Thursday, May 19, 2022

In Wake Of Buffalo Mass Shooting We Definitely Need A Disinformation & Propaganda Screening Agency


"A woman asked Benjamin Franklin, 'Sir,  do we have a monarchy or a Republic?' Franklin replied, 'A  Republic, if you can keep it."

"The demagogue is one who preaches 'facts' he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots." - H.L. Mencken

One thing I look for in the wake of any horrific right wing-inspired tragedy or massacre, whether the New Zealand slaughter of Muslims killing 51, or the slaughters of brown or black shoppers in El Paso and Buffalo, is appeals to free speech afterward.  Or twisting the concept to try to protect more hate speech, as in Lauren Boebert's recently introduced 'The Protecting ('Free') Hate Speech Act', which even Denver Post contributor Krista Kafer concedes ('Government Shouldn't Be Policing Any Speech', D. Post, p. 1D, May 15): 

"Yes, there is a certain level of irony in a congresswoman known for embarrassing outbursts carrying the bill."

 Not mentioning most (85%) of those 'outbursts' were based on pure hate and threats, including packing her Glock around D.C. 

Claiming she needed it for "protection".  The problem with those like Boebert and the ones that defend her - like Krista Kafer - is their implicit assumption that responsibility need not accompany whatever reckless or dangerous claptrap is spouted by the hate-filled, white nationalist, pro-Trump Right.  Including the loudmouth bigots with vast audiences - whether Tucker Carlson or Trump himself, e.g.

‘His Rhetoric Brought This Violence’: Here’s Why El Paso Residents Blame Trump for the Terrorist Attack

 Thus it was with a yawn and a shrug that I read Krista Kafer's insufferable bleating in last Sunday's Denver  Post (ibid.),  claiming "government shouldn't be policing free speech", ignorant of the fact it has in the past.  I refer here to the Fairness Doctrine, which since its demise under Reagan has spawned more and more off- the -wall, unchecked hateful smears, attacks, threats and propaganda with the result more and more American brains have become fodder for toxic rot.  But even worse, acting out with powerful weapons (AR-15s, Glocks) on that imbibed toxic rot. Which is why the cartoon below captures the dynamic exactly and only a rabid hate speech absolutist would defend the right to spout such mental cyanide:

What's also obnoxious is how apologists for vicious, unchecked hate speech,  like Kafer (as well as Bill Maher in his frequent anti-Dem riffs), always invoke false equivalence to try to drag in the "left" as equally dangerous speech transgressors to the wacko Right. I.e.  the side that believes in the Dems condoning ritual sacrifice of infants and child sex slaves, as well as the 'great replacement' garbage - which I will soon get to.  

In Kafer's delirious case, she tried to assert Obama statements like "if you like your health plan you can keep it" (referencing the ACA when he was trying to get it passed in 2010) are on a par with the malignant Trump lie that the 2020 election was "stolen" - leading to the total destruction of our election system  - certainly trust in it - and the January 6th, 2021 insurrection and near overthrow of our constitutional republic.  The differences here should not require any kind of extensive explanation or elaboration on false analogy.  If it isn't obvious don't bother to take the Mensa admission test!   

What was also interesting in Kafer's column was the consciousness of guilt in raising these kinds of arguments and her other specious rationales for non- interference.  Can't have any incursion of the "right" to say whatever despicable venom emerges in their febrile brains, especially if any remote threat of control issues from the newly conceived Disinformation Governance Board of the Dept. Of Homeland Security.  

While Kafer acknowledges its purpose is directed at "false information spread by Russian and Chinese" actors (bots) she then worries it will migrate to: "inflating American partisan divisions by taking sides in online debates between Americans."  

But WHO has really been "inflating" partisan divisions the past 5 years? It has been none other than Donald Trump! From his ceaseless, inflammatory tweets during his official reign, to his praising of white nationalist bigots chanting "Jews will not replace us!" during the Charlottesville 'Unite the Right' march in August, 2017,  which bore a disturbing similarity to Nazi marches in Nuremberg, Germany ca. 1938 (lower panel) e.g.

The Charlottesville march also included beating the crap out of any black people in their way or any Antifa members who tried to protect them e.g.

No one can tell me that impressionable brains - like the one owned by Buffalo mass killer Payton Gendron -  aren't being seeded by the toxic memes and propaganda now being circulated by the Right.  This is especially over the cable airwaves of FOX, so one needn't even venture into the Right's rat warrens like 4chan. The former compliments of the derelict, irresponsible asshole Carlson - and which are not "opinions" or "debate" no matter how the talking roach tries to spin it. They constitute the deliberate spreading of hate intended to motivate weak or susceptible minds into retaliatory action against those like immigrants, or Jews, or blacks - deemed to be threats to white hegemony.   (See earlier cartoon)

This point was elegantly and cogently discussed yesterday morning by American University Professor Cynthia Miller- Idriss, who directs polarization and extremism research at the school's  Innovation Lab. She is also the author of the book, Hate in the Homeland: The New Global Far Right.

In the wake of the Tops supermarket massacre in Buffalo, she called out the "Great Replacement" bollocks (now believed by 32 percent of Americans, according to an AP/NORC poll out of the Univ. of Chicago) for the toxic mind rot it is.  I.e. in triggering the impressionable brain of 18 year old Payton Gendron, energizing him to drive 200 miles to a supermarket in a black neighborhood to randomly take out 10 black lives.  The worst aspect, and what signals action needs to ne taken now, is that this crap is "starting to stick", which is fucking beyond belief.

In Prof.  Miller- Idriss' words: 

 "This is just one of the greatest tragedies,  to see a false conspiracy theory that should be fringe,  mobilizing mass terror and accepted by so many. To see the same false theory echoed in massacres in Christchurch New Zealand, in a synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, in El Paso and now Buffalo- and also echoed in cable TV.  To hear and see Tucker Carlson repeating it as well as politicians is just dangerous and incomprehensible." 

She was careful, however, when asked by CBS anchor Gayle King, not to appeal to the new Homeland Dept. branch to extend its control - say in implementing a new Fairness Doctrine.  But she did offer that it is imperative that Americans themselves begin to take responsibility by teaching "online speech literacy" from as young as kindergarten. But I am not convinced that can work given so many red states  - like DeSantis' Florida - are now poised to censor teaching of any negative history or current bigotry against minorities,  whether black, Hispanic or LGBTQ.  It seems to me more stringent speech guidelines are needed like in Germany  - given our boundaries and norms have been pushed far beyond the acceptable standards for free speech  into reckless and dangerous  hate speech.  Take this  insane offal from Newt Gingrich, for example:

"This is their ideal model to get rid of the rest of us because we believe in George Washington or the Constitution." 

Gingrich coyly tried to negate or walk it back, insisting the great replacement was just plain "nuts", but too late for that now, Newtie.  Your siding with the deranged replacement meme is there for all to see.  Again, to  fix ideas, this crap claims there is a plot to replace white people with people of color.  The reason being for the "left" to secure more voters - i.e. from brown and black demographics - to overcome the whities-  who are the so-called "legacy Americans".  The classic embodiment of this tripe compliments of Ron Johnson,  

"You have to ask yourselves why this administration wants open borders. Is it really to remake the demographics of America, to ensure they stay in power forever. Is that  what's happening here."

Followed by Carlson himself in his inimitable noxious parlance:

"This policy is called the great replacement, the replacement of immediate legacy Americans with people from faraway countries.  They brag about it all the time but if you dare to say anything they scream at you with maximum hysteria"

The toxic brain cyanide format of the preceding is evident to anyone possessing a modicum of linguistic literacy.  Thus the reference to "policy" imputing the actual misbegotten idea is all from Dems and the left. Nothing invented by the deranged Righties, it's a policy of the left.  This enables two disingenuous consequences: 1) Putting all the onus on the Democrats to defend their "policy", and 2) Relieving the Right of any responsibility for their detestable conspiracy ideation since it is the Dems' "policy" after all.   Then there is the added dollop of "legacy Americans", i.e. "true" (not brown, black or from other places) Americans. Seeded by the imp as a qualification to belong, partake of culture, vote, etc.  

Another reason why the American U.'s professor's remedy of parental guidance in the online domain may not be enough is the fact Gendron admitted how he played them.  Pretending to attend a community college while he was spewing hate all over in a dreg site called 'Discord' and using the handle,  'Jimboboiii' as he  shared his preparations for his upcoming massacre.  No one of any sentience or intellect can tell me there should not have been an intervention at this point, to immediately haul a domestic terrorist into custody, just like the FBI would to an Islamic radical or ISIS maniac.  Protecting a turd like Gendron just because he's an entitled white brat was unforgiveable. Also unforgiveable is degenerate speech apologias such as offered by the WSJ editors yesterday  (Massacre Blame Game, p. A20) , when they babbled:

Democrats and the mainstream media want to use “replacement theory” as a stigma to smear as racist anyone who doesn’t like open borders, or critical race theory, or the Democratic Party’s hyper-race consciousness. And now they want to claim that Republicans and mainstream conservatives are accomplices in racially motivated domestic terrorism.

Sorry, WSJ dickheads and dissemblers, the 'shoe' fits so you need to 'wear it'.  Amanda Marcotte in a blog post two days ago probably nailed this latest racist-incepted tragedy most accurately when she wrote:

"As I predicted they would on Sunday, the whining from right-wing media has since reached ear-piercing levels of shrill in response to mainstream media correctly pointing out that Republicans and their media have been hyping the "great replacement" conspiracy theory that shooter Payton Gendron used to justify the killing of 10 people.

But this isn't just an attempt to evade accountability.

Fox News pundits are now exploiting the Buffalo shooting to draw their viewers further into white nationalism. Network personalities are romanticizing the hateful ideology that allegedly inspired a massacre as a dangerous truth that the "elite" are trying to suppress. This shooting really illustrates how Fox News has created a victim narrative for its viewers that is so potent that no event is so horrible or violent — including a deadly insurrection in the Capitol or the mass murder of innocent people."

See Also:

by Juan Cole | May 19, 2022 - 6:27am | permalink

— from OtherWords


Before a hate-filled 18-year-old murdered 10 and wounded 3 African Americans in Buffalo on May 14, he penned a rambling screed about replacement theory.

The most common version of this whiny idea, imported from the more hysterical fringes of the French far right, holds that Jewish capitalists are importing cheap immigrant labor to replace more highly-paid white workers.

Notoriously, the Nazis who marched in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017 against the removal of Confederate statues chanted “Jews will not replace us.” The shooter who killed 11 Jewish Americans at a Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018 also espoused the idea of the “great replacement.”

This hateful ideology is shamelessly promoted by Fox News. The worst offender is the Lord Haw-Haw of the 21st century, Tucker Carlson, who exposed his audience to great replacement excrement 400 times in the past year.


by Brandon Gage | May 19, 2022 - 7:53am | permalink


by Amanda Marcotte | May 18, 2022 - 7:23am | permalink


by Thom Hartmann | May 18, 2022 - 7:12am | permalink

— from The Hartmann Report

When the Buffalo Terrorist murdered 10 people with a semi-automatic rifle, he didn’t act alone.

The weapons industry in the United States stood right beside him, making sure he had easy and legal access to highly profitable weapons of war that are banned or heavily regulated in every other developed country in the world.

The Republican Party stood right beside him, taking money from that industry in exchange for blocking legislation the majority of Americans support that would regulate guns in America.


by Meaghan Ellis | May 18, 2022 - 6:57am | permalink

— from Alternet


The latest mass shooting, which claimed the lives of 10 Black victims in Buffalo, N.Y., has reignited concerns about dangerous rhetoric perpetuated by far-right media and conspiracy theorists. The Guardian's Cas Mudde recently explored how right-wing media and Republican lawmakers have contributed to this ongoing problem.

"The problem is, we can talk endlessly about better regulating social media or calling for even more funding and powers for public and private 'counter-terrorism' organizations, but none of that will make us safer as long as the broader conservative movement embraces and propagates far-right propaganda," wrote Mudde,

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