Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Who Is More Likely To Have Been Created In A Right-Wing Super-Lab, Fox-bot Marie Bartiromo Or Arkansas Closet Case Tom Cotton?


The Democratic Party is giving far right extremist crackpot Tom Cotton a free ride this cycle, not bothering to run an opponent against him, although Dan Whitfield, who calls himself a "progressive independent," is running on an independent line. Cotton has raised $7,583,447 for his reelection campaign. Whitfield hasn't raised the $5,000 that would trigger an FEC report. Cotton, who had presidential ambitions before he was outed as a closet case, is a garden variety Trumpist with nothing to recommend him.

Sunday, the NY Times noted that he's been spreading a conspiracy theory that the coronavirus was manufactured in a high-security Chinese biochemical weapons lab near Wuhan, although he admits he has no proof of this. The Times noted that "The rumor appeared shortly after the new coronavirus struck China and spread almost as quickly: that the outbreak now afflicting people around the world had been manufactured by the Chinese government. The conspiracy theory lacks evidence and has been dismissed by scientists. But it has gained an audience with the help of well-connected critics of the Chinese government." It looks like another psychopath from TrumpWorld, Stephen Bannon, started it.

Cotton has been carrying on about it for weeks and Maria Bartiromo had him on her show Sunday to spread it further, despite the rumor having been debunked by the scientific community. Yesterday, for example, Chemical Biology Professor Richard Ebright (Rutgers University) told the Washington Post that "there's absolutely nothing in the genome sequence of this virus that indicates the virus was engineered. The possibility that this was a deliberately released bio-weapon can be firmly excluded."

Cotton on Fox: "We don’t know where it originated, and we have to get to the bottom of that. We also know that just a few miles away from that food market is China’s only biosafety level 4 super laboratory that researches human infectious diseases. We don’t have evidence that this disease originated there but because of China’s duplicity and dishonesty from the beginning, we need to at least ask the question to see what the evidence says, and China right now is not giving evidence on that question at all." This of course, is a perfect explanation to a typical low-IQ Fox TV viewer incapable of independent thought.

Russian versions of Tom Cotton are blaming the U.S. in the same way he is blaming China.
[I]n Russia the misinformation has been particularly pointed. Russia’s spin doctors have capitalized on the fear and confusion of the epidemic to point the blame at the United States, following a well-established pattern of previous Russian disinformation campaigns and evoking a Cold War-era plot by the KGB to paint HIV as a U.S. biological weapon... [I]n Russia these theories are appearing on prominent mainstream news discussion shows such as Big Game and Time Will Tell on Channel 1, rather than just being confined to squalid corners of the internet. In late January, the firebrand leader of the far-right Liberal Democratic Party of Russia party told a Moscow radio station that he thought coronavirus was an American bioweapon or a big plot by pharmaceutical companies to get richer.

...The overarching theme of the stories that appear across the Russian media, from fringe websites to prime-time television, is that the virus is the product of U.S. labs, intended to kneecap China’s economic development. Some articles have flirted with the idea that Bill Gates or Kremlin nemesis George Soros might have had a hand in the outbreak. In one of the more bizarre turns, a host on Russia’s state-funded Channel 1 floated the idea that the name “coronavirus,” is a veiled reference to its American origins, because U.S. President Donald Trump once handed out crowns at beauty pageants, and corona means crown in Latin. (Coronaviruses are, in fact, a well-established group of viruses whose name is a reference to their shape.)

There is, however, no agreement between Russia’s propagandists about who foretold the virus, with some claiming it was Nostradamus, others say it was the blind Bulgarian mystic Baba Vanga, or maybe even Stephen Hawking.

The Russian messaging fits a now well-established pattern in that it doesn’t look to persuade audiences of a single alternative truth. That would take effort, planning, and persuasion. Modern-day Russian propaganda has instead been described by the Rand Corp. as a “firehose of falsehood,” a steady stream of underdeveloped, sometimes contradictory conspiracy theories intended to exhaust and confuse viewers, making them question the very notion of objective truth itself.

Right now, the main audience is largely domestic, with a sprinkling of conspiratorial reports across the different language services of Sputnik, the more tabloid of Russia’s international broadcasters. The conspiracy theories haven’t featured prominently on English-language Russian government-backed international broadcasters such as RT and Sputnik, however, according to Bret Schafer, a fellow at the German Marshall Fund’s Alliance for Securing Democracy who studies disinformation. While these channels have historically played around the edges of conspiracy theories, “they still want that veneer of being a legit international broadcaster,” Schafer said.

...[W]hile the Russian media has speculated wildly about the virus, the Russian government has taken the threat seriously, closing its land borders with China and checking the temperatures of reporters and officials at events attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Two people in Russia were diagnosed with the virus, having contracted it on trips to China, but they are reported to have since recovered. While disinformation doesn’t appear to have hamstrung Russia’s response to the virus, the lasting danger may be in its continued erosion of trust in the notion of truth itself.

“Where I do think is it’s unhelpful is that it flies in the face of facts and science,” said Schafer. “The real danger is more the impact it has on trust in information.”
I wonder if someone has been whispering in Trump's ear yet that this could be a plausible excuse to cancel the 2020 elections.

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At 9:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That 'right wing superlab' is America. so... they both were created in one.

And in America, we elect a lot of them in both parties.

At 8:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bartiromo is a Stepford Wife, and Cotton was constructed for a better brain than the one from Abbie Normal which was installed due to an industrial accident.

Cotton should be glad that he wasn't in Vietnam. He'd have been fragged.


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