Below are three offerings, from Chuck Spinney, Mike Lofgren, and Jon Rappoport. Each deals with competing forms of fake news — the Trump version versus the Empire version. Both are wrong but between the two, the Empire version is more wrong. I’ve done all I can to help Donald Trump — in my view Reince Priebus and Sean Spicer are deliberately sabotaging his early days, and both should be dismissed immediately.
After only two days into the presidential administration of Donald Trump, it is clear that that the skills of the great satirist H. L. Mencken (1880-1956) will be sorely missed in the next few years. He would have a field day joyously harpooning both Mr. Trump’s hijinks as well as the hijinks of Trump’s political appointees, not to mention the adoring masses, who he would have referred to as the booboisie.
Here is a report in the Financial Times by Gideon Rachman. The subject is the nascent Trump Administration’s predilection for lying and the ominous implications for the world. This is a factual report, serious, humorless, and accurate.
Truth, Lies, and the Trump Administration
Falsehood cannot be the basis for US foreign policy
by Gideon Rachman, The Financial Times, January 23, 2017
ROBERT STEELE: Mr. Racman himself lies when he suggests that everyone is willing to believe that the US went into Iraq on the basis of false intelligence rather than deliberately lying. He is assuredly familiar with the work of Charles Lewis that ultimately produced the book, 935 Lies – The Future of Truth and the Decline of America’s Moral Integrity.
CHUCK SPINNEY: Lofgren argues there is method to the Spicer-Conway Trumpian madness — it is called “gaslighting.” This is an insightful idea in that it implies both motive and danger. Gaslighting is defined in wikipedia as a “clever form of manipulation through persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying in an attempt to destabilize and delegitimize a target. Its intent is to sow seeds of doubt in the targets, hoping to make them question their own memory, perception, and sanity.” If Lofgren is right, and I think he is on to something, the immediate object of a White House gaslighting strategy is to discredit the legitimacy of the mainstream media; a media that has been made vulnerable by its own corruption, compromising careerism, and “insider” self referencing. But the long-term target is to turn “we the people” into a 21st century, internet-conditioned, version of Mencken’s booboisie.
ROBERT STEELE: Lost in this elegant essay are the facts of false flag attacks and fake news as the primary means by which the Establishment has been “gaslighting” the public. Mr. Lofgren is being an opportunist in attacking Trump on this point — the real culpability lies with the two-party tyranny and the banking cabal the two-party tyranny represents. Trump’s ego is out of control and he has a light-weight staff — this is by design. The Republican Party wants him to fail, fail fast, and fail big.
During my 34 years of working as a reporter, I’ve had many informal conversations with mainstream journalists. They were illuminating.
Here, from my notes (1982-2011), taken after the conversations, are what these guardians on the watchtower revealed:
ONE: “Investigative reporting has been dying.”
TWO: “Most reporters who cover major issues are de facto intelligence assets.”
THREE: “We’re in a business. We’re selling a product”
FOUR: “I can write an article that’s critical of what a drug company is specifically doing, but I can’t criticize the company.”
FIVE: “I thought I could quit working for my paper and get hired by somebody else, who would give me more freedom to write the stories I wanted to. I made a few quiet inquiries. Turned out I was wrong. They’re all pretty much the same.”
SIX: “Sometimes an order comes down. By the time I get it, it isn’t sounding exactly like an order. It’s more like ‘this is what we’re doing’. We need to go after a politician and bury him. That kind of thing.”
SEVEN: “I’m a guy who’s expected to put out baloney for our audience. I can slice it a few different ways, but it’s the same basic thing. After a few years, I can do it in my sleep. I know the routine.”
EIGHT: “You talk about who’s really running things behind the scene. I know something about that. But I can’t write it in a story”
NINE: “Reporters in my business have two choices. They can lower their IQs and become cynics, or they can maintain their intelligence and get booted out. That’s what it comes down to. Anybody with an IQ over 90 can see we have agendas. The whole business is agenda-driven.”
ROBERT STEELE: Everyone has given up their integrity. From academics to businesses to governments to the media to the spies, everyone lies. What Trump has going for him is a clean sheet fresh start. What he has against him is 80% of the government including his own party and his own Chief of Staff. There are three centers of gravity for his survival and then his success: an electoral reform act; a Trump Channel backed up by an Open Source Agency; and a revitalized counterintelligence function. All three should have been in his Inauguration Day speech. That they were not is a reflection of the success of Chief of Staff Reince Priebus in gutting his own boss.