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All Governments Lie: Truth, Deception, and the Spirit of I.F. Stone
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by Greg Ursic

"Corporate Media: all the news they're paid to print"
3 stars

If a journalist broke a story about a recently discovered mass grave containing the bones of 200 unidentified victims, your first instinct would be that they were covering unfolding events in an area taken back from ISIL or somewhere in Syria. But how would you feel upon learning that the gravesite was in Texas, the dead were Mexican immigrants who died on US soil and there had been no coverage in the mainstream media. Welcome to the wonderful world of corporate news, where “If it bleeds it leads” has been replaced by infotainment and government pandering.

I had never been a fan of the major news outlets, but my disdain for them peaked in the run-up to invasion of Iraq in 2003: rather than carrying out even the most basic due diligence with regards to the outrageous claims of Iraq’s of weapons programs, they abandoned all semblance integrity and actively embraced jingoism and became mouthpieces for the Bush government (who can forget the much vaunted "we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud" scenario that was repeated over and over.

Director Fred Peabody’s <b>All Governments Lie</b> looks at politicians’ predilection for prevarication through the lens of the media and the legacy of I.F. Stone, an independent journalist whose weekly paper was required reading for over two decades for anyone who really wanted to know what was going on.

Stone makes for great subject matter, but alas he doesn’t get anywhere near the depth of coverage he deserves, rather the doc focuses on the independents who have picked up his mantle, outlets like Democracy Now, The Young Turks, etc.

Featuring a host of compelling interviews with the likes of Michael Moore, <b> Citizenfour </b> director Laura Poitras and journalist/author Jeremy Scahill, they make the case that Fifth Estate is doing a credible job of keeping meaningful journalism alive. The challenge is getting people to search them out and the realization that their coverage is in-depth and maybe too dark for a generation of viewers raised on easy to digest pap.

Peabody et. al make a solid case for the sorry state of journalism and the importance of seeking out independent news sources and questioning what you see, however it feels repetitive at times. Most importantly the doc fails to stress that not all independents are created equal; after all, tens of millions of Americans believe that Breitbart is a reliable outlet.

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originally posted: 03/15/17 17:41:14
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2016 Toronto International Film Festival For more in the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival series, click here.

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