Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Davos Man and Fake News

Marcy Wheeler has a good post rebutting DCI John Brennan's denial that the intelligence community was behind the leak of the "dirty dossier" on Trump. Brennan argues that the dossier was bouncing around in the press long before it was published; therefore, you cannot lay it at the IC's doorstep. But Wheeler points out that the dossier that was released included a report that postdates all the versions known to be circulating in the press. The idea that this is a domestic color revolution is the one that makes the most sense.

Wall Street lickspittle Andrew Ross Sorkin, in Davos for the World Economic Forum, has a piece worth reading. In "What to Make of the ‘Davos Class’ in the Trump Era" Sorkin outlines an emerging understanding among the elite that globalization has become very unpopular to the voting public.

Sorkin's story has a hopeful "and this too shall pass" aspect to it. Towards the end he mentions how reviled Davos was during the efflorescence of activism around the millennium:
This is not the first time that the World Economic Forum has come under fire from critics about its globalist, free-trade message. In 2000, a group of more than 1,000 demonstrators carrying signs that said “Against the New World Order” smashed the windows of a McDonald’s franchise here in Davos just down the road from the conference, protesting open trade policies espoused by then-President Bill Clinton, who was speaking at the event.
Marcy Wheeler in another post ties the sudden elite panic over Fake News to the inability to think beyond corporate globalization:
Finally, one reason there is such a panic about “fake news” is because the western ideology of neoliberalism has failed. It has led to increased authoritarianism, decreased qualify of life in developed countries (but not parts of Africa and other developing nations), and it has led to serial destabilizing wars along with the refugee crises that further destabilize Europe. It has failed in the same way that communism failed before it, but the elites backing it haven’t figured this out yet. I’ll write more on this (Ian Welsh has been doing good work here). All details of the media environment aside, this has disrupted the value-laden system in which “truth” exists, creating a great deal of panic and confusion among the elite that expects itself to lead the way out of this morass. Part of what we’re seeing in “fake news” panic stems from that, as well as a continued disinterest in accountability for the underlying policies — the Iraq War and the Wall Street crash and aftermath especially — enabled by failures in our elite media environment. But our media environment is likely to be contested until such time as a viable ideology forms to replace failed neoliberalism. Sadly, that ideology will be Trumpism unless the elite starts making the world a better place for average folks. Instead, the elite is policing discourse-making by claiming other things — the bad true and false narratives it, itself, doesn’t propagate — as illegitimate.


  1. http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/ukraine-sabotage-trump-backfire-233446

  2. Thanks for the link, Bob. I saw the Politico story last week but didn't get a chance to read it or bookmark it.