The “Firehose of Falsehood” is a Russian propaganda technique documented by a study from the Rand Corporation. It is a formidable technique and hard to counter and deal with. And it has been fully adopted by the Republican Party and its supporters, donors and sycophants.
If you still have a Twitter account these days you may note an interesting change on the timeline presentation. There are two headings, “For You” and “Following.” The latter is pretty obvious, tweets from accounts you follow. The former is chock-a-block full of propaganda posts from FOX News, OANN, Newsmax, etc., featuring various Republican personalities and talking heads spouting coordinated and choreographed accusations about everything Republicans don’t like—which is a lot.
Twitter’s feed—since it has been reworked by fascism’s new hero, Elon Musk—now includes gems like Rep. James Comer (R-KY) accusing President Biden of taking bribes with claims of evidence which of course never materializes. Then there are continual depictions of Biden’s “Open Border” policies and how we are being invaded and overrun every moment of the day. More screams about tons of “evidence” of the Biden “crime family.” It goes on and on.
The volume is massive. And it is all fake, which is ironic since it comes from the people who scream “fake news” at the drop of a hat when a Republican is indicted for a crime—or 38 of them.
Compounding this are the ongoing attacks by Republicans against anyone who seeks to document their disinformation for what it is.
Thus we have the curious situation of Republicans using Russian propaganda methods, and then trying to crush those who call out their false statements.
The use of the Russian pattern isn’t all that surprising since it is a technique that is difficult to counter—intentionally. But then turning back the clock to a McCarthyish treatment of critics is also unsurprising, because since when does any liar appreciate being exposed as one.
The fly in the ointment for Jim Jordan, James Cover, Ted Cruz and other Russian (oops, I mean Republican) propagandists is this pesky thing called the First Amendment. These guys love to claim that it means that anyone calling out their lies is a censor. But in fact it protects those of us who have a right and responsibility to document them as the liars they are.
In reality, these people hate the First Amendment’s protections of speech, the press and religion. Rest assured that if we allow the acquisition of the full power that Republicans are lusting for, those protections will quickly disappear. We will see increased suppression speech and the press. And the only religion that would be allowed in the United States would be a Christo Taliban perversion being practiced by “pastors” calling for the execution of LBGTQ and the like.
As stated, the Firehose of Falsehood is difficult to counter, but not impossible. There are things we can do. Speak out. Document. Counter. Don’t accept the depiction of reality presented by these frankly psychotic people as your reality. These people want us to be apathetic, to assume they have already won—don’t for one second give them that satisfaction.
What people like Boebert, Cruz, Trump, Giuliani, Bannon, Hannity, Ingraham, Murdoch and others fail to realize is that they are just a tiny minority. And they are terrified of the vast majority of sane, rational people who not only don’t believe them, but then turn around and make fun of them. What is a fate even worse than death to these people? Being laughed at.
So by all means, laugh at them. Rest assured they are tiny-minded creatures, no matter how they see themselves. And their only power is in upsetting others. So one of the best invalidations of fascist assumptions of power is laughter.
Bury them with it.
Marty Kassowitz is co-founder of Factkeepers. As founder of Interest Factory and View360, he brings more than 30 years experience in effective online communications, social media management, and platform development to the site. He is a writer, designer, editor and long time observer of the ill-logic demonstrated by too many members of the species known as Mankind. After a long history of somewhat private commentary on a subject he totally hates: politics, Marty was encouraged to build this site and put up his own analyses as well as curate relevant content from other sources.