Zuesse: Why One Should Distrust The News

Authored by Eric Zuesse via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

An article by the BBC on “The world’s most nutritious foods” ranks the healthfulness of foods on the basis of an article at the supposedly scientific PLOSone journal, titled “Uncovering the Nutritional Landscape of Food”. That study is based on a dataset that entirely ignores antioxidant-content of foods. Antioxidant-content has come to be recognized during recent decades as constituting perhaps the most important factor in nutrition. It’s probably even more important than vitamin-content and than mineral-content and than protein, carbohydrate, and fat content. So, the basis upon which the article’s ranking was done is the factors that were known about, in 1950, to be important, but that are now known to be far less determinative of a person’s health and longevity than are foods’ anti-oxidant contents. Neither the article nor its underlying dataset even so much as just mentions “oxidant” anywhere. The authors of the BBC and PLOSone articles and of the underlying dataset were apparently entirely ignorant of the findings in nutritional research during the past 60+ years — findings about antioxidants, which have transformed our understanding of nutrition. (Furthermore, there were many other important methodological flaws producing that PLOSone ranking, not only its ignoring antioxidants.)

This is not unusual.

(Incidentally, “ORAC Values: Antioxidant Values of Foods & Beverages” is a ranking of foods on the basis of antioxidant-contents, as measured by ORAC; and this is likely a far more accurate indicator of the relative healthfulness of foods than is the ridiculous BBC-PLOSone ranking — but far fewer people are being exposed to it.)

Here’s another example of the untrustworthiness of news-media and of other allegedly nonfiction presentations, even in many ‘scientific’ journals — but this one will be an example from what has become overwhelmingly the world’s leading encyclopedia: Wikipedia.

The CIA-edited and –written Wikipedia writes about the anti-CIA Michel Chossudovsky, by saying against his organization, the Centre for Research on Globalization, that it “promotes a variety of conspiracy theories and falsehoods.[7][19][8][20][21][22][23].” However (just to take one example there), the 22nd footnote “[22]” brings the reader to a lying 11 September 2013 article in the neoconservative The New Republic. This TNR article says against the progressive organization Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity(VIPS) that “The sources for VIPS’ most sensational claims, it turns out, are Canadian eccentric Michel Chossudovsky’s conspiracy site Global Research and far-right shock-jock Alex Jones’s Infowars.”

Wikipedia’s linking to that lying TNR article is part of Wikipedia’s ‘proof’ that both of those ‘conspiracy’ sites (the leftist Chossudovsky’s and the rightist Jones’s) are false (in other words: Wikipedia there is blatantly deceiving its readers, and is even assuming they’re stupid enough to believe such a ridiculous thing as that and wouldn’t even bother to check out Wikipedia’s sources to find whether Wikipedia is the liar there, and not Chosudovsky’s site that is the liar).

It’s also assuming that the Obama regime was truthful when saying that Bashar al-Assad was behind the 21 August 2013 sarin gas attack in Ghouta Syria. However, that second assumption is likewise demonstrably false. The TNR’s article and its allegation against Assad regarding Ghouta were, in fact, disproven, on 14 January 2014, when leading US weapons-scientists Theodore Postol and Richard Lloyd studied closely all the evidence on that event and the US Government’s evidence that Assad had been associated with causing it, and the Lloyd-Postol finding was unequivocal that “the US Government’s Interpretation of the Technical Intelligence It Gathered Prior to and After the August 21 Attack CANNOT POSSIBLY BE CORRECT.”

Furthermore, Obama actually knew that he was falsifying. Seymour Hersh’s 17 April 2014 article in the London Review of Books, proved this. Obama was lying. Neither Lloyd-Postol nor Hersh is even referred to in today’s Wikipedia’s article. It still trusts Obama’s and TNR’s proven lie that Assad (instead of Obama’s ‘Syrian rebels’ — a.k.a.: jihadists) had done that sarin attack. Wikipedia smears Chossudovsky with that proven lie, by simply reasserting the lie, and by assuming that Chossudovsky’s site is less trustworthy than Wikipedia (which is yet another lie). But that’s merely one of many lies that are in the Wikipedia article against Chossudovsky. No intelligent reader trusts Wikipedia — or any source (except sources that the reader has repeatedly confirmed to be true and never to have asserted falsehoods — unlike Wikipedia, which is full of distortions, cover-ups, and lies).

Intelligent skeptics dig down like this (which can be done only online, which is why print and broadcast ‘news’ is even less trustworthy than online news), and routinely find that there’s a very selective use of ‘evidence’ that’s behind most claims, and that the reality is that the ‘news’ is often false, and, worse than that, the ‘news’ is usually false for a purpose or purposes — that the ’news’ is often fraudulent, that it is propaganda, PR, often even of the lying sort, instead of being honest and carefully verified research and reporting, such as it claims to be.

Usually, it’s false because the intention is to deceive, not because Wikipedia (or whatever other news-and-public-affairs medium one happens to be considering) merely goofed. As was noted here, Wikipedia is edited, and even written, by the CIA. (Remember what a “slam-dunk” about “Saddam’s WMD” they delivered to the George W. Bush regime in 2002?) Only sources that are approved by the CIA are linked to there. Some of the sources are true, but many are not. The article on Chossudovsky was done for the CIA by an asset of the CIA, about a critic of the CIA. The CIA represents America’s billionaires, and Chossudovsky doesn’t.

Extremely wealthy people buy, advertise their corporations in, and/or donate to, public-affairs media, not in order to profit from them as owners of them, so much as in order to influence public affairs by means of them. This is one of the ways in which to grab hold not only of the government, but even of the people who vote for the government and who also buy those billionaires’ corporations’ products and services. 

Trust should never be given; it should only be earned. Regarding what is public, trust is earned only rarely — and is never earned when that trust is in the major ‘news’-media (all of which are owned and controlled by billionaires and centi-millionaires who actually have interests in many corporations, including some they don’t control but only serve or else invest in). The major ‘news’-media don’t always lie, but they often lie – especially about foreign affairs, which are the main focus and concern of international corporations.

For example: where do you ever see, in the major ‘news’-media in The West, such high quality news-reporting as this, at the obscure news-site 21st Century Wire, from the great investigative journalist Vanessa Beeley? What even comes close to such honesty, at CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox, MSNBC, CNN, BBC, New York Times, Washington Post, Guardian, The Times, New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Nation, Mother Jones, The Public Interest, National Review, Rolling Stone, Truthout, Truthdig, Alternet, Salon, etc.? Obviously, nothing, ever.

So: that’s why one should always distrust the news. The system here is designed for deceit of the public.

Here are other recent articles from me, describing other instances of this phenomenon, the routine deceiving of the public:

“Chomsky’s Unearned Prestige”

“MH17 TURNABOUT: Ukraine’s Guilt Now PROVEN. Ukraine Downed MH17 Malaysian Airliner in 2014. Conclusive Evidence Suppressed by Western Media. Blatant Misrepresentations in Sanctions on Russia.”

And here is something that brings together both Wikipedia and the MH17: 

“Wikipedia As Propaganda Not History — Mh17 As An Example”

India’s Railway System Announced 63,000 Job Openings… 19 Million People Applied

In February, the railway system in India announced that it was recruiting for some of the most basic and menial positions in its organizational hierarchy. It was looking for positions like helper, cleaner, track maintainer and rail switchman. It announced 63,000 vacant jobs it was trying to fill. It got 19 million applicants.

Those applicants included people like Anil Gujjar, who traveled to India’s capital in search of a job. Gujjar was the first person in his family to attend college, but wound up having to compete with millions of other men like him, almost all of which were college students or graduates. Some even had postgraduate degrees.

The flock to these jobs indicates a bigger problem in India: the country has a fast growing economy, but isn’t generating enough jobs for its educated young populace.

A Washington Post article estimates that the number of people in India between age of 15 and 34 is expected to hit 480 million by the year 2021. They have higher literacy levels and are staying in school longer than any other previous generation. The surge of youths could be an immense opportunity for the country, if it can find a way to put them to work. But the employment trends in the country are not optimistic.

An analysis performed by Azim Premji University shows that unemployment between 2011 and 2016 in nearly all Indian states was rising. The jobless rates for younger people and those with higher education also increased sharply. For instance, for college graduates, it grew from 4.1% to 8.4%.

The feat of staving off jobseekers has become a major political task for Prime Minister Modi, who is seeking reelection this year. He rose to power promising job creation, but all of his attempts to increase domestic manufacturing and entrepreneurship have yet to help the employment cause. Further, Modi‘s decision to invalidate most of India’s banknotes in 2016 resulted in about 3 million jobs being lost over the course of the first four months of 2017. The Center for Monitoring Indian Economy, a research firm in Mumbai, found that the Indian labor force also shrank between 2017 and 2018.

Mahesh Vyas, the firm’s CEO stated: “India is rapidly losing an opportunity. We’re just arguing needlessly and endlessly rather than deploying all these young people coming into the labor market into productive work.” 

As a result, finding a job is a job in and of itself for many young Indian people. Job scams are popping up across the country and an entire industry offering “personality development” classes in order to help make people more employable has popped up. The educated youth are waiting for good productive jobs instead of settling.

Ajit Ghose, an economist at the Institute for Human Development in Delhi, says that the country needs to generate jobs not just for the 6 million to 8 million new workforce entrants annually, but also for people like women who are working less than they would be if they could get jobs at a decent wage. The same economist notes that India has about 104 million “surplus” workers.

Expanding the labor market that much is a tall task for any government, not just India. Modi’s track record of job creation also remains somewhat of a mystery, as the country hasn’t offered nationwide employment data since 2016. The ministries of labor and statistics have conducted surveys of Indian households, but the results have not been made public.

Amit Basole, an economist at Azim Premji University, said: “It’s anybody’s guess whether we’ll see any employment statistics come out before the 2019 elections.” 

Another economist, Arvind Panagariya, argues that it is difficult to make an assessment of the employment situation until nationwide data is released. At a test center in Delhi, applicants for railway positions showed up three times a day, every day, from September through mid December. The same scene played out at hundreds of exam centers across the country. In fact, there were so many test takers that an economy was born out of job applicants. Entrepreneurs opened storage lockers and started businesses holding backpacks and phones for those going inside to take the test.

Even though the rail jobs are low on the totem pole, they offered a comparatively good salary and benefits like free train travel. The applicants were almost all young men who are college students and graduates from the northern Indian states trying to get out of the villages where they grew up. Their reason for leaving home? There are no jobs there, either.