Yes, You Are Being Lied to

Arthur Bloom in the American Conservative:

The most effective kind of propaganda is by omission. Walter Duranty didn’t cook up accounts from smiling Ukrainian farmers, he simply said there was no evidence for a famine, much like the media tells us today that there is no evidence antifa has a role in the current protest-adjacent violence. It is much harder to do this today than it was back then—there are photographs and video that show they have been—which is the proximate cause for greater media concern about conspiracy theories and disinformation.

For all the hyperventilating over the admittedly creepy 2008 article about “cognitive infiltration,” by Cass Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule, it was a serious attempt to deal with the problem of an informational center being lost in American public life, at a time when the problem was not nearly as bad as it is today. It proposed a number of strategies to reduce the credibility of conspiracy theorists, including seeding them with false information. Whether such strategies have been employed, perhaps with QAnon, which has a remarkable ability to absorb all other conspiracy theories that came before it, I leave to the reader’s speculation.

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