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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…)
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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