With a swipe or a scroll, we can access to all kinds of information. One click on our phone will show us all the decisions made on the other side of the world and much more. We feel in control, that we know everything going on in the world. We feel bad for those who, in the past, were constantly lied and manipulated by the people on TV. How naïve can we be?
Our planet has turned into a place of multiple realities. George Orwell had warned us about the rise of fascist doctrines that would manipulate history to forward their narrative. But now postmodernism, brought on by the digital age, has made truth subjective. We have two separate realities: the physical and digital. What happens in one does not necessarily happen in the other, and that leads to dangerous possibilities.
Nobody expected Trump to come out as the victorious winner from the elections, and yet now he’s sitting in the oval office, signing executive orders that only legitimize the fear and racism that has taken over his country. It’s then when many ask how it was possible for one of the most hated men in the world to win the vote of millions of US citizens. The answer seems to be in the discontent of many, as well as the denial of several others. However, Trump also had crucial allies who helped him become the savior image of the people. Two major media sources were part of this plan.
Breitbart and Infowars, two websites that have transformed his discourse, went from being alternative news outlets to ultra-right wing, racist, truth-bending, and, worst of all, highly influential media.
Let’s start with Infowars. This site started in the early two thousands as a place for conspiracy theories regarding US politics. This was one of the truther websites that believed 9/11 was an act created by the government. As time went by, this site frequented by bored teenagers became one of the major outlets to support Trump.
Going against the official narrative became their mission; however, this meant following Trump’s version of the truth: supporting the claim of Obama being a foreign citizen, Hillary Clinton attending Satanist meetings with Marina Abramovic, and more tall tales became Infowars’ official agenda. The website’s face, Alex Jones, is rejected by the journalistic world, considering his false claims are part of what lead Trump to winning the presidency. Jones creates an opposition that is easy to attack. His lack of ethics or integrity means he can invent all kinds of rumors about those he disagrees with, while also exalting the image of Trump in a way that reminds us of the Stalin-idolizing fascist newspapers.
Infowars is a red dot in the fake news plaguing the internet. But, without a doubt, Breitbart, is the site that has turned 2017 in an Orwellian 1984. A once seemingly reputable news outlet soon became the go-to conservative media. According to their figures, the website, that coined the term snowflake when referring to liberals asking for equality, has close to 45 million readers a month.
These are people in favor of citizens carrying guns to defend themselves from enemies. But, who are their enemies? It seems that this fits anyone who does not believe in the same things as they do, in other words, foreigners, liberals, democrats, among many others. This white, heterosexual, conservative collective wants to “Make America Great Again” according to what they think that means.
With headlines like “Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy” and “Uninvent The Washing Machine and The Pill” Breitbart has become the place for sexist, racist, and ethnocentric propaganda. Just like Infowars has their spokesperson in Alex Jones, this website has its own Messiah carrying the word of Trump to every corner: Milo Yiannopoulos.
Until his recent resignation due to controversial statements, this British journalist was an editor at Breitbart. Not only does he call Trump “Daddy,” he’s also a Men’s Rights Activist protecting the world against feminism and movements such as Black Lives Matter. Yiannopoulos describes himself as a cultural libertarian and defender of freedom of speech, regardless of how damaging his offenses and attacks may be. He says he’s an openly gay man despite his criticism of the LGBTQ community and his claim that, if it were possible, he’d “cure” his homosexuality.
Trump quotes Breitbart in the same way that annoying person on your Facebook timeline constantly posts fake news about politicians and their alleged ties to reptilians. The problem is that Trump has become the most powerful man in the world, so his beliefs affect us all. It might be too late to enlighten Trump (despite HBO taken the task of educating him through commercials), but we’re still at time to expose these outlets who use manipulation and propaganda to alter the future of the planet, as well as the reality of millions, for their own selfish purposes.
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Translated by María Suárez