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Why no leftie fake news?

Written By: - Date published: 10:11 am, November 28th, 2016 - 161 comments
Categories: activism, journalism, making shit up, Media - Tags: , , ,

“Fake news” has burst on to the political landscape. Fake stories were widely shared by Trump fans before the election. Why is leftie / liberal fake news much rarer? A fake news writer explains:

When did you notice that fake news does best with Trump supporters?

Well, this isn’t just a Trump-supporter problem. This is a right-wing issue. Sarah Palin’s famous blasting of the lamestream media is kind of record and testament to the rise of these kinds of people. The post-fact era is what I would refer to it as. This isn’t something that started with Trump. This is something that’s been in the works for a while. His whole campaign was this thing of discrediting mainstream media sources, which is one of those dog whistles to his supporters. When we were coming up with headlines it’s always kind of about the red meat. Trump really got into the red meat. He knew who his base was. He knew how to feed them a constant diet of this red meat.

We’ve tried to do similar things to liberals. It just has never worked, it never takes off. You’ll get debunked within the first two comments and then the whole thing just kind of fizzles out.

Good to hear.

But it does beg a question. Fake news, post truth (see Key on The Nation), dirty politics – how does a leftie respond in this environment? I don’t want to adopt the tactics of the political right, but you can’t deny that they are devastatingly effective (for the short term and narrowly defined goal of winning power).

161 comments on “Why no leftie fake news?”

  1. shorts 1

    I wonder what it says about those whom are willing to believe these stories or at least not verify them and their usage of social media – i.e. the platforms that circumvent the MSM, given an increasingly large number of people get most of their news from Facebook for example and its social media that is the prime source of fake news

    how should the left respond – with an increasing sense of humour I’d suggest….

    • Anne 1.1

      I wonder what it says about those whom are willing to believe these stories…

      What it says to my way of thinking is that they are politically lazy and becoming more dumbed down by an increasingly inadequate education system. I refer of course to the continuing cutting back of government funds and services to education (of all ages) which prevents teachers etc. from being able to guide their pupils in the art of critical and rational thinking. As a result the affected generations are easy meat for the fake news industry.

      I saw a good example on TV1 a couple of nights ago. The newsreader was commenting on the “fight” between Michael Wood and one of the National Party supporters after a public meeting. There was no fight… just a verbal altercation when Wood understandably took umbrage at the supporter’s personal jibe against his wife, Julie Fairey. The individual had lied about what happened yet TV1 continued to spread the false meme.

  2. joe90 2

    When did you notice that fake news does best with Trump supporters?

    In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2016

    .
    With Trump promulgating fake news it’s not surprising his supporters swallow anything that’s dished up.

    .

    Were there 3 million illegal votes from undocumented immigrants in this year’s presidential election? Well, that’s what some websites are saying.

    “Report: 3 million votes in presidential election cast by illegal aliens,” reads a headline on InfoWars, a conspiracy website ran by Alex Jones. The article has been shared via Facebook more than 48,000 times when we last looked.

    Other websites also have touted this report, including Milo, TheNewAmerican and FreedomDaily.

    So is there any truth to it?

    Well, we don’t know for absolute certain. But the report is actually a tweet, and the person who authored the tweet won’t explain how he arrived at his figure. If that isn’t reason enough to be skeptical, independent experts and historical analyses suggest it’s highly suspect.

    http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2016/nov/18/blog-posting/no-3-million-undocumented-immigrants-did-not-vote-/

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      The fake news was the MSM including the New York Times et al trying to convince people that there was a 91% plus chance of Clinton winning, a narrative they tried to keep up even on election day itself.

      • joe90 2.1.1

        Reporting on poll results and and the pundit’s interpretations is fake news?.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          Yep. Just like our MSM reporting Curia talking points or big bank economist commentary or Roy Morgan saying Labour is at 25% with a straight face.

          Fake all the way through.

          • mickysavage 2.1.1.1.1

            Do you believe that Donald Trump won the popular vote and that there were millions of illegal votes cast?

            • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.1.1

              No, that’s Trump spin.

              He’s letting himself get sucked into the Clinton noise machine about the popular vote.

              Instead he should continue to underline his outright win across the broad union of states via the electoral college.

              • mickysavage

                So Trump does tell lies. Shouldn’t we be concerned him being the leader of the free world and having the nuclear launch codes and all that.

                • Imagine if aliens arrived – the embarrassment for humanity would be too much – please please go away intergalactic interplanetary craft, we don’t want to make contact with you…

          • Cinesimon 2.1.1.1.2

            So what you’re saying is, you’re simply not willing to engage in an honest conversation or debate on the issue.

            • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.2.1

              A lot of liberal lefties were shocked at Trump’s election win.

              A large part of that was because the corporate MSM had been feeding fake news out to you for months about how the Trump campaign was melting down, how Trump was the next Hitler embodied, and how the Clinton campaign had a 91% plus chance of winning.

              • McFlock

                Some of those might have been incorrect and based on insufficient information.
                That does not mean “fake”.

                “Fake” is the outright invented shit that has no intention of reflecting reality except by happy coincidence. A lie, in other words.

                You no now longer know the difference between intending in good faith to be correct but failing, and having no intention of actually being correct as long as enough people believe or repeat what you say? I’m not surprised if that’s the case, toryboy.

                • RedLogix

                  When it comes to reality McFlock, CV has a better track record than you. He accurately predicted Trump’s win, and more importantly the reasons why, and you did not.

                  I realise this quietly enrages you because you cannot help let slip snide, noisome little droppings.’Toryboy’ indeed, when you know perfectly well CV is radically more left-wing than almost everyone else here. Including me.

                  You know what I would respect from the left at this moment? Some humility. An honest admission ‘we fucked up’. An actual learning moment; an authentic apology for the toxic bully-shaming we have engaged in or tacitly supported with our silence.

                  Read this again:

                  http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.ca/2016/04/american-narratives-rescue-game.html

                  I’m some power-lifting, three beers and two reds and one happy woman, under at this moment McFLock. Fucking read it.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Nice to see you RL

                  • Nah cv is not left wing yes even he says it. It isn’t in dispute except from those that want to reinvent the narrative. Why not just accept it ffs.

                    I don’t see what the problem is – why even contest it – who cares!

                    Bully shaming is putting fake anti Clinton stories up with refs to spin centres and then defending them even when proven lies. Remember all the sick sick ones or have you convienently forgotten?

                  • McFlock

                    He accurately predicted Trump’s win, and more importantly the reasons why, and you did not.

                    No, he speculated about a wild range of possible scenarios in favour of trump, one of which happened to be correct, albeit relying on a win in the electoral college from an overal loss in the popular vote. A result that stunned pretty much everybody on the victory podium as well, judging by the looks on their faces. He has additionally provided speclation as to why that result occurred, speculation that is completely unverifiable.

                    CV is radically more left-wing than almost everyone else here.

                    Bullshit.
                    Oh, he used to be. He used to be proud of it. Then is failed machinations in the labour party made him throw his toys about, so now he’s supporting summary executions of suspects, immigration near-elimination as a solution to unemployment, social conservatism, and a candidate who wanted to drone-strike innocent relatives of terrorist subjects across the world, all while parroting any propaganda that suits him and has a real large dose of “post-truth” bullshit mountain along side it.

                    But I’ll grant you that he still has pieces of an economic policy that would make social creditors go “ease off on the drugs, mate”, and his hatred for the US borders on obsession. The rest of it? He’s a fucking tory.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Talk about being an angry delusional.

                      PS I was spot on about 290 electoral votes.

                      That is, until Michigan was declared at last and he went up to 306 electoral votes 😉

                    • McFlock

                      so yeah, you were wrong about 290 votes then.

                      Hell, your earliest predictions of “trump by a landslide” were closer to the actual result than some of your more tentative predictions just before the election.

                      What sort of prediction system becomes less accurate when more information is presented closer to the predicted event? A bullshit system.

                    • RedLogix

                      @ McFlock

                      This split on the left between social and economic progressives is tedious and stupid. The arrogant and toxic bully culture which you have happily played you part is now deep into the terminal end-game and threatens any authentic progress that has been achieved.

                      The left has fucked up … badly. Time to just say that and learn some lessons.

                      Read the fucking link.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Nov 1, CV: “As previously I am still predicting an easy Trump win with around 290 electoral votes.”

                      US Election Discussion Post 3/11/16

                      Nov 3, CV: “I still see a Trump win of 290 electoral votes”

                      US Election Discussion Post 3/11/16

                      Nov 9, CV: “290 electoral votes. Pretty much spot on 🙂”

                      US Election Day Discussion Post 9/11/16

                      I pointed out a couple of years ago on TS that prioritising identity politics and political correctness above other issues was diverting the left and was sinking it.

                      People – including you McFlock – told me off saying that we can “walk and chew gum at the same time.”

                      American voters, after observing Obama for 8 years, apparently decided that no, we can’t, and voted in the total opposite of political correctness.

                      Not only voting Trump in but also giving him control of the Senate and the House.

                      Including white women, who voted for Trump ahead of Hillary by a full ten points, 53% to 43%.

                      Millions of white women apparently judged a misogynist racist xenophobe pussy grabbing trash talking KKK sympathiser neo-Hitler social media ranter more suitable for the Oval Office than Hillary Clinton.

                    • McFlock

                      @CV
                      I know numbers are not your friend, but 290 is not 306.

                      And what were you predicting more than a week out from the election, say six months or a year ago?

                    • McFlock

                      @RL

                      The link you posted seemed to argue that middle class liberals accuse others of bigotry or whatever as a method of continuing class warfare by another name. I have the impression that neither trump nor CV are working class. Voter demographics suggest that trump’s supporters are wealthier than many. Additionally, I would suggest that progress can only be said to have been made if people other than the folks directly victimised by bigotry also stand up and oppose it.

                      So, frankly, I call that article bullshit. To demand economic progress without social progress (which is the endgame of all the jerks who argue that “identity politics” is a distraction from real problems: ‘just get into the back row and STFU until we’re ready to talk about giving you respect and basic human rights’) is no progress at all.

                      Bitching about “social progressives” rather than progressing socially as well as economically is simply another entrenched alienation effect of the capitalist system, and provides hard limits on how far “economic progressives” are prepared to actually change the system: they’ll argue for their own liberation, but as soon as it starts affecting their power over others, they’ll stop.

                  • Kevin

                    “You know what I would respect from the left at this moment? Some humility. An honest admission ‘we fucked up’. An actual learning moment; an authentic apology for the toxic bully-shaming we have engaged in or tacitly supported with our silence.”

                    Nail on the head Red. I cannot believe this message has still not sunk in.

          • McFlock 2.1.1.1.3

            Do you believe that the economists or roy morgan believe that what they are saying is fabricated, or do they actually believe their analyses?

            Do you believe that the MSM think that your “Curia talking points” are completely fabricated?

            As opposed to the outright fabricated stories about clinton. I’m amazed she’s still alive after everything you guys diagnosed her with.

            • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.3.1

              Just wait. New York City mayoral elections 2017.

              • McFlock

                That wasn’t an answer. Merely a bullshit response.

                • Colonial Viper

                  That’s all you’re going to get.

                  And just remember how much you love establishment commentators when they start slamming the Greens and Labour next year.

                  • Quick write it down in your notes – ‘mcflock being disrespectful again – doesn’t seem to realize hes in the presence of greatness – move his name to new list – head list up with ,’ people who are really not nice to me.’ – note to self, remember to get some armond milk tomorrow getting low. End note.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Keep practicing your bullyshaming, that’s apparently the only political competence of the left remaining these days.

                    • Thanks, shaming bullys is just an added bonus to me, but good you self identify as a bully. Most right wingers are bullys in my experience.

                    • Kevin

                      Childish Marty.

                      Getting stuck in to CV for getting it right when so many on here got it completely wrong changes nothing.

      • Infused 2.1.2

        There was a massive MSM attack on Trump. I think there were some big pay offs. You won’t see anyone here admit that though.

        • Andre 2.1.2.1

          By “massive MSM attack”, do you mean reporting the things he actually did and said?

          • Matthew Whitehead 2.1.2.1.1

            To be fair, quoting the things he did and said during the campaign pretty much inevitably amounted to an attack, just an inherently justified one because if quoting someone or reporting the raw facts of what they did is an attack then they deserve to be attacked.

            There was some very out-of-touch analysis in terms of horse-race coverage, (of which there’s always too much) but I think Donald and his supporters are suffering from something that common wisdom has already addressed: Don’t attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity.

            The mainstream media generally thought there was no way he could win because they were in an establishment bubble, and the entire bubble thought Clinton was a cert. They were stupid and out-of-touch, because they’d been hired to repeat stupid soundbites from other establishment figures.

            Those of us outside the bubble and not listening to it generally thought polling was favourable to Clinton until right before the end and that she might eke out a close win, or if we were very unlucky would have a close loss in the Electoral College.

            The truth was somewhere between what his fans thought and what honest commentators outside the US establishment thought. (I will count 538 as outside of the establishment for this election as they went to some pretty good lengths to give Donald a fair probability. It was definitely a reasonable call to have Clinton as the probable winner, but in hindsight they possibly should have adjusted their algorithm to have the race closer)

            This is also probably the most dramatic divergence between the EC result and the popular vote ever.

            • Colonial Viper 2.1.2.1.1.1

              These two particular candidates concentrated a massive polarisation between large urban areas of the USA and everywhere else.

              I think that explains most of the EC vs popular vote disparity.

              Of the over 3000 separate counties throughout the USA, Hillary Clinton won only about 300. But they were amongst the 300 most densely populated metropolitan centres in the country.

        • Cinesimon 2.1.2.2

          Without the MSM he wouldn’t have won the primaries. But you enjoy your childish fantasy: you right wingers loooove your faux victim status! It’s not as if engaging in honest debate will do anything for you.

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.2.2.1

            Are you sure that you want to engage in “honest debate”? (BTW I am not a “right winger.”)

            OK then, let’s start with your statement, which I actually agree with:

            Without the MSM he wouldn’t have won the primaries.

            Then add to it some context: the Clinton Campaign WANTED the MSM to elevate Donald Trump to prominence:

            In its self-described “pied piper” strategy, the Clinton campaign proposed intentionally cultivating extreme right-wing presidential candidates, hoping to turn them into the new “mainstream of the Republican Party” in order to try to increase Clinton’s chances of winning.

            The Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee called for using far-right candidates “as a cudgel to move the more established candidates further to the right.” Clinton’s camp insisted that Trump and other extremists should be “elevated” to “leaders of the pack” and media outlets should be told to “take them seriously.”

            Now, let’s have this “honest debate” that you want.

            Given the above: do you think that the Clinton campaign’s short sighted, dishonest strategy to deliberately elevate “pied piper” Republican candidates during the primary cycle, people whom they knew to be dangerous extremists like Donald Trump, in the end backfired not just on her, but ultimately on the entire country?

            http://www.salon.com/2016/11/09/the-hillary-clinton-campaign-intentionally-created-donald-trump-with-its-pied-piper-strategy/

      • Craig H 2.1.3

        91% is not 100% – that’s the whole point of giving a percentage, to show that it’s not, in fact, guaranteed.

      • Nic the NZer 2.1.4

        A comforting thought for people who actually believe the percentage. In reality the US election of 2016 is a one off event. In order for this to be assigned a probability however (say its actually 91%) then we can’t be dealing with a one off event so there must be many (even infinitely many universes) where the US election of 2016 was held. On the basis of sampling between them we could assign a probability to the result of the election.
        It may be of some comfort that in 91% of those universes then Clinton won the election and is now president elect?

        However in reality, being stuck in the universe where Trump was elected, we might start to question where this ‘probability’ comes from or how it differs from other means by which people have speculated on the future incorrectly. Or in terms of verification maybe it wasn’t even wrong? Maybe we are just stuck in some 9% universe where the percentages were right, but some unlikely event came to pass!

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Next year is ‘the Left’ (if such a collective grouping exists) going to embrace the MSM’s chosen election year narrative of Labour being in disarray/incompetent/bumbling/confused/inexperienced?

    Because the MSM would never run biased disinformation campaigns against one side in an election, would they? Blatant campaigns which force voters to ignore the MSM altogether and turn to alt-media sites like The Standard, say.

    Meanwhile Zero Hedge relays an article on how the Washington Post has totally sold out its journalistic principles in order to push a ‘fake news’ narrative of how everyone against the US establishment is ‘pro-Russian.’

    It is written by Charles Hugh-Smith, a well known financial commentator, political pundit and published author who ended up targetted by the WaPo.

    This same Russophobic Neo-McCarthyism was amplified throughout the MSM against Trump and the Trump campaign team.

    The Washington Post: Useful-Idiot Shills For A Failed, Frantic Status Quo That Has Lost Control Of The Narrative

    This is what The Washington Post is pushing: a parasitic, predatory, exploitive, ruinously corrupt and venal ruling class and its army of apologists/lackeys/factotums.

    The fundamental source of the Post’s hysterical accusations is the ruling elite has lost control of the narrative. This is the source of the mainstream media’s angst-tinged hysteria and frantic efforts to marginalize and discredit any dissenting narratives that undermine or question the power of a corrupted, self-serving ruling elite that has failed the nation and its citizens.

    This is why Donald Trump was routinely labeled a Russian shill by the mainstream media during the campaign. Regardless of what you think of Trump or Clinton, what can we say about a supposedly responsible media that so cavalierly spews fact-free accusations of foreign control? This is the height of irresponsible propaganda being passed off as “journalism.”

    • Robertina 3.1

      The irony of using the trope of Labour being a bit useless to try to persuade people that the media is bad is that you push that message pretty hard yourself when it suits your agenda.

      I know you have done a pretty good job at picking up the ‘better and efficient’ methods of alt-right propaganda, but maybe people are a bit smarter than you give them credit for. Certainly seems like it from reading this thread.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        You can be plenty smart and plenty wrong at the same time.

        I’ll be looking forward to all the ‘fair and balanced’ coverage of Labour in the corporate MSM next year.

        No doubt you’ll be so impressed with the standard of election year MSM journalism you’ll wonder why people bother to go to alt-media sites like The Standard in order to get a different narrative than that of the MSM and to learn about things other than the MSM subset of mainstream acceptable facts.

  4. Olwyn 4

    This reference to Rorty’s predictions before his death was in The Guardian about a week ago. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/19/donald-trump-us-election-prediction-richard-rorty This is the bit I found interesting: Rorty predicted that…the left would come to give “cultural politics preference over real politics”. This movement would contribute to a tidal wave of resentment, he wrote, that would ricochet back as the kind of rancor that the left had tried to eradicate.

    If I look back over the period in which social democracy was largely replaced by neoliberal capitalism, two governments stand out: Bob Hawke’s in the early stages and Helen Clark’s in the third way period. Hawke’s government gave away enough to avoid punishment, but not enough rob the Australian left of all leverage. Most of the leverage had already been given away by Clark’s time, thanks to Douglas and Richardson, but Clark really did make use of what leverage she could get hold of. After 2008, pretty much all real political leverage ended up in the hands of the right, while the left sought establishment approval and just enough distinction from the right to justify their existence. This is not enough to connect with the hunger of those left out in the cold, many of whom make up the traditional left wing constituency.

    There is a connection between red meat and hunger. These fake news stories were more than likely met as expressing the idea that Trump meant business rather than as facts. Those from the left have probably failed to take because a left without leverage means business-as-usual with a carefully adjusted sales pitch – not the kind of thing to cause much excitement. The only way forward now for the left is to face up to the battle for real political leverage. Telling off the so-called Alt-right for stealing the march will not change a thing.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      I think you will enjoy this, in a similar vein, from Jimmy Dore.

      Who discovered an article written by Michael Moore in 2010, predicting the rise of a Trump-like figure driven by the failures of liberal lefty politics and their President, Barack Obama to address the true concerns of the people.

      Who will finally harvest the grapes of wrath?

      • Olwyn 4.1.1

        Yes. So much for change we can believe in. Along similar lines, Varoufakis has said, The problem for Obama was that all the left-wingers projected onto him the image they wanted to see, which was different to who he really was. He is a social climber, who wanted to become a member of the establishment, rather than to challenge it. His efforts to ingratiate himself have led to him handing over the presidency to Trump. https://yanisvaroufakis.eu/2016/11/15/new-statesman-interview-the-lefts-duty-after-trumps-awful-victory/

        I was interested in Jimmy Dore’s noting what was punished and what went unpunished, which is far more telling than rhetoric ever is.

  5. Andre 5

    Googling “countering fake news” turned up nothing useful in the first 100 hits.

    “Fighting fake news” seems a bit more useful as a search phrase. I found this article interesting.

    http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/whats-the-solution-to-fake-news/

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    Glenn Greenwald slams the WaPo for spreading unsubstantiated McCarthyite smears about news sites it unjustifiably deems fake

    More for lefties to think about, before they jump onboard the latest establishment MSM meme “fake news”.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-27/glenn-greenwald-condemns-washington-posts-cowardly-group-anonymous-smear-artists

    • LOL they’ve basically included anyone reporting on Wikileaks as “propaganda.” (that’s not to say there isn’t genuine propaganda on their list, see “The Daily Stormer” for an example. Most of the right-wing sites are genuine calls and most of the left-wing sites are BS, as usual with “even-handed” media criticism)

      I’m sorry, but curated leaks on critical government actions that get “non-denial denials” do not count as propaganda.

  7. Infused 7

    There was heaps. Look to reddit as that’s where it all came from.

    In fact, I believe it was wikileaks which reported Hillary’s campaign team hiring a misinformation crew for $10m to spread shit.

    It was /r/politics which actually showed this (1:10 trump/hillary stories). I believe this is what turned a lot of people off.

    • Cinesimon 7.1

      Wow – you really are this gullible, huh. Can’t find an example that stuck, therefore bring up Wikileaks and pretend Assange’s bizarre, laughable declarations are completely credible.
      But hey – he tells you what to think(and you like it) – therefore he totally represents the truth, right?

      • Wikileaks is a credible source. It has had several leaks partially or fully verified, and that’s a hard thing for leaks to do, FYI. Of the rest, none of them have been even partially discredited, which would be very easy to do, especially given how high-profile the subjects it covers are.

        It does report information from anonymous sources that should be taken with a grain of salt. However, most information it releases is far too detailed to be an effective hoax- the best hoaxes are short so that you don’t accidentally say something that can be verified as false.

        That said, personal criticism of Assange is perfectly reasonable. It’s entirely possible he’s guilty of sexual assault, for instance. (Not that I entirely blame the guy for not facing the allegations, given that Sweden refused to rule out extraditing him to the US) He’s not a figure to be hero-worshipped, just a cog in a large machine that’s actually doing the work that professional journalists are increasingly backing away from.

        • Andre 7.1.1.1

          I find it really ironic that Wikileaks’ actions may have helped bring about Clinton’s loss (whether intentional or not), but that Trump will almost certainly try harder to be secretive and vindictive towards whistleblowers and leakers than even Clinton would be.

          • Matthew Whitehead 7.1.1.1.1

            Clinton doesn’t get to talk about ancilliary factors to her loss like Comey, or Wikileaks, or even Jill freaking Stein. They are irrelevant compared to her complete failure to read the mood of the electorate. This is a woman who thought that Tim Kaine was a smart VP pick, (Kaine made sense in a formula that wasn’t relevant since her HUSBAND’s time in the White House, where you picked a popular governor or similar from a swing state because news coverage was so different in different states that picking Their Guy made a difference) in a universe where she could have had Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders. This is a woman who hired Debbie Wasserman-Shulz onto her campaign after the majority acknowledged she had behaved unethically and indefensibly as the head of the DNC. This is a woman who adopted most of Bernie’s winning education policy and then didn’t campaign on it.

            She should have beaten Trump by 10% in the popular vote, not 2%. Sanders would have creamed Trump in the General Election, and probably won by even more than early three-way polls after Trump was the presumptive primary winner had predicted. Instead the world is stuck with an acknowledged loser as President of the US.

            • Andre 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Yeah, there’s a long long list of poor decisions leading to the shit situation we have now. I’d put the start of the really crap decisions with the DNC effectively clearing the path to her nomination very early, so the only other people to even put their hands up were Martin O’Malley and Bernie (while he still called himself an Independent!).

              But it still doesn’t change the fact that there’s also a long list of progressives who have scored own-goals because of self-righteous principle in the name of good governance. It certainly looks to me like Wikileaks have added themselves to that list.

              • Except it actually looks like Bernie’s demographics voted much more strongly for Clinton than comparable crossover voters for Obama from Clinton, or previous presidential elections with demographic gaps.

                So progressives actually turned out for Clinton even though they didn’t like her. That’s not an own goal.

                Besides, she rightly won the election even though she was so out-of-touch, she just doesn’t get to be president due to ridiculous winner-take-all state regulations on an outdated electoral college. You can’t go quarterbacking why you lost the election when the answer is that you didn’t, your party just sucked too much to reform the electoral college back when they had all three branches of government in their hands.

                • Colonial Viper

                  You can only reform the Electoral College via Article 5 of the Constitution, and it is hard hard work. (Though not impossible as of course there have been many constitutional amendments over the last 2 centuries.)

                  • 1) The NPVIC can do it perfectly well, and arguably needs zero congressional votes to implement because the constitution already empowers states to instruct or regulate electors.

                    2) You should absolutely try to amend the constitution in congress even if you know it will fail, because then you can attack the Republicans for not agreeing with something that most of the US does. Hillary actually understood this well when she promised to amend the constitution to reverse the Citizens United decision- it would be something that the Republicans would pull out every stop to prevent.

                    Besides, deliberately losing battles to win the war is a time-honoured devious strategy.

                    3) You could have just said “amending the constitution,” as both types of amendments, the congressional supermajority one and the convention to amend one are in Arcticle 5. 😉

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Heh I don’t know that much about the topic of constitutional amendments maybe I should be asking you the questions 🙂

                      Nevertheless I note the states which have passed the NPVIC: New York, Illinois, California, Washington state, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Hawaii and DC.

                      All and only stronghold blue states.

                  • joe90

                    You can only reform the Electoral College via Article 5 of the Constitution, and it is hard hard work. (Though not impossible as of course there have been many constitutional amendments over the last 2 centuries.)

                    Apparently not.

                    /

                    If Congress wanted to keep the electoral college but make it fairer, there is a simple (but unlikely) solution: increase the size of the House of Representatives. There is nothing in the constitution mandating a particular size except that each member must represent at least 30,000 people (which puts an upper limit on the House of about 10,000 members). In fact, the House has been expanded repeatedly in the past as the nation grew. The most recent expansion was in 1911, when the U.S. population was about 93 million, so a representative had 212,000 constituents. With the current population of 293 million, a representative has 674,000 constituents. To bring this number back to its 1911 value, the House should be expanded to 1370 members. Since a state’s electoral vote is equal to its congressional representation, with 1370 House members, the effect of the 100 senators would be much smaller and the electoral votes would be almost proportional to population. To increase the size of the House, Congress would merely have to pass a law; the states would not be involved at all.

                    http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2012/Info/electoral-college.html

                    After the first enumeration required by the first article of the Constitution, there shall be one Representative for every thirty thousand, until the number shall amount to one hundred, after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall be not less than one hundred Representatives, nor less than one Representative for every forty thousand persons, until the number of Representatives shall amount to two hundred; after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall not be less than two hundred Representatives, nor more than one Representative for every fifty thousand persons

                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congressional_Apportionment_Amendment

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Thanks joe90, I hadn’t been aware of this option.

                • Andre

                  I’m trying to talk about how progress towards WikiLeaks’ goal of open and transparent government is likely to be set back by President Trump. Possibly damaged by WikiLeaks’ own actions. Because by drip-feeding them out, “Clinton e-mails” was kept continually in the news, reinforcing the Clinton is a liar meme.

                  That there’s a host of other reasons creating this situation is independent of whether Wikileaks may have taken shots at their own feet.

                  That’s a separate topic to all the poor Clinton decisions or whether Bernie or Martin would have been a stronger nominee.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    But Clinton ***is*** a liar and is dishonest. So is Trump.

                    However, amongst other things, Clinton lied to Congress multiple times (about her private email server).

                    James Comey FBI director confirmed that point by point when questioned by congressman Trey Gowdy. Lying to congress is a felony.

                    • joe90

                      So is Trump.

                      Trump’s a child.

                      For two straight days, they asked Trump question after question that touched on the same theme: Trump’s honesty.

                      The lawyers confronted the mogul with his past statements — and with his company’s internal documents, which often showed those statements had been incorrect or invented. The lawyers were relentless. Trump, the bigger-than-life mogul, was vulnerable — cornered, out-prepared and under oath.

                      Thirty times, they caught him.

                      Trump had misstated sales at his condo buildings. Inflated the price of membership at one of his golf clubs. Overstated the depth of his past debts and the number of his employees.

                      That deposition — 170 transcribed pages — offers extraordinary insights into Trump’s relationship with the truth. Trump’s falsehoods were unstrategic — needless, highly specific, easy to disprove. When caught, Trump sometimes blamed others for the error or explained that the untrue thing really was true, in his mind, because he saw the situation more positively than others did.

                      https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/2016-election/trump-lies/

              • Colonial Viper

                there’s also a long list of progressives who have scored own-goals because of self-righteous principle in the name of good governance. It certainly looks to me like Wikileaks have added themselves to that list.

                Ahhh yes, that progressive candidate Hillary Clinton, who once reportedly asked if they could just drone Julian Assange.

                Also, Wikileaks isn’t part of some “progressive” or lefty coalition. IMO a DC insider decided to torpedo the Clinton Campaign and fed those email materials to Wikileaks to release.

                This would be consistent with comments by Assange and others that Russia was not the source of that information.

                • Nah just fact checked for ya – false story about Clinton – sorry please try another smear.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    She lost the election to Donny Tinyhands, crashing and burning so badly that states which had voted Democrat for more than 3 decades, including voting for Barack Obama twice, turned against her.

                    • So? – the smear you attempted i checked and it is a lie. Feel free to apologise at any time to readers who were taken in by your repitition of a fake story

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Here is a link to Hillary Clinton’s non-denial denial about talking about droning Julian Assange.

                      She says that she can’t remember having said such a thing, but if she did it would have been a joke.

                      Sure.

                      In the face of this professional non-denial denial, your assessment that the claim is a “lie” is clearly suspect.

                      http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/hillary-clinton-julian-assange-229123

                    • I checked snoopes and they said the Wikipedia email release did not show evidence that she said that. Your link doesn’t even go that far – it actually says nothing. You’re bullshitting. I’ve caught you and now like the dunny trying to slide out by diversion and double downing on distractiin. Sorry I’m just not as gullible or desperate as you. C- please try harder again.

    • Cinesimon 7.2

      I do love that you’re citing fake news to justify your overtly dishonest assertion that BOTH SIDES!
      Very meta.

  8. ropata 8

    The Left doesn’t need fake news, we just need public understanding and accurate reporting of everyday RW villainy.

    The Right needs disinformation campaigns to deceive the public into voting for barbaric and revolting cliche’s like Trump. They require massive PR machinery to distort reality to fit their twisted narrative. The right needs to publish endless lies to hide the piles of dead bodies, as they count the money.

    • Gosman 8.1

      I suspect you just define everybody you disagree with as right wing. There are many fake news sites that spout news that can be defined as left wing (e.g. the shadow US government staged the attacks on September 11th 2001) but you just redefine that to be a right wing view (if you don’t already accept it that is)

      • ropata 8.1.1

        Gossie your job as a paid dirty politics astroturfing RW tool seems to be driving you pretty hard today. Take a break.

      • Rae 8.1.2

        Of course the right wing don’t define everyone that disagrees with them as left wing, or more likely, leftie losers.
        And on the whole 9/11 thing, that is not lefties who think that was a conspiracy, that is just nutters, like the moon landing sceptics, the chemtrailers etc. They are probably neither left nor right, in reality, just gullible.
        My own (small) investigation revealed that people who thought Trump was great also swallowed whole most of the popular conspiracy theories.

  9. McFlock 9

    What to do, what to do…

    That’s the trouble with Bullshit Mountain: you can’t climb it, you can’t tunnel it, you can’t necessarily wait for it to go away.

    Dunno at this stage, but hopefully it’s just a phase society is going through.

    • Carolyn_nth 9.1

      Take small amounts of BS from the mountain, bit by bit. Transport each bit to somewhere where there is some good soil. Use the BS as fertiliser to grow some healthy, life-sustaining plants.

      • Andre 9.1.1

        What’s so painful and annoying is that trying to clean up the BS takes so much more time and effort from the clean-up crew than it does from the producers.

    • ropata 9.2

      As Hedges notes in the above video, when the narratives pushed by the elites are so thoroughly debunked and the people start looking for answers outside the mainstream, is when the left needs someone like Bernie Sanders to step up.

      In this case Trumpism seems to be ascendant, but it will end in a complete mess, and lead to worse chaos on the street

      • Colonial Viper 9.2.1

        Worse chaos on the street – even worse than the riots caused by left wing anti-trumpers?

        Or the sniper shooting dead of five police officers in Dallas?

        Or the private police water cannoning and smashing down hundreds of protestors at the Dakota Access Pipeline?

        Or the Sandy Hook deaths of so many children.

        All during Obama’s term.

        Worse than that? Yeah, it could definitely happen.

        What I would ask you to try and separate out Trump’s effects as POTUS (negative and positive) with the massive downdraft that US society as a whole has been in for more than 20 years now.

        All of us are in for a rough few years.

        • ropata 9.2.1.1

          Yes unfortunately we do live in interesting times. I am gonna pray more.

        • marty mars 9.2.1.2

          Obama has also been caught in this downdraft hasn’t he. Can you separate his role from societal changes as you want others to do for trump?

          • Colonial Viper 9.2.1.2.1

            You can only judge Obama on what he has actually done.

            Prosecuting Chelsea Manning but not prosecuting Wall St.

            Accepting a Nobel Peace Prize then carrying out drone wars in 7 countries.

            Being one of the most popular Presidents ever at the end of two terms while watching the rest of his party at state and federal level get smashed.

            Pushing the lobbyist written corporatist TPP/TTIP on to resistant populations all over the world.

            Etc.

            • marty mars 9.2.1.2.1.1

              Was he caught in the downdraft of the last 20 years or not?

              Plus blaming him for sandy hook? More meat shields for your argument – shameless you are.

              • Colonial Viper

                As I said – judge him on the decisions he has actually made. Letting the desecration of Native American lands by the Dakota Access Pipeline continue.

                Continuing to feed weapons, training and support to jihadists in Syria.

                Greenlighting more deep sea oil drilling after Deepwater Horizon.

                Overseeing the growth and power of mass surveillance over ordinary people.

                Leading the Democratic Party while it lost hundreds of elected officials.

                • Has he been in while this downdraft as YOU described, occured. We both know the answer why not just say it?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Of course he has also been caught in this downdraft. But the DECISIONS that Obama has made have clearly shown him to be a shit President.

                    Like prosecuting Chelsea Manning but not prosecuting Wall St.

                    But don’t listen to me. Listen to Cenk Uygur from this week.

                    – Obama is a “weak sauce Democrat.”
                    – Obama and his friends “destroyed the Democratic Party.”
                    – Obama “doesn’t believe in real change.”
                    – Obama has made “not a word” to support the native american DAP protestors.
                    – Obama is “a sucker as always” for trusting Trump.
                    – At the end of eight years of his leadership, Obama is leaving behind a “completely destroyed Democratic Party.”

                • joe90

                  Whereas Trump has a financial interest in the Dakota Access Pipeline, favours nuclear proliferation, could well go ahead with an Arctic drilling programme and intends to appoint a champion of increased domestic surveillance.

                  btw, the president is a politician with responsibilities to his party, not the leader.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Who was the most influential leader of the Democratic Party during this period, if not Obama?

  10. joe90 10

    It’s almost like the lies are to set up an assault on voting rights.
    /

    Serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California – so why isn't the media reporting on this? Serious bias – big problem!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 28, 2016

  11. Andre 11

    While it doesn’t offer any suggestions on how to counter fake news, this article offers a bit more insight into where it comes from. (h/t CV, I came across it while trying to fact-check one of his other misleading posts)

    https://theintercept.com/2016/11/26/laura-ingraham-lifezette/

    • Gosman 11.1

      Trump was fact checked by more people and organisations than any other candidate in political history I would argue. It didn’t help much.

      • Well, part of that is that the organisations fact-checking him were largely either liberal in perspective, or part of the mainstream media. While the liberal perspective news organisations were generally honest, it’s hard for someone with different political leanings to trust them. And the MSM in the US don’t deserve to be trusted on fact checking in general, as they have a huge pro-establishment bias, so anything that touches on official information from the government they basically take as true regardless of independent counterviews or actual evidence to the contrary.

        There were no right-wing organisations with popular credibility fact checking him or denouncing his ties to neo-nazis or any of the things that we needed credible, trusted people saying to his potential audience.

        That’s half of the problem. It’s relatively easy to solve- you start talking to people outside the DC/NY bubble on MSM shows, you show interviews of voters if you want to talk about what someone’s supporters think rather than asking “experts” as a first resort, and you always, always tell the truth, even when it hurts you in the short run. (They also need populists and/or truth-tellers from both the Right AND Left, so it doesn’t make Republicans look more reasonable than they actually are, which is frequently the direction the MSM does veer in when they go “outside the beltway”)

        The other half is that he told the truth on the issue that mattered most to ordinary Americans, and he did it in words anyone could understand: He acknowledged that politics and business is corrupt, that the American worker has had a raw deal, that globalisation has been conducted in a way that’s unfair to ordinary people, and he built on that to go into unreasonable populism, scaremongering about Muslims, immigration from Latin America, and then pivoting into general law and order pandering.

        That half has to be addressed with populists coming in from the left to give a counter-view. It’s much easier to believe someone like Bernie Sanders calling Trump a liar who’s dangerous for the US and whose conflicts of interest are alarming than it is to believe Hillary Clinton. Talk about getting the worst results from both primaries at once, this is actually why I’m kinda glad that leaders are determined by single-vote contests on the left in New Zealand. (although the Right does need to stop just annointing a winner with the support of their caucus)

    • Gosman 11.2

      Trump was fact checked by more people and organisations than any other candidate in political history I would argue. It didn’t help much.

  12. Xanthe 12

    Unbelievable ! You cant be serious! The overwhelming story of the US election was the flood of fake news from the left. It backfired and cost them the presidency….. Thats what happened , own it, learn from it, but FFS dont pretend it didnt happen. I am flabberghasted

  13. One Two 13

    The simple minds gobble up and regurgitate the controlled release of labels to use against eachother

    In this instance, ‘fake news’ is the term presented to those eager for retionale to quash their confusion…and in cue the MSM ‘fake news’ delivers the catch-phrase

    There is no source of truth, so stop living in a fantasy world of child like attraction to ones own confirmation bias and self esteem!

    ‘Reality’ can only be what is directly experienced with ones own eyes, and even then it a perspective at best

    Spending energy running with the rebranded ‘conspiracy theory’ moniker is asinine in the extreme

  14. Liberal Realist 14

    “Why is leftie / liberal fake news much rarer?”

    I’m not so sure about this. NYT, CNN, MSNBC, HuffPost et al were busily parroting anything and everything the Clinton campaign spouted. Russia this, Putin that. Trump is Putin’s tool and so on.

    Sure the US Right are practically off planet but so are (or were) the US liberal media.

    I guess the case could be made that ‘liberal’ in the US is ‘rightwing’ everywhere else, just that the ‘right’ are off the scale…

    • I agree. Carefully-designed propaganda has always been crafted as news to influence public opinion. The reason leftists don’t see fake news designed to help the left as fake is because they believe it’s true. The converse applies equally to the right.

      Someone who is neither left nor right is more likely to accurately diagnose the bias inherent in either whereas a partisan will only see that of the opposing party.

      It helps to have an open mind but obviously no sensible person would expect a partisan to have one. We ought also remember that bias and prejudice operate out of that realm in the psyche that Polanyi identified as tacit knowledge so long ago, part of our subconscious…

      • ropata 14.1.1

        It helps to have an actual value system and ethics, forged from life experience and compassion for others, rather than an arrogant claim to be more open minded than others.

        • Dennis Frank 14.1.1.1

          I agree. Since I did not claim to be more open-minded than others – nor did I suggest anyone else do so – why are you hallucinating the possible existence of folks making such arrogant claims?

          • ropata 14.1.1.1.1

            Your suggestion that partisans do not accept critique is wrong, just observe the commentary on this site. I don’t think the Left is blind to favourable articles in the media either, but nor is the Left operating a massive PR machinery sponsored by global corporations to publish establishment lines.

  15. Macro 15

    This is not a new phenomena.
    “Lady Susan” written in 1794 by Jane Austen has this delightful quote:
    “Facts are such horrid things”.

    • In Vino 15.1

      +1 Macro – just would love to see phenomenon (singular) instead of phenomena (plural). Maybe grammatical correctness is as horrible as facts are..

      • Colonial Viper 15.1.1

        You used two full stops

        • In Vino 15.1.1.1

          Unreliable digital hardware (fingers).

          • Macro 15.1.1.1.1

            As advised by one university lecturer, long, long ago, on the nature of just what is and what isn’t a phenomenon :

            A horse – that is no phenomenon.
            A bee – that is no phenomenon.
            A thistle – that is no phenomenon.
            But a horse, sitting on a bee, sitting on a thistle – that is a phenomenon.

  16. One Two 16

    There is not and cannot be a source of truth inside man made constructs of any variety

    Confirmation bias, cognitive dissonance ego and anxiety are what can be found by those searching for ‘man made truth’

    Looking outside of ones own self reveals elementary ‘home truths’ about the nature of the traps humanity exist within

    See the traps, know what they are and ignore them by living life

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      Most kind

    • ropata 16.2

      How do we know if your logic is true? In fact, your eloquent comment defeats itself.

      FFS mate there is a difference between facts and outright lies.

      • Colonial Viper 16.2.1

        Life and truth is not determined by logic.

        On occasion, some mundane facts may be determined by logic, but even then such “facts” may still prove to be utterly irrelevant, powerless, or orphaned.

        One Two is correct.

        See the traps, know what they are and ignore them by living life

      • One Two 16.2.2

        How does my comment defeat itself, in your opinion?

        Additionally, what are these ‘concrete facts’ you speak of, at 15.2.1.1?

        ….”A world of concrete facts”…..

        • Dennis Frank 16.2.2.1

          Concrete was traditionally considered to have been invented by the Romans but Wikipedia asserts they merely refined a more ancient technology, but anyway has been proliferating around the world since. You can see that this is a fact by encountering pieces wherever you go. Therefore we live in a world of such concrete facts.

          • Colonial Viper 16.2.2.1.1

            Heh.

            Although “concrete facts” are not as solid in the modern day as people might think: modern reinforced concrete often starts to full apart after just 30 or 40 years.

            Which is about the life span of most modern “concrete facts”.

        • ropata 16.2.2.2

          So “there is no truth” then? Is that a true statement?

          Useless.

  17. Huginn 17

    Hi, I’ve posted this twice but can’t see it, so with luck it’s gone into moderation.

    If so…
    1/ it was directed at Anthony and not intended as a response to CV

    2/ can you pass this on to LP & R, I think they may be interested in the tech.

    Cheers

    The Right Wing has developed a very effective machine for defining it’s base and sealing supporters in filter bubbles. Once they’re sealed in they can be targetted with more bullshit.

    Much of this bullshit is monetised by the Facebook’s business model. Indeed, Facebook is a partner at nearly every step of this process.

    Prof John Albright has done the hard yards on this. Here’s his topography of fake news, right wing propaganda, big data, and Facebook. It’s a bit rough looking at the moment, but don’t be put off. This is massive.

    View at Medium.com

  18. Bill 18

    Can’t believe some peeps are running with the idea that some info/prop is of a completely different order to other info/prop and indicative of some ‘post truth’ world. Please get a grip.

    I guess there were people who believed a second world war fighter plane had been found on the moon when that story ran as a headline in whatever British rag it was that ran it. It wasn’t ‘fake news’ then and it isn’t ‘fake news’ now. It was just some shit somebody made up and put out there.

    Some shit gets believed and some shit gets dismissed. Some shit is better packaged than other shit. Some shit stinks, some shit doesn’t and some shit really stinks. Some people are more gullible and some people less so. Sometimes those who claim to be less gullible show themselves up as more gullible….and so it goes.

    And if the notion is that because the stuff being made up is political it’s somehow different, then…well, only the truly gullible could spin that line.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 18.1

      So Lord Haw-Haw did nothing wrong?

      • Bill 18.1.1

        A WWII propagandist spouted some shit. Your point being – given that various levels of shit are covered off in my original comment?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 18.1.1.1

          That fascist propaganda was at one time deemed sufficiently “different” – in the circumstances – as to earn the death penalty. Whereas for example “Continental drift” “propaganda”, not so much.

          Are you saying that false beliefs are equally damaging – or not – no matter their source or agenda?

          What of the various crimes related to suppression of the health effects of smoking, or Climatology?

          Everyone probably believes some “shit”, fewer actively invent, and fewer still persistently invent with a deliberate goal in mind. Fraud being a thing and all that.

          I don’t think it’s gullible to see a “Big Lie” political strategy, for example, as “different” to holding a simple false belief.

          Also see S.199A of the Electoral Act:

          Every person is guilty of a corrupt practice who, with the intention of influencing the vote of any elector, at any time on polling day before the close of the poll, or at any time on any of the 2 days immediately preceding polling day, publishes, distributes, broadcasts, or exhibits, or causes to be published, distributed, broadcast, or exhibited, in or in view of any public place a statement of fact that the person knows is false in a material particular.

          • Bill 18.1.1.1.1

            I didn’t say anything about the relative damage or effect of any given piece of info. That would be a different conversation.

            But let’s cut to the chase, aye? The hitherto generally accepted ‘story’ of the liberal establishment is being rejected. It’s being rejected by left leaning folks as well as right leaning folks. And their defense or strategy – essentially anything to avoid a wee bit of self reflection – is, in this instance, to go all wavy armed about the propensity of supposed ‘fake’ news – as though their propaganda was just a reflection of the ‘real deal’.

            All that’s happening is that a lot of the political and economic bullshit of the past 30-40 years is being called out now. And sure, some of the stuff designed to call out the bullshit, is itself bullshit.

            Y’know, if there hadn’t been a widespread and concerted effort to generally dumb down information and information flows and (by accident or design) encourage populations to be spoon fed bib wearers happy enough to gorge on bullshit, then none of this would be happening. But then, neither would much of the past 30 odd years.

            • ropata 18.1.1.1.1.1

              What scares me is that the new narrative as told by Trump is is far darker and even more irrational. The establishment PR is shit but Trump’s effluent is radioactive.

              Trump’s lies have a purpose. They are an assault on democracy.
              Donald Trump is winning the war on reality. Welcome to the age of nightmares.

              If Bush and Rove constructed a fantasy world with a clear internal logic, Trump has built something more like an endless bad dream. In his political universe, facts are unstable and ephemeral; events follow one after the other with no clear causal linkage; and danger is everywhere, although its source seems to change at random. Whereas President Bush offered America the illusion of morality clarity, President-elect Trump offers an ever-shifting phantasmagoria of sense impressions and unreliable information, barely held together by a fog of anxiety and bewilderment. Think Kafka more than Lord of the Rings.

              Steve Bannon, former head of the white nationalist outlet Breitbart News, is Trump’s Karl Rove. He knows. In a recent interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Bannon suggested that the key elements in his strategy are dissimulation and “darkness.”

              Bannon is a skilled practitioner of the “darkness” strategy, but he is not its inventor. The real Master of the Dark Arts is another Karl Rove equivalent: Vladislav Surkov, a top adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

              His aim is to undermine peoples’ perceptions of the world, so they never know what is really happening.

              Surkov turned Russian politics into a bewildering, constantly changing piece of theater. He sponsored all kinds of groups, from neo-Nazi skinheads to liberal human rights groups. He even backed parties that were opposed to President Putin.

              But the key thing was, that Surkov then let it be known that this was what he was doing, which meant that no one was sure what was real or fake. As one journalist put it: “It is a strategy of power that keeps any opposition constantly confused.”

            • One Anonymous Bloke 18.1.1.1.1.2

              …if there hadn’t been a widespread and concerted effort to generally dumb down information and information…

              Precisely with the aim of disrupting the establishment media. as with the National Party and Cameron Slater. Remember what they said: Labour did it too.

              But they didn’t, did they? No more than the establishment media has found an antidote to clickbait.

              Or even Faux News.

              Unionism, journalism, education, all being degraded. The Liberal Media makes a convenient scapegoat, sure. Cui bono?

              • Bill

                sigh

                Replacing proper investigative programmes/interviews with human interest stories and soundbites…nothing to do with establishment media.

                Turning news slots into gossip slots….nothing to do with establishment media.

                Promoting slogans over meaningful analyses …nothing to do with establishment media.

                You want to move onto the depth and breadth of the topics that TV drama and sitcoms used to routinely tackle in the past compared to today and claim that also has nothing to do with establishment media?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  All you’re doing is describing symptoms. As I said, they have not found an antidote to clickbait.

                  • Bill

                    I’m signposting a process that got underway long before the internet gave us the phenomenon of click-bait.

                    Go back and look at the arguments being made in the 80s around the BBC for example. Look back at to dumbing down and decomminisioning of current affairs programmes. Contrast and compare sitcoms that tackled social issues and attitudes (eg “Til Death Do US Part”) with today’s very smart but political free zones (eg “Seinfeld”).

                    The media set itself on a course. No-one made its constituent parts join in a race to the bottom in search of higher ratings. It did it to itself in spite of a fair amount of opposition. Now, as an unintended consequence, there’s a certain amount of bitten arse syndrome.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      No-one made its constituent parts join in a race to the bottom in search of higher ratings.

                      The UK deregulated vandalised the radio and Tv market in the 1980s. The BBC is as vulnerable to right wing degradation as any other institution.

                      What makes you think the media is any less susceptible to these forces that have destroyed so much?

                    • Bill

                      The UK deregulated vandalised the radio and Tv market in the 1980s. .

                      And in the 90s, a Labour admin carried those (and other) ‘reforms’ and deregulations further. Nothing ‘rightwing’ about it. Both wings of the establishment beat in unison.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  …or as R0b says in today’s post, …the incentives of our media system are set up to deliver the former, not the latter.

  19. joe90 19

    Yeah Roger, InfoWars says Romney might kill Trump, too.

    Roger Stone: InfoWars Is 'Far More Credible' Than CNN https://t.co/LNHTOrwODJ (AUDIO) pic.twitter.com/qb8KgaEPVy— Mediaite (@Mediaite) November 28, 2016

  20. You can imagine how the first meeting between Trump & Mitt Romney went. “Siddown Mitt, take it easy. Y’know, ever since I read those old British comics as a kid I’ve had an irrational fear someone would call me a cad and a bounder. You just called me a phony, a fraud, a con man, a fake, and a racist, which of course all serves to convince the average voter that I’m a typical product of American culture just like them – absolutely the best way to get the voters to identify with me, maximising my support. So thanks for that. When did you get to be such an expert on identity politics?”

    “Anyway, I’m impressed by how considerate you really are. Such empathic rapport with others makes you a natural diplomat, so I’d like to make you Secretary of State. Just call me Boss.”

    And the second meeting: “Mitt, buddy, you had a good think about it? Yeah, the old good cop, bad cop routine. You’re the right man to liaise with the A-rabs. You got that patrician style – they can’t handle a brawler like me, the pansies. I’ll deal with Putin, he’s on my wavelength, together we can strong-arm the Chinese no sweat.”

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  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
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