Separating Fact From Hyperbole in the Russia Story

Elizabeth Hamilton-Argyropoulos
4 min readJul 19, 2018

Remember in 2003 when Washington Post ran this headline? That it was irrefutable that Iraq had WMDs and we had to go to war?

One problem. They lied to us.

In 2018, only 15 years later, we now must believe anything the intelligence community, our leaders, or corporate media says to us, without question and those who do want to take the time to consider all the information are immediately reprimanded for the mere suggestion that we keep a level head.

While I do personally believe that Russia tried to meddle in our elections, I do not believe it’s like Pearl Harbor or the Holocaust. Not even close. What I’ve seen lately on cable news and social media takes the idea that Russia tried to interfere with our election, and makes the jump to conclusions that are not only hyperbolic, they’re meant to shut down progressives. Just a few of the over-the-top takes I’ve seen this week:

In fact, I find these assertions to be nothing short of propaganda meant to whip us all in a frenzy and unable to employ logic.

A whole lot like 2003.

So while I personally think we have to deal with Russian interference, to strengthen our voting systems, to take protective measures, using this to push for war, attack Bernie Sanders, or anyone on the left as a Russian stooge is a dangerous, disingenuous leap.

If we carefully study history, we’ll notice the drums of war are beaten by the opportunists and those who will stand to profit. And while we have to be careful of fake news and false narratives, in the age of media being owned by corporations, we also have to be aware of what CNN, MSNBC, FOX, Washington Post, etc are selling us. Honestly, we should have learned that lesson 15 years ago.

In the last tweet, the woman above sounds exactly like Trump, ‘Many people are saying, this is what I’m hearing. It must be for a reason’. Can we all not see the dangers of this? Can we please stop dumbing each other down? More than ever, we need to stick to facts, no more no less.

To briefly answer her, the division was already there. Putin did not create that. We have over 50 million living in poverty, wealth inequality is greater than it’s ever been, and over 60% of Americans can’t afford a $500 emergency. Putin had nothing to do with it, that’s all American capitalism, baby.

And to be clear, Bernie Sanders has been calling out Russian interference and is in Congress even as I write this arguing with Rand Paul to protect our voting systems.

We’re all trying to make sense of everything we’re presented with, the news is a constant cycle of hot monkey piss, and trying to keep up with our dolt, liar President is impossible. I’m simply asking that you stick to facts, to not let hyperbole infest your brain, and behave rationally. Because if we give into emotion, rather than fact, we’re all FOX news viewers now.

And we better be glad there are those who are always holding our country’s feet to the fire, to demand the truth, who are brave enough to speak out against war, hypocrisy, and violence. Perhaps if we heeded their voices in 2003, we could have saved almost a million lives lost in Iraq.

So whether you agree with my friend Beth or not, you better be damned happy she and many like her are here. We must have those brave enough to speak out when everyone tells them they’re wrong.

And if we learned any lessons at all from 2003, it’s that we need fearless voices now more than ever.