Excellent post, please read.
“… Only the characteristic bluntness of a child, who proclaimed the emperor’s nudity as he paraded through the streets humiliating himself and his kingdom, threatened to break the spell. But when the boy spoke out he was quickly rebuked by his father, who assured the gasping public that the child was clearly soft in the head. So powerful is the compulsion to normalize the powerful.”
Interesting article- but that’s not the normalisation we need fear most. Yesterday I read a complaint that a reporter was offended by the use of the N word. Let that sink in. It means a reporter does not have the right to be offended by the use of the N word. This N word:
Shocked? Offended? Good, you should be. Decent people who believe in ethics, civil and human rights should be offended. Why do…
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From the Washington Post:
Watts’s report on this work, with colleagues Andrew Weisburd and J.M. Berger, appeared on the national security blog War on the Rocks this month under the headline “Trolling for Trump: How Russia Is Trying to Destroy Our Democracy.” Another group, called PropOrNot, a nonpartisan collection of researchers with foreign policy, military and technology backgrounds, planned to release its own findings Friday showing the startling reach and effectiveness of Russian propaganda campaigns.
The researchers used Internet analytics tools to trace the origins of particular tweets and mapped the connections among social-media accounts that consistently delivered synchronized messages. Identifying website codes sometimes revealed common ownership. In other cases, exact phrases or sentences were echoed by sites and social-media accounts in rapid succession, signaling membership in connected networks controlled by a single entity.
PropOrNot’s monitoring report, which was provided to The Washington Post in advance of its public release, identifies more than 200 websites as routine peddlers of Russian propaganda during the election season, with combined audiences of at least 15 million Americans. On Facebook, PropOrNot estimates that stories planted or promoted by the disinformation campaign were viewed more than 213 million times.
Some players in this online echo chamber were knowingly part of the propaganda campaign, the researchers concluded, while others were “useful idiots” — a term born of the Cold War to describe people or institutions that unknowingly assisted Soviet Union propaganda efforts.
The Russian campaign during this election season, researchers from both groups say, worked by harnessing the online world’s fascination with “buzzy” content that is surprising and emotionally potent, and tracks with popular conspiracy theories about how secret forces dictate world events.
Some of these stories originated with RT and Sputnik, state-funded Russian information services that mimic the style and tone of independent news organizations yet sometimes include false and misleading stories in their reports, the researchers say.
Read more on the Washington Post:
I kept a screenshot log of the disinformation campaign against
Hillary Clinton here: A Gilded Throne of Lies – The Right Wing War on Truth
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
Calling Bill Clinton our first Black President was not a compliment.
“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 Morrison October 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.
David Brock describes it in Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative
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.
Wikipedia entry, Vast Right Wing Conspiracy
For a deeper understanding of the GOP campaign to subvert the political careers of Bill and Hillary Clinton I recommend viewing the Hunting of the President.
What About Today?
As of October 2016, the GOP has continued to use smears and disinformation techniques to obstruct the political agenda of our first Black President. The campaign against President Obama includes, First Lady Michelle.
Bill O’Reilly: “I Don’t Want To Go On A Lynching Party Against Michelle Obama Unless There’s Evidence”
So, why are Donald Trump’s followers also obsessed with and terrified by debunked and unsubstantiated rumors about Hillary Clinton?
These political ads produced by the National Republican Senatorial Committee and aired this year in different parts of the Commonwealth provide a clue:
Published August 9, 2016
Published July 21, 2016
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.
Published May 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.
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.
How can the voters know the facts when the leadership of one
of America’s major political parties lies as a strategy for winning
and keeping public office?
With Patriots like these, who needs enemies?
Yahoo Headlines October 12, 10:19 PM NewsMax predicts the end of the World
(C) Rob Goldstein 2016
ring our first Black President.