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NBC News and ‘New Knowledge’ Launch Smear Campaign Against Tulsi Gabbard 2020


NBC News jumped the shark this week, claiming that the Tulsi Gabbard 2020 presidential campaign is somehow supported by a ‘Kremlin propaganda effort.’

The claim is just the latest episode in a two and half year-long campaign of anti-Russian propaganda which has become the standard across the US and UK mainstream media. In the NBC News piece, ‘experts’ claim to have scientific proof that an army suspected ‘Russian accounts’ and ‘Kremlin-linked websites’ are somehow propelling Gabbard’s presidential campaign.

Who is providing the ‘scientific’ backing for NBC News journalists Robert Windrem and Ben Popken? It turns out that New Knowledge, a firm spawned by social media billionaire LinkedIn founder and Democratic Party backer Reid Hoffman, and implicated just weeks ago in fraud and election meddling related to the recent Alabama Senate race – has resurfaced again as the ‘source’ for a smear campaign being led by NBC News against Democratic candidate Tulsi Gabbard.

However, upon closer examination, the wild claims made by Windrem and Popken appear to be baseless, and mirror other recent fabrications seen in mainstream media coverage…


New smear campaign against Gabbard 2020 being run by corporate media outlet NBC News.

Hawaii Congresswoman Gabbard hit back after the dubious report filed by NBC News, vowing to fight the forces who appear to be gathering to try and kill-off her presidential run:

The NBC News smear campaign relied on the discredited firm, New Knowledge, run by Democratic Party operatives, and using identical methodology (any social media account which they suspect as ‘Russian’ is thrown into a data set to “prove” Russian interference) to other US military and intelligence agency linked initiatives like Hamilton 68 Dashboard, the Atlantic Council’s DFR Labs, the UK government-funded Integrity Initiative, and various other dubious academic projects. NBC claims that:

Within a few days of Gabbard announcing her presidential bid, DisInfo 2018, part of the cybersecurity firm New Knowledge, found that three of the top 15 URLs shared by the 800 social media accounts affiliated with known and suspected Russian propaganda operations directed at U.S. citizens were about Gabbard.

The discredited tech firm, New Knowledge, is leading the push in promoting the conspiracy theory that #Gabbard2020 is being driven primarily by what it deems to be nefarious ‘Russia activity’ online:

Analysts at New Knowledge, the company the Senate Intelligence Committee used to track Russian activities in the 2016 election, told NBC News they’ve spotted “chatter” related to Gabbard in anonymous online message boards, including those known for fomenting right-wing troll campaigns. The chatter discussed Gabbard’s usefulness.

According to journalist Glenn Greenwald at The Intercept, the NBC News story is just the latest canard on a conveyor belt of fabricated mainstream media stories promoting anti-Russian fear-mongering:

But the whole story was a sham: the only “experts” cited by NBC in support of its key claim was the firm, New Knowledge, that just got caught by the New York Times fabricating Russian troll accounts on behalf of the Democratic Party in the Alabama Senate race to manufacture false accusations that the Kremlin was interfering in that election.

Greenwald adds how the fraud extends right into the heart of Washington DC:

What NBC – amazingly – concealed is a fact that reveals its article to be a journalistic fraud: that same firm, New Knowledge, was caught just six weeks ago engaging in a massive scam to create fictitious Russian troll accounts on Facebook and Twitter in order to claim that the Kremlin was working to defeat Democratic Senate nominee Doug Jones in Alabama. The New York Times, when exposing the scam, quoted a New Knowledge report that boasted of its fabrications: “We orchestrated an elaborate ‘false flag’ operation that planted the idea that the [Roy] Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet.’”

That fraud was overseen by New Knowledge’s CEO, Jonathon Morgan. At the same time Morgan was fabricating Russian troll accounts and using them to create a fraudulent appearance that Putin was trying to defeat the Democratic Senate candidate, he was exploiting his social media “expertise” to claim that Russians were interfering in the Alabama Senate election. In other words, Morgan used his own fake Russian accounts to lie to the public and deceive the national media into believing that Kremlin-linked accounts were trying to defeat the Democratic Senate candidate when, in fact, the accounts he was citing were ones he himself had fabricated and controlled.

Even worse, Morgan’s firm is behind one of the recent Senate reports on Russian social media election interference as well as the creation of “Hamilton 68,” the pseudo-data-driven dashboard constantly used by U.S. media outlets to claim that its enemies are supported by the Kremlin (that tool has so been abused that even some of its designers urged the media to stop exaggerating its meaning). During the Alabama race, Morgan – in a tweet he deleted once his fraud was exposed – cited the #Hamilton68 data that he himself manipulated with his fake Russian accounts to claim that Russia was interfering in the Alabama Senate race:

RT International also weighed-in on the half-coked methodology employed in this anti-Russia dragnet:

Out of the 15 top URLs listed by Disinfo2018, one was a Medium article from journalist Caitlin Johnstone and the other two were unspecified tweets, amplifiers of the Disinfo data said.

However, according to a screen grab posted by one of those sharing the data, the tweets listed consist of Hillary Clinton calling Trump a puppet, Meghan McCain slamming Gabbard for her past anti-LGBT stance, journalist Max Blumenthal referencing a Joe Rogan episode where Gabbard talked about North Korea, and a Washington Post tweet of an article reporting that Russian voter targeting doesn’t exist.

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