The Club and the Mob


From James Meek at the LRB:

The immense Sunday edition of the New York Times (its biggest ever number, on 14 September 1987, had 1612 pages and weighed 12 pounds)…

News International, the owner of the Sunday Times, was carrying vast production costs – journalists’ salaries, the huge expense of printing and distributing a physical paper – then giving me the product, the news, for nothing…

Like commercial TV stations, newspapers would become broadcasters, funded by ads alone…

For every person drawn to the authenticity and possibility of arcane truth in the underground and samizdat press, there were thousands more conservative readers who wouldn’t take such sources seriously because they reeked of mania, lonely obsession and amateurishness…

The internet enables, and encourages, people to build news diets that contain only what they want to hear – excitement without challenge, pudding without greens…

The world has always been divided between the Club and the Mob,’ one veteran columnist, channelling de Tocqueville, said … ‘I’m afraid I’m on the side of the Club…

The paper tripled the number of moderators. They still couldn’t read everything…

Open journalism had failed to account for ‘movements based on the subjective interpretation of facts, and the creation of alternative truths perpetrated by spreaders of misinformation – mostly for profit’…

The spread of television in the mid-20th century cut a swathe through the newspaper landscape…

The reason most of the first wave of Snowden shocks appeared in the Guardian (the Washington Post shared in the early revelations) was that the previous year Rusbridger had poached Glenn Greenwald, a radical critic of the US security establishment, from the website Salon, to strengthen the Guardian’s growing American operation…

Just when the Guardian seemed poised to take advantage of its new reach, the digital advertising market got swallowed up by Facebook and Google…

The paywalled New York Times, earned $340 million in digital subscriptions in 2017, and is growing revenue as fast as Facebook, and faster than Google.

From Zero Hedge:

Mueller mentions that Cohen tried to email Russian President Vladimir Putin’s office on Jan. 14, 2016, and again on Jan. 16, 2016. But Mueller, who personally signed the document, omitted the fact that Cohen did not have any direct points of contact at the Kremlin, and had resorted to sending the emails to a general press mailbox.

From Caitlin Johnstone:

The Guardian hit piece was so spectacularly desperate in its over-reaching to advance a narrative which has been used to manufacture support for longtime CIA/MI6 agendas like arresting Julian Assange, stopping WikiLeaks, censoring the internet and subverting Russia that it completely exposed itself as the establishment psyop firm that it is.

From Chris Hedges:

Major figures within the Israel lobby candidly explain and expose their massive covert campaign in the United States. There is no plausible deniability. And this is why Israel worked so hard to stop the film from being broadcast…

There’s an intensive effort by Israel and pro-Israel groups to get governments, universities, legislative bodies to adopt a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel and its state ideology, Zionism.”

From Ron Paul:

In short, the Obama Administration did openly to Ukraine what his Democratic Party claims without proof the Russians did to the United States: meddled in a vote.

From Diana Johnstone:

“I’m more worried about the end of the month than about the end of the world.” – Yellow Vest protester.

From Rolling Stone in 1988:

Bush and Gregg were, in fact, deeply involved in a previously undisclosed weapons-smuggling operation to arm the contras that began in 1982, two years before the much publicized Iran-contra operation run by marine lieutenant colonel Oliver North and financed by the sale of missiles to Iran…

General Manuel Noriega, the Panamanian dictator indicted in the U.S. on drug charges early this year, played an important part in Black Eagle, making available his country’s airfields and front companies to the American operatives. In exchange, Noriega appropriated Black Eagle’s fleet of cargo planes to smuggle cocaine and marijuana into the U.S. on behalf of the notorious Medellín cartel of Colombia.

From The Saker:

The massive influx of Ukrainian refugees, by the way, has already contributed to an increase in qualified specialists, including medical doctors and highly qualified engineers from the Ukrainian military-industrial specialists who, when they saw their bureaus and industries collapse in the Ukraine, moved to Russia to continue to work…

As for the Ukrainian pipelines, not only are they in terrible shape, Russia has successfully built “North” and “South” streams which allow her to completely bypass the Ukraine and the need to deal with the crazy Banderite junta in Kiev.

From Sharon Lerner at The Intercept:

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which will carry fracked natural gas 600 miles from the Marcellus Shale in West Virginia through Virginia to North Carolina, recently had its national permit suspended due to concerns about its impact on a West Virginia waterway. The new regulations will likely cut the number of permits required for the project in half, according to an analysis by the Southern Environmental Law Center.

A joint effort of Dominion Energy, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas, and Southern Company Gas, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (together with a much shorter pipeline that will supply natural gas to customers) will cross waterways in 1,699 places. At least half those waterways flow only during the wet seasons or after rainstorms and therefore would no longer require permits after the new rule is in place.”

From Aaron Maté at The Nation in June:

There is widespread supposition that Manafort’s dealings in Ukraine make him a prime candidate for collusion with Moscow. But that stems from the mistaken belief that Manafort promoted Kremlin interests during his time in Kiev. The opposite appears to be the case. The New York Times recounts that Manafort “pressed [then–Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor] Yanukovych to sign an agreement with the European Union that would link the country closer to the West—and lobbied for the Americans to support Ukraine’s membership.” If that picture is accurate, then Manafort’s activities in Ukraine during the period for which he has been indicted were diametrically opposed to the Kremlin’s agenda.

From the NYT in 2016:

With Mr. Manafort’s advice, Mr. Yanukovych began a comeback, with the Party of Regions winning the biggest bloc in parliamentary elections in 2006 and again in 2007, returning him to the post of prime minister.

From Ayn Rand:

When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion – when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing – when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors – when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you – when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice – you may know that your society is doomed.

From Ezra Klein on Paul Ryan‘s retirement:

His budgets, for all the hard choices, didn’t actually add up. They included massive tax cuts with underestimated costs and unspecified financing — which is what led Krugman to call him a charlatan back in 2010…

In March, Ryan pushed a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill through the House, which included almost $300 billion in spending increases. New spending, it turned out, only had to be paid for so long as it was a Democratic president proposing or signing it…

Ryan proved himself and his party to be exactly what the critics said: monomaniacally focused on taking health insurance from the poor, cutting taxes for the rich, and spending more on the Pentagon.

From Zero Hedge:

While Hillary Clinton was Obama’s Secretary of State, however, the State Department authorized $151 billion in Pentagon-brokered deals to 16 countries that donated to the Clinton Foundation.

Chris Hedges quoting James Cone:

When it became clear to me that Jesus was not biologically white and that white scholars actually lied by not telling people who he really was, I stopped trusting anything they said…

Any theology in America that fails to engage white supremacy and God’s liberation of black people from that evil is not Christian theology but a theology of the Antichrist…

Any message that is not related to the liberation of the poor is not Christ’s message…

I believe that until Americans, especially Christians and theologians, can see the cross and the lynching tree together, until we can identify Christ with ‘recrucified’ black bodies hanging from lynching trees, there can be no genuine understanding of Christian identity in America, and no deliverance from the brutal legacy of slavery and white supremacy…

The lynching tree is America’s cross.

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