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Thu Mar 9, 2017, 06:40 PM

Are 'Climategate' '09, debt crisis '11, and Trump egs of the Kremlin's use of talk radio?

In the New York Magazine, April 3, 2016, Gabriel Sherman wrote a piece titled “Operation Trump”:

Throughout 2014, the three (Roger Stone, Michael Cohen, and Sam Nunberg) fed Trump strategy memos and political intelligence. “I listened to thousands of hours of talk radio, and he was getting reports from me,” Nunberg recalled. What those reports said was that the GOP base was frothing over a handful of issues including immigration, Obamacare, and Common Core.


Americans are steeped in the alternate reality of talk radio and take it for granted. It is rarely polled or factored in political analysis as an important cause or driver of political events or trends.

Trump doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who would defy convention and pay someone like Nunberg to study 1000’s of hours of talk radio. Who convinced him it would be worthwhile? Did he actually pay for it? Maybe someone should ask Nunberg.

Maybe Trump used this simple math to identify the most important component of ‘fake news’:

If they were going to pay a cheap $1000 for a 1 hour infomercial x 15hrs/day x 1200 stations, Republican talk radio is worth 4.68 BIL$/ year or 390MIL$ /month, basically FREE, paid for by advertisers. Free for Putin as well as the Republicans.

Limbaugh worked hard to get Trump elected and now he’s making excuses for him every day and attacking his critics. For weeks Limbaugh and probably most of the other talk radio gods have been selling the meme that President Obama stayed in DC to run a shadow government using moles like Sally Yates and organizing and paying protestors to bring Trump down in a coup. The ‘wiretap’ accusation via talk radio god Mark Levin plays right into that.

Trump’s ‘millions of illegal voters’ talking point was repeated on RW radio last summer in 2016, claiming Obama was giving millions of illegal aliens drivers licenses so they could vote. They were just ramping up the 15 year old talk radio meme that we need voter ID/suppression laws because illegal aliens are voting for Democrats.

Limbaugh (and most other radio talkers) attacked the ‘GOP establishment’ candidates in the primaries. He worked over Bush and Rubio and made excuses for Trump. That’s why Trump beat the big money.
Did Putin’s bunch spot a classic propaganda operation working under the radar here in the USA? (See excerpts from US Army PSYOPS Manual below).

Why not use Limbaugh and a few hundred other willing dupes and professional liars on 1200 coordinated radio stations, reinforcing each other, fed by a few regular sources, and so lazy and intent on hating liberals they never check for facts? Or care?

To resonate with the modern Republican base all Trump had to do was repeat material from 30 years of radio talking points and memes with more I’m-never-wrong authoritarian certitude than his opponents. He is the perfect talk radio candidate. That would be especially useful relative to all the Hillary Clinton hate and disinformation that's been going for 25 years. The Russian trolls on liberal blogs were repeating that crap.

If so, how far back does the relationship go? Did Putin use it in 2008 in the primaries and election too? Did he have anything on Romney?

To steer that massive fake news buzz machine in particular directions all Putin has to do is plant some fake news with the usual sources used to feed the talk radio gods. Maybe it isn’t just the American think tanks and other GOP and Wall St.-friendly organizations.

What about ‘Climategate’ in 2009?

Every year humans wait on global warming guys like Putin make billions more in fossil fuel royalties and every year it gets easier for them to sell emergency centralized solutions like nuclear.

In general, Putin wouldn’t have to pay to get a few hundred talkers on 1200 radio stations to sell global warming denial because they’ve been doing it essentially for free for US fossil fuel interests for a couple of decades. Republican talk radio hosts can’t tell their audiences they believe 99% of climate scientists instead of Limbaugh and keep their jobs. That would mean the other talkers are either liars or idiots. So they all deny global warming, even though they are lying about our most important national and global security issue.

‘Climategate’ started with a Russian email hack of scientists at the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia Nov 17, 2009. Websites got the material Nov 20, and on Monday Nov 22, about 2 weeks before the start of the Dec 7 Copenhagen climate summit, Limbaugh started claiming a few emails taken out of context were proof that global warming was a hoax. In an unusual (paid?) break from habit he dedicated most of a week to one task — creating ‘Climategate’. In the first few days there was little reaction in the MSM but by the end of the week flat earthers were getting equal time in prime time to discuss Obama’s part in going to Copenhagen to destroy capitalism.

Climatologist Michael Mann said ‘Climategate’ set us back years.

What about pushing the US to default on the national debt in 2011?

In 2011 Limbaugh spent months before the August 2 debt ceiling deadline convincing the Republican base that there was no chance that the US could default on the debt, and, even if it did, it would force Obama to do what Republicans wanted. So go ahead and default! He was a major driver of Republican obstruction.

That would be one way to help sabotage US standing in the world.

HOW TO FIX IT?

Blaming Obama will likely get worse if Democrats keep ignoring Republican talk radio.

257 Limbaugh stations are endorsed by at least 88 major universities….. - they need to be included in protests.

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The US Army PSYOPS Manual sees radio as a great propaganda tool (Psychological Operations Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures 12/2003 - available online).

Some excerpts, via republiconradio.org:

Repetition is necessary for oral learning; therefore, key themes, phrases, or slogans should be repeated to ensure the TA (target audience) gets the desired message.

Talk radio is much better than TV, print, and internet for doing just that.

According to the PSYOPS manual, advantages of radio include:

Emotional Power: A skilled radio announcer can exert tremendous influence on the listener simply with pitch, resonance, inflection, or timing. and The emotional tone conveyed by the voice may influence the listener more than the logic of arguments.

Or, as Limbaugh would call it, "talent on loan from god".

Wide coverage: Radio programs can reach members of large and varied audiences simultaneously.

And... Since radio can reach mass TAs quickly, radio is useful for all types of PSYOPs.


RW talk radio reaches 50 mil/week and dominates the buzz in 40 states with 80 senators. In most parts of the US there are no free easy alternatives for politics, especially while driving and working.

Speed: Radio programs can be quickly prepared for broadcast. Speed is important when attempting to capitalize on targets of opportunity.

Perfect for spinning and distorting breaking news.

Ease of perception: Radio requires little or no effort to visualize the radio message. Illiteracy does not prevent the listener from forming his individual image as he listens.

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