Powerful interests are building artificial echo chambers that magnify the voice of them by simulating approbum by artificial and imaginary citizens.
These interests are targeting various demographics of white people, but also Black and Latinx people. They are targeting Americans with lies amplified by behaviorism presented by seemingly reasonable people, journalists. But all journalism is not equal. Journalists and journalism no longer mean what it once did. And racism no longer looks like it once did.
President Regan appointed Dennis Roy Patrick as FCC chairperson on April 18, 1987. Under Patrick, telecommunications, television, radio, and cable industries underwent significant structural and regulatory reform. Broadcast and cable deregulation, stricter enforcement of decency rules, relaxation of regulations governing television program ownership and syndication rights, the introduction of Direct Broadcast Satellite competition, and broad telecommunications deregulation.
In 1987, under Patrick’s watch and a brief period of study, the FCC repealed the Fairness Doctrine.
The Fairness Doctrine stated that regarding controversial issues or matters of public interest that are editorialized, people and organizations had a right to respond. The fairness doctrine held that a right to respond existed because the public has a right to hear “all responsible viewpoints on particular issues” and broadcast licensees have “the duty of preserving for the public radio as a medium of free expression and fair presentation.”
The FCC stated that the doctrine likely violated broadcasters’ free speech rights, led to less speech about issues of public importance over broadcast airwaves, and was no longer required because of the increase in competition among mass media. Soon after ending the fairness doctrine, he resigned in 1989 to become the CEO of Time Warner Telecommunications.
A year later, in 1988, toxic Rush Limbaugh debuted his national radio show, and in less than a decade, Fox News would air and begin spreading lies masquerading as facts.
Some say it was just a coincidence. I think not. Racism is never a coincidence.
Citizens United made this even worse. It made corporations people, and people have First Amendment rights. Giving money is a First Amendment right. You have literally billions of dollars of dark money funding advertising, campaigns, and lies masquerading as news.
There has been an active disinformation campaign in the United States. There is a complete manipulation of what we see via social media. Social media isn’t editorial, and Fox New is editorial in name only.
When I owned my newspaper ten years ago, the Republican Party would offer me free stories to run. I explained to them that I didn’t run right-wing propaganda and that was unethical. Cursed with being prolific, I can fill a whole newspaper by myself. Most people cannot.
The stories would then pop up in other Black and white-owned local newspapers, who were hemorrhaging staff, ideas, and advertising dollars. The news would be about various racist and heterosexist topics, such as homosexuality being wrong and taxes being violations of American rights.
I am sure this bad actor journalism was going on all over the country.
For the last 30 years the right has been actively feeding disinformation to the local community with faces that look like the local community and through such vehicles as Fox News and Rush Limbaugh Show. The Internet busted this door open even further with social media on Twitter you have the likes of Glen Beck and Tomi Lahren and on youtube channels like Dennis Prager’s “university,” and Breitbart. Freed from the truth’s constraints, the right could lie freely, openly, and frequently.
They lie to push for the Southen Strategy ideas, concepts such as states’ rights, gun rights, school choice, antichoice regarding abortion, anti-immigration, anti-blackness, prison, and low taxes.
In 1906, (racist) statistician Francis Galton observed a competition to guess an ox’s weight at a country fair. Eight hundred people entered. Galton, being the curious mathematician he was, ran statistical tests on the numbers. He discovered that the average guess (1,197lb) was extremely close to the ox’s actual weight (1,198lb) and even closer than the participants’ closest guess.
A political application of the “Parable of the Ox Weight Contest” is the Overton Window. The Overton window is the range of policies politically acceptable to the mainstream population at a given time. This is the window of discourse. What tends to be adopted is a social combination of the mean, median, and mode of the extremes.
In the past, they would do this solely with buy-in ads. People view the Internet as a democracy and it kind of was until 1994 when Canter & Siegel, two lawyers from Phoenix deliberately sent an advertisement to every newsgroup on usenet. Now it was cheap to contact everyone, but even more interesting, a big budget could have a truly global reach. No one suspects that a newsgroup or social media platform is filled with bots, propaganda and paid for lies, lies, and MORE lies. Even for local editorial media, no one realizes that there is no longer a local paper. What we know as our “local” paper is part of a large syndicate that mainly reprints national articles distributed throughout the country with a face and name to match each community. A team of writers champion Wall Street’s interests and deliver them personally to your hometown.
The power of these spambots is that it allows these artificial voices to drown out real citizens. The consequence is that human beings assume group consensus that includes millions of fake voices. These forces change the mean, medium, and mode of the conversation and shift the Overton window hard to the right.
It is behaviorism coated with racism via artificial intelligence on the Internet.
It is behaviorism coated with racism via a familiar bad actor in the “local” newspapers.