Okay, so I am not being honest with this title. But hey, since Harvard does list my blog as a ‘fake news’ source, I might as well indulge, at least once, into some absolutely shameless click baiting and “fake newsing” :-)
Seriously, my friend Steve Lendman wrote an interesting post on his blog about Harvard University’s “guide to fake news”. Check it out, he does a great job explaining it all. Also, it’s not like Harvard University focused on my blog. In fact, their full list is much longer (see here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/10eA5-mCZLSS4MQY5QGb5ewC3VAL6pLkT53V_81ZyitM/).
But yeah, they do list the Saker blog :-)
Make sure to also read their “guide to fake news” right here: http://guides.library.harvard.edu/fake – it is amazing.
What a fall from grace, really. Harvard University, arguably THE symbol of US academia, has now joined such “prestigious” (not) actors like CNN or the BBC in the ideological scramble to discredit free information sources. For somebody like me who studied in US colleges and who got two degrees in the USA, it is really sad.
There used to be a time when US colleges were *really* a beacon of intellectual freedom. For example, while at the School of International Service (SIS) at American University in Washington, DC, in the late eighties, I remember that we had the former ambassador of Grenada as an academic and while the Reagan administration was not happy about this, there is absolutely nothing they could do to remove her. In fact, a lot of our faculty was very much opposed to the Reagan administration, and yet no attempts were made to pressure anybody in any way. Had there been any such attempts they would have resulted in an energetic protest on our part, probably supported by all other colleges in DC (George Washington U, Maryland U, Georgetown U, Howard U). Call me naive, but I do believe that it would have never crossed the mind of anybody in the White House or Congress to mess with academic freedom or, even less so, to try to use colleges as a tool in a color revolution against the President.
My other degree is from The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at the Johns Hopkins University, with a campus based in Washington, D.C. SAIS became notorious for being a breeding ground for some of the worst Neocons out there. And that reputation is quite deserved. Our ‘bad guys’ list ranges from Ambassador April Glaspie to the infamous Eliot Cohen and even includes Zbigniew Brzezinski! But even at SAIS we had real ideological pluralism and real political diversity, if only because the student body would never have put up with any notion of walking in lockstep with the ideological mantra of the day (in my department, Strategic Studies, we must have been well over 50% foreigners and all “our” Americans were well-traveled and educated – which greatly helped). We also had some absolutely wonderful teachers who were true expert in their fields and who never lied to us (I considered naming a few here, but that would do them more harm then good. So I will mention my favorite one, and under a code name only he will understand: yf23 – thank you, Sir!).
The USA can be blamed and criticized for a lot of things, but I don’t think that it can be denied that the academic quality and diversity of US colleges was one of the best ones on the planet. Americans were rightly proud of their universities and students from all over the world would put a great deal of effort to come and study in the United States, even those who did not at all agree with US politics.
To be honest, I always considered Harvard to be a gang of pompous asses (sorry HU alumni – nothing personal). But pompous asses or not, Harvard was undeniably a symbol and now that they are endorsing this idiotic ‘fake news’ narrative this symbol is making a massive faceplant. Sooner or later, I guess sooner, this new anti-Russian hysteria will peter out, just like McCarthyism and the “Red Scare” did, and all that will be left of this is an immense sense of shame and self-loathing for those who took part in it.
It would have been the natural calling for US colleges to be at the forefront of the struggle *against* the current anti-Russian witch-hunt, but instead they are now taking the lead in making sure that this hysteria now also infects academic circles. The impact of such a policy will be devastating not only for the student body, but also for the teachers.
Did you notice this part of HU’s “fake news guide” (see pic): when in doubt, ask a librarian. Think about it – this means a number things: first, that librarians have now been co-opted in the struggle for ideological purity; second, that librarians better make darn sure that they full abide by the current ideological dogmas lest they be fired for not being able to fulfill their (new) duties. Third, that students will now be encouraged to turn to a member of the faculty or staff to ask whether source “x” has received the official imprimatur of the university, college or school.
Nope, this is not the DPRK. This is the “the land of the free and the home of the brave” – no kidding!
Against this background, let me do something of a “community service” here and explain how you can evaluate news and news sources without having to ask for an “ideological purity minder” (aka “librarian”) for help.
The system is rather simple, really.
First, judge a tree by its fruits: a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit (Matt, 7:18). Give yourself enough time to establish a ranking of news sources. I would suggest you separate them into “reliable”, “sometimes reliable”, “mostly unreliable” and “unreliable”. But don’t stop here.
The next step is to measure any information you get against all the other information you have and see if they corroborate each other or not.
Finally, take each information and give it a rating indicating how reliable the source is and whether this info corroborates what you otherwise know. This source+info ranking system is used by most intelligence agencies in some form or another. Typically, a combo of letters and numbers would be used. For example, an info rated as “A1” would indicate “reliable source” and “info corroborates”. A3 would indicate “reliable source” “does not corroborate”. Whatever your system, make sure to include the “unknown” category which you can apply to both sources and the info itself. Over time, you will built yourself a pretty good info ranking system, you will see.
Let me reveal a state secret here, but a very little one. There is an advanced country out there which has a very prestigious newspaper which everybody reads and which has a lot of credibility. And yet, this country’s intelligence community rates this newspaper as a “C” source – a very mediocre rating. Now you can imaging where CNN, NBC, NTY, WaPo and all the rest of them would rank ;-)
[Sidebar: if you wonder, B-2 is typically the kind of info which would be used for regular day to day analysis]
This Harvard University faceplant is also very good news. Think of it – would the US elites ever bother sinking so low if they thought that they are winning the information war? Look at the AngloZionist elites in general – they are all at each other’s throats, not only in the USA but everywhere (just look at the fight between Turkey and the EU taking place and please pass the popcorn!). I assure you that this latest anti-Russian hysteria is not caused by a sense of confident power, to put it mildly. And while CNN is freaking out about Putin being the “most powerful man in the world“, we – all those who want to bring down the Empire by using the weapon of truth – are winning our battles every day. And for all his undeniable merits and achievements, there is much more happening here than just Putin.
“Putin” has become a collective placeholder for every and all the forms of resistance to the AngloZionist elites and their empire. This is why “Putin” is personally responsible for ‘weaponizing’ Russian soccer fans and personally giving the order to hack the DNC. I would not be surprised one bit if in the coming days we see an ‘investigation’ by CNN about how ‘Putin personally ordered the Russian military to use their climate weapons to attack the USA’s eastern shores with a snowstorm’. World-class “Putin specialists” like Masha Gessen would immediately confirm, while John McCaine would demand that the US take “firm retaliatory action to show the Russian dictator that he cannot pour snow on the USA with impunity”. Needless to say, such report would not raise any eyebrows from Harvard University.
Yes, they are desperate and they are terrified. Hence all the silly histrionics.
Friends, we are winning! Yes, we are. Even if the Neocons end up overthrowing Trump or make him their lackey. We are winning. And that is nothing short of amazing (especially considering our means – hint hint about the next thing I will post here…). Look at the big picture and see how the USA are self-destructing, how the EU is collapsing, how Turkey has completely switched sides and now works with Iran and Russia, how the Syrian people are winning against the transnational terrorist gangs which attacked them, look at Libya and how terrified NATO is by the obvious desire of the new authorities to turn to Russia, look at how confident China is in the face of a barrage of US threats, look at how Hezbollah played a crucial role in Syria and yet managed to deter the IDF in Lebanon. Look at how Russia has survived both the (rather ineffective) sanctions and the (immensely damaging) drop in oil prices. Look at how Iran is standing firm and single-handedly confronts the huge US+Zionist+Wahabi regional coalition and shows no sign of weakness.
Sure, this is far from over, we are only winning battles, and we are still far from having won the war. And we will lose battles in the future (the latest news out of France is not good at all). But the overall momentum is clearly and undeniably on our side and this is why our enemies are freaking out and resorting to desperate measures like this ‘fake news’ canard.
I think that some high-fiving and back-slapping are in order :-)
Having indulged in this short moment of celebration, let’s now return to the struggle and fight for the final victory!