I didn’t want to weigh in on this yesterday and get harassed by multiple stupid trolls. But I don’t think it’s an accident in the era of Putin trying to hack democratic elections around the world that someone whom no less than RuPaul called “mandatory viewing as a heroine of the Resistance” would have anonymous accusers attempting to discredit her in a way that they want her strongest supporters to believe is most plausible.
Wonkette Wild Man Evan Hurst says
I mean, directly to the point – who is this guy @Jamie_Maz? Does anybody know anything about him? Does anybody know what his history is? What the history of his account is? Has Jack Dorsey been his usual useful, helpful self in helping people uncover that information, given that it’s unverified murmuring from that account that’s being used to smear an internationally prominent – and reputable - news anchor in other international media outlets? I don’t remember Jack Dorsey going before any Congressional subcommittee and accounting for his platform’s participation in the interference in the last Presidential election, even when it had been definitively determined in at least one specific, direct case of meddling that the Russian bots were coming from inside the house.
I think in the TrumpPutin era, Americans need to stop being less gullible generally and naïve in great part as a result of a long period of isolationism, as well as continue to remind ourselves that our society in general has an anti-intellectual bias that has personified itself in the form of Trump supporters.
It took my The Americans-watching bestie to help me understand I know little about psychological infiltration and less about Kremlinology, but that the Russians are really really good at it - much better than I think we want to admit - because they’ve been doing it a really long time with a very specific aim in mind (the destruction of democratic systems, not to put too fine a point on it), and we need to be much more critically analytical when a situation presents itself to us when we’re just not sure what we’re looking at when really strange things are coming out in strange ways about people and sources whom we’ve previously trusted. We need to be willing to investigate the sources of all our information, as opposed to roll around and drink more beer and burp “Well it must be true” just because we’re feeling that strange American combination of too lazy and too busy to investigate. In the age of Fake News, we have to be willing to put in the work (even though of course that’s what a Virgo would say).
In light of surveying what happened to Joy in the light of the larger “fake news” and disinformation narratives, I want to quote someone who gave some commentary on the (IMO extremely underreported) news about Steve Bannon’s enthusiastic efforts during his time as VP of Cambridge Analytica, according to whistleblower Christopher Wylie, also formerly of CA, who testified in front of House Intelligence Committee Democrats (but notably not in front of House Intelligence Republicans, all of whom were invited and none of whom were in attendance at the hearing), to actively suppress Democratic-leaning voters explicitly by means of ongoing disinformation campaigns:
“There is one document which I have that specifically says—in bold terms—voter disengagement as an objective in the United States,”
This. Right here. This is why the trolls and bots Russian, mercenary, and “useful idiot” alike employ the Appeal to Cynicism/False Equivalency fallacy like a bucket of cheap paint spread with the biggest roller in the hardware store. A person who is convinced that “both parties are crooked” is a person highly unlikely to vote, and equally likely to encourage others to see matters as they do, which in practice means hopeless.
This is why the Russian FSB trolls and bots pushed as many negative stories about Secretary Clinton and the DNC, and went to such great lengths to troll Bernie Sanders supporters and Hillary Clinton supporters, the better to get them all fighting amongst themselves, all while Jill Stein and other marginal characters urged people to ensure a Trump/Russian victory by voting for Stein or some other fringe/write-in candidate who had as much chance of winning as a dead horse would the Kentucky Derby.
Wittingly or unwittingly, such as the “Bernie bros” and the Never Clinton crowd of the Jill Stein cult fed right into the Russian propaganda narrative, contributing to the too-long running false narrative that voting never matters. /smdh
Leland R. Erickson
And what bothers me most about THAT is how little attention it received, comparatively, even in the Tsunami News climate that’s our current reality. I can’t imagine, with nearly half the MSM networks in the States being run either by Friends of Donald or by those who are at least sympathetic to his internalized theory of a certain kind of unearned social dominance, and how that viewpoint affects what news coverage gets what kind of weight (looking at you, lapsed Fairness Doctrine).
I’ve asked this question before - “If you think your vote doesn’t matter, why do you think they keep working so hard to stop you from doing it??”
I understand how hard it is to understand and care about this stuff because it’s abstract. It’s not concrete. It’s not an explosive event we can gasp at and immediately wrap our minds around with the concomitant emotional jolt.
In order for it to work, it’s not supposed to be.
“Fake News” is a real thing; it’s a Putin’s-Russia-created thing. (It’s actually older than that, but for the sake of argument let’s stick to the 21st-century master practitioners.) It is NOT, as Donald Trump likes to shape the narrative into, “actual true things that come out about the Malevolent Maladministration that Donald Trump doesn’t like, or that his corrupt cabinet secretaries don’t like, or that his supporters don’t like (and Effie Black has already let us know how we need to handle his supporters), or that any of those groups or individuals don’t want to come out that exposes their corruption or criminality or venality or that places them in a bad light”. I’ll reiterate – when they are permitted to use that so-called “definition”, they are being allowed, by virtue of the lack of resistance, to call true information fake news.
That’s how – if not how dramatic this is, how weighty it is. How serious it is.
We need to stop letting them define the terms of public discourse. For one thing, it’s not theirs to define. (To paraphrase President Obama, we need to work from a foundational well of common facts. “’Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”- NY Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan)
I want to close with the words of other professional, award-winning journalists and commentators, themselves with stellar reputations, who are friends of Joy:
And we need to read about those MAGAbots and their numbers that come out to smear particular endorsements of particular POVs and particular people, not just the endorsements themselves. We need to read for context as well as content. We need to ask ourselves not only what happened, but why it might have happened the way it happened this particular way during this particular event.
And then once we have more information from what have repeatedly and previously deemed credible sources, our job then is to use our critical thinking skills and make up our own minds about what happened.
I think, for the sake of our democracy’s survival, it’s way past time to stop letting the proven criminals define the narrative.