media lies

May 23, 2019 – FBI informant, Stefan Halper, is sued by Cambridge academic, Svetlana Lockhova, linked to Michael Flynn

Stefan Halper (l), Svetlana Lokhova (c) and Lt. General Michael Flynn (Credit: public domain)

“A Russian-British academic is suing FBI informant Stefan Halper for defamation over what she claims is a conspiracy to smear her and former national security adviser Michael Flynn through the media, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday.

The academic, Svetlana Lokhova, is also suing several news organizations she accuses of publishing false information provided by Halper, a former Cambridge professor.

“Stefan Halper is a ratfucker and a spy, who embroiled an innocent woman in a conspiracy to undo the 2016 Presidential election and topple the President of the United States of America,” Lokhova wrote in the lawsuit, which she filed in federal court in Virginia.

Lokhova asserts that Halper worked with the FBI and “political operatives” at Cambridge to seed stories about her interactions with Flynn at a dinner hosted at the storied British university on , when Flynn served as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).

The stories were planted, she claims, in order to “fuel and further the now debunked and dead narrative that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.”

She claims that Halper, who served in four Republican administrations, spread false allegations and insinuations in the press and at Cambridge that she was a Russian agent who had attempted to recruit Flynn at the dinner. Stories that appeared in the press beginning in 2017 hinted that she used sex to lure the retired lieutenant general.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 5/24/2019)

March 27, 2019 – Opinion: Stephen Cohen – The Real Costs of Russiagate

Rachel Maddow (Credit: The Nation)

(…) “Contrary to a number of major media outlets, from Bloomberg to The Wall Street Journal, nor does Mueller’s exculpatory finding actually mean that “Russiagate . . . is dead” and indeed that “it expired in an instant.” Such conclusions reveal a lack of historical and political understanding. Nearly three years of Russiagate’s toxic allegations have entered the American political-media elite bloodstream and they almost certainly will reappear again and again in one form of another.

This is an exceedingly grave danger because the real costs of Russiagate are not the estimated $25 to $40 million spent on the Mueller investigation but the corrosive damage it has already done to the institutions of American democracy—damage done not by an alleged “Trump-Putin axis” but by Russsigate’s perpetrators themselves. Having examined this collateral damage in my recently published book War with Russia? From Putin and Ukraine to Trump and Russiagate, I will only note them here.

— Clamorous allegations that the Kremlin “attacked our elections” and thereby put Trump in the White House, despite the lack of any evidence, cast doubt on the legitimacy of American elections everywhere—national, state, and local. If true, or even suspected, how can voters have confidence in the electoral foundations of American democracy? Persistent demands to “secure our elections from hostile powers”— a politically and financially profitable mania, it seems—can only further abet and perpetuate declining confidence in the entire electoral process. Still more, if some crude Russian social media outputs could so dupe voters, what does this tell us about what US elites, which originated these allegations, really think of those voters, of the American people?

— Defamatory Russsiagate allegations that Trump was a “Kremlin puppet” and thus “illegitimate” were aimed at the president but hit the presidency itself, degrading the institution, bringing it under suspicion, casting doubt on its legitimacy. And if an “agent of a hostile foreign power” could occupy the White House once, a “Manchurian candidate,” why not again? Will Republicans be able to resist making such allegations against a future Democratic president? In any event, Hillary Clinton’s failed campaign manager, Robby Mook, has already told us that there will be a “next time.” (Read more: The Nation, 3/27/2019)

Tales of the New Cold War: 1 of 2: The Russiagate damage comes home to America. Stephen F. Cohen @NYU @Princeton EastWestAccord.com

Tales of the New Cold War: 2 of 2: The Russiagate damage comes home to America. Stephen F. Cohen @NYU @Princeton EastWestAccord.com

March 25, 2019 – Glenn Greenwald on Russia collusion conspiracy: “this is the saddest media spectacle I have ever seen since I began practicing journalism”


“Offering one of the most scathing responses to the Mueller report summary released Sunday night, Glenn Greenwald, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and founding editor of the Intercept, appeared on Democracy Now! Monday, where he lambasted the mainstream press for helping to perpetuate the “total fraud” that was the Russia collusion narrative.

The Intercept editor, who lives in Brazil with his partner, has been one of the most consistent voices speaking out about the mainstream press’s indulgence in “Russia collusion” conspiracy porn, blaming Rachel Maddow and her ilk for helping to discredit the broader media by spewing alarmist propaganda about the Mueller probe, and getting their audience’s hopes up for a major reveal that might ultimately end with Trump being driven from office…possibly in handcuffs.

(…) “This is the saddest media spectacle I have ever seen since I began practicing journalism in 2005 and what makes it even sadder is to watch all the people who invested their journalistic credibility into what proved to be a complete and total fraud and scam continue to try and cling to some vestige of credibility by continuing to spin conspiracy theories that are even more reckless and more unhinged than those we’ve been subjected to for the past three years.” (Read more: Zero Hedge, 3/25/2019)

March 19, 2019 – 50 major news stories that have been retracted or corrected since Russiagate began in 2016

1. On July 27, 2016 the AP falsely reported that RT (formerly Russia Today) is part of the Russian state media complex. While it receives funding from the Russian government, it is a stand alone entity. On August 2, AP issued a correction on top of an accordingly updated story.

The AP has since deleted the story altogether, but it is still visible (uncorrected) in places like this: (Business Insider)

Here is the link to the original story, since deleted: (BigStoryAP)

2. From July through October, 2016 MSNBC personalities Malcolm Nance and Joy Reid falsely and persistently pushed the line that Clinton related emails from WikiLeaks were or would be faked by Russians. (The Intercept)

3. Newsweek eventually completely took down the wild Kurt Eichenwald story about Wikileaks, Russia, and Kurt: (Newsweek) (Archived Link found)

4. The Trump Server/Alfa Bank Russia story was debunked
Why Trump’s Russian server connection is less suspicious than it sounds What if a major presidential candidate were in secret communication with Russia, through a secret internet channel kept hidden from the rest of the web? That’s the scenario laid out last night in a..… (The Verge)

5. CNN falsely reported that Russia was closing an Anglo-American school in response to Obama’s Russia/Election Hacking sanctions.
Wrong Again: Russia’s Anglo-American School Not Closing To Spite Obama CNN Politics reported on Thursday citing “official sources” that a school for foreign diplomats and rich Russians was being shut down in retaliation for President Obama kicking out dozens of diplomat… (Forbes)

6. A long editor’s note to this WaPo PropOrNot article essentially makes the whole thing out to be hooey.

Editor’s Note: The Washington Post on Nov. 24 published a story on the work of four sets of researchers who have examined what they say are Russian propaganda efforts to undermine American democracy and interests. One of them was PropOrNot, a group that insists on public anonymity, which issued a report identifying more than 200 websites that, in its view, wittingly or unwittingly published or echoed Russian propaganda... (The Washington Post)

7. Russia didn’t hack the Vermont power grid

Washington Post: Breaking News, World, US, DC News & Analysis Breaking news and analysis on politics, business, world national news, entertainment more. In-depth DC, Virginia, Maryland news coverage including traffic, weather, crime, education, restaurant revie…(The Washington Post)

8. Again the AP had to correct a story, picked up by ABC among others, that said a Russian commander had told a counterpart in the Philippines “You can choose … to cooperate with United States of America or to cooperate with Russia.” NOW DELETED (ABC News)

9. The NYT’s mangled a story about Abby Martin and breaking the set on RT and doesn’t get it right even in the corrected version.
Russia’s RT: The Network Implicated in U.S. Election Meddling Created by Russia’s government to offer “the Russian view on global news,” RT acted like a Kremlin propaganda operation, an American intelligence report suggests. (The New York Times)

10. A CNN Russia/Trump story based on a single anonymous source had to be retracted and led to the resignation of three CNN journalists.
Three journalists leaving CNN after retracted article Three CNN journalists, including the executive editor in charge of a new investigative unit, have resigned after the publication of a Russia-related article that was retracted. (CNN)

(Read more: Doug Johnson Hatlem @djjohnso) (Archived Twitter Thread)

July 5, 2017 – Clapper confirms the “17 intelligence agencies” Russia story was false

“During congressional testimony on July 5, 2017, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper confirms that the story originally reported by the New York Times that “17 intelligence agencies” confirmed Russia attempted to interfere in the 2016 election has been false all along.

August 21, 2016 – Clinton campaign manager, Robby Mook, pushes Russiagate false narrative on ABC News

“Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager said Sunday there are serious questions about whether Donald Trump is a “puppet” for Russia.

“We now need Donald Trump to explain to us the extent to which the hand of the Kremlin is at the core of his own campaign,” Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said on ABC’s This Week. “There’s a web of financial interests that have not been disclosed. And there are real questions being raised about whether Donald Trump himself is just a puppet for the Kremlin in this race.”

Mook said that the departure of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort from the campaign last week “doesn’t mean that the Russians have been pushed out of this campaign.”

Manafort resigned Friday amid reports about his business dealings with Ukrainian leaders aligned with Russia. Those reports involved allegations of millions of dollars in cash payments and secret lobbying efforts in the U.S. Manafort has denied the allegations.

“The hand of the Kremlin has been at work in this (Trump’s) campaign for some time,” Mook said. “It’s clear that they are supporting Donald Trump.” (Read more: USA Today, 8/21/2016)