Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Alicia Keys, Will Smith and Anderson Cooper

First up, a new series from YOUTUBE:

YouTube has again turned to big-name entertainment personalities to anchor its latest slate of ad-supported originals.

At its Brandcast Delivered event for advertisers Tuesday, YouTube announced an unscripted series with Will Smith following his latest fitness journey and a new docuseries with Alicia Keys premiering this summer.

The video giant also announced the third and final season of comedy “Liza on Demand,” starring popular comedian and YouTube creator Liza Koshy — marking the last of YouTube’s scripted originals, after phasing them out starting in 2019; “Ice Cold,” a docuseries produced by hip-hop trio Migos exploring issues around racial inequity; and a new special celebrating Asian and Pacific Islander culture from executive producers including LeBron James and Michelle Kwan.

I'll be honest, I would prefer it was a scripted show.  But I love Alicia.  Also, Will's probably better at a non-scripted TV show since he coasts on personality and isn't really an actor (and never has been).


Cooper has scored the lowest ratings of the current crop of Jeopardy guest hosts so far, according to ratings information obtained by the Wrap. The newsman's first-week ratings (for the week ending April 25) were less than Green Bay Packers star Aaron Rodgers, falling 7 percent from the QB's numbers to a 5.1 rating.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, who hosted in April, got a 5.2 rating for his first week on the legendary game show. Ratings for Cooper's second week were not yet available.

That's because we're all sick of him.  Most adults don't like cry babies and like Rachel Maddow and Don Lemon, Anderson has decided weeping on camera is what we want from our pretend news casters.  They're nothing but talk show hosts.  And we're sick of them and their fake assery.

No one needed or wanted to see Anderson Cooper as a guest host on JEOPARDY.  Katie Couric?  She probably could have pulled in some viewers.  Anderson didn't just fail to do that, he managed to run viewers off.

How bad was it?  This bad:

CNN host Anderson Cooper's first week as the "Jeopardy!" guest host pulled in lower ratings than any other guest host in the history of the show.

Ratings reportedly fell by 7% during Anderson's first week, claiming the lowest debut for any of the Sony game show’s guest hosts, according to The Wrap. 

Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

 Tuesday, May 4, 2021.  Another attacks on a base with US troops in Iraq, the Turkish government, meanwhile, is using chemical weapons in Iraq -- is anyone going to protest that?

MIDDLE EAST EYE reports, "Two rockets were launched at an Iraqi air base hosting Americans on Tuesday - the third such attack to take place in as many days. The attack came as a US government delegation visited Baghdad."   The US delegation was headed by Brett Blue Balls McGurk.  AFP reports:

Iraq's Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi, perceived by pro-Iran factions as too close to Washington, on Tuesday discussed the presence of 2,500 US soldiers based in Iraq with US envoy Brett McGurk.

The men know each other well -- Kadhemi, in his role as head of intelligence, a position he retains to this day, worked closely with McGurk when he was the US-led coalition's representative.

Mustafa al-Kadhimi's Twitter account notes:

ئيس مجلس الوزراء
يستقبل الوفد الحكومي الامريكي الذي ترأسه منسق البيت الابيض لشؤون الشرق الأوسط وشمال افريقيا السيد بريت مكغورك، وضم مستشار وزارة الخارجية الامريكية السيد ديريك شوليت، ومساعد وزير الخارجية لشؤون الشرق الأدنى السيد جوي هد ...

ANI notes, "An Iraqi Army source anonymously told Xinhua that the rockets were fired at the air base from al-Biyader village east of the town of al-Baghdadi, some 190 km northwest of the capital Baghdad."  Staying with violence, Joseph Trevithick (THE DRIVE) reports on the exposure of a previously unconfirmed US drone program in Iraq:

The U.S. military has confirmed that the secretive Joint Special Operations Command, or other U.S. government entities operating in cooperation with it, has been flying a new type of drone in the Middle East that is designed to be extremely quiet and have an innocuous outward appearance. The new details about the Long Endurance Aircraft Program have come to light after one of these unmanned planes, derived from the Pipistrel Sinus powered glider, crashed at Erbil International Airport in Iraq last year.

The Long Endurance Aircraft Program (LEAP) drone in question, identified only as AV009, crashed at Erbil on July 24, 2020, according to a heavily redacted copy of the official accident report that The War Zone obtained via the Freedom of Information Act. The unmanned aircraft suddenly and unexpectedly pitched nose down while coming in to land at the airport after a sortie. The drone hit the ground, bounced back up into the air, and then came back down, eventually coming to rest alongside the runway. The mishap resulted in the front-mounted propeller striking ground and the landing gear collapsing. It also caused significant enough damage to the right wing that fuel leaked onto the ground. 

Still on violence, Turkey continues to wage war in and on Iraq.  The world looks away.  Why?  Amberin Zaman (AL-MONITOR) reports:

Iraq has formally complained -- yet again -- over Turkey’s escalating military presence on its soil. The Iraqi Foreign Ministry said in a statement Monday that it had summoned the Turkish charge d’affaires and handed him “a protest note” over “violations of Iraqi sovereignty” arising from the May 1 visit by Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar to a Turkish military base in Iraqi Kurdistan. Turkey responded that it fully respected Iraqi sovereignty and territorial integrity and signaled its intention to carry on the operation, saying it was in line with efforts to eradicate rebels of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Akar, who was accompanied by Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Guler and Land Forces Commander Umit Dundar, was briefed by local Turkish commanders about Turkey’s latest offensive against the PKK. “Operation Claw Lightening” is focused on Metina, a mountainous area bordering Turkey.

Akar said 44 PKK fighters had been killed so far. “Our struggle against terrorism will continue until every last terrorist is neutralized,” he said.

A day prior to Akar’s tour, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu announced that Turkey would be establishing a new base in Metina and that it would be used to monitor and curtail the PKK’s movements between its main bases in the Qandil mountains bordering Iran and those to the west in Yazidi-dominated Sinjar on the Syrian border.



Iraq summoned Turkey’s envoy in Baghdad to protest the visit by its defence chief to a military base in northern Iraq as Turkish troops continue a cross-border offensive against Kurdish fighters there.

The Iraqi foreign ministry said in a statement on Monday it handed the Turkish charge d’affaires “a protest note” over “violations of Iraqi sovereignty” by defence minister Hulusi Akar’s trip to the Turkish facility.

Akar visited the Turkish base in northern Iraq on Saturday – accompanied by Chief of the General Staff General Yasar Guler and Turkish Land Forces Commander Umit Dundar – to supervise military operations against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) armed group.

According to the statement quoted by Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency, the Turkish diplomat was told Baghdad “categorically rejects the continuing violations of Iraqi sovereignty … by the Turkish military forces”.

Baghdad has protested Turkey’s military operations on its soil various times in the past.

I'm sorry, Amnesty International, where the f**k are you?  Human Rights Watch, same question.  And a waiving middle finger to all the frauds and fake asses like CodeStink who refuse to speak up.  Are we just supposed to ignore the criminality of this Turkish government action?  The same way we're supposed to ignore the violations of international treaties when the Turkish government uses chemical weapons on the Iraqi people?  AHVAL reported last week:

Turkish military forces have used chemical weapons during the bombing of several areas in northern Iraq, an official from the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), a Kurdish umbrella group, told British newspaper the Morning Star.

Turkey used the weapons three times this week, in the Amedi district and mountainous areas in Dohuk, said KCK Spokesman Zagros Hiwa, the Morning Star reported on Tuesday.

Hiwa said the chemicals were employed in attacks on tunnels used by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group that has fought for Kurdish autonomy in Turkey for four decades. The PKK, labelled as a terrorist organisation by the United States and European Union, has established bases in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region of northern Iraq, which it uses to launch attacks on Turkish territory.

Last week, US President did a brave thing and a long overdue thing when he called out the Armenian genocide carried out by the Turkish government from 1915 through 1923.  Are we going to have to wait 100 years or so before what's going on right now can be called out?

At what point do we all agree that the Turkish government has crossed a line?  Iraq's government has objected repeatedly to the actions of hte Turkish government.  It is illegal for Turkey to be carrying out military operations in Iraq.  This is terrorism carried out by the Turkish government.  Why aren't we all objecting?  Why are we so silent on this and pretending that it's not taking place?  It's outrageous.  

Michael Bouvard Tweets:


while Turkey seriously occupied the lands inside iraq, which Turkish military is outside of Turkey's borders, set up military stations just like an occupying military, and have been there since 1996, first in Bamarni region, but now over two dozens. Iraq is complaining? to whom?

And he Tweets:

Turkey's forced upon PKK as a condition withdraw to Iraq, to sit at the peace agreement negotiations in Oslo, now Turkey attacking PKK taking the armed conflict outside its borders but regionalizing it for other Govs to involve, not only Iraq but USA, Russia, Iran & Syria too

In the world of stupidity, US Senator Chris Murphy puts his ignorance on display:

This was the best part of the trip - having lunch with Connecticut National Guard troops stationed in Jordan. Funny side note - I’ve met with Jay Cruz from Meriden during all 3 of his deployments, in Iraq, Kuwait, and Jordan. It’s like I’m following him around the world!

No, it is not a funny note.  It's a reality that Murphy chooses to ignore.  He is a US Senator and it's pathetic that he'd rather try to crack (what passes to him for) wise then do his job and stop letting the US military be sent over and over to the Middle East.  Chris Murphy is a failure as a lawmaker and that's not "a funny note," that's a sad truth.

We'll wind down with this from Gleen Greenwald which is posted at INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE:

" One of the primary plagues of corporate journalism, which I have documented more times than I can count, just reared its ugly head again to deceive millions of people with fake news. When one large news outlet publishes a false story based on whispers from anonymous security state agents with the CIA or FBI, other news outlets quickly purport that they have “independently confirmed” the false story, in order to bolster its credibility (oh, it must be true since other outlets have also confirmed it).

This is an obvious scam — they have not “independently confirmed” anything but rather merely acted as servants to the same lying security state agents who planted the original false story — but they do it over and over, creating the deceitful perception that a fake story has been "confirmed” by multiple outlets, thus bolstering its credibility in the public mind. It was the favored tactic for spreading debunked Russiagate frauds and is still used. One of the most vivid examples occurred in December, 2017, when CNN falsely reported what it hyped as "a major bombshell”: that Donald Trump, Jr. had advance access to the WikiLeaks archive. Within an hour, NBC News’ Ken Dilanian and CBS News both claimed they had “independently confirmed” this fairy tale. When it turned out that it was a complete lie, all based on a false date on an email to Trump Jr., these outlets embarrassingly corrected it hours later and then simply moved on as if it never happened, never explaining how multiple outlets could possibly have all “independently confirmed” the same blatant falsehood.

On Thursday night, The Washington Post, citing anonymous sources (of course), claimed that the FBI gave a "defensive briefing” to Rudy Giuliani in 2019, before he traveled to Ukraine, that he was being targeted by a Russian disinformation campaign to hurt Joe Biden's candidacy, yet he ignored the FBI's warnings and went anyway. The Post also claimed that the right-wing news outlet OANN was similarly briefed. The claim about Giuliani not only predictably ricocheted all over social media and cable news — where, as usual, it was uncritically treated as Truth — but it was shortly thereafter “independently confirmed” by both NBC Newsde facto CIA spokesman Ken Dilanian along with The New York Times.

What was the problem with this story? It was totally false. The FBI never briefed Giuliani on any such thing. As a result, The Washington Post had to append this "correction” — meaning a retraction — to the top of its viral story:

The Washington Post, May 1, 2021

At first, The New York Times attempted to quietly change the story to delete the false claims without noting they were doing so. But upon being pressured, they finally faced up to what they did and posted their own retraction at the very bottom of the story that reads: “Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated whether Rudolph W. Giuliani received a formal warning from the F.B.I. about Russian disinformation. Mr. Giuliani did not receive such a so-called defensive briefing.” In their self-glorifying jargon, the Paper of Record did not spread Fake News — perish the thought — but merely "misstated” the truth. Meanwhile, NBC News, at the top of its false story, posted this explanation for why Dilanian got the story completely wrong:

An earlier version of this article included an incorrect report that Rudolph Giuliani had received a defensive briefing from the FBI in 2019 warning him that he was being targeted by a Russian influence operation. The report was based on a source familiar with the matter, but a second source now says the briefing was only prepared for Giuliani and not delivered to him, in part over concerns it might complicate the criminal investigation of Giuliani. As a result, the premise and headline of the article below have been changed to reflect the corrected information.

This credibility carnage was so glaring that even CNN acknowledged that “the corrections are black eyes to the newsrooms which have aggressively reported on Giuliani's contacts with Ukrainians in his attempts to dig up dirt on then-presidential candidate Joe Biden.” But there have been so many similar "black eyes” like this one, indeed far worse ones, over the last five years, and they never change anything that causes these "black eyes” because they want to do this: spreading disinformation is their function. Indeed, as I have asked almost every time these debacles happen: how is it possible that these same outlets keep "confirming” one another's false stories?

Due to the site owner's health problems (he contracted Covid recently, INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE had to go on pause, ICH is back to posting new content.

The following sites updated:

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