A Weak Signal on the Post-Fact Climate

Re-reading Peter Pomerantsev’s book Nothing Is True And Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia¬†(New York: PublicAffairs, 2014), I noticed this detail about the RT (Russia Today) channel (p. 48):


But the first time viewer would not necessarily register these stories, for such obvious pro-Kremlin messaging is only one part of RT’s output. Julian Assange, head of WikiLeaks, had a talk show on RT. American academics who fight the American World Order, 9/11 conspiracy theorists, antiglobalists, and the European Far Right are given generous space. Nigel Farage, leader of the nonparliamentary anti-immigration UKIP party, is a frequent guest; Far Left supporter of Saddam Hussein George Galloway hosts a program about Western media bias.


Pomerantsev’s comment about Farage is a weak signal about the contemporary post-fact climate. Russian disinformation and propaganda migrated from RT in 2014 into the Brexit vote and the Trump presidential campaign in 2016. This post-fact climate can also be traced to the disillusionment in the West after the 2007-09 global financial crisis and 2011 sentiment fears about the European Union. Pomerantsev is now program director of the Information Warfare initiative at the Center for European Policy Analysis.