Friday, November 24, 2017


...and his transition into literal cult leader is now complete.
Over at VOX, David Roberts' article America is Facing an Epistemic Crisis (don't let the big fancy word spook you) explores the terrifying disconnect between a growing number of movement conservatives and the very notion of objective, consensus reality. He also checks out some of the latest developments in Far Right propaganda techniques in their ongoing War on Reality. It begins thusly:
Over at the Gothamist, Jake Offenhartz has an astounding and richly symbolic storyabout the latest bit of “fake news” burped up by the alt-right. 
At Columbia University on Monday, alt-right self-promoter Mike Cernovich gave a speech to College Republicans. Other students showed up to protest. And then some alt-right members in attendance, posing as protesters, unfurled this banner:

The banner has a NAMBLA (North American Man/Boy Love Association) logo on it, making it look like the protesters are defending pedophilia. Ha ha. 
Cernovich grabbed the image off Twitter, stripped it of context, and sent it bouncing around the right-o-sphere. When Offenhartz reported the copyright violation, Twitter removed the photo from Cernovich’s account. That led the alt-right to cry censorship, which led to more publicity for the photo, which led, in the end, to thousands, possibly tens of thousands, of conservatives believing that students of Columbia University were openly marching in favor of pedophilia. 
Basically, the alt-right tricked itself into believing even more stupid, wrong things. Burn, I guess?
This article goes on to cover some incredibly important ground before addressing the rhetorical question of its subtitle: "What if Mueller proves his case and it doesn't matter?" Riviting, vital stuff. Give it a read and a good hard think.

Meanwhile, if you want to learn more about the above-mentioned Columbia University stunt by alt-right provocateurs, the pedophilia-obsessed "Weird" Mike Cernovich and his co-conspirator , Jack "Rape Melania" Posobiec, you can read this Gothamist account by Jake Offenhartz, the photographer who snapped the image Cernovich and Posobiec appropriated for their sick and twisted purposes. For even more information, check out this New York Magazine account, which asks, with just a hint of incredulous exasperation:
How do you run a country in which 30 or 35 percent of the population believes that Democrats ran a secret child sex ring out of a pizza parlor, that ISIS controls certain towns in the Midwest, and that Columbia students are openly marching in defense of pedophilia? Where does all this madness drag us?

Speaking of Far Right hit-jobs, how are you enjoying the orchestrated effort to transform the public image of the Senate's most genuinely humane and gifted centrist legislators in decades into that of a sex-crazed groper and a penis-criminal on par with the likes of Judge Roy Moore, Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey? Pretty great days we're living in, aren't they?

Anyway, just in case you're not quite 100 percent on the origins of this effort, along comes Erin L. to explain how “The Alt-Right Propaganda Machine is Winning Because Americans Insist on Being Stupid: A Timeline of The Al Franken Scandal”. First, she writes:
Al Franken is not the first sacrificial lamb — and definitely won’t be the last — as Americans refuse to acknowledge or take action against the fine-tuned Propaganda Machine that is omni-present on our social media platforms.
Then, she charts:

And then, she continues:
America has its very own Joseph Goebbels, yet we seem to be either too ignorant to history, or too ignorant to technology, to acknowledge and deal with the massive propaganda machine that’s been assembled over the last 2 years here in America. Al Franken is just the latest casualty, and there will be more. 
It’s disturbing to see Americans still falling for the same dirty tricks we fell for the entire 2016 election season. We have the benefit of hindsight now and a cavalry of expert citizens educating us about propaganda and how to counteract it. Yet time and again, we are let down. Our media fails us. In their desperation for clicks they hop on any bandwagon that appears lucrative. And our people fail each other. They suspend critical thinking skills to line up on “sides” that don’t even truly exist. 
So let’s use this past week’s Al Franken “scandal” as an illustration of the latest pizzagate-style propaganda hit job against our common senses. These manufactured “news stories” always follow the same distribution and amplification process, with few (but detectable) variables.
She then goes into excruciating detail about the mechanisms, personalities, technologies and modalities involved in the New Fascist International's New Media propaganda offensive. Bookmark this magnificent effort, and spread it around to all your friends whom you think are capable of comprehending and/or counteracting these efforts.

Speaking of orchestrated take-downs aimed at destroying the reputations and effectiveness of our most eloquent, knowledgeable, and important voices of opposition and resistance, you may have noticed that long-time Daily Dirt favorite Matt Taibbi is having his name dragged through the slime-pit these days. This time, it consists of literal rape-apologist/promoter Mike Cernovich (him again?!) accusing Taibbi of rape, based on a clearly satirical excerpt from a decade-old book about his tenure at the Moscow-based alternative bi-weekly tabloid, The eXile.

The claims are complete and utter bullshit. However, considering the current media-fueled mass hysteria centered on "sexual assault", Taibbi's ability to defend himself has been severely curtailed. Still, his efforts in this regard are well worth reading.

But even more important than Taibbi's own apology-tinged explanation is Alayne Fleischmann's definitive, 21-page Open Letter on the subject, which lays bare just exactly how flimsy of a construct this "Matt Taibbi, Sex Pest" narrative really is. 

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