August 6, 2017

For all the references to "fake news" nowadays, there has been precious little focus on what to do with the actual fake news that infected the national dialog during the last election. And the horrifying part for me is that for as much as our buddy Stephen here wants to make this an "alt-right" phenomena, it's really not. Over the course of about 36 hours, I had interactions with actual lefties (not bots, I can tell the difference) on Facebook where three different self-identified Bernie voters tried to tell me that I was hopelessly naive if I didn't know that Hillary Clinton was a immoral crook who was not only guilty of #Pizzagate, but of murdering DNC staffer Seth Rich. Stories that came out of the fevered swamps of Steve Bannon and Vladimir Putin's troll bot shops, now being embraced by the allegedly "reality-based community." It was more than a little horrifying for me, because I realized that we're not doing anything to combat this at all.

The French saw how Putin manipulated our election (I actually think they probably did more than that, but I'll leave that to forensic e-specialists to figure out) and they figured out a way to limit that risk for them. Now we're seeing evidence that Brexit (and the annoying Calexit) may be the work of Russian disinformation and Putin's plan to weaken the West as well.

In fact, there's now an app by the Alliance for Security Democracy in which you can track Russian propaganda in real time: Hamilton 68.

What are we going to do to not have these kind of insane conspiracy theories not infecting both the right and the left? We can't count on any of the Sunday shows anchors or producers to keep us informed. Nor can we rely on the current occupant of the White House to do anything.

One thing YOU can do is participate in my friend Melissa Ryan's (whose newsletter Ctrl Alt Right Delete should be required reading for you) "Factual Democracy Project". She's currently crowdfunding for a series of conference calls with experts in media, technology, civil society, and national security. It should be very interesting.

ABC's "This Week" - Presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway; Sens. Chris Coons, D-Del., and Thom Tillis, R-N.C. Panel: Stephanie Cutter, Megan Murphy, Ramesh Ponnuru and Matt Schlapp.

NBC's "Meet the Press" - Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.; Gov. Jerry Brown, D-Calif. Panel: Dan Balz, David French, Andrea Mitchell and Heather McGhee.

CBS' "Face the Nation" - Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark.; Govs. John Kasich, R-Ohio, and John Hickenlooper, D-Colo.; former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. Panel: Jamelle Bouie, Jennifer Jacobs, Susan Page and Reihan Salam.

CNN's "State of the Union" - Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis.; Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.; Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J. Panel: Nina Turner, former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa.; Amanda Carpenter, and Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif.

CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS" - former Vice President Al Gore; Julia Ioffe; Gideon Rose; and Dan Senor.

CNN's "Reliable Sources" - Richard Tofel, president of ProPublica; Jeff Greenfield; Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Matt Schlapp, Trevor Timm, executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation; Margaret Talev of Bloomberg and president of the White House Correspondents Association; Oliver Darcy of CNN.

"Fox News Sunday" - Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein,Tillis. Panel: Jason Riley, Rachael Bade of Politico, Rich Lowry of National Review and Charles Lane of The Washington Post.

So, what's catching your eye this morning?

Can you help us out?

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