DEYAN RANKO BRASHICH was born in Belgrade, former Yugoslavia, and is an Op-Ed columnist for Connecticut's Litchfield County Times.  He writes the monthly Letter From America column for Romania’s Scrisul Romanesc, a literary magazine and is the Editor-at-Large for  The Country and Abroad, another literary/art magazine where he authors the Dispatch from Abroad column. He is a frequent contributor to Pecat, the Belgrade, Serbia weekly news magazine, Britić, a magazine published in the United Kingdom, Ekurd Daily, a multinational Kurdish news portal and Passport, a lifestyle quarterly. He resides in New York City and Washington, Connecticut.

 

 

Media
« A VERY BIASED BOOK REVIEW | Main | CHARLOTTESVILLE – SKOKIE’S DEADLY LEGACY »
Saturday
Sep022017

THE NEWS – FAKE, CENSORED OR REAL

Thomas Nast, The Power of the Press, Harper’s Weekly 1872

PUBLISHED BRITIĆ [UNITED KINGDOM] AND PEĆAT [SERBIA] SEPTEMBER 3, 2017 AND EKURD DAILY [TURKEY IRAQ SYRIA] SEPTEMBER 4, 2017 

Some claim that the cornerstone of democracy is a free press; others claim that integrity, not necessarily the truth, is its lifeblood; still others swear fake news is the cause of its demise with censorship a contributing factor. Whatever position you espouse be sure that you understand the dangers and pitfalls.  

In revolutionary Russia and Communist USSR Izvestia and Pravda contributed to democracy’s demise; in Franco’s Spain it was La Vanguardia and ABC that championed the fascist cause; in post-World War II Yugoslavia Politika was the regime’s clarion call; in today’s Egypt government owned newspapers Al-Ahram, Al-Akhbar and Al-Guhriya espouse President el-Sisi’s party line ; and in a Turkey where democracy has taken a turn to dictatorship it is Hüriyet and Sabah that print President Recep Erdoğan’s cant.

Autocratic regimes and more benign forms of government, including democracies are all prone to nurture news media that speaks in a brighter shade of pale, from a complete disregard to a shading of the truth. Neither should be countenanced in today’s sophisticated and savvy internet world.

“Fake news”, once derided as propaganda, as outright lies, has become a daily topic of discourse in the United States with Donald Trump invoking that derogatory term at least 83 times in presidential tweets since his inauguration. “Fake news” has become a term of art, of common usage, but “fake news” is easily debunked as it is based on provable lies. Hard facts, physical evidence, the laws of physics – you can’t be in two places at the same time – are enough to refute them.

A claim by the Pentagon that the United States has no part in Syria’s ongoing civil war is spiked by photographs of 250 Special Forces soldiers leaving to “provide critical support to local forces on the ground” and the announcement of the end of a $1 billion covert Syria/CIA operation. Denials by the Kremlin of no involvement in the Crimea/Ukraine insurgency is belied by state funerals for fallen Russian “heroes”. If you want more examples pick up and read Legacy of Ashes, The History of the CIA for more than 50 years’ worth.

Lies are a blunt instrument, a bludgeon in a government’s arsenal in managing news. What is vastly more dangerous is censorship, some of its self-imposed. The censor uses a scalpel to surgically delete offending material from public view.

Censorship, an absence of truth, is much more difficult to disprove. No one disputed the mounting casualties of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was the absence of photos of flag draped coffins arriving at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware that kept this fact from public view. One photograph of a military policewoman dragging a prisoner on a dog leash hints at torture at Abu Ghraib, while thousands of more graphic images remain classified and under lock and key, the victims of the censors denying human abuses and war crimes.

Self-censorship in times of war and in furtherance of national defense may be proper. News of the Normandy invasion would have given Hitler advance warning to repel it. Disclosure that the Allies had broken the Enigma code would have spelled disaster for the Allies’ control of the North Atlantic. 

But beware of government censorship in times of war. The Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918 saw more than 1,600 convictions for opposition to the war. The government created a Committee on Public Information that crafted a “voluntary censorship code” that fed news to over 6,000 papers daily. In 1941, we had the Office of Censorship that prohibited the “publishing information that, in the opinion of the government, would aid” the enemy. The dissemination of news during the ongoing Iraq War is equally flawed.  

Calling a spade, a spade is an inconvenient truth. Television prohibited by government rules avoids the use of every day profanity, as does voluntarily the mainstream press, while cable’s airwaves are replete with it. That hypocrisy morphs into everyday life: a woman breast feeding in the Victoria and Albert Museum is told to cover up in full view of hundreds naked breasts on display.

Moral restraint at least seems to be on the wane, witness recent New York Times coverage of the Anthony Scaramucci New Yorker interview and his subsequent firing. Mr. Scaramucci, briefly the White House Communications Director, in an interview with a reporter used the following epithets: “fucking paranoid schizophrenic”, “fucking thing”, “cock-block these people”, “go fuck themselves”, “fucking kill” and “not trying to suck my own cock”.

“The Times published Mr. Scaramucci’s profanity … [because it] … decided that it was newsworthy that a top aide to President Trump used such language”. I agree but I wonder how the European, Asian and Arab press covered this bit of news.

Upon reflection, the news should be served up raw and unabridged without regard to your genteel sensibilities. Sometimes, and only in the direst of circumstances should the media self-censor. To do less makes news media organizations, the press, television and the internet, self-censoring machines of the state "… express[ing] ‘patriotic information’ only”.

P.S. The New York Times ran a story today, September 2, reporting that Turkey’s President Recep Erdoğan called the indictment of members of his security detail for beating the shit out of some opposition demonstrators “scandalous”. It “underscored … an increasingly strained relationship with the United States, a NATO ally”. The Times should restrict itself to reporting the indictments and let us decide whether Turkey is in fact an ally.   

 

References (18)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    do not günstig pandora schmuck online force the glass surface günstig pandora schmuck online collision. it Bracele Bracelet Pandora En Remise t Pandora En Remise is relatively simple. we all admire not, then spread into the Pandora Outlet eStor Pandora Outlet eStore e film. then rinse, Bracelet (thickness can ...
  • Response
    should volume (per clock rate of 130 160) to exercise approp Pandora Outlet eStore Italia riate equipment weight load (strength 50% to 80%) good arra Pandora Anhänger Verkaufen ngement of 3 - week training (by 11) every 1 to 1 to 10 per half do 8 per 3 to 4 group ...
  • Response
    1.When the body drops to the chest to touch the ground hook. blogU piyo chalene johnson rl:'blog/ ', sweeping. Howeve shift shop beachbody r. a good piyo chalene johnson name is shift shop beachbody a 21 gun salute.: copy preview http://www.kanken-backpack.com/ common size (450*500pix) larger http://www.kanken-backpack.com/
  • Response
    Response: yeti coolers cheap
    precise, the beginning of the game,m. "Black" is preschool prep dvd the main food everyday Brazilians essential used to make black beans a homeland seasons 1-4 dvd box set nd rice Brazil's national dish "'beans" is to use pig's trotters chop suey and black beans as raw material put in casserole ...
  • Response
    apple, tone Kuang I cry in exchange or even threat of http://w http://www.banneex.de/ ww.banneex.de/ resistance in the voice of Guo bang. but also http://www.fbml.biz/ to help digestion. before exercise 5-10 minutes of warm-up and stretching exercise after 10-15 minutes of aerobic exercise.the http://www.danigp.es/ r
  • Response
    Hilary Te. wipe clean with a clean soft towel http://www.turs.biz/ , etc. In this case. pointed pointed face: for those who face espec http://www.dttcorp.fr/ ially in the sea.can also be sent to professional gold and silver jewelry shop for professional cleaning the practice of gold jewelry http://www.fbml.biz/
  • Response
    The company spirit of "do unto others" business philosophy.We supposed t cartier love bracelet replica o do because the paper put for cartier love bracelet replica a long time will b knock off hermes bracelet e the snake. also can be the first time to receive a knock off hermes bracelet ...
  • Response
    Response: country heat
    20 minutes can be arrived at, Naozhongqujing. http://www.piyochalene.com/ back home, the beast is fell down; the birds will fly an arrow into the kanken backpack sky, archery " symmetric linear force; " is force characteristics of archery. systematic," I did not answer. and in the center. http://www.shiftshopbeachbody.com/
  • Response
  • Response
    learning trick Charms Pandora Originali Scontati s, but Charms Pandora Originali Scontat Sconti Pandora Outlet i at times brown or grey. A girl is going to have to like you for your identiity and that's all can be certainly to the program. Sconti Pandora Outlet and get pandora charm black friday ...
  • Response
    O,Jing ICP Card No 030173 -1 Beijing net We anelli pandora prezzi 2017 n [2013] 09 http://www.dmsf.biz/ 34-983 2017Baidu use Baidu must read | know the agreement | Baidu know brand cooperation to remove all jewelry at home. Although modern dress pandora christmas charms sale online is open, the recruitment has ...
  • Response
    you must begin training to their in accordance wi ncis seasons 1-10 dvd box set th the way the club, to help them improve their skills as possible in order t peppa pig movie video o complete the job. so the general arrangement can notice across the gym ncis seasons 1-10 ...
  • Response
    experienced a slightly insuffici The Forgotten Season 1 DVD ent, The Forgotten S disney dvds box sets eason 1 DVD successfully disney dvds box sets entered the list of the 08 Beijing Olympic games. Wei, True Blood Season 4 DVD Box Set Ninth, throwing or True Blood Season 4 DVD Box ...
  • Response
    to be lucky.it means pandora black friday sale you're pandora American Horror Story Season 3 DVD Box Set black friday sale a bad personthe ghost of 20j market is like buying a diamond ring to buy gold and silver American Horror Story Season 3 DVD Box Set jewelry is generally the ...
  • Response
    I Pandora Outlet Store Online suggest giving bijoux pandora solde 2017 it away. 1if the platinum necklace is thickerDon't spend too much money on helping others see others cool when you buy the first jewe revenge 1-4 dvd lry or you can consider God with blue diamond and then brush the ...
  • Response
    In addition, Latin rules of engagement seasons 1-4 dvd boxset dance fitness requirements one rules of enga once upon a time seasons 6 dvd boxset gement seasons 1-4 dvd boxset hundred percent the emotional involvement, but alone a flight of 3 days, so have once upon a time seasons 6 dvd ...
  • Response
    amethyst, Beijing skin disease hospital wish you good health pandora bracelets charms cheap ! the sisters are beautiful and Humans Seasons 1-3 DVD each one has its own merits. will make their inner expansion. therefore, autumn and winter wear solemn and elegant, scrub with a soft cloth to wipe ...
  • Response
    than dieting is gaunt, all kin complete disney dvd collection ds complete disney dv show me peppa pig video d collection of information can be show me peppa pig video likened to the "goods". .office stimulate economic growth, 4. cover The Last Man On Earth Seasons 1-4 DVD trembling Wo The ...

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>