Good bye Mr. Potato Head aka Brian Stelter. Seems that will be his legacy after 9 years of hackery on CNN.
I did my talking head thing once on Brian Stelter’s CNN Show–the hilariously, ironically named “Reliable Sources” at the end of March 2017. The interview concerned Judge Andrew Napolitano and his suspension from Fox News for reporting that Britain’s version of the National Security Agency, General Communications Headquarters aka GCHQ had intercepted communications of Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign and shared that intelligence with the NSA.
GCHQ, by virtue of being a foreign entity can (and does) easily and routinely collect electronic communications information in the United States. The Brits can do this without having to worry about FISA courts, probable cause, etc. Want proof? Here is the NY Times piece on 17 March 2017 that cites one example:
The conspiracy theorizing also tested what is often called the special relationship between the United States and Britain. American intelligence agencies enjoy a closer collaboration with their British counterparts than any other in the world. GCHQ was the first agency to warn the United States government that Russia was hacking Democratic Party emails during the presidential campaign
But that is not the point of this article. I want to focus on Stelter’s accusation that I was a shill of the Russians and was delivering their propaganda. He insisted that RT was controlled by the Russian Government.
I have long experience as a TV talking head. I made my first appearance as a pundit on CNN in mid-August 1994 following the capture of Carlos the Jackal. I was a hit. I followed the fundamental rules of TV punditry–look into the camera like you’re looking at your beloved, keep your finger out of your nose and don’t say fuck. Mission accomplished. And I demonstrated my skill in offering up a pithy sound bite when I referred to Carlos the Jackal as “Terrorist Emeritus.”
In the weeks and months that followed, I appeared frequently on CNN, MSNBC, CBS Sixty Minutes, ABC News Nightline, NBC, National Public Radio, the BBC and the Jim Lehrer News Hour. In December 1999, NBC hired me as their terrorism analyst and I got to sit next to Tom Brokaw in Times Square on New Years Eve 1999 waiting for the Year 2000 computer apocalypse (which never came). After 9-11, I spent a year as a paid Fox News analyst. Made my mother and father happy.
I share this simply to point out that I have extensive experience in dealing with TV media. When Stelter insisted I was being a Russian shill I pointed out (as you can see in the video) that the only media outlet I appeared on that did not do a pre-interview to determine what I was going to say was and is RT. There were multiple times when I would get a call from the BCC or CBS or Fox or CNN saying they wanted me to go on a show to talk about some terrorist incident or the war in Iraq. After they heard what I intended to say they suddenly discovered they no longer needed me.
That has never happened with RT. RT never asks me in advance what I am going to say. I have been critical of Putin in some of my RT appearances. Guess what? I have been invited back and allowed to speak my mind. I am not suggesting that RT is without bias. It is a pro-Russian channel. But it is not afraid to let a potential loose cannon like me come on air and voice what I think.
In my opinion, the only genuine Reliable Source on TV and the internet is RT. That is my experience. Farewell Mr. Stelter. You will not be missed.
This is ironic. RT is an official Russian state controlled news organization.
All the other news organizations, well, I’ll just use the American ones, are not officially state controlled.
Think about that.
I guess it’s the equivalent of NPR in the US.
CNN designed and launch for the Iraq wars.
Embedded TV journalists riding on top of tanks.
Full access to Military porn, Generals, Brigade commanders etc.
The Hollywood TV military briefings , remember the , “DownTown Baghdad…. Target rich environment..!” That got the laughs and cheers.
Heroes, heroes, gotta stop the Vietnam War ghost from reappearing.
Larry has got it right.
If you where not there, you ain’t done it. I stopped listening too and reading any MSM seven years ago. I know more of what is going on than anyone in the street.
Everybody is addicted to government welfare of some sort and just nods and plods like sheep wearing a mask. Read the packet …not fit for medical use and sold nation wide and permitted to enter any buildings government or private. Includes hospitals and Doctor surgeries. If that is not living proof nothing is going convince you.
What comes next is you.
“Never argue with a stupid person. They will drag you down to their level then beat you with experience” Mark Twain. (I think). LOL
Do you believe private bosses enable proper, prompt, objective media. Is there any, look around global famous media, is there any owned by a private company without relevant to finance gods of Rockefeller and Rothschild hidden affiliates? This naive faith might not be the reason of the decline of USA at every good aspect of life.
Pete Clark says
CNN may or may not receive funding from the US government or agencies, but just judging by its content, one would have to conclude that it is a US propaganda channel. Russia is certainly using RT to get its point of view out into the public discourse, so it is also a propaganda channel. I think RT is very careful to make sure that the stories it puts out are journalistically accurate, however, it is often guilty of propaganda of omission. You will not find many (if any) stories on RT which puts the Russian administration into a bad light. RT does not expose many (if any) social problems that exist in Russia. RT will gladly put out stories that put the US government into a bad light, or which highlights a social problem that exists in the USA. I am not suggesting that anything about such stories on RT is incorrect or “fake”, but only that they do tend to paint a very specific picture. CNN, unfortunately, goes the extra step of putting out totally false, sometimes obviously false, information. That is the difference.
Larry Johnson says
One other. RT does not do pre-interviews. That’s important.
Pete Clark says
Larry King, when he was on RT, basically said the same thing. He said that RT never tried to influence any of his stories. Scott Ritter has said that the RT editors have challenged the factual basis for some of his claims, and that he has had to do some rewrites because he could not substantiate some claim, but that is just good journalism.
While my TV/cable experience is not as extensive as Larry’s, in the mid-’90s I was frequently a guest interview on CNBC, and some others (CNN, Nightly Business Report, Bloomberg). In fact, the Money Honey, Maria Bartiromo, came to my office a couple times to interview me. Yet, one time the production assistant who called setting up the interview discovered I wasn’t prepared to parrot the line the show producer was looking to promote, they stopped calling. And never called again. That’s how it works.
This after they’d send a car to drive me out to their Fort Lee, NJ studios, have me come on their remote site at the New York Stock Exchange, and interview me in my office–I didn’t “play ball” and was no longer useful. I was never paid nor offered renumeration.
As an American, I am more interested in the reality about my own government, which I can influence through voting, talking with politicians, etc., than the Russian government over which I have zero influence, impact, and for whose internal policies there is zero impact on my life.
Instead, the US media is non-stop whataboutism (largely on made up shit), as if my neighbor (allegedly) did it too is a defense! Slave labor in US prisons? Look: Xinjiang!
If one looks at the Blinken and Lavrov recent Africa visits, the world (mostly not the west), seems closer to the RT view than the CNN view. Could the US gov’t throw a beer kegger and expect anyone outside the English speaking world to show up?
So why is the US media so focused on propaganda to win the hearts and minds of Americans rather than Foreigners? I think because our powers that be fear their own citizens more than they fear anyone else on the planet.
“As an American, I am more interested in the reality about my own government, which I can influence through voting, talking with politicians, etc…” ~ LMAO!
Marcos aguilera says
Hola Larry, te sigo y leo desde Córdoba Argentina, es muy interesante y revelador tu trabajo, no estoy familiarizado con la política doméstica de estados unidos, solo soy un aficionado lector que intenta no caer en la picadora de carne que son los medios occidentales. Te mando un abrazo sigue así.
Larry Johnson says
Gracias hermano. Estuve en Cordoba un año en 1984. Comi´ el asado y tome´el mate. Conozco Cordoba. Amo Argentina.
Femi Akomolafe says
The most depressing part of any trip I made to Europe is the vomit-inducing garbage that goes for news there!
I tell whoever will listen that what they call journalism is pure crap designed to dumb people down! It can produce only mindless zombified idiots.
Most of them look at me like I am some extra-terrestrial being.
Sadly, Europeans lap the silly propaganda up and feel informed and superior!
The result is a people so badly mis-educated and mis-informed that they ended up badly miscalculating their strength (puny), and those of their opponent in Russia (staggeringly awesome)
Little wonder that they ended up where they are today – committing economic, political and social suicide!
I lived in Berlin for 5 years starting in the late 70’s. The Germans were a bunch of wimps then. It’s hard to believe that the progeny of the men who fought in the Wehrmacht in WWII would grow to be a totally pacified and compliant people. My unit in the Air Force beat the Army in a game of war ball, basically a free for all centered around a 6 foot canvass ball. After seeing the game a German professional soccer team challenged us to a match. They quit after 5 minutes afraid of the violent game. Upon my return to the United States I noticed the same thing happening here. Bar fights, which use to end up with the combatants sharing a beer together, were settled by the police. I knew then that we were at best 20 years behind Europe on our way to collapse.
Are you sure about your statement regarding a match with a German “professional” football team? extremely hard to believe…since there are and weren’t any professional football teams in Germany…except soccer….hardly comparable…
btw the ongoing decay and decadence in the US is decades way ahead compared to Germany or Europe….unfortunately we are catching up quite fast with the US….
U.N. OUT OF USA, USA OUT OF U.N. says
And sadly, America is not far behind them.
Given Tater’s apparent lack of insight or intelligence, I’m astonished how you kept your cool in that interview.
Perhaps it’s unfair on the guy but each time I see his mug, images of perfumed court eunuchs from the 17th century come to mind.
Then again that may make sense. He is the modern version.
More seriously, Stelter’s only value was that he was a useful barometer about how truly appalling mainstream western reporting is these days.
Did news scripting occur gradually since 1994 or do you identify certain years or events specifically with increased censorship?
I was never a TV news viewer maybe since my parents distrusted TV news. Now I’m hooked on podcasts including The Duran which you guest on –I cancelled WSJ in 2017 for being increasingly narrative driven.
Well, I agree with Larry here. As for European news, is it any different to news in every other Western country, whatever that designation stands for? Perhaps, it is worth remembering that propaganda was renamed to PR in the USA.
Back in the Cold War days, pre-internet and pre-satellite TV, while on contract in remote areas, I used to listen to VOA, RFE, BBC, Radio Moscow, and just for kicks, Radio Pyongyang.
All were spreading propaganda, but the styles and method of presentation were very different.
The first and in my opinion by far the most important element was the choice of the topics or issues. Next was the accurate, verifiable presentation of the facts relating to the topic/issue. Undoubtedly, this also included some elements of selectivity.
Lastly, the style of presentation, ranging from sober, apparently dispassionate reporting of facts with any analysis strongly rooted in the reported facts to, at the other extreme, wildly hysterical, emotional and hyperbolic reporting.
On a relative scale of 10 to 1, 10 being sober, dispassionate, factual, accurate, verifiable reporting with analysis strongly based on the reported facts, and 1 being hysterical, emotional and hyperbolic reporting reporting,I would rank the radio stations as follows:
BBC……………………..6 or 7
VOA/RFE………………4 to 6. Variable, topic dependent.
Radio Pyongyang….1. A very definite, entertaining and often hilarious 1! Great fun!
Note that this ranking does not include any consideration of the selection of topics/issues to be reported on, or the selection of the relevant facts to be reported on, only the manner of presentation. No matter how superficially persuasive a report or analysis might be, one should always ask oneself “What are they NOT telling us?”
25 to 40 years down the road, I see little reason to significantly change the relative rankings, though BBC has slipped a bit, call it a solid 6 now (except in regards to issues of high importance to UK, where it can be as low as 3 to 4) and US TV has probably slipped a point.
Since it is a relative ranking, not measuring absolute objectivity and accuracy, I still put RT and NK at the extremes.
As always, never forget to ask “What are they NOT telling us?”
On further reflection, when it comes to reporting on the progress of the war in Ukraine, the Western media collectively is a solid 2 on the above scale. While facts may be accurately reported (excluding casualty reports/estimates) any analysis is utterly skewed to invert and obscure the truth, because it is all-in with Ukraine.
All that is needed to bring the Western media to a 1 on this issue is for them to break into choral tributes, in the middle of news reports, praising Zel to the heavens for his inspiring, enlightened and so awesome leadership and personal attributes, his personal bravery in single handedly fending off multiple Russian assaults, and trumpeting the eternal gratitude of the Ukrainian people for being led by a demi-god.
How come that all the Western ‘free’ press has the same narrative on the Russia/Ukraine operation?
Funding off course is important, but I have not seen ONE scientific based analyses about the content of the news providing any proof of disinformation from RT. The RT funding is just a smearing campaign to censure Russian media. All the selective pro-Ukraine news I read in the Western press has just one goal. The fact that EU politicians say the Ukraine is holding up the democratic values while being the most proven corrupt state not holding any ‘democratic’ values at all. Perhaps this is what the EU than is, corrupt politicians under the so called ‘democratic’ umbrella.
I always treated RT as a Russian govt channel. Always good to know how the bias will go before you start 😉 But because it is an English language channel it has to be careful to stay relevant, and it can only do that by not publishing incorrect stories, or if found to be incorrect, make a proper correction, (Not small print at the bottom of page 23..) The accusation that it will omit news stories is presumably valid. RT isn’t my only source of news but it has proven since about 2015 when I started watching it (Russia Today back then) to be reliable.
Reading a broad range of outlets daily, the only reason I read/listen the BBC and the Guardian is to see what very much shaped stories they report and what they don’t. Their reporting seems to entirely about shaping a narrative rather than enlightening their audience.
RT and Tass (sadly can’t get Tass anymore) are well laid out, their articles are informative and when tracked over time found to be far more reliable than much US and UK media.
The MSM puts out enough garbage to the fill the Great Pacific Garbage patch but on a daily basis.
There is no need to tell anyone here the complete garbage the MSM serves up, their track record in getting it wrong is legendary.
I’m inclined to say that the BBC does excel at stories about the inner lives of They/them gerbils and how their feelings have been hurt if that is something important to you.
Oblomovka daydream says
“Sadly can’t get Tass anymore” — Try the Tor browser. In my country (NL) I have no access to RT and Sputniknews, but with the Tor browser they are fully accessible. I have noticed that Russian RT (with Google translate) offers a well resourced journalism that is quite different from the English RT. I advise therefore to read both RTs.
I get Tass, RT, Sputnik News, Strategic Culture, Stalker Zone, Interfax and Southfront among others with Nord VPN for about $3 per month (I am not promoting Nord VPN, suggest you do your own research)
It’s me says
PBS , bbc are funded by taxpayers as well, why not mentioned?
Scarfell UK says
Larry, new subject. Love to know your take on Giogia Meloni [Italy: Spectator “Prima donna”].
The likes of Hungary and Italy might accord with the sentiments in Putin’s speech last week; add that Germany and France could ease back on sanctions because they can’t take the heat in this energy war and Europe could look very different come the Spring. And yet SACEUR is still spouting the US MSM theme of Russian weakness – doesn’t he, of all people, know better?
Look at this from the perspective that CNN’s Brian Stelter is Jewish. That is the underlying fundamental motivation behind Stelter saying you were a Russian shill.
Organized Jewry have a pathological hatred towards Russia even though many of them have never been to Russia. The Israeli Likud Party has many Russian-Jews and with their allies in the US who hate Russia.
If you overlook this undeniable fact you will not properly see what is going on here. Look at that article you published on Jacob Fraden. He wrote that piece you criticized because Fraden despises Russia. Fraden is also Jewish.
And now we are being led to think and I cannot verify, there is a serious fissure growing between Israel and Russia. Zelensky called for Ukraine to become another Israel? Israel has benefitted enormously from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in this proxy war. Israel runs US foreign policy. That is a given well known fact demonstrated over and over again. Talk of the European-Israel gas pipeline is now back on the table.
Wayne Madsen did an article suggesting Ukraine was going to become a second homeland for Jews. The Jewish Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoyski worked with the Jewish Victoria Nuland since 2014 and those two are behind setting up and fucking the Azov Battalion. Then you have a Jewish rabbi in Ukraine forming Azov Battalion Nazis. Kolomoyski is now in Israel.
If you even mention “Jew” or “Israel” on mainstream media in the US you are toast. Rabbi Rebbe Schneerson laid out the plan how to destroy Russia and its Slavic people through Ukraine. Putin refused to return Schneerson’s archives to New York. The Russians are going to make a great sacrifice of their soldiers to not allow this to happen.
Tim, You’re mistaken, Shelter is a Methodist. His connection to Judaism is by marriage. Only those of us with Jewish mothers and wives understand the risk and at time, masochistic need, for this sort of domestic oppression. I suspect your poorly constructed antisemitic comment’s purpose is to portray people who are politically right of of center, which I guess you assume are the readership of this page, as bigots.
Incorrect. The “antisemitic” sloganeering is meant to shut down all discourse. It is a natural reaction from Jews after years of rabbinical programming. I have worked with many Jews and they see the problem. They are powerless to change anything.
As far as Stelter being Methodist that is besides the point as his “Jewish conversion” is complete therefore taking on the Jewish nomenklatura for himself and his children.
I stand no where on the political spectrum. That is why the Jewish Ben Shapiro leads illiterate conservatives into his “conservative corral.”
That my “poorly constructed antisemitic comments” illicit a response is proof enough that when you start cutting open raw sores expect pain.
The bottom line is some Jews have an axe to grind with Russia and that is undeniable.
Larry Johnson says
I’ve edited your comment to make it more accurate. All Jews do not have an axe to grind with Russia. I know many who support Russia. What is wrong is smearing an entire group of people for the actions of a few. Can you explain what it is about being Jewish that makes some hate Russia? I fully understand Jewish sensitivity to anti-semitic language. Hitler accused all Jews of controlling global finance. Yet his campaign to exterminate Jews murdered poor farmers and laborers who could barely make it in their local shtetl. What does killing them have to do with rich bankers?
Japan was one of the countries that imposed harsh economic sanctions against Russia in June this year, fully aligned with the G7 partners, they froze the assets of Russia’s Central Bank, set up individual sanctions against Putin himself and those close to him …
The country’s very much in bed with the Americans anyway letting them have a massive presence on their soil, boosting defence spending when ordered by Biden, taking part in the military exercises any time the Americans ask, but are they willing to pay a fortune for fossil fuels other than those supplied cheaply by Russia or freeze in the Winter?
From the yesterday’s Nikkei Asia:
“Japanese energy importer JERA and Tokyo Gas have renewed their contracts to buy liquefied natural gas from Russia’s Sakhalin-2 project under its new operator, Nikkei learned Friday.
The entity set up Aug. 5 by the Russian government to take control of the project in Russia’s Far East offered the same purchasing terms, including prices and volumes.
Hiroshima Gas relies on Sakhalin-2 for about half its energy supply. Kyushu Electric Power and Toho Gas source roughly 20% from the project, and Tohoku Electric Power, Tokyo Gas and Saibu Gas Holdings around 10%.
Eight major Japanese power and gas companies source LNG from Sakhalin-2, which was previously run by a company whose shareholders include trading houses Mitsui & Co. and Mitsubishi Corp. None have opted to terminate their contracts at this time, according to Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry”.
Smart peoples the Japanese.
The US owns Japan. They won’t even sneeze without US permission. Russia cut off I think it was 9 percent of natural gas to Japan depends on from Russia in retaliation. Prices of natural gas in Japan are starting to rise. Japan is going to feel the heat just like Germany is.
Abe Shinzo was assassinated. There are Japanese people who no longer want US influence and control over their country with 40,000 US military personnel stationed there.
STRAY ROUND- previous article mentions Felix Sater(informant) was not his father associate of Simeon Moglievich? Are the Lukos Oil and Brighton Beach Boys GERMINATING?
“GCHQ, by virtue of being a foreign entity can (and does) easily and routinely collect electronic communications information in the United States.”
When you only have 5 eyes between you, you always get by with a little help from your friends.
Kaz Dziamka says
“In my opinion, the only genuine Reliable Source on TV and the internet is RT.”
Isn’t that special! For a long time now, I have had exactly the same opinion, but I didn’t have the civic and moral courage to voice it publicly. Well, well, now I will. And I will be glad to quote you, Larry. Thanks!
Arkady Bogdanov says
Seems you did quite well. What I find amusing as that most Russians seem to view RT America as being biased *against* Russia. People in this country are so insular with their views it is nothing short of breathtaking. Any source of info from any outlet that is not blatant US corporate propaganda is a foreign propaganda source- liars all, no matter how factual and unbiased. It’s like people outright want the propaganda, like addicts.
“Any source of info from any outlet that is not blatant US corporate propaganda is a foreign propaganda source- liars all”
That is not wholly disadvantageous, unless you are immersed in if-only-the-papa-czar-knewness, which didn’t end well even for Mr. Zubatov.
Steven Beresford says
Here is a list of the men and women who own and operate the American media. Names & Positions. There are about 1,000 of them, excluding social media. They feed us EVERYTHING that we see and hear on the MSM. They exercise total control of the propaganda and are responsible for whipping up the Russiaphobic war frenzy. May God help us all.