Trump Supporters Have Made This Russian Propaganda Chief the Happiest Person on Twitter

Photo: Gage Skidmore / CC 2.0

Photo: Gage Skidmore / CC 2.0

As the world reels today from Donald Trump’s stunning upset in the U.S. presidential race, Russians are looking to America with newfound confidence that years of battling the Western liberal media’s dominance over global information streams have finally paid off.

On this score, there's perhaps no one happier than Margarita Simonyan, the chief editor of RT (formerly “Russia Today”), the Kremlin’s largest propaganda outlet, which exists to project Moscow’s view of the world to audiences abroad.

On Twitter, Simonyan started out the election like most people relying on pollsters’ forecasts, expecting a victory by Hillary Clinton. One of Simonyan’s earliest election-day tweets simply declared that democracy had died.

As it became clear that Trump would actually win the race, Simonyan’s tone on Twitter changed from one of devastation to delight. She even started hunting down an American flag, promising to attach it to her car, so eager was she to honor an election she’d hours earlier described as the harbinger of democracy’s demise.

Today I want to drive around Moscow with an American flag in the window of my car. If I can find a flag. Join me! :-) They [the Americans] have earned it.

Okay, so today I’m going to drive around like this: in one window I’ll have our flag, and in the other I’ll have an American flag. I’m symbolizing love, peace, and harmony. As an advance.

Even the debt of two cases of beer—apparently the price of a lost wager, in which Simonyan bet on Clinton—was not enough to dampen the chief editor’s spirits.

I just realized that I’ve lost two cases of beer!

Like many observers in the United States and around the world, Simonyan has interpreted Trump’s victory as a powerful rebuke of the American status quo and decades of the so-called Washington Consensus, when it comes to U.S. foreign policy.

For Simonyan, this is proof that a majority of American voters are sick and tired of the mainstream media, multiculturalism, free trade, and interventionism abroad.

Corbyn. Brexit. Trump. Any questions? The world is sick of the establishment, of its lies, and its lying, arrogant media.

When the media and the authorities spend years sowing values that society isn't ready to accept, explaining to society that it's too backward, Trump wins.

People are tired of war. People are tired of the media. People are tired of aggressive liberalism. People are tired of immigrants. Good or bad, these are the facts.

Implicit in Simonyan’s Twitter celebrations is the idea that RT, her media outlet, is also a winner, because it offers the anti-establishment perspective that has apparently prevailed in this U.S. election.

Prominent supporters of Hillary Clinton have also embraced the idea that Russian agents like Simonyan are responsible for Trump’s electoral win.

For example, Michael McFaul, a former U.S. ambassador to Russia and a vocal supporter of the Clinton campaign, credited Moscow with manipulating Americans into voting for Trump. On Twitter, McFaul facetiously congratulated various Kremlin-connected individuals, including Simonyan, who promptly retweeted the message on her own account.

Looking ahead, Simonyan clearly has very high hopes for what President Trump can do to improve U.S.-Russian relations, including several geopolitical concessions to Moscow that would likely be unthinkable had Hillary Clinton won on Tuesday.

If Trump recognizes our Crimea, cancels the [economic] sanctions, comes to an agreement with us on Syria, and frees Assange, then I'm retiring. Because it will be a beautiful world.

And what about “Democracy, RIP”? Simonyan says there's good news on that front:

Max Seddon: Well, and just yesterday you said “Democracy, RIP.” Has it come back to life?
Margarita Simonyan: It’s been resurrected! :-)


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