This post has been repeatedly updated since its original publication as more information related to Trump, Russia and the media accumulates. – RR
While I sometimes appreciate the work of Rachel Maddow and her colleagues at MSNBC, I’m more than a little uncomfortable with their current, breathless promotion of a borderline hysterical anti-Russia meme.
On this subject in particular I have to take exception to the suggestion that Maddow’s staff always does their fact-checking, as there is a growing pile of evidence to the contrary. Their current work on the various Russo-Trump threads readily falls under the negative definitions of “propaganda,” and is inherentIy dangerous to our democratic fabric, especially when so much of the information is composed of unverifiable leaks from an intelligence community at war with Trump. That community’s interests do not necessarily jibe well with ours as citizens. I would encourage all to keep an open, curious mind and dig a little deeper.
All journalists’ & media talking heads’ work should be read and watched with a healthy skepticism – trust if you feel the need, but verify verify verify. Don’t have the time? Then hang onto your trust until you do. This should be especially true when the media types in question are in positions of exceptional power and influence, as Maddow is, and when they work for corporations whose sole purpose is increasing shareholder value through higher ratings and consequently, higher profits.
MSNBC’s ratings and profits have grown throughout the 2016 campaign, with the Russian angle currently pushing them to new heights. But let’s not forget that MSNBC and the Rachel Maddow Show are not in the public service business and that’s not what pays for her multimillion dollar salary. While the network has done well as the mouthpiece of the liberal left and more recently as the voice of the Hillary wing of the Democratic Party, let’s not forget this remains the same for-profit corporation which canned Phil Donahue because his show was insufficiently patriotic in the lead-up to the Iraq War.
Leading Russo-American & anti-Putin journalist Masha Gessen has just written an excellent piece for the New York Review of Books, Russia: The Conspiracy Trap, that addresses several of Maddow’s glaring – and uncorrected – errors on the various Russian story threads. It’s well worth your time. Here is also a useful collection of more worthwhile reading on the Russian subject accumulated over the past few months for those interested, chronologically arranged & beginning the week of this unforgettable and historic election of 2016.
This collection of reading material will be regularly updated for the foreseeable future. – RR
Dashed Hopes for Trumps Foreign Policy – Consortium News
Putin Derangement Syndrome Arrives – Rolling Stone
Blaming Russia for Everything – Consortium News
When ‘Disinformation’ Is Truth – Consortium News
Trump versus the deep state: a war with no heroes – SF Chronicle
Leading Putin Critic Warns of Xenophobic Conspiracy Theories Drowning U.S. Discourse and Helping Trump – The Intercept
Russia: The Conspiracy Trap – NY Review of Books
Fresh Doubts about Russian ‘Hacking’ – Consortium News
Let’s Give the CIA the Credit It Deserves – Common Dreams
Wikileaks Unveils ‘Vault 7’: “The Largest Ever Publication Of Confidential CIA Documents”; Another Snowden Emerges – Zero Hedge – Zero Hedge
The CIA’s Dirty Tricks Exposed – Zero Hedge
WikiLeaks Releases Docs Detailing Mass CIA Hacking – Antiwar.com
The Politics Behind ‘Russia-gate’ – Consortium News
The New Yorker’s Big Cover Story Reveals Five Uncomfortable Truths About U.S. and Russia – The Intercept
German Intel Clears Russia on Interference – Consortium News
Trump, Putin, and the New Cold War – The New Yorker
How the Press Serves the Deep State – Consortium News
Russia, Trump, and a New Détente Feb 22, 2017 – Foreign Affairs
Dossier’s Russia Charges Should be Treated Skeptically – But Taken Seriously – Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting
Taibbi: The Russia Story Reaches a Crisis Point – Rolling Stone
The Real Threat Is ‘Telling The Truth’: Abby Martin Responds To Accusations Of Influencing Election 2016 – Mint Press News
WashPost Is Richly Rewarded for False News About Russia Threat While Public Is Deceived – The Intercept
Exposing The Man Behind The Curtain – Huffington Post
Democrats are playing with fire on Russia – The Hill
US Report Still Lacks Proof on Russia ‘Hack’ – Consortium News
RT by Ellen Mickiewicz – Johnson’s Russia List
WashPost Is Richly Rewarded for False News About Russia Threat While Public Is Deceived – Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting
Election Hack Report FAQ: What You Need to Know – Wordfence
Russia Hysteria Infects WashPost Again: False Story About Hacking U.S. Electric Grid – The Intercept
Taibbi: Something About This Russia Story Stinks – Rolling Stone
NYT Leads With Russia Hack Conspiracy–Despite ‘No Evidence’ (in Next-to-Last Paragraph) – Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting
Obama Must Declassify Evidence of Russian Hacking – The Intercept
The Syrian-Sarin ‘False Flag’ Lesson – Consortium News