There are many interpretations of gaslighting, but for the purpose of this post let’s go with this: To deny someone’s reality as a way to manipulate their behavior.
There are more examples than I could possibly list, but the one I’m thinking about now has been going on for for at least four years. Let’s put it under the heading of cultural gaslighting.
It was never easy to get unbiased news, but standards of journalism and accountability had been in place for at least a hundred years before the advent of this unfortunate tool of manipulation was unleashed on the masses.
It’s purpose is pretty transparent: take away people’s belief in these institutions as resources, able to dive deep and provide explanations for complex social phenomena, and what do you have left? A population you can manipulate by feeding them “real news” which of course is just bullshit designed to further the current power structures agenda.
Now, the news organizations themselves didn’t help matters by becoming so partisan, instead, many of them fell into this trap. But this was partly a result of the fact that it is a particular group of people in our government that foment these lies.
The problem is that in this case the ones gaslighting the population succeeded. If enough of the gullible public is confused and now mistrusts credible sources of information, who do they turn to for the truth?
The liars of course.