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Collateral Damage: Hamilton 68 Sows Discord Among US Media

© Sputnik'Hamilton 68' dashboard
'Hamilton 68' dashboard - Sputnik International
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Two notable US media outlets ended up quarreling because of a new 'Russian propaganda tracker' known as Hamilton 68.

Earlier in August the US-funded German Marshall Fund’s (GMF) Alliance for Securing Democracy launched the Hamilton 68 dashboard – a website that is supposed to track Russian "propaganda" and "fake news" on Twitter.

But while its effectiveness at ferreting out propaganda appears to be questionable at best, Hamilton 68 has already managed to, albeit inadvertently, drive a wedge between two notable US media outlets – USA Today and Gateway Pundit.

Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of RT and Rossiya Segodnya - Sputnik International
Sputnik, RT Editor-in-Chief Comments on US-Funded Think Tank Tracking 2 Outlets
In an article titled "Breitbart, other 'alt-right' websites are the darlings of Russian propaganda effort" published on August 24, USA Today stated that the most popular domains mentioned by a "Russian propaganda Twitter network" during the previous 48 hours included "True Pundit, the Russian government-controlled television network RT, the Gateway Pundit, Fox News, Russian government news agency Sputnik News and Breitbart."

USA Today also argued that on that day the aforementioned websites carried a range of stories that "reflect themes promoted by the Russian network."

Jim Hoft, founder of Gateway Pundit who previously argued that the Alliance for Securing Democracy dashboard’s real goal is to "smear websites supportive of Donald Trump and his accomplishments as Russian propaganda", was not amused by this move.

In an article titled "USA Today Smears Gateway Pundit as ‘Alt-Right Website’ Linked to Russia Because They Want Us Dead", Hoft retorted that by defining Breitbart and The Gateway Pundit as "alt right",  the "far left" are deliberately attempting to paint these outlets as political targets.

"By defining us as Alt-Right they are hoping we get the same beat-down and abuse as we’ve seen at dozens of Trump rallies this past year by the alt-left," Hoft wrote.

Meanwhile James Carden, executive editor for the American Committee for East West Accord, was cited in the USA Today article as saying that while it is "a legitimate thing" to try and determine how Russia may be influencing the US political discourse, "Russian sites on the tracker also report on legitimate stories."

"It seems that anything critical of the United States is now all of a sudden Russian propaganda. That’s a slippery slope," Carden warned.

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