Evil-Echo Empire Update

Senator Flake just made a speech attacking Trump’s constant attacking of the media, correctly surmising “our democracy will not last” if leaders like Trump are allowed to relentlessly bash & are ultimately successful in discrediting a free press.  It follows along with similar criticism from his fellow Arizona colleague McCain, who wrote an op-ed in the first article below.  My Cubs fan friend from Arizona should be proud his state has sent such principled leaders to the Senate.  It’s too bad so many inside the GOP don’t follow their lead & are even dismissive/critical of Flake’s speech.  In the end, truth & ethics must win out.  So call me a Jeff Flake Republican, those of us who for now represent only a small % of the GOP overall.  For the time being most in the GOP seem mesmerized by Trump & bamboozled by the echo, but that can start to change as more of the facts are revealed, & the threats we keep warning about become obvious enough to seem real.  To illustrate how much the echo has degraded conservatism, Jeff Flake as he is today was considered a staunch conservative as little as a decade ago, yet many in the GOP now view him as some squishy liberal-leaning RINO.  I think the hardcore echo-like conservatism has shifted so far to the extreme right, it is now ideologically farther away from us center-right moderates than progressive liberals are.  Please see the contents of Flake & McCain’s words in the first group of related articles below.

It’s absolutely astounding this would ever be a concern about America, but one article below offers the stunning warning a delegation of global press freedom groups are going on an unprecedented mission to the United States, reflecting concerns about threats to journalists and heightened anti-press rhetoric. The mission will coincide with the one-year anniversary of President Trump’s inauguration.

 

Rubin’s article democracy-is-under-assault-and-it-seems-were-not-helping-any, the Freedom House provides this ominous trend:

Freedom House also pulled no punches in identifying a new and troubling development:

 

A major development of 2017 was the retreat of the United States as both a champion and an exemplar of democracy. While Freedom House has tracked a slow decline in political rights and civil liberties in the United States for the past seven years, the decline accelerated in 2017, owing to growing evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 elections, violations of basic ethical standards by the new administration, and a reduction in government transparency.

Although U.S. institutions like the press and the judiciary have remained resilient in the face of unprecedented attacks from President Trump, the attacks could ultimately leave them weakened, with serious implications for the health of U.S. democracy and America’s place in the world. Meanwhile, the abdication of the traditional U.S. role as the leading champion of democracy is of deep concern and potential consequence in the ongoing struggle against modern authoritarians and their pernicious ideas.

Such attacks on real news sources wouldn’t be as much of a problem, if so many weren’t so susceptible to not recognizing the difference between authentic journalism from radicalized propaganda.  There are cognitive studies which have shown the repetition of falsehoods leads to people believing false information.  It’s the old saying we believe the lies if we hear them often enough.  So when the far-right echo as a whole hammer away spreading their numerous lies repeatedly & in unison, that alternative-facts universe becomes all-too-real to those followers.  While I’m tempted to say that echo-crowd are all being duped & don’t really understand the extent they’re being lied to, there’s also a strange dynamic being played out with some in that audience who basically admit they prefer being lied to, as explained in the next paragraph based on a survey.

fake news chart about Trump

There are interesting findings in the link study-42-percent-of-republicans-believe-accurate-but-negative-stories-qualify-as-fake-news along with the accompanied Gallup-Knight Foundation findings.  The survey results show most Americans are concerned with fake news & don’t trust/have a difficult time finding news sources which are credible (that’s a great reason to share The Voracsthe voice of reason and common sense). But read again that title of the article link above, or I’ve also highlighted it in the excerpt below.  What’s truly astounding is nearly half of Republicans consider news that is accurate but might paint their tribe in a negative light is always fake news!  Think about that for a moment.  It indicates truth doesn’t really matter to many in the GOP/echo base, since even factual reports they call “fake news” if it contradicts their preconceived biases.  They’d prefer hearing lies rather than the truth if it fits in with their intransigent viewpoints.  That’s why they stay glued to Fox & the rest of the echo, since their reporting of all manner of falsehoods, distortions & conspiracy theories confirm the fantasy world that audience chooses to immerse themselves in.  And Fox has demonstrated conclusively they’re more than obliged to feed their viewers what they want, providing an extreme far-right narrative & making excuses for the prez, no matter how outlandish or totally removed from the truth.  Here’s the excerpt explaining those survey findings:

All those media-trust studies have a tendency toward the rote. Yes, we already knew that the public had little trust in the country’s journalistic organs. Yes, we knew that finding credible sources could be a harrowing pursuit for the public. Yes, we knew that an increasing portion of the U.S. public felt that the news was biased. Yet this nugget from a new Gallup-Knight Foundation survey just about knocked the Erik Wemple Blog out of a decade-long media-research torpor:

Four in 10 [or 42 percent of] Republicans consider accurate news stories that cast a politician or political group in a negative light to always be “fake news.” [The corresponding figure for Democrats is 17 percent.]

That can also help explain the echo-world constant absolving of Trump in light of the fact he lies virtually all the time.  It’s also given rope to Trump’s political allies & state-run echo media to lie all they want with no remorse or repercussions.  We’re actually witnessing one of our two major parties giving in to evil deception & illusionary reality.  It’s gotten so pathetic that Trump has so degraded America, even to the point where they’re being called out for their threats on the media by respected organizations like the Freedom House, Human Rights Watch & Knight Foundation.  We should refer back to the lessons of history when enough of the German & Italian populations from the 1930’s were accepting of lies when they squared with their tribal ideologies, the end result became dementedly evil with catastrophic consequences!  There are so many Americans lost in echo-rhetoric, oblivious to how discrediting the media & falling for a radical disinformation campaign, can not only make them bystanders in allowing our democracy to crumble, but they could also be seen as enablers.  We need to present them with a stark choice between love of country or love of tribal allegiances.  The fate of our democracy may well rest on most Americans making the right choice.  This Trump world attack on the pillars of our constitutional democracy could set a precedent that far outlives his presidency.

With Trump’s ridiculous fake news awards, the fact checks show the mistakes in the media he alluded to were either corrected or not that big a deal.  Sure, it was more tongue-in-cheek, but in light of all his regular attacks on the media, it becomes part of a much bigger/dangerous intent to literally sabotage truths, particularly those inconvenient truths necessary to rein in his fascist instincts.  And we have yet to hear Trump’s corrections or apologies for his 2000+ lies in his first year in office.  Except for loyal Trumpeters & the partisan echo, rational/objective thinking leaves no doubt who’s the real fake news between Trump & the media.  The link fact-checking-president-trumps-fake-news-awards starts with this overview: 

The “Fake News Awards” announced on the Republican National Committee website and touted by President Trump pose a conundrum: Does it really count if the news organization admits error? Regular readers of The Fact Checker know that we do not award Pinocchios if a politician admits error. Everyone makes mistakes — and the point is not to play gotcha. News organizations operate in a competitive arena and mistakes are bound to be made. The key test is whether an error is acknowledged and corrected. President Trump almost never admits error, even as he has made more than 2,000 false or misleading statements

Whether it’s conservative or liberal ideology hardly matters compared to what we’re witnessing.  It’s now a battle for truth, principles & decency before we can ever get back to any political agenda.  Astoundingly, the conservatives I once sided with have mostly opted for the wrong side.  Inside the link two-americas-divided-by-lies, we find this excerpt:

Sardonically, the real threat to society is that Trump has used his presidential platform to devalue truth and honesty. When Trump lies, many Americans recognize he’s speaking in hyperbole. But the danger is that by sheer repetition, the president devalues whatever he has to say — whether personally ridiculous or of global importance. It’s a dangerous situation when the nation — and the entire world — grows numb to whatever the most powerful person in the world has to say or tweet. Clearly, Trump’s lying plays to his audience, primed by conservative news outlets such as Fox News and Breitbart News to believe nonsense.

In the Fox group of links below, we see this paragraph credited to Vox’s Matthew Yglesias from the article the-fox-news-effect:

Trump-era Fox has frequently been compared by its critics to a state broadcasting network in an authoritarian regime. But the Soviet Union’s top leaders were not relying on their own propaganda outlets for information about the world. For the president to govern effectively, actual problems need to be brought to his attention. But in the propaganda bubble that Trump prefers to inhabit, there is no endless darkness in Puerto Rico or falling life expectancy amid a growing opioid crisis.

The article goes on to say this: “Most important, Fox News will be far less likely to cover Trump scandals. That means in turn, that Trump may be slow in responding to the scandals that everyone else is discussing.”

Below the group of Fox links, we see articles on other echo/alt-right crazies.  The final group has links about some good books, which David Kay Johnston’s book looks very informative about the corruption running through Trump & his organizations.  Please peruse these article links, as they provide very important views on the direction our nation may be heading, & the slick deception we must be diligent in fighting back against.  Sadly, most Americans still seem unaware of the dangers, so please share!