RechtsLinks 24.1.2017: Broken News, die Chatrooms der Trumpisten, Fake-Fact-Checkers und How to Culture Jam a Populist


Broken News by Tom Tomorrow

spOnline: Höcke darf in der AfD bleiben – Partei für Nazis und Mitläufer: „Die AfD-Spitze hat es versäumt, Björn Höcke wegen seiner Nazirede aus der Partei zu verweisen. Damit macht sie sich seine Ungeheuerlichkeiten zu eigen - und verliert ihre demokratische Satisfaktionsfähigkeit.“ [Sehe ich exakt genauso. Wer jetzt noch die AfD wählt, muss sich bestenfalls gefallen lassen, als Nazi-Mitläufer bezeichnet zu werden. Oder er ist gleich ein richtiger Nazi.]

Buzzfeed: Inside The Private Chatrooms Trump Supporters Are Using To Manipulate French Voters [I guess this is the new normal now. Outrage-Memetics is a) a very real thing and b) a weapon in the Info-Wars.]


In screenshots provided to BuzzFeed News, as well as conversations BuzzFeed News observed in the chatroom, users are creating fake accounts for two reasons.

The chatroom’s admins have instructed users to make fake Facebook accounts that are “ideally young, cute girl, gay, Jew, basically anyone who isn’t supposed to be pro-[FN].” Users are then instructed to lock down these dummy accounts so no one can tell they’re fake. Once they have their fake Facebook profiles, they’re told to infiltrate the comment sections of large French Facebook pages and post pro-FN memes and jokes about François Fillon, France’s current frontrunner for the presidency.

And they’re doing something similar on Twitter, creating dozens of French-appearing sock puppet accounts. They then collect all of them on lists and organize campaigns to make things trend in French.

Here come the Fake-Fact-Checkers: TheLocal: Swedish fake fact-checker page pulled from Facebook: „The Mediekollen page, which purported to be a fact-checking website but instead itself pushed propaganda and fake news, was removed from Facebook on Friday afternoon after Viralgranskaren, a fact-checking site run by Sweden’s Metro newspaper, contacted Facebook to complain and wrote an article on the site.“

Human Rights Campaign: Trump Administration Removes Apology for Anti-LGBTQ Witch Hunts from State Department Website: „the Trump Administration has removed from the State Department website former Secretary of State John Kerry’s apology for the infamous 'Lavender Scare' witch hunt in the 1950s and 1960s, as well as other content regarding LGBTQ pride month observances and the State Department’s Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBT Persons.“ [Es gibt Trump-Versteher, die die Löschung der LGBTQ-Inhalte auf der Website des Weißen Hauses mit Archivierung und Relaunch der Seite entschuldigen. Das hier beweisst: Das hat Systematik und ist ein ganz klares Zeichen an die Rechte.]


Crooked Timer: Clackity Claque: „Reliable reports that President Donald Trump brings supporters to press conferences and speeches to lead applause and cheers for his remarks are startling – though perhaps they shouldn’t be. The term for such a grouping is a claque. In the 17th and 18th centuries, it was the province of the opera, where devotees would congregate at performances to huzzah or hiss their favorite performers. The custom largely died out in the late 19th century, but it had its roots in ancient Rome.“

Sarah Cooper: This is Psychological Warfare – Trump’s Laugh Track is Tricking America: „Both during that press conference and during that CIA speech, what he was saying wasn’t as surprising as the fact that the response wasn’t dead silence or audible fucking gasps.
How does the President say, 'We should have taken the oil in Iraq' and 'Maybe we’ll get another chance' to a crowd of CIA agents roaring with laugher? It made me wonder — wait, am I the crazy one? I’m not. Like everything with Trump it’s made up, it’s put on, it’s a fucking illusion.“

Southern Poverty Law Center: Alt-Right Event in Seattle Devolves Into Chaos and Violence Outside, Truth-Twisting Inside: „Antifascist protester shot by Trump supporter amid mass counterprotest on UW campus, but Yiannopoulos spins a tale of martyrdom to his audience at end of speaking tour. […] The shooter was a Trump-supporting man who had been acting as a provocateur in the crowd all night, while the victim was an anti-fascist liberal who had been acting as a peacekeeper in the moments before he was shot.“

Seattle Times: Social-media message sent to Breitbart editor before UW shooting: „The man who told police he shot and wounded another man during a violent demonstration over the appearance of Milo Yiannopoulos at the University of Washington sent a social-media message to the Breitbart News editor just an hour before the shooting. 'Hey Milo,' the 29-year-old former UW student posted to Yiannopoulos’ Facebook page at 7:24 p.m. 'im outside in line to your UW event.'“

Schmalbart: Tichys Durchblick:

Im Gespräch mit RBB-Mitarbeiter Jörg Wagner sieht er sich verfolgt von einer „linken Community, die von interessierter Seite gesteuert ist, die halt Roland Tichy in der Medienlandschaft nicht passt“.

Laut Tichy werden „Steuergelder missbraucht“, um PR-Agenturen gegen kritische Journalisten vorgehen zu lassen. Die Regierung von Angela Merkel fördere „bestimmte Werbeagenturen, die dann gewissermaßen als Lohn für die fetten Aufträge politische Gegner niederkämpfen“. Koordiniert werde das von der Marketing-Fachzeitschrift W&V, einem „besonders schlimmen Blatt“. W&V gehört seit ihrer Gründung 1963 zum Süddeutschen Verlag in München. Dort wird, so Tichy, „die Wahrheit umgedreht.“

Telepolis: Trump und die "Fake News": „Der Streit um Teilnehmerzahlen und Einschaltquoten zeigt, wie unscharf 'Wahrheiten' im Bereich der Politik sein können“.

TAZ: Fake Meme [Outrage-Memetics and the Confirmation Bias it's based on is true for everyone.]

Viele von euch haben in den vergangenen Stunden dieses 8-Sekunden-Video gesehen. Oder vielleicht sogar geteilt – mit Kürzest-Kommentaren wie „krass“, „breathtaking“ oder „Melania!“ Es zeigt, wie sich die Gesichtszüge der eben noch lächelnden Melania Trump in dem Moment verändern, in dem ihr Mann sein Gesicht von ihr abwendet.

Alles hat sich genauso abgespielt. Aber der Eindruck, den es bei Trump-Gegnern macht, ist Fake: […] Die Szene spielt während einiger kurzer religiösen Ansprachen […] Nur in einer Situation kommt es kurz zu Bewegung, ein wenig Klatschen, ein wenig Lächeln. In eben dieser Situation dreht sich Trump zu seiner Frau um. In den Sekunden danach versuchen alle Anwesenden, wieder in die andächtige Stimmung zu kommen, die der Anlass erfordert. Auch Melania.

Caracas Chronicle: How to Culture Jam a Populist in Four Easy Steps:

The problem is tribal. Your challenge is to prove that you belong in the same tribe as them: that you are American in exactly the same way they are.

In Venezuela, we fell into the abstraction trap in a bad way. We wrote again and again about principles, about the separation of powers, about civil liberties, about the role of the military in politics, about corruption and economic policy. But it took our leaders ten years to figure out they needed to actually go to the slums and to the countryside. And not for a speech, or a rally, but for game of dominoes or to dance salsa – to show they were Venezuelans too, that they had tumbao and could hit a baseball, could tell a joke that landed. That they could break the tribal divide, come down off the billboards and show they were real. And no, this is not populism by other means. It is the only way of establishing your standing. It’s deciding not to live in an echo chamber. To press pause on the siren song of polarization.

Mother Jones: Peter's Choice – I asked my student why he voted for Trump. The answer was thoughtful, smart, and terrifying. [Peters Essay]

Peter thinks he's not a reactionary. Since that sounds like an insult, I'd like to think so, too. But in writing this piece, I did notice a line in his essay that I had glided over during my first two readings, maybe because I liked him too much to want to be scared by him. "One need only look to the Civil War and the lasting legacies of Reconstruction through to today's current racism and race issues to see what happens when the federal government forces its morals on dissenting parts of the country."

The last time I read that, I shuddered. So I emailed Peter. "I say the intrusions were worth it to end slavery and turn blacks into full citizens," I wrote. "A lot of liberals, even those most disposed to having an open mind to understanding the grievances of people like you and yours, will have a hard time with [your words]."

Peter's answer was striking. He first objected (politely!) to what he saw as the damning implication behind my observation. Slavery and Reconstruction? "I was using it as an example of government intrusion and how violent and negative the results can be when the government tries to tell people how to think. I take it you saw it in terms of race in politics. The way we look at the same thing shows how big the difference is between our two groups."

To him, focusing on race was "an attention-grabbing tool that politicians use to their advantage," one that "really just annoys and angers conservatives more than anything, because it is usually a straw man attack." He compared it to what "has happened with this election: everyone who votes for Trump must be racist and sexist, and there's no possible way that anyone could oppose Hillary unless it's because they're sexist. Accusing racism or sexism eliminates the possibility of an honest discussion about politics."

He asked me to imagine "being one of those rednecks under the poverty line, living in a camper trailer on your grandpa's land, eating about one full meal a day, yet being accused by Black Lives Matter that you are benefiting from white privilege and your life is somehow much better than theirs."

And that's when I wanted to meet him halfway: Maybe we could talk about the people in Chicago working for poverty wages and being told by Trump supporters that they were lazy. Or the guy with the tamale cart in front of my grocery store—always in front of my grocery store, morning, noon, and night—who with so much as a traffic violation might find himself among the millions whom Trump intends to immediately deport.

I wanted to meet him halfway, until he started talking about history.

"The reason I used the Civil War and Reconstruction is because it isn't a secret that Reconstruction failed," Peter wrote. "It failed and left the South in an extreme poverty that it still hasn't recovered from." And besides, "slavery was expensive and the Industrial Revolution was about to happen. Maybe if there had been no war, slavery would have faded peacefully."

As a historian, I found this remarkable, since it was precisely what all American schoolchildren learned about slavery and Reconstruction for much of the 20th century. Or rather, they did until the civil rights era, when serious scholarship dismantled this narrative, piece by piece.