278 Comments
author

So, I've been tinkering with the list - I'm going to try to put it in at least rough alphabetical order, and add to it whenever I can. It will take a while, and because of its size, I won't be able to mail it. But I'll make sure to mark updates to the list. I added two new entries today, plus some more backup to the rest of the list.

Expand full comment

Matt, PLEASE team up with Greenwald and Aaron Mate and make a full length documentary about Russiagate. I’m thinking something like Inside Job. There’s no one in a better position to do this. It would be so helpful. There’s no way the average American can possibly sift through all the Russiagate stuff, but a documentary presenting the greatest hits in chronological order, they just might watch it.

Expand full comment

Exactly. Explaining all the veins of it is almost impossible with all the actors working sometimes in concert and othertimes separately. It’s a rube goldberg.

Expand full comment

I studied Russia, spent several months there over 7 years, and ran an office in Central Asia. I followed Putin before, in the 90's. I am glad there is some voice of honesty and integrity in the USA. I want to thank you for this. It's more than criminal, these lies. It's incredibly dangerous.

Expand full comment

Any plans to cover how the media is turning a sexually motivated serial crime (in Atlanta,) into another clarion call to FIGHT RACISM?

It's clearly not racism that caused that sick prick to shoot up a place full of people... at least to anyone who has ever watched Forensics Files or read anything about serial killers.

Nope.. it's racism and cause to report your neighbors.

My kid's school sent out an email after that reminding parents of their efforts to fight racism. One of their programs is a reporting system where kids are encouraged to anonymously report others for perceived racism.

Honestly, IS racism a credible threat these days? Or, is it just some boogeyman being used to bludgeon anyone who goes against the authoritarian wave of Nazism spreading across the country?

Is it time to wander off across national borders and ride out the storm yet?

Seems like the lions are at the door here.

Expand full comment

You raise important questions. Make good points. See Andrew Sullivan piece.

Expand full comment

Consider connecting with Stephen McIntyre (@climateaudit) and Fool Nelson. They have done a terrific job for years exploding Russiagate myths - without falling for the right wing conspiracies either. If you care about this topic, these are some of the most important researchers to read.

Expand full comment

Someone who might be another good guest to talk to on this subject is David Talbot (Devil's Chessboard) -- recently, he and Chris Hedges did a segment on RT -- and it was insightful.

If only we could find a progressive Ken Burns type to take on the challenge of a 10 part series of how all of it worked -- kind of like a retrospective of Russiagate tactics --- so as to prepare for the next round (which btw - you are helping us decode by the day).

Just saying - David Talbot would be a great addition to Team TK!

Expand full comment

This list will be endless, and every time you add something to it, a Twitter commenter or MSNBC analyst will wonder aloud whether you’re “on Putin’s payroll” or remind you that you used to be a good person and wonder when you “changed.”

Even the critical thinkers I know are in denial about the consequences and significance of the Russiagate years. (They also tell me to “stop spending so much time online” when, e.g., I express alarm about saber-rattling between nuclear powers, or about the endless drone bombing of Syria and Yemen.)

This last decade was the period during which the Rovian “we create our own truth” approach went explicitly bipartisan and was adopted by the media as well. Russiagate was only part of this change, but it was a huge part.

In 20 years, we’ve gone from Bush’s idiotic declaration that he had stared into Putin’s eyes and seen his kindly soul ... to Biden’s much, much worse public declaration that Biden is a demon who lacks a human soul. Media elites liked the first stupid thing, but they seem to LOVE that second, much worse thing.

The cynicism and success of liberal elites’ attempt to prevent political discussion and accountability is astonishing and terrifying. In my opinion, the expiration of the Russiagate narrative is the main reason for the sudden rise of woke racism and woke segregation; Russiagate and neoracism perform the same function: drowning out political thought and political speech, and preventing powerless people from effectively organizing.

I read Manufacturing Consent in high school and my dad was a reporter, so I was never too naive about the propaganda functions of journalism. But Russiagate (and the WMD/Iraq War scam) ushered in this new era, in which there is no objective truth or historical record to appeal to, and nobody is expected to hold consistent principles. Today, intelligent, literate people take for granted that both political parties and all news organizations knowingly lie to us regularly without shame or accountability. It isn’t just the institutions that encourage dishonesty; individual reporters have internalized the idea that it’s okay to deceive and defame others as a means to an end.

Expand full comment

Fuck, Substack: just add an edit function already!

I meant: “Biden’s declaration that Putin* is a demon...”

Expand full comment

I got what you meant from context, man.

However, knowing Biden, I also completely believe that Biden would publicly declare "Biden is a demon who lacks a human soul."

Expand full comment

He's just another Ron Burgundy who has to read whatever is on the prompter. HAS to.

Expand full comment

Bullshit. Biden has grown on some issues and changed his position accordingly - like favoring bankruptcy for student debt now. Why is that bad?

Expand full comment

I agree we need to address student debt but until Universities are held accountable I'm not for baling out the masses.

Expand full comment

The utilization of "student loans" has allowed the Universities to grow like mushrooms after a rainstorm. No accountability, bloated bureaucracies, very poor quality of their product (education) and hoarding their very substantial endowments in the billions. They have become as bad as the federal gov't in their practices and policies. Loans are like printing money since a raise in tuition and fees is just absorbed by DEBT that is now being considered to be paid off by taxpayers who never attended any college. What a scam. The more irresponsible institutions become the more criminals and scammers find ways to profit from their stupidity. The U.S. Treasury has become the center of a huge catch of money just ripe for the picking since elected officials have NO interest in protecting taxpayers or the money collected by our feckless gov't.

Expand full comment

Who now owns the feckless government ? It ain't us peasants now is it ?

Expand full comment

It’s not the loans - it’s the ruinous terms. I paid off 2 loans. I consolidated others totaling 70k You can consolidate ONE TIME my rate is stuck at 8.25% Let me RE-fi at current rates. Between payments and taxes since graduating I’ve paid my principal back AT LEAST 1x. Due to deferrals etc when times were hard my total debt is over 100k. How about the same treatment as mortgages and other consumer debt? Why won’t servicers take additional “principal only” payments??? I won’t even begin to pile on to the list of the abuses by servicers and the schools themselves (especially the online diploma mills).

Somewhat a non-sequitor but you can bail out “the masses” (mostly well-intentioned and/or naive) or you can pay for illegal immigrants to have FREE FREE FREE FREE including FREE COLLEGE.

Expand full comment

Oh please... DO go on to explain how lucky we all are to have Dear Leader here at long last.

Expand full comment

Tell us again how you think Biden has all of his mental facilities and that they work in concert. Please... and tell us how Dear Leader is going to reverse global warming, overpopulation and end racism, sexism, anti statism, manage the children in cages his own mouth has encouraged to flood the borders again...

Expand full comment

Hey, in all fairness I can definitely see Biden having an "old person moment" and claiming that U.S. President Joe Biden is a demon who lacks a human soul.

Expand full comment

I'd prioritize a block feature over an edit feature. For a platform that gets subscriber dollars, Substack is more like Suckstack.

Expand full comment

ikr? 🤙

Expand full comment

There are a large number of growing platforms (telegram, locals, mewe, individual journalists sites like this, that are encouraging discussions, book clubs, scientific exchange outside of MSM. I think the only people left on MSM are those who thrive on receiving their next marching orders. Im a liberal and the left has left that vakue system years ago.

Expand full comment

I don’t know if those alternative systems can accomplish much in the face of unified corporate and state power.

I used to do a lot of political volunteering, and was constantly reminded that even a policy favored by 80% of the residents of a city cannot be enacted against the wishes of determined elites. Cannot, full stop.

Popular “victories” like marijuana legalization, bail reform, and the establishment of gay marriage rights are doled out by elites to keep complacent, comfortable NPR liberals complacent and comfortable and to prop up the fiction that we live in a democracy. But overwhelmingly popular policies that actually erode the power of corporations and oligarchs never seem to become law.

I appreciate your optimism, though—and I think it’s probably much more useful than my deepening pessimism.

Expand full comment

LOL. “NPR liberals” - you mean the NPR that is owned by the remaining Koch head? Also, do you not remember anti-monopolistic lawsuits that made significant changes to the corporate landscape in the 80’s -like MCI’s. Now, we need to break up a few major media/tech conglomerates. The victories you mentioned weren’t “doled out” - they were won in court. The whole deep state BS is so tiring because it’s mostly false and lazy thinking (the world is much more complex than that. Same goes with calling MSM liberal when the number one cable network,radio networks and local TV affiliates are controlled by the right.

Expand full comment

We don’t actually disagree about as many things as you seem to think we do.

Yes, I was referring to the NPR that’s beholden to the Koch family and to donors like Wal-Mart. Yes, I’m aware that antitrust law was all eviscerated in the 80s, with long-term, devastating effects. Yes, I’m aware that the media and tech monopolies need to be broken up. These things are pretty obvious!

I do strongly disagree with you, though, when you say that rights like gay marriage were “won in court.”

The Supreme Court is a political body that’s unusual in a few ways: its members can’t be voted out of office; it has given itself veto power over the legislation passed by Congress; it describes itself, and is described by others, as an interpreter of laws rather than as an unelected political body; its handful of members come almost exclusively from the same handful of elite prep schools and Ivy-League colleges.

In any case:

The death penalty didn’t become unconstitutional and then, just a few years later, become constitutional again.

The constitution didn’t allow states to criminally punish gay sex, and then forbid states to punish gay sex, and then require that states recognize gay marriages.

Racial discrimination didn’t start out as constitutional but gradually become unconstitutional.

The idea of a “living constitution” is a fiction that allows judges to act as priests who are in special communion with the spirit of democracy. This power of communion gives them the right to overrule actual democratic processes.

The law doesn’t change because lawyers bravely and brilliantly do battle with briefs and oral arguments. Gay marriage and unlimited corporate “speech” did not gain protection because they were proven to be the correct policies in a neutrally judged debate tournament.

Similarly, Hillary Clinton did not move, in just a few years, from literally laughing out loud at the idea of gay marriage to tweeting “proud” on the day that the SCOTUS gave gay couples the right to marry.

People with power—whether they’re kings and queens, oligarchs, generals and admirals, religious leaders, or SCOTUS Justices—must carefully maintain their legitimacy and power by making strategic concessions to popular opinion. Liberals would be more pissed off about Citizens United and Bush v. Gore if it weren’t for feel-good decisions like Obergefell v. Hodges. The justices understand what they’re doing.

I’m not a defeatist; I’d like it if the people of this country were self-governing, and we should do what we can to take more power for ourselves. We can’t do it without the freedom to speak and assemble, which is why the work of people like Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald is so important. But lying to ourselves about how power actually operates won’t help us.

Expand full comment

Gay marriage was defeated by ballot in California.

I definitely think it was won in court.

Expand full comment

The Mormons had a lot to do with influencing the ballot measure in CA. They have since softened their stance after the Prop 8 backlash.

Expand full comment

well said.

Expand full comment

I think they meant neolib globalists... State Propaganda Mouthpieces.

Expand full comment

Seriously?

Expand full comment

I believe the only thing America should work on if they are serious about maintaining their "Superstatus" is education. China educates every able mind to the max, and the old saying "knowledge is power" will never get old. If you see the dimwits in our government services, either party allegiance, they are dumb unable to think for themselves just hustling along to keep getting their paychecks. Russia and China are both sitting on a fence singing "Time is on my side"

Expand full comment

Unfortunately, “education,” like “racism,” is one of those words that has a different meaning every week. (Even people who would prefer that we eliminate K-12 STEM classes will claim to be advocates for education.)

I do wonder how the kind of education kids in China get relates to the organization of social life in China. I want kids in the US to know how to read and write and solve for X, but I wouldn’t want the US to become China in order to compete with China. (Russia, meanwhile, is just a trainwreck—not an economic powerhouse in waiting.) And even though we need to give kids a better education than they’re getting today, we can’t become a nation of 382 million electrical engineers and neurosurgeons.

Also: a child who’s materially deprived can’t really compete with a child whose basic needs are being met. Educational outcomes are always going to be affected by economic policies, like our current policy of letting profitable corporations pay their full-time workers less than a living wage.

(I guess this is a sidenote—and I’m sure you’d agree with me—but: our society would be healthier and more democratic if we had full respect for the contributions of people who aren’t book-smart. Janitors and Wendy’s cashiers—and plumbers, and bricklayers, and administrative assistants—are all doing honest and important labor. They do more for us than Deloitte consultants and hedge-fund managers do! In exchange for their work, they should be guaranteed secure housing, access to health care, the chance to spend time with their families, leisure time, and the ability to retire when they become old. Wasn’t that guarantee part of “the American dream?” Everyone made fun of Trump when he said, clumsily—or shrewdly?—that he “loved the poorly educated.” But we SHOULD love, and respect, people who can’t or won’t get degrees and can’t or won't master calculus. I have a friend who barely made it out of high school. He’s a cool guy, works exactly as hard as he should, and deserves a stable, dignified life. He’s not a failure.)

Expand full comment

You make many very good points. Janitor's and Wendy's cashiers - and plumbers and bricklayers and administrative assistants all do important work. We should have a society where all can achieve the quality of life and dignity you describe. That doesn't mean we need to diminish reading books, being smart, thinking critically and expressing ideas clearly. We should all do that, regardless our perceived station. As for Trump's respect for the poorly educated, he didn't show much respect in paying contractors and laborers when he filed Chapter 11 on his casinos. He remained wealthy: his contractors and workers received 10-15 cents on the dollar.

Expand full comment

Just a point. In may places those plumbers, mechanics, electricians and others are out earning "college educated" clerks, white collar mid-level managers, and others. Supply and demand are at play here. Over the road truckers are now in demand and are paid pretty well and education is now too important. In an ideal world education would be its own reward and any career enhancement would be a good by product.

Expand full comment

The problem isn't about "earning' it's about organizing society to serve society instead of bullshitting people into thinking their jobs are their identity.

We've been tricked into allowing the "economy" to organize society instead of society organizing society.

Notice how we have no control over the economy anymore ? Funny how private banks run the economy/society don't you think ?

Shuffling people from one shrinking industry into another just lowers wages anyway.

We need a new system, that's all there is to it.

Expand full comment

If you haven’t done so, I recommend reading “Bullshit Jobs.” It reinforced the gut feeling I had every day that my job is worthless, contributes nothing to society and can essentially be done by a monkey (no offense to monkeys). But that college degree financed by the govt sanctioned equivalent of the loan shark down the street makes me “highly marketable.” I don’t know whether to laugh because it’s such a freakin scam or cry because I bought the lie

Expand full comment

I watched an interview with the author of that book. I never read the darn thing but the interview did a very good job of pointing out the futility of our current system of creating system managers who never dare to ask why the system still works the way it does or why we never change it.

Glad to hear you are able to laugh about the fact we've all been tricked by western cultural hang ups.

When you ask western capitalists why we need more worthless beads and trinkets they tend to run away from the question.

If we continue on the way the system works now we will soon be buried in Trump ties and Kim Kardashian purses or some other sort of plastic crap that cannot fill the spiritual/emotional void that materialism has been hiding.

Yet Amazon is still setting records selling crap to people that they don't need just because they want to come home to a christmas present every day despite the good feeling only lasting a few minutes.

Expand full comment

Exactly.

Expand full comment

Amen, brother! The only thing that you forgot is the complicity of the public in all of this. "It isn’t just the institutions that encourage dishonesty; individual reporters have internalized the idea that it’s okay to deceive and defame others as a means to an end", you say. Absolutely right. But you maintain that "intelligent, literate people take for granted that both political parties and all news organizations knowingly lie to us regularly without shame or accountability"; if so, then they are nevertheless on board with it, or else there aren't many "intelligent, literate people" left, of the sort defined by you. I nowadays find it impossible to have a rational conversation with people who have been very close to me and whom have been, for 40-50 year apparent vehicles of honesty, sanity, and good judgment (by which I DON'T mean that they necessarily share my views), in addition to literacy and intelligence. Now they've mostly gone mad and cannot seemingly have any discussion that doesn't remain fixedly within the narratives forwarded (but likely not invented) by the media. If they really "take for granted that both political parties and all news organizations knowingly lie to us regularly without shame or accountability", then their capacity for double-think must be nearly unlimited. The people that I'm talking about are in MY sector of the general public. The wider general public may be rather less literate, but I doubt that it's less intelligent or emotionally mature, and certainly it's at least as sane (and at least as insane) as the people who, until recently, made up my particular cocoon of society, rationality, and affection.

"The fault, dear Brutus, is not only in our media stars,

But also in ourselves, that we are enthusiastically complicit"

Expand full comment

I agree with you. The thing is the media and its' propagandists are one of the only things in this world where there is NO accountability or consequences for being caught "red handed" lying or pushing a false narrative that destroys people or institutions. A free Press has become an out of control monster utilized to terrorize people and institutions by political operatives and very evil individuals. Any revolution will probably target this very corrupt institution and the "baby will be thrown out with the bathwater."

The "press" was granted great powers by our Constitution. That same Constitution is now under attack by those very same people., Kind of like an institutional suicide taking place in full view of the world. History will puzzle over this wanton destruction of a self-ruling nation by the very people and institutions charged with protecting and nurturing the idea and practice of self governance. Maybe beyond the ability humans to rule themselves no matter how great the ideas and documents created to codify that self rule.

Expand full comment

It certainly explains why heads were lopped off by the thousands during and after the French Revolution.

Expand full comment

Propaganda wasn't as advanced back then as it is now. From slavery to feudalism to capitalism and now back to feudalism.

When you pissed off too many peasants back then, there were consequences.

Expand full comment

Just have to survive the dark age and try to carry on.

Expand full comment

The constitution was bullshit from day one. The press exists for profit just like every other business does and the results we see now just like in the beginning of this country are due to consolidation for the purpose of control.

Can you say, CLASS STRUGGLE ?

Expand full comment

Class struggle is an idea whose time has come and gone with the exposure of Communism as the ultimate murderous rule by elites and bureaucrats. Just another idea that pits individuals against others who are yoked to the same wagon of the State but don't know it. The gov't in whatever form is in the drivers seat cracking the whip over the oxen (proletariat) pulling a society loaded with excess baggage doing little or nothing to enhance that society. After close to 90 years of Communist rule in Russia how did that work out for the "working class?"

Expand full comment

Seems like capitalism has caught and passed communism by far.

So you're so naive as to think elite's aren't currently murdering people ?

How's capitalism working out for the working class ?

So funny how capitalists cannot fathom the idea of anything but capitalism and even the mention of how the elite fuck up any and all attempts to organize society due to their pathology sends them into the trained response of attacking communism.

The indoctrination worked like a charm on you didn't it ?

No one said anything about communism and yet you just had to go there due to decades of indoctrination.

I lose more faith in humanity every time I see how effective McCarthyism has turned out to be.

We'll never move beyond capitalism due to the elite refusing to move beyond capitalism and the lack of critical thinking of the indoctrinated.

Expand full comment

The term "class struggle" is a dead give away. Can Communism be far behind. Words matter.

Expand full comment

I didn't know terms had expiration dates ? Since when has this been law ? Why don't you want to talk about class ?

Expand full comment

«In my opinion, the expiration of the Russiagate narrative is the main reason for the sudden rise of woke racism and woke segregation»

That seems to have been a specific strategy to turbocharge "race" as a topic, explicitly commanded to staff by the chief editor of the NYT in 2018:

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/new-york-times-chief-outlines-coverage-shift-from-trump-russia-to-trump-racism

«In the beginning of the Trump administration, the Times geared up to cover the Russia affair, Baquet explained. [...] "The day Bob Mueller walked off that witness stand, two things happened," Baquet continued. "Our readers who want Donald Trump to go away suddenly thought, 'Holy shit, Bob Mueller is not going to do it.' [...]" Now, Baquet continued, "I think that we've got to change." The Times must "write more deeply about the country, race, and other divisions. [...] If Baquet follows through, the paper will spend the next two years, which just happens to be the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, building the Trump-is-a-racist narrative.»

Expand full comment

Hah I remember at work when the zombies were apoplectic because their savior Mueller squashed their dreams. This is a workplace where the policy is “avoid discussing politics,” (UNLESS it’s FB/TWITTER or CNN sanctioned positions). It’s interesting how creative some are at drumming up one empty, corrosive lie after another. Too bad they can’t use that creativity in service to ALL of society instead of producing cultural revenge porn

Expand full comment

«But Russiagate (and the WMD/Iraq War scam)»

Those are completely different: before Trump the security services (the modern euphemisms for "spies" and "political police") spread propaganda and lies in the interests of the USA ruling class as a whole, currently and very dangerously the security services are spreading party-political propaganda, trying to influence elections on a massive scale not in protectorates like Venezuela or England or south Korea, but in the USA itself. They no longer act as tools of the state, but are acting as principals.

«ushered in this new era, in which there is no objective truth or historical record to appeal to, and nobody is expected to hold consistent principles.»

That is quite wrong: it not a new era. My usual quotes:

T Jefferon letter to W Jones, 1814: “I deplore with you the putrid state into which our newspapers have passed, and the malignity, the vulgarity, & mendacious spirit of those who write for them: and I inclose you a recent sample, the production of a New-England judge, as a proof of the abyss of degradation into which we are fallen. these ordures are rapidly depraving the public taste, and lessening it’s relish for sound food. as vehicles of information, and a curb on our functionaries they have rendered themselves useless by forfieting all title to belief.”

G Orwell, "Looking Back on the Spanish War", 1943: “Early in life I have noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper, but in Spain, for the first time, I saw newspaper reports which did not bear any relation to the facts, not even the relationship which is implied in an ordinary lie.

I saw great battles reported where there had been no fighting, and complete silence where hundreds of men had been killed. I saw troops who had fought bravely denounced as cowards and traitors, and others who had never seen a shot fired hailed as the heroes of imaginary victories; and I saw newspapers in London retailing these lies and eager intellectuals building emotional superstructures over events that had never happened. I saw, in fact, history being written not in terms of what happened but of what ought to have happened according to various ‘party lines’.”

Expand full comment

"In my opinion, the expiration of the Russiagate narrative is the main reason for the sudden rise of woke racism and woke segregation; Russiagate and neoracism perform the same function: drowning out political thought and political speech, and preventing powerless people from effectively organizing."

Once narrative is as good as the next. These narratives are to keep us from talking about CLASS, period.

Expand full comment

This is a fantastic idea and a real public service. Thank You! (One could seriously write an entire book just dealing with the Cult of Maddow that's sprung up around her months-long disinformation campaign. But surely there are better uses of time....)

Expand full comment

I have very intelligent and well-educated liberal friends in prestigious jobs who actually, genuinely belied that Trump was taking orders from Putin, and seem to believe it to this day.

I mean, I get that they hate Trump, but you have to have lost your grip to think the world works this way. I've learned not even to discuss it with them, because it gets unpleasant very quickly.

Expand full comment

Yes. It’s an article of faith among Ivy League graduates. They identify with the elite and adopt the same religious tenets as them. I’ve disconnected from many over the past couple of years simply because they will not tolerate dissent. To disagree is to label yourself a racist, a Nazi, etc... and they won’t risk their social status for it.

It’s a nice little cult thing they’ve got going.

Expand full comment

It's just western culture telling them that they are their career. Look back in time and people were much more rounded individuals with many varying interests.

Today folks have been reduced into what industry or profession they earn their living from and really nothing else.

Why do you think the arts are being shut down and philosophy is on the back burner?

Something is about to take a drastic turn for society as a whole. That's exactly why we aren't allowed to know anything about it.

Expand full comment

None are so blind as those that will not see

Expand full comment

Hate is very much like a dark religion. The things believed by haters are pretty weird. Leftists are on the lame level as racists when it comes to believing crazy stuff about other people. Some of the trash I heard growing up about African/Americans is on the same level of stupidity as the Trump's a Russian agent and all the other nutty stuff about his personal life and mental health. Difference is the Maddow's of the world are encouraged to spew nonsense and are wiling to engage in lies and deceit everyday. They gleefully misinform the American public without an ounce of remorse or conscience. That is what "religious fanatics" and hate filled people do. The entire MSM engaged on the same propaganda as was fed to Rwanda people by their media that was advocating for the genocide. We got close to having media clowns calling for "re-education camps" and lists of individuals being canceled for their political beliefs and activities. Better pay close attention.

Expand full comment

Wait, why do you think this is purely leftist when the granddaddy of neoliberalism was Ronny Ray gun ? Funny how the right has been helping them along the way don't you think ?

You have to get past the fake left/right paradigm hustle. You're losing a class struggle due to it.

Expand full comment

Not to get too "into the ideological weeds" with this thread but Americans usually move from social class to social class by dint of their education, work ethic and just normal intra-generational advancement. The class struggle argument does not seem to apply even to the very "under class" since they too move ahead over time. The permeant underclass that existed in the past was never a fixture in American society. The underclass in America are the upper-middle class in many parts of the world. Just defining "class" utilizing economics, education, or other criteria can be a daunting task. Societies and people seem to tend to self-stratify themselves based on many criteria. Some are amenable to political fixes and others just part of the human condition whereby DNA, or IQ determines the pecking order. Stupidity, arrogance, hubris, kindness, empathy, ambition and other traits can and do influence everyone and their standing within any organized society. There are "gatekeepers" to the very, very elite classes that appear to be a permeant multi-generational fixtures around the world. No "class struggle" will ever effect them or their ilk.

Expand full comment

Seems to me someone wrote a book about the "class struggle" having a very stark effect upon the elite in France, once upon a time.

Expand full comment
Comment removed
Expand full comment

It would appear that Pres. Wilson was a very troubled and unbalanced man. His wife ran the country while he hid his debilitating stroke. His seemly hatred of African Americans appears to be driven by not culture but an obsessive racism. He did so many things before his election and after to block ANY progress by the African American community that it is shocking that the leftist political thinkers hide and excused him based on his "progressive" policies. It just goes to show that politics is way stronger that morality. Just recall how the feminists of the 1990's defended to this day the probable rapist and overall sexual abuser Bill Clinton because it was politically expedient. And some even declared him a "hot guy." Politics is a pretty twisted endeavor that warps souls and exposes peoples hubris.

Expand full comment

«very intelligent and well-educated liberal friends in prestigious jobs who actually, genuinely belied that Trump was taking orders from Putin, and seem to believe it to this day»

The "seem" in "seem to believe" is one key. While I often joke that TDS is a substance far more powerful than LSD in generating hallucinations, I actually reckon that these people know how vitally important it is for their lifestyles to seem to stay "on message".

Additionally I suspect that many of them don't even have to make a conscious effort seem to believe, but actually believe, and not even because of their ability "doublethink": many have fully absorbed the need to sincerely agree with the "conventional wisdom", without questioning it.

Expand full comment

«these people know how vitally important it is for their lifestyles to seem to stay "on message".»

Some context as to the $700,000 a year president of a prestigious "liberal" college with $78,000/year student fees:

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/24/us/smith-college-race.html?smid=tw-share

«That said, the president had stumbled in ways that left her bruised by the time of the 2018 incident. In 2014, she moderated an alumnae discussion in New York on free speech. A white female panelist argued it was a mistake to ban Mark Twain’s “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” because he used the N-word; that panelist then uttered the word in hopes, she said, of draining the word of its ugly power. Students denounced Ms. McCartney for failing to denounce that panelist. The president requested forgiveness. Later in 2014 she wrote to the college community, lamenting that grand juries had not indicted police officers in the deaths of Black men. “All lives matter,” Ms. McCartney concluded in an inadvertent echo of a conservative rallying cry. Again, Smith students denounced her and again she apologized.»

Expand full comment

Yes, wedgies and noogies are the worst

Expand full comment

Good grief. Well said.

Expand full comment
Comment removed
Expand full comment

Not sure the "mommy vs daddy" paradigm works in every culture. Can't get more cynical and untrusting of institutions that Italians, Greeks and other Mediterranean peoples. Though the males appear dominant there is a very strong "mommy" influence within those cultures.

The idea you put forth seems one of self aggrandizing by the very people who are presenting this idea. Leftists and liberals -- good, --- conservatives -- not so good. Alll just a result of authoritarian male influences. Bit too easily inserted into today's stereotyping of middle American's who are a large part being demonized by the "college educated' and media elites who appear to not know many of the pretty decent people who occupy the "fly over States." Social theories are mostly put forth by people who always appear to enhance their own position and culture over those not within the Ivy walls of Universities. Like blue bloods and Royals for centuries held fast to the idea of bred intelligence that you inherited by dint of your bloodlines. Our new Royalty finds academic driven narratives that explain conclusively why they are at the top of the social pecking order. How special!!

Expand full comment

Please include the Russia probe into Jill Stein’s presidential campaign. I had never seen such widespread hatred reserved and displayed for such a benevolent character in modern history. ‘’A Russian asset “ croaked the fossilized Goldwater Girl.

Oh yeah, Tulsi Gabbard was smeared with the Russian brush as well. It’s a great catch all campaign killer.

Expand full comment

The FEC is still going after Jill Stein for obviously bogus reasons. The Democrats are intent on burying the Green Party. The campaign finance section of HR1 is an arrow aimed straight at the heart of the Green Party. These people are evil.

Expand full comment

The "Greens" just might steal the most radical leftists from the Democrats and divide them into oblivion if not stopped NOW. Trumpists threaten the same type of divide to the GOP. Both are working overtime to negate those threats. Behind the scenes the establishment GOP are really undermining the Trump "comeback" and his supporters. The 2022 mid-terms will tell the tale. Dems might need a suicide watch at some point. They have become a rudderless airplane headed for a mountain at full speed. Talk about tone deaf and out of touch.

Expand full comment

Both parties are rudderless airplanes and have been since the early 70's at least.

Expand full comment

No, they won’t. The radical leftists are way beyond electoral politics as a solution. You cannot vote out oligarchs.

Expand full comment

You aren't going to get rid of oligarchs with violence in the next 100 years. Taibbi does what actually needs to be done - he educates people & advocates for free speech.

Expand full comment
Comment removed
Expand full comment

Guess that it can be theorized that Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot and other mass murders who achieved high political office were in fact serious mental cases (let the pros. determine what type of illness). Were they monsters far outside the human tribe or just individuals who could and did release the horrors lurking within the societies and individuals over whom they held sway. After all given the numbers of individuals killed and/or directly murdered it might just indicate the degree of darkness and monstrosity that lives just beneath the surface within many seemly normal people. Is humanity just another volcano waiting for the right conditions to explode before returning to its everyday dormancy?

Expand full comment
Comment removed
Expand full comment

Like your well thought out and compelling responses. Problem I see with the application of "academic" explanations is that the theories are like pre-shaped boxes that very "smart" and linguistically adroit individuals place selected historical evidence to prove a point they are predisposed to believe. Like confirmation bias in a way. Could be correct or not but as it is other "smart" individuals advance their own interpretation of the same "evidence" while finding radically differing conclusions. Then a third set of people, the consumers of information, decide based on their own POV which idea is better or more plausible and they like good tribalists they defend it with all their intellectual might. (School of thought academics) The intrinsic truth then becomes hidden in the bogs and swamps of argument, "research" and the prevailing popular social theory of the day. The school of "can we ever know anything" is always at play in the background.

Don't think you got anything wrong but like many searchers for an ultimate truth you may believe you have reached a destination when in fact the journey is still in the making. Great listening to your POV and ideas.

Expand full comment

«smeared with the Russian brush as well»

Senator Borah, a tradcon nationalist, was also so smeared in the 1920s as a russian "fellow-traveller" (the old way to say "passive collusion").

Expand full comment

Matt Taibbi and Glen Greenwald may actually save the fourth estate!

Expand full comment

Only we can save the fourth esatate.

Expand full comment

Let's hope.

Expand full comment

Whatever you're smoking, don't bogart, pass it along to me.

Expand full comment

You are almost the last honest man in journalism. I hesitate to say this, because I don't want you to stop, but heedless truthtellers usually meet a sticky end.

Expand full comment

I feel the same way.

Expand full comment

Remember when, in December 2016, the Russians were accused of hacking into the U.S. electricity grid? What actually happened was malware code was found on one laptop not connected to the grid.

https://theintercept.com/2016/12/31/russia-hysteria-infects-washpost-again-false-story-about-hacking-u-s-electric-grid/

Expand full comment

Just the "intelligence services" and media laying the foundation for the BIG Russian Hoax to come.

Expand full comment

-and the Domestic War on Terror.

Expand full comment

Never let ANY crises go to waste. Just wait for the COVID Passports for interstate travel. The permeant military occupation of D.C. and the lap-dog media parroting and cheering every excuse for new gov't regulation and control on so called free people. The impending train wreck will be very ugly.

Expand full comment

Except that the government is and always has been owned by roughly the same crowd.

It will be ugly, I have to agree. I just won't fall for the elite pointing the finger at the government as the cause. Government was never meant to represent such a small segment of any population.

Inverted totalitarianism is a real bitch.

Expand full comment

Don't worry, they will probably orchestrate a mass killing to control things once again.

Expand full comment

Yep

Expand full comment

Fortunately the Texas energy grid fiasco last month didn't occur 4 years ago. Who knows what kind of speculation that may have caused?

Expand full comment

"Russian Weather Control Machines".

hahaha

Expand full comment

Two somewhat opposing things can be true at once, no? Russia might be guilty of SolarWinds attack, but not the grid hack. Putin might ruthlessly dispose of enemies, but still be an important leader who deserves to be engaged. Russia might feel legitimately threatened by US seeking to enlarge NATO at its borders, but not have right to invade Crimea.

Expand full comment
Comment removed
Expand full comment

Not sure I understand that. Can you elaborate?

Expand full comment
Comment removed
Expand full comment

Got it. Thanks.

Expand full comment

Things like this with real references to back them up are exactly what is needed, and what I believe everyday people are hungry for. Now for smart, industry knowledgeable people like yourself to network with colleagues to create a team, send a unified message and/or add to a new “channel”. I believe people will flock to it ultimately. That, and then doing the same (exposing) those who then (will) create the diversions/smoke screens should shed light on their deceptive behavior, further the trust in this endeavor, and bring us toward the truth. You’ve now won another subscription renewal and a big THANK YOU, for starters.

Expand full comment

I'll add one to the pile.

End of March 2017, CNN does a 2 minute piece on a laptop bomb terror threat from ISIS. Within that video is a clip of a military official, I think from a DOD press conference months earlier. He says they are "trying to isolate Raqqa".

Mid-May 2017, Washington Post declares a national security emergency, because Trump told Russia about what city the laptop bomb threat came from. Washington Post would not post the name because they had sources saying revealing the name would put people in danger

So you have CNN giving direct source info months earlier, but then WaPo using anonymous sources saying this is dangerous.

Expand full comment

Bluebots won't read it. The progressive/Dem split is becoming as dramatic as the Dem/Rep rift.

Expand full comment

Good, for they have but little in common other than Team R as an enemy.

Expand full comment
founding

Please keep paper back-up.

Expand full comment

And look underneath your car every time before starting your engine.

Expand full comment
Comment deleted
Expand full comment

That is literally the worst thing anyone has ever said to me.

Expand full comment

«Do you work for The NY Times or Washington Post, Skeptic?»

«That is literally the worst thing anyone has ever said to me.»

Your should have duel then, I suggest in the following way: your meet at dawn in a deserted car park, with your seconds having earplugs, and you read to each other repeatedly NYT or WaPo editorials, and the first one to crack (either laughing or crying or stopping) loses. Alternatively you both recite each other repeatedly Biden's inauguration speech in a totally serious tone, and the first who can't do that anymore loses.

:-)

Expand full comment

Noiiice return. (In his defense, though, the line between the daunting truth and hyperbolic sarcasm grows thinner every day.)

Expand full comment

It's conceivable that Biden could gloss it over if say, Saudi Arabia had Matt killed and chopped into little pieces to be scattered around the desert.

Expand full comment

Thanks, Matt Taibbi. You help me from going insane during the word war.

Expand full comment

I'd love you to do an analysis / debunking of Craig Unger's "American Kompromat." I'd also like to hear your own analysis of the Russia / U.S. propaganda war and its context, not as polemic or reaction to the disinfo machine, but as your own, considered appraisal of the overall situation and the various roles both (or more) sides play, especially with some historical context (to which many outraged Americans seem to be allergic).

Expand full comment

«an analysis / debunking of Craig Unger's "American Kompromat."»

Easy and short: smears. Please read this highly appreciative review of that book, which is also smears, as a confirmation:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/feb/07/american-kompromat-review-trump-russia-epstein-craig-unger

Expand full comment

I did read the review. You are wrong. The Guardian reviewer is highly critical of the book for the reasons suggested above - that it is a bunch of unsubstantiated rumor, fabrication and unsourced innuendo. He shows that Unger lied about a tip credited to Seymour Hersh. He is critical of Unger throughout his review, concluding that the book is "wildly uneven and unsatisfactory." Either you did not read the review you cite, or you lied about it to fit your narrative. That's irresponsible.

Expand full comment

«He is critical of Unger throughout his review»

There are some moments of lower enthusiasm, but I guess mostly to cover the reviewer's back, the review seems to me a repetition of the smears contained in the reviewed book, and I guess that the purpose of that is to spread them. Consider just at the beginning these smears:

“a charge from an ex-KGB colonel, Yuri Shvets, that Donald Trump has been a KGB asset for 40 years. But as Unger himself points out, former CIA director Michael Morell has called Trump an “unwitting agent” of the Russians; former national security director James Clapper has described him “in effect … an intelligence asset”; and former CIA director John Brennan has said Trump is “wholly in the pocket of Putin”. So Shvets’ accusation isn’t really very surprising. Many other Trump-Russia books have dated Trump’s initial contact with the Russians to a visit to Trump Tower by then Soviet ambassador to the United Nations Yuri Dubinin, in 1986. Unger – through Shvets – reports that the association actually began six years earlier when Trump purchased 200 television sets from Semyon Kislin, a Soviet émigré who co-owned Joy-Lud electronics on Fifth Avenue. According to Shvets, Kislin was actually a spotter agent for the KGB.”

Those are accompanied with just the warnings that the “accusation isn’t really very surprising” and that “the meaning of this transaction [...] is never fully explained” which do not look to me "highly critical". The review also contains what look to me smears about the Epstein/Maxwell related smears, but then calls "much more interesting" the smears about Opus Dei (which may well be deserved, but that is not the point).

The statements that the book has “copious source notes” and the allegations in it “keep you turning the page” seem highly appreciative, and the qualifications "wildly uneven, and ultimately unsatisfactory" seem to me about more the style of the book than its contents.

There is a well known tactic: to re-broadcast smears (relying on the "there is no smoke without fire" principle as in "La calunnia e uno venticello") while qualifying them with something like "wild" and "salacious" (which will make many readers want to read the book) as a back-covering posturing. Consider as further hypothetical examples "The accusation that Ronald Reagan was a japanese MITI asset isn't really very surprising" or "The story that Margaret Thatcher enjoyed the suffering of poor children is never fully explained" or "The salacious gossip that Blissex is the head of the Illuminati conspiracy of which Putin, Sanders, Xi, Corbyn are puppets is titillating but scattershot" as ways to plant some disturbing possibilities.

PS: "The Guardian" review however deserves faint praise for not going as far as others in being vehicles for smears. One of the "funniest" and I think quite insane reviews of the book is at CounterPunch and it seems to make the "wild" and "salacious" allegation that it is Trump who has kompromat on everybody else by his using Epstein, and never mind the "fabulous" VanityFair review. But it is hard to beat as to comical value the DailyKos summary that "Donald Trump is a Russian agent and he’s too dumb to realize it".

:-)

Expand full comment

I'm starting to doubt what exactly they are referring to as smears?

Expand full comment

Thanks for sharing! EXCELLENT!! Cheers! dr

Expand full comment

This is awesome. Can you do one specifically for anti-Julian Assange disinfo too? I'd be happy to help.

Expand full comment

I’m sure you thought about it but why not a book on the topic?

Expand full comment

Does a similar list exist for the Bush era WMD, etc., lies? Also the ones related to the Capitol riot? It would help to have them available too for the same reasons.

Expand full comment

Sone are lies, some is just mis-reporting that happens in news reporting.

Expand full comment

The lying about Syria, claiming chemical weapons and deliberate bombing of hospitals, acts actually undertaken by the Al Qaeda terrorists er "rebels" supported by U.S. tax dollars.

Expand full comment

A necessary and essential compilation

Expand full comment

Keep up the good fight for real reporting.

Expand full comment

I would bet that Aaron Maté has an ongoing spreadsheet of such deceptions

Expand full comment

He must have a room like the crazy paranoid genius in the movies with yarn connecting old newspaper articles to obituaries and out of focus photos of JFK’s assassin flying one of the planes into the World Trade Center. Either that or he has a hell of a memory.

Expand full comment

One of the big lies regarding events in Ukraine after Yanukovych was overthrown unconstitutionally (in a vote during which armed men were overseeing the process in the Rada) is that the war in Eastern Ukraine was primarily between Russia and Ukraine. Western media hardly ever referred to it as a civil war, which it was, albeit with foreign intervention/support, on both sides. The separatists were primarily locals, although their initial leaders were indeed from Russia.

Keith Gessen gave a different perspective on this here: https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v36/n17/keith-gessen/why-not-kill-them-all

It is also claimed that the so-called sniper's massacre that killed the "heavenly hundred" in Kiev in February 2014 was the work of either Russians or the SBU. But forensic evidence proves that shots were fired from buildings occupied by the protesters. Look up Ivan Katchanovski's writings on this.

Expand full comment

«the war in Eastern Ukraine was primarily between Russia and Ukraine.»

I always ask just how many thousands of ukrainians were massacred by the russian bombers attacking Kiev and Lvov during the war started by Russia, as compared to the those of NATO bombers attacking Yugoslavia in 1990s.

Expand full comment

....And the answer is?

Expand full comment

“how many thousands of ukrainians were massacred by the russian bombers attacking Kiev and Lvov”

«....And the answer is?»

It is a sarcastic question: the russian bombings of Kiev and Lvov during the russian invasion of the Ukraine never happened, as there was no invasion of the Ukraine, as Russia did not start a war with the Ukraine.

Bonus note: understanding the situation in Ukraine is very easy by looking at this story from WW2:

http://ww2today.com/1-march-1944-the-red-army-marches-across-ukraine

“The population welcomed us warmly, regardless of how hard it was for them to provide food to soldiers; they always found some nice treats — some villagers boiled chicken, others boiled potatoes and cut lard (soldiers dubbed this kind of catering ‘a grandmother’s ration’).

However, such attitudes were common only in the Eastern Ukraine.

As soon as we entered the Western Ukraine, that had passed to the Soviet Union from Poland in 1940, the attitude of the population was quite different — people hid from us in their houses, as they disliked and feared the Muscovites and Kastaps (a disparaging name for Russians in Ukraine – translators comment). Besides that, those places were Bandera areas, where the nationalistic movement was quite strong.”

Not just Bandera, but also Pilsudski "promethean" areas, nutters still dreaming of the restoration of the polish-lithuanian empire. History has long, long shadows.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish%E2%80%93Lithuanian_Commonwealth

Expand full comment

Thank you!

Expand full comment

I would like a real cataloguing of the voter fraud in the last election. Dead people. Unmarked ballots. All the fraud. An investigation into the Dominion system to insure its legit. Thanks.

Expand full comment

I would be fine with that if we also audit the red states that went for Trump.

Expand full comment

Agreed. Free and fair elections for everyone. One person one vote one time.

Expand full comment

«Dead people. Unmarked ballots. All the fraud. An investigation into the Dominion system»

Most of those points I think are distraction or at best misunderstandings of what happened. What is undisputable is that between 2016 and 2020 "usurper" Trump's popular vote went up by an incredible 18% and in 2020 Biden's vote was an unbelievable 22% higher than that of "President" Rodham-Clinton in 2016. If you are good at reading between the lines and checking the numbers consider reading for example:

https://www.npr.org/2020/11/18/935730100/how-biden-won-ramping-up-the-base-and-expanding-margins-in-the-suburbs

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-01-28/how-the-democrats-won-georgia-s-senate-runoffs

Expand full comment

Ya. 2 Dead people voted (both for Trump). The Dominion lawsuits and correction by rightwing media is telling. That is all.

Expand full comment

The election was stolen by the media's years long agenda against Trump, not by Dominion machines. The agenda included false narratives, lies and omissions. It wasn't enough to let Trump hang himself, the media lost their soul and credibility in their anger.

Expand full comment

...but most of the Russia stuff was handed to them by unnamed sources in the Intel agencies past and present. It's PsyOp shit purposefully put out there to fuck with people and keep the hive upset so they can continue driving us down the road to ruin.

They know it's not sustainable -any of it. They don't care though. The rulers will at least be above the law and have plenty of everything until the curtain falls.

Honestly, voting doesn't matter. Not even as an indicator of public trust or support anymore... not when they can just monitor everyone's activity online and know that.

They'll try hard to MAKE people get back on board. If they can't get control there's no telling what they might do. They're pretty ruthless and don't even seem to be acting in concert.

Expand full comment
Comment removed
Expand full comment

It would appear that way, but when overt intelligence-information warfare doesn't work... what else will they try? They seem desperate and there's nothing scarier than someone with everything to lose and nowhere else to turn.

Expand full comment

Also, my apology for bringing up Trump. Most have already had enough of that subject to last a lifetime.

Expand full comment

CNN hasn't... I overheard them talking up "racism" and name-dropping Drumpf last night on their NewsProduct.

Still relying on OrangeMan to bolster their claims of rampant racism and "white supremacy" to fuel hatred for their Domestic War on Terror. You watch...

They'll be rounding up undesirable for the camps before you know it.

Expand full comment
Comment removed
Expand full comment

Dude... the Holy Crusades are switched over to that now.

FWIW, I've met people from almost all the races or religions on this planet and I can attest that there are racists in every bunch. In most cases, they DON'T speak for the majority -that's comforting.

However, it's there... always has been.

It's not "news" except to people being terrified by it on their favorite news channel every night.

It'd be awfully nice if people all just turned away from that bullshit but I'm not holding my breath.

Expand full comment
Comment removed
Expand full comment

Right. My lament more to do with the constant reference to Trump on all conversation.

Expand full comment

I think everyone should be interested in free and fair elections. One person one vote. You must know there is a great deal more fraud in our system.

Expand full comment

It's irrelevant since policy goals are all decided by billionaire funded think tanks. Who cares which puppet gets to rubber stamp the white paper ??

Do you honestly think electing someone will change anything ?

Sorry, but the US government is a facade and is only kept alive to keep people from uniting around stopping the looting and pillaging.

Expand full comment

I hate to believe you are correct but I do in my darker moments. So sad

Expand full comment

Yep. If elections mattered, we wouldn't be allowed to participate.

We're just so many tax cattle.

Expand full comment

The stakes are so high in many elections that it is counterintuitive to believe that individuals, Parties or other very interested individuals are ever going to let "the people" determine who gets that prize elected office that in many instances is "worth" billions of dollars and as much power an once was welded by Kings. As elections more further away from the D.C. power grid they do become of less interest to the "fixers" and political operatives that are in the end capable of moving the needle. Elections can in some cases become a crap shoot and powerful interests never gamble when it comes to the bottom line.

Expand full comment
Comment removed
Expand full comment

Given what is involved I am surprised that what you call "clinically paranoid conspiratards" are not viewed as logically motivated citizens who understand human nature and the quest for power and money. Seems that the American public is either terminally naive or buries their collective heads in the sand when it comes to the "stealing" of elections and its frequency. Does NOT mean the wrong person gets elected but that it is not ALWAYS determined by fair elections.

Expand full comment

Trump getting-off on golden showers in MOSCOW

Expand full comment

Great idea, Matt! it keeps me from shelving and forgetting the info by constantly re-visiting it. Thanks for all your wonderful columns!

Expand full comment

Glad journalist like you going outside the norms to bring information that can be trusted. Other news outlets are mostly bias and don’t care about their credibility. Just concerned about digital customers who could care less about truth.

Expand full comment

"Outside the norms.....", but not too far outside?

Expand full comment
Comment removed
Expand full comment

Nothing wrong with people forming various interest groups.

Expand full comment

Is it possible to mark whatever is added to the list so we can easily tell what is newly added?

Expand full comment

Thanks

Expand full comment
founding

The Baseball Card format also lends itself to these “rogues’ gallery” database projects, imho.

Expand full comment

Thank you Matt

Expand full comment

As an American writer in Bolivia, I've covered misinformation, and can say, apart, that the left, including Katie, got it wrong on Bolivia, for the same reason of believing clichés. For Matt's article, 3 suggestions:

(1) CONTEXT. Chile 1973, Gulf of Tonkin, WMDs, etc., journalists should automatically not believe intelligence agencies until they provide verifiable evidence. The context of recidivist lying should be in the first paragraph.

(2) READ THE REPORT. In each intel report, which I read the versions available from NYT, it always says "assessment" and never says 100% reliable. Assumptions are reported to the people as fact.

Therefore, it's necessary to quote the reports where they themselves admit that it's conjecture and not factual.

(3) UNIVERSAL MEDDLING. USA is world's number 1 election meddler and purveyor of misinformation in foreign countries (I witnessed it in Bolivia), with grave results in places like Chile. It should be noted that most countries publish info that advance their own perceived interests, and whatever info that Russia has spread pales in comparison to what our intel orgs and state department spread.

These three points should be enough to alert every thinking citizen and every journalist to first assume that it is misinformation, and then investigate the facts.

Expand full comment

Well said.

Expand full comment

«world's number 1 election meddler and purveyor of misinformation in foreign countries (I witnessed it in Bolivia)»

From a deeply politically incorrect site, an interesting "insider" report from a swiss citizen:

https://www.unz.com/tsaker/how-i-became-a-kremlin-troll/

«And since I was fluent in Russian, my military career took me from a basic training in electronic warfare, to a special unit of linguists for the General Staff of the Swiss military, to becoming a military analyst for the strategic intelligence service of Switzerland.

[...] By the time the war against the Serbian nation in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo broke out, I was in a unique situation: all day long I could read classified UNPROFOR and military reports about what was taking place in that region and, after work, I could read the counter-factual anti-Serbian propaganda the western corporate Ziomedia was spewing out every day. I was horrified to see that literally everything the media was saying was a total lie. Then came the false flags, first in Sarajevo, but later also in Kosovo.»

An aside about that "Ziomedia": the fate of Trump, who gave Likud pretty much everything yet was still hounded by the media, proves that either Likud has no problem backstabbing their supporters, or that Likud has a lot less influence on USA media that the paranoid imagine.

Expand full comment
Comment removed
Expand full comment

It is said, "At CNN, you can be 1) Zionist, 2) non-Zionist, but you cannot be 3) anti-Zionist." I think the firing of Marc Lamont Hill proves this. Do you believe this is a false statement? The same can be said for all msm...not only CNN. Going against Israel is career suicide for a journalist as Dorothy Thompson found out.

Expand full comment

Regardless of the specific claims by various parties over the last four years, how can anyone seriously doubt that Russia/Soviet Union has been engaged in serious espionage/propaganda operations aimed at the US and the West for the past 60 years?! Maybe it’s because I have recently read The Spy and The Traitor, The Red Notice and The Panama Papers, but come on! What? You think Putin is some nice, ethical guy? Since when did he graduate from the category of KGB thug? I know way too many Russian emigres who have come to the US specifically to get out from under the system that Putin has created in Russia. Can we agree that it is simply fallacious for the DNC and Hillary to blame Russia for the 2016 election (the Trump campaign, Facebook and Cambridge Analytica did a masterful job that needed no help from Russia), without denying 100% across the board that Russian state-sponsored hacking is going on against the US and Western Europe on a 24X7 basis? How nieve can you be to deny it?! You get all caught up in this “he said, she said” brouhaha over the Ukraine or Hunter Biden (if you want to see some real political nepotism, try George W. Bush - read House of Bush; House of Saud by Craig Unger for the details) and you come across like you are defending Putin. You might as well go on Hannity. Putin’s Russia remains a serious enemy of the US, as does China. They are playing for keeps while we twist ourselves in knots with our heads up our arses. Time to wake up people.... the days of American Exceptionalism (never really existed) are long gone. We are in a battle for the survival of Western Democracy (what little of it remains) with enemies who are out to prove that Democracy is a failed institution, which is ironic given the outcome of the USSR, and the fact that the CCP couldn’t remain in power for 24 hours without the overarching complete repression of self expression by the Chinese people.

We have a MUCH bigger problem here in the US which you can learn about by reading Shoshana Dubroff’s The Age of Surveillance Capitalism. The surveillance capitalists are accomplishing the same ends as the CCP in a much more skillful manner which benefits them. In reality, we are under attack from Chinese, Russian and FaceBook “hackers” who are so far out in front of the rest of us, there is little time left to try to regain some of the rights which we once held dear. In my opinion, coming up with lists of Russiagate issues that turned out to be bogus is a waste of time and a red herring. We will probably never know about the hundreds of online attacks mounted by foreign agents that have been poisoning the domestic discourse in this country ever since the Netscape browser was available. In my opinion, FaceBook (and Google) may be the worst things that happened to the Internet and to society since the birth of the Internet. But don’t think for one minute that the Russians aren’t right there in the mix fu—king with us every chance they get. Why would anyone think otherwise?

Expand full comment

Sure, Russia and any other country with enough wherewithal to do so is interfering.

Are they interfering as much as our own intel agencies or or our beloved uniparty?

That's rhetorical. The answer is NO. A resounding NO.

Expand full comment

«how can anyone seriously doubt that Russia/Soviet Union has been engaged in serious espionage/propaganda operations aimed at the US and the West for the past 60 years»

Nobody is doubting that, just as nobody is doubting that *everybody* does it, e.g. the sentencing of at least one Israeli spy in the USA, just the tip of the iceberg, or the sentencing of a CIA squad in Italy for abducting for rendition to torture of a target. Just as there is massive corporate spying (especially by hedge funds) against competitors, and manipulation of their own governments, and other governments, to get unfair advanges, e.g. the "campaign donations" from a south Korean company to B Clinton.

But that is not news, just as "dog bites man" is not news. The news have been instead dominated by sensational smears.

Expand full comment

Thank you Matt for picking up the mantle. The dwell time of the decepticon media is indeed short and the historical importance of chronicalling their malfeasance is something we owe to posterity

Expand full comment

Create a public repository on Github. It shouldn't cost more than a few bucks per month. It's the closest thing to a 'blockchain' in terms of it being a 'paper of record' that is well-understood by hundreds of thousands of technically smart folks worldwide.

Expand full comment

What about for non-tech-savvy boomers like me?

Expand full comment

It's as easy to access as any URL, and the most up-to-date stuff will be right on top. Just not in a fancy format.

Expand full comment

Great idea. A list of all major stories (not just Russiagate) msm has gotten wrong since, say, Iraq WMD would be great too! (Libya, Syria, Bolivia coup, Afghan bounties, Hillary2016 in a landslide, Cuomo the Messiah, Hunter Biden laptop etc etc...)

Expand full comment

Well done. I suspect that it will take at least one generation before historians can record this time period accurately and without bias.

Expand full comment

Growing up in the 60’s, I took to heart the constant refrain of “be skeptical of everything.” Now my retort is “prove it!”

Expand full comment

There are always mutiple ways to skin a cat

Expand full comment

Consider making a website with a time line, video clips, etc. It would be such a useful resource. I was thinking about doing something of the kind myself.

Expand full comment

Regarding point 5, is it pertinent to also add a mention that Julian Assange did state the "source of the 2016 releases was not a state party"?

https://defend.wikileaks.org/2019/07/25/russiagate-smears-against-wikileaks/

Expand full comment

I realize this is focused on U.S. lies about Russia, but I want to give a link to Radio Ecoshock and their discussion of the arctic methane issue being exaggerated as a promotion for nat-gas drilling. While the D' and R's have their corrupt reasons for villainizing Russia, the fossil fuel industry has its reasons for supporting certain propaganda stories. https://www.ecoshock.org/2021/02/arctic-methane-bomb.html.

More to the topic, https://covertactionmagazine.com/ has some apparently well researched stories on the special interests behind the Russia gate propaganda campaign.

Expand full comment

Right the fuck on! I would devote some more time to the Carter Page incident. Really kicked this entire thing off and the language used against an American citizen for which no charges were brought in order to spy on them, and then via the press ruin their reputation, was nothing short of astonishing. Where was the ACLU on this? Any left supposed civil rights advocates on this? Outside of progressive voices like Greenwald and Mate, radio silence.

Expand full comment

Hello Matt Taibbi, I very much appreciate your project to create sensible news for everyone. I also appreciate very very much that you went on the Meghan Murphy show on youtube, The Same Drugs. You are a badazz man that this world needs immediately, its blue anon and Q anon exception excluded. I am militant, I say that bullets in heads are not always a bad solution. I am in the permaculture wing of Deep Green resistance. I have not been vetted as I have been a low life in my past. I do think that industrial civilization must be immediately destroyed, dismantled non violently, let the chips fall where they may.

I respect that you, Matt Taibbi, have been given the credit for the blue anon ideation. Because you have taken on the project of normal mainstream news. The radical people ( idiots) on both sides should be left out in the cold. I very seriously think that the blue anon ideation should be pushed forward, please get permission from Aaron Mate to claim this as your own idea immediately.

Expand full comment

"Dismantled non-violently"...

Sure pal.

When they see you coming with your homemade stone shovel they're sure to quiver in their boots.

Also.. what kinds of ammunition do the permies have at their disposal? Wooden arrows?

Sounds terrifying.

Expand full comment
Comment removed
Expand full comment

Permaculture ideology is in general minding your own business on your own land. There have been experts in the united states that have done the heavy lifting of the destruction of the infrastructure that industrial civilization needs in numerous countries all over the planet. They have written guidance for these people. They are military manuals, available through military surplus supply stores. I am permaculture wing, you can ask me about burying carbon in your land to create incredible nutrition for generations like the indigenous people in the amazon rainforest did in their time. I was hoping to hear (read) better than idiots trolling on this sub stack, my and understanding of the Matt Taibbi project is to get normal news to normal people without senseless vitriolic.

Expand full comment

Gonna try adding some carbon to the garden this season. Thanks for the tip!

Expand full comment
Comment removed
Expand full comment

I am a back to the lander. I work a stupid job that I am very good at. This job has given me the resources where I can claim my own way as a super man. I seriously never thought that I would get this far.

I love Matt Taibbi. He wants to get a conversation going among normal people, where I am a sad alcoholic Doomer who sees absolutely no hope in the human future, very likely no hope for anything anywhere, I agree with extinction rebellion that very likely in the next two generations that we will witness the death of billions of human beings because of climate change.

I very much appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Expand full comment

Historians will thank you (and curse you) for the comprehensive collection.

Expand full comment

Terrific work Matt.

Expand full comment

Just documenting these people and institutions might serve as a road map for

ANYONE running for elective office or an elected official to expose and isolate these pernicious people and institutions. They have jeopardized national security, caused civil unrest and are in serious need of being CANCELLED from further participation in any national discussions or policy making positions. Congress should NEVER allow anyone pushing the lies and fairytales about Russia, China or Ukraine to be confirmed for any position within the federal Gov't. Major media outlets who pushed very obvious lies must be called out and/or ignored by any new administration worth its' salt. A few prosecutions of "leakers" would go a long way to stopping this political practice utilized by one Party against the other. Personal lawsuits against the publishers and the writers would result in more accurately sourced stories and less "unnamed sources" B.S.

Expand full comment

This is a good solution. The only thing I'd ask -- if it's possible -- is that you email an update just saying the article has been updated. If that's not a pain in the ass. Or add it as a mention to your other emails. I can see that this will be an evolving story; it certainly seems like the truth about it is being dribbled out (pee, ha ha) as it's discovered.

Expand full comment

Taibbi pointed out in his first article that media mistakes about Russia don't mean Russians aren't doing bad things, e.g., their St Petersburg social media disinfo command center and harboring of cyber criminals, some of whom give a cut to FSB agents and banks (see former Washington Post writer Brian Krebs's blog, KrebsOnSecurity, and book, Spam Nation). Fun fact: many dark web crime forums are in Russian so he learned Russian to lurk and report. I think Krebs quit the Post in 2009 because they spiked some of his pieces. (Btw, Trump fired Christopher Krebs, no relation to Brian.)

Like all exaggerated and flat wrong claims, media errors aren't even necessary to convey real threats. When the truth comes out, widespread lies end up undermining legit concerns and might make fighting real threats more difficult, e.g., actor Jussie Smollett.

Russian hysteria is at the point where friends traveling in the Middle East and elsewhere sometimes panic when needing to use their computers while Russians occupy hotel rooms nearby. Some computer security people act a little nervous and ask more questions when I tell them I've been to Russia a few times.

Expand full comment

They are right to be afraid of using their computers.

Expand full comment

In some settings, yes, but always with VPN enabled while traveling.

Panicking when in some random hotel overseas even while you have VPN enabled isn't constructive. For high risk areas it's better to not use or even bring a computer or use one you can discard when you return.

I'm pretty sure Taibbi and others here have read "Red Notice" and numerous other works chronicling real problems in modern Russia. Some readers here spent time in Russia and know good people there.

There's more than enough documented graft and subterfuge about Russia to preclude "needing" lies and exaggerations to frighten people into a position.

In fact, exaggerations and lies about Russia have emboldened right-wingers, who point to the mistakes/exaggerations/lies as proof that Russia and Putin are good for the GOP and liberals are liars. I had the misfortunate to work with someone, though briefly, who's LinkIn page featured support for Trump and statements about Russian-Trump ties/probes being liberal lies.

Only by consistently stating truth and correcting mistakes can one gain and sustain a trustworthy reputation.

Taibbi's doing a great service by documenting errors in an area of reporting that's otherwise devoid of self-criticism.

Thank you Matt!

Expand full comment

Great job Matt keep it coming.

Expand full comment

Some people have a problem with your take on truth, but not me. Keep on Keeping on!!

Expand full comment