Wacky conspiracies being pushed at Whale Oil

Whale Oil has increasingly become an outlet for wacky right wing agendas and conspiracy theorists. They are also increasingly Wail Oil, claiming to be ‘poor me’ Christians under attack by everyone while the United Nations takes over the world (the UN is not known for being effective or powerful).

They increasingly rage against ‘the media’ and claim to be some sort of truth seeking alternative, but use that same media for a lot of their content.

They are also now an outlet for the New Conservative Party (after having trashed the Conservative Party), which must be desperate for attention using the now politically toxic blog.

One contributor is Dieuwe de Boer, who is described at Whale Oil

I’m the first of a new breed of young gun-totin’, Bible-bashin’, conservative family men fighting against left-wing regressives. Either that or I’m making a heroic last stand for freedom as the sun sets on Christian civilisation.
You can find more of me on Right Minds NZ.

A post by him on Sunday, Only activism remains when journalism dies, concludes:

We shall see if journalism decides to make a comeback, but until then the partisan activists masquerading as journalists can keep wondering why we don’t want to talk to them. Why would we waste our time when the end product will be fake news regardless of what we say or don’t say?

They really are the enemy of the people and the enemy of the truth.

Yesterday another contributor Max Sky addressed “Dear New Zealand Mainstream media” in We see through the lies:

Currently, we do have choices such as Whaleoil and Fox News available in New Zealand via the internet, channels that have chosen to deliver the other side of the story. However, the left-leaning MSM choose to exaggerate the views expressed on these sites to amplify their own message.

Just because Jacinda is a Socialist Prime Minister you publish everything she says unchallenged.

That’s just plain bullshit.

You put Jacinda on our screens and quote her in your tweets and stories but never hold her to account or query her connection with the UN. 

Perhaps because the ‘UN is taking over the world’ conspiracy is not backed by any facts, just implied like this with no evidence provided.

The irony is that if Jacinda gets her way and enables internet censorship, the free market MSM will soon cease to exist as there will be only one ‘Pravda’ channel. Alternative views will be banned. You will no longer be able to provide both sides of an argument, enable critical thinking, or facilitate a true understanding about what is happening around us.

This sort of ‘the end is nigh for free speech’ claim – without being based on facts – has become common at WO. It is nothing more than a wacky conspiracy theory. Perhaps those chemtrails are getting to them.

It’s not too late to live up to your position as the Fourth Estate.

Perhaps you could start by asking questions about:

  • Who is financing the left wing, Mainstream media?
  • Who is financing the UN which is led by a confirmed Socialist politician?
  • Why is the Human Rights Council ‘stacked and backed’ by oil money perhaps purchasing arms to fund Jihad against the West and Israel?
  • Why the EU calls on the USA to fund their military for the defence of Europe against the Russians when their oil and gas supplies are reliant on Russian supply?

In a world where powerful Marxist people lie so brazenly and the mainstream media amplify the lies, eventually, the people will rebel.

Asking questions is a way of asserting things without supporting anything with facts.

This ‘other side of the story’ truth seeking is nonsense, but it is where WO is veering as it continues to lose relevance. I guess there’s money to be made from those who seek immoral support for nutty and extreme agenda mongering, but they are unlikely to raise a rabble let alone a rebellion.

‘The media enable extreme candidates’

There should be a lot of reflection after the US election, by the Republican and Democrat parties, and by the media. They have all enabled a train wreck campaign.

And the outdated first past the post electoral system with all it’s variations from state to state is also a major culprit.

The media have had major influences on entrenching a two party system despite the existence of other parties. What may suit the media for ‘entertainment’ value does not necessarily serve democracy well.

One major media player, the New York Times, writes in What 2016 Has Taught Us:

The media enable extreme candidates and the parties are too fragile to stop them. Social media sites and TV news transmitted every political spitball and insult spewed over the past 18 months. But they had little capacity to establish widely shared truths or foster constructive debate about issues like climate change or criminal justice.

In democratizing the media, Twitter and Facebook have also made it possible for Americans to encounter only the messages they want to hear.

Desperate for ratings, Fox News, CNN and other networks handed Mr. Trump an open mike early in the contest.

The New York Times was a part of this, and has been a part of establishing the media corruption of democracy in the US.

And having fanned the flames of extreme partisanship for years, Republican leaders were powerless in the primaries to stop Mr. Trump’s rise, and then were afraid to alienate his supporters by opposing him in the general election.

Mr. Trump used his media savvy and entertainment value — often in the form of insults — to keep all eyes on him. Imagine how much further a more disciplined demagogue might go applying a similar formula.

It’s not over yet. While Trump’s chances appearing to be slipping he could still win the presidency. And if he loses he could go on to cause major disruption to the governance of the Unites States – using the media again.

Even if the Republicans, the Democrats and mainstream media learn from their massive mistakes and take significant measures to rectify things the US now has a well established alt-media, who use the Internet to spread misinformation and lies, and have proven successful at trashing the chances of some candidates.

A sizeable chunk of the US population are happy to be carried along by alt-media that tells them what they want to hear, regardless of how ridiculous or devoid of facts and decency it may be.

What about New Zealand?

It is different here because of size – ‘everybody knows everybody’ makes it harder for alt-anybody to have much influence.

It is different here because New Zealand is a single state, with one Parliament and with one electoral system administered by an independent body.

And it is different because of MMP. This gives more power to the people, and the people have tended to restrict political power. In the twenty years of MMP the voters have never given oner party sole charge – the last few elections we have come close but the major party running Government has always had to deal with other parties to get a majority.

MMP has it’s drawbacks. It limits the chances of major reforms, and we could do with major reforms of our tax and welfare systems.

The major parties have hobbled MMP through a ridiculously high threshold to protect some of their power from new party challenges.

But MMP’s advantages clearly outweigh the down sides. It allows the voters to stop the hijacking of our Government by small powerful groups.

MMP allowed rich people with mixed agendas to set up parties that contested elections, like the Conservative Party and the Internet Party, but the voters rejected them.

(I think there were some worthwhile things offered by both parties but they both had financiers/leaders with serious deficiencies).

MMP has a moderating effect on governance, and on those doing the governing, and in the main this is a good thing.

MMP, along with country size, limits the opportunities of alt media to influence our democracy and our governance.

Fringe players like Cameron Slater (Whale Oil) and Martyn Bradbury (The Daily Blog), who both have ambitions of revolution through alt-media, have failed to establish the influence and power of US websites.

New Zealand nutters can get far more ridiculous content from offshore, which they do. But this is very small scale and non-influential. So far the majority have not been sucked in to alt-media scams here.

The media here do help promote more extreme candidates. Winston Peters has been a favourite headline maker for a long time. Colin Craig and Kim Dotcom didn’t want for media attention, they just blew their media advantages.

It was interesting to see the mainstream and social media reaction to Gareth Morgan launching his The Opportunities Party. He was given plenty of attention and publicity – far more than the average party start up who are usually ignored and starved of the attention they need for making any impact.

But the Kiwi clobbering machine was evident straight away, with a lot of the media coverage involving a trashing of Morgan.

Our New Zealand political parties could do much better. Our mainstream media could do much better. Our social media, particularly the main political blogs could contribute far better too – for example The Standard showed in the weekend that dirty blogging is still prevalent there. And I noticed Manolo still lying and attacking someone at Kiwiblog yesterday unchecked.

We don’t have the huge problems faced by Government, by democracy and by media in the US. We haven’t come close to enabling an extreme candidate to take over a position of significant power.

But we have plenty of room for improvement.

If we want a decent democracy we have to do more to demand one.

CIA interrogation techniques “abhorrent and rightly should be repudiated by all”

Director John Brennan has defended the CIA. NBC News reports in CIA Chief John Brennan Defends Agency But Questions Some Tactics:

“The overwhelming majority of officers involved in the program at CIA carried out their responsibilities faithfully and in accordance with the legal and policy guidance they were provided. They did what they were asked to do in the service of our nation.”

But he has conceded:

“In a limited number of cases, agency officers used interrogation techniques that had not been authorized, were abhorrent and rightly should be repudiated by all,” Brennan said.

Any number of abhorrent cases of torture are too many. The US carried out a significant number of detentions and torture at various locations around the world.

Brennan sidestepped a question about whether the interrogation tactics — which included simulated drowning, beatings and confinement in coffin-sized boxes — amounted to torture. President Barack Obama, and United Nations officials have said that some of the tactics did.

He avoided using the word ‘torture’ but didn’t (and couldn’t credibly) deny that’s what they did.

The CIA leader also said that it was “unknowable” whether extreme interrogation tactics directly led to the extraction of useful intelligence.

What is knowable is that torture typically ‘extracts’ unreliable information as it did for the US torture program. It led to the detention and torture of innocent people.

That is abhorrent.

In a Statement from Director Brennan on the SSCI Study on the Former Detention and Interrogation Program Brennan says

As noted in CIA’s response to the study, we acknowledge that the detention and interrogation program had shortcomings and that the Agency made mistakes.

Serious mistakes that have seriously damaged the reputation of the US. They would seriously condemn any other country doing what they have done.

The most serious problems occurred early on and stemmed from the fact that the Agency was unprepared and lacked the core competencies required to carry out an unprecedented, worldwide program of detaining and interrogating suspected al-Qa’ida and affiliated terrorists.

In carrying out that program, we did not always live up to the high standards that we set for ourselves and that the American people expect of us. As an Agency, we have learned from these mistakes, which is why my predecessors and I have implemented various remedial measures over the years to address institutional deficiencies.

He has admitted it was a program, not just isolated unauthorised incidents.

At least now they have admitted mistakes and “implemented various remedial measures”.  What the US needs to do is give an absolute assurance it won’t resort to illegal detention or anything resembling torture. Even then a major stain remains.