By Whitney Webb
It seems long gone are the days when the corporate media could label anti-establishment information as a “conspiracy theory” if they wanted their viewers to ignore it. However, with more than half of the US population believing in these so-called “conspiracy theories,” the new moniker of the establishment for information they don’t want you to see has become “fake news.”
Since the election’s “surprise” outcome, the corporate media has railed against their alternative competitors labeling them as “fake” while their own frequently flawed, misleading, and false stories are touted as “real” news. World leaders have now begun calling out “fake news” in a desperate attempt to lend legitimacy to the corporate media, which continues to receive dismal approval ratings from the American public. Out-going US president Barack Obama was the first to speak out against the danger of “misinformation,” though he failed to mention the several instances where he himself lied and spread misinformation to the American public.
Now, the European Union has also effectively declared war on anti-establishment information as a wave of populism threatens the super-state’s survival. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has now joined Obama in speaking out against “fake news,” saying that such “misinformation” was manipulating public opinion on the internet. She also said that the growth of movements critical of her policies had been caused by these “fake” sites, saying “we must confront this phenomenon and if necessary, regulate it.” Merkel also cited “concerns about the stability of our familiar order” for her criticisms of “fake news.” Merkel, whose opposing party is set to make major gains in the next German election, stands to gain much from the censorship of alternative view points.
As Merkel launched Europe’s war against “fake news,” the EU parliament just passed a resolution that calls for the EU to “respond to information warfare,” particularly Russian “propaganda” from alternative news websites like Russia Today (RT) which receive Russian-government funding. RT and Sputnik news agencies were named directly as the most dangerous “tools of Russian propaganda.” The resolution blames Moscow for the rise of populism in Europe, saying that by providing viewpoints that diverge from the corporate media’s narrative it has sought to “incite fear and divide Europe.” Apparently the mishandling of the refugee crisis, the EU’s decision to eliminate the self-determination of certain issues by member nations, or the EU’s move to create an EU super army were no match for “Russian propaganda” in creating widespread disillusionment with the European Union’s current policies.
The resolution also mentioned Russian media organizations alongside terrorist groups such as the Islamic State, which led several MEPs to call the resolution “ridiculous” and as fostering anti-Russian hysteria. As a result of the resolution’s passage, EU member states are expected to “boost financing” for “counter-propaganda projects.” It seems clear that the EU and the rest of the Western establishment has learned nothing from the decline of the corporate media as state-sanctioned propaganda is not having the same effect it used to. It’s about time.
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