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A Year of Fake News About Russia - Russia's Top Anchor Looks Back (TV News)

Kiselyov's flagship news show interviewed RI editor and founder Charles Bausman for this segment.

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

If two words could perfectly describe the state of affairs in America for 2017 it would be Fake News.

Russia's top anchor, Dmitry Kiselyov, thinks the 'Fake News' phenomenon is one of the most important developments of 2017, calling it 'the word of the year.' In this segment he explains it from a Russian point of view – very interesting to see how the Russians understand this peculiarly American mental disorder.

Transcript included below.



Fake news is a notion of the outgoing year. One can come up with a piece of news and then later respond to it by launching rockets imposing sanctions or making other fake news ascending to a new level. I would call "fake news" the word of 2018.

Alexander Khristenko with the details.

Lesbo 1:

“Breaking news! Oh my, breaking news. Brian Ross from ABC-News said that Michael Flynn is ready to testify that as a candidate Donald Trump directed him to make contact with the Russians.”


The host is exulting, the audience brakes into applause.

Lesbo 2:

“The closer we get to Christmas, the more it looks like a collusion. As a nation, we must consolidate and feel alarmed that a foreign state interfered with our elections." 


They are not even hiding rejoice. The whole story with the Russian interference received proof and their ultimate goal is finally achieved.

Lesbos together:

“Richard Nixon resigned and Trump must do the same." 

Lesbo 1:

"He's gotta go to jail! Lock him up!”


The breaking news proved to be fake. The ABC-agent that was spreading the fake had his paycheck suspended for a month and ABC had to apologize.

But here we have another piece of breaking news:

CNN Anchor:

“CNN has acquired exclusive material from the investigation of the Russian interference. Someone could share the WikiLeaks documents on the Democratic Committee with Trump's campaign office.”


This news proved to be fake as well. Anonymous sources on whose words the allegations are usually based mixed up the dates, perhaps unintentionally. In reality, the link to the hacked archive was acquired by Trump's team after WikiLeaks openly published the documents. CNN acknowledged their mistake but didn't punish the reporter and didn't apologize.

CNN Reporter:

“Mr. President-elect, may I ask a question?" 


"OK, let's continue. No, not you."

CNN Reporter:

"Why do you keep attacking our organization?" 


"Because your organization is horrible. Next. Quieter, quieter." 

CNN Reporter:

"Why are you attacking us?" 


"Don't be rude. Don't be rude. I won't let you ask a question. You're fake news.”


Fake news. That's what Donald Trump called the report by CNN about an alleged collusion between his campaign office and the Kremlin. The expression quickly became popular and stuck to CNN. People even made memes about it, here's one of them: Instead of CNN - FNN, Fake News Network. The network had to broadcast a counter-argument: “This is CNN the most trusted name in news.”

According to the Media Research Center the American networks ABC, CBS, and NBC were so obsessed with investigating the Russian interference that they dedicated 353 minutes to this topic, which is almost six hours of the evening news air. The fight against terrorism received only 30 minutes, economics and the creation of the new jobs – five.

CNN alone mentioned Russia 16,000 times during this year. Here's the fresh interview of the former director of national intelligence Clapper where he seriously calls Trump a Kremlin agent.

James Clapper, director of the US intelligence 2010 - 2017:

"This past weekend is illustrative of what a great case officer Putin is. He knows how to handle an asset, and that's what he's doing with the President."


The research center Veritas within their project American Pravda tried to find out what is behind this unrestrained interest in the Russian case. A man with a hidden camera infiltrated the CNN editorial in Atlanta.

PV Reporter:

“Why is CNN constantly blaming Russia?" 

John Bonifield, CNN Supervising Producer:

"Ratings. They are incredible right now. We had a meeting and the CEO told us: 'OK, you mentioned climate change, let's get back to Russia.'"


Simultaneously, the English-speaking Internet was consumed by a wave of online-fakes. Hundreds of websites published utter nonsense.

An example: "Obama Arrested For Wiretapping Trump" or "Clinton Foundation Cargo Ship Raided, Dozens Of Suspected Terrorists Found Inside" or "Trump Offering Free One-Way Tickets to Africa & Mexico for Those Who Wanna Leave America."

According to Buzzfeed, the 20 most popular pieces of fake news received almost two million more likes and reposts than 20 actual pieces.

One of the people behind these factories of fakes has revealed his identity. Jestin Coler, the owner of several similar websites, calls himself the Fake News King. He claims fake news is a fiction genre and sees nothing wrong with posting it.


"The famous story of the FBI agent that was investigating Clinton's e-mails and was later found dead, that it was suicide. The news was shared by more than 500,000 people. But didn't you support Clinton? What was your motivation?"

Jestin Coler:

"I had to pay my mortgage. I thought I could earn some money and built a site."


"And you were sponsored by Russia?"

Jestin Coler:

"Nope. I know a lot of site owners and I can assure you nobody did it to influence the elections or out of personal ideological reasons. They did it to earn money."


The Fake News King claims he has his own team of 25 authors. During good times, he manages to earn up to $30,000 per month by selling lies. The more popular the news becomes, the higher the prices of the ads grow. With the help of new computer programs, fakes can reach a whole new level.

Here's a technology that allows altering face movements in real time. You arch your eyebrow and the original video transforms. You frown and the person, be it Bush or Putin, mimics your every move. A new reality.

Here's the presentation of Voco a program used to simulate one's voice. It analyzes the actual speech of a person and then synthesizes a perfect copy. Now, you basically can make anyone say anything by simply typing the phrase.

Voco Developer:

“I kissed my dogs and wife. OK, now we add the words and click here. I kissed Jordan and my dogs.”

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The developers said they mark the final product with special identifiers that will allow distinguishing between an original and a fake. But does everyone have energy, skills, and time to check whether the news is true or fake?

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Charles Bausman, founder of Russia Insider:

"The US used to have a certain consensus and we believed the man with the Grey hair from the evening news. We were sure he was speaking the truth. And now, when every person can basically become a journalist there are hundreds of opinions and no-one knows which one to believe. When a person says something there's always another one claiming it's fake. Just too much information."


The accidental confession of 2017 was the phrase said by the MSNBC-host Mika Brzezinski. the daughter of the political scientist Zbigniew Brzezinski:

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Mika Brzezinski.

“Trump is trying to control exactly what people think and that is our job.”


And judging from the US television they'll do it by whatever means necessary.

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This post first appeared on Russia Insider

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