Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Gaslighted: What We Got for Christmas in 2016

We’re now on the very cusp of a new year, and there’s one thing about the passing one that I can say with certainty: THE news story of 2016 is that a huge swath of the American public, stretching from left to right, deeply distrusts both 1) establishment candidates from either party and 2) corporate media. That’s the news story of the year. Period. 

But look what our political class and media are up to here at year’s end. For weeks now they been frantically trying to fill that media, both print and TV, with: "The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming! They’re bombarding us with fake news!” 

As a diversion tactic from the true Big Story, you’d have thought they could come up with something better. 

Why is it that the November election suddenly triggered this “Russian hacking” meme and the bizarre “fake news” scare? 

To give bite to their claims that “fake news” determined the election, which I find absurd, our leaders last week even passed actual legislation designed to cast doubt on alternative news organizations, legislation that is almost literally state censorship. In America. 

What in hell are they up to? 

To give yet more bite to their claims, the Obama administration two days ago kicked out thirty-five Russian diplomats, promising yet further reactions to the Russian “aggression” we’ve suffered. 

This is major stuff, sure to grab headlines and keep the talking heads talking. Which is just what it is meant to do. Because at present Washington elites’ most important task is to keep us the citizenry from catching our breath and thinking clearly about the year’s real news--namely our widespread and reasonable disgust at these same elites’ decades-long systematic betrayal of our interests in favor of Whatever the Corporations Want. 

Really I’m depressed to see so many intelligent friends on Facebook and elsewhere still debating the question of whether Russia hacked the DNC or, if not, who Wikileaks’ source was. Because it is irrelevant. It is a diversion from our real story, a strategic diversion that sadly is almost working. 

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