Group-think ‘reporting’ …


As we surmised last week, this war in the Ukraine has become a very handy ‘excuse’: our politicians, all the way down from Johnson, as well as our MSM, all the way down from lofty editors, won’t have to address tiresome issues such as their lockdown decisions based on faulty data.

I’m not going to report on ‘Teh News’ according to the MSM – it’s war, nobody with any sense knows what is really going on. The ‘correspondents’ on the ground may transmit  to their newsrooms some ‘omigawd – shock horror’ stories, but can they really do more than provide some anecdotes? 

Bear in mind that our oh-so-grand MSM uncritically use the antisocial media for their reports. There are no ‘fact checkers’, there’s only one side which must be believed. If one doesn’t, if one dares to ask, one becomes a ‘Putin Understander’, a fate worse than being labelled ‘lockdown sceptic’.

Let me give you one, just one, example, to show why I warn of believing one word our brave MSM write. Right next to their ‘read the latest shocking war news’ in yesterday’s DM, there was a report about those Ukrainian soldiers defending an island and getting bravely killed but who are actually all alive (link).

Do check it out – it’s a prime lesson in how these ‘war news’ are being manipulated. First, believe without any proof (‘there’s a war on, ye know’) what one side says. It was on twitter, so it must be true. Next, when evidence to the contrary appears, declare it must be a Russian propaganda ‘trick’ and shouldn’t be believed.

I’m sure you’ve all noticed by now that the western governments and by extension the MSM have made it their business to convince us that nothing at all coming from Putin and their media, can be believed. Moreover, “we” don’t even need to talk to Russia. 

There’s more. Ms vdLeyen announced yesterday that the Russian media ‘Russia Today’ and ‘Sputnik News’ will be banned in the EU (link). Yes, that’ll help the ‘war effort’. The point about suppressing Free Speech isn’t simply that people cannot speak out – it’s that people are prevented from forming their own opinions which might run contrary to that of the governing classes.

Just as during the covid years our rulers ‘know’ that we plebs are too thick to think, that we need our hands held. People who think by themselves, who want to make up their own minds even if they might well come to the same conclusions as those provided by governments and MSM – those people are dangerous. Those people aren’t easily nudged. Un-nudgeable peasants? The horror!

I wonder if, a few weeks, months or years down the road, after the sanctions have truly bitten us, some courageous reporters and correspondents will start asking the questions which should have been asked today, not just about this war but about the sanctions being proposed.

Just as with the economic effects of the lockdowns affecting us now, it’ll be too late then because the inevitable effects of those sanctions will have been felt by all by then. Our politicians seem to think that sanctions work only one way, that they’re for them to impose and for others, e.g. Russia, to accept meekly. Let me just add that this war isn’t about Ukrainian freedom – Biden himself has stated that the aim is ‘to degrade the Russian economy’.

Furthermore, don’t make the mistake of believing that we’re all in the same boat. Mr Biden has allegedly made clear that not all Russian banks are equal, that those which deal with payments going to Russia for their oil export to the USA won’t be sanctioned. 

And so to the important report which has sunk without a trace. Ms Knapton of the DT reported yesterday that the SAGE scientists whose modelling kicked off Lockdown two years ago, with all the hardships and cruelties which followed, knew even at that time that the data for their models were incomplete, insecure and insufficient:

“SPI-M (Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling) minutes released to the Telegraph under a Freedom of Information request show that by March 16, modellers were still “uncertain” of case numbers “due to data limitations”. The minutes show that members were waiting for comprehensive mortality data from Public Health England (PHE) and said that current best estimates for the infection fatality rate, hospitalisation rates, and the number of people needing intensive care were still uncertain. They also believed that modelling only showed “proof of concept” that lockdowns could help, and warned that “further work would be required”.” (paywalled link)

There’s more. See this comment by Professor Carl Henegan who said (my emphasis):

“This has always concerned me about the modelling. Throughout the two years there has been systematic error, consistent over-estimation and a tendency to go directly to the media with conclusions, without validation or peer review.” (paywalled link)

What ought to concern us is that the same argument can and should be made in regard to the current situation of ‘war reporting’ and in regard to sanctions. Ms Knapton wrote a companion piece with the title

 “How scientific ‘groupthink’ silenced those who disagreed with Covid lockdowns – Many influential scientists were ignored, ridiculed and shunned for suggesting less draconian ways of dealing with the virus” (paywalled link)

It’s good that this group-think is now at least acknowledged in a MSM report. It’s good that finally the scientists, busily shunned by government and the covid-obsessed MSM, are being heard.

However, it’s horrifying that this same group-think, this same ‘go to the media without having proper data’ has seamlessly been transferred to the reporting on the war in the Ukraine. The MSM have switched smoothly from writing about  ‘covid horrors’ to  reporting ‘war horrors’. No facts are checked, critical voices are being shunned.

I hope that, once this war is over, there will be some journalists still worthy of that name who will dig out the truth about the gung-ho decisions this government is now making on our behalf, again without proper data, again driven by group think. 

By that time though chances are we’ve become too poor to care – but will we be happy? Your guess is as good as mine …


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