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posted by n1 on Monday January 05 2015, @07:21AM   Printer-friendly
from the you-trust-who-when? dept.

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."

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by WizardFusion on Monday January 05 2015, @10:34AM

    by WizardFusion (498) on Monday January 05 2015, @10:34AM (#131809) Journal

    "World Leader"? In what?
    The only thing you are number one at is military spending. Everything else you are way down the list.

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by bzipitidoo on Monday January 05 2015, @03:14PM

    by bzipitidoo (4388) on Monday January 05 2015, @03:14PM (#131867) Journal

    "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

    by Gravis (4596) on Tuesday January 06 2015, @01:01AM (#132044)

    "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. :)