How ‘News’Media Lie

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at

I happened to be reading at Huffington Post on March 6th their truthful top-of-homepage news-report:

“Trump Forced To Water Down Executive Order On Immigration: The new order leaves out many of the most forceful points from the original one.”  

and I saw there also a March 3rd headline regarding a news-event that I happened to have researched in depth (as will be summarized below), this headline being:

“Syria Rebels Want Trump To Know They’re The Ones Fighting ISIS: The Free Syrian Army is hopeful for more support despite the president’s praise of Bashar Assad.”

That was from HuffPo’s reporter, Akbar Shahid Ahmed, who writes:

Speaking from Geneva after the latest round of internationally sponsored talks between the opposition and the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Maj. Issam Al Reis, spokesman for the Free Syrian Army, cited its push against ISIS in northern Syria, in collaboration with Turkish forces, and the rebels’ resistance against ISIS advances in the south as evidence that it’s ready for the U.S. to step up. …

“The regime is not fighting ISIS,” Al Reis, a former officer in Assad’s army, said. He noted that Assad’s forces, which rely heavily on Russian jets and pro-Iran fighters, had captured and then lost Palmyra to ISIS before.

Analysts say Assad’s coalition has focused most of its attacks on the Free Syrian Army, which is relatively moderate and which the West considers an acceptable alternative to the regime, rather than on ISIS and the Syrian branch of Al Qaeda, which the U.S. and a host of other nations are committed to defeating.

Here are the facts, which I had reported and documented at the end of 2016, headlining “How Obama Overrode Kerry’s Agreements with Russia”. I documented there that on September 17th, Obama’s forces had bombed the Syrian Army at Der Zor, which brought to an end the U.S. participation in the peace-negotiations on Syria, “the sabotaging-event, which naturally caused Putin to instruct [Russia’s Foreign Minister] Lavrov to terminate all discussions with [Secretary of State] Kerry, because it displayed Obama’s unwavering determination to defeat Russia.”

Back on December 11th, I had headlined what had led up to this sabotaging-event: “Obama & Erdogan Move ISIS from Iraq to Syria, to Weaken Assad”, and I documented — based on reliable reporting in many countries, including a Turkish government site which even acknowledged — that Obama was working with Erdogan to leave an escape-route for Iraq’s ISIS terrorists in Mosul to relocate safely into Syria — to the key city of Palmyra via Der Zor — and so retake Palmyra from Syrian government forces. This required first that Syrian government forces be ousted from Der Zor which would be en-route to Palmyra. And this — Obama’s cooperation with Erdogan in their joint effort to overthrow Assad — is what actually had “lost Palmyra to ISIS,” as the (U.S.-Saudi-Qatari-Turkey created) ‘Free Syrian Army’ source that Huffington Post was quoted on March 3rd accusing against Assad. It wasn’t any failure by Assad’s forces; it was instead the success of the U.S.-Turkish operation — the operation that included Obama’s bombing Syria’s army at Der Zor (which then was promptly retaken by ISIS). It’s not because “Assad’s coalition has focused most of its attacks on the Free Syrian Army.” Assad’s forces were at Der Zor, and in Palmyra, after having retaken both cities from ISIS — and now, because of Obama and Erdogan, ISIS again controlled both Syrian cities. HuffPo’s reporters are required to use anti-Russian — and this also includes anti-Syrian — sources for their ‘reporting’ (or propaganda). The solidly documented truth is that Obama and Erdogan were aiming to oust Assad; they were assisting ISIS in both Der Zor and Palmyra (and actually all along the route from Mosul to Palmyra).

Furthermore, as I also had reported (and in this recent in-depth article documented extensively), “Russia now runs the peace process to end Syria’s War,” and that war has actually been between the U.S. aristocracy versus Russia, and not only (nor even mainly) between Bashar al-Assad versus ‘the rebels’, who are almost totally controlled by Al Qaeda, which in Syria (under the name “Al Nusra”) is financed heavily by the Sauds who own Saudi Arabia, and by the Thanis who own Qatar, and armed largely by the U.S. government, and have freely brought new jihadist recruits into Syria mainly through Turkey.

Using liars as sources is routine in the press, but it’s done because the people who control those ‘news’media want their public to believe those lies; it’s not to be blamed only on the reporters and ‘news’-editors whom they hire. The ‘reporters’ and editors are merely doing their job. (That’s how they keep their jobs.)

As a mere blogger, Erik Wemple, headlined on 30 November 2016, “Lifelong Beltway media guy Jim VandeHei calls media a ‘scam’” and he linked to the euphemistic admission of this, by Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen themselves, that “Media is broken — and too often a scam.” They were promising to provide an alternative, as they promised their readers (soft-peddling the harsh reality): “content they can trust — delivered way, way more efficiently. No bias. No nonsense.” They think they can deliver it and make a profit doing so. That would be a novelty. It would certainly be a terrific thing to achieve, just as a perpetual-motion machine would be, but perhaps just as likely — which is to say: not. (And, of course, ‘non-profit’ and government ‘news’media are just as much controlled by the aristocracy, which controls the government. Anyone who trusts the ‘news’media has to be a person of faith, because only on that basis can it be trusted.)


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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  • cstahnke

    You can’t have to many stories on the propaganda organs. People need a constant reminder of what those media outlets are actually doing. The problem is that it is clearly true that most people do not trust this media to give them accurate information they turn around and state the current Narrative about whatever as if it was Gospel truth. If the media repeats any lie enough times everyone will believe it without fail even though they “don’t believe” what the media is saying. What we ought to be talking about is the question of why people “need” to believe in that Narrative. Actually, people need to believe in some Narrative (capitalized because it is a mythological framework not just a series of stories/memes) to get through the day even if, in the back of their minds, they know it is an unreliable framework. Those of us in the alternative community must provide both slings and arrows to undermine the Big Lie we are presented with but we also need to understand why people fall for it and offer some escape routes for a public bound by the necessity of the need to believe.

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  • cityspeak

    Not to worry Rachel Maddow is still screaming that Russia has infiltrated “well just about everything” in the USA.

    Her screams are drowning out the screams of the victims in Syria and what is really going on there.
    But hey what could go wrong with an exclusively corporate owned and consolidated media serving the most powerful country in the world?

    Thank you for your reporting Eric. Even though very difficult to read at times, as the truth has a sort of horrifying beauty sometimes, it is a blast of pure fresh air in a land polluted by outright lies and falsehoods.

    • Eric Zuesse

      And thank you for saying that — it’s the only type of ‘payment’ that this reporter wants or gets from reporting, because no reporter can write for pay and yet be independent and free to write the truth without bias from the boss (whomever that may happen to be). It’s bad enough that every writer has his own biases (and I always try to make mine clear), but what is unacceptable, in my view, is a writer’s subordinating his inevitable own biases to those of some boss (editor or other manager).

      Incidentally, Rachel Maddow is one of the hundreds of people in the ‘news’ media who are on my email list for submitting each article I write; so, if she in her ‘reporting’ doesn’t show that she knows the facts that I document, then either she automatically ignores my emails (and she’s not a person from whom I’ve ever received either a “Remove me” or an automated bounce-back message indicating that I’ve been placed onto her spam-list, and so that’s why I continue sending to her), or else she knows these facts but refuses to integrate them into her own ‘reporting’. Of course, people in her position get paid very well for their ‘reporting’, so I can understand why she might not want to integrate into it the types of facts that are in mine.