The Cold War, Episode 2: Battle of the Pundits

Written by Luke Sweeney
Posted October 4, 2022

As usual, truth and candor are the first casualties of war. 

1. honk for truth

We live in a post-information age. Narratives and propaganda dominate the media nowadays, obscuring what little “journalism” still exists today. 

Most notably, the “us versus them” mentality that has become so popular is here to stay. After all, the other side is nothing but a bunch of lying traitors. My side, on the other hand, fights with God’s support against the heretics. 

Does that sound familiar? 

It's not a new concept. It’s the same rationale that convinced Imperial Japanese citizens that Americans were coming to kill them and eat their children during World War II. 

Propaganda is absurdly powerful when done correctly. 

Regardless of who is right and who is wrong in a cosmic sense, the victor is often whoever leads the most convincing ad campaign. 

After all, it wouldn't be a true cold war without a healthy dose of covert operations and espionage. 

One of the most famous recent examples of media-driven misinformation said it best last year: This is extremely dangerous to our democracy. 

2. sinclair dangerous democracy

If you don’t recall this exact event, I wouldn't blame you. It’s hardly been an isolated incident. 

The image above is courtesy of Sinclair Broad Group, the massive conglomerate that controls close to 300 different television stations across the U.S. 

In 2018, the company caught backlash for releasing a series of scripted, 1984-esque promos across hundreds of seemingly unaffiliated news channels. The message subtly praised Trump while ironically undermining faith in media reporting. 

Whether you love or hate Trump, it was terrifying to watch firsthand. It’s as if the veil was pulled back and the entire media system dropped its guise of objectivity at the same exact time. 

The list of Sinclair stations is exhaustive: CBS, Fox, NBC, the CW, ABC, and hundreds of smaller local stations are all beholden to one massive company — regardless of their political affiliation. 

2. sinclair broadcast reach

It doesn't matter what station you tune in to. You’re essentially watching a propaganda machine. 

Fox News and NBC, two stations that frequently present polar-opposite opinions, answer to the same ultra-rich CEO. 

Are you losing faith in the news yet? Because I’m just getting started. 

Russia’s Newest Golden Boy: Такер Карлсон

I couldn't help but laugh at this weekend’s headlines. We’re truly living in a strange future. 

While Russia is waging its physical war in Ukrainian territory, Putin’s psychological warfare is free to travel anywhere with an internet connection. This week, it landed on one of cable TV’s most popular shows: Tucker Carlson Tonight

Or, I suppose I should say Такер Карлсон.

4. tucker Russia

That’s the Russian translation of Carlson’s name. According to recent reports, Russian state-controlled media have been airing his most recent episode nonstop. 

That report made me do a double-take. 

Why would Tucker Carlson, a self-proclaimed red-blooded American patriot, be applauded by a country that has historically been portrayed as the complete opposite of American values? 

Propaganda, folks. Narratives are one of the most powerful forces in the universe right now. 

Carlson might not be a huge personal fan of Putin, but his average viewers want one thing and one thing only: a good hour-long session of Biden-bashing. 

Carlson’s show last week centered around the Nord Stream pipeline. This event was the culmination of all the recent hostility between Russia and the West. 

Multiple large explosions ripped open the pipeline in multiple locations, leaving it to spew substantial amounts of natural gas into the air.

5. nord stream leak

Nobody knows what happened here except the ones involved, but that hasn't stopped wild speculation on both sides of the aisle. 

Carlson earned his honorary Russian medal by doing what he does best: blaming everything on Biden. 

According to the now-infamous episode, Putin would never blow up his own pipeline in an attempt to frame Germany. The United States is the only likely culprit, for reasons that he never really makes clear. 

Biden’s administration vocally opposed the construction of the pipeline, claiming it would give Putin a stranglehold over Europe’s energy supply. From my perspective, that’s exactly what happened. 

According to Carlson, however, impotent “Sleepy Joe” is also somehow a callous war hawk with an itchy trigger finger. It’s an impressive combination of personality traits, for sure. 

6. sleepy joe blows a kiss

The new narrative we’ve seen from Carlson is that Russia is seeking to benevolently rescue Ukraine from some undefined corruption. According to Putin and his cronies, these Russian citizens are oppressed and desperately seeking liberation by their Motherland. 

I’ve never set foot in Ukraine, so I can't claim to know the truth. But that sounds like an awfully convenient story for the dictator who has been attempting to annex this land for most of our last three presidential administrations. 

The worst part about propaganda? Carlson also presents a half-decent argument for why Biden could be behind it all. 

That’s the true danger here. Remember the old supermarket tabloids that claimed Obama was born on Mars or that Hillary Clinton adopted an alien baby? 

It used to be relatively easy to distinguish the truth from the wildly outlandish, especially when you knew the source. The National Enquirer and its ilk can easily be ignored by even the most gullible readers. 

Nowadays, however, information is a commodity that is sold to the highest bidder

When a company as big as Fox News or NBC releases a story, it’s impossible to tell who’s in the right — even if the story sounds completely insane. 

Welcome to the Age of Control and Manipulation

During our thousands of years of civilization, humans have found astoundingly effective ways to control each other. 

At the risk of being labeled a blasphemer, religion was perhaps the earliest example. The Catholic Church, for example, served as the supreme means of social control in Europe for centuries.

After the Church lost some of its prestige and secularism stopped being punishable by death, the controllers needed a new catch-all to keep the populace in line. 

Today, it’s information. 

Think about it. The government controls your life through enforced laws and regulations, but it doesn't stop there. 

The media use so-called facts to twist narratives to fit their agenda. And they work in lockstep with the powers that be.

In the case of our friends at Sinclair Broadcast Group, the company is proudly conservative. It also stands to make huge amounts of money by influencing conservative opinions and, most importantly, getting conservative politicians elected. 

It’s a symbiotic relationship that has led to the current state of information. As always, the insiders have the power, and we outsiders are forced to simply take what we are given. 

Sounds bad for democracy, right? 

Well, it doesn't stop there. America has its flaws, but it still maintains some semblance of the “freedom” its citizens used to enjoy.

That might all be about to change. 

7. dont step on snake

A draconian social control program is spreading across the planet like wildfire. Controlling citizens through the media is one thing, but this is on a completely different level. 

Learn about it, resist it, and fight it before it’s too late. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

To your wealth,

Luke Sweeney
Contributor, Outsider Club

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