Friday, June 28, 2019

The New York Times, Big Brother and Media Censorship

Updated September 2019

While it got very little notice, a recent acknowledgement by the "newspaper of record", the New York Times, gives us a glimpse into the relationship between one of America's most influential media outlets and Washington.

On June 15, 2019, this is what the New York Times reported:

The Times noted that the "Trump Administration" was responsible for deploying "new authorities" as part of its "digital Cold War" between Russia and the United States.

Not surprisingly, this is what Donald Trump tweeted in response to one of his favourite fake news targets:

The Communications office of the Times responded to President Trump with this enlightening tweet on its official Twitter account:

Note this - "We described the article to the government before publication.".  According to the June 15th article, the author notes that staff from the Times contacted officials at the National Security Council prior to publishing the piece.  In other words, the Times collaborated with the National Security Council to ensure that it was okay to release the story.  

This should be of no surprise,  In January 2018, James Risen, a former New York Times reporter wrote a 15,000 word essay entitled "The Biggest Secret - My Life as a New York Times Reporter in the Shadow of the War on Terror" which appeared on The Intercept website on January 3, 2018.  In a followup interview with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now, Mr. Risen stated this:

"On the other hand, at The New York Times, I think the fight over the NSA story really helped usher in a change in the way that they deal with the government. The paper is now much more aggressive on national security reporting and much less willing than ever—than it was before the NSA story, to agree to hold or kill stories at the government’s request.You know, they require a much higher bar. You know, they still negotiate on stories, when the government wants to negotiate, but I think they’re much more willing to say no to the government today.  And I think, you know, the experience on the NSA story had—was a big factor in changing that, the way they think about that." (my bolds)

While the New York Times may be "more willing to say no" to Washington than it was in the past, these recent revelations show us that the American mainstream media still plays the game Washington's way.  If it's the unvarnished truth that you want, don't count on getting it from the plethora of mainstream media sources in the United States because it is quite likely that any story that you read about the federal government has already passed through "Big Brother" for "his" approval.

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