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NBC News, New York Times Replay Russia Hoax For 2024 Election

MSNBC with Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski
Image CreditMSNBC/YouTube

The media plan to spend the rest of the year framing opposition to Democrats as the result of Russian disinformation, even though it’s a lie.

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As Joe Biden’s presidency fails and his 2024 campaign falters, the media and other Democrats are hitting the big red panic button and bringing back their Russia-collusion hoax for another spin.

Joe Scarborough, the MSNBC host who sets Democrat talking points, spent last week claiming Biden’s 2024 troubles aren’t due to his unpopular policies or lack of mental acuity but rather a secret and nefarious Russian plot to help Donald Trump win the election. Scarborough excitedly claimed Republicans in Congress were working with Russian President Vladimir Putin to help Trump win. Putin endorsed Biden in February, for what it’s worth.

Democrats’ ability to push their Russia hoax 2.0 is hampered by the previous Russia-collusion hoax they peddled from 2016 through 2019. That lie was exhaustively and painstakingly debunked, but Scarborough has bitterly clung to it and wants to rewrite history.

“One of the maddening things that you will see out there, people talking about the Russian hoax. They keep talking about the Russian hoax,” Scarborough said, calling out The Wall Street Journal for its reporting against the Russia-collusion hoax. “Russian disinformation is being spread on the House floor by Republican members. Here we have more reporting of what has never really stopped. That is, Vladimir Putin and Russia are trying to help Donald Trump get elected again! Hoax? There is no hoax!” he shouted.

The Russia-collusion hoax was the incredibly false and damaging lie that Trump conspired with Russia to steal the election, not the fairly obvious fact that Russia spreads propaganda. Scarborough leaves out the whole actual hoax in his retelling. He does not mention the fabricated Steele dossier, the debunked pee tape, the lies about Michael Cohen going to Prague for secret meetings with Russian officials, the fraudulent efforts to secure warrants to spy on Trump affiliates, the spying by Rodney Joffe, the Alfa-Bank hysteria, or any of the other falsehoods the media and other Democrats peddled for years.

The cause of last week’s Scarborough hysteria was an anonymously sourced New York Times story describing a single video it claimed had been produced by Russian operatives purporting to be Ukrainians. The video, which may or may not have been watched by any Americans, apparently claimed Ukrainians were being told by the CIA to help Biden win. The anonymous “current and former” CIA officials said this meant Russians were meddling in U.S. elections. The story was exactly like the hundreds of other New York Times stories that ran in the first iteration of the Russia-collusion hoax — anonymous intelligence sources, lack of substantiation, and outlandish inferences.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., tweeted out a link to the story with the note, “Trump/Russia. Trump/Russia. Trump/Russia. How obvious does it have to be??”

A CIA spokesman told The New York Times the claim made in the video was “patently false” and the “type of disinformation that the intelligence community has long warned about.” He added, somewhat hilariously, that “C.I.A. is a foreign-focused organization that takes our obligation to remain uninvolved in American politics and elections very seriously.”

Among a wide variety of other domestic-focused activities, CIA employees helped organize the letter signed by former CIA leaders on the eve of the 2020 election falsely claiming that the very real Hunter Biden laptop detailing the corrupt Biden family business was Russian disinformation. That CIA-fueled lie was spread by American media and was highlighted in one of the two presidential debates that cycle. Americans who spoke accurately about the laptop were censored by Big Tech.

NBC’s Mika Brzezinski, Scarborough’s latest spouse, read The New York Times story on air, regurgitating its anonymous spin that Russian propaganda was a major threat to the election. The same claim was made by Democrats eight years ago, unable to accept that Donald Trump had won the 2016 election fair and square. Yes, Russians run election-related social media campaigns. But Democrats hype the effect of these campaigns to an absurd extent to censor American speech and debate they fear will harm Democrat election prospects.

In 2017, Democrats and the media claimed they’d found a smoking gun of collusion between Trump and Russia to steal the 2016 election. They held hearings and rolled out stories about 3,000 Facebook ads purchased by Russia that supposedly affected the outcome — except that wasn’t true. Of the 3,000 ads, 56 percent were viewed after the election. Twenty-five percent were seen by no one. Most of the ads didn’t mention the election, voting, or any particular candidate. Only a dozen or so targeted swing states, and they ran in 2015. Most of the ads had very little reach on account of the lack of funding behind them. Many were written in broken English. Here’s an example of one from a Russian troll farm, which said, “You can’t hold hands with God when you are masturbating.” How crude masturbation jokes hurt Democrat candidates is never explained.

One of the panelists on the Scarborough show last week was Jennifer Palmieri, Hillary Clinton’s communications director. Clinton and the Democrat National Committee secretly financed the Russia-collusion lie in 2016, paying for disinformation about Trump and Russia to be manufactured and spread throughout the media. In any case, Palmieri told Scarborough with a straight face how frustrating it was in 2016 that people didn’t believe the Clinton campaign’s claims about Russian disinformation.

“The hardest thing to combat in 2016 was no one believed us. Even after there had been reporting on what Russia was doing in the [Washington] Post, we’d go to the press and say, you know, we think a lot of this is coming from Russia. It was just so fantastic for everyone, that they couldn’t really — you know, they couldn’t appreciate that that’s what was really happening. Now people do know that,” Palmieri said.

NBC’s Mike Barnicle described Palmieri’s fantastical claims as “factual.” He said, “It happened. It impacted a presidential election. It is not just Russia now. There’s a tsunami of misinformation out there. Russia, China, various other countries, all aimed at our increasingly fragile democracy. So part of what you do for a living is teach, and teach about race in this country and the culture of this country today. This is a potential lethal threat to our country.”

A potential lethal threat to our country? This is the same spin that occurred in 2016, when Democrats said that a few Facebook ads were a “digital Pearl Harbor.” What an absurd and offensive claim.

Remember, this entire segment was about a video featuring a woman supposedly from Kiev saying she had been putting out pro-Zelensky content until mysterious Americans visited, who were “probably CIA,” and told her to switch to attacking Trump. “Probably CIA”? Wow, what a convincing propaganda video. Is this really a super sophisticated attack that threatens our democracy or a low-rent video indistinguishable from a billion other videos online?

A few hours after The New York Times story ran, Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., mentioned it, despite its lack of details or sourcing, in his hearing on “election interference.” What a remarkable coincidence that the story, which gave the CIA’s perspective uncritically, ran the very same morning as that hearing! What are the odds?

It’s clear the media and Democrats plan to spend the rest of the year framing opposition to their failed and unpopular policies as the result of Russian disinformation, even though it’s a flat-out lie. Further, it is clear that to have their lie work, they are going to whitewash their shameful history in the Russia-collusion hoax.

They will do it, and do it brazenly, because they know they own the information complex and can get away with lying. Remember, they won Pulitzers and other prizes for spreading the 2016 Russia hoax. Even after it was completely debunked, they claimed they had done nothing wrong. They further understand that they control Big Tech and the censorship-industrial complex as well.

The use of Russian disinformation as a pretext to destabilize and delegitimize an elected president, and its use as a pretext to censor Americans, are far greater threats than some broken-English Facebook ads, Kiev trolls, or email scammers.


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