FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

The Real Meaning of Red Scare 3.0

Photograph by Nathaniel St. Clair

The US corporate media, who had such a long run as relative monopolizers of truth, have been discrediting themselves in serial fashion since 9/11. Their lapdoggery to the Bush regime backfired on them during the WMD lie operation and the resulting war of aggression. Then came their participation in the fraudulent business reporting leading up to the 2007-2009 Wall Street crash, and their big lies afterward that “no one could have imagined.” The next big rupture arrived in 2015-2016, their million-minutes spent on preemptive coronations of Trump as one candidate and Clinton as the other, and their responsibility for the unexpected result, which they have tried ever since to blame daily on a vague, ever-present “Russia.”

In the last few years, it is true that a few million mostly well-meaning people have partaken in the fandom and breaking-news rituals of the Extended Maddowverse. A similar number have bought into the sorry fantasies of Murdochworld, in which a heroic manly Trump is always about to drain the swamp that spawned him. These groups are like the devoted audiences of Game of Thrones or Star Wars, but smaller. Of course it’s a far more serious matter, because they don’t distinguish between their favorite shows and reality, and they are politically influential people, relatively speaking. A third minority, meanwhile, also small if growing, reject both sides of the #Russiagate coin.

Meanwhile 90-95% of everyone else in this country just aren’t following it, don’t know, don’t care. The QAnon Volk call them sheeple, and the committed Hamiltonian liberals of the Russia-Ukrainegate priesthood want to condemn these vulgar Americans for their supposed toleration of Trump’s constitutional outrages. (The latter are the ones who assured that toleration, when they cheered on a ridiculously narrow impeachment, one bound to lose and based on the least atrocious of Trump’s many crimes, and proclaimed that “all roads lead to Russia.”)

But it’s okay. It is okay that most working people are worried about work and wages and health care and debt, and bills and university and maybe ending the endless wars, and don’t have a fucking clue who Oleg Deripaska or Lev Parnas are. Those people have their priorities straight. Or, at least, their priorities are set more by the realities of having to get by and make a living, and perhaps just a little bit less by flickering shadows on a cave wall.

In short, the more the corporate media and the mercenary-intellectual complexes (of private “think tanks” and “analysts”) continue to act openly as adjuncts of the alphabet-agencies and assert the hegemony of the new #Russiagate creed (or its flipside, on Fox and Co), the less they are believed. The more exposed they are.

This is a big story: the decline of the corporate media’s power to persuade, an upheaval in what Guy Debord described as the Society of the Spectacle. It is why these outlets have become so fervent in condemning social media, as if people sharing bullshit on Facebook — problematic as it can be, although it should be noted that most of this bullshit is also corporate media product — is somehow inherently more pernicious than the activities of the cable news networks and the pronouncements of their “unnamed sources” at the blood-drenched State Department, Pentagon and natsec agencies.

The corporate media have effectively joined the campaigns calling for Internet censorship. I don’t know if that will work, given the confluence of crises, the way all the inevitable disasters of capitalism, its wars and its ecocides might allow for sudden new repressive measures. But the corporate media’s credibility keeps setting new lows, and they keep grasping for the same increasingly blunted instrument of blaming the All-American shitshow on Russia. This week, apparently, Russia is why Sanders is winning.

To respond to this piece, complain about the omission of citations to Plato and Naomi Klein, or remind Nicholas Levis that he really ought to be more of a school-body, write to N24CP2020@gmail.com.

 

More articles by:
bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
March 27, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Rob Urie
Bailouts for the Rich, the Virus for the Rest of Us
Louis Proyect
Life and Death in the Epicenter
Paul Street
“I Will Not Kill My Mother for Your Stock Portfolio”
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: The Scum Also Rises
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
Stimulus Bill Allows Federal Reserve to Conduct Meetings in Secret; Gives Fed $454 Billion Slush Fund for Wall Street Bailouts
Jefferson Morley
Could the Death of the National Security State be a Silver Lining of COVID-19?
Ruth Hopkins
A Message For America from Brazil’s First Indigenous Congresswoman
Kathleen Wallace
The End of the Parasite Paradigm
Anthony DiMaggio
Misinformation and the Coronavirus: On the Dangers of Depoliticization and Social Media
Andrew Levine
Neither Biden Nor Trump: Imagine Cuomo
David Rosen
God’s Vengeance: the Christian Right and the Coronavirus
David Schultz
The Covid-19 Bailout: Another Failed Opportunity at Structural Change
Evaggelos Vallianatos
In the Grip of Disease
Edward Leer
Somebody Else’s World: An Interview with Kelly Reichardt
Robert Fisk
What Trump is Doing in the Middle East While You are Distracted by COVID-19
Daniel Warner
COVID-19: Health or Wealth?
Thomas Klikauer – Norman Simms
Corona in Germany: Hording and Authoritarianism
Ramzy Baroud
BJP and Israel: Hindu Nationalism is Ravaging India’s Democracy
Richard Moser
Russia-gate: the Dead But Undead
Ron Jacobs
Politics, Pandemics and Trumpism
Chris Gilbert
Letter From Catalonia: Alarming Measures
Richard Eskow
Seven Rules for the Boeing Bailout
Jonathan Carp
Coronavirus and the Collapse of Our Imaginations
Andrew Bacevich
The Coronavirus and the Real Threats to American Safety and Freedom
Peter Cohen
COVID-19, the Exponential Function and Human the Survival
César Chelala - Alberto Luis Zuppi
The Pope is Wrong on Argentina
James Preston Allen
Alexander Cockburn Meets Charles Bukowski at a Sushi Bar in San Pedro
Jérôme Duval
The Only Oxygen Cylinder Factory in Europe is Shut down and Macron Refuses to Nationalize It
Neve Gordon
Gaza Has Been Under Siege for Years. Covid-19 Could Be Catastrophic
Alvaro Huerta
To Survive the Coronavirus, Americans Should Learn From Mexicans
Prabir Purkayastha
Why the Coronavirus Pandemic Poses Fundamental Challenges to All Societies
Raouf Halaby
Fireside Chatterer Andrew Cuomo for President
Thomas Drake
The Sobering Realities of the American Dystopia
Negin Owliaei
Wash Your Hands…If You Have Water
Felice Pace
A New Threat to California’s Rivers:  Will the Rush to Develop Our Newest Water Source Destroy More Streams?
Ray Brescia
What 9/11 Can Teach Us About Responding to COVID-19
ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
The Covid-19 Opportunity
John Kendall Hawkins
An Age of Intoxication: Pick Your Poison
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
The Propaganda Virus: Is Anyone Immune?
Nicky Reid
Fear and Loathing in Coronaville Volume 1: Dispatches From a Terrified Heartland
Nolan Higdon – Mickey Huff
Don’t Just Blame Trump for the COVID-19 Crisis: the U.S. Has Been Becoming a Failed State for Some Time
Susan Block
Coronavirus Spring
David Yearsley
Lutz Alone
CounterPunch News Service
Letter from Truthdig’s Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer to the Publisher Zuade Kaufman
CounterPunch News Service
Statement From Striking Truthdig Workers
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail