Rethinking Russian Hacking: Who Profits from that Narrative?

CORPORATE MEDIA CALLED OUT-Last night I spent an unexpectedly insightful evening with filmmaker Oliver Stone who was being interviewed by Truth Dig's own Robert Scheer. The occasion was a fundraising event at Immanuel Presbyterian Church for the progressive and perpetually under financial siege radio station KPFK, to celebrate the station's 58th anniversary. The audience seemed pleasantly surprised by an increasingly rare phenomenon: real journalism, documented with primary sources, as opposed to the all too pervasive spin and general obfuscation of truth practiced by corporate-dominated public commercial media.


An example of the mainstream media's dominant narrative that uses "alternate facts" was pointed out by Scheer in the context of Oliver Stone's latest documentary film, The Putin Diaries, which virtually all of the film’s critics have not taken the trouble to see. Nonetheless, what has become the dominant narrative of all American media -- pretty much across the political spectrum -- is based on the unchallenged belief that Russian hacking tried to affect the outcome of our last presidential election. 

Meanwhile back to reality, Stone’s film calls into question, offering convincing evidence, as to whether this hacking ever even occurred. Given their agenda, it is much easier for the corporate media is to ignore Stone's Putin Diaries -- and while doing so, vilify Stone as a commie stooge. 

What both Stone and Scheer did during the evening was not only question Putin and Russia's involvement in trying to hack the last election -- they also gave a compelling argument as to what may have happened and who, in fact, was responsible. 

They did this by posing some contemporary as well as historical questions, asking whose self-interest might be served by resuscitating the Cold War, questions they posit as the real justification for alleging that Russia hacked our election. 

  • In the context of what Ed Snowden and thousands of others like him did and continue to do for a living, who in the world is now seen as having the greatest computer hacking capability -- Russia or the United States? 
  • To whose financial advantage is it to bring back the Cold War and the Russian boogie man in the old fashion 1950s spirit of Joe McCarthy and the Red Scare? 
  • Isn’t it easier for the Democrats to blame Russia than for Hillary Clinton to take responsibility for her flawed campaign that relied more on Goldman Sachs than on getting a majority of the electorate and the electoral college to support her? 
  • From the sinking of the Maine to the start the Spanish-American War to the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that justified the war in Vietnam to the non-existent weapons of mass destruction cited in starting the war in Iraq, who has a long-documented history of lying to the American people to further its corporate financial advantage? 
  • And finally, when it comes to being at odds with the rest of the world over issues like global warming, has the U.S. supplanted Russia (aka the Soviet Union) as the Evil Empire? 

In the final analysis, you might say so what? Why should we care if the government lies -- haven't they always done that? 

Both Stone and Scheer put our present-day Russian election hacking affair in the context of what used to be called the Cold War and the old notion of “mutually assured destruction” that has kept a tenuous peace. But now that seems to no longer be of concern to the monomaniacal profit-driven corporate dominated government agenda. Perhaps they think that a reinvigorated Cold War and expensive arms race or maybe a “first strike capability” is good for business. 


(Leonard Isenberg is a Los Angeles observer and a contributor to CityWatch. He was a second generation teacher at LAUSD and blogs at  Leonard can be reached at Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.