Information operations · Information Warfare

Review: Bias At “The Hill” And Propaganda Techniques


I’ve been biting my tongue, hard, all day, to the point where it is figuratively bleeding buckets of blood every second.

Multiple very good, trusted, and respected friends are sending me the same link from a source which is admittedly liberal, left-leaning.

The Hill is a liberal-leaning[3] American political journalism newspaper and website published in Washington, D.C. since 1994.[4][5][6] It is published by Capitol Hill Publishing, which is owned by News Communications, Inc. Focusing on politics, policy, business and international relations, The Hill coverage includes the U.S. Congress, the presidency, and election campaigns.[7] – Wikipedia

Russia’s propaganda machine amplifies alt-right was today’s headline mailing from the Hill.

A few observations.

  1. The Hill associates President Trump with the Alt-Right, which is a natural fit. Steve Bannon had declared Breitbart News an “alt-right platform” and worked there previously.  Without saying President Trump is allied with the alt-right, the association has not only been made, it is now stated as a fact by countless liberal trolls.  The Hill is not responsible for this, but it takes full advantage to the point of journalistic abuse.
  2. The Hill associates President Trump with Russian propaganda, furthering the implications (sans evidence) of Russian collusion. This is a favorite liberal tactic, to outright state that Russian collusion is a fact, however, it is a charge without evidence, the reverse of how the legal system actually works (evidence supports a charge, not vice versa). The implication is that Russia worked in support of electing Candidate Donald Trump and continues working on his behalf. Not only is there no proof, it is absurd.
  3. Russian propaganda builds a story around a kernel of truth, in this case, the fact is that the Russian propaganda machine is focusing on issues which are divisive for the United States. The hashtag campaign, #FireMcMaster, was a Russian botnet operation focused on building support to fire the National Security Advisor, again without evidence – all for the purpose of fostering divisiveness and sowing discord. Almost everything else about the article is supposed, assumed, implied, and alluded to be associated. A loose association of Trump and the current administration with neo-Nazis and the Alt-Right is not established but implied to be a fact, as their cause is being supported by Russian bots.

In their story, there is a discussion of the evolution of Russian bots.

“They went from being effectively propaganda experiments to being something that is now known tradecraft,” explained Ryan Kalember, senior vice president for cybersecurity strategy at Proofpoint. “You look at the numbers and you definitely see trends toward greater organization in terms of the messaging.”

In a purely rhetorical analysis, the above paragraph is a discussion of Russian botnet traffic, but the message is loosely wrapped into a “pro-Donald Trump message” by botnets in a subsequent paragraph.  This is an allegorical device, useful, and virtually indistinguishable for the common reader.

This has been a common device at The Hill.  Furthermore, their headlines are grossly skewed to the far-left.

My sister and I had a discussion a few years ago about someone we both knew, our observation was that if there were ten ways to say something, she would choose one of the most hateful possible ways of saying something.

Such is the case with The Hill and their headlines.  Every headline emanating from The Hill is much more extreme to the left than the actual article. In the new era of the internet, the editors know damn well that many readers will only read a headline and extrapolate and project from that point. Chances are that is their assumption and what they are relying upon, reader laziness.

When I moved to Washington DC I was informed about the bias of various newspapers, one was clearly labeled a “liberal rag”.  That label now applies to “The Hill”, to which I have subscribed for countless years.  I have written countless private letters to the editors, sharing my observations. I have commented on Facebook.  I can no longer rely on The Hill for reliable news, all I receive is grossly liberal propaganda.  I have asked for more of a fair, objective, and unbiased approach to their reporting, but alas, all seems to be for naught.

The Hill is a liberal rag.

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