The Weak Leading The Crazy

The fake news phenomenon is nothing new. It’s been a part of the business since William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer invented it in the United States. They are the two credited with inventing yellow journalism and using it to get the US to declare war on Spain at the end of the 19th century. It probably goes back further, but it was these two who figured out how to make it work in the age of mass media. It’s not an accident that the two men who created fake news have journalism awards named after them.

More recently, the gold standard of fake news is the fake human interest story. This is where the fake reporter would find some fake people to write about, placing them into a canned narrative. Sometimes the people would be real, but their story was fictionalized and their quotes created by the fake reporters. Mike Barnacle had a long career at the Boston Globe writing fake human interest stories. He was eventually found out and fired, but people always knew he was a faker. He’s now a regular on MSNBC as a fake guest.

Another variation on this is the Stephen Glass example. He was a “journalist” for the New Republic, who wrote eye catching first person stories about outlandish things supposedly happening in Washington. Of course, his subjects were almost always conservatives acting in a way that titillated Progressives. For example, he did a piece on CPAC in which he described conservatives carrying on like a Roman orgy. He was eventually found out by someone at Forbes magazine and the New Republic fired him.

Despite that rather famous event, Progressive publications have done little to address the wholesale fraud that goes on in the business. If anything, it is worse now that ever. It’s rare to find a named source in a story,. All sources are now “unnamed sources” by which they mean imaginary. Even sports has succumbed to this habit. It’s so egregious, it has to be assumed that everyone knows it is all fake. When someone reports on something that only two people could know, and neither is named in the story, the report has to be fake.

This week we may be seeing fake news merge with mass hysteria to set off a panic among the Cloud People. First we have fiction writer Bob Woodward out with his latest collection of ghost stories. Woodward is the guy who used former CIA director Bill Casey as a source, while Casey was in a coma. That’s right, he claimed to have spoken to a man while he was in a coma. His Watergate writing was similarly full of fabrications. There is a great book on that topic and all else related to Watergate called Silent Coup.

Anyway, Woodward has a book out on Trump in which he strokes every single fear and hatred of the NeverTrump loons. Totally a coincidence, no doubt. Perhaps sensing it was too obvious or hoping to piggyback on the release, the New York Times has an op-ed up that is supposedly written by a White House insider. Reading the thing, it feels as if it was written by a couple of clever college boys pulling a prank. The only thing missing from it is a picture of Sam Hyde. Judging from the reaction, even liberals suspect it is fake.

Of course, all of this is a coordinated effort by the mass media to damage Trump in the run up to the midterm elections. We know this is a coordinated effort because they did their organizing in public view. Someone needs to explain to the media that conspiracies work best when  done in private. Someone should also tell the media that the point is to scare the public, not scare yourselves. All of these whoppers they are producing read like the stuff pink pussy hat wearing gals tell one another after too many gulps of chardonnay.

All of this is amusing, but it is also revealing. On a daily basis the mass media tells us that there is no reason for the Dirt People to bother voting this fall. The blue wave is coming in November and the House will soon be stuffed with exotic brown people, sporting funny names and a long list of grievances against whitey. Yet, they are in a full panic, carrying on as if they expect the opposite. The grotesque theater that was the McCain funeral is another example that suggests these people feel the heat of the setting sun.

Another amusing aspect to this is the Prog loonies will no doubt have their panties in a twist when the truth is revealed. If it is a real person in the White House, the media will suddenly be outraged by the doxxing of this brave hero. Meanwhile, Darren Beattie will remain unemployed. If it turns out the writer is Jayson Blair, the whole thing will be thrown down the memory hole along with all the other hoaxes. Of course, regardless of the outcome, the Progs will consider the contents to be gospel for the next six years.

Journalism  has always been about shaping public opinion. It has always been fake news, which is why their top awards are named after the inventors of yellow journalism. It worked for a long time because the guys who used to run the media were smart and they hired smart people. They also had a feel for their audience. Today, the typical journalist is a hormonal girl, with a head full of feminist nonsense. Alternatively, it is a foppish male with no useful skills and no useful experience in the world.

Compounding it is the the management class of these news organizations have never done real reporting. Many came out of politics, never having covered a fire or reported on a court case. They don’t know the basics of the news business, so they are easily fooled by their obsequious underlings. The result is the typical news organization is the weak leading the crazy. In an age where facts are easily verified and groups of volunteers can crowd-source a response, fake news needs to be smart. Instead it is stupid and childish.

88 thoughts on “The Weak Leading The Crazy

  1. Yes, fake news is now ubiquitous and obvious, but it is more than just propaganda. It is part of the memetic assault on the mush-minded that is actively and effectively reprogramming modern cultural and political beliefs. Repetitive messaging is an important technique that enhances success. In other words, the mass market news media isn’t just annoying, they are dangerous like a plague.

  2. Good essay. I certainly agree with its relation to the press; meanwhile “the weak leading the crazy” applies to a myriad of American industries & institutions. “The weak” are often very intelligent and highly schooled, but they tend to poorly educated chuckleheads who’ve never actually produced anything of value. If they’re in the senior leadership realm (running the gamut from military flag officers to bishops to captains of industry) they’ve typically arrived at the top because of their Machiavellian political skills, which means on the exigent matters of the day they’re experts in manipulating people and truth, and not much else. These are the men who can’t do basic wiring, change their oil, grow a potato, or clean a sink trap … so if we’re headed for cultural/economic collapse I say bring it on, as it’s the only thing that will wipe these guys out.

  3. I don’t think Trump or any of his people had anything to do with this (but I wouldn’t be surprised at all, if their are Bush fingerprints all over it). His gift, is to see things like this and make them work for him. By being patient, and taking what the “game” gives him at any one time, he avoids doing anything actionable (e.g. Nixon and Watergate). With the widespread tertiary syphilis in the progressive camp, you know something will pop up every day that can be used against them.

  4. “When the last light warms the rocks
    And the rattlesnakes unfold
    Mountain cats will come to drag away your bones”

    After listening to Booker’s “Spartacus” moment while stuck in a car in Dallas traffic…I’m voting for “throw anything at the Trump monster before he devours us”.

  5. Z: “Journalism has always been about shaping public opinion.” You almost can’t blame the Left. They’ve finally got their hands fully wrapped around the awesome weapon of media, and the Right is throwing hissy fits demanding that they use it responsibly on us. To which they respond with big belly gangster laughter.

  6. While dishonest, yellow journalism has been alive and well in the USA since the days of George Washington, it is different this time; a lot different.

    Up until the time of the Vietnam War -give or take – news outlets offered a diversity of “biased” reporting; mostly newspapers and perhaps a TV “talk” show of sorts .

    Of course, during WWII, WWI, etc., this was not the case re: war news, but aside from that if you looked around a bit, you could find several different points of views in those days. This is not surprising because there were many more newspapers back when and most “reporters” never went to journalism (i.e., Marxist propaganda) school.

    TV of olde always had more uniformity of thought, but prior to the Vietnam War, at least Cronkite,, did not hate everything about the USA (as do today’s “reporters.)

    What IS different today about the media is the 10000% uniformity of pro-leftist thought and speech; it is straight out of Orwell’s 1984 “Ministry of Truth.” This uniformity of the media, previously, was only found in the USSR or Hitler’s Germany or present day Cuba, N.Korea.

    And what is also different today is that the media has voluntarily and willingly become the propaganda arm of the democrat/ party/ANTIFA/BLM/Workers Socialist Party.
    Yep, no need to threaten reporters with a permanent vacation to a Siberian gulag or a boxcar ride to your certain gas-induced murder to print / recite today’s left wing propaganda. They do it willingly and without any sort of coercion.

    In this regard, their actions are more insidious and duplicitous than those reporters of Pravda or Izvestia under Joe Stalin. At least in the good old days of the communist USSR – a time when the democrat (i.e, Marxist-Leninists) party here in the USA was in love with Mother Russia – readers KNEW they were getting the govt. line. After all, the state owned the media.

    The media today in the USA can still claim that they are independent; which legally they are. But in every other meaningful sense, they are as just as beholden to the left as was Der Deutsche Beobachter beholden to the anti-capitalist , socialist , failed Austrian artist , Adolph Hitler.

    • Yeah, John, there were indeed many more newspapers back when, and most “reporters” never went to *journalism* (i.e., Marxist propaganda) school.
      TV of olde always had more uniformity of thought, but… least Cronkite,, did not *hate* everything about the USA (as do today’s “reporters.)

      And, more papers (and other outlets) had *local* ownership, who couldn’t easily be implicitly threatened with anti-trust prosecution etc.
      So, yeah, in every meaningful sense, they are almost as beholden to the Left, and the Deep State, as if they were owned by these folks.

      See (lefty) Sheldon Wolin’s insights on “inverted totalitarianism”.
      (In my view, he puts too much weight on the corporate part, and not enough on the Deep State.)

  7. I feel we need more guys like Uncle Walter in the media. Yeah, he was probably liberal, but he didn’t have the weird mix of smugness and ignorance that the current talking heads have.

  8. “Today, the typical journalist is a hormonal girl, with a head full of feminist nonsense. Alternatively, it is a foppish male with no useful skills and no useful experience in the world.”

    That’s the money quote right there.

  9. 4D chess theory: Trump had one of his senior administration officials plant that op-ed in the NY Times to give himself an excuse to purge Deep Staters and Obama/Bush/NeverTrump holdovers from his administration.

    Yes, I know it’s wild. But it is actually the theory that makes the most sense.

  10. I find it amusing the right wants to dismiss this when, incidentally true or not, it is conceptually the reason for Trump being a mediocrity on the issues they care about. Sedition prevents anything but neoliberal policy from being pursued in ernest. If that were not the case, one would have to suppose Trump himself was in on the joke.

    • Z-Man’s Corollary to Hanlon’s Razor: Never dismiss malice as the cause of most stupidity.

      I think the thing could be a setup by a prankster in the White House or it could be a genuine subversive. I think the NYTimes was stupid to run with it and I think they were motivated by ideological fervor.

      The elephant in the room for months now is all of those hidden and redacted documents related to the FBI scandal. With a stroke of his pen, Trump can dump all that stuff into the public domain. He now has another reason to do so.

  11. Like their ridiculous physical appearance (think Pajamaboy), the Left’s blithering idiocy is actually another potent weapon. Just as nobody sees a 95 lb. dreadlocked soy-sicle like Eric Clanton as a threat — which lets him get close enough to brain you with a bike lock — so the fact that these guys are just so. fucking. stooooopid makes it impossible to believe we could ever lose to them…. so we do. All the time. It’s like a possum playing dead or something. I have no idea how it works, but it does….

  12. What the rabid moonbats don’t realize is that every time another wacko tall tale about Trump comes out, we normals tend to react one way…we buy more ammo.

  13. My working hypothesis is that the Trump organization planted the NYT article as a media psy-op to provide the pretense necessary to declassify the documents from Mueller’s investigation and to take the Kavanaugh hearings off the top of the news cycle. As a bonus, it drove a wedge between the news organizations previously united against Trump. The NYT is completely isolated on this one.

    There are no meaningful new revelations in the article. It’s just a rehash of the allegations in the Woodward book with an “I’m an insider” spin attached to it. The article is red meat (or should I say tofu?) for the fever swamp of Trump haters, but there’s nothing in the article that can hurt Trump.

    Trump knew damn well that this article would be catnip for the NYT editorial staff. (Query: Was Sarah Jeong in on the decision to publish?). The article provides credence to Trump’s claims that there exists a conspiracy within the government to undermine his presidency, which is exactly what he needs to justify declassifying the documents. IMO this was a brilliant media play by Trump.

    • I’m no fan of the eleventy-D chess stuff, but that actually sounds more plausible than the NYTimes version. It really does feel like a 4Chan gag.

      I think the most likely scenario is it is Kellyanne Conway’s husband. So, it is not entirely fake, but mostly fake.

  14. Well it probably is fake given the source. But if … IF it’s true… then the liberals just admitted there is a Deep State problem, and it’s a problem they created. Either way … can I please start shooting now? Or building the gallows?

    • Their Deep State “problem” is an unmasked feature, in their eyes. We see it as a problem, but they see it as a necessary virtue.

  15. It was former CIA director Bill Casey that Woodward lied about hearing the deathbed confession from, not Bob. Chuck Colson was in the same hospital at the time and witnessed Woodward harassing hospital staff trying to get into Casey’s room. As a friend, Colson was invited up to see Casey and reported that Casey was unable to speak and that his room had 24 hour security. When the book was released and Colson reported what he witnessed, the press tried to smear him as liar because of his connection to Watergate, even though he had spent the years since his release from prison running a Christian prison ministry and was not active in politics.

    • Ooops. Thanks. I fixed it.

      Yeah, IIRC, one of Casey’s security detail also spoke out about it. He said he witnessed Woodward trying to convince hospital personnel to let him through.

      Frankly, I’ve always suspect that Deep Throat was a fiction. When Mark Felt claimed he was Deep Throat, it struck me as the last act of a dying man. Woodward went along with it because he took the onus off him to reveal his source, who probably never existed. In reality he was fed information from White House people like Dean and Haig. Felt could have been another source.

  16. RE: your last paragraph – I don’t think it applies only to journalism. I think it applies in all sectors everywhere. Men who have no idea how to change a tire. Women who have no idea how to do laundry. And vice versa. Bankers who can’t fill out paperwork correctly. Medical offices that are understaffed because they can’t find someone competent and willing to work. And so on. This country is in a world of hurt whenever the last of the boomers retire and the majority of everything is run by Gen X and Millenials. A world of hurt. The apocalypse will come except it’s going to look a lot more like the novelette Kornbluth’s The Marching Morons at least as far as society looks than most imagine.

    • Well, SES, you may be right about other sectors, but journalism may still be the worst sector, esp. in the Imperial City.
      Medical offices, banks, etc., are less likely to be overrun by self-reinforcing ideologies than are newsrooms, where coverage of public affairs (to which SJW ideologies so clearly pertain) IS the biz at hand.
      These ideologies are thus more likely to become the Talk of the Office in the MSM.
      Whereas, if the subject of (SJW) ideology emerges in a medical etc. office, this emergence is more likely to be accidental, and frowned upon by the brass.

      And, J-schools are more likely, than med schools etc., to transmit fervent SJW ideology.

      • I think you’d be surprised by how the echo changers penetrate every aspect of society. Anywhere you have nurses and MA’s you are very likely to have an SJW hangout. Which not coincidentally are also the places that are gun free zones AKA sitting duck zones.

        • I hear you, SES, about nurses etc.
          But I still see J-school grads as more likely to live-and-breathe SJW-ism, and to have this tendency spurred, by the subjects which so many of them cover, and the “sources” with whom they must get on with, esp. in the Imperial City.

    • This idea piggybacks on yesterday’s topic. Things are too complex, and too often monitored and operated by simpletons or people who don’t give a crap. When the malfunctions reach a critical mass, a cascade of failures will ensue. In our politics, we are almost there. Some event out of left field will send DC cascading into failure.

  17. Based on all the hysteria and vitriol the dems are spouting that their internal tracking polls do not bode well for them in nov?

  18. The writer of the recent NYT editorial seems to be an undercover saboteur from the Bill Kristol wing of the party. Trump needs to purge these types after the election.

    It could also be a hoax. (The editorial certainly reads like a parody of GOPe beliefs.) But who can tell?

    • My guess is Nick Ayers, chief of staff to VP Pence. I’m presuming that Ayers has some role in writing Pence’s speeches, which is how we get the lodestar reference.

      • That makes a lot of sense. It explains his motive for removing Trump: the writer gets more power if his boss becomes president.

        He did mention the twenty-fifth amendment. People often give away more hints than they realize.

        • Here’s the plan.
          Hillary runs for congress, the Dems rig the election and win the house. Hilary is elected Speaker, Trump is impeached, Pence has a debilitating accident and is 25thed and voila, Hillary is Queen.

  19. The other side of this is people want to believe what they want to believe. So any publisher who panders to their way of thinking will do so for as long they have an audience. Especially those who lack critical thinking skills and are incapable of thinking for themselves.

    • I frequent a few boards that are largely Euro based. Mostly tech types and was surprised by the content they view. Young Turks is one for god’s sake. And of course the usual denigration of Trump in offhand remarks.

      I used to overlook such things on non political sites, but now give back in spades to those fools.

      • There is no Fox News International. The UK government specifically forbade Murdoch from changing Sky News into a right-wing broadcaster. Not to defend Murdoch and his family, who are not our friends (a real friend would give us Fox Nightly News on the broadcast network, not a cable news ghetto). Additionally there is only Fox, rather than two or three competing right-wing networks like ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, BBC. The best we had was RT, which has been hit by the sanctions.

    • Karl Horst, it’s all about the dopamine. Publishing to the prejudices of the reader releases a pleasurable and addictive dopamine hit in the reader, when he reads what he already believes in. Google and FB play on this in an interactive fashion, while the NYT and WP just throw stuff at the wall to see what sticks. These guys are no more than streetcorner drug dealers, in an indirect sort of way.

    • People with higher degrees make good targets for propaganda and cons because they ‘know’ how smart they are and, being arrogant about their own intelligence, will not be open minded about the possibility they don’t have a bead on things. Otherwise very smart people. My sister and her husband are like this — they each have a PhD and are pathetically proud of this academic achievement. She in particular makes clear that she believes the media, even ridiculous stuff, and tRump is a lying, bigoted, sexist, narcissist. We still can’t talk about the ’16 election or politics. I despair because after all this brainwashing the quality of our people in this country suffers and that will make it impossible to turn things around.

      • Ursula, if they blank out when you ask them to explain “straw man”, you know them to be Pseudos.
        Likewise, if they can’t tell a Logically Valid argument from an empirically “true” argument.

    • fake news needs to be smart. Instead it is stupid and childish.

      As Karl says, MPAI, and a large percentage of those who are not swallow what they want to hear. Just like no one every went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people, I doubt the fake news purveyors will fade into the sunset. At least not until everything comes crashing down or withers away.

  20. Gen Z gets their news from 4chan, millennials get their news from Reddit, I don’t think Gen X cares, and the boomers get their news from ABCNBCCBSCNNFOX. I would short news media if there was anything left to short.

      • I’d believe an average age of “70 or so” for National Review, and the Episcopal Church. But Cable News is probably solidly in the 60’s.

        • Well that’s a relief! I’m banging hard on the door of 60….and while I don’t think I have one foot in the grave, I AM peering over the edge.

  21. It would be a shame if someone would mention something to Putin or Xi Jinping how nice it would be if some of these fake news artists would croak.

  22. I am wondering, with all this Russian hacking nonsense, experiencing it first hand and knowing how laughable and absurd it is, but seeing the media and establishment treat it with utter seriousness, will our children or grandchildren’s history books reflect all of this as fact, as things or threats that really existed? Will the typical suburban American history text inculcate all of this as realism, or is there a judgement in history and there will be a rational corrective? Are many of the things we are taught in history as make believe as all of this, and really reflecting the interests of elites?

      • Yeah, Rich, and who wins this time will likely be largely determined by how much Trunp dares to declassify, esp. about the corrupt FISA etc. evidence.
        He must probably tread carefully, because if he declassifies so much that all FBI testimony (esp. in 302 forms) is discredited, the Federal court system could be *deluged* with defendants’ appeals, challenging those convictions obtained via testimony on such forms.

        The FBI has become Too Big to Fail.

        • Declassify everything..Half the people convicted by FBI evidence should probably be freed anyway. Mueller sent 4 guys to prison in MA for a murder he knew they didn’t commit…Later on, that cost the government $101 million.

      • That may be true in most cases, with the exception to the rule being the Arabs in the Arab-Israeli wars/conflicts.
        Of course that may be partially explained by the ease with which the world generally is willing to accept their alternate versions of history.
        In this case the losers are able to continue to write history because their enemy is the Jews, and the world they are selling their tripe to is a mostly anti-Jew one (much more descriptive and accurate than anti-Semitic).

    • It’ll be almost impossible to explain, even if the writers are honest. Mentalities are the hardest thing to grasp about the past. Read up on the Inquisition, or the Wars of Religion, and you can’t help thinking “wait, they actually **killed people** over this?!?” Such will be Russian hacking, pussy hats, transgenderism, and all the rest — life and death at the time, incomprehensible even a generation later.

      • Yeah, but it’ll be even further to the left, like “wait, they didn’t just jail trump supporters on the spot?”

    • The media want to frame the Trump era the same way they did the Joe McCarthy era. The narrative I learned about McCarthy in high school was that he was a lying opportunist with temporary control of the country. Only later did I discover that McCarthy’s charges were largely correct, even understated.

      If we lose, history will record that Trump gained temporary control by inflaming the racism of older whites until he was defeated by vibrant multiracial USA led by the fearless media.

      • “…until he was defeated by vibrant multiracial USA led by the fearless media.”

        Aye, and it will be noted that such intrepid reporting had not been seen since Watergate… 😉

      • Line, instead of arguing about what McCarthy and the MSM did then, I advise hitting ’em with Trump’s (mostly implicit?) charge, that their irresponsible cow about this Russia stuff makes McCarthy’s worst deeds seem utterly tame by comparison.

        This MSM Russia tantrum is very arguably the most “laughable” (h/t Chomsky) orgy of *mass* journalistic malpractice in history, according to, not only various Righties (e.g. Sundance, at ), but also widely-respected Lefties (e.g. Chomsky and Greenwald).
        *These* Lefties see this orgy as an ironic exercise of “(mainstream) lefty McCarthyism”.

        I’ll wager, that coming months will see that view being effectively vindicated, in much (most?) of the public mind.
        And, *these* (far) Lefties may well then concede, that this was all a Dem Establishment frame job vs. Trump, to hide the Dem Establishment’s sabotage of Bernie’s bid vs. Hillary.
        (Greenwald has already hinted at this.)

    • It’s going to be a moot point…In 40 years, half the population will be functionally illiterate, and in 100 years that figure will be 90% if the Reds win.

  23. “another example that suggests these people feel the heat of the setting sun.”

    Can see what you were trying to do there, but it doesn’t actually work 🙁

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