A Chilling Theory on Trump’s Nonstop Lies

The “Firehose of Falsehood is ” a contemporary form of Russian propaganda which 45* uses to effect.

image sources: 45*, firehose blastwords

In 2016, the nonpartisan research organization RAND released a study of messaging techniques seen in Kremlin-controlled media. The researchers described two key features: “high numbers of channels and messages” and “a shameless willingness to disseminate partial truths or outright fictions.”

The result of those tactics? “New Russian propaganda entertains, confuses and overwhelms the audience.”

Indeed, Trump’s style as a mendacious media phenomenon resonates strongly with RAND’s findings from the study...

The deluge matters, notes RAND: “The experimental psychology literature suggests that, all other things being equal, messages received in greater volume and from more sources will be more persuasive.”

RAND: “Russian propaganda is rapid, continuous, and repetitive”

RAND: “Russian propaganda makes no commitment to objective reality”

Phony news stories are a staple of Vladimir Putin’s Russia—and ... Trump and his team have been caught repeating several that originated in Russian news outlets.

Trump also has a habit of repeating false statements that can be very easily checked—...

RAND notes that this propaganda strategy flies in the face of conventional wisdom that “the truth always wins.”

RAND: “Russian propaganda is not committed to consistency”

Trump’s story often changes, even among his own false statements.

RAND: “Don’t expect to counter the firehose of falsehood with the squirt gun of truth.”

... the RAND research found that pointing out specific falsehoods was an ineffective tool against the propaganda techniques they studied in Russia because “people will have trouble recalling which information they have received is the disinformation and which is the truth.” The researchers acknowledged the challenges that other governments and organizations like NATO have in countering Russian propaganda, and advised against taking on the propaganda messages directly.

The researchers advise ... exposing the method: “Highlight the ways propagandists attempt to manipulate audiences,” they say, “rather than fighting the specific manipulations.” [emphasis mine]

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Replies to This Discussion

The truth be told, Trump lies!  “Firehose of Falsehoods" is enough to confuse any voter, unless that voter pays attention and compares the falsehood with what is real. Many people don't care what is real. 

"By God, whites are superior to blacks!

"We all know, men are masters of their homes and wives and children are to yield, pray, turn the other cheek, submit, and acquiesce."

"Humans are superior to animals, nature, and the Earth"

"Man is created to have dominion over all that swims, crawls, and flies."

"The task of man is to subdue nature."

"E]xposing the method: “Highlight the ways propagandists attempt to manipulate audiences,”

RAND: "Don’t expect to counter the firehose of falsehood with the squirt gun of truth.”

The firehose of falsehood has funding. The carbon industries (coal, oil, etc) are funded by non-consenting customers. The construction industries (highways dams, wars, the Big Bang, etc) are funded by non-consenting taxpayers.

The various squirt guns of truth have to win allies.

During the early 1970s, the US Bureau of Reclamation used a well-funded firehose to support its efforts to build the Central Arizona Project, a series of canals and dams that would bring Colorado River water to the Phoenix-Tucson corridor. I was one of the environmentalists who had only a squirt gun but we had powerful allies: the Fort MacDowell Indians. One of our allies, the investigative reporter Don Bolles, lost his life to a car bomb. Wikipedia tells his story; the folks wielding the firehose tried to blame the Mafia.

Nice metaphor.

I remember that struggle and the death of Don Bolles,

First: >The firehose of falsehood has funding.

Points for fabulous alliteration. And when you consider content, it's a motto for the ages. Well played, sir.

Second >"Don’t expect to counter the firehose of falsehood with the squirt gun of truth.”

They're cutting off the water supply to our squirtguns as we speak/type.

If I were of a pessimistic bent, I might suggest something like we are so fucked.

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