'Post-truth' paranoia at the Post

Jack Shafer:
Who’s Afraid of a Little Russian Propaganda?

Propaganda has a way of making the soberest and most responsible elements in our culture go all wiggy. Washington Post columnist David Ignatius filed a fretful column this week based on his interview with Richard Stengel, State Department undersecretary for public diplomacy. Ignatius and Stengel, America’s top counter-propagandists, advance all the most frightful clichés about propaganda.

The pair are on the same page with comments like, we’re living in a “post-truth world.” The Russians are waging “a war on information,” determined to make you think everybody is lying, they offer. The Russian hacks are “polluting the public information stream.” Our citizens are being exposed to “weaponized information, false information.” Ignatius concludes, “right now, the truth is losing.”
Political ads often distort reality much in the same way propaganda does, expressing emotional half-truths and obfuscations to persuade voters. But the recent campaign, in which Trump spent about a third of what Clinton did on TV ads yet prevailed, proves that the masses are not susceptible to all the advertisements that money can buy. The volume of Clinton ads clearly dwarfs the combined output of Russian propaganda and disinformation but still did not change enough minds to win the prize.
Ruth Marcus at the Post added to the paranoia by continuing the theme and attaching it to Trump:
Welcome to the post-truth presidency
The writers at the Post appear to be really sold on the theme, but as Shafer points out they do so from the perch of the elites looking down on those they believe to be of lesser intelligence.  In other words, they think Trump voters were duped.  They are searching for a reason for their votes because they are rejecting the obvious.

These voters were dissatisfied with the current government and the programs being pushed by Obama.  Obamacare has been unpopular from the beginning and it remains so as the cost have risen well beyond what was promised.

They also oppose amnesty for illegal aliens.  They do not like the semantic games being played by the liberal elites who object to the term illegal alien.  They were fed up with Washington and the mainstream media and were voting to send them a message that nothing to do with Russia.


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