Spin

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RT News Report: What If We Make a Video and Show ‘Em How Everything Really Works Around Here?

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Filed under: Political Pranks, Prank News, Propaganda and Disinformation, Satire, Spin

The highly controversial Russian news network RT (f/k/a and a/k/a Russia Today) pokes a little fun on its own ruble. Clever, but all propaganda none-the-less… as always.

RT exposed in leaked video:
Watch how evil ‘Kremlin propaganda bullhorn’ REALLY works

Morally Outraged Hackers Publish Ashley Madison Secrets

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Filed under: Fraud and Deception, Spin

Red Woman's LipsThe hackers responsible for stealing supposedly secure data from Ashley Madison, the website for married people looking for extramarital trysts, appear to have a conscience. They’re moralists. But not about their actions.

Kim Zetter of Wired reports, “The hackers deflected responsibility for any damages or repercussions that victims of the breach and data dump may suffer.”

AshleyMadison-Data-Dump

Read Kim’s whole Wired article here


Glitter-bomb Prankster Can’t Stop His Own Creation

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Filed under: Fact or Fiction?, Prank News, Pranksters, Publicity Stunts, Spin

It was an idea that practically shimmered with brilliance: Have packages full of glitter shipped to your enemies, assuring they won’t get your sparkly animus out of their sweaters for a long time. It exploded on blogs and social media, and now Matthew Carpenter, its creator, is not having fun anymore. He’s trying to sell the business after just one day. Sounds like a marketing ploy if there ever was one. “This is too successful. Please take it off my hands for a lot of money.”

ViceGlitter-020


“Evil genius behind ‘Ship Your Enemies Glitter’ didn’t quite think it through”
by Andrea Romano
Mashable
January 15, 2015

Mathew Carpenter has made a huge mistake, and much like his creation, it’s not going anywhere for a while.

The 22-year-old creator of ShipYourEnemiesGlitter.com “” and self-proclaimed person who “live[s] for moolah” on Twitter “” is urging his millions of fans to stop using his brilliantly evil website to get revenge on their enemies.

After a boom in sales that also caused a temporary site crash, Carpenter decided he is in way over his sparkly head and put the site up for grabs to anyone who wants to buy it from him.

He also posted on the website ProductHunt.com, pleading with customers to stop buying his shiny and swift revenge methods.

Read the rest here.

 

TV Viewers Disappointed to Not See Host Eaten Alive

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Filed under: Publicity Stunts, Spin

Promotional materials for the Discovery Channel program Eaten Alive led some viewers to expect that they would see host Paul Rosolie devoured by a wild anaconda. When he wasn’t, animal-rights activists and passive sadists alike expressed dismay.


‘Eaten Alive’ Watched by 4.1 Million Viewers
by Lynn Elber
ABCNews
December 8, 2014

eaten aliveLOS ANGELES (AP) – Discovery Channel’s “Eaten Alive” special that pitted snake against man drew more than 4 million viewers, but not all considered it time well spent.

Although the title and a promotional video indicated that naturalist Paul Rosolie would be swallowed by a giant anaconda, Sunday’s pre-taped special didn’t go that far.

Rosolie, described by Discovery as a snake researcher and conservationist, ended his Amazon jungle encounter with the snake after it encircled his body and began squeezing. Wearing bulky protective gear, Rosolie escaped with a sore arm but uneaten.

Online, some viewers jeered the show for falling short of its promise. One posting showed a photo of a mild-looking dog nibbling on a person’s finger, accompanied by a request for their own Discovery show. (more…)

Political Facades

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Filed under: Propaganda and Disinformation, Spin

Russia: Fake facades on unkempt homes ‘to impress Putin’
BBC News…as found by BBC Monitoring
26 November 2013

A Russian city has wrapped its dilapidated buildings in fake facades ahead of a planned visit by President Vladimir Putin, it’s emerged.

suzsalhouse_425

Local authorities in the historic city of Suzdal draped unkempt traditional wooden houses in banners camouflaged to look like well-tended facades, complete with carved window frames and flowerpots in the windows, according to a blog post by a local journalist. The sprucing-up operation earlier in November came ahead of a national conference of local government leaders that Putin was scheduled to attend.

Media websites – such as Moskovsky Komsomolets – were quick to liken the result to fake villages said to have been erected by Catherine the Great’s favourite, Grigory Potemkin, in war-ravaged regions of southern Ukraine in the 18th Century. This was allegedly done in an effort to impress the visiting empress and foreign ambassadors. The window-dressing habit apparently continued in Soviet Russia. Stories abound of regional authorities giving blocks of flats quick licks of paint and stacking fresh goods in usually barren shops ahead of visits by party bigwigs.

In Suzdal’s case, the effort seems to have been in vain. Putin never got around to putting in an appearance after all.

More photos from lgatta-felice.livejournal

fakefacades1

(more…)

Fox News’ Spin Doctors – Keeping the Critics at Bay

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Filed under: Media Literacy, Spin

Fox News Reportedly Used Fake Commenter Accounts To Rebut Critical Blog Posts
by Ben Dimiero
Media Matters
October 20, 2013

New Book Details An Extensive Campaign By The Networks’ PR Staffers

fox-sockpuppet-425

NPR media reporter David Folkenflik writes in his forthcoming book Murdoch’s World that Fox News’ public relations staffers used an elaborate series of dummy accounts to fill the comments sections of critical blog posts with pro-Fox arguments.

In a chapter focusing on how Fox utilized its notoriously ruthless public relations department in the mid-to-late 00’s, Folkenflik reports that Fox’s PR staffers would “post pro-Fox rants” in the comments sections of “negative and even neutral” blog posts written about the network. According to Folkenflik, the staffers used various tactics to cover their tracks, including setting up wireless broadband connections that “could not be traced back” to the network.

A former staffer told Folkenflik that they had personally used “one hundred” fake accounts to plant Fox-friendly commentary: Read the whole article here.

via Huffington Post

Concealed Covert Advertising: The New Content

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Filed under: Propaganda and Disinformation, Spin

Media literacy alert! This article about covert advertising does exactly what it talks about. It masquerades as content while advertising products…


When advertising becomes content, who wins “” advertisers or publishers, or both?
by Mathew Ingram
PaidContent.org
March 2, 2013

One of the biggest trends in media at the moment is “sponsored content” or what some call “native advertising.” But is it the savior of online media, or just another mirage in the advertising desert?

blankbillboard-200Andrew Sullivan, the former Daily Beast writer who recently launched his own standalone publishing venture, has made it pretty clear that he doesn”™t like advertising, which is why his site is supported entirely by reader subscriptions. And he also made it clear in a recent series of posts that he doesn”™t like the growing trend of sites like BuzzFeed using what they call “sponsored content” as a replacement for traditional advertising “” something he suggested was ethically questionable for media entities of all kinds.

Like it or not, however, this phenomenon is becoming more and more commonplace “” and not just at new-media ventures like BuzzFeed but also at traditional publishers like The Atlantic. Is it the savior of online media, or just another mirage in the advertising desert? This is a question we are going to discussing at length at paidContent Live in New York on April 17, including a panel entitled “The future of native advertising: Blurring ads and content.”

If it”™s useful, does it matter if it”™s sponsored? (more…)

Andrew Breitbart, Conservative Muckraker, Dies

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Filed under: Propaganda and Disinformation, Spin

Update: Erin submits that this obit from Matt Taibbi, published in Rollingstone, gives a more spot-on assessment of the man.


Andrew Breitbart, 1969-2012
by David Frum
The Daily Beast
March 1, 2012

“Of the dead, speak nothing but what is good.”

It”™s an ancient rule and a wise one, but one that does not do justice to the life and career of Andrew Breitbart, dead today aged 43.

It is impossible to speak nothing of a man who traced such a spectacular course through the contemporary media.

But to speak only “good” of Andrew Breitbart would be to miss the story and indeed to misunderstand the man.

Video: Breitbart spews hatred at Occupy Wall Street protestors

Watch more controversial Breitbart video moments here.


Obit continues. (more…)

Sarah Palin’s Paul Revere Revisionism

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Filed under: Spin

Sarah Palin Supporters Attempted To Edit Wikipedia Page On Paul Revere
Huffington Post
June 6, 2011

Last week, Sarah Palin told a local news station in Boston that Paul Revere “warned the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away our arms.” As the news media rushed to point out that Revere was, in fact, warning the American colonists, not the British, Palin’s supporters apparently attempted to update the Wikipedia entry on Revere in order to make the facts conform to Palin’s version of history.

According to the revision history on the Wikipedia page, Palin supports attempted to add the line in italics below:

Revere did not shout the phrase later attributed to him (“The British are coming!”), largely because the mission depended on secrecy and the countryside was filled with British army patrols; also, most colonial residents at the time considered themselves British as they were all legally British subjects.

That revision was deleted with the explanation “content not backed by a reliable sources [sic] (it was sarah palin interview videos).” (more…)

The Lomborg Deception – Debunking the Climate Change Debunker

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Filed under: Fraud and Deception, Propaganda and Disinformation, Spin

Submitted by Larry Croft:


Book Review: The Lomborg Deception
by Sharon Begley
Newsweek
February 22, 2010

Debunking the claims of the climate-change skeptic.

In naming roustabout, lumberjack, ironworker, and dairy farmer America’s “worst jobs,” CareerCast.com omitted one whose awfulness is counterbalanced only by its public-spiritedness: fact-checking Bjà¸rn Lomborg.

The Danish political scientist won fame and fans by arguing that many of the alarms sounded by environmental activists and scientists””that species are going extinct at a dangerous rate, that forests are disappearing, that climate change could be catastrophic””are bogus. A big reason Lomborg was taken seriously is that both of his books, The Skeptical Environmentalist
(in 2001) and Cool It (in 2007), have extensive references, giving a seemingly authoritative source for every one of his controversial assertions. So in a display of altruistic masochism that we should all be grateful for (just as we’re grateful that some people are willing to be dairy farmers), author Howard Friel has checked every single citation in Cool It. The result is Lomborg Deception, which is being published by Yale University Press next month. It reveals that Lomborg’s work is “a mirage,” writes biologist Thomas Lovejoy in the foreword. “[I]t is a house of cards”¦Friel has used real scholarship to reveal the flimsy nature” of Lomborg’s work. (more…)

Beauty Tips for the Well Dressed Mujahid

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Filed under: Propaganda and Disinformation, Spin, Truth that's Stranger than Fiction

Al-Qa’ida glossy advises women to cover up and marry a martyr
By Julius Cavendish in Kabul
The Independent
14 March 2011

Not content with launching an English-language magazine that debuted with a feature called “How to make a bomb in the kitchen of your Mom”, al Qa’ida’s media wing has followed up with a magazine for women, mixing beauty tips with lessons in jihad.

The 31-page glossy, Al-Shamikha, which translates loosely as “The Majestic Woman”, features a niqab-clad woman posing with a sub-machine gun on its cover.

Much like Elle or Cosmopolitan, it includes advice on finding the right man (“marrying a mujahideen”), how to achieve a perfect complexion (stay inside with your face covered), and provides tips on first aid and etiquette. (more…)

How Effective is U.S. Army Psy-Ops? Ask the Senators Who Fund Them

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Filed under: Propaganda and Disinformation, Spin

Submitted by Peter Markus:


Another Runaway General: Army Deploys Psy-Ops on U.S. Senators
By Michael Hastings
Rollingstone
February 23, 2011

The U.S. Army illegally ordered a team of soldiers specializing in “psychological operations” to manipulate visiting American senators into providing more troops and funding for the war, Rolling Stone has learned – and when an officer tried to stop the operation, he was railroaded by military investigators.

The orders came from the command of Lt. Gen. William Caldwell, a three-star general in charge of training Afghan troops – the linchpin of U.S. strategy in the war. Over a four-month period last year, a military cell devoted to what is known as “information operations” at Camp Eggers in Kabul was repeatedly pressured to target visiting senators and other VIPs who met with Caldwell. When the unit resisted the order, arguing that it violated U.S. laws prohibiting the use of propaganda against American citizens, it was subjected to a campaign of retaliation.

“My job in psy-ops is to play with people”™s heads, to get the enemy to behave the way we want them to behave,” says Lt. Colonel Michael Holmes, the leader of the IO unit, who received an official reprimand after bucking orders. “I”™m prohibited from doing that to our own people. When you ask me to try to use these skills on senators and congressman, you”™re crossing a line.”

Read the rest of this article here.

Hitchens: Churchill Didn’t Say That

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Filed under: Spin

Churchill Didn’t Say That
by Christopher Hitchens
Slate
January 24, 2011

The King’s Speech is riddled with gross falsifications of history.

Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter in The King’s Speech
The King’s Speech is an extremely well-made film with a seductive human interest plot, very prettily calculated to appeal to the smarter filmgoer and the latent Anglophile. But it perpetrates a gross falsification of history. One of the very few miscast actors””Timothy Spall as a woefully thin pastiche of Winston Churchill””is the exemplar of this bizarre rewriting. He is shown as a consistent friend of the stuttering prince and his loyal princess and as a man generally in favor of a statesmanlike solution to the crisis of the abdication.

In point of fact, Churchill was””for as long as he dared””a consistent friend of conceited, spoiled, Hitler-sympathizing Edward VIII. And he allowed his romantic attachment to this gargoyle to do great damage to the very dearly bought coalition of forces that was evolving to oppose Nazism and appeasement. Churchill probably has no more hagiographic chronicler than William Manchester, but if you look up the relevant pages of The Last Lion, you will find that the historian virtually gives up on his hero for an entire chapter. (more…)

The Great Fed Hoax

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Filed under: Propaganda and Disinformation, Spin

What the Federal Reserve is up to, and how we got here, by Xtranormal:


Quantitative Easing Explained

via Huffington Post

Was Helen Thomas the Victim of Spin and Disinformation?

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Filed under: Propaganda and Disinformation, Spin

Submitted by Toni Dalton, as seen on Counterpunch.org:


The Ambush of Helen Thomas
by Gary Leupp
Counterpunch.org
June 8, 2010

“Any Better Comments?”

Outrage!

White House journalist Helen Thomas, covering a Jewish American Heritage Month celebration at the White House May 27, is accosted on the sidewalk by someone who asks: “Any comments about Israel? We”™re asking everybody today—any comments about Israel?”

Smiling in grandmotherly fashion—-the way an 89 year-old woman might do when suddenly approached by an 17 year old boy who seems sincerely interested in her thoughts—she replies: “Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine.”

“Oooh”¦” responds the questioner. “Any better comments?” (A voice in the background: “Helen is fun!”)

“Hah hah hah,” laughs Helen. ” Remember these people are occupied, and it”™s their land, not German, and not Poland.”

“So where should they go? What should they do?”

“They could go home. Poland. Germany.”

“Where”™s home? You”™re saying Jews should go back to Poland and Germany?”

“And America and everywhere else.”

A week later this video of the impromptu interview appears on “RabbiLIVE.com,” website of Rabbi David Nesenoff. (Who by the way is this “live rabbi”? Who is this rabbi character who”™s terminated the career of a Washington press icon? How many journalists are even asking?) (more…)