Home/Daniel Larison/Bloomberg’s Disinformation Campaign

Bloomberg’s Disinformation Campaign

The Guardianreports on how the Bloomberg campaign’s efforts to use disinformation to their advantage keeps backfiring on them. It mentions the ridiculous fake quotes that the campaign invented and pretended were from Sanders, and notes that the campaign then deleted all of its tweets because of the negative reaction to them:

The campaign also sent tweets pretending to be Sanders about the former Ugandan despot Idi Amin, and the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.

On Twitter, some users pointed out, without verbal cues, it was difficult for most followers to discern that the latest hashtag was a joke, not actual quotes from Sanders. The Bloomberg campaign ultimately clarified with a follow-up tweet that “all of these are satire”.

The tweets were then later deleted.

Earlier this month, Bloomberg also faced criticism for a video he tweeted that was misleadingly edited following the Democratic debate in Nevada. As a result, Twitter announced a new policy against misleading content that would flag videos as doctored clips.

The Bloomberg campaign resorted to deceptive editing of debate footage because their candidate performed so horribly in the last debate. The only moment that they could highlight without embarrassment was one that they had to make up. Likewise, they invented absurd quotes from Sanders in order to create a caricature of him as an apologist for dictators despite their own candidate’s record of defending the Chinese government in just the last few months. Bloomberg hopes to flood the airwaves and the Internet with content that will make him seem like a credible candidate while torching his Democratic rivals, but there is relatively little about his own record that appeals to core Democratic constituencies and quite a lot that alienates them. That is why his campaign has to smear his opponents with made-up quotes and fabricate debate successes that never happened. Bloomberg can’t defend his record on the merits, and he prefers to misrepresent and distort his opponents’ views. The result is that we are all subjected to a tidal wave of misleading propaganda. The Bloomberg campaign’s willingness to use disinformation like this shows their lack of respect for the voters and their lack of scruples, and we should expect much more of it in the coming months.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

leave a comment

Latest Articles