The Propaganda Game

The politics and Propaganda of Professor Stephen Cohen

It has been a year now since the Euromaidan protests helped bring down the government over corruption charges. Despite calls for unity, Ukraine quickly dissolved into a low level conflict with high level international stakes. Tragic as it may be, with (though likely under-reported) nearly 5400 deaths, according to the United Nations, that still makes Ukraine’s 45.5 million people far s safer than the United States with more than 17,000 homicides. By scale it certainly isn’t close to the nearly 200 thousand killed in Bosnia, 50,000 killed on all sides during the Kosovo conflict. In fact, it is nominally worse than the 1000 or so killed in the short-lived Russo-Georgian conflict of 2008-09. What Ukraine is, instead is a crime, a fact concealed deftly by propagandists such as the pro-Russian apologist Professor Stephen Cohen.

In my book, “A Tragic Fate: Politics, Oil, the crash of Malaysia Flight 17 and the Looming Threats to Civil Aviation,” (2015) I detail the superpower race for control of strategic oil and gas reserves, driven by short-sighted economic imperatives. In the United States and Russia, both government officials and their respective media concealed or misrepresented from the beginning the true nature of the Ukrainian crime. While the Right in this country is blinded jingoistic rhetoric and partisan disdain for Barack Obama, the Left has been fooled into assumptions of a Nazi-led government in Kiev, conspiracy tales around the downing of MH-17 in July, as well as historic and ethnic paradigms driving the conflict. Chief among those propagandists duping the Left is Princeton Professor Stephen Cohen.

Cohen is a contributor to the nation and virtually the only guest regarding Ukraine and Russia on the Thom Hartmann Show and Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now. This morning Chen brushed past the issue of US and Russian complicity in the Ukraine crisis over their mutual competition for oil and gas reserves, coincidentally located precisely where the fighting is occurring, and instead laid out the historical and ethnic argument for Russia’s intervention and interest in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine. “A Tragic Fate,” shows that the historic and ethnic argument is in fact an excuse, a distraction to hide the real crime. Certainly, as an elite academic, Cohen, a frequent guest on RT (Russia Today), Moscow’s version of FOX, with ties to Russian President Putin, has at the very least access to the same sources sighted in “A Tragic Fate.”

The characterization of conflicts in Ethnic and historical false narratives contributed to the Nazi excuse for invading neighbors under the ruse of protecting ethnic Germans, or in reclaiming territory. It is a fundamental propaganda tool in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and characterizes ever genocide in history. In Bosnia and Kosovo propagandists on all sides frequently explained or excused war crimes in terms of historical and ethnic narratives. An often and all too lazy foreign press, particularly in the West, are all too happy to accept those narratives because, as I was told by a well-known local network journalist at the height of the Bosnian conflict, it fits with a simple good guy-bad guy story that is easy to report.

That laziness and ignorance is not as simple and innocent as it may seem. Behind the scenes propagandists connected to or loyal to the parties of a conflict, as well as a myriad of public and private voices with their own interests are vying for the public’s attention. The press, which in between the weekend weather report and what to shop for and where, slips in those carefully crafted headlines, selling you cartoonish good guy-bad guys stories. Ukraine is no different, and it seems that the Prof. Cohen is in the business of selling; it appears that the Leftwing media is buying. As for the Rightwing media, they just believe the world is one big tribal football game.


Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.
CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. His new book “Shoot Down: is an unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com


The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting.[4] Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.

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The Messaging Game

We like to complain about the corporate media, but too few of us support independent media. Across the internet, low power AM and FM stations, cable access and in publishing a great many have risen to take up the challenge first heralded more than 40 years ago by Gil Scott Herron’s “The Revolution will not be televised,” and reinvigorated by the Occupy Movement.

There are reasons for that. The high profile so-called Progressive media sources, like Al Gore, NPR, MSNBC and others on an all too short list have either betrayed true progressives and liberals, or attempted to co-opt them altogether for nakedly partisan purposes. Discontent among young voters who flocked to groups like Occupy, or environmental groups, or the I can’t breathe justice rights issue was abandoned or mocked by the democrats, revealing pure political motivations while abandoning the real base of the Progressive and Political movements.

Commentator Thom Hartmann has brought a pale indignation, and who can sit through another ill-prepared debate he holds with a right winger who reveals Hartmann’s willingness to go to great links in bending to the illusion of “gentlemanly” dialogue. Leslie Marshall couldn’t suck up to right wing propagandist Sean Hannity more in her desire for face time on FOX. Ed Schultz, who during the Madison protests in 2010-11, emerged as possibly challenging the media hegemony of the right is now all but…no, he’s forgotten. Stephanie Miller’s cogent arguments, when she attempts to make one at all largely amounts to her saying “Duh!” MSNBC simply is moving the nation to the right more slowly and under the costume of progressivism. The nominally progressive WCPT recently lost the only environmental show in Chicago, hosted by Mike Nowak, creating a monumental void in an already underrepresented segment of the market. NPR and the local Chicago community channel WTTW have all swung decidely to the right, wishing not to confront or run afoul of the right wing, corporate coup in washington DC.

Nowhere in this so-called liberal media are substantive discussions on climate change, race and immigrant justice, XL keystone, Enbridge, net neutrality or the TPP. the abandonment of those issues by the dems, I believe, has driven many from the party.

Hopeless? Not so much. Messaging however requires the involvement of citizens on several fronts. The first is in fighting to protect internet neutrality. It is the last true media still available for the unfettered, unfiltered voice of the people. Second, is to support and engage local, non-corporate and alternative media. Tune in. It is easier than you can imagine now. Access to Q4 radio can be done now from virtually any device. I listen daily in the car from my smart phone. There are others in Chicago as well, creating some of the most interesting, best informed and innovative programming on the air. Or you could listen to the same old boring crap on Chicago radio; all of it careful scripted and crafted to follow editorial dictates by media magnates in bed with one of the two political parties dominating power and money and messaging in America.

Finally, the Left muust learn to message like the right. Here is where we win. Here is the perfect opportunity to be a smart ass, because behind our sarcasm are deep truths and realities. Behind their flimsy bumper sticker lines are veiled ideals of greed and privilage, and a fundamental inhumanity that leaves the poor, the minorities, the elderly and the handicapped depserate, forgotten and abandoned.

They like phrases like Reagan’s smug retort, as he and his administration laid the groundwork for the slow and careful corporate take over of our nation and the theft of its wealth-from the mouths and pockets of the people. “The scriest words in the English language, I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” Hmm, you mean like FEMA, the CDC, Social Security, the FAA, paved roads and safe food?

maybe if we shot back with equal disdain and smarminess, like: “I’m from the government and I’ve been sold to the highest bidder!”

How about, I’m from the corporation and I’m selling you what you once got for your tax dollars.”

Perhaps this, I’m from the corporation and I get paid twice, once in subsidies and also from you!”

Or there’s this: I’m from the mega-church and I’m here to help; please surrender your soul.”

And my favorite: “I’m from the media and I’m the millionaire who speaks for the middle class.”

Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.
CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com


The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting.[4] Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.

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Immigrants and their Ebola will kill all god-fearing Americans! Are you $%#@ing kidding me? A new rant from the FILTHY PUNDIT(He ought to have his mouth washed out) Politics, way over the %$#@ing top!……………….. Immigrants???!!! We are all seriously fucked now. I just turned on FOX news are some talking asshole named Chris Wallace, the suck dick for a job son of Mike Wallace from CBS and 60 minutes did an alarming piece on Ebola, formerly an African disease that turns your insides to a bloody froth before you shit yourself to death. He dove right in an all but connected it with the immigrant kids invading our southern border. Holy shit! Are those kids about to wipe out white fucking America with Ebola bombs. We’re fucked! Our race is fucked!. Too many brown goddamned immigrants, and every one of them leaving their families, swimming through shark infested waters, travelling 3000 fucking miles without shoes and fucking food to trudge across a desert where they could be killed or die a hundred awful fucking ways just to collect Obama’s $900 a month welfare windfall. Brilliant!… How does Chris Wallace wake up in the morning and, how does his dad not blow his fucking smug brat of a piece of shit of a son away for his smiling rape of true journalism? Here’s the deal, and you are thinking all of this too, so shut the fuck up! Immigrants are a pain in the ass. In my neighborhood a lot of them were African goatherders in the desert last week and this week they’re driving a taxi in a major fucking metropolitan area, or the middle easterners drive like they’re still back in fucking Kashmir or Karachi or fucking Bagdad. Ask my wife about the rude as shit Polish, Indian and Bulgarian bitches she has to deal with. All these goddamned foreigners! They’re like that new motherfucker in the office, and you have to show the asshole everything, cuz he’s fucking new (like that should be an excuse) and you fucking don’t have time for that shit. Pick it up on your own or get the fuck out, and you’re shocked when he fucks something up. And you fucking hate that foreign asshole because he comes in spouting all that hate bullshit at lunch about the old country and the war he just survived. Don’t bring your war and hate over here, right, because we’ve got our own hate, all we can handle here, and we fucking don’t need layers of shit. The one dimensional race hate, or those uppity fags trying to get “rights” to love who they want (Selfish fucks!) or the trannies and don’t forget about the women is enough for us! And we don’t need those Muslims over here with their religion of fucking hate and terriorism. We’ve already got that, it’s called corporatized fucking Christianity. Holy shit, we’ve got enough fucking hate to go around. Fuck, we hate each other, other white people and even our fucking selves. And if there is one thing the brown immigrants are going to upset is the magical fucking existence and all the good things us white people are doing to the planet, like global fucking warming, wars for fucking oil, telling women what they can do with their bodies and fucking over blacks and telling them it’s they’re fucking fault, and telling poor people in Detroit who can’t get water to go fuck themselves. And what about our kids? If we take in all these little fucking brown rats, wet backs and taco eaters, how are we going to justify cutting food stamps while paying rich motherfuckers more and more so they can face fuck us and call it a buffet? Top notch, that we give corporations $3 trillion in government subsidies so we can spend another $10 trillion for the cheap shit they shovel at us, but we can’t spend a couple of billion on children and the poor? No, we have to think of the American kids we’re fucking, instead of adding more foreign kids to fuck as well. Besides, we’ve got a proper system of exploitation by American corporations to fuck them in their own country, or to start wars in their homeland and then walk away saying they have to solve those problems on their own. After all, we are not the worlds policemen, which I agree wholeheartedly with by the way. We were once that shining city on a hill, and the sometimes world policeman, but that required that we gave a fuck about something other than sucking our own dick. Now we are the world’s vandal, the ambassadors of shitty plastic culture and corporate bullies. Hell, we might as well tear down that cunt on Staten Island with that bullshit “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” written by some bitch named Emma Lazarus. Sounds fucking communist anyway, and where the fuck was she from? Lazarus? Sounds fucking Jewish or Russian or whatever. Don’t recall those words also read with a visa, if you are white and with three forms of approved ID, or whatever the white or the dumb selfish ignorant motherfuckers this country now produces decides. I thought the words were pretty fucking clear and simple. Should be the “Statue of us against all the scum of the world.” Fuck liberty. Freedom is a bullshit lie if it excludes a single fucking soul in the whole goddamned universe! Tear that bitch down and put up a giant middle finger to truly reflect the values of this new America: FUCK YOU WORLD!

http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/consumer-spending

http://www.howtallisthestatueofliberty.org/what-is-the-quote-on-the-statue-of-liberty/

WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com

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