The Daily Beast, Gonzo journalism and the Integrity Initiative

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  • #90508 Reply

      Hello all
      I consider it necessary to draw the attention of all commentators to the warning that Mr. Murray inserts after each of his articles:

      “… our adversaries including the Integrity Initiative, the 77th Brigade, Bellingcat, the Atlantic Council and hundreds of other warmongering propaganda operations…”

      This website may be monitored, so please be careful of what you say.

      Let me please remind you of Gonzalo Lira, who was in Kharkov when the hostilities started. Gonzalo streamed on YouTube, talking about what he sees. He was attacked by journalists from the Daily Beast, he was reported to the secret services of Ukraine. Gonzalo was detained.
      I’m afraid that I could be the reason why the “journalists” of this publication might be interested in Mr. Murray’s site, because I brought the Gonzalo story here to discuss.
      Why do I call these people “journalists” in quotation marks:

      Firstly, what happened to Gonzalo Lira is not the standard of journalistic activity.

      Secondly, their principles:

      “…in 2018, editor-in-chief Noah Shachtman characterized The Daily Beast as a “high-end tabloid” that embraces gonzo journalism”

      “Gonzo journalism is a style of journalism that is written without claims of objectivity”

      Thirdly, references to the Russian Media Monitor, repeatedly given here in the comment section, point to Julia Davis. Also, Putin’s phrase about nuclear weapons without context was launched into the Western media by her.

      Julia Davis is not only the founder of the Russian Media Monitor,
      but also an employee of the Atlantic Council
      and a columnist for the Daily Beast.

      In the manual for the Integrity Initiative agents, Julia is listed as a sample to follow.

      “The author of the textbook refers to the American journalist Julia Davis, who has been actively cooperating with the central American media since 2014. The Integrity Initiative must fully trust this journalist and use her arguments whenever possible.”

      The list of arguments, style of presentation and vocabulary can be seen in her articles, for example here
      Or, another “journalist” listed as a sample in the Integrity Initiative textbook

      Having said all of this above, again, folk, be careful of what you say.
      Agents, they don’t come here like: “Hello, I’m your monitoring agent for today, feel free to talk and enjoy freedom of speech in our shining democracy.”
      They know that they are doing something shameful, so they act covertly.
      Agents of all sorts may report you to your state’s secret service.
      Daily Beast did it to Gonzalo Lira.

      Viva FreiWhere is Gonzalo Lira? No News is Not Good News (19 Apr 2022) – YouTube, 6m 24s

      #90532 Reply

        well, seems I’m alone here. Well, let’s get it all in one place
        Gonzalo Lira talks about this story, before he was detained by Ukrainian secret service

        Gonzalo Lira: The Daily Beast Is Trying To Get Me Killed – YouTube, 16m 35s

        #90561 Reply

          Tatyana, Gonzalo seemed reasonably credible when he was reporting on the initial events in Ukraine because he was there and I gave him attention for a time on twitter (nitter) and then telegram when he was twitter banned. However, he didn’t stick to that which he was experiencing at first hand. His bullshit relating to covid and his ill-considered predilection to assume the harms of covid vaccines without due diligence, and highlight those who do the same along with his simplistic and often moronic views on the gender issue, turned me off him. He is prone to reposting banal and unthought-out views on both. I stopped paying him any attention.

          #91742 Reply

            Well, I think I should add the update, thanks Peter and Gordon for posting (Please excuse me if I write the second name wrongly, I’ve seen the comment and the name just for a short time before it was gone.)

            So, Gonzalo was put in Ukrainian prison for 9 and a half weeks. He was accused of being a Russian propagandist and for saying that this conflict in Ukraine was not provoked.

            Gonzalo will be trialed in a couple of days, the sentence may be 5 to 8 years in labour camp.
            Strange remark in his video is about Victoria Nuland, that she knows about him.


            #91743 Reply

              If someone has access to Gonzalo’s Twitter, please do post the link. Twitter is unavailable for me.

              #91744 Reply


                As I understand it, the current status and whereabouts of Gonzalo Lira are not known for sure.

                He posted on YouTube and Twitter/X yesterday as he was just about to attempt to cross into Hungary and seek political asylum. At the time of (my) writing he hasn’t posted again and that is now over twenty hours ago so it doesn’t look good. But he could equally have been detained in Hungary pending the processing of his request or he could have been sent back, or be in the process of being sent back, to Ukraine. To my knowledge it is not clear.

                You can check his three explanatory sequential Youtube videos here:


                And his Twitter/X posting, which includes the details of the ‘charges’ against him, here:


                #91747 Reply

                  Thank you so much, Peter. If you could please copy/paste the text of his tweet?

                  #91748 Reply

                    this part in his #2 of 3 video, at 2:30
                    “I want to emphasize this: you know in the indictment, if you read it you will see that the prosecutor himself says that I commited no crime against any person or property. And that my crimes are literally are speech crimes. Saying things that the government doesn’t like.
                    Ukraine is supposed to be this big democracy that it wants to join the European Union, because it has European values, European democratic values.
                    What a higher value does a democracy have than Free Speech?”

                    #91749 Reply

                      Hi again Tatyana,

                      Can you use Nitter – – ?

                      If you can, you can go to the site and type in Lira’s Twitter address from above and then click on ‘Tweets’.

                      From there you can click on Lira’s posts.

                      The particular tweet is 25 tweets long and includes photos of the charges against him in both English and Ukrainian.

                      If you can’t do that I could try copying the tweets, not sure how you could access the photos of the charges though.

                      #91750 Reply

                        Also, have you tried using a proxy server?

                        You can find a proxy server – one in another country – by googling ‘proxy server’.

                        So for instance RT is banned in the UK but it is easily accessible by using a proxy server.

                        #91752 Reply

                          Peter, I have problems with Nitter, like some posts may be missing. Also, I spend most of my time in the basement I like this phrase! 🙂, no Internet line here yet, so I turn my smartphone into a WiFi spot and place it on the windowsill. The window is small, also I have to place it in a certain position to have some more or less good signal level.

                          There are also people who don’t use Twitter at all, I recall they asked to tell what was posted there.
                          I thought maybe you could just retell what is important there, in Gonzalo’s twitts? So that we have a general idea.

                          #91754 Reply

                            Hi again Tatyana,

                            If you can access Nitter, it seems you can, then just click on this tweet:

                            “Gonzalo Lira
                            Right now, I’m about to try to get out of Ukraine, and seek political asylum in Hungary.

                            Either I’ll cross the border and make it to safety, or I’ll be disappeared by the Kiev regime.

                            This is what’s happened to me over the past three months.


                            This will take you to the 25 tweet thread Gonzalo made yesterday and includes the photos.

                            As far as I know that is the only tweet he has made since he was released.

                            Worryingly, he says in the last tweet, number 25:

                            “If you don’t hear from me in the next 12 hours—whelp! I’m on my way to a labor camp!

                            Wish me luck.”

                            Larry Johnson, with whom Lira had communicated with personally since his release, speaking to Judge Napolitano this evening, suggested that the claim he was heading for Hungary may have been a diversionary tactic. But Johnson also confirmed that no one has heard from him since yesterday.

                            #91755 Reply

                              PS, the 25 tweet thread pretty much just reiterates what Gonzalo says in the videos. The only key addition is the photos of the indictment.

                              #91756 Reply

                                This link shows all 25 tweets in chronological order:


                                #91758 Reply

                                  Well hello again, that’s me, (hat tip to Andrei Martyanov),

                                  There’s a very good discussion of Gonzalo’s situation between The Duran guys on their Youtube channel:


                                  As of 6am 2nd Aug still no update on Gonzalo’s Twitter and Youtube pages.

                                  #91760 Reply
                                  Pears Morgaine

                                    Released on bail, given his passport back and despite, so he claims, being closely watched by the SBU still gets to make 25 Tweets and 3 Youtube videos telling the world he’s making a run for Hungary.

                                    #91763 Reply

                                      This came through from Larry Johnson blog, it is a blog I pay attention to.
                                      n.b., the three GL videos are badly edited, you can fast forward the start of 2nd and 3rd because they overlap and repeat the end of the preceding video.

                                      I am unsure who Gonzalo Lira is, or why he is of significance. All I know is that he is being presented as someone who should be of interest to me.
                                      His mode of behaviour and mannerisms are unusual, which makes it difficult for me to get a log in on him.
                                      But there again, Julian Assange has similar qualities. With Julian I don’t have the same “who is this guy” difficulty that I do with Gonzalez Lira because I know the back story to Julian…_


                                      #91764 Reply

                                        Thank you all for the updates! Except for Pears Morgaine, no thanks from me to you, and your supporter Dawg, you both were smearing Gonzalo from the very beginning and I also do not like your position on nazism in Ukraine.

                                        Here is another video, it is by the New Atlas and I’m sorry to say I forgot the name of this guy, afraid to be wrong, Brian? I believe he is Brian
                                        Here starts at 2:07 is the question asked dirrectly to the State Department person (Ned Price?, ugh, foreign names…) on what is their action on Gonzalo’s situation.

                                        #91772 Reply

                                          There hasn’t been any news about Gonzalo Lira for 2 days now and it doesn’t look hopeful. Alexander Mercouris suggested he could be stuck in the Hungarian asylum system, but he should still have his phone connection if so.

                                          There were fake claims on Twitter about him being captured since he posted his update, but the reports are becoming more credible:

                                          Gonzalo said he’s likely to face years in a labour camp if the SBU get hold of him and it would effectively be a death sentence due to his heart condition. But it’s not an immediate one and where there’s life there’s hope. I’m sure there’ll be a “Free Gonzalo Lira” campaign soon. Post here if you hear about one.

                                          #91773 Reply

                                            Dammit! It’s official. A political analyst confirmed it to RT.

                                            God help him. (Biden certainly won’t.)

                                            #91774 Reply

                                              Scott Ritter believes that Gonzalo is actually an Ukrainian agent, telling anti-Ukrainian stories so that SBU could discover those who follow him

                                              Personally, I cannot agree with Scott’s assessment of Gonzalo’s alleged collaboration with the SBU. But he says one thought correctly – if Gonzalo was kept in prison for 9.5 weeks, then why was he released before the court? And when he said that he would run to Hungary and pointed to his motorcycle, at that moment I thought “Hey, Gonzalo, why are you sure that your motorcycle does not have a GPS tracker installed?” and in general, this release with his passport and transport returned to him, and a hint that he is actually expected to “disappear” does not stand up to criticism. Because the entire social management system in Ukraine is built primarily on PR. Building a pleasant image is a key task for Ukraine to ensure the continued support of the West. How could they let Gonzalo go? They hunted Assange and Snowden, and for Gonzalo they just give back his passport and bike?

                                              Well, we will see what comes out of the story.
                                              A side note, the figure Nine 1/2 Weeks is the name of a love story film, a famous one. Gonzalo is a producer. How did he fail to comment on this coincidence?

                                              #91779 Reply
                                              Greg Park

                                                Does Gonzalo’s story add up? Eva Bartlett has serious doubts.

                                                #91791 Reply

                                                  Well, well, well, that’s certainly a twist in the tale.

                                                  Funnily enough Scott never mentioned any of that when talking about Gonzalo to Judge Napolitano yesterday evening, though he did drop a couple of hints – “red flag”. Watch from 18:45 :


                                                  When watching Tatyana’s linked Scott video you may have noticed a Gonzalo video opposite titled “No Longer Trust Scott Ritter”. The video is over a year old and lays heavily into Ritter, so, unbeknownst to me, this spat has been going on between them for sometime:


                                                  I do find the two aspersions Lira hurls at Ritter at the beginning of his video – that he’s either “a hysteric” or seeking to ingratiate himself with the MSM – absurd.

                                                  Similarly, Scott made a couple of inaccurate points in his comments about Lira.

                                                  Whist being broadly supportive, I am not without doubts or criticisms of either commentator. To some degree I share the criticisms of Lira by ET (third comment from top). Outside of his Ukraine commentaries Gonzalo is a right-wing reactionary and I particularly find his anti-woke mania repellant. This was on show in his three recent videos when complaining about the lack of support from the US embassy he stated words to the effect that if “he was a black, transgender, lesbian” he would have gotten released straight away. His comments about women aren’t much better.

                                                  Similarly with Scott, he does sometimes get things wrong and I find his sometimes macho GI mode of commenting – the loud “yurr gunna die” type comments – questionable.

                                                  Of course none of that sheds light on the reality of the situation.

                                                  I can only say at this point that I hope Gonzalo is safe but that the questions raised do seem fair questions.

                                                  Time will tell.

                                                  #91792 Reply

                                                    I may be too narcissistic, but with all bloggers and reporters, I am primarily interested in facts. If they report reliable information, let them build these facts into any personal assessments in accordance with their political beliefs or sexual orientation 🙂 I will still “digest” these facts in accordance with mine.
                                                    What I do not forgive bloggers and reporters for is the deliberate omission of facts or significant circumstances, or deliberate distortions, as well-known logical fallacies. I also can’t stand all kinds of Cassandras who draw conclusions based on that they supposedly know the hidden motives of the actors. I also don’t like people who present themselves as analysts, but at the same time they themselves cannot separate their personal emotions and consider the facts logically, abstractly. I’m suspicious of the information received from “we cannot name our sources.” Everything like that goes with me as informational noise, gossip, moods in the public, etc.
                                                    I consider facts proven, if none of the opposing parties denies them. To give an assessment of the facts, I manage myself.

                                                    #91794 Reply

                                                      Here are the charges filed by the SBU against Gonzalo Lira:


                                                      The document is full of repetition, waffle and typos. But it gives a good sense of what he’s up against. It’s more or less a case of insulting the state and undermining its interests. The charges are political and he’s a political prisoner.

                                                      He’s a dual US/Chilean citizen. I fear the US will do nothing to help him, and Chile has no leverage.

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