I want you to imagine a country similar to the United States in nearly every conceivable way, except this nation is on the verge of a crisis point.
Immagine if: For the past year the news media, in this make-believe land, had absolutely failed to do its job. Wreckless reporting and confirmation bias had prevented journalists from seeking truth and securing accountability for those in power.
Immagine if: Working in the NOT United States Congress were six Pakistani intelligence agents who were collecting data and illegally stealing intelligence from the electronic devices of congressional members and their staffers.
Imagine if: When these six individuals were found out and an investigation began they fled back to Pakistan but remained on the payroll under Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Hypothetically, if this situation were true, you could say this country (that is in no way the United States) had been spied on and paid the spies to do it. This obviously would be a very big deal. If the people found this out they would understandably want to know how such a thing could ever occur, who knew that it was going on, and who allowed it to continue.
Now, hypothetically, at the same time, imagine it's the height of election season.
Immagine if: One of the campaigns had just discovered a massive internal leak. The candidate heading up this presidential campaign already has a long, sordid history of scandal and has, on more than one occasion, been accused of the most heinous crimes.
Imagine if: After some debate and a lot of soul searching the campaign decided the only way forward was to silence the leaker for good. Once the leaker has been assassinated the campaign decides to tie up loose ends and to cover their track by blaming in an enemy government for hacking in exposing their secrets.
Suppose the plan works almost too well, changing the discussion from the content of the leaks and stirs the national dialog into a frenzy about foreign attacks.
Next, imagine if: To help along the ruse, campaign officials deliberately leak information to the internet themselves. The info, mostly benign, is presented in a fashion deliberately designed to send the media on a hunt to solve the hack from an enemy that never happened.
Now, lastly, imagine: After nearly a year after the beginning of a daily goose chase to tie the sitting president to a foreign hack of an opposition political campaign, the uncontrollable force that is the internet remembers the mysterious death of the rogue staffer.
Let say they happen to discover a proverbial rabbit hole of inconsistencies with the original story of robbery. As they, again hypothetically, close in on that truth the news media digs in their heals, insisting harder than ever that the real issue is the enemy hack. All the while, slowly but surely, independent journalists begin to unravel a complex, earth-shattering story about six Pakistani spies that have been stealing the nation's most precious data.
That story, being pushed to the brink of exposure, could expose a massive network of treason, of exploitation, of murder.
Imagine if: The cherry on top of this? A federal investigation, initiated to solve the hack that was used to cover up of a murder, was about to expose that the leaker was discovered by the abuses of surveillance programs given to the intelligence agencies of the United States - I mean - hypothetical country to protect the people.
Imagine all of that.
The question is: What happens when the truth forces the ‘news’ to cover any and all of these stories?
Or put another way:
What happens when the Population of a country, like America, loses complete faith in every aspect of its government overnight?