It’s important not only that policy and media leaders understand the reality of Russian aggression, and the diffuse and often innovative ways the Kremlin has found to exert influence and intimidate opponents, but that American and European constituencies do as well. Our leaders must marshal their resolve and ingenuity to highlight and oppose these tactics in all their forms, and integrate our public affairs, diplomacy, and intelligence efforts accordingly.
First Amendment, propaganda will automatically enter the media equation. We need to combat it the way we combat all bad ideas: with our vigilance and wit, knowing that we can’t ever completely expunge it from the atmosphere. [...] By our best non-hysterical efforts, refuting propaganda with the diligence we fight cockroaches, we can hope to reduce propaganda’s effect to that of background radiation. The truth loses battles but never the war.
The 2016 presidential race was rife with disinformation, none more blatant than fake news -- hoaxes, half-truths, outright lies -- that flashed through the internet at warp speed. Take, for example, "Pizzagate," a made-up story of a pedophilia ring supposedly being run out of a Washington, D.C. pizza parlor by none other than Hillary Clinton and her campaign chairman John Podesta.