WaPo blasted online for article accusing Russia of ‘sophisticated’ US election propaganda

Russian President Vladimir Putin © Michael Klimentyev
The Washington Post was blasted on social media for its latest hit-piece claiming a “sophisticated [Russian] propaganda campaign” influenced the US presidential election. Citing a Cold War think tank and an anonymous ‘anti-propaganda’ group, the piece used the word ‘propaganda’ 20 times.

The article references “independent researchers” who determined that Russian state media, including RT and Sputnik, produced misleading articles online with the purpose of “punishing Hillary Clinton, helping Republican Donald Trump and undermining faith in American democracy”.

The Twitterati were quick to accuse the media outlet, acquired by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in 2013, of hypocrisy.

The Post rolls out two teams of researchers claiming “Russians exploited American-made technology platforms to attack US democracy at a particularly vulnerable moment”

Interestingly, the ‘independent’ experts the Post cites include the Foreign Policy Research Institute, founded in 1955 to provide a long-term strategy to US officials on the Cold War where it urged western states to unite with the US to combat the Soviet Union. The organization was criticized by many, including US Senator William Fulbright, who was a vocal opponent of McCarthyism.

The other source cited by WAPO is PropOrNot, “an independent team of concerned American citizens” who are “currently volunteering time and skills to identify propaganda – particularly Russian propaganda – targeting a US audience,” according to the site’s description.

ProporNot notes that many of its contributors are anonymous “in light of possible Russian retaliation” and sends a clear message to ‘Russian trolls’ in its contact page: “If you're a Russian troll, though, don't bother. We'll just ban you.”

PropOrNot will release its monitoring report Friday, which WaPo received in advance, on how Russian “propaganda operated” during the election run.

According to the Post, “Russian propaganda” regarding Hillary Clinton’s health was most concerning. The WaPo itself ran a September 11 piece, after Clinton fell ill at a 9/11 memorial service and was diagnosed with pneumonia, where it admitted talk of Clinton’s health was “no longer just the stuff of conspiracy theorists”.

“Clinton and her team simply need to say something about what happened (and why the press was in the dark for so long),” the article stated.

READ MORE: Pentagon paid PR firm $540mn to make fake terrorist videos 

Russian coverage of claims anti-Trump protestors were being paid to demonstrate also featured in the WaPo piece.

Two Democratic activists exited Clinton’s presidential campaign after a video by the controversial Project Veritas group showed them discussing methods for inciting violence at rallies for the Republican nominee, according to CNN.

READ MORE: Clinton campaign yet again distracts from Podesta revelations with misinformation about RT

Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin told CNN Thursday that Brexit financier Arron Banks was linked to the Russian government. Breitbart reports that Banks has since contacted his lawyers to investigate the possibility of making a defamation claim.

Here’s Rogin’s claim in full.

This awesome thread followed.

At one point Rogin claims his words are being twisted, so Glenn Greenwald posts the transcript.

Democrats and the Washington Post in particular made multiple, unproven, claims that Russia hacked the DNC and interfered in the election process. Russian officials repeatedly denied any involvement in the hacks.

This included false claims by senior Clinton staffers that RT was working with Wikileaks on Podesta emails.

Since the elections, these conspiracy theories have entered the mainstream.

On Wednesday the EU parliament passed a resolution to counter Russian media propaganda where it was alleged that RT and Sputnik are among the most dangerous "tools" of "hostile propaganda."

READ MORE:'At war with Russia’: EU Parliament approves resolution to counter Russian media ‘propaganda’