Rightbloggers Plug Their Ears to 'Fake News' on Trump, Tillerson, and Russia
Last week, just as The Leader was hinting that his secretary of state would be Rex Tillerson, the Exxon CEO who's tight with the Russians, the Washington Post revealed that the CIA thinks Russia sought to interfere in the 2016 presidential election on the side of guess who. Trump’s response was rather suspicious; some Republican senators (not Mitch McConnell, ha-ha) and even some reliable wingnut blowhards found the revelations shocking.
Who knows whether the spooks are lying (they’ve been known to!), but as The Leader is an unusually Russkie-friendly PEOTUS, the story threatened to spoil rightbloggers’ celebration of newly unified ultra-conservative government.
Fortunately, the brethren have extraordinarily well-developed coping mechanisms. In this case, many dismissed the Russian angle as something cooked up by liberals like John McCain and the Wall Street Journal, and — in a clever turnabout — some referred to it as "fake news," the wacko disinfo that mainstream press outlets have been portraying as a clouder of conservative minds. Two can play at that game, libtards!
You’re probably seen some of the many recent stories about Macedonian, Canadian, and other journalistic bottom-feeders spreading sensational, patently bogus stories online to tantalize wishfully thinking, mostly conservative dummies, as well as the inevitable hand-wringing over what to do about it.
Conservatives as a general matter have answered these stories with no, you’re the fakes. "Obama, Hillary and Democrat operatives started the war on 'fake news' and the Liberal media enthusiastically continued this bogus line of attack on anyone who opposes their failed cabal," declared Joe Hoft at Gateway Pundit.
At Breitbart.com, Pamela Geller said a New York Times report that "Google and Facebook 'have faced mounting criticism over how fake news on their sites may have influenced the presidential election’s outcome' " was "fake news in itself," and said the real problem was "a left-wing conspiracy parading as a right wing conspiracy" — specifically, "a number of fake conservative new sites [sic] created by left-wing operatives in order to discredit the conservatives’ news sites." Conservatives are thereby enticed into believing ridiculous stories, apparently, and when they spread those stories they look stupid — just like George Soros wants! In the investigative world, this is called a Dummy Trap.
Some retorted: Oh yeah, well CNN and the Washington Post are just as bad as PatriotButtMunch.com. Townhall’s John Hawkins, for example, offered "The 7 Worst Examples of Fake News From the Mainstream Media." All seven of those big-media botches — including "NBC’s Phony Exploding GM Truck" and "the Rolling Stone Rape Story" — are extremely well known because they’ve been extensively covered (and some, like the 1993 GM incident, became famous before the dawn of the internet). Conversely, when PatriotButtMunch.com reports that Harry Reid is a space alien, usually no one except its intended audience notices — or, if a fact-checking site like Snopes notices, they get hit with the "Snopes is liberal bias" routine. (The Daily Caller’s Peter Hasson, for example, reported that in a previous gig one of Snopes’s writers "described herself as 'openly left-leaning' and a liberal" and “trashed the Tea Party as 'teahadists.' " So when she says Harry Reid is not an alien, patriots can assume she’s lying.)
More housebroken versions, such as that of Fox’s Greta Van Susteren, took a more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger tone. "Part of the reason fake news is so easy to believe," judged Van Susteren, "is that fringe stories no longer read or sound all that different from too many of the real stories." You see, Both Sides Do It. Carry on, PatriotButtMunch.com!
So when traditional news outlets reported matters of public record on Trump, Tillerson, and Russia, the brethren didn’t attack their interpretation so much as their facts — or, rather, the idea the MSM could have any facts patriots were bound to respect.
When various news sources, including the Wall Street Journal and NBC News, reported Tillerson’s on-the-record ties to Vladimir Putin, followers of The Leader tweeted, "@WSJ great example of #FakeNews. WSJ, You are out doing yourselves & losing any remnants of credibility," "Andrea Mitchell reporting? Oh I'm sure it's true :) #FakeNews #MAGA," etc.
Rightbloggers picked up the charge. "While we are talking about 'fake news'…let’s talk about false, foolish and fruitless media and political 'narratives,' obviously aimed at an election reversal," said Townhall’s Robert Charles. "The fake news media is freaking over Tillerson’s 'close' relationship," scoffed Independent Sentinel.
"When the CIA – a group of admitted liars and domestic propagandists – come out with a report, you can bet it’s fake news," declared Alex Jones’s Infowars, under the credibility-bolstering headline "MAXIMUM EMERGENCY! ROGUE CIA PLANS TO ASSASSINATE TRUMP BEFORE ELECTION."
Others characterized the expected Tillerson appointment as another wonderful example of The Leader’s trolling of the opposition — which, since The Leader’s promise to "drain the swamp" looks more ridiculous with time, is probably the one benefit of his presidency on which they can rely.
"Trump is a genius," declared Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit. "And the fact that there are numerous photos of Tillerman with Putin is icing on the cake."
"Liberals are absolutely losing it over Trump’s presumptive pick for secretary of state," gloated Conservative Post, and listed some reasons why: For one, "Tillerson himself believes in climate change. But Exxon has spent a lot of money debunking the 'science' behind that liberal agenda." Hypocrisy really pisses off liberals, apparently. For another: "Tillerson would be another big business appointee in Trump’s cabinet. Liberals tend to lean toward political cronyism, and don’t like big business leaders." Even the definition of "crony" has changed under The Leader!
"Trump SHOCKED The Nation With Who He Just Picked for Secretary Of State," gun-jumped Paris Swade of Liberty Writers News. "This is going to get interesting! Look how much the left will soil their pants. Seriously. Look at the liberal closest to you. Do you smell that? Do you smell that faint smell of pee? That’s because Trump is a genius and picked a genius Secretary of State." I love the smell of ressentiment in the morning. It smells like…urine.
Not all of them were happy about the specific choice. Right Wing News’ Terresa Monroe-Hamilton, for example, would have preferred the prospective deputy SoS and madman John Bolton, because he really wants war with Iran (he "could make our enemies wet themselves in a corner," said Monroe-Hamilton, which may have been a callback to Swade’s pee-sniffing, or perhaps a reference to The Leader’s promised revival of waterboarding).
But it’s all good, because The Leader wills it so. As I noted last week, the pre-inaugural chaos that disturbs so many of us is for rightbloggers totally positive; like the voters who, with or without the Kremlin’s encouragement, elevated a reality-TV clown to the presidency, they find the prospect of wreckage not terrifying but exciting. "The thing is (and [liberals] should know this by now), Trump doesn’t care," rejoiced the Resurgent’s Steve Berman. "To quote Mary Poppins, 'I never explain anything.' " It looks like, in one sense at least, we’re getting that blind trust after all.
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