PERSPECTIVES ON THE PANDEMIC XVIII

2020: A PROPAGANDA MASTERPIECE, PART TWO - Divide & Conquer


A Conversation with Mark Crispin Miller, Professor of Media Studies at New York University

June 10th, 2021 - Brooklyn, New York


Interviewed by John Kirby


Researched and Edited by Francis Karagodins and Evan Dominguez

Illustrated through July 30th, 2021


“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society,” wrote Edward Bernays, the father of modern propaganda. In Episode 18 of Perspectives on the Pandemic, “Divide and Conquer”, Professor Mark Crispin Miller discusses in-depth the media’s “conscious and intelligent manipulation” of major events arising after the COVID rollout in the West. From the corporate hijack of the Black Lives Matter movement, to the fraudulent suppression of life-saving Covid treatments, to the “coup” on January 6th, Miller makes the case that the establishment seeks to inflame a fractured country. Masked vs. unmasked, vaxxed vs. unvaxxed, Red vs. Blue: the ultimate losers of this pro-wrestling drama may be both democracy and science.





Mark Crispin Miller:

One of the things that the COVID rollout has done is to create a whole new category of forbidden speech, okay? That if you raise questions about masking, you raise questions about vaccines, you even question the origins of the pandemic, you raise any questions at all, you're putting people at risk, okay? If you're not completely credulous and if you don't soak up everything, Dr. Fauci says, then you're somehow putting people at risk. You want people to die.


Carl Cameron:

99.5% of those infections are people who haven't gotten vaccinated. I mean, come on. Anybody who disputes that sort of stuff is putting people's lives at risk and potentially killing them.


Mark Crispin Miller:

So that's kind of a new emergency period proscription on a whole huge category of speech. It's actually more urgent than ever before that we'd be allowed to hear the other side of the story. People should hear that masking does no good and is actually making you sicker, et cetera, right? I can't listen to any of that. If you bring that up, you're putting people at risk, okay?


Mark Crispin Miller:

Secondly, the George Floyd moment and the rise of BLM and along with it, antifa, and on the other side, the Proud Boys, right, this is, first of all, explicitly divisive, which is something that comes straight out of the imperial playbook as it is masking was a new way to divide the population so that maskers and anti-maskers are on opposite sides, and that matches the blue-red split.


Speaker 3:

I'm not afraid. The good Lord takes care of me. If I die, I die. We got to get this country moving. What are you going to do, wear a mask and stay inside for another year, huh?


Don Lemon:

Okay.


Mark Crispin Miller:

I believe that one of the primary purposes of the COVID rollout and the lockdowns was to largely demolish independently-owned businesses all over the country and the world, and it was very successful at doing that.


Speaker 5:

The Wall Street Journal said 40% of Black-owned businesses were just gone, April of 2020.


Mark Crispin Miller:

Then, there was the George Floyd moment, the George Floyd incident. After the infamous video of Derek Chauvin with his knee on George Floyd's neck, there was an explosion of protests, not just nationwide, but all over the world.


Crowd:

No justice, no peace. No justice, no peace.


Crowd:

Black lives matter. Black lives matter.


Mark Crispin Miller:

And while there's no doubt that many of the people protesting were sincere, I think that what we witnessed here in the city and what people in other cities witnessed was a kind of controlled demolition of still more businesses.


Mark Crispin Miller:

You and I each saw with our own eyes the police actually standing down in the face of really violent vandalism, arson, things like that. We've seen these anomalous piles of bricks placed near where protests were supposed to take place.


Speaker 7:

Full of bricks.


Speaker 8:

Shit is crazy. Just some random ass bricks, bruh. Ain't no construction. Ain't no construction, bruh. Just some random ass bricks, they had.


Speaker 9:

There's another pile of these random ass bricks. That's what they didn't tell us. They said, "Let's get up." It's like an invitation.


Speaker 10:

This right here, this is the set.


Mark Crispin Miller:

So we have this pattern of protests followed by a mopping up that's extremely violent and destructive, and the guts, all these other stores and small businesses, right? So in a way it's like a further body blow to the independent economy and this introduces into the narrative a kind of woke militancy that has actually, I think, served to be part of the whole COVID narrative.


Mark Crispin Miller:

When you've got Jamie Dimon, and Mitt Romney, and Jeff Bezos, and Bill and Melinda Gates, and the Chase Manhattan Bank, and Goldman Sachs, and Amazon all saying Black lives matter, you've got Nancy Pelosi, what is she worth, $120 million, taking a knee in the House of Representatives lobby with the Kente cloth on, I mean, seriously, these people are the biggest predators out there and they're all telling us that Black lives matter. I mean, this really does get me exercised. I mean, if you follow the stories of what it's like to be working in the Amazon warehouses under speedup conditions where these people are calling 911 on a daily basis to report that yet another fellow worker has collapsed, you got workers wearing diapers because they can't take bathroom breaks, a lot of those workers are Black. Don't their lives matter?


Speaker 11:

If I had the opportunity to talk to Jeff Bezos face-to-face, I would really want to ask him, have he ever worked in a warehouse before? Have he sweated for 10 to 12 hours a day and not being able to go to the restroom when he needed to go?


Jeff Bezos:

On the issue of working conditions, I'm very proud of our working conditions.


Speaker 13:

They got cameras. They watching us all the time.


Speaker 14:

It's a lot of walking. It's a lot of fast pace. It's a lot of climbing upstairs. It's just a lot for the human body.


Speaker 13:

They getting treated like robots. And it's not fair because even robots break down sometime.


Speaker 15:

Command under the start. Two, one. Ignition.


Jeff Bezos:

I want to thank every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer because you guys paid for all of this.


Ariane Cornell:

Go, Jeff. Go, Mark. Go, Wally. Go, Oliver. You are going to space.


Mark Crispin Miller:

I mean, is it enough for Bezos to say Black lives matter? Is it enough for him to put up a banner on Amazon Prime? BLM is a brand, okay? It is a very, very lavishly-funded brand. They'll paint the letters on a street in Washington. They got a $100 million from the Ford Foundation, right? They're getting that kind of funding, right? Again, that's CIA money.


Crowd:

I can't breathe. I can't breathe. I can't breathe. I can't breathe.


Mark Crispin Miller:

All right, so let's talk about the third act in this grotesque theatrical starting in January of 2020, and in a sense concluding on January 6th of this year. Now, let me preface this by noting that the equation of Donald Trump with Adolf Hitler actually began before the 2016 election. There's a lot of people out there who actually think that those two historical figures are very similar, and that's based on knowing absolutely nothing about either Hitler or Trump, okay?


Mark Crispin Miller:

Michiko Kakutani, the veteran book reviewer of The New York Times was actually trotted out to do this big review of a new biography of Hitler. And the whole review was this elaborate comparison of Trump with Hitler, right, which tells me The New York Times being as it is, intelligence connected, tells me that this was a narrative that they wanted to have in people's minds. And it could even relate to what I still regard as the surprise election of Donald Trump because it fed the assumption that he had taken over the country illegitimately.


Mark Crispin Miller:

I am in no way a Trump apologist or champion. I have no use for him at all. I think that he and I were equally surprised by his victory. That's my own reading because some pretty compelling forensic evidence is out there that the three swing states that he miraculously won late in the night, this is how it always goes down, there's a lot that's really wrong with those numbers. There's a lot that's suspicious about all that, and the fact that Team Trump didn't even have an acceptance speech written because their own polling clearly told them that Hillary Clinton was going to win. That was my reading of the polls.


Donald Trump:

Sorry to keep you waiting, complicated business. Complicated.


John Kirby:

You and I have a mild disagreement. I think that part of the pro wrestling nature of Trump was to act surprised that he got the election. I mean, I think there's a plan that unfolded for Trump to be president. I mean, I like to do this thought experiment. Let me throw it at you. Imagine if Trump had been the one to say-


Andrew Cuomo:

You must have a mask.


John Kirby:

You got to close down your businesses, no school, no church, no small business economy. You know what? Everyone's going to have to be taken a shot pretty soon, and this is the way it is. People would have rightly said this is fascism. But because Trump said it, I mean, he was so perfectly positioned earlier as this opponent of rationality or this bigot or this anti-science persona, whether he got there by accident or not, he's definitely served a major purpose which was to weaponize the truth in a way against people who might want to employ it.


Donald Trump:

People think that goes away in April with the heat, as the heat comes in. Typically, that will go away at April. We're in great shape. The Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus. You know that, right? coronavirus. And this is their new hoax. Healthy people, if you're healthy, you will probably go through a process and you'll be fine.


Speaker 20:

President, is it safe or appropriate to be holding rallies during a public health crisis like this?


Donald Trump:

I think it's very safe, yeah. I think it's very safe.


Speaker 21:

The global death rate at 3.4%.


Donald Trump:

Well, I think the 3.4% is really a false number. Now, this is just my hunch. Personally, I would say the numbers are way under 1%. Everybody has to be calm. It's all going to work out. I mean, most people are getting better. Most, by far, the people... They get better. With or without a vaccine, it's going to pass. We stop testing right now whatever a few cases, if any. One thing that's for certain, don't let it dominate you. Don't be afraid of it.


John Kirby:

So this had tremendous consequences but, of course, he was also the person who spearheaded Operation Warp Speed, which is giving us the dubious vaccine.


Donald Trump:

Today, I want to update you on the next stage of this momentous medical initiative. It's called Operation Warp Speed. That means big and it means fast. A massive, scientific, industrial, and logistical endeavor, unlike anything our country has seen since the Manhattan Project. You really could say that nobody's seen anything like we're doing, whether it's ventilators or testing. Nobody's seen anything like we're doing now within our country since the second World War.


Mark Crispin Miller:

Donald Trump has served as a central polarizing figure in a spectacle of politics that is like nothing so much as a pro wrestling match. I mean, Trump is the pro wrestling president. That's actually a fact in as much as he appointed Linda McMahon to head the Small Business Administration. And he has himself participated in pro wrestling, smackdowns.


Speaker 22:

And big yes, the Donald is here live on Monday Night Raw.


Speaker 23:

He's still here.


Speaker 22:

And Mr. Trump, not coming alone.


Mark Crispin Miller:

There's something about the guy as a reality TV star that suggests he's playing a part. He's playing the part of the swaggering conceded wrestler who enjoys provoking the audience to ever wilder boos and catcalls, and he plays dirty tricks on the good guy, the opposition. And then, this reminds me of that moment in the debates with Hillary when he stood behind her looking like a stalker.


Janine Driver:

So at some of parts of watching last night, I was really getting nervous because she was in his space. He's like a dog who's starting to get anxious. He's being backed in a corner. So I had a little anxiety during these moments.


Alisyn Camerota:

Fascinating. Let's talk about the handshake.


Mark Crispin Miller:

He relishes that kind of provocation in a way that really does recall pro wrestling. And just as pro wrestling is fixed, it's a kind of orchestrated sports spectacle that sticks to a script and use a certain special effects and so on, our politics is the same way.


Vince McMahon:

Clap, clap, clap, clap. At WrestleMania, Donald Trump, I'm going to do what everybody wanted to do.


Donald Trump:

Well, you know, Vince, I don't know if you've seen the latest poll. I saw the other night, John Travolta, he prefers Trump. I see others preferred Trump. The poll shows 95% of the Hollywood celebrities want your head shaved and we're going to do it, Vince. We're going to do it.


Mark Crispin Miller:

I don't think we can underestimate the shock people felt when this orange buffoon became president, with his cape and his tights swaggering around the ring, running up to his opponent when the referee's back was turned and hitting him on the kidney with his elbow, that kind of thing. They couldn't believe that he was president, right? They never got over the shock of it.


Speaker 22:

Donald Trump is in a world he is not familiar with.


Speaker 23:

Hey, look at this. Look at that, Trump. Donald Trump.


Speaker 22:

Donald Trump taking down Vince McMahon.


Speaker 23:

Oh, my God.


Speaker 22:

The hostile take over of Donald Trump.


Speaker 23:

Oh, no.


Mark Crispin Miller:

I think it does have some kind of psycho political dimension to it because what it actually ended up doing, I mean, pretty quickly was making the CIA and the FBI and the bureaucracy in Washington generally. Suddenly, he appear heroic like our champions. They're going to protect us from the bad orange man and his handler in the Kremlin, right? This was combined with this demonization of Putin.


James Comey:

The FBI, as part of our counter-intelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.


Anderson Cooper:

Do you still believe the president could be a Russian asset?


Andrew McCabe:

I think it's possible. I think that's why we started our investigation.


John Brennan:

It's very clear that the Russians interfered in the election, and I'm still puzzling as to why Mr. Trump does not acknowledge that and embrace it and also pushed back hard against Mr. Putin. The Russian threat to our democracy and our democratic foundations is real.


James Clapper:

This was the classic textbook Soviet and now Russian trade craft.


Bill Maher:

The FBI doesn't do moles and campaigns, do they?


Clint Watts:

No. It's a bunch of nonsense. The FBI's mission is to protect the United States. So if they had tips that there might be a Russian infiltration into the United States to meddle with our election, which has been found out, then they should go after that. So using a confidential informant, a trusted source, to go test out those leads, it would be negligent for them not to do that.


Bill Maher:

So that's a deep, deep state you got?


Preet Bharara:

By deep state, if you mean professionals who are consummate professionals-


Bill Maher:

Oh, my heroes.


Preet Bharara:

... who understand what continuity means, who understand what the constitution is, who don't care about party, who don't care about politics and just do what's right and honor the law and honor the constitution, then God bless the deep state.


Bill Maher:

But he's purging.


John McLaughlin:

Thank God for the deep state.


John Brennan:

I don't know what the principal protagonist in this drama is going to do, but I surely hope that those adults and those people in the White House and in the Cabinet and in the Congress are going to recognize that they need to act before there's a real disaster.


Stephen Colbert:

To the truth.


James Comey:

Yes, to the truth.


Stephen Colbert:

That's quite nice. That's quite nice.


Mark Crispin Miller:

You know, I mean, the whole thing has actually jerked American liberals back into the position of the John Birch Society in the '50s or the far-right because all of a sudden, Russia is this demonic force that is directing all the far-right movements in Europe and elsewhere. Also, the demonization of Trump has entailed a ferocious hatred of the American-working class.


Hillary Clinton:

You could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables.


Vince McMahon:

You might have some support from this audience, but 95% of them are idiots.


Donald Trump:

To me, they looked like a very smart group of people.


Mark Crispin Miller:

As you've said, what kinds of extremely acute people who have understood and who have grasped the falseness of narrative after narrative, right, until now have succumbed to this?


Speaker 39:

Even after we produce a vaccine, experts say that it could be months or even years before we come back to anything approaching normal.


Joe Biden:

About between 750 and 1,000 people there are dying. When he was presented with that number, he said it is what it is. Well, it is what it is because you are who you are. That's why it is.


Mark Crispin Miller:

What's happened is we've had this president who would say certain things that have really serious real world consequences. He would say, for example, that hydroxychloroquine works, right? If you take it early enough, it will help you get over COVID-19. He said this. So all of his followers believe it because he said it, okay? They don't believe it because it's true where they have any way of verifying it. They just believe it because he said it. Alternatively, everybody on the other side of the aisle, all the liberals think it can't be true because he said it. That's just it. "He said it. It can't be true. Trump lies." I've heard that so many times. It's as if they've been subjected to some kind of communist brainwashing, right? "He said it. It can't be true." Well, as a matter of fact, he was right. And the suppression of hydroxychloroquine, the proscription on its use by governors, interfering with doctors trying to treat their patients, I mean, this is a crime against humanity.


Donald Trump:

I happened to be taking it. I happened to be taking it.


Interviewer 1:

Hydroxychloroquine?


Donald Trump:

I'm taking it, hydroxychloroquine.


Sanjay Gupta:

Well, he shouldn't be taking it.


John Roberts:

Is there any evidence to suggest that as with malaria, it might be used as a prophylaxis against COVID-19?


Anthony Fauci:

The answer is no. And the evidence that you're talking about, John, is anecdotal evidence.


Brianna Keilar:

A large new study links hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to a higher risk of death in coronavirus patients.


Elizabeth Cohen:

This is a study that was led by folks at Harvard and was published in the Lancet just today.


Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus:

Last week, the executive group of the Solidarity Trial decided to implement a temporary pause of the hydroxychloroquine arm of the trial because of concerns raised about the safety of the drug.


Lana Zak:

The Food and Drug Administration is ending its emergency authorization for the use of hydrochloroquine to treat COVID-19. President Trump has repeatedly praised hydrochloroquine as a potential coronavirus treatment.


Jorge Rodriguez:

This is the mother of all studies right now. This was 96,000 patients.


Peter McCullough:

This is not just a government culpability and a malfeasance with respect to hydroxychloroquine. This is academic malfeasance. There were two fraudulent papers, one in New England Journal Medicine, one in Lancet, they were withdrawn. And the New England Journal Medicine and Lancet acknowledged that they were fraudulent papers. They were scare papers to scare people on hydroxychloroquine. Since that time, there's been dozens of pile on a scare tactics in academics. This isn't the government. This is people in my field, in academic medicine, who are committing academic fraud.


Peter McCullough:

I reviewed a paper. I'm a cardiologist. I reviewed a paper that made it into the medical literature, demonstrating that hydroxychloroquine causes a heart attack, that hydroxychloroquine causes a giant scar in the heart. And I can tell you, I'm at Baylor in Dallas, we have the world's most recognized cardiac pathology program in the world. Our senior examiner has held in his hands more human hearts than anybody in the history of mankind. I can tell you firsthand hydroxychloroquine does not cause giant scars in the heart. So academic medicine is committing fraud, is committing, I think, a crime against humanity. There must be a motivation behind this that's much bigger than just Democrat versus Republican.


Mark Crispin Miller:

At any rate after the last election, which was demonstrably stolen, there was a huge and, I think, entirely justified demonstration in Washington, and as a believer in electoral democracy, although I regard our politics as theater now, I think it's important to honor the will of the electorate even if they don't entirely understand what they're voting for. I think they were taken in by Trump. That's irrelevant. They had every right to demonstrate, but by over-focusing on the PSYOP in the Capitol Building, the media was able to give the impression that the nation's capital was sort of overrun by brown shirts and clansmen. If you carefully examine both the videos taken inside the Capitol and the way the event was covered and reported, it was obviously staged to provide footage for the talking heads to define this ridiculous invasion as an attempted coup.


Speaker 51:

The peaceful transfer of power, the cornerstone of American democracy seen the highly abstract concept today. As Trump supporters clashed with police as they tried and succeeded to storm the Congress where America's elected leaders had gathered to certify the election victory of Joe Biden.


Joe Biden:

Our nation so long the beacon of light and hope for democracy has come to such a dark moment.


Speaker 52:

I am in tears today to see this scene. This is not an American scene.


Speaker 53:

Did you ever imagine seeing that in America?


Speaker 54:

Did we just witness a coup attempt in the United States of America, or was this an insurrection?


Mehdi Hasan:

How would you describe what happened on that day? Was it a coup, an act of domestic terrorism? What was it in your view?


Speaker 56:

Some local political experts you spoke with today are calling this an attempted coup.


Dan Rather:

This was by any dictionary definition a coup attempt.


Adam Kinzinger:

Any other country this was happening, it would be called a coup. We'd call it that, so that's what it is.


Noam Chomsky:

It was very clearly an attempt to carry out of a coup to overthrow the elected government.


Mark Crispin Miller:

It just takes my breath away. These people did not know what a coup is. What do you do when you mount a coup? Will you take over the media, right? You often kill the incumbent. You have troops take over. Okay, did anything like that happen this time? Have these people ever heard of Chile? Their 9/11 in 1973? That was a coup.


Speaker 60:

(singing)


Mark Crispin Miller:

There have been coups that our CIA has cultivated and paid for and encouraged, and they're usually pretty bloody and they usually mean an attempt to take over the government. And I don't see any evidence that these people who put their feet up on a few desks and bang on a few doors were trying to take over the government. And I also think that a number of them were agents, as usual. Now, it's obvious that the Capitol police, and that's a very, very powerful and well-organized protective force, somehow that day they weren't. Somehow that day, members of that force were ushering people into the Capitol Building. It's there for your eyes to see. They took down the barricades and guided people into the Capitol.


Speaker 61:

Police are squabbling with protesters. There we go. And they just reached the Capitol.


William Watson:

The police who are willing to work with us and cooperate peacefully, like our friends [inaudible 00:27:43] allowed.


Speaker 63:

[inaudible 00:27:44]. Do you understand?


William Watson:

Yes.


Speaker 63:

Then show us no attacking, no assault. Remain calm.


William Watson:

We're not going to assault. We're going to be heard. Everybody, this must be peaceful.


Speaker 64:

This has to be peaceful. We have the right to peacefully assemble.


Mark Crispin Miller:

And then, the most absurd footage of all was the footage of this lone Capitol policeman standing with his club, trying to hold off this horde of white supremacists coming up the stairs, right? Now, if you watch this carefully and try to maintain your calm of mind, you'll notice, first of all, that there's a guy standing right on the other side of the landing that he's on, filming him. It's like a movie is being filmed. Then, you say to yourself, "But wait a minute, the footage I'm watching was also taken on somebody's cell phone," right? It was staged.


Speaker 64:

Yeah.


Mark Crispin Miller:

But the language around it was so hysterical, right? And I've learned this in studying these PSYOPs over the years. It doesn't matter what you're actually looking at. It doesn't matter what you see with your eyes. If the voiceover narration is sufficiently compelling, you will tend to have that color, your understanding of what you're seeing, okay? Now, it didn't look like a coup, it looked like a kind of lark or frolic. It looked like a panty raid on campus. And this marks the moment when conspiracy theory is explicitly acquainted with domestic terrorism, okay?


Mark Crispin Miller:

Now, things, as I said, we're drifting in this direction from the time that David Cameron and Francois Hollande likened conspiracy theory to extremist movements that threatened people's lives. So we've come a long way from the CIA memo in 1967, which passingly relates to the fact that what the conspiracy theorists were arguing about the Warren Report referred to material used deliberately contrived by communist propagandas. Now, it's been flipped to make the urgent hysterical claim often that conspiracy theory is a form of domestic terrorism and it's based on this fantasy of like this brown shirts out in the streets of the United States and that Trump's supporters are Nazis. The Nazi threat was used several times over the last year or so to try to take the loss off of really huge anti-lockdown demonstrations, fairly big ones in Michigan, which were then tarred with the brush of Nazism by the supposed plot by bearded neo-Nazis to kidnap Gretchen Whitmer, the governor of Michigan. That, to me, is so explicitly phony that I just have to laugh.


Gretchen Whitmer:

Earlier today, Attorney General Dana Nessel was joined by officials from the Department of Justice and the FBI to announce state and federal charges against 13 members of two militia groups who were preparing to kidnap and possibly kill me.


Speaker 66:

Now, a big investigative report on Buzzfeed News has revealed a bunch of new details and particularly about the role that FBI informants played in the plot and breaking it up.


Jessica Garrison:

We always knew even from the moment the case was announced that there was at least one informant, in fact, at least two, and that they had been in the plot. The great revelation of our reporting and also what's come out in the court documents and in other media, including the Detroit Free Press, which has done a great job on this, is that there were as many as 12 informants, and that those informants played a much larger and more active role. One of the informants actually rose to become the second in command of the Wolverine Watchmen.


Mark Crispin Miller:

And then, when there was a big gigantic demonstration in Berlin, it was like a million people and Bobby Kennedy addressed them and got right down to it and said they're going to call this a Nazi Get-Together.


Bobby Kennedy:

Back at home in the United States, the newspapers are saying that I came here today, to speak to about 5,000 Nazis. And tomorrow, they're going to report that, yes, I was here and I spoke to maybe 3,000 to 5,000 Nazis. But I look at this crowd, and I see the opposite of Nazism. I see people who love democracy, people who want to open government, people who want leaders that are not going to lie to them, leaders who will not make up arbitrary rules and regulations to orchestrate obedience of the population. I look at this crowd, I see all the flags of Europe, I see people of every color, I see people from every nation, every religion, all caring about human dignity, about children's health, about political freedom. This is the opposite of Nazism.


Speaker 69:

[foreign language 00:33:26]


Mark Crispin Miller:

We were told that a contingent of these Nazis actually stormed the Reichstag, right? I mean, seriously, can we just get a grip here? That's theater. That's theatrics. And the people protesting lockdown are not Nazis.


Speaker 70:

(singing)