by Caitlin Johnstone
You hardly ever hear about Russiagate anymore. The last time it made a blip in the radar was when disgraced Collusion author Luke Harding published a very thinly-sourced story in The Guardian claiming to have proof that Donald Trump was a Kremlin asset, but other mass media outlets barely touched it and it vanished as quickly as it came.
Looking at mainstream news outlets in 2021, you’d hardly know they’d recently spent years hammering the story into public consciousness that Vladimir Putin had infiltrated the highest levels of the US government, day after day after day after day after day.
But they did. Vast fortunes were raked in off the public interest generated by click-friendly stories about the latest BOMBSHELL revelation involving some peripheral member of Trump’s associates perhaps maybe having some kind of contact with a Russian national at some point. Entire careers were built on this.
Then the Mueller investigation invalidated the entire claim by failing to indict a single American for conspiring with the Russian government, and the mass media who’d spent the previous few years bashing everyone in the face with that story just kind of slowly sidled away from it.
And now they act like it never happened.
Now I’m going to ask you to put yourself in the shoes of someone you might not normally be inclined to.
Imagine you’re someone on the political right watching this whole thing unfold. Imagine that from late 2016 to mid-2019 you were watching the mass media aggressively shove this story down everyone’s throat that a US president, whom you support, is secretly working for a hostile foreign government with the goal of subverting the United States of America. The media you consume have been highlighting all the massive, glaring plot holes in this narrative the entire time, so you know it’s not true, yet you’ve still got friends, coworkers and family members who believe it is.
Can you imagine how disgusted you’d get with the media watching this happen day after day? How outraged? How resentful? If you’re really putting yourself there, I think you probably can.
Now imagine a year later these exact same media institutions start telling you there’s a novel coronavirus which we’re all going to have to sacrifice some personal liberties in order to stop. We might have to stay in our homes, wear a mask, get injected with new drugs we’re not sure about, possibly while watching our bank account drain and our business go under, and all these media institutions you just watched lie to everyone’s face for years on end are aggressively saying you need to do this and support this or you’re a dangerous monster whose voice should be banned from social media.
How well do you imagine that would go over with you?