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America just can’t catch a break. After three long years of brutal oppression under Donald Trump’s Russia-backed Nazi Reich, it turns out the only Democratic candidate with a chance of unseating him in November and rescuing the world from the Putin-Nazis is a 78-year-old bloodthirsty Commie with a Khmer Rouge-like army of kill-crazy followers.

Yes, I’m afraid the rumors are true. Apparently, elements of Jeremy Corbyn’s recently-disbanded Nazi Death Cult have regrouped in the United States, formed an alliance with Bernie Sanders fanatics, and together this Mega-Commie Kill Swarm is roaming the Internet with complete impunity, sadistically mass-murdering Sanders critics and defenseless differently-abled persons with vulgar language and vicious poo-memes.

The corporate media are doing their best to alert Americans to the imminent threat. CNN broadcast a special report explaining how Sanders’ “army of supporters” are “bullying” and “frightening” his critics into silence. An “outspoken Elizabeth Warren supporter whose daughter with Downs syndrome is recovering from cancer” was verbally-abused to within an inch of her life. An “activist dying of ALS” was instructed to go “f___” himself. The Working Families Party was subjected to a series of inappropriate adjectives. The Party’s leader, an African American and a personal friend of Bernie Sanders, was taunted with a racist Tweet, which Sanders took to Twitter and condemned, but by that time it was much too late. His Commie Kill Swarm was beyond his control; they started tweeting memes comparing Elizabeth Warren to a snake and Pete Buttigieg to a rat, and otherwise terrorizing the American public.

Senior Investigative Correspondent Drew Griffin spoke to several other “victims” of Sanders’ Commie Kill Swarm’s tweets who are recovering from their Internet traumas in undisclosed secure locations and so insisted on remaining anonymous. According to Griffin, these emotionally-traumatized victims are so emotionally traumatized by what they experienced on the Internet that they wouldn’t even let him describe the traumatic “circumstances” surrounding their “attacks.”

And the proof of Sanders’ Commie Kill Swarm’s atrocities isn’t just anecdotal. No, Griffin also spoke to Ben Decker, “CEO” of something called “Memetica” (which appears to be Ben’s Twitter account), whose “Facebook analysis” conclusively proves that Sanders has a lot of online supporters, more than all the other candidates, which creates “the potential for greater harm.” This type of online “bullying-at-scale,” according to Ben, is just … well, “crazy.”

Of course, CNN is not the only corporate media outlet on the case. In the days leading up to the Iowa caucuses (which Sanders would go on to attempt to steal from Buttigieg by winning thousands more votes), a spate of dire warnings were issued. According to The Washington Post, “Sanders supporters have weaponized Facebook” and are terrorizing people with “angry memes.” The New York Times reported that “Bernie Sanders and His Internet Army have forced progressives who refuse to back him into hiring private security details to protect them from “death threats” and off-color jokes. Daily Beast warned of “Toxic Bernie Bros.” NBC likened them to MAGA supporters, who everyone knows are Russia-loving Nazis. SNL writers went even further, painting Sanders as the darling of 4chan … and these are just a few examples.

But by far the most bombastic display of unbridled Sanders-Commie-Kill-Swarm-Panic was MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, who totally lost it after the last debate and started sputtering about “socialists” staging public mass-executions in Central Park. Matthews is apparently firmly convinced that Sanders, if he wins the election, plans to dress up like Fidel Castro, march Matthews and his cronies out onto the Great Lawn, and go full-bore Daenerys Targaryen on them. He sat there, trembling, on national television, eyes afire with paranoia, jabbering about the godless “Reds” like a scene from Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove that got cut because it was too over-the-top.

Seriously, though, I doubt he has much to worry about. Regardless of who wins the election this year, the supranational corporatocracy that essentially owns the U.S. government is not about to let Bernie Sanders implement the same basic social programs that most capitalist countries throughout world have provided to their people for decades. Jesus, just imagine the freedomless horror if Americans could go to university, and, you know, maybe raise a child or two, without spending the rest of their lives in debt! Think of the suffering that would inflict on the banks, and insurance companies, and military contractors, not to mention the pharmaceutical industry. God help America, should it go down that road! The next thing you know there’d be high-speed trains, subsidized art, and un-chlorinated chicken … there’s no telling where the nightmare would end.

Look, I don’t normally get invested in the quadrennial Simulation of Democracy, but I’m kind of pulling for Bernie this time. I don’t believe he has a chance, but if he somehow managed to outfox the Democrats and win the nomination this summer, it would be fun to watch as the corporate media and the rest of the neoliberal Resistance react to a Sanders vs. Trump election.

Not that either Sanders or Trump, the men themselves, are a threat to the empire (as we have witnessed over the course of the last three years). But we’re in the middle of a War on Populism, which the global corporatocracy needs to win if it is going to continue to relentlessly destabilize, privatize, and restructure everything, as it has been doing since the end of the Cold War. Sanders and Trump are just symbols, of course, lightning rods for “populist” anger … but they are symbols the empire needs to destroy in order to reestablish “normality.”

 
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I never thought I’d hear myself say this, but I’m a little worried about Donald Trump. I’m worried he may be on the verge of a sudden, major heart attack, or a stroke, or a fatal golfing accident.

Food poisoning is another possibility. Or he could overdose on prescription medication. A tanning bed mishap is not out of the question.

He could accidentally hang himself during autoerotic asphyxiation, or get shot by a lone-wolf white supremacist terrorist trying to start the RaHoWa. The Russians could spray him with that Novichok perfume.

There are any number of ways he could snuff it.

I don’t mean to sound alarmist, but the Resistance is running out of non-lethal options for removing Donald Trump from office. Here they are, in no particular order …

Resistance Non-Lethal Option No. 1

Resistance Non-Lethal Option No. 1 is winning the 2020 election, which isn’t looking very promising. The Democratic Party is in shambles. According to the polls, their current front-runner is a senile, hair-sniffing, finger-sucking freak who never met a credit card company or a healthcare lobbyist he didn’t like, and who rivals even Donald Trump when it comes to incoherent babbling.

Yes, that’s right, folks, it’s “Smilin’ Joe” Biden, vanquisher of the razor-wielding, swimming-pool-gangster “Corn Pop” to the rescue! As far as I’ve been able to gather, the plan is for Joe to out-“crazy” Trump (and thus win back the “bull goose loony” demographic) by going completely off his medication and having a series of scary-looking petit mal seizures on national television.

That is, unless the impossible happens, and Biden is vanquished by Bernie Sanders (a/k/a “The Magic Socialist”), who Democratic Party bigwigs would sooner publicly immolate themselves than nominate, and who the corporate media are already accusing of being a lying, sexist. communist, crypto-Trump-loving, Jew-hating Jew.

Sanders, it seems, has gone totally “native.” He’s out there, in the heart of the American darkness, like a geriatric Colonel Kurz, operating without any decent restraint, totally beyond the pale of any acceptable human conduct. According to the latest reconnaissance, he is building another “revolutionary” army of fanatical, doped-up, hacky-sacking “socialists” that he will lead into the convention in July and deliver to Biden, or Elizabeth Warren, or whichever soulless corporate puppet the party honchos eventually nominate, and then obsequiously stump for them for the next five months. (Or, who knows, maybe Michael Bloomberg will put the Democrats out of their misery and just buy the party and nominate himself.)

The “Crush Bernie” movement is just getting started, but you can tell the Resistance isn’t screwing around. Hillary Clinton just officially launched her national “Nobody Likes Bernie” campaign at the star-studded 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Influential Jewish journalists like Bari Weiss and Jeffrey Goldberg, and Ronald Lauder’s newly-founded Anti-Semitism Accountability Project, have been Hitlerizing him, or, rather, Corbynizing him. Obama has promised to “stop him,” if necessary. MSNBC anchor Joy Reid brought on a professional “body language expert” to phrenologize Sanders “live” on the air … and, as I said, they’re just getting started.

In any event, no matter who they nominate, they have no chance of winning in November. How could they, given the total stranglehold the Russians now have on American democracy? As Adam Schiff just reminded everyone, unless Donald Trump is removed from office, “we cannot be assured that the vote will be fairly won,” because at any moment Putin could order Trump to pressure the Ukrainian president into investigating Biden’s son’s corruption by refusing to fund the Ukrainian military’s resistance to Putin’s secret plot to occupy the entire Ukraine and use it as a covert base from which to launch an all-out thermonuclear war against the United States (which Putin already controls through his puppet, Trump, and his network of nefarious Facebook bots, which, according to this expert on NPR, are already brainwashing gullible Black people into voting for Bernie Sanders this time, or at least refusing to vote for Biden, like they refused to vote for Hillary last time … which, OK, I know, that sounds kind of racist, but we’re talking NPR here, folks. These people aren’t racists. They’re liberals!)

OK, I got a little lost there … the point is, if the election goes ahead, and Trump doesn’t have an embolism or something, odds are, we’re looking at four more years of Putin-Nazi occupation. Which brings us to …

Non-Lethal Option No. 2

Resistance Non-Lethal Option No. 2 is, of course, the current impeachment circus. I don’t even know where to start with this one.

After three and a half years of corporate-media-manufactured mass hysteria and Intelligence Community propaganda designed to convince the American public that Donald Trump is a “Russian asset” (and possibly Putin’s homosexual lover) and also literally the Resurrection of Hitler, the Democrats are trying to impeach the man for something that most Americans either (a) believe is common practice among members of the political class, (b) don’t entirely understand, or (c) do, but don’t give a shit about.

 
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So, 2020 is off to an exciting start. It’s barely the middle of January, and we’ve already made it through World War III, which was slightly less apocalyptic than expected. Forensic teams are still sifting through the ashes, but preliminary reports suggest that the global capitalist empire has emerged from the carnage largely intact.

It started in the Middle East, of course, when Donald Trump (a “Russian-asset”) ordered the murder of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani outside the Baghdad Airport, presumably after clearing it with Putin, which, given Iran and Russia’s relationship, doesn’t really make much sense.

But whatever. According to the U.S. government and the corporate media, Soleimani was a “terrorist,” who had been working with Assad (another “terrorist”) to destroy ISIS (who are also “terrorists”) and elements of Al-Qaeda (who used to be “terrorists”) with the support of the Russians (who are kind of “terrorists”) and doing all sorts of other unspecified but allegedly imminent “terrorist” things.

Apparently, Soleimani had flown to Baghdad on a secret commercial “terrorist” flight and was on his way to some kind of covert “terrorist” diplomatic meeting to respond to a de-escalation proposal from Saudi Arabia (who are definitely not “terrorists”) when the U.S. military preventatively murdered him with a General Atomics Aeronautical Systems MQ-9B Reaper drone.

Iran (officially a “terrorist” country since January 1979, when they overthrew the brutal Western puppet that the CIA and MI6 had installed as their “Shah” in 1953, after they regime-changed the Iranian prime minister, after he nationalized the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, later to be known as British Petroleum) reacted to the preventative murder of their “terrorist” general like a bunch of “terrorists.”

The Ayatollah Khamenei (you guessed it, a “terrorist”) issued a series of “terrorist” threats against the 50,000 U.S. military personnel more or less completely surrounding his country on bases all across the Middle East. Millions of Iranians (currently “terrorists,” except for members of MeK), who, according to the U.S. officials, hated Soleimani, took to the streets of Tehran and other cities to mourn his death, burn American flags, and chant “death to America” and other “terrorist” slogans.

The empire went to DEFCON 1. The 82nd Airborne was activated. The State Department advised Americans vacationing in Iraq to get the hell out of there. #worldwar3 started trending on Twitter.

Freedom-loving countries throughout the region stood by to be annihilated. Saudi Arabia postponed its previously scheduled weekend edition of public head-chopping. Israel dialed up its non-existent nukes. The Kuwaitis posted armed guards on their incubators. The Qataris, Bahrainians, United Arab Emiratis, and other loyal empire outposts did whatever those folks do when they’re facing nuclear Armageddon.

In the U.S.A., it was mass hysteria. The corporate media starting pumping out stories about Soleimani having “blood on his hands,” and being “the number one terrorist in the world,” and having ruthlessly genocided hundreds of American soldiers, who, back in 2003, had preventatively invaded and destroyed Iraq and were preventatively slaughtering and torturing its people to keep them from attacking America with their non-existent WMDs.

Americans (most of whom had never even heard of Soleimani until their government murdered him, and many of whom can’t find Iran on a map) took to Twitter to call for the immediate nuking of Iran from orbit. Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered a division of heavily-armed anti-“terror” forces to stand around in New York City with their rifles in the classic “sling-ready” position to prevent the Iranians from swimming the Atlantic (along with their communist killer dolphins), crawling up onto East Hampton Beach, taking the LIRR into town, and committing some devastating “terrorist” atrocity that would be commemorated throughout eternity on key rings, T-shirts, and jumbo coffee mugs.

Trump, disciplined Russian agent that he is, held his nerve and maintained his cover, performing his “total moron” act as only a seasoned Russian operative can. While Iran was still mourning, he started publicly jabbering about Soleimani’s dismembered corpse, bombing Iranian cultural sites, and otherwise bombastically taunting Iran like an emotionally-challenged street-corner drunk. His strategy was clearly to convince the Iranians (and the rest of the world) that he is a dangerous imbecile who will murder the officials of any foreign government that Mike Pompeo tells him to, and then incinerate their museums and mosques, and presumably the rest of their “shithole” countries, if they even think about retaliating.

Nevertheless, retaliate the Iranians did. In a sadistic display of cold-hearted “terrorism,” they launched a firestorm of ballistic “terror” missiles at two U.S. military bases in Iraq, killing no one and injuring no one, but damaging the hell out of some empty buildings, a helicopter, and a couple of tents. First, though, in order to maximize the “terror,” they called the Swiss embassy in Tehran and asked them to warn the U.S. military that they would be launching missiles at their bases shortly. As the Moon of Alabama website reported:

“The Swiss embassy in Tehran, which represents the U.S., was warned at least one hour before the attack happened. Around 0:00 UTC the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) which prohibited civil U.S. flights over Iraq, Iran, the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.”

In the wake of the Iranians’ devastating counter-strike, and the mass-non-casualties resulting therefrom, anyone with an Internet connection or access to a television descended into their anti-terror bunkers and held their breath in anticipation of the nuclear hell Trump was sure to unleash. I confess, even I tuned into his speech, which was one of the most disturbing public spectacles I have ever witnessed.

Trump burst through the doors of the White House Grand Foyer, dramatically backlit, freshly “tanned,” scowling like a WWF wrestler, and announced that, as long as he is president, “Iran will never be allowed to have nuclear weapons” … as if any of the events of the preceding week had had anything to do with nuclear weapons (which the Iranians don’t need and do not want, except in some neoconservative fantasy wherein Iran intends to commit national suicide by nuking Israel off the face of the Earth).

 
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Well, it looks like we’ve somehow managed to survive another year of diabolical Putin-Nazi attacks on democracy. It was touch-and-go there for a while, especially coming down the home stretch, what with Jeremy Corbyn’s desperate attempt to overthrow the UK government, construct a British version of Auschwitz, and start rounding up and mass-murdering the Jews.

That was certainly pretty scary … but then, the whole year was pretty scary.

The horror began promptly in early January, when Rachel Maddow revealed that Putin was projecting words out of Trump’s mouth in real-time, i.e., literally using Trump’s head like a puppet, or one of those Mission Impossible masks. And that was just the tip of the iceberg, as, despite the best efforts of Integrity Initiative, Bellingcat, and other such establishment psyops, Internet-censoring sites like NewsGuard, and an army of mass hysteria generators, Putin’s legion of Russian “influencers” was continuing to maliciously influence Americans, who were probably also still under attack by brain-eating Russian-Cubano crickets!

While Resistance members were still wrapping their heads in anti-cricket aluminum foil, Putin (i.e., Russian Hitler) ordered Trump (i.e., Russian-asset Hitler) to launch a coup in Venezuela (i.e., Russian Hitler’s South American ally), probably to distract us from “Smirkboy Hitler” and his acne-faced gang of MAGA cap-wearing Catholic high-school Hitler Youth, who were trying to invade and Hitlerize the capital. Or maybe the coup was meant to distract us from the un-American activities of Bernie Sanders, who had also been deemed a Russian asset, or a devious “Kremlin-Trump operation,” or was working with Tulsi Gabbard to build an army of blood-drinking Hindu nationalists, genocidal Assadists, and American fascists to help the Iranians (and the Russians, of course, and presumably also Jeremy Corbyn) frontally assault the State of Israel and drive the Jews into the sea.

As if all that wasn’t horrifying enough (and ridiculous and confusing enough), by early Spring there was mounting evidence that Putin had somehow gotten to Mueller, possibly with one of those FSB pee-tapes, and was sabotaging the “Russiagate” coup the Intelligence Community, the Democratic Party, the corporate media, and the rest of the Resistance had been methodically preparing since 2016. Liberals’ anuses began puckering and unpuckering as it gradually became clear that the “Mueller Report” was not going to prove that Donald Trump had colluded with Putin and Julian Assange to steal the presidency from Hillary Clinton and transform the United States of America into a genocidal Putin-Nazi Reich.

Meanwhile, the anti-Semitism pandemic that had mysteriously erupted in 2016 (i.e., right around the time Trump won the nomination) was raging unchecked throughout the West. Jews in Great Britain were on the brink of panic because approximately 0.08 percent of Labour Party members were anti-Semitic, as opposed to the rest of the British public, who have never shown any signs of anti-Semitism (or any other kind of racism or bigotry), and are practically a nation of Shabbos goys. Clearly, Corbyn had turned the party into his personal neo-Nazi death cult and was planning to carry out a second Holocaust just as soon as he renationalized the British railways!

And it wasn’t just the United Kingdom. According to corporate media virologists, idiopathic anti-Semitism was breaking out everywhere. In France, the “Yellow Vests” were also anti-Semites. In the U.S.A., Jews were facing “a perfect storm of anti-Semitism,” some of it stemming from the neo-fascist fringe (which has been a part of the American landscape forever, but which the corporate media has elevated into an international Nazi movement), but much of it whipped up by Ilhan Omar, who had apparently entered into a “Red-Brown” pact with Richard Spencer, or Gavin McInnes, or some other formerly insignificant idiot.

Things got very confusing for a while, as Republicans united with Democrats to denounce Ilhan Omar as an anti-Semite (and possibly a full-fledged Islamic terrorist) and to condemn the existence of “hate,” or whatever. The corporate media, Facebook, and Twitter were suddenly swarming with hordes of angry anti-Semites accusing other anti-Semites of anti-Semitism. Meghan McCain couldn’t take it anymore, and she broke down on the Joy Behar Show and begged to be converted to Judaism, or Zionism, right there on the air. This unseemly display of anti-anti-Semitism was savagely skewered by Eli Valley, an “anti-Semitic” Jewish cartoonist, according to McCain and other morons.

Then it happened … perhaps the loudest popcorn fart in political history. The Mueller Report was finally delivered. And just like that, Russiagate was over. After three long years of manufactured mass hysteria, corporate media propaganda, books, T-shirts, marches, etc., Robert Mueller had come up with squat. Zip. Zero. Nichts. Nada. No collusion. No pee-tape. No secret servers. No Russian contacts. Nothing. Zilch.

 
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OK, we need to talk about fascism. Not just any kind of fascism. A particularly insidious kind of fascism. No, not the fascism of the early 20th Century. Not Mussolini’s National Fascist Party. Not Hitler’s NSDAP. Not Francoist fascism or any other kind of organized fascist movement or party. Not even the dreaded Tiki-torch Nazis.

It’s the other kind of fascism we need to talk about. The kind that doesn’t come goose-stepping up the street waving big neo-Nazi flags. The kind we don’t recognize when we’re looking right at it.

It’s like that joke about the fish and the water … we don’t recognize it because we’re swimming in it. We’re surrounded by it. We are inseparable from it. From the moment we are born, we breathe it in.

We are taught it by our parents, who were taught it by their parents. We are taught it again by our teachers in school. It is reinforced on a daily basis at work, in conversations with friends, in our families and our romantic relationships. We imbibe it in books, movies, TV shows, advertisements, pop songs, the nightly news, in our cars, at the mall, the stadium, the opera … everywhere, because it is literally everywhere.

It doesn’t look like fascism to us. Fascism only looks like fascism when you’re standing outside of it, or looking back at it. When you are in it, fascism just looks like “normality,” like “reality,” like “just the way it is.”

We (i.e., Americans, Brits, Europeans, and other citizens of the global capitalist empire) get up in the morning, go to work, shop, pay the interest on our debts, and otherwise obey the laws and conform to the mores of a system of power that has murdered countless millions of people in pursuit of global-hegemonic dominance. It has perpetrated numerous wars of aggression. Its military occupies most of the planet. Its Intelligence agencies (i.e., secret police) operate a worldwide surveillance apparatus that can identify, target, and eliminate anyone, anywhere, often by remote control. Its propaganda network never sleeps, nor is there any real way to escape its constant emotional and ideological conditioning.

The fact that the global capitalist empire does not call itself an empire, and instead calls itself “democracy,” doesn’t make it any less of an empire. The fact that it uses terms like “regime change” instead of “invasion” or “annexation” makes very little difference to its victims. Terms like “security,” “stability,” “intervention,” “regime change,” and so on are not meant for its victims. They are meant for us … to anesthetize us.

The empire is “regime-changing” Bolivia currently. It has “regime-changed” most of Latin America at one time or another since the Second World War. It “regime-changed” Iraq, Libya, Yugoslavia, Indonesia … the list goes on. It very much wants to “regime-change” Iran, which it “regime-changed” back in the 1950s, before the Iranians “regime-changed” it back. It would love to “regime-change” Russia and China, but their ICBMs make that somewhat impractical. Basically, the empire has been “regime-changing” everyone it can since the end of the Cold War. It has run into a little bump in Syria, and in Venezuela, but not to worry, it will get back there and finish up eventually.

Now, let’s be clear about this “regime-change” business. We’re talking about invading other people’s countries, and orchestrating and sponsoring coups, or otherwise overthrowing their governments, and murdering, torturing, and oppressing people. Sending in terrorists, death squads, and such. We have organizations that train guys to do that, i.e., to round people up, take them out to the jungle, or the woods, or wherever, rape the women, and then summarily shoot everyone in the head. We pay for this kind of thing with our taxes, and our investments in the global corporations that our militaries and intelligence agencies serve. We know this is happening. We can google this stuff. We know “where the trains are going,” as it were.

And yet, we do not see ourselves as monsters.

The Nazis didn’t see themselves as monsters. They saw themselves as heroes, as saviors, or just as regular Germans leading regular lives. When they looked at the propaganda posters which surrounded them (as the Internet surrounds us today), they didn’t see sadistic mass-murderers and totalitarian psychopathic freaks. They saw normal people, admirable people, who were making the world a better place.

They saw themselves. They saw “the good guys.”

This is primarily how propaganda works. It isn’t meant to fool anybody. It is there to represent “normality” (whatever “normality” happens to be in whatever empire one happens to inhabit). It is Power’s way of letting us know what it wants us to believe, how it wants us to behave, who our official enemies are. Its purpose isn’t to mislead or deceive us. It is an edict, a command, an ideological model … to which we are all expected to conform. Conform to this ideological model, and one is rewarded, or at least not punished. Deviate from it, and suffer the consequences.

It is a question of obedience, not one of truth.

This is why it doesn’t matter that there is no actual “Attack on America,” and that the Russians didn’t “hack,” “subvert,” “meddle in,” or otherwise significantly “influence” the 2016 presidential election or otherwise put Donald Trump in office. John Brennan and the CIA say they did, and the corporate media say they did, so all Good Americans have to pretend to believe it. Likewise, it also doesn’t matter if an organization like the OPCW collaborated with the empire’s regime-change specialists who staged a “chemical weapons attack” on helpless women and children in Douma (because, no matter what the empire did or didn’t do, Assad is a Russian-backed, baby-gassing devil!), or if The Guardian just makes up stuff about Julian Assange out of whole cloth and prints it as news.

 
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OK, here’s a silly one for you.

Have you ever wondered how all those Wikipedia articles get produced … you know, the ones you pull up on your phone to look up an actor, an author, or a recipe, or a historical or scientific fact? Unfortunately, one of the Consent Factory staff had an opportunity to find out recently.

Apparently, what happened was, someone (presumably one of my readers) tried to add a reference to one of my essays to Wikipedia’s Identity Politics page. The Ministry of Wiki-Truth objected, adamantly. A low-level edit war ensued. Once the Ministers had quashed the rebellion, one of them, “Grayfell,” immediately went to the CJ Hopkins Wikipedia article and started punitively “editing” its contents for “neutrality.”

Other Ministers soon joined in the fun. The list of my awards was summarily deleted. My debut novel, Zone 23, which I published under the Consent Factory’s literary imprint, Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant Paperbacks, was “edited” into a vanity publication that I “self-published,” probably in my mother’s basement. The “Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant” imprint (which every bookseller, library, and professional catalog recognizes) was disappeared so that my potential readers will be warned that I’m trying to trick them into buying a book that wasn’t published by a “real” (i.e., corporate) publisher, like the Penguin Group, or one of its … uh, imprints. References to my “political satire and commentary,” and to many of the alternative outlets that regularly repost my essays (like the outlet you’re probably reading this in) were also zapped, because they’re all “fake news” sites operated by Putin-Nazi agents.

Also, given my attempted book fraud, the Wikipedia Ministers immediately launched an investigation into whether I had possibly made up my entire career. Perhaps I had invented all the productions of my plays, and my awards, and even my existence itself. I assume they have contacted my “legitimate” publishers, Bloomsbury Publishing and Broadway Play Publishing, to verify that I haven’t somehow hacked their websites and faked my other books. If they haven’t … well, they should probably get on that.

This “editing” and pursuant investigation was overseen and approved by a senior member of the Ministry’s Arbitration Committee, Doug Weller, who is apparently a “Grandmaster Editor” or a “Lord High Togneme Vicarus” in Wiki-speak. (I kid you not … click the link.) Given Lord Weller’s supervision of the process, I think it’s probably safe to say that this was not just the work of a bunch of kids attempting to negatively impact my book sales because someone on the Internet pissed them off.

This brouhaha was brought to my attention by the Consent Factory’s in-house Wikipedia Liaison, King Ubu (or König Ubu in German). As his job title suggests, King Ubu’s duty is to periodically check my Wikipedia article and make sure that no one has posted anything false, defamatory, or just plain weird. Naturally, when he saw how the Ministers of Wiki-Truth were punitively “editing” my page for “neutrality,” he attempted to engage them. This did not go well. I won’t go through all the gory details, but, if you’re curious, they’re here on the CJ Hopkins “talk” page (which King Ubu reports that he has copied and archived, which I find a bit paranoid, but then, I’m not an IT guy).

Look, normally, I wouldn’t bore you with my personal affairs, but my case is just another example of how “reality” is manufactured these days. In the anti-establishment circles I move in, Wikipedia is notorious for this kind of stuff, which is unsurprising when you think about it. It’s a perfect platform for manufacturing reality, disseminating pro-establishment propaganda, and damaging people’s reputations, which is a rather popular tactic these days. The simple fact is, when you google anything, Wikipedia is usually the first link that comes up. Most people assume that what they read on the platform is basically factual and at least trying to be “objective” … which a lot of it is, but a lot of it isn’t.

If the name Philip Cross doesn’t ring any bells, you might want to have a look into his story before you go back to uncritically surfing Wikipedia. As of May 14, 2018 (when Five Filters published this article about him and his service at the Ministry of Wiki-Truth), he had been editing Wikipedia for five years straight, every day of the week, including Christmas. He (if Cross is an actual person, and not an intelligence agency PSYOP) specializes in maliciously “editing” articles regarding anti-war activists and other anti-establishment persons. The story is too long to recount here, but have a look at this other Five Filters article. If you’re interested, that’s a good place to start.

Or, if you don’t have time to do that, go ahead and use my case as an example. See, according to Ubu, the Ministry’s punitive “editing” of my article to make it more “neutral” began when this specific Minister (“Grayfell”) discovered (a) that I existed, and (b) that I am a leftist heretic. “Grayfell,” as it turns out, is extremely invested in maintaining a positive image of Antifa, whose Wikipedia article he actively edits, and whose honor and integrity he valiantly defends, not only from conservatives and neo-fascist bozos, but apparently also from nefarious leftist authors and political satirists like myself.

Which … OK, I probably deserve it, right? I have satirized identity politics. I have satirized Antifa. I have satirized liberals. I don’t forbid controversial outlets (or any other outlets for that matter) from republishing my political satire and commentary, even after I was instructed to do so by the Leftism Police at CounterPunch. Jesus, I even included a link to a Breitbart article in the preceding paragraph … don’t read it, of course, it’s all a bunch of lies, notwithstanding all the supporting evidence.

Chief among my leftist heresies, I haven’t insulted Trump nearly enough. I don’t believe he’s a “Russian asset” or the resurrection of Adolf Hitler. I believe he is the same narcissistic ass clown and self-absorbed con man he has always been. Much as I dislike the man, I’m not on board with the deep-state coup the Intelligence Community, the Democrats, and the rest of the neoliberal Resistance have been trying to stage since he won the election.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: American Media, Ministr, Wikipedia 
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So, it looks like that’s it for America, folks. Putin has gone and done it again. He and his conspiracy of Putin-Nazis have “hacked,” or “influenced,” or “meddled in” our democracy. Unless Admiral Bill McRaven and his special ops cronies can ginny up a last-minute military coup, it’s four more years of the Trumpian Reich, Russian soldiers patrolling the streets, martial law, concentration camps, gigantic banners with the faces of Trump and Putin hanging in the football stadiums, mandatory Sieg-heiling in the public schools, National Vodka-for-Breakfast Day, death’s heads, babushkas, the whole nine yards.

We probably should have seen this coming.

That’s right, as I’m sure you are aware by now, president-in-exile Hillary Clinton has discovered Putin’s diabolical plot to steal the presidency from Elizabeth Warren, or Biden, or whichever establishment puppet makes it out of the Democratic primaries. Speaking to former Obama adviser and erstwhile partner at AKPD Message and Media David Plouffe, Clinton revealed how the godless Rooskies intend to subvert democracy this time:

“I’m not making any predictions, but I think they’ve got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate.”

She was referring, of course, to Tulsi Gabbard, sitting Democratic Member of Congress, decorated Major in the Army National Guard, and long shot 2020 presidential candidate. Apparently, Gabbard (who reliable anonymous sources in the Intelligence Community have confirmed is a member of some kind of treasonous, Samoan-Hindu, Assad-worshipping cult that wants to force everyone to practice yoga) has been undergoing Russian “grooming” at a compound in an undisclosed location that is probably in the basement of Mar-a-Lago, or on Sublevel 168 of Trump Tower.

In any event, wherever Gabbard is being surreptitiously “groomed” (presumably by someone resembling Lotte Lenya in From Russia With Love), the plan (i.e., Putin’s plan) is to have her lose in the Democratic primaries, then run as a third-party “spoiler” candidate, stealing votes from Warren or Biden, exactly as Jill Stein (who, according to Clinton, is also “totally a Russian asset”) stole them from Clinton back in 2016, allowing Putin to install Donald Trump (who, according to Clinton, is still being blackmailed by the FSB with that “kompromat” pee-tape) in the White House, where she so clearly belongs.

Clinton’s comments came on the heels of a preparatory smear-piece in The New York Times, What, Exactly, Is Tulsi Gabbard Up To?, which reported at length on how Gabbard has been “injecting chaos” into the Democratic primaries. Professional “disinformation experts” supplied The Times with convincing evidence (i.e., unfounded hearsay and innuendo) of “suspicious activity” surrounding Gabbard’s campaign. Former Clinton-aide Laura Rosenberger (who also just happens to be the Director of the Alliance for Securing Democracy, “a bipartisan transatlantic national security advocacy group” comprised of former Intelligence Community and U.S. State Department officials, and publisher of the Hamilton 68 dashboard) “sees Gabbard as a potentially useful vector for Russian efforts to sow division.”

The Times piece goes on to list an assortment of unsavory, extremist, white supremacist, horrible, neo-Nazi-type persons that Tulsi Gabbard has nothing to do with, but which Hillary Clinton, the Intelligence Community, The Times, and the rest of the corporate media would like you to mentally associate her with. Richard Spencer, David Duke, Steve Bannon, Mike Cernovich, Tucker Carlson, and so on. Neo-Nazi sites like the Daily Stormer. 4chan, where, according to The New York Times, neo-Nazis like to “call her Mommy.”

In keeping with professional journalistic ethics, The Times also reached out to experts on fascism, fascist terrorism, terrorist fascism, fascist-adjacent Assad-apologism, Hitlerism, horrorism, Russia, and so on, to confirm Gabbard’s guilt-by-association with the people The Times had just associated her with. Brian Levin, Director of the CSU Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, confirmed that Gabbard has “the seal of approval” within goose-stepping, Hitler-loving, neo-Nazi circles. The Alliance for Securing Democracy (yes, the one from the previous paragraph) conducted an “independent analysis” which confirmed that RT (“the Kremlin-backed news agency”) had mentioned Gabbard far more often than the Western corporate media (which isn’t backed by anyone, and is totally unbiased and independent, despite the fact that most of it is owned by a handful of powerful global corporations, and at least one CIA-affiliated oligarch). Oh, and Hawaii State Senator Kai Kahele, who is challenging Gabbard for her seat in Congress, agreed with The Times that Gabbard’s support from Jew-hating, racist Putin-Nazis might be a potential liability.

“Clearly there’s something about her and her policies that attracts and appeals to these type of people who are white nationalists, anti-Semites, and Holocaust deniers.”

But it’s not just The New York Times, of course. No sooner had Clinton finished cackling than the corporate media launched into their familiar Goebbelsian piano routine, banging out story after television segment repeating the words “Gabbard” and “Russian asset.” I’ve singled out The Times because the smear piece in question was clearly a warm-up for Hillary Clinton’s calculated smear job on Friday night. No, the old gal hasn’t lost her mind. She knew exactly what she was doing, as did the editors of The New York Times, as did every other establishment news source that breathlessly “reported” her neo-McCarthyite smears.

As I noted in my previous essay, 2020 is for all the marbles, and it’s not just about who wins the election. No, it’s mostly about crushing the “populist” backlash against the hegemony of global capitalism and its happy, smiley-faced, conformist ideology. To do that, the neoliberal establishment has to delegitimize, and lethally stigmatize, not just Trump, but also people like Gabbard, Bernie Sanders, Jeremy Corbyn … and any other popular political figure (left, right, it makes no difference) deviating from that ideology.

In Trump’s case, it’s his neo-nationalism. In Sanders and Corbyn’s, it’s socialism (or at least some semblance of social democracy). In Gabbard’s, it’s her opposition to the Corporatocracy’s ongoing efforts to restructure and privatize the Middle East (and the rest of the entire planet), and their using the U.S. military to do it.

 
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So here we go. Like a 1960s straight-to-drive-in Hammer Film Production, the 2020 campaign season has begun. Dig into your bucket of popcorn, pop the flap on your box of Good & Plenty, turn off your mind, and enjoy the show. From the looks of the trailer, it’s going to be a doozy.

That’s right, folks, it’s the final installment of the popular Trumpenstein horror movie series, TRUMPENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED! It will be playing, more or less around the clock, on more or less every screen in existence, until November 3, 2020 … or until Trump takes that lonely walk across the White House lawn to the Marine One chopper and flies off to Mar-a-Lago in disgrace.

Here’s a quick recap of the series so far, for those who may be joining us late.

When we last saw Trumpenstein he was out on the balcony of the White House South Portico in his Brioni boxers, ripped to the gills on Diet Coke and bellowing like a bull elephant seal. Having narrowly survived the Resistance’s attempts to expose him as a Russian intelligence asset (and the reanimated corpse of Adolf Hitler), he was pounding his chest and hollering angry gibberish at the liberal media like the Humongous in the second Mad Max movie.

The liberal mob was standing around with their torches and pitchforks in a state of shock. Doctor Mueller, the “monster hunter,” had let Trumpenstein slip through his fingers. The supposedly ironclad case against him had turned out to be a bunch of lies made up by the Intelligence Community, the Democratic Party, and the corporate media.

Russiagate was officially dead. The President of the United States was not a Russian secret agent. No one was blackmailing anyone with a videotape of Romanian prostitutes peeing on a bed where Obama once slept. All that had happened was, millions of liberals had been subjected to the most elaborate psyop in the history of elaborate deep state psyops … which, ironically, had only further strengthened Trumpenstein, who was out there on the Portico balcony, shotgunning Diet Cokes with one hand and shaking his junk at the mob with the other.

It wasn’t looking so good for “democracy.”

Fortunately, even though Russiagate had blown up in the Resistance’s faces and Trumpenstein could no longer be painted as a traitorous Russian intelligence asset (or as Vladimir Putin’s homosexual lover), he was still the reanimated corpse of Hitler, so they went balls out on the fascism hysteria, which kept the Resistance alive through the summer.

Which was all they really needed to do. Because these last three years were basically just a warm-up for the main event, which was always scheduled to begin this autumn. Russiagate, Hitlergate, and all the rest of it … it was all just a prelude to these impeachment hearings, and to the mass hysteria surrounding same, which the global capitalist ruling classes, the Intelligence Community, and the corporate media will be barraging us with until November 2020. The details don’t really matter that much. They were always going to impeach him for something, and they were always going to do it now, and throughout the 2020 campaign season.

You do not honestly believe they are going to let him serve a second term, do you? He took them by surprise in 2016. That isn’t going to happen again. Seriously, take a moment and reflect on everything we’ve been subjected to since Hillary Clinton lost the election … the unmitigated insanity of it all. The Russiagate hysteria. The Russian hacker hysteria. The Russian Facebook mind-control hysteria. The Hitler hysteria. The mass fascism hysteria. The anti-Semitism hysteria. The concentration camp hysteria. The white supremacist terrorism hysteria. Russian spy whales. Perfume assassins. The endless stream of fabricated “news” stories pumped out by the corporate media. Best-selling books, based on nothing. Comedians singing hymns to former FBI directors on national television. Celebrities demanding CIA coups. Papers of record like The New York Times coordinating blatant propaganda campaigns. The list goes on, and on, and on.

All of this because one billionaire ass clown won an election without their permission?

No, this was never just about Donald Trump, repulsive and corrupt as the man may be. The stakes have always been much higher than that. What we’ve witnessed over the the last three years (and what is about to reach its apogee) is a global capitalist counter-insurgency, the goal of which is (a) to put down the ongoing populist rebellion throughout the West, and (b) to crush any hope of resistance to the hegemony of global capitalism … in other words, a War on Populism.

Not that Donald Trump is a populist hero. Far from it. Trump is a narcissistic clown. He has always been a narcissistic clown. All he really cares about is seeing his face on television and plastering his name on everything in sight, preferably in huge gold letters. He got himself elected president by being cunning enough to recognize and ride the tsunami of populist anger that was building up in 2016, and that has continued to build throughout his presidency. It is not going away, that anger. The Western masses are no more thrilled about the global capitalist future today than they were when voted for Brexit, and Trump, and various other “populist” and reactionary figures.

Which is precisely why Trumpenstein must be destroyed, and why Brexit must not be allowed to happen … or, if it does, why the people of the United Kingdom must be mercilessly punished. It is also why the Gilets Jaunes are being brutally repressed by the French police, and disappeared by the corporate media (while the Hong Kong protesters garner daily headlines), and why Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party must be smeared as a hive of anti-Semites, and Tulsi Gabbard as an Assad-apologist, and why Julian Assange must be smeared and destroyed, and why Bernie Sanders must also be destroyed, and why anyone of any ilk (left, right, it doesn’t matter) riding that wave of populist anger or challenging the hegemony of global capitalism and its psychotic, smiley-face ideology in any other way must be destroyed.

2020 is for all the marbles. The global capitalist ruling classes either crush this ongoing populist insurgency or … God knows where we go from here. Try to see it through their eyes for a moment. Picture four more years of Trump … second-term Trump … Trump unleashed. Do you really believe they’re going to let that happen, that they are going to permit this populist insurgency to continue for another four years?

 
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If you want a vision of the future, don’t imagine “a boot stamping on a human face — for ever,” as Orwell suggested in 1984. Instead, imagine that human face staring mesmerized into the screen of some kind of nifty futuristic device on which every word, sound, and image has been algorithmically approved for consumption by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (“DARPA”) and its “innovation ecosystem” of “academic, corporate, and governmental partners.”

The screen of this futuristic device will offer a virtually unlimited range of “non-divisive” and “hate-free” content, none of which will falsify or distort the “truth,” or in any way deviate from “reality.” Western consumers will finally be free to enjoy an assortment of news, opinion, entertainment, and educational content (like this Guardian podcast about a man who gave birth, or MSNBC’s latest bombshell about Donald Trump’s secret Russian oligarch backers) without having their enjoyment totally ruined by discord-sowing alternative journalists like Aaron Maté or satirists like myself.

“Fake news” will not appear on this screen. All the news will be “authentic.” DARPA and its partners will see to that. You won’t have to worry about being “influenced” by Russians, Nazis, conspiracy theorists, socialists, populists, extremists, or whomever. Such Persons of Malicious Intent will still be able to post their content (because of “freedom of speech” and all that stuff), but they will do so down in the sewers of the Internet where normal consumers won’t have to see it. Anyone who ventures down there looking for it (i.e., such “divisive” and “polarizing” content) will be immediately placed on an official DARPA watchlist for “potential extremists,” or “potential white supremacists,” or “potential Russians.”

Once that happens, their lives will be over (i.e., the lives of the potentially extremist fools who have logged onto whatever dark web platform will still be posting essays like this, not the lives of the Persons of Malicious Intent, who never had any lives to begin with, and who by that time will probably be operating out of some heavily armed, off-the-grid compound in Idaho). Their schools, employers, and landlords will be notified. Their photos and addresses will be published online. Anyone who ever said two words to them (or, God help them, appears in a photograph with them) will have 24 hours to publicly denounce them, or be placed on DARPA’s watchlist themselves.

Meanwhile, up where the air is clean, Western consumers will sit in their cubicles, or stagger blindly down the sidewalk like zombies, or come barrel-assing at you on their pink corporate scooters, staring down at the screens of their devices, where normal reality will be unfolding. They will stare at their screens at their dinner tables, in restaurants, in bed, and everywhere else. Every waking hour of their lives will be spent consuming the all-consuming, smiley, happy, global capitalist Spectacle, every empty moment of which will be monitored and pre-approved by DARPA.

What a relief that will finally be, not to have to question anything, or wonder what is real and what isn’t. When the corporate media tell us the Russians hacked an election, or the Vermont power grid, or are blackmailing the president with an FSB pee-tape, or that the non-corporate media are all “propaganda peddlers,” or that the Labour Party is a hive of anti-Semites, or that some boogeyman has WMDs, or is yanking little babies out of their incubators, or gratuitously gassing them, or attacking us with crickets, or that someone secretly met with Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy, or that we’re being attacked by Russian spy whales, and suddenly self-radicalized Nazi terrorists, or it’s time for the “International Community” to humanitarianly intervene because “our house is burning,” and our world is on fire, and there are “concentration camps,” and a “coup in Great Britain” … or whatever ass-puckering apocalyptic panic the global capitalist ruling classes determine they need to foment that day, we will know that this news has been algorithmically vetted and approved by DARPA and its corporate, academic, and government partners, and thus, is absolutely “real” and “true,” or we wouldn’t be seeing it on the screen of our devices.

If you think this vision is science fiction, or dystopian satire, think again. Or read this recent article in Bloomberg, “U.S. Unleashes Military to Fight Fake News, Disinformation.” Here the lede to get you started …

“Fake news and social media posts are such a threat to U.S. security that the Defense Department is launching a project to repel ‘large-scale, automated disinformation attacks’ … the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) wants custom software that can unearth fakes hidden among more than 500,000 stories, photos, video and audio clips. If successful, the system after four years of trials may expand to detect malicious intent and prevent viral fake news from polarizing society …”

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: American Media, Censorship, Deep State, Propaganda 
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If the neoliberal ruling classes expect to keep the American masses worked up into a white-eyed hysteria over “fascism” until November 2020, they’re going to need to get some better Nazis. The current Nazis are just not going to cut it. They are neither scary nor Nazi enough. OK, the militia ones look kind of scary, and that “Based Spartan” guy looks kind of … uh, weird, but most of them just look like regular old rednecks. How hard would it be to get them some brown shirts, or those khaki pants like they wore in Charlottesville, or some other type of Nazi-like uniform?

And some jackboots. People love those jackboots.

Seriously, the Resistance need to get their official narrative optics in order, and they need to do it without delay. Millions of liberals are standing by to be brainwashed into a year-long frenzy of manufactured mass “fascism” hysteria, but they are going to need some halfway convincing Nazis to spastically freak out over. A few hundred bozos in MAGA hats parading around with American flags does not exactly a Sturmabteilung make.

I’m referring, of course, to the latest “fascist invasion” of Portland that took place last Saturday, which, according to the corporate media, and Antifa, and local fascism experts, was supposed to be a veritable bloodbath. Heavily-armed white supremacist terrorists were flying in from around the country to indiscriminately murder as many “Black, Asian, Latino, indigenous, immigrant, Pacific islander, disabled, houseless, and LGBTQ persons” as possible. This white supremacist terrorist kill-fest was going to be revenge for the preventively self-defensive beating of Andy Ngo, “the most dangerous fascist grifter in America,” by Antifa militants earlier this month.

Ngo (who most people had never heard of until Antifa militants beat him senseless), although he poses as a legitimate journalist by writing for outlets like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, Quillette, and so on, is allegedly a fascist intelligence asset in charge of compiling fascist “kill lists” consisting of the names of assorted well-known Portland anti-fascist figures (who most people had also never heard of until they claimed that Ngo had put them on his “kill list”).

Alexander Reid Ross, for example, an extremely influential “fascism expert,” outreach specialist, and geography teacher, who is hot on the trail of the Putin-Nazi plot to form a syncretic alliance of Assad-loving, Duginist, LaRouchian Nazis led by Max Blumenthal and Vanessa Beeley, or possibly Glenn Greenwald and Tucker Carlson … or something more or less along those lines (see Ross’ seminal paranoid ravings, which the SPLC was forced to retract by Blumenthal’s fascist legal counsel.) Ross reportedly remains in hiding in a safehouse in an undisclosed location somewhere in the Pacific Northwest, presumably protected by the FBI, while he continues his important work.

And then there are the notorious Proud Boys, a gang of self-described “Western chauvinists” who apparently haven’t been laid in years. According to the SPLC (which has designated them an official “hate group”):

There are three degrees of membership within the Proud Boys, and to become a first degree in the “pro-West fraternal organization” a prospective member simply has to declare “I am a western chauvinist, and I refuse to apologize for creating the modern world.” To enter the second degree, a Proud Boy has to endure a beating until they can yell out the names of five breakfast cereals (in order to demonstrate “adrenaline control”) and give up masturbation because, in theory, it will leave them more inclined to go out and meet women. Those who enter the third degree have demonstrated their commitment by getting a Proud Boys tattoo. Any man — no matter his race or sexual-orientation — can join the fraternal organization as long as they “recognize that white men are not the problem.”

Such is the caliber of the cast the Resistance are featuring in their “fascism” fantasy. As you can see, it’s not exactly the A-list. If they’re going to stick with the “fascism” hysteria from now until November 2020 (which is really the only option they have left, what with “Russiagate” having blown up in their faces), the least they can do is get some real Nazis, and some semi-respectable Nazi hunters, and cut out this pathetic Portlandia nonsense.

The Resistance owes liberals at least that much, especially after making them look like fools by leading them on for three years with their ridiculous “Russiagate” hysteria. Sure, the “fascism” hysteria is an easier sell, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have to sell it. It’s not like they can just abruptly switch from the “Russiagate” narrative to the “fascism” narrative (as if their Russiagate hoax had not just been exposed) and expect liberals to go along with it like the members of some enormous cult.

Or, I don’t know … maybe they can. The New York Times certainly appears to think so. Check out this exchange between executive editor Dean Baquet and an anonymous staffer at an emergency in-house “town hall” meeting convened after The Times changed a page one headline because it didn’t paint Trump as racist enough. (The transcript is Slate’s; emphasis is mine.)

Staffer: I’m wondering what is the overall strategy here for getting us through this administration and the way we cover it … people don’t understand. I think they get confused as to what we’re trying to do.

Baquet: OK. I mean, let me go back a little bit for one second to just repeat what I said in my in my short preamble about coverage. Chapter 1 of the story of Donald Trump, not only for our newsroom but, frankly, for our readers, was: Did Donald Trump have untoward relationships with the Russians, and was there obstruction of justice? That was a really hard story, by the way, let’s not forget that. We set ourselves up to cover that story. I’m going to say it. We won two Pulitzer Prizes covering that story. And I think we covered that story better than anybody else.

The day Bob Mueller walked off that witness stand, two things happened. Our readers who want Donald Trump to go away suddenly thought, “Holy shit, Bob Mueller is not going to do it.” And Donald Trump got a little emboldened politically, I think. Because, you know, for obvious reasons. And I think that the story changed. A lot of the stuff we’re talking about started to emerge like six or seven weeks ago. We’re a little tiny bit flat-footed. I mean, that’s what happens when a story looks a certain way for two years. Right?

 
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