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March 09, 2018

Who Actually Believes In RUSSIAGate, and Who's Just Pretending to Believe In It Because It's a Necessary Virtue-Signal to Other Media/Government Non-Elites?

Good question and great article from Lee Smith.

The questionable veracity of the Russiagate story seems much less important than what has become its real purpose--elite virtue-signaling. Buy into a storyline that turns FBI and CIA bureaucrats and their hand-puppets in the press into heroes while legitimizing the use of a vast surveillance apparatus for partisan purposes, and you’re in. Dissent, and you’re out, or worse--you’re defending Trump.

Recently, a writer on The New Yorker blog named Adrian Chen gave voice to the central dilemma facing young media professionals who struggle to balance their need for social approval with the demands of fact-based analysis in the age of Trump. In an article pegged to special counsel Robert Mueller’s indictments of the Internet Research Agency, Chen referenced an article he had written about the IRA for The New York Times Magazine several years ago. After the Mueller indictments were announced, Chen was called on to lend his expertise regarding Russian troll farms and their effect on the American public sphere--an offer he recognized immediately as a can't-win proposition.

"Either I could stay silent,” wrote Chen, "and allow the conversation to be dominated by those pumping up the Russian threat, or I could risk giving fodder to Trump and his allies."

In other words, there's the truth, and then there’s what’s even more important--sticking it to Trump. Choose wrong, even inadvertently, Chen explained, no matter how many times you deplore Trump, and you’ll be labeled a Trumpkin. That's what happened to Facebook advertising executive Rob Goldman, who was obliged to apologize to his entire company in an internal message for having shared with the Twitter public the fact that "the majority of the Internet Research Agency's Facebook ads were purchased after the election." After Trump retweeted Goldman's thread to reaffirm that Vladimir Putin had nothing to do with his electoral victory, the Facebook VP was lucky to still have a job.

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For those... who don’t understand how and when American journalists got in bed with the country's spies, it started several years before Trump or Russiagate. It was while reporting on the Obama administration that the press came to rely on the White House’s political operatives, including intelligence officials, for sources and stories about American foreign policy. It got worse when the Obama administration started spying on its domestic opponents during the Iran deal, when the Obama administration learned how far it could go in manipulating the foreign-intelligence surveillance apparatus for domestic political advantage....

Smith's article picks apart this transmission belt of self-interested "intelligence professionals" leaking #FakeNews, like the infamous alleged Russian hack of the Vermont electrical grid, to credulous "reporters" looking for easy, highly-clickable scandal content.


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posted by Ace at 02:54 PM

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