There was a time not so long ago where living in America was a vastly different proposition from living in authoritarian strong arm regimes world wide, because of one essential difference: truth. We prided ourselves on a free press that reported fact. People, being people, had different opinions as to what those facts might mean or where cultural trends might lead and that line of thought was encouraged as well. Democracy was seen as a climate where both truth and robust debate on the facts could exist and was in fact a healthy thing.

But those days are gone. Under the auspices of free speech, we now live in a scenario which is not unlike that of communist regimes, namely that right-wing media is running a different version of basic facts from the rest of the world — not just other American media outlets, but the rest of the world. On any given day, the Toronto Star or the Guardian will publish a version of a story which markedly differs from Fox News, OAN, and Newsmax.

The late and now lionized, Rush Limbaugh, took advantage of a loophole in the law after the Fairness Doctrine was taken off the books and began his hate mongering radio show, which spawned an entire empire and sub-culture of right-wing media copycats. Then tabloid owner Rupert Murdoch went into business with media consultant Roger Ailes, a man with a dark vision, to say the least, and created their powerful disinformation organ, disingenuously named Fox “News.” That reached its apogee in the years of Donald Trump, and also spawned competitors and copycats.

So the news sphere we live in today resembles the Tower of Babel, with right-wing outlets producing content that rivals the pink kimonoed lady on North Korean TV, while the rest of the media reports facts and is vilified for their alleged bias in doing so. Fact and opinion have become jumbled together and the low information, no information people are all in a tizzy and armed for combat. It’s a madhouse and that’s what it’s like in communist countries, according to journalist Tomas Klvana, who lived there. He said, upon coming to this country, “I remember how much I wished Czech and American media and politics were alike. And now they are. A significant portion of U.S. politics and media slid down the sewage to be as bad as ours were back then.” The Bulwark:

The sorry state of American politics is not due solely to Republicans, but they are by far the more responsible party. It is frankly astonishing how closely today’s GOP resembles in mentality the Communist party of my youth, right down to Donald Trump’s brownnosing to Moscow. It is incredible to see Fox News, let alone Newsmax and OANN, use the same methods as Czechoslovak TV and Rudé právo (Red Right), the official Communist paper, in the 1980s. […]

Lying about democracy, a mainstay of the old Communist press, has also become standard for American media outlets aligned with Trump’s GOP—as witness the months of lies about the “stolen election,” for which there is no evidence. At least in the United States, some of those outlets have had to issue retractions and disclaimers.

And then there are the verbal pirouettes of whataboutism. They formed the bedrock of Commie propaganda. Whenever the Communists were forced to acknowledge errors and imperfections in running the economy (which they eventually ran into the ground), they ramped up their propaganda about racism and homelessness in the United States to create the mirage of moral equivalence. Does that sound at all familiar?

The lies of moral equivalence and both siderism rage on, unchecked. It’s an Us v. Them, knock down, drag out, siege mentality fight. And that’s how the right-wing media wants it. That’s where they thrive, is by magnifying differences, or creating differences that don’t exist.

There was also lots of wishful thinking and willful misperception of the world outside the conservative ramparts. Bill Clinton, as crystal-clear a centrist as there ever was, was often portrayed as a socialist. The same, and even worse, happened to Barack Obama, a mild-mannered center-left liberal. The man who is nothing but tolerant was depicted as Saul Alinsky II spiced with Jeremiah Wright. There can be nothing more distant from a real conservative sentiment than guilt by association, yet there we were. But what the heck—why not? The libs were evil, right?

A curious thing happened. At the same time that the rise of the internet, smartphones, and social media weakened elites through the 1990s and the early 2000s, conservative media grew in importance and influence. Yet the siege mentality did not abate. Indeed, on less intellectual right-wing platforms it became par for the course. Government was no longer just a problem but an enemy. Democrats and their allies in Hollywood, the universities, and the news media were not just wrong but bent on destroying America.

Since the GOP and conservative media let the unhealthy inclinations on their extremes grow unchecked, they became especially vulnerable to the mass overthrow of sanity, responsibility, and conscience we are witnessing today. The extremes moved to the center, took over and became hugely profitable, both economically and politically.

And of course profit and power are the names of the game. That’s another thing that occurred in the ascension of Trump, was the laser focus on exactly how much money can be generated when dismay, panic, and the fear of the immediate dissolution of society and life as we know it, are at stake. That was how he conned the rubes out of $30 Million between the election and January 6, to defend a proposition that was not only a losing one, that of keeping him in power, but one that was totally lost.

But be that as it may, do not underestimate the power of the Big Lie, because the erosion in the faith in our elections is a terrible, terrible thing. It’s also the one thing that takes us closer to being like a communist country, more so than anything else that has happened in recent years.


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  1. My Iranian neighbor has similar thoughts. What concerned him and his Iranian friends was the creeping theocracy of the right. They observed right away, that at bottom, it was essentially the same as Middle East theocracies, just some of the cultural tweaks were different. Their experiences with both theocracy and war in the front yard make them lean either to the right or to the far left. They don’t particularly care for Biden, but they “were desperate.” They could clearly see that at the of the Trump road was much of what they escaped Iran to get away from.

  2. Conflict sells. Trailer-Trash conflict sells huge. When you look back at the evolution of news, the turning point became when even the old school Big Three of CBS, NBC and ABC who had prided their news divisions for being “loss leaders” (costing far more to produce their content than the revenue they generated – entertainment was expected to cover the large deficits of the news divisions) decided they wanted their news to be profit centers. That meant adding in an ever increasing amount of “entertainment” style appeal which meant less old school sticking to the facts type reporting. Fox simply was the first to make the leap into full on slanted, even sometimes full-on tabloid journalism.

    Now? Consider the example of Jerry Springer. It’s easy to forget but he once had bona fide liberal political credentials and mainstream news credentials as well. In the early 90s when he got his own hour long show it was originally a lengthened version of his commentary stuff and included guests from across the spectrum. But he got a new producer in 1994 (I think) and decided there was a lot more money to be made with the trailer trash stuff. Sure enough he was right.

    It sure looks to me like network news honchos decided to, as much as possible increasingly sensationalize even to the point of tabloid style stuff the news. Don’t believe me? Think back to recently when Tiger Woods crashed his car and was seriously injured. NOT life threatening mind you. Yes, serious injury that might mean the end of his competitive golf career was news but worthy of WALL-TO-WALL coverage on every network (including Fox for much of the day – I looked in a few times and interestingly enough THEY were the first ones to go back to other stuff which is a pretty sad commentary on the overall TV news biz) until into the evening. Pretty much the same image on the screen all day long, with the same few facts being repeated over and over again. I wrote about it in fact – something along the lines of journalists deciding, despite all the huge and far more important goings on both at home and abroad deciding to give themselves a day off work and just “run the videotape” and repeat the same “Tiger crashed his car and is in surgery. It’s unclear if he’ll be able to compete in pro golf again” comments over, and over and over…

    It’s all about money and if truth gets lost along the way the network bosses and a distressing percentage of the “talent” could care less.

  3. I can recall a comment made by a Russian many years ago concerning the Soviet newspapers, Pravda (Truth) and Izvestia (News)
    “In Izvestia there is no pravda and in Pravda there is no izvestia”

  4. The current media concept of bipartisanship comes from their achingly naive interpretation of ‘both-siderism’. Instead of seeing their job as journalists to present the facts and the truth, they see it as just presenting ‘both sides’ of an argument.

    Likened frequently to reporting about two people arguing about what is happening outside, in the open air. One says ‘It’s hot and fine’, the other says ‘No, it’s cold and raining’. The media think their job is to ‘report both sides of the controversy’, when really their job is to look out the window and tell us about the weather, and who is wrong, or lying, in their ‘argument’, and even, perhaps that ‘both sides’ are wrong and that it is, in fact, a blizzard.

  5. This very article itself is almost entirely opinion and deliberate misinformation/disinformation created for the purpose of furthering the leftist agenda of collectivism, communism, and removing America’s freedoms and individual liberties. As a registered independent, without bias towards either side, I can see it crystal clear.


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