The disinformation campaign behind the allegations of Russian “disinformation”
18 December 2018
Amid new exposures of Wall Street criminality, the White House’s mass imprisonment of immigrant children, and growing demands by US workers for decent wages, the US media was preoccupied Monday with the supposed efforts of Russian President Vladimir Putin to make people believe that life in America is not a paradise.
Throughout the day, the New York Times, the Washington Post and Google News all led with breathless stories about Russian efforts to “sway American opinion and divide the country” (in the words of the Times). The propaganda barrage was based on a set of reports submitted to the Senate Intelligence Committee by organizations with close ties to the US state and intelligence apparatus.
Like countless other stories about alleged Russian “disinformation,” Monday’s media blast followed a script. Reports and testimony from nominally independent organizations, which are, in reality, mouthpieces for the intelligence agencies, are commissioned by Congress. They are “leaked” to the New York Times, which publishes a front-page article promoting them as “independent,” scientific and authoritative, without, however, presenting any serious analysis of the actual evidence or the social and political forces behind the studies. The reports in the Times (or the Washington Post) are then cited by countless media outlets and politicians as new and irrefutable “evidence” of Russian “meddling” and “fake news.”
The new “proof” of Russian subversion is then used to demand even more sweeping measures to censor the internet, in the name of securing “our democracy.” With each…