There are two schools of thought concerning Russia, as much as I hate to admit it, but I believe it is important to make the case.
One, there is a manufactured ‘crisis’ in the mainstream media with sources based on Tweets. As an example, Louise Mensch’s tweets are conjecture 99% of the time, she is obsessed with unseating Trump, making the case for Russian collusion. Her reliable sources might give her one fact and there may be 42 different ways to interpret that one fact. She will attempt to Tweet all 42 possibilities, absolutely obscuring and obfuscating the truth hiding amidst the conjecture. Her tweets are then being cited in numerous opinion pieces, which in turn, are cited as factual. The pols, pundits, reporters, and editors are jumping onto this steamroller, often stating, publicly, “THIS will sink Trump!”. Yesterday I caught an article in the New York Times, I believe, that said ‘keep the crisis rolling’. I literally choked on my coffee, somebody was almost admitting the crisis was manufactured and politically and artificially motivated. It is absolutely disgusting and explains why our confidence in the media is absolutely rock bottom. There are tons of great reporters out there. There are also tons of absolute morons, saturating what we read, especially on social media. This discussion dominates US domestic reporting.
Second, there appear to be actual investigations into actual Russian interference in the West, but the writing is incomplete and the coverage seems to be spiked or stifled by editors believing that the Russian ‘collusion’ investigation is the real news. In this coverage are two different tracks in the discussion and the press does not appear to completely differentiate between the two. Hacking and Influence. Two caveats are necessary for the public to understand: hacking does not necessarily lead to influence. Influence is not necessarily (and normally not) preceded by hacking. The Russians are outrageously trying to influence the West – period – by any and every possible means. Everybody is hacking the West. Those two concepts are not interchangeable and seldom overlap. The words hacking and influence are not interchangeable.
A few more facts.
The US is investing tens of billions of dollars into cybersecurity, and we are being told on a daily basis that we need more, much more. Industry, the commercial sector, is also investing tons of money, hiring expert teams, generating reports, and we are only seeing nascent efforts to create a system of systems, sharing data, exploits, tools, and attack information and data.
Comparatively, the US is investing squat, practically nothing, into countering Russian propaganda, disinformation, and misinformation – Russian Information Warfare. We have this great center, the Global Engagement Center, which concentrates on countering ISIS recruiting efforts, historically. They’ve looked at Russian Information. I know, they’ve written to me, asking for information, which I’ve supplied. But, by every appearance, they’re doing nothing about Russian Information Warfare.
The BBG, by comparison, recently stood up a Russian-language 24/7 international broadcasting effort, designed to inform Russian language speakers. This, incidentally, is the audience that most Russian propaganda also targets, primarily to suppress a domestic Russian colored revolution.
RFE/RL and VOA also write a ton of articles in English, which the American public could (and should) read, but almost nobody even knows they still exist. Hell, I publish this blog a few times each day and I often forget to check RFE/RL and VOA, although their quality of products is absolutely top-notch.
No, there is no effort to educate Americans and English speakers about Russian propaganda, misinformation, disinformation, fake news, and falsified news. I know this because the Russians told us: Voice of America faces budget cuts, vows to fight ‘Russian disinformation’ — RT America