william.scherk

Russian Propaganda in American Media

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An article at the Intersection Project website presents a dense brief on far-reaching Russophile propaganda networks tied at both ends of the ideological spectrum in the West. Here are some choice excerpts from the article Russian Propaganda in American Media: The resurgence of Soviet-era whataboutism (paragraphing added, links removed):

The aspects of Russia’s hybrid warfare run wide. From trolls and bots online, to the propaganda-cum-media outlets of RT and Sputnik, to its myriad connections to fringe activists and conspiratorial cranks, Moscow has no predilection about marshalling any and all who would push back against fact and reality. No matter that reams of photographs and testimonials confirm Russian troops’ presence in eastern Ukraine. No matter that all available evidence points for Russian-backed separatists downing MH17. No matter that fascist elements remain sidelined within Kiev. Facts, those post-modern antagonists, remain malleable for those on Moscow’s dole.

But Moscow hasn’t put forth these outlets and talking heads simply for the sake of convincing the audience. Rather, they’ve pushed them into the media sphere to confuse and complicate, to muddle and muddy the facts on the ground, to create multiple realities to back manifold predispositions. Are you of a far-right bent, set on fracturing whichever union your state belongs to? Moscow’s packaged some messaging for you. Are you a member of a far-left troop, convinced Western imperialism has savaged a prone Russia? Moscow’s happy to provide you a narrative.

[...]

The first outlet that crops up when discussing over-weening Kremlin sympathies is The Nation, which has morphed from a progressive bulwark willing to pressure Wall Street to something else entirely. One of the writers featured most often within The Nation’s skew is Stephen Cohen, an erstwhile expert given to Moscow-friendly write-ups. Cohen’s foibles, his myriad embarrassments, have been covered elsewhere, but it’s worth highlighting just how swiftly his reputation has collapsed. Where he once stood as one of the preeminent Sovietologists of his day, Cohen has imploded into a heap of Putinist apologia. Now, Cohen is heading something called the “American Committee for East-West Accord,” an organization seeking to prevent a “new (potentially even more dangerous) cold war.”

The goal may appear prima facie admirable, but a quick glance through their proposals – which make not a single mention of the removal of Russian troops from eastern Ukraine, let alone Crimea – display how hollow the group’s goals remain. The Nation’s James Carden, likewise, has recently heaped scorn on “neo-McCarthyites” who have called out those seeking to appease Moscow.

But Carden’s knowledge of the Minsk II protocols, to say nothing of his overall grasp of the factors initially breaking the Ukraine crisis, leaves readers wanting, and wondering where he may have picked up such sympathetic messaging. (Perhaps unsurprisingly, Carden has contributed multiple articles to the Kremlin-funded, Kremlin-friendly Russia Direct.)

[...]The Intercept, speared by Glenn Greenwald. To take but one example, an article from February penned by Marcin Mamon managed to stake that Ukraine had become a “gateway for jihad.” Detailing the travails of a 57-year-old named Ruslan, Mamon claims the pro-Kiev fighter belongs to a coterie of “brothers” – an amorphous network connected to “ISIS and other underground Islamic organizations.” Mamon further claims that eastern Ukraine has transitioned into a springboard for ISIS-related efforts, an account that stands as credible as the notion that ISIS is readying to worm its way into, say, Arkansas.

Edited by william.scherk

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An article at the Intersection Project website presents a dense brief on far-reaching Russophile propaganda networks tied at both ends of the ideological spectrum in the West. Here are some choice excerpts from the article Russian Propaganda in American Media: The resurgence of Soviet-era whataboutism (paragraphing added, links removed):

The aspects of Russia’s hybrid warfare run wide. From trolls and bots online, to the propaganda-cum-media outlets of RT and Sputnik, to its myriad connections to fringe activists and conspiratorial cranks, Moscow has no predilection about marshalling any and all who would push back against fact and reality. No matter that reams of photographs and testimonials confirm Russian troops’ presence in eastern Ukraine. No matter that all available evidence points for Russian-backed separatists downing MH17. No matter that fascist elements remain sidelined within Kiev. Facts, those post-modern antagonists, remain malleable for those on Moscow’s dole.

But Moscow hasn’t put forth these outlets and talking heads simply for the sake of convincing the audience. Rather, they’ve pushed them into the media sphere to confuse and complicate, to muddle and muddy the facts on the ground, to create multiple realities to back manifold predispositions. Are you of a far-right bent, set on fracturing whichever union your state belongs to? Moscow’s packaged some messaging for you. Are you a member of a far-left troop, convinced Western imperialism has savaged a prone Russia? Moscow’s happy to provide you a narrative.

[...]

The first outlet that crops up when discussing over-weening Kremlin sympathies is The Nation, which has morphed from a progressive bulwark willing to pressure Wall Street to something else entirely. One of the writers featured most often within The Nation’s skew is Stephen Cohen, an erstwhile expert given to Moscow-friendly write-ups. Cohen’s foibles, his myriad embarrassments, have been covered elsewhere, but it’s worth highlighting just how swiftly his reputation has collapsed. Where he once stood as one of the preeminent Sovietologists of his day, Cohen has imploded into a heap of Putinist apologia. Now, Cohen is heading something called the “American Committee for East-West Accord,” an organization seeking to prevent a “new (potentially even more dangerous) cold war.”

The goal may appear prima facie admirable, but a quick glance through their proposals – which make not a single mention of the removal of Russian troops from eastern Ukraine, let alone Crimea – display how hollow the group’s goals remain. The Nation’s James Carden, likewise, has recently heaped scorn on “neo-McCarthyites” who have called out those seeking to appease Moscow.

But Carden’s knowledge of the Minsk II protocols, to say nothing of his overall grasp of the factors initially breaking the Ukraine crisis, leaves readers wanting, and wondering where he may have picked up such sympathetic messaging. (Perhaps unsurprisingly, Carden has contributed multiple articles to the Kremlin-funded, Kremlin-friendly Russia Direct.)

[...]The Intercept, speared by Glenn Greenwald. To take but one example, an article from February penned by Marcin Mamon managed to stake that Ukraine had become a “gateway for jihad.” Detailing the travails of a 57-year-old named Ruslan, Mamon claims the pro-Kiev fighter belongs to a coterie of “brothers” – an amorphous network connected to “ISIS and other underground Islamic organizations.” Mamon further claims that eastern Ukraine has transitioned into a springboard for ISIS-related efforts, an account that stands as credible as the notion that ISIS is readying to worm its way into, say, Arkansas.

It all sounds like an exercise in the right to publish or speak freely...

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William,

I bought a book a while back about communist propaganda in the USA and I read a couple of chapters, but I rearranged things here at home and it went the way of the wild goose. For the life of me, I couldn't find it or remember the title.

Well finally! I just found it again. It is now on my current reading pile again.

Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategies for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion, and Promoting Terrorism by Ronald Rychlak and Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa

I poked around a little about Pacepa and there is a lot of controversy surrounding him. But he actually was a high-ranking defector so that is to be expected.

I got this book because the Russians were masters of propaganda (they still are) and it looks like some of their techniques are in this book.

Pacepa takes Russian disinformation infiltration in America from the beginning on up through Putin (2103, when the book was published).

Michael

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Thanks, William. A couple of years ago, I had RT as a bookmark because it came up on objectivish websites. It did not take long to see that this was all as the Intersection Project said. The Atlas Shrugged movies attracted many conservatives whose only political message was anti-Obama, and RT is nothing if not anti-Obama. They are also against the international banking conspiracy, and, as noted, just about anything that spreads confusion.

Ba'al Chatzaf noted: "It all sounds like an exercise in the right to publish or speak freely…"

Indeed, it is, as is exposing their agenda. They are the Kremlin Channel: All Putin all the time.

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All nation-states do what they can afford and think they can get away with to promote their interests. Interfering in elections so that a preferred candidate comes to rule another nation is the very least of it. The CIA orchestrated countless coups in Latin America throughout the 20th century, usually to control bananas or some other fruit. Countless illegal wars on every continent. In a ranking of legitimate grounds to complain about the way nation-states have and are treating one another, America has the least grounds, namely none whatsoever.

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1 hour ago, Jon Letendre said:

All nation-states do what they can afford and think they can get away with to promote their interests.

Jon,

Before Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump in 2016, the left (and the establishment) laughed at the idea of Russian meddling and at Russian anything else that seemed sinister. For example, Obama openly derided Romney during election debates for saying Russia was a major threat.

After the 2016 election, the left has gone into a McCarthyism mode that would have embarrassed old Joe McCarthy himself, and now the left red-baits galore and acts like there is a Putinesque Russian under every bed. That's a bit of an exaggeration, but not by much.

The conservative/libertarian leaning anti-Trumpers (especially the establishment sort) were a bit different. They always were against Russia. The left merely took their concerns and raised them to DEFCON 5. Some of the Republican establishment anti-Trumpers have even gone along with the left's anti-Russian hysteria.

All those attitudes were reflected by the left-leaning here on OL, too. Precisely to the timeline.

Michael

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6 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

For example, Obama openly derided Romney during election debates for saying Russia was a major threat.

"Hey, Mitt, the '80s called, they want their foreign policy back." -Obama

Tee hee hee

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“the ‘80s called”

That scumbag was President at the time.

If anyone believes that Russia committed something against America then thank piece of shit Barry Soetoro, who was Commander in Chief and had the responsibility of knowing the Russians were doing something and stopping it.

Instead the piece of shit mocked his political rival.

And he was still mocking in 2016.

fly-on-obama.jpg

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Muh Russia ...

 

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Just so the frame corresponds to reality, nobody ever claimed the Russians did not and do not meddle in US elections (and elsewhere).

The objection and satire by pro-Trump people, and even progressives of the Bernie sort, is the establishment left's claim that Russia elected President Trump and denied Clinton her rightful place in history. And maybe the debunked mountain of lies that the legacy media, establishment elitists and Deep State promoted for three years to prove that.

Everybody knows that Russia meddles in US elections, just like China meddles, just like the Muslim Brotherhood meddles, just like Big Tech meddles, just like the United Kingdom meddles, just like India meddles, just like North and South Korea meddle, and so on. They all meddle in US elections.

Not one of them elected Trump, though. And not one of them were the cause of Hillary Clinton's defeat.

That's the proper frame.

Michael

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