Updated: Sep 7, 2021
The use of disinformation, lies to support a political narrative targeted to one’s own domestic population, is a hallmark of totalitarian regimes. Domestic disinformation
campaigns were key to keeping the old Soviet Union alive and are fundamental to preserving today’s Communist China.
In the old Soviet Union, the citizenry eventually wised-up and an underground culture, including biting satire, emerged to counter the disinformation:
Sentence from a schoolboy’s weekly composition class essay: “My cat just had seven kittens. They are all communists.” Sentence from the same boy’s composition the following week: “My cat’s seven kittens are all capitalists.” Teacher reminds the boy that the previous week he had said the kittens were communists. “But now they’ve opened their eyes,” replies the child.
As Joseph Bernstein observed in a very thought provoking essay for Harper’s, when dezinformatsiya appeared as an entry in the 1952 Great Soviet Encyclopedia, its meaning was ruthlessly ideological: “Dissemination (in the press, on the radio, etc.) of false reports intended to mislead public opinion. The capitalist press and radio make wide use of dezinformatsiya.” Today, journalists, academics, and politicians still frame the disinformation issue in martial language, as a “war on truth” or “weaponized lies.”
In today’s context, however, bad information is a weapon wielded in an occasionally violent domestic political conflict rather than a cold war between superpowers.
But what if it isn’t the government that is running the disinformation campaign? What if it is the major cultural institutions of the country that are trying to bend reality to support a political narrative?
What if, independent of any government decision (however undemocratically arrived at) the legacy media, academia, social media, the entertainment industry, commercial and industrial enterprises all, seemingly without direction, adopt the same disinformation narrative?
The result has been the rise of what Mr. Bernstein calls “Big Disinfo,” through which a decidedly Left-leaning establishment has arrogated to itself the power to decide what version of reality the public will receive.
And as the deplatforming attack on Parler and the deplatforming of Alex Berenson and other journalists, researchers, and commentators (such as our good friend Diana West) demonstrates, Big Disinfo is quite ruthless in enforcing its version of reality upon the masses.
The result is that the legacy media, academia, entertainment, and especially social media corporations who claim to be policing and trying to stop disinformation have become its biggest purveyors.
One recent, but far from isolated example culled from Blaze, will illustrate the point:
Rolling Stone published a headline that said, "Gunshot Victims Left Waiting as Horse Dewormer Overdoses Overwhelm Oklahoma Hospitals, Doctor Says."
The story was built on a single interview that Oklahoma-based physician Dr. Jason McElyea gave to KFOR-TV. In that interview, McElyea claimed "the [emergency rooms] are so backed up that gunshot victims were having hard times getting to facilities where they can get definitive care and be treated" because people with COVID-19 are allegedly overdosing on ivermectin.
The claim was widely circulated by Democrats and the mainstream media, including the New York Times (which linked to KFOR's story), The Hill, Newsweek, The Guardian, Insider, and even MSNBC host Rachel Maddow.
It turned out the whole story was a complete lie.
The hospital that KFOR stated McElyea was associated with — Northeastern Health System - Sequoyah — released a statement Saturday revealing that McElyea is "not an employee" there and explained the hospital has not experienced a single case of ivermectin overdose. (Emphasis ours.)
The story supported the establishment narratives that there is no “cure” for COVID-19 and that there is no alternative to the establishment’s regime of mandatory lockdowns, facemasks, and vaccinations, so it was never fact-checked or even subjected to the most elementary pre-publication standards of journalism.
And even after being proven to be a lie it is still circulating freely on social media.
Similarly, as Mr. Bernstein observed, after suppressing any news pointing to a lab leak as the origin of COVID-19, “Facebook announced that it would no longer remove posts that claimed that the coronavirus was man-made or manufactured. Many disinformation workers, who spent months calling for social-media companies to ban such claims on the grounds that they were conspiracy theories, have been awkwardly silent as scientists have begun to admit that an accidental leak from a Wuhan lab is an unlikely, but plausible, possibility.”
Their silence is in itself a form of disinformation, in which the lies or suppression of truth will never be acknowledged and no mea culpa ever offered.
How long can a culture, civilization, or country whose existence and governing consent is based almost entirely on disinformation survive? The old Soviet Union was able to survive for almost 70 years without the tools of 21st century social media and disinformation techniques, such as deep fake video. With Big Disinfo now in control of the information ecosystem and operating unchecked, unless Americans demand and force revolutionary change, fact and reality will become ever more unknowable, and the beginning of a new and terrifying totalitarian Dark Age is inevitable.
We urge CHQ readers and friends to call their Representative and Senators on the toll free Capitol Switchboard (1-866-220-0044) and urge them to support Senator Josh Hawley's Trust-Busting Agenda for the 21st Century to end mega-corporate control of the information Americans receive, the speech Americans can engage in and the books Americans can read.
war on truth