Russia did it!
Russia invaded a US ally, Ukraine, and occupied the eastern reaches of the country. It hacked our elections. It broke into Democratic National Committee servers to steal thousands of emails detrimental to candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign. It has the undying support of US President Donald Trump because it has secretly brokered billion-dollar deals with the former real estate mogul and his family.
Indeed, anti-Russia sentiment is at Cold War highs. Never mind that for each talking point promoted by the mainstream media driving this mindset, there is no hard evidence, only speculation and assumptions, to support each claim. Contradictory facts, easily attained by anyone interested in the truth, are ignored and never reported.
While Americans have long been programmed to maintain a high level of distrust toward Russia — especially among boomers who grew up with Cold War fears of the imminent nuclear threat the Russian Empire posed — the Soviet Union’s 1991 collapse temporarily cooled those fears.
But tensions between the two nations began to deteriorate under President Bill Clinton and continued during George W. Bush’s and Barack Obama’s presidencies. And, beginning with the presidential campaign in 2016 and worsening since Trump’s election, anti-Russia hysteria is now ingrained in the American psyche. It’s being effectively manufactured, packaged, marketed and sold by politicians and corporate presstitutes who are, as global forecaster Gerald Celente states, “repulsive, repressive and immoral.”
HYSTERICAL. RELENTLESS. FALSE. OBSESSIVE.
In a few short months, America’s watered-down, corporatized media, driven exclusively by TV ratings and click-through and social-media metrics, and with laser-like focus on the one or two stories that will drive those numbers, have become masters of fostering anti-Russian propaganda. They do it at the expense of facts, real reporting and a public’s right to make measured assessments of news and information shoved down its throat.
The dictionary defines propaganda as “information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular cause or point of view.”
Most of the mainstream US media’s pervasive, habitually dishonest, nonstop coverage of Russia’s alleged collusion with the Trump campaign to interfere with the 2016 election has turned propaganda into a powerful science.
Anti-Russia headlines, sound bites and social media rants — driven by media blitzes that inflate every nuisance into a major headline and story to dominate 24-hour news cycles — permeate politics on both sides of the aisle and are swallowed by the general public.
Information fragments, whether sound bites on broadcast news or Twitter firestorms between news sources and media, now pass as legitimate journalism.
The masses are headline-strong and knowledge-empty.
ANTI-RUSSIA PROPAGANDA GOOD FOR BUSINESS
The New York Times and Washington Post lead the propaganda circus. They inflate every unsubstantiated “leak” from unnamed sources into major “breaking news” and then send their mouthpieces to their cable and network news partners to talk up the “news.”
It’s not news. It’s the Presidential Reality Show®. And it’s working.
Ratings for many of the mainstream media news channels, that play to their particular audience’s political preferences, have spiked. For example, ratings for MSNBC commentator Rachel Maddow, who appeals to diehard Democrats, and conservative Fox News host Sean Hannity, are up substantially.
And digital subscriptions for The Washington Post, recently acquired by multi-billionaire Jeff Bezos, and The New York Times also have sharply increased during and after the presidential campaign by ratcheting up their anti-Russia and anti-Trump coverage. They continue to inflate and distort Trump’s alleged ties to President Vladimir Putin, which is also fostering a widening political divide in the nation.
An especially stunning characteristic of anti-Russia propaganda’s rise in America is how the Fourth Estate has all but abandoned basic journalistic tenets to drive home the “Russia Did It” narrative.
In Russia/Trump coverage, the media elites have abandoned qualifiers such as “allegedly,” “reportedly,” “according to” and “unsubstantiated.” And, also contrary to basic journalistic standards, whether in print or on the air, Russia coverage routinely lacks basic balance. They stack the coverage deck with sources and on-air personalities who support the overriding Hate Russia narrative, while ignoring or dismissing the other side of the story.
In headline after headline and story after story, the so-called pillars of American journalism report unattributed claims as facts. They rely almost exclusively on government mouthpieces with personal agendas and unnamed sources. The lies and unsubstantiated information are then repeated in other stories by other so-called journalists and across multiple platforms.
That Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee and cost Clinton the election is no longer an open-ended question. It’s a presstitute fact.
Earlier this year, the world was struck by one of the greatest hacks of the Internet Age. It spread to nearly 80 countries. Here’s how The New York Times explained how hackers pulled it off by exploiting US National Security Agency software:
“Security experts described the attacks as the digital equivalent of a perfect storm. They began with a simple phishing email, like the one Russian hackers used in the attacks on the Democratic National Committee and other targets last year.” (The New York Times, 12 May 2017.)
So, The New York Times is absolutely certain the Russians hacked the Democratic National Committee and other targets? What proof has it shown? What targets is it referring to?
There is no hard evidence. Despite relentless claims of so-called experts, political hacks and US government agencies that Russia hacked the DNC and released the emails through WikiLeaks, which denied receiving them from Russian sources — there is no definitive proof.
F**k the facts
And there’s no evidence, none, that Trump and his campaign colluded with Russia to interfere with the presidential election.
Even the government’s Jan. 6 intelligence report on Russian hacking provided no proof that Russia orchestrated any attacks on US elections. And despite the absence of hard evidence presented in that report, in the last press conference of his presidency, Obama described the conclusions of the intelligence community as “not conclusive.”
Instead of proof, included in that report is a conjecture-filled, subjective and inconsequential seven-page accounting of how Russia’s TV network, RT, attempted to negatively sway viewers’ opinions of Clinton with biased coverage. (Note: Gerald Celente is a frequent guest on RT programs and says what he wants and has never been censored.)
Despite the sustained absence of evidence or proof, a narrative continues through the mainstream media insisting Clinton lost because Russia, and RT, wanted to “undermine our democracy” and that Putin has a “personal beef” with her because she said the 2011 Russian parliamentary elections were rigged.
Adding fuel to the propaganda fire was the presstitute media’s constantly repeated claim that “all 17 US intelligence agencies have agreed that Russia tried to influence the 2016 election to benefit Donald Trump.”
In fact, it was only a hand-picked group of analysts from four agencies, not “all 17.” But despite these facts, ignored by the media and their select mouthpieces, the falsehood was repeated in dozens of stories over two months before The New York Times, The Associated Press and others finally corrected it.
By the time this correction was made — buried and quickly forgotten — the misinformation was written into the anti-Russia narrative.
SECRET FBI OPERATION COULDN’T PRODUCE PROOF
Not even FBI- and Homeland Security Department-led surveillance of social-media sites and Russia-supported news outlets secretly conducted on Election Day could provide evidence that Russia was intervening with the US election.
Don’t remember that story?
It took eight months to break into the news and was barely reported even then. FBI agents, under Obama’s watch, investigated potential Russian interference in US elections, but found nothing. This was big news. But it was barely reported and quickly forgotten.
Also quickly in and out of the news was the bogus CNN story that Congress was investigating ties between a Russian investment fund and Trump supporter Anthony Scaramucci. Three reporters were forced to resign over the false story.
More telling was a video clip of CNN producer John Bonifield calling CNN’s coverage of the Russian hacking story “mostly bullshit,” ordered by CEO Jeff Zucker.
Bonifield made his admission while secretly being filmed. “It’s mostly bullshit right now. Like, we don’t have any big giant proof,” he said while being recorded by activist James O’Keefe.
“So why is CNN constantly like, ‘Russia this, Russia that?’” O’Keefe asked him… “Because it’s ratings… Our ratings are incredible right now.”
Exactly the point we have been making throughout this analysis — it’s all about ratings. It’s about the corporate media boosting their bottom line.
Again, this story was barely reported, even though it deserved wide breaking-news coverage. It demonstrated how CNN is selling lies to drive ratings and ignoring or burying news that challenges the anti-Russia, Trump-loves-Putin narrative dominant in mainstream media coverage.
And now, nearly a year after the election, CNN continues to sell the lies and false narrative as evidenced by its Top Story coverage of Hillary Clinton’s forthcoming book, “What Happened.”
Under a large photo of a frowning Clinton, CNN’s headline link read, “CNN bought Clinton’s new memoir and read it overnight.”
Among the other links, which included a Clinton photo gallery containing 43 images, was an analysis piece with the headline: “She was right about why she lost.”
In the main story, CNN quoted from Clinton’s book:
“There’s nothing I was looking forward to more than showing Putin that his efforts to influence our election and install a friendly puppet had failed… I know he must be enjoying everything that’s happened instead. But he hasn’t had the last laugh yet.
“I never imagined that he would have the audacity to launch a massive covert attack against our own democracy, right under our noses — and that he’d get away with it.”
Clinton continues to lie, and CNN swears to it.
NO, RUSSIA DID NOT INVADE CRIMEA
Another of the media’s greatest lies and greatest hits is Russia’s invasion and takeover of Crimea in Eastern Ukraine.
In the print-news world, “nut graphs” are statements of fact that explain a story’s news value and provide historical context. And in mainstream media in print and on the air, a familiar nut graph is repeated over and over… Russia invaded Crimea in the winter of 2014, and annexed it.
Russia did not attack Crimea. And it would likely still be a part of Ukraine if the US had not orchestrated a coup to overthrow the government of the democratically elected president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych.
No, Russia did not invade Crimea. The Russian military already had a presence there. Under a lease agreement (which doesn’t expire until 2047), negotiated when Russia granted independence to Ukraine, its Black Sea Fleet is based at Sevastopol port in Crimea.
However, Vladimir Putin did order more troops into Crimea as he feared the government takeover in Kiev would provoke an attack.
It was Crimeans who voted overwhelmingly — by 95 percent — to rejoin Russia.
Crimea had been part of Ukraine only since 1954, when then-Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, a Ukrainian, designated it as such. In fact, Crimea had been part of Russia longer than the United States has been a country.
POLITICIANS SEIZE ON EVIL RUSSIA
But the false narrative that Russia seized a sovereign nation resonates. Russia, in the minds of most Americans and many US European allies, has re-emerged as an evil, direct threat bearing down on the Western World’s peace and tranquility.
The Russians are not to be trusted. Every policy, protocol, action and geopolitical decision must begin from this premise. To distrust Russia at every turn is now the American way. It’s a given, an automatic response.
Don’t believe that? Just ask your senator or congressman. Anti-Russia sentiment reigns highest in the halls of government.
To make it perfectly clear to Vladimir Putin and the Moscow elites that they were being punished for “hacking” the election, the US House of Representatives voted in favor of a new round of sanctions against Russia by 419-3. The US Senate overwhelmingly voted 98-2 in favor of the sanctions.
Congress also pushed for the new and expanded sanctions under the guise it was punishing the country for supporting the government in Syria’s civil war.
Celente said: “The sanctions legislation is another losing maneuver. The sanctions are targeting and punishing Russia for intervening in Syria. But Russia only intervened in Syria in 2015 at the legal request of the Assad government. By that time, more than 400,000 Syrians were [already] dead.”
The overwhelming votes in favor of sanctions made the law veto-proof. Trump had no choice but to sign it.
LIES SHOULD MATTER, RIGHT?
In August, for example, while appearing on CNN, US Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut said, “There is no minimizing or under-estimating the attack” on US elections.
“It was purposeful and relentless, and it involved propaganda and hacking into our voting machines, or at least an attempt to do it, and potential collusion by the Trump campaign and then obstruction of justice.”
That’s a lie. And as Celente said: “Blumenthal is an arrogant, vicious, malicious liar, a political low life…”
Moreover, Blumenthal’s lie, one repeated by numerous politicians, went unchallenged by a numbed, corporatized, gutless media that sells its own propaganda as truth.
THE PROPAGANDA IS WORKING
Later this fall, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs will release a study gauging public opinion toward Russia — where it stands today and comparisons to previous eras.
Council Senior Fellow Dina Smeltz said Americans today have the greatest distrust of Russia recorded in the 43 years the council has studied public opinion on America-Russia relations.
Smeltz said the council’s final report would likely indicate that about 60 percent of Americans believe America should scale back relations with Russia.
Gallup also supports this trend. In its polls, current tracking shows two-thirds of Americans have an unfavorable view of Russia, matching ratings of the immediate post-Cold War era.
The “Russia Did It” propaganda blitz is working. The public — unaccustomed to thinking for itself or doing its own fact-checking, and squeezed by the media’s non-stop Russian-hacking narrative and Congress’ rare show of bipartisan agreement that Russian is evil, can’t be trusted and must be punished — agrees Russia is our enemy.
EDITOR’S NOTE: When citizens challenge the “official” word of government, they are dismissed as conspiracy theorists. Throughout this Trends Journal, we have provided ample evidence of outright lies and non-stop propaganda.
That so many accept “allegations” and “suspects” dictated by authorities as truth, is a reflection of the State of the Union.
Remember the motto of the Trends Journal: Think for yourself.
History Before It Happens®
Tracking trends is a study of where we are, how we got here and where we are going.
While the “Hate Russia” trend has intensified, it is not new. The Trends Research Institute has been closely tracking this trend and warning of its potential consequences for years.
We demonstrated how anti-Russian actions by the US violated agreements made at the time of the Soviet Union’s breakup (see the “Celente, Roberts, Null” video for analysis by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, former assistant treasury secretary under President Ronald Reagan) had set a foundation for escalating tensions.
And in 2013, we identified how a new chapter in the anti-Russia saga was emerging.
During the Obama administration, for example, we identified the latest escalation of the US-created anti-Russia propaganda campaign that was the precursor to the current campaign.
In the Spring 2014 Trends Journal, Celente wrote: “Not willing to let an atrocity go to waste, on 29 December 2013, following a terrorist bombing in a train station in Volgograd, a Russian city several hundred miles from where the Sochi 2014 Olympics were to be hosted, headlines across America blared: ‘Terror Attacks Hit Russia Leading Into 2014 Winter Olympics.’
“Week after week, leading up to the February games, government officials, ‘credible sources’ and ‘intelligence experts’ warned Americans that traveling to Sochi was risky. From toothpaste bombs and shoe bombs to black-widow bombers, the message was clear.”
PROPAGANDA WORKED THEN, WORKS NOW
Of course, not one of those dire predictions came to fruition.
But the propaganda strategy worked. Just days before the opening ceremony, a 5 February 2014 CNN poll showed that 57 percent of Americans believed terror would strike during the Sochi Games.
TV ratings in the US fell 12 percent from those for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, four years earlier. And a Gallup poll in early February 2014 showed 60 percent of Americans viewed Russia unfavorably, the most since 1994, while 63 percent viewed Putin unfavorably.
And, as we tracked and analyzed, much of the Western world was ideally positioned, even pre-programmed, to blame Russia for the crisis in Ukraine that erupted later that year — even though, as the facts substantiated, it was initiated by the US and its NATO allies. TJ