There’a been a slew of reports blaming everything on the Russians recently. For example:
Russia and Islamist terrorist groups are increasingly targeting the EU with propaganda – the warning in a resolution approved by MEPs, which aims to combat anti-Europe campaigns.
It says Moscow spreads propaganda through media and other means – seeking to incite fear and divide.
“What this report is trying to do [is] pointing a finger to at least one direction or let’s say one-and-a-half directions, to Russia and to ISIS,” said Eugen Freund, an Austrian centre-left MEP.
“And to explain how various Russian entities, Russia TVs, Sputnik and so on are trying to influence the audience in Europe. They are trying to split Europe and the United States, they are trying to belittle what the United States, what the European Union is doing.”
So if you’re anti-EU, it can only be because the Russians have got at you somehow. Breitbart:
The parliament of the European Union (EU) has voted to clamp down on “anti-EU propaganda”, which MEPs claim is part of a concerted “disinformation” campaign by the Kremlin.
MEPs supported the resolution to “counter Russian propaganda”, the report on which it was based claiming that Moscow funds Eurosceptic and populist parties in the EU with the aim of disintegrating the bloc.
A unit which “finds and debunks” “Russian propaganda” online would be expanded and given a cash boost if the 304 MEPs who voted for the resolution have their way.
The European Parliament’s press release on the resolution, which was designed to “respond to information warfare from Russia”, asserts that Moscow is funding “anti-EU forces such as extreme right parties and populist forces”.
So UKIP, Front National, AfD, 5Star are all funded by Moscow, eh? Who would have guessed? But, wait, it gets worse:
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.
I must say I actually do think that the Russians have been trying to send strong messages to the Western world. Putin has been warning of war, and has been angry that the Western MSM won’t report his warnings. So if the Russian warnings have reached the West, it’s quite likely via the internet, and Matt Drudge and ZeroHedge and all the other websites I read. I get 100% of my news from the web these days.
Ten years ago, when I had a TV, it wasn’t like that. Back then I got half my news from TV and newspaper, and the rest from the web. Now I don’t have a TV, and don’t read newspapers (except online). For I lost faith in the MSM when they completely failed to cover or examine or discuss the biggest event in my life in recent years: the 2007 UK smoking ban which, as ASH’s Deborah Arnott accurately predicted, “exiled smokers to the outdoors.” The smoking ban was a non-story in the MSM before it happened, and has been a non-story ever since. It may as well have never happened. But it knocked me personally sideways far more than anything else that has ever happened. It changed me in lots of ways. I stopped voting Lib Dem for one, after I found out that 95% of Lib Dem MPs had voted for the ban. And I stopped watching the TV channels that weren’t reporting or discussing it (i.e. all of them): the only place that there is any discussion of smoking bans is online. Amazingly, the Russians had nothing to do with this either!
And what swung me decisively against the EU was learning that the EU parliament had voted for a European smoking ban in 2009. I didn’t think that a political organisation with 500 million citizens in it could survive demonising and excluding its 150 million smokers. And the Russians didn’t have anything to do with that either.
I think the simple fact of the matter is that people like me have been turning away from the MSM. It’s not just smoking bans. It’s also global warming propaganda. And Political Correctness. And their pro-EU agenda. And any number of other things that I’m thoroughly sick of.
And if Donald Trump looked to me like a very attractive candidate for the US presidency, it was precisely because he was sick of global warming propaganda, and Political Correctness, and the MSM. His only major flaw was that he didn’t smoke and drink like Nigel Farage. But the two of them seem to have become big buddies in recent months.
I think that since Brexit and the Trump victory, the political class and the MSM have finally begun to realise that they’ve lost touch with many of their former viewers and readers, and have accordingly lost the ability to form and shape their opinions. And now they’re blaming the Russians for it! But they have nobody to blame but themselves. They weren’t listening to their viewers and readers, and now their viewers and readers aren’t listening to them.
P.S. Here’s WaPo’s Russian hit list of propaganda sites.