mainstream media lies
CNN this week suddenly discovered that chemical weapons are being used in Aleppo. No, not the multiple attacks by militants against government-held areas of Aleppo which have affected dozens of civilians and killed two Syrian soldiers. The intrepid reporters at CNN uncovered a case of a boy aged around ten apparently suffering the effects of exposure to chemical weapons in East Aleppo. No solid evidence at this point in time has been produced showing Syrian armed forces being responsible, but CNN and its brethren in the corporate media won't let a pesky little thing such as evidence stand in the way of further demonization of Bashar Al-Assad and Russia in its relentless propaganda campaign in support of regime change in Syria.

The question begging to be asked is: 'where have you been CNN for the last few months while Syrian, Russian and Iranian media have been documenting cases of chemical weapons use by militants against government held areas of Aleppo?' RT News reporters, for example, have visited hospitals in West Aleppo several times to see first-hand civilians suffering the terrifying effects of chemical weapons.

The Russian Ministry of Defense announced that samples taken proved that chemical weapons have been used by militants in attacks on government-held areas of Aleppo.

So frustrated has Russia become with the intransigence of the Organisation for the Prohibition for Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in not showing any enthusiasm for investigating Russia's findings, that Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia is willing to take the samples to the Hague for further analysis of Russia's findings. He said the analysis of samples leaves "no doubt" that toxic substances have been used by militants.

It is unclear if the intervention of Russia's top diplomat set a fire under the OPCW, but it has announced it is ready to examine samples provided by Russia proving the use of chemical weapons in Syria's Aleppo by militants.

We may ask also where CNN and other western mainstream media outlets were hiding when militants executed 27 people in East Aleppo protesting not being allowed to leave the militant-held areas under the government's humanitarian corridors evacuation plan. 17 unarmed people were butchered where they stood by machinegun fire, while 10 so-called "ringleaders" were rounded up and executed—a warning to others of the fate that awaits them should they dare to stand up against the terrorists. This barbaric act dispels any doubts that the terrorists are holding civilians as hostages in East Aleppo.

The corporate western media totally ignored this atrocity. It became the "no news" event of the day. This "no news" is the flip side of the "fake news" coin, which the corporate media also excels in. To pretend this event didn't happen is a deliberate decision designed to grossly distort public perceptions on the situation in Aleppo. The bias could not get any more blatant, the remaining vestiges of objectivity being torn to shreds in the foreign-fueled Syrian proxy war. Self-serving justifications for dispatching this atrocity into the abyss based on the sheer numbers of lives lost making this incident not out of the ordinary and therefore not particularly newsworthy, ring hollow. CNN and its stablemates have no hesitation showing a single victim of an alleged chemical weapon attack, nor do they hesitate to cover every other alleged Syrian or Russian war crime, including the oft-reported stories of the "last hospital" in East Aleppo being destroyed over and over again, or the "last paediatrician" being killed.

Ignoring the 27 people brutally murdered by Jabhat Fatah al-Sham-led terrorists and repeated chemical weapons attacks makes it very easy to portray terrorists as besieged moderates. Under this dichotomy it is the Assad government that is brutal and terrorizes its own citizens, among whom the so-called moderates are counted. Reality has been flipped on its head.

This fits seamlessly into the State Department narrative that the militants terrorizing Aleppo are actually moderate, indigenous, freedom-seeking, democracy-yearning Syrian patriots, standing in solidarity with the civilians of east Aleppo and elsewhere, heroically resisting Bashar al-Assad's barrel bombs and his deliberate targeting of schools and hospitals. The refusal of Western powers and Gulf States to let go of the regime change vision produces ever more gross caricatures in the fake news specialists in the mainstream media.

From a media consumer point of view, unless people are media savvy and take a critical perspective, they may be easily fooled into supporting throat-cutting terrorists who are being sold to them as heroes who should be revered as though they are angels sent from heaven.

The mainstream media relies on a collective state of care-free nonchalance, immersion in a narcissistic culture, wrapped up in a cloak of blissful ignorance, people content to passively absorb the web of lies fed to them which serve the interests of the tiny elite. Operating inside this inversion of reality, the media can practice the dark art of propaganda with all caution thrown to the wind.

CNN, known euphemistically as the Clinton News Network, is in the Premier League when it comes to the hot trending topic of fake news.

A CNN cameraman was embarrassingly caught out in a fake interview where he pretended to be an anti-Trump (meaning pro-Clinton) protestor. The rant did seem a touch exaggerated and we could all see why when the newsreader in the studio spilled the beans, saying he knew the so called "protestor," who in reality is a CNN cameraman.

Serious doubts have been cast by Moon of Alabama and others over the authenticity of the little boy named Omran Daqneesh sitting in the back of a gleaming ambulance. The sight of him being photographed - mind you, instead of receiving medical attention - evoked tears from CNN anchor Kate Bolduan, the news headline reading, "Kate Bouldan has trouble containing her emotions as she reports on the story of Omran Daqneesh, the Syrian boy pulled from the war zone in Aleppo." Pass the onions please; we need some on-cue tears to cynically manipulate our viewers.

Donald Trump, who has been on the pointy end of the hordes of Clinton supporters at CNN, reportedly gave the network a Trump tongue-lashing for spreading misinformation and bias. A source reported that "Trump started with [CNN chief] Jeff Zucker and said, 'I hate your network, everyone at CNN is a liar and you should be ashamed.' "Trump kept saying, 'We're in a room of liars, the deceitful, dishonest media who got it all wrong."

Sounds like a pretty valid description of a fake news operator. Perhaps a university professor somewhere could add it to a fake news list which we should all avoid. Or better yet, add the whole network to former congressman Ron Paul's list of "fake news" journalists which encompasses most of the mega US media outlets.

Trump certainly has reason to complain, unloading on a network that gave up any pretense of fairness and balance during the US election. They weren't alone, other outlets such as the bastion of the liberal media, The New York Times, joining it in acting as campaigners for Hillary Clinton.

It is exactly this sort of media chicanery that has seen the levels of trust in the mass media drop to "its lowest level in Gallup polling history, with 32% saying they have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media." This figure is an 8% drop from last year, and down from historic levels of trust of over 70% in the 1970's. The noble pursuit of speaking truth to power has been replaced with cosying up to and seeking rewards from power, to the point where many in the media can count themselves among the powerful elite. Some say there has been a decay of democracy in the west. If so, the rot has well and truly planted itself firmly in the mainstream media.

All this comes at a time when we have Facebook, Google and Twitter vowing to crack down on "fake news." Facebook and Google have unveiled plans to pull their advertising platforms from so-called fake news sites.

You may ask why all the fuss about so-called "fake news" which has leaped from the margins and into the mainstream discourse, causing all sorts of angst among the media elite. Well apparently dear reader, these "fake news" websites have been so effective in spreading false and malicious stories that they may very well have influenced voters to change their vote to Donald Trump, costing Hillary Clinton the presidency. This fable conveniently excuses the pollsters for their diabolical failure in predicting a Clinton landslide. This so-called alarming revelation of fake news flipping a US election is widely reported in the corporate media, as can be seen here, here and here.

The obvious question is who gets to be the arbiter of what is fake? Why Google and Facebook themselves, along with; wait for it......a helping hand from the New York Times. It's a bit like having the Fox guarding the Chicken coop. Let's just hope for the NYT's sake that Facebook and Google don't take a dim view on the fabricated stories by the newspaper of record of Russia trying to rig the election in favour of Donald Trump.

The exercise of such power, without accountability and entirely arbitrary, would effectively demonetize and block from access the websites which have fallen foul of the ministry of truth, presided over by the corporate media and the giant tech companies.

Could anything be more twisted, totalitarian and Orwellian than this breathtaking plan for the suppression of free speech?

Make no mistake; this crackdown has nothing to do with ostracizing and silencing voices so far to the margins that no one would even notice they are gone. It is all part of the jigsaw puzzle, of the counter attack by the withering neoliberal world order and the laughing stock corporate media against the alternative media, whose stocks are soaring and whose credibility is expanding exponentially, leaving an apoplectic mainstream media fumbling blindly in its wake.

Under the "fake news" doctrine of the self-appointed ministry of truth, dissent, disagreement and criticism which fall outside the parameters of acceptable mainstream discourse will find itself vulnerable to being labelled by the ministry of truth as "fake news" sprouted by con artists and liars. Banishment to the media wastelands may be the fate that awaits alternative media which is performing spectacularly in exposing our governments, mega corporations and media as the corrupt, lying, irredeemable charlatans they are.