Daily Bafflements

Siddhartha Deb’s new column, the secret causes of fake news, Trump’s donors

The BafflerJanuary 09, 2017
glasseyes view

“Just as climate change is the natural byproduct of fossil capitalism, so is fake news the byproduct of digital capitalism,” writes Evgeny Morozov. / glasseyes view

• Longtime Baffler hand Siddhartha Deb has a books column in 2017! In his first piece, today, he remembers John Berger, and his “principled opposition to the contemporary idea of the writer as entrepreneur.”

• “There have always been crazy movements (remember Lyndon LaRouche?) that lived and breathed fake news,” writes contributing editor Evgeny Morozov, over at The Guardian. “What they lacked was not the political and financial cover from Russia but, rather, today’s powerful digital infrastructure, lavishly subsidised by online advertising, for making their crazy theories go viral.”

• Some suggested that “because Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christie weren’t getting Cabinet positions, Trump wasn’t rewarding loyalists,” notes Sean McElwee in an in-depth study of the Trump donor base. “But in reality, Trump is simply rewarding a different type of loyalist: His Cabinet has the most big campaign donors in history.”