Fake News

There is a defensive ploy often used when seeking to discredit an opponent in a verbal conflict. It is simply this: accuse the opponents of doing what you are doing in such a way as to focus attention on them doing it so people won’t notice you are doing it.

For example, accuse a person of hate speech in such a way people won’t notice you are employing hate speech. Often the person accusing an individual of hate speech has more hate than the accused. One accusing another of bigotry is at times an even bigger bigot. By focusing attention on another they escape being identified as a bigot.

In the entertainment field of magic this is called misdirection. In magic the audience is encouraged to look in one direction while something is happening in another. Magic consists of creating an image by misdirection of the senses. If the senses are misdirected by a lie, it creates what communications experts call a meme. A meme is an idea that spreads like a virus from person to person. Facebook is notorious for memes.

Hitler is said to have commented, “If you tell a big enough lie, and tell it frequently enough it will be believed.” Whether he said it or not, it is the truth.

Both national political parties have master “magicians” working to divert attention from what they are doing. If one party is floating a discrediting lie on the other they accuse the other of lying.

Minnesota Senator Ilhan Omar is a classic example of a use of misdirection. In her criticism of America’s support of Israel she claims legislators who support Israel have in effect dual citizenship. This misdirects persons’ attention from Omar’s radical support of Islamic countries. By accusing others of dual citizenship she herself has an even more radical dualism.

The classic act of mass misdirection relates to the Allies’ invasion of Europe at Normandy. It was know that if Hitler moved his massive force from Calais to Normandy the invasion would fail. To keep his forces at Calais a fake army was built up across the English Channel near Dover, England consisting of fake jeeps, tanks, and trucks built from cloth and plywood. Inflatable rubber vehicles were also deployed. Every night troops would pick up the vehicles and move them to a different location complete with fake tire tracks. Even a fake navy was developed. German forces were misdirected to Calais to prevent the invasion which occurred at Normandy. Misdirection ruled the day.

Today Europe and much of the world is experiencing misdirection regarding conditions in America. The people of other nations develop their opinion of American politics and economics by watching CNN. All the insight regarding America most people in other countries gets comes from that one source. The CNN depiction of America is not without bias. Therefore, the world’s concept of America is tendentious.

Seasoned politicians before being interviewed often make a list of their talking points and no matter the topic of the question by the person doing the interview, they misdirect it and make their point. In doing this tactfully they misdirect the attention from a question they don’t want to answer to a topic they want to advance. Notice this in TV interviews.

Not all misdirection is a lie, but all lies are a misdirection.