FBI, Lisa Hagan, Lemelson Foundation discussed on All Things Considered


The lemelson foundation. This is all things considered for NPR news, I'm Elsa Chang in Culver City, California. And I'm on a summers in Washington, social media platforms lit up with right-wing speculation, militant rhetoric, and political fundraising. After former president Donald Trump announced that his Mar-a-Lago home had been searched by the FBI. NPR reporter Lisa Hagan has been watching right wing media and message boards, and she joins us now. Hey Lisa. Hi wanna. So tell me, as you've been watching these channels, what sorts of things have you been noticing? It's been a lot of very hot talk and sometimes it's quite violent sounding, but what we saw this week is now a pretty well established pattern for people who follow this. Like I talked to Caroline or bueno a behavioral scientist who studies disinformation at the university of Maryland. She was looking back at social media posts from around when Trump lost the 2020 election or even before that when Trump was facing early calls for impeachment. Calls for Civil War, basically you could swap out the tweets and fairly noticed a difference. She's talking about anonymous posters there, but what she noticed that's different about this week is that elected officials and high profile media personalities are using the same Civil War language. She's used to seeing on message boards. The same comparisons of the U.S. government to totalitarian states from history. Okay, so there's still quite a bit that we do not know about the content of the documents that the FBI was looking for. How is that information vacuum shaping the way that former president Trump supporters are responding? It gets filled in with storylines and narratives that rely on the worst possible assumptions about the FBI and Justice Department. For example, this is meant to stop Trump from announcing a second run for president. The FBI must be planting evidence. We actually heard that from Trump today. Or there are nefarious deep state connections that the officials involved in issuing the warrant have that are driving this. A lot of this language gets couched, former White House adviser Stephen Bannon said, you know, the FBI is the Gestapo. But then backed off right away and said, Republicans need to win the midterms, which is quite a week way to respond if you believe that you're dealing with a Nazi style secret police. But bueno says it's a useful rhetorical device. So they kind of get the best of both worlds. They're able to get the message across. But also maintain that element of plausible deniability. Okay, so conspiracy theories and increasingly violent rhetoric from prominent figures. That stuff seems to draw pro Trump audiences in, but what are these influencers doing with that attention once they have it? Right, so these are not just moments to be seen loudly defending the president, but it's time for marketing and branding. Show host can sell gold politicians, including Trump, are fundraising off this search warrant. They're selling merch. You can get a defund FBI shirt on congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene's online store, for instance. All right, so looking forward Lisa, if the federal government proceeds with legal action against former president Trump, what does that mean? Does all of this online chatter will it turn into real world action? Every step that federal law enforcement takes is going to come with more of this cycle of speculation and self promotion. And it's important to say the vast majority of the audiences who hear or respond to these things aren't actually going to act on phrases about war or fighting or violence. But when you're talking about audiences of millions of some of these personalities on the media, it only takes a few or one person deciding that this is their moment for violence. That is NPR reporter Lisa Hagan, Lisa, thank you for your reporting. Thank you. Okay, now a look at the recovery in the Gaza Strip, and some of the harrowing stories from Palestinians after three days of fighting last weekend. The power is back on, but even as life resumes, people are still recalling the weekend of rapid evacuations and brushes with death. Just one year ago, 11 days of fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants left vast damage. This time around the damage was more limited, but it's a reminder that the cycle of violence continues. And pierce fought montanas joins us now from Gaza City high fat mom. Hi Elsa. So can you tell us, what is it like there today? Right, so electricity is back here in Gaza, it comes from fuel that's trucked in from Israel. Gaza's borders are controlled by Egypt and Israel. And Israel restricts imports to Gaza, which they say is for security. Now this conflict was mainly between Israel and the Islamic Jihad militants, the much bigger militant group Hamas, which controls Gaza stayed out of it, and that seems to have made it easier for goods to come back quickly. And so today stores are just getting supplies back because of the lack of electricity, the produce and that's already in Gaza went bad and one shop owner told me it was just in time as they had started running out of the essentials, like flour, milk, and sugar. Of course, for the people who lost family members or homes, they're trying to figure out how to move on. The Palestinians are saying that at least 46 people, including 16 children died, Israel says 20 of those were militants and they say some of the civilians were actually killed by militant rockets that fell short. And I understand that you have been personally talking to some people who barely survived. What are you hearing from them? So I spoke with 21 year old Muhammad Ibrahim shamala who is in his third year studying medicine and I actually found him standing over the rubble of his building, which had four apartments. It was targeted in an air strike and is now completely destroyed. Israel said they were trying to strike Islamic Jihad militants in Gaza, and we don't know exactly why this building was hit, but shamala says his brother got a call from the Israelis telling them they had two minutes to evacuate. And so the whole family ran across the street to the waterfront, where he says he was so scared and couldn't bear to see his home destroyed, so he just looked out to the sea until it was all over. And then came back to realize he'd lost everything. Everything, my books, my

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