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Two-and-a-Half Cheers for the Mainstream Media

Two-and-a-Half Cheers for the Mainstream Media

Mike Lofgren

Even in its redacted form, and even without the counterintelligence investigation material that was part of its task, the Mueller Report has largely vindicated the last three years of media coverage of Donald Trump’s and his presidential campaign’s connections to Russia.

Vindication for giving Trump all the campaign coverage they did in 2015/2016, while barely giving Bernie anything, will never come.

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  1. FALSE CLAIM: Russia “meddled” in the U.S. elections by conducting influence operations, including through social media. FACT All of the claims of Russian trolls that surfaced over the last few years (such as Russians using Pokémon Go mobile game and sex toys ads to meddle in the elections - https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/j5znk3/russian-trolls-triedto-use-pokemon-go-and-lgbt-positive-sex-toys-to-tip-the-2016-election) are so preposterous and contradictory that they virtually disprove themselves. For example, Facebook has identified 3,000 Russia-linked ads that cost about $100,000. That’s a miniscule number of ads and a fraction of Facebook’s revenues, which totaled $28 billion (http://fortune.com/2017/11/01/facebook-google-twitter-russian-adscongress/). Facebook estimates that 126 million people might – the emphasis is on the word might - have seen this content. But this number represents just 0,004% of the content those people saw on the platform. Google CEO Sundar Pichai testified to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee hearing on December 11th, 2018 that “ad accounts linked to Russia” spent “about $4,700 in advertising” to politically influence Americans during the 2016 presidential election season (https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2018/12/11/google-ceo-russia-linked-adaccounts-spent-4700-on-2016-political-advertising/). According to Graham Brookie, director of the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab., the scale and scope of domestic disinformation is much larger than any foreign influence operation. And academics from the Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy show in their study that they had seen major spikes in outright fabrication and misleading information proliferating online before the 2018 U.S. election, with people using warlike rhetoric in social media posts to spread anti-immigrant sentiment. A “significant portion” of the disinformation appeared to come from Americans, not foreigners, the Harvard researchers said. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2018/11/06/forget-russians-thiselection-day-its-americans-peddling-disinformation-hatespeech/?utm_term=.b6a8b85c2268)

  2. FALSE CLAIM: Russian hackers accessed computer servers of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and leaked materials through Wikileaks and other intermediaries FACT Today’s technology is such that the final internet address can be masked and camouflaged to an extent that no one will be able to understand the origin of that address. It is possible to set up any entity or individual that everyone will think that they are the exact source of attack. A group of former officers of the U.S. intel community from the “Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity” (VIPS), members of which met with then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo in 2017 to present their findings (https://consortiumnews.com/2019/03/13/vips-muellers-forensics-freefindings/), demonstrated using forensic analysis that the DNC data was copied at a speed that far exceeds an Internet capability for a remote hack (https://consortiumnews.com/2016/12/12/us-intel-vets-dispute-russia-hackingclaims/, https://consortiumnews.com/2017/01/17/a-demand-for-russian-hackingproof/, https://consortiumnews.com/2017/07/24/intel-vets-challenge-russiahack-evidence/), thus suggesting it was more likely a removable storage device was used. Another counterargument to the “Russian hackers” claim is that the DNC files published by Wikileaks were initially stored under the FAT (File Allocation System) method which is not related to internet transfers and can only be forwarded to an external device such as a thumb drive. It is also suspicious that the DNC prohibited the FBI from examining the servers. Instead, a third-party tech firm was hired, “Crowd Strike”, known for peddling the “Russian interference” claims. And soon enough it indeed announced that “Russian malware” has been found, but again, no solid evidence was produced. According to the respected former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter, the indictment by the Mueller team on July 13, 2018 of the 12 supposed Russian operatives (http://time.com/5338451/rod-rosenstein-russian-indictmenttranscript/) was a politically motivated fraud (https://www.truthdig.com/articles/indictment-of-12-russians-under-the-shinywrapping-a-political-act/). As Ritter explains, Mueller seems to have borrowed his list from an organizational chart of a supposed Russian military intelligence unit, contained in a classified document from the NSA titled “Spear-Phishing Campaign TTPs Used Against U.S. And Foreign Government Political Entities”, which was published by The Intercept online resource (https://theintercept.com/2017/06/05/top-secret-nsa-report-detailsrussian-hacking-effort-days-before-2016-election/). As stated in that document, this is just a subjective judgement, not a known fact. Ritter concludes, that this is a far cry from the kind of incontrovertible proof that Mueller’s team suggests exists to support its indictment. Moreover, it is telling that the indictment was released (http://time.com/5338451/rod-rosenstein-russian-indictment-transcript/) just before the meeting between President Putin and Trump in Helsinki on July 16, 2018, seemingly as if the aim was to intentionally derail the bilateral summit.

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Instead of 2 1/2 cheers, I 'd suggest the sound of one hand clapping is closer to the mark, here. Try catching flies with one hand while listening closely.
Discussing the MSM, seriously? Seriously? Well, ok then, let’s start with the follow the $$$, as opposed to their overall grade on ( ___________ ) ( insert your favorite examples here ).
I think the MSM does what it does, for the same reasons dairy farmers and ranchers, put rings in the noses of cows.

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Thank you WantBernieInstead.

I have no doubt that agents of the Russian government engaged in espionage and social media manipulation in the 2016 election. That is no different than what the US government does in Russia, Ukraine, Europe, Latin America, etc. However, I search the redacted Mueller report and did not see concrete evidence that Russia/Putin sought to “attack” the US electoral system or “undermine” US democracy. Mueller makes numerous claims to this effect, some of which he bases on US espionage agencies, however, these espionage agencies have only produced ambiguous and circumstantial evidence.

Dear Mr. Lofgren:

Here are some articles that come up when I do a Google search of the Mueller report:

Mueller report unveils American democracy under Russian attack (thehill.com/opinion/international/439885-mueller-report-unveils-american-democracy-under-russian-attack )

How the Russians attacked America’s democracy
(www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/12/19/how-russians-attacked-americas-democracy-editorial-debate/2366554002/)

Russia is a threat to American democracy, with or without collusion
(www.vox.com/2019/3/24/18279895/mueller-report-barr-trump-russia)

As a person of color,I find the notion that there is democracy in the US preposterous unless, by democracy these media you cheer means democracy exclusively for privileged white folk. I have family in Puerto Rico, they are subject to US rule but can’t vote for President. My family in Puerto Rico can’t even elect for representatives in the US congress and Senate.

Nonetheless, Mr. Lofgren, I will set aside my disagreement with the absurd allegations that there is democracy in the US. I searched the Mueller report for concrete evidence of a Russian government “attack” on the US and/or the US electoral system. All I found were allegations and references to unsubstantiated claims by US espionage agencies. If you have any evidence that proves that the government of Russia sought, not just to have an influence in the US election, but, specifically, to attack the US or attack US ‘democracy’, then please forward the evidence to me. If you are unable to do so, then it would appear that, rather than cheers, the US mainstream media is more deserving of a middle finger .

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So, how much did Mike Lofgren get paid (and by whom) for puking out this pro-MSM/pro-Mueller/anti-Russia propaganda piece? This is what I mean by the permanent/deep state trying to subtly change the mind of progressives on this site. But, this article is not so subtle; it’s a blatant piece of disinformation.

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Article is incoherent.

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Only Bronx cheers for the MSM, and this apologist.
(no disrespect however for the people of the Bronx!)

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Rubbish article trying to pretend the media did not embarrass themselves. Typical stuff that comes from ex-politicians whom have a vested interest in protecting their own.

It no wonder that CNN now draws fewer viewers then the Hallmark Channel. The people are clued in to what the Mainstream media really about and I find it highly unlikely they are going to buy into THIS narrative. The more guys like Lofgren tries to spin this, the worse it looks.

2 Likes