Vox traces the Big Lie to 4chan. Why am I not surprised? 4channers are scum.
Right now the only question is: Did the vile smear-mongers who invented this yarn actually believe in what they were saying, or did they deliberately set out to deceive all of the gullible freaks inhabiting Paranoialand? Although much of the media pretends that Pizzagate originated as a mere rumor which "just grew," I feel confident that this particular example of the Big Lie technique was a deliberate concoction. Only someone who hasn't examined the evidence can argue that Pizzagate arose spontaneously the way Athena sprang from the forehead of Zeus.
In other words, the conspiracy theorists are the conspiracy.
This was not happenstance; it was a deliberate lie. (Although the tweet at the other end of that link was allegedly issued by a Jewish lawyer, it's actually the work of a neo-Nazi.) For another good look at the kind of fascist assholes who lurk behind the big lie of Pizzagate, see here.
In a sense, the real inventor of the Pizzagate Big Lie was Julius Streicher. He died in 1946, yet his spirit lives on. The exact same techniques once used to demonize the Jews are now being used to demonize the Clintons and anyone who supports them -- and no, that's not an overstatement: It's cold, hard, demonstrable fact. (Beware, black leaders: You're next.)
With that, fake news outlets like Your News Wire pushed the story more broadly just days before Election Day. One of the stories even claimed, “IT’S OVER: NYPD Just Raided Hillary’s Property! What They Found Will RUIN HER LIFE.” New York police officers did not raid Clinton’s property, but the story quickly got more than 100,000 engagements — shares, reactions, and comments — on Facebook, and it was quickly plagiarized by multiple fake news outlets to get hundreds of thousands more engagements on social media.
The nonsense just kept building and building, with fake news outlets running more and more false details about this false conspiracy theory — typically alleging that police, particularly the NYPD and FBI, had uncovered even more evidence of this international child abuse ring, even though no such thing had happened.
As all of this spread, pro-Trump supporters went back to the Podesta emails published by WikiLeaks to find more “clues” for Pizzagate and other conspiracy theories. Without any evidence or cause, they quickly began to interpret basic food items as code words for this supposed sex ring. Through this new ridiculous “discovery,” Trump supporters on social media linked even more emails to Pizzagate, which grew from a conspiracy theory about a DC pizzeria to one about a fictitious international child sex ring.
The evil involved here is truly infernal. These cancerous fake-news fiends deliberately whipped up false, hysterical accusations against anyone close to, or tangentially involved with, the Clintons. For the "crime" of supporting Hillary, innocent parties will now be stigmatized as child abusers.
UPDATE: General Michael Flynn seems to be linked to the smarm-merchants promoting this smear. See here and then head here.
Infowars reporter Joe Biggs will join social commentator Milo Yiannopoulos to tell Californians the truth about feminism and “social justice warriors.”
"The truth"? Good Christ, Milo has admitted that he does not even believe in truth! He likes the idea of a post-fact era. And yet half of the country has decided to get their "truth" from the likes of Joe Biggs and Milo.
The Alex Jones/Joe Biggs/Milo Yiannopoloulos linkage offers us a hard connection between Alex Jonesism and Julius Streicherism. (Added note: Look at the photo at the beginning of this article. If Alex Jones shaved his head and grew a bad mustache, he'd bear a surprisingly close resemblance to Streicher.)
Pizzagate once again demonstrates the general principle that I have outlined so many times before: Yes, some conspiracies are real -- and the right-wing conspiracy theorists are the conspirators. Whenever people debate the question "Should we believe in conspiracy theories?" they miss the point. Framing the question in that fashion is an over-simplification designed to distract us from the real lesson to take away from mystifications like Pizzagate...
Yes, some conspiracies are real -- and the right-wing conspiracy theorists are the conspirators.
That was the lesson we all should have drawn from the rise of the Nazis, who came to power by spreading rumors of fake conspiracies while engaging in real-world practices that can only be described as conspiratorial.
There is another principle to be gleaned from all of this: Human credulity can carry a degree of culpability.
Every one of us is susceptible to being fooled; fallibility is an inevitable part of the human condition. I freely admit that I have made many, many errors over the twelve-plus years of this blog's existence. But there comes a point when the mark must take responsibility for being a sucker. As I said in an earlier post: Some forms of stupidity are so stupid as to constitute a sin.
The monsters who constructed the Pizzagate lie and the dullards who bought into the Pizzagate lie are, in a sense, co-conspirators -- equally guilty, equally to be despised.
Alan Moore once wrote a story in which we learn that Cain and Abel both suffer eternal punishment: Cain is condemned for being the first murderer, and Abel for being the first victim. I think that there's a lava pool in Hell reserved for both the fake news creators and the fake news audience.
Trump's Generals. A long-time friend to this blog sends us an important link which had previously escaped my attention.
We find ourselves in times that not only try men's souls, they test a person's ability to maintain one's composure, master one's fear, and to retain a reasonable degree of active decency, not to mention keep from regularly throwing up. I don't know if there's any validity to the idea of reincarnation, but right now it sure feels to me as though I'm being hammered and annealed in the forge of the universe.
And this is just openers. Things may well get worse...much worse.
I came across this news-story which gave me goose-flesh: "Is Trump Hiring Too Many Generals?"
My immediate interpretation was fairly paranoid compared with that of the article's author. Could The Donald be systematically assembling a strike-force of ultra-right wing generals in preparation for some sort of "trumped-up" justification for suspension of constitutional order and a martial take-over?
Of course I'm not saying that's what's really in the works. But it strikes me as a contingency that unfortunately is not all that far-fetched, given the realities of the times we live in.
From the Politico story at the other end of that link:
But people with experience in the national security realm, whether in the executive branch or on Capitol Hill, say the glint of all those stars on the uniforms could be blinding Trump to the drawbacks of relying too heavily on ex-military brass to fill his top posts, including weakening the constitutional principle of civilian control of the government. At least four retired generals may be in the mix for prominent roles in the administration.
In addition, they warn, Trump’s administration could wind up seeing too much of its foreign and defense policy through a military lens, disregarding diplomacy and other levers of national power. And that could be particularly dangerous in an administration with a president who has no policy experience.
1962, the Cuban Missile Crisis: All of JFK's military advisers were telling him to invade. In fact, they insisted. They did not know that there were tactical nuclear weapons on the island, and that the authority to use those weapons was given to the local commanders, who needed no permission from Moscow. If JFK had sent in an invasion fleet, nukes would have flown -- and the result, inevitably, would have been World War III.
I give you that taste of the past in order to give you a taste of your future.
And that takes us right back to the George Carlin video with which we began. It's not getting any better, folks. It's only going to get worse.
Off Topic rant here, but I don't understand why the younger generation of "liberals" and Democrats malign JFK. I think he's been highly underrated, and I agree that he, Khrushchev and other Russian and American players averted nuclear war in 1962. And that's one of the reasons he was murdered. However, I think the seeds that were sown in 1963 have resulted in what we're seeing today.
That is NOT off-topic, Kathleen. It's very much to the point.
I've been incensed for years at the way liberal hipsters have fallen for the conservative lies about JFK. For example: Many young ninnies feel positive that Kennedy killed Marilyn, even though the evidence in favor of that proposition is non-existent, and even though that theory traces back to people like J. Edgar Hoover, Sam Yorty, and Jim Angleton.
I still consider Clinton the greatest of our post-war presidents. JFK had an easier time of it since he took over while the post-war Keynesian consensus held sway, and he did not inherit a massive deficit; moreover, the media landscape was far more even-handed in 1961 than it was in 1993.
That said, I now fear that talking about JFK's assassination may constitute playing the Trumpian game. Assassination research has been taken out of the hands of scholars and liberals (where it belongs). The game has been commandeered by the likes of Roger Stone and Alex Jones, neither of whom has ever made a genuine contribution to assassination research.
The "revisionists" started the war on the Kennedys in the 1980s. This was part and parcel of what the right was doing to this country as a whole, trying to con us into thinking our icons, who were Democrats, were made of feet of clay, while pumping up GOP politicians including presidents, no matter how mediocre (Hoover comes to mind when it comes to revisionism). These revisionists were trying to make it look like the Kennedys were all a big lie, that the grief we who were alive during the sixties and can remember them was all for a big fraud. It was all politically motivated.
"The nonsense just kept building and building, with fake news outlets running more and more false details about this false conspiracy theory — typically alleging that police, particularly the NYPD and FBI, had uncovered even more evidence of this international child abuse ring, even though no such thing had happened." - Politico
I spent 4 hours going through the Pizzagate material. I NEVER came across this claim. And this paragraph is as close as the Politico piece you praise comes to attempting to refute an actual claim. They attack a claim I didn't even come across in my own research! Politico is full of "false by association" type arguments, as is your blog post.
I suspect Pizzagate is likely false, but the key points have not been refuted. Politico failed to address the actual claims. So did you. Attacking the character of the people associated with spreading the story does not refute the claims.
posted by Anonymous : 11:30 PM
Speaking of revisionism of the 1960ies, this is an ongoing project in all mediums. Next month, James Harvie Wilkinson III will have his own revisionist book put out. It's titled 'All Falling Faiths: Reflections on the Promise and Failure of the 1960s' and it's revisionist tripe. It's a tome that seeks to condemn the revolutionary fervor of the 1960ies, praises 'God' (Wilkinson's God, that is, not mine) that the attempts at change failed, and asks each of us to accept our masters and to go to sleep, because it's the "moral and righteous" thing to do.
Not only is James Wilkinson a fascist, his God is too. I'm so sick and tired of these revisionists putting out books on a constant basis. There's no pause in the propaganda publishing schedule.
I have to suffer the existence of a revisionist book like The American Miracle: Divine Providence in the Rise of the Republic by Michael Medved. Which is just the first of two books which posit that Medved's God (presumably the same interdimensional fascist as Wilkinson's God) divinely established the United States of America, and that it's Constitution is holy writ and divinely inspired or authorized by the spirit of God (Yhwh).
Roman Catholics are buying into this crap too, since many of them are on the Trump Train. From what my mother has said, and she supports Trump, the Catholics support Trump primarily because of the abortion issue. The American Catholics, like all other types of Americans, suffer from amnesia. Catholics should remember that Americanism is a fucking heresy, but few or none seem to remember that it was classified as a heresy. It's not politically convenient to remember that.
Americanism is a fucking creepy religion, this weird marriage of Americentrism with Christian Dominionism, a hybrid of civil religion with fundamentalist Christianity. This is Trump's platform, his winning strategy.
posted by JSL : 11:51 PM
Go to hell, Anon. You're simply trying to sneak Pizzagate in through the back door. I was quite aware of that spurious "NYPD" claim on the day it was made. In fact, I mentioned it myself on November 6.
Thank you Joseph. This article includes info about these Generals. http://visupview.blogspot.com/2016/12/the-return-of-asc-part-i.html The Return of the American Security Council Network
posted by Anonymous : 4:05 AM
I am disappointed, Joseph. I had hoped that with your vast knowledge of the rise of fascism in the thirties you would have some tips on surviving the coming police state. Being a grandmother I dare not give in to insouciance or despair -- but the latter is winning.
Your favoring of Bil Clinton's presidency calls to mind Churchill's favoring of democracy as a form of government.
Trump and the generals: He was re-socialized at a military prep school. Maybe he's enthralled by such absolute power. Maybe he's still bitter and wants to boss them. Maybe he wants to be able to say "You're fired."
From what I can tell, he gets his information from two sources. One is from pop sound bites and the other is on the golf course, where he has met with very, very bad people, as he has said.
posted by Amelie D'bunquerre : 12:25 PM
Thanks for this focus on the fake news (and the audience!).
Also, JSL, thanks for that info. I have not heard the Dominionists mentioned in a while. I wondered why that threat had not been forefront in the election.
posted by prowlerzee : 12:41 PM
@OTE Admin @Joseph You both nailed it. I had the sense that the revisionism and focus on his affairs were designed to distract us from the truth about his assassination. "Nothing to see here, kids. Just a rich guy screwing around. Keep moving". I think the best book on this topic is JFK and The Unspeakable by James W. Douglass. Here's a brief quote from the Preface: "On our behalf, at the height of the Cold War, John F. Kennedy risked committing the greatest crime in history, starting a nuclear war. Before we knew it, he turned toward peace with the enemy who almost committed that crime with him. For turning to peace with his enemy (and ours), Kennedy was murdered by a power we cannot easily describe. I hope that, by following the story of JFK's encounter with the unspeakable, we will be willing to encounter it, too".
Completely off topic but... http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/12/6/1606610/-With-Biden-in-the-chair-on-Jan-3-the-Senate-can-confirm-a-renominated-Merrick-Garland-Here-s-how Republicans have been playing these games for eight years. Maybe it's time for us to join in and actually save our country. Anon347
posted by Anonymous : 6:27 PM
Jared Kushner is calling for the FBI to crack down on anti-Trump protesters.
posted by gavan : 7:50 PM
"Attacking the character of the people associated with spreading the story does not refute the claims". Ha ha, anon, 11.30pm! Some people you can't fucking sealion, OK?
Great stuff, Joe!
I am convinced that the best strategy is to provoke Trump, on our terms. The guy has a weakness. That's where we should be attacking.
Can anyone reading this who hasn't read Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals please do so.
When you're fighting Power, always personalise.
I understand so much more now than I did 30 years ago.
Fascism wasn't stopped in 1936 in Spain, although hundreds of thousands died in the attempt. It wasn't stopped in Germany, Italy or Portugal either. Optimism of the will!
Yes, b. Attacking Trump's character or dismissing him rudely will demonstrate his warped psychology.
We all deal with others in a private way. We speak to them with words that have particular meaning to us to obtain benefits that we never fully reveal and we have greater or lesser levels of indifference to the well-being of those people. To that extent we are all mild narcissists. The problem with most people is that they simply have no experience of the scale of these distortions in a severe narcissist like Trump and they would be shocked to their core to see his real self on display. His sincerity is an act to get people on side. Words to him are just tradeable tokens with a half life of ten seconds. Over the years he has learned that by peddling them, grandly and insistently, he will elicit submissive cooperation and fawning behavior from his listeners. He relies on this. By refusing to go along with this script, by cursorily dismissing his views, publicly trashing his personality, interrupting him, and walking away from him, the public will induce either blubbering weakness or towering rage. He can't handle rejection at all. So give it to him in spades. The public has a right to know the real Donald.
b, you understood Trump by reading Saul Alinsky. I understood Trump because I worked for a severe narcissist for four nightmare years. When I saw Trump I recognized him immediately. The public is still coming around.