WAPO: "The coming disinformation tsunami"

Last half of article reveals what WAPO and other news outlet are gonna be pushing during 2020: that 'muh Russia' is true and conservatives are feeding people disinformation. Q is part of the disinfo.

1-2-2020, by Greg Sargent

Let’s review. Since 2016, the special counsel’s investigation and two Senate Intelligence Committee reports have spelled out in great detail that Russian disinformation warfare against the 2016 election was extraordinarily concerted, insidious, broad in scope and deliberately crafted to divide the country along racial and social lines. Numerous top intelligence officials have warned that Russia and other outside actors will strike again.

The entire Ukraine scandal, for which Trump has been impeached, is largely about disinformation. Trump extorted Ukraine to get it to announce public statements that would smear Biden with disinformation and help validate conspiracy theories that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in 2016.

In effect, Trump was trying to pressure a foreign power to help manufacture more disinformation to help mislead U.S. voters about a domestic political opponent and absolve Russia of its original disinformation warfare campaign against this country.

Trump has retweeted accounts from the far-right conspiracy theorist QAnon. What’s more, Trump and his prominent supporters have played an active role in spreading disinformation against Democrats. After a conspiracy theory falsely connected former presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke to the recent Texas mass murderer, shadowy but prominent Trump allies amplified the claim.

Trump himself recently retweeted a tweet from one of his favorite conspiracy theorists — whose work he has promoted in the past — that falsely created the impression that Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) partied on the anniversary of 9/11. And remember that distorted video of Nancy Pelosi slowed down to make her look drunk?

All this is a sign of what the Democratic nominee could face. It’s no wonder that some Democrats are worried we might even see “deepfake” media manipulations. Imagine such ultra-sophisticated video distortions of Biden’s rambles, retweeted by Trump, and perhaps even by reporters.

Trump views disinformation not as a scourge to be combated in the name of protecting our democracy, but as an ally. In this particular case, Trump has not retweeted the video of Biden — yet. But let’s try to learn from this.

At this point, no good-faith actors can pretend there is any excuse for playing any role, even an unwitting one, in making this problem worse.

Read more:

Greg Sargent: Are Democrats ready for the coming disinformation tsunami?

Greg Sargent: Think Castro was ‘mean’ to Biden? Get ready for an absolute bloodbath.

Paul Waldman: Trump is building a chaos machine

Eugene Robinson: Tune out President Trump’s propaganda machine

Erik Wemple: Fox News faces consequences for Trump propaganda

Jason Rezaian: The State Department has been funding trolls. I’m one of their targets.