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: 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.