The Associated Press attempted to blame Twitter owner Elon Musk and “pro-Russian” Twitter accounts for Americans’ distrust of Big Daddy Government and liberal media gaslighting about the toxic Ohio train disaster. Talk about a ridiculous attempt at a stretch.
AP whined in a Mar. 18 story — “Pro-Moscow voices tried to steer Ohio train disaster debate” — that “anonymous pro-Russian accounts” used “Elon Musk’s new verification system” to spread “misleading claims and anti-American propaganda” about the East Palestine, Ohio train derailment. The train’s derailing led authorities to create a controlled explosion that released toxic fumes into the atmosphere. “The accounts, which parroted Kremlin talking points on myriad topics, claimed without evidence that authorities in Ohio were lying about the true impact of the chemical spill,” AP complained. Apparently AP didn’t learn anything from the Twitter Files. Just because left-wing talking heads call an account “pro-Russian” doesn’t mean it is, and a deeper dive into AP’s sources just makes its propaganda seem more like a pathetic attempt to protect government talking points.
AP said London, U.K.-based group Reset identified the “pro-Russian” accounts. Ben Scott, the group’s executive director, was “the technology policy advisory group” lead for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign — the same campaign that served as the genesis of the Trump-Russia collusion hoax, which AP itself mindlessly promoted. AP didn’t bother mentioning this in its write-up, and neither did CNN has-been Brian Stelter when he plastered the story on his Twitter feed. Journalist Glenn Greenwald raked Stelter over the proverbial coals for his thin veneer of media analysis bonafides and lack of critical thinking skills.
Which are the “pro-Russia accounts”? Who determined who is “pro-Russia”? How was that determination made? Do any of these questions enter your head – even for a second – before you just uncritically pass along claims like these?
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) March 19, 2023
AP was content to throw spaghetti at the wall and see if something would stick. Some of the so-called “verifiably false” “pro-Russian” claims that AP tried debunking included the “suggestion that the news media had covered up the disaster.” But a recent, non-Russian affiliated MRC study revealed that the Big Three broadcast network’s morning and evening news shows all but dropped coverage of the Ohio disaster once the county permitted residents to return home Feb. 8. All six shows fell just shy of spending a combined 30 minutes on the topic between when the incident first occurred on Feb. 3 and when the evacuation order for East Palestine was lifted on Feb. 8.
The networks regurgitated the public relations gaslighting by the Norfolk Southern Corporation, the owner of the railway responsible for the derailed train. The Big Three rediscovered the topic Feb. 14 – Feb. 15 – nearly a week after the evacuation ended – once it became clear that they were the three most prominent networks that had stopped covering it. But in AP’s world, the notion that the media provided lackluster coverage of the Ohio train disaster is a “verifiably false” and “pro-Russian” claim.
AP also accused “pro-Russian” culprits of making content that included “unverified maps showing widespread pollution, posts predicting an increase in fatal cancers and others about unconfirmed mass animal die-offs.” But NewsNation reported Feb. 27 that doctors were warning that the side effects experienced by East Palestine residents affected by the chemical spill from the train disaster could lead to “‘long term’ cancer risk[s].” Even the environmentalist website Earth.org reported Feb. 23 that the “contaminated water” from the chemicals “wiped out thousands of fish, amphibians, mollusks, and aquatic insects.” That’s despite the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and other government officials telling residents the water was supposedly safe to drink.
Conservatives are under attack. Contact the Associated Press at 212-621-1500 and demand it stop hiding gaslighting about the Ohio train disaster.