Many people these days get their news from their Facebook feed, or from Twitter, Instagram or other sites. If we want to find out about people such as John Birch Society members, or Trump supporters, or the Tea Party, or other conservatives, we are advised to “google it.” This, however, is not a very reliable way to find out what is happening in our world.
Prize-winning investigative journalist, Sharyl Attkisson, explains the pitfalls of doing so in her book, The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, What You Think, and How You Vote.
Attkisson informs us of the existence of what she calls a “smear industrial complex,” consisting of tens of thousands of people that can be employed “against targets identified by corporations, competitors, governments, politicians, or candidates for elected office.” The smear industrial complex has an economy of billions upon billions of dollars, and its influence has exploded exponentially with the rise of the Internet.
This smear apparatus makes use of social media and transactional journalism to create a phony perception of reality for unaware persons. This brief description falls far short of their extensive strategies and activities, however.
Who’s Your Daddy?
The Granddaddy of the smear industrial complex is David Brock. Brock cut his incisors executing dirty, political tricks for the Republicans, but, in 2003, joined with Bill and Hillary Clinton. Brock has since become a big boy amongst political operatives for the left. He founded Media Matters as an educational non-profit in 2003. Over the next few years, Brock built an empire of non-profits, LLCs, PACs and miscellaneous groups, through which donors pass huge sums of money, or which are handsomely paid by their clients to generate scandals, or otherwise engage in propaganda activities to promote leftist/liberal causes.
In 2016, members of the smear machine really brought out the charm. Attkisson writes “the collective David Brock propaganda groups began a theme and meme of [portraying] Trump and his supporters as ‘white nationalists’.” This was during Hillary Clinton’s race against Trump in 2016. Attkisson tells us that, during the 2016 campaign, smear artists, ideologues and transactional journalists made use of smears such as “alt-right” and “fake news” to control the narrative for public consumption. Often, smear artists invent language which then enters the public lexicon without people being aware of where the terms came from.
Brock and his cadre cooperated with Google to further an effort to control news under the cover of preventing “fake news” from being read or heard by the public. Google’s former CEO and Chairman, Eric Schmidt, donated 1.6 million dollars to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and offered himself as an advisor and strategist for her cause. Clinton quickly came out denouncing fake news. Barack Obama came out in favor of managing news to protect against misinformation. Facebook and Twitter chimed in.
Google’s Brave New World
Google employees have since admitted that they manipulate their algorithms to control what the public sees. Project Veritas secretly videoed Jen Gennaire, Google CEO, saying the company is training its algorithms to bring information to Google users that furthers Google’s idea of fairness. I would say they are training the unsuspecting public as well. Google does a lot of this training through its auto fill function in the browser search bar. This function auto fills the search bar with preselected search results designed to direct users to information that conditions the public to accept Google’s official view of how things should be, not necessarily how things are. It’s Google’s Truth or nothing.
Google began to train their algorithms in 2016 in order to prevent Trump from getting back into office in 2020. That makes it hard to blame all election manipulation on the Russians, doesn’t it?
Find Out More
For more information on this subject, take a look at Sharyl Attkisson’s video. You can also read her book, The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, What you Think, and How You Vote.
Watch Project Veritas’ video about Google’s control of information, too.
The next time someone repeats smears about certain people and groups, and tells you to “google” it, be aware and wary. Consider the source. Read. Be aware of social media’s links to the smear industrial complex. Don’t just rely on news feeds on your social media accounts. Know that many journalists are in mutually beneficial relationships with those who want to control what you think, and how you vote.