TRUMP WATCH-The discovery of the Russian influence in the fake news arena comes as no surprise to those of us that were monitoring the campaigns. The mere fact that the extreme left and right were basing their social media feeds on the same so-called “news” topics became quite apparent from the get-go.
There didn’t seem to be a story that was wild or wacko enough that either side could reject and since none of them bothered to fact check, they all bought into the idiocies. The two sides also shared another commonality, and that was a vitriol hate for anything that mentioned Hillary Clinton or the Democrats. Now that the truth is coming out, we are seeing that the BernieBots and Crats were duped and it is the exact thing we tried to tell them all along.
During the initial Presidential campaign, many of us began seeing some of the weirdest and hateful behavior of the Bernie supporters. This launched into the infamous “BernieBro” attacks in which the mostly male supporter spewed incredibly disgusting verbal behavior along with images towards the Hillary supporters. Some of the HRC social media administrators tried to warn that these people may indeed be Russian bots and not true Sanders supporters, but the onslaught became so great that most of the Clinton pages had to become private.
The unacceptable behavior of the Sanders supporters became well-known on a global scale as both national and international news began to report what they were doing. Two examples of this early reporting are seen in the BBC article: “Bernie Sanders Supporters Get a Bad Reputation Online” – and the WSJ article: “Children of the Corn vs. Hillary’s Female Army.”
In an attempt to educate and share “facts” I wrote a number of articles letting the Sanders supporters know that they were following a trail that was deliberately planted by both Russian and Macedonian purveyors of fake news. Of course, in their usual foot stomping childish ways, they rejected anything that went against their hallowed belief in their messiah and their continual hate of Hillary Clinton that they shared with the TrumpTrolls. In my article: “Bernie Or Bust People: Wake up, You Were Conned,” I include:
The Influence of Foreign Fake News
“Now we enter the realm of the incredible volumes of international influence in creating anti-Hillary fake news. In another DemocracyGuardian article entitled: ‘The Misinformation Fallout: Conservatives Still Taking the Bait,’ it addresses the conditions regarding the extreme Tea Party Left (aka Bernie or Bust) attitudes during the election campaign:
“For those that were on the front lines of the attacks from BernieBros, bots and the extreme conservatives, there was an onslaught of false information that went from the strange to the ridiculous. They included such idiocies as the Clinton’s having hits on over three hundred people to the ludicrous video of Hillary laughing at winning the rape case in her early life as an attorney, each one was edited, created and totally false. It didn’t matter that Hillary’s ‘laugh’ was in response to a question as to whether she trusted lie detector machines, it was believed because they wanted to believe it and they didn’t even bother to check to see if it was true.”
In a Huffington Post article:
“The stories they posted weren’t the normal complaints he was used to seeing as the Vermont senator and the former secretary of state fought out the Democratic presidential primary. These stories alleged that Clinton had murdered her political opponents and used body.
“But when Mattes [John Mattes, Administrator of Bernie Sanders Facebook page] started tracking down the sites’ domain registrations, the trail led to Macedonia and Albania. In mid-September, he emailed a few of his private investigator friends with a list of the sites. “Very creepy and I do not think Koch brothers,” he wrote.
“By late October, Mattes said he’d traced 40 percent of the domain registrations for the fake news sites he saw popping up on pro-Sanders pages back to Eastern Europe. Others appeared to be based in Panama and the U.S. or were untraceable. He wondered, ‘Am I the only person that sees all this crap floating through these Bernie pages?’
“During that time, anyone that was following the rhetoric of both the Trump supporting conservatives and the extreme left Bernie Sanders people, found that the wording was almost identical. It appears that, although the foreign fake news creators had no success lying to regular liberals/Democrats, they had found an audience with the BernieOrBust people.”
Both Extreme Sides are Identical
Talking to either the radical conservatives or the Sanders supporters was and continues to be an exercise in futility. Facts mean nothing to either side and since Sanders was never vetted, his dark history was simply ignored. The media played a major role in this as they perceived Bernie as a way to get additional ratings, while they railed against Hillary Clinton, pushing her further from any desire to come forward and talk about the important issues.
I cover the shared behavior of the BernieBots and conservatives in my article: “Extreme Right, Extreme Left: Two sides of a same coin.”
“The results of both of these extreme sides is that neither is willing to accept anything negative about their own support issues but more than willing to accept the extreme ‘fake news’ about their enemies. Fake news may be somewhat new to the extreme left, but the extreme right has been feeding on this as a main diet for years. Beyond Fox, you have sites such as Breitbart and then the extreme right-wing radio and television wackos that continued to spew their hate rhetoric.”
There is a desire from the extreme left to destroy the Democratic Party, whom they view as the enemy. They want to burn it down and institute their own so-called “revolution,” which is actually a lame attempt at getting their 1–2 issue agenda. Their ignorance is astounding, as they pursue their goals in any way possible, all the while being pushed and prodded by the Russian influences that want nothing better than to see the Party divided and the Democrats crushed.
The conservatives that support Trump have exposed some of the vilest and disgusting behavior. Nothing seems to be bad enough or low enough for them to walk away from their support. They ignore the fact that Trump has replaced professional and knowledgeable people in the administration with those that hate the departments they are put in charge of, all the while, profiting in every aspect of activity. Greed, sexual misconduct, lying and vindictive vengeance are part and parcel of everything that they accept in their idea of “normal.”
Both sides are participating in cult behavior and as we are finding out with the reveal of the Russian influence, they were “played” based on their own stupidity. In my article: “Yes, Republicans ARE Exhibiting Cult Behavior,” I detail:
“People might make comparisons with political races that always seem to have a small group of extremists, but this is different. When the evangelical so-called “Christians” stepped into the ring, they began to promote Trump and the Republicans as part of their God’s plans. They intertwined their cherry-picked Bible messages and blended it with the hate rhetoric so that everything that was wrong in everyone’s lives could be blamed on everyone else. Very few questioned this aspect of their religious convictions, as it contains the very heart of their personal beliefs. As this twisted version of Christianity continued, it entered into the cult mentality and then mob behavior.
“There have been many cults throughout history and each one has a base of some sort of spiritual belief that they are specially selected as part of a mission to make changes and take down those that are causing their perceived problems. One of the main core elements of cultism is that there is never any accountability; the blame always falls on others. In the case of the TrumpTrolls, they blame liberals as well as immigrants and people of color for all of their woes. They ignore the fact that they have made bad personal choices or refuse to move forward with progress; instead, they see themselves and their leaders as saviors to bring their lives back to some mystical time that was ‘better.’”
BernieBots and Crats and TrumpTrolls are Alike
As the information regarding the Russian influence is finally being revealed, Sanders is as silent as he was when he was initially informed that it was happening. He has always held a very pro-Russia stance, including being one of only two Senators that voted against the Russian Sanctions.
Throughout his history he has supported many of the Russian concepts including their healthcare system, while ignoring atrocities that occurred. He did the same when it came to Cuba; and this is standard for his selective support.
We are now seeing just how far the Russians went in trying to brainwash the easily duped Sanders supporters against Hillary Clinton and the followers went for it: hook, line and sinker. In a Vox article entitled: “Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, and Jill Stein all appear to have been helped by Russian election interference -- Use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest.”
“The indictment outlines the lengths Russia went to influence the election in favor of Donald Trump and against Hillary Clinton — including by supporting Bernie Sanders (and, later, Jill Stein).
“The Russian operations on social media were meant to communicate derogatory information about Hillary Clinton and other candidates, including Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. And they were supposed to support Sanders and Trump.
“‘Use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump — we support them),’ they were directed, according to the indictment.
“This was because the Russians involved really didn’t like Hillary Clinton.
“Around September 14 in 2016, for example, one ‘account specialist’ of a Russian-controlled Facebook group called ‘Secured Borders’ was reprimanded for having a “low number of posts dedicated to criticizing Hillary Clinton.
“The specialist was also told, ‘it is imperative to intensify criticizing Hillary Clinton.’
“Later on, Russian operatives used accounts they controlled — including an account called ‘Woke Blacks’ and ‘Blacktivist’ — to urge Americans to vote for third-party candidates or not to vote at all. ‘Choose peace and vote for Jill Stein,’ one such message read. ‘Trust me, it’s not a wasted vote.’”
The strange and sick part of this entire situation is that it has not only exposed how ridiculously stupid Americans are, but that they have learned nothing from political patterns of the past. The Russians played into the hate that both of the extreme sides felt, escalated it to include stories that were beyond outrageous and they knew that the extreme left and right would buy into it.
Currently, the Bernie supporters and the TrumpTrolls are both in a state of denial. They don’t want to believe that they were conned, duped and led by the nose to achieve exactly what smarter Russians wanted. Russia was afraid of the stand that Hillary Clinton took against them and they used every trick in the book to appeal to the elitist attitudes of the Bernie Supporters and the racism, bigotry, and sexism of the Trump supporters.
Congratulations to both sides — you were bought for a bag of Rubles to sell your country out.
(S. Novi is a journalist who worked in the media when it DID have integrity. A liberal and one that is suspicious of cults and empty promises. This piece was originally posted on Medium.com. Prepped for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.