John Seven: Far left hurts cause by using right-wing propaganda
NORTH ADAMS — We are living in a new era of disinformation about politics that has taken us down a frightening road.
It's one where members of the far left, with all the good intentions they might have, take the sources and the arguments of the far right to push an anti-Hillary agenda. You are free to oppose Clinton all you want, but it's nice if you use factual stances. That's not what's going on here.
Here's a perfect example of what I'm talking about.
A leftie Facebook group shares this news item that offers this scathing headline about Clinton: "Massive Arrest Rocks Clinton Campaign – It's Happening."
The first paragraph frames the bias: "Democrats are turning on Hillary Clinton in droves as they have completely lost faith in her after the latest DNC leak. That's why it came as devastating news to her this week when a criminal skeleton from her past came back to haunt her at the worst possible time."
The news item is about Chinese billionaire Ng Lap Seng, who was linked with the Clinton Foundation, now being investigated — on an unrelated matter — by the House Oversight Committee, which they swear is going to grill him about Clinton while they have him. And who is actually pushing forth this action as news? Citizens United.
Their source for the actual news story? Notorious British right wing tabloid the Daily Mail, known for its conspiratorial anti-left news items.
Here we have a clear, direct line of disinformation pushed from a right wing group into the ears of the progressive left. This is a very disappointing thing that people on the left have started to do more often — become pawns of the right. Read the sources before you believe everything you see on the internet.
Other common sources include the reprehensible Breitbart News, the Drudge Report, Alex Jones, even Fox, and, most notably, RT (Russia Times). That last source gained prominence during the Occupy movement as a go-to website for reliable criticism of the American political establishment, and embellishment of minor incidents in to major disruptions.
It's no secret to anyone who bothers to do a little research that RT has developed into the international propaganda wing of Putin — just look at the news source's constant endorsement of Trump. During Occupy — and I know, because I was in that world — it became a given that you couldn't trust "mainstream" or "corporate" news sources for actual information about the situation on the ground. You were encouraged to put your faith only in the information from sources that each Occupy group passed along on Twitter or Facebook.
Years later, this has continued as the mantra of information sources for the radical and progressive left, fueled by distrust and conspiracy theories. And this has brought them right into the hands of the right wing propaganda groups.
All these sources are literally the enemy of everything the progressive left stands for, but a fervor to take down Hillary Clinton has seen progressive taint their own arguments and stances by embracing the dubious journalism of political hate groups that are giddy to use left activists as ground troops in the war for Republican control.
And the far left has embraced an anger so much like many Trump supporters, and so bolstered by the adrenalin of activism, that they don't appear to be seeing straight at all.
Currently the far left has the spotlight of the Democrats partly on them, and they see this as their moment. They have many legitimate concerns about the country, and there are plenty of good reasons to consider what they are fighting for.
But their message is degraded if they use propaganda from the far right in this battle.
Contact John Seven at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @damnjohnseven. The opinions expressed by columnists do not necessarily reflect the views of The Berkshire Eagle.
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