Our latest book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. Among other things, it discusses foreign influence and Trump's attack on democracy. Russia helped Trump through 2020. As Russia began its latest invasion of Ukraine, Trump lavished praise on Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.
Rhe western media has shown strange mixes of courage and cowardice, as well as naivety and cynicism, in their parroting of Putin disinformation. On the one hand, the Murdoch-controlled Wall Street Journal has pursued the truth on Russia’s economic implosion to the peril of its kidnapped Moscow based reporter Evan Gershkovich. Paradoxically, in the aftermath of Tucker Carlson’s firing from the Murdoch-controlled Fox News last week, perhaps the loudest laments came from, of all places, the Kremlin, with Kremlin commentators mourning the loss of an anchor who consistently echoed Putin’s talking points to the point where Russian state media often used re-runs of Tucker’s show.
In fact, CNN’s Erin Burnett just showed how false declarations from Carlson that “if there is any single American who deserves scorn and indeed blame for the invasion of Ukraine, it is Joe Biden” and “Ideologues within the Biden Administration did not want a negotiated peace in Ukraine, they wanted a regime change war against Russia” literally echoed, word-for-word, prior commentary from Kremlin spokespeople and Russian state media. Even worse, Carlson repeated, verbatim, doctored and false “intelligence” that there were seven Ukrainian casualties for every Russian casualty when in reality these numbers were invented, the product of a pro-Putin former Navy technician named Sarah Bils digitally altering leaked documents from the Discord trove and posting them online.
But Tucker Carlson is not the only western journalist to repeat Russian propaganda. Steven Brill and Gordon Crovitz’s Newsguard has found more than 350 news sites promoting 100 false narratives about Russia’s war in Ukraine.