Obama Derangement Syndrome still reigns at WorldNetDaily, if the reaction to his speech criticizing the spread of misinformation is any indication. Of course, WND is a major purveyor of misinformation, particularly about Obama, so maybe it feels a little threatened about being implicitly called out. Editor Joseph Farah ranted at Obama's speech in his April 26 column:
In a major speech last week, Barack Obama called for even MORE censorship, MORE cancellations, MORE demonetization and more violations of the First Amendment by Big Tech.
He described himself as "pretty close to a First Amendment absolutist" but immediately clarified that it did not apply to U.S. social media companies – the largest purveyors of news content and opinion in the country.
I guess to Obama news content and opinion are safe to be disseminated for now – as long as they run offline in more traditional media, like print.
In fact, he demanded that online social media go further to diminish what he called "disinformation."
Obama warned that dangerous people were using social media to distract the public. He wasn't speaking of the Big Tech giants. Rather it is Vladimir Putin, who keeps Russia in the dark about what goes in Ukraine. It's Steve Bannon, who advocates for America First."People like Putin and Steve Bannon for that matter understand it's not necessary for people to believe disinformation in order to weaken democratic institutions – you just have to flood the public square with enough raw sewage," he complained.
He complained there was no way to distinguish online between "a peer-reviewed article by Dr. Anthony Fauci and a miracle cure pitched by a huckster."
The wide variety of content on the coronavirus and vaccines, Obama said, was concerning, as some people chose not to get vaccinated.
"People are dying because of misinformation," he said.
No, last time I checked, people are dying because of Big Pharma's misinformation.
Actually, the last time we checked, WND was avidly spreading misinformation about COVID and its vaccines, so it's entirely likely that such misinformation has taken the lives of WND readers (and doesn't Farah need all the readers he can get these days?). Farah concluded with an unsurprising money beg:
WND has been here before with Barack Obama, Joe Biden, the intolerant left and Big Tech. We've been through the nightmare of being attacked by the Digital Cartel, for our standards of conservative values and our Christian perspective. We've been DEMONITIZED, CANCELED and DOWNSIZED against our will. Please support us to stay in the fight. Read HELP WND – before it's too late!
WND columnist Jack Cashill -- who spends most of his days writing anti-Obama screeds despite the fact that he left the presidency years ago -- served up a similarly hateful and paranoid take on Obama's speech in his April 27 column that made the headline claim Obama went "full Orwell":
The thrust of his speech was that "regulation has to be part of the answer" in combating online "disinformation." As Obama made much too clear he and his pals get to determine what is and is not disinformation.
The former president makes almost no attempt to hide his biases. A sentence that reads, "People like Putin and Steve Bannon, for that matter, understand it's not necessary for people to believe this information in order to weaken democratic institutions" does not inspire a whole lot of confidence in the deplorable half of America.
Nor does a sentence that reads, "There are still brand name newspapers and magazines, not to mention network news broadcasts, NPR [and] other outlets that have adapted to the new digital environment while maintaining the highest standards of journalistic integrity."
One idea Obama supports is for school districts to teach "our kids to become critical thinkers who know how to evaluate sources and separate opinion from fact." To this end, Obama asks, "Does this person who's typing in his mother's basement in his underwear seem a credible authority on climate change?"
I suspect he is at least as credible as a man who purchased two new multi-million dollar beachfront properties despite his expressed worry about "caravans of lost souls wandering a cracked earth in search of arable land, regular Katrina-sized catastrophes across every continent, island nations swallowed up by the sea."
The source of Obama's greatest worry, of course, is the 2020 election. He repeatedly chastised Republicans, Trump most notably, for "saying an election was stolen without a shred of evidence." The stolen-election gambit, argued Obama, allowed Republicans to "target black and brown communities" with "voter suppression" schemes.
Bottom line: Obama and the Democrats are worried. Elon Musk's purchase of Twitter, John Durham's continued probe of the Russia collusion plot, the impending release of Dinesh D'Souza's vote fraud exposé, "2000 Mules," and the likely flipping of the House in November, threaten their control of the narrative.
It may be time for a new George Floyd.
Laua Hollis also ranted about the speech in her April 28 column:
Last week at Stanford University, former President Barack Obama offered one of his characteristically gaslighting speeches in which he intoned solemnly about the dangers of disinformation: "You just have to raise enough questions, spread enough dirt, plant enough conspiracy theorizing, that citizens no longer know what to believe."
Are those warnings? Or instructions? After all, Obama is a disinformation pro. Years ago, he bragged to author Richard Wolffe, "I actually believe my own bulls–t." He lied to the American public about his truly terrible deal that gave Iran billions and let them pursue their work toward a nuclear bomb. (Obama's Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes infamously laughed and preened about this particular deception.) Obama's signature legislative achievement, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, neither protects patients nor is affordable. Obama gave speech after speech in which he promised Americans that they could "keep their doctors" and "keep their plans" – lies so egregious that Politifact named them the 2013 "Lie of the Year." One of the bill's architects, Jonathan Gruber, admitted on camera that "lack of transparency" was necessary to pass the law, because of the "stupidity of the American voter."
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So, the fear and loathing of disinformation only goes one way.
Well, WND certainly doesn't fear disinformation enough to stop publishing it -- or understand that its love of misinformation is why it's a failing business.