Glenn Greenwald reports at The Intercept that the identity of the Sony hackers is still unknown even as numerous security experts loudly note how sparse and unconvincing the available evidence is against North Korea. But that didn't stop President Obama, announcing in his December 19 press conference that: “We can confirm that North Korea engaged in this attack," and vowing that "we will respond. . . . We cannot have a society in which some dictator some place can start imposing censorship here in the United States.” Yet according to Greenwald, none of the expert skepticism has made its way into countless media accounts of the Sony hack. "Time and again, many journalists mindlessly regurgitated the U.S. Government’s accusation against North Korea without a shred of doubt, blindly assuming it to be true, and then discussing, often demanding, strong retaliation. Coverage of the episode was largely driven by the long-standing, central tenet of the establishment U.S. media: government assertions are to be treated as Truth."
Greenwald says that this kind of reflexive embrace of government claims is journalistically inexcusable in all cases, for reasons that should be self-evident. But in this case, it’s truly dangerous. "At this point - eleven years after the run-up to the Iraq War and 50 years after the Gulf of Tonkin fraud - any minimally sentient American knows full well that their government lies frequently. Any journalist understands full well that assuming government claims to be true, with no evidence, is the primary means by which U.S. media outlets become tools of government propaganda," concludes Greenwald adding that many journalists benefit in all sorts of ways by dutifully performing this role. "At this point, journalists who mindlessly repeat government claims like this are guilty of many things; ignorance of what they are doing is definitely not one of them."
(Score: 2) by kaszz on Monday January 05 2015, @07:32AM
Media is run by corporations. Which have deals with other corporations. And corporations run the governemnt, so same entities will request the right propaganda.
(Score: 2) by davester666 on Monday January 05 2015, @07:53AM
Nevermind that big media owns [or is owned by] corporations that also just happen to own the major news networks.
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 05 2015, @08:07AM
Corporations? Nah, its late night Tuesdays at the Masonic lodge that determine this stuff and much else. This kind of knee-jerk merely reduces the US to Nk's level of silly illogic. One was expecting more from a "world leader"...
(Score: 3, Informative) by WizardFusion on Monday January 05 2015, @10:34AM
"World Leader"? In what?
The only thing you are number one at is military spending. Everything else you are way down the list.
(Score: 3, Insightful) by bzipitidoo on Monday January 05 2015, @03:14PM
"The Sky is Falling" seems to be selling better than ever in the US. Keeps the US number one in that military spending category.
Some watershed moments in security were the 1965 book "Unsafe at Any Speed", the Tylenol poisonings in 1982, and of course 9/11. At some point it also became "child endangerment" to leave a child in the car for just a moment. The US is the most extravagant with street lighting, for safety of course. I'm not saying all safety improvements are wastes of money for trivial improvements. "Unsafe at Any Speed" skewered the auto industry for pretty much the opposite, refusing to spend mere pennies for inexpensive measures that significantly improve safety. And today, we still have incidents, like GM's now infamous ignition switch
Reading the justifications for this hardline stance about leaving children in cars shows that it is indeed fear that is the driver, and that many of those fears are overblown. Of course you shouldn't leave the car running or leave the keys in the ignition, whether or not children are left inside. But they've criminalized too much. The way they talk, it's like there's a pedophile kidnapper lurking near half the parking lots in the nation, watching for an opportunity. Somehow that fear trumps all else, like that your child could be snatched while inside the store, crushed by heavy merchandise falling from shelves, caught in a building collapse during an earthquake, etc. In America, everything is a business opportunity, and fear is a big one. Now the greatest danger with leaving a child alone in a car for a moment is that you'll be charged with a crime, and the Prison Industrial Complex will make a tidy profit from your "neglect".
(Score: 2) by Gravis on Tuesday January 06 2015, @01:01AM
"World Leader"? In what?
a lot of things! we have 1/4 of the global prison population just in our country! we are the scientific leaders in figuring out what will get people to vote for you ("clean" campaigns are shown to be less effective than mud slinging!). we use the most oil and waste more than anyone else.
oh and we also have the most internet trolls, so fuck you, you ignorant ass. :)
(Score: 2) by frojack on Monday January 05 2015, @09:02AM
Never the less, the media pretty much delight in catching government in a lie. They love it more if its a conservative government, but lately they've been willing to rake the liberals over the coals as well.
The fact that the administration is resorting to claiming researchers don't have all the facts that the government has, (while still holding those facts secret) is telling.
There are many "remote analysts" looking as some of the evidence who claim linguistic hints of Russians, and others insist it is insiders. But these guys don't seem any more believable than the government. That a Russian programmer might have touched the code somewhere along the way hardly seems conclusive evidence. After all, these attack engines have been passed back and forth for years.
I personally don't know who to believe, but the events of the past year suggest to me that we can't believe the first thing out of the governments mouths and we will probably hear something more believable in 12 or 24 months.
In any event, the sanctions are likely to be ineffective, and harmless.
No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
(Score: 2) by HiThere on Monday January 05 2015, @08:20PM
You misunderstand the media. They have *always* been as delighted to catch the liberals as the conservatives, but it used to be considered gauche to publicize philandering.
OTOH, you should NEVER take what the media say without a tablespoon of salt. And too much salt is bad for your health. The media in every single case that I've been able to personally check sensationalize what has happened, often so grotesquely that if it weren't for the date and location I wouldn't recognize it for the same incident. On careful re-examination it would often turn out that, yes, things did actually look that way from a carefully chosen angle that carefully narrowed to focus so you only saw one small piece of the picture. I've seen a fire on the media that appeared to burn down my house, when actually it was miles away. But on reexamination it turned out that if you look from the right angle from the right position and carefully narrow your focus it was actually the picture of something that really happened. It was just so misleading that the only proper word to use to describe it is "lie".
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 05 2015, @10:15PM
I work for a small TV station. A few years ago, I was involved in a laser incident, and my workplace misquoted and misrepresented me significantly.
I won't talk to them again.
If you ever do talk to media, they will take what you say, quote you, and provide a new context for it thus altering your original intent.
(Score: 2) by kaszz on Tuesday January 06 2015, @01:40AM
"Laser accident? .. huh you got the wrong address. It's *that* house *pointing finger*".... "Oh, here's the address 95478 W. 8th Pl. Nowhere, ZP 43048, just look for the road called Undriveable in the town Nowhere *Promise*".
Or one doesn't say anything whatsoever.
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 06 2015, @03:21AM
This website started out as some kind of news for nerds that are still nerdy after all these years, but it has morphed into some sort of anti-American propaganda site that will repeat any vapid anti-American nonsense, even just basic speculation and wild pejoratives like TFA.
Newsflash: "intelligence" sources are not given out to the media. By any country. It has nothing to do with the US being [insert pejoratives here]; every country keeps this stuff secret. That doesn't mean anything.
First, these people should go out and convince the world that government intelligence should be open, transparent, and public. THEN they can make these absurd claims about what the government does or doesn't know. Instead of this wishy-washy, "we can't believe anything... because... Gulf of Tonkin... therefore, believe us instead."
There is no reason to believe the US Government here... and also no reason not to. There is no public information either way. What we do know is that the US Government has extensive electronic surveillance and probably does "really know" who did what. And it is likely the Chinese Government also "really knows" who did what. But unless or until something substantive is leaked, the public doesn't have anything to verify or refute. There is no there there. All disbelief establishes is that a person forms beliefs and disbeliefs without access to evidence.
(Score: 2, Informative) by Synonymous Homonym on Monday January 05 2015, @08:14AM
I would like to remind everyone that the USA reserves the right to retaliate to cyber attacks with nuclear weapons.
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 05 2015, @08:35AM
But that is only if the cyber-attack significantly affects the National Security of the UNITED States, like if they changes everyone's Facebook password all at once, stuff like that, that, you know, would justify a nuclear retaliatory strike in the mega-megaton range. If they knew who the attacking party was with at least as much precision as the CIA (why do these organizations have the word "intelligence" in their names?) does for drone strikes on children and goats.
(Score: 2) by c0lo on Monday January 05 2015, @09:45AM
Well, it happens quite frequently that I'm writing a thing down so I can unload it from my mind. Maybe they are doing the same?
(Score: 2) by q.kontinuum on Monday January 05 2015, @02:40PM
Intelligence is like jelly. The less one has the more (s)he smears it around.
Registered IRC nick on chat.soylentnews.org: qkontinuum
(Score: 2) by c0lo on Monday January 05 2015, @10:07AM
Noam Chomsky [chomsky.info]
Scientific Socialism [wikipedia.org] (getting to live for about 25 years with it is a good vaccine against any type of propaganda... that is, if one survives the shot)
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 05 2015, @10:32AM
I remember the Sony hack started out with the GOP wanting 'equality'. I originally thought it was some LGBT activists. Then, it turned out to be claims to be North Korea mad about 'The Interview'. Why would North Korea not want everyone to know that North Korea hacked Sony? North Korea has denied any involvement.
(Score: 2) by WizardFusion on Monday January 05 2015, @10:40AM
From what I remember from another story, the hack happened and no one knew why or how. Then someone mentioned "The Interview" and NK not being happy about it. (Either as a joke or not) and the news media just ran with it as they usually do without checking any facts.
(Score: 3, Insightful) by c0lo on Monday January 05 2015, @01:27PM
They may be crazy, but not stupid.
(Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 05 2015, @01:36PM
Western media will print anything from any source about North Korea: http://anti-imperialism.com/2014/08/14/western-dprk-propaganda-the-worst-occasionally-hilarious-and-often-racist-lies/ [anti-imperialism.com]
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 05 2015, @03:33PM
In this case, I think the explanation is a lot simpler -- now that the juicy gossip in emails has been processed there is no story without a villain.
Saying, "We have no idea who did it" is literally a non-story. The 24-hour news cycles needs moar stories, so they make them out of molehills. As villians go, NK is nearly ideal - they really are enormously villainous [motherjones.com], because they are weak their foreign policy is to explicitly portray themselves as dangerously unpredictable [vox.com], they can't sue for libel and any rabble-rousing won't result in much action because they are so isolated, but Seoul is so vulnerable to them that there is not much the US can do.
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 05 2015, @03:38PM
lol correction: enormously villainous. [vox.com]
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 05 2015, @05:06PM
what we gonna expect from the goverment which invaded Irak based on a Power Point evidence?
(Score: 2) by darkfeline on Monday January 05 2015, @11:07PM
Ah, now everything makes sense. North Korea is the new Iraq/terrorists/drugs.
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