WikiLeaks’ American Moment: The DNC Emails, Russiagate and Beyond

Marmura, Stephen M. E.

WikiLeaks’ disclosure of stolen Democratic National Convention (DNC) emails in 2016 and the related “Russiagate” scandal had tangible implications for US politics. These events draw attention to the evolving relationship(s) between state propaganda, populist conspiracy theorizing and mainstream news reporting. The proliferation of alternative information sources complicates attempts to verify relevant claims about WikiLeaks and/or Russia. In addition to the competing conspiracy theories promoted by fringe elements, major news organizations like MSNBC and FOX increasingly tailor their news products to satisfy different truth markets. WikiLeaks has proven resilient in the face of ongoing attempts to discredit it. However, its future success hinges not only on its media skills and strategies but also on developments and contingencies beyond its control.