Theater of Cruelty

Fake news, a brain dead concept

The Internet has created information channels that are not controlled by the banks and the weapons industry. Now, however, the war is starting to clog these breathing holes.


Any general who is worth his salt knows that you do not win a war using weapons alone. You also have to win the war on the story. This has been the case since time immemorial. Since the media in modern times play so much greater role in the formation of opinion, they have become so much more important to the warriors as well.

Boomerang effect. After Hillary Clinton lost the election in the United States, there has been great fuss about the term fake news  The Democrats accused Russia of spreading fake news about Hillary Clinton, and that was why she lost. It turned out that it was this claim fake news, and Clinton lost to his own grip. She lost because she was very unpopular – and perhaps also because her own actions and words reflected on her self.

The mainstream media lost control of the stories and news stream. This created panic in the political and economic elite. Then they grabbed the memo "fake news".

No absolute truth. Of course, there is fake news. Fake news has always been in circulation. And mainstream media has even been its biggest spreader. Take the episode in the Gulf of Tonkin, where the CIA staged a Vietnamese attack on a US warship to launch the Vietnam War. Or the incubators in Kuwait, where Iraqi forces must have torn infants out of their incubators and left them to die; or Saddam Hussein's "weapons of mass destruction" and Gaddafi's alleged attempted genocide.

The problem of such propaganda, however, cannot be solved with prohibition and censorship, which will mean the much more dangerous idea that there should be some form of absolute truth and that it should be managed by a state or state-private censorship body.

Just before he stepped down, Barack Obama made sure that he passed a law making the fight against so-called fake news to a national security issue for the United States. The law authorizes the president to create a global center of action to “direct, synchronize, and coordinate the efforts of the federal government to detect, understand, reveal, and fight back against foreign states and non-state attempts at propaganda and disinformation directed against undermining US national security interests. " The United States will use money and pressure to "raise grants or enter into contracts for financial support for civil society groups, content providers for the media, non-governmental organizations, government-funded research and development centers, private companies or academic institutions". And when the whistle blows in Washington, naturally, the dressed rabbits begin to jump.

Paradox. We saw this, among other things, at Høyre's national meeting. Media political spokesman in the party Kårstein Eidem Løvaas tells Dagbladet that Høyre will create a government-funded fund for Norwegian-produced digging journalism. The reason he gives is that he is frightened by the degree of "rumors and fake news" in the US election campaign. Just taste the term: a state fund for digging journalism (!). This is not something the Right has ever invented.

Fake news has always been in circulation. And mainstream media has even been its biggest spreader.

As little as they have sucked it from their own breast, those who have promoted the law now under consideration in the Italian parliament. For regular reporting of "fake news", a fine of € 5000 can be fined, while "hate campaigns against individuals" or cases "aimed at undermining the democratic process" can result in € 10 in punishment. News that could "cause public fear" or "damage public interests" could be punished by "no less than two years in prison".

The same thing happens in Denmark. On January 12, 2017, the Danish Ministry of Justice presented a draft hearing on a new law on the blocking of websites.

NATO and the EU have also agreed to strengthen cooperation against all misinformation spread on the web and in the media.

Just taste the term: a state fund for digging journalism.

Norway's contribution. Then came the trip to Norway. Dagbladet, NRK and VG create the Institution Actual, which is supposed to fight and reveal "fake news" and counteract misinformation, whether it is intentional or unintentional, by fact checking the public word exchange.

They will distribute diplomas to "true" and "false" information. Something tells me we've seen this before. In fact, according to the editor in charge of the project, Dagbladets Kristoffer Egeberg «fact check the political word change. We will also check the media. We are going to fact-check allegations, posts and cases in social media, especially the posts and cases that are trending. We are going to fact-check debates and comments that get a lot of attention ».

Have the three media institutions created to check themselves? What do your journalists do in case of daily?

Actually unfree. Is it true that the big media are telling the truth just because they are run by an editor? Is not it actual so that all these three media systematically spread the lies that led to the destruction of Libya in 2011? Were they not all good for America's false claims about Saddam Hussein's alleged weapons of mass destruction?

Egeberg says that Actually should work independently – but the initiative is anything but just that: It came from the United States, and has been followed by NATO, the EU and European states.

None of what comes from the three media houses and the management of Actual, has been invented by them themselves. Egeberg says to VG:

"The project, in addition to the Weather Varsom Poster and the Poster Poster, must also comply with the international Fact-Checkers Code of Principles."

Fact Check: What is the "Fact-Checkers Code of Principles"? The full name is "Poynter's International Fact-Checking Code of Principles". Poynter even says they are funded by, among others, the world's richest married couple Bill and Melinda Gates, the world's most powerful opinion controller Google, the CIA organization NED and the George Soros Open Society Foundation.

What happened? It is now six years since Norway went to war with Libya. During these years I have tried unsuccessfully to find out who decided on the bombing, what was the wording of the decision and what kind of documentation was used. What is certain is that the decision was not made at the government meeting just a few hours before the decision was made. In other words, I have an assignment for Egeberg and his fact-checkers.

On 3 April, the Norwegian Media Authority published an investigation into "false news".
One of the questions in the survey is what you do when you come across a news that you suspect is untrue. The largest proportion state that they do nothing (37 percent), while about one in three state that they investigate the news more closely via web search. Facebook is cited as the most frequent source of suspicion fake (62 percent), while 21 percent state traditional media. Twenty-three percent of the population say that they once or more shared a news that they later found to be false, while 23 percent shared a news they knew or believed was false.
Pål Steigan
Pål Steigan
Steigan has its own blog on

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