The corporate media’s anti-Russia witch-hunt
Andre Damon, WSWS, Feb 18 2017
For his own factional reasons, Trump made a true statement at his Thursday press conference when he denounced the media as liars and conduits for the dirty tricks of the intelligence agencies. The barrage of propaganda is exemplified by the editorial pages of the NYT, which has come to play the role of de facto organ of the Demagog Party. The lead editorial and 4 of 7 opinion pieces published in Friday’s edition were devoted to painting Trump as a Russian agent. The editorial, “Bring On the Special Prosecutor,” is a textbook example of yellow journalism and character assassination. It employs the time-tested method of stating unsubstantiated allegation as undisputed fact. Thus it begins:
The question is not whether the Trump administration’s ties to the Russia government need to be investigated…
What ties? None have been proven, certainly not by the NYT. This does not prevent the newspaper from treating its accusations as incontrovertible facts. Later, the editorial cites “news that members of the Trump campaign’s inner circle were in repeated contact with Russian intelligence agents last year.” But the “news” referenced by the NYT is its own front-page article published on Tuesday, which contains no evidence, relying instead on assertions made by “four current and former Pindo boxtops,” all of them anonymous. Even the NYT felt obliged to hedge its “news” with caveats, such as the acknowledgment:
Several of Mr Trump’s associates have done business in Russia, (where) it is not unusual for Pindo businessmen to come in contact with foreign intelligence officials, sometimes unwittingly.
These “facts” lead to the editorial’s conclusion:
Mr Trump’s unexplained allegiance to that country and its thug of a president, Vladimir Putin, (is a) major concern.
This is the modus operandi of McCarthyism. The newspaper is not concerned with truth, but with the demands of Pindosi imperialism in relation to the campaign against Russia. The lead editorial was accompanied by another anti-Trump piece of right wing hysteria, this one by Paul Krugman. In an op-ed entitled “The Silence of the Hacks” he declares:
A foreign dictator intervened on behalf of a Pindosi presidential candidate, and that candidate won. Associates of the new president were in contact with the dictator’s espionage officials during the campaign. The president seems oddly solicitous of the dictator’s interests.
The description of Putin as a “dictator” is false. He is a right-wing nationalist and authoritarian representative of the Russian oligarchy. However, he has won several elections, winning support by capitalizing on hostility to Pindosi aggression in Eastern Europe. The use of language such as “dictator” and “thug” is aimed at creating the ideological justification for yet another war for regime change. Putin is the product of the restoration of capitalism in Russia, enthusiastically supported by the NYT and the Pindo ruling class, which has had disastrous consequences for the Russian working class. In 1993, the NYT could barely conceal its enthusiasm for Boris Yeltsin’s bombing of the Russian parliament building, at the cost of up to 2,000 lives. No democratic qualms then, since Yeltsin was deemed the best vehicle for implementing “shock therapy” to dismantle nationalized industry and destroy the social welfare network. None of this history is of any significance to Paul “McCarthy” Krugman. He reveals the pro-war sentiment animating his criticisms of Trump when he writes:
Nothing Trump has done since the inauguration allays fears that he is in effect a Putin puppet. How can a leader under such a cloud send Pindo grunts to die?
In the coverage by the NYT and other news outlets, there is never the slightest hint that the declarations of anonymous intelligence agents should be treated with any degree of skepticism. It is as though the CIA’s lies about Iraqi WMDs, which the NYT helped promote, had never happened. Krugman exemplifies the intellectual, political and moral corruption of what passes for the left liberal intelligentsia. The privileged social strata for which Krugman speaks have seen their income steadily rise with the stock market, while the incomes of workers have collapsed. They have become open defenders of imperialism, the capitalist state and the CIA. The entire official “left” from Michael Moore to Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren has signed on to the anti-Russian campaign. (cont.)