Sunday 26th of June 2022

wapo lies….

'This is just a lie': How Jeff Bezos' Washington Post twisted a report about Donbass refugees to fit its narrative

 The American newspaper disregarded the testimonies of volunteers to support its consistently anti-Russian stance

Last week, the Washington Post published an extensive article titled ‘Ukrainian refugees in Russia report interrogations, detention and other abuses’. 

Bias against Russia is nothing new for the newspaper, owned by the oligarch Jeff Bezos. However, this particular story – authored by its former Moscow bureau chief Michael Birnbaum and reporter Mary Ilyushina (known as Maria when she worked in Russian domestic media) – appears to have gone even further than its usual [shitty] output.

 

By Stepan Kostetskiy

 

One of the people quoted in the piece is Danil Makhnitsky from ‘Society. Future.’, a political organization that coordinates volunteers who help refugees. When the article was published, Makhnitsky found out that most of what he had said didn’t make the cut, and the only quote the newspaper used was taken out of context. RT spoke with Danil about his work with refugees and the interview he gave the newspaper. 

‘Society. Future.’ insists it's an independent political organization. Danil is its co-founder, and he represented New People in the State Duma election, while other members of the community ran as independents. Since the conflict started, the organization has been helping refugees, collecting donations and bringing supplies to refugee centers around Russia. According to community’s website, 70 volunteers have helped about 8,000 refugees and spent over 6.8 million rubles on humanitarian aid.

“We work all over southern Russia, in 13 regions, focusing on the cities that have been affected by the flow of refugees the most,” Makhnitsky told RT. “The government provides large shipments of basic necessities, and we supply other things, like clothes, personal hygiene items, and medicine. This is funded through donations from people who want to help.”

“Another difference between what we do and the government does is that we meet specific needs. First, we collect the data – ask what exactly is needed in each refugee center, and then we buy these things for them. We’ve gotten very specific requests – like glasses with an exact prescription. We also buy some things in bulk, like bed linens, for example. As an NGO, we’ve had some difficulties along the way. It’s not that easy for an individual to buy 100kg of noodles, 500 T-shirts, or 1,000 sets of bed linens,” Makhnitsky said.

Makhnitsky has worked with temporary refugee facilities in Taganrog, Azov, and other Russian cities. When the Washington Post journalists contacted him, he was in Rostov-on-Don. He said he had suspected his story would be skewed, but everything seemed pretty decent.

“My conversation with Birnbaum [The Washington Post author covering military conflicts who wrote the article – RT] was in English and lasted an hour or an hour and a half. At the time, I thought Birnbaum was quite reasonable – he asked sensible questions, showed a good grasp of the facts, didn’t even look as if he fully trusted the official Ukrainian propaganda’s narrative, which was the only thing the article ultimately reflected. My impression was that he was really trying to understand, to get to the bottom of things,” Makhnitsky said. However, something happened between the conversation and publication. He hopes the author was forced to distort the story due to editorial policy; he doesn’t want to believe that Birnbaum had another motive.

“He asked me if we had seen refugees being forcibly held somewhere or their passports taken away. And I said it like it is – we have talked to thousands of people, and none of them told us anything like that or tried to ask for help or pass a note.”

“Volunteers and refugees develop relationships based on trust. When you bring aid to people, they don’t see you as part of the administration or the authorities. Sometimes they complained about the administration’s actions or about their living conditions. Some of them resented their situation – the very fact that they had to leave because of the fighting. But none of the thousands of people gave us any hint that they were taken away or were being held by force, or that their documents had been taken away.”

According to Makhnitsky, refugees often shared their plans with the volunteers. Many said they wanted to continue living in Russia or someplace abroad, while the majority said they’d prefer to return home. When talking to Makhnitsky, Birnbaum mentioned a couple of cases in which people had their passports taken from them.

Makhnitsky recalls: “Well, that’s what I said in response, that possibly, given the huge number of refugees, it could have happened. But I spoke to a huge number of all sorts of people, including volunteers and coordinators, and the feedback I got indicates that nothing like this was going on en masse. In those few cases when it happened, we don’t know why exactly it was done, for what reason. Sometimes, combatants try to present themselves as refugees, which is wrong, they cannot pose as refugees, they must be processed as POWs, so such things are inevitable.”

Makhnitsky says that nothing he said was published in Birnbaum’s piece in the Washington Post, except this one sentence: “Some of the refugees don’t understand where they are going when they sign up.” Makhnitsky insists that these words of his were ripped out of the context and placed into a narrative that changes their meaning completely.

“I was talking about a refugee center in Taganrog that receives refugees from Mariupol before they can go elsewhere in Russia. People spend one or two days at most in this place to get their papers. They don’t stay there for a long time."

 

“In this center, there were some promotional posters by the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East. They invite people to come to Khabarovsk [a large city near the Chinese border] and offer some incentives, like some money, better loan rates, and even a possibility to get a hectare of land. And some of the people who saw these posters talked to me about this opportunity while it was clear they didn’t even know where Khabarovsk was. No one was forcing them to go there, and yet when ripped out of the context my words sound like that’s the case, like people don’t even know where they will go. This is just a lie.”

Makhnitsky also said that the choice of contributors to the piece by Birnbaum and Ilyushina was quite telling.  “The reporters chose to talk to people who don’t even deal with this directly, such as, for instance, the U.S. ambassador to the OSCE. How would he know what’s going on there? I’m sure he never even met any refugees in Russia. Other opinions were also provided by the officials from the United States or Kiev. I think the only person the Washington Post talked to who could have seen some refugees was Laila Rogozina, head of the reception office at the Civic Assistance Committee. Yet what she is quoted to have said appears quite controversial, that all refugees allegedly don’t trust volunteer staff and are afraid to criticize Russia when they talk to us. I’m sure that’s not the case.”

 

RT has reached out to Birnbaum for comment, offering him a platform to answer Makhnitsky’s allegations. If he eventually replies, this story will be updated.

 

READ MORE:

https://www.rt.com/russia/555609-western-media-ignores-donbass-refugees/

 

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another liar…..

 

BY GLENN GREENWALD

 

The most blatant and shameless liars from the first term of the Bush/Cheney administration have, revealingly, enjoyed great success in media and journalism. That is because serial deceit is not a liability for a thriving career in corporate journalism but rather a vital asset — provided that the lies are in service of ruling class policies. Tawdry propagandists who helped drive post-9/11 America into a bottomless pit of lies and self-destruction have become the most highly-paid and beloved stars of liberal media. They include: 

  • Former Bush White House speechwriter David Frum of The Atlantic and CNN; 

  • Bush/Cheney CIA and NSA Director Gen. Michael Hayden of CNN;

  • Ubiquitous amoral neocon warmonger Bill Kristol of MSNBC and various #NeverTrump groups; 

  • Al-Qaeda/Saddam conspiracy theorist Jeffrey Goldberg, now editor-in-chief of The Atlantic;

  • The various scumbagscon artistspredator-protectors and fraudsters of the Lincoln Project, drowning in #Resistance cash and frequent MSNBC appearances; 

  • Pro-war Florida GOP Congressman Joe Scarborough, now a multi-million host of MSNBC's flagship morning show and anchor of its corporate brand; and, 

  • Rep. Liz Cheney, long-time vocal supporter of her father and now a literal "hero” to American media liberals.

But few Bush-era propagandists have thrived more, made more money, and developed a more devoted and swooning liberal fan base than the official Communications Director of the Bush/Cheney White House and 2004 Bush/Cheney-reelection campaign, Nicolle Wallace. Having catapulted from her work as Jeb Bush's Press Secretary to the White House to senior adviser to John McCain's presidential campaign (working for her close friend, Lincoln Project co-founder Steve Schmidt, who recently performed one of the most public and sustained nervous breakdowns in the history of the internet), Wallace was always beloved by the DC press corps. 

In 2005, when she was named Bush White House Communications Director, The New York Times lavished her with praise, claiming that she “comes from a different mold than the small band of Texans who carry out the White House press policy” and admiringly noted that “she was once fired for being too nice to reporters.” She endeared herself further to corporate journalists by repeatedly sabotaging the McCain campaign from which she was collecting a paycheck, leaking negative stories about McCain and his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (whose selection as Vice Presidential candidate was driven primarily by liberal icons Bill Kristol and Steve Schmidt). 

As Wallace — seeing the media's love affair with Obama — began shrewdly repositioning herself as a liberal, she claimed in 2010 that she did not even vote for McCain due to her misgivings about Palin (a claim which Schmidt repeated about himself for the first time last week during his multi-day psychological erosion). When Wallace published a self-glorifying novel about the first female chief of staff (modeled after herself) to the first female president in 2011, liberal corporate journalists including MSNBC's Rachel Maddow gushed over it, while The New York Times’ reporter Ashley Parker, now of The Washington Postheralded her as “the tough, savvy and hard-charging conservative political operator” who enjoys a close friendship with CNN's Dana Bash. 

So beloved was Wallace by the corporate press that she was rewarded in 2014 with a highly lucrative contract to be a co-host on ABC's The View. She then joined NBC News. Quickly adapting to her new role as a Republican who vehemently despised Donald Trump — easily the most lucrative Trump-era archetype —- MSNBC bestowed her with her own afternoon cable show in 2017. She quickly became one of Democratic viewers' most popular hosts — constantly giving a platform to Schmidt and other Lincoln Project sleaze merchants as part of the #NeverTrump gang, a faction so beloved by corporate media employees that they filled cable green rooms and newspaper op-ed pages while having little to no representation among the actual voting populace. Liberals love Wallace so much that she was given a second hour to host in 2020.

But lurking beneath her perky smile, multi-million-dollar media contracts, gushing liberal fan base and a long list of media admirers is something extremely dark and pernicious. In a swamp of professional liars and sleaze merchants, Nicolle Wallace has distinguished herself easily as one of the most seamless and casual liars in the world of Washington politics and media. She thrived in the Bush/Cheney administration precisely because she was so adept at selling the White House's deadly lies to liberal corporate media employees, dressing up those lies in a pleasing-to-liberals packaging that she learned from growing up in a affluent town near San Francisco, and then at Berkeley and Northwestern's School of Journalism. She was the vintage conservative who liberals could love — a smiling sophisticate, someone willing to betray her GOP employers to impress liberal journalists, an amicable young woman touting degrees from the types of schools that impress coastal media elites — and it was virtually inevitable that she would thrive within media corporations that need women who can credibly claim to be conservatives yet appeal to liberal sensibilities and flatter liberal audiences.

Wallace has employed those personality traits in service of the most toxic and insidious of all tasks: a happyrelentless purveyor of official disinformation. When the CIA wants the American public contaminated with its lies and disinformation, Nicolle Wallace's lips begin moving. She delivers the anonymous disinformation campaigns of the U.S. security state with a tone of empathy, compassion, and liberal elegance, all in the language and with the affectations which affluent liberals most admire. 

She has an unsurpassed ability to broadcast to audiences outright lies whispered to her by Deep State operatives — one after the next — without flinching or betraying the slightest sense of a conscience or moral compass. She lies like only a sociopath can: exuding charm and warmth yet utterly vacant on the inside, except for a soul festering in rot. Over the last twenty years — from her perches at the White House, on The View, and now at MSNBC — nobody has made liberals eat up Pentagon and neocon war propaganda more eagerly and uncritically than Nicolle Wallace.

There is literally not a single liberal/CIA disinformation campaign over the last six years that she did not fully and uncritically embrace. Each time the U.S. Security State and Democratic Party fabricated blatant lies and embarked on injecting their poisonous brew into the American bloodstream, Nicolle Wallace was at the forefront. Using the skills she harnessed to help lead Americans into one of its most destructive and immoral wars in U.S. history — the invasion and 15-year destruction of Iraq — the former Bush/Cheney shill, now a DNC and CIA shill, has played a starring role in virtually every lie American liberals have been led to believe.

Because Wallace is primarily a video performer — she rarely writes or speaks extemporaneously, instead clinging loyally to talking points and teleprompter scripts — video is the only medium that can really convey the full extent of her brazen contempt for the truth. After we began compiling many of the examples of Wallace's leading role in spreading official disinformation, we asked Matt Orfalea — who came to prominence as a young videographer for the 2016 Sanders campaign and who has since become a much more heterodox voice on his Rumble page, which he began after repeatedly being censored by YouTube — to produce a video with the goal of viscerally conveying who Nicolle Wallace really is and the dark arts on which she relies for her careerist and ideological project.

Orfalea is an artist: a highly creative and unorthodox videographer. The videos he produced for journalist Matt Taibbi regarding the media's disinformation orgy about the Kyle Rittenhouse trial and its even more deceitful effort to lie to the public about the materials on Hunter Biden's laptop are two of the best political videos I have seen in years. The video he produced for us on Nicolle Wallace — the Typhoid Mary of Disinformation — is, in my view, at least of the same quality. The tone and tenor of this video are obviously quite different from those we typically employ to do our reporting here, but the video so perfectly conveys who Wallace is, and how she spews and disseminates disinformation, that I am very proud to present it and eager for you to watch it.

The free trailer, available to all, is below. The full mini-documentary, for subscribers only, follows after that. Above all else, it demonstrates the key point about this new discourse about “disinformation.” Those who most flamboyantly warn of the dangers of disinformation and seek to censor the internet in the name of fighting it are, (through such tactics as the defunct-for-now Homeland Security Disinformation Board) in fact, the most aggressive and destructive purveyors of disinformation in the world.

 

READ MORE:

https://greenwald.substack.com/p/the-typhoid-mary-of-disinformation?s=r

 

READ FROM TOP.

 

SEE ALSO: the end of the disinformation ministry….

 

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