Michael Tracer, Definitely Not a Proxy For a Real Hard-Left Pundit
The American Left--from Bernie Sanders die-hards to media outlets like The Intercept and The Young Turks have been quietly trying to determine exactly how much positive coverage of Russia they can get away with before alienating their American followers. We caught up with Michael Tracer, formerly of The Intercept and Vice, now working with The Young Turks, to find out where he thought the line might be drawn.
RealTrueNews: Hello Michael, can you explain to us why you want to cover Russia in a positive light in the first place.
Michael Tracer: I'm not sure I'd characterize it that way--right now the Left has a powerful friend in terms of messaging in Russia. It's not so much that we're positive as that we're not needlessly negative. For example, Wikileaks--it helped keep Clinton from being elected, which I like--but if everyone says they're a Russian propaganda agent then that hurts us strategically. We have to push back against that.
RTN: You don't believe they're a Russian propaganda outlet?
MT: There's no proof.
RTN: But, for example, they only ever "leak" information on Russia's ideological opponents. They get information that it seems like Russia would be the primary source of. Assange has made it clear that he shares Russia's enemy-list.
MT: You could say the same for The Intercept.
RTN: Well, we would.
MT: Right. But do you have proof? See, our readers want hard evidence--irrefutable--before creating a "Red Scare." See how that works? Either you have solid proof or you don't. I side with solid proof. People say Putin is a killer--I, like Donald Trump, say America is a killer. Whatabout Drone Murder, and such?
RTN: Look, do you believe that things that are good, geo-politically, for America are good for the average American at some level? Do you think a strong America abroad is good domestically? That America as a moral leader is better than America as a moral coward? That America stands for something ultimately good?
MT: Of course not.
RTN: Could you explain that?
MT: America is a force for global capitalism. Nothing else. Moral leadership? Ha. We bomb weddings. How is that moral leadership. America strong abroad? Expansionist empire. Why would I want that? Why would anyone want that. America as an idea? Well, I could get behind that if people like Bernie Sanders were in charge--but they're not. Until they are, America is a puppet of corporations peopled by rednecks.
RTN: Why do you hate America?
MT: Don't put words in my mouth.
RTN: So you see common cause in siding with Russia against America?
MT: Well, that's obvious. Obama was problematic--he was inspirational to liberals, but was a vile centrist, which meant less power to the Left. He was charismatic--which made our attempts to define, freeze, and attack him difficult. Now we've got Trump--our click-throughs have never been higher. My followers have gone up. Trump is the best thing that could happen to the Left in American history.
We wouldn't have that without Russia's help.
RTN: So you think Russia did help elect Trump?
MT: There's zero proof. You got proof?
RTN: InfoSec experts say it's clear Russia hacked the DNC servers--
MT: Nonsense. Are you an InfoSec expert?
RTN: Our web-master is. He says logs files, analysis of URL shortners used in the hacks, and other evidence can be pretty--
MT: Our readers aren't InfoSec experts. So there's no proof they can understand. Hence: no proof.
RTN: Isn't that a dodge?
MT: Not if they buy it.
RTN: So you are trying to take over America for your ideology and you think Trump helps with that?
MT: Hillary Clinton losing was the best day of my life.
RTN: But what about stuff like Trans-rights? North Daktoa and the environment in general? Voting rights? All of that?
MT: Exactly--all of that gets torn down, people will see we're the only option. Incrementalism is the enemy of revolution. People have to hit rock-bottom before they make a change. Outlets like The Intercept and TYT need to make things much, much worse, punish the centralists, so that things can get better.
RTN: What if . . . they don't get better?
MT: That's a chance I'm willing to take. My clicks have never been higher.
RTN: Thank you..
MT: You're a major media outlet, right? This will get many clicks?