Here’s the thing about Russian propaganda: they are very, very good at what they do. The Russian book of dirty tricks has surely only expanded and been brought to new depths of depravity under ex-KGB honcho Vladimir Putin. The people implementing the dirty tricks in play these days are not afraid to stoop to levels of dishonesty and incitement that are truly disturbing.
It’s quite amazing, really, when you stop to consider the way the “Russia hacked the election” narrative and the anti-Trump hatred at its heart is playing out. For one thing, there is still no solid proof of these allegations to this day, some five months following the election. Nothing has been presented by any intelligence agency, nor by any member of either the House or Senate intelligence committees, nor by any reporter, nor by anyone else that in any way comes close to establishing the veracity of such a claim.
Alternative or dissenting voices were excluded from leading Soviet newspapers and broadcasts. The foundational narrative of Trump’s Kremlin-related complicity is based on the allegation that Putin ordered the hacking of Democratic National Committee computers and disseminated e-mails found there through WikiLeaks in order to damage Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and to abet Trump’s.
The phrase “fake news” has come to signify everything from foreign intelligence-created propaganda, to partisan bias in reporting, to paid sock-puppet tweet-storming, to Macedonian teens manufacturing Buzzfeed-clickbait stories, to simply anything with which the speaker of the phrase disagrees. But what is undeniable is that the current prominence of the term came about as a result of a hugely controversial news piece published in Sullivan’s very own Washington Post in the wake of the election in November of 2016.