December 31, 2022
Common Sense: Laundering Lies
By: Brent Regan
It used to be a joke, but now you can seriously consider that if you assume everything you hear or see on the news is a lie you will be closer to the truth then if you assume everything on the news is true.
The reason is simple. There are no consequences for those in the media when they lie to us. There are financial consequences if they fail to get the public’s attention.
This results in continuous pressure driving media outlets to report evermore shocking and scandalous stories even if the truth must be sacrificed for the sake of eyeballs and clicks.
When propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels said that if you repeat a lie often enough it becomes the truth, he likely did not appreciate the degree to which this would become the norm.
In practice the process has been refined from one of simple repetition to a well-worn procedure for laundering lies into the truth.
From the Russia collusion to Trump inviting Nick Fuentes to dinner. From the Steele dossier hooker story to border patrol agents whipping illegal border crossers. From “drinking bleach” to Hunter Biden’s laptop is Russian disinformation … and more. The sheer volume of lead stories that are false makes you wonder if any report is true.
These are not harmless, inconsequential lies. As Joe Biden has stated on several occasions the false narrative Charlottesville “fine people” hoax was the reason for his decision to enter into the race for president. He even falsely claimed that President Donald Trump has “yet once to condemn white supremacy, the neo-Nazis.”
So how does this happen? How do lies become accepted as truth? How does the washing machine work?
Confirmation bias is one part. Nearly everyone will believe a lie that comports with their existing beliefs before they will accept a truth that runs counter to their views. It has happened to all of us.
We hear a news flash that confirms a long held suspicion and instantly accept it as true. Sometimes we even share it with friends and associates only to be embarrassed when it is revealed that the story was false.
A lie can gain credibility if you hear it from a trusted source. If a friend, family member or news source that you believe is reliable tells you something, you will tend to accept it without further investigation, or even critical analysis.
Since almost everyone is a trusted source to someone else, a lie can spread like a virus.
Context also plays a part. The lie itself is typically designed to address a specific issue or fear so that it is readily accepted and passed on. When you hear something that you want to be true it increases your tendency to believe it is true.
The process of laundering starts with a source who first utters the lie. Listeners will either identify the lie as a lie or will accept it as truth. If more than one person accepts the lie as truth and then repeats it, the lie multiplies.
This exposes more people to the lie and a fraction of them will accept it as truth. This chain reaction effect continues with each step laundering the lie and enrolling more believers. Once the believers reach a quorum, the lie becomes “fact.”
This process has been repeated so many times that not only can we recognize the pattern, we can identify the players.
The first step is to have the lie announced by an “official” source. When the Democrats want to tell a whopper they trot out one of their designated liars; Adam Schiff for Congress, Richard Blumenthal for the Senate, and John Brennan for the intelligence community.
All three have a history of lying and getting away with it so they are the perfect sources of mendacity.
Schiff famously invented a transcript of a phone call between President Trump and President Zelenskyy.
Blumenthal fabricated elements of his military service (stolen valor).
Brennan is wrapped around the axle of both Russiagate and the Biden laptop suppression.
If any of these three characters walks up to a microphone you know prevarication follows.
Why? Because if it was newsworthy and true, leadership would be front and center. You would see Pelosi or Schumer, not Schiff.
Once the fabrication is uttered by one of the designated liars then some fraction of the media will dutifully run with the story. Others will then run stories about the stories run by others. A tabloid like the Huffington Post will “break” the story and then the AP will report on the HuffPo story.
Soon you will be seeing it on CNN or MSNBC.
The lie becomes credible not because it is true but because so many are repeating it.
Now that you know what to look for you can’t help but see it when it happens.
It’s just common sense.