The West’s double standards toward Russian media have been on full display this week after the hysteria over the Putin-Trump Summit in Helsinki.
The Western Mainstream Media routinely characterizes Russian media as “propaganda” on the misleading basis that publicly financed media outlets and those that regularly have exclusive scoops from government figures are supposedly “state-run”. The prevailing narrative is that nothing that comes out of Russia should be believed because it might be part of a “Kremlin disinformation operation”, whether it concerns Ukraine, Syria, or whatever else might be the topic of the day. Interestingly, that strict “standard” was just contradicted by none other than those same Western Mainstream Media outlets themselves after they reported on Russian media’s positive response to the Putin-Trump Summit in Helsinki and hinted that this means that the American President might have committed “treason”.
The wink-and-a-nod editorial suggestion is that the Kremlin couldn’t contain its joy at whatever was secretly agreed between it and the White House behind closed doors, sloppily ordering its “propaganda proxies” to exuberantly sing Trump’s praises in what is now being framed as the ultimate “gotcha” moment that supposedly proves that something nefarious happened. This conspiratorial perspective proves just how desperately The Establishment is grasping for straws in order to concoct reasons for Americans to condemn the President for his very successful summit, which in the words of both leaders was a milestone in restoring the previously fraught relations between these two Great Powers. That, however, is precisely what the “deep state” is against because of its ideological opposition to any pragmatic cooperation with Russia.
So pathological is their hate towards Russia and its rapprochement with the US under Trump that the “deep state” is now willing to contradict its previously set-in-stone “standards” towards its enemy’s publicly financed media and now all of a sudden take its analytical conclusions at face-value and as unquestionable facts, overlooking the “inconvenient” detail that the shared opinions of the “intelligentsia” in any country aren’t always the result of government “pressure”. Instead, it’s much more expedient to pretend that they never once doubted the veracity of Russian media because they now sense what they believe to be an “opportunity” to further “discredit” Trump and his peacemaking agenda with Russia, spinning it as the outcome of an unqualified and naive leader who was masterfully manipulated by a former KBG agent.
The deep degree of double-think that goes into countering the cognitive dissonance that the passive information consumer must be experiencing at this moment is mind-bending and beyond the comprehension of even the most casually educated people, but that goes to show that there’s a possibility that the “deep state” might have finally jumped the shark with this one because it’s highly unlikely that average folks believe that these very same Mainstream Media forces would abruptly find Russian media credible at none other than this “opportune” moment. To be clear, the conclusion that the Putin-Trump Summit was a success isn’t controversial by any stretch of the imagination and is even shared by the author himself, but it’s The Establishment’s manipulation of this opinion that’s so concerning.
The Western Mainstream Media is deceitfully portraying Russian-based political commentators’ expressions of free speech on publicly financed or government-linked platforms as allegedly being “proof” that the government ordered them to repeat talking points that clumsily hint at Trump’s “betrayal” of American national interests while ignoring the industry standard that individuals’ opinions shouldn’t be interpreted as automatically representing the official position of the outlet in which they first appeared, let alone that of any country. Flipping the script, it would be widely ridiculed if Russian journalists acted as though CNN, Breitbart, and Fox News contributors all reflected the attitude of the Trump White House, so it’s equally laughable that Westerners actually did exactly that with the Kremlin vis-à-vis Izvestiya, Vedomosti, and the Moscow Carnegie Center, et al.
The takeaway from this experience is that it was actually the “deep state” and not the Kremlin which was so giddy to promote a preplanned narrative that it sloppily ordered all its “propaganda proxies” to parrot certain talking points, the common narrative of which contradicted their long-standing position of taking anything coming from Russian media seriously. Instead, swept up by the euphoric fantasy that they could reframe Russian praise of Trump as purported “proof” that he “betrayed” the US, the “deep state” didn’t think twice about demanding that its underlings violate the same editorial stance that they’ve become infamous for, nor did their surrogates question the long-term damage that they’d be doing to their “cause” by trying to take advantage of this short-term “opportunity”.
The obvious outcome of this blunder is that it might backfire on Trump’s enemies by making their weaponized infowar attacks against him even less believable than before and correspondingly increasing the President’s support.
DISCLAIMER: The author writes for this publication in a private capacity which is unrepresentative of anyone or any organization except for his own personal views. Nothing written by the author should ever be conflated with the editorial views or official positions of any other media outlet or institution.