The Latest Tenor in the Blame Russia Chorus


David Schraven is the latest star tenor in the Blame Russia Chorus. His website, correct!v.org, began right about the time that MH17 went down with a grant of 1 million euro per year for three years from the Bröst Foundation, an organization formed with a gift of €300 million from Anneliese Bröst, a billionaire heiress. Schraven’s credentials appear to be pretty good, but the timing of correct!v.org’s startup, the extremely generous funding from Mrs. Bröst’s foundation and the similarly opportune startup timing of the website, bellingcat.com, which he uses as part of his evidence, make me think twice about trusting his work. We are all aware of how funding can influence both the goals and often the data of pharmaceutical research, for example.

correct!v.org is a data-centric investigative journalism outfit. It is newly formed; this article that announced its formation was written on – wait for it – July 17, 2014 –  the date MH17 went down! The man in charge of the latest Blame Russia article is David Schraven, founder of correct!v.org. The article takes 35 minutes to read even without checking out Schraven’s anonymous sources like “Rupert Smid.” He and his team (writers Marcus Bensmann and David Crawford and editors, Daniel Drepper, Jonathan Sachse, Benedict Wermter and Julia Brötz) have pinned it on a Buk operated by the 53rd Russian Air Defence Brigade.

In addition to its own investigative stuff, the Schraven article uses “research” done by Elliot Higgins, well known for his suspect social media approach to finding the “bad guys” guilty by chasing all over the web for Buk sightings. Higgins is behind bellingcat.com, which is critiqued by this WikiSpooks article. Elliot Higgins founded bellingcat on July 15, 2014, two days before MH17 went down. Before then he was on Twitter as @BrownMoses and ran the Brown Moses blog. Higgins appeared to work faster than light and found photos of a “Buk on a Truck” only one day after (or, was it, egad, July 17?) the tragic downing that killed 298 passengers and crew. There is much to suspect about the accuracy of this work and the quickness with which this first photo was found.

David Schraven (via Wikipedia):

“Since 2010 he is head of investigations at Funke Mediengruppe (ed. – see below) one of the largest European media holdings for regional newspapers including Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung.” “He was the founder of the German Newspaper “taz ruhr”. Later he worked as a reporter on energy issues for the Axel Springer Group.” (Axel Springer founded Axel Springer GmbH in 1946 – see below also for more info on Springer’s flagship tabloid, Bild) “Then in 2010 he went on with his researches as head of investigations at Funke Mediengruppe.” (See below also)

Springer founded Bild in 1952, a photo tabloid paper like the Sun, complete with nudity, sensational news, etc. It was attacked by the radical left in the late 60’s for its political opinion. Bild is Conservative by German standards. Very pro-State of Israel. Very, very popular. Bild stories are often based on dubious evidence. Wiki describes the tabloid as “unabashedly conservative and nationalist.”  Funke Mediengruppe, the new name for the publishing company that was owned by the Bröst family, having been founded by social democrat Erich Brost. Funke bought out the Bröst shares in 2012. Read this for more on the interesting history of Brost and Funke. Anneliese Bröst (see above) inherited her fortune from Erich Bröst, her husband. She died in 2010.

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Author: mytiturk

Travelbug Minstrel: Strum for my supper, croon for my cuppa Search for a sign, write for my whine

9 thoughts on “The Latest Tenor in the Blame Russia Chorus”

  1. I’m always astonished by what I don’t know re media history and politics. As in, never having heard of these people and publications. So I appreciate your bringing up their significance. My own political eye tends to sweep the global landscape pretty swiftly without seeking details. I’ve learned that the large indicators so grossly light the way that being right has begun to make me crazy.
    Yet I realize that a more detailed awareness of how big impulses are being played out is crucial, in this case to gauge the extent to which they reflect a broad German mood -or a attempt to shape it. Am I right in seeing the latter? I’m sure the US is gearing up to whip its allies into a real military showdown, and I’d guess Germany to be its most resistant major ally.
    What a ton of money! Still, Germans are hard to fool.They know Russia intimately, and still (quietly) hate us more. I can’t help but feel they’ve already resolved Schraven’s big investigation to their satisfaction. Do you think they are the real intended audience? I have no idea…
    Anyway, I think Russia’s instincts are sound -Europe will find its aggression preferable to our own if that’s what it takes to stop the global threat we so clearly are. I wonder if it will take blunt threats to achieve the military support the US needs. I don’t doubt we’d make them. France and England will cave. It’s hard to imagine the same of Spain, Greece,Germany, Italy….
    Very sorry if I got off topic,
    Thanks for another great post!
    Claire

    1. I agree wholeheartedly that great deals of money are being spent to interfere with the newest threat to global hegemony – the social media. I use Twitter when an issue becomes a passion for me. The gripping Arab Spring events in Cairo got me started. MH17 is a bone this dog cannot let go of. The Western media were mobilized to do propaganda during WW I and WW II for limited periods of time. The struggle the world is now in has been going on since WW II ended. The mainstream Western press (and most political leaders) have been recently captured and (permanently?) tamed to fight this latest, long-term, trans-national struggle for total corporate dominion, leaving individuals to ferret out the “truth” as best we can. Most of us are individuals for whom sitting at a PC is not something for which we are paid. There have been for some time websites that are financed by the global powers to distract, dilute and baffle this new and powerful freedom. Websites are financed by Western security organizations and billionaires, as are, in the case of the Ukraine, battalions of mercenaries. Its all part of the same war. correct!v.org’s audience is the worldwide Twitterverse and blogosphere. My sense there is that whoever runs the Bröst Foundation now is possibly pro-truth, but probably complicit and, from the point of view of “World Peace”, in my view, destructively anti-Russian.
      The cooperation of Britain with the US has been a given. They never adopted the Euro – hmmmm. Do they fulfill the role of mole? If the US could have NATO without Europe they would. That one’s complex, as we have seen in the current battle over control of the Ukraine. US vs Europe for sure. A Europe that includes a friendly Russia is probably a very scary non-starter for the folks at the Project for the New American Century. MH17 is being used to bring a weakened Europe into the fold and isolate Russia. The humiliation of expanding NATO right up to the Russian border is not something Russia can tolerate. Thinking they would let Sevastopol go with Crimea was insane. I see warts on all sides here and the US is not content to have humiliated Russia militarily, eliminating it as a rival in that sense. It wants to finish the job economically, partly to weaken Europe.
      ***
      On a personal note: I and, I suspect, you, both inhabit a “lonely” place, intellectually and morally. It is, for me, so lonely that I go through a regular “process” of examining why I spend so much time doing what even people closest to me consider a wasteful “charging at windmills.” Self doubt becomes a nagging factor, yet there is a compulsion to continue doing something that isolates – almost exiles. I often write simply to process my own thinking, without considering how many will read this stuff.
      I spent over five hours on that post, looking for stuff I suspected would be out there, and then doing careful double- and triple-checking and tweaking the way I expressed every damn phrase. Then, unfinished, I slept on it, caught a few hours of sleep, took care of the other things that are hugely important in my life and finished it last night and went to bed. I spent days on the previous post and wish I’d slept on it and made the opening less harsh, something since rectified.
      I see your comment, far from being off topic, as a thoughtful, singular and generous inspiration to keep going. Many, many thanks.

      1. Correction: The neocon “Project for the New American Century” dissolved in 2006, but the hawks are still around pulling strings, as you well know.

  2. I’ll be back again, as I’m rushing out, but I had to stop and thank-you for the combined scope of your post, including and especially your insight. I don’t do the sort of real journalism you do (which is deftly shaped to serve the people IMHO ) too much anymore, but I did it for years and you sort of inspire me to resume. I’m pretty good at it.

    Yes, it is lonely to be surrounded by the dismissal/disregard of what is, to us, both most compelling and blindingly apparent – when it’s such a central part of one’s humanity, it naturally seeks itself in others. I believe that most people are more aware than they seem, and experience a certain discomfort/moral pressure when an individual acts on what all recognize, if dimly, as collective responsibility.
    Journalists aren’t bloggers. They need readers – really. Few will care as much as you do, but it’s the service of informing them within a sea of lies that becomes the connection we seek: it’s the sign of a newspaper man.

    You should submit this post to a professional platform. As usual I don’t have specific info at hand, but I’ll check.

    We could find ourselves part of a defacto legitimate press sooner than we think. (-:

    1. Claire,
      I bet you’re extremely good, and more of a natural writer than I am. I’ve no experience in submitting my writing to a publication, but proud and happy to have been an encouragement for you!

  3. 2016-04-22 Update: Bellingcat is still churning out the anti-Russia MH17 propaganda, more than ever it seems. The harder Higgins thrashes about in the tangled social media sphere, the more I sense the desperation in his story line. Correct!v.org is focusing lately on concern over the TTIP, but, ever so creepy cautious, appears to be going nowhere fast. Stalling while trying to look anti-American with tacky flags on burgers? Not sure… but not impressed. With the nest egg left him by Bröst, Schraven can afford to be much less of a single issue type, but he was dead wrong, IMHO, on tagging Russia with MH17.

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