January 12 2021 — In 2014, German journalist Udo Ulfkotte, former director of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, author of the book “Gekaufte Journalisten”, (Journalists for Hire), denounced European media who write lies under pressure from the CIA. An English translation is now available. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY
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UPDATE (January 13 2022) — In my last update of this post, I have used the global Covid-19 vaccination campaign as an example of the ‘Spiral of Silence’ media strategy.
Dr. Anthony Fauci has confirmed this allegation beyond my wildest dream. Indeed, no one could say it much clearer than that.
“When polls said only about half of all Americans would take a vaccine, I was saying herd immunity would take 70 to 75 percent. Then, when newer surveys said 60 percent or more would take it, I thought, ‘I can nudge this up a bit,’ so I went to 80, 85.’”
As I have written, the intention behind the use of this psychological trick is not necessarily evil. But in this particular case, it has been a real disaster.
In October 2020, I wrote:
“Of course, the Belgium Government is praying and hoping that a vaccine will be available in the Spring 2021. Well, I have news for these experts. A vaccine will have ZERO effect on the society as a whole. Just consider the fraction of the population that will get a shot and multiply this by the expected efficiency of the vaccine. It is fairly obvious that the virus will keep circulating almost freely.”
100 percent correct. Except for the Brussels area, Belgium has one of the highest vaccination rate in the world. Yet, it is expected that virtually every Belgian person will be infected in the next 10 weeks.
On January 12 2021, I repeated this statement:
“But let us be very clear. There will be no global herd immunity in 2021.”
In the same post, I also commented:
“Experts use an estimated herd immunity threshold of 70% for their COVID-19 models. This estimate is based on a guess of the real value of R (no lock-down measures whatsoever) and a 100% efficient vaccine which has been designed for the early strain of the virus. Thus, this estimate could be unrealistically optimistic.”
And lo and behold, on May 3 2021, The New York Times published a long piece: Reaching ‘Herd Immunity’ Is Unlikely in the U.S., Experts Now Believe. The title says it all!
“There is widespread consensus among scientists and public health experts that the herd immunity threshold is not attainable.” [New York Times (May 3 2021)]
Two days ago, The Guardian published a piece arguing that we will never reach the herd immunity threshold. Better late than never…
If you read the piece, you will notice that the arguments are exactly the very simple ones I made at the very beginning of this pandemic. Why on earth did the experts got it so wrong?
As a wise guy once famously said:
“It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future.”
This is both funny and obviously true. But I you stick to science and facts, you may manage to do rather well.
“The truth will come out one day, the truth won’t die.”
And truth is what this blog is all about… Stay tuned!
PS — Let us stay positive and optimistic. This pandemic will end because the virus will eventually defeat itself. It will happen. Sooner or later. Very possibly, this year!
END of UPDATE
UPDATE (January 12 2021) — In his book, Dr. Udo Ulfkotte recounts an interesting encounter with Elisabeth Noelle-Neuman who was a professor of communication sciences and a public opinion researcher.
Her field of expertise was the control of the masses through systematic influencing by a small minority of journalists.
In the 1970’s, Noelle-Neuman formulated the “Spiral of Silence” theory which is widely used nowadays.
The trick is very simple. First the media publish the result of a poll which is completely incorrect. A minority opinion is being reported as the majority opinion by various mass media.
But, most people are very afraid to socially isolate themselves. So, they keep quiet about their objections and they may even change their mind about the issue to join the fake majority, which in the process becomes the new real majority. It is simple and it works!
Of course, the intention is not necessarily evil. Nevertheless these media lie and help manipulating your thoughts.
Here is a current possible application. Experts use an estimated herd immunity threshold of 70% for their COVID-19 models.
[This estimate is based on a guess of the real value of R (no lock-down measures whatsoever) and a 100% efficient vaccine which has been designed for the early strain of the virus. Thus, this estimate could be unrealistically optimistic.]
RELATED POST: COVID-19 — From Mathematical Modelling to Policy Making
Let us assume that the vaccination intent in a country is around 50%, The media could start reporting false poll results showing a 90% intent in order to silence the opponents and to convince undecided people that their fears are unfounded.
As people want to avoid social isolation, they may be prompted to follow the herd…
PS — I will come back to this issue in my next post on the pandemic. But let us be very clear. There will be no global herd immunity in 2021.
END of UPDATE
Udo Ulfkotte (20 January 1960 – 13 January 2017) was a German journalist and political scientist.
He was an assistant editor for a German main daily newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung for several years until 2003. Ulfkotte died from a heart attack on January 13 2017 at the age of 56.
Ulfkotte studied jurisprudence and politics in Freiburg and London. Between 1986 and 1998 Ulfkotte lived predominantly in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Jordan.
Ulfkotte was on the staff of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation from 1999 to 2003. He won the civic prize of the Annette Barthelt Foundation in 2003.
Ulfkotte published a magazine called Whistleblower, reporting on topics not covered by the German media.
Ulfkotte became a vocal critic of Western policy. In 2014, Ulfkotte published the book Gekaufte Journalisten (“Journalists for Hire”), in which he stated that the CIA and other secret services pay money to journalists to report stories in a certain light.
According to Ulfkotte, the CIA and German intelligence (BND) bribe journalists in Germany to write pro-NATO propaganda articles, and it is well understood that people may lose their media job if they fail to comply with the pro-Western agenda.
The English translation of the book is finally available under the title: “Presstitutes Embedded in the Pay of the CIA: A Confession from the Profession”
About the book
Dr Udo Ulfkotte has first hand knowledge of how the CIA and German Intelligence (BND) bribe journalists to write articles free of truth, facts, and with a decidedly pro-Western, pro-NATO bent or, in other words, propaganda.
In his bestselling book “Gekaufte Journalisten”, Dr Ulfkotte explains in great detail the workings of the US and NATO’s propaganda campaign and how a lack of compliance with it, on the part of a journalist, can cost a career.
Dr Ulfkotte also provides a wealth of names! “Journalist for Hire: How the CIA Buys the News” is the English translation of Dr Ulfkotte’s bestselling book.
Interview — German journalist Udo Ulfkotte denounced European media (2014)
Udo Ulfkotte — Wikipedia
Analysis: Can first COVID-19 vaccines bring herd immunity? Experts have doubts — REUTERS
Journalists for Hire: How the CIA Buys the News
One Year Ago — Journalists for Hire : “How the CIA Buys the News”
Two Years Ago — “Journalists for Hire : How the CIA Buys the News”
Spy Quotes — “Journalists for Hire : How the CIA Buys the News”
Remembering Dr Udo Ulfkotte (January 20 1960 – January 13 2017) [The Spiral of Silence]