U.S. Propaganda is Embarrassingly Bad (and Why it Matters)
by Michael Krieger
When you want to see what U.S. deep state propagandists are up to, all you have to do is take a glance at what meme corporate media happens to be pushing any given week. It’s been almost a decade since I started observing and analyzing the corporate press on a daily basis, and I can now say unequivocally that the quality of American imperial propaganda has gone completely down the crapper.
The believability of some of the stuff being pushed these days defies all logic and is easily dispelled with an ounce of critical thought, yet there it is, in our face on a daily basis almost taunting the intelligence of the U.S. population. Indeed, it appears the current strategy is no more sophisticated that proclaiming any and all dissent as being the result of “Russia operations.” This is done to prevent any actual debate on subjects of grave national importance since the U.S. government knows its claims don’t hold up to any real scrutiny. Why look into the veracity of a deep state claim when we can just dismiss alternative viewpoints as “Russian operations.”
To see what I mean, take a look at some excerpts from a recent article published by ABC News, Behind #SyriaHoax and the Russian Propaganda Onslaught:
[Video insert by TLB]
As Syrian president Bashar al-Assad called videos of last week’s chemical attack a “fabrication,” a piece of propaganda promoted by a Russian cyber operation and bearing the hashtag #SyriaHoax has gained traction in the United States, analysts tell ABC News.
Following the chemical weapons attack that killed dozens of civilians on Tuesday, Al-Masdar News, a pro-Assad website based in Beirut, published claims that “something is not adding up in [the] Idlib chemical weapons attack.” Its author cited “holes” in the accounts provided by the “Al-Qaeda affiliated” White Helmets leading to the conclusion that “this is another false chemical attack allegation made against the government.”
That hoax story was promoted by a network of Russian social media accounts and ultimately picked up by popular alt-right personalities in the United States, including Mike Cernovich, one of the leading voices in the debunked ‘Pizzagate’ conspiracy theory. Cernovich popularized its new hashtag — #SyriaHoax — and sent it soaring through cyberspace.According to Trends24, within hours of the retaliatory missile strike President Donald Trump launched on Thursday night, #SyriaHoax was the No. 1 trending Twitter topic in the United States.
There are a few things I want to highlight when it comes to these first three paragraphs. First, anyone paying the slightest amount of attention to what’s happening in the world would have immediately and independently questioned why Assad would launch a chemical attack guaranteed to lead to widespread international condemnation at the very moment he was most secure in his own position. No “Russian operation” needed to recognize Assad’s total lack of motive. Indeed, two of America’s more respectable former Congressmen, Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich both questioned the ridiculous deep state Syria narrative.
Moreover, the reason corporate media needs to call #SyriaHoax a Russian operation is because it became the No. 1 trending topic in America. The public can’t be allowed to think this train of thought represents actual grassroots thinking (which it does), because that would imply that trust in the status quo is evaporating rapidly and uncontrollably (it is).
Now here’s the very next paragraph of the article.
J.M. Berger of The International Centre for Counter-Terrorism at The Hague, who studies propaganda and social media analytical techniques, said #SyriaHoax is “a clear example of a Russian influence campaign” designed to undermine the credibility of the U.S. government.
This is pure comedy. As if the U.S. government needs Russia to “undermine its credibility.” It does a perfectly good job of doing that all on its own. Was Russia responsible for bailing out Wall Street and funneling trillions to financial criminals, thus propelling the nation into a new Gilded Age where a handful of oligarchs steal everything with impunity while the rest of the country drowns? Didn’t think so.
It’s all very reminiscent to how the pathetic Democratic establishment responded to Hillary Clinton’s loss. Rather than admitting she was a horrible candidate who ran a delusional campaign, theyers merely deflected criticism to Russia, James Comey, Bernie Bros, etc. It’s been a very embarrassing public strategy, and the deep state is now resorting to the exact same strategy through its corporate media parrots. All dissent is a Russian operation. Anything bad that happens to America has nothing to do with our corrupt, clownish leadership, but is Putin’s fault. This is where all of this is going, and it’s further evidence that the American empire has entered a much more pronounced and dangerous period of decline.
From a personal perspective, I know for a fact that the corporate media has a very specific narrative to falsely categorize anyone who questions the status quo as a Russian operative, because it happened to me viaThe Washington Post. As I noted in the piece, Liberty Blitzkrieg Included on Washington Post Highlighted Hit List of “Russian Propaganda” Websites:
Let’s take Liberty Blitzkrieg for example. Despite the fact that my site is mentioned on “the list,” nobody from PropOrNot bothered to contact me while doing their “research.” They could’ve asked very simple questions about how the site is run, who owns it, and who makes decisions about editorial content. Furthermore, I doubt they did any such research with regard to any of the mentioned sites before slandering them.
Since they failed to do any real work, let me answer several of these questions. I, Michael Krieger, am the 100% owner of Liberty Blitzkrieg. I am the only person who makes decisions on what to publish and when. I have absolutely no connections, financial or otherwise, to the Russian government, Russian interests, or the interests of any other government or government related group. Moreover, there is simply nobody on planet earth who has any influence on what I write or what I publish. I left a very successful and financially lucrative job to do what I do now because my passions and ethical grounding pushed me in this direction. If I was interested in making enormous sums of money, I could’ve easily stayed on Wall Street.
Moreover, I rarely write about Russia, with the exception of trying to prevent insane neocons and neoliberals in our government from actively seeking a military confrontation, because I — like most normal human beings — would prefer not to contribute to the manifestation of World War 3. Likewise, I try to prevent war breaking out in all circumstances where I think it can and should be avoided. I intentionally almost never use RT as a source, and I’ve never quoted anything from Sputnik. Unlike The Washington Post, I try to be extremely diligent about not publishing fake news, but I am a very strong critic of U.S. government policy, because much of U.S. government policy is certifiably insane and unethical. You can disagree with my opinion on that all you’d like, but I challenge anyone to find anything that could reasonably be considered pro-Russia propaganda on my website. If Liberty Blitzkrieg really is a Russian propaganda site, this should be easy to do since I’ve published thousands of articles over the years.
I have yet to receive an apology from The Washington Post for the lies it shamelessly promoted, but I digress.
Perhaps most importantly, the U.S. deep state is increasingly losing the very people it depends on to sustain even the slightest degree of public credibility. I’m one example. Born in the belly of the financial beast of New York City, I was raised privileged, went to the right schools, graduated from a top university and launched my Wall Street career at the age of 22. Ten years later, I was earning a stupid amount of money for adding absolutely nothing to society, but the response from the powers that be to the financial crisis was so grotesque and unethical I could no longer in good faith continue my career. This isn’t the sort of thing that’s supposed to happen. People like me are supposed to stay loyal to the system for life due to the rewards the system bestows upon us. The fact that someone like me became opposed to a system that was so personally lucrative should be seen as a red flag for those in power. If it happened to me, it’s happened to countless others.
Due to my upbringing and career on Wall Street, many of my close friends are from a socioeconomic class that should be deeply loyal to the power structure. The big secret is that they aren’t. Sure, many of them are forced to work in jobs and industries they despise due to familiar obligations and responsibilities, but don’t mistake this for faith or trust in the status quo. The vast majority of people I know fully understand that the U.S. system is a corrupt cesspool of shifty operators and rent-seeking scamsters. While they may need to play the game to survive and protect their families, they have no loyalty to or trust in the current paradigm and that will ultimately be very important. Multiple people told me that The Washington Post’sslandering of my website was a huge wakeup call for them, which highlighted just how dishonest the corporate press has become.
My theory is that the U.S. has entered a more dangerous period of late-stage imperial collapse. Donald Trump was elected by many to reverse this course, but with his recent pivot away from domestic concerns to focus on war, he’ll likely preside over a dramatic and chaotic period of decline. When this happens, all sorts of people will come out of the woodwork, and you’ll see very quickly how little support the deep state actually has amongst the populace. This period will be frightening to witness, but it’s also a necessary evil.
We must harness the opportunity and replace the corrupt, warmongering, Wall Street controlled dead-end culture and economy with a new paradigm after the old one crashes and burns, which it undoubtably will.
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