Oliver Stone Pens Essay on the Dangers of "Groupthink" in Believing Russian Hacking Claims

Oliver Stone - Getty - H 2016
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"As much as I may disagree with Donald Trump (and I do), he's right now target number one of the mainstream media propaganda," the 'Snowden' director writes.

Oliver Stone warned against the dangers of readily accepting "fake news" and "mainstream media propaganda" in a lengthy essay posted Friday to his Facebook account about recent claims that Russian president Vladimir Putin meddled in the U.S. presidential election to secure a victory for Donald Trump.

In the essay, the Snowden director writes, "When one groupthink controls our national conversation, it becomes truly dangerous."

Stone takes issue with The New York Times' reporting of the Russian hacking claims and its "stagnant Cold War vision of a 1950s world where the Russians are to blame for most everything — Hillary's loss, most of the aggression and disorder in the world, the desire to destabilize Europe, etc."

"The Times has added the issue of ‘fake news’ to reassert its problematic role as the dominant voice for the Washington establishment," the essay reads. "Certainly this is true in the case of Russia’s ‘hacking’ the 2016 election and putting into office its Manchurian Candidate in Donald Trump."

The director writes that he doesn't agree with the conclusion that the CIA, NSA, FBI, DNC, Hillary Clinton and multiple other groups have made in blaming Russia and "singling out" Putin over Trump's win.

Stone then poses the question, "If a black youth in our inner cities were killed or a Pakistani wedding party were murdered by our drones, would President Obama be singled out as a murderer, bully, thug? Such personalization is a sign of sickness in our thinking and way beneath what should be our standards."

The filmmaker continues: "My God, the ghost of Izzy Stone is back from the 1950s! For that matter, so is Tom Clancy from the ’80s. False thrillers will now be written about the Russians hacking the American elections. Money and TV serials will be made. I’ve never read such hysterical junk in the New York Times (call it what it is — 'fake news'), in which the editorials have become outrageous diatribes of alleged crimes by Russia. This type of thinking has clearly influenced the Pentagon and many of our Generals' statements, and has pervaded mainstream media reporting."

Stone emphasizes that though he mostly disagrees with Trump, "he's right now target number one of the mainstream media propaganda." The director ultimately fears the "hot-headed" president-elect will head into a state of war with Russia over "some kind of false intelligence or misunderstanding cooked up by CIA."

Providing links to relevant think pieces, he writes, "I urge you to read the following articles and stay calm in your thinking. But bring it to bear in some way."

Stone concludes his essay: "As a believer in what the Dalai Lama says, every single one of us, even through our prayers, can add to the betterment of this world. I never thought I’d find myself praying for the level-headedness of a Donald Trump."

Read the post in full here.