The word “gaslighting” has been creeping into media critiques, and for good reason. Once upon a time, the media conveyed news, albeit with a liberal slant. Now, they’re into full-blown gaslighting to facilitate whatever the Left wants.
The term comes from a 1938 play by British playwright Patrick Hamilton, “Gaslight,” and film adaptations, the most famous of which is a 1944 version starring Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman.
It’s about a man who covers up a secret by literally making his wife believe she is insane. He uses all sorts of tricks, from weird lighting to pretending not to notice anything is wrong.
For decades, America’s media elites have engaged in selective gaslighting. A prime example occurred in 1968, when CBS’s Walter Cronkite and others parroted communist propaganda that Americans and South Vietnamese “lost” the Tet Offensive. In actuality, the Viet Cong were devastated despite aid from North Vietnam. But the false reports of a major American defeat morphed into a mantra that the war was unwinnable.
Today, the media commit Tet-level offenses every day. It’s stunning. Often, they parrot absurd Democrat talking points. At other times, they present “settled science” that is not remotely “settled.”
Here’s more about gaslighting before we plunge into other examples. “Gaslighting is an insidious form of manipulation and psychological control,” according to Psychology Today.
“Victims of gaslighting are deliberately and systematically fed false information that leads them to question what they know to be true, often about themselves. They may end up doubting their memory, their perception, and even their sanity. Over time, a gaslighter’s manipulations can grow more complex and potent, making it increasingly difficult for the victim to see the truth.”
This helps explain why, despite mountains of contrary evidence, so many young people have bought into the Left’s lies about everything from economics to sexuality.
“Those who employ this tactic often have a personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder and psychopathy chief among them,” the magazine says.
Well, that might help explain why the media are still in the grip of Trump Derangement Syndrome, the steroidal successor to Bush Derangement Syndrome.
Here are some other examples of gaslighting.
- There’s no border crisis, and even if there is, Kamala Harris is “on it.”
Reality: Hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens have poured over the border since January. Dozens have perished. A shameless gaslighter, the Vice President boasted in El Paso that the administration has made “extreme progress over these last few months.” It’s extreme, all right. Related: Blaming Trump for the border disaster.
- The Jan. 6 Capitol riot was an “armed insurrection” in which five died.
Reality: No guns were found. Only one person was actually killed – unarmed Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt. The media don’t care who shot her.
- Republicans want to defund the police.
Reality: Pelosi, Schumer and other top Democrats concocted this from the GOP’s reluctance to back one of Biden’s fiscal blowouts. Reality: The GOP has long supported the police. Democrats favor defunding police and have done so in cities now wracked by shocking crime waves.
- Democrats are “anti-crime.”
Reality: Crime has been rampant in Democrat-run cities since they created the welfare culture in the 1960s and destroyed families. It’s now out of control, with shootings and homicides soaring over last year’s riot-enhanced totals.
- Black Lives Matter cares about black lives.
Reality: This Marxist group backs abortion of black babies and cares only about publicizing rare, cop-related cases, not the thousands killed annually by criminals.
- Six trillion dollars of spending in the Biden budget will be offset by tax increases only on “the rich.”
Reality: Even if every billionaire’s fortune was confiscated, it wouldn’t dent the federal debt bomb. Mr. Biden wants billions to beef up the IRS so they can raid America’s middle-class pocketbooks.
- Joe Biden is a “devout Catholic.”
Reality: Sure, he attends church regularly but he’s working overtime to increase tax-supported abortions and is weaponizing LGBTQ shock troops to turn America into a Marxist version of Sodom and Gomorrah. St. Peter, call your office.
- Men who think they are female really are female. And vice versa.
Reality: Biology doesn’t lie, unlike the unscrupulous elites who gaslight confused people into believing they are the opposite sex and insist that everyone go along. Telling the truth is becoming a criminal act. Latest twist: eliminating the words “woman” or “mother” and using “pregnant person” instead.
- Voter ID laws and accurate registration lists are “racist.”
Reality: Minority voting has risen sharply in jurisdictions with voter ID and other election safeguards. Saying minorities cannot manage to get IDs is racist.
- Babies in the womb are not “human beings,” just tissue.
Reality: Ultrasounds that detect heartbeats as early as 16 days say otherwise, and DNA reveals the uniqueness of each human life.
- America can unilaterally prevent climate change.
Reality: Wiping out America’s fossil-fuel-based energy independence is a gift to Russia, Iran and China. None of them, or our ally India, are kneecapping their own coal, gas and oil-based economies. China is building new coal-fired plants.
- China is a “partner” in the world economy.
Reality: China is a totalitarian, communist state built on mass murder and persecution of religious minorities and dissidents. Seeking world domination, it’s assisted by corporations like Nike, whose CEO recently proclaimed that “we’re a brand of China and for China.”
- COVID-19 came from a bat in a wet market in Wuhan. Anyone who said otherwise was ridiculed.
Reality: Evidence is mounting that it came from the People’s Liberation Army’s bioweapons lab that makes viruses more virulent.
This is the tip of the iceberg. There’s also Critical Race Theory and the politics of masks and lockdowns.
Democrats are gaslighting the nation, assisted by corrupt media. Read or watch at your own risk.
Robert Knight is a contributor to The Washington Times. His latest book is “The Coming Communist Wave: What Happens If the Left Captures All Three Branches of Government“. A version of this column ran originally in The Washington Times.
Copyright American Family News. Reprinted with permission.