Some may not realize it but there is more spying/intelligence gathering done in the private sector than between governments. Big companies spy on each other and across borders as well. BUT there is a third area of spying/intelligence that has grown up in a big way since the internet has become so dominant. That is government injection of “influencers” and “fake news” into media and then hoping the media (always out for an easy buck) will take it from there.
In this process the age old strategy of secret support for “useful idiots” has found added life. There are plenty of them out there. AND what’s more, we have come to realize just how gullible people really are especially if you tell them what they want to hear. The Russians in particular have learned the benefits of this and just how easy it is to plant ridiculous notions that will be believed.
QAnon proved that and let’s not forget that most religions have used this for generations. Take useful idiot number one Tucker Carlson; Support for Russian talking points is his thing it seems. However, are his views really getting any traction? Is the Fox network really as popular as we are led to believe? The truth is that it is in the interests for Putin’s hackers to spread that information and to hack the means to do so. The more popular a show seems to be the more advertisers will want to be on that show and pay for the pivalate. Fox is certainly not complaining.
It is now well known in Russian intelligence that Fox and particularly useful idiot number one Tucker Carlson can be used to advance their agenda and sap the will of the US Government to respond to Russian adventurism. They are smart enough to use this easy method to their advantage and they are doing so. The problem for the US intelligence agencies is, what do you do when your own people believe what is so patently wrong? The Russians and the Chinese, North Koreans etc don’t have this problem as they took the measures necessary to muzzle the press and silence the opposition. Unlike in the USA, Russians and Chinese hear only one side of the story. Their intelligence agents can find useful idiots with ease, and there is not much we can do about it.
Our media is capitalist and makes money from bad news more than it does from good news. “If it bleeds it leads” is the mantra. Facebook and other social media make more money if people get angry and go down rabbit holes that further engage them. How do you have free speech and a free press if you also try to restrict them to tell the truth? You can’t. Who is to say what the truth is and what it is not? The only thing we can do – is recognize the useful idiots when we see them. In a polarized country like we have in the US now, easier said than done – and there are those that don’t want us to be able to recognize contrary views.
Take the trucker protest in Canada. If there was no Covid epidemic would the Government be trying to mandate masks, or vaccines or whatever? NO. They have done so as a way to curb the dangers of the epidemic. Can people complain as to the methods the government uses? Yes that is free speech. BUT can they block roads, bridges etc to get their way? Does that not hurt others and infringe on other peoples rights? Yes it does. Parking a truck in my driveway so I cannot get my car out to drive my kids to school, or go to the grocery store, or to the pharmacy to get meds is not my idea of peaceful protest. We should not confuse “personal freedom” with “social responsibility”. Blocking the bridge where millions of Dollars worth of goods flow, from businesses on both sides of the border, is not peaceful protest. It is basically “My way or the highway and Fuck You if you say otherwise”. Freedom? My ass!