President Putin sitting at Direct Line.

The Folly of ‘Russiagate’

April 04, 2019
Stephen Kinzer
This is a summary of an article originally published by The Boston Globe.

The author writes that “lurid demonization of Russia has become a staple of American politics” and that the recent release of the Mueller report will do little to change this sentiment. Arguing that the Russian interference narrative is simply the latest in a long historical string of “media-driven hallucinations,” as occurred in the lead-up to the Spanish-American War, the Vietnam War and the Iraq War, the author claims that much of the media’s coverage of the issue was “either highly overblown or downright false.” Furthermore, the author believes that while the collusion story was discussed obsessively in Washington, elsewhere, Americans were much less interested. Yet a Gallup poll shows that over 50 percent of Americans think of Russia as a “critical threat,” a figure that the author believes will not diminish significantly, despite the report's conclusions. The repercussions of the media hype around the issue and high levels of anti-Russian sentiment in the United States are global, as "anyone in Washington who urges diplomacy with Russia is stigmatized,” a phenomenon which, according to the author, is “more dangerous to our security than anything that happened during the last presidential campaign.”

Read the full article at The Boston Globe.


Stephen Kinzer

Stephen Kinzer is a senior fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University.

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