And, yes, that isn’t hyperbole. Having been busted a while back for writing positive articles about the Malaysian government, the hacks are back at the trough again:
Several conservative bloggers repeated talking points given to them by a proxy group for the Ukrainian government — and at least one writer was paid by a representative of the Ukrainian group, according to documents and emails obtained by BuzzFeed.
The Ukrainian campaign began in the run-up to high-stakes Ukrainian parliamentary elections last year, and sought to convince skeptical American conservatives that the pro-Russian Party of Regions, led by President Viktor Yanukovych, deserved American support. During that period, articles echoing Ukrainian government talking points appeared on leading conservative online outlets, including RedState, Breitbart, and Pajamas Media.
The stomach turns at this:
Warner Todd Huston was one of the more prolific of the writers tasked with writing pro-Yanukovych stories. He posted Ukraine content on Family Security Matters, the website run by the Center for Security Policy, anti-Muslim pundit Frank Gaffney’s think tank. Other posts appeared on small sites like Right Wing News, ChicagoNow’s Publius Forum, and Canada Free Press.
In a post titled “Russia’s Constant Interference in Ukraine,” Huston wrote that the imprisonment of Tymoshenko was justified.
“Too many in the west imagine that she was arrested by a Ukraine backsliding into a Soviet-styled police state where all opposition leaders are squelched,” Huston wrote. “This, however, just isn’t the case.” Huston called Tymoshenko “one of Putin’s best assets in the former Soviet-satellite nation.”
I can be snarky about Buzzfeed at times, but their reporting under Ben Smith is top-notch. I suspect the corruption of struggling young bloggers and writers by wealthy authoritarian regimes may be more widespread than many would believe.