Full disclosure, Molly McKew is a friend of mine. She is smart, witty, and very experienced. We share many, if not most, of the same opinions of Russian information warfare.
I ran across this article in RT today and immediately sent her a congratulatory note. If RT notices you and writes a smear piece on you, that means you’ve made it. You’re having an effect on Russian information, they’re angry, and you’ve upset their apple cart. Pissed in their cornflakes. You know, ticked them off in a good way.
In this case, it might be a matter of RT being petty and attempting to divide counter-Russian propaganda efforts.
In this case, Molly is teaching a course on Russian information warfare at Georgetown University, the prestigious school in Washington DC which teaches many future leaders.
One of the best things about this article for me is that I also learn who attacks American experts at the request of RT. I gathered the following names who are attacking Molly without merit.
- Gregory Afinogenov (asst prof of Imperial Russian history at Georgetown)
- Leonid Bershidsky (Europe Columnist, Bloomberg Opinion)
In Leonid Bershidsky’s case, Molly blocked him because he showed all the signs and symptoms of preparing an information attack on her when he asked her if she spoke Russian. This is a common Red Herring attack by pro-Russians, her blocking action was preemptive.
Gregory Afinogenov tweeted 10 times attacking Molly. RT, of course, took maximum advantage of his attacks and only used a few to create the article.
He later labeled RT a propaganda network, as a response to the article.
The interesting thing is when Louise Mensch got involved and inserted her opinion:
Without evidence, Louise Mensch accused Molly of working for the CIA. Louise is a fervent anti-Russian propaganda hunter but her rabid anti-Trump activities dilute her effectiveness opposing Russia.
My biggest problem is that here we have three fairly serious people attacking Molly but none have offered a better candidate. Molly has been countering Russian propaganda for well over a decade, has testified to the US Congress about Russian propaganda and disinformation, has been instrumental in helping the US counter Russian disinformation, and is widely recognized as an expert. None of these so-called experts have the bona fides she does against Russian propaganda and disinformation programs, yet they seemingly gleefully contribute to Russia’s efforts to undermine US counter-Russian disinformation efforts by attacking her.
‘Hiring flat-Earther to teach geography’: Russiagater to lecture on ‘hybrid warfare’ at Georgetown
Molly McKew, known for claiming that the Russian nuclear doctrine allows for “nuking its own people” (it doesn’t) and peddling the so-called “Gerasimov doctrine” of hybrid warfare (it doesn’t exist), among other things, will now be passing on her ideas to the students of one of America’s most prestigious schools – the Georgetown University.
The course description lists almost everything the US establishment and media have accused Russia of in recent years: “The cyberattack against Estonia in 2007, the invasion of Georgia in 2008, the annexation of Crimea in 2014. Bots, trolls, and information operations,” all part of “the Kremlin’s new way of war” that “targets our societies and citizens.”
McKew stands out even among the crowd of “experts” who’ve made it their livelihood to find Russian hybrid warfare around every corner. In her blue-ticked Twitter feed dedicated almost entirely to the evilness of Putin, she has linked Kremlin to the whistleblower-turned-transgender-activist Chelsea Manning’s Senate run, the deadly violence at the August 2017 Charlottesville rally, and more recently, to “trolls posing as gay men trying to falsely link LGBT acceptance to pedophilia.”
Enshrining McKew’s “expertise” in a Georgetown course has about as much to do with academia as “hiring a flat-Earther to teach in a geography department,” another Georgetown academic points out.
Indeed, she has no problem with personal attacks, like this one against “stinking” Julian Assange (who is, it goes without saying, “a front for Russian intelligence”).
She has been registered as a foreign agent lobbying on behalf of Georgia (where she was an advisor to the very anti-Russian President Mikhail Saakashvili) and Moldova.
Even media voices with less-than-favorable (but more level-headed) views of Putin’s Russia are wary of McKew’s “expert opinion”, like Leonid Bershidsky, who emigrated from Russia after the 2014 “annexation” of Crimea, or Masha Gessen, an LGBT rights activist and outspoken critic of Putin.
McKew has dismissed Gessen’s writings – because Gessen is Russian, of course.