Let’s take the infamous The List article apart, along with the growing social media censorship surrounding it, and this whole subject of alternative English-language media’s infiltration by ‘Russian Propaganda’—just to clear the missile strewn air a wee bit insofar as that may be possible with hardened silos on either side.
The List article begins with the not-so-subtle subtitle ‘An Initial Set of Sites That Reliably Echo Russian Propaganda.’ Let’s stop right there and ask: what is propaganda?
Wikipedia defines the term:
“Propaganda is information that is not objective and is used primarily to influence an audience and further an agenda, often by presenting facts selectively to encourage a particular synthesis or perception, or using loaded language to produce an emotional rather than a rational response to the information that is presented. Propaganda is often associated with material prepared by governments, but activist groups, companies and the media can also produce propaganda.”
Let’s accept that definition, because what we are talking about here is not merely what’s there defined, but a full-scale, bona fide propaganda war. The List article itself satisfies this definition of propaganda in every detail, and admits as much, obliquely:
“Americans have the right to echo, repeat, be used by, and refer their audiences to Russian official and semi-official state media, including “fake news” propaganda—just as we have the right to analyze and highlight that, without fear or favor.” [ http://www.propornot.com/p/the-list.html ]
They’re writing US Government propaganda, and they know it—which is not to say it is untrue for that reason alone.
The fact that a piece of writing is propaganda simply has no bearing on its veracity. Let that concept sink in. Propaganda may be shoddy and obvious, but effective propaganda relies on at least a modicum of truth as a platform for its persuasive agenda, and it stands to reason that, given a democracy and freedom of speech, which is to say absent the use of force, suppression and censorship, there should ultimately be a winner in a propaganda war: the side with the preponderance of veracity. False constructs can only survive so long before collapsing of their own dead weight.
One can well argue that all writing, whether by assertion or by omission, whether deliberate or coincidental, is propaganda. A children’s fairy tale is propaganda insofar as it redirects the readers consciousness away from the systemic evils of the real world and encourages acceptance of the status quo. Every Op-Ed or opinion piece in every publication on earth which argues against a systemic evil is likewise propaganda against that system.
Here, the Russophobic propaganda of The List presents facts selectively to encourage a particular perception, using loaded language to influence the reader and to further the American deep state’s anti-Russian propaganda. It does not matter whether or not the authors have a contract with the FBI or the CIA or the DHS to do so, or whether they freely choose to echo, repeat, be used by and refer the reader to official anti-Russia bias of the official American propaganda machine. They surely cannot make any plausible claim to ‘objectivity.’ The List is as cynically calculated a propaganda hit piece as anything in Russia’s bag of tricks. Naturally enough, in the blind box of US propaganda talking points, only content which originates from Russia is propaganda. Are they stupid, or just how stupid do they think we are?
As for the use of loaded language to produce an emotional rather than a rational response, The List effectively seeks to shame you by framing you as a dupe, a stooge, a tool, an agent, and quite possibly a traitor if you share a piece of Russian propaganda with which you happen to thoroughly agree, and which presents an argument you believe others will benefit from reading. To an avid reader, it is of no consequence whether the behavior of a website or one or more of its writers is dogmatically or opportunistically regurgitating Russian propaganda, any more than if it were UK propaganda, or Chinese, or Israeli, or German, or Palestinian, or American.
One may take some intellectual pride in being an equal opportunity reader of propaganda, and in disseminating that which makes a compelling claim with which one, with an open mind, thoroughly agrees. Some struggle to form an opinion, too many others merely join in whatever peerage choir surrounds them. For some of us, however, text fairly withers under our gaze and gives up its propagandist ghost immediately without struggle, so content can be weighed on its merits. Far too many, especially in propaganda-saturated countries like North Korea and America [reminding the fact that generalised propagandas are still not morally equal but differ on account fof their overall goals] lack the basic ability to separate bias from truth, weigh opposing sides of an issue, and thus properly form a balanced opinion. That does not stop them from having one, unfortunately. The fact is that challenging ideas provoke a painful cognitive dissonance, the mind tends to close, and if it does, argument turns pointless, tribal belligerence and hatefulness set in, and intellectual rigor mortis follows. Thus it is with dogmatic capitalism in all of its guises and forms, and the guises and forms of all dogmatism, political or religious. A side is taken, an enemy is born. Let loose the dogs of hatred and war.A great many patriotic Americans genuinely hate capitalism, morally, intellectually and emotionally, and suffer daily having to live effectively imprisoned in what is to them a transparently sick, brutal culture. Poverty is undeniably a gulag whatever one’s politics. Jobs are too often experienced as enslavement for survival. ‘America, my America, I have no choice but thee…’ —while pretty much any country in Europe, despite being utterly capitalist, seems to those condemned to America’s barbaric culture like an oasis of civilization in comparison.
Persuasive writing demands ‘loaded language to produce an emotional rather than a rational response.’ Persuasive writing, indeed, all purposeful writing, is therefore propaganda. As a writer, feel free to call me a propagandist, hopefully an effective and entertaining one, no less so for employing the imagination and Eros in storytelling.
Where The List becomes offensive is in blurring the distinctions between propaganda, disinformation, and fake news. Again, propaganda is most often true, if only a partial, one-sided truth, sincerely or cynically employed as bait to alter your Weltanschaung. It is rarely malicious disinformation, and almost never a factual hoax that will inevitably backfire. However, The List offers not a single example of actual factual disinformation, defined as false information that is intended to mislead, nor a single example of fake news, defined as made-up ‘facts’ written and published with the intent to mislead in order to damage an agency, entity, or person. Sure, propaganda, disinformation and fake news can overlap, as do fiction and fact, but please do show us at least some example, beyond your say so, of deliberately spreading false facts or a manufactured news hoax with malevolent intent, that is false beyond disagreeing, perhaps even vehemently, with your capitalist fundamentalism. If such examples can be found, they will be found among the right-wing junk news sites on the The List, nary a single one from the intellectual left outlets maliciously lumped in with them.
Despite the gravity of this attack on free speech in social media and its dangerously biased anti-Russia fear mongering, one may be hard-pressed to read The List (“Your Friendly Neighborhood Propaganda Identification Service Since 2016” ) without laughing all the way through. The transparency of its distortions, the barefaced and shameless pro-capitalist propaganda piece that it is, is ultimately more risible than frightening. One can hardly help being reminded of the Christmas ditty, ‘Making a list, checking it twice—gonna find out who’s naughty and nice…Santa Claus is coming to town…’
A great many of the alternative news outlets on The List‘s list, most likely including the one where the words you’re now reading are published, may well be on your regular reading list as they are on mine. I have not once encountered a deliberate factual falsehood, or a fabricated factual hoax. That’s not to say there is not a wide range in the quality of the writing, the editing is often lax or non-existent, the text error-prone, some little more than emotional ranting to the choir, some very few I wish weren’t there, at least in their current incarnation—but it is laughably blatant propaganda to tar every author published in The List‘s outlets as witting or unwitting Russian agents regurgitating malicious factual hoodwinking.
The light in which capitalist behavior is cast by the anti-capitalist perspective may seem shockingly untrue, and cause the capitalist true believer some uncomfortable dissonance, but these are mere matters of opinion about the nature of the facts, not the facts themselves. ‘The US military aggression…’ may well be a loaded phrase about some American military action, but it is an opinion of that action, not an intentional lie or a National Enquirer-style hoax about some event that may not even have taken place. More and more in American society, people of every background are encountering other people ‘who live in a completely different world…‘ simply because they actually do!
The Russian government uses propaganda just as the American government does. Indeed, at least 28 governments do, America, UK and Russia foremost among them. Here are some snippets from Armies of Cyber-Troops Manipulating Public Opinion:
“The Computational Propaganda Research Project (COMPROP) investigates the interaction of algorithms, automation and politics. This work includes analysis of how tools like social media bots are used to manipulate public opinion by amplifying or repressing political content, disinformation, hate speech, junk or fake news.
In their most recent report COMPROP have identified how organisations, often with public money, have created a system to help ‘define and manage what is in the best interest of the public.’
COMPROP have compared such organizations across 28 countries…”
The COMPROP report goes on to expose the following:
“- The earliest reports of organized social media manipulation emerged in 2010, and by 2017 there are details on such organizations in 28 countries, including the US and UK.
– Looking across the 28 countries, every authoritarian regime has social media campaigns targeting their own populations, while only a few of them target foreign publics. In contrast, almost every democracy in this sample has organized social media campaigns that target foreign publics, while political-party-supported campaigns target domestic voters.
– Authoritarian regimes are not the only or even the best at organized social media manipulation. The earliest reports of government involvement in nudging public opinion involve democracies, and new innovations in political communication technologies often come from political parties and arise during high-profile elections.
– Over time, the primary mode for organizing cyber troops has gone from involving military units that experiment with manipulating public opinion over social media networks to strategic communication firms that take contracts from governments for social media campaigns.”[from Armies of Cyber-Troops Manipulating Public Opinion http://truepublica.org.uk/global/report-armies-cyber-troops-manipulating-public-opinion/ ]
The phrase that stands out in all of the above, which otherwise comes as no surprise whatsoever, is that COMPROP has identified how organizations, often with public money, have created a system to help ‘define and manage what is in the best interest of the public…’ That is rich, isn’t it? Propagandists on all sides, here both the Russians and the jingoist authors of The List, are just doing what’s in the public’s best interest, which is to say they are making your mind up for you in advance because, silly child, you don’t know what’s good for you.
However, behind this big brotherly solicitude on behalf of our ‘best interest’ there is always an implicit threat, and often an explicit one—enter the United States government:
U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today chaired a hearing titled, “Terrorism and Social Media: Is Big Tech Doing Enough?” The hearing examined the steps social media platforms are taking to combat the spread of extremist propaganda over the internet. During the hearing, Thune questioned witnesses from Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook on how they are working to better identify and remove extremist content online.”
Here’s an excerpt from Thune’s opening remarks:
“These [social media] services have thrived online because of the freedom made possible by the uniquely American guarantee of free speech, and by a light touch regulatory policy. But, as is so often the case, enemies of our way of life have sought to take advantage of our freedoms to advance hateful causes.”[from Senator John Thune, Recent Press Releases, https://www.thune.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=3E1DD37B-3DCF-43AD-A537-E28137FBA1FC ]
There is a skillful dog whistle just out of hearing in that statement, a call to lump say, every leftist journalist retweeting a critique of capitalism together with masked head-chopping ISIS propagandists. As for the ‘hateful cause’ dumpster, if you think about it, what might not be tossed in there? It would be a shorter list to find causes which do not hate what is perceived as evil in the world, whether politics or religion or some ungodly combination of the two.
You will find a great many strange bedfellows in the ‘hateful’ dumpster, too. Indeed, many Americans regard the ideology [theology?] of the Republican Party as a ‘hate crime’ in and of itself, in much the same way that Republican anti-Islamists view that theology as hateful; and Republicans surely do themselves hate people and things, like Muslims and Islam, rather a lot, quite openly and without reservation, and that on behalf of a great many causes solely in their own private vested class interest, the public interest be damned. Ditto die-hard Democrats, one must hasten to add.
There is not likely an American alive today who does not honestly and deeply hate at least something about capitalism, at least some of the time, and a great many Americans feel utterly betrayed and victimized but do not recognize the culprit to call it out as capitalism per se. There are others still who understand the capitalist system all too well, and loathe it utterly and consistently, most if not all of the time, whether propelled intellectually by study, emotionally by experience, or morally bearing witness to its endless, cynical, and systemic rot.
Most anti-capitalists can begrudgingly admit to a few things that capitalism gets right, like freedom of speech, including the rapidly shrinking freedom to utterly despise capitalism in all of its guises and forms. Communism, where it still purports to exist, as in China, has much to learn from capitalism in that single regard. Free speech is just vacant hot air venting until it becomes organized into a movement and an electoral force, a difficult thing to do, but only then does it achieve moral force in a society, and become in fact a survival mechanism for that society. To suppress it is tantamount to national suicide.
We propagandists are busy trying to bring about exactly that transformation from hot air to moral force. The ‘hate’ of the anti-capitalist generally proceeds in fact from love of humankind, particularly those most abused by capitalism, though nearly everyone, including the idle rich (though they may not know it) are to some degree its victim. On the other hand, the hate of the capitalist generally proceeds from contempt of humankind, especially the great unwashed masses, as well as from the very real arrogance of an imagined superiority.
The American propaganda machine seems to assume, correctly if tragically, that we are thoroughly indoctrinated into its domestic propaganda, and even if we are not, we have no choice but to work ‘for the man’ in order to survive, and that in effect achieves all the self-censorship and mind control the powers that be could ever hope for via mainstream propaganda. Foreign policy, however, seems to be another matter, and that is where the US propaganda machine knocks itself out trying to convince Americans, and the rest of the world, that its interventions and wars are just, humanitarian, and necessary given the ‘evil axis’ of China and Russia and nations like Iran and Syria and Cuba and Venezuela in their orbit.
In terms of foreign policy, American mainstream media is the most powerful arm of the US propaganda machine, with scarcely a breach in its wall of support for ‘Pax Americana’ and the whole can of ideological worms which that entails. Even Bernie Sanders, an eloquent spokesman for America’s domestic woes—indeed, he echoes and seemingly regurgitates much of what one may find in Russian propaganda outlets such as Russia Today and Sputnik with regard to US domestic policy—even he seems to buy into mainstream American foreign policy myths. (Perhaps that is why he is not singled out for criticism along with independent leftist publications online?)
The American political and media establishment would seem to consider domestic policy—outside of our pathetic dollar-denominated duopoly elections mind you—as fair game for foreign opposition, but US foreign policy, including our own propaganda interventions in Russia and around the world under the ‘jurisdiction’ of the CIA—not so much. And it is apparently not so much what Russian propaganda is saying about our foreign policy, but the bare fact that it is the Russians who are saying it. What is that if not Russophobia? Or some bizarre kind of nationalist or ethnic prejudice? It’s not like Russia is any longer a communist country locked in existential battle with the United States, on the contrary:
“We are currently in some sort of crisis of capitalism, as the concentration of wealth continues apace and the general population of western countries increasingly feel insecure, exploited and alienated. It is still very hard for voices that reject the neo-liberal establishment view to get a media platform, but Russia does provide comparatively small platforms in the West – like Russia Today and Radio Sputnik – which allow greater democratic freedom than western media in the range of views they invite to be expressed. So the ultra-wealthy, their politician servants and media lackeys view Russia as some kind of threat to the dominance of neo-liberalism .
There are a number of ironies to this, not least the very real deficiencies in Russia’s domestic democracy and media plurality, and the fact Russia has an even worse oligarchic capitalism than the West and has a 1% completely integrated with their Western counterparts. But despite these ironies, the Western 1% perceive Russia as some sort of threat to their dominance. This leads in to the intellectually risible attempts to prove that Russia somehow “fixed” Trump’s election, for which no solid evidence can ever be adduced as it did not happen; but nevertheless vast resources continue to be spent in trying.”[ from The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming! http://truepublica.org.uk/united-kingdom/russians-coming-russians-coming/ ]
Thus we have a propaganda war with both sides pointing at the other and proclaiming, ‘Fake News!’ [http://themindunleashed.com/2018/02/facebook-killing-an-entire-industry-cuts-publishers-out-of-news-feed.html ]
Yes certainly the perspective cuts both ways—a far lengthier list of American mass media outlets spewing forth pro-capitalist propaganda and jingoism, often government-supplied, could surely be compiled. Most mainstream media regularly dispenses, not only propaganda, but disinformation—especially via the omission of facts—as well as using loaded language to make a predominantly emotional appeal, and in a few extreme cases outright factual hoax news can be found, as in funky pro-capitalist stalwarts like the National Enquirer and some Tea Party publications. As The Guardian notes from an Oxford University study:
“The [Donald] Trump Support group consumes the highest volume of junk news sources on Twitter, and spreads more junk news sources, than all the other groups put together. This pattern is repeated on Facebook, where the Hard Conservatives group consumed the highest proportion of junk news.”
Celebrity, escapist, and ‘junk’ news coverage in general, whether or not it is actually fabricated news, fills up a consciousness that might otherwise encounter something meaningful, instead of a fantasy confirmation of the great American delusion: ‘I am not an exploited proletariat, I am temporarily embarrassed millionaire’ (to paraphrase John Steinbeck). Celebrity culture in particular is a broad hoax perpetrated on Americans in that it hogs the cultural news, occupying virtually the whole cultural space. All escapist media, whether print or film, serve the deflective and tranquilizing purposes of propaganda.
So, where do we stand? If everything is propaganda, then nothing is? Is it then just a matter of distinguishing quality propaganda from the shameless and shallow kind? Don’t you have to pick a side eventually?
The government of the United States, as a creature of its corporate lords, is ratcheting up the pressure on the public to pick a side so they can acquire absolute hegemony over your thinking, and harass or terrorize you if you resist. Can they really be so afraid of the truth? It certainly does look so. House and Senate intelligence committee leaders have pressured social media executives to compile lists of accounts within their services which disseminate what they blithely refer to as “Russian Propaganda,” and to their endless shame the technology companies have complied. [ See, http://truepublica.org.uk/global/war-fake-news-war-us/ and https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/01/22/cens-j22.html ]
Twitter, Google and Facebook representatives have been summoned before the Senate Commerce Committee, like wayward school children to the principle’s office, to be chided on their laxity in keeping the hegemony of American propaganda intact for ‘the public good.’ And they have acceded to this pressure without question.
Here’s the letter Twitter has sent out to offending accounts like our own EpiphanyOnWallStreet @NineInchBride account, which opposed ‘Shillary Clinton’ and ‘Donald tRump’ in equal measure in 2016:
As part of our recent work to understand Russian-linked activities on Twitter during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, we identified and suspended a number of accounts that were potentially connected to a propaganda effort by a Russian government-linked organization known as the Internet Research Agency.
Consistent with our commitment to transparency, we are emailing you because we have reason to believe that you either followed one of these accounts or retweeted or liked content from these accounts during the election period. This is purely for your own information purposes, and is not related to a security concern for your account.
We are sharing this information so that you can learn more about these accounts and the nature of the Russian propaganda effort. You can see examples of content from these suspended accounts on our blog if you’re interested.
People look to Twitter for useful, timely, and appropriate information. We are taking active steps to stop malicious accounts and Tweets from spreading, and we are determined to keep ahead of the tactics of bad actors. For example, in recent months we have developed new techniques to identify accounts manipulating our platform, have improved our process for challenging suspicious accounts, and have introduced new measures designed to identify and take action on coordinated malicious activity. In 2018, we are building on these improvements. Our blog also contains more information about these efforts.
People come to Twitter to see what’s happening in the world. We are committed to making it the best place to do that and to being transparent with the people who use and trust our platform.
The double-speak is one up on Orwell’s 1984: “Information Quality Initiative” is used for intimidation and the implied threat of censorship for speaking truth to power, while ‘the public good’ is here again invoked ‘to detect and prevent bad actors from abusing our platform.’ If you follow their blog link you’ll find several innocuous examples of tweets by such ‘bad actors’ specifically regarding the election of 2016, which compel one to believe the days of free speech in America are woefully numbered.
Sure, the examples given there are in bad taste, and supportive of the despicable Donald Trump candidacy, but as Noam Chomsky has so ably pointed out, “If we do not believe in freedom of speech for those we despise, we do not believe in it at all.” That’s democracy. All voices have the right to be heard, no matter how sick or depraved. These will surely fall by the wayside in the course of time, and the idea that some aggregate of these shallow, tasteless efforts at exciting right-wing nut jobs to vote for Trump has actually led to putting the scoundrel in office is risible at best, at worst a naked excuse for forcible intimidation and suppression of free speech in America. It is worth noting that the Russians only preferred Trump, as did so many Americans, because Clinton was perceived to be the worse war-monger and greater existential threat, but also, I suspect, because the Russians foresaw the degrading spectacle of a Trump presidency, and the laughing stock capitalist America would become in the eyes of the world.
This friendly, ‘big brother’ alert ‘for your information only’ from Twitter management, under pressure from the Senate Commerce Committee, is itself anti-propaganda propaganda just as The List article is, and uses much of the same language in its defense. There may well exist ‘witting or unwitting stooges of Russian propaganda,’ but there is not likely a single anti-capitalist American writer in these grey-listed publications among them, and ultimately, even the content promulgated by ideological ‘stooges’ may contain valid arguments insofar as they go. In any event the level of credence you choose to give a piece of writing, its ‘veracity quotient’ so-to-speak, is for you and no one else to decide.
It would surprise me not at all to learn there are Russians who can extract some truthful perspective from the CIA’s critique’s of the Russian capitalist oligarchy via the Voice of America and similar propaganda incursions into their domestic culture, just as Americans can learn and grow in their understanding of the economic root of all our evils from Russia’s exportation of anti-capitalist propaganda, hypocritical as it may be given their capitalist autocracy at home. Let the information flow freely, that’s the only way democracy can work.
Twitter’s email adds a shameful and appallingly sinister action to The List article’s propagandist hot air. Apparently some six hundred thousand plus accounts on Twitter are calling out America’s insane “Russia-Gate” Russophobia and evangelizing the anti-capitalist news and op-ed journalism found on The List. Many if not most of the publications on this list feature sterling and thoroughly American leftist writers, often with an internationalist perspective, and none of these writers are ‘unwittingly’ regurgitating Russian ‘propaganda’ that is not painfully and incisively true. This simple fact is clear and bears repeating: If the truth about capitalism is sown by a hireling of the Russian government, it is no less true. If a lie about capitalism is sown by American mainstream media it is no less a lie.
American culture places an extreme emphasis on the right to hold an opinion with next to none on the actual ability to form one. We are, as a people, uneducated for democracy, which is to a large extent why we do not have one, and why the powers that be feel obliged to rely on censorship: people can’t be trusted to think for themselves. If Americans have neither the moral nor intellectual capacity to distinguish truth from lies, good argument form cheesy propaganda, enter the anti-propagandist and ‘censor-as-a-public-service’ to tell them what to believe.
Thankfully there is a large and growing number of Americans with no such moral or intellectual deficit, who have educated themselves for democracy since the system does not. It is the abject betrayal of mainstream media, including National Public Radio and other purportedly civic non-profit venues, which fails to provide a viable platform for the legitimate American anti-capitalist voice, that in turn gives rise to the profusion of non-commercial alternative news outlets noted in The List.
Please do feel the heat of this problem as one of the more aggrieved and eloquent victims of this mainstream exclusion, Chris Hedges, rails forth. This is a prized American journalist whose only uncensored platform options are those in The List‘s list, including Russia Today, better known as RT where his video program On Contact is aired. Surely something is deeply rotten in America when even a highly credentialed journalist must resort to an adversarial government’s media outlet in order to take an anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist political stance.[ See, https://www.truthdig.com/articles/thought-police-21st-century/ and https://www.truthdig.com/videos/chris-hedges-journalists-foreign-agents-video/ ] Twitter’s email is, in no uncertain terms, a chilling tap on the shoulder from FISA-abusing deep state security agencies evangelizing the Russophobic rhetoric from The List: Is It Propaganda Or Not?—which, despite the question mark, has plainly decided that it is, not only ‘propaganda,’ but disinformation and cynically constructed ‘fake news’ master-minded by evil Russians using silly, gullible you as their stooge and mouthpiece. Now that some 677,775 US Twitter accounts (incidentally, that’s just under 1% of the current 69 million active users in the US) have been singled out to receive this ‘FYI‘ email. If these users persist in opposing mainstream media’s jingoism with critical truth from the only sources extant—what next?
As of today, Twitter has yet to catch up with Google and Facebook’s algorithmic censorship based on this infamous List. So far they have merely stooped to this one scare tactic. What will their next step be? The punishment of ever more accounts deemed to threaten American propaganda’s global hegemony? A Pinochet-like ‘virtual disappearance’ of opposition voices on the Twitter platform?
We’ve got your number, they’re plainly telling us, we can kill your account in a blink if we choose, and feel patriotic about doing so. Perhaps they’ll be supplying government security agencies with your account data, if they are not already, which may or may not produce a knock on your door by FBI or DHS agents some quiet evening—curious about something you tweeted yesterday, or a year ago… [ I myself was visited one quiet evening, not by two or three, but a gang of four FBI agents on a fishing expedition over a separate but similar First Amendment issue…this sort of scare tactic, an abysmal waste of taxpayer money, is already going on. ]
America tragically seeks to become a closed-mind, a pro-capitalist hegemony, the ‘marketplace of ideas’ be damned no less here within our hegemonic duopoly than in North Korea, China, or the former Soviet Union.
The answer to abusive authority is to refuse to buy into their threats, veiled or explicit. They threaten because they are themselves fearful. Laugh out loud at their ‘best interest of the public’ propaganda (this drives them crazy). Tell them flat out you refuse to live in fear of them or to join them in complicity. Howl against their algorithms, demand the government cease leaning on these corporations for ever greater thought-policing.
Whether writer or reader, declare yourself a truth seeker, wherever that takes you, whatever its source. Make The List your reading list! Read and tweet and share its articles widely. Should micro-blogging and alternative news sharing on social media prove no longer viable, we shall find or found other means to be heard.
Yes, corbettreport.com has made this new, mysterious, anonymously-authored “propaganda list” of websites to watch out for in the era of #FakeNews and Russians under every rock. And yes, the list is as ridiculous as that sounds. Join me today as I look into the latest pathetic attempt by a flailing establishment to bolster their discredited mouthpiece media organs and counter the ascendant alternative media. (Spoiler: they’re going to lose this battle as well.)
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Parting shot—a word from the editors
The Best Definition of Donald Trump We Have Found
In his zeal to prove to his antagonists in the War Party that he is as bloodthirsty as their champion, Hillary Clinton, and more manly than Barack Obama, Trump seems to have gone “play-crazy” — acting like an unpredictable maniac in order to terrorize the Russians into forcing some kind of dramatic concessions from their Syrian allies, or risk Armageddon.However, the “play-crazy” gambit can only work when the leader is, in real life, a disciplined and intelligent actor, who knows precisely what actual boundaries must not be crossed. That ain’t Donald Trump — a pitifully shallow and ill-disciplined man, emotionally handicapped by obscene privilege and cognitively crippled by white American chauvinism. By pushing Trump into a corner and demanding that he display his most bellicose self, or be ceaselessly mocked as a “puppet” and minion of Russia, a lesser power, the War Party and its media and clandestine services have created a perfect storm of mayhem that may consume us all.— Glen Ford, Editor in Chief, Black Agenda Report