Largest Newspaper in Spain Blames Russia and for Catalonia Pro-Independence News

Providing still more graphic proof of its pathetic and truly cringeworthy descent from the status of a great liberal paper to that of a shameless corporatist rag dominated by baseless Atlanticist talking points, Madrid’s El País has recently suggested that behind the current drive for a vote on independence in Catalonia there there can be found the diabolical hand of Putin’s Russia. In a story that appeared yesterday on the El Pais website, David Alandete wrote:

“The same apparatus for the spreading of fake news that Russia has used to weaken the United States and the European Union, has been deployed in full force in Catalonia, according to a detailed analysis of Pro-Russian websites and Facebook profiles carried out by this newspaper with tools of digital analysis. In the wake of the covert campaigns in favor of Brexit, Marine Le Pen and the German Ultra-right, the Kremlin has come to see the Catalan independentist movement as yet another way to deepen European divisions and consolidate its international influence. They use webpages that publish rumors, activists like Julian Assange, a legion of bots, and millions of automatized pages on social media to insure that lies are shared millions of times on the web.”

But the brilliant journalist at Spain’s leading newspaper was not content to stop with this morsel of infantile thinking.

Casting his eyes across the Atlantic toward the libertarian website, One of the very few media outlets in the United States which has covered the Spanish government’s ongoing coup in Catalonia, Alandete suggested that the site and its most important writer, Justin Raimondo, were integral parts of Putin’s efforts to undermine the West’s hallowed democracies.

Working in deeply nuanced line of reasoning that holds that Julian Assange is per se bad, and that therefore anyone who sympathizes with him, or even coincides with his point of view, is either a dismissable idiot or a Russian dupe, they mock an article in which Raimondo raised the possibility that Spain could unleash a Tiananmen-style attack on the Catalan independentists.

I guess that for David Alandete, as the case for so many mainstream journalist, it is much easier (not to mention career-enhancing) to search for Russian phantoms, than to confront, and engage in debate with opinions that are not approved by his corporate bosses and that flout the group-think these bosses now demand in their news rooms.

In Alandete’s smug little Madrid/Liberal Interventionist world things like the arrest of government officials, the carrying off of millions of printed ballots, the attempts to place the long-independent Catalan police under Spanish control, the indictment for sedition of peaceful civic leaders have no weight, and certainly no resemblance to repressive behavior in other countries.

No in his Spain, that is the real Spain run from Madrid and ever-prisoner to its own endlessly repeated mythologies about self and other, none of this is real.

But what is real of course is Putin’s evil hand. After all, what other reason could the Catalans, whom centralists like Alandete have always treated with mocking condescension despite their demonstrably higher levels of civic democracy and culture, have any reason to break up their perfect marriage?

Thomas S. Harrington is professor of Hispanic Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut and the author of Public Intellectuals and Nation Building in the Iberian Peninsula, 1900–1925: The Alchemy of Identity (Bucknell University Press, 2014).

27 thoughts on “Largest Newspaper in Spain Blames Russia and for Catalonia Pro-Independence News”

    1. Not only that, but most of us are apparently Russian Bots! Have been since the late 90’s! What an astonishing discovery. All of our relatives, employers, co-workers, doctors & dentists were completely duped for the past 20 years!

      1. More correct semantically would perhaps be, “teper’ my vse russkye”, but your version works, too :-)

    1. For a ‘”liberal” government, Spain is acting pretty much like Franco was still alive.

  1. Darn that “Spider” Raimondo. He’s spreading his evil web throughout the free and independent West. Why, pretty soon he’ll become “Octopus” Raimondo with his Antiwar International reaching its tentacles everywhere. Today, Barcelona. Tomorrow, Liechtenstein?

  2. It is quite sad to discover that I am just a Russian bot. It infuriates me that the commies had the technological sophistication to make me self-aware, and then fooled me into thinking I was human. How dastardly!

    1. Not to mention the the foresight to fabricate and plant your Birth Certificate, medical & education records, tax returns & other public forms decades ahead of time just so that you could appear legitimate at this moment in history!

  3. “I feel like Paul Revere. I’m trying to sound the alarm about this.”

    – Crooked Hillary on Russia

  4. Putinic hacking – or Spanish ‘Eurovalues’ don’t get 300 000 Catalans off the street do they? Or onto the street either.

  5. So, Soros is just a junior-varsity player? Putin and Justin Raimondo are the real global puppet-masters?

  6. The venerable El Pais has become the NYT of Spain and Alandete has become just another hack.

      1. nop, because our elites all the time do electoral fraud!!!!

        who wants the independence are our elites to steal us even more

  7. Brilliant. Have noticed for years that El Pais (on geopolitics) is empire propaganda and basically warmongering. In Spain they are anti-Catalan like so many ‘Spanish’ organizations. Thankyou again Thomas.

  8. Blocked in the U.S.A. — on “copyright grounds.” A 32-second video excerpt isn’t Fair Use???

    1. Length is one of only four factors in determining whether or not something is “fair use” (the others are purpose/character of the use — e.g. educational — the nature of the work, and the effect of the use upon the work’s value.

      But the way the DMCA works, most content conduits will yank something down on a complaint and then it’s up to the user to prove that it IS fair use, not up to the rights holder to prove that it isn’t.

      Fortunately, copyright is dead. This stuff is just the tail of a dead dinosaur thrashing around because the information that it’s dead hasn’t reached the creature’s pea brain yet.

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