The Washington Post and The Crackdown On Fake News: Recent Controversy Raises Questions Over The Proposed Crackdown On Alleged “Fake News”

220px-Washington_Post_buildingWe have been discussing the crackdown on “fake news,” including my view that this has become the latest rationale for various countries to rollback on free speech, including most recently top lawyers in Italy. Leaders who have long fought to curtail free speech may have found the perfect vehicle to convince citizens to voluntarily surrender their right to free speech, even celebrate its passing. It is all being done in the name of “truth”, which apparently can only be found on the other side of the criminalization of speech. The debacle at the Washington Post over the false Russian hacking of the U.S. electricity grid highlights the problem with how these governments will choose between those publications deemed criminally false and those deemed merely recklessly unproven. No one is suggesting that the Washington Post would be sanctioned for this story, though some see a deeper failure in how the Post handled the controversy. I am actually sympathetic with the error, which can happen with the best of journalists. In today’s fast pace toward publications, errors can occur despite efforts to confirm sources and facts. My interest in how to distinguish between the Posts and other publications or sites. In the last few weeks, the suggestion is that governments should move against publications or sites that they deem peddlers of false news. The incident with the Post raises the question how and when government would use this new power.

The Post sparked a national outcry over its article entitled “Russian hackers penetrated U.S. electricity grid through a utility in Vermont, U.S. officials say.” Juliet Eilperin and Adam Entous reported that “A code associated with the Russian hacking operation dubbed Grizzly Steppe by the Obama administration has been detected within the system of a Vermont utility, according to U.S. officials” and continued “While the Russians did not actively use the code to disrupt operations of the utility, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss a security matter, the penetration of the nation’s electrical grid is significant because it represents a potentially serious vulnerability.”

That account was eventually challenged by experts. The utility company issued a formal statement an hour and a half after the Post’s publication, stating “We detected the malware in a single Burlington Electric Department laptop not connected to our organization’s grid systems. We took immediate action to isolate the laptop and alerted federal officials of this finding.”

The Post ran a correction a few hours later stating:

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said that Russian hackers had penetrated the U.S. electric grid. Authorities say there is no indication of that so far. The computer at Burlington Electric that was hacked was not attached to the grid.

The body of the article was changed to include a statement that “Burlington Electric said in a statement that the company detected a malware code used in the Grizzly Steppe operation in a laptop that was not connected to the organization’s grid systems. The firm said it took immediate action to isolate the laptop and alert federal authorities.”

The error has caused a stir, particularly on conservative sites. Yet, much of the article was true. Such errors can occur even with responsible journalists and bloggers. It was a mistake. However, should the Post be punished under proposed “fake news” laws? If not, would the standard be different for a blog? The lack of any real standard reveals these efforts as a new means toward an old ends: to regulate and control speech.

117 thoughts on “The Washington Post and The Crackdown On Fake News: Recent Controversy Raises Questions Over The Proposed Crackdown On Alleged “Fake News””

  1. Unlike that of Director of National Intelligence Clapper, who lied under oath to Congress regarding NSA’s mass surveillance of Americans, the credibility of two former members of the intelligence community, William Binney (NSA) and Ray McGovern (CIA), is very much intact:

    “The long anticipated Joint Analysis Report issued by the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI on Dec. 29 met widespread criticism in the technical community. Worse still, some of the advice it offered led to a very alarmist false alarm about supposed Russian hacking into a Vermont electric power station. [Aided and abetted by The Washington Post
    ]
    “Advertised in advance as providing proof of Russian hacking, the report fell embarrassingly short of that goal. The thin gruel that it did contain was watered down further by the following unusual warning atop page 1: ‘DISCLAIMER: This report is provided “as is” for informational purposes only. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not provide any warranties of any kind regarding any information contained within.’

    “Also, curiously absent was any clear input from the CIA, NSA or Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Reportedly, Mr. Clapper will get a chance tomorrow to brief an understandably skeptical Donald Trump, who has called the briefing delay ‘very strange,’ even suggesting that top intelligence officials ‘need more time to build a case.’

    “Mr. Trump’s skepticism is warranted not only by technical realities, but also by human ones, including the dramatis personae involved. Mr. Clapper has admitted giving Congress on March 12, 2013, false testimony regarding the extent of NSA collection of data on Americans. Four months later, after the Edward Snowden revelations, Mr. Clapper apologized to the Senate for testimony he admitted was ‘clearly erroneous.’ [Emphasis added] That he is a survivor was already apparent by the way he landed on his feet after the intelligence debacle on Iraq.

    “Mr. Clapper was a key player in facilitating the fraudulent intelligence. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld put Mr. Clapper in charge of the analysis of satellite imagery, the best source for pinpointing the location of weapons of mass destruction — if any.”

    “Because NSA can trace exactly where and how any ‘hacked’ emails from the Democratic National Committee or other servers were routed through the network, it is puzzling why NSA cannot produce hard evidence implicating the Russian government and WikiLeaks. Unless we are dealing with a leak from an insider, not a hack, as other reporting suggests. From a technical perspective alone, we are convinced that this is what happened. [Emphasis added]

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-hacking-intelligence-20170105-story.html

  2. Hey, Obama, can we finally have access to HRC’s emails pertaining to the TPP? You, know, the ones you had locked up until after the election??

    Now DNC refused to give FBI access to “hacked” servers – endless lies, cover ups and corruption…

  3. The “All-The-News-That’s-Fit-to-Print Paper of Record” omitted to mention in this article that one of the key witnesses in yesterday’s hearing had previously perjured himself in other testimony, and John McCain asks if it wouldn’t have been a bad thing if the Russians had affected the outcome of the 2016 presidential election:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/05/us/politics/taking-aim-at-trump-leaders-strongly-affirm-findings-on-russian-hacking.html?emc=edit_th_20170106&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=28338725&_r=0

    1. How could they be interfering leftists when they re in accordance with the Money As Free Speech law which did NOT exclude foreign special interest groups? As for hacking? If that is true is it illegal in Russia? I do believe the left bit it’s own donkey on this one.

  4. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/30/donald-trump-george-monbiot-misinformation?CMP=fb_gu “Yes, Donald Trump’s politics are incoherent. But those who surround him know just what they want, and his lack of clarity enhances their power. To understand what is coming, we need to understand who they are. I know all too well, because I have spent the past 15 years fighting them.

    Over this time, I have watched as tobacco, coal, oil, chemicals and biotech companies have poured billions of dollars into an international misinformation machine composed of thinktanks, bloggers and fake citizens’ groups. Its purpose is to portray the interests of billionaires as the interests of the common people, to wage war against trade unions and beat down attempts to regulate business and tax the very rich. Now the people who helped run this machine are shaping the government.
    Trump’s climate denial is just one of the forces that point towards war.

    I first encountered the machine when writing about climate change. The fury and loathing directed at climate scientists and campaigners seemed incomprehensible until I realised they were fake: the hatred had been paid for. The bloggers and institutes whipping up this anger were funded by oil and coal companies.

    1. Faulty reference due to untrustworthy left wing propaganda. Rejected as it causes faulty premises and faulty conclusions. i will not go all Pythagorean on you and demand the proof in numbers but I do expect something more than a rehash of Reason, Guardian and whatever else Pravda is calling itself these days. Opinion is not proof.

  5. Brooklin Bridge, January 5, 2017 at 1:19 pm
    “According to both Glen[n] Gree[n]wald at the Intercept and the article at Forbes Magazine which is linked to in the above post, it is highly likely the WaPo did not bother to even call the utility company as part of its verification process. In other words, there were no efforts to confirm sources. Zero. It is surprising you give them a pass on this as it does not even meet high school standards, never mind those of a national news outlet.”

    I’ve read Glenn Greenwald for many years, including when he was blogging at Salon.com, and he still seems to think that there was some golden age of fourth-estate journalism which has been gradually displaced over the years by increasingly shoddy and propagandistic reporting.

    As this primer (linked to below) on some of the history of the mass media in the US persuasively demonstrates, however, these media have long been used in support of the agendas of the US Power Elite, and I suggest that watching it will provide one a seriously different perspective when it comes to assessing whether contemporary falsifications propagated by the corporate media are attributable to incompetence or duplicity, that is, by the conscious intention to deceive the American public on behalf of overlapping government and corporate interests:

    1. Reviewed the definition of an old word just now: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annoyance

      “Various reasons exist for why one finds particular stimuli annoying. Measurement of annoyance is highly subjective. As an attempt at measurement, psychological studies on annoyance often rely on their subjects’ own ratings of levels of annoyance on a scale.”

  6. Happy new year to all here in the Turley Community.
    Never a dull moment in our World no doubt.

    1. You got a problem with that? I worked at a federal agency where I had a coworker who was found to have committed multiple felonies at work as proved by an internal IG investigation that I was party to. Was this person reported to the police? No. Was this person fired? No. This was person was allowed to give 6 weeks notice, continue being paid, continue coming to work with access to computers, etc and given help finding a job elsewhere. Drain the swamp, baby. Not a dam thing wrong with that.

      1. ” I worked at a federal agency where I had a coworker who was found to have committed multiple felonies at work as proved by an internal IG investigation that I was party to. Was this person reported to the police? No. Was this person fired? No. ”

        Why would anyone think that cutting the pay of all civil service employees would have any effect at all on whether the very few bad apples are removed from the service?

        Doesn’t it seem that if there is a problem we should try to solve the problem instead of taking a swing at all the ones who are doing a good job.

        BTW, I too once worked at a small federal agency. Most of the employees I worked with were at least a motivated and industrious as those I have met in private industry – many far more motivated because there were working in a field that genuinely interested them.

        Civil servants are usually not the problem. If you want to tackle problems in government you probably need to look to the political appointees. Or maybe it did not occur to you that civil servants usually respond to the demands of management?

        1. What does doing a good job have to do with civil service? Your premise is faulty ergo so is your conclusion.

          1. “What does doing a good job have to do with civil service?”

            The comment I responded to claimed that it was reasonable to reduce the pay of all civil servants because some civil servants cause problems.

            I pointed out that most civil servants do a very good job. Reducing their pay will not resolve the problems of the very few civil servants that cause problems.

            The fact that most civil servants do a very good job is directly relevant to their pay.

        2. The fourth branch civil servants do not answer to political appointees nor electees. They are judge, jury and excution in one agency and deserving of nothing except a place in the unemployment line .

          1. “The fourth branch civil servants do not answer to political appointees nor electees.”

            All the federal agencies I am aware of are run by a board of directors appointed by the administration and approved by congress. In addition, there are political appointees ( in my agency they were called Schedule C employees) who are often placed in management and other high level positions.

            Civil servants necessarily answer to political appointees – the directors who are the managers of the agency.

            If you haven’t noticed, federal agencies usually have an odd number of directors. That tends to prevent political deadlock. Occasionally, a director retires, leaving an agency with management politically balanced. In those cases, we frequently see a failure to act on controversial issues or the agency come to a complete standstill due to political deadlock.

            Agencies with much political turmoil in recent years include EPA and FCC. I am sure interested readers could suggest other agencies in which the political allegiance of the directors have influenced the policies and actions of the agency and the civil servants who work there.

        3. BFM – You are right. I wrote in haste and I agree there are many good civil servants. I actually don’t think cutting the pay of all civil servants would have the effect of weeding out bad apples. There is obvious waste and inefficiency and this is what Trump will be looking at. The linked article summed up what I think Trump’s strategy is — that maybe just knowing that he intends to drain the swamp and has some power to do it under this rule (with a 12-month expiration on it), along with the disdain for Trump that most of the left-leaning bureaucrats and Obama appointees probably have, will cause many of them to choose to move on or ‘self-deport’ as the article calls it. I think it might work. Obama increased the bloated bureaucracy as much as he could in eight years and doubled the debt and now Trump will do the opposite. I have no problem with him using every tool or rule available to him to do it.

  7. I think the “fake news” push is not as much to cut off free speech, as it is “free listening” or “free receiving”, to where a person can receive something other than the news The Powers That Be want you to hear. I posted this on the other older thread, but it belongs here, too:

    At the start of the war the propaganda role of the Volksempfänger took a more sinister twist. As hostilities broke out between Germany and the Allies in September 1939, listening to enemy radio stations became punishable by a sentence in a concentration camp. All radios sold came with a chilling warning attached to the tuning knob, “Think about this: listening to foreign broadcasts is a crime against the national security of our people. It is a Führer order punishable by prison and hard labour.”

    Later in the war the Gestapo was instructed to execute anyone discovered listening to enemy radio stations, and ran a particularly vindictive campaign where it advertised for sale radios with short wave bands and then arrested and shot anyone who was duped into buying one as a traitor. Officially the only people who were allowed to listen to foreign broadcasts were the SS and Abwehr (army intelligence) for intelligence purposes and members of the Nazi Party who were given special permission to use more powerful radios to listen out for and disown Allied propaganda.

    Of course, unofficially many Germans took the risk, especially those who owned more powerful pre-war radios, and listened to Allied radio in secret. As the war progressed, the Reich Broadcasting Corporation was severely censored and was not allowed to discuss even the slightest hint that Germany was losing the war, even as late as 1944 when Germany was being hammered by air raids and the Allies were attacking the Reich on both sides. In addition to Luftwaffe pilots, who often tuned into the BBC and American forces stations as a form of light relief from the endless propaganda and volkische music on German stations – at least the Gestapo could not arrest you in the air – concerned German citizens, anti Nazis and many servicemen whose lives depended on accurate news decided that the risk was worthwhile by tuning into Allied broadcasts to find out how Germany was really faring.

    Even the humble Kleine Volksempfänger was not as weak as the Nazis would have liked. All versions came with long wave, which meant that, if you understood English or Russian, the BBC or Radio Moscow could be picked quite easily after dark, and many who wanted to hear how the war was really progressing increased the power of a Volksempfänger by inserting makeshift wire aerials in the back or increasing the sensitivity of the set. ( The Allies also set up anti-Nazi propaganda stations in German such as People’s Radio. ) One soldier stationed in Austria in 1944, who regularly listened to People’s Radio recalled, as his commanding officer was explaining that the Allies had landed in Normandy “Our officer had been explaining the Allies strategies and the possible options for cutting Normandy off from the rest of France. Suddenly one of my comrades said, “It’s already happened.” After a few seconds, the officer asked,” How do you know that- the OKW (army high command) has not announced this”. No explanation was necessary: we sat there like sodden, wet dogs.” Fortunately the soldiers hid the makeshift aerial before the officer examined the set and they escaped certain death as the officer could not prove where the information had come from.

    However, loyalty to the Nazi regime and a fear of being caught persuaded millions of others that listening to broadcasters other than the Reich Broadcasting Corporation was too much of a risk. There was always a chance of being informed on to the Gestapo if you talked about a news item that deviated from the official radio line. Even as late as April 1945, when the Allies were surrounding Berlin and Hitler was hiding in the Bunker, Berlin Radio, broadcasting from the shattered ruins of the city, was still declaring that Germany was soon to win a historic battle against the Allies, and Goebbels defiantly told listeners that the course of war was turning in Germany’s favour on Hitler’s birthday, April 20th. As the Allies smashed through the remains of Germany in 1945, many Germans, until they saw Allied soldiers arrive in their towns and cities, had been unaware that Germany was losing the war. It was not until Berlin Radio announced that Hitler was dead that many Germans were finally convinced the war was lost. The Volksempfänger had played its part in deceiving and intimidating millions of Germans throughout the war.

    https://www.transdiffusion.org/2008/01/07/hitlers_radio

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. References for this?

      As I doubt much of it; a sample of fake Squeeky-history…

        1. Under Radical Reasoning you are able to plagiarize, steal, alter or revise the work of others. One can always point to the fact that they never provide facts, cites, references and sources. That’s all you need to know about the the followers of Plato (we can lie to the public) Kant, Engels, and others all the way up through the gamut of Marxism and Marxist Socialistm including Lykoff Carville, Obama, Soros etc. Besides they aren’t allowed to think nor reason. in effect you are questioning a fly. I have extra swatters if you need one.

          1. No, but I appreciate the offer. Really, could one hope for anything better that someone who disagrees with you missing the obvious BLUE internet link to the source??? I would have block quoted it, but my mouse pad on this laptop is screwing up big time, so I was barely able to copy and paste the comment from the other thread I posted it on, and it looked like the formatting followed it, sooo I didn’t type in the blockquote brackets.

            I changed the keyboard out by myself, which fixed some other problems, but now the whole number keypad doesn’t work.

            Sooo, I will take it off to the shop maybe next week sometime, after I charge up my old spare laptop. I don’t use the desktop for anything other than business, and I hate to buy a new laptop because this one does everything that I want a laptop to do, plus I have all my drivers, and stuff on this. I have several Kindles to browse the net on. And I am used to this one. Plus, I don’t want to learn Windows 10 or whatever.

            Squeeky Fromm
            Girl Reporter

      1. David Benson,
        While Corrie ten Boom does not comment about warning labels on knobs, she does comment on the Dutch being ordered to turn in all radios. She lied about the second radio her family hid. She also notes that her family listened to the Free Dutch broadcasts.

        Pages 65-66 in The Hiding Place.

    2. Squeeky — Yes, I finally noticed the link before you mentioned it. I read it, all the way through the comments which show the text you cribbed is full of error.

      In particular, while some ignoramii might not have noticed Germany was losing, I have strong reason to think that most recognized the end was coming rather earlier. As a dramatic example,
      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/20_July_plot
      but, and not the best source for ‘the end’,
      http://www.geniusstuff.com/blogs/the-uncertainty-of-heisenbergs-nazi-bomb-motivations.htm

      So, do you have actual quotations? Because, once again, I don’t belive you.

    1. What a great interview! Greenwald is at his absolute best in giving nuanced penetrating answers to very difficult questions.

      Thanks as usual, Autumn!

  8. Corporate news will always be on the side of corporate, but…..if corporate media show nothing more than a test pattern, its viewers will still be more informed than those of “FOX NEWS”

    1. “…its viewers will still be more informed than those of “FOX NEWS””

      And this is what is supposed to pass for critical-thinking in today’s cultural. Another victim exposed. LOL!

      Nicely done!

  9. Good thing to point out Karen.

    In the e-mails they said of our population something like–we have made citizens stupid and compliant, now they aren’t compliant. I believe fake newz hysteria is an attempt to bring back compliance.

    We should not be either stupid or compliant.

  10. “In the last few weeks, the suggestion is that governments should move against publications or sites that they deem peddlers of false news.”

    If we give our government the right to monitor us for what it considers fake news, we’ve just thrown our First Amendment away.

    Richard Nixon would have been able to go after anyone who claimed he’d been a crook, Hillary Clinton would have been able to go after anyone who claimed she’d emailed classified information and wiped her server clean to hide it, the news that Iraq’s WMD were old and crumbling in storage would have been suppressed…

    Before you give the government the right to muzzle you, think long and hard about all the times the government firmly stood by one story, only to be proven completely wrong, and deliberately so, by grass roots citizen reporters, leaks, and other highly antagonistic reporting.

  11. I have to challenge two points:

    I am actually sympathetic with the error, which can happen with the best of journalists. In today’s fast pace toward publications, errors can occur despite efforts to confirm sources and facts.

    According to both Glen Greewald at the Intercept and the article at Forbes Magazine which is linked to in the above post, it is highly likely the WaPo did not bother to even call the utility company as part of its verification process. In other words, there were no efforts to confirm sources. Zero. It is surprising you give them a pass on this as it does not even meet high school standards, never mind those of a national news outlet.

    Yet, much of the [Post] article was true.

    Again, from your own source as well as Greenwald, just about nothing in the article was true, other than Vermont does indeed have utility companies. So bad was the journalistic standards in this article that it might as well be a clear case of intent to deceive. And btw, the WaPo is fully aware that by retracting the lies subsequently, they still get the benefit of those lies. Most people who initially read the article still believe the original form and do not have the time or inclination to go back to every article they read for updates or retractions. It’s hardly the first time the Post, and most other news outlets, has been guilty of this tactic. This amounts to the Post being directly responsible for ratcheting up tensions between two nuclear powers, in the case of the Post, all part of the ever more insane and frantic efforts to cover for the Democrat party’s abject failure with the American people.

    The conclusions you draw, however, are another matter. Hard to disagree with. A particularly perceptive one is the sad reality that, [ostensible truth is] the perfect vehicle to convince citizens to voluntarily surrender their right to free speech, even celebrate its passing.

    Yet another example of why we (humanity) may well be hoisting ourselves on our own petard. No place left where the truth is a legal resident.

    1. Brooklin Bridge – It is interesting that Bezos, Obama and Clinton and all buddies. I think Obama put a word in Bezos shell like ear and that is how the inaccurate article got written. It fit the “Russians are Coming” meme of the Obama administration.

  12. Olly, January 5, 2017 at 10:46 am
    “ ‘Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why so great a portion of mankind, after nature has long since discharged them from external direction (naturaliter maiorennes), nevertheless remains under lifelong tutelage, and why it is so easy for others to set themselves up as their guardians. It is so easy not to be of age. If I have a book which understands for me, a pastor who has a conscience for me, a physician who decides my diet, and so forth, I need not trouble myself. I need not think, if I can only pay – others will easily undertake the irksome work for me.’ Immanuel Kant
    http://www.allmendeberlin.de/What-is-Enlightenment.pdf

    “If we neglect to teach critical-thinking skills and/or refrain from encouraging the people to use reason in their daily lives, then the people will be nothing more than hatchlings accepting whatever is rammed down their throats.”
    ———————————
    Great quotation of Kant, whose concept is expounded in highly informative detail by Ivan Illich, et al in their book Disabling Professions, demonstrating how the general public has allowed itself to be disabled by the “expertise” of guilded, monopolistic “experts.”
    http://www.uvm.edu/~asnider/Ivan_Illich/Ivan_Illich_Disabling_Professions.pdf

    The deliberate neglect of teaching critical-thinking skills in US public schools is eloquently explained by award-winning teacher John Taylor Gatto in several books, including Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling:

    “With over 70,000 copies of the first edition in print, this radical treatise on public education has been a New Society Publishers’ bestseller for 10 years! Thirty years in New York City’s public schools led John Gatto to the sad conclusion that compulsory schooling does little but teach young people to follow orders like cogs in an industrial machine [or hatchlings accepting whatever is rammed down their throats]. This second edition describes the wide-spread impact of the book and Gatto’s ‘guerrilla teaching.’

    “John Gatto has been a teacher for 30 years and is a recipient of the New York State Teacher of the Year award. His other titles include A Different Kind of Teacher (Berkeley Hills Books, 2001) and The Underground History of American Education (Oxford Village Press, 2000).”

    1. Thanks for the link. The erosion of critical thinking in public education is troubling.

      Read various works from the 1800s and compare the wit, layers of entendre, references to the classics, prose, sentence structure, and reasoning, to those of the present day. Even the most common sailer in HRM navy composed extemporaneous poetry from the masthead that still endures today, and they were soaked in grog. We are no longer learning how to think for ourselves in school. Classic reasoning, debate, and philosophy are no longer taught.

    2. good post

      Kant was next in line after Plato as the second father of Naitonal and Interenational Socialism. Followed by Hegel, Engels etc. The common feature is totalitarian government with ruling class etc etc etc.

      To balance that particular reading at the very least follow Aristotle line to it’s end as a minimum then skip to the englightment philosophers where flaws still existed then jump over the Platoists to the mid 1900s. Just because they are old does not make them correct. Philosophy has taken over 2500 years to develop.

  13. “Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why so great a portion of mankind, after nature has long since discharged them from external direction (naturaliter maiorennes), nevertheless remains under lifelong tutelage, and why it is so easy for others to set themselves up as their guardians. It is so easy not to be of age. If I have a book which understands for me, a pastor who has a conscience for me, a physician who decides my diet, and so forth, I need not trouble myself. I need not think, if I can only pay – others will easily undertake the irksome work for me.” Immanuel Kant

    http://www.allmendeberlin.de/What-is-Enlightenment.pdf

    If we neglect to teach critical-thinking skills and/or refrain from encouraging the people to use reason in their daily lives, then the people will be nothing more than hatchlings accepting whatever is rammed down their throats.

    1. Good one Olly. Extending this a little more, I have seen so many people who have “just gotten along in life” and were always opting to take the path of least resistance embrace this MSM wave against Trump. Never wanting to be bothered or to care, they now have decided to connect–and it seems the MSM is their source for personal knowledge and realization. I see many Facebook posts from people who embrace this ongoing total nonsense, which is nonsense to most people who have a rudimentary understanding of events. Also what’s troubling is that this whole thing has gone right to their limbic system–they seem consumed by the whole matter. Maybe the MSM is smarter than we give them credit for. They may have recognized this effect years earlier and are now cashing in. And it’s amazing to see the newly self-perceived authority they exude.

      1. “Also what’s troubling is that this whole thing has gone right to their limbic system–they seem consumed by the whole matter.”

        Great point Slohrss. Thank you

    2. “then the people will be nothing more than hatchlings accepting whatever is rammed down their throats.” — precisely what Obama counts on for his continued popularity, hence the late night talk show tours and YouTube interviews. They count on the “stupidity of the American people” as Jonathan Gruber exposed -while they ram their agendas down our throats. Who said “the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation”? I would add “and stupidity” to that line.

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