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I will start with the disclaimer that I know next to nothing about Mr. Glenn Greenwald. For all I know, he may be a raving lunatic, the most insightful writer ever, or anywhere in between. Regardless, I find this piece from a few days ago more than a bit fascinating:
CNN’s New “Reporter,” Natasha Bertrand, is a Deranged Conspiracy Theorist and Scandal-Plagued CIA Propagandist – In the U.S. corporate media, the surest way to advance is to loyally spread lies and deceit from the U.S. security state. Bertrand is just the latest example.
My fascination starts right from his opening paragraph:
The most important axiom for understanding how the U.S. corporate media functions is that there is never accountability for those who serve as propagandists for the U.S. security state. The opposite is true: the more aggressively and recklessly you spread CIA narratives or pro-war manipulation, the more rewarded you will be in that world.
What strikes me is not the rather obvious message in the specific text but the ease with which the “given” (i.e. that there are those who serve as propagandists for the U.S. security state) is just plopped on the table. From this point on, it is clear that everything he imparts in the rest of the piece about the identity and mission of these assets is completely known by everyone involved. They all know the game and their part in it. They are all part of it.
I will skip down to the current topic of the Greenwald piece:
On Monday, CNN made clear that this dynamic still drives the corporate media world. The network proudly announced that it had hired Natasha Bertrand away from Politico. In doing so, they added to their stable of former CIA operatives, NSA spies, Pentagon Generals and FBI agents a reporter who has done as much as anyone, if not more so, to advance the scripts of those agencies.
Bertrand’s career began taking off when, while at Business Insider, she abandoned her obsession with Russia’s role in Syria in 2016 in order to monomaniacally fixate on every last conspiracy theory and gossip item that drove the Russiagate fraud during the 2016 campaign and then into the Trump presidency. Each month, Bertrand produced dozens of Russiagate articles for the site that were so unhinged that they made Rachel Maddow look sober, cautious and reliable.
For the record (and our neighbors here who use that little chap as a primary news source), Maddow is not sober, cautious, nor reliable in any sense of the terms. More…
CNN’s new national security star was no ordinary Russiagate fanatic. There was no conspiracy theory too unhinged or evidence-free for her to promote. …
And when information started being declassified that proved much of Bertrand’s claims about collusion to be a fraud, she complained that there was too much transparency, implying that the Trump administration was harming national security by allowing the public to know too much — namely, allowing the public to see that her reporting was a fraud.
It was also Bertrand who most effectively laundered the extremely significant CIA lie in October, 2020 that the documents obtained by The New York Post about the Biden family’s business dealings in China and Ukraine were “Russian disinformation.” Even though the John-Brennan-led former intelligence officials admitted from the start that they had no evidence for this claim, Bertrand not only amplified it but vouched for its credibility…
But even when her fantasies and conspiracies are debunked, Bertrand — like a good intelligence soldier — never cedes any ground in her propaganda campaigns.
And, of course, the other characters in the charade play along as scripted. The show must go on.
Again, as a non-consumer of TV (or cable) “news” programming and being mostly ignorant of the names and faces involved (I do not recall ever seeing this Bertrand character), it is interesting to me that looking back on her activities it is clear that this creature is exactly as advertised here: a reliable conduit/tool for the dissemination of misinformation. What fascinates me is that everyone involved in the charade is aware of the game and plays their part in it with a straight face. What depresses me is that, by the third or fourth time this creature “breaks” a Watergate-style story and the charade is clear to all willing to see, the citizen-consumers of her product continue to buy it as anything close to legitimate. The willful ignorance of way too much of modern American society is simply breathtaking.
(The comments of both links contain additional nuggets of gold. I may come back to that later…)
___ ___ ___
Besides the need to ramble on while drinking my morning pot of coffee on my day off, the real reason for going on about this is (not surprisingly) more local. As with the subject above, the ability to clearly see the propaganda and the orifice from which it spewed with even a modest amount of historical perspective is sometimes enlightening. Most often just confirmative. The latter is the case for one of our local conduits of such misinformation…mostly a direct conduit from MSNBC to our Member Feed (and comment sections). Much as there are thousands of amateur performers in local theaters around the country for every high paid Hollywood star, there are thousands of comment section trolls for every Natasha Bertrand…each one willing to cut-n-paste and/or elaborate nonsensically on the script as passed down through channels just for the thrill of being seen as a loyal member of the party…and similarly “like a good intelligence soldier — never [ceding] any ground in [his] propaganda campaigns.” Sound familiar?
At this point in past “rants,” I would toss his own words at him to prove the point – as if that was a necessary exercise at this late date – but that seems to be frowned upon nowadays. Similarly, I would refer to him by my favorite derogatory term…but I will attempt to cut down on that going forward. (Search my posting history for the word “pigeon” if you are interested in that reference.) No, from now on, this local piece of scum will most fittingly be referred to by me as simply: Natasha.
Have a good day.Published in General
What makes you think these federal government security agency (CIA, FBI, etc) operatives now operating in the media are “former federal employees”?
I have no doubt there are both current and former types.
Greenwald is one of a dying breed: an actual investigative reporter. He’s temperamentally a leftie, as far as I can tell, though maybe more of a libertarian. Particularly of the Civil Libertarian type. I subscribe to his email list and find him very good and trustworthy. He was one of the few who reported the truth of Officer Sicknick’s death. He’s the reporter Snowden worked through. I think Snowden was a traitor. Others here disagree and see him as a hero. Anyhow, that’s Greenwald.
This story showed up in my email a few days ago, but I hadn’t had a chance to read it. I will now. Like you, I don’t consume TV news and don’t have cable, so it didn’t hold much interest for me.
Actors gotta act. This is an interesting take. Actors are going to act if even just for the applause. Do you think Natasha is paid? Or just a talented amateur.
As I was reading it I couldn’t help but think more of the reporter character in Eastwood’s Richard Jewell…I’ll let you fill in an appropriate alternative to “actors” in your response.
Agree that a good bit of the country does get their news from the usual who are so corrupt and are reading scripts prepared for them. This was verified by Project Veritas on numerous occasions. NPR and Public TV is really going for the latest narrative which of course is climate change as the pandemic winds down. You have to dig and research yourself to find the truth about anything – like Trump said, they are all fake news. It’s despicable because we have a free press, freedom of speech and we are ruining both. Agree from what I have read, that certain agencies (including foreign) are running the show and direction of people and culture.
From the comments at the Greenwald link:
Two words: Ken Dilanian.
Two more: explain please.
Dilanian was a reporter for Tribune Newspapers based at the LA Times covering National Security issues. He was less of a reporter and more of a conduit for anything the CIA wanted to put out. He never saw a story that he couldn’t pitch the Company’s way. Email exchanges showed how he would submit his copy for Agency review and would make any changes they wanted. And it wasn’t operational stuff, it was all spin, like reducing the number of enemies killed in a drone strike to make it more palatable. When the LA Times found out he was tipping the Agency off to the stories they were working on they fired him. So the AP picked him up, and then he got the beat at NBC. Still a stenographer but always falling upwards.
I think Greenwald’s stint as a Leftie ended when he called out President Obama for various infringements that Administration was making on the freedoms offered by the First Amendment to journalists.
Obama immediately assured Greenwald that he was not one of those who would ever have to worry about being hampered by the Deep State. (Although Obama did not, of course, use the expression “Deep State.”)
Less than a year later, Greenwald’s partner was detained at Heathrow Airport for many hours, while top security people attempted to harass and intimidate the man.
As reported by RT News, “David Miranda was detained for questioning by security officers at Heathrow around 8am local time, under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000. Officials held him for almost nine hours without pressing any charges, which is the maximum amount of time that a person is allowed to be held under the controversial law.
“Miranda told reporters in Brazil on Monday that at least six agents were talking to him during his detention. “They asked me questions about my whole life, about everything,” he said. Officers released him after confiscating all of his electronic equipment. According to the Guardian, officers confiscated Miranda’s mobile phone, laptop, camera, memory sticks, DVDs, and even his gaming console.
“To detain my partner for a full nine hours while denying him a lawyer, and then seize large amounts of his possessions, is clearly intended to send a message of intimidation to those of us who have been reporting on the NSA and GCHQ,” Greenwald wrote in response to the incident. “The actions of the UK pose a serious threat to journalists everywhere.”
Carol – as reported by RT News – is that Russian Times? I wouldn’t trust anything printed there………..
Accounts from the BBC and the Guardian (quick to announce a magisterial determination that the detention was lawful). Foreign Policy deemed the detention “demented”. But concur with the catty dismissal of the Russian Times, the Slavic equivalent of the China News Daily. Useful for studying what they want us to think, and an occasional pointer to what the apparatchik press will never point to.
There are no “Miranda” rights in UK
RT is not a bad news site… I can’t believe I said this… RT is not a bad site for news
my last comment about RT… where else can Tara Reade get published?
Thanks for pointing out this story. I was impressed by another recent story by Greenwald. I have now added his Substack page to my reading list.
Sadly it is not only public media and NPR that have gotten on the Climate Crisis band wagon. I notice National Geographical is on that same band wagon and devotes entire hour long TV shows on its channel to the crisis.
We have been streaming some of the old “Medium” TV shows and the words “Move Forward” are embedded in the credits at the end of the show. The most recent adaptation of “Anne of Green Gables” by Netflix inserted the Climate Crisis into the narrative. This occurred even though the story takes place at the turn of the Nineteenth to the Twentieth Century.
No it is not a bad site for news. Also it is one way to find out about science advances taking place in Russia. But since Trump became President it became a venue where a person could tune in and not hear that the evil Putin held puppet strings over traitorous Donald Trump.
Also when I post things for the Ricochet crowd, I try to avoid outlets that have a subscription model that won’t let people view the posted link as they have already used up their ten free viewings. In posting this particular story, I read thru other news services to ensure that RT presented the full story, which it had.
Here is a good draft of a disclaimer that should be used broadly by “news” entities picking up stories from the Washington Post:
One of the chief propagandists of the Russia! Russia! Russia! nonsense of the last four years as well. Got his talking points directly from Fusion GPS. Earning him the moniker “Fusion Ken.”