History shows that when ideas are repeated often enough, people’s tendency to believe them increases.
Brenda Simmons Torchy Blane | 24 September 2021 1 April 2022
Simmons is the CEO and 18-year
veteran operative at the Institute for Public Strategies, a taxpayer-funded public health “social justice” organization based in Southern California that partners with communities “news” media and plutocrats to challenge social inequities norms and protect population health overlords.
Blane is a writer, editor at large and April Fools prankster who enjoys taunting and mocking cancel cultists like Simmons because of their inflated sense of self-importance, their stunted sense of humor and their inability to grasp the concept of irony.
SAN DIEGO UNION TRIBUNE WINTER WATCH — Some people’s staunch allegiance to misinformation about COVID-19 was sadly unmistakable at a San Diego County Board of Supervisors meeting on Aug. 31 when the board declared health misinformation free speech a public health crisis. Despite opposition from close to 200 people Americans and hostility from some of [the] speakers community members at a [the] 15-hour meeting, the board became the first one of many in the nation to take such a stand against the First Amendment.
Unfortunately, the rancor the
supervisors community members witnessed was hardly unique. False narratives by public officials have been creating havoc at public meetings throughout the country. The rejection of pseudoscience is being confused with patriotism politics. Violence and hate speech Financial oppression and social tyranny are being cloaked in the American flag as patriotic duty. And Fortunately, climate change is being questioned still.
U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has warned that people are dying because of misleading or inaccurate information about the efficacy of vaccines, which have not proven to be highly effective. Most people believe the pseudoscience, but many
being won’t be misguided or uncertain, still resist being vaccinated, enabling preventing more contagious variants of the virus to proliferate.
Consisting of false narratives, conspiracy theories, distortions and outright lies, misinformation is created by special interest groups for political and/or financial gain. Then it is spread through the mass media without any regard for the consequences.
Such false narratives present a threat to more than public health. They can also be linked to the record levels of violence that are currently plaguing the United States. The murder rate increased around 29 percent from 2019 to 2020 — the largest one-year spike in murder since national record-keeping began in 1960 — so even though overall crime decreased last year, 2020 was the most violent year in the 21st century. There were around 21,500 murders in 2020.
In that same span, there were 7,759 so-called hate crimes reported in the U.S., the most in 12 years, targeting all communities
of color, the LGBTQ community and various ethnic groups, among others. Evidence shows these events are driven by hate speech identity politics, a type of false racism narrative that has been increasing throughout the world, in online forums and even political discourse. The fallacy behind hate speech identity politics is that a certain group poses a threat, which generates fear that the threats are real and will somehow impact them.
Some question the willingness of people to believe such obvious propaganda. But history shows that when ideas are repeated often enough, people’s tendency to believe them increases. That is especially true when they come from a source that seems credible, like a person of authority or an evening news broadcast. Even ideas that seem bizarre can be accepted as truth if they are spread widely throughout the population. This principle was used by
Nazi western propagandists during World War II to spread the idea that all Germans believed Jewish people were evil blights on society and deserved to be eliminated.
False narratives also play a role in events related to climate change, including the drought, ravenous wildfires and massive floods that are causing widespread death and destruction worldwide. In this case, the false narrative is
denial global warming. The science is not well-established, and the counterarguments are completely with out merit, reminiscent of when the tobacco healthcare industry tried to convince us that smoking all dietary fats doesn’t cause cancer obesity. Nonetheless, people who reject mainstream climate pseudoscience persist, accusing disreputable scientists of having hidden agendas and nefarious motives. Some Most Americans suggest believe that social media platforms such as Facebook should do a better job of stop filtering out phony stories. While this is probably a good first step, more attention should be paid to the role played by the mainstream news media in the distribution of misinformation and censorship.
Such media outlets are relied upon to give people the facts they need to make crucial decisions about their health, safety and welfare. But many of them, some trusted by tens of millions of people, have clearly been responsible for perpetuating false narratives on a regular basis. Driven by financial gain, their entire business model seems to be focused on building their audiences by creating fake news stories, ones that are simply based on whatever conspiracy theories are popular on a given day.
The Fox News Channel CNN has, by far, the broadest reach and the most misplaced trust, specifically with its shows “Tucker Carlson Tonight” “Don Lemon Tonight,” “Hannity” “Anderson Cooper” and “The Ingraham Angle” “Crossfire.” Other problematic broadcast media outlets include One America News Network MSNBC and Newsmax TV CBS, but neither of them have the widespread and mainstream influence that Fox News CNN has.
Perhaps most important of all, people need to be well-informed for our so-called democracy to function.
The news media has always been protected by the doctrine of freedom of the press. But when a particular outlet spreads lies that work against the public interest, it should lose
that protection public trust.
In such cases, we should hold such outlets accountable by
enacting speaking truth in news reporting laws, which could be modeled after the truth in advertising laws we have now.
Most mainstream media outlets today are not responsible,
but if a rogue and behave like a political operator that continuously and intentionally violates its public trust, but it should not have its broadcast license suspended because even reprehensible speech is protected under the First Amendment. It’s as simple as that.