Banning Seymour Hersh’s “Offensive” Ideas

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the establishment media is an enabler of endless wars and illegitimate oligarchic power

Ron Unz

EDITOR'S NOTE: It's obvious by now that Sy Hersh's bombshell revelations about Nord Stream are being deliberately ignored, derided, and boycotted by the corporate media. Most of the time, as befits their mediocrity and disgusting cravenness, underhandedly. YouTube's ludicrous and transparently hypocritical maneuver to reduce the reach of the Democracy Now! interview with Hersh (they're doing that for our benefit (!) they claim) apparently proved the last straw for social critic Ron Unz, who filed a strong, timely and characteristically articulate denunciation of this latest dirty trick by the empire's stenographers to silence a prominent witness to its numerous crimes. Please read this exposé closely and do what you can to assure it maximum visibility. —PG

Banning Seymour Hersh's "Offensive" Ideas
Subverting America's Democracy---Now!
RON UNZ • FEBRUARY 17, 2023 •

In an unprecedented step, Youtube has severely restricted as “inappropriate or offensive” Seymour Hersh’s blockbuster Nord Stream Pipelines interview with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!

Democracy Now!

UPDATE: We have blurred some imagery about 30 seconds into the video in response to a content warning from YouTube that severely limited the reach of this interview. What you see now is an edited version. For the uncensored version of this interview that aired on our show, visit


Hersh won his Pulitzer Prize more than a half-century ago in 1970 as the fiercely independent reporter who uncovered America’s My Lai Massacre in the Vietnam War. During his following decades at the New York Times and the New Yorker he broke some of the biggest stories in journalistic history, including the domestic spying activities of the CIA, the Abu Ghraib prison abuses of the Iraq War, and the killing of Osama bin Laden, while being honored with two National Magazine Awards, five George Polk Awards, and numerous other accolades.

Hersh’s long career arguably ranks him as the most renowned living American journalist, and indeed Prof. Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University described him as such in a recent interview.

Then late last week, Hersh dropped a bombshell as big as anything in his career, revealing on his Substack platform the exact details of how the Biden Administration had secretly destroyed the Nord Stream pipelines, an attack on $30 billion of vital European energy infrastructure that constituted an act of war against Germany, one of our closest NATO allies.

How America Took Out The Nord Stream Pipeline
The New York Times called it a “mystery,” but the United States executed a covert sea operation that was kept secret—until now
Seymour Hersh • Substack • February 8, 2023 • 5,200 Words

As I discussed in my own column, despite Hersh’s stellar career and the massive implications of his remarkable story, almost all our mainstream media outlets boycotted it, ensuring that it received minimal attention.

Seymour Hersh: Standing Tall in a Sea of Lies

Ron Unz • The Unz Review • February 13, 2023 • 2,000 Words

Hersh said he wanted his story to stand on its own, and was only willing to do a very limited number of interviews, with the first of these being with a small radio podcaster:

Radio War Nerd
3.64K subscribers
Seymour Hersh on US Bombing Nord Stream Pipelines — Radio War Nerd EP #366
He soon followed this up with a half-hour appearance on Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now!, a leading left-liberal news program broadcast on more than 1,400 radio and television stations worldwide, many of them PBS and NPR affiliates.

During that interview, Hersh responded to criticisms and explained that Ukraine’s war with Russia was going far worse than reported by the American media. According to Hersh and some of his government sources, the American attack on the pipelines may have been a disastrous mistake that could result in the collapse of NATO once most Europeans became aware of what had happened.

Democracy Now! has 1.3 million subscribers on its large Youtube channel, and immediately released Hersh’s important interview on that platform. Within hours the segment was approaching 250,000 views on its way to a likely total of many millions, becoming one of the channel’s most popular videos. I naturally linked it in several comments on our website.

But the same day it was released, Youtube suddenly censored Hersh’s Democracy Now! appearance, claiming that it represented “a violation of community standards” and was “offensive”:

"This video is age-restricted and only available on YouTube. Learn more
Watch on YouTube"

As a result, Hersh’s Democracy Now! segment can no longer be viewed anywhere except on the Youtube site itself, and then only after clicking through two layers of warnings. The obvious intent was to drastically reduce Hersh’s potential audience and this will surely succeed. I assume that these restrictions have been combined with the most severe sort of shadow-banning. So a segment that would have probably been seen by many millions will only get a small fraction of that total.

Such Youtube censorship of a top mainstream journalist on a leading mainstream channel seems completely unprecedented, a massive escalation of the previous measures directed against the political fringe. The move was probably driven by concerns of how Youtube had earlier allowed the views of other important public figures to circumvent the blockade of media gatekeepers:

Prof. John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, one of our most distinguished political scientists, had spent many years making exactly these same points and blaming America and NATO for the simmering Ukraine crisis, but his warnings had been totally ignored by our political leadership and media. His hour-long lecture explaining these unpleasant realities had quietly sat on Youtube for six years, attracting relatively little attention, but then suddenly exploded in popularity…as the conflict unfolded

Mearsheimer’s lengthy explanation of the origins of the Ukraine war has now accumulated 28 million views, quite possibly more than any academic lecture in the history of the Internet.

The University of Chicago

Why is Ukraine the West's Fault? Featuring John Mearsheimer

Economist and Foreign Affairs, and selected to participate in prestigious public forums such as Canada’s Munk debate and Europe’s Holberg Debate. As a result, probably tens of millions worldwide became exposed to a perspective previously excluded from the Western mainstream media.

In another example, Jeffrey Sachs has expressed very similar concerns about the Ukraine war and over the last few months a couple of his interviews on Democracy Now! have accumulated well over 4 million views, while a different interview with geopolitical scholar Alfred McCoy had reached nearly 2 million more:

Democracy Now!

Democracy Now!
Jeffrey Sachs: A Negotiated End to Fighting in Ukraine Is the Only Real Way to End the Bloodshed

Democracy Now!
When Sachs suggested on Bloomberg TV that the American government had probably been responsible for the pipeline attacks, he was quickly yanked off the air, but his clip went super-viral on Twitter, accumulating several million views:

Meanwhile, the clips of President Biden and other top American national security officials promising to eliminate the Nord Stream pipelines and then crowing about the mysterious explosions that destroyed them have also became ubiquitious on the Internet:

Hersh’s work and record were widely promoted on Twitter:

Tucker Carlson had covered the pipeline attacks from the very beginning and immediately discussed Hersh’s remarkable reporting:

Similarly, Max Blumenthal and Aron Mate did the same on the Grayzone:

But the audiences of both these shows are already overwhelmingly hostile to the Biden Administration, so these segments would be far less threatening than Hersh’s own lengthy interview with Amy Goodman on a program often watched by Biden supporters. Other than that practical consideration, I see no reason why Hersh’s interview would have been censored.

The problem faced by our political establishment is that their current position on the Ukraine war has drawn increasing opposition from individuals with the highest public stature and credibility, not only top journalists and academics like Hersh, Mearsheimer, and Sachs, but also top national security experts such as Col. Douglas Macgregor and Ray McGovern.
Our failed current Ukraine war policy against Russia has only been maintained by one of the tightest information blockades in modern American history, with 99% of the mainstream media and a large majority of the alternative media tolerating no dissenting voices. But the disastrous potential flaws in our strategy become immediately become apparent once they are mentioned and a critical mass of leading figures has now begun to do so, with their views increasingly reaching the public. So a regime of unprecedented censorship may now be imposed to prevent the American people from hearing both sides of the story.
Hence a factual interview of one of our most renowned journalists by a leading media outlet has been stamped “offensive” and heavily suppressed.

Such restrictions are hardly unknown to me. Just days after I published my first April 2020 article pointing to strong perhaps even overwhelming evidence that the global Covid epidemic was result of a botched American biowarfare attack against China (and Iran), our entire website was banned by Facebook with all our pages deranked by Google.

Covid/Biowarfare Series
Ron Unz • The Unz Review • April 2020-December 2021 • 60,000 Words

Ron Unz is the founding editor of the Unz Review, a refuge for people who believe in truth and free speech.

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