The Devolution Will Not Be Televised

The first shots fired in the Ukraine invasion came from America. They were truth bombs dropped to show the world what Putin had planned and the lies he would use to try justify his actions. From then until now, information and truth have been key battlegrounds of this murderous invasion. The NYT analyzed more than 50 hours of Russian TV footage to piece together the war the Russians are seeing, which is wildly different from the one that is actually happening. “Russian television’s convoluted and sometimes contradictory narratives about the war are not solely intended to convince viewers that their version of events is true, disinformation experts say. Just as often, the goal is to confuse viewers and sow distrust so audiences are not sure what to believe.” If this sounds familiar, it’s because it is. The goal of Trump’s authoritarian style of messaging was never intended to get people to believe in a single truth. It was intended to overwhelm people with so many conflicting realities that they’d exhaustedly shrug, not knowing what to believe. As Steve Bannon once explained, “The real opposition is the media. And the way to deal with them is to flood the zone with shit.” Garry Kasparov summed up the strategy: “The point of modern propaganda isn’t only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.” It’s all connected. NYT (Gift Article): The War in Ukraine, as Seen on Russian TV.

+ It’s hard to get the truth in Russia, but not impossible. And that makes VPNs an important front. How millions of Russians are tearing holes in the Digital Iron Curtain.

+ If you missed yesterday’s edition, there was a lot of interesting stuff. Derrick and the Dominos.

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