Yesterday, I started a blog post, but by the time I wrote it, the news was in a tizzy about President Trump’s UN speech. Another mass media spin cycle spun out of control and I felt very weary of information warfare. That is what is going on in America though, so I’ll just go ahead and post this, with a bit added to the end of that post.
People often use the trite Groundhog Day movie analogy, about being stuck reliving the same event over and over, but with the 2016 election, we are stuck being barraged with an endless, boring, spin cycle, in a vicious information war waged by two candidates, the mass media, social media and hostile foreign intelligence.
President Donald J. Trump – the “winner” of the 2016 U.S. presidential election is the sorest winner ever. He continues to battle the media, Hillary Clinton, the GOP, history, facts and often reality. He is a man intent on using mass media optics to create an American-size Potemkin village, where his image reigns supreme and TVs across America blare with his cheering throngs at rousing rallies, flags flapping in the breeze and his voice roaring on about “making America great again”. For President Trump everything boils down to his “crowd size”.
Hillary Clinton – the loser of U.S. presidential election still believes she really won the election, making her the sorest loser ever. She is a woman who blames everyone, except herself, for her loss, all while adding caveats to imply she was a victim of Russian influence, misogyny against strong women and even deplorable white women who didn’t vote for her, due to pressure from the Neanderthal, Trump-supporting men in their lives.
The Mass Media – The mass media played a central role in the 2016 scorched earth information war, because SPIN style information warfare requires mass media collusion to work. American cable news networks are powerful information warfare fronts in America. CNN, MSNBC and FOX all ran the Trump “GOP Insurgency Show”, in 2015, giving Trump unprecedented free media, running his “winning in all the polls” talking points messaging and broadcasting his large “crowd size” rallies live and in their entirety. In early 2016, CNN and MSNBC and the liberal media made a pivot to running the Clinton scorched earth messaging, casting Trump as a fascist, while FOX News remained committed to running 24/7 MAGA propaganda. Most of the print media and Hollywood aligned with the Clinton spin.
Twitter – As the whole world knows, it’s a social media platform President Trump uses and loves to spread his MAGA spin messages and lob petty attacks on his enemies. He delights in baiting the media into overreaction with incendiary tweets. It’s also a social media platform journalists use and love too. This is where you can watch spin cycles burst into life, with journalists retweeting each other’s hot takes and stories, often with no independent fact-checking and it’s a place where those spun stories get thousands of retweets and the corrections only a handful. This viral spread of misinformation assures these false stories are believed. And if that weren’t bad enough, Trump has an army of pundit warriors on Twitter, who work tirelessly to attack the Left, the media and especially Republicans and conservatives, who refuse to get on the Trump train. The media keep reporting that the Russians have troll and bot information warfare attack teams on Twitter and other social media too.
Foreign Intelligence (especially the “hostile” ones) – Of course, the Russians have received the most media attention in regards to trying to influence the 2016 election, but many other countries, both friends and foes, engage in cyber-activities and mass media information warfare, some of which is directed at America.
What Trump’s punditry cheerleaders, like Conrad Black, are touting as Trump’s “pivot” to Democrats, is really just more Trump scorched earth information warfare, to stick it to Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, who have the power to kill the Russian investigations. Trump is trying to soften Pelosi and Schumer with deals on some policy issues, in hopes of getting their cooperation to put the brakes on the #Resist/impeachment frenzy of the Left and to align with them in making Republicans in Congress look impotent.
The mass media liberals are working with the Clinton spinners to rehash the 2016 election with the same old hysterical talking points they have used since Trump won the election – more hysteria about Russian interference in our democracy and how the electoral college is a threat to American democracy… Hollywood is on the case to investigate the Russian interference in 2016 too, all timed to go along with Hillary’s sore loser book tour. They’re even rerunning the lame attacks on the electoral college. Here’s a Politico story from today: The Electoral College Is a National Security Threat.
FOX News is busily spouting lines that sound like they came direct from the Kremlin, attacking Mueller and the FBI, to cast doubt on their Russia investigation. The Trump spinners are escalating their attacks on Republican leaders too, just as news leaked of the FBI having FISA warrants for Manafort and that the Manafort’s phone calls were monitored last year.
The same old 2016 election mass media information war rages on, burning the integrity of all who engage in it to the ground. If you participate in spin, which is using mass media to try to dupe the American people with LIES, you destroy your own credibility the most.
It’s easy to get drawn into the partisan spin and to be sucked into spin cycles. The words used by the politicians and the media are designed to evoke emotional responses within their target audience. The easiest way to discern the spin and the mass media information warfare messaging is to treat all of their messaging as suspect and then work to identify the various messages, try to track the messages back to the original source using that messaging first, follow the spread of that messaging. Don’t get sucked into reacting emotionally to any political messaging and treat all news with great scepticism. Work to try to fact-check and independently verify facts yourself – don’t rely on ‘fact-checkers” in the media or sites that are touted as “fact-checking” sites, because many of them have a partisan political taint to their ‘fact-checking”.
Like I said at the beginning, I’m very weary of this mass media information war that is being waged against the American people!
No one wins in this type of mass media information warfare, because invariably the American people are being fed bigger and bigger lies, the trust in our political system and the news media crumble completely and along with the partisan political information warfare propaganda, America’s enemies keep fanning distrust in American political institutions and floating “ways to fix the problems” in our political system that use deceptively “democratic” language, but which are meant to tear apart our constitutional republic.
As a small side note, I’ve mentioned Stella Morabito’s articles in previous posts and she has a 2015 post with a list of books to read to hack-proof your mind. I’m reading #2 on her list right now The Rape of the Mind: The Psychology of Mind Control, Menticide and Brainwashing by Joost A. M. Meerloo.
Morabito also started a book club about propaganda in April 2017.