Moscow wins the "Information War"

How the US media commented on the phenomenon of popular Russian broadcasters, RT and Sputnik.
The offensive on all fronts

It will go down in textbooks PR campaigns. First, on the streets of Washington, London and other capitals appeared flashy billboards: Kalashnikov and the question "What is the most powerful weapon?"; on another person poster of President Obama and Iranian President (former) Ahmadinejad merged into one, and was a new question: "Who poses the greatest nuclear threat?" The advertising slogan read: "Do not be afraid to ask questions."

First, in the US they noticed a certain small group of people - those whom society considers marginal: Conspiracy theorists who believed in the "man-made explosions" on September 11, participants of the movement "Occupy Wall Street", the defenders of Bradley Manning (now, after changing his sex Chelsea name), who has provided a site WikiLeaks Pentagon official correspondence and the State Department, communists, anarchists, informal, former officials and other people resentful of the local system. All of them also spoke enthusiastically about Russia Today (RT), opposing the Russian canal American media.

Since then, funding and broadcasting RT only increases the channel in Arabic, English and Spanish may take 700 million people, to create an online platform in French and German. In the US, RT can watch free cable access, including in all the major hotels, entered into force online resource "Sputnik" in 35 languages. The crisis in the Russian economy does not become a hindrance in the development of publications, defending the "corennye interests "and fighting the" Anglo-Saxon media. "

A few weeks before the general election of the US President the local media reported about the defeat of the West in the "information war", and one of the presidential candidates - Donald Trump is not only abundantly quoted Russian sources of information, but also enjoys the clear support of journalists army of bloggers, Internet trolls and bots, managed and funded from a central location in Moscow.

Among leading the RT - recognizable and even your favorite person in America: Ed Schultz, who had his own program on NBC, Larry King - long a leading CNN, which my generation of journalists is considered a model of the interviewer, who openly imitated many Russian TV stars. King recently interviewed Donald Trump - in the RT channel. And in the broadcast channel "mark": WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange; Former wrestler and Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura - a supporter of conspiracy theories about September 11; former congressman Ron Paul - party presidential race 2012; current presidential candidate of the Green Party Jill Stein. Incidentally,even in the last election in 2012, Larry King hosted on channel RT «alternative debate" US presidential candidates from - Greens and Libertarians.

The US Congress, as well as 5 years ago, has sounded the alarm, and develop bills to combat foreign propaganda. "Propaganda" in the US - a dirty word. Murphy and Senators Portman offer to create a center of information analysis and countermeasures combining employees of different federal agencies. Congressmen Royce and Engel sought BBG reform - the bureaucracy and "wasteful duplication of effort 'of reducing different news organizations, working under a common roof. In an interview with the Washington Times author of the bill, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives, Republican Ed Royce he recalled how, as a student, directed to East Germany on an international exchange program saw students in Berlin and Dresden gladly listen to American radio.

But since the days of Ronald Reagan's communications have stepped into a new reality technology, and America, said Democratic CongressmanLyoto Engel, "no time to respond effectively to new challenges."

Protected by the First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech, the RT television channel in the United States do not seem to expect trouble as the arrest of bank accounts or ban on broadcasting. Despite the various sanctions imposed by Washington against Russia, the issue here is not so placed. Although Western media experts in the field believe that for Russian broadcasters activity is much greater than the information to compete with the American media and the desire to ask "tough questions."

"Take, for example, Trump"

Presidential candidate persistently reiterates that he does not know and does not have Putin's relations with Russia. But this does not prevent him from repeating what passes Russian propaganda, writes New York Magazine.

The whole world saw Trump doubt that the servers of the Democratic National Committee have been hacked by Russian hackers. "I have noticed: every time there is something wrong with them (the Democrats) argued that it is (made) Russian, although she (Hillary) do not exactly know what it was Russian hackers, MaugerGenerally hackers were not, - said Trump in the debate. - They always blamed Russia. Accusing Russia, they think thus to blacken me. " It says the man who a few weeks earlier publicly called for Russian hackers to find and publicize Hillary personal mail. Trump doubts that Russian hackers broke into the website of Democrats, although he was informed about it in a special closed-door briefing by representatives of US intelligence, emphasizes the publication.

Trump doubts hacker interception, but the next day quoted at a rally in Pennsylvania WikiLeaks website published a "mined by hackers" letter Cindy Blumenthal, a trustee of State Hillary Clinton, who allegedly told the head of the election campaign John Podesta that "the tragedy in Benghazi (the death of four Americans, including ambassador to Libya when he was Secretary of State Hillary Clinton -. AP) could prevent almost exactly, "and further, that the desire of the Republican party to investigate Clinton's guilt is" lawful. "

Blumenthal did not write this information was fabricated agency Sputnik, onI wrote that this "exposure" can become "great October surprise". It turned out that Sputnik gave words of the famous Newsweek journalist Kurt Eichenwald (quoted in his letter to Blumenthal) for your own view of a man of "inner circle" Hillary. Finding a "mistake" Sputnik took off site "revealing article," but it quoted Trump.

Both the Russian media - RT and Sputnik - in these elections "have publicly expressed their preference Trump", wrote in The Washington Post, former US ambassador to Moscow, Michael McFaul. RT and Sputnik generously cited as sources of reliable information the publication of the American conservative Breitbart News, whose former CEO Stephen Bannon is now working in the electoral headquarters of Trump.

In August, the predecessor Bannon - Paul Manafort, an adviser to the team of Ukrainian President Yanukovych said in an interview with CNN that the NATO base in Turkey was attacked by terrorists. According to the publication Buzz Feed noise around the base where the nuclear weapons was raised in Twitter after the simultaneous RT and Sputnik reports of a fire at the base of the resultsthose "potential act of sabotage" and protests that could lead to the seizure of the object.

Trump cites RT and Sputnik, and they cite Trump - a cycle of information.

"Nothing is true and everything is possible"

It called on the media expert book and television producer from the UK Peter Pomerantseva devoted to the peculiarities of the new Russian foreign broadcasting. "Some of the modern methods resemble an updated model of" active measures. As in Soviet times it was called a campaign of disinformation and psychological warfare conducted by the relevant department of the KGB to confuse and disorganize the West, the expert said.

"Active measures" in the midst of the Cold War involved 15 thousand agents. One of the goals was placing misinformation in the foreign media. Stories were different: it is the creation of the CIA in the laboratories of the new biological weapons that "cause" to the immune deficiency virus life, and the United States charged with the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II. Then, the author of the study, the Soviet specialialisty for "active measures" have tried to make the most believable fake. Now the authors are not afraid of revelations. The idea is to maximize litter information environment to information consumers have lost all hope of finding the truth in a sea of ​​chaos.

Information has become a weapon, said Peter Pomeranian. News channels Kremlin - is not just a bad clone the BBC or CNN. They were military and intelligence tools - is especially strong in the regions, where Russian-speaking diaspora (the Baltic states), or where particularly strong anti-American sentiment - Latin America and the Middle East. In these regions the Kremlin increases the power of its broadcasted.

The American Spectator told Russian media that Hillary Clinton was seriously ill, that would be rigged, Obama and Clinton stood at the origins of LIH (banned in the Russian terrorist organization) in the general election voters. And in the American social networks are already discussing the possibility of civil disobedience, almost on the Civil War,US presidential election results. Donald Trump, as you know, said that he still looks, whether to recognize the outcome.

The phenomenon of Russia's "information war" against the West devoted to articles and studies, experts write recommendations on "how to resist the information attack".

At a congressional hearing in June of this year, a former ambassador to Moscow and "architect reset" Michael McFaul, has suggested that the United States will make a mistake if in response to the Russian propaganda will respond to US propaganda. The best method to deal with misinformation - truthful reporting of credible journalists from Russia, Ukraine and other countries. Direct US financial assistance to independent media outlets can only hurt them. It is necessary to focus on the development of exchange programs, organization of study at American and European universities, training in the Western media. "Education and the free flow of information - our best tools in the long struggle against the Russian propaganda."