by Kevin Schoen 12/08/2016
Recently I published a piece entitled “Hillary is riding a two headed pony.” The article starts with Hillary Clinton first claiming that there was no evidence that her emails were ever hacked by any foreign government and then, when expedient, without evidence, claimed that Trump benefited from the Russians hacking her emails. Disinformation is Fake News, or turning words into weapons, or weaponizing speech.
Do you remember when hate crime laws were the thing? These hate crime laws elevated crimes against blacks and gays to a higher crime then if they were committed against a white or a straight person. Think about what happened if you broke a piece of Ma’s good china? It didn’t matter which piece you broke. Well, we’re all good China, but these laws diminish the excluded. Can you name me a first degree murder that is not a hate crime?
Do you remember when President Obama referred to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu as our friend and then months later funded an opposition group to unseat the Prime Minister in his election? Do you also remember during our recent elections when one side accused and castigated Russia for interfering in our country’s elections?
Harry Reid once said that Mitt Romney did not pay taxes. After Romney lost the election Reid was asked about the lie and was criticized. His response was “but we won, didn’t we? Harry Reid recently said that Donald Trump owes it to Americans to quell the “fear’ expressed by so many, and that he caused them to be in fear. If you listen to Harry you’d think you have a constitutional right to never be in fear.
NPR recently tracked down a fake news purveyor and did a report on their findings. One man was responsible for 25 disinformation sites!
““The whole idea from the start was to build a site that could kind of infiltrate the echo chambers of the alt-right, publish blatantly [false] or fictional stories and then be able to publicly denounce those stories and point out the fact that they were fiction,” Coler says.”
“He was amazed at how quickly fake news could spread and how easily people believe it. He wrote one fake story for NationalReport.net about how customers in Colorado marijuana shops were using food stamps to buy pot.”
Weaponizing speech is where lies becomes truth, where “all lives matter means only white lives matter, where disagreement on principles somehow makes one a racist, where when you say all murder is hateful you are a racist or homophobic, where friends are those we attack, where deceiving the ignorant is a “great new tech job,” where seeding lies in the media is done expressly to discredit a whole class of people because they believed you, where one who declared themselves to be against gay marriage and at a different time for gay marriage, can describe themselves as holding consistent positions.
Throughout history, each time a culture was overthrown, the overtaking force made the conquered adapt to their language. The best example was the Soviet Union forcing the Russian language on the part of Europe they invaded. It may have been about control but it also had an efficiency component. So what is the purpose and what does any leadership get when they “go low” and sew lies, using this ambiguity to take away any practical understanding from society. They get a war worn public that feels uncertain, not knowing what to believe, that can’t get along anymore because leadership has divided them. It’s like we are back in the times of the Tower of Babel; like nobody can understand anything being said. Fake news is weaponizing speech, and is active deception. The victor wins a position of leadership over people that no longer understand and don’t get along – What a prize!