(ANTIMEDIA) One of the saving graces of the ailing corporate media — for the folks setting the agenda, anyhow — is its relentless ability to hyper-focus the public’s attention on altogether meaningless events.
Take, for instance, an armed robbery that sees property stolen but no one harmed. Such an event is unfortunate, yes, but such is life. People get robbed. It certainly isn’t something that should consume the news cycle — particularly when developments of actual importance are unfolding around the world.
Yet that’s exactly what happened this week after reality TV star Kim Kardashian was robbed at gunpoint in Paris on Monday morning. Kardashian, who was in town for Fashion Week, was forced into the bathroom of her hotel room, tied up, and robbed at gunpoint. The perpetrators, men dressed as police officers, stole about $10 million.
Again, it was an unfortunate incident, but the starlet is fine, and Paris officials have assured the Kardashian clan the perpetrators will be brought to justice. At this point, had the celebrity been an average citizen, the media would have likely concluded there was nothing more to the story and moved on. But then, if she were an average citizen, the media wouldn’t have covered the story in the first place.
And that’s the point.
In truth, the Kim Kardashian incident is precisely the type of filler story the corporate media has used time and again to keep the celebrity-obsessed masses distracted from reality. And while — in this instance — the bought and paid for networks fixated on the fact that the assailants are still at large, interviewed the starlet’s friends about her mental state, and tried to pass off reports of her being tailed prior to the incident as breaking news, there were events taking place in the world that the masses following Kim Kardashian should be informed of.
As such, here are five stories you might’ve missed while the corporate media was obsessed with Kim Kardashian and her stolen jewelry.
1. DIPLOMACY BETWEEN RUSSIA AND THE US IN SYRIA IS DEAD
Following weeks of failed talks and escalating violence in the war-torn Syrian city of Aleppo, diplomatic efforts between Russia and the United States officially cratered on Monday, with the Russian Deputy Foreign Ministerdeclaring “there has been no exchange of information” between the two countries of late and State Department spokesman John Kirbysaying the U.S. is “suspending its participation in bilateral channels” with Russia.
For those paying attention, the news shouldn’t have come as a shock. Following a U.S. airstrike that killed 62 Syrian soldiers — for which the U.S. blamed bad intel — and an attack on a U.N humanitarian convoy near Aleppo that killed a dozen aid workers — for which the U.S. blamed Russia — the latest Syrian ceasefire brokered by Washington and the Kremlin officially collapsed two weeks ago.
Since then, the fighting in Aleppo has intensified, and the accusations being hurled have grown bolder. One U.S. ambassador equated the Russian air campaign in Syria to “barbarism.” Indeed, all the official breakdown of diplomacy regarding Aleppo really means is that the fighting will go on and it will undoubtedly get much worse. The only difference is that now, our leaders don’t have to pretend to be trying to talk a way out of it.
2. THE PENTAGON DUMPED HALF A BILLION DOLLARS INTO MAKING PROPAGANDA FOR TERRORISTS
On Monday, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism reported on the revelation the Department of Defense spent more than $500 million from 2007 to 2011 creating fake news and propaganda for terrorist groups in Iraq. The largest recipient of said funding was a British PR firm.
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism writes:
“The Pentagon gave a controversial UK PR firm over half a billion dollars to run a top secret propaganda programme in Iraq, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism can reveal.
“Bell Pottinger’s output included short TV segments made in the style of Arabic news networks and fake insurgent videos which could be used to track the people who watched them, according to a former employee.”
Once the propaganda items were created, “the team embedded a code into the CDs which linked to a Google Analytics account, giving a list of IP addresses where the CDs had been played,” says former Bell Pottinger worker Martin Wells.
He goes on:
“If one is looked at in the middle of Baghdad…you know there’s a hit there. If one, 48 hours or a week later shows up in another part of the world, then that’s the more interesting one, and that’s what they’re looking for more, because that gives you a trail.”
In truth, this all sounds like par for the course given what we know about the machinations of the War on Terror.
3. THE PUBLIC GOT A RAW LOOK AT HILLARY CLINTON
Audio from hacked emails, recently made public by the Washington Free Beacon, once again highlights Hillary Clinton’s flip-flopping ideological nature and her true thoughts about voters. On Monday, the Intercept reportedon the new audio, which was recorded at a campaign function in February, pointing out her contradictions:
“Clinton has been inconsistent in the past about espousing political labels. She has at times touted herself as a stalwart liberal. For instance, she said last July: ‘I take a backseat to no one when you look at my record in standing up and fighting for progressive values.’ But a few months later, she told a group in Ohio: ‘You know, I get accused of being kind of moderate and center. I plead guilty.’”
In the new clips, Clinton seems to affirm her fluid ideological state, saying of this year’s election cycle that on one hand there’s “the kind of populist, nationalist, xenophobic, discriminatory kind of approach that we hear too much of from the Republican candidates,” and on the other it’s “a deep desire to believe that we can have free college, free healthcare, that what we’ve done hasn’t gone far enough…”
Of her place in that pageantry, she added:
“I am occupying from the center-left to the center-right. And I don’t have much company there. Because it is difficult when you’re running to be president, and you understand how hard the job is — I don’t want to overpromise. I don’t want to tell people things that I know we cannot do.”
She also spoke of the supporters of then-challenger Bernie Sanders, suggesting it was disillusionment with the future — and not any genuine dislike of her — that drove young people to favor the senator from Vermont.
“They’re children of the Great Recession,” she said, “and they are living in their parents’ basement.” She added that “if you’re feeling like you’re consigned to, you know, being a barista…then the idea that maybe, just maybe, you could be part of a political revolution is appealing.”
4. MILLIONS OF RUSSIAN CITIZENS PREPARE FOR NUCLEAR WAR
On the heels of the official breakdown of talks to halt the fighting in Aleppo, Syria, the Kremlin orderedemergency preparedness drills to be carried out among the Russian citizenry beginning Tuesday. As Common Dreams reported:
“Amid collapsed diplomatic efforts over Syria and increasing tensions with the United States, the Russian government is beginning emergency response exercises on Tuesday that will include the participation of thousands of government officials and many millions of citizens who will respond to a mock nuclear attack or other large-scale catastrophe.
“The four-day drill will reportedly include 200,000 rescue professionals, tens of thousands of emergency vehicles, and an estimated 40 million civilians from around the country.”
The drills are purportedly intended to “practice organization of management during civil defense events,”according to Russian Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov. Though, given the timing — literally hours after DOD spokesman John Kirby confirmed U.S.-Russian diplomacy in Syria was over — it isn’t a reach to interpret this move as the next logical step toward another cold war with Russia.
5. BEES PUT ON ENDANGERED SPECIES LIST FOR FIRST TIME EVER
While it may not grab headlines like endless global warfare or rampant political criminality, the fate of the bumblebee nevertheless has an extreme impact on the existence of human beings. And as was reportedTuesday, for the first time ever, the bumblebee was recently labeled an endangered species.
“Seven species of Hawaiian yellow-faced bee in the genus Hylaeus, once the most abundant insects on the tropical islands,” writes the Free Thought Project, “are now so scarce that they are one of the state’s least observed pollinators.”
The pollination habits of bees are vitally important to the native flowering plants of the ecosystems they occupy. If the bees disappear, certain plants will disappear, which will lead to certain animals disappearing, and so on — creating a domino effect.
And that effect would touch human beings as well, as the Free Thought Project highlighted:
“Not only is this driving many species to extinction, but it also poses a grave threat to our agricultural integrity…The bumblebees’ contribution to farms is estimated at $3.5 billion.”
What Kim Kardashian and her jewelry contribute to society is, at the current date, yet to be determined.