Civil War for Truth: Media and Journalism

Civil War for Truth: Media and Journalism

Internet killed the Newspaper Star

Journalism and News Media are considered to be the “Fourth Estate” of a Democracy. Journalism has the unspoken responsibility to check the balance of Legislative, Judicial, and Executive. Additionally, they should speak the truth to power and expose corruption in politics and corporations. That is the reason it is dangerous when the institution breaks down because it directly affects our Democracy.

The decline of news media started with the dawn of the Internet age and took its first big hit around 2004 with the massive gain in popularity of Google, but the global take-off of social media, especially Facebook, around 2014 accelerated it massively.123 Many newspapers didn’t make it into the new medium, and the old advertising and paper business was not transferable to the new medium. I worked myself in the publishing industry for five years and tried unsuccessfully to bring a publishing company, founded in 1786 to the new medium. In the end, the company was swallowed by a bigger publishing house and survived only by name.

A famous visualization project from 2015 used open data on newspaper sales to create a tool that predicted when a specific newspaper would go bankrupt.4 It didn’t look good for news outlets.

Additionally, a culture expecting free content on the internet locked newspapers into a banner advertising model they could only lose. It resulted in a vicious circle of the need for clicks, achieved with rage and clickbait content. Not only does sex sell, hate, too.

The journalistic integrity and quality of news reporters dropped continuously. Newspapers could not compete with the speed of Twitter posts. The drive for clicks resulted in a reduction of journalistic quality, which included checking the validity of sources.

The profession of journalism lost its quality because many news outlets required fewer of the old skills. The education in that field became expensive and only upper-middle-class people continued this route, compared to the previous 50 years when journalists came from all classes. This resulted in an influx of social justice activists.

These new “journalists” of the Millennial generation are coming out of the universities where a new culture of grievance, complaining, and entitlement has taken over the institutions. Instead of doing journalistic work, many of the new hires are foremost social activists and spend their days writing hit-pieces about people that violate their woke ideology or harassing people on Twitter. In a recent scandal at The Washington Post, David Weigel, one of their best reporters, was suspended without pay for a month for retweeting a joke. The newspaper’s leadership followed the demands of a co-worker, Felicia Sonmez, to punish Weigel for his “offense.” This wasn’t enough for her, she went on a Twitter shit storm for days, demanding multiple people to get fired, attacking colleagues, and mocking her bosses which got her finally fired after multiple days.5

There is no place outside universities more biased than media companies. A poll from 2015 found that 92% of all employees of the German public media company ARD voted Red (Social Democratic and Socialist) or Green.6 With this imbalance, any objectivity is impossible. The Pew Research Center found similar numbers in the USA in 2004, where 93% of all journalists were politically left.7

Kat Rosenfield argues in her article “The media is run by trolls” that the 2008 recession, and the mass layoffs in media (…) fundamentally transformed how news was covered.8

Imagine a horde of freshly unemployed veteran writers, alongside new journalism grads, desperately trying to claw out a livelihood in a world where writing had been completely devalued. (…) Gone was the $2-per-word magazine staff writer position; gone was the local shoe-leather reporting job that might launch a lifelong career. Now, a writer’s best option was freelance blogging, churning out listicles and aggregated new stories at $15 a pop — and with a quota, which at some outlets ran as high as 20 posts per day.8

Kat Rosenfield, The media is run by trolls

The model of publishing switched to mass, low-quality opinion posts instead of high-quality investigative journalism.

Clickbait and Rage

Rosenfield writes that in 2014 the news cycle became increasingly outrage-driven, and our thinking about the type of post that was deemed worthy of coverage changed. (…) this mode of coverage blurred the boundaries between identifying a trend and manufacturing one.8

Many newspapers used a new approach: Clickbait and rage for the masses and politically biased news coverage for their subscribers. Their job was reduced to confirming the bias of their readers. Other newspapers became financially dependent on the state or billionaires and started confirming the message of the ruling class.

Additionally, we can see an influx of former media employees moving into prominent government positions. It is common practice that former journalists and media people are “bought” by the government into well-payed positions. Michael Meyen, professor of communication sciences at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich, lists Steffen Seibert, the former spokesperson of the German government, who was previously a TV moderator. This way the government buys the image of seriousness, neutrality, and possibly credibility. Meyen lists the example of a German federal state where three of four of the national correspondents of the daily newspapers moved into state ministries.9

And what trust is left in newspapers that get funded by billionaires with an industrial-medical agenda, like The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation? The German newspaper Spiegel Online received $2,537,294 (2018) and $2,000,000 (2021) in donations to raise global health awareness. This donation has paid off for Bill Gates, who was recently left out in a hit piece by Spiegel about “lawless” billionaires.10

Big Pharma pay 75% of the total advertising budget of the USA in 2020. They spend 2020 $4.58 billion on advertising in the USA.11 It’s unlikely a media company writes negative things about people that give them money.

The result of all these things is a new form of “journalism” that doesn’t report the news, but sees its responsibility in lecturing and educating the people on what is the “correct” opinion. They use psychological techniques like Framing, Nudging, Gaslighting, and outright propaganda.


Framing is a technique where the journalist sets the frame and outcome of a news article. Instead of reporting the facts, it starts with the premise of how the reader should think about the issue. It’s common practice now to smear the opposite side as deniers, conspiracy theorists, alt-right, far-right, white nationalists, or Nazis. In Germany, nearly every accusation includes a reference to the 3rd Reich.

Other techniques of framing include panel discussions that include only people of one opinion and exclude the other side or inviting one mild critic to relentlessly attack them with many discussion participants for the whole talk show.

It’s unbelievable how many people can be fooled and have their opinions controlled with this technique. Especially the tax-funded public broadcasting companies in Germany are guilty of this. The apocalyptic health minister Karl Lauterbach was invited to 29 talk shows during the COVID-19 crisis in 2021 alone, where he spread his fear and panic for the next killer mutation. But of the 16 sessions of the Health Committee, he only attended 5.12 Priorities.

A prominent example of framing is the controversy around the podcaster, Joe Rogan. When he got infected with COVID-19, he took several drugs, including Ivermectin and his test was negative 2 days later, 5 days later he was back to the gym training. This is not the story the medical cartel of Big Pharma would like to be heard for the “deadly” virus. Even though Ivermectin has proven itself in 63 studies as effective,13 it needed to be attacked by the media because Ivermectin is patent-free and doesn’t generate billions in revenue. The framing techniques used against Rogan were creative. The medicine was framed as “Horse Dewormer” and “Horse Paste,” even though Ivermectin is foremost a human drug and was used billions of times around the globe and its founders William Campbell and Satoshi Ōmura won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2015.

Rolling Stones Magazine outright made up a story that gunshot victims in Oklahoma could not be treated because many people overdosing on Ivermectin would block the hospitals.14

CNN took the Instagram video of Joe Rogan and colored the video intentionally green to make him look sick.15

Another example is the framing of detention facilities along the American-Mexican border to detain illegal immigrants. The “cages” were built by Barack Obama. After Donald Trump became president, they were framed as “kids in cages” and “concentration camps.”16 Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez performed a fake photo session in front of an empty parking lot where she cried tears for the camera about the fate of the kids in cages.17

During the riots in Kenosha, where Kyle Riddenhouse shot two of the rioters that tried to kill him, the media framed it as White Supremacy, even though the killed men were both white with criminal records (including child abuse).18 No wonder the verdict of the case came unexpectedly for the left-biased press. Many people learned, with the verdict for the first time, that the victims were not black.

From the shooting of Michael Brown (who tried to grab a policeman’s gun) and Breonna Taylor (her mother called the BLM movement a fraud), the death of George Floyd (who had Fentanyl, Meth, and other drugs in deadly doses in his blood) to the “summer of love” (the riots of BLM, aka “Burning, Looting, Murdering”), framing was a constant companion. Nearly nothing the press reported was accurate. The resulting riots injured 700 policemen, killed 50 people, resulted in 3 billion damages, and burned down more than 100 stores. The “Defund the Police” campaign left many black neighborhoods with insufficient police and resulted in a 30% yearly rise in Black murder. Portland reported a surge in murder of 2,000%.19 Framing kills.


Another technique now common is nudging. It is the usage of psychological manipulation of people to achieve the desired behavior. During the COVID-19 crisis, we could witness the widespread usage of this unethical tactic. The British government used its Nudge unit to instill fear in the British people.2021 Even the co-founder of the unit, Simon Ruda regrets now that they used these manipulation techniques.22

The German Interior Ministry used scientists to create a report that aimed to terrify the German people. When the paper was leaked to the newspaper “Die Welt,” everybody could see what Nudging techniques they used.23 They asked scientists to manufacture the fear of suffocation with proper images and to highlight the guild of children being the reason for killing their parents and grandparents.

These techniques should be outright illegal and never used in a Democracy. The loss of trust in government because of this will take decades to win back.


Gaslighting is another technique from the playbook. The term comes from the 1944 movie “Gaslight” with Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman, and Joseph Cotten. In the movie, a husband tries to convince his wife that she is mentally unwell to steal from her. He is dimming the light of the house and tries to tell her nothing had changed. Gaslighting can be seen every day when activists try to convince people that what they think of an issue is not correct.

It is often used with the Motte-and-Bailey Fallacy, where a controversial argument (the “bailey”) is presented along with an easier-to-defend argument (the “motte”). When the activist realizes the opposite side understands the issue, they retreat to the motte and defend the least controversial topic.


Former US State Department official and Time Magazine editor, Richard Stengel, defines propaganda as the deliberate dissemination of information that you know to be false or misleading to influence an audience.24 Media companies and governments use propaganda to manufacture consent.25

The propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human.

Aldous Huxley

Many claims on the news need to be categorized as outright propaganda. It is terrifying how easy it is to fall for propaganda. Henry T. Conserva published a book about propaganda and listed 89 techniques.26 Even when you know them all, you will fall for it occasionally.

The most brilliant propaganda technique will not succeed unless one basic principle is constantly carried in mind – it must be limited to a few points and repeated over and over.

Joseph Goebbels

Propaganda can be identified regularly on nearly any hot-button topic. Propaganda was the prominent technique used against unvaccinated people during the COVID-19 crisis. Many of the slogans we could hear throughout the “pandemic” were not accidentally the same around the globe because they were likely thought up by Think Tanks and coordinated political campaigns. Propaganda slogans like “pandemic of the unvaccinated” (a lie), “the vaccine is 100% effective” (a lie), “the vaccine has no side effects,” (a lie), or “if you are vaccinated you can’t spread the virus” (a lie) were used by Big Pharma to push a global agenda supported by many governments.

And propaganda works, even months or years after claims have been proven wrong, the propaganda continues to exist in many people’s brains. The German Federal Court based a verdict in 2022 about mandatory vaccination for health workers on the false assumption it would stop the spread of the virus.

Propaganda must facilitate the displacement of aggression by specifying the targets for hatred.

Joseph Goebbels

Unfortunately, as Dr. Daniele Ganser pointed out in his talk, it is not possible to not be influenced by propaganda.27 The only way is in his opinion to go into nature, to train mindfulness, and be skeptical about everything, be careful if somebody wants to sell you war or hate of a specific group of people. As a historian, Ganser said, we are always 20 years late. With every conflict people think that this time the government tells the truth and that this perceived threat is real.

Ganser mentioned the war propaganda of the Iraq War in 2003, where a young woman claimed Iraqi soldiers would have killed incubator babies by throwing them on the floor. Later it was revealed she was the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador. No matter where you look, from Vietnam, 9/11, Ukraine 2014 and 2022 to COVID-19 you’ll find propaganda, used to manipulate how you think about a topic.

It should be the goal of every person to teach children how to identify propaganda, and everybody should train to identify when somebody tries to use propaganda on us. Our lives might depend on identifying and rejecting it.

Eroded Trust

All these techniques undermine the trust in mainstream media and gave birth to a huge amount of alternative media. A Gallup poll of 2020 asked how much people trusted the news in the USA. 60% trusted it either not at all or not very much, which is the highest value ever recorded. The trust for Democrat voters was the highest with 75%, followed by independent voters with 36%, and Republican voters with 10%.28 In 2021 the numbers sank again and reached their second-lowest in 25 years.29

And the trust will erode further once the COVID-19 crisis is over and the lies and propaganda are uncovered. The media was the main driver of mass hysteria, mass psychosis, and fear that made the pandemic much worse than the virus alone could have ever done.

The scientific paper “COVID-19 and the Political Economy of Mass Hysteria30 concluded:

In short, mass hysteria sponsored by a biased media sector may run out of control in a modern welfare state.

We are now in a time when you can either trust mainstream media and be lied to, or invest the time and effort into following hundreds of small alternative media outlets contradicting official narratives and validate the truth yourself with the information you receive.

There used to be something called a mass audience. And that meant [that] there were massive numbers of people all essentially looking into a gigantic mirror in which they saw themselves reflected. So most people were consuming the same content and there was a common denominator.

The digital revolution has shattered that mirror, and now the public inhabits those broken pieces of glass. So the public isn’t one thing; it’s highly fragmented, and it’s basically mutually hostile. It’s mostly people yelling at each other and living in bubbles of one sort or another.31

Martin Gurri, A decade of revolt

Biased Social Media

Social Media has a front and center seat in the media drama. However, if they react to demands from either side, they lose. Politicians and corporations that see their narratives questioned demand stronger censorship, disguised as a “War on Disinformation,” and multiple bills for regulation are currently waiting for review. Currently, social media companies have special rights under Section 230 that allows them to be treated as a platform and not be responsible for their content and at the same time be able to moderate content as a publisher.

This opens endless possibilities for social media companies to apply moderation rules in an unbalanced manner. In the majority of tech companies, the amount of progressive employees is at the high 90%. At Twitter, 98.7% of all employees vote for the Democrats.32 These are the employees who program the algorithms and moderate the content. Objectivity is impossible with this imbalance.

The number of censorship techniques reached dangerous levels in the last 5 years. From marking content as age-restricted, to prevent it reaches children, to Demonetization and De-Ranking of content, to Shadow Banning, Throttling, and Content Blocking to the final stages of Strikes and Deplatforming.

But as companies in Silicon Valley coordinate with each other, it doesn’t stop here. De-banking is these days an inexhaustible used weapon. Companies like PayPal, Stripe, and MasterCard started creating “No-Buy” lists.33 Other companies help voluntarily to destroy the lives of targeted people, by removing them from hosting providers, email providers, eCommerce providers like Shopify, music providers like Spotify, and transportation providers like Uber or Lyft and even Airbnb. They don’t even shy away from collective punishment and remove accounts of spouses or family.33

These tactics previously known to be used against adult actors and their companies since the introduction of Operation Choke Point34 is now used against anybody with a political view deemed wrong. A dangerous trend should it continue will lead to violence or civil war.

The scientific study “Is radicalization reinforced by social media censorship?” shows what Free Speech advocates knew all along. Centralized censorship leads to radicalization because the isolated individuals continue their beliefs unchecked. Safe spaces help the short-term but harm a community long-term.35

The social media platform Minds follows a different approach. Its CEO Bill Ottman hired Daryl Davis to invest in studying censorship, radicalization, and deradicalization.36 Davis is a black activist who deradicalized dozens of KKK members over the years by listening to them and making them leave the clan.37 The documentation Accidental Courtesy shows how he used patience and friendship to deradicalize.

Get Woke, Go Broke

The woke narrative doesn’t work anymore for many people, they see through it and see what it is, the flip-side of far-right ideology.

But woke agenda is pushed relentlessly through all media companies. Producers care neither about an existing fan base nor profit and produce content that is doomed to fail.

Netflix is known to produce huge amounts of ugly woke content for the US market. The French movie “Cuties” released in 2020 sexualizes teen girls and reached an audience score of 16% on Rotten Tomatoes, while (left) critics loved the movie with an 88% rating. This movie is one in a never-ending amount of woke movies and TV shows produced by Netflix. In 2022, the subscription service lost subscribers for the first time in a decade and its stock price fell 32%. Elon Musk commented the woke mind virus is making Netflix unwatchable.38 The growing competition is part of the story, but he is right. I loved watching “Sense 8,” an LGBT-friendly TV Show. But it had a good story and didn’t push the ideology with force. The garbage I get recommended these days is unwatchable. The only reason I still have a Netflix account is that the content produced outside the US (for example Korea, Japan, and the Middle East) is of fantastic quality. Recently, the company put brakes on its woke employees. Netflix added an “Artistic Expression” policy to its company culture memo and told their woke employees If you’d find it hard to support our content breadth, Netflix may not be the best place for you.39

Hollywood is tanking one franchise after the other. They destroyed Star Wars, Star Trek, James Bond, Ghost Busters, and many more. The writers forgot that a good story needs to come first. If the story is outstanding, they might risk adding a political message. The gay community successfully used humor and funny TV Shows to increase acceptance since the 1990s. Nobody wants to be aggressively lectured, this approach will fail and increase resentment.

The gaming industry destroyed a huge amount of good franchises by adding woke agenda. Nobody wants to play as a female, disabled soldier in a World War I game.

And when they get called out and punished with dismal ratings, they deflect the criticism and claim that bigots, far-right trolls, or toxic masculinity made their products fail. The rating platform Rotten Tomatoes shows the disconnect between common people and woke media critics for years. Rotten Tomatoes has two scores: The Tomatometer reflects the rating of “professional” critics, and the audience score reflects the users’ ratings. The bigger the difference, the better (or worse) the movie is. Over the years, I learned to ignore the professional critics and look for the audience score to have a fun experience.

Disney got recently into a shit storm and lost an estimated $50 billion40 when a Zoom call leaked to the public in which they announced their policy to push woke content into future shows.41 Parents are sensitive when companies try to brainwash and manipulate their children. Should Disney lose the trust of parents, it will destroy more than 60 years of trust, and they might never gain it back.

YouTube removed recently the Dislike button because it allowed people to see the ratio and quality of a video. The negative ratings affected the political speeches of Joe Biden, political propaganda, and woke content. This useful extension brings the button back.

CNN had to shut down its new subscription streaming service CNN+ after less than one month. They invested around $100 million and hired hundreds of employees to gain around 10,000 subscribers.42 Joe Rogan mocked CNN on his podcast and asked why they thought anyone would pay for this garbage if people don’t even watch the free content anymore.43 CNN averages 517,000 viewers per prime-time show.44

Meanwhile, independent non-woke content publishers like “The Joe Rogan Experience” gain massive amounts of users. Rogan reaches on average 11 million listeners per episode.45 This is twenty times more than CNN reaches in its prime time.43 For interesting guests or controversial topics, Rogan can reach 40 million and more listeners.

And painting him as a conspiracy theorist or anti-vaxxer and writing hit pieces made him more popular. The controversy around a many-year-old usage of the N-Word brought him 2 million more subscribers on Spotify.45

This shows a trend that gives hope. People are sick of woke political agenda. They want no more second-long soundbites and moderated, biased shows. They prefer listening to the sometimes 2-3 hour long conversations with people of all political and social backgrounds instead because in long conversations everything is unfiltered, unmoderated, and you can’t hide an agenda. You need to be honest. Honesty is rare these days.


  1. James Eagle (2022): Most Popular Websites Since 1993,

  2. Pew Research Center (2021): Total estimated circulation of U.S. daily newspapers,

  3. Pew Research Center (2021): Newspapers Fact Sheet,

  4. Felix Disselhoff (2015): Und wann stirbt Ihre Zeitung? Open-Data-Projekt sagt Halbwertszeit von Printmedien voraus,

  5. Bill Maher (2022): New Rule: Democracy Dies in Dumbness,

  6. Michael Hanfeld (2020): 92 Prozent für Rot-Rot-Grün,

  7. Alan Wolan and Wilfred Reilly (2021): Wilfred Reilly on Thomas Sowell,

  8. Kat Rosenfield (2022): The media is run by trolls, 2 3

  9. Michael Meyen (2021): Michael Meyen: Die Medien-Matrix,

  10. Mario Thurnes (2022): „Spiegel“ im publizistischen Kampf gegen Milliardäre – Bill Gates wird verschont,

  11. Russel Brand (2022): This Is Impossible To Ignore,

  12. dts Nachrichtenagentur (2022): Unionsfraktion schreibt Brandbrief an Lauterbach,

  13. (2021): Ivermectin for COVID-19: real-time meta analysis of 63 studies,

  14. Peter Wade (2021): Gunshot victims left waiting as horse dewormer overdoses overwhelm Oklahoma hospitals, doctor says,

  15. Joe Rogan (2022): Yellow Journalism,

  16. Nick Miroff (2020): ‘Kids in cages’: It’s true that Obama built the cages at the border. But Trump’s ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policy had no precedent.,

  17. Gregg Re (2019): PolitiFact stands by AOC ‘parking lot’ fact-check after online mockery,

  18. Tucker Carlson (2021): Tucker: Kyle Rittenhouse facts are different than what we were told,

  19. Zachary Faria (2021): Portland cut police funding and got a 2,000% surge in murders,

  20. Frank Furedi (2022): ‘Nudge’ has no place in our democracy,

  21. Patrick Wintour (2010): David Cameron’s ‘nudge unit’ aims to improve economic behaviour,

  22. Simon Ruda (2022): Will nudge theory survive the pandemic?,

  23. Anette Dowideit and Alexander Nabert (2021): Innenministerium spannte Wissenschaftler für Rechtfertigung von Corona-Maßnahmen ein,

  24. Caitlin Johnstone (2022): Ten Times Empire Managers Showed Us That They Want To Control Our Thoughts,

  25. Al Jazeera (2017): Noam Chomsky - The 5 Filters of the Mass Media Machine,

  26. Oliver Hirsch (2021): Propaganda erkennen lernen,

  27. Daniele Ganser (2020): Daniele Ganser: Propaganda - Wie unsere Gedanken und Gefühle gelenkt werden,

  28. Paul Bedard (2020): Just 9% trust media ‘a great deal,’ 33% ‘none at all,’ highest ever,

  29. Megan Brenan (2021): Americans’ Trust in Media Dips to Second Lowest on Record,

  30. Philipp Bagus, José Antonio Peña-Ramos, and Antonio Sánchez-Bayón (2021): COVID-19 and the Political Economy of Mass Hysteria,

  31. Sean Illing (2019): A decade of revolt,

  32. Rani Molla (2018): Tech employees are much more liberal than their employers — at least as far as the candidates they support,

  33. David Sacks and Bari Weiss (2022): How Big Tech Is Strangling Your Freedom, 2

  34. Eric Weinstein and Ashley Mathews (2020): Ashley Mathews (Riley Reid) on The Portal, Ep. #021 - The Mogul & Brains Behind America’s Sweetheart,

  35. Justin E. Lane, Kevin McCaffree, and F. LeRon Shults (2021): Is radicalization reinforced by social media censorship?,

  36. Joe Rogan, Daryl Davis, and Bill Ottman (2022): The Joe Rogan Experience 1792 - Daryl Davis & Bill Ottman,

  37. Victor Bruzzone (2020): Oppositional Thinking and the Importance of Compassion,

  38. Grace Kay (2022): Elon Musk says Netflix is losing subscribers because ‘the woke mind virus’ is making it ‘unwatchable’,

  39. Robby Soave (2022): Netflix Adds ‘Artistic Expression’ Policy, Says It Will Not ‘Censor Specific Artists’,

  40. Joel Kotkin (2022): Do we need a capitalist civil war?,

  41. Russel Brand (2022): The Truth About “Woke” Disney,

  42. Rob Wile and Bryan Logan (2022): CNN+ is shutting down,

  43. Jimmy Dore (2022): No, 270 “Doctors” Didn’t Criticize Joe Rogan, 2

  44. JP Sears (2022): What We DON’T Want You To Know! - News Update,

  45. James Hibberd (2022): Joe Rogan Claims Massive Subscriber Boost Due to Recent Controversies, 2