- US media was absolutely the target of a large and unusual disinformation campaign, apparently led by a single actor, apparently Russian in origin, reportedly on orders from Vladimir Putin himself.
- Russian disinfo campaign ≠ brainwashing. We still live in a world where a significant portion of the electorate genuinely believes there’s no noteworthy difference between the New York Times and conservativepatriotsagainstlibtards.biz, so, you know, sorry. Most of the shit on Breitbart is *accurate* in the sense of non-libelous, it’s just badly reported and selected with a bias toward white nationalism and against black people and immigrants. Real news outlets don’t give Steve Sailer a hearing because Steve Sailer is a self-described racist and they want a wide readership. If you don’t want a wide readership, you can selectively report crime stories so that it looks like every murder is committed by black people and dumb white people will line up to hear what you have to say. People are stupid and mean. Most newspapers take seriously their responsibility not to inflame those qualities, but of course that’s not mandatory. There’s a new crop of media outlets that don’t think that way, because grievance runs deep and feels like conviction, and besides that it’s good business. None of that comes from the Kremlin. It comes from our own poisonous culture.
- You can start your own news site by just repackaging a bunch of reporting another outlet already did the heavy lifting on. The internet has made this incredibly easy. There is a ton of news in the world and a ton of original reporting – more original reporting than ever, in fact, and it comes from places it didn’t used to come from. Look at Brian Krebs – that guy got *laid off* at the Washington Post and now he’s more successful than any other tech reporter in the industry because he just posts original reporting on his amazing blog. People can just grab his stuff or anyone else’s and write clip jobs and as long as those people cite their sources correctly no one will even complain about them. That doesn’t make your new all-aggregation outlet “fake”, it just makes it bad, especially if you have no training and no ethics and are too stupid to figure out the basics like he-said-she-said, two sources and the five W’s. You will naturally seek out stories that affirm your biases and the biases of your readers, which will then be correspondingly popular, which you will take as further confirmation. You’ll still be an asshole who doesn’t understand anything that’s not on the internet and guntotingwhitechristianmenwhohatehomos.ass will still be a garbage site for shitty people who know even less than you do. TV news does all of this times twelve; Fox News does it intentionally.
- If you run one of those sites or networks you’re a lot more likely to pick up Russian disinformation because you’re too stupid to put it in context and good reporters hate the sight of you and would rather die than take a paycheck from you.
- Direct, naked malice does exist in the world, but it is a far, far less powerful force than ambient qualities like stupidity, laziness, spite and greed.
- tl;dr: blame Roger Ailes, Fucker Carlson and Katie Pavlich for Trump. And if you read real news outlets but then split the difference with Fox News or whatever some jerkoff re-reports on Breitbart or Townhall or The Daily Caller or GotNews or Heat Street or closetedgunnutsagainstimmigration.web, please, I beg you, blame yourself.