HomeArticleFake News By Omission :  The Mass Media’s Cowardly Distortion Tool

Fake News By Omission :  The Mass Media’s Cowardly Distortion Tool

Western mass media have continued their conspiracy of silence on the OPCW scandal, making no significant mention yet this month of the leaks which have been emerging from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons indicating that the US, France and UK bombed Syria last year in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack which probably never occurred, and that OPCW leadership helped cover it up.

If you haven’t been following the still-unfolding OPCW scandal, you can catch up quickly by watching this seven-minute video.

Mass media’s silence on this hugely important story is noteworthy not just because it has far-reaching consequences for the future of the Syrian regime change agenda and for public trust in US-led war narratives, not just because the leaks have already been independently authenticated by the mainstream press, and not just because scandalous revelations about powerful entities are normally the sort of incendiary click fodder that makes a mainstream news editor hasten behind his desk to hide his arousal. It is also noteworthy because we’re being told by people in the know that even more leaks are coming.

“Much more to come about the censoring of the facts on Douma at the Poison Gas Watchdog OPCW,” tweeted journalist Peter Hitchens earlier today. “It really is time that the Grand Unpopular Press and the BBC, realised this is a major story. Are they too proud to admit they might have been wrong?”

Hitchens, who was among the very first to publish the leaked internal OPCW email last month revealing multiple glaring plot holes in the official narrative about the alleged chlorine gas attack in Douma, Syria, has been saying this for a while now.

“More is known by the whistleblowers of the OPCW than has yet been released, but verification procedures have slowed down its release,” Hitchens wrote in his blog last week. “More documents will, I expect, shortly come to light.”

So this is still an unfolding story that is only going to get more scandalous in the coming days. Yet rather than reporting on an important news story (which it may surprise you to learn is actually supposed to be the literal job description of the news media), the mainstream press has been silent. The only times the mass media have commented on this major story has been to spin it as Russian disinformation, and Tucker Carlson’s segment on it last week which was also falsely spun as disinfo by establishment narrative managers like David Brock’s Media Matters for America.

The blog Left I on the News uses the term “fake news by omission” to describe this obnoxious yet ubiquitous propaganda tactic, where imperial media outlets deliberately distort people’s understanding of what’s going on in the world by simply declining to cover news stories which are inconvenient to the establishment narrative.

Refusing to tell people about things that did happen distorts their worldview just as much as telling them things that did not happen, yet mass media will never be held accountable for engaging in the former, while engaging in the latter forces them to print embarrassing retractions and lose credibility with the public. For this reason, fake news by omission is their preferred tactic of deceit.

People sometimes think of the mainstream media as always straight-up lying all the time, just fabricating stories whole cloth about what’s going on, but that isn’t generally how it works. A good liar doesn’t lie all the time, and they don’t even tell full lies unless absolutely necessary. What they do is far more cowardly and far more effective: they spin, they distort, they tell half-truths, they emphasise insignificant details and marginalize significant ones, they uncritically report what government officials are telling them, and they lie by omission.

However, the total disappearance of the OPCW leaks is unusual for the legacy media. The imperial press have had their ways of hiding inconvenient stories since newspapers began. Running stories late on a Friday, running them on the “graveyard page” of page 2 (so-called because stories go there to die), holding on to them until another big story breaks so they can be published relatively unnoticed, waiting for them to be broken in a disreputable publication so people will be skeptical of it (sometimes known as “fixing” a story), or running an oppositional op-ed at the same time to spin the uncomfortable facts in a more salubrious way. But in the end, they usually run the story, in one way or another, so they can be seen not to be censoring.

Not this time though. The exceptional silence on the OPCW scandal from imperial news media, in and of itself, discredits them completely. But people won’t know about it unless they are told. Spread the word.

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Latest comments

  • What does Bashar al Assad say about this leak etc.? He never seems to be mentioned in this story. And the Russians? Have I just missed it?

  • “Are they too proud to admit they might have been wrong?” I don’t believe it’s a matter of pride, but rather of OUTRIGHT CORRUPTION AT THE HIGHEST LEVELS.

  • Fake News by Omission is a key component of their population control strategies. It is much bigger than this article indicates. This article applies only to those who try to follow the ‘News’ and ‘Politics’ on the corporate media platforms. The main thrust of the Fake News by Omission strategies is to try to keep many people from even paying that much attention. They want you to pay attention to football (of whatever the local flavor), or other sports. They want you to pay attention to celebrities and who said what about whom this week. Even the ‘news’ outlet usually have many stories to try to divert you from the important stuff.
    ———-
    What They really prefer is that you don’t watch the News at all. The Oligarchs don’t have to spend a time to lie to the people who don’t even bother to pay attention. And of course, the Oligarchs really prefer that you don’t bother to vote at all. The Oligarchs don’t have to spend a dime on people who don’t even bother to vote, while they do have to spend money to fool ordinary people who do vote to trick them into voting for the Oligarch’s candidates.
    ———-
    Thus, the burying of the OPCW story, along with other tales about how supposedly ‘expert’ international bodies have been corrupted into supporting the drive towards Global Nuclear War, are important. But these only serve to try to confuse the small minority that even bothers to pay a little attention to stuff other than football or movie stars.

  • This “lie of omission” strategy, not covering important stories, is a key element of the media’s campaign to promote vaccine tyranny.

    It simply refuses to report things like William Thompson’s whistleblowing on the fraudulent MMR/Autism study and other research which casts the government vaccine program in a negative light.

  • ” Are they too proud to admit they might have been wrong?”

    I am sad to see Peter Hitchens being either stunningly naive or disingenuous.

    They are being paid NOT to admit they were wrong. Any pride they ever had packed its bags, said goodbye and took a plan to Tahiti long ago.

  • Omission is the #1 technique. Easy and effective. The antidote: get your news from different sources, especially sources “distant from power” in this handy chart: https://swprs.org/media-navigator/

    • An interesting project, but terms like ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ are not very meaningful any more. Some other dimensions or at least taxonomy seem needed.

  • Re: Masters of spin. Here’s two example of masters of this technique …
    Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew both distanced themselves from Epstein via statements that are as disingenuous and sneaky as can be.What crimes was Epstein actually convicted of in 2008?
    Per Wikipedia: “Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty and was convicted in 2008 by a Florida state court of procuring an underage girl for prostitution and of soliciting a prostitute.”
    COMMENT: So Epstein was “convicted” of only 2 CRIMES – “procuring an underage girl” for prostitution and “soliciting a prostitute.”
    Now read Prince Andrew and Bill Clinton’s official “statements” about Epstein, wherein the public is SUPPOSED to conclude that both men had no idea what Epstein was up to and certainly did not have any contact with girls trafficked by Epstein. Alas, this is NOT what their statements say at all.
    Prince Andrew’s statement: “…At no time did I WITNESS any of the behavior that subsequently led to his arrest and CONVICTION.”
    Bill Clinton’s statement: “President Clinton knows nothing about the terrible crimes Jeffrey Epstein PLEADED GUILTY TO in Florida some years ago …”
    Parsing the actual statements and conclusion from same: All Prince Andrew and Bill Clinton say in these statements is that they were not in the presence of Jeffrey Epstein on just two occasions:
    Occasion 1: That one time when Epstein “procured an underage prostitute.”
    Occasion 2: That one time when Epstein “solicited a prostitute.”
    Okay. I think we can stipulate that both men were NOT with Epstein during the 2 “crimes” he was ultimately convicted of. BUT Does this not leave countless OTHER TIMES where they could have been in Epstein’s presence, times when crimes might have occurred?
    Nonetheless, these statements were apparently enough for authorities to give both men a “pass” regarding any investigation into Epstein. … The “spin” apparently works.

    • Edit of my last sentence above:
      “Nonetheless, these statements were apparently enough for authorities AND THE PRESS CORP to give both men a “pass” regarding these men’s actual or potential knowledge of Epstein’s activities.” … See, the “spin” works.

  • I remember only one nugget from my college Mass Media 101 class: The press serve as “gate keepers” of the news. So tally all the stories and information – and truth and facts – that are not allowed through these “gates.” Those who guard said “gates” are pretty important. It is they who protect the “status quo.”

  • Caitlin,
    I hope you saw my piece in Zero Hedge which asks “Will real story on Epstein ever be fully told?” In this piece, I list six examples of likely “sham” investigations (I could have listed more). The OPCW “investigation” is included. Here’s the excerpt from this section of my essay:

    “Citizens who doubt the full story of the Epstein saga will ever be revealed have little trouble citing stories that explain their metastasizing skepticism.

    For example, plenty of people did notice when Saudi Arabia and its Crown Prince Prince Mohammed bin Salman suffered no adverse consequences following the gruesome murder of columnist Jamal Khashoggi, a murder many people believe the prince ordered.

    Others remain befuddled as UK authorities continue to insist that the government of Russia commissioned a hit team that used nerve agents in the assassination attempt of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, this despite the copious number of holes that pockmark the “official” story.

    Similarly, the narrative that Syria President Bashar al-Assad “gassed his own people” – a highly questionable proposition to many – has nonetheless been widely accepted as truth, at least by intelligence agencies and a press corps that increasingly accepts official pronouncements as incontrovertible.
    [editor’s note: see Caitlin Johnstone’s latest on two OPCW whistleblowers whose claims effectively dubunk the narrative]

    The aggressive prosecution (persecution) of Julian Assange is another story that disturbs at least some citizens. The fact so few members of the mainstream press have rallied to Assange’s defense has only deepened the depression of one-time idealists.

    And these examples do not include the most dubious government narrative of them all, the assertion Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, a false predicate that ultimately caused the death and suffering of millions of people.

    Cynics could also point to an investigation that, unlike several of the above examples, did receive incessant press coverage – the story that Russia somehow “rigged” or “hacked” a U.S. presidential election, a conclusion accepted as gospel by most in the mainstream press, but viewed as preposterous by millions of Americans.
    In these and other cases, a growing number of citizens have come to believe that official “investigations” and “official findings” are either a sham or intentionally omit details which do not support the desired meme.”

    Link:

    https://www.zerohedge.com/political/will-epstein-story-ever-be-fully-told

  • We all could write books on the mighty omissions of the media. There has been zero coverage of the report by the University of Alaska – Fairbanks Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering which found that Fire Did Not Cause 3rd Tower’s Collapse on 9/11. https://www.ae911truth.org/wtc7 One would think that the biggest so-called terrorist attack on US soil would lead to the most extensively examined event in recent history, but there is a total black-out on the Fairbanks report. A Crime of Omission.

    • Wish everyone would start a BDS movement against the imperial news. They haven’t been journalists for a long time. They are just agents of empire, and they should be boycotted. If everyone stopped watching cable news, they would need to produce a more palatable product.

      • What if someone actually started a news organization that really investigated “real” stories? I happen to think there would be quite an audience for such a news organization. Not only could it make a profit from subscribers/patrons/some advertisers, think of all the best-selling books that could emerge from this investigative work.

        • And such a “real” investigative news organization would have a virtual MONOPOLY on EVERY “real” news story that is not being fully told. The list of “exclusives” would be never-ending. If some multi-millionaire with major balls wants to start such a news organization, please contact me (my email is at the end of my freelance stories). I’ve actually completed a rough business plan, which includes at least 200 stories that challenge “conventional wisdom” or the accepted “narrative.”

          • Rather than one multi-millionaire who could exploit the system built for such a purpose at any time should he/she have a change of heart, why not a crowd funded site supported by those who deeply desire such an enterprise?
            I think this would be preferable and actually doable. There are lots of excellent YouTube news sites that are small operations but are constantly attracting more and more people due to their non- alliance with the MSN.

            Crowd funded is the future.

            • I’ve actually thought of this route too. I do think it’s worth exploring. To start my proposed enterprise we’d need at least $5 million to do it right. I guess someone could raise this if they had help from enough like-minded supporters

          • Ted Turner started CNN. It was a good news service. Until Ted retired and sold his cable channels and his baseball team and moved to his buffalo ranch in Montana.
            But if you go back to the first Gulf War, it was CNN that had real journalists that Turner had hired from other news operations in a hotel room in Baghdad reporting …. and making the Pentagon really mad.
            ——
            Like I said, that lasted until the Oligarchs came in with a big bag of money and bought it.

        • How would you prevent it from being corrupted? What would make it visibly and provably different from existing media?This is not a rhetorical question.

          • 1. It needs to be led by a person who cannot, would not be corrupted. Such people exist.
            2. The stories the organization would investigate and cover would prove this.

      • Done. That’s a box I’ve ticked.
        The first thing I did was use any TV systems ability to block obscene channels to block all of the 24-7 news channels from my house.
        I noticed that even when I didn’t deliberately watch them, I still channel surfed through them. I’d stop and listen and get angry for awhile about the obvious lies they were telling. Then I decided that life would be better if I didn’t even hear the lies, and my blood pressure would also be lower.
        Thus, even when I still paid for TV, I blocked all the ‘news’ channels from normal use. The funny part is that I found I was better informed without them than with them. I no longer had to spent time getting the lies they’d told me out of my head. 🙂

  • The reason the supposedly trustworthy western MSM is not mentioning the report is because they have decided it is fake news. So when a fake news organization decides something is fake news then does that make it true. Objective accomplished. There is no longer any truth, just competing stories. DID SO. DID NOT. DID SO. DID NOT.

  • Russians killed thousands of CIA proxy ISIS terrorists in Syria.
    “We killed hundreds of Russians in Syria” ~ madman Pompeo

    I wanted to throw up when news broke that Princess Kushy cried and made daddy Trump bomb Syria, TWICE.
    The only upside was that of the sixty Tomahawk million dollar cruise missiles fired, 75% were taken out by Russian supplied air defense systems on each attack. A useful warning to the delusional, omnipotent feeling M.I.C. and their chickenhawk neo con psychopaths. We all have a front row seat to World War Three, and we don’t want it.

  • At least we who know will be able to feel real good about it when they, you know who they are, release the chlorine on us, in my last dying breath I can say, ‘I told you so.” No doubt that’ll be exactly how it goes down.

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