NewsGuard, a news-site rating organization, which was founded and is run by the neoconservative journalist Steven Brill, is trusted enough by some online readers so that when NewsGuard threatened to downgrade a certain news-site’s rating at NewsGuard unless the site removed all my articles, the site removed all my articles.
Here is what happened, quoting NewsGuard’s demand to the news-site:
We found that [the site’s] articles often link to sites rated as unreliable by NewsGuard for promoting false information, such as OrientalReview.org, pro-Kremlin site TheDuran.com, and en.interaffairs.ru <http://en.interaffairs.ru> , owned by the Russian Foreign Ministry. The site has also republished articles from sites such as The Gray Zone, rated unfavorably by NewsGuard for repeatedly publishing false [actually true] claims about the Russia-Ukraine war and Syrian chemical attacks. Could you comment on why [your site] republishes or links to sites which consistently promote false claims?
[Rating allegations as “true” or as “false” ON THE BASIS OF the identity of the SITE instead of on the basis of the specific allegation in the specific article (or video) is a standard method of deception of the public, which censors employ to distract and manipulate individuals (readers, etc.) by appealing to their existing prejudices such as (for an American conservative or Republican) “Don’t trust the N.Y. Times” or (for an American liberal or Democrat) “Don’t trust the N.Y. Post” (or, for both, “Russia is bad and wrong, and America is good and right”). In this case, it is “Don’t trust” a news-site that they allege (while offering zero evidence) is owned by Russia’s equivalent of the U.S. State Department. Even if that presumption is true (about which I don’t know — not regarding any of the three sites they named), does this mean that a news-site that is owned or otherwise under the control of the U.S. State Department must likewise be ignored no matter what documentation an article on it is providing for its allegations? Such a presumption appeals to a reader’s prejudices and emotions, instead of to facts and evidence — it is NOT appealing to actual truth and falsity, which pertain ONLY to specific allegations that are made in a specific news-report — not to ANY entire site. It is a method of deception. Consequently, ANY site-rating entity, including Google’s search-engine, NewsGuard, and all the others, is, itself, fraudulently designed to deceive the public, and even to encourage prejudice instead of a scientific approach that is based upon individual allegations instead of upon rating what purport to be news-sites that are twice removed from that: not only are they NOT specific allegations, but they are not EVEN specific news-reports (printed, videoed, or otherwise) which INCLUDE a number of specific allegations. It’s like condemning “all Jews.,” or “all Muslims,” or “all Blacks,” or “all Whites,” instead of condemning a specific individual or a specific group of individuals — such as, for example, ISIS. It is bigotry.]
[FURTHERMORE: How can they rate specific allegations if the allegations in an article don’t link to their EVIDENCE and thereby facilitate the reader’s accessing the source directly so as for that person to evaluate that source? The ONLY authentically reasonable criterion for rating a news-site — if that’s the actual goal — will require a rated news-site to require each of its published news-reports to link directly to its evidence regarding any reasonably questionable allegation that is being made in the given article. Very few news-sites require that — providing direct access to each of its sources. However, this article (like all I write) does that. For example, right here: When Barack Obama in February 2014 perpetrated a coup in Ukraine that installed a rabidly anti-Russian government there on Russia’s border and that was instead ‘reported’ in The West as-if it had been a ‘democratic revolution’, and that coup-imposed regime then perpetrated a massacre against its pro-Russian protestors inside the Trade Unions Building in Odessa on 2 May 2014 (see especially the charred bodies of its victims at 1:50:00- in that video), I started writing about Ukraine, and I have always been reporting what U.S.-and-allied media don’t and won’t. So: now, I shall continue with presenting NewsGuard’s lie-filled warning-note to the website:]
We also found that [the site] has repeatedly published false and misleading claims about the Russia-Ukraine war.
For example, a June 2022 article titled “Have Europeans been profoundly deceived?,” claims to provide evidence that “A coup occurred in Ukraine during February 2014 under the cover of pro-EU demonstrations that the U.S. Government had been organizing ever since at least June 2011.”
[The word “coup” in that article was linked to this video, every detail of which I have carefully checked and verified to include ONLY evidence that is authentic — and no one has contested any of the evidence in it. The first item of evidence that’s referred-to in this video is at 0:35, which item is the audio of a private phone-conversation between two top EU officials in which one, who was in Kiev while the coup was occurring, reported to his boss, who wanted to know whether it was a revolution or instead a coup, and he reported to her that it was a coup, and described to her the evidence, which convinced her. My article later says “Here is that phone-conversation, and here is its transcript along with explanations (to enable understanding of what he was telling her, and of what her response to it indicated — that though it was a disappointment to her, she wouldn’t let the fact that it had been a coup affect EU policies).” This news-reporting is of real evidence, not distractions, not any appeal to the reader’s (and listener’s) prejudices, either. But Mr. Brill’s employee apparently didn’t check my article’s sources (gave no indication of having clicked onto any of my articles’ links, other than to identify to what site a given link was linking), because he or she was judging on the basis purely of that person’s own prejudices — NOT upon the basis of any evidence, not looking at evidence at all. The employee was selected so as to have these prejudices and to judge websites on that basis — not on the basis of clicking onto links in order to evaluate an article’s sources. Then, at 3:35 in that video, is audio of another private phone-conversation, which was of Obama’s planner of the coup, Victoria Nuland, telling his Ambassador in Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, whom to get appointed to run the stooge-regime after the coup will be over, “Yats” Yatsenyuk, which then was done. My article also says “Here is that phone-conversation, and here is its transcript along with explanations (to enable understanding of whom she was referring to in it, and why).” The reference to “June 2011” had appeared in this passage from a prior article of mine, where that two-word phrase linked to Julian Assange’s personal account of the matter — the Obama Administration’s early planning-stage for the coup in Ukraine — that explains how those “pro-EU demonstrations” had been engineered by Obama’s agents. So: everything in that paragraph by Brill’s employee was fully documented in my links — which that person didn’t care to check.]
However, there is no evidence that the 2014 Maidan revolution in Ukraine that led to the ouster of then-president Viktor Yanukovych was a coup orchestrated by the United States. … Angry protesters demanded Yanukovych’s immediate resignation, and hundreds of police officers guarding government buildings abandoned their posts. Yanukovych fled the same day the agreement was signed, and protesters took control of several government buildings the next day. The Ukrainian parliament then voted 328-0 to remove Yanukovych from office and scheduled early presidential elections the following May, the BBC reported. These events, often collectively referred to as the “Maidan revolution,” were extensively covered by international media organizations with correspondents in Ukraine, including the BBC, the Associated Press, and The New York Times.
Could you please comment on why [the article] repeated this false claim, despite evidence to the contrary?
A March 2022 article titled “Who actually CAUSED this war in Ukraine?” states that “Russia had done everything it could to avoid needing to invade Ukraine in order to disempower the nazis who have been running the country ever since Obama’s 2014 coup placed it into the hands of rabidly anti-Russian racist-fascists there.”
In fact, Nazis are not running Ukraine. … Svoboda won 2.2 percent of the vote. Svoboda currently holds one parliamentary seat.
[Though that is true — Svoboda reflected the views of only very few Ukrainians — it is irrelevant to my article’s assertion that some of Ukraine’s nazi leaders have publicly stated that if Ukraine’s President Volodmyr Zelensky will reach any agreement with Russia, he will be killed by them. Furthermore, my articles linked to uncontested evidence that the Obama Administration had organized the 2014 coup in Ukraine with leaders of Ukraine’s nazi organizations, such as Andriy Parubiy and Dmitriy Yarosh, running the operation at the Maidan Square in Kiev, and that the top national security offices in the U.S.-installed new Ukrainian government were filled with their supporters.]
In February 2022, U.S. news site the Jewish Journal published a statement signed by 300 scholars of the Holocaust, Nazism and World War II, which said that “the equation of the Ukrainian state with the Nazi regime” is “factually wrong, morally repugnant and deeply offensive to the memory of millions of victims of Nazism and those who courageously fought against it.” Additionally, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who is Jewish, addressed the Russian public in a Feb. 24, 2022, speech, saying that these claims do not reflect the “real” Ukraine. “You are told we are Nazis. But could people who lost more than 8 million lives in the battle against Nazism support Nazism?
Could you please comment on why [my article] repeated this false claim [that “the nazis who have been running the country ever since Obama’s 2014 coup placed it into the hands of rabidly anti-Russian racist-fascists there”], despite evidence to the contrary?
[NewsGuard offered zero evidence to the contrary: nothing to back any of its assertions. Yet again, Mr. Brill’s employee simply ignored my evidence — failed even to click onto my links whenever he disagreed with an allegation that had a link. Here was my published assertion, as it was published: “Russia had done everything it could to avoid needing to invade Ukraine in order to disempower the nazis who have been running the country ever since Obama’s 2014 coup placed it into the hands of rabidly anti-Russian racist-fascists there.” The evidence is right there, just a click away, but Mr. Brill’s employee again wasn’t interested in seeing the evidence. (Nor was Brill himself.)]
An April 2022 article titled “Authentic War-Reporting From Ukraine,” promotes a video report by pro-Kremlin journalist, Patrick Lancaster, filmed in the Eastern Donbas region of Ukraine. The article asserts that Ukraine was “constantly shelling into that region in order to kill and/or compell to flee anybody who lived in that region […] It was an ethnic cleansing in order to get rid of enough of those residents so that, if ever that area would again become integrated into Ukraine and its remaining residents would therefore be voting again in Ukrainian national elections, the U.S.-installed nazi Ukrainian regime will ‘democratically’ be able to continue to rule in Ukraine.” (The article also repeats the claim that the 2014 revolution was a US-backed coup, and makes the unverified claim that “The CIA has instructed all of Ukraine’s nazis (or racist-fascists) to suppress their anti-Semitism and White Supremacy until after Ukraine has become admitted into NATO.”)
The claim that Ukraine conducted an “ethnic cleansing” in the Donbas echoes a falsehood propagated by the Russian government for years. There is no evidence supporting the claim that genocide occurred in Ukraine’s eastern region of Donbas. The International Criminal Court, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe have all said they have found no evidence of genocide in Donbas. The U.S. mission to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe called the genocide claim a “reprehensible falsehood” in a Feb. 16, 2022 post on its official Twitter account. It said that the mission “has complete access to the government-controlled areas of Ukraine and HAS NEVER reported anything remotely resembling Russia’s claims.”
Could you please comment on why [the site] repeated this false claim, despite evidence to the contrary?
[No ‘evidence to the contrary’ was identified by the Brill shill (who was unnamed). Yet again, Mr. Brill’s employee relied upon people’s opinions — but ONLY ones who agree with his — instead of any evidence at all. Here, on behalf of myself, and of what the news-site had been before it removed me, and of Patrick Lancaster (INSTEAD OF on behalf of Lockheed Martin and the other U.S.-and-allied international-corporate entities that are profiting from this war), are nine news-reports linking to actual evidence which disproves those opinions that NewsGuard takes without evidence to be true:
“Mortar shelling in Kramatorsk. Nazis attacking city district.” 18 May 2014
“Ukraine crisis: ‘Those fascists killed this girl and they will be in hell’” 5 May 2014
“Ukraine Crisis: Kiev’s Slovyansk ‘Anti-Terrorist Operation’ Kills 300 Pro-Russian Separatists” 4 June 2014
“Luhansk. After Air Strike. Part 4 (of 6)” 2 June 2014
“AP’s Matt Lee challenges White House’s lies on Ukraine” 7 July 2014
“Obama Definitely Caused the Malaysian Airliner to Be Downed” 18 July 2014
“How Our People Do Their Extermination-Jobs In Ukraine” 23 October 2014
“What Obama’s Ukrainian Stooges Did” 10 October 2014
“Brookings Wants More Villages Firebombed in Ukraine’s ‘Anti Terrorist Operation’” 3 February 2015]
[My final reply to the news-site’s decision to remove me in order to retain NewsGuard’s approval, was:
As regards myself, I am with Chris Hedges (who quit the N.Y. Times over this) and with Consortium News (which is standing up against the same pressure that you are caving to), in order to have any hope that the future might possibly be better than the present.
Someone has asked me why the site’s owner removed all of the articles of mine that he had published from me, and I answered: He wants to sell his site. His top concern now is how much he’ll get for it. I didn’t at the time, know that it was his top concern, but after he zapped all of the hundreds of articles that he had published from me — most of which were among the top three at any given time in the page-views-per-article ranking there (and his site has over a hundred authors) — I knew it. At first, I had expected him to remove ONLY the specific articles that Brill’s shill had singled-out for criticism. (Brill’s shill didn’t tell him what to do, or what consequences might follow if the owner didn’t. Only the criticisms were presented.) But when the owner removed ALL of my articles there, I recognized that this had been his TOP concern. The threat by Brill’s shill wasn’t specific as to precisely what was being demanded in order NOT to downgrade the site; but, I suppose that the site’s owner figured that the ONLY way his site would NOT be downgraded would be if he removed me altogether. I had long been expecting this to happen, because his site was the ONLY remaining publisher of my articles whose site would come up directly in a Google-search for a recently published article of mine. All of the other sites that still publish me, such as this one, fail to show in a Google search for the article’s headline (or for a phrase in the article). Now, generally, when I do a search to find which sites have published an article that I had submitted, none of its publishers comes up directly. So, I have to find them other ways now.]
The entire industry that has sprung up — such as the algorithms of Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc., and the news-site rating organizations such as NewsGuard, and such as the ‘news’-organizations such as G-Squared Interactive that is a PR agency for such scam-operations — all are branches of, extensions from, the U.S.-and-allied Deep State (the billionaires who benefit from deceiving the public in this way), and, therefore, any news-consumer who relies upon them, at all, will only become further reinforced in whatever falsehoods they already believe, instead of to become disabused of those false beliefs, and so to become empowered to know and understand the truth (notwithstanding any prejudices that the person might still happen to have).
Whereas some ‘news’-sites are from liberal billionaires, while others are from conservative billionaires, there are many truths that all billionaires (their fronts) hide from the public, and, so, any intelligent news-consumer will distrust all news-sites, and will make up one’s own mind on the basis of what’s shown by the links that are in a given article — NOT on the basis of whatever SITE is making it public.
At the same time when News Guard was threatening that site, another site, Consortium News, was likewise being threatened by Brill’s shills. On December 29th, Consortium News headlined “On the Influence of Neo-Nazism in Ukraine: A short history of neo-Nazism in Ukraine in response to NewsGuard’s charge that Consortium News published false content about its extent”. That, too, is an excellent example of censors killing truths and leaving only lies. However, mega-corporate America has a number of such ‘fact-checking’ truth-destroying organizations: New Guard is only one of them.
The owner of the news-site that removed all my articles, the person who made the decision to remove them, personally told me, “I worked really hard these 10 years for [the site] and still can’t monetize it to support the expenses and me of course. Also I am tired and I am thinking about the possibility to find a buyer.” Apparently, he believed that a high rating by NewsGuard would do more for him than having many readers would. Furthermore: maybe if his site became downgraded by NewsGuard his site would have fewer readers. Perhaps he did what he had to do in order to be able to recoup something from his investment. If so, then apparently what he did worked, because his site still is not downgraded by NewsGuard, and Google still continues including his site in its search-finds, and his site still gets page-one placement in Web-searches for its articles. Perhaps the ratings by NewsGuard are among the factors that are included in Google’s algorithms. I can only guess on that, but I now would guess that they are.
Please pass this article around to everyone you know, because virtually all of the few news-sites that still publish my articles are banned (such as by Google’s algorithms) or downgraded (such as by NewsGuard) for doing so, and it takes real courage and commitment to the truth — and to its own audience — for any news-site to continue publishing me. (There are only about a half-dozen that still do, all tiny, down from nearly four dozen, some quite large, back in 2014.)