Russiagate: The Great Tragic Comedy of Modern Journalism

Matt Bivens, MD
18 min readMar 26, 2019

In its Russiagate coverage, The New York Times has repeatedly offered a graphic accusing the President’s retinue of “more than 100 contacts with Russian nationals.” This decision to question the loyalty of people who have had contact with a Russian national — so, for just knowing or meeting a Russian — has been a staple of New York Times coverage.

“More than 100 contacts with Russian nationals.” It’s incredible that this can even be an allegation — in our paper of record — there in explainer graphics almost every day, for more than two years now.

It smacks of the famous Senator Joseph McCarthy speeches in the 1950s: “I have in my hand a list of 205 [or 57, or 81]…”

And yet no one ever seemed to mind.

After all, as former intelligence chief (and liar to Congress) James Clapper has asserted on television, “Russians are almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor.” Worse, I may have already been co-opted and penetrated without even knowing it! As Clapper said recently on CNN when asked if Trump could be “a Russian asset,” it is “a possibility, and I would add to that a caveat, whether witting or unwitting.”


So you can be an unwitting traitor?

Infected with Russian mind-control, like a zombie?

Yes. As mainstream media have argued repeatedly and quite explicitly.

Consider the stunning set of short films on The New York Times op-ed webpages titled “Operation Infektion: How Russia Perfected the Art of War”.

Over a sinister animation of black and white human cells being penetrated by bright red virus particles, the narration begins: “The thing about a virus is it doesn’t destroy you head-on. Instead, it brings you down — from the inside. Turning your own cells into enemies.”

This incredible film is well worth watching to see how ill our body politic has become. As the red virus invades cell after cell, the narration goes on: “This story is about a virus — a virus created five decades ago by a government, to slowly and methodically poison its enemies. But it’s not a biological virus, it’s more like a political one. And chances are, you’ve already been…

Matt Bivens, MD

Born in DC, studied at UNC-Chapel Hill, now living in Massachusetts. ER physician, EMS medical director, recovering journalist & Russia-watcher.