In this post I offer a screenshot timeline of the disinformation campaign
against Hillary Clinton from June through November of 2016, though
GOP smears against her go back decades.
This post was first published as A Gilded Throne of Lies: The Right- Wing War on Truth.
I’ve changed the title to illustrate what the U.S. government confirms
as fact: Russia attacked the United States with a new form of
propaganda spread by new technologies.
“Russian disinformation takes its roots from the Soviet dezinformatsiya, which consisted of operations aimed at influencing opinion in the West through fakes and forged ‘disinformation’.
in Russia, press freedom has been very limited.
The tradition of opposition media was totally annihilated during the communist era and despite the hopes for the development of free media environment after the collapse of the USSR, Russia has followed the path of heavy propaganda. Recently, a new global strategy has been set in motion, linked to the notion of soft power.
President Putin himself recognized the concept of weaponisation of information. In a 2014 interview, he declared: “The rapid progress of electronic media has made news reporting enormously important and turned it into a formidable weapon that enables public opinion manipulations. The intense media warfare has become a mark of the times, when certain nations attempt to monopolize the truth and use it in their own interests”. Since then, the so-called “weaponisation of the information” has become an essential tool of Russian foreign policy, and several specialists acknowledged that Russia has been using information as a weapon. The term “information warfare” was coined a while ago, taking its roots in the Cold War and the rise of communication technologies, however, “weaponisation of information” appears to be a rather new phenomenon.
Russian propaganda has evolved in sophistication, intensity, reach and impact.
Russian efforts are carefully orchestrated, thoughtfully targeted, generously funded and professionally produced.
The truth is not important and there is a strong sense of relativism.
In simple terminology, weaponised disinformation is the use of mass social media to subvert reality to such a degree that the people are no longer able to trust their own perceptions.
Russian Disinformation as a weapon is designed to erode the trust between the people and their institutions which is essential to the success of free and open democracies.
If you want to bring down American Democracy the best way is to erode the people’s faith in their own system of government.
The result of this attack against the United States was that false allegations based on a daily leak of unverified rumors about Hillary Clinton dominated the media despite video taped evidence of Donald Trump bragging about his sexual assaults on women.
Despite the revelation that he has not paid taxes in decades.
Despite accusations of rape.
Despite his own demonstrable lack of insight, qualifications, and
fitness to be President.
Even now, as our government attempts to assess the damage of this attack, Trump’s team argues that President Obama’s sanctions against Russia are excessive.
The incoming President doesn’t think an attack on our political process
is a big deal.
How did this happen?
Let’s review a timeline on Russia’s 2016 assault on reality that gave the
Presidency to Donald Trump.
There is no evidence for any of the accusations made against Clinton
or the Democrats in the clippings below.
The most psychopathic and tawdry Presidential campaign in American History has 25 Days to go.
When faced with his taped descriptions of sexual assault Donald Trump
decided to play gaslight.
In a public act of psychological abuse Donald Trump invited
the three women who accused Bill Clinton off sexual assault when he was President into the audience.
Rather than apologize for and take responsibility for the deplorable
language on those tapes Trump forced 66.5 million people to watch
as he humiliated the Clinton family at what was supposed to be a
‘Town Hall’ debate over public policy.
Any woman who has ever had a husband who was unfaithful understood the emotional stamina it took for Hillary Clinton to stand in that room.
Trump and his flying monkeys have worked to normalize his behavior
at that debate and with a surprising degree of success:
A Bit of Context
The Gingrich GOP took congress in 1994 with the help of a newly established right wing media that fed on the classist contempt that elites on both political sides had for Bill Clinton.
Below is the cover of a 1994 New York Magazine article called White Hot Trash:
“Traditionally, the label white trash has been applied to selective members of the white underclass—a rapidly growing group. In 1990, according to the census bureau, 24.5 million Caucasians were below the poverty line, up 29 percent from 17.3 million in 1980 (these figures are somewhat misleading as they include white Hispanics). “In raw numbers,” notes conservative thinker Charles Murray, “European-American whites are the ethnic group with the most people in poverty, most illegitimate children, most women on welfare, most unemployed men, and most arrests for serious crimes.
But demographics are only part of the story. What’s alarming is not so much the burgeoning number of people with low-rent circumstances as the exponential spread in stereo-typically white-trash behavior, whether exhibited by those in the underclass or by figures like Roseanne Arnold and Bill Clinton.” New York Magazine
“After all, Clinton displays almost every trope of blackness: single-parent household, born poor, working-class, saxophone-playing, McDonald’s-and-junk-food-loving boy from Arkansas. And when virtually all the African-American Clinton appointees began, one by one, to disappear, when the President’s body, his privacy, his unpoliced sexuality became the focus of the persecution, when he was metaphorically seized and body-searched, who could gainsay these black men who knew whereof they spoke? The message was clear: “No matter how smart you are, how hard you work, how much coin you earn for us, we will put you in your place or put you out of the place you have somehow, albeit with our permission, achieved. You will be fired from your job, sent away in disgrace, and—who knows?—maybe sentenced and jailed to boot. In short, unless you do as we say (i.e., assimilate at once), your expletives belong to us.” Toni MorrisonOctober 1998
Prior to Bill Clinton, a President’s sexual indiscretions were off limits for the press and the opposition party:
“Several factors introduced restraint into coverage of politicians’ sex lives. High-minded journalism, of the sort found at The Times, the New York Tribune, or the Associated Press, disdained the traditions of the Gilded Age yellow newspapers and their tabloid successors in favor of fairness, professionalism, and propriety. Starting with Theodore Roosevelt, presidents began to see that the escalating interest in them as personalities, even celebrities—including the hunger for details about their families, recreational habits, and the like—represented less a threat than an opportunity for them to shape the news. Availing themselves of the new public-relations experts, such as Edward Bernays and Bruce Barton, they regained some control of their public images. They took influential journalists into their confidence, making them part of a governing elite. By mid-century, the New York Times journalist James Reston spoke of the “cozy relationship between reporters and officials,” in which he himself reveled. As the historian John Summers has written, a “psychology of insulation” buffered officials from undue probing, making it unthinkable that someone like Ben Bradlee, then the Washington bureau chief for Newsweek, would blow the whistle on the affairs of his friend Jack Kennedy.
If the press’s Gilded Age aggressiveness had been born of a desire to weaken the ruling class, now the press—or the agenda-setting part of the press, anyhow—belonged to that ruling class.
It has become common to look back on this period of restraint as an embarrassment. We wince at a press corps that was too enamored of power, or too spooked by World War and Cold War anxieties, to expose our leaders’ feet of clay. We routinely describe the press as having “covered up” for JFK. But reporters weren’t covering up for Kennedy so much as they were abiding by their era’s social and professional codes, which regarded politicians’ personal lives as privileged realms”.The Atlantic, October 2011
The political use of such a private matter to humiliate a sitting President offended most reasonable Americans.
Bill Clinton’s job approval rating in the first quarter during which the Lewinsky situation became public knowledge (1st quarter 1998) jumped 5.6 points compared to the immediately preceding quarter. Gallup
Bill Clinton left office with in 2000 with a 66% approval rating because the people understood that the Lewinsky Scandal was the result of a six-year campaign to find something to bring down his Presidency.
Hillary Clinton was not spouting paranoid fantasy when she claimed a right wing conspiracy was working to subvert her husband’s administration.
Brock alleges that Arkansas state troopers took money in exchange for testimony against Clinton which Brock had published in a previous book. Adam Curtis also discusses the concept in his documentary series The Power of Nightmares. Brock agrees with Clinton’s claim that there was a “Right wing conspiracy” to smear her husband, quibbling only with the characterization of it as “vast”, since Brock contends that it was orchestrated mainly by a few powerful people. MSNBC also described the comment as once-ridiculed but now taken more seriously by “many Democrats” who point “to the well-documented efforts by conservative financier Richard Mellon Scaife to fund a network of anti-Clinton investigations.
According to the NRSC Website, The NRSC (National Republican Senatorial Committee) is the only national organization solely devoted to strengthening the Republican Senate Majority and electing Republicans to the United States Senate.
PublishedMay 22, 2016
Democrat Senate candidates need to ask themselves a question. Can they really support Hillary Clinton? She’s a living history of scandal, lies and spin. Defended an accused child rapist then laughed about his lenient sentence. Whitewater. Travelgate. Chinagate. Filegate. She politically attacked sexual harassment victims. Pretended she landed under sniper fire. Benghazi. The Clinton Foundation. FBI investigation. Ruthless. Fake accents, fake concerns and fake laughs. Hillary Clinton. She is the living embodiment of everything people hate about politics. Democrat senate candidates, she is your burden to bear. I am a real person. NRSC is responsible for this ad.
These ads are lies told in the most frightening possible way!
I find it disturbing that the RNC is ok with this kind of sleaze.
We don’t need to blame Russia for subverting the political process in the United States.
The GOP brought weaponized disinformation to our political discourse in the 1990s when Gingrich disseminated a list of talking points and smears as a replacement for discussion of public policy.