Press: Manipulation

Probing Soviet influence

Disinformation is the term that intelligence analysts give to falsehoods a country disseminates by duping foreign news media. Such campaigns usually depend on a legitimate journalist's unwitting participation. Thus it is often all but impossible, even long after the fact, for a news organization to detect that it has been the victim of disinformation. One classic instance that took months to expose: the rash of stories planted among Western journal ists that the late Soviet leader Yuri Andropov was a fan of jazz and Western fiction and a closet liberal.

The inability of a news organ to be sure that...

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