BFP Food for Thought: What’s so “Alternative” About These Alternatives?!

All Quasi Roads Lead to the Same Establishment

mazeI simply don’t get it! Actually, I haven’t been ‘getting it’ for a while. Maybe you can help me get it; will you? Here is the quandary:
There are several major websites out there with quite a following. These websites advertise themselves as the ‘alternative.’ That is, the alternative to the mainstream media. They market themselves as ‘raw’ news and commentary sites. That is, the ‘real & raw’ news versus the processed, filtered, span bull sh.. sold to the public as ‘news.’ So, they say all that, right? Well, that was the straight forward and easy part. Here is where the quandary begins:

I have been visiting these ‘alternative & raw’ news and analyses sites for a year or two. I go to these sites and check out every single headline-title boldly displayed on their homepage. When I click and check out these titles-headlines-links I end up finding myself standing right in the middle of the mainstream media news outlets: New York Times, Washington Post, MSNBC, LA Times, ABC …And I go ‘ what the he..’. I check to see whether I made a mistake, took a wrong turn along the way, that is from the moment I entered these ‘alternative’ sites and clicked on their supposed ‘alternative’ headlines links, and frankly, I can’t see how I (or anyone) could have lost my way and ended up right in the bosom of the very mainstream media I’ve been trying to avoid. I then turn around, all disgusted, and quickly leave the very mainstream sites I have come to despise, thinking; heck I ended up adding one more hit to their traffic stats, and most likely contributed a penny or two to their corporate advertisers. Are you still with me? I kinda get it up to this point, and this is where I get stuck:

I, and many others like me, go to these ‘alternative & raw’ news and information sites because I know not to trust and support the corporate-owned and government-controlled mainstream news sites. But then, when I go to these ‘alternative & raw’ sites and check out their bold headlines, I am either taken directly to those same mainstream sites I try so hard to avoid, or, I am given the same propaganda’s summarized version with an audacious note indicating the source as the same evil mainstream media outlet. If this trend had applied only to …let’s say 25% of their content, headlines, then, I’d say ‘okay; tons of good for a little evil-bad.’ However, this trend applies to more than 75% of these major ‘alternative & raw’ news sites. Don’t take my word for it; go check and compile your statistics/numbers. Then why the he.. do I bother checking out these ‘alternative & raw’ sites? Why the he.. do I expose myself to the same propaganda only delivered via a third party?

And while we are at it: don’t these ‘alternative & raw’ news sites actually participate in disseminating the establishment-mainstream propaganda?  Aren’t they increasing the visitors traffic thus the corporate advertiser revenue for these establishment-mainstream propaganda outlets? Then, when it comes down to it, aren’t these ‘alternative & raw’ outlets extensions of and pimps for the establishment-mainstream media?

Then why the he.. would anyone bother visiting these quasi ‘alternative & raw’ news sites? I don’t get it. Do you? Any food for thought?

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  1. Excellent write-up. The only thing I have to say is that occasionally, the “mainstream media” reports on important information. It’s buried, it never gets the attention that Anna Nicole Smith, Britney Spears, Michael Jackson, Scott Peterson, The Aruba Murders, the Ground Zero Mosque, etc… get, but sometimes it’s there. I find a lot of times that what are considered to be “good stories” show up on many different news wires, but are either avoided by the American media and picked up on by foreign media, or is posted on one American site in the middle of nowhere. For instance…

    “On October 29th, 2007, Sibel Edmonds agreed to break the gag order that was placed on her, and tell her entire story to the media. Until very recently, the only paper to take the challenge was the Sunday Times. At the time, the media in this country did not give her the time of day with one exception that I know of, and it wasn’t prominently displayed.”

    Guess which was the “one exception?”,2933,324142,00.html

    Not exactly a site in the middle of nowhere, but it’s enough to make one cry.

  2. jschoneboom says:

    Yeah, it’s really hard to find good news. I thought Huffington was OK for a while but now, ehh, fluff pieces, mainstream news, possibly with a slight liberal bent in the most namby pamby possible way, nothing in the way of serious, important investigative journalism. And now it’s owned by, what, AOL or somebody? Big alternative! It’s lame. The Village Voice has been lame for years. I just try to keep reading good analytical books so I can decipher the news myself through what isn’t said, as best I can. The Guardian is OK for some things, Asia Times for some things, the Calcutta Telegraph for some things…

  3. theepitbull says:


    These ‘alternative & raw’ news outlets are nothing but ‘spin’ operations. For emphasis, the major news outlets know that they are and have been loosing market share to the ‘alternative’ news outlets et al.

    So, what’s their strategy? It’s simple, look, feel, and sound like a ‘alternative news’ outlet:

    The use of third party advocates or front groups for the dissemination of US government propaganda is well documented:

    JSOU: Covert Blogs & Military Information Strategy


    Most people assume covert government projects are paid for with separate budget appropriations, passed by a vote of congress. They also assume that while congress may not know what the money is being used for, at least congress knows how much is being spent. Sadly, nothing could be farther from the truth. In the last 50 years, at least $40 trillion (in 2004 dollars) has been siphoned away from legitimate uses and spent on secret projects.

    In my humble opinion


    PS: Link of the week:

  4. The problem you raise is a real one, and seems to be neither completely unsolvable nor completely solvable. Jon Gold point seems well taken. When reading or listening too “main stream media” one can learn to read “between the lines” and to dig out the salient “facts” which are buried in propaganda. For example, in the NYTimes, the last couple of lines of a long story often (or at least often used to, in the past) contain “the kicker” which essentially negated most of the foregoing claptrap.
    The three sites mentioned by jschoneboom are also worth noting (although, to be honest, I confess I have yet to surf to the Calcutta Times site).
    There are also web sites which are “out of the mainstream”. Three that might be mentioned are John Young’s “”, the Deep Politics forum “” and Bernhard Horstmann’s “”, the latter being a European site with a wonderfully astute site-master and frequently very useful comments from
    the “bar flies”.

    It would be of interest to have a (much) longer list, and, of course, one should keep in mind that even sites in languages not accessible to most
    Americans can be at least partially deciphered using the Bing or Google translation tools. For example, Immad Khadduri’s “Free Iraq” site
    often has contributions in Arabic as well as in English. It is useful for an Iraqi point of view on the U.S. occupation and is certainly not recommended reading for neocons (although they might learn something from the news which turns up there).

    The very virtues of these sites (which give either non-mainstream information or non-mainstream points of view) tend to make them subject to criticism by those who don’t want to have their “patriotic American certainties” put into question, but in this I wholeheartedly agree with (what I take to be) Sibel’s point of view, namely, that authentic patriotism consists in seeking the truth about one’s nation and acting to set right the wrongs that it has committed. There is no lack of such material for Americans.

    No single site can possibly have all the answers, not even Sibel’s, but we are fortunate to have her and those other independent spirits who are
    trying to cut through the mainstream media smokescreen.
    In the end, however, nothing can substitute for the individual conscience and inquiring mind that seeks to sift and winnow in order to separate the grains of truth from the chaff of propaganda.

  5. @jschoneboom: Agreed. Huff Post: stopped going there long time ago. Did you know: they banned me and links to my site? Yap. It looks like MSM, reads like MSM, it must be MSM;-)

  6. @theepitbull: I am with you. Another sign: look at the corporate-foundation money flowing into them: Soros, anyone?! Also, most tend to act as Israel lobby extension…men, I could name dozens of well-known ones!!

  7. @Hannah: As always, articulately presented and sound. Every time you do this, I bring up the same thing: We would love to have you write-publish here @ Boiling Frogs. Please consider:-)

  8. thymesup says:

    Again, Sibel, how long does something/comment have to “await moderation?” This is what happened last week three times. Are there certain words that trigger those two little words ? How long/days after do you continue to check a certain thread. Please>>>>>>>

  9. @thymesup: I responded to your other exact same inquiry, and I am going to do it one last time: Our new spam filter program for WP blocks certain comments that contain certain types of links, or too many links, or …It has been working perfectly fine for every comment, and I haven’t been getting complaints. I suggest: you post shorter comments, and or don’t fill up comments with too many links, and see if you experience the same problem. If you are interested in posting comments to advertise too may other links, then, please go somewhere else. I can’t spend all this time typing response to the same complaint over and over again…

  10. I think many mean well, but simply cannot match the budget of big media. When I link to a major media source, I have usually added perspective to the subject. Perspective can be very important – being perhaps the largest element of most major media. I always welcome solid perspective, especially on subjects I am unfamiliar with. Also, with no intention of flattering, your work is quite a bit above average, and it may be unreasonable to expect most others to have equal dedication.

    Major outlets also leak things by their very nature, sometimes. If coverage inspires doubt, or questioning, one might simply analyze the hell out of it, and even dig up counter evidence. Being paranoid, I also expect google of manipulating search results. They have at least admitted doing so with youtube – an enormous source of info.

    But one cannot avoid the fact that the CIA, DHS, law enforcement, and even the pentagon are engaging in sock-puppetry. I cringe to imagine how many false twitter accounts there must be, and how many “artificial” blogs there are. It’s a mess no doubt. But at least we’ve got sites like this. And I surely try my best to promote them. But I’m not going to stop ranting just because I am mediocrity.

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