The most important news-story since the U.S. Presidential election has been the blockbuster by Glenn Greenwald and Ben Norton at The Intercept, headlining at 1:17 on the afternoon of November 26th, “Washington Post Disgracefully Promotes a McCarthyite Blacklist From a New, Hidden, and Very Shady Group”. They reported that:
THE WASHINGTON POST on Thursday [Thanksgiving] night promoted the claims of a new, shadowy organization that smears dozens of U.S. news sites that are critical of U.S. foreign policy as being “routine peddlers of Russian propaganda.” The article by reporter Craig Timberg — headlined “Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, experts say” — cites a report by an anonymous website calling itself PropOrNot, which claims that millions of Americans have been deceived this year in a massive Russian “misinformation campaign.”…
WHO EXACTLY IS behind PropOrNot, where it gets its funding, and whether or not it is tied to any governments is a complete mystery. The Intercept also sent inquiries to the Post’s Craig Timberg asking these questions, and asking whether he thinks it is fair to label left-wing news sites like Truthout “Russian propaganda outlets.” Timberg replied: “I’m sorry, I can’t comment about stories I’ve written for the Post.”
As is so often the case, journalists — who constantly demand transparency from everyone else — refuse to provide even the most basic levels for themselves. When subjected to scrutiny, they reflexively adopt the language of the most secrecy-happy national security agencies: We do not comment on what we do.
Timberg’s piece on the supposed ubiquity of Russian propaganda is misleading in several other ways. The other primary “expert” upon which the article relies is Clint Watts, a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, a pro-Western think tank whose board of advisers includes neoconservative figures like infamous orientalist scholar Bernard Lewis and pro-imperialist Robert D. Kaplan, the latter of whom served on the U.S. government’s Defense Policy Board.
What the Post does not mention in its report is that Watts, one of the specialists it relies on for its claims, previously worked as an FBI special agent on a Joint Terrorism Task Force and as the executive officer of the U.S. Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center. As Fortune’s Ingram wrote of the group, it is “a conservative think tank funded and staffed by proponents of the Cold War between the U.S. and Russia.”
PropOrNot is by no means a neutral observer. It actively calls on Congress and the White House to work “with our European allies to disconnect Russia from the SWIFT financial transaction system, effective immediately and lasting for at least one year, as an appropriate response to Russian manipulation of the election.”
In other words, this blacklisting group of anonymous cowards — putative experts in the pages of the Washington Post — is actively pushing for Western governments to take punitive measures against the Russian government and is speaking and smearing from an extreme ideological framework that the Post concealed from its readers.
Greenwald and Norton also reprise the Post’s 2002 propaganda supporting G.W. Bush’s allegations that Saddam Hussein had huge stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction and needed to be overthrown. The deception of the American people by the Washington Post didn’t just start when the owner of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, purchased that U.S.-aristocracy-controlled propaganda-organ in 2013 and kept it that way, otherwise known in foreign-policy circles as “neoconservative” or simply “neocon,” and also in domestic-policy circles as “neoliberal” or simply “neolib”: they’re the two sides of the same aristocratic coin (otherwise called “crony capitalism,” or “fascism,” but it has become the American way, and not only the way of other corrupt nations).
Here is the list of the 200 news-sites that PropOrNot label as ‘Russian Propaganda’ sites. I feel happy that the 18 sites which still are publishing me are on that list (of alleged ‘Russian propaganda’ sites):
beforeitsnews, blacklistednews, countercurrents, globalresearch, greanvillepost, informationclearinghouse, off-guardian, paulcraigroberts, rinf, russia-insider, sott, strategic-culture, theduran, thesaker, thetruenews, unz, washingsonsblog, zerohedge
Four others, that also are on the ‘Russian propaganda’ list, used to publish me but then banned me because I wouldn’t accept their editing, or ripped commentators or politicians they publish or respect: counterpunch, infowars, nakedcapitalism, opednews
Very few mainstream sites ever published me, but they quit doing so, banned me: alternet, commondreams, dailykos, huffingtonpost, salon, truth-out (which last one somehow made it onto that list of alleged ‘Russian propaganda’ sites even though truth-out is heavily censored by the U.S. Establishment and so really didn’t belong on that list, and is far more like this list that starts with alternet, none of which is — nor belongs — on that ‘Russian propaganda’ list at all: these ones seem to me to be quite CIA-compliant).
And then there are some on the ‘Russian propaganda’ list that I wish would publish me but can’t or don’t, especially stormcloudsgathering and moonofalabama — both terrific sites, which are written and produced by the same individual who owns it (and both of which are vastly more truthful than is the Washington Post, though moonofalabama seems to be blind to the falsenesses of Karl Marx and too selective in the truths that are being reported, but some good reporters are communists blind to the falsenesses of Karl Marx, just as some good reporters are libertarians blind to the falsenesses of Adam Smith — ideology is fundamentally different from journalism).
Anyway, I think that almost all of the trustworthy sites are on that list of ‘Russian propaganda’ sites. In the West, reporting truthfully about international relations, or even just about the United States, is defined to be ‘Russian propaganda’, no matter how well-documented and irrefutable it might actually be.
27 hours after publication of The Intercept’s blockbuster, I entered into a google search “Washington Post Disgracefully Promotes a McCarthyite Blacklist From a New, Hidden, and Very Shady Group” and expected to see there at the top, on the first page of the listings, many mainstream newsmedia, reporting on this brilliant and fast exposé of propaganda by the Washington Post and by their fellow-neocons in the U.S. government. Instead, there were only news-sites that were themselves on the WP-pumped list of “Russian propaganda” sites, plus mirror-sites that don’t publish anything on their own but simply automatically pick up headlines from many different news-media.
Whereas Greenwald and Norton at The Intercept had caught the Washington Post red-handed lying to their massive audience, the only people who were being allowed to learn that the WP ’news’ report was fake, and pure neocon propaganda, were ones who were reading news-sites even smaller than The Intercept itself — mainly comprising news-media that were themselves on the WP-publicized urged-to-be-banned list of ‘Russian propaganda’ sites.
One thing that U.S. ‘news’media refuse to report is the uniform rot of the U.S. ‘news’media — even when it’s only a single one (and not themselves) of those ‘news’media that’s being exposed. They all protect each other — and not only protect the aristocracy that controls both of the political Parties and thus the U.S. government itself and which also both finances and advertises in (pays) those ‘news’media — all of which are fake: ‘news’ managed by the U.S. aristocracy.
PS: At midnight on Friday November 25th, the scamming-operation (PropOrNot) issued their 32-page “Black Friday Report: Russian Propaganda Network Mapping” which argued not that the news-sites that they were calling “Russian Propaganda” had published a higher percentage of false, or even of unconfirmed, allegations than America’s major ‘news’ media did — and no attention at all was being paid by PropOrNot’s ‘researchers’ to that crucial question, the issue of the truthfulness-falseness of the reporting — but instead they alleged that the “Russian Propaganda” sites tended to quote from and link to each other. However, a network-mapping of mainstream ‘news’ sites would show exactly the same thing: they also quote and link to each other. That’s how Americans came to believe, during 2002 and early 2003, that Saddam Hussein had huge stockpiles and active programs to produce Weapons of Mass Destruction, and so we needed to invade Iraq to protect U.S. national security. The exclusivity or “networked” operation might even be less on the ‘Russian Propaganda’ side than it is on the mainstream ‘news’ side. PropOrNot’s report ignored whether it is, or not. But what’s vastly more important even than this is that they ignored the percentage-accuracy on either side — the truthfulness/falseness ratio on either side of that divide — and so no allegations were made in their report regarding the relative trustworthiness of the two sides. A web-search for the following three terms entered into the search-box will produce many articles that I have published on the incessant and shameless lying that’s rampant in major U.S. ‘news’ media: zuesse major media
PropOrNot isn’t interested in truthfulness, but that’s the only thing I care about.
All of my articles are simultaneously submitted for publication without charge, to all of the major and almost all of the small newsmedia in the U.S. and most of them also to media in UK and Canada. Some I submit also to Russian and German news-sites, when I believe that the subjects might be of particular interest to those audiences. The reason why my articles are no longer being published by any but small news-sites — none of which is controlled by any billionaire or centi-millionaire nor by any government anywhere — is that too high a percentage of my submissions report and document truths that the U.S. aristocracy and the government it controls simply refuse to allow their public to know. It has nothing to do with my being less careful in my use of sources than their reporters are, nor vaguer or less precise in my allegations, nor less attentive to structure in my articles, nor anything like that; it has everything to do with the U.S. aristocracy — in both of America’s two established political Parties — prohibiting their respective public (Democratic or Republican) from knowing, or especially from understanding, certain basic truths concerning the control of the U.S. government (such as that the U.S. has the most aggressive government of any on Earth and in recent decades has mass-murdered in many countries that have posed no threat to America’s national security, such as Iraq, Libya and Syria — facts that both sides of the U.S. aristocracy hide from their public). This is the reason why I always urge my readers to click onto the links wherever a reader questions an allegation that I am making: I want my readers to be able easily to access my sources and evaluate them themselves, and I want any reader who finds any error in one of my sources, or in my article, to call it out in the reader-comments, which I read, especially at the two sites where I directly post (not merely submit) my articles, which are rinf.com and washingtonsblog.com. I am painstaking in every article I write, so that no one will find any error of fact or of reasoning in any of my articles, and, thus far, no one ever has — but if it ever happens, I shall issue a correction, especially at washingtonsblog and rinf, where I can make the corrections myself (as I occasionally have done, of typos).
The reason why I am now published only at sites that are on the Washington Post’s (relying upon PropOrNot’s) banned list is that those are the sites that the U.S. aristocracy don’t control. Other than that, there is considerable diversity amongst those Establishment-banned sites. They certainly aren’t controlled by ‘the Russian government’ nor by ‘Russia’s aristocracy’. But they’re also not controlled by America’s.
The only thing that I care about, in any case, is truthfulness. If ‘journalism’ in the U.S. were likewise, then it wouldn’t be merely a branch of the PR profession in this country, as now is the case. And on November 26th, The Intercept, in a stunning and extraordinarily honest article, exposed the fakeness of the Washington Post’s big ‘news’ story about the news. And none of the major ‘news’ media reported about it. So, I do, because anything that the U.S. aristocracy want to hide from the public, I want to report.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.