Cry Wolf

 

Our technocratic elite are upset because Americans no longer trust “official news” and are instead relying on conspiracy theories.

But whose fucking fault is that?

Since the first Gulf War we’ve been fed a steady diet of unadulterated bull-shit by “official news”. Babies ripped from incubators. Weapons of mass destruction. Crop dusters filled with poison gas. Saddam palling around with al-Qaeda. Gaddafi feeding his mercenaries Viagra. Assad gassing heroic Syrian “rebels”. Etc.

And the biggest whopper of all–that Trump is a secret Russian agent, only elected through the nefarious machinations of Vladimir Putin.

Last week brought confirmation for what many of us out here on the periphery have known all along. That all of the Russia-gate nonsense was exactly that. Nonsense.

“House Intelligence Committee documents released Thursday reveal that the committee was told two and half years ago that the FBI had no concrete evidence that Russia hacked Democratic National Committee computers to filch the DNC emails published by WikiLeaks in July 2016″

Meanwhile, the Justice Department made public documents showing that when, in January 2017, prosecutors wanted to close the collusion case against Michael Flynn, who briefly served as President Donald Trump’s national security advisor, because they found “no derogatory information” against him, Peter Strzok, the philandering F.B.I. agent later found to be shaping an “insurance policy” against a Trump victory in the 2016 election, cajoled them into keeping it open — absence of evidence be damned.

It gets worse. “It looks like President Obama ordered up phony Russia-gate scandal” [New York Post]. “It’s now clear the Obama-Comey FBI and Justice Department never had anything more substantial than the laughable fiction of the Steele dossier to justify the “counterintelligence” investigation of the Trump campaign. Yet incessant leaks from that supposedly confidential probe wound up consuming the Trump administration’s first months in office — followed by the Bob Mueller-led special counsel investigation that proved nearly the “total witch hunt” that President Trump dubbed it.”

What has been the response to this “official” conspiracy theory coming undone?

Crickets.

That’s right. Move on now. Nothing to see here.

But here’s what I have to say to that sentiment. Move on? Fuck no! I can’t stand Trump, but liberals celebrated and venerated the CIA, FBI and national security state during a massive 4 year witch-hunt that destroyed the progressive momentum from Bernie’s 2016 campaign and brought us to the brink of a nuclear conflict with Russia.

They’ll probably get away with it. The American public, thanks to decades of 24 hour cable TV “news churn”, has the attention span of a gnat. And there’s always another bright, shiny object.

Plus, they have the power of the Mighty-Wurlitzer in the corporate media who has been beating the Russia-gate narrative from the start, and now appear to be doubling down with their lies and obfuscation, if the New York Times is any indication. The paper’s report on the dismissal of the Flynn case marked the judgment down as “the latest example of Attorney General William P. Barr’s efforts to chisel away at the results of the Russia investigation.” The Times ran two further pieces attacking Flynn and Barr in Saturday’s editions, here and here, and a straight-out character assassination of Flynn on Sunday.

Unlike the fairy tale where the little boy cries wolf so often that no one believes him and the wolf eats him, the corporate media has come to understand that if they dress up their lies in partisan garb they can retail them endlessly. Thus Obama became a Kenyon/Muslim who lacked a birth certificate on Fox News, while Trump became a secret Russian agent who was Putin’s gay lover in the Times and on MSNBC. They’re just feeding their audience what they want.

Gonzo journalist Matt Taibbi well describes this phenomenon in his book Hate Inc., where he describes how “each consumer had an outlet somewhere to match his or her political beliefs. …We sold anger, and we did it mainly by feeding audiences what they wanted to hear. Mostly, this involved cranking out stories about people our viewers loved to hate.”

 This is not a good sign. Our republic is based at a fundamental level on compromise, on being able to come together based on the same shared reality. In this environment of weaponized, partisan “news” I’m not sure that is possible anymore. This is why America in the age of Trump cannot self-correct.

It is why another Russia-gate is guaranteed.

In  the meantime, get ready for lots of moral scoldings from “experts” about our lack of trust in “experts”.

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