How politicians troll the media



what do you imagine when you hear the word troll you probably imagine an anonymous internet commenter or a shop jockey or a partisan hack you probably don't imagine the Senate Majority Leader or the Speaker of the House of Representatives or the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee but maybe you should because if the past few months of batshit political coverage have shown us anything bombshell accusations missing text messages secret societies secret memos one hell of a conspiracy that does go deeper than Watergate or wider getting me it's that trolling is now the work of serious politicians we begin tonight with the unraveling of a conspiracy theory this one was created and promoted by elected officials on Capitol Hill truly has been used to refer to a lot of different bad behaviors but at its heart it means deliberately provoking someone in order to bait them into overreacting my lowly innopolis does this all the time he says something he knows is ridiculous I find aids quite funny and then smiles as the audience freaks out because I don't want to spend a whole video talking about Milo let's use a different example let's use Charlie Brown let's just go with me you've watched this scene a million times right Lucy promises to let Charlie Brown kick the ball charlie tries to kick it she pulls it away and he falls flat on his ass this scene is basically trolling 101 the troll baits their target I'll hold the ball and you kick the target gives the desired reaction and then the truth is reveals the troll was just leading them on what is this I'm getting there so how would this formula work if you're trying to troll a major news network first you'd need the bait promise reporters you have some big bombshell they have to pay attention to and Republican lawmakers claiming they have documents classified memos secret memos to prove widespread abuse by the FBI what I read it is as bad as I thought it was the entire Muller investigation is a lie then you get a reaction days of water long news coverage about what might be in your super secret memo the secret memo in the center of an extraordinary plan we don't know what's in the memo as a journalist I want to see what's in the network should that be released to the public see that if you decided if you'll release the memo look at it read the memo I read the memo well obviously I can't tell you what's in the memo so I can't discuss what was in the memo but I can tell you the American people need to see it and then the reveal your big bombshell turns out to be a dud the memo has now been released this memo is a dud a complete dud it doesn't say anything it calls into question the wider molar probe it over-promised and under-delivered the revelation is precisely the opposite of what they wanted to reveal and news networks have to explain to their viewers that the scandal they've been following for days was actually nothing they build it up they build it absolutely and that is about nothing this is what all the hype was about now at first glance this story has a happy ending right the truth eventually came out but if you view this story as a giant troll it looks very different news networks spent days telling audiences that a huge scandal could be brewing millions of people read headlines about the FBI potentially being corrupt and Republicans got to go on TV until their supporters that they're right to be suspicious of the Moller investigation I'm good with a memo coming out because it exposes the FBI coming after a political opponent okay it's not an answer to my question the beauty of trolling is that the truth doesn't actually matter when Lucy says she knows she's lying and she knows she's gonna get caught lying when Charlie tries to kick the ball she is literally fact-checking her but the point isn't to be honest it's to provoke a response to get Charlie to try and kick or in the case of the Nunez memo to get the media to overreact the juice better be worth the squeeze on this one this is like six news cycles now well I'm excited to find out what's in the memo and know we typically think of trolling as something people do for fun in politics it has way scarier consequences for one it's a great way to distract the news cycle away from serious stories the same week that Yuna started talking about the memo the New York Times reported that Trump had seriously considered firing Muller look at which story dominated cable news currents but it's not just a focus problem this kind of trolling works because audiences remember negative information even when it's been debunked political scientist Emily Thorson I ran an experiment where people were exposed to a piece of negative political information and then saw a correction and she found that people's attitudes towards the target of the lie got worse even after the lie was debunked she calls this belief echoes and that's when people are given a full clear correction most casual news consumers won't get that or if they do they'll see headlines like this Republicans released secret memo accusing investigators of bias memo released alleging FBI cover-up or Chiron's like this memo says FBI abuse surveillance power even after the lie is revealed it's repeated in news coverage the result is a news environment that incentivizes bad faith that rewards politicians who are willing to commit to a lie and so you've seen more and more pseudo scandals following the same formula there's debate missing text messages a secret society in the FBI it's one hell of a conspiracy and people at the top levels of our government were involved in it a secret society there's anything more about that no we have to dig into it that's that's this is not a distraction there's the reaction the startling allegations of a secret society is there any basis to that claim is there a secret society those things are and eventually there's the reveal Republican lawmakers are left empty-handed when the texts are found and the secret society is revealed to be a joke on their own none of these stories hold water but together they help sow doubt in the minds of voters help build a vague but persistent belief echo are we seriously still talking about the secret society ban which helps explain why so many Republican voters are now suspicious of the FBI a trend that's gotten worse over the past year unsurprisingly noonas is already promising to release more memos in the future he told Brett Baier tonight that more memos are coming stay tuned tick-tock and the sad thing is he'll probably generate the same media circus when he does what politicians say is newsworthy shop to read exactly what is taking place networks can't just ignore them the way that we might block an internet troll and what makes trolling in politics so effective is that it's almost impossible to prove while it's happening Charlie could never be sure if Lucy is gonna yank the ball away the audience can never really know if Milo means what he's saying and journalists can't know if the next Nunez memo is actually a bombshell until he releases it but what they can do is practice more restraint to treat these stories not as potential bombshells but as potential bait and to be aware of the way that their coverage might be playing into the hands of a troll Charlie may never be able to resist trying to kick the ball but if he holds back a little bit if he avoids kicking quite so hard he can at least avoid falling flat on his ass

Maurice Vega

45 Responses

  1. The GOP is FULL of NOTHING but NARCISSISTS! & their SYCOPHANTS! If YOU are a US Congressman or A US Senator & YOU’RE PROMOTING Conspiracy Theories-then YOU are ALSO a DELUSIONAL NARCISSIST who believes in BULLSHIT & PROPAGANDA & LIES! You never hear that coming from ANY OTHER PARTY but the GOP! https://static1.squarespace.com/static/568f2ee8cbced686e2f4683a/t/57748c9f3e00be33b76bb4ba/1467255993131/Surviving+The+Narcissist+Epidemic.pdf

  2. Putin has taught Trump all he knows. This is how he got the stupid Americans to believe false news.

  3. So kinda like the news with the Mueller report, jussie smollett, and the white Christian school boys?

  4. They all know better but want the clicks. They can’t let someone else get it…. so I must write about that too so that other “news” person doesn’t get the view instead of me! That’s the problem. 24 hour news and begging for clicks

  5. Invest some money, buy some property, live ya life, love ya folks. Our world will go back to the light one day.

  6. When the vid was showing examples of hacks and trolls the perfect example are any of these vox fools.

  7. I am a democrat but seriously. Don’t ever show MSNBC. They are so left biased. And I support left. I want accurate and unbiased news like the Washington post or Politico

  8. McCarthyism right? A far right politician in post-WW2 America kept saying how he has a list of hundreds of politicians that were in power and were secretly communists. The red scare started and it helped conservative politicians a ton, even though this 'list' of his never was released and over time it went from hundreds, to tens, to dozens, and so on. Yet it was too late and even though in the end it was realized this list was fake, it had already hurt so many political careers and even actors in Hollywood too when the blacklist was made

  9. That's why talk show hosts are smart: They can call out "THAT"S BS!" while the big news argues over it as if it was an existential philosophy. I want to see how much longer can the administration "call wolf" until the news realize they were being played all along, or will there be a real wolf, in the end, to rip those senators, reps, and spokespeople into pieces.

  10. “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors is an American television
    series of one-hour specials that premiered on December 21, 2014, on PBS SoCal.
    Hosted by Jenelle Riley, the show features various actors discussing the most
    popular television shows and films”. Excerpted from Wikipedia… This televison
    program in its conception is very interesting, held a viewing promise for me
    until I watched only two episodes, then realized its in the nature of the
    occupation discussed, bathed in deceit, by way of self-marketing and promotion,
    which I now believe has bled into the political and television journalistic
    arenas as a new kind of ‘show business’. What politician or journalist has not
    altered their appearance, seemingly to cut a more perceived pleasingly appearance?
    As they go about marketing themselves or as a representive of their employer.

  11. Politicians and journalists that regularly appear on
    televison in dyed hair, if they suddenly stopped this frequency, hair dye companies
    would soon go out of business, it’s as if their integrity is tied to this duplicity.

  12. The idiots in the mainstream media keep falling for the same tired stunts. Fool you once, shame on me. Fool you twice, shame on you. They should fire all journalists who hype these questionable stories as well as everyone who gave Trump free publicity in 2016!

  13. Politicians troll the media, and Vox manipulates its audience just like the rest of the Fake News network.

  14. Even in the realm of meta physics, no 2 Stones are alike. Oliver may have presented US with some perhaps unappealing facets of our society, whereas Roger seemingly made a career of of bringing those into fruition!

  15. Ohhhh I see, Most of mainstream media was just trolling, phew and i thought it was just another bullshit conspiracy theory they come up with designed to turn the public against him and question his legitimacy

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