The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

The ‘Misinformation’ Crisis

Posted on | December 12, 2022 | 2 Comments

Daniel Greenfield of Frontpage Magazine has a YouTube video discussing how the Left’s recent obsession with “misinformation” follows the pattern of manufactured “crises,” e.g., climate change. Our friend Daniel should get the David Horowitz Freedom Center to provide him with professional video production assistance, but the point he’s making is very important, as he discusses in this article:

At the root of most political crimes are bad ideas. And at the root of the #TwitterGate was the notion, widely spread by the political class and the media, that “disinformation”, essentially propaganda, posed a critical threat to our society and had to be urgently restricted.
The ‘inciting incident’ for this argument was Trump’s victory in 2016. The more the media blew him into a threat to mankind, the stronger the argument became for urgently regulating speech. With the combination of Russiagate and garden variety demonization, the goal of making speech into a threat was achieved.
Everything that followed was corruptly inevitable.
The idea that unregulated speech was “disinformation” or “misinformation” and that no society could survive free speech was widely dispersed among the educated classes. It was eventually taken on faith.
I have frequently said in the past that the ability to define the problem is also the ability to define the solution. It’s one of those things that the Left does really well. It invents a crisis, homelessness, global warming, racism, speech, gives it a political name and then hammers home the idea that this is a problem that only they can urgently solve. And it pulls off the same trick over and over again. . . .

Read the whole thing. If you’ve been following politics for decades, you recognize this pattern. The “homelessness crisis” originated in the 1980s as a propaganda campaign by Democrats to claim that the Reagan administration was somehow responsible for a shortage of “affordable housing.” Closer examination of the evidence revealed that much of the problem (insofar as the problem actually existed) was due to the fact that the so-called “homeless” population was mentally ill, and had been “deinstitutionalized” as a result of court rulings that made it more difficult to keep psychotics locked up in lunatic asylums. Also, many states had budget problems that led them to close or reduce patient populations in state mental hospitals. Furthermore, “homelessness” seemed to be a very localized problem, specifically in Democrat-controlled cities. If this problem was Ronald Reagan’s fault, shouldn’t it be happening everywhere, and not just in New York, San Francisco, etc.?

But the activists behind the “homelessness crisis” propaganda didn’t want careful analysis of a social problem, they wanted an issue with which to attack Republicans and demand more federal welfare spending. And, as Greenfield says, this tactic has been repeated endlessly by the Left — manufacturing a “crisis” as a means of gaining political advantage — on all kinds of issues. You cannot defeat this tactic without first recognizing that it is a tactic, calling it out as such, and rejecting the “crisis” framework. This requires intelligence and courage, because stupid people will play along with the “crisis” rhetoric (not realizing they’re being misled by political propaganda) and cowardly people won’t stand up against the name-calling that is directed at, e.g, “climate deniers.”

Part of the secret of how the “crisis” tactic works is by stigmatizing skeptics: If you won’t endorse the “solution” the Left demands, then you are part of the problem. So when, for example, the Left claims that terrorism by “white supremacists” is a crisis, you will be labeled a racist — “RAAAAACIST!” — if you offer evidence that this claim is an absurd exaggeration. People don’t want to be called names, and so they won’t speak out, even if they suspect the “crisis” is fake.

Part of the problem is that most Republicans are decent, respectable, honest people who can’t conceive of the fathomless depths of cynical dishonesty that exist within the Left. We don’t want to believe people can be so craven in their lust for power that they would invent a “crisis” and make bad-faith arguments, slandering their critics, and deliberately misleading millions. Yet Democrats do this routinely, and get away with it, because Republicans so often play along.



2 Responses to “The ‘Misinformation’ Crisis”

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