As dozens of people are dying in New York every hour of Covid-19, and the portable refrigerated morgues are outnumbering the ambulances parked outside metropolitan hospitals, and the whole nation is in various stages of misery and panic caused in large part by our government's criminal failure to heed warnings and to make the most basic preparations, the New York Times today sounds the warning that it's still those damned Russians who are sowing the political discord and the social strife!
Ahead of November’s election, American intelligence officials and others are on high alert for mischief from Russia’s Internet Research Agency.Just because government prosecutors just dropped the criminal case against the Russian troll farm doesn't mean that the RIRA isn't still a clear and present danger. Normal people might have characterized their campaign as a few hundred cheesy, cartoonish Facebook ads. Yet, in the midst of the worst human catastrophe of modern times, a virus spreading death and pain and grief and financial ruin all over the world, the New York Times today bemoans the "incendiary spreading" of Facebook messages which stoke discord on race issues. These kinds of ads, we are supposed to believe, helped to hand the 2016 election to Donald Trump.
In other news, the Paper of Record did not even bother to report on Saturday night's race-based rioting in the streets of Newburgh, a poor city located only about one hour north of its vast newsroom. Crowds took to the streets when a city councilman wrote an incendiary Facebook post claiming that police had fatally shot an unarmed black man. (Body cam footage later showed the man firing a gun at cops who had approached him with an arrest warrant for illegal gun possession.) Irate citizens rapidly emerged from Lockdown. Rocks and bottles were thrown and fires set in the street. One police officer was shot and wounded.
Hundreds of cops from miles around duly converged on the scene. There was not one face mask or canister of hand sanitizer among them, given that the ridiculously praised Governor Andrew Cuomo has not supplied them to law enforcement agencies. Cuomo is simultaneously refusing to back down from his nefariously neoliberal plan of cutting the state Medicaid funds - which most residents of this historically impoverished city rely upon for their health care. He is forging right ahead with his campaign of austerity, notwithstanding the congressional bailout package offering billions of dollars to shore up New York's Medicaid budget.
Social distancing? What social distancing? The day after:
Information on Newburgh's civil unrest has been hard to come by even in local media, given that there is very little local media left. The lack of advertising revenue engendered by the pandemic is rapidly shuttering even the skeleton crewed newspapers and news sites that still exist in small towns and big cities all over the country.
The lack of coverage of what in normal times would be considered news in the public interest speaks to the dangers of ultra-consolidated media. Journalism in the control of only a few corporate hands serves both to suppress reality and to disseminate whatever skewed version of reality the oligarchs and their corrupt politicians want us to consume.
Therefore, the ever more powerful New York Times shields us from the crimes of the oligarchy by spreading the manufactured news that the Internet Research Agency has evolved beyond Amateur Hour - progressing from telltale grammar, syntax and spelling errors to nefariously cutting and pasting "chunks of text" from other sources, like Wikipedia, in order to avoid detection.
The Russian trolls, the Times warns even as the corpses pile up right outside its own windows, also are also shockingly republishing Facebook and Twitter screenshots of posts created by "real Americans." Be afraid, be very afraid.
So in order to make Real America great again, plague or no plague, the Intelligence Community and its various Wall Street and weapons industry-financed think tanks and media outlets are warning the quarantined, the sick, the grieving and the newly unemployed that the Russian trolls' latest sneaky tactic has been to deliberately set up new social media accounts with fewer followers. What you cannot see is even more dangerous than what is right in front of your lying eyes! Russian invisibility is even more incendiary than the actual fires being set by the increasingly desperate people in your own town or city.
These propagandists are the same Cold War 2.0 troops who were caught with their pants down when the Coronavirus hit. Of course, as the pandemic was spreading from China to the rest of the world, the Real American Cold Warriors and their corporate media lackeys were too busy impeaching Trump on the Ukraine bribery scandal, aka Son of Russiagate. That is, when they weren't too busy cashing in on the coming plague and dumping their stocks without informing the public of what was about to hit us.
Donald Trump is far from being the only pathocratic clown in these United States of Kakistocracy.