I'm terrified by what's coming. I wrote a book with 5000 citations that conclusively debunks every claim by Johnson. Media won't report on it—but it *will* report Johnson's Kremlin propaganda when he drops it. And I'll have to sit by and watch helplessly. politi.co/3fXaZ8p
The same thing just happened with the bogus "peace deals" involving Israel, UAE, and Bahrain. I published a book on that topic, with 4500 citations, over a year ago. It would have perfectly contextualized these deals as shams. But media reported on the deals and ignored the book.
I can't tell you how emotionally grueling it is to spend hundreds and hundreds of hours ruthlessly researching every angle of a topic only to know the Trump disinformation machine will *effortlessly* reach *100,000 times more people* because US media will allow it to be that way.
Proof of Corruption took on many tasks with its 5000 citations. One of the biggest was examining—via major-media investigative reports—*all* the false claims Johnson is going to drop on Biden. Anyone who reads the book becomes immune to Kremlin propaganda. amazon.com/dp/1250272998?…
Thousands of journalists follow this feed. They've seen the research, read the Proof books. And they're doing *nothing* to prepare America for the Kremlin disinformation Johnson and Barr will dump on us days before the election. All they had to do was tell folks to read one book.
The conspiracy theories Johnson is pursuing are complex—and they take time and space to debunk. It is *not* something a single fact-checker will be able to do in a 7-minute cable-news segment on November 1. It takes a *book* and must be discussed *now*, not 48 hours pre-election.
Many folks turned their lives upside down to deliver accurate info during Trump's first term—and often it took long-form writing, not 7-minute cable news punditry. If Trump wins, many will go back to their lives. It's not clear media can/will change its ways to pick up the slack.
Trump and his minions have declared an info war on America—and they are winning it. America is fighting back with 7-minute talking-head segments and tapes of spring 2020 conversations in which things we already knew are "revealed" as "breaking news." We are *losing* the info war.
I teach communications. One thing anyone in communications will tell you is that in the midst of an info war *everyone* must change how they create, distribute, consume, and synthesize information—the old methods cannot be maintained. They must be dynamically and quickly adapted.
Trump's presidency is a "metamodern" political scandal overlaid by Goebbels "Big Lie" technique, meaning 1) all the key events in the scandal occur publicly so that the public won't think they could possibly be "wrong," 2) the Big Lie to not believe what you see/hear is repeated.
Media should've stopped airing Trump or his agents. Their words—only when consequential rather than merely rhetorical—should've been reported in text graphics bookended by fact-checks. Media should've pushed books containing long-form truth—quick-hit factchecking is insufficient.
Instead, it's almost impossible to detect any change in media conduct. Trump is put on-air live. His agents are put on-air live. People known to be liars are interviewed. 7-minute segments continue to be the norm. Fact-checkers are must *rapidly* spit out *quick-hit* fact-checks.
In the midst of it all a journalist who made his name 50 years ago is trotted out to tell us this is *just* like the Watergate years—a tape can fix everything! No matter that the tape was sat on, that the man who got it was interviewing known liars, that we already knew the lies.
Advice: turn off any program that features talking heads doing quick-hit analyses of complex issues. Ignore books that are just gossip/scandal rather than revealing crime/systemic corruption. Turn off any program in which Trump or his liars are being allowed to lie in real time.
Now is the time for long-form podcasts, long-form books, fact-checking sites that aren't time- or space-limited (e.g., columns, blogs, podcasts, fact-checking archives, long-form explainers). Pay attention only to the actions of newsmakers, not their rhetoric. But that's not all.
We must also *accept* what no corporate media platform can (because it fears losing conservative viewers): the Republican Party at *this* moment (I am not saying always in the past or always in the future) is *committed* to spreading Kremlin and domestic disinformation to voters.
*No* info coming from GOP sources can be trusted in real time unless it has been vetted—long-form—by an independent party beforehand. There *should* be no articles reporting on what Republicans in D.C. are doing or saying unless they include *zero* falsehoods or disinformation.
What this means is that the old "sandwich" technique of reporting out lies and disinformation as long as you bookend them with the truth *must be ended*—journalists can't and mustn't report disinformation in *any* format, *however* cleverly it is "book-ended" via old techniques.
The American public doesn't realize that it's *in* a war *now*—an information war in which it's the intended victim class. Too many in media are making noise about *not* being weapons trained on us in that war, even as they make *no systemic changes* to how they report the news.
Michael Cohen testified *live on-air* for *hours*. Yet when his book came out, journalists *begged openly* for him to talk to them. Why? Ratings. They took time from their programs that could've been devoted to *new* info and devoted it instead to someone we'd already heard from.
Cable is *still* bringing on "surrogates" (who no one needs to hear from *ever*) and "old hands" who (1) don't understand the digital age, (2) haven't done *any* relevant research on what's happening, and therefore (3) just give old cliches about "how it works." (Not anymore!)
This is a slow-motion disaster leading right to another Trump win we'll all act surprised about. Oh—how did it happen? How could this be? *We're all ensuring it happens right now*. None of us should act surprised when this goes *exactly* the way we're *letting* it go this moment.
I'm doing what I can, as is everyone—and there are millions—who turned their life upside down these last 4 years to fight in this information war. But if the same people making the same mistakes leads to a Trump win, I don't know how many of us have another 4 years of fight left.
This isn't about money/credit. I don't care about TV/radio/print. I've done those things ad nauseam for 20 years now (my bio is readily available). So borrow my book from a library; get it from a friend; read the huge part of it (20%) already online; I don't care if you *buy* it.
And there are *so many other books* worth reading, some in full and some in substantial excerpt. Substantial excerpts of Bolton's book are worth reading; Jared Yates Sexton's new book is worth reading; read MBS (by Ben Hubbard) and Dark Towers (David Enrich, about Deutsche Bank).
If you're not a reader, listen to these books on audiobook; often you can build up enough credits to get a number of audiobooks for free. Some people (like me) put an *unprecedented* amount of their books online for free. Follow their Twitter feeds. Read articles about the books.
I know how easy it is to sit in front of the TV watching talking heads rather than reading a book or listening to one. It's been the hardest habit for me to break—after carbs. I know how easy it is—I do it all the time!—to rush from "breaking news" story to "breaking news" story.
America is already unrecognizable to most of us. If Trump wins, the life we knew and the country we knew is *gone*, and not because of—Jesus—*policy* differences, but because Trump *literally* (and I'm using "literally" literally here) wants to end American democracy permanently.
Media had a moral obligation—as well as a professional (ethical) one—to *upend* how it does business to help save the country and itself (the free press).

It changed *nothing*. It took *none* of what's happening seriously except to slot the Trump era into its longstanding model.
When the Trump era started, I was a working poet who wrote political opeds and was moving toward writing graphic novels and fiction. I *became* a metajournalist because I felt this era demanded something more and different of my skill-set. I was *not* expecting to do any of this.
Every person in communications—from attorneys to journalists to professors to creative writers to editors (all roles I currently inhabit)—needed to figure out how this information war would fundamentally *transform* their lives and communications strategies. Many tried to do so.
But those *atop* the communications pyramid in American media in many cases did *nothing* but figure out how the Trump era could be made to work for the same communications strategies they'd *always* used.

Professors, creative writers, and editors were the worst in this regard.
Attorneys actually, en masse, *have* expressed their outrage—and used their expertise in ways we've never seen from attorneys before. And in journalism, there at least have been *pockets* of us trying to transform our journalistic writing, research and comms practices completely.
Journalists must be prepared to lose *every* news consumer for the sake of saying/doing what's right, true, necessary, suited to this moment. Authors and editors must be prepared to lose *every* reader. If you're not—if you're playing old games—you're on his side in the info war.
I'm now shadowbanned by Twitter. And when I tweet a thread, I lose scores of readers. When I discuss my book, I get attacked. When I give away parts of my books for free, I get criticism from other quarters. But I refuse to look back and say that I didn't do *everything* I could.
PS/ If you don't feel and sound desperate right now, you don't know what's going on.
NOTE/ I forgot to mention Tim Snyder's On Tyranny—also a great book. And more than anything, if you have the time I would order *both* 500-page halves of the bipartisan, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Report (it's available on Amazon for about $28 total for the 2 books).

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More from @SethAbramson

24 Sep
Does media understand that one reason politicians never stop lying is that even after they've proven themselves to be unreliable sources media keeps reporting on them as truth-tellers—making actually *telling* the truth immaterial to someone like McConnell?nbcnews.com/politics/congr…
Imagine a media landscape in which a politician can *lose their status* as a truth-teller—meaning media stops using them as a source, or reporting the things they say as being anything but claims. How many years ago would Mitch McConnell have lost the right to straight reportage?
Mitch McConnell didn't "dismiss" Trump's position—that's the reporting a *reliable source* gets. What Mitch McConnell did was "decline to adopt Trump's rhetoric about the election," though "with McConnell's history his intentions necessarily remain inscrutable and unreportable."
Read 5 tweets
24 Sep
What I find interesting—besides the anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that a Hungarian Holocaust survivor is renting out a $30 van in KY because... uh, no one else could? It's that the story was "shields and supplies" and became "weapons" only via Mark Levin—who knows Trump RTs him.
PS/ So this anodyne story about some random woman paying $30 to transport *defensive* objects and "supplies" to protesters *wisely* fearing tear gas and rubber bullets—given how cops have been acting this summer—*became* a story about "weapons" because Levin wanted to aid Trump.
PS2/ What's funny about this is that coordination between someone at Fox News and the Trump White House on a fake news story intended to aid Trump's presidential campaign is an *actual* conspiracy of real concern to Americans—not like that George Soros red herring the GOP adores.
Read 4 tweets
24 Sep
Hey @CNN: everything about this piece must be changed immediately. You give the impression DOJ has reopened a probe into *Clinton*—when Barr's lackeys confirmed the FBI was *right* to close that case. *This* is a probe into how the *FBI* handled that case. cnn.com/2020/09/24/pol…
PS/ Given that the fraudulent reopening of the Clinton case in October 2016—compelled by illegal extortionate threats by Trump's agents—swung the 2016 election, how dare CNN leave the impression, via image and text, *weeks before the 2020 vote*, that Clinton is under probe again?
PS2/ Here's the first paragraph of Chapter 6 of PROOF OF CORRUPTION. Anyone can readily confirm that John Huber found *nothing* amiss at the Clinton Foundation. If Barr wants to investigate how the FBI handled that case, OK. It has *nothing* to do with Clinton. Shame on you, CNN. Image
Read 11 tweets
24 Sep
There's no need to wonder anymore what you'd do if America faced a historic threat—whatever you're doing right now is what you'd do. As an attorney and author, I wrote a book that reveals Trump's plot against America. That's what I did and I'm proud of it. amazon.com/dp/1250272998?…
1/ I teach communications at UNH, and what I teach students is that an effective public communications practice arises from everything you are: your knowledge bases, skill-sets, passions, obsessions. Everything.

Everyone must find something to do that is founded in who they are.
2/ If you're young and energetic and sociable, activism that sees you moving about and interacting with folks is what you should be into now. If you are a great writer, you should be writing something that matters. If you're a great speaker, find any way to make your voice heard.
Read 22 tweets
24 Sep
Anyone have any luck finding a cable news report on the #TrumpCoupPlot—likely the single biggest news story in America since Pearl Harbor?

It's in THE ATLANTIC, it's in VANITY FAIR, it's in NEW YORK MAGAZINE—but if it's elsewhere, I'm missing it.

What the *hell* is media doing?
PS/ With a story of this magnitude, news outlets *will* want to run down their own sources. But—*but*—the Atlantic report can still be reported on as an "unconfirmed" (by a given outlet) "Atlantic report," and the Atlantic had some non-anonymous sources, so what's taking so long?
PS2/ Kudos to Chris Hayes of MSNBC (@chrislhayes) doing a report on this, and thanks to readers here for noting it. I'll look it up now. Let me know if anyone but Chris covered it.
Read 5 tweets
23 Sep
Anyone else think this'll shortly be overturned by a Trump appointee, a Trump fan, or a conservative judicial activist sitting on a state or federal court in the next 40 days, and/or that the appeals process ensures Eric doesn't answer diddly pre-election? nbcnews.com/politics/donal…
The Trumps play the U.S. legal system like a damn fiddle; no *wonder* they consider themselves above the law. We've minimal precedent for any judge, state or federal, *ever* successfully making a Trump do *anything*. The court system *ultimately* treats them as kings, every time.
Eric Trump already made clear to the courts that any delay he seeks has to do with the election, *and yet* I'm 100% certain higher courts will take so long to rule on any Trump appeals here that they'll (knowingly) be giving Eric just what he demanded, i.e. a post-election delay.
Read 4 tweets

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