Trump Using Information Warfare Tactics on Biden
Three things have become very clear about the 2020 presidential campaign. Firstly, President Donald Trump is desperate because he’s polling terribly. A “Fox News” poll even has Joe Biden beating him.
Secondly, Trump is desperate and has deployed information warfare, aided by social media, to push any desperate smear about Biden. Lastly, every ridiculous story about Biden will be widely promoted by the media, who seem to be hell-bent on screwing up as badly as they did in 2016.
Much of this information warfare is being conducted on social media where the Trump campaign has amassed a huge arsenal of tools. Trump campaign director Brad Pascale has described the campaign’s media apparatus as the “Death Star.”
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“For nearly three years we have been building a juggernaut campaign (Death Star). It is firing on all cylinders. Data, Digital, TV, Political, Surrogates, Coalitions, etc,” said Parscale in a tweet.
(I guess no one told him the ultimate fates of both Death Stars in the “Star Wars” movies.)
Biden smears are often rapidly promoted on Twitter through hashtags. The latest one is #JoeBidenaisracist. This sprung up after Biden conducted an interview with radio personality Charlamagne Tha God during which he said that any African American who didn’t vote for him is essentially saying “You ain’t black.”
Clumsy maybe, but not damning. (He has already apologized for this.) The interview took place today, Friday, May 22, but the hashtag already has about 60,000 retweets.
It’s hard to believe people can fall for this kind of propaganda. This seems to be media jujitsu where online trolls are trying to get you to stop thinking about a Trump gaffe and focus on Biden’s error.
On Thursday, May 21, Trump visited a Ford plant in Michigan, where he refused to wear a mask when he was on camera. He also praised company founder Henry Ford for having “good bloodlines.” Ford was a notorious anti-Semite who warned of a global Jewish conspiracy. He was also awarded a medal by Adolph Hitler.
Trump has a 40-year history of racist behavior and comments such as refusing to rent apartments to black people, calling for the death of the Central Park Five, and calling Latinos “spics” and using the n-word on the set of “The Apprentice.” As president, he also called African countries “sh*tholes,” urged more migration from Norway and called neo-Nazis and right-wing domestic terrorists “fine people.”
Biden smears are often rapidly promoted on Twitter through hashtags. The latest one is #JoeBidenaisracist. This sprung up after Biden conducted an interview with radio personality Charlamagne Tha God during which he said that any African American who didn’t vote for him is essentially saying “You ain’t black.” Clumsy maybe, but not damning. (He has already apologized for this.) The interview took place today, Friday, May 22, but the hashtag already has about 60,000 retweets.
This latest hashtag might be laughable but information warfare doesn’t have to be true to be effective. Take Biden’s fake accuser, Tara Reade. Her story was already shaky from the beginning, and she’s now been discredited as a fraud. A May 22 New York Times story claims Reade lied on the stand, which would make her guilty of perjury.
“Ms. Reade told The New York Times that she had obtained her degree through a ‘protected program’ for victims of spousal abuse, which, court records show, she suffered at the hands of her ex-husband in the mid-1990s. That history, she said, caused her to change her name, leading to confusion about her status at the school. She later received a law degree from Seattle University,” reported The Times. “But an Antioch (College) spokeswoman, Karen Hamilton, told The Times that while Ms. Reade had attended classes, she was certain Ms. Reade had not received a degree.”
According to The Times story, Reade’s history of lies has lawyers wondering if they can reopen cases she worked on. On Friday, Douglas H. Wigdor, one of Reade’s lawyers, dropped her as a client.
But in the short weeks since Reade has been a cause celeb how many media stories and hashtags has she generated? Some media figures, such as former FOX News propagandist Megyn Kelly, now have egg on their face.
During an interview on Sinclair, she said it was a bad sign that Reade refused a polygraph test.
“That can be a sign of deception,” said Kelly, after she had already conducted a splashy interview with Reade.
If the media did its job, Tara Reade should have been a story that lasted a few days, or no more than a week. But, going back to the third point, the media seems to be determined to highlight every Biden error and completely ignore investigating Trump. For example, investigations into Trump’s sexual record have largely stalled. I don’t see any media organizations dedicating teams of reporters to talk to his victims.
Some liberal pundits, such as Dean Obeidallah and John Fugelsang, claim media executives have a vested interest in Trump reelection because he’s ratings gold. So they’ve directed their teams to focus all their energies on attacking Trump’s opponent, Biden.
If that’s the case, it’s going to be up to the public to do some discerning media consumption. This is the time to think critically about the media. As Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, Trump is a master of projection. He accuses you of the crime he’s guilty of.
Knowing that, media consumers need to keep their eyes on the prize, Trump wants to end democracy and declare himself president for life. Biden wants to return things to normal, meaning democracy. Biden might not be a saint, but unlike Trump, he’s not a demon.