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The Daily Vertical: Cheering On Europe's Xenophobes (Transcript)

  • Brian Whitmore

Well, you can call it wishful thinking or you can call it sloppy tweeting.

But whatever you call it, the Kremlin's international propaganda channel RT had what The Interpreter Magazine's James Miller called its Dewey Defeats Truman Moment this week.

On Monday morning, when Austria's presidential election was still too close to call, RT was out there on Twitter touting the victory of far-right candidate Norbert Hofer.

"Hofer's far-right win will signal need for drastic changes in Austrian politics," the channel tweeted, linking to an article about how Austrian society was polarized and disoriented by the ethnic tensions resulting from the migrant crisis.

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Now, Hofer, of course, was narrowly defeated by Green Party candidate Alexander Van der Bellen.

RT's Twitter mishap came right on the heels of another embarrassment for the Kremlin's propaganda machine, when the French current affairs program Le Petit Journal called out Russian state television for fabricating quotes about how Paris residents are terrified of migrants.

You can certainly learn a lot about what the Kremlin wishes for by paying attention to its propaganda -- and even to its propaganda mishaps.

Russia didn't cause the rise of Europe's xenophobic right, but it's doing everything it can to help it out and to cheer it on.

Likewise, Russia didn't create Europe's migrant crisis, but it certainly has exacerbated it with its bombing campaign in Syria.

Vladimir Putin's regime wants a Europe that is weak, frightened, and divided.

Because, rightly or wrongly, it believes that a strong and united Europe poses an existential threat to the kleptocracy in the Kremlin.

Keep telling me what you think on The Power Vertical's Twitter feed and on our Facebook page.

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