Posted by Stephen Lendman Posted on 31 March 2020

COVID-19: Distracting Attention From Other Issues

Important issues affect the lives and welfare of everyone — especially ordinary people affected for good or ill by the actions of their ruling authorities.

With mass attention focused on COVID-19, most everything else gets short shrift or is ignored to the detriment of societies and ordinary people being manipulated to accept hardships.

According to MIT Technology Review’s editor in chief Gideon Lichfield, COVID-19 changed things for some time to come.

“We’re not going back to normal. Social distancing is here to stay for much more than a few weeks. It will upend our way of life, in some ways forever,” Lichfield believes.

Despite news reports focusing mainly on COVID-19, the Russophobic NYT found time for Russia bashing — featuring long ago debunked Big Lies.

According to the Times, “American intelligence officials and others are on high alert for mischief from Russia’s Internet Research Agency (sic),” adding:

The US intelligence community falsely claimed that it “interfered in the 2016 election (by) spread incendiary messages on Facebook and other social media platforms to stoke discord on race, religion and other issues that were aimed at influencing voters (sic).”

Fact: Facebook earlier explained that 56% of ads linked to Russia on its platform appeared after the US 2016 presidential election.

About 3,000 ads linked to the Internet Research Agency totaled about $100,000 from mid-2015 to mid-2017. One-fourth of them were never shown to anyone. 

Only around 1,000 of its ads appeared during the presidential campaign. Many ads expressed no preference for any candidate.

Facebook said US presidential candidates spent hundreds of millions of dollars in online  political advertising – “1000x more than any problematic ads we’ve found” – admitting virtually no evidence of Russian use of the platform for improper meddling.

Asked to examine 450 accounts Facebook flagged as fake, no evidence connecting them to Russia was found, just groundless suspicions.

Twitter found and suspended 22 suspicious accounts – once again, nothing connecting them to Russia.

Another 179 were suspended for terms of service violations – none of the 201 accounts registered as advertisers.

Twitter found over 3.2 million automated accounts, providing no evidence of any connected to the Kremlin.

RT, RT America and RT en Espanol spent $274,100 for 1,823 US ads – none supporting one US presidential aspirant over another.

The bottom line conclusion is indisputable. No Russia US meddling occurred online or in any other way. No evidence suggests it. Claims otherwise were and remain spurious.

The Times and other establishment media reported none of the above information, focusing solely on anti-Russia Big Lies instead.

The self-styled newspaper of record now claims the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency changed tactics ahead of the November 2020 election — providing no evidence of US election meddling earlier or planned ahead because none exists.

Calling the Internet Research Agency a Russian “troll farm” is part of mass deception by the Times and other US media.

November elections are months away, most Americans focusing largely on COVID-19 events and information.

They’re concerned about their health, livelihoods and safety.

Not a shred of evidence suggested Russia or any other country tried to influence results of the US 2016 presidential or congressional elections.

There’s none indicating attempts by anyone intending to meddle in the upcoming November elections.

Yet the Times published a featured piece filled from beginning to end with pure rubbish.

Presenting no evidence backing its claims is proof positive that none exists.

It’s also evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that the Times is a lying machine to be avoided, not relied on.

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