” [6/5/17]
“We continue to follow the developing story in Barcelona. Car- and truck-ramming is a hallmark of the terror group ISIS and that organization repeatedly calls for attacks like this in its propaganda magazines.” (The segment did not mention any specific evidence the attack was actually connected to ISIS.) [8/17/17]
Breathlessly recapping police arrests where suspects were released without charge
Some Terrorism Alert Desk segments include updates on random arrests of individuals suspected to be engaging in some sort of terrorism-related activity -- whether the arrests mean anything significant or not. A few examples:
A total of 12 people arrested after a car attack in London were released without charge. [4/4/17]
In England, a man “suspected of terrorism” was released from police custody, where he was held “after a different man with a sword was arrested outside Buckingham Palace.” [8/31/17]
German police released six Syrian men they had suspected of planning an attack in Berlin because they did not have “sufficient evidence … but the investigation is ongoing.” (A CNN report about the same incident also noted the police said there was “no concrete evidence” the men were connected to ISIS.) [11/22/17]
Hyping preventative security measures
The Terrorism Alert Desk is also preoccupied by preventive security measures that American and various European governments have taken. Together they paint a portrait for viewers of a world bracing itself for an impending terrorism apocalypse. In 2017, the desk featured (sometimes multiple) stories about:
the Australian government's plans to construct concrete barricades in Sydney in case of vehicle attacks [6/23/17];
security preparations for the Wimbledon tennis tournament in London, England [6/29/17, 7/3/17];
construction of an 8-foot bulletproof glass barrier surrounding the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France (replacing an existing metal barrier) [2/10/17, 6/28/17, 9/20/17];
concrete blocks at German Christmas markets [11/28/17];
a mobile net made of steel spikes in London [9/12/17];
a U.K. police “mock terrorism drill” that found terrorists could enter the Palace of Westminster in less than five minutes [8/28/17];
the French air force training eagles to take down drones [2/22/17]; and
terror “threat levels” fluctuating (or not) in different countries, reminders that the chances of a terror attack were high “anytime, anywhere,” and tweaks to terror threat measurements. [3/23/17, 9/16/17, 11/28/17, 5/24/17]
Focusing almost exclusively on terrorism associated with Islam
Terrorism Alert Desk segments in 2017 were overwhelmingly focused on terror attacks linked (credibly or not) to ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Taliban, and Boko Haram -- four terror groups that all espouse violent, extremist views purportedly as a form of Islam. Sinclair’s online “tracking terror” feature similarly focuses heavily on incidents associated with these groups.(It also includes a handful of attacks associated with other groups like Ansar al-Sharia, the Al-Qaeda-affiliated group Al-Shabaab, Hamas, and the Kurdistan Freedom Hawks, as well as some incidents with no specific terror group affiliations.)
Meanwhile, the Terrorism Alert Desk systematically ignored instances of violent white nationalism and far-right extremist incidents in 2017. I found just one example of the Terrorism Alert Desk addressing a violent white nationalist group throughout the entire year: a segment discussing the arrest of four members of the British army for being members of the neo-Nazi group National Action.
Scraping the bottom of the barrel for any stories even vaguely related to terrorism
Sometimes, the Terrorism Alert Desk fills up time with stories like these:
Someone spray-painted the word “ISIS” in a New York City subway station, and now the police are investigating it. [1/25/17]
One year later, the FBI is still investigating a homemade explosive device found in Central Park in New York City. The kicker: “Federal authorities don’t believe it was a terrorist act, but similar devices have been used in terror attacks.” [6/29/17]
Someone saw an ISIS flag in New Hampshire and the “police are looking into who put it there.” [6/16/17]
ISIS recruits are using doctors’ notes to avoid fighting. [2/8/17]
A Norwegian study found survivors of a terror attack were more likely to experience migraines. [12/15/17]
And, of course, repetition
A new Terrorism Alert Desk segment aired on average once every other day in 2017. A Media Matters search of the media database iQ media found 202 unique segments that ran on at least one of two select Sinclair stations during the year. On at least one of those stations -- Sinclair’s flagship WBFF in Baltimore -- segments sometimes aired multiple times.
In 2017, anyone who watched the Sinclair newscast every evening during the slot in which Terrorism Alert Desk airs would have consumed a total of more than three hours of alarmist bullshit. The segments even begin with newsy music and a bright red screen with the words “Terrorism Alert Desk” splashed across it in capital letters. The title “Terrorism Alert Desk” itself is also mentioned multiple times in each one-minute segment.
A single shoddy bit of reporting may not chip away at the public’s understanding of facts and truth -- but a year of these segments creates an entire avalanche of misinformation meant to induce panic. The collective psychological result is undoubtedly truly damaging.
Read full article here.
Media Matters: A guide to NRATV: NRA's news outlet is a hybrid of Breitbart and Infowars Launched in late 2016, NRATV serves as the news outlet for the National Rifle Association, regularly defending President Donald Trump, slamming mainstream media outlets as “dishonest rags,” and viciously criticizing any politician or activist who speaks out against the president and his policies. While some of the outlet’s coverage focuses on gun policy, the newest developments in firearms technology, and tactical shooting, the programming has largely become a platform for far-right conservative talking points that are often unrelated to gun policy. As NRATV strayed away from gun coverage, it sparked a number of controversies and drew widespread criticism during its inaugural year. After the February 2018 school shooting in Parkland, FL, there were numerous calls for companies to end their business relationship with NRATV.
What is NRATV?
Launched in October 2016, NRATV is a rebrand of the National Rifle Association’s long-running news outlet NRA News -- which began airing in 2004 -- with the aim of offering more live programming. NRATV broadcasts via online streaming at NRATV.com and satellite radio. Like with NRA News, the outlet’s operations are supported by the gun group’s advertising firm, Ackerman McQueen. While ostensibly a news outlet with a heavy focus on gun issues, NRATV has proven itself to be a platform for attacks on press freedoms and freedom of assembly, pro-Trump propaganda defending anything the president does, sometimes with blatant falsehoods, and xenophobic commentary, particularly on the topic of Islam.
Since Donald Trump won the Republican primary race in 2016, NRATV has been strident in its defense of the president. For example, in one of the first NRATV episodes, host Grant Stinchfield attacked the media for covering numerous reports of sexual assault against Trump, saying outlets should instead cover instances where guns are used in self-defense. After Trump won the presidential election in November 2016, NRATV released a video in which NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre called his organization Trump’s “strongest ally.” Meanwhile, the executive director of NRA’s lobbying wing -- the Institute for Legislative Action -- has frequently appeared on various NRATV programs to exclaim that “NRA members all across this country … helped deliver one of the most historic, come-from-behind wins in American history, and that was the election of President Trump.”
While the NRA has long claimed that the news media are part of a conspiracy to disarm everyday Americans, the group’s recent attacks against the press in defense of Trump have entered new territory. The gun outlet has labeled both dissent against Trump and protected-speech reporting about the president and his administration contrary to the U.S. Constitution and American values, including claiming that the press who question Trump’s conduct are “anti-American.”
NRATV is available on several streaming devices including Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire. These companies have faced boycotts and calls to drop NRATV following the February 14 school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, that left 17 dead.
This guide was originally published on August 28, 2017, and has been updated with additional material.
Three troubling trends on NRATV thus far:
“CLENCHED FIST OF TRUTH” CONTROVERSY: NRATV ATTACKS THE FREEDOM TO ASSEMBLE
NRATV’s Loesch appeared in an inflammatory ad targeting the resistance movement against President Trump. In an NRA video, spokesperson Loesch characterized dissent against Trump as the “violence of lies” and said it should be countered with “the clenched fist of truth.” The video claimed that in their opposition to Trump, left-wing Americans “scream racism, and sexism, and xenophobia, and homophobia [and] smash windows, burn cars, shut down interstates and airports, bully and terrorize the law-abiding until the only option left is for the police to do their jobs and stop the madness.” She went on to say the only way to “save our country and our freedom” is with “the clenched fist of truth.” The ad conflated isolated incidents of property damage during anti-Trump protests with the resistance movement at large, giving viewers the false impression that protests against Trump are often violent. [NRATV, 4/7/17]
NRATV’s “clenched fist of truth” video was reposted to Facebook in June 2017, igniting widespread condemnation. On June 28, 2017, the NRATV video was reposted to the group’s Facebook page, where it generated waves of criticism, with critics saying that it was an incitement to violence against protesters who oppose Trump. NRATV promoted the video on Facebook as “Loesch tak[ing] on the left’s violence of lies.” [Facebook, 6/28/17; The Washington Post, 6/29/17; The New York Times, 6/29/17]
NRATV released a follow-up video that smeared critics. During a four-minute follow-up video posted on July 1, 2017, Stinchfield told those “having a meltdown” over Loesch’s initial video to “get over yourself.” Among several activists he singled out, Stinchfield claimed that anti-police-brutality activist DeRay McKesson, who had criticized the original NRA spot, is a “professional rioter” who has organized riots that injured police officers. Stinchfield closed by insisting an apology from the NRA will “never happen” and saying that “we stand firm with the clenched fist of truth.” [NRATV, 7/1/17]
NRATV released a third video claiming opponents of Trump are an “organized anarchy.” The NRA released a third video on the topic, featuring NRATV commentator Dom Raso, who conflated isolated incidents of violence with the entire resistance movement. For example, the video sought to connect property damage on Inauguration Day with remarks made by Rep. John Lewis. Raso slammed resistance protesters by playing footage of concentration camps from a Holocaust documentary to show what “fascism is.” [NRATV, 7/9/17]
NRATV MAKES EXTREME ATTACKS ON FREEDOM OF THE PRESS, OFTEN IN DEFENSE OF TRUMP
Stinchfield took a sledgehammer to a TV playing cable news to defend Trump. In a February 12, 2018, NRA ad, Stinchfield used a sledgehammer to smash a television that was playing clips from MSNBC, CNN and other outlets that criticized the NRA or Trump. [NRATV, 2/12/18]
Loesch held a lighter to a copy of The New York Times in NRATV ad. In a February 7, 2018, NRATV ad, Loesch held a lighter to a copy of The New York Times before saying, “I don’t even have to do this” because the Times is “burning down” its reputation by itself. [Media Matters, 2/7/18]
NRA ad featuring Loesch warned that Trump opponents "will perish in the political flames of their own fires." In an October 10, 2017, NRA ad, Loesch accused the government and the media of “driv[ing] their daggers through the hearts of our future” in order to “build their utopia.” Loesch went on to promise that opponents of Trump will fail in attempting to destroy the country and will then “perish in the political flames of their own fires”:
DANA LOESCH: We are witnesses to the most ruthless attack on a president, and the people who voted for him, and the free system that allowed it to happen in American history. From the highest levels