Andrey (azangru) wrote,
Andrey
azangru

The New York Times published an article Putin's war on US science (on the site, it’s entitled Putin’s Long War Against American Science).

I got curious at first, assuming they would talk about some sneaky way that Russia found to degrade the quality of scientific research in the US — that would have been a new one. But no; this is a very banal article that talks about how Russia generates fake news, and thus undermines public trust in the real science.

This made me think that what the article is actually complaining about is how institutions are struggling to control the narrative. The point that this article, as well as numerous opinions I’ve seen in the social media, are consistently making is not that consumers of the news should become more sophisticated and learn techniques for telling falsehoods apart from truths; no, what they want is to suppress falsehoods. This patronizing supervisory suppression leaves news consumers just as defenseless against influence campaigns as before, which can be used by the institutions if they so choose.





Also, I am surprised by how significant a role Russia plays in the New York Times coverage. For example, NYT reports that Russia now admits the scale of its epidemic:



As they did the day before:



Why would anyone outside of Russia particularly care about what the Moscow authorities say? It’s as if Americans are as fascinated by the Russians as the Russians are by the Americans. Very strange.
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