(ZeroHedge) While the US public and global markets will be transfixed by the events in Washington today, Trump’s emerging nemesis in the upcoming trade wars, China, has decided to avoid the event altogether. According to the FT, Beijing’s infamous censors have ordered media outlets to mute their reporting of Trump’s inauguration “as the Communist party continues to weigh its response to a new administration that has threatened to tear up the rule book of US-China relations.”
The FT notes that propaganda officials have ordered the press only to use reports on the ceremony written by central state media, according to several Chinese journalists.
“It is forbidden for websites to carry out live streaming or picture reports of the inauguration,” said the censorship instructions highlighted by the Financial Times.
Internet media outlets should not give the event top billing on their homepages, the instructions add, reminding them to “take care of news comments?.?.?.?and negative and harmful speech”. Similar orders are common ahead of big world news events but analysts said in this case they reflected uncertainty in Beijing over how to handle public perceptions of Mr Trump.
Quoted by the FT, Elyse Ribbons, an American who hosts a programme on Chinese state-run radio, said on Twitter on Thursday that she“wasn’t allowed to discuss Trump today on my radio show, he’s now an official sensitive topic”, adding “Chinese leadership still trying to figure him out (sigh).”
While China’s official diplomatic tone in recent weeks has been relatively subdued, in anticipation of whether Trump’s belligerent approach will carryover into his presidency, the local media has been far less contained. As a result, China’s tightly controlled media often portrays Washington as a hostile power attempting to curtail China’s rise. At the same time authorities are struggling to rein in increasingly nationalist voices on the internet.
“Trump is a very different kind of president than Obama. He has a less friendly attitude… he’s unpredictable,” said Zhan Jiang, a professor of international news at Beijing Foreign Studies University. “The government is still working out how to react to him, which is why in this case they are taking very close control of the media for this event.”
Meanwhile, according to early state media reports highlighted the ceremony’s expense, pricing it at more than $100m. The information office of the State Council, China’s cabinet, tweeted in English: “How much does #Trump’s #inauguration cost? The number must be staggering.”
This article first appeared on ZeroHedge.com and was authored by Tyler Durden
In an incredulous comment, CNN President Jeff Zucker told New York Magazine that the network’s “credibility is higher than ever.”
This comes after CNN released a non-vetted report on president-elect Donald Trump suggesting that the Russian government was blackmailing him for financial and personal reasons. That report is now known to be fake, and was allegedly created by an ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele, and then promoted by 4chan.
This resulted in Trump blasting CNN as “Fake News,” and shutting down one of their reporters when he questioned Trump.
“Your organization is terrible… No… I’m not going to give you a question. You are FAKE NEWS!” Trump said.
Hold on, isn’t this the same CNN that has a habit of cutting its feed during confrontational interviews and blaming it on satellite issues?
Isn’t this the same network that tried to pass its own cameraman off as an anti-Trump protester, in order to shape the narrative for Hillary Clinton?
Isn’t this the same network that posted biased polls about Clinton?
The same network whose analyst—Donna Brazile—became the interim DNC chairperson, and then gave debate questions to the Clinton campaign ahead of the debate?
CNN’s credibility is also under high scrutiny by much of the public for its biased coverage and sensational reporting.
Zucker feels differently though, and is living in a fantasy world. It has been eight months since Trump has done an interview with CNN, and Zucker still seemed convinced that the next president would give in to the network once he realizes its impact.
“It doesn’t worry me that Donald Trump hasn’t done an interview with CNN in eight months. One of the things I think this administration hasn’t figured out yet is that there’s only one television network that is seen in Beijing, Moscow, Seoul, Tokyo, Pyongyang, Baghdad, Tehran and Damascus — and that’s CNN. The perception of Donald Trump in capitals around the world is shaped, in many ways, by CNN. Continuing to have an adversarial relationship with that network is a mistake.”
However, it remains to be seen whether Trump will extend press access to CNN, or whether he will give more access to alternative media journalists and bloggers.
CNN was also named the “least trusted network among its viewers” earlier this month. According to a poll from Rasmussen Reports, when viewer were asked if they trust the political news they are getting from the mainstream media networks, 50 percent of Fox views, 43 percent of MSNBC viewers and just 33 percent of CNN viewers said they trust their political news.
(ZeroHedge) Having listened stoically for the past two months to accusations without evidence that Moscow “hacked the US election”, and that Hillary’s loss was indirectly due to Putin’s alleged meddling, which resulted in Obama’s expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats, on Wednesday Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov finally snapped, and lashed out at the ongoing US election scapegoating fiasco, saying that leaders and top officials from the UK, Germany, and France have “grossly interfered” in US internal affairs, “campaigned” for Hillary Clinton, and openly “demonized” Donald Trump.
Unlike US accusations of Russian interference, at least Lavrov’s claim can be substantiated with a simple google search of news event in mid to late 2016.
Speaking during a press conference following a meeting with his Austrian counterpart Sebastian Kurz, Lavrov said his angry outburst was because Moscow “is tired” of accusations it meddled in the US election. In fact, Lavrov said, it is time to “acknowledge the fact” that it was the other way around.
“US allies have grossly interfered in America’s internal affairs, in the election campaign,” Lavrov said, quoted by RT.
“We noticed that Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande, Theresa May, and other European leaders” did so. He added that official representatives of some of the European countries did not mince words, and essentially “demonized” Donald Trump during the election campaign.
Among the more vivid examples, last August German Foreign Minister Frank Walther Steinmeier called Trump a “hate preacher.” Reacting to Trump’s statement that parts of London are ‘no-go areas,’ UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said in December that Trump is “unfit” to be US president. Later on, however, Johnson said that Trump’s presidency might be a “moment of opportunity.”
On the other hand, the Russian government has expressed its willingness to work with the US under Donald Trump, Lavrov said. “Trump says that if the promotion of US national interests would lead to a chance of working with Russia, it would be foolish not to do that.”
“Our approach is the same: where our interests coincide, we should be and are ready to work together with the US as well as the EU and NATO,” the minister stressed.
Over the past year, Russia has been repeatedly accused by Washington of meddling in the US election. In January, the US Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) issued a report allegedly proving Moscow had its fingers in the US election campaign. The public was only provided, however, with a declassified part of the paper, which contained no solid evidence. Trump’s advisor on foreign policy during the campaign, Carter Page said that the paper was “speculative” and served “certain political theories.” The US media, citing CIA sources and unverified reports, even alleged that Moscow tried to aid Trump directly to secure his victory. Trump has rebuffed the allegations, saying it was simply another “excuse” by the Democrats to explain the defeat of Hillary Clinton.
The demonization campaign culminated with last week’s release of a dossier, according to which Russia had “compromising” materials on Trump, suggesting the president-elect is a puppet for the Kremlin.
In response, yesterday Putin warned that he sees attempts in the United States to “delegitimize” Trump using “Maidan-style” methods previously used in Ukraine, and slammed the creators of the Trump report, saying “people who order fakes of the type now circulating against the U.S. president-elect, who concoct them and use them in a political battle, are worse than prostitutes because they don’t have any moral boundaries at all.”
This article first appeared on ZeroHedge.com and was authored by Tyler Durden
Gen. Mercier is France’s Air Force Chief of Staff as well as NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, and says he believes NATO is far too focused on deploying troops abroad, and sending expeditionary forces into various countries, singling out Afghanistan in particular.
Mercier argued that NATO should revamp its anti-terror efforts to focus on helping countries develop their own long-term plans for counter-terrorism operations instead of just deploying NATO troops around the world.
The Supreme Allied Command Transformation (ACT) is meant to focus on future threats, and its express purpose is to modernize parts of NATO that are approaching obsolescence. It is not wholly surprising, then, that the commander would see significant parts of NATO that are obsolete, though the fact that he was willing to public affirm as much right now reflects a major break with the political leadership, which is desperate to present NATO as both relevant and irreplaceable.
This article first appeared on Antiwar.com and was authored by Jason Ditz.
Udo Ulfkotte, a brave, selfless, hero died on Friday at the age of 56. The legacy he leaves behind is one that gives context to today’s geopolitical relations between the United States and Russia.
Ulfkotte was a world-class German journalist, working for a major Germany newspaper, who came out and exposed how the mainstream media lies for the CIA. In an interview with RT in October 2014, Ulfkotte explained the CIA’s practice of manipulation and bribery:
“I’ve been a journalist for about 25 years, and I was educated to lie, to betray, and not to tell the truth to the public. But seeing right now within the last months how the German and American media tries to bring war to the people in Europe, to bring war to Russia — this is a point of no return and I’m going to stand up and say it is not right what I have done in the past, to manipulate people, to make propaganda against Russia, and it is not right what my colleagues do and have done in the past because they are bribed to betray the people, not only in Germany, all over Europe.”
Ulfkotte also revealed that he was forced to publish the work of intelligence agencies under his name, and he was threatened with termination if he did not comply. The main reason he said he came out was because the intelligence agencies were pushing disinformation in order to push for war between Europe and Russia.
Ulfkotte’s death was allegedly the result of a heart attack. However, he was aware the possible repercussions that could come from what he was exposing. In an interview with Russia Insider, he said:
“When I told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Ulfkotte’s newspaper) that I would publish the book, their lawyers sent me a letter threatening with all legal consequences if I would publish any names or secrets—but I don’t mind. You see, I don’t have children to take care of.”
He knew he would face persecution from the state, and he did. Ulfkotte told RT that German prosecutors searched his house on at least six separate occasions.
Similar information was disclosed through the Church Committee Senate hearings that happened in 1975 with Sen. Frank Church leading the way and exposing the fact that the same thing happened in the U.S. with Operation Mockingbird.
This all brings us back to now, where we are seeing intelligence agencies and the mainstream media pushing for war with Russia, and clashing against Trump. Ulfkotte also revealed the fact that there are mainstream media journalists who have been trained as CIA operatives, which is a topic WeAreChange has covered extensively over the years.