While pulling together my “Rogues Gallery” thread on the felons, billionaires and morally bankrupt creeps who enabled Trump’s illegitimate presidency*, I stumbled across this article worthy of your attention.

Plz standby for a short thread
https://fair.org/extra/the-rise-of-the-right-wing-media-machine/ @FAIRmediawatch
1/ In trying to find the origins of the right-wing disinformation machine, I stumbled across the above article. It starts with a dismayed Nixon:

“The president was convinced that ‘the press and TV don’t change their attitude and approach unless you hurt them’. (Haldeman, 1971).”
2/ “Nixon was never one to miss a chance to ‘screw’ his ‘enemies’ in the media. ‘The only way we can fight the whole press problem, Nixon feels, is..a brutal vicious attack on the opposition’ (Haldeman 1972). Yet even Nixon could never have guessed how well his plans worked out.”
3/ Stay with me, I’m getting to the jaw-dropping part:

“In the 25 years since Nixon started ‘pushing’ this project, the conservatives have constructed a truly intimidating media machine. It ranges from nationwide radio talk shows by Rush Limbaugh and scores of Limbaugh-wannabes”
4/ con. ”..to dozens of attack magazines, newspapers, newsletters and right-wing opinion columns, to national cable television networks propagating hard-line conservative values and viewpoints, to documentary producers who specialize in slick character assassination.”
5/ con. “..to mega-buck publishing houses that add footnotes to white-supremacist theories and a veneer of respectability to journalistic fabrications, and even to narrowly focused organizations that exist simply to hurt the mainstream journalists who still won’t toe the line.”
6/ Warming up:

“The conservative media machine now rivals—and may well surpass—the power and influence of the old-line press. This right-wing media machine holds sway over much of the national agenda, deciding which ideas and individuals are accepted and which are marginalized.”
7/ Okay here’s where the bombs start dropping:

“Through constant repetition, the machine has focused public anger on welfare recipients, on ghetto residents, on immigrant populations and, most notably, on Bill and Hillary Clinton.”
8/ “The machine has churned out conspiracy theories about Vincent Foster’s suicide and spread lurid tales about the Clintons’ personal lives. Right-wing news outlets shaped parameters of the national debate and contributed to the Republican congressional victories last November.”
9/ By now you may have noticed the article was written in 1995–nearly 25 years ago—and yet, their game is the same:

“Despite the power of the right-wing media, conservatives still espouse the Nixonian notion that they are picked-upon victims, persecuted by the ‘liberal’ press.”
10/ “The myth of the liberal press is a motive: The right’s persecution complex is the psychological basis for how it treats political opponents. In ‘94, Limbaugh advocated only enough mercy to ‘leave some liberals alive’ as artifacts so “we can show our children what they were.”
11/ “Conservatives spent hundreds of millions of dollars from a variety of deep-pocket patrons. Though precise figures are hard to come by.. During the Reagan/Bush years, the emerging conservative media served as a praetorian guard..even when that meant supporting outright lies.”
12/ “Reagan admin created a ‘public diplomacy’ bureaucracy, which collaborated with conservative press. This unprecedented operation was based in the National Security Council, overseen by CIA Dir. William J. Casey and staffed by psychological warfare specialists from Fort Bragg”
13/ The article’s author Robert Parry details his own brutal attacks by RW disinformation machine during Iran-Contra:

“Conservative media’s success in containing Iran/Contra and turning mainstream press against those who sought truth marked a significant shift in national power”
14/ 😳“Just as Watergate proved..the constitutional system worked and not even the president was above the law, the outcome of the Iran/Contra scandal established the opposite. With enough money and meanness, a conservative president could violate the law—and get away with it.”
15/ “There also are no easy answers for getting honest journalism back on track. To a degree, much depends on how many risks mainstream journalists will take in the name of their profession. But those who do will surely encounter strong pressure to go with the conservative flow.”
16/ “For a turnaround to happen, there must he a vibrant alternative media—dedicated not to partisan politics but to principles of honest investigative journalism.”

We, the journo-activists, are the alternative media, speaking truth to power without bowing to corporate overlords
17/ I’m sure Nixon could never have imagined the Right Wing disinformation machine he helped create would end up working in tandem with Russian military cyber attacks on America. But it happened. https://twitter.com/heidi_cuda/status/1121689602782183425?s=21
19/ FINAL THOUGHT: Plz do read Parry’s article. It’s beautiful to think no matter how brutal he and his colleague were treated for reporting on Iran/Contra, their work ultimately “shamed the congressional Democrats into investigating.” Food for thought.
20/ FOOTNOTE: Fox News launched one year after Parry wrote this article. #WhatAilesAmerica
For a list of the hooligans responsible for our fresh hell, plz read my original thread here. Thank you. https://twitter.com/heidi_cuda/status/1147576295611457536?s=21
Decades as an investigative journalist taught me many things: one, people are generally cool wherever you go, but hate is an easier sell. Two, every story leads to a story. I’ve updated that now to: every thread leads to a thread.

Fight the power. https://twitter.com/heidi_cuda/status/1149067602792075265?s=21
You can follow @Heidi_Cuda.
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