An organization called Newsguard Technology has taken to evaluating traditional and independent news organizations and rating the outlets for their trustworthiness and independence from outside influence. The only problem? Newsguard is itself controlled by national security apparatchiks, former administration officials and others with decided biases of their own. As The Grayzone’s Max Blumenthal explains, an outfit like Newsguard isn’t interested in promoting good journalism so much as preventing the public from accessing journalism that threatens the establishment’s grip on power.
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ERIC ZUESSE—Assange has been in various forms of imprisonment by UK for the last ten years without his ever having been convicted of anything except that in 2012 he was sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for jumping bail (on sexual charges against him that even the alleged accusers themselves denied were true). And yet he remains now in solitary confinement (“23 hours a day locked in their cells”) in a super-max British prison, because the U.S. Government won’t stop its demand that he be extradited to the U.S. (and killed here, instead of in Britain).
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RAMIN MAZAHERI—The European lesson of the 1930s is that the working and middle class handed power to the socialists and communists – who immediately gave power back to the bourgeois!
Ever since the Brexit vote against the neoliberal and neo-imperial European Union Western democracies are perpetually stuck in 1936: constantly warning of “fascism” and constantly producing failures as bad as the original Popular Front in France.
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ERIC ZUESSE—That response from him was assuming what he undoubtedly knew to be false: that the users’ concern was whether or not a given “outlet” that’s being searched-for by a user will be found if specifically searched-for on DuckDuckGo. He’s not so stupid as to actually believe that that is what users are actually rebelling against — he knows that instead they are rebelling against having a search-engine, whether Google or DuckDuckGo or any other, pretend to be able to predetermine which allegations or types of allegations that are accessible through the Web are true, and which are false (or ‘low quality’). Obviously, no search-engine can do that; any that pretend to are committing fraud. But that sadly includes every search-engine.
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Cautious optimism in connection with some relaxation of the current tight censorship regime may be in order, but exuberant hopes that Musk will singlehandedly rescue the First Amendment and restore freedom of speech to the American polity may be simply delusional. We agree with Caitlin Johnstone: “I’ll start paying attention to Musk’s talk about free speech if and when Twitter stops censoring Russian media and unbans people like Scott Ritter who were removed from the platform for questioning official empire narratives about what’s happening in Ukraine. Until then I’m going to assume he’s at most only interested in protecting speech that doesn’t threaten the powerful like Republican partisan bullshit and hate speech against marginalized groups.”