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14 May, 2020 21:21

War on pineapple pizza? ‘Foreign interference’-obsessed FBI describes US media tactics in its pre-election poster

War on pineapple pizza? ‘Foreign interference’-obsessed FBI describes US media tactics in its pre-election poster

The Portland, Oregon FBI field office and an obscure federal agency seem to think pineapple pizza has everything to do with foreign election meddling. Thing is, their watch for divisive tactics is looking in the wrong direction.

“Americans today face a very real threat from those who seek to undermine our elections through online foreign influence operations. It’s as simple as pineapple pizza,” the office tweeted on Wednesday,, alongside a poster that uses the odd topping combination to illustrate how “foreign adversaries” seek to divide Americans online.

To many, it was the first glimpse of the practical output from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), one of the newest additions to the alphabet soup of American bureaucracies. The subsidiary of Homeland Security was created by President Donald Trump in November 2018, right at the peak of ‘Russiagate’ hysteria.

Now you may think pizza is no place for pineapple, and you’d be right, but that’s literally beside the point. It’s not that the Portland FBI has nothing better to do than tweet about pizza toppings – though retweeting Alaskan landscapes from their Anchorage colleagues definitely has more aesthetic value – but that Oregon is headed for state and local elections next week. Hence all the alarm about “foreign adversaries” and the efforts to “divide Americans.”

A lot of the advice in these posters is actually helpful. However, the constant obsession with outside threats ignores that a number of tactics and strategies outlined by the CISA are being used every day by the US mainstream media outlets, as well as rage-clickbait online outlets.

Tune into almost any cable channel, and it’s all partisan talking points masquerading as “news” or “analysis” or “fact-checking.” Crack open any mainstream newspaper, same thing. What phantom “foreign adversary” can compete with CNN’s 24-hour hate of Bad Orange Man, or the constant torrent of partisan vitriol in the Washington Post, or the New York Times’s now Pulitzer-winning ‘1619 Project’ literally seeking to redefine America through a racist narrative… How’s that for “divisive”? 

Just this week, three major broadcast networks showed deceptively edited videos. ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel did so to malign Vice President Mike Pence, NBC’s Chuck Todd to smear Attorney General Bill Barr, and CBS’s 60 Minutes to misrepresent Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. One would be an honest mistake, maybe, but three – and all going in the same direction? 

And that’s not even going into the totally debunked ‘Russiagate’ nonsense, for which precisely zero mainstream media figures, let alone fringe internet personalities, have apologized so far. With a whole homegrown media ecosystem acting like this, one doesn’t need “foreign adversaries” – except as a scapegoat to project the blame on, that is.

Also on rt.com Democrat advice for ‘combating online disinformation’ is common sense buried under hypocrisy and censorship

Last, but not least, the FBI has some nerve to talk about protecting elections, given all the revelations about the Bureau itself and 2016: from Jim Comey’s finger on the scale when it came to Hillary Clinton, to the “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation of President Donald Trump predicated on lies of paid partisan informants and a dodgy dossier of a foreign spy, to the “insurance policy” project by Comey and his underlings, including the “lovebirds” Peter Strzok and Lisa Page...

The least the Bureau could do is deal with the beam in its own eye before looking for motes in someone else's. That would take too much effort, though. Much easier to whip up a pineapple “pizzagate” instead.

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