News for Youse: Censorship, propaganda, and lies

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      Today it’s all censorship, propaganda, and lies in News for Youse. Starting in Toronto, this year’s Pride Parade could potentially lose a $100,000 grant thanks to the participation of the group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid.

      "I think I'm looking for some leadership from Pride to finally say 'No' to this kind of bullying and demonization," councillor James Pasternak told the media, as the city threatened to pull its Pride Week funding—even though Toronto had no problem letting queers “bully” and “demonize” Israel last year.

      In Spain, the government is publicly musing about the impact of American and British propaganda on the country’s failing economy. The Guardian reports that public works minister José Blanco has spoken of the “somewhat murky manoeuvres” undermining recovery efforts under Socialist prime minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, pointing to a broadside of “apocalyptic editorials in foreign media” such as The Economist, the Financial Times, and—don’t be shy now—The Guardian.

      With an irony so deep you need hip waders just to get to the end of the first sentence, The Guardian begins its article on a neoliberal information war on Spain’s economy with the words, “It is the only economy in Western Europe still in recession: property prices are crashing, unemployment has risen to more than 4 million, and some are already muttering that it could end up with a financial crisis worse than Greece's.”

      Speaking of murky, it’s been reported that a Pakistani doctor who aided the CIA in its Hunt for Bin Laden (all rights reserved) has been arrested for high treason and thrown in jail for 33 years. In further news of the fantastical, we have yet more evidence that the Manchurian Candidate has been replaced by the Sub-Saharan Zombie, with the arrest of a “psychologically disturbed” Cameroonian woman who claimed she was carrying a surgically implanted explosive on a flight from Paris to North Carolina.

      With an irony so thick my wooden spoon actually got stuck in it, Agence France-Presse writes, “Last year, US officials warned airlines that terror groups were studying how to surgically hide bombs inside humans to evade airport security —precisely the threat that emerged when the US Airways passenger made herself known to the cabin crew” (emphasis ours).

      The article goes on to mention a recently foiled plot by the “Yemen branch of al-Qaeda” (they have a lovely office space in downtown Sana) that reportedly involved an improvement on the system pioneered by everybody’s favourite patsy—the Nigerian underwear bomber. What they don’t mention is the court testimony of Kurt Haskell, a Michigan lawyer who watched a mysterious American official escort the underwear bomber onto a plane in Amsterdam without a passport.

      Finally, BuzzFeed is up in arms about a proposed legal framework for domestic propaganda efforts inside America's own borders. With an irony heavier than a teaspoon full of dark matter, an amendment to a U.S. defence authorization bill would allow the State Department, among others, to use its finely honed psychological operations on its own people—as if the Hollywood-media-defence complex and its overwhelming shitstorm of disinformation didn’t already have the average American and pretty much everyone else boxed in like a turtle’s pecker.

      Assuming the role of the concerned liberal for this particular piece of political kabuki, one Pentagon official remarked of the amendment, “There are no checks and balances. No one knows if the information is accurate, partially accurate, or entirely false.” What, he’s never read the New York Times?


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      May 23, 2012 at 12:03pm

      Terrorist 1: Okay, now that the American infidels have body scanners, we have to change our strategy. As your leader, I have a plan.

      Other Terrorists: Hurray!

      Terrorist 1: Thank you. Now, since body scanners can see through our clothing, we will create bombs that look EXACTLY like the male penis. The infidels will never know!

      Nervous Terrorist (raising hand): Excuse me, dear leader. But won't the infidels become suspicious when they see an image of a man with two penises?

      Terrorist 1: Aha! Good point! But in my infinite wisdom, I have come up with a solution. They will see only ONE penis - the explosive one!

      Nervous Terrorist: But how can that be? Why won't they see my real ... oh. Oh no.

      Terrorist 1 (smiling): Exactly. But it will only be a SMALL sacrifice for you, correct?

      (Other terrorists laugh in a sinister, but nervous fashion.)