Jonathan Riley is a multimedia journalist from Oakland, California. He has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from California State University East Bay, and a master’s in journalism from Boston University. He has covered US politics at the local, state and federal level, writing for newspapers in California and Massachusetts, as well as working with the investigative unit at CNN in Washington, DC.

First Post, May 25, 2016 – “Welcome to the Wilderness”

Welcome to MirrorWilderness.com. This site is launching with the intent of providing news and commentary focused on some of the more shadowy aspects of current events. We’re going with the slogan “tickling the slimy underbelly of media and politics,” and that is more or less the plan.

James Jesus Angleton, head of counterintelligence for the Central Intelligence Agency from 1954 to 1974, described the twilight world of duplicity and disinformation in which he operated as a “Wilderness of Mirrors.” Angleton borrowed the phrase from T.S. Eliot, who first used it in his poem “Gerontion.” Angleton, who was known as deeply paranoid and obsessive, was forced to resign from the CIA, and his legacy remains ambiguous and controversial.

In our digital age, seemingly endless information is available at our fingertips, yet sifting through it remains difficult as ever. A coherent picture of the world remains elusive, buried beneath a deluge of spin and propaganda.

In 2016, the American political system and its two major parties appear beyond repair for the foreseeable future. As I write this, it has been almost seven years since the United States Congress had a consistent approval rating higher than 30 percent. To describe the presidential election contest between presumptive nominees Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as a choice between the lesser of two evils is an understatement.

Given the hopelessness of conventional politics at present, while Mirror Wilderness will give some coverage to the elections, it will also focus on U.S. and world news and other issues as they come up. Expect articles on matters both esoteric and widely discussed, on serious subjects and temporary distractions from the weird ordeal that is life in these interesting times. Check back for more updates soon.