right-wing propaganda

Beware of those "Local" news stories on social media

It's the newest frontier in fake news & propaganda:

Some misinformation in local news comes from foreign governments seeking to meddle in American domestic politics. Most notably, numerous Twitter accounts operated by the Russian Internet Research Agency were found to have impersonated local news aggregators during the 2016 election campaign.

A recent Senate Intelligence Committee report found that 54 such accounts published more than 500,000 tweets. According to researchers at N.Y.U., the fake local news accounts frequently directed readers to genuine local news articles about polarizing political and cultural topics.

I know I've ticked off more than a handful of friends by correcting them when they share hinky stuff on Facebook, but I mostly do it via private messages these days instead of the comment thread. I really don't want to be "that guy," but when the person posting it has several hundred friends, the misinformation can spread like wildfire. And it's not just those dastardly Russians doing it; the (U.S.) Conservative election machine is now cranking out a ton of this material as well:

North Carolina's right-wing propaganda problem

A plethora of bent "news" organizations are dotting the landscape:

Few are the issues where the differences between conservatives and leftists are more striking than those involving air and water. Under the Obama administration, policies were put in place in the name of environmental stewardship that highlight these issues. One such policy is the Clean Power Plan, and another is the Waters of the U.S. Rule.

Unfortunately, the Cooper administration is clearly taking the side of these Obama-era regulations, despite their potential for harming North Carolina.

Mark Shiver and the "NC Capitol Connection" is an offshoot of the Civitas Institute, which has been seeking to expand its influence via the creation of "fresh new" media outlets with names not directly associated with Art Pope's traditional propaganda factories. Aside from churning out misleading observations and analyses about NC's political environment, Shiver is a frequent flyer of the ncpol Twitter feed, linking to his own drivel and (of course) anything crafted by JLF/Civitas. Another of these new propaganda outlets is the North State Journal:

Fascism Watch: The rise of the propagandists

We've always been at war with Eastasia:

Donald Trump ran a campaign built almost exclusively on lies and demagoguery, so it stands to reason that his presidency will usher in a new era of deceitful propaganda as well. It could very well dwarf the George W. Bush administration’s infamous propaganda push around the Iraq War.

As detailed in a recent report from Media Matters, is that Trump can rely on a pre-existing infrastructure of well-funded conspiracy theorists, like Alex Jones, James O’Keefe, and David Daleiden, who pose as “citizen journalists” and pump out a steady stream of lies and misinformation to support the Trump agenda.

The United States has had its share of demagogues over the years, but none have surpassed Trump in his ability to create a narrative out of thin air, and have millions fall for it immediately. And the Liar in Chief has learned a valuable (to him) lesson: He doesn't have to study an issue, or have advisors coach him on how to deal with it. Whatever pops into his twisted mind becomes the reality, and the only people who are delusional are those who question him. And if you're making the wrong assumption that Congress will keep him in check, consider these events:

Picking apart the Heritage Foundation's defense of Kim Davis

No stop lights or signs at the intersection of Church and State:

The first thing to acknowledge, however, is that Ms. Davis didn’t cause this problem. The Supreme Court did. When the court ruled in June that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right, it redefined marriage for the nation, in a way that I and many others do not believe was constitutionally justified. And it redefined Ms. Davis’s job.

Because each marriage license issued by the clerk’s office bore her name and title, Ms. Davis concluded that her religious beliefs meant she could not have her office issue licenses to same-sex couples. So she had the office stop issuing them entirely.

The Supreme Court did *not* redefine her job, it clarified it. Making it clear that she did not have the right to discriminate against those citizens of which she did not approve. And the fact her name and title appear on the legal document does not mean that gives her powers she had not been granted by voters or the state. And considering she previously issued licenses for divorcees, non-Christians, and other couples whose marriages, according to the Bible, should not be sanctified, means she is using her own discretion about who to refuse and who to allow, not the Bible's teachings. Which is also the very thing the Founding Fathers feared would happen if religion injected itself into our government. More twisting from the masters of such:

Burr leans on bent think-tank to support his ACA alternative bill

Partisan politics and pseudo-scientific bullshit:

I certainly believe that both the Obama campaign and administration have sought to construct a political narrative that dispenses with inconvenient facts. The campaign narrative was that the U.S. economy was crumbling, broken by Republicans, and in need of being “rebuilt.”

That narrative supported “investments” — progressive-speak for massive federal spending — government takeovers where desired (health care) or needed by unions (autos), and massive deficits.

You're right, I put this diary together backwards, just so you browsers would get a taste of the "expert" that Senator Richard Burr hopes will give his horribly bad legislation a whiff of legitimacy:

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