How Salon Gets Away with Deceiving Its Readers

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at

Before I start this condemnation of lies from ‘liberal’ ‘news’ media, I should indicate that I am a former lifelong Democrat who left the Party over the corruption of the Obama Administration when the corruption became capped by their Democratic National Committee using many devices to steal the Presidential nomination away from Bernie Sanders, to hand it to Obama’s chosen successor Hillary Clinton, whom Obama expected would complete his pro-Wall-Street legacy by passing into law some version of his trade treaties and by Hillary’s conquering Russia, the latter of which goal was a U.S. government project that had actually started in secret on the night of 24 February 1990 when the then-President George Herbert Walker Bush initiated what has since become a ceaseless behind-the-scenes U.S. government program to expand NATO right up to Russia’s borders and ultimately to conquer Russia itself. Though the Cold War ended authentically on Russia’s side in 1991, it never really did end on the U.S. side (that was just a lie) — and Obama-Clinton were hoping soon to culminate the U.S. aristocracy’s conquest of Russia. I remain a committed progressive journalist but am no longer committed to any political party, because now both of the major political parties are vile and no third party in a Presidential system of government stands a realistic chance of controlling either the Executive branch or the Legislative branch of government — its only function is to serve as “spoiler” for one or the other of the two. So: I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican, nor a supporter of some ‘third’ Party, but remain unchanged throughout, consistently a progressive, which means totally dedicated to truth and against lies (such as dominate all forms of conservatism). My criticisms of ‘news’media reflect that, no political-party orientation.


On November 9th, Salon’s reporter Brendan Gauthier headlined Salon’s top-of-homepage headline of the day, “In Donald Trump’s cabinet from hell, corporatism and cronyism run rampant — and Sarah Palin may be there, too” and reported what was at the time speculation that was sourced to an NBC news report, titled “Gingrich, Giuliani, Priebus Eyed for Top Jobs in Trump White House: Sources”, which stated that:

Among the names being considered, according to conversations with three campaign advisers who requested anonymity to speak freely: Rudy Giuliani for attorney general, Newt Gingrich for secretary of state, retired Lt. Gen Michael Flynn for defense secretary or national security adviser, Trump finance chairman Steve Mnuchin for Treasury secretary, and Republican National Committee finance chair Lew Eisenberg for commerce secretary.

Trump himself has not taken an active part in transition efforts, in part out of superstition: He fears too much planning before a victory might jinx the campaign. In 2012, he was shocked to read detailed stories on Mitt Romney’s preparations for the White House long before election day.

Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, a loyal supporter, has taken a major role managing the transition effort, especially as the official transition chief, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, has drifted from the campaign. …

Asked for comment on the above names floated for cabinet posts, Trump campaign spokesman Hope Hicks replied by e-mail that “none of this is accurate.”

Gauthier added nothing substantial to that NBC information (of which, maybe, “none of this is accurate”) except to say such uninformative things as that Gingrich “proved himself a rabid Trump surrogate” and as that Giuliani “has been a tireless, if controversial, surrogate for Trump on the trail and in the media.” But in one instance Gauthier linked to a New York Post op-ed by Michael Flynn as being his source by which to allege regarding: “Department of Defense Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn: Trump’s national security adviser was fired from his post as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014, which he attributed to his hawkishness.”

That statement about Flynn is outright false. Here is all that Flynn’s op-ed — Gauthier’s cited source — actually said concerning his having been fired by Obama:

Two years ago, I was called into a meeting with the undersecretary of defense for intelligence and the director of national intelligence, and after some “niceties,” I was told by the USDI that I was being let go from DIA. It was definitely an uncomfortable moment (I suspect more for them than me).

I asked the DNI (Gen. James Clapper) if my leadership of the agency was in question and he said it was not; had it been, he said, they would have relieved me on the spot.

I knew then it had more to do with the stand I took on radical Islamism and the expansion of al Qaeda and its associated movements. I felt the intel system was way too politicized, especially in the Defense Department. …

I was pissed but knew that I had maintained my integrity and was determined in the few months I had left to continue the changes I was instituting and to keep beating the drum about the vicious enemy we were facing (still are). …

We’re in a global war, facing an enemy alliance that … picks up radical Muslim countries and organizations such as Iran, al Qaeda, the Taliban and Islamic State.

That’s a formidable coalition, and nobody should be shocked to discover that we are losing the war.

There was no indication whatsoever in the article, that Flynn had been fired on account of any “hawkishness.” That allegation by Salon was simply fabricated.

The reality about Flynn’s firing was the exact opposite: he was too ‘dovish’ to suit the neoconservative Barack Obama, who was now demanding that all of his top military generals support his goal of going to war against Russia. Flynn objected to that by saying that only one war at a time makes any sense, and that this war must be the defeat of jihadists, nothing else — certainly not a war against the other nuclear superpower.

Rather than Flynn’s support of Trump being a reflection of their shared ‘hawkishness’, it reflects their strong belief that the view that Barack Obama holds and that Hillary Clinton holds even more strongly — that the war against jihadists must be subordinated to the war against Russia — is a totally upside-down view of the priorities, and that instead of the U.S. supporting jihadists who are warring against Russia and its allies, the U.S. ought to be supporting Russia and its allies who are warring against jihadists.

If Salon wants to support the Obama-Clinton view and oppose the Trump view on the basis of truthful assertions, then that’s journalism and it is not mere political propaganda.

But if Salon wants to deceive its readers into holding the political viewpoint that they hold, then what else is there to call Salon but a propaganda-site?


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.

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  • What
    you share here is exactly what I thought and concluded more than
    50/years ago. Were I to say more than these brief words in
    commenting, it would take away from your article. I feel vindicated
    after all these years, and some in the past were very abusive…

    • diogenes

      Some concluded it a hundred years ago, because it’s the same hereditary oligarchy operating the same scam. See my essay mentioned above.

  • cstahnke

    Salon has turned into an unreadable and illiterate propaganda rag for the DNC. It may, like the HuffPost be the Breitbart of the Stasi-left. Salon was once a relatively intelligent website but has gradually turned into a hysterical headline vomitarium. This shows how far the “left” has fallen.

    • diogenes

      What do you mean “turned into”. To anyone with eyes that’s what it was from the start.

      • cstahnke

        It was, initially, more literary and “cultural” when it started many years ago.

        • diogenes

          Yes, but where the spin was coming from was obvious from the start. The fake left, the phony progressives, the well-heeled goodygoodies, the nice apologists for predators and state mass-murder (“moral” mass murder) — it is easy to recognize once you tune in on its game — which is pervasive.

  • Carl_Herman

    Thanks, Eric; that intro is exactly what the process of truth is about. Thank you for your intellectual integrity and moral courage to stand apart from the contrived Left and Right arms of ongoing empire.

    This is the required path to the brighter future we work for.

    In fact, your intro is soooo good, I suggest ending your bio with something like, “… Created Christianity. Eric is post-partisan.” Then link this article to the “post-partisan” part.

  • Abu Nudnik

    Superstition is unlikely. Successful people tend to work tirelessly at the task at hand. That he delegated the responsibility for list making for positions is unsurprising.

  • Zap

    All of these people are CFR hacks and as far as I can see the CFR is monolithic and in complete control, I also believe Trump would not have gotten elected if he wasn’t willing to dance to their tune. So the question is has the CFR changed their plans and policies and how does Trump fit into their plans? Is their some sort of civil war going on within the deep state?

    Maybe it is as Brandon Smith has been writing about for the last several months and Trump has been put in place to make conservatives and the right the fall guy for the coming inevitable economic collapse and it will be right back to the cultural Marxist Soros wing of the CFR for many years after? Or maybe Trump is their chosen iron fist totalitarian lock down candidate for the collapse?

    Everything is deception with these people so it is very hard to say. It is simple to think counterintuitively but when you have to think counterintuitively squared just to keep up with their deviousness it becomes very difficult to analyze what they are getting up to.

  • diogenes

    Good for you, Eric. You’re starting to figure it out. Now’s the time for you to read — or re-read, from your newly enlightened perspective, my essay, posted elsewhere on this site, entitled The Distribution of Wealth In America, to get a better handle on the historical depth of this problem and especially, from your new perspective, to consider the information presented in Parts 4 & 5, which will acquaint you with various American patriots who reached your conclusions 90 years ago and who have vital things to teach us if we want to start turning America back into America.

    I remind you that I commented on your first article here touting Bernie Sanders’ candidacy exactly how it would turn out — and that’s exactly how it did. I have worked really hard for decades to LEARN FROM HISTORY so as to help stop repeating it. That’s why it was a slam dunk for me to call this play. (And I’m not downing Bernie, totally — the machine he worked in worked him.)

  • wunsacon

    Alternet banned me for characterizing their coverage as “anti-Bernie/pro-Hillary” because it underemphasized Killary’s record. (I was saying so in various ways in their comments section over the course of several months during the DNC primary season, because I — stupid me — actually thought I was providing constructive criticism.) Eventually, I (finally) noticed something staring me in the face for the years I’d been reading it: neither “war” nor “foreign policy” nor anything of the sort appears on their approx 8 top-level navigation tabs. How can a progressive/liberal website not make that one of its main topics?

    My suspicion is that many “liberal” and “progressive” websites are actually “controlled opposition”. Controlled at some level by propagandists working for the imperialists that run the country.

    • diogenes

      “controlled opposition”? No, surely you jest!

    • Eric Zuesse

      Perhaps Don Hazen, who owns alternet, is paid by the CIA — indirectly of course. He seems to be assigned to assist at controlling Democrats, because he filters out an awful lot that the aristocracy want not to be published, but he accepts practically everything that promotes the Democratic Party, or DNC, positions. He’s a very reliable news-filter that way.