latest, media watch, Propaganda
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Spectator editor to RT: “We are in danger of being the boy who cried ‘Propaganda!’”


Screencap from the interview of The Spectator’s deputy editor, Freddie Gray, to RT

[…] Western mainstream media’s ‘McCarthian’ witch hunt for Russia’s influence on the media shuns objectivity in favor of hysteria – a dangerous reductionism that dumbs down the debate on information warfare, argues Spectator deputy editor Freddy Gray.

There has recently been a proliferation of the ‘fake news’ narratives in the Western media, which shows no signs of dying down. The gist of these stories is essentially that false news stories have been planted by a foreign actor in order to influence the political affairs of another, and the consequent accusations asserting that the 2016 US presidential election was swayed in favor of Donald Trump by such alleged manipulation of the news by Russia has thrust the issue into the spotlight.

A Washington Post article recently accused 200 US news sites of being “routine peddlers” of Russian propaganda. New Yorker magazine subsequently released an article entitled ‘The Propaganda about Russian Propaganda,’ which slammed the report as a total mess.Gray examines what this means for journalistic standards and integrity. […]

Watch Freddy Gray’s interview to RT


  1. ultra909 says

    What is interesting is that, after a surely record-busting career spanning roughly half a century, the “conspiracy theory” meme seems to have finally passed into history with the defeat of Hillary Clinton
    – herself no mean tinfoil-hatted basement-dweller – only to be replaced by this new “fake news” bollocks.

    Rearguard action?

  2. falcemartello says

    High five and congratulation to this wonderful event. Champagne event. It appears the oligarchs r running scared . Cant wait until u make the list in the UK and the EEC. Then its game set and match.
    How Orwellian the times have become.

  3. alanllew says

    Kudos to you guys but can you fix the mobile version of your website please? Cheers!

  4. Congratulations OffGuardian, for making it to the big leagues. Getting on the black list of 200, and that powerful people found it necessary to compile such a McCarthy-like monstrosity, reinforces the importance of truth-tellers’ continued grit and determination during this period of major historical change on Earth.

  5. Brian Harry says

    No country on Earth can complain about ‘Propaganda’ emanating from ‘Russia Today’ when a substantial percentage of their ‘News’ comes from the ‘antichrist’ himself, Rupert Murdoch, and sources such as the NYT and Wapo.(and a dishonourable mention to The Guardian, and the Sydney Morning Herald)
    I’m sure there are numerous other ‘news outlets’ that should be added to that list…..

    • I don’t know about a country, but ‘I’ think RT stinks. Yes, It’s far and away better than the gutter crap of mainstream US (and Western) media, but…

      Thom Hartmann recently interview Greg Palast as part of his show. They talked about Jill Stein’s efforts to have recounts in 3 states. I rather like Abby Martin’s take on it. She agrees with the examination ‘on principle’, and not because powerful special interests would like to make some changes here (theoretically). Amazingly, Neither Thom nor Greg pointed out that Jill adopted the Hillary line that Putin did it. She toned it down, but not before we saw and recorded it. See Scott Creighton’s articles on the subject. Here’s my blog post looking at RT’s continuing disappearing of my comments on it’s website:

      • Sav says

        From what I can tell RT’s comments section may have some autobot which rejects comments on certain words.

        • I think there’s more going on. One commenter, as my first blog post about this notes, suggested that the Jewish owners (who I know nothing about, including whether they are Jewish or just Israeli), don’t like certain religious terms. That was that poster’s experience, I assume. But there was nothing religious in my last disappeared comment. I’d like to know more about the owners of Spot.IM. I’d like to know more about this censorship on RT, period. Either RT’s management is completely missing in action here, which wouldn’t be impressive. Or they are okay with the censorship happening, which wouldn’t be impressive. There’s nothing stopping RT management from looking in, at the discussions attached to their articles and the management of those, and noticing the censorship and saying something about it. Is there? No doubt they’re busy. No doubt they can pause long enough to have a good look at an area of their own operations.

        • Interesting. I replied to your post earlier. I see no sign of it here. No, I do not suspect OG of being like those who they criticize. But it sure makes you wonder.

          I think more is going on here. As my first post about RT’s censorship noted, a commenter pointed out to me, apparently based on his (or…) experience, that the Israeli owners of Spot.IM, who own the new and improved comments software, are religious and have set it up to censor certain terms, like ‘hell’ or ‘Jews’. To which I can only say “Huh!?” If that’s true, it would be awfully convenient for management (RT ultimately) should they want to censor. They could say that they are protecting religious sensibilities and tamping down inflammatory discussion or something like that.

          I’d love to know more about Spot.IM’s owners. I don’t have the skills to do deep digging. But it does occur to me that either RT is missing in action here, a not impressive thing. Or RT is aware of the censorship (whose automation is irrelevant) and is okay with it. I’d love to know and there’s been enough permitted discussion of this on RT’s website for them to be capable of both knowing about it and offering clarification.

          • Sav says

            Your response to me from before is here. I can see it. Maybe try CTRL + F5 to refresh your browser

            • You can now. But OG’s automated software withheld it temporarily. As OG explained to me in an email about these disappeared posts, Their software withholds, for moderation, comments with 2 or more links in them. And sometimes, randomly, it withholds comments for no apparent reason, which is what happened here.

  6. JJA says

    Well, of course, anyone who has been interviewed on RT is automatically smeared as a useful idiot of Putin, so there goes the Spectator’s reputation…
    Unfortunately, the New Yorker piece rather spoils its logic by citing the absurd and amateurish Eliot Higgins and Bellingcat namely:
    ‘But a close look at the report showed that it was a mess. “To be honest, it looks like a pretty amateur attempt,” Eliot Higgins, a well-respected researcher who has investigated Russian fake-news stories on his Web site, Bellingcat, for years, told me.’

    • Sav says

      Usual tactics – accuses everyone else of doing precisely what you are.

    • Sav says

      Higgins is a clown and a serial liar. Back in the day, on the Guardian comments, he constantly implied that he was something in the media. Oh..that he knew why certain news footage had been mistakenly run by the BBC – because he was in the biz. Then when he gets interviewed by the Guardian, the people who put him on a pedestal as some ‘amazing’ researcher, I find out that he’s an unemployed accountant who dropped out of a media studies course in the first year.

    • Laughable comment about Elliot Higgins. Anything he has ever done has showed circumstantial evidence and than states it as irrefutable facts. He has more holes in his analysis about anything Russian than swiss cheese. Bellingcat is a fake organisation with its sole purpose is to muddy the waters with inconsistent and unsubstantiated information . IE MH17, in the Donbass. Note that the final report that was presented to the world by the hand picked commissioners from Holland to Ukraine virtually mirrored Bellingcats report.

      • Sav says

        It’s hard to know where to begin with Bellingcat’s BS. Primarily he is a major narcissist and fantasist. Nothing surprising since much of the mainstream media is made up of them.

        You’ve only to look at his conduct and previous statements. He claims he left his last job because he was too good for them. He then prattled on in emails (that were hacked) about how he was getting loads of job offers from the muppets at HRW and how amazing he was.

        You can find similar self love from Rami Jarrah, the so called Syrian activist, who claimed the Syrian government accused him of being “a foreign agent” when he came to Syria in 2004. The penalty of this being that he couldn’t leave Syria for 3 years while free to be there (WTF???). The dumbest claim ever. Then he goes on to say he landed a “well paid job” at an Import/Export company. The major narcissist has to tell you it was a well paid job, because that’s all part of how great they are.

        Here’s the video from Canadian Journalists for Freedom of Expression (they got all the right sounding words!) some BS organisation in Canada. Worth a laugh.

Please note the opinions expressed in the comments do not necessarily reflect those of the editors or of OffG as a whole