News Release

“Russiagate” and “Media-Driven Hallucinations”

STEPHEN KINZER, kinzer.stephen at gmail.com, @stephenkinzer
Kinzer is a senior fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University. His books include Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq and most recently, The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of American Empire.

He recently wrote the piece “The Folly of ‘Russiagate’” for the Boston Globe: “As long as Clinton and those who followed her off the electoral cliff believe [Russiagate], they can avoid self-criticism and blame someone else for her loss. Best of all, years of relentless attacks by American pundits and politicians have turned the person they want to blame — President Vladimir Putin of Russia — into a caricature of evil. That made it possible to imagine Putin as powerful enough to decide the outcome of a presidential election in the United States. Mueller’s report is a rude shock to those who dove down this rabbit hole.

“Media-driven hallucinations have shaped American political history. Spain’s 1898 destruction of the USS Maine in Havana Harbor propelled the United States into the Spanish-American War — but 70 years later the explosion was found to have been caused by sparks from the ship’s furnace. Congress voted to plunge into war in Vietnam after Communists attacked U.S. warships in the Gulf of Tonkin; later it became clear that no such attack occurred. As we prepared to invade Iraq in 2003, almost every important politician and media outlet parroted baseless assertions that Iraq had stockpiled weapons of mass destruction.”

He warns that as “Russiagate” “becomes dogma, anyone in Washington who urges diplomacy with Russia is stigmatized. That is more dangerous to our security than anything that happened during the last presidential campaign.”

Also see Kinzer’s piece “How to Interfere in a Foreign Election.”

See some of the past Institute for Public Accuracy news releases on “Russiagate.” Also see from FAIR by Sam Husseini: “Triumph of Conventional Wisdom: AP Expunges Iran/Contra Pardons from Barr’s Record.”