Truthout

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Truthout is a website providing news-and-views generally intended for left-wingers. As well as aggregating various blog posts and news from wire services, it produces its own commentary and some original reports.

Contents

[edit] Origins and people

Truthout was founded in 2001 as an alternative to the mainstream media, which its founders believed to be under the editorial control of corporations. Howard Zinn was among the founders and continues to occupy an honorary position on the Board of Advisers.[1]

Regular contributors of material include Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Mikey Weinstein, Thom Hartmann, Amy Goodman, Paul Krugman, Bill Moyers, and Robert Reich. Other contributors include several wives of Truthout big-shots, such as Harriet Fraad, the wife of Board of Advisers member Richard D. Wolff,[2] and Susan Searls Giroux, the wife of director Henry A. Giroux.[3]

[edit] Business model

Truthout, being anti-corporate, accepts no corporate money or advertising. Instead, it relies on donations from its individual readers and supporters to cover its labor and operating costs.

One particular way it encourages donations is to designate a variety of books as "Truthout Progressive Picks." Excerpts from these books are then published as articles on Truthout, and copies of the book are offered free to people who make a donation of some minimum amount, usually between $25 and $40. Several administrators of the site, notably Henry A. Giroux, have had their books featured as "Progressive Picks." Some would suggest that all this is nothing more than promoting and advertising books that are sold by the site at a heavy markup, after the fashion of the store at WorldNetDaily.

Truthout also, despite publishing an article objecting to the "branding" of Occupy Wall Street,[4] sells Truthout-branded bumper stickers under the same plan.[5]

[edit] Editorial position

Truthout aims for a broad ideological tent, perhaps according to the Popular FrontWikipedia's W.svg line of thinking. Its official line, insofar as it has one, is what is known by some of its adherents as "progressivism," the central narrative of which is that everything was more or less fine and dandy in the U.S. in the 1970s, but then corporations executed a coup, courtesy of Ronald Reagan, at which time the "middle class" began to be destroyed by an increase in the Gini coefficient.

This process, as it is described by the "progressives," is always just about to reach its climax,[6] with each dip of the stock market or economic slowdown regarded in turn as the final death throes of capitalism. Occupy Wall Street, which brought this view of things more into the public eye, was at first treated by Truthout as the beginning of a revolution – much like large segments of the mainstream media,[citation needed] with the real difference being that Truthout was hoping for revolution, while FOX was looking for justification to send in the water-cannons.

[edit] Notable scoops

Truthout, whose Board of Advisers includes Military Religious Freedom Foundation founder Mikey Weinstein, was the first to bring to light information about a slide presentation making the rounds at the Air Force, intended to teach Christian servicemen about just war and other such theological theories before they were placed in charge of nukes.[7] This slide presentation, which house reporter Jason Leopold summarized as saying "Jesus Loves Nukes," was decommissioned shortly thereafter.[8]

[edit] Crank magnet

See the main article on this topic: Crank magnetism

As Truthout's major selling point is as an alternative to the mainstream media, they must necessarily position themselves as different from that media. Hence, their contributors often, as might be expected, put forth some of the waffle about how "the mainstream media doesn't do this" or "the mainstream media doesn't tell you that." For example, in 2011, the site published a piece revealing facts about Iceland that the mainstream media would not have told, such as that it was a member of the EU.[9] After this article was endorsed by Naomi Klein, fact-checkers went over it and found almost more errors in it than there were words.[10]

[edit] External links

[edit] References

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