Step 1: Denial. Deny the instance altogether. Claim it is a conspiracy theory, non-scientific, or otherwise “debunked”.
Step 2: Redirection. Redirect to other items that are more “in-line” with the narrative. Do not talk about the instance. Claim it is a disinformation campaign to distract from the topic itself. Levy battles against individuals or sources who put forth the information, instead of the information itself.
Step 3: Downplay. Downplay the significance of the instance in preparation for Step 4.
Step 4: Break. Break the instance as if it were something new that you just discovered so you can control the narrative. Utilize the prior step to fit the narrative in as a “minor” instance compared to the “bigger” agenda issue you would prefer to push.
If they can efficiently lie their way out of it, usually the media will stop after Step 1 or Step 2. There is no reason to go further.
If they can’t control the flow of information, or the evidence becomes overwhelming, they go to Step 3 & Step 4.
An example using the Hunter Biden laptop scandal:
- Denial: Nearly every mainstream media adamantly denied it was legitimate at first. Many news agencies didn’t even report on it (NPR). It was classified as “debunked” by Wikipedia. It was claimed as a conspiracy theory by CNN.
- Redirect: Media agencies redirected the news away from the Hunter Biden laptop. Media claimed it is a Russian or Iranian disinformation campaign trying to “influence” our election. They tried to say it was a smear campaign by a “tyrant”.
- Downplay: Once more evidence came out, they downplayed its significance. They claimed it only was negative toward Hunter Biden and that no one was voting for him, but for his father. They claimed that nothing on the laptop was bad for Joe Biden. The media downplayed the significance of their dysfunctional family and any possible connection to Joe.
- Break: Now the media is accepting the revelations and “breaking the news” to the public. In doing so, they are downplaying the significance while up-selling the risk of Russian or other foreign interference, even though the laptop shows direct interference by the Chinese through the Bidens. But since they are leading the narrative, they get to say how big of a deal it is. And for them, absolutely nothing would be a big deal so long as Joe wins.
Remember this strategy in the future.