By Don Hank
Several blogs, including A Charging Elephant, are carrying the sensational story of how Obama is poised to sell GM to the Chinese. Now, there is legitimate speculation on this topic, covered by mainstream media and it could happen.
But the popular version of the story says the story was broken by a Russian governmental ministry, which supposedly also reported that the US military is plotting a possible coup against the Obama administration.
This is clearly a hoax.
It follows the same pattern of all hoaxes that I have seen referring to a legitimate Russian agency, be it government or media.
A link is provided, which in an authentic report would send the reader to the article in question.
Here we see the link “Russia’s Ministry of Industry and Trade.”
You didn’t click on it, did you? Hoaxters know that most readers won’t, partly because many are lazy but also because they think the site will be in Russian. Try clicking on it.
It brings up only the English language web site of that Russian Ministry.
It not only does not lead you to the article in question, supposedly stating that Obama is selling GM to China (which is nonetheless a legitimate subject of speculation discussed by Wall Street Journal and NYT, with no conclusion drawn), but a quick site search shows nothing like this.
I went to the trouble of searching the Russian language part of the site. The fact that there is a Russian language edition is useful to hoaxters because they want you to believe that that is the part of the site containing the story and they know very few will be able to search it in that language. But I searched the term “GM” at the Russian language site and in fact, it turns out there are some interesting articles on GM there, pertaining to joint ventures between Russian car makers and GM (such as the GM-Avtovaz JV). But nothing on China.
The clincher, however, is the imaginative author’s story that the Russian Ministry is talking about a possible coup in our military.
Let me be blunt: NO serious trading partner with the US would ever write such a thing, even if it were true.
It would destroy their credibility and all their long hours of trade negotiations in an instant.
This is not to say that White House resident would not stoop to selling GM. He might. Who knows?
But that is a different aspect to this story, which is a certifiable hoax. BTW, the US military will never overthrow a president, even a Marxist like Obama. Any sitting president can buy them out or use extortion on them before it comes to that, just as the Brazilian government has bought out and extorted loyalty from their military. Our situation is very similar.
It is understandable that some people are so desperate that they would invent such a story in the hopes that it will encourage the military to action. But it is a childish, misguided action and will only serve to strengthen the Ruling Class in the long run.
Now, finally, you will want to know whether any blog article referring to a Russian news site or government site is legit.
Yes, once in a while that happens. A good example is recent coverage by Russia Today of a conference held in Berlin and featuring economics experts. 700 people showed up and the European media stayed away.
Russia Today spent the day at the conference interviewing participants. Their web site shows videos. DID HAPPEN.
So my suggestion to this conundrum posed by bloggers referring to Russian reporters: