Every once in a while, one of those stories comes along that makes the mainstream corporate media look like a bunch of middle-school kids filming their “news show” on an iPhone with their neck ties crooked. Recently, one of those stories splashed down into the middle of our cultural zeitgeist like a small meteor landing in the middle of an elite dinner party.
It made our mass media pundits look like hardened fools. But they have kept spouting their nonsense anyway, hoping no one notices the soup dripping down their faces.
But to talk about that, I have to talk about this: Last month we finally got to see the Senate report spelling out the Russian meddling in our last election. And it was a bombshell. It rocked the heart of our country. It shredded the inflamed mucousy core of our palpitating democracy.
As Dan Cohen reported for the Grayzone Project, the report said that “…everything from the Green Party’s Jill Stein to Instagram to Pokemon Go to the African American population had been used and confused by the deceptive Facebook pages of a private Russian troll farm called the Internet Research Agency.”
That’s right. Russia even used Pokémon Go to pulverize the previously pristine 2016 election. That’s ever so frightening, since Pokémon Go is CIA-backed. (I guess it’s high time we just accept that the CIA has been taken over by those ruthless vodka drinkers.)
Back to the point—we learned from the report last month that the Russian Internet Research Agency manipulated every one of us with Facebook ads. If you don’t mind though, the Senate and the corporate media (and anybody else who knows the secret oligarchy handshake) would really prefer you just ignore the fact that Facebook clearly stated: “…56% [of the Russian ads] were after the election” and “…roughly 25% of the ads were never shown to anyone.”
But like an overweight man dressed like Wolverine at a Comic-Con, our brave congressmen and -women are not about to be dissuaded by reality. After the reports came out, Sen. Mark Warner tweeted, “Incredible. These bombshell reports demonstrate just how far Russia went to exploit the fault lines of our society and divide Americans, in an attempt to undermine and manipulate our democracy.”
Just after posting that, Warner patriotically pissed his red, white and blue Underoos.
So who are these amazing nonpartisan unbiased sleuths who put together this legitimate and nonpartisan unbiased Senate report? The New York Times found out they are a group called New Knowledge (which sounds like a terrible boy band). New Knowledge was founded by two veterans of the Obama administration, Jonathon Morgan and Ryan Fox. …So, I guess we’re, um, doing away with the “nonpartisan unbiased” thing.
Well, in that case—I say go hard or go home. I want MORE bias!
The Grayzone Project pointed out that besides working for Obama and the State Department, “… Morgan also developed technology for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the arm of the Department of Defense created for basic, applied technological research, and futuristic war toys.”
All right, all right, not bad. But I know what you’re thinking. “Lee, that might be a great bias appetizer, but we want the full bias entree!”
OK, how about this?
<blockquote> Ryan Fox is a 15-year veteran of the NSA and was a computer analyst for the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) military unit. JSOC is notorious for its spree of atrocities across the Middle East. … </blockquote>
Hell yeah! You can feel that bias in my toes, can’t ya? But, the truth is, we’re still only at a 45 percent bias rating. I say we get it up to at least 65 percent. Back to Dan Cohen:
<blockquote> The report … was overseen by Renee DiResta, a former Wall Street trader and tech specialist who was recruited by Obama’s State Department to devise strategies for combating online ISIS propaganda. </blockquote>
So now we’ve got former Wall Street, former State Department, former Obama White House, former NSA, former DARPA, and former JSOC writing this completely legitimate completely factual report for the Senate about the powerful Russian impact of Facebook ads that no one ever saw.
I love it. This is like a report written by a hungry virus telling you not to wash your hands.
But hold on, it’s not only this Senate report that showed nefarious Russian meddling. It’s also all of those evil Russian bots. How do we know there are evil Russian bots? Well, most outlets quote Hamilton 68, which tracked Russian influence operations on Twitter.
Outlets like MSNBC, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Mother Jones and Tiger Beat. They’re all quoting Hamilton 68 or people who are referencing work done by Hamilton 68. Well, who the hell made Hamilton 68, and why does it sound like a ’90s alt-rock band that opened for Blink 182?
Oh, what do you know! Our old friend “[Jonathon] Morgan is also one the developers of Hamilton 68. … Funded by the German Marshall Fund’s Alliance for Securing Democracy—which is itself backed by NATO and USAID.”
Well OK, that sounds pretty serious. Clearly these people have found a special device that locates Russian bots on the interwebs, and it most likely resembles the thing Egon used in the “Ghostbusters” movies. So, shouldn’t we just congratulate Morgan on helping to develop the holy grail for spotting Russian bots and then call it a day? Well, there’s one itsy bitsy problem:
<blockquote> … one of Hamilton 68’s founders, Clint Watts, admitted that the Twitter accounts it follows may actually be real people who are not Russian at all. </blockquote>
Real people? Who aren’t Russian? Call me crazy, but what I personally look for in a Russian bot is something that is at least Russian. And if not that, then a bot. And if neither, then you don’t have much of a goddamn Russian bot, do ya? Claiming these are Russian bots is like saying, “I just met the Queen of England, except she may have been a small Icelandic goat.”
Then, a few weeks ago The New York Times revealed that New Knowledge carried out an elaborate false flag operation to hurt the election chances of Judge Roy Moore in Alabama. You might recall that Roy Moore is an accused pedophile and a proven dipshit. And I don’t believe he should be elected to pick the bedbugs out of Rush Limbaugh’s armpits. But that doesn’t mean I think these New Knowledge charlatans shouldn’t be revealed for what they are.
So here’s how New Knowledge’s game worked, according to the Times. New Knowledge created a fake Facebook page in order to get conservatives in Alabama to support patio supply salesman Mac Watson instead of Roy Moore.
New Knowledge then tried to make everyone think that Moore’s campaign was working with the Kremlin by showing that he had thousands of Russian bots following his Twitter account. Many in the mainstream media ran with this outlandish idea. Mother Jones’s well-researched (sarcasm) article on the topic was titled “Russian Propagandists Are Pushing for Roy Moore to Win!” In the article they sourced (Can you guess?) Hamilton 68.
So to rehash: Hamilton 68, using their “Ghostbusters” device (patent pending), found that Russian bots (which may not be Russian and may not be bots and may not be Russian bots) were simply in love with alleged pedophiliac Alabama judges. So much so, that a majority of their tweets (meaning at least 51 percent) were in support of Roy Moore.
But as The New York Times has revealed, New Knowledge’s own internal report said, “We orchestrated an elaborate ‘false flag’ operation that planted the idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet.”
After these revelations came out a few weeks ago, Facebook suspended some of the accounts. So now The New York Times found itself in a quandary. They must have been thinking, “We need to report on this huge development in which the core authors of the Senate report on Russian meddling and the co-founder of Hamilton 68 were involved in lying, bullshitting, and false-flagging in order to help the Democratic party. But that completely undermines the Russiagate hysteria we have anchored our ship to. What do we do?”
Well, kids, take notes. This is how you do it. This is how you have your yellowcake uranium story and eat it too.
The New York Times headline was “Facebook Closes 5 Accounts Tied to Russia-Like Tactics in Alabama Senate Race”
Russia-like tactics?! This is literally an article about how Russia was NOT involved in the Alabama senate race false flag. In fact, it’s an article on how the guy who helped write the Senate report on the so-called Russian tactics is also one of the top people at New Knowledge, which either created or pushed pretend Russian bots to support Roy Moore so that they could leak to the press, “Russian bots are supporting Roy Moore!”
Sometimes the ability of the legacy media to believe (or at least regurgitate) their own bullshit is truly breathtaking.
To sum up this fuck de cluster:
1) The Senate report is laughable.
2) Any journalist who quotes Hamilton 68 should have their face sewn to the carpet.
3) If you want ridiculous pathetic reporting on nonsense that seduces us all to the edge of nuclear annihilation, turn to your mainstream corporate media.
4) If you want someone to actually put together the truth about these issues, you’ll have to turn to alternative outlets like Truthdig or the Grayzone Project.
5) Bill Murray and the Ghostbusters were ahead of their time.
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This column is based on a monologue Lee Camp wrote and performed on his TV show “Redacted Tonight.”