On Red Herrings and Spin …

Spin is a form of propaganda, achieved through providing a biased interpretation of an event or campaigning to persuade public opinion in favor or against some organization or public figure.

Red herring:  a deliberate diversion of attention; something designed to divert an opponent’s attention from the central issue.

If you ever doubted that Donald Trump is a devious, sly ass, doubt no more!  Moving with warp speed signing ‘executive orders’  to curtail freedom of speech and press, to cause untold harm to the environment and more, he is now focusing on … {drumroll} … voter fraud in the past November elections.  Yes, you heard me right.  He remains unconvinced that he, the great Oz, could possibly have lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes and is requesting an investigation that will cost taxpayer dollars, based on no discernible evidence.  In a meeting with leaders of Congress on Monday, he claimed that between 3 million and 5 million ballots were cast that allowed Hillary Clinton to “illegally win the popular vote”.

Now, you may be asking yourself why, in the grand scheme of things, he cares.  He did, after all, win the electoral vote, has now taken the oath of office, is sitting in the Oval Office as we speak, so why is this a bone of contention?  Two reasons:

First, his ego.  He simply cannot abide knowing that, in reality, he was not favoured by the majority of voters.  His narcissistic personality disorder will not let him accept that he is not Numero Uno.

The second, and more ominous reason is that this is a red herring.  This “voter fraud” issue is headlines in every mainstream news outlet today … big bold letters reading:

Trump seeks ‘major investigation’ into unsupported claims of voter fraud

Trump Promises ‘Major Investigation’ of Voter Fraud

Trump pledges ‘voter fraud’ investigation

The intent clearly being to distract us from other, more important but less noticed, news.  Have you heard much about the allegations that Russia was behind the hacking of the DNC and thereby likely played a role in Trump’s victory?  Not since he took office.  Oh, there is an occasional story about it, but you almost have to go in search of it, and how many will do that, when there are all these other juicy stories about “voter fraud” and the great wall Trump is planning on the Mexican border?

In case you didn’t see it, both chambers of Congress have launched investigations into the alleged hacking by Russia, based on credible evidence from the intelligence community. Lawmakers have pledged to look “everywhere the intelligence tells us to go” in investigating Russia’s activities in the 2016 elections according to the committee’s chairman, Richard Burr — even if that includes links between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. The leaders of the investigation warned the Trump administration that they expect full cooperation.  Unfortunately, the investigations involve thousands of pages of documents and the process will not be quick.

Stories like voter fraud and the wall are manipulation of the press, and therefore of We The People.  No, he has not banned the press (yet), but he is spoon-feeding them only what he wants them to have.  Think of a person who makes his living picking pockets.  If there is a great parade and you are standing on the sidewalk watching the horses, floats, clowns and bands marching down the street, the noise and activity will distract your attention from the man standing directly behind you who simply slips your wallet out of your back pocket.  Trump’s voter fraud investigation is the parade, and Trump is the pick-pocket.

Earlier this afternoon, a good friend posted this on Facebook:

“All the crap coming out of the White House is so confusing. I don’t know what to think. What is true…what isn’t??? I thought our government’s checks and balances were good. But what’s coming out of the Washington is crap, lies, slander, drama, showdowns, ranting. It’s all so confusing. What can we do?” 

This, my friends, is exactly what the current administration, particularly Trump, Spicer and Conway, are hoping for. In the five days since Trump’s inauguration, we have seen much spin, many red herrings and little substance.  The intent is to disarm and confuse, and those of us who can, absolutely must use our voices to shine a light into those dark corners where the dirt is hiding.  The press has thus far has not, in my opinion, done the job we need them to do.  We need them to call out the administration on such issues as the pipelines that Trump plans to resurrect, the silencing of communication from the EPA, USDA, and HHS. We don’t care if Trump thinks there was voter fraud, we don’t care to hear his ‘alternative facts’ about the size of the crowd at his inauguration, and we do not care how his staff dresses. (Yes, that was actually “headline news” on The Washington Post today, and you can read it here!)

What We The People care about are his plans to:

  • Destroy freedom of the press,
  • Spin his ‘alternative facts’ until we are all too dizzy to seek actual facts,
  • Destroy our environment
  • Assist big businesses while forgetting about the voters
  • Curtail rights for minorities and others
  • Waste taxpayer money with a barrier wall that can only hurt our economy
  • Ban refugees and asylum seekers from the country
  • Stifle valuable information coming from the scientific community
  • Discredit honest journalism
  • Cancel treaties and trade agreements
  • Leave our allies insecure about our mutual relations

And the list goes on.  I, for one, do not care about Trump’s ego issues, except as they interfere with good governance and our rights as citizens to know the actual facts, rather than his ‘alternative facts’.  I call on the press to stop reporting only what they are spoon-fed in the morning briefings by Trump’s puppet, Sean Spicer.  I call on the press to do more investigative reporting, to talk to people who have information, to dig as journalists did back in the days of Watergate, to report the things that Trump and his minions to NOT want us to know.

Friends, this is not my version of a conspiracy theory, this is not make-believe, this is not a story … this is history in the making.  What would you like your great-great-grandchildren to read in their history books 100 years from now?  Would you like them to read about the year 2017 and ask why the people didn’t learn a lesson in 1939?  Would you like them to sit on your lap and ask you how you let this happen?  Please, for the sake of humanity, for the sake of us all, use your voices … use them wisely …

15 thoughts on “On Red Herrings and Spin …

  1. It’s an interesting situation. This morning on NBC, Kellyanne Con-Woman was on and they questioned her about Tiffany Trump’s dual registration for voting in both Pennsylvania and New York. She said she spoke to Tiffany and this was not the case. She was only registered to vote in New York. In response, NBC did some actual investigative journalism and got confirmation from the Pennsylvania election commissioner that Ms. Trump is, indeed, still registered in Pennsylvania. If you’re going to use a red herring, you need to make sure you’re not caught in the net.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Um, (clears throat) as a former exponent of spin (in a good way of course, I have what I hope is a decent set of moral values) I agree with much of what you say. Indeed, I have on occasion been foiled in my professional endeavours by clever government management of events – which in turn divert the media. That is where, for me, the crux of this lies – and you have nailed it – the media need to pull back the net curtains and focus on what’s happening inside the house. Even covering the fact that these are diversionary tactics tends to derail attention from more serious matters. But take heart – see what’s happening on social media. Yesterday and today on Twitter I’ve followed the Alt accounts of the Park Service, Nasa, the EDP and the Weather Service. The example of the Women’s March is being followed by scientists. Perfect! Well, at least it’s a start – and a peaceful, evidence based start! And there are many, many people in the rest of the world who are with you.

    Liked by 1 person

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