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Friday, July 13, 2018

Glenn Greenwald finds a tree missing, declares no forest exists!

Glenn Greenwald made it quite clear in The Intercept, Sunday, 8 July 2018, that he is very upset that Malcolm Nance told MSNBC viewers: “Jill Stein has a show on Russia Today.” If Nance had told viewers it seemed like Jill Stein had a show on Russia Today during the 2016 campaign season, Greenwald would have had nothing to complain about. Greenwald's complaint was:
On August 20, 2016, weekend host Joy Reid asked Nance about the supposed “affinity” for Russia harbored by Jill Stein supporters. In response, Nance told MSNBC viewers: “Jill Stein has a show on Russia Today.” You can still watch the video of this claim here on MSNBC’s own website or see it here.
Greenwald went on to say:
Whatever your views might be about Stein and her third-party candidacy, there is no disputing the fact that Nance’s statement was a falsehood, a fabrication, a lie. Stein did not have a show on RT, nor did she ever host a show on RT. What Nance said was made up out of whole cloth — fabricated —
He appears to have caught Nance in a technical detail that depends on how "show" and "host" is defined, all while Greenwald ignores the organizational differences between Russia Today and RT. If Nance had instead put it the way the Moscow Project described the relationship, Greenwald's complaint would have been muted. It said [my bold]:
Stein regularly appeared on Russia's state-run television network RT, including as counterprogramming to mainstream network coverage of important events such as the general-election debates and election night itself.
Greenward is silent about the very real support and exposure this US presidential campaign did receive from RT, even though the candidate herself has said:
"We look to RT for access to the American public."
While Jill Stein, as a US presidential candidate, technically may not have had her own show on RT, she was a frequent guest on so many RT shows, and Jill Stein campaign events covered so regularly, that a casual observer might think that it was as if she had her own show.

For example, by early August 2016, about the same time as Greenwald's original complaint, US Green Party supporter Louis Proyect claimed RT.com "has published 105 articles in praise of Jill Stein." In June 2017, I wrote:
A search on YouTube for "rt america jill stein" turns up "About 5,570 results," 2,750 in the past year, and RT/America averages more than 5,700,000 views a month on YouTube alone! RT/America is just 1 of the 88 members of RussiaToday [note the parent YouTube organization has not changed its name], which in total get an average of more than 133 million monthly views on YouTube. RT is another member of this family with mostly English content, and favorable to Jill Stein, that has an average monthly viewership of more than 28 million, Ruptly TV is a third Jill Stein fan brand with more than 14 million monthly viewers.

These are all professionally produced videos, and they aren't cheap to produce, so even though YouTube pays Russia Today as much as $274,000 a year for those views on RT/America alone, sustaining the channel has to be costing the Kremlin millions, but since RT has an annual budget of over $300 million, it is still small potatoes to them.

There have been over 190,000 views in the top 10 of those 2,750 RT/America videos supporting Jill Stein's candidacy. The view totals for all those videos is likely to range into the tens of millions. Taking just this one example of RT videos for Jill Stein and extrapolating that across all RT platforms, which in the US include cable, satellite, and broadcast TV, radio and all social media, not just YouTube, but facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as well, it's easy to conclude that since the Jill Stein campaign only raised $3,713,170, Putin probably spent more on the Jill Stein campaign than the campaign spent on itself. If this is true, it means that votes for a US presidential candidate supported largely by Russian resources put Donald Trump in the White House.
So while Jill Stein may not have had a regularly scheduled "show" on RT, clearly the network was spending a lot of money and "airtime" on regularly giving her a platform. Casey Michel, Daily Beast, had this to say about the cozy relationship between RT and Jill Stein:
In December 2015, the Kremlin feted Stein by inviting her to the gala celebrating the 10-year anniversary of Kremlin-funded propaganda network RT. Over a year later, it remains unclear who paid for Stein’s trip to Moscow and her accommodations there. {The Steele Dossier says the Kremlin did.~Clay}  Her campaign ignored multiple questions on this score. We do know, however, that Stein sat at the same table as both Putin and Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, Trump’s soon-to-be national security adviser. She further spoke at an RT-sponsored panel, using her presence to criticize the U.S.’s “disastrous militarism.” Afterward, straddling Moscow’s Red Square, Stein described the panel as “inspiring,” going on to claim that Putin, whom she painted as a political novice, told her he “agree[d]” with her “on many issues.”
And Michel added,
For her efforts in burnishing Kremlin conspiracy theories for American audiences, Stein was awarded not simply with an invitation to the 2015 RT gala, but RT even hosted her party’s 2016 presidential debate {so they hosted her show even if she never hosted a show for them.~Clay}—a move Stein hailed as a “step towards real democracy.” RT also covered “live updates” from Stein’s reactions to the debates between Clinton and Trump, a decision Stein further praised. This mutual affection is, naturally, of a piece with RT’s broader modus operandi in the U.S.
This broader modus operandi involved getting Donald Trump elected president of the United States. Those on the US white-Left who belittled Trump's racism to declare him the lesser of two evils, and this includes Glenn Greenwald, were the witting, or unwitting, tools of this successful Putin operation. Their promotion of Jill Stein to progressives, and others likely to otherwise vote for Hillary Clinton, was an indispensable part of Putin's overall strategy to get Trump elected. To accomplish that, Russia Today gave Jill Stein much more that a weekly "show" of support; it gave her more-or-less continuous coverage across all media platforms.

In return, she pushed the Putin line in her US presidential campaign. She had no chance of winning, but she could certainly do that for him. As Casey Michel pointed out in a piece for the Intersection Project:
Not only has Stein, on multiple instances, pushed links to - and her own appearances on - RT, but she has further taken the platform to espousing some of the most blinkered views on Washington-Moscow relations. To wit, in April, Stein asked: “Who exactly is NATO fighting? ...Other than enemies we invent to give the weapons industry a reason to sell more stuff.” A few weeks prior, she derisively referred to Ukraine’s EuroMaidan revolution as regime change.” Then, for good measure, she took to Twitter in July to note that “if Bill Clinton hadn't had Larry Summers destroy Russia's economy & turn democracy to oligarchy, US-Russia relations would be better.”

But it’s not simply Stein’s Twitter feed that’s allowed her to hew closely to the Kremlin’s talking points. In myriad interviews, Stein has pushed views that could have been lifted from Russian state media - and often are. For instance, in an interview with OnTheIssues, Stein claimed that the US “foment[ed] a coup” in Ukraine, allowing “ultra-nationalists and ex-Nazis [to come] to power.” Stein further insisted that the US “should encourage Ukraine to be neutral,” and that “NATO has pursued a policy of basically encircling Russia,” as if Russia remains the lone post-Soviet state with any agency. She has additionally described Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s “saber-rattling against Russia” as an “existential threat to human survival,” and that Clinton will - not may, but will - “take [the US] into an air war with Russia[.]”
Now instead we have Donald Trump demanding that NATO countries more than double their military spending. He has already started a trade war and is aching to start a nuclear war somewhere. So much for the white-Left's "Peace Candidate."

The website RT.com also played a big role in promoting the Jill Stein campaign. The eight images below represent just a tiny sample of the "About 416 results" Google finds for a search for "Jill Stein" on RT.com:

Glenn Greenwald is so full of righteous indignation because he accepts RT's contractual definition of what it means to have a "show" on RT, and he thinks that because of that he can call out Malcolm Nance and Joy Reid as lairs and MSNBC as "fake news." At the same time, anyone reading one of his diatribes on this gripe in The Intercept would have no clue just how regularly Jill Stein appeared on, or was promoted by, RT. It is entirely possible, indeed preferable, to defend a technical fact while perpetrating a gross falsification. That is what Glenn Greenwald is doing in this case.

my other posts correcting Glenn Greenwald:
07/17/17 Attorney Glenn Greenwald @ggreenwald joins Trump defense team
01/06/17 Glenn Greenwald runs off at the mouth about Breitbart without ever mentioning racism
02/16/15 Libya: Hailed as a Model Journalist Glenn Greenwald Proves to be the Exact Opposite
10/03/14 Why did Glenn Greenwald moderated this comment off The Intercept?

Syria is the Paris Commune of the 21st Century!

Click here for our posts on the 2016 US Election
Click here for a list of our other blogs on Syria
Click here for a list of our other blogs on Libya

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