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How Conservative Drudge Report Became Russian Propaganda Tool

The Russians didn’t just screw the red hat wearing Chumph fools – they screwed their favorite news sources as well. By now, the Russians use of bots to control Breitbart and Alex Jones’ Infowars site are well known. The Russians, given free reign by white wing press whose journalistic integrity is only just below that of supermarket tabloids announcing the latest sighting of Elvis, or little green men from Mars. The formula to get them to bend over was simple, make it salacious and anti-Liberal. Within those confines the slow-witted ignorati would absorb and believe anything.

Here is how the Russians turned Drudge into their sock puppet, and turned him into a “Useful Idiot”-

How Matt Drudge became the pipeline for Russian propaganda

Drudge Report has linked nearly 400 times to RT, Sputnik News, TASS since 2012

On July 17, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine, killing 298 passengers and crew. The next day, President Barack Obama alleged that the responsible parties were Russian-backed separatists seizing territory in the region following Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Obama’s statement came amid a furious effort by Russian propaganda outlets to foster confusion about the act. In their telling, the tragedy had actually been a failed attempt by Ukrainians to shoot down President Vladimir Putin’s plane.

The Russian propaganda effort received a substantial boost when right-wing internet journalist Matt Drudge highlighted a story on the topic from RT.com, the website of the Russian government-backed English-language news channel RT. Drudge titled the resulting item on the Drudge Report, his highly trafficked link aggregation website, “RT: Putin’s plane might have been target…” in bright red text.

After Drudge propelled the RT story to his massive audience, it was picked up by right-wing U.S. conspiracy websites. (Others on the right warned that Drudge had gone too far by aiding a Russian disinformation campaign.)

This was not an anomaly. Drudge has for years used his site as a web traffic pipeline for Russian propaganda sites, directing his massive audience to nearly 400 stories from RT.com and fellow Russian-government-run English-language news sites SputnikNews.com and TASS.com since the beginning of 2012, according to a Media Matters review. Those numbers spiked in 2016, when Drudge collectively linked to the three sites 122 times.

Drudge’s increasing affinity for and proliferation of Russian propaganda comes amid what The New York Timescalls “a new information war Russia is waging against the West.”

RT and Sputnik News are part of what the Times’ Jim Rutenberg has termed “the most effective propaganda operation of the 21st century so far,” a coordinated network of state-controlled TV and online media outlets and social media accounts that take advantage of the traditional protections of Western liberal democracies to undermine public confidence in the governments of those nations. TASS, which has received less attention in the United States, is a Russian news agency similar to The Associated Press but owned by the state.

Russia’s English-language propaganda operation came under increasing scrutiny from the U.S. intelligence community during and following the 2016 presidential election, during which, according to U.S. intelligence agencies, it was part of an effort to bolster now-President Donald Trump’s campaign. Mixing slanted coverage with outright lies, the state media effort promotes an anti-establishment worldview featuring criticisms of the U.S. from both the far left and far right, packaged with the same strategies used by modern American news outlets to increase viewership.

When the Kremlin’s interests converge with the right’s interests in undermining Democratic politicians like former President Barack Obama and former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, its outlets find prominent allies in the U.S. conservative media landscape. As Andrew Feinberg, the former White House correspondent for Sputnik News, has explained, the Russian media outlets are part of the “right-wing media ecosystem,” with their stories picked up and promoted by prominent far-right news sites like Breitbart.com and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ Infowars.com.

For decades, Drudge has played a dominant role in that ecosystem. The Drudge Report is one of the most highly trafficked news websites in the country, and because it simply aggregates links, it is the top source of referral traffic to a host of right-wing and mainstream news websites. That ability to create a firehose of traffic leads some reporters, especially on the right, to craft stories for the explicit purpose of getting Drudge links, allowing him to serve as the media’s assignment editor. And the media outlets benefiting from that traffic are not only U.S. traditional media or conservative outlets, but the press organs of one of the nation’s top adversaries.

To measure this effect, Media Matters wrote a program to crawl through Drudge’s archives and create an index of all instances in which the website linked to pages that included the URLs “rt.com,” “sputniknews.com,” or “tass.com.”

We found that the Drudge Report has promoted dozens of RT articles every year since 2012. Soon after Sputnik launched in November 2014, it, too, began regularly receiving attention from Drudge. TASS articles receive much less promotion, but Drudge’s website features a permanent link to the TASS main page (listed as ITAR-TASS).

As the U.S. presidential race and Russia’s machinations both escalated in 2015, the number of Russian propaganda articles promoted by Drudge shot up to 79 for the year. The total jumped again to a high of 122 articles in 2016, before dropping down to 45 this year through September 18.

The articles Drudge highlighted cover a wide range of U.S. and international topics, but — as one might expect from the content of Russian propaganda outlets — many fall into discrete categories that fit the interests of the Kremlin.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, for example, several of the Drudge-promoted articles reported on the contents of emails and voicemails the U.S. intelligence community says were stolen from the Democratic National Committee or former Clinton campaign chair John Podesta by Russian hackers.

Others promoted the claims of WikiLeaks founder and former RT host Julian Assange. Drudge highlightedcoverage from Russian propaganda outlets of his attacks on Clinton and his contradiction of the U.S. intelligence community over whether Russia was the source of the Democratic emails he published.

Drudge has also regularly turned to RT and Sputnik for unskeptical coverage of statements from Putin and other Kremlin officials, including their denials of Russian election interference, their criticisms of the U.S. role in Syria, and their efforts to undermine NATO members.

And he’s frequently highlighted the Russian outlets’ conspiracy theories and hysterics, including their reports on meetings of the “mysterious Bilderberg Group,” debunked claims that Google manipulated its search results to favor Clinton, and warnings of increasing Western support for satanism.

Drudge’s affinity for Russian president Vladimir Putin and his propaganda outlets is undoubtedly a major asset for the Kremlin. Drudge has rare power as a media gatekeeper due to his unusual ability to push reporting from previously unknown outlets to a massive audience.

Jones’ Infowars — also a favorite of the Russian government — is a case study in the potential impact of sustained promotion from Drudge. A 2013 Media Matters study found that the Drudge Report linked to Infowars hundreds of times over the previous two years, giving the conspiracy theory website crucial exposure to the rest of the right-wing media space.

As Jones himself put it, Drudge was the “one source who really helped us break out, who took our information, helped to punch it out to an even more effective level.”

Putin could say the same.

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Texas Whack-Jon Republican Refuses Help for Houston From Canada!

Think it is time for “Regime change” in Texas…Time to take down the Governor Abbott and his whack-jobs

Texas “Secretary of State” Rolando B. Pablos refusing help for the victims of Hurricane Harvey

‘Send prayers’: Texas Republican turns down donated blankets, beds, manpower from Canada

Those who have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana are only beginning to see the way the flood waters have destroyed their homes. Many families tried to ride it out, only to be rescued when the rising waters forced them onto their roof. Thousands escaped with only their lives and the clothes on their backs, losing everything they own.

But according to Secretary of State Rolando Pablos (R-TX), they don’t need any help. As Patheos reported, they just need a little more Jesus.

Quebec’s Minister of International Relations Christine St-Pierre called Pablos to express her sorrow and condolences on behalf of the people of the Canadian province. She also offered equipment and manpower.

Pablos turned it down. Instead he asked for “prayers from the people of Quebec,” the minister relayed.

Understandably, the neighbor to the north was shocked.

“It was a conversation about how devastating the situation is and we want to express our support to the people of Texas,” she told CBC News in an interview.

This isn’t the first time the Canadians have stepped up with substantial donations. After Hurricane Katrina, they also sent the donation of blankets, beds, pillows, hygienic products as well as electricians to help restore power. Louisiana was more than grateful to accept. Texas was a no. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, by contrast, graciously accepted a generous offer from Mexico for assistance.

“He was very touched by the fact we called him,” she noted.

 

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Nina Turner, Bakari Sellers Discuss confederate Symbology/Racism With Rick Santorum and Rep Scott Taylor(Va -R)

Pretty good discussion. Santorum goes off the rails (as usual) claiming protesting against inequality is somehow making inequality…

The New Jim Crow is that “complaining about inequality is inequality”

 

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They Psychosis of Chumph Psychopaths…

The Chumph cult. People who almost universally don’t have the intellectual wherewithal to process information separate from their biases and prejudice. Basically American born Hitler’s children.

Racism and Otherism is a huge driver of these folks.

Image result for trump bigots

A psychological analysis of Trump supporters has uncovered 5 key traits about them

The lightning-fast ascent and political invincibility of Donald Trump has left many experts baffled and wondering, “How did we get here?” Any accurate and sufficient answer to that question must not only focus on Trump himself, but also on his uniquely loyal supporters. Given their extreme devotion and unwavering admiration for their highly unpredictable and often inflammatory leader, some have turned to the field of psychology for scientific explanations based on precise quantitative data and established theoretical frameworks.

Although analyses and studies by psychologists and neuroscientists have provided many thought-provoking explanations for his enduring support, the accounts of different experts often vary greatly, sometimes overlapping and other times conflicting. However insightful these critiques may be, it is apparent that more research and examination is needed to hone in on the exact psychological and social factors underlying this peculiar human behavior.

In a recent review paper published in the Journal of Social and Political Psychology, Psychologist and UC Santa Cruz professor Thomas Pettigrew argues that five major psychological phenomena can help explain this exceptional political event.

1.     Authoritarian Personality Syndrome

Authoritarianism refers to the advocacy or enforcement of strict obedience to authority at the expense of personal freedom, and is commonly associated with a lack of concern for the opinions or needs of others. Authoritarian personality syndrome—a well-studied and globally-prevalent condition—is a state of mind that is characterized by belief in total and complete obedience to one’s authority. Those with the syndrome often display aggression toward outgroup members, submissiveness to authority, resistance to new experiences, and a rigid hierarchical view of society. The syndrome is often triggered by fear, making it easy for leaders who exaggerate threat or fear monger to gain their allegiance.

Although authoritarian personality is found among liberals, it is more common among the right-wing around the world. President Trump’s speeches, which are laced with absolutist terms like “losers” and “complete disasters,” are naturally appealing to those with the syndrome.

While research showed that Republican voters in the U.S. scored higher than Democrats on measures of authoritarianism before Trump emerged on the political scene, a 2016 Politico survey found that high authoritarians greatly favored then-candidate Trump, which led to a correct prediction that he would win the election, despite the polls saying otherwise.

2.     Social dominance orientation

Social dominance orientation (SDO)—which is distinct but related to authoritarian personality syndrome—refers to people who have a preference for the societal hierarchy of groups, specifically with a structure in which the high-status groups have dominance over the low-status ones. Those with SDO are typically dominant, tough-minded, and driven by self-interest.

In Trump’s speeches, he appeals to those with SDO by repeatedly making a clear distinction between groups that have a generally higher status in society (White), and those groups that are typically thought of as belonging to a lower status (immigrants and minorities).

2016 survey study of 406 American adults published this year in the journal Personality and Individual Differences found that those who scored high on both SDO and authoritarianism were those who intended to vote for Trump in the election.

3.     Prejudice

It would be grossly unfair and inaccurate to say that every one of Trump’s supporters have prejudice against ethnic and religious minorities, but it would be equally inaccurate to say that many do not. It is a well-known fact that the Republican party, going at least as far back to Richard Nixon’s “southern strategy,” used strategies that appealed to bigotry, such as lacing speeches with “dog whistles”—code words that signaled prejudice toward minorities that were designed to be heard by racists but no one else.

While the dog whistles of the past were more subtle, Trump’s are sometimes shockingly direct. There’s no denying that he routinely appeals to bigoted supporters when he calls Muslims “dangerous” and Mexican immigrants “rapists” and “murderers,” often in a blanketed fashion. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a new study has shown that support for Trump is correlated with a standard scale of modern racism.Read the Rest Here

 

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“Hail! Hail! The Witch is Dead!” – Republican Killercare Dies

Hopefully the end of this pathetic saga… And these clowns will get on with fixing the problems they caused in Obamacare trying to insert poison pills when the first Bill was passed.

 

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Stuck on Stupid – Republicans Think College Education is Bad

America has reached “peak stupid” with the “election” of Donald Trump”.

One of the reasons for this shift may well be the “r” word. White folks kids spent a lot of their college investment looking for business and financial degrees, which minorities, and immigrants increasingly shifted to  STEM. We have a situation now where native white Americans at the graduate level in some of the STEM fields are either a minority or rapidly becoming a minority. Asians have the highest level of STEM Field participation, while despite gain, held back by programs which intentionally disadvantage black and Hispanic Students, black and Hispanic students  make up only about 12% of those receiving STEM Degrees.

Which is why a growing number of colleges are dropping high-stakes testing as a make-or-break admission requirement. What this has caused is the number of black and Hispanics in the STEM fields to grow quickly.

So an American Education System which doesn’t support white supremacy is “bad” to Republicans.

 

 

Sharp Partisan Divisions in Views of National Institutions

Republicans increasingly say colleges have negative impact on U.S.

Republicans and Democrats offer starkly different assessments of the impact of several of the nation’s leading institutions – including the news media, colleges and universities and churches and religious organizations – and in some cases, the gap in these views is significantly wider today than it was just a year ago.

While a majority of the public (55%) continues to say that colleges and universities have a positive effect on the way things are going in the country these days, Republicans express increasingly negative views.

A majority of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (58%) now say that colleges and universities have a negative effect on the country, up from 45% last year. By contrast, most Democrats and Democratic leaners (72%) say colleges and universities have a positive effect, which is little changed from recent years.

The national survey by Pew Research Center, conducted June 8-18 among 2,504 adults, finds that partisan differences in views of the national news media, already wide, have grown even wider. Democrats’ views of the effect of the national news media have grown more positive over the past year, while Republicans remain overwhelmingly negative.

About as many Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents think the news media has a positive (44%) as negative (46%) impact on the way things are going in the country. The share of Democrats holding a positive view of the news media’s impact has increased 11 percentage points since last August (33%).

Republicans, by about eight-to-one (85% to 10%), say the news media has a negative effect. These views have changed little in the past few years…more

 

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Killing off the Witnesses – GOP Operative in Russia Scandal “Commits Suicide”

The coverup continues…Now the elimination of witnesses.

GOP operative who tried to get Hillary’s emails from Russian hackers committed suicide after talking to WSJ

 

The bizarre story of Peter W. Smith, the Republican donor who attempted to extract Hillary Clinton’s missing emails from Russian hackers profiled in the Wall Street J

ournal last month, just got even stranger.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Smith committed suicide in the days after speaking with the Journal about his quest for Clinton’s emails.

According to the report, Smith killed himself in a hotel room in Rochester, Minnesota on May 14, 2017 — 10 days after speaking to the Journal. He left a “carefully prepared file of documents” including his suicide note, which claimed he was in “ill health” and had an expiring life insurance policy. He was 81 at the time of his death.

The day after the story broke in late June, Shane Harris, the Journal reporter who broke the story, revealed nobody would tell him how Smith had died.

 

 

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