Liberal filmmaker Oliver Stone took “Real Time” host Bill Maher by surprise with his dismissal of the recently released Senate Intelligence Committee report outlining Russia‘s interference in the 2016 election.
Maher highlighted from the report, which was released earlier this week, that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort had “directly and indirectly communicated” with Russian national Konstantin Kilimnik and other pro-Russian oligarchs in Ukraine during the election — in addition to Trump ally Roger Stone being linked to the WikiLeaks dump of Clinton emails.
But that prompted a dismissive wave of the hand from Stone, the 73-year-old director of “JFK,” “Platoon,” and other films.
“You can’t really think that a Russian president … should be able to rat-f— our elections like this, can you?” Maher asked.
“Oh Bill, I’ve known you all too long and I think you’re sophisticated enough to know — we have to question everything that comes out of our intelligence agencies,” Stone responded. “If you haven’t learned that by now, you’ve got a long way to go still.”
“So they’re lying?” Maher asked.
“Intelligence agencies are not reliable. They’ve been screwing with America going back to the Vietnam War, going back to the Iraq Wars, the Afghanistani wars,” Stone continued. “It’s very hard to find out the truth from them. Everything they publish — the rumors, the anonymous sources, the think tanks, the anti-Russia — it all adds up into this ball of wax that becomes enormous. And then they have people like you, who are skeptical generally, believing it. I would really triple-check everything, every one of those sources.”
For the 2020 American Views survey, Gallup and Knight polled more than 20,000 U.S. adults and found deepening pessimism and further partisan entrenchment about how the news media delivers on its democratic mandate for factual, trustworthy information. Many Americans feel the media’s critical role of informing and holding those in power accountable is compromised by increasing bias. As such, Americans have not only lost confidence in the ideal of an objective media, they believe news organizations actively support the partisan divide. At the same time, Americans have not lost sight of the value of news — strong majorities uphold the ideal that the news media is fundamental to a healthy democracy.