A shady website that claims “Russia is Manipulating US Opinion Through Online Propaganda” has compiled a blacklist of websites its anonymous authors accuse of pushing fake news and Russian propaganda.
Almost as soon as the Washington Post report appeared, prominent members of the liberal commentariat tweeted it out to hundreds of thousands of people, as though it were hard won vindication of their collective efforts to portray Trump’s surprise victory as the work of the Russian government
Nation Contributing Editor Stephen F. Cohen and John Batchelor continue their weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War. (Previous installments are at TheNation.com.) Last week’s discussion revisited episodes of US-Soviet détente in the 20th century, from Eisenhower and Nixon to Reagan, and the lessons to be learned from them. One was a pro-détente president’s need for determination, leadership skills, advisers, and domestic allies to offset what is certain to be ferocious opposition to any truly reciprocal negotiations with (now) “Putin’s Russia.”
In a recent story, the Washington Post says that this is definitely the case, based on information provided by two groups of what the paper calls “independent researchers.” But the case starts to come apart at the seams the more you look at it.
Trump appears ready to break away from Washington’s anti-Russia consensus, but he remains a prisoner of the anti-Iran consensus. This is the central contradiction of his emerging foreign policy.
Happy Thanksgiving and Thanks to Our Readers.
There are lots of stories which could legitimately be used to paint Russia in a bad light. But instead of doing the hard work of investigatory journalism, they instead propose radical ideas based on wild speculation. In this way, their work comes to resemble the ‘Russian propaganda’ they so like to despise.
Patrick Armstrong notes the evolution in the President’s thinking regarding Russia and its relevance and reach globally.
What is the convention regarding connections between a foreign government and a candidate for public office?
Consider a recent story in the Washington Post.
Barack Obama has warned the US president-elect, Donald Trump, against taking a purely “realpolitik approach” to relations with Russia and encouraged his successor to continue standing up for American values.