The Problem Of Fake News

For the past few days I’ve been considering two events that happened almost simultaneously, on 1 October 2017: the Las Vegas shooting and the Catalan referendum. I’m now wondering whether both of them were fake news events, and didn’t happen.

With the Catalan referendum came reports of heavy-handed treatment by the Spanish Civil Guard of people attempting to vote, with some 900 people being injured. This is the news that has been going all round the world.

But yesterday, in a comment, long time Spanish reader and commenter Lecroix wrote:

Most of what you see in the news is a LIE. There’s been no “abuse”, there are no “900 injured”. I’m flabbergasted that after all these years of you learning to distrust the media, you are now swallowing what they dole out, in favor of the NWO.

So he thinks that the heavy-handed treatment didn’t happen, and 900 people weren’t injured.

And late yesterday I turned up another Spaniard – one of Spain’s smoking campaigners -, saying much the same thing. Here’s the Google translation of the first part of his long comment:

Once it is known that the gross manipulation of the Generalitat has led the world to believe that on Sunday there was police repression, it is necessary to make a real balance of the wounded: two hospitalized (a rubber ball and a heart attack to a Mr. Yayo whose relatives used human shield) and 300 attended in the street for various reasons, including anxiety attacks, intoxication, bruises and blows as well,…

So that’s two trustworthy Spaniards who don’t believe what’s being reported around the world about events in Catalonia last Sunday in reports like this:

In scenes one would expect to see in Turkey, or some token third-world dictatorship, on Sunday morning Spanish riot police violently cracked down on the scheduled Catalan independence referendum, smashing their way into polling stations in Catalonia in a dramatic quest to shut down the banned Catalan independence referendum, as they fired rubber bullets and brutally beat peaceful people trying to vote for or against independence from a Spanish government, which many commentators this morning have called “fascist.”

But this isn’t the only example I’ve encountered this week of fundamental disagreement over matters of fact – over what actually happened.

The other one took place on Infowars.com on 4 October, during a broadcast phone conversation between Infowars host David Knight and frequent guest Steve Pieczenik, during which Pieczenik said that the Las Vegas shootings were a “false flag” event, and there had been no shooting at all, and nobody had been killed. Davis Knight was incredulous about this.

The segment is here, at 1:57:06 (h:m:s) in. A partial transcript:

SP: “…yesterday in Las Vegas, a complete false flag. It was absolute nonsense… no-one was killed, there was no shooting… There was no death, no killings, no shooter. Absolutely nothing.”

DK: “Wait a minute. Are you saying that there was nobody killed in Las Vegas?”

SP: “No, Nobody. Nothing. It was basically a total false flag…”

DK: “…I’ve talked to a lot of people who were there… We’ve had a lot of eye witnesses saying that people were killed, and that they were there on the ground… Are you saying that all those people were in on a conspiracy? I don’t understand what you’re saying that nobody died. I don’t believe that nobody died.”

That’s another profound disagreement over what actually happened.

I’m not going to try to sort out what the truth of the matter about either Barcelona or Las Vegas. I don’t know how to. We’re in a situation where we can no longer trust the mainstream media. And maybe they have been telling lies about both events.

How can one find out the truth?

I used to know people in Barcelona, and in the past I would have been able to contact them and ask them what they’d seen or heard.

That’s one way. In fact what’s maybe needed is a global network of ordinary people – not paid reporters or editors – who can be contacted to report on events that are supposed to be taking place. A sort of citizens’ news network, quite independent of the mainstream media.

Another way to check the veracity of news stories is to use Google maps street view to find out where video footage is being shot from, and maybe also when it’s being shot. I’ve done this sort of thing several times, for example with the Bataclan massacre

I was also thinking that we could maybe do with publicly-accessible spy satellites that can be directed to fix their attention on any spot in the world, and beam back detailed pictures of what’s happening there right this minute. That might seem futuristic, but it’s most likely a future that will arrive in a few years time.

We are already entering a world in which more or less everybody will have a mobile phone which can record sound and vision, and stream it onto the web. In that world there are coming to be huge amounts of information available. And it’s going to be a world in which it’s going to get harder and harder for news to be manufactured.

Unfortunately we’re not quite there yet. Most of our news is still being filtered through a few news organisations which have (or whose proprietors have) their own special agendas that they wish to advance.

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About Frank Davis

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31 Responses to The Problem Of Fake News

  1. nisakiman says:

    I can see how perhaps the footage from Spain could be manipulated, but the Las Vegas one is more difficult to explain as an imaginary false-flag operation. I find it hard to believe that fifty odd deaths could be conjured up out of thin air without people noticing that there weren’t actually any dead bodies. Especially in the centre of Las Vegas at an open-air concert. That is stretching credulity somewhat.

  2. Rose says:

    OT

    It seems that old tobacco baskets are the latest in home decor, I’ve just taken a look and there seem to be lots of them on sale,

    Vintage Tobacco Baskets

    “I’m noticing these more and more in some of my favorite designers’ rooms. These large, primitive baskets work well over a bed, a living room sofa or an entryway console. They have an open weave that lets the wall’s color show through and even adds a subtle X shape. Tobacco baskets in imperfect, tattered condition are even more desirable than those that are pristine.”
    http://poststar.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/vintage-tobacco-baskets/article_8182da26-3afc-57ee-b139-0fa72b6c5976.html

    Who would have thought it.

    • nisakiman says:

      Blimey, Rose, what about all that deadly tobacco residue? From what we’re told, it has a half-life greater than that of plutonium, which (I just Googled it) has a half-life of 24,100 years. And the children! What about the children? Ye Gods, these people are child abusers, hanging those highly toxic relics where children might get within 20 feet of them.

      Lord, I’m having palpitations just thinking about it! I think I’ll have to go and have a lie down…

  3. Timbotoo says:

    Four people of the 900 ended up hospitalized in Catalonia, besides the two mentioned, one of them was a granny who slipped without police assistance. I was watching the live feed and could clearly see the provocation the police bore before doing what they had to.
    Then there was a young lady who claimed that police had broken all the fingers on one hand one by one. Turns out she is a representative for one of the separatist parties and can still scratch her arse quite well with that hand.
    Another old lady being hauled off by four police also appears in a photo with Arnaldo Ortegi a member of ETA who was involved in the supermarket bombing in Barcelona(!) and the list goes on.

  4. Tony says:

    I think most live feeds are also recorded. It’s strange that it hasn’t surfaced yet. It also seems odd that the Spanish government would want to be held responsible for police violence if it never happened. Surely they have sufficient clout with the media to get their side across if they want to.

    If independence support in Catalonia was just a small but highly vocal minority then the best solution would’ve been to have held some sort of advisory referendum. Central government could have offered some increase in autonomy rather than full independence in order to stay within the constitution. After all there would have been no danger of their losing the vote. They could have had independent observers to ensure accuracy.

    A substantial majority vote against independence would have put an end to the issue both in Catalonia and in all other provinces. The only rational explanation I can fit to this is that the central government actually wants to create dissatisfaction and unrest. Which seems unlikely. I am merely an outsider though.

  5. waltc says:

    And what in hell would be the reason to (if it were even possible to) fake what happened. In Vegas? Who would benefit? On third thought, maybe only those apologists who like to forward the story that “more mass murders are committed by white Christians than by Muslims.” This would ostensibly help them up the body count but even then, considering the 3000 killed on 9/11, they’d have a tough time topping it. Back to being serious: who would benefit? Or who do the “false flag” conspiricists think would benefit?

    Nice bit on the theme of comeuppance for elites:
    http://stuartschneiderman.blogspot.com/2017/10/the-war-against-elites.html?spref=fb

    On that topic, saw a debate last nite on “is western democracy committing suicide?” The premise seemed to have been based on the notion that Trump and Brexit were suicidal votes and marked the failure and doom of democracy. BOTH sides seemed to agree that they were wrong, destructive votes, just disagreed that they marked the end of the world. IOW, the elite consensus is that the only valid form of democracy is one that produces the results they want. They defend democracy by sneering at it, and when one debater mildly suggested that there were rational reasons to vote for Brexit, that it was actually a vote FOR democracy against unaccountable bureaucracy/technocracy, the notion was airily dismissed, and the anti-Trump, anti-Brexit NYC audience voted overwhelmingly for the doomsayers.

    • Frank Davis says:

      And what in hell would be the reason to (if it were even possible to) fake what happened. In Vegas?

      Perhaps for Dems to blame it all on an old white man?

    • Joe L. says:

      Who would benefit? On third thought, maybe only those apologists who like to forward the story that “more mass murders are committed by white Christians than by Muslims.”

      Possibly, or maybe the “Powers That Be”/”Deep State” have noticed a significant increase in distrust of government among the population as of late, so they want reasons to take more weapons out of the hands of citizens before any sort of organized rebellion can form.

      I’m sure there are hundreds of other possible reasons to create a false flag operation of this nature, many of which we might not even be privy to.

      Just think about all of the Antismoking propaganda, which is basically a sustained, ongoing false flag operation. Countless people, both smokers and nonsmokers, never question the lies because they don’t realize who would possibly benefit from it.

  6. Dmitri says:

    Oh, Frank, you thought I’d be surprised by all that? I do it all my life – checking facts, that is. I talked to some Chinese about what happened in Tiananmen square (and they were there), and they gave me a picture drastically different from what “everyone” knows, a picture much more complicated, scary and ugly, like with “democracy fighters” daily poking soldiers with iron rods in their faces, knowing quite well that the soldiers had orders not to respond. And that, too, was the truth. I was in Timor in 1999, and saw a picture totally opposite to what “everybody” believed, with locals asking soldiers for weapons, if they could not defend Timoreans from the monsters who now own that place. I was in Crimea in early summer of 2014, talking to smugglers who were providing weapons to future local resistance to the anticipated Ukrainian clampdown, and “everyone” thought that 90% of the locals could not vote for re-joining Russia (but they did)…
    What I learned from all that is that there is always the real truth somewhere… or several parallel truths… and you know, finding even shreds of the truth is FUN. That’s how I got myself into investigating the anti-smoking campaign. If you know how to check facts, if you know how the ugly people lie (not so many ways to do it), and when you find facts contradicting what “everyone knows” – it’s real, real fun.

    • Rose says:

      It certainly is, Dmitri

      Investigating Anti-Tobacco turned out to be the best “who-dunnit” I ever read. It’s kept me wonderfully occupied for the past ten years.

    • Frank Davis says:

      I talked to some Chinese about what happened in Tiananmen square (and they were there), and they gave me a picture drastically different from what “everyone” knows, a picture much more complicated, scary and ugly

      Theirs was another picture. But was it the true picture? Probably everybody in Tianenmen had a slightly different picture.

      Are the people nearest to an event the best reporters of it? One person says that it got very dark. Another says that it got quite dark. Another says that the air was impossible to breathe. Another that the air was hot. Another that there were rocks raining down. It takes somebody seeing the event from further away to see the full picture: a volcano had erupted, filling the sky with clouds of ash, filled with falling lumps of hot rocks. Like Pliny on the other side of the bay of Naples during the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD.

  7. Joe L. says:

    It’s important to note that a “false flag” operation does not necessarily imply that there were zero deaths. There could still be 58 real deaths, or maybe there were only 5. I don’t know; I wasn’t there, and I don’t personally know anybody who was.

    Too many people get wrapped up in the assumption that a “false flag” must be 100% fictional. This misconception is commonly used to discredit those skeptical of official narratives as “whackjob conspiracy theorists.”

    According to Wikipedia:

    The contemporary term false flag describes covert operations that are designed to deceive in such a way that activities appear as though they are being carried out by individual entities, groups, or nations other than those who actually planned and executed them.

  8. Darryl says:

    Whenever I see mass shootings or terrorist attacks these words of George Orwell always come to mind,
    “The rocket bombs which fell daily on London were probably fired by the Government of Oceania itself, ‘just to keep people frightened.’” – 1984

    It must be remembered that the first job of any conspiracy, whether it be in politics, crime or within a business office, is to convince everyone else that no conspiracy exists. The conspirators’ success will be determined largely by their ability to do this.
    – Gary Allen

  9. jaxthefirst says:

    I don’t doubt for a second that there is indeed a great deal of fake news around, designed to make everyone think in a certain way and form (or maintain) certain opinions, usually in favour of “the establishment” or the NWO, or the lefty-leaners, or the SJWs, or whatever people like to call those who are (or want to be) “in charge” of the rest of us. However, I would have thought that in the Spanish example it would benefit those very same people to cover up any rough treatment by the police, not to present it as it was presented – as a heavy-handed State force openly attacking people who just wanted to place a vote on something. I’m perfectly happy to believe that that wasn’t the real story, but surely the main aim of the fake news pumped out regularly these days is to give the impression of a happy populace who are absolutely tickety-boo with being controlled and bossed around by their “betters” and who are just waiting to be given their next instructions about how to live, how to behave and how to think. It would be more in line with most reporting these days to give virtually no coverage to the Catalan referendum at all (don’t want to give any other independently-inclined states ideas, do we?) – so why the change of tack this time around?

    • Rose says:

      As an example to others?

    • Frank Davis says:

      I would have thought that in the Spanish example it would benefit those very same people to cover up any rough treatment by the police, not to present it as it was presented – as a heavy-handed State force openly attacking people who just wanted to place a vote on something.

      And conversely one would think that it would benefit those people who want Catalonia to secede from Spain to advertise the rough treatment of Catalans by the police, and thereby highlight the need for independence – even if the “rough treatment” only came when one of the Spanish Civil Guard accidentally trod on somebody’s foot..

  10. As regards conspiracy theories, the best way to separate the wheat from the chaff in my book would be the concept of “generalized secrecy”. That is where the ordinary conspiracy theory mindset, relying on maximum secrecy (i.e. the least possible number or people being in the know, the better) proves unable to account for massive deceptions such as the worlwide anti-smoking scare.
    Who’s really behind the (alleged) Las Vegas shootings is piddling and practically irrelevant, as compared to who’s behind the anti-smoking prejudice and its attendant global regulatory madness. This generalized secrecy template is already leading to an effective abolition of personal secrecy (aka privacy), since smoking tobacco has been declared illicit not only in most ‘public’ spaces in the West but also in many privately-owned settings therein. Could it be that smoking tobacco already has become the new ‘unmentionable’? Orwell himself couldn’t have been able to pinpoint that one, given that he died before the modern anti-smoking madness (with the exception of early ’40s Nazi Germany) gained real traction.
    According to the ANTZ, the all-time master-conspirators are the actors involved in so-called Big Tobacco! Properly applied, the ‘generalized secrecy’ theory gives them away as the chief impostors/conspirators of our (despicable) times.

    • Rose says:

      SFB
      The tobacco companies do have a big secret, they rely on the plant chemistry of tobacco continuing to be mysterious or else their massively-over taxed cigarettes wouldn’t sell,l if the public ever got to know about a very cheap alternative, that’s been known by the medical profession since 1912, the market for tobacco would collapse.
      Anti-tobacco rely on that mysterious chemical Nicotine to keep the doubt and fear going and give them the power to influence government thus causing suffering, guilt and poverty to those that defy them.
      Government is resolutely incurious to keep those ever growing taxes flowing.
      Pharma produces patented products strictly in line with the ideology that have an incredible failure rate to ensure repeat sales.
      Generations of scientists can’t be that stupid.

      “Professor Sir Ronald Fisher, late of Cambridge University, “The theory will eventually be regarded as a catastrophic and conspicuous howler.”
      https://www.industrydocumentslibrary.ucsf.edu/docs/#id=gmpy0081

      Yes, but in this instance not quite in the way he meant.

  11. Rose says:

    Talking of Fake News.

    Dear friends from outside the UK, is this true?

    Overseas BBC visitors left OUTRAGED as website bombards with anti-Brexit polls
    Oct 8, 2017
    “OVERSEAS visitors to the BBC website are being bombarded with adverts from a campaign to reverse Brexit.”
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/863597/Overseas-BBC-website-visitors-anti-Brexit-polls-campaign

    • Vlad says:

      The site (in this case bbc.com) doesn’t control that type of ads. It has to do with the browsing history of that particular individual.

    • nisakiman says:

      bbc.com/news/world is my homepage, and I don’t get any ads at all. But then I have uBlock installed, which tells me that it’s blocking 11 ads on that page. Which is less than here on Frank’s page, where it tells me it’s blocking 14 ads. (I’m guessing that WordPress is selling the space, but I don’t know for sure. Whatever, I don’t see any ads here at all.)

      I used to use AdBlock plus, but that doesn’t have anti-anti-adware (that is, some sites detect AdBlock and refuse to let you view the site unless you disable the adblocker), whereas uBlock can fool most sites into thinking you aren’t running an ad blocker. Not all sites, but most. Also, when I was researching adblockers I discovered that AdBlock plus sell whitelisting to companies, and let their ads through. Sneaky, eh?

      • Frank Davis says:

        on Frank’s page, where it tells me it’s blocking 14 ads.

        Those must be my Scriblerus, SDB, ISIS, Pepsi, Pfizer, and Pall Mall “ads”. There are about 14 of them.

        • nisakiman says:

          No, I’ve got all those in the sidebar. I’m not sure what they might be. I’ll have to disable it and see.

          Off topic, but I just picked up on this on the BBC page:

          Assaults on mental health staff up 25% in four years

          http://www.bbc.com/news/health-41514011

          Odd that. What with the prison riots as well, one could be forgiven for thinking that there may be a common factor in there somewhere…

  12. kin_free says:

    Whenever I come across situations such as these recent ones (which appear to be more frequent nowadays), that have me scratching my head trying to rationalise them or explain why, I keep coming back to Cultural Marxism / Critical theory / Political correctness; Frankfurt school; Gramsci; Horkheimer; Marcuse, etc. Sometimes this provides the only rational explanation that seems to makes any sense at all. I’m sure most on here will have heard of this, but if not, there is plenty to be found on You Tube etc just by googling those terms. Here is one basic explanation;

    https://billmuehlenberg.com/2009/05/11/the-frankfurt-school-and-the-war-on-the-west/

    A central tenet of cultural marxism is simply to create confusion, undermine cultural and individual values, and de-stabilise society, in any way possible, so people begin to doubt their long held values and beliefs in what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. ‘We will make the West so corrupt that it stinks’.

    It appears to be working.

    While the Frankfurt school etc. has been well documented, claims of ‘conspiracy theory’ abound within left wing circles but this tends to raise my suspicions that there is indeed something in this. This is a common response from such as the anti-smoker industry, it is one of the main tactics to discredit any number of commentators who question their belief system whom they label as tin-foil hatters, fruit and nut cases etc. William T Whitby ( that Rose links to above), received high levels of such treatment and labelling from anti-smoker nutters, when he wrote his book. Many others have too. This also works very well to silence any opposition.

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