There’s something wrong with the hysterical reporting that has resulted from Robert Mueller’s indictment of 13 Russian nationals and entities for “meddling” (there’s that word again) in our 2016 election.
Under ominous headlines, wire reports describe it as “...a sprawling indictment that unveiled a sophisticated network designed to subvert the 2016 election and support the Trump campaign.”
Not so fast. Comments from people in a much better position to know –- Russian journalists who exposed the “trolling” months ago, as well as Rob Goldman, VP of Ads for Facebook, which cooperated in Mueller’s investigation –- reflect a starkly different take. Goldman claims that many in the media are ignoring key facts in order to fit the “main narrative of Trump and the election.”
We all know that narrative. The Russians, led by Vladimir himself, wanted to hurt Hillary and install Trump in as their puppet-in-chief, so they “meddled.” They “hacked.” They even “colluded” with the Trump campaign. We hear this day after day on CNN and MSNBC, and we read it in the headlines of newspapers that run with wire reports.
But here’s what Goldman tweeted: “Very excited to see the Mueller indictment today. We shared Russian ads with Congress, Mueller and the American people to help the public understand how the Russians abused our system. Still, there are key facts about the Russian actions that are still not well understood.”
He went on: “Most of the coverage of Russian meddling involves their attempt to affect the outcome of the 2016 US election. I have seen all of the Russian ads and I can say very definitely that swaying the election was “NOT” the main goal.” “The majority of the Russian ad spend happened AFTER the election. We shared that fact, but very few outlets have covered it because it doesn’t align with the main media narrative of Tump (sic) and the election.”
“The main goal of the Russian propaganda and misinformation effort,” he continued, “is to divide America by using our institutions, like free speech and social media, against us. It has stoked fear and hatred amongst Americans. It is working incredibly well. We are quite divided as a nation.”
Indeed. I wonder if the Russians had any idea how effectively their “meddling” would foment chaos in America. What a bang for their buck! And they have to thank not only their own worker-bees placing Facebook ads and organizing demonstrations, but also Democratic operatives and media accomplices who are all too eager to bring down a duly elected government. Why, if Hillary HAD won, she would have clamped down so hard on any investigation of her wrongdoings that nothing could have stopped her from smoothly cementing herself into power. But the way this has unfolded, the Russians get to watch as the DNC and the media and the rabid partisan investigators all "collude" to delegitimize an American President. Break out the vodka for a round of toasts.
As for those Russian journalists who, last October, revealed much of the information about the “troll factory” disclosed in the Mueller indictment, their comments also stray from the American media narrative. They say that when they first published the details in RBC, a Russian business magazine, it was no bombshell. And they express wonder at the long list of people named in the indictment. They identify a few who participated during the campaign but note that others were “very incidental.”
“I mean, it seems like they put down all the names they could get,” says Andrey Zakharov. “Some...worked there in 2014 –- but most of these guys didn’t work for the troll factory for a long time. They didn’t even work there during the elections."
Zakharov even echoes what Goldman said: “...Everyone has focused on the pro-Trump groups. What we saw was that they were trying to spread tension in society, talking about problems...with black people, Islam and so on. They organized anti-Trump rallies also. Yes, they were active against Hillary, but they were not always pro-Trump. They were also active after the election.”
Just like we’ve been saying all along about what the Russians were doing. Nice to know we seem to be the ones in touch with reality.
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