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The Storm Before the Storm: Bracing for a Tsunami of Election Misinformation

EDITOR'S NOTES

As we gear up for the 2024 election, get ready for a massive wave of fake news unlike anything before. The so-called guardians of truth in the media have turned into the biggest fabricators of all, picking and choosing what suits their agenda and ignoring the rest. It’s more than sidelining certain voices; it’s a full-on war against the truth. We’re seeing a deliberate push to shape narratives, a move that’s eroding trust and dividing us more than ever. The days of taking news at face value are long gone. Now, we’re entering a time where every piece of information is a potential landmine of bias. Overall, it’s a threat to our democracy itself. Get ready to question everything you hear and see.

The jig is up, as the bad guys used to say in the movies.

When Rachel Maddow told her MSNBC audience on the night of the Iowa Republican caucuses that she would not be showing the victory speech by decisive winner Donald Trump, I started writing this column in my head.

What arrogance, I thought. Whether MSNBC likes Trump or not, if they claim to be journalists, they can’t refuse to air obviously newsworthy events merely because it makes them unhappy. That’s not how actual journalists even think. But of course, that’s exactly what they have been doing for two decades, and CNN right alongside them. They have been the self-appointed “Gatekeepers” of news and information for their millions of viewers.

Maddow claimed that her network’s decision was not out of spite, but instead was the network not wanting to be broadcasting “untrue things” that Trump might say (and remember, he hadn’t said anything yet). But the Gatekeepers are only concerned about protecting the public from certain kinds of viewpoints. You know, the views of Republicans. They freely allow misstatements by Democrats to go unchallenged.

One blatant example occurred on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Jan. 21 when Democratic Rep. Veronica Escobar of Texas said in 2020, “You had the president telling the country to inject itself with bleach to fight COVID.” Wrong! Absurd and defamatory! But the Gatekeepers allowed it to air unchallenged.

On the same program, host Dana Bash twice ruled Trump’s questioning of Nikki Haley’s constitutional eligibility to run for president to be out of bounds.

“He suggested she is ineligible to be president, even though she is. She was born in your home state of South Carolina,” she told Sen. Tim Scott, but neglected to mention that both of Haley’s immigrant parents were not citizens yet.

That “suggests” that Bash doesn’t know the difference between “native born” and “natural born,” – or that Constitutional scholars debate as to why that might (or might not) be significant – and isn’t interested in learning about it. If the Framers had wanted to say that the president must be born in the United States, they could have done so by saying it directly. Instead, they said only a “natural born” citizen was eligible to be president. A few minutes’ research on the Internet will confirm that the phrase “natural born” carried a very distinct meaning when the Constitution was written – namely, someone who was born within a nation after their parents were already citizens. No court has ever resolved the meaning of the phrase as used in the Constitution, but CNN doesn’t want you to know about this debate when it can instead simply dismiss Trump as a racist or a xenophobe.

Likewise, that same morning, Kristen Welker on “Meet the Press” said Trump is “spreading false birther conspiracy theories about whether she’s eligible to run, and of course she is.” The AP put out a fact check that said Haley is a natural born citizen because she is a natural born citizen. No, literally. But what none of those reports by the Gatekeepers did was actually look at the Constitution or the arguments made about why Haley is not a “natural born citizen.”

This is all based on the Fake News template that turned Trump into a criminal because he dared to question the election results in 2020. It didn’t matter how much evidence there was of election interference and unconstitutional changes in election rules in individual states. The Gatekeepers just declared claims of election fraud “the Big Lie” and almost proudly vowed never to look at the evidence. By shaming Trump and millions of others for questioning the election, they actually made it more likely that cheating will happen in future elections. After all, election challenges are now “anti-democracy” scams.

When Fox News settled a lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems for three-quarters of a billion dollars, the other major media scolded Fox for having dared to question Dominion's legitimacy and ran the story for days as a warning to others, “Stay behind the gate! Electronic voting is inviolate – because we say so.”

And the Gatekeepers are still trying desperately to hold on to power. That’s why virtually no one in the mainstream media reported on the lawsuit in Georgia where a professor of computer science was able to change the vote tally on a Dominion voting machine with the use of a simple household pen. If the Georgia secretary of state loses that lawsuit, then no one should be able to utter the phrase the Big Lie again unless they are referring to the assurances of the mainstream media that the 2020 election was the most secure in history.

Of course, the thorough trouncing of Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley by former President Trump indicates that a large swath of Americans have already turned their back on the Gatekeepers. They gravitate toward Trump specifically because he rejects the Gatekeepers – and the Gatekeepers have noticed. There is even evidence that they know they have gone too far – that you can’t label half the population of the country as an anti-democracy, pro-authoritarian cult without eventually facing a backlash.

Thus at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the unofficial capital of the global elites, there was a warning shot fired against the Gatekeepers by one of their own. Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, told CNBC that Democrats and President Joe Biden ought to be “more respectful” of Trump supporters (otherwise known as MAGA voters because of Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again”).

“I wish the Democrats would think a little more carefully when they talk about MAGA. … I think this negative talk about MAGA is going to hurt Biden’s election campaign,” Dimon told the progressive swells in Davos.

Dimon did what most of the Gatekeepers refuse to do. He gave the MAGA voters credit for understanding policies and voting for Trump because they agree with his results, not because they are members of a cult.

“Take a step back, be honest. He was kind of right about NATO, kind of right on immigration. He grew the economy quite well. Trade tax reform worked. He was right about some of China,” Dimon said. “He wasn’t wrong about some of these critical issues, and that’s why they voted for him.”

Hallelujah, but don’t expect either Biden or his allies in the media to take a step back and reassess their hostile, insulting approach to Trump voters. The Gatekeepers see everyone who voted for Trump as the barbarians at the gate, and they will do anything to crush them.

You don’t have to take my word for it. Just turn on “Morning Joe” any weekday from 6 to 10 a.m. Eastern Time and watch Joe Scarborough distort reality in a rear-guard action to protect the nation from a second Trump presidency. According to Scarborough, Trump desperately wants the economy to crash. According to Scarborough, Trump wants the border to stay open because it’s good politics. According to Scarborough, Trump wants to shoot his enemies on the street. And just in case you thought Joe might be making all this up, there is a panel of like-thinking leftists on the MSNBC set nodding their heads in unison and assuring Joe he’s quite the savant.

But he isn’t. He is a Deep State apparatchik who is the poster boy for the Gatekeepers. He will say anything to protect the nation from Donald Trump because he knows that Trump speaks for millions of people who are sick and tired of being told that their values, their principles, their patriotism are a danger to the country. Yes, Scarborough goes after Trump directly, but he also attacks Trump voters, as he did on Jan. 25. “If you take a step back, just looking at this politically, I just am baffled by just how stupid – baffled, baffled every day by how stupid Republicans are,” Scarborough said.

This “say-anything, fact-check-nothing” approach to bashing Trump may be the Gatekeepers’ worst nightmare as the 2024 election approaches. Because it will inflame the MAGA base to rise up and vote in record numbers to protect Trump from the attacks against him. The latest fake report is that Trump is trying to stop the toughest border security bill in history, but what “Morning Joe” and the Democrats won’t tell you is that there is no bill. The text of the supposed bill was never released during this tumult of criticism. We were just supposed to believe the Gatekeepers and shut up about it.

In conclusion, let’s turn again to Davos, where Emma Tucker, editor in chief of the Wall Street Journal, told a panel at the World Economic Forum that the people are too sophisticated in the 21st century to just accept at face value hollow accusations such as those tossed around by Scarborough.

“If you go back really not that long ago, as I say, we owned the news. We were the gatekeepers, and we very much owned the facts as well,” Tucker said. “If it said it in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, then that was a fact. Nowadays, people can go to all sorts of different sources for the news, and they’re much more questioning about what we’re saying.”

That, of course, is a good thing. It’s too bad the global elites and their Gatekeepers don’t understand that.

This article originally appeared on the Real Clear Wire

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