There is a new report on Russian election interference done for the Senate Intelligent Committee by Oxford University’s Computational Propaganda Project and Graphika, a network analysis firm (“Russian disinformation teams targeted Mueller, tried to suppress black vote, analysts report,” Dec. 18). It claims that Russia’s disinformation campaign around the 2016 election used every major social media platform available in attempts to support the Republican Party in general and the election of Donald Trump in particular.

Who is surprised by this? After all these months of the Mueller probe, probably no one. Who should care? Anyone with any concern for social justice and the democratic process. Who won’t believe this report? Probably Donald Trump, who will not believe anything that doesn’t conform to his opinions, regardless of the facts.

Who won’t care about this report? Trump supporters and therefore much of the Republican Party. Trump won, so forget about Russian interference. What if Hillary Clinton had won the presidency with assistance of such a heavy dose of Russian propaganda? There would be Republican-led rioting in the streets and right-wing shock jocks calling for heads to roll. But Trump won, so no big deal. The hypocrisy’s enough to make you puke.

So what are we to make of all this? In her Dec. 17 New York Times column, “Yes, Russian Trolls Helped Elect Trump,” Michelle Goldberg sums it up thusly: “In an election decided by a rounding error — fewer than 80,000 voters spread over three states — Russian trolling easily could have made the difference. It’s mortifying and preposterous that fake news ruined America. That doesn’t mean it isn’t true.”

Roy Estabrook

North Monmouth


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