Sunday, December 11, 2016

Mark Armstrong Condemns Media as Fake News and Promote Xenophobia

Mark Armstrong, leader of Intercontinental Church of God, son of Garner Ted Armstrong, has another weekly update (December 9).

Let's take a look.

This time he complains about widespread concern about fake news.
The great FAKE NEWS debate rages on with additional big names chiming in.  There's no doubt that the American public has been subjected to years of false statements and reports.  Most of them have been gleefully repeated, along with plenty of expert commentary.  When you think back to the promises made and explanations offered over recent years, you'll realize that most major media outlets have passed them along, often with extrapolation.  Most news organizations rarely show much, if any contrition when falsehoods are eventually exposed for what they always were.  There have been so many examples of this you wouldn't know where to start or when to stop.
To insist that major news organization are just like fake news websites he cites the terrorist attack in Benghazi.
Statements from top leadership officials are often passed along to the masses with major consequences.  How much fake news was generated to cover the truth of what transpired when four were murdered and many others barely escaped the horrors of Benghazi?  Coverage was wall to wall about a demonstration over an obscure video on YouTube that “got out of hand.”  Every weekly news program carried what most of us knew to be a bogus explanation, and it took two years for the truth to be widely known.  Many still don't know.  That was a September 11, 2012 event, only weeks prior to a presidential election and therefore it is a major deal.  The truth, had it been told or widely known at the time might have made the difference.
Actually this interpretation of events was told and widely known at the time. Mitt Romney himself fueled this view during the election campaign. It was widely discussed during the election. Afterward there were nine separate investigations about the terrorist attack. Failings were noted. Officials directly responsible were disciplined. But nothing was found that would make Obama or Clinton liable. For a contrary view of these things one can refer to The Benghazi Hoax.

Then Mark Armstrong cites climate change to insist that major media outlets cannot be trusted.
Then there's “global warming.”  When the top UN researchers were caught falsifying “scientific data” red-handed it was a big scandal in alternative media, but most of the biggest outlets barely noticed.  The suggestion that the UN can engage in some massive redistribution of the world's wealth and thereby alter the cyclical patterns of what God Himself designed and put in place is beyond arrogant.  The idea that a system of “carbon credits” traded on a commodity exchange would alter the earth's temperature by one degree over the next half century is beyond science fiction.  But the current administration and its cheerleaders in Congress very narrowly lost their bid to mandate participation in that farce only a handful of years ago.  You do remember “Cap and Trade?”
Climate change caused by excess, man made carbon dioxide emissions. This is the scientific consensus. It is happening. The Pentagon classified climate change as a national security threat. And yet a leader of a small group insists that they are all wrong and he is right.

Then he cites Obamacare before exulting in the discomfort of major media outlets concerning fake news.
By now the cogs are turning in every reader's memory, thinking of the endless examples of fraudulent assertions by anchors and experts.  What's so entertaining now is watching the foremost purveyors of cooked books and false conclusions express outrage at the very concept!  If there was some hint of honesty among the ranks, they'd be thrilled that at least a major portion of the population wasn't believing their spin.  But they're not thrilled.  They are exasperated, and reaching desperately for examples of somebody else, anybody else who's putting out nonsense on the Internet that could be deceptive to the uninformed.  Imagine!
He then stirs up feelings of anti-Catholicism and xenophobia while discussing Pope Francis' recent comment about fake news.
The pope himself weighed in on the subject, and he's mighty upset.  So much so that he compared the practice of spreading disinformation in the media to… let’s just say a fetish you never heard of and don't want to know about.  We're not about to ruin everybody's weekend by repeating what he said here.  But USA Today wasn't ashamed.  They've carried a full description and explanation.  Look it up at your own risk.  But it comes to mind that the pope made the plight of “poor immigrants” a foremost Christian cause, shortly before Germany opened the way for one million to flood into Europe with disastrous consequences.  Maybe he forgot to mention that the onslaught would contain terrorists and those who support them.  In fact, there's been no sign of any apology from him amid the attacks, the murders, the rapes, or the dangerous environment that now exists in every European city.
He then talks about an incident of a girl being made to fall down some stairs by persons with a "darkish complexion". Why would he possibly choose to mention the color of their skin?
It didn't make huge news, but a surveillance video of about thirty seconds duration was released this week from the security cam at a Berlin subway entrance.  A youngish girl enters the frame before turning to descend a long flight of concrete stairs to the landing below.  Five young men of darkish complexion appear not far behind her and one hurries up behind the girl on the second or third step from the top and kicks her in the back causing her to go air born to the bottom steps and the landing below.  The boys hurried up an exit stairwell, and probably will never be identified. 
He then stirs up xenophobia and distrust of the media by insinuating that major German media outlets such as Der Spiegel and Bild suppressed news of a rape of a 19 year old woman. Other wicked persons from different ethnic groups also commit such terrible things. Blaming outsiders of committing sexual violence has long been used to ostracize ethnic communities.
Then there's the case of a European Union official whose 19-year-old daughter was raped and murdered this week.  She was trying to assist the refugees.  This story is in lots of British papers, and carried by plenty of recognizable and generally reliable outlets.  But Der Spiegel in Germany?  Nope.
Bild? Couldn't find it.  And that fits the formula that's been playing out for the duration of the “migrant crisis” in Europe.  Apparently, media over there believes the danger of reporting the truth of the migrant crime situation would be, shall we say, imprudent.  On the other hand, word might be getting around whether it appears in the mass media or not.  If truth, that would rate as news under any circumstances, goes unreported by mass media, what is that?  Maybe that doesn't rise to the level of papal comment.
But his organization is predominantly American so these things are largely used as a prop to make his predominantly American followers fearful, afraid and untrusting toward unwanted immigrants and major media organizations and Black Lives Matter activists.
We have watched a Biblical warning play out in Technicolor for years, a time where evil would be lauded as good and right.  In our country, disagreement with biblically described evil has been branded racism and bigotry.  The ancient prophets warned of a time when Truth would be trampled in the street.  Hands up, don't shoot, anybody?  With all the promised change in the air, some things probably won't change.  You can bet there will still be plenty of “fake news” to unravel.  
He then talks about some statistics regarding their Australian account on Facebook trying to promote themselves.

More of the same fear filled drivel from him in this weekly update.


  1. I think Mark is rather naive in his understanding of the journalist's profession. There is such a thing as liberal or conservative bias. And there have been occasional examples of fake news, which are then exposed by (drum roll) other journalists. We also live in litigious times, and journalists and their employers are very cognizant of this, leading them to become even overly cautious. I would remind Mark of the recent case in which Rolling Stone Magazine reported on an alleged case of campus rape, and is now in court over the lack in ethics of their reporter, whose career is probably effectively over. Journalism has a built in system of checks and balances, in which those who write the news often become the news, as reporters expose new layers of truth. Generally, it is the little, defenseless, inconsequential guy who gets victimized by shoddy reporting.

    If Mark wants to do an expose into false reporting, and false news items, he ought to study into the many false claims made by his father and grandfather. Best to start at home.

    Also, 75% of the coral in Australia's Great Barrier Reef just died off this year due to "bleaching" caused by increasingly warm ocean water temperatures. This is an historic die-off of coral! Greenhouse gasses are actually scientifically measurable. But, if Mark chooses to believe conspiracy theories such as those in which he was raised, then let him believe that the UN and Al Gore or whomever made g.w. up for social engineering to thwart God's blessings upon those whom Armstrongism warns that God is about to punish anyway.


  2. As the ICG home page says, “…most of the news we hear is BAD news!” and Mark is always there to give you more.

    As for his occasional nay-saying rants on climate change, this is the first time I’ve actually seen a reason given for the ICG position. If I understand Mark correctly, global climate change results from “…the cyclical patterns of what God Himself designed and put in place…” No anthropogenic help, and no need to sell their gas-guzzlers.

    Yes, the Earth certainly experiences many cycles and oscillations, and one recently headlined is a recurring 60-million year extinction event. Possibly the cycle that Mark was referring to is in the Scafetta study (Duke University) that claims climate change is due to a number of 9 to 60 year climate cycles. If that model is correct, this should be a cold (northern hemisphere) winter.

    Or maybe Mark was thinking about Metonic cycles that work so well for HWA…