icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
26 Jul, 2016 14:33

Clickbait McCarthyism and the world of Putin's 'useful idiots'

Clickbait McCarthyism and the world of Putin's 'useful idiots'

Are you working for Vladimir Putin? Does he tell you how run your life? Are you, perhaps, his “useful idiot?”

If you disagree with the establishment view, wherever you live, and your answer to these questions is ‘no,’ you may want to re-evaluate your relationship with news, politics and general current affairs. Because, according to the Western media, and the pundits it favors, anybody who disagrees with them is doing so because of Vladimir Putin and there can be no other plausible explanation for dissent.

In keeping with this collective standpoint, there are few fathomable domestic reasons why an individual might oppose any given policy in their home country. Or be concerned at the fallout from issues such as growing inequality, increased migration and foreign wars, some of them illegal. And yet, it's frequently the case that the only explanation allowed for the rise of Jeremy Corbyn or Marine Le Pen or Donald Trump is that they are doing the Kremlin's bidding. And so it goes that nobody is allowed to have genuine grievances these days, unless Putin is sticking pins into their metaphorical voodoo doll.

How Putin manages to apparently run the entire world is a mystery. After all, a US state-funded smear blog, run by writers who have never actually been to Russia, claimed a few years ago that Russia itself was on the verge of “inevitable” collapse.

Before that, back in 2011, an editor at the Economist magazine, the liberal elite’s house journal, told the BBC much the same. 


The biggest question is often which will implode first, Putin’s government, known as the “regime” in Western media speak, or the country itself. The European Council on Foreign Relations reckons Putin is on shaky ground, a prediction the Financial Times regional editor, who should know better and probably does, calls “bold.”

In fact, the more often people’s Twitter profile pictures are of them appearing on TV, the more likely they are to promote the idea of Putin’s downfall. These two factors are surely unrelated. 

Meanwhile, when Russia is not imploding and Putin is not busy trying to rescue his economy, he somehow finds time to micro-manage foreign countries too. Or more specifically politicians, activists and journalists who disagree with the mainstream in whatever nation he chooses to extend his tentacles to.

According to the establishment, the Russian President does this by utilizing what are known as “useful idiots." In the past twelve months, “useful idiots” have included Trump, Greek PM Alexis Tsipras, Corbyn and Jean-Claude Juncker.

While they are a pretty impressive bunch, there are plenty more of them. WikiLeaks, Edward Snowden, Boris Johnson and Frank-Walter Steinmeier are also regularly cited in this regard.

It's worth explaining here what seems to qualify someone for the title of "useful idiot." All signs indicate that it's because, at one point or another, they have spoken out in favor of a policy that, while possibly having nothing to do with Russia, wasn't directly aimed at hurting Russia.

Thus, we are supposedly to believe that the German Foreign Minister, the EU Commission President and the UK Foreign Secretary, among many others, are all looking out for Putin’s interests. Do they think we are complete dimwits?

An Aeneid

Putin also apparently has “Trojan horses.” Prominent personalities and things accused of going all Troy for the Kremlin include Nadia Savchenko, the Czech President, Trump and Greece itself. As in the nation.

Taking things a step further, the author and lobbyist, Peter Pomerantsev, recently wrote that “we are all Putin’s useful idiots” in an article best described as clickbait at its finest. Because that’s what it all boils down to - clickbait McCarthyism.

We can call it this because McCarthyism means accusing people you don't like of being agents of a foreign government and connecting anything and everything to Putin seems to generate a lot of traffic for news outlets. If old Joe Mc were around today, he’d surely be impressed.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.