00:37 GMT +313 December 2017
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    There is 'Enormous Bias' in US Media, 'Hysteria Impossible to Correct by Facts'

    © AFP 2017/ SHAH MARAI
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    The US exerts more influence on foreign elections than Russia, at least that’s the finding of the poll commissioned by Sputnik and carried out by the French pollster Ifop. George Szamuely, Senior Fellow at the Global Policy Institute of London Metropolitan University, however explained to Sputnik why these results won't have any impact on the US.

    Q. Ifop has surveyed residents of so many countries now and they asked which country interferes in foreign elections. Almost half of Germans, French, Poles etc. think it's the US and not, as the mainstream media would like to call it, Russia.  In your opinion, what's the result? Was it predictable, was it surprising, what are your thoughts?

    A. It's pleasantly surprising that after this barrage of propaganda that's been going on for something like 18 months about supposed Russian interference, Russian control over elections in innumerable countries, the public seems distinctly underwhelmed by the propaganda and is actually expressing the sensible position that the US of course exerts far greater influence on countries' elections than Russia does.  There's a long history of this going back to the 1940s in Italy, and then all the way through to elections in Latin America, elections in Europe all the way up to political interference in Ukraine just a few years ago. So, there's a long record of American interference, not to mention all the NGO's that are financed lavishly by the US government. And so yes, there's a long record of US intervention in elections and it's good to see that the public is well aware of this.

    Q. What do you think of residents in the US themselves? Do you think they’ll ever hear of this survey on a massive scale?

    A. No, they won't hear of this because their view is that America is an innocent, injured party… Americans are always  set up upon by terrible wicked people. Even though not one scrap of evidence has been presented to the American public about supposed Russian interference in last year's election, the media just bombard the public 24/7 about "terrible Russians" and their "interference." 

    Q. So, you think there are going to be no further steps taken by the US administration to maybe somehow smooth things over now that this kind of information is becoming more and more public in Europe?

    A. If you think what has happened in recent months – despite this barrage of propaganda by the US media about how Russians are "interfering," and now they are claiming "oh, now they are interfering in the French elections, they are interfering in the German elections, Polish elections, elections everywhere," and then the French intelligence services and the German intelligence services announce that actually there had been no interference, that they had no evidence of Russian interference – that has not made any impact at all in the US. And in fact the US media just continued to report that somehow the French and the German intelligence services confirmed the American diagnosis that it was Russian interference in the elections. 

    Q. Ahead of German elections, a lot of English-speaking media ran stories where they said "it was surprising to see absence of Russian cyber-attacks on the eve of the vote," this is a direct quote. In your opinion, is there any bias in the media against Russia and why?

    A. Of course, there is an enormous bias, this bias has reached almost hysterical proportions. If you follow the US media, there is a daily grumble of stories in The New York Times and The Washington Post about these "wicked Russians." And now it has gone beyond just the supposed collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign. Now Russians are supposedly manipulating these internet giants like Facebook and Google and Twitter and Reddit and Pinterest – all of them are being "manipulated" by the Russians. And whenever they are asked what is the evidence for this, they just list a couple of hundred accounts that may or may not have connection with some Russians, and there [was] almost minimal impact on anything. So, they don't have any evidence of more than a few thousand dollars which were spent by Russians. So the fact is that the media can just continue to pedal these stories on the basis of really ludicrous stories of a couple of hundred accounts given that there are millions and millions accounts on Twitter and Facebook, which are giant billions and billions of dollar operations – for the media to continue to peddle this just shows that there is a complete hysteria, not something that is susceptible to correction by fact.

    Tags:
    media hysteria, media bias, interference, survey, poll, elections, IFOP, George Szamuely, Europe, United States, Russia
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