Tag Archives: Alternative media

Paris Criticisms: Politicking at Its Finest

While the national conversation of what happened at Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris have simmered down, criticism against the Obama Administration took up the newly vacant space in the airwaves and bylines of radio and online outlets all across cyberspace.

There was no shortage of statements by “experts” and consultants on the media circuit immediately following White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest’s comment at a White House Press briefing days after the attacks in Paris. At the briefing, Earnest responded to questions regarding the absence of U.S. officials and said, “It’s fair to say we should have sent someone with a higher profile” to attend the Paris March immediately following the Charlie Hebdo attack.

WhiteHouse Press Secretary Josh Earnest delivers press briefing 1/12/15
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest delivers  press briefing 1/12/15

While this is an easy example of a moment where Mr. Earnest wasn’t wearing his P.R. hat correctly, it would also be fair to say that his comment didn’t consider national security concerns, or the inevitable criticism from opponents that would stem from the wording of his statement. However, he made some of the security concerns clear following his initial statement.

Sending President Obama or any other “high ranking” official to March in the streets with the people of Paris would have come off as an attempt to capitalize on another country’s tragedy, have given republicans more fuel for their anti-Obama fires, and most importantly, would posed been a huge security risk.

Obama signs a condolence book at the French Embassy in Washington, the statement took about two whole minutes to write, but seemed much longer

On the day of the attacks, President Obama personally called French President Francois Hollande and extended an offer of American resources to help investigate and apprehend those who carried out or enabled the attacks in Paris. The next day he visited and signed a lengthy statement in a condolence book at the French Embassy in Washington, and even seemed to pray (or at least gave a moment of silence) for those who lost their lives in the attack.

Ted Cruz speaks at Heritage Action for America, a conservative policy advocacy group and   sister organization of the conservative thinktank, The Heritage Foundation. Cruz has spoken for the Heritage Action for America organization before when they funded a defund Obamacare tour
Ted Cruz speaks at Heritage Action for America, a conservative policy advocacy group and sister organization of the conservative thinktank, The Heritage Foundation. Cruz has spoken for the Heritage Action for America organization before during a defund Obamacare tour in 2013, which they funded.

Despite this, conservatives pulled no punches in their pathos-based criticisms. Perhaps the most notably theatrical was Ted Cruz’s Heritage Action Conservative Policy Summit speech, where he mimed marching with the people of France and affirmed “how sad” it was to see “40 world leaders marching in the streets of Paris” with the United States absent (completely ignoring the fact that the march was spontaneous in and that those leaders were much closer in physical proximity than the U.S. is).

Ex-director of the CIA Leon Panetta
Ex-director of the CIA Leon Panetta

Even ex-figures of state like former director of the CIA Leon Panetta and ex-political strategist for the Carter administration Patrick Caddel threw in their own baseless and highly-arguable accusations and opinions as to how and why the Obama Administration came up short in showing solidarity.

Caddel was bold enough to emphasize that American absence was “to our detriment,” and that as a country, “we will pay a price for this”, while Panetta claimed that the U.S. “missed a chance to show solidarity with the French people.”

John LeBoutillier, Patrick Cadell, Martin Hinton lambast Obama and "higher officials" absence at Paris...Martin Hinton is a Senior Producer at FOX and was a last minute fill-in who barely contributed a word
Left to right: John LeBoutillier, Patrick Cadell, Martin Hinton lambast Obama and “higher officials” absence at Paris…Martin Hinton is a Senior Producer at FOX and was a last minute fill-in who barely contributed a word

Perhaps what is most depressing about these accusations is the rigor that these figures devote to ignoring the data behind what could have contributed to an American absence from the marches.

In mid-December of 2014, the United States Secret Service Protective Mission Panel issued a review to the Secretary of Homeland Security regarding the White House fence-jumping incidents, and included within it were important memos and recommendations on how the service could seek to reduce the amount of risks and incidents against government officials and White House staff.

The highest recommendation? An increase in the amount of guards employed by the service. Throughout the report, the importance of an increased Secret Service force were noted to the point where the USSSMP suggested overlooking the financial implications of more hires, in the report they boldly stated: “Forget about what the Service has asked for in the past: Define the mission, and make the argument to policy makers in the Executive Branch and Congress that this sum- which we believe to be more than current appropriations-is needed.”

USSSMP report

As ex-director of the C.I.A., the likelihood of Mr. Panetta not knowing the risks associated with sending the President of the United States to a foreign country where a terrorist attack’s investigation still remains fresh is slim to none. The nature and environment of the march (outside, open, with millions of pedestrian foot traffic) would have most likely been a nightmare for the Secret Service to keep up with. It should be noted that a week after the Paris attack, four assistant directors of the Secret Service were reassigned, so the work environment of the service could have also been called into question.

As for Senator Cruz’s statement: if he felt so strongly for the people of France, and the need to show U.S. support for France, what stopped him from attending the march himself?

One answer could be that Cruz realized his political capital would be much more wisely-utilized in the speech to his donors and lobbyists at the Heritage Action for America rather than living up to his word. Let’s not ignore that even if Obama had gone to Paris, the Republican Party would have had a talking point about the president favoring international travel rather than facing domestic issues in the bag, regardless of the tragedy that took place.

In short, this and every other criticism that came Obama’s way for this incident stems from the same root: it’s just politics.

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Terrible “Alternative Media” video Innacurately Portrays Autopsy Findings and Officer Testimony

In response to a video posted by the Facebook Police Watchdog community Cop Block, I mentioned (in not very much detail at first ) in the comments section that the following video inaccurately portrayed both the autopsy results of Mike Brown, and Darren Wilson’s testimony as to how the event unfolded.

My comment was met with unprecedented antagonism to say the least. I was insulted,told to kill myself, that I was a “stupid kid”, and that I should go out and fight out in the streets of Ferguson, the commenter deleted his comment before I could screen shot it, but it was definitely violent and I was taken aback by it, but then I remembered most death wishes over the internet don’t actually have much weight to them for the most part.

As mentioned before, the comment telling me encouraging me to commit suicide was removed before being captured, but it's apparent that I was dismissed due to assumptive Ageism
As mentioned before, the comment telling me encouraging me to commit suicide was removed before being captured, but it’s apparent that I was dismissed due to assumptive Ageism

What insulted me the most of the comments was the derogatory way my age was used to immediately dismiss my criticism and logical conclusion for the video’s poor portrayal, oversimplification, and misleading nature.

I responded to the last comment, which I believed the author meant to refer to me as a stupid kid which led me to respond with the following:

“I’m actually a professional journalist who’s tired of media not doing their jobs correctly

With the rise of the internet is the increased attempt by other parties to disseminate untrue information for their own ends.

Such instances require that we examine the information present to us.

The information presented here is done inaccurately and uses 3-d modelling to elicit an uninformed emotional response based off of misrepresented evidence

If you don’t believe me let’s review the video’s version of the autopsy with the official document right here: http://www.documentcloud.org/…/1370715-2014-5143…

Notice the absence of the markings in the video shown at 1:26 that do not show the shots to the chest? Or the central forehead?

The woman in the video is citing Brown’s private autopsy as the source…but even so shots to the center of the forehead and chest are too out of place to even be up for debate, especially given that the federal government is and has investigated this case, there’s no way they would have let a detail like that slide

Also, Darren Wilson’s testimony as described here: http://www.documentcloud.org/…/1370494-grand-jury… (pages 227-229)

says that Wilson claims to have shot Brown when Brown charged towards him notice how that part is missing in the video…this video doesn’t necessarily “depict both sides”

also notice how at 3:30 the same flawed autopsy graph is shown again as being cited by the private autopsy (that now mentions the shot to the head, but still remains flawed in missing the chest shots)”

As of now, 6:48 A.M.,no one has refuted or acknowledged the evidence or assertions I put forth, or apologized for their assumptious arrogance.

I’d be proud if I wasn’t disappointed. We deserve better “media” than this.
Alternative media is just as unsafe as mainstream media, especially now given the powerful global influence of the internet.

Read all evidence relating to the Ferguson documents yourself here