Last week Tablet published Jacob Siegel’s “A Guide to Understanding the Hoax of the Century.” Subhead accompanied by the profile of a blackbird’s head: “Thirteen ways of looking at disinformation.” (The subhead and graphic allude to the Wallace Stevens poem). Siegel’s magnum opus runs to some 13,000 words. The introduction is followed by a table of contents with links to the chapters:
I. Russophobia Returns, Unexpectedly: The Origins of Contemporary “Disinformation”
II. Trump’s Election: “It’s Facebook’s Fault”
III. Why Do We Need All This Data About People?
IV. The Internet: From Darling to Demon
V. Russiagate! Russiagate! Russiagate!
VI. Why the Post-9/11 “War on Terror” Never Ended
VII. The Rise of “Domestic Extremists”
VIII. The NGO Borg
X. Hunter’s Laptops: The Exception to the Rule
XI. The New One-Party State
XII. The End of Censorship
XIII. After Democracy
Appendix: The Disinfo Dictionary
It is essential (weekend) reading.
Matt Taibbi followed up with Siegel in the Racket News post/interview “Tablet’s Grand Opus on the Anti-Disinformation Complex.” Taibbi has also produced that post in podcast/video form (below, narrated by Jared Moore).
Taibbi’s introduction to the interview is particularly useful. Taibbi writes: “Siegel’s Tablet article is the enterprise effort at describing the whole anti-disinformation elephant I’ve been hoping for years someone in journalism would take on.”