WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US Congress recently agreed to fund $160 million to battle what they claimed to be foreign propaganda and an alleged Russian campaign to spread “fake news.” The measure has been folded into the National Defense Authorization Act and gives the State Department the power to identify “propaganda” and take actions to reply to it.
“Clearly we are seeing a resurgence of McCarthyism here in the United States,” University of Illinois Professor of International Law Francis Boyle said.
The accusations are “designed by the US Imperial Corporate Establishment to repress alternative viewpoints that call into question their criminal, lawless, unjust and inequitable behavior across the board,” Boyle stated.
“The real ‘fake news’ can be found in the Mainstream news media here in the United States — not much better than pro-Corporate/Government propaganda,” Boyle said.
Executive Intelligence Review (EIR) senior editor Jeff Steinberg told Sputnik that the independent outlets being attacked were targeted because they had supported candidates in the US 2016 presidential elections not approved by the mainstream elite.
“The alleged ‘fake news’ apparatus being gone after is called ‘fake’ because, for the most part, they either explicitly supported Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders,” Steinberg claimed.
Steinberg said the “fake news” phenomenon was not aimed at “really wacky” Internet sites but at more serious and credible outlets.
“The targeting here is aimed at discrediting and shutting down the ‘conspiracy sites’ that do produce legitimate alternative assessments of major world events,” Steinberg explained.
The US establishment now feared that the American public was giving too much credence to independent journalistic outlets, Steinberg remarked.
However, Steinberg predicted the efforts at repression would fail.
“Is it a danger? Yes. But do they have a good chance of success in the foreseeable future? No. They are swimming against the tide of the new digitally enabled world, and they are late comers to the race,” he said.
Trump’s win and Sanders’ popularity had revealed the low credibility the mainstream media enjoyed, Steinberg added.