The Washington Post’s QAnon Segment Was Something Out of 1984
The Post’s attempt to discredit Q fell flat. A closer look exposes the agenda of a modern-day Operation Mockingbird.
BY ZACH HALLER | MARCH 6, 2019
On February 20th, the Washington Post released a video segment entitled How QAnon, the bizarre pro-Trump conspiracy theory, took hold in right-wing circles online. The clip, just five and a half minutes long, can be viewed here.
While the QAnon phenomenon has seen an uptick of mainstream media coverage in recent months, the Post’s video segment is the highest-profile exposure QAnon (or just “Q”) has seen in legacy media since its genesis in October 2017. Originating when a few cryptic intel “drops” emerged from the depths of the dark web, Q has since delivered an irregular stream of posts and postulations generating widespread interest on social media where citizens track and decode the drops in real time. Q’s popularity within the American body politic has flourished so quickly that TIME magazine labeled it one of the most powerful influencers in digital media when it was less than a year old, still nascent and largely anomalous.
While Q’s unconventional and interactive format contributes to its popularity, its content is the driver of this snowballing public interest. As can be gleaned from reviewing a few drops, Q is a person or team identifying as Q that posts primary-source content online to provide intel and clues regarding ongoing current events. What makes Q unique is that it covers topics that are deliberately not being reported by mainstream news networks, often because it directly incriminates them. While its posts feature a variety of themes and media, a primary objective of the Q operation is to expose in real time how mainstream media works as an arm of America’s Deep State shadow government.
By now, it is well known that legacy media worked hand-in-hand with the Democrats to rig the 2016 primary in Hillary Clinton’s favor as Barack Obama’s administration initiated clandestine operations to sabotage Donald J. Trump around the same time. Since then, the Post and other politicized media entities have been employing propaganda, targeted leaks, and other strategies to undercut Trump at the Democrats’ orders, despite the implications of conspiring to usurp a duly-elected U.S. president. This includes the tactic of using coverage of the crooked Mueller probe to allege wrongdoing by Trump in the absence of any evidence, and in place of reporting on the real collusion racket, that of the Democrats.
The politically savvy would not need to be told why a QAnon video produced by the Post would be a hotly-anticipated release. The outfits represent the media fronts of the two opposing sides of the information war playing out in American politics: on one hand, the Washington Post, a CIA-controlled publication that played an integral role in the Clinton-Obama coup against Trump; on the other, Q, an information dissemination campaign that serves to expose corruption in media and how the fourth estate has been used to undermine American democracy.
The roots of big media’s allegiance to the state traces back to the CIA’s Operation Mockingbird of the 1950’s. Originating when the CIA began paying journalists to report fake stories to promote the views of intelligence agencies, Mockingbird has never been officially discontinued. While the specifics of modern-day Mockingbird remain secret, plenty can be deduced about the agenda of the Deep State by analyzing what information is available.
A Q drop released a week before the WaPo segment prompted readers to do some such research, asking rhetorically why it is the Post that is leading the mainstream media’s attacks against Q. Some digging connects the dots: Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, bought the Post for $250 million in 2013 just after Amazon won a $600 million CIA contract; the $250M price tag was less than half the amount Bezos had just tendered from the CIA. The CIA Director at the time? John Brennan, one of the central figures of the Clinton-Obama coup.
The Post may consider its ties to the CIA to be common knowledge, considering the blatant conflict of interest is never mentioned in their reporting. The CIA’s preference to keep its influence in media under wraps presents an ethical dilemma for publishers, where journalists should disclose relationships that may compromise the objective nature of the source, but often don’t. Accordingly, the onus falls on consumers to research journalists and news outlets to determine if their reporting can be taken at face value, or if it might be fulfilling an ulterior motive.
This in mind, take a look at who is featured in the WaPo’s Q segment. Abby Ohlheiser, the Post reporter who presents first, published The CIA’s Plan to Put an End to Their Leaking Problem for The Wire back in 2013, muddying the waters around Brennan’s history with leaking. She also authored Most of the Media Kept Quiet About Missing American’s CIA Ties, an eyebrow-raising piece about the media’s tendency to not mention CIA relationships they know exist. In 2016, she chimed in to rebuff legit 9/11 reports that slipped past Facebook’s “conspiracy” censor and trended accidentally; last fall, she wrote an article dismissing legitimate concerns about the fake explosives that arrived “by mail” to certain Democrats. Ohlheiser’s history producing CIA apologia and the foolish belief that jet fuel melts steel beams make her a dubious messenger at best.
Ethan Porter, an assistant professor at George Washington University and the second presenter in the video, may well be a spook too. A DuckDuckGo search turns up a recent anti-Trump hit piece for FiveThirtyEight, but the bigger red flag is the $99,875 grant he received from the Omidyar Network back in 2014. Tech billionaire and Ebay founder Pierre Omidyar — who earned praise for his politics from Libya war architect Samantha Power — has a notorious reputation for sowing civil unrest. Notably, Omidyar’s network funded opposition NGOs in Ukraine aligned with Clinton and Obama to support the violent protests that ousted President Victor Yanukovych in 2014.
Fortunately, the piece finds some balance in its inclusion of Jordan Sather. Described as “a 28 year old Internet influencer from Washington State,” Sather is a popular vlogger and media personality whose research skills and candid presentation style have earned his YouTube channel Destroying the Illusion nearly 200,000 organic subscribers in less than two years. Sather has risen to cult Internet stardom in parallel with Q, a topic he covers regularly and well; employed only through his channel’s earnings, Sather has built a reputation as a trustworthy thought leader with his audience.
WaPo invited Sather to the segment as a representative of the QAnon community. Knowing he would be speaking on a platform controlled by the CIA, as an activist whose work helps expose nefarious CIA operations, Sather knew he was walking into the lion’s den. From the video’s open, that much is clear: the Post wastes no time in dunking on QAnon and its subscribers (emphasis added):
Abby Ohlheiser: QAnon is in essence a conspiracy theory that gives hope to people that want the things it says to be true.
Ethan Porter: According to the conspiracy theory, Trump is actually leading an effort to prosecute villainous Democrats, most of whom engaged in baby sex trafficking rings and committing other heinous crimes.
AO: It also wraps in “deep state” conspiracy theories. It is used as hopeful way to explain things like the Mueller probe into the Trump campaign.
Both Ohlheiser and Porter open with the false claim that Q is a conspiracy theory, a term coined by the CIA for this very purpose: to smear and discredit factual reporting that challenges Deep State propaganda. Here, we see it in action. While use of the smear may have been more effective in the era of print, media consumers can fact-check the news in real time in the digital age. It takes little to no effort to vet Q and see that it is not a theory, but rather source material that may be used to generate theories. It’s somewhat shocking the Post chooses this description given how plainly inaccurate it is.
From there, Porter oversimplifies, suggesting the “theory” is that “Trump is leading an effort to prosecute villainous Democrats”. Since the results of Trump-era crackdowns on corruption, terrorism, gangs, drug deals, and human trafficking are indisputable, this theory could be supported; however, it’s disingenuous to suggest it is only Democrats getting busted. This partisan spin is no accident: it’s an overt use of a media strategy implemented via the infamous 2015 Pied Piper memo. Made public when Clinton’s emails leaked, the memo directed the Democrats’ enablers to report on the election in a way that would protect Clinton and Obama from scrutiny of their ongoing crimes while using incendiary reporting to weaken Trump’s image with voters.
Ohlheiser notes that Q wraps in Deep State conspiracy theories, with subtitles showing quotations to suggest the “Deep State” may not exist. Truthfully, there is no shortage of evidence to confirm that countless unelected power brokers exert unseen influence and control acting as an American shadow government. As each day passes, more proof is brought to light that the Deep State operatives working for the Clinton-Obama regime are responsible for the constitutional crisis America faces in the aftermath of their failed coup. The Deep State and its media assets have been the single greatest threat to American democracy since John F. Kennedy’s assassination.
READ MORE: Do You Believe in the Deep State Now?
The truth with a twist continues:
AO: Although Trump hasn’t given any indication that he is aware of QAnon or believes it, he is the person who I guess inadvertently started it.
On the contrary, Trump has indicated that he is aware of Q; there has not, however, been any indication that Trump “started it”. Trump makes sly references to Q publicly quite often now, typically using coded tweets or symbolism that correspond to Q drops with breathtaking calculation. Understandably, the Post would prefer to keep its audience in the dark, and will as long as possible; as soon as Trump confirms the Q operation is the real deal, the media networks and journalists who went to such great lengths to discredit it will be caught red handed.
Porter wraps it up:
EP: I think a lot of it is Trump supporters who love Donald Trump who look at the publicly available and say, well I’m a little disappointed, right? And a small fraction of those people then say, there’s some other explanation for this that transcends the available evidence. The vast majority of Americans, including the vast majority of Republicans, including the vast majority of Trump supporters do not believe in or subscribe to the QAnon conspiracy theory. That being said, the Internet has made exposure to QAnon pretty easy to come by. […] It’s incumbent upon media institutions, it’s incumbent upon scholars, it’s incumbent upon anybody who feels that an informed citizenry matters, to actually tell their fellow citizens no, QAnon is false, QAnon is not real, and then point them to evidence showing why.
Without citing any study, Porter insists the “vast majority” of Americans, Republicans, and Trump supporters “do not believe in” Q. He concludes by asking viewers to “tell their fellow citizens QAnon is false,” suggesting viewers point Q-believers to evidence the Post notably did not provide.
While Porter may hope most Trump supporters do not subscribe to Q’s content, any such metrics would be no reflection on the legitimacy of its reporting. While Porter concedes that Q drops are by now “easy to come by,” he fails to mention that is because Q is providing the true journalism the legacy media is not: journalism that is unforgiving of the politicized American media and that demands accountability for it from elected officials.
All in all, it’s unclear exactly what the Post intended with the segment. With its drab photography and droning monologues, it appears the Post may have wanted viewers’ takeaway to be a simple meh; given the risk the Post would take in steering readers toward a source that openly condemns it, perhaps the best course of action was to paint Q as uncool. If it succeeded at one thing, the Post did manage to make an otherwise lively topic appear uninteresting. This effort to frame reporting in a way that advances American intelligence agencies’ interests is the clear result of the Operation Mockingbird filter.
Legacy media may seek to appear lazy with reporting this sloppy but by now the agenda is clear. After the near-total media conglomeration that took place as part of Clinton’s Democratic Party takeover, unfiltered web platforms are virtually the only place left where citizens can find the fearless muckraking needed to restore accountability in the wake of such rampant criminality in politics and media. It follows the crooked Post would seek to discredit it. Q’s “reporting” amounts to a form of new-age journalism that helps demystify the interwoven scandals in government and media and expose how this corruption has contaminated America’s political and media establishments. Here, the Post is right to see Q as its enemy.
READ MORE: Autopsy of a Dead Coup
While the Post sought to spin Q followers as delirious for thinking justice will be served to the treasonous political operatives that have infiltrated American media, this is but one more lie on a long list of them. One look at the growing list of sealed indictments and Inspector General probes makes it undeniably clear that Trump is fighting on behalf of Americans against the Deep State and the “fake news” fourth estate in their efforts to undermine American interests in favor of a globalist agenda.
As Americans await FISA declassification, Clinton, Obama, and the other great deceivers’ only recourse will be to continue to rely on false narratives seemingly engineered by George Orwell’s “Ministry of Truth”. As the crimes of the Democrats are laid bare in front of civil and military courts in years to come, the media conspiracies implemented to cover them up will be too, and the Clinton-Obama media co-conspirators’ impunity will not hold.
From now on, journalists will have their trustworthiness examined as new media emerges alongside Q and in the vacuum for truthful reporting created by big media’s conglomeration in support of the Clinton-Obama regime. Any refusal by a journalist to hold the Deep State and its media apparatchiks accountable will expose a journalist who has taken the side of the corrupt establishment. The citizen journalists and truth-tellers that rise up to replace them will have earned their place on the right side of history when it truly mattered most. ∎
Shortly after this article was published on Medium on March 6, 2019, Medium permanently suspended my blog for violating its "Trust and Safety" standards. I am an independent writer, activist, and everyday American based in Seattle, Washington. If you enjoyed this, please upvote it, share it with your networks, and/or donate to my paypal.