The first example is a column by Bill Gertz of The Washington Times, Warfare goes digital in the 21st century. The primary subject of the column is information warfare. What is Gertz’s complaint?
American adversaries have found asymmetric ways to attack and are waging sophisticated information warfare operations — both technical cyber-attacks and soft power influence and disinformation campaigns designed to achieve strategic objectives.
The U.S. government remains completely ignorant of the threat and lacks ways to deal with this new form of warfare. The Cold War-era U.S. Information Agency (USIA), the last semi-autonomous agency used for promoting America was disbanded in 1999. Its functions were folded into the State Department and the result has been diplomacy-impaired information programs. (from here)
That sounds innocuous, but what is odd is that Gertz’s column also included this observation by Matthew Armstrong, a former official involved in government radio broadcasting and associate fellow in King’s College Center for Strategic Communications.
Mr. Armstrong said he was told by a Russian information official that state-run RT broadcasts would have no audience in the United States “if the American media was doing their jobs.”
The failure of America’s news media in this sphere stems of the Balkanization of news outlets. Coverage by mainstream press outlets today is biased by three central liberal narratives of gender identity, racial issues and climate change, while the conservative media outlets are heavily weighted toward opinion and lack a needed hard news focus. (from here)
The news media is not doing its job? The news media is too biased to do its job? What happened to journalistic objectivity?
The second example is about a civil war.
- Republicans are upset about Susan Rice’s unmasking of Trump’s campaign and transition officials in intelligence reports. See FOX’s reports: Susan Rice denies leaking Trump associate intel, defends unmasking requests and Susan Rice requested to unmask names of Trump transition officials, sources say.
- Democrats are endlessly investigating the supposed collusion between the Russian and the Trump. That long-running story like this on CNN: Cillizza: There’s a lot of smoke around Donald Trump’s associates and Russia and House Russia investigators briefed on Nunes findings, White House trip possible.
The recent revelation about Susan Rice seems to be causing the war to swing Trump’s way. That is what this report, Tucker vs Dem who called him Trump ‘smokescreen salesman’, considers. Here we see much of the news media has definite conclusions about the Susan Rice story: Steyn: Media annoyed someone has outfaked their fake news.
So what are we to make of all this? How are these news items related? Gertz’s column points out that the news media is failing to do its job in a very fundamental way. Instead of getting the true story out, the news media is leaving a vacuum that foreign propagandists have filled. What is the news media doing? Lately the talking heads have argued over two distinctly horrific possibilities.
- Did the Donald Trump betray America by colluding with a foreign power to steal a win in our last presidential election?
- Did the Obama administration abuse America’s national intelligence systems by conducting “opposition research” on the Trump campaign and transition team?
Stories like this have not filled the airwaves for decades, but such has been more common in recent years, and the seriousness of the charges keep getting worse. Yet there is almost never any resolution. Apparently, the primary concern of our leaders is spending our money, not honest government.
What does Gertz propose in his column? Is it a fix for America’s news media? No.
The Trump administration urgently needs to recreate a new USIA for the digital age, something I call “Information America.”
This new institution can be established as a government entity similar to the USIA, or a nongovernmental organization funded by philanthropists. A third option would be set up Information America as hybrid government/private-sector organization.
Its mission should be to use truth and facts to counter lies and disinformation. Information America also must begin anew to promote fundamental American ideals and values. (from here)
Good idea? Maybe, but what about the America’s news media? Isn’t there some way we can get the press do its job instead of warring with words, effectively acting as rabid advocates for our two national political parties? I think so. We need to get our government out of the education business. We need to reduce the scope of the Federal Government’s responsibilities so that it is primarily focused national defense.
What is happening is Washington DC looks more and more like war because it is. Listen to different news media sources, and pretty soon it will become apparent the Democrats want Trump gone yesterday. Is he guilty of something?
Listen to different news media sources, and pretty soon it will become apparent that somebody was spying on Trump’s campaign and transition officials. Was that legal?
Unless we the people of America are properly educated, few of us will be able to appropriately review the facts and answer such questions. Instead we will be propagandized. Unless we the people of America are properly educated, we will not understand how our government is supposed to work, and we will not fulfill our role as good citizens. Instead of electing officials who serve us, we will elect officials who will eventually demand that we serve them.
What the increasing acrimony in Washington DC indicates is that the crisis is coming to a head. When the crisis does come to a head, it is going to be ugly. Because the prize is huge, people will fight over it and not just with words.
If we want our children to be properly educated, we have to get our government out the business and take responsibility ourselves. If we want to understand how our government is supposed to work, we have to ignore news media propagandists and look up what the founders of our country had to say about it. We have to throw out the bums who just think their job is to spend as much of our money as they can.