That was the old soviet joke when the two major papers of record were Izvestia [The News] and Pravda [The Truth]. Nowadays our own equivalent is Fake News which is everywhere. We are living in Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four which for most people seems quite a comfortable way to travel. We get our three-minute hate and we re-calibrate by the day who our enemies supposedly are and on we go. The Emmanuel Goldstein of our time is Donald Trump, and everywhere I go, these same three-minute hate sessions show up, with my main effort to try to contain them to three minutes. Truth, what truth? We live in a post-modern age where no such thing any longer exists. So why all this? Because this has just shown up today: ‘Junk News’: Russia Report Done By Anti-Conservative Academics:
A new study has claimed Russia’s online interference tried to aid the conservative movement and Donald Trump. There’s a big problem with that assessment. It comes from a left-wing operation that previously classified more than 11 different conservative outlets as “junk news.” And two of those authors were also involved in this report.
The study was released by the Oxford University Computational Propaganda Project and Graphika. It argued that fake accounts, ads, and tweets “all clearly sought to benefit the Republican Party — and specifically Donald Trump”
The Oxford University Computational Propaganda Project had attacked several conservative outlets as “junk news” in previous studies. Those targeted outlets include Drudge Report, NewsBusters, CNSNews, MRCTV, Breitbart, the Daily Caller, Free Beacon, LifeNews, National Review, the Federalist, and the Red State. (Three of those are operated by the Media Research Center, which runs NewsBusters.)
So here it is reported as straight news by the venerable Associated Press and no doubt everywhere else: Russia social media influence efforts ongoing, report says.
Russia’s sweeping political disinformation campaign on U.S. social media was more far-reaching than originally thought, with troll farms working to discourage black voters and “blur the lines between reality and fiction” to help elect Donald Trump in 2016, according to reports released Monday by the Senate intelligence committee.
And the campaign didn’t end with Trump’s ascent to the White House. Troll farms are still working to stoke racial and political passions in America at a time of high political discord.
The two studies are the most comprehensive picture yet of the Russian interference campaigns on American social media. They add to the portrait investigators have been building since 2017 on Russia’s influence — though Trump has equivocated on whether the interference actually happened….
The reports were compiled by the cybersecurity firm New Knowledge and by the Computational Propaganda Research Project, a study by researchers at the University of Oxford and Graphika, a social media analysis firm.
And so on and so forth. And to cap it off we have this: Why ‘Truth’ Is James Comey’s Word of the Year. It’s that very same Mr Comey formerly of the FBI who wrote this:
The media has been working, in fits and starts, to report the truth, and the lies. Their reward has been a constant stream of attacks from the President, attacks designed to destroy the media’s credibility and the very idea that truth is knowable, but they have kept at it. In part, the media has stayed on the case because the American people have kept at it. Rather than withdrawing, numb, they have stepped forward. An overwhelming majority support the work of a special prosecutor to find out what is true about the conduct of the President and his associates. More people voted in the 2018 midterm elections than in any similar election in memory. Those voters handed control of the House of Representatives to the opposition party. The design of the Founders — that crashing of interests to get at truth — will work to protect our democracy.
In 2018, we defended our values. And that’s the truth.
Not even Orwell could have imagined it, and that was just fiction. This is the real thing, and if you are not actually astonished by just how brazen and corrupt this is, perhaps you too are now part of the problem.