Ehm: Claiming that a statement is “propaganda” is an address to the author and an attempt to invoke…
Svetlana Voreskova
31

Accurately pointing out that your statement was Russian propaganda is not ad hominem; virtually all of your comments are some form of pro-Russian propaganda, and my label was entirely apt. The fact that this might offend your or hurt your feelings (or make you feel guilty) is not the gauge of ad hominem.

As to your last question, I have already given you examples of how Trump has gone far, far beyond any other president (all networks except Fox are “the enemy of the American people,” and “fake news” whenever he doesn’t like the criticism or feels the reporting isn’t laudatory enough) when it comes to his treatment of the news. It doesn’t matter what I point out (foreign and domestic investigative journalists with stellar records, accurate, in-depth reports in the past), you’ll simply parrot Trump’s lines: they’re “fake news!” They’re just “lying!” The fact that Trump supporters trot these lines out is proof enough that his attempts to delegitimze the media have worked great. His supporters buy the tripe, hook, line, and sinker.

Fox News, with its open and blatant and constant propaganda, has moved the entire media landscape further to the right. It’s used as a foil for all the other media networks: since Fox News is conservative, everything else is liberal, and it’s all a wash. They’re “equal.” It’s tedious and incorrect, but Trump has played off the situation and made it even more dire. Whenever there’s a critical story regarding Trump (eg, the enormous costs of protecting and accommodating him at Mar a Lago and his wife at Trump Tower, for example), it’s instantly dismissed as “fake news” despite that it’s perfectly valid reporting and touches on a poignant and important issue (and one that, if the shoe were on the other foot, we’d never hear the end of from Fox… Michelle Obama and Spain! Aaaargh!). We’re talking about a “news” network that expressed outrage that Obama used spicy mustard, for god’s sake. But for Trump supporters, it’s everyone else that is illegitimate. What he’s doing IS an authoritarian move: make his supporters disbelieve facts and disregard one of the very pillars of our constitution and liberal democracy. It makes people exceedingly manipulable (to the point that many Trump supporters are attempting to paint the Syria strike as a good thing, stunningly).

I’ve already given you facts regarding Russia’s economy, such as the falling per capita numbers. I could also point out that fully a third of the economy is estimated to be consumed/wasted by corruption, that fewer than 100 billionaires own more than over 90% of the rest of the population (a wealth gap far more extreme than other countries, even those that are experiencing pretty large wealth gaps themselves). It’s in a different league when it comes to wealth disparities. It doesn’t matter what I point out to you; you’ll claim that it’s a “fluctuation.” It’s moved from a century of communism to an effective dictatorship with extreme controls on speech and media. Dissent is immediately quashed. Contrary voices are extinguished. It’s not a sustainable model of governance.

The west hasn’t tried to “undermine” Russia’s economy. It was Putin’s choice to take Ukraine, and he knew full well that it would lead to sanctions. If your argument is that the west should let Russia play with the big boys in the global economy regardless of its military aggression toward neighbors and NATO allies, well, I’d say you’ve expressed yet another bit of propaganda. Hell, the way you’ve framed the sanctions (the west is “undermining” Russia!) is telling enough.

I’m quite done here. Thanks, and have a great night.

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