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Attention Media: Stop Calling Putin's Active Attempt To Destroy Democracy 'Meddling'

This timid characterization is not helping Americans understand how dangerous and broad this attack on America and its democratic institutions.

I don't want to put the blame on Margaret Brennan or Face the Nation, because she's far from the only journalist to do this.


Full stop. Using the term 'meddling' vastly minimizes exactly what Putin has essentially admitted to doing: interfering in our democratic process for a specific result, against the will of the people of this country. He is not some hapless would-be crook from a Scooby Doo cartoon

He has ATTACKED this nation and weakened the very foundation of our democracy. Without a single bullet or casualty, Vladimir Putin has declared war on the sovereignty of this nation.

In 2016, our country was targeted by an attack that had different operational objectives and a different overarching strategy, but its aim was every bit as much to devastate the American homeland as Pearl Harbor or 9/11. The destruction may not send pillars of smoke into the sky or come with an 11-digit price tag, and there’s no body count or casualty statistics—but the damage done has ravaged our institutions and shaken our belief in our immovability. But two years on, we still haven’t put any boats or men in the proverbial water. We still have not yet acted—just today, President Donald Trump, a beneficiary of this attack, exonerated the man who ordered it: Russian strongman Vladimir Putin.

Piece by piece, name by name, one operational detail after the next, special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation has documented that the Russian attack on the American homeland and the American people was every inch as organized, expansive, penetrating and daring as that Japanese run on our fleet or bin Laden’s plan to use civilian airliners as weapons. The Kremlin targeted no remote outpost or iconic landmark, but rather aimed at the very heart of what we are as a nation. The attacks target our processes of government, our democratic institutions and our trust in our values. The further this assault on our independence recedes into the past, the additional suggestions by anyone that it didn’t happen, the more deeply entrenched the adversary becomes in our terrain.

Just last week, DNI Dan Coats testified in front of Congress and called Putin's attack and the danger it poses for future elections, warning, “The warning lights are blinking red.” The risk of a “crippling cyberattack on our critical infrastructure” by a foreign adversary was getting worse.

If even the Trump-nominated Coats deems Russia as the most aggressive threat, saying that “the digital infrastructure that serves this country is literally under attack," is it really good journalism for the media to minimize that into "meddling"?

I don't think so.

Do better.

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