It’s not the most original observation you’ll read this week, but it’s one of the most important: the news lies to you by omission.
Shocked? I thought not. But let’s really interrogate what this means.
All of us (presumably) would agree with the observation that “the news is lying to you.” But most people hearing that statement immediately interpret it to mean that the news is lying by commission, i.e., deliberately spreading information that they know to be untrue.
While this is certainly true sometimes (and we can all think of examples of the news outright lying about the facts of a case), blatant lies about verifiable facts represent only a tiny fraction of the media’s mendacity. Most of the time, the talking heads of the corporate mouthpiece media are not telling fibs, per se; they’re just leaving out vital pieces of the story.
Often, this type of lying—lying by omission—is a more effective means of duping the public than telling provably untrue statements about independent reality. When the talking heads of the corporate media leave out the proper context for a story, the audience can be led to incorrect conclusions about the world. And, since these perfidious presstitutes haven’t technically said anything that’s untrue, they can never be caught in their lie. They maintain plausible deniability about whether they knew the missing parts of the story.
In the interest of learning how to really read the news, then, let’s look at an example of a news story where the media is hiding key information from the public and see what that news story looks like when we add the relevant context.
Hopefully you’ll remember the Novichok nonsense that took place in Salisbury in 2018. If not, you’ll definitely want to go back and re-read my article on how “The Russian Poison Story is WMD 2.0” and follow that up with a deep dive into the archive of Craig Murray’s coverage of the subject and The Blogmire’s excellent summary of the story.
In case you need a refresher, you can do what the normies do: turn to Wikipedia! Here’s the first paragraph of the wiki summary of the story:
On 4 March 2018, Sergei Skripal, a former Russian military officer and double agent for the UK’s intelligence services, and his daughter, Yulia Skripal, were poisoned in the city of Salisbury, England with a Novichok nerve agent, according to UK sources and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). After three weeks in a critical condition, Yulia regained consciousness and was able to speak; she was discharged from hospital on 9 April. Sergei was also in a critical condition until he regained consciousness one month after the attack; he was discharged on 18 May. A police officer was also taken into intensive care after attending the incident. By 22 March he had recovered enough to leave the hospital.
While everyone who was following the news at the time has likely heard various pieces of this narrative as it was being reported, only those obsessives who were really following all of the twists and turns in the case will know the incredible absurdities that were casually revealed and quickly buried in the weeks and months after the story fell out of the limelight. Those absurdities include:
* That the military just happened to be running a military exercise—dubbed “Toxic Dagger“—involving responding to chemical, biological and neurological weapons attacks at the exact time of the Skripal poisoning and in the exact same city.
* That the first responder at the scene just happened to be the Chief Nursing Officer for the British Army.
* That the poisonings took place just miles down the road from Porton Down, the site of the UK military’s biological and chemical weapons lab that would itself identify the nerve agent as “novichok.”
* That this “novichok” poison that the crack Russian spies used—allegedly the deadliest nerve agent ever developed—somehow failed to kill either Sergei or Julia.
* That government officials and the dutiful stenographers in the corporate press immediately began using the phrase “of a type developed by Russia” to associate the chemical with the Russian government in the popular imagination, despite the fact that novichok was originally developed in Uzbekistan and is capable of being created and deployed by any chemist in any country anywhere in the world.
* That Trump was prompted to blame the Russians and kick out a raft of Russian diplomats in response to the incident because he was shown some (fake) photos of dead ducks.
I could go on. And on and on. (Trust me, we’ve only scratched the surface of the absurdity here.) But if you’re reading this article in the first place, you likely know the drill by now: a spectacular event takes place, it’s shoved down the public’s throat as part of a campaign to demonize the bogeyman du jour, and it’s promptly dropped as soon as contradictions or uncomfortable questions start to arise about what really happened.
In this case, the propagandistic value of the Skripal case is hardly difficult to divine. It was those dastardly Russians, sending their spies into the heart of enemy territory to kill an old retired double agent who hadn’t been relevant to them in years because . . . reasons? And they did it in the most incredibly complicated (and ultimately ineffectual) way possible because . . . Putin wanted everyone to know that he was capable of (not quite) poisoning people in foreign countries?
. . . Or something like that. Just don’t think too deeply about it.
But just when you thought that particular piece of absurdity had played itself out, it’s back! That’s right, there’s been another high-profile novichok poisoning! This time the target was a person that the corporate lapdog press is referring to as the “leader” of the Russian “opposition,” Alexei Navalny. Apparently, Putin didn’t think he made his point well enough with the Skripals so he has once again resorted to using an arcane, elaborate, and ultimately ineffective poison to (not quite) kill his enemy in a way that would inevitably be immediately tied directly back to himself. The fiend!
. . . Or so the MSM would want you to believe. The truth, as always, is a little more complicated. Kit Knightly over at Off-Guardian breaks it down expertly in his article on the storyHow To Read The News