Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn falls to the ground in a heap after saying he had briefed President Trump on a Russian effort to interfere in the election. | U.S. Attorney George F. Holding Office of George Holding (DC) via AP
Nobel Prize-winning journalists on Wednesday said American politicians and the public were deluding themselves by allowing themselves to be blinded by cyber-warfare.
NPR’s Jillian York and Dan Gillmor did a joint op-ed in The Washington Post and The New York Times concerning the slow but inexorable spread of fake news, “deep state” leakers, and President Trump’s uncanny ability to self-immolate.
“The election of 2016 was a flash point for events that have snowballed, from tech and gaming companies pushing for unlimited anonymity, to architects of political rhetoric targeting black Americans,” York and Gillmor wrote. “As we consider the crisis of the national news media and its declining influence over a Trump administration that traffics in almost daily partisan vitriol, we also need to consider the ways that online ‘toxic sludge’ has led to dangerous echo chambers.”
The piece was published a day after a pair of newspaper reporting on the illegal Russian effort to meddle in the 2016 election — one by The New York Times and one by CNN — said the Trump administration’s claim that no one knew about Russia’s interference in the campaign was “obviously false.”
“The Times and CNN stories underscore that there is evidence that Russia actively sought to interfere with our 2016 election,” York and Gillmor wrote. “It’s already clear from the ongoing congressional investigations and from inquiries by Special Counsel Robert Mueller that there is evidence Russia deliberately sought to help the Trump campaign and hurt Hillary Clinton’s. We should take action to better understand this and to prevent future Russian interventions.”
They continued: “We’re no longer just at war with a phantom menace. We’re being fleshed out in a smoldering, warped hope that the politicians in control can save us from ourselves. It won’t work.”