I think it's enough obsession with fact-checking ratings. Brainwashing is not limited to feeding the mark wrong facts. Theory: someone was doing their darnedest to keep a portion of populace scared. It doesn't necessarily even matter what the object of fears is. Let's say "Islamic terror", just as an example. Then someone else comes and exploits their state of mind to form nice, little, profitable cult (with xenophobia and treason as unimportant side effects). Sort of like this: This is called "The Mob Song", btw. There is exactly one villain here: Gaston. Doesn't mean the mob is not dangerous. It's far from the new trick, of course. If you knew how fear-mongering popular Russian TV has been since early 1990ies (even "factual" programming, like a multi-hour hit "educational" miniseries titled "MOLD", all caps in huge all-black letters; still gives my wife nightmares), you'd know how they came to WANT authoritarianism. It's not a coincidence.