Two Mainstream U.S. ‘Journalists’ Provide Stenographic ‘News’ Report — U.S. Anti-Russia Propaganda

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at

This is the story of an ordinary article by two well-known American ‘journalists’ who market the aristocracy’s lies as ‘news,’ so that the public believes dangerous myths, which might unfortunately get out of control and end in nuclear war.

Josh Rogin and Eli Lake, two “Columnists” functioning in the role of reporters for BloombergView, issued on the night of December 17th, their piece of U.S. government propaganda parading as if it were a ‘news’ report; and, in the process, they mistakenly included some real and interesting news that contradicts the very same fake storyline they’re pumping on behalf of the U.S. government, and of their billionaire employer: Wall Street’s Michael Bloomberg.

They started it with the false assumption — routine in the American ‘press’ — that the U.S. government is right and the Russian government is wrong in their respective war-involvements inside Syria. This false assumption is presented in their opening paragraph. 

Headlining “New Russian Air Defenses in Syria Keep U.S. Grounded,” they opened: “There is a new crisis for the international effort to destroy the Islamic State, created by the Kremlin. The U.S. has stopped flying manned air-support missions for rebels in a key part of northern Syria due to Russia’s expansion of air defense systems there, and the Barack Obama administration is scrambling to figure out what to do about it.”

Their phrase “the international effort” presumes that the U.S. is fighting on “the international” side, and that Russia’s forces (and those of the Syrian government that invited-in Russia’s forces) must therefore be the violators of international law. This falsehood is accentuated by the allegation that “the Kremlin” “created” this “crisis.” 

Key factual background in order to understand and evaluate the truthfulness, and even the honesty, of this opening paragraph is this: The U.S. invaded Syria; it was not invited in by the universally-recognized-as-legitimate government of that country. It’s instead trying to overthrow that very government. In fact: it’s an invader. The U.S. government has supplied weapons and some air-support to the ‘rebels’ of Al Qaeda and other jihadist groups (including even ISIS) that are pouring into Syria to overthrow that country’s leader, Bashar al-Assad, who has been shown even in Western-sponsored polls in Syria to be overwhelmingly preferred over anyone else to lead that country — and the U.S. has now also been bombing that legitimate government’s basic infrastructure in order to weaken it further. Syria had invited in Russian air power to bomb those ‘rebels,’ the vast majority of whom are foreign invaders, just like the U.S. itself is. So: the U.S. and its allies caused this “crisis,” whatever it is or might be. In fact, the U.S. started planning it from the moment Barack Obama first became U.S. President, if not before. And, even the sarin gas attack that Obama blamed on the Assad government and used as his reason for invading Syria was a put-up job from the Obama Administration with the cooperation of the Sauds, Qataris, and Turks.

As a response to Russia’s bombings of ISIS, al-Qaeda (called ‘al-Nusra’ in Syria) and other jihadist invaders of Syria, ISIS bombed a Russian airliner over Egypt, and the U.S.-allied NATO country of Turkey shot down a Russian bomber in Syria. Russia did not respond with nuclear war against ’the West,’ or NATO, but simply sent into Syria additional weapons in order to defend Syrian airspace and protect Syria’s and Russia’s forces against continued attacks by the U.S. and its allies such as Turkey. Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, was, in effect, saying thereby: If you try anything like that again, we’ll shoot it, and then we’ll be in a full-fledged war between you and us over Syria — and you will be very publicly exposed to the world as the invaders — if that’s what you choose to do.

Then, the co-columnists go on to report that, “earlier this month, Moscow deployed an SA-17 advanced air defense system near the area and began ‘painting’ U.S. planes, targeting them with radar in what U.S. officials said was a direct and dangerous provocation.” The assumption here is that for Russia to “defend” its bombers from attacks by the U.S. invading forces is somehow a “dangerous provocation.” The co-columnists don’t themselves say this; they instead simply report the lie from the Pentagon on it. And they do not challenge that lie.

The fact is that if Russia doesn’t defend itself from the attacks by the U.S. and its allies, then Russia will itself be conquered by the U.S. and its allies, because that has been the central foreign-policy goal of the United States government ever since the late 1970s, if not even earlier — first as a “cold war” war to defeat the Soviet Union, and then (starting in 1990, just before the USSR and its Warsaw Pact military alliance broke up in 1991) explicitly and knowingly as a continuing war by the U.S. aristocracy to take control over Russia, the world’s most resource-rich nation. To the American aristocracy and its military, which is the Pentagon: self-defense by Russia, and even Russia’s joining an ally (Syria) in order to defend it against the invasion by the U.S. and its allies, constitutes “dangerous provocation.”

It’s one thing for the aristocracy’s stooges, such as Obama or his nameless “officials,” to emit that lie, but it’s something else altogether when the ‘press’ (which may be actually just a propaganda-operation to serve the aristocracy that controls the government) reports it to the public without challenging it (not even incompetently challenging it). Only a fool would respect ‘journalists’ such as that, but the George W. Bush Administration had no problems getting them to believe his lies about “Saddam’s WMD” etc., which similarly were stenographically reported and not challenged, by the American ‘press.’ (And: Bush probably had been working with the Sauds to facilitate the 9/11 attacks, in order for him to be able to win the authorization to invade Iraq.) Barack Obama is relying upon the same fake ‘press,’ and same widespread public stupidity trusting it. After a nation’s ‘press’ has so stenographically reported unchallenged its leader’s lies, as happened in 2002 and 2003, the only reasonable response by the public is to boycott those very same stenographic ‘news’ media. But that never happened in the United States, which demonstrably is no real democracy. And so, the current regime there is just as bad as its lying predecessor was — basically just a continuation of it. Republican and Democratic Presidents now represent the same aristocracy, merely different wings of it, and those two wings don’t differ very much from each other; and they are united in their shared  warfare against the public (but the rhetoric is much prettier and the lies are more subtle under Obama). As the liberal wing of it said, in the person of its Warren Buffett, “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” (He told this to the conservative Ben Stein reporting in the artistocracy’s New York Times, on 26 November 2006, but that newspaper won’t let readers access the article online, and instead prefer to charge anyone who seeks to see whether or not the quotation is authentic — it is. And the statement is true. But the vast majority of aristocrats (unlike Buffett there) want to fool the public to believe that either no class-war exists, or else its victims are instead its actual perpetrators the aristocrats themselves, just like they want their fools to believe that internationally the aggressor is Russia, not the U.S.-Saudi-led alliance of Western ‘democracies’ and jihadist groups that together hate the non-sectarian government of Russia and want to grab that land’s resources.)

Then, these two stenographers-to-power wrote: “‘The increasing number of Russian-supplied advanced air defense systems in Syria, including SA-17s, is another example that Russia and the regime seek to complicate the global counter-Daesh [meaning ISIS] coalition’s air campaign,’ said Major Tim Smith, using another term for the Islamic State. The increasing number of Russian air defense systems further complicate an already difficult situation over the skies in Syria, and do nothing to advance the fight against the Islamic State, which has no air force, Smith said.” In other words: they’re saying two things here: (1) Russia’s defending itself in Syria against another Turkish — or maybe even American — shoot-down of another Russian bomber, “further complicate an already difficult situation over the skies in Syria,” and (2) it also does “nothing to advance the fight against the Islamic State.” But both of those also are lies: The U.S. and its allies are the ones who “further complicate” the situation, by increasing the stakes after the barbarous Turkish shoot-down of Russia’s anti-jihadist  bomber. And Russia’s bombing campaign in Syria has achieved more in two months than the U.S. and its allies — including the Sunni Shariah-law nations that finance jihad — had achieved in two years there while the “allied” side were actually trying to bring down the government of Bashar al-Assad. The fakery of the Western ‘democracies’ and ‘press’ is bare-faced in that passage.

Then, the stenographers report, regarding Russia, that: “the Obama administration has accused it of targeting the rebel groups the U.S. was supporting, not the Islamic State. The Russian strikes are also targeting commercial vehicles passing from Turkey into Syria, the administration official told us.” The lies there are (1) that Russian air-strikes have not included ISIS along with all of the other many jihadist groups, all of them fundamentalist Sunnis, fighting in Syria to overthrow the secular Shiite Assad; and (2) that bombing “commercial vehicles passing from Turkey into Syria” that are sent there to load up on ISIS-controlled oil stolen from Syria, and which “commercial vehicles” (oil trucks) Russia has bombed around a thousand of them (though the U.S. over the prior years had bombed none at all), shouldn’t be bombed. Oh? Really? On which side of this war are America and its allies? Duh — the stenographers show they don’t even care. They’re just stenographers — or, as America calls them, “reporters” and “columnists.” This is ‘news reporting’ in the U.S. ‘press.’

The remainder of the article (the entire closing half of it — and by their closing with this far-right garbage they are thereby placing their emphasis upon it) presents far-right criticisms of Obama, which Bloomberg’s stenographers then summarize at the very end of this scummy work by saying that “the U.S. is not only decreasing pressure, but acquiescing to Russian pressure. This benefits not only Assad and Russia, but also the Islamic State.” In other words, the message there is: the Republican wing of the aristocracy (and the stenographers don’t even inform their readers that this is what they’re now actually quoting from, and here paraphrasing) want Obama to force Russia to have to choose right now between either nuclear war, or else capitulation in Syria

This is more of the type of ‘press’ that was on display in America during 2002-2003: Back then, it was lies from the Republican wing of the aristocracy, but this time it’s lies from the Democratic wing of the aristocracy — but attacked, in this instance, by Republicans, since that’s the wing from which Bloomberg comes. In either case, it’s still the same fake ‘press.’ George W. Bush wasn’t bad enough, so they gave us Barack Obama.

Regarding my having said at the opening, that, “in the process” of all this lying, “they mistakenly included some real news that contradicts the very same fake storyline they’re pumping on behalf of the U.S. government, and of their billionaire employer,” here’s that snippet of real news, which is the entirety of their article’s positive value (it’s the entirety of their article’s second sentence):

“The U.S. has stopped flying manned air-support missions for rebels in a key part of northern Syria due to Russia’s expansion of air defense systems there, and the Barack Obama administration is scrambling to figure out what to do about it.”

That was the smidgeon of truth contained in their ‘news’ report about the war in Syria. All the rest of their article was pure deception.

No wonder ‘we’ invaded Iraq, Libya, and perpetrated a coup in Ukraine. But Vladimir Putin isn’t like Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, or Viktor Yanukovych. And, it seems that Barack Obama knows this, even if his Republican opposition don’t. (Actually, they’re just lying: they know it, but they are constantly baiting him to go even farther to the right, because this is the way that Republican ‘news’ media successfully sucker their fools, to think that Obama is a communist Muslim Kenyan alien, inside the White House. Suckers never learn.)


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

This entry was posted in Business / Economics, General, Media, Politics / World News, propaganda and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • ahuxley

    Eric, I tried my best to get through this article, but had to stop about 5 paragraphs in.
    Your sentence structure is so torturous that it makes my hair hurt.

  • jadan

    Keep on telling it like it is. It’s difficult to counter official lies when even “public” broadcasting is talking the same Pentagram bullshit.

  • Sarastro92

    “But Vladimir Putin isn’t like Saddam Hussein, Muammar
    Gaddafi, or Viktor Yanukovych. And, it seems that Barack Obama knows
    this, even if his Republican opposition don’t.”

    You sound as if Obama is somehow the innocent party here… Obama has been the President for 7 years… and he and Killary Klinton presided over the fascist coup in Ukraine; and made knowing alliances and support for the jihadis in Libya and Syria with those fine governments in Turkey and the Gulf Monarchies; not to mention consent for the mass murder in Yemen at the hands of the KSA.

    If you want to claim that Obama has had a “JFK Epiphany” and recognizes he’s driving off a cliff straight into a thermonuclear abyss… well okay… then say that…. But I don’t think it’s the case… Obama is still following the same agenda he’s been pursuing all along while trying to mollify Putin and the international community, and now his generals — according to Sy Hersh— are cutting deals with Assad to prevent an ISIS takeover.

    • billylove

      Indeed, Mr. Obama is anything and everything but “innocent.”

  • Silverado

    from Lew Rockwell dot com this morning

    No, We don’t Need This Bloated Military

    By Jack Perry

    December 31, 2015

    I got a couple emails that asked me, “Hey, don’t you think we NEED a military?! What are we going to do if we’re attacked?!” Very well. I’ll play. Pay attention, boys and girls. Get up and make coffee and settle in for a nice winter’s chat.

    NUMBER ONE: The reason we end up being “attacked” in this day and age is because we stick our rather big nose into everyone else’s business. Listen, we all cannot stand neighbors that do that, so how much more would another country hate that behavior? Especially when it comes in the form of killing their citizens for vague political objectives none of them signed up for, wanted, or asked for. Most people on this planet want the following: Food, clean water, shelter, and safety. Ok, now, if Bashar al-Assad provides all of that, so what is that to us? We didn’t vote for the man, but the Syrians did. So butt out of it. There’s a lot to be said for minding your own business. Every war we’ve been into could have been avoided had we done so. I wonder how many MILLIONS of lives would have been saved had we just minded our own business? Right, we’re always the poor, innocent little waif minding his own business and we got blindsided. Sure. But when America does that, we call it a “decapitation strike” and high-five all the way to the press conference where we gloat about it for weeks. Or we call it a “pre-emptive strike” as if we’ve got The Psychic Hitline, er, Hotline working for us in the Pentagon.

    NUMBER TWO: This isn’t a re-make of “Red Dawn” over here, got that? No one is going to invade America. Not when we have enough nuclear weapons to literally destroy the entire planet and have enough left over to work on obliterating the entire solar system itself, just for kicks. The interstellar Circle K’s would be talking about that for eons. Extraterrestrial rockhounds would be collecting pieces of the Earth for their collections for billions of years to come. Yeah, I get it, everyone has fantasies of gearing up and going out to fight invading Russkies that landed at Malibu. But, look here F Troop, most of the people that fantasize about that couldn’t walk across the street carrying a package of Pop Tarts without wheezing for breath. So how are they going to shlep a 100-pound rucksack across Arizona here in summer? I’d pay to sit in the bleachers watching that action. No, Virginia, there isn’t a Soviet Claus. And they weren’t thinking of invading us, either, by the way. The only tanks I see on American streets belong to the police.

    NUMBER THREE: The first cause of needing a huge military here that’s costing us a fortune is because our government feels it needs to run the world. Well, excuse me, buuuttt! These colors don’t run—the world! I know the government feels the world will fall apart without the United States, but I bet the Romans felt the same way. Probably the Assyrians, too, and the Babylonians. Nebuchadnezzar was probably a firm believer in regime change and where is he now, I ask you? No. If the United States fell apart tomorrow (yay!), the world would roll merrily along. In fact, the celebration party would probably last for the next fifty years; a Jubilee of epic proportions when the entire globe was redeemed from American imperialism. Again, the so-called “threats” we face are being concocted by our government who then depict these charades to the American people as genuine things. As if Yemen is suddenly going to amass a fleet of aircraft carrier battle groups from a yard sale and appear off the coast of California demanding Mount Rushmore for ransom and forcing the Statue of Liberty to wear a hijab. Please. If I laughed any louder at the “threats” this government tells me to be afraid of, they will, indeed, hear me in Yemen. If we stacked end-to-end all the dollar bills we’ve wasted on this bloated military, we could also get rid of NASA because we could WALK to the next galaxy.

    NUMBER FOUR: “We face growing threats”. Yes, because our government keeps watering and fertilizing them! My gosh, our government could see a threat from a derelict offshore drilling platform taken over by squatters and declared a sovereign nation! The defense spending to defend America against Ralphistan would cost us the productivity of three generations! “Sir, we have intel that Ralphistan is preparing to launch a canoe…” “Quick! Everyone to the fuehrerbunker! Fire back! With everything!” Has anyone yet seen the absolute comic threat assessments? Has anyone turned down the sound on Presidential press conferences as he’s telling us about “threats” and played “The Sound Of Music”? You should do that sometime. Then you’ll see how utterly ridiculous this manifestation of collective ignorance and superstition is. Yes, superstition. The belief that a government makes us safe, as if it’s some gigantic Four Leaf Clover and Lucky Rabbit’s Foot all rolled into the White House. Personally, I’d rather rely on a Lucky Rabbit’s Foot than this sordid collection of vagabonds, charlatans, and buffoons.

    There. As for me, I’d like to take my government back for a refund. I didn’t subscribe to this foreign policy. The installments on that policy are too high. I can’t afford it. I’ll even return the fancy toaster oven I got when, wait, I never got one. Where can I report the government to a consumer protection agency? I think we’re all being ripped off.

    • Michael Daush

      Can you imagine all the money people would not have to pay in taxes if not for this bloated government? The peace dividend would be unbelievable.