Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 28, 2020

The 'Mighty Wurlitzer' - How U.S. Financed 'Human Rights' Organizations Create Anti-Chinese Headlines

During my daily skimming of the main stream media I at times detect news items that seem of little public interest but are widely published. These pieces are often suspiciously similar to each other and seem to come from the 'Mighty Wurlitzer':

In 1967 the magazine "Ramparts" ran an expose revealing that the Central Intelligence Agency had been secretly funding and managing a wide range of citizen front groups intended to counter communist influence around the world.
CIA official Frank Wisner called the operation his "mighty Wurlitzer," on which he could play any propaganda tune.

Today's 'Mighty Wurlitzer' song is played simultaneously by all major outlets:

From the BBC's version:

A Chinese citizen journalist who covered Wuhan's coronavirus outbreak has been jailed for four years.

Zhang Zhan was found guilty of "picking quarrels and provoking trouble", a frequent charge against activists.

The 37-year-old former lawyer was detained in May, and has been on hunger strike for several months. Her lawyers say she is in poor health.

Ms Zhang is one of several citizen journalists who have run into trouble for reporting on Wuhan.
In a video interview with an independent filmmaker before her arrest, Ms Zhang said she decided to travel to Wuhan in February after reading an online post by a resident about life in the city during the outbreak.

Once there, she began documenting what she saw on the streets and hospitals in livestreams and essays, despite threats by authorities, and her reports were widely shared on social media.

The rights group Network of Chinese Human Rights Defenders said her reports also covered the detention of other independent journalists and the harassment of families of victims who were seeking accountability.

"Maybe I have a rebellious soul... I'm just documenting the truth. Why can't I show the truth?" she said in a clip of the interview obtained by the BBC.

"I won't stop what I'm doing because this country can't go backwards."

The "Network of Chinese Human Rights Defenders" seems to be the source of much of this reporting. Who are these people? The About page of the CHRD's website does not reveal the people behind the organization nor who is financing it.

Two years ago a Grayzone report took a deeper look into the organization:

Reuters and other Western outlets have attempted to fill in the gaps left by McDougall, referring to reports made by so-called “activist group” the Network of Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD).

Conveniently left out of the story is that this organization is headquartered in Washington, DC and funded by the US government’s regime-change arm.

CHRD advocates full-time against the Chinese government, and has spent years campaigning on behalf of extreme right-wing opposition figures.
CHRD has used its generous funding to provide grants to opposition activists inside China, bankrolling dozens upon dozens of projects in the country.

On its tax forms, CHRD lists its address as the Washington, DC office of Human Rights Watch. HRW has long been criticized for its revolving door with the US government and its excessively disproportionate focus on designated enemies of Washington like China, Venezuela, Syria, and Russia.

Human Rights Watch did not respond to an email from The Grayzone inquiring about its relationship with CHRD.

Human Rights Watch's overpaid permanent leader is of course part of the 'Mighty Wurlitzer':

Kenneth Roth @KenRoth - 8:22 UTC · Dec 28, 2020

Beijing's selection of the sleepy period between Christmas and New Year's suggests even it is embarrassed to sentence citizen-journalist Zhang Zhan to four years in prison for having chronicled the uncensored version of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan.

The U.S. government funded CHRD lists Zhang Zhan on its 'Rights defenders' page. Its portrait of her includes some interesting details:

A former lawyer, Zhang Zhan, born in the 1980s, has long been active in speaking out about politics and the human rights situation in China. She has been repeatedly harassed and threatened by the authorities. In 2019, she spoke out on the Hong Kong protests by posting comments, writing articles and holding up placards to support the protesters. In September 2019, she was summoned by Shanghai police and was later criminally detained and arrested on suspicion of “picking quarrels” for her support for Hong Kong. Police released her on November 26, 2019.
Zhang Zhan had travelled to Wuhan, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, in early February. She reported numerous stories including the detentions of other independent reporters and harassment of families of victims seeking accountability from the epicenter via her Wechat, Twitter, and YouTube accounts.

Pudong procuratorate indicted Zhang Zhan on September 15 and transfered her case to Pudong New District Court. The indictment accused Zhang Zhan of traveling to Wuhan on February 3, 2020 and that she “sent a large amount of false information” on WeChat, Twitter, and YouTube and “accepted interviews with overseas media Radio Free Asia and Epoch Times and maliciously stirred up the Wuhan epidemic situation.”

(Note: I have found no hint why Zhang Zhan is called a 'former lawyer'. Was she disbarred? Why?)

ChinaAid, an anti-Chinese Evangelical lobby group which is also financed and awarded prizes by the U.S. government's National Endowment for Democracy, identifies Zhang Zhan as a 'Christian lawyer'. That is of interest because Chinese authorities are concerned about U.S. financed underground Evangelical groups which defy the requirement to register as social organizations.

ChinaChange, which is another 'human rights' outlet in Washington DC, also took note of Zhang Zhan:

Zhang Zhan (张展), a lawyer who practiced in Shanghai, went to Wuhan in early February, determined to document the coronavirus outbreak in the city that was the epicenter of what would soon become a pandemic around the world. In the three months she stayed in the city, she made 122 posts on YouTube. It was not a coincidence that her first post was “My Claim for the Right of Free Speech.” Zhang Zhan was arrested in May, brought back to Shanghai, indicted in September on charges of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble,” China’s all-in-one charge for suppressing dissent. She is being tried on Monday, December 28, in Shanghai.

Wuhan, where the first large outbreak of Covid-19 occurred, was put under lockdown on January 23. One wonders why a 'former lawyer' and 'citizen journalist' would go there despite official advice to not enter or leave the city.

A video published in late March by the Epoch Times, a right wing U.S. based paper associated with the anti-Chinese Falun Gong cult, gives a hint:

Dissident Protests ‘Animal-Like’ Treatment of Chinese Citizens

Zhang Zhan, a female dissident living in Shanghai, put herself in harm’s way to go to Wuhan after the city was locked down. Her plan was to investigate and broadcast the local situation as a citizen journalist. She is outraged that the Chinese government casually deprives the basic rights and freedom of Wuhan residents in the name of epidemic control.

In the video Zhang Zhan is standing at a light traffic barrier that blocks access to a quarantined housing block. She is ranting in a weepy voice at white clad guards and passerby. The Epoch Times translated the dialog:

Let me ask you,
Do you think the government can treat citizens like animals?
Lock them when the regime is willing to,
Send them out to work when they need these people to work.
Aren’t you treating them like you treat cattle and horses?
When animals need to graze you let them out
And take them back when they are done eating.
Is that for real?
And if they do not obey, whip them.
Is that how it should be?
Is it justified to treat civilians like this?

Man: What are you doing?

Woman: I want to express my protest against the government, persistent protest.

Shortly before the man asked Zhang Zhan what she was doing she had knocked over the traffic barrier.

Holding libertarian rants against pandemic measures and knocking over quarantine barrier while providing videos for anti-Chinese outlets is presumably 'citizen journalism'.

Wuhan had soon defeated the pandemic. But a few new infections in early May again raised alarm. The U.S. government financed Radio Free Asia reported hearsay of it:

Wuhan Locks Down Residential Compounds Amid Citywide Test Rollout

Wuhan, where the virus that causes COVID-19 first emerged, is also in the process of implementing a city-wide order to carry out free nucleic acid tests on the entire eleven million population.

Wuhan-based citizen journalist Zhang Zhan said six new cases of coronavirus had been confirmed in the city's Sanmin residential compound, home to some 5,000 people.

"I went there to find out more about the situation, but it has been placed under quarantine," Zhang told RFA on Thursday, adding that local news reports said six new cases had been confirmed, with 180 contacts now in isolation.

"There are police outside on the street now guarding the place, and no vehicles are being allowed through," Zhang said. "I asked a nearby resident how many people were taken away in ambulances, and he told me that 180 people were taken away for isolation."

Sanmin residents stranded outside the compound when lockdown was imposed are not being allowed to return.

A similar lockdown was being imposed at the Sanyanqiao residential compound, also in Wuhan, Zhang said.

"The barriers have been put back and the place is under lockdown," Zhang said. "There is also an online announcement saying that delivery drivers aren't being allowed to enter certain compounds."

"There are signs of a resurgence of the epidemic in Wuhan."

There was no resurgence of Covid-19 in Wuhan. Just a few, mostly asymptomatic cases were found during the city-wide testing.

Shortly after her 'reporting' for Radio Free Asia the notorious grumbler Zhang Zhan was arrested. As this was not the first time she got herself into trouble she did not receive any clemency.

China did manage the news about the Covid-19 pandemic. It suppressed false reports. That is, according to the World Health Organization, what any government should do. A recent WHO Call to Action explains why:

An infodemic is defined as a tsunami of information—some accurate, some not—that spreads alongside an epidemic. If it is not managed accordingly, an infodemic can have direct negative impacts on the health of populations and the public health response by undermining the trust in science and interventions. We are also seeing that infodemics hinder the cohesiveness of societies by increasing existing social inequities, stigma, gender disparity and generational rift.
As outlined in the Resolution on COVID-19 adopted by consensus at the 73rd World Health Assembly and the G20 Health Ministers’ Declaration at the Riyadh Summit, we need to provide populations with reliable and comprehensive information on COVID-19 and take measures to counter misinformation and disinformation.

The response to this infodemic demands the support, development, and application of efficient solutions that equip individuals and their communities with the knowledge and tools to promote accurate health information (upstream) and mitigate the harm that misinformation and disinformation causes (downstream).

Zhang Zhan did her best to feed the infodemic with rumors and false outrage. The Chinese government took appropriate measures against the 'rebellious soul'. It also took the right measures to completely defeat the pandemic.

But the CIA's congregation of Washington based anti-Chinese 'human rights' organizations disagrees with those measures and it is jealous about China's success.

Thus the 'Mighty Wurlitzer' springs into action and the 'western' media dutifully follow its lead by lamenting about the fate of a 'citizen journalist' provocateur in China.

Meanwhile the U.S. government has criminalized investigative journalism by its continued torture of Julian Assange and arrested more than 100 journalists this year.

Posted by b on December 28, 2020 at 18:28 UTC | Permalink

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A study done a few years ago showed that over 2/3rds of international affairs stories in major European newspapers were basically reprints of NYT articles, tweaked lightly for localization purposes. The major media outlets all sing from the same hymn sheet and the CIA and other western intel operations knows that any story they feed into the system will be reproduced around the globe and taken as ‘fact’ by most of the newspapers’ readers.

The media’s incestuous nature and its infiltration by the intelligence services really became apparent during the Syrian Civil War and the Trump presidency. It is now clear that the western mainstream media works with the spooks to shape and mold opinion, and manufacture consent, rather than innocently informing its readers about world events.

The rise of the now often used insult “conspiracy theorist”, which is really code for “dissenting opinion”, is closely related to this. The western liberal democracies are going totalitarian in real time as the window of “acceptable” opinion continues to shrink and the establishment finds new ways to censor, ban and stifle heretical thinking.

Posted by: Dork | Dec 28 2020 18:53 utc | 1

Kenneth Roth @KenRoth - 8:22 UTC · Dec 28, 2020

Beijing's selection of the sleepy period between Christmas and New Year's suggests even it is embarrassed to sentence citizen-journalist Zhang Zhan to four years in prison for having chronicled the uncensored version of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan.

This information is false. China doesn't celebrate Christmas because it isn't a Christian country, and its New Year is celebrated according to the lunar calendar, not the solar calendar. As a result, the "Chinese New Year" is celebrate somewhere between the end of January and the first half of February (depending on the year).

In other words, the period between Christmas and (solar) New Year is not a "sleepy period" in China.


About the subject in general:

The first thing we should notice is that this Zhang Zhan is not a journalist. Therefore she's not press. Therefore she's not free press.

The second thing we should noticed is that, even if she was a journalist, we would have to discover if she's a journalist or a "journalist", i.e. a propagandist disguised as a journalist. Propagandists are not journalists in the spirit of the word: they are propagandists. Otherwise, having a Journalism degree would give one license to lie at will. Adding a ridiculous epithet ("citizen") to the term doesn't free you from real world consequences.

The third thing is that she's a lawyer. Her rant is typical of a petit-bourgeois/middle class ideologue: freedom of the individual above the collective good; moral values above social values. The CIA is good in finding those wackos even in nations we don't think they exist.

Posted by: vk | Dec 28 2020 19:01 utc | 2

Posted by: Dork | Dec 28 2020 18:53 utc | 1

over 2/3rds of international affairs stories in major European newspapers were basically reprints of NYT articles

The tendency for multiple news publishers to all use the same article on even major stories presumably reflects budgetary considerations, so the fact that there are (at least) six distinct pieces from different writers on this situation is of interest. The organist doth protest too much, methinks.

Posted by: farm ecologist | Dec 28 2020 19:34 utc | 3

Looking at her latest YT video, she doesn't deserve 4 years of jail, but in a mental institution for being an anti-lockdown nutter in Wuhan.

Posted by: J W | Dec 28 2020 19:45 utc | 4

India is also very active in the disinformation game, including this massive and long term operation - mainly for anti-Pakistan, but also anti-China:

Posted by: d dan | Dec 28 2020 19:48 utc | 5

This post suggests that she may be involved with the Eastern Lighting cult, also known as the Church of Almighty God.”>ZHANG ZHAN’S ABUSE OF SOCIALIST FREEDOM BROUGHT TO AN END!

Posted by: LC | Dec 28 2020 19:58 utc | 6

Well that didn’t work, so here’s the link:

Posted by: LC | Dec 28 2020 20:00 utc | 7

Zhang Zhan's venture into Wuhan, defying lock-down orders for which she should have been punished, reminds me of the stunt pulled by Navalny's eye doctor groupie Dr Anastasia Vasilyeva in April this year attempting to transport PPE from Moscow region to Novgorod region in a convoy of three cars during lock-downs in those regions.

Vasilyeva, self-styled head of a doctors' union (which curiously has very few members and no branch offices in other parts of Russia, as far as I could tell from a TV report broadcast by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on its channels), disobeyed lock-down orders in both Moscow and Novgorod regions and was arrested and imprisoned in sensational style as recorded by her camera crew and lawyers travelling in the convoy. Curiously there seem to have been no other medically qualified people in the cars and there was a total of 12 people in the convoy so each car was carrying four people. (There goes the social distancing!)

I later saw an article on that the PPE Vasilyeva attempted to carry to Novgorod region did reach the intended recipient hospitals but they could not use the masks and gloves because ... there was no certification in the boxes ... so the hospitals had no way of knowing if the equipment had been legally obtained or met required medical standards. I do not know what the hospitals did with the equipment.

I would not be surprised if Zhang Zhan turns out to be a "lawyer" in the same sense that Sergei Magnitsky was a "lawyer" (he was an accountant chef hired by Bill Browder to cook his accounts) and Alexei Navalny is a "lawyer" (he initially qualified in real estate law but does not seem to have practised). No need then to wonder if Zhang had to give up a licence to practise law, if she was a "lawyer" in the loopy stretched-out cartoon definition the US State Department, the CIA and Hollywood would have us believe.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 28 2020 20:02 utc | 8

Well, it's no way to run a country, lying your ass off all the time, as the results show. I have long been mystified by the political hacks here faith in the efficacy of bullshit for running a country. But then I realized that is not what they want to do, they want to exploit the country and get rich, and then depart like their 3rd world collaborators. And bullshit is what they do.

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 28 2020 20:13 utc | 9

Ramparts! I remember Ramparts! I used to be a subscriber. Those were the days!

Posted by: traducteur | Dec 28 2020 20:22 utc | 10

I might have added @ 8 also that another Navalny groupie follower, Lyubov Sobol, also a lawyer, was arrested recently for invading the apartment of supposed FSB employee Konstantin Kudryavtsev's mother-in-law (after entering the building on false pretences) and filming around the apartment. Sobol was accompanied by people illegally wearing Rospotrebnadzor uniforms.

To date there's no clear evidence that Konstantin Kudryavtsev actually did speak to Navalny on the phone and the entire phone interview (during which Navalny was told that the FSB tried to kill him a second time by putting Novichok on his underwear) may have been a stunt pulled by people who stole parts of a phone database and the metadata attached to phone transactions on that database. Der Spiegel, CNN, another media outlet and Bellingcat apparently paid Bitcoin or cryptocurrency of some sort to access the data from sources to whom the phone database information was "leaked".

Interestingly the British Lancet magazine released a report which reveals that 31 hours after Navalny was admitted to hospital in Omsk, a German medical crew had access to Navalny. This gives a whole day and seven hours for the FSB to do its dastardly work of trying to kill Navalny a second time while he was in intensive care and receiving (supposedly) intubation.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 28 2020 20:34 utc | 11

> "Wuhan, where the first large outbreak of Covid-19 occurred"

.. ahem .. where a detection was first made public. (not the location of the first outbreak)

Posted by: mijj | Dec 28 2020 20:35 utc | 12

i'll get round to checking the Empire's anit-China marketing after they find the Iraq WMD.

Posted by: mijj | Dec 28 2020 20:38 utc | 13

The tendency for multiple news publishers to all use the same article on even major stories presumably reflects budgetary considerations, so the fact that there are (at least) six distinct pieces from different writers on this situation is of interest. The organist doth protest too much, methinks.

Posted by: farm ecologist | Dec 28 2020 19:34 utc | 3

News publishers are all loss leaders. Their goal is to provide the daily bread of propaganda to feed the masses. As Craig Murray recent tweet puts it "the Press is not a genuine commercial enterprise. It is a loss maker on which billionaires are happy to splash money to produce propaganda for tax, regulatory and governmental regimes that aid billionaires' wider interests.".

The Epoch Times has recently been spending a lot of money on adds on you tube and I received in my mail box a copy of their rag just before Christmas. Propaganda works and you can see the results with "half of the US population chanting Russia did it and the other half China did it". This sort of stupidity could get us all killed.

Posted by: Tom | Dec 28 2020 20:41 utc | 14

Pat Lang somewhere the discusses the nature of the "agents" he dealt with in DIA, they all have a screw loose, and their fantasies and their pet obsessions must be cosseted and approved of to keep them in there pitching - in addition to the money, of course.

Posted by: groucho | Dec 28 2020 20:50 utc | 15

“Human rights” agitprop has long been a staple of US imperialist propaganda. As the Grayzone website pointed out earlier this year, “HRW was founded during the height of the Cold War as Helsinki Watch, an anti-Soviet lobby group closely linked to the US government and funded by the Ford Foundation, which served as a CIA passthrough.”

The hysterical propaganda against communist nations and fighters goes hand in hand with the bombs, torture and assassination that are US/British/French/NATO specialties. The modern version of “human rights” campaigning was born out of the US defeat in Vietnam, and the spate of revelations that came out of that period about US crimes (Pentagon Papers, Church Senate investigations, Winter Soldier, etc.) in an attempt to rebrand the Vietnam war criminals as some sort of humanitarians. The Helsinki Accords were a US propaganda program that the misguided leaders of the USSR, along with Tito, etc. approved with the vain hope of detente and peaceful cooperation between nations. In reality, the US never wanted such peaceful coexistence.

Thanks, b, for bucking the anti-China propaganda campaign. The Pentagon and CIA still lick their wounds from the last time they faced Chinese forces in battle. Their dream of anti-Communist conquest of China and North Korea (assisted by their supposedly docile Japanese assistants) is as dangerous as their dream of dismembering Russia and turning all of the Eurasian landmass into a colony for US (and Japanese) exploitation. There lies the fuse for WW3, and the end deaths of hundreds of millions.

Now is the time for every person of clear mind to oppose these mad dreams of conquest! The lies that have and are being told about Russia and China (only occasionally rooted in some actual injustice) are being churned out daily by the CIA and Pentagon propaganda machine. Their purpose is to rally the population for war. Soon the hammer will drop harder on the US and West Europe/Australian population, as the persecution of Julian Assange suggests, as the ruling elite tighten up the repression needed to pull off their genocidal war.

Posted by: Jeffrey Kaye | Dec 28 2020 21:03 utc | 16

Former senior CIA official John Stockwell discusses how the CIA would place false reports in newspapers around the world, including in the Washington Post. Stories that were complete fabrications, that were attacking their enemies, like Cuba.
John Stockwell interview

What a courageous man Stockwell is, to give up his career, his support network, and invite attacks from one of the most dangerous organizations around.

Posted by: Antiwar7 | Dec 28 2020 21:19 utc | 17

Here's a good 48-minute YouTube video documentary from the end of October that was put together by some 20 expat YouTuber vloggers living in China. I came across it about a month ago. The expats are Canadian, American, British, and other European, Asian nationalities.

Blaming Wuhan - The Documentary

In adddition to that one, this 20-minute video from an Israeli expat in China also provides a counterweight to the Mighty Wurlitzer media machine's designated portrayal of Wuhan.

From Lockdown to Rebirth: What is Wuhan like in November 2020?

Guess these YouTubers could be called "citizen journalists", too, not in the sense of nationality but of ordinary people doing the job not being done by the West's professional so-called "journalists".

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Dec 28 2020 21:32 utc | 18

Second the 15-minute clip that Antiwar7 @17 posted. Just saw that one about 3 weeks ago. It's from 1983, an interview on the University of Southern California campus. Everyone should watch it if they haven't already.

(There are also YouTube vids with German journalist Udo Ulfkotte who's been mentioned here before that are related to this.)

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Dec 28 2020 21:39 utc | 19

OT: but related, vaccines distributed the U.S. breathlessly announced the success of operation warp speed and claimed that 20M doses would be distributed (shots in arm) by the end of this year, now we know the number is 2M.

Does anyone know how many doses of Sputnik V have been distributed year to date?

Latest outrage US Demanding Iran’s Vaccine Payments Go Through Its Banks the headline tells you what you need to know. Is there any end to our depravity?

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Dec 28 2020 22:43 utc | 20

"Wuhan, where the first large outbreak of Covid-19 occurred"

.. ahem .. where a detection was first made public. (not the location of the first outbreak)

We have a winner

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Dec 28 2020 23:09 utc | 21

Good stuff ... many people have tackled this over the years, of course, as the power of the DS to set the narrative, the prevailing cultural set-point, is one of its most critically important. One of the people writing most consistently about narrative has been Caitlin Johnstone:

Related, one of my favorite short stories all time is "About a Secret Crocodile" by R A Lafferty. Sometimes, all we have is humor and the ability to at least let the system know that we know ... we are on to the scam, even though we are also powerless to stop it presently.

Posted by: Caliman | Dec 29 2020 0:14 utc | 22

The CCP doesn't allow any dissident voices: a Chinese MOA cannot exist. And then there is the Great Chinese FireWall to block reading any foreign stuff.

The CIA doesn't have a full grip on all outlets, specially the Internet. Look at this club from California, fundraising millions or dollars to Green PR China since 1999:

The illusion that the CCP is Marxist can do strange things to a number of Western minds...

Posted by: Antonym | Dec 29 2020 1:16 utc | 23

China lowers age of criminal responsibility to 12 from 14 cannot be true because it is published in English.

Posted by: Antonym | Dec 29 2020 1:25 utc | 24

> Zhang Zhan was found guilty of "picking quarrels and provoking trouble", a frequent charge against activists.

To me, that formulation suggests a dubious type of crime, but at par with USAian practice. Marina Butina was confined for a year and half, part of it in solitary confinement, for "being unregistered foreign agent", which is kind of reverse of Zhang Zhan crime -- smiling to a lot of people and chatting on pleasant topics (especially if you like to own guns) -- all that while exchanging e-mails with a Russian senator. In that lens, ZZ was an unregistered foreign agent too, but of a distinctly malicious variety.

And as a Chinese citizen, violating Chinese confidentiality rules, quarantine rules etc. is criminal by almost any definition.

Of course, Europe is the home ecosystem of lemmings who inhabitant Norwegian fiords and all foreign affair departments. On many occasions, the exhibitions of "European solidarity" lead by French, British and German were disgusting. Would they care about Assange...

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 29 2020 1:32 utc | 25

@ Posted by: Antonym | Dec 29 2020 1:16 utc | 23

Nah, there is freedom of speech in China. The thing is China has its own internet ecosystem - its own social medias, own search engines, own newspapers, own websites etc. etc. - and they're all in Chinese.

What happens is the West doesn't know what is going on in China for the simple fact they don't read Chinese. This opens a flank for a "survivor bias" scenario, where the Western MSM decides which the Western people can know and which they can't know - and the lies they should believe. Westerners cannot double check for the source because they don't know Chinese.


@ Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 29 2020 1:32 utc | 25

Two completely different cases: Maria Butina never claimed to be a journalist, and didn't spread fake news about the USA. She didn't commit any crime, and served as an scapegoat to a bigger conspiracy.

Zhang Zhan is a Western (CIA) asset.

Posted by: vk | Dec 29 2020 1:58 utc | 26

thanks b for bucking the anti-china trend... you could be on the payroll for the cia, but instead offer this.... . how much would it take to switch sides? lol..

i can't figure out why the usa can't do something similar to what the uk did previously getting them addicted to opium... instead all the usa seems capable of doing is getting the western msm to smoke the hopium and bullshite in the press... i can't see it ending well... the cia has come down to this? that's a pity..

Posted by: james | Dec 29 2020 2:49 utc | 27

Posted by: vk | Dec 29 2020 1:58 utc | 26

I would not got so far as to claim that China has freedom of speech. You can be jailed for many years for publishing your views. As I wrote, USA has freedom of speech so they jail people for opinions by tagging them as "foreign agents", something that is perhaps not needed in China. "Fomenting distrust in the institutions of the state as a foreign agent" elegantly circumvents 1st Amendment, American judiciary is well practiced in undoing the follies of the Founding Fathers -- without criticizing them. The effect is (un-)surprisingly similar to Chinese formulation "picking quarrels and provoking trouble" that in turn (because of faulty translation?) resembles English legal tradition.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 29 2020 3:15 utc | 28

@ vk

Can you read Mandarin fluently?

Posted by: Antonym | Dec 29 2020 3:40 utc | 29


Met John Stockwell a few times. He's a terrific guy.
Working for the NSC in the White House, he created the false stories about the Cuban soldiers raping nuns in Angola. That was his job. He's been around in public since the '80s but never got any Media attention.

He also was CIA officer in the Vietnam Highlands working with the Hmong against the government. He married a Vietnamese.

When the US pullout was ordered he was also ordered to sacrifice 150 agents in the Highlands who worked for him. The US wouldn't take them out.

His book "In Search of Enemies" is vital to read. He testified to Congress about the machinations of Henry Kissinger that were illegal, antithetical to US best interests, but no one gave a damn. Left him out on the limb.

John Stockwell is a great voice of the Truth. A good man.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Dec 29 2020 3:48 utc | 30

If it’s true this woman was sentenced to 4-years in prison, which she doesn’t seem to deserve, then why exactly should I care who’s reporting it? I don’t care if Voice of America reported it, if it was true.

Posted by: TimmyB | Dec 29 2020 4:12 utc | 31

Denying the Holocaust threatens democracy. So does denying the election results.

Posted by: Francis | Dec 29 2020 4:52 utc | 32

@31 TimmyB

When this woman went to Wuhan, the Western media was shouting that Covid 19 would be China's "Chernobyl Moment". That so many Chinese people would suffer and die that the Chinese government would be utterly discredited, leading to a collapse of the existing political structure. If that had actually happened, literally millions of people in China would have had their lives ruined in the process. And this woman apparently did the best she could to actually make that tragedy happen, by trying to persuade the Chinese people that they should turn against the Chinese government in the middle of a serious national crisis, and ignore the quarantine rules the government had set to keep people alive. Do you really think she doesn't deserve any punishment for what she apparently tried to do?

Posted by: Fnord13 | Dec 29 2020 5:45 utc | 33

Wuhan was not the first place the particular Corona virus emerged! No one knows where it first emerged but it was the first place to publicly identify it check out.......
It may well have origins elsewhere such as ........ .... and Fort Detrick in the US?

Posted by: William Kierath | Dec 29 2020 6:19 utc | 34

(Note: I have found no hint why Zhang Zhan is called a 'former lawyer'. Was she disbarred? Why?)

I dunno either, but try this...
Think Tanks, aka Spin Tanks, are chock-full of creative liars/fantasists. The main attribute sought in Spin Tank recruits is the ability to lie sincerely and incessantly with a straight face. Tony Bliar, anyone?
Their job is to make stuff up, especially about themselves. One of my favourite Spin Tank self-description memes is "visiting scholar."
So, if a Spin Tank can describe a visiting liar from another Spin Tank as a "visiting scholar" then it's probably perfectly acceptable, in Spin Tank Land, to upgrade the 'credentials' of an activist/shit-stirrer by attaching the label 'former lawyer' to him or her.
It bestows the imprimatur of a fully-qualified Lawyer upon a non-lawyer. And it's only a white lie because no-one has said that she/he is a lawyer.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 29 2020 6:31 utc | 35

The short posting below is why the big Wurlitzer is working so hard

BEIJING, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) -- China has included 119 more kinds of drugs in its national medical insurance reimbursement list, delivering greater price cuts and benefiting more people, the National Healthcare Security Administration (NHSA) said at a press conference Monday.

Ninety-six of the new additions to the list are exclusive drugs that offer lower prices through negotiation and 16 were newly put on the market this year, the NHSA said.

Altogether, a record number of 162 drugs on the list were negotiated for price reduction. A deal was reached for 119 of the drugs, with their prices dropping an average of 50.64 percent.

The inclusions also helped expand the scope of reimbursement to cover more diseases including COVID-19. So far, all the medicines listed in China's latest diagnosis and treatment scheme for COVID-19 have been added to the reimbursement list, the NHSA said.

China currently has 2,800 kinds of medicines on the medicare reimbursement list, including 1,374 traditional Chinese patent medicines.

Where is the comparative information for countries in the West? I am lazy/busy but it would be nice to know and reflect on.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 29 2020 6:53 utc | 36

Very timely article, b. spends most of its time peeping out from under the thumb of the "Israel" Lobby in Oz (AIJAC) and the CIA/USG., which has endured massive budget cuts for more than a decade by various Neo-liberal Oz governments is currently rebroadcasting archived editions of its Foreign Correspondent series.
Un-coincidentally, they're scheduled under the heading of Rising China and dated as far back as 2014.

Topics covered so far are:
-South China Sea Spratly Islands disputes (2014).
-China's Uighur problems (2014).
-Nanjing Citizens opinions if Xi Jinping (2015).
-60 million left-behind Chinese kids by Parents working in cities (2016).
-China's industrial waste problems (?) not yet broadcast.
-China's Big Brother/Big Data problem (?) not yet broadcast.

All of the episodes I've seen are interesting but fall a few yards short of being unbiased/100% truthful.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 29 2020 8:20 utc | 37

Thoroughly recommend this very significant and totally damning exposure of the beast's lies and unholy war and WhiteHelmets propaganda campaign against Syria from the superb team at the Grayzone:

Posted by: Barrie VV | Dec 29 2020 9:21 utc | 38

Posted by: Antonym | Dec 29 2020 1:25 utc | 24

China lowers age of criminal responsibility to 12 from 14 cannot be true because it is published in English.

Bravo China! That brings the CCP in line with Western 'standards'.

I still think they should follow the Australian example and lower it to 10.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Dec 29 2020 9:44 utc | 39

Posted by: vk | Dec 29 2020 1:58 utc | 26

The thing is China has its own internet ecosystem - its own social medias, own search engines, own newspapers, own websites etc. etc. - and they're all in Chinese.

Same thing for Russia, and that should be the measure of true freedom of the press. What freedom of the press do we have in Europe or Spain where we do not even have a email service, nor browser or search engine, nor social media of any kind, but we do have half a billion speakers. What kind of freedom is to have all our data stored and mined in Utah? And to add insult to injury those big monopolies do not pay a cent in taxes here, that's their freedom of the press. So tired of that freedom bull*hit. Basically it is freedom to rape, for the rapist, that goes without saying.

Posted by: Paco | Dec 29 2020 10:02 utc | 40

Of course Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning are shining with absence from the same media, for doing the same. Some selective "human rights" concerns there ...

Posted by: Daniel Martin | Dec 29 2020 10:13 utc | 41

What worries me a lot is how this Wurlitzer mechanism is scaling up. Partly due to globalization media worldwide ended up working in a highly coordinated manner: something interesting comes up they all report it in parallel. If a reputable source publishes first the others can copy it, including all the perceptions which comes with it. Once an organization builds up a reputation which fits into that mainstream, it can start generating a stream of its own. With anything the NYTimes generates/pushes the content , the agenda and the focus gets copied all over the place. A front organization like Bellingcat now has the status to generate content which instantly feeds into this network.
You'd think globalization would increase diversity but structurally it also enhances the most popular sources, just like everyone buying the highest rated item on amazon inflates that item. Nassim Taleb points out that most of the book market is taken up by very few books.
The War on Fake News makes this much worse. There is a huge emphasis on reputability of sources. As a result this network becomes rapidly more homogeneous and propagandized. Sources are avoided because they have gotten a formal label of disreputability. Wikipedia is the quintessential example.
A formal rule of using reputable sources is installed and enforced, mainly by agents of major players. Take any leftist opposition voice and check the history of the wiki, look for removal based on the argument of reputability. Chances are it is some 'operative' at work. Meanwhile if you look at what Philip Cross does, it's constantly editing bits to massage reputation in the desired direction. In a PR society reputation is created on demand to a large extent. And an other part of that demand is forcing us to rely on it.

It is hard to compare with the closed situation of 50 years ago but in some ways the current media feel more hermetic than ever.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Dec 29 2020 10:19 utc | 42

Antonym | Dec 29 2020 3:40 utc | 29

I can, and you're wrong. Most Chinese don't give a rat's a$$ about stuff written in another language, just as the rest of the world couldn't care less about articles and information available in Chinese only. Ergo, what's available in foreign language is 90% narrative management with some sprinkling of truth for flavor.

What's left are people like me and many others who can and does see views from both sides of the fence. Sadly it's also almost a corollary that when one is educated fluently in the wests' language and culture is almost certainly also indoctrinated with its world views. Hence the survivor's bias as described by vk holds very true.

Many also left their homeland with an axe to grind so they pander to their benefactors to survive. Choose your sources wisely.

China administration hasn't done everything right and it too has many skeletons in the closet. But you can't deny its achievements and like it or hate it some are seen as the price of stability and progress in their calculus. Some will be left behind and some will be Steamrolled, such is life.

Conversely, your India is great and China is root of all evil propagandistic slant is tiring and just isn't working out.

Fnord13 | Dec 29 2020 5:45 utc | 33

Totally agree. Its a perennial human disease to view the underdog as righteous, one that is expertly leveraged by the psyops propagandists and narrative managers to paint a romantic David and Goliath story of people standing up to big bad Xi/Putin/whoever. Sometimes the underdog is just an idiot, an idiot that can cause immense harm to society when left unchecked.

Arch Bungle | Dec 29 2020 9:44 utc | 39
Thank you. In your face Antonym LOL.

Posted by: A.L. | Dec 29 2020 10:43 utc | 43

b. seems to have faith in the WHO as a judge of what is fake news. why?

Posted by: Johny Conspiranoid | Dec 29 2020 11:19 utc | 44

Well, meanwhile, in KSA a woman has been condemned to 5 and a half years in jail fro defending women rights....

Wondering why BBC does not report on this issue...ah, yes, UK sells them weapons...

Also, IMO, the strange Nasville "terrorist" attack, as ti seems it was not used as alibi to unleash an attavck onm iran, the fact that they tell us the author is an anti-5G wacko could well be the starting point of next terrorist attacks on Huawei infrastructure...

An alleged "center-right" paper I use to read online amongst the myriad I try to read daily, has a whole series on AI by fellows of Carnegie and IR "experts, which, in spite of talking about the issue of AI in general and related to the increasing surveillance by governments on its citizens, especifically inicides in the fact that China is the main provided of surveillance techonology both to authritarian and democratci countries, the illustrations include Chinese people or and PLA regiments marching...

It seems that we will be assiting to a new infirmation war on authoritarian China, may be to justofy that our governments plan to make Covid-19 vaccination mandatory under the treat of, unless you do not vaccinate, you will be placed in a balck list to be delivered to the whole E and "pàrtners"...Is this a menace on that the people wishing to wait for the long term colateral effects will be forbidden freedom of movements into the EU, this when citizens of the UK have been able to travel here with the new strain when vaccines were not even available and eventhough the Spanish citizens are enclaustered into their regions and with serious business and travel limitations?

The flood on "authoritarian China" info-op comes to justofy authoritarian measures by our governments so as that we think still could be worse, and thus we admit these outrages.

As Daniel Estulin advanced months ago, the authoritarian measures are here to stay, even when the pandemic is over, next will be not being able to use but digital currency, digital bank accounts, and so on...
The people, of course, will not have money to go to the tribunals to defend themselves..

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Dec 29 2020 11:29 utc | 45

@ Posted by: TimmyB | Dec 29 2020 4:12 utc | 31

That's the point: none of the content Zhang Zhan released is true. They're all false.

And, as is stated clearly, she's not a journalist to begin with. She's a failed lawyer serving as a CIA asset.

Posted by: vk | Dec 29 2020 11:32 utc | 46

@Schmatz, your distrust is running wild. Normal vaccines insert antigens: proteins your body react to. What makes the Pfizer vaccine special is that instead of the protein the recipe for the protein is used: an RNA definition for the protein. Your body makes the protein and then reacts to it. This is the first time it is used but I'm sure Pfizer is looking ahead to use this mechanism of delivering the recipe in many more cases after this with many other recipes, and it hopes to make a lot of money from it. There is nothing mysterious about the recipe being delivered.
Maybe there are side effects. These would have to be side effects which are not detected by the standard safety precautions when introducing a vaccine. The main thing to worry about is how they intend to become much richer , how they can monopolize the techniques and stop other organizations from benefiting as well.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Dec 29 2020 12:36 utc | 47

"A former lawyer, Zhang Zhan, born in the 1980s, has long been active in speaking out about politics and the human rights situation in China."

For this alone, she should have been electrocuted.

Posted by: louis proyect | Dec 29 2020 13:39 utc | 48

probably news agency reports, as described here:

Posted by: Elon | Dec 29 2020 13:51 utc | 49

It's hard to suppress a chuckle when stumbling upon the HRW acronym. Besides standing for Human Rights Watch, it also stands for Human Rights Wrongs.
A few months ago, DW's cold-blooded little Conflict Zone cutie, Sarah Kelly, ripped into Ken Roth, a former lawyer, over his decision to accept a donation from a Saudi prince. Being basically a back-room hack, Ken bungled his reply and emerged from the encounter looking stupider/clumsier than usual...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 29 2020 14:02 utc | 50

Hindu extremist propaganda, as propagated by "Mikey" and amplified by "Antonym" on these forums begins to fall apart like a wet chapati, as I predicted from the start:

"Afghanistan's first vice president on Sunday denied Indian media reports on alleged Chinese militants being arrested in a security operation in Kabul.

Amrullah Saleh, who is a former intelligence chief, said in a statement that no foreign nationals, but a group of terrorists involved in string of bomb blasts, abductions and killings has been busted in the Kher Khana neighborhood of the capital.

Earlier this week, the Hindustan Times newspaper reported that 10 alleged Chinese citizens were detained by the National Directorate of Security on the charges of espionage and running a terror cell."

When this story first appeared in the hindustan times I typed it into google and it appeared in pages and pages of results - only in Indian news sources, nowhere else. The same lie, repeated a million times in one nation's media.

I found it interesting that, like some viruses, it didn't manage to make the cross species jump from one population of meme hosts to others. In fact it died the moment it crossed cultural thresholds into the media of other meme-host populations ...

Of course, the way propagandists work is that once one lie has been debunked they move ceaselessly on to the next lie ...

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Dec 29 2020 14:13 utc | 51

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Dec 29 2020 14:01 utc | 53
(Darth Musk and Pat Lang)

I'm a big fan of Elon Musk. He builds things that people want before they knew they wanted them. That's Genius. Everyone I know, and know of, with a Tesla thinks it's the best car they've ever owned.
Similarly, NASA are DELIGHTED with Elon's re-usable rockets. Russia, not so much. Geniuses are ALWAYS potentially dangerous.
PL may not be a genius but he certainly is a thinker with unbridled curiosity.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 29 2020 14:30 utc | 52

"'A former lawyer, Zhang Zhan, born in the 1980s, has long been active in speaking out about politics and the human rights situation in China.'

For this alone, she should have been electrocuted."

Thus the obsessive-compulsive Louis Proyect@51

The implication that it was simple regard for human rights that led to her arrest and conviction asks the question, if the Chinese government is so oppressive and she has been so resistant for decades, how ever has she not been arrested before? Neither of the obvious answers, that the Chinese government is not so oppressive (even if only by inefficiency,) or what she did in Wuhan was qualitatively different from the supposed brave and noble deeds she has been committing for years. In a country where armed protestors march into legislatures (storm, if you will,) against the oppression of masks and the covert coups called lockdowns, Proyect wants to solidarize with this politics to criticize China. Proyect may be so far gone as to admit he thinks it would have been grand to execute Christine Whitmenr for one. But more likely he's just substituting incompetent insults for facts, arguments and any effort to understand, once again.

tl;dr version...Proyect is a shithead.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Dec 29 2020 14:43 utc | 53

@ Archie Bunker Dec 29 2020 14:13 utc | 55

You offer a Turkish web site for Afghan news:
I show you an Afghan one:

PS: for real extremist propaganda look no further than Islamist Erdogan. Expansionist too, on Cyprus and in and Syria.

Posted by: Antonym | Dec 29 2020 14:49 utc | 54

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 29 2020 14:30 utc | 56

I'm a big fan of Elon Musk. He builds things that people want before they knew they wanted them. That's Genius.

If the bar for genius has dropped so low that this is the new criterion, then a million salesmen from Ray A. Croc to Richard M. Devos would qualify.

Elon Musk has never done an original thing in his life, not one, other than rehash a few cool inventions of the 20th century with the support of loads of venture capital and government funding.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Dec 29 2020 14:49 utc | 55

@Posted by: Arch Bungle | Dec 29 2020 14:49 utc | 60

Not to mention the so many self driving cars and space rockets that have colissioned onto things or people or blasted in the very Cape Cañaveral...

BTW, that the Russians also admire this fascist coupist a lot..

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Dec 29 2020 14:54 utc | 56

One must wonder what an honest comparative analysis of US and Chinese mass media behavior and operational coordination would bring to light.

Posted by: Josh | Dec 29 2020 14:56 utc | 57

I agree with comments critical of the western propaganda which is focused on wrongs in the Chinese and Russian societies. I would like to add that there is only sporadic, rather rare focus on the power of different systems of organized crime in China and Russia. One should include also the USA - American society. The USA has a big problem with the Central American crime sydicates, and once a while it is highlighted, also in Europe there is occasionally a mention of Italian mafia 'working' in Germany, also occasionall others (Serb, Croat or Kosovar). Soviet Union, and before the czarist Russia, had serious problems with their organized crime, likewise China with their triads. Currently, China government may have some hold on these, but nothing is coming out in the media on that topic.

Posted by: bystander04 | Dec 29 2020 15:17 utc | 58

Totally agree with your positive comment on the Grayzone and Aaron Mate's interview with former British ambassador to Syria: lots of good, accurate history with penetrating insights. B criticized Grayzone head Max Blumenthal for his initial criticism of Assaad's 2011 response to the "color revolution". I think B's arguement has some merit but overall the reports from the Grayzone are very good and I'm hoping B re-visits his position which was critical of Max Blumenthal.
Blumenthal, Mate and Anya Parampil all have interesting histories intertwined with The Nation, RT, DemocracyNOW, The Intercept and others. They are careful about their criticism of these "leftist" groups and I think their stories are very good: Syria, Europe, Bolivia, Venezuela especially.

Posted by: migueljose | Dec 29 2020 15:26 utc | 59

Posted by: Aunty-nym | Dec 29 2020 14:49 utc | 59

As I predict, over and over again, once a propagandist has been exposed he moves smoothly on to the next lie ... which in turn can be debunked as easily as the first:

Your so called 'Afghan News Agency' seems to be a puppet show founded by "The Institute for War and Peace Reporting", which is definitely not an Afghan outfit:

“IWPR supports local reporters, citizen journalists and civil society activists in three dozen countries in conflict, crisis and transition around the world. We contribute to peace and good governance by strengthening the ability of media and civil society to speak out. We do this by training, mentoring and providing platforms for professional and citizen reporters; building up the institutional capacity of media and civic groups; and working with independent and official partners to remove barriers to free expression, robust public debate and citizen engagement.” (IWPR Website, What We Do, undated)
In 2002, IWPR launched Pajhwok, Afghanistan's first independent news agency.


Interestingly enough the IWPR itself seems to be a British outfit, rather *white* for an Afghan shop, just look at their staff:

International Council Staff Members

Dan Smith – International Chairman
Peter Osnos – International Co-chairman
Trevor Ncube – International Co-chairman
Deborah Amos
Richard Caplan
Fiona Hill
Sheena McDonald
Dren Nupen
John Owen
Zoran Pajic
Jane M.O. Sharp
Matthew Storin
John Tirman
Antoine van Agtmael
Martin Woollacott


Anthony Borden – Executive Director
Alan Davis – strategy & quality control director
Tim Williams – Operations Director
Adrienne van Heteren – Development Director
Sue Louise – Finance Director
Jonathan Campbell – Senior Development Manager
Yigal Chazan – Managing Editor
John MacLeod – Senior Editor
Alison Freebairn – Editor

All fronting behind a single brown face:

Owned and operated entirely by Afghans, Pajhwok Afghan News (PAN) claims to have no political affiliations.[1] Its founder and director is Danish Karokhel. Pajhwok is a Pashto word[2] meaning reflection or echo in both Pashto and Dari languages

Funny enough, no mention of the IWPR in it's founding, just this one random local dude ...

And of course, providing a supply of 'trained' journalists:

Ezatullah Zawab (or ʻIzzat Allāh Żwāb) is a journalist from Jalalabad, Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan.[1][2]

In 2003 Ezatullah Zawab was selected by the Institute for War and Peace Reporting as a candidate for journalism training.[3][4][5]

This is not an Afghan news agency. This is one of Western-manufactured propaganda outfits injected into newly regime-changed third world hellholes to make sure the populace is kept thinking exactly what their European overlords want them to think.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Dec 29 2020 15:32 utc | 60

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Dec 29 2020 14:54 utc | 61

Not to mention the so many self driving cars and space rockets that have colissioned onto things or people or blasted in the very Cape Cañaveral...

BTW, that the Russians also admire this fascist coupist a lot..

There's always a charlatan waiting in the wings for those looking for a saviour.

What can you say to someone gets into *tunnel boring* and makes out like it's star trek:

Yeah, real genius ... all you need is the right dumb 'journalist' to take a ride through Elon's new, original, super-duper, sci-fi *tunnel* and all of a sudden it's like the second coming of Christ.

We have arrived at Idiocracy

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Dec 29 2020 15:40 utc | 61

Anyone know what has actually happened to Zero Hedge?

My Firefox browser is telling me there is a certificate error and it won't let me go there.

Firefox detected an issue and did not continue to The website is either misconfigured or your computer clock is set to the wrong time.

It’s likely the website’s certificate is expired, which prevents Firefox from connecting securely. If you visit this site, attackers could try to steal information like your passwords, emails, or credit card details.

Posted by: librul | Dec 29 2020 17:04 utc | 62

@librul | Dec 29 2020 17:04 utc | 74

I just now was able to load ZH site using [deepstate-approved]Chrome w/o any flags,(but maybe some planted mal/spyware loaded with it that chrome lets through?)

Posted by: gm | Dec 29 2020 17:28 utc | 63

@H.Schmatz - you are talking too much.

I removed your 15 or so off-topic comments.

Posted by: b | Dec 29 2020 18:03 utc | 64

@Posted by: b | Dec 29 2020 18:03 utc | 64

Tha last one was totally on topic, reporting Pompeo calling the Chinese liars on Covid and calling for releasing the Zhang Zang journo...

The rest was tangentially on-topic as they were all on the pandemic, but, well, yours is the blog...

I agree in that it was way too much, but as I explained in one of the comments, fearing a blackout here, amy be the last time I can post here...

A pity for the people who could not read them, there was a lot of interesting info related Pfizer and BlackRock connections and their blackmailing and intend of neocolonial take over on the Argentinians by requesting rights on propierty of national glaciers and rights on fishing to deliver their so prized and priced vaccine...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Dec 29 2020 18:25 utc | 65

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 29 2020 8:20 utc | 37

I was about to add "Ol' Aunty" (ABC Australia) to the list of "the willing"...
China Jails Citizen Journalist - ABC (Australia)

Aunty (ABC) has had a slow-motion internal right-ward coup going on for years. It really took-off under the John (Ahem, war-criminal, ahem) Howard COALition government. It is now more neoliberal than the commercial channels were 30-40 years ago, but is still incessantly harrangued for "inherent leftist bias" in the Murdoch (CIA-friendly) "dim-inated" (apologies for the portmanteau) media.

Posted by: Jon_in_AU | Dec 29 2020 19:15 utc | 66

@ 65 Jon _in _AU:

It wasn't just the despicable John Howard stacking the ABC board with zionists. Remember Bob Hawke changing the words of the ABC Charter from demanding 'accuracy' to 'reflecting community standards' Both tweedle dumb and tweedle dumber continued to gut SBS and also stack the board with the usual suspects for the desired results.

Posted by: Paul | Dec 29 2020 19:37 utc | 67

Arch Bungle @ 60:

Thanks for trolling Mikey and Antonym's commenting. I myself had suspicions that the so-called "Chinese spy ring" was actually Uyghur terrorists. Of course Pakistan had to be blamed, without any evidence whatsoever of Islamabad's involvement.

According to its Wikipedia article, the IWPR was founded as Yugofax in the 1990s, reporting on conflicts in the Balkans. The organisation is registered in the UK and the Netherlands as a non-profit organisation. With a history like that, the IWPR must be treated as a major part of the British and Dutch fake news / propaganda industry.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 29 2020 19:47 utc | 68

ditto jens comment @ 67... this Antonym freak is a fairly clear read.. modi has to pay someone for this stupid shit..

Posted by: james | Dec 29 2020 20:18 utc | 69

I had thought that essentially all "news" operations had done away with direct news sourcind and now relying on wire services?

When data is unreliable, it is not generally possible to filter the good data from bad - sometimes is possible where can filter based on known qualifiers.

Hence all reporting is unreliable, but some is useless and some becomes part of a tapestry. Some idividuals are exceptional but even there to be taken with some caution.

We choose the "facts" which we wish to believe based on world view. If journalists wrote about only the things for which there was high certainty there would be much less to read. The concept of open minded analysis is no longer allowable - too dangerous.

Posted by: jared | Dec 29 2020 21:20 utc | 70

Dork | Dec 28 2020 18:53 utc | 1

"A study done a few years ago showed that over 2/3rds of international affairs stories in major European newspapers were basically reprints of NYT articles"

Now we don't need a study, we can see it happening in real time on Google News. Also, which stories are ignored or whitewashed by MSM.

Posted by: Keith McClary | Dec 29 2020 21:20 utc | 71

Matt Taibbi once compiled a list of 30 (ex)CIA people who had done jobs MSNBC/NBC . Reuters recently hired an ex CIA guy (I can't find the mention of it). It is not that it demonstrates CIA infiltration, rather it shows that the relation of trust is such that they don't have to.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Dec 29 2020 22:31 utc | 72

"A study done a few years ago showed that over 2/3rds of international affairs stories in major European newspapers were basically reprints of NYT articles"

"I myself had suspicions that the so-called "Chinese spy ring" was actually Uyghur terrorists. "

My analysis shows that the story of a "spy ring" is an example that did not originate in NYT or WP. In the story it is clear that the participants were bona fide CPP members operating from their offices ??!! In other words, after Russian idea of paying bounties for dead Americans failed (no American was killed), China decided against subcontracting and outsourcing and leave it to the people on direct payroll. Step 1: open offices. Step 2: stock them with weapons and explosives. Quite innovative approach, so innovative that I would like to see an official Afghan statement etc.

One question is why Chinese government would bother in disturbing pristine tranquility of Afghan capital region -- in fact, Chinese business already has plan how to invest in the case of an actual tranquility -- like building a huge copper mine. Some intelligence agencies would definitely object, and given a chance, sabotage.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 29 2020 22:32 utc | 73

@2 VK I completely disagree. Anyone who reports anything or publishes anything is a journalist no matter what the subject or topic is, no matter if true or not. No different than anyone who draws or paints something is an artist. Anyone who picks a single string of a guitar is a guitar player. You might think they're awful but that's your personal problem and they don't stop being a journalist or guitar player just because you have a personal subjective definition.

Posted by: Wind Hippo | Dec 29 2020 22:33 utc | 74

@ Posted by: Wind Hippo | Dec 29 2020 22:33 utc | 73

She wasn't reporting. All of her "information" was false. Journalism requires facts by definition; you can't do journalism with lies.

I can take a picture, but tell a complete lie with the subtitle. That makes one a propagandist, not a journalist.

Besides, it wasn't because of the hospital videos she made (the only part of her work you could argue was reporting) that she was arrested: she was arrested for the fake news she spread after that, culminating with the interview to Radio Free Asia.

Posted by: vk | Dec 29 2020 22:46 utc | 75

One important thing to understand is that human psychology, unfortunately, is quite vulnerable. All they need to do is repeat a given lie often enough and the public will take it for an accepted truth, no matter how ridiculous it objectively is. It may even be that bad lies are more effective than good lies because bad lies are more memorable and one's brain works harder to justify the contradictions.

Posted by: Timothy Hagios | Dec 29 2020 23:12 utc | 76

@71 the reference to my own post about Reuters hiring ex-cia :

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Dec 29 2020 23:27 utc | 77

Louis Proyect recently, Dec 25, wrote an article at Counterpunch denouncing those who, like most decent people, approve of the Russian intervention on behalf of Syria, as homophobes.
The argument is based upon Louis's reading of a couple of 'documentaries' one of them on the world famous musical ensemble Pussy Riot and the other a study of the character of the current Chechen political leader, whose name, probably on the tips of tongues everywhere else, escapes me.
The argument Proyect, who fancies himself a Marxist, outlines is that the Russian government, aka Vladimir Putin, the Ivan the Terrible of our era, has laws banning homosexuality. Whether it does or not I don't know, but it would not surprise me if it did. Sadly, homosexuality is frowned upon in many, if not most, countries and long has been. As to the Chechen 'strongman' an even the more terrible, he appears to have very fierce quranic views on the matter.
And for Proyect that settles it: those who oppose Pussy Riot's uninvited performances in religious services, like those who support Russian bombing of ISIS convoys or those who tolerate the existence of homophobic politicians in Chechnya are all showing signs of a hatred of those innocently engaged in homosexuality.
And what this adds up to is that decent people, unlike ourselves, join with the governments of NATO, Israel and the Gulf States (modern secular anticommunist!) in support of what the humourless Proyect calls The Syrian Revolution. Or, as history will put it, the war waged by the US Empire against the Baath government and incidentally the plain people of Syria.
If Louis gets his wish-and he might with Biden taking over- things there will turn out as they have in Libya, another country where the 'revolution', or, in more traditional language, imperialist attacks involved the employment of US proxy forces, including both Chechens and Uighurs, claiming to be holy warriors.
In these outcomes Proyect claims innocence. He backs the CIA and NATO despite a lifelong opposition to imperialism.
As to Russia, again, it is not the oligarchs and mafia that Proyect supports as they squirm under the government's belated efforts to tame them and to recover a portion of the wealth that they stole from the people and invested in the 'west' where the 'rule of law' protects ill gotten gains from the periphery of Empire. It's just a coincidence that the UK, the US and the swarm of slimy national governments that follow their diktat, are on the same side as the 'marxists' with whom Louis identifies.
The case of Chechnya is simpler: here the government represents a stern reaction to successive NATO born attempts to use wahhabism to split the Russian Federation- attempts that led to bloody civil war and numerous terrorist attacks-all financed by NATO and its slime. The situation here is very clear there had never been a history of wahhabi islam in the place, which had undergone enormous change and development in the Soviet era. It took considerable work and vast amounts of money as well as trained agents from abroad to exploit the problems that this part of the old Union suffered in the Yeltsin years by conjuring up a Saudi/Pakistani flavoured jihad. A jihad which had the lasting effect of ensuring that its suppression was likely to lead to the sort of fundamentalist conservative regime in which, not unlike Saudi Arabia, the public display of homosexual behaviour would be frowned upon.
It is hard to believe that Louis Proyect does not understand that his politics coincide almost exactly with those of the imperial ruling class but perhaps he doesn't. Which gives rise to the old question of whether stupidity excuses evil deeds. For the victims, the Libyans, the Syrians and the Yugoslavs it doesn't. For the moralists, separated by an ocean or two from reality, it might.

Posted by: bevin | Dec 29 2020 23:54 utc | 78

Posted by: Jen | Dec 29 2020 19:47 utc | 67

Arch Bungle @ 60:

Thanks for trolling Mikey and Antonym's commenting.

I take it as my penance for past mischief.

I myself had suspicions that the so-called "Chinese spy ring" was actually Uyghur terrorists. Of course Pakistan had to be blamed, without any evidence whatsoever of Islamabad's involvement.

The thought crossed my mind but then I realised, there being no other information than regurge from the hindustan times, nothing could be concluded.

According to its Wikipedia article, the IWPR was founded as Yugofax in the 1990s, reporting on conflicts in the Balkans. The organisation is registered in the UK and the Netherlands as a non-profit

That particular era of humanitarian bombing was particularly saturated with EU propaganda.

One name on their list of staff caught my eye:

Dren Nupen

Apparently she plays a large role in running South African elections:

"You've probably seen her announcing the results of many an elective conference for the ANC, and wondered who's the woman with the winning numbers.

When Dren Nupen -- along with Bontle Mpakanyane and Ncedisa Mthenjwa -- walks on-stage, you know it's time to crown the ANC's new king (or, potentially in 2017, new queen)."

Source, the huffington post:

Now, what would an election engineer be doing on the board of a war reporting agency? Looks like a conflict of interest to me ... Playing at narrative management by day and kingmaking by night ...

One wonders how deep this rabbit hole goes ...

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Dec 30 2020 0:08 utc | 79

How convenient that the UKUSAi funded human rights organisations can spend so much coin and effort on hating China and yet FAIL to see this.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 30 2020 0:43 utc | 80

Antonym #54

Modi = fascist low caste turd
Beginnings and here
Modi - lying as an art form

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 30 2020 1:03 utc | 81

Lots of wannabee CCP members flocking here...
Xi the new Messiah after Mao / Stalin, of Materialism that is. Friendly faces, nice uncles, lots of con-sumption of goods. What more can you want? Life is simple.

Posted by: Antonym | Dec 30 2020 1:44 utc | 82

Posted by: Auntynym | Dec 30 2020 1:44 utc | 81

It's OK to be bitter.

Look, Modhi Ji just doesn't have the same cool, collected sophistication and technical finesse of Xi Jinping.

After all, he did lead a nation of 1.5 billion people through a period of economic acceleration never before seen in Chinese (or world) history for a country of that size.

And that during a period of massive geopolitical adversity compounded by a global epidemic.

The man is a highly qualified professional, like Putin and Merkel, part of a new class of technically skilled leaders who are able to deliver measurable results to their people.

Unlike blowhards in vein of Modhi, trump, Netanyahu and macron.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Dec 30 2020 2:15 utc | 83

After all, he did lead a nation of 1.5 billion people through a period of economic acceleration never before seen in Chinese (or world) history for a country of that size.
Yes, thanks to Nixon, Kissinger and Clinton and their Anglo billionaires looking for cheap labor without legal or environmental restrictions. After all, Xi did lead a nation of 1.5 billion people through a period of CO2 etc. acceleration never before seen in Chinese (or world) history for a country of that size. How do you square that with Western Greenies?

Posted by: Antonym | Dec 30 2020 3:03 utc | 84

@77 bevin... thanks.... yuk yuk is just that - yuk... the guy would sell his gandmother for a few pennies, but all he could get was an article in counterpunch attempting to show his bonafides... the guy is a real loser for not getting it, but hatred is like that... it is blinded by its own hatred and can neither see or think clearly because of it.. what amazes me is the guy continues to show up here at moa expecting any other response then the one he is worthy of..

Posted by: james | Dec 30 2020 3:09 utc | 85

Posted by: Auntynym | Dec 30 2020 3:03 utc | 83

Yes, thanks to Nixon, Kissinger and Clinton and their Anglo billionaires looking for cheap labor without legal or environmental restrictions. After all, Xi did lead a nation of 1.5 billion people through a period of CO2 etc. acceleration never before seen in Chinese (or world) history for a country of that size. How do you square that with Western Greenies?

Every line of this is counter-factual bunk, of course.

I'll leave the details to more eloquent patrons of this site since my troll-smashing shift is over.

I'm off to the bars for big bloody beef burgher and fries with cow-sauce on the side.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Dec 30 2020 3:18 utc | 86

@ Arch Bunkum Dec 30 2020 3:18 utc | 85

That should be of a Halal slaughtered cow for you as a 21st century atheistic lefty, right? Be careful with Chinese hotdogs though, they can bite back!

A six pack in front of the TV is much less risky Archie.

Posted by: Antonym | Dec 30 2020 3:45 utc | 87

Your site is hijacked, any/all sites that "stir the higher thinking stuff", are hijacked. The owners of the digital algorithms credit debt are vile. 1980s, Predatory Bender book warned US. China didn't get totally destroyed via Opium Wars. Now the (*Napoleon) *"Sleeping Lion" has decided to be wholly awake. Just a matter of time until the inevitable, US monopoly joined with the Rothschild monopoly are either going to use nukes, or ? Dustbin of history West has manifested ITS own destiny indeed!

Brilliant blog MOA, cia et al think so too!

Posted by: Tai Chi | Dec 30 2020 4:21 utc | 88


We all know gringo B.S. stinks .
GUess what's even worse than gringo B,S. ?
Indian cow dung, thats what !

Exhibit A
That 'Chinese invasion 1962'

Here's one minor inconvenient detail,
Indian jawans were deep inside Chinese territory when the first shot was fired !

Posted by: denk | Dec 30 2020 4:49 utc | 89

@ denk | Dec 30 2020 4:49 utc | 88

Some Indians were a few hundred meters inside Tibet under foolish politicians Nehru and Menon, for a border correction yes. The Chinese army permanently occupied whole Tibet killing all locals resisting twelve years before: quite a difference for rational observers. Still was that Mao's reward for Nehru supporting PR China at the UN all the time?

In 1930 there was already a Sino-Tibetan war by the way.

Posted by: Antonym | Dec 30 2020 5:54 utc | 90

anton 89

So you admit '1962 invasion' was Indian cow dung but wanna shift the subject now ?

Tibet has been a Chinese province since the Yuan.

India gobbled up the 'seven sisters'
Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Tripura, Assam, Manipur, and Mizoram ...
followed by Goa, Sikkim, BHutan etc
right after it's own independence.

You'r three thousand years too late for
this kind of imperialistic hubris,
Dont you know this is the 'civilised' 21C ?

Exhibit B
The genocide in Nagaland

The world's 'largest democracy' my ass !


Posted by: denk | Dec 30 2020 7:20 utc | 91

Indian imperialism in the 20C..

Exhibit B
'Why the chaos? The catalytic problem is: Assamese hate their Indian government.

"Everyone feels exploited," explains Jugal Kalita, ex-President of the Assam Society of America. The 25 million people of Assam are blessed with 848 tea plantations and half of India's petroleum. New Delhi vampirically pumps out the oil and tea leaves, he claims, "but it never invests money in the region, in colleges, corporate industries, or research institutions." India's sole contribution seems to be battalions of brutal soldiers to quell revolution'

You'r three thousand years too late for
this kind of stuff, anton !

Posted by: denk | Dec 30 2020 7:34 utc | 92

testing a web archived link, it didnt work before,
lets see.....

INdian cow dung..

Exhibit B
The boy who cries wolf too often....">">

Posted by: denk | Dec 30 2020 8:00 utc | 93

@ denk | Dec 30 2020 8:00 utc | 108/ 109
The British gobbled up some sisters in the 19th century and than flooded them with Christian missionaries.Aassam was mostly Hindu since long.

Assamese are disturbed by the huge influx of Bangladeshis threatening to make them a minority, started after the Pakistani genocide in 1971 in "East-Pakistan" (allthough there never was a B for Bengal in the name of Pakistan...)

Posted by: Antonym | Dec 30 2020 8:37 utc | 94

Our brave and free Ms. Zhang records herself at harassing a medical checkpoint in Wuhan:

Posted by: J W | Dec 30 2020 8:44 utc | 95

I'm looking how to best formulate it but I prefer to split up the relationship between 'manipulator and agent' into two aspects, the alignment of trust(reputation actually) and the intention. Zhang Zhan's actions are aligned with US intent. What she considers the good guys and what she considers the bad guys is aligned with the US. This is a fairly safe claim. A secondary claim which gets the main focus while it is more debatable and less certain is her intent and motivation. Is she honest about her intentions? Is she scheming with the US? Is she following US orders? Is she merely a pawn? Or do the US simply assist those who are aligned with them and should we consider her actions honest?
The same with Navalny: he is aligned with the US. That is a safe claim. Is Navalny part of deceptive schemes, is he lying, that is harder to assess. For what do you need the secondary claim?
The media and the Mighty Wurlitzer: in this case they are already aligned with US perceptions of China, as is most of the public. They don't need to be told what to do. So the question to what extent media are lying to us is secondary and is unnecessarily divisive. In some cases they are indeed intentionally deceiving us and manipulating us. In most cases though they are spontaneously aligned. The reporting about Zhang Zhan does not need any top down coordination and it's not limited to the media either. Once the anti-China groupthink is established even my friends here spontaneously interpret this news the same way.
I pointed out that in the 70's the CIA had to infiltrate in order to manipulate opinion. It is much easier now. There are a lot of front organisations but the alignment of media and CIA is much stronger. The alignment of the 'mainstream progressive public' with the CIA is stronger. As some have noticed the progressive public tends to be pretty neoconservative in its foreign policy views. It wants the US to overthrow our enemies and bring democracy.
It even applies in the other direction: for people who implement and decide US foreign policy it is difficult to assess what they actually believe.
So whenever I see media skeptics claiming the media are lying, they are focused on deceptive intent. That is generally the wrong focus and it is a questionable claim too.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Dec 30 2020 9:31 utc | 96

The anti-China circle jerk continues:

Some people found something somewhere near Indonesia that looks something like a Chinese UAV(maybe).

The obvious conclusion to draw? China is preparing to occupy Indonesia!

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Dec 30 2020 12:09 utc | 97

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Dec 30 2020 12:09 utc | 113

Because all of us know the country that has benefited the most from global trade since the start of the new century, definitely has all the incentive to destroy that current status quo by following US footsteps of war folly.

Intelligence seems to be a scarce resource in the West these days.

Posted by: J W | Dec 30 2020 12:57 utc | 98

Posted by: J W | Dec 30 2020 12:57 utc | 114

"Intelligence seems to be a scarce resource in the West these days."

Indeed. All that money and all those "intelligence agencies" and nobody knows what is really going on, everything is always a surprise. The main thing they seem to do (aside from killing people) is set up regular "Pearl Harbors" for us so we can always be at war.

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 30 2020 14:27 utc | 99

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Dec 30 2020 9:31 utc | 112

I think they lie to themselves about it too, and you don't get any extra credit for that. "We meant well."

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 30 2020 14:31 utc | 100

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