By Steven Yates

October 13, 2022

Not too long ago, Yahoo!’s news aggregator restored allowing comments on the site. Comment options were ended not long after the start of the plandemic. Their reason illustrates the old saw that for every corporate decision there’s the official reason and the real reason. The official reason was the need to upgrade. The real reason was the absence of narrative control, which meant too many anonymous posts dissenting from government / corporate approved doctrine, be they on coronavirus origins, the effects of immigration, black-on-white crime, Trump, or anything else.

Now it’s restored — with full narrative control (I posted a few times but quit when every comment of substance met with the common Big Tech bromide, “This might offend readers and violate our Community Standards …”).

Doubtless algorithms on the site are keyed to detecting certain words or phrases or patterns of usage. I doubt that a human ever sees them. So what gets past the algorithmic censors? The other day I perused the comments following a few articles Yahoo! had aggregated on recent events of interest. If the bulk of what I saw really reflects a large enough portion of the American public, then it is small wonder that those in the world’s uppermost echelons, or those approved by the uppermost echelons, can get away with murder (sometimes literally!).

Not to mention testifying to a theme I’ve been hammering for about as long as I can remember: the collapse of education in America.

Consider this sampling of unedited comments on Alex Jones’s second defamation trial (I discussed the first here). Background: Jones elected not to take the stand in his own defense, as the judge had threatened him with contempt of court if he defended himself, or said anything in open court about (gasp!) free speech, or any other staples of the America that was.

From “1angry”: Him [sic.] and his Qanons [sic.] are lower than pond scum

From “Maluco8541”: Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones should be sent to prison for the lies and deceits he’s spread throughout the years!

From “Phillip”: He HAS no defense!! He said what he said!! It’s all on tape!! He is going to pay MILLIONS to those families!! A stroke can’t come soon enough!!

From “mark”: Special place in hell for him… Should have lots of company with the rest of his conspiracy nutjobs.

From “Paul”: Republicans are absolute trsh [sic.].

From “Larry”: How sad is our society to have believers in alex’s [sic.] spewing lies!

From “Michael”: Jones should buy a nice long length of rope and make himself a necktie.

From “patrickt”: hope they take everything he has – except for the rock he crawled out from under. let him crawl back.

(There came a reply: No, take the rock.)

From “Ray”: Does any punishment involve him being banned from doing his shows?

Those weren’t selected at random. Nor did I choose the worst and most illiterate comments I could find. Those were typical. I chose (roughly) every third one, having selected newest from the pulldown menu.

Note the utter disregard for anything resembling due process.

“Ray” wants him censored. “Maluco” wants him imprisoned. “patrickt” wants him financially destroyed. “Michael” and “Phillip” wish him dead. “mark” wants him in Hell!

This, from “Gregory,” somehow got past the algorithms:

Did any of you watch the trial? It appeared there was no defense he could make that the court didn’t shut down. Folks don’t realize that there’s been a number of what is termed false flag events. The Oklahoma City Murrah Building bombing is a good example. Innocent people were killed, and the public was handed an “official story” that everyone believed, but an independent explosives expert and Retired Army Brigadier General claimed otherwise. BTW, that Retired Brigadier General, Benton Partin, was asked by the then Senate House Majority leader, Trent Lott to examine the wreckage, because Senator Lott had doubts based on how he saw it being handled. The OKC event, 911, and other events have set in motion anti-terrorism legislation, that will lead to legal precedents being changed. Most likely against our civil rights. Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, “Nothing in politics happens by accident”. I’ve been a labor rights activist for over thirty years. It started for me at the age of 31. Our country is not changing for the worse, it’s being changed for the worse. By moneyed interests that have always wanted to bring America down. Don’t take my word for it. Stop being lazy in your thinking, and research it yourself.

This sensible (and surprisingly literate) comment garnered this response from “Phillip,” probably the same dude who wants Jones to have a stroke:

I have a bunch of tin foil if your hat needs another layer! If OKC was a “false flag”, why did EVERY participant admit (and even take pride in) their personal involvement??? You farking [sic.] conspiracy nut jobs [sic.] are what is making America worse, not some imagined boogieman!!!

And you wonder why some of us have concluded that many Americans are indeed basically sheep who haven’t had an original critical thought in their lives.

The worrisome thing: these people vote!

Now consider the Nord Stream Pipeline. An abundance of evidence points to involvement by the U.S., including Joe Biden’s own past threats. Tucker Carlson drew attention to this evidence (so did Paul Craig Roberts, James Howard Kunstler, Caitlin Johnstone, Glenn Greenwald, and others).

To corporate media and the sheep, this is “Russian propaganda.”

Carlson offered this riposte to critics using that line.

The title of leftist online rag Huffpo’s account of his riposte:

Tucker Carlson’s ‘Complete Meltdown’ Night Captured in Bonkers Supercut.”

For starters, no one reproduced the whole thing, just segments taken out of context. This is a typical leftist ploy.

Just to note in passing, I often see complete meltdown (or some variant) used by leftists when anyone answers one of their hit pieces. This, coupled with the out-of-context segment, is supposed to convince you to think that their target is indeed nuts, and that no level-headed person could disagree.

Yet another reminder of how language gets weaponized, whether in the hands of those who know exactly what they are doing, or the simply clueless.

Comments on the Yahoo! — aggregated reproduction:

“SoTexSailer” says: CUckerTarlson [sic.] gets paid 6 milllion [sic.] a year to make you dumber

“Jack” says: He’s taking [sic.] to cretins, they respond to noises like that.

“gman” says: Looks like it’s about time for that straight jacket measurement. It’s bound to happen sooner or later.

Some confuse facts with official narratives in a superficially more civil fashion. “russell w” elaborates: More than 1/2 of my family including my elderly parents watch Fox “news”. I force myself to watch it just so I can understand the other side. The problem is, most Fox watchers actually believe all of the stuff they are being fed. They “think” it is real news, when really it is just a continuation of Kellyanne’s “alternative facts”. There is only one set of facts folks, and Fox news is not interested in those facts, so they make up their own “theories” like Tucker’s craziness in this clip. This is dangerous rhetoric that is at least partly to blame for the division within the USA. Fox viewers need be aware they are being used as pawns, and Fox is their Queen.

Geez, what would this guy come up with if he read my stuff??? (I’m not even a regular Fox viewer. I only access what others bring to my attention.)

By the way, this (full video) is what was taken out of context and posted by a member of the Twitterverse mob, taken seriously on HuffPo. Continuing:

“Stephen” says: Tucker is on Putin’s payroll along with trump [sic.].

“Mike” says: he represents everything wrong in this country. A whiny, self-entitled privileged white guy who lies through his teeth just for the almighty dollar

Ah, some wokester had to get Tucker Carlson’s “whiteness” or “white privilege” in there. Anything to distract from the issue at hand: reasons for thinking the U.S. (or the U.S. in cooperation with NATO) sabotaged the pipeline knowing Russia would be blamed.

“Beach Girl” [sic.] says: After seeing the clip (I don’t watch the show or the network the show is on), I just cannot fathom how millions of people can be so ignorant to think that show is news for years upon years. At some point, even the network referred to it as news, in certain “unofficial” responses to criticism.

I have a hard time “fathoming” what she is even saying. Did these people graduate from high school? College? Educational collapse illustrated again, producing garble.

Again, the fact that these people might vote next month is scary.

It doesn’t matter what the hot-button issue is. The response is invariably the same.

Take Trump’s recent lawsuit against CNN for defamation. He stated, “Prove the big lie. The big lie is not a big lie at all. The big lie is the opposite…. All the stats — we have everything. Unfortunately we haven’t had judges that want to look at it.”

Previous commenters were kind compared to those below!

Again, these are unedited:

“James”: Only fools believe Twice Impeached’s big lie. And each time he repeats it, fewer fools believe than the time before. Twice Impeached is lying his way into prison.

“eric”: Just another scheme to grift the dumb and gullible.

“Bittweaker”: Trump makes Hitler look good…

“Hugo”: ITs called Trump lost in over 60 federal court room [sic.] about 2020 election and his lawyer lost his law license

“Captain Cupcake”: The delusional rantings of a raving lunatic.

“franklin”: I can’t wait until the last door clicks and he is locked in a cage forever. No contact with his 3 adult children, as they too, will be felons in their own perfect cages.

“Ray”: So orange man wants CNN to prove the big lie since he certainly could not in his multitude of lawsuits. His Minions better keep on donating to his lawyers or he might actually have to pay them himself.

“Joe H”: This guy needs”more time” to defend his inexcusable document theft, but has plenty of time for frivolous lawsuits? What a giant piece of human excrement

“Tom”: I think we are seeing every day how corrupt, and stupid trump is. How he ever became president is a mystery too [sic.] me.

“Just Facts” (!): How ignorant trump [sic.] is. It will be real easy to prove trumps [sic.] big lie. Attorney general barr [sic.] found not enough fraud to support trumps [sic.] lie. 60 court cases found trump [sic.] lied. Trumps [sic.] a cancer and the people who support trump know it.

“He Who Hates With Fire” (!!!): here’s proof, trump is at home and Biden is in the white house, I mean what other proof is there

Wow! I’m convinced!

This is beyond mere educational collapse. Many of these comments combine blind faith in official narratives with a level of hostility that leaves me no longer wondering why there are mass killings, road rage, or cases of Democrats simply killing Republicans in cold blood.

It’s not like I hover over comment sections. I have better things to do. I perused the first set out of curiosity after the one I mentioned was censored. After what I saw there, it dawned on me to check out a few others. It dawned on me that in at least some circles (big cities come to mind), hostility to the point of sadism directed toward that minority of Americans who can still think is not the exception.

On mainstream news sites, it is now the rule.

The narrative police have their man (and woman) in the White House.

What I’d like to know is: what do we do when dissent from approved narratives regarding “conspiracies,” the covid shots, Election 2020, January 6, Hunter B.’s laptop, Russia-Ukraine, you name it, is either criminalized as sedition or opens you to lawfare from those who take offense or claim their feelings were hurt — or simply have it in for you if you are a conservative?

The danger of the Alex Jones defamation suits is that they are precedent-setting. What can be done to Jones today, can be done to lesser-known voices tomorrow on lesser pretexts.

I am not denying that some of Jones’s listeners crossed lines that should never be crossed. But I’ve neither seen nor heard anything to indicate that Jones directed them to harass anyone.

Never have I said that stupidity is limited to left-liberals. It isn’t. There are people caught up in the “conspiracy” cosmos who cannot distinguish the credible from the silly. Several emails in response to my article illustrated that.

Where Jones failed was in not realizing that American society has filled up with lunatics and sociopaths all across the ideological spectrum. Before sending him to the gallows (figuratively speaking), one might consider having his recent book The Great Reset: The War for the World (2022) a look. You can read the first two chapters for free on Amazon (I’d do it before Amazon removes the book).

From that alone, you’ll see why the Establishment wants him gone.

Not that the judge, the court, or the attorneys in the Jones defamation lawfare suits are “in on it.” That’s just stupid.

They are what Lenin called useful idiots.

As are the unknowing thought police who show up in comment sections, probably because, like the average Internet troll, they do not have lives. This doubtless frustrates them, and so they lash out at politically-approved targets when they can do so anonymously, i.e., safely, without consequences.

© 2022 Steven Yates – All Rights Reserved

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Steven Yates’s latest book What Should Philosophy Do? A Theory (2021) is available here and here. His earlier Four Cardinal Errors: Reasons for the Decline of the American Republic (2011) is available here.

While admittedly the real world can be scary enough, he has also written a novel of cosmic horror. The Shadow Over Sarnath will be published soon.

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