Millions of impressionable American minds are being corrupted by Russian-linked memes, “the cruise missiles of fake news”, according to MSNBC’s self-anointed Russia expert. Everyone agrees that this is a reasonable observation.
Malcolm Nance, a former Navy cryptologist who studied Arabic and served in the Middle East, makes regular appearances on MSNBC, where he is given generous amounts of airtime to share his thoughts on all things Russia related. In his latest appearance on the network, Nance described how the destructive power of Russian-linked internet memes have apparently devastated America.
“The Internet Research agency built all these memes and tropes which became the cruise missiles of fake news and disinformation,” Nance said. He claimed that these nefarious meme-bombs have ravaged the mental faculties of “one third of the United States population,” leaving them unable to “believe what they see before their very eyes.” And of course, these JPEG-rockets “may have elected a president in the process.”
Photographs of these ghastly cruise missiles have been floating around on the internet in recent days, with many noting their astonishing level of sophistication.
This one about Jesus “garnered the most likes of any [Russian] Instagram post before the election.” Maybe all of those 87,000 likes gave Trump the victory in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania? pic.twitter.com/wmazdHfFGI
— Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) December 18, 2018
This is an actual meme from the Russian troll farm, in which Jesus counsels someone addicted to masturbation:
“Reach out to me and we will beat it together.”
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) December 17, 2018
This is not the first time that Nance has deployed terrifying images of Russian meme missiles to warn Americans about the new Moscow menace: In a July interview he declared that, “As an information war, the payloads in the information cruise missiles that Russia launched at this country were propaganda products which had their origins in 1917, in the Bolshevik revolution.”
Months before that outburst, in March, Nance was quoted by the Washington Post as thoughtfully asking: “What happens if 100s of millions of progressives worldwide abandon Facebook because they think it’s a tool of Trump, Russia authoritarians and neo-Nazis? Facebook needs to own up and do damage control to ensure they are not 2018’s information cruise missile of choice.”
Nance really has a knack for inventive Russia commentary. He previously demonstrated his vast knowledge about the country by falsely claiming that Russian President Vladimir Putin was a “former director of the KGB.”
The “intelligence analyst” is also a savvy media observer, describing journalist Glenn Greenwald as “an agent of Trump & Moscow” after the Intercept editor attended a conference in Moscow.
When it comes to comparing GIFs to airstrikes, the MSNBC talking head keeps good company: Guardian writer Carole Cadwalladr once famously suggested that the UK was now at “war” with Russia. The reason? Russia’s Foreign Ministry changed its Twitter profile picture to a photograph of Maria Butina.
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