The desperate flailing of a mainstream-media struggling through the five stages of grief continues as no lesser unbiased foundation of the fourth estate than The Washington Post pushes ahead with its "fake news, blame the Russians" narrative for why their candidate failed so miserably.
Citing "two teams of independent researchers" (who surely have a substantial libel litigation provision) who found "Russia’s increasingly sophisticated propaganda machinery... echoed and amplified right-wing sites across the Internet as they portrayed Clinton as a criminal," the Jeff Bezos-owned website names Drudge, Zero Hedge, and The Ron Paul Institute and countless other outlets among the "useful idiots" that true American patriots should be wary of.
“The way that this propaganda apparatus supported Trump was equivalent to some massive amount of a media buy,” said the executive director of PropOrNot, who spoke on the condition of anonymity with the Post.
“It was like Russia was running a super PAC for Trump’s campaign."
In the wake of the election, fake news and its spread on social media has come into the spotlight - for our latest thoughts on this topic please see our "thank you" notefrom last night.
President Obama denounced the attention garnered by false information last week, saying: “If we are not serious about facts and what’s true and what’s not … if we can’t discriminate between serious arguments and propaganda, then we have problems.” And as The Hill reports, a sophisticated Russian propaganda effort helped fuel the spread of fake news during the election cycle, the Washington Post reported Thursday.
Two groups of independent researchers found that Russia employed thousands of botnets, human internet “trolls” and networks of Web sites and social media accounts to inject false content into online political talk and amplify posts from right-wing sites.
“They want to essentially erode faith in the U.S. government or U.S. government interests,” said Clint Watts, a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute who co-authored a report about Russian propaganda.
“This was their standard mode during the Cold War. The problem is that this was hard to do before social media.”
The Washington Post states - without irony - that there are now scientific studies that show how the Russians influenced the 2016 election...
The flood of “fake news” this election season got support from a sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign that created and spread misleading articles online with the goal of punishing Democrat Hillary Clinton, helping Republican Donald Trump and undermining faith in American democracy, say independent researchers who tracked the operation.
Russia’s increasingly sophisticated propaganda machinery — including thousands of botnets, teams of paid human “trolls,” and networks of Web sites and social-media accounts — echoed and amplified right-wing sites across the Internet as they portrayed Clinton as a criminal hiding potentially fatal health problems and preparing to hand control of the nation to a shadowy cabal of global financiers. The effort also sought to heighten the appearance of international tensions and promote fear of looming hostilities with nuclear-armed Russia.
Two teams of independent researchers found that the Russians exploited American-made technology platforms to attack U.S. democracy at a particularly vulnerable moment, as an insurgent candidate harnessed a wide range of grievances to claim the White House. The sophistication of the Russian tactics may complicate efforts by Facebook and Google to crack down on “fake news,” as they have vowed to do after widespread complaints about the problem.
The report from PropOrNot, provided to the Post, identifies more than 200 websites that routinely pushed Russian propaganda to at least 15 million Americans, and found that false stories pushed on Facebook were viewed more than 213 million times. You may be surprised by some of the sites on the list (it seems even satirical fakes news sites are propagandists too)...
So in other words, any and every one who is anything but a liberal drone is now a Russian plant? McCarthy would be proud.
As the "scientists" explain, reporting facts is tantamount to being a "useful idiot."
Please note that our criteria are behavioral. That means the characteristics of the propaganda outlets we identify are motivation-agnostic.
For purposes of this definition it does not matter whether the sites listed here are being knowingly directed and paid by Russian intelligence officers, or whether they even knew they were echoing Russian propaganda at any particular point: If they meet these criteria, they are at the very least acting as bona-fide "useful idiots" of the Russian intelligence services, and are worthy of further scrutiny.
Which reminded us of @SarcasmRobot's artist's impression of what desperation by the establishment, and its pet media, looks like.
For further color on "Useful Idiots", Jim Quinn uncovered the following video by a former KGB member Yuri Bezmenov who defected to Canuckistan in 1970. In it he details how the Marxist/Leninist’s planned to conquer the west from within without ever firing a shot. How well do you think their plan is working? At about 7:20 the host, G. Edward Griffin, asks Yuri "What do we do?" (to counter the takeover) and we were more than a little surprised by his response:
Since the election and even a little before, many have pushed the idea that Trump needs to concentrate on aggressively educating people to the evils that surround us... it appears that is the only way to right back against the tyranny of the fourth estate.
Finally (and no this is not Friday Humor), this is how the scientists described Zero Hedge.
ZH is an important transmission belt moving the story from Russian propagandists/information warriors to western news consumers. It happens a lot. This is a particularly egregious example, but the transmission belt runs almost daily. ZH is as much a part of Putin’s information warfare as RT. If you follow closely enough, it’s as plain as the nose on your face.’
Plain enough, indeed. This amusingly, must read (we urge readers to read it on their own to see what a disinformation attempt looks like) "analysis" - by a website that is itself anonymous mind you - then concludes with the following:
ZeroHedge qualifies as “dark gray” propaganda, systematically deceiving its civilian audiences for foreign political gain.
Articles from ZeroHedge are frequently reposted by other sites, but appear on ZeroHedge first — the site’s authors are driving and shaping the stories, not merely reacting to them. An analysis of web traffic patterns and linking backs this up: ZeroHedge has a prominent place within the network of pro-Russia news and propaganda outlets.
We at PropOrNot rate it: Five Shadies.
Whether intended or not, this libel-worthy drivel - we can say that comfortably because, well, there is no Russian propaganda "masterminding" this site, unless criticizing the US government now equates with that - has already attacted the attention of the likes of Glenn Greenwald and many others.
Not only is it disgusting how they smear these sites w/no evidence; worse is that they do it while hiding their identity. Great job, WPost: https://t.co/RmcKTsiqeX— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) November 25, 2016
Funniest part: the ones who spread this thought they were exposing "fake news" when they themselves were exhibiting all the hallmarks of it. https://t.co/Ij4uMKBewf— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) November 25, 2016
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While this latest spin on the so-called "narrative" will certainly backfire, and accelerate the demise of the mainstream media's efforts to maintain credibility and control of the American mindset - which it painfull lost with their lies during the presidential campaign - not to mention "eyeballs" and ad revenue, we remain fascinated by the so called "liberal left's" relentless charges that Trump will unleash a massive censorship assault on the "free press" when the "free press" itself is doing everything in its power to squash dissenting voices. To which all we can add is that it is a good thing that said "power" is declining with every passing day.