Propaganda

State News Fake News


I quoted an everyday ordinary man-on-the-Moscow-streets in yesterday’s blog who refuses to believe Russia has committed war crimes in Bucha, and probably anywhere else. He said, “If this is not fake, my brain refuses to accept it.” Since he lives in Russia, the news he has access to probably won’t ever tell him it’s not fake. This is a person, like a Hannity viewer, who’d rather be obliviously happy and ignorant.

Russia has blocked hundreds of news and social media sites on the internet. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are blocked. Russia blocked Ukrainian news sites before the war and then crafted new legislation making it a crime to report any news the government deems fake, which is like having Kellyann Conway determine facts from “alternative” facts.

The government is also airing propaganda and lies on their state media news stations and online. Russian news consumers are being told the massacre in Bucha is staged, which is something Alex Jones would say about a school shooting. Russian state media is claiming the dead bodies are just actors, which is something Marjorie Taylor Greene would say about kids in a school shooting. Being able to find a location of an upcoming crisis to act in is a pretty amazing skill.

Chinese-owned TikTok has blocked 95 percent of posts by Russian users, citing the “fake news” law, but I guess for shits-and-giggles, it’s also blocked posts from  French President Emmanuel Macron and the United Nations. Fortunately, TikTok has not blocked my account yet so my 158 followers will not be deprived of my 30-second drawing videos set to music. You’re welcome, America.

If Russians want to discover the horrors their president is having inflicted upon the citizens of Ukraine, they have to resort to VPNs and the dark web. A VPN is a virtual private network that connects through a secondary remote server that has fewer security controls and restrictions. Usually, these are in other countries like Lithuania. A lot of people, like me 30 minutes ago, aren’t aware of VPNs, or tech-savvy enough to download and install one, or willing/able to pay for them. I know there are a lot of readers in the U.S. who refuse to pay for news and complain loudly about firewalls at The New York Times and the Washington Post. I can believe there are a lot of Russians who’ll refuse to pay extra to discover their president is murdering civilians in Bucha. I pay for four news outlets and for at least half of last week, they were all obsessed with the slappy Oscars.

The dark web is where Americans usually go to plan terrorist attacks and spread conspiracy theories about deep-state Democrats using pizza parlors to sex traffic babies. You see a lot of Pepe the Frog on the dark web but it’s a place where Russians will try to learn real news, but will probably only get into a debate over whether Chris Rock did or didn’t know Jada has alopecia.

Russians are good people. There are millions of them opposed to this war. But they’re not getting information about it because Vladimir Putin doesn’t want them to hear the truth…or to see the images of the horror he’s created.

They don’t see the wreckage of bombed hospitals and schools, or the charred skeletons left behind in Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Kherson, Zhytomyr, and Bucha. In Russia, you can only hear what Putin wants you to hear about the war…except you can’t say “war.” Since early March, it’s been illegal to call the war a “war,” or describe it as an “attack” or “invasion,” and doing so can get you 15 years in a Russian prison.

What Russians are being told by their state news is that Russia is defending them from Ukrainian Nazis.

We don’t have state TV in the west. The BBC and NPR are government-funded, but government has zero control over the content. In Russia, State media is controlled and edited by the state. Fox News, Newsmax, and One America News Network are not controlled by a right-wing government, but they have chosen to use our guaranteed freedom of the press to act like they are. We don’t have state TV. We have Trump TV.

While Russians don’t have a choice in being ignorant about the war or buried in bullshit propaganda, many in the west have chosen to be ignorant about the war and disseminate propaganda. If you’re on Truth Social, or when they finally let you in, search hashtags for “Putin,” “War,” “Russia,” “Ukraine,” or “Bucha.” Warning: You will probably need a shower afterward.

I actually talked to someone in Russia last week who told me she didn’t know what was happening in Ukraine but knew what she was being told is a lie. She asked me not to tell her because she was actually afraid of what she’d learn. Russians know they’re being lied to and it’s horrible to find out you’re governed by liars and war criminals. Sure, we have our own experience with that, but we don’t have to support the liars and war criminals.

I hope there are people in Russia who can see my cartoons. I also hope my cartoons do a better job of exposing them to reality and the truth than they’ve done convincing MAGAts on Truth Social and other platforms.

Music note: I listened to about half of Taylor Swift’s “Folklore” album while crosshatching and coloring today’s cartoon.

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Huckasans’ BFF


cjones04242019

Those who work as spokespersons in politics refer to what they do as spinning. Technically, it’s propaganda but it can be done where you never lie. The real art of spinning is to not tell the truths that hurt your message. You tell the truths that help your agenda and leave out those that don’t. When those truths are pointed out to you, you find a way to deflect or use your truths to counter those. The best spin doctors never lie. With the exception of the Nixon administration, you will have a hard time finding evidence of a White House spokesperson knowingly telling a lie. Yes, that includes the George W. Bush administration.

That has changed with the Trump administration. With these spinners, it’s hard to find examples of them telling the truth. In fact, on Trumps very first day in office, he sent his spokesperson, Sean Spicer, out in an ill-fitting suit to purposely lie to the press. When a president and his staff lie to the press, they’re lying to the American people. Spicer, on Trump’s orders, lied about something petty, insignificant, ridiculous and easily proven to be a lie. He claimed and argued that Trump had the largest inauguration attendance in presidential history. Sean Spicer never recovered and to this day, when you think of him you probably have an image of Melissa McCarthy’s SNL impersonation.

Sean Spicer will never be taken seriously ever again and will forever be seen as a ridiculous human being. Working for Donald Trump has destroyed the credibility of several people in his administration…like all of them. Even his physician has become a laughingstock (“Trump could live to be 200”). When you lie for a ridiculous human being, you become a ridiculous human being.

Spicer’s replacement, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, is a ridiculous human being.

Among the gems in the Mueller Report are the lies Huckabee Sanders admitted to Mueller’s team that she had told as press secretary.

On May 10, 2017, when a reporter pushed back on Sanders’ claim that “The rank and file of the FBI had lost confidence in their director (James Comey),” and quoted an FBI special agent who said “the vast majority of the bureau is in favor of Director Comey,” she said “Look, we’ve heard from countless members of the FBI that say very different things.”

Shocking no one, that was a lie. She just made it up. She told Mueller’s team it was a “slip of the tongue.” I thought a slip of the tongue was when you say something that’s in your brain, but you didn’t want to say, like a secret racist dropping an N-bomb, which Trump will surely do at some point soon. But apparently, in Sanders’ case, your tongue slips and bullshit comes out. Usually, when you say something was a “slip of the tongue,” that defense doesn’t help you at all.

After the Mueller Report was released, Sanders went on Good Morning America and lied to cover for her lie. She claimed she made the statement in the heat of the moment, and that it was not “a scripted talking point.” Then, she started spinning. “I’m sorry that I wasn’t a robot like the Democrat Party that went out for two and a half years and repeated time and time again that there was definitely Russian collusion between the president and his campaign.” Her deflection was supposed to somehow put heat on Democrats for her lie. This is Trumpian logic. Democratic Party robots are much more dangerous than lying press secretaries.

If Sanders ever conducts another press briefing (they’ve phased them out), reporters need to grill her about her lie. Any other administration would have fired her for lying. This administration sends her out to lie.

White House correspondent for National Urban Radio, April Ryan said Sanders needs to resign. Ryan is the reporter whom Trump asked if she could set up a meeting between him and the Congressional Black Caucus, forgetting that’s not a reporter’s job and assuming that all black people know each other. Surprisingly, he didn’t have a “slip of the tongue that day.”

During a panel discussion on CNN about Sanders’ lie, Ryan said, “She outright lied and the people, the American people, can’t trust her. They can’t trust what’s said from the president’s mouthpiece, spokesperson, from the people’s house. Therefore, she should be let go. She should be fired. End of story.” With the Trump administration, it’s not the end of story, though it should be.

Ryan summed up with, “When there is a lack of credibility there, you have to start and start lopping the heads off. It’s ‘Fire Me Thursday’ or ‘Fire Me Good Friday.’ She needs to go.” But that’s the thing. To get rid of the liars in this White House, you would have to lop the head off and Trump is the big orange head.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders has as much credibility as Tokyo Rose, Hanoi Hannah, Seoul City Sue, and Baghdad Bob.

I doubt Huckasans will resign or be fired, but she won’t be press secretary forever. Since her career options will be limited in the United States (how many times can her dad run for president?), maybe she can find work outside the country.

The “Pink Lady” who delivers highly emotional propaganda disguised as news for North Korea’s state-run media (imagine the only channel being Fox News) is really old. She has to permanently retire at some point (she retires but keeps coming back). Perhaps Sanders can put on a pink Joseon and sing the praises for a different Dear Leader. And, she won’t have to worry about nosy reporters asking her tough questions after saying stupid like, “Trump is orange because of good genes.” And if they do, she can just feed them to dogs or have them shot with anti-aircraft guns.

Spokesgoons need love too.

Be Complicit

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