The NYT leads with an alarming story about the UK’s Patriot News Agency, run by James Dowson, a far-right political activist. The article reports that ‘With the explicit aim of getting Donald J. Trump elected, a website run by a far-right activist pumped out anti-Hillary Clinton hoaxes and drew tens of thousands of views’.
With more and more young people turning to social media as their primary source of news and false news on Facebook now at critical levels, the NYT’s story is deeply worrying.
Whilst propaganda and disinformation is not new, the weakness and biased positions of the mainstream media plus the growth of social media is a strategic threat to mature democracies. Just like the far-left, the far-right suppress the truth and underlying evidence, claiming that ‘the end justifies the means‘. But history reminds us that populism is ultimately a tool of corrupt dictators, who prefer totalitarian regimes depriving widely accepted democratic freedoms.
Dr Alf makes telling points, however, much of the “news” we get is sanitised propaganda produced by reporters who give us what has been approved for our consumption.
What happens is this, BBC and other mainstream reporters fan out across the globe gathering things which are deemed to be newsworthy. The reports are fed back into a giant database monitored by the relevant security services in the countries the reporters answer to and is then vetted. About 99% of the information is then turned into secret reports which the relevant security services deal with and which the public never see. The remaining 1% is sanitised,subjected to editorial controls and a “line to take” is agreed. The news is then released to a newsreader who has strict instructions on the tone of voice to be used, where to place emphasis, when to “cut” to a reporter who may or may not be on the spot and so on. The set where the newsreader sits is of a certain colour and has certain props and the camera zooms in to the newsreader’s face in a slow anti clockwise direction accompanied by drumming(BBC) or martial /uplifting music. Only when the drumming or music stops does the camera finish closing in on the newsreaders face and only at that point does the newsreader start speaking. The drumming and music is designed to “anchor” the viewer to the newsreader and the message in a display of Ericksonian hypnosis, effectively modern Neuro Linguistic Programming(NLP) so that what the newsreader says is believed absolutely. With anyone who watched television prior to the age of 11 the techniques work perfectly so that what the newsreader reads is believed absolutely and for double measure embedded subliminals and Sigil magic in the form of shapes used in the sets behind and adjacent to the newsreader are used to reinforce the effects.
Social media and its equivalent on smartphones uses similar techniques since both content and the phones themselves are often owned by the same companies or their joint venture partners.
People owning alternative media sources such as Infowars and Prison Planet allow people like Alex Jones the Conspiracy Theorist to rant and bellow in between selling water filters and health products but he gets much of his information from Stratfor, a CIA controlled website and the GCN Radio network is owned by Disney (originally De Signey), a prominent elite family, one of the 39 who control much of what happens in the world.
Discovering what is really going on is very difficult and requires first hand knowledge, a jaundiced eye and the capacity to examine hundreds of websites, a major undertaking of time and effort.
As for the election of Donald Trump, I do not believe that Vladimir Putin had the capacity to gerrymander the result despite disliking Hillary Clinton personally.
This because the 2 million people who voted for him who never watched RT and took no previous interest in politics had not even bothered to vote in more than 20 years.
Also Hillary Clinton was despised by many American voters for a long time, in some cases a decade before the current election and because Vladimir Putin is only now being demonised as the person who tried to stop Hillary Clinton entering the White House AFTER she lost the election and not at a much earlier stage when all spokespersons and the “smart money” was on her being rubber stamped into the job.