Fake Western experts as a propaganda tool on Russian TV



Information security

Editor’s NoteFake foreign experts from “all industries” are frequent guests on the Russian TV shows. Such Kremlin-aligned speakers often become the “original sources” of disinformation, the foreigners repeat the Russian propaganda narratives to convince the domestic audience of the plausibility of disinformation and to promote the desirable opinions among the foreign audience.

However, such experts on Russian TV are often just random foreign persons who are far from the claimed areas of expertise. Here is the latest example of an American “political analyst” who lives off selling soaps and CDs with himself singing his own songs.

Last week, Russia’s state-controlled NTV invited an American expert to comment on how the US had reacted to President Putin’s annual address. The American pundit explained that the US had been shocked by the powerful Russian nuclear weapon that had been displayed attacking the State of Florida in a video animation.

fake expert

The caption reads, “Daniel Patrick Welch, political analyst, author.” Screenshot: ntv.ru

Research conducted by journalists from the Russian independent outlet The Insider shows that this commentator’s main claim to fame is that he sells soaps and CDs with himself singing his own compositions on his private website. He calls himself a writer, but The Insider was not able to find any book authored by him, identifying only a few articles published on lesser-known websites.

fake experts




Gazprom-owned TV

NTV used the singing soap salesman’s comments to build a story about “strong Western reactions” to President Putin’s speech, saying that “the US has been totally convinced that in the military sphere they are ahead of the entire planet, but now it turns out that the situation has changed.”

NTV is owned by the well-known state-owned Russian gas exporter Gazprom and is known for loyally, sometimes even aggressively pushing the Kremlin’s political line. As we have previously described, pro-Kremlin international media such as Sputnik and RT, but also Kremlin-controlled media inside Russia, have a long track record of identifying commentators from Western countries who are not particularly well known in their own country, and presenting them as international authorities in a given field, provided that what they say confirms the pro-Kremlin narrative.

Read more:

Source: EU vs Disinfo

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  • zorbatheturk

    The whole of ruSSia is a post-truth environment. It should be renamed Orwellistan.

  • Alex George

    The only way is to call these fakes out as soon as they are identified. Its like whack-a-mole, and our blogs are the stick.

  • Buddy Rugger

    If one has been browsing the Bizarrosphere (alt news, prop sites, deluded bloggers, etc.) long enough, patterns begin to emerge, both long and short.
    I was just moments ago thinking about that idiot “Tex”, the fat, middle-aged American guy that ran off to join the Russian side in the Donbas. He was so obviously terrified while on camera, that I just had to facepalm. Suckered into the Russian narrative via right wing/libertarian “media” sites, he ran off to join his imagined allies in his also imaginary war against imaginary oppressors.
    He must’ve realized once he got there that he wasn’t going to be “protecting fellow conservatives from global leftist tyranny”, but serve as the camp b!tch for Russian regulars and the Ukrainian equivalent of trailer trash/ex-cons/psyche ward escapees. The last I heard, he was “wounded in combat” shortly after arrival, and was tasked with propaganda on behalf of the FSB, er… DNR/LNR. They must have thought that being a native speaker, he would be naturally suited to producing written English, but they failed to recognize that only the stupidest Americans would ingest their propaganda at home, not even attempt further investigation, then ship guns, gear, and flabby old self to volunteer for strange foreigners in a war. So, he sucked bad at that, too, and was seeking asylum in Russia to avoid prosecution in the U.S. when his travel visa expired… but that was denied as per the last article I read.
    Super-lolz, amirite?

    Singing soap salesmen? Pfft. Try tracing through the webs of Makow, Jimstone, VT, AJ, Ren$e, and countless others…
    the cesspool of “expert” talent is full of comedy! This guy is pretty tame, though. If he didn’t look so creepy, and was a slightly better speaker, then I’d be worried.

    I’d love to see updated lists on this site, for easy reference of known trolls, propaganda sites, stories/narratives, etc.
    Most importantly, though; stop letting your own so-called experts steal the damn site from you! I hardly visit anymore, because the articles are almost homogeneous now. You let a few “American experts” hog the space here, and that’s an existential risk for a site which purports to provide a view of contemporary Ukraine and it’s issues, by a myriad of Ukrainian voices.
    A handful of Ukrainian/Ukrainian-ish authors with similar ideas and perspectives make up the bulk of what I consider the “native” view available here now. The “American Advisor” articles seem to make up the majority of content here for a while now, though I haven’t bothered to test that suspicion with math.
    Anyone know where the locals are writing these days?

    • MichaelA

      russian news is usually fake
      just like their promises
      and their threats