06 Dec 2016    3,846 views

The ‘Fake News’ Smear Campaign Isn't Really About Pizzagate

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The establishment media lost its stranglehold on the public narrative this election cycle, and they’re terrified.

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Ever since news broke that a man discharged a firearm at Comet Pizza yesterday in an alleged attempt to investigate the Pizzagate conspiracy theory, corporate media shills have been hilariously falling all over each other in what has to be some kind of bizarre competition to see how many synonyms for “fake” they can cram into a single article when writing about the story. They’re not even bothering to use journalistic language anymore, or making any pretense of impartiality.

“Pizzagate is a baseless conspiracy, which falsely claims Clinton and her campaign chief John Podesta were running a child sex ring from the restaurant’s backrooms,” writes The Guardian, in an actual news story appearing in an actual mainstream press publication.

“The man... told the police that he had come to the restaurant, Comet Ping Pong, in northwest Washington, to ‘self-investigate’ what is being called Pizzagate, an online conspiracy theory asserting, with no evidence, that the restaurant is somehow tied to a child abuse ring,” the New York Times frantically asserts, ignoring pretty much everything they learned about when studying for their journalism major.

“Even Michael Flynn, a retired general whom President-elect Donald Trump has tapped to advise him on national security, shared stories about another anti-Clinton conspiracy theory involving pedophilia. None of them were true. But the fake stories and threats persisted,” adds the Washington Post, who once famously published sixteen Bernie Sanders smear pieces in sixteen hours, and recently ran a serious news story about a laughable website which labels hundreds of alternative media sites (many of them highly respected) as “Russian propaganda,” based on no evidence whatsoever.

The words “fake”, “false”, “bogus” and “baseless” appear over and over again throughout these articles, to the point where halfway through any reader with a brain can only be screaming “Enough! I get it! It is very, very important to you that I believe everything about Pizzagate is fake news!”

And it might be. It certainly looks like something extremely weird is happening with Alefantis and Podesta and their DC buddies, but who knows? Maybe they all just really, really like pizza. And sick art. And icons of pederasty. And making really depraved comments on disturbing photos of children on Instagram. It’s possible that they’re just a collection of very strange, powerful people whose eccentricities make it look a lot like they’re a bunch of twisted, sadistic child abusers. I suppose anything is possible. But the the fact that all these major corporate news conglomerates are going so aggressively after some internet conspiracy theory has ultimately nothing to do with Pizzagate, and everything to do with Bernie Sanders.

For the first election cycle ever, the corporate media completely lost control of the narrative of what was happening in America, and it terrified them. They ignored Bernie Sanders, but he kept packing stadiums full of adoring fans. The story of the century, this outsider, underdog candidate winning the hearts and souls of Americans from coast to coast, and they blacked him out. When ignoring Sanders didn’t work, they tried laughing at him, dismissing him, and slandering him. He was nearly able to win the Democratic nomination despite nonstop sabotage from within his own party and a universal spin campaign against him from the entirety of mainstream media, while their darling Hillary Clinton was rejected and reviled, and remained so.

Then came WikiLeaks. Drop after scandalous drop, Julian Assange’s transparency advocacy group gave us a clearer and clearer picture of the fact that the establishment politicians in the American government are lying to us, and that the corporate media is helping them. Again, they tried ignoring these stories (the most outrageous of all revealing the way Obama’s cabinet was largely hand-selected by an executive from Citigroup, which was not covered by a single mainstream news organization even once), but Americans have far more access to the internet and alternative media than ever before, so it couldn’t simply be swept under the rug. 

Other leaks joined in the fray as the election drew nearer, from an audio clip of Clinton dismissing progressives as naive basement dwellers at a fundraiser with wealthy donors, to another recording published by the Observer wherein Hillary appeared to voice support for election-rigging in other governments. Stories the mainstream media refused to cover, like the fact that Clinton’s no-fly zone plan for Syria would necessitate a war with Russia, found wider and wider circulation while the talking heads kept trying to make everyone afraid of Putin.

And the cherry on top was Trump. Their faith in the press destroyed, people ignored everything the pundits and editorials were saying about how awful and dangerous he is and elected him as leader of the free world anyway. Trump’s supporters have made no secret of their disdain for the state of the press, with the slogan “Rope. Tree. Journalist. (Some assembly required)” gaining popularity while pundits on the left lost their minds in sputtering outrage. I found the slogan offensive only because it refers to those neoliberal propagandists as “journalists”, myself.

So here we are. It’s clear that this will all happen again unless the establishment changes something significant about the way it operates, so like all failing institutions it is of course opting to change nothing and attacking the new paradigm instead. The words “fake news” are being spouted over and over again ad nauseum by all the partisan hacks, and like good little slaves many liberal loyalists are regurgitating this artificial think tank-manufactured phrase at every opportunity. Pizzagate is just the easiest whipping boy for them to bandy about with that narrative attached to it. Get the words "fake news" spinning in people's minds and give them reason enough to believe it, and any unfamiliar news source immediately becomes suspicious. 

But it won’t work, and they know it, and they’re scared. This is a brand new situation for the legacy media and their plutocrat bosses. They’re used to being able to look into the camera, say “Saddam has WMDs, support our troops and shop at Walmart” and have everyone just fall right into line. That clearly did not happen this time, and that should be very, very exciting for anyone who has a bigger vision for humanity than the path we’ve been traveling.

 

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