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Russia or FOX News? U.S. Intelligence Warns of Disinformation About Coronavirus

The American people have been struggling with the stress and uncertainty of a growing pandemic unlike anything we have seen before. The hardship that this is causing for many people is difficult enough without Donald Trump and his propaganda mouthpiece, Fox News, spreading lies faster than the coronavirus spreads itself.

However, the Trump regime is not the only source of lies about COVID-19. The Associated Press is reporting that foreign entities are engaged in a disinformation campaign aimed at spreading fear and confusion in the United States. According to the AP…

“The Trump administration is alleging that a foreign disinformation campaign is underway aimed at spreading fear in the country amid the coronavirus pandemic, three U.S. officials said Monday.

“On Sunday, federal officials began confronting what they said was a deliberate effort by a foreign entity to sow fears of a nationwide quarantine amid the virus outbreak. Agencies took coordinated action Sunday evening to deny that any such plans were put in place, as they tried to calm a nation already on edge by disruptions to daily life caused by the virus.”

For the most part the perpetrators are running a rumor mill to deceive people into believing that the U.S. is on the verge of a national lockdown and/or martial law. They are exploiting the very real concerns that people already have and blowing them up into the most extreme proportions.

What’s interesting about this is that Trump has accepted the analysis by these agencies and is using it to shape the government response. So Trump is taking a distinctly different approach than he did when U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Russia had used identical tactics to interfere with the 2016 presidential election in a way that helped him and hurt his opponent, Hillary Clinton. All of sudden they are no longer “Deep State” operatives intent on undermining his presidency. The AP also reported that…

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“Intelligence officials have warned for years that Russia has been engaging in covert social media campaigns using fictional persona, bots, social media postings and disinformation aimed at dividing American public opinion and sowing discord in the electorate.”

So the tactics and objectives of these foreign entities haven’t changed. They are continuing to interfere with American social and political life. This was disclosed earlier this year when Bernie Sanders was advised that Russia was trying to create discord by boosting his Democratic primary campaign. That effort was inadvertently (or perhaps not) advanced by Trump himself.

The revelation that this sort of disinformation has been circulating isn’t all that surprising. Anyone paying attention would be aware of these activities. The question is who is the source of the disinformation. The AP reporting didn’t identify their sources. So it could be Russia or China or Iran or some other foreign adversary. But it could also be Fox News. Because Fox has been at least as busy cooking up disinformation about the coronavirus as any of our international foes. Media Matters has documented a great deal of it:

“In the weeks leading up to President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency over the novel coronavirus pandemic, some of Fox News’ most frequent medical contributors and commentators have been spreading misinformation, pushing Trump’s bogus talking points, and blindly praising Trump’s botched response to the outbreak.”

The sad part of this is that it is so difficult to distinguish between the treachery of Russia and that of Fox News. And of course, the treachery of Fox News cannot be untethered from that of Donald Trump. Consequently, people need to be especially vigilant to avoid being taken in by propaganda and disinformation intended to create chaos and division.

There are those who will try to convince you that this virus is evidence that the world is coming to an end. Likewise, there are those who will try to persuade you to hate Joe Biden if you are are Sanders supporter, and vice versa. Don’t fall for it. There is a lot more peril out there these days than just a virus.

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Fox Nation vs. Reality:
The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.