PROPAGANDA 2.1: A Handbook for Peaceful Totalitarian Rule

(an excerpt)

Propaganda’s Effects of the Political Parties

Propaganda makes inevitable the linking of partisan politics to money. Political propaganda is becoming more and more expensive, because of the volume of information needed to flow through the system and the rising costs of the instruments of delivery. A party that wishes to make propaganda must have the means to express its messages strongly,[i] and that means that marketing research consultants, public relations advisors, audience research specialists, and all available media, but particularly the mass media, must be employed to support a particular policy, platform, or candidate, necessitating a constant search for big-money donors to underwrite those media campaigns. Paradoxically, however, the stronger the link between the political system and sources of money, the less meaningfully distinct the partisan differences will be, since the parties’ sources of funding are, by and large, identical. The funding of propaganda will always be from core constituents of the technological society (corporations, wealthy individuals, foundations, etc.) and the overall message system of the technological society will inevitably support, rather than subvert, its values.

Since the Reagan era, we’ve seen Democrats — and their Party leadership — increasingly supporting policies and legislation that mirror those of the Republican Party, favoring capital and its accumulation, and abandoning the last vestiges of their populist, New Deal roots. This has earned them the sobriquet “Republican Lite.”[ii] Embracing smaller government with lower taxes (usually for the wealthy “job creators”), the privatization of the public commons, the roll-back of regulations in order to “liberate business,” the expansive use of American military force to “spread democracy” (and Capitalism) and to support and defend the growing global free market, and the continued dependence on fossil fuels, the Democratic Party is barely distinguishable from the Republican Party, except in so far as they exploit the competing themes of “identity politics” vs. “culture wars.”

It is true, of course, that the US Democratic Party is more culturally and socially “liberal” than the Republican Party; that is to say that many, but by no means all, Democrats give support — at the very least tacit and sometimes explicit support — to the various partitioned liberties articulated by proponents of identity politics, while Republicans are largely, but by no means monolithically, unsympathetic to the so-called “liberal agenda” of identity pandering.

The “controversies” that exist between the two parties are well known; indeed, most people have at least a vague idea where each party stands on abortion, the status of gays and lesbians in society, and the need for a “social safety net” to protect the poorest among us because our news media focus on these “hot button” issues at the expense of other, perhaps more important stories that affect all of us; for example, precisely what restrictions on freedom any given piece of legislation represents, or the fact that the US is the world’s largest manufacturer and exporter of weapons of mass destruction, or that the economic technique we call Capitalism, as the game is currently being played, is economically and ecologically unsustainable and destructive of both democratic ideals and the very fabric of civilized society. Both parties have supported and passed legislation that serve the interests of the technological society and have harmed not only the rights of women, but of the LGBTQ community, of African Americans and Latinos, of the poor, and of the working class. But by focusing on the (admittedly significant) surface differences between the two parties while ignoring the deep-structural similarities, propaganda protects the interests of the technological society and its elites.

This is a result of the fact that political propaganda demands vertical (top-down) liaison among party organizations; it will fail with any attempt at horizontal liaison.[iii] Centralization, “message control” (a euphemism, directly from the realms of marketing and public relations, for various forms of censorship), and the exercise of other techniques of public relations are at the heart of politics in the technological society; party leaders rather than rank-and-file members must have complete control over policy decisions, reflecting the “dictatorship by consent” relationship of government and propaganda as a whole. Rights get a lot of lip service, but are not as advantageous to the imperatives of technique as a mass of underpaid and overstressed workers, broad under-employment and/or unemployment, and 45 million people living in poverty. At the end of the day (as they say), the differences between the two parties are based more in the surface of the technological society than in its deep structure. It is not unreasonable, I think, to claim that we are talking about a one-party political system (the Technical Party? The Capitalist Party?) constituted of two wings: a socially moderate wing, and an extremely conservative, even reactionary wing.

In order to maintain this corrosive status quo, political propaganda, like politics generally, focuses on social control by projecting power. Political leadership implies the possession and wielding of power. As a consequence propaganda demands a “schism” between a political party’s leadership and its voters,[iv] separating them into subject and objects. Masses admire power, Ellul notes,[v] and therefore “leadership,” “strength,” “wisdom,” etc., especially as it is embodied in some prominent and easily-recognized individual. In the thirty-some-odd years since the “Reagan revolution,” political leadership has been based more and more on the subjectively perceived personality of a potential leader rather than on vague and ill-defined notions of ability. As Fred Greenstein notes, “Political institutions and processes operate through human agency. It would be remarkable if they were not influenced by the properties that distinguish one individual from another.”[vi] The political leader, then, is a celebrity — in Daniel Boorstin’s admirable phrase, a “human pseudo-event”[vii] — and his or her personality is not in fact a personality at all, but an image, carefully constructed and maintained by highly-paid consultants and coaches who craft speeches, give public speaking tips, encourage expressive body language, and even help choose a candidate’s wardrobe.[viii]

When propaganda does occasionally focus on the actual experiences and abilities of potential leaders, it is always from the point of view of technique. Candidates for high office in the US, and particularly for President, come overwhelmingly from four areas central to the technological society: the legal profession, government, business, and the military. The founders and early Presidents of the United States included farmers, surveyors, printers, and inventors, so we can be fairly certain that they did not see experience in law, politics, commerce, or war to be prerequisites to leadership. However, of the ten Presidents in the last half century, four have been Governors, three have been Vice Presidents, four have been Senators, three have been businessmen, three have been lawyers, and five have served in the military. In the current (115th) US Congress, there are 168 House members and 50 Senators from the legal professions, 179 Representatives and 29 Senators from business, 194 in the House and 44 Senators with prior political experience, 82 veterans in the House and 20 in the Senate, nine current members of the military reserves in the House and one in the Senate, and 6 current members of the National Guard, all in the House.[ix] In no circumstances should we assume that all or any of this aggregated “experience” worked to the detriment of technique; the only moral judgments technique tolerates, after all, concern resistance to their implementation and use.

Watching the 2016 US Presidential campaign, we saw both the ideas of personality and ability being exploited by the mass media. Many people believe[1] that Donald Trump was and is uniquely unqualified to be President of the United States, on both the bases of personality (or character) and ability. Specifically, he was called “temperamentally unfit to be commander-in-chief” by then-President Barack Obama before the election.[x] The view was echoed over and over in the mainstream, establishment media.[xi] Yet that message didn’t seem to register with a sufficient number of Americans to deny him the Presidency.[2] At the same time, many Americans appear to have responded favorably to Trump’s abrasive, abusive, and wildly undisciplined personality, which evoked masculine values that apparently appealed to his base, but which have prompted pundits to refer repeatedly to his election as “a victory for toxic masculinity and patriarchy.”[xii]

By contrast, Hillary Clinton was touted early on as “the most qualified candidate for President in our lifetime.”[xiii] Later in the campaign, then-President Barack Obama upped the historical ante on this particular meme, hyperbolizing that “there has never been a man or a woman — not me, not Bill, nobody — more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president of the United States of America.”[xiv] Hillary supporters in both the mainstream and social media made sure that this meme was constantly repeated and reinforced in the minds of American voters.

However, the “qualifications” they chose to emphasize were not necessarily going to be ones that registered positively with Americans in general and Democratic voters in particular. They typically noted her time as First Lady, US Senator from New York, and Secretary of State, missing or ignoring the fact that as First Lady she supported the North American Free Trade Agreement that many Americans blame for the loss of skilled manufacturing jobs over the previous two decades, as well as the 1994 Crime Bill which expanded the death penalty and accelerated mass incarceration, putting millions of Black Americans behind bars. They tended to miss or ignore the fact that as US Senator, Hillary Clinton voted for the disastrous and illegal invasion of Iraq. They tended to miss or ignore the fact that as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton supported “Arab Spring” uprisings that destabilized the region and strengthened ISIS, helped arm Sunni rebels in their fight against Assad — which ended up in the hands of terrorists, abetted a coup in Honduras against a democratically-elected President resulting in the persecution and murder of labor, human rights and LGBTQ activists, and promoted the expansion of fracking around the world.

Nor did the former First Lady fare well in terms of personality. A Washington Post-ABC News poll in August of 2016 — just weeks after her success in winning the Democratic nomination — showed that only 41% of Americans had a favorable impression of Hillary Clinton, while 56% viewed her unfavorably.[xv]

As all this was going on, another candidate was rising to unexpected prominence, a candidate whose very career stood in stark contrast to the values and goals of the technological society. On April 30, 2015, Bernie Sanders, the independent Senator from the state of Vermont, declared his candidacy for President of the Unites States. A self-styled “Democratic Socialist,” Sanders was, in many ways, the least likely Presidential candidate to have emerged as a legitimate threat to the status quo in decades.[3] His major policy proposals were radical — by establishment standards — and populist, and proved to be very popular among not only left-wing Democrats, but a sizeable portion of the Republican base: anti-establishment conservatives.[xvi] Rectifying income inequality, reforming the tax code, breaking up banks that are “too big to fail,” instituting universal healthcare through a single-payer system, a massive infrastructure program that would create millions of jobs (paid for by the closing of business tax loopholes), reforming campaign finance and corporate lobbying, forcing businesses to increase vacation time and provide paid family and medical leave for their workers, curtailing the ability of the US government to spy on its citizens, tuition-free higher education,[4] raising wages and working conditions (and not “spreading democracy”) in the developing world[xvii] — this was a list of proposals designed to roll-back some of the biggest gains the technological society had achieved in the last half century. He was destined to lose.

Despite attracting the largest crowds for any candidate of either party in the primary season; despite a virtual tie in the Iowa caucuses (.25% difference); despite winning twenty-three primaries and garnering more than thirteen million popular votes; despite having the highest favorability rating of any candidate at the moment Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic nomination (54%) — Bernie Sanders’ candidacy was finished before it began. The Democratic wing of the Capitalist Party could not allow any candidate to win who might threaten the continued global dominance of technology, nor could their allies in the mass media. So together they fought a counter-insurgent war against the former Democratic Socialist Mayor of Burlington, Vermont,[5] and what appears to be a highly effective propaganda war against the single nation that has acted as a consistent irritant to the technological society’s global aspirations.

During a long primary season with an ascendant left-wing candidate, the eyes and ears of the nation were focused, essentially, on two people: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. There was very little of Bernie Sanders to be seen in the mainstream media. A searchable database, powered by Google’s GDELT[6] project, on the Internet Archive’s Television News Archive website provides a picture of unequal coverage. The database measures GDELT’s monitoring of the number of times each candidate is mentioned in a number of national media outlets. Between 2015 and today (August 3, 2017 as I write) Donald Trump has been mentioned 1,893,804 (that number is skewed, of course, because he has, at the moment of my writing this, been President for six months), Hillary Clinton has been mentioned 684,808 times, and Bernie Sanders 202,102 times (this, despite the fact that Sanders was the most popular candidate during the campaign and remains “the most popular active politician” today).[xviii] Reacting to readers’ complaints about the unequal coverage, the New York Times’ public editor Margaret Sullivan defended her paper — but admitted the criticism was not without merit. “The Times has not ignored Mr. Sanders’s campaign,” she wrote on September 9, 2015, “but it hasn’t always taken it very seriously. The tone of some stories is regrettably dismissive, even mocking at times. Some of that is focused on the candidate’s age, appearance and style, rather than what he has to say.”[xix]

The Shorenstein Center for Media, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard described Sanders’ situation:

By summer, Sanders had emerged as Clinton’s leading competitor but, even then, his coverage lagged. Not until the pre-primary debates did his coverage begin to pick up, though not at a rate close to what he needed to compensate for the early part of the year. Five Republican contenders — Trump, Bush, Cruz, Rubio, and Carson — each had more news coverage than Sanders during the invisible primary. Clinton got three times more coverage than he did… Name recognition is a key asset in the early going. Unless poll respondents know of a candidate, they’re not going to choose that candidate… But even as late as August of 2015, two in five registered Democrats nationally said they’d never heard of Sanders or had heard so little they didn’t have an opinion.[xx]

Despite the early (and continuing) snub from the mainstream mass media, Bernie Sanders went on to achieve a virtual tie in the Iowa Caucuses (breaking 50.25% to 49.75% for Hillary Clinton), a commanding 60%-32% win in New Hampshire, and a loss by only six percentage points in the controversial Nevada Democratic Caucus. Some portions of the media were now beginning to take his candidacy a bit more seriously than they previously had.

However, whatever advantage Sanders might have gained was dampened by the fact that during these early primary contests the bulk of the media coverage was focused not on the Democrats, but on the Republican candidates (primarily Donald Trump). The early Republican primaries received 58% of media attention compared to 42% for the Democratic contests.[xxi]

Meanwhile, angry allegations of Democratic Party attempts to “rig this primary for Hillary Clinton, by minimizing and delaying the debates, by counting superdelegates as if they vote before July’s convention, and by surreptitiously funneling money to her campaign that was solicited for down-ticket candidates”[xxii] were only exacerbated on October 7, 2016 when Wikileaks released 19,252 DNC e-mails and an additional 8,034 attachments showing a very clear pattern of preferential behavior on the part of the DNC toward the Clinton campaign. The Clinton campaign and the DNC immediately accused Russia of being responsible for the “hacking” of their e-mail system.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, however, quickly denied the claim. “The Clinton camp has been able to project a neo-McCarthyist hysteria that Russia is responsible for everything,” he said during an interview on Russian cable station RT in November of 2016. “Hillary Clinton has stated multiple times, falsely, that 17 U.S. intelligence agencies had assessed that Russia was the source of our publications,” which, if true, was an interesting claim for Clinton to make as the Director of National Intelligence did not publish the their assessment until January 6, 2017. “That’s false — we can say that the Russian government is not the source.”[xxiii]

Muddying the waters further, former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray, a friend and associate of Assange, called the Russian hacking claims “bullshit”, adding: “They are absolutely making it up… I know who leaked them. I’ve met the person who leaked them, and they are certainly not Russian and it’s an insider. It’s a leak, not a hack; the two are different things.”[xxiv] In another interview Murray claimed he received the e-mail files from “insiders” and passed them on to Wikileaks.[7] “Neither of (the leaks) came from the Russians,” Murray insisted. “The source had legal access to the information. The documents came from inside leaks, not hacks,” he said, emphasizing his belief that the leaker was motivated by “disgust at the corruption of the Clinton Foundation and the tilting of the primary election playing field against Bernie Sanders.”[xxv]

What the e-mails disclosed was a series of fairly banal and clichéd exchanges among DNC leaders which, although filled with disdain for Sanders and the progressive “revolution” he was leading, were probably criminal only for their solipsistic disdain for the common good. When Bernie Sanders criticized the Paris climate accords for not going far enough, Clinton campaign manager John Podesta e-mailed his associates saying “Can you believe that doofus Bernie attacked it?”[xxvi]

Discussing ways to throw cold water on a campaign many were now calling “the Bern,” DNC Chief Financial Officer Brad Marshall suggested questioning Sanders’ religion.[xxvii] “It might may (sic) no difference, but for KY and WVA can we get someone to ask his belief. Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist…”[xxviii]

The leaked e-mails also revealed that interim Chair of the Democratic National Committee Donna Brazile had tipped the scales in favor of Hillary Clinton in one of the primary season’s “town hall debates,” providing the Clinton campaign with specific questions the candidates would be asked. Hours after the e-mail was posted on Wikileaks, Brazile released a statement denying it, saying flatly “I never had access to questions and would never have shared them with the candidates if I did.”[xxix] But in a subsequent essay in Time Magazine she admitted that “among the many things I did in my role as a Democratic operative and D.N.C. Vice Chair prior to assuming the interim D.N.C. Chair position was to share potential town hall topics with the Clinton campaign… sending those emails was a mistake I will forever regret.”[xxx] In the same essay, Brazile remained consistent with the DNC’s “Russian hacking” narrative. “By stealing all the DNC’s emails and then selectively releasing those few,” she insisted, “the Russians made it look like I was in the tank for Secretary Clinton.”[xxxi]

On January 6, 2017, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released the “assessment” claiming that Russia had “hacked” the DNC/Podesta e-mails as part of a campaign to influence the 2016 Presidential election. They made this assessment on the basis of concrete evidence — evidence that they couldn’t identify and wouldn’t publicly release. “The Intelligence Community rarely can publicly reveal the full extent of its knowledge or the precise bases for its assessments, as the release of such information would reveal sensitive sources or methods and imperil the ability to collect critical foreign intelligence in the future… Thus, while the conclusions in the report are all reflected in the classified assessment, the declassified report does not and cannot include the full supporting information, including specific intelligence and sources and methods.”[xxxii] Instead of evidence, the assessment offered numerous facts about its method, the skill and experience of its analysts, their intelligence, objectivity and clear judgment, and the diligence with which they did their jobs. Then they presented their key findings:

We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump.
We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him.[xxxiii]

Interestingly enough, they also provided the following disclaimer: “We did not make an assessment of the impact that Russian activities had on the outcome of the 2016 election.[8] The US Intelligence Community is charged with monitoring and assessing the intentions, capabilities, and actions of foreign actors; it does not analyze US political processes or US public opinion.”[xxxiv] The remainder of the assessment is essentially a critique of the Russian cable television station RT.

Ellul would classify all of this as an example of innuendo:

Facts are treated in such a fashion that they draw their listener into an irresistible sociological current. The public is left to draw obvious conclusion from a cleverly presented truth, and the great majority comes to the same conclusions. To obtain this result, propaganda must be based on some truth that can be said in few words and is able to linger in the collective consciousness.

Say what you will about the strength of the intelligence community’s case for Russian tampering of the 2016 US Presidential election, its strength is not based on evidence. It is based on trust; it is we who must trust the collective word of those “seventeen intelligence agencies” and trust the intentions of not only the agency directors, but of the Obama administration. Because it is important to remember what has happened to that institution we euphemistically call the intelligence “community” over the last few decades. The “shake-up” that occurred in 2004 arising from the George W. Bush administration’s frustration with “liberals” in the CIA who were “disloyal” to that administration and its agenda gave us the Directorate of National Intelligence (DNI) in the first place. Until 2005 the nominal head of the intelligence community was the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI — who also served as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency). The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 was passed — ostensibly — to remedy some of the “intelligence failures” that led to the attacks on US citizens and property on September 11, 2001. However, agency insiders claim that the CIA resisted Bush administration efforts to “cherry-pick” only the data that supported the invasion and ignore all the rest. Paul Pillar, a veteran CIA officer who did intelligence assessments about the Middle East at the time, wrote in the March-April issue of Foreign Affairs, “What is most remarkable about prewar U.S. intelligence on Iraq is not that it got things wrong and thereby misled policymakers; it is that it played so small a role in one of the most important U.S. policy decisions in decades.”[xxxv]

One of the provisions of the act was the establishment of the DNI, thereby displacing, demoting, and emasculating the DCI. This demotion was not incidental or pro forma; it was a calculated and emphatic act meant to give the Bush administration — and all subsequent administrations — greater control over how information was gathered, what sorts of information would be gathered, and how it would be used. It accompanied a “purge” at the CIA under its new Director Porter Goss. As a former high-ranking official of the CIA told Newsday in 2004, “Goss was given instructions… to get rid of those soft leakers and liberal Democrats. The CIA is looked on by the [Bush] White House as a hotbed of liberals and people who have been obstructing the president’s agenda.”[xxxvi]

Since that time the CIA has lost a lot of responsibility, a lot of its power, and a lot of its independence. Other, more clandestine agencies are doing the intelligence gathering, and the CIA has become little more than a public relations spokesman for the foreign policy agenda of whatever administration happens to be in power. As Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Seymour Hersh wrote in 2005, “The C.I.A. will continue to be downgraded, and the agency will increasingly serve, as one government consultant with close ties to the Pentagon put it, as ‘facilitators’ of policy emanating from President Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney. This process is well under way.”[xxxvii]

It would be smart to remember these facts when thinking about the “threat to democratic institutions” that Russia currently poses.

On July 13, 2016, a class-action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court in the Southern District of Florida against the Democratic National Committee and its Chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, on behalf of the millions of Americans who donated to the doomed campaign of Bernie Sanders. (Very few people — aside from Bernie Sanders’ supporters — are even aware of this fact, due to a nearly complete blackout on the part of the mainstream mass media. A Google search of the terms “DNC lawsuit” will yield more than 9 million results; the vast majority of them coming from either left-wing websites or, interestingly enough, right-wing sites; but very few mainstream sources.)[xxxviii] The lawsuit argued that

the DNC was biased in favor of one candidate — Hillary Clinton (‘Clinton’) — from the beginning and throughout the process. The DNC devoted its considerable resources to supporting Clinton above any of the other Democratic candidates. Through its public claims to being neutral and impartial, the DNC actively concealed its bias from its own donors as well as donors to the campaigns of Clinton’s rivals, including Bernie Sanders.[xxxix]

The Democratic Party has shown no signs of settling the case and that, in fact, it considers its actions to be consistent with the normal workings of the American political system:

The most recent court hearing on the case was held on April 25, during which the DNC reportedly argued that the organization’s neutrality among Democratic campaigns during the primaries was merely a “political promise,” and therefore it had no legal obligations to remain impartial throughout the process.[xl]

It is likely that by the time this book goes to press this lawsuit will not yet be settled. But perhaps it will.

Meanwhile, former Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton continues to deflect blame for her failed campaign on others, and remains true to the narrative of “Russian hacking.”

The former Democratic presidential candidate cited Russian meddling in the election, FBI Director James Comey’s involvement toward the end of the race, WikiLeaks’ theft of emails from her campaign chairman, and misogyny.[xli]

The total amount of money raised — most of it from corporate and/or wealthy donors, Political Action Committees and SuperPACs — is staggering. The Clinton campaign raised $1.4 billion, the Trump campaign $957.6 million.[xlii] The money was needed, of course, to fuel the colossal media pseudo-events we call “political campaigns,” with the vast majority going to television, radio, and print advertisements, media advisors, and logistical needs.

By contrast, Bernie Sanders refused to accept money from PACs or SuperPacs, and avoided corporate donors like the plague. He still somehow managed to raise nearly $220 million, the vast majority of it from millions of individual donors, each giving an average of twenty-seven dollars, and most of it raised via the Internet.[xliii] And, without interference from the Democratic National Committee, he might very possibly have won the Democratic nomination for President, and the Presidency itself.

[1] I confess to being one of them.

[2] Trump won 306 electors with 62,985,106 votes, while Hillary Clinton won 232 electors with 65,853,625 votes. More than 108,000,000 registered voters — 46.9% of the electorate — chose not to vote at all.

[3] While there were a handful of Socialist, Communist, and other left-wing candidates for the US Presidency in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, their candidacies were little known and are now nearly entirely forgotten. Prior to Sanders, Socialist Eugene V. Debs ran the most successful campaigns for the Presidency — as a Socialist — in 1900, 1904, 1908, 1912, and 1920. He won 6% of the popular vote in 1912.

[4] One of the few issues of disagreement I had with Bernie’s candidacy was his establishment view of education: “In a highly competitive global economy, we need the best-educated workforce in the world.” This reflects the prevailing view of education as an adjunct to the technological society rather than as a fundamental human need — and human right — and was an enormous disappointment to me.

[5] Strangely enough, the mass media appeared initially to have empowered Donald Trump’s candidacy by giving him an unusually disproportionate amount of attention, even though a few of his policy positions — opposition to TPP and free trade agreements, an end to military interventionism, enforced accountability of the intelligence community — were equally inimical to the goals of the technological society. It seems likely that this was less a concerted effort by the mass media to tilt the primary election in Trump’s favor than it was a case of collective journalistic cognitive dissonance and no one actually believed he could win. Or it could have been profit-driven short-sightedness. As CBS Chairman Les Moonves said at the time, Trump’s candidacy “may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.”

[6] “A Global Database of Society

“Supported by Google Jigsaw, the GDELT Project monitors the world’s broadcast, print, and web news from nearly every corner of every country in over 100 languages and identifies the people, locations, organizations, counts, themes, sources, emotions, counts, quotes, images and events driving our global society every second of every day, creating a free open platform for computing on the entire world.” See:

[7] It is interesting to note, especially in light of the central theme of this book, that it is almost entirely impossible to find reports of Assange’s and Murray’s accounts of how Wikileaks came into possession of the e-mails in the US mainstream media; all reports I have used came from European sources because those were the only ones I was able to find.

[8] The emphases are mine.

[i] Ellul, Jacques. 1968, Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes. Propaganda. 1st ed. New York: Vintage Books, p. 216.

[ii] “Republican Lite — Google Search”. 2017. Google.Com.

[iii] Ellul (1968), p. 216.

[iv] Ibid., pp. 216–217.

[v] Ibid., p. 217.

[vi] Greenstein, Fred I. 1992. “Can Personality And Politics Be Studied Systematically?” Political Psychology 13 (1): p. 124.


[vii] Boorstin, Daniel J. 1964. The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America. New York: Harper & Row, p. 57.

[viii] Abnett, Kate. July 28, 2016. “Styling Politicians in the Age of Image Wars”. The Business of Fashion. Accessed July 14, 2017.

[ix] Manning, Jennifer E. March 13, 2017. “Membership of the 115Th Congress: A Profile”. Congressional Research Service., pp. 2–3.

[x] “Obama: Trump ‘Uniquely Unqualified’ To Be President”. November 4, 2016. Sky News. Accessed August 1, 2017.

[xi] “Trump Unqualified To Be President — Google Search”. August 1, 2017. Google.Com.

[xii] Hazen, Don, and Kali Holloway. August 1, 2017. “Patriarchy And Toxic Masculinity Are Dominating America Under Trump”. Salon.Com. Accessed August 1, 2017.

[xiii] Payne, Dan. March 19, 2015. “Commentary: The Most Qualified Candidate for President in Our Lifetime”. WBUR.Org. Accessed August 1, 2017.

[xiv] “Obama: Hillary Clinton Most Qualified Presidential Candidate Ever”. July 27, 2016. Chicago Tonight | WTTW. Accessed August 1, 2017.

[xv] Blake, Aaron. August 31, 2016. “A Record Number of Americans Now Dislike Hillary Clinton”. Washington Post. Accessed June 17, 2017.

[xvi] Foran, Clare. November 24, 2015. “Meet The Lifelong Republicans Who Love Bernie Sanders”. The Atlantic. Accessed June 12, 2016.

[xvii] “On The Issues”. 2016. Bernie Sanders for President. Accessed August 2, 2017.

[xviii] Easley, Jonathan. April 18, 2017. “Poll: Bernie Sanders Country’s Most Popular Active Politician”. The Hill. Accessed August 3, 2017.

[xix] Sullivan, Margaret. September 9, 2015. “Has the Times Dismissed Bernie Sanders?” Public Editor’s Journal. The New York Times. Accessed May 20, 2017.

[xx] Patterson, Thomas E. June 13, 2016. “Pre-Primary News Coverage Of the 2016 Presidential Race: Trump’S Rise, Sanders’ Emergence, Clinton’S Struggle — Shorenstein Center”. Shorenstein Center for Media, Politics, and Public Policy. Accessed June 9, 2017.

[xxi] Patterson, Thomas E. July 11, 2016. “News Coverage Of the 2016 Presidential Primaries: Horse Race Reporting Has Consequences — Shorenstein Center”. Shorenstein Center for Media, Politics, and Public Policy. Accessed June 9, 2017.

[xxii] Brasunas, Tony. April 26, 2016. “Only Voter Suppression Can Stop Bernie Sanders”. Huffpost. Accessed May 23, 2017.

[xxiii] Sharkov, Damien. November 4, 2016. “Assange Says Wikileaks Did Not Get Clinton Emails From Russia.” Accessed July 9, 2017. Newsweek.

[xxiv] Gayle, Damien. December 10, 2016. “CIA Concludes Russia Interfered To Help Trump Win Election, Say Reports”. The Guardian. Accessed December 11, 2016.

[xxv] Goodman (2016).

[xxvi] Podesta, John. December 13, 2015. “Fwd: Fwd: Congratulations on Paris — Wikileaks”. Wikileaks.Org. Accessed May 27, 2017.

[xxvii] East, Kristen. July 23, 2016. “Top DNC Staffer Apologizes For Email On Sanders’ Religion”. POLITICO. Accessed May 23, 2017.

[xxviii] Marshall, Brad. 2016. “No Shit”. Wikileaks.Org. Accessed May 23, 2017.

[xxix] “18 Revelations From Wikileaks’ Hacked Clinton Emails — BBC News”. October 27, 2016. BBC News.

[xxx] Brazile, Donna. March 17, 2017. “Russia DNC Hack Played Out Exactly As Hoped”. Time.Com. Accessed August 1, 2017.

[xxxi] Ibid.

[xxxii] Office of the Director of National Intelligence (2017), p. 1.

[xxxiii] Ibid., p. ii.

[xxxiv] Ibid., p. i.

[xxxv] Shane, Scott. 2006. “Ex-C.I.A. Official Says Iraq Data Was Distorted”. Nytimes.Com. Accessed August 5, 2017.

[xxxvi] Royce, Knut. 2004. “INSTRUCTIONS TO NEW DIRECTOR, Purge Ordered At CIA, Sources Say White House Has Told New Chief ‘Get Rid’ Of Staffers Who Were Disloyal To President”. Newsday Archives. Accessed August 3, 2017.,%202004&author=KNUT%20ROYCE.%20WASHINGT

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