Americans today face an unprecedented challenge. The Internet, which has brought us undeniable benefits and conveniences, also allows us to occupy “filter bubbles”—to inhabit different realities. One result has been a dramatic loss of trust, as people of good will, inundated with misinformation, spin, and propaganda, don’t know how to determine which sources are credible.
Fact-checking sites can be helpful, but only for those who seek them out. The average American scrolling through her Facebook feed during a lunch break is unlikely to stop and check the veracity of most of what her friends post.
There is general agreement that Americans need to develop media literacy. But before we can teach media literacy in the schools or consider policy interventions to address propaganda, we need clarity about our goals.
Think about that fictional person scrolling through her Facebook or Twitter feed. She comes across a post berating her Congressman for failing to block the zoning of a liquor store in her neighborhood. If our person is civically literate—if she understands federalism and separation of powers– she knows that her Congressman has no authority in such matters, and that the argument is bogus.
In other words, basic knowledge of government is a critical component of media literacy. It isn’t just civic knowledge, of course. People who lack a basic understanding of the difference between a scientific theory and the way we use the term “theory” in casual conversation are much more likely to dismiss evolution and climate change as “just theories,” and to be taken in by efforts to discredit both.
In other words, people fortified with basic civic and scientific knowledge are far more likely to recognize disinformation when they encounter it. That knowledge is just as important as information on how to detect “deep fakes” and similar counterfeits.
There are also policy steps we can take to diminish the power of propaganda without doing violence to the First Amendment. I’ve previously noted the Brookings Institution’s suggested establishment of a “public trust” to provide analysis and generate policy proposals that would defend democracy “against the constant stream of disinformation and the illiberal forces at work disseminating it.”
Of course, we don’t encounter disinformation only on line. Cable news has long been a culprit. (One study found that Americans who got their news exclusively from Fox knew less about current events that people who didn’t follow news at all.) Fox is one of several channels that benefit significantly from “bundling” arrangements favored by cable companies. A regulatory change ending bundling would force cable channels to compete for the eyes, ears and pocketbooks of Americans who haven’t yet abandoned cable for streaming. There are other proposals that would address misinformation without implicating the First Amendment; many address the social media protections offered by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
A couple of days ago, I blogged about Section 230, which says that “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.” In other words, online platforms that host or republish speech are protected against a range of laws that might otherwise be used to hold them legally responsible for what others say and do.
Most observers believe that an outright repeal of Section 230 would destroy social networks as we know them, but there is a middle ground between total repeal and pinning our hopes on the willingness of millions of users to voluntarily leave platforms that fail to block misleading posts. Section 230 could be amended by adding a requirement that social media platforms establish an industry standard for detecting and mediating violence, fraud, and abuse. (Such a standard already exists for advertising fraud.) Regulation could also limit Section 230 protections to content that is unmonetized.
Bottom line: we can walk and chew gum at the same time.
America’s classrooms must be given the resources—curricular and financial—to teach civic, scientific and media literacy. And policymakers must devise regulations that will deter propaganda without eviscerating the First Amendment.
30 thoughts on “It’s All Connected”
What about eliminating the filters? They’re in place so the entity can make money with targeted advertising, so they are not a useful function for the user.
Bring back the ‘Fairness Doctrine’?
“…online platforms that host or republish speech are protected against a range of laws that might otherwise be used to hold them legally responsible for what others say and do.”
This is a boon for those online platforms posting Trump’s Tweets and “alternate facts” by those in office who are themselves protected from responsibility by their elected positions. It continues today with half of Congress sitting mute and idle which continues to aid and abet the Trump Republicans. An outright repeal of Section 230, like the outright repeal of any rule, law, ordinance or Constitutional Amendment is overkill; many worded to be open to personal interpretation and abuse. The 2nd Amendment comes to mind in this age of mass killings.
And the 1st Amendment regarding freedom of speech and the press does not require truth or fact from either. Policymakers have their work cut out for them to separate propaganda from what is interpreted to be truth by some. The upcoming January 6th insurrection trial, IF a trial ever happens, will have to separate Trump’s call to arms to “stand back and stand by” from the general understanding of the term and whatever the hell was in Trump’s addled brain as HIS truth. WHO the policymakers are can and will decide the outcome of the vote on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Decency in all levels of our lives seems to have been repealed over the past four years and we are struggling to regain what was lost.
In the 2014 election cycle in Texas, the Republican party specifically put in a plank to eliminate critical thinking from public school curriculums. I’m not making that up, and you can find all the equally idiotic and egregious planks to their party platform in my book, “Racing to the Brink: The End Game for Race and Capitalism”. As an educator in Texas, I can confirm that the success of the disinformation campaigns begins with that political vomit from Republicans.
We now see that their efforts to secure absolute political power is failing and their cheating and political incompetence is fully out in the open. If anyone saw Rachel Meadows “B” block last night, they saw that the Koch/billionaire community has publicly decided to openly direct their employees “under the dome” to vote down voting rights and the removal of dark money from politics. Their disinformation campaigns didn’t work with the general public, even among conservatives.
This obviates Marx’s predictions that capitalism would rot from within. What could stink more of rotting than the fetid aroma created by Republican-directed corruption. The billionaire/Republican political party is – and probably has always been – all in with being bribed. How else could these pathetic wretches like Matt Gaetz keep getting elected?
Fact checking is a problem. How do you fact check the fact checkers? If a fact checker says true information is false, then that has to be fact checked also. So fact checking can actually be a problem in a democracy if only one political persuasion can do the fact checking. Its kind of like the study that says learning anything leads you to be less intelligent as if you hadn’t heard it at all. That study can be eliminated simply on logic. Theres still knowledge of an opinion that can be gained whether you agree with the source or opinion. Why was CNN removed as a news source from airports? Could it be that opinion outweighed facts and therefore the facts presented were not balanced? Someone made that decision, either they were correct in that opinion or their total idiots.
Market watch came out with opinion that the last Covid19 bill was like a millenial getting an inheritance check and spent it in places that should be spent elsewhere.
67% of countries in Europe believe mail in ballots lead to corruption and dont allow them, the other 32% put strict regulations on obtaining them. Politicians believe we need mail in ballots so that makes Europeans look like idiots because ourcpoliticians over here certainly arent corrupt, and neither are tjose who support these notions robots of corrupt politicians. Critical thinking comes into play when we acknowledge what were doing is wrong and change our ways. If we dont true democracy dies.
It will not be easy to amend section 230 to the point that social media platforms will have to filter out disinformation, because that will affect their “bottom line,” so they will lobby against it vigorously. Consider that any time something sensational spreads through Facebook, it provides a profit opportunity, because the company can boost their advertising rates tor anything it dumps onto the news feeds of the sheep that spread and receive the material. Remember that “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby.”
It may seem obvious but I would add critical thinking skills to media literacy and civic knowledge. It is the lack of CTS and a natural sense of curiosity that causes so many people to buy misinformation hook, line and sinker. I don’t believe that CTS can be “taught” on its own – it must be “developed” through the study of subjects and topics that require abstraction and decomposition of complex problems, logic, and the elements of argument. This can be achieved through the study of wide range of subjects, including but not limited to hard science.
But many people accept what they see, hear and read because it’s easy and comforting and because they’ve learned that thinking is hard. Besides, cognitive dissonance can be so unsettling. Our schools are trying to focus more on CTS but has become harder to do as federal and state education policies remain mostly focused on standardized curriculum and testing regimes that reward taking practice tests not becoming independent problem-solvers.
John S; you don’t check the Fact Checkers, you go to the source. The government agency, the law, bill, ordinance or regulation, the media reporting, the person posting, the business referred to and often research using a sentence containing the quote you question will take you to the Internet sites to research for yourself. If you question the information, you can research further; the Internet is a wealth of information if you take the time and effort to research.
I stopped paying attention to statistics when I discovered at the bottom, in very small print, it might say 515 people were questioned over a 2 day period. If you research that you will find who provided the limited source being used to report national statistics is virtually meaningless.
Vernon says @7:19 AM—————- “This obviates Marx’s predictions that capitalism would rot from within. What could stink more of rotting than the fetid aroma created by Republican-directed corruption. ”
Your wordsmithing is extremely pictorial this morning! I love it. I’m finding “Seed Corn” very enlightening!
An acquaintance of mine sent me a frantic message on my getting Pfizer’s 1st shot 2 days ago. He said that I now was going to get Covid because it’s a government conspiracy. Another told me that I was surely going to die, another said that I was going to genetically change into a communist, LOL!
Now, I know something about the genetic sequencing equipment used to make these vaccines, Abbott Laboratories molecular division developed this equipment years ago and was used to identify the remains of 9/11 victims. Can dismantle and read it DNA and RNA. The biggest users of this technology happened to be the CIA, FBI, and the CDC. I actually had a chance to meet a lot of those individuals at events that I was invited to because my wife was a manager at Abbott molecular. Not only were American organizations using this equipment but also the Japanese, the British, the Chinese, the French, the Brazilians and the Russians!
Moderna, Pfizer, J&J, and others, were able to dismantle the Covid virus and use the RNA sequence to stimulate and immuno response to the protein used by the covid19 to use its spikes to attach to cells. Not the old vaccine production from chicken eggs. Something that would take a long long time. Or is in the tetanus shot that used to be manufactured with horse blood fractions. The world of vaccines has exponentially changed with this technology, Moderna pioneer Noubar Afeyan found new use for this equipment, and was way ahead of his time developing vaccines.
Brilliant scientists can and do always make a difference. Ignorant Conspiracy spreaders can tear down societies as a whole by spreading conflicting viewpoints sometimes by the same individuals. Anarchy on steroids!
Francis Wagner@6:59 AM—————— brought up the fairness doctrine! “The fairness doctrine of the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC), introduced in 1949, was a policy that required the holders of broadcast licenses to both present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that was honest, equitable, and balanced.”
That would be a good start!
Almost all of the social media make money on your clicks. The more outrageous the post the more likely you are to click. Almost any change you make will kill or at least greatly diminish clicks and profits. These sites are going to die a slow death, or democracy will.
Target casting advertisements is where the money is. You can geo-filter advertisements so that people sitting in an abortion clinic will see your anti-abortion propaganda. You can design 50 different campaign ads to micro-target 50 different demographic groups and all them with a different or even conflicting message. People pay for this micro-targeting because it dramatically increases click rates. Kill the targeted ads and you have killed the profit and the social media site will die.
Things have settled down considerably for me, but a year ago, at least once a week, I was either posting comments with reliable sources refuting a post, or even private messaging a friend or relative about a problematic post. You can’t just tell a person to google it for themself either, because if you phrase the google search wrong, you will just get 100 sites confirming your biased google search.
The general tone has settled, but part of the settling, is my bubble has shrunk when people unfriended me. I will tell you I am happier with that smaller bubble because once somebody has gone far enough to the dark side, there is almost nothing that will change their mind.
I still think section 230 has to die or democracy will die.
Heather Cox Richardson has a good blog post today. She touched on HR1, S1. The link to the New Yorker article about dark money was really good.
Governor Mo wants to require civics literacy for all of Florida’s school aged children, but the curriculum can’t include any critical race theories, because he doesn’t want our children to be taught to hate the good old US of A. I should note that an educated electorate is anathema to the Republicans, just as is opening the polls to all of our citizens. They know they could never be elected to any position higher than dog catcher if all of the people were aware of what they do when they get into office.
John S @8:18 AM,
The reasons the Europeans do not trust mail-in balloting is Vladimir Putin for example, another are all of the authoritarian governments who control their electoral functions if they even have one. They don’t worry about a poll tax over there because they just stuff the ballot box and there is no paper trail for anything.
One reason for eliminating mail-in balloting, the intimidation factor is not quite as intimidating if you mail your vote from home. If you are standing in line while the authorities are filming you, or, marching up and down in front of the polling places, people pretty much know the drill, and vote with their health and well-being in mind.
Why do you think we have all of the changes in voting regulations put forth by Republican statehouses? To intimidate those standing in line by restricting mail-in voting! If you can make the elderly stand in line for half a day or longer, then make eating and drinking anything that somebody might bring you, a crime, especially when some of those folks are extremely impoverished or work in jobs that don’t have typical hours, you’ve created a poll tax! Fair societies make being part of the governmental process easier for the citizen, because the citizen is the boss! But it seems the GOP wants it to be the other way around!
And, I’ve always wondered why the federal government doesn’t make your Social Security card or your Medicare card a picture ID!
As an older person, I used to trust the news, whether it was Walter on CBS or his competitors on ABC/NBC. Then, I migrated over to PBS for McNeil/Lehrer for longer, in-depth stories.
I have had to turn off PBS Newshour (the M-F version) because they have become the epitome of identity politics. You can’t watch reporting from Yamiche Alcindor or Amna Nawaz without an opinionated choice of subject and/or commentary. And the overall choice of stories is like a visual New York Times, overrepresentation of minorities of all kinds.
I have tried all 3 major network news programs and they are machine gun blasts of headlines with little or no depth – sad.
Well, at least we’ve concluded that public education is failing the masses. We’ve spent a fortune educating students who can’t differentiate the truth from the false.
Or, is propaganda more effective than we thought?
Once again, Einstein called us an oligarchy back in 1949 and said the media and politicians were both owned and controlled by this oligarchy. It’s 2021, and we still call ourselves a republic or a democracy or a democratic republic or a constitutional republic. We the people was the greatest piece of marketing sold to the world.
Further, we have a huge contingency insisting that employees shouldn’t get more than minimum wage, or the price of their tacos and hamburgers might increase and fall off the dollar menu. However, these same Americans could care less if all government bailouts go directly to executive salaries, stock buybacks, and/or dividends.
Our Founders were scared to death of democracy because they used the sense of independence to free themselves from over-taxation by the monarchy in England. God forbid these ignorant farmers, immigrants, and slaves would rebel against us. 😉
You can have an Oligarchy or educated critical thinking citizens, but you can’t have both.
Yes, Joann, “Decency,” a word that helped to skewer Joseph McCarthy, for his lack thereof, is no longer in vogue.
Vernon, neither of my local FLORIDA libraries has your book, but we do have Gaetz, who is, reportedly, considering not running foe re-election , in order to pusue some other form of civic mischief.
I read, years ago, that St. Augustine had suggested that it was wise to keep the ordinary folks from becoming educated. I assume that the purpose was similar to trump’s agenda in saying that he loved the “uneducated.” this reminds me. once again, of my D-I-Law’s religious oriented sign in her home “Just Believe.”
IMHO, the process of teaching critical thinking needs to be virtually weaponized, if we are to ever become the participatory democracy of our dreams. The process of legislating away the misinformation outlets on cable, and/or other TV stations, etc. even if successful, will take a long time, the luxury of which we may not have. And, even that will not be sufficient.
Has there ever really been a truly free and equal society that you can recall? I surely can’t.
Every society has some sort of ruling class or upper echelon that pulls the strings behind the curtain. Sometimes they don’t hide behind the curtain! The ruling class will never trust the whole of society because they feel it will devolve into an anarchal hodgepodge of factions that they cannot control.
Dan, yes, outside of Rupert Murdoch, the Koch boys have been, and Charles is continuing to be, the most rancid, and venal of anti-democrratic forces. “Democracy in Chains: the Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America,” by Nancy MacLean, describes the very insidious, patient, and longitudinally oriented Koch program.
Peggy, I have read that DeSantis is aiming at a run for the presidency, in ’24. If I were a religious person, I would have to say, “Heaven protect us!”
I would look to the Scandinavian countries as role models since they nearly all score in the top 10 democracies. Their education systems are superior to ours as well. There seems to be a correlation between education and strong democracies (people power).
These countries are democratic socialists who are making a substantial push in the USA political scene. However, for some reason, the Democratic Party and their funders attack these candidates. I am even seeing the socialist party making a comeback. Young people are self-identifying themselves as communists.
All of this has the oligarchy nervous which the faux insurrection was more of a false flag operation to destroy more liberties and increase censorship.
It’s quite ironic because, at the same time, the oligarchs are worried about losing the global battle to the authoritarian Chinese. I’d have to say the oligarchs have backed themselves into a corner where it will get much worse for them and us.
The Matt Gaetz fans among us might like to know:
Republicans Waste No Time Burying ‘Meanest Person’ Matt Gaetz After Teen-Sex Allegation
Published Mar. 31, 2021 7:11AM ET
Hours after it was reported that federal investigators are investigating Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) for an alleged relationship with a 17-year-old girl, his Republican colleagues could barely disguise their glee. Speaking to Business Insider, a string of anonymous GOPers jumped at the chance to unload on Gaetz as he faces a scandal that could abruptly end his political career. One former senior Trump White House aide described Gaetz as “the meanest person in politics,” and said other ex-Trump aides “feel a little vindicated” by the news. A former congressional aide said Republican leaders will enjoy sitting back and watching Gaetz “completely implode in a matter of days,” while another another ex-Trump White House aide wrote: “Good riddance… It sounds like he let whatever BS power he thought he had go to his head.” Gaetz has denied the allegations, claiming that he’s the victim of an extortion plot masterminded by a former Justice Department official.
Without good critical thinking skills, the people of this nation will never be able to engage in effective problem solving. It makes me wonder what if any critical thinking skills someone like Matt Gaetz has.
Yes we need really good civics education. I was lucky. I had a whole semester in high school on our government so I got detailed civics education. In the seventh grade I had a course that taught me Indiana history. Unfortunately, it was white washed.
Nursing schools now take their students once a year to Nursing Board hearings so that they can witness first hand how the Board regulates nursing schools and disciplines nurses who have violtated nursing ethics or the limits of nursing practice.
The question is how do you keep kids today engaged in civics education? I think role playing would help. I directed a Spirit and Place event in which an actor had audience members role play the “Mock Trial of Susan B Anthony”. We held the event in a court room of the Indiana Supreme Court. 3 of the Supreme Court justices spoke to the audience. Lots of home schoolers were there and people of all ages. Let’s take the kids to the Indiana State Capitol Building and have someone give them a tour and have state reps. talk with them. Someone could do a rap song about the separation of powers and have the kids learn it. I think we need to include civil debate in our civics education.
Whose responsibility is it to teach them basic ethics and how that affects the laws of our state and federal government? Who will teach them how to file a consumer complaint with the AG’s office?
Teachers in both public and charter schools need to have kids look at social media sites and ask them to fact check the site. They could also have them fact check a blog.
I also wonder if educating kids so they can pass a test helps students develop critical thinking, the capacity to analyze problems and come up with solutions. I doubt it.
I’m not sure how we educate adults in using critical thinking with social media. I don’t spend much time on Facebook and do not go to Twitter.
There is news and there is commentary on the news. The commentary on Fox roams far afield from “the news” and becomes “the news” for millions, who allow commentators to tell them how to digest and think about the basic news via the commentators’ view of “the news.”
We have become lazy. It is much easier to adopt what we see and hear as “the news” than question both “the news” and the motives of commentators on “the news,” and we are especially prone to pick the low hanging fruit of not critically thinking if the commentary agrees with and fortifies our preconceived biases.
Nielsens (profits measured by viewership) also dictate content. “The news” and commentary thereon, after all, must be profitable in our world of return on investment, hence content as speech frequently strains the bounds of the First Amendment as we attempt to balance Nielsens and “fire in a crowded theater” via 230, fairness doctrines etc. I am not an optimist that this murky brawl in the land of abstraction will ever be settled absent abdication of the First Amendment, an unlikely event.
Finally, there are theories and there are facts. Proven theories become facts. For instance, I consider Darwin’s theory to be proven and not a theory anymore. In adddition to other proofs, we now know that we share 98% of our DNA with that of chimpanzees, a test not available to Darwin in his day. (While one might question whether the Trump gang have a 99% DNA connection to our forebearers, we are stuck with them in no small part due to commentary from delusional moneymakers who have their own axes to grind). To do: Critically analyze all news and commentaries thereon while trying to hold our own biases in check.
I adopt Lester Levine’s criticism of television commentary today and his use of the term “sad.”
RE Todd’s glorification of the Scandinavian countries – until the last 10 years or so they were extremely homogeneous (and white), demographically and culturally and eased into “democratic socialism” directly from sovereign rule.
If you check them out since diverse immigrants have arrived there from the Middle East and Africa, ALL have developed growing rightwing parties .
There is an organization, Braver Angels.org , that is doing a great job in holding workshops, debates, etc on healing the divide, which is actually the name of one of the workshops.
How about you mention the work this group is doing to attempt to bring people together to promote dialogues of understanding and compassion, on all sides.
Lester – You are correct in alluding to the rightward movement in the Nordic countries. My wife and her mother and I flew to Sweden in 1975 when Sweden was a truly left of center jurisdiction. My mother in law was fluent in Swedish though unnecessary since virtually everyone with whom I came in contact there spoke excellent English, a language, I learned, that was taught for the first eight years in Swedish schools and was non-elective.
While visiting relatives of my in-laws, one was a childless couple (he was a lawyer) who lived at 1 Kungsgarten in downtown Stockholm in an expansive condo filled with jade and paintings. They were obviously wealty with a condo on Majorca in the Mediterranean and one in the Swiss Alps where they sometimes flew to for a skiing weekend. This was when Sweden was a liberal state and relatively homogenous, unlike today.
I decided to play Republican right winger and told him that I understood that Swedes pay 50% of their income on taxes and asked if that were not a bit high, to which he responded with an answer that I will never forget: “Well, Jerry, that depends on what you get for your money.” He then went through a litany of what Swedes get for their money, from single payer to unemployment benefits through outlawing poverty etc., after which I have often thought that as so measured the Swedish tax is lower than the one we pay here while we endure near zero social benefits by contrast.
Yet, even then and since, Sweden has enjoyed a healthy system of private enterprise and trade surpluses due to their smart manufacturing system and apprentice education, proving that a regulated capitalism and social benefits for the masses can not only coexist, but prosper. I understand that Sweden has swung to the right these days, but just how far they have moved to the right is to be measured from where they started, and they are still left of where we are here in this land of terminal capitalism with its supporting premises of American exceptionalism, libertarian frontier and prarie schooner economics and other spin-worthy fables.
We are beginning to haltingly move toward the Nordic model with some of Biden’s plans to tax the rich and corporate class along with Warren’s plan to tax the idle wealth of the superrich, both of which I (and Piketty, Stiglitz and Krugman) applaud if we are to rid ourselves of a prehistoric minimum wage which guarantees poverty of millions (and by statute!) while cutting taxes on the coddled rich and corporate class. When to make the move? Yesterday.
As I have written here before if you want in depth news without “the panel of experts” weighing Newsy is the place the go on Cable. There Motto is – Be Informed. Not Influenced. The Guardian is my go to site for News on the internet.
It is rather evident the GOP puts the pedal to the metal in creating Fear. The GOP has no other platform or issues for America Except Fear. The Reactionary Right Wing TV and Web Sites play the Fear Card 24/7/365. The Telly-Evangelicals do their part to spread Fear.
Life requires constant adaptation as technology and culture and fashion and business and government and the rest of the world changes. The rate of change of all of those things has never been higher and we as a species are more and more stressed keeping up.
We will adapt to today but it will undoubtedly take until tomorrow and by tomorrow different things will be more different keeping us in endless stress.
Trump was a teachable moment in history and a great deal of learning has and will take place from it.
We saw the consequences of political dogma as entertainment and will remember them forever.
Please Todd Smekens, STOP blaming public schools!
Doesn’t the individual hold any responsibility for themsleves?
Are you letting the parents off the hook, too?
I taught my first grade sstudents how to start a sentence with a capital letter and end with a punctuation mark- every day, for 180 days.
So did their second, third, fourth, fifth and on up to Senior year Composition teachers.
And yet, every year many of those kids would repeat to anyone who would listen,
“No one ever told me THAT!”
We were tasked with teaching basic critical thinking skills to 6,7 and 8 years old students in my public school.
We practiced in lessons, and in everyday situations, which happened more than you’d think.
Yes, they are being taught these skills.
Whether they use the skills we teach throughout their 12 years in school is another story.
Remember all the history, literature, Algebra etc you were taught?
Did all of it stick with you without practice or reinforcement from your peers and community?
Unless a student perceives their learning is supported by their family, peers, and community groups (churches) all the education in the world won’t change the expectations.
Kids are influenced more by outside sources than anything we can teach them in 7-1/2 a day.
Blaming never gets us to a solution so stop engaging in it!
Parents and community leaders need to pitch in too.
We teach people them.
Whether they use the skills, as with everything else, is up to them.
I think the idea of teaching civic, scientific and media literacy is a wonderful idea, but the problem is those who most need it are most immune from understanding these things. They have bee have been proseltyzed into disbelieving anything from mainstream media, mainstream science and any source other than their religion. They are the Evangelicals and disciples of Fox News, OAN, News Max and Breitbart. They are fed a steady drumbeat of lies which have taken hold.
One main theme: mainstream media cannot be trusted. This message began in earnest when the fat narcissist began running for office. Pro-Trump media constantly told all sorts of lies about Hillary Clinton, including accusations of murder, pedophilia sex trafficking and child sacrifice and attacked anyone who told the truth about Trump being a chronic failure at business, a grandiose pretender and braggadocious liar. They went after the FBI, Mueller and every Democrat in Congress. Everyone who wasn’t appointed by Trump was part of the “Deep State”, out to prevent Trump from working his magic to “Make America Great”. Everyone who criticized Trump or who wouldn’t go along with whatever he wanted had an ulterior motive and couldn’t be trusted, including doctors at the CDC. Now, they’re even accusing Dr. Fauci of getting rich off of COVID via some business conflict of interest, and they’re trying to cast doubt on whether COVID is really a serious risk. They’ve consistently claimed the deaths attributed to COVID were really due to something else, a plot by Democrats to make Trump look bad. They’ve been schooled that Democrats set up COVID as a pandemic, in conspiracy with China, all to bring down Trump. The Capitol insurrection was really done by ANTIFA and BLM, posing as Trump supporters. The list goes on. How do you teach these morons civic, media and scientific literacy? They don’t want to learn. They want to believe.
These people don’t
These are the people who believe the Big Lie, and no amount of facts will
A 33% corporate tax hike and your 401k. If your growth stocks took a hit, just wait till you lose another 20% from your account. Blue collar workers are included
Here is an opinion piece from the NT Times 4/3/2021, that fits this topic very well.
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