“Russia hasn’t just hacked our computer systems. It’s hacked our minds,” the Washington Post columnist and CNN host argued on Friday, blithely unaware of the irony. For if the article is a reflection of Zakaria’s mind, then it definitely has been hacked – by Russiagate, anyway.
The piece isn’t really about the SolarWinds hack, which Zakaria himself notes was merely “widely attributed to Russia” – by the media, starting with the Post, rather than the US government – but treats that as an established fact anyway. Rather, he uses that to quickly pivot to a “model” of how Russian propaganda supposedly works, which then finally leads into his real point: Orange Man Bad.
“Wittingly or unwittingly, Trump uses the Russian model, which rests on the principle that people get convinced when they hear the same message many times from a variety of sources, no matter how biased,” says Zakaria.
That this sentence can appear in an article relying on the premise of a ‘Russian hack’ established precisely through such behavior by the US mainstream media has to be peak irony of 2020.
“If you make a claim that is truly outrageous, it will attract attention and eyeballs, spread far and wide, and ensure that people hear it repeatedly — and over time begin to believe it,” he continues, in what sounds more like an admission than an accusation, given Zakaria’s record as a conspiracy theorist pushing ‘Trump-Russia collusion’ narratives for years.
Zakaria does get one thing right, noting that “socially isolated, cut off from most communities, Americans seem even more susceptible to theories that confirm their partisan beliefs.” Before one can start reflecting that hey, maybe the mainstream media are exploiting this, he uses this as the springboard to denounce some 60 million Americans who believe Trump’s “assertions and the series of lies that sustain them.”
Because you’re supposed to believe only the assertions (and sustaining lies) coming from Zakaria and his colleagues in the mainstream media-political complex, obviously. And if you don’t, that means Russia hacked your mind. Perfectly normal thinking, there.
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