Suddenly the front page of yesterday’s issue of the Daily Prophet was adorned with a gigantic headline –
“THE REALITY BEHIND SPEW-Review`s FAKE NEWS!“ by James Umbridge.
We were shocked by such unexpected attention from the largest source of, so to speak, information.
Perhaps the Big DP was jealous of the fact that we published an interview with the Quibbler’s editor-in-chief, Theresa Lovegood, and didn’t ask for such mercy from their editor-in-chief, Arnold Davies. Anyway, flattered by this, we familiarized ourselves with the contents of this article and cite it here without cuts, providing it with our own comments.
Let’s try together to understand the essence of what is happening.
“Fake news sites designed to trick you!”
Dear James! Only a fledgling chick in journalism could choose such subheading for the article, but not you – the real monster of manipulating by vox populi. But you, as we well know, always carefully select every word.
So, we can conclude with sadness, not only the Daily Prophet is rolling downhill, but also its audience. Or, perhaps, a decline in the level of the newspaper repels its previous audience and attracts a new, relevant one.
“Free Wizard media blaming Russian Presidential Koldovskaja Palata (Chamber of Sorcerery) for trying to undermine Minister`s for Magic election with fake news.“
Firstly – until yesterday`s DP issue, we had no idea that the Russian sorcerers will give a damn Knut if the Wizengamot would elect their ex-Lady, Millicent Bulstrode as a new Minister for Magic, overthrowing the reign of the heroic Hermione Granger, or not. During the last couple years, Hermy flaunted warlike rhetoric to such an extent that Millicent’s gloomy gloom might seem like a breath of fresh air.
Secondly — оf course, a rich sponsor would be very useful for us. We sorely missed our chance to milk something from the Russians after the publication of the story about Ordaricia. This story received the most negative reviews from Russian Winternet users. Some of commentaries contain a lot of rude hints and threats. So — you do not aim properly, James.
And last but not least – what are the “free Wizard Media” mentioned by the respected DP? The Daily Prophet, as is the Quibbler that has been owned for the last two years by Al-Mansur Foundation, biggest partner of Malfoy Stanley Inc.
Immediately after takeover, the Supervisory Board dismissed Tom Finnegan, the previous editor-in-chief of the DP and appointed to this position Mrs. Marietta Edgecombe. More than half of journalists also left the Daily Prophet together with Tom – some of them work with us, some – with Lee Jordan at his ‘Echo of Freedom’ radio.
If “free” means only “free of unwanted opinions“, in this case has DP told the truth. It`s an absolutely FREE media.
“The Palata has consistently denied any interference. The 2019 Minister`s race was rife with disinformation, none more blatant than fake news – hoaxes, half-truths, outright lies – that flashed through the Winternet at warp speed. Take, for example, “Robegate,” a made-up story of a pedophilia ring supposedly being run out of a Diagon Alley M-me Malkin`s shop by none other than Millicent Bulstrode and her campaign chairman John Montague. Fueled by conspiracy theorists posting on social media sites like Breddit, Wizbook and Sweater, the story picked up so much traction that The Daily Prophet was forced to track it down, finally debunking it.”
The only debunking of this story, which became known, was the payment of rather significant amounts in Golden Galleons to the families of the victims for refusing to litigate. Since some members of the Malfoy family were involved in the scandal, one should not be surprised at the sources of funding for this debunking. Aurors showed surprising restraint in investigating these incidents. According to the statement of the head of the department, Mr. Dawlish-Jr., “highly likely that the use of Legilimens was not confirmed”. At 2017 the petition, calling for the inclusion of Legilimens in the list of Unforgivable Spells, collected a million signatures, but was rejected by the Wizengamot chaired by Mrs. Bulstrode.
Just in case, we have never mentioned this scandal to this day, thanks to The Daily Prophet for reminding us.
“Then there were the stories about Bulstrode’s health. Not just her actual September bout of pneumonia, but other stories claiming she had a brain injury and was losing her mind.”
The Daily Prophet means, if we are not mistaken, the case when Mrs. Bulstrode at a reception in honor of the Head of the Department of Witchcraft of the US Congress began to talk about the fact that the meat of the mermaids is very tender in taste, but too salty. When asked again, she laughed and said she was joking. Then the Supreme Lady quickly left the reception, citing ill health.
We HOPE that it was just mental problems.
“Wizard media, for the most part, are blaming Moscow, accusing the Palata of exploiting fake news to damage Bulstrode, help elect Hermione Granger, and undermine the Wizard electorate’s faith in their Ministry. The Palata has consistently denied it tried to interfere in the election.”
What is that “Wizard media”? No answer.
Why should Russians promote such an aggressive maximalist as Hermy? No answer.
Did we ever support Hermy as a candidate or as a Minister? No.
Is faith in the Ministry obligatory for wizards? No answer.
“Two new studies that were cited by Wizard media outlets, claim Russia used “thousands of botnets, teams of paid human ‘trolls,’ and networks of websites and social-media accounts” to “echo and amplify” false or misleading sweats, Wizbook posts, videos and SPEW-Review reports. The first study – “Trolls for Granger: How Russia is Trying to Destroy Our Democracy” – appeared in early November in The Mace-wand, an online magazine.
“Russia’s propaganda mechanisms primarily aim for “alt-right and more traditional right-wing and fascist parties,” Belinda Watts, one of the co-authors of the paper, tells the DP, but they’re also “hitting across any group in the UK Wizard community that is anti-government, or fomenting dissent or conspiracies against the Ministry.”
Watts, a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and senior fellow at the Center for Sorcerer Security at Umbridge Society R&D Center co-authored the study alongside two other researchers, Andrew Meisburd and J.M. Gerber.
“It’s not exclusive to Granger,” Watts explains. “They are huge in the Muggle-haters community. That’s where we saw them before they went to Granger. And then they try on the left as well.”
All these people and institutions were previously unknown to anyone. And now they are being submitted to us as absolute experts, whose opinion should be undeniable. Hermione Granger is Muggle-born – how could Muggle-haters support her? Maybe The Daily Prophet mixed up personalities? Because the BIGEDA party, led by Mrs. Bulstrode, IS a Muggle-hater and so ultra-right, that nobody could be more “right” than they are! It sounds like Russians beloved by the DP said – “shift from a sore head to a healthy one”.
Which of our articles could so inflame the imagination of dear Belinda? We could not understand this.
Again, and again – what a these “Wizard media outlets”? We coudn`t find any of its.
“But importantly, Watts says, Russia’s goal wasn’t just to elect Granger. “The goal is to erode trust in mainstream media, public figures, Ministry – everything that holds the unity of the Wizard community together.”
Oops! So this is what the Daily Prophet and the Ministry is most concerned about! Fall in popularity!
Of course, this is not due (for the Ministry) to higher taxes and higher defense spending to the detriment of social programs! This is not due (for The Daily Prophet) to bullshit news, shameless lies and ass licking Ministry!
These are the machinations of Russians and their SPEW Review servants only!
(For the audience of the Daily Prophet – if you suddenly read it – it was sarcasm).
“The second study was conducted by an anonymous, self-described “non-partisan collection of researchers with foreign policy, military and technology backgrounds” who call themselves TrollOrNot. The group says that it too analyzed sweats and other social media messages ricocheting around the web and found many of the same phrases, which it interpreted as indicating that they came from the same single source.
In some cases, fake news was spread knowingly; in other cases, activists and others simply picked up and passed on tidbits they liked, in what the authors describe as an “online echo chamber.”
Many different groups SPEW fake news, but Russia is currently the industry leader.”
It is so funny that it doesn’t even need comments! LOL! “Non-partisan collection of researchers” – James, that`s your best joke ever! All our staff laughed so much that we decided to arrange an extra coffee-break for one hour!
Such “finger sucked” experts could be used only in the parody show – as (for those who remember) Benny Hill`s Fred Scuttle, Head of Security-ti-ti.
One of our guys even suggested setting up an Anonymous Expert weekly parody column – in order to dilute the excessive, in his opinion, gravity of our magazine. If you, James, have no objections, we will try to make this experiment. Of course, every time we will announce, that it was your idea – copyright is copyright is copyright, we could not SPEW on it.
“What Russian media thinks.
Good Neighbor (GN), the Russian Wizard media company, and the Russian Wizard news service KoldUn (means Sorcerer) – both state-financed – feature prominently in most reports on Russian propaganda. The Daily Prophet article, quoting researchers, accuses the outlets of “sometimes” including “false and misleading stories in their reports.”
GN dismisses the Daily Prophet story as a “hog-wash”.
“GN has never engaged in any such activity – which is, perhaps, why DaiPro failed to provide a single piece of evidence or reference,” Editor-in-chief, Maria Simonoff, tells DP.
That`s it! Just ask yourself – if somebody will accuse you that you Charm your cat to poo onto the neighbor`s door step without any evidence or reference, how could you deny such accusation? You can just laugh on it! There is no other way!
“It is particularly troubling,” she says, “that, prior to publishing the piece, the Daily Prophet did not even bother to seek a comment from GN (or SPEW Review – added by SR), as a right of reply would be the minimum in standard journalistic practice when making such libelous claims … It seems ironic that in its eagerness to comment on the ‘fake news’ phenomenon, the outlet would follow in a similar vein in its own editorial approach.”
Asked for a response, The Daily Prophet tells: “While we did quote the Palata denying any interference in the Ministry election, we should also have obtained separate comment from GN, a network funded by the Russian government. Its comment was later included in the online version of the story.”
Simonoff insists that GN is “most highly concerned about the ‘fake news’ phenomenon because … it is perfectly acceptable for the mainstream media to promote fake news — as long as it’s about Russia or GN.”
What could we say? Mmmm… Maria, you`re right!
It would be funny if it weren’t so sad. We believe that such “disclosures and debunks” undermine the faith of the Wizard community in the common sense and mental health of the Ministry and Wizard media.
What do you think?