Fog of Unknowability
Although conspiracies have always existed among humans, I wonder if the penchant for Americans to embrace them in a modern world of easily found facts is notable. For all their belief in individual freedom, many Americans latch onto one orthodoxy or another. The authoritarian Christian denominations on the right seem to create adherents that are geared towards believing in shadowy conspiracies of string-pulling demons. Add to this the popular cultural phenomenon of the past 70+ years of red-scares, flying saucers, JFK, CIA experiments, etc., and you have a population not only ready to believe conspiracies but eager to do it via their need for entertainment.
These are just the thoughts of the moment. My thesis paper on the above is non-existent.
We've talked about this many times before. The elite stenographers in the Beltway Press corps, especially the pundits, are not going to do anything to disrupt their access to Republicans, Republican donors and the parties they throw. They would much rather simply repeat the talking points of the day than actually do journalism. And so we are not seeing the stories that we need to see, not just about the Fox/Putin axis, but of the total Putinification of so many members of the Senate and the House. The Republicans are totally owned and operated by and for oligarchs of all stripes and nationalities, and that is very dangerous for our country.
While my heart goes out to the brave Ukrainians fighting every day to protect their land, I'm more consumed with the direction that our own country is heading. While I'm glad that the vast majority of Americans are against Putin, many of those same folks don't see that the right wing in this country is attempting to build the same fog of unknowing that Russia has built. Much of the Republican Party admires Putin. They are out of touch with what the majority of Americans want. Instead of modifying their ideas (I know, what ideas?), they've decided to lie and create confusion and put fear in their followers, especially white people. In many states, they have passed laws allowing our votes to not count, to take rights away from women, and now are even attempting to pass a law in Texas to give a women the death penalty if she were to get an abortion. These are the kinds of things Russia has been doing for decades. The fact that Republicans embrace this sick twisted platform is the most frightening thing I see today with Ukraine a close second.
It's not like the Trump team was being subtle. Recall how quickly Kellyanne Conway coined "alternative facts" to excuse, if not justify, shameless and persistent gaslighting. Even non-astute media members could see what was going on, and instead of kicking professional liars like Conway and Jason Miller to the curb, gave them a platform to spin and spread Trump's BS. Interesting how the media will eagerly jump on Putin's disinformation while happily ignoring the blatant bullshitting by the GOP.
When TFG was elected, I believed the Rs in Congress valued the same things Americans of all stripes value, ie the Constitution, life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, the American dream. I was certain members of both parties would raise hell when TFG started implementing his hateful policies eg the Muslim ban, separating families at the border, but no, that isn’t what happened. After each outlandish ranting of TFG, I and millions of others figured, ‘now is the time…’ the red line of outrage has been met and the good citizens of our country would rise up screaming bloody murder. It took me awhile to wake up and smell the roses, that these Rs DON’T value these American tenets, but instead, truly desire an autocracy where they think their power will increase and put them in autocratic charge, an oxymoron for sure. So, to my utter dismay, here we are, where up is down, America is bad, Putin is good. ‘Love it or leave it,’ guys. The terrible thing about their wishes is that they are compromising everything Americans cherish for their own narrow, distorted ends and FOX and some Rs lead the parade. How fragile we are. I never imagined it would be so.
Bannon's "strategy": flood the zone with bullshit. The press has been aware since 2016 at least. At this rate we may soon find ourselves with a state run and controlled press and nothing else. The msm will have given away the store.
It's the craft of the lethal question. The late night hosts have been on top of it. The so-called pursuit of truth (ie journalism): not so much.
It’s true; they’re not trying to win over converts. They’re talking to themselves and giving themselves excuses for what they want to do next: the destruction of democracy, aided by and/or followed by street violence.
After their first outburst of support for Putin, they backed off for a few days and pretended they hadn’t done that. Remarkably, now that Putin’s atrocities have become more blatant, they’ve gone back to his side. I guess an email went out, someone found a way around the financial sanctions, or they just felt they needed a few days to fool Chuck Todd.
And the MSM is completely complicit. They seek out comments from many of the same GOP members who just voted against that big aid package and retweet their “support for Ukraine” and their criticisms of Biden KNOWING how they voted. Reporters have also joined their voices and validate GOP idiot takes (we need to ask these questions. Gee thanks, Jake Sherman).
IMO, Steve Bannon has the most accurate description of the process, what he calls "flooding the zone with shit". It's one of the classic abusive and manipulative strategies of a Malignant Narcissist and it can be very effective against people who don't understand what they're up against or how to deal with it. https://dplymyer.medium.com/if-you-dont-understand-malignant-narcissism-you-don-t-understand-vladimir-putin-any-better-than-8db3f97b3aec
I like the way you subtly implied that main stream media is too dumb to tell when they are being had. Maybe THAT will help. To date, just calling them out for joining in has not worked. I don’t care how glittery and fun and informative the access to and parties thrown by the GQP are, educated people don’t like it when someone suggests they are just being fooled. The standard defense is to show that you have facts on your side. In this case, it won’t work. Now these journalists have to choose the actual truth over shadowing the lies if they want to be considered competent. Well played, sir!
When she started writing her daily journal, Heather Richardson made that point: That the chaos was intentional, to keep us diverted. Granting that I can see the point, I also think that republicans are so incompetent that chaos isn't so much desired as unavoidable. Seriously. Name a republican who competently does government work.
It's even harder to name one who's loyal to the U.S. Or one the DC political media brothel doesn't treat like a wealthy client.
This "dense fog of unknowability" - nice term, btw - is also what keeps climate change denial going, too. The Right finds some credentialed person, usually on a payroll funded by an energy extraction company, to object. So 99.999% of scientists agree, and one doesn’t and therefore no one knows, for sure.
It’s maddening that it works, but we’ve seen it before, we see it now, and we will see it again because it works on the rubes. It justifies what they already want to believe, and that’s pretty hard to fight.
How much can anyone do about Fox News and Tucker Carlson? In this case, he's an embarrassment to our country, but you also say Vladimir Putin has only 4% approval here.
My question is, who's watching him these days? That 4% indicates not many people are tuning him in.
And yes, I remember Trump's big "arms deal." Why the hell the truth was never trumpeted at the top of the media's collective lungs has always been a question unanswered. To this day, I have run across Trump culties who still think that fake deal really happened.
It's not that the DC Press Corpse didn't adjust to Trump’s lies and contradictions.
It's that the DC Press Corpse was COMPLICIT!
Apropos the Putin/Republican similarities, too much resonates here:
So sure, the former embracing the latter should be no surprise, more so in this neoliberal order where borders are less important than deals, where no country is to vile to do business with.