Posts Tagged ‘propaganda’

By John Ruberry

Outside of sheer incompetence, a theme has emerged from the Joe Biden administration. When they need help, the White House calls on people they deem to be experts. 

Here’s a dirty secret of politics, or if your prefer, of advancing a preferred narrative. Anyone can find an “expert,” more on them in a bit, to support any opinion. It works in journalism too, the media wing of the Democrat Party.

When the discovery of the Hunter Biden laptop was revealed by the New York Post nearly two years ago–the mainstream media, social media, and of course the Biden campaign immediately moved to denounce it. The casus belli for journalists, Facebook, Twitter, and the like–Biden brought this up in a presidential debate–was that its emergence three weeks before Election Day in 2020 had “all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation,” according to 51 former national security experts, led by James Clapper, a director of National Intelligence under Barack Obama. Every one of these “experts” either lied, signed on to something they knew little about, or just simply wanted to do whatever it took to prevent the reelection of Donald J. Trump. 

Eighteen months later, the New York Times admitted Hunter’s laptop, which provided voluminous evidence of his influence peddling centered on his being the son of a powerful politician, was authentic. The 51 experts can expect subpoenas from the House Judiciary Committee next year, assuming the Republicans take control of the House. Every one of these “experts” should have their security clearances permanently revoked.

Biden of course won the election. As a result of his policies, such as cancelling the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, blocking new permits for drilling on federal land, gasoline prices soared and remain high. Although the economy was well into recovery mode two years ago, Biden signed into law the unfunded American Rescue Plan. Many experts at the time claimed it would not fuel inflation. They were wrong. Just as those national security “experts” were wrong on Hunter’s laptop. 

When inflation began its ascent, the White House cited 15 Nobel laureates in economics who said that Biden’s Build Back Better bill, enacted in late 2021, would not fuel inflation. They were wrong too. Inflation is now at levels not seen since the early 1980s. Last year Biden and other “experts” were saying inflation was “transitory.” Liberals reading this post will blame inflation on the War in Ukraine, you know, “Putin’s price hike.” Sure, the war likely has an effect on inflation, but the scourge was with us before Russia’s invasion Ukraine. 

Build Back Better was originally part of a much larger bill, the green energy stuff was split off and later discarded after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said he wouldn’t support it. Well, Build Back Better Part Two is back, laughably renamed the Inflation Reduction Act. And to bolster its support, the Biden White House has–are you ready?–called on experts, this time, four former Democratic Treasury secretaries and one Republican, who claim, among other things, that the Inflation Reduction Act will “fight inflation” One of those ex-Treasury secretaries is Larry Summers, who warned last year the Biden White House, “We’re taking very substantial risks on the inflation side.” 

A good journalist would track down Summers and ask him specifics on why this bill really will fight inflation.

Earlier I mentioned that journalists have a role in advancing political narratives. For example, at Forbes, Rhett Buttle offers a slobbering French kiss of propaganda, which is accompanied by this headline, “Experts Agree: The Inflation Reduction Act Accomplishes A Lot For Small Business And Working Families.” While late in the piece Buttle manages to write about the bill, “some who represent select corporate interests in Washington don’t completely agree” with the hype. But if Buttle was truly a journalist, he would have tracked down opponents of the Inflation Reduction Act and presented a balanced article.

Then again, real journalism is dead. Twenty years ago such a piece as the one written by Buttle would contain the sub-headline, “news analysis,” assuming a magazine like Forbes would even publish it. I took some journalism classes at the University of Illinois. If I turned in such an article for an assignment, a professor would have deservedly given me an “F,” enhanced by this underlined comment written in red ink, “This garbage reads like a press release.”

But Biden’s new batch of experts have spoken: The Inflation Reduction Act, which the Senate will vote on Sunday afternoon, will “fight inflation.”

Watch your wallet. Watch the cash in it lose its value.

Disclosure: This blog post should be classified as “news analysis.”

UPDATE 5:15pm EDT: The Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act passed the Senate.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

By John Ruberry

Sometime in her early 20s my wife, aka Mrs. Marathon Pundit, realized she’d been fed a stream of lies from the Soviet Union. The state media and the government schools put forth this whopper, for instance, that Estonia, Lithuania, and her own Latvia voluntarily joined the USSR in 1940, after the Red Army moved in

What else had they lied to her about?

Plenty of things. The Chernobyl nuclear disaster was one colossal series of disinformation. And she grew up with the false belief that Soviet citizens enjoyed a standard of living that was among the world’s highest. And some information was left out. While we were still dating we were looking up with amazement at the stars on a crystal clear and moonless night in rural Michigan. Then she asked me, “Did the Americans really send men to the moon?”

Let’s move up a few decades to MSNBC, the most reliable mouthpiece for leftist Democratic politicians and their supporters. 

Watching MSNBC you’ll be told that Critical Race Theory is not being taught in public schools. As I explained last week, while the original CRT texts probably aren’t being presented, lessons are being rammed down kids’ throats that put them into two camps for instance, oppressors and oppressed. And that America is incurably racist–well there is a cure. And that is of course CRT, even though it might be labeled “equity training.”

That conversation is morphing into their belief that conservatives don’t want racial history, including slavery, taught in schools. That’s just made-up nonsense. 

Just this morning on some MSNBC program called Velshi, one of the panelists made the claim that many of the protesters who spoke up at school board meetings aren’t parents, or perhaps she said they don’t have children at those schools. No matter. For instance as taxpayers these patriots have a right to voice their opinion on how the biggest part of their property tax bill is spent. Secondly if we take that twisted logic further, then Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, who has no children, should have no voice in how are youngsters are educated. 

MSNBC and CNN pushed the Trump-Russia collusion fallacy for most of the Trump presidency. It is the Elvis-sightings of political scandals. Elvis Presley died in 1977 and there was no Trump-Russia collusion during the 2016 presidential campaign. 

Here’s another MSNBC fable–that Kyle Rittenhouse, in the words of one commentator on that network, was “arguably a domestic terrorist.” The MSNBC talking heads were infuriated that Rittenhouse crossed a state line from Antioch, Illinois–which borders Wisconsin, to travel during the riot (oops, unrest) in Kenosha, where his father lived and where Rittenhouse worked. The truth has since emerged that the then-17-year-old was just trying to help out in a lawless zone who was forced into a situation where he had no choice but to defend himself.

Oh, just so you know, I don’t believe that minors should be waking around with an AK-47. 

For months MNSBC has been following the Democrat Party line that inflation was all but non-existent, then it was “transitory,” and now while it is real, inflation is not a problem. After Velshi MSNBC’s next program, The Sunday Show with Jonathan Capehart came on. His first guest was the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), who discussed rising prices. “Part of the reason that people are talking about inflation is that there are costs rising for American families across the county.” Duh! Her party’s solution? Of course it’s the expensive Build Back Better bill that includes child care money–and that will bring down costs for Americans. Wow. Give Jayapal her Nobel Prize for Economics now! Capehart didn’t bother to challenge Jayapal’s idiocy.

You probably believe that the typical MSNBC viewer is a hardened leftist who is immune from logic. Yes on the first and no on the second. MSNBC is telling its core audience what it wants to hear. But untruth can only be carried so far. Imagine for a moment a brothel that caters to men in their 50s like me. (Disclosure–I have not been to such a place.) You walk in and the women comment on how handsome you are–and that you are in incredible physical shape. They laugh at your jokes and when you bring up politics, “Republicans are racists, Biden is the best president since FDR,” one of the women winks at you and says, “Let’s continue this conversation upstairs in private.” And upstairs you go.

Eventually you learn that you are being played at that imaginary brothel–you ascertain that the sex workers are coyly reconfirming beliefs that you already have. “I’m a great looking guy.” Even though you’re not. You’re a guy in your 50s. Duh! They just want your money so they tell you want you want to hear.

MSNBC just wants your time. With so many choices for time–hundreds of cable channels, streaming services, podcasts, the internet, not to mention old school choices such as books and actually sitting down and having a one-on-one conversation with another person, time is an ever-precious finite resource. MSNBC is reconfirming the false beliefs–Trump colluded with Russia, Rittenhouse is a vigilante, inflation is not a problem–of its viewers to steal that time.

Sure it’s a trite expression, but time really is money.

What will MSNBC say if runway inflation–not to mention Jimmy Carter-era stagflation–is with us in a year? 

How many of its viewers will switch the channel? Forever.

MSNBC’s ratings are already way below those of Fox News. CNN is in even worse shape.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.