Almost everything you hear is fake, phony, fraudulent, faux!


Morning Joe pimps Facebook ads:
Did someone in the Trump campaign collude with the Russkies last year?

More specifically, did someone tell the Russkies how to target their ads to help Donald J. Trump get elected?

Like you, we don't know how to answer those questions. We'll be interested to see what investigative bodies conclude, and what their evidence is.

That said, if it's tribal entertainment you seek, you won't have to wait that long. Corporate cable entertainers service your tribal needs day and night.

Case in point: Katty Kay, discussing kollusion on today's Morning Joe. Mika didn't make it in today, so Katty was cast in the role of sidekick blonde, as she is routinely cast when Mika's under the weather.

This morning, during the program's first hour, Kay posed before a map of the states and told us a story we like. The story involved the dozen states the Russkies allegedly semi-targeted with their Facebook ads. To see Katty and Joe in action, click here, move ahead to 2:15:
KAY (10/5/17): Meanwhile, we're also learning more about Russia's use of Facebook to interfere in the election.

It turns out, about a quarter of the 3400 ads linked to Russia targeted specific states, including traditionally Democratic strongholds like Wisconsin and Michigan that ended up of course flipping for Donald Trump, as well as the battleground states of Florida and Ohio.

The Russians also targeted states with high-profile incidents of violence between police and African-Americans, states like Missouri, Maryland, New York and Ohio.

Ads were also planted in solidly red states like Texas, Alabama and Mississippi.

Last month, Facebook revealed that groups linked to Russia spent $100,000 on election ads.
Both Facebook and Twitter have agreed to testify now before the SIC investigating Moscow's election interference.

You know, just looking at those states that they chose—either somebody in the Russian side, or they had links with somebody here, was giving them a pretty good take on how to use their money.
Just for the record, Katty double-cited Ohio, forgot to cite California. With that in mind, let's get clear on what she pleasingly said:

She said a quarter of the Facebook ads targeted specific states. According to our Mathematical Bureau, that means that three-quarters of the Facebook ads didn't target specific states.

At any rate, whatever! But as you can see on the map Kay fronted, the targeted states were these:
The twelve states which were targeted:
1) Alabama
2) California
3) Florida
4) Georgia
5) Maryland
6) Michigan
7) Mississippi
8) Missouri
9) New York
10) Ohio
11) Texas
12) Wisconsin
From that list, we were invited to conclude that somebody was giving the Russkies "a pretty good take on how to use their money."

That was Katty's scripted conclusion. In his reply, Joe sharpened her pleasing claim:
SCARBOROUGH (continuing directly): A pretty good take on how to use their money. And also, if you look at the contents of the advertisements, at least some of them that you've seen out there already, it's also somebody that's pretty darn aware of how to target, what bells to ring. It certainly looks like they had the help of Americans who might know how to campaign and how to win elections.
Yay yay yay yay yay yay! According to Joe, it certainly looks like the Russkies "had the help of Americans who might to win elections."

Based on the targeting of those states! In one-quarter of the ads!

Multimillionaire TV stars, please! If the Russkies were trying to win the election for Donald J. Trump, why would they have targeted ads at voters in California, New York, Maryland, Alabama or Mississippi? Did anyone even dimly believe that those states would be in play?

Beyond that, were Texas and Georgia ever anything but the longest of long shots? Our questions are blindingly obvious, if you live in a rational world.

In a rational world, no one would look at that list of states and think it meant that the Russkies were trying to defeat Candidate Clinton. But that's the story we love to hear, and people like Katty and Joe have been pimping it all over Our Own Cable Channel, where we go for our daily dose of partisan entertainment product. They flew Katty in from London to hand us that latest pile!

We live in a world where almost every word we hear is false, phony, fraudulent, faux. When you-know-who shakes his fist at "fake news," it isn't like he's "wrong."

It isn't exactly like he's wrong. The problem's more complex than that.


  1. Thanks for your post about fake news today, Donald.

    1. Did you miss the very last sentence of this post? If there's one thing that the most loyal commenters on this site hate, it's anything that even vaguely approaches complexity.

    2. Donald Trump is wrong, no matter how complex Somerby thinks things are. Trump labels any report that criticizes him or reflects badly on him or has bad news about his progress as "fake news."

  2. News people are often weak in logical reasoning.

    1. And as Bob has quite frequently pointed out, so are liberals.

  3. The Dark Lord Putin is all-knowing and all-powerful. He commands the skies, the wind, and the rain, and they obey Him. The NFL and the Catalonian separatists serve Him.

    Don't you dare to question His powers.

    1. And he has his enemies "disappeared". Better stay on his good side, товарищ.

    2. An amusing post that makes its point adroitly.

    3. "And he has his enemies "disappeared""

      You're probably talking about The Clinton Crime Family, the so-called 'Clinton Body Count'? Well, some say: unsubstantiated.

    4. "the so-called 'Clinton Body Count'? Well, some say: unsubstantiated."
      Yes, some say "unsubstantiated "; For example: Sane people; People who actually investigated it. But, by all means, deflect any criticism of Влади́мир Влади́мирович Пу́тин.

    5. Mao is really working hard for his vodka and rubles today. Not easy constantly working to deflect and distract from the abomination tRump #fuckingmoron.

    6. You're confusing 'criticism' with 'smear'. They are not the same things.

      If they are, however, surely it should be okay for me to criticise The Clinton Crime Family for murdering all those hundreds (or is it thousands) of people?

    7. Hillary fed Chelsea dead chickens, then used the bones to make a soup. Talk about evil, huh Mao?

  4. In addition to a bogus analysis of the choice of states, Kay ignored the content of the Russian posts. The posts' message would more directly show who they were supporting.

    I have read elsewhere that posts were not aimed to help either either Trump or Clinton. They were aimed at promoting issues that divide and weaken the country. E.g., some of the Russian posts had a Black Lives Matter message.

    1. "some of the Russian posts had a Black Lives Matter message."
      That's right. They were meant to stoke the anger of right-wing racists, thus further upping Trump's vote. That's how disinformation works.

    2. 2:01 -- And, they would also stoke the anger of blacks and of white liberals who support BLM. So, those posts would be divisive.

    3. Why would pro-BLM posts anger "blacks" and white liberals? At any rate, most intelligence experts state unequivocally that Russia did what it did to help Trump. Whatever division they were trying to sow was in service of that goal.

    4. 4:08 it depends on what the ads actually say, but I have not seen the text. If the ads repeat or exaggerate the grievances that BLM alleges, then they would tend to anger blacks and their supporters.

    5. You aren't making sense.

    6. David, I just can't help noting you say things like "blacks and white liberals", as if there aren't any black conservatives, and "blacks and their supporters" as if "black" were some sort of political affiliation.

  5. As has been discussed elsewhere, the ads themselves reached a small number of people who then disseminated them broadly through their social networks of friends and relatives. The initial placement wasn't the point, it was the spread of the ads. They estimate a million people were reached that way, with the endorsement of each ad by the person who liked it and shared it with others.

    That means that an ad originally placed in CA would not have stayed in CA unless the people viewing it didn't have any friends or relatives outside the state. Mobility being what it is, that cannot be true. So the ads may have started in those places but they spread everywhere. Some states may have been targeted not because they were strategically important, but because they were needed to ensure broader coverage of the nation based on the friend networks of the facebook users.

    Katty and Joe are repeating the same speculation occurring everywhere. The ads do appear to understand the American psyche in a very specific way -- they know what buttons to push and how. So some Americans had to be involved in their creation, and that is fairly obvious. Who they were is not obvious.

    This seems like innocuous speculation to me. Not tribal glee. They are repeating what everyone else is saying.

    1. Bob is a little weak on how to use social channels to boost a message. And yes, a Facebook buy in California doesn't stay in California. Your network can see your feed and more importantly, your endorsement of a message.
      It's like the chain email letter that your crabby uncle keeps spamming your inbox with every day. Aside from the fact that RU targetted the primaries as well as the general election, so a California and Maryland campaign to sow dessent during the Democratic primary would not be out of the question.

    2. " So some Americans had to be involved in their creation, and that is fairly obvious. Who they were is not obvious."

      Au contraire, it's perfectly obvious. The are The Enemies of The People.

    3. Anyone who uses French phrases like "au contraire" must be a pompous ass. And anyone using the phrase " The Enemies of The People" (with capitalizations, no less) is well steeped in Communist parlance.

    4. "Anyone who uses French phrases like "au contraire" must be a pompous ass."

      Or they could be French.

    5. Anon 4:18, please read the following, written by Mao:

      Mao Cheng JiSeptember 30, 2017 at 12:25 PM
      "What does your Constitution say, Comrade?"

      It says that anyone spelling 'constitution' with capital C is, most likely, a pompous and useless concern troll.

  6. "We live in a world where almost every word we hear is false, phony, fraudulent, faux. When you-know-who shakes his fist at "fake news," it isn't like he's "wrong."

    This quote from Somerby exemplifies what the right, especially Trump, would like us all to believe -- that we cannot trust any information and there is no such things as truth or reality any more. But even with the disinformation and the propaganda, the overwhelming majority of what people encounter daily is true enough to be relied upon. Obviously, if they are listening only to Fox News and Alex Jones, that will be less true, but even then, they will encounter people and hear things in their daily lives that are true far more often than the garbage they hear in specific places, such as InfoWars.

    This idea that nothing is trustworthy any more is pernicious. If Somerby believes this, he is off the deep end or he himself is cynically promoting an idea that works against our democratic system and the interests of liberals specifically and voters in general.

    I think Somerby's cover is blown and he needs to tell his Russian/Sanders overlord that he has become useless in his current position and needs to be repurposed, perhaps as a sportscaster.

    1. "I think Somerby's cover is blown and he needs to tell his Russian/Sanders overlord that he has become useless in his current position"
      That's a frightening thought, but it would explain the bizarrely unsettling nature of Somerby's posts these days. They dovetail perfectly with the right-wing narrative.

  7. For decades, leaders have used the nuclear threat to consolidate power at home -- even when it is bad for national security

  8. Hey, Bob. Lawrence is talking about Trump's mental state right now. Will you acknowledge and give kudos?

  9. Uh-oh, the plot thickens...

    WSJ: Facebook Cut Russia Out of April Report on Election Influence

    "Facebook Inc. cut references to Russia from a public report in April about manipulation of its platform around the presidential election because of concerns among the company’s lawyers and members of its policy team, according to people familiar with the matter."
    "Ultimately, the 13-page report, published on April 27 and titled “Information Operations and Facebook,” was shortened by several pages by Facebook’s legal and policy teams from an earlier draft, and didn’t mention Russia at all, the people said.

    Rather, it concluded that “malicious actors” engaged in influence campaigns during the U.S. presidential election but said it couldn’t determine who was responsible. The extent of Facebook’s understanding at the time of Russian influence is unclear."

    Could it be?.. Is Facebook worshipping The Dark Lord Putin?!!

    1. "Is Facebook worshipping The Dark Lord Putin?!!"
      Don't know about that, but YOUR worship of Him is much more evident.

    2. Nah, I don't think so. I'm not the one attributing him with superpowers. Take it up with goebbelsian US mass-media and the congress.

    3. Putin doesn't run a super power. He runs a kleptocracy. Which 100% explains why the Grifter in Chief worships him.
      It wasn't Russia, it was the bigotry.

    4. Nah, Mao. You're just trolling.

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