Do people ever get tired of being lied to? Misled? Deceived?
Don’t waste time on that: I already know the answer.
It’s no. The answer is no, people never get tired of being lied to, misled, or deceived.
There are only two conditions: it has to be something they want to believe, and you have to wait a decent amount of time before acknowledging you deceived them: the bigger the lie, the longer the wait.
As long as you fulfill those conditions, a huge swathe of the western public will happily lap up whatever you want to serve them. And they won’t even be angry when they learn the truth: they’ll either forget they were ever misled, tell themselves they never believed you anyway, or they’ll shrug it off a la Hillary Clinton: “What difference, at this point, does it make?”
That’s actually the more egregious problem: not the willingness to be lied to, but the indifference to having been lied to. The short attention span. The tolerance for deceit. The equanimity with which people can accept having been lied to, as long as it was a while ago.
Building largely on the model of Bill Clinton’s scandal management in the 1990s, American Democrats have systemized this. Like the Kübler-Ross model, it has several stages.
A scandal breaks, and they ignore it. The establishment media don’t even cover it.
When they can no longer ignore it, they say it’s not really a scandal, it’s just something Republicans have cooked up. (Also known as the “Republicans pounce” phase.) To the extent the establishment media cover the story, it’s not to cover the scandal itself, but all that pouncing.
If enough details somehow dribble out to the public that the story can no longer be denied, they downplay it: it’s a minor thing, really, a stupid nothingburger that Republicans have blown up as part of their wicked politics of personal destruction. They attempt to persuade the public that the story itself hardly even matters: what matters is the Republicans’ disproportionate reaction to it. The establishment media will cover the story with explainers making heavy use of the word “actually” and will begin running stories about the flawed characters of the Republicans complaining about the scandal.
As more details emerge, as the scandal becomes harder and harder to sweep under the rug, they begin throwing out “stray voltage” (yes, it’s a phrase that’s used, they’ve actually developed a vocabulary for all this cynical deceit): they attempt to inject other stories into the news cycle to draw attention away from the original scandal. The establishment media play right along with this, giving smaller, less important stories more prominence than they deserve in an attempt to drive the scandal off the front page. This is also typically the point at which anyone trying to get to the bottom of the original scandal is dismissed by Democrats and the establishment media as a conspiracy theorist, a racist, a homophobe, a misogynist, an Islamophobe, a white supremacist, or literally Hitler. It’s also the point at which Big Tech generally steps in to begin censoring the story on social media, although that can happen earlier in the process if the stakes are high enough.
Finally, when enough time has passed or when it’s simply impossible not to acknowledge the truth of the story, they brush it off as old news. Why are you clinging to the past, hater? We have bigger problems we should be focused on in the here and now, stop trying to litigate the past! The Media and Big Tech will express surprise and disappointment that Republicans should dwell so obsessively on such old news: don’t they realize children are dying? (Or whatever?)
Those are the five stages of leftist crisis management.
I’m sure Republicans would follow the same template if conditions allowed it, but conditions do not allow it. It doesn’t work without the complicity of the establishment media, and the establishment media will never play along with Republicans.
At the end of the day, the willingness of so much of the American electorate to swallow and even defend a lie is nowhere near as corrosive to democracy as their willingness to shrug it off when the truth finally comes out.
“Oh well, water under the bridge, nothing we can do about it now.”
I know what you’re thinking: “That’s a little abstract for a Friday, Greg. How about you lighten the hell up?”
I wanted to. I’ve actually acquired a set of Fischer Price play figures whom I’ve recruited into “The Very Small Players.” They’ll be acting out some of the great questions of the day in a much lighter format than even the enchanting prose that both of my readers have become accustomed to. And because it’ll basically be in comic-strip format, maybe even the kids in the back row will be able to follow along.
So why not get The Very Small Players ready for their big debut instead of adapting Kübler-Ross to political crisis management?
It’s because the New York Times has at last acknowledged that the Hunter Biden laptop story of October 2020 was real. It was his laptop, the emails found on it were legitimate, and the photos and videos of Hunter Biden smoking crack and fucking prostitutes were in fact pictures and videos of Hunter Biden smoking crack and fucking prostitutes.
They knew all that when the story originally broke, of course, but the story happened to break a few weeks before an election that the New York Times was working hard to win for Joe Biden (who certainly had no hope of winning it on his own, which is why he spent most of the campaign in hiding). Denial and Deflection were enough to get their man across the finish line.
Rather than link to the Times article, I’ll share the New York Post’s coverage of the Times article: the Post, after all, having duly reported the actual facts of the story back when it came out, is obviously—is incontrovertibly—more credible.
So here’s the Post’s coverage of the Times’s coverage.
And in case you’re not clicking through, at least savor the opening line:
“Forgive the profanity, but you have got to be s**tting us.”
Their profanity should be forgiven—as should their obvious incredulity.
And everyone who sallied forth into the media and declared that the whole laptop “story” was Russian disinformation ought to pay a price for their willful deceit.
Knowing what you now know, have a look at this Politico article from October 19, 2020: “Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say.”
The article leans heavily on this public letter from a whole long list of “former intelligence officials” who must now and forever be referred to as “disgraced former intelligence officials.”
Here are the closing paragraphs of that public letter (italics in original):
Our view that the Russians are involved in the Hunter Biden email issue is consistent with two other significant data points as well. According to the Washington Post, citing four sources, “U.S. intelligence agencies warned the White House last year that Giuliani was the target of an influence operation by Russian intelligence.”
In addition, media reports say that the FBI has now opened an investigation into Russian involvement in this case. According to USA Today, “…federal authorities are investigating whether the material supplied to the New York Post by Rudy Giuliani…is part of a smoke bomb of disinformation pushed by Russia.”
We do not know whether these press reports are accurate, but they do suggest concern within Executive Branch departments and agencies that mirrors ours. It is high time that Russia stops interfering in our democracy.
Jim Clapper signed that letter. Mike Hayden signed it. So did John Brennan, Thomas Finger, and dozens of others.
If they were at all competent—and one does not, we hope, become a Director of National Intelligence, the CIA, or the NSA, or become the Secretary of Defense, without a certain level of competence—then they knew very well that they were engaged in a deliberate lie whose purpose was entirely political. They knew that their claim was complicating an already complicated relationship with Russia, these great American heroes, but clearly believed that wasn’t as important as getting their doddering old fart into the Oval Office.
Joe Biden himself, our current president, obviously knew the story was true, and he himself dismissed it during a presidential debate as “Russian disinformation.” Here’s an extract from the transcript:
BIDEN: Look, there are 50 former national intelligence folks who said that what this, he’s accusing me of is a Russian plan. They have said that this has all the characteristics—four—five former heads of the CIA, both parties, say what he’s saying is a bunch of garbage. Nobody believes it except him and his good friend Rudy Giuliani.
TRUMP: You mean, the laptop is now another Russia, Russia, Russia hoax? You gotta be–
BIDEN: That’s exactly what — That’s exactly what–
TRUMP: Is this where you’re going? This is where he’s going. The laptop is Russia, Russia, Russia?
WELKER: Gentleman, I want to stay on the issue of race, okay —
TRUMP: You have to be kidding. Here we go again with Russia. Boy oh boy.
Once again, in hindsight we can state with absolute metaphysical certitude (as the late, great John McLaughlin would say) that Trump was right and Biden was lying through his dentures.
And this is no small thing: the emails on that laptop, which had by then already been publicly verified by one of the men on the distribution list (who went so far as to make his own electronics available for forensic analysis to further verify his corroboration)—the emails, as I was saying, described an influence peddling scheme in which Hunter Biden would be keeping a 10% cut “for the big guy.” So this wasn’t just a treasure trove of Hunter Biden’s tawdry, drug-laced OnlyFans out-takes: this was the kind of stuff that certainly ought to have been investigated immediately and aggressively by the media. The election was mere weeks away: didn’t the American people deserve to know that Joe Biden may have illegally used his office and American foreign policy to enrich himself and his family?
I need to be told why Joe Biden shouldn’t be impeached right now.
He had a personal problem that could hurt his campaign, a real problem that he knew damn well was true, so he accused Russia of cooking up a plot against him. And really, why not? It worked for Hillary Clinton’s little email problem. And of course Ole Puddinhead knew his supporters and media would back him up—and they did.
They even went overboard: Twitter and Facebook, our great arbiters of Socratic truth, actually blocked the story from being shared. More than that: Twitter blocked the New York Post from use of their service for two weeks in the closing days of the election.
This is corruption on such a grand scale, illustrating such contempt for America by the very people assigned responsibility for its welfare, that it’s actually hard to accept. Which is why I have no doubt that many Americans will not accept it. By which I mean they’ll dismiss it.
“Because really, at this point, what difference does it make?”
All the difference in the world, you fucking idiots.
These aren’t innocuous little white lies that one side of a gentlemanly division between rival political factions turned to advantage against the other: this is a former vice president of the United States acting in concert with former directors of the nation’s intelligence apparatus to deliberately deceive the public, with the establishment media amplifying their lies while social media ensured that the truth was made inaccessible to the lazier sort of American that gets most of their information from social media and late night comedy shows (i.e., leftists).
Biden and company were engaged in what used to be called a “cover up,” except our media have become so corrupt that instead of uncovering anything they helped smother the truth.
Now, because this is a blog that’s mostly about everything Danish media get wrong about America, let’s get down to the serious business of how Danish media are covering this acknowledgment by the Times that, actually, the Hunter Biden laptop was genuine and all the claims made about it back in October 2020 were true… and exactly none of it was Russian disinformation.
First, let’s fire up the wayback machine and reacquaint ourselves with how they covered the story back when it broke: by ignoring the scandal itself and focusing instead on Republican reactions to it. We’ll save time and space (and hopefully your patience) by simply referring back to three posts written back then:
Danish Media Pounce (15 October 2020)
The Man Who Never Was (28 October 2020)
Gaslighting (31 October 2020)
Those three posts describe the ways in which Danish media, in their slavish devotion to the American left, concealed the actual story from the Danish public. Tons of links and citations galore from all the usual suspects.
So here’s their chance to step up and correct the record.
And as of 15:00 on Friday, March 18, there’s not a word about the story on any of the Danish media websites. Not that I can find, in any case.
The Times article was published Wednesday.
When the story of the laptop broke back in October 2020, Danish media bought the leftist line that it was Russian disinformation and wrote about the ways in which Republicans were trying to weaponize a dubious story against the charming and delightful Joe Biden, the accomplished adult who could tie his own shoes and sometimes even complete whole sentences. Why, those Republicans were basically serving as Russian proxies!
Now that it’s been revealed that the Danish media themselves were gullible dupes, or worse, and that powerful forces in America were engaged in a concerted cover-up of what appears to have been felonious criminal activity by Joe Biden, and what almost certainly was felonious behavior by his son, they’ve got nothing to say.
I’m sure their weekend editions will feature articles telling us how Republicans are pouncing…