Category Archives: Information War

Forlorn Hope?

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Speech is power, speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel. – Emerson

Hopefully I can get this blog post together tonight and posted.   Yesterday, besides my real life chores, I spent more time watching Twitter than I really wanted to, but that’s a main battlefield in America’s ongoing scorched earth information war.  I find it mind-numbingly boring, but I try to analyze the spin battles, watch how the main spin commandos on both sides operate and most importantly keep my attention focused on the messaging.  The words are the main weapon in all spin information warfare.  My words here aren’t as organized as I had hoped, but I am very tired these days taking care of my husband, trying to keep up with my housework and chores, while still following this spin info war.  Haven’t decided yet which is more draining, lol.

Many news organizations & individual journalists have been aligned with spreading the Dems and Left talking points messaging since the 1990s, while still proclaiming “journalistic ethics” and “unbiased reporting”.  Along with the news operations, the Left widely disseminates their spin messaging among the vast entertainment industry, where their spin messaging often gets spouted by celebrities, on TV talk shows and even written into scripts in TV shows and movies.  The Dems and Left developed a vast network to disseminate their spin messaging.

Over the years, the Left has amassed a wide array of well-funded political groups working to increase the reach of their messaging, but they also have loads of professional political operatives, academics, data analysts, tech experts, polling groups, social psychologists, etc. working to improve their spin messaging operations.    As I stated in previous posts, the Left had a lock on spin information warfare since the 1990s, when it made its debut in America by the Clinton war room political operatives.

The Left’s strategy has been to rely on “professionals” to hone their messaging using all sorts of testing messaging with focus groups and the modern tech savvy that retailers and advertisers use to lure Americans in with very deceptive language and sophisticated manipulation to play on people’s emotions.  It’s a messaging operation that relies on long-established messaging collusion with the big media venues in America, except for talk radio, which the Right dominated since the 90s.  The Left’s messaging is used to advance both Democrat politicians and political causes.

The Left’s spin messaging has been long-established, highly organized, run by professionals, but the Clinton political machine wields a heavy hand on the Democratic Party and since the spin operations began with Clinton loyalists, the most extreme scorched earth spin messaging efforts have gone into propping up the Clintons.

Trump borrowed his scorched earth spin from the Clinton model.  Trump’s spin messaging operation begins and ends with bolstering Trump’s erratic tweeting and impromptu outbursts.  Trump brags about his strategic thinking, but he’s a very impulsive reactionary.  He’s more reactionary than the Left, taking to the streets and fainting couch hysterics constantly and that’s pretty darned reactionary.  His spin operators end up rushing to clean-up and prop up Trump’s loose cannon guerilla attack spin messaging, which is more like a three-year old throwing a tantrum, determined to be the center of attention.

Trump’s erratic, impulsive way of operating requires his “Spin Force” to spend more time on damage control than on any sort of sophisticated political messaging like the Left operates. More often than not, even his own communications people in the White House can’t keep their messaging on track with Trump’s ever-changing opinions and outbursts. It’s constant discordant messaging. Hence, the FOX News Trumpathons evoke an amateurish third-world dictator’s media operations aura, where the media exists only to prop up the dictator and odd fits and starts are common, but when the TV switches to folk dancing or goes dark, beware there’s likely a coup attempt in progress.  For instance after a damaging Trump outburst a few weeks back, Tucker Carlson was caught in limbo and went with UFOs, while Hannity went with more Hillary corruption hysteria, as they awaited some clue as to how to do damage control for Trump.

Beyond messaging glorifying Trump’s “greatness,” the ideological messaging all stems from simplistic, jingoistic sloganeering, which Trump and his Spin Force use to incite his followers.  And while Trump’s larger spin messaging is a hobbled together effort with FOX News being his largest news spin platform, he’s also amassed an array of pundits, political operatives and friends.  As Trump has become more erratic in his tweeting and outbursts lately and the mainstream media goes into hysterics recycling through old 2016 Dump on Trump spin themes (his finances, the Russians, his women, his authoritarianism), his FOX News spinners revert to running endless whataboutism spin about Hillary & Obama corruption or nefarious “deep state” fear mongering, hysterically opining about Trump’s victimhood.

I expect Trump to escalate his spin efforts and to become more erratic in his outbursts, as the pressure builds with the Mueller investigation findings looming, pressure from Putin over Trump failing to deliver with “the ball in his court” and threats like Omarosa to Cohen all around him closing in.

Another dimension to this scorched earth spin info war is both sides gaslight and engage in projection constantly, not just Trump.  For instance the Left and mainstream media ran a coordinated effort yesterday denouncing Trump’s attacks on the free press.  Along with their hysteria about Trump’s attacks on the media, they project constantly about the grave threat Trump is to free speech in America.

While Trump’s “fake news” and “enemy of the people” spin assuredly deserve condemnation, it needs to be noted that the Left loves only the “free press” that backs their causes.  The “fake news” spin is messaging Trump hijacked from the Left and turned it back on them.  The Left has been working to silence political speech they find undesirable for many years with “hate speech” codes, PC  efforts to dictate words that can and cannot be used, and constantly trying to find ways to limit speech on the right, casting those views as a threat to America.  The initial “fake news” hysteria effort was meant to force social media to remove “fake news”, which really meant news leftist “fact-checkers” deemed fake.  That quickly turned into a farce.  Trump hijacked the term and mocks the mainstream media constantly.  Trump however lies constantly too, so his “fake news” is as much of a farce as the initial “fake news” effort by the Left.

Another aspect to the Left’s hysteria, is it always is intended to manufacture a crisis, which they can use as cover to propel political action.  Amidst the free speech sanctimony from the mainstream media there’s some ominous undertones, because they endlessly debated whether to not give air time to Trump (the POTUS) and to his WH spokespeople on the grounds they are liars, yet they reported on Obama “narratives”, which were assuredly bold-faced lies too.  Yet there was never any hysteria about silencing Obama “narratives”.  A couple of weeks ago the WH banned a pool reporter from a WH event, ostensibly because she was rude.  The media went into full hysterics, then Trump baited them with more “enemy of the people”  taunts.  The media was back to:

libertybelle Retweeted Andrea Mitchell

Trump’s antics are disgusting, but so are the media’s. Lord, the media can never make up their minds about Trump outrage. Now you’re debating relying on one reporter’s reporting on Trump rallies and a week or so ago you were outraged a reporter was barred from a WH event🙄

libertybelle added,

In a likely future scenario, where Trump’s chaotic outbursts escalate, the media that yesterday was pontificating about free speech and the Left would likely start touting ways to silence Trump, FOX news or Trump-supporting pundits.  This movement from the Left is already happening with Alex Jones, shadow-banning of conservatives on social media and bans of “undesirables”, as determined by liberals moderating social media platforms.  The solution in America is never to silence unpopular voices, it’s more free speech.

The attacks in this spin info war can digress to a level of pettiness and childishness that boggles my mind.  From Trump’s petty name-calling to attacks about Melania wearing high heels on the plane to Houston flooding to recently some Trump Spin Force commandos started mocking some Never Trump conservatives, like Bill Kristol,who organize annual cruises for their group, by retweeting Kristol’s tweets and commenting with an emoticon of a ship.  This is the level of childishness back and forth. Here’s an example of the depths of Trump sycophants:

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Filed under Corrupt Media Collusion, General Interest, Information War, Politics, The Media

American nightmare: Trump the American Insurgent

Trump is using guerilla warfare tactics in an information war.

A recurring theme in America’s presidential reality TV show features the power of the possibility of tapes evoking wild outbursts from Donald J. Trump.  Yesterday, the president unleashed a string of slurs against Omarosa, his wicked witch reality TV creation from his previous career as a reality TV star.

I wrote the above paragraph last night before I went to bed and I think that the probability of tapes existing can be gauged by the extremity of Trump’s denials.  Based on this, I think it’s very likely that a Trump using the n-word tape and a Trump with hookers in Moscow tape might exist, because Trump’s reactions indicate (to me at least) that he acts guilty as hell and is worried he was caught on tape.

Yesterday Trump tweeted:

When you give a crazed, crying lowlife a break, and give her a job at the White House, I guess it just didn’t work out. Good work by General Kelly for quickly firing that dog!

This morning I read a piece by Jonathan V. Last at The Weekly Standard, echoing some of my own thoughts about the Trump tape sagas that “dog” Trump’s presidency.  Last explains the Trump spin force:

“The other factor in why you need documentary materials is that the president, his advisers, and his supporters in the media use gaslighting as their primary means of defense. They make frictionless transitions from “no one ever met with Russians,” to “the meeting with Russians was about adoption,” to “of course they met with Russians about getting oppo on the Clintons and why do you have have a problem with that?”

Without tapes, or emails, or hard evidence, Trump World simply denies everything as a matter of course.”

https://www.weeklystandard.com/jonathan-v-last/what-happens-if-a-tape-surfaces-of-trump-using-the-n-word-nothing-good

Many of Trump’s opponents refer to the Trump spin effort as “gaslighting” and that term is accurate, but it misses the scope of what spin really is.  Gaslighting using mass media deception, manipulation, deliberately falsified news is information warfare waged on the American people, as I’ve written many times.  Our domestic scorched earth information war is a bigger threat to America than any hostile foreign information warfare operations will ever be.  Our own news media operators engaging in scorched earth spin information warfare foments constant disunity, partisan rage and hysteria.  America’s news media live in crisis mode and it’s destabilizing our American political system.

Getting back to Trump’s present unwinding tape problem, Last lays out what he thinks will happen if a n-word tape surfaces.  He believes it will hollow out one of the few remaining norms in American public life and alienate Trump politically, but it will not lead to Trump’s impeachment.  He also lays out in pretty grim terms how he believes Trump will react:

“So now we must imagine what a weakened Trump would be like for the next two years. Do you think he’d knuckle down, start acting like a statesman, and try to unite the country? Or do you think he’d push for more chaos and division in the hopes of somehow drawing to an inside straight (again)? Assuming he does, the only possible downside of such a strategy, from Trump’s perspective, would be salting the ground of American political life for any potential successor. And he would view this not as a bug, but as a feature.

If you look at the Trump administration and think it can’t get worse, then you haven’t contemplated what a scorched-earth Trump might be like.”

https://www.weeklystandard.com/jonathan-v-last/what-happens-if-a-tape-surfaces-of-trump-using-the-n-word-nothing-good

What happens if a tape surfaces and Trump faces White House and cabinet defections or goes on a firing rampage and decides to choose staff who prod him to more extreme behavior rather than like many of the current ones who keep trying to talk him down from the ledge?  What happens if instead of Trump just waging an “insurgency” to burn down the GOP, he decides he’s going to take down all of his perceived political enemies?  What happens if he starts turning to only advisers prodding him to “burn it all down in Washington”?  What happens if Putin starts putting the screws to Trump, because Trump made all sorts of agreements in his private meeting with Putin in Helsinki and isn’t delivering on them?

All those campaign spin efforts to sell Trump the “GOP Insurgent” may come back to haunt us.  The one that comes to mind is one I first heard from Charles Hurt, a FOX News contributor and strident Trump propagandist, happily chirping on about how great it is that “Trump doesn’t play by the rules.”   All of the LIES used in spin are used to confuse and manipulate people, but most of all to erode their moral grounding by deliberately altering the meaning of words.  In America, a keystone to our republic’s stability is “Everyone must play by the rules.”  Selling a politician who “doesn’t play by the rules” is unabashedly selling public corruption as a good thing.

Last’s questions, as Omarosa’s tell-all book, Unhinged, sets Trump’s hair on fire, got me thinking about what Trump “unhinged” will look like.  I believe he will abuse the powers of the presidency to the fullest extent, to not only remain in office, but to work to burn as much of the political system in Washington to the ground as possible.  He is very much what Sun Tzu termed a “mad bandit”.  A year ago, I wrote a blog post, Our Thoth, God of 140-characters, about Trump’s propaganda efforts:

“Donald J. Trump is the king of conflating issues  His use of words is the polar opposite of Bill Clinton’s brand of “slick”.  Trump uses simplistic “branding” phrases, often divorced from the rest of the sentences he utters.  The sentences don’t matter in Trump’s dumbed-down, branding type of information warfare.

Trump transformed the Clinton spin information warfare, that relied on carefully worded, focus-group tested talking points, repeated by a vast army of colluding journalists and political operatives, into rapid-fire, Army of One, Trump-driven 140-character, daily information warfare guerilla attacks.

He’s using guerilla warfare tactics in an information war.

Trump word salad attacks break all the rules.  He strikes with bold-faced lies and never looks back. Trump doesn’t even bother to obfuscate.  He boldly lies, then insists all those around him repeat and back his lies, no matter how outrageous the lie.

He has perfected the art of conflating issues into being all about “Make America Great Again”. Trump seized on the issue of NFL players kneeling during the national anthem in protest over racial injustice and conflated it into disrespecting the U.S. military.  He creates endless reality TV conflicts, casting himself as the champion of American patriotism, who is the constantly maligned victim of the dastardly “fake news”. He wants to keep his supporters agitated and angry, while he wraps himself in the American flag and MAGA sound bites.

Yesterday, in his effort to deflect from a reporter questioning why he hasn’t called the families of recently fallen soldiers, Trump bold-faced lied about President Obama and other presidents, claiming they didn’t call fallen soldiers’ families.

General Dempsey, who has tried to stay out of the 2016 information war, took to Twitter last night to counter Trump’s LIE.

Our Thoth, God of 140-characters, manages to manipulate millions, mostly poor white people, by playing to their insecurities, their prejudices and most of all their anger.

The smarter Trump followers aren’t blind to his many flaws, but they’ve bought into a Faustian bargain, all prefaced on the belief that America is at the Flight 93 crisis point:

“2016 is the Flight 93 election: charge the cockpit or you die. You may die anyway. You—or the leader of your party—may make it into the cockpit and not know how to fly or land the plane. There are no guarantees.

Except one: if you don’t try, death is certain. To compound the metaphor: a Hillary Clinton presidency is Russian Roulette with a semi-auto. With Trump, at least you can spin the cylinder and take your chances.”

http://www.claremont.org/crb/basicpage/the-flight-93-election/

At every Trump outrage they cringe, but then they fortify themselves by talking amongst themselves about how the Left is worse, but Gorsuch, and turn up the volume of FOX News blaring about how Trump is “making America great again”.  And of course, the Left leads only to American demise… Trump is the last best hope in their view.

Trump is a “fighter”…

Flight 93 had some real heroes on board; the Trump propaganda train jumped the tracks into tin pot dictator level, Dear Leader, bowing and scraping.

Over the weekend, I walked into the room where my husband was watching FOX News, like always.  Jerry Falwell, Jr. was blathering on about how President Trump will likely go down in history as a great president, as great as President Lincoln.  The FOX  sycophantic hosts are as dutiful as the Pink Lady in North Korea.

They smiled, heads nodding, and agreed with Falwell.

Make America Great Again…”

https://libertybellediaries.com/2017/10/17/our-thoth-god-of-140-characters/

If you want to understand Trump’s spin effort, the bold-faced sentence at the beginning needs to be your starting point, not touchy-feely “public relations” dissertations on political media relations.  Trump assuredly is not a politician, in fact he sees himself as a “fighter who doesn’t play by the rules”.

The Trump presidency won’t end soon… or quietly.

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Filed under Corrupt Media Collusion, General Interest, Information War, Politics

The enemy within

This long, rambling blog post is just my opinion about “spin” messaging.  Although, I am sick to death warning about the dangers of our endless 2016 spin information war, I wanted to write one more post about this and then I am taking a break from writing about politics for a while.

I became interested in spin messaging during the 1990s, when I first noticed this new form of political messaging taking hold in America.  Sure, politicians have always relied on a soapbox and sloganeering, but spin messaging went way beyond that.  I’ve written plenty on this blog about our spin information war.

Despite decades of complaints from Republicans and conservatives about “media bias” and the mainstream media favoring the political Left in America, I have never read anything about spin being mass media information warfare, despite those engaged in it, infusing their spin efforts in militaristic terminology from its first appearance in America.

Over the years, I’ve pondered if there were hostile foreign intelligence operatives behind the birth of our American spin war and while I’m open to that possibility, it is clear the original spin messaging efforts began among politicos on the American Left.  During the Clinton years, starting with the Clinton’s “war room” is when I first saw mass media “spin messaging” efforts emerge in American politics.

Among the American Left, communism, Marxism and socialism hold great sway, so it’s very possible that our spin information war is a completely homegrown political effort, but it’s wise to be open to the possibility of foreign hostile hands in the opening salvos in our mass media spin information war back in the 1990s.   It’s also obvious that even if there weren’t hostile foreign hands in the beginning, after decades of our constant spin information war, hostile foreign intelligence operators assuredly are working for ways to ruthlessly fuel, interfere in, and escalate our spin war.

The American media and politicians talk and write about “spin” in terms of it being just some benign form of political media operations.  Encyclopedia Britannica offers this explanation:

“Political spin, in politics, the attempt to control or influence communication in order to deliver one’s preferred message.

Spin is a pejorative term often used in the context of public relations practitioners and political communicators. It is used to refer to the sophisticated selling of a specific message that is heavily biased in favour of one’s own position and that employs maximum management of the media with the intention of maintaining or exerting control over the situation, often implying deception or manipulation.”

https://www.britannica.com/topic/political-spin

For another explanation, Wikipedia offers this:

 “In public relations and politicsspin is a form of propaganda, achieved through providing a biased interpretation of an event or campaigning to persuade public opinion in favor or against some organization or public figure. While traditional public relations and advertising may also rely on altering the presentation of the facts, “spin” often implies the use of disingenuousdeceptive, and highly manipulative tactics.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spin_(propaganda)

I don’t know exactly who developed American SPIN information warfare. I’ve never come across any literature that pinpoints in terms like, “Dizzy Spin developed mass media spin information warfare in 1990.”

Back in the 1990s, I became fascinated with watching the Clinton spin efforts, which then infected the entire Democratic Party and the Left’s political operatives. Their media efforts combined social psychology and aggressive repetitive mass media messaging to dominate the mass media battlefield.

Spin messaging weaponizes lies by packaging them in very deceptive language, but it also includes vicious, orchestrated mass media character assassination attacks, to bombard and bury political enemies under a mountain of dirt.  Vicious character assassinations are a feature of spin messaging information warfare, not just a bug.  However, spin information warfare is about more than partisan politics and winning elections.

The larger objective has always been to control public opinion in America. 

The Left wants to win a larger cultural war, by manipulating public opinion, waging spin messaging information warfare attacks against the American people.

Throughout the 90s, I kept trying to understand how spin messaging works and why it works.  Every strategy can be broken down into parts (the ways and means employed to achieve the ends).  As the political Right in America kept losing ground in the cultural battles, which were advanced through aggressive mass media spin messaging efforts, the political Right constantly railed about “unfair media bias” to explain why the Left’s spin efforts always succeeded.  This “unfair media bias” explanation is way too simplistic and benign to explain why the Left’s spin messaging always won.

Spin messaging in our free society can only work with constant, massive mass media collusion.

Spin often uses language that inverts the meaning of words and terms, to not only confuse people, but also to slowly erode people’s ability to communicate, think clearly and have the ability to counter the spin.  This is an old communist tactic to control people. The Left in America has relied on this tactic too and our culture is awash in PC-dictated terms, we are pressured to use.

Those actively engaged in SPIN information warfare efforts, both the combatants and their willing colluders in the media, always cast spin efforts in terms of benign, ho-hum, political media operations, never the sinister mass media brainwashing that it is, nor the fact that it is, in fact, information warfare.

Spin information warfare is waged against not only political opponents, it’s ruthlessly being waged against the American people.

The American people are the primary target of all spin information warfare.

It’s important to understand all of the components of this type of information warfare.

The most obvious component of spin messaging is the short, talking points messaging used.  This messaging must be relentlessly repeated by both the politicos and a large portion of the mainstream media.  This messaging builds messaging walls, which block out competing messaging and control the terms in which issues are framed.  A good example of the Left building a messaging wall was Hillary appearing before the Benghazi Committee in 2015.  For 11 hours the Dems on that committee resorted to shamelessly repeating two talking points messages to build a messaging wall:

“This hearing is a right-wing witch hunt” and

“This is costing the American taxpayers $4.7 million.”

The mainstream media carried and amplified those two spin messages and worked to present Hillary as a victim of a “right-wing witch hunt”.  The mainstream media then declared Hillary the winner and worked to discredit the Republicans on that committee.

Many media people and political people wrote about spin, but none of them ever explained that the secret sauce to spin messaging is not the ruthless repetition of spin messaging (lies) to build messaging walls, but the ruthless repetition of opinion polling to create the illusion that the spin messaging represents the majority public opinion. It’s a sinister mass media brainwashing operation to herd people to believe spin (lies) and quell dissenting opinion.

Spin messaging manufactures opinion cascades (often called information cascades).  Spin messaging from the Left, repeated by a wide swath of the mainstream media successfully monopolizes both the terms used in public policy discussions and constantly reinforces these manufactured public opinion cascades, by bombarding the public with polling data resulting from spin messaging campaigns.

Polling data has taken on an omnipotent power in American politics and all public debate.  Polling is used by politicos and the media to convince the American people that opinion polls reflect “the will of the people”.  Spin efforts manipulate public opinion and then that manufactured public opinion is used to convince the American people these polls represent the mainstream, majority opinion.  Opinion polls are just a sampling of opinions of a very small fraction of people.  They mean nothing in terms of the merits of any issue.

Americans love being “popular” and this drive to be “popular” above all else, feeds every social media platform, so it’s no surprise many Americans are very vulnerable to being manipulated by polling data.

A favorite media tactic to reinforce the spin-driven, manufactured public opinion is public shaming efforts, where manufactured opinion polling is used to marginalize dissenting opinions in the public square.  Through constant repetition of polling, the American people have been conditioned to being herded into falling into the spin-generated “mainstream public opinion”.  How many times have you seen a person on cable news being interviewed, expressing a view, then having the interviewer inform that person something along the lines of , “Polls X. Y, & Z show the American people don’t agree with you.” or  “Your view is way out of the mainstream according to all of the polls.”?  This tactic effectively marginalizes dissenting opinions, but it also works to create the illusion that the dissenting view is extreme, no matter how thoughtful the dissenting view is presented.

Trump and his media spinners, especially on Fox News, now effectively use this same herding public opinion by citing polls tactic against Democrats and non-Trump supporting guests.  For instance, yesterday, Harris Faulkner, a skilled polling data Trump-supporting spin herder, used this tactic against Jeanne Shaheen, a skilled Dem spinner.

Another good example of media spin herding was during the GOP primary when media spin herders constantly cornered Republicans with, “Trump is winning in all of the polls, so don’t you have to support the winner?”  Trump was winning in all the polls with the aid of billions of dollars in free media spinning him as the “GOP insurgent”, “great businessman”, and “the winner in all of the polls”.

Without this constant polling kabuki manipulation by politicos and the media, spin messaging would lose a great deal of its power.

Until Donald Trump, the American Right never made any inroads into successfully using spin messaging.  The Right successfully used talk radio, some online platforms and FOX News, but the mainstream media still is controlled by the political Left.  The 2016 election changed that dynamic, when Donald Trump began campaigning using the Left’s spin messaging tactics.

During the GOP primary, the mainstream media and FOX News gave Trump billions of dollars in free media to aid his “GOP Insurgency”.  The mainstream media was working to advance the Clinton Pied Piper strategy to promote the most extreme GOP candidate.  This effort was part of Bill Clinton’s old triangulation strategy, where Bernie served as the far-left kook, Trump was supposed to be the far-right kook and this cleared a path for Hillary to claim the middle ground, where American presidential elections are won.

Trump weaponized his personal Twitter account as a means to constantly lob spin attacks at the mainstream media, to influence his supporters and constantly bait both his political enemies and many of  the mainstream media (especially those who are dedicated colluders spreading the Left’s spin messaging).  He built a grassroots following using rally road shows around the country, to build on his reality TV fame.  He created a brilliant branding campaign around a few key slogans, with Make America Great America, being the most popular one.  Most importantly, when the mainstream media pivoted to running the Clinton’s dump on Trump spin attacks in late 2015/early 2016, Trump still managed to hobble together a mass media platform using FOX News and some conservative venues to combat the mass media spin onslaught from the mainstream media and Left (the Trump the fascist smear campaign).

The Left’s spin experts love to brag about their spin efforts and months before the 2016 primary season was over, I recall hearing Simon Rosenberg on TV during an interview bragging about how they were compiling massive amounts of dirt to unload on Trump later.  It’s important to realize that their “they” included large numbers of mainstream media journalists and news outfits, who sat on their mountains of dirt, until the Clinton campaign and Dems gave them the signal to release their Trump dirt.

Trump proved to be a brilliant self-promoter, but he’s a genius at spin messaging.  The word salad, used car salesman, rapid-fire way Trump speaks, both repeating and emphasizing his buzz words, makes him a world-class spinmeister.  Added to that he revels in outrageously and shamelessly lying.  He was the first Republican to break through the Left’s lock on spin messaging information warfare.  He even borrowed most of his damage control “witch hunt” spin messaging verbatim from the Clintons.

While the American Left and mainstream media see Trump’s overt, often sloppy media collusion with FOX News, they still don’t acknowledge their own media collusion spreading the Left’s spin messaging.

The Left and mainstream media constantly work to foment Trump hysteria and hype Russian interference “to steal our democracy” (that is a lame Dem spin message btw).  The truth is the Russians don’t have the power to “steal our democracy”.  Another truth is the deliberate hysterical Russian spin from the Left and mainstream media is damaging our democracy more than the Russian info war efforts ever will.

Here’s another truth, President Trump’s relentless spin messaging attacks on “fake news”, his petty character assassinations, and his constant shameless lying also are damaging our democracy more than the Russian efforts to interfere in our elections ever will.

The biggest threat to our democracy is our own escalating domestic spin information war, that has been blowing hot since 2016. 

Our spin info war continues to destabilize America, deepen partisan divides, leaves us very vulnerable to hostile foreign information warfare efforts and is rapidly destroying America’s credibility around the world.

Mass media spin information warfare is antithetical to our American free speech principles and should be discouraged and shunned by all Americans, especially those running for high elected office and those claiming to be journalists.  Ending our domestic spin war should be a top national security priority and a top priority for both political parties.  The news media should work to quell spin messaging, stop colluding with political factions to spread spin and quit selling polls as reflections of anything other than the opinions of a small sampling of Americans.

Our endless scorched earth mass media spin information war is our most potent enemy within.

Finding our way back to some common ground on valuing honesty and civic virtue offers the real hope to restore our American spirit and defeat spin information warfare.  In our degraded political climate and culture, often I wonder if I am clinging to a pipedream, but I will continue to hope.

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Filed under Corrupt Media Collusion, Culture Wars, General Interest, Information War, Politics, The Media

Putin might end up asking for his ball back…

“No man can climb out beyond the limitations of his own character.”

– Viscount John Morley

It’s very tiresome writing about President Trump, the spin information war tearing America apart, “Russian collusion” and the constant chaos ensuing from our 2016 election, but these topics remain in the news, making it impossible to escape them if you’re following American politics.

Way back in 2015, when Donald J.Trump descended the escalator in Trump Tower and began his new political reality TV show, our American political system and American news media dramatically changed into a perpetual circus sideshow act. 

America, by its very independent nature, breeds plenty of eccentrics and people who break the mold, often the type of people I admire for daring to be different, daring to defy the status quo, and daring to strike a new path.

There’s something quintessentially American about loving an underdog, who beats all the odds, so it’s understandable that millions of Americans quickly flocked to join the Trump fan club. He developed a loyal following, who believe in Trump and Trump knows this. He knew it back during the campaign when he made that comment that he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and they’d remain loyal.

Why Trump’s followers remain loyal to him, no matter what he says or does, will keep political thinkers and historians busy for decades. The answer(s) might be complex and way deeper than my limited understanding, but one of the basic cons Trump uses is playing a ruthless and cynical game of deflection and using the old James Carville trick of throwing as much crap at his enemies as possible and hoping some of it sticks. Some of Trump’s favorite go-to crap is his shtick about Hillary’s crimes, his shtick about respecting the American flag, his shtick about making America great again, but his numero uno shtick is always about Trump the Victim.

Trump’s spin troopers, people who should know better and many, people who spent their professional lives preaching about character and principles, well, they’ve proven themselves to be the vilest sort of hypocrites, willing to say or do anything to prop up Trump’s inexcusable behavior and bold-faced lies. Their efforts are directed to continually manipulate Trump’s followers and keep them in line. They don’t want his followers to defect, so they engage in a 24/7 massive spin effort of throwing up strawman issues and “enemies of Trump”, that is as low as the Left’s perpetual spin machine.

At this point, the Trump outrage spin cycles on the Left, followed by the Trump sideshow shticks repeat so often that there’s really no surprises in the next episode of Trump’s reality TV presidency. He spends more time watching TV and trying to keep up with the spin than he will ever spend paying attention to the details of his presidential policies and duties.

His followers don’t even waver at this point.  His cadre of spin troopers react predictably too, so in the aftermath of Trump’s deplorable submissiveness and willingness to blame America first, standing next to Vladimir Putin, the same spin messaging cycles repeated.   

The mainstream media, Left, a few remnants of the Never Trump and non-Trump supporting right flew into their predictable outrage mode. 

Hannity and Tucker Carlson gave Trump a platform, post-summit, to do victory laps. 

As night follows day,  the questions about the summit and outrage escalated. 

By yesterday the top FOX Trump spin troopers were back to ranting about Hillary’s emails and Obama scandals, the mainstream media was on fire about a Michael Cohen tape of Trump discussing paying off a woman he had an affair with and by evening Trump was back to trying to wrap himself in the American flag:

The NFL National Anthem Debate is alive and well again – can’t believe it! Isn’t it in contract that players must stand at attention, hand on heart? The $40,000,000 Commissioner must now make a stand. First time kneeling, out for game. Second time kneeling, out for season/no pay!

Trump lied about what he said in his news conference with Putin, but naturally he proclaimed the summit a great success.  He also hasn’t provided his staff or the American people with any clear details about the agreements the Russians say he made.  I doubt he ever will be able to provide details, simply because Trump does not pay attention to details, especially governmental policies, which he has no interest in, beyond their being fodder for his reality presidency show. 

Yesterday, there was a poll indicating that most Americans did not approve of how Trump handled the summit with Putin (his performance), but within that poll, the vast majority of Republicans did support him… even though he has yet to provide any details.

The entrenched partisan spin battle rages in the same boring cycles, but this summit opens a new, dangerous front in our endless, partisan  2016 scorched earth information war.  The Russians now have a new front to exploit – what Trump agreed to.

The word games started immediately, with Trump lying about what he said:

“President Donald Trump attempted on Tuesday to clarify his widely criticized comments in Helsinki, saying that he had misspoken when he said a day earlier that he did not see why Russia would have meddled in the election. Trump said Tuesday he meant to say he did not see any reason why it wouldn’t have been Russia that interfered.”
That word game flap was followed by the news that Trump had discussed and was open to considering turning over a former US ambassador to Russia, to the Russians for questioning.  The WH press secretary, Sarah Sanders, acknowledged that the president had discussed this with Putin, but she had no details on the president’s decision.  This summit fall-out led to the US Senate voicing a protest:

“The Republican-led Senate effectively rebuked President Donald Trump for considering Russia’s request to question U.S. officials, giving voice to growing unease over the president’s shifting policies toward his country’s biggest adversary after his summit with Vladimir Putin.

In a resolution adopted 98-0 on Thursday, senators called on the U.S. to refuse to make any officials available for interrogation by Putin’s government. Minutes before the vote was scheduled to begin, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a statement rejecting the Russian proposal.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-19/senate-readies-vote-against-trump-letting-russia-grill-americans

By last night, someone in the WH was concerned about facesaving and a CYA action. The Hill reported:

“In a report the Wall Street Journal published on Friday, a White House official said Trump was advised to take the Justice Department’s recent indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers over election interference and “shove it in Putin’s face and look strong doing it.””

Just a few minutes ago, I caught a bit of Cavuto with two guests, when I walked into the sunroom where my husband watches FOX news all day long.  These two guests were spinning that there’s no need for details of Trump’s meeting with Putin and the lady guest, a true idiot, made some inane comment about this being Trump’s style, as if that absolved him of informing the American people of what he agreed to on our behalf.  It’s an obvious spin effort to downplay the demands for details and the alarming likelihood that no one in the Trump White House knows exactly what Trump agreed to (probably not even Trump).

Unlike this unwinnable, endless, domestic partisan scorched earth spin info war, tearing away at the fiber of our American political system, Putin and the Russians now have a means to ruthlessly and openly play the American president against his own cabinet, against Congress, against top US military officials, against America’s intelligence agencies and against America’s closest allies.  Putin will engulf Trump in a new front in this spin info war, which will throw him into constant collision with his own cabinet, by slowly rolling out all the things they manipulated Trump into agreeing to in that private meeting with Putin.  Each time Trump is forced into backtracking, another hysterical spin cycle will erode the credibility of, not only Trump, but of America.  The American president represents all of us.

The Russians play all sides when trying to destabilize other countries. Trump will be played by Russian information operatives, who will feed Russian talking points messaging to Trump, via advisers among Trump’s top spin troopers and on FOX news.   The Left will be played with Russian influence messaging too, to foment constant Trump hysteria.  The Russians, being the Russians, will also probably look for ways to use Trump as the lightning rod to ignite more Charlottesville type racial clashes.  They’ll leap at ways they can work to turn American against American, using the American president as their stooge.

Putin has a winning hand to launch a classic Russian covert influence operation model in America (ala the Willi Münzenberg model) with this endless, partisan 2016 scorched earth info war still raging in America. The Trump-Putin summit offers the Russians a brand new front, where they will slowly be rolling out what agreements Trump made. 

There’s no way to shut down all the ways messaging can take hold in a free society and while we have premiere intelligence operators, it’s a long, grueling process to catch spies and even in the internet age, tracking the origins of  messaging often remains heaped in a dark web of mystery.

Identifying and countering the Russian messaging  quickly with calm, positive, unequivocal American messaging  remains more imperative than getting caught up in fueling a Red Scare in America or trying to silence people.   This really will boil down to who wins the hearts and minds of the American people.

How long Trump and his cabinet can play this dangerous, destructive game to prop up a president, who speaks out both sides of his mouth and refuses to offer any clarity of where he stands, remains to be seen.  How far Trump will go to save face, lie, try to find footing between what he agreed to, while being led around by Putin, and his own cabinet’s tough line with Russia remains to be seen too.  That the Russians really do have some other dirt on Trump seems very possible, but what is abundantly clear is that Putin masterfully stroked Trump’s ego and grievances to play Trump against previous US presidents and America’s closest allies.

As Trump is  prodded and manipulated by the Russians to stick to his agreements, he will simultaneously be prodded to take a hardline on Russia by his cabinet & US government officials, so we will quickly see if and what hold the Russians have over Trump, because they will begin to start exposing that, to put more pressure on Trump to cave.  Even worse is there will be many more of these demeaning Trump being “trapped by what he said” scenarios.  This will also create enormous pressure on his cabinet to resign or be continuously compromised by the embarrassing details of Trump’s “agreements” with Putin. 

Putin might end up asking for his ball back…after scoring as many points as he can kicking around “what Trump agreed to” for months to come.

The Russians are out to destroy the credibility of the American political system… as they have been since 1919.

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Interesting read

Here’s a NY Times op-ed, Trump Is Being Manipulated by Putin. What Should We Do?, written by Republican Congressman, Will Hurd, a former CIA officer, worth reading.

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You ain’t seen nothing yet

Geesh, I wrote my last blog post the day before Trump’s private meeting with Putin and I didn’t even use a crystal ball.  I enjoy watching people and trying to figure out how they operate – it’s sort of a lifelong hobby of mine.  Trump’s behavior patterns leave no surprises at this point.

Here’s my next prediction:  The Russians are launching a massive nuclear level information war against America using Trump as their stooge.  This Helsinki summit gave them control over manipulating Trump for months to come.  They will be fomenting constant chaos by churning out all the things Trump agreed to in that private meeting with Putin.  Trump was massively manipulated and played, so it will be interesting to see how much of the American store Trump gave away.  We don’t know what Trump agreed to in that meeting, but the Russians will be using it to inflame the ongoing domestic partisan spin war, working to destroy every last vestige of American credibility.

The Russians have all of their info war pieces in place and Trump is effectively being managed by FOX news pundits and assorted people outside of his cabinet.  The trails of who manages these people likely lead back to Moscow. Trump is so easily manipulated that he will go along with just about any policy they sell him.

To demonstrate how insidious the Russian info war ops will be, let’s examine that Trump gave his first two post-summit interviews to Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson.  Last night Tucker Carlson led Trump into once again undercutting the very reason for NATO’s existence (mutual defense) by tossing out Montenegro as an example, positing the hypothetical as why would Americans want to send their sons and daughters to defend Montenegro.  Trump took that bait, insulted the people of Montenegro and once again questioned the mission of NATO.

Trump seemed prepared for the Montenegro example, so it’s obvious someone had talked to him about this ahead of time.  He walked into that interview and was deliberately set-up.  That foreign operators are working within FOX News sure seems obvious at this point.

This afternoon we learn that Trump discussed allowing the Russians to question a former US ambassador to Russia. Although Sarah Sanders did not have details, she did confirm that Putin and Trump discussed that topic.  That Trump didn’t automatically dismiss that or tell Putin that the US is never going to hand over a US diplomat for questioning, boggles the mind.  Why would any American president even entertain that suggestion from the Russians???

Tom Ricks wrote a short commentary about Trump turning away from the generals and now relying on FOX News.  Ricks said:

“So, in the long run, I think the generals will be remembered as emblematic of Trump’s first screwy year, when as the estimable Maggie Haberman observes, Trump was new and scared. By contrast, Trump nowadays feels he understand the job and is doing magnificently if only people would stop probing his past crimes. So he has turned away from the generals and instead is stocking his staff with people he has watched on Fox News.”

https://taskandpurpose.com/twilight-trump-generals/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=share&utm_content=tp-share

A few photo ops with American troops and road show rallies won’t spin Trump past this one, because this isn’t the Dem/mainstream media spin machine against Trump.  This is the Russians launching a nuclear level info war attack and they have handlers in place, who have not only the American president’s ear… they likely taped that entire meeting with Trump.

While the left still is obsessing over pee tapes, perhaps we all need to be worrying about what Trump, trying to impress a strongman he admires, agreed to.

 

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Putin already won

It’s become not only depressing following this endless 2016 spin war, it’s mind-numbingly exhausting, to the point often I read a few news articles, take a look at the hysterical headlines sapping all of the news reporting energy on both sides of this info war, then I go about my real life chores and my spare time I used to devote to thinking about politics and news topics, goes to reading novels or my crafts and needlework projects.

In my last blog post I wrote:

“There’s one other predictable outcome.  Other Trump cabinet officials will be jetting around the world  for months after this summit, trying to clean up Trump’s messes that are sure to come from Trump’s reckless, impetuous and egomaniacal impulses.

Oh, and of course Trump will be tweeting that he struck the best deal ever…”

Well, Trump’s trip isn’t even over yet, but I feel my prognostication radar was pretty accurate:

WASHINGTON — Hours after President Donald Trump departed NATO headquarters Thursday, U.S. military leaders embarked on a full-scale “damage control” operation with calls to their counterparts across Europe to reassure them that America will abide by its defense commitments in the region.

The outreach, directed by the Pentagon leadership, came after Trump threatened to reassess those commitments during a gathering with NATO allies in Brussels, according to multiple current and former diplomatic and military officials familiar with the calls.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/pentagon-goes-damage-control-mode-reassure-nato-allies-n891096

This isn’t spin from the “fake news” or lies about President Trump’s deal making skills, this is what happens with every Trump policy initiative, both domestic and foreign.  Even when Trump’s proposed policy makes sense to bolster American national security, it’s always Trump and his undisciplined, imprudent, unscripted taunts and unscripted speeches that torpedo his own policy efforts.

This NATO meeting followed the Trump modus operandi.  It was classic Trump.  It’s also the Trump administration modus operandi to fly into damage control to clean up and try to salvage the policy wreckage Trump leaves in his wake.  Never fear though, because Hannity and a FOX News entourage now travel with Trump on these foreign trips to keep the Trump brainwashing messaging blaring 24/7,  so that the Trump following, FOX News watching base doesn’t ever get a moment to go wobbly on Trump.

Trump is totally predictable, despite his spinners enthrallment with Trump’s supposed “stable genius”…   He pays more attention to Sean Hannity than to top American national security experts in his own administration. He isn’t ever going to negotiate some magnificent deal for America.  His national security team will believe Trump is on board with an agenda and like every other high-level meeting, Trump will walk into this meeting with Putin, throw his own team under the bus again and go rogue.  That will generate the media sensation he desires and for Trump that is “winning”.

Trump also delights in making his own national security team look like fools, but they still will burn up the phone lines to America’s allies and jet around the world cleaning up Trump’s foreign policy wreckage.

The Russians’ reliance on propaganda and extreme information warfare methods, to control the Russian people and sow dissent to destabilize and weaken Western democracies, should be familiar to every Western leader, as it’s been the Russian SOP since, oh, around 1919. 

America’s spin information war began in the 1990s, with the Democrats working with sympathetic mainstream media to relentlessly repeat their talking points, that manufacture opinion cascades. Those opinion cascades were ruthlessly used by Democrats and their media spinners to promote the belief that these manufactured opinion cascades represent “the will of the American people”. It’s been a ruthless propaganda war waged against the American people. In 2016, this spin war entered into a scorched earth level conflict, when Trump amassed a media army that could fight back against the Left’s lock on spin information warfare. The American people remain the target of both sides in this spin war and the American people are being ruthlessly manipulated by both sides. There are no winners, except for America’s adversaries.

Putin on the other hand will arrive at this meeting fully briefed, fully prepared and with a meticulously crafted plan on how to manipulate and manage Trump.

Putin won this meeting already.  Trump just trashed NATO publicly and attacked the leaders of America’s closest allies, just like he attacked them at the G-7  before meeting with Kim Jong Un.  These meetings are becoming as predictable as Trump’s rally road shows, where whenever his negative spin makes him worried his followers might turn on him, FOX news and the Trump spin troops rush to produce another Trump rally road show, so they can tout the “thousands of followers” crowd optic and showcase Trump surrounded with American flags as stage props.

The mainstream media in America and the media in Western Europe, following Trump’s NATO performance, will assuredly be shrieking about Trump being owned by Putin, which will assure that Trump will lash out on Twitter, in attacks against the media and attacks against America’s closest allies, if they make any noises of concern.  If the negative spin gets too loud, well, it’s back to the Trump rally road shows and wrapping himself in the American flag.

So much “winning”…

 

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