News Release

“The Utility of the Russiagate Conspiracy”

ALAN MACLEOD, alanmacleod11 at gmail.com, @AlanRMacLeod
MacLeod is a member of the Glasgow University Media Group and just recently wrote the piece “The Utility of the Russiagate Conspiracy,” for the media watch group FAIR.

He writes: “For the Democrats, Russiagate allows them to ignore calls for change and not scrutinize why they lost to the most unpopular presidential candidate in history. Since Russia hacked the election, there is no need for introspection, and certainly no need to accommodate the Sanders wing or to engage with progressive challenges from activists on the left, who are Putin’s puppets anyway. The party can continue on the same course, painting over the deep cracks in American society. Similarly, for centrists in Europe, under threat from both left and right, the Russia narrative allows them to sow distrust among the public for any movement challenging the dominant order.

“For the state, Russiagate has encouraged liberals to forego their faculties and develop a state-worshiping, conspiratorial mindset in the face of a common, manufactured enemy. Liberal trust in institutions like the FBI has markedly increased since 2016, while liberals also now espouse a neocon foreign policy in Syria, Ukraine and other regions, with many supporting the vast increases in the U.S. military budget and attacking Trump from the right.

“For corporate media, too, the disciplining effect of the Russia narrative is highly useful, allowing them to reassert control over the means of communication under the guise of preventing a Russian ‘fake news’ infiltration. News sources that challenge the establishment are censored, defunded or deranked, as corporate sources stoke mistrust of them. Meanwhile, it allows them to portray themselves as arbiters of truth. This strategy has had some success, with Democrats’ trust in media increasing since the election.”

MacLeod’s most recent book is Bad News From Venezuela: 20 Years of Fake News and Misreporting. It was published by Routledge in April.