The lügenpresse specializes in actual fake news, meaning that it reports non-events as events or selectively omits facts to put a spin on events that did indeed happen. This is dangerous because it is partially true, and so gives the illusion of reliability.
But then, there is another type of fake news, which we might call “spam fake news” because it is designed as a virus to make people pass it along because it confirms their biases in a definitive way, offering the “proof” they have always wanted. It is thus a huge emotional rush for them, and they busily paste the URL into their social media streams, generating clicks and profit for the spammer.
An example of this spamfake news targets pizzagate supporters with an imaginary smoking gun — an email in which Hillary and Barack discuss “pizzas” in a way that suggests incriminating evidence:
In the email, addressed to former president Barack Obama, Huma Abedin, and John Podesta among others, Clinton strangely references a “Pizza arrangement”, “Hotdogs” and “predetermined locations”.
Clinton also alludes to an “our downfall” in the email.
If it seems to be too perfect to be true, it probably is not true. And in this case, the email has not been released by Wikileaks and appears to be no more than a blurry forgery photographed on a screen.
As we go to war with the fake news in the lügenpresse, which is more accurately simply lies to support dogma through partial truth-telling and “spin,” it becomes important to shed these parasites who are attempting to use our goodwill for their own profit. Block this website and any like it, and speak up against this other form of fake news wherever you see it.
You know the story: a big event happens and the press interviews someone. He gives a clear statement, only to find that in the final article, one line has been taken out of context in order to prove the thesis of the person writing the article.
Luckily, sometimes we catch them in the act.
Recently WIRED‘s Emma Grey Ellis [email her] reached out to an Amerika operative with questions about a free speech Antifa channel run on internet effete basement NEET echo chamber Reddit. She used a single quotation in an article about Antifa:
Meanwhile, the Meme War has metastasized to Reddit at large: “/r/antifa was never an antifascist subreddit,” IamSeth says. “It is a honeypot run by members of the Ku Klux Klan.” (I wasn’t able to confirm the Klan connection, but when I reached out to the /r/antifa mods, an individual who goes by diversity_is_racism denied the honeypot claim, but said he or she thinks Richard Spencer is “a good guy.”)
In the spirit of transparency, which means telling the whole story and is the opposite of cherry-picking, we present to you the whole interview here, with messages from Emma Grey Ellis in bold and messages from us in regular text:
Why not moderate a subreddit with a name that aligns with your own views? Doesn’t calling it /r/antifa make the page a bit of a honeytrap?
Why not moderate a subreddit with a name that aligns with your own views?
I do, /r/new_right
I also moderate a number of others that are dedicated to free speech.
Doesn’t calling it /r/antifa make the page a bit of a honeytrap?
Whoof, the begging-the-question fallacy in real life. The answer: no. I do not intend to use this sub to advance an agenda.
People want to fight it out. Antifa is a hot topic, and I have some sympathies with them. I would like people to fight it out in a place where all opinions can be heard, instead of create another Leftist echo chamber here on Reddit.
Do you identify as Antifa?
I don’t, I actually was relatively unfamiliar with the movement until quite recently.
I can understand wanting to avoid echo chambers. Do you consider the new right and antifa to be fundamentally adversarial?
As in, is it the new right’s task to push back against antifa, and vice versa?
Not really, if we go by sheer differences of opinion. The New Right is not geared toward a modern state at all, so has no use for fascism. It is however opposed to Leftism, especially of the extreme form usually adopted by antifa members even if it is not strictly part of antifa. In theory, you could be a Republican antifa; in reality, that never happens because all of the antifa movement appears to be intersectional anarchist and Communist. The New Right has elements of anarchism and socialism in it, so there is some overlap, but generally we are traditionalist/reactionaries who want a society of a non-modern type.
For that reason, I would say we are not directly opposed… but we would need to live in different nations. As far as the New Right pushing back against antifa, we tend to view them as just another variety of Leftist, not far removed from Democrats (for example) except in methods. Antifa are sort of like Leftist skinheads — they share a lot with the SHARP movement, for example — who enjoy violence, destruction and shattering lives of their perceived enemies. As Andrew Breitbart among others pointed out, however, mainstream Democrats enjoy doing that too, but prefer subtler methods than street violence. So the situation is more nuanced and interesting than “these two groups are enemies.”
Understood. How do you react to this group rallying around the Richard Spencer punch moment? Spencer doesn’t seem to really stand for fascism, per se, but rather a pro-male, pro-white, pro-straight, pro-American/Western European agenda.
From my time moderating /r/antifa, I have realized that antifa supporters do not have a problem with violence, and they have no problem supporting violent anarchists and Communists. Although these movements are particularly prone to certain types of violence — bomb-throwing anarchists, gulags, dawn executions in Lubyanka prison and the like come to mind — I do not think we can backward-infer ideology from the presence of violence itself, as Tim McVeigh, Ted Kaczynski, Anders Breivik and Dylann Roof remind us. But, it does not surprise me that antifa cheered the sucker punch of Richard Spencer, mainly because he is a real threat to their ideology just by existing.
I also learned that those on the Left have no idea what fascism is. Fascism is a specific political concept; Leftists use the term to mean authoritarian, totalitarian or just any strong authority that limits individual self-expression, even if just by context (e.g. you cannot spray paint on this specific wall). Spencer strikes me as classic Alt Right, and as one of the inventors of the term — alongside Colin Liddell and Andy Nowicki — he would know. Here’s a good introduction to the Alt Right:
In my view, the Alt Right is trying to break away from (1) Republicans and (2) the 1488 white nationalist types. Both groups have failed and the Alt Right wants something new. I have just learned that Reddit’s altright sub, /r/altright, has been banned by Reddit — wow, interesting. Anyway, it seems to me that the Alt Right is a satire/cynical cultural movement against Leftism in general, and it embraces nationalism and the salvation of Western Civilization among other things. In my view, it is re-living the tension of Weimar Germany, and is about to figure out that National Socialism is a big screwup because it is still a modern-style government, and will converge on the same problems we have now even if it vociferously protests them and delays them for a short while. The better movement was volkisch conservatism, but that might be too much of a conceptual leap for people today. The point I want to make here is that there is tension both ways; the Alt Right is resisting both Republican cucks and Hitlarping spergs from the White Nationalist movement. Neo-Nazism is a simplified, mainstreamed version of National Socialism, so it takes the problems of National Socialism, which we might refer to as ideological accelerationism or a tendency toward highly symbolic acts like the Holocaust, and adds to them the problems of modern bureaucratic society… while losing the coherence of actual nationalism, which is basically the idea that a nation is defined by its founding ethnic group, and you cannot have the “proposition nation” that America’s Republicans want. But similarly, you cannot have the race-nation that white nationalists want; a Nationalist understands “Germany for Germans, Israel for Jews, Nigeria for Nigerians” but does not grok “America for whites.” The Alt Right hates the concept of equality, which is sort of an exploded narcissism/individualism, and detests other Republican notions like theocracy, democracy, bipartisanship and the like. It also finds the White Nationalists to be a kind of ideology in themselves, which is why it has resisted them, despite some White Nationalists like the Right Stuff or the Daily Stormer trying to make inroads. So if you look at things in the big picture, Spencer is a good guy who is advancing an actual Right-wing cause — back toward pre French Revolutionary types of society — while casting aside the really psychotic stuff that White Nationalists would do. He has said he does not mind Jews, homosexuals and mixed-race people, and he frequently tells people other races that they should be nationalist for their own people. This is the kind of level-headed voice on the Right that benefits everyone. Ironically, if the antifa strike him down they will get something worse which will also be more popular because it will tap into suppressed rage. In this way, Spencer stands against what people mean when they say “fascism,” which is strong power wielded for ideological purposes with the intention of hurting or eliminating biological impurities within our society.
Antifa, however, is like the Alt Right in one really important way: the movement is ill-defined. They don’t like fascists, great, but what does fascism mean? Very few of them can define it clearly. They are fans of Leftist ideology exclusively, on a scale from anarchism through Communism, and often support the same methods they decry when Right-wing groups use them. But I think there is something there, something to be expressed, which is probably more like libertarian or classical liberal than Communist, and tensions within the movement are keeping this from being expressed. As society inevitably balkanizes, I think antifa will come into their own and express their beliefs in a clarified state at about the same time the Alt Right does the same for its beliefs. We live in interesting times…
Thanks for this, I appreciate you taking the time to elaborate on your viewpoints this way.
Tell me, is there a way that I could identify you other than your username here? First name, initials, a general location?
Four screen shots pasted together:
The lügenpresse represents the inverted thinking created by socializing among humans: instead of looking for a theory that fits the evidence, we look for evidence that fits the theory, since our goal is merely to convince other people that we are right.
If the Alt Right has a legacy outside the Right, it is that it applied Human Biodiversity (HBD) and Tom Wolfe/William S. Burroughs styled principles of the viral nature of language to reveal that (almost) all human actions are signaling, or using tokens like words to create convincing mental images in order to con others into handing over real-world goods: sex, wealth, power and status.
When lügenpresse reporters are conducting interviews, for example, they are looking for only one thing: some data that they can excerpt to make it look like it supports their conclusion.
Witness the actual “a good guy” quote:
So if you look at things in the big picture, Spencer is a good guy who is advancing an actual Right-wing cause — back toward pre French Revolutionary types of society — while casting aside the really psychotic stuff that White Nationalists would do. He has said he does not mind Jews, homosexuals and mixed-race people, and he frequently tells people other races that they should be nationalist for their own people. This is the kind of level-headed voice on the Right that benefits everyone.
The original meaning is this: he is one of the good guys on the Right, as opposed to the psychotic ones.
Instead, this became taken out of context as a means of attacking us.
No one really knows why, or will admit, why panics happen. The most general statement seems to be this: something scares a group of people, and they engage in talismanic behavior against it, which catches on in the general atmosphere of fear.
Panics can take many forms (we might view them as “inverse trends,” or people conforming to herd activity out of fear instead of desire). Some are religious panics, others purely moral panics, and some simply spasms of terror at the unknown.
Possible reason? Stress-induced psychosis. Having suffered severely from famine, and in many cases wiped out and reduced to begging, the region was in an ongoing crisis. Many had died of starvation. The area was riddled with diseases, including smallpox and syphilis. Waller believes the stress was intolerable, and hence a mass psychological illness resulted.
What does this tell us? That humans are not much different from the possum: when faced with a futile choice, we either play dead or actually die from shock. Being human, we pick a neurotic way to do it so that our big brains feel engaged in a decision that exists at the point of heat death, where all choices have the same outcome and thus, analysis breaks down into paralysis early on.
Another great panic occurred in the 1980s with the Virginia McMartin preschool Satanic pedophile panic. Fantastic stories, even worse than PizzaGate, were told and resulted in eighty convictions, but no evidence was ever found, and the panic evaporated much more quickly than it began.
The thing about panics is that they are metaphor. The actual event is hidden; a symbolic event substitutes for it. So in the 1980s, when divorce destroyed the American home and kidnappings and murders of children accelerated in frequency, people needed a symbol. They chose a Satanic conspiracy behind a day-care center to express and disguise their concerns about divorce, sexual liberation, daycare, childhood and other things being shattered at the time.
Just as the dancing plague came about in response to starvation, and manifested in a burning of calories like a homeostatic viking funeral, the fear of the breaking of the family manifested in symbols of sexual evil expressed with a lynch mob mentality. If only the witch could be burned that easily… but true evil always resides in ideas and generally acceptable practices, not symbols.
The talismanic nature of these panics can be seen in the split between symbol and reality. The reality seems too big to fix, and too scary to accept because it will destabilize the idea of life itself. Instead, the group hopes to destroy a scapegoat and then return to life as normal. This pattern appears many times throughout history.
It is the first world equivalent of the cargo cult, in which islanders believed that sacred ceremonies were responsible for the delivery of supplies from American planes. The symbol covered the lack of knowledge and the utterly arbitrary nature of the deliveries, relative to anything the islanders were doing. With a panic, the ceremony is the symbol, and the cargo is a resolution of the seemingly insoluble issue.
During the late 1980s, as the Reagan years ended, a new type of panic emerged: political correctness. This symbolically beat down “racism” and other forms of discrimination, but in actuality referenced an underlying fear of American collapse in the same way the Soviets were clearly falling apart. Diversity was our strength, and politically we had to have it in order to maintain our WWII sense of moral superiority over nationalists, but it was clearly not working, as ongoing ethnic violence and discontent demonstrated.
The solution was not to address the actual problem because that was seen as a futile task. It was clear that diversity was not working, but to acknowledge that fact meant facing the grim reality that diversity would have to be un-done, which would involve boats taking all people who were not of the founding group (WASPs) back to their homelands. That was the only solution, and people could not face it.
Since that time, the problem of ethnic incompatibility has gotten worse, and in response to feeling that they are being dispossessed and bred out of existence, white people — especially WASPs, it seems — have adopted the talisman of being goodwhites and opposing racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, elitism and saneism because each of these things point to the only solutions which will save us as a society, namely undoing crazy egalitarian programs.
We can see the acceleration of this moral panic through the ongoing pro-censorship campaign on the internet which hopes to eliminate dissent against the present order, as a form of symbolic victory for the idea of not changing ourselves at all:
Twitter subsequently suspended the accounts of other prominent figureheads of the “alt-right” fringe movement, an amorphous mix of racism, white nationalism, xenophobia and anti-feminism.
Twitter has been under fire for failing to address hate and abuse on the site since its founding a decade ago. Balancing its reputation as a free speech haven has come into conflict with efforts to protect users.
Other internet companies have taken recent steps to curb abusive behavior and ban users who violate rules against promoting hate.
In fifty years, these words will be as ridiculous to us as the idea of a dancing plague. Their cultlike nature becomes clear from their binary nature: there are accepted ideas, and anything else is bad, and so burning that witch will reassure all of us that the problem no one can do anything about is actually not a problem, so we can set aside our fear of change and keep on living our lives as we have.
That allows us to ignore the problem, and rationalize disadvantages as a moral victory instead of the ongoing defeat that they are. The lügenpresse is the voice of comforting anaesthesia, guiding us into oblivion by giving us a symbolic means of denying, obscuring and distracting from our actual fears.
It has been said many times that human behavior has not changed since the dawn of history. Panics like political correctness prove this to be true. We have moved from symbolic metaphysical panics to symbolic political panics, and as with the dancing plague and the Virginia McMartin controversy, we are destroying ourselves because our fear of the unknown is greater than our will to succeed.
I think #PresidentTrump was entirely too gentle with Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of ChiCongo, Killinois. You see, he recently had the right idea cutting off Federal funding, but he leaves too much of it in place. According to The ChiCongo Tribune,
Trump ordered Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to work with incoming Attorney General Jeff Sessions to ensure sanctuary cities “are not eligible to receive federal grants, except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes.”
Like most bastions of unabashed SJW Cultural Marxism, ChiCongo couldn’t make both ends meet because one end is too busy screwing around in the till.
…Chicago received a little more than $1 billion in federal grant funding for myriad programs, including early childhood education, transportation, policing, health initiatives, public assistance programs and disaster management. It’s unknown how much of that $1 billion could be deemed necessary for law enforcement, as laid out by Trump’s order.
ChiCongo won’t take that lying down. Their leadership responds with the speeches of Capone-era Outfit Capo Regimes getting ready to hit the mattresses.
“You mess with one in Chicago, you mess with all of us,” said Northwest Side Ald. John Arena, 45th. “We are a sanctuary city. We’ll stand by that. We will stand by every single citizen, every single resident of this city, regardless of your status. This is your home. That is our declaration.”
So what does The Donald do? He formalizes. The name and shame part of the order requires DHS to name the names of every illegal alien criminal who commits a crime will be named and associated with the locality that has failed to deport that illegal. Let that happen and let #PresidentTrump’s growing fan club start performing the requisite descriptive and inferential statistics regarding the respect for rule of law in sanctuary cities vs law abiding communities.
Why is such formalism needed. Why do we have to go there and start naming people. Well let’s examine what the #Lügenpresse has to say on leaders of the political alliance in favor of immigration control.
One of the leaders of the “Alt Right,” which is the successor to the White Nationalist movement, which was the successor to the American Nazi movement, is National Policy Institute chairman Richard Spencer, based in Arlington, just like American Nazi Party leader George Lincoln Rockwell. Spencer (who totally isn’t a skinhead, as he only shaves the sidesof his head), is hosting some speakers to promote his ideology, including VDARE founder Peter Brimelow, and VDARE contributor Kevin MacDonald. This is the pseudo-intellectual forefront of the alt-right, white-nationalist movement in America.
This is not The Revolutionary Daily. #CuckState is a “Conservative” media outlet. These are the people supposedly sworn to fight off the Leftist Locust horde. Here’s what #CuckState does instead.
Anyway, you see all the cons used by social justice warriors in that post. There’s guilt by association, the use of the transitive property to link the targeted enemy to some imagined evil and, of course, the demand that the target abandon their position or face being branded a heretic. In this case, it means the very sensible and respectable Mark Krikorian must denounce people he does not know or he and his issues are ruled out of bounds for decent people.
So how do you fight this evil. How do you drown out the corporatist sellout propaganda and make people who come here illegally go pursue their livelihoods back where they were born? We need to put a human face on the tragedy. Like the parent of a young man killed by a drunk driver illegally residing in Austin, TX and working in an undocumented status; we need to tell these people who lead the “sanctuary cities” they have blood on their hands.
We then need to tell the #Luegenpresse that they are accessories to every one of these fatalities. They are parties to all of the Welfare Fraud. They are complicit in the job destruction unleashed by illegal immigration. They are no different from the anti-American scum that cranks out hate speech over at The Democratic Underground. By chucking ad hominem slime at the leaders of the fight against the “sanctuary cities,” these people are catamite Baghdad Bobs to Rahm Emanuel’s Saddam Hussein.
The time has come to take a page from #PresidentTrump’s book. He will shame the mayors and the pols in these various localities that disregard the rule of law. We can handle the Cuck Lügenpresse as disgusting as it is to have their bilious spew all over our hands. Slam a Cuck today. This is how we formalize and reveal them for what they are. It will help in our shared quixotic quest to #MAGA.
We know the Lügenpresse has a clear purpose, but it is not to report the news. It is to present an information/entertainment product that people enjoy, and since the major media consumers are Leftist people looking for alternatives to reality, itleansleft.
There has been an enormous, brutal argument between the media and the administration about the size of Donald Trump’s Inauguration crowd. The administration has pushed back on media reports that it was sparsely attended. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer leveled a full-throated attack against the press for reporting on the attendance, calling Trump’s Inauguration the “most-watched” in history.
This image went viral, comparing the attendance of both Inaugurals. It has since been proven misleading, at best.
The best part is that the proof is open and visible, thanks to the CNN Gigapixel, which reveals the crowd during the inauguration ceremony and not after or before as the Lügenpresse image comparison posted above portrays.
All of this serves as prelude to an important question: why are we engaged in a penis-size-comparison-contest about crowd size? The Left always wants direct democracy, or whatever is most popular in social circles at that moment wins, but the Right recognizes that humans are mostly muddled thinkers who in groups are subject to fads, manias, panics, phases, trends, paranoia and peer pressure; for that reason, the Right tries to limit democracy, if it does not outright oppose it on the basis that it is the handmaiden of civilization decline.
We are seeing Crowdism in a literal form as the herd attempts to equate popularity with correctness, and use that as a basis to seize power. And yet, this approach has never served anyone well, because whatever is popular is usually the surface viewpoint, a distraction, scapegoat, deflection or other surrogate for actual activity. If our era has an epitaph, this will be it.
Perhaps the peak of the staggering collective mental health disorder that is Leftism, in its latest incarnation as “SJW” or “social justice warrior” cultural Leftism, occurred in 2013 with this article on the now nearly bankrupt The Guardian platform. In it, a woman bemoans how a desire to be feminine will cause her daughter to lose pride in her large bowel movements.
It is hard to tell if it is more stupid than it is manipulative. The guilt and shame oozes from this article, as does the irritating trope of the brave and sensitive woman doing everything she can for her children to raise them in a manner that contradicts the “ignorance” of the world. But then, in the final article, the fool of a writer contradicts herself:
Of course, it’s no coincidence that her current fixation with size has ballooned while we are on holiday in California…I forgot that what this country would really do to is show her size. Everything in America is so much bigger than it is at home…I watch my child taking all this in with her wide eyes, and listen to her hamming up the dimensions of her bowel movements like a Hollywood producer. Why, she really has absorbed the local culture here in Los Angeles – she takes those little poos of hers and turns them into stars.
Other than the sheer inanity of this writing, it is interesting to watch this person use a trivial event to make a dramatic entrance through virtue signaling, and then write according to the SWPL editorial format which — inspired by America’s National Public Radio — requires in every paragraph “witty” observations that seem “full of life” but are actually fully negative and hopeless.
That makes stringing together a coherent thought secondary to being entertaining for all those single women in horrible jobs out there who are right now raising their wine glasses to this article, feeling better about their poor life decisions and validated in having shared these with others.
Peak SJW came when this formula became standardized and enough people learned to do it that it inundated the media. To translate into conservative terms, it became a new market, and there were enough people to read it that it did not matter that it was dissociative drivel. Internet advertising drove the SJW revolution because newspapers became dependent on internet advertising, and on the internet, no one knows if you are a dog, or even a broke pointless basement dweller clicking furiously on Leftist propaganda to staunch the misery of a self-defeating lifestyle.
Now that several years have passed, we can look back on these days and laugh. The problem is that just as Leftism is one incarnation of Crowdism, SJW is just one incarnation of Leftism, and they will be back, probably with something that seems just as fresh and witty until you realize that it is pure manipulation, soulless and brainless to boot.
In our world of microscopic attention spans and oversocialized lives desperate for purpose, news stories follow a predictable arc:
Shocking revelation: something terrible happened; some great danger is revealed; or something very unfair and mean is happening.
Mass hysteria and speculation: a headline gets shared around, the event is rapidly and all-too-neatly fit into a preferred narrative, and a mob forms (even if just an online social media mob) to retaliate and hate, because doing so is like crack to bored and anxious people.
The truth comes out: after the mob disperses, or rallies to the next fake outrage, important details about the original shocking revelations come out. Previously unseen facets and particulars of the event mean that it no longer neatly fits into the preferred narrative, but almost nobody cares, because that makes it too difficult to blame the preferred cause and slip into the fun ecstatic rage.
The result is that, for the majority, only the sensational, biased, oversimplified version of the event is retained in memory, and the preferred narrative is reinforced.
The Washington Post has demonstrated this wonderfully with their fake news report on how (shocking revelation!) Russians hacked into the US electrical grid! Kalev Leetaru, a Forbes contributor, dissects this lügenpresse story:
From Russian hackers burrowed deep within the US electrical grid, ready to plunge the nation into darkness at the flip of a switch, an hour and a half later the story suddenly became that a single non-grid laptop had a piece of malware on it and that the laptop was not connected to the utility grid in any way.
However, it was not until almost a full hour after the utility’s official press release (at around 10:30PM EST) that the Post finally updated its article, changing the headline to the more muted “Russian operation hacked a Vermont utility, showing risk to U.S. electrical grid security, officials say” and changed the body of the article to note “Burlington Electric said in a statement that the company detected a malware code used in the Grizzly Steppe operation in a laptop that was not connected to the organization’s grid systems. The firm said it took immediate action to isolate the laptop and alert federal authorities.” Yet, other parts of the article, including a later sentence claiming that multiple computers at the utility had been breached, remained intact.
One might naively expect a news article title to be a short summary of the content of the article, but we see here that in practice, a title acts more as meme, a particle of communicable information that can be used to broadcast directed ideological pressure.
This is significant, as one driving force of fake news is that as much of 60% of the links shared on social media are shared based on the title alone, with the sharer not actually reading the article itself. Thus, the title assigned to an article becomes the story itself and the Post’s incorrect title meant that the story that spread virally through the national echo chamber was that the Russians had hacked into the US power grid.
Even after numerous stealth-edits, the Washington Post still has not made contact with reality:
Yet, even this correction is not a true reflection of public facts as known. The utility indicated only that a laptop was found to contain malware that has previously been associated with Russian hackers. As many pointed out, the malware in question is actually available for purchase online, meaning anyone could have used it and its mere presence is not a guarantee of Russian government involvement. Moreover, a malware infection can come from many sources, including visiting malicious websites and thus the mere presence of malware on a laptop computer does not necessarily indicate that Russian government hackers launched a coordinated hacking campaign to penetrate that machine – the infection could have come from something as simple as an employee visiting an infected website on a work computer.
Leetaru ends with three important points: news media organizations are not concerned with facts, they tend to simply parrot government sources, and the need for instant gratification has turned journalism into sensationalist gossip:
Putting this all together, what can we learn from this? The first is that, as with the Santa Claus and PropOrNot stories, the journalism world tends to rely far more on trust than fact checking. When one news outlet runs a story, the rest of the journalism world tends to follow suit, each writing their own version of the story without ever going back to the original sources for verification. In short – once a story enters the journalism world it spreads without further restraint as each outlet assumes that the one before performed the necessary fact checking.
The second is that the news media is overly dependent on government sources. Glenn Greenwald raises the fantastic point that journalists must be more cautious in treating the word of governments as absolute truth. Indeed, a certain fraction of the world’s false and misleading news actually comes from the mouths of government spokespeople. Yet, in the Post’s case, it appears that a government source tipped off the post about a sensational story of Russians hacking the US power grid and instead of reaching out to the utilities themselves or gathering further detail, the Post simply published the story as fed to them by the government officials.
The third is that breaking news is a source of a tremendous amount of false and misleading news as rumors and falsehoods spread like wildfire in the absence of additional information. Top tier newspapers like the Washington Post are supposed to be a bulwark against these falsehoods, by not publishing anything until it has been thoroughly fact checked against multiple sources. Yet, it appears this is not the case – in the rush to be the first to break a story and not be scooped, reporters even at the nation’s most prestigious news outlets will take shortcuts and rush a story out the door. What would have happened in the Post had waited another day or two to collect responses from all involved, including Burlington Electric? It would have avoided publishing false information, but it also likely would have been scooped by another newspaper who wanted to be the first to break the story.
All of this confirms what we’ve repeatedly observed: for most of the mainstream news media, a slick website and an aura of respectability mask the underlying ideologically motivated fake news.
As mentioned here before, the term Lügenpresse refers to the lying press and the media seems to be of two minds about it:
Reuterscalls it a “Nazi-era term,” and then admits in the article that it was from WWI.
Der Spiegelreveals that the term was used as far back as the 1840s.
The difference between these two is that the Der Spiegel article came out before Richard Spencer trolled the media with it, and the Reuters article came out afterwards. If Der Spiegel had run the piece after Spencer used the term, they would have realized that The Narrative demanded they do only one thing: emphasize that anyone other than a Leftist is a Nazi if possible, and so they might have less zealously researched the word.
In other words, the proof of the Lügenpresse is that one major news source is contradicted by another, and almost no one has noticed, and possibly the only reason this is so is that the second news source, which is a highly respected but Left-leaning paper, was not yet aware of the domain of The Narrative over the term.
The dirty secret here is that the press reflects back to us who we are, and this is why we trust it. Like a person at a social gathering, it just feels right because it says things that seem about appropriate and accurate to us, socially speaking. If it were standing before us with a PBR in one hand and an American Spirit in the other, we would be nodding along to whatever bland indie band was bleating in the background.
Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect works as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward-reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.
In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story-and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read with renewed interest as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about far-off Palestine than it was about the story you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.
That is the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect. I’d point out it does not operate in other arenas of life. In ordinary life, if somebody consistently exaggerates or lies to you, you soon discount everything they say. In court, there is the legal doctrine of falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus, which means untruthful in one part, untruthful in all.
But when it comes to the media, we believe against evidence that it is probably worth our time to read other parts of the paper. When, in fact, it almost certainly isn’t.
“Wet streets cause rain.” Another way to view that is the reversed causality: “wet streets mean that it rained,” where in actuality, many things can make the streets wet. This means that the Left can perpetually blame the rain for the conditions of society, and never consider other causes, such as Leftists spraying hoses on the street.
Take for example health care. Leftists demanded socialized medicine back in the 1960s; since that did not work, they partially socialized the system with Medicare and Medicaid, and left the rest up to private industry under heavy regulation. Now, they point to the disaster they created and claim it is inefficient and so the solution is… socialized medicine.
The press gets away with what it does because its message is popular. The secret to humans is that people prefer lies. That gives them the feeling of group sympathy, the sense that everyone else in the group is as wounded as they are and that a fiction shared between all takes away the pain. It at least gives them a way to separate from those who are not wounded, and a way to use guilt to pound those not-wounded people into the pavement.
When it comes time to write an interpretation of complex events, the press always chooses to side with the angry proles at the outskirts of society. Its goal is to sell newspapers, and this means that it must find an audience, preferably the easiest audience possible. If — for example — ten percent of the population buys newspapers, newspapers must find a ten percent who will buy it.
The point there is that the ten percent can vary. They can sell to the ten percent who have been in the military, or the ten percent who hate broccoli, or… all they need to do is get a certain number of warm bodies in the door, and it does not matter who they are. This is why consumer commerce is ultimately egalitarian. If one customer is too hard to satisfy, it finds another.
Under a sane society, there would be a fixed ten percent who make all the consumer decisions because this group tends toward wanting good things — truth, realism, sanity, health, value, long-term utility, low waste, efficiency — and therefore, if we put them in charge of the products, we all benefit.
However, products have been democratized, or expanded to the lowest common denominator, including news. They sell to whoever is buying, and since discerning and discriminating consumers are hard to tell to, they pitch it to morons. A moron is equal to a genius at the voting booth, in a crowd of people socializing, and when spending a few bucks (or a click and ten minutes) on the news.
Even worse, the news seeks out morons. People who have no other inclination in life make up the bulk of journalists: they had no direction, and/or are unhappy, and want control, so they become journalists. In former times they would have been priests, relishing the power to condemn or approve that was entrusted to them. Now they do the same, but with political morality instead of religious morality.
This is why the news reflects back to us what we are. They tell us not what is actual, but what their audience wants to believe is true. They do it by leaving out some facts, which enables them to commit the “wet streets cause rain” fallacy of inverted causality; they just fail to mention the firehose, overflowing river or other sources of water, and then mention the streets before the rain, and it seems as if they are correct.
That little sleight-of-hand allows the press to then commit its next sin: the broad conclusion. If wet streets cause rain, and rain is the source of inequality because it falls more on the houses of the rich, we must wage war against wet streets in order to achieve equality. This sets the useful idiots off to dry out streets, which obstructs any useful activity, resulting in more crises for the press to write about.
Make no mistake. They are the Lügenpresse: their goal is to sell you lies by telling you only part of the truth, and like any good con man would, play to your sympathies and desires instead of actual truth. They are entertainment and sympathy, not an actual depiction of reality. Smart people instinctively know this, but the knowledge is trickling down, and with that, the Lügenpresse is losing its grip on the collective mind.