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Fake News

It’s not hard to see why progressives are so intent upon controlling the message. “Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.” Fake news is progressivism’s deadliest weapon in their war against history. For decades, the progressive media concentrated their falsehoods on selected topics — like the Middle East — while applying a far subtler bias while reporting matters closer to home. Today, the balance has flipped. Progressive media present an occasional bit of journalistic excellence buried amidst “reporting” that contains far more fiction than fact.

Anyone remotely familiar with Middle East coverage was aware of the fake news phenomenon decades before President Trump popularized the term. In the Trump era, however, the progressive media — led by the NYT — abandoned all pretense.

Not to be outdone, the Huffington Post appended a disclaimer to every article mentioning the GOP’s candidate: “Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist, and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.”

The progressive media created a villain called the “Alt-Right,” allegedly the media arm of the white supremacist movement that progressive identity politics had elevated to terrify America. Because the term Alt-Right was amorphous, many writers who considered themselves to the right of center but disdainful of the mainstream GOP leadership had occasionally used it to describe their own work. With a bit of progressive deconstruction and a few tenuous connections, the progressive media drew a chain from Donald Trump to Steve Bannon to Breitbart News to the Alt-Right to white supremacism.

It was pure fabrication, but it was critical to the progressive cause. Progressives need such stories because their ideas are vacuous. They can’t win arguments on the merits, and their performance when given the opportunity to perform is pathetic. By the 2016 campaign, anyone not blinded by messianic fervor could see that the Obama Presidency had been a disaster along any conceivable dimension. For eight years, America had a narcissistic, authoritarian executive who used the White House and the Justice Department to promote a racist agenda, inflame sexism and homophobia, empower America’s enemies, eviscerate the U.S. military, and debase the judiciary. Obama promoted the worst slanders driving contemporary anti-Zionist Jew hatred. He had no respect for process, made no concessions to the appropriate limits of executive authority, and held all who disagreed with him in utter contempt. Under his watch, progressivism assumed Orwellian dimensions, deconstructing countless words to mean their opposite, and recasting numerous virtues as vices. A watchdog press would have taken him to task. America’s fake news helped him along.

Hillary Clinton’s job was supposed to have been to nail down the achievements of the Obama years, to entrench them so that no future American electorate or leadership could uproot them. The job of the fake news media was to bury the entire story, depict all criticism of Obama’s dismal performance as racist, and ensure that the sole narrative America ever heard was of a successful progressive Presidency. Trump threatened that narrative by speaking common sense.

Early on, the progressive press embedded in “common knowledge” Trump’s slandering of all Mexicans as rapists. That story, like so many others, was a lie. Fake news, pure and simple. What did Trump actually say?

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best….They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people. But I speak to border guards and they tell us what we’re getting. And it only makes common sense. It only makes common sense.”

Given the well documented problems of drug smuggling, human trafficking, and forced prostitution at the border, such a statement should hardly have been controversial. Does anyone really believe that Mexico’s top professionals and industrialists smuggle themselves across the border in container trucks? Of course not. That would defy common sense. But the fake news story served the progressive agenda, and so fake news it was.

That lie paid dividends to progressives almost immediately. During the campaign, Trump University was involved in a lawsuit in front of Judge Gonzalo Curiel — an Obama appointee. Given that the progressive press had been slandering candidate Trump as an anti-Mexican racist and Curiel was of Mexican heritage, Trump mused that perhaps the Judge’s ethnicity had played a role in some of his rulings. Progressives — and even many non-progressives — exploded in outrage at the suggestion that a federal judge might incorporate ethnic sensibilities into a lawsuit in ways that overrode both the facts and the law.

Their outrage might even have been appropriate had Trump been the first to suggest it. He was not. Justice Sotomayor had not only claimed that she judged cases as a “wise Latina,” but asserted that this injection of her ethnic sentiment was a plus. Progressives agreed, and cheered when President Obama elevated her to the Supreme Court. Yet somehow, when Donald Trump wondered whether other Obama appointees might follow Sotomayor’s lead, progressives insisted that it was an act of clear racism. The fake news defamation campaign rolled on.

It never stopped rolling. Thanks to fake news, “everyone knows” that President Trump praised fine people among the Neo-Nazis marching in Charlottesville. A quick review of the relevant transcripts — readily available online — shows the truth: Charlottesville involved two simultaneous protests and counterprotests. The local set addressed the city’s decision to remove Confederate statuary and rename public parks. The far larger set drew a few hundred white supremacists from around the country, and a sizable number of violent leftist thugs itching to fight them. In the President’s first comments, he took the morally correct position of condemning violence on both sides. Pushed to single out Neo-Nazis for special condemnation, he did so in his second set of comments. Pushed to discuss the matter for a third time, Trump noted that there had been fine people on both sides of the local debate about statuary. That emphasis was unfortunate but accurate; the Charlottesville newspapers reported that local Veterans groups “on both sides” collaborated to contain the violence.

The transcripts are so clear — there as elsewhere — that the progressive lies could not have represented a good faith error. When it comes to covering Trump and his advisors, the progressive fake news media pull phrases or images out of context, invent inflammatory meanings, then report on their own reporting.

Anti-Trump slanders that help promote progressivism just keep on coming. In January 2018, Illinois’s progressive Democrat Senator Dick Durbin reported that, in a closed door discussion of an immigration program called “Temporary Protected Status” (TPS), the President referred to the countries in question as “shitholes.” Though numerous other attendees denied hearing Trump use that particular term, Durbin was scandalized — and the fake news industry ate it up. Did it really matter whether Trump actually used the term or Durbin invented it? It fit the narrative, so why not report it? Furthermore, why bother noting that TPS is applicable only to people who come from countries so dangerous that forcing them to return would imperil their lives? Such a factual grounding for the discussion might make a term like “shithole” seem accurate and descriptive (if vulgar), rather than racist. No, for the good of the progressive narrative the fake news story had to be that Trump’s inherent racism came through once again. Who needs facts and context when they just get in the way of the story you want to tell?

With a few notable exceptions, the mainstream American press has discredited itself. The fake news techniques it honed on Israel, the Jews, and the Bush Administration have become industry standards.

America’s progressive media has also become predictable. Some progressive somewhere fabricates an incredible, obscene tale out of whole cloth. A progressive politician expresses grave concern because, if this unbelievable tale were true, it would indeed be a matter of grave concern. Progressive members of Congress call for investigations, inquiries, subpoenas, and hearings to determine whether or not it’s true. The progressive press covers the Congressional hysteria widely and loudly. Eventually, the entire story implodes, as it becomes clear that it was little more than the ravings of some twisted progressive lunatic. Neither the progressives in Congress nor the purveyors of fake news concede that they’d been played for fools. Instead, they leave the American public with a lingering memory and implanted doubts. President Trump calls them out on it, reveals the depth of their depraved game, and correctly labels them purveyors of fake news. It’s no wonder the progressive press hates him.

The progressive actual-alleged strategy broke new ground during the confirmation hearings of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. The strategy had gone public in 2017, when the Forward dedicated forty articles alleging that Sebastian Gorka was a Neo-Nazi, declaring definitively that it had never actually called him a Nazi and had no evidence capable of sustaining such a claim, then began to refer to him as an “actual alleged Nazi in the White House.” It was only during the Kavanaugh hearings, however, that actual-alleged came into its own. Kavanaugh, an upstanding and moral man who’d spent decades in the public eye suddenly became an actual-alleged gang rapist. To apply a fake news favorite, the “fact check,” that story was true. The credibility or motive of the accusers was irrelevant. People — progressives, in fact — had actually alleged that Judge Kavanaugh was a gang rapist. The allegations must have been serious because every Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee took them seriously. An ethical reporter would have covered the story as evidence of gullibility, venality, brutality, and dishonesty among progressives. Unquestioning fake news legitimized the defamation.

In another story that has become a staple of fake news, the absurd conspiracy theories casting President Trump as a Russian implant turned serial liars like Michael Avenatti and Michael Cohen into press favorites. These embarrassments to the legal profession spun tales designed to keep themselves in the spotlight as they destroyed their own lives and those of the people closest to them. The press broadcast every one of their salacious fables as the item that would — finally! — bring down the Trump presidency. Players like Avenatti and Cohen understand the state of reporting in America: There’s a sucker born every minute, and two to take him.

By January 2019 the process had become so predictable, and so absurd, that Special Counsel Mueller felt compelled to squelch a nonsensical rumor that, “if true,” could have triggered both a criminal leak investigation into his office and impeachment proceedings against the President. How absurd was the story? According to Buzzfeed, after everyone in America already knew that Michael Cohen had agreed to cooperate with Mueller, President Trump nevertheless contacted him and encouraged him to perjure himself. It seemed irrelevant that no rational person could believe such a tale; progressives and the fake news media ran with it. Connecticut’s progressive Democrat Senator Blumenthal, and the completely unhinged Democrat Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, immediately called for Congressional investigations. It was a proud moment for fake news.

More than anything else, fake news is about projectionProgressivism is a totalitarian movement that believes in unleashing economic ruin and violence against those deemed guilty of thought or speech crimes. Progressives cannot believe that their adversaries, given the opportunity, would not do unto them as they would do unto their adversaries. The almost comical manner in which progressives glided from warnings about the dangers of anti-Hillary protests following her election into anti-Trump protests following his election is but the most obvious illustration. They followed it up with a deep plunge into conspiracy theory, insisting that Donald Trump was set up by a foreign power — Russia — to destroy the country. The complete lack of evidence for such an absurd claim never slowed them down; their mere ability to find innocuous Russian connections to Trump, to his businesses, and to members of his campaign sufficed. But what really clinched the matter in the progressive mind was projection. Ample evidence suggests that both President Obama and Secretary Clinton may have intentionally elevated the interests of foreign powers — primarily Russia and Iran — above those of the United States. Progressives simply cannot believe that their adversaries would place any greater value on American interests than they do.

Progressives did it all while practicing racism, sexism, misogyny, homophobia, Jew hatred, defamation, and the various other horribles that define contemporary progressivism. If progressives really want to be afraid of something, they need only look in the mirror.

Article by American Restoration Institute

Bruce Abramson

Bruce Abramson

Bruce Abramson has over thirty years of experience working as a technologist, economist, attorney, and policy analyst. Dr. Abramson holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Columbia and a J.D. from Georgetown. He has contributed to the scholarly literature on computing, business, economics, law, and foreign policy, and written extensively about American politics and policy.