Feds Hold Hearing On Whether They Should ‘Regulate’ Sites Like Drudge, Infowars And The Economic Collapse Blog
The Economic Collapse
by Michael Snyder
The control freaks that run our government always seem to want to “regulate” things that they do not like. And so it should be no surprise that there is a renewed push to regulate independent news websites. Sites like the Drudge Report, Infowars.com and The Economic Collapse Blog have been a thorn in the side of the establishment for years. You see, the truth is that approximately 90 percent of all news and entertainment in this country is controlled by just six giant media corporations. That is why the news seems to be so similar no matter where you turn. But in recent years the alternative media has exploded in popularity. People are hungry for the truth, and an increasing number of Americans are waking up to the fact that they are not getting the truth from the corporate-controlled media. But as the alternative media has grown, it was only going to be a matter of time before the establishment started cracking down on it. At the moment it is just the FEC and the FCC, but surely this is just the beginning. Our “Big Brother” government ultimately wants to control every area of our lives – and this especially applies to our ability to communicate freely with one another.
The Federal Election Commission is an example of a federal rule making body that has gotten wildly out of control. Since just about anything that anyone says or does could potentially “influence an election”, it is not difficult for them to come up with excuses to regulate things that they do not like.
And on Wednesday, the FEC held a hearing on whether or not they should regulate political speech on blogs, websites and YouTube videos…
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is holding a hearing today to receive public feedback on whether it should create new rules regulating political speech, including political speech on the Internet that one commissioner warned could affect blogs, YouTube videos and even websites like the Drudge Report.
If you do not think that this could ever happen, you should consider what almost happened at the FEC last October…
In October, then FEC Vice Chairwoman Ann M. Ravel promised that she would renew a push to regulate online political speech following a deadlocked commission vote that would have subjected political videos and blog posts to the reporting and disclosure requirements placed on political advertisers who broadcast on television. On Wednesday, she will begin to make good on that promise.
“Some of my colleagues seem to believe that the same political message that would require disclosure if run on television should be categorically exempt from the same requirements when placed in the Internet alone,” Ravel said in an October statement. “As a matter of policy, this simply does not make sense.”
“In the past, the Commission has specifically exempted certain types of Internet communications from campaign finance regulations,” she lamented. “In doing so, the Commission turned a blind eye to the Internet’s growing force in the political arena.”
As our nation continues to drift toward totalitarianism, it is only a matter of time before political speech on the Internet is regulated. It is already happening in other countries all around the globe, and control freak politicians such as Ravel will just keep pushing until they get what they want.
The way that they are spinning it this time around is that they desperately need to do something “about money in politics”…
Noting the 32,000 public comments that came into the FEC in advance of the hearing, Democratic Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub said, “75 percent thought that we need to do more about money in politics, particularly in the area of disclosure. And I think that’s something that we can’t ignore.”
And it isn’t just a few control freak Democrats that want these changes.
The Brennan Center for Justice, the Campaign Legal Center, the League of Women Voters and Public Citizen were all expected to testify in favor of more government regulation on the Internet at the hearing.
Fortunately, other organizations are doing what they can to warn the general population. For example, the following comes from the Electronic Frontier Foundation…
Increased regulation of online speech is not only likely to chill participation in the public debate, but it may also threaten individual speakers’ privacy and right to post anonymously. In so doing, it may undermine two goals of campaign finance reform: protecting freedom of political speech and expanding political participation.
As we stated in our joint comments to the FEC back in 2005 [pdf], “the Internet provides a counter-balance to the undue dominance that ‘big money’ has increasingly wielded over the political process in the past half-century.” We believe that heightened regulation of online political speech will hamper the Internet’s ability to level the playing field.
Meanwhile, Barack Obama and the FCC are using net neutrality as an excuse to impose lots of new regulations on Internet activity.
Ajit Pai is an FCC commissioner who is opposed to this plan. He recently sent out a tweet holding what he calls “President Obama’s 332-page plan to regulate the Internet“…
Ajit Pai’s description of “President Obama’s 332-page plan to regulate the Internet” sounds Orwellian. He tweeted a picture of himself holding the 332-page plan just below a picture of a smiling Barack Obama with a comment, “I wish the public could see what’s inside.” The implication depicted Obama as George Orwell’s “Big Brother.”
Pai also released a statement: “President Obama’s plan marks a monumental shift toward government control of the Internet. It gives the FCC the power to micromanage virtually every aspect of how the Internet works,” he said. “The plan explicitly opens the door to billions of dollars in new taxes on broadband… These new taxes will mean higher prices for consumers and more hidden fees that they have to pay.”
Here is the photo that he posted with his tweet…
After what we went through with Obamacare, one can only imagine what is inside that monstrosity of a document.
Regulation of the Internet is here, and it is only going to get worse.
But at least we are not like Saudi Arabia just yet. Recently, a Saudi blogger was sentenced to 1,000 lashes for “insulting Islam“.
So we should be thankful for the freedoms that we still have. But without a doubt, governments all over the world are slowly but surely cracking down on Internet freedom.
If we do not stand up for our rights now, one day we may wake up and find that our freedom to communicate with one another over the Internet is totally gone.
by Eric Zuesse
The cause of the shooting-down of the Malaysian passenger plane MH-17 on July 17th (while that plane was flying over the conflict-zone during Ukraine’s civil war) is becoming clearer and clearer, despite the rigorous continuing attempts by Western ‘news’ media to cover it up and to hide from the public the evidence that clearly shows what brought down this airliner.
In the months since I headlined on August 24th the news, “MH-17 ‘Investigation’: Secret August 8th Agreement Seeps Out: Perpetrator of the Downing in Ukraine, of the Malaysian Airliner, Will Stay Hidden,” explaining why the leaders of Western nations want these black-box and other basic data to remain hidden, additional evidence has nonetheless become public, and all of it confirms and adds yet further details to the explanation that was first put forth by the retired German Lufthansa pilot Peter Haisenko, whose independent investigation had concluded that Ukrainian Government fighter-jets intentionally shot down this civilian plane.
Precisely how they did it is gradually becoming clearer, despite this continuation of Western secrecy regarding the contents of the black boxes, and of the U.S. satellite images, and of the Ukrainian air-traffic-control radar recordings, and of other evidence-sources that are held by the West and not made available to their ‘news’ media nor to anyone outside a tight official circle of those Western nations’ intelligence agencies.
Russia has thus been releasing its own investigations regarding MH-17; and, in the process, Russia is not only providing further details as to how the downing actually happened (it wasn’t by mistake, as the West contends it was), but they are also exposing the absurd impossibility of the Ukrainian Government’s ‘explanation’ of this event, which is the ‘explanation’ that is still being parroted unquestioningly and unflinchingly by officials in Washington, Europe, and NATO, and also by Western ‘news’ media. (As my news-report explained, that secret August 8th agreement was signed by the four governments that were handed the black boxes to study — Ukraine, Belgium, Australia, and Netherlands — and it granted to the Ukrainian Government a veto over anything that the team’s official report would say, which is probably the reason why the subsequent officially released report on those black boxes said essentially nothing. It was a brazen insult to the 298 victims’ families.)
Though Russia doesn’t possess those black boxes, they do possess, and they publicly reveal, evidence that’s conclusive on its own; and it is 100% consistent with Haisenko’s reconstruction of the event. Russian Television issued a 25-minute documentary recently on the event, and it starts with people whom they interviewed in that region, who were describing their having seen at least one and perhaps two planes rising toward the airliner, and then the airliner coming down from the sky. Other witnesses told them that they saw an SU-25 fighter plane take off in that general area just minutes before the airliner came down.
The BBC had previously posted to their website on 23 July 2014, just six days after the event itself, a news report in Russian via their Russian service, about the downing, but they quickly removed it without explanation. Fortunately, however, some Russian-speakers had managed to download it before it was yanked; and one of those downloads is still up at youtube, having been posted there on July 28th, with English subscripts, and with the headline, “UKRAINE Eyewitness Confirm Military Jet Flew Besides MH17 Airliner: BBC Censors Video 25Jul2014”. (Actually, there were several witnesses interviewed there, not just one “Eyewitness.”) Furthermore, Global Research posted on September 10th a transcript of it, headlining, “Deleted BBC Report. ‘Ukrainian Fighter Jet Shot Down MHI7’, Donetsk Eyewitnesses.” So, this valuable eyewitness-testimony to the event is available despite Western ‘news’ media (or propaganda-media), and the reason for the news-suppression is clear from anyone who views that BBC report, which presents several eyewitnesses, all of whom were interviewed separately as individuals, not as a group, and yet all of whose testimonies report having observed the very same basic narrative, of at least one military jet rising toward the airliner just before it came down. In other words: BBC had yanked this piece because it didn’t confirm the West’s story-line, which says that Ukrainian pro-Russian separatists fired a “Buk” ground-based missile at the airliner, thinking that the civilian plane was a Ukrainian Government war-plane about to bomb them and their families. But, first of all, the Ukrainian Government was virtually admitting there that they were bombing these villagers, which means that they were perpetrating an ethnic cleansing there, which indeed that Government was doing; but, secondly, the Ukrainian Government’s statement also acknowledged that if the event had happened in that way, it would have been unintentional, a tragic accident on the part of the rebels there. So, then, why did “the international community” respond with massive economic sanctions against Russia on account of this downing? The whole Western propaganda position was designed for a public of sheer fools, if not of outright psychopathic ones, who cared not a bit about the plights of the victims of an ethnic-cleansing campaign. The West’s basic storyline doesn’t make sense without recognizing that we are financing ethnic cleansing to clear the land in southeastern Ukraine, and that any support that Russia would be providing to those separatists would be defensive in nature, not offensive. Yet Russia gets the blame when this passenger jet goes down? In any case, that storyline is false, from start to finish.
Here is how outright ludicrous it actually is, and sound reason in itself that anyone in the military had to have known, from the very get-go, that the “Buk” ‘explanation’ was a line of pure malarkey:
The Russian documentary was titled, “MH-17: The Untold Story,” and it presents videos of several “Buk” missiles being fired. Here’s one:
That passage shows the missile, a 9K37 Buk SA-11 Gadfly, which is a bit longer than ten yards (30 feet) – this large (and certainly not inconspicuous) missile — being launched from its standard launch-base.
The documentary then notes:
And then this:
And then this:
And then this:
So, when even the BBC’s reporter wasn’t able to find anyone in that entire region who recounts having seen anything of the sort, just how likely would the Ukrainian Government’s line on that matter actually be? Obviously, any person with any military knowledge whatsoever had to have recognized virtually immediately that the Ukrainian Government’s story-line on the MH-17 downing was a pile of sheer malarkey, but did anyone in the Western ‘news’ media report that it was — that the Western line there was not just a lie, but an absurd one, one that requires an ignorant public in order for it to be able to be taken seriously at all by the public? One that requires an ignorant public, to remain ignorant? This is supposed to be the Western ‘news’ media, with a free press, and a democracy, a truthfully informed citizenry, who can vote based upon truths, not on mere lies?
Here is the way that the Russian TV documentary opens:
Several of the locals there told Russian TV’s reporter that they had seen a military jet rise toward the airliner; and not a one of these individuals were any of the same ones who had testified the exact same thing to the BBC’s reporter, whose news-piece had been squelched by her managers.
Now, to the substance of the explanation of how this plane was actually brought down:
Earlier, I summarized the evidence for Peter Haisenko’s reconstruction of the event, but I questioned his having accepted the eyewitness testimony to the effect that the planes that shot down the airliner were SU-25s. In Haisenko’s Russian TV interview, he sticks by his belief that it was probably SU-25s instead of SU-27s or Mig 29s, both of which are also in the Ukrainian Air Force, and all three of which use 30-millimeter machine-guns or “cannons.” But since the fact is that all three of those attack-plane models use machine-guns (“cannons”) with 30-caliber bullets (which is the size that clearly was used, especially on the cockpit), the effect would be identically-sized round 30-caliber entry-holes, no matter what. My last major report on that evidence was “Systematically Reconstructing the Shoot-Down of the Malaysian Airliner: The Guilt Is Clear and Damning.” That basically fills in (and the links in that report document with pictures and videos) the actual way that this plane was downed and why it was downed. Obama (via the regime that he had installed in a February 2014 coup in Kiev) succeeded there in getting the international sanctions against Russia that he had been wanting. Obama, not Putin, was behind this.
International actions are based upon such fabrications, and ‘evidence’ taken out of its full context, as this from the far-right Forbes commentator Paul Roderick Gregory, but there are no such fakes, nor out-of-context items of evidence, in the case that has been presented here. That’s the difference between news-reporting and propaganda; but, in the United States today, propaganda passes as if it were ‘news,’ and authentic news that doesn’t fit the regime’s cooked-up narrative is suppressed entirely.
Western governments, and their ‘news’ media, are treating their citizens, their own publics, not really as citizens, but as suckers. They are treating them as subjects, instead of as citizens. This is not authentic democracy. It is neo-feudal; it is, in fact, a sophisticated form of fascism.
The entire “Buk” ‘explanation’ of the downing of the Malaysian airliner is for suckers only; and everyone in official circles, and in the press, who peddles it, is just as fake as the ridiculous story-line that he or she is peddling. To fall for it, after being provided all of the authentic evidence, which has been linked to here, is to be a willing slave to psychopaths.
So, now we know why Western governments have hidden, instead of making available to the public, the black-box data and the other evidence that they still refuse to provide to the public. They are aiming to scam the public, not to inform it. Lying is their game. And they call it ‘patriotism.’ But, of course, they would! Traitors would do that. Traitors to any country would do it. And, so, they do.
Unfortunately, the people they fool become their tools, and everyone else are purely their victims — helpless to oust the tyrants who make things bad for everyone but themselves and their colleagues.
The Common Sense Show
by Dave Hodges
There is a plot designed to hide the truth from the general public and preserve the veil of secrecy and censorship which permeates the mainstream media and I think you have a right to know about this.
Alternative Media Under Attack
There is an ongoing conspiracy between the money interests behind the mainstream media, the Department of Defense (DoD) and several intelligence agencies which are working together to falsely and artificially inflate the numbers of the mainstream media (i.e. Hannity) and whose purpose it is to obfuscate the true Internet ratings of the alternative media and even block traffic to alternative media sites (e.g. Steve Quayle, Doug Hagmann, Dave Hodges, et al).
Google, Yahoo, Bing, the Internet rating site of Alexa and a plethora of other website controlling “traffic cops” are conspiring to lessen the influence of the alternative media. The six corporations that control 98% of the media determine, in large part, what you see, hear and think. They are not about to let an upstart media group change their stranglehold over their control over of the public and their perceptions.
For about year, my news director, Annie DeRiso, and I have noticed several statistical anomalies coming from our Google inspired traffic and the corresponding Alexa ratings. For example, during the late September to late October 2014 period where Ebola was dominating both the dinosaur mainstream and alternative, truthful media, The Common Sense Show was averaging about 12,000-16,000 hits on the website per day, just from Google alone. As soon as the mainstream media stopped covering Ebola as its top story, the Google hits to The Common Sense Show dipped below 2,000 hits and the change matched and was just as instantaneous as the mainstream media. On a typical “bad day” Google still averages 6,000-9,000 hits on the website per day. And let’s not forget that Alexa showed nearly alternative media website dropping by the same percentage in September of 2014. How many coincidences does it take to make a conspiracy?
By the way, these statistical anomalies only transpire during periods high drama and controversial news events where the corporate controlled media seeks to exert its maximum influence. These statistical anomalies have occurred at the height of the illegal immigration invasion of the United States this past summer. As soon as the switch was flipped and the MSM stopped covering the Ebola story, the Google hits on The Common Sense Show took a corresponding dive. The same “anomalies” have occurred during the Syrian (2013) crisis and the Ukrainian crisis.
Steve Quayle Receives Corresponding & Confirming Information
Steve Quayle was recently sent a memo from a high ranking military officer which addresses this topic. According to Quayle, the source is completely reliable and he verbalized the fact that Steve Quayle, Dave Hodges (The Common Sense Show) and Doug and Joe Hagmann (The Hagmann and Hagmann Report radio show) are being blocked by the DoD. Further, a certain percentage of direct and Google based web traffic to these websites are being blocked from being able to access these sites according to other sources as well.
Google operates off of an algorithm which is presently limiting searches on the topics of “Obama, Ebola, Military firings…” according to Quayle’s source. Steve Quayle’s military source went on to say that this is not an outright ban (that would be too obvious), but that “This has happened with greater frequency and is about half of the articles you post”.
Steve Quayle has also told me that he has been contacted by military personnel who would access his former broadcasts, by satellite in Afghanistan. These military personnel were told that they “would be court-martialed ” for accessing Quayle’s broadcasts.
From a leaked DoD document sent to Steve Quayle, if a D0D employee tries to access a flagged website, such as Quayle’s, Hodges’ and Hagmann’s website/radio shows, this is a message that one is going to see.
You have attempted to access a website with possible security risks. As such, we advise against further access. However, if a MISSION ESSENTIAL access requirement exists, click on the link below and proceed with caution. This is a DoD enterprise-level protection system intended to reduce risk to DoD users and protect DoD systems from intrusion. It will block access to high-risk websites and filter high-risk web content. You are accessing a U.S. Government (USG) Information System (IS) that is provided for USG-authorized use only. By using this IS (which includes any device attached to this IS), you consent to the following conditions: o The USG routinely intercepts and monitors communications on this IS for purposes including, but not limited to, penetration testing, COMSEC monitoring, network operations and defense, personnel misconduct (PM), law enforcement (LE), and counterintelligence (CI) investigations.
o At any time, the USG may inspect and seize data stored on this IS.
o Communications using, or data stored on, this IS are not private, are subject to routine monitoring, interception, and search, and may be disclosed or used for any USG authorized purpose.
o This IS includes security measures (e.g., authentication and access controls) to protect USG interests–not for your personal benefit or privacy.
o Notwithstanding the above, using this IS does not constitute consent to PM, LE or CI investigative searching or monitoring of the content of privileged communications, or work product, related to personal representation or services by attorneys, psychotherapists, or clergy, and their assistants. Such communications and work product are private and confidential. See User Agreement for details. Click
Globalists such as Soros and Brzezinski have bemoaned the fact that the public is waking up. This begs a couple of questions. First, what percentage does Hagmann, Quayle, Hodges, Before Its News, et al. have to reach before their collective efforts will totally consume the country? The answer according to most sociologists and marketing experts is about 10% and when that number is reached exponential growth takes place. We are almost there. The second question has to do with how long will the purveyors of the status quo of the New World Order continue to allow this unchecked growth, which threatens to greatly lessen their power and influence? The answer to the question is, not much longer.
The Net Effect
I am among a growing number of journalists who believe that when medical martial law is fully implemented as a result of the Ebola crisis, Internet sites such as Quayle, Hodges and Hagmann are going to be permanently taken down and we will return to one version of the truth and the people behind that version don’t have your best interests at heart.
My readers and listeners will undoubtedly ask me what we can do about this blatant attempt at censoring the news. The answer is simple, take a few moments and write a form letter, and include a hard copy of this article, and mail it to one sponsor for every mainstream media outlet that you participate in. Simply tell the sponsor that you will not be using their service or product because of their indirect complicity in this latest attempt at censoring the news. If America was to do this, the ripple effect would be felt all the way back to the White House. George Noory would be working at Walmart and Wolf Blitzer would master the phrase “Do you want fries with this burger, sir?”
The Economic Collapse
by Michael Snyder
Do you trust the news media? Do you believe that the information that they are giving you is true and accurate? If you answered yes to either of those questions, that places you in a steadily shrinking minority. Yes, on average Americans watch approximately 153 hours of television a month, but for their news they are increasingly turning to alternative sources of information such as this website. Big news channels such as CNN, MSNBC and Fox News are losing hordes of viewers, and they are desperately searching for answers. Things have gotten so bad at CNN that they have been forced to lay off hundreds of workers. The mainstream media is slowly dying, but they will never admit it. They are still convinced that they can find some way to turn this around and regain the trust of the American people. But it simply is not going to happen. The following are 10 things about the U.S. news media that they do not want you to know…
#1 The level of trust in the U.S. news media is at an all-time low.
According to a Gallup survey that was conducted last month, only 40 percent of all Americans have a “great deal/fair amount” of confidence in the mass media. That ties the lowest level that Gallup has ever recorded.
#2 The news media is far more liberal than the American people.
We hear much about the supposed “conservative bias” of Fox News, but the truth is that overall the U.S. public considers the news media to be extremely liberal. Gallup found that 44 percent of all Americans consider the news media to be “too liberal”, and only 19 percent of all Americans consider the news media to be “too conservative”.
And it is a fact that “journalists” are far more likely to give money to Democrats than to Republicans. The following comes from an MSNBC report…
MSNBC.com identified 143 journalists who made political contributions from 2004 through the start of the 2008 campaign, according to the public records of the Federal Election Commission. Most of the newsroom checkbooks leaned to the left: 125 journalists gave to Democrats and liberal causes. Only 16 gave to Republicans. Two gave to both parties.
#3 Fox News is not nearly as “conservative” as you think that it is.
Fox News may be constantly promoting a “Republican agenda”, but that does not mean that it is conservative. This is especially true when it comes to social issues. Some of their anchors are extremely socially liberal, one of the top executives at Fox News is a big Hillary Clinton supporter, and 21st Century Fox/News Corp. has given the Clintons more than 3 million dollars since 1992.
#4 MSNBC is in a death spiral.
After years of lying to the American people, the credibility of MSNBC is absolutely shot. Pretty much all MSNBC does is endlessly spew establishment propaganda. One study found that MSNBC only engages in 15 percent “factual reporting” and the other 85 percent is “commentary/opinion”.
So it should be no surprise that only 6 percent of Americans consider MSNBC to be their most trusted source for news…
NBC News and sister cable network MSNBC rank at the bottom of media outlets Americans trust most for news, with Fox News leading the way, according to a new poll from the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling.
In its fifth trust poll, 35 percent said they trusted Fox news more than any other outlet, followed by PBS at 14 percent, ABC at 11 percent, CNN at 10 percent, CBS at 9 percent, 6 percent for MSNBC and Comedy Central, and just 3 percent for NBC.
#5 Americans are increasingly turning to Facebook and other Internet sources for their news.
At least that is what one recent survey discovered. It found that an astounding 48 percent of Americans got news about government and politics from Facebook within the past week. The numbers for CNN and Fox News were just 44 percent and 39 percent respectively.
#6 Over the past year or so the big three cable news networks have lost an unprecedented number of viewers.
According to a Pew Research study, the number of prime time viewers for all three networks combined declined by 11 percent in 2013…
In 2013, the cable news audience, by nearly all measures, declined. The combined median prime-time viewership of the three major news channels—CNN, Fox News and MSNBC—dropped 11% to about 3 million, the smallest it has been since 2007. The Nielsen Media Research data show that the biggest decline came at MSNBC, which lost nearly a quarter (24%) of its prime-time audience. CNN, under new management, ended its fourth year in third place, with a 13% decline in prime time. Fox, while down 6%, still drew more viewers (1.75 million) than its two competitors combined (619,500 at MSNBC and 543,000 at CNN).
The decline was even more dramatic for the critical 25 to 54-year-old demographic. From November 2012 to November 2013, CNN’s ratings for that demographic plunged by a whopping 59 percent, and MSNBC’s ratings for that demographic plummeted by 52 percent.
#7 The big news networks have a love affair with the Obama administration.
Yes, there are reporters that get annoyed by the petty press rules that Obama makes them follow and by their lack of access to the president, but overall there is a tremendously incestuous relationship between the Obama administration and the mainstream news media.
For example, did you know that the president of CBS and the president of ABC both have brothers that have served as top officials in the Obama administration?
And needless to say, Barack Obama does not care for the alternative media much at all. The following is an excerpt from a WND article…
NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd says President Obama was making it “clear” at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner over the weekend how he feels about the rise of Internet news sites like Politico, Buzzfeed and … well, WND.
“He hates it.”
Appearing on “Meet the Press” Sunday morning following Saturday night’s media, politics and celebrity soiree, Todd explained the president’s disdain for independent online news sources was showing during his speech.
“It did seem … I thought his pot shots, joke-wise, and then the serious stuff about the Internet, the rise of the Internet media and social media and all that stuff – he hates it, OK? He hates this part of the media,” Todd said. “He really thinks that the, sort of, the buzzification – this isn’t just about Buzzfeed or Politico and all this stuff – he thinks that sort of coverage of political media has hurt political discourse. He hates it. And I think he was just trying to make that clear last night.”
#8 Newspaper ad revenues are about a third of what they were back in the year 2000.
Yes, you read that correctly. As Americans have discarded the print versions of their newspapers, newspaper ad revenues have experienced a decline that is absolutely unprecedented…
It took a half century for annual newspaper print ad revenue to gradually increase from $20 billion in 1950 (adjusted for inflation in 2013 dollars) to $65.8 billion in 2000, and then it took only 12 years to go from $65.8 billion in ad revenues back to less than $20 billion in 2012, before falling further to $17.3 billion last year.
#9 News magazines are also experiencing a dramatic multi-year decline in ad revenues.
Once upon a time, news magazines such as Time, Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report were must reads.
But those days are long gone.
Ad revenues are way down across the entire industry, and any magazine that can keep their yearly losses to the single digits is applauded for it…
For a third year in a row, news magazines faced a difficult print advertising environment. Combined ad pages (considered a better measure than ad revenue) for the five magazines studied in this report were down 13% in 2013, following a decline of 12.5% in 2012, and about three times the rate of decline in 2011, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. Again, hardest hit was The Week, which suffered a 20% drop in ad pages. The Atlantic fell 17%, The Economist 16%, and Time about 11%, while The New Yorker managed to keep its ad pages losses in single digits (7%).
#10 Even though the mainstream media is dying, they still have an overwhelmingly dominant position.
What would you say if I told you that there are just six enormous media conglomerates that combine to produce about 90 percent of all the media that Americans consume?
If you do not believe this, please see my previous article entitled “Who Owns The Media? The 6 Monolithic Corporations That Control Almost Everything We Watch, Hear And Read“?
This is why “the news” seems to be so similar no matter what channel you watch.
But we aren’t just talking about control of the news media. These giant media corporations also own movie studios, newspapers, magazines, publishing houses, video game makers, music labels and even many of our favorite websites.
So we should be thankful that their media monopoly is finally crumbling.
Nobody should have that much power over what the American people see, hear and think about.
What is your perspective on all of this? Please feel free to share your thoughts on the U.S. news media by posting a comment below…
New Eastern Outlook
by Christof Lehmann
Google’s Safe Browsing List that blocks websites and flags them as containing malware is increasingly used as mechanism for the censoring of independent media and the falsification of history. It is an alarming development that, left unchallenged, puts the survival of any independent newspaper, blog, TV or radio station at risk.. Over the past months the list has apparently been used to target websites critical of U.S.’ involvement in the wars in the Middle East, U.S.’ involvement in Ukraine and independent media who are publishing material that is critical of Zionism.
Google’s Safe Browsing List translates into the blocking of websites which allegedly contain malware. Instead of showing the website one is presented with a red-colored Google page that warns that the URL in question has been blocked because it contains malware. Ultimately, being flagged on the list can also result in the removal of the flagged websites from Google’s search engine. Being flagged, blocked or removed from search engines can have devastating results for independent journalists and media who are struggling to finance investigative journalism, rather than regurgitating alternative versions of Reuters and other major news agencies. The targeting of independent media and journalists is especially noteworthy when one considers Google’s close cooperation with the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA).
Incestuous Relationships between Google, Apple, Microsoft, their Subsidiaries, and the NSA.
Google’s close cooperation with the NSA is a well-documented fact. An article from May 7, entitled ”Is Google in cahoots with the NSA? Email leak reveals close relationship”, published in Tech Times, reveals that the close cooperation between Google and the NSA was documented long before NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden told the world what most who cared to investigate already knew. The article quotes emails between NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander and Google executives Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt from 2011 and 2012. Tech Times states:
”In the mails, the Google executives sound friendly and cooperative. Alexander’s emails hint at the importance of ´Google’s participation in refinement, engineering and deployment of solutions`to cyber threats”.
The article also details the fact that the NSA chief had invited CEOs of key companies including Google, Apple, and Microsoft to classified briefings. What is important about these three key corporations cooperation with the NSA is that they are economically interrelated with most other, commercial Internet providers, including web-hosting companies, firms which provide Internet security products, as well as advertising companies who sell advertising on everything from blogs over smaller independent media to major corporate newspapers. The following are recent examples, which demonstrate how this incestuous relationship translates into the targeting of independent media, censorship and the falsification of history.
October 6, nsnbc received an e-mail from the Internet security provider SiteLock, warning that there was a serious malware issue pertaining some articles published in nsnbc. SiteLock stressed that the issue had to be resolved within 72 hours if nsnbc international wanted to avoid being added to Google’s Safe Browsing List and have the site withdrawn from nsnbc’s web-host, which among many other web hosts is a business partner of Site Lock.
So what was the alleged threat and what is the real threat – to the USA?
A full security scan conducted by nsnbc with the newspaper’s own security software revealed that several articles had been flagged as containing malware. Among them were six articles which had been published on the renown independent on-line newspaper Voltairenet. All of the articles which had been flagged as containing malware dealt with illegal U.S. Involvement in the Syria war and illegal U.S. Involvement in Ukraine.
Another article that was flagged as containing malware was the article ”Palestine Israel History and Theirstory”. The article was originally published in nsnbc and it has been republished in numerous other independent media, including the International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC), Sabbah Report, and about 100 independent blogs. The reason why this particular article was flagged as containing malware was that it contained a link to the publication ”Der Ewige Jude” a racist, supremacist propaganda book published by the German Nazi Party during WWII.. The article documents the systematic dehumanization of Arabs by Zionists and Hollywood, and compares the dehumanization with that Nazis practiced against Jews and Slavic people.
Our scan further revealed that an article by the Bangkok based, independent analyst, editor of LandDetstroyer Report, and contributor to New Eastern Outlook, nsnbc and other, Tony Cartalucci, also was on the list of flagged articles. The article is entitled ”America’s Nazis in Kiev: ”Russians are Subhuman”. The article was published in New Eastern Outlook, and was republished in LandDestroyer and nsnbc international. Tony Cartalucci demonstrates the Nazi ideology of post-coup Ukrainian PM Arseny Yatzenyuk by quoting Yatzenyuk, and referring to the Nazi pamphlet ”Der Untermensch”, so one could understand that Yatzenyuk’s quote directly reflects the racist and supremacist ideology that was spread in ”Der Untermensch”, which translates into ”The Subhuman”. Also here, nsnbc has to remove the URL to the pamphlet and any media that continues carrying the URL risks, knowingly or not, to be added to Google’s ”Safe Browsing List” to have the newspaper’s, journal’s or blogs website flagged as containing malware, and to be removed or at the very least significantly down-graded in Google’s search engine.
The real threat is, in other words, the threat that direct U.S. Collaboration with terrorists in Syria and Nazis in Ukraine is disclosed to a growing number of readers who have become suspicious about the accuracy of mainstream, corporate, state and foundation funded media. nsnbc did not respond to the initial SiteLock email but received a second email from SiteLock, late at night on October 8. In the mail SiteLock’s Website Security Consultant Hubert Robinson wrote:
”My name is Hugh with SiteLock I recently left you a message regarding the status of your web domain, nsnbc.me During a recent SiteLock security scan of your website, malware was detected that could jeopardize the safety of your website and your data. I wanted to reach out before Google blacklist the site or before your Hosting provider pulls the site down for being infected. …. Please contact me immediately at 602-753-3929, so that I can help you secure your website as soon as possible”.
We conducted an additional security scan with nsnbc’s own software and didn’t identify additional ”threats”, other than those articles by Voltairenet, nsnbc, LandDestroyer Report and New Eastern Outlook which documented U.S.’ collaboration with wanted Al-Qaeda terrorists in Syria and Iraq, the article that documented that Zionist and Nazi ideology in large parts are identical, and the article which disclosed the Nazi ideology of Ukrainian PM Arseny Yatzenyuk whom the U.S.’ administrations attempt to pass off as ”house trained”.
After nsnbc had de-activated the links to the URLs which allegedly contain malware, nsnbc wrote three mails to SiteLock’s Website Security Consultant Huge Grant, asking, among others, whether they could be more specific about which malware the flagged sites allegedly contained. We also asked whether SiteLock has a direct or indirect corporate partnership with Google, and for the name and contact details of SiteLock’s CEO. SiteLock failed to respond. SiteLock also failed to inform nsnbc whether the deactivation of the flagged URL’s was ”sufficient” or whether they perceived other ”threats” to our ”security”.
Infecting Independent Media with Malware via Add Companies.
In February 2013, nsnbc was suddenly taken off-line and flagged as containing malware by Google’s Safe Browsing List. The incident occurred about 20 minutes after nsnbc published an article entitled ”US’ Victoria Nuland about Ukraine ´Fuck the EU`. The article contained a covertly recorded and leaked phone conversation between the U.S. State Department’s Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt. The conversation revealed that the U.S.’ was directly involved in the micro-management of the coup d’état in Ukraine.
nsnbc immediately investigated the reason for the closure of the newspaper’s website. The result of the investigation was that nsnbc’ at that time advertising partner, MadAdsMedia, which is heavily economically dependent on cooperation with Google and Google’s AdSense, had inserted an add that contained a Java Script with malware”. Contacting MadAdsMedia resulted in their consultant explaining that they were ”terribly sorry for the incident and any inconvenience it had caused us, assured that they were removing the add that contained malware and advised us how to contact Google to have the newspaper removed from Google’s Safe Browsing List”.
nsnbc contacted MadAdsMedia and politely asked whether they would be so kind to send us detailed information about which add it was that had contained the malware, and documentation for who it was that had placed the malware, and on which websites. MadAdsMedia failed to respond to at least three polite reminders by email and several phone calls. What MadAdsMedia did, however, was to inform nsnbc that it had decided not to serve any adds to nsnbc any longer and that they had moved us to another company whom we could contact if we wanted. In practical terms, the incident translates into this:
A minor advertising company that is heavily dependent on serving adds via a partnership with Google denies to answer justified questions and responds to the audacity to continue asking them by withdrawing an independent newspaper’s only source of income, from one day to the other, without prior notice.
Facebook’s ”soft” censorship?
On September 5, New Eastern Outlook contributor and editor of LandDestroyer, Tony Cartalucci, published an article entitled ”Beware: Facebook’s ´Soft Censorship`”. Cartalucci stressed that LandDestroyer Report had maintained a Facebook page under the name Anthony Cartalucci since 2009. Many of the readers of LandDestroyer Report used Facebook as a means of accessing the LD Reports articles. Tony Cartalucci wrote:
”Today, Facebook, without prior warning or opportunity to appeal, decided that the Facebook account must be changed over to a page. By doing so, all those following my account no longer would receive updates, because of Facebook’s ´news feeds`filter”.
Note that one of Tony Cartalucci’s articles also was among those flagged by SiteLock as containing malware. Moreover, Tony Cartalucci’s experience with Facebook’s ”soft censorship” as he described it, is not unprecedented. Two of nsnbc editor Christof Lehmann’s Facebook accounts were closed or blocked by Facebook within a period of less than twelve months. The accounts were not only used personally, but as a basis for a nsnbc Facebook page – one of that type Facebook demanded that Tony Cartalucci should open.
Facebook’s way of blocking these two accounts were simple. Facebook demanded that a large number of ”friend’s” profile photos were matched with the correct names of these ”friends”. Now, consider 1,000 ”friends or followers”, and many of them using anything but their own portrait as profile photo. It is needless to say that solving that ”quiz” is impossible.
A concerted U.S.’ effort to censor, target independent media economically, withdraw their reader base, and falsify history.
Let us sum up some of the main issues. The incestuous relationship between the NSA and major corporations like Google, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft is a well-documented fact. Many of the smaller companies, including web-hosting companies, Internet security providers, and advertising companies are either in part owned by one of these major corporations ore they are heavily dependent on cooperation and partnerships with them for their economic survival. nsnbc has already experienced being closed down and have its only source of income withdrawn from one day to the other. Others, including Voltairenet have regularly been flagged as containing malware. Media like New Eastern Outlook, IMEMC, and others risk being targeted in similar manner. Others whom Google and a U.S. Senate Hearing falsely accused of containing malware are The Drudge Report and Infowars. One can only guess how many of the smaller blogs, who are too small to raise alarm bells have been targeted. The conclusion is that the United States is engaged in an aggressive campaign that targets independent media and falsifies history. The question is, whether independent media have the political will to stand united and addressing the problem and in using the fact that they serve a growing part of , for example, the advertising market as leverage.
Dr. Christof Lehmann an independent political consultant on conflict and conflict resolution and the founder and editor in chief of nsnbc, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.