TREND TRACKING LESSON: “THINK FOR YOURSELF”


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The motto of the Trends Journal is “Think For Yourself.”
The masters of propaganda, however, slip in words and thoughts to direct readers and viewers with words and phrases that subliminally or overtly do the thinking for you.
There is a new phrase being drummed up by mainstream media and which is starting to proliferate in news reports, websites, and Twitter: the “Ostrich Alliance.”
As reported in the Financial Times on 16 April:
“While most of the world has taken drastic action to fight the spread of coronavirus, four leaders stand apart for their continued denials of the threat the pandemic poses.
Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, Belarus strongman Alexander Lukashenko, Turkmenistan’s autocratic ruler Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov and Nicaraguan dictator Daniel Ortega have all refused to take coronavirus seriously.”
Point #1: The Financial Times omitted Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, who is not-so-hated by the western media establishment.
As reported in last week’s Trends Journal, Löfven has not taken “drastic action to fight the spread of coronavirus”:
“In Sweden, families can be seen eating on benches beneath the giant statue of the Viking God Thor in Stockholm’s Mariatorget Square.
Nightclubs are open, with gatherings allowed up to 50 people. While citizens are adopting practical ways to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, all actions are voluntary.
It is reported that citizens are avoiding non-essential travel and are maintaining more distance than normal from others, but they are out and about, and businesses have not been forced to shut down.”
Point #2: While Brazil is not loved by the media and the west’s politicians, those out of favor, for example, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, is labeled a “strong man.”
Noted in last week’s Trends Journal, instead of shutting down Belarus’s economy, Lukashenko encouraged his citizens to “play hockey, drink vodka (except at work) and take two saunas a week,” warning that lockdowns imposed on most countries would crush their economies.
And while the vast majority of the world does not know where Turkmenistan is or can pronounce it’s leaders name, FT painted him an “autocrat” and Nicaragua’s president a “dictator.”
Agendas for Sale
Point #3. The FT article is based purely on what the FT believes, while ridiculing those who do not agree and denouncing them for using their political power… and praising politicians with whom they agree.
For example, when it comes to dealing with the virus, if President Lukashenko, who has not shut down the economy, thereby throwing millions out of work and not forcing citizens to lock down in their houses, is referred to as “strongman,” then what is the appropriate description for Governor Andrew Cuomo and the 45 other heavy-handed “Executive Ordering” governors who have and virtually closed down their entire states and seized more authoritarian control?
Point #4. Adversarial labeling by the mainstream media of those they support and those they dislike rather than be the objective “fourth estate” has become the norm.
In a 15 April Wall Street Journal article, they, too, took a shot at Brazil’s Bolsonaro for not closing down his country, stating, “The number of people testing positive for Covid-19 has risen to 28,320 and the death count has topped 1,700. That is the highest count in Latin America.”
Not mentioned is that Brazil, with a population of 212.6 million, has more people than any other country in Latin America and is, in fact, the sixth most populated country on the planet.
Furthermore, the number of Brazilians dead from coronavirus to the general population equals 0.0008 percent.
TRENDPOST: For the record, according to data published in The Guardian, the countries which have suffered the most from the pandemic are the U.S., China, Italy, Spain, Germany, and the UK. All are in lockdown.
To date, there is no quantitative or scientific data that the countries which have refused to impose severe national restrictions are suffering any more from COVID-19 deaths per capita, despite, according to mainstream media, having leaders who are “right-wing,” “authoritarian,” “strongman” and “dictator.”
 Instead of pasting negative labels on leaders bucking the establishment, the media would do well to follow Belaruse leader Lukashenko’s observation: “But this will end, and then we we’ll see who was right and who was wrong.”
The Way of the World
 Point #5: In the U.S., the mainstream media uses a label strategy to bundle all those who oppose the lockdowns, branding them to make it seem they are all from one political tribe.
Recent articles from mainstream media:

  • AP News, 15 April: “Far-right Politicians Label Lockdowns Anti-Constitutional.” The article goes on to portray people protesting state lockdowns as being out on the political fringes, including the quote of one protestor, “Quarantine is only supposed to be for sick people, not mandatory for healthy law-abiding people.”
  • NYT, 17 April: “Trump gives Right-Wing Protesters a Megaphone.” The article states, “The pressure to reopen the economy comes amid skyrocketing joblessness claims and an unemployment rate that is approaching 17 percent, higher than any mark since the Great Depression.”

 “Far-right”? “Right-Wing”?
What about all the people out of work who can’t pay bills, businesses going bust, and who are tired of being locked up, while the COVID-19 death rate pales to Washington’s earlier projections of one million, then 250,000, and now an estimated 61,000… or a bad year of the flu.
Why the does the media paste simplistic labels on those who are protesting their loss of liberty and freedom… and their homes and livelihoods… as right-wingers?
Because they’re Presstitutes who get paid to put out by their corporate pimps.
Presstitute Proof: Read All About It
As we have long reported and documented in the Trends Journal, mainstream media TV/cable news has been in sharp decline, with only a few hundred thousand to a few million at most tuning into primetime news, in a nation of 330 million.
Never letting a made-up crisis go to waste, CNN seized the COVID-19 opportunity:
Ratings Soar, Ads Vanish at CNN
Pandemic coverage boost viewership
 “On a recent conference call, CNN chief Jeff Zucker urged editors and producers at the network not to shift focus from coronavirus new updates despite weeks of wall-to-wall coverage of the pandemic.
‘You need to stay on the news,’ Mr. Zucker said, according to a person who listened. ‘People are coming to CNN for the news right now.’
TV ratings suggest his hunch was on target. CNN and other cable news outlets could scarcely imagine that anything could juice viewership like the 2016 U.S. presidential election and its aftermath; but ratings have soared during the pandemic, reaching levels well above those when ‘Russian interference’ and ‘Mueller report’ dominated the news.
CNN has averaged 2.2 million total viewers in prime time through the first week of April, more than double its viewership in the fourth quarter of 2019, and roughly 57% higher than its election-season peak, according to Nielsen data. Fox News is up nearly 50% since the end of last year to over four million viewers, increasing its lead over its two main rivals. MSNBC has seen the smallest lift. The three networks’ websites all saw big audience gains, too. – Wall Street Journal, 16 April
By their deeds you shall know them. As we have noted since the beginning of coronavirus, the media pumped up the hysteria and Mr. Zucker proves it… and the masses bought it.
Don’t You Dare Protest
 Point #7: As detailed, anyone opposing the establishment is labeled and dismissed as being a traitor in the COVID-19 War.
Yesterday, not only was that made perfectly clear, it further illustrates the spreading police state implications for those opposing the draconian measures imposed on the working people by politicians:
Facebook Puts Limits on Protest Organizers
“Facebook Inc. is banning posts and groups promoting anti-lockdown protests that don’t comply with government health directives, as organizers of those events seek to recruit new members on social media.
 Dozens of protests have taken place in recent days, with participants complaining of shelter-in-place restrictions and pushing for state governments to allow more freedom to return to normal activities as the coronavirus pandemic plays out. Most of the events have been relatively small, but have drawn outsize attention on social media as the debate about when and how to reopen the economy becomes increasingly political.” – Wall Street Journal, 20 April
The article went on to say Facebook removed content related to anti-lockdown protests planned in California, New Jersey, and Nebraska, and quoted a spokesperson who said, “Events that defy government’s guidance on social distancing aren’t allowed on Facebook.”
The WSJ noted, “Facebook’s decision to ban content that promotes events that risk defying health restrictions is part of a series of moves it has made to limit the spread of what it sees as misinformation and harmful content related to the pandemic. Some of the content also attempts to erode trust in public-health authorities, who say social distancing rules have slowed the spread of the virus and reduced the number of deaths attributable to it.”
TRENDPOST: For starters, the WSJ notes the “debate about when and how to reopen the economy becomes increasingly political.”
They fail to note the closing down of the economy was totally political!
Moving on, they quote Facebook saying, “events that defy government’s guidance on social distancing aren’t allowed on Facebook.”
Therefore, everyone must obey Executive Orders that are destroying their lives and livelihoods and not have the Constitution or Bill of Rights to protest them, legal or not. Government gave the marching orders; Facebook declares all must march to them.
Facebook has declared itself the highest authority by stating it “will limit the spread of what it sees as misinformation” when in fact it censors freedom of speech and freedom of assembly while limiting hard facts and scientific data that dispute “what it sees as misinformation.”  
What Facebook, of the highest order, “will limit the spread of what it sees as misinformation”?
What about hard facts and scientific data?
And, how dare anyone would attempt to “erode trust in public-health authorities?”
It’s as though their word is that of God.
 TREND FORECAST: Go back to the 7 April Trends Journal cover: “DEMOCRACY IS DEAD.”
What we are witnessing now is unprecedented in modern American history.
Protests are banned. Politicians issue draconian, dictatorial rules that must be followed. The media overtly bans all those they don’t agree with.
As economic conditions deteriorate, social unrest will dramatically escalate and, as proven by Facebook, government dissent, i.e., not following the orders of mentally deranged politicians who are “manipulative and devious typically to gain advancement” will be prohibited.
 

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