Saturday 16 July 2022

Russiagate and the origins of the Ukrainian War

Mark Hemingway in Unherd on Rachel Maddow reminds us why wars break out.
'During the Trump presidency, she floated increasingly deranged Russiagate conspiracies to her credulous audience, making absurdly overconfident pronouncements such as: “Above all else, we know this about the now-famous dossier: Christopher Steele had this story before the rest of America did. And he got it from Russian sources.” (We now know it’s more accurate to say that Steele’s “primary sub-source” was Igor Danchenko, a Russian who worked at The Brookings Institution who in turn was getting his information from a Clinton campaign lawyer who was just making stuff up). 

'But the most devastating critique of Maddow’s journalism eventually came from the heterodox journalist, Matt Taibbi, who pointed out her nightly nonsense on Russiagate was uncomfortably close to the WMD boosterism of Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly that helped push America into the Iraq War.

'While it is true that nearly the entire American media establishment fell for the Russia-Collusion story, Maddow was a particularly vocal cheerleader. In doing so, she turned herself into the figurehead of the Trump resistance, playing the game better than anyone else did. Essentially, this is what her audience was clamouring for — and she duly provided. As one legendary figure in the cable news told me: “The thing you have to understand is that it’s an entertainment medium first, and a news medium second.”'

The Trump-Russia collusion story was a conspiracy theory but not the sort of conspiracy theory that Twitter and the mainstream media think is a bad thing. 

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