People Underestimate The US Propaganda Machine

People Underestimate The US Propaganda Machine. By Caitlin Johnstone.

If you use Twitter and engage with the subject of the war in Ukraine, you’ve probably noticed a verified account called The Kyiv Independent pop up while you’re scrolling through your feed which puts out highly biased content in favor of the Zelensky regime and the western powers which support it.

If you’re using a desktop browser, it will usually look like this:

Do you see the gray text in the top left-hand corner of the image which says “War in Ukraine”? That’s a Twitter “Topic” that the page’s algorithm has recommended to me without my having subscribed to it, where posts from The Kyiv Independent feature prominently. This Topic is being aggressively pushed on Twitter users around the world, showing up over and over again in their feed until they adjust their settings to remove it. …

So who is Kyiv Independent? Almost certainly not from Kyiv and not “independent.”

The Kyiv “Independent” was slapped together a few months ago with what the Committee to Protect Journalists called “an emergency grant from the European Endowment for Democracy.”

The European Endowment for Democracy is a spinoff of the US government-funded “NGO” National Endowment for Democracy, which according to its own co-founder was set up to do overtly what the CIA used to do covertly, namely orchestrate coups and manage narratives to advance US interests. …

So this is a media outlet funded by a government-run “NGO” being forcefully pushed in front of millions of western eyeballs by a major Silicon Valley corporation that people have come to rely on for getting information about the world. In the same way Silicon Valley facilitates government censorship by proxy, it also facilitates government propaganda by proxy. …

The outlet is being so loudly amplified by Twitter that not only has its Twitter account secured nearly two million followers since its creation in November, but one of its reporters… has gained a million followers since the start of the Russian invasion.

And that’s just one tiny part of the mosaic around you:

Do you see how sophisticated just that one tiny component of the US-centralized empire‘s propaganda campaign is? How many seemingly disparate and unrelated elements it has? Multiple countries, NGOs, an ostensibly independent social media platform, an ostensibly independent news outlet. It’s very difficult to see how any of it connects at all if you don’t know where to look. And almost nobody knows where to look.

This highly advanced perception management operation is happening all around the world about any issue the empire has a vested interest in. As anti-imperialist author and podcaster Justin Podur recently put it, “The US Empire is based on the mastery of storytelling. Making reality through propaganda.

Truly, one of the most under-appreciated and overwhelmingly powerful forces on this earth is the US imperial propaganda machine. The ability to manipulate public thought, not just within the United States but across vast swaths of nations, has allowed it to manufacture international consensus for whatever agendas it wishes to advance in a way that eclipses the collective organizing power of official international bodies like the United Nations. …

So subtle and sophisticated that even relatively intelligent and well-informed people fail to see the strings that are pulling at their minds, but so powerful it shapes the world. …

Oh the hypocrisy:

What’s funny about this mad push to censor speech in the name of fighting “Russian propaganda” is that the people who are pushing it are indirectly admitting to a very important truth that they normally try not to draw too much attention to: the fact that it’s very possible to use media to manipulate the way people think, act, and vote at mass scale. The part that they don’t admit is that they themselves are far and away the very worst offenders in that area.

The status quo worldview requires two entirely contradictory positions to be held simultaneously: that Russian propaganda has a corrupting influence on public thought, but that orders of magnitude more wealthy and powerful oligarchic media institutions do not.

Remember all the fuss about Russians meddling in the 2016 US election, because they were found to have spent $100k on Facebook advertising? Hillary Clinton spent over $1 billion on advertising.