US Propaganda Arm: The Hospital That Bombed Itself

I’ll bet you didn’t know the US bombed a hospital in Afghanistan over the weekend.  It could be because you were getting your news from CNN or the New York Times, the most reliable branches of the US propaganda machine.

Here’s how CNN presented the story Sunday

FireShot Capture 1 - Afghanistan_ 19 die in air attacks on _ - http___edition.cnn.com_2015_10_03_a

Notice the language.  “Air attack.”  “US investigating.”  A preponderance of vagueries.  CNN even mentions that there were US bombing operations running in the area at the time but never even bothers to point out that the bomb that dropped was a US bomb.  They then “enhance” the story by pointing out that it was out of the area, and so on.  They didn’t know who did it, didn’t report on it, but just in case it was “us” they’re already out to make sure it’s downplayed.

The New York Times contorted the English language even further.  Eventually the story was modified to include possible US involvement:


This “airstrike,” however, was known.  The “insurgents” don’t have planes.  At least the Wall Street Journal had the stomach to call the obvious what it was; a US bombing of a hospital.  Mistake or otherwise, the perpetrators of this “mistake” were not hidden from our eyes.

It’s very troubling when you see the propaganda machine in action.  It’s even more troubling when you take into account the subtlety with which it’s employed and the “trusted” figures it comes from.

Earlier we spoke a lot about what the new propaganda machine looks like and its subtlety.  I laid out a few examples of how the media has become a rubber stamp to the people in power, and how little they really care about getting to the truth of a story.  We all like to believe that in the “old” days this was the main reason for journalistic enterprises, but it’s becoming clearer and clearer with each passing day that the only thing that drives the media now is the agenda of the day.  Which social justice cause?  Which conflict?  Which -ism can they attach to someone to make the story hum?

Then there’s the part that has devoted its existence to protecting the powerful.  If you ever wanted to see what that side looked like and how much it pays to be the “right kind” of “leader” for the talking heads and flittering keys, you only need look at the presidency we’re living under right now.  One of the memes that keeps recurring with regards to the President is that he “ended two wars.”  If that’s the case, he has some explaining to do as to why the US military blew a hospital up in Afghanistan when the “war” was over.

A friend of mine recently related the story of a friend of hers.  One of her Facebook friends was arguing about what a great President Barack Obama has been and specifically mentioned that “things are so much better” and he “ended two wars” and “fixed the economy.”


He ended a war?

He isn’t getting that idea on his own, someone is telling him that.  Who?  The folks who have successfully managed to keep, almost entirely, armed conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan off the front pages.  The last we heard about them was that there was a draw-down and that the troops were “withdrawing.”  People were coming “home.”  Victory is ours!  Then, to make the point stronger, people like John McCain (who I have no love for in any fashion) were quoted regularly as being upset at the “retreat” and how we were “leaving too early.”  His over-outrage about “leaving” made the claims that the war was ending appear even more valid and yet right now, in spite of what you may have heard about the war being over, there are 3,500 troops in Iraq (give or take a few) and 9,800 troops in Afghanistan.

That’s the “end?”

But the media is careful in how they refer to these troops.  This isn’t the “War in Iraq” or the “War in Afghanistan” any more.  That was only what it was called under George W. Bush, particularly after his “Mission Accomplished” speech.


Ironically, in that speech he talked about the end of “major combat operations” specifically, not an end to all armed conflict in Iraq.  He was mocked mercilessly for that (deservedly, in my opinion) but if you think about it, a few years later, President Obama has coasted along as if the wars in the two countries were over, and yet here we are with over 13,000 troops between the two countries.

If the war is over, why are they still there?  Why are hospitals being bombed?  Why are soldiers still dying?  What in God’s name are we doing there at all?

The answer is that the war isn’t over.  It’s no more over now than it was when President Bush stood on an aircraft carrier deck and said major combat operations were over, but the allies in the media want you to believe it is because their guy is responsible now.

The voice of the opposition has been silenced.  The anti-war movement, in spite of the continuous conflicts going on, has shut down.  There is no anti-war movement.  The Nobel-winning President has involved us in conflicts around the world, drone bombed every country he could at any point he felt like it, and failed to extricate us from the two he inherited and at the same time we’re being told he’s the “peace” President.  A thinker.  An academic.  He’s not some crazy lunatic neocon like the last guy.  He’s different.

He is different in one way: his wars are protected, minimized, covered up, and justified at every turn.  He can do no wrong in the eyes of his media guardians.

We Have An Active Propaganda Department in the United States and No One Seems To Care

When we think of “propaganda,” there are definitely some connotations to it.  We think, usually, of World War II Germany or Soviet Russia where propaganda was not even called that, it was just “news.”  In Germany, propaganda was such an effective tool for shaping the minds of people that the allies actually employed similar propaganda tools.  In the United States, for example, posters imploring people to buy war bonds, grow “victory gardens,” conserve metal for the production of weapons, and so on.

WWII Propaganda Poster

It was an all-out war, being fought in the newspapers, on radio, and in official posters and the war was all around you.  The government couldn’t get away with it for long, though, as people grew wise to it, and eventually the outright rah rah propaganda fell out of favor in exchange for a more subtle form of propaganda: planted news.

While it has a rich and storied history, planted stories are not unique to the past.  In fact, we’ve come to learn in recent years that the government is not only still doing it, but is doing it in such a way that it’s barely discernible from real actual hard news.  Often you’ll see it as the alphabet networks will refer to the same story using the same terms.  Recently, the federal government under George W. Bush was very big on “Video News Releases.”  They were so reviled that a bill was authored in 2005 to try and counteract the practice of pre-packaging news stories for the news networks by the federal government.  Unsurprisingly, that legislation died in committee and never made it to a vote.

What made people so angry about Video News Releases was that they reeked of “propaganda.”  It was a scary word!  We shouldn’t do that sort of thing!  Even the GAO believed that Video News Releases were propaganda unless disclosure statements came along with them.  In 2004 and 2005, the government knew that they were setting themselves up for trouble.  In reality all that happened was that the propaganda went from covert to more covert.

Sometimes it’s a photo op where all the cameras for all the networks just happened to be in the same place at the same time and just happened to catch a politician doing something to humanize them (like the First Lady “surprising” a Target by going in to buy just a few things).

The First Lady at Target

The news media never cops to this, either.  This sort of thing is what they call “news,” now.  It’s newsworthy that the First Lady showed up at Target “unexpectedly” and “surprised” everyone.  No one knew she was coming except for one of the largest news organizations in the world, The Associated Press, (ABC and CBS ran the story into the ground) who, like good little lapdogs immediately snapped photos and shared her shopping trip as a human interest story.

This is the sort of thing that those who are “in the know” refer to as “soft news.”  It isn’t really “news,” in any sense of the word.  There’s no pressing issue, story worthy of note, or narrative that affects all of us.  In this case, it was just a human interest story, but it happened to coincide with an opposing narrative that Michelle Obama is cold and out of touch with every day people.  Her shopping like the regular commoners happened at a time when she was receiving very heavy flak for her anti-obesity campaign, which was soundly ridiculed by nearly everyone including students at schools who found the new “compliant” lunch menus to be inedible and unappealing.

The AP, however, made sure that they were there to show everyone just how in touch she was, and how she shopped at Target just like the rest of us.

Thanks, AP.

While this is mostly an innocuous example of the kind of propaganda we face on a regular basis, it isn’t always.  What if the motive is much more sinister?  More deceptive?

Let’s talk, for a bit, about the Benghazi attacks of 2012.  Within moments of the embassy attack, the media outlets in the United States had the motive clear.  It was retaliation for a YouTube video.  Without exception, every major news outlet ran with the story.  MSNBC (and by extension NBC News) not only went with that explanation but ran wall to wall coverage on just how bad that video actually was.  MSNBC stuck with that explanation for years until leaked documents proved the exact opposite.  Not only did the State Department know that the YouTube video had nothing to do with the attack on the US embassy, but was in fact planned ten days in advance of the attack.


To this day, people still insist that the YouTube video sparked the attack.  Why?  Because the news that it was planned well in advance never made it to the mainstream media until long after it was surpassed by other stories.  When it was combined with the poor handling of security at the embassy, Hillary Clinton called Benghazi “old news,” and like good soldiers, the media fell in line and dropped the subject entirely.  It was over.  Why?  Because Hillary Clinton said it was “old news,” and that was good enough for them.

But what if it wasn’t just the media following along on the “message” that the government was trying to put out?  What if agents inside the US government were actually influencing reporters and their reporting from outside the newsroom?  And even worse, what if the media were actively complying with it?

Now is where we really get into the meat and potatoes of the issue.  On October 1st of this year, an email was leaked from Phillip Crowley at the State Department.  It was addressed to “H,” (Hillary Clinton) and her inner circle at State.  Here’s what was said:


CBS has said that the emails weren’t true and Crowley was just trying to score points with Clinton.  Assuming that’s true (which, frankly, I don’t believe it is), why didn’t CBS run with that story?  If someone from State was trying to influence the reporting of a story and an interview with someone as high-profile as Julian Assange, isn’t that a story in itself?  Even if you completely buy the official CBS explanation of what Crowley intended, isn’t his action worthy of a story?

I sure think it is.  I imagine most Americans would think it is.  CBS, however, did not.  Were it not for a leak, we never would’ve seen this email.  That’s frightening.

Sometimes, though, we don’t even get to hide behind the backroom dealings.  In some cases, the propaganda machine is blatant, obvious, and overtly troubling.  Consider the President’s remarks after the shooting at Umpqua Community College.  In his feigned exasperation, the President exhibited what some could call some cocky arrogance as he smugly told the media…

“I would ask news organizations, because I won’t put these facts forward — have news organizations tally up the number of Americans who’ve been killed through terrorist attacks in the last decade, and the number of Americans who’ve been killed by gun violence, and post those side by side on your news reports.  This won’t be information coming from me, it will be coming from you.”

Instead of the mainstream media reminding the President that he is not, in fact, a news director, they leaped to his side to help him make his case.  In what could only be called the most blatant example of the media going to bat for the President in our lifetime, they ran the stories (and most of the outlets that did didn’t even bother to provide any kind of critical analysis).

CNN was the least critical, providing a laundry list of Presidential talking points in their piece as fact.  There is not a critical word to be found in the entire piece.  The numbers are taken from the CDC, not broken down in any meaningful way, and a helpful graph is available which, CNN was so proud of, that they ran on their Facebook page.


Essentially their caption amounts to “We were asked, and we complied.  Yay us.”

The Washington Post was somewhat skeptical of the political point of the statement, but still did the research and tossed out a piece of flaming propaganda for all to enjoy.  In its piece, they added even more spin to the statement, including any strengthening they could of the numbers.  They even added extra credit to their homework by digging back further into older stats to buttress their point.  While they earn points for being skeptical in a token way, they lose many for the fact that they not only did the assignment as asked without question, but then did further research to make the point stronger (even with the skepticism added in).

In spite of the fact that The Washington Post does nothing to explain what “gun violence” is (whether it’s one on one crime, self defense, police shootings, suicide, etc.) they arrive at a conclusion that, unsurprisingly, is right in line with the teacher’s:

There are a lot of other factors that can be overlaid here to add some gray space: preventability, trends, definitions. Regardless, it’s clear that terrorism holds an outsized role in political debate for the demonstrated threat it poses to American citizens. It’s less clear, using solely the metric of annual deaths, that gun violence should then necessarily be the first priority.

Yeah it’s less clear, but we all know what you’re saying.  While you’re making a nice point about the specifics of the gun number, you’re at the same time downplaying terrorism.  If you move a see saw by making one side lighter or one side heavier, you’re still moving the see saw in your desired direction.

Then there’s Vox Media.  Liberal to the bitter end, and largely considered to be the next big media outlet.  Reliably in the back pocket of the President since its inception, Vox has no qualms about doing their homework.

Presented as a news story and linked to from his Twitter account, Zack Beauchamp bragged about doing his assignment.

In it, after gushing about the President’s “impassioned” speech, he made sure to praise the President for his statement:

“The point Obama is making is clear: We spend huge amounts of money every year fighting terrorism, yet are unwilling, at the national level, to take even minor steps (like requiring background checks on all gun sales nationally) to stop gun violence.”

The narrative that we don’t address gun violence is a common refrain, and it’s still untrue.  For instance, Beauchamp here calls for background checks completely ignoring the fact that there was nothing in this man’s history that would’ve set one off, his guns were all purchased legally, they were purchased from a federally licensed firearms dealer (which was how they were found to be purchased legally in the first place) and none of the guns violated any laws.

Even though he went to bat swinging at every pitch and got everything wrong aside from the raw numbers, his homework assignment and the thoroughness with which he completed it, earned him a Tweet.


I’m sorry, but if you’re in the media and the President is thanking you for the way in which you framed a story that he told you to write, shouldn’t you be horrified?  A real journalist would be.  Then again, a real journalist probably wouldn’t have done the assignment to begin with.

But a propagandist would!

The time is now and more than ever to pay all media stories the skeptical eye they deserve.  We are being spun, and it’s happening with reckless disregard for the truth or journalistic integrity.  When the White House can plant a story and mainstream media outlets not only run with it but work to make the point stronger, there is a serious integrity issue that should immediately turn us away from what we’re reading.

It’s become cliche to say you shouldn’t trust the mainstream media, but if recent incidents are any indication, that’s a cliche I’ll be more than happy to take into my heart and make a way of life.

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Why We Need a Men’s Rights Movement, Like It Or Not

Left-wing progressive social justice warriors will always argue that men, particularly of the caucasian variety, do not need a “rights movement.”  In fact, they often mock the idea as being the product of the demented minds of a bunch of knuckle-draggers who have nothing better to do than keep brilliant smart talented women down.  At the same time as women complain about things that don’t exist (like the favorite lie of getting paid $0.70 for every dollar a man makes) there is something even more startling going on in this country that’s getting very little play: men are actually demonstrably being treated differently by the government and its systems, and we’re A O K with it.

Let’s start at the beginning.  In spite of the argument by feminists that they simply want equality, they are making no effort to be equal in certain areas.

tumblr_n6sc47yacz1s8seg1o1_1280The chart above represents every service offered by the government that can be denied to males 18 or over for not registering with Selective Service.  At age 26, they lose all opportunity to register and cannot ever receive these benefits.  Women, however, are never kept from any of these things, nor are they ever required to register for the draft.  One attorney (one who, admittedly, I find annoying but who I agree with here) is trying to change that but can’t find any of the equality crowd to try and get in on the suit.  Surprised?  Of course you’re not.  I’m not, either.  The equality crowd would never stand for equality in this case, would they?  So instead, men must become wards of the state at the state’s whim in order to avail themselves of the benefits provided to taxpayers while women can simply receive the benefits solely by benefit of existing and, I might add, while they continually argue for “equality” and being allowed to hold front-line positions in the military; the same military they’re not required to submit to should there ever be a draft.

It wouldn’t be so bad, however, if this was the extent of the inequality, but there are examples of it being far worse than this and more systemic.

In case after case, women are given lighter sentences for crimes where male offenders would have the proverbial book thrown at them.  Time and time again, in case after case, women will commit an act of sexual assault, then serve little to no time.

Take, for instance, the case of Andrea Mears.  Suspecting Austin Haughwout was trying to film people on a beach in Connecticut with his drone, she assaulted him.  She pinned him to the ground, stuck her fingers in his mouth, groped him, and took some big swings with the arm that wasn’t holding him down.  When the police came, they were set to take her word on the story until Haughwout produced video that clearly showed that Mears was the aggressor.  Her punishment for this assault?  Probation.

Or maybe you’d prefer to hear about a Lancaster lunch lady who was convicted of having sex with two boys, both 17 years old, and both special needs children.  Her sentence was a possible 180 days.  She got 3.

Or maybe you think there’s a chance that Hachat, the woman from the story above, actually didn’t do anything wrong and it was consensual, so let me introduce you to Charlotte Parker, a teacher from the UK.  She had a two-year affair with a 14 year old student, an age well below the age of consent in every civilized country in the world.  She plead guilty to sexual contact with a child, but copped a “depression” plea.  Her penalty?  10 years on the sex offender list, a lifetime ban on teaching, and a suspended sentence.  No jail time whatsoever.

Maybe you would like a really obvious and disgusting example of bias when it comes to female offenders.  How about a married couple who got a 15 year old babysitter high, then had sex with her?  That surely couldn’t be more cut and dried, right?  In fact, in this case, the husband of the couple only watched.  The wife had actual intercourse with the babysitter.  The sentences?  3 years for her, 4.5 for him.  It isn’t even like they’re different cases in similar circumstances: this is the same case, the most vile part of it done by the woman, and she still gets a lighter sentence.

Or maybe you would like to hear about a coach abusing players on a basketball team.  Oh, but don’t worry: this is a female coach and a male student.  Megan Mahoney is alleged to have committed criminal sexual conduct with a 16 year old student and faces 30 counts of Statutory Rape.  She was released without bail pending trial.  She goes to court again on December 2nd, but notice how you barely heard about that story and how there’s next to no outrage over it?

Not a bad collection of stories, is it?  It’s ironic that we’re still talking about “equality” like it’s some high-minded goal we’re all seeking, and yet I don’t see one single feminist arguing that any of these women should be sentenced more harshly.  Not. A. Single. One.  And if you need proof that these stories are treated differently, check out the wording when the teacher is a man.


He didn’t “have a relationship that was inappropriate,” my friends.  He molested those boys.

But it’s worse than just some incidences of inappropriate touching and the crappy punishments and idiotic reporting of them.

A while ago I wrote about a piece of trash on the internet named Frogman.  Frogman made big waves when he came out a few months ago, after the Berkeley shooting, said that the idea that men dared defend themselves and not accept their summary judgment, was crazy, telling men that they should imagine the situation if a bowl of M&M’s had 10% of their number poisoned, then take a handful.  The idea, in his mind, is that if you think men aren’t all dangerous predators, you should still have to be judged because some others might be, like it or not.  I demolished that argument here, but I’m bringing it up again because Frog Man is out and about, yet again, being a hypocrite.

In a thread on his blog about victims, watch as he turns sexual harassment and assault into victim blaming with such ease it would make the happiest spinsters in Washington DC Blush:



This is the guy who’s so pro-women that he thinks no men are to be trusted, and yet here he is clearly victim blaming, but this is nothing new, and male victims of this sort of thing are often blamed, belittled, or minimized by a society that simply doesn’t give a damn enough about men to even offer services to them should this kind of thing.

Before I go any further with this, it’s important to note that I don’t necessarily think governments should be providing these services at all to anyone, however if they are going to provide them, they should provide them to everyone. That isn’t showing any sign of happening any time soon, either.  In fact, according to a recently-released NIH study, not only is that not happening, but the exact opposite seems to be happening and men are getting the short end of the victim services stick.

The study sought to examine how men who were victims of IPV (intimate partner violence) felt with regards to the services offered to male victims and how they were treated throughout the process.  Some eye-grabbing facts were made apparent in the study, which is the largest ever done of its kind (302 samples of male victims of IPV).  Here are some of the highlights (if you can call them that).

  • Statistics show that men are as often the victims of IPV as women, but because of societal and systemic biases the help is often hard if not impossible to find.
  • Men who called domestic violence help lines were often told that they could not receive assistance, that it was only available for women, or they outright accused the men of being the aggressors.  Some men seeking help were referred to batterer’s programs (programs designed to help batterers stop).
  • Male victims who were fathers lost custody of their children to the battering mother even when evidence corroborated their story.
  • “In 54.9% of cases, the partner was determined to be the primary aggressor. Among those 62 men, 41.5% said the police asked the helpseeker if he wanted his partner arrested; 21% reported the police refused to arrest the partner, and 38.7% indicated the police said there was nothing they could do and left. The coding of the qualitative accounts found that 25.4% of the men told stories of the police doing nothing and ignoring or dismissing them.”

You can read the study here.

What’s shocking about this, to me, is that we continue to see a push for more services for female victims, while it’s increasingly clear that men are not only regular victims of the same violence, but that because of societal norms, they are not treated equally when it comes to seeking help.

I guess that shouldn’t surprise me, however, because as soon as you bring up the topic, people get hyper defensive.

A few months ago a bunch of celebrities got together to make a video decrying domestic violence, only instead of decrying domestic violence, they turned it into a PSA about violence against women.  It’s normal to see those two things (domestic violence and violence against women) used interchangeably, which essentially erases any male victimization whatsoever and frames the issue as men assaulting women.  I wrote about it then and called it a missed opportunity to shed light on all victims of domestic violence, male or female.  When a relative posted the video on Facebook, I chimed in because I felt that while the video was good, it was a missed opportunity.  I was immediately shouted down.

Dustin Hausner - All women deserve respect and to be treated with... (1)

Notice the tone and the inherent biases in what she says?  “The overwhelming majority of sexual assaults are man against women,” in spite of the article linked right above her comment saying that not only is that not true, but the numbers are almost equal.  Once I pointed out that the video would’ve been more meaningful had it been more inclusive, she turned to mockery and straw-men, proving that in the end, she had no argument and her position was not backed by meaningful research or facts.  She chose, like most others do, to take the tack that if you’re arguing that we have a problem in the lack of support systems in place for men, you’re clearly saying women have it easy and benefit from being assaulted.

I don’t know if she truly believes that or if she was being hyperbolic to make her weak emotional argument stronger, but in the end, her attitude is the pervasive one, and the difference is only a matter of degree.  I would love say she’s the only one that feels this way, but I’m not able to.  In fact, not only am I not able to, but I can find an even more egregious example.

Ray Rice, running back for the Baltimore Ravens, was roundly attacked in the media for assaulting his fiancee (at the time) Janay Palmer.  His actions, along with other cases that came to light at the time, caused a major uproar in the sports journalism game where it was alleged that this was a deep problem covered up by teams and leagues and that professional athletes shouldn’t be allowed to get away with this just because they’re famous, a point I find valid.

However, it’s clear that the people calling for “no special treatment” for professional athletes didn’t really mean it.  At the same time this story was percolating around the water cooler, another story started making the rounds.  In a cut-and-dried case of domestic violence, US Women’s Soccer player Hope Solo was arrested for a domestic violence incident involving her nephew and sister.  She has suffered no ill-treatment for her actions.  She has not lost an endorsement deal, not been suspended, and if you merely mention her name in a conversation about domestic violence, something she will stand trial for, you’re persona non-grata, something Roland Martin learned very quickly.  According to Mediaite:

Citing ESPN “lauding” Solo during a women’s soccer highlight reel, Martin asked, “Domestic violence is a national issue, should we not be questioning why Hope Solo is still playing on the women’s soccer team, and Nike — who dropped Adrian Peterson — has said nothing about Hope Solo?”

“Whoa,” panelist Katty Kay interjected. “I’m a little skeptical of that. Look, that’s one example of one woman beating another woman, with countless examples of men beating women.” She added that Solo should face the same “retribution” as her male counterparts, “but let’s not try and use that as an example to suggest that women are as guilty of domestic violence as men are.”

Ms. Kay, we don’t need that as an example.  We already have statistics to prove it.

What’s ironic is that for the whole conversation, Kay and others were rampantly vigorously against domestic violence, but that was when the aggressor was a man.  Make the aggressor a woman and, well, you see the result.

All of the collected research, double standards, and abuse stories I posted can only draw one conclusion as far as I’m concerned: we need a men’s rights movement.  Not because men don’t have enough power in society or because women need to be kept down from the advances their making.  Simply because the double standard in treatment that created the feminist movement to begin with has now swung so far into the over-compensating end on the other side of the spectrum that it should give us pause.

When I hear feminists argue that they want equality, I have hope.  I’ve met a lot of feminists (real ones, not the social justice warriors who get all the attention) who recognize that being the oppressor isn’t the same as victory or equality.  The problem is that the discussion on men’s rights and equality has been taken over by radfems on one side who think all men are scum (particularly “white cishet males”) and a compliant and terrified media that cowers every time they hear the name Gloria Steinem.  We’re told time and time again that men control the “power structures” and that women are “systematically discriminated against” and yet, when we step outside the “everyone knows” idea of what that means, we often find that the grass is greener crowd simply isn’t taking a fair look at both lawns.

We need a men’s rights movement as much as women need real honest feminism.  The two do not, by default, conflict, and equality is a great goal.  Maybe one day we’ll stop discussing issues in terms of “everybody knows” and start discussing them in terms of the reality on the ground so that we can really achieve equality that’s thorough and benefits everyone.